They say things are peachy in Iraq, don't they ? Tell them to put their blood where their mouth is...
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When everything seems like the movies
Yeah you BLOG bleed just to know you'r alive
They say things are peachy in Iraq, don't they ? Tell them to put their blood where their mouth is...
If he is, it's the stupidest idea he's ever listened to.
I don't BLAME Kerry for the fraud and the loss. I am also giving him the benefit of the doubt on his lightning speed concession (would it kill him to wait 24 hours ?).
What I am saying is that IF I find out that he conceded so quickly in the hopes of preserving some 'political capital' for a 2008 run, I will feel betrayed. And a lot of his voters will too.
Part of Kerry's 'job' as a candidate was to make sure the votes for him were counted and in that area he failed miserably:
- In preventing fraud: Kerry didn't notice Diebold, Rebecca Mercury, Bev Harris, the felony lists, the Blackwells and the countless fixes that were in. And this after we all have witnessed the 2000 shennannigans w/ Katherine Harris and felony lists!
- In countering fraud: Althought he did back up the Cobb/ Badnarik and Nader actions, he did so from behind the curtains, and so subtly that it was both invisible and innefective
Kerry better not run for President in 2008. It will be a waste of his money and will evaporate the good will a lot of us voters still have for him."
Common Ground Common Sense
Tenet Scapegoat Memo Leaked
Sat Jan 8th, 2005 at 02:45:37 CDT
First, George Tenet resigns in disgrace from the CIA. Then he is awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Now, George Bush's new and improved leakproof CIA weeps this:
An internal CIA investigation concluded former CIA Director George Tenet and other top officials failed to allocate adequate resources to combat terrorism before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and should be held accountable, intelligence officials told The New York Times.
Yah know, George Tenet definitely deserves some of the blame for where we are now. Slam dunk. But as far as the 9/11 attack, there are really only two people responsible for the intelligence failure surrounding that event.
Diaries :: lapin's diary ::
I DON'T REMEMBER
BEN-VENISTE: Did you tell the president, at any time prior to August 6, of the existence of al Qaeda cells in the United States?
RICE: First, let me just make certain...
BEN-VENISTE: If you could just answer that question, because I only have a very limited...
RICE: I understand, Commissioner, but it's important...
BEN-VENISTE: Did you tell the president...
RICE: ... that I also address...
It's also important that, Commissioner, that I address the other issues that you have raised. So I will do it quickly, but if you'll just give me a moment.
BEN-VENISTE: Well, my only question to you is whether you...
RICE: I understand, Commissioner, but I will...
BEN-VENISTE: ... told the president.
RICE: If you'll just give me a moment, I will address fully the questions that you've asked.
First of all, yes, the August 6 PDB was in response to questions of the president -- and that since he asked that this be done. It was not a particular threat report. And there was historical information in there about various aspects of al Qaeda's operations.
Dick Clarke had told me, I think in a memorandum -- I remember it as being only a line or two -- that there were al Qaeda cells in the United States.
Now, the question is, what did we need to do about that?
And I also understood that that was what the FBI was doing, that the FBI was pursuing these al Qaeda cells. I believe in the August 6 memorandum it says that there were 70 full field investigations under way of these cells. And so there was no recommendation that we do something about this; the FBI was pursuing it. I really don't remember, Commissioner, whether I discussed this with the president.
BEN-VENISTE: Thank you.
RICE: I remember very well that the president was aware that there were issues inside the United States. He talked to people about this. But I don't remember the al Qaeda cells as being something that we were told we needed to do something about.
BEN-VENISTE: Isn't it a fact, Dr. Rice, that the August 6 PDB warned against possible attacks in this country? And I ask you whether you recall the title of that PDB?
RICE: I believe the title was, "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States."
BEN-VENISTE: Thank you.
RICE: No, Mr. Ben-Veniste...
BEN-VENISTE: I will get into the...
RICE: I would like to finish my point here.
BEN-VENISTE: I didn't know there was a point.
RICE: Given that -- you asked me whether or not it warned of attacks.
BEN-VENISTE: I asked you what the title was.
RICE: You said, did it not warn of attacks. It did not warn of attacks inside the United States. It was historical information based on old reporting. There was no new threat information. And it did not, in fact, warn of any coming attacks inside the United States.
BIN LADEN DETERMINED TO ATTACK IN THE UNITED STATES
This internal CIA report (its contents provided on background I'm sure) is nothing but a transparent attempt to continue shifting blame for 9/11 away from where it really belongs:
Condoleeza Rice and George Bush
Both either so intellectually lazy or morally corrupt as to be a threat to national security. Condi's confirmation hearings will begin soon. Democrats and others will rightfully criticize Condi's mistakes and shortcomings. Rush and the pond scum that calls itself the Republican party will scream racism. But in the end, Condi, like torture boy, will be confirmed. These are dark hours for our country
Daily Kos :: Tenet Scapegoat Memo Leaked
"Sen. Barbara Boxer (news, bio, voting record), D-Calif., wipes away a tear as she announces with Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (news, bio, voting record), D-Ohio, that they will object to the certification of Ohio's electoral votes during a joint session of Congress today Thursday, Jan. 6, 2005. It would be only the second time since 1877 that the House and Senate were forced into separate meetings to consider electoral votes.
Yahoo! News - Top Stories Photos - AP
Illusions in Iraq
by Ari Berman
Since President Bush (news - web sites)'s now infamous proclamation aboard the USS Lincoln on May 1, 2003, 1,242 US troops have died. Since then, a pattern has emerged. With each new major development--hailed by the President as a decisive step toward freedom--conditions deteriorate further.
"The administration has suggested that Iraq (news - web sites) would move closer to stability as it reached one milestone after another," wrote Richard Stevenson in The New York Times. "The capture of Saddam Hussein (news - web sites); the handover of sovereignty and the appointment of an interim government; the deployment of Iraqi security forces; the military campaign to expel the insurgents from strongholds like Falluja; and the first round of elections. Yet most of those milestones have passed with little discernible improvement in the security situation."
"Little discernible improvement" is polite Times-speak for can't-get-any-worse. Take a look at the actual record of Bush's faith-based war.
Mission Accomplished, May 1, 2003:
"My fellow Americans, major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed."
New Iraqi Army, October 4, 2003:
"Today a new army is serving the Iraqi people. And less than a year from now, Iraq will have a 40,000-member military force, trained and dedicated to protecting their fellow citizens...More than half of the Iraqis under arms are police officers, instructed by professionals like New York City's outstanding former police chief, Bernard Kerik."
Saddam Hussein's Capture, December 14, 2003:
"In the history of Iraq, a dark and painful era is over. A hopeful day has arrived. All Iraqis can now come together and reject violence and build a new Iraq."
Interim Iraqi Government, June 1, 2004:
"The naming of the new interim government brings us one step closer to realizing the dream of millions of Iraqis--a fully sovereign nation with a representative government that protects their rights and serves their needs."
Transfer of Sovereignty, June 28, 2004:
"This day also marks a proud moral achievement for members of our coalition. We pledged to end a dangerous regime, to free the oppressed, and to restore sovereignty. We have kept our word."
Battle for Falluja, April 28, 2004:
"I have laid out a broad strategy that says that Iraq will be as secure as possible--that we will deal with those who want to stop the march to freedom. That's exactly what's happening in Falluja."
Battle for Falluja, November 9, 2004:
"Success in Falluja will deal a blow to the terrorists in the country and should move Iraq further away from a future of violence to one of freedom and opportunity for the Iraqi people. It's a tough business, and it's going to take time." - Donald Rumsfeld
Iraqi Elections, September 23, 2004:
"[The] most important step in our plan is to help Iraq conduct free national elections no later than next January."
Iraqi Elections, December 2, 2004:
"It's one of those moments in history where a lot of people will be amazed that a society has been transformed so quickly from one of tyranny and torture and mass graves, to one in which people are actually allowed to express themselves at the ballot."
Iraqi Elections, December 20, 2004:
"The elections in January are just the beginning of a process, and it's important for the American people to understand that."
Here's the reality check: As Bush spins delusions, the chaos on the ground has never been dicier. Iraq's Shiite defense minister, Hazem Shaalam, and Iraq's leading Sunni politician, Adnan Pachachi, this week called for a delay in Iraqi elections. Seventy Iraqi security officers--including the Governor of Baghdad Province--and five American soldiers were killed this week in thirteen different attacks. Iraq's national intelligence director, General Mohamed Abdullah Shahwani, says the Iraqi insurgency comprises 200,000 people, overwhelming the US military presence. When asked if the insurgents are winning, Shahwani replied, "I would say they aren't losing."
After lying his way into the war, Bush is now trying to lie his way out of the quagmire. Yet his baselessly optimistic pronouncements have only dug the troops deeper into harm's way.
Yahoo! News - Illusions in Iraq
LOS ANGELES -- Seems like a nice guy, does Alberto Gonzales. Great personal story, too. But he has done enormous damage to this country as counsel to the president these last four years.
The most pointed questioning and commentary about his record in the first day of his confirmation hearings as attorney general did not come from Democratic liberals on the Senate Judiciary Committee (news - web sites). Senators Edward Kennedy and Charles Schumer were respectful and restrained. The harshest words and judgments came from Sen. Lindsey Graham (news, bio, voting record), a South Carolina Republican.
Speaking of Gonzales' role in the formulation of new and deeply disturbing U.S. policy on torture in war, on the defining and treatment of prisoners taken or seized in Afghanistan (news - web sites) and Iraq (news - web sites), and on our holding pens at Guantanamo, Graham was direct and focused. He was the one who said, without fancy words or legalisms, that Gonzales had played a crucial role in "creating legal chaos," in "putting our troops in jeopardy" and in "losing the moral high ground."
"I do believe we have lost our way," said Graham.
"I think you're a good lawyer and I will vote for your nomination," Graham continued. The reason he then gave was that, after all, the White House decisions on torture and detention -- and ignoring the law -- were ultimately made not by the counsel but by the commander in chief. Gonzales, no matter how ignorant and amoral his counsel, was just another staffer. After all, the president could have fired him -- and should have.
In his opening statement, Gonzales said most of the right things, emphasizing that he believes the United States must be a land of laws and not men. "We all love our country," he said, a refreshing note from this gang, "and want to protect it while remaining true to our nation's highest ideals."
"We must be committed to preserving civil rights and civil liberties," he added later.
But by then he had lost me. In fact, Gonzales lost me in the third paragraph of his opening statement: "The Department of Justice (news - web sites)'s top priority is to prevent terror attacks against our nation."
I don't agree with that -- and neither does history. The office of attorney general, created by the Judiciary Act of 1789, was a one-man operation to prosecute lawsuits before the Supreme Court, which was created by the same act. Times change. The Justice Department (news - web sites) now has 112,000 employees and multiple tasks. Obviously fighting terrorism is one of them, a priority of all the government. It is the top priority of the new Department of Homeland Security, which absorbed many duties (particularly immigration control) that were once delegated to Justice. Perhaps fighting terrorism could be considered the top priority of the Department of Defense (news - web sites) these days, or even of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a small part of the Justice Department.
But the Justice Department's priority should be "justice," or as it officially defines its own role: "to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans."
We have, as Sen. Graham said, lost our way. We are headed back to some of the worst excesses in our history -- the incarceration, without charge, of Japanese-Americans during World War II being one of them. The best analogy to these times in our history might be the excesses of World War I and its aftermath, which climaxed with the Palmer Raids from 1919 to 1921.
Alexander Mitchell Palmer, a former congressman who was President Woodrow Wilson's attorney general, arrested and detained without charge more than 15,000 people on suspicion of being communists or anarchists or whatever. Socialist elected public officials were arbitrarily removed from office. A clothing salesman in Connecticut was thrown in jail for six months because someone overheard him saying he thought Lenin was very smart. And things got worse after an anarchist blew himself up in front of Palmer's house.
Palmer made terrorism his top priority and ended up disgracing the Justice Department. I find it hard to believe Gonzales is as foolish and dangerous as Palmer was. But he has lost his way. Our new nominee was fool enough, or blindly loyal enough to his president, to clumsily argue that torture and secret detention were necessary now to keep America free -- all in the name of justice.
Yahoo! News - GONZALES: A MAN WHO LOST HIS WAY
Yahoo! News - Congress Certifies Bush's Win After Protest: "WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Congress on Thursday formally certified President Bush (news - web sites) as the victor of the November elections after two Democrats symbolically stalled the event in protest at alleged voting irregularities in Ohio.
California Sen. Barbara Boxer (news, bio, voting record) and Ohio Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (news, bio, voting record), formally lodged objections because of Ohio, although they said they recognized Bush had won and were not trying to overturn the results.
They said their goal was to force lawmakers to heed problems that had been particularly evident in Democratic-leaning minority and urban neighborhoods and to consider the need for more voting reforms including standard election rules in all states.
'This objection does not have at its root the hope or even the hint of overturning or challenging the victory of the president,' Tubbs Jones said. Boxer called it a matter of 'electoral justice.'
The rare objection to vote certification, the first filed in decades, forced the House and Senate to halt their joint session, usually a routine and ceremonial affair. Each chamber then debated the objection, and rejected it, the Senate by a 74-1 vote, the House 267-31. The state-by-state certification was completed a few hours later.
Bush got 286 electoral votes, Massachusetts Democrat John Kerry (news - web sites) 251 and North Carolina Democrat John Edwards (news - web sites), Kerry's running mate, got one electoral vote for president.
Kerry did not endorse Boxer's bid to challenge the Ohio vote. Traveling overseas this week, Kerry released a statement on Wednesday noting that he had conceded to Bush but would continue to support 'a close examination of voting irregularities in Ohio and elsewhere because it's critical to our democracy.'
About 200 protesters near the White House, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson (news - web sites), beat drums and urged Congress not to certify the results because they said unreliable voting machines and partisan election officials had tilted the closely fought swing state of Ohio to Bush."
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan (news - web sites) toured Indonesia's tsunami-ravaged Aceh province on Friday, flying by helicopter to the razed town of Meulaboh, beyond which is a black hole of devastation.
'I must admit I have never seen such utter destruction, mile after mile. You wonder, where are the people?,' said Annan on his return to the provincial capital, Banda Aceh.
Yahoo! News - Annan Wonders Where Are the People?
THAI MUANG, Thailand - They're known as "the team that sleeps with the dead" — a group of ultra-Orthodox Jewish forensic workers who have matched body parts to identities after countless scenes of carnage in Israel. Now in Thailand, they have only one way to describe the aftermath of the tsunami: a disaster, literally, of biblical proportions.
"Only during the great flood in Genesis have there been sights like this, so many corpses, so many," said Yehuda Meshi-Zahav, a team leader. "We are experiencing ... something from the days of Genesis."
Members of Meshi-Zahav's ultra-Orthodox Jewish rescue services group Zaka came with Israeli dental, fingerprint and DNA experts to resort areas in southern Thailand to help find and identify missing Israelis. But they have ended up working on as many victims as they can, of all nationalities.
"Everything we know in Israel, all the terrorist bombings don't begin to compare to what is happening here," Meshi-Zahav said.
Here, the Zaka men have exchanged the black suits and hats they customarily wear for white coveralls and face masks, their ultra-Orthodox religious faith apparent only by their long side curls. Some of the Israeli forensic experts accompanying Zaka are secular Jews.
Other forensic teams have dubbed the group "the team that sleeps with the dead" because they toil nearly 24 hours a day at Buddhist pagodas transformed into morgues to identify those who died in last week's tsunami, which ravaged swaths of Thailand's resort coast.
"When we are getting ready to leave at 3 a.m., we're the only ones that are still with the dead," Meshi-Zahav said.
In Israel, Zaka collects body parts at bombing scenes to ensure complete burial, in accordance with Jewish law.
That experience — they see on average 38 bodies a week at home — has helped them identify corpses faster than many of the other 20 or so forensic teams that have come to Thailand, making them much in demand by grieving families.
By Thursday, the team had identified 21 people — four Israelis and 17 foreigners and Thais. Three other Israelis are missing; Thailand has about 5,300 confirmed dead, with 3,700 others listed as missing.
Yahoo! News - Tsunami Forensics Team Evokes Bible Images
· UN chief stunned at 'utter destruction' as tsunami toll rises
AFP - 5 minutes ago
· Powell, Annan visits shift tsunami focus to Sri Lanka
AFP - 6 minutes ago
· Kofi Annan arrives in Sri Lanka, Powell tours devastated areas
AFP - 25 minutes ago
Special Coverage RSS:
Seeking to build support among black families for its education reform law, the Bush administration paid a prominent black pundit $240,000 to promote the law on his nationally syndicated television show and to urge other black journalists to do the same.
The campaign, part of an effort to promote No Child Left Behind (NCLB), required commentator Armstrong Williams "to regularly comment on NCLB during the course of his broadcasts," and to interview Education Secretary Rod Paige for TV and radio spots that aired during the show in 2004.
Williams said Thursday he understands that critics could find the arrangement unethical, but "I wanted to do it because it's something I believe in."
IF YOU BELIEVE IN IT DO IT FOR FREE THUG!!!
Yahoo! News - White House paid commentator to promote law
Red voters are ...a crime against humanity, having failed in the basic responsibility to develop critical thinking, a conscience, perception, qualities vitally necessary for one to be fully human, a species higher than the aforementioned dog.
Just as enlightened Athens, land of Socrates, fell due to their blind dependency on slaves, our "enlightened" blue intelectuals will fall due to our inability to see and correct our fundamentally unjust society.
The great old Stanley Kramer movie, "Judgment at Nuremberg" is about the trial of four nazi war criminals, each of which presents a question of ethics in sentencing. There's an unrepentant monster (played by Col. Klink, really), who continues to preach viciousness from the defendants' box; a colorless little nobody who says he was just following orders; an old man in advanced stages of Reagan's Disease, who neither remembers his crimes nor comprehends the proceedings against him; and a complex antihero played by Burt Lancaster, who ends up about as close to being a "good guy" as you can get after, um, willingly participating in one of the worst crimes of modern history.
Sound like any voters you know?...
Diaries :: AdmiralNaismith's diary ::
This was a seminal movie that influenced my thinking. Of the four defendants, by far the creepiest to me is the colorless little nobody. He sits there all misty eyed, like Ollie North without the counterattack, the picture of wounded innocence, wondering why such a fuss is being made about him. Nothing is his fault. He was a good German. He was a patriot. He obeyed his government. That's what people are supposed to do. Surely, these silly people will soon realize their mistake, apologize, give him his severance pay, and send him back to suburban Munich to eat Jeufwurst and read the sports pages. His inability to think for himself is so profound that actually punishing him for war crimes becomes a moral conundrum, like punishing a dog that doesn't understand what it has done.
At some point it occurred to me that this man might be himself a crime against humanity, having failed in the basic responsibility to develop critical thinking, a conscience, perception, qualities vitally necessary for one to be fully human, a species higher than the aforementioned dog. The Col. Klink guy is easy; he's basic evil. He chose darkness over light, and stuck to it, knowing exactly what he was doing all the while. Defeat and clobber him and be done with it. This other guy's evil is much more haunting. He doesn't embrace darkness so much as allow it to take him out of a warped sense of duty. People should recognize evil, but he doesn't. People should know that they make choices and decisions every moment, but he thinks he has no choice. He fails to meet a basic standard of humanity--and, considering that the Third Reich was all about declaring certain persons to be less than human, there's only so far you want to go with this judgment before you want to scrub yourself.
Which brings me to a group of women I met in 2003 on Crimescene.com. The site itself is harmless fun. It's run by a guy at the U of Mississippi (that's Faulkner territory) who is himself smart, liberal, and fun. He creates interactive CSI-like mysteries in which clues are posted gradually over several weeks, and you can win mugs and T-shirts and stuff by submitting creative solutions.
The church ladies have nothing to do with creating or maintaining the site or the mystery games. They are some of the other solvers. And they interact on the site's message boards, sometimes sharing clues and theories about the mysteries, and sometimes talking about, oh, anything. They are mostly middle-aged ladies from midwestern states beginning with vowels. They go to church. They eat casseroles and Jell-o. They are warm, clean and polite on a surface level. They live wholesome, Norman Rockwell existences. And they personify the obedient, patriotic, defendant from "Judgment at Nuremberg."
Well, not quite. FOX News, which they accept as a valid source of news and information, has made them a bit more aggressive in their opinions than he.
They want to ban Harry Potter books, although they have not read them. They criticize the New York Times for being too liberally biased, although they have not read it. They do not think businesses should be regulated by government, ever, although they think something must be done about Hollywood, which they despise for its trashy product, which they have watched, often.They want to prevent same sex couples from marrying, because it would cheapen the institute of marriage, although most of them have themselves been divorced. They rail against profanity, although they post off-color jokes on the site. They sniff about declining chastity in women, although they have dressed their prepubescent daughters in provocative outfits and bade them bump and grind to Brittney Spears in school talent shows and JonBenet beauty contests. They are furious that Roy Moore's Ten Commandments monument was removed from the courthouse, because those who objected to the monument must not love Jesus (the Commandments were strongly influenced by the book of Luke, you know), although they don't believe it says anything about their church's patriotism that they would not welcome the American flag displayed in the sanctuary at all times. And don't even get them started on marijuana decriminalization, or they will become so upset that they'll need a few drinks and a tranquilizer to get over it.
They support George the Turd because he will keep America safe, although they do not feel safer than they did four years ago; and because his free market policies will improve the economy, although they are uniformly worse off than they were four years ago. They condemn John Kerry because they accept the denunciations by Sean Hannity, the Swift Boat Veterans, etc., at face value, while any contradictory presentation is dismissed as just the "liberal media". Like clockwork, they all accepted the imminent danger posed by WMDs in Iraq, and then when there turned out not to be any, like clockwork, they forgot that that was ever a factor in the invasion, or that we had ever not been at war with Eastasia. And as a last resort, if all else was proved wrong, they would never, ever, bring themselves to vote for a Democrat, because of the party's support for late term abortions, which they always, always called "partial birth". They know everything there is to know about abortion law and the reasons people get late term abortions, although they have neither read Roe v. Wade (which specifically allows the regulation of third trimester abortions) nor ever met someone who had a late-term abortion.
In fact, not once in a year and a half did I see an original thought from any of them, or a sign that the Republican talking points they parrotted had been through any kind of filter between their ears and their tongues. It wasn't just politics. Every so often, one of them would post in great alarm about cockroach eggs in postage stamp glue, or some other urban legend, and someone would reply with a link to snopes.com, and oh how their faces would be red with embarrassment. Urban legends, after all, are small. FOX hasn't gotten around yet to denouncing Urban Legend debunking as a tool of the liberal media.
And I spent a good half of the year trying to convince them otherwise.
How accepting, how downright gullible the church ladies are concerning any neoconservative propaganda, and how skeptical they are of anything contradicting it. How foolish they thought I was to pay attention to the nobel scientists and economists who opposed Bush. After all, those were just a bunch of ivory tower intellectual elitists, out of touch with the real world, who didn't work as much in their whole lives as the typical farmer does in a day. How anti-American I was to listen to be swayed by the opinions of people from other nations about what was right for the world.
Daily Kos :: Could they be.....SATAN?
I am working as a consulting software designer for a Silicon Valley Company. These folks used to be one of the world's premiere engineering companies with annual profits of more than a billion $$, major accounts around the world, monopolies on key technologies, etc. It used to be that the software division took up a whole floor at the company's offices. Today the same division is a ghostyard with over 80% of the cubicles empty. The reason is simple: software engineers in Shanghai cost $80 per month and software engineers in the US cost $8,000 a month (although contractors without health benefits cost maybe 1/2 that much). Obviously it makes sense to outsource the software development when it can be done 100 times cheaper.
Diaries :: pwax's diary ::
However the low cost engineers in China and India (Shanghai and Dubai) cannot be expected to understand the industry or the market requirements for the products they are building so they cannot be expected to design the products themselves. This leaves a slender opportunity for Americans (like me) to remain empoyed if they are lucky enough to be designers. But my employer has committed themselves to a rather peculiar path for an engineering organization: first they outsourced the "grunt" engineering work and now (to my benefit) they have outsourced the intellectual property development. The only employees left are marketers, project managers, and salesmen. That is 5 people where there used to be 100s. It is very strange that an engineering organization does not employ engineers.
Looking a little more at the consequences of this is frightening. First of all, there is little to stop an Indian or Chinese technical person from becoming a designer like me. As soon as they are able, my employer should transfer my work to someone who costs less. By the time that is possible you could also get project management outsourced. Following the natural progression, my employer will soon be down to 1 salesman and 2 marketing experts. OK, so the good salesman's job is protected, but nobody else's. The problem is that after this draining of talent away from the company, there is nothing left to make the place competitive. In fact what was a complete monopoly 15 years ago has now been eroded by at least two significant competitors. How much longer does my employer expect to survive as an organization?
How does this work out for the company's shareholders, the so-called "owners" in this "ownership society". My projection is that the shares will be worth less and less as the company becomes less and less competitive. Why? I cannot see us sitting here as "owners" continuing to profit while everyone else does the work.
My industry, and software engineering in general, is one which is hugely vulnerable to outsourcing. Some industries are safer: Medical care and Farming are things which cannot really be outsourced. But we know that as long as goods and services can flow across the oceans, the flow will continue until there is equilibrium. This means the quality of life if going to keep flowing away from America and towards places like Shanghai and Dubai until we have equal quality of life.
Daily Kos :: American Engineers - a dying breed.
The US is in a tie for the index's 12th position with Switzerland
Aljazeera.Net - US falls off top free economies' list
04:05 PM — Rep. Stephanie Tubbs-Jones of Ohio and Sen. Barbara Boxer of California join the list of great heroes of American democracy for their courageous decision to stand up for the disenfranchised voters in Ohio.
By objecting to the Ohio Electoral College votes, they, Rep. Conyers, the Congressional Black Caucus, and many others started a debate that highlighted the glaring problems facing voters in Ohio and elsewhere. While Republican legislators said that the debates were frivolous and unnecessary, the fact remains that widespread problems cited in 2000 were not fixed in time for the 2004 election. More work remains, and these hearings have set the stage for the next phase of our work.
Thanks to David Cobb and the Green Party, who were proud and privileged to stand up for the voters of Ohio along with the Libertarian Party, the National Voting Rights Institute, and many others, electoral reform is now front and center on the national stage."
Home » Cobb-LaMarche 2004 - Ballot Recount
20 Amazing Facts About
Voting in the USA
by Angry Girl
Did you know....
1. 80% of all votes in America are counted by only two companies: Diebold and ES&S.
2. There is no federal agency with regulatory authority or oversight of the U.S. voting machine industry.
20 Amazing Facts about Voting in the USA
The Title: Voters Stand Firm on Ohio Election Challenge.
I love that. VOTERS stand firm on Election Challenge--makes them look like they are fighting for their rights in the face of an anti-democratic leader, which they are.
A brief blurb:
One voter didn't see any signs of fraud on Election Day but was suspicious of the results. Another was surprised by long lines in her suburban city, where voting was always quick in the past.
Others were angered by having to wait hours to vote in black neighborhoods. Some left in frustration without casting their ballots.
In all, 37 voters in this swing state are challenging President Bush's Nov. 2 victory over Democratic Sen. John Kerry. They want Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Moyer to set aside the election results.
Daily Kos :: MSNBC Comes Thru on Voting Story--for once
Tue Jan 4th, 2005 at 13:37:47 CDT
Here is Mickey Kaus in Slate criticizing Mitofsky for being wrong on Election night.
Mitofsky/Lenzi full of it
What's missing in Kaus's analysis is that the day-after weighted exit polls were jimmied to match the results of the election. Everyone should understand that.
Here's one instance where I come to Mitofsky's defense. If any of the exit polls were wrong, it was the 7:33 ones (or, if you are a fraudster, perhaps the 1 AMs). Those are the ones that have been misunderstood and misinterpreted (for some as of yet unexplained reason). Misunderstood not only by us amateurs who don't have the data, but by Mitofsky himself, since he's still trying to figure them out. The mainstream media is looking at the exit polls as though the early numbers were goofy and that the final exit polls were on target.
No, the final exit polls were weighted to match the actual results. They only give us demographic information.
Daily Kos :: This is why us Fraudsters are annoyed.
Another Missile Defense Failure. Santa Escapes.
Unclassified tracking data is at http://www.noradsanta.org/
WASHINGTON - An experimental interceptor missile failed to get off the ground in a test of the U.S. national missile defense system early Wednesday, raising new doubts about prospects for the imminent activation of the system.
Santa was successfully tracked by the radar array installed around the national missile defense installation in Greeley, Alaska.
According to sources, "Complete targeting data" was collected on Jolly Old St. Nick, so the intercept is to be considered a success.
Diaries :: msaroff's diary ::
However, 16 minutes later, an "unknown anomaly" led to an automatic shutdown of the interceptor missile shortly before it was to launch.
The agency gave no other details and said program officials will review pre-launch data to determine the cause for the shutdown. Most missile launching systems are designed to shut down automatically as a safety feature, but it was unclear what tripped the system, officials said.
Philip Coyle, the Pentagon's former chief of testing who has become a critic of the Bush administration's missile defense plans, said the cause of the failure could have been anything from a software glitch to a major hardware malfunction.
He called the failure a "serious setback."
It was unclear how the failure would affect plans to put the missile defense system on alert sometime in the next two weeks. The Bush administration had made it a goal to activate the system by the end of 2004.
"Since we don't know the cause of the anomaly, we won't speculate on potential impacts to either beginning initial operations or conducting future tests," said Rick Lehner, a spokesman for the Missile Defense Agency.
The operational system will initially rely on interceptors based at Fort Greely, Alaska, and Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., as well as radars in Alaska, California, at sea and in orbit.
Coyle said, "This latest failure to intercept a target shows again that the system being deployed in Alaska has no demonstrated capability to work" against a real attack.
If the failure is linked to the new booster, it is likely that the military will have to fix the boosters on the missiles already already in the silos, delaying activation of the system, he said.
Officials have said the system is technically able to track targets, but that the interceptors have mechanical blocks that prevent them from firing. These will be removed once senior military officials have worked out chain-of-command authorities governing who could order the launch during a crisis.
The operational system - which will also be used for continued experimentation - is built around the perceived intercontinental ballistic missile threat from North Korea, although it could be used against missiles launch from elsewhere in eastern Asia.
Daily Kos :: Another Missile Defense Failure. Santa Escapes.
A tsunami of conservatism has moved through American institutions over the last 30 years. First the small magazines (National Review, Reason, The Public Interest), followed by the think tanks (The Heritage Foundation, the Manhattan Institute, the Cato Institute, to name just a few
Yahoo! News - IS HOLLYWOOD NEXT?
"Well, I never thought I did, but according to some articles I've read lately, it seems that I'm as unpatriotic as Benedict Arnold, as anti-American as Hanoi Jane, and as insidious in my thinking as Stalin and Castro's love child. I've been wondering for a few minutes about how I could have been so blind to think that I loved my country and her constitution. I've been thinking over and over, 'how could I have been so wrong? How could I ever have thought that pointing out problems with our system could have been showing love?' The best I can tell, true love for America means never questioning authority, and never speaking against anything the government does abroad. And of course, making American CEOs rich, richer, richest.
What follows are the details of my realization.
Diaries :: Myrrander's diary ::
I admit, I've been a fool. I really did think that I loved being American. I really did think that our constitutional rights were the greatest gift any country has ever given its citizens. I've been voting and faithfully paying my taxes all these years, but I was mistaken in thinking I wanted to vote for the best people to run this country so that my tax money might go for making a 'more perfect union.' Instead, I have obviously, in my subconscious, been hoping for the destruction of this country - exemplified by the fact that I disagree with her preventively attacking other countries with small armies and few weapons. I realize now that anyone my country says is evil must die, and that only their blood can fertilize the roots of this great country.
Daily Kos :: I Never Thought I Did, But I Guess I Hate America
A patient walks into his doctor's office.
'Doc, I'm really sick. I have a tumor the size of an orange growing here, I'm constantly nauseated, tired, throwing up all the time, unexplained weight loss...My dad died of cancer...and I think I might have it too.'
'How do you know you have cancer?'
'Well, I have all the symptoms...Something is seriously wrong with me, Doc. Can you run a test or something?'
'Look, I'm not going to investigate your illness unless you prove to me you have cancer.'
'But...that's what the test is for...'
'Do you think you have cancer?'
'Can you prove it to me?'
'Well, no...but...that's why I came here, so you can test me...'
'Then you're out of luck. Come back to me when you can prove to me you're dying.'
Diaries :: georgia10's diary ::
Two months after the Presidential election, there has yet to be a smoking gun that Bush was not the legitimate winner. No 'clear and convincing evidence' has been made public, no whistleblower has emerged to attest to some vast right-wing conspiracy to steal the election.
Yet November 2 left many plagued by a sense that something went terribly wrong on Election Day. After two months' worth of anecdotes, affidavits, hearings, and number-crunching, the word 'fraud' has begun to escape from the lips of many concerned citizens.
At this point, the only people investigating the disturbing events that transpired in Ohio are the Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee, along with various activists and concerned citizens.
In a few days, Congress will likely approve the slate of Electors from Ohio. For those of us who have been investigating the election in Ohio, that day will be a sad and tragic day for America.
For in approving those Electors without due consideration of all the 'statistical oddities', coordinated voter suppression, abuse of power, and fraudulent activity, is to essentially proclaim 'We, as Americans, are comfortable with a diseased democracy.'
Daily Kos :: Armando's Challenge, Or The Informed Citizen's Guide To The 2004 Election
Daily Kos :: Democracy is Dead - A Response to georgia10: "Republicans no longer believe in democracy, except as a word that can be used to justify their oppressive actions overseas. From the White House to the house next door, Republicans, whether they are the president or your neighbor, are more concerned with power than fairness. They don't care about a well-run system, or that the true will of the people is expressed electorally, or that ballots are counted fairly and honestly. All they care about is winning.
We saw this in 2000, in 2002, and in 2004. We're still seeing it in Washington State. The difference here is that more people still believe in democracy than in a place like Florida - although that is not going to last long, I fear.
Republicans have repeatedly been willing to game the system, using means fair or foul but that are just enough to escape either prosecution or pre-election detection to make them successful. georgia10 speaks of an Ohio court decision on absentee ballots that was handed down at 2PM on November 2 - a decision that went against Kenneth Blackwell. The problem was, the decision did not get effectively communicated to poll workers. Republicans essentially ran out the clock on the election.
Republicans have been the driving force against paper trails and for the recall. They are happy to use the courts when it suits them, and denounce Democrats' use of same when it suits the GOP. Their individual actions seem inconsistent, but together, they speak of a contempt for the average American, for democracy, for the rule of law, and a desire for power, no matter what the costs.
I also think it seems clear that these efforts were organized and perhaps coordinated. The use of secretaries of state as BC04 campaign chairs in a number of states should seem unusual, and telling. It suggests a clear GOP effort to ensure that election rules and practices favored their side where it counted. Closed door meetings between Secs of State and the BC04 campaign - but not with the Kerry campaign (as noted in Colorado) were indicative of collusion.
Where do we go now?
So, what to do now? My feeling is that georgia10 has succeeded in compiling enough evidence of Republican contempt for democracy for major investigations to be opened.
I find it incredibly ironic how nature / destiny / God can outperform Bush's year long mainhem in Iraq, in just a couple of hours...
Dust in Wind Lyrics from Kansas
this afternoon I decided to start by scheduling an interview with someone who usually at least considers tough questions without walking out or clamming up. I was pretty confident I'd at least get an overview of the key issues and dilemmas facing Iraq in the coming months.
Since I don't think this is going to get published in the tradtional media I decided I'd post the transcript here. It has all the hallmarks of an interview with an Iraqi official (or an American military source, for that matter): evasive and sometimes cryptic answers, references to unnamed 'individuals' or 'sources' and the subject's unwillingness to betray too much of his own thinking while answering questions. Without further ado, here's my interview with the online Magic 8-ball:
Crain: With many Sunni areas overwhelmed by violence or still under de-facto insurgent control, is there a risk that the coming vote will under-represent Sunnis and make the insurgency worse?
Magic 8-ball: Outlook hazy, try again.
Crain: With many Sunni areas overwhelmed by violence or still under de-facto insurgent control, is there a risk that the coming vote will under-represent Sunnis and make the insurgency worse, Magic 8-ball?
Magic 8-ball: It is certain.
Crain: American officials have emphasized the role Iraqi security forces will play in protecting polling places and ballots from terrorist attacks, but many Iraqi units are still undertrained, ill-equipped and intimidated by insurgents. Can a safe vote be conducted with Iraqi government forces taking the security lead?
Magic 8-ball: Ask again later.
Crain: Okay, we'll come back to that. Should Iraqis worry about how much influence Iran will have in a government that will probably be dominated by Shi’ites, many of whom have contacts with Tehran?
Magic 8-ball: Reply hazy, try again.
Crain: Magic 8-ball, should Iraqis worry about how much influence Iran will have in a government that will probably be dominated by Shi'ites, many of whom have contacts with Tehran?
Magic 8-ball: Ask again later.
Crain: No problem, we'll leave that one for the end. Magic 8-ball, can elections confer legitimacy on an Iraqi government while 150,000 American troops are still present in the country?
Magic 8-ball: My sources say no
Bagh Blog: "
Just to let you all know… I’ve sent in $885.40 to Doctors Without Borders and marked it for special distribution to the tsunami victims. I hope it can do some good.
Please, if you feel the need to donate, do it to someone who can help those folks and not me. I don’t need the cash, but thousands and thousands of people do. Try the following aid agencies:
* American Red Cross
* Médecins Sans Frontières International
* Direct Relief International
I hope that people will help through these agencies.
Back to Iraq 3.0: Tsunami donation
Too little, too late....
The war in Iraq is so bad that even the Army is allowing debate on whether the war was justified or not. Franklin Eric Wester, an Army colonel and chaplin, has written an article for the Army War College's journal examining the war from the basis of the Christian Just War Theory and concluding that it doesn't meet the test.
The St. Louis Post Dispatch quotes Wester as saying that his fellow officers have not changed the way they've treated him since the article was published. This is anecdotal, but this suggests that Wester's article may reflect a lot of people's private doubts about the justification of the war.
While I cannot agree with everything in the article, I feel it is significant that even the Army brass is starting to question the war's justification. The Army is all about moving in lockstep with the President and the Armed Forces are normally among Bush's biggest supporters.
Diaries :: Eternal Hope's diary ::
Here is how Wester evaluates the war in the light of the Just War Theory:
Legitimate Authority: Wester says this criteria is not justified because the US barely had an ad hoc "coalition of the willing." He writes that Bush's use of the phrase is vague. The fact is, every country except for Britian contributed only a tolken force. And even Britian has withdrawn most of their troops from Iraq.
Public Declaration: Wester says this criteria was met by the President's ultimatum right before the war started. However, I disagree with this. The Constitution only gives Congress the right to declare war against another country. The Iraq War Resolution did not a declaration of war; it only authorized the President to use force as a last resort. Bush broke that part of the deal and therefore, he has become widely mistrusted both here and around the world.
Just Intent: Wester makes one of his best points when he quotes a Catholic theologian. He writes:
To Paul J. Griffiths, Professor of Catholic Studies at the University of Illinois, the definition of imminent has not changed: "It means the gun is at your head." And in the case of Iraq, "We just don't have that." He states that redefining imminent offers "well-intentioned support for US foreign policy, but it's not defensible in terms of traditional Just War theory."
Daily Kos :: The GOP Bloodbath: Even the army is debating the war.
RADIO FREE EUROPE/ RADIO LIBERTY: "One of the highest tsunamis on record occurred in a remote Alaskan bay in 1958, when an earthquake and subsequent landslide sparked a wave that reached an incredible 520 meters -- nearly twice the size of the Eiffel Tower. "
Scientists have found traces of an asteroid-collision event that they say would have created a giant tsunami that swept around the Earth several times, inundating everything except the mountains. The coastline of the continents was changed drastically and almost all life on land was exterminated.
This cataclysm some 3.5 billion years ago is the earliest known meteor strike to hit the Earth, and one of at least four that have been identified in a geologically brief 300-million-year period. The strike is the subject of an article published in the current issue of the journal Science by Louisiana State University geologist Gary Byerly and others.
Prehistoric Asteroid "Killed Everything"
Tsunami waves are shallow-water waves with long periods and wave lengths. (A wave is classified a shallow-water wave when the ratio between the water depth and its wavelength gets very small. The speed of a shallow-water wave is equal to the square root of the product of the acceleration of gravity (32ft/sec/sec or 980cm/sec/sec) and the depth of the water.) Shallow water waves are different from wind-generated waves (the waves many of us have observed on the beach). Wind-generated waves usually have period (time between two succesional waves) of five to twenty seconds and a wavelength (distance between two successional waves) of about 50 to 600 feet (15 to 200 meters) A tsunami can have a period in the range of 10 minutes to 1 hour and a wavelength in excess of 700 km (430 miles).
WSAW | Tsunami Hits Close to Home
tsunami: "Tsunami's wave may be as wide as the Pacific ocean.
The speed of tsunami may reach up to 700 Km/h [434 miles/h]
Tsunami is not dangerous in deep water.
Single waves are less than few meters high.
In shallow water, near the coasts,
the l of tsunamis wave
may be of 1.5 - 3 km [1 - 2 miles],
with an height of up to 30 m [100 feet] or more."
Roger Musson of the British Geological Survey in Edinburgh. 'This is the largest earthquake I've seen in my career as a seismologist,' he told firstname.lastname@example.org. 'The length of the rupture was 1,200 kilometres - I could hardly believe it.'
The earthquake, measured at magnitude 9.0, actually consisted of three events within seconds of each other, Musson says. The initial slip, which occurred to the west of Sumatra's northern tip, triggered two further slips to the north. The total force released was enough to jolt the entire planet, and has been estimated as equivalent to almost 200 million tonnes of TNT.
The seafloor bulge unleashed a wave that surged throughout the Indian Ocean, hitting Indonesia and Thailand within an hour, Sri Lanka and India within four hours, and ultimately causing deaths as far away as East Africa. The swell would have been imperceptible in the open ocean, but as it entered shallower coastal waters it reared up to several metres in height, destroying seafront villages and resorts, and washing through farms up to 5 kilometres inland.
email@example.com�-�Devastating quake redraws map
This bulge could have altered the elevations, as well as the positions, of the nearby islands, McGuire says. The Andaman and Nicobar islands may have been raised by the quake; meanwhile, slightly further from the fault line itself, water levels indicate that the Indonesian city of Banda Aceh has been left lower than before.
firstname.lastname@example.org�-�Devastating quake redraws map
Published online: 30 December 2004; | doi:10.1038/news041229-6
Sumatran quake sped up Earth's rotation
Natural disaster shaved millionths of a second off planet's day.
The Earth has been rocked on its axis.
The devastating earthquake that struck the Indian Ocean on 26 December was so powerful that it has accelerated the Earth's rotation, geophysicists have declared. They estimate that the shockwave shortened the period of our planet's rotation by some three microseconds.
The change was caused by a shift of mass towards the planet's centre, as the Indian Ocean's heavy tectonic plate lurched underneath Indonesia's one, say researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. This caused the globe to rotate faster, in the same way that a spinning figure-skater accelerates by tucking in her arms.
The blast literally rocked the world on its axis, add Richard Gross and his NASA colleagues. They estimate that Earth now tilts by an extra 2.5 centimetres in the wake of the jolt.
email@example.com�-�Sumatran quake sped up Earth's rotation
Biggest Earthquake of Year Shakes Ocean Floor Off New Zealand
Dec. 24 (Bloomberg) -- An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 8.1, the year's strongest, shook the ocean floor today about 1,000 miles southwest of New Zealand, with the potential to release tsunamis that were unlikely to reach Pacific coastlines.
The quake struck about 1:59 a.m. at the epicenter and was the first this year to exceed a magnitude of 8. An 8.1 quake in Mexico City in 1985 killed about 9,500 people and left extensive damage.
``This was a strike-slip earthquake, where two plates move sideways to each other, as opposed to colliding head on,'' research geophysicist Stuart Sipkin said of the Pacific quake by telephone from Golden, Colorado, at the U.S. Geological Survey. A sideways quake limits the extent of tsunamis, Sipkin said.
The U.S. government's Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said on its Web site that ``widely destructive'' tsunamis from the quake were possible in the open ocean.
The nearest human outpost is MacQuarie Island, a small, rocky isle 305 miles to the south that Australian researchers share with seals. Today's quake was located at 50.24 degrees south latitude, 160.13 degrees east longitude.
The quake occurred about six miles below the seafloor, according to the U.S. quake center's analysis. The next largest quake in 2004 was a magnitude 7.5 temblor that struck eastern Indonesia on Nov. 11, killing 23 people and leaving almost 8,000 homeless, according to the national government.
Bloomberg.com: Australia & New Zealand
Ayn Rand: Question Tsunami Altruism
Fri Dec 31st, 2004 at 10:17:08 CDT
Man, there are real pieces of work out there. And thank god the internet lets us know them by name.
Let's just start at the beginning:
U.S. Should Not Help Tsunami Victims
Thursday December 30, 2004
By: David Holcberg
Our money is not the government's to give.
Feel free to read along ... here's the full article.
Oh David. What a holiday spirit. You know, over the years I've had a lot of interesting people quote me stuff from Ayn Rand as if it were some kind of new wave religion. And now I know, it's a religion for people who think money is power and money makes them right. Let's poke at some of David's fascinating thoughts.
Diaries :: uglyamerican's diary ::
Such help may be entirely proper, especially considering that most of those affected by this tragedy are suffering through no fault of their own.
Notice he says "most" ... which where TPM picked up on this. So those damn Sri Lankans who angered the Ocean God are, actually getting what they deserved. Actually, David seems to mean something far more sinister here. See, it's their fault because they're poor. But before we filet him for that, let's examine the crux of his so-called argument:
The United States government, however, should not give any money to help the tsunami victims. Why? Because the money is not the government's to give.
(some gratiutous examples of foreign aid snipped)
The question no one asks about our politicians' "generosity" towards the world's needy is: By what right? By what right do they take our hard-earned money and give it away?
So let me get this straight. This guy actually has a job as a research assistant, and yet he was unable to go find a dictionary and look up the word government.
David, you silly boy, it's their right because we gave them that right when we elected them. That's how a representative democracy works. No taxation without representation? Maybe you were sick in class that day.
What is baffling, of course, is why a world altering event (literally - remember this earthquake changed the earth's rotation) causing so much death and devastation that it makes Atlantis look like a tea party is suddenly a cause of concern for David, particularly since the US is offering relatively meager sum. What, no complaint that four times the amount of that foreign aid is being spent daily in Iraq? David is apparently OK with our government having a blank check to remove regimes, bomb cities and kill thousands of people ourselves. But when natural forces do it, it's a moral outrage for our government to get out the checkbook? Why one might ask?
This is why Americans--the wealthiest people on earth--are expected to sacrifice (voluntarily or by force) the wealth they have earned to provide for the needs of those who did not earn it. It is Americans' acceptance of altruism that renders them morally impotent to protest against the confiscation and distribution of their wealth. It is past time to question--and to reject--such a vicious morality that demands that we sacrifice our values instead of holding on to them.
Oh. You see, the problem David has is that rich people are being forced to spend money on poor people. Because we know all rich people worked long and hard for their money and therefore are actually superior creatures to those lazy Sri Lankans who have nothing to do but to wait for the earth to figure out ways to kill them.
Brilliant. I don't think anyone could have said anything more bastardly before the New Year. Way to get in before a deadline, David.
Two things I know for sure after reading this OpEd piece. I'm glad I never read Atlas Shrugged and tsunamis have very bad aim.
Daily Kos :: Ayn Rand: Question Tsunami Altruism
Rumsfeld says 9-11 plane 'shot down' in Pennsylvania
During surprise Christmas Eve trip, defense secretary contradicts official story
Posted: December 27, 2004
1:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2004 WorldNetDaily.com
WASHINGTON – Ever since Sept. 11, 2001, there have been questions about Flight 93, the ill-fated plane that crashed in the rural fields of Pennsylvania.
The official story has been that passengers on the United Airlines flight rushed the hijackers in an effort to prevent them from crashing the plane into a strategic target – possibly the U.S. Capitol.
During his surprise Christmas Eve trip to Iraq, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld referred to the flight being shot down – long a suspicion because of the danger the flight posed to Washington landmarks and population centers.
Was it a slip of the tongue? Was it an error? Or was it the truth, finally being dropped on the public more than three years after the tragedy of the terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000?
Here's what Rumsfeld said Friday: "I think all of us have a sense if we imagine the kind of world we would face if the people who bombed the mess hall in Mosul, or the people who did the bombing in Spain, or the people who attacked the United States in New York, shot down the plane over Pennsylvania and attacked the Pentagon, the people who cut off peoples' heads on television to intimidate, to frighten – indeed the word 'terrorized' is just that. Its purpose is to terrorize, to alter behavior, to make people be something other than that which they want to be."
Several eyewitnesses to the crash claim they saw a "military-type" plane flying around United Airlines Flight 93 when the hijacked passenger jet crashed – prompting the once-unthinkable question of whether the U.S. military shot down the plane.
Although the onboard struggle between hijackers and passengers – immortalized by the courageous "Let's roll" call to action by Todd Beamer – became one of the enduring memories of that disastrous day, the actual cause of Flight 93's crash, of the four hijacked airliners, remains the most unclear.
Several residents in and around Shanksville, Pa., describing the crash as they saw it, claim to have seen a second plane – an unmarked military-style jet.
Well-founded uncertainty as to just what happened to Flight 93 is nothing new. Just three days after the worst terrorist attack in American history, on Sept. 14, 2001, The (Bergen County, N.J.) Record newspaper reported that five eyewitnesses reported seeing a second plane at the Flight 93 crash site.
That same day, reported the Record, FBI Special Agent William Crowley said investigators could not rule out that a second plane was nearby during the crash. He later said he had misspoken, dismissing rumors that a U.S. military jet had intercepted the plane before it could strike a target in Washington, D.C.
Although government officials insist there was never any pursuit of Flight 93, they were informed the flight was suspected of having been hijacked at 9:16 am, fully 50 minutes before the plane came down.
On the Sept. 16, 2001, edition of NBC's "Meet the Press," Vice President Dick Cheney, while not addressing Flight 93 specifically, spoke clearly to the administration's clear policy regarding shooting down hijacked jets.
Vice President Cheney: "Well, the – I suppose the toughest decision was this question of whether or not we would intercept incoming commercial aircraft."
WorldNetDaily: Rumsfeld says 9-11 plane 'shot down' in Pennsylvania
Pretty unbelievable - the names of the people who you might actually vote for can not be released for security reasons.
Daily Kos :: Iraqi Candidate Names Not Released for 'Security Reasons': "
Daily Kos :: Operation Denounce Ann Coulter: "This is on Ann Coulter's home page
To The People Of Islam:
Just think: If we'd invaded your countries, killed your leaders and converted you to Christianity YOU'D ALL BE OPENING CHRISTMAS PRESENTS RIGHT ABOUT NOW!
Daily Kos :: Why the right wing corporate media is good for you (and for America): "Them liberals are always harping on this science stuff, as if dissecting a frog is going to help prepare the world for the Second Coming! They don't read the Bible, they don't know nothing! It's good this story was killed. No sense confusing the public with a bunch of facts!"
(#4) High Uranium Levels Found in Troops and Civilians
UPDATE BY TEDD WEYMAN: UMRC found artificial uranium in bomb craters, surrounding watercourses and the bodies of civilians exposed to US Coalition bombing in Afghanistan. Civilians surveyed presented with the classical symptoms of internal contamination by uranium, which began after exposure to the bombing. The presence of artificial uranium in environmental and biological samples indicates that the bunker buster warheads used in Afghanistan are made of uranium.
Uranium is a chemically and radiologically toxic element, clinically proven to be a cause of various types of cancer and congenital malformations (birth defects). Internal contamination of uranium is responsible for variety of systemic and organ system problems, which has never been considered or studied by the Defense Department or Veterans health programs as possible cause of Gulf War Illness. The symptoms of internal contamination by uranium in Iraq and Afghanistan civilians are identical to the symptoms of US and Coalition veterans complaining of Gulf War Illness.
The Pentagon/DoD have interfered with UMRC's ability to have its studies published by managing, a progressive and persistent misinformation program in the press against UMRC, and through the use of its control of science research grants to refute UMRC's scientific findings and destroy the reputation of UMRC's scientific staff, physicians and laboratories. UMRC is the first independent research organization to find Depleted Uranium in the bodies of US, UK and Canadian Gulf War I veterans and has subsequently, following Operation Iraqi Freedom, found Depleted Uranium in the water, soils and atmosphere of Iraq as well as biological samples donated by Iraqi civilians.
The United States and several of its Coalition partners and NATO allies have been deploying in battlefield and experimenting with chemically toxic and radioactive heavy metals in various types of bullets, bombs and warheads since the early 1970s. Uranium powder is taken from the nuclear fuel reprocessing cycle, after it has been mixed with nuclear reactor waste products and spent fuel, to supply the non-fissile weapons' manufacturing industry.
Uranium is preferred over all other "ballistic" metals (e.g. lead, iron, tungsten) because it offers a set of unique metallurgical properties: it is extremely dense yet ductile metal (not brittle); it is pyrophoric (uranium dust burns spontaneously at room temperature); and, solid metal uranium is autoigniting at 170° F. Uranium metal has a very unusual property not available in any other metal; it is "self-sharpening", meaning that when it hits a target at high velocities (1 km/sec) it erodes and breaks in such a way as to continuously re-sharpen its point — the leading points of all other warhead metals flatten or mushroom under these conditions. These properties give uranium a superior performance as a penetrating warhead alloy capable of breaching the hardest and thickest armor plating, retaining penetration capabilities at 15 % greater distances and lower speeds than the most common alternative metal, tungsten. Burning uranium is hard to extinguish, and if doused with water, it will explode. Uranium used in specially designed high velocity liquid metal penetrators can bore through 20 feet of super-reinforced concrete bunkers in classified weapons called "shaped charges" and "explosively formed penetrators". The hard (dense), resilient (ductile) and heavy (sustaining momentum) characteristics of uranium also make its optimal in the warhead of robust earth-penetrating bombs to carry them into buried targets and caves.
The mainstream press in the US and Canada does not show any general interest in the story, let alone an investigative interest. European mainstream press is more interested and follows key developments. The NY Daily News April 5, 2004 has covered Gulf War II results by UMRC's studies of US veterans. DoD has lied and misled the public and the veterans in an attempt to undermine the significance of the story. There is significant alternative press and internet press coverage. The technique for coverage is to approach the story as a debate between government and independent experts in which public interest is stimulated by polarizing the issues rather than telling the scientific and medical truth. The issues are systematically confused and misinformed by government, UN regulatory agencies (WHO, UNEP, IAEA, CDC, DOE, etc) and defense sector (military and the weapons developers and manufacturers).
UPDATE BY STEPHANIE HILLER: This is a shocking story since it suggests that experimental nuclear bombs were dropped around Kabul at the end of the war Operation Enduring Freedom. (Did they mean enduring radiation?) And what have they dropped on Iraq?
Continued research shows that we have all been irradiated here in the United States, at an enormous cost to the public health. Cancer rates alone show that genetic mutation has been rapidly increasing since the first bomb was tested in Almorgordo, NM in 1945. But the effects of low-level radiation have been systematically hidden from public view!
In April after sick vets from the current war got no help from the Pentagon, the mother of one of the soldiers went to the papers. Juan Gonzalez of the New York Daily News launched an investigation. The News paid for nine men to be tested by Asaf Durakovic. He found that four of them were contaminated with uranium. The News got the attention of New York Senator Hilary Clinton. She held a teleconference— but Durakovic was not allowed to participate!
Amy Goodman interviewed Durakovic later the same month on Democracy Now!— don't know if it was thanks to my story. AlterNet rejected the story because their source on depleted uranium, John Fahey, did not agree with it.
I don't know of any mainstream media that has picked up the story, and I don't find any references to the Gonzalez piece either. The BBC and the Seattle Post Intelligencer covered it before me.
To learn more about uranium weapons search the web! It's a huge topic. Start with the world Uranium Weapons Conference held last October in Hamburg:
URANIUM MEDICAL RESEARCH CENTER, January 2003
Title: “UMRC’s Preliminary Findings from Afghanistan & Operation Enduring Freedom”
“Afghan Field Trip #2 Report: Precision Destruction- Indiscriminate Effects”
Author: Tedd Weyman, UMRC Research Team
AWAKENED WOMAN, January 2004
Title: “Scientists Uncover Radioactive Trail in Afghanistan”
Author: Stephanie Hiller
DISSIDENT VOICE, March 2004
Title: “There Are No Words…Radiation in Iraq Equals 250,000 Nagasaki Bombs”
Author: Bob Nichols
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, April 5,2004
Author: Juan Gonzalez
INFORMATION CLEARING HOUSE, March 2004
Title: “International Criminal Tribune For Afghanistan At Tokyo, The People vs. George Bush”
Author: Professor Ms Niloufer Bhagwat J.
Evaluator: Jennifer Lillig, Ph.D.
Student Researcher: Kenny Crosbie
Civilian populations in Afghanistan and Iraq and occupying troops have been contaminated with astounding levels of radioactive depleted and non-depleted uranium as a result of post-9/11 United States’ use of tons of uranium munitions. Researchers say surrounding countries are bound to feel the effects as well.
In 2003 scientists from the Uranium Medical Research Center (UMRC) studied urine samples of Afghan civilians and found that 100% of the samples taken had levels of non-depleted uranium (NDU) 400% to 2000% higher than normal levels. The UMRC research team studied six sites, two in Kabul and others in the Jalalabad area. The civilians were tested four months after the attacks in Afghanistan by the United States and its allies.
NDU is more radioactive than depleted uranium (DU), which itself is charged with causing many cancers and severe birth defects in the Iraqi population–especially children–over the past ten years. Four million pounds of radioactive uranium was dropped on Iraq in 2003 alone. Uranium dust will be in the bodies of our returning armed forces. Nine soldiers from the 442nd Military Police serving in Iraq were tested for DU contamination in December 2003. Conducted at the request of The News, as the U.S. government considers the cost of $1,000 per affected soldier prohibitive, the test found that four of the nine men were contaminated with high levels of DU, likely caused by inhaling dust from depleted uranium shells fired by U.S. troops. Several of the men had traces of another uranium isotope, U-236, that are produced only in a nuclear reaction process.
Most American weapons (missiles, smart bombs, dumb bombs, bullets, tank shells, cruise missiles, etc.) contain high amounts of radioactive uranium. Depleted or non-depleted, these types of weapons, on detonation, release a radioactive dust which, when inhaled, goes into the body and stays there. It has a half-life of 4.5 billion years. Basically, it’s a permanently available contaminant, distributed in the environment, where dust storms or any water nearby can disperse it. Once ingested, it releases subatomic particles that slice through DNA.
UMRC’s Field Team found several hundred Afghan civilians with acute symptoms of radiation poisoning along with chronic symptoms of internal uranium contamination, including congenital problems in newborns. Local civilians reported large, dense dust clouds and smoke plumes rising from the point of impact, an acrid smell, followed by burning of the nasal passages, throat and upper respiratory tract. Subjects in all locations presented identical symptom profiles and chronologies. The victims reported symptoms including pain in the cervical column, upper shoulders and basal area of the skull, lower back/kidney pain, joint and muscle weakness, sleeping difficulties, headaches, memory problems and disorientation.
At the Uranium Weapons Conference held October 2003 in Hamburg, Germany, independent scientists from around the world testified to a huge increase in birth deformities and cancers wherever NDU and DU had been used. Professor Katsuma Yagasaki, a scientist at the Ryukyus University, Okinawa calculated that the 800 tons of DU used in Afghanistan is the radioactive equivalent of 83,000 Nagasaki bombs. The amount of DU used in Iraq is equivalent to 250,000 Nagasaki bombs.
At the Uranium Weapons Conference, a demonstration by British-trained oncologist Dr. Jawad Al-Ali showed photographs of the kinds of birth deformities and tumors he had observed at the Saddam Teaching Hospital in Basra just before the 2003 war. Cancer rates had increased dramatically over the previous fifteen years. In 1989 there were 11 abnormalities per 100,000 births; in 2001 there were 116 per 100,000—an increase of over a thousand percent. In 1989 34 people died of cancer; in 2001 there were 603 cancer deaths. The 2003 war has increased these figures exponentially.
At a meeting of the International Criminal Tribunal for Afghanistan held December 2003 in Tokyo, the U.S. was indicted for multiple war crimes in Afghanistan, among them the use of DU. Leuren Moret, President of Scientists for Indigenous People and Environmental Commissioner for the City of Berkeley, testified that because radioactive contaminants from uranium weapons travel through air, water, and food sources, the effects of U.S. deployment in Afghanistan will be felt in Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Russia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China and India. Countries affected by the use of uranium weapons in Iraq include Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Israel, Turkey, and Iran.
UPDATE BY BOB NICHOLS: (Oklahoma City) Throughout the world people are familiar with the "smoking gun" solution so prized by murder mystery writers. Many think that once the smoking gun in any mystery is discovered, it is time for the "bad guys" to give up. Wish it were only so.
The smoking guns are Sgt. Hector Vega, Sgt. Ray Ramos, Sgt. Agustin Matos and Cpl. Anthony Yonnone from New York's 442nd Guard Unit—they are the first confirmed cases of inhaled uranium oxide exposure from the current Iraq conflict. Dr. Asaf Durokovic, professor of Nuclear Medicine at the Uranium Medical Research Centre http://www.umrc.net/ conducted the diagnostic tests. The story was released April 3, 2004 in the New York Daily News. There is no treatment and there is no cure. http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/180333p-156685c.html
Leuren Moret reports, "In my research on depleted uranium during the past 5 years, the most disturbing information concerns the impact on the unborn children and future generations for both soldiers serving in the depleted uranium wars, and for the civilians who must live in the permanently radioactive contaminated regions. Today, more than 240,000 Gulf War veterans are on permanent medical disability and more than 11,000 are dead. They have been denied testing, medical care, and compensation for depleted uranium exposure and related illnesses since 1991."
Moret continues "Even worse, they brought it home in their bodies. In some families, the children born before the Gulf War are the only healthy members. Wives and female partners of Gulf War veterans have reported a condition known as burning semen syndrome, and are now internally contaminated from depleted uranium carried in the semen of exposed veterans. Many are reporting reproductive illnesses such as endometriosis. In a U.S. government study, conducted by the Department of Veterans Affairs on post-Gulf War babies, 67% were found to have serious birth defects or serious illnesses. They were born without eyes (anophthalmos), ears, had missing organs, missing legs and arms, fused fingers, thyroid or other organ malformations."
Moret concludes, "In Iraq it is even worse where babies are born without brains, organs are outside the body, or women give birth to pieces of flesh. In babies born in Iraq in 2002, the incidence of anophthalmos was 250,000 times greater (20 cases in 4,000 births) than the natural occurrence, one in 50 million births. Takashi MORIZUMI's photos: in http://www.savewarchildren.org/ record the tragedy in Iraq."
For more information on the American President's continuing campaign of contaminating the land, check the World Uranium Weapons Conference, http://www.uraniumweaponsconference.de/ ,
Check the Uranium Medical Research Center and Dr. Asaf Durakovic at http://www.umrc.net/ ,
and for updates on the related Nuclear Power Plants see Russell Hoffman's website at: http://www.animatedsoftware.com/hotwords/index.htm .
Write Leuren Moret, Independent Scientist and radiation specialist, City of Berkeley Environmental Commissioner, Past President, Association for Women Geoscientists: firstname.lastname@example.org
"Depleted Uranium: The Trojan Horse of Nuclear War" by Leuren Moret, World Affairs Journal, July, 2004. http://www.mindfully.org/Nucs/2004/DU-Trojan-Horse1jul04.htm
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The reported deaths from the disaster climbed today to more than 50,000, with some reports placing the number near 60,000, as Sri Lanka and Indonesia increased their confirmed tolls
Daily Kos :: Near 60,000 Dead from Tsunami Disaster
bloggers and citizens
by kid oakland
Tue Dec 28th, 2004 at 20:20:00 CDT
Reading ttagaris and blogswarms's diaries regarding the controversy over the Pelosi/Reid nod to Tim Roemer for DNC chair just made me angry at first...kind of like I suppose you all feel.
Which is also how Chris Bowers and Jerome Armstrong (who are doing an excellent job covering the ins and outs of this story at MyDD) feel....
But let me say something here, all Democratic party politics aside, all debate of the horserace pushed off the table, this just brings something home in a crystal clear manner:
They don't even know who we are.
I remember thinking after Al Gore conceded the 2000 Presidential race..."hey, maybe Al will actually have time to come meet with some of us little people who fought for him as he gathers strength and reformulates for 2004." Needless to say....that vision of sitting at an environmentalist conference and looking at the folding chair next to mine and seeing the former Vice President on a "listening" campaign never materialized.
In part, that's due to Al Gore being a busy man...ahem...and in part...that was due to Al Gore not realizing that...like Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Tim Roemer, and, yes, John Kerry and John Edwards...he was bound to be an "old school" DC Democrat with no idea what the grassroots and the netroots are actually up to...so long as he stayed within his comfortable corridors of power.
They don't even know who we are, much less what we think and who we are fighting for.
And worse, they are so caught up in their inside the beltway, high-stakes power games that even if we screamed our lungs out over here in our little corner of the universe....we'd still appear as this tiny fraction of the equation. Be a dear and weight the pro-Dean, blog-driven dissent by any extra factor or two, would you, Harry....
We are bloggers and citizens, and our politics should no longer be about them....our politics should reflect who we are and who we fight for. In fact, the question I have tonight is not who will be chair of the DNC, but, with all due respect, if all we're doing is shoring up a "business-as-usual party" why should I care?
Daily Kos :: bloggers and citizens: "They don't even know who we are"
..factors indicate that the United States, should it desire a postive outcome in Iraq, will have to make large sacrifices to create a much larger war effort, will have to force internal political changes in the Iraqi government leadership, will have to take Iraqi security personnel out of Iraq to be trained in safe areas to be redeployed in Iraq.
Current US replacement rates, and military strategy do not allow for these changes, and therefore it can be concluded that should the present rate of losses of coalition personnel and Iraqi security forces continue, without a dramatic increase in casualties inflicted on the enemy, that the US occuaption in Iraq will have a negative outcome - producing either a failed state, or a state with a hostile government.
Daily Kos :: The Dark at the End of the Tunnel: Unsustainable Casualty Rate in Iraq
Lot's of family in the house of law so don't expect any posts for a while.
Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanza, Happy Hannukah, Happy Winter Solstice, etc...
Don't forget to leave some Naan bread and Badami milk for
Sandip err... Santa!
Bonus: Fractal X-mas tree pics< here:
Daily Kos :: Happy Holidays!
Dear President Bush:
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I Have learned a great deal from you and understand why you would propose and support a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage. As you Said "in the eyes of God marriage is based between a man a woman." I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries
to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination... End of debate.
I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them.
1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and
female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend
of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you
Why can't I own Canadians?
2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in
Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair
price for her?
3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her
period of menstrual uncleanness - Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I
tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.
4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a
pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is, my neighbors.
They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2.
clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill
him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?
6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an
abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality.
I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination?
7. Lev.21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a
defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my
vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?
8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair
around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev.
19:27. How should they die?
9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me
unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different
crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of
two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to
curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the
trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16.
Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we
do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)
I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy
considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help.
Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and
Daily Kos :: Comments Open Thread #151
by crazymom on Daily Kos :: Comments "We are going to pay for this in blood" - Guardsmen
My son is an Ohio Nat'l Guardsmen...
stationed in Iraq. He has been gone since Dec. and will not be home until March. They did their "basic" training in Indiana in the snow and cold. He claims they were trained fairly well and I know they received proper body armor( my husband and I raised hell about it) , but their equipment is old and totally worn out . They are running up and down the roads with trucks that look like they're from the Vietnam era.During my son's basic training in Georgia years ago they told him didn't need the combat training because he was just in the Guard.(Has this attitude changed?) The over use and abuse of the Guard has been my major beef. Some may be willing to go ,they support the war and this idiotic president-I say let'em go. But others should not be forced to serve more than one deployment. They end up getting deployed for longer periods and receive fewer benefits than regular army. The majority do not want to go and if they go once they don't want to go again. It's devastating to their lives personally and financially.My son e-mailed me yesterday and told me to have a happy T. Day. He said to tell the" Republican relatives to fuck off and die for me (haha?)".His words not mine. Believe me there are alot of guys over there that hate Bush as much as we do and they need to speak out. That's the problem that I have with ones that say they are reenlisting. They shouldn't. I can't feel bad for them because they know what they're heading into and they are supporting this travesty by agreeing to go. My son will NOT reenlist!!