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Posts from — April 2006

A New Treat

From Karen in comments:

The press is no longer required to drink the Koolaid – now they’ll get “Snowcones”.

April 27, 2006   4 Comments

Iraq Visits

No one is interested in the Koolaid in Iraq.

Rumsfeld and Rice swoop in to prove that the Shrubbery cares about the situation, and the CNN imbedded reporter writes: Leaders visit; front-line troops say, ‘Yeah, so?’.

The troops are interested in staying alive and leaving, and couldn’t care less about anything else. They don’t care about the political moves in Baghdad, or the travel plans of the people at the top.

April 27, 2006   2 Comments

Delusional

These people just can’t figure out that their script is in need of a re-write:

The appearance of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in a Web video is “an act of desperation,” according to a U.S. military official.

Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, at his weekly press briefing on Thursday, said the military believes “that is indeed Zarqawi in his final hours.”

“He knows the people of Iraq are on the verge of forming a national unity government and democracy equals failure for Zarqawi. So he’s pulling out all stops.”

Al-Zarqawi showed up Tuesday in a Web site video defending the insurgent fight, exhorting his followers to keep the faith, urging unity among fighters, and mocking the U.S.-led effort in Iraq.

I hope everyone remembers “Darth” Cheney telling us in the Spring of 2005 how the insurgents were in their “final throes”. Even Wolf Blitzer had a hard time believing that after only a month.

April 27, 2006   Comments Off on Delusional

The Good Old Boy Network

CNN is reporting that the Florida legislature is closing the state’s boot camps. Another of JEB’s great ideas bites the dust, as it should.

You can see the reason for this action in this video of the final minutes of Martin Lee Anderson’s life, but I don’t recommend it, because it is brutal.

The Miami Herald had this initial article on the death.

This was a total mess and has brought to light yet more failed policies of another Bush, as well as the “good ol’ boy” culture of parts of Florida. They may have changed their party affiliation from Democratic to Republican, but it’s the same people in charge. [Read more →]

April 26, 2006   3 Comments

Support The Troops

To prove they are fiscal conservatives, and are dealing with the immigration issue, Republicans in the Senate voted to take $1.9 Billon that was supposed to go for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and use it to do something on the southern border. They are not really certain what it will be used for, possibly donuts for the Minutemen.

April 26, 2006   Comments Off on Support The Troops

Fresh Air

If you have any interest in Bible research you should give a listen to tonight’s Fresh Air from Whyy:

Religion scholar Bart D. Ehrman, who chairs the Department of Religious Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill, talks about his new book, Peter, Paul, and Mary Magdalene: The Followers of Jesus in History and Legend.

Ehrman looks into the lives of three major followers of Christ, plumbing legend and the writings of the New Testament to illuminate facts and details about these figures.

Ehrman is also the author of Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why and Lost Christianities: The Battle for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew which chronicles the period before Christianity as we know it came to be.

I read Misquoting Jesus, which is an excellent account of trying to separate fact from fiction in old records and writings.

April 26, 2006   Comments Off on Fresh Air

Chernobyl

As NTodd notes, It is the 20 anniversary of one of the worst nuclear disasters in the world: the failure of the number four reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power facility [Чернобыльская АЭС им. В.И.Ленина] near Pripyat, Ukraine.  The West found out about the problem from alarms at Swedish nuclear facilities due to the fall out from Chernobyl. The Soviet authorities did not admit the problem for three days.

The BBC has one of their excellent In Depth sites up, and a great slide show that helps you to understand what happened, if not why.

The concrete cap over the destroyed reactor is cracking and must be replaced, but the site is still radioactive and can’t be worked on directly without killing people.

April 26, 2006   4 Comments

Why Florida Government Is So Weird

I went to elementary school down here, but my middle and high schools were all over the world because I’m a military brat. I was shocked to learn over at the Pensacola Beach Blog that students in Florida schools don’t have to take Civics to graduate. The curriculum is so heavy on English and mathematics to pass testing, that social studies have been pushed to the side.

I don’t understand how a public school system can claim to graduate people who don’t understand how the state and Federal governments work. How can you really be a citizen of a country, if you don’t know its history? Am I the only one who thinks that requiring flags in classrooms, and having a recitation of a pledge to that flag is asinine if those making the pledge know nothing of the country? Shouldn’t a native-born citizen know as much as a naturalized citizen?

This is disturbing on many levels.

April 25, 2006   7 Comments

The Shrubbery Is The Problem

So we are going to stop buying oil for the strategic reserve at these inflated prices and we are going to talk about tax credits for buying hybrid vehicles, great.

Now, since oil companies are rolling in huge profits, maybe we should look at all of their tax breaks, and we should drill for oil everywhere those same companies feel that they can make money.

That’s the Shrubbery’s plan, the oil man, the MBA President.

According to NBC’s First Read, oil traders say that the spike in prices is caused by unrest in Nigeria and the possibility of an attack on Iran.

Jimmy Carter explained the problem: reliance on foreign oil from unstable areas. His solution was: reduce our reliance on the oil by conservation and research on alternatives.

If Reagan hadn’t dismantled the policy, we would be in much better shape with much reduced pollution levels. GM wouldn’t be going broke because it was selling vehicles no one could afford to drive. We wouldn’t need to get involved in oil producing countries.

In the near term, backing off on threats against Iran would have the biggest effect on the price of oil.

April 25, 2006   Comments Off on The Shrubbery Is The Problem

Dumber Than Dirt

According to the latest CNN poll: one-third of Americans aren’t as bright as a golden retriever.

Via Altercation

The New York Times Book Review offered a capsule review of a new book by TV dog trainer Cesar Millan (host of the show Dog Whisperer):

Millan likes to talk about the importance of being a pack leader and projecting what he calls “calm-assertive” energy around your dog. The thing to avoid, he writes, is being “angry-aggressive,” a trait he identifies in Bill O’Reilly of Fox News. This type of person “would not make a good pack leader,” Millan writes, “because the other dogs would perceive him as unstable.” (Our presidents are often unable to control their dogs, Millan said in a recent lecture. He added, “We are the only species that follows unstable pack leaders.”)

Although I must bow before the snark of Billmon on the recent polling:

If this continues, cholera is going to end up with a higher approval rating. It looks to me like the only “five point” plan that could possibly revive Shrub’s political fortunes is the star on the end of Tinkerbell’s little wand.

April 25, 2006   Comments Off on Dumber Than Dirt

Mary McCarthy Revisited

Robert at Interstate 4 Jamming pointed me to NBC’s political blog, First Read, where Andrea Mitchell has talked to Mary McCarthy’s lawyer.

Ms. McCarthy claims that she couldn’t have leaked anything about the secret prisons, because she didn’t know anything about them. The only crime she may have committed, other than making political contributions to Democrats, was talking to the press occasionally. She actually retired back in February, but it won’t be official until April 30th.

For those who aren’t familiar with civil service, that happens a lot as they “burn off” your accumulated vacation days, rather than having to make a lump sum payment. They pulled her security clearance that she doesn’t need anymore and she still gets her pension, but she’s lawyered up and ready for battle. She’s angry about the anonymous claims that she “leaked” classified information.

She was on the National Security Council in the Clinton administration, so she would have had contact with the media while there.

April 24, 2006   4 Comments

Internet Neutrality Again

A month ago I wrote about a Christian Science Monitor opinion piece on Internet neutrality, but Congress is still attempting to help its campaign donors.

There were people who commented on that post who felt that the government should butt out and let the “market” decide. Well, folks, the “market” and private enterprise had nothing to do with the creation of the Internet, and they have been profiting from the taxpayer-funded creation for quite some time.

Those who don’t understand the lack of participation by private enterprise should read: A Brief History of the Internet.

When you type in HTTP, HTML, and many other related acronyms you are using trademarks that belong to W3C, not a telco or cable company. Private enterprise didn’t create the TCP/IP Internet protocol, it was paid for by US taxpayers.

This has nothing to do with competition; you don’t get to choose the routing when you go to a web site, the ‘Net routes based on what’s available. These people have added to the “backbone”, but they don’t provide point-to-point access; everything they carry has to travel over other people’s lines, use other people’s routers, pass through other people’s equipment, use other people’s domain name servers.

If they want to start their own system, like The Source or Compuserve did in the “bad old days”, fine, but they don’t get to jack up prices on one section of the ‘Net, while getting a free ride for their customers on the rest of the ‘Net. Understand that the Internet only works because everything is treated equally. If things receive different treatment, the concept fails. Ask AOL users how their hybrid system is working?

No one forced them to carry Internet traffic, and they knew the rules when they joined. Congressmen who mess with the rules could find themselves looking for new jobs.

Move On has a petition and more information is available on Save The Internet. This is no different that the current oil prices. Have you noticed any competition form the oil companies? Have you compared the prices of your local cable company and telco for Internet services? These are corporations: they don’t believe in risk or competition.

April 24, 2006   2 Comments

Just When You Thought It Couldn’t Get Worse

The current digital copyright law is a mess, and people are losing their traditional rights to use copyrighted material to those who control the copyrights.

Everyone has been expecting the law to be amended to return things to the traditional balance that we all grew up with, but that is not what has happened.

CNet reports: Congress readies broad new digital copyright bill that gives all the rights and powers to the people who sell anything in a digital format.

The big media companies have the power to buy Congressmen, so users are screwed again, and the people are going to be turned into criminals if they buy CDs, DVDs, or download them legally and try to use them as they always have.

What the media companies don’t seem to understand is that they are reducing the value of legally buying their products if people can no longer use them as they have become accustomed. No one is going to be willing to buy a separate copy of a CD or DVD for every device they own.

April 24, 2006   2 Comments

Bloggered Again

Since both Elayne and skippy are reporting it, it must be true, although Blogger Status is mute on the subject.

Blogger will be down at 4PM in LA, which is 7PM in NYC, for 45 minutes.

Many have been complaining about problems today.

April 24, 2006   6 Comments