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2006 May — Why Now?
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Posts from — May 2006

The Death of a Tradition


From the Halls of Montezuma
To the Shores of Tripoli;
We fight our country’s battles
In the air, on land and sea;
First to fight for right and freedom
And to keep our honor clean;
We are proud to claim the title
of United States Marine.

That’s the first verse of the Marine Hymn and they believe it. “Once a Marine, always a Marine” is a reality. There are no Marine facilities in Florida, but the Marines’ special license plate has been purchased at a rate one and half times greater than all other services combined.

If the stories about Haditha are true, those involved have murdered two dozen civilians and the honor of the Corps. Marines will forgive another Marine for almost anything, but not that. You may hear some politicians speak up who have never questioned this operation before, and you will find that they were Marines.

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May 31, 2006   12 Comments

The Message Is Clear

As the Christian Science Monitor says: From high court, warning to whistle-blowers.

The Supreme Court says everyone in government service is now a vassal of the Executive branch with no protection. Complain about waste or fraud and the government can fire you.

Forget about the grievance procedures if you have a problem, because you can be punished if you use them. Buy a pre-paid phone with cash and call the media, because this government isn’t interested in honesty or integrity, but someone in the media might be.

May 30, 2006   5 Comments

They Are Data Mining

Last month Abu Gonzo needed this data to protect children, but since that didn’t seem to work, CNet is reporting that Terrorism invoked in ISP snooping proposal:

In a radical departure from earlier statements, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has said that requiring Internet service providers to save records of their customers’ online activities is necessary in the fight against terrorism, CNET News.com has learned.

Gonzales and FBI Director Robert Mueller privately met with representatives of AOL, Comcast, Google, Microsoft and Verizon last week and said that Internet providers–and perhaps search engines–must retain data for two years to aid in anti-terrorism prosecutions, according to multiple sources familiar with the discussion who spoke on condition of anonymity on Tuesday.

“We want this for terrorism,” Gonzales said, according to one person familiar with the discussion.

Gonzales’ earlier position had only emphasized how mandatory data retention would help thwart child exploitation.

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May 30, 2006   5 Comments

So Wrong

This is pathological: ABC News: Paris Hilton Plans Reggae, Hip Hop Album.

This is the reason the estate tax should be 200%.

May 30, 2006   11 Comments

Stuff and Nonsense

Please drop by Sam and Mexico’s personal photographer a few times daily so he will get the requisite number of hits prior to Flag Day and will stop whining and blegging.

This entry in NPR’s This I Believe series should make you hungry if you eat meat. They should have the audio link up by now, but they have the text available.

You have to pay attention to this commentary, Digging for Hidden Bodies in Michigan , in which “funeral director Thomas Lynch muses about what it means to hide the bodies of mobsters, regular folks and soldiers.” It sounds weird when you read the blurb, but it makes sense. [I’m not saying that he equates the Shrubbery with the mob; that would be wrong…]

This final piece from NPR, Funeral Protest Ban Targets Anti-Gay Church , in which you get to listen to the dulcet tones of that master of the obnoxious and leader among the Religious Reich, Fred Phelps, complain about the actions to ban things like Anti-gay group protests at National Cemetery, which took place at Arlington today. [If I were a nasty person I might say something like: “If his parents had taken Fred to the vet for neutering and a rabies shot we wouldn’t have to put up with his garbage”, but I won’t.]

May 29, 2006   5 Comments

All Of The Facts, Please

4th Infantry Division

The CBS report, Deadly Attack On CBS News Crew, doesn’t go beyond the media involvement.

CNN is better with their report, 2 CBS News staff, U.S. soldier killed in Iraq blast:

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) — Four people, including a U.S. soldier and two members of a CBS News crew, were killed Monday when a bomb ripped through the U.S. military convoy in which they were traveling.

CBS said cameraman Paul Douglas, 48, who was based in London, and sound tech James Brolan, 42, were killed in the blast.

The U.S. military said a U.S. soldier and an Iraqi contractor also were killed in the attack on their convoy. (Watch activity around the charred vehicle at the blast site — :46)

Six U.S. soldiers and CBS correspondent Kimberly Dozier were wounded in the attack, the military said.

The CBS crew was imbedded with the 4th Brigade Combat Team of the 4th Infantry Division. They had stopped and gotten out of their vehicles when an IED planted at the site was detonated.

The 4th Infantry Division is based in Fort Hood, Texas, and the two CBS employees are British.

Maybe it’s just me, but I have a responsibility for the soldiers sent to Iraq. The CBS people had a choice. If the media would report the deaths of the American military personnel with as much dispatch as they report the death and injury of journalists, something might actually get done about bringing this mess to an end.

May 29, 2006   Comments Off on All Of The Facts, Please

Memorial Day

Memorial Day

Memorial DayThis is a picture from one of the columbariums at the Arlington National Cemetery, the final resting place of many of those who served the United States since the middle of the 19th century.

That is my Father’s marker. He didn’t know those located around his marker, but they all shared service to their country as part of their life.

The country continues to ask for service and people still respond to that call. As you think about the sacrifices represented by Arlington and other cemeteries, ask yourself if you have done what you could to prevent misuse of the willingness of some to serve.

It is rather for us the living, we here be dedicated to the great task remaining before us–that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion–that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.

[Originally posted Memorial Day, 2005]

May 29, 2006   7 Comments

Some Background

Glenn Greenwald looks at the attacks on freedom of the press and writes about People who don’t understand how America works. Tbogg, tboss of the tbasset hounds wonders about Abu Gonzo’s priorities.

For those who have never bothered to read history or to pay attention when it was a course, I thought I’d provide a little series of notes for them to look at when they have time. These are links to Wikipedia articles, but at the end of each there are links to more in depth articles.

Understanding these points helps to understand why the Constitution was written and what the basis was for the assumptions that the founders made in that document.

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May 28, 2006   6 Comments

They Are Having Us On

Actual headline of the CNN article on King Charles’s the Shrubbery’s attack on Parliament Congress: Rumpus over FBI raid leads to talk of resignations.

The footnote on the bottom of page 73 of the Harper Collins hardcover of The Truth by Terry Pratchett:

“Words resemble fish in that some specialist ones can survive only in a kind of reef, where their curious shapes and usages are protected from the hurly-burly of the open sea. ‘Rumpus’ and ‘fracas’ are found only in certain newspapers (in much the same way that ‘beverages’ are found only in certain menus). They are never used in normal conversation.”

Welcome to Ankhmorpork.

May 28, 2006   2 Comments

Passing the Plate

Florida License Plates

Florida Plate Blogging

Wildlife Foundation of Florida and
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Standard Florida Plate

A weekend feature of Why Now.

May 28, 2006   Comments Off on Passing the Plate

A Fine Rant

The master of miniscule, skippy the bush kangaroo, let loose with an excellent rant about the wusses on the wrong wing of the discussion regarding the threats the US faces today.

I think he hopped over a few things that were going on during the 1960s and 1970s that didn’t directly involve the CCCP:

The United States was disrupted by multiple riots in the 1960s. The “12th Street Riot” in Detroit in 1967 was probably the worst, but there were riots in many cities following the Martin Luther King Jr. assassination in 1968 and a police riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

Today there is Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, but there were many more groups and individuals involved in terrorism world-wide before the fall of the Berlin Wall:

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May 27, 2006   2 Comments

Very Interesting

Lisa English is back writing regularly at Ruminate This after an extended hiatus, and she has an interesting find in Pursuing The Impossible. . . Or A Method To Their Madness?

Over at Counterpunch she found an article, The Politics of Paranoia and Intimidation by Floyd Rudmin, a professor of social and community psychology at the University of Tromsø in Norway.

I don’t assume that Counterpunch always fact checks, and am unfamiliar with Dr. Rudmin, so it was time to do a little searching to see what I could find.

His academic credentials are fine: BA Philosophy from Bowduin College, MA Audiology from SUNY Buffalo, and MA, PhD Psychology from Queen’s University in Canada. He is a pacifist and well-published in his field.

As a social psychologist he crunches a lot of numbers as statistics is possibly the only way you can derive an real answers in his field, so he has a practical background for his claims.

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May 27, 2006   2 Comments

Iran Update

Iran Flag

An update on the on-going campaign to attack Iran by Shrubbery and the Mayberry Machiavellis.

As Juan Cole points out, since 2003 Iran has been trying to arrange direct talks with the United States over various items of mutual interest.

While Dr. Cole notes that the “Iran as the banker of terrorism” was discredited some time ago, early this morning on the BBC World Service Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns was repeating the meme once again.

CNN reported today that Iran wants the US to stop the bluster, and let’s talk. The Christian Science Monitor points to the reality that the biggest sticking point on the Iranian side is the lack of a US security guarantee for Iran.

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May 26, 2006   Comments Off on Iran Update

Translation Exercise

How do you say My Lai in Arabic?


May 26, 2006   2 Comments