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2007 February — Why Now?
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Posts from — February 2007

They Knew

Update: NPR is reporting that the commander of Walter Reed, presumably Major General George W. Weightman, has been replaced.  He is late to the show.  The current Army surgeon general, Lieutenant General Kevin C. Kiley, was the commander during most of the current Gulf War.  He was in charge when the deterioration started.

Anne Hull and Dana Priest of the Washington Post are not going to let the brass bury the problem: Top officials knew of neglect at Walter Reed.

They detail that the complaints go back years and were coming from soldiers, their families, people in Congress, and medical professionals. There was nothing surprising about what was going on, beyond the fact that it was allowed to continue.

The military is now attempting to cut off sources from the media, but that isn’t going to work. GIs complain; it’s grafted onto your soul in basic training. They will complain to each other over small things, but this is affecting their lives in a very basic way, so they are going to complain to the media.

The Army Times was reporting on the personnel changes and the order not to talk to the media almost as soon as it was sent out from headquarters. That was an incredibly stupid idea that is going to cost someone. Everyone in the chain of command can forget about future promotions, because there is no way the Senate will confirm them, just ask the guys at the infamous Tailhook convention.

I would say that the reporters know they have a great story, and they are not going to forget about it. I would bet that they have an archive of information that is going to be mined for a while.

The only way this is going to go away is if the Army actually fixes the problem.

February 28, 2007   4 Comments

More Squirrel Terrorism

Via skippy the bush kangaroo, Cap’n Dyke reports on a squirrel highjacking an airplane.

They are attempting to gain an air force!


February 28, 2007   2 Comments


First of all, I was hoping to say “Saint Bridget was taking the Eucharist a bit too far, and far too literally, Jams,” but instead of a CAPTCHA image, Blogger comments had the text, “Visual verification,” indicating their image database was down and not supplying the image. The sound version didn’t seem to work either.

The thing is, without the image or sound [you click on the handicapped symbol for the audio form] you really don’t have any idea what to put into the box. I understand why people do this, as I have been dumping hundred of spam comments a day recently, but if the database is down, so are the comments.

February 28, 2007   Comments Off on Annoying

Good People

Representative Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (Florida-20) is “good people”. Even though she represented the other end of Florida in the Florida House and Senate, and now the US Congress, I’ve corresponded with her on several issues that really annoyed me, and she responded. She was under no obligation, as I couldn’t vote for her, but she is interested in government, her degrees are in political science.

She doesn’t sound like a Floridian because she was born in Queens, and raised on Long Island, but she has lived in Florida since she started college at the University of Florida.

She has opinions, and you are kidding yourself if you think she’s going to alter them. She was one of the most vocal opponents of the special law in the Terri Schiavo case, and earlier opposed the Republican plan for the state legislature to create its own slate of presidential electors during the Florida 2000 election.

John Amato at wrote about her today, as did Matt Stoller at MyDD.

If she decides to run for the Senate, she has my vote and support. While she’s barely into her forties, she has paid her dues. She has also paid other people’s dues as she was the third highest money raiser among Democrats in Congress, and she spread it around.

Learn more at Congresspedia and/or Wikipedia.

February 28, 2007   1 Comment

Oh, Grow Up

Via All Hat and No Cattle, in a piece in The Guardian from Terence Hunt, AP White House correspondent, the absurdity of “unnamed sourcing”: Mystery Official Briefs Press on Cheney.

Who knew pronouns were a bunch of al Qaeda terrorists.

February 28, 2007   Comments Off on Oh, Grow Up

The Stock Market Slump

Why did the stock market tank?

There’s a Republican in the White House.

Look at the history of the market; this always happens.

February 27, 2007   2 Comments

Some More Background

Check out Fresh Air from WHYY, February 27, 2007: Seymour Hersh on U.S. Policy Toward Iran

Rumsfeld and company have been squirreling away funds to pay for the discontinued Total Information Awareness program, and apparently have a “trust fund” to finance an attack on Iran without Congressional approval.

Enough is enough. The House needs to draw up an impeachment charges against the entire crowd and make it known that if Iran is attacked by the US or Israel without a declaration of war, impeachment will begin immediately.

It is past time for a thorough audit of the Defense Department. The money was allocated to buy armor, pay utility bills, house soldiers, and it obviously is not being spent for those purposes. It is time for Congress to demand to know where the money went. We might be able to balance the budget with Rumsfeld’s slush fund.

February 27, 2007   Comments Off on Some More Background

Some Background

These people are insane, but without some information you can’t judge how insane.

Let’s start with a definition from Wikipedia: Wahhabism “is an Islamic movement, named after Muhammad ibn Abd al Wahhab (1703-1792). It is the dominant form of Islam in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.”

The Saudis don’t like people using the term “Wahhabi”, preferring the more general “Salafi”, because the Sauds came to power by allying with the Wahhabi followers, and people might remember that these religious fundamentalists are a keystone of the Saud regime.

The Taliban are not Wahhabi, but they, like the Muslim Brotherhood are Salafi, ultra-conservative Sunnis. We are talking about the same level of differences that exist among Jerry Falwell, James Dobson, and Pat Robertson.

There are ultra-orthodox Shi’ia, with the main difference being the belief that the Twelfth Imam, the Mahdi, will return and bring “justice” to the world. The belief is similar to “the Second Coming of Christ” among some Christian groups.

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February 27, 2007   2 Comments


Someone has opened the “valve on the tube” that contains comment spam and I’ve been dumping the “chamber pot” I added to contain it several times today, as well as dumping the overflow that the filters missed. It is annoying, but I have no intention of paying to store this garbage on my host.

Natasha at Pacific Views received a slightly higher form of spam on her post, How To Make Good Policy, which features one of “probably paid” watchers of the telcos who leap to suppress the concept of net neutrality by having people read “an important piece on Net Neutrality” by Discovery Institute fellow Bret Swanson. It must be important because that phrase, actually identical articles, appear at dozens of “blogs” in Google.

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February 26, 2007   Comments Off on Spam


The BBC, as well as the rest of the media, is reporting: Jesus tomb found, says film-maker; let the bad reporting begin.

First there weren’t coffins in the cave there were ossuaries. In the “old days” you didn’t stay in the ground after being buried. After the worms and microbes had done their thing, the bones were disinterred so the grave could be reused. The bones were put in boxes, ossuaries, for storage elsewhere. The Catacombs under Rome are bone storage areas.

The Israelis have strict laws regarding human remains, so the bones that were in the boxes that were discovered in the cave were given a proper “burial,” and are not available for testing. The most available for any tests would be fragments.

Any who as read Pharyngula more than a couple of times should know that P.Z Myers is an atheist and rather hard-core, but he is a biologist and is extremely skeptical of claims made about DNA tests from the ossuaries. If you were able to conduct tests, the most you could show would be that the people were relatives and Middle Eastern.

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February 26, 2007   11 Comments


I was thinking over a post at Sic Semper Tyrannis by Jim Schmidt, Blame, an effort to understand the thinking behind what the Shrubbery has been doing for the past six years. He wonders if it isn’t tied to the philosophy that led to Rudyard Kipling writing The White Man’s Burden, to encourage the American government to colonize the Philippines during the Spanish-American War.

While I don’t disagree with the conclusions that it is a matter of a form of conservative philosophy, it doesn’t evince any consistency in execution.

‘Noz of Rubber Hose points to the source of my disquiet in his post, crescent crazed. The US was attacked by Sunni fundamentalists on 9/11/2001. Without capturing those responsible, we turned our attention and military might on the most secular state in the region, and are now being belligerent towards a Shi’ia country. By doing this we have allowed our attackers to recover and rebuild their organization after the initial damage caused by the war in Afghanistan.

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February 25, 2007   Comments Off on Irrational

Why You Should Never Trust Republans With Money

Via Robert at Interstate 4 Jamming, a Lakeland Ledger editorial, Don’t Sell The Cash Cow, about a suggestion that the state sell the Florida Lottery to a private company.

The Florida Lottery has been a generally stable source of revenue for the schools, and for college scholarships. It has been making money for years and all of the infrastructure, rules, and regulations are in place. It has been shown over the years that whenever the Republans get a large, one-time infusion of money, they slash taxes, which are a steady, long-term revenue source. The Lottery was sold as providing money for school enhancement, but it quickly became an excuse to cut funding to schools.

The Republans keeping telling people that government should be run like a business, but when they are in charge they act like they want to make it target for a hostile take-over by selling off the profitable segments of the “business.” They keep out-sourcing functions which end up costing the state more than they had before and delivering less.

The simple fact of the matter is, Republans don’t understand how to operate a profitable long-term business because they are only interested in short-term get-rich-quick schemes.

Next we’ll hear that the move to get rid of property taxes will work because of the money infusion coming from a Nigerian business deal.

February 25, 2007   5 Comments

What Is Wrong With These People?

CNN screen shot

This is what CNN thought was breaking news at 6:53PM EST today – a group of entertainers about to receive trophies were entering the hall where the trophies were to be handed out.

And the MSM wonders why people are losing interest in their product.

February 25, 2007   8 Comments

Passing the Plate

Florida License Plates

Florida Plate Blogging


Standard Florida Plate

A weekend feature of Why Now.

February 25, 2007   6 Comments