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Stuff and Nonsense

Via Oliver Willis: Countdown has a blog: The News Hole.

Via Laura Rozen: a piece in The Forward, Iranian Scientist’s Death Stirs Talk of an Atomic ‘Whodunit’, that I probably wouldn’t have read if Quiddity at UggaBugga hadn’t mentioned someone was talking about sending in assassins to take out Iranian atomic scientists. While this is indeed a developing story, I wouldn’t read too much into it. Just a coincidence. No need to send agents to the campus and ask about it. No need to tap phones, read mail, etc. I mean putting a keylogger on his computer would be over the top.

February 17, 2007   Comments Off on Stuff and Nonsense

The Iranian Threat?

First people should take a look at the Iranian government’s power structure at the BBC.

Then you can read about the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps to understand that they are really the Iranian equivalent of America’s original militias, except they never went back to their day jobs. They consider themselves “protectors of the Revolution,” not just part of the Iranian military.

The money issue also comes into it, as at the Wikipedia entry on the Military of Iran it is reported:

Iran’s 2005 defence budget was estimated to be $6.3 billion by London’s International Institute for Strategic Studies. This was $91 per capita, a lower figure than other Persian Gulf nations, and lower as a percentage of gross national product than all other Gulf states except the United Arab Emirates. Still, Iran’s military was called the Middle East’s most powerful by the senior U.S. commander in the region.

At that rate, the US defense budget would be $27.3 billion, not the $400+ billion it actually is.

So, they are the biggest threat in the area, and they manage to do it on the cheap. Maybe someone should find out how they do it?

February 17, 2007   Comments Off on The Iranian Threat?

In Perspective

Over at Candide’s Notebooks Ohio Dave and Pierre have a conversation, What Is a Blog? An Exchange, which is interesting in both form and content.

At some point every blogger looks at their inner reason for writing, and it is an individual reason. There is no one-size-fits-all, [or even -most], when it comes to blogging. Blogs disappear for personal reasons, at the point at which they no longer satisfy the inner reason.

If getting a job with a political campaign is not part of your reason, being offered such a job creates a problem. Accepting a political job requires that you abandon your personal voice for the voice of the campaign. If you were hired because of your personal voice, the campaign kills what they value.

There should be a way of supporting voices on the left, as the voices on the right are supported. The funding requires a cut-out that allows for deniability, because unless the voices are truly independent they will not ring true.

February 17, 2007   2 Comments

That Fake Quote

You may have heard about that Fake Lincoln Quote that Frank Gaffney had in a column in the Washington Times, and Rep. Don Young [R-Alaska] read into the Congressional Record during the House anti-surge debate.

“Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled, or hanged.” — President Abraham Lincoln.

I seem to remember in my reading about the Civil War something similar, perhaps a believable quote would be:

“Journalists who willfully take actions during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled, or hanged.” — General William Tecumseh Sherman.

Actually, “Uncle Billy” Sherman had the power to do it, and was on the verge of doing it several times. Of course, he would have actually used much stronger language, but his attitude was remarked on by journalists of the day, like Henry Villard.

In his most frequently quoted comment Sherman said: “I hate newspapermen. They come into camp and pick up their camp rumors and print them as facts. I regard them as spies, which, in truth, they are. If I killed them all there would be news from Hell before breakfast.”

February 17, 2007   2 Comments