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2008 April — Why Now?
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Posts from — April 2008

DoS Agitprop

CNN reports that U.S. terror report cites Venezuela, Iran

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Venezuela’s associations with terror states, Iran’s meddling in Iraq and the resurgence of al Qaeda in Afghanistan top the concerns in a new State Department report on terrorism threats in countries around the world.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is not cooperating with U.S. anti-terror efforts and has “deepened Venezuelan relationships with state sponsors of terrorism Iran and Cuba,” the annual report says.

The report notes Chavez’s “ideological sympathy” for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and the Colombian-based National Liberation Army, which “regularly crossed into Venezuelan territory to rest and regroup.”

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April 30, 2008   3 Comments


It’s Hexennacht and the moon is waning crescent, but there is no Blocksberg available for dancing down here and local fire officials frown on bonfires.

Of course the Church grabbed this holiday too and called it Walpurgisnacht in honor of one of their Anglo-Saxon saints, rather than good German witches [Hexen].

The Celts celebrate Beltaine at this time of the year.

April 30, 2008   Comments Off on Hexennacht

Raising The Stakes

So the Hedgemony send another carrier to the Gulf to intimidate the Iranians. The Iranians see the aircraft carrier, and raise the price of our gasoline.

The Associated Press reports that Iran dumps U.S. dollar for oil trades

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran, OPEC’s second-largest producer, has stopped conducting oil transactions in U.S. dollars, a top Oil Ministry official said Wednesday, in a concerted attempt to reduce reliance on Washington at a time of tension over Tehran’s nuclear program and suspected involvement in Iraq.

Iran has dramatically reduced dependence on the dollar over the past year in the face of increasing U.S. pressure on its financial system and the fall in the value of the American currency.

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April 30, 2008   6 Comments

OK, How About Syria?

Nuclear SymbolThe Associated Press felt compelled to report the suppositions of a political careerist Air Force General: CIA: Syria reactor could make 1-2 bombs a year:

WASHINGTON – A suspected Syrian reactor bombed by Israel had the capacity to produce enough nuclear material to fuel one to two weapons a year, CIA Director Michael Hayden said on Monday.

Hayden said the plutonium reactor was within weeks or months of completion when it was destroyed in an air strike last September 6, and within a year of entering operation it could have produced enough material for at least one weapon.

“In the course of a year after they got full up, they would have produced enough plutonium for one or two weapons,” Hayden told reporters after a speech.

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April 30, 2008   19 Comments

Let’s Go “Nukular”

Nuclear SymbolFirst stop is Iran, where CBS News takes a break from the Wright-Obama kerfuffle¹ to tell us that “Hostile” Iran Sparks U.S. Attack Plan:

(CBS) A second American aircraft carrier steamed into the Persian Gulf Tuesday as the Pentagon ordered military commanders to develop new options for attacking Iran. CBS News national security correspondent David Martin reports that the planning is being driven by what one officer called the “increasingly hostile role” Iran is playing in Iraq – smuggling weapons into Iraq for use against American troops.

“What the Iranians are doing is killing American servicemen and -women inside Iraq,” said Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

U.S. officials are also concerned by Iranian harassment of U.S. ships in the Persian Gulf as well as Iran’s still growing nuclear program. New pictures of Iran’s uranium enrichment plant show the country’s defense minister in the background, as if deliberately mocking a recent finding by U.S. intelligence that Iran had ceased work on a nuclear weapon.

Unsubstantiated claims that only Iran can possibly responsible for the problems faced after the US invasion of Iraq, because everyone knows that “terrorists” must have a state sponsor, just like the Cold War.

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April 29, 2008   Comments Off on Let’s Go “Nukular”

Gotta Love It

The crew at Wikipedia have already added the Obama reaction to the Reverend Wright to its article on Sister Souljah moment. They are certainly timely.

April 29, 2008   14 Comments

Where Y’all Been?

I noticed that some people have gotten their knickers in a twist over John McCain talking about excluding Russia from the G8, bad-mouthing China, and other undiplomatic activities. This isn’t new, he’s been doing it for a while.

The Other Russia has a short post from May 30th, 2007 referencing an article in the June 4, 2007 issue of BusinessWeek.

NBC’s Abby Livingston reports on October 30th, 2007 speech to the leaders of major Jewish organizations in New York City.

Russia Today noticed he did it again on in a March 26th, 2008 speech on foreign policy in Los Angeles.

Hell. this is one of the few things the man hasn’t wavered on or changed his mind about. He’s a diplomatic disaster waiting to explode. He cannot get his mind around the end of the Cold War.

April 29, 2008   Comments Off on Where Y’all Been?

Earlier Than We Thought

When was the first animated cartoon created?

Via Jams O’Donnell at Poor Mouth, an article in Animation Magazine says it was 5200 years ago painted around a bowl in Iran. They have a video showing the effect of spinning the bowl on a turntable [like a potter’s wheel].

April 28, 2008   6 Comments

Having A Bad Day?

Lisa at All Hat and No Cattle has another great photo essay/series at the bottom of today’s post.

April 28, 2008   10 Comments


So you need a lot of Tibet flags for your protest march and you put out a competitive bid to buy them and get a really good price for the complex banners. You wonder how the company can afford to make them, but the answer is simple according to the BBC: ‘Free Tibet’ flags made in China

Police in southern China have discovered a factory manufacturing Free Tibet flags, media reports say.

The factory in Guangdong had been completing overseas orders for the flag of the Tibetan government-in-exile.

Workers said they thought they were just making colourful flags and did not realise their meaning.

The entrepreneurial passion of Disembowel-Meself-Honourably Dibhala is alive and well in the “Middle Kingdom”.

April 28, 2008   4 Comments

Why Food Is So Expensive

CBS does some actual reporting about a corporation I hate: Agricultural Giant Battles Small Farmers

Today, Monsanto’s patented “Round-up Ready” soy commands the lion’s share of the genetically-modified soybean seed market, its genetic code manipulated to withstand the company’s popular weed killer.

But the promise of fewer weeds and greater production comes with a hefty fee. Farmers must sign an iron-clad agreement not to re-plant the harvested seed, or face serious legal consequences – up to $3 million in damages.

“It’s about protecting the patent, defending the patents, so farmers have the protection and can use these technologies over time,” said Monsanto spokeswoman Tami Craig Schilling.

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April 28, 2008   5 Comments

This Really Ticks Me Off

I had to calm down a bit before I could report on this without scaring the cats: Atheist soldier claims harassment

It eventually came out in Iraq in 2007, when he was in a firefight. Hall was a gunner on a Humvee, which took several bullets in its protective shield. Afterward, his commander asked whether he believed in God, Hall said.

“I said, ‘No, but I believe in Plexiglas,”‘ Hall said. “I’ve never believed I was going to a happy place. You get one life. When I die, I’m worm food.”

The issue came to a head when, according to Hall, a superior officer, Maj. Freddy J. Welborn, threatened to bring charges against him for trying to hold a meeting of atheists in Iraq. Welborn has denied Hall’s allegations.

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April 28, 2008   13 Comments

Channeling Otis

Ellroon has updated an Otis Redding classic: Sitting in the Dock of The Hague. You must know the tune.

[We lost Otis in 1967, but got the song 40 years ago, one of the few good things in 1968.]

April 28, 2008   5 Comments

They Want Your Boat Now

They took the sippy cups, but you didn’t care.

They took the chocolate pudding, but you didn’t care.

Well, Bubba they have their sights on your jon boat, so you better wake up: the Associated Press reports that the Feds fight threat of small-boat terror strikes

Initially the government considered creating a federal license for recreational boat operators, but that informal proposal was immediately shot down by boating organizations. Coast Guard and homeland security officials have toured the country in the past year to sound out the boating industry and its enthusiasts. While the government insists there will be no federal license, the strategy suggests that the government consider registering and regulating recreational boats.

Another internal passport, no doubt tied to the RealID, more regulations, more interference in your life. How do you like being tagged as “a potential threat” every time you feel like casting at line out on the water. It’s not going to be a “license”, just a “safety certificate” that must be with the boat and you must have identification to prove you own the boat. No more borrowing a boat because yours is getting repaired.

You voted for them Bubba, so don’t complain to me.

April 27, 2008   4 Comments