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2008 May 16 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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No Accountability

On April 26th I reported on claims by Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that MAC-V MNF-I would be showing the media proof of Iranian involvement in attacks on US troops.

Today CTuttle at Main and Central asks: Where’s The Beef? Apparently what they thought were Iranian weapons and munitions turned out not to be, but the media hasn’t bothered to point out this glaring problem. The claims by the administration about Iran have once again been shown to be wrong.

When does the media start reporting that no one in the Hedgemony can be trusted to tell the truth about the Middle East? They lied about Iraq, and now they are lying about Iran. They are involving career military officers in their lies, so there is literally no one left that can be trusted to tell the American people the truth.

May 16, 2008   10 Comments

Quiet Neighborhood

The Associated Press reports on a very quiet neighbor: Woman’s dead body lies in flat for 35 years

ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — Governments have changed. War erupted and ended. Neighbors had children, and then grandchildren. But Hedviga Golik never left her tiny apartment in Croatia’s capital — until her mummified body was carried out this week, 35 years after she died.

Police said Friday that no one ever reported Golik missing and no one has come to claim her body.

Residents of her loft building in downtown Zagreb had broken into Golik’s flat after deciding that the apartment should belong to them, and not to her. Startled by the remains in bed, they called police.

Forensics experts said Golik likely died in 1973, about the time a neighbor last saw her. Expert Davor Strinovic said she seemed to have died of natural causes, but “it’s almost impossible to say for certain” after so much time.

Given the general lack of housing in the Eastern Bloc, and the bureaucracy of the former Yugoslavia, it’s amazing that no one noticed. It’s possible that people assumed she went to Germany to work, as there were a lot of Serbian and Croatian “guest workers” at the time, but you would have thought someone would have checked on the apartment.

May 16, 2008   2 Comments


So, yesterday and today have been a constant stream of thunderstorms, tornado watches, flash flood watches, which makes the power grid iffy.

The first thing yesterday morning was a leaking water line in my neighbor’s front yard that somehow [OK, when you work from home, you get “elected” for this kind of thing] became my problem. I have it patched, but they no longer sell the real solution to the problem because it “didn’t move”. I have that on hold until there’s a sufficient break in the weather [or the temporary fix fails].

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May 16, 2008   6 Comments

The Incompetence is Painful

The Associated Press reports that the IRS says up to 350,000 tax rebate checks wrong

WASHINGTON – Up to 350,000 households aren’t getting the $300 per child owed them as part of their economic stimulus rebate payments, the Internal Revenue Service said Thursday.

The tax agency says taxpayer human error and computer glitches were responsible for the problem affecting a tiny percentage of the 130 million taxpayers expected to benefit from the refunds the government began sending out last month.

He said the problem on the child payments was traced to taxpayers failing to check a box on their paper tax returns and to two computer software systems, less than 1 percent of those in use, that weren’t capturing the information needed to trigger the payment.

So, they are processing tax returns with software that doesn’t check to see if the number of exemptions claimed and the deduction taken for those exemptions match. It would be interesting to know which box wasn’t “checked”, because the number of children is just that, a number, not a box, and it is normal for the IRS to compare the exemptions claimed on the tax form with the number claimed for withholding purposes.

It is becoming a truism that the government plus a computer equals FUBAR.

May 16, 2008   4 Comments

The Tale of Two Governments

Bridget Kendall, diplomatic correspondent for BBC News, deals directly with the Two disasters, contrasting reactions. Her basic conclusion is that the Chinese government is more concerned with the people in the affected area, while the Burmese government is more concerned with itself.

Chinese President Hu Jintao has flown to south-western Sichuan Province, joining Premier Wen Jiabao, who has been in the area since the earthquake struck.

The Premier “said the focus remained on getting to survivors.

‘Saving lives is still our top priority, as long as hope of survival still exists,’ he said.”

The Chinese are giving press conferences, allowing foreign journalists and experts in the area to help with the effort. Despite being in a much better position to do the job than Burma, China is accepting aid from anyone who offers.

As the BBC notes Burma storm aid frustrations grow. Governments really are talking openly about ways to force the junta to allow outsiders to help the victims of the cyclone.

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May 16, 2008   4 Comments

Friday Cat Blogging


Friday Cat Blogging


[Editor: Ms Gruntled is not very happy “babysitting” Wonder, a neighbor’s cat. While she doesn’t generally approve of frivolity, annoying Wonder by dragging on his leash has a certain appeal, but only if he wants to move.]

Friday Ark

May 16, 2008   8 Comments