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Religious Terrorism

The BBC reported on the murder of Dr. George Tiller, Ob-Gyn, at his church

Sixty-seven year-old George Tiller was killed just after 1000 (1500 GMT) at the Reformation Lutheran Church.

The gunman, described as a white man, fled in a car, but officials say a suspect is now in custody in Wichita.

Dr Tiller, one of the few US doctors who performed so-called late-term abortions, had been vilified by anti-abortionists in the US.

His clinic – called Women’s Health Care Services – had often been the site of demonstrations, and he had been shot and wounded by an assailant 16 years ago.

Questioning of the suspect, a 51 year-old man, is continuing. Wichita Deputy Police Chief Tom Stolz said he was likely to face one charge of murder and two counts of aggravated assault for allegedly pointing a gun at two other men.

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May 31, 2009   8 Comments

Stop With The Cowardice

Over at ABC, Jake Tapper notes Obama Administration Asserts Uighur Detainees Have No Right to Come to US.

Uighurs are a Turkic people, like the Uzbeks, Tajiks, etc. of central Asia. Their homeland in now in northwestern China, with small groups spread around the world. They are normally Muslims, if they are religious.

The US kidnapped a group of Uighur refugees who were fleeing the fighting in Tora Bora during the early days of the Afghanistan campaign. It has already been shown that they weren’t involved with the Taliban or al Qaeda, and were not combatants.

As they had fled China because of government persecution, they can’t be sent there – the Chinese authorities are not exactly the “forgive and forget” kind of people. A US court has already told the government to bring them to the US, where they could join existing Uighur communities, mainly on the West Coast.

The attitude of the Obama administration is, frankly, stupid. These people have been shown to be innocent bystanders by multiple authorities. There is no justification for continuing to hold them. They are victims, not criminals. The US government is the party at fault. We have already held them for years beyond the point when we knew they were innocent. They have rights as human beings. This attitude of the Obama administration recalls the Taney opinion in Dred Scott – “that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.”

May 31, 2009   2 Comments

Network Oversight

One of the biggest problems with “cyber security” is that it requires having trained people watching the system and detecting problems.

My hosting company does it. They have a trouble report up at their separate site almost immediately when a problem is detected, and they keep you updated on what is going on to fix the problem.

My large, corporate, telco ISP on the other hand, waits for end users to notify them that there is a problem with the system. They rather obviously don’t have anyone monitoring traffic flow on their system, or they would be immediately aware when a segment of it drops out.

I was on the phone for an hour around midnight last night, most of it on hold listening to disco, so I could report the outage in my area. I’ve dealt with them long enough to know that they aren’t aware of problems until there is a user report, and if I didn’t report it last night, it is unlikely that anything would have been done until Monday, after people discovered that the ‘Net was down Sunday morning and called.

People are talking about how “hackers are going to control the electrical grid” when the grid isn’t even connected to the Internet, and, next to large weather events, the biggest threat to the electrical grid are drunks driving SUVs.

May 31, 2009   5 Comments

Slippery Business

This Time article unintentionally exposes the truth: Oil Is Plentiful, Demand Weak. Why Are Gas Prices Going Up?

Storage tankers across the globe may be brimming with oil that no one is buying because of the global economic downturn, but the traditional laws of supply and demand don’t always apply to oil prices.

The “laws of supply and demand” are really only suggestions, actually, excuses, used to cover up the gambling that is going on in the background. There is no “free market”, there are a bunch of global “good ol’ boys” getting together for their version of poker night to see how much they can gouge out of people who actually work for a living.

Real markets work rather well at determining the value of things, and always have, which is why they aren’t permitted to operate. The “good ol’ boys” don’t want to sell you what you need and want, they want to sell you what they have to sell at the price they set.

May 31, 2009   4 Comments