Friday, October 06, 2006

Internet predator writing child-protection laws?

While it may be shocking that the GOP leadership would keep a known sexual predator as co-chair of the GOP Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children...
Foley Built Career as Protector of Children -

It actually fits the pattern of Republican governance:

The main author of the Big Pharma give-away Medicare Part D law, Billy Tauzin of Louisiana, wrote the bill while he was negotiating his new job as a lobbyist for, well, Big Pharma.
12/16/04 Tauzin switches sides from drug industry overseer to lobbyist

(Tauzin got such a sweet pay package that he resigned from Congress before his term ended and became the highest paid lobbyist in Washington, DC.)

So don't act so surprised...

Thursday, May 18, 2006

What’s on Gen. Michael Hayden’s iPod?

What tracks would the guy with the biggest ears in the world keep pumpin' in his earbuds? Hmm...

Voice-printed Presidential “Get Out of Jail FREE” Directive (cued…)

AudioBook: The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America

Phone logs of 200 million Americans (compilation)

Database of steamy text messages intercepted between Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Fitzgerald.

Bill O’Reilly’s phone-sex tapes (prostate stimulator and “falafel” calls)

Last 60 minutes of Michael Moore surveillance video (updated hourly)

Latest Georgia Homeland Security Vegan Eco-TerrorWATCH! podcast (updated daily)

Recording of shiksa Dominatrix phone-sex session with Sen. Joseph Lieberman

Vital signs of Vice President Dick Cheney's vital signs (updated realtime)

3:00AM Drunk-dial to Monica Lewinsky by then-First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton (1998)

"Tomorrow is Zero Hour", Al Qaeda (received 9/10/01, translated 9/12/01)

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

16 Days!... starting sometime in the next few years

Desperate for a new war to distract voters from the old one, the White House is spinning Iran's nuke "threat" like a uranium centrifuge:

The Spin: "Iran, defying United Nations Security Council demands to halt its nuclear program, may be capable of making a nuclear bomb within 16 days, a U.S. State Department official said."

Wow, that's as scary as Saddam's unmanned drones that could be armed with WMD in 45 minutes! And about as real...

This hype is debunked later in the article if you read closely and do the math:

``Using those 50,000 centrifuges they could produce enough highly enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon in 16 days,'' said Stephen Rademaker, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation.

Huh? What 50,000 centrifuges? Iran only has 164 up and running, and Rademaker said those would have to run for 13 years to produce a bomb's worth of uranium.

Iran will move to ``industrial scale'' uranium enrichment involving 54,000 centrifuges at its Natanz plant, the Associated Press quoted deputy nuclear chief Mohammad Saeedi as telling state-run television today.

Oh, THOSE 50,000 centrifuges! But how long would it take for Iran to get all of them spinning?

Iran has informed the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency that it plans to construct 3,000 centrifuges at Natanz next year, Rademaker said.

Hmm... At a rate of 3000 a year, it would take 16 years to set up the 50,000 centrifuges that would justify Rademaker's alarmist "16 Days" warning. But the 3,000 Iran hopes to have running a year from now would still be dangerous, of course:

``We calculate that a 3,000-machine cascade could produce enough uranium to build a nuclear weapon within 271 days,'' Rademaker said.

So an honest and responsible assessment of the Iranian nuke threat would be that sometime next year Iran would be 9 months away from enriching enough uranium for one nuclear bomb. Of course, building the actual bomb will take much longer, so Bush will be out of office by the time Iran could actually threaten us with a nuclear bomb...

But he wants his war NOW! So, 16 Days!! 16 Days!!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

"An officer swears an oath not to a person but to the Constitution"

Lieut. General Greg Newbold (ret.) calls out the Pentagon brass on their resposnibility of speak out against the Pentagon suits in this stinging critique in this week's Time Magazine.

"I've been silent long enough"
"With the encouragement of some still in positions of military leadership, I offer a challenge to those still in uniform: a leader's responsibility is to give voice to those who can't—or don't have the opportunity to—speak. Enlisted members of the armed forces swear their oath to those appointed over them; an officer swears an oath not to a person but to the Constitution. The distinction is important."

Friday, April 07, 2006

First they came for the came for the Illegal Immigrants...

and I did not speak out
because I have my papers...

This story is as personally heartbreaking as it is politically ominous. Beyond the tragedy of a child being terrified into suicide, the impunity with which the school official made these threats betrays a trickle-down lawlessness similar to what led to Abu Ghraib.

14 year-old protest organizer commits suicide after threats from school faculty:
"Eighth grader Anthony Soltero shot himself on Thursday, March 30, after the assistant principal at De Anza Middle School told him that he was going to prison for three years because of his involvement as an organizer of the March 28 school walk-outs to protest the anti-immigrant legislation in Washington. The vice principal also forbade Anthony from attending graduation activities and threatened to fine his mother for Anthony's truancy and participation in the student protests."

De Anza Middle School
2060 Cameron St., Ventura, CA 93001
(805)641-5165 fax: (805)641-5282
Montano, Jose - Assistant Principal
Wolowicz, Gina - Asst. Principal (Bilingual)
Wyatt, Valerie - Principal

Monday, April 03, 2006

The Troops Get It...

Bush says he listens to his generals, but does he listen to his troops? Doubtful, because he wouldn't like what he'd hear. The significance of the following letter cannot be overstated in terms of what is says about the feeling within our armed forces.

It first quotes an economist's recent paper on the war's nearly unfathomable cost, and goes on to name-and-shame war profiteers and accuse the Bush family of near-treason for personal enrichment. Honestly, it's the kind language you'd expect to see in a World Socialist Worker newsletter.

But this letter, headed "Bush's Sorry Legacy" is the lead item on the Letters-to-the-Editors page of Stars & Stripes, the house organ of the U.S. military. It appears on the website and leads the page in BOTH the European and Pacific editions (which suggests a particular endorsement from the editors).

Michele Winter, stationed in Würzburg, Germany, wrote:
"In 'The True Costs of the Iraq War,' Joseph Stiglitz (Columbia University professor of economics) states, 'One cannot help but wonder: were there alternative ways of spending a fraction of the war’s $1-$2 trillion in costs that would have better strengthened security, boosted prosperity, and promoted democracy?'

"And spared lives? Clearly, but at a loss of billions in contracts to Halliburton/KBR, Bechtel and the Carlyle Group, of which George H.W. Bush is senior adviser. If it weren’t for war, the Bush family empire would be bankrupt. Self-enrichment is why Bush and (British Prime Minister) Tony Blair were determined to launch an invasion against Iraq.
"Bush’s policy of touting peace and democracy while dropping bombs on oil-producing countries and promoting crony capitalism in an America deteriorating into a feudal backwater will be Bush’s legacy as the worst president in U.S. history."

And just in case you're thinking that such talk could/should get the writer in trouble for disloyalty to the Commander-in-Chief, the editors of Stars & Stripes helpfully offer some perspective in the very next letter:

Writes Michael Williams from Baghdad:
"Letters referencing the Uniform Code of Military Justice and political protest remind me of 1996 and 2000. I wonder where these self-righteous enforcers stood then.

"I recall entering my work center at a joint service unit in 1996 to find an Army noncommissioned officer lecturing my troops to the effect that, if the election did not kick President Clinton out, he and a half million other soldiers knew how to 'finish the job.'
"I also remember talking with my division chief in late 2000 who stated to me and others that he was afraid of only one thing in that election: that George W. Bush would win the popular vote but not the Electoral College. He said if that happened, he expected the military to 'step in' and set things right. He reacted with indignation when I informed him that such talk was treason and he questioned my loyalties. Not surprisingly, he did not advocate armed insurrection when what he feared did happen, only not to the guy he was supporting."

Friday, March 31, 2006

We have always been at war with Eurasia...

Remember back when we were liberating the Shiites from the Sunni/Baathist insurgency?
Well, the Penatgon doesn't:
"American officials are now saying that Shiite militias are the No. 1 problem in Iraq, more dangerous than the Sunni-led insurgents who for nearly the past three years have been branded the gravest security threat."