Monday, October 29, 2007
At first that sounded very rational. Let's manage our rain fall. But, does rain do anything besides fall? Very redundant, rain fall. Now it sounds a little funny to be making fun of a man saying rain fall. But how do you manage the rain? Or, rain fall?
How about the Perdue plan of praying for rain? Wasn't that an effort to 'manage the rain fall?'
Why doesn't the idiot Lt. Governor just say manage our water supply?
I assume a man like Casey who lied to the federal government about his employment and lies about his college career to the voters thinks nothing about lying one more time.
"I'm going to manage the rain!"
I guess the idiot is going to pass a law to force the rain to fall. Hence, rain fall managment by government. But, it could be he's going to propose a law to stop evaporation. Still another choice, he's going to enforce Newton's Law to make sure the rain falls.
Damn, I just wish we had elected someone with credibility in the field of science instead of morality.
Lt. Governor Casey "I attended two colleges" Cagle, Rain Fall Manager for Georgia.
Friday, October 12, 2007
We're one of the few states in the Union with undeveloped coast line and undeveloped mountains.
For example, Great Wolf Resort has announced plans to build a 400-room resort and conference center on 20 acres at Lake Lanier's Mary Alice Park, including a for-guests-only indoor water park. The city of Cumming pledged $10 million in incentives for the project, the state added $6 million for road work and Forsyth County pledged $5.1 million for road improvements, for a total incentive package of $21.1 million.
(The county doesn't have the money, but will ask for the $5.1 million in a project list for a proposed special-purpose local-option sales-tax referendum in February.)
Those incentives are absolutely unnecessary.
We don't need to sell our souls to get that developed into homes and resorts.
If the developer can't make money without a taxpayer hand out, then they don't need to be a developer.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
We have too many emotional reasons clouding our abilities as we try to sort out our next move in Iraq.
To displace our Iraqi baggage, I suggest the following analogy.
The UN issues sanctions and resolutions against a country in the Middle East.
That country ignores the UN.
So in this set of events, the United States then invades Israel with the intention of recreating Connecticut.
When will we be able to leave with the hearty thanks of the world?
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Busting this conservative bed time story today and every day from this point.
Study examines public, private schools from the Associated Press.
Be aware, Casey Cagle. The truth doesn't really hurt. Your high school education is as good as it ever gets. [Lowell S. "Casey" Cagle never completed a grade level beyond high school where he was a pampered football player. I hope he had a good helmet]
The researchers found:
_In reading, family income, parental discussion, parental expectations, parental involvement and eighth-grade scores all positively affected 12th-grade reading scores. Scores weren't affected by the type of school a student attended unless it was a Catholic order school.
_In math, parental discussions and involvement had no effect on achievement scores. Parental expectations and family income did have an impact. Prior eighth-grade test scores were heavily correlated to achievement on the 12th-grade test. Again, attending a Catholic religious order school had a positive effect on the math scores.
_In science, income affected test scores but the other family characteristics did not. Prior test scores had the strongest impact. None of the school types had an edge overin boosting scores.
_In history, parental expectations and parental discussion had an impact on scores, as did achievement on eighth-grade tests. The only kind of school that had a positive impact on scores was a Catholic religious order school.
I've heard it quite often. And, as I documented, from Georgia Republicans.
So why do Georgia Republicans deal the cards, call the name of the game, and then, not only complain about losing, they complain about how they lost?
They want to be the victim! But, they are the racist villains.
It is racist to ask why do Blacks vote Democratic in Presidential Elections if the person asking the question self-answers it that Blacks 'want' to be kept down on the 'plantation.'
That mean and intentionally hurtful question and self-answer is clearly racist ideology.
"Blacks are too stupid to vote on the issues."
"Blacks want to be kept and cared for by whites."
"Blacks are lazy and worthless."
And, when Republicans, like Bart Brannon of the Cherokee County Republican Party, get caught spewing this racism on a Republican blog?
They cut and run like Reagan did after the Beruit bombing of the Marine barracks in 1983.
220 Marines died. Not since the battle for Iwo Jima have more Marines died in a single day.
Not since the first day of the Tet Offensive in Vietnam has the military lost so many in one day.
October 23, 1983. 24 years ago.
And, just like the racists of today, Reagan never defended himself. He let history speak to his cowardice.
Racists are always cowards.
Link to a summary of the bombing.
Link to a story on the court ruling in 2003.
And, a link to a Beirut online memorial.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Three possible outcomes from Iraq. Stay, leave, and delay.
At its height, in the months after 300,000 soldiers from 38 countries — 250,000 from the United States, about 40,000 from Britain and the rest ranging from 2,000 Australians to 70 Albanians.was toppled, the multinational force [aka Coaltion of the Willing] numbered about
By January of this year, though, the combined non-U.S. contingent had dwindled to just over 14,000. As of Tuesday, it stood at 20 nations and roughly 11,400 soldiers.
18 nations are no longer delaying. They left. Those who didn't leave, are only delaying departure after reducing troops while the U.S. recently increased combat troops.
The remaining U.S. combat troops cannot undo the past. Nor, can they see far enough into the future to even shoot the right people at the right time.
No one can see the future for the carnage of the present.
Friday, October 5, 2007
BB: Which begs the question yet again, why do blacks vote 90% dem every presidential election?
October 3rd, 2007 at 8:33 am
Caroline: Blacks don't vote for the GOP because the GOP offers nothing more than a return to the plantation.
October 3rd, 2007 at 11:37 am
BB: [Said to caroline] caroline, ... as opposed to the dem policy of never letting blacks off the plantation…
October 3rd, 2007 at 12:01 pm
So BB, who is Bart Brannon of the Cherokee County GOP, says that as a race, blacks are too stupid to know the difference between freedom and slavery.
Bart is a professional communicator. This is not a slip of the tongue. It is an intentional, premeditated racist attack.
I urge the Cherokee County GOP and the State GOP Party to immediately remove Mr. Brannon from his positions in the party.
*Excerts from Control Congress
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Secretary Rice protecting Blackwater?Blackwater may be smuggling guns to Islamic terrorists through Iraq. The Iraq government tried to throw Blackwate
Blackwater may be smuggling guns to Islamic terrorists through Iraq. The Iraq government tried to throw Blackwater’s mercenaries out of Iraq for killing civilians. Two of Blackwater’s civilian employees have made plea bargains that call for 20 years behind bars AND public testimony against others.
Yet, no one in Congress is investigating!
Secretary Rice is said to be protecting Blackwater by blocking corruption probes.
Interesting bedfellows. Who else is hiding under the sheets?
Someone in Iraq and within the United States government is making money in kickbacks from Blackwater.
Is it Rice?
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
From the Australian today, Dick Cheney thinks he can be General Patton. General Patton in the days following Germany's surrender wanted to fight the Russians. The Russians, he said, can be tricked into an incident that will make it look like the resulting war was their fault.
Whose fault it is or isn't doesn't matter to the dead.
Cheney has no respect for our war dead and never has with his five deferments from his youth.
Yet, Cheney would trick our youthful soldiers into another "patriotic" quagmire.
"The news comes amid reports that Israel launched an air strike against Syria this month over a suspected nuclear site.
Mr Cheney's former Middle East adviser David Wurmser had claimed earlier this year that Mr Cheney was considering asking Israel to strike the Iranian nuclear site at Natanz."
May Cheney burn forever in Hell.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
He's confined to wearing his hat and boots during those daring rides in a pick-up truck.
Does he wear his seat belt, too?
Only his Secret Service hairdresser knows for sure.
Link from the Australian
Friday, September 21, 2007
The future testimony may help uncover how 100,000 U.S. weapons came to be 'missing' in Iraq.
Cashwell and Grumiaux, two former Blackwater employees, pleaded guilty in early 2007 to possession of stolen firearms that had been shipped in interstate or foreign commerce, and aided and abetted another in doing so, according to court papers viewed by The Associated Press. In their plea agreements, which call for a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, the men agreed to testify in any future proceedings.Blackwater has been providing security in Iraq for the United States civilian workforce. The United States put tremendous force on Iraq to keep Blackwater licensed after a slaughter of civilians. The civilian witnesses said Blackwater employees opened fire in a crowded street for no apparent reason.
There are several private security companies in Iraq plus over one hundred thousand U.S. troops. With troops guarding U.S. embassies around the world, why is Blackwater so important in Iraq that diplomatic travel was suspended when Blackwater was blacklisted by the legitimate government in Iraq.
I think our government is continuing the Reagan legacy by providing terrorists with support to justify and continue conflict.
It's time for her to give up on having a mouth or having a Constitutional office.
Story Link from the Marietta Daily Journal.
In a 'nothing but a campaign stump speech,' Ms. Handel put her legislative ideas forward as if she were governor of our fair state and not the secretary. Certainly Secretary Handel wants to be Governor and will be using his Constitutional office to raise her political profile just like Cathy Cox.
Cathy Cox failed to win not only the Governor's office but the Democratic primary in the last election cycle. Cox however was a two term Secretary of State and she did an excellent job during those two terms.
Handel, in her first term, has more mouth than credibility.
The mouth was loose and fast calling voting rights "Absurd" because in her personal opinion the price tag was too high.
Yet, she praised the high standards set by the GOP legislature for voters.
Voters have to prove to the state that they have a right to vote.
The state, in Handel's personal opinion, does not have to prove the votes were counted.
Ms. Handel, shut your damn mouth and do your damn job.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Generals like Patton, who said he could start a war with Russia and make it look like the Russians were to blame. Patton, the great general certainly, was also a media whore. Why did he need any personal media coverage to win his handful of battles in a global war?
Generals like MacArthur, who ignored Chinese soldiers in October 1950 perhaps intentionally to start a nuclear war with those Godless Communists? The Chinese involvement began as early as October 8 with the first soldiers in Korea by at least October 13, and the first attacks on the 19th. The first Chinese prisoner was captured on October 24th. MacArthur ignored all the evidence that his armies were out numbered. His Armies, those were indeed Mac Arthur’s Armies, were going to attack China. Only China preempted our Medal of Honor winner. How many died while MacArthur tried to run his war, his way?
We should not expect to hear the word peace from a general, should we?
The 'non-partisan' attorneys would get more bang for the buck with wire taps on every GOP lawmaker, staff member, and patron.
A patron of a GOP lawmaker, caught in corruption, agreed to record his phone calls in cooperation with the FBI.
Who did the FBI catch? Why several state GOP lawmakers and Senator Stevens, (R) of Alaska.
FBI spokesman Richard Kolko said the agency would not discuss any aspect of the ongoing investigation.
Allen testified in federal court last week that he called several people at the's behest.
"It's been a lot of work," Allen said of his efforts for the FBI.
A judge had previously ruled that Allen could not discuss politicians currently under investigation.
Catching corruption and perverted Republicans might be 'a lot of work' like the man said, but it really feels as rewarding as any public service.
Crooks catching crooks. Looks like the saying, "No honor among thieves" will have to be changed to "No honor among the GOP."
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Time to face the music for Bush et al, in my opinion.
The surge didn’t work in Iraq.
The goal of the surge was to secure Baghdad and Anbar. Anbar, prior to consideration of the small surge, had already begun to experience a significant change. Taking credit for that change a year later is less than honest information from an administration with ’strained’ credibility.
Whatever credibility was left on the subject of Iraq died on Monday when the United States government banned all employee travel in Iraq.
In Iraq today, only the Iraqi citizens and our military can drive or walk.
That drive or walk isn’t safe or any safer than the ‘violent’ period of one year ago when the surge idea was revived and modified.
The surge was an idea rejected by the Iraq study group. The group did not believe our country had enough military power remaining to field the needed troops for a sufficient period of time to bring about real and lasting change.
Bush needed a change in policy when violence escalated last summer. So he modified the rejected plan.
This summer the good news is hardly good news. The news is that we have returned to the same level of violence that prompted the failed policy of a limited surge.
Clearly, the surge has maintained the status quo of one year ago with the additional news that without a healthy amount of private security forces, currently about 48,000 strong, U.S. civilian employees cannot travel.
Do we not have enough troops? Do we need another 48,000 mercenaries?
And, as the debate continues on the surge, demographics of the country continue to change, making even short-term comparisons irrelevant. We should not compare Iraq today with Iraq one year ago given the huge migration of innocent people forced from their homes.
This story, Migration, shows the rapidly changing face of Iraq.
The migration data, which are expected to be released this week by the Iraqi Red Crescent Organization but were given in advance to The New York Times, indicate that in Baghdad alone there are now nearly 170,000 families, accounting for almost a million people, that have fled their homes in search of security, shelter, water, electricity, functioning schools or jobs to support their families.
Yes, violence is trending downward from a recent high, but that doesn’t mean the surge caused the change.
A bird’s-eye view of the data suggests that since the bombing of a revered Shiite mosque in February 2006 triggered severe sectarian strife, Sunnis generally have been moving north and west, Shiites south, and Christians to the far north
The broader security situation within Iraq can’t be judged by a single reporter, from a single source, or by a single standard.
By my standards, the surge was a political ploy to delay admitting that military might and technology can’t quickly change the political processes in a country with 25 million people divided by several religions, social and ethnic backgrounds, and geography.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Bush and his hand picked generals can say whatever they want about how well the troop surge is working. But, if Blackwater isn't allowed to work, and if that means our non-military U.S. employees can't travel, then the troop surge isn't working.
I know my logic is way ahead of my language.
Our troops can't protect our diplomats, government agents, and clerical workers on the streets of Iraq. Nor, does the United States government think the streets of Iraq are safe enough with just Iraqi police, Iraqi soldiers, and American soldiers to protect even convoys in routine travel.
I just don't know how to say it better.
Our people aren't safe and our people are not being allowed outside.
Even Republicans will like the brutal straight talk and factual background presented in a politically non-biased film.
The film presents face to face video interviews with the people who were on the ground, insiders to the story, as the farce unfolded.
Information about the farce in Iraq overloads our senses, our newspaper, and our TV screens. We find it nearly impossible to screen through the huge amount of lies, misinformation, and rumor.
Avoid the rumors and see the movie when it comes out on DVD October 30, 2007.
Before then, here's a partial transcript from PBS.
BRANCACCIO: But, also, nobody, America, certainly not Iraq wanted to have happen what happened soon after the invasion, which was, because of a—apparently a power vacuum, the destructive looting that sweeps the country. You also had not enough—US troops—available to—for instance, safeguard ammunition dumps.
HUGHES: People were getting in all over the place, stealing things, because we didn't have enough soldiers there for it.
BRANCACCIO: This affects this whole thing with improvised exploded devices that—would crop up later.
HUGHES: Absolutely. Absolutely. The IEDs began with—artillery shells that were being wired together—singularly—being detonated. And they have now progressed, as you would expect an opponent in war to do.
BRANCACCIO: So, soon after this—watershed moment for Iraq, when Saddam was toppled, the military is defeated, is this other unplanned watershed moment, the looting and the destruction, and the film makes the argument that this is—this is seed of doubt that starts to creep into the Iraqi psyche. The idea that, "Why aren't the Americans protecting us?"
RUMSFELD: The images you are seeing on TV you are seeing over and over and over. And it's the same picture of some person walking out of some building with a vase
BODINE: I think that was probably the day we lost the Iraqis
RUMSFELD: And you think, my goodness, were there that many vases? Is it possible that there were that many vases in the whole country?
BRANCACCIO: And then, as things evolve in Baghdad, a series of key decisions that it is argued in the film, have radically altered prospects for Iraq in their wake. Number one, big decision, stop the early formation of an Iraqi government. Was that—did you worry about that decision?
HUGHES: Absolutely, because, at that particular point in time, we had raised the bar of expectation for the Iraqi people. They were thinking, "Hey, we're gonna be able to participate in a government." This is something they had never been able to do. They didn't know exactly how to do it, but they were anticipating a new day. And then, suddenly, it stops. And—they're questioning the Americans, like, "Don't you really know what you're doing here?"
By now, few people have faith in government, Congress, or the President. We can blame President Nixon and Watergate. Post-Watergate we have the Reagan hatred of government as the cause of all evil. Then, we have the evil culture of corruption that has too long a list of liars, weasels, and criminals to list here.
But, here we must face whatever reality a blogger can reveal, if that is any at all.
Each of us has favorite sources. Each and every source is prone to unconscious bias as well as pandering to special interests.
Of our interest this morning should be this story about the Nixon Centre, a right wing (?) think tank in Washington, D.C.
An expert on terrorism working at the Nixon Centre lied about interviews with Greenspan, Pelosi, Gates, and Barack Obama. These famous interviews never happened.
The expert also lied about having a Ph.D. but has admitted never conducting the interviews.
ABC News has used the ‘expert’ as a consultant. His writings have been published around the world.
This particular expert was quoted this past weekend as knowing the U.S. was about to bomb Iran, hitting 1200 targets over 3 days.
Although this expert will be punished, his lies cannot be undone.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
But, Gates is calling Alan Greenspan a liar for making the following comments about the war in Iraq.
So what does Secretary Gates say about fighting a war of choice in the oil burdened country of Iraq?
"Whatever their publicized angst over's 'weapons of mass destruction,' American and British authorities were also concerned about violence in an area that harbors a resource indispensable for the functioning of the world economy," Greenspan wrote.
"I'm saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: The Iraq war is largely about oil," added Greenspan, who for decades had been one of the most respected U.S. voices on fiscal policies.
What in those 57 words can be clearly seen as lies or even damned lies.
"I think that it's really about stability in the Gulf. It's about rogue regimes trying to develop weapons of mass destruction. It's about aggressive dictators," Gates said.
"After all, Saddam Hussein launched wars against several of his neighbors," Gates said. "He was trying to develop weapons of mass destruction, certainly when we went in, in 1991."
Gates lies when he says we went to war in 2003 because of events in 1991. Ah, 1991! We need to get out the time machine and fix that year in history! And, if we had found the same amount of WMD in 2003 as we did in 1991, no problem raising the WMD issue. It would have been a valid issue. But, 2003 isn't 1991 anymore. Someone needs to have Einstein travel through time and educate Secretary Gates.
Gates says Saddam started wars with "several" of his neighbors.
Six neighboring countries surround Iraq. Any war with Saudi Arabia and Iraq in the history books? What about a war with Jordan and Iraq? When exactly did Saddam, without warning, invade Jordan? What about the NATO member, Turkey? Did Saddam ever take a slice out of Turkey?
So Saddam has invaded or been at war with two of his neighbors. Iran and Kuwait.
We cheered his war with Iran and sent him Weapons of Mass Destruction that he used against the Iranians. While the Iranians were dying from poison gas, Ronald Reagan sent Donald Rumsfeld to shake hands with Saddam.
Did he maybe say, "You're doing heck of a job, Brownie?" Cause he didn't say, stop the war or else?
As the war raged, Reagan opened an Embassy!
That's how we punished Saddam in 1983.
If Secretary of Defense Robert Gates wants to deny the inconvenient truth about why our troops are dying in Iraq, let him speak in specific facts which are revelant to the discussion.
Why in March 2003 did the President of the United States invade Iraq?
Speaking directly to Mr. Gates, "You're the Secretary of Defense for the United States. Act like one and show a command of details."
Monday, September 10, 2007
The group, Realtors for Cagle, never disclosed the expenditures or even the collections as required by law. The law provides nothing worth mentioning in the way of penalties for this election breaking activity.
Elections, as everyone knows, should be transparent and honest. In this case, the very honest and innocent Cagle should not be able to shelter and hide his financial relationships with special interest groups.
Special interest groups are forbidden from donating more than $10,000 directly to a candidate for state wide office.
Related story and details here.
Political appointees to the Department of Justice, under direction of Karl Rove and George Bush, rigged a state wide election. When the initial results gave a victory to the incumbent Democrats, GOP operatives changed vote tallies. That isn't real news. Nor is it news that the GOP got caught.
The news is how all these things link together with the attorney firings by the Bush White House.
The White House fired a group of impartial prosecuters with good performance reviews for ... performance issues. Well, performance issues were the first line of defense. When the performance records were reviewed, the second line of defense came screaming out of the Oval Office.
The Occupant of the Oval Office said he could fire anyone anytime for any reason. "I am the War President!"
So eventually, the President shifted the blame to Gonzales. Gonzales, like Libby, Rumsfeld, and Tenet took the blame for the illegal internal actions of the White House.
Meanwhile, before the White House got caught, some innocent people went to jail while corrupt election officials bragged a little too much about how they rigged a few elections, a few trials, and a couple convictions.
Don Siegelman, a former Democratic governor of Alabama, should be at the top of the list. Jill Simpson, an Alabama lawyer and Republican operative, is heading to Washington this week to tell Congressional investigators that she heard prominent Republicans plotting to use the United States attorneys’ offices to remove Mr. Siegelman as a political threat. The case should be the focus of a probing Congressional hearing this fall.More details at the NYT, registration may be required.
Sunday, September 9, 2007
Williams is keeping the exact location and hotel names secret. But, it's no secret that Williams wants to help sell more alcohol with Sunday sales.
While most of his district spend Sundays in church, Williams wants to help them spend a few dollars on booze during the drive home.
The booze industry took Representative Roger Williams on four educational trips to help him learn how to sell Sunday booze.
The boozers went first to St. Simons island. St. Simons island during the month of June isn't cheap. Even a cheap room would be hard to get but I doubt the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers Association had much trouble booking a block of rooms several months in advance. After all, educating Representative Williams is an annual project of the booze industry as well as other industries.
Another booze industry group took the under-educated Williams to St. Pete beach. The St. Pete beach educational seminar was paid for by the Georgia Beer Wholesalers.
Not to be outdone by the beer wholesalers, the Georgia Association of Convenience Stores paid for Roger Williams to continue his education in Ponte Vedra Beach. Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida was named by Money Magazine as the best place to live in Florida. Of course, Dalton's favorite son wasn't living it up on Ponte Vedra while getting his educational needed full filled by liquor store owners.
Liquor store owners had a little competition for Roger as a student from the Georgia Food Industry Association. The association took Roger back to Florida for valuable class time.
All this time spent in educating Republican Representative Roger Williams cost boozers about $3,600 dollars. How those dollars were spent is another secret being kept by Roger. And, Roger isn't going to educate voters on the topics of his personal enlightenment.
Williams hasn't broken any laws but his secrecy about his alcoholic education and which luxury hotels provided him a view of the beach just sucks.
In my opinion, so does he.
Details for this story were gathered from here.
Saturday, September 8, 2007
In one of the most horrifying stories from the corrupt Bush Administration, we have the FDA approving 'medical devices' that cause malignant tumors. The tumors were clearly caused by the microchips. When the FDA approved the cancer causing microchips, Tommy Thompson ran the Department of Health and Humans services, which supervises the FDA.
"Two weeks after the device's approval took effect on Jan. 10, 2005, Thompson left his Cabinet post, and within five months was a board member of VeriChip Corp. and Applied Digital Solutions. He was compensated in cash and stock options."
These tumors in humans are capable of killing in 3 to 6 months, yet no company produced document mentions the animal studies and the risk of cancer.
When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved implanting microchips in humans, the manufacturer said it would save lives, letting doctors scan the tiny transponders to access patients' medical records almost instantly. The FDA found "reasonable assurance" the device was safe, and a sub-agency even called it one of 2005's top "innovative technologies."
But neither the company nor the regulators publicly mentioned this: A series of veterinary and toxicology studies, dating to the mid-1990s, stated that chip implants had "induced" malignant tumors in some lab mice and rats.
"The transponders were the cause of the tumors," said Keith Johnson, a retired toxicologic pathologist, explaining in a phone interview the findings of a 1996 study he led at the Dow Chemical Co. in Midland, Mich.
Millions of dollars are being spent to implant more people with the cancer causing medical devices.
Just not aware? Companies have no awareness.
To date, about 2,000 of the so-called radio frequency identification, or RFID, devices have been implanted in humans worldwide, according to VeriChip Corp. The company, which sees a target market of 45 million Americans for its medical monitoring chips, insists the devices are safe, as does its parent company, Applied Digital Solutions, of Delray Beach, Fla.
"We stand by our implantable products which have been approved by the FDA and/or other U.S. regulatory authorities," Scott Silverman, VeriChip Corp. chairman and chief executive officer, said in a written response to AP questions.The company was "not aware of any studies that have resulted in malignant tumors in laboratory rats, mice and certainly not dogs or cats."
• A 1998 study in Ridgefield, Conn., of 177 mice reported cancer incidence to be slightly higher than 10 percent — a result the researchers described as "surprising."
• A 2006 study in France detected tumors in 4.1 percent of 1,260 microchipped mice. This was one of six studies in which the scientists did not set out to find microchip-induced cancer but noticed the growths incidentally. They were testing compounds on behalf of chemical and pharmaceutical companies; but they ruled out the compounds as the tumors' cause. Because researchers only noted the most obvious tumors, the French study said, "These incidences may therefore slightly underestimate the true occurrence" of cancer.
To the list of Halliburton, Enron, and others corrupt corporations with ties to Bush and Cheney, will we be adding the carcinogenic company now directed by Tommy Thompson, former Bush cabinet member?
Friday, September 7, 2007
I've heard that question dozens of times. The question usually comes up on the highways not on the railroads.
But, today it's the railroads that makes people beg for a cop or more properly, a government!
The government and the cops have done nothing about a horrible situation in the Gainesville area.
Just southeast of Gainesville, a CSX train derailed. The derailed cars didn't kill anyone. But, no one has come to fix the mess. And, it's Mell of Hess, transposing a couple letters to keep the content child safe.
To access the full story in the Gainesville Times, click here.
The contents of the derailed car isn't child safe after six weeks of exposure to 100 degree weather and a couple of nice thunderstorms.
With the thunderstorms and heat, the contents are rotting just a few feet away from a daycare center with 108 children.
This isn't a private matter for the daycare center or a private matter for the railroad. The railroad through neglect has endangered the public health. The public is suffering not only the smell of rot but subject to the creatures attracted to garbage.
Where are the cops when you need them? Where is the state EPD? Where is the GOP led government?
Too downsized to be a force, too poor to confront a railroad, too poor to clean the mess up and send the bill to CSX.
Good job, Chambliss, Deal, Perdue, Cagle, Richardson, Johnson, Rogers ... and welcome to the consequences. As if any of these suckers ever cared about the health of small children.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
The Hulsey plant was protected through legislation championed by Carl Rogers, 26th District Representative, a life long friend of Mr. Hulsey.
Mr. Hulsey's facilities in White County are exempt in certain ways from county level supervision.
As the supervised fire in Talmo burns, perhaps spewing flammable waste chemicals into the surrounding homes, Rogers should be packing his bags so he can live next to such a harzardous private waste treament plant.
The Gainesville Times on February 7th, 2005 covered this issue. Debbie Gilbert was the Times Reporter for "Legislation would protect septic farm."
Today's issue of the Gainesville Times covers the Talmo fire and you may access that story through this link.
Yeah, yeah. People are tired of hearing about how white elected officials in the South are still racists. Southerners wants the federal government to just leave the South alone to take care of its own laws on voting rights.
But, I’m not hawking a candidate or a party. Just trying to get the facts out from time to time on how and why racism remains an institutional problem for the south. Maybe good Southerners will see why the South will be ’supervised’ for another 25 years for civil rights for all citizens.
I actually hate this piece of news. So let’s give the non-apology first.
“Barbee, who is white, said he regretted the message became public and that it didn’t reflect his official position as an authority member.
“I’m terribly sorry a poorly worded, private e-mail concerning issues that have been brought forth before was disseminated through the public as an official statement when it’s not,'’ he said.
Then, the most harmful part of the email:
““We will be making the downtown Whiter with moving 200 whites in and moving 500 blacks out!'’ he wrote.”
It would seem at first that a better Augusta would be a whiter Augusta.
“‘Barbee wrote that development of new property in the area “is high income folks who will tend to be White and now we are closing GM (Gilbert Manor housing project) and moving Black folks out.'’”
The story is from the Associated Press and has been picked up by several Georgia newspapers, including the Rome News Tribune on 9-5-2007.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
WASHINGTON - Iraq’s security forces will be unable to take control of the country in the next 18 months, and Baghdad’s national police force is so rife with corruption it should be scrapped entirely, according to a new independent assessment.
The study, led by retired Marine Corps Gen. James Jones, is a sweeping and detailed look at Iraq’s security forces that will factor heavily into Congress’ upcoming debate on the war. Republicans see success by the Iraqi forces as critical to bringing U.S. troops home, while an increasing number of Democrats say the U.S. should stop training and equipping such units altogether.
The 20-member panel of mostly retired senior military and police officers concludes that Iraq’s military, in particular its army, shows the most promise of becoming a viable, independent security force with time.
At least two years from now …
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
And, Australia is one of our allies in the glory ridden war on terror.
For details on how some Australians see Bush, see this link to the Australian, owned by Robert Murdock who also owns Fox Cable News.
The Prime Minister's support for the war provided "political cover" to Mr Bush's "dangerous political agenda", said Matt Howard.
His message on behalf of the Iraq Veterans Against the War was timed to coincide with the arrival in Sydney of Mr Bush for the APEC summit.
Tactically, Australia's 900-strong military contribution in Iraq was so small it made no difference compared with the 160,000 US troops there, but politically it was indispensable for the Bush White House, Matt Howard said.
"Mr Bush should be tried for crimes against humanity over the killing of the tens of thousands of Iraqi men, women and children who were victims of the war, Mr Howard said.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said the Government was "entirely comfortable" with Britain's decision to withdraw its troops from their base in the southern city of Basra and redeploy them in the nearby airport."
Gonzales took the fall for the illegal firings at the Justice Dept.
Rumsfeld took the fall for WMD and al-qaeda links to Saddam.
Libby took the fall for leaking secrets about the CIA's Valerie Plame.
Tenet took the fall for the early failures in Iraq and not catching bin Laden.
Bremer took the blame for firing all Iraqi police and disbanding the Iraqi Army.
The truth of these events is slowly leaking out.
For the story on how deeply Bush was personally involved in disbanding the Iraqi Army, open this link to the NYT story on the communications from Bremer to Bush. [Registration is required at the Times.]
What did Bush think of the plan before Bremer acted? "You have my full support and confidence.”
Monday, September 3, 2007
Since signing up, Ann Coulter has revealed the ugle truth about the founder of Islam to me 38 times. The first time might have been revealing. Now it's way past being redundant.
Tom Winter is teaching me that the Bible is not as violent as the Koran. Apparently, it's just the actual history of Christians that refuses to turn the other cheek.
Newt Gingrich has been thanking me, over and over, for reading him. I don't read him at all.
Human Events has printed one story with the exciting title, "This story is completely factual!" I thought all stories in Human Events were completely factual. Now, I'm waiting for the disclaimer, No facts were harmed in the making of this issue.
Too many Dems take issue with the communication skills of the GOP. Yes, the GOP really gets the word out. I've gotten the word hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of times. But, the word has no real content. Slogans abound but content escapes these prolific writers like Ann, Newt, and Tom.
"The Dems have no plan."
"The Koran is more violent than the Bible!"
"Thank you for being a faithful reader."
"I'm for Law and Order!"
"Islam vs. Christianity!"
Now that I'm well versed in GOP prose and posing, I've canceled my subscription to ' the most important newsletter you will ever read!'
I'm not waiting for the movie to come out, either.
Real human events do not come in movies, newsletters, or emails.
The idea drew support from top scientists and won $250,000 in an Army research competition.
But, the study has been KILLED. The information gathered has be destroyed. The author, a colonel with a Bronze Star and a combat surgeon, is under arrest. His office space taken away and converted into a break room.
The study was examining the debilitating impact of stress on recruits. About one out of five recruits fail to complete basic training. The study would have covered that failure, chronic fatigue, Gulf War syndrone, and Post Tramatic Stress Disorder.
Why has the Army stopped the research... into things that hurt the military, it's soldiers, and civilians? It's not like the researchers waterboarded human beings.
Sunday, September 2, 2007
British Generals, now that the UK has abandoned Basra, are telling the harsh truths about the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
The U.S. invaded Iraq without any plans for a post-invasion Iraq.
I've heard this truth in many forms from many sources. The latest sources are the highest ranking U.K. generals involved prior to the March 2003 invasion.
He might have added morally bankrupt.
"He [Rumsfeld] didn't want to hear that message. The U.S. had already convinced themselves that Iraq would emerge reasonably quickly as a stable democracy," Cross told the Sunday Mirror.
"Anybody who tried to tell them anything that challenged that idea -- they simply shut it out," Cross, the most senior British officer involved in planning post-war Iraq, added.
His comments echoed those of General Mike Jackson, head of theduring the invasion, who was quoted by The Daily Telegraph on Saturday as describing Rumsfeld's approach as "intellectually bankrupt."
More details from the Australian
Major General Tim Cross, the top British officer involved in post-war Iraq planning, said he raised serious concerns with then US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld that the country could descend into chaos.
But Mr Rumsfeld "ignored" or "dismissed" his warnings, he told the Sunday Mirror newspaper.
In 2003, General Cross was the deputy head of the coalition's Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance.
"Right from the very beginning, we were all very concerned about the lack of detail that had gone into the post-war plan - and there is no doubt that Rumsfeld was at the heart of that process," he said.
If Rumsfeld was the heart of it all, who was the soul?
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Five million more people live in poverty now than in 2000, before the last recession. That recession was the mildest and shortest on record since 1950. That record isn't important to the daily lives of five million people pushed into 6 years of poverty. Poverty pushes records out of the field of vision for those in the dark abyss.
One group did benefit financially compared to 2000. Those making adjusted gross incomes of over $128,000 per year got a really nice bump in take home pay. That take home pay increase isn't given by the Census Bureau. However, from IRS data, the bump was over $11,000 in the last three years ending in 2004.
The Census information makes it clear why 47 million people do not have basic health care.
They need the money to eat. Really, just to buy food.
The Census data can be downloaded in raw information at http://www.census.gov/
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
An article out of Washington shows how little power the GOP now has even in the South.
In the backwoods of the Deep South, the Georgia GOP hand picked their candidate for replacing the deceased Charlie Norwood in a special election.
That hand picked man, the Best of the Best of the Best, super duper intelligent, worldly, powerful, known not as 007 but merely as Jim Whitehead lost.
Jim Whitehead spent about a million dollars raised mostly through the GOP machine of special interests, big donors, and political action committees.
I'd even bet some big name Republicans gave him money from personal campaign funds, an unethical act in my opinion.
Jim Whitehead was whipped at the polls by a man who didn't take the big money, a man who didn't have the endorsement of Perude and the Georgia GOP, and didn't have the blessings of being called to duty by the Norwood family.
It's about time the deep south walked away from the turn coat, former racist Democrats now running the corrupt Republican machine.
The Associated Press story can be accessed from the Gainesville Times at this link.
Monday, August 27, 2007
From a news story in Australia, not something I would fabricate.
Bin Laden was trapped in Tora Bora and General Franks refused to go into the mountains with the assets he had in Afghanistan.
“The US military’s most elite commando unit, Delta Force, was transferred from Afghanistan to prepare for Iraq.”
“When General Franks refused to send troops into Tora Bora, he was already in the early stages of planning for the next war in Iraq.”
“The report yesterday said that by early 2002, new aerial drones that might have helped in the search were being diverted for possible use in Iraq.”
Going entirely by this news report from the owners of Fox News, Bush couldn’t have bin Laden and Saddam. Bush chose getting Saddam over getting bin Laden.
And, how does this fit into the premise that Iraq is the cornerstone of our fake war on terror?
US security officials believe al-Qa’ida is planning dramatic strikes on the West comparable to 9/11. “We have very strong indicators that al-Qa’ida is planning to attack the West and is likely to attack, and we are pretty sure about that,” says retired vice admiral John Redd, chief of the National Counter-terrorism Center, which co-ordinates US intelligence in the war on terror.”
Hank Crumpton, who ran the CIA’s early hunt for bin Laden in 2001-02 as deputy chief of the agency’s counter-terrorism base and recently retired as the State Department’s co-ordinator of counter-terrorism, agreed: “It’s bad; it’s going to come.
What has it done to our country?
A democracy should have private citizens employed by the government not 'outside contractors' in responsible roles. The role of firefighter for example.
If we pay a firefighting company for the number of fires, isn't that an incentive to either set fires or do nothing to prevent fires?
If we pay mercenaries by a body count, isn't that a way of making sure no prisoners are taken and that 'collateral damage' increases?
But the greatest danger is shifting loyalty from service to a fellow citizen to merely obeying supervisors, contractual terms, and stockholder demands.
We can not expect 'outside actors' to be loyal to a democratic government system.
For the editorial by James Carroll, click here.
The NIE should be a compilation of information from all the executive branch intelligence gathering organizations. Intelligence gathering needs that extra bit of emphasis. For each bit of information gathered, we can assume other bits escape our gathering methods. Our methods can be compared to dipping a small net in the ocean while keeping our feet dry. Even if we board a huge ship, our toes and feet remain dry while dipping the nets. Our nets are designed with technology as the main seine, not with human input from diplomats, agents, and professional analysts given priority.
With that technological priority, we might get a good statistical sampling but we have missed huge upheavals like the fall of the Soviet Empire, the invasion of Kuwait, and Osama's plan to use planes as human guided missiles.
So this intelligence estimate is very imperfect. It should be viewed only as a tool to test the performance of our intelligence gathering ability and how well we analyze raw data.
As we are bombarded with the various types of spin being placed on the NIE's information, we should take great care and caution ourselves that information from human beings is fallible.
Humans make huge mistakes. Governments make huge mistakes. Blaming those mistakes on a few just compounds the mistake. Mistakes like using estimates as facts compound past mistakes and perpetuate poor reasoning.
From the NIE:
"Where population displacements have led to significant sectarian separation," the NIE states, "conflict levels have diminished to some extent because warring communities find it more difficult to penetrate communal enclaves." [Does that mean the statistics support the troops escalations or that mixed society has failed since the invasion?]
The broad compromises needed for reconciliation [in Irag] "are unlikely to emerge unless there is a fundamental shift in the factors driving Iraqi political and security developments." Analysts offered no cause to believe that fundamental shift will occur. [Does that sound very much like we need more time for diplomacy to work? Or, send more troops now?]
For one opinion on how we are fighting for a military solution dependent upon a political solution, click this link for the Jay Bookman column in the AJC.
He 'resigned' today.
We should expect that Bush finally found another idiot willing to take the job. That would be the underlying reason for the timing of this event.
Who but an idiot would want to work for Bush at this point?
Barney, his dog, would run away if not for the Secret Service and the five fences around the White House.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
All bantering aside, we should have spirited debate with the flashing of details and facts. Details and facts just aren’t what they used to be. Often the wrong facts are protected fairy tales. “The world is flat.” “The United States is a democracy.” “All men are created equal.” “The end is near.”
Is the devil in the details? One detail never gives the whole spectrum anymore than a dozen details. It’s a "can’t see the forest for the trees" dilemma.
Perhaps the best example comes from the D-Day invasion. Few troops hugging the ground to stay alive could see fifty yards to the right, the left, or the rear. The assault for some was fatal before reaching the beach. It was deadly for paratroops before putting a boot on the ground. Others walked across a sand packed beach upright and smiling.
But, I’m writing about experts on the economy. Experts like Fed Chairman, Bernanke, “We’ve never had a decline in housing prices on a nationwide basis.”
Alan Greenspan, the former Fed chairman, said the housing market was not susceptible to bubbles, in part because every local market is different.
These experts for real estate agents, home builders, bankers, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac who published a report in 2004 saying, “there is little possibility of a widespread national decline since there is no national housing market.”
In my humble opinion corporate socialism or corporate welfare has bolstered these fools long enough. We have at least a trillion dollars in bad mortgage loans driving the price of homes up and soon to drive the price of the median home down.
Bail out Jane and Joe this time. Let the economic socialism and corporate welfare for the government dependent housing industry end.
Maybe someday there will once again be meaning to “All men are created equal” and “America is a democracy.”
What types of changes are needed in the military?
A change in the way Generals are selected, trained, and interact with the public, the politicians, and the troops.
For some details on what the next generation of Generals, battle hardened and battle weary from the endless progress in Iraq, this lengthy story brings first hand accounts. These accounts are nothing like Ernie Pyle brought us. This is not the fox hole reporting of a man putting a human face on men living and dying as G.I. Joe.
These are classroom and seminar lessons from the real leaders of troops in Iraq.
Five captains stood up, recited their names and their units. . . One asked why the top generals failed to give political leaders full and frank advice on how many troops would be needed in Iraq. One asked whether any generals “should be held accountable” for the war’s failures. One asked if the Army should change the way it selected generals. Another said that general officers were so far removed from the fighting, they wound up “sheltered from the truth” and “don’t know what’s going on.”“As matters stand now, a private who loses a rifle suffers far greater consequences than a general who loses a war.”
Saturday, August 25, 2007
No, Dear Bill, a member of the State Legislature, will make you pay far more than you did in the past. What he wants to change is for himself and other insurance salesmen. Insurance salesmen, like the very part-time public servant Bill Hembree, want to raise your insurance rates. Often. As often as possible. Whenever they want.
Why? If insurance salesmen and ladies want to make more money, let them work harder! More hours. More sales.
Bill Hembree wants to vote himself a raise. Let him work for a living.
Details on his plan to let insurance companies rape drivers.
Friday, August 24, 2007
Perdue created a shell organisation for his left over campaign funds. If that wasn't illegal, it is unethical.
So why did he do that?
The New York Times covers the angle that ex-politicians are using their campaign funds to enrich themselves.
It would make a good reality show. "When politicians become private citizens."
For details on the underlying story, click here.
Massie Ritsch of the Center for Responsive Politics, said [he] could have considered giving the money back to donors or to charity. “Contributors should reasonably expect that their money will go for campaigning and not that it will sit in an account for years and be doled out to build someone’s personal business,” he said.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
If George Bush does not like the lawfully elected government of Iraq, he can take his toys and go home.
That’s the word out of Baghdad tonight. Well, tomorrow morning there. Details.
Prime Minister Maliki is the government of Iraq, properly elected under a democratic constitution. Installed in power and recognized by world leaders, including Herr Bush.
But, history has a way of repeating itself. Hitler never liked Mussolini, just used him.
Maliki has told Bush where to show that cowboy hat and it ain’t where it covers the head. This comes after Bush through spokesmen ( aka Yes Men ) said Maliki needed to go.
“These statements do not concern us a lot,” Maliki said to reporters while he was visiting Syria . “We will find many around the world who will support us in our endeavor.”
“The Iraqi government was elected by the Iraqi people,” he added and said Iraq would find other friends if the United States was disenchanted.
Ah, to be the Leader of the Free World, the most powerful man in the world, the War President … and the butt of jokes, insolence, and disdain by leaders facing death in the streets of their country while fighting for Democracy.
Another great American hero, George Bush
Not only did George Bush and Dick Cheney miss the thrill of real combat in Viet Nam, they missed the lesson of Viet Nam.
Most savvy military leaders learned not to send U.S. troops to fight in nationalistic internal struggles in hostile environments at the end of a 12,000 mile long supply chain for uncertain goals.
What did Bush think he learned from being a part-time part-time pilot?
We should have never gotten out of Viet Nam!
Easy for his chicken shit ass to say.
What do the Viets say today about our disaster in the jungle?
We never should have sent troops. We should have let Viets self determine their future. We would have saved countless Viet lives with a non-interference policy.
Read the details and the quotes from our former, reluctant Ally.
"The price we, the Vietnamese people on both sides, paid during the war was due to the fact that the Americans went into Vietnam in the first place," Ninh said.
With regard to the American war in Vietnam, everyone knows that we fought to defend our country and that this was a righteous war of the Vietnamese people," Foreign Ministry spokesman Le Dung said. "And we all know that the war caused tremendous suffering and losses to the Vietnamese people."
We didn't cut off our nose to spite our face in Viet Nam. We cut the throats of Viet Nam to spite souls.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Our glorious leader, a classic flip-floping former Democrat, can't take the heat of global warming.
At the National Conference of State Legislatures, which delegation denied science? The GOP delegation from Georgia.
What state has the largest single source of polution (carbon) from a utility plant? Georgia!
Most modern countries get about 30 percent of their electrical power from coal. Georgia gets 67 percent of electricity through the burning of coal. That's why we can't eat all natural fish from Georgia's lakes and streams. Coal always contains mercury. Burning that coal releases mercury into the air. Then, rain washes the mercury out of the air and into streams, lakes, and impoundments. And, on into fish.
As if the threat to the unborn isn't enough, Georgia's best and brightest minds in the GOP say "There's alternative information out there" which somehow is a counter to science.
That alternative information means no man made polution harms the planet or the people on the planet.
Read this story from the AJC on how the GOP wants Georgia Power to poison our planet.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
In 2006, the 'housing industry' lost over 50,000 jobs. This year nearly 90,000 jobs have been lost in 8 months or less. Most of this may be from the over-selling of bad credit risks.
Bad credit risks need to be defined very carefully. This isn't about people not having jobs and can't get credit. It's about giving debt burdened couples and individuals a zero down mortgage loan.
Nothing is wrong with giving people a loan for a home. Nor, is there anything wrong with people wanting to enjoy home ownership. The problem is with the 'who' that makes the loan and the 'who' that owns the note. Those Who's are not the same in the 'mortgage industry.'
When I first applied for a home loan, a down payment of 20 percent was demanded. Without that, banks would very politely say, No and Good Bye. Back in those years, some banks still made, serviced, and held mortgage notes. During the 'housing boom,' banks or mortgage lenders would make 'zero down payment' loans and loans on bad credit histories. These mortgage notes are the so-called, subprime loans.
A mortgage note is that piece of paper that says, "I promise to repay." Now, that mortgage note, more or less a piece of paper, has some legal characteristics similar to a check. And, a legal claim to my house!
Banks could negotiate the paper and get some cash NOW in exchange for my promise to repay later or give up my house. I think that's called selling or reselling the mortgage.
Don't confuse that with servicing a mortgage. I send my payment to a post office box. Who knows what company owns the P.O. Box, takes my check, and posts my payment for the bank.
But, back to selling the mortgage. Once the mortgage is sold, the first bank has money again to make a loan. Someone else has a promise from me to repay them. Maybe a third person has to handle servicing the loan payment every month.
So banks make as many loans as possible. Sell them to the next fool. When I can't pay, the fool loses their money.
I don't really care for the fool and his money. But, too often, I'm really the fool!
My employers retirement fund is one of the fools buying my promise to repay someday. All of which works well, as long as I have a job, the company makes money, and people keep buying houses.
If I lose my job, can't pay for my house, and the economy slows, then retirement funds for just about everyone can take a huge financial hit.
Plus, the people making the mortgage loans don't have jobs. The people buying and reselling the loans have no work. And, those invisible loan servicing company employees get the pink slip.
That may not be the best explanation of the potential problems with the 'housing industry.'
But, with 140,000 financial 'experts' suddenly under employed or not employed, financial opinions are free.
For a better story on the economy and housing, click here. I have no idea if the story was written by a former financial expert or a current financial expert.
Mr. Vick has some time left before his legal judgement day.
However, a governor, a former Republican Governor will very shortly start his new life behind bars.
In Illinois, where the Daley Democratic machine created legends, the biggest scandal perhaps in history involved former Gov. George Ryan. The 73 year old Ryan has exhausted his appeal for a new trial on his convictions on fraud, racketeering conspiracy, and other offenses.
The Moral Majority, the GOP family values, and the smoke screen on how Jesus demands Christians vote Republican failed to save the soul of Ryan.
He took your tax dollars to run his political election campaigns.
He sold contracts for state business from 1991 to 1999.
The wide ranging investigation of Gov. Ryan led to dozens of convictions. Ryan claims he did nothing wrong.
Few of us in Georgia may have heard of this scandal. Let us hope we are spared the same crimes by our Gold Dome Culture of Corruption.
Prior to the events of 9/11, the CIA failed several times to box in, control, or destroy al-Qaeda. In retrospect, everyone knows about the depths of that failure. I find it difficult to stomach blaming the best organization or the worse organization in the U.S. family of intelligence agencies for the failure.
The attacks were bold, audacious, and innovative. That is not to say no one ever before though of using planes as human guided missiles. That lie forever belongs to the Bush Family Tree that includes Cheney, Rice, and Rumsfeld.
From the article by the AP:
We don't need scapegoats 6 years later. The Monday morning quarterbacking ended as soon as the next game started, the invasion of Afghanistan.
"I thought the release of this report would distract officers serving their country on the front lines of a global conflict," Hayden said. "It will, at a minimum, consume time and attention revisiting ground that is already well plowed."
The report does cover terrain heavily examined by a congressional inquiry and the Sept. 11 Commission. However, the CIA watchdog's report goes further than previous reviews to examine the personal failings of individuals within the agency who led the pre-9/11 efforts against al-Qaida.
Helgerson's team found that no CIA employees violated the law or were part of any misconduct. But it still called on then-CIA Director to form accountability boards to look at the performance of specific individuals to determine whether reprimands were called for.
The inquiry boards were recommended for officials including former CIA Director Pavitt, Counterterrorism Center Chief Cofer Black, and agency Executive Director A.B. "Buzzy" Krongard., his deputy director for operations Jim
The service there by CIA operatives has been golden in the face of unholy casualties. As many as one out of every three operatives died in the run up to the invasion and victory by the Northern Alliance. Many of those deaths have not been acknowledged in public.
If there are failures in government, and there always will be, a part of that failure lies with our expectations that government must be perfect. Government, as we know, isn't perfect nor can we or should we ever expect that.
The only illusion more harmful than the expectations of government perfection is the ongoing worship of the business model as best and better than any other paradigm.
Monday, August 20, 2007
However, Sonny not only has refused to fund urgent needs of citizens, like State Police, to fund his pet project. Sonny has ... forgotten to tell out of state fisherman, Don't eat Georgia fish!
For a complete list of which lakes and which fish are hazardous to your health, visit this link. Some in the North Georgia mountains will be shocked by which beautiful lakes and rivers are unsafe. For pregnant women, use this link in North Georgia.
We might want to notice that in the best traditions of the GOP, that pages and pages are spent on good news about eating fish. Then, the bad news has to be downloaded.
Also notice that the DNR online web pages (also emphasize the good over the bad.
Here's a link to the federal government warnings, Link.
Sonny needs to go fish for a heart, a brain, and the courage to use them.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Buddhika Jayamaha is an Army specialist. Wesley D. Smith is a sergeant. Jeremy Roebuck is a sergeant. Omar Mora is a sergeant. Edward Sandmeier is a sergeant. Yance T. Gray is a staff sergeant. Jeremy A. Murphy is a staff sergeant.
VIEWED from Iraq at the tail end of a 15-month deployment, the political debate in Washington is indeed surreal. Counterinsurgency is, by definition, a competition between insurgents and counterinsurgents for the control and support of a population. To believe that Americans, with an occupying force that long ago outlived its reluctant welcome, can win over a recalcitrant local population and win this counterinsurgency is far-fetched. As responsible infantrymen and noncommissioned officers with the 82nd Airborne Division soon heading back home, we are skeptical of recent press coverage portraying the conflict as increasingly manageable and feel it has neglected the mounting civil, political and social unrest we see every day. (Obviously, these are our personal views and should not be seen as official within our chain of command.)
The claim that we are increasingly in control of the battlefields in Iraq is an assessment arrived at through a flawed, American-centered framework. Yes, we are militarily superior, but our successes are offset by failures elsewhere. What soldiers call the “battle space” remains the same, with changes only at the margins. It is crowded with actors who do not fit neatly into boxes: Sunni extremists, Al Qaeda terrorists, Shiite militiamen, criminals and armed tribes. This situation is made more complex by the questionable loyalties and Janus-faced role of the Iraqi police and Iraqi Army, which have been trained and armed at United States taxpayers’ expense.
A few nights ago, for example, we witnessed the death of one American soldier and the critical wounding of two others when a lethal armor-piercing explosive was detonated between an Iraqi Army checkpoint and a police one. Local Iraqis readily testified to American investigators that Iraqi police and Army officers escorted the triggermen and helped plant the bomb. These civilians highlighted their own predicament: had they informed the Americans of the bomb before the incident, the Iraqi Army, the police or the local Shiite militia would have killed their families.
As many grunts will tell you, this is a near-routine event. Reports that a majority of Iraqi Army commanders are now reliable partners can be considered only misleading rhetoric. The truth is that battalion commanders, even if well meaning, have little to no influence over the thousands of obstinate men under them, in an incoherent chain of command, who are really loyal only to their militias.
Similarly, Sunnis, who have been underrepresented in the new Iraqi armed forces, now find themselves forming militias, sometimes with our tacit support. Sunnis recognize that the best guarantee they may have against Shiite militias and the Shiite-dominated government is to form their own armed bands. We arm them to aid in our fight against Al Qaeda.
However, while creating proxies is essential in winning a counterinsurgency, it requires that the proxies are loyal to the center that we claim to support. Armed Sunni tribes have indeed become effective surrogates, but the enduring question is where their loyalties would lie in our absence. The Iraqi government finds itself working at cross purposes with us on this issue because it is justifiably fearful that Sunni militias will turn on it should the Americans leave.
In short, we operate in a bewildering context of determined enemies and questionable allies, one where the balance of forces on the ground remains entirely unclear. (In the course of writing this article, this fact became all too clear: one of us, Staff Sergeant Murphy, an Army Ranger and reconnaissance team leader, was shot in the head during a “time-sensitive target acquisition mission” on Aug. 12; he is expected to survive and is being flown to a military hospital in the United States.) While we have the will and the resources to fight in this context, we are effectively hamstrung because realities on the ground require measures we will always refuse — namely, the widespread use of lethal and brutal force.
Given the situation, it is important not to assess security from an American-centered perspective. The ability of, say, American observers to safely walk down the streets of formerly violent towns is not a resounding indicator of security. What matters is the experience of the local citizenry and the future of our counterinsurgency. When we take this view, we see that a vast majority of Iraqis feel increasingly insecure and view us as an occupation force that has failed to produce normalcy after four years and is increasingly unlikely to do so as we continue to arm each warring side.
Coupling our military strategy to an insistence that the Iraqis meet political benchmarks for reconciliation is also unhelpful. The morass in the government has fueled impatience and confusion while providing no semblance of security to average Iraqis. Leaders are far from arriving at a lasting political settlement. This should not be surprising, since a lasting political solution will not be possible while the military situation remains in constant flux.
The Iraqi government is run by the main coalition partners of the Shiite-dominated United Iraqi Alliance, with Kurds as minority members. The Shiite clerical establishment formed the alliance to make sure its people did not succumb to the same mistake as in 1920: rebelling against the occupying Western force (then the British) and losing what they believed was their inherent right to rule Iraq as the majority. The qualified and reluctant welcome we received from the Shiites since the invasion has to be seen in that historical context. They saw in us something useful for the moment.
Now that moment is passing, as the Shiites have achieved what they believe is rightfully theirs. Their next task is to figure out how best to consolidate the gains, because reconciliation without consolidation risks losing it all. Washington’s insistence that the Iraqis correct the three gravest mistakes we made — de-Baathification, the dismantling of the Iraqi Army and the creation of a loose federalist system of government — places us at cross purposes with the government we have committed to support.
Political reconciliation in Iraq will occur, but not at our insistence or in ways that meet our benchmarks. It will happen on Iraqi terms when the reality on the battlefield is congruent with that in the political sphere. There will be no magnanimous solutions that please every party the way we expect, and there will be winners and losers. The choice we have left is to decide which side we will take. Trying to please every party in the conflict — as we do now — will only ensure we are hated by all in the long run.
At the same time, the most important front in the counterinsurgency, improving basic social and economic conditions, is the one on which we have failed most miserably. Two million Iraqis are in refugee camps in bordering countries. Close to two million more are internally displaced and now fill many urban slums. Cities lack regular electricity, telephone services and sanitation. “Lucky” Iraqis live in gated communities barricaded with concrete blast walls that provide them with a sense of communal claustrophobia rather than any sense of security we would consider normal.
In a lawless environment where men with guns rule the streets, engaging in the banalities of life has become a death-defying act. Four years into our occupation, we have failed on every promise, while we have substituted Baath Party tyranny with a tyranny of Islamist, militia and criminal violence. When the primary preoccupation of average Iraqis is when and how they are likely to be killed, we can hardly feel smug as we hand out care packages. As an Iraqi man told us a few days ago with deep resignation, “We need security, not free food.”
In the end, we need to recognize that our presence may have released Iraqis from the grip of a tyrant, but that it has also robbed them of their self-respect. They will soon realize that the best way to regain dignity is to call us what we are — an army of occupation — and force our withdrawal.
Until that happens, it would be prudent for us to increasingly let Iraqis take center stage in all matters, to come up with a nuanced policy in which we assist them from the margins but let them resolve their differences as they see fit. This suggestion is not meant to be defeatist, but rather to highlight our pursuit of incompatible policies to absurd ends without recognizing the incongruities.
We need not talk about our morale. As committed soldiers, we will see this mission through.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Product recalls from the U.S. markets.
Street cops dying at the average age of less than 40.
Thirty percent of the population living below world poverty levels.
The most dangerous work conditions in the world.
Real slavery being discovered in the sweat shops of aspiring millionaires.
Dams and levees that collapse.
Coal fired economy that releases more mercury into the air in a single year than used in every light bulb in history.
Baby products tainted with poisonous lead.
Capitalism at its finest, small mom and pop businesses. And, what does the GOP and the conservatives want the U.S. to do? Become the next China! Bust unions, cut workers benefits, abolish taxes for corporations and millionaires, abolish Congress, continue to erode what ever is left of our human rights.
Latest real world story on the price of capitalism in China.
China has been probing thousands of cases of unlicensed mining and closing down the notoriously dangerous smaller mines in an attempt to reduce the number of deaths.
The problem is that even as small mines are being closed down, new ones are being opened at a rapid pace.
Small mines, defined as those with annual production below 300,000 tonnes, make up 82.9 percent of all mines under construction, officials have said.
China had set itself a target of slashing the number of smaller coal mines from the existing 24,000 to 10,000 by 2010.
But officials have acknowledged this goal is very unlikely to be met as new small mines are established, driven by strong demand and large profit margins, according to previous reports.
Coal currently accounts for some 70 percent of the nation’s primary energy consumption, more than 40 percentage points higher than the world average.
Friday, August 17, 2007
To maintain sanctions against Saddam cost the citizens of Iraq in many ways. To counter some of the hardships, members of the United Nations approved a humanitarian food program. Saddam could sell some oil for food, and only food.
However, over 3,000 companies within this humanitarian aid program, gave Saddam currency based kick backs worth millions of dollars.
Who got blamed by the GOP? The evil United Nations and Saddam!
Who should be blamed! The 3,000 corrupt and morally bankrupt companies, CEOs, and Board members.
At least one Texas oil man is getting his due. Well, maybe not all of it. Whatever was left over after making a few donations to the Bush Campaign, I'm sure.
Details on the story HERE and details on GOP Republican campaign contributions by David B. Chalmers at the FEC website.
Also details on Chalmers at this link. "Chalmers was a leading contributor to Republican political coffers prior to his indictment, according to FEC disclosure documents."
Republican family values, my butt