September 25, 2007 archive

The Morning News

The Morning News is an Open Thread


1 U.S. snipers accused of ‘baiting’ Iraqis
By PAULINE JELINEK and ROBERT BURNS, Associated Press Writers
34 minutes ago

WASHINGTON – Army snipers hunting insurgents in Iraq were under orders to “bait” their targets with suspicious materials, such as detonation cords, and then kill whoever picked up the items, according to the defense attorney for a soldier accused of planting evidence on an Iraqi he killed. Gary Myers, an attorney for Sgt. Evan Vela, said Monday his client had acted “pursuant to orders.”

“We believe that our client has done nothing more than he was instructed to do by superiors,” Myers said in a telephone interview.

Myers and Vela’s father, Curtis Carnahan of Idaho Falls, Idaho, said in separate interviews that sworn statements and testimony in the cases of two other accused Ranger snipers indicate that the Army has a classified program that encourages snipers to “bait” potential targets and then kill whoever takes the bait.

Pony Party, the piano

Animation:  The Piano

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

The muses are ancient.  The inspirations for our stories were said to be born from them.  Muses of song and dance, or poetry and prose, of comedy and tragedy, of the inward and the outward.  In one version they are Calliope, Euterpe and Terpsichore, Erato and Clio, Thalia and Melpomene, Polyhymnia and Urania.

It has also been traditional to name a tenth muse.  Plato declared Sappho to be the tenth muse, the muse of women poets.  Others have been suggested throughout the centuries.  I don’t have a name for one, but I do think there should be a muse for the graphical arts.  And maybe there should be many more.

Please join us inside to celebrate our various muses…

Bush Admin to Shoot Endangered Wolves

An urgent plea was just sent to a colleague from the National Resources Defense Council:

Tell the Bush Administration to Protect Gray Wolves!

We must stop the Bush Administration’s plan to declare open season on the wolves of Greater Yellowstone and central Idaho. If this plan is approved, Wyoming and Idaho intend to begin exterminating hundreds of gray wolves — by aerial gunning and other cruel methods — while they’re still on the endangered species list.


The signatures on earlier NRDC petitions helped to delay the hunt.  Now, the Bush Administration had moved to release the hunters by changing the wolves’ ratio to the surrounding animal populations as a way to bypass their endangered species designation. 

More below the jump…

Midnight Cowboying – Why I’ve Sided with Iran on the Nukes

There comes a time when you finally got to put on the other shoe and give it a whirl for a mile or two. Abstract reasoning, the crux of international diplomacy, has left the Bush Administration as quickly as a preacher caught in the whorehouse. Some question if it was ever there, with choices like Bolton for the UN or Baker actually defending Saudi Arabia against survivors of 9-11. But as we enter the era of regional power nuclear proliferation, we must stop for a second and be rational for moment. I come here to praise Iran, not to bury them.

US Snipers Use “Bait” to Attract Kills

Oh yeah this is just great. Evidently there is some kind of “classified” program where US snipers in Iraq will put out objects like weapons and detonation cord in the street, and then shoot whoever picks it up.

Well Good God people, if I were an Iraqi father and I saw a weapon or blasting caps in the street where some kids would pick them up and get hurt, you are damn right I would go pick that stuff up to get rid of it…

Except in BushCo’s Iraq…you get your brains blown out for being a good citizen and looking after the neighborhood kids.

Where in the hell did my country go?

What Did You Expect?

That’s the question one must ask concerning certain events and individuals when one considers past actions and statements.

Hillary to Sunday talk hosts …gotcha!

Some in the media are criticizing Hillary’s performance as displayed on the Sunday talk shows this past weekend. The primary criticism that I have heard is that she appeared on all five but made no news. In my mind, and I am sure in Hillary and her campaign’s, that makes for a successful day.

The Life Philosophy of an Atheist

Recently I’ve been having a very productive discussion with a friend of mine who is quite a devout born again Christian.  He has been open to reading some things I have suggested, including Sam Harris’s “Letter to a Christian Nation.”  My friend’s questions forced me to really think about and articulate my own personal life philosophy, one without any sort of god, but with definite moral codes.  My friend has been a strong supporter of the Iraq war and used to be a Bush supporter, but seems not to be anymore.  The fact he and I can have civil and productive exchanges says a lot about how our friendship has grown and trust and openness have developed.  I credit my friend to a large degree with this as he has been patient with my liberal rants many times and has been open to looking at things from a different angle. 

Below is some of our exchange.  I was hoping this would stimulate further conversation here.  I would love to hear your philosophy of life!

Waddya want on the next Saturday Night Bike Blogging?

Just a quick query.

I’m heading into work tomorrow, which probably means I’ll have work the balance of the week. So, of course, with a full work day and almost two hour cycle commute each way (Jesus H. Christ, would you stop whinging already, McF?), I likely won’t have time to blog again until the weekend.

Which gives plenty of time to collect info. What do you want in the next Saturday Night Bike Blogging? Take the poll and/or add a comment. I’ll check it out on Friday evening, and get cogitating.

What is your speciality?

Original thinking or secondary research?

Many of the web blogs that I follow are of a type wherein their contributors excel in reading various media reports, the output of other sources, blogs, etc. Often it is a practice on such blogs for an author to transcribe large portions of another’s work and lace it together with fairly innocuous, segue remarks …usually, a sentence or two of little original content. While this may be a service to those who are unable to find original articles for themselves, the procedure adds little to original thinking.


The Locker Room


So, in the AL, 3 teams have already clinched their playoff spots, with the Angels and Indians already clinching their respective divisions.  The Red Sox also have a ticket to the after-party, though the Yankees are only 1.5 games back.  It is beyond the mechanizations of my helmet-holder to understand why the Yankees haven’t statistically clinched a spot yet….but so say the websites.  It looks like a lock to me.

The NL has a wider range of possibilities and no teams have clinched yet.  Right now the Mets, Cubs, and D-backs are sitting atop their respective divisions, but none are more than 3.5 games up on their nearest rival.  The Mets are the only of these playing today (probably right now, depending on when you read this).  The wildcard race is also tight, and any of the current division leaders could end up in that mix, though it doesn’t seem likely.  It looks like a runoff between San Diego and Philly; San Diego has a half-game lead and a game in hand (which they play tonight).

(edit/update: the mets lost to washington 13-4; San Fran is up 7-4 on San Diego in the 5th)

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