October 8, 2007 archive

Something else for US to ignore

Today, the Oxford Research Group, a think tank based in Britain that advocates peaceful conflict resolution, released a report that concluded —

The “War on Terror” failed and has only fueled al Qaeda and other militant Islamic movements.

Another day, another report for the U.S. traditional media and Congress to ignore. After all, Paul Rogers, the author of the report is just a professor of global peace studies at Bradford University in northern England.

Peace. Bleah. Who needs it?

I’m Done

I just read a comment in Buhdy’s diary from my good friend CD.

I’m done…

Guido’s Health Care

Massachusetts now requires health insurance.  If this is not unconstitutional it should be.  People without insurance of course don’t do their patriotic fair share in supporting the big pharma industry.  All this is going to mean though is a rapid downslide of an ever increasing list of not covered “procedures”.

It’s “open enrollment” time at work.  In the past representatives of the prospective health insurers would come to the workplace to explain their benefits.  This year it’s down to a read the intranet page and then click on the black hole of computing benefit selctions page.  We are down to Guido’s health care.

This year I found the company benefit selection page most profane and offensive.  They tout your “opportunity” to set up an account, which you have no control over, in order to pay for medical expenses.
The second part goes on to extoll the virtues of preventive medicine and actually states “only 1/3 went to the doctors for annual checkups”.
Yes, I did save the pdf file.  Let me illustrate the point here clearly.  The company said only 1/3 of you went to the doctor for an annual checkup.
In general with every word in this health brochure I can envision the focus group of evil HR minions agonizing over each and every word trying to make a turd look like a silver spoon.

Oh, I see, that must mean this is total bullshit right?
Privacy of medical records?  I didn’t authorized the company to ask my doctor if I went last year.  The marriage of the most Satanic memes in business are now going to be coupled to and reinforced through government.
You will buy our crappy insurance, take our unproven drugs and if you go blind as a side effect tough shit.

Now when I get fired for being a Deek, I’ll post the entire pdf and more here.

How’s your health “insurance”, watch as in time it’s going to wither away into corporate nothingness, kind of like dealing with the IRS or your cell phone “plan”.

Four at Four

This is an OPEN THREAD. Here are four stories in the news at 4 o’clock to get you started.

  1. Another day, another report on how the Bush administration is helping al Qaeda. Reuters reports Report says war on terror is fueling al Qaeda. “The ‘war on terror’ is failing and instead fueling an increase in support for extremist Islamist movements” according to a report by the Oxford Research Group (ORG).

    If the al Qaeda movement is to be countered, then the roots of its support must be understood and systematically undercut,” said Paul Rogers, the report’s author and professor of global peace studies at Bradford University in northern England.

    “Combined with conventional policing and security measures, al Qaeda can be contained and minimized but this will require a change in policy at every level.”

    He described the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq as a “disastrous mistake” which had helped establish a “most valued jihadist combat training zone” for al Qaeda supporters.

    The report recommends immediate redeployment from Iraq and intensifying diplomacy in the region, including with Iran and Syria. Rogers said it will take “at least 10 years to make up for the mistakes made since 9/11.

    “Going to war with Iran”, he said, “will make matters far worse, playing directly into the hands of extreme elements and adding greatly to the violence across the region. Whatever the problems with Iran, war should be avoided at all costs.”

    I suspect no one will pay any attention to this study because the author is a professor of peace studies and thinks “war should be avoided at all costs”. BBC News reports on the ORG study as well, covering the same ground, but adds the “report said al-Qaeda had benefited from the removal of the Taleban regime in Afghanistan by coalition forces. The terror network got a propaganda boost from the extraordinary rendition and detention of terrorism suspects, it said.” Any bets on if we’ll see any mention of this report from the traditional media in America?

  2. Some Iraqi leaders have given up trying to reconcile their difference. Joshua Partlow reports for the Washington Post that Top Iraqis pull back from key U.S. goal.

    Iraqi leaders argue that sectarian animosity is entrenched in the structure of their government. Instead of reconciliation, they now stress alternative and perhaps more attainable goals: streamlining the government bureaucracy, placing experienced technocrats in positions of authority and improving the dismal record of providing basic services…

    Legislation to manage the oil sector, the country’s most valuable natural resource, and to bring former Baath Party members back into the government have not made it through the divided parliament. The U.S. military’s latest hope for grass-roots reconciliation, the recruitment of Sunni tribesmen into the Iraqi police force, was denounced last week in stark terms by Iraq’s leading coalition of Shiite lawmakers.

    Oh, and no one could have predicted the following when the U.S. military began arming locals to “fight” “al Qaeda in Iraq”.

    Some potential progress toward reconciliation has run into recent trouble. The U.S. effort to recruit Sunni tribesmen to join the police force and fight the insurgent group al-Qaeda in Iraq was strongly opposed last week by Shiite officials, who asserted that the Sunni recruits were killing innocent people under the guise of fighting insurgents.

    “We demand that the American administration stop this adventure, which is rejected by all the sons of the people and its national political powers,” the leading Shiite political coalition said in a statement. “Their elements are criminals who cannot be trusted or relied upon.”

Four at Four continues below the fold with stories on:

  1. Today’s “Guns of Greed” starring Blackwater CEO Erik Prince as Bruce Wayne, er Batman.

  2. Ocean wave energy generation in the Pacific Northwest.

Plus a bonus story about Mad Max’s Wind Farm in Australia. So jump below the fold, the Bat-Signal is on.


This is not about anything in particular, it’s just a story.

Years ago, I got mice in my house. It was a cold, wet winter, and I live by a stream, and they discovered a place that was warm and dry. They invited themselves in. They sometimes left tiny packages for me to clean up. I sometimes spied them scurrying around, at night. One startled a woman I was getting to know. She was pretty cute. The mice were becoming annoying.

Dispatches From The Abyss: Metabyss

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

h/t to Boise Lib, and yes, I know it is not a pic of the Abyss. If you have one, please fwd it!

Chief Gitmo Prosecutor Quits

Air Force Col. Morris Davis, the Chief Prosecutor for Guantanamo Bay military tribunals has resigned:

MIAMI — The chief prosecutor for the Guantanamo military commissions has resigned, raising the prospect of further delays in the Bush administration’s six-year effort to bring prisoners in the war on terrorism to trial.

The Pentagon confirmed Friday that Air Force Col. Morris Davis, a steadfast supporter of the controversial detention and judicial processes at the U.S. Naval Base in southern Cuba, had asked to be relieved of his duties. Defense Department spokeswoman Cynthia Smith said a successor has yet to be named.

Davis’ resignation reportedly stems from a dispute with Air Force Brig. Gen. Thomas Hartmann over Hartman’s authority to control Davis’ prosecutorial decisions.

Davis, a veteran military lawyer who had served in the position for at least two years, lately had chafed under the second-guessing and micromanaging of Air Force Brig. Gen. Thomas Hartmann, who this summer became legal advisor to the tribunal convening authority, an attorney general-like post.

Hartmann has urged the prosecution to move forward with trials of the “high-value” detainees rather than try smaller fish in the pool for whom prosecutors have more convincing evidence and better-prepared cases. The prosecution was prodded to proceed on those cases before all the commissions’ procedural codes were adopted and legal challenges had been worked out.

The 16 “high-value” suspects, including accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, were transferred there from secret CIA prisons a year ago.

The only ‘conviction’ the Gitmo star chamber has managed to procure so far has been the embarrassing plea agreement last March with Australian Thomas Hicks.  Davis, who recommended a long sentence for Hicks, was reportedly unhappy about Hartman’s politically motivated intervention that forced Hick’s early release. (Hicks remains under a gag order about his treatment at Gitmo, an order conveniently timed to expire after the Aussie Federal elections.)

On the heels of the Hicks embarrassment, as well as continuing legal challenges to the Constitutionality of the whole sordid enterprise, the Bushies know they need a big win to salvage the viability of their extraterritorial star chamber. Yet the only defendant currently awaiting trial is 21 year old Canadian, Omar Khadr, accused of fragging a US Army medic in Afganistan in 2002 when he was 15.

While true believer Col. Davis may have thought he was doing God’s work in prosecuting this ‘small fry’ for alleged crimes committed as a teenager, Gen. Hartman understands the Rovian reality that the Gitmo tribunals are strictly exercises in political expediency, and that prosecuting a 9/11 patsy has far more propaganda value than prosecuting a lowly child grunt.  If Davis doesn’t get that, reasons Hartman, then Davis obviously isn’t the right man for the Chief Prosecutor’s job.

Bottom line: With Davis now out of the way, expect Khadr’s trial to be put on the back burner while the new prosecutor (yet to be named) gears up for a big, Gitmo show trial of the alleged 9/11 ‘mastermind’.  Assuming the Bushies remain true to form, expect this new ‘Terror Trial’ to begin somewhere around the time of the Democratic National Convention.

Tie the cost of everything to the cost of Iraq

Well, not everything – but at this point, it is about time that even the most timid of Democrats can use the out of control amount of money being dumped into Iraq as a sledgehammer for just how much of a trade off Americans have had to (or will have to) make with respect to Iraq

Since there is such a low percentage of people in this country who are actually making a sacrifice for this failed ploy at world domination, unless Americans see the stark numbers of where their tax dollars (and their children’s tax dollars) are going to, and all of the much needed and neglected services they are no longer getting, all of the opinion polls about the growing percentage of people who want funding for Iraq cut or want our troops out of Iraq won’t matter at all.

Pony Party: Thanksgiving

Light Emitting Pickle here to bring you the most recent open thread. First, a few words about Pickle Pony Parties:

Please do not recommend a Pony Party when you see one.  There will be another along in a few hours.

Advertising OUTRAGE!

So here I was, sitting down with my bowl of Kashi and organic soy milk, ready to read one of my favorite PROGRESSIVE blogs and what do I find in the advertising section but THIS!

Fred Thompson ’08

Fred Thompson is running for President. Share your support at www.Fred08.com

What’s Going on in Iraq?

Get an In-depth Understanding of the Dynamics of the War in Iraq

Retire on US Gov loophole

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Thompson for President?

Is he your leading candidate? Vote now in this urgent poll.

TWO (count ’em) TWO ads for Fred Thompson, ReTHUGlican presidential candidate, one at the hateful NewsMax, another for Moonie owned UPI, and finally some kind of Amway late night infomercial pyramid scheme (it can hardly be anything else given it’s companions).

I am outraged!

ek hornbeck- delete my fucking account!

Request for Information

I received a sneaked phone call yesterday from a person really in need.  He is one of my daughter’s friends.  He is gay.  He will be eighteen in January and has been under house arrest since he came out to his parents two years ago meaning no use of HIS car, no seeing friends outside of school, no cell phone and no unsupervised phone use.  He graduated high school when he was a junior and he is starting at the junior college in January but he’s really university material.  His grandfather is a fundy minister here 🙁

Pony Party, NFL Roundup

For more widgets please visit www.yourminis.com

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