Thursday, June 30, 2005

A couple of books coming...

From Publishers Lunch:

Foreign Service officer Judith Heimann's THE AIRMEN AND THE HEADHUNTERS, about a group of American soldiers shot down over Japanese-occupied Borneo during World War II, rescued in the jungle by blowpipe-carrying Dayak tribesmen, who risked torture and death to take the airmen under their protection, eventually helped them return home, and formed their own tribal army that played a pivotal role in liberating one of the Japanese Army's last strongholds, to Andrea Schulz at Harcourt, for publication in spring 2007, in a pre-empt, by Eric Simonoff of Janklow & Nesbit (world).

Hal Vaughan's FDR'S TWELVE APOSTLES: The Vanguard of Gentlemen Spies for the Invasion of North Africa, recounting the secret mission of a dozen Ivy League bluebloods who served in Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia and navigated a web of espionage and treachery through the casbahs and souks to pave the way for Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa, to Rob Kirkpatrick at Lyons Press, in a nice deal by Ed Knappman of New England Publishing Associates (world). ed@nepa.com

Journalist Daniel Kalder's LOST COSMONAUT, in which this self-proclaimed anti-tourist travels to countries where no one else wants to go, weaving a narrative full of history, peculiar places, and even stranger people, to Brant Rumble at Scribner, by Emma Parry at Fletcher & Parry.

Professor of marine biology at the University of Liverpool and author (dubbed "Bill Bryson underwater") Trevor Norton's UNDERWATER TO GET OUT OF THE RAIN, an account of a lifetime love affair with the sea, mixing eccentric salty characters, the mythic lore of sea creatures, and humorous misadventures with marine science, to Merloyd Lawrence at Merloyd Lawrence Books/Da Capo, for publication in spring 2006, by Century/Random UK (US).lissa.warren@perseusbooks.com

Young polymathic scientist Adrian Woolfson's IMMORTALITY AND THE ART OF LIVING WELL. about our hunger for immortality and the disastrous consequences of its achievement, drawing on science, philosophy and history to describe humanity's deepest fantasy: that death might somehow be deniable, to Toby Mundy at Atlantic Books, for publication in early 2007, by David Godwin at David Godwin Associates (world).louisebrice@groveatlantic.co.uk
Wrap...

Time mag obeys the Court...

June 30, 2005
Time Inc. Statement on Handing Over Documents

Following is a statement from Norman Pearlstine, Editor in Chief of Time Inc., regarding the decision to hand over documents in the investigation of the leak of a C.I.A. operative's name.

"The First Amendment guarantees freedom of the press, including the right to gather information of interest to the public and, where necessary, to protect the confidentiality of sources.

Time Inc. believes in that guarantee. That is why we have supported from the outset the efforts of Time magazine reporter Matt Cooper in resisting the Special Counsel's attempts to obtain information regarding Mr. Cooper's confidential sources. Time Inc. and Mr. Cooper have fought this case all the way from the district court to the Supreme Court of the United States.
In this particular case, where national security and the role of a grand jury have been at issue, the Supreme Court chose to let stand the district court's order requiring Time Inc. and Mr. Cooper to comply with the Special Counsel's subpoenas. It did so after the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia affirmed that order.

In declining to review the important issues presented by this case, we believe that the Supreme Court has limited press freedom in ways that will have a chilling effect on our work and that may damage the free flow of information that is so necessary in a democratic society. It may also encourage excesses by overzealous prosecutors.

It is unfortunate that the Supreme Court has left uncertain what protections the First Amendment and the federal common law provide journalists and their confidential sources.
It is also worth noting that many foreign governments, including China, Venezuela, and Cameroon, to name a few, refer to U.S. contempt rulings when seeking to justify their own restrictive press laws.

Despite these concerns, Time Inc. shall deliver the subpoenaed records to the Special Counsel in accordance with its duties under the law. The same Constitution that protects the freedom of the press requires obedience to final decisions of the courts and respect for their rulings and judgments. That Time Inc. strongly disagrees with the courts provides no immunity. The innumerable Supreme Court decisions in which even Presidents have followed orders with which they strongly disagreed evidences that our nation lives by the rule of law and that none of us is above it.

We believe that our decision to provide the Special Prosecutor with the subpoenaed records obviates the need for Matt Cooper to testify and certainly removes any justification for incarceration.

Time Inc.'s decision doesn't represent a change in our philosophy, nor does it reflect a departure from our belief in the need for confidential sources. It does reflect a response to a profound departure from the practice of federal prosecutors when this case is compared with other landmark cases involving confidentiality over the past 30 years. Since the days of Attorney General John Mitchell, the Justice Department has sought confidential sources from reporters as a last resort, not as an easy option. Neither Archibald Cox, the Watergate Special Prosecutor, nor Judge John Sirica sought to force the Washington Post or its reporters to reveal the identity of "Deep Throat," the prized confidential source.
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This was truly a tough decision to make, but when the Supreme Court rules against you, that settles it, regardless.
Wrap.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Combat vet on Bush's speech..

From www.optruth.org ... and being combat vets, they know what they're talking about...and they did not appreciate Bush's speech last night:

The President's Speech, or The Live Bait Approach to National Security
Re: the speech last night.

His speech says basically "we were attacked on 9/11 and so we went to war." And then he goes on to "we're fighting terrorists in Iraq." But it's like, woah. Wait a second. They weren't there before we fucked it up. That's an important point that needs to be addressed. And he loses credibility by not doing so.

It's like assaulting a building because you're convinced WMD-wielding terrorists are there and want to kill you, discovering there's nothing there but a big warehouse full of newspapers, accidentally lighting the newspapers on fire, and then when people ask what the fuck you're doing in the building in the first place answering, "putting out the fire."

That shit may be convincing if you just arrived on the scene, but we saw the whole thing go down up close and in person.

And I've just never been a big fan of the "live bait" theory of national security. That being that it's better to send volunteer Americans to a target range in the middle east so they can be killed there rather so that non-volunteer Americans don't get killed on our own soil. If we're going to be sending Americans to a war that WE start, it had better have a pretty damn good, well-thought-out strategic objective from start to finish, and I don't think that standard was met. I'm furious every time I hear some asshole say "it's better for Americans to die overseas than here at home." To paraphrase someone much more famous than me, the point of combat is not to die for your country, it's to make the other poor bastard die for HIS country.

That being said, the President is obviously right. We ARE being attacked by terrorists in Iraq now, thanks to our own piss-poor planning. And we do have to defeat the terrorists and it is, to some extent, nice to have them all in one central location so we can kill them there. But that assumes that the guys that are showing up in Iraq are terrorists who have been diverted from operations elsewhere (like our own CIA and other spooky operatives) rather than new recruits who were recruited on the basis of the invasion itself. Unfortunately, the available evidence seems to indicate that our presence in the region is manufacturing plenty of local (though not necessarily Iraqi) insurgent recruits so that operatives elsewhere can continue work as usual, and THAT is not a strategic objective that is worth our effort, in my opinion.
Wrap...

Former FBI is gonna run!

FBI Whistle-Blower to Run for Congress
By Frederic J. Frommer
The Associated Press
Tuesday 28 June 2005

Washington - Former FBI whistle-blower Coleen Rowley will run for Congress as a Democrat in Minnesota's 2nd Congressional District, where she hopes to knock off GOP Rep. John Kline.

"I'm concerned about the direction of the country," Rowley said in a telephone interview Tuesday. "We have done things that have made us less safe, among them the Iraq invasion and the loss of our allies and the moral high ground in international affairs."

Rowley, 50, was named one of Time magazine's Persons of the Year for 2002 after writing a critical memo on FBI intelligence failures.

She had sought a seat this year on the new Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, designed to ensure that government actions in the war on terror do not infringe on people's rights. But when President Bush appointed members of the board earlier this month, Rowley's name was not on the list. She said that was a factor in deciding to run for Congress.

Rowley will face an uphill campaign in a conservative district that Kline won by 16 percentage points last year. Also, Kline's opponent in that race, Teresa Daly, might run again. Daly did not return phone messages Tuesday, but her 2004 campaign manager, Darin Broton, said, "If I was betting, I'd say she will run."

Rowley said the district's conservatism would play to some of her strengths.
"I'm also quite conservative in many respects," she said. "I'm fiscally conservative, and conservative on law-enforcement-type issues."

Rowley, who retired from the FBI last year, said Kline has voted too much in lockstep with the Bush administration. "A congressman should be independent-minded," she said.

Kline spokeswoman Angelyn Shapiro declined to comment on Rowley, saying the congressman was focused on his work.
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I appreciate someone who will speak up when bad things are being done. Hope she runs and wins!
Wrap...

As California goes...

Poll: Majority of Californians Do Not Want Schwarzenegger Re-elected
Last Updated:06-29-05 at 7:57AM

A majority of California voters do not want to see Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger re-elected, according to the latest poll showing the Republican's political appeal sliding.The nonpartisan Field Poll of registered voters found that just 39 percent said they were inclined to give Schwarzenegger a second term, while 57 percent were not. As recently as February, the numbers were almost reversed, with 56 percent saying they were inclined to re-elect Schwarzenegger and just 42 percent were not.

A series of polls released by Field researchers indicates Schwarzenegger has lost considerable ground among voters in recent months. The drop in the governor's popularity has coincided with his push for a fall special election for voters to consider several ballot measures aimed at curbing the power of Democrats and public employee unions in state government.Earlier installments of the poll have shown that Schwarzenegger's job approval ratings have tumbled amid voters expressing skepticism about the special election and tepid support for his ballot measures.

Schwarzenegger has repeatedly said he would favor negotiating an agreement with legislators over the ballot measures that could avert a contentious showdown in the fall. Still, the findings released Wednesday show that Schwarzenegger has fallen out of favor with almost every major demographic group. The governor still enjoys considerable support among Republican voters, with 71 percent saying they were inclined to re-elect him.

But the poll found that 83 percent of Democrats, who form the majority of the state's registered voters, would oppose a second term, as would 61 percent of independent voters. Solid majorities of Hispanic voters and women also say they do not want to see the governor re-elected."

This is a definite turn away from the governor," Field Poll director Mark DiCamillo said. "It's fallen so far, so fast and in a very broad-based way." Todd Harris, a Schwarzenegger political adviser who is working on the special election campaign, said the poll results on a distant would-be election didn't concern him."It's June of '05 and they're talking about November '06," Harris said. "I'm not exactly losing sleep over a poll that asks voters about a hypothetical ballot matchup that is 17 months away."

Schwarzenegger has not yet announced whether he plans to seek a second term.The poll found that the governor's sagging political fortunes have bolstered the status of two Democrats who have announced they are running for governor. In hypothetical one-on-one matchups, the poll found that voters would chose state Treasurer Phil Angelides or Controller Steve Westly over Schwarzenegger.

However, the poll found voters would favor the former action movie star over two other well-known Hollywood faces, director Rob Reiner and actor Warren Beatty. Both are active in Californina politics but have not signaled any intention to run for governor.The poll of 711 registered voters was conducted from June 13 to June 19 and had a sampling error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.
Wrap.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Eminent Domain...take Justice Souter's house!

Whoa! Well, you know what they say.."What's good for the gander, is good for the goose." Read on:

Press Release
For Release Monday, June 27 to New Hampshire media
For Release Tuesday, June 28 to all other media
Weare, New Hampshire (PRWEB)

Could a hotel be built on the land owned by Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter? A new ruling by the Supreme Court which was supported by Justice Souter himself itself might allow it. A private developer is seeking to use this very law to build a hotel on Souter's land.

Justice Souter's vote in the "Kelo vs. City of New London" decision allows city governments to take land from one private owner and give it to another if the government will generate greater tax revenue or other economic benefits when the land is developed by the new owner.

On Monday June 27, Logan Darrow Clements, faxed a request to Chip Meany the code enforcement officer of the Towne of Weare, New Hampshire seeking to start the application process to build a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road. This is the present location of Mr. Souter's home.

Clements, CEO of Freestar Media, LLC, points out that the City of Weare will certainly gain greater tax revenue and economic benefits with a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road than allowing Mr. Souter to own the land.The proposed development, called "The Lost Liberty Hotel" will feature the "Just Desserts Café" and include a museum, open to the public, featuring a permanent exhibit on the loss of freedom in America. Instead of a Gideon's Bible each guest will receive a free copy of Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged."

Clements indicated that the hotel must be built on this particular piece of land because it is a unique site being the home of someone largely responsible for destroying property rights for all Americans.

"This is not a prank" said Clements, "The Towne of Weare has five people on the Board of Selectmen. If three of them vote to use the power of eminent domain to take this land from Mr. Souter we can begin our hotel development."

Clements' plan is to raise investment capital from wealthy pro-liberty investors and draw up architectural plans. These plans would then be used to raise investment capital for the project. Clements hopes that regular customers of the hotel might include supporters of the Institute For Justice and participants in the Free State Project among others.
# # #
Logan Darrow ClementsFreestar Media, LLC
Phone 310-593-4843
logan@freestarmedia.com
http://www.freestarmedia.com
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Molly has her say...

...and I do delight in what she has to say about the San Diego Union Tribune...a Copley paper...run by Repubs who will swallow anything BushCo shoves in their mouths:


Molly Ivins:
Beware of Bush's efforts to boost public support for Iraq war
By Molly Ivins
Published 2:15 am PDT Tuesday, June 28, 2005
AUSTIN, Texas --

The first thing I ever learned about politics was never to let anyone else define what you believe, or what you are for or against. I think for myself.
I am not "you liberals" or "you people on the left who always ..." My name is Molly Ivins, and I can speak for myself, thank you. I don't need Rush Limbaugh or Karl Rove to tell me what I believe.

Setting up a straw man, calling it liberal and then knocking it down has become a favorite form of "argument" for those on the right. Make some ridiculous claim about what "liberals" think, and then demonstrate how silly it is. Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly and many other right-wing ravers never seem to get tired of this old game. If I had a nickel for every idiotic thing I've ever heard those on the right claim "liberals" believe, I'd be richer than Bill Gates.

The latest and most idiotic statement yet comes from Karl Rove, who is not, actually, an objective observer. He is George Bush's hatchet man. Last week, Rove, in an address to the Conservative Party of New York, made the following claim: "Conservatives saw the savagery of 9-11 in the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9-11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers."

This seemed to the editorial writers at the San Diego Union-Tribune such a reasonable summary of the liberal position they couldn't figure out why Democrats were "hyperventilating" and getting "bent out of shape."
"What is harder to understand is how Democrats can think they can have it both ways," they wrote. "Even as they beat their chests and profess support for military action, they can't help but criticize the military and do everything they can to undermine the war effort."

What a deep mystery. Let's see if we can help the San Diego thinkers solve it.

On Sept. 14, 2001, Congress approved a resolution authorizing the president to take military action. The vote in the Senate was 98 to zero; the vote in the House was 420 to one. The lone dissenter was Democrat Barbara Lee of California, who expressed qualms about an open-ended war without a clear target.

Find me the offer for therapy and understanding in that vote. Anyone remember what actually happened after 9-11? Unprecedented unity, support across the board, joint statements by Democratic and Republican political leaders. The whole world was with us. The most important newspaper in France headlined, "We Are All Americans Now," and all our allies sent troops and money to help. That is what George Bush has pissed away with his war in Iraq.

The vote on invading Iraq was 77 to 23 in the Senate and 296 to 133 in the House. By that time, some liberals did question the wisdom of invasion because: A) Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11 and B) it looked increasingly unlikely that Iraq actually had great stores of weapons of mass destruction, since the United Nations inspectors, who were on the ground, couldn't find any sign of them -- even though Donald Rumsfeld claimed we knew exactly where they were.

Since my name is Molly Ivins and I speak for myself, I'll tell you exactly why I opposed invading Iraq: because I thought it would be bad for this country, our country, my country. I opposed the invasion out of patriotism, and that is the reason I continue to oppose it today -- I think it is bad for us. I think it has done nothing but harm to the United States of America. I think we have created more terrorists than we faced to start with and that our good name has been sullied all over the world. I think we have alienated our allies and have killed more Iraqis than Saddam Hussein ever did.

I did not oppose the war because I like Saddam Hussein. I have been active in human rights work for 30 years, and I told you he was a miserable s.o.b. back in the '80s, when our government was sending him arms.

I did not oppose the war because I am soft on terrorists or didn't want to get Osama bin Laden. To the contrary, I thought it would be much more useful to get bin Laden than to invade Iraq -- which, once again, had nothing to do with 9-11. I believe the case now stands proved that this administration used 9-11 as a handy excuse to invade Iraq, which it already wanted to do for other reasons.

It is one thing for a political knife-fighter like Karl Rove to impugn the patriotism of people who disagree with him: We have seen this same crappy tactic before, just as we have seen administration officials use 9-11 for political purposes again and again. But how many times are the media going to let them get away with it?

The first furious assault on the patriotism of Democrats came right after the 9-11 commission learned President Bush had received a clear warning in August 2001 that Osama bin Laden was planning a hijacking.

Batten down the hatches: This is the beginning of an administration push to jack up public support for the war in Iraq by attacking anyone with enough sense to raise questions about how it's going.
Wrap...

The real Christians stand up!

An excerpt...to read the rest, click on the "Christian Alliance for Progress" link below:

A new, well-organized religious group has emerged. And guess what: It actually supports Christian values.
By Rob GarverWeb Exclusive: 06.24.05

Deep in the heart of the reddest county in a red state, a new grass-roots movement is taking shape that means to break the religious right’s hold on the rhetoric of Christianity by developing a network of activists on the “Christian left” that can be mobilized to support progressive causes.

Founded by Jacksonville, Florida, businessman Patrick Mrotek, the Christian Alliance for Progress (CAP) says its purpose is the “reclaim” the Christian faith from the extreme religious right.

The Reverend Timothy F. Simpson, a Presbyterian minister and the group’s director of religious affairs, said in an interview Wednesday that the Christian left has for too long allowed the Christian right to be the public face of his religion in America. “The language of our faith has been placed in the service of policy ends that don’t reflect the Gospel, and we have become deeply troubled over that,” he said.

The Christian right, he says, in the persons of Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and James Dobson, has come to stand for bigotry, intolerance, and division. Simpson says that his organization will try to repair the damage done by the right’s insistence that the United States is a “Christian nation” that ought to be governed according to their narrow interpretation of Scripture.
“I understand that the truth can be spoken by Muslims, and the truth can be spoken by Jews. The truth can be spoken by atheists,” said Simpson. “And listen: An atheist who stands for the interests of the neighbor, an atheist who stands for the interests of poor people at the margins, for the oppressed, is worth more than a hundred Christians who have made their bed with the fat cats, because that atheist is actually articulating the ends of the kingdom of God.”
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That's tellin' 'em!
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An honorable man...

...from Eugene, OR:

June 26, 2005
Guest Viewpoint: The party's over for betrayed Republican
By James Chaney

As of today, after 25 years, I am no longer a Republican.
I take this step with deep regret, and with a deep sense of betrayal.
I still believe in the vast power of markets to inspire ideas, motivate solutions and eliminate waste. I still believe in international vigilance and a strong defense, because this world will always be home to people who will avidly seek to take or destroy what we have built as a nation. I still believe in the protection of individuals and businesses from the influence and expense of an over-involved government. I still believe in the hand-in-hand concepts of separation of church and state and absolute freedom to worship, in the rights of the states to govern themselves without undo federal interference, and in the host of other things that defined me as a Republican.
My problem is this: I believe in principles and ideals which my party has systematically discarded in the last 10 years.
My Republican Party was the party of Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Barry Goldwater, and George H.W. Bush. It was a party of honesty and accountability. It was a party of tolerance, and practicality and honor. It was a party that faced facts and dealt with reality, and that crafted common-sense solutions to problems based on the facts as they were, not as we wished them to be, or even worse, as we made them up. It was a party that told the truth, even when the truth came hard. And now, it is none of those things.
Fifty years from now, the Republican Party of this era will be judged by how we provided for the nation's future on three core issues: how we led the world on the environment, how we minded the business of running our country in such a way that we didn't go bankrupt, and whether we gracefully accepted our place on the world's stage as its only superpower. Sadly, we have built the foundation for dismal failure on all three counts. And we've done it in such a way that we shouldn't be surprised if neither the American people nor the world ever trusts us again.
My party has repeatedly ignored, discarded and even invented science to suit its needs, most spectacularly as to global warming. We have an opportunity and the responsibility to lead the world on this issue, but instead we've chosen greed, shortsightedness and deliberate ignorance.
We have mortgaged the country's fiscal future in a way that no Democratic Congress or administration ever did, and to justify the tax cuts that brought us here, we've simply changed the rules. I matured as a Republican believing that uncontrolled deficit spending is harmful and irresponsible; I still do. But the party has yet to explain to me why it's a good thing now, other than to say "... because we say so."
Our greatest failure, though, has been in our role as superpower. This world needs justice, democracy and compassion, and as the keystone of those things, it needs one thing above all else: truth.
Republican decisions made in 2002 and 2003 have killed almost 2,000 of the most capable patriots our country has to offer - volunteers, every one. Support for those decisions was gathered through what appeared at the time to be spin and marketing, but which now turns out to have been deliberate planning and falsehood. The Blair government's internal documentation only confirms what has been suspected for years: Americans are dying every day for Republican lies first crafted in 2002, expanded and embellished upon in 2003, and which continue to this day. This calculated deception is now burned into the legacy of the party, every bit as much as Reagan's triumph in the Cold War, or Nixon's disgrace over Watergate.
I could go on and on - about how we have compromised our international integrity by sanctioning torture, about how we are systematically dismantling the civil liberties that it took us two centuries to define and preserve, and about how we have substituted bullying, brinksmanship and "staying on message" for real political discourse - but those three issues are enough.
We're poisoning our planet through gluttony and ignorance.
We're teetering on the brink of self-inflicted insolvency.
We're selfishly and needlessly sacrificing the best of a generation.
And we're lying about it.
While it has compiled this record of failure and deception, the party which I'm leaving today has spent its time, energy and political capital trying to save Terri Schiavo, battling the threat of single-sex unions, fighting medical marijuana and physician-assisted suicide, manufacturing political crises over presidential nominees, and selling privatized Social Security to an America that isn't buying. We fiddle while Rome burns.
Enough is enough. I quit.
James Chaney is a Eugene attorney who has been in private practice for more than 20 years, and who has been a registered Republican since 1980.
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The one and only Driftglass!

...can be found at http://driftglass.blogspot.com He, like Mark Garrity, has a few stringent things to say to the young Republicans. Here's a sample. Go to link above for the rest:

We notice tens.

So when I noticed that the most conservative estimate of number of soldiers wounded in Iraq had topped 13,000 it caught my attention in different way than that tragic number had in the past. Because as understandably hard as it is to get a definitive number for the troops deployed in Iraq, and as tricky as it is to pin down exactly what we’re calling a casualty this week and how we’re tallying it, the fact is, we’ve got 130,000 troops in Iraq – give or take – and we’ve got 13,000 wounded – give or take.Which means we’re at ten percent, or will be very soon.

Ten percent. A nice, easy-to-remember number, ten-percent. Sorta just rooooolls of the tongue, doesn’t it? Something for our petit Chickenhawk Republicans Reagan Youth to think about at their next kegger, while they’re doing beer bongs and lines of coke off each others pasty asses.

And “wounded” doesn’t mean nicked yourself shaving, or sliced a thumb doing watermelon shooters. If you serve in Iraq, it means you stand a one-in-ten chance of losing an eye, or a leg, or having your chest smashed open by shrapnel. At the next Junior GOP bash, look around the room at a hundred of your closest friends slobbing all over each other and braying about the Ascendant Glory that is the brave, brave Republican Party that sends the Underclasses off to die so that the Uberclasses can party like flappers and bootleggers in the upholstered comfort of Mommy’s well-appointed basement.

Because in Iraq, ten of them would be bleeding out from a belly wound all over that nice genuine Hopi rug and the fake Italian leather couch. In Iraq, ten of them would be reeling in numb shock, wondering where their arm went. In Iraq, ten of them would be on a chopper, trying to breathe with scalded lungs. In Iraq, ten of them would be screaming for their mothers and shitting themselves in terror. And with over 1,700 soldiers KIA, in Iraq, two of them would be dead. So why the Coleridge poem? Because it’s you who killed the albatross, Young Republicans motherfuckers, and it is around your necks this stinking war now hangs.

It’s your turn to go face the wraith that you turned loose. In other words…“It is an Insurgent Warrior, And he woundeth one of ten. To face his long beard and glittering eye, Now it’s your turn, Barbie and Ken!”

This is the war you wanted, Young Republicans. This is the war you begged for and celebrate. This is the war you didn’t care was sold with lies, as long as you got to conquer by proxy and kill by remote control. But now your war isn’t going so good, Young Republicans, and the President you overwhelmingly supported so that he could continue to prosecute your optional war exactly as you wanted it done needs you to serve.

Talking-time is over, Young Republicans. The War God you elected is still hungry. He demands a sacrifice of flesh: without it, your dreams of PNAC Global Empire will be lost forever. So step up, join up and go to Iraq, Young Republicans. Do it now, because we will never, ever let you forget it if you don’t. Do it now, Young Republicans, do it now. Because if you don't, you will be invited, forever and always, to…
01100111 0110111100100000 01100110 01110101 0110001101101011 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101 01110011 01100101 01101100 01110110 01100101 01110011
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I want to know...

1. What happened to Cheney and where the hell is he?

2. Why are flags at government buildings flying at half mast?

Wrap.

Get drunk on Bush...

If I could bear to see him or listen to him, I'd watch...but since I'm not about to look at or hear him, I'll leave it to those honest souls among us to report on just how many lies, spins, variations on the truth, exaggerations, etc he comes up with:

The Bush Speech Drinking Game
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t Perspective
Tuesday 28 June 2005

"But we know that nothing of value is ever earned without sacrifice." -- Condoleezza Rice, addressing US soldiers, 19 March 2005

"We," eh? "We"? That's interesting. I'm not seeing a lot of "we" in the 1,743 dead American soldiers from Iraq, the ones who bore the sacrifice Rice used as a talking point back in March. I'm not seeing a lot of "we" in the story of Pfc. Diane Cardile, the 23-year-old troop who is sitting in a German hospital with extensive burns.

Cardile got those burns last Thursday, when a suicide bomber outside Fallujah drove up next to the truck carrying her and several other Marines, smiled, and blew himself up. 13 Marines were injured in the blast, 11 of them women. Five Marines died in the explosion, two of them women. None of them were named Condi, so her "we" is, shall we say, misplaced.

The Bush administration will be using soldiers as props for political theater once again tonight. George himself will stand up tonight, surrounded by a mob of troops, to tell us that everything is great in Iraq, that there is a "clear path to victory" in that conflict. Probably someone should have gotten this memo to Don Rumsfeld before he went on television this weekend to say that the "clear path" might take twelve years to complete.

I doubt Rumsfeld would have read it, however. After all, he is the fellow who told us in February of 2003 that the war "could last six days, six weeks, I doubt six months." That February also saw Rumsfeld telling us Americans would be welcomed in Iraq by people "playing music, cheering, flying kites."

Oh, by the way, Bush's message will also state that nobody miscalculated in this invasion and occupation, and for sure nobody lied. Those aren't vultures in the skies above Baghdad and Fallujah, waiting to feast on the unburied dead. Those are kites. What you hear isn't screaming, but cheering, and nobody in the Bush administration made mistakes regarding Iraq. George said it himself in April 2004, when asked during a press conference if he had made any errors during his first term. "Gosh, I don't know," he said in response. "I'm sure something will pop into my head here."

What has been popping into Bush's head lately are numbers, bad numbers, low numbers, scary numbers. Gallup, whose poll numbers have been unswervingly slanted towards Bush since the 2000 election campaign, reports that only 32% of independent voters support the Iraq invasion, and a clear majority of all Americans think the whole thing is a disaster. Bush's overall approval ratings are sliding towards the freezing point with each passing day. What we will see in tonight's speech is nothing more or less than an attempt to stop the bleeding. The political bleeding, I mean, not the actual bleeding. Truth and fact won't play a part in the show.

You have to wonder, though, how many people are going to buy what George will be peddling. After all, this is the guy who told us in May of 2003 that, "We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories. You remember when Colin Powell stood up in front of the world, and he said, Iraq has got laboratories, mobile labs to build biological weapons. They're illegal. They're against the United Nations resolutions, and we've so far discovered two. And we'll find more weapons as time goes on. But for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them."

We did, eh? Here we go with "we" again. I guess "we" doesn't include Hans Blix, who found nothing of the sort in Iraq. "We" doesn't include Bush's own hand-picked inspector, David Kay, who likewise found nothing of the sort. For sure and certain, "we" doesn't include the authors of the Duelfer Report, which describes the meticulous, extensive two-year search for these weapons, a search that did not find anything.

So, to recap: Everything is fine in Iraq. No one made any mistakes. No one lied, or even exaggerated ("We have also discovered through intelligence that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas. We are concerned that Iraq is exploring ways of using these UAVs for missions targeting the United States." - Bush in October 2002) about the threat posed by Iraq or the reasons to go to war there.

Tonight should be interesting. If I were still in college, I'd propose creating a drinking game based on this speech. Drink a beer after every lie. Drink a beer every time Bush says "freedom," or talks about September 11 as if those attacks had anything to do with Iraq. Drink two beers after every wildly unrealistic assessment that has no basis in fact. Drink a beer and a shot every time he says "Nukular." Two beers, a shot and a kick to the head every time he thanks the troops around him for the sacrifices "we" know must be made. Anyone still standing after ten minutes wins a Kewpie doll.
Wrap.
It's probably a good thing I graduated.

DARPA's latest...

Go to www.forgetmenotpanties.com and there you will find:

forget-me-not panties will help protect the women in your life!These panties will monitor the location of your daughter, wife or girlfriend 24 hours a day, and can even monitor their heart rate and body temperature.Based on pioneering research developed by the U.S. military at DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), we have brought this revolutionary technology, previously only available to the military, to you! These "panties" can trace the exact location of your woman and send the information, via satellite, to your cell phone, PDA, and PC simultaneously! Use our patented mapping system, pantyMap®, to find the exact location of your loved one 24 hours a day. The technology is embedded into a piece of fabric so seamlessly she will never know it's there!
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Hint: Look for a small white-petaled daisy-type flower! Gawd!
Wrap.

Monday, June 27, 2005

John Kerry in tomorrow's NY Times...

June 28, 2005
The Speech the President Should Give
By JOHN F. KERRY
Boston

TONIGHT President Bush will discuss the situation in Iraq. It's long past time to get it right in Iraq. The Bush administration is courting disaster with its current course - a course with no realistic strategy for reducing the risks to our soldiers and increasing the odds for success.
The reality is that the Bush administration's choices have made Iraq into what it wasn't before the war - a breeding ground for jihadists. Today there are 16,000 to 20,000 jihadists and the number is growing. The administration has put itself - and, tragically, our troops, who pay the price every day - in a box of its own making. Getting out of this box won't be easy, but we owe it to our soldiers to make our best effort.

Our mission in Iraq is harder because the administration ignored the advice of others, went in largely alone, underestimated the likelihood and power of the insurgency, sent in too few troops to secure the country, destroyed the Iraqi army through de-Baathification, failed to secure ammunition dumps, refused to recognize the urgency of training Iraqi security forces and did no postwar planning. A little humility would go a long way - coupled with a strategy to succeed.

So what should the president say tonight? The first thing he should do is tell the truth to the American people. Happy talk about the insurgency being in "the last throes" leads to frustrated expectations at home. It also encourages reluctant, sidelined nations that know better to turn their backs on their common interest in keeping Iraq from becoming a failed state.

The president must also announce immediately that the United States will not have a permanent military presence in Iraq. Erasing suspicions that the occupation is indefinite is critical to eroding support for the insurgency.

He should also say that the United States will insist that the Iraqis establish a truly inclusive political process and meet the deadlines for finishing the Constitution and holding elections in December. We're doing our part: our huge military presence stands between the Iraqi people and chaos, and our special forces protect Iraqi leaders. The Iraqis must now do theirs.

He also needs to put the training of Iraqi troops on a true six-month wartime footing and ensure that the Iraqi government has the budget needed to deploy them. The administration and the Iraqi government must stop using the requirement that troops be trained in-country as an excuse for refusing offers made by Egypt, Jordan, France and Germany to do more.

The administration must immediately draw up a detailed plan with clear milestones and deadlines for the transfer of military and police responsibilities to Iraqis after the December elections. The plan should be shared with Congress. The guideposts should take into account political and security needs and objectives and be linked to specific tasks and accomplishments. If Iraqis adopt a constitution and hold elections as planned, support for the insurgency should fall and Iraqi security forces should be able to take on more responsibility. It will also set the stage for American forces to begin to come home.

Iraq, of course, badly needs a unified national army, but until it has one - something that our generals now say could take two more years - it should make use of its tribal, religious and ethnic militias like the Kurdish pesh merga and the Shiite Badr Brigade to provide protection and help with reconstruction. Instead of single-mindedly focusing on training a national army, the administration should prod the Iraqi government to fill the current security gap by integrating these militias into a National Guard-type force that can provide security in their own areas.

The administration must work with the Iraqi government to establish a multinational force to help protect its borders. Such a force, if sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council, could attract participation by Iraq's neighbors and countries like India.

The deployment of capable security forces is critical, but it alone will not end the insurgency, as the administration would have us believe. Hamstrung by its earlier lack of planning and overly optimistic predictions for rebuilding Iraq, the administration has failed to devote equal attention to working with the Iraqi government on the economic and political fronts. Consequently, reconstruction is lagging even in the relatively secure Shiite south and Kurdish north. If Iraqis, particularly Sunnis who fear being disenfranchised, see electricity flowing, jobs being created, roads and sewers being rebuilt and a democratic government being formed, the allure of the insurgency will decrease.

Iraq's Sunni neighbors, who complain they are left out, could do more to help. Even short-term improvements, like providing electricity and supplying diesel fuel - an offer that the Saudis have made but have yet to fulfill - will go a long way. But we need to give these nations a strategic plan for regional security, acknowledging their fears of an Iran-dominated crescent and their concerns about our fitful mediation between Israel and the Palestinians in return for their help in rebuilding Iraq, protecting its borders, and bringing its Sunnis into the political process.

The next months are critical to Iraq's future and our security. If Mr. Bush fails to take these steps, we will stumble along, our troops at greater risk, casualties rising, costs rising, the patience of the American people wearing thin, and the specter of quagmire staring us in the face.

Our troops deserve better: they deserve leadership equal to their sacrifice.

John F. Kerry is a Democratic senator from Massachusetts.
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It will be very interesting to see if Bush says any of these things. More likely he will stress "staying the course"...whatever that course is. If he even talks about Iraq, who can believe him? And if he really does say that he's against torture anywhere in the world....his reputation proceeds him.
Wrap..

Tsunamis, then pirates..

June 27, 2005
latimes.com :
Business
GLOBAL REPORT
After a Lull, Pirates Are Back in Strait of Malacca
An upsurge in attacks on shipping along the vital waterway has raised concerns among insurers and area governments.
By Arlen Harris and Stephen Fidler, Financial Times

Eight pirates armed with automatic weapons and knives fired warning shots at a Thai-flagged tanker in the Strait of Malacca early this month. Once on board, they kidnapped the master and boatswain and demanded a ransom.It was the fifth kidnapping for ransom in the strait since Feb. 28, said the International Maritime Bureau Piracy Reporting Center in Kuala Lumpur.

Piracy has long been rife in the seaway but the incident off Pangkor Island is part of a trend of increasingly violent and well-planned attacks that is worrying insurers and the region's governments. Some shipowners have even called in private security to protect their vessels.

After the December tsunami there was a lull in attacks in the strait, which sees half the world's oil and a quarter of all cargoes pass through it. Now incidents of piracy are rising again and security specialists say they are more likely to include kidnapping.The trend poses a threat to all shipping in the seaway, which has 55,000 ship movements a year. Kidnappers sometimes take senior officers and lock up the crew, leaving no one in charge of a moving vessel.Many pirates are rebels from Indonesia's Aceh province, says David Fairnie, a marine security specialist with Hart Security in Britain. The separatist Free Aceh Movement has denied involvement in piracy.

Fairnie says debriefing of freed captives suggests the hostage-takers are well organized, sometimes moving their hostages through several vessels before they are taken to Aceh.Last year about $1 million in ransom was paid by shipowners in the region. The average paid per kidnapping is estimated at $50,000. During the period 40 sailors were kidnapped in about 20 incidents in the strait and surrounding waters. Four were killed.

Protection and indemnity clubs — the mutual associations that cover 90% of merchant shipping tonnage — are reviewing coverage, say experts. An insurer's circular given to the Financial Times suggests that owners of ships sailing through the strait should take out a "comprehensive war policy" to insure hull and cargoes, and a kidnapping and ransom policy.The document, dated April 29, from the London-run Shipowners' Mutual Protection and Indemnity Assn., advised that its coverage "does not extend to include the payment of ransom demands and/or any loss or damage to the vessel or loss of earnings etc during a piracy attack." The association insures mostly smaller and specialist ships, the type most vulnerable to attack.

Charles Hume, chief executive officer designate, said the circular was a first draft and had not been sent. "The club is naturally sympathetic to any member facing a kidnap situation and will always try and assist in any way it can on a case-by-case basis," he said. "However, the club's rules which set out its written cover do not include cover for ransom payments."

The region's governments, with stretched resources, find it difficult to police the sea lanes, but are meeting more regularly to discuss the problem. Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia have talked about the possibility of mounting a "hot pursuit" of pirates into neighbors' waters.

Singapore has in the past asked for U.S. help.This month, in a change of tack, Malaysia's defense minister said that he would welcome foreign security assistance.

Some shipowners have turned to private security companies for armed protection. A handful of such companies, including Hart, Glenn Defense Marine and Background Asia Risk Solutions, is offering services to shipowners in the region. Alex Duperouzel, Background Asia's founder and managing director, said: "Our whole strategy is based around the idea of deterrence. We are trying to tell people that we are armed and serious and that there are easier targets elsewhere."

But the presence of armed private security forces in their waters worries the region's governments, particularly Malaysia."These people may not be well-trained or they could be trigger-happy," said Najib Razak, Malaysia's deputy prime minister. "So we have to monitor this very, very carefully."
Wrap.

SHOCK!!!

Breaking News from ABCNEWS.com:

BILLIONAIRE WAL-MART HEIR JOHN WALTON DIES IN SMALL AIRCRAFT CRASH

http://abcnews.go.com?CMP=EMC-1396

Military says to Rove:

Here's a clip from one letter to Rove, who is really getting a royal chewing out from these people.
Take a look at http://takeittorove.blogspost.com

Mr. Rove,

As a member of the Army Reserve who will be leaving to support Operation Iraqi Freedom, and a lifelong liberal, how dare you challenge my patriotism, sir? As I have, to date, not seen you patrol in Bahgdad, nor have I seen you risk convoying supplies to the troops who need them throughout Iraq, where is your courage? I guess you really have none. I have never supported this war, nor the policies that have managed it. Despite that, I will be leaving to serve for my first tour in the country soon. Why, you may ask? Because it is my duty as a soldier, and as a citizen of this nation. Service to a cause greater than yourself is something a coward like you will never understand. The next time you wish to question either my patriotism, or courage, I suggest you dare to take up arms first. Cowards like you, who expect other men and womens children to fight their wars, deserve to be dragged out in the streets and beaten like the craven dogs you are. May whatever greater power you believe in spare you, because I wouldn't. I will leave you with two quotes that I sincerely hope you might learn something of true patriotism and courage. "Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." - Benjamin Franklin "To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." - Theodore Roosevelt

Goodbye sir. May you rot in Hell with all of the worlds yellow, craven, morally bankrupt cowards. "Sic vis pacem, para bellum."
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Rove certainly has it coming, and they're not hesitating to give it to him.
Wrap...

Plutonium...for secret missions?

Hoo-boy! Always something:

US Has Plans to Again Make Own Plutonium
By William J. Broad
The New York Times
Monday 27 June 2005

The Bush administration is planning the government's first production of plutonium 238 since the cold war, stirring debate over the risks and benefits of the deadly material. The substance, valued as a power source, is so radioactive that a speck can cause cancer.
Federal officials say the program would produce a total of 330 pounds over 30 years at the Idaho National Laboratory, a sprawling site outside Idaho Falls some 100 miles to the west and upwind of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Officials say the program could cost $1.5 billion and generate more than 50,000 drums of hazardous and radioactive waste.
Project managers say that most if not all of the new plutonium is intended for secret missions and they declined to divulge any details. But in the past, it has powered espionage devices.
"The real reason we're starting production is for national security," Timothy A. Frazier, head of radioisotope power systems at the Energy Department, said in a recent interview.
He vigorously denied that any of the classified missions would involve nuclear arms, satellites or weapons in space.
The laboratory is a source of pride and employment for many residents in the Idaho Falls area. But the secrecy is adding to unease in Wyoming, where environmentalists are scrutinizing the production plan - made public late Friday - and considering whether to fight it.
They say the production effort is a potential threat to nearby ecosystems, including Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park and the area around Jackson Hole, famous for its billionaires, celebrities and weekend cowboys, including Vice President Dick Cheney.
"It's completely wrapped in the flag," said Mary Woollen-Mitchell, executive director of Keep Yellowstone Nuclear Free, a group based in Jackson Hole. "They absolutely won't let on" about the missions.
"People are starting to pay attention," she said of the production plan. "On the street, just picking up my kids at school, they're getting keyed up that something is in the works."
Plutonium 238 has no central role in nuclear arms. Instead, it is valued for its steady heat, which can be turned into electricity. Nuclear batteries made of it are best known for powering spacecraft that go where sunlight is too dim to energize solar cells. For instance, they now power the Cassini probe exploring Saturn and its moons.
Federal and private experts unconnected to the project said the new plutonium would probably power devices for conducting espionage on land and under the sea. Even if no formal plans now exist to use the plutonium in space for military purposes, these experts said that the material could be used by the military to power compact spy satellites that would be hard for adversaries to track, evade or destroy.
"It's going to be a tough world in the next one or two decades, and this may be needed," said a senior federal scientist who helps the military plan space missions and spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the possibility that he would contradict federal policies. "Technologically, it makes sense."
Early in the nuclear era, the government became fascinated by plutonium 238 and used it regularly to make nuclear batteries that worked for years or decades. Scores of them powered satellites, planetary probes and spy devices, at times with disastrous results.
In 1964, a rocket failure led to the destruction of a navigation satellite powered by plutonium 238, spreading radioactivity around the globe and starting a debate over the event's health effects.
In 1965, high in the Himalayas, an intelligence team caught in a blizzard lost a plutonium-powered device meant to spy on China. And in 1968, an errant weather satellite crashed into the Pacific, but federal teams managed to recover its plutonium battery intact from the Santa Barbara Channel, off California.
Such accidents cooled enthusiasm for the batteries. But federal agencies continued to use them for a more limited range of missions, including those involving deep-space probes and top-secret devices for tapping undersea cables.
In 1997, when the National Aeronautics and Space Administration prepared to launch its Cassini probe of Saturn, hundreds of protesters converged on its Florida spaceport, arguing that an accident could rupture the craft's nuclear batteries and condemn thousands of people to death by cancer.
Plutonium 238 is hundreds of times more radioactive than the kind of plutonium used in nuclear arms, plutonium 239. Medical experts agree that inhaling even a speck poses a serious risk of lung cancer.
But federal experts say that the newest versions of the nuclear batteries are made to withstand rupture into tiny particles and that the risk of human exposure is extraordinarily low.
Today, the United States makes no plutonium 238 and instead relies on aging stockpiles or imports from Russia. By agreement with the Russians, it cannot use the imported material - some 35 pounds since the end of the cold war - for military purposes.
With its domestic stockpile running low, Washington now wants to resume production. Though it last made plutonium 238 in the 1980's at the government's Savannah River plant in South Carolina, it now wants to move such work to the Idaho National Laboratory and consolidate all the nation's plutonium 238 activities there, including efforts now at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.
By centralizing everything in Idaho, the Energy Department hopes to increase security and reduce the risks involved in transporting the radioactive material over highways.
Late Friday, the department posted a 500-page draft environmental impact statement on the plan at www.consolidationeis.doe.gov. The public has 60 days to respond.
Mr. Frazier said the department planned to weigh public reaction and complete the regulatory process by late this year, and to finish the plan early in 2006. The president would then submit it to Congress for approval, he said. The work requires no international assent.
The Idaho National Laboratory, founded in 1949 for atomic research, stretches across 890 square miles of southeastern Idaho. The Big Lost River wanders its length. The site is dotted with 450 buildings and 52 reactors - more than at any other place - most of them shut down. It has long wrestled with polluted areas and recently sought to set new standards in environmental restoration.
New plutonium facilities there would take five years to build and cost about $250 million, Mr. Frazier said. The operations budget would run to some $40 million annually over 30 years, he said, for a total cost of nearly $1.5 billion.
An existing reactor there would make the plutonium. Mr. Frazier said the goal was to start production by 2012 and have the first plutonium available by 2013. When possible, Mr. Frazier said, the plutonium would be used not only for national security but also for deep-space missions, reducing dependence on Russian supplies.
Since late last year, the Energy Department has tried to reassure citizens living around the proposed manufacturing site of the plan's necessity and safety.
But political activists in Wyoming have expressed frustration at what they call bureaucratic evasiveness regarding serious matters. "It's the nastiest of the nasty," Ms. Woollen-Mitchell said of plutonium 238.
Early this year, she succeeded in learning some preliminary details of the plan from the Energy Department. Mr. Frazier provided her with a document that showed that production over 30 years would produce 51,590 drums of hazardous and radioactive waste.
He also referred to the continuing drain on the government's national security stockpile, saying the known missions by the end of this decade would require 55 pounds of plutonium for 10 to 15 power systems. Those uses, he said, would leave virtually no plutonium for future classified missions.
Ms. Woollen-Mitchell was unswayed. In January she told the Energy Department that so much information about the plan remained hidden that it had "given us serious pause."
The Energy Department is courting Keep Yellowstone Nuclear Free because it has flexed its political muscle before. Starting in late 1999, financed by wealthy Jackson Hole residents like Harrison Ford, it fought to stop the Idaho lab from burning plutonium-contaminated waste in an incinerator and forced the lab to investigate alternatives.
In the recent interview, Mr. Frazier said he planned to talk to the group on Tuesday and expressed hope of winning people over.
"I don't know that I'll be able to make them perfectly comfortable," he said, "but they know that the department is willing to listen and talk and take their comments into consideration."
"We have a good case," Mr. Frazier added, saying the department could show that the Idaho plan "can be done safely with very minimal environmental impacts."
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More to this than meets the eye. There always is.
Wrap.

"boffins"? What are boffins?

This is truly one strange piece of science:

Boffins create zombie dogs
By Nick Buchan of NEWS.com.au
June 27, 2005

Eerie ... boffins have brought dead dogs back to life, in the name of science.

SCIENTISTS have created eerie zombie dogs, reanimating the canines after several hours of clinical death in attempts to develop suspended animation for humans. US scientists have succeeded in reviving the dogs after three hours of clinical death, paving the way for trials on humans within years.

Pittsburgh's Safar Centre for Resuscitation Research has developed a technique in which subject's veins are drained of blood and filled with an ice-cold salt solution.
The animals are considered scientifically dead, as they stop breathing and have no heartbeat or brain activity.
But three hours later, their blood is replaced and the zombie dogs are brought back to life with an electric shock.

Plans to test the technique on humans should be realised within a year, according to the Safar Centre.

However rather than sending people to sleep for years, then bringing them back to life to benefit from medical advances, the boffins would be happy to keep people in this state for just a few hours.

But even this should be enough to save lives such as battlefield casualties and victims of stabbings or gunshot wounds, who have suffered huge blood loss.

Duing the procedure blood is replaced with saline solution at a few degrees above zero. The dogs' body temperature drops to only 7C, compared with the usual 37C, inducing a state of hypothermia before death.

Although the animals are clinically dead, their tissues and organs are perfectly preserved.
Damaged blood vessels and tissues can then be repaired via surgery. The dogs are brought back to life by returning the blood to their bodies, giving them 100 per cent oxygen and applying electric shocks to restart their hearts.

Tests show they are perfectly normal, with no brain damage.

"The results are stunning. I think in 10 years we will be able to prevent death in a certain segment of those using this technology," said one US battlefield doctor.
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I still want to know what "boffins" are. Beyond that, Whoa!!!
Wrap.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Say one thing, do another..

I find this just unbelievable, coming from an individual who discounts the Geneva Convention. Who does he think he's kidding? He has more nerve than a.....

June 26, 2005
Bush Says U.S. Seeks to Eliminate Torture Worldwide
By REUTERS
Filed at 3:14 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush, whose administration has been hit by accusations of prisoner abuse, said on Sunday that the United States was committed to the elimination of torture worldwide.

In a statement to mark United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, Bush said: ``Freedom from torture is an inalienable human right, and we are committed to building a world where human rights are respected and protected by the rule of law.''
Accusations of prisoner abuse in Iraq, Afghanistan and at the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have brought into question the policies of the Bush administration in treating foreign prisoners.

The United States has also been accused of sending some prisoners to countries with poor human rights records where they might be tortured. An Italian judge last week ordered the arrest of 13 people linked to the CIA for kidnapping an Egyptian terrorism suspect in Milan and flying him to Egypt, where he said he was tortured.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in March said the United States would never send terrorism suspects to countries where they would be tortured. But he acknowledged that once the prisoners were in the other country's custody, the United States had little control over their treatment.

"America will not pretend that jailed dissidents prefer their chains, or that women welcome humiliation and servitude, or that any human being aspires to live at the mercy of bullies,'' Bush said in the statement.
"All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: The United States will not ignore your oppression or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you,'' he said.
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He is so full of bullshit!
Wrap...

Excellent Info Source...

This is definitely one to bookmark for reference:

June 27, 2005
Web Site Makes Gov't. Reports Available
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Filed at 12:17 a.m. ET
WASHINGTON (AP) --

A new Web site aims to make widely available to the public certain government reports about topics from terrorism to Social Security that congressional researchers prepare and distribute now only to lawmakers.
The site -- www.opencrs.com -- links more than a half-dozen existing collections of nearly 8,000 reports from the Congressional Research Service and centrally indexes them so visitors can find reports containing specific terms or phrases.
It also encourages visitors to ask their lawmakers to send them any reports not yet publicly available -- and gives detailed instructions to do this -- so these can be added to the collection. None of the reports is classified or otherwise restricted.
The site, being announced Monday, is operated by the Center for Democracy and Technology, a Washington-based civil liberties group. The project is a response to years of rumbling and wrangling by open-government advocates over a lack of direct accessibility to reports from the policy research arm of Congress.
''This initiative ought to embarrass the Congress into changing its policy and making these documents universally available,'' said Steven Aftergood, director of the project on government secrecy for the Washington-based Federation of American Scientists. Aftergood has collected hundreds of CRS reports and distributes them from his group's own Web site.
The research service, with a staff of more than 700 and a nearly $100 million budget, does not object to public distribution of its reports, said Jill Brett, a spokeswoman for the Library of Congress, the service's parent organization.
''It's up to Congress when they're made public and how they're made public,'' Brett said. ''The law says we only make them available to Congress.''
Lawmakers often cite the reports during congressional debates, but the research is generally not available to the public. Congress does allow lawmakers to publish reports on their individual Web sites and send them to constituents who request them.

On the Net:
Congressional Research Service: www.loc.gov/crsinfo
Federation of American Scientists: www.fas.org
Wrap.

Hah!

Left the migf.blogspot.com where I wrote the last post and ended up here on the aggravated.blogspot.com blog! So it seems that I can post on either one and whatever I post will come straight here. Cie la Vie!!!
Wrap.

Just checking...

...on where this post is gonna end up. Though it says "Just Observing" above, this location is http://migf.blogspot.com . Last dated post here was Dec 2004! That's when I began the blog at http://aggravated.blogspot.com where I still am. This one had a fit one day and that's why I had to start a new one. Could not figure out how to fix it. Talk about mad...

In any case, I'm gonna sign off now and see what happens. Love it!
Wrap...

Meanwhile, out at sea...

...it seems the pirates are raising particular hell. Yeah. Real pirates...and plenty of them. Bet they could sail right into our ports too. What they'd sail in with, I don't want to think about. I've noticed that we don't hear a hell of a lot about pirates. Is anyone paying any real attention? So here are some of the things going on:

For the recent Congressional Research Service report: "Port and Maritime Security: Background and Issues for Congress," updated May 10, 2005: go to http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/homesec/RL31733.pdf


Maritime Terrorism and Piracy Hot Spots

Maritime Terror Risk Reduced But Not Eliminated

US Urged to Boost Maritime Security Cooperation with Indonesia

Singapore Backed as Centre against Piracy

Alert Crewman Foils Tanker Pirates in Malacca Strait

Inside Job Feared in Piratess’ Tanker Raid

Duo Nabbed Over Ship Hijack

Tsunami ‘Causes Rise in Piracy’

Two New Kidnapping Cases: Malacca Strait and Somalia

Pirates Attack Tanker

Nigeria: Pirates Release Held Tanker

Oil Tanker Boarded by Pirates off Basra

Pirates Raid Supertanker at Iraq's Basra


Maritime Forces and Operations

3 ASEAN Countries Reject Foreign Forces in Malacca Strait

U.S. Wants New Iraq Navy Afloat by Year’s End
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The USS Cole comes to mind....
Wrap...

This IS "old news"...

Had it pointed out to me that the date on this story was 2003!!! So why is it just now being discussed? Sheesh!

But have they shown remorse? GENEVA (AFP) - Washington has for the first time acknowledged to the United Nations that prisoners have been tortured at US detention centres in Guantanamo Bay, as well as Afghanistan and Iraq, a UN source said. (via)

Wrap.

No, it's NOT "old news"...

How the Leaked Documents Questioning War Emerged from 'Britain's Deep Throat'
By Michael Smith
The Sunday Times UK
Sunday 26 June 2005

It started with a phone call and has now swept across America: Michael Smith tells the tale of his 'Downing Street memo' scoop.

It began with a phone call from a friend nearly 10 months ago - somebody well-placed who had given me a few stories before. But he wasn't really a journalistic source, though he has now been dubbed "the British Deep Throat" by some of the US press.

He was just a friend. So I had no great expectations of the meeting we arranged in a quiet West End bar. I was just expecting a convivial drink, with the usual exchange of gossip, the catching-up on how our lives were going.

Almost immediately it was clear that this time it would be something more. The place was empty, but my friend chose the most secluded spot he could find. He was clearly nervous.

He wasn't sure if I'd be interested in what he had, he said. It was about the run-up to the war. "All the Butler stuff," he said, referring to Lord Butler, who had reported on the failures of intelligence over Iraq.

He thrust two sheets of paper into my hand. It was a "Secret - Strictly Personal" letter from Jack Straw to the prime minister written in March 2002, a year before the invasion.

In the letter the foreign secretary said there was no evidence that Saddam Hussein had any weapons of mass destruction worth talking about and that, in part as a result of a lack of US preparation, post-war Iraq was likely to become a very nasty place.

It was, in short, remarkably prescient and would make a pretty good story, I said, with some understatement. Well, I've got five others just like it from the same period, said my source. "Most say stuff just like that, or worse."

The documents covered the period running up to a summit between George W Bush and Tony Blair at the president's ranch in Crawford, Texas, in early April 2002. At that time the swift victory against the Taliban in Afghanistan had left hawks in the US administration openly briefing that Iraq was next.

Most of the leaked documents were designed to brief ministers or Blair on whether backing the US plans to get rid of Saddam would be sensible and legal. They set out the merits and dangers of taking part. Their gist was that there weren't many merits. The documents made it pretty clear that it wasn't sensible, it wasn't legal and it was very risky.

The document that seemed to encapsulate the problems was another "Secret - Strictly Personal" letter to Blair. It was written by his foreign policy adviser, Sir David Manning.

"I think there is a real risk that the (US) administration underestimates the difficulties," Manning wrote. "They may agree that failure isn't an option, but this does not mean that they will avoid it."

When I reported these documents I was surprised to find that there was no real interest in them in America. The story swiftly died away.

Then eight months later, in the run-up to Britain's general election, with the focus on the attorney-general's advice to Blair on the legality of war, somebody else gave me further, even more startling documents. They concerned a meeting in Downing Street on July 23, 2002, eight months before the invasion, when Blair was insisting to the public that all options on Iraq were still open.

One leaked document was a Cabinet Office briefing paper for a crucial Downing Street meeting held on the day in question. It said the prime minister had promised Bush at the Crawford summit that he would "back military action to bring about regime change". It added that ministers had no choice but to "create the conditions" that would make military action legal.

The other document was the minutes of the actual meeting, chaired by Blair and attended by Straw; Geoff Hoon, the defence secretary; Lord Goldsmith, the attorney-general; Sir Richard Dearlove, the head of MI6; John Scarlett, chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee; and Admiral Sir Michael Boyce, chief of defence staff.

Dearlove, who had just returned from Washington, said "military action was now seen as inevitable . . . the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action".

Straw agreed with Dearlove. He said Bush had "made up his mind to take military action. But the case was thin".

After reporting these secret memos, which revealed the dubious manoeuvrings of government, I expected the US press to react. Surely there would be a storm of anger over the way in which the American public had been deceived into going to war? But still there was no interest. Then slowly something astonishing happened. People power took over.

The Sunday Times website was inundated with ordinary US citizens wanting to read the minutes of the July meeting. Bloggers set to work passing the word.

Six ordinary, patriotic citizens with no political axe to grind were so outraged to discover the truth about the path to war that they set up their own website, naming it after the minutes, which had become known as the Downing Street memo.

The focus turned to what may ultimately be the most important part of the memo: the point where Hoon said that the US had already begun "spikes of activity to put pressure on the regime".

Ministry of Defence figures for the number of bombs dropped on southern Iraq in 2002 show that virtually none were used in March and April; but between May and August an average of 10 tons were dropped each month, with the RAF taking just as big a role in the "spikes of activity" as their US colleagues. Then in September the figure shot up again, with allied aircraft dropping 54.6 tons.

If this was a covert air war, both Bush and Blair may face searching questions. In America only Congress can declare war, and it did not give the US president permission to take military action against Iraq until October 11, 2002. Blair's legal justification is said to come from UN Resolution 1441, which was not passed until November 8, 2002.

Last week one US blogger, Larisa Alexandrovna of RawStory.com, unearthed more unsettling evidence. It was an overlooked interview with Lieutenant-General T Michael Moseley, the allied air commander in Iraq, in which he appears to admit that the "spikes of activity" were part of a covert air war.

From June 2002 until March 20, when the ground war began, the allies flew 21,736 sorties over southern Iraq, attacking 349 carefully selected targets. The attacks, Moseley said, "laid the foundations" for the invasion, allowing allied commanders to begin the ground war.

The bloggers may have found their own smoking gun.
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It is way past time for the House Judiciary Committee to start hearings about impeaching Bush and all his cohorts.
Wrap...

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Cheney...

From Arianna Huffington, who was in Vail when this event occured:

Cheney Checks Into Vail Hospital...
Huffington Post

Vice President Dick Cheney was taken to the cardiac unit of the Vail Valley Medical Center Friday. Contrary to Associated Press reports that he went to see orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Steadman, at the Steadman Hawkins clinic for a knee injury, Vice President Cheney passed through the Steadman Hawkins clinic and the Colorado Mountain Medical Center to get to the cardiac unit to see Dr. Jack Eck and his team. The Vice President checked into the hospital under the name of Dr. Hoffman.
Wrap.

Exercising power...

They insist on messing with the votes in the House of Reps in DC. How many "Nays" do you hear on this clip another writer emailed to me? And man, is she mad! Go listen to:

... that clip I've been trying to get you to listen to re the House vote abomination. When you get to the home page, go down to mid-page to Show Sound. It's the first one.

http://www.therandirhodesshow.com/index.php

Wrap.

Bush gets his oil...

Tell me again why BushCo started this war:

Iraq:
The carve-up begins
om Burgis
Thursday 23 June 2005

As the costs of the Iraq occupation spiral, British and American oil companies meet in secret next week to carve up the country's oil reserves for themselves.

The Iraq war has so far cost America and Britain £105 billion. But the financial clawback is gathering pace as British and American oil giants work out how to get their hands on the estimated £3trillion worth of oil.

Executives from BP, Shell, Exxon Mobil and Halliburton, Dick Cheney's old firm, are expected to congregate at the Paddington Hilton for a two-day chinwag with top-level officials from Iraq's oil ministry. The gathering, sponsored by the British Government, is being described as the "premier event" for those with designs on Iraqi oil, and will go ahead despite opposition from Iraqi oil workers, who fear their livelihoods are being flogged to foreigners. The Met will be on hand to secure the venue ahead of the conference.

"This is a networking opportunity for UK businesses involved in Iraqi oil," explained Dr Hussain Rabia, managing director of the consultancy Entrac Petroleum Ltd. "We have the moral support of the UK government. They're bringing the guys over from Iraq, offering them visas. We expect all the big oil companies to be there," he said.

Delegate numbers are described as "confidential". Shell spokesman Simon Buerk would not confirm that a representative of the company would be attending, but said he "wouldn't be at all surprised if they were".

"We aspire to establish a long-term presence in Iraq," he said. "We have been helping the Iraqi Ministry of Oil and engineers with training."

Those who have purchased their £1,200 tickets can expect access to executives from Iraq's oil ministry, including Salem Razoky, the director general of exploration.

But Iraqi oil workers are furious about the conference. "The second phase of the war will be started by this conference carving up the industry," said an outraged Hasan Juma'a, head of the Iraqi General Union of Oil Employees. "It is about giving shares of Iraq to the countries who invaded it - they get a piece of the action as a reward. The British government will back this action in order to pay its debt in Iraq."

Hasan, who represents 23,000 skilled oil workers, fears that deals struck at the conference will see profits from Iraq's massive oil reserves - the second richest in the world - lining the pockets of multinational corporations at the expense of the Iraqi people.

Previous form suggests his concerns are well founded. Under the initial wage table drawn up by Paul Bremer's provisional Baghdad government in September 2003, oil workers were to receive a minimum monthly pay packet of £25. After a threatened union strike, it was raised to £38. And, Hasan insists, "Iraqi oil workers are good enough to rebuild without any need of help. "

Greg Muttitt, a researcher with Platform, an independent environmental think thank, agrees. "The decisions on how to carve up Iraq are being made behind closed doors in Washington, London and Baghdad.
"This conference is a key part of the plan to help multinational companies get stuck in once those arrangements are in place. It's a corporate feeding frenzy - they're not writing the recipes, they're tucking in their napkins."

Yahia Said, an Iraqi research fellow in global governance at the London School of Economics, commented:
"Iraq's oil is very cheap to extract. In the lack of transparency and with Iraq under occupation, people suspect oil companies are up to foul play. But those companies wouldn't yet dare sign a contract under the present government because it lacks legitimacy. But the oil companies are eyeing each other - this conference is like a dating game."

As such, a spokesperson for British governmental body UK Trade & Investment insisted that "no contracts will be awarded" at the conference. "Although we believe that British and other companies can play a key role, it will be up to the Iraqis, through their elected representatives to decide whether there is a role for them or not."

But the British government's position is in line with that of conference organisers, who point to Iraq's current oil output, which is stalled at 1.8million barrels per day, less than a third of what it could be.
"We all want to reconstruct Iraq," argued Rabia. "You can have all the demos you want, but 70 per cent of people in my country don't have sanitation. It's 45 degrees there now. I've listened to a lot of people and there's no way you can reconstruct without people from the UK and the US, and their money."
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Wrap...

Hold your breath...

When the Supreme Court speaks...we all listen:

High Court to End Term With Big Decisions
Jun 25, 4:33 PM (ET)
By GINA HOLLAND

WASHINGTON (AP)

The Supreme Court ends its work Monday with the highest of drama: an anticipated retirement, a ruling on the constitutionality of government Ten Commandments displays and decisions in other major cases.

Traditionally there is an air of suspense as the justices meet for the final time before breaking for three months. Justices usually wait until then to resolve blockbuster cases.

Added to that is the expectation that Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist is presiding over the court for the last time. Rehnquist has thyroid cancer and many court experts believe his retirement is imminent.

"There's enormous drama and anticipation. Is he going to announce his resignation? Are we going to spend this summer in a confirmation fight?" said Erwin Chemerinsky, a Duke law professor.

Long lines have formed several hours before the court's recent sessions so people could get a seat in the packed courtroom. On Monday, the crowd will include supporters and opponents of Ten Commandments monuments. Supporters usually gather outside the court praying and singing hymns.

"It's a big day. History being made, that's a lot of what it's about," said Maureen Mahoney, a Washington lawyer and former Rehnquist law clerk.

Also expected are nine women in judicial robes who call themselves "Roe Rangers," to bring attention to uncertainty about the court's makeup and abortion rights.

Justices have a few cases left to resolve, including two of the most-watched of the term: the Ten Commandments appeals from Texas and Kentucky and a case that will determine the liability of Internet file-sharing services for clients' illegal swapping of songs and movies.

Also Monday, justices are expected to announce whether they will hear appeals from two journalists who may face jail time for refusing to reveal sources in the leak of an undercover CIA officer's identity.

Lawyers for Time magazine's Matthew Cooper and The New York Times' Judith Miller have asked the court to clarify protections reporters have in keeping sources confidential. The cases could not be heard until December.

The Supreme Court term already has covered cases involving the execution of teenage killers, state bans on Internet orders from out-of-state wineries and federal sentencing rules.
Overshadowing it all, however, has been Rehnquist's health and questions about the future of the court, which has not had a vacancy for 11 years, a modern record.

"More people are paying attention to the court than they have in years even though the docket has not been earthshaking," said Vikram Amar, a law professor at the University of California, Hastings and a former Supreme Court clerk. "It changes the importance of this year in Supreme Court history."

In addition to Rehnquist, 80, older members of the court include Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, 75, and Justice John Paul Stevens, 85.

Rehnquist was absent from the bench for five months after disclosing in October that he had cancer. He has refused to say whether he has the most serious type of thyroid cancer. He speaks with difficulty because of a trachea tube inserted to help him breathe.

"One or two justices may announce their retirement on Monday. Or none may," said Suzanna Sherry, a law professor at Vanderbilt University who specializes in the Supreme Court. "In the past there has not been this kind of anticipation."

Rehnquist could announce his decision at the Monday morning session. He could wait until later in the day after justices hold their last private meeting of the term. He could wait until later in the week, after the crowds have left the court.

The final rulings of the term often come down to 5-4 votes. Sometimes, justices who dissent read objections from the bench.

"It's a zoo," veteran Supreme Court lawyer Carter Phillips said of final ruling days.
The Ten Commandments issue has gotten the most attention, in part because it has been 25 years since the court last dealt with it.

Justices ruled then that the Ten Commandments could not be displayed in public schools. Now they will decide if a granite monument on the grounds of the Texas Capitol and framed copies of commandments in two Kentucky courthouses are allowed.

Rulings are also awaited in a Tennessee death penalty case, an appeal that will decide police departments' liability for not enforcing restraining orders, and a challenge to the tight control cable companies hold over high-speed Internet service.
---
On the Net:
Supreme Court: http://www.supremecourtus.gov/
Wrap...

Bush? Gonzales? Proud of yourselves?

Bush okayed it. Gonzales okayed it. Only fitting if they suffered it too. Shame on them all:

AFX News Limited
US acknowledges torture at Guantanamo;
in Iraq, Afghanistan -
UN 06.24.2005, 11:37 AM
GENEVA (AFX) -

Washington has, for the first time, acknowledged to the United Nations that prisoners have been tortured at US detention centres in Guantanamo Bay, as well as Afghanistan and Iraq, a UN source said.

The acknowledgement was made in a report submitted to the UN Committee against Torture, said a member of the ten-person panel, speaking on on condition of anonymity. 'They are no longer trying to duck this and have respected their obligation to inform the UN,' the Committee member said. 'They they will have to explain themselves (to the Committee). Nothing should be kept in the dark,' he said.

UN sources said this is the first time the world body has received such a frank statement on torture from US authorities. The Committee, which monitors respect for the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, is gathering information from the US ahead of hearings in May 2006.

Signatories of the convention are expected to submit to scrutiny of their implementation of the 1984 convention and to provide information to the Committee. The document from Washington will not be formally made public until the hearings.

newsdesk@afxnews.com /jag/bar/jwf/pac/ns/ims COPYRIGHT Copyright AFX News Limited 2005. All rights reserved.

Wrap.

I don't like them either!

June 25, 2005, 10:34AM
Young Republicans 'get party started' at D.C. convention
Rallying college students, DeLay warns them about a 'disturbing liberal psychology'
By SAMANTHA LEVINE
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle Washington Bureau


WASHINGTON - They may be done cramming for exams, but the hundreds of College Republicans who gathered in Washington this weekend are hardly done with their assignments.

At a hotel just a few miles from the White House, the College Republican National Committee kicked off its biennial convention with a roster of high-powered GOP speakers meant to rally the fresh-faced troops in advance of the 2006 midterm elections.

After all, the College Republicans are viewed as a critical part of the GOP's grass-roots stampede and, as always, the source for the next generation of Republican leaders.
The CRNC, which many call the Crank, has nearly 200,000 members nationwide and has raised $20.1 million since 2001.

In the 2003-04 election cycle, the group raised $12.8 million, ranking it 12th in the nation among so-called 527 groups, according to PoliticalMoneyLine, which tracks money in elections.
Drawing scrutinyThe group's fund raising has generated some scrutiny, with reports showing that a portion of the money was received from elderly donors who were pursued with misleading appeals.

Regardless of such troubles, the convention began Friday with a fiery speech from House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Sugar Land, who arrived at the podium to a standing ovation.
In front of a banner reading, "We get the party started!", DeLay, like other speakers at the Friday event, rallied the young Republicans with harsh words about the Democrats.

"The trend isn't just about liberal rhetoric, it's about a disturbing liberal psychology," DeLay said. "A bizarre, knee-jerk reflex to assume the world's worst problems are America's fault."
DeLay also defended White House adviser Karl Rove, who came under fire for a New York speech he made Wednesday in which he accused "liberals" of wanting to "offer therapy and understanding for our attackers" after the Sept. 11, 2001, strikes.

DeLay said: "That is not slander, that is the truth."

Also speaking Friday to the College Republicans were former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist.

But there was some levity at the convention.
The hordes of students mingling in the hallways during the speeches could buy T-shirts with pictures of Uncle Sam saying, "Only you can prevent political correctness!" and buttons saying, "God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve" or "I only sleep with Republicans."

The conference helped Jordan Brown, a 21-year-old Houstonian entering his senior year at Texas A&M University, decide whether to join the College Republicans when he gets back to school after finishing his summer internship in Washington.
He said: "I definitely am."

samantha.levine@chron.com

**************************************
I am not amused. Especially after reading, "...portion of money received from elderly donors who were pursued with misleading appeals." Now that shows ethics and character. Right?

Wrap.

Intel jobs...

Do believe I'd prefer to stick close to home, given my druthers, when it comes to these kinds of special jobs for special people:

There are over 100 new intelligence jobs listed on the Faucon International site and dozens of new jobs in security. This time there are even jobs relating to outer space as well as those a bit closer to home.

http://www.fauconinternational.com/sec.html

http://www.fauconinternational.com/sec.html

Terrorism videos at http://www.fauconinternational.com/videos.htm are also now populated.

Fundraising with lapel pins..

There are fundraising ideas and then there are fundraising ideas with "rewards". New Jersey Mark notes a problem or two or three in his letter below to Tom Edsall at the Washington Post:

Dear Mr. Edsall,
I read your fine article about the College Republicans. Do you know one of their fundraising letters included a lapel pin that they asked recipients to pray over and then send back with a check?

The "come on" was they'd then give the blessed lapel pin to the president to wear when he made his nomination acceptance speech at the convention last September. Now it would be one thing if this was a single letter sent to Richard Scaife or a deep pocket donor like him but this was sent to thousands of people. I saw no mention that it was a contest that could be won by the highest bidder or most fervent beseecher of our Lord.

So imagine if you will President Bush covered head to toe with tiny American flag lapel pins! If you'll pardon the expression this shit is so good ya can't make it up! The fact that they raised $9 million dollars off blown brain crap like this, of which over $8 million went to the direct mail outfit they outsourced the mailings to, speaks volumes about the intelligence of these kids AND their leaders. Andthey want to run the country some day.

When that kind of idiotic fundraising actually works with their base, when they're so business savvy they get screwed by the icky contractors who get their hands dirty putting together their mailings for them you can see where that's headed. I'm sure if given the chance someday Davidson or Gourley will do just as good a job of balancing the budget as George W. Bush or their patron saint Ronald Reagan.

But all snark aside I write to you today with more urgent news about the CRNC. A fella who calls himself Jesus' General JC Christian has organized an attempt to get young Repubs to enlist in the US Army he calls OperationYellow Elephants. I'd particularly like to point you to a post he calls, "Seriously". You can read more about it at his blog at: http://patriotboy.blogspot.com/

The CRNC has a well produced website at: http://www.crnc.org/ I've looked it over carefully. I checked out the list of speakers at their convention and their extensive list of jobs and internships available at rightwing think tanks like the Heritage Foundation and the AEI. At their convention there isn't one member from the military scheduled to speak let alone any recruiters. On their website there isn't one link to GoArmy.com or any other recruiting site. Not one. We're at war. The US Army fell short of it's enlistment goals in May by 25 percent. They had hoped to recruit 6,700 new members but missed the mark by 1,661 recruits. Even after lowering their quota from over 8000 they still missed their goals. This makes the fourth month in a row that the active duty Army hasn't been able to round up enough able bodied, drug free, non felon patriots to fill the ranks.

Lt. Gen. James R. Helmly the head of the Army Reserve sent Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, the Army chief of staff a memo last December that said "his command is rapidly degenerating into a 'broken' force." The recruiting crisis is so bad Army Recruiting Command had to hold a stand-downday last month to remind their recruiters that kidnapping, threats and lying to potential enlistees are not only not approved US Army recruiting techniques but are in fact illegal. These are known facts reported in your newspaper.

I took the liberty myself of calling several recruiters near Arlington VA. I spoke yesterday with a Sgt. Nauta and today with a Sgt. Kraft at 703-682-6399. They both seemed interested when I informed of the CRNC convention going on now at the Crystal Gateway Marriott. As well they should seeing as they're about as popular in the malls these days as Typhoid Mary. I sincerely hope they went over there and signed a few kids up. And I sincerely hope you will write an article about the efforts to get them to do so. Thanks for your time.
TrueBlue Patriotically Yours,
Mark Garrity
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Wonder if the College Republicans even allowed the recruiters anywhere near their young Republican members?
Wrap...