Archive for October, 2005

David Espo of AP launches first assault

Monday, October 31st, 2005

Well well well…didn’t take AP long to go right to the heart of the matter. David Espo, “special” correspondent for AP, reports:

Alito’s politically conservative views were not in dispute. “Of course he’s against abortion,” his 90-year-old mother Rose told reporters at her home in Hamilton, N.J.

That’s nice. Go talk to Momma Alito to get the good stuff. Forget his colleagues in the Legal fraternity. Nevermind his professors at Yale. Who cares about his record as a jurist? His Constitutional Scholarship has absolutely no bearing on this fight. It’s all about Abortion and Momma Alito has spilled the poison bottle now. Look out World! It’s another member of the fascist conservative Christian right!

Nigerian Plane Crash

Monday, October 31st, 2005

Last Saturday a plane went down in Nigeria shortly after take off. At first authorities said it was a tragedy but just a crash…nothing fishy. Now, Nigerian authorities suspect an explosion. Douglas Farah at the Counterterrorism blog has the full details as he has worked them out.

One thing jumps out at me however. Of the 117 passengers on board Bellview flight 210 was a US Special Forces operator. Just one? It wouldn’t surprise me to see JSOC have guys in Nigeria. It **WOULD** surprise me to see a single operator on a puddle jumper.

God Bless him and his family…and the rest of his team.

Factoids

Monday, October 31st, 2005

These folks are new to blogosphere at least by this domain. I read their entry about the keyboard and liked their style. Then I read about the spammers and decided I liked their dry wit. Then I read about the “power users” they support and well….I’m hooked.

Then I read this and I’m thinking that maybe I’ve read these folks before…hmmmm…

Rattling letter openers at UNSC

Monday, October 31st, 2005

One down and 16 to go I guess.

Today the UN Security Council unanimously passed a watered down, half-hearted, almost-threat to Syria which basically amounted to a school yard taunt, “Now you better play fair!”.

What else can we expect from these people? The US, Britain, and France(!) wrote the original resolution which included a clear direct threat of sanctions if Syria didn’t behave but, SHOCK, Russia and China wouldn’t support it so the tough language was removed.

The resolution falls under Article VII of the UN Charter so it is militarilly…uh…or something.

Judge Alito is our man!

Monday, October 31st, 2005

Outstanding Mr. President! You can always tell how your choice is rating by who comes out against it so here’s a tally:

Here’s the folks against it so far(nice work at Breitbart):

Senator Al-Reid

“The nomination of Judge Alito requires an especially long, hard look by the Senate because of what happened last week to Harriet Miers. Conservative activists forced Miers to withdraw from consideration for this same Supreme Court seat because she was not radical enough for them. Now the Senate needs to find out if the man replacing Miers is too radical for the American people.”

Senator Al-Kennedy

“Rather than selecting a nominee for the good of the nation and the court, President Bush has picked a nominee whom he hopes will stop the massive hemorrhaging of support on his right wing. This is a nomination based on weakness, not strength.”

Senator Al-Schumer

“It is sad that the president felt he had to pick a nominee likely to divide America instead of choosing a nominee in the mold of Sandra Day O’Connor, who would unify us. This controversial nominee, who would make the court less diverse and far more conservative, will get very careful scrutiny from the Senate and from the American people.”

and then of course, one of the guys who gives the fellas above their marching orders, the one and (hopefully) ONLY Ralph Neas

“President Bush put the demands of his far-right political base above Americans’ constitutional rights and legal protections by nominating federal appeals court Judge Samuel Alito to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.”

Well boys, with Senator Graham already saying that an Alito filibuster “would not stand“, it seems the lines are drawn. Let’s have at this.

Bring. It. On.

Samhain CANCELLED!

Saturday, October 29th, 2005

SHOCK! STUNNED! A School in Boston has cancelled their Halloween(Recognized by witches around the world as Samhain, the death of their god) festivities after a few parents complained that it was offensive to them.

I find this slightly entertaining. The school had nothing planned of a religious nature…just the normal secular thing with costumes and treats. There is nothing in the article about the motivation of the complaining parents other than how they considered it offensive. I would bet these folks were Christian and were making a point. The way this story was written, assuming it’s accurate, it seems the point was taken. One parent of kids at the school said:

”If they can cancel Halloween, what about Columbus Day and Valentines Day? We get Jewish holidays and Christmas off, so what’s next?” asked Andrea Newman, whose two sons attend the school. ”All it takes is one person to be offended, and our school will ban it.”

There ya go Ms. Newman. The local native nations in your area, if they can pull themselves away from their casinos, will want to shut down Columbus Day. Valentines Day is probably safe in Boston for now. How else is Senator Al-Kennedy gonna get any attention from the ladies?

Perjury

Saturday, October 29th, 2005

While some other Conservatives seem to be jumping to the defense of the Administration and Scooter Libby I’m in the other camp. If the indictment is true, he lied to a Grand Jury and not by accident.

My conservative brethren are saying this is not what the case was about. The case was about outing a covert CIA agent. [insert wild eyed rant here about how Ms. Plame wasn’t covert and how the seditious Joe Wilson already outted her by treating her like a trophy wife]. While all that may be true, it is still a crime to lie to a Grand Jury. Apparently Mr. Rove also lied but he came forward on his own to clear up his “mis-statement”. See folks, it’s about intention. Mr. Libby CLEARLY knew about Ms. Plame on Monday July 7, 2003 when he spoke to Ari Fliescher about her. Then, the following Thursday July 10, 2003 he claimed a conversation took place between himself and Tim Russert where the topic came up and that was the first time he heard it. He repeated this story 4 times. Twice to FBI Agents when NOT under oath and twice to the Grand Jury, clearly under oath. If he was protecting someone in the White House then shame on him and shame on the White House for allowing the behavior. Am I supposed to believe that he wasn’t debriefed by his boss when he returned from testifying? If so, I can’t. If the Vice President DIDN’T debrief his subordinate after such an important event then that comes to close to dereliction of duty in my book. When my subordinate’s have discussions with the senior staffers I want to know about it so I’m not surprised. Not sure about the law on this but I think I would have made that conversation happen even if it was over coffee in a noisy environment…ahem.

Clinton was aquitted of his perjury charges by the weak kneed US Senate led by the weak kneed Trent Lott. That makes Clinton INNOCENT of the charges made against him…just like OJ. For Libby’s sake, and by extension the White House, I hope the jury aquits him as well. But honestly, I don’t see 2 FBI agents, a former Press Secretary, and a leading national member of the Legacy Media making this up.

It’s true that the case itself wasn’t about this particular charge…but it’s still wrong to lie to a grand jury for the express purpose of covering up …er…protecting you boss.

About the case itself…there never was a case about Ms. Plame. She was widely known to be a CIA employee in the Washington community. Her previous positions within the Agency had her in some covert capacity but that was long ago and well outside the criteria of the law in question. Seditious Joe is a political hack and when his feeble attempt to derail the Battle in Iraq failed he turned to his “poor outted CIA AGENT wife…you did know my wife is a CIA AGENT didn’t you”.

Flock is Delicious!

Monday, October 24th, 2005

Welp…once again I follow the King Rat’s suggestion and lookie where itlands me.

Go. Get. FLOCK! This is as close to communal browsing as I’ve seen since Powwow back in the old days. Browse away and dump your favorite links in Del.icio.us(as easy as hitting a button) for the whole world to enjoy. Check it out…Web2.0 at it’s best.

It’s a neat toy riddled with potential privacy and security problems for the uninitiated. Not that the program itself promotes anti-privacy practices or even has security problems(I’m sure it does, just none that we’ve found thus far). I can just see folks posting links to their intranets, banks, etc. without regard to the fact that said links may well be PRIVATE links but without any authentication required. Yes…I said it…Security by Obfuscation is alive and well in our world.

Sgt. Hook is BACK!

Sunday, October 16th, 2005

While I LOVE Smash, Blackfive, Froggy, and the other milbloggers I frequent I have missed the creative writing of Sgt. Hook. The man has a book in him somewhere and I hope it finds it’s way out at some point.

Hop over to his place and say Welcome Back!

Instant Democracy, just add blood!

Saturday, October 15th, 2005

As the boxes were sealed in Iraq it appears that the overall turnout is around 61%, up 3 points from the last national election. The Iraqi people are voting on a Constitution barely three years after we, the United States and some 40 other countries, helped liberate them.

There are some that will ask why it took so long. There are others that ask if 2,000 American lives were worth it. Let’s take a comparative look at the timeframe and the cost in lives.

We’ll start with why it took “so long” to get the Iraqi people voting on a Constitution.

The American Revolution began April 19, 1775 and the “end of major hostilities” came on October 24, 1781. That is a war lasting 6 years, 6 months and 5 days. Military manuevers and some conflicts continued through August 27, 1782 with an official end of the war coming on April 11, 1783.

The first draft Constitution emerged in 1787…yes, that would be 4 years after the official END(no wagon bombs and no wild eyed Tories blowing themselves up in school houses) of the Revolutionary War.

The Iraq War began March 20, 2003 and the “end of major hostilities” came on May 3, 2003. That is a war lasting roughly 6 weeks. Military manuevers and some conflicts continue through today. Still, even though it has only been alittle over 2 years since the “end of major hostilities”, about the same time interval that the first American flag made it’s debut in 1777, the Iraqi people have elected the equivalent of our Constitutional Convention Delegates and now have voted on their first draft Constitution.

So…why did it take so long? What in the **bleep** do you want? Instant Democracy? Well, in historical terms that is EXACTLY what the Iraqi people have done. Instant Democracy, just add blood.

Which leads us to the next comparison…the cost in lives.

At present the War in Iraq, or more appropriately called the Battle for Iraq as part of the War on Terror, has cost the lives of 1,970 Americans. For those lives The Coalition has effectively liberated 26,074,906 Iraqis. Let’s compare that to the most costly war in American history. NO, Senator Al-Kennedy, that would NOT be Vietnam.

The American Civil War cost the lives of roughly 360,222 Americans who fought for the Union. For those lives approximately 3,950,528 people of african ancestry were liberated. I ask you, dear reader, were those lives worth it?

Miers Nomination

Thursday, October 13th, 2005

I’ve been in 1862 for the past several weeks attending Civil War reenactments in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi with the 7th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry. It’s amazing the things you miss when time travelling. I completely missed the vote for Chief Justice Roberts as well as the nomination of this Miers lady.

I’ve had the opportunity to read and listen to alittle of the conservative mumbling about Miers. I’ve run through the range of emotions from outrage to disgruntlement to having simple faith in the President. Well, I’m pretty much back to outrage.

Senator Al-Kennedy’s comrades have effectively held Judicial Nominees hostage by threatening filibuster while Senator Frist and his weak majority sit idly by. It’s been said to death but it’s still true…the Senate Al-Queda supporters are blocking judicial nominees for the first time in the history of the Republic. This is the first time in history that the Senate has been controlled by the minority party and effectively shutdown by a threat. This simply must stop.

The President had an opportunity to force the hand of Senators Al-Kennedy and Al-Durbin by nominating a clear conservative with strong judicial experience. Nominating someone that would CLEARLY reach the “extreme circumstances” threshold the Gang of 14 set would force the fight in the Senate and decide once and for all if Presidential elections mean anything. Since President Bush was elected in 2000 he and his Senatorial “leadership” have allowed the minority party to control the place. The Senate is based on tradition. The rules set by the Senate at the beginning of each Congress are determined by that tradition. We are in year 6 of minority control of the Senate. How many more years until the act of filibustering Judicial Nominees becomes part of that tradition? Whether the Republicans are doing it or the Democrats it’s still wrong. We have to stop this now. It will be ugly and Al-Kennedy and the rest of his Al-Queda supporting cadre will scream bloody murder(of course having murder and Kennedy in the same sentence is repetitive…excuse me for that) but we are all used to that by now.

But no. The President has caved to the political pressure. He reminds me of the sports team that is struggling and begins to believe in what the reporters are saying about them rather than what they are capable of….something we are QUITE familiar with in Kentucky during football season. Mrs. Miers is a fine, God Fearing, woman who may be the perfect picture of the Supreme Court Justice. We won’t know until she’s confirmed. She’s just not the person we NEED right now.

I’m not sure the Senate conservatives would win this fight but we darn sure NEED this fight to be settled one way or another.

Mrs. Miers, do us all a favor and withdraw your name. It’s looking worse and worse for your chances in the Senate and that only hurts the President and the party. Withdraw your name and ask the President to use some of that political capital he won in the election to force the Senate into the fight that we need as a Nation.