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Monday, October 27, 2003

Cheating the children 

Newsday.com - AP Exclusive: Records show teachers cheating on tests

How are children supposed to learn? When the only lessons seem to be how to avoid it? That is what cheating is, it is a way to avoid learning.

What kind of role models are the teachers we have hired for our children? By cheating themselves are the teachers not teaching the children to cheat? At that you nf of an age, what do they take away from this? That it is o.k.?

We have hired these people, it's time we started getting serious about the lessons they are teaching our children.

Tougher testing isn't the problem, it's simply an excuse used for poor quality teaching.

No wonder so many parents are choosing home schooling as an alternative.

Telegraph | News | After Tony and Kofi fail, Brad and Jennifer try Mid-East diplomacy 

After Tony and Kofi fail, Brad and Jennifer try Mid-East diplomacy

That's right folks, when all else fail send in people whose profession is pretend and make believe. I'm sure these folks are well prepared to deal with reality...Just after they have the key grip and the set designers make the last minute adjustments.

A wonder what happens if the lightening isn't just right for a peace signing scene? How many takes will it take?

There are many groups of people who are not political or diplomats that have a much better idea of what is going on over there and are much more qualified than this group of camera divas. Now what in heavens name makes them think they have the right to interfere? Does it even occur to them that they just "might" cause problems? Is this effort being coordinated by anyone involved in the peace process to make sure these ...(sorry I can't write exactly what I think these folk deserve for a label, since I'm sure it would offend SOMEONE) do not cause problems? Who will be their keepers?

While their motive may be noble it is misguided and could be dangerous to not only themselves but to those they may which to help.

Damage control please...




Friday, October 24, 2003

A dangerous bribe 

FOXNews.com - Politics - U.S. Troops in Iraq Have Limited Body Armor

Quote:
---------------------------------------------
Congress has allocated funds for all U.S. troops to wear 16-pound, ceramic-plated Interceptor body armor (search), but as many as 51,000 American soldiers and civilian administrators in Iraq have not yet been equipped with the gear, and have been asking friends and families at home to purchase and send them off-the-shelf models for protection.

As part of the inducement to get other nations to join coalition forces in Iraq, Washington has offered protective gear and other equipment to allied countries. Coalition requests have varied — the Hungarian military asked for desert vehicles; the Latvians requested night vision goggles.

According to a source at U.S. Central Command (search), the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command has given away thousands of vests that match the description of the Interceptor body armor to protect foreign soldiers from small arms fire.
------------------------------------------------

Politics and diplomantic shennanigans as usual....

Terri Schiavo 

Sun-Sentinel: Florida news

I believe that once a person is an adult and is in a marriage to another person of their choice, then the parents do not have guardianship responsibility. That is the exclusive responsibility of the spouse. If either spouse waives that responsibility then that is a different argument. I believe that the law follows a similar premise.

In this case neither of the Schiavo's has transferred responsibility to anyone else. So even though it is a heart wrenching situation, it is not her parent's responsibility or right to reverse the decision of the husband.

In looking at it from a strictly material/physical aspect we could ask some questions.

Should it be lawful for parents to countermand the decisions of a spouse? This is a dangerous, slippery slope. Where do you draw the line? Can the parents make judgments that will affect the couple financial stability? Is it legal for parents of one of the spouses to demand actions of the remaining spouse that could possibly cause financial insolvency or strain the finances to the point that it degrades the quality of his life?

If the parents had those rights then theoretically the parents could demand the remaining spouse continue treatments and pay for those treatments until bankruptcy occurs. Correct? If the parents are given the right to intercede and reverse a decision then they must be willing to shoulder or share the costs and other material and physical burdens that are incurred.

That's just the physical/material (money) end of the business. Now what about the emotional and mental side of the case?

What about closure for the husband. Mentally, emotionally he is watching his partner be kept alive in a limbo state. No power, no closure, no way to move on with his life.

As much as life is precious and every person deserves a fighting chance to survive, everyone also deserves the chance to die. And there is a very fine line that can be crossed when the battle to defeat death threatens to diminish not only those who are dying, but those who are left behind and need to go on living.

This woman has been kept alive for 13 years and she has not shown any sign of coming out of this state. Her parents refuse to let go and finish their grieving. It is selfish and wrong that they do no allow the end game. The daughter needs to die in dignity and the husband to find closure and an end to his grief.

The parents must learn that it is just not their own world they are affecting, but a much broader spectrum of humanity is being affected.

Government has no right to step in and single out an individual like that for meddling and manipulation. They are going against the patient and her spouse's right to determine exactly what they want to happen in their lives and in their deaths. That is ethically wrong. Whether or not it is constitutionally wrong I'll have to leave up to the experts.

The government does not have the right to designate whether or not you receive a legal medical procedure.

Like the article says, there is a very grave danger that the already beleaguered medical community will become afraid to act and not step forward to perform the necessary acts of mercy that mankind requires...simply because Jeb Bush and his administration decided to indulge in a political power play.

Shame on Jeb Bush, I want him to look into the eyes of those who are suffering and are of a sane, conscious mind & who have written living wills, when their doctors tell them that they must be kept alive artificially for an indefinite length of time. Simply because the doctors did not dare break any laws or be held liable for a lawsuit. Why? Because Bush felt it was politically expedite to meddle.

The right to die is just as important as the right to life.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

A Slitherin practical joke? 

Urban Legends Reference Pages: Photo Gallery (Snake Byte)

I wonder if this was Harry's computer?

bizzare...infant turn on one another 

Headline news from Sky News - Witness the event

Probably the best argument that I've ever seen for the human race never fully severing our tie to the animal world.

No matter how much we evolve, our natures don't change.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Forbes.com: Saboteurs attack Calif., Ore. transmission towers 

Forbes.com: Saboteurs attack Calif., Ore. transmission towers

Just what California doesn't need right now...more power woes.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Aljazeera.Net - Iraq-Saudi oil pipeline unusable 

Aljazeera.Net - Iraq-Saudi oil pipeline unusable

Quote:
___________________________________________________
Yet, even if the IPSA-1 pipeline were operational, the Saudi delegate suggested that the kingdom would not entertain the idea of exporting Iraqi crude through it
___________________________________________________


You would think that the Arabs would be doing everything in their power to expedite the rebuilding and transport of Iraqi oil. If the mid-east ants the U.S. out of Iraq with any speed, you would think that they would more heaven and earth to remove any obstacles or reasons the coalition has for sticking around.

In other words, why haven't they stopped the attacks on the Turkey route and worked to repair and reopen the Saudi route.

The earlier Iraq can achieve fiscal security, the earlier they can overtake much of their own reconstruction. The faster the reconstruction is finished or under control the faster the troops will be removed.

A new skirmish in an old battle 

A new skirmish in an old battle

Quote:
_______________________________________________
The Confederate flag is symbolic of slavery, segregation and the Ku Klux Klan -- and should be offensive to everybody, not just blacks, Coleman said.
_______________________________________________

Dear Mr. Coleman,

Yes, the Confederate flag may be offensive. But the Confederate flag is also a symbol of America's past. Of it's triumphs and it's failures. It's misdirections and it's ongoing battles to evolve.

The Confederate flag may not be a nice reminder or a comfortable symbol of our past.

But to erase symbols, events and history that make you uncomfortable is a great folly. If you continue in your quest to eradicate pieces of our history. You will find yourself not only a man without a home, but perhaps a man without a country. Or a man whose country is fated to repeat it's mistakes.

Perhaps you will remember the story of Philip Nolan as told by Edward Everett Hale. Philip Nolan found certain aspects about the United States distasteful and he was bound and determined to change things, revise the U.S. to his beliefs. Eventually he found himself embroiled in Aaron Burrs manipulations, and he suffered for them.

The event that was so marked in the story is this soldier's proclamation and the repercussions of that rash statement.

Quote:
______________________________________________________
The big flies escaped,—rightly for all I know. Nolan was proved guilty enough, as I say; yet you and I would never have heard of him, reader, but that, when the president of the court asked him at the close whether he wished to say anything to show that he had always been faithful to the United States, he cried out, in a fit of frenzy,—

“Damn the United States! I wish I may never hear of the United States again!”
______________________________________________________

Now Nolan, did not understand how his outburst would be construed, if he had. He just may have reigned in his impulse.

It's funny how reacting to situations from an emotional vantage point will lead people to make demands for actions that will dull their pain. But what their demands actually do is evade, ignore, to place the pain in a closet where it will not hurt you. But it's something that needs to be dealt with, worked with. Reminders of what hurt you need to be in front of our eyes so we never forget. Because those who forget, ignore or rewrite history are fated to repeat history's mistakes.

Yes, the memory of slavery hurts you, racism is a reality in your world. But to erase bits and pieces of an event from the history books, to ban the acknowledgement of a symbol just so that you will not be reminded is wrong.

The Confederacy good and bad is a part of us. It is a place where we have been and traveled away from. Do you really want to rewrite history so that both the good and the bad is hidden from the world?

When you ask that we stop acknowledging something, you ask us to stop acknowledging both the good and the bad.... Can you think of one good thing that the Confederate flag stood for? No? Now that's too bad...

Notice, in no way shape or form am I making any reference that Mr. Coleman's actions mirror or resemble in any form Nolan's treason. He may be reacting in an emotional manner to a situation just as Nolan did and Coleman may very well learn that the consequences of what he has asked for may have unrealized consequences.

The connection I made is in consequences. Nolan got his wish to never hear about the United States ever again. And I pray that Coleman does not get his wish to "never hear about the Confederacy and it's attendant evils ever again." because for all it's evils, it does have a place in our lives. It's part of what has made us into the people we are. If we wish to continue to work towards equality and unity. We need to reread the lessons of inequality and disunity to learn what not to do and what we need to do to avoid the same pitfall in future generations.

Monday, October 20, 2003

Hit & Run: Reconstruction 

Hit & Run: Reconstruction

I get a kick out of it....Here it is again in the Newsweek article...The fav word of the media...THE M WORD!!!!!!

(sigh) You would think that with a college education these journalists could come up with a variety of adjectives. Rather than wear one down to a bone. Quagmire is another favorite, if it isn't a mess it's a quagmire.

Quote:
________________________________________________
Reporters and government officials have always squabbled over access; but the news coverage of the messy, ongoing conflict in Iraq has worsened the already tense relationship between the press and the administration.
________________________________________________

I wonder why???? Note heavy sarcasm here. Maybe the trust factor on the administrations side has hit an all time low. Personally I wouldn't blame them. I've been reading both the Arab perspective and the western media's perspective on top of soldiers and Iraqi reports. The difference between them is just phenomenal.

Note that Instapundit had introduced a new Iraqi blogger definitely a new blog to watch. Zeyad has an interesting tidbit on the games that the media plays....

I had noted that Reuters had submitted a short article on how the coalition was ignoring Baghdad's schools and what miserable condition they are in. If especially irked me that they basically concentrated on one school and the original report ignored an overall look at the school reconstruction as a whole and how it was progressing. See last post

Now low and behold...Reuters has gone back in and *revised* their article to a more fair and balanced view.

Now the article talks about the work being done to fix up the schools and get new curriculum to the students. Yet it still outlines that the there is still much to be done.

So the entire point of Marshall's article is that the media is still playing games of is it or isn't it.

Same story different verse.

I think a lot of the hair splitting that the media and folks like Marshall like to do is simply based on what anyone in business understands. Quotes, ballparking....Estimates of time and resources for a project.

Retooling for a new line of products...Can you use the old die cast tools as is or revise them? Or are the tools in such bad condition that they need to be rebuilt, or did they crash the first time they were run.

No matter how much preparation and care you put into a project there are always parts of the project that you have to use a *ballpark* estimate for. Because there is no way to come up with an accurate estimate until you are in an actual production condition.

Hindsight is 20-20. It's easy to say we should have *known* what needed to be done and be prepared for it. Which is fine in a controlled environment. But Iraq, under the rule of Saddam Hussein was not within *our* controlled environment. What Hussein's regime upkept and what he let deteriorate was the unknown that we needed to discover after the fact. We could formulate *ballpark* estimates or worst case estimates. But reality rarely matches forecasts.

It's all about trust, and the media has squandered the administrations trust with sensational journalism. Does anyone realize that the embed program is still in effect? That if the media really wished to, they could have much better access. But then they would have to report what really is happening. Not what sells newspapers.

Update on an article 

LBC post: Major bias-bad Reuters

When I first read this article it was half the length it is now. I wish I had copied the text and saved it for a better comparison. But the author of the article has gone back and made adjustments to her first report about the miserable condition of the schools and how the conditions were not being addressed by the coalition.

While I applaud Reuters for attempting better journalism. I sometimes find it annoying when "things" just "change" overnight without it being noted that it had been modified.

They should start using a revision level just like an engineering drawing does. That way we can tell how many times and what exactly had been changed.

Friday, October 17, 2003

The Malaysian malady...Foot in mouth 

Meryl Yourish compares the Media's reporting of the speech with the actual text. He makes some interesting points about the abridged version. Meryl notes that Reuters hadn't submitted a piece on the speech yet. But I just foundthis when I took a peek.

What I find interesting about the Reuters piece, is that at the end of the article they quote many of the representatives from the conference...

Quote:
____________________________________________________
"READ THE WHOLE SPEECH"

Arab leaders said Mahathir was simply telling it like it is.

"I don't think they are anti-Semitic at all. I think he was stating the facts," Yemeni Foreign Minister Abubakr al-Qirbi said.

"There are people wanting to create trouble, invent problems that do not exist," said Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher.

"I would advise them to read the whole speech."

Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid said most foreign media missed Mahathir's main point, that Muslims should make peace as they could not win the Palestinian conflict through violence.

"We do not agree with suicide bombing, and he has said this," the Malaysian minister said. "I'm sorry he has created this adverse interpretation."
_______________________________________________________

Yet Reuters, in their article indicate that we should read the whole speech. Although they obviously do not care if we read the entire speech, because I cannot find where Reuters gives a link to the entire speech or even indicates where a person could find a full transcript of the speech.

Two thumbs down for Reuters.


Life in general 

I apologize for not posting this last week, life has a way of keeping a person busy.

I have a daughter and son-in-law who are in the army, this week my daughter called and informed me their duty assignment will be Korea. They will be leaving after Thanksgiving. I have been following events in Korea because we have Korean family members. But I have not gone in depth with it before. I believe that I will start to research and watch what is going on in that theater more closely. If I can convince my daughter and son-in law to contribute when they can I will post anything they send me.

I also have a nephew in Kuwait/Iraq. So I will need to keep half an eyeball on that sector.


Japan and quakes 

I have an acquaintance who is in the Tokyo area, he posted this list at a private site I visit. This does not include any shakes below 4.0, of which there have more than 200 since 1 September:

19 May Honshu/Miyagi 7.4
25 May Honshu/Tokyo 5.4
30 Aug Hokkaido 5.5
20 Sep Honshu/Tokyo 5.6
25 Sep Kyushu - Mt Aso plume/vent event
25 Sep Honshu - Mt Fuji vent event
25 Sep Hokkaido 8.3
26 Sep Hokkaido 6.1
29 Sep Hokkaido 6.4
29 Sep Hokkaido 5.4
29 Sep Kuril Islands 5.5
29 Sep Hokkaido 5.6
08 Oct Hokkaido 6.7
08 Oct Hokkaido 5.8
08 Oct Hokkaido 5.7
09 Oct Hokkaido 5.5
09 Oct Hokkaido 5.7
09 Oct Bonin Islands 4.6
10 Oct Hokkaido 5.1
10 Oct Hokkaido 4.4
11 Oct Hokkaido 5.3
11 Oct Hokkaido 5.9
11 Oct Kuril Islands 5.7
12 Oct Hokkaido 4.5
13 Oct ? (Japan - 03:25 hrs Jp time)
14 Oct Hokkaido 4.9
15 Oct Honshu/Tokyo 5.0 (followed by fourteen aftershocks)

Despite my ignorance of seismic activity, even I can recognize that the level of activity is elevated. The gentleman that collected this list also stated that, (quote) "before the 8+ Hokkaido quake last month, NHK and two other tv networks used to report quake data within one to three minutes of their occurrence for any quake 3.0 or over. Now they are reporting only quakes over 5.0."

This makes me wonder what the next large event will be.

Update: 17 Oct Honshu/Kozu Island 3.9

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Outta here for a long weekend 

I'm going to be out for a 4 day weekend! Yipeee!!!!! heading up to the northshore for a bit of rusticating and romancing.

When I get back I just might change the decor of this place, I've been shopping around for a look that's a little more "me"

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

BBC NEWS | Europe | Turkey to send troops to Iraq 

Turkey to send troops to Iraq

Quote:
______________________________________________________
Other members argue that such a Turkish role would set a dangerous precedent - allowing military intervention by a neighbouring country with vested interests in Iraq.
______________________________________________________

The Pollyanna side? Maybe it can lessen the tensions if the Turks play it right.

Iraq and Turkey are neighbors and they are going to have to learn to get along with one another. Part of that is becoming comfortable with each other and the military might of each other.

Complacent? No, comfortable that a relationship can be worked out between the two? Yes.

It needs to start now when multiple players and multiple concerns are in play so that this doesn't become an all consuming issue. Those other players and concerns will make sure that moderation is obsereved by all.

Maybe Aljazeera should call Reuters to get their stories straight 

Iraq: Fear smothers women's rights

First Iraq Women Graduate as Armed Security Guards

(Considering Reuters NEVER prints anything more positive than they have to! This is very interesting.)

Maybe those women who are afraid should call these gals to protect them...

You go girls!

Pakistan vs bin Laden? 

Mourners vow to avenge Pakistani MP

Is this how Al Qaeda plans to deal with Pakistan? By seeding dissent and having the country tear itself apart? When no one steps forward for this action, I have to wonder if the motive for this action is simply to incite trouble, so that certain factions can operate a "little" bit easier.

Even though Azam Tariq seemed the type that would support bin Laden, could he have been a sacrifice? I wonder after the mention made of Pakistan by Al Qaida not too long ago.

Al Qaida tape urges Musharraf's removal

Shias shot dead in Karachi

Quote:
________________________________________________________
Most of Pakistan's Shia and Sunni Muslims live peacefully together, but extremist groups on both sides are responsible for many attacks.
________________________________________________________

Internal fighting on top of Kashmir and the coalition pressures adds a terrible strain on the Pakistani government. Is it strong enough to deal with an escalation of internal conflict?

Friday, October 03, 2003

Terrorism eclipses street crime in Iraq  

Front Page Story Archive :: Terrorism eclipses street crime in Iraq :: The Independent Voice of Iraq - IRAQ TODAY

Ask yourself why would the terrorists be against the Iraqis suceeding in their bid for independence.

(I'll be back to write more later...I've an interruption to take care of right now.)



Thursday, October 02, 2003

America the Forgiven, obviously not 

America the Forgiven

The author asserts that the United States conquered the Native Americans land and resources....I wish to state that that is a false assumption.

How and why can I say this? In a very short version at least for the Louisiana territory.

In 1803 the United States purchased the Louisiana Territory from the French. Who in turn got the land by right of conquest from Spain. Who received the land by the right of discovery from Columbus. Who was an agent working on the behalf of Queen Isabella of Spain. Who before financing Columbus' journey of discovery received the Pope's permission to set forth such an expedition...And since the Pope is an agent of God and speaks on God's behalf, it is from God that permission was given to start this entire chain of events.

Now, nowhere in this chain of events did anyone do a title search to find if there was a conflict of ownership. And since there exists no bill of sale from the Native Americans to any party....Well, we haven't begun to talk about the Native Americans and how they believed that no man could own the land. That the land and the resources were a gift from Wankantanka. That they simply laughed behind their hands when all these "civilized" men claimed ownership over something that could not be owned. As long as the "civilized" men didn't bother the Native Americans, they could say anything they wished about land ownership.

Now if the Spanish and then the French didn't buy the land from the native Americans...Didn't they sell the United States STOLEN property???? And if you say that right of discovery and right of conquest covers that aspect...Then the United States legally purchased the land and was already in legal ownership of said property....How can they conquer what they already owned??? Add into this the fact that the Native Americans never claimed ownership of said property until AFTER the fact.....Before all this went down they claimed that the land and resources came down from Wankantanka...Well, since Isabella checked with the Pope and got the go ahead from God to begin with, and it has been universally accepted that the one spirit is in all probability both God and Wankantanka. All eventualities were covered when claiming the Louisiana territory.

While many in the Arab world believe they "know" America and American's, they do not.

There is much to be learned by both cultures.

I do not believe that the people of the Arab world are all religious extremists out to wreak bloody jihad on all non-believers.

Nor should anyone believe that the people of America are as that author believes.

Because things are always much more complicated than that.

If the author wishes to compare statistics on slavery, genocide and conquest. I'm sure we could come up with some very interesting numbers that compare America and the Arabian area.

I seriously do believe that before this author decides to sling more arrows at America that she needs to research her own area's history.

We need to be understanding and tolerant of each other. Learning more about one another is an excellent start. But more than just the negative of each culture must be learned. We need to learn the positive also.

Profiling or stereotyping is supposed to be wrong. So why is it permissible for this gal to get away with it?

If I am supposed to be unbiased and not suspect every mid-eastern person I meet of being a terroristWouldn't it stand to reason that a person from the mid-east needs to be unbiased and not suspect every American of being some type of opportunistic murdering monster?

When will the Mid-eastern world admit to fostering racial and religious hatred? When will they be willing to admit they have clay feet.

American's know their faults, their weaknesses and their follies. Just because the world would like to see American's whipping themselves and crying in horror, doesn't mean it will happen. Perhaps the world would like us to offer up our first born children for sacrifice to atone for our sins? America can admit that we are not perfect and not break down or break apart. Can other countries? If you mention that fact the the Dutch were slave traders, you will get defensiveness. If you mention that the French were losing approx. 2000 men per engagement when LeClerq was campaigning in the gulf and Louisiana Territory. You will get a blank look. If you mention that in Haiti's past the black population murdered every white man, woman and child on the island in revenge and hatred...you will get the answer the whites owned slaves and deserved it. And I will answer back, did the children deserve it? The Persians marched against the Greeks and you have the results of Thermopylae.

You will find artrocities, and mercy in all cultures, all races and all countries in all time periods.

If anything all of mankind is equal in that aspect.

I find it funny that in America we argue and bicker and attempt to take advantage of one another (example check out the recent news....^.~) But when we need to, we do come together as a whole and become better than our separate parts. That's when subjects like the Plame blame and the Arnie grope loose importance and fade to the background. This is a fact we quite often forget.

I think I will start a series of posts that are much like Paul Harvey's "The rest of the story". Stay tuned.

America go home? No say the Iraqis. 

going back through Outside the beltway into Politix the subject is the Stop the War Coalition and their actions and protests. Apparently they believe we should just pull up stakes and walk away from Iraq.

Now, who should I listen to? Anti-war protesters who form their positions on unbendable ideology, or the Iraq Governing Council (who are Iraqis in Iraq) that are the ones setting up the new Iraq.
Coalition forces our only option for security

I think that the Stop the War Coalition needs to stop and rethink their position. Especially when it is obstructionist. The Iraqis need our support, they do not need us attempting to tear each other limb from limb. Do the job that needs to be done without interference is the fastest way for us to be able to leave Iraq to the Iraqis.

Interesting take on the leak 

One Hand Clapping

Quote:
___________________________________________
In other words, if Valerie Plame’s name and CIA affiliation are so sensitive, then no one has done more to damage with linking them than her own husband. Why?

Wilson's actions don't make sense if Plame really was covert and her work and contacts needed to be protected. But if she was not covert then no overseas harm is done. But what might Wilson and Plame get out of all this? Wilson has reportedly already told an interviewer that he and his wife have discussed who will play her in the movie
_______________________________________________

Wilson's vehemence against Rove is also suspect. Wishfull thinking on Wilson's part, guilt on Rove's part or perhaps was it a deliberate attempt to plant doubt and distrust.

Who in the end benefits and who get damaged.

The more I hear of this case the more I believe that no matter who leaked what, certain individuals used the opportunity to advance personal agendas.

Update:

I just read this articleand they are questioning things I have wondered myself. Was Valerie Wilson an active covert?

I'd say, no she wasn't, I still get the feeling this is a smear job targeting the Bush administration.

If it never is resolved then the Bush administration will be tarred and feathered by suspicion. Irregardless of whether or not they deserve it.


Nobel prize for literature 

Nobel prize in literature goes to J.M. Coetzee of South Africa

personally I have never read any of his work, although now I plan to.

What stuck me most about this article is again the trend to use any opportunity to critique and strike out at western culture. Even by the groups that are supposed to be the epitome of tolerance and global spirit.

quote:
_________________________________________________
While acknowledging Mr. Coetzee's literary craft, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, in an announcement this morning, particularly emphasized his "ruthless criticism of the cruel rationalism and cosmetic morality of Western civilization" -- a remark with international political overtones, no doubt intended to resonate beyond the strictly cultural sphere.
__________________________________________________

It is easy to easy to make broad generalizations and sweeping remarks. Even if the vast majority of your targets do not fall within your remarks you can always point to the few who do fall within and without straining your conscience say your comments are true.

Puzzling Out the Logic of a Leak (washingtonpost.com) 

Puzzling Out the Logic of a Leak (washingtonpost.com)

Bare with me as I think about this. If Mrs. Wilson had in fact retired from active work to raise her children and if she was no longer an active asset.

Who could use her information as the most valuable weapon?

I still have trouble with believing the administration gained any amount of significant benefit from it. Directly, how can her outing "punish" either of the Wilson's? If she is now inactive and raising her children is her not being about to go out covert really an issue?

How is it punishing Mr. Wilson? It's not, as far as I can see, he gains credibility for his report because we now know he has "some" connection to knowledge of WMD which we did not have before. If the outing means his wife will be staying home to be wife and mother how is it punishing him?

In neither of the Wilson's cases does the outing discredit their image or credibility.

As far as the Bush administration, how could the outing of Mrs Wilson help their agenda. Basically it can't, the only thing it can do is cause trouble and headaches.

A couple of other thoughts to keep in mind. The Bush administration is an ideological group. They have very ridged morals and ethics. They do not play fast and loose. In fact after the Clinton administration I wouldn't be surprised if Bush did not make it mandatory for his staff to promise not to engage in hanky panky.

Also why now, why after all these years of keeping the administrations nose clean do they all of a sudden attempt a poorly planned, poorly executed leak. Elections are coming up. Why would the Bush administration risk such a move at this time, especially with Wilson?

Why not target a higher profile, more dangerous opponent? Why not leak info on an election opponent or a politician who is being obstructionist.

It has no payback for the Bush administration to pull such a stunt.

But I have to wonder who it would have benefited to have used Mrs. Wilson as a sacrificial lamb. Was she someone who could be sacrificed without "hurting" her and her family? (damage control on exposure)

In the end the only ones who can possibly be hurt by this entire scenario is the Bush Administration. They've made it almost an entire term without any leaks, or underhanded tactics that the media could report.

Who would benefit from sacrificing Mrs. Wilson to discredit the Bush administration's record. If you can answer that question, you will be able to find the people behind the leaks.

Update On IraqToday 

The site for Iraq Today is back on line folks!

Now I just have to find the time to see what they have new posted!

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

An ironic pair of breeches 

Or was that iron your pants....

Talking Points Memo interview with Wesley Clark

Quote:
______________________________________________________________
TPM: We just crossed the Potomac River a few minutes ago. So that both means that my time is running short but also we're coming into Washington -- we've just come into Washington, DC. And obviously for the last two or three days there's been one story in this town. And that's about this beginning investigation. We don't know what the facts are, but it seems at least -- there's evidence out there -- that some high level officials in the administration, seemingly just for political reasons, exposed the cover of a CIA agent, a covert operative in the CIA, whose husband obviously, Joseph Wilson -- people know the background story. Obviously having been a four-star general, retired now, you've dealt with all sorts of classified and top-secret information. Just how does that strike you? That that could have happened? What was your reaction to that?

CLARK: Well, I'm mystified as to how it could have happened. I don't understand how people in the White House -- if that's where it came from -- in the political operation, would have had any knowledge about the qualifications, or the activities, of a retired ambassador's wife. They just wouldn't have -- how would they know that? That's why I've called for an impartial commission of inquiry, not associated with the executive branch, to go back into this, because there are enough charges and counter-charges out in this issue, in this very political administration. You have to take the intelligence community, especially the protection of censored sources, out of the political process. And that means you need an independent commission, which is not part of this administration, to look into the full circumstances and issues surrounding this case.
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The Clark critique

quote:
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I went back through the Pentagon in November 2001, and one of the senior military staff officers had time for a chat. Yes, we were still on track for going against Iraq, he said. But there was more. This was being discussed as part of a five-year campaign plan, he said, and there were a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia, and Sudan. So, I thought, this is what they mean when they talk about “draining the swamp.” It was evidence of the Cold War approach: Terrorism must have a “state sponsor,” and it would be much more effective to attack a state than to chase after individuals, nebulous organizations, and shadowy associations. He said it with reproach—with disbelief, almost—at the breadth of the vision. I moved the conversation away, for this was not something I wanted to hear. And it was not something I wanted to see moving forward, either.
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The question I would like to ask is this. What is the difference between what Clark has done with divulging sensitive Pentagon information in his book and Novak naming Mrs. Wilson in his article.

Does anyone one else see the irony here?

Clark can walk into the Pentagon and discuss sensitive information with a senior Pentagon official and print it in a book and no one bats an eyelash.

Yet Novak names a woman who can be found in public sources such as the Who's who and the fact of her CIA connection was well known in certain public sectors and all of a sudden they are demanding investigations?

Truely, Clark isn't the only one mystified. The world has gone totally mad.

Whatever happened to Iraq today? 

Out of the blue the new Iraqi newspaper Iraq today has disappeared. I first noticed it missing yesterday and assumed it was simply down because of technical difficulties. But it still has not resumed as of today.

Even though it was not a large publication and I am not entirely sure of how accurate it was, I enjoyed reading it.

Hopefully this is just a glitch and they will resume their online site soon.

Major bias...Bad Reuters 

For Pete's sake

Dear Reuters,

Perhaps you should attempt to balance your news reporting a little better?

How many schools are there in Iraq? How many have been rebuilt by the coalition. How many are in the process of being rebuilt. What is the schedule for rebuilding. Perhaps it is more informative to report on those facts than to write a WHA-WHA piece that only misleads your readers.

By Reuters using only one school that has not been rebuilt they make the sweeping generalization that nothing has been done. Which anyone who has assets or contacts in Iraq know is false and misleading reporting.

Two thumbs down for Reuters

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