Wednesday, August 29, 2007

“We made a decision to arm guys who wanted to fight for their country,” General Petraeus said.

"Several federal agencies are investigating a widening network of criminal cases involving the purchase and delivery of billions of dollars of weapons, supplies and other matériel to Iraqi and American forces, according to American officials. The officials said it amounted to the largest ring of fraud and kickbacks uncovered in the conflict here."

..full story here.

"Operation Iraqi Freedom, it turns out, was never a war against Saddam Hussein's Iraq. It was an invasion of the federal budget, and no occupying force in history has ever been this efficient. George W. Bush's war in the Mesopotamian desert was an experiment of sorts, a crude first take at his vision of a fully privatized American government. In Iraq the lines between essential government services and for-profit enterprises have been blurred to the point of absurdity -- to the point where wounded soldiers have to pay retail prices for fresh underwear, where modern-day chattel are imported from the Third World at slave wages to peel the potatoes we once assigned to grunts in KP, where private companies are guaranteed huge profits no matter how badly they fuck things up."

--- Matt Taibbi,

peAce...not war profits...

...remember 9/11/2001 the bumper stickers say,
       "Never Forget!!!"

... is a better idea


Friday, August 24, 2007

Threat Imminence Elicits Prefrontal-Periaqueductal Gray Shifts in Humans

"Humans, like other animals, alter their behavior depending on whether a threat is close or distant. We investigated spatial imminence of threat by developing an active avoidance paradigm in which volunteers were pursued through a maze by a virtual predator endowed with an ability to chase, capture, and inflict pain. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we found that as the virtual predator grew closer, brain activity shifted from the ventromedial prefrontal cortex to the periaqueductal gray. This shift showed maximal expression when a high degree of pain was anticipated. Moreover, imminence-driven periaqueductal gray activity correlated with increased subjective degree of dread and decreased confidence of escape. Our findings cast light on the neural dynamics of threat anticipation and have implications for the neurobiology of human anxiety-related disorders."

--- Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging,
Functional Imaging Laboratory,
University College London,
London WC1N 3BG, UK

full story here...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

"Iraq 'grave'..."

National Intelligence Estimate...?

"The unfolding pace and scope of security and political realities in Iraq, combined with our necessarily limited focus of analysis, contain risks: our uncertainties are greater, and our future projections subject to greater chances of error. These issues, combined with the challenges of acquiring accurate data on trends in violence and continued gaps in our information about levels of violence and political trends in areas of Iraq without a substantial Coalition presence and where Intelligence Community collectors have difficulty operating, heighten our caution."

Read it here...

"The level of overall violence . . . remains high; Iraq's sectarian groups remain unreconciled . . . and to date Iraqi political leaders remain unable to govern effectively," the new report said.


how about...


Saturday, August 18, 2007

Impeach? What For?

A good dozen reasons to impeach both President Bush and Vice-President Cheney for their War OF Terrorism.

How does one do it? Stay tuned!

In the interim, please visit the campaign originator's video, and post your video response. Let's make some noise and be heard!!

read more | digg story

US citizen found guilty of aiding terror groups...

Jose Padilla and captors...

Rather than face an embarrassing Supreme Court review of his incarceration in 2005, the Bush administration hastily charged Padilla and co-conspirators Adham Amin Hassoun and Kifah Wael Jayyousi in a federal court. The trio was charged with conspiring to murder, kidnap and support terrorism overseas and two counts of providing material support to terrorists.

The verdicts did not address the allegation by then-attorney general John Ashcroft, who accused Padilla of planning a radiological attack on the United States, for which he was held without charges in almost complete isolation for 43 months.

Padilla’s defense lawyers claimed that three-and-a-half years of military detention, interrogation and alleged torture have left the 35-year-old unfit to stand trial. Judge Marcia Cooke ruled that the defendant was competent despite claims that Padilla – who was isolated and put under 24-hour surveillance – suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. Although his mental health may no longer be in question, 72 hours of video footage containing Padilla’s final interrogation went "missing". The lawyers say Padilla was subject to 24-hour video surveillance during his entire military detention – except for 72 hours of missing tape.

"What could have been done to Mr. Padilla in those seventy-two, or so, hours that the government turned off the camera when for almost four years every one of Mr. Padilla's bowel movements were videotaped?"

-- Anthony Natale, assistant federal public defender for Padilla

Padilla's defense called no witnesses on his behalf and introduced no evidence. His lawyers adopted the risky strategy of suggesting to the jurors that prosecutors failed to prove he conspired with the others or provided material support to terrorists.

Failure to achieve a conviction would have been a major embarrassment for the Bush administration, given its portrayal of Padilla over the last five years as an extremely dangerous terrorist.

"We commend the jury for its work in this trial and thank it for upholding a core American principle of impartial justice for all. Jose Padilla received a fair trial and a just verdict."

-- Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for the National Security Council

"You need to understand, this is a Republican city. I'm not surprised of anything in this place any more."

-- Estela Lebron, Padilla's mother


CIA, FBI computers used for Wikipedia edits

"People using CIA and FBI computers have edited entries in the online encyclopedia Wikipedia on topics including the Iraq war and the Guantanamo prison, according to a new tracing program."

ABC News story...

In 1949, George Orwell told us there would be days like this...


Friday, August 17, 2007

Neo-Conned speech, Congressman Ron Paul...

This speech was given in Congress on July 10, 2003. Form your own opinion on his analysis of what forces are behind the major initiatives of our government....


...less than two percent of the insurgency is from outside Iraq...

On C-SPAN's Washington Journal this morning, Major General Mixon, the US commander in northern Iraq, stated that "of the 6000 insurgents his forces have captured over the last 12 months in Iraq, less than 2 percent are non-Iraqis..."

This was in response to a phone-in question from a viewer on why securing the borders in Iraq was not a higher priority. Another viewer asked whether the General thought the remnants of the US military would mount an insurgency if the situation were reversed, that is, the US was invaded and occupied, the Presidents "regime" toppled and the military disbanded. His response was to cite a "real world scenario" in that the Confederate soldiers laid down their arms and went home at the end of the Civil War...

He declined to comment on the callers "hypothetical" question...

peAce is an option...

Thursday, August 16, 2007 call this leadership...?

Politics is predictable... "...Take the election process, for example during the primary, the Democrats lean as far left and the Republicans as far right as possible, then for the general election, both of them take off towards the center and whoever gets there first wins..."

-- paraphrased quote from a former ambassador to Mexico, C-SPAN 7/16/2007 6:00 - 6:30 PM CDT USA


Thomas Jefferson, a fine example of a president...

Our third President was the President of the Philosophical Society, a gathering of the greatest intellectual minds in the country, at the same time as he was President of the nation. He invented the numismatic indexing system still in use today. He signed into law the end of this country's participation in the foreign slave trade. He was responsible for the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark expeditions, and others that surveyed all the way to what is now California at a time when more than 80 percent of the nations people lived within 75 miles of the Atlantic Ocean. He even was strong on military defense, sending our navy and marines to confront pirates in the Mediterranean in a defensive projection of force where he deemed it neecessary.

Now, thats leadership, okay?


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Quiet Oil-for-Food Scandal

We aren't going to hear much about the corporations that paid bribes in the Oil-for-Food scandal because Bush's family, friends and closest advisors are in it knee-deep, along with some Democrats. One notable exception we are hearing about is Oscar Wyatt, pictured here.

"Wyatt's memorandum asserts that he has been singled out by the federal governement for prosecution even though a special U.N. panel led by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker found that a large class of similarly-situated people and more than 2,000 companies had paid surcharges to the Iraqi government under the program, but had not been subjected to prosecution. Wyatt -- who has been a frequent and harsh critic of both Bush Administrations and the government's Middle East policies -- contends that the prosecution is punishment for Wyatt's outspoken views:

Here the government has singled out Wyatt for prosecution as a persistent and vocal critic of U.S. policy and support for commerce with Iraq, . . [. . .]

The government is now seizing its opportunity to silence Wyatt and vindictively punish him for his expression of these views. In a classic case of selective and discriminatory prosecution, the government has chosen to select only the most outspoken of its critics for prosecution for regulatory violations of the very embargo he strenuously has criticized.

Wyatt's memorandum goes on to argue that companies that paid the surcharges may have violated international norms, but they did not obtain or divert money or property from those whom the government has identified as the alleged victims."

-- Tom Kirkendall's Houston's Clear Thinkers

...update October 1 2007 - Oscar Wyatt pleads guilty in oil-for-food trial...


more here...and...
read more | digg story

Monday, August 13, 2007

Dick Cheney on why America shouldn't invade Iraq (1994)


Ford's 200-mph, 770-hp Hydrogen Fuel Cell Record Breaker: How It Works

Expected to reach speeds in excess of 200 mph, the Fusion 999 is a joint venture between Ford’s Sustainable Mobility Technologies Group, Ballard Power Systems (fuel cell manufacturers), Ohio State University and its team of young Bonneville racers, and Roush Racing.

read more | digg story


Friday, August 10, 2007

...Marine murder charges dropped...

"Where the enemy disregards any attempt to comply with ethical norms of warfare, we exercise discipline and restraint to protect the innocent caught on the battlefield..."



...Americas own suicide protest...

"We have become worse than the imagined enemy - killing civilians and calling it 'collateral damage', torturing and trampling human rights inside and outside our own borders."

To motorists on Chicago's Kennedy expressway on the morning of November 3, 2006, the fire was just an annoyance, slowing their journey into work. It appeared as if someone had set the city's sculpture of a giant flame, which stands by the road, on fire. Most of those commuters didn't hear for some time that it wasn't the sculpture on fire, but a 52-year-old anti-war protester, Malachi Ritscher. Many probably never heard about it.

...more here...

...what will it take before we choose...


Plastic Bags Are Killing Us

"The most ubiquitous consumer item on Earth, the lowly plastic bag is an environmental scourge like none other, sapping the life out of our oceans and thwarting our attempts to recycle it."

-- Katharine Mieszkowski

On a foggy Tuesday morning, kids out of school for summer break are learning to sail on the waters of Lake Merritt. A great egret hunts for fish, while dozens of cormorants perch, drying their wings. But we're not here to bird-watch or go boating. Twice a week volunteers with the Lake Merritt Institute gather trash out of the waters.peAce...topbop!

read more | digg story

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

...the work of the liberators continues...

U.S. air strike in Sadr City kills 13

"Hundreds of angry mourners chanted as they carried at least three coffins, draped in Iraqi flags, through Sadr City streets. Family members wept."

story here...

how about...


Monday, August 06, 2007

...what is happenning here? ...what will fall down next?

...our crumbling, even before construction completes?

Structure Collapse Reported at Fontainebleau...

topbop! was not enough to be unable to find Saddam's weapons...

"More than 190,000 AK-47 assault rifles and pistols distributed to Iraqi forces by the US are missing, feared fallen into the hands of insurgents, a congressional watchdog warned today." more...


Saturday, August 04, 2007

..."phony war" on terrorism...

"None of you should believe we are winning this war. There is no evidence that we are winning this war," the Georgia Republican told a group of about 300 students attending a conference for collegiate conservatives. [ ]

Gingrich says war on terror 'phony'...

"Al-Qaida better positioned to strike the West"
--- DRAFT National Intelligence Estimate


Friday, August 03, 2007

"...there was no indication that the discovery was terror-related ..."

"New York authorities were questioning three men found in a bizarre submersible vessel floating just off Manhattan on Friday, according to local reports."

more at breitbart here...

...again, the quick official-sounding wording in the very first reports...



...would you like fries with that?

Check out the Web Site
that the meat industry doesn't want you to see!


House Erupts in Chaos

House Erupts in Chaos - Looks like more dirty tricks in our government, this time the Democrats attempt to rig a vote and the Republicans adopt a nearly unprecedented protest and walk from the floor of the House chamber. First the Executive and the Judicial branch go cavalier with the rules, now the Legislative too? this system doomed?

read more | digg story

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Minnesota I-35W Bridge Collapse 8/1/2007

"Officials say collapse had nothing to do with terrorism..." CNN

This message accompanied the very first reports of the disaster, reports so early they were filed by 'I-Report' as CNN terms them, or eyewitness video logs. How could "officials" arrive at this conclusion so rapidly? A growing number of the on-the-scene-as-it-happened ear-witnesses described "an explosion", or "big bang" or "very deep sound" that "was felt". Also, many eye-witness reports of a "plume of dust" or "geyser-like" spout of dust were given. The height estimates of the plume by individuals either at the scene to up to 1/4 miles away on a foot bridge that parallels I-35W ranged from 100 to 200 feet in the air. A structural engineer who was on the scene stated that he would expect that "a failure of all of the load-bearing elements across the full width of the span would be required" to result in the collapse of the bridge within 4 to 5 seconds, as was reported by people on the scene.

Okay, so here is another interesting fact. As the NTSB director on the scene was outlining their efforts, he mentioned that a computer simulation program had been made available to his department that had been written as part of a doctoral dissertation by a University of Minnesota graduate student. What was the program? A computer model of the I-35W bridge, that was able to demonstrate failure modes that the bridge would exhibit, based on specific element failure or failures. He described that laser transits would be used to take the exact measurements of the post-failure scene, then reverse-engineer via the program to identify which component or component failures would yield the scene left by the real life disaster. This should be very interesting.

"We don't know what caused this but ...a bridge in the middle of America should not just fall into a river."

-- D-MN Senator Amy Klobuchar

So why then would officials want America to believe no "terrorism" was involved, before any expert analysis had been started? Any ideas?

I have some. One thing I encourage you to read if you want background on what may have happened here: University of Minnesota Department of Civil Engineering Report MN/RC - 2001-10, March 2001. You can get a copy here. While this report indicates the bridge was not in trouble at the time, it illustrates the nature of the problem domain in this type of analysis.

To see an analysis of the bridge structure look here.