Friday, March 2, 2007

Libby Trial: More Waiting, More Jury Notes

From my "Capital Games" column at

The jurors in the obstruction of justice trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby left early on Friday. But they do appear still to be diligently working through their review of the case. Before knocking off for the weekend, the jurors sent two notes to Judge Reggie Walton. The first note referred to one of the allegedly false statements Libby made to the FBI and grand jury investigating the CIA leak. This statement is part of the overall obstruction of justice count. "Are we supposed to evaluate the entire Libby transcripts (testimony) or would the court direct us to specific pages/line," it read. "Thank you."

The other note dealt with an overarching issue:

We would like clarification of the term "reasonable doubt." Specifically, is it necessary for the government to present evidence that it is not humanly possible for someone not to recall an event in order to find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

How to interpret these communications? The jurors are fixing on both the specifics of the charges and on the larger themes of the case. They may be some conflicting views within the jury room. But these clues suggest the jurors are not yet stuck.

The second note is intriguing. Fitzgerald's case is partly based on the premise that if Vice President Dick Cheney, Undersecretary of State Marc Grossman, senior CIA official Robert Grenier, and vice presidential spokesperson Cathie Martin each told Scooter Libby around June 9 to June 12, 2003, that former Ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and if Libby talked about Valerie Wilson in the next few weeks with CIA briefer Craig Schmall, White House press secretary Ari Fleischer, and New York Times reporter Judith Miller, then Libby had to be lying when he told the FBI and grand jury that by July 11, 2003, he had forgotten completely about the wife. So completely that when Meet the Press host Tim Russert supposedly told him on July 11 about Wilson's wife and her CIA connection, Libby believed he was learning this fact "anew" and was even surprised by it.

Russert has testified he didn't tell Libby about Wilson's wife because he knew nothing about her until the leak blowing her cover appeared in Robert Novak's column three days later. But put that aside for a moment. The issue here is whether Libby's tale is plausible. He told the FBI and the grand jury not that his conversation with Russert rang a bell and reminded him of what he had once known about her but that he was learning this information about Valerie Wilson as if for the first time. In fact, he told the grand jury that at the time of the Russert phone call he didn't even know Joseph Wilson had a wife. Fitzgerald has asserted that Libby cooked up this story to protect himself and the vice president from the criminal investigation related to the leak.

Libby was pleading selective and total amnesia about one particular fact. The jurors may not be buying this. But they seem to be pondering what the standard of disbelief should be in order to declare him guilty not of misremembering but of purposeful lying. They appear to be asking if special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald has to prove that Libby's account is not "humanly possible" to win a conviction or if one can reasonably assume that such a tale of memory loss is implausible.

This is an important question that takes the jurors to one of the central points of the case. I'm not going to guess whether this indicates the jurors are closer to a conviction or an acquittal (or a hung jury). But they certainly seem to be thinking deeply about the matter and paying close attention to the details. Perhaps their deliberations will be swayed by the answers Walton provides them. On Friday afternoon, the judge announced he would deal with these matters first thing Monday morning.

Posted by David Corn at March 2, 2007 04:39 PM


David B. Benson said...

capt --- You misspelled it. Its

Faux News


Saladin said...

Capt, from last thread, the politics and backgrounds of those so-called "think tanks" wasn't really the issue, I knew who they were, that story has been out for several days now. My concern is the idea of carbon credits, and how they will effect the poor and middle classes. Obviously the rich people like gore will not have to worry about altering their lifestyles or making any kind of meaningful sacrifice. All they have to do is buy their way out. But what about everyone else? The first and foremost solution for whatever new crisis the govt. comes up with is always more tax and more legislation. How exactly is that supposed to help our environment? I would think a better idea would be to provide assistance to home owners to install solar panels, small windmills where practical, and any other alternative energy options that may be available to us average joes. Instead of taking even more of our dwindling cash they would be way ahead of the game if we were allowed to invest that money, with some subsidizing and tax CREDITS, in energy conservation, that is, if the environment is REALLY what they're concerned about. However, if keeping the vast majority of us poor and wretched and panic stricken, with no hope of progress, is what they're after, then this makes sense. But it seems to me if they really believe that we are all doomed because the climate is shifting then it would be in everyone's best interest to make sure that every possible fix is utilized. Rich or poor, we all have to live on this planet, so it seems only fair that everyone should pitch in to preserve it the best we can. Those who are unable to afford to make the changes should receive the help necessary to get them in the program. How hard can it be? If they would stop squandering money on these endless foreign invasions it could easily be funded. And I doubt if there would be much opposition. Just an idea.

David B. Benson said...

Saladin --- Almost all economists opine that taxes provide the best way of provided signals to people and corporations to change their behavior. They do not seem to care for so-called cap-n-trade.

If carbon emission was taxed, everybody would begin to move to alternate ways to obtain the energy necessary, and also to become more energy efficient. This could be done in a revenue neutral manner so that total taxation remained the same.

But politicians are the ones who write the laws...

capt said...

Earth's Crust Missing In Mid-Atlantic

Cardiff University scientists will shortly set sail (March 5) to investigate a startling discovery in the depths of the Atlantic.

Scientists have discovered a large area thousands of square kilometres in extent in the middle of the Atlantic where the Earth’s crust appears to be missing. Instead, the mantle - the deep interior of the Earth, normally covered by crust many kilometres thick - is exposed on the seafloor, 3000m below the surface.

Marine geologist Dr Chris MacLeod, School of Earth, Ocean and Planetary Sciences said: "This discovery is like an open wound on the surface of the Earth. Was the crust never there? Was it once there but then torn away on huge geological faults? If so, then how and why?"


*****end of clip*****



capt said...

Report: Walter Reed management outsourced

WASHINGTON, March 2 (UPI) -- U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., has subpoenaed a fired Army officer to testify on whether management of Walter Reed Army Medical Center was outsourced.

The Pentagon is trying to block testimony by former Walter Reed chief, Maj. Gen. George W. Weightman, before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which Waxman chairs.

Waxman wants to ask Weightman about a contract to manage the medical center, awarded to a company with a history of failing to deliver ice to victims of Hurricane Katrina, ABC News reported.

In a letter to Weightman, posted on the committee's Web site, Waxman said contract may have affected the quality of care by pushing dozens of healthcare workers to leave their jobs at Walter Reed.

Waxman charged that the Army used an unusual process to award a contract to manage the facility to a company owned by a former executive of Halliburton -- a company formerly headed by Vice President Dick Cheney. Halliburton has been involved in numerous scandals in providing services in Iraq, ABC said.

Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey resigned Friday and President George W. Bush said he would appoint a commission to look into conditions at Walter Reed.


*****end of clip*****

The SOB's KNEW about the problems for years. Shameful does not begin to describe it.


capt said...

The Case of the Missing Movie

The government made a secret video of its interrogations of 'enemy combatant' Jose Padilla. But now that he's on trial, the Feds claim they don't know where it went.

Feb. 28, 2007 - A federal judge ruled today that suspected Al Qaeda operative Jose Padilla is mentally competent, paving the way for his long-delayed case to proceed to trial, at long last, in April. But the ruling by U.S. Judge Marcia Cooke in Miami leaves open what may be more intriguing questions than those surrounding the defendant’s mental health: what happened to a crucial video recording of Padilla being interrogated in a U.S. military brig that has mysteriously disappeared?

The missing DVD dates from March 2, 2004. It contains a video of the last interrogation session of Padilla, then a declared "enemy combatant" under an order from President Bush, while he was being held in military custody at a U.S. Navy brig in Charleston, S.C. But in recent days, in the course of an unusual court hearing about Padilla’s mental condition, a government lawyer disclosed to a surprised courtroom that the Defense Intelligence Agency—which had custody of the evidence—was no longer able to locate the DVD. As a result, it was not included in a packet of classified DVDs that was recently turned over to defense lawyers under orders from Judge Cooke.

The disclosure that the Pentagon had lost a potentially important piece of evidence in one of the U.S. government’s highest-profile terrorism cases was met with claims of incredulity by some defense lawyers and human-rights groups monitoring the case. "This is the kind of thing you hear when you’re litigating cases in Egypt or Morocco or Karachi," said John Sifton, a lawyer with Human Rights Watch, one of a number of groups that has criticized the U.S. government’s treatment of Padilla. "It is simply not credible that they would have lost this tape. The administration has shown repeatedly they are more interested in covering up abuses than getting to the bottom of whether people were abused."


*****end of clip*****

The Pentagon must be using the same data vault as the BBC.


David B. Benson said...

capt --- Sure looks like cover-up to me...

capt said...

BBC Responds to Building 7 Controversy; Claim 9/11 Tapes Lost

Pathetic five paragraph blog rebuttal does not answer questions as to source of report that Salomon Building was coming down, BBC claims tapes lost due to "cock-up" not conspiracy

The BBC has been forced to respond to footage showing their correspondent reporting the collapse of WTC 7 before it fell on 9/11, claiming tapes from the day are somehow missing, and refusing to identify the source for their bizarre act of "clairvoyance" in accurately pre-empting the fall of Building 7.

Here is the BBC's response to the questions about the footage that was unearthed yesterday, with my comments after each statement.


David B. Benson said...

Prison Planet is a great source of misinformation, IMO.

capt said...

Afghan opium 'hits record output'

Opium production in Afghanistan reached record levels last year, the United States has said.

The US State Department's annual report on narcotics also said the flourishing drugs trade was undermining the fight against the Taleban.

It warned of a possible increase in heroin overdoses in Europe and the Middle East as a result.

Poppy production rose 25% in 2006, a figure US Assistant Secretary of State Ann Patterson described as alarming.

Four years after the US and its British allies began combating poppy production, Afghanistan still accounts for 90% of the world's opium trade.

The US has recently given the Afghan government more than $10bn in assistance, but most of that money will be spent in security rather than encouraging alternative sources of income.

The report also criticised South America's left-wing leaders such as Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Bolivia's Evo Morales, for failing to do enough to fight the drugs trade.


*****end of clip*****

The governments actions reveal their true purpose.

"Cultivation -- measured annually with high-resolution satellite imagery that is then parsed by analysts using specialized computer software -- is nearly double its highest pre-Karzai level."

We are suppose to believe they cannot eradicate the opium crops because they have no idea where to look while at the same time they can measure the crops by way of satellite imagery?


Saladin said...

Mr. Benson, are these the same economists that assure us that our economy is strong? From what I have seen most taxes are regressive, and more people suffer than benefit. I think that incentives, especially economic ones, are far more likely to produce the desired results. For instance, if you were offered a 100% return on your investment re: solar panels, would you not take advantage of such an offer? What if the feds, in a spurt of generosity, decided that the planet was in such peril they made it mandatory to recompense every person who installed any and all energy saving devices that produced a reduction in our overall carbon production? Wouldn't that help reduce the release of the dreaded CO2? Regardless of what people believe, we will move away from carbon based energy, we've been doing it for about 150 years, the question is, what can the market provide? What kind of incentives will motivate the people to make the switch? I guarantee you that raising taxes will accomplish exactly two things, first, a much poorer populace and second, a more pissed off populace, especially when they figure out the fact that their standard bearer, Mr. gore, is just a big hypocrite, and that the rich elite, for the most part, aren't doing without anything. This never worked in the past, and now, in the age of instant information, it definitely won't work in the present. If we don't tackle this together we will go the way of the Dodo, which I think, is the overall plan anyway.

O'Reilly said...

Every jury struggles with the question, what level of doubt constitutes 'Reasonable Doubt' especially as they consider a guilty plea.

I don't have inside info of course but recognize the jury has been deliberating for two weeks. We may not get five counts of GUILTY but I think we'll get four including obstruction.

In his closing, Fitz said "There is a cloud over Dick Cheney." Could there be a more direct and telling indicator who Fitz thinks is responsible for the outing of the CIA agent Valarie Plame, whose status was CLASSIFIED and who was under non-official cover?

Wilson was a nobody to these powerful men in the officeof the vice president (OVP). But Wilson dared to pull the curtain back on the lies the office of the Vice President used to justify the war in Iraq. OVP said Niger Yellowcake. Wilson said Bullshit. OVP knew the Niger Uranium was fraudulent intel, the aluminim tubes were fraudulent intel, and the meetings between Mohammed Atta and Iraq was fraudulent intel. The Iraq war was raging and the WMD search teams were coming up with NADA. Your damn right Cheney was going to do his best to discredit Wilson. The case for war would never stand close scrutiny. It was an inside job.

People who call themselves conservative can't support this type of governemnt. Only sheeple authoritarians and dutiful Bushites can support this criminal and fraudulent war, and the leaders who fraudulently took us there.

I have a friend who died in Tikritin the first year of the war. She was 41 years old and she was going to retire within 2 months to spend time with her 10 year old son and her husband. Fuck Cheney and George Bush who are directly responsible for manipulating americans traumatized by 9/11 and for fraudulently justifying a pre-emtive war in Iraq. The damages are great. Over 3146 american soldiers have died, over 30,000 are maimed and over 600,000 Iragi civilians have died.

O'Reilly said...

It seems Bush declassified the NIE, which Libby leaked to Judy Miller. There may be a problem however because Libby was leaking parts of that NIE before it was - with the wave of Bush's hand - declassified.

That raises a second issue. There is no precedent that Bush can declassify on the spot. There is a well documented procedure. Only three people knew Bush had declassified the NIE; Bush, Cheney, and Libby. Everyone else was out of the loop including Stephen Hadley, the national security advisor, who would have a role in declassifying the NIE. There is a process to declassify this kind of information. That the NIE was 'declassified' in a unqiue way raises BIG RED flags.

Finally, there is no clear evidence that Bush or Cheney or anyone declassified Plame's identity as a CIA NOC. So if that information was not declassified, then someone leaked classified information, which is a federal felony. Moreover, ageny heads have a clear role in declassifying secrets held in their agencies.

FACT: The CIA referred this case to Justice. They would not have if Plame's status had been declassified.

There was an organized campaign in Cheney's OVP to discredit and punish Joe Wilson. Don't take my word for it, read the pre-trial pleading Fitz filed with the court. The leaking of this classified information was petty retribution for Wilson's Oped and a treasonous act to boot.

In his closing argument Fitz said, "There is a cloud of Dick Cheney." Hmmm, I bet Fitz knows more than he's telling us.

Saladin said...

"Prison Planet is a great source of misinformation, IMO."

And economists aren't? They won't even touch the #1 cause of 99% of the monetary grief in this country, yet you believe we should hand over more and more of our money so the govt. can take care of us? The worst ever track record for spending is held by the federal govt. We are facing a debt load that will crush us, but we should trust them to save the planet from all the unwashed masses? God help us. To repost Capt's excellent quote:

"I would be better to trust the many than the few, who are infected with the plague of self-interest and selfishness." Tom Paine, 1737-1809, from "The Rights of Man".

I think this has proven to be true.

WTF said...

All good points but the coming weeks will give everyone a chance to watch the crash of an economy up close and personal. This administration has finally done in the country, but hey if you are short on some of these you could make some bucks.

All part of the grand distraction that has covered up most of the power grabbing laws that were inserted at the last minute and take away all of your rights as a citizen of a modern country and converted it into a mass of scared and shivering slaves. Yup, great country once, now what? Oh yeah, lets keep on investigating while the shrub and his cohorts steal what little is left of this place. Enjoy the next week and watch monday for the market to forecast the new lifestyle, enjoy because it won't last long either.

It seems that folks don't get it, but soon it will be impossible to not get it. It is all over but the accounting now.

Libby trial? Smoke and mirrors, like the ANS funeral and many other non issues. MSM won't report on the things that will affect each and every one of us. How can you make good decisions without good information. Iraq case in point. Watch the spring offensive in Afcrapistan, that should be entertaining. What are we supposed to be accomplishing there again? I forget, so many reasons, so little truth.

capt said...

Well if Alex Jones is misinforming how about Aaron Brown on CNN?

Not misinformation HERE on the MSM if you believe them.

It is too easy to dismiss a website but impossible to refute the facts, it would seem to me one should at minimum check to see if the facts are facts before making the petty broadstroke Ad Hominem. The footage with the time stamp is right there for all of the world to see. Of course one would have to open their closed mind and see past the true misinformation (the one true source of misinformation is the government - always has been)

But what do I know?


Saladin said...

Raise taxes, don't worry, we're the govt., we're here to help!

Saladin said...

Tax money for war on drugs- 16 Billion a year. Result, millions of incarcerated people.

Tax money for war on poverty from 1965-2000 roughly 8.29 trillion. Results, millions more impoverished people.

Tax money for war on terror (AKA the oil producing countries invasion tax)
320 Million a day, (405+ Billion so far). Results, hundreds of thousands of dead Muslims and record oil company profits.

Projected tax money for war on climate change, whatever that means. 10 Trillion? 50? 100? 500? Results, tons of profit for someone and not much likelihood of effecting the climate. A lot less money for alternative energy investment and a hell of a lot more poor people. Govt. business as usual.

Micki said...

There's no quesion that many tax dollars are wasted -- right down the rathole!

But, the anti-tax brigade is quite amusing. Because they see taxation as a source of distress, harm, evil and ruination, they should be asked, "If we do nothing, would you be happy?"

capt said...

Marijuana Gains Wonder Drug Status

A new study reveals that pot relieves pain that narcotics like morphine and OxyContin have hardly any effect on, and could help ease suffering from illnesses such as multiple sclerosis and diabetes.

A new study in the journal Neurology is being hailed as unassailable proof that marijuana is a valuable medicine. It is a sad commentary on the state of modern medicine -- and US drug policy -- that we still need "proof" of something that medicine has known for 5,000 years.

The study, from the University of California at San Francisco, found smoked marijuana to be effective at relieving the extreme pain of a debilitating condition known as peripheral neuropathy. It was a study of HIV patients, but a similar type of pain caused by damage to nerves afflicts people with many other illnesses including diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Neuropathic pain is notoriously resistant to treatment with conventional pain drugs. Even powerful and addictive narcotics like morphine and OxyContin often provide little relief. This study leaves no doubt that marijuana can safely ease this type of pain.

As all marijuana research in the United States must be, the new study was conducted with government-supplied marijuana of notoriously poor quality. So it probably underestimated the potential benefit.

This is all good news, but it should not be news at all. In the 40-odd years I have been studying the medicinal uses of marijuana, I have learned that the recorded history of this medicine goes back to ancient times and that in the 19th century it became a well-established Western medicine whose versatility and safety were unquestioned. From 1840 to 1900, American and European medical journals published over 100 papers on the therapeutic uses of marijuana, also known as cannabis.


*****end of clip*****

The war against pot is insane.


Robert S said...

While it is true that Ronald Reagan claimed that the most frightening words in the English language were, "I'm from the government and I'm here to help" it is also true that in his style of help from the government was to stop providing funding.

There are many Americans and others around the world who believe that experience has shown that governments of, by and for the people, do in fact provide essential services when the government is responsive to the electorate.

Of course, if politicians are elected who would see the government reduced to being drowned in the bathtub, ala Grover Norquist, then one should not be surprised that services are diminished and poor. Nevertheless, FDR did establish the New Deal, which did bring this this country out of the Great Depression and the G.I. bill, along with the labor movement was the major contributor to the creation of a large middle class in this country.

Furthermore, being of an age that I remember the first Earth Day, I also recognize the that the clean-up of our rivers, streams, oceans, and air was only possible by government intervention into business practices.

Government can be a useful tool. As a tool, it must be kept cleaned, oiled and most importantly under control. If WE allow those that WE collectively empower to hoodwink and deceive US, that is akin to falling asleep at the wheel and blaming the car for going out of control.

If we allow those who would profit from the disestablishment of a Government for the Common Good, to convince us that Government, is by its very nature contrary to the Common Good, we have only ourselves to blame.

Robert S said...

US court throws out CIA torture case
Published: Friday March 2, 2007

A US federal appeals court on Friday upheld a refusal to hear the case of a Lebanese-born German man who says he was tortured by the CIA, citing national security reasons.

Khaled el-Masri claims was detained by the CIA for several months in 2004 on suspicion of links to terrorism.

Masri, 43, filed suit in December 2005 saying he had been snatched while on a trip in Macedonia, taken to Afghanistan, jailed, beaten and harassed before being set free without charge after five months.

He demanded an explanation and an apology from the United States for his detention, as well as 75,000 dollars in damages.

The US government had urged the court to reject the appeal saying that for national security reasons it could not confirm or deny any of the allegations because they were related to the activities of the CIA.

The court said that to make his case, el-Masri "would be obliged to produce admissible evidence not only that he was detained and interrogated, but that the defendants were involved in his detention and interrogation in a manner that renders them personally liable to him.

"Such a showing could be made only with evidence that exposes how the CIA organizes, staffs and supervises its most sensitive intelligence operations.

"The defendants could not properly defend themselves without using privileged evidence," the decision said.

American Civil Liberties Union director Anthony Romero said the court was wrong.

"Regrettably, today's decision allows CIA officials to disregard the law with impunity by making it virtually impossible to challenge their actions in court," he said in a statement.

"The state secrets doctrine has become a shield that covers even the most blatant abuses of power," he said.

Masri has also taken his case to the German courts and a court in southern Munich in January ordered the arrest of 13 people, thought to be CIA agents, in connection with his alleged kidnapping.

His is one of the most high-profile cases of the suspected "extraordinary renditions" by the CIA -- flying terror suspects through European states to detention in third countries where they risk being tortured.

After meeting with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in December 2005, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Masri's case "was accepted as a mistake by the US government," but US officials later suggested her remark was the result of a misunderstanding.

Reports have indicated that US agents confused Masri with a terror suspect with a similar name who was linked to the attacks of September 11, 2001.

That this government is criminal does not equal all governments are criminal...

David B. Benson said...

Saladin --- I just pointed out what economists generally think.

Remember, it is politicians who write the laws...

Robert S said...

Libby Trial Exposes Neocon Shadow Government
By Sydney Schanberg


Whether or not Mr. Fitzgerald gets a conviction, he has created a trial record that establishes the administration's guilt. Sprinkled throughout are the names of most of the neoconservatives who had been planning the current Iraq War ever since the 1991 Gulf War ended with Saddam Hussein still in power.

They came out in the open in 1997 when they formed a Washington think tank of their own - the Project for the New American Century (PNAC). Their first public act was a 1998 letter to President Bill Clinton, calling for the swift "removal of Saddam Hussein's regime."

Citing those still-undiscovered "weapons of mass destruction," they said: "[W]e can no longer depend on our partners in the Gulf War coalition ... to uphold the [U.N.] sanctions...."

Then, in 2000, just before Mr. Bush's elevation to the White House by the Supreme Court, the PNAC war-seekers issued a lengthy manifesto calling for a major escalation of the country's military mission. This 81-page document proposed a buildup that would make it possible for the United States to "fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theater wars." The report depicted these wars as "large scale" and "spread across [the] globe."

Iraq was named as a major threat.

Another aim of this escalation was as follows: "Control the new 'international commons' of space and cyberspace, and pave the way for the creation of a new military service - U.S. Space Forces - with the mission of space control."

Perhaps the eeriest sentence in the document is found on page 51, conjuring up images of 9/11: "The process of transformation ... is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event - like a new Pearl Harbor." (The PNAC documents can be found online at

Among the 25 signatories to the PNAC founding statement: Dick Cheney, I. Lewis Libby, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Jeb Bush, Elliott Abrams, Zalmay Khalizad.

Most of these names echo throughout the Libby trial record. Besides the damning notes from Mr. Cheney, accounts of conversations between Mr. Cheney and Mr. Libby and Mr. Libby's subsequent conversations with other pivotal administration officials, there is at least one document, in Mr. Cheney's handwriting, that suggests the President had direct knowledge of the campaign to discredit Mr. Wilson.

The trial and its record was always all about the unnecessary war - a war created by massive and deliberate lying about an imminent security threat that wasn't there. That's why the President and his men were desperate to shut Mr. Wilson up.

He was the imminent threat - to their delusional empire-building.


Future Combat System

U.S. National Space Policy (PDF)

Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States
in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including
the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies

The Outer Space Treaty was considered by the Legal Subcommittee in 1966 and agreement was reached in the General Assembly in the same year (resolution 2222 (XXI). The Treaty was largely based on the Declaration of Legal Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, which had been adopted by the General Assembly in its resolution 1962 (XVIII) in 1963, but added a few new provisions. The Treaty was opened for signature by the three depository Governments (the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States of America) in January 1967, and it entered into force in October 1967. The Outer Space Treaty provides the basic framework on international space law, including the following principles:

* the exploration and use of outer space shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries and shall be the province of all mankind;
* outer space shall be free for exploration and use by all States;
* outer space is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means;
* States shall not place nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction in orbit or on celestial bodies or station them in outer space in any other manner;
* the Moon and other celestial bodies shall be used exclusively for peaceful purposes;
* astronauts shall be regarded as the envoys of mankind;
* States shall be responsible for national space activities whether carried out by governmental or non-governmental activities;
* States shall be liable for damage caused by their space objects; and
* States shall avoid harmful contamination of space and celestial bodies.

“Control the new ‘international commons’ of space and cyberspace, and pave the way for the creation of a new military service—U.S. Space Forces—with the mission of space control.”

David B. Benson said...

Robert S --- Unfortunately, near space has been fatally contaminated.

With space junk. In some few years the junk will begin to suffer cascading collisions. When this happens, it becomes too expensive to armor plate satellites, etc., against collisions.

But that's ok. Can do it again in higher orbits! :-)

Robert S said...

There is a lot to this interview with Gen. Wesley Clark by Amy Goodman, but I thought I'd just pick out some of the more disturbing (to me) bits at the end, although there were disturbing bits all throughout, it seems to me that this little section illuminates some of the Cognitive Dissonance that must be required of a military commander:

AMY GOODMAN: General Clark, I wanted to ask you a tough question about journalists.

GEN. WESLEY CLARK: Well, now, that would be the first tough question you've asked me tonight.

AMY GOODMAN: There are more than a hundred journalists and media workers in Iraq who have died. And particularly hard hit are Arab journalists. I mean, you had Tariq Ayoub, the Al Jazeera reporter, who died on the roof of Al Jazeera when the US military shelled Al Jazeera, then went on to shell the Palestine Hotel and killed two reporters, a Reuters cameraman and one from Telecinco in Spain named Jose Couso. Many Arab journalists feel like they have been targeted, the idea of shooting the messenger. But this tough question goes back to your being Supreme Allied Commander in Yugoslavia and the bombing of Radio Television Serbia. Do you regret that that happened, that you did that?

GEN. WESLEY CLARK: No, I don't regret that at all. That was part of the Serb command and control network. And not only that, I was asked to take out that television by a lot of important political leaders. And before I took it out, I twice warned the Serbs we were going to take it out. We stopped, at one news conference in the Pentagon, we planted the question to get the attention of the Serbs, that we were going to target Serb Radio and Television.


GEN. WESLEY CLARK: Yeah. And that night, in fact, Milosevic got the warning, because he summoned all the foreign journalists to come to a special mandatory party at RTS that night. But we weren't bombing that night. We put the word out twice before we actually I did it.

AMY GOODMAN: You told CNN, which was also there, to leave?

GEN. WESLEY CLARK: I told -- I used -- I think I used CNN to plant the story and to leak it at the Pentagon press conference. But we didn't tell anyone specifically to leave. What we told them was it's now a target. And it was Milosevic who determined that he would keep people there in the middle of the night just so there would be someone killed if we struck it. So we struck it during the hours where there were not supposed to be anybody there.

AMY GOODMAN: But you killed civilians.

GEN. WESLEY CLARK: Six people died.

AMY GOODMAN: I think sixteen. But I think it's the media -- it’s the beauticians, the technicians. It was a civilian target.

GEN. WESLEY CLARK: Yeah, they were ordered to stay there by Milosevic. Yeah.

AMY GOODMAN: But it was a civilian target.

GEN. WESLEY CLARK: It was not a civilian target. It was a military target. It was part of the Serb command and control network

AMY GOODMAN: What do you think of Amnesty International calling it a war crime?

GEN. WESLEY CLARK: Well, I think it was investigated by the International Criminal Tribunal in Yugoslavia and found to be a legitimate target. So I think it's perfectly alright for Amnesty International to have their say, but everything we did was approved by lawyers, and every target was blessed. We would not have committed a war crime. (And Alberto Gonzales said coercive inTERRORgation isn't torture, some lawyers will bless

AMY GOODMAN: Upon reflection now and knowing who died there, the young people, the people who worked for RTS, who -- as you said, if Milosevic wanted people to stay there, they were just following orders.

GEN. WESLEY CLARK: Well, it was a tragedy. But I’ll tell you something. If you want to talk about tragedies, how about this one? We bombed what we thought was a Serb police station in Kosovo. We saw the Serb vehicles. We flew unmanned aerial vehicles over it. And we did everything we could to identify it. And we found that there were Serb police vehicles parked there at night, so we sent an F-16 in, dropped two 500-pound laser-guided bombs and took it out. We killed eighty Albanians who had been imprisoned by the Serbs there. They were trying to escape, and the Serbs locked them up in this farmhouse and surrounded them with vehicles. So, I regret every single innocent person who died, and I prayed every night that there wouldn't be any innocent people who died. But this is why I say you must use force only as a last resort.

I told this story to the high school kids earlier, but it bears repeating, I guess. We had a malfunction with a cluster bomb unit, and a couple of grenades fell on a schoolyard, and some, I think three, schoolchildren were killed in Nish. And two weeks later, I got a letter from a Serb grandfather. He said, “You've killed my granddaughter.” He said, “I hate you for this, and I’ll kill you.” And I got this in the middle of the war. And it made me very, very sad. We certainly never wanted to do anything like that. But in war, accidents happen. And that's why you shouldn't undertake military operations unless every other alternative has been exhausted, because innocent people do die. And I think the United States military was as humane and careful as it possibly could have been in the Kosovo campaign. But still, civilians died. And I’ll always regret that.

AMY GOODMAN: Do you think cluster bombs should be banned?

GEN. WESLEY CLARK: You know, we used, I think 1,400-plus cluster bombs. And there's a time when you have to use cluster bombs: when they're the most appropriate and humane weapon.(?! rs) But I think you have to control the use very carefully. And I think we did in Yugoslavia.

AMY GOODMAN: Right now, the US has rejected an international call to ban the use of cluster bombs. On Friday, forty-six countries were in Oslo to develop a new international treaty to ban the use of cluster munitions by -- I think it’s 2008. Would you support that?

GEN. WESLEY CLARK: Well, you know, people who are against war often make the case by trying to attack the weapons of war and stripping away the legitimacy of those weapons. I’ve participated in some of that. I’d like to get rid of landmines. I did participate in getting rid of laser blinding weapons. And I was part of the team that put together the agreement that got rid of laser blinding weapons. I’d like to get rid of nuclear weapons. But I can't agree with those who say that force has no place in international affairs. It simply does for this country. And I would like to work to make it so that it doesn't. But the truth is, for now it does. And so, I can't go against giving our men and women in uniform the appropriate weapons they need to fight, to fight effectively to succeed on the battlefield, and to minimize their own casualties. (of course, if the cause it is NOT just, then you are merely minimizing the casualties of the aggressors. - rs)

AMY GOODMAN: Well, we'll have to leave it there. I thank you very much, General Wesley Clark.

GEN. WESLEY CLARK: Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you.

Gerald said...

Alex Jones and his infowars website were one of the first websites that gave me information. He said 3 or 4 years ago about privitized highways and the superhighway. I also believe that he mentioned the group, Bildenberg, a powerful group on the international scene. Hitler has crossed this group and in time they will create problems for Nazi America. Hitler is scheduled to nuke Iran before 2008. This action will make every American targets whenever they travel outside the USA. Hitler has not made our life safer. His intention is to enslave us as a people. My biggest problem is that Alex Jones criticizes every politician but he fails to say what he would want in a politician. Criticism is okay if you add something constructive to take the place of criticism.

Robert S said...

Link to above interview.

David Benson: Spce junk is messier than William Shatner singing Mr. Tambourine Man.

Gerald said...

Alex Jones was the person who informed me of Bohemian Grove where the world dictators meet for orgies, worshipping the devil, homosexuality, etc. The Grove is northwest of San Francisco. He was also the first person who talked of Nazi America as a police state. Alex Jones seems to have information ahead of his time. The Hitlers stay in the Hillbilly Lodge at Bohemian Grove.

Micki said...

About that time stamp brouhaha: Regardless of what a person's beliefs/theories are about the events of 9/11, it is not impossible to alter a time stamp on a video document.

Hell, there are even products that are designed to ensure the integrity and long-term legal defensibility of electronic data, including digital video. These products are meant to detect tampering or inadvertent altering of video and other electronic records.

Similarly, it is not impossible to alter the background on a previously recorded video.

David B. Benson said...

Today's TomDispatch has me puzzled...

Robert S said...

Similarly, it is not impossible to alter the background on a previously recorded video. - Micki

True, but:

It is not easy to create a matte without a clear background, easily discernible from the foreground, hence the use of chroma key, such as blue or green screens, and,

The BBC itself acknowledges that they've lost the original.

capt said...


The BBC only lost their copy of the archival footage, lucky we live in a digital world.

You can view the BBC footage at - BBC Reported Building 7 Collapse 20 Minutes Before It Fell

Of course misinformation would have to be very sly to fake the footage, possible but not likely.

Only in the minds of the conspiracy theorists.

No amount of fact or reality can convince some people. I am certain some think everything is photo-shopped unless they think it is not.



Robert S said...

The very idea of such a "syndrome" implied that what the Vietnam War had devastated was not so much the Vietnamese or their ruined land as the traumatized American psyche. As a concept, it served to mask, if not obliterate, many of the realities of the actual war. It also suggested that there was something pathological in a post-war fear of taking our arms and aims abroad, that America had indeed become (in Richard Nixon's famous phrase) a "pitiful, helpless giant," a basket case.

Ronald Reagan played all these notes skillfully enough to become president. The desire to "cure" the Vietnam syndrome became a springboard to unabashed, militant nationalism and a broad rightward turn in the nation's life.

Iraq -- both the war and the "syndrome" to come -- could easily evoke a similar set of urges: to evade a painful reality and ignore the lessons it should teach us. The thought that Americans are simply a collective neurotic head-case when it comes to the use of force could help sow similar seeds of insecurity that might -- after a pause -- again push our politics and culture back to a glorification of military power and imperial intervention as instruments of choice for seeking "security."

Excerpts from:
Tomgram: Chernus, An American Identity Crisis in a Losing War


The question, as I see it here, would be that it is not the winning or losing in Iraq which offers the fundamental issue. Is it the losing of the conflict, or the initiation of hostilities? If, as Robert Jackson put it when convicting the Nazis, "We must make clear to the Germans that the wrong for which their fallen leaders are on trial is not that they lost the war, but that they started it. And we must not allow ourselves to be drawn into a trial of the causes of the war, for our position is that no grievances or policies will justify resort to aggressive war. It is utterly renounced and condemned as an instrument of policy." Or is it that had we won it would have been correct to do so? (Without bothering, because it is a moot point, to define winning.)

Robert S said...


My point was that if the footage archived at YouTube was in some way altered, the BBC should have no problem, zero, zilch, nada trouble in showing the world the actual footage. Their NOT being able to produce such footage leads one to think that either:

The YouTube footage is authentic, or,

There is a deliberate campaign of disinformation leading logically minded folks to think the YouTube footage is authentic.

When you look into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you.
Friedrich Nietzsche

David B. Benson said...

Yup. Clearly the BBC managed to get it wrong. Wasn't the first time, won't be the last. Since the fire chiefs were expecting some sort of collapse, the distance from there to has collapsed is not so great on such a traumatic, horrible day...

Robert S --- By all means hang them. After a fair trial, of course. Judge Roy Bean style!

Robert S said...

BBC broadcast news of collapse of WTC 7 23 minutes before it actually happened

Funny how that #23 got into the act...

Since the fire chiefs were expecting some sort of collapse, the distance from there to has collapsed is not so great on such a traumatic, horrible day... David Benson

Nobody told us what to say or do on September 11th. We didn't get told in advance that buildings were going to fall down. We didn't receive press releases or scripts in advance of events happening.

So it seems that the BBC is itself claiming it wasn't the Fire Chiefs who told them the building was going to collapse, and that they said it had. The abyss is a weird place.

Micki said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David B. Benson said...

Robert S --- Seems that CNN made much the same mistake.

Micki said...

Capt, if you would read for content, you'd see that I did not make any claims one way or the other about the authenticity of the newly found WTC 7 video footage. I merely pointed out that it is easy to alter video in this digital era.

No need to get all snarky and ad hominemy!

capt said...

"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge." -- Charles Darwin (1809-1882) 1871

"He who is not angry when there is just cause for anger is immoral. Why? Because anger looks to the good of justice. And if you can live amid injustice without anger, you are immoral as well as unjust." Aquinas

"I don't know a more irreligious attitude, one more utterly bankrupt of any human content, than one which permits children to be destroyed."-- Daniel Berrigan

"I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have: three meals a day for their bodies, - education and culture for their minds - and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits" Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Thanks ICH Newsletter!

David B. Benson said...

Robert S --- The BBC editor has done a part 2 blog which suggests that both BBC World and CNN were getting rather confused information from the NYC Office of Emergency Management (or whatever it is called)...

Micki said...

Oh, the quotes that are not connected in any way to a poster's comments again!

capt said...

The Saturday Cartoons

Bob Geiger's Saturday collection of cartoons - Always good!


capt said...


My post was about the BBC response, not the actual video, so we are in complete agreement.


capt said...

A Prediction from String Theory, with Strings Attached

Mathematical trickery borrowed from string theory raises hopes of understanding the densest stuff in the universe

For decades researchers have tried to wrest testable predictions from string theory, the leading candidate for a more fundamental understanding of the universe. Now physicists say they have used one of the most sophisticated pieces of string theory to predict properties of the ultradense matter created in an atom smasher in Long Island, N.Y. If confirmed, however, the prediction would not offer evidence for string theory, which requires the existence of extra dimensions of space full of higher-dimensional stringlike objects and other widgets. Instead, it would establish that some of string theory's mathematics could be used to study the forces at work inside an atom's nucleus.

The Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at the Brookhaven National Laboratory smashes together the nuclei of gold atoms to create hot, ultradense sprays of particles, the likes of which have not occurred since the first few microseconds of the big bang—the intense burst of energy that kicked off the universe. These mini-explosions temporarily liberate quarks, the particles normally trapped inside protons and neutrons, along with gluons, the particles that hold quarks together. Researchers have dubbed this state of matter the quark-gluon plasma.


*****end of clip*****

I would say "cool stuff" but actually it is hot stuff!


Micki said...

Part of the conspiracy? (2)

• Richard Porter
• 2 Mar 07, 04:43 PM

So how did the BBC report that Building 7 at the World Trade Centre had collapsed around half an hour before it did so? My earlier posting on the subject has attracted a lot of interest so we've been doing more investigating within the BBC to put together the sequence of events.
Five and a half years have passed so it's quite difficult to answer every outstanding question. But we do know quite a bit more than we did on Tuesday, as a result of checking the BBC archives and what other media were doing at the time. I've also read through some of the reports published after 9/11 to help put together the sequence of events.

Back to 11 September itself. The Twin Towers had collapsed. Other buildings were known to be damaged. Building 7 was on fire. But this was also a very confusing picture - remember we had started the day with reports that a light aircraft had struck the first tower, and at one stage there was talk of ten hijacked jets in the air. It's in the nature of rolling news that events unfold in front of you and confusion turns to clarity. It's important to remember that context when looking more closely at what happened between about 4.10pm (EDT) and 5.20pm when Building 7 finally collapsed.

CNN's chronology of events published at the time confirms they reported the building on fire and a clip from a CNN bulletin, widely available on the web, hears from a reporter at about 4.15pm EDT, 9.15pm in the UK, who says: "We're getting information that one of the other buildings... Building 7... is on fire and has either collapsed or is collapsing... now we're told there is a fire there and that the building may collapse as well."
Other American networks were broadcasting similar reports at this time and the reports from FEMA and NIST both make it clear the building was on fire during the course of the day.
One senior fire officer was quoted in a subsequent interview as saying there was a "bulge" in the building and he was "pretty sure it was going to collapse". During this time, our staff were talking directly to the emergency services and monitoring local and national media… and there was a fairly consistent picture being painted of Building 7 in danger of collapse. Producers in London would have been monitoring the news agency wires - the Associated Press, Reuters, etc - and although we don't routinely keep an archive of agency reports, we're sure they would have been reporting the same as the local media.

At 4.27pm, a BBC reporter, Greg Barrow, who is in New York, appears on our radio news channel, BBC Radio Five Live, and says: "We are hearing reports from local media that another building may have caught light and is in danger of collapse." He then responds to a follow-up question by saying "I'm not sure if it has yet collapsed but the report we have is talking about Building 7."

At 4.53pm, on the same radio station, the programme's presenter, Fi Glover says "25 minutes ago we had reports from Greg Barrow that another large building has collapsed just over an hour ago."

At 4.54pm, the BBC's domestic television news channel, BBC News 24, reports the same thing. Presenter Gavin Esler says: "We're now being told that yet another enormous building has collapsed... it is the 47-storey Salomon Brothers building."

And then at 4.57pm on BBC World (according to the clips available on the web) presenter Phil Hayton says: "We've got some news just coming in actually that the Salomon brothers building in NY right in the heart of Manhattan has also collapsed."

Because three BBC channels were saying this in quick succession, I am inclined to believe that one or more of the news agencies was reporting this, or at least reporting someone saying this.

At 5pm, News 24 repeated the news in its top-of-the-hour headlines sequence and then at about 5.10pm (again according to the clips on the web), Phil Hayton on BBC World says "More on the latest building collapse in NY - you might have heard I was talking a few moments ago about the Salomon building collapsing and indeed it has... it seems this wasn't the result of a new attack but because the building had been weakened during this morning's attack."

Some of the respondents to my earlier blog have suggested this must mean he had inside knowledge - that not only did he know the building had collapsed, he knew why.
Well in one sense that's true - for about an hour, it had been reported that the building was on fire and in danger of collapse. But he did qualify it by saying "it seems" and once again I think there's a danger of reading too much into what I believe was a presenter merely summarising what everyone had been saying during the previous hour.
Of course, with hindsight we now know that our live shot showed the building still standing in the background. But again I point to that confusing and chaotic situation on the ground - the CNN reporter who had talked about the building "either collapsed or is collapsing" also had it clearly in shot behind him, but he acknowledged he couldn't see very clearly from where he was standing. As we know, the building did collapse at 5.20pm, with the first pictures of that being broadcast on News 24 at about 5.35pm.

So that's what we know we reported. To me it paints a consistent (and reasonably conclusive) picture.

I should also mention the missing tapes. As you'll see from the details above, the absence of the BBC World tapes hasn't made much difference to our ability to look back at what happened. We have all the tapes of other BBC channels (and I now know that quite a few of you have your own copies of BBC World, which is an interesting discovery... ).
Some of you find it hard to believe we didn't keep the BBC World tapes... but we had several streams of news output running simultaneously on the day, both on radio and television as well as online and we have kept all the tapes from BBC News 24 and Radio Five Live, as well as all the BBC One bulletins. Obviously I wish we'd kept hold of the World tapes alongside all the others, but we didn't... and I don't know whether they were destroyed or mislaid. But as a result of this week's events, I have asked our archivists to get hold of copies of our original material from the organisations which do have them.

And just to be clear, the BBC policy is to keep every minute of news channel output for 90 days (in line with the Broadcasting Act in the UK). After that we are obliged to keep a representative sample - and we interpret that to mean roughly one third of all our output. We also keep a large amount of individual items (such as packaged reports or "rushes" - ie original unedited material), which we use for operational reasons - such as when we come to broadcast fresh stories on the subject. We do not lack a historical record of the event.

I've spent most of the week investigating this issue, but this is where we have to end the story. I know there are many out there who won't believe our version of events, or will raise further questions. But there was no conspiracy in the BBC's reporting of the events. Nobody told us what to say. There's no conspiracy involving missing tapes. There's no story here.

Richard Porter is head of news, BBC World

capt said...

Too Much Blood

On being the subjects of a military economy

By Matt Taibbi

"The fellas from 121 started showing up the other day. It's starting to sink in...I'll have to go home, the opportunities to kill these fuckers is rapidly coming to an end. Like a hobby I'll never get to practice again. It's not a great war, but it's the only one we've got. God, I do love killing these bastards...Morale is high, the Marines can smell the barn. It's hard to keep them focused. I still have 20 days of kill these motherfuckers, so I don't wanna take even one day off."
-- Letter home from an unnamed Marine F/A -18 pilot in Iraq

03/03/07 "Rolling Stone" -- - -The above letter arrived in my inbox via an e-mail circular sent by an acquaintance of mine, a defense analyst and former congressional aide named Winslow Wheeler. It came alongside a pained commentary by another former Pentagon analyst named Franklin (Chuck) Spinney, who is probably best known for the famous "Spinney report" of the mid-80s that exposed the waste and inefficiency of many hi-tech defense department projects.

Spinney's career followed the classic whistleblower arc; after sending his courageous Jerry Maguire letter on Pentagon waste up the bureaucratic flagpole, he was nearly buried by his own bosses (who included David Chu and Cap Weinberger) only to be saved from ignominy at the last minute by the intercession of Senator Chuck Grassley, who invited him to air his findings in Congress. Spinney ended up on the cover of Time magazine a week later and soon thereafter began a new career as a much sought-after expert on the inner workings of the military-industrial complex. Like another famous post-Watergate whistleblower, Karen Silkwood, Spinney ended up inspiring a Hollywood feature film -- although in this case no Oscars were forthcoming, as the key role in the lighthearted comedy The Pentagon Wars was played by Cary Elwes instead of Meryl Streep. Brutally, Kelsey Grammer also made an appearance as the film's heavy.


*****end of clip*****

Another very good piece.


David B. Benson said...

To change the subject to important stuff --- Global Warming looks to be very bad. Once the carbon dioxide concentration is high enough to warm the permafrost and the oceans, then lots of methane gets released.

Methane is a much more powerful so-called greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, although it lasts in the atmosphere only about a tenth as long, 15 years or so.

capt said...

Charges of political interference in U.S. attorney firings not reported by networks' evening newscasts

Summary: Many news reports on the firing of eight U.S. attorneys have suggested political interference in the justice system, but none of the broadcast networks' evening news programs has even mentioned the case.


More recently, a March 2 McClatchy Newspapers article reported that, in mid-October 2006, Domenici and Wilson called Iglesias to "press [him] for details" of a "federal corruption investigation that involved at least one former Democratic state senator," according to unnamed sources. McClatchy reported that Iglesias believes he was fired because "he resisted the pressure to rush an indictment," and he provided further details about his allegations in a March 1 interview on National Public Radio's All Things Considered. As the McClatchy article noted, Wilson was, at the time, "in a competitive re-election campaign that she won by 875 votes out of nearly 211,000 cast." As noted by the weblog, Iglesias confirmed that, in "an e-mail to a friend," he "described his dismissal as a political 'fragging,' " according to a February 28 Albuquerque Tribune article.

On March 1, the House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed Iglesias, Lam, Cummins, and McKay, ordering them to testify at a March 6 hearing before the Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law.

A March 3 Washington Post article reported that "[t]he White House approved the firings of seven U.S. attorneys" -- apparently excluding Cummins' termination -- "late last year after senior Justice Department officials identified the prosecutors they believed were not doing enough to carry out President Bush's policies on immigration, firearms and other issues," according to "White House and Justice Department officials." According to the article, officials said the actions were "part of a routine process" and that, despite previous assertions that the firings were "performance-related," "the ousters were based primarily on the administration's unhappiness with the prosecutors' policy decisions and revealed the White House's role in the matter." The list of whom to fire was reportedly "based largely on complaints from members of Congress, law enforcement officials and career Justice Department lawyers." The article also reported that, according to Domenici's office, the senator specifically complained to the Justice Department about Iglesias -- though without commenting on Iglesias' allegation of pressure.


*****end of clip*****

As long as we all know which star is going into rehab (hint: shaved head), who cares about the further and ongoing consolidation of neocon power.

Domenici and Wilson are our problem here in NM, sorry we haven't fixed those problems yet.


capt said...

Welcome to the Post-Factual Era

A simple question: Why is politics the only arena where those who turned out to be right still get flayed as outcasts, while those who are known to be utterly wrong get rewarded as visionaries? In business, if you make the wrong calls, you lose money and, most often, lose your job. If you make the right call, you make a lot of money, and you usually get promoted. There are exceptions to this axiom, of course - but it generally works this way. In politics, it generally works the opposite way. The people who make the right call on the big issues are punished with elite vitriol, and those who repeatedly make the wrong calls on such issues are vaulted into the highest echelons of the Establishment.

Nowhere was this more obvious than on the Iraq War. As Jebediah Reed at Radar Magazine has shown in detail, most of the major pundits who led the cheering section for the war have been rewarded with promotions, while those writers who actually accurately predicted the war as a disaster have been cast aside like pieces of garbage.

This has also happened when it comes to "free" trade. Despite the fact that NAFTA and China PNTR have helped destroy American wages and jobs; have increased our trade deficit to crisis proportions; and have been a key weapon in preventing global environmental and human rights standards, the people who predicted such outcomes are still regarded with contempt and berated with false attacks, while the people who championed such awful policies are considered the legitimate voices of reason. Jeff Faux spells this out particularly well today over at TPM Cafe:

"Why is it that in these globalization discussions among college educated professionals, it is always the integrity and motivation of those who challenge the corporate line that is suspect?...Have you asked free-traders if they want to see children in India go blind making rugs, union activists tortured and murdered in Columbia, women workers locked inside filthy factories in China? Or laid off manufacturing workers commit suicide in the US? Of course not. Then why ask me to prove to you that I don’t want to keep the Chinese poor?...It’s a measure of the pervasiveness of class in our culture that "liberals" begin a discussion about globalization with the assumption that political virtue lives on Wall Street and political vice at the AFL-CIO. If anything, the argument for NAFTA was the less serious. It was based on promises of jobs, reduced immigration and prosperity among the Mexican poor that promoters knew were false when they made them. It was a crappy deal for workers in all three countries. Why such contempt for people who turned out to be right?"

The answer, of course, has to do with where the money and power is. The Establishment is reflexively pro-war, and - for obvious reasons of profit making - innately supportive of "free" trade deals that are chock full of corporate protections (patents, copyrights, intellectual property restrictions) but stripped of basic protections for human beings (wages, labor standards, human rights, environmental regulations, etc.).

But still, there is something troubling when these innate biases consume the entire debate and those who have been so utterly and completely right are utterly and completely berated as illegitimate. It speaks to a political discourse where the "reality-based community" is totally replaced by what I would call the "post-factual" era - a period in time where the dialogue does not even pretend to be based on any actual evidence or concrete information and where the most factually wrong are paraded around as the most right. And just a quick look at the chaos in Iraq or the economic havoc being wreaked here at home shows that this "post-factualism" does not bode well for anyone other than the handful of elites at the top.


*****end of clip*****

If you have enough money I guess reality doesn't matter until you run out of enough to shield yourself from it.


Saladin said...

Robert, the question is, why was there a great depression? Could that have been orchestrated by people with a far reaching goal? The evidence suggests that is the case. Govt. by and for the people? Sounds good, too bad the govt. won't put up with it.
Mr. Benson, the vast majority of economists are fools, that is why I don't pay any attention to them. If I did I would have been bankrupt long ago, like our country is.
Gerald, I saw Alex live in LA, he had plenty to say about what we need to do to make positive change. His website focuses on govt. corruption in general so the people can be informed and hopefully come up with some workable solutions. He believes it is ultimately up to us, and I agree with him. The US govt. is a dismal failure, no need to drown it in the bathtub, it is already in it's death throes.
Oh dear, #7 was so weak it just gave up the ghost. All reports to the contrary should be completely ignored.

Micki said...

Thus spake the oracle.

Saladin said...

Micki, it takes one to know one.

Saladin said...

Internet Archive Authenticates BBC Video
Posted Mar 3, 2007 06:36 PM PST

The "Gummint huggers" are trying to dismiss the BBC video announcing the collapse of WTC-7 by pointing out that the United States was in Daylight Savings Time and that this explains the time discrepancy. But Great Britain was ALSO in "Summer time", so the times still work out to BBC announcing the collapse before it actually occurred. In any event, the live broadcast by the lady reporter with WTC-7 still clearly visible behind her hammers the point home. Someone fed the collapse story to the media before the building was actually demolished.
That time stamp is accurate, why would they waste time making up all these lame excuses if it wasn't? I watched several interviews with some of the emergency personal who were on the scene, (I finally have broadband!)they said they were forced to move away from the building 7 vicinity because it was going to be brought down. Mr. McGoo could easily see that it was a planned and well executed demolition, with everyone being given plenty of warning. What's the big deal anyway? Are some people so determined to hang on to their illusions that they can dismiss even the most obvious truths?

Saladin said...

Two oil giants plunge into the wind business
Shell, BP intend to play major role

By John Donnelly, Globe Staff | March 2, 2007

WASHINGTON -- Two of the world's leading oil producers have almost overnight joined some of the biggest players in wind power in the United States, accelerating a trend of large corporations investing in the rapidly growing alternative-energy field.

As global warming and clean fuels have gained more attention, Shell Oil Co. and BP have accumulated impressive credentials. Shell is one of the nation's top five generators of wind power, while BP's Alternative Energy group -- launched 16 months ago -- aims to develop projects that produce 550 megawatts of electricity this year, one-sixth of the projected US wind energy output in 2007.

"Shell and BP see wind as an increasingly important part of the energy industry. They are looking to continue to grow," said Randall Swisher , executive director of the American Wind Energy Association , a Washington-based industry group. "They want to look for new opportunities, and wind is clearly in their sight.
As I said, humans are moving away from carbon based energy because we have to. The market will provide alternatives, many companies will make money, more ideas will be introduced and it will become self perpetuating. That is how movements grow and technology improves and advances. There is no need to turn the population into a huge mass paralyzed with fear, education and options are what we need to progress. Carbon taxes won't work, but ingenuity will. The people can do it, look what we have already done, some bad stuff, but an awful lot of good as well.

capt said...

Japan dolphin all smiles after prosthetic tail

TOKYO, March 2 (Reuters Life!) - A Japanese dolphin is squealing with delight after receiving a prosthetic tail to replace one amputated due to a skin disease.

Fuji's handlers at the Churaumi Aquarium in Japan's southern most island of Okinawa say the fake tail may have saved her life as she had put on dangerous amounts of weight from being inactive after she lost her tail.

"Because she was not exercising enough (after her tail was amputated) she gained weight and from blood samples we took we realized that her cholesterol levels were too high. We then were afraid that this might trigger other diseases so we had to come up with something," handler Masaya Koami said.

The tail was custom made for Fuji by a friend of the handler who works at Japan's leading tire company Bridgestone.


*****end of clip*****

How cool. Although at first glance reminded me of the three legged pig joke.


Saladin said...

“There is no nation on earth powerful enough to accomplish our overthrow. ... Our destruction, should it come at all, will be from another quarter. From the inattention of the people to the concerns of their government, from their carelessness and negligence, I must confess that I do apprehend some danger. I fear that they may place too implicit a confidence in their public servants, and fail properly to scrutinize their conduct; that in this way they may be made the dupes of designing men, and become the instruments of their own undoing.” -- Daniel Webster, June 1, 1837
And there are so many methods for accomplishing this.

capt said...


The fast connection ROCKS!

Glad you were able to upgrade. There are so many good clips and stuff that are too much for a slow connection it is like opening new avenues and resources of information.

I'm certain you LOVE it!


Saladin said...

Capt, Hughes satellite was the only available option, but it is fantastic! 700+ kbps compared to 28. Since we can now dump the old ISP and the second phone line the cost is basically covered. I am happy, music and news videos are now part of the day.

capt said...

Caterpillars Click and Puke to Stop Predators

Caterpillars can fend off hungry birds and other predators by clicking at them, scientists now report. These clicks warn that the caterpillars will be unsavory to eat—at least, after they regurgitate a foul brown fluid.

To understand the clicking and barfing, neuroethologist Jayne Yack at Carleton University in Ottawa headed up a study of green-colored common silkmoth caterpillars (Antheraea polyphemus). They mostly rely on camouflage for protection, using clicks and regurgitation as last resorts. The upchucked fluid, and the advance clicking warning, are definitely effective deterrents, she said.

During the course of the research, Yack brought bins of the caterpillars home during weekends and holidays when no one on campus was available to care for them.

"My cat got into a caterpillar bin at my house once," Yack recalled. "When I got home, there was a caterpillar that was still alive outside the bin with a long string of regurgitant trailing from it, and my cat was gagging. For years after that, whenever my cat saw a caterpillar, she started gagging. There's a strong learning component there, and the sounds can help with that."


*****end of clip*****

Links to the video didn't work for me but the story is interesting just the same.


capt said...

Justice Department takes aim at image-sharing sites

The Bush administration has accelerated its Internet surveillance push by proposing that Web sites must keep records of who uploads photographs or videos in case police determine the content is illegal and choose to investigate, CNET has learned.

That proposal surfaced Wednesday in a private meeting during which U.S. Department of Justice officials, including Assistant Attorney General Rachel Brand, tried to convince industry representatives such as AOL and Comcast that data retention would be valuable in investigating terrorism, child pornography and other crimes. The discussions were described to by several people who attended the meeting.

A second purpose of the meeting in Washington, D.C., according to the sources, was to ask Internet service providers how much it would cost to record details on their subscribers for two years. At the very least, the companies would be required to keep logs for police of which customer is assigned a specific Internet address.

Only universities and libraries would be excluded, one participant said. "There's a PR concern with including the libraries, so we're not going to include them," the participant quoted the Justice Department as saying. "We know we're going to get a pushback, so we're not going to do that."


*****end of clip*****

Total Control is the reason.


capt said...

Bush Family's Prosecutor Games

George W. Bush learned at least one lesson from his father: You want your federal prosecutors to be team players who will throw a political elbow or two when the White House needs some help.

When George H.W. Bush faced a tough reelection battle in 1992, his administration tried to destroy Bill Clinton by implicating him in criminal investigations. But those plans collapsed when federal law enforcement officials, including a U.S. Attorney in Arkansas, resisted what they saw as improper White House political pressure.

Now, the younger George Bush is moving to ensure that he won’t be sabotaged by similarly independent-minded prosecutors. The Washington Post reported that the White House approved the firing of seven U.S. attorneys at the end of 2006 after the Justice Department identified them as insufficiently supportive of the President’s policies.

The Justice Department got input on the firings from congressional Republicans, including Sen. Pete Domenici of New Mexico who criticized the performance of U.S. Attorney David Iglesias, the Post reported. [Washington Post, March 3, 2007]

Iglesias has alleged that two New Mexico legislators – whom he says he will identify only under oath – pressured him to speed up indictments of Democrats before Election 2006. At the time, the Republican congressional majority was in jeopardy, in part, because of a series of GOP corruption scandals.


*****end of clip*****

The Busheney crowd will just ignore any effort to make any of them answerable. They have bigger fish to fry.


David B. Benson said...

Saladin --- Actually the economists are pretty good. They predicted 10 of the last 4 recessions.


capt said...

Congress not quite the rubber-stamp of old

Democracy beckons, despite Premier Wen Jiabao's comments that it is 100 years away, writes Mary-Anne Toy.

CHINA'S annual session of parliament - the National People's Congress - which opens today is often derided as a rubber stamp for decisions made by the ruling Communist Party.

But despite comments by the Premier, Wen Jiabao, that democracy remained 100 years away, this year's session will be the most open ever, reflecting an inevitable freeing up of society as China extends its engagement with the world ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

At this year's congress - the last before the key 17th Communist Party Congress due later this year, at which the President, Hu Jintao, is expected to further consolidate his power and prepare for his succession - foreign journalists will be allowed for the first time to contact and interview any of the 3000 or so lawmakers and political advisers arriving in Beijing.

Previously, all requests had to be channelled through the official press centre, with predictable results. The move follows the announcement in December that travel restrictions on foreign media were to be eased.


Micki said...


Well, good for BP and Shell for getting off the dime and doing something, even though it is a very small beginning. From the same article that was posted above (in part), this was left out: "BP and Shell executives acknowledged that their investments in wind -- and to a lesser extent solar power -- may enhance their public images, but said their primary goal is to make money and reduce their companies' carbon outputs, if only slightly. Scientists have identified carbon dioxide gases as the leading contributor to global warming, a phenomenon that threatens to progressively increase the temperature of the planet.

BP and Shell acknowledge they still spend a much greater share of new capital investment looking for more oil and gas than they do in investments for renewable energy sources and say that they will continue those exploration efforts for the foreseeable future.

BP and Shell's continued "investment" in alternative energy is largely contingent on an extension -- beyond 2008 -- of "incentives' from the federal government -- such as tax breaks and tax credits. (They ain't doing it out of the goodness of their hearts.) Their continued "investment" in renewables is also contingent on whether Congress will pass a bill to mandate that 15 percent of the nation's power comes from renewable sources such as wind and solar by 2020. If Congress doesn't pass such a bill, they Big Guys pull the plug on future investments.

Craig Bennett, Head of Corporate Accountability Campaign at Friends of the Earth said:

"If the proportion of BP and Shell's investments in renewables came even close to the proportion of their advertising budget they spend bragging about them, the world would be a very different place and we would be well on the way to addressing dangerous climate change. But the reality is that both of these companies are making massive green claims while carrying on with unsustainable business as usual.

Every quarter investors compare how well these two companies are doing on financial matters. But it is high time we had a robust way of comparing how they are doing with their environmental performance and, in particular, climate change. If the Government is even vaguely serious about addressing this most serious of issues, they should force all large companies to report to a common auditable standard on environmental matters. Then we might just be able to separate out green rhetoric from reality".

David B. Benson said...

Asia Times Online has an article on Al-Qaeda today. Difficult to know what to make of it...

David B. Benson said...

capt --- The Sydney Morning Hearld has a good side-bar article on the opium poppies in Afganistan...

Saladin said...

Micki, there's just no pleasing you is there? If progress is profit based rather than from the goodness of the heart, it doesn't count? Are you saying that the super rich dems don't take advantage of every fucking tax break they can get their greedy little hands on? What about we consumers, I guess we don't count for anything? I suppose the organic food market was built on goodness of the heart and not profit? And consumers didn't have shit to say about it? Also the new trend against trans fat and cigarette smoking? That is such a ridiculous and backwards ideology I don't know where to begin. The solution to FORCE the big companies with govt. firepower to do ANYTHING is so sickeningly flawed, and leaves the door for graft and corruption so wide open I can't believe anyone would ever advocate it, especially when it has failed over and over again. Just because you trust the govt., that is if they are wearing your team colors, to take care of your every little concern doesn't mean they will. They will sell favors and create loopholes just like they've always done. Your god-like "GORICLE" is a perfect example. How naive can you possibly be? It's getting scary, take it from me, a "tighty, rightie."

David B. Benson said...

Adam Smith's invisible hand works best when restrained to keep out of the cookie jar...

capt said...

Confrontational investigations, subpoenas, and hearings are the priority


There has been talk recently from the President's supporters of the possible "constitutional crisis" that may be triggered by a confrontation between the President and the Congress over war powers in Iraq and/or Iran. Such talk is absurd. We have had a constitutional crisis in this country since September, 2001, when the Bush Justice Department promulgated theories of limitless presidential power that could not be any more repugnant to our constitutional order. And since then, this President has exercised those powers continuously and aggressively, to the point where he has literally existed outside of and above all forms of law, and has been all but immune from true judicial scrutiny and/or Congressional oversight or limitation.

The choice is not whether to provoke a constitutional crisis. The real choice is whether to recognize that we have one and to act to end it, or continue to pretend that it does not exist by acquiescing to the President's ongoing abuses and fundamental encroachments into every area. If -- as has happened -- Congress sits by and allows the President to seize limitless power and to ignore Congressional authority, then the subversion of our constitutional system becomes as much the fault of the Congress as the President.

Thus far -- and, granted, it has only been two months since Democrats took over -- the efforts to force these issues to the fore have been rather lame and anemic. Having said that, one should acknowledge that approaching these matters incrementally is necessary. For instance, demanding information that you know is not forthcoming might be strategically smart before issuing subpoenas, so that one can depict the subpoenas as necessary. But we don't really have the luxury of having months go by while we indulge all of that incremental strategizing.

Democrats have to internalize that this administration does not operate like previous ones. No rational person can doubt that they are limitless in their contempt for legal restrictions or notions of checks and balances. The last election, by itself, has not changed their approach and will do not so. They are not going to voluntarily comply with anything or disclose anything. They are going to have to be forced to do so.


*****end of clip*****

Glenn Greenwald is a very excellent read! A do not miss.


capt said...

Ahmadinejad and King Abdullah reject sectarian strife

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia and Iran agreed to fight the spread of sectarian strife that threatens to spill over from their neighbour Iraq, the Saudi foreign minister said.

Saudi King Abdullah held talks on Saturday with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who was on his first official trip to Saudi Arabia. A Saudi official said earlier the kingdom would seek Iran's help to ease sectarian tensions in Iraq erupting into full-blown civil war.

Killings by Sunni and Shiite death squads in Iraq and the political crisis in Lebanon dividing Sunni and Shi'ite parties have led to fears of sectarian conflict in the Middle East. Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shi'ite Iran are among the most influential nations of their respective branches of Islam.

"The two parties have agreed to stop any attempt aimed at spreading sectarian strife in the region," Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal told reporters.

"The two leaders stressed that the greatest threat against the Muslim nation are attempts to spread strife between Sunni and Shiite Muslims," the official Saudi agency SPA said.

Ahmadinejad and King Abdullah also voiced support for Iraq's government, its national unity and the "equality of its citizens".

Ahmadinejad voiced support for Saudi efforts to ease tensions in Lebanon, and the two leaders called on all parts to cooperate with these efforts, the agency said.

The two leaders also stressed the importance of Palestinian unity and the need to implement the security plan of the Iraqi government and safeguard Iraq's independence and unity, according to SPA.


*****end of clip*****

Sounds like the Bush doctrine is not selling as our one time friends and long term enemies unite against the US and our interests.


capt said...

Top GOP candidates repudiate Coulter

Three top GOP presidential candidates rebuked conservative columnist Ann Coulter for calling John Edwards a "faggot," reports United Press International.

RAW STORY previously reported on Coulter's comments at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference. "I was going to have a few comments about John Edwards but you have to go into rehab if you use the word 'faggot,'" Coulter said to attendees.

The comments were widely criticized by Democratic candidates and party officials. UPI reports that the campaigns of Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) have each issued statements rebuking Coulter for her words.

Coulter's response, however, was, "I would never insult gays by suggesting that they are like John Edwards. That would be mean."

Excerpts from the article follow:

*****end of clip*****

Well I guess the compassionate shine has come off of the neocon train. They can try to back pedal but the hate is too clear.


capt said...

Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives. Unfortunately most of us are completely unaware of this fact and we do not monitor our thoughts with the care needed so that we can create in our lives the results we say we want. Since the great majority of people do not feel worthy and deserving of abundant good fortune, radiant good health and total success in all areas of their lives that overriding thought pattern controls the results people get. The first order of business of anyone who wants to enjoy success in all areas of his (or) her life is to take charge of the internal dialogue they have and only think, say and behavior in a manner consistent with the results they truly desire.

~ Sidney Madwed

Micki said...

Saladin, I prefer not to take anything from you, but thanks for the offer.

BTW, I'm pleased as punch with much in life -- so, it's incorrect to assume that there is no pleasing me.

As far as the rest of your post addressed to me, I have no idea what you're talking about.

David B. Benson said...

Saudi Arabia was never a friend to the U.S. Just a matter of convenience...

kathleen said...

Hope folks are doing well, did not have access to computer in D.C.

Just returned from D.C. Very interesting observing the closing statements, the jury instructions and the cast of characters for eight days at the Libby trial. Also closely watched and listened to the the MSMer's could not help over hearing many conversations. Most accessible was Chris Matthews ( I know many of you are down on him, wihtout even watching his program). We talked about Hillary, the Israeli Palestininan conflict and the trial. I thanked him for doing his job the last three years and hammering the rwr( right wing radicals) as they continue to repeat their unsubstantiated claims about Iran's "alleged" nuclear weapons program. He has been continually asking them challenging questions, far more than any one else(even David Corn)

I also thanked him for putting the media spotlight on the soldiers returning to Walter Reed Hospital two years ago and he continues to do so.

After listening to and watching the media at the trial the last several weeks. I am more convinced than ever before that the need for the "blogospere" and for folks like Jane Hamsher and Firedoglake IS HUGE AND NECESSARY etc.

Another march is coming up in D.C. on March 18th I will not be able to attend, but hope Corn Folks go. It is so worth it.

Also the Aipac conference is coming up (go check out the picture they have posted of Iraninan President Ahminijad (sp?). Just a wee bit biased!

This is a critical time to contact your reps to let them know what you think about the Israeli Palestininan conflict. ( I just did so while I was in D.C.) They are going to get hammered by Israeli firsters after the Aipac conference.

Let your reps know there are other opinions out there.

Let them know that you expect a more fair and balanced policy in regard to the Palestinians.

Ask them to start pressuring Israel to abide by UN resolution 242 (get out of the illegal settlements now, and for Israel to sign the Non proliferation treaty.
Encourage them to reduce aid to Israel.

Call and e-mail them this week! Document and record your your contact

kathleen said...

Saladin talking about destruction. While I was in D.C. I stayed with a friend who is the marketing director of an organization called Co-op America for the last 25 years.( go check out their web site) They do the Green pages and Green Fest in Chicago, San Fran and D.C. plus so much more. Anyway D lives just over the D.C. Maryland line in Cottage City. She lives in a mostly black neighborhood. Every day I took the bus to the metro and was often the only white person on the bus (this was good for me). I had many political conversations with people and many people are really pissed off with this Bush administration and our government as a whole. Most of their jobs (the people I talked with) are service jobs in D.C. and many younger people I talked with were finding it tough to access college. The anger was simmering...

On my return to Athens I took a Greyhound, I had driven to D.C. with friends. I had not been on a bus in 26 years. Talk about enlightening! A six hour car trip to D.C. took 11 hours on the bus. I had to switch buses in Richmond, Roanoke and Wytheville Virginia. Also had to switch in Charleston WEst Virginia. The bus stations and bathrooms were often really dirty and buses seemed to leave when the drivers felt like it. Hell the price is almost as much as air fare. Many of the people riding the buses seem beat down by life.

At one bus stop outside of Wytheville Virginia there were 16 of us in a small room with just a few chairs for a layover of 3 hours (3a.m. to 6 a.m.) The room was filthy and far too small for the number of buses that stopped with people and children to use this stop. I lobbied people into signing a petition that I will send to Greyhound to improve the conditions there. It was at this stop that the makeup of the bus riders switched from mostly African Americans to white Appalachians.

On the bus from Wytheville to Charleston West Virginia, I got into a discussion with the black man (54 and a Vietnam vet) sitting next to me and the 30 something black man across the aisle. They were both from Detroit. We talked about the war in Iraq, racism, economics and other issues. At one point the young man was saying that "there is no way that I would serve this country in a war because it would only serve rich white men" An older(much smaller) while Appalachian man kept looking over his seat and finally said "what country are you from". The conversation turned very heated for what seemed like eternity. The young man did not back down from his stance and for a few minutes I thought the conversation would turn into a bus fight. But the vet and I settled them down and we went back to our healthy debate with others chimining in.

One thing the young black man repeated is that he predicts a revolution of sorts in this country in the next five years. He said (as I have heard young applachian kids say) that anger is brewing in the poor neighborhoods. We exhanged addresses and will continue our dialogue.

I learned a great deal, about how fucked up Greyhound is (will be finding out who owns and how much money they are making off of people for such bad service)

This bus ride sure opened my eyes even wider.

Micki said...

Greyhound bus service might be put up for sale
The iconic U.S. transit company's new owner, FirstGroup, is reviewing its options.

From Bloomberg News
February 10, 2007

Greyhound Lines Inc., the biggest U.S. intercity bus company, might be put up for sale now that parent company Laidlaw International Inc. is being acquired.

FirstGroup, Britain's biggest train operator, said Friday that it would combine Laidlaw's fleet of 41,000 school buses with its own Ryder U.S. school bus unit.

Greyhound is a "less obvious strategic fit" and will be reviewed, FirstGroup said in announcing its $3.6-billion purchase of Laidlaw.

A sale of Dallas-based Greyhound would end eight years of ownership by Laidlaw, whose student bus operations are the largest in the U.S. FirstGroup gave no timetable for its review.

"You would hope they're more committed to keeping 100% of what they've bought," Alistair Gunn, an analyst at Arbuthnot Securities Ltd. in London, said of FirstGroup. "It wouldn't surprise me if they did retain Greyhound, and if they don't they'll get a good price for it."

Greyhound serves about 2,200 destinations and has been the largest U.S. bus company since the 1950s.

The business, founded in 1914, diversified in the 1960s and '70s, owning stakes in the company that made Dial deodorant and a meatpacking operation.

Laidlaw Chief Executive Kevin Benson, asked at the company's annual meeting Friday about a possible Greyhound sale, said the bus operator had rejuvenated its brand by overhauling terminals, improving customer service and refurbishing its fleet.

"The question used to be 'Would Greyhound survive?' Now it is 'What's next?' " Benson said.

School transportation services generated 79% of pretax first-quarter income for Naperville, Ill.-based Laidlaw; Greyhound accounted for 18%.

"What's new in this transaction is the Greyhound business," FirstGroup CEO Moir Lockhead told analysts in London. "We'll do the strategic review and then we'll take it from there."

Shares of Laidlaw rose $2.86, or 9%, to $34.58.

capt said...

Matthews claimed that Southerners "know Rudy [Giuliani] was a hero"

On the March 1 edition of MSNBC's Hardball, host Chris Matthews again touted former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) as a "hero," saying that Southerners "can't spell his name necessarily, but they know Rudy was a hero." Matthews also praised Giuliani as "the one tough cop who was standing on the beat when we got hit last time and stood up and took it." Later in the program, Matthews again noted that Sen. Barack Obama's (D-IL) "middle name is Hussein." As Media Matters has noted, Matthews was apparently the first to publicly mention Obama's middle name as politically significant, doing so on the November 7, 2006, edition of Hardball.

Matthews and other media figures have demonstrated a pattern of uncritically hyping Giuliani as a hero while ignoring allegations that Giuliani was responsible for terrorism-related failures before, during, and after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, as Media Matters for America has documented.
Additionally, MSNBC contributor Mike Barnicle said that Giuliani has "enormous appeal coast to coast because of who he is and what his life and his career represents," adding: "People want to be safe in this country. They want to be secure in this country. They want to have strength in their leadership." Barnicle claimed that Giuliani "represents all of those."

During a subsequent segment, while discussing the presidential candidacies of Giuliani and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Matthews said that "neither one of those guys is riding on the Bush bus" and "[n]either one of them look like Bushies." However, on the February 19 edition of Hardball, Newsweek's Howard Fineman told Matthews that "[t]he McCain people are following the George W. Bush playbook to the extent they possibly can," and explained that McCain was using the "same donors, the same issues, the same attitudes all the way down the line." At the time, Matthews appeared to agree, saying, "[I]t is now Senator John 'McBush.' "
From the March 1 edition of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews:


capt said...

Saying "the country wants ... a little bit of fascism," on Imus Matthews further saluted Giuliani

On the February 7 edition of MSNBC's Imus in the Morning, MSNBC Hardball host Chris Matthews heaped praise on GOP presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, calling the former New York mayor "the kind of gutsy, street-corner politician we all grew up with" who "stood on the corner during the fire and told us what was going on." Matthews said that he would like "[a] guy who wasn't on the ranch during Katrina -- who was out on the street corner answering questions," adding: "I'm so sick of southern guys with ranches running this country. I want a guy to run for president who doesn't have a fucking -- I'm sorry -- a ranch. Wouldn't that be good?"

Matthews again touted the progress Giuliani made in improving olfactory conditions in New York City, asserting that "subways didn't smell like pee anymore" and that "[e]ven the phone booths in New York have always smelled like pee." Matthews made similar claims on the February 5 editions of MSNBC Live and Hardball, both noted by Media Matters for America. Matthews also claimed that Giuliani "made you feel like you had a right to walk the street safely" and added, "I think the country wants a boss like that, you know? A little bit of fascism there. Just a little bit. Just a pinch of it."

As Media Matters has noted, Matthews has previously made the similar claim that Giuliani "is a front-runner because the voters like this guy because during 9-11 he was the one guy there on the street corner, not hiding like all the other pols did."

From the February 7 edition of MSNBC's Imus in the Morning:


*****end of clip*****

Well as long as it is only " A little bit of fascism" I guess that is okay?


capt said...

Matthews gushed over Giuliani's "street cred" on fighting terrorism

On the February 5 edition of MSNBC Live, in a discussion of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani's (R) plans to file a "statement of candidacy" for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, Hardball host Chris Matthews declared that Giuliani "has street cred" on the issue of "protect[ing] this country against the bad guys," citing "the image [Giuliani] conveys," and later praised Giuliani's 2004 Republican National Convention speech as "the great speech that everybody remembered."

But in that speech, Giuliani was unclear about the "bad guys." He repeated a prominent administration falsehood about Al Qaeda, asserting an Iraq link to 9-11:


capt said...

Matthews, obsessed with NY Times article, called Pres. Clinton "Holly Golightly"

Summary: In just the latest example of his fixation on what he has described as former President Bill Clinton's "social life," "personal behavior," "current behavior," and "personal life," Chris Matthews asked whether Clinton is "going to stop trying to play Holly Golightly up in New York," referring to the main character in Truman Capote's novel, Breakfast at Tiffany's. After The New York Times' publication in May 2006 of an article purporting to report on the Clintons' marriage, Matthews has repeatedly referred to the article and to the Clintons' personal life on the air.

On the February 27 edition of MSNBC's Hardball, host Chris Matthews asked Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen whether former President Bill Clinton is "going to stop trying to play Holly Golightly up in New York," adding: "When he stops that -- if he's doing it -- she'll be better off," referring to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY). Holly Golightly was the main character in Truman Capote's 1958 novel, Breakfast at Tiffany's, as well as the 1961 film of the same name. In a February 14, 2006, report (subscription required) on the DVD release of the movie, The New York Times called Golightly a "blithely materialistic semiprostitute." In a June 18, 2006, article, the Times described Holly Golightly as an "Upper East Side call girl."

On February 27, the weblog Think Progress noted Matthews' obsession with "Clinton sex speculation," as well as his reference to "Holly Golightly."

The "Holly Golightly" reference is just the latest example of Matthews' seeming fascination with what he has referred to as Bill Clinton's "social life," "personal behavior," "current behavior," and "personal life." In the past month, Matthews has frequently cited a May 23, 2006, Times article -- noted by Media Matters for America -- which was published, as Matthews has repeatedly pointed out, on the "front page, top of the fold." In the days following the article's publication, Matthews obsessed over the Clintons' marriage on Hardball, asking his guests a combined 16 questions on the subject in the course of a single program, as Media Matters noted.


capt said...

Chris Matthews and Dan Rather Discuss Hillary the Chickenhawk

A truly shocking discussion transpired on Sunday’s "The Chris Matthews Show" that conceivably has grave implications for the presidential aspirations of Hillary Clinton.
Before getting to the guts, the gist of this surprising conversation between host Chris Matthews and former CBS anchorman Dan Rather was how farcical the current move by Senate Democrats to "repeal the 2002 resolution for war" is. Furthermore, though it is a dangerous tactic for the left, the person most negatively impacted could be Sen. Clinton who "has to be careful to not come across as a chickenhawk."

Adding to the surprising nature of this segment, Matthews actually began the discussion by comically mocking Democrats for this new strategy (Hot Air has video available here):


Saladin said...

Kathleen, the situation in this country is looking very bleak. That the bush administration has managed to spread this rot and corruption so far in such a short time is testimony to the failure of congress and the people to pay enough attention before it became too late. Now all we have is a lot of hot air from the left and another invasion in the works. It might take a revolution, who knows. I don't know how much more misery the people can put up with. People in my little town are also getting fed up. Letters to the editor of the local paper are filled with disgust with the whole govt. There isn't much faith left that we will get any worthwhile help from either party, and that tells me trouble is definitely brewing.

capt said...

Physicists reveal water's secrets in journal 'Science'

We all know a molecule of water chemically as H2O--two hydrogen atoms bonded to one oxygen atom. Sounds simple, doesn't it? But liquid water is much more complex than that.

"Water as a liquid is not simple at all and has several properties different from most other liquids," Szalewicz said. "For example, a well-known anomaly of water is that its density is highest at four degrees Celsius above the freezing point. Thus, ice floats on water, whereas the solid state of other compounds would sink in their liquids."

Among its many properties, water also can absorb large amounts of heat before it begins to get hot, and it releases heat slowly during cooling. Otherwise, pools of water, from puddles to oceans, might boil during the day or freeze solid at night, regardless of the season.

Water's unique characteristics are directly related to its molecular structure and the ability of water molecules to form hydrogen bonds with other water molecules.


*****end of clip*****

"The UD researchers used clusters of Linux computers to perform the large-scale computer calculations required for the research. The study took several months to complete."


capt said...

Call to reopen Oklahoma bomb case

The FBI man in charge of collecting evidence from the government building destroyed by the Oklahoma bomb has called for the case to be reopened.


Mr Coulson spent 31 years in the FBI. Between 1991 and 1997 he was the deputy assistant director of the Criminal Division of the FBI in Washington, responsible for all violent crime cases in the United States.

Mr Coulson said there were some "very strong indicators" that other people were involved with Timothy McVeigh.

The FBI interviewed 24 people who claimed to have seen McVeigh in Oklahoma City with someone else on the morning of the attack, yet the only known accomplice of McVeigh, Terry Nichols, was at home in Kansas over 200 miles away on that day.

The FBI's investigation concluded that the eyewitnesses were unreliable. However, Danny Coulson says they were "extremely credible" and had no reason to make it up.

"If only one person had seen it, or two of three, but 24? Twenty four people say yes I saw him with someone else. That's pretty powerful," he said.


*****end of clip*****

The government would act the same if it were 240 people. I am certain there are some that believe the official version just the same. The number of witnesses doesn't matter as the only force above human error is the government and we all know the government would never lie to us, ever.


Robert S said...

Global Warming Is Human Rights Issue: Nobel Nominee
By Deborah Zabarenko
Sunday 04 March 2007

It sounds like a sick joke about global warming, with a series of horrible punch lines:

How hot is it? So hot that Inuit people around the Arctic Circle are using air conditioners for the first time. And running out of the hard-packed snow they need to build igloos. And falling through melting ice when they hunt.

These circumstances are the current results of global climate change, according to Nobel Peace Prize nominee Sheila Watt-Cloutier, an Inuit born inside the Canadian Arctic, who maintains this constitutes a violation of human rights for indigenous people in low-lying areas throughout the world.

Watt-Cloutier and Martin Wagner, an attorney with the environmental law firm Earthjustice, argued this case on Thursday before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States in Washington.

"We weren't going to go to court," Watt-Cloutier said in a telephone interview after her testimony to the commission. "It wasn't about lawsuits and suing for damage or compensation.

"It was more about really trying to get the world to pay attention and see this as a human rights issue."



DB, little doubt, global warming is a major, if not the major, issue on humanities event horizon. That acknowledged, how are our military activities mitigating or exacerbating the problem?

At a symposium hosted by CSIS with four congresscritters from the House Armed Services committee, two Dems and two GOPhers were pretty much all in agreement that regional conflicts over resources were likely to worsen over the next decades, and that the US Military must be strengthened to meet that challenge. The two Dems were Ike Skelton (D-MO) and Jim Marshall (D-GA). Marshall particularly was pushing counterinsurgency strategies taught at the renamed School of the Americas (Assassins) or "Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation" as it is now known. Global dominance appears to be the order of the day, and I doubt that will lead to the kind of cooperation that will be necessary to counter warming trends. Ever wonder how much fuel it takes to protect the fuel shipping lanes? How about what happens if one of our nuclear powered carriers got hit by an Iranian missile in the narrow Straights of Hormuz? (And how much room does it take to turn one of those things around, anyway?) It does seem harder to concentrate on Global warming with a new arms race heating up.

The first and foremost solution for whatever new crisis the govt. comes up with is always more tax and more legislation. How exactly is that supposed to help our environment? - Saladin

Well, enforcement of existing legislation helps a little, too. But, seriously, compared to the situation that we were experiencing when factories belched their gaseous, particulate, and chemical run-offs directly into our air and water, we have improved, and greatly.

Part of that improvement does come at the price of industry seeking areas of less regulation or enforcement; it is not only wage pressures which have decimated American manufacturing. This is another argument for increased international cooperation and a decrease in the use or even threat of the use of force to solve disputes.

Robert S said...

Raid on Iraqi intelligence HQ reveals torture
Published: Sunday March 4, 2007

Iraqi special forces backed by coalition troops raided a government intelligence headquarters on Sunday and uncovered evidence of torture and links to bomb attacks, the British military said.

Troops stormed the local headquarters of Iraqi interior ministry's domestic intelligence agency in the southern port city of Basra, and released more than 37 prisoners being held there, Iraqi police told AFP.

"In the early hours of this morning there was a search and detention operation by the Iraqi counter-terrorist force supported by multinational forces," said British spokesman Major David Gell.

"Five individuals were arrested on suspicion of serious terrorist activity, including involvement with roadside bombs and attacks against both civilians and multinational forces," he added.

"The Iraqi national intelligence building was subsequently struck and further evidence of significant criminal activity, such as torture, was found."

Following the raid, Iraqi intelligence agents wearing black balaclava masks and carrying Kalashnikov assault rifles showed reporters around their building, including the cell were prisoners had formerly been kept.

British forces based in southern Iraq have been confronted with serious corruption among Iraqi security units, many of which are inflitrated by or controlled by violent Shiite political factions and militia groups.

It was not clear whether the coalition troops that accompanied the raid were Americans -- as claimed by Iraqi police -- or British, as would normally be the case in Basra, where their Iraq force is based.


Iraqis Caught Torturing Prisoners Inside Gov't Building

In Iraq, British-led troops have uncovered an Iraqi government facility in the southern city of Basra where Shiite forces were torturing prisoners and producing bomb-making equipment. The torture was going on inside the local headquarters of Iraq's interior ministry's domestic intelligence agency. The troops captured an alleged death squad leader and found 30 prisoners with signs of torture. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ordered an investigation – however not of the torture taking place but of the British led-raid. Al-Maliki called the raid an "unlawful and irresponsible act."


Scratching head, wondering...

...happy monday, folks. rs

capt said...

new thread!

David B. Benson said...

Global warming, overpopulation, stressed water resources, rising sea stands...

Yup. I expect there will be lots of conflict over resources. No fun in the 21st century.