Monday, April 23, 2007

Blast from the Past

So now the new plan for Iraq is gated communities--walled-off neighborhoods in Baghdad surrounded by barriers put up and maintained by the U.S. military. Dividing the city into fortified ghettos does not seem like progress. Even Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri-al Maliki appears to be not so keen on this. Doesn't anyone in the US government remember Vietnam's strategic hamlet program? It was a failure.

Posted by David Corn at April 23, 2007 08:43 AM


Hey Joe! said...

Aftermath of a Bloodbath

How utterly, undivinely gauche of the press corps and certain uncouth bloggers to raise the issue of gun control in the shattered aftermath of a gunman's rampage that resulted in the slaughter of 32 people on the campus of Virginia Tech, with the gunman's own suicide tacked on as the final dot. Only those callow souls looking to exploit tragedy and score political points would think that the latest and most horrible murder spree would somehow be connected to the proliferation of firearms in our culture. To Second Amendment fanatics, the only answer to gun violence is yet more guns, more people packing sidearms to gun down would-be assailants, the decorous streets of Baghdad, Baltimore, and Philadelphia providing such heartening support for this more-guns-equals-more-security thesis. For liberals to make political or moral hay of this massacre: most unseemly. But as TBogg observes, a number of conservative bloggers, uncharacteristically posing as Voices of Restraint and cautioning us not to get ahead of ourselves, couldn't resist dive-boarding into a thin pool of uninformed what-ifs and half-cocked conspiracy theories.

More HERE - James Wolcott

capt said...

Mr. David Corn,

I had completely forgotten (or never heard about) Vietnam's strategic hamlet program.

Thanks for all of your work!


Why you got that gun in your hand? said...

Our strategy in Iraq is to secure the oil reserves and make them available to US corporations. Every other consideration is a subordinant political detail.

capt said...

Astronomers Get The First Detailed Look At The Space Between The Earth And The Sun

For the first time, an international team of astronomers have a side-on view as giant clouds of solar material leave the Sun and slam into the magnetic field of the Earth.

The two spacecraft that make up the NASA STEREO mission were launched last October. One probe is now travelling in an orbit ahead of the Earth while the other lags behind. Together the probes are imaging the Sun in 3D. They also have a unique perspective - they can view the space between the Sun and the Earth (the so-called Earth-Sun line), giving scientists their first views of this region of space.

The Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) in Oxfordshire and the University of Birmingham led an international effort to develop two identical Heliospheric Imager (HI) instruments. One HI is mounted on each of the two spacecraft so astronomers can watch the Earth-Sun line. In particular, this view gives scientists a ringside seat when giant clouds of material (Coronal Mass Ejections or CMEs) travel from the Sun to the Earth.

CMEs can be made up of more than 1000 million tonnes of charged particles and travel at up to 1000 km per second. When a CME reaches the Earth it can have dramatic effects; compressing the terrestrial magnetic field, generating displays of the northern lights, disrupting radio communications, overloading power grids and damaging satellites.

The ability to track CMEs as they leave the Sun, to understand how they propagate and evolve and to predict their arrival at Earth are all goals of the unique HI system. As the STEREO spacecraft move into their orbits over the coming months we will see increasingly better views of the 3D Sun and the passage of Earth-directed clouds in space. However, the UK HI instruments have now made their first observations of CMEs in the inner solar system, showing spectacular images of these clouds and demonstrating that the instruments are operating flawlessly.

At the RAS National Astronomy Meeting in Preston, Professor Richard Harrison and Dr Chris Davis of the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory presented spectacular images and movies of these dramatic events taken by UK cameras mounted on the two STEREO spacecraft.

Images and animations are available at

Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by Royal Astronomical Society.


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

Check out the pictures HERE - too cool for school!


capt said...

Wrongly convicted, man cleared by DNA

CHICAGO, April 23 (UPI) -- A Chicago man who spent 25 years in prison for a rape he didn't commit will be the 200th person cleared by DNA evidence in the United States.

Prosecutors on Monday were expected to ask a Cook County, Ill., judge to erase the conviction and sentence of Jerry Miller, 48, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The judge is expected to grant the motion.

Miller, who was released on parole in March 2006, has always maintained his innocence in the 1981 rape in a Chicago parking garage for which he was convicted of rape, robbery, aggravated kidnapping and aggravated battery and sentenced to 45 years in prison.

Miller has been rebuilding his life since his release on parole, but his exoneration meant true freedom, he said.

"I really need to hear from the judge, 'your record is clear, we know you didn't do it,' before I feel truly free," Miller told USA Today. "I'm waiting for this to be finally, truly over."


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

200th person cleared? We will never know how many innocent people we have put to death.


capt said...

I meant to link to:


Better pictures than on the other link.


Saladin said...

Iraq, mission accomplished! Security for the rich, misery and destruction for the rest. Next stop Amerika!

Saladin said...


George Bush is the embodiment of freedom. In fact, if freedom were a God, George Bush would be the son of that God. He quite literally is "freedom incarnate." As such, despite what whack jobs would have you believe, nothing George Bush does can undermine freedom. To suggest otherwise is sheer lunacy; like suggesting the sun is undermining daylight.

Yes, rays of freedom beam from George Bush like rays of light from our beaming sun. His freedom loving rays strike the earth each day and provide vital sustenance to new and interesting expressions of freedom.

Secret torture prisons dot the globe; their roots anchored in the freedom to secretly arrest, torture and hold civilians indefinitely without charges. Wars of aggression rage and now millions bath in the freedom that only chaos, death and depleted uranium can provide. Here at home, the freedom to be searched, spied on, and assaulted by men in black ski masks has never been higher. -Blessed are we for the innumerable gifts of our decider.

It's high time we rid ourselves of those unable (or unwilling) to recognize the benefits of our new improved freedom. We've suffered their insanity far too long. Those who speak of "restrictions" on government power and "accountability" in matters of law are the enemies of America; nay, the enemies of civilization itself!

These heathens (if given a chance) would force the tyranny of personal responsibility on us all. They'd chain the Benevolent One, bind his hands, and reduce him to the status of a mere servant! What kind of animal would seek this? What Un-American scum would put the so called "rights of the people" above the fountainhead of freedom itself?

Are we really to believe their foolish interpretation of "The Constitution?" Are we to take seriously their assertion that "the rights" enumerated in it were meant to apply to the masses? How utterly ridiculous is that? How could we ever establish, expand, and sustain an all powerful government under such a system? The State would no longer be at the top; it would be sent to the bottom! It would become the people's servant instead of the other way around! I ask you: Could a more untenable environment for freedom be conceived?

Consider just a few possibilities:

Imagine if "Freedom of Speech" actually applied to the people. People speaking with absolute freedom might say things that undermined our leaders! They might criticize or contradict our government! Anyone with any sense has to realize our founding fathers would have never wanted such a thing.

Freedom of speech for the government; of course! The government must be able to speak (unchallenged) in order to mobilize the people for their own benefit. But complete freedom of speech for the masses; NO WAY! -Freedom of speech for the people must end where disagreement with the government begins.

"The right to keep and bear arms;" are you kidding me? Are you seriously trying to tell me our founding fathers wanted Americans to keep their own firearms? Have we learned nothing from history? Mao, Hitler, Stalin; none of these leaders could have achieved even half of what they did if they hadn't first disarmed the people. True, there is some disagreement about their ideology, but on this fact there is no disagreement: If you want to cut through "Enemies of the State" like butter, you better make sure they can't defend themselves.

Just as indigenous people always resist the benevolence of occupying armies, so too would many in America resist the benevolence of an all powerful police state. The people simply don't know what's best for them and because so, they must be disarmed to make final and absolute subjugation possible. Clearly, the founding fathers only wanted the government to have weapons. In the final equation; it's the only way to implement the governments' highest freedom (the freedom to do whatever it wants without fear of meaningful resistance.)

I could go on. I could address "privacy rights" and "rights to trial by jury" and all other manner of nonsense cited as "the people's rights" in the Constitution. But why bother? All of these things (if applied to the masses) would only serve to weaken the government. As such, we can only conclude these "rights" were intended for government officials only. And with that said, let's get back to the original point of this message:

George Bush is now the supreme leader of the United States of America. Because he is freedom incarnate, any argument claiming his actions are undermining freedom is absurd. Also absurd; any assertion that he is eroding the so called "people's rights." In point of fact, no such rights exist but by decree of the supreme leader himself. Soon, the State will be elevated to the status of God. You will not work, you will not travel, you will not bank, you will not even be able to buy food without its permission. Like it or not, this is what America was meant to be. Repent now traitors, or suffer the consequences.

J. Plummer 8-30-2006
Resistance is futile.

Saladin said...

“VoilĂ ! In view, a humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of Fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is it vestige of the vox populi, now vacant, vanished. However, this valorous visitation of a by-gone vexation, stands vivified, and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin vanguarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition. The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous. Verily, this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose so let me simply add that it’s my very good honor to meet you and you may call me V.”

capt said...

New Thread!