Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Where Are Today's Leaders for African American Women?
With the passing of Rosa Parks, and now Coretta Scott King, the end of an era is upon us. Throughout the American civil rights movement of the 20th century strong men and women led the battle for equality and recognition through action and example. The African American women who helped in that struggle have historically and unfairly been given less attention than the men, but their contributions were equal to those of their male counterparts. Now that the last of those courageous women have passed on, who will now take the helm as today's role models for African American women?
If you look at a list of notable women in African American history you'll see that nearly all that are mentioned were actors, writers, or teachers. As writers, Toni Morrison and Maya Angelou have contributed immensely to the consciousness of America, yet they're not as famous or recognizable as Oprah Winfrey, Halle Barry, or Lil Kim. Even worse, many of the teachers recognized are even less celebrated, yet they contributed as much or more to the cause of equality and freedom.
In today's post-civil rights era who will take the lead as role models for African American women? As usual musicians and actors get the most attention, yet they're almost always the worst role models for young girls and women who are looking for encouragement. When I look for examples of success and strength, the two African American women that immediately come to mind are Condoleeza Rice, the U.S. Secretary of State, and Janice Rogers Brown, a Justice on the California Supreme Court. Both of them started out with very little, yet they took command of their lives and became strong women and leaders.
Sadly, both women are considered outcasts from their own race because they're politically right of center. These women should be held up and exalted for their success and their continued contributions to our nation and to African American women, yet they're shunned, criticized, and even discriminated against by the very people who claim to support equality for all.
Who can African American women look up to today? Who will lead the way through action and example to become role models for young girls and women? Who will continue the progress made last century in showing that African American women are equal in intellect, achievement, and ability in today's world?
Will the next African American female leaders and role models please stand up and be heard? Today's society needs you more than ever.
Friday, January 27, 2006
God Speed Apollo 1, Challenger, and Columbia
January 28, 1986
February 1st, 2003
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Happy Australia Day!
Spot On Commentary About Palestinian Elections
Occasionally Dave at Garfield Ridge is right about something, and his post today perfectly illustrates the vital differences between a successful democracy and democratic elections.
The fact that the Palestinians had successful democratic elections does not mean that Palestine is a democracy. If you think that Hamas, a murderous terror organization that sends their children to blow up restaurants and is bent on the destruction of Isreal, will rule Palestine as a democracy, raise your hand.
Anyone... anyone? Bueller?
Didn't think so. Good call Dave.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Americans Who Support Totalitarianism, or The Friend of My Enemy...
I couldn't help but notice the big news today; Google has agreed to censor the internet, restricting Chinese users from thousands of websites and search terms. Funny, but if you Google google you'll find that it's currently being sued by the U.S. government because the U.S. wants to 'make more use of internet data for fighting crime and terrorism.' In other words, Google won't release search data to the U.S. government to help it track down crooks, perverts, and terrorists, yet it's more than happy to support the Chinese government's brutal squashing of human rights and free speech.
Google isn't the only company that has voluntarily agreed to suppress freedom and democracy in China. Microsoft willingly turned a blind eye to China's request that the company censor blogs, websites and key search words such as 'Democracy' and 'Freedom of Speech.' When asked why it caved in Microsoft said, "the company abided by the laws, regulations and norms of each country in which it operates."
Yahoo is also guilty of dancing the Chinese two-step, self-censoring it's services and the internet. "Yahoo! has censored its China search engine for many years, according to Reporters Without Borders. A search for "Radio Free Asia" on Yahoo! China yielded an error message, as did a search for "Taiwan Independence." Even worse, Yahoo has been accused of helping the Chinese government to imprison a Journalist for sending out an email discussing the 15th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Yahoo gave the Chinese government open access to the Journalist's email account, providing them with enough evidence to send the reporter to jail for 10 years for simply discussing how the government was going to handle the anniversary of one of the worst atrocities against humanity committed in the 20th century.
Why did Yahoo ignore its own statement of privacy to help imprison a journalist? What is so important to Microsoft, Google, and dozens of other information-based American companies to make them readily give up the freedom of speech and privacy rights they continue to fight for in the United States? Are they caving in simply for profits and market share, or is there something much bigger taking place around the world?
China of course is not the only socialist/communist/totalitarian/anti-democratic state in the world. One of the up-and-coming socialist regimes in the world today is Venezuela. Hugo Chavez has been successful in strong-arming his nation into a quasi-dictatorship, fueled by anti-Americanism and oil. This man has done everything in his power to crush civil liberties, imprison or exile political opponents, and militarize the region to help bolster his power and create opposition to U.S. influence in South America.
Hugo Chavez is undoubtedly a bad ruler who wants nothing more than to subjugate and oppress his people for power. He is everything Stalin, Saddam, Pol Pot, and Mao were when they started acquiring power and enslaving their citizens, yet some of the United States' biggest leftwing celebrities are lining up to stand next to Chavez and denounce the United States.
The latest liberal celebrity to stand hand in hand with Chavez to denounce the U.S. is Cindy Sheehan, the poster girl for the anti-war movement. Sheehan was quoted saying "I admire (Chavez) for his resolve against my government and its meddling." She was firm in her belief that the United States "should not meddle anywhere." Of course there was no follow up question by the press asking if she thought the U.S. should not have meddled in World Wars I and II. Any Venezuelan journalist asking such a question would have been jailed by the man she admires so much.
Harry Belafonte, Danny Glover, Jesse Jackson, dictator Fidel Castro, and many many others have praised Hugo Chavez's stance against the United States government. Whenever many of the American celebrities are asked about Venezuela's harsh treatment and imprisonment of journalists and citizens who speak out against the Chavez government, nearly every celebrity has stated that such stories are just false rumors and propaganda created by the U.S./CIA/Bush to control the Venezuelan people.
Even Amnesty International, certainly no friend to the United States, has documented the human rights abuses taking place in Venezuela, yet Sheehan, Belafonte, Jackson and others would rather align themselves with a brutal socialist dictator than with the United States.
China, Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, Iran, and many other anti-democratic/anti-human rights/anti-west regimes have done everything in their power to oppress their own citizens, yet American companies and American citizens have chosen to make a profit or make a name for themselves by supporting these nations. The only thing worse than these folks supporting nations that seek our destruction are the organizations, media outlets, and citizens in the United States that bolster or applaud their actions.
Of course we live in a free society that allows for free speech and dissent, but dissent is not the issue at hand. The long-term survival and success of our nation and the rights that it guarantees us are in danger. By supporting those who wish to take away the freedom, liberty and the human rights of others, you are in fact supporting the types of regimes you claim to stand against. You are using your freedom to befriend the enemy that would take those freedoms from you the first opportunity they had.
When did supporting and approving of your enemy become chic in the U.S.? Yes, throughout the 20th century many actors, elites, and left wing politicians loved the mythical Soviet Utopia even though it imprisoned and enslaved millions and was responsible for the deaths of 40+ million more of its own citizens. It was hell on earth, yet it was considered a socialist heaven to the liberals in the U.S. and in Western Europe. Ronald Reagan is still hated by many to this day for destroying that perfect world.
China, Cuba, North Korea, Iran and now Venezuela are all beacons of hope and promise to many in this country who despise the U.S. government and dream of a socialist revolution. This sentiment is nothing new, but it's nothing to dismiss or ignore either. A re-familiarization of sorts needs to take place throughout the U.S. in order to remind us all what it was like to live each day during the Cold War, when the socialist utopias of the world had nuclear weapons pointed at our cities and their finger over the button. Americans need to see images and watch news footage of what happens to people in China, Cuba, Iran and Venezuela when they declare their rights to free speech, freedom of expression, and desire to vote democratically.
The executives of Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, and countless other business, along with Cindy Sheehan, Harry Belafonte, and Danny Glover need to walk in the shoes of the average Chinese factory worker, housewife or college student for a week to see what happens when no human rights exist. Let them experience what happens when they walk into a library or computer cafe and look for a book on Democracy, Islam, Christianity, or Human Rights. Let Sheehan and Glover stand in a town center in Venezuela or China with a megaphone and protest government censorship or the lack of civil liberties. Let Belafonte experience Communism at its finest by standing on a Cuban stage and singing a protest song about the oppression of Cuban banana farmers. Only after living under the regimes they admire and support will these businessmen, celebrities, and anti-war activists how truly ignorant, narrow-minded and selfish they really are.
To support and embrace dictators and regimes that kill, oppress, subjugate their own people and want nothing more than to destroy your country is treasonous. The friend of my enemy is my enemy, and I refuse to continue working with and supporting companies, organizations, and people who support my enemy.
The slogan 'Buy American' is meaningless in today's world. The new slogan should be 'Buy Democratic.' Every American company should be required to disclose if they work with, or adhere to, the strict censorship and anti-democratic laws of other nations. If they're not making an effort to expand freedom and democracy, I'm not making an effort to buy their products or services. If an actor or politician aligns themself with someone who enslaves or imprisons their own citizens, I want the rest of the nation to know about it. This is a free market, democratic society. The consumers and voters will decide.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Snipers Kick Ass
While interviewing an anonymous US Special Forces soldier on his sniper skills, a Reuters News agent asked the soldier what he felt when shooting members of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.
The soldier shrugged and replied, "Recoil."
Saturday, January 21, 2006
Movie Review: Underworld, Evolution
A picture says a thousand words.
Okay, I'm being a bit long winded, but here's another thousand words.
On the official 'Dude Where's The Beach?' movies are like liquor ratings scale, watching Underworld Evolution is like drinking a Slow Screw and Coke, and then chasing it with a Jack and Ice. It's sweet to watch and goes down slow, but you need the Jack chaser to help forget all of the stupid cinematic mistakes and concentrate on why you're really watching the movie.
Friday, January 20, 2006
Michael Yon's New Website
If you haven' t caught it, go check out Michael Yon's new site. Don't forget to update your links if you got 'em.
Cheers Wilson Pickett
Looks like Heaven needed a blues singer. They picked one of the best.
And for all of the military folks, you may not realize it, but you sang one of Pickett's tunes every day while in bootcamp. Remember this line?
Don't let the green grass fool you . Don't let it change your mind!
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Mr. Bin Laden Goes To Washington
Bush, seeking revenge, responds by sending our nation's latest secret weapon to the Middle East to find Bin Laden and bring him to D.C. so that Osama can smell Nancy Pelosi's finger.
First one to tell me where Osama is gets a free weekend getaway to Neverland Ranch!
(sniff sniff) "Damn, it's lost it's potency. Hey Senator Feinstein, do me a favor Princess and bend over to pick up that pencil I just dropped?"
"Now Nancy, that just isn't nice of you. It's also too late. The NSA has been poking around up my ass for the last couple of years because of all the calls I made to Singapore. Actually my husband made the calls, but I of course took the blame. Go find someone else to refresh your stank-finger of doom."
"Nancy, don't even point your stank-finger at me. I'm a man of the cloth. I might think about it for a cool million, but if you ain't got the green, I ain't gonna lean."
"Did someone say Wild Turkey? I'm game Nancy, whatever you want. Just leave the bottle on my desk. I'm more than willing to take one for the team and get Obama, Obaba, Obamamama, Osamabobamadingdong. Whatever, just get it over with."
"Locked and loaded, full of Kennedy Stank, and ready to kill. Alright Bush, in the famous words of my hero and mentor John Kerry, Bring It On! It's about time the voters of this country see who's really tough on terror."
GW: "Good call there Billy boy. I didn't think they'd fall for it. Here's your dollar."
BC: "You should've seen Pelosi back in 1998 when I told her I had some soft money in my pocket. Talk about a mad woman. Later on I'll have to tell you the story about Teddy boy and what he offered to do for a bottle of Jack. Know what 'Teabagging' is?"
GW: "I'll pass on that one for now, thanks. Hey Kennedy, pull up your pants man! Don't worry, you'll get your bottle."
"You guys are a bunch of sick bastards. I can't compete with that. Well, other than that night I spent in a cave with three donkeys and Abib my bodyguard. Screw it, I give up. I surrender. You win. Subject me to your finger of doom."
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
A 'Glowing' Review of Russian Produce
Watch what you eat next time you head over to Russia.
Radioactive produce on sale in Moscow 20 years after Chernobyl
Wed Jan 18 2006 08:29:05 ET
Large quantities of radioactive produce still reach market stalls in Moscow from western Russia and Belarus, almost 20 years after the nuclear accident at Chernobyl, a local official told the AFP wire on Wednesday. "
Around 830 kilogrammes of radioactive produce was confiscated from Mocow markets in 2005," said Elena Ter-Martirossov, spokeswoman for Radon, the municipal authority which handles the capital's radioactivity security. The figure for 2004 was 986 kilogrammes, around a tonne in 2003, three tonnes in 2002, and 1.5 tonnes in 2001, she said. "
Most of it comes from markets and consists of mushrooms and berries" from regions affected by the April 1986 explosion in Chernobyl, Ukraine." There was a case, involving meat, in a shop two years ago, but it is very rare that shops are affected," she added.
All marketplaces have a laboratory which checks goods before sale, while shops are also inspected, she explained. If contaminated goods are found, Radon is called in to handle the removal and treatment of these goods which are considered to be radioactive waste. Mushrooms and berries are more susceptible to radioactivity because they grow very close to the ground and quickly absorb any radioactive particles.
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Big Air Force Bomber News
Just read this morning that the Department of Defense has given the Air Force the green light to back out of the Joint Unmanned Combat Air System (J-UCAS). The Navy will continue R&D on their half of the J-UCAS, the X-47A UCAV-N. The Air Force on the other hand will cut their losses and focus on the next generation strategic bomber, which will of course remain unmanned.
The Navy's X-47A: A cross between a Yugo and an F/A-18
The biggest problem with the Air Force X-45A UCAV was that it was so small. Everything in our current inventory could meet and exceed the same weapons package that this new, insanely expensive remote control toy could carry. There was really no use for something so small.
The Air Force X-45A, up on blocks and left on the street for taggers to enjoy.
It looks as though some forward thinking folks up at the Pentagon agreed with that assessment and are going to allow the Air Force to build something much more expensive, yet capable of carrying more weapons and having intercontinental range.
I still disagree with the idea that these things need to be unmanned. I'm certain that after this next generation of large unmanned combat systems comes to fruition, the decision makers are going to realize that having pilots (or monkeys as we like to call them) along for the ride is the way to go.
Stay tuned over the next few years. Things should get pretty exciting when the Air Force unveils the newest strategic bomber design to replace the B-52 fleet, which is almost due to appear on the Antiques Road Show any day now. The new design will probably look like a cross between the F-22 and the B-2. Something that would make Billy Mitchell, Curtis LeMay, and Batman proud.
Iraq, Iran Navies Clash
I find it odd that there is so little reporting about something that could be quite a significant event such as this.
Iraq, Iran Navies Clash: One Killed, Nine Captured
Tuesday, January 17,
BAGHDAD, Iraq — The governor of Basra, the largest city in
southern Iraq, on Tuesday accused Iranian naval forces of killing one Iraqi
sailor and capturing nine others during a skirmish Saturday near the Shatt
al-Arab waterway, or Arvand River.
Gov. Mohammed al-Waeli said the clash
occurred after an Iraqi Navy ship spotted a suspicious merchant vessel flying an
Iraqi flag and carrying smuggled Iraqi diesel. Al-Waeli claimed the merchant
ship radioed Iranian forces for help and an Iranian Navy ship attacked the Iraqi
"We denounce this aggression by the Iranian navy against our
vessels inside Iraqi waters and we are making contacts with the Iranians to
ensure the release of those who were captured," al-Waeli said.
Iranian comment was immediately available.
The waterway runs along the
Iran-Iraq border and has long been a source of tension between Iran and Iraq.
The 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war broke out after Saddam Hussein claimed the entire
waterway for Iraq.
Monday, January 16, 2006
Martin Luther King at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (August 28, 1963)
"I Have a Dream"
I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as
the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow
we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous
decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves
who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a
joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.
But 100 years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years
later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of
segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the
Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of
material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished
in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own
land. And so we've come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When
the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the
Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a
promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a
promise that all men - yes, black men as well as white men - would be
guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of
It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note
insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this
sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a
check that has come back marked "insufficient funds."
But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We
refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of
opportunity of this nation. And so we've come to cash this check, a check
that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and security of justice.
We have also come to his hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce
urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to
take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the
promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and
desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the
time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid
rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment.
This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass
until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen
sixty-three is not an end but a beginning. Those who hoped that the Negro
needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude
awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither
rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship
rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of
our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.
But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the
warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of
gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us
not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of
bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high
plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to
degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the
majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous
new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to
a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced
by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied
up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is
inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.
And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always
march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the
devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be
satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of
police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy
with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways
and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's
basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be
satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed
of their dignity by signs stating "for whites only." We cannot be satisfied as
long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York
believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no we are not satisfied and
we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and
righteousness like a mighty stream.
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great
trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells.
Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you
battered by storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police
brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to
work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.
Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South
Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums
and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can
and will be changed.
Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today my
friends - so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I
still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the
true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all
men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of
former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down
together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state
sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression,
will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation
where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content
of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists,
with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition
and nullification - one day right there in Alabama little black boys and
black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as
sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every
hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain,
and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord
shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with.
With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a
stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling
discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this
faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle
together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing
that we will be free one day.
This will be the day, this will be the day when all of God's children will
be able to sing with new meaning "My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of
liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my father's died, land of the Pilgrim's
pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!"
And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. And so
let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let
freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring
from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.
Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado. Let
freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.
But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi - from
Let freedom ring. And when this happens, and when we allow
freedom ring - when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet,
from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when
all of God's children - black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles,
Protestants and Catholics - will be able to join hands and sing in the words
of the old Negro spiritual: "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty,
we are free at last!"
Thursday, January 12, 2006
Tax training is nearly complete.
And yes, I was right... bamboo splinters under the finger nails would have been much easier.
Monday, January 09, 2006
In Training This Week
Remember how they say don't ever volunteer for something in the military? I was always the guy who stuck his hand up. Typically it worked out great and I always had fun, but this time around I'm doing something I've said in the past I would never do... taxes. I'm volunteering as a tax rep on base, so all this week I'll be chained to a desk listening to IRS geeks show me how to push buttons on a computer. How did I ever get suckered into this one?
Something tells me that bamboo shoved under the fingernails would be quicker and less painless.
Oh well, enjoy.
Schwarzenegger and son hurt in collision
I'm just glad nobody was seriously hurt. Can you imagine being the bonehead who cut off the Governator and his son, causing the accident? He should probably be in serious condition by now after Mr. T-100 grabbed him by his neck and pulled him through the car window.
Bolivia seeks Chinese investment
First Venezuela, now Bolivia... what's going on down in South America? We're on the verge of the second Socialist Revolution? Of course Cuba and China are doing what they can to help.
Dick Cheney rushed to hospital
He must have been the guy who cut off Schwarzenegger. I wish Cheney well, but damn I hope this is Condi's chance to take over as the VP. Vice President Condi Rice. I love the sound of that.
Thursday, January 05, 2006
Whatever Happened To 'Good News From Iraq?
If you remember, Arthur Chrenkoff had a bi-monthly 'Good News From Iraq' and Afghanistan series. It seems as though the replacement series that promised to continue this outstanding effort started by Chrenkoff has floundered. If I'm wrong please let me know, but as far as I can tell nothing has come of it.
So the obvious question is what now? Other than CENTCOM, who's going to spread the good word about what our troops are doing that is helping the war effort?
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Cavemen and Global Warming... The Missing Link
Global warming 55 million years ago shifted ocean currents
You see, the Caveman caused Global Warming. Those bastards! They ruined everything for us.
Captain Caveman, working for Haliburton, pled guilty to bribing Bush.
Mooning Someone Not Illegal!
Congratulations Dave on winning your court case.
Mooning Deemed 'Disgusting' but No Crime in Md.
"Acquitting a Germantown man who exposed his buttocks during an argument with a neighbor, a Montgomery County Circuit Court judge ruled yesterday that mooning, while distasteful, is not illegal in Maryland."
The possibilities are endless. I'm sure you and ACE will be exercising your rights over the weekend. Just don't abuse your power. Use it wisely grasshopper.
Russia Wins the First Hand of Poker With Europe
Russia, Ukraine reach natural gas deal
As I mentioned before, Russia decided to play a little game of poker with Europe this week when it cut off gas supplies through Ukraine, reducing the gas supplies in Europe by 25-30%. This was Russia's way of flexing its ever-growing economic muscle and making the Ukranians pay for their insurrection dubbed 'The Orange Revolution.' It now looks as though Russia won this first round. Ukraine quickly folded after Putin showed his hand, thus ushering in the new strategic doctrine of the Russian Government: Global power through natural resources.
Russia succeeded in more than quadrupling the price of gas to Europe. "The Ukrainian natural gas company agreed to a price of $230 per thousand cubic meters of gas, The Associated Press reported, citing the head of Russia's gas monopoly, Gazprom. Ukraine had been paying $50 per thousand cubic meters of gas when Russia demanded more from its Western-leaning neighbor."
Keep an eye out for Russia's next round of poker. I'm very curious as to when the U.S. will sit down at the table and start playing along.
The Day Journalism Died
I blame it on the 24 hour news cycle and the ridiculous need by cable news networks to be the absolute first to break a story. Their desire for profits and bragging rights have put the final nail in the coffin of real journalism.
Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC are all culprits in this debacle. The fact that they broadcast an erroneous rumor as fact without vetting it through the proper channels to verify its accuracy says everything about their quality of service. They are not news agencies... they're nothing more than tabloid rags competing for the prime spot on the checkout rack at the supermarket.
This is yet another example in the long line of classic fumbles in news reporting over the last decade. (One nail in the coffin after another) The families of the dead coal miners have every right to be angry. I'm just curious as to how the networks and newspapers will spin that anger.
Greg Mitchell at Editor & Publisher concurs.
In one of the most disturbing and disgraceful media performances of this type in recent years, television and newspapers carried the tragically wrong news late Tuesday and early Wednesday that 12 of 13 trapped coal miners in West Virginia had been found alive and safe. Hours later they had to reverse course, often blaming the mix-up on "miscommunication."
Update 1030: Let the spin begin.
Fox News: "Tragic Misunderstanding"
CNN: "Anderson Cooper, the CNN host, ripped the coal company at 3 a.m. for not correcting the wrong reports for so long, but did not explain why CNN went with the good news without strong confirmation."
Modern Journalism at its finest.
Monday, January 02, 2006
Russia vs. Europe... Time for a Little Poker
I know it's just a stretch, but hasn't Europe fallen into global warfare over much less than what Russia is doing to it right at this moment? You remember, those little skirmishes that cost about 100 million lives in the first half of the 20th Century. Yes, those wars that were ended with the help of the United States military and industrial complex.
Vladimir Putin has decided to play a round of geopolitical poker. He's still bitter about the Ukraine's Orange Revolution and has decided to make them pay with their checkbooks for dabbling with real democracy. By quadrupling the cost of gas that flows from Russia through the Ukraine and to the rest Europe (25-30% of Europe's supply), Putin has shown his hand and has given the world a glimpse into the former Soviet Union's new strategic doctrine. That doctrine is to use its natural resources to fill the growing vacuum created by shrinking Middle Eastern output, ultimately retaking its seat at the Super Power table. With that power Russia will once again be a magnet for weaker regimes, reestablishing its control over the Former Soviet Republics throughout Asia and Europe. Even worse, Russia will again have a major influence in world affairs.
Since taking over the Presidency in 1999 Putin has made every effort to consolidate power in Russia. He's continued to strengthen his government's democratic facade, yet democracy in Russia has been reduced to the local or regional level, kept in check by the watchful eye of the Kremlin. No matter how hard it is to admit it, Russia is not a democracy.
Back to my original observation. Europe has crumbled into warfare over much less overt acts of aggression. The reason Russia is going to get away with this blatant power play with nothing more than a 'strongly worded letter' from the so-called power players of Europe is because those players are much weaker than they were 100 years ago. Not only are they militarily weaker, they've lost their ability to stand firm against aggression. They've lost their spines. The proof of this are their actions since 9/11. They've dabbled in peacekeeping in Afghanistan, but when it came time to actually go to war against a known sponsor of terrorism and genocidal tyrant, they showed their cards to the world... and to Russia. Europe has no hand to play.
Where this all ends up nobody can really predict this early on. How the United States deals with this, and we will inevitably have to deal with this issue, is still unknown. We may just let Europe work out its own issues internally for now, but history shows that waiting too long to do anything will prove disastrous. Russia may be counting on the fact that nearly all of our diplomatic and political attention is currently focused on the War on Terror and in Iraq. Our chips are stretched thin on the table, but do they really know our hand?
This is one poker game I look forward to seeing played out over the next year. That is of course as long as it stays on the table.
Sunday, January 01, 2006