Friday, June 08, 2007

Paris Hilton and the Art of Distraction

With so many serious issues to discuss why are the cable channels covering this Paris Hilton mess wall to wall? It is the art of distraction.

Americans need to demand real news from our news outlets. Anna Nicole Smith and paris Hilton do not count as real news. With daily bombings in Iraq and the replacement of General Peter Pace, this coverage is excessive and worthless.

The airwaves belong to the citizens. It is time we take them back.

General Peter Pace Out As Chairman of Joint Chiefs Of Staff

General Pace is out. He is being replaced by Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Friday.

This is the first time in 21 years that both CentCom and the Joint Chiefs of Staff have been headed by Navy men. Does that mean anything for the near future? The Navy would be needed for an invasion of Iran and we recently conducted war games off the coast of Iran using the Navy. Now the two most powerful men in the military are both Navy men. It sure feels like they are gearing up for War with Iran.

U.S. Trade Gap Lower Than Expected

The trade deficit narrowed in April, as American businesses exported more goods and services to meet rising demand from overseas.

Exports grew by $200 million while imports slowed by $3.6 billion, bringing the trade gap to $58.5 billion for the month. While that is still huge, it is down from the March deficit of $62.4 billion.
Wall Street welcomed this news and the market slide from the last few days seems to have leveled off. I do not see this as especially good news. Exports grew by just $200 million which is a drop in the bucket when you consider the excesive decline of the dollar in many places. One of the supposed benefits of a dropping dollar is increased exports. That would be the case but with our manufacturing base nearly gone we don't manufacture much that can be exported.

In order for the slumping dollar to help our enormous trade imbalance we need to resurrect our manufacturing base. For me the more important number in this report is the $3.6 Billion drop in imports. To me that signals the American consumer cutting back on spending and that signals lower economic growth within the United States and possibly a coming recession.

There are two Americas. The rich are doing extraordinarily well while the middle and lower classes are struggling economically. That is how I read this report.

Outsourcing Not Effective at 38% of Mid-Sized Companies

An astonishing 38 percent of all mid-sized companies report that their SG&A* (selling, general and administrative) outsourcing projects are less than fully effective, with 15 percent reporting they are now "worse off" after outsourcing. That's according to a new survey of CFOs and other senior financial executives at 35 blue-chip North American companies and divisions released today by AlixPartners LLP.
"The overriding reason companies aren't getting the returns they want," said Neal Ganguli, co-leader of the survey and a director at AlixPartners, "is that while companies rightfully devote a lot of energy to looking 'outward' as they outsource -- working to select the right vendors, etc. -- they all too often don't also look 'inward' enough, in order to adequately prepare themselves for all that successful outsourcing demands inside their own companies."

For instance, when asked to list reasons outsourcing projects were ineffective, the top reason given was "internal resource issues." This placed well above "poor vendor performance." By the same token, when asked why effective projects were effective, "management effort" (internal to the company itself) led the way.

Do you think this report will stop the trend of outsourcing our jobs to foreigners? Unfortunately unless it negatively effects the bottom line it will not stop.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Translate

Read this op-ed from an Arab Linquist fired for being Gay:

IMAGINE for a moment an American soldier deep in the Iraqi desert. His unit is about to head out when he receives a cable detailing an insurgent ambush right in his convoy’s path. With this information, he and his soldiers are now prepared for the danger that lies ahead.

Reports like these are regularly sent from military translators’ desks, providing critical, often life-saving intelligence to troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. But the military has a desperate shortage of linguists trained to translate such invaluable information and convey it to the war zone.

The lack of qualified translators has been a pressing issue for some time — the Army had filled only half its authorized positions for Arabic translators in 2001. Cables went untranslated on Sept. 10 that might have prevented the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11. Today, the American Embassy in Baghdad has nearly 1,000 personnel, but only a handful of fluent Arabic speakers.

I was an Arabic translator. After joining the Navy in 2003, I attended the Defense Language Institute, graduated in the top 10 percent of my class and then spent two years giving our troops the critical translation services they desperately needed. I was ready to serve in Iraq.

But I never got to. In March, I was ousted from the Navy under the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which mandates dismissal if a service member is found to be gay.

My story begins almost a year ago when my roommate, who is also gay, was deployed to Falluja. We communicated the only way we could: using the military’s instant-messaging system on monitored government computers. These electronic conversations are lifelines, keeping soldiers sane while mortars land meters away.

Then, last October the annual inspection of my base, Fort Gordon, Ga., included a perusal of the government computer chat system; inspectors identified 70 service members whose use violated policy. The range of violations was broad: people were flagged for everything from profanity to outright discussions of explicit sexual activity. Among those charged were my former roommate and me. Our messages had included references to our social lives — comments that were otherwise unremarkable, except that they indicated we were both gay.

I could have written a statement denying that I was homosexual, but lying did not seem like the right thing to do. My roommate made the same decision, though he was allowed to remain in Iraq until the scheduled end of his tour.

The result was the termination of our careers, and the loss to the military of two more Arabic translators. The 68 other — heterosexual — service members remained on active duty, despite many having committed violations far more egregious than ours; the Pentagon apparently doesn’t consider hate speech, derogatory comments about women or sexual misconduct grounds for dismissal.

My supervisors did not want to lose me. Most of my peers knew I was gay, and that didn’t bother them. I was always accepted as a member of the team. And my experience was not anomalous: polls of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan show an overwhelming majority are comfortable with gays. Many were aware of at least one gay person in their unit and had no problem with it.

“Don’t ask, don’t tell” does nothing but deprive the military of talent it needs and invade the privacy of gay service members just trying to do their jobs and live their lives. Political and military leaders who support the current law may believe that homosexual soldiers threaten unit cohesion and military readiness, but the real damage is caused by denying enlistment to patriotic Americans and wrenching qualified individuals out of effective military units. This does not serve the military or the nation well.

Consider: more than 58 Arabic linguists have been kicked out since “don’t ask, don’t tell” was instituted. How much valuable intelligence could those men and women be providing today to troops in harm’s way?

In addition to those translators, 11,000 other service members have been ousted since the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy was passed by Congress in 1993. Many held critical jobs in intelligence, medicine and counterterrorism. An untold number of closeted gay military members don’t re-enlist because of the pressure the law puts on them. This is the real cost of the ban — and, with our military so overcommitted and undermanned, it’s too high to pay.

In response to difficult recruiting prospects, the Army has already taken a number of steps, lengthening soldiers’ deployments to 15 months from 12, enlisting felons and extending the age limit to 42. Why then won’t Congress pass a bill like the Military Readiness Enhancement Act, which would repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell”? The bipartisan bill, by some analysts’ estimates, could add more than 41,000 soldiers — all gay, of course.

As the friends I once served with head off to 15-month deployments, I regret I’m not there to lessen their burden and to serve my country. I’m trained to fight, I speak Arabic and I’m willing to serve. No recruiter needs to make a persuasive argument to sign me up. I’m ready, and I’m waiting.

Stephen Benjamin is a former petty officer second class in the Navy.

Immigration Bill Appears Dead

President Bush suffered a devastating setback on his top domestic priority on Thursday as a broad immigration bill collapsed in the Senate amid an apparently irreconcilable partisan standoff.
Crafted by a bipartisan group of senators after three months of negotiations with the White House, the bill seeks to legalize millions of undocumented immigrants, create a temporary guest worker program, toughen security along the U.S. borders with Mexico and Canada, and crack down on employers who hire illegal workers.

Bush, who has called for immigration changes since the outset of his presidency, has aggressively committed his administration to passing the bill, even criticizing Republicans who denounce it.

If the bill isn't revived, it would mark the president's second defeat on the issue within the span of a year and would invite a political backlash in advance of the 2008 presidential election.
What I do not understand is why they don't have separate bills for each part of the immigration problem. Border security is the most pressing concern. If you do not stop the flow of undocumented workers into the country this bill, even if it is passed, will not solve the problem. A guest worker program is equivalent to indentured servitude and hurts the middle class and must be rejected UNLESS guest workers are paid similar wages to Americans in similar jobs.

The reason this bill is failing is because Liberal Democrats see the Guest Worker Program as bad for American workers and Conservatives see the bill as amnesty for those that entered the country illegally.

Doing nothing is the same as granting amnesty and allowing a guest worker program. Enforcement of employment laws is so poor that I believe you have a better chance of being struck by lightning then you do being fined for hiring an undocumented worker.

No immigration reform bill can succeed without help from the Government of Mexico and other Latin American nations whose economic policies force their poor populations to seek refuge in the United States. Immigration is one of the most complex isues currently facing the United States. Doing nothing only makes the problem grow.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Restore Habeas Corpus

Support the restoration of Habeas Corpus.

Senator Lynne Cheney?

What a frightening thought.

I am sure she would remain a right wing tool but what about on Gay issues? She is the mother of a lesbian and the grandmother of a child with two mommies. This could be very interesting should she be appointed. How will she vote when her husband is impeached?

U.S. adopts limits on clean water law enforcement

Do you still think they care at all about the environment or your safety?
The landmark U.S. law to fight water pollution will now apply only to bodies of water large enough for boats to use, and their adjacent wetlands, and will not automatically protect streams, the U.S. government said on Tuesday.

Environmental groups said they fear the new policy will muddy the purpose of the federal Clean Water Act and put many smaller bodies of water at risk. Democrats in Congress have introduced legislation mandating protection of creeks, estuaries and other watersheds.

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers wrote the new guidelines after the Supreme Court split a year ago in a case about which waters fall under the Clean Water Act.
Why would they not want to protect as much of the fresh water as possible? This is another sell out to big business to the detriment of our people and environment.

Novak: Rove-Protege Tim Griffin Joins Thompson Campaign

Does this mean that Rove will be supporting Fred Thompson

My guess is that Rove has looked at the Republican field and sees no one that can win. Fred Thompson would seem to be the best hope for the Republicans. It is so funny that Republicans rail against Hollywood then fall over themselves when an actor that happens to be Republican joins the race.

Immigration Bill Suffers Setback in Senate Vote

Last night after midnight a provision was added to the Immigration Reform Bill that would eliminate the guest worker program in 5 years.
By a vote of 49 to 48 shortly after midnight, the Senate approved an amendment by Senator Byron L. Dorgan, Democrat of North Dakota, to end the program after five years.

The temporary worker program is an important element of the “grand bargain” on immigration forged in three months of negotiations by a small bipartisan group of senators.
This amendment could potentially kill the bill and leave us with the status quo on immigration policy. Big business wants a guest worker program but Senator Dorgan knows correctly that this program will drive down wages for the lower and middle class workers.

Any guest worker program must include provisions for competitive wages for the guest workers. Without this, wages for all will be under pressure. Even if it is agreeed that minimum wage must be paid to all guest workers that does not stop the downward spiral in wages. Lets take construction jobs which are now some of the higher paying blue collar jobs available. If a competitive wage, for the area in which the job is offered, is not paid then all workers will suffer.

Senator Dorgan's amendment would require Congress to look at this program again in five years and analyze the pros and cons of continuing it. Big business wants an expansion of the H1-B Visa program which brings in skilled workers.
Steven A. Ballmer, the chief executive of Microsoft, was among the businessmen pleading with Congress to increase the number of H-1B visas and green cards available to skilled foreign professionals. Ginny Terzano, a spokeswoman for Microsoft, said such visas were urgently needed to help meet “a talent crisis” in the industry.
Those are white collar jobs that pay well. In a country of 300 Million people it seems absurd that they can not find qualified applicants. The visa program allows them to hire workers at lower wages and is a danger to the Middle Class.

Comprehensive reform is desperately needed but how to do this is the big question. Any reform must include comprehensive border security. Unless we can stop the flow of illegal immigrants into this country and reform bill will be worthless. The best way to stop the flow into the country is to attack the problem at its two base causes. The first is employers who hire undocumented workers. Without the possibility of a job the flow would stop immediately. The second is to help the governments of the region get their financial house in order so that people do not feel they need to leave their homeland in order to survive.

How exactly can we achieve those goals? That is the big question and one that is not so easy to answer. I would first set up a national database for employers for background checks on potential hires. It would be very easy in most cases to spot forged documents if a database was available from which to gather basic information on the social security number that was applying for the job. Employer fines would need to be raised to such a degree that hiring known undocumented workers would be the death knell for the business in question.

The second equally important task would be to get comprehensive economic reforms from the governments around the world that send us their poor. Most people have no desire to leave their homeland but many feel they have no choice if they are to provide for their family.

We must also look at the law that allows anyone born on United States soil to be born a United States citizen. What many immigrants will do is have a child while here. Those children are commonly called "Anchor Babies" that will anchor the family in the United States. What most immigrants do not realize is that the child can not sponsor the parents for citizenship until they reach the age of 21. Is it time to change the law that allows this automatic citizenship?

Immigration reform is one of the most difficult issues that our country faces. Any reform must be fair and preserve the human dignity of the immigrants. The vast majority of undocumented workers are decent hard working people who just want a better life for their families. Striking a balance that both preserves their dignity and protects the lower, working and middle class from further erosion of wages is the difficult task at hand.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Turkish Troops Enter Northern Iraq

On April 12, 2007 I posted this about the Turkish Military possibly entering Northern Iraq. It seems today they did just that.
Several thousand Turkish troops crossed into northern Iraq early Wednesday to chase Kurdish guerrillas who operate from bases there, Turkish security officials told The Associated Press.

Two senior security officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media, said the raid was limited in scope and that it did not constitute the kind of large incursion that Turkish leaders have been discussing in recent weeks.

"It is not a major offensive and the number of troops is not in the tens of thousands," one of the officials told the AP by telephone. The official is based in southeast Turkey, where the military has been battling separatist Kurdish rebels since they took up arms in 1984.
The Middle East is a powder keg that is about to explode. The Lebanon Military is battling Islamic Militants in Tripoli, The Palestinians are close to civil war, Iraq is a disaster that is worsening and the saber rattling against Iran has begun. Just when you think the situation in the Middle East can get no worse, it does.

Republican Debate: Let The Gay bashing Begin

The Human Rights Campaign released the follwoing statement following last nights Republican debate:
New Hampshire Debate: GOP Candidates’ Support of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Puts National Security at Risk

Standing in Stark Contrast to Sunday Night’s Democratic Debate, No Republican Candidate Supports Repeal of Dishonorable Policy

WASHINGTON – When asked by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer to raise their hand if they support the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, not a single Republican candidate’s hand went up in the air. The position of every single Republican candidate on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” not only stands in stark contrast to the unified support of repeal by all Democratic Presidential candidates but it is also out of step with the majority of the American people.

“America’s national security was sacrificed tonight in the name of divisive political maneuvering,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “Every single Republican candidate for President just looked the American people in the eye and voiced their support for a policy that is more concerned about the sexual orientation of an Arabic linguist than it is our military’s ability to decode the next piece of intelligence from terrorist groups.”

“I hope tonight’s debate wasn’t aired over the Armed Forces Network because otherwise over 60,000 gay and lesbian troops on active duty just heard a message of dishonor. For these candidates running to be the next Commander in Chief to dishonor the service of men and women standing on the streets of Baghdad and serving around the globe is shameful,” said Eric Alva, National Spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign and the first U.S. troop wounded in the Iraq War.

On March 12, 2007, USA Today reported, "Polls indicate growing acceptance of gay troops. A Harris Poll this month found that 55% supported allowing gays to serve openly, up from 48% in 2000. A Pew Research Center survey last year found that 60% favored gays serving openly, up from 52% in 1994. Support ran 3-to-1 among those younger than 30.

”The American people have moved forward. Unfortunately, the GOP candidates for President have not,” continued Solmonese. “Apparently, the GOP presidential candidates have decided to ally themselves with the extreme views of the right wing, instead of the vast majority of Americans. Not a single hand raised tonight spoke volumes about their willingness to discriminate against gay and lesbian servicemembers.”

During tonight’s New Hampshire debate aired on CNN, none of the Republican candidates for President supported repeal of the “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” (DADT) law that prevents gay and lesbian Americans from serving openly in the military. Mitt Romney actually supported repeal of DADT in 1994 but switched his position tonight. Ironically, Senator John McCain stated that while the U.S has a great military, "there aren't enough of them." Although, he went on to state his willingness to kick out gay and lesbian Americans wanting to serve.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Are You ready for $5.00 Per Gallon Gas?

Does that title send shivers down your spine? That is a distinct possibility if a huge cyclone now headed toward Oman reaches Iran.

This could be the most powerful storm to hit the Middle East since records were kept. It is the same as a category 5 hurricane. This storm could damage oil production facilities and make travel through the Straits of Harmuz impossible.
"If the storm hits Iran, it's a much bigger story than Oman, given how much bigger an oil producer Iran is," said Antoine Haff of FIMAT USA, a brokerage unit of Societe Generale. "At a minimum, it's likely to affect tanker traffic and to shut down some Omani oil production as a precautionary measure."
The oil companies will take any excuse they can to raise prices. Isn't ExxonMobil funding scientists that say Global warming is a myth? Sounds ironic right now.

The Real Reason For The Iraq War

Many have speculated about the real reason for the Iraq War. Is there anyone who still believes that it was the weapons of mass destruction, liberation of the Iraqi people, part of the war on terror or any of the other seemingly endless excuses for this disaster? Today while listening to Randi Rhodes of Air America I heard an interview with Antonia Juhasz, an analyst with Oil Change International. What she had to say was startling.

On march 13, 2007 she wrote an op-ed in the NY Times stating what she believes is the real reason for the war. In the article titled "Whose Oil Is It, Anyway?" she lays out who gains from this war.
TODAY more than three-quarters of the world’s oil is owned and controlled by governments. It wasn’t always this way.

Until about 35 years ago, the world’s oil was largely in the hands of seven corporations based in the United States and Europe. Those seven have since merged into four: ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell and BP. They are among the world’s largest and most powerful financial empires. But ever since they lost their exclusive control of the oil to the governments, the companies have been trying to get it back.
Lets think about what she is saying in detail. She believes our sons and daughters are dying to protect the profits of oil companies.

There is a law before the Iraqi Parliament which would give over control of most of Iraq's oil wealth to foreign oil companies to the detriment of the Iraqi people.
A new oil law set to go before the Iraqi Parliament this month would, if passed, go a long way toward helping the oil companies achieve their goal. The Iraq hydrocarbon law would take the majority of Iraq’s oil out of the exclusive hands of the Iraqi government and open it to international oil companies for a generation or more.

In March 2001, the National Energy Policy Development Group (better known as Vice President Dick Cheney’s energy task force), which included executives of America’s largest energy companies, recommended that the United States government support initiatives by Middle Eastern countries “to open up areas of their energy sectors to foreign investment.” One invasion and a great deal of political engineering by the Bush administration later, this is exactly what the proposed Iraq oil law would achieve. It does so to the benefit of the companies, but to the great detriment of Iraq’s economy, democracy and sovereignty.
Now we know why Dick Cheney has kept whom he met with such a closed secret. This sounds more like an episode of the Sopranos then it does legitimate energy policy. This is theft pure and simple, but wait it gets even better.
The foreign companies would not have to invest their earnings in the Iraqi economy, partner with Iraqi companies, hire Iraqi workers or share new technologies. They could even ride out Iraq’s current “instability” by signing contracts now, while the Iraqi government is at its weakest, and then wait at least two years before even setting foot in the country. The vast majority of Iraq’s oil would then be left underground for at least two years rather than being used for the country’s economic development.
Passage of this law which allows oil companies to rape Iraq is part of the benchmarks included in the new war funding bill.
Since the invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration has been aggressive in shepherding the oil law toward passage. It is one of the president’s benchmarks for the government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, a fact that Mr. Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Gen. William Casey, Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and other administration officials are publicly emphasizing with increasing urgency.
As more and more of our soldiers are killed I want you to remember that they are dying for ever larger oil company profits. Our tax dollars are being used for the largest heist in world history. Think of that as you put the yellow ribbon on the car but do nothing else to stop this war. Iran may be next unless we learn from our mistakes.

I have tried to lay this out in a way that is easy to understand. Please send this post to everyone you know and ask that they do the same. Imagine if the people of the United States realized exactly what was happening. I would suggest that everyone clicks the link on the side of this page and purchases this book by Antonia Juhasz then calls their elected officials and demand impeachment.

Libby Sentenced To Prison

Former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison Tuesday for lying and obstructing the CIA leak investigation.

A decision has not been made as to whether he will be allowed to remain free pending his appeal. Hopefully he will be required to report to prison immediately. As it was recently reported again, Valerie Plame was indeed a covert agent at the time her cover was blown by this administration. A quick background on this story was that her husband was sent to Africa to examine reports that Saddam Hussein had tried to buy yellow cake uranium from Niger and discovered the allegations were false. He further reported these findings to the CIA yet President Bush in his State of the Union Address in 2003 went on to state this as fact. This was the first reason for the war in Iraq.

What should not be lost in this discussion is the fate of those who worked with Ms. Plame around the world. Her outing certainly damaged national security and put those that she worked with at great risk. How can an administration that claims to call homeland security its number one priority willfully disclose the identification of a covert CIA agent? It should also not be forgotten that her undercover work for the CIA was involved with stopping the spread of weapons of mass destruction. This is a criminal administration that will do anything, including putting a covert agents life on the line, to further its political agenda.

So how soon will the pardon come? If he is sentenced to start serving his time immediately the call for a pardon will be intense among Libby's supporters. He broke the law and damaged national security 2.5 years sounds like a light sentence to me.

Gay Tolerance at Record Levels

Gay Tolerance in US at near record levels.

Today, 57 percent of the American public believes homosexuality should be sanctioned as an acceptable alternative lifestyle – the highest the Gallup Poll has recorded since 1982. Also indicating higher tolerance, 59 percent of Americans believe homosexual relations should be legal.
This report should make many heads in the religious right explode. This report should also make many in the republican party nervous. They count on gay issues to bring out their base. If that base shrinks it can only hurt the party. Many middle class people vote against their own best economic interests based on strong opposition to gay rights and other social issues. Each social issue lost to the party is a loss in votes.

The worst news for the GOP in this report is the views of younger Americans who now solidly support gay relationships. It is good to see that Americans are showing the tolerance that has made America the great country that it is.

Congressional Democrats Slide in Poll

The Democrats in Congress have seen their approval ratings plummet as the result of new war funding that does not include a timetable for withdrawal.
The shift away from the Democrats in Congress has occurred on two levels. In terms of their overall approval rating, the damage is almost entirely among people who strongly oppose the war in Iraq. In this group 69 percent approved of the Democrats in April, but just 54 percent still approve now -- a likely effect of the Democrats' failure to push a withdrawal timetable through Congress.

Their decline in leadership ratings vs. Bush is more broadly based -- that's occurred among war opponents and supporters alike, apparently reflecting more an assessment of their performance than an expression of support or opposition.
I am one of those people that understands the reasons why the Democrats caved in on the Iraq funding. Without a veto proof 67 votes in the Senate it was known that the President would veto any bill that included timetables. They also correctly understood that the President would use the veto as an excuse to tell the American people that the Democrats do not support the troops. The sad reality is that many Americans would fall for this lie. The correct course of action would have been to send the same bill with the funding that was requested again and again. The Democrats need a good spokesman who could explain the complex nature of the funding bill in such a way that the American people would understand.

The Democrats were elected to end this war and put this President in check until the next election. Now many do not think they are up to this task. I predict in September when the surge has failed on all levels that more Republicans will jump ship and join the Democrats on Iraq. No matter how the Democrats are perceived this is and will always be George W. Bush's war. That is the political calculation the Democrats are making. In the end that is correct but lives are being lost as a result of this lack of spine.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Terror Plot on JFK Maybe more Talk Than Action

A few days ago I posed this about the supposed plot to blow up JFK International Airport in NYC.

Today many are questioning exactly how much of this plot was real and how much was hyped by the authorities.
US authorities said Saturday they had averted an attack that could have resulted in "unfathomable damage, deaths, and destruction," and charged four alleged Islamic radicals with conspiracy to cause an explosion at the airport.

John Goglia, a former member of National Transportation Safety Board, said that if the plot had ever been carried out, it would likely have sparked a fire but little else, and certainly not the mass carnage authorities described.

"You could definitely reach the tank, definitely start the fire, but to get the kind of explosion that they were thinking that they were going to get... this is virtually impossible to do," he told AFP.
Now the real question should be what news were they trying to hide by breaking this story? Could it be the resignation of Tim Griffin who is becoming embroiled in the US Attorney firings? Seems Mr. Griffin was involved in a practice called caging which is a way to disenfranchise voters. Now that is the type of person we need as a US Attorney. Wake up America you are being duped once again.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Flying Home Today

I will be traveling the rest of the day and will post some interesting conversations I had with people in both Brazil and Argentina. I found their knowledge of the world excellent and their views thought provoking.

Civilian Death Toll in Iraq Surges

Wasn't the surge of troops supposed to quell the sectarian violence? According to this report the exact opposite is happening.
The number of civilians killed in Iraq jumped to nearly 2,000 in May, the highest monthly toll since the start of a U.S.-backed security crackdown in February, according to figures released on Saturday.

Militants blew up a strategic bridge that links Baghdad to the northern cities of Kirkuk and Arbil, and a mortar barrage on the Sunni enclave of Fadhil in mainly Shi'ite eastern Baghdad, killed 10 people and wounded 30, police said.

In Arbil, the capital of Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and Masoud Barzani, president of Kurdistan, urged Turkey not to send troops into the region to crush Kurdish separatist rebels believed to be hiding there.
OK so lets examine this a bit further. Not only is the sectarian violence growing in Iraq but now Turkey is threatening military action to stop the Kurdish rebels. The Kurdish region was the one glimmer of success in Iraq. That success was started years ago because of the nearly autonomous government of the Kurdish region. The northern no fly zone in place to keep Saddam Hussein in check (which by the way was working)enabled them to grow and prosper. Turkey has said repeatedly that they will not allow a Kurdish state in their backyard from which the Kurdish rebels can plan and execute terrorist attacks. Didn't anyone in the Bush administration give any thought at all to the consequences of this war? It certainly appears they did not. This region could soon spiral out of control and we will only need to look to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. for the cause.