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Archive for April, 2007

Lieberman Rips Reid A New Arsehole

Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, I-CT, delivered this speech in the Senate as that body considered passing a bill setting a timetable for withdrawal in Iraq.

Excerpts:

In short, it means telling our troops to deliberately and consciously turn their backs on ethnic cleansing, to turn their backs on the slaughter of innocent civilians—men, women, and children singled out and killed on the basis of their religion alone. It means turning our backs on the policies that led us to intervene in the civil war in Yugoslavia in the 1990s, the principles that today lead many of us to call for intervention in Darfur.

[…]

For most of the past four years, under Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, the United States did not try to establish basic security in Iraq. Rather than deploying enough troops necessary to protect the Iraqi people, the focus of our military has been on training and equipping Iraqi forces, protecting our own forces, and conducting targeted sweeps and raids—in other words, the very same missions proposed by the proponents of the legislation before us.

That strategy failed—and we know why it failed. It failed because we didn’t have enough troops to ensure security, which in turn created an opening for Al Qaeda and its allies to exploit. They stepped into this security vacuum and, through horrific violence, created a climate of fear and insecurity in which political and economic progress became impossible.

For years, many members of Congress recognized this. We talked about this. We called for more troops, and a new strategy, and—for that matter—a new secretary of defense.

And yet, now, just as President Bush has come around—just as he has recognized the mistakes his administration has made, and the need to focus on basic security in Iraq, and to install a new secretary of defense and a new commander in Iraq—now his critics in Congress have changed their minds and decided that the old, failed strategy wasn’t so bad after all.

What is going on here? What has changed so that the strategy that we criticized and rejected in 2006 suddenly makes sense in 2007?

[…]

My colleague from Nevada, in other words, is suggesting that the insurgency is being provoked by the very presence of American troops. By diminishing that presence, then, he believes the insurgency will diminish.

But I ask my colleagues—where is the evidence to support this theory? Since 2003, and before General Petraeus took command, U.S. forces were ordered on several occasions to pull back from Iraqi cities and regions, including Mosul and Fallujah and Tel’Afar and Baghdad. And what happened in these places? Did they stabilize when American troops left? Did the insurgency go away?

On the contrary—in each of these places where U.S. forces pulled back, Al Qaeda rushed in. Rather than becoming islands of peace, they became safe havens for terrorists, islands of fear and violence.

So I ask advocates of withdrawal: on what evidence, on what data, have you concluded that pulling U.S. troops out will weaken the insurgency, when every single experience we have had since 2003 suggests that this legislation will strengthen it?

[…]

In following General Petraeus’ path, there is no guarantee of success—but there is hope, and a new plan, for success.

The plan embedded in this legislation, on the other hand, contains no such hope. It is a strategy of catchphrases and bromides, rather than military realities in Iraq. It does not learn from the many mistakes we have made in Iraq. Rather, it promises to repeat them.

Let me be absolutely clear: In my opinion, Iraq is not yet lost—but if we follow this plan, it will be. And so, I fear, much of our hope for stability in the Middle East and security from terrorism here at home.

I yield the floor.

FrontPageMag.com 

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Cab Calloway & The Nicholas Brothers

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Are We Responsible For That Too?

Climate Change Hits Mars

Mars is being hit by rapid climate change and it is happening so fast that the red planet could lose its southern ice cap, writes Jonathan Leake.

Scientists from Nasa say that Mars has warmed by about 0.5C since the 1970s. This is similar to the warming experienced on Earth over approximately the same period.

Since there is no known life on Mars it suggests rapid changes in planetary climates could be natural phenomena.

The mechanism at work on Mars appears, however, to be different from that on Earth. One of the researchers, Lori Fenton, believes variations in radiation and temperature across the surface of the Red Planet are generating strong winds. – Times Online

Or maybe its just sunspots… 

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Reaganites Backing Thompson

Ronald Reagan’s closest allies are throwing their weight behind the White House bid by the late president’s fellow actor, Fred Thompson.

The film star and former Republican senator from Tennessee will this week use a speech in the heart of Reagan country, in southern California, to woo party bigwigs in what insiders say is the next step in his coming out as a candidate.

A key figure in the Reagan inner circle has now given his seal of approval to Mr Thompson, best known as a star of the television crime drama Law and Order.

As deputy chief of staff, Michael Deaver was a key member of the “troika” of aides who kept the Reagan White House on track. With the chief of staff James Baker and special assistant Ed Meese, he was the master of image and presentation. – Telegraph

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Berlin To Name Street For Frank Zappa

The city of Berlin will bestow a unique honor on a unique figure in modern music on July 28th when a street is renamed in memory of American rock and roll legend Frank Zappa. In the Marzahn district of what was East Berlin, “Street Number 13″ will be formally dedicated as “Frank-Zappa-strasse”. The ceremony will take place at the ORWOhaus, a former photographic film plant on the street that is now home to a musicians’ collective. It will be the first street in Germany named for a rock musician, and the first street in a world capital named for Frank Zappa. – Glide Magazine

That will go nicely with the statue up in Vilnius, Lithuania

frank_zappa_statue.gif

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3001.jpg
Nice that some people in Hollywood aren’t scared to speak the truth.
Much has been made of Miller’s politics in the wake of “300.” The deliriously violent and stylized sword film is based on a Spartan battle in 480 B.C., and although Miller wrote and drew the story for Dark Horse comics a decade ago, in film form it was received by many as a grotesque parody of the ancient Persians and a fetish piece for a war on Islam. Miller scoffs at those notions. “I think it’s ridiculous that we set aside certain groups and say that we can’t risk offending their ancestors. Please. I’d like to say, as an American, I was deeply offended by ‘The Last of the Mohicans.’ “

Still, Miller gets stirred up about any criticism of the war in Iraq or the hunt for terrorists, which he views as the front in a war between the civilized Western world and bloodthirsty Islamic fundamentalists.

“What people are not dealing with is the fact that we’re going up against a culture that finds it acceptable to do things that the rest of the world left behind with the barbarians in the 6th century,” Miller said. “I’m a little tired of people worrying about being polite. We are fighting in the face of fascists.”

The director of “300,” Zack Snyder, chuckled about the portrayal of Miller as a conservative on the attack or a “proto-fascist” as one pundit called him. “I don’t think he really has politics, he just sees the world in moral terms. He’s a guy who says what he thinks and has a sense of right and wrong. He talks tough and, after Sept. 11, I think he’s mad.” Snyder said Miller is a throwback and that he approaches his art with a bar-fight temperament, like a Sam Peckinpah. “His political view is: Don’t mess with me.”

LA Times Via Michelle Malkin

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Competing With The Government Part 2

Government experiencing wireless woes over project

The NDP government’s February announcement of free wireless Internet service in downtown Saskatoon, Regina, Prince Albert and Moose Jaw has frustrated some Saskatchewan Internet companies who say they were shut out of participating in favour of SaskTel.

The Saskatchewan! Connected project was budgeted for $1.3 million in initial capital costs, with roughly $950,000 going to acquire the necessary equipment from Alcatel-Lucent and Cisco Systems and the remainder mainly going to SaskTel for design and installation. The government-owned telecommunications system will also receive the bulk of the ongoing operating costs of $339,000.

Mark Richardson is general manager of Saskatoonbased YourLink, the subsidiary of Vecima Networks Inc. that is the largest wireless Internet provider in Saskatchewan besides SaskTel.

He said YourLink generally is in a healthy competition with the Crown corporation but in this situation he believes SaskTel had an unfair advantage because of its connection to the provincial government.

“It was sole source, we didn’t get a shot at that one and I think as a wireless Internet Service Provider we could have competed fairly well on that one,” Richardson said in a recent interview.

“We weren’t happy about it,” he added.

Don Wohlberg is the co-owner of Saskatoon companies Askivision Systems Inc., which provides wireless Internet service to parts of rural Saskatchewan, and EarthVision Systems Ltd., which builds cable television and Internet systems.

Wohlberg said he was also annoyed by the announcement and contacted the government’s Information Technology Office shortly thereafter. “I said we build and operate wireless Internet systems and we would like to bid on building this project. Of course, it fell on deaf ears,” he said in an interview.

Wohlberg said he was told that the project had come about in a big hurry and the government had no choice but to go with SaskTel.

“They had no intention whatsoever of tendering that out to the public or letting anyone else in on it at all,” he said.

[…]

Andrew Thomson, the NDP Finance Minister and Minister responsible for Information Technology, said the decision to introduce the free wireless Internet was expedited — but only because it was named a priority in the early-February provincial youth summit and there was money available.

And he said the intent was to go with SaskTel all along because the Crown was already tasked with providing wireless Internet throughout the province.

Bullshit according to some

The rest is behind the subscriber wall.

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