Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Osama caught in Pakistan. Bush apologizes.

Yesterday, in the early morning hours, Osama Bin Laden was caught in the border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan. This represents a crushing blow to President Bush at a time when he is trying to rally the nation to garner support for his unpopular wars. President Bush addressed the nation in a televised speech from the White House:

Fellow Americans. In the past years we had been extremely successful in hunting down Osama Bin Laden. Our search for him was so effective at that time, that we had no trace of his whereabouts. However, in the past weeks we let the ball drop. Our search for Bin Laden got less and less efficient, culminating in the end in the devasting blow of actually finding him. I would like to apologize to the nation, and in particular to the family members and friends of the people killed on 9/11.


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see also:

Press Gaggle by Tony Snow
Aboard Air Force One
September 10, 2006

Q Harder to find than when, since we haven't found him [bin Laden]?

MR. SNOW: Well, let me put it this way. There have been clues in the past, for instance, based on electronic communications, as you know -- satellite telephones -- they have changed the way in which they've done a number of things -- and I won't go into that, but they have changed their methods of operation in response to the fact that they don't want to be found out. It's just tougher. They've moved to more primitive means of communication and they've gone to ground.

Q It sort of sounds like since he's harder to find is a sign of our success.

MR. SNOW: Well, in some ways, it is. I mean, if bin Laden was thoroughly successful, he'd be sitting on a throne conducting press conferences or issuing fatwas in full view of everyone -- and he is not doing so.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

How well the Iraqis learn.

Faced with charges of torture, the Iraqis come up with some not-so-surprising responses:

1)We do not torture.
2)It was just a few bad apples who did the abuse.
3)The abused are the most criminal of the terrorists.
4)The abuse did not lead to death, so it wasn’t all that bad.
5)We’ll have a thorough inquiry and all the guilty will be punished.

Things I have not heard yet, but fully expect to hear in the near future:

- Only defeatists and traitors want to limit our tools in fighting terrorism.
- If there was torture it was actually done by former Baathists and foreign terrorists.

We know now that the US torture abuse interrogation techniques were reverse engineered from the SERE training. I wonder where the Iraqi torture abuse interrogation techniques came from?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Breaking News: Queensboro Bridge on Fire

I just wanted to be first in announcing that the QBB is on fire. Breaking this story will surely propel me to stardom in the blogosphere.

PS: It's probably just some tarp that caught fire due to construction. So no need to worry.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

MSN search is in trouble.

Folks searching for plans on how to evacuate the fair city of LA will be sorely disappointed if they use the MSN search engine. The first link returned when looking for 'how to evacuate los angeles' is this fantastic blog. I wonder if anybody dealing with Katrina used MSN search to plan the evacuation. It might explain a lot of the chaos we saw.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Therapy?

Dr. Randall Smith had a really good idea. Unfortunately, it turned out to be illegal to charge the Medicaid-funded Oregon Health Plan $5000 for 45 minute sex therapy sessions he performed on one of his patients.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Test (via Shinobi).

This test has got me pegged as a borderline socialist. Hey, what else is new. ;)

In the political compass I registered a -4.63 on the economic and -6.41 on the social scale- equating to a libertarian lefty. I'm not sure how well these two assements compare, but in both cases I find myself in the company of Ghandi. There must be some kind of mistake.

You are a

Social Liberal
(80% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(23% permissive)

You are best described as a:

Strong Democrat




Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

Taking the fight to the enemy.

President Bush, Rose Garden Press Conference 10/5/05:
"More and more Iraqi’s are able to take their fight to the enemy."


Gen. George W. Casey Jr., Senate Armed Services Committee Hearings 9/29/05:
The number of Iraqi army battalions that can fight insurgents without U.S. and coalition help has dropped from three to one, top U.S. generals told Congress yesterday, adding that the security situation in Iraq is too uncertain to predict large-scale American troop withdrawals anytime soon.


Hmm, I guess Bush didn't say specifically which Iraqi's and which enemy he is talking about.

The Iraqi Constitution.

So far I have found this story only at the NY Times.
Iraq's Shiite and Kurdish leaders quietly adopted new rules over the weekend that will make it virtually impossible for the constitution to fail in the coming national referendum. [...]

Under the new rules, the constitution will fail only if two-thirds of all registered voters - rather than two-thirds of all those actually casting ballots - reject it in at least three of the 18 provinces.

So, the constitution, which was supposedly to be voted on in parliament was not ready at the time of the vote. It wasn't printed and there was no consensus. The vote was then effectively cancelled with the explanation that the whole population will in the end vote on it, so the vote in parliament was irrelevant. Now, the new rules make also the referendum by the general population irrelevant.

So, we find ourselves with a country where the constitution was effectively decided by a small group of people without there ever being a chance to vote the constitution down. I really wonder if this is what people had in mind when the Iraqi war was being justified with bringing Democracy to the region. Now, don't get me wrong, an imposed constitution by a small group of people is still better than a constitution imposed by a single man... but not much better. And I'm really not convinced that a move like this will reduce the chances of civil war in Iraq.

Update on the constitution shenanigans via Salon:
Even more galling to Sunnis, the interpretation says the same word in Arabic and English -- "voters" -- means two different things in the same sentence of the election rules.

The article in question in the interim constitution reads, "The general referendum will be successful and the draft constitution ratified if a majority of the voters in Iraq approve and if two-thirds of the voters in three or more provinces do not reject it."

The committee decided that while the first reference to "voters" in the clause refers to those who cast votes, the second refers to all those registered to vote

Update 2:
Iraq's National Assembly voted on Wednesday to reverse last-minute changes it had made to rules for next week's referendum on a new constitution following criticism by the United Nations that the rules were unfair to the Sunni minority.

Friday, September 30, 2005

John Gibson takes the lead.

I really have a hard time figuring out who is the worse human being: Bill O’Reilly or John Gibson. Well, today John Gibson has taken the lead.

His column is entitled: Why Joran van der Sloot Is a Free Man. Joran is the kid who was a suspect in the disappearance case of Natalee Holloway. Completely disregarding the fact that Gibson presupposes Joran’s guilt, the reasoning for why he is a free man is the real killer.

Wait for it… wait for it some more… it’s because in the Netherlands a man joined a civil union with two women! Yup, that’s the reason why Joran is a free man and not rotting behind bars.