Sunday, June 05, 2005
"My earlier views at the unsoundness of the Christian scheme of
salvation and the human origin of the scriptures, have become clearer
and stronger with advancing years and I see no reason for thinking I
shall ever change them"
What can one man do?.
Courtesy of Eric, The Straight White Guy, we are reminded that we have
just passed an anniversary, one written about eloquently by Kathy at
The Moderate Voice]
Leon County (FL) Elections Supervisor Ion Sancho asked BlackBoxVoting to test the county's Diebold optical scan voting machines for their suscepibility to fraud. He was less than happy with the results. [BOPnews]
The Real Class Warfare.
a Democrat, like Al Gore, like John Edwards, has the temerity to point
out the huge gulf between the super rich and average working people in
this country, they are attacked as engaging in "class warfare". It's so
ridiculous, mostly because what they are saying is actually supported by the factual data,
and because this bunch is the base of the RNC vote - the landed gentry
who don't economically help this country grow, but benefit
disproportionately from the tax policy of the Washington Republicans.
The people at the top of America's money pyramid have so
prospered in recent years that they have pulled far ahead of the rest
of the population, an analysis of tax records and other government data
by The New York Times shows. They have even left behind people making
hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.
The next version of American politics needs to directly address this disparity, talk about why its wrong, and provide an alternative that brings up a larger slice of people to make America greater. [Oliver Willis's blog]
No, Iraq is nothing like Vietnam
You go find the bunkers, infidels
[The News Blog]
Huge Underground Bunker Discovered in Iraq
By ANTONIO CASTANEDA, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 22 minutes ago
LATIFIYAH, Iraq - Hundreds of Iraqi and U.S. troops searched fields and
farms Saturday for insurgents and their hideouts in an area south of
Baghdad known for attacks, and the Marines said they discovered 50
weapons and ammunition caches and a huge underground bunker west of the
capital fitted out with air conditioning, a kitchen and showers.
The joint U.S.-Iraqi force
operating in Latifiyah to the south was backed by American air power
and said it had rounded up at least 108 Iraqis, mainly Sunnis,
suspected of involvement in the brutal insurgent campaign to topple the
To the west of the capital, the
2nd Marine division said its forces had discovered 50 weapons and
ammunitions caches over the past four days in restive Anbar province. The military said the find included a recently used
"insurgent lair" in a massive underground bunker complex that included
air-conditioned living quarters and high tech military equipment,
including night vision goggles.
That bunker was
found cut from a rock quarry in Karmah, 50 miles west of Baghdad. The
Marines said the facility was 170 yards wide and 275 yards long.
About two hours into the operation, for example, American forces voiced
concern that an area covered in tall grass had not been searched. An
Iraqi commander said he was reluctant to send his troops into the field
for fear of an insurgent attack.
"This is a dangerous area. We need helicopters and the American army," Iraqi Brig. Gen. Najim al-Ekabi said.
The American soldiers, who had spent months training Iraqi soldiers,
tried to persuade al-Ekabi to send his troops, saying it was likely
that weapons were hidden in the fields and alongside an irrigation
Army Capt. Jason Blindauer of the
2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division told al-Ekabi the force had orders
to search the area. "No one is going to do it better than your group,"
Al-Ekabi asked for a private
meeting with the Americans and departed shortly afterward in a large
convoy, ostensibly to conduct the search.
Maj. Ronny Echelberger later went
into the area with American forces and searched a few homes, saying was
not been sure the Iraqi search had been sufficiently thorough.
The Iraqi army's reliance on U.S.
troops was evident in other ways. Echelberger had to show an Iraqi
brigade commander his location on a map shortly before Iraqi troops
launched the operation, and a few minutes later Iraqi soldiers fired
hundreds of rounds when they mistakenly thought they saw an insurgent.
"These guys are doing baptism by fire. It takes time," Blindauer said.
Oh, bullshit. They will run if they hit heavy fire. He took his men and
fucking went home. Jesus Christ. Depending on Iraqi auxilliaries will
get Americans killed one day, either when they turn their guns on the
US, or just fucking run.
Tuinnels? Interesting. Not like Iraq is anything like Vietnam, though
Tunnel rats in Vietnam
Cu Chi: The underground war
Preparing to enter the Viet Cong's underground fortress
By BBC News Online's Joe Havely
War is hellish at the best of times. But imagine fighting a war
underground in the suffocating, sweltering blackness of tunnels, barely
tall enough for a man to crawl, let alone walk.
Here, a wrong turn could send you plunging onto the lethal bamboo spikes of a punji stake trap.
Elsewhere carefully placed trip wires were primed to detonate a grenade
or release a box of scorpions onto their unsuspecting victim.
In other places the entire walls of the tunnel
seemed to move, covered with an impenetrable mass of spiders and
stinging fire ants.
This was the reality of warfare in the tunnels
of Cu Chi, the Viet Cong's underground fortress dug beneath the jungles
of South Vietnam.
At its peak the Cu Chi tunnel network covered some 250 kilometres -
from the Cambodian border in the west to the outskirts of what was then
Beginning in 1948 during the war for
independence from the French, the tunnel network slowly expanded. Each
tiny tunnel was dug by hand, sometimes at a rate of just one or two
metres a day.
As the tunnels grew, arms stores, hospitals, bomb shelters and even theatres to stage politically-motivating plays were added.
Kitchens to supply the tunnels' occupants with food were always built
near the surface, but with long chimneys carved out through the ground
to diffuse the smoke from the cooking fires and release it at a
Burrowing silently beneath the feet of the
American military, the tunnels connected isolated pockets of Viet Cong
controlled territory, enabling the guerrillas to mount surprise attacks
and then as quickly as they had appeared to vanish without trace.
See, completely different.
"You know how long it took me to get there? A long time. When you die
you're going to regret the things you don't do. You think you're queer?
I'm going to tell you something: we're all queer. You think...
Reality Based Talk About Iraq.
This is why Democrats can't just ignore Iraq.
While Bush and Vice President Cheney offer optimistic
assessments of the situation, a fresh wave of car bombings and other
attacks killed 80 U.S. soldiers and more than 700 Iraqis last month
alone and prompted Iraqi leaders to appeal to the administration for
greater help. Privately, some administration officials have concluded
the violence will not subside through this year.
The disconnect between Rose Garden optimism and Baghdad pessimism,
according to government officials and independent analysts, stems not
only from Bush's focus on tentative signs of long-term progress but
also from the shrinking range of policy options available to him if he
is wrong. Having set out on a course of trying to stand up a new
constitutional, elected government with the security firepower to
defend itself, Bush finds himself locked into a strategy that, even if
it proves successful, foreshadows many more deadly months to come
first, analysts said.
A lot of Democrats I respect like John Kerry, John Edwards, and
Hillary Clinton, voted to authorize the invasion of Iraq. It's time for
folks to just say that they were wrong, and that the president has us
on a path that has led to more deaths for American soldiers, less
safety for Iraqis, and a decreased capacity to defend our nation from
terrorism. Democrats need to push for a coherent Iraq strategy, rather
than simply to keep jawboning about how great everything is when people
are getting blown up every day with no end in sight. Every day we are
in Iraq it is making America less safe. I don't believe simply cutting
and running with a massive pullout is a viable strategy, as Iraq is no
closer to stable democracy today than it was a year ago, but we have to
have something more coherent than simply standing around and getting
blown up. [Oliver Willis's blog]
Andrew Samwick at the Crossroads.
Andrew Samwick thinks about what the Republican Party is--or, rather, what it might become:
Vox Baby: The Conservative Movement at the Crossroads: PGL from
AngryBear notes that Max (of the newly and impressively redesigned
MaxSpeak) linked to the Washington Post story in which I am quoted as
follows:"I'm inclined to support the Republican Party, but the question
becomes, how much other stuff do I have to put up with to maintain that
identification?" asked Andrew A. Samwick, a Dartmouth College economics
professor who until recently was chief economist of Bush's Council of
Economic Advisers.I served on the staff at CEA from July 2003 through
June 2004. The story quotes me later with:Samwick said the
disenchantment of small-government conservatives has been building
since the passage of the USA Patriot Act, which some saw as infringing
on individual liberties, and the Medicare drug benefit, which created
future government liabilities that exceed the entire projected Social
Security shortfall."Some of these outcomes are really starting to
alienate people who might be Republican because they are for limited
government," Samwick said.The story quotes me accurately. The trigger
for me has been the fiscal policy, and the unfunded expansion of
Medicare in particular. I don't have...
[Brad DeLong's Semi-Daily Journal]
The Medium Lobster Writes About Eggs and Omelettes.
It's a wise crustacean. Is there a discount if you order it before 6?
Fafblog! the whole worlds only source for Fafblog.:
Perhaps, at this time, you may require some reassurance. Perhaps, if
you are one of the handful of Americans not otherwise occupied with
Amber Alerts and runaway brides and the curious sleepover habits of
washed-up eighties pop stars, you may have accidentally happened upon a
few bodies halfway across the world (Afwhatsistan? Bagrawho?), which
may or may not have pricked whatever remains of a long-dormant and
desensitized National Conscience. And you may be asking yourself what
the point of all this has been, what has driven Americans halfway
around the globe to sieze innocent men, beat their legs to pulp, and
chain them to ceilings until they die. Regrettable, yes, but let us
remember that these two eggs, like the dozens before them, and the tens
of thousands before them, were broken to make the greatest and
worthiest of omelettes, the most succulent of breakfasttime
generational commitments, the proudest and most visionary of truck stop
slop. And when it is finished and served, to whomever it is served,
will it not have been worth the mound of eggshells,...
[Brad DeLong's Semi-Daily Journal]
Angels and dinosaurs.
Via Amanda Marcotte at Pandagon: the tale of how flood-maddened
dinosaurs, egged on by fallen angels, attacked Noah's Ark. In...
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7/1/2005; 6:37:26 AM.