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Political tags - such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth - are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.

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The Anti-PC League Anti-PC League
Monday, 12 February 2007
Is Nothing Sacred Anymore?
I realize that attempts to create healthier food is a laudable endeavor, but really adding Fish Oil to PEANUT BUTTER?

There are some things that should be sacred and left in their pristine natural state!

But no. It seems that our childhood buddy peanut butter has been improved.



Smart Balance? Omega Peanut Butter
In addition to the right balance of fats to help improve the cholesterol ratio (HDL/LDL), all Smart Balance foods offer a healthy ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids. Americans consume too few omega-3’s so Smart Balance now offers an Omega line with extra omega-3’s from land and sea.

Smart Balance? Omega Peanut Butter

Contains 1000 mg Omega-3’s per serving with great peanut taste. No hydrogenated oil; no trans fatty acid and no refined sugar. Made from premium, deep-roasted peanuts for extra toasted flavor. All natural but doesn’t need refrigeration.


One reason for this decision may be contained in the material found in the Vegetarian Journal Sept/Oct 2001 edition.

American Heart Association Calls for Eating Fish Twice Per Week - What’s a Vegetarian To Do?

Maybe you should eat meat because it is good for you and your body requires it?

Naw that is too simple an answer.

Stick your tongue up on the middle of your upper teeth. Feel the ones that stick down with a sharp point? Those are called CANINES. They are called that for a reason. Nature designed them for MEAT EATING.

You HAVE them, unless you had them pulled that makes YOU a meat eater. Whether you choose to or not.



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Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 8:07 AM CST
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Updated: Monday, 12 February 2007 8:23 AM CST
Friday, 26 January 2007
Take Back the Memorial
From my email inbox to you. Read and PASS IT ON!








Take Back the Memorial is sending you this message on behalf of The Save the 9/11 Memorial Foundation:
Please sign the Save the 9/11 Memorial Petition: http://www.savethe911memorial.com/petition.html

September 11th Families Launch National Media Campaign FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - CONTACT: Edith Lutnick (212) 294-7852 January 24, 2007

September 11th Families Kick-off National Campaign Appealing to the American People to Urge Change at Ground Zero Memorial

New York, N.Y., January 24, 2007 - Family members of relatives lost in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 representing major 9/11 family organizations held a press conference today in New York City and unveiled a national media campaign asking the American people to help them “Save the 9/11 Memorial” at Ground Zero. Family leaders object to current plans that will list most of the names of 2,979 people who perished in the attacks of 2001 and 1993 without reference to age, affiliation, location and, in the case of uniformed service members, rank. The group plans to place 60 second television ads in New York City markets.

The campaign’s first ad, entitled “Missing at the Memorial,” features the familiar images of the missing flyers which were posted all over New York City in the attack’s immediate aftermath by relatives of the victims and which identified their loved ones by age, company, and floor location in the World Trade Center. The flyers became the first spontaneous memorials embraced by the public. The ad says that Mayor R. Bloomberg, chairman of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation, wants a “cold, random list of names.” Families and former co-workers contend that the current plan to list victims without any personal references, and in an order intended to appear random, robs victims of the human qualities that rallied and sustained the nation. The 9/11 groups believe that narrative information associated with the names will enable future generations to better appreciate how the historic attacks were actually experienced by the country.

“We do not accept that these people died ‘randomly,’ or ‘in no discernable order’ which to future visitors will be exactly the same thing,” said Edith Lutnick, whose brother Gary, 36, worked for the firm of Cantor Fitzgerald on the 104th floor of the North Tower. “Turning human beings into featureless casualties is a distortion of history. Instead of conveying the story of 9/11, this memorial will express the dark point of view of the terrorists who murdered them.”

Family members believe that leaving the 2,400 mostly civilian victims without affiliations and in no discernable order, creates a two-tier memorial consisting of flesh and blood people on the one hand and anonymous casualties on the other. The disparity is particularly painful for families of more than 1,000 victims whose remains were never recovered.

The families and representatives of uniformed service associations contend that World Trade Center Memorial Foundation is building an extravagant memorial that will not resonate with visitors because it does not convey the attacks in personal terms. They believe that leaving the civilians without identification diminishes the noble sacrifice of first responders because it ignores the people whom they gave their lives to save.

Family members said that identifying group affiliations for New York City first responders is a step in the right direction, but stripping them of their rank is a slap in the face to their service and sacrifice. 100 officers, including Chief of the Department Peter J. Ganci, Jr. were among the 343 members of the FDNY who perished.

“My brother, Capt. Billy Burke with Engine 21, didn’t send his men into those towers,” said Michael Burke, who spoke at the press conference, “he led them in. And he did not leave, telling a friend who begged him to get out after tower two fell, ‘This is my job, this is who I am.’ How will visitors get a sense of that, if we don’t tell them?”

Family organizers, survivors and representatives of uniformed service personnel are asking the public to come to the website, Save the Memorial, and sign their online petition asking that the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation list the names of the victims in the manner leaders of 32 family groups and representative supported in a 2004 agreement.

The :60 ad can be view by logging onto www.savethe911memorial.com.

About the Organizers: The following September 11 victims family organizations supported today’s press conference: Advocates for 9/11 Fallen Heroes, Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund, Coalition of 9/11 Families, 9/11 Families for Safe & Strong America, Skyscraper Safety Campaign, Take Back the Memorial, W. Doyle Support Group, Where to Turn, WTC Families for Proper Burial, WTC Family Center, World Trade Center United Family Group.

To speak with any of the leaders of these respective groups, please call: Edith Lutnick at Save the 9/11 Memorial (212) 294-7852




The Save the 9/11 Memorial Ad

Share the ad with your friends: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhkWfjdtJGQ

Sign the Save the 9/11 Memorial Petition: http://www.savethe911memorial.com/petition.html


        

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Tracked to
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Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 1:05 AM CST
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Updated: Friday, 26 January 2007 1:22 AM CST
Wednesday, 17 January 2007
Rhetoric and Reality: The View from Iran
By George Friedman

The Iraq war has turned into a duel between
the United States and Iran. For the United States, the goal has been the
creation of a generally pro-American coalition government in Baghdad --
representing Iraq's three major ethnic communities. For Iran, the goal has
been the creation of either a pro-Iranian government in Baghdad or,
alternatively, the division of Iraq into three regions, with Iran dominating
the Shiite south.

The United States has encountered serious problems
in creating the coalition government. The Iranians have been primarily
responsible for that. With the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in June, when it
appeared that the Sunnis would enter the political process fully, the
Iranians used their influence

with various Iraqi Shiite factions to disrupt that
process by launching attacks on Sunnis and generally destabilizing the
situation. Certainly, Sunnis contributed to this, but for much of the past
year, it has been the Shia, supported by Iran, that have been the primary
destabilizing force.

So long as the Iranians continue to follow this
policy, the U.S. strategy cannot succeed. The difficulty of the American plan
is that it requires the political participation of three main ethnic groups
that are themselves politically fragmented.

Virtually any substantial group can block the success of the
strategy by undermining the political process. The Iranians, however, appear
to be in a more powerful position than the Americans. So long as they
continue to support Shiite groups within Iraq, they will be able to block the
U.S. plan. Over time, the theory goes, the Americans will recognize the
hopelessness of the undertaking and withdraw, leaving Iran to pick up the
pieces. In the meantime, the Iranians will increasingly be able to dominate
the Shiite community and consolidate their hold over southern Iraq. The game
appears to go to Iran.

Americans are extremely sensitive to the
difficulties the United States faces in Iraq. Every nation-state has a
defining characteristic, and that of the United States is manic-depression,
cycling between insanely optimistic plans and total despair. This national
characteristic tends to blind Americans to the situation on the other side of
the hill. Certainly, the Bush administration vastly underestimated the
difficulties of occupying Iraq -- that was the manic phase. But at this
point, it could be argued that the administration again is not looking over
the other side of the hill at the difficulties the Iranians might be having.
And it is useful to consider the world from the Iranian point of
view.

The Foundation of Foreign Policy

It is important
to distinguish between the rhetoric and the reality of Iranian foreign
policy. As a general principle, this should be done with all countries. As in
business, rhetoric is used to shape perceptions and attempt to control the
behavior of others. It does not necessarily reveal one's true intentions or,
more important, one's capabilities. In the classic case of U.S. foreign
policy, Franklin Roosevelt publicly insisted that the United States did not
intend to get into World War II while U.S. and British officials were
planning to do just that. On the other side of the equation, the United
States, during the 1950s, kept asserting that its goal was to liberate
Eastern Europe from the Soviet Union, when in fact it had no plans,
capabilities or expectations of doing so. This does not mean the claims were
made frivolously -- both Roosevelt and John Foster Dulles had good reasons
for posturing as they did -- but it does mean that rhetoric is not a reliable
indicator of actions. Thus, the purple prose of the Iranian leadership cannot
be taken at face value.

To get past the rhetoric, let's begin by
considering Iran's objective geopolitical position.

Historically,
Iran has faced three enemies. Its oldest enemy was to the west: the
Arab/Sunni threat, against which it has struggled for millennia. Russia, to
the north, emerged as a threat in the late 19th century, occupying northern
Iran during and after World War II. The third enemy has worn different faces
but has been a recurring threat since the time of Alexander the Great: a
distant power that has intruded into Persian affairs. This distant foreign
power -- which has at times been embodied by both the British and the
Americans -- has posed the greatest threat to Iran. And when the element of a
distant power is combined with one of the other two traditional enemies, the
result is a great global or regional power whose orbit or influence Iran
cannot escape. To put that into real terms, Iran can manage, for example, the
chaos called Afghanistan, but it cannot manage a global power that is active
in Iraq and Afghanistan simultaneously.

For the moment, Russia is
contained. There is a buffer zone of states between Iran and Russia that, at
present, prevents Russian probes. But what Iran fears is a united Iraq under
the influence or control of a global power like the United States. In 1980,
the long western border of Iran was attacked by Iraq, with only marginal
support from other states, and the effect on Iran was devastating. Iran
harbors a rational fear of attack from that direction, which -- if coupled
with American power -- could threaten Iranian survival.

Therefore,
Iran sees the American plan to create a pro-U.S. government in Baghdad as a
direct threat to its national interests. Now, the Iranians supported the U.S.
invasion of Iraq in 2003; they wanted to see their archenemy, former
President Saddam Hussein, deposed. But they did not want to see him replaced
by a pro-American regime. Rather, the Iranians wanted one of two outcomes:
the creation of a pro-Iranian government dominated by Iraqi Shia (under
Iran's control), or the fragmentation of Iraq. A fragmented Iraq would have
two virtues. It would prove no danger to Iran, and Iran likely would control
or heavily influence southern Iraq, thus projecting its power from there
throughout the Persian Gulf.

Viewed this way, Iran's behavior in Iraq
is understandable. A stable Iraq under U.S. influence represents a direct
threat to Iran, while a fragmented or pro-Iranian Iraq does not. Therefore,
the Iranians will do whatever they can to undermine U.S. attempts to create a
government in Baghdad. Tehran can use its influence to block a government,
but it cannot -- on its own -- create a pro-Iranian one. Therefore, Iran's
strategy is to play spoiler and wait for the United States to tire of the
unending conflict. Once the Americans leave, the Iranians can pick up the
chips on the table. Whether it takes 10 years or 30, the Iranians assume
that, in the end, they will win. None of the Arab countries in the region has
the power to withstand Iran, and the Turks are unlikely to get into the game.


The Unknown Variables

Logic would seem to favor the
Iranians. But in the past, the Iranians have tried to be clever with great
powers and, rather than trapping them, have wound up being trapped
themselves. Sometimes they have simply missed other dimensions of the
situation. For example, when the revolutionaries overthrew the Shah and
created the Islamic Republic, the Iranians focused on the threat from the
Americans, and another threat from the Soviets and their covert allies in
Iran. But they took their eyes off Iraq -- and that miscalculation not only
cost them huge casualties and a decade of economic decay, but broke the
self-confidence of the Iranian regime.

The Iranians also have
miscalculated on the United States. When the Islamic Revolution occurred, the
governing assumption -- not only in Iran but also in many parts of the world,
including the United States -- was that the United States was a declining
power. It had, after all, been defeated in Vietnam and was experiencing
declining U.S. military power and severe economic problems. But the Iranians
massively miscalculated with regard to the U.S. position: In the end, the
United States surged and it was the Soviets who collapsed.

The
Iranians do not have a sterling record in managing great powers, and
especially in predicting the behavior of the United States. In large and
small ways, they have miscalculated on what the United States would do and
how it would do it. Therefore, like the Americans, the Iranians are deeply
divided. There are those who regard the United States as a bumbling fool, all
set to fail in Iraq. There are others who remember equally confident
forecasts about other American disasters, and who see the United States as
ruthless, cunning and utterly dangerous.

These sentiments, then,
divide into two policy factions. On the one side, there are those who see
Bush's surge strategy

as an empty bluff. They point out that there is no surge, only a
gradual buildup of troops, and that the number of troops being added is
insignificant. They point to political divisions in Washington and argue that
the time is ripe for Iran to go for it all. They want to force a civil war in
Iraq, to at least dominate the southern region and take advantage of American
weakness to project power in the Persian Gulf.

The other side wonders
whether the Americans are as weak as they appear, and also argues that
exploiting a success in Iraq would be more dangerous and difficult than it
appears. The United States has substantial forces in Iraq, and the response
to Shiite uprisings along the western shore of the Persian Gulf would be
difficult to predict. The response to any probe into Saudi Arabia certainly
would be violent.

We are not referring here to ideological factions,
nor to radicals and moderates. Rather, these are two competing visions of the
United States. One side wants to exploit American weakness; the other side
argues that experience shows that American weakness can reverse itself
unexpectedly and trap Iran in a difficult and painful position. It is not a
debate about ends or internal dissatisfaction with the regime. Rather, it is
a contest between audacity and caution.

The Historical
View


Over time -- and this is not apparent from Iranian rhetoric
-- caution has tended to prevail. Except during the 1980s, when they
supported an aggressive Hezbollah, the Iranians have been quite measured in
their international actions. Following the war with Iraq, they avoided overt
moves -- and they even were circumspect after the fall of the Soviet Union,
when opportunities presented themselves to Iran's north. After 9/11, the
Iranians were careful not to provoke the United States: They offered landing
rights for damaged U.S. aircraft and helped recruit Shiite tribes for the
American effort against the Taliban. The rhetoric alternated between intense
and vitriolic; the actions were more cautious. Even with the Iranian nuclear
project, the rhetoric has been far more intense than the level of development
seems to warrant.

Rhetoric influences perceptions, and perceptions
can drive responses. Therefore, the rhetoric should not be discounted as a
driving factor in the geopolitical system. But the real debate in Iran is
over what to do about Iraq. No one in Iran wants a pro-U.S. government in
Baghdad, and blocking the emergence of such a government has a general
consensus. But how far to go in trying to divide Iraq, creating a pro-Iranian
government in Baghdad and projecting power in the region is a matter of
intense debate. In fact, cautious behavior combined with extreme rhetoric
still appears to be the default position in Tehran, with more adventurous
arguments struggling to gain acceptance.

The United States, for its
part, is divided between the desire to try one more turn at the table to win
it all and the fear that it is becoming hopelessly trapped. Iran is divided
between a belief that the time to strike is now and a fear that counting the
United States out is always premature. This is an engine that can, in due
course, drive negotiations. Iran might be "evil" and the United States might
be "Satan," but at the end of the day, international affairs involving major
powers are governed not by rhetoric but by national interest. The common
ground between the United States and Iran is that neither is certain it can
achieve its real strategic interests. The Americans doubt they can create a
pro-U.S. government in Baghdad, and Iran is not certain the United States is
as weak as it appears to be.

Fear and uncertainty are the foundations
of international agreement, while hope and confidence fuel war. In the end, a
fractured Iraq -- an entity incapable of harming Iran, but still providing an
effective buffer between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula -- is emerging as the
most viable available option.

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Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 1:22 AM CST
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Updated: Wednesday, 17 January 2007 1:27 AM CST
Monday, 15 January 2007
The Open Trackback Alliance XLXV
UPDATE: Denmark Exports Soaring
After blogger Judith Klinghoffer and an army of Davids declared a "Buy Danish" campaign to combat the Muslim boycott. The Guardian says "fervent rightwing Americans" participated in the buying spree and implies that the cartoonists were responsible for the deaths of 139 people.(like it was the cartoonists who killed those people instead of the ones who shed their blood, how like the Progressive TransNazi viewpoint)


For your listening pleasure while you browse

"Der er et yndigt land" (There Is A Lovely Land)


Words by: Adam Gottlob Oehlenschlager
Music by: Hans Ernst Kr?yer
Adopted: 1844

"Derer et yndigt land" was first performed for a large gathering of Danes in 1844, and became popular quickly with the Danish people. It was adopted later that year by the Danish government as a national anthem, but not the sole national anthem. This anthem is on equal status with "Kong Christian",which is both the national and royal anthem.

When the Danish anthem is usually performed or sung, the first verse is played in its entirety, then it is followed by the last four lines of the last verse. (This is true whether the lyrics are sung or not



Recentlty I have been posting music to Illustrate the Diversity of America, this week I have a different motive to express Solidarity with DENMARK


I maintain my Support of Denmark, and will later today, post links to and my thoughts about a Danish Editorial "We are being pissed upon by Per Nyholm "

I think I shall title my Post, "There is no "But" in "Freedom of Speech".




When I first started upon my journey through the blogverse I created a
Statement of Purpose
Now upon reading it, one can realize that I did not hold to every detail of that original statement, but from it's basic premise, I have never swayed, in my belief that the Blogs are in fact the Committees of Correspondence of the Second American Revolution.

And that it is a Revolution of Information, no longer can we afford and allow elite gateways to control what we can see, hear and discuss.

For I believe that those bloggers who find their way, here and in particular from the Blogs associated with Sam.

HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY.

Some of us are more Serious, some of us are more lighthearted and some post the common ordinary things that make one smile and recall that Life without the simple things to treasure is meaningless.

And it is important that all have a platform from which to speak.

As I understand this process you can link to this post and trackback to this post on ANY subject or post you think important. It is open. I will repeat this every Monday.

The Committees of Correspondence welcomes your intelligent comments. And also welcomes you to join the

OPEN TRACKBACK ALLIANCE


This week I also have shortened my usual introduction for a more inportant message.




In it's struggle for Freedom of Speech.

Sign the Petition NOW!

JEG opstille hos Danmark!




48008Total Signatures 4:53 PM CST January 15, 2007 We can do better pass the word~!




From Agora a call to Support the Manifesto online by signing another Petition, why not sign both?


MANIFESTO: Together facing the new totalitarianism
Created by Mark Jefferson on March 1st, 2006 at 5:42 pm AST

After having overcome fascism, Nazism, and Stalinism, the world now faces a new totalitarian global threat: Islamism.
We, writers, journalists, intellectuals, call for resistance to religious totalitarianism and for the promotion of freedom, equal opportunity and secular values for all. "

Open Trackback Alliance


Blogs that Trackback to this Post:

On Monday

Y'al come back now, Y'heah? ;-)
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Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 1:27 AM CST
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Updated: Monday, 15 January 2007 1:32 AM CST
Sunday, 14 January 2007
Revising a Line from the Dixie Chicks Just so you know, I'm embarrassed that San Francisco is part of the United States.
I ask you is succession from the United States a bad idea in every case? How about expulsion?

Anti-military bigotry by the bay


"In the first place God made idiots," observed Mark Twain . "This was for practice. Then he made school boards." The San Francisco Board of Education's 4-2 vote last week to abolish the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps program , which has been active in the city's high schools for 90 years, tends to support his view.

Why is JROTC being done away with? It isn't for lack of interest. More than 1,600 San Francisco students currently take part in its voluntary activities. "Kids love this program as if it's family," notes the San Francisco Chronicle . It is "a program that students and their parents wholeheartedly support."

Finances aren't the problem either. Operating JROTC costs the city less than $1 million out of an annual school budget of $356 million.

Nor is the problem bad management. The Chronicle reports that "no one has offered an alternative as coherent and well-run as JROTC."

Safety? Also not a problem. Though cadets have uniforms, they carry no weapons; the nonviolent programs emphasize leadership, self-discipline, citizenship, and teamwork . "This is where the kids feel safe," says one JROTC instructor, retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Robert Powell.

And the problem certainly isn't an absence of diversity. In a story on JROTC cadets at Galileo High School , Chronicle reporter Jill Tucker writes: "These students are 4-foot-10 to 6-foot-4. Athletic and disabled. College-bound and barely graduating. Gay and straight. White, black, and brown. Some leave school for large homes with ocean views. Others board buses for Bayview-Hunters Point." Several of the students come from immigrant families. At least one is autistic.

So what is the problem with JROTC? There isn't one.

The problem is with the anti military bigotry of the school board majority and the "peace" activists who lobbied against the program on the grounds that San Francisco 's schools should not be sullied by an association with the US armed forces.




There is a lot more, read it, don't wait for the movie! I have a neat idea. We need to find out what corporations have HQs in San Francisco and write them that we will refrain from using their sevices, purchasing their products until they have the good sense to vacate that armpit.
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Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 1:33 AM CST
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Updated: Sunday, 14 January 2007 1:40 AM CST
Friday, 12 January 2007
Not Since the War of 1812
Topic: Immigration
For the first time in the almost 200 years since the War of 1812 American Military Forces retreated while underfire by foreign agents on US Soil.


The Democratic National Commitee is in Caucus to Draft a Demand for an Exit Strategy from Arizona.


Guardsmen overrun at the Border


12 News
Jan. 4, 2007 02:44 PM
National Guard unit stormed while patroling the border

the fuse is lit!





Border attack raises security concerns

the fuse is lit!






A U.S. Border Patrol entry Identification Team site was overrun Wednesday night along Arizona's border with Mexico.

According to the Border Patrol, an unknown number of gunmen attacked the site in the state's West Desert Region around 11 p.m. The site is manned by National Guardsmen. Those guardsmen were forced to retreat. advertisement




The Border Patrol will not say whether shots were fired. However, no Guardsmen were injured in the incident.

The Border Patrol says the incident occurred somewhere along the 120 mile section of the border between Nogales and Lukeville. The area is known as a drug corridor. Last year, 124-thousand pounds of illegal drugs were confiscated in this area.

The Border patrol says the attackers quickly retreated back into Mexico


Update:

National Guard Attacked By Border Gunmen


POSTED: 7:56 am EST January 5, 2007
UPDATED: 3:55 pm EST January 10, 2007

LUKEVILLE, Ariz. -- U.S. Border Patrol officials still don't know why National Guard troops along the Arizona-Mexico border had to flee a group of armed people. The gunmen fled into Mexico.

The gunmen attacked the U.S. Border Patrol entry site along Arizona's border before retreating back to Mexico on Wednesday night. The troops withdrew safely Wednesday night, and no was injured.

According to the Border Patrol, an unknown number of gunmen overran the Identification Team site, which is manned by National Guardsmen.

The Border Patrol wouldn't say whether any shots were fired.

Officials don't know who the gunmen were or why they approached the border post.
continued:


I have one question. How many have heard about this incident from the Mainstream Media, their regular News Services?

Or have you instead been inundated with the latest updates of the flap between Donald Trump and Rosie O'Donnell?
Tracked to
OTA Weekend at The Crazy Rants of Samantha Burns


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Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 1:34 AM CST
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Updated: Saturday, 2 June 2007 11:16 PM CDT
Darpa Preps for "Baghdad 2015"
From Defence Tech

The current TomDispatch has a great round-up of Darpa's research into the future of urban warfare. But man, do you have to put up with a lot to get to the good stuff.



soldier_overlook.jpgThe article's main thrust is that the Pentagon is readying itself for a "low-intensity world war of unlimited duration against criminalized segments of the urban poor." There's an "assumed need to be in the urban Iraqs of the future, [so] the question for the U.S. military becomes a practical one: How to deal with these uppity children of the third world."



Yeah, I'm rolling my eyes, too. Like the failed-state jihadists of the world will just go about minding their own business... if the U.S. just stays out their slums. Sure. Worked like a charm, before 9/11.



Besides, the U.S. has been fighting in cities since... well, since before there was a U.S. (George Washington tangled with the Red Coats in New York City, for example.) And we've never been all that good at it. The fact is, American armed forces have almost always preferred a stand-up fight -- an open war -- to some close-quarters, urban combat. That's what are training is oriented around. That's what our gear is made for. But the guys plotting to hurt us and our allies are in cities. So it's into urban canyons our military must go.



The article winces about American military talk of prepping for "Baghdad 2015" and urban fights of the issue fights. "Today, it's Baghdad; tomorrow...it could be Accra, Bogota, Dhaka, Karachi, Kinshasa, Lagos, Mogadishu or even a perennial favorite, Port au Prince." But given how badly "Baghdad 2007" is going, doesn't the Pentagon -- and especially, its research arms -- owe it to the rest of us to get better at those kinds of conflicts? Especially when Baghdad is only one in a long list of urban operations (Mogadishu, Srebrenica, Kabul) the U.S. has found itself in over the last few decades? Wouldn't anything less would be... well, a dereliction of duty?



Anyway. After several more paragraphs, we get to the meat of the story, on "the wide range of efforts to visualize, map out, and spy on the global mega-favelas that the U.S. has, until now, largely scorned and neglected." Most of these programs won't be new to close readers of Defense Tech. But it's interesting, and helpful, to see 'em all in one place. Items include...



VisiBuilding: This is a program aimed at addressing "a pressing need in urban warfare: seeing inside buildings" by developing technology that will allow U.S. forces to "determine building layouts, find anomalous quantities of materials," and "locate people within the building..."



UrbanScape: This program aims "to make the foreign city as ‘familiar as the soldier's backyard'" by providing "the warfighters patrolling an urban environment with an up-to-date, high resolution model of the urban terrain that can be viewed, manipulated and analyzed."



Urban Hopping Robots... a semi-autonomous hybrid hopping/articulated wheeled robotic platform [like this one, maybe -- ed.] that could adapt to the urban environment... and provide the delivery of small payloads to any point of the urban jungle while remaining lightweight, small to minimize the burden on the soldier.



Close Combat Lethal Recon This deadly, loitering explosive expressively for use in urban landscapes will expand a soldier's killing zone by reaching "over and around buildings, onto rooftops, and into open building portals." Think of it as a smart grenade or, according to DARPA Director Tether... "a small mortar round with a grenade-size explosive in it. A fiber-optic line unreels from its back end and provides the data link that allows the soldier to see the video from the munition's camera and to fly it into the target."



If it works -- and that's always a big if, when you're talking about a Darpa project -- that does sound like a nasty weapon. Not just in a city. But in any environment.



FWIW, The story leaves of of its list two of the creepiest Darpa programs geared towards urban fights. "Combat Zones That See" tries to strap cheap cameras together, giving soldiers watch over an entire city at once; the "Integrated Sensor is Structure" program aims to do the same thing -- with a giant, all-seeing blimp. And then there's Darpa's next robotic road race. It's through... a city! (Cue scary music.)



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Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 1:14 AM CST
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Updated: Friday, 12 January 2007 1:24 AM CST
CIA Gets Go-Ahead to Take on Hezbollah
From IRIS to my email in box to you.


23 years after Hezbollah killed 241 US servicemen on behalf of Iran, the US is finally taking more serious action.



CIA Gets Go-Ahead to Take on Hezbollah



The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency has been authorized to take covert action against Hizbullah as part of a secret plan by President George W. Bush to help the Lebanese government prevent the spread of Iranian influence. The finding was signed by Bush before Christmas after discussions between his aides and Saudi Arabian officials. It authorizes the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies to fund anti-Hizbullah groups in Lebanon and pay for activists who support the Siniora government. The secrecy of the finding means that U.S. involvement is officially deniable.



Bush's move is at the center of a fresh drive by America, supported by the Sunni states of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt, as well as Israel, to stop Iranian hegemony in the Middle East. "There's a feeling both in Jerusalem and in Riyadh that the anti-Sunni tilt in the region has gone too far," said an intelligence source. "By removing Saddam, we've shifted things in favor of the Shia and this is a counter-balancing exercise."
By the way, the majority of Muslims in America support Hezbollah. The only serious counterforce to Hezbollah, however, is Israel.
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Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 12:37 AM CST
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Updated: Friday, 12 January 2007 12:51 AM CST
Thursday, 11 January 2007
2008 GOP Primary Straw Poll - January 2007
Let your views be heard. Speak out with the GOP Bloggers' seventh 2008 Straw Poll.


Welcome to GOP Bloggers' seventh 2008 Straw Poll. Our straw poll last month tallied over 12,000 votes.

Like our last poll, you get to pick which candidates you find acceptable and which ones you don't and you get to choose which candidate is your first choice for the GOP nomination in 2008. In this poll you can indicate your state, age, and gender. New in this poll, you can indicate how many hours a week you read blogs, and how you can tell how committed you are to your first choice candidate.

Like our previous polls, you can post this one on your own blog and have your readers vote in the poll directly from your blog! The code is located at the bottom of this post.

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Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 1:14 AM CST
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Updated: Thursday, 11 January 2007 9:48 PM CST
Friday, 29 December 2006
College of William and Mary Accommodates Religious Bigots
The Title of this article in the Washington Post is

School's Move Toward Inclusion Creates a Rift
But it is far from about inclusion. It is about pandering to religious bigots.
WILLIAMSBURG -- The cross is small, perhaps no more than 18 inches above its base, its gleaming brass surface marked only by an inscription.

But the cross, which has graced the altar table in a chapel at the College of William and Mary for decades, has come to symbolize a passionate debate about religious tolerance ever since the school's president ordered the cross removed from historic Wren Chapel.

Gene R. Nichol, who became president of the state university in July 2005, said he wanted to make the chapel welcoming to students of all faiths. So in October he ordered that the cross be stored in the chapel's sacristy unless someone asked to display it during a service.

Nichol said the campus population has become more diverse, with growing numbers of Muslims, Hindus and people of other faiths on campus, some of whom felt put off by the cross. Until his decision, students or others who used the chapel could ask to have the cross removed for weddings or other services.



That last paragraph is what I find objectionable.

Anyone who feels put off by a Christian symbol in a CHRISTIAN CHURCH could use some lessons in religious tolerance. Anyone who feels such an attitude should be pandered to could also use the same.

What would be the response of the academic community if Jewish, Hindu and Muslim icons were removed from their respective places of worship because they might put off Christian students?

Is there any doubt that the result would be a resounding outcry of condemnation of the religious bigotry this would indicate?

Anyone,who is put off by the religious symbols of a faith other than their own, needs to refrain from entering those places of worship.

Anyone, who as a matter of course assumes that students of other religions are religious bigots to that extreme needs to be removed from office.

Respect for different religions must include respect for the religions and symbols held sacred
by many Americans or it is only words.

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Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 7:12 PM CST
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Updated: Friday, 29 December 2006 9:30 PM CST

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