commentary, philosophy, and outright rants

Archive for September, 2006

Maybe Iraq needs the fence more

CNN reports that Saudi Arabia is building a fence along its entire “border
with Iraq to prevent terrorists from entering the kingdom.”  Considering 
that Osama bin Laden is a subject of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, maybe 
it’s Iraq that should be building the fence?

US Govt Proof: Clinton told the truth, Condi lied

“A memo received by United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice shortly after becoming National Security Advisor in 2001 directly contradicts statements she made to reporters” on September 25th, 2006. The memo, available as a .pdf in this story on , makes it abundantly clear that the Bush administration was told of the al-Qa’ida threat well in advance of 9/11/01 – and that now-Secretary Rice, in her then-role as National Security Adviser, had information on which to act.

When are those in power going to learn that their dirty deeds, from denying that they had the information to act on to engaging in blog-poisoning , will come out quicker and quicker now that there’s a virtually-instantaneous, worldwide communications system?


National Intelligence Estimate: Iraq War decreased security

As if most of us didn’t already know, the Bush administration has made the US – and the world – less safe than before 9/11. An official “National Intelligence Estimate” (in-depth US government analysis of collected intelligence reports) concludes that “the Iraq war made the overall terrorism problem worse.”

For all the glorious details of our glorious Leader’s brilliant work, see and hear the article on NPR by clicking here.

Fascinating research – free until December

Royal Society Publishing, in the scientific journals business since 1665, has put their entire journal archives out on to the Internet.  They plan on charging for it soon, but according to the site, “until December the archive is freely available to anyone on the internet to explore.”

Explore fast! There’s some really classic stuff out there!

Bush on Iraq – or was he talking about the US?

“Imagine what it’s like to be a young person living in a country that is not moving toward reform.” – George W. Bush, speaking before the UN General Assembly, September 19, 2006

“This sounds like a land in serious trouble. Could it be someplace where ten per cent of the population controls over fifty per cent of the country’s wealth? Could it be a land where health care insurance costs so much that 46 million, or more, go without and the elderly have no hope but to curl up and die? Could it be a place where the workers and middle class must work longer hours in order to earn diminishing wages? Could it be a place where plans for a comfortable retirement are a hopeless dream? That would be a country in need of reform.” – Tom Chartier

Read Tom’s whole article at The Land Without Hope.

Gun laws: They only help the people who are already criminals

From The Real Crocodile Dundee by Vin Suprynowicz:

“‘Draconian gun legislation was passed in the heat of the moment.

… As a result of stringent gun laws (really a ban on firearms) in Australia, all semiautomatic firearms (rifles and handguns) are proscribed, including .22-caliber rabbit guns and duck-hunting Remington shotguns. …

‘At a cost of $500 million, out of an estimated 7 million firearms (of which 2.8 million were prohibited), only 640,000 guns were surrendered to police. What has been the result? Same as in England. … Crime Down Under has escalated.

‘Twelve months after the law was implemented in 1997, there had been a 44 percent increase in armed robberies, an 8.6 percent increase in aggravated assaults, and a 3.2 percent increase in homicides…'”

Anti-gun laws don’t stop crimes from happening; they increase them. Tolkien warned us in The Return of the King:

“‘It needs but one foe to breed a war, not two, Master Warden,’ answered Eowyn. `And those who have not swords can still die upon them.'”

And they’re dying and hurting in Australia. And New York, where the Sullivan Laws of 1921 really work well, too.

As Heinlein put it, “An armed society is a polite society.”

Amazon Just Became Really Evil

Most of Amazon’s service carefully protects user rights. Amazon now has a “service” – which service really means it, uh, “services you” – called Amazon Unbox, that lets their software spy on your computer, 24/7, for the dubious privilege of downloading a movie instead of going to the local Blockbuster, and paying nearly the same amount.

See more at the “read more” link and don’t forget to digg it!

read more | digg story

To boldly remaster..

This is just plain weird.

It’ll be interesting to see how the alterations are done – will it really just be objects, or have they added ridges to the Klingons, too?

It Was Five Years Ago

This past August
It was five years ago
I first went to WitchCamp
I came back home to New Jersey
Convinced of an inevitability of peace.

This month
It was five years ago
I saw not peace
I saw destruction.
I was lucky to escape personal loss;
A friend had planned to go to Windows on the World that morning
But got up late.
She was only halfway up the Turnpike
When the first plane augured in.

This month
It was five years ago
When my brother lost his out-of-town office
In a famous five-sided building
Luckily he was in-town that day.

This month
It was five years ago
When a friend of mine dreamed of Sekhmet
Standing on the waters of the mouth of the Hudson
Blood flowing down the river
She woke screaming.
Her then partner was concerned about whether or not she was sick
And took the day off.
He is a roving computer technician.
He was scheduled to be on the 39th Floor, Tower 2, that day.

This month
It was five years ago
When the then chair of SpiralHeart’s Communications Cell, Lizard,
Gave me permission to collect the thoughts of our Community
And preserve them so that our first horrified thoughts
Would not be forgotten.

In Our Own Voices: SpiralHeart responds to September 11, 2001
Lest we forget…

Outgoing chair of the SpiralHeart media cell
September 1, 2006

“They shall grow not old…. as we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning,
We will remember them.” – Laurence Binyon

“Diplomacy is the art of the possible… but not the art of the necessary.So why, why are the deaths necessary,when I know something better is possible?” – John M. Ford