Friday, 21 December 2007
Microsoft can really pat themselves on the back for a job well done, delivering an operating system which is much faster and far more reliable than its predecessor. Anyone who thinks there are problems in the Microsoft Windows team need only point to this fantastic release and scoff loudly.H/T GMSV
Well done Microsoft!
Friday, 14 December 2007
In the UK, the kids would go back to school in early September and up would go the Christmas decorations in the stores. After Bonfire Night (Nov 5th) the in-store Christmas carols would kick in and drive everybody mad. Of course, the weather helps this by precluding a lot of outdoor activity and encouraging people to hurry into stores and malls.
Here, it's 32 degrees today (centigrade). It's more tempting to go down to the beach than the shopping mall. Christmas Day itself I'm getting used to. We alternate between a barbecue outside and a traditional (English) roast turkey dinner. This year we're out by the BBQ and the weather usually cooperates. This is Melbourne, however, and anything can happen. The first year we were here it was 37 degrees at lunchtime but a cool change came through in the afternoon and the temperature dropped 20 degrees! Boxing Day, it never got over 14 degrees and we had to put the heating back on.
Still, I wouldn't change it. I don't think I could stand the constant heat of further North.
Saturday, 3 November 2007
Wednesday, 31 October 2007
Tuesday, 30 October 2007
Monday, 29 October 2007
Among the Jacobins’ greatest triumphs was their ability to appropriate the rhetoric of patriotism — Le Patriote Français was the title of Brissot’s newspaper — and to promote their political program through a tightly coordinated network of newspapers, political hacks, pamphleteers and political clubs.
Even the Jacobins’ dress distinguished “true patriots”: those who wore badges of patriotism like the liberty cap on their heads, or the cocarde tricolore (a red, white and blue rosette) on their hats or even on their lapels.
And finally, the original definition of the word...
Though it has been a topic of much attention in recent years, the origin of the term “terrorist” has gone largely unnoticed by politicians and pundits alike. The word was an invention of the French Revolution, and it referred not to those who hate freedom, nor to non-state actors, nor of course to “Islamofascism.”
A terroriste was, in its original meaning, a Jacobin leader who ruled France during la Terreur.
Tuesday, 16 October 2007
Thursday, 11 October 2007
Monday, 8 October 2007
I had the opportunity to watch Norwich this season as their home game with Sheffield Wednesday was shown in full here in Australia.
It was a lamentable performance from most of the players. I know we had three players suspended, but my big question is... what is Chris Brown for? He looked like a reincarnation of one of Norwich's worst ever signings, Dean Coney. Yes, he won a couple of headers, but he never looked like a threat in the game. With David Strihavka on the bench and Chris Martin also available, why play him at all?
With Norwich now in the bottom three of the championship, we need to start playing some football, preferably without Brown in the team. Up early tomorrow morning as the QPR-Norwich game is being shown live here at 4.45am.
Foto finalista do Concurso da Fotografe Melhor 2007
Originally uploaded by Andrey Botelho
Sunday, 7 October 2007
Monday, 13 August 2007
Well, at least they were able to recount the votes.
Well, Norwich City got their campaign underway on Saturday with a 0-0 draw at Preston.
It has looked promising the the eight new signings that have arrived during the summer. With the return of Jamie Cureton, there's now a player there that I've seen play. However, with Darren Huckerby still not ready and the virus that affected several players during the week, a battling draw away at Preston, where we traditionally struggle, has to be seen as a good result.
Here's the match report, the Radio Norfolk report, and Radio Norfolk post-match interview with the manager, Peter Grant (Realplayer req'd).
Sunday, 15 July 2007
Monday, 9 July 2007
This is all he’s got left. The mighty power of the presidency, a predilection for sudden action, and absolutely nothing to lose. This lame duck, in other words, could quack or fly without warning. And Washington, for all its increasingly open contempt for him, is rattled by the possibility. They don’t know what’s coming; but they know they’ll have to adjust.
In this, perhaps for the first time, even Republicans are having a familiar experience. They now know what it’s like to be a European with this president. And they are longing for it to be over.
I've always believed it was Dick Cheney who was pulling the strings. How far back does the relationship go? It is well known that George W Bush asked Cheney to select a candidate for VP but how influential was Cheney in pushing forward GWB's nomination, preparing an empty vessel that he could then fill at will?
The only issue that Bush deserves credit for is his stand on immigration. It's his personal knowledge from his background in Texas that drives this. Everything else has been driven by Cheney. Remember the president's questioning by the 9/11 commission - he wouldn't do it without his VP.
Friday, 6 July 2007
In his latest Op-Ed in tew WaPo he argues that politicians are bowing to public opinion too much.
The latest cave-ins involve immigration and trade policy, and both seriously threaten the national interest.
The collapse of the immigration reform bill in the Senate last month means that the broken border system, which allows a continuing flood of illegal immigrants to enter the United States with no hope of attaining the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship, will continue for at least two more years. No one is talking of reviving the effort until after the 2008 election installs a new president and Congress.
It wasn't public opinion that brought the downfall of the immigration bill, in fact 70% of the public supported it. It was the rush of politicians, mainly Republicans, to satisfy their ever-polarised and vocal base that stopped the bill.
Thursday, 5 July 2007
"We must succeed for our sake. For the security of our citizens, we must support the Iraqi government and we must defeat al-Qaeda in Iraq," said Bush, who will turn 61 on Friday.Is it al-Qaeda that the US troops are fighting in Iraq? From what I've read, most of the attacks are by Iraqis who want the invading troops out of their country. When the US military announces a firefight with al-Qaeda operatives, it is just reported verbatim in the press without any questioning over the terminology - even when the dead turn out to be grandparents and children.
Glenn Greenwald sums it up here.
And when did George W Bush last appear in public, without a carefully-screened audience? Does anyone have the date?
Armitage was not indicted because the statute prohibiting disclosure of an intelligence agent's identity was not violated. But Fitzgerald plowed ahead with an inquiry that produced obstruction of justice and perjury charges against Libby, though there was no underlying crime.A couple of points from this paragraph - why wasn't the statute violated? Valerie Plame was undercover, wasn't she, although it is still being denied in some areas. And as for the 'no underlying crime' claim, the whole point of the conviction was that Libby lied under oath to prevent the investigation of a crime.
Dan Froomkin, as usual, has an extensive coverage of editorial reaction to the decision.
I have read a lot of comment comparing the perjury conviction to that of Bill Clinton's. What seems to be lost on a lot of right-wing commentators is the question of scale. Lying about a sexual indiscretion doesn't seem quite as serious as lying to cover up the real reasons for going to war.
It reminds me of one of my favourite moments in 'A Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy' where one of the largest forces ever assembled in the galaxy was sent to invade Earth but due to an error of scale was swallowed by a small dog.
Today, the Australian Minister of Defence, on the basis that Australia's reasoning has always had to mimic the American's, has finally let the cat out of the bag.
Will Dick Cheney ever own up?
Speaking ahead of today's key foreign policy speech by Prime Minister John Howard, Dr Nelson said defence was about protecting the economy as well as physical security.
Dr Nelson also said it was important to support the "prestige" of the US and UK.
"The defence update we're releasing today sets out many priorities for Australia's defence and security, and resource security is one of them," he told ABC radio.
"The entire (Middle East) region is an important supplier of energy, oil in particular, to the rest of the world.
"Australians and all of us need to think well what would happen if there were a premature withdrawal from Iraq?"
Tuesday, 3 July 2007
What more do we need to know? These people think they are above the law. This president thinks he is above the law. The vice-president believes he is above the law. And when democratic leaders act as if they are the law unto themselves, and are prepared to upend the justice system to serve their own political ends, it's time for a revolt. Sorry, David. But this won't be forgotten - ever. It's a final straw, a call to wake up before these criminals get away with it one more time.
It's pretty plain why the US governemnt has been pushing for this. It's what Operation Iraqi Liberation, oops sorry, Freedom, was all about.
Wednesday, 13 June 2007
Thursday, 7 June 2007
Monday, 4 June 2007
Saturday, 2 June 2007
Cornwell's colleague Andrew Gumbel then launches into a heroic attempt to explain what Bush really meant:
"From the President's speech in Washington yesterday:
"'In recent years, science has deepened our understanding of climate change and opened new possibilities for confronting it.'
"Translation: In recent years, my refusal to acknowledge the reality and seriousness of global warming has turned me into a laughing-stock and contributed to my record low poll ratings. So now I have to look interested.
"'The United States takes this issue seriously.'
"Translation: Al Gore takes this issue seriously, his movie was a hit, and it's causing me no end of grief.
"'By the end of next year, America and other nations will set a long-term goal for reducing greenhouse gases.'
"Translation: By the end of next year, I'll be weeks away from the end of my presidency and this can be someone else's problem.
"'To develop this goal, the United States will convene a series of meetings of nations that produce the most greenhouse gasses, including nations with rapidly growing economies such as India and China.'
"Translation: We will look as busy as we can without doing anything.
"'The new initiative I am outlining today will contribute to the important dialogue that will take place in Germany.'
"Translation: The new initiative will put the brakes on the much more robust proposal the Germans are putting forward. As long as dialogue continues, we won't have to abide by any decisions."
(Note to readers: An earlier version of this column gave credit to Cornwell for these "translations," as they appear under his byline. But Gumbel actually posted them first here.)
Another delaying tactic designed to allow him to get out of office without doing anything.
Thursday, 24 May 2007
He [Gore] ascribes the failure to have a full-throated debate on Iraq back in 2002 -- when he spoke out against the looming war, to much nasty jeering from the right -- to the administration's decision to politicize the issue before the midterm elections, but also to "meekness" and "timidity" in both "the legislative branch of government" and in "the press corps."
"A lot of people were afraid of being accused of being unpatriotic," he says. "One of the symptoms of this problem -- the diminishing role for reason, fact and logic -- is that what rushes in to fill the vacuum are extreme partisanship, ideology, fundamentalism and extreme nationalism."
It was certainly almost impossible to speak against the war in 2002, 2003 and later without being 'unpatriotic' and 'against the troops'. Facts were swept aside as they made their own reality. Now, with the majority seeing reason, they can see that the emperor has no clothes.E.J. Dionne sums up his article with
Gore, to his credit, won't talk about Florida, but I will. Whatever flaws he has, Gore suffered through an extreme injustice with great dignity. His revenge is to have been right about a lot of things: right about the power of the Internet, right about global warming and right about Iraq.What a tragedy that 2000 result was.
Tuesday, 22 May 2007
The Justice Department is no ordinary agency. Its 93 United States attorney offices, scattered across the country, prosecute federal crimes ranging from public corruption to terrorism. These prosecutors have enormous power: they can wiretap people’s homes, seize property and put people in jail for life. They can destroy businesses, and affect the outcomes of elections. It has always been understood that although they are appointed by a president, usually from his own party, once in office they must operate in a nonpartisan way, and be insulated from outside pressures.
It's no wonder that Karl Rove couldn't stop smiling before the last mid-term elections. He believed that despite the polls showing that the Democrats were well ahead, he had enough partisan US attorneys to suppress the minority vote, enough governors in place to make voting difficult or impossible in 'blue' districts and, who knows, enough electronic voting machines rigged to keep the Republicans in power. He underestimated the size of the swing to the Democratic Party this time and the plan will be even more of the same in 2008.
Hopefully, now this plan is out in the broad light of day, it will not succeed.
Saturday, 19 May 2007
Here is one of the most amazing maths question answers I've seen (the contestant is presented with six numbers and has to use some or all of them once only, to reach the answer, a randomly generated number). How you can work this out in 30 seconds is beyond me.
ps I always had a bit of a 'thing' for Carol Vorderman. Perhaps it was her skill with numbers.
These assertions that "torture works" may reassure a fearful public, but it is a false security. We don't know what's been gained through this fear-driven program. But we do know the consequences.
As has happened with every other nation that has tried to engage in a little bit of torture -- only for the toughest cases, only when nothing else works -- the abuse spread like wildfire, and every captured prisoner became the key to defusing a potential ticking time bomb. Our soldiers in Iraq confront real "ticking time bomb" situations every day, in the form of improvised explosive devices, and any degree of "flexibility" about torture at the top drops down the chain of command like a stone -- the rare exception fast becoming the rule.
The writers are an ex-Commandant of the Marines and an ex-CinC of Central Command so should be listened to.
The torture methods that Tenet defends have nurtured the recuperative power of the enemy. This war will be won or lost not on the battlefield but in the minds of potential supporters who have not yet thrown in their lot with the enemy. If we forfeit our values by signaling that they are negotiable in situations of grave or imminent danger, we drive those undecideds into the arms of the enemy. This way lies defeat, and we are well down the road to it.
This is not just a lesson for history. Right now, White House lawyers are working up new rules that will govern what CIA interrogators can do to prisoners in secret. Those rules will set the standard not only for the CIA but also for what kind of treatment captured American soldiers can expect from their captors, now and in future wars. Before the president once again approves a policy of official cruelty, he should reflect on that.
How can it be acceptable for a civilised nation to condone this sort of treatment?
Monday, 14 May 2007
Saturday, 12 May 2007
It's a fascinating exercise in carefully parsed statements and half-truths.
He [Tenet] continues to assert falsely that the president's decision to remove Hussein was encouraged by lies about Iraq's responsibility for the Sept. 11 attacks.Didn't every statement made made by the President, Vice-President and Defense Secretary between 9/11 and March 2003 link the 9/11 attack and Saddam Hussein?
Understandably anxious to counter the myth that we went into Iraq on the basis of his agency's faulty intelligence...Does anyone believe that it was the CIA exclusively that got it wrong. From what I've read, there were all sorts of caveats on their intelligence. Not only that, most of the intelligence used as a basis for the need for invasion came out of the Office of Special Plans, created by Donald Rumsfeld and headed by Douglas Feith.
But the greatest intelligence failure of the past two decades was the CIA's failure to understand and sound an alarm at the rise of jihadist fundamentalism. It is Wahhabi extremism and the call to holy war against infidels that gave us the perpetrators of Sept. 11 and much of the terrorism that has followed. In his attempts to blame others for CIA shortcomings, Tenet cannot say, "I told the president that our Saudi allies were financing thousands of mosques and schools around the world where a hateful doctrine of holy war and violence was being inculcated in young potential terrorists." Fatefully, the CIA failed to make our leaders aware of the rise of Islamist extremism and the immense danger it posed to the United States.
Is Richard Perle seriously saying that the CIA didn't look closely enough at Saudi Arabia, the Neocons', and oil companies', biggest partner in the Middle East?
And the final paragraph tops it all.
George Tenet and, more important, our premier intelligence organization managed to find weapons of mass destruction that did not exist while failing to find links to terrorists that did -- all while missing completely the rise of Islamist fundamentalism. We have made only a down payment on the price of that failure.
What weapons of mass destruction did the CIA find? None, apart from a few chemical shells decades old and unusable. And they failed to find links to the terrorists because they didn't exist. Well, not in Iraq anyway.
Friday, 11 May 2007
The National Climate Centre is predicting average or above average rainfall for South Eastern Australia over Autumn and Winter which, if it occurs, will break one of the worst droughts on record.
"We've seen the waters in the tropical Pacific Ocean cool off in the last few months, so we've gone from being significantly warmer than average to being near average and we think it's quite likely that they'll continue to cool below average levels over the coming months," he said.
"If that does happen, which would constitute a La Nina event, there would be quite a high chance of above normal rainfalls in the second half of the year."
The situation is serious, with reservoir levels at record lows, but it's not quite as serious as American radio host Art Bell was making out last weekend! It's worth listening to.
Sunday, 6 May 2007
There is, to start, the very strong appearance that United States attorneys were fired because they were investigating powerful Republicans or refused to bring baseless charges against Democrats. There is reason to believe that Carol Lam of San Diego, who put Randy Cunningham, the former Republican congressman, in jail, and Paul Charlton of Arizona, who was investigating Representative Rick Renzi, among others, were fired simply for their nonpartisan pursuit of justice.The Justice Department opened an internal investigation last week into whether Monica Goodling, a former senior adviser to Mr. Gonzales, applied a political screen to applicants for assistant United States attorney positions. That kind of political test would violate department policy, and possibly the law.How can the public have any confidence that the internal investigation will be thorough and non-political. Surely, it's a case of the fox guarding the hen-house.
It's an unfolding tragedy that the American people are being given a third-world justice system where political connections will take precedence over an even-handed application of the law.
Saturday, 5 May 2007
The conservatives, in their own little world, didn't like the facts (liberal bias) on Wikipedia so they set up their own version. Now, they don't like it that no-one looks at their videos on Youtube, so they've started their own video site, qubetv.tv.
It looks very amusing on the surface, but it has a darker side. How are entrenched views ever going to be challenged if people withdraw into their own world and never hear or see anything that challenges their views. We've seen it for the last few years with Fox News and ideologues like Rush Limbaugh.
Will Bush's poll ratings ever drop below 28-30%? Are these the people that get all of their news from Fox? Do they still believe in the WMDs (or that they've been found)? Do they still believe in the Saddam-Al Qaeda link (as Dick Cheney stills insists was there)? Do they still believe that their government doesn't torture?
Any claim that President Bush is committed to victory in Iraq is contradicted by the facts. He is instead committing us to slow defeat, a defeat timed to come after he leaves office, on another president's watch so another president takes blame.
And if the current president has to purchase another 20 months in Iraq with the lives and limbs of our soldiers, and with the continued degradation of a military that we may need again in the not-so-distant future — well, he is apparently willing to make that deal.
All the evidence supports this view as he goes on to explain.
If Bush had been truly committed to victory, he would have paid the price for it. Sometime in the past five years, he would have found the hundreds of thousands of additional troops our generals have said from the beginning that they needed to succeed. Being truly committed to winning also would have meant not just sending our military off to war, which was easy. It would have meant sending this nation to war as well, which was hard and something the president has never dared ask of the American people. For most of us, this is a war in which other people fight and die, and that other people will pay for. Under the president's leadership, we have become the only generation in U.S. history so selfish that we gave ourselves major tax cuts while our kids were fighting and dying, and for that we ought to be ashamed. Most of all, a commitment to winning would have required taking the war effort seriously. It was not. It was not seriously planned, it was not seriously considered, it has not been seriously fought. And as a result, we find ourselves in a terrible dilemma. H/T to Dan Froomkin's excellent White House Watch.
If Bush had been truly committed to victory, he would have paid the price for it. Sometime in the past five years, he would have found the hundreds of thousands of additional troops our generals have said from the beginning that they needed to succeed.
Being truly committed to winning also would have meant not just sending our military off to war, which was easy. It would have meant sending this nation to war as well, which was hard and something the president has never dared ask of the American people. For most of us, this is a war in which other people fight and die, and that other people will pay for. Under the president's leadership, we have become the only generation in U.S. history so selfish that we gave ourselves major tax cuts while our kids were fighting and dying, and for that we ought to be ashamed.
Most of all, a commitment to winning would have required taking the war effort seriously. It was not. It was not seriously planned, it was not seriously considered, it has not been seriously fought. And as a result, we find ourselves in a terrible dilemma.
H/T to Dan Froomkin's excellent White House Watch.
In a two-page letter sent to the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Mr. Bush said his veto threat would apply to any measures that “allow taxpayer dollars to be used for the destruction of human life.”But, does he also mean that he will veto any money for Iraq too? Oh no, sorry, those human lives don't count, do they?
Friday, 4 May 2007
The NYT reports that Debra Wong of Los Angeles was forced out:
Ms. Yang was investigating Jerry Lewis, who was chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee. Ms. Lam and most of the other purged prosecutors were fired on Dec. 7. Ms. Yang, in a fortuitously timed exit, resigned in mid-October.
Ms. Yang says she left for personal reasons, but there is growing evidence that the White House was intent on removing her. Kyle Sampson, the Justice Department staff member in charge of the firings, told investigators last month in still-secret testimony that Harriet Miers, the White House counsel at the time, had asked him more than once about Ms. Yang. He testified, according to Congressional sources, that as late as mid-September, Ms. Miers wanted to know whether Ms. Yang could be made to resign. Mr. Sampson reportedly recalled that Ms. Miers was focused on just two United States attorneys: Ms. Yang and Bud Cummins, the Arkansas prosecutor who was later fired to make room for Tim Griffin, a Republican political operative and Karl Rove protégé.
No wonder Bush wants Alberto to stay. Senate hearings for a new AG would take the lid right off a huge can of worms.
Monday, 30 April 2007
Sunday, 29 April 2007
In Iraq, the much-trumpeted good news stories that the media haven't been 'emphasising enough' aren't as good as they have been made out to be.
In a troubling sign for the American-financed rebuilding program in Iraq, inspectors for a federal oversight agency have found that in a sampling of eight projects that the United States had declared successes, seven were no longer operating as designed because of plumbing and electrical failures, lack of proper maintenance, apparent looting and expensive equipment that lay idle.
Curiously, most of the problems seemed unrelated to sabotage stemming from Iraq’s parlous security situation, but instead were the product of poor initial construction, petty looting, a lack of any maintenance and simple neglect.Another job half done. It ties in with reports that 60-80% of a project's budget was spent on security whilst the work was being done. I would imagine that the companies wanted to get in and out as quickly as possible, but, of course, collecting their fee first.
All of the printed and voiced prophecies should be saved in an archive. When these false prophets again appear, they can be reminded of the error of their previous ways and at least be offered an opportunity to recant and repent.H/T to Crooks and Liars
Saturday, 28 April 2007
Another example of the White House strategy of advancing its corporate sponsors wishes in the face of scientific opposition, but this time, they didn't get their way.
The effect of Friday's ruling is to extend the virtual ban on U.S. imports of tuna caught by fleets from Mexico and several other nations that encircle dolphins with their nets to catch the tuna that swim beneath the aquatic mammals. Such tuna can be sold in the United States, but U.S. consumers have been largely unwilling to buy tuna that lacks the dolphin-safe label.Has their been a policy advanced in the past six years where the good of the people has been considered over the wishes of industry?
When it mattered, in 2002 and 2003, virtually the entire American major media covered Iraq the way Pravda covered the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. They jumped on what they believed was the winning side politically, maintained their insider power base, and sustained the high income that would have been threatened if they reported the truth.And the reason:
It is often said, and with some truth, that the problem with major media is corporatization, which limits dissent, stifles truth, corrupts reporting and is inclined to serve the regulatory master of the government and the financial master of Wall Street.
I submit an equal and possibly greater problem is the personal corporatization of many who have given up the profession
of reporting to turn themselves into personal corporations and to turn their “journalism” into the personal pursuit of wealth, fame and vainglorious ego.
They become sycophants, not journalists. They repeat conventional wisdom, not reporting real news. They worship at the altar of their sources, and deprive their readers and viewers of truth that offends the powerful and threatens their insider position. They support each other and promote each other in their own little but lucrative world divorced from their customers, their country and the traditional standards of what used to be their profession.
The Pat Tillman and Jessica Lynch stories are prime examples of the media just swallowing and printing the talking points. Some cynicism and investigation during Bush's first term, when the 'fear' agenda was established may have saved us a second term. Only now, when the 2006 elections made it apparent to most of the media that they had been found out, is the full damage becoming apparent.
Wednesday, 25 April 2007
I Was Assaulted By This Man Who Identified Himself as a Police Officer and Refused to Provide Me Identification, Photography is Not a Crime
Originally uploaded by Thomas Hawk.
Meanwhile, the new American ambassador to Iraq is delivering a remarkably similar message to the one Congress is trying to send.
The bottom line is that Bush wants the deadline to be after January 2009 so it won't be his problem.
Even as Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney repeated their claim that a deadline for beginning a troop withdrawal would cede Iraq to America’s enemies, it has quietly been setting targets of its own for the government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki to show progress on long-delayed political accommodations.
In a telephone interview from Baghdad, the new American ambassador to Iraq, Ryan C. Crocker, said President Bush and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates had bluntly told Mr. Maliki that failure to show results would undermine the administration’s efforts to buy him more time.
“There is Iraqi time and American time,” said Mr. Crocker. “And American time is running away from us, while Iraqi time is running at a slower place.”
After briefly popping his head out of the sand, John Howard firmly stuck it back in again by denying that emission targets need to be set.
However, the CSIRO has advised that emission targets are both 'advisable and affordable' undercutting his position completely. Obviously, he hasn't stacked the government departments with ideologues as efficiently as GWB.
As the Federal Government yesterday intensified its attacks on "crazy" pledges from Labor and the Greens to reduce Australia's emissions by 60 to 80 per cent by 2050, it emerged that the CSIRO had told Mr Howard's emissions trading task group last month that most studies agreed developed countries needed to cut emissions by 60 to 90 per cent to avoid "dangerous" climate change.Tim Flannery, Australian of the Year (his acceptance speech in front of John Howard was one of the highlights of the year!) also weighed in:
As one of the 'per capita' leaders in greenhouse gas emissions, Australia should be taking a lead in setting targets. Surely, investing in technology to clean up the power stations' emissions (they mainly burn the worst possible soft brown coal, would be a start.
"A couple of years ago there used to be four countries that hadn't ratified Kyoto," Professor Flannery said. "There was Australia, the USA, Monaco and Liechtenstein. I'm afraid to say that Monaco and Liechtenstein have seen the light, so there's only two of us left now — the Bonnie and Clyde of climate change, as Al Gore calls us.
"I don't know what this means for me, or the office of Australian of the Year — whether it's better for me to give back the award, and say that it's simply impossible to continue as things are," he said.
He later told The Age he was only speaking hypothetically and had no plans to give up his honorary title.
Tuesday, 24 April 2007
But the Office of Special Counsel is preparing to jump into one of the most sensitive and potentially explosive issues in Washington, launching a broad investigation into key elements of the White House political operations that for more than six years have been headed by chief strategist Karl Rove.I imagine that it will all depend on how independent this unit is. Independent enough to launch the investigation I would imagine - though the cynic in me wonders if this will just be a whitewash so the White House can say 'Look, nothing to see here.'
The new investigation, which will examine the firing of at least one U.S. attorney, missing White House e-mails, and White House efforts to keep presidential appointees attuned to Republican political priorities, could create a substantial new problem for the Bush White House.
The 106-person Office of Special Counsel has never conducted such a broad and high-profile inquiry in its history. One of its primary missions has been to enforce the Hatch Act, a law enacted in 1939 to preserve the integrity of the civil service.
Bloch said the new investigation grew from two narrower inquiries his staff had begun in recent weeks.Watch this space.
One involved the fired U.S. attorney from New Mexico, David C. Iglesias.
The other centered on a PowerPoint presentation that a Rove aide, J. Scott Jennings, made at the General Services Administration this year.
That presentation listed recent polls and the outlook for battleground House and Senate races in 2008. After the presentation, GSA Administrator Lorita Doan encouraged agency managers to "support our candidates," according to half a dozen witnesses. Doan said she could not recall making such comments.
It's not surprising. He spent two weeks practicing how to say 'I can't remember' and managed not to implicate any White House staff - basically by not answering any questions.
One senior Republican Congressional aide at work in Washington on Monday, who requested anonymity to speak candidly, called Mr. Bush’s statement that his confidence in Mr. Gonzales had grown after his testimony “curious”; another senior Republican aide asked, “Was he watching the same hearing as everyone else?”It's pretty sad when the country's custodian of the law has to obfuscate to cover up for his master's misdeeds.
And I'm presuming that this isn't just a coincidence...
Merriam-Webster Word Of The Day
Monday, 23 April 2007
Saturday, 21 April 2007
Prediction #2: The American will be taller by from one to two inches. His increase of stature will result from better health, due to vast reforms in medicine, sanitation, food and athletics...
Prediction #9: Photographs will be telegraphed from any distance. If there be a battle in China a hundred years hence snapshots of its most striking events will be published in the newspapers an hour later.
Prediction #10: Man will See Around the World. Persons and things of all kinds will be brought within focus of cameras connected electrically with screens at opposite ends of circuits, thousands of miles at a span. American audiences in their theatres will view upon huge curtains before them the coronations of kings in Europe or the progress of battles in the Orient. Predicting the telivising of the Vietnam War?
Prediction #18: Telephones Around the World. Wireless telephone and telegraph circuits will span the world. A husband in the middle of the Atlantic will be able to converse with his wife sitting in her boudoir in Chicago. We will be able to telephone to China quite as readily as we now talk from New York to Brooklyn. By an automatic signal they will connect with any circuit in their locality without the intervention of a “hello girl”.
Prediction #23: Ready-cooked meals will be bought from establishments similar to our bakeries of today. They will purchase materials in tremendous wholesale quantities and sell the cooked foods at a price much lower than the cost of individual cooking. Not so sure about the devlivery method though by pneumatic tube
Prediction #25: Oranges will grow in Philadelphia. Global warming prediction perhaps?
And the not so close:
Prediction #1: There will probably be from 350,000,000 to 500,000,000 people in America and its possessions by the lapse of another century. Nicaragua will ask for admission to our Union after the completion of the great canal. Mexico will be next. Europe, seeking more territory to the south of us, will cause many of the South and Central American republics to be voted into the Union by their own people.
Prediction #4: There Will Be No Street Cars in Our Large Cities. All hurry traffic will be below or high above ground when brought within city limits. In most cities it will be confined to broad subways or tunnels, well lighted and well ventilated, or to high trestles with “moving-sidewalk” stairways leading to the top.
Prediction #11: No Mosquitoes nor Flies. Insect screens will be unnecessary. Mosquitoes, house-flies and roaches will have been practically exterminated. Not quite there yet.
Prediction #13: Strawberries as Large as Apples will be eaten by our great-great-grandchildren for their Christmas dinners a hundred years hence. Raspberries and blackberries will be as large. One will suffice for the fruit course of each person. Not so big, but they haven't predicted that all the flaovur will have been removed.
Prediction #17: How Children will be Taught. A university education will be free to every man and woman. Wishful thinking!
Prediction #28: There will be no wild animals except in menageries. Rats and mice will have been exterminated. The horse will have become practically extinct. We're getting there!
Friday, 20 April 2007
It looks like an early onset of Alzheimer's.
The attorney general acknowledged, however, that "I didn't have an independent basis or recollection" about the job performance of Nevada U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden. And asked why he had agreed to fire Margaret M. Chiara, the U.S. attorney for western Michigan, Gonzales replied: "Quite candidly . . . I don't recall the reason why I accepted" staff advice on her dismissal. Only after the fact, he testified, did he learn "it was a question of . . . poor-management issues."
Thursday, 19 April 2007
A disappointing result but, from the reports I've read, an encouraging performance. To lose 3-0 away from home is never a great result, but with two of the goals coming in the last 5 minutes, Norwich were always in the game.
Losing Darren Huckerby with a back injury just before the game started meant that Kris Renton (pictured) made his first start after his brief debut on Saturday.
By the time yesterday's match ended, the Canaries had four teenagers on the field in 18-year-old striker Chris Martin, 16-year-old full debutant Kris Renton, 18-year-old midfielder Michael Spillane and, for the last four minutes, 17-year-old forward Bally Smart, making his senior debut. In addition, they had 18-year-olds Andrew Cave-Brown and Patrick Bexfield on the bench.With the big local derby against Ipswich coming up on Sunday, let's hope we see a positive performance. The last few home matches against Ipswich have been disappointing so we're due a good one.
LINCOLN, Neb. — An angry soccer mom who left her teenage daughter alongside an interstate was ticketed for neglect, Lincoln police said. Police spokeswoman Katherine Finnell confirmed this account from police reports:
The 42-year-old Lincoln mom was miffed about her daughter's poor play last Saturday.
On their drive home the girl flubbed the lines her mom had drilled into her on how to improve her game, so the mother slapped her daughter.
The girl told her mom to pull over. The mom did, near the downtown Lincoln exit off Interstate 80.
The mom yelled at the girl to get out. When she did, her mom drove off.
A teammate's parent spotted the girl alongside the interstate, stopped to pick her up, then took her to their home and called police.
Wednesday, 18 April 2007
In corruption cases, the potential for partisan shenanigans may arise in two different ways, each of which disserves the interests of justice. First, partisan prosecutors might ignore credible allegations of corruption because they fear embarrassing their political party or patron. Second, partisan prosecutors might pursue flimsy allegations for political purposes.As Dan Froomkin says in White House Watch
Here in Illinois, we recently had the unfortunate example of the secretary of state's inspector general reminding investigators that their job was to protect their political boss, not to find and resolve internal corruption.
It's worth noting that federal prosecutors rarely write op-eds. Presumably, in this case, Collins didn't think he'd get in trouble for doing so. And who's his boss? A fellow named Patrick J. Fitzgerald.
But I learned two fascinating things Monday afternoon in the immediate wake of the killing spree. First, I learned from two gun control advocates, including Jim Hennigan at the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, that gun control in this country and specifically on our nation's campuses has not gotten measurably better in the eight years since Columbine. In many cases, these advocates say, it's gotten worse. Second, I learned from CBS News' Armen Keteyian that school administrators and college officials at Virginia Tech had in fact implemented reasonable security measures (against the wishes of state legislators) designed to limit guns on campus. In other words, even though the university was relatively proactive in confronting the problem of guns on campus, the brutal slayings occurred anyway.There is an interesting exchange in the comments section between 'Bukko in Australia', an ex-pat American now living and working in Melbourne and a couple of people with a dissenting view.
I'm with 'Bukko', Melbourne is a safe place to live. Yes, it's not crime-free, but you can walk the streets without fear and gun crime is pretty limited. I wasn't here at the time of the Port Arthur Massacre but gun control implemented afterwards has made it difficult to obtain firearms to the point of making competition shooting difficult.
Tuesday, 17 April 2007
Sunday, 15 April 2007
It's difficult to get too excited about these end of season games but they are still important as they set a tone for next season's preparations.
There were several important pointers there for next year.
- They still have the ability to come from behind to win games. I remember an extended period in Norwich's past, it may have gone on for a season or two, when we never won after going behind in a game. We've now achieved wins like this several times recently.
- Robert Earnshaw is back. I was surprised to see that not only did he make the bench, but he came on and played.
- The youth policy at the club is looking as strong as it has for many years - Jason Shackell, Chris Martin, Michael Spillane, Robert Eagle and now Kris Renton, aged 16 who came on at the end to become the youngest player ever to represent Norwich City. In addition, we also have youth products Ian Henderson, Ryan and Rossi Jarvis and Joe Lewis out gaining experience at other clubs.
- We're winning away games - at last!
Good luck to Nigel Worthington and Doug Livermore at Leicester. It mustn't be forgotten that he rescued Norwich from a terrible fate at the hands of double-agent Hamilton a few years back. It was a bit ironic though that he threw on a 16-year old for his debut for Leicester given his reluctance to play the youngsters at Norwich. That would probably have been my biggest criticism of his time at Norwich.
Post match interviews with Leicester City's caretaker manager Nigel Worthington, Norwich manager, Peter Grant and goalscorer Robert Earnshaw (Realplayer required)
Last week, we learned that the administration edited a government-ordered report on voter fraud to support its fantasy. The original version concluded that among experts “there is widespread but not unanimous agreement that there is little polling place fraud.” But the publicly released version said, “There is a great deal of debate on the pervasiveness of fraud.” It’s hard to see that as anything but a deliberate effort to mislead the public.
Sound familiar? In President Bush’s first term, a White House official, who had been the oil industry’s front man in trying to discredit the science of global warming, repeatedly edited government reports to play down links between climate change and greenhouse gases. And then there was the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq, which turned reports on old, dubious and false tales about weapons of mass destruction into warnings of clear, present and supposedly mortal dangers.
As the NYT editorial says, it's fully time for Rove to answer some questions about his role in this affair.
There are a couple of statements that stand out:
"I know that I did not -- and would not -- ask for the resignation of any U.S. attorney for an improper reason. Furthermore, I have no basis to believe that anyone involved in this process sought the removal of a U.S. attorney for an improper reason."I think that depends on his interpretation of an improper reason. Presumably, not prosecuting Democrats when asked is not improper.
"Additionally, I have instructed all Justice Department officials to make themselves available for on-the-record interviews with lawmakers and hearings before Congress, and I have ordered the release of thousands of pages of internal documents."All Justice Department officials - except those who have resigned, perhaps? The release of thousands of pages of internal documents - except those that cause us a problem, perhaps? Those have been 'mislaid'.
"I have nevertheless asked the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility to further investigate this matter. Working with the department's Office of Inspector General, these nonpartisan professionals will complete their own independent investigation so that Congress and the American people can be 100 percent assured of what I believe and what the investigation thus far has shown: that nothing improper occurred."How many of the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility staff attended conservative law colleges?
"During those conversations, to my knowledge, I did not make decisions about who should or should not be asked to resign."Until proved otherwise, then I might have misstated.
"I am also telling our 93 U.S. attorneys that I look forward to working with them to pursue the great goals of our department in the weeks and months to come. During the past two years, we have made great strides in securing our country from terrorism, protecting our neighborhoods from gangs and drugs, shielding our children from predators and pedophiles, and protecting the public trust by prosecuting public corruption."
No mention of voter fraud?
"In part because of my own experience, I know the real strength of America. It lies in our Constitution, our people and our collective unyielding commitment to equal opportunity, equal justice, common decency and fairness."
Is that the same Constitution that whilst it says Habeus Corpus cannot be removed, it doesn't say that it applies to everyone?
I hope his two week preparation for his questioning by Congress is a bit better than this.
Saturday, 14 April 2007
However, the rate of development is massive and is putting pressure on the local environment.
It will be costly and painful to prolong the war in Iraq for another 21 months so that those who started it can hand off the harder decision of how to end it to the next occupant of the White House.
President Bush isn't extending and expanding the war in a search for victory. His dream of victory in Iraq cannot be achieved. Not by sending 30,000 more American troops. Not by making parts of Baghdad temporarily safer by billeting American troops in violent neighborhoods and pushing the slaughter into the northern and southern suburbs - or into the Green Zone where U.S. and Iraqi officials live and work.
Not by letting American soldiers bear the brunt of combat, targeted not only by our enemies, the Sunni Muslim insurgents but also by our supposed allies, the Shiite majority and the murderous militia of radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. In March, more American troops died in Iraq than Iraqi soldiers.
H/T Dan Froomkin's White House Watch.
Don't forget, they have also got to get those oil laws passed by the Iraqi government so that the contracts can be handed over to the big oil companies too. They haven't been passed yet.
Friday, 13 April 2007
My question is this. If the RNC IT department has been doing its job properly, then the majority of these missing emails should have been archived to tape and still available.
Countless e-mails to and from many key White House staffers have been deleted -- lost to history and placed out of reach of congressional subpoenas -- due to a brazen violation of internal White House policy that was allowed to continue for more than six years, the White House acknowledged yesterday.
The leading culprit appears to be President Bush's enormously influential political adviser Karl Rove, who reportedly used his Republican National Committee-provided Blackberry and e-mail accounts for most of his electronic communication.
In all organisations that I have worked in, the mail server, along with all the other file servers, is backed up (usually to tape) on a daily basis. A 'grandfather' system of tape rotation is used so that once a week the server is backed up to a weekly tape (there will be a number of tapes that are cycled so a weekly tape is used, say, every four weeks). Then, once per month, a monthly tape is inserted into the rotation, and this tape is kept as part of a rotation, or in some instances, forever.
Therefore, my question would be, how often is the RNC mail server backed up (they must do this or they would lose all email records in a system crash), what tape rotation policy is followed and how far back do the tapes go.
If the IT department at the RNC is doing its job properly, tape backups should have records going back months and years. Whilst it may not be a 100% complete record (an email could be received after one monthly backup and deleted before the next one is taken) I would suspect that a significant proportion of emails would be archived.
We are being led towards perhaps the most serious crisis in modern history as the Bush/Cheney/Blair "long war" edges closer to Iran for no reason other than that nation's independence from rapacious America. The safe delivery of the 15 British sailors into the hands of Rupert Murdoch and his rivals (until their masters got the wind up) is both farce and distraction. The Bush administration, in secret connivance with Blair, has spent four years preparing for "Operation Iranian Freedom". Forty-five cruise missiles are primed to strike. According to General Leonid Ivashov, Russia's leading strategic thinker: "Nuclear facilities will be secondary targets, and there are 20 such facilities. Combat nuclear weapons may be used, and this will result in the radioactive contamination of all the Iranian territory, and beyond."