Saturday, August 14

Poor Poor Karl

To bad this Photo op is useless. Ha Ha Ha Jackass
lets see how long before I have to replace this with another

Friday, August 13

I have got to get to Madagascar

I want to be smothered in furry lemur love

From the "There might be hope" department

A British research copmpany, has managed to convert sunlight into hydrogen at an 8% efficiency.
Capturing sunlight to make enough hydrogen fuel to power cars and buildings has been brought a step closer by a British research company.

Hydrogen Solar says it has managed to convert more than 8% of sunlight directly into hydrogen with fuel cell technology it has specially developed.

For an energy source to be commercially viable, it must reach an efficiency of 10%, which is an industry standard.

Hydrogen power, a renewable energy, has the potential to replace fossil fuels.

"Over the last couple of years we have doubled efficiency.

"We are not yet in the hydrogen economy, but it has the potential to take over when the oil economy becomes untenable," Dr David Auty, chief executive of Hydrogen Solar told BBC News Online.

Nano hand

Depending on how it is produced, hydrogen fuel is a clean, green source of power that can be easily stored.

Its potential has been recognised for well over 100 years, but it requires energy to extract hydrogen from water, or any other source.

The Tandem Cell technology developed by Hydrogen Solar uses two photocatalytic cells in series which are coated with a nano-crystalline - extremely thin - metal oxide film.

Having a nanoscale coating makes the surface area far greater and means that hydrogen can be produced efficiently without the need for polluting fossil fuels.

The cells capture the full spectrum of ultraviolet light - the Sun's rays - and, via the novel coating, the electrons are captured and carried away on conductors.
As oil becomes more expensive, the economic benefits of alternative energy resources, become increasingly germain. As long as money for R&D is available, recent developments in fuel cell, and hydrogen extraction technology, give this jaded and cynical bastard reason to hope........but as long as therer is so much profit tied to the trafficing in petroleum, I am not going to hold my breath.

New Hubble image

Sure is pretty.From the BBC
Hubble peers at celestial bubble
The gas bubble is caused by a hurricane of particles from a nearby star

The Hubble Space Telescope has peered inside a bubble of interstellar gas and dust that is being inflated by a hurricane of particles emitted from a young star.

This nearby star, which has no name, is losing 100 million times more mass per second than our own Sun, generating a torrent of speeding particles.

Because the star is surrounded by an envelope of gas the particle train, or stellar wind, collides with the gas.

This pushes it out forming a bubble of the type seen in the Hubble image.
So there you go. Nothing to add. You can find great gobs of Hubble Porn here. I like the Galaxy galleries personally. Go get some perty pictures. More thumbnailed Hubble Porn here.

Ants taking over Austrailia

First it was the killer formic acid spraying ants from India, who have done a number on some of Australia's native animal poulations. From the BBC
Killer ants threaten Australia
An infestation of ants which is attacking numerous animal species in Australia is threatening to spread across the country, scientists have warned.

Described as one of the world's most vicious species of ant, the yellow crazy ant sprays formic acid into the eyes of other animals, leaving them vulnerable to attack and unable to feed themselves.

One-centimetre long
So named because of their erratic behaviour when a nest is disturbed
Originally from India

The ants have already wiped out up to 20 million red crabs, as well as birds and other animals on Australia's Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean since 1989, and have since spread to 63 locations in the Northern Territory on the mainland.

Canberra's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) warned on Friday that, if left unchecked, ant populations would proliferate across Northern Australia and beyond.

"It is simply a matter of when will it happen," said CSIRO researcher Ben Hoffmann.

This little yellow crazy ant will destroy our culture, our land, our life
Aboriginal ranger Balupalu Yunupingu

Mr Hoffmann said the ants' victims died, not from the attack, but from starvation because they were blind.

The CSIRO, in association with two Aboriginal land management groups, is developing a three-year plan to wipe out a large infestation centred on a 90-kilometre (56 mile) radius around the mining town of Nhulunbuy, on the north-eastern tip of the Northern Territory.
First they got to Christmas Island from India. Now they are on the North coast of Austrailia. And in other ant related news, a 100 kilometer sized colony of ants has been uncovered in Melbourne. Originally from Argentina, these guys at least lack the formic acid spraying abilities of their Indian counterparts. Also from the BBC.
A giant colony of ants stretching 100km (62 miles) has been discovered in the Australian city of Melbourne, threatening local insect species.

The ants, which were imported from Argentina, are ranked among the world's 100 worst animal invaders.

Although they exist in their usual smaller group size in their homeland, the colonies have merged in Australia to create one massive super colony.

Experts fear that the invasion poses a threat to biodiversity in the area.

Introduced pest

Elissa Suhr, from Monash University, Melbourne, said the introduced pest's natural aggression kept numbers under control in its native country.

But the lack of genetic diversity in the ants found in Australia has allowed them to build a super colony.

"In Argentina, their native homeland, ant colonies span tens of metres, are genetically diverse and highly aggressive towards one another," Dr Suhr said.

"So population numbers never explode and they are no threat to other plants and animals.

"When they arrived in Australia, in 1939, a change in their structure occurred, changing their behaviour so that they are not aggressive towards one another. This has resulted in the colonies becoming one super colony."

Dr Suhr said the Argentine ants have killed native ants, and consumed many other insects, posing a major threat to biodiversity.
They are going to test colonies in Perth, and Adelaide to determine if the ant colonies are related, and possibly extend across the Southern side of the Continent. How long before both colonies meet and who would prevail in such a meeting. Yet another example of how are world is slowly being screwed to death. Can't wait until a previously contained and unknown African viral strain drops a Malthusian boot on our asses.

Thursday, August 12

Conventional Wisdom aka Whores Unite

Jon Stewart's recently had a segment titled Conventional Wisdom which discussed how certain themes develop traction in the media. At the time this theme was about how "liberal" and "out of the mainstream" Keryy and Edwards are. He proceeded to show clips of maybe 15 pundits using these talking points in almost exactly the same language. Over and over you hear "most liberal" and "out of the mainstream" as one pundit after another repeats these talking points. You should take a look at it if you have not seen it.

Well our friend Atrios woke up feeling his oats and has hit the ground running, and this time the conventional wisdom is that "Kerry only served 4 months" a transparently shameless lie at the very least. At its worst, perfidy, prevarication, and propaganda. Atrios has nearly 30 examples of this type of "Sure will Karl, straight from the fax machine and into my edititorial agitprop" media behavior. It starts here, and continues finally ending here. Here are two examples, go on over and read the rest.
AJC, the Vent, 08/05:

John Kerry spent four months fighting communism and then spent the next 30 years fighting capitalism.

Linda Chavez, 08/05/2004:

But Mr. Kerry's insistence on making his four-month tour of duty in Vietnam the centerpiece of his campaign could backfire as Americans learn more about what he did in that country and, more important, what he did when he returned home.
Of course this is a lie. Kerry served a tour of duty on a ship in Tomkin Gulf, then volunteered for a tour with the "brown water Navy" commanding the now famous swift boats. During active combat duty, he was injured three times and was awarded medals for heroism under fire. Why the pernicious, pundiocratic pileup? Because they can get away with it. It is almost like these guys are spinning yarn as fast as possible to replace the quickly evaporating, threadbare, presidential wardrobe. Simply shameless.

Wednesday, August 11

Perseid Meteor Shower

It's that time of year again. Tonight and tomorrow night. according to USA Today, the best viewing is between 1am and 3am Fiday Morning which for our foreign guests 0600-0900 UTC. From the BBC:
Skies set for meteor extravaganza
Perseid meteor, Nasa
The light show will not be spoilt by moonlight this year
The annual Perseid meteor shower, which peaks on 12 August, could provide a "spectacular" show this year, experts have forecast.

Sky watchers can expect to see meteors from a dark location on 12 and 13 August after 2330 BST, but they may be treated to two early "surges".

One of these may occur on 11 August at 2200 BST, while another may be visible just before dawn on 12 August.

Unlike last year, there will be little moonlight to spoil viewing.

It's been a while since I have had the pleasure of watching them, if not the moon, the weather conspires against against me. Hopefully it will be different this time around. WooooHoooo

Now for some good news

Earlier this year it was decided that the Hubble space telescope was not going to be repaired. I was rather in a lather about this, when I first heard the news. Well today over at the BBC I see that Nasa is planning to save the Hubble.

Hopefully Hubble will keep sending us perty pictures. This is a great place for spacy goodness. A happy day for science and space geeks like me.


From the Irony is not yet dead department, Juan Cole discusses the latest from Najaf:
The US military actions in the holy city of Najaf are deeply offensive to Muslims throughout the world. Although many might also criticize Sadr and his militia for using the holy sites as cover, the strongest condemnation inevitably is reserved for the foreign troops, seen as imperialists.

Ironic quote of the Day: "We will not allow them to continue to desecrate this sacred site . . . " said Colonel Anthony Haslam, commanding officer of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit. (This is after the US dropped bombs on the cemetery, which contains the dead relatives of Shiite Muslims from all over the world, but especially Iraq).
As good as Juan's analysis is, I try to avoid visiting the place too often. Stuff like this just tends to render me speachless.

59 years + 2 days

30 years + 2 days

"I am not a Crook"

Tuesday, August 10

New CIA Directitude

Another Smug Son of a bitch

From Digby via Atrios, and the Herald Tribune, we discover that our new CIA director appointee is just the kind of loyal soldier, that this administration craves. So it should come as no suprise that the former CIA operative, doesn't think the Plame investigation is worthy of pursuit.
WASHINGTON -- Rep. Porter Goss said Thursday that the uproar over allegations that White House officials purposely identified a covert CIA agent appears largely political and doesn't yet merit an investigation by the House Select Committee on Intelligence, which he chairs.

Goss, who was a CIA agent himself from the early 1960s to 1971, said he takes such leaks seriously, but he distinguished between a willful violation of federal law and an inadvertent disclosure.

Goss also said no one from the intelligence agencies has raised the issue with him since syndicated columnist Robert Novak identified the agent in a column July 14.

"I would say there's a much larger dose of partisan politics going on right now than there is worry about national security," said Goss, R-Sanibel. "But I would never take lightly a serious allegation backed up by evidence that there was a willful -- and I emphasize willful, inadvertent is something else -- willful disclosure, and I haven't seen any evidence."

Goss said he would act if he did have evidence of that sort.

"Somebody sends me a blue dress and some DNA, I'll have an investigation," Goss said.
Now ain't that sweet, I think we'll dub Mr. Goss Chuckles McGillicutty. Old Chuckles thinks that the leak of Plame was "inadvertent" and maybe he has a point. The timing of the leak could be purely coincidental, Just like "unless a catalysing event like a "new pearl harbor"...coincidental. Or the coincidental timing of all the terror alerts. Digby has this to say:
Kerry cannot have someone like this working for him in such a sensitive job. I would assume that the Republicans are very well aware of this fact. This may be only the first of numerous landmines that are being laid in case of a Kerry victory.
Republican minefield laying program activities? Thats a suprise, these guys WILL stop at nothing. Why? Because they accuse us of that very thing. It is simply projection. See a scumbag will see the world through a scumbags eyes, and presume everyone is similarly motivated, so that the most benign action must be motivated by scumbag intent. This is also known as "vaccination" from the "wingnut debate dictionary".
Vaccingating: The process of accusing your opponent of doing what you're already doing in an effort to prevent your opponent from being the first to make that accusation.
So remember this when you hear republicans make attacks. When they talk about partisinship, they are admitting the most venal excesses on their own part. When they talk of misrepresentation of the facts, or politicising, They are lying and playing politics period.
It's time we send them back to Nursery school.

Monday, August 9

Monumental Fuck-up

We have already two days running made posts about the Plame Identity and the Pakistan Supremacy They are just down the page a bit if you wan't some background. Juan Cole has more on the story and brought to my attention a couple of graphs from Please read Cole's take, I can't really add much more of substance, other than that allready expressed in the title of the post but I see something worth riffing on in these two graphs (from cole).
The unnamed U.S. officials leaked Khan's name along with confirmation that most of the surveillance data was three or four years old, arguing that its age was irrelevant because al Qaeda planned attacks so far in advance . . .
This is and is not funny. I have no doubt that we are dealing with a very patient crew in al-queda, and if you want success diligent planning is a part of it. But I really wanted to ask If we maybe can't borrow some of their guys with the planning type skills so when we stumble into another middle eastern sand pit we don't look like complete imbiciles 18 months later

Then on Friday, after Khan's name was revealed, government sources told CNN that counterterrorism officials had seen a drop in intercepted communications among suspected terrorists."
Basically we blew the cover of a big dude with lots of connections, Fantastic! We mistakenly Identify the guy. Very bad. If they were smart (and they are) codes will be changing communication pathways will be modified, passwords changed, in effect activities that by the hour diminish the value of your intelligence. This is probably a good in the short term thing, slows them down a bit, but potentialy puts us back further than before we started

Bush is at it again, LORCA

LORCA = Loyalty oath related campaign activities

Gotta love a man with a firm grip on the world. Today georgie boy admitted that he and his family and anyone else who is filthy rich doesn't pay taxes and that it would be too hard to collect them so why even try:
US President George W. Bush today said there was no point in taxing the rich because they just dodged their tax bill anyway.

"Real rich people figure out how to dodge taxes," he said during a campaign stop in suburban Washington.

Mr Bush's rival in the November 2 election, Democratic Senator John Kerry, has pledged to scrap the president's tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans in a bid to rein in the record US budget deficit.

Mr Bush said: "You've got to be careful about this rhetoric, we're only going to tax the rich. You know who the - the rich in America happen to be the small business owners."

So which is it george, are you saying that the rich don't pay taxes, but small business people are rich, which means they don't pay taxes, but you are implying that they do pay taxes, but they are rich, so they must find ways around paying taxes, cause the rich don't pay taxes. Excuse me sir, but are you a fucking clueless idiot? Seriously are you?

Today though we are treated to another example of Loyalty Oath Related Campaign Activities wherein another poor family is given the heave-ho at a bush appearence because of t-shirts:

George W. Bush's T-shirt police got their family.

Campaign workers removed the Millers -- Marvin, Barbara and Theresa -- from Wendler Arena on Thursday minutes before the president's motorcade rolled up.

The Midland clan's offense?

Barbara Miller, a 50-year-old chemist for Dow Chemical Co., had carried in a rolled-up T-shirt emblazoned with a pro-choice slogan.

"I thought I might be cold," she said of the NARAL Pro-Choice America message on the cotton shirt, size large. "I use it for running. I never even thought about the message. I just wanted to see my president."

Jennifer Millerwise, a Bush spokeswoman, defended the campaign's right to kick out attendees suspected of aiming to spoil an event meant for supporters.

Lets take a look at what passes for maniacal paranoia a defence:

"Sadly, there are people who try to enter these events with the goal of disrupting these events for people who have worked so hard and want to hear the president speak," Millerwise said. "It really is unfair to those people."

Barbara Miller said a young male campaign worker confiscated the offending apparel upon the family's 4:30 p.m. arrival. He returned with two others and asked the trio leave about an hour later.

"They obviously were searching for us," said Marvin, 53, also a Dow chemist. "And they came for us.

"I was probably voting for Kerry before. Now I'm 100 percent sure. Maybe I'll start campaigning for him. Maybe I'll start fund-raising."

He said the person who took his wife's T-shirt told them, "We don't accept any pro-choice, non-Republican paraphernalia."

Welcome to the fascist paranoid idiocraty that is my country, at least if bush is around. BrownShirts-R-US. And they get updet when we suggest that they are thugs............My gast has permanently been flabbered.

Prozac Related water table activities

In texas men may not stay men.
Scientists find Prozac in the livers, muscles and brains of bluegill fish in Texas creek downstream of sewage treatment plant; male fish in the same area are developing female characteristics from estrogen in birth control pills and other prescriptions.

Researchers at Baylor University have found fluoxetine hydrochloride, the active ingredient in the antidepressant Prozac, in in a Denton County, Texas creek, raising concerns about the welfare of the fish and the people who eat them, according to the Ft. Worth Star Telegram (see also the Houston Chronicle and a silly Reuters article). The chemical most likely is coming from a city of Denton wastewater treatment plant, which discharges into Pecan Creek and flows into Lewisville Lake, which supplies drinking water to the cities of Dallas, Denton and Lewisville.

Bryan Brooks, a Baylor toxicologist who led the study, said the fluoxetine, and a metabolized compound similar to it, most likely made their way into the water systems from the urine of users or through people flushing Prozac down the toilet. The waste water facility is not equipped to remove the compounds, which then make their way into the blue gills, and perhaps other aquatic life. "If we release something in the environment, we need to understand what will happen to it," Brooks said.
Yeah and that migh require that we kill off all the Pharmacuetical and Chemical lobbiests, and get people who respect science back in the executive. Then maybe rollback the power of cororations by revoking there charters, and limiting their use of the 14th ammendment to cover their asses. Oh and about a thousand other things that will never happen, I guess boobs might be cool......

Hot Flashes at the NRC, Drugs in your H2O

The Bush administration is relaxing fire safeguards at Nuclear Power plants. Dear Leader is just trying to make us safer after all these plants are probably on a list of targets for our terrorist friends to attack:

On June 16, the commission charged with investigating the events of September 11 announced that Al Qaeda's early attack plans had included "unidentified nuclear power plants." You might think the Bush Administration would respond by doing all it could to prevent a terrorist-triggered disaster at these plants.

Think again. The Bush Administration is actually relaxing the fire safeguards there.

Instead of insisting that the plants have heat-protected mechanical systems in place that will shut down reactors automatically in case of fire, which is the current standard, the Bush Administration would actually let the power companies rely on workers to run through the plants and try to turn off the reactors by hand while parts of the facilities are engulfed in flames.

The scary part is that they are not kidding. Rather than enforce the rules in place; requiring automatic mechanical shutdown systems, they expect people to run through a building on fire and manually shut down the reacter. An astonishing reduction of safety in the interest of corporate welfare. With respect to training these heroes some at the NRC were skeptical:
Inside the NRC, the idea of people dodging flames and possibly high radiation areas to try to avert a meltown has raised some eyebrows. In a September 2003 meeting, one member of a panel on reactor fire safety repeatedly pointed out that relying on humans to do work in dangerous conditions and under stress was asking for trouble. It's difficult to prepare operators, said Dana Powers, a member of the Fire Protection Subcommittee of the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards. "How do you do that?" he asked. "How do you simulate smoke, light, fire, ringing bells, fire engines, crazy people running around?"
I do wonder if this patriot is still with the NRC. some background on NPP and fire frequency
Fires are not uncommon at nuclear power plants. "Typical nuclear power plants will have three to four significant fires over their operating lifetime," says a 1990 NRC document. "Fires are a significant contributor to the overall core damage frequency."

Fire itself will not blow up a reactor, say critics and industry representatives alike. But if the electrical cabling burns and the pumps that cool the reactor core become disabled, the core could begin to overheat, and the reactor could melt down. Millions of people could then be exposed to radiation.
One event millions of potential casualties, not to mention rendering a broad area uninhabitable for the forseeable future, I mean it's like increasing the liklihood of repeating chernobyl, and apparently we have come close:
One day in 1975, some workers were checking a seal on the secondary containment building at the Browns Ferry nuclear plant in Alabama. They accidentally started a fire. The fire "was in the insulating material around the cables. It was in a cable tray," says Craig Beasely, a communications specialist at the plant. The fire began in a part of the plant Beasely calls "the cable spreader room," which he defines as "the place where the cables come together." The fire lasted "about seven hours," says Beasely. Some of the cables that caught fire, he confirms, "did control some cooling" to the reactor core.

"Temperatures as high as 1500°F caused damage to more than 1600 cables routed in 117 conduits and twenty-six cable trays," says a draft report by the Sandia and Brookhaven Laboratories. "Of those, 628 cables were safety related, and their damage caused the loss of a significant number of plant safety systems."

A 1976 paper by the Union of Concerned Scientists was entitled "Browns Ferry: The Regulatory Failure." Observing that the fire rendered all safety equipment inoperative and that thick smoke, loss of control over the reactor, and "inadequate breathing apparatuses" interfered with the operators' attempts to save the plant, the paper sums up the event in these words: "TVA nuclear engineers stated privately to the authors that a potentially catastrophic radiation release from Browns Ferry was avoided by 'sheer luck.'"
Read the rest of the article (linked above) and if that doesn't curl your toes you probably won't be interested to hear about all manner of stuff finding it's way into the drinking water. I'm just so glad that Ronnie was such a good deregulation salesman.
Scientists are becoming increasingly concerned about the potential public health impact of environmental contaminants originating from industrial, agricultural, medical and common household practices, i.e., cosmetics, detergents and toiletries. A variety of pharmaceuticals including painkillers, tranquilizers, anti-depressants, antibiotics, birth control pills, estrogen replacement therapies, chemotherapy agents, anti-seizure medications, etc., are finding their way into the environment via human and animal excreta from disposal into the sewage system—i.e., flushing unused medication down the toilet—and from landfill leachate that may impact groundwater supplies. Agricultural practices are a major source and 40 percent of antibiotics manufactured are fed to livestock as growth enhancers. Manure, containing traces of pharmaceuticals, is often spread on land as fertilizer from which it can leach into local streams and rivers. Conventional wastewater treatment isn’t effective to eliminate the majority of pharmaceutical compounds.
There are times that I just want to curl up in the fetal position and wish the demons would all go away. But Jesus what are the long term affects and will anyone ever be held to account. Apparently this isn't a new problem that just popped out of the woodwork.
The prevalence of pharmaceuticals in water is nothing new. In fact, it’s reasonable to assume that as long as pharmaceuticals have been in use, they—and their metabolites—have contributed to the overall environmental contamination load. What’s new is our ability to detect trace amounts (sub-parts per billion, ppb) of these contaminants in water. Hence, we’re finding pharmaceuticals in water because we’re finally able to detect them. The topic first gained notice in Europe in the early-1990s where scientists initially found clofibric acid, a cholesterol-lowering drug, in groundwater.
This problem has been around for a while and it is only now that we can measure the levels present. This is just depressing, who knows what the long term holds, the pooch may be irratrievably screwed.

Sunday, August 8

Another reason I'm pissed at Bush

I have been paying attention to news, views, and politics to the exclusion of following Baseball. Resulting in the fact that I missed possibly the last 300 game winner in baseball Nice Going Greg. 22nd member of the 300 game club.

Night of the long knives for Chalabi

Our poor dear friend and provider of bogus intelligence, favorite of Wolfie and Mylroi is in a spot of trouble for WTF, Counterfieting? As DHinMI over at Kos notes that seem to be a bit beneath the man wanted in Jorden for Bank fraud. And one would hope that all that money we were paying him was wisely invested. Of course they are out of the country. My girlfriend had CNN on earlier and some flatfaced talking head had Chalabi on the phone. I didn't really pay any attention except to note that CNN was working the story on some level. I did happen to catch Chalabi denying the charges (what a suprise). Before I forget, his nephew, who I thought was the head of the new court system faces a warrent for murder. From Yahoo:
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraq (news - web sites) has issued arrest warrants for Ahmad Chalabi, a former Governing Council member with strong U.S. ties, on counterfeiting charges, and for his nephew Salem Chalabi — head of the tribunal trying Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) — on murder charges, Iraq's chief investigating judge said Sunday. The warrant was the latest strike against Ahmad Chalabi in his removal from the centers of power. A longtime Iraqi exile opposition leader, he had been a favorite of many in the Pentagon (news - web sites) but fell out with the Americans in the weeks before the U.S. occupation ended in June.

Both men denied the charges, dismissing them as part of a political conspiracy against them and their family.

Salem Chalabi, named as a suspect in the June murder of Haithem Fadhil, director general of the finance ministry, called the accusation "ridiculous." His uncle said the charges were "outrageous" and "manufactured lies."
Thats how I would expect them to respond, in any event a very strange tale that I am sure we will be hearing more about in the days ahead.

Our Idiotic Mis-Administration

Juan Cole has some new info on the Pakistani "mole":
The story of how the Bush administration prematurely outed Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan, a double agent working for Pakistan against al-Qaeda, has finally hit cable television news. MSNBC picked up the story on Saturday.

On Sunday at around 12:30 pm, Wolf Blitzer's show referred to it. New York Senator Charles Schumer criticized the Bush administration for revealing Khan's name. He noted the annoyance of British Home Minister Blunkett (see below) and Pakistani Interior Minister Faisal Saleh Hayat with the Americans for blowing Khan's cover. He said Hayat complained that if Khan's name had not been reveaeled to the New York Times by the Bush administration, he might well have provided information that would have led to the capture of Usamah Bin Laden himself!

Blitzer then revealed that he had discussed the Khan case with US National Security Adviser Condaleeza Rice on background. He reported that she had admitted that the Bush administration had in fact revealed Khan's name to the press. She said she did not know if Khan was a double agent working for the Pakistani government. (!!!)
Unbelievable if true, and yet another example of an administration whose right hand does'nt know what the left hand is up to. The National Security Advisor, had no Idea that Khan was a double agent, what the hell is she doing. Oh and I should mention that it's nice that the Networks are on the story. Meanwhile the Pakistani's and Brits are pissed. David Blunkett, the British Home secretary says:
For instance, over the last four days there has been column inch after column inch devoted to the fact that in the United States there is often high-profile commentary followed, as in the most current case, by detailed scrutiny, with the potential risk of inviting ridicule.

In Britain the accusation is the opposite. It is that we don't say enough. We don't comment often enough. We don't speculate enough. In other words, we don't sufficiently raise the profile - and therefore the concern - about terrorism.
Its not about politics in England, see, thats why we aren't likely like the dumassed Yanks across the atlantic to out an important source of intelligence. You may want us to but we just arent that stupid. Later he explains his reticence on the subject.
Because had I done so without having anything additional to add, I would have merely added to the speculation, to the hype, to the desire for something to say for its own sake. In other words, to feed the news frenzy in a slack news period.

Is that really the job of a senior cabinet minister in charge of counter-terrorism? To feed the media? To increase concern? To have something to say, whatever it is, in order to satisfy the insatiable desire to hear somebody saying something?

Of course not. This is arrant nonsense. I've never been known as a shrinking violet and I'm the first person to say something when I've got something to say. But it is important to be able to distinguish if there is a meaningful contribution that helps to secure us from terrorism. And to understand if there isn't.

And there are very good reasons why we shouldn't reveal certain information to the public. Firstly, we do not want to undermine in any way our sources of information, or share information which could place investigations in jeopardy. Second, we do not want to do or say anything which would prejudice any trial.
It's amazing that fighting the war on terror in Great Britain is not about covering ones ass or used as a tool for re-election. It is somewhat amazing the legs this story seems to have, Bush may have turned a corner and seen the end of his political carreer. If they loose this one and somehow avoid an uncomfortable stay at the Hague, I doubt the Jackass will be speaking at future republican conventions. Expect moderate republicans to quietly run screaming in the other direction "I'll see you later OK?" "not if I see you first." MSGOP has some Background on Khan:
Keeping the arrest quiet, his captors got him to e-mail his contacts in Pakistan, England and elsewhere.

A senior Pakistani official says the messages have helped bring the arrests of dozens of suspects, including Britain's reputed top Qaeda operative, Esa al-Hindi, and Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, the Tanzanian fugitive who was wanted for the 1998 African embassy bombings. Under duress, says the same source, Khan sent e-mails to at least six contacts in the United States—with results that remain undisclosed.

Returning to Pakistan, Khan set up a small Qaeda communications center. It began as little more than a hobby—until the Taliban's collapse sent bin Laden and his men fleeing for their lives. Suddenly Khan found himself running a network that kept the group's leaders in touch with their agents and each other. Bin Laden and his inner circle couldn't use radios or satphones for fear of revealing their hideouts. Instead, Khan became their nexus between the caves and the Internet cafes.
Now under duress means torture, which means Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani could be telling his torturers whatever they want to know, but if this intelligence is correct, we blew our best shot at getting these guys. Khan may very well have helped lead us to the capture of Bin Laden, but as the jig is up we shall never know, unfuckingbelievable.

We replaced one thug with another

From a newspaper, that I will bookmark for future reference. Kos and Corrente are already covering this story from the Oregonian:
BAGHDAD - The national guardsman peering through the long-range scope of his rifle was startled by what he saw unfolding in the walled compound below.

From his post several stories above ground level, he watched as men in plainclothes beat blind folded and bound prisoners in the enclosed grounds of the Iraqi Interior Ministry.

He immediately radioed for help. Soon after, a team of Oregon Army National Guard soldiers swept into the yard and found dozens of Iraqi detainees who said they had been beaten, starved and deprived of water for three days.

In a nearby building, the soldiers counted dozens more prisoners and what appeared to be torture devices - metal rods, rubber hoses, electrical wires and bottles of chemicals. Many of the Iraqis, including one identified as a 14-year-old boy, had fresh welts and bruises across their back and legs.

The soldiers disarmed the Iraqi jailers, moved the prisoners into the shade, released their handcuffs and administered first aid. Lt. Col. Daniel Hendrickson of Albany, Ore., the highest ranking American at the scene, radioed for instructions.

But in a move that frustrated and infuriated the guardsmen, Hendrickson's superior officers told him to return the prisoners to their abusers and immediately withdraw. It was June 29 - Iraq's first official day as a sovereign country since the U.S. invasion.
So why did we go in there again? And what are the troops still doing there? Shit if they can't be allowed to participate in this kind of humanitarian activities, then they are simply enforcers. Most Criminal Administration Ever.

A record I didn't know about.

This is a picture of the boat

Apparently back in 1896, some crazy Norwegians rowed a boat from Canada to England in 55 days. Shit that isn't bad at all considering that trans alantic shipping voyages around the time took 3 or more weeks. Wel a british crew trying to break the record ran into a freak wave, which I posted about earlier and more about rogue waves. Back to the unlucky Britons:
Four Britons trying to break a world Atlantic rowing record have been rescued after storms split their boat - the Pink Lady - in two.

A Danish vessel picked up the men, who were adrift about 300 miles west of the Isles of Scilly on Sunday.

Jonathan Gornall, one of the crew members, said they were "very happy to be alive" and looking forward to going home to Britain.

The crew left Canada on 30 June and planned to beat the 55-day record.

"We were on sea anchor because it was impossible to row in those conditions. We were going to get through the night, the weather was going to moderate. "Unfortunately one of those rogue waves caught us with catastrophic results," Mr Gornall told BBC News 24.

"You take on nature and you take what she delivers - and on this occasion she dealt us a killer blow," he added.