Monday, December 31, 2007

Oh, Please...

I read a little on all of the candidates. Hillary has been just pathetic. I just don't understand this response to Obama's statements. (Especially since he's got nothing to actually speak of on the topic from his own "experience."
Ever since Barack Obama suggested Hillary Clinton's eight years as first lady were a glorified tea party a few days back, she's looked for an opening to strike back.

On Saturday night in Dubuque she pounced, arguing she risked her life on White House missions in the 1990s, including a hair-raising flight into Bosnia that ended in a "corkscrew" landing and a sprint off the tarmac to dodge snipers.

"I don't remember anyone offering me tea," she quipped.

The dictum around the Oval Office in the '90s, she added, was: "If a place was too dangerous, too poor or too small, send the first lady."

It turns out that Clinton wasn't quite flying solo into harm's way that day.

She was, in fact, leading a goodwill entourage that included baggy-pants funnyman Sinbad, singer Sheryl Crow and Clinton's daughter, Chelsea, then 15, according to an account of the March 1995 trip in her autobiography "Living History."

As the plane approached the runway, the pilot ordered the Clintons into the armored front of the plane, Clinton writes.

What's not clear is whether Sinbad or Crow were invited to the cockpit or had to brave it out in the unprotected rear.
Nauseating. Can anyone actually tell me of any place she went where she wasn't so heavily guarded where she would have been less safe than if she was anyone else walking down a street in the US?

Then there is Huckabee:
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) told reporters Monday that he was pulling a negative ad designed to target his chief rival in Iowa, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R).

Then he showed the ad to a room packed wall to wall with reporters.

When asked if it is hypocritical to make an announcement about not running negative ads, and then show a negative advertisement to dozens of members of the national and local media, Huckabee said he had to show the ad to prove its existence.

“I want to show you that we were fully prepared,” Huckabee said.

What a loser. Like saying "I wouldn't shoot anyone" while carrying a gun. Almost to the point of bragging that he was good when he prepared (and no doubt paid) to do something bad.
At the end of the ad, Huckabee again makes the point that Romney’s attacks on him have been “desperate and dishonest.”

“If a man’s dishonest to obtain a job, he’ll be dishonest on the job,” Huckabee says in the ad.

Interesting. Though I'm going to be cynical and see this as being about as honest as Romney.

Well, if you expect a politician to be honest, you're living in the wrong time.

Sunday, December 30, 2007


Parade Magazine's Poll.

These two questions got me.

8. If you had to be stranded on an island with one person for a week, which of the following would you choose?

Stephen Colbert -- 29%
Hillary Clinton -- 23%
Barack Obama -- 19%
George W. Bush -- 17%
Rudy Giuliani -- 12%
Colbert on a desert island? Yeah. I'm thinking I'd end up feeding all of these to the sharks after a couple of days.
12. Who is the most annoying celebrity?

Rosie O'Donnell -- 44%
Paris Hilton -- 24%
Ann Coulter -- 16%
Heather Mills McCartney -- 12%
Perez Hilton -- 4%
Yep. These are all extremely annoying. Rosie on the desert island would be an instant source of bait.

I really dislike celebrities.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Mentos and Beer

You've seen the games with Mentos and Diet Coke, but have you seen those with various beers?


God these crack me up.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Calls for Cthulu

Pretty interesting site sent to me by Rustmeister.

You don't see this theme around much. Which is really too bad since so much of the comic book and horror film effects have dabbled in the look at least. Watching HellBoy the other night and its just so very close to the Lovecraft vision.

I really like the "Baby's First Mythos" that the link to.
This is a great idea. From the horror writer C. J. Henderson, this book teaches your child their ABC’s by way of the Cthulhu Mythos. I haven’t read it yet (my order’s shipping now), but the comments on the book suggest that it’s not just funny, it also informs you about the Mythos. Apparently, they have little poems for each letter. I can’t wait to see how they rhymed “Nyarlthotep”.
Heh. Got to love that.

Oh and if you haven't caught the "Calls for Cthulhu" videos give it a look.

Freaky Photoshop Contest

At Freaking News.

They replace the eyes with a version of their mouth. The picture of Hillary made me nauseous.

Some People have way too much time on their hands.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Iraq's Tet Offensive

Interesting article. I was peeved when I started reading it but then Austin Bay got to the point that immediately leaped to my mind.
Their "ultimate Iraqi Tet" would feature simultaneous terror strikes in every major Iraqi city. These simultaneous strikes would inflict hideous civilian casualties with the goal of discrediting Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's and General David Petraeus' assessments that Iraqi internal security has improved. The terrorists would reduce Iraqi government buildings to rubble. Striking the Green Zone would be the media coup de grace, intentionally echoing North Vietnam's assault on the U.S. embassy in Saigon. Al Qaeda terrorists would also attack Shia shrines. Kidnapping or assassinating of senior Iraqi leaders would be another objective.

Actually executing a genuine Giap Tet-type offensive in Iraq, however, borders on fantasy. On a daily basis Iraq's assorted terrorist organizations and militia gangs want to cause such system-shaking, simultaneous carnage, but they don't because, well, they can't. A Giap Tet requires a level of coordination the terrorists have never exhibited because they simply don't have it. It requires internal Iraqi political support that the terror cadres and militias lack; fear is not a political program.

I have to agree with his suspicion that Al Qaeda will try something of that sort. The problem will be quieting the MSM and the Dems who will no doubt begin screeching that we've failed when it will be nothing more than a minor bump.

The other thing to realize is that the Military is likely watching for this and are doing the best that they can to be prepared to stave off any such attempt to derail the progress that has been seen.

Encryption Passwords and the Fifth Amendment

The case isn't pretty, but the reading of the case law around this is pretty frightening. In this case the Judge finds that subpoenaing the password to open an encrypted file or directory is a violation of the fifth amendment. Orin Kerr pretty clearly shows why he disagrees, and I find it disturbing that case law does in fact fly in the face of logic, never mind common sense.

The case is found here.
A federal judge in Vermont has ruled that prosecutors can't force a criminal defendant accused of having illegal images on his hard drive to divulge his PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) passphrase.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Jerome Niedermeier ruled that a man charged with transporting child pornography on his laptop across the Canadian border has a Fifth Amendment right not to turn over the passphrase to prosecutors. The Fifth Amendment protects the right to avoid self-incrimination.

A second reason this case is unusual is that Boucher was initially arrested when customs agents stopped him and searched his laptop when he and his father crossed the border from Canada on December 17, 2006. An officer opened the laptop, accessed the files without a password or passphrase, and allegedly discovered "thousands of images of adult pornography and animation depicting adult and child pornography."

Boucher was read his Miranda rights, waived them, and allegedly told the customs agents that he may have downloaded child pornography. But then--and this is key--the laptop was shut down after Boucher was arrested. It wasn't until December 26 that a Vermont Department of Corrections officer tried to access the laptop--prosecutors obtained a subpoena on December 19--and found that the Z: drive was encrypted with PGP, or Pretty Good Privacy. (PGP sells software, including whole disk encryption and drive-specific encryption. It's a little unclear what exactly happened, but one likely scenario is that Boucher configured PGP to forget his passphrase, effectively re-encrypting the Z: drive, after a few hours or days had elapsed.)

So the lesson I get from this is:

Password protect your computer and don't let anyone in without a warrant.
Never waive your Miranda rights.
If you're going to encrypt use something smart like TrueCrypt.

The Candidates

Huckabee bothers me. I really hate these staged hunting photo ops.

Presidential contender Mike Huckabee bagged a pheasant Wednesday, offering Iowa voters the image of an experienced outdoorsman on the hunt, shotgun blasting and dogs braying.

Just a campaign gambit? "Maybe it will show that I certainly understand the culture of being outdoors," Huckabee said. "It's not something we had to go out and get a primer in. It's very much ordinary to me."

Who cares? You're a politician, I don't actually believe you're doing anything but trying to buy votes with this. If you were out hunting and were found out by the press it would be one thing, but this is just pandering that smells suspect.
His waving his religion around doesn't impress me. I'm not thrilled by a minister for president, but it doesn't bother me much either. I'd prefer a candidate who was less dependent on religion as a message.

Taxes? Not sure I'm caring a bit about his stand on removing income or payroll taxes. The Dems have both houses, and they love to redistribute wealth, and frankly, I find it highly improbable that he could move the topic an inch.

Energy Independence? Not likely. Thinking we can be completely independent in the next decade is unrealistic. Forward motion could well begin, but full independence is a long long way off. His ethanol dream is a joke. Ethanol may be a fuel solution, but it still take far too much energy from other sources to produce it and it fails to address other economic factors such as food prices.

I think he's realistic about Iraq and having to finish correctly there. The war on terrorism I think he's a bit askew on. Quoting the Powell doctrine bothers me in that it's not really applicable. Terrorist groups are ephemeral and you can't just throw large numbers of soldiers at the problem. (Not to mention I'm not a fan of the Powell doctrine, since it is a completely antiquated doctrine considering that most wars will be in the fourth generational or later forms.)

Mitt Romney. Find a stand and stick with it. I find it improbable that he'll get any southern support with the Governorship of the People's Republic of Massachusetts on his resume. His stand on Guns is very wrong. And his reputation in MA merely substantiates that he doesn't get it.

He does strike me as a clumsy politician. His "life NRA membership" and his "father marching with King" strike me as amateurish. He needs to stop trying so hard and stick with reality.

Personally, I'd like a president that has his own opinions and sticks with them. He has nothing major to be ashamed of from his business life and even his governorship wasn't horrible. He should work with that and not try to talk about things he isn't.

Rudi Guiliani.
Hmm. Don't like him. His answers on gun control and abortion were non-answers. I don't disagree that they are in some senses local or states rights topics. Gun rights though have a primary enumerated right in the constitution. Either he agrees with the individual right or not. I still don't like where his record leaves him there. As for abortion rights, take a stand, stop quibbling about where the right stands.

I'm also not wild about how he comes across on personal rights. He strikes me as being supportive of only those rights he likes.

He did perform quite impressively on 9/11 and most of those saying he was the cause of some of the problems don't have a convincing story.

Fred Thompson
Not happy with the performance to date. He's not convincing me that he really wants the job. You have to participate more than what we've seen.

Second Amendment Slam dunk. His debate answer was what I would have said.

Don't know much of his stand on Iraq. Last I heard he was on with continuing to success.

I've read some of his opinion pieces and have been quite impressed. The problem I have is that I'm not quite certain that they are his positions and not just write ups for him. I'm feeling uncertain about his actual participation. Interviews and press coverage hasn't shown him as being very strong on his feet on topics. He's an actor for god's sake, you'd think he'd be able to perform better.

John McCain
I do like most of his stances. His position on Iraq is very noble, preferring to win there rather than be president. That is closer to what I'd like in a candidate.

He does have a problem like Rudi on rights though. The McCain-Feingold suppression of political speech act was a very poor piece of legislation. Giving 527s voices and suppressing other special interest groups was just wrong. This is a case where full and detailed disclosure would have been the solution. Instead they chose suppression of speech.

His stand on illegal immigration is likely more realistic to the present political environment. Not very fond of it, but its better than what is happening. (That would be nothing.)

Ron Paul
His is an odd candidacy. I've been reading his stands on the issues and frankly, I like the majority of them.

I don't like his stand on Iraq. I find it to isolationist and completely misses the point that completing Iraq successfully is in the best interest of the US. Immediate withdrawal will again send the message that the US is weak and incapable of finishing anything. I also don't like that his stand doesn't view the US as being required to play in international affairs. You can dislike why we got into Iraq, but at this point that is completely irrelevant to the fact that a successful solution is the only way to move the global economy and the US primary interests forward.

I'm a bit puzzled how he qualifies stem cell research with his Pro-life stance, but I can see ways of getting there.

His stands on rights and liberties is refreshing. None of the other candidates will even step up to this level. I'm not certain they are all realistic, but that doesn't mean that they aren't where we should stand ultimately. I think a bit more realism on the Patriot Act would be nice, but he does point out some of the really lame section.

His media presence has been amateurish though. Being seen with white supremacists is pretty poor policy. Sadly he won't be able to scrape off their filth because some people assume that because he spoke to them then he must support them. Sadly too much of the media has effectively made him look like a kook.

It's going to be a tough decision. And a lot more research.

No democrats you ask? That's right. They are so far from reality of foreign policy that I just can't see voting for them. Then add their stance on rights and liberty, and I'm completely nauseous. That doesn't even get me to whether I could trust any of them.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

2007 Memorable Quotes

Tops out with "Don't Tase Me, Bro."

A list that quotes morons and Democrats. (That's a bit redundant for this list.)

But what can one expect when the list was generated by a Yale prof.

Found at SayUncle.

Quotes start with Moron
"Don't Tase Me, Bro," a phrase that swept the nation after a U.S. college student used it seeking to stop campus police from throwing him out of a speech by Sen. John Kerry, was named Wednesday as the most memorable quote of 2007.
Then (ugh) Moron
Second on Shapiro's list was this tortuous answer by Lauren Upton, the South Carolina contestant in the Miss Teen America contest in August:

"I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because some people out there in our nation don't have maps and I believe that our education like such as in South Africa and Iraq and everywhere like such as and I believe that they should our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S. or should help South Africa and should help Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future for us."

Then comes memorable bigotry (monons)
Third was Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's October comment at Columbia University in New York, "In Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country."

Shock jock Don Imus comments about the Rutgers University women's basketball team: "That's some nappy-headed hos there," was fourth.

Then Republican moron.
5. "I don't recall." -- Former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' repeated response to questioning at a congressional hearing about the firing of U.S. attorneys.


6. "There's only three things he (Republican presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani) mentions in a sentence: a noun and a verb and 9/11." -- Sen. Joseph Biden, speaking at a Democratic presidential debate.


7. "I'm not going to get into a name-calling match with somebody (Vice President Dick Cheney) who has a 9 percent approval rating." -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat.


8. "(I have) a wide stance when going to the bathroom." -- Idaho Republican Sen. Larry Craig's explanation of why his foot touched that of an undercover policeman in a men's room.


9. "I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a storybook, man." -- Biden describing rival Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Moronic Democrat

10. "I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history." -- Former President Jimmy Carter in an interview in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette newspaper.

Non-Sequitur: I was reading an article in National Review last night on Obama being the new Carter. It was a bit sad.

What if I Arrived with a Grill?

PETA stupidity with semi-nude women packaged up like meat.

I'd just love to pull up with a big gas grill and see what they did.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Silky Pony Prepared for Epic Battle

This guy sounds like he's approaching revamping the old communist propaganda films.

SCRIPT: Edwards: "This isn't about petty politics or good intentions. Corporate greed and influence in Washington are stealing our children's future. The moral test of our generation is whether we're going to allow this broken system to go on without a fight or take on corporate greed and stand up for the middle class and American jobs before it's too late. They aren't going to just give their power away. Saving the middle class is going to be an epic battle, and that's a fight I was born for."
He was born for this? You mean, being a very successful lawyer making vast amounts of money off of lawsuits makes you a middle class sympathizer? Why don't I believe that?

I wish his NH office would stop sending me pamphlets in the mail. I swear I throw out at least 2 a day.

Licensing Gasoline

I haven't seen any outrage and demand for more regulation on who can purchase gasoline based on this incident. No doubt it must be in the works.
Leon Davis had been out of jail for just 10 days when he went to the Nationwide Insurance office Thursday afternoon, demanding money from Yvonne Bustamante and Jane Luciano. Upset that the women refused to give him money, Davis doused the two women with gasoline and set them on fire, according to Lake Wales police.
If he had shot them it would have caused the shrill Brady Bunch to screech for more legislation. He was in jail for grand theft. I'm betting that disqualified him from making a legal firearms purchase. Of course, he also had a gun. Note that criminals don't seem to care about doing illegal things.
Davis then went outside and refused to allow the women to flee. That is where Davis allegedly shot Brandon Griessman, 33, in the nose, after the Good Samaritan tried to help the burning women.

Davis escaped from the scene, sparking a massive manhunt, until he turned himself in later Thursday at a Polk County Sheriff's Office substation.
Bustamante, 26 and Luciano, 23, were flown to Orlando Regional Medical Center, where they remain in critical condition this afternoon. Luciano underwent an emergency Caesarean-section delivery. The premature baby was named Mike Bustamante Jr., according to Lake Wales police. The infant was doing well, police said.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Morons with Badges

Saw this at Schneier. He calls it weird, which it is, but its also incredibly stupid.
Normally when you find a ticket on your windshield from a police officer it is not a good thing, but in Conyers a ticket could save you some money.

Officers with the Conyers Police Department will be on foot patrol in the parking lots of major shopping areas in the city over the next couple of weeks. They will place yellow tickets on vehicles with packages or boxes of merchandise that are visible on the seats or floorboards of cars; in other words, vehicles that are easy targets for thieves.

Conyers Police Chief David Cathcart said the yellow ticket program is part of an overall crime prevention program to help remind people to be careful with regard to their Christmas packages.

"If you leave packages in clear view in your car, then you might be providing an opportunity to a thief that can be avoided if you are just a little more careful," said Cathcart. "Even if you put your packages in the car and think you're only going to be in another store for a few minutes, you're still at risk because it only takes a moment for someone to take advantage of a situation."

The CPD has stepped up patrols during the holiday season in the city's shopping areas and increased the number of officers on duty during the evening shopping hours.

"Certainly our goal is to catch the thief; but if we can help create an environment which makes it more difficult for the thief to thrive, then that's a positive for our entire community," the chief said. "We want the citizens to know that we are out in the community and this program not only lets people know officers are patrolling an area, but reminds people to secure their packages."
So the police case the parking lot to identify the easy targets and put big yellow stickers on the cars to make it obvious to thieves where to go for easy pickings. Seems logical to me. This must be the protect part of their creed.

I especially like the statement that the stickers let people know that the police are patrolling. Yeah, and where the stickers are they aren't any longer. Brilliant!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

CIA - What a Mess

You'd think that they'd start getting their act into gear. But then, being an agency that isn't really answerable to anyone gets you mixed into this level of incompetence. The tapes are one thing, but now the Brits are saying the CIA is naive in their latest NIE on Iran. Note, you won't hear much on this in the MSM.
British spy chiefs have grave doubts that Iran has mothballed its nuclear weapons programme, as a US intelligence report claimed last week, and believe the CIA has been hoodwinked by Teheran.

The timing of the CIA report has also provoked fury in the British Government, where officials believe it has undermined efforts to impose tough new sanctions on Iran and made an Israeli attack on its nuclear facilities more likely.

The security services in London want concrete evidence to allay concerns that the Islamic state has fed disinformation to the CIA.

The report used new evidence - including human sources, wireless intercepts and evidence from an Iranian defector - to conclude that Teheran suspended the bomb-making side of its nuclear programme in 2003. But British intelligence is concerned that US spy chiefs were so determined to avoid giving President Bush a reason to go to war - as their reports on Saddam Hussein's weapons programmes did in Iraq - that they got it wrong this time.

A senior British official delivered a withering assessment of US intelligence-gathering abilities in the Middle East and revealed that British spies shared the concerns of Israeli defence chiefs that Iran was still pursuing nuclear weapons.

The source said British analysts believed that Iranian nuclear staff, knowing their phones were tapped, deliberately gave misinformation. "We are sceptical. We want to know what the basis of it is, where did it come from? Was it on the basis of the defector? Was it on the basis of the intercept material? They say things on the phone because they know we are up on the phones. They say black is white. They will say anything to throw us off.

"It's not as if the American intelligence agencies are regarded as brilliant performers in that region. They got badly burned over Iraq."

The Spectator.UK goes even further with this refering to the Telegraph article:
This version of events, however, seems to credit the NIE authors with having acted in good faith. But the question remains open whether they are incompetent or malign, having put out information they knew was false; and the further question is whether they stitched up President Bush, as many believe, or whether this is all part of a major and potentially cataclysmic strategic reversal by the US which has now given up the ghost of the Bush doctrine -- and the defence of the west -- for good.
I think that sentiment has started floating around the blogsphere, but unfortunately can't be proven. Worse, Bush seems to not be holding them accountable, though with a massive bureaucracy like that, I'm betting it will be nearly impossible.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Whacky Seaon

The escalation in shootings is a bit frightening. I hate malls and churches, so I doubt I'm at much risk. At least the church in this case had some armed security on site negating that open target feel that most churches have.
"The suspect was confronted by a security guard," Myers said at a news conference late Sunday. "She shot the suspect, and the suspect subsequently died at the scene."
The nut cases are out so it's probably a good idea to watch who you tick off for a while.

Then there is the gun toting lady at Disney.
There was a little less enchantment in the Magic Kingdom Sunday morning when a 63-year-old Pennsylvania woman was taken into custody for allegedly bringing a loaded semi-automatic into the park.

Disney World security personnel reportedly discovered a silver handgun on Mary Ann Richardson as she entered the park with other family members, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. The .32-caliber Beretta handgun had been loaded with seven live rounds in the magazine, but the chamber was empty, reported.

Richardson claimed she regularly traveled with the gun and forgot she had been carrying it around in her purse. Also found in Richardson’s purse was a pair of scissors and a locked blade knife, authorities said. She was charged with possession of a concealed weapon.
Nice. Though I'm uncertain about why they go into detail about the rounds being "live." People who carry guns don't generally carry spent shells in the clip. Couldn't be that they were sensationalizing a fairly non-sensational story. Nah.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Energy Bill Woes

This looks to have started out as a fairly good bill. The Cafe standards changes were probably needed, since it's quite obvious that the public at this time doesn't want to demand that type of thing right now. The additions of requiring 15% of energy be from renewable sources and if states can't meet that requirement that gets them punished with extra taxation of their energy, strikes me as ludicrous.
The bill's highlight is the fuel economy standard of 35 m.p.g. by 2020, the first increase in such standards by Congress since 1975, with stiff guidelines for how federal regulators can set new efficiency rules for cars and trucks.

Automakers and environmental groups backed the increase, with the UAW and Toyota Motor Corp. both lobbying for the bill's passage.

To help meet the standards, automakers could draw upon loans of up to $25 billion for engineering and building vehicles with advanced technologies, although the provision was pushed more by the UAW than the companies.

The package also calls for a boost in renewable fuel output to 36 billion gallons by 2022, and requires 15% of electricity production by 2020 to come from renewable resources.

To pay for a variety of new tax credits and some $2.1 billion in lower gas taxes from the fuel economy rules, the bill would add $21 billion in new tax revenues, $13 billion of which would come from repealing a tax break for the five largest U.S. oil and gas companies.

I'm still trying to find out what states can't meet the 15% renewable energy requirement. Considering hydro electric isn't on the list, I'm guessing that is going to cause some issues. By defining "renewable" so tightly I think they have made a major issue with many states.

The ethanol requirement is just stupid. I still don't see how anyone thinks this is an advance. I've read several articles that state that the energy usage to make ethanol is nearly as high as it is to just burn the oil. Anyone who understands how a still works would understand that. Not to mention the vast quantities of water that it takes to make that much ethanol. This article quotes 15:1 ratio.
A longtime analyst of ethanol production disagreed with Martin and questioned his figures, saying it takes an average of about 15 gallons of water to produce a gallon of ethanol much higher than the roughly three gallons of water per gallon of ethanol Martin cited.
And that doesn't include the water for irrigation of corn which is the primary material used to make alcohol. Should we also point out that the vast quantities of ethanol must be trucked to refineries because pipelines for one don't exist, and two ethanol is corrosive and can't be piped in normal oil type lines?

I also enjoy the reasoning on how they are going to pay for parts of this. Not that the Oil companies won't be passing those taxes onto the consumer or anything. I don't believe oil companies should be receiving any tax breaks or subsidies at all, but trying to push the costs onto the oil companies and not expect an impact on the consumer is just pathetic.

This doesn't strike me as a "shot heard round the world." Just a shot in the dark.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

TSA - Morons Embarrassing Soldiers Now

Started at SayUncle, you can follow the links.

Appears the TSA has an issue with honor guards that have come back off the tarmack. Jerks.
Officials at Sea-Tac Airport are scrambling to find out why it happened.

Congressman Norm Dicks is working to see that it never happens again.

My commentary on how TSA screeners handled two Fort Lewis soldiers escorting the body of a combat colleague home for burial has outraged a lot of people.

Brief recap: Escorted to the tarmac where an honor guard waited, the soldiers stood at attention as the casket was placed on the plane.

A uniformed police officer then accompanied them to the screening area where their combat medals and ribbons helped set off the metal detectors.

They showed their military ID.

The police officer showed his ID.

Told to put down the American flag they were carrying, a TSA screener then had the soldiers strip to their tee shirts, pants and socks in full view of everyone in line.

More than anything else, it was that public spectacle and the soldier's humiliation that I find most disturbing, most disrespectful and most offensive.

It was the complete absence of any common sense from TSA, and the disregard shown to those men, that provoked such strong reactions.
Ok, Why are you screening people that you have already let in unscreened? If you're that clueless about security then you might as well let them leave. Anything dangerous they may have brought in isn't on them any longer, morons.

This doesn't even come down to the problems with the War on the Unexpected that Schneier writes about.
Watch how it happens. Someone sees something, so he says something. The person he says it to -- a policeman, a security guard, a flight attendant -- now faces a choice: ignore or escalate. Even though he may believe that it's a false alarm, it's not in his best interests to dismiss the threat. If he's wrong, it'll cost him his career. But if he escalates, he'll be praised for "doing his job" and the cost will be borne by others. So he escalates. And the person he escalates to also escalates, in a series of CYA decisions. And before we're done, innocent people have been arrested, airports have been evacuated, and hundreds of police hours have been wasted.
It is similar though. Instead of engaging their brains, they just fell into lock step with procedure. That is the real indicator of when a government shouldn't be involved. If you think, you're probably wrong.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Defunding the War in Iraq

Looks like the Dems have decided that inaction is the way to defund the war. They work on a bill that will require troop withdrawals irrespective of the level of success in Iraq and call the president stubborn when he declines to approve. Looks like they've found the way to push the blame on Bush while ensuring failure. Both things that will give them the biggest political clout.
With Congress back at work after a two-week recess, Mr. Bush and the Democrats spent the day lobbing verbal grenades at one another. Mr. Bush appeared in the Rose Garden to chide lawmakers for failing to finish their work, and his aides said he would do so again at a news conference on Tuesday — a rare departure for a White House that typically keeps its news conferences a secret until an hour before they occur.

“They have just two weeks to go before they leave town again,” Mr. Bush said. “That’s not really a lot of time to squeeze in nearly a year’s worth of unfinished business.”

At the Capitol, Senator Harry Reid, the Democratic leader, responded by calling Mr. Bush’s arguments “pretty weak,” and accusing the president of being intransigent. “If not for the stubborn refusal of the president and his Republican enablers to work with us,” Mr. Reid said, “we would accomplish a lot more.”
"A lot more" of failing to finish what we've started no doubt is his intent. Sadly this could end with a complete failure if the funding dries up and/or the requirement for a time table is forced. I'm uncertain why the White House isn't pushing harder on this issue. They've done it before with some success, I'd think that it wouldn't be much difference this time with more Dems seeing a more probable scenario for success with the present tactics.

NIE on Iran's Nuclear Program

Seems like most MSM pundits are saying this is proof that Iran isn't trying to make a Nuclear weapon. Funny, they keep enriching the Uranium openly, and god knows what they are doing in secret, but because the Intelligence community has some confidence that they fully stopped means there isn't a need to be concerned. Guess I wouldn't go that far.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The New Republic's Pseudo-Admission of Failure

This 15 page tirade from TNR blames essentially everyone else of doing wrong but TNR. They also insult the mil-bloggers and those bloggers who called their precious propaganda piece into question. This is amazing in that they manage to take nearly no responsibility for any of their reporting and complete failure to check any facts.
When I last spoke with Beauchamp in early November, he continued to stand by his stories. Unfortunately, the standards of this magazine require more than that. And, in light of the evidence available to us, after months of intensive re-reporting, we cannot be confident that the events in his pieces occurred in exactly the manner that he described them. Without that essential confidence, we cannot stand by these stories.
You can read it if you want, but to be honest, just skip it. I won't bother reading anything there ever again. With luck they'll dry up and blow away.