Daily Archives: February 22, 2007

More on the British troop withdrawal from Iraq

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thumbnail image of Pentagon map showing Basra “not ready for transition.”
See my post from yesterday.

The Brits have really pulled back the curtain on this mess.

The LA Times has more:

Britain’s decision to pull 1,600 troops out of Iraq by spring, touted by U.S. and British leaders as a turning point in Iraqi sovereignty, was widely seen Wednesday as a telling admission that the British military could no longer sustain simultaneous wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The British military is approaching “operational failure,” former defense staff chief Charles Guthrie warned this week….

But the Pentagon, in its most recent quarterly report to Congress, listed Basra as one of five cities outside Baghdad where violence remained “significant,” and said the region was one of only two “not ready for transition” to Iraqi authorities.

Once a promising beacon, Basra suffers from sectarian violence as well as Shiite militia clashes over oil smuggling. Ferocious street battles have broken out between rival Shiite Muslim groups in provincial capitals such as Samawah, Kut and Diwaniya in the last year.

Yet Dick Cheney said:

“Well, I look at it and see it is actually an affirmation that there are parts of Iraq where things are going pretty well,” Cheney told ABC News’ Jonathan Karl.

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.).

“I think it’s Alice in Wonderland looking through the looking glass,”

But can you call this anything but baldface lying? I would submit that we cannot trust ANYTHING these people tell us.

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Filed under Bill Kristol: is he smarter than you?, Condoleezza Rice: tell me again, what is her job?, Dick Cheney: Hannibal Lector in disguise?, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Iran, Iraq, Middle East, Politics

Dell: what do you bet they won’t do ANY of the top ideas?

Dell, the computer company without any ears, finally must have hired a consultant younger than 50, who finally convinced them that their market cap fell 20% because JUST MAYBE people REALLY DON’T LIKE THEM. So they came up with this site. Ha. Like Dell would really do any of this stuff.

Maybe I’m too harsh… they did boot their CEO and Michael Dell is back in the saddle. So maybe they will shape up….. NAHHHHHHHHHH….this is the guy who said

On October 6, 1997, in response to the question of what he’d do if he was in charge of Apple Computer, Dell founder and then CEO Michael Dell stood before a crowd of several thousand IT executives and answered flippantly, “What would I do? I’d shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.”

Guess who’s bigger now, Dell or Apple?

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Filed under Apple, internet

Great Music: “Compared to What,” by Les McCann and Eddie Harris

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image of album “Swiss Movement”

“Compared to What,” written by Gene McDaniels, as recorded on the album “Swiss Movement” by Les McCann (vocal and piano) and Eddie Harris (sax), and Benny Bailey (trumpet), with Don Dean on drums and Leroy Vinnegar on bass; on Atlantic Records, “Live” at the 1969 Montreux Jazz festival.

If you don’t have this, your life is incomplete, and you better get it now, cause the Rapture can occur at any moment.

One of the verses:

President he’s got his war

Folks don’t know just what it’s for

Nobody gives us rhyme or reason

Have one doubt, they call it treason

We’re chicken-feathers, all without one nut — God damn it [serious rimshot; thank you, Don Dean.]

Tryin’ to make it real — compared to what?

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Movie Review: Ricky Bobby. You didn’t see it at the theater, but now you can also not rent the DVD.

Didn’t a lot of reasonable people say this was actually funny? “Mark it eight, Dude…?” Didn’t they say it was a clever satire instead of a witless waste of time? Where are those people now? They owe me $4.95 and an hour and a half of my life.

If you’re one of ‘em, you better make yerself scarce, you freakin jerk….get off my blog!
MARK IT ZERO !!

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Filed under entertainment, The Big Lebowski

Jimmy Carter makes a difference, for the better.

from NY Times “Select” (subscription), Nicholas Kristof’s “Let’s Start a War, One We Can Win.”

Mr. Mekonnen, who thinks he may be 78, is a patient in Mr. Carter’s war on river blindness. He is so blind that he rarely leaves the house any more, but on this occasion he staggered to the village clinic to get a treatment for the worms inside him.

His skin is mottled because the worms cause ferocious itching, especially when they become more active at night. He and other victims scratch until they are bloodied and their skin is partly worn away. Ultimately the worms travel to the eye, where they often destroy the victim’s sight.

Ethiopia has the largest proportion of blind people in the world, 1.2 percent, because of the combined effects of river blindness and trachoma. As in many African countries, the wrenching emblem of poverty is a tiny child leading a blind beggar by a stick.n the previous night, Mr. Mekonnen had slept under a mosquito net for the first time in his life, as part of a Carter initiative to wipe out malaria and elephantiasis in this region. And Mr. Mekonnen now uses an outhouse as a result of a Carter Center initiative to build 350,000 outhouses in rural Ethiopia to defeat blindness from trachoma.

Mr. Carter has almost managed to wipe out one horrific ailment — Guinea worm — and is making great strides against others, including river blindness and elephantiasis. In this area, people are taking an annual dose of a medicine called Mectizan — donated by Merck, which deserves huge credit — that prevents itching and blindness.

Mectizan also gets rid of intestinal worms, leaving Ethiopian villagers stronger and more able to work or attend school. Among adults, the deworming revives sex drive, so some people have named their children Mectizan.

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Filed under healthcare