Daily Archives: February 21, 2007

You want a “surge” benchmark? How about GAS ATTACKS ?

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John Warner described things in Iraq as going sideways…if it were only that good…
What benchmarks do we have? 8 helicopters shot down in the past month?
But now comes the kicker: POISON GAS ATTACKS. shades of Saddam Hussein.

Insurgents exploded a truck carrying chlorine gas canisters Wednesday — the second such attack in two days —
In Baghdad, a pickup carrying chlorine gas cylinders was blown apart, killing at least five people and sending more than 55 to hospitals gasping for breath and rubbing stinging eyes, police said.

On Tuesday, a bomb planted on a chlorine tanker left more than 150 villagers stricken north of the capital. More than 60 were still under medical care on Wednesday. Chlorine causes respiratory trouble and skin irritation in low levels and possible death with heavy exposure.

We’re not winning, we’re not going sideways. We’re headed for Hell on a rocket.

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Life Cycle fitness equipment to incorporate iPods

This is big; Life Fitness is a important supplier to fitness clubs:

Wednesday, February 21, 2007 – 12:35 PM EST
Life Fitness has announced that it would deliver commercial exercise equipment to feature seamless iPod integration. This connectivity makes it possible for iPod users to plug in and charge their iPods, watch video on the equipment’s large LCD screen and control the playing of their iPod music libraries from the console. The first Life Fitness product featuring iPod integration will be demonstrated at the upcoming IHRSA Convention in San Francisco and will be available in March with the rest of the line to follow later in the year.

Next:
the iPooped, which plugs into your toilet….?

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Anything to keep the perpetual War on Terror going.

Feds lied about anti-terror stats

Federal prosecutors counted immigration violations, marriage fraud and drug trafficking among anti-terror cases in the four years after 9/11 even though no evidence linked them to terror activity, a Justice Department audit said Tuesday.

Overall, nearly all of the terrorism-related statistics on investigations, referrals and cases examined by department Inspector General Glenn A. Fine were either diminished or inflated. Only two of 26 sets of department data reported between 2001 and 2005 were accurate, the audit found.
link

For this we give up our constitutional rights, invade other countries, torture, kidnap, send our kids off to be killed or maimed, and mortgage their futures.

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Filed under Bill Kristol: is he smarter than you?, Dick Cheney: Hannibal Lector in disguise?, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Iran, Iraq, Middle East, Politics

American Birkebeiner: Friday noon: Race is on.

Birkie 2007: The Race Is ON
23K Competitive Race for Elites & Non-Competitive for Other Skiers

HAYWARD, Wis., Feb. 23, 2007 – Birkie 2007 will be a 23-kilometer competitive race for the top 200 elite men and 50 elite women and an untimed, non-competitive, ‘open-track’ event for the rest of field.

The timed race for elite Birkie skiers will launch at 10:20 a.m. at the Cable Union Airport Start Line and finish at Highway OO in Seeley with prize money awarded to the top 6 men and women.

The untimed, non-competitive, ‘open-track’ event for remaining Birkie, Kortelopet and Prince Haakon skiers will start at Cable Union Airport between 10:45 – 11:45 a.m.

An ‘open-track’ event is new to the American Birkebeiner but is common in European cross country ski races. In the Birkie ‘open track’ event, skiers can leave the start line at any time within a half-hour window for specified waves as follows:

Waves 1-3 – 10:45 a.m.
Waves 4-6 – 11:15 a.m.
Waves 7-10 and Prince Haakon skiers- 11:45 a.m.

“Skiers can show up with their friends in this window and leave together,” said Ned Zuelsdorff, Executive Director for the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation. “This is the best option given the course conditions. We think the course will hold up to a small number of competitive racers and it is adequate for thousands of skiers participating in a low-key, non-competitive, ‘open-track’ event. We will be advising caution on some downhills with the use of Ski Patrol members.”

In the ‘open-track’, non-competitive event, skiers will wear a transponder timing chip to confirm completion of their race, but no awards will be given. Credit will be given for completing the Birkie, Kortelopet and Prince Haakon. The non-competitive event will not affect wave placement, and future seeding will be based on Birkebeiner and Kortelopet times from 2004-2006.

Transponder timing chips will be handed out at Telemark Lodge on Saturday beginning at 6 a.m. Bussing to Telemark Lodge will begin at 6 a.m.

Skiers can register for Birkie 2007 through 8 p.m. this evening at the Red Arrow Room at Telemark Lodge.

Thursday evening; the weather forecast here does not predict snow for Friday:

What is the forecast?

40% chance of snow on Friday with 70% chance of additional snowfall predicted after from birkie.com:

What is the course like?

Current conditions are poor. Wednesday’s 52-degree temps, sunshine and rain created bare spots. The trail is hard-packed with icy spots.
We need 3” of new snow to have a safe course and race.
A final race decision will be announced on Friday at 9 p.m. in the lobby at Telemark Lodge and posted on the Birkie website and sent to all skiers and media.

good luck you cheeseheads.

At 5pm on Wednesday, the following was posted at the Birkie site:

Birkie Shortened to Highway OO

HAYWARD, Wis., Feb. 21, 2007 – American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation officials today determined that the American Birkebeiner 51 kilometer cross country ski race will be shortened to a 23 kilometer race with a finish at Highway OO in Seeley.

“52-degree temps and sunshine today damaged the existing base and opened fields beyond repair,” said Bill Pierce, President of the ABSF Board of Directors. “We determined it would be a better quality race to finish at OO.”

Ned Zuelsdorff, Executive Director of the ABSF, said there is a strong possibility that, if conditions do not change, there will be no classic tracks. He said other events will go on as scheduled.

Snow is being dumped onto Main Street for tomorrow’s Sons of Norway/Swiss Miss Barnebirkie, which starts on Lake Hayward and finishes on Main Street and Second. The Salomon Elite Sprints and Sunflour Citizen Sprints will also be held on Main Street on Thursday and Friday, respectively. The Prince Haakon 12K will take place at Telemark at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Worldloppet Passports will be satisfied with the 23 kilometer Birkie.

No snow is predicted until Sunday; good luck you cheeseheads….

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Must we continue to lie about Iraq, Ms. Rice?

Sec. Rice goes way over the line with her spin on the announcement of the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq:

“The British have done what is really the plan for the country as a whole, which is to transfer security responsibility to the Iraqis as the situation permits,” Rice said…

Juan Cole, however, suggests we mark it zero:

This is a rout, there should be no mistake. The fractious Shiite militias and tribes of Iraq’s South have made it impossible for the British to stay. They already left Sadr-controlled Maysan province, as well as sleepy Muthanna. They moved the British consulate to the airport because they couldn’t protect it in Basra. They are taking mortar and rocket fire at their bases every night. Raiding militia HQs has not resulted in any permanent change in the situation. Basra is dominated by 4 paramilitaries, who are fighting turf wars with one another and with the Iraqi government over oil smuggling rights.

Blair is not leaving Basra because the British mission has been accomplished. He is leaving because he has concluded that it cannot be, and that if he tries any further it will completely sink the Labor Party, perhaps for decades to come.

Of course, to be fair, Mrs. Rice is a saint compared to White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe:

“We view this as a success,” Johndroe said..

Let’s just all declare victory and come on home… who cares what you call it?

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Countdown to US attack on Iran: X minus 38 days

Yesterday, I laid out the scenario by which Bush will find an excuse to massively attack Iran. Today I will try to recapitulate and give a slightly larger view of the trees/forest.

The real goal is to lay waste the Iranian nuclear power program, but the excuse will be attacks on American servicepeople:

BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner says the trigger for such an attack reportedly includes any confirmation that Iran was developing a nuclear weapon – which it denies. Alternatively, our correspondent adds, a high-casualty attack on US forces in neighbouring Iraq could also trigger a bombing campaign if it were traced directly back to Tehran.

Obviously Iran is not going to have any nuclear weapons within at least 5 years, so the pretense will be related to the second alternative. Yesterday I cited the preliminary groundwork laid by Bush for “attacks” on our forces on land, sea or in the air. Bush will cite United Nations Resolution 1737 as an excuse for blockade/incursion/provocation, and, when some sort of “collision” occurs, he will cite the UN charter provision justifying war for purposes of self defense; it is important to recognize that self defense is not confined to defense of country; defense of “forces” is also recognized as a legitimate excuse for war.

Unlike the situation surrounding the invasion of Iraq in 2003, Bush is not saying that the conditions for war are presently satisfied. This is an important distinction, and it has it roots in the loss of credibility suffered by Bush when his “causes for war” in Iraq, as delivered in speechs in Cincinnati, the UN and Washington, were revealed to be false. This time around, Bush will not rely on intelligence or speeches which no one would believe. That is why, for example, the presentation in Baghdad of explosive devices supposedly originating in Iran, was done anonymously: it was only groundwork, not a casus belli. The precipitating cause for the attack, as I suggested yesterday, will be an episode that could pass, for at least a few hours, as an attack on at least a dozen or so US servicepeople: Army, Marines, Navy or Air Force. Then it will be miitary commanders on the scene, previously given the authority by Bush, the cowardly cowboy president, to “shoot first, and ask questions later.” I would suggest that one simple way to accomplish this will be to order US naval vessels to steam about in Iranian waters until one collides with a mine. Bush will shrug his shoulders and say something like “the generals had the authority to protect our troops,” as if he had nothing to do with it.

In a subsequent post, I will show the US’ unprecedented ability to inflict damage on Iran within a very short time frame, with the forces and technology which have been and will be assembled.

The announcement that the Brits are starting to pull out their troops underlines the cause for an attack within the next few weeks: Tony Blair is stepping down this summer, and there will be much less complicity/cover from the Brits when he does. In fact, a survey of members of parliament suggests that his government may fall if he cooperates with a massive US attack on Iran.

The attack will not occur BEFORE the naval and air power is all in place. It is safe to say that the minimalist approach of Donald Rumsfeld has been thoroughly discredited, and we are back to the Colin Powell concept of how to fight a war: overwhelming force. The task will be a daunting one: to prevent the sinking of even ONE large ship/oil tanker in the Straits of Hormuz, where it could block oil shipments, send the price of oil (and gasoline) through the roof, and trigger massive protests, even impeachment, in the US.

It is notable that we do not know where some of our most powerful ships (e. g. the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise and its strike force) are presently located. For others, like the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan and its strike force, we know their location, but not their destination. There are at least 30 US naval vessels in the Gulf now that we know of, and more are nearby in the Arabian Sea.

This combined force will certainly be the most powerful naval armada in history. More on that subject on another day.

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Fitzgerald closes Libby summation with lines from “A Few Good Men.”

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Image of Patrick J. Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald didn’t do this by accident.

JESSEP
You want answers?

KAFFEE
I think I’m entitled to them.

JESSEP
You want answers?!

KAFFEE
I want the truth.
–A Few Good Men

FITZ
Don’t you think the American people are entitled to answers?…. Don’t you think FBI deserves straight answers? ..He stole the truth of the judicial system. You return guilty, you give the truth back.
–Summation, Scooter Libby trial

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Losing Iraq? hell, Bush is losing the whole Middle East

Even our “friends” hate Bush: The polling was done last year by Zogby International in six countries that are usually regarded as pro-American: Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

In these six “friendly” countries, only 12 percent of those surveyed expressed favorable attitudes toward the United States. America’s leaders have surpassed Israel’s as objects of anger. Asked which foreign leader they disliked most, 38 percent named George Bush; Ariel Sharon was a distant second at 11 percent; and Ehud Olmert was third with 7 percent (!!!).

The poll data show a deep suspicion of American motives: 65 percent of those surveyed said they didn’t think democracy was a real U.S. objective in the Middle East. Asked to name two countries that had the most freedom and democracy, only 14 percent said America, putting it far behind France and Germany. And remember, folks, this is coming from our friends.

Let’s add two and two, and try to come up with four:

North Africa Feared as Staging Ground for Terror
Counterterrorism officials on three continents say the trouble in Tunisia is the latest evidence that a brutal Algerian group with a long history of violence is acting on its promise: to organize extremists across North Africa and join the remnants of Al Qaeda into a new international force for jihad.

Can we put some adults in charge, please?

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Why John Negroponte is no longer Director of Intelligence

Because he wrote this directive:
Intelligence Community Directive #200:

1. Analysis must be objective and independent of political considerations.

Negroponte is lucky Vice President Shooter wasn’t carrying his shotgun when he read that.

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Tuesdays at the Rapture: this week it’s all about North Korea

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halitosis cartoon

The Rapture Index fell by THREE points this week, the biggest fall I’ve seen in a single week; for unrepentent sinners like me, that’s good news. Although we are still in “fasten your seatbelts” territory. Of course, I only have my seatbelt on when I’m in my car. Is that okay?

Nuclear nations (category 26) slid by 2 points to 3, on news of the agreement with North Korea, and Arms Proliferation (category 28) declined by 1 on the same news.

Category of the week: #26 Nuclear Nations:

(Rev.9:18) The use of nuclear armament during the tribulation will
kill over 1/3 of the human population. Only in our time –with the
nuclear arsenals– does it seem possible this could happen.

Now, I don’t exactly know what the tribulation is….thought it was the name of a newspaper, but I guess not. But I did Google Rev. 9:18, and I’m feeling like somebody’s yanking my chain:

By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.

Somebody’s makin shit up; this doesn’t say anything about nuclear weapons…why did somebody make up this stuff about nuclear weapons? C’mon, don’t be messin with the Bible.

Almost forgot: the key categories of Liberalism (Democrats control the US Congress) and Satanism (Satanic Attacks on Farm Animals) remained constant.

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