Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Are You an Ameri-CAN or Are You an Ameri-CAN'T?

For our friends abroad, if we Americans have any left...

Dubya and Cheney want more, more more...Prissy is convinced they could regulate our lives like a prison camp of KBR, and it still would not be enough control for them.

Get to Washington this September. Call your representative and let them know you support military families opposed to the war.

Don't let this be your next bumper sticker

If you call between Sept 15th through the 29th, ask them if they have bothered to become aware that military families and veterans are currently in Washington protesting this war.

Do you love the Constitution and Declaration of Independence? The Prissy Patriot and Betty Buccaneer are calling for a new Constitutional convention. We need a few good lawyers to help! Please contact Prissy if you are interested.Email me!

National March on Congress September 29, 2007 National March on Washington - Encampment in Front of Congress

Prissy is wondering what on Earth happened to the Larry Flynt investigation. Larry hasn't given us any updates on his blog. Prissy predicts he will drop them all at once. Maybe there are more than 20 "notable names" on the list? Stay tuned...

Hot Links

BBC Outbreak source 'linked to lab' (an American owned private lab?)

But either the private company Merial, or the state-run Institute for Animal Health, both based at the Pirbright site, could be the source, they said.

The Health and Safety Executive found there was a "negligible" risk it had been spread by the wind or flooding.

But its report said the disease could have been the result of human movement or "accidental or deliberate transfer".

The National Farmers' Union has said there is "incredulity and shock" that a research facility that works to protect against disease could have been the source of the outbreak.

Remember the Anthrax attacks? Could this be another case of neocons letting Brown know who is boss? Dubya/Dick is terribly disappointed Gordon Brown won't be a good poodle, like Tony was...Prissy is telling you, put nothing past them. The fact that they may get caught or even convicted is no deterrent to these crooks...(see Libby case)

The cabal acts like they aren't being watched. Do they think they are the only ones who spy?

Did you see Rummy's testimony on C-span regarding the Pat Tillman case? The ole boy is senile, couldn't recall much, despite the initial email Rummy sent out to the DOD, when Tillman joined the Army. The email talked about what an example Tillman set, and how "we should keep an eye on him."

And sheesh, you'd think Rummy would have at least taken a shower before appearing on live television. His hair was noticeably greasy, and he probably didn't smell very good. (not that Prissy wants to get close enough say for sure)

Reuters, UK. Grow your own, Dearest Readers. U.S. issues new botulism warning for green beans

Consumers should not eat certain brands of French-cut green beans because of concerns they could be tainted with the toxin that causes botulism, U.S. health officials warned on Friday.

The green beans were manufactured by Lakeside Foods Inc. of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and packaged in 14.5-ounce cans, the Food and Drug Administration said.


BRITAIN is facing a mass exodus of people looking to escape the crime and grime of modern living.

The country’s biggest foreign visa consultancy firm has revealed that applications have soared in the last seven months by 80 per cent to almost 4,000 a week. Ten years ago the figure was just 300 a week.

Most people are relocating within the Commonwealth – in Australia, Canada and South Africa. They are almost all young professionals and skilled workers aged 20-40.

Project on Government Oversite Another Security Breach at Los Alamos

An incident involving the unauthorized release of classified data via email occurred last week at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). The incident, which has been confirmed by the Project On Government Oversight (POGO), is rated among “the most serious threats to national security.”

The incident follows the Department of Energy’s (DOE) July decision to slap the Lab with a $3.3 million fine, and to threaten the Lab with another fine if it failed to comply with security rules. The fine was levied because of the October 2006 incident in which classified information was discovered during a methamphetamine drug bust. The discovery was originally revealed by POGO. Last week’s breach follows a series of other incidents in recent months (see links below).

This most recent breach was originally rated an Impact Measurement Index-1 (IMI-1), which is the most serious level security violation. In an attempt to minimize the problem, the breach was downgraded to a less severe category of IMI-4. After another review, however, it was elevated back to IMI-1.

“LANL has been fined, lab officials have been fired, and the lab was even closed for a number of months so that it could get its act together,” said POGO Senior Investigator Peter Stockton. “It’s clear that it just can’t.”

Financial Times The US-UK relationship Q&A with John Bolton, senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and former US ambassador to the UN, in the Financial Times.

Let me turn the question, Mr Bolton: Can America have two best friends? Is the UK, in turn, America’s best friend, or is that Israel? Which of these two is America’s real best friend? Is it consistent, fair and reasonable for a country to have multiple best friends? And are the rules different for America? Karl Weibye, Edinburgh, UK

John Bolton: As writers of op-eds will tell you, we don’t write the headlines for our articles. The FT wrote ”Britain cannot have two best friends,” so you should address your question to the newspaper. ....................................................................

Considering Sarkozy’s election in France is expected to usher in a new age of French-American relations, and there is a fear of Gordon Brown distancing the UK from the US, what type of implications does this have for the US in terms of its relations with other EU members? Is it a possibility that the US could form stronger ties with France than the UK in the near future? Carl Fitz, Texas, US

John Bolton: My experience in diplomatic dealings with France over many years is that France unfailingly pursues what Paris sees as its core national interests. While such an approach has often put France at odds with the United States, it is at least straightforward and intellectually honest. I respect it.

By contrast, too often in recent years, and frequently in the United Nations, the UK position, as defined by the FCO, has been ideological rather than national, pursuing what the international High Minded set calls ”global governance.”

Independent UK Celebrity priest' in paedophilia probe

A "celebrity" priest, founder of an organisation with more than 280 drug rehabilitation centres around the world, is under investigation in central Italy for alleged paedophilia.

Don Pierino Gelmini is one of the church's best-known faces on Italian television, a close friend of top politicians including former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, a rent-a-quote figure with right-wing views on drugs and family values.

In 2004, while still Prime Minister, Mr Berlusconi made the 80-year-old priest, founder of "Comunita Incontro", a public gift of 10 billion lira (£3.5m) for the organisation's work.

But yesterday La Stampa newspaper revealed that the priest has been under investigation, on suspicion of sexually molesting young people, for more than six months. "It seems that the accusations are numerous and coherent," the paper reported. "They revolve around a closed community in which a figure of enormous charisma seems not to have restricted himself to taking care of souls."

ABC News, telling on Thompson The Fred Thompson Watergate Myth

"He gained national attention for leading the line of inquiry that revealed the audio-taping system in the White House Oval Office," his official bio says (LINK).

But the reality is far more complicated than conventional wisdom and campaign puffery would have it.

While some Democrats on the committee to this day profess respect and admiration for Thompson, he was seen as others as a "spy" for the Nixon White House -- an accusation buttressed, at least in part, by Thompson's own writings, which confirm that he tipped off the Nixon White House about internal happenings on the committee.

Moreover, new transcripts from the Nixon White House tapes reveal that the Nixon administration regarded Thompson as a useful idiot -- "dumb as hell," in President Nixon's words, but "friendly." At one point, the White House counsel told Nixon that Thompson insisted he wanted to help the president more than his patron and boss on the committee, Sen. Howard Baker, R-Tenn, would let him.

Hat tip to Valerie's hubby,BBC Losing track of guns, losing track of Iraq?

The report comes from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) which is an independent US government agency that is essentially the watchdog and investigative arm for the US Congress.

The GAO says that, of some 185,000 assault rifles and 170,000 pistols that the Pentagon says it supplied to the Iraqi security forces, it can account for less than half: there is a discrepancy of 110,000 in the case of AK-47s, and 80,000 pistols.

The gaps in the figures for body armour and helmets are even bigger - only 80,000 out of a total of 215,000 sets of body armour accounted for, and only 25,000 out of 140,000 helmets.

The report does not say it knows what has happened to the weapons - only that there are gaping holes in the records.

UK Times Outrage over betrayal of Iraqi interpreters

The 39-year-old officer, who is a director at Lazard bankers, used the interpeter as his “eyes and ears” when he was given the job of trying to restructure the economy of southern Iraq. “He was invaluable to me and took great personal risks, and these sort of people need our protection,” he said.

He fought his case and even appeared on an asylum tribunal in support of him, eventually winning the argument for him to stay in Britain.

“But it was a real struggle. The people on the tribunal didn’t seem to know what was going on in southern Iraq, they didn’t realise that Basra is now as dangerous as it is in Baghdad,” Major Alderson said.

The interpreter, “Mr Ali”, now living in Britain, told The Times: “Anyone who works for the Americans or the British in Iraq gets a visit from the militia and is told to leave the country or face assassination. I had to leave immediately and left everything behind.”

New Scientist Environment Eight-million-year-old bug is alive and growing

Whereas the young ice contained a variety of microorganisms, the researchers found only one type of bacterium in the 8-million-year-old sample. It also grew in the laboratory but much more slowly, doubling only every 70 days.

By examining the average length of DNA fragments found in all the ice samples, the researchers determined that frozen DNA is progressively degraded as time passes. Its half life is 1.1 million years – that is, after 1.1 million years half the original DNA has been degraded.

The researchers believe the DNA is degraded by cosmic rays, which are particularly strong at the poles where the Earth's magnetic field is at its weakest.

Paul Falkowski of Rutgers University, who led the study, describes the ancient bacteria as small round cells that had been in a "suspended state of animation for 8 million years". He says the increasingly rapid flow of glaciers into the ocean as a result of global warming could release new organisms into the sea but he does not believe this is cause for concern because marine bacteria and viruses are typically far less harmful to human health than, for instance, those found on land.

Salon It's easy for soldiers to score heroin in Afghanistan

Just outside the main gate to Bagram airfield, a U.S. military installation in Afghanistan, sits a series of small makeshift shops known by locals as the Bagram Bazaar. For Afghans, it is the place to buy American goods, but the stalls that make up the heart of the bazaar are also well known for what they provide American soldiers stationed at Bagram. Walking through the bazaar it takes less than 10 minutes for a vendor in his early 20s to step out and ask, "You want whiskey?" "No, heroin," I tell him. He ushers me into his store with a smile.

The shop is small, 9 feet wide by 14 feet deep, and dark. The walls at the front are lined with dusty cans of soda, padlocks and miscellaneous beauty supplies. As we enter, a teenager is visible at the back, seated in a chair next to a collection of American military knives and flashlights. The shopkeeper speaks to him in Dari. The teen stands and heads for the door, where he stops and asks my Afghan driver a question. My driver translates, "He wants to know how much you want? Twenty, 30, 50 dollars' worth?" From past experience, for I have arranged this same transaction a dozen times in a dozen different Bagram Bazaar shops, I know that the $30 bag will contain enough pure to bring hundreds of dollars on the streets of any American city. Afghanistan, after all, is the source of 90 percent of the world's heroin. I say 30 and the teen jogs off.

The true extent of the heroin problem among American soldiers now serving in Iraq and Afghanistan is unknown. At Bagram, according to a written statement provided by a spokesperson for the base, Army Maj. Chris Belcher, the "Military Police receive few reports of alcohol or drug issues." The military has statistics on how many troops failed drug tests, but the best information on long-term addiction comes from the U.S. Veterans Administration. The VA is the world's largest provider of substance abuse services, caring for more than 350,000 veterans per year, of whom about 30,000 are being treated for opiate addiction. Only preliminary information for Iraq and Afghanistan is available, however, and veterans of those conflicts are not yet showing up in the stats. According to the VA's annual "Yellowbook" report on substance abuse, during Fiscal Year 2006, fewer than 9,000 veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) sought treatment for substance abuse of all kinds at the VA; the report did not specify how many were treated for opiate abuse.

Remind Prissy again how different this war is from Vietnam...

Time Why It's Time for Maliki to Go

It's time for Nouri al-Maliki to go. In the 14 months he's been in charge, Iraq's Prime Minister has only ever had tenuous control over his country, but now even that has slipped out of his grasp. To paraphrase what everybody's history teacher used to say about Charlemagne and the Holy Roman Empire, Maliki's "national unity government" is not national, not united and now, not even really a government.

The resignations of Sunni and secular members of his cabinet only confirm what Iraqis have known for months, but the Bush Administration has steadfastly refused to acknowledge: that Maliki is himself a hindrance to national reconciliation. Even his severest critics in Washington seem to think Maliki is guilty only of incompetence — that he lacks the political skills to bring together Iraq's warring communities. But it's not that he can't reach out to the Sunnis: he just won't.

Reuters Testimony ends in Padilla's terrorism trial

Padilla is heard on only seven calls played for the jury. He did not use any coded language on the calls, the FBI's lead investigator testified, and mostly discussed issues such as the sale of a car he had left in Florida and divorce proceedings with his ex-wife.

Padilla, 36, was arrested at Chicago's O'Hare Airport in May 2002 upon returning from Egypt and was accused by the Bush administration of plotting to set off a radioactive bomb.

President George W. Bush declared him an "enemy combatant" in the war against terrorism and ordered him imprisoned by the military. Padilla was held without charge for three years and eight months before being indicted in a civilian court in November 2005 on charges that make no mention of a bomb plot.

The bomb allegations came from alleged al Qaeda operatives who claim they were tortured before being sent to the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

Padilla's constitutional rights were violated, ala Bush/Cheney rules of law (making them up as they go along)

Telegraph 'Over the top' security sees pilots revolt

Many have registered their anger on the Chirp website, the UK Confidential Human Factors Incident Reporting Programme. Although independent, it is sponsored by the Civil Aviation Authority and approved by the Department for Transport.

One pilot said: "When dealing with the police one has certain rights and a well-defined procedure if you are not treated correctly. This is not so with airport security who seem to be a law unto themselves using the knowledge that you are on a tight time schedule to ride roughshod over any rights that you might have."

Feelings are running so high that some pilots have claimed they were prepared to refuse to fly rather than run the gauntlet of what they regard as "over the top" security.

Bloomberg Former Brocade Chief Convicted in Backdating Fraud

Gregory Reyes, the former head of Brocade Communications Systems Inc., was found guilty of all charges in a trial related to the backdating of stock option grants, becoming the first chief executive convicted by a jury as part of a broad U.S. crackdown on the practice.

A jury today convicted Reyes, 44, of 10 counts including conspiracy and fraud after a five-week trial and six days of deliberations in San Francisco federal court. The former chief executive officer faces as much as 20 years in prison for the most serious charges and millions of dollars in fines. Sentencing is set for Nov. 21.

The U.S. ensnared at least 50 companies in its probe of backdating, a practice by which companies change the grant date to a day with a lower stock price, giving recipients built-in profits when they exercise their right to buy stock. Unless disclosed and recorded as an expense, the practice is illegal because it hides costs, prosecutors said during the trial.

Reyes lost a bid to have the conviction set aside when U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer, following the verdict, announced that he had decided Aug. 3 to deny an earlier defense motion to throw out the case. The judge had questioned whether prosecutors presented enough evidence that Reyes understood accounting rules.

Quotes of the Day

Humor to a man is like a feather pillow. It is filled with what is easy to get but gives great comfort.--Irish proverb

A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.--Italian proverb

"Government is not reason; it is not eloquence. It is force. And force, like fire, is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." -- George Washington

"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is argument of tyrants. It is the creed of slaves." --William Pitt in the House of Commons November 18, 1783