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fri 11 jul 03

+ two from sunset, storms in the distance:

sunset, santa fe, new mexico, july 11, 2003.

sunset, santa fe, new mexico, july 11, 2003.


+ reuters: tropical storm claudette (cue the everly brothers) hits mexico's cancun. winds of 55 mph ain't much. that's lower than our spring winds here in northern new mex.

+ cnn: tenet admits error. "tenet also said top administration officials - including bush and vice president dick cheney - were never briefed on the c.i.a.'s skepticism about the allegations. nor did tenet tell members of congress during briefings on iraq last fall." my italics. so they mentioned the allegations, but never qualified them? why not? good lord, this isn't kindergarten. and what about the administration presenting allegations as facts? this gets quite interesting.

later: according to what i remember, dr. el baradei of the iaea pronounced the niger documents forgeries on march 7, and nine days later vice president cheney went on 'meet the press' on march 16 to declare, "... we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons."

okay, now read representative waxman's letter to president bush, on march 17.

the new york times' kristof, on june 13, mentions, "my understanding is that while director of central intelligence george tenet may not have told mr. bush that the niger documents were forged, lower c.i.a. officials did tell both the vice president's office and national security council staff members. moreover, i hear from another source that the c.i.a.'s operations side and its counterterrorism center undertook their own investigations of the documents, poking around in italy and africa, and also concluded that they were false - a judgment that filtered to the top of the c.i.a." as stated in the article, in early march of 2002. a full year before the drums of war.

this may be a case of 'logic overcoming reality,' but i smell a rat. there was plenty of time for the cia to open their mouths, for the administration to ask the question. what in all hells is going on? this certainly sounds like a case of stuffing the goose ...


+ radio free europe: the high price of love costs afghan men. "in paktika's surmat region, 'walwar' costs between 500,000 and 1 million pakistani rupees (between $9,000 and $18,000)." phew. don't like the trade in children. but what a concept! not 'what are your intentions with my daughter?" but "whatcha got in the bank, yank?" that'd put a crimp in american teens, sure 'nuff.

+ the register: inflexible work kills creativity.

+ guardian.uk: oil shocked. oh yes, it's partly about the oil and gas, at least. good evidence of that is in this article. as i've theorized many times, low energy prices will spur us out of the deficit; bush would be foolish not to have it prominently on the radar screen.

+ yahoonews: apple fixes mac os x screen saver flaw.

+ new scientist: brain rewiring during learning boosted by drug. amphetamine *and* other props, in concert.

+ new scientist: deadly equine virus rampages across u.s. east coast.

+ of course, the crop circles in california are man-made. it's good that teens experience first-hand the effects of blind faith.

+ fashion.uk: "the army of no." leveraging the popularity of military chic, while evoking the spirit of protest. clever. they'll probably make a mint.

+ in screwing around with item-based weblogging here, i've inadvertently messed up my 'lastmod' dinkus on the top of the page. it's now working as a clock. i'll fix it when i have some time. hopefully it won't cause aggregators to reload the feed everytime they update.

+ dave rogers' sharp eyes caught a piece on the demise of the last flying world war 2 heinkel he-111. i hate it when we lose these pieces of living history. at a certain point, i guess they shouldn't be flown ... but you can gather more $$ for restoration work if you fly 'em around. in the first article about the crash, there's the old red herring ... "they didn't file a flight plan." this is what one looks like. they are, for vfr [visual flight rules], *optional.* a half-sheet of paper is *not* a cause of airplane accidents, nor is it an indication of recklessness or irresponsibility.

+ been doing some heavy uploads today, so my 'ping' couldn't get clear to weblogs.com. sorry if you were waiting. work comes first.

+ msnbc has a pretty good rundown of the various points surrounding the unravelling of the administration's 'united iraq front.' "the g.o.p. can bottle up inquiries in congress, but they can't bottle up public opinion."

later: some may also be interested in this new york times article, just for giggles: a perfect war? revisionist history, by those who prosecuted it. if this is so, where is the pre-war documentation that delineates this 'perfect' plan, and supposedly-expected outcome?


+ center for economic and policy research: bush in africa, compassionate protectionism?

+ freshmeat: amaya 8.1a.

+ guardian.uk: scientists decide to find out what's going on in the treetops.

+ cs monitor, opinion: u.s creates african enemies where none were before. and we've certainly seen the dialed-up conflict between christian and muslim groups. good article, good points.

+ miami herald: doctors shun medicare patients. "unless congress intervenes again, next year's projected 4.2 percent cut could force more doctors to shun new medicare patients."

+ neil's garage.

+ upi: less than ten percent of america's teenagers have a 'christian worldview.' i'm obviously getting a distorted perspective from local media ... i thought the percentage was significantly higher.

+ artnews online: inside iraq's national museum. i had previously mentioned an article stating that the museum was a "sniper's nest." it looks like, as you read this article, the battle for baghdad was partially prosecuted over the museum complex. i cannot fault american troops for pushing the line forward, rather than splitting off needed manpower to guard antiquities. but something should have been planned ahead of time, as in world war 2, for guarding the valuables in the aftermath. the "blame the iraqi's" line is here. but would americans pillage the smithsonian in a similar situation? of course they would. the vacuum of law and order, power and utilities, was a predictable problem america should have anticipated.

later: i fully admit i'm armchair quarterbacking here. i have no knowledge of the tactical situation for those days around the museum. but if other reports are correct, and the oil ministry deserved guards, some sort of plan must have been formulated that forgot, or overlooked, the museum and it's treasures.


+ abc news.au: marriage may tame genius. "within five years of making their nuptial vows, nearly a quarter of married scientists had made their last significant contribution to history's hall of fame."

+ chronicle of higher ed: rescuing the history of philosophy from its analytic abductors.

+ ny times: "the league of extraordinary gentlemen" gets roasted. a verdant concept suffering from dessicated execution, apparently.

+ ny times letters to the editor: throwing money at africa isn't necessarily helping.

+ ny times: war's cost begets democratic anger. forget kerry and dean, byrd's got the handle on it. note at the end of the article, the number is likely to go up ... unless the administration can convince others to participate (though why they would want to, after all the lambasting, is beyond my ken).

+ ny times op-ed: kristof, is race real? dna makes a mockery of the term.

+ ny times: data in conflict, why economists tend to weep. "wet the canvas, men ... break out the gig and towrope ... we be in the horse latitudes." or something to that effect.

+ ny times: petacchi wins sixth stage of tour de france. more at the tour weblog.

later: leave it to anil to point out the tdf weblog is powered by typepad. i keep meaning to get on the mailing list [actually, just signed up before i forgot] ... hopefully the templating system is less of a burden than other systems i've used.


+ santa fe new mexican: albuquerque-santa fe rail idea revived. on the one hand, i like the idea of getting to albuquerque sans driving. on the other, it will turn santa fe into a bedroom community for albuquerque, and we don't have the water to support that kind of growth. neither does albuquerque, really.

+ santa fe new mexican: taos fire crews make headway.

+ reuters: moby dick sighted off australia.

+ cnn: iowa seeks dismissal of lawsuit brought by individuals taught to stutter. an apology isn't enough. in this, there is a right solution, and a legal solution. i'm sorry to see iowa go for the latter.

later: a note from a stutterer, reprinted in 'stuttering, the disorder of many theories' by gerald jonas:

"i love people, anything, everybody in the world but it is a bad judgment on me that i can't get around them. the fact is, i have to do something about it ... otherwise a bullet in the head will do the thing. i have many talents. but what's the use of knowing two or three languages unless you have the chance to practice ... please help me out of this hell's torment. i can't stand it anymore. i don't want to be an outcast in society."

a bit graphic, but as a stutterer myself, i perfectly understand the nature of being cut off from communication with humankind. having fluent children taught this, is a lifelong holocaust (and i don't use that term lightly).


+ just for the record, i've switched to the mozilla thunderbird/firebird combo. having some glitches here and there, but i'm still discovering features. i've got spampal inline ahead of thunderbird, to aid in the trapping of unwanted email. [it was the spam filtering for imap that encouraged the switchover, as well as rc3's recommend.]

+ sorry, watering trees before the heat manifests. check out the dead parrot society. a group blog. or the british library's mythical quest.

+ thanks to scattered storms yesterday, it was a cool night for sleeping.