SF New Mexican:
British Muslim ‘wanted to blow up Tube train under Thames.’ “Although plans to blow up buildings in America were shelved because of the success of 9/11, they were not forgotten, the high security court heard. They included attacks on the International Monetary Fund and World Bank buildings in Washington, the New York Stock Exchange and Citigroup buildings in New York and the Prudential building in Newark.”
Valuable info from an alleged Al-Qaeda ‘sleeper cell’ trial in Britain. There are some simple steps to be taken in order to increase our safety. We already have been warned of iconic buildings and their parking garages. Propane needs to be more closely regulated at point-of-purchase and refill areas, more draconian monitoring for commercial tank variants. [Propane sales at shopping centers are woefully slack as it is ... I can’t count how many times I’ve gone to inform proprietors of the hissing of propane coming from their racks.] Fuel trucks should be monitored via satellite and other means [if Fedex can do it, so can these ever-rising-profit fuel companies]. I mean, hikers can buy personal locator beacons. The tech is there, and cheap.
For an overview of the real risk in these types of car/explosive situations, read here.
Has anyone else noticed? It seems these modern terrorists, if they choose to suicide attack the West, want it to be quick, painless ... ‘foolproof’ suicide. If their instant death isn’t guaranteed, they won’t go through with it. Not the old ‘60’s style terrorist, who’s happy to just hose down an airport waiting room with an automatic and risk death by hail of bullets. These individuals in the article, however, are proposing violence more along the lines of the McVeigh scenario; park and run like hell, to try again another day.
I’m truly surprised right-wing media and webloggers haven’t leaped upon this story. It’s nowhere to be seen, even on Fox. Too busy screaming about partisan polls, I suppose.
To Vote Or Not To Vote. Good sense is never confined to your political allies. I enjoyed this article.
This election, more than previous ones, has weighted the national effects of a local choice. This is the Republicans’ biggest problem, and why they’ve been doing such hard media sells on local issues. The Democrats have fielded a position piece on television here, staking out some high ground ... the Republicans have not. I’m assuming the Republicans don’t want to have to defend their agenda, leaving it to the individual candidate to interpret the canon to their local audience in whatever fashion they deem most palatable.
Should voters send a Republican back to Washington, when the party’s overall direction is not conservative? If you send the incumbent Republicans back, you’ll be voting for ‘stay the course’ on more than just Iraq. Worst case, it will be treated as a ‘mandate’ again ... to what purpose, I’ll leave up to your imaginations.
Expecting Losses, State G.O.P. Accuses National Party of Neglect. Correlate this to GOP behavior across the country. I believe I detect a strategy of manipulating the opposition by opposition.
Bear with me a moment as I explain my logic. Governor Richardson here in NM was opposed by Republican Dendahl; virtually *no* campaigning has been done by Dendahl. There’s a billboard down the street that says “Stop corruption now,” but there is virtually no campaign back-up media to explain that sentiment (I should be precise here ... I haven’t personally come across any. I think I’ve seen one television commercial. That’s it.). So, Richardson is all over the media, Dendahl is absent.
Now, opposing Richardson could have been done. He tips on the edge of good opinion for many I frequently speak to in these parts. There are many in the state who simply don’t like the man, based on the idea he seems too slick a politician, and he has been termed “a modern day patrón” by more than just newspaperpersons. In addition, the purchase of the state plane, his political intercontinental travels, his speeding tickets, the Vigil scandal, many things could have been used to swing the vote. Richardson has also fielded at least one really silly commercial, child’s play to lampoon. [Disclosure: I voted for Richardson. I’m just backing up my theory here.]
The important thing to note is that the GOP didn’t even try. And they certainly could have. They’re all over the Madrid/Wilson race like a duck on a junebug. You can’t escape the negative campaigning anywhere. It’s so pervasive that people in districts which are not part of the race, want to vote in it. They’ve had their political hackles raised simply by the television advertising.
Net-net, Richardson is clear to look towards 2008, by what seems to be the grace of the Republican Party. No doubt, Mrs Clinton is in similar situation, given the above article. I think that by picking their battles now, the GOP is helping ‘negotiate’ the opponents they desire in ‘08. The GOP *wants* to oppose Mrs Clinton, with a fervor that is unmatched by any addiction or greed. They slaver at the thought of the shrieking talk radio airwaves. It could be 1994 again!
Heaven forfend. If I’m right, I should buy stock in earplugs. It’s a smart opposition strategy, if that is what I’m detecting.
NY Times Middle East:
Hussein Trial Was Flawed but Reasonably Fair, and Verdict Was Justified, Legal Experts Say. I prefer the Spandau (Nuremberg) solution over hanging, but I realize Iraq is simply not stable enough to perform such a task. Better to drain the boil slowly, IMHO, than to excise it and leave scar. Making Hussein a martyr for Sunnis, at this point in time, is probably most unwise. But I’m just armchair quarterbacking ...
Bush Trumpets Iraq Verdict to Rally Support. Once again, ironic to hear the White House and its spokespersons touting the democracy and freedom-enabling benefits of a free and independent judiciary.
SF New Mexican:
U.S. ok’d for ozone-destroying pesticide. More info at EPA.gov. Wikipedia. Bad enough that it needs exemptions [not enough as-effective alternatives], but let’s make sure it’s not used on golf courses, please.
SF New Mexican:
Wilson, Madrid talk, shake hands with voters. It is ironic that the Wilson campaign has chosen to air footage of Madrid demonstrating an awkward pause during a televised debate. I estimate the pause was probably less than 1/10 of President Bush’s unsurpassable pause during the Presidential debates. If the point of the commercial is that pause is ‘risk’, then ... I would suggest Wilson exercise more of her much-touted ‘independence’ from our ‘Pauser-in-Chief’ for the remainder of her term.
SF New Mexican:
Democrats accuse Republicans of misdirecting voters, GOP fires back. That, and this, make me wonder whether the annoying phone calls I’ve been receiving were legitimate or simply campaign chicanery.
Later: NY Times, New Hampshire makes the GOP stop some automated phone calls.
Cinema’s most loathsome politicians.
We hear so much about Iraq. What of Afghanistan? They’d rather die: brief lives of the Afghan slave wives. “Under British supervision, Afghanistan has become the world’s biggest opium producer. Last year it produced 6,100 tons — 92% of world supply. Afghanistan is engulfed in its bloodiest violence for 10 years. At least 3,000 people have been killed this year — more than twice last year’s total. For all the talk of girls’ education, only 5% of those of secondary school age are enrolled. More than 300 schools have been burnt down this year or shut after threats from militants, leaving 200,000 pupils with nowhere to go.”
The Saddam verdict was completely predictable, of course. But this? War simulation in 1999 pointed out Iraq invasion problems. Done during the Clinton [purported ‘do-nothing’] years, interestingly enough. Why was it completely ignored?
NY Times Op-Ed:
The Difference Two Years Made. Hear, hear.
SF New Mexican:
On the bubble. Oh, come on. Conservatives have been more adamant in past years about paper ballots and early voting than anyone else. To complain now is hypocritical. But the time issue is valid; it takes more time to vote on paper than it does on a machine. In the small early polling joint down the way, it took me almost a half-hour ... about ten minutes more than usual (+1/3). The voting itself takes just a little more time, but I found the verification of my identity and retrieving the proper ballot form took much longer. It was faster the last time; this time, those operating the polls didn’t seem as organized. If you’re in an urban area of NM, do allow more time to vote than usual. The paper ballot is worth it. Having a receipt for your ballot, is a comforting thing.
Neo Culpa. Prominent neocons turn on Mr Bush. “I wouldn’t be surprised if what we end up drifting toward is some sort of withdrawal on some sort of timetable and leaving the place in a pretty ghastly mess.… I do think it’s going to end up encouraging various strands of Islamism, both Shia and Sunni, and probably will bring de-stabilization of some regimes of a more traditional kind, which already have their problems.… The best news is that the United States remains a healthy, vibrant, vigorous society.” The Teflon kids; very little responsibility do they accept. Everyone else’s fault. Read the entire piece.
Republicans get no traction from strong economy. “The Republicans try to say business will take care of people, but the profits are not making their way down.” Unrestrained capitalism is not your friend, in economic situations, in moral situations. Unfortunately. Corporations don’t function as individuals; they become golems, Frankensteins, interested solely in their own survival.
How do you silence the tortured? The thought that this could ever be secret, unless we practice unapologetic murder or permanent incarceration, is ridiculous. I wonder how many Edmond Dantes’ we have, innocent but witnesses to interrogation procedures, who are languishing in prisons ... simply to shut them up. When you realize the terrible retribution that Edmond wielded once freed, you’ll look askance upon this proposition.
It’s Not Unusual. Oh, but it may be. If the Democrats win the Senate, I believe it will be only the second time since 1918 where the Senate has changed hands in a second-term midterm election ... by happenstance, during another Republican second term (the first was Reagan’s). To lose the House as well, in the same second-term election ... I wonder if that might be a first? The historical precedents of chamber turnover give us three outcomes, without eliminating the never-experienced fourth option. No, I beg to differ with Mr Krauthammer this time. This one could be unusual.
Time for the ground war. Sorry, partisans, I’ve early voted ... where I fill out a paper ballot, shove it in a high-tech garbage can (OCR), and get a receipt. And a cute little sticker that says “I voted.” I notice, from the serial # on the bottom of my ballot, quite a few others also voted early. I’d recommend it ... the last time I voted on election day, we had those blasted touchy touch-screen machines.
Voters Won’t See Report on Foley Scandal. The contrast of opinions between this and the Clinton/Lewinsky episode is causing many conservatives of my acquaintance to question the GOP’s “moral superiority.”
SF New Mexican:
In N.M., Iraq and Bush are trouble for GOP congresswoman. Madrid is not a “tough opponent.” But she’s better than sending a Bush acolyte back to the Beltway.
I don’t suppose
“The first global assessment of cluster weapons, released today, estimates they have killed or wounded about 100,000 people worldwide since they entered widespread use in the 1960s – 98% of them civilians.” My italics.