Chris's Rants

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

What a maroon

Wonkette - Bush Vocabulary Watch
An anonymous source tips us that "dissemble," the word that President Bush nearly nailed on his first try during today's presser, was Dictionary.com's "Word of the Day" yesterday.
Okay, so it was Wonkette and I thought it was just a joke, because after all, Doofus did mispronounce "dissemble" as "disassemble" today during his press conference. Checking though, "dissemble" was yesterday's WOTD. OMG! What a maroon. (For those of you who did not grow up with Bugs Bunny, that was his malapropism for "moron"). This is the leader of the free world; an ignoramous who can't even get the WOTD right at a press conference.

I wonder if possibly the WOTD is finding its way into other Bushisms.
  1. palindrome -- Bush: "I don't get it."
  2. supplicate -- snicker... yeah, right. Maybe only in the context of say a few Congress-critters supplicating themselves to the DoJ.
  3. labile -- Bush to aide: "Call those folk at dictionary.com and tell them to change the wotd for today; that word isn't in my vocabulary." Aide: "Erm, sir, that's the whole point."
  4. traduce -- Bush to McClellan: "Let's really traduce Newsweek on this Koran-flushing story." McClellan: "Huh?"
  5. claque -- Bush to Rove: "The people at my 'Townhall Meeting's on Social Security seem to be a claque." Rove: "No shit, Sherlock."
  6. frisson -- Bush to Laura ...
  7. extempore -- Bush to Rove: "I don't need that stinkin' wire this time, it itches. I'm gonna give my press conference extempore." Rove: "Not on my watch."
  8. cosset -- Bush to Barney: "C'mere boy, I'm gonna cosset you." Barney: "Arf!"
  9. aver -- Bush to Laura after Cessna attack: "I aver to you, sweetums, the Secret Service dudes never told me you were in danger!"
  10. wayworn -- Bush to press on Air Force One returning from Europe: "I'm so wayworn from this trip."
  11. ameliorate -- Bush to Rove: "We need to ameliorate my poll numbers".
  12. concomitant -- Bush to PM of Latvia: "I'd like to introduce you to my comcomitant, Laura."
  13. triskaidekaphobia -- Bush: "Triska-wha?"
  14. indolent -- Bush: "Those damn senators are really indolent. They never give my nominees an up-or-down vote."
  15. lenity -- Bush: "Lenity, I tell ya, that's why those damn Democrats are getting so uppity. We're too lenity." Aide: "Ah, sir, that's lenient."
  16. camarilla -- Bush to cabinet: "I appreciate you all coming here today. I consider you my camarilla."
  17. ablution -- Bush to Laura: "I'm coming! I need to finish my ablution."
  18. untoward -- Bush: "I don't like the untoward signs from the senate on this Bolton nomination."
  19. menagerie -- Bush: "Menage-a-trois?"
  20. presage -- Bush to Sec'y Snow: "Have those damn social security actuaries presage me some better numbers! The people aren't buying my privatization plan."
  21. abnegate -- Bush to Cheney: "With this nuculer option, aren't we abnegating the Republican's right to filibuster when we're in the minority?" Cheney: "OMG, you put the wotd correctly in context!"
  22. faction -- Bush: "Those damn 14 Senators are a faction that needs to be stopped!"
  23. pallor -- Bush to Frist: "What's with the pallor? You don't look good." Frist: "I miscounted the votes on the Bolton cloture motion. They've got a filibuster!"
  24. suffuse -- Bush: "I want to see democracy suffuse throught all the countries of the world."
  25. artifice -- Bush to Rummy: "We need some artifice to beat these insurgent terrorists!"
  26. saturnine -- Bush: "I'm so saturnine over the loss of the nuculer option."
  27. lionize -- Bush to Rove: "When my term is over, they're gonna loinize me."
  28. finical -- Bush to Laura: "Barney is sure acting finical lately. He won't eat his kibble."
  29. pliant -- Bush to advisors: "We need to find a pliant replacement for Rehnquist. What about Justice Thomas?"
I left the last two off because Wonkette did such a masterful job of covering them.

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Deficit Spending?

Peter Baker and Jim VandeHei report in today's WaPo: Bush's Political Capital Spent, Voices in Both Parties Suggest. Well, duh. Of course, this won't be an impediment to Dubya who will just ask congress for a suplimental.

Drip, drip...

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Your Geek Profile

Okay, this one was pretty lame, but FWIW, here's my Geek Profile. Note that I would consider myself to be of the highest caliber sci-fi geeks as I consume most of the serious sci-fi novels (except for the inane Star Trek series, although I was always a big fan of Star Trek, the original TV series).









Your Geek Profile:



Internet Geekiness: Highest

Academic Geekiness: Moderate

Fashion Geekiness: Moderate

General Geekiness: Moderate

Music Geekiness: Moderate

Movie Geekiness: Low

SciFi Geekiness: Low

Gamer Geekiness: None

Geekiness in Love: None

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The 'I' word

The memo that wouldn't die. Today's Boston Globe today's op-ed piece by Ralph Nader:
If this is answered affirmatively Bush and Cheney have committed 'high crimes and misdemeanors.' It is time for Congress to investigate the illegal Iraq war as we move toward the third year of the endless quagmire that many security experts believe jeopardizes US safety by recruiting and training more terrorists. A Resolution of Impeachment would be a first step. Based on the mountains of fabrications, deceptions, and lies, it is time to debate the 'I' word.
Indeed. With the news today that "deep throat" has revealed himself to be W. Mark Felt, the 2nd in command at the FBI at the time of Watergate, one wonders who will be Bush's "deep throat"? Certainly, there has been an increasing trickle of leaks from across the pond that continue to reinforce the fact that the invasion of Iraq constituted a war of aggression, and was hence illegal. Yet, the press here in the states continues to reefer any coverage, if they cover the story at all. They have been compromised.

I'm glad to see someone with the courage to state the obvious, even if it is Nader. Maybe he (finally) has some guilt over his ill-conceived run for president in 2000 and 2004.

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Which OS Are You?

(Via Geoff)

You are OS X. You tend to be fashionable and clever despite being a bit transparent.  Now that you've reached some stability you're expecting greater popularity.

Which OS are You?

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He is, quite simply, a liar.

Here's What's Left: A liar and a coward (emphasis mine):
This is outrageous. The Vice President of the United States saying on national television that allegations of mistreatment at Guantanamo Bay are false. They are are not. He is, quite simply, a liar.

Indeed, Amnesty International's report contains numerous allegations by prisoners at Guantanamo Bay (scroll down to section 12 for starters), and I suppose, if, like the Vice President of the United States, you're not inclined to trust brown people, you might not believe a word of what any of the large number of them said. Surely, though, you would be less inclined to disbelieve your own Federal Bureau of Investigation:

[...]

The Vice President says that he doesn't take Amensty International seriously. Well, it's hard to take the Vice President seriously if he is so willing to lie about undisputed facts.
Frankly, I think that we need to take this creep quite seriously. This mendacious puppetmaster has done more damage to the U.S. than al Qaeda ever dreamed of doing.

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Monday, May 30, 2005

Memorial Day

For our troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan: Goodnight Saigon. Seems fitting.

1 Comments:

  • Sadly Goodnight Saigon is not currently available through the Canadian itunes store, somehow that too is fitting.

    By Blogger Tom, at May 31, 2005 10:31 AM  

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Priceless!

The Case of Pablo Paredes:
And then the judge said, "I believe the government has just successfully proved that any seaman recruit has reasonable cause to believe that the wars in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq were illegal."
OMG! Read the whole thing.

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Sunday, May 29, 2005

Drip, drip...

The Sunday Times - Times Online (UK) reports:
THE RAF and US aircraft doubled the rate at which they were dropping bombs on Iraq in 2002 in an attempt to provoke Saddam Hussein into giving the allies an excuse for war, new evidence has shown.

The attacks were intensified from May, six months before the United Nations resolution that Tony Blair and Lord Goldsmith, the attorney-general, argued gave the coalition the legal basis for war. By the end of August the raids had become a full air offensive.

[...]

The Ministry of Defence figures, provided in response to a question from Sir Menzies Campbell, the Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman, show that despite the lack of an Iraqi reaction, the air war began anyway in September with a 100-plane raid.

The systematic targeting of Iraqi air defences appears to contradict Foreign Office legal guidance appended to the leaked briefing paper which said that the allied aircraft were only “entitled to use force in self-defence where such a use of force is a necessary and proportionate response to actual or imminent attack from Iraqi ground systems”.
This ought to get interesting.

<aside>BTW, since when did the definition of "use of military force" not include routine bombing?</aside>

So, now it appears even more clear that the war criminals didn't bother to wait for congressional authorization.

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Saturday, May 28, 2005

Where's George?

The NYT reports: Reports of Mishandling Koran Bring Protest Worldwide.

Gee, I guess that it must all be Newsweek's fault. Not!

Why hasn't the president publicly apologized to the Muslim community, now that it is clear that the Pentagon had known about allegations of Koran abuse? Why hasn't Larry DiRita submitted his resignation for lying now that it is clear that the Pentagon did know about allegations of abuse? Why hasn't Donald Rumsfeld both apologized and resigned. After all, this happened on his watch. Is no one in this administration going to take responsibility... for anything?

The administration and the rightwing whirlitzer was quick to blame Newsweek for the uprisings and resultant deaths in Afghanistan and Pakistan last week. Now, there are protests throughout the Muslim world not because of Newsweek's shoddy reporting, but based on released Pentagon reports that affirm that, indeed, there had been credible allegations of Koran abuse, and that there had even been at least one case where the perpetrator had been punished. Who are we to blame for these protests now? The NYT for reporting the truth?

At the very least, Dubya should be making a public statement of apology to Muslims everywhere for any indiscretion, any abuse of the Koran that has occurred on his watch. He should assign an independent counsel to investigate, Rumsfeld should resign immediately, and as Friedman suggested yesterday, we should just shut it down.
Guantanamo Bay is becoming the anti-Statue of Liberty. If we have a case to be made against any of the 500 or so inmates still in Guantanamo, then it is high time we put them on trial, convict as many possible (which will not be easy because of bungled interrogations) and then simply let the rest go home or to a third country. Sure, a few may come back to haunt us. But at least they won't be able to take advantage of Guantanamo as an engine of recruitment to enlist thousands more. I would rather have a few more bad guys roaming the world than a whole new generation.
Of course, the SCOTUS has already directed the administration to put up or shut up and try the prisoners at Gitmo already, but the war criminals in the administration don't seem to think that means anything.

Fifty one members of Congress have signed a letter to the AG asking him to appoint a special counsel to:
investigate whether high-ranking officials within the Bush Administration violated the War Crimes Act, 18 U.S.C. 2441, or the Anti-Torture Act, 18 U.S.C. 2340 by allowing the use of torture techniques banned by domestic and international law at recognized and secret detention sites in Iraq, Afghanistan Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere.
Yet, the administration has not seen fit to respond. If the senior members of the administration are innocent of any wrong-doing, then they have nothing to fear from such an investigation.

These people make me sick.

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Reward failure?

The NYT leads today with: Month of Talks Fails to Bolster Nuclear Treaty. This headline fails to capture the reality. The NPT talks have ended in failure. Period. Here's the real story (emphasis mine):
The conference, which takes place every five years, had once been seen as a chance to deal with gaping loopholes in the treaty that have allowed a resurgence in the spread of nuclear weapons.

But in the months leading up to the meeting, it became clear that little progress was likely, and in the end the bickering between the United States, which wanted to focus on North Korea and Iran, and countries demanding that Washington shrink its own arsenals, ran so deep that no real negotiations over how to stem proliferation ever took place.

The gulf was so wide that the chairman, Sergio Duarte of Brazil, mused Friday on the question of whether the main treaty to limit the spread of nuclear arms, signed in 1970, was actually further weakened by the session. Asked what the fundamental cause of the failure was, he said, "I think you can write several books on that."

Though President Bush has repeatedly declared that nuclear proliferation, including the risk of terrorists' obtaining a nuclear weapon, is the biggest single threat to the United States, the administration decided against sending Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to the conference, leaving arguments to midlevel diplomats. The 150 or so nations at the conference spent several weeks just arguing about the agenda.
Let's be frank about this. Responsibility for preparing for the quinquennial NPT talks was John Bolton's job. Yet, he was too busy kissing Cheney's ass for the U.N. Ambassador position to bother with something as inconsequential as these talks. John Bolton is as responsible for leaving the talks to the mid-level diplomats and Condi is responsible for not cleaning up the mess that Bolton left in his wake. Yet, the Administration continues to insist that Bolton is "the right man for the job". Right. Someone who has publically expressed utter contempt for the institution, who has repeatedly screwed up on North Korea, Iran and now the NPT talks. He's the "right man" for the critically important position of Ambassador to the U.N.

Huh.

The L.A. Times story makes an important point:
Critics pointed out that during the monthlong conference, the White House asked Congress to fund research on a nuclear "bunker-buster" bomb that could destroy buried weapons stockpiles — a move contrary to the treaty's intentions.
The administration, while criminal, is not stupid. They knew that sending this legislation to the Hill coincident with the NPT talks would serve to highlight their utter disregard for the treaty's provisions agreed under the Clinton administration. This was intentional.

What have we so far? The Preznit says that nuclear proliferation is the biggest single threat to the United States. However, the administrations actions seem to fly in the face of that statement. The administration did not want these talks to be successful. There is simply no other way to assemble all the evidence without your head exploding.

Let's continue. The WaPo reports that two analysts responsible for the debunked intellegence that the aluminium tubes purchased by Iraq constituted clear evidence that Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear program are reported to have received job performance awards (one infers bonuses) for each of the past three years. Why? They were clearly responsible for botched intellegence that was debunked in less than 24 hours by the U.N. and external experts. Yet, the same intellegence was used repeatedly by Condi, Cheney and Bush to hammer home the false claim that if we did not go to war with Iraq, that we would be witness to a mushroom cloud over Manhattan.

So, what conclusions are we to draw from this repeated pattern of rewarding failure? Afterall, these are not isolated instances. Consider Rumsfeld, Tenet, Wolfowitz, Condi, Snow, Gonzales... the list goes on and on. All of them have f***ed up bigtime, yet have been rewarded with more prestigious jobs, medals, or encouraged to remain at their posts to "keep up the good work". I think that there can be no question but that these are not failures, but successes in the eyes of the administration.

That should be troubling to anyone not in a persistent vegetative state.

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Friday, May 27, 2005

The Worst and the Dumbest

Jim Lampley is fast becoming my favorite political blogger, and he's a sports caster!

Today's missive is spot-on.
In the process of helping my sixteen-year-old with a term paper last week, I had occasion to re-read David Halberstam's The Best and The Brightest and Neil Sheehan's A Bright Shining Lie. It was striking to recall how once the Pentagon was in control of all communication out of Saigon, beginning in earnest about 1964, government accounts of the war employed no political or social context to help establish what was really going on in Vietnam. The military perspective was that the South Vietnamese were being threatened by Communism, and ought to be just as fearful of that as we were on their behalf, and by God, as soon as they would simply learn to stand up and fight for themselves the right way this thing would be handled. For Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, Commanding General William Westmoreland and their support staffs, the politics of anti-Communism were unequivocal, irreversible and blinding. The South Vietnamese in general, the Army of Vietnam in particular, shared little of their true believer conviction, and that in the end was decisive.
Read the whole post.

It is fascinating that the situation in Iraq is resembling Vietnam more and more as each day passes, and yet, the American public has yet to connect the dots. You could do a find/replace of Vietnam/Iraq and "Robert McNamara"/"Donald Rumsfeld", and Saigon/Baghdad and the statements above about could just as easily have been about today's news.

I've written about the parallels before:
What really bothers me is that those who refute the comparison with Vietnam by asserting that "we aren't seeing the levels of casualties we did in Vietnam" seem to forget that Vietnam lasted for over ten friggin' years! In the first 5 years, there were a total of 1,864 killed in action with 7,337 wounded. In Iraq, we're nearly at that level after only two years, and thanks to modern medicine and protective body armor, the rate at which our troops are being wounded rather than killed is actually much higher.
In fact, if you add in the total of coalition partner deaths in Iraq, we're at 1,834 today. Only 30 shy of where we were after 5 years in Vietnam.

Now, the Pentagon is admitting that we may be stuck in Iraq for "many years". You'd think that the Pentagon would have learned its lesson in Vietnam. In fact, they had, yet the neo-cons flipped off all of the sensible Generals who said we needed more troops, they ignored Powell's admonitions against going to war, and then they tossed the post-war planning from the State Department in the dumpster because they thought they knew better. They were the true believers.

Many are claiming that we can't leave now, we're too committed. I say, bullsh*t. We should just get out, now. Give the money allocated to killing people in Iraq (culture of life my ass) for the next year to the U.N. and have them oversee any restoration. The Iraqi people are not cave-dwellers. We may have bombed them back to the stone age, but they have the skills and the education necessary to rebuild the mess we have created.

As long as we remain, we are not helping, we are only making things worse. Sure, there's sectarian fighting between the Shi'a and Sunni extremists. However, as long as we remain, those in power, and those few, untrained Iraqi troops will cede the responsibility to the U.S..

My head hurts every time I hear Doofus, or his mouthpiece McClellan, tell reporters that "we're making progress" in response to reporters pointing out that the death toll is mounting ever more rapidly. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is getting worse by the day. Even some of the military leaders are questioning our ability to win this war. The worst part is that this had nothing to do with the GWOT until we invaded Iraq.

Of course, we don't get a sense for just how bad things are because there are precious few reporters left in Iraq and what few there are are hunkered down in the "Green Zone". The Cable News (if you could call it that) has become the propaganda arm of the administration. Even their reporters are identifying with the administration/republicans. Fair and balanced, what a crock of sh*t. Don't expect to learn any bad news about Dear Leader or Iraq from them.

The sad thing is that today, Congress voted on an amendment that you probably won't hear about on CNN or Faux. The amendment was to the bill for the Pentagon's $441B funding for next year (which of course omits the funding that will be needed to prosecute the war in Iraq and Afghanistan because the administration likes to cook the books), and sought to have the Pentagon and White House produce an exit strategy post haste. The vote did not pass. I am a bit surprised that many Democrats voted against the amendment, but then again, Congress is in the bag. A rubber stamp for the war criminals in the White House at least until 2006.

I guess the only good news is that the administrations web of deceit is unravelling. Larry DiRita has been caught in an outright lie about the allegations of Koran abuse at Gitmo. The Downing Street Memo won't go away. Their nominee for U.N. Ambassador has been less-than-truthful with the Senate Foreign Relations committee... the list goes on and on. All the while, Douchebag's approval numbers continue their inexorable nosedive. I guess you can fool some of the people, some of the time but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.

Maybe America is finally awakening from its narcolepsy since 9/11 and realizing that the emperor has no clothes.

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Ouch, that's gonna leave a scar

The LA Times has a scathing editorial today entitled - The Frist Problem (emphasis mine):
It has been a particularly bad week for Frist. It started when he was outmaneuvered by Senate moderates in his effort to ram through the 'nuclear option' and ban judicial filibusters. As this page has noted, Frist was right to try to get rid of the filibuster. But the defection of seven members of his own party, who joined with seven Democrats to reach a compromise on judicial nominations and leave the filibuster intact, didn't reflect well on his leadership skills.

That battle lost, Frist moved on to another defeat, on a bill that would ease restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. The bill passed in the House on Tuesday and seems to have a veto-proof majority in the Senate. But Frist is not part of it; he seems to have put his medical knowledge into something like a cryogenic chamber as he ponders whether he's presidential material. And then on Thursday, Frist stood by as Democrats forced a delay in the confirmation of John Bolton, the president's combative nominee for U.N. ambassador.

Frist may be bringing trouble on himself by trying to satisfy the exorbitant demands of his party's far-right wing, which, like the old Soviet Union, views one concession simply as an occasion to ask for another. Before Frist truckles any further to the conservative base, he would do well to remember that the Hippocratic oath should apply to the Senate as well: First do no harm.

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Pacman Ghost

(Via Paul) And no, I didn't cheat either.


What Video Game Character Are You? I am a Pacman Ghost.I am a Pacman Ghost.


I like to hang around with friends, chatting, dancing, all that sort of thing. We don't appreciate outsiders, and do our best to discourage others approaching us. I enjoy occasionally wandering around randomly, and often find that when I do so, I get to where I wanted to be. What Video Game Character Are You?

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Tilting?

Jim VanDenHei writes in today's WaPo - GOP Tilting Balance Of Power to the Right:
"Every president grabs for more power. What's different it seems to me is the acquiescence of Congress," said former representative Mickey Edwards (R-Okla.), a government scholar at the Aspen Institute.
Frickin' liberal, bad-mouthing the president... oh, wait... he's a Republican. It continues:
"Anybody with a brain knew once Republicans got their hand on the wheels . . . there was going to be punishment" because they felt silenced and slighted when Democrats were in control, said former senator Alan K. Simpson (R-Wyo.). "It's unfortunate."
Yep, that is once fierce partisan Alan Simpson of Wyoming, a staunch Republican, not some fairy-loving, baby-killing liberal do-gooder. But wait, there's more:
"I would remind my friends that you may one day be in the minority and you won't want to be [run] roughshod over," said former minority leader Robert H. Michel (R-Ill.), who served in the House for 38 years, 14 as leader.
Again, not some anti-military, flower-power liberal, the former minority leader of the House, basically saying to Delay, Frist and Cheney, "be careful what you ask for, you just might get it".

However, tucked neatly away towards the end of the article is this little tid-bit that deserves a headline of its own.
Judiciary Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.) has been assigned by GOP leaders to look for new ways to provide oversight of the federal courts and tougher discipline for judges. In a recent interview he said some judges have "deliberately decided to be in the face of the president and Congress." Senate Republicans are weighing legislation to limit court authority, as well.
OMG! Look for new ways to provide "oversight" and "tougher discipline" for judges? Ahem, Mr Bugman, the judiciary is an independent branch of government. Be. Very. Afraid.

Can you say over-reach? Thankfully, the polls suggest that the American people are not as stupid as the Rethuglicans think they are, and they are fed up with the pukes that they voted into office. The Cretin from Crawford is pulling a whopping 43% approval rating with well over 50% disapproval. Down to 30% of those brain-washed souls who approve of Dubya's handling of Social Security versus 58% who disapprove. (Karl must be finding it increasingly difficult to seat a full audience of ass-kissers for Bush's "Town Hall" meetings). Congress is polling at some of the lowest levels in history, and a significant plurality would rather see Congress run by the Dems than the Rethuglicans. Bush is about to seal the deal for the Dems in 2006. Catering to the foaming-at-the-mouth evangelical fringe, he plans on vetoing the Stem Cell Research bill that just passed the House by a wide margin (although seemingly not wide enough to overturn a veto) and is likely to easily pass in the Senate... a bill that has over 60% support of Americans. Yep, Dubya sure does share our values... not! Only 34% of Americans say that Bush shares their values. Whoa. That is not good.

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Thursday, May 26, 2005

Climb every mountain?

I finally got around to reading the paper on Alpine, "Rethinking the Java SOAP Stack", by Steve Loughran and Edmund Smith of HP Labs.

It offers a rather scathing critique of JAX-RPC and JAX-M with regards their suitability as programming models for Web services. I happen to agree with much of their critique.

From the abstract:
This paper examines the current SOAP APIs in Java, and in particular the Java API for XML-based RPC, commonly known as JAX-RPC, which is effectively the standard API for SOAP on the Java platform. We claim that JAX-RPC, and indeed any SOAP API that relies upon a perfect twoway mapping between XML data and native language objects is fundamentally flawed. Furthermore, we claim that the attempt JAX-RPC makes to extend the remote method invocation metaphor to SOAP services is counterproductive.

We base our argument both upon experience with JAX-RPC and SOAP, and upon experience of previous distributed computing technologies. We argue that JAX-RPC is not capable of delivering on the SOAP design goals, but conclude by suggesting an alternate system, Alpine, which is free from many known flaws of existing systems, and should prove better able to deliver upon the promise of SOAP.
The authors propose development of a new SOAP stack, one that avoids the mistakes made in the development of the JAX-RPC and JAX-M APIs that has the following design goals:
  1. Stay in the XML space as much as possible.
  2. Take advantage of as much leading edge infrastructure
    as we can.
  3. Adopt the the handler chain pattern of Axis/JAX-RPC.
  4. Target SOAP 1.2 (POST) only, WS-I Basic Profile 1.1
  5. Document/literal mssages only, not RPC/encoded.
  6. Support XSD and Relax NG schemas.
  7. Run server-side, client-side, and as an intermediary.
  8. No support for JAX-RPC or JAX-M/SAAJ APIs.
  9. Configurable procedurally, through the Java Management
    API (JMX).
  10. Permit dynamic handler chain configuration during message
    processing.
  11. One supported parser.
  12. Run on Java 1.5 and later.
  13. No provision of side features such as a built in HTTP
    server, or a declarative configuration mechanism. These
    are delegated to other products.
They conclude the design goals section with:
We believe the core of this design is likely to resemble
JAX-M/SAAJ in in terms of classes, integrated with a handler
chain based on the JAX-RPC/Axis model.
This is about right, although I do have a few nits to pick with their choices of design goals.
  • Targetting only SOAP1.2 may be a mistake, as most SOAP stacks support SOAP1.1, not SOAP1.2. This state of affairs is likely to remain the case until WSDL2.0 is completed and vendors start to fold the two into their products. Fortunately, the differences between SOAP1.1 (as profiled by the WS-I Basic Profile) and SOAP1.2 are nearly inconsequential. It should be a trivial matter to support both.
  • Support for only the HTTP POST binding is a mistake, IMO. I would dearly like to see support for the HTTP GET binding as defined for SOAP1.2 as I think that that opens up a wealth of potential. Furthermore, I would like to see support not only for HTTP GET retrieving SOAP, but also for HTTP GET and POST that return POX (plain old XML) ala XMLHttpRequest.
  • I'm curious as to how they reconcile support for both XSD and RelaxNG with the other design goal that they will support a single parser. Frankly, I am not sure that I understand where they are coming from here. Maybe they have in mind use of Sun's MSV to translate XSD into RelaxNG?
  • Finally, what about support for MTOM/XOP and/or SwA? I would think it a mistake not to provide support for attachments. Since both are MIME-based, it should be fairly straight forward to support both. MTOM/XOP support could be effected via a handler. Other attachments support could be effected via a URI resolver that was aware of the MIME package.
Overall though, I think that this project will be very interesting to follow.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Are You Experienced?

Paul Downey has an exellent post on the upcoming W3C XML Schema User Experiences Workshop.

Noah and I have been noodling on IBM's position paper as well, and I certainly look forward to the workshop with equal enthusiasm!

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And in the end

Ted Neward:
And in the end, isn't that what we're supposed to be doing?
Yep, pretty much.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2005

SquarePeg RoundHole

XML databinding is evil.

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Whither common sense?

The BBC reports: Two hurt in mock light sabre duel. I think that this just demonstrates that common sense is becoming a scarce commodity.

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A Call to (Considered) Action

This paper describes the probability that 2004MN4 will impact earth in 2036 (not 2029 as previously suspected) as about the same as the probability that an individual will be involved in a car accident in the U.S. on any given day. It asks Congress to assign some responsibility (given this administrations lack of accountability on just about everything, that's a stretch) to mount a possible deflection missionbefore 2014 or we will likey suffer tsunami of an unimaginable scale with projected damages of $400B USD (that's right, with a B). Note that the asteroid will not be visible to current detectors between 2006 and 2012, so someone had better act quickly.

The good news is that we probably don't need to be worried about Social Security going broke afterall. Once again, the president's priorities are not aligned with those of us in the reality-based community.

What are the chances that this anti-science administration and its synchophants in congress will actually do anything about this? My guess is that there is a greater probability that the asteroid will impact earth than the Bushistas will listen to a group of scientists.

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W3C XML Schema User Experience Workshop CFP Extended

The CFP has been extended a week. Details follow.

CALL FOR PARTICIPATION

W3C Workshop on XML Schema 1.0 User Experiences


The W3C is organizing a Workshop on XML Schema 1.0 User Experiences to
gather concrete reports of user experience with XML Schema 1.0, and
examine the full range of usability, implementation, and
interoperability problems around the specification and its test suite.

When: 21-22 June 2005
Where: Oracle Conference Center, Redwood Shores, CA, USA

The full Call for Participation is available at:

http://www.w3.org/2005/03/xml-schema-user-cfp

---------------------
Important Information
---------------------

Other important dates and deadlines for this workshop are:

27 May 2005: Experience reports due [extended]
6 June 2005: Program available
10 June 2005: Registration closes
(N.B. registration will close earlier if full)

Please note that:

- If you would like to report your experience, but are unable to
attend the workshop, we still welcome your user experience report.
- There will be a limit of 60 participants; first come, first
serve, so register soon.
- Attendance is open to everyone, including non-W3C members,
but each organization or individual wishing to participate
must submit an experience report.
- To ensure maximum diversity among participants, the number of
participants per organization will be limited to two individuals.
- There is no registration fee.

-----------------
Workshop Overview
-----------------

This workshop will gather concrete reports of user experience with
XML Schema 1.0, and examine the full range of usability,
implementation, and interoperability problems around the
specification and its test suite. Topics of discussion include, but
are not limited to, the use of XML Schema in vocabulary design, Web
Services description and toolkits, XHTML, XML Query, and XML Schema
editors.

Expected participants include schema authors, authors or users of
public or standard schemas, developers and vendors of schema-aware
code generators, schema-aware middleware, schema validators, or
other schema-related software, and the W3C XML Schema Working Group.

Desired outcomes of the workshop include:
* A plan of action for addressing existing interoperability issues
connected with XML Schema 1.0.
* A plan of action for addressing existing problems with XML Schema
1.0 through errata and clarifications.

Attendees are encouraged to bring (or provide in advance, in their
user experience reports):
* Use cases and proposed guidelines to address them using XML
Schema.
* Tests (or real schemas) with interoperability issues, whether the
issues are due to a lack of clarity of the XML Schema
specification or to discrepancies in the implementations.

We look forward to your participation and contributions to this
workshop.

--
Paul Biron, Paul Downey, David Ezell, Chris Ferris,
Erik Johnson, Philippe Le Hegaret, Ashok Malhotra,
Dave Remy, C. M. Sperberg-McQueen
Workshop Programme Committee

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Freud and the Hyena Chorus

Legal Fiction has an exellent hypothesis on the relationship of cognitive dissonance of Dubya supporters with the ferocity of their lashing out on seemingly inconsequential aspects of issues which in the larger context are indisputably true. Give it a read.
When you put these four stories side-by-side, you can see some common characteristics. First, and most obviously, they all include negative critiques of either the administration or the Republican leadership more generally. But more critically, they all involve specific types of critiques. With the exception of Jordan, they are all subsets of larger critiques that are almost indisputably true. These larger critiques are also the sort of critiques that trigger immense cognitive dissonance for Bush supporters. In my expert psychological opinion, the lynch-mob hyena attack is a defense mechanism against cognitive dissonance rather than sincere outrage against media bias.

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Monday, May 23, 2005

Nuclear winter avoided

Jar Jar Frist's unprecedented overreach at the behest of the lunatic fringe has been thwarted by the sanity wing of the Senate. Frist can kiss his (never realistic) ambitions for 2008 goodbye. James Dobson is likely having apoplectic convulsions right about now. Couldn't happen to a nicer more evil guy.

I'm betting that Frist will not serve out his term as Majority Leader. He's damaged goods. You can also bet that this will be played out as a significant loss for King George II. Expect his star to accelerate in its inexorable descent into lame-duckness. He's now going to have to think twice before nominating a foaming-at-the-mouth, batshit crazy "strict constructionalist" activist judge to replace Justice Rehnquist, assuming he even gets that chance.

Update: Some of the more strident liberal bloggers are very disappointed by this turn of events. IMO, they are just as much to blame for the poisonous atmosphere in the Senate as their right-wingnut complements. The Republicans have paid a heavy price for their failed power-grab in the eyes of the majority of American people. It matters little that the deal involves letting Justices Brown and Owen through. They are of little consequence in the larger scheme of things. This was a fight not about these nominees, but about the prospective nominee(s) to succeed Justice Rehnquist and/or others on the SCOTUS.

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From Bad to Worse

Basically, the American public increasingly thinks that Dubya just plain sucks as president.

Makes one wonder just how the hell this ninny and his band of merry war criminals managed to get reelected only 6 1/2 months ago.

I wonder where all that "political capital" went? Did the asshole-in-chief really think he had a mandate to continue to ignore our imploding economy, willfully destroy Social Security and Medicare, bully the fourth estate into becoming the administration's bitch propaganda machine, seat a bunch of previously rejected unqualified whackos on the federal courts to satisfy the seriously disturbed Evangelical Christian fringe (in the process, destroying the checks and balances crafted by our founding fathers that have held our democracy together for more than 200 years), and sink all of our remaining military and economic marbles into a never-ending conflict in Iraq?

What an idiot.

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Sunday, May 22, 2005

The Wreck of the U.S. Senate

Dick Meyers -- The Wreck of the U.S. Senate. Finally, some sanity.
The change has left the Senate less able to produce legislation on major issues, less able to compromise, less reflective of public opinion (ironically, since these people are obsessed with polls), and less able to produce leaders for both the institution itself and the whole nation. The current filibuster fiasco displays a Senate preoccupied -- no, paralyzed -- with issues that are simply not high priorities for voters but that are important to interests on the left and right. Meanwhile, the issues the majority of voters care most about -- such as securing the future of Medicare and Social Security, fixing the tax code, protecting private pensions and repairing health insurance -- are being punted.

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Idiots

David Brooks is a sad excuse for an op-ed columnist.

Today, he blames the moderates in the Senate for their "quavering" in trying to reach a compromise that would forestall (at least) pulling the trigger on Dr. Frist's "nuclear option" that would likely destroy the comity by which the Senate has conducted business for two centuries.

Brooks won't be missed after the NYT hides its op-ed pages from the internets behind a pay-to-view firewall.

Update: We find more idiots... they are everywhere!

In today's WaPo editorial -- Nuclear Brinkmanship, the editorial staff paints the Republican and Democratic sides as being equally at fault. What nonsense.

While I would certainly agree that no one is innocent, the Republicans have far exceeded the Democrats when it comes to the dirty tricks that have lead us to where we stand today. Here's a sampling of their blathering (emphasis mine):
The Democrats, after having proclaimed throughout the Clinton years the need for a fair process for nominees, showed no compunction about shifting gears and escalating the conflict -- using not only the procedural tricks that they once denounced but making the filibuster a routine tool in an already degraded process. What's more, they have shown no ability to distinguish between nominees genuinely worth opposing -- such as Justice Brown, whose philosophy really is outside the mainstream -- and conservatives, such as Justice Owen, whose records should not preclude service.
Let's examine this for a moment and put things in their proper context.

In the first highlighted section, the WaPo editorial staff suggests that the Democrats have used the same procedural tricks that the Republicans used during the Clinton years. Yes, this is true. They did use the same tricks. Yet, those "tricks" were well within the rules of the Senate and had been for centuries. That's how things work. You play by the rules. However, they go on to suggest that the Democrats simply decided one day to start using the filibuster as a routine tool. This is where they fail their readership and do great injustice to their readers. They don't bother to say why that is. The reason? Because the Republicans rather than play by the rules, simply chose to ignore them. Thus, the Republicans drove the Democratic leadership to the brink. In 2003, the Republicans had Sen. Hatch toss aside the rule that required at least one member of the minority party on the Senate Judiciary committee to vote to approve a judicial candidate out of committee. He just decided one day that that rule was silly. That's right, the same trick that the Republicans had been using to prevent 60 odd Clinton nominations from being reported out of committee, was deemed silly when it came to Bush II nominations. Thus, the Democrats had no choice but to resort to the filibuster, and now the Republicans are claiming that its use is unconstitutional... which brings us to the "nuclear option" in which the Republicans, rather than abiding by the rules of the Senate to change the rules, will simply ignore the rules once again, precluding the use of the filibuster for judicial nominees.

The second highlighted section is also disingenuous. To suggest that the Democrats are not distinguishing between nominees not worthy of a seat on the bench and those which are just conservative in their opinions is also bullshit. Certainly, Justice Brown is a wingnut of the highest order. However, Justice Owen is just plain bad. Her colleagues (Republicans I might add) on the Texas Supreme Court think she is atrocious. She doesn't get a WQ from the ABA, despite the suggestions by the rightwingnut blabbermouths like Limbaugh and Hannity that she has. Bzzt, she did receive that rating before she took a seat on the Texas Supreme Court. Now, the ABA gives her their lowest rating after reviewing her disasterous performance on the bench.

Why is there no mention made that these nominees have already had their 15 minutes of fame in the Senate and were not approved? That Bush simply decided to resubmit these failed nominees, many of whom have already had up-or-down votes on the floor of the Senate, only to fail. Who is kidding whom.

This is all about the Republicans, and this administration, pandering to the rightmost rightwingnuttia, the Evangelical Christian Right to neuter the Senate's advise and consent role in approving judical nominees so that Dubya can replace Rehnquist with an anti-abortion whacko to undo Roe v Wade amongst other previous SCOTUS decisions that the religious fruitcakes don't like.

This is all about accruing power to the Presidency that it never had, and that our founding fathers feared so greatly.

For the WaPo Editorial staff to suggest that the two parties are equally at fault is preposterous.

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Saturday, May 21, 2005

I have a dream

Whiskey Bar: Scenes We'd Like to See. Heh, indeed.

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Abuses of power

It seems that the fascists have yet to curtail the media in the U.K.. In The Guardian, Julian Borger reports:
Last October, the army's criminal investigation com mand found probable cause to charge 27 officers and enlisted soldiers with offences ranging from dereliction of duty to maiming and involuntary manslaughter in the Dilawar case. Charges were also recommended against 15 of them for the Habibullah case.

Only seven soldiers have been charged, all junior ranks.

[...]

Sergeant James Leahy told investigators that after February 2002 directive from Mr Bush that the Geneva convention did not apply to al-Qaida or Taliban fighters, interrogators believed they "could deviate slightly from the rules".

The Pentagon denied that the Abu Ghraib scandal could have been prevented if the Bagram abuses had been investigated faster. Carrying out an inquiry in Afghanistan was bound to take longer. But John Sifton, an Afghanistan expert at Human Rights Watch, said this was "a convenient excuse".

"The White House always put forward, that Abu Ghraib was an exception, just some rotten apples," he said. "But US personnel in Afghanistan were involved in killings and torture of prisoners well before the Iraq war even started.

"The story begins in Afghanistan."
Also found in today's Guardian (emphasis mine):
These findings are a reminder of the need for combative media in wartime - and an antidote to high-minded outrage from the administration over Newsweek magazine's story, later retracted, about the desecration of a Qur'an at Guantanamo. Universal justice and American values require that the perpetrators - and those who authorised their acts - are held to account. As so often with Iraq and the 'war on terror', some will retort that however regrettable, such abuses are overshadowed by the mass, random brutality of terrorists and the murderous Ba'athist regime. That is utterly irrelevant to these cases
One would hope that the American media are paying attention. It's time for the press to awaken from its slumber. With the war criminals holding power in two of the three branches of government, the fourth estate is all we have left to prevent the fascists from destroying our democracy.

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Friday, May 20, 2005

U.S. crumbles while Bush pedals

The New York Times seems to have finally picked up on the Downing Street memo story (emphasis mine):
The British government has not disputed the authenticity of the British memorandum, written by Matthew Rycroft, a top foreign policy aide to Mr. Blair. A spokesman for Mr. Blair has said that the memorandum does not add significantly to previous accounts of decision making before the war.
Well, of course not. Anyone with half a brain knew, deep down, that Bush was war-mongering and had no intent of resolving the matter diplomatically. The problem is that the administration lied to the American people and the Congress, repeatedly by asserting that the president would pursue all diplomatic means, and that war was a last resort. The reason that this story hasn't gained more legs is that it is largely a dog-bites-man story as perceived by anyone with half a brain. But, that's the problem. The press seems uninterested in pursuing the basic underlying fact that Bush and his war-mongering administration took the nation to war on a pack of lies, exerted influence on the intellegence community to produce the "facts" that supported their unjust invasion that has resulted in the deaths of over 1,600 U.S. troops and countless thousands of Iraqis.
The White House spokesman, Scott McClellan, told reporters on Tuesday that the White House saw 'no need' to respond to the Democratic letter. Current and former Bush administration officials have sought to minimize the significance of the memorandum, saying it is based on circumstantial observations and does not purport to be an authoritative account of American decision making.
What hubris. These people make me ill. The drum-beat is beginning to crescendo for action against Syria and/or Iran. These people need to be stopped before they ruin this nation permanently (assuming, of course, that they haven't done so already).

Fortunately, the Republican party seems to be self-destructing. Their craven pursuit of power has lead them to be held captive by the Evangelical "Christian" right (who are not remotely Christian in either their words or deeds) who seek to turn this country into a religious state against the will of the silent majority. Bush continues to hammer away at his initiative to dismantle Social Security (day 79 of a 60 day campaign) completely oblivious to the polls that demonstrate that the majority of Americans do not trust his and the Republican Majority's intentions. The Republican leadership in the Senate, goaded controlled by the evangelical right wingnuts, is hell bent on undoing 214 years of the rule of law (how many times have we heard that phrase from the Republicans? Seems it only applies when it suits them) thus turning the Senate into a rubber-stamp for a fascist regime. The economy is suffering greatly -- the debt is mounting faster than it can be counted. The trade deficit, especially with China, is spinning out of control to the point that foriegn investment in U.S. Government Treasury notes has tanked. The world simply no longer sees the U.S. Government as a worthwhile investment. Gas prices are at all-time highs, placing increasing pressure on our economy. All the while, Bush is doing nothing. He wishes he had a magic wand that he could wave to make it better. Give me a break.

I believe that the saying: "Rome burned while Nero fiddled" will soon be replaced with "the U.S. crumbles while Bush pedals".

Fortunately, the Amercian people seem to be unpersuaded by the Republican doublespeak. Fully 78% believe that the Senate should be an independent body that cannot be completely controlled by the majority when it comes to judicial appointment advice and consent. Only 40% of Americans think that the Republicans should retain control over both houses after the 2006 mid-term elections. They have not been bamboozled by Bush's Social Security "reform" proposals by 59% to 31% margin. I believe that the polls reflected a similar 78% opposition to Congress's intervention in the Terri Sciavo case.

One can only hope that the Republican self-destructive behavior continues and that the American public does not suffer amnesia in Nov 2006. This country is in dire need of at least one of the houses of Congress to be released from Republican domination so that we can finally get some serious investigation into the abuses of power by this administration.

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You learn something every day

Here's a tidbit I didn't know. Apparently, the Rethuglicans have already broken the Senate rules to advance their agenda of seating theocratic evangelical jurists to the bench. The reason that in the 214 years of Senate history, that a judicial nominee has never been denied an up-or-down vote on the floor of the Senate is because previous majorities abided by the rules of the Senate.

Think Progress has the details.
How did these judicial nominees even get to the Senate floor? Before a judicial nominee ever reaches the floor, he or she must pass through the Senate Judiciary Committee. Rule IV of the Senate Judiciary Committee states:

The Chairman shall entertain a non-debatable motion to bring a matter before the Committee to a vote. If there is objection to bring the matter to a vote without further debate, a rollcall vote of the Committee shall be taken, and debate shall be terminated if the motion to bring the matter to a vote without further debate passes with ten votes in the affirmative, one of which must be cast by the minority.

In other words, debate on a judicial nominee can end only if a rollcall vote obtains at least one vote from the minority party. Proposed by Republicans and enacted in 1979, Rule IV has been upheld for 24 years and by five different chairmen of both parties.

In 1997, when Clinton’s nominee for assistant attorney general for civil rights at the Department of Justice, Bill Lann Lee, came to a floor vote, Senator Hatch said:

Rule IV of the Judiciary Committee rules effectively establishes a committee filibuster right… Absent the consent of a minority member of the Committee, a matter may not be brought to a vote.

On February 27, 2003, then-Chairman Orrin Hatch threw this rule out the window and employed his own mini-nuclear option. When faced with upholding this rule during the committee hearing for Jeffrey Sutton, Deborah Cook and John Roberts (three controversial circuit court nominees), Hatch went against his own previous statement, overrode the rule, and said to the minority: “[Y]ou have no right to continue a filibuster in this committee.” The nominations moved out of committee, paving the path for the nominees currently being debated on the Senate floor, Janice Rogers Brown and Priscilla Owen, to clear the Committee by a strictly party-line vote.
These people have no shame.

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that this little factoid has been notably absent in the press coverage propaganda.

I suppose that the only positive in all of this is that by over-reaching, the Republicans will feel the wrath of the electorate in the 2006 mid-term elections. However, the damage done before then may be too great if Dubya manages to seat a strict constitutionalist activist judge or two on the SCOTUS.

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Stop Newsweek... Before It Kills Again!

Medium Lobster has the scoop.

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It's official

I'm older.

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Thursday, May 19, 2005

Discussion's over

Ah well, I guess the Nuclear Option discussion in the Senate has come to an end, now that Godwin's Law has been satisfied. From today's QOTD, Sen. Rick Santorum:
What the Democrats are doing is the equivalent of Adolf Hitler in 1942 saying, 'I'm in Paris. How dare you invade me. How dare you bomb my city? It's mine.' This is no more the rule of the senate than it was the rule of the senate before not to filibuster.

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What he said

Just got back from seeing Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. I'd have to say that I pretty much agree with everything that Steve has to say.

My daughter and I had the best seats in the house! Center front row of the mezzanine section. I would definitely agree that it was one of the most visually stimulating movies I've seen... at times a bit too much so. I'll have to see it again to catch the subtleties I may have missed.

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Off to see Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith

I'll report back later.

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Spoiler

[07:18] Chris: hey dad
[07:18] chrisferris9: hey
[07:18] chrisferris9: you're up early!
[07:18] Chris: saw star wars couple hours ago =)
[07:18] chrisferris9: don't even THINK about tellng me about it:-)
[07:19] chrisferris9: jenn and I see it tonight 7:30
[07:19] Chris: anakin skywalker is darth vader!!!
[07:19] chrisferris9: LOL
[07:19] Chris: didnt see that coming!
[07:19] chrisferris9: ROFL

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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Hope for PBS?

According to CJR, in its fascist zeal to control the media, including PBS, seems as if the administration may have broken the law (again):
One of the charges leveled by Obey and Dingell may point to potentially serious violations of the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967. The charge has to do with Tomlinson's hiring of Mary Catherine Andrews, former director of the Office of Global Communications at the White House, to write a set of guidelines for CPB's two new ombudsmen to use when monitoring political content on PBS. The problem with this is that Andrews was still on staff at the White House when she wrote the rules. This may violate Section 398 of the act, which bars federal employees from engaging in any 'direction, supervision or control over public telecommunications.'
Wonder when we'll see Dubya and Rove on America's Stupidest Criminals?

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Blaming the Messenger

Anne Applebaum writes in Blaming the Messenger:
Blaming the messenger, even for a bungled message, doesn't get the administration off the hook. Yes, to paraphrase Rumsfeld, people need to be very careful, not only about what they say but about what they do. And, yes, people whose military and diplomatic priorities include the defeat of Islamic fanaticism and the spread of democratic values in the Muslim world need to be very, very careful, not only about what they say but about what they do to the Muslims they hold in captivity.
Read the whole article.

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In a grocery not far away

(Via Ian) Store Wars. I agree with Ian. This is one of the funniest Star Wars spoof I've seen. Darth Tater, Yogurt, Obi Wan Cannoli, Chew Broccoli... Just brilliant. May the Farm be with you!

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You can't handle the truth!

CJR Daily: Archives (emphasis mine):
But since the press has largely ceded control of the story to the White House, administration spinners have been able to twist it. Consider another central issue: whether Newsweek's premature report actually spurred the riots. Thanks to the White House spin, and the media's lazy reporting, the conventional wisdom is now that it did. But the reality is that it probably did not, at least in any significant sense. According to a statement last Thursday by General Richard Myers, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, after hearing from commanders on the scene in Afghanistan, the 'rioting was related more to the ongoing political reconciliation process in Afghanistan than anything else.' As we've noted, that makes sense, based on the Taliban's past patterns and the fact that previous reports about Koran desecration at Guantanamo spurred no such riots. But the press has repeatedly failed to make that clear. (One conspicuous exception to this mass sin of omission has been New York Times reporter Katharine Q. Seelye, who for two days in a row now has taken pains to point out Myers' observation that his senior commander in Afghanistan 'thought [the rioting] was not at all tied to the article in the magazine.')

All this is particularly galling considering how much play the story is getting on the cable networks. It's not as if there isn't ample time to explain the facts to the viewers. Instead, Fox News, which we've had our eye on over the past couple days, has repeatedly stressed the fact that the White House feels that Newsweek's apology isn't enough, since, as White House press secretary Scott McClellan put it, 'The report had real consequences. People have lost their lives. Our image abroad has been damaged.'

It's easy to imagine why the White House is taking this approach. As a Newsweek journalist told the Los Angeles Times -- speaking, ironically, from a position of anonymity -- 'The issue of how prisoners are treated at Guantanamo has not gone away. Now they want to deflect that by talking about how irresponsible Newsweek magazine was.'

What's harder to explain is why reporters covering the story have swallowed this red herring. But let's try: Producers, it seems, would rather stir viewers' emotions that provide them with the truth. The story, in its oversimplified form, plays well into television news' longstanding bias towards conflict. It's Newsweek vs. the government, the liberal media vs. conservatives, and, for some, overeager advocacy journalists vs. America.

The reality is much muddier, of course, but also less likely to drive our emotions -- if viewers realize that the riots aren't necessarily Newsweek's fault, and that the desecration might actually have happened, it's harder for them to become fired up about the story. And producers fear that means lower ratings. So they keep the story simple, and they keep the story wrong. That is the reality of our journalistic environment today -- a serious examination of the truth simply isn't a priority for bottom-line oriented, unapologetic executives who would rather hook viewers via emotions than honest reports.

At least Newsweek has regrets.

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Crunch time

Crunch Time for the US Media:
There is a devious sleight of hand at work here. The Bush administration is not denying anything - they are arguing context. And the media - even Newsweek - is accepting this shift in context and dutifully reporting (as in the story above) that the story was 'botched' or 'discredited.'

Is there no journalist left in this country that can see that as a violation of what was once an honored profession? Is there no one who will stand up and call out the White House for destroying what trust is left in the media?

Time is running out. It may already be too late to save journalism. But if someone's going to stand up to this administration, they'd better do it damn soon. Knuckling under to government threats, whether the media realizes it or not, leads us down the road to state-controlled media and, ultimately, fascism.

The media has a choice - they can either be complicit in the destruction of their profession, and by extension, this country. Or they can snap out of it, look in the mirror, and tell themselves that they refuse to go out like whipped dogs.

Your call, media. Do the right thing. Your country is depending on you. Don't let us down.
Read the whole thing.

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Pot, meet kettle

Today's WaPo is reporting that Debate Over Newsweek Retraction of Report Widens (emphasis mine):
Lawmakers of both parties entered the fray on Capitol Hill. Rep. Fortney 'Pete' Stark (D-Calif.) charged the White House with hypocrisy, saying: 'The administration is chastising Newsweek for a story that contained a fact that turned out to be false. This is the same administration that lied to the Congress, the United Nations and the American people by fabricating reasons to send us to war.'

Stark added in an interview: 'For the administration to be holier-than-thou about this is somewhere between obscene and funny. There are publications that often expose weaknesses in administration positions and they don't like that. They play tough.'
Well, exactly. The fascist war criminals are using this as a means of bullying the press.
McClellan rejected such criticism in an interview, saying: 'We've taken steps to make sure we improve our intelligence gathering. This should not be used as a distraction from what occurred here. It gave an impression of our military that is wrong.'
Give me a friggin' break. This is all a ruse to distract attention away from the "Downing Street Memo" which Scott McClellan claims not to have seen. More bullshit. More lies.
Rep. Deborah Pryce (Ohio), chairman of the House Republican Conference, urged every congressional office to cancel its Newsweek subscription. 'Retraction and regrets will not atone for the reckless behavior of an irresponsible reporter and an overzealous publication,' she said in a statement.

Rep. Robert W. Ney (R-Ohio) used even stronger language, saying that Isikoff had 'fabricated' the Koran incident and branding Newsweek's behavior 'criminal.'
More lies from the rethuglicans. This story has been in the news since 2002, and similar stories were published by a bunch of other news organizations. Isikoff didn't lie, his reliable source changed his mind about seeing a memo. The shredders in the Pentagon and Whitehouse got to him, or even more likely, it was a setup.

Regardless, this administration is in no position to call the kettle black.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Jonathan has a blog

(Via Paul) Jonathan Marsh, one of my favorite Microsofties, has started a blog. Subscribed.

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allied: IBM Today Okayed Breathing. Set Guidlines for Air Suckers

allied: IBM Today Okayed Breathing. Set Guidlines for Air Suckers ROFLMAO!

Update: James has published the official IBM Breathing Guidelines.

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Monday, May 16, 2005

Smells like Republican Spirit

Keith Olbermann thinks Scott "I-gave-two-years-of-day-passes-to-a-gay-prostitute-posing-as-a-journalist" McClellan should resign.

Why is it that only (former) sports casters and comedians have any journalistic ethic these days?

I think Keith nails it with this:
Or would somebody rather play politics with this? The way Craig Crawford reconstructed it, this one went similarly to the way the Killian Memos story evolved at the White House. The news organization turns to the administration for a denial. The administration says nothing. The news organization runs the story. The administration jumps on the necks of the news organization with both feet - or has its proxies do it for them.
This is classic Karl Rove. It serves a dual purpose of stirring up the Muslims and tearing down the media in one swell foop.

Keith also covered the Downing Street Memo on his show tonight. Good on him for that.

The money line in his blog entry though is this:
While places like the Fox News Channel (which, only today, I finally recognized - it’s the newscast perpetually running on the giant video screens in the movie “1984”) ask how many heads should roll at Newsweek, it forgets in its fervor that both the story and the phony controversy around it are not so cut-and-dried this time.
If it weren't so sad, it would be funny.

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What goes down,,,

Must come up? Hmmm... based on Bush's most recent polling statistics we should be expecting a new terror alert any day now.

You'd think that the MSM would be looking more closely into the question of why there hasn't been a terror alert since the election. But, I digress.

Seems to me that the fact that 58% of Americans oppose Frist's use of the "nuclear option" versus only 28% who approve might weigh heavily on a few Republican Senators up for reelection in 2006. Despite the fact that I think that it would be a disaster for our democracy should Frist succeed, I can't but help hope that Jim Lampley (one of the few pleasant surprises of THB) is right, although I wouldn't want the Democrats to have such power to abuse either. (I know you find this shocking, but I am neither a "liberal" nor a Democrat, I am an Independent who simply finds the current administration, and the cretins who currently weild power in the Republican party to be a bunch of fascit thugs.)

Lord Acton: "Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely"

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Must read

Steve Clemons:
Ackerman makes the important and correct argument that there is an attempted radicalization of institutions and methods right now by the far right that could threaten the system of checks and balances that makes America's template of democracy work.
I can't emphasise enough that you read the article (reprinted with permission).

Oh heck, here's a taste:
Nevertheless, the Republican leadership wants change before the Rehnquist vacancy opens. Mr Frist plans this week to make a pending judicial nomination into a test case. He is counting on vice-president Dick Cheney, as president of the Senate, to declare the key Senate rules unconstitutional, and to end debate on the basis of a simple majority vote. Unsurprisingly, he is having trouble rounding up 51 votes to support this manoeuvre, leading Mr Cheney to offer further assistance. As Senate president he has the power to break tie votes and has said he would cast the deciding ballot to destroy the rules.

There is more at stake than sheer lawlessness. The filibuster permits the Senate to play a moderating role within the constitutional system of checks and balances. Except when there is a decisive landslide, it requires the majority party to moderate its initiatives to gain the support of at least a few minority Senators. Mr Cheney's role in destroying the moderating role of the Senate is particularly problematic. For two centuries, the Senate president has been the pre-eminent guardian of the rules. Thomas Jefferson first put them in writing when he served as vice-president. His aim was to prevent political manipulation by the presiding officer, and Senate presidents have consistently served as impartial arbiters. In breaking with this tradition, Mr Cheney has a clear conflict of interests. As president of the Senate, he owes the institution fidelity to its rules, but as vice-president to Mr Bush, he wants to see his boss's judicial nominations confirmed. By allowing his executive interest to trump his duty to the Senate, Mr Cheney is undercutting the separation of powers.
Darth Cheney makes my skin crawl. Sen. Frist is the Jar-Jar Binks of the Senate.

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The rain in Vancouver falls mainly from the plain-spoken

Tim Bray -- Raining on the Parade -- ouch... that's gotta hurt!

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Return of the Sith

Steve Maine:
Star Wars Episode III: Here’s hoping it won’t suck.
+1.

I've got my tix as well: my daughter and I are all set for the 7:35 pm 5/19 viewing. (Some of us gotta work:-) My son is getting to see it tomorrow (grrrr), 'cuz his (soon-to-be) roommate works at the movie theater.

Note to Chris: don't even think about spoiling it for me!

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Krugman weighs in

Staying What Course? - New York Times:
In effect, America has been taken hostage. Nobody wants to take responsibility for the terrible scenes that will surely unfold if we leave (even though terrible scenes are unfolding while we're there). Nobody wants to tell the grieving parents of American soldiers that their children died in vain. And nobody wants to be accused, by an administration always ready to impugn other people's patriotism, of stabbing the troops in the back.

But the American military isn't just bogged down in Iraq; it's deteriorating under the strain. We may already be in real danger: what threats, exactly, can we make against the North Koreans? That John Bolton will yell at them? And every year that the war goes on, our military gets weaker.

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Sunday, May 15, 2005

Newsweek Says Erred in Koran Desecration Report

Newsweek Says Erred in Koran Desecration Report:
But Newsweek said the source later told the magazine he could not be certain he had seen an account of the Koran incident in the military report and that it might have been in other investigative documents or drafts..
Give.Me.A.Break.

What.A.Crock.Of.Shit.

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What is Your World View?

(Via Geoff and Hal)

  You scored as Existentialist. Existentialism emphasizes human capability. There is no greater power interfering with life and thus it is up to us to make things happen. Sometimes considered a negative and depressing world view, your optimism towards human accomplishment is immense. Man is condemned to be free and must accept the responsibility.

Existentialist

94%

Modernist

88%

Idealist

81%

Cultural Creative

75%

Materialist

75%

Postmodernist

63%

Romanticist

38%

Fundamentalist

38%

What is Your World View?
created with QuizFarm.com



Yeah, I think that's about right.

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Ixnay ys-consay

Uche has posted a list of Sys-Con media sites to avoid. I say +1, especially after reading this:
We stand by all the stories we have published, including the breaking news stories of Ms. Maureen O'Gara. We have been proudly bringing her investigative reporting and news to our readers since December 13, 2002 and we will continue to do so.

Sincerely,

Fuat Kircaali
Publisher,
Linux Business Week
Someone get me a clue stick. I applaud the senior editorial staff of LinuxWorld Magazine for their decision to resign.

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War Crimes

Ranking Judiciary Democrat in House, along with others, call for counsel on alleged U.S. 'war crimes'... and about bloody time, too.

What I find sadly amusing is that my congresscritter, Richard Neal (D-MA) is notably MIA from the list of supporting congresscritters. Here's a guy, who runs unopposed term after term, without the balls to sign onto a request for an independent counsel. That's pathetic.

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Saturday, May 14, 2005

Slip-sliding away...

Thomas Friedman in today's NYT:
On April 7, CNET News.com reported the following: 'The University of Illinois tied for 17th place in the world finals of the Association for Computing Machinery International Collegiate Programming Contest. ...

'That's the lowest ranking for the top-performing U.S. school in the 29-year history of the competition. Shanghai Jiao Tong University of China took top honors this year, followed by Moscow State University and the St. Petersburg Institute of Fine Mechanics and Optics. Those results continued a gradual ascendance of Asian and East European schools during the past decade or so. A U.S. school hasn't won the world championship since 1997, when students at Harvey Mudd College achieved the honor. 'The U.S. used to dominate these kinds of programming Olympics,' said David Patterson, president of the Association for Computing Machinery and a computer science professor at the University of California at Berkeley. 'Now we're sort of falling behind.''
Well, duh! When we have idiots on the Kansas Board of Education "retrying" (yeah, as if they hadn't made up their minds beforehand) Scopes v. the State of Tennessee, is it any wonder that we are falling behind?

Read this and think about it -- Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed .

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South Park

(Via Geoff) Here's a neat flash site (South Park Studio) that can be used to design your own self-image as a South Park character. Here's mine.

me as a South Park character

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ROFLMAO!

(Via CryptoGram): The Onion | Arizona Man Steals Bush's Identity, Vetoes Bill, Meets With Mexican President. A must read. Priceless!
According to Mueller, examining Bush's recent outgoing e-mail led him to believe that the president's identity was probably stolen about five weeks ago, when he responded to an e-mail from paypal783@hotmail.com asking him to comply with PayPal security measures by entering all 12 of his credit-card numbers, his Social Security number, his passwords, and his personal identification numbers.

"It appears that the president is among the many thousands of Americans who have fallen for so-called 'phishing' scams," Mueller said. "One should never give out sensitive personal information in response to an e-mail. If the president had read the memo we sent out a few months ago, he would have known that."

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Friday, May 13, 2005

BREAKING NEWS!

deet dee dee deet dee deet deet deet.... this just in... hot off the presses... EXCLUSIVE: British Intelligence Warned of Iraq War.
Seven months before the invasion of Iraq, the head of British foreign intelligence reported to Prime Minister Tony Blair that President Bush wanted to topple Saddam Hussein by military action and warned that in Washington intelligence was "being fixed around the policy," according to notes of a July 23, 2002, meeting with Blair at No. 10 Downing Street.

"Military action was now seen as inevitable," said the notes, summarizing a report by Richard Dearlove, then head of MI6, British intelligence, who had just returned from consultations in Washington along with other senior British officials. Dearlove went on, "Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD [weapons of mass destruction]. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."
Wow! That's, like, major news, dude. Yet, we find the story buried on page A18 of the Washington Post, today.

Hmmm... this story seems so very familiar.

How sad for our country, for our democracy, that a story about a duplicitous administration that lied to the american people and the congress - cooked intellegence data to fit the policy to initiate a pre-emptive attack on another country (leaving 1,600 U.S. troops dead and countless others maimed for life, not to mention the countless thousands of Iraqis who have suffered the same fate) all the while insisting that "no decisions had been made", and "war is the toughest decision a president has to make" when it was a forgone conclusion that preznit doofus made while making fart bubbles in his bathtub months before the fact - merits only page A18 of the Washington Post.

Damn, that liberal bias of the press is always sticking it to the administration.

Update: CNN is now (finally) covering the story, although you won't find anything on their web site, yet.

Update II: Do something about this.

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Curiouser and curiouser

A Leak's Wider Ripples:
Here's where it gets complicated: Fitzgerald's legal quest makes little sense to me as a leak investigation. The law is fuzzy, the evidence is ambiguous, and the case would be hard to prove. But every good prosecutor hates perjury above all. And on its face, this case raises the possibility that one of the senior administration officials who talked with Cooper or Miller has denied doing so, under oath. Otherwise, Fitzgerald would have been finished months ago.
Unsurprising for this bunch of arrogant liars.

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Firefox Rulz!

CNET: IBM backs Firefox in-house:
Firefox is already used by about 10 percent of IBM's staff, or about 30,000 people. Starting Friday, IBM workers can download the browser from internal servers and get support from the company's help desk staff.

IBM's commitment to Firefox is among its most prominent votes of confidence from a large corporation. Based on development work by the nonprofit Mozilla Foundation, Firefox has been downloaded by more than 50 million people since it debuted in November. Internet Explorer still dominates the overall market by far, though, with Firefox's share in the single digits.

For IBM, the move is a significant step in lessening dependence on a product from rival Microsoft.
I've been using Firefox as my principle browser since 0.7 shipped, only resorting to use of IE for a couple of applications that had yet to be upgraded to be properly standards compliant. Actually, Firefox has been available for download internally for a few months "as is"... the big deal is that it is now officially supported by IT, which means that non-geeks will feel more comfortable in using it.

Get Firefox!

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Dubya: I'm a uniter, not a divider

diplomat -- (dpl-mt)
n.
  1. One, such as an ambassador, who has been appointed to represent a government in its relations with other governments.
  2. One who uses skill and tact in dealing with others.
Sen. Voinovich (R-Ohio):
[John Bolton]... the poster child of what someone in the diplomatic corps should not be.
Scott McClellan, White House Press Sec'y:
"The president believes he's exactly the right person for the position," McClellan said. "That's why he appointed him to the position. He's someone who has a proven record as a diplomat who achieves results."
There you have it. The president believes that "exactly the right person" for the job of U.N. Ambassador is someone who is a "poster child for what someone in the diplomatic corps should not be." Nothing could be clearer. Someone with "sharp elbows" rather than someone who can work effectively with others "with skill and tact" to achieve his objectives.

Preznit Dipshit is hell-bent on sending a bull into the china shop.

This recent headline and lead paragraphs from Pravda sums it up pretty well:
George W. Bush: An insult to our collective intelligence
05/09/2005 11:51

President of the USA is provocative and aggressive instead of conciliatory and diplomatic

Let us compare for one instant the Presidents of the Russian Federation and the United States of America. On one side, we have a President whose policy is directed towards improving relations with the international community in a climate of friendship and peace (principles which guided the foreign policy of the USSR) and in tandem with the norms of international law as stipulated by the UNO. On the other, a roving cowboy, taming the wilderness with his gun and his Bible, with an absence of tact and diplomacy.

Diplomacy, debate, dialogue and discussion are the basic precepts of democracy, a word much referred to by the USA but unfortunately not practised in principle and diplomacy, debate, dialogue and discussion are for sure the four words which summarise Moscow's foreign policy, while Washington's continues to be dominated by bullying, blackmail, belligerence and bullishness.
The damage that this administration has done to the perception of the U.S. in the court of world opinion in a mere 4 1/2 years will take decades to heal.

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Thursday, May 12, 2005

Re: Another comment about WS-I BP and WS-*

Kirill writes in his post Another comment about WS-I BP and WS-*:
Another issue with using BP for WS-* and app protocols going forward is BP1.1 R2710 and the definition of the “wire signature“.

R2710 The operations in a wsdl:binding in a DESCRIPTION MUST result in wire signatures that are different from one another.

The Profile defines the 'wire signature' of an operation in a wsdl:binding to be the fully qualified name of the child element of the soap:Body of the SOAP input message it describes. For the case of an empty soap:Body this name is an empty string.

The goal I believe was to allow to differentiate incoming soap messages based on the message content itself. An unfortunate side effect is that Profile singles out Body, but does not treat headers targeted at the ultimate destination as part of the wire signature.
I couldn't agree more. I fought long and hard (before I became chair) against the myopic rpc-centric mindset that lead to R2710.

1 Comments:

  • This R2710 is proving to be another indirect hindrance to trend I've seen in modeling scenarios. Often times, folks will have porttypes that model a scenario as both request-response as well as two one-way transactions. This way implementers can choose whether to work Req-Res or async with oneways. Where R2710 comes in is that the initial message request in both the 2-way and the one-way operations are the same, so the wire signature is the same. Now having them in a separate porttype saves you from violation of R2710 (which I understand is limited to uniqueness within a port type only) but some tools are wanting uniqueness across the entire wsdl.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 04, 2006 3:06 PM  

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Winning hearts and minds...

Juan Cole:
Whatever goddam military genius came up with the bright idea of flushing the Koran down the toilet at Guantanamo should be court-martialed, and Bush had better get out there apologizing before this thing spirals further out of control.
Maybe when Karen Hughes starts her job (she's deferred starting her new, much ballyhooed job as undersecretary for public diplomacy until the fall when her son goes off to college... lord knows that there's no urgency) she can stage some "town hall" events throughout the middle east, where "hand picked" Muslims can be seen expressing their love for Dubya and the U.S., and Dubya himself can explain to them that torture, Koran flushing, and unprovoked military invasions of sovereign nations are our way of expressing love for those of Muslim faith. Yeah, that'll do the trick. She'll have those poll numbers raising in no time at all.

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