Monday, June 30, 2008

Shoes for evening wear

Shoes to wear when going for a ride with Ted Kennedy.

Thanks to Jimmy M who called them "Midwest Shoes."

I like mine better!

Tax Rebate

Fooled you, eh? This was just a test to see what a good title does.

Here. Click on this for a link to the real thing.

And I haven't received mine either.

Sometimes I wonder.

After watching young people swoon over first Sinatra and then Elvis and now Hussein you start to wonder. What have we raised? Worse, we read of people practicing witchcraft, reading their astrology signs daily and claiming that ghosts exists.

Whatever happened to the belief that man would keep improving the world through science and that logical thought was necessary for a successful and happy life?
I mean we have gone to the Moon, stamped out or controlled numerous diseases that had devastated mankind, improved crop yields, increased the ability to communicate while reducing the cost to a fraction of what it was just 20 years, made entertainment available in multiple forms 24 hours a day and yet we have this.

MEYRIN, Switzerland (June 29) - The most powerful atom-smasher ever built could make some bizarre discoveries, such as invisible matter or extra dimensions in space, after it is switched on in August.

But some critics fear the Large Hadron Collider could exceed physicists' wildest conjectures: Will it spawn a black hole that could swallow Earth? Or spit out particles that could turn the planet into a hot dead clump?

Well, according to an AOL poll, 61% say doing this basic research is not worth the risk.

Even more startling, or let's say more indicative that modern America is full of under educated and over propagandized people, 72% say that mankind will destroy the earth versus a natural disaster doing the trick... That there is a third position.. nothing happening for billions of years is not even considered.

Perhaps science and its child, engineering, has done too good of a job. At one time to communicate to people around the world you had to use letters, newspapers, telegrams, telephone or broadcast over a commercial radio. All of these required education and skills acquired in formal settings. The nearest thing to the Internet was amateur radio which was licensed to insure the user didn't interfere with others. Said license required passing a test that proved the applicant was technically astute, could send and receive in Morse code and understood the rules of broadcasting over a shared medium.

Contrast that with a teenager today hopping on the Internet, joining a chat group and blabbing to the world. But I won't pick on just teenagers. There are plenty of adults doing the same thing. And I have no problem with this.... except it seems to lead to people thinking that the ability to type the right commands and produce desired results on a Mac or PC means that the person is technically smart.

Wrong. They know how to drive the bus, but not how to build one. They can't write the code or design the hardware. Yet they think they are smart....

These are the people who think mankind can stop the natural cycle of the sun and ocean currents to control the weather.

These are the people who won't allow the third world to use DDT to control Malaria, leading to the deaths of millions.

These are the people who fight man made genetic changes in food crops that resist disease and increase yields, feeding millions.

These are the children of parents who, in the 60's, opined, "Food is."

These are the future.

Haven't we educated them well??

Beating a dead horse

The Left is still trying to prove, somehow, that Bush lied.

The latest is written by Cy Bolton for the LATimes.

Consider first the implications of the famous Downing Street memo from July 23, 2002. Briefing Tony Blair about his recent talks with Washington, Britain's top intelligence officer stated that U.S. "military action was now seen as inevitable. ... But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

Nice short declarative sentence. Problem is, it leaves a few things out.

The document was written by British national security aide Matthew Rycroft based on notes he took during a July 2002 meeting of Mr. Blair and his advisers, including Richard Dearlove, the head of Britain's MI-6 intelligence service who had recently met with Bush administration officials.


And this is from the Londontimesonline.

C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route,

Note that it was written by a low level aid based on notes of what MI-6’s Richard Dearlove had to say…. It is, at best, third person.

And note the “But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.”

That makes no sense. If the intent was to accuse Bush of doing something wrong, it would have read:

Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. And the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy

Also note that the writer uses the word “facts.” What does that mean? Again, of the writer wanted to claim that Bush was being misleading, wouldn’t he say something different?

No, I think it clear that the writer was merely noting that the National Security Council…NSC…had had it with Saddam’s violations of the UN sanctions, Bush wanted to do the same based on the available intelligence…therefore the “intelligence and facts were being applied to….fixed (to)…. around the policy..

Terrible writing, but remember, the memo is not a transcript, but written from his notes based on a second party’s memory and comments in a meeting.

And that’s why it didn’t go anywhere.

Then we come to this.

Another example is the now infamous nuclear reference from Bush's 2003 State of the Union address: "Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." Not only was this refuted twice in early 2002 -- by former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV…

Again we have short declarative sentences. Let’s first see what Bush said.

The International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed in the 1990s that Saddam Hussein had an advanced nuclear weapons development program, had a design for a nuclear weapon and was working on five different methods of enriching uranium for a bomb. The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production. Saddam Hussein has not credibly explained these activities. He clearly has much to hide.

Let’s not ignore the first sentence, although it usually is.

“The International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed in the 1990s that Saddam Hussein had an advanced nuclear weapons development program…” Now there was no reason, even if you believed that Saddam had destroyed all his WMD’s that since he had had a development program and had a design, he could not get back in very rapidly IF he had uranium ore.

Now, the British have never dropped their claim, and rightly so. And even if the CIA did, at the last moment, say that Saddam had not tried to purchase, who should you, if you were responsible for the defense of the country, believe??? Remember. The CIA had it wrong before 9/11. In this instance the tie went to the offense. That works for me. Every time.

But what of Joe Wilson’s claim? What did he say? Actually, if you will read his NYTimes article you will see that he said that Saddam had not purchased any uranium. Which, of course, was not claimed by the British. He also said that:

The next day, I reminded a friend at the State Department of my trip and suggested that if the president had been referring to Niger, then his conclusion was not borne out by the facts as I understood them.

NY Times

The problem with this is that it doesn’t match what the CIA said he said to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Let’s first look at what someone else told the Committee.

The intelligence report indicated that former Nigerien Prime Minister Ibrahim Mayaki was unaware of any contracts that had been signed between Niger and any rogue states for the sale of yellowcake while he was Prime Minister (1997-1999) or Foreign Minister (1996-1997). Mayaki said that if there had been any such contract during his tenure, he would have been aware of it. Mayaki said, however, that in June 1999,( ) businessman, approached him and insisted that Mayaki meet with an Iraqi delegation to discuss "expanding commercial relations" between Niger and Iraq. The intelligence report said that Mayaki interpreted "expanding commercial relations" to mean that the delegation wanted to discuss uranium yellowcake sales. The intelligence report also said that "although the meeting took place, Mayaki let the matter drop due to the UN sanctions on Iraq."

Then we have this.

The CIA's DO gave the former ambassador's information a grade of "good," which means that it added to the IC's body of understanding on the issue, ( ). The possible grades are unsatisfactory, satisfactory, good, excellent, and outstanding, which, according to the Deputy Chief of CPD, are very subjective. SENTENCE DELETED The reports officer said that a "good" grade was merited because the information responded to at least some of the outstanding questions in the Intelligence Community, but did not provide substantial new information. He said he judged that the most important fact in the report was that the Nigerien officials admitted that the Iraqi delegation had traveled there in 1999, and that the Nigerien Prime Minister believed the Iraqis were interested in purchasing uranium, because this provided some confirmation of foreign government service reporting.

The question then becomes, what made Wilson change his mind? Remember. The CIA debrief took place late February 2002. His comments to the Department of State was on 1/29/2003, almost a full year.

Senate Intelligence Committee

The question then becomes, what made Wilson change his mind? Remember. The CIA debrief took place late February 2002. His comments to the Department of State was on 1/29/2003, almost a full year.

So no matter what, we find that the Left's claims do not hang together. And they may try and try, but thoughtful people interested in the facts will be around to point out there errors.