Archive for September, 2007

John Bolton: ‘No choice but to bomb Iran’

Sunday, September 30th, 2007

According to the Guardian, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton told a select group of British Tory delegates today that the West had no choice but to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities, then remove the “source of the problem,” Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The US once had the capability to engineer the clandestine overthrow of governments. I wish we could get it back.

And how well has that worked out for us? (more…)

Surf’s Up!

Sunday, September 30th, 2007

The collision of two fronts raised some big waves on Hutchinson Island, a barrier island near Stuart, this morning. The wind was so strong it was hard to stand up. Some photos:

No Fx shows in China

Saturday, September 29th, 2007

According to Reuters:

BEIJING (Reuters) – Days after banning “sexually provocative sounds” on television, China has now stopped networks showing “saucy” adverts for push-up bras and figure-hugging underwear ahead of a major Communist Party meeting next month.

Other targets of the crackdown are “low-brow and base” commercials for sex toys and those featuring famous people or experts attesting to the efficacy of medicines, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television said on its Web site ( Friday.

“Every television advertisement management bureau and television station must strengthen their political consciousness and responsibility toward society,” Tian Jin, deputy head of the regulator, was quoted as saying.

The order is the latest in a raft of measures which have included axing reality shows featuring sex changes and plastic surgery and banning talent contests during prime-time.

So Chinese couch potatoes won’t be watching Nip/Tuck and 4 Oz this fall. Ads for poisoned food and lead-painted toys are presumably still on the menu, though.

Religion makes you stupid – II

Monday, September 24th, 2007

An Iowa community-college instructor has been fired for teaching students not to take literally the story of Adam and Eve.

Got Rich?

Sunday, September 23rd, 2007

Pity the rich. To get on this year’s Forbes 400 list of richest Americans, you needed a net worth of $1.3 billion. Yes, 1,300,000,000 bucks is the price of admission. According to Forbes, “The collective net worth of those listed on the 400 this year rose $290 billion to $1.54 trillion.” How do your net worth and annual income compare? How does your tax bracket compare with theirs?

Religion makes you stupid

Saturday, September 15th, 2007

Atheism is getting a lot of press these days. But according to an article in today’s Washington Post, atheists and agnostics number only 20 million in the U.S. Yet religious believers want to blame us for everything that’s wrong with society.

In a nationwide poll last year by University of Minnesota researchers, Americans rated atheists below Muslims, recent immigrants and other minority groups in “sharing their vision of American society.” They also associated atheists with everything from criminal behavior to rampant materialism.

Praise God and pass the buck.

Iraq is worse than Vietnam

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

As a Vietnam veteran I can’t help comparing my personal familiarity with that war against the situation in Iraq. I’ve concluded that even though our casualty rate in Iraq is fortunately lower, our military situation is far worse.

General Betray Us?

Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

In my opinion, the only downside to the recent ad in the New York Times is that it has diverted discussion from Petraeus’s political ambitions and the failed war, to the ad itself. The Right is screaming bloody murder, claiming MoveOn is calling Petraeus a traitor. Well, look at the ad for yourself, and tell me where it says that. Feel free to use the Comments form on this post.

ISPs and Spambots

Monday, September 10th, 2007

The Register, a UK-based IT webzine, notes:

Talk to anyone who makes a living sniffing out online fraud, and you’ll hear the same story over and over. Researcher uncovers the source of a massive amount of spam, identifies an IP address that is part of a botnet or stumbles upon a phishing site that’s spoofing a trusted online brand. Researcher dutifully reports the incident to the internet service provider whose network is being used, only to find the bad behavior continues unabated for days, weeks and even months.

The article goes on to say:

Because almost all spam is generated by bot-infected PCs, the rankings are a strong indication that those networks are home to a large number of zombies under the control of criminal gangs. Comcast and Road Runner declined to comment. Verizon turned down requests for an interview with a security engineer, but a spokeswoman said officials are aware of the rankings and are working to put new measures in place by the end of the year to curb the spam flowing out of its network. “We are concerned about it,” the spokeswoman, Bobbi Hensen, said. “We don’t like spam. We are aggressively working on that.”

What a joke!

Talking with the Taliban

Sunday, September 9th, 2007

Of all the countless tragic failure of the Bush Regime, history may rank our failure to secure Afghanistan as the greatest. Still reeling from 9/11, Americans and the people of other countries were almost unanimous in support of destroying that horror show. Unfortunately, the worst government Afghanistan ever imagined coincided with the worst government the United States ever had.