Saturday, April 28, 2007

Informed Comment

Informed Comment: "Warren Strobel and Jonathan S. Landay of McClatchy report that the annual State Department on terrorism will report a nearly 30% rise over the previous year, most of it accounted for by attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan."

Of the 14,338 terrorist attacks logged in 2006, 45% were executed in Iraq.

Dutchman's biblical mission - World -

Dutchman's biblical mission - World - "Some people think he's crazy. His wife's not exactly thrilled either.

But like the biblical Noah, Dutchman Johan Huibers is steadfast in his mission: he's building an enormous working replica of Noah's Ark as a testament to his faith in the literal truth of the Bible."

Well Johan, since you said "literal truth of the Bible" how about we do a little experiment? Collect just beetles. Collect samples of the over 350,000 named species of beetle in any manner you choose and then sail around the world and then redistribute them to the right continents.

Prince Harry's deployment on hold

From the page: "Army chiefs fear that a fatal attack on two British soldiers in Iraq last week was a dry run for an attempt on Prince Harry's life, The Times has learnt.

The attack was made on a type of vehicle that the Prince will use, and took place in a part of the country where he is due to be deployed as early as next month. The two died when their Scimitar reconnaissance vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb, the first time that British soldiers had been killed in a Scimitar as a result of enemy action."

Well Harry, if it were up to me, you wouldn't go. You have no combat experience. You're a high value target so your presence in the area of operations will actually draw additional enemy forces that will target you and your men. I'm sorry, I understand why you want to go, but the risk is not worth the reward.

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Enquirer - Bible knowledge frees defendant

The Enquirer - Bible knowledge frees defendant

Man arrested for using a stolen credit is released on $10,000 unsecured appearance bond for reciting the 23rd Psalm in court.

I don't quite understand the logic. Wouldn't he have been a better bet if he'd quoted from
Bab and Baha'u'llah?

Data from a 1997 poll of religious beliefs held by federal prisoners:

Response              Number      %
---------------------------- --------
Catholic 29267 39.164%
Protestant 26162 35.008%
Muslim 5435 7.273%
American Indian 2408 3.222%
Nation 1734 2.320%
Rasta 1485 1.987%
Jewish 1325 1.773%
Church of Christ 1303 1.744%
Pentecostal 1093 1.463%
Moorish 1066 1.426%
Buddhist 882 1.180%
Jehovah Witness 665 0.890%
Adventist 621 0.831%
Orthodox 375 0.502%
Mormon 298 0.399%
Scientology 190 0.254%
Atheist 156 0.209%
Hindu 119 0.159%
Santeria 117 0.157%
Sikh 14 0.019%
Bahai 9 0.012%
Krishna 7 0.009%
---------------------------- --------
Total Known Responses 74731 100.001% (rounding to 3 digits does this)

Unknown/No Answer 18381
Total Convicted 93112 80.259% (74731) prisoners' religion is known.

Held in Custody 3856 (not surveyed due to temporary custody)
Total In Prisons 96968
Seen on Culture Wars.

Putin compares U.S. shield to Pershing missiles

RIA Novosti - World - "No hysteria" as Putin compares U.S. shield to Pershing missiles -1: "MOSCOW, April 27 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has compared U.S. plans to deploy its missile defenses in Europe to the deployment of Pershing cruise missiles in the 1980s, but said there will be 'no hysteria' about it."

Likening an offensive system (Pershing) to a defensive system (Patriot Advanced Capability III (PAC III)) is intellectually dishonest. I have no idea what President Putin is driving at.

North Korea and Iran have interlinked their missile programs. The missiles the West are afraid of are called the Taepo Dong 2 (North Korea) or the Shahab 5 (Iran). The missiles are currently using crappy North Korean engines. Neither variant has had a successful test flight.

If deployment of the PAC III squelches the development programs then it's money well spent.

First seen on Russian Forces Blog.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

A Long-Awaited Taste of Outer Space -

A Long-Awaited Taste of Outer Space - "'Life on Earth is at the ever-increasing risk of being wiped out by a disaster, such as sudden global warming, nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus or other dangers,' Hawking said in a statement before boarding. 'I think the human race has no future if it doesn't go into space. I therefore want to encourage public interest in space.'"

His body is paralyzed by Lou Gehrig's disease.

The apple is a tribute to Isaac Newton.

I would be very happy if in my entire life I could do as much for mankind as Stephen Hawkings does on an average day.

Top US officer charged with 'aiding the enemy'-News-World-Iraq-TimesOnline

Top US officer charged with 'aiding the enemy'-News-World-Iraq-TimesOnline:

"The former commander of the US military’s highest security prison in Iraq has been detained on suspicion of “aiding the enemy”, having an affair with his female translator and fraternising with the daughter of a prisoner."

The US Military has its own set of laws. They're called the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Lieutenant Colonel Steele is accused of violating Article 104- Aiding the Enemy. Here's a snippet right out of the UCMJ:

28. Article 104—Aiding the enemy
a. Text.
“Any person who—
(1) aids, or attempts to aid, the enemy with arms,
ammunition, supplies, money, or other things; or

(2) without proper authority, knowingly harbors

or protects or gives intelligence to or communicates
or corresponds with or holds any intercourse with
the enemy, either directly or indirectly; shall suffer
death or such other punishment as a court-martial or
military commission may direct.” [emphasis added]

He's also accused of fraternizing with a prisoner's daughter. This is a man with significant influence on whether or not the prisoner was transferred to Guantanamo Bay. If you were that prisoner's daughter, what would you be willing to do?

There are people in the military who should not be in the military. With great power comes great responsibility. What greater power could you have than power over life and death? We have people in the military, sadly some of them in positions of great responsibility, who do not deserve their society's trust.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Venezuelan government mulls plan for socialism classes at work - International Herald Tribune

Venezuelan government mulls plan for socialism classes at work - International Herald Tribune:

"CARACAS, Venezuela: Venezuelan businesses could be required to set aside four hours a week for workers to attend optional classes on socialism under a law being considered by President Hugo Chavez's government, the labor minister said according to a Venezuelan news report."

Optional. That's so cute. What's the option? Participate or be identified as an enemy of the Revolution?

First seen on
Foreign Policy.

Heroine attacks Pentagon over lies about her capture-News-World-US & Americas-TimesOnline

Heroine attacks Pentagon over lies about her capture-News-World-US & Americas-TimesOnline

I cannot tell you why, but we make caricatures out of our heroes. It seems that what our government and our journalists are trying to do is tell us what we want to hear. I don't know about you, but I want to hear the truth.

In my 26 years of military service I have had the honor to serve alongside a number of real-life heroes. My heroes all had compelling reasons
not to be heroes. They didn't do what they did to be loved, or admired, or even thanked. They did what they did, braved the risks or endured the suffering because it was the right thing to do.

By the way... the first hero I would care to name is a guy named John Van, my elementary school bus driver. He sat in the hallway and taught me how to read. Our family had just moved and I started the 1st grade a few months late. John sat out in the hallway with one of those huge "See Spot Run" books and helped me get caught up.

From the page: "Jessica Lynch, the US army private who became the heroic American face of the Iraq war when her convoy was ambushed soon after the invasion, lambasted the Bush Administration yesterday for lying about the incident."