Friday, December 28, 2007

For those of you with bad memories...

BBC NEWS | South Asia | Bhutto killing blamed on al-Qaeda: "Pakistan says it has intelligence that al-Qaeda assassinated opposition politician Benazir Bhutto at an election rally on Thursday."

Pervez "after me, the deluge" Musharraf's government is blaming the assassination of Benazir Bhutto on al-Qaida. The problem with this is that Musharraf's government has had ties to al-Qaida. The Pakistani Inter-Service Intelligence agency has actually used al-Qaida training camps in Afghanistan to prepare personnel for use against India. Musharraf's finger pointing raises more questions than it answers. He should have stuck with the "some other guy did it" defense.

Does the US really need Pervez Musharraf as an ally? Should we really be supporting yet another tin pot dictator whose only demonstrated capability is suppressing lawyers and judges?

If anyone out there has an example in which the doctrine of "my enemy's enemy is my friend" hasn't come back to bite us in the butt I'd love to hear about it.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Benazir Bhutto Assassinated in Pakistan -

Benazir Bhutto Assassinated in Pakistan - "RAWALPINDI, Pakistan, Dec. 27 -- Former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated Thursday at a political rally, two months after returning from exile to attempt a political comeback."

President Musharraf, it looks bad when your political opponents are assassinated.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Turkey Reports Airstrike on Iraq - New York Times

Turkey Reports Airstrike on Iraq - New York Times: "ANKARA, Turkey (AP) -- Turkish jet fighters bombed Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq early Sunday, Turkey's military said, marking an escalation of force against the outlawed separatist group. An Iraqi official said the planes attacked several villages, killing one woman."

This is interesting because the US would have had to have allowed it. The US maintains a Combat Air Patrol (CAP) over Iraq. We have good to excellent radar coverage extending well beyond Iraq's borders. The only reason I can see that the CAP didn't drop the Turkish aircraft is that they were told not to.

The Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) is a terrorist organization. The best solution is for the Kurds in Northern Iraq to police the PKK themselves. If they're not going to do that then they're going to keep giving Turkey an excuse to come over the border and handle the problem their own way.

EDIT: BBC quotes a Turkish General as saying the US gave advance approval.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Musharraf ends emergency rule

BBC NEWS | South Asia | Musharraf ends Pakistan emergency: "Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has lifted a state of emergency and restored the country's constitution."

Musharraf deserves no credit at all for this. This is, after all, a democratic crisis he created.

His days are certainly numbered. He has lost the loyalty of the middle class. Pakistani lawyers rioted in the streets. History students (people smarter than me) will tell you that the loyalty of the middle class is very often the tipping point for revolution.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I guess Rumsfeld won't be traveling to France anytime soon

BBC NEWS | Europe | Col Gaddafi faces torture lawsuit: "A Palestinian-born doctor jailed in Libya for allegedly infecting children with HIV has filed a suit for torture against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi."

I know, I know, diplomatic immunity and all that but this is important. Gaddafi very much wants to play big kids. If he wants to have relations with first world countries then he needs to clean up his act. One of the many things he needs to do is reject torture.

Silly dictator, only America is allowed to torture.

There needs to be a turd smoking section in hell for these guys...

Study Faults Charities for Veterans: "Americans gave millions of dollars in the past year to veterans charities designed to help troops wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan, but several of the groups spent relatively little money on the wounded, according to a leading watchdog organization and federal tax filings.

Eight veterans charities, including some of the nation's largest, gave less than a third of the money raised to the causes they champion, far below the recommended standard, the American Institute of Philanthropy says in a report. One group passed along 1 cent for every dollar raised, the report says. Another paid its founder and his wife a combined $540,000 in compensation and benefits last year, a Washington Post analysis of tax filings showed."

I saw this on Wonkette.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Chaplain gets plea bargain in sex case

Lawyer: Priest will plead guilty to sex charges - Navy News, opinions, editorials, news from Iraq, photos, reports - Navy Times: "An HIV-positive Catholic Navy chaplain plans to plead guilty Thursday to charges involving sexual misconduct with an unspecified number of men, according to his attorney, who said the priest has known of his HIV status for more than two years."

Lieutenant Commander John Thomas Matthew Lee was facing life without parole if he didn't take the pre-trial agreement.

The Marines have not released the charge sheet on Lee so there is a lot that we don't know. Two of the charges are aggravated assault and indecent assault. Lee's attorney says that his client is "extremely remorseful." Lots of monsters are "extremely remorseful" after they're caught.

Can someone please explain to me why professions dedicated to helping others attract ambulatory turds like Lee?

EDIT: Lee's sentence has come down. He got twelve years with all but two of those years suspended. I am truly saddened by this. He raped a midshipman (Naval Academy cadet). Two years time served is not enough for someone like Lee who abused his authority and preyed upon people who came to him for help.

If you look at the left boot of the Marine following Lee you will see he has a dog tag in the laces. The other one is probably worn around his neck. The thought is that you won't lose your head and your feet at the same time and your buddies will have an easier time identifying your body.

It is men and women that have to think like that who were burdened with a sexual predator.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Homeopathy is quackery

BBC NEWS | UK | Concern over HIV homeopathy role: "Doctors and health charities have expressed concern about a conference which will examine the role of homeopathy in treating HIV. The event includes discussion of what have been described as 'healing remedies' for HIV and AIDS."

If they're going to play doctor, then they should be liable for malpractice. It is time we started to hold "complementary and alternative medicine" aka "evidence-free medicine" practitioners accountable for their claims.

Rather than burden you with a long-winded rant, I'll just point you at Ben Goldacre's blog.