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Sad kitty
Topic: Miscellaneous 7:36 pm EST, Nov  6, 2007

The _proper_ way cats should react to water, if they are against taking your life.

Sad kitty

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Topic: Current Events 7:52 am EDT, Oct 14, 2007

Ashley Gilbertson photographs the war in Iraq for the New York Times. He talks about the invasion of Iraq, the battle for Falluja, the Marines he worked with, post-traumatic stress disorder, Iraqi civilians, and the future of photojournalism. His work is available in Whiskey Tango Foxtrot: A Photographer's Chronicle of the Iraq War published by the University of Chicago Press.

Praise for the book:

“This is the kind of reporting we so desperately need: free of false bravura, free of agenda, free of inflated urgency. Gilbertson … shows us personally and incontrovertibly what it has been like for him coming of age in Iraq during the last five years.

“For this reason, the book belongs less with other histories of the war than on the same shelf with Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms and Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five. This is not trumped-up news coming live from Iraq but the straight story with harrowing snapshots of the American soul. When future generations look back and wonder where we went wrong, where we failed ourselves and them, it will not be hours of television and radio broadcasts that they pore over. It will be a select few texts, and Gilbertson’s book deserves to be one of them.”

I have this book... it's astonishing.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Al Gore Wins Nobel Peace Prize 2007
Topic: Society 7:52 am EDT, Oct 14, 2007

For their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change:

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
Albert Arnold (Al) Gore Jr.


Al Gore Wins Nobel Peace Prize 2007

Leak Severed a Link to Al-Qaeda's Secrets
Topic: Current Events 7:51 am EDT, Oct 14, 2007

In a nutshell: last month, SITE used its access to Obelisk to obtain a "screener" of the latest Osama bin Laden video. They got excited, and, perhaps seeing an opportunity to boast, handed it off to top officials, who (according to Katz) promptly fumbled it into the national news media. Katz feels double-crossed and plays at revenge by naming names to the aforementioned national news media. (Mike also cites the coverage at the Sun.)

She claims that "a years-long surveillance operation" was compromised by the officials' early release of the video. If true, this reflects rather poorly on SITE's tradecraft.

If, at the time of the leak, Katz was embargoing this video from her regular subscribers, then why did she rely on SITE's basic Internet distribution mechanism? This sort of thing ought to be on a separate limited-access network. For that matter, she could have hand-couriered it over to Leiter at NTC. And why does the file remain online after Fielding, Bagnal, and Leiter had pulled their copies? They could have been given separate one-time-use URLs, each pointing to a separate watermarked copy of the video.

Venzke, her competitor at IntelCenter, is taking cheap shots at her expense, but he has a point: "It is not just about getting the video first. It is about having the proper methods and procedures in place ..."

It's possible this is a ruse. From the Bury the Lead Dept:

Al-Qaeda supporters, now alerted to the intrusion into their secret network, put up new obstacles that prevented SITE from gaining the kind of access it had obtained in the past, according to Katz.

"Oh, damn. Now I'm locked out."

It's also possible this is a deliberate disruption, akin to JIEDDO forcing bombers "back on the wire."

In either case, the infighting over the "leak" makes for good cover.

Note to early birds: the Shachtman story has been updated. See additional analysis at Captain's Quarters. Pundita was talking about Obelisk on Monday.

Leak Severed a Link to Al-Qaeda's Secrets

Bill Moyers Journal - Chris Jordan
Topic: Society 7:50 am EDT, Oct 14, 2007

Photographic Artist Chris Jordan turns the statistics of consumerism into palpable images in his new photo series.

Please watch this video. From an artistic standpoint, it's irrelevant and the quality of the video belies what the actual work must provoke in person. The statement that it is making, which is what art is really for, is what is important. The last 60 seconds of the video is the most profound, but the whole thing must be watched in order for that last bit to resonate roundly.

Bill Moyers Journal - Chris Jordan

Gay Rights Backers Split on Bias Bill
Topic: Society 7:45 am EDT, Oct 14, 2007

Associated Press Writer
AP - Friday, October 12

WASHINGTON - Rep. Barney Frank, a leading gay rights champion in Congress, on Thursday urged fellow gay rights advocates not to let their dispute over protecting transgender workers doom a job discrimination ban that could mark a major civil rights advance for gays in the workplace.

The debate over including transgender people has sharply divided gay rights activists, many of whom are trying to kill a stripped-down bill without protections for transgender workers that Frank and Democratic leaders hope will win House passage this year.

"We're not going to be split off this way," said Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. "We're driven by principle. No civil rights movement has ever left a part of its community behind - and we're not about to be the first."

Frank, D-Mass., one of two openly gay members of Congress, supports transgender protections, but said they don't have the votes.

"Politically, the notion that you don't do anything until you can do everything is self-defeating," he said.

Frank said the public has more awareness because gay activists began educating people about the unfairness of prejudice based on sexual orientation a long time ago.

"These things take awhile," Frank said. "The transgender issue is of relatively recent vintage."

Legislation banning workplace discrimination against gays, lesbians and bisexuals _ but not those who have had sex-change surgery or cross-dressers _ has stalled after an outcry from the transgender community and its allies, including many gay rights organizations.

"Transgender" is an umbrella term that covers transsexuals, cross-dressers and others whose outward appearance doesn't match their gender at birth.

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act would make it illegal for employers to make decisions about hiring, firing, promoting or paying an employee based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Churches and the military would be exempt.

But when Democrats took vote counts and realized the measure would fail, they substituted a new scaled-back version dropping transgender people from the bill. A second bill to ban workplace discrimination against transgenders was also drafted.

Gay rights groups that oppose a ban that leaves out transgender people have waged an aggressive lobbying campaign.

"Fighting your friends can sometimes be difficult," said Frank.

Foreman agreed.

"I never thought in a million years we would be on the opposite side of Barney Frank and it is painful," he said.

Federal law bans job discrimination based on factors such as race, gender and religion. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have laws against sexual orientation discrimination.

However, only nine states specifically protect transgender people from discrimination: New Jersey, Minnesota, Rhod... [ Read More (0.4k in body) ]

Gay Rights Backers Split on Bias Bill

The Big Picture | Alan Greenspan on The Daily Show
Topic: Business 7:43 am EDT, Oct 14, 2007

Greenspan: I was telling my colleagues the other day...I’d been dealing with these big mathematical models for forecasting the economy, and I’m looking at what’s going on the last few weeks and I say, “Y’know, if I could figure out a way to determine whether or not people are more fearful, or changing to euphoric... I don’t need any of this other stuff. I could forecast the economy better than any way I know. The trouble is, we can’t figure that out. I’ve been in the forecasting business for 50 years, and I’m no better than I ever was, and nobody else is either.”

Stewart: (Leans back in chair)...You just bummed the sh*t outta me!

The Big Picture | Alan Greenspan on The Daily Show

Political Radar: Dems' Poster Child Faces a Firestorm
Topic: Politics and Law 7:43 am EDT, Oct 14, 2007

Manley cited an e-mail sent to reporters by a Senate Republican leadership aide, summing up recent blog traffic about the boy's family. A spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., declined to comment on Manley's charge that GOP aides were complicit in spreading disparaging information about Frosts.

So rather than actually do something, someone in Mitch McConnell's office sent out email to beat the drums for people like Malkin and Limbaugh to further fuck up the life of a 12 year old kid whose life is already hell after a car wreck. Reprehensible doesn't even start to describe this.

Political Radar: Dems' Poster Child Faces a Firestorm

Spammers: Four Zillion, Russian Mafia: 2
Topic: Society 11:00 am EDT, Oct 12, 2007

It's a start at least.

Apparently the leading Russian "v!4gr4" spammer was recently found murdered, apparently by the mafia.

Let's hear it for the mafia! (...and how often is it you get to say that) ...although perhaps next time they'll just break a hand's-worth of fingers as a warning first. Spammers can [i]probably[/i] be rehabilitated just like any other criminal, so there's not much sense in wasting them like that.

Spammers: Four Zillion, Russian Mafia: 2

YouTube - Chomsky talks about Marijuana
Topic: Recreation 11:34 am EDT, Oct  4, 2007

Chomsky on the Pot...

YouTube - Chomsky talks about Marijuana

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