horses and saddles sold cheap and other metaphors

Saturday, October 16, 2004

"Smarter, Cleaner, Stronger: Secure Jobs, Clean Environment, and Less Foreign Oil"
Oakland, Calif.—A coalition of labor and environmental advocates are hailing the findings of a new report that clearly demonstrates how smarter environmental policies can lead to significant job creation. The report "Smarter, Cleaner, Stronger: Secure Jobs, Clean Environment, and Less Foreign Oil" details for the first time on a national and a state-by-state basis, the economic benefits that will result from energy policies that stimulate the development of clean energy technologies. The report, released today by Redefining Progress, the Oakland California-based think tank, was endorsed by such influential groups as the United Steelworkers, the Sierra Club, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Natural Resources Defense Council, UNITE HERE and the New Jersey Work Environmental Council. Several other labor and environmental groups endorsed the report as well. The report explains how America can protect the environment, save consumers money, and build a secure domestic energy base while simultaneously creating good new jobs throughout the country. The report emphasizes that American ingenuity will lead the way to energy security and a strong economy.

The Bushies have tried to frame the debate on the environment as pro-business vs pro-environment. To them, business and a healthy environment are mutually exclusive. Not only is that not true, its an insult to American ingenuity. Are there going to be some rough patches as we make the transition to a "cleaner" economy? Sure there are. There were rough patches when we went from the buggy whip and horse drawn carriages to the automobile, but we did it and thrived. We can make the transition to a greener economy. I have faith in American ingenuity, I wish the wing-nuts did.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

What Happened in Kerry's Vietnam Battles? 'Nightline' Speaks to Witnesses of Disputed Firefight
According to Vo, there were at least 20 Viet Cong soldiers at Nha Vi there that day. "There were 12 soldiers from the provincial level and eight from the district level," he said.

His wife, Vo Thi Vi, 54, said Feb. 28, 1969, is a day that the villagers of Nha Vi hamlet will never forget. "Everything was destroyed," she said. "There's no houses left. They leveled everything. There was no leaves left. The fighting was very fierce."

According to the citation for Kerry's Silver Star, when the boats approached the hamlet, "a B-40 rocket exploded close aboard PCF 94" -- Kerry's boat. He "personally led a landing party ashore in pursuit of the enemy," the citation says, before commending Kerry's "extraordinary daring and personal courage" for "attacking a numerically superior force in the face of intense fire."

That account is disputed by Swift boat veteran John O'Neill, author of "Unfit for Command," who maintains in his book that the statement "is simply false. There was little or no fire."

Different Accounts

Villagers say this is what they saw:

"Firing from over here. Firing from over there. Firing from the boat," Vo Thi Vi told Nightline.

and here's where the internet lore and John the lying sack of scum O'Neil takes a hit.
O'Neill told ABC News in an August 2004 interview. "But the actual facts are that there was a single kid there who had fired a rocket, who popped up, and John Kerry with his gunboat, with or without a number of troops, depending on who you talk to, plopped in front of the kid. The kid was wounded in the legs by machine gun fire, and as he ran off, John Kerry jumped off the boat and shot the kid in the back."

O'Neil wasn't there, but plays an expert witness on TV.
None of the villagers seems to be able to say for a fact that they saw an American chase the man who fired the B-40 into the woods and shoot him. Nobody seems to remember that. But they have no problem remembering Ba Thang, the man who has been dismissed by Kerry's detractors as "a lone, wounded, fleeing, young Vietcong in a loincloth." (The description comes from "Unfit for Command," by Swift boat veteran John O'Neill.)

"No, this is not correct," Nguyen Thi Tuoi, 77, told ABC News. "He wore a black pajama. He was strong. He was big and strong. He was about 26 or 27."

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Think Tank: Iraq War Distracted U.S.
But the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University said that instead of striking a blow against Islamic extremists, the Iraq war ``has created momentum for many terrorist elements, but chiefly al-Qaida and its affiliates.''

Jaffee Center director Shai Feldman said the vast amount of money and effort the United States has poured into Iraq has deflected attention and assets from other centers of terrorism, such as Afghanistan.

The concentration of U.S. intelligence assets in Iraq ``has to be at the expense of being able to follow strategic dangers in other parts of the world,'' he said.

Are the wheels falling off the Bush wagon. The billions of dollars in US aid can't keep at least some Israelies from telling the truth. Hell, if anyone's experienced with dealing with terror its Israel. Wrong war, wrong time, waged the wrong way.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Privacy is out of style now. A lady on C-SPAN a few months ago reminded me and evryone listening that if you don't want the government to know your personal business, that means your're hiding something. She said that the goverment was welcome to spy on anything she was doing. Did I mention she was a Bush supporter.

Schneier on Security RFID Passports
Since the terrorist attacks of 2001, the Bush administration--specifically, the Department of Homeland Security--has wanted the world to agree on a standard for machine-readable passports. Countries whose citizens currently do not have visa requirements to enter the United States will have to issue passports that conform to the standard or risk losing their nonvisa status.

These future passports, currently being tested, will include an embedded computer chip. This chip will allow the passport to contain much more information than a simple machine-readable character font, and will allow passport officials to quickly and easily read that information. That is a reasonable requirement and a good idea for bringing passport technology into the 21st century.

But the Bush administration is advocating radio frequency identification (RFID) chips for both U.S. and foreign passports, and that's a very bad thing.

These chips are like smart cards, but they can be read from a distance. A receiving device can "talk" to the chip remotely, without any need for physical contact, and get whatever information is on it. Passport officials envision being able to download the information on the chip simply by bringing it within a few centimeters of an electronic reader.

Unfortunately, RFID chips can be read by any reader, not just the ones at passport control. The upshot of this is that travelers carrying around RFID passports are broadcasting their identity.

I'm sure the C-SPAN won't mind, she has nothing to hide.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Check out SHRILLBLOG when you get a chance. Biting humor is back.

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