July 26, 2010 archive

Late Night Karaoke

From Guardian UK, “How To Read Afghanistan War Logs” from wikileaks

The Guardian UK, a British publication, says that they asked to see the 90,000+  wikileaks documents of whistleblower Julian Assange on the Afghanistan War, and has created its own stories on them, and has not paid for this. They say they’ve “crawled through it so you can make sense of it,”  which means that they must have had it for a while.  

As the U.S. Senate strips out $20 billion of domestic funding resources that would have paid for schools, teachers, and college students,  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…

A spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., wouldn’t comment on whether the House will simply approve the Senate measure and send it on to Obama for his signature.

But the pressure to do so is intense, especially after Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned lawmakers this week that unless the measure is enacted into law before Congress leaves for its August recess, the Pentagon could have to furlough thousands of employees.

….     out of yet another war “supplemental” bill above the regular military funding, and is poised to influx another massive amount of deficit cash into yet another surge into a country we’ve now occupied for 9 years, the timing could not be better.

Rachel Reid, who investigates civilian casualty incidents in Afghanistan for Human Rights Watch, said: “These files bring to light what’s been a consistent trend by US and Nato forces: the concealment of civilian casualties. Despite numerous tactical directives ordering transparent investigations when civilians are killed, there have been incidents I’ve investigated in recent months where this is still not happening.  

Accountability is not just something you do when you are caught. It should be part of the way the US and Nato do business in Afghanistan every time they kill or harm civilians.” The reports, many of which the Guardian is publishing in full online, present an unvarnished and often compelling account of the reality of modern war.

Most of the material, though classified “secret” at the time, is no longer militarily sensitive. A small amount of information has been withheld from publication because it might endanger local informants or give away genuine military secrets.


The Guardian’s war logs homepage of links is here:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/worl…


An important message from the always great Dennis Kucinich:

Disruptive Technology, Micro Solar, and Recovery Act Innovation

Technology is a double-edged sword.

It can spark the furnace, that keeps you alive in the winter.

It can spark a wild fire, that consumes all its path.

But then again, Lightning can cause the same damage —

WITHOUT the assist of human innovation.

Technology is a double-edged sword.

It can lead to increased crop production, to feed the masses;

which in turn, can lead to increased masses,

that taxes that same crop production.

Technology is a double-edged sword.

Sometimes the simplest of inventions —

can change the world;

often in ways, never imagined by the inventors.

Such innovations have been call “Disruptive Technology” —

because their impact, is SO unexpected,

and yet SO useful — that they spin off other innovations,

and industries, and businesses, and even

entirely new ‘ways of life’

Pique the Geek 20100725: Corruption of Scientific Terms

Scientific terms are often corrupted, and the wingnuts often do it.  They conflate hypotheses with theories, and theories with laws.  They also reduce the value of a theory to what they make out as just a guess.

This post is an attempt to separate the words and make the scientific method more sensible to folks who are not trained scientists.  As always, if I not clear, comments and questions are always welcomed.

Wikileaks Strikes Again: Afghanistan Docs!!!

This was just coming in on the MSNBC site, only minutes ago:

90,000 Afghan war documents being leaked

Previously unreported civilian deaths among the disclosures by Wikileaks

San Pedro Lighthouses

Point Fermin Light

On July 6, the day before we were scheduled to travel to Vegas, we decided it would be a good day to indulge in our interest in lighthouses, so we planned a trip to San Pedro and Point Fermin Lighthouse.

Look quickly because this image, downloaded from the Internet, is as close as we got.  That’s really too bad, because it really is historic.  Built in 1874, its 2100-candelpower light had a Fresnel lens that was brought around Cape Horn on sailing ships.  The first keeper was Mary L. Smith, who lived with her sister.  They gave up the occupation because of loneliness:  the closest neighbors were in Wilmington, CA, 5 or 6 miles to the north.

Unfortunately, Google map directions let us down and instructed us to turn right at the wrong time, which resulted in us arriving at Point Vicente Lighthouse in Rancho Palos Verdes, past what is called Portuguese Bend, instead of finding Point Fermin.  Part of this was bad:  Point Vicente was not open on that day.  Then again, it was hardly what one could call vertical, so climbing it might not have been all that good of an idea anyway.

Anticapitalist meetup 7/25 situation

goinsouth tried to post an anticapitalist meetup over at Kos today, and someone or something was monkeying with the HTML.

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