Daily Archive: 08/06/2012

Aug 06 2012

August 6, 2001

An Annual Reminder.

Echo… echo… echo… Pinch hitting for Pedro Borbon… Manny Mota… Mota… Mota…

You may remember my brother the activist.  I keep trying to get him to post, but he’s shy and busy.  He sent me this yesterday and I thought I’d share it with you.

I need to add that he’s a great admirer of James Carville’s political savvy (though not his policies) and one story he likes to tell is how during the height of Monica-gate Carville was on one of the Talking Head shows and made a point about how important it is to stay on message.  Carville then proceeded to demonstrate his gift by working the phrase “Cigarette Lawyer Ken Starr” 27 times in the next 30 seconds.- ek

The date – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 – August 6, 2001 needs to be as well known to Joe and Jane American as September 11, 2001.

Presidential Daily Briefing of August 6, 2001 PDB

Declassified and Approved for Release, 10 April 2004

Presidential Daily Briefing: August 6, 2001 – Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.

Clandestine, foreign government, and media reports indicate Bin Ladin since 1997 has wanted to conduct foreign terrorist attacks on the U.S. Bin Ladin implied in U.S. television interviews in 1997 and 1998 that his followers would follow the example of World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef and “bring the fighting to America.”

Presidential Daily Briefing: August 6, 2001 – Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.

After U.S. missile strikes on his base in Afghanistan in 1998, Bin Ladin told followers he wanted to retaliate in Washington, according to a [deleted] service.

Presidential Daily Briefing: August 6, 2001 – Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.

An Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) operative told an [deleted] service at the same that Bin Ladin was planning to exploit the operative’s access to the U.S. to mount a terrorist strike.

Presidential Daily Briefing: August 6, 2001 – Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.

FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York.

Presidential Daily Briefing: August 6, 2001 – Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.

The FBI is conducting approximately 70 full field investigations throughout the U.S. that it considers Bin Ladin-related. CIA and the FBI are investigating a call to our Embassy in the UAE in May saying that a group of Bin Ladin supporters was in the U.S. planning attacks with explosives.

So Vice President Dick, tell me again how the REPUBLICANS WILL KEEP US SAFE?

So Senator McSame, tell me again how invading and occupying IRAQ has helped the U.S. hunt down BIN LADEN?

I’m printing my own bumper stickers filled with images from 9-11 and this text-

August 6, 2001 – Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S. – We Will Never Forget.

“I don’t think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center”- Condoleezza Rice, National Security Advisor

“All right. You’ve covered your ass now.”- George W. Bush

Aug 06 2012

Punting the Pundits

“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Chris Hedges:The Science of Genocide

Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.

On this day in 1945 the United States demonstrated that it was as morally bankrupt as the Nazi machine it had recently vanquished and the Soviet regime with which it was allied. Over Hiroshima, and three days later over Nagasaki, it exploded an atomic device that was the most efficient weapon of genocide in human history. The blast killed tens of thousands of men, women and children. It was an act of mass annihilation that was strategically and militarily indefensible. The Japanese had been on the verge of surrender. Hiroshima and Nagasaki had no military significance. It was a war crime for which no one was ever tried. The explosions, which marked the culmination of three centuries of physics, signaled the ascendancy of the technician and scientist as our most potent agents of death. [..]

All attempts to control the universe, to play God, to become the arbiters of life and death, have been carried out by moral idiots. They will relentlessly push forward, exploiting and pillaging, perfecting their terrible tools of technology and science, until their creation destroys them and us. They make the nuclear bombs. They extract oil from the tar sands. They turn the Appalachians into a wasteland to extract coal. They serve the evils of globalism and finance. They run the fossil fuel industry. They flood the atmosphere with carbon emissions, doom the seas, melt the polar ice caps, unleash the droughts and floods, the heat waves, the freak storms and hurricanes.

James Hansen: Climate Change is Here – and Worse Than We Thought

When I testified before the Senate in the hot summer of 1988 , I warned of the kind of future that climate change would bring to us and our planet. I painted a grim picture of the consequences of steadily increasing temperatures, driven by mankind’s use of fossil fuels.

But I have a confession to make: I was too optimistic.

My projections about increasing global temperature have been proved true. But I failed to fully explore how quickly that average rise would drive an increase in extreme weather.In a new analysis of the past six decades of global temperatures, which will be published Monday, my colleagues and I have revealed a stunning increase in the frequency of extremely hot summers, with deeply troubling ramifications for not only our future but also for our present.

Glenn Greenwald: Obama the Pioneer

The accusation that the President has failed to deliver Change is, in certain key respects, unfair

Earlier this week, The New Yorker‘s Steve Coll wrote an excellent column on President Obama’s kill list and assassination powers. Regarding the lawsuit brought by the ACLU and CCR on behalf of three American victims of Obama’s assassinations – a legal challenge which CBS News‘ Andrew Cohen called “the most important lawsuit filed so far this year” and “the most important lawsuit filed in the war on terror since President Barack Obama took office” – Coll argued that it “is to the due-process clause what the proposed march of neo-Nazis through a community that included many Holocaust survivors in Skokie, Illinois, was to the First Amendment”: “an instance where the most onerous facts imaginable should lead to the durable affirmation of constitutional principle, as Skokie did.”

Coll also pointed to “evidence ] suggesting that the Obama Administration leans toward killing terrorism suspects because it does not believe it has a politically attractive way to put them on trial,” which tracks [Noam Chomsky’s pithy observation earlier this year: “If the Bush administration didn’t like somebody, they’d kidnap them and send them to torture chambers. If the Obama administration decides they don’t like somebody, they murder them.” Coll also dissects the standard excuses offered by Obama defenders for the seizure of this power, including the moral and factual defects of the excuse that it’s acceptable to kill an accused Terrorist suspect if it’s difficult to apprehend and try him (in the Awlaki case, the Obama administration never even charged or indicted him before executing him).

Robert Kuttner: Don’t Blame Bernanke

Let’s not expect central bankers to bail out the continuing economic mess. That’s not who they are, and cheap money can only do so much to levitate a deflated economy.[..]

If you watched any of the PBS encore broadcast of the Ken Burns documentary, The War, this past week, you have some sense of what kind of a production machine can be energized by government contracts in the face of a depressed economy. There is so much that we could spend that money on — energy self sufficiency, infrastructure, a smart electrical grid, public transportation, better education at all levels — all of which would not only create economic activity and jobs, but would make for a more productive economy. But nothing like this is part of the mainstream conversation. If you propose this sort of thing, you are packed off to the Museum of Un-reconstructed Keynesians. White House economists quietly admit that you are right, but you are politically radioactive (even with a Nobel Prize.)

Eric Margolis: Drone Attacks Only Create More Enemies for the US

I was visiting Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States when the phone on his desk rang.

“The hot line,” he said. “Sorry I have to take this call.”

As he listened, his face grew darker and darker. Finally, he banged down the phone and exploded: “Another US drone attack that killed a score of our people. We were never warned the attack was coming. We are supposed to be US allies!”

This strongly pro-American ambassador was wrong. While the US hails Pakistan as a key non-NATO ally, the US treats it like a militarily occupied country. The government in Islamabad is left to observe increasing drone attacks and CIA ground operation with deepening embarrassment and helplessness.

Richard (RJ) Eskow: Happy 151st Birthday, Federal Income Tax!

Yesterday I got an email for the President’s birthday inviting me to sign an e-card (and no doubt asking for contributions, too.) The subject line, “Big Birthday,” could have been about another landmark: Today, August 5, the Federal income tax turned 151 years old.

Now that’s a big birthday. Bring out the balloons and party hats.

I can hear people saying, “Is this guy crazy? Doesn’t he pay taxes? Who likes giving up a big chunk of money?”

Yes, I pay my taxes, and there are lots of other bills on the family table. Among other things I’m a small business owner, and our ongoing “invisible recession” has taken a toll on my income. Under the circumstances I can’t say I like paying taxes. Or, more precisely, I don’t enjoy the process. But then I think about what it would cost us, financially and otherwise, not to have the Federal income tax.

It could cost seniors $30,000, $40,000 or more to buy health insurance, for example – that is, if they could afford it at all. And what would it cost to use the public highways if they’d been built for profit – $500 per year? $5,000? Then there are those things the private sector wouldn’t bother with at all, like disease prevention. I’d guess we’d just get sick more often.

When I think about that I become downright grateful. So Happy 151st Birthday, Federal income tax! May you have many more to come.

Aug 06 2012

On This Day In History August 6

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

Click on images to enlarge

August 6 is the 218th day of the year (219th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 147 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day there have been many significant events. Certainly, one of the most memorable is that this is the anniversary of dropping of the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. It is also the anniversary of President Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act.

Recent significant history that has been over looked by my usual sources is this: The August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Briefing better known as the August 6th PDB. It was handed to President George W. Bush, who was on one of his many vacations to his home in Crawford, TX, by Harriet Miers, who was the President’s WH Council, and promptly ignored. Whether Bush ignored the warning that Osama bin Laden was planning to attack the US because he was told to let it happen or, the darker theory, that the government made it happen will never be known, at least not in the lifetime of those reading this. Whatever Bush’s motive was, it set off a series of events in this country that has affected us all and divided us like no other incident since the Civil War. The US has now been in Afghanistan for almost 9 years 10 years and Iraq for over seven eight and, despite the Democrats holding the White House and the majority in both houses of Congress, there is no end in site to those two wars. Despite campaign promises to restore the rule of law and the Constitution, the Obama administration has continued the most heinous of the Bush policies that are violations of not just US law but International Law, ratified treaties and agreements. A sad anniversary, indeed.

I wrote this two years ago, although Pres. Obama has withdrawn combats troops from Iraq, “support” troops still remain. The US is in the process drawing down military presence in Afghanistan. That may sound encouraging but the President has since increased drones attacks in Pakistan and targeted American citizens for assassination. So much for ending the “war on terror.”

Aug 06 2012

XXX Olympiad- Day 13

More Competitive Armchair Olympics

Produced by CHRISTOPH NIEMANN and JON HUANG, The New York Times

Broadcast Schedule

Time Network Sport Competitors
7 am Vs. Men’s Volleyball RUS v SRB
8:30 am Vs. Women’s Boxing (Fly, Light, Middleweight Quarterfinals) elimination
9 am MS Men’s Water Polo ROU v SRB
9:30 am Vs. Men’s Volleyball ITA v BUL
10 am NBC Track & Field (Women’s 100m Hurdles) all
10:30 am NBC Men’s Water Polo USA v HUN
10:30 am MS Table Tennis CHN v KOR
11 am MS Wrestling (Greco-Roman) all
11:30 am Vs. Shooting (Men’s 50m 3 Positions Final) (Medal) all
11:30 am NBC Canoe/Kayak (Flatwater Men’s 1000m K-1, K-2, C-1, Women’s 500m K-4) all
noon Vs Women’s Football FRA v JPN
noon NBC Track & Field (Men’s 800m) all
noon MS Table Tennis (Men’s Team Semifinals) CHN v GER KOR v HKG
12:30 pm NBC Syncronized Swimming (Duet) all
1 pm MS Men’s Beach Volleyball (Quarterfinal) all
1:30 pm NBC Track & Field (Women’s 1500m) all
1:30 pm NBC Canoe/Kayak (Sprints, 4 events) all
2 pm Vs. Women’s Boxing (Fly, Light, Middleweight Quarterfinals) elimination
2 pm MS Shooting (Men’s Trap Final) (Medal) all
2 pm NBC Cycling (Track, Women’s Omnium (new event)) all
2:30 pm NBC Equestrian (Team Jumping Final) (Medal) all
2:30 pm Vs. Women’s Football (Quarterfinals) CAN v USA
2:30 pm MS Wrestling (Greco-Toman Finals) (Medal) all
3 pm NBC Men’s Volleyball USA v TUN
3:30 pm MS Men’s Basketball ESP v BRA
4 pm NBC Track & Field (Women’s Steeplechase) (Medal) all
4:30 pm NBC Equestrian (Team Jumping Final) (Medal) all
4:30 pm Vs. Weightlifting (Men’s 105kg Final) (Medal) all
5 pm MS Men’s Beach Volleyball (Quarterfinal) elimination
5 pm CNBC Boxing (Men’s Light, Middle, and Super Heavyweight Quarterfinals) elimination
5 pm Vs. Men’s Basketball USA v ARG
7 pm Vs. Men’s Volleyball BRA v GER
8 pm NBC Prime Time (Finals- Gymnastics (Apparatus), Track & Field (Men’s 400m), Cycling (Men’s Track Sprint), Diving (Men’s Springboard Qualifying), Men’s Beach Volleyball (Quarterfinal)) (Medal) all
12:30 am NBC Late Night (Track & Field (Women’s Shot Put Final), Men’s Beach Volleyball (Quarterfinal)) (Medal) NED v ITA
1:30 am NBC Prime Time repeat
3 am CNBC Boxing repeats
4 am Vs. Men’s Field Hockey KOR v NED
5 am Vs. Canoe/Kayak (Flatwater, Men’s 1000m K-4 & C-2, Women’s 500m K-1 & K-2) all

All this is sourced through the NBC Olympics broadcast schedule.  Competition starts again at 6 am tomorrow.  

Competitions designated by (Medal) will award winners that day.  ‘all’ means not specified.  Sometimes NBC especially does mashups and doesn’t include event or competitor information.  Elimination means no round robin, one and done.

These schedules are a place for you to make sure you don’t miss a sport you like and share your observations.  Have fun today!

Aug 06 2012

Pique the Geek 20120805: Yet More Carbon

Last time we finished our discussion of diamond, and now we move to what is pretty incorrectly called amorphous carbon.  Truly amorphous materials. like glass, have no true crystal structure (although there may be some local microstructures) that repeats regularly.

When used in the sense of carbon, only recently produced thin films of carbon are truly amorphous.  These are of research interest for the most part, although I would be quite surprised if practical uses are not found for them before long.

We shall discuss forms of carbon traditionally called amorphous even though they are not truly amorphous.  These include some of the most commonly encountered forms of carbon, and almost everyone has seen and touched at least a few examples.

Aug 06 2012

Sunday Train: Cycle & Pedestrian Islands and Tiny Trains

Burning the Midnight Oil for Living Energy Independence

crossposted from Voices on the Square

“Oh, sure, more than 1/5 of journeys to work in Eindhoven, The Hague, Amsterdam and Utrecht in the Netherlands are by bike, but they are flat. It would never work here, its hilly.” Given that Copenhagen has one of the highest European cycling mode shares in trips to work, winter is obviously not the obstacle that it is sometimes made out to be ~ ah, but hills. They are an insuperable obstacle.

Back in April, 2010, comparing Portland and Seattle, Jarret Walker asked, Should we plan transit for “bikeability”? This was following a project by Adam Parast comparing the cycling potential of Portland and Seattle, including potential bikeability with improved infrastructure. And the geography of Portland, with most development and activity on the flat or gently sloping floor of a valley, is substantially different from the geography of Seattle, built on “seven hills”, with water obstacles tossed in for good measure.

Today’s Sunday Train looks at what role public transport can serve in helping to increase cycling mode share.