Saturday, July 09, 2005

New LA Mayor Shows Leadership

imagine if you will....

you are mayor of a major american city. you are woken up at 3:30 a.m. by your police chief with news of a terrorist bombing on public transportation in london. what would you do?
antonio villaraigosa gets up and spends the morning riding public transportation and talking with passengers about their lives, troubles and concerns. he, by action, reminds the public that public transportation is not to be feared today, tomorrow or down the road.

Mayor Villaraigosa holds a Press Conference in Response to London Bombings

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is a hands on Mayor and he stated he will also be riding the Metrolink this morning and this afternoon to reassure riders that everything is being done to secure rider's safety.

.S. security heightened in London bombs' wake

In Los Angeles, county transit officials tripled the number of security officers on trains, assigned sheriff's deputies to follow buses and sent bomb-sniffing dogs to train and light rail stations.
During the morning rush hour, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa rode the Gold Line to encourage riders not to abandon the system out of fear.

Darn if that ain't one of the coolest things I've heard. Go, Tony!

Generating Online Drama

Drama-Generating Techniques Chuckle. I particularly like the entry on Condescension.

News Flash: Women, Grownups!

Emergency pill sex fears allayed

Making the morning-after pill available to buy in chemists has not encouraged unsafe sex, say experts.
Opponents had claimed there would be a surge in risky sexual behaviour and sexually transmitted infections.
Researchers at Imperial College London found no change in condom use after the emergency pill became available over the counter in January 2001.

I don't think the world understands this issue at all. Women, as a rule, don't like emergencies. Emergencies, by definition, are bad. They get in the way of your day. Most women I know are fans of safe sex because -- get this -- they don't want to become pregnant. And, as they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

The way people make it sound it's like women are ravening she-beasts of lust kept in heel solely by threat of an unwanted pregnancy; so, of course over the counter emergency contraception will open the Gates of Hell.

It didn't, natch. Because we're not. Natch. If we were, those equally stereotypical ravening beasts known as men wouldn't have to work so hard to get laid.

(thanks, Bitch, for the link)

'Reasonable Restrictions' on Abortion

'Reasonable Restrictions' on Abortion

[W]e all want young women to tell their parents if they are pregnant; and we also all want parents to say to their children, "honey, I love you and you can tell me anything, and I will help you." But, I would add, we can't legislate good parenting, so trying to legislate being-a-good-daughter is not only unfair and unrealistic, it also places a higher expectation on children than it does on parents--which runs directly counter to the way things should be, to the way good parenting works.

I'm staring my 35th birthday in the eye, so if I found myself in need of an abortion today, I don't need mom's permission.

The issue of abortion is one that affects all women, but these kinds of restrictions re: parental notification aren't about women my age, they're about women in a much more vulnerable position of physical, financial, and emotional dependency.

Basically, the reason I'm pro-choice is because I don't want my government sticking its big fat nose into a situation between a daughter and parents simply because it assumes that it knows best. We talking about a government that can't even balance its own checkbook, for Pete's sake.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Church of Christ = Mideast Peace Plan?

Hello, now this is interesting.

Mideast divestment movement picks up steam. Apparently in English that means the United Church of Christ is going to use economic leverage on Israel and Palestine, "to promote peace between Israel and Palestinians and to call for the dismantling of the Jewish state's security fence."

Hm. Some say the resolution is "functionally anti-Semitic, which devalues the lives of the citizens of the Jewish state."

I know that I don't understand the emotion behind the creation of Israel -- I wasn't around -- but it never made sense to me as a kid. I mean, the US is a constructed nation, but it constructed organically: British Empire here, purchase there, war over here, declaration of independence over there, revolution, the whole thing. Israel always just seemed like someone waved a magic wand over a place other people were living in already and yelled "poof! Israel!". As if that would magically create a new nation, like laying a tablecloth over an already set table. Just, weird.

But, keep in mind, I'm American, and we don't actually study history, and while Israel has been on my to-study list for a long time, law school does tend to get in the way.

Terrorist Attacks in London

London rocked by terror attacks

At least two people have been killed and scores injured after three blasts on the Underground network and another on a double-decker bus in London.

Home Secretary Charles Clarke said blasts occurred between Aldgate East and Liverpool Street tube stations; between Russell Square and King's Cross tube stations; at Edgware Road tube station; and on a bus at Tavistock Square.

Explosions rock London underground and buses

Attacks at a Glance

Statement claiming London attacks Previously unheard of al-Qaeda group claims responsibility.

Americans: If you have people in London that you want to find, AND people elsewhere, drop an email to your person elsewhere to turn their TV to Sky News, they're running a ticker of messages from people announcing they're OK, and those seeking loved ones.

Also, the Guardian is running a blog Bomb blasts plunge London into chaos. Please note that the numbers on Sky News 45 minutes ago were about 150 people injured, while the Guardian is speculating as many as a thousand. If there are people trapped in the Underground, it will take time to get to them and ascertain their injuries, if any.

Rove, Plame Leak and the Downing Street Memos

MSNBC Analyst Says Cooper Documents Reveal Karl Rove as Source in Plame Case

Plame Timeline (Wikipedia)

Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo writes:

I've gotten hints or suggestions from several sources over the last month that new information is bubbling to the surface, not about who leaked Valerie Plame's identity, but who was behind the underlying caper that started the whole drama afoot in the first place: those phoney Niger uranium documents.
As longtime readers of this site know, last year colleagues of mine and I were able to trace the documents back to a former Italian intelligence agent named Rocco Martino. Martino was the 'Italian businessman' who tried to sell the documents to Elizabetta Burba, the journalist who eventually brought them to the US Embassy in Rome...

Over on daily Kos, The Plame Case Ain't What You Think

The real story is a bit more interesting and explains why leaking Plame's name probably isn't a crime and why some folks in the administration may be in legal trouble anyway, and why Cooper and Miller's testimony is so important. Hint: its about the Downing Street Memos.

As confirmed by the Downing Street Memos, Bush was determined to take out Saddam, and the administration was "fixing" the intelligence to provide a justification. Unfortunately the CIA wasn't helping very much. While "everyone" "knew" that Saddam had WMD, the actual intelligence we had was really poor. Experts were sure that the evidence we ended up seeing like the aluminum "centrifuge tubes" for uranium enrichment, the Niger documents and the mobile biological labs were bogus, and the CIA didn't trust the human intelligence from Chalabi's gang of informers.
Since the CIA was shooting down reasons for war as fast as Chalabi could make them up, the Bushies (paticularly Cheney and Rumsfeld) set up the Office of Special Plans at DOD to "stovepipe" the good stuff and package it for public and international consumption. There were reports of "war" within the intelligence community between the CIA regulars and the prowar DOD. Plame was a top CIA WMD analyst. She was one of the generals on the other side.

The Kos diary author, Economaniac, suggests,

"It wasn't about retaliation, it was about tarnishing Wilson by tying him to the antiwar faction at CIA. The White House knows Plame as an analyst who refused to support their prowar view. They have been fighting these internal battles for months; now that they have won the war those Saddam lovers are out. I doubt anyone even thought about her being covert."

I have to admit, that makes a hell of a lot of sense.

After Downing Street suggests,

How do the facts and intelligence get fixed around the policy, as the highest ranking British government officials have alleged the Bush Administration was doing to justify the Iraq war?
One way would be by having the Vice President hover over the shoulders of intelligence analysts. This paragraph caught my eye from a 2003 Washington Post article. Notice how close the wording of the last sentence is to the language in the Downing Street Minutes:
"Vice President Cheney and his most senior aide made multiple trips to the CIA over the past year to question analysts studying Iraq's weapons programs and alleged links to al Qaeda, creating an environment in which some analysts felt they were being pressured to make their assessments fit with the Bush administration's policy objectives, according to senior intelligence officials."

 | After Downing Street

Monday, July 04, 2005

Rove as Plame Leak?

Still Rove

He said(on Drudge radio show) that Matt Cooper's notes will show that Rove was his primary source on the Plame matter.

Where's Guckert/Gannon in all this?

Conyers Files FOIA Request

Conyers in Motion: Next Steps Taken on Downing Street

Today, 51 Members and I took the Downing Street Investigation to the next level by filing a Freedom of Information Act request with the White House, the Pentagon, and the State Department. We also made a formal request for hearings with the Chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary, International Relations, Armed Services, and Intelligence.

 | After Downing Street

Blair Confirms DSM

Prime Minister Tony Blair Confirms Authenticity of Downing Street Memo

The Prime Minister has confirmed the authenticity of a Downing Street memo in which Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI6, tells Mr Blair that the Bush administration was "fixing" the intelligence and facts about Saddam Hussein's regime to back up a decision that had been taken to invade Iraq as early as July 2002.

 | After Downing Street

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Occasionally Funny

Lance Mannion, self-described fictional character, got funny because Shakes' Sister tagged him.

No one tagged me because a) I Don't Do Memes Unless I Feel Like It, And Even Then, Not Really (case in point, this post), and b) no one knows me. Also, I am only occasionally funny. This may bother you more than it does me. Or not.

Hm, that sounds like a blog title: 'Occasionally Funny'.

Question number 1: What are three of the stupidest things you've done in your life.

Been thoughtlessly unkind, and again, and again. Alas, more than three times total.

Question number 2: At the current moment, who has the most influence on your life?

At the current moment, I'd have to say Sandra Day O'Connor.

Question number 3: If you were given a time machine that functioned, and you were allowed to only pick up to five people to dine with, who would you pick?

So glad you specified one 'that functions', as opposed to the broken time machines I get every Friday at Dunkin' Donuts.

Jane Austen, Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Gandhi, and Winston Churchill. Or,

Jesus, Julius Cesear, Buddha, W.E.B. DuBois, and Abe Lincoln. Or,

Albert Einstein, Judge Learned Hand, Jefferson, Madison, Geronimo. Or,

I could go on.

Question number 4: If you had three wishes that were not supernatural, what would they be?

For Sandra to change her mind, for some fecking truth from my gov't, and a pair of jeans that fit women of my oh-so-tiny height.

Wait, the last two are probably supernatural, after all.

Why can't I have supernatural wishes? I want really cool mutant powers, like telepathy, teleportation, telekinesis, and, I don't know, television or something.

Question number 5: Someone is visiting your hometown/place where you live a the moment. Name two things you regret your city not having, and two things people should avoid.

a. stayed the same
b. it

Question number 6: Name one event that has changed your life.

The moment I realized I was not going to die, just yet.

I keep having that moment, over and over again, btw. It's self-renewing. Perhaps mutant? Hmmmmm....

Question number 7: Tag 5 people

*makes face* Never!

MIT Weblog Survey

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

Was Karl Rove the CIA Agent Identity Leak?

Some say yes: Rove a source in CIA leak story

Newsweek seems to be sitting the fence: The Rove Factor?

And some say no: Rove did not identify spy, attorney says

Echidne of the Snakes says: It has turned exciting