Monday, April 20, 2009

Around the moronosphere in 60 minutes 4/21/09

D=S - Torture and the US Intelligence Failure - I can't say that I agree with all of George Friedman's conclusions but it's a worthwhile read. While you are at it compare and contrast the al-Qaeda torture techniques with the techniques authorized by the US government. I am pretty sure that gouging out an eye and an attention grab aren't remotely on the same plane of existence when it comes to stuff like this.

The Jawa Report - Swat (valley) Taliban Offer Osama bin-Laden Safe Haven - "MINGORA, Pakistan – Pakistan was trying to end bloodshed when it let the idyllic Swat Valley fall under Islamic law last week. Instead, it has emboldened the Taliban to extend a hand to militants, including Osama bin Laden." I linked a couple of stories about this yesterday.

The Other McCain - The Plight of the Small Farmer - With spokespeople like this I may start to care.

Word Around the Net - "These are the shadowy forces of International Constitutionalism."

Other stuff:

BBC - Dimmest Sun in Nearly a Century Baffles Astronomers - Maybe it was just tired of CO2 getting all the credit for global warming.

Fox News - Sen. Feinstein's Husband Cashes In on Crisis - "On the day the new Congress convened this year, Sen. Dianne Feinstein introduced legislation to route $25 billion in taxpayer money to a government agency that had just awarded her husband's real estate firm a lucrative contract to sell foreclosed properties at compensation rates higher than the industry norms, the Washington Times reported on Tuesday." Far from the first time Feinstein has been accused of shuffling money to her husband. Glad she is a leader of the most ethical congress ever. (Quite a bit of Info here.)

LA Times - Katrina Negligence Case Goes to Trial - "A federal judge in New Orleans today will hear what lawyers call "the last case standing" against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for its alleged failure to protect New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina's floodwaters nearly four years ago."

With interrogation docs out, Cheney asks Obama to now release secret memos on what those techniques discovered - “One of the things that I find a little bit disturbing about this recent disclosure," Cheney tells Hannity, "is they put out the legal memos, the memos that the CIA got from the Office of Legal Counsel, but they didn't put out the memos that showed the success of the effort. And there are reports that show specifically what we gained as a result of this activity. They have not been declassified.”

NY Times - Staff Jobs on Campus Outpace Enrollment - "Over the last two decades, colleges and universities doubled their full-time support staff while enrollment increased only 40 percent, according to a new analysis of government data by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, a nonprofit research center." According to the article the authors of the study don't link this increase to the rise in college costs so I will. This might be one reason the cost of college is increasing so much faster than inflation.

Sydney Morning Herald - Stephen Hawking very ill - Fox News is reporting he is expected to recover

The Register - Google announces two new tools - Similar Images and News Timeline. Apparently however there are still some kinks.

Slashdot - US Military Issuing iPod Touches To Soldiers - Very cool. "Software developers and the US Department of Defense are developing military software for iPods that enables soldiers to display aerial video from drones and have teleconferences with intelligence agents halfway across the globe. Snipers in Iraq and Afghanistan now use a "ballistics calculator" called BulletFlight..."

Yahoo - Cyberspies hack into US Fighter project - "Computer spies have repeatedly breached the Pentagon's costliest weapons program, the $300 billion Joint Strike Fighter project, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday."

Why Republicans are devouring one book - "It’s not hard to see what Republicans find compelling about the book. Shlaes, a columnist at Bloomberg, a senior fellow in economic history at the Council on Foreign Relations and a former editorial board member at The Wall Street Journal, presents a vision of the Great Depression that challenges the conventional wisdom that casts Herbert Hoover as a goat, FDR as a hero and the New Deal as the country’s salvation.

It also looks at the Great Depression with particular sympathy upon the plight of those who were burdened with supporting the “weak members of society” during the New Deal and endeavors to give a voice to those “forgotten men.”

Finally to brighten your day - Jana Defi goes glam



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