Friday, January 20, 2006

Chile Elects Woman President

Michelle Bachelet is to be Chile's first woman president.

Ms Bachelet joins a growing list. Quite a few countries have or have had female leaders. The list includes Pakistan - a Muslim nation - and India.

Of course, there have been perilously few women leaders elected through democratic process (Ms Bachelet is only the second woman elected to lead a South American nation) but it's a sorry indightment and a reality check that the USA, that loudmouth bastion of "equality for all, y'all", "human rights" and, erm, "freedoms", has yet to even put forth a candidate, let alone elect a woman president.

Since I first erroneously posted this to my Daily Danger Blog, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has been sworn in as Liberia's first elected female president.

Come on America. Wake up and smell the Folger's - PAKISTAN HAS HAD A FEMALE LEADER, already!

Bush Administration Subpoenas Google in Porn Probe

Look ma, no constitutional rights!

"Looks like we got us a searchah!"

"You're either with us, or you're using search terms that mean you must be WMD-laden-homosexural-porn-lovin-commie-pinko-pedophile-terrorist?"

"There are known web searches and there are unknown web searches?"

The Associated Press writes, "the Bush administration depicts the information as vital in its effort to restore online child protection laws that have been struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court"

Hmm, the laws were struck down by the Supreme Court so the White House wants to restore them? I must be such an idiot thinking there's a slight flaw in the logic.

Lemme see, when MS or Yahoo fall over backwards to support suppression of human rights and freedom of speech by the Chinese government, that's BAD but when the White House does it, that's ok. No, wait. I think I got that wrong. In both cases its, um, the same thing? No, wait. Did I get that wrong or did I get that left?

I'm confused. Tell me again. Who are the bad guys?

I know, I know, I'm such a Chicken Little idiot. I have no idea what's really going on and I'm just getting all worked up over nothing. Our governments know what's really going on and what's really in our best interests.

I'll have a triple-jack, double BnE and two helpings of CRASH!

Sometimes, you just can't be sure if you're in Beirut, Mexico City, Medellin, Karbala, Honduras, Tikrit or ANYWHERE IN THE USA.....

What I want to know is this: I saw news video of this triple-carjacking, double break-in with two side-orders of nasty car crashes on a non-US news channel last night.
Typically, US news outlets are only too eager to show everybody exciting aerial footage of these things and even by American standards, this was quite the spectacle.

So why is there such thin coverage of this story? (link to video on the page)

Official US agency paints dire picture of 'out-of-control' Iraq

The Guardian reports that USAid, the official US foreign aid organisation has offially assessed the official situation in Iraq as officially, very, very bad.

Not only is the situation very, very bad but it is also far more complex than the White House's and Pentagon's official official tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

In a nutshell, lawlessness is rampant, chaos rules and terrorist and criminal gangs are increasing in size and growing stronger.

Sounds like the United Nations to me.

And just think - the real pain is still ahead of us.

Did the Army Lie? Depleted Uranium Found in Hawaii

What's the saying? "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me?" What does that make the US population? Then again, perhaps that's not fair.

How about this?

"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Lie to me repeatedly, fool on and on and on..?"

Hawaiians were repeatedly told by the US Army that depleted uranium and chemical weapons were never used in their state.

I suppose the DU fairy left those shells behind, then? Or maybe there's a WMD fairy?

"These recent revelations, then, indicate that the Army is either unaware of its DU (depleted uranium) and chemical weapons use or has intentionally misled the public. Both possibilities are deeply troubling,"

My new bumpersticker: "The US military - we put the F in SNAFU."

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The World Through a Looking Glass

"An 80-year-old newspaper found behind a broken mirror provides a surprisingly fresh perspective on our anxious modern condition."

A most excellent article at AlterNet

USA Threatened to Spy on New Zealand

Yet more winning friends and influencing people from the Americans as former NZ Prime Minister David Lange's private papers are "leaked" to the newspapers...

Monday, January 16, 2006

The carve-up of Iraq will spawn a redivision of the Middle East

Back in November, David Hirst wrote in the Guardian how "The adoption of a weak Iraqi federal constitution is likely to unleash an ethnic and sectarian crisis across the region."

At about the same time, Peter Beaumont and Faisal Islam reported in the Observer about the carving up of Iraq's oil riches.

This is worth reading, too.

Remember how we good Christian saviours absolutely HAD to non-invade Iraq to save the poor Iraqis from that nasty, nasty, nasty, WMD-owning, terror-monger, SAD-Am HooSane?

You may benefit from reading Rumsfeld’s Handshake Deal With Saddam.

Wooden staves used in migrant detention centres

It's old news now but, just in case you didn't catch this one back in October, the Guardian reported how wooden staves were being used in migrant detention centres.

Bear in mind that these are not convicted criminals, either.

Today's Notable Quotable

Editor: a person employed by a newspaper, whose business it is to separate the wheat from the chaff, and to see that the chaff is printed.
- Elbert Hubbard

Galaxies Dark Matter Rafting Down the Milky Way

This is very cool stuff indeed. If you can get your head around it.

Scientists appear to have discovered a whole mess o'li'l ole galaxies (satellites of the Milky Way). From my cursory read (I'm, like, busy, m'kay?) I think I understand that scientists found a bunch of satellite galaxies at Andromeda that appear to be "riding a stream of dark matter" and a similar such situation appears to be the case with our own Milky Way.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Did US Special Forces Encounter an Unkown Primate?

It all sounds a little too inspired by the X-Files, but you never know.....

A little background to this link. It was forwarded to me by one of my best friends. He is ex-US Special Forces. It's safe to say he's "been there" and "done that". As far as I'm aware, he didn't get a T-shirt.

We were once discussing the cinema classic (well, that's what I think of it), Predator. I ventured, "There's no reason something like this couldn't really happen."

My friend, who has spent an awful lot of time in the kinds of jungles depicted in Predator, replied, "Or hasn't already."

Covert Web Crawlers and Personal Anonymity

A couple of interesting stories from Wired News:

Covert Crawler Descends on Web. In a nutshell, it may soon be impossible to tell which visits to your website were by humans and which were by a web crawler.

Anonymity on a Disk is likely to give security professionals, governments and the like some sleepless nights.

Stopping Hearts and Splattering Minds

Yet more "winning friends and influencing people" from those mavens of international diplomacy, the good ole' You Ess of "Eh?"

Be it charity work, NGOs, trade negotions, trade relationships, the United (machi)Nations, corporate influence, trans-national corporations, unilateral "policing", the Global Waging of - I mean "War on" - Terror, "helping" nascent nations develop yet more ways to line American pockets - I mean "frameworks for democratic societies", military action, the environment or whatever else, AmeriKKKA continues to demonstrate its leadership as a subtle, sensitive, expert, careful, humanitarian, just, humane and responsible member of the human race.

Airstrike by U.S. Draws Protests From Pakistanis