The Bush Administration, while publicly advocating diplomacy in order to stop Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapon, has increased clandestine activities inside Iran and intensified planning for a possible major air attack. Current and former American military and intelligence officials said that Air Force planning groups are drawing up lists of targets, and teams of American combat troops have been ordered into Iran, under cover, to collect targeting data and to establish contact with anti-government ethnic-minority groups. The officials say that President Bush is determined to deny the Iranian regime the opportunity to begin a pilot program, planned for this spring, to enrich uranium.
A government consultant with close ties to the civilian leadership in the Pentagon said that Bush was “absolutely convinced that Iran is going to get the bomb” if it is not stopped. He said that the President believes that he must do “what no Democrat or Republican, if elected in the future, would have the courage to do,” and “that saving Iran is going to be his legacy.”
One former defense official, who still deals with sensitive issues for the Bush Administration, told me that the military planning was premised on a belief that “a sustained bombing campaign in Iran will humiliate the religious leadership and lead the public to rise up and overthrow the government.” He added, “I was shocked when I heard it, and asked myself, ‘What are they smoking?’ ”
Saturday, April 08, 2006
Friday, April 07, 2006
The Cancellation Of Rollergirls and Why America Hates Bad Girls
The recent cancellation of the reality show Rollergirls wasn’t a huge shock, but it was a huge disappointment. The show follows the triumphs and crises of several all-women teams competing in the intense sport of Roller Derby. There isn’t a shrinking flower among the bunch: these women are tough, both physically and mentally, and will quite literally knock anyone to the ground who gets in their way.
They are, in short, true “Bad Girls.” No wonder the show was cancelled.
American television likes you to think they appreciate bad girls. But that’s a lie. TV’s idea of bad girls includes sexy vixens and man manipulators, women who use their cleavages and ruby-red lips far more often than any sort of physical and mental prowess to achieve their goals. Even Sydney Bristow of Alias, touted as the baddest of bad girls, is conventionally pretty and achieves successful missions with skintight, skin-baring outfits, always perfectly made up and groomed. No mater how grueling the life of a double agent, Sydney always manages to get her lipstick on.
The women of Rollergirls appeared on camera without disguise, and although none could be called TV-pretty, they all have a distinct charm. With names like Miss Conduct and Punky Bruiser, they never fail to capture our attention, and often, our respect. With their trailers, love for beer, love for their children they are often raising by themselves, and their strong, muscled bodies, these women are guilty of one TV sin - they just don’t fit into the mold of Acceptable Television Women. The cancellation of the show is a loss in more ways than one.
tags: roller derby, rollergirls
Posted by cuddlefish at 7:16 AM
Photo by Ryan McManus
"Common People" - Pulp
"One More Parade" - Phil Ochs
"Cruel Summer" - Bananarama
"She's a Sensation" - The Ramones
"Blue Rondo A La Turk" - Dave Bubeck
"Los Angeles" - X
"New World Order" - Ministry
"Between Planets" - Jesus and Mary Chain
"Love You To" - The Beatles
"Dig It" - Skinny Puppy
Posted by cuddlefish at 7:13 AM
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Scientists have discovered fossils of a 375-million-year-old fish, a large scaly creature not seen before, that they say is a long-sought missing link in the evolution of some fishes from water to a life walking on four limbs on land.
In two reports today in the journal Nature, a team of scientists led by Neil H. Shubin of the University of Chicago say they have uncovered several well-preserved skeletons of the fossil fish in sediments of former streambeds in the Canadian Arctic, 600 miles from the North Pole.
The skeletons have the fins, scales and other attributes of a giant fish, four to nine feet long. But on closer examination, the scientists found telling anatomical traits of a transitional creature, a fish that is still a fish but has changes that anticipate the emergence of land animals — and is thus a predecessor of amphibians, reptiles and dinosaurs, mammals and eventually humans.
In the fishes' forward fins, the scientists found evidence of limbs in the making. There are the beginnings of digits, proto-wrists, elbows and shoulders. The fish also had a flat skull resembling a crocodile's, a neck, ribs and other parts that were similar to four-legged land animals known as tetrapods.
Other scientists said that in addition to confirming elements of a major transition in evolution, the fossils were a powerful rebuttal to religious creationists, who have long argued that the absence of such transitional creatures are a serious weakness in Darwin's theory.
Posted by cuddlefish at 11:21 AM
Two Latin American countries are to stop sending troops for training to a controversial military academy in the US.
The move was welcomed by groups that have been campaigning against the academy since it was accused, in its previous incarnation, of training Latin American soldiers in illegal interrogation techniques.
The defence ministers of Argentina and Uruguay have decided to stop sending soldiers to train at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (Whinsec), the military academy based at Fort Benning, Georgia, according to a statement by a Washington-based organisation, School of the Americas Watch. In the past both countries regularly sent soldiers to Fort Benning for training.
Posted by cuddlefish at 9:55 AM
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Saturday, April 8, 2006
Mad Rollin' Dolls skate at the Fast Forward Skate Center. The Quad Squad takes on the Reservoir Dolls and the Unholy Rollers battle the Vaudeville Vixens. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Doors open at 6:30pm, bout at 7pm.
Arizona Roller Derby skates in Pheonix at the castle Sports Club. Surly Gurlies vs. Bruisers. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Doors open at 7pm, bout at 8pm.
Sunday, April 9, 2006
Assassination City Derby have their inaugural bout at What's Hot Fun World in Dallas. The Deadly Kennedys go against the Lone Assassins. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Doors open at 7pm.
The Philly Roller Girls open their season at Millennium Skate World in Blackwood, NJ. The Hostile City Honeys take on the Philthy Britches. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Doors open at 5:30pm, bout at 6:30pm.
Chi*Town Sirens skate at the Lynwood Sport Center in Lynwood, IL. The Thunderdames battle the Candystripe Killers. Tickets are $10 in advance $15 at the door. Doors open at 6:30pm, bout at 7pm.
Atlanta Rollergirls' new team the Toxic Shocks will battle the Denim Demons at the All American Skating Center in Stone Mountain, GA. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door. Doors open at 6pm, bout at 7pm.
Houston Roller Derby skates their first bout at the Arabia Shrine, 2900 N. Breaswood in Houston, TX. The Psychward Sirens take on the Bayou City Bosses and the Burlesque Brawlers vs. Machette Betties. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Doors open at 6pm, bout at 7pm.
Carolina Rollergirls hold their season opener at the Skate Ranch of Raleigh. The Trauma Queens take on the Debutante Brawlers. Tickets are already sold out. Doors open at 5:30pm, bout at 6pm.
The Alamo City RollerGirls skate their second bout at the Rollercade, 223 Recoleta, San Antonio, TX. It's the Prim Reapers vs. the Dragon Divas then the Missyfits against The Violations. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Doors open at 6:30pm.
The banked track Lonestar Rollergirls will skate at the Austin Convention Center this Sunday. The Holy Rollers battle the Cherry Bombs. Tickets are $15, doors open at 6pm.
I am seeking a sponsor for my Flickr derby memorabilia set.
tags: roller derby, rollergirls
Posted by cuddlefish at 8:37 AM
Monday, April 03, 2006
Juan Cole looks at the downward spiral of Iraq.
Federal Court Rules Transgender Discrimination Lawsuit Against Library of Congress Can Proceed
TPM Mucckraker - Coingate knocking on the White House door.
Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez interview Noam Chomsky.
The Americans can't return the three years that Abdul Rahim Muslim Dost lost, locked in a cell in Guantánamo Bay. But they could at least give back his poetry.
Posted by cuddlefish at 8:58 AM