Saturday, December 01, 2007

State science curriculum director resigns under pressure

News 8 Austin

The state's director of science curriculum has resigned under pressure from Texas Education Ignorance Agency officials after nine years on the job.

Agency documents show officials were concerned that Chris Comer gave the appearance of criticizing the instruction of intelligent design.

saturday reads

Terror suspects reportedly tortured in custody of Jordanian spy agency working covertly with U.S.

Over the past seven years, an imposing building on the outskirts of this city has served as a secret holding cell for the CIA.

The building is the headquarters of the General Intelligence Department, Jordan's powerful spy and security agency. Since 2000, at the CIA's behest, at least 12 non-Jordanian terrorism suspects have been detained and interrogated here, according to documents and former prisoners, human rights advocates, defense lawyers and former U.S. officials.

In most of the cases, the spy center served as a covert way station for CIA prisoners captured in other countries. It was a place where they could be hidden after being arrested and kept for a few days or several months before being moved on to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, or CIA prisons elsewhere in the world.

Detroit Metro Times interviews former Marine Corps intelligence officer and chief UN weapons inspector in Iraq (1991-1998) Scott Ritter about the bu$h regimes eye on Iran:
MT: What's the motivation?

Ritter: The ideologues who are in there believe the United States in the post-Cold War environment needed to fill the gap created by the demise of the Soviet Union so that no nation or group of nations would ever again confront us as equals. And in order to do this, they basically divided the world into spheres of strategic interest and said we will impose our will. And the Middle East is one such area. There's a whole host of reasons to do this.

It's not just supporting Israel. It's not just taking down Saddam. It's about geopolitics. It's about looking down the road toward China and India, the world's two largest developing economies, especially the Chinese, and the absolute fear that this resurgent Chinese economy brings in the hearts of American industrialists and the need to dictate the pace of Chinese economic development by controlling their access to energy. And controlling central Asian and Middle East energy areas is key in the strategic thinking of the Bush administration.

So, there's a lot of complexity at play here. But you say why do they want to do this? It's about as Condoleezza Rice continuously says before the U.S. Congress: It's about regional transformation, inclusive of regime change. It turns the Middle East into a sphere of interest that we have tremendous control over. That's what's behind all this.


MT: But it is now clearer than ever that our invasion of Iraq has been a disaster. How do you explain the lack of opposition?

Ritter: It's difficult to explain. First of all you have to note, from the public side, that very few Americans actually function as citizens anymore. What I mean by that are people who invest themselves in this country, people who care, who give a damn. Americans are primarily consumers today, and so long as they continue to wrap themselves in the cocoon of comfort, and the system keeps them walking down a road to the perceived path of prosperity, they don't want to rock the boat. If it doesn't have a direct impact on their day-to-day existence, they simply don't care.

There's a minority of people who do, but the majority of Americans don't. And if the people don't care — and remember, the people are the constituents — if the constituents don't care, then those they elect to higher office won't feel the pressure to change.

Ruh Roh: The man who devised the Bush administration's Iraq troop surge has urged the US to consider sending elite troops to Pakistan to seize its nuclear weapons if the country descends into chaos.

On the eve of World AIDS Day Saturday, the U.S. Park Police arrested 40 demonstrators outside the White House as they chanted for sweeping changes to the George W. Bush administration’s domestic and global AIDS policies.

Jon Swift: Journalism 101

America's finest news source moves their home office to Onion Field.

Friday, November 30, 2007

friday reads

Thousands of knife-wielding protesters took to the streets of Khartoum today to demand the execution of the British primary school teacher who let children in her class name a teddy bear Muhammad.

In a lucrative new form of fiscal alchemy, a growing number of hospitals, working with a range of financial companies, are squeezing revenue from patients with little or no health insurance.

Midnight Oil's frontman Peter Garrett named Australia's Environment Minister

Tommy K and the Shitpile

A former flight attendant has sued JetBlue Airways, saying he was fired because the airline found out he was Muslim.

Obama's eating of vegetables fuels rumors about him. (WaPo Cartoonist Toles Mocks His Paper)

The USG Open Source Center translates an interview in an Argentinian newspaper with International Atomic Energy Agency head, Mohamed Elbaradei, on how to deal with the Iranian nuclear research program. He cautions that a direct military attack would almost guarantee that Iran develops an atomic bomb.

John Scalzi gives a report on the Creation Museum.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

thursday reads

Ethiopian soldiers have forcibly drafted hundreds of civilians to fight separatist rebels in the desolate, predominantly Muslim Ogaden region in a shadowy military campaign supported by the Bush administration, according to more than a dozen refugees and former recruits who've fled to neighboring Kenya.

Wired on the Human Terrain Team program

Nearly two-thirds of Americans do not trust press coverage of the 2008 presidential campaign, according to a new Harvard University survey, which also revealed four out of five people believe coverage focuses too much on the trivial -- and more than 60% believe coverage is politically biased.

Confessions of a Covert Agent

A new study suggests that too much money is wasted on low-risk crime targets. Both crime and prison populations could be reduced dramatically by focusing on the “power few” criminals who commit the most crime, according to Lawrence Sherman, Director of the Jerry Lee Center of Criminology at the University of Pennsylvania and Professor of Criminology at Cambridge University, UK.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Glenn Greenwald

Bad Stenographers

wednesday reads

Under the guise of a bill that calls for the study of "homegrown terrorism," Congress is apparently trying to broaden the definition of terrorism to encompass both First Amendment political activity and traditional forms of protest such as nonviolent civil disobedience, according to civil liberties advocates, scholars and historians.

More than one in 10 people in the United States go hungry, according to new official figures that suggest government food programs are falling short in the world's wealthiest country.

The Department of Veterans Affairs fell farther behind this year in its attempts to give veterans timely decisions on their disability claims, new records show.

Scott Bloch, the Bush-appointed head of the US Office of Special Counsel, is under investigation for the alleged improper deletion of emails on office computers.

Judge rules police must return 39 marijuana plants to couple (via Talk Left)

Judge removed from bench after ordering collective punishment

A US judge has been removed from the bench after jailing 46 people when a mobile phone began ringing during his court session and no one would own up.

The entire courtroom was sent to the cells during a domestic violence hearing when the judge, Robert Restaino, 48, "snapped" and - according to a review of his actions - "engaged in what can only be described as two hours of inexplicable madness".

The State Commission on Judicial Conduct recommended his removal from the bench, saying Restaino acted "without any semblance of a lawful basis" and behaved like a "petty tyrant".

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

tuesday reads

The Ordeal of Catherine Wilkerson, M.D.

White House Releases "Principles" for Permanent Iraqi Presence

UN report: 10 years to change our ways

The world has less than a decade to change course to avoid irreversible ecological catastrophe, the UN warned today.


The report, commissioned by the UN Development Programme, said climate change would hit the least-developed countries the hardest.

"The poorest countries and most vulnerable citizens will suffer the earliest and most damaging setbacks, even though they have contributed least to the problem," the report says.

"Looking to the future, no country - however wealthy or powerful - will be immune to the impact of global warming."

The panel says the greatest financial responsibility lies with the US and other well-developed countries most responsible for the rising levels of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere, mainly from the use of coal, oil and other fossil fuels.

Public libraries under private, for-profit management.

Things I done did learn today

Monday, November 26, 2007

monday reads

Hundreds of U.S. troops in Iraq have committed suicide since the war began in 2003, though this subject is kept quiet by the military.

Saudi Arabia's Justice Ministry said a girl who it sentenced to jail time and flogging after being gang raped by seven men was an adulteress who invited the attack because at the time she was partially dressed in a parked car with her lover.

Trent Lott to resign, spend more time with his family.

Dahr Jamail on "Tactical Perception Management" in Iraq

The Moonie Times reports that Islamic radicals planned to attack Ft. Huachuca. Meanwhile, military training programs for teens expands.

Sheeple go further into debt over the holidaze.

Researchers End Debate Over Fractal Analysis Of Authentication Of Pollock's Art