Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for September 4th, 2007

Iran: The Rollout

Posted by Charles II on September 4, 2007

Scott Horton has no doubts, but also no specifics:

Military commanders urged a draw-down to occur before the commencement of military operations against Iran. Bush is accepting this recommendation only because he has mentally committed to an aerial campaign against Iran. He will therefore follow the general’s advice to get soldiers out of harm’s way, off to positions which are more secure in the event of an Iranian counterattack.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in international, Iran, Iraq war | 3 Comments »

Born In America, Jailed While Hispanic

Posted by Phoenix Woman on September 4, 2007

This is insane:

Alicia Rodriguez, a Mansfield resident who was born in Dallas, shows her birth record.

A native Texan spent the night in the Arlington Jail, missed her children’s first day of school and feared being deported after authorities mistook her for an illegal immigrant.

Alicia Rodriguez, an accountant and mother of three, has the same name and date of birth as a woman deported to Mexico three times.

“I was told I was waiting for an [immigration] officer or Border Patrol officer to interview me and then move me to another location. It was very scary,” the Mansfield woman said

Arlington and federal immigration officials say they made a mistake and apologized.

“This is very unusual,” Arlington police spokeswoman Christy Gilfour said “We’re not aware of this having happened before. We do realize that this is unfortunate, and we do regret that we made an error.”

Gilfour said police overlooked fingerprints that would have shown Rodriguez was not the illegal immigrant.

Of course, this isn’t the first time ever that something like this has happened.  It isn’t even the first time this year:

Earlier this year, authorities wrongly deported U.S. citizen Pedro Guzman, a developmentally disabled man from California. It took his family three months to find him.

More on Pedro Guzman’s case can be found here.   As was said in June over at And We Shall March:

Guzman, a Southern California native, was abandoned in a place where he knows absolutely no one, with no money and without cognitive ability to get himself back to his home. As of right now our government won’t even formally ask Mexican officials to search the morgues. That’s how little care is extended for someone who is not a missing white girl.

There are no circumstances in which government officials may deport a U.S. citizen.

That doesn’t mean they won’t try.

Posted in Hispanic issues, immigration, Mexico, racism, WTF? | 12 Comments »

Open Source Analysis and After Action Analysis; The Jack Goldsmith Confession

Posted by Charles II on September 4, 2007

I try to post pieces that people are not likely to have heard about and that offer an opportunity to make a difference to what happens. So readers of this site saw open source analysis undercutting the campaign to blame the Hariri assassination on Syria long before the UN conceded that the investigation had been flawed. That analysis made a difference, no matter how tiny, in keeping us off the path to demonizing Syria.

For that reason, I generally don’t post the widening evidence that the Bush Administration systematically undermined civil liberties purely to seize power. I knew that a few days after 9/11 when reported that the Department of Justice had effectively seized the server of Al “Grandpa Munster” Lewis on the doubtful argument that it was shared with IRA Radio (which, as far as I have ever been able to determine, had nothing to do with terrorism of any kind, much less of the kind that threatens the United States). The point is that DoJ threatened the ISP, which then shut down political discussion.

There was no due process. There was no obvious reason to focus on virtual unknowns… except this: to create a precedent and a climate of fear. And so it was apparent that these were the goals of this exercise.

The trick in analysis is to differentiate erroneous reports and anomalies from systematic policy.

But as Avedon reminded me, it’s also important to do what one might call “after action analysis:” to review what we learn retrospectively. And so, consider in detail the key points that Jeffrey Rosen  and Glenn Greenwald extract from Jack Goldsmith’s book, “The Terror Presidency.” Goldsmith was a legal adviser in the DoD and later served in the Office of Legal Counsel in DoJ. He continues to approve of most of the Bush policy and now teaches at “liberal” Harvard.   Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in BushCo malfeasance, Busheviks, Constitution, Department of Injustice, DoJ, government malfeasance | Comments Off on Open Source Analysis and After Action Analysis; The Jack Goldsmith Confession

Yet Another Thing That Might Save Us All

Posted by Phoenix Woman on September 4, 2007


Combine this product from Bloom Energy with Octillion’s solar-cell film on your present-day windows and more efficient appliances, and suddenly we’d have energy to spare for things like the electric car you can charge at home (unless you went with the hydrogen model, for which this method also provides the fuel):

Making electricity in central power plants is so 20th century. K.R. Sridhar has a better idea: Create energy on the spot, right where it’s consumed. His startup, Bloom Energy (formerly known as Ion America), is developing a fuel cell that could kick-start the distributed-energy industry.

The problem with today’s centralized approach is its vast inefficiency. In coal-and gas-fired power plants, almost two-thirds of the energy produced by converting fuel into kilowatts escapes as heat. Another 8 percent, on average, dissipates as the electricity travels over transmission lines to get to your home.

Sridhar, a former aerospace engineering professor who developed a device for NASA to turn carbon dioxide into oxygen on Mars, is undaunted by big challenges. His plan for generating energy locally is to use solid-oxide fuel cells – a concept that has been kicking around since the 19th century but is now becoming practical with advances in the ceramics needed to build the things.

Bloom’s cells, still in development, are constructed around a ceramic core that acts as an electrode. At high temperatures, fuel on one side attracts oxygen ions on the other. As these ions are pulled through the solid core, the resulting electrochemical reaction creates electricity.

Such a fuel cell can run happily on almost any hydrocarbon fuel – ethanol, biodiesel, methane, natural gas. Though it consumes hydrocarbons, Bloom Energy’s fuel cell does not require combustion and therefore produces half the greenhouse gas emissions of more conventional energy sources. One of its by-products, in fact, is hydrogen that could be used in a different type of fuel cell, the hydrogen-powered version imagined for propelling cars.

Bloom Energy’s biggest hurdle is cost. The company needs to get the price of the machines below $10,000 apiece. At that level, they could pay for themselves in five years. (Solar panels take twice as long to recoup their capital expense.) “For it to reach mass-scale adoption, that has to be the goal,” Sridhar says. “Otherwise, you are playing in a niche market.”

Ultimately, Sridhar sees his fuel cells as a leapfrog technology that could find a market in developing countries that haven’t yet built an electrical grid. He imagines local entrepreneurs, armed with one or two of his machines, renting out electricity to a whole village. Lighting up the world one village at a time – there’s nothing niche about that ambition.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Yet Another Thing That Might Save Us All

Gallup: Dem Voters Want Change, Not Same-Old Same-Old

Posted by Phoenix Woman on September 4, 2007

Per the latest Gallup Poll:

The Aug. 23-26 Gallup Panel survey posed the following questions to Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents:

Which will be more important to you when deciding which candidate to support for president in next year’s election — [ROTATED: that the candidate has experience getting things done in the current system in Washington, (or) that the candidate has a strong desire to change the system for getting things done in Washington]?

The results of this forced-choice question were lopsided in favor of “change” — 73% of Democrats said changing the system would be more important to their decision about whom to support, while only 26% opted for “experience.”

Synopsis: People who vote for Democrats do so because they want A CHANGE IN DIRECTION, not the same-old same-old.

Got that, Rahm? Got that, Dianne? Got that, Harry?

Posted in 2008, Congress, Democrats | Comments Off on Gallup: Dem Voters Want Change, Not Same-Old Same-Old

Points to Ponder

Posted by Phoenix Woman on September 4, 2007


Why does Bush and the rest of the PNAC Platoon want to attack Iran?

Really, why do they? 

What could justify pissing off Iraqi’s Shiites — which up to now have been leaving American troops alone (remember kids, the vast majority of the attacks on US troops have come from Sunni insurgents, not the Shia) — and getting them to rise and slaughter Americans en masse?

Oh, I forgot:  Bush and his gang don’t give a rip about anyone but themselves.  So any number of things, including the boredom often suffered by the sociopathic personality types, the sort of boredom that leads them to blow up frogs and torture cats to death.  When you’re in a high enough socioeconomic class, it’s easy to forget that the 99.99999% of the world that has less money than you is just as human as you. 

That’s why it doesn’t bother them in the least, for instance, that over a million Iraqis have died, and over two million have fled the country, as a direct result of Bush’s invading Iraq in 2003.  Iraqis don’t count as human to Bush and his socioeconomic peers.  Hell, most of Bush’s fellow Americans don’t count as human to them, but they know it’s not politic to come right out and say so, in so many words, or they might give the game away.

Posted in Bush, BushCo malfeasance, Busheviks, evil, Iran, PNAC Platoon | 1 Comment »

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