Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for March 4th, 2008

Bushco behind the curve… by a couple of laps

Posted by Charles II on March 4, 2008

Parse the following article carefully.  Eric Schmitt and Tom Shanker, NYT:

The United States military is developing a plan to send about 100 American trainers to work with a Pakistani paramilitary force that is the vanguard in the fight against Al Qaeda and other extremist groups in Pakistan’s restive tribal areas, American military officials said….

For several years, small teams of American Special Operations forces have trained their Pakistani counterparts in counterinsurgency tactics. But the 40-page classified plan now under review at the United States Central Command to help train the Frontier Corps….

The Pentagon has spent about $25 million so far to equip the Frontier Corps with new body armor, vehicles, radios and surveillance equipment, and plans to spend $75 million more in the next year. …

Until recently, the Frontier Corps had not received American military financing … American and Pakistani officials say the Frontier Corps is drawn from Pashtun tribesmen, who know the language and culture of the tribal areas, and in the long term is the most suitable force to combat an insurgency there.

$25 million is a tiny fraction of what the US has given to Pakistan. It’s not enough to equip more than about one man in 20–probably a lot fewer–which is why the Frontier Corps has been taking such heavy casualties. “Small teams” sounds like they couldn’t have trained more than a few hundred, probably junior officers, none in the relevant command (although possibly some were trained in the units dealing with the Taliban in Balochistan).

This is beyond incompetence by Bushco. All this should have been started in autumn 2001.

Posted in BushCo malfeasance, Pakistan, terrorism | Comments Off on Bushco behind the curve… by a couple of laps

They heard us

Posted by Charles II on March 4, 2008

Michael Copps is one of the few bright stars in American government. Fighting literally impossible odds at the FCC (the Republicans hold a voting majority), time and time again he has forced the Commission to listen to the public. Now, he is calling for a hearing into whether WHNT suppressed the Sixty Minutes Broadcast on the imprisonment of Alabama Governor Don Siegelman for the crime of being a Democrat.

WHNT initially claimed that its broadcast feed had been interrupted. When CBS said that was false, they claimed it was technical problems at the station. Maybe so, but thank God there’s a Michael Copps to call for an inquiry.  

Posted in Don Siegelman, Good Things, GOP/Media Complex | 2 Comments »

Welcome, Mellow Velo!

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 4, 2008

They’re a nifty bike blog out of Minneapolis.

They added MR to their sidebar, so I’ll return the compliment.

Posted in Blogroll, Good Causes, Good Things | 2 Comments »

End Of The Road For Big Coal?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 4, 2008

Sure looks like it:

Natural-gas and renewable power projects have leapt ahead of coal in the development pipeline, according to Global Energy Decisions, a Boulder, Colo., energy information supplier. Gas and renewables each show more than 70,000 megawatts under development compared with about 66,000 megawatts in the coal-power pipeline.

This year could diminish coal’s future prospects even more. Wall Street investment banks last month said they will now evaluate the cost of carbon emissions before approving power plants, raising the bar much higher for new coal projects, analysts say.

“What you’re seeing is a de facto moratorium on coal power right now,” says Robert Linden, a senior oil and gas analyst at Pace Global in New York. “You turn off the money spigot, you’ve turned off those plants.”

When the banks are skittish about the hidden costs of coal, that means things aren’t looking too good for it.

Another thing the banks must be noticing: The likelihood, verging on certainty, that solar technology will be consistently cheaper than coal in another five years. With the advent of printed thin-film solar panels that provide energy for $1 a watt — the same cost as coal before all of coal’s hidden costs are factored in — suddenly solar isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s also the cost-effective thing to do. (And wind power’s coming along nicely, too.)

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

A Muslim Reformation?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 4, 2008

Just as there are many different kinds of Christianity, so there are many different kinds of Islam. Much hangs on the delineation of the Koran and its accompanying Hadith. The Hadith are “sayings” attributed to the Prophet Mohammed, and as such are used to interpret the Koran.

Right now the Turkish government, the most secular of the Muslim nations, is performing a review of the Hadith to determine which are genuine, as well as to see how the Hadith can be viewed in a 21st-century context.

Turkey carries a lot of weight in the Near and Middle East. As this blog author notes, how this reinterpretation is received will depend on whether it is perceived as a legitimate reinterpretation or something forced down Islamic throats by an authoritarian government.

Posted in international, Islam, religion | 2 Comments »

Obama And The Jews

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 4, 2008

Jon Wiener methodically and thoroughly debunks the smear that took up valuable front-page real estate in Saturday’s edition of the New York Times.

Posted in 2008, anti-Muslim, anti-Semitism, anti-truth, Barack Obama, media, Media machine, mediawhores, mythmaking, The smear industry | 1 Comment »

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