It’s your last chance To check under the hood


Governors oppose letting president unilaterally federalize Guard in emergencies

US governors attending the annual meeting of the National Governors Association [official website] that got under way Saturday in Charleston, South Carolina, are opposing a bill in Congress that would allow the president to take over the National Guard [official website] without the consent of governors during emergencies. The House version [text] of the National Defense Authorization Act includes a measure removing the traditional requirement that the president gain the consent of governors before federalizing the Guard.

I think this is just another day in conservatism. To those that will cross their hearts and hope to die that this is not conservatism, I can only say that you best get busy reclaiming you’re movement’s ideology.

Haven’t had any NSA stories for a few days and lo and behold a story that ties the magic of conservative management of national security, domestic spying, and what looks like an old Monty Python skit all into one, NSA risking electrical overload

At minimum, the problem could produce disruptions leading to outages and power surges at the Fort Meade headquarters, hampering the work of intelligence analysts and damaging equipment, they said. At worst, it could force a virtual shutdown of the agency, paralyzing the intelligence operation, erasing crucial intelligence data and causing irreparable damage to computer systems — all detrimental to the fight against terrorism.

Estimates on how long the agency has to stave off such an overload vary from just two months to less than two years. NSA officials “claim they will not be able to operate more than a month or two longer unless something is done,” said a former senior NSA official familiar with the problem, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Two years, and since all indications are that the country is getting a little fed up with neocon world a democratic president will be left with a hell of mess to clean up in the mid-east, a broken military to repair, and an integral part of our national security to get their basic infrastructure up to speed.
I haven’t tried this, but it is interesting that if one guy can figure it out, Check if NSA warrantless surveillance is looking at your IP traffic

The internet surveillance program covers domestic traffic not only just international traffic.Most International traffic enters the US through only 3 points Florida New York and San Francisco. Marcus notes that the AT&T spy rooms are “in far more locations than would be required to catch the majority of international traffic”

The system is capable of looking at content, not just addresses. The configuration described in the Klein documents — presumably the Narus software in particular — “exists primarily to conduct sophisticated rule-based analysis of content”, Marcus concludes.

The now infamous photos of Beirut that had been so badly mangled in a photo editor that even a six year old could tell were bounced on by the rabid right-wing blogs like a rat on a bone. The unretouched photo released by Reuters after the offending photographer was fired is fairly damning, unless one thinks that bombing building containing primarily civilians is a perfectly normal and moral occurrence. That wasn’t really the point, as most sleazy right-wing blog swarms are almost never about a specific event. This time the “evidence” was supposed to cast doubts that the deaths of innocent men, women, and children at Qana ever occured and even if they did it was Hizbollah’s fault. TLGF Watch has a good short expose on the photo and those that have tried to manipulate the child-like enhancement for an agenda that reeks of xenophobia and heartlessness.
Just clicking around the various progressive editorials and blogs I sense the usual frustration in trying to take a nuanced position on Israel. Hoping that everything will just stop, that Israel will be safe, that Lebanon will not be used by any side as a battleground, that all sides will begin to talk and find some solutions all sounds too reasonable. Even more then nuance, the American right does not do reasonable. I suppose the us against them position is appealing for a few different reasons. One major reason is that it doesn’t require thinking it just requires bombs. In modern conservative world if bombs are dropping and people are dying, it doesn’t really matter who, then progress is on the march. Just put on your blinders so you don’t see Iraq and Afghanistan. Hat-tip again to LGF Watch for the link to this essay that spells out the right’s position ( and so much for the British being civilized, they have their share of the unhinged too) Nationalism and Israel

Hezbollah are a terrorist group whose aims are to destroy Israel and then fight for a global Jihad and exterminate all non-Islamics and impose a global Islamic caliphate. Negotiation with such groups is a waste of time. It’s a ‘Them or Us’ situation. (6) You cannot negotiate with a rabid dog, you can only kill it. Those that say that negotiation is possible with Hezbollah fail to understand that the aims of Hezbollah are not based on rational politics, they are based on theological absolutism. They do not want to negotiate with us, they just want to destroy us. Therefore terror must be met with terror.

This is Hezbollah’s profile at Global Security. Not a bunch of boy scouts , yet the idea that Israel even with the help of the US can somehow win a victory over them purely through military means with out an enormous lose of innocent civilian life is just delusional. For those that are not convinced that it is all very simple we’re left asking if part of what drives membership or sympathy with Hezbollah is a sense of powerlessness by people that might have some legitimate grievances; unless you’re a member of the bomb the middle-east into a pile of glass club, you”ll have to come to gripes with this possibility.

Israel/Lebanon: End Indiscriminate Strikes on Civilians

Israeli forces have systematically failed to distinguish between combatants and civilians in their military campaign against Hezbollah in Lebanon, Human Rights Watch said in report released today. The pattern of attacks in more than 20 cases investigated by Human Rights Watch researchers in Lebanon indicates that the failures cannot be dismissed as mere accidents and cannot be blamed on wrongful Hezbollah practices. In some cases, these attacks constitute war crimes.
The 50-page report, “Fatal Strikes: Israel’s Indiscriminate Attacks Against Civilians in Lebanon,” analyzes almost two dozen cases of Israeli air and artillery attacks on civilian homes and vehicles. Of the 153 dead civilians named in the report, 63 are children. More than 500 people have been killed in Lebanon by Israeli fire since fighting began on July 12, most of them civilians.

Hezbollah Rockets Kill 15 in Israel

C&L Premiere: Rickie Lee Jones sings: Have You Had Enough? free MP3 at the link.

The Independent Appeal: Help save Lebanon’s children

Of the 615 people so far confirmed dead in Lebanon, Save The Children says that almost half are children. They make up one third of the 3,225 injured, and about 45 per cent of the nearly one million Lebanese refugees are under the age of 18, according to Unicef.

A long stretch of headlights
Bends into I-9
Tiptoe into truck stops
And sleepy diesel eyes
Volcanoes rumble in the taxi
And glow in the dark
Camels in the driver’s seat
A slow, easy mark

But you ran out of gas
Down the road a piece
Then the battery went dead
And now the cable won’t reach…

It’s your last chance
To check under the hood
Last chance
She ain’t soundin’ too good,
Your last chance
To trust the man with the star
You’ve found the last chance Texaco

from The Last Chance Texaco by Rickie Lee Jones

NOTE: I’m just crazy about the new wordpress bug that deletes blocks of texts after you press publish.