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Truth To Power

the strong do as they wish, and the weak suffer as they must

Archive for November, 2008

Hey you! Get off the internet, go eat!

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

TTP will be taking a break for Thanksgiving, and we’ll see ya when we see ya.

So go eat, watch TV and go forth on Friday and stimulate the economy.

I suggest Sig Sauer, but that’s just me.

Hey Arizona, you ever read the Constitution?

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

Amendment 4 – Search and Seizure. Ratified 12/15/1791.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

License-plate scanning catching crooks, raising privacy concerns

Officer David Callister parks his patrol car under a shady interstate overpass, angling his cameras to target a flurry of passing traffic. Then he waits.

Infrared units mounted to the front of Callister’s vehicle scan the license plates of a Casa Grande firefighter, an Ohio State football fan and everyone else who drives past as he hunts for stolen vehicles.

Every plate is photographed, time-stamped, labeled on a GPS map and automatically logged into an Arizona Department of Public Safety database. An electronic voice alerts Callister to stolen vehicles within seconds after they pass, giving him the ability to make quick arrests.

In a state that routinely ranks among the top five in the U.S. in auto theft, DPS scanned more than 1.6 million plates since introducing its first cameras in 2006 – leading directly to 122 felony arrests.

Cmdr. Larry Scarber, who oversees the DPS plate-reader program, said information from the cameras is used strictly to prevent crime.

“We have to be very cautious,” Scarber said of the records of vehicle locations. “Right now, we haven’t gotten rid of anything.”
122 out of 1.6 million? And you’re not disposing of the 99.9% of images that aren’t tied to any criminal activity? You sun-baked goons need to have the crap sued out of you, if only to force somebody in the state to read the Constitution.

Astounding what people will stand for, ain’t it?

Did yelling “Tyrant” cause Mukasey collapse?

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

Probably not, but freaky nevertheless:

State justice confirms he yelled “Tyrant!” at Mukasey before AG collapsed

Richard Sanders, a justice on the Washington State Supreme Court, has never been one to shy from controversy or blunt language. And last week, as he sat at a Federalist Society dinner and listened to Attorney General Michael Mukasey, Sanders reached his tipping point.

After listening to Mukasey defend the Bush administration’s counterterrorism policies — its detainment practices at Guantánamo Bay, its interpretation of the Geneva Conventions’ reach — Sanders stood and shouted “Tyrant! You are a tyrant!”

“Frankly, everybody in the room was applauding or sometimes laughing, and I thought, ‘I’ve got to stand up and say something.’ And I did,” Sanders told The Seattle Times Tuesday. “I stood up and said, ‘Tyrant,’ then I sat down again, then I left.”

It wasn’t until the next morning — when he turned on the TV in his hotel room — that Sanders learned what happened after he departed: Mukasey, later in his speech, began slurring his words, slumped at the podium and passed out. He was taken to a hospital, where he was released the next day after getting a clean bill of health.

Kudos to Justice Sanders. Thankfully the tyrant Mukasey suffered no long-term ill from the outburst, or his collapse.

US to Israel: Hold off till its Obama’s fault

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

US Puts Pressure on Israel to Refrain from Attacks

U.S. officials have asked Israel to refrain from launching any major military action in the region during the waning days of the Bush presidency, Israeli sources have told TIME. Previously, some Israeli military officials had hinted to the media that if Israel were to carry out its threats to strike at Iranian nuclear installations, it might do so before Barack Obama enters the White House in January. But now a Defense Ministry official says, “We have been warned off.”

Washington’s concerns are not limited to the possibility of Israel attacking Iran, the sources say; U.S. officials have also cautioned Israelis against launching a ground assault inside the besieged Palestinian territory of Gaza in a bid to stop militants there from firing rockets into southern Israel. Bush Administration officials warn that such an attack could cost many lives and jeopardize the painstaking, thus far futile efforts of U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to broker a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

How nice. 8 years of half-baked efforts at change in Middle East, and what do we get? Another Bush buck passing, saddling the incoming President with one more failure to deal with.

Heckuva job, Bushie.

What don’t we know?

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

Gonzales’s March 2001 memo was the opening salvo in a war over information, one that began in the earliest days of the Bush administration and will continue beyond its end. The stakes, which no one could have predicted when the letter crossed Carlin’s desk, are now self-evidently enormous: when Bush hands over the keys to the White House in January, he will leave behind more unanswered questions of sweeping national importance than any modern president.

A must read.

Goode is gone. Good!

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

Virginia GOP Rep. Goode Defeated in Late-Decided Election

RICHMOND, Va. — Challenger Tom Perriello defeated Republican Rep. Virgil H. Goode by 745 votes out of more than 316,000 cast to help Democrats regain a 6-5 majority in Virginia’s congressional delegation, according to election results certified Monday by the State Board of Elections.

Goode riddance to bad rubbish. Goode, you’ll remember, is the wingnut who went all bigot when fellow Representative Keith Ellison was sworn in with a Koran. Despite Goode’s thoughts to the contrary, American society did not collapse, nor did Ellison lead waves of Muslim immigrants into the country.

Also interesting, the homophobic Goode is thanked in the credits of the gay porno film “Eden’s Curve“, and has financial ties to the producers of the film. Glad to see the voters have given Goode ample time to ponder the coming gay Muslim onslaught.

Unacceptable: The misery of Katrina Kids

Monday, November 24th, 2008

Katrina Kids: Sickest Ever

Even before the storm, they were some of the country’s neediest kids. Now, the children of Katrina who stayed longest in ramshackle government trailer parks in Baton Rouge are “the sickest I have ever seen in the U.S.,” says Irwin Redlener, president of the Children’s Health Fund and a professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. According to a new report by CHF and Mailman focusing on 261 displaced children, the well-being of the poorest Katrina kids has “declined to an alarming level” since the hurricane. Forty-one percent are anemic—twice the rate found in children in New York City homeless shelters, and more than twice the CDC’s record rate for high-risk minorities. More than half the kids have mental-health problems. And 42 percent have respiratory infections and disorders that may be linked to formaldehyde and crowding in the trailers, the last of which FEMA finally closed in May. The “unending bureaucratic haggling” at federal and state levels over how to provide services and rebuild health centers for the Gulf’s poor has made a bad situation much worse, says Redlener: “As awful as the initial response to Katrina looked on television, it’s been dwarfed by the ineptitude and disorganization of the recovery.”

We spend 2.9 billion dollars a week- a week– on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Yet we can’t manage to house and feed our own at risk children. A nation that prioritizes the slaughter of innocents abroad while ignoring the suffering of its own, well, that is a nation I can’t abide. And neither should you.

What an absolute ghoul

Monday, November 24th, 2008

Bush ‘very pleased’ with Iraq war outcome

US President George W. Bush believes the Iraq war was a success and is “very pleased” with what is happening there, he said in a pre-recorded interview broadcast on a Japanese television network Sunday.

“I think the decision to remove Saddam Hussein was right,” Bush told the Sunday Project programme of the private Asahi network.

Saddam was an enemy of the United States and a lot of people thought he had weapons of mass destruction, Bush said, adding “remarkable” progress had been made in Iraq since the late dictator was toppled in 2003.

True, remarkable progress indeed. They almost have as much fresh water and electricity as they did before we removed Saddam. Pathetic.

Had a discussion yesterday with my son and touched on Bush, and as it has before we ended up disagreeing on the central question of the last 8 years- Was Bush merely incompetent (his view) or evil (my take on it).

Rather sad when a president exists only as a choice between a buffoon or a demon.

TSA behavior detection: “a sham”

Monday, November 24th, 2008

TSA’s ‘behavior detection’ leads to few arrests

WASHINGTON — Fewer than 1% of airline passengers singled out at airports for suspicious behavior are arrested, Transportation Security Administration figures show, raising complaints that too many innocent people are stopped.

A TSA program launched in early 2006 that looks for terrorists using a controversial surveillance method has led to more than 160,000 people in airports receiving scrutiny, such as a pat-down search or a brief interview. That has resulted in 1,266 arrests, often on charges of carrying drugs or fake IDs, the TSA said.

The TSA program trains screeners to become “behavior detection officers” who patrol terminals and checkpoints looking for travelers who act oddly or appear to answer questions suspiciously.

Critics say the number of arrests is small and indicates the program is flawed.

“That’s an awful lot of people being pulled aside and inconvenienced,” said Carnegie Mellon scientist Stephen Fienberg, who studied the TSA program and other counterterrorism efforts. “I think it’s a sham. We have no evidence it works.”

True, as far as its stated intention goes, this program is an utter failure- as is most anything else our government touches. But if you interviewed a majority of passengers, even when confronted with the 1% figure, they would consider the program vital- because someone is doing something. Since your security is largely your own business- based on decisions you make- all the government can do is provide the illusion of safety. But to a nation with the illusion of an economy, and its mythical war on ….(you fill in the blank), illusion is what we’re accustomed to, and its by god what we’re gonna get.

Oh Karl Rove, you so funny

Friday, November 21st, 2008

Really, he wrote this:

Just one problem. It’s illegal.

Irony, where is thy sting?