Sunday, April 6, 2008

Overnight - A roundup of news items that you might have missed

KU 84, UNC 66 It started out a bloodbath and Roy Williams looked like he had a bad taco for lunch. On the other side of the court, Bill looked like what can only be described as "Self Satisfied." KU meets Memphis in the final game Monday night. Rock! Chalk! Jayhawk!!! (Can someone tell me what the hell that means???)

List of Bangladeshi War Crimes released
Two decades in the making, the list of war crimes committed in the bloody struggle for independence from Pakistan was published on Friday. The list runs some 1600 names, and the War Crimes Fact Finding Committee (WCFF), comprised of veterans of the war and intellectuals, who published the list, are demanding prosecution of those still living. The WCFF also recommends establishing a truth and reconciliation commission like the famously successful post-Apartheid commission that has served as a model for subsequent panels.

Charlton Heston has passed away
...I guess it's time to pry the gun from his cold, dead hand. (Direct your wrath at my husband. He said it. I laughed and stole it. We are gun owners, by the way. Just not insane about it.)

Retaining Blackwater is "bad news" says al Maliki advisor Sami al-Askari. "I personally am not happy with this, especially because they have committed acts of aggression, killed Iraqis, and this has not been resolved yet positively for families of victims."

Ethnic tension in China isn't just for Tibetans, you know
Uighurs are restless, too. "It's a very volatile situation," says Nicholas Bequelin, a China researcher for Human Rights Watch, a New York-based advocacy group. "People feel their cultural identity is being threatened."

Oh, sweet God of Irony, I give you Hosea's and Blessings! Remember when Bill-O was caught lying about the Peabody he never actually won? Well choke on this Bill-O! The Colbert Report won an actual Peabody award parodying you! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! (doffing my cap to Blue Gal (no relation) blogging at C&L. The comments thread over there is hilarious.)

Climate Change endangers Koala Bears
Increases in greenhouse gases are making Eucalyptus leaves inedible, and threatening the survival of Australia's most beloved species. Increased CO2 levels are reducing nutrients in the leaves, while simultaneously raising the levels of toxic Tannin, and changing to texture of the leaves to tough and leathery. "What we're seeing, essentially, is that the staple diet of these animals is being turned to leather," said Bill Foley, a science professor at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra. "This is potentially a very significant development for the future of some marsupial populations. Life is set to become extremely difficult for these animals."

The Joint Chiefs are worried about the stresses of repeated deployments
Repeated deployments are ratcheting up the PTSD rates and straining the Army to the point that readiness for emergent conflicts is severely compromised. While about 12% of active duty personnel serving in Iraq suffer from PTSD after on tour, that number jumps to almost 19% for second tours and 28% for third tours. It is evidence that we are screwing over our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines. Especially our Soldiers. Ya know, it's a really bad idea to abuse those who volunteer to serve. This pisses me off on a visceral, personal level, but those who read my ranting know that already.

Weyrich flip-flops on Mitt Romney Last fall, it sent shockwaves through the religious right when Paul Weyrich endorsed the Mitt Flopper for the republican nomination. Now he has done a 180 and is denouncing Romney as a vice-presidential nominee. "To be clear, we all welcome anyone who has come around to the cause of life and family. However, Romney’s actions as governor flatly contradict both the values widely associated with his faith as well as his pro-life and pro-traditional marriage campaign rhetoric."

Biden denounces the Surge™ as a failure because political reconciliation hasn't happened, and American troops are still committed in large numbers. I've said it before and I'm certain to say it again - the Surge™ was a success only in that it ran time off the clock so aWol can hand it over to the poor schlub who follows him so the repugnant ones can replay the dolchstoslegende in three part harmony, accompanied by the Wurlitzer™ - just like they did after Vietnam - never considering for one second that they were supporting the wrong war, and never accepting that it is indeed possible to win every battle and still lose the war decisively. Vietnam wasn't lost in the brush - it was lost in the streets and universities of America, did you know that? That's the story that a few delusional fuckwits who confuse might with right have been sticking to for over three decades, despite the amazing advances we have made in psychotropic drugs that successfully abate hallucinations. The help is there, but they stubbornly refuse to take it.

In Oman, Gates reaffirms that diplomacy is the preferred course of action with Iran in a meeting on Saturday with Omani leader Sultan Qaboos bin Said. The Gates visit comes on the heels of a visit by Cheney in mid-March. I automatically presume that Gates is doing damage control. As a low-key U.S. military ally, Oman permits the use of four air bases by United States forces. Refueling and logistics operations, along with warehousing of pre-positioned materiel are staged from bases in Oman and certain critical supply lines originate there.

And not a moment too soon Next week the announcement will be made that Army deployments will roll back to 12 month rotations some time this summer for Soldiers deploying to Iraq or Afghanistan. The decision will be announced formally next week as Petraeus blows in to testify before Congress and try to polish this turd.