Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Killing Children - II

This appeared on the front page of the Washington Post with this comment:
BAGHDAD, April 29 -- A four-hour battle Tuesday between U.S. soldiers and Shiite militiamen left at least 28 Iraqis dead in the capital's Sadr City neighborhood, making it one of the bloodiest days in a month of sustained street fighting.
With this explanation:
U.S. officials emphasized that U.S. troops responded only after they were attacked and that it was the fault of the militiamen if there were civilian casualties. "The sole burden of responsibility lies on the shoulders of the militants who care nothing for the Iraqi people...
I guess no one cares that so many innocents are being murdered and that it is a War Crime to bomb civilians.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Killing Children

As quoted here:
The abuses include deliberately provoking violent reactions from crowds to give soldiers a pretext to shoot, locking families in one room of their house overnight and using the rest of the house as a base, and shooting children. (emphasis added)
When the world comes to accept this as the status quo; and is more interested in a bowling score, then there is little hope left.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Friday Crab Blogging

First, two crabs:

The man is jumping from his jet ski. However, other than shooting at the boat, it was not possible to ascertain what his intentions were.

The anatomy is a little unusual here; sort of an Escher experience.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Without Further Comment

An Iraqi girl looks at a wrecked car in Baghdad's Sadr City, struck by US missiles during fierce fighting with al-Mahdi army militia overnight.

Iraqi children in Baghdad's Sadr City look at a car wrecked by US missiles.

A boy looks at the shattered windshield of a vehicle after an air strike in Baghdad's Shula district April 20, 2008.

A girl looks at the remains of a burnt vehicle after an air strike in Baghdad's Sadr City April 20, 2008.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Duke Nukem


John McCain, Charles Grassley Physical Altercation Confirmed By Washington Post
Good thing he didn't have his hand on the button.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Friday Crab Blogging

Sort of a Swiss Army Knife Crab

This picture was incredibly important to me. It let me know that there is hope for our world. The bouncy little African American who drew it was very proud of her work, as well she should be. I asked her who the two people were. As you can see, she assigned me to the darker of the two. She just doesn't see the difference. (Actually, I hope to blog on this issue and other aspects of racism.)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

What's disturbing about this picture?

There a number of things disturbing to me about this picture, one of the many that get posted daily on Yahoo from Iraq.

1. The bullet holes. Look about you as you drive around today. There are no buildings in the U.S. that have bullet holes. I can recall two other places where I saw such holes. The first was in the Boar's Head Inn in Ireland. There was a hole in one of the window panes that was there from the Easter Rebellion in 1916. There was also an inscription in the glass from a diamond ring. I can't remember what it said and I think it was in Irish. The second place was in a Church in the center of Bucharest, Romania. They were left there from the revolt against Ceau┼čescu in 1989. Strangely, the Athenee Hotel (which figures so prominently in Olivia Manning's The Balkan Trilogy ) wasn't so damaged.

2. Why aren't these boys in school? They are definitely either teenagers or are close to being teenagers. We know that there is very little functioning education in Iraq at the current time. What will happen to these young men in 5-10 years? They have never known anything but violence. The idea, in Bush's mind, that such a society could suddenly become a functioning democracy subserved to the rule of law is absurd. Even more frightening is that they will become jihadists in an Islamic State. They will very likely be sworn enemies of the United States.

3. Does not the American Soldier remind you of something? If he was all in white he would look even more like a storm trooper out of Star Wars and all that that signifies. He is utterly without a personality. Plus that, his whole demeanor is one of dominance and control. Note that his gun is not over the shoulder, but at the ready with his finger on the trigger. You might think he is "cool" if you are an Iraqi teenager, but when you became a soldier, you would want to emulate him.

This is what George W. Bush wants to continue. This is what John McCain wants to continue, for 100 years. It ain't going to happen.

Monday, April 14, 2008


For what its worth, this was printed in the local paper on 04/20/08

To the Editor:

There can now be no doubt that we are a Nation that tortures prisoners. Since this is an issue that goes to the very heart of what we are, this is an issue that should be confronted in every public forum available, including this one.

Torture is morally abhorrent and we cannot continue to claim that we are a moral nation if we do not immediately, and without ambiguity, both cease and desist in the torturing of prisoners, and foreswear, once again, the use of such odious activities. There is no need to rehearse what is involved here, there is more than ample public documentation. The pictures from Abu Ghraib that so stunned the civilized world in 2004 are only the beginning.

In this confrontation, we must not consider the alleged “utility” of torture. The armor of moral authority is extraordinarily fragile in this regard and can be completely shattered by the tiniest admission of moral relevance or situation ethics.

Why is it so hard to consider this issue? One answer is that all of us, including and particularly our highest leaders, are now legally culpable for agreeing to these activities. The entire structure of our Laws is threatened by inaction on this issue. This is almost impossible to comprehend, but it is an obligation from which we must not shirk. We owe it to our children to clear our good name as a Nation.

And the green

Mexican deer courtesy of my nephew.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Red and the Blue

Now I understand the red reflex (actually, it is mostly yellow or, in African Americans, almost white). But Blue? Somebody explain! (looking closely the cornea are blue)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Friday Crab Blogging

Now a note of importance. Only the female of the Angler Fish has this lure!! It is a:
...piece of dorsal spine that protrudes above their mouths like a fishing pole—hence their name. Tipped with a lure of luminous flesh this built-in rod baits prey close enough to be snatched. Their mouths are so big and their bodies so pliable, they can actually swallow prey up to twice their own size.
I thought you would be interested in that. We can be thankful that black widow spiders and praying mantii don't have them. Caveat femina! On the other hand, it is no wonder that she is cross-eyed!I suspect the glowing flesh is probably luceferin, like the fire fly. On the other hand it could be a midshipman fish (called so because of the bright buttons on a midshipman), but it is most likely Coelenterazine.
There is a crab here, if you can find it!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Underground Iraq

I just can't talk about the carnage and insanity of Iraq anymore. How Petreus can sit there and create such a totally false picture of the reality "on the ground" I don't know. It is like he is on another planet.

Its not the facts "on the ground," its the facts "under the ground."

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Testing the Waters of Reality-II

Yes, yes, yes! All is peace and calm in Baghdad. Except.....
6th April 2008, 10:49 pm
Throughout the country by 21:30 the GZG authorities admitted to 25 dead and 57 wounded. There is very heavy fighting going on in Sadr city. The Americans have it under siege and are refusing all access to the city. American helicopters have bombed the city repeatedly. American snipers are being deployed on the roof tops. Imam Ali spokesmen say they are now desperately short of medical supplies. The Red Crescent attempts to get emergency medical supplies to the city which we reported yesterday have failed because the Americans will not let them through.

There are reports that the fires caused by the American bombing of the Jameela market are spreading and that there is no water being pumped to the city.(emphasis added)
And what would the judge at Nuremburg say?

Testing the Waters of Reality

Two things strike me today:

The first is that this is the day General Petraeus (damn, that sounds like a Roman name, it should be "Marcus' Petraeus of the XIIth Legion) regurgitates the same old baloney.

The second is we learn that Cheney will receive Secret Service protection for long after he is out of office because "we are at WAR!"

Petraeus's assessment of Iraq is entirely self centered. It is as if the Iraqi people did not exist. The resemblence of the situation to King George supporting a Tory government in the colonies of America is remarkable (remember, King George was mad.) To say that Iraq is approaching stability when it is spiraling into total chaos is, in itself, the statement of a mad man.

Consider the statement that "We are at War." Exactly the opposite is reality. We are engaged in trying to effect political change in Afghanistan and Iraq by the use of force. Yes, there is armed conflict. But, there is no armies on the other side. In fact, by saying that the Taliban are "unlawful combatants" and denying them coverage by the Geneva Convention, we have esentially stated that this is not "War." Police action, maybe. So, Cheney gets extraordinary protection in America because we are involved in a police action. If I were he, I would be more worried about travelling to a European country that might arrest him for war crimes.

Monday, April 07, 2008

This Man is Crazy

Addressing the Veterans of Foreign Wars, McCain criticized Obama and Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and insisted that last year's U.S. troop buildup in Iraq brought a glimmer of "something approaching normal" there, despite a recent outbreak of heavy fighting and a U.S. death toll that has surpassed 4,000.(emphasis added)
Yea, normal as in:

Sunday, April 06, 2008

What would you do?

What would you do if the Iraqi Air Force called in a helicopter strike on your neighborhood and put your daughter in the hospital:

Or, worse yet, killed your son:

I'd be very angry. Very, very angry.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

The Uses of Air Power

Guernica 1937

Dresden 1945

Basra 2008

(There were NO civilian casualties according to officials)

Friday, April 04, 2008

Friday Crab Blogging

Note how kids always get the symmetry right.

I was unaware that whales had conning towers, but then, a cetaceanologist I am not...

This one snuck up on me too; I thought I had a handle what was going round the community (e.g. Pokemon, "Cars," princesses, Bobby Jack, etc. But fairies? Better do some research. Carie the crab got me too.