Fearful symmetry -- the way of natural law

"This is the way of natural law,
Red of fang and sharp of claw."

In other words, you taunt a tiger at your peril.

You want to play tough guy?


-- Just don't make us listen to you (or your father or your friends)
whine when you get caught.

There's an old saying about bulls and horns
and how messing with one will have you getting the other.

I imagine the lad's last thought was

"Oh wow -- I really shouldn't have done that..."

Or at least, I would hope so, that maybe he learned something.

Sorry -- he gets no sympathy from me -- as I said in the posting below, I've seen too many mean spirited assholes do the same thing to feel bad when one of them has to pay for his fun.



Ah, that fearful symmetry ...

"...The San Francisco Chronicle, citing anonymous sources, reported Thursday that police are investigating the possibility that the victims had taunted the tiger and dangled a leg or other body part over the edge of the moat. The newspaper said police had found a shoe and blood inside the enclosure..."

OK -- I KNEW at first report, those young men were taunting the tiger, throwing things and yelling... because, having spent some 10 years as a docent at the San Francisco Zoo, I had seen so many incidents of that weird acting-out of the primal fear-anger response that manifests in hostility and aggression against caged animals, I had no doubt.

I couldn't tell you how many times I stopped people -- usually in the 17 - 18 - 19 year old range -- from taunting, throwing things at the animals and/or climbing over the fence in an effort to get closer to the animal or even inside their enclosure.

That does NOT mean it was OK for the tiger to be able to get out -- ANYONE who has worked at a zoo knows there will be assholes taunting primates and carnivores, and should be prepared for that. It wasn't OK for the current or past Zoo Director to not know the regulations concerning distances and heights of moats and walls. NOT OK for the director to say "Well, they (AZA) had someone out here and he didn't say anything about it."

I am trying not to say"they were asking for it," but the fact is, of course, they were.

They just thought they wouldn't get called on it and their their display of phony courage was supposed to end with them walking away clean, feeling good about being so tough ... surely, in recent years, we've seen enough chickenshit taunting, enough "Nyahh Nyahh ... Bring it On..." bullshit bravado from cowards in their hidey-holes, directors and executives of this organization or that surrounded by their bodyguards who taunt the things they fear from what they think is a safe (or undisclosed) location. We've seen enough of them to know how that game works.

But again -- anyone who spends time working at a zoo knows that and is obliged to (1) stop it when they see it and (2) make certain safety precautions are adequate ... EVEN THOUGH ASSHOLES ARE NOT AN ENDANGERED SPECIES.

The first time I said that comment above (that assholes aren't endangered) was to three young men about the same age as the tiger-taunters who I stopped from climbing over the rail to go down into the enclosure that held three mostly-grown Kodiak Bears.

In zoos, facing carnivores and primates, all sense and intelligence seems to disappear from some people.

I once watched a man pick up a wet piece of cloth that Cobby, the Alpha male chimp, had thrown at him (hell, a lot better and less messy than what Cobby usually threw) and do a windup to throw it at Cobby. This was a man in his 30's. And when I yelled at him "HEY -- DON'T DO THAT," he gave me a hostile and pugnacious stare and pointed at Cobby, shouting: "HE STARTED IT!!"

To which I said "He's a fucking ape! What the hell are you?"

And he looked at me for a moment and then lowered his throwing arm and returned to approximate human form saying "Oh, yeah, right."

(He was lucky -- people who angered Cobby used to walk away looking like it was Ash Wednesday -- except the spot on the forehead was brown instead of black.)

So yeah -- it's evolution in action -- three idiot punks learned a lesson about fooling with that fearful symmetry, and one of them won't get to pass his genes along.

Unfortunately, the police kill of Tatiana, while absolutely necessary at the point the situation had reached, also took a noble creature out of existence.



Have to change my saying ...

Traditionally, I countered the old Republican saw about how Democrats are all "tax and spend" with the corollary that Republicans are all "borrow (from the next generation) and spend"

Have to change that one. The revised, edited, updated saying will be:

The Democrats are all tax and spend, while the Republicans are EITHER borrow OR Plunder for their pals and spend...

Actually, with the past 7 years of Monkey Boy whining like a little spoiled brat whenever he doesn't get what he wants , I should update that again:

The Democrats are all tax and spend while
the Republicans are all BEG, Borrow, and Steal and spend.

Or so it seems.



What happened to the 49ers? It's the YORKS, stupid.

The events following the York family theft of the 49ers from Denise's brother, Eddie D (setting him up for a legal fall) and turning it over to their idiot son to run (even though he knew nothing about the game) turned out to be as unsuccessful as the Bush family stealing the 2000 Presidential election and turning the United States over to their idiot child to run (even though he knew nothing about the game either).

Both of them, in short time, turned what had been a fine and brilliant organization into shit.

What we need? Well, we need Eddie D.

How about declare the team a public utility and seize it as an act of Eminent Domain (with recompense) with the team to be owned by the city itself? Like Green Bay.

The legal justification?

They are using the name of San Francisco (even planning to take the team to another city while still using the San Francisco name), but wherever they are they are harming the reputation and economy of the city.

OR find a way to force them to sell to real football people who care about the game and winning.

Or just shoot them.

Without dumping that family, there's no way any coach or any QB can do anything.

In the short term?

Fire Nolan, put Mike Singletary in as Head Coach and let HIM interview and choose a new GM who will take control of the team. With Singletary in there (AND the YORKS safely pushed out of the picture as far as their opinions are concerned) it might be possible to get some good coaching talent willing to come in and re-create the 49ers.

Or just shoot them.



Deists, Secularists, Agnostics and Atheists will be "taken care of" when Willard's in the Oval Office. Taoists and Buddhists and Muslims too!

In response to the wretchedly intolerant statement made by Willard "Mitt" Romney in the speech when he straight-faced the pretense that there was no difference in beliefs between the Mormons and the Christian Evangelicals, I present this.

(Romney decided that people who don't believe as he does are "secularists" AND that Secularism is a religion. Maybe. But when he declared that such a religion "IS WRONG," he went from weird to unacceptable and disqualified from being an elected official. This is a man whose faith holds that he will become one of many gods in the next life, that he's a saint in this one, and that the Garden of Eden was in Missouri. I will not criticize that belief. I'm just pointing out that it's far enough out of the mainstream for a sensible follower to hold his tongue about denouncing someone else's beliefs.)

In addition to shouting out a true American, Constitutionally-based, hearty "FUCK YOU," and/or a classical "EAT SHIT AND DIE YOU HYPOCRITICAL MEALY-MOUTHED INTOLERANT NAZI," I post this poem.

"Black Cross"

by Joseph S. Newman, as performed by Richard "Lord" Buckley

"Black Cross" was published in 1948 in a collection of poems entitled It Could Be Verse.

This is Lord Buckley's as performed at the Ivar Theater in Los Angeles in 1959. The recording of that performance was released on Way Out Humor, World Pacific, 1959, and re-released as Lord Buckley in Concert, Demon Verbals, 1985.

Normally I would bristle at someone re-writing another's poem, but Lord Buckley was SO MUCH an embodiment of the gentle, loving manner described here, I would have to say that his dialect-heavy version should be accepted despite what we would see as improper today.

The poet was the actor Paul Newman's uncle (Lord Buckley thought it was his grandfather). Louis Untermeyer wrote a glowing Introduction, so the book was probably well-received at the time.

Buckley probably met Newman at some time. He recorded two of the other poems in his collection, "Jehova and Finnegan" and "Leviathan" as well as another, "Shah's Embroidered Pants," that does not appear in the book.

"Black Cross" was also performed by Bob Dylan and can be heard on the bootleg Minnesota Hotel Tape, recorded December 1961.

Lord Buckley's Version:

There was Old Hezekiah Jones, of Hogback County.
He lived on a hill in a weatherbeaten hovel.
And all that he owned was a two-acre plot
with a bed and some books and a hoe and a shovel.

Old Hezekiah, black as the soil he was hoeing,
Worked pretty hard to make both ends meet.

Raised what he ate, with a few cents over
To buy corn likker that he drank down neat,
And a few cents more that he put in the cupboard
Against what he called "de rainy season,"

But he never got to save more'n two or three dollars
Till he gave it away for this or that reason.

The white folks around knew old Hezekiah...
"Harmless enough, but the way I figger
He better lay off'n them goddam books,
'Cause readin' ain't good fer an ignorant nigger."

Reverend Green, of the white man's church,
Finally got around to "comin' ovah
To talk with you-all about the Pearly Kingdom
An' to save yo' soul fer the Lawd Jehovah!"

"D'you b'lieve in the Lawd?" asked the white man's preacher.
Hezekiah puckered his frosty brow,
"Well I can't say 'yes,' so I ain't gonna say it,
Cauz I ain't SEEN de"

"D'you b'lieve in Heaven?" asked the white man's preacher,
"Where you go, if you're good, fer yer last rewahd?"
"Ahm good," said Hezikiah, "good as Ahm able,
But Ah don't expect nothin' from Heaven OR the Lawd."

"D'ya b'lieve in the Church?" asked the white man's preacher.
Hezekiah said, "Well de Church is divided;
Ef they can't agree, than Ah cain't neither...
Ahm like them....Ah ain't decided."

"You don't b'lieve nothin'," roared the white man's preacher.
"Oh yes Ah does," said old Hezikiah,
"Ah b'lieve that a man's beholden to his neighbahs
Widout de hope of Heaven or de fear o' hell fire."

There's a lot of good ways for a man to be wicked...
They hung Hezikiah as high as a pidgeon,
And the nice folks around said, "He had it comin'
'Cause the son-of-a-bitch didn't have no religion!"



Restoring some respect for America after Bush is out of office

Short of my preferred solution, which is arresting all of them -- Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove, Wolfowitz, et al -- and turning them over to the World Court to be tried for Crimes Against Humanity -- a talking head on TV said something I think is probably accurate:

That electing a man of color named Barack Hussein Obama, whose middle name is quite common around the world, would tell the whole world that perhaps we've finished our era of electing sociopathic shit kickers and religious fanatics.

This makes him the first candidate of either party that -- to me -- might actually have a positive qualification to bring to the office.


Here's a list of prominent Deists

Willard "Mitt" Romney thinks Secularists (which include Deists) are WRONG!!!

Here's a list of some of them, including a few who created America.

So my question is this:

Are these people who were evil idiots who didn't know what they were doing?

Or is it more likely that Mitt Romney is an opportunistic, principle-changing, power hungry pissant who's just flapping his lips to make the kind of noises he hopes will get him elected (then he can stand on the roof of the White House and shout, "Top of the world, Ma!" just like Jimmy Cagney* in <White Heat)

List of deists

This is a partial list of people who have been categorized as deists, the belief in a God based on natural religion only, or belief in religious truths discovered by people through a process of reasoning, independent of any revelation through scripture or prophets. They have been selected for their influence on Deism, or for their fame in other areas.

* Abraham Lincoln
* Adam Smith
* Alan Watts
* Alexander Pope
* Alfred Lord Tennyson
* Aristotle
* Benjamin Darrow
* Benjamin Franklin
* Cicero
* Constantin-François de Chassebœuf, Comte de Volney
* David Hume
* Democritus
* Edward Herbert, 1st Baron Herbert of Cherbury
* Elihu Palmer
* Epicurus
* Frederick the Great
* Ethan Allen
* George Washington
* Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
* Gouverneur Morris
* Henry St John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke
* Immanuel Kant
* James Hutton
* James Madison
* Jello Biafra
* John Locke
* John Toland
* Keith R. Wright
* Lysander Spooner
* Marlon Brando
* Matthew Tindal
* Maximilien Robespierre
* Moses Mendelssohn
* Napoleon Bonaparte
* Paul Davies
* Plato
* Rhazes
* Sinéad O'Connor
* Thomas Jefferson
* Thomas Paine
* Victor Hugo
* Voltaire
* William Hogarth


*There's another reason Governor Romney makes me think of Jimmy Cagney: someone once observed that the reason America loved a man who played vicious scum over and over again, was because no one ever believed a role he played or a line he spoke. They could always see the man behind the pose. Same with Romney, only in his case, it's not a charming hoofer behind the mask, but one of the Vril.



An open letter to Willard (aka "Mitt") Romney -- GO FUCK YOURSELF

"Homo homini aut deus aut lupus"

"Man is to man either a god or a wolf."
Desiderius Erasmus

But oh, when man decides he is doing God's work, the justification for viciousness and carnage really picks up.

You stand there all smarmy and smiling, confident that you and the other Elders are actually saints granted that status directly from Jesus (and that's fine -- believe what you will -- this is America, after all) but then you go on to make it clear that anyone whose beliefs are "secular" have no right to their own beliefs, and are practitioners of a false religion and are dead wrong (and as night follows day, in every religion that has ever had that point of view, that leads to a decision that it should be eradicated --- Purge, Inquisition, Pogrom, etc).

To use a secular phrase: "Eat shit and die."

You mentioned all sorts of Christians on whom you smiled down, suggesting to them that you actually respect them, but of course the words of Joseph Smith betray you, and he said it clearly, about his vision when he asked Jesus which of the Christian sects were the best for him to join:

"I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: 'they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.'"

Well, most people of one religion or another think theirs is superior to the others, else why would they be members? That goes with the fantasy. But most -- these days -- don't come right out and say they've decided whose beliefs are valid and whose aren't.

Who the fuck do you think you are?

The slimy shape-shifter who was an arch-conservative when you ran unsuccessfully for office back in Salt Lake? The smiling liberal you presented yourself as to run for governor in Massachusetts? The "destroy all sinners" conservative you now say you are?

Let's go back to your defeat in Salt lake City because it makes an important point -- the loathing of you by many many many Americans has very little to do with your religion -- only people who are as narrow-minded and ignorant as you are have a problem with Mormons as such -- your fellow Mormons dumped you because they could see you're just a slimy untrustworthy hypocritical ambitious power-hungry asshole who will do and say ANYTHING to get his hands on our lives.

I have known quite a few Mormons and, while I don't necessarily think any of them have what it takes to be President, I would vote for some of them as Mayor or even Congressperson or Senator.


You're Eddie Haskell from Leave It To Beaver greasing up Mrs. Cleaver and pissing on everyone else.

Talk about Kiss Up and Kick Down.

I don't care about your religion but I certainly don't want anyone leading this country based on his FAITH, not you, not that smiling preacher who seems to be playing the Andy Griffith character in the remake of Face in the Crowd, in which Patricia Neal watches the character's homey country facade gradual;ys slip away to reveal a monster underneath.

Former Governor Huckabee has already been caught in his lies and finger-pointing about who did what in the parole of the rapist/murderer Wayne Dumond.

But back to you, Mitt --

What we need is a president who will "be informed" by the Constitution of the United States.

What we do not need is a president who manages to forget to mention Jews, Muslims, Jainists, Taoists, Buddhists, Hindi, Agnostics, Atheists, Unitarians, Gnostics, Wiccans, Zoroastrians, Bahai,* and all those unlabeled people who are not members of any particular religion and who are neither Atheist nor Agnostic but who have come to the conclusion that organized religion is silly, repressive, and nasty and actually keeps individuals from achieving their spiritual fullness, whether it involves a god or not. (Oh, yeah, you did slip that "Judaeo-Christian tradition" cliche in there. But to me, as someone raised more or less Jewish, the Judaeo-Christian tradition, when it involves people who declare that Jesus Christ is their personal savior, means murder and blood libel.

Oh, you also seem to give short shrift to Deists, like our founding fathers, the sort of people YOU would consider Secularists and thereby WRONG.

And is that the same as Humanists to you?

You also exclude the various religions of Native Americans, too.

Why don't you tell us all about the 1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre, not so very long ago, during which the Church Elders pretty much demonstrated their attitude toward other Christians.

The point is -- we don't give a flying fuck about your religion. It's YOU we despise.

And when you start talking about how church and state shouldn't be COMPLETELY separated, then you're not an American at all.

Thomas Jefferson had written on his tombstone the two things of which he was most proud -- that he wrote the Declaration of Independence AND the Virginia law separating church from state. But then he was a nasty Deist and therefore someone about whom YOU don't give a flying fuck.

You pretty much ended your candidacy with that smarmy, supercilious, self-serving, arrogant speech.

Or at least, we can only hope.




It's unlikely that a lot of American Christians will forget their deep dark resentments against the Mormons

It's not that a Mormon can't be a good and fair-minded president, altho I do have my doubts about this particular wobbly-principled Bryllcreme Golem who seems to be willing to say he believes in whichever principles that will serve him at the moment -- and those so-called principles are all across the board. Pro-choice, Anti-Choice, Pro-Gay Rights, Anti-Gay Rights... as they might say in a Law and Order episode, "So tell me, Governor Romney, why are we to believe that THESE principles you now espouse are going to last?"

It's the other way around.

It's the Christians who deeply deeply resent the Mormons, and not only for the Mountain Massacre.

An excellent PBS - Frontline 4-hour documentary on the history of the Mormons explained the antipathy. And the point they made was that Mormon dogma didn't just disagree with the tenets or the other Christians, the way Martin Luther or Zwingli did against other forms of Christianity -- the Mormons seemed to be telling ALL Christians -- Protestant, Catholic, etc -- that their whole basic concept of Christ and his teaching were flat-out absolutely wrong from the first word on -- that their religions were essentially, pagan.*

It is the Christians who felt they were being slapped in the faith. Certainly the Mormon's beliefs aren't any more ridiculous than those of the Christians. It's not that THEY are not Christians -- they just are perceived as not believing that any of those people who call themselves Christian are Christians at all, that they, the Mormons were arrogant, supercilious, dismissive.

And that's something the other Christians find difficult to accept.

Being neither Christian nor Mormon, I can only write about these things as this group or that's perception. But then, the poet Charles Olson, described history as being driven by MYTHOLOGY and that, he defined as

"That which is said about that which is said."

In other words, take Watergate. What really happened wasn't important. What Nixon said (including "I am not a crook") didn't matter. What moved the mountains was what people said about what HE said.

(That and the fact that the Mormons didn't even allow people of color into the inner church until very very recently, which tends to irritate a lot of African-American Christians.)

A lot of stuff for Governor Romney to overcome.

* Description of Joseph Smith's vision on which he founded his church:

...But when he retired to that now-legendary grove of trees to ask God "which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join," he was met with a startling response. By Smith's own account of Mormonism's First Vision, "a pillar of light" descended on him, containing two "Personages," who turned out to be Almighty God and his son Jesus Christ.

"I was answered [evidently by Jesus] that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: 'they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.'"


See why they might be a little offended?



Oh, one more thing about Hillary Clinton's campaign

Please bear in mind, whether I like or dislike a candidate has nothing to do with whether or not I think that person would do a good job as president, but her vote on Iran, one that Senator Obama cornered her about, is devastating, with the NIE Report just released showing NO nuclear weapons program.

Hillary Clinton aka Charlie Brown and the football.

("Damn, he fooled me again.")

As to the widespread weirdness those "Bomb Iran" war lovers are sending out, none of them are mentioning this:

In 2003, the Iranian Ayatollah, believing we actually could do the job in Iraq, contacted the Bush admin and OFFERED to give up nuclear weapons research if the USA would, in return, pledge to NOT invade Iran. We turned them down. Apparently, they decided to go ahead and show good faith.


If you want to see who Gov Huckabee has modelled himself after...

.. check out A Face in the Crowd, a 1957 movie starring Andy Griffith and Patricia Neal, directed by Elia Kazan and written by Budd Schulberg.

It has to do with a folksy charming country bumpkin type and what dark nastiness is going on behind his smiling face.

Someone I knew, who saw the movie waay back then said "I'll never be able to watch Mayberry again."

I just get that feeling from him, and I like him, too. But when I read about his tenure as Arkansas governor (since he was a Republican, it was about monetary greed rather than the Democratic govenor's sexual greed) I start to wonder.


Bush Insists Iran Remains a Threat Despite Arms Data

New York Times

WASHINGTON, Dec. 4 — President Bush warned on Tuesday that Iran remained a threat despite an intelligence assessment that it had halted a covert program to develop nuclear weapons four years ago, as the administration struggled to save a diplomatic process now in disarray.


Well, of course, if you're someone like Bush who seems to be afraid of his own shadow -- and that's the
Jungian Shadow *I mean:

"He said Iran could not be entrusted with acquiring even the scientific knowledge to enrich uranium for peaceful civilian use, explicitly declaring for the first time what has been an underlying premise of the administration’s policy."


In other words, picture an adolescent punk running through the schoolyard shouting: "I know something you don't know." And when he finds out EVERYONE knows that, he flips out.


And I can't help but hear Mick Jagger singing:

"Can't you see your mother, baby, standing in the shadows..."


*Jungian Shadows

"Unfortunately, there can be no doubt that man is, on the whole, less good than he imagines himself or wants to be. Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual's conscious life, the blacker and denser it is..."

"Good does not become better by being exaggerated, but worse, and a small evil becomes a big one through being disregarded and repressed. The shadow is very much a part of human nature, and it is only at night that no shadows exist."



Two people with forks to be stuck in, because they seem to be quite well done

Rudy Giuliani -- Jeezus, Rudy, you've got more dirty deals and scandals and dishonesty surrounding your time as mayor -- that are already exposed -- than the regimes of Warren G Harding (the Teapot Dome Scandal -- it was about oil -- being the least of it) or Nixon (although the criminalities were pretty much the same as those of Monkey Boy's administration) garnered in their terms of office. I don't know which is more damning -- having the city pay for your pussy parties on Long Island or palling around with the Giant Toad of Qatar (Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifah al-Thani) who protected and helped escape the man who engineered 9-11 (Khalid Sheikh Muhammad -- but those, while only two of many -- are enough to sink any pleasure cruise.

On the other hand, as Molly Ivins used to point out, there's a certain virtue of of some kind of loyalty in "dancing with the one that brung you." If Big Boy hadn't protected Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, then there would have been no 9-11, and there would have been NO possibility of anyone in either party thinking you might be a presidential candidate in their wildest dreams and you wouldn't have had to change directions and make up new principles, ones that would be useful in fooling the people you now want to trick.. So perhaps your loyalty got you this far.

Hillary Clinton -- It's not that we don't think you could be a decent president (hell, given what we've got, anyone would look better) -- and it's not about you being a woman -- there are 2, 3, 4+ women in politics for whom I'd vote and even campaign for in a flash -- but there's so much resentment because of the DNC telling us ... MONTHS AND MONTHS AGO -- that you were IT -- what we've got -- and get behind it or else.

And now, taking Pot-Shots at Barack Obama because his numbers have gotten close, maybe even past yours, is just not worthy of anyone we'd want as president. We already have one who gets nuts when challenged -- don't need another one. Maybe you've got some bad advisors, because what it looks like, Senator, is what they call Flop Sweat, especially in the way Lenny Bruce used it in his great bit about the Palladium in London, i.e., not just the perspiration but bombing on stage as a standup comic and then getting more and more desperate and every word you say just makes it worse.

More to come -- people who need to get forked -- oh, Karl Rove for example, but that's for another posting.



Iran's WMD's turn out to be every bit as dangerous as Saddam Hussein's WMD's

New York Times

December 3, 2007

WASHINGTON, Dec. 3 — A new assessment by American intelligence agencies concludes that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and that the program remains frozen, contradicting judgment two years ago that Tehran was working relentlessly toward building a nuclear bomb.

The conclusions of the new assessment are likely to reshape the final year of the Bush administration, which has made halting Iran’s nuclear program a cornerstone of its foreign policy.

The assessment, a National Intelligence Estimate that represents the consensus view of all 16 American spy agencies, states that Tehran is likely keeping its options open with respect to building a weapon, but that intelligence agencies “do not know whether it currently intends to develop nuclear weapons...”

But the new estimate declares with “high confidence” that a military-run Iranian program intended to transform that raw material into a nuclear weapon has been shut down since 2003...”

Rather than painting Iran as a rogue, irrational nation determined to join the club of nations with the bomb, the estimate states Iran’s “decisions are guided by a cost-benefit approach rather than a rush to a weapon irrespective of the political, economic and military costs.” The administration called new attention to the threat posed by Iran earlier this year when President Bush had suggested in October that a nuclear-armed Iran could lead to “World War III” and Vice President Dick Cheney *promised “serious consequences” if the government in Tehran did not abandon its nuclear program.

Yet at the same time officials were airing these dire warnings about the Iranian threat, analysts at the Central Intelligence Agency were secretly concluding that Iran’s nuclear weapons work halted years ago and that international pressure on the Islamic regime in Tehran was working.

But the national security adviser, Stephen J. Hadley, quickly issued a statement describing the N.I.E. as containing positive news rather than reflecting intelligence mistakes...

“The estimate offers grounds for hope that the problem can be solved diplomatically — without the use of force — as the administration has been trying to do,” Mr. Hadley said...

Article continuation and excerpted portions HERE


*aka "Vicious Lying Sack of Shit"
("That's MISTER vicious lying sack of shit to you, Saintperle")


Yeah, well it's not like anyone who knew military medicine couldn't have told them...

..and would have known how to cut off the epidemic before it got this far (starting up in the north about a month or so ago) Then the death rate could be cut waay down and the civilian Iraqis wouldn't have to worry about the garbage, urine, and feces piling up in the streets.

Cholera crisis hits Baghdad

Iraqi capital fears an epidemic if stricken sewerage system collapses as the rainy season arrives

David Smith
Sunday December 2, 2007


Baghdad is facing a 'catastrophe' with cases of cholera rising sharply in the past three weeks to more than 100, strengthening fears that poor sanitation and the imminent rainy season could create an epidemic.

The disease - spread by bacteria in contaminated water, which can result in rapid dehydration and death - threatens to blunt growing optimism in the Iraqi capital after a recent downturn in violence. Two boys in an orphanage have died and six other children were diagnosed with the disease, according to the Iraqi government. 'We have a catastrophe in Baghdad,' an official said...

As Iraq's rainy season nears, its aging water pipes and sewer systems, many damaged or destroyed by more than four years of war, pose a new threat to a population weary of crisis. Claire Hajaj, a spokeswoman for Unicef, said: 'Iraq's water and sanitation networks are in a critical condition. Pollution of waterways by raw sewage is perhaps the greatest environmental and public health hazard facing Iraqis - particularly children. Waterborne diarrhea diseases kill and sicken more Iraqi children than anything except pneumonia. We estimate that only one in three Iraqi children can rely on a safe water source - with Baghdad and southern cities most affected.'

Although US forces in Baghdad have found that security is improving, on daily patrols they face complaints from residents about streets plagued by piles of household waste and fetid cesspools, often near schools and where children are playing. Captain Richard Dos Santos, attached to the 3rd squadron of the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, said that in the al-Hadar area of south Baghdad sewage pumps were only 30 to 40 per cent operational. 'There is sewage near schools and there is an increased threat of cholera and flu in winter when resistance is low,' he said...

The rest of the article is HERE


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