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Thursday, December 21, 2006
A New Hope? Well, There Is Certainly Lots of Sand
|Moqtada al-Sadr has agreed to end his boycott of the Iraqi Government. (See yesterday for more.)|
This paves the way for a new governing coalition in the Iraqi Parliament - one in which Sadr's group will be less powerful. Hopefully, this new coalition will be able to do some things that are actually effective. (Don't hold your breath.)
Tags: Middle East, Politics, Terrorism, Iraq
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Sistani v. Sadr
|[Via Juan Cole]|
Apparently, Iraqi Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani is on board with the plan to re-align the Iraqi Parliament into a new governing coalition that will unseat Prime Minister Maliki and, more importantly, greatly diminish the power of Moqtada al-Sadr. (Something I had written about earlier.)
Juan breaks down what the new coalition would look like (and, generally craps on the whole idea) here. (Scroll down.)
This is either the last ditch attempt to save Iraq from Sadr or the beginning of the next full-scale internal conflict. This time, however, open Shiite on Shiite violence.
I've given up guessing. (Although, let's be honest, all signs - always - point to violence in Iraq.)
The only thing I'm sure of is that the Kurds are outta there, ASAP. Who can blame them?
Tags: Middle East, Politics, Terrorism, Iraq
Monday, December 18, 2006
Evening Chuckle: Have Courage, My Friend
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Evening Chuckle: Spelling Bee
TIME Magazine Renders Itself Instantly Irrelevant
|Despite the fact that I have wholeheartedly accepted the accolade, I honestly think the choice of Time's Person of the Year was stupid.|
If the goal of PoTY is to spark discussion, then they dropped the ball. They picked a group that is already built upon...DISCUSSION! So, now we bloggers get to break our arms patting ourselves on the back and the rest of the country will IMMEDIATELY STOP PAYING ATTENTION!
What they should have done was spark a discussion on international issues (Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Cuba, North Korea, CHINA - PICK ONE) because our relationship with the rest of the world will define the lives of Americans from now on and AMERICANS DON'T CARE ABOUT THE REST OF THE WORLD! But it is time that they do.
China and India will be taking our jobs, the Middle East is about to explode which will further radicalize their population against the US and disrupt our oil supply, South America is trending socialist/anti-American. Americans don't know or care about these things.
So, instead of trying to get Americans interested in these things, Time essentially punted. This does nothing to promote a national discussion on anything. Status quo in the US. No challenge to the people.
They may as well have picked Britney Spears.
(FYI, I would have picked Ahmadinejad.)
Saturday, December 16, 2006
Finally, the Recognition I Deserve!
|I (and to a lesser extent, millions of other people) have been named Time Magazine's Person of the Year.|
"The annual honor for 2006 went to each and every one of us, as Time cited the shift from institutions to individuals - citizens of the new digital democracy, as the magazine put it. The winners this year were anyone using or creating content on the World Wide Web.It's about damn time!
P.S. You're welcome, ingrates.
Evening Chuckle: Como Estan, B!#@#@$!
Friday, December 15, 2006
US Lawmakers in Cuba
|A Congressional delegation is in Havana looking to expand relations between the US and Cuba.|
It's nice to see the Congress taking a hand in foreign policy (especially with Cuba) rather than just taking whatever the Bush Administration says (The same with Bill Nelson going to Syria - which John Kerry is now copying).
This is great news for the Cuban people. (Not as good as Fidel kicking off will be.)
Tags: Fidel Castro, Cuba, Castro
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Evening Chuckle: Inappropriate!
Monday, December 11, 2006
Evening Chuckle: I Don't Get No Respect
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Recent Human Evolution
|This is really cool:|
"Throughout most of human history, the ability to digest lactose, the principal sugar of milk, has been switched off after weaning because there is no further need for the lactase enzyme that breaks the sugar apart. But when cattle were first domesticated 9,000 years ago and people later started to consume their milk as well as their meat, natural selection would have favored anyone with a mutation that kept the lactase gene switched on."The change may have been as recent as 3,000 years ago. Once again, throw this on the pile of data that supports evolution. (In your face creationism and Intelligent Design!)
Figure it out people, ignoring scientific facts isn't going to help Americans compete.
Tags: Science, Evolution
Evening Chuckle: This is Just a Little Speech Impediment
More "Good" New from Iraq
|Here's a fun story.|
Factions in the Iraqi government are plotting to replace Prime Minister Maliki.
It seems that members of the Sunni and Kurdish coalitions as well as the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), which is one of the largest blocs in the Parliament, have decided to try and form a new governing coalition to remove the ineffectual Maliki and also marginalize Moqtada al-Sadr.
The hope is to replace Maliki with a leader who will work to disarm the militias, something the current PM has been unable or unwilling to do due to his owing his position to al-Sadr.
This could either be good or plunge the country even faster into civil war/chaos. But that's true of almost anything in Iraq nowadays.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
The Bush Administration Takes an Important Step in Fighting the Stigma of HIV
|Via Andrew Sullivan.|
Most people probably don't know this but, under current US law, it is illegal for an HIV-positive foreigner to enter the United States. For this reason many of the larger AIDS conferences have refused to be held in America. Both in protest of the practice and, also, because it is impractical to have a conference about AIDS somewhere that people who have AIDS cannot go.
However, the White House announced an executive order last Friday (World AIDS Day) that eases the restriction.
Of course, the law still exists and needs to be dealt with by Congress. However, this is an excellent start. As I have said before, I have many criticisms of President Bush but he has done more than any previous President to fight HIV around the world. I still think they could do more and do it more effectively (abstinence only education is a prime example of ideology over efficacy), however, this gesture deserves to be recognized as an unquestionable, if overdue, good deed.
So, congratulations, Mr. President. But you've still got a long way to go.
Tags: Bush, HIV/AIDS
Monday, December 04, 2006
Evening Chuckle: Lil' Bush on Comedy Central!
|I just read that Comedy Central is buying episodes of Lil' Bush!|
Those of you who have been following this site already know about Lil' Bush and his pals Lil' Condi, Lil' Rummy, and Lil' Cheney. But for those of you who don't, check out:
Lil' Bush: Hot Dog
Lil' Bush: Nuked
I hope the TV show is more consistent than these shorts. There is a third Lil' Bush episode that I've never put up because I didn't think it was that funny.
But 2 out of 3 ain't bad.
Tags: Bush, Humor, Funny
Labels: Evening Chuckle Archive
Saturday, December 02, 2006
Evening Chuckle: Corn Is Always Interesting
Go Huskers! Update
|Just wanted to go on record and say I hope my alma mater, Nebraska, can beat Oklahoma in the Big XII Championship tonight.|
It is hard to believe that the NU and OU have never faced off in the league championship game before.
The creation of the Big XII was designed to destroy everything that was good about the (far superior) Big 8. One of the ways they accomplished this was by stopping the annual NU v. OU match-up. So, a rivalry that used to rival (and, frankly, frequently exceed in national importance) Ohio State v. Michigan, was reduced to a twice every four years schedule. Idiots.
Part of the reason this arrangement was swallowed was that most people expected NU to play OU every year in the Championship anyway. So, now, the 11th Big XII Championship game will finally host the match-up.
I hate the Big XII.
I am no big fan of the new NU coaching staff or West Coast Offense.
However, the Huskers are playing the Sooners for the conference championship. None of that other stuff matters.
Update: Damn. OU 21 NU 7
The worst part was when the announcers said the Nebraska defense was starting to dominate and then OU went 99 1/2 yards for a TD.
How much longer will we wander in the WCO/Kevin Cosgrove (defensive coordinator) wilderness? I guess until Turner Gill makes the University of Buffalo into a powerhouse and then comes back to Lincoln.
Sigh...I can always dream.
Friday, December 01, 2006
Evening Chuckle: Addiction Is a Bad Thing
World AIDS Day Resources
|Today is World AIDS Day. |
Below are some resources you can use to learn more about HIV/AIDS and what you can do to help fight the disease that is poised to become the third leading cause of death worldwide in the next 25 years.
Bono's (RED) project. This allows you to buy certain (RED) products (iPod, RAZR, clothes, etc.) and have a percentage of the purchase price go toward Global AIDS relief while raising AIDS awareness.
You can sponsor a child living in a country plagued with HIV/AIDS through World Vision, or Save the Children.
The official World AIDS Day page.
AIDSinfo World AIDS Day page.
Here is the UN's World AIDS Day site.
To see the most up to date statistics on the AIDS epidemic in America, go here.
Read what the Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has to say about World AIDS Day.
Here is the Methodist Church Global Ministries World AIDS Day site.
View the AIDS Memorial Quilt.
And here is a message from Bono:
Continue to check back with Google News - World AIDS Day for today's latest stories.
Today in Science
Today is World AIDS Day. World AIDS Day, AIDSinfo
Risk of progression to AIDS increases without steady anti-retroviral drug treatment. CBC
Experts look to implement new strategies to prevent HIV transmission. WP
Bill Clinton is starting a foundation to provide AIDS drugs to children. BBC
The EU plans to spend 54 billion Euros on science over the next several years. BBC, ScienceNOW
Scientists need to be involved in science debates to keep them from being dominated by minority views. BBC
A single asteroid killed the dinosaurs. Reuters, NG
The White House does not want to release documents concerning the "Plan B" contraceptive. WP
Blocking progesterone may keep breast cancer gene, BRCA1, at bay. WP, Reuters
Bush Administration abstinence-only policy for combating underage pregnancy does not work, contraception does. BBC, Reuters
Steven Hawking says humans need to get out of the solar system to survive. AP, Reuters, BBC
NASA says shuttle redesign can wait until 2008. AP
Climate Change/Global Warming/Alternative Energy
Monsoons in India have worsened with climate change. Reuters, Nature
LA auto show highlights green cars. CSM
Microsoft releases Vista OS for business. Reuters, BBC
Stem cells may be used to fix back pain. BBC
Hurricane season ends without one hitting the US, thanks to el Nino. AP, Reuters, Nature, NG
Al-Qaeda is making noise about a cyber attack on businesses set for today. AP
Categories: Science news, Science, News