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Archive for March, 2004

Steve flagman for the Rodent Regatta writes

“On June 5, 2002 I linked to an article that appeared in Wired News magazine. Today, March 30, 2004, the author of that article wrote this to me by adding a comment to my June 5, 2002 entry:”

IP Address: 152.10.82.75
Name: Nan Chase
Email Address: nanchase@bellsouth.net
URL:

Comments:

I don’t have any record of your having gotten permission to reprint electronically the article Grid to Green. I own all rights, and you are in copyright violation. Wired News passes along all legitimate reprint requests, but I have received none concerning this one.

Please respond ASAP,
Nan Chase
Boone NC
828-262-1737

I replied to this comment as follows:

Nan:

This is easy to fix. I’ll delete the link I made to Wired News. I’ll also post a retraction of you, your article and any further linking to work you’ve done or any that Wired News does.

To more accurately state the “case,” my electronic pointer to Wired News directed readers of my website to your article. My belief in doing so was that I was extending you a compliment and suggesting to my readers that they might enjoy your work.

My apologies for my mistaken notion.

Steve

“All links to Nan’s article are gone. I’ve also edited the entry I made on June 5, 2002. Rest assured that her statement that I “reprinted electronically” is simply not true, unless someone wants to claim that a link praising the work is the same as “reprinting electronically.”

Cranial: Any lawyers want to respond to this silliness? I would hate to think her mail box would get filled with junk, but anything is possible.

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Let’s start with the US Dept. of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy.

The U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve is the largest stockpile of government-owned emergency crude oil in the world. Established in the aftermath of the 1973-74 oil embargo, the SPR provides the President with a powerful response option should a disruption in commercial oil supplies threaten the U.S. economy. It also allows the United States to meet part of its International Energy Agency obligation to maintain emergency oil stocks, and it provides a national defense fuel reserve. – emphasis ed.

And this Bush quote from Nov. 13 2001 directing the reserve be filled to its maximum capacity.

“The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is an important element of our Nation’s energy security. To maximize long-term protection against oil supply disruptions, I am directing…the Secretary of Energy to fill the SPR up to its 700 million barrel capacity.”

Now let’s look at Kerry’s proposal: Kerry Unveils His Policy on Gasoline

Kerry calls for pressuring oil-producing nations to increase production as a way to drive down crude prices, and temporarily diverting oil headed for the replenishment of the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve. “I’ll use real diplomacy to do what George Bush hasn’t — pressure OPEC to start providing more oil,” Kerry said.

Will this produce anything of value? As noted above the reason for the petroleum reserve is to be used as a “response option should a disruption in commercial oil supplies threaten the U.S. economy.” Kerry is advocating a change in doctrine for nothing more than political mileage and a questionable price reduction. Clinton tried the other half of the Kerry equation, OPEC arm twisting:

[Senators] Feinstein and Wyden, in their Tuesday press release, also complained that President Bush “refuses to use his position to urge OPEC to boost production, which would bring gas prices down.” But pressure on OPEC doesn’t always bring prices down, as the Clinton administration found out.

On Sept. 25, 2000, when the Clinton-Gore administration was taking heat for rising oil prices, Vice President Al Gore told NBC’s Today show that the Clinton administration had held “intensive discussions” with OPEC about boosting production — to no avail, Gore said. – emphasis editor

Just how much more “intensive” will Kerry be? Not much I suspect, it’s all political spin, and tailoring his “message” to fit current headlines.

Sen. Larry Craig (R Idaho) before the Senate Ag Appropriations Subcommittee told USDA Secretary Ann Veneman in no uncertain terms where most of the fault resides

A fumbling Congress. Craig told Veneman, “You have no control over the price of energy, nor does this administration. But the Congress has fumbled and fumbled and fumbled once again. For 10 years we’ve debated national energy policy. We’ve done nothing since 1992 in any positive way as it would relate to the increased production of energy.” “How do we then, for the American farmer, offset those dramatic increases in production costs? That’s a phenomenal challenge for you and for this Congress in difficult budget times. So shame on Congress for standing in the way of this country beginning to produce once again for its consumer and especially for American agriculture.”

And just what is the problem with US production? Alan over at Petrified Truth has found the answer in a Houston Chronicle article:.

Industry officials all say the cost of meeting clean-fuel rules diverts money that could be used for new construction. To make matters worse, the methods used to take out sulfur to meet the specifications also reduce the amount of gasoline that can be made from a barrel of crude.

This burgeoning gap between a flat domestic supply and a growing demand from big gas-hungry vehicles has been filled by imported fuel. But even this source has been crimped by environmental rules that took effect Jan. 1 preventing some of this imported fuel from being sold here.

Although some companies are expanding plants, the barrel amounts involved are relatively small compared with the industry total. And there are some small refineries that may close rather than comply with the new rules.

No new refinery has been put up in the United States since 1976, and building one is out of the question, in [refining executive Bill] Greehey’s view.

“Even if you could get the necessary permits, which I don’t think you could, it’s just too expensive to build a new grass-roots refinery anymore,” he said.

So there you have the truth of the matter. Pres. Bush, Clinton before him, ECO Friendly Kerry, the Congress, and the American public are all bent over the same oil barrel, pants around our knees, with an smiling OPEC Sheik standing behind us. I’m having a flashback to 1971, and it ain’t pretty, and nothing has changed in 33 years.

Just for some grins and giggles, in the extended entry, I have added how Kerry and his political twin Sen. Kennedy uses the “not in my backyard’ theory of re-newable energy. Enjoy!

This post also parked Outside the Beltway
(more…)

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McQ inquisitor of Q and O (Questions and Observations) has an excellent series of posts that digests the 9/11 Commissions interim report. “The commission’s report on the the use of the military prior to 9/11″, outlines how US forces were utilized thru the mid nineties in a support role to assist Clintons “law enforcement” strategy. A strategy that Presidential hopeful Kerry has given every indication he will resurrect.

The Clarke controversy has sidelined what should be the main focus of these hearings. As I, and many others, expected it has turned into a political circus in the extreme. Despite this, the lessons of the past are there if one cares to move past the DNC and RNC attack dogs.

Jon’s other “Commission” related posts are here (law enforcement v. terrorism), and the most revealing of all, after Khobar Towers, the USS Cole and the two African Embassies were targeted and hit by UBL Clinton and his State Dept. decided to “give the Taliban a chance” because it might be able to bring stability to Afghanistan.

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As Reported in the Guardian:

In an isolated corner of Baghdad university campus, two young students are sitting together on a bench in a car park which, a year ago, was used to train students in the Jerusalem army, one of Saddam’s tools for suppressing students.
Aseel, the girl, is trembling as she repeats the words after her would-be husband, Wissam. “I agree to marry you according to the Koran, the Sunna of the prophet, and the teachings of Ahl al-Bayt …” And here comes the interesting part: “For a period of three months.” What?

Aseel and Wissam, both Shia Muslims, are performing one of the most controversial rituals of their sect: the Muta – literally “leisure” – marriage. Unlike other Shia rituals which involve grieving, crying and whipping, this one is all about satisfaction and happiness, a way to stop you from becoming a sexually frustrated maniac at the same time as allowing you to go to bed knowing that Allah is still happy with you.

(more…)

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As reported by BBC News Asia

“Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said forces had seized explosives which were to have been used to bomb trains and shopping centres in the capital, Manila. Several people have been arrested in connection with the plot, she said. She said the suspects were from the Abu Sayyaf group, which is more usually linked to kidnapping for ransom.”

“We have pre-empted a Madrid-level attack on the metropolis by capturing an explosive cache of 80 pounds [36 kg] of TNT which was intended to be used for bombing malls and trains in Metro Manila,” President Arroyo said on national television.

“She said four suspects had been arrested in raids in Manila and follow-up operations were under way.The Abu Sayyaf, which is fighting for a separate Muslim state, has been linked by both Washington and Manila to the al-Qaeda network, and both countries class the group as a terrorist organisation.”

I first noted the BBC story above, then searched the local papers for their version. The Philippine Inquirer headlines it this way: 4 Abu Sayyaf members nabbed over ferry blast. Whats this? A terrorist connection, something the government has denied since the Superferry 14 fire in late February. Defense Secretary Eduardo Ermita had this to say: “They were not arrested together. They were arrested in separate operations in Quezon City and Makati City.” So Ermita and the Inquirer story supports the Abu Sayyaf claim that they bombed the Superferry 14.

I had to go searching some more. The The Philippine Star has the same story, with this little claim of governmental credit.

Security officials later said the suspects had been arrested in raids in the suburbs of Manila. They had apparently relocated to the capital from their old haunts in the south after the government cracked down on kidnappings there.

Now I may have been born at night, but it wasn’t last night. And my logical sense tells me this little band of brothers weren’t in Manila on the run from any AFP pressure placed on them down south. My basic essentials when traveling, or on the run, don’t include 36 kilos of TNT. Just who are these “security officials” making this claim, inquiring “Kanos” would like to know? The Manila Bulletin adds more to the Abu Sayyaf tale

Arroyo said among those arrested was an Abu Sayyaf member who personally beheaded an American hostage Guillermo Sobero in a kidnapping spree in 2001 and the perpetrators of a bombing in the southern city of Zamboanga in 2002 that killed a US serviceman.

Why do I get the feeling the Arroyo Administration is playing the old game of “dog pile” and will pile on as many crimes as possible on this group of 4 bandits. Not that I have any compassion for them. As far as I’m concerned, it may have been better for them to have died “in a shootout.”

But their is still something that bothers me about this story. Nagging at my subconscious. I can’t quite put my…. finger…. on….. it…. Maybe its this. RP hosts ASEAN meet on terrorism, crime

“The timeliness of this meeting could not have been more fortuitous in light of recent world events, highlighted by the train bombing in Madrid,” Acting Foreign Affairs Secretary Rafael Seguis said of this year’s ISM. “This will allow peace-loving countries of ASEAN and its neighbors comprising the ARF to look into establishing measures that will prevent terrorist attacks on our transport systems.”

Yes I’m a very cynical old bastard… that’s just me.

UPDATE: Fox News is reporting the Superferry “bomb” was inside a television set.

A top security official, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, said Dellosa, a Muslim convert, confessed after his recent arrest that “he was passenger 51” and that he stashed TNT in a TV set that he carried onto the ferry.

The Abu Sayyaf earlier identified its “suicide bomber” as Arnulfo Alvarado and said he was in bunk 51. Police superintendent Ismael Rafanan said Dellosa claimed he used the name Alvarado to get on the ship, and that two of the other detainees confirmed his account.

And this pretty much confirms my earlier suspicions

Arroyo said Dellosa’s confession will be part of an ongoing investigation into the incident. She said she was advised by officials not to disclose the arrests prematurely but went ahead anyway.

Let the “Dog Pile” begin!

UPDATE: Mar 31 ChannelNewsAsia

Lito Banayo, a spokesman for ex-police chief and presidential candidate Panfilo Lacson, said it would be “very irresponsible” if the government was found to be staging a terror alert to benefit Arroyo’s campaign.

“We don’t want to judge her, because as yet it is very speculative,” Banayo told AFP, but warned the Arroyo camp that “fiddling with terrorist activities” would scare the public and could backfire.

The government’s claim to have foiled a major terrorist plot could also be part of a “sinister ploy” to allow Arroyo to declare emergency rule and scrap the elections, according to opposition presidential candidate Fernando Poe.

Poe, a hugely popular action movie star, is touted as Arroyo’s main rival.

But Ermita dismissed the allegations.

“They are entitled to their opinions. But the fact remains that we are only doing our jobs.”

“There are arrests, there are explosives recovered, testimonies and revelations they made and they were pointed to by very credible witnesses. How can anyone contest that?,” he said.

These politicians really need to SHUT UP

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Al-Qaeda Attack at Sea

Finally this threat is getting play in the media.

Alexey Muraviev, co-ordinator of graduate studies in strategy and defence at Curtin University of Technology in Perth, told a maritime security conference in Sydney yesterday that there were signs a big terrorist strike might be planned.

Evidence included the attacks on the USS Cole in Aden in 2000 and the French tanker Limburg off Yemen in 2002, reconnaissance activities and attempts to obtain maritime strike capabilities.

[…]

Mr Muraviev quoted a US intelligence official as saying that, like German raider ships in World War II, Osama bin Laden’s vessels constantly changed their names, flags and appearances. Of particular concern was an attack by suicide scuba divers.

In May 2002 the FBI sent out an alert about terrorists developing an “offensive scuba diver capability”. Last August the US Coastguard Marine Safety Office issued a special bulletin about suspicious individuals asking marine shops and schools about equipment and training.

When the US caught al-Qaeda’s alleged chief of naval operations, Abdulrahim Mohammed Abda Al-Nasheri, they said they had found a 180-page dossier that was apparently al-Qaeda’s plans. It listed so-called targets of opportunity, including Western merchant shipping and cruise liners.

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What’s Going on Here?

First The Australian reports Syria is pleading for Aussie help as mediator with the US to “help the Arab nation shake off its reputation as a terrorist haven and repair its relations with the US.”

Then on the Eve of the Arab League Summit, it’s host, Tunisia backs out insisting “that the summit explicitly endorse democracy and reject what it called “extremism, fanaticism, violence and terrorism”– and that other countries had balked at this.

Un-named delegates claim “It’s all about the Tunisian approach to the United States, the Tunisian attempt to win U.S. favour,”

Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa, who has been working on summit preparations for months, told the Egyptian news agency the postponement would weaken the Arab League. But he said he hoped it would be only a small setback.

The U.S. campaign, enshrined in a Greater Middle East Initiative, has been widely rejected in the Arab world as an unwelcome intrusion designed to distract attention from Iraq and the plight of the Palestinians.

This is an example of the long standing problems in the Middle East. On one hand one member is threatened with US sanctions and is begging for help from a US ally. And the rest of the cabel are refusing to back anything that would denounce “extremism, fanaticism, violence and terrorism.” Meanwhile those of us that reside outside the Middle East and the Pollyanna world of the United Nations are supposed to show concern for plight of the Palestinians.

And the answer to the title’s question? They have come to realize the possibility of a democarcy smack in the center of their dictatorship’s, monarchy’s, and autocratic regiems are a threat. There is no better example why Iraq is in fact part of the war on terror.

UPDATE: And to further prove the point, Hamas and Jihad are most welcome.

The Palestinian government decided on Monday to approve the request of PA Chairman Yasser Arafat to include representatives from all Palestinian factions in its delegation to the Arab League convention. The gathering was supposed to take place this week but was postponed due to disagreements between several Arab states regarding the convention’s content. The PA originally planned to send a delegation consisting of Fatah representatives only.

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