Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Dickie's Quickies

A new compilation of (mostly Northern) soul records by Soul Sides has just been released. It's an excellent collection of tunes. Part of the proceeds are donated to the Rhythm and Blues Foundation, which make it a worthy cause as well. Get your groove on now and feel even better about it. Soul Sides has the word on where to get the compilation and, for a limited time, get a free bonus disc. Solid.

Another Republican following in Randy Cunningham's footsteps? I know, hard to believe. The San Diego Union-Tribune has the lowdown on John T. Doolittle (whose name does more to describe this Congress than any before it), Republican from California. Clip:
Between 2002 and 2005, Wilkes and his associates and lobbyists gave Doolittle's campaign and political action committee $118,000, more than they gave any other politician, including Cunningham.

Calculations based on federal and state campaign records suggest that Doolittle's wife received at least $14,400 of that money in commissions. Meanwhile, Doolittle helped Wilkes get at least $37 million in government contracts.

NBC reports that the CIA had a high level Iraqi government official as an inside contact before the war and that they ignored his more accurate assessment of Hussein's arms even though Tenet used those assessments in speeches.

The front page of The Seattle Times today features a headline about the U.S. bases in Iraq: "US bases in Iraq built with an air of permanence" Gasp! You think? How fucking naive can you get? I doubt that they could be this naive. It's got to be willful ignorance.

Bruce Schneier reported yesterday on the head of Qantas airlines being stopped by U.S. airport screeners for carrying blueprints of planes. Apparently the screener(s) had difficulty buying the CEO's explanation because she is a woman. Great...feel safer yet?

The Guardian reports that the Archbishop of Canterbury disagrees with President Bush and does not think that either creationism or so-called intelligent design should be taught in public schools. Clip:

"I think creationism is ... a kind of category mistake, as if the Bible were a theory like other theories ... if creationism is presented as a stark alternative theory alongside other theories I think there's just been a jarring of categories ... My worry is creationism can end up reducing the doctrine of creation rather than enhancing it," he said.

The BBC reports on the damage and aftermath of the cyclone which hit Australia on Monday. Clip:

Australian officials - keen to avoid the criticism that followed the US government's response to Hurricane Katrina - began issuing warnings about the storm on Saturday.

Will our government learn the same lessons? Stay tuned.

Bubblegeneration has a great discussion about social capital and how it is ignored and not measured when making decisions about community building and big box stores. Clip:

The argument goes that by choosing to shop at Wal-Mart rather than at mom-and-pop shop, the consumer is choosing to vote with her wallet and therefore, society must let Wal-Mart win. However, free markets are the right solution only if buyers and sellers are reasonably well-informed, capable of judging a price based on the value of utility, and operating in a non-monopolistic environment. None of this is applicable in this case : economics has not yet developed the capability of figuring out the value of social capital and large scale retail is almost always a game of creating localized monopolistic power to destroy competition.

Samsung unveiled a 32GB Flash-based drive designed to compete with standard hard disk drives. Expect to see these in notebooks, soon, as I've been predicting.


Scott said...

Poor Dr. Williams, he doesn't understand the real debate about creationism in the U.S. It is a power grab, to bring back the good old days when religion ruled the west. You know, The Dark Ages.

The beginning of the NBC report angered me:
In the period before the Iraq war, the CIA and the Bush administration erroneously believed that Saddam Hussein was hiding major programs for weapons of mass destruction.
Who is actually simple enough to believe Bush was sincere when he said Hussein had WMD's? Yet here they are reporting the bastard's lies as fact? Where is the liberal media when you need them?

B.D. said...

I hadn't caught that point in the NBC report. Good eye, Scott.