Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Wow, we're still debating in the house whether or not we experienced a flu or a really bad cold. Either way, treatment was the same. Last week we holed up in the house under blankets, with boxes of tissue and large glasses of water or juice nearby, and generally acting like snot supersoakers (sorry for the gross image). It wasn't fun. We're still recovering, but that is going well.

Last week, Turkey announced that it was agitated about PKK rebels in the Kurd held areas of Iraq. The U.S. is paying attention because the Turks have discussed sending troops into Iraq which would only flame tensions in an area of the country that remains relatively calm. In the BBC today, this line stuck out:
The US argues it lacks the resources in Iraq to deal with the PKK.
The Brookings Institution warned this week that the U.S. must prepare for all out civil war in Iraq with the possibility of hundreds of thousands dead and millions of civilian refugees. That ought to be welcome news to Saudi Arabia, Iran, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, and Kuwait.

Meanwhile, remember our proxy war escapade in Lebanon? It's heading towards civil war, too. Luckily, the Saudis don't feel the anti-diplomatic angle that the Bush administration has is going to work, so they're stepping in to negotiate with Iran. Let's hope it works. Meanwhile, it's confirmed that Israel used cluster bombs - illegally, according to the agreements with the U.S. - in their attacks in Lebanon. Naturally, this will go unpunished.

Human Rights Watch issued a report today saying that last year was the deadliest in Afghanistan since the war began there. This choice quote is striking, but expected:
Kabul and its international backers have made little progress in providing basic needs like security, food, electricity, water and healthcare.
The White House has hired a new executive pastry chef. The chef is also author of Desserts for Dummies. Seems appropriate enough. (h/t to Tennessee Guerilla Women)

Another day, another death in the so-called drug war. This time it was an 81 year old man who thought he was trying to protect his property from dealers, but instead was confronting undercover police, who shot him.

Bruce Schneier does an excellent job of tearing apart the Read ID card.
Real ID is another lousy security trade-off. It’ll cost the United States at least $11 billion, and we won’t get much security in return. The report suggests a variety of measures designed to ease the financial burden on the states: extend compliance deadlines, allow manual verification systems, and so on. But what it doesn’t suggest is the simple change that would do the most good: scrap the Real ID program altogether. For the price, we’re not getting anywhere near the security we should.

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