Behind Enemy Lines
29 April 2006
Hot Damn. Jet Bug
Ok, SFGate does occasionally have some interesting things :)

Jet powered VW Beetle (file size: 22mb)
21 April 2006
New maritime security rules could cost maritime jobs
While those of us in the maritime industry have known about this possiblity for quite a while now, it's interesting that the media is suddenly paying attention:

Port ID Rules Could Cost Jobs

The program they are talking about is the "Transportation Workers Identity Credential" (or TWIC) and it affects more than just maritime security. The original (and possibly current) plan called for a single ID card program across the transportation industry. From trains to planes to ships at sea, this would be the ID for you and me (well, ok, probably just me as you probably don't work in the industry.) The system involves extensive background checks and pretty much regulates what one can and can't do at a port. For example, a clerk or steveadore might have one level of clearance, a trucker another and management a third. The system would have a centrally located database of vetted personnel and would allow for a person to be pulled from all systems at the same time (thus preventing John TruckDriver from being denied entry at terminal A and still having access at Terminal B). All in all it looks like a good program that should enhance port security by a large measure.

It will be interesting to see how the Democrats handle this story since the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) has been so staunchly behind them (under the banner of the AFL-CIO) and is rather against the TWIC programs background checks and restrictions.
But since the Democrats have recently declared themselves to be so concerned about port security and have made it one of their talking points, that I think they will find themselves at a loggershead over this one (or will simply do the normal "Democrat Slide" and slip away from the issue and make it a BIRFEB.)

Personally I say bring TWIC on! I've been waiting for the program to start for quite a while now.
CIA Officer fired over possible leak
According to MSNBC et al, the CIA has fired an Officer for allegedly leaking information to a reporter:

WASHINGTON - In a rare occurrence, the CIA fired an officer who acknowledged
giving classified information to a reporter, NBC News learned Friday.
The officer flunked a polygraph exam before being fired on Thursday and is now under investigation by the Justice Department, NBC has learned.

A number of blogs via Technorati are talking about this story, and some are making the bogus claim that President Bush should be held accountable for "leaking" information about the Wilson trip to Africa. To these folks I would like to point out that the President didn't "leak" anything, what he did was de-classify information from that trip to counter the bogus information that Wilson et al were telling the press. This is not a "leak" like what Ms. McCarthy stands accused of according to the media.

There was a "Mary O. McCarthy" who testified before the "National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States" (a.k.a the "9/11 Commission") back in 2003 who discussed the role the intelligence services in regards to warning capabilities.

Mary O. McCarthy was also a staff adviser to President Clinton (the same type of role that Joseph Wilson had, although in a different area and a year after Wilson) on the National Security Council for Intelligence Programs.
18 April 2006
Bush linked to 1906 Earthquake
File this under "Bush is responsible for everything bad" (BIRFEB)

SFGate / The Chronicle are running a story comparing federal response in 1906 to the federal response in regards to Katrina in 2005. I knew this was coming and am only surprised that it took SFGate / The Chronicle this long to squeeze it out.

The Great Quake: 1906 - 2006. As with Katrina, federal role caused discord

"Though separated by 99 years, controversy over the federal response to the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 and to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans last summer shows that time may pass and technology may advance, but dealing with a disaster remains a challenge.
In 2005, federal officials from President Bush to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to disaster agency director Michael Brown were criticized for inaction that may have cost lives in the federal government's response to Katrina."

"The nation watched in horror as thousands of New Orleans residents weren't evacuated despite warnings of the approaching storm, as many were stranded for days at the Superdome and nearby convention center as hundreds drowned. "

No mention of local or state responsibility for the lack of evacuations. No mention of Mayor Nagin and the hundreds of buses that he should have used to evacuate his citizens or the evacuation order he should have issued earlier (he issued it the night before the hurricane hit).

No mention of the National Guard troops that Governor Blanco should have ordered in earlier or the request for mutual assistance that Governor Blanco should have made, nor her rejection of a Title X federalization of National Guard troops.

Oh no, only a critique and lambasting of the federal response.

Typical Chronicle / SFGate "quality"

Disgusting political antics at the '06 Memorial today
I am disgusted with Mayor Newsom and Representative Pelosi. They've politicised a memorial to the destruction of San Francisco in the 1906 earthquake and fire.

[slight paraphrase as I don't have a transcript handy and am watching this live]

Newsom: "I am proud to introduce the head of my party, the Democratic party, Nancy Pelosi!"

Pelosi then praised Newsom and his leadership of San Francisco saying how it is / was appropriate that Mayor Newsom be leading the City. Gee whiz, do ya think that maybe Gavin is looking for a bigger job than Mayor of San Francisco?

Quite frankly I found the whole "memorial" to be rather tawdry and cheap, filled with political statements and grandstanding.

Ann Marie Conroy just told everyone to go out and have a drink as "...the bars open at six." Hooray for public drunkeness!
15 April 2006
Ok, maybe I have been quick to judge TBAiT before...
...but come on!

Is the DailyKOS now writing for TBAiT?

"Another War?
Rumors, articles and heated debate is going on about President Bush contemplating war with Tehran. Now, I am careful to not point the finger but Im not putting any more of my tax dollars towards a war of violence, death and destruction, especially because the war in Iraq is spreading anything but peace and democracy...."

"Is this a case of severe paranoia in the White House? Perhaps the Bush Administration wants to secure their unilateral position for the future. But again, speculation of war plans only creates anxiety, anger and resentment from the American public. Democrats, Republicans and everyone in between are paying for the current war and are not too happy about it. Going to war AGAIN will not improve Bush's approval rating and quite frankly the domestic policy is suffering due to the lack of funds and attention from the White House. We have our own war on poverty right here in America. FOCUS PEOPLE."

Now really Brian, tell me that isn't just a teenie-weenie bit biased.
A Republican in San Francisco (Yes, he's under deep cover) relays his tales of interest... ...ok, "interest" is a strong and subjective word but you get the point.
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I shall know but one country. The ends I aim at shall be my country's, my God's and Truth's. I was born an American; I live an American; and I shall die an American. -Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

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