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My Kos/Kathy Sierra Blog Posts

by Steven D Sun Apr 15th, 2007 at 01:11:51 PM EST

As some of you may know, I post to the front page at Booman Tribune.  Jerome has graciously asked me to re-post some of the stories about the Kos/Kathy Sierra controversy here, and I am happy to oblige him.  Below the fold are the stories in question in chronological order, beginning with this post on Friday.  For the record Markos's most recent response to this controversy is posted here: LINK.

Markos Moulitsas, Please Do the Right Thing

You wrote this post without seriously examining the facts that created the controversy in the first place: the death and rape threats blogger Kathy Sierra received at her blog, and elsewhere on the net.

I understand that any blogger can make this kind of mistake.  You saw an issue that might impact your business, and the free speech of all online bloggers. You wanted to come out strongly against any regulation or censorship of online speech.  And that's a reasonable and laudable position to take.  You just happened to pick the wrong incident to exploit for that purpose, as many others across the liberal blogosphere have noted.  Perhaps Jessica at Feministing said it best:

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Guess Who Opposes Human Rights in China

by Steven D Wed Apr 4th, 2007 at 06:48:24 PM EST

Who would oppose human rights in China?

If you said American businesses who own factories over there, you win my first ever Golden Banana award (so named for American businesses in South America who "inadvertently" benefit from human rights abuses in the cultivation of bananas).  

You see, believe it or not, there are groups in China who want to increase the rights of workers.  Unfortunately one of the biggest impediments to achieving their goal just happens to be all those American companies (can you say Walmart?) whose bottom lines benefit a great deal from continuing a system that denies workers basic human rights, as this article in today's edition of the Asia Times spells out in great detail:

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Russia May Withdraw from Nuclear Treaty with US

by Steven D Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 03:29:54 PM EST

A Russian general today claimed that Russia may withdraw from a nuclear weapons treaty with the United States that was signed during the second term of the Reagan presidency, in response to the President Bush's announced plans to deploy missile defense systems in Poland and the Czech Republic, according to this Associated Press report:

Gen. Yuri Baluyevsky, chief of the military's General Staff, said Russia could pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, negotiated between Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and President Reagan in 1987.

The decision would depend, he said, on whether the U.S. completed plans to deploy components of a missile defense systems in Poland and the Czech Republic - plans that have drawn sharp criticism from President Vladimir Putin.


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Ayatollah Khomeini and Iran's Nuclear Dreams

by Steven D Wed Oct 4th, 2006 at 08:33:37 AM EST

Just in time for the US elections, former Iranian President Rafsanjani has released a letter from Revolutionary hero and the Iranian Islamic Republic's founding father, Ayatollah Khomeini, which refers to the possible acquisition of nuclear weapons by Iran to use against Iraq.  Specifically, a statement by Iran's top military commander in 1988 that atomic weapons were needed to defeat Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq:

Former Iranian president Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has published a confidential letter by the late ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, which has stirred a great deal of controversy in Iran, in part because the letter refers to a military commander's call to pursue nuclear weapons to be deployed against Iran's hostile neighbor, Iraq.


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***Iran May be Willing to Suspend Uranium Enrichment

by Steven D Mon Aug 21st, 2006 at 05:12:03 AM EST

Iran may be willing to discuss the suspension of its uranium enrichment program according to this article from  Bloomberg.com:

Aug. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Iran is ready to discuss with the European Union the suspension of its atomic activities, the country's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said.

``We are even ready to discuss the offer on nuclear activity suspension, which we see as illogical,'' the state-run news agency IRNA quoted Mottaki as saying today at a news conference in Tehran.

The United Nations Security Council on July 31 gave Iran until the end of this month to accept a European Union-led proposal of incentives, and suspend uranium enrichment, or face the threat of economic sanctions. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad yesterday underlined Iran's intention to respond formally to the offer on Aug. 22.

This somewhat contradicts earlier statements this week from Ahmadinejad that Iran would not suspend it nuclear program in the face of threatened sanctions by the United Nations.  Also interesting is who gets left out of the possible negotiations:  the United States.  This may be simply a maneuver to break Bush's tentative alliance with the EU on the issue of Iran's nuclear activities, or it may be a legitimate overture.

***Back from front page

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Surprise! Iran Smuggling Uranium Out of Africa (Updated)

by Steven D Tue Aug 8th, 2006 at 12:32:12 PM EST

Front paged at Booman Tribune

Stop me if you've heard this one before.  According to the Times (The Sunday Times of London this time) a Middle Eastern oil rich country, the main financier and leader of international terrorism, tried to smuggle uranium out of Africa:

(cont. with Updates #1 and 2 below the fold)

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Exxon Mobil's Shareholder Revolt on Global Warming

by Steven D Fri May 19th, 2006 at 10:23:09 AM EST

It seems not everyone agrees with Big Oil that global warming is over-hyped alarmist nonsense.  Today's Houston Chronicle has this story about Exxon's institutional investors who are demanding a meeting with the Board of Directors over Exxon's failure to address the threat of global warming:

NEW YORK - A group of pension funds and institutional investors on Thursday accused Exxon Mobil Corp. of failing to act on global warming concerns and demanded a meeting with the company's board.

In response, Exxon Mobil said it has an ongoing dialogue with members of the group and is setting up a meeting in July to discuss these issues.

Why are these big time investors in such a tizzy when Exxon Mobil is making just obscene amounts of money?  Follow me below the fold for the answer. . .

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Forever War and The New American Police State

by Steven D Wed May 17th, 2006 at 02:12:15 PM EST

(Front paged at Booman Tribune and also posted at Daily Kos)

If any country is always at war, perpetually threatened by one enemy or another, what once seemed impossible soon becomes inevitable.  Justin Raimondo at Antiwar.com has it exactly right when he writes:

The price of perpetual war is a police state, one in which a permanent state of "emergency" - the threat of a terrorist attack - is utilized to break down institutional safeguards, the system of constitutional checks and balances, that protect us from dictatorship.

A foreign policy driven by the imperial impulse is bound to have grave domestic consequences, none of them conducive to the American form of government. . .

Some may think the Bush administration is an extreme aberration brought on by an overreaction to the 9/11 attacks, and Bush's willingness to exploit that event to garner more power, both for his own Party electorally, and for the Executive Branch of the Federal Government of which he is the head.  However, nothing could be farther from the truth.  Bush is merely the culmination of a trend that began a half century ago upon the conclusion of the World War II, and with the beginning of the US/Soviet conflict.

(cont. below the fold)

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The Hunt for Osama -- Version 2.006

by Steven D Tue May 16th, 2006 at 11:19:24 AM EST

Another American election year is at hand, so it must be time to ramp up our efforts to capture Osama bin Ladin once again.  Or at least that's what the Asia Times is reporting today as it's top story:

Osama back in the US crosshairs

By Syed Saleem Shahzad

[...] Asia Times Online investigations, after a harrowing journey to some of the most inhospitable territory in the Hindu Kush mountains, confirm that US and Pakistan forces are now preparing for a large-scale operation to track down bin Laden, or other big fish, on whichever side of the border they might be.

The focal point in the "war on terror" has thus firmly shifted to the maze of mountains and rivers that stretches from remote Chitral in the northwest of Pakistan's North West Frontier province to Nuristan and Kunar provinces in Afghanistan.

(Continued below the fold)

Also available in Green and Orange.

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Your Daily Dose of Iraq

by Steven D Thu Apr 27th, 2006 at 10:15:02 AM EST

(Also front paged at Booman Tribune)

Where to begin?  Politics or violence?  Violence or politics?  How about this story that combines a lot of both:

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- A sister of Iraq's new Sunni Arab vice president was killed Thursday in a drive-by shooting in Baghdad, a day after the politician called for the Sunni-dominated insurgency to be crushed by force. [...]

Mayson Ahmed Bakir al-Hashimi, 60, whose brother, Tariq al-Hashimi, was appointed by parliament as vice president on Saturday, was killed by unidentified gunmen in a BMW sedan as she was leaving her home Thursday morning with her bodyguard in southwestern Baghdad, said police Capt. Jamel Hussein. The bodyguard, Saad Ali, also died in the shooting, Hussein said.

It was the second recent killing in Tariq al-Hashimi's immediate family. On April 13, his brother, Mahmoud al-Hashimi, was shot while driving in a mostly Shiite area of eastern Baghdad.

What's astonishing about this story is that this is the second family member of this prominent Iraqi politician to be killed in two weeks.  Think about that.  Imagine if Vice president Cheney's sister, Susan, had been shot and killed leaving her home just weeks after his brother Bob had been gunned down in Washington D.C.  Imagine the panic and sense of crisis that would ensue.  Then combine that with a security situation where rival gangs of armed men roamed the streets of our Nation's capitol, unchecked by any legitimate law enforcement authority, because the police were either outgunned, or infiltrated by members of these various gangs, who also had embedded themselves within the National Guard forces that had been brought in  assist the with the security situation in the Capitol.

You cannot divorce the political situation in Iraq from the violence.  They go hand in hand.  Then again, we don't have a population which has been bombed, shot, illegally detained, tortured, raped, starved and which lacks adequate water, medical treatment, waste disposal and electrical power.  Oh, and one other thing -- we aren't a nation occupied by a foreign power who refuses to leave even as their very presence fuels the continuing cycle of violence.

But I digress.  Follow me below the fold for the rest of the latest news from Iraq . . .

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World Bank Accused of Killing People in Africa

by Steven D Tue Apr 25th, 2006 at 09:36:38 AM EST

That's right, the same organization now headed by Paul Wolfowitz.  And no, I'm not claiming that the World Bank killed people using guns, or bombs or death squads.  It's nothing that obvious.

What the Bank did was pledge in 2000 to commit hundreds of millions of dollars to a program to be run in conjunction with the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN Global Fund and 53 African states to halve global deaths by Malaria by the year 2010.  Instead of meeting its commitments, however, the World Bank has failed to provide all of the promised funding, and has lied about the program's effectiveness, even as deaths from Malaria have increased by 25% to 50% over the past 8 years.  For more of the details I refer you to this story in today's Independent:

The world's largest foreign aid organisation is accused today of deception and medical malpractice that has contributed to the unnecessary deaths of hundreds of thousands of children from malaria.

The World Bank, which has a $20bn (£11.2bn) budget and a mission to reduce poverty, is alleged to have published misleading financial claims and false statistical accounts and wasted money on ineffective medicines for treating the disease, which kills more than a million people a year, 90 per cent of them children

Promoted by Colman

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John Bolton is Lying about Iran's Nukes

by Steven D Wed Mar 15th, 2006 at 01:17:01 PM EST

Buried within this story about UN Security Council disagreements over the approach to take regarding Iran was this boldfaced lie by Mr. Bolton:

U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said his government's patience with negotiations is running out.

He said Iran used the time involved in the talks with France, Germany and Britain to enrich enough uranium to produce nuclear weapons.

"That is why our negotiating process will not be indefinite," Bolton said.

Let me be real clear about this.  The claim by Bolton that Iran has enriched enough uranium to make a bomb is demonstrably false, and Bolton knows it.  How do I know this?  Follow me below the fold and I'll tell you . . .

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