The socialists endorse Kerry too

The communists both here and abroad support Kerry for president.  Now the Democratic Socialists of America do too:

In reaction to the administration’s record of war at home and war abroad, massive voter education and mobilization efforts by the feminist, trade union, environmental, peace, and civil rights movements are building for the 2004 elections. Their goal is our goal: to kick the Bush regime out of office. Given that only the Democratic presidential candidate can defeat the Bush administration, these movements — and the Democratic Socialists of America Political Action Committee — will work to elect John F. Kerry the next president of the United States.

We firmly believe that the defeat of George W. Bush and the Republicans is a necessary but by no means sufficient condition for moving the world towards a democratic and socialist future. Removing Bush from office is the next crucial and tactical step in the long march to remake the world.

Adopted July 17, 2004 by the Democratic Socialists of America PAC.

I keep wondering about these people.  Have they never had a history lesson?  Can they possibly not know of the millions and millions of deaths directly attributed to communism and socialism?  If they wanted to live in a communist or socialist society then why didn’t they move to China or the USSR?  Anyway… John Kerry has some great people backing him.

Outside Magazine fact checks Boomershoot article

I just got off the phone with Christine Cyr from Outside Magazine who was doing some fact checking.  It sounds like Lisa Anne Auerbach, the writer who came out for her own private Boomershoot adventure, had the basics right.  I nit-picked on a bunch of minor stuff however.  She had describe the rifle she used as 300 Winchester with a Remington Action and a “mega scope“.  I corrected that to 300 Winchester Magnum with a Remington action and gave her a pass on the scope.  When we got stuck up against a tree near the Taj Mahal she had us on a road when the nearest road was actually 500 yards away.  She had us fishtailing when in fact it was a simple front end slide (but I didn’t bother to correct this).  She had us filling 3” tubes with explosives when the smallest were actually 4” tubes.  We did the clean up from about 20 yards away rather than 20 feet away.  I nitpicked on a few other minor things but generally I didn’t have a major problem with the facts as presented to me.  And as near as I can tell from the information I have the article is favorable.

It’s going to come out in the October issue rather than the September issue as previously indicated which means it will probably show up in mid September.  I’ll keep you posted.

[Update] Christine just called back.  Lisa was referring to the depth of the tube when she used the measurement of 3”.  This is correct for the 4” diameter tube.

More Communists for Kerry

The Communist Party USA is for electing Kerry.

They aren’t explicitly saying vote for Kerry, but things like:

How will the Communist Party USA and YCL do our part in this historic battle to deliver a decisive defeat to Bush…

And regarding Kerry:

He is not left. He is the vehicle by which George W. Bush, representing the most extreme reaction, can be defeated.

And in general saying how much better Kerry will be that Bush. 

Now I just wish we could get Osama on video tape telling us who he wants for the next U.S. President.

Kerry Receives Communist Endorsement

Why am I not surprised?  Complete article here.

By Jeff Gannon
Talon News
July 21, 2004

The Associated Press reported Monday that the head of the communist movement in Nicaragua and Sandinista Leader Tomas Borge announced his support for Sen. John Kerry’s (D-MA) presidential bid.

The Republican National Committee suggested that Borge must be one of the foreign leaders the Democratic presidential candidate says wants him to win in November.

“The cloud of mystery surrounding John Kerry’s support by foreign leaders lifted a little over the weekend. Since Sen. Kerry won’t tell us who they are we will continue to monitor New York’s fine dining establishments hoping to glean some insight into the other still-mysterious foreign leaders supporting John Kerry,” said RNC Communications Director Jim Dyke.

Dry runs for more airplane hijacking

Pilots and air marshals are reporting Arab men are testing airplane security.  It’s happening frequently.

Pilots and air marshals who asked to remain anonymous told The Washington Times that surveillance by terrorists is rampant, using different probing methods.

A January FBI memo says suicide terrorists are plotting to hijack trans-Atlantic planes by smuggling “ready-to-build” bomb kits past airport security, and later assembling the explosives in aircraft bathrooms.

A second pilot said that, on one of his recent flights, an air marshal forced his way into the lavatory at the front of his plane after a man of Middle Eastern descent locked himself in for a long period. 

The marshal found the mirror had been removed and the man was attempting to break through the wall. The cockpit was on the other side.

The second pilot said terrorists are “absolutely” testing security.

“It’s a probe. They are probing us,” said a second air marshal, who confirmed that Middle Eastern men try to flush out marshals by rushing the cockpit and stopping suddenly.

We don’t have enough air marshals to put on all the flights.  Not nearly enough.  And these arab teams are have been composed of six to fourteen people.  That might be enough, with the right tatics, to neutralize the air marshals even if they were on the flight.  If you fly be prepared to defend the plane because the government can only do a very limited amount to protect you.  And remember the governments back up plan — F-16s.

What is the motivation?

 Apparently the Japanese are deathly afraid of two cartridges being in the hands of their citizens.  How else can you explain this?  I’m glad I live in a freer society.

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Sailors with metal detectors spent all day Tuesday searching for two machine-gun bullets still at large in Yokohama after a box of 200 bullets fell Monday from a helicopter on its way from Atsugi Naval Air Facility to the USS Kitty Hawk.

“They’re going to look until they find them,” said Brian Naranjo, Atsugi spokesman. “For as long as it takes, until it’s all accounted for.”

Nuclear arms reportedly found in Iraq

It’s not confirmed/official/etc. yet, but it doesn’t come as any surprise to me.  Here is a link, but I included the entire article below.  Consistent with my other “comforting thoughts“.  Sleep well.

BAGHDAD, July 21 (UPI) — Iraqi security reportedly discovered three missiles carrying nuclear heads concealed in a concrete trench northwest of Baghdad, official sources said Wednesday.

The official daily al-Sabah quoted the sources as saying the missiles were discovered in trenches near the city of Tikrit, the hometown of ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

“The three missiles were discovered by chance when the Iraqi security forces captured former Baath party official Khoder al-Douri who revealed during interrogation the location of the missiles saying they carried nuclear heads,” the sources said.

They pointed out that the missiles were actually discovered in the trenches lying under six meters of concrete and designed in a way to unable sophisticated sensors from discovering nuclear radiation.

The sources said al-Douri, who is related to former Vice Chairman of the Iraq Revolution Council and Saddam’s right-hand man Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, was captured after Iraqi police intercepted an e-mail message in which he set a meeting with another former Baath official.

The report could not be authenticated by the interior ministry or the national security department, but the paper noted Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiar Zibari made a surprise request recently to Mohammed el-Baradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, to resume inspections for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.
All rights reserved.

National Security Issues

Last week Los Alamos started getting in trouble and ended up being shut down. This week the news that Sandy Berger is under investigation for violation of security.  His lawyer and some politicians are making light of it saying it was “inadvertent” and/or “sloppiness”.  For anyone that has worked with classified data this excuse is like a high school student saying the boogie-man ate my homework.  You would be skeptical if they said their dog ate it but it’s out of the realm of possibility for anyone to believe even for a second the boogie-man story.

Anyway… a memo just “came down” to inventory all our removable storage media.  I’ve worked here over 2.5 years and this is the first time this sort of thing has occurred.  I’ve had to do complete inventories with checks on all the markings, etc. before but never just removable storage media.  I had an administrative assistant ask me to open my safe and do the inventory with her.  No big deal–10 minutes out of my day.  I only had one hard disk and it took longer to log my entry into and out of the safe than to do the inventory.

Does anyone not believe this is going to be the last straw for the University of California management contract at Los Alamos?  It’s up for renewal.  Battelle wants that contract, so do others.  Battelle might not get it but I’m nearly certain UC is going to be exceedingly hard pressed to hold on to it.

Columbia Gorge

The Battelle Staff Association arranged for a group rate on the Columbia Gorge. Barb and I took Xenia and went on a short cruise on a sternwheeler.  We took a bunch of photos the more interesting of ours are here.  Xenia took a bunch too. We had a nice time.  I loved hearing about the history and geology of the area.  It was a long drive for us but by driving along the more scenic north side of the Columbia river on the way back made the drive enjoyable as well.

Bobby Fischer

Former world chess champion Bobby Fischer was arrested in Japan on Tuesday.  I used to play a lot of chess.  That was pretty much all I did in high school and the first year or so of college.  Bobby Fischer won the world championship in ’72 (I think) when I was very much into the game.  I feel a fair amount of attachment to him for what he did for chess.  It makes me sad to read stuff like the following:

 

Mr. Fischer’s legal troubles date back to 1992 when he emerged from hiding to play a highly publicized match against Russian Boris Spassky in Yugoslavia, then at war with Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Mr. Fischer won the competition, earning a prize of more than $3 million, but he was indicted by a U.S. federal grand jury for violating United Nations sanctions against Yugoslavia by playing the match there.

“I think the U.S. is not going to exist much longer,” Mr. Fischer said. “I think everybody is going to be surprised at just how soon the U.S. collapses and the U.S. becomes history.”

In other such interviews, Mr. Fischer has praised the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.

 

Barb and I were talking the other day about how famous people are often strange.  She was reading a book on John Lennon and asked, “Does becoming famous make people strange or is it that only strange people become famous?”  My answer was, “I don’t know.  But my hypothesis is that in order to be famous most people will have to be ‘different’ in some way.  Smarter, greater motivation, extrodinary talent, something like that.  Whatever it is that made them different may also have a tendency to make them strange.  And of course there are a fair number of examples of people that appear to be ‘nice’ and manage to handle fame fairly well.  But you are correct, it does seem like there is some sort of correlation.”

Bobby Fischer is possibly the greatest chess player that has ever lived and it’s possible that whatever it was that made him such a good player also made him more than a little bit strange.

“Comforting” thought

Read the complete story here.  But the bottom line is:

A new book written by a former FBI consultant claims that al-Qaida not only has obtained nuclear devices, but also likely has them in the U.S. and will detonate them in the near future.

Williams claims that al-Qaida has been planning a spectacular nuclear attack using six or seven suitcase nuclear bombs that would be detonated simulantaneously in U.S. cities.

Ground zero would likely be Washington D.C. and the major population centers.

Sleep well.

The Register gets RFID for humans right

Here is the complete story, but the opening paragraph pretty much sums it up:

Mexico’s attorney general has taken the unusual step of having an “anti-kidnap” chip stuck in his arm and then making the fact public – thereby ensuring that anyone lifting señor Rafael Macedo de la Concha will be certain to remove said limb at their earliest convenience.

RFID implants in humans for security purposes are counterproductive.  As pointed out in the article the only thing they might be good for is rapid identification of the bodies.

Platelet donation left me drained

I donate blood on a fairly regular basis and almost never have any problems. A couple of donations ago I was approached by someone recruiting for platelet donors. They asked to take a sample of my blood for testing, I agreed, and they called me back a few weeks later to say I was a good candidate. Last night I did my first donation. Barb wants it to be my last.

I’m pretty sure the person doing my poking and running my machine was fairly new at this. Even though the needles are smaller than those used when donating blood when she put the first one in my right arm it hurt quite a bit more than it usually does when donating blood. After a few seconds it felt better and we proceeded. The one in the other arm went fine. As soon as she started up the machine I felt a sharp pain in my right arm. I informed them and she stopped the machine and had this “deer in the headlights” look on her face. Another person came over and looked at my right arm and said the needle had missed my vein. The second person offered to let me go home or she could use a different vein. I said go ahead and use the second vein. That seemed to go fine for a few minutes then I started sweating profusely and my stomach and head started feeling funny. I told my attendant and she had the same expression but seemed to know what to do. She turned off the machine again then she and the other person pulled the blanket off my lap and legs (most people get cold during the procedure), put cold packs on my forehead and neck, and asked me to take deep breaths. The one who knew what she was doing explained that the pain from the improper needle insertion caused this reaction from my body. The body drops the blood pressure in an attempt to reduce the risk of “bleeding out”. The good thing is that this usually only happens once, after recovering in a few minutes it is very unlikely to happen again. I asked if it was mild “shock” but she said it wasn’t, just a drop in blood pressure. I’m not so certain. I suspect it was shock. The symptoms all seem consistent. Anyway, after a few minutes I started feeling better and they restarted the machine. They had told me to boost my calcium input prior to donating and I drank extra milk. But they insisted I needed to take calcium supplements because the anti-coagulants would bind with the calcium in my blood and since calcium is used in nerve conduction I would start having symptoms such as tingling in my lips and generally have problems. I took the supplements they offered but a few minutes after sweating session I started the tingling in my lips. I reported it and the one who knew what she was doing said the machine had just gotten up to full speed and that was the reason I was just experiencing it. She adjusted the machine and the symptoms subsided some. Two and a half hours after I came in I was done and they removed the needles and put bandages on my wounds.

As I drove back to the house I did not feel normal. It wasn’t the light headed feeling I sometimes feel after donating blood, it was different. I was tired and drained. My mind wasn’t working up to full capacity either. I wasn’t as alert and aware of things. I was glad I only had to drive a mile or so. I drank another large glass of milk and went straight to bed.

I’m feeling much better today. I hope my aerobics class goes okay tonight. Blood donation makes my aerobics rougher. I probably will donate once more to see if thing go better if they don’t it will be my last donation of platelets. My next blood donation is next Tuesday.

Sad day

Piewacket, our 18 year-old cat, was gone for a couple days and came home Saturday night.  He was in bad shape.  He hasn’t been well for some time but came home gaunt and limping.  He would drink but not eat.  Barb and Nancy took him to the vet today and had him “put to sleep“.

More vehicle problems too.  Barb’s Jeep was barely running by the time she got to work today so she turned around and came back.  She made it back okay.  Martin’s Auto Service fixed it for her.  Said it was the spark plugs.  They gave it a tune up and Barb has a vehicle again so she can work–as soon as she has recovered from the loss of Piewacket.

Busy weekend

Saturday we picked up Xenia at camp and brought her home.  She survived but it was tough for a few days.  They didn’t pick up on her being a vegatarian (despite the fact that we told them three different ways).  She survived on green salad for several days before finally asking for more food.  See her stories and pictures for more detail.

Sunday Barb and I took her brother and his grandson on a boat ride on Dworshak.  We found a geocache and we placed a geocache there while we were at it.

Congress Approves Concealed Weapons Bill

The AP reported last night

Off-duty and retired police officers would have the right to carry concealed weapons in any state under legislation the Senate approved by voice vote Wednesday and sent to the president.

The bill, passed by the House last month, would override some states’ prohibitions on carrying concealed firearms. Many states do not recognize other states’ concealed weapons permits.

The President is expected to sign it.  Although this isn’t everything I want to see (every free and sane person, every place, should be able to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves and other innocent people) it is a good first step.  The anti-gun people have a difficult time articulating effective opposition to it and as more and more people carry these type of defensive tools it becomes more and more difficult for the general population to understand why some people start foaming at the mouth at people being allowed to use the best tools for the job of self-defense.  One step at a time.  That’s how we got here and that is the best way to get back to where we belong.

Hot springs on the Lewis and Clark trail

Sunday Barb and I dropped Xenia off at Ross Point Camp where our little witch risked being burned at the stake or being drown.  We continuted on to Missoula where we spent the night.  Monday we hiked around Lolo Hot Springs then continued on to Jerry Johnson Hot Springs.  It is about a mile from the road and it was a nice walk through the woods to it.  We took a few pictures with my new digital camera which generally turned out well.

 

Kim’s big day

Kim is moving out this weekend.  She’s not 18 yet but we co-signed her lease on an apartment in Moscow.  She will have two roommates and they will have a two bedroom apartment to share.  She is taking the old sofa we were going to throw away and one of them will sleep on the hide-a-bed.  It comes not a moment too soon for some of the others in the family.  Xenia wrote me a long email and attached eight pictures (with circles and arrows) explaining why it was no longer tolerable for Kim and her friends to be hanging out at our place.

Also related to Kim is that a couple weeks ago I checked the oil in the pickup and found it did not touch the dipstick.  I told her she should not start it until it was filled.  I checked it a couple days later after she had driven it and it still didn’t touch the dipstick.  I told her she was done driving the pickup for a while and disabled it so she couldn’t start it even if she wanted too.  I filled it up with oil and enable it last weekend.  But it had a knock in the engine.  Kim drove it a little bit the other day and it came home with a very bad knock.  It’s done.  That’s two vehicles she has totaled.