From the Department of Lowered Expectations

Pigs are flying, cats and dogs are living together, and Amnesty International has published a report soundly condemning Palestinian violence against civilians. It’s weak, it’s waffling, but it exists, and that’s something. Think of it as you would a talking dog: it’s not that he quotes Shakespeare, but simply that he speaks at all.

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U.S. Backing Down on ICC?

Hmmm. This one is going to take some digesting: U.S. Drops Demand for War Court Immunity UNITED NATIONS, July 10 — The Bush administration agreed today to drop its demand that the U.N. Security Council grant Americans serving in U.N. peacekeeping missions permanent immunity from the international war crimes tribunal. U.S. officials said they are […]

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IranWatch: Information wants to be free. People, too, by the way.

The Iranian government is attempting to counter Ayatollah Jalaluddin Taheri’s resignation by telling newspapers they aren’t allowed to print anything about it. It isn’t working. And that’s not even counting the impact all those Farsi weblogs might be having. (I don’t know whether the ‘net is proving an alternate comms channel as yet… but I’m […]

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Meeeeeeep Meeeeeeeep.

PorchPontificator directs us to this charming tidbit on the IDF’s web site, which is allegedly a transcript from a Hamas chatroom. Guess the subject. No, really, guess. Porn? Wrong! Britney? Wrong! How to murder American civilians in cold blood? Bingo! Participants in a chat- forum of the official Hamas website have discussed ways and methods […]

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See you in court, Mr. Vice President

Well then. I think we can safely put the final nail in the coffin of the idea that Judicial Watch may still be holding onto its Republican attack machine roots: Cheney Sued for Accounting Fraud A watchdog group on Wednesday sued Vice President Dick Cheney and Halliburton Co., the oil services company he ran for […]

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IranWatch: The resignations begin

From the Beeb: A senior religious figure in Iran has resigned and issued a bitter condemnation of the way the country is being run. Ayatollah Jalaluddin Taheri has held the position of Friday prayers speaker in the major city of Isfahan for the past 30 years, but he has increasingly been at odds with Iran’s […]

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Where Do You Want To Blog Today?

Neat! Mickey’s got a blogroll. Since he’s also got permalinks now — sort of, you can use the daily links all the way down at the bottom of his page — I think we can now declare Microsoft Blog ready to ship as R1.0 — it now has almost as many features as its free […]

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Speaking of Smokey…

Damn. And here I thought the Western U.S. was the place prone to bursting into flames. Seems Quebec has some flamable properties too — check out this satellite photo of the several-hundred-mile wide smoke plume that’s drifted down to the Eastern U.S. from Canada. Click here for the full scoop from NASA and for a […]

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IranWatch: Is it too quiet?

Keep an eye on Iran over the next few days: Tuesday is the anniversary of the student protests / street riots three years ago. The government has banned any demonstrations… which of course, increases the possibility that something truly dramatic might occur. Update 10:30 PDT: As expected, the ban was violated, leading to small-scale skirmishes […]

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The War of the Memes

John Barnes put memes at the center of the next world war in his apocalyptic, nihilistic novel Kaleidescope Century. In his vision, memes were essentially supersophisticated computer viruses, which over the course of the 21st century, evolved to the point where they jumped from machines to humans. Pretty soon, the memes spread, and practically everyone […]

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Ecosystems, Power Laws, Counters

First run of the Ecosystem on the new host is done, as some eager beavers have already noticed today. No process changes this week, just another crop of new blogs (welcome, folks!), bringing the total up to just under 300. A tip of the hat must go to Martin Devon, who completely blew everyone else […]

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The Internet in Iran…

Excellent! Thanks to Pejman for a link to this site : which claims to be the first Iranian village on the Internet. Unfortutately, I don’t read Farsi. But some of the content is available in English as well — takes a bit of hunting, but its there….

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Pentagon Papers IIc: The Editorial

Ah, the plot thickens! Now we have today’s editorial as further fodder to our speculations as to whether the leak was real, and equally interestingly (to this bear, at least): whether the Times thinks it was real. Harken: President Bush has made no secret of his desire to drive Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq. […]

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Pentagon Papers II: Iraq

Looks like the New York Times has a scoop today, and is looking to do a sequel to its famous Pentagon Papers dustup. (free registration required): WASHINGTON, July 4 — An American military planning document calls for air, land and sea-based forces to attack Iraq from three directions — the north, south and west — […]

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A question on standard airline security

I haven’t been able to find an answer to this question, so I’ll throw it out to the class. In yesterday’s LAX shooting incident, the attacker was himself shot not by LAX security, nor by the LAPD — but by an El Al security officer, who we later found out is actually the head of […]

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Dueling Views of the Founding Fathers

To celebrate the Fourth, the Blogosphere had dueling Founding Fathers history lessons — both of which are well worth reading. First, Timatollah provides an interesting story of the failed efforts of Ben Frankllin to bring prayer into the first Constitutional Convention. Contrasting this with President Bush’s recent attempt to invoke the Founding Fathers to justify […]

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