February 14th, 2006

Chris Keeley

It is good finally to have an authoritative report on what happened at the Armstrong Ranch.

CHENEY SAYS SHOOTING OF FELLOW HUNTER WAS BASED ON FAULTY INTELLIGENCE
Believed Shooting Victim Was Zawahiri, Veep Says

Vice President Dick Cheney revealed today that he shot a fellow hunter
while on a quail hunting trip over the weekend because he believed the
man was the fugitive terror mastermind Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Mr. Cheney acknowledged that the man he sprayed with pellets on
Saturday was not al-Zawahiri but rather Harry Whittington, a 78-year-old
millionaire lawyer from Austin, blaming the mix-up on "faulty
intelligence."

"I believed I had credible intelligence that al-Zawahiri had
infiltrated my hunting party in disguise with the intent of spraying me
with pellets," Mr. Cheney told reporters. "Only after I shot Harry in
the face and he shouted 'Cheney, you bastard' did I realize that this
intelligence was faulty."

Moments after Mr. Cheney's assault on Mr. Whittington, Mr. al-Zawahiri
appeared in a new videotape broadcast on al-Jazeera to announce that he
was uninjured in the vice president's attack because, in his words, "I
was in Pakistan."

An aide to the vice president said he believed that the American people
would believe Mr. Cheney's version of events, but added, "If he was
going to shoot any of his cronies right now it's a shame it wasn't Jack
Abramoff."

At the White House, President George W. Bush defended his vice
president's shooting of a fellow hunter, saying that the attack sent "a
strong message to terrorists everywhere."

"The message is, if Dick Cheney is willing to shoot an innocent
American citizen at point-blank range, imagine what he'll do to you,"
Mr. Bush said.
Chris Keeley

(no subject)

U.S. and Israelis Are Said to Talk of Hamas Ouster

By STEVEN ERLANGER


JERUSALEM, Feb. 13 — The United States and Israel

are discussing ways to destabilize the Palestinian government so that
newly elected Hamas officials will fail and elections will be called
again, according to Israeli officials and Western diplomats.

The intention is to starve the Palestinian Authority of money and
international connections to the point where, some months from now, its
president, Mahmoud AbbasCollapse )
Chris Keeley

was making a video call to his lover. His lover had asked for a screen kiss

My first screen kiss

In a column for Wired News, Momus writes:
Walking through Tokyo's Ginza district one Friday evening last month I saw an extraordinary sight that will soon become an ordinary one: A businessman was talking into his keitai (the Japanese word for cell phone), holding it out in front of him rather than to his ear. Suddenly, smiling, he raised the device to his lips and kissed the screen.

It wasn't hard to piece together an explanation -- the man was making a video call to his lover. His lover had asked for a screen kiss, or perhaps they'd synchronized one. It was my first glimpse of this behavior, and it happened in Tokyo, but I knew it wouldn't be my last. Soon enough we will see this scene repeated in New York, London, Paris, Berlin and San Francisco.

Link

posted by Xeni Jardin

http://www.wired.com/news/columns/0,70213-0.html?tw=rss.index

Chris Keeley

surrealist SF author's 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep

PKD robot MIA

The Philip K. Dick robot has apparently vanished. (Background on PKD android here.) The developers, Hanson Robotics, say that the robot has been missing for weeks. The fact the surrealist SF author's 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (and Blade Runner, the film based n the book) involved the search for lifelike "replicants" on the lamb suggests to me that this heist is either a publicity stunt or a prank perpetrated by PKD fans. From AFP:
Pkdhead "We really need to find him soon because the Smithsonian wants to put him in a travelling collection in the autumn," said (Hanson Robotics's Steve) Prilliman referring to Washington's Smithsonian Institute, an organisation of museums and art galleries...

Prilliman and others close to Phil baulked at giving too many details about his disappearance including the name of the airline that was transporting the robot when he went missing.

Hanson officials said news of Phil's disappearance could hamper the ongoing investigation and search for the robot.

The company officials said they feared ransom demands might be made or Phil could turn up listed for sale on an internet auction house such as eBay.
Link

UPDATE: ADM points out the excellent unintentional pun above! Alan says, "It's supposed to be "on the lam" but "on the lamb" is great because you're talking about "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep."
Chris Keeley

(no subject)

Fmr. Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben Ami Debates Outspoken Professor Norman Finkelstein on Israel, the Palestinians, and the Peace Process
Tuesday, February 14th, 2006

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/02/14/1518230
What happens when a former Israeli Foreign Minister debates a scholar known as one of the world's foremost critics of Israeli policy? The answer is not what you may expect. We spend the hour with Shlomo Ben Ami, author of "Scars of War, Wounds of Peace," and Norman Finkelstein, author of "Beyond Chutzpah". They joined us in our firehouse studio for a wide-ranging exchange. We discussed the origins of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, to the Oslo Peace Process, right up to the present.
What happens when a former Israeli Foreign Minister debates a scholar known as one of the world's foremost critics of Israeli policy? The answer is not what you may expect. Last week, Shlomo Ben Ami and Norman Finkelstein joined us in our firehouse studio for a wide-ranging exchange that lasted close to two hours. Today, we bring you an edited version of what they had to say.
Shlomo Ben-Ami is both an insider and a scholar. As Foreign Minister under Ehud Barak, he was a key participant in years of Israel-Palestinian peace talks, including the Camp David and Taba talks in 2000 and 2001. An Oxford-trained historian, his new book is "Scars of War, Wounds of Peace: The Israeli Arab Tragedy." President Bill Clinton says, "Shlomo Ben-Ami worked tirelessly and courageously for peace. His account of what he did and failed to do and where we go from here should be read by everyone who wants a just and lasting resolution."

Norman Finkelstein is a Professor of Political Science at DePaul University. His latest book is "Beyond Chutzpah: On The Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History." Leading Israeli scholar Avi Shlaim of Oxford University calls Beyond Chutzpah "brilliantly illuminating... On display are all the sterling qualities for which Finkelstein has become famous."

We tried to cover as much ground as we could, from the origins of the conflict, to the Oslo peace process, to the present.
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Chris Keeley

Cheney is also coming under criticism for violating Texas game law. On Monday, state officials said

Cheney Cited For Hunting Violation in Shooting Incident
The Bush administration is on the defensive over Vice President Dick Cheney’s accidental shooting of hunting companion and Republican fundraiser Harry Whittington at a Texas ranch Saturday. Whittington is reported to be in stable condition. It took the White House at least 19 hours to inform the public – and only after a local Texas newspaper broke the story. Cheney is also coming under criticism for violating Texas game law. On Monday, state officials said Cheney had not purchased a stamp required for bird hunting.

Report: US, Israel Consider Destabilizing Hamas Government
In other news, the New York Times is reporting the US and Israel are considering a campaign to destabilize the Palestinian Authority so that Palestinians will grow frustrated and force a Hamas-led government to call new elections. According to anonymous US and Israeli officials, one of the main options under consideration is starving the Palestinian Authority of money and aid.

Report: US Drawing Up Plans For Iran Attack
In Iran, the government says it has resumed small-scale enrichment of uranium, defying an international effort to limit its nuclear activity. The news comes amid fresh speculation over a possible US attack on Iran. Over the weekend, the Sunday Telegraph reported the Pentagon has drawn up an attack plan as a last resort to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons. An anonymous senior Pentagon official said: "This is more than just the standard military contingency assessment… This has taken on much greater urgency in recent months."

Abramoff Associates Say He Bragged of Ties to Rove
Back in the United States, the Associated Press is reporting three former associates of indicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff say he frequently told them he had strong ties to the White House through senior Presidential advisor Karl Rove. On Monday, the White House said Rove considers Abramoff to be a “casual acquaintance.” New questions concerning Abramoff’s ties to the White House have arisen with the publication of an e-mail in which Abramoff said he had met with President Bush in “almost a dozen settings.” On Saturday, Time magazine published a photograph on its website of Abramoff attending a White House gathering hosted by President Bush in May 2001. The White House had previously said there was no record of Abramoff attending the event. They’ve also refused to release several other photos reportedly showing Abramoff with the President.
Chris Keeley

Mr. Noe, 51and associates to funnel $45,000 illegally to President Bush's re-election campaign

February 14, 2006
$1 Million Theft Charged in Ohio in Coin Scandal
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
TOLEDO, Ohio, Feb. 13 — A coin dealer and prominent Republican fund-raiser was charged Monday with stealing at least $1 million from a state investment in rare coins that has embroiled Republicans in scandal during an election year.

The 53 charges against the coin dealer, Tom Noe, conclude a 10-month investigation by state and federal prosecutors into the $50 million rare-coin investment Mr. Noe managed for the state insurance fund for injured workers.Collapse )

Mr. Noe, 51, already faced charges of using colleagues and associates to funnel $45,000 illegally to President Bush's re-election campaign. The new counts include forgery, theft and money laundering.

Jon Richardson, a defense lawyer, entered pleas of not guilty on each count on behalf of Mr. Noe, who surrendered to the authorities on Monday and was released on $500,000 bail.
Chris Keeley

Harry Whittington had the heart attack early Tuesday

Hunter Shot by Cheney Has Heart Attack

The Associated Press
Tuesday, February 14, 2006; 1:31 PM



CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas -- The 78-year-old lawyer who was shot by Vice President Dick Cheney in a hunting accident has some birdshot lodged in his heart and he had a "minor heart attack," a hospital official said Tuesday.

Peter Banko, the hospital administrator at Christus Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi-Memorial, said Harry Whittington had the heart attack early Tuesday while being evaluated.

He said there was an irregularity in the heartbeat caused by a birdshot pellet, and doctors performed a cardiac catheterization. Whittington expressed a desire to leave the hospital, but Banko said he would probably stay for another week.

Whittington, a prominent Republican attorney from Austin, was accidentally sprayed with shotgun pellets when Cheney was aiming for a quail Saturday.

Whittington had initially been placed in intensive care. He had been moved to a "step-down unit" Monday after doctors decided to leave several birdshot pellets lodged in his skin rather than try to remove them.

A Texas Parks and Wildlife Department report said Whittington was retrieving a downed bird and stepped out of the hunting line he was sharing with Cheney. "Another covey was flushed and Cheney swung on a bird and fired, striking Whittington in the face, neck and chest at approximately 30 yards," the report said.

The wildlife department issued a report Monday that found the main factor contributing to the accident was a "hunter's judgment factor." No other secondary factors were found to have played a role.

© 2006 The Associated Press
Chris Keeley

Fillmore streaming

http://www.wolfgangsvault.com/?aid=34533


Wolfgang's Vault is the world's most exceptional collection of poster art, vintage t-shirts, concert photos, concert tickets and other rock music memorabilia. The Vault's holdings feature the complete archives of legendary rock impresario Bill Graham, whose headliners included Johnny Cash, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Janis Joplin, Aerosmith, Jefferson Airplane, AC/DC and Phish. Here, you'll find rock posters, concert photos, remarkably preserved vintage t-shirts and more from over 17,000 concerts worldwide.
Chris Keeley

gothic psychological horror film

Visiting the Berlin International Film festival, the shock rocker Marilyn Manson screened a teaser from his directorial debut, a surreal-horrific depiction of the life of Charles Lutwidge Dodson, better known as Lewis Carroll, the author of "Alice in Wonderland," Reuters reported. Mr. Manson, who will portray Carroll and compose the score of the film, "Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll," was accompanied by the 17-year-old British model Lily Cole, who has been cast as Alice. He described the movie as a "gothic psychological horror film." Filming is to begin in the summer. ... The Grammy Award-winning singer Norah Jones is to make her acting debut in a film by the Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai, whose credits include "2046," the BBC reported, citing Screen Daily. The working title of the film, Mr. Wong's first in English, is "My Blueberry Nights."
Chris Keeley

Additionally, what Cheney does on these private ranches is shoot at tame, domesticated animals. Thi

.. A Texas Parks and Wildlife Department report said Whittington was retrieving a downed bird and stepped out of the hunting line he was sharing with Cheney. "Another covey was flushed and Cheney swung on a bird and fired, striking Whittington in the face, neck and chest at approximately 30 yards," the report said.
The wildlife department issued a report Monday that found the main factor contributing to the accident was a "hunter's judgment factor." No other secondary factors were found to have played a role.
© 2006 The Associated Press



How do they know this if local law enforcement was completely shut out of any investigation?

Also: there's some confusion as to the '30 yards', considering the spread of the shot & the area on Mr. Whittington's body that received injury.

In any case, serious hunters know that Cheney's 'accident' as reported was totally idiotic. If you don't know the precise location of everyone in your hunting party, you do not shoot.

Additionally, what Cheney does on these private ranches is shoot at tame, domesticated animals. This is not 'hunting'.


L
Chris Keeley

From a hunter's wife: Taylor Marsh





' ..Earlier last night, I'd spoken to my husband about the Whittington story at the top of this post, which had been bothering me since I read it. Whittington taking two hundred pellets at 30 yards just didn't seem right. In fact, after reading about it I had my husband get out a shell before he left to finish his evening work so I could count out pellets of a 12 gauge, just to give me a reference point.

After he got home, out in front of our house, we walked off 30 yards. Walk it for yourself, it's around 7 average car lengths or so.

Now picture shooting a 28 gauge shotgun filled with approximately 350 tiny pellets. About 50 tiny pellets make up the diameter of a penny. The reason for 350 pellets is one or two hitting a bird would down it.

As soon as the pellets leave the shotgun barrel they start to spread out. By the time they get to 30 yards, only a few are going to hit a target that is 6' tall by 2 foot wide, give or take. In order for Mr. Whittington to get hit with 200 pellets in his
"face, neck and upper torso," around a two foot area on his body that lands him in ICU, it's more likely that Cheney and Whittington were much closer to each other than 30 yards. Again, using just one convenient source in the news today, referring to the "Misfire" article above, "The little pieces of shot break their cluster sooner, spray more widely, lose velocity faster."

Again, over half the shotgun pellets wound up hitting Whittington, at a distance away the vice president's office is saying was around 30 yards.

I'm not buying it and neither is my husband.

Why did the vice president's office and the White House pick the 30 yard marker for how far away Whittington was from Dick Cheney? Simple, as my husband said yesterday, the killing zone for a shotgun, without knowing the barrel length, is roughly 30 yards. Thirty yards is a safe alibi for hunter negligence, which is the very definition of Cheney shooting his hunting partner.
Chris Keeley

Mr. President, Open, Don't Close, a Dialog with Islamic Nationalists

From: Council for the National Interest Foundation <cnif@democracyinaction.org>

Date: Tue, 14 Feb 2006 15:28:44 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Mr. President, Open, Don't Close, a Dialog with Islamic Nationalists

A delegation from the Council for the National Interest has just returned from serving as observers in the Palestinian Legislative Council elections that took place January 25, 2006.  The delegation also visited five other countries in the Middle East, meeting presidents, prime ministers, and top party and opposition figures.  It has written a letter to President Bush urging him to open a dialogue with the Islamic nationalists who have come to power in the Palestinian Territories but are also a major force in Egypt, Lebanon, and other countries. Below is the text of the letter.


February 13, 2006

President George W. Bush
The White House
Washington, DC 20500

Mr. President;
The undersigned are members of a delegation from the Council for the National Interest and served as Election Observers in Gaza.  Before, during and after that successful completion of free and fair democratic elections under heavy military occupation, we met with citizens, opposition leaders, and government officials there, and in the West Bank, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. 
 
The purpose of this letter is to report our principal conclusions, and urge careful consideration of a significant and potentially highly beneficial modification of our current policies.
 
Mr. President, the governments and peoples of the Arab Middle East are openly and seriously concerned at the perceived lack of truly meaningful public dialogue with the United States.  It is for this reason that our visit has been given extensive coverage in the Arab media, and we have been received by Presidents and Prime Ministers. The highly pervasive desire to be openly engaged in ongoing bilateral discussion and negotiation is almost palpable.  Unfulfilled, that desire generates additional obstacles to the successful resolution or reduction of existing issues.
 
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