Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Whiskey Bar: Saladin's Revenge 

My impression of the Pentagon's reaction to the New Yorker articles about the abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib to be a case of, "It's not true, and even if it were, it's not accurate." billmon breaks it down in detail:

Whiskey Bar: Saladin's Revenge:
"Meanwhile, I wanted to call your attention to the press statement the Pentagon released yesterday in response to Sy Hersh's story. It's an artful (if prolix) example of what in the Watergate era would have been called a 'non-denial denial' - that is, a statement carefully constructed so that it appears to deny a serious allegation, but without actually doing so."

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

FOXNews?.com - Strange Stuff Passing for News 

Since when did people in Iraq start leaving artillery shells on the medians of roads? Why is FOX the only news source reporting this?

FOXNews.com - Top Stories - Tests Confirm Sarin in Iraqi Artillery Shell: "Another shell filled with mustard gas, possibly also part of an improvised explosive device (IED) was discovered on May 2, Defense Dept. officials said.

The second shell was found by passing soldiers in a median on a thoroughfare west of Baghdad. It probably was simply left there by someone, officials said, and it was unclear whether it was meant to be used as a bomb. "

Does anything think the following headline is somewhat alarming? After reading it, I was under the impression that the Kurds had evidence of WMDs. But read a couple paragraphs and you realize FOX isn't really interested in factual headlines.

Kurds: We Have Evidence of WMD: "

An Iraqi Kurdish official had no doubt similar substances will be found as the weapons hunt continues.

'We don't know where they are, but we suspect they are hidden in many locations in Iraq,' Howar Ziad, the Kurdish representative to the United Nations, told Fox News on Tuesday. 'It's quite possible that even the neighboring states who are against the reform of Iraq ... are helping the Saddamites in hiding.' "


Taxes vs. Gambling to Support a Worthy Cause 

I think most Minnesotans would agree that the state benefits from spending money on education and roads. However, there appears to be so division into how best to raise the funds. If the causes are truly worth the investment, shouldn't they be paid for through taxes rather than gambling revenues? Personally, I see a conflict of interest in using gambling revenues to support education. Doesn't that create a disincentive to teaching basic math skills? Let's not fund our state with the gambling losses of our mathematically challenged citizens.

Letters from readers:
"Funding source refused

Thank you, Senate DFLers, for voting away millions of dollars by defeating the racino bill! That money could have been used for education and roads, but now Minnesota taxpayers will again have to take up the slack. I hope this fall voters will make some changes so this won't happen again.

James Cummings, Nisswa, Minn. "

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