The Times of London reports that Gen. David Petraeus will tell Congress next week that Iranians have been fighting in Basra:
Military and intelligence sources believe Iranians were operating at a tactical command level with the Shi’ite militias fighting Iraqi security forces; some were directing operations on the ground, they think.
Petraeus intends to use the evidence of Iranian involvement to argue against any reductions in US forces.
A commenter from Massachusetts on the London Times story makes the same point:
What are they (the US I mean) up to? It doesn't add up. There is something big brewing under the radar here. No further cuts, picking a fight with Iran while the army is strained to the limit and fraying - on the face of it it's absurd.That's right. It doesn't add up; it's absurd on the face, but that doesn't keep the anti-Bush left from being absurd about it.
Charlton Heston has died, and Hollywood has lost a great actor -- although it won't acknowledge as much. As Ed Morrisey puts it:
Hollywood turned its back on one of its biggest icons for the sin of becoming Republican and of supporting gun rights. Of course, while Hollywood rejected Heston for his stand on the 2nd Amendment, it churned out more and more films dedicated to mass shootings and indiscriminate violence.Indeed. Who has done more to promote gun use in the US, Heston and the NRA or Hollywood? No contest -- especially if you ask a young punk with a gun, who will answer "Charlton who?" but be able to describe in detail shoot-outs in any number of recent movies.
Torching China's Reputation
Watch this short and fascinating clip of the Olympic torch's troubled passage through London; it shows the beating China's reputation is getting as police must battle protesters just to give the torch safe passage.
I remember when the torth passed through OC during the Olympics in LA in '84. No protests, no issues -- just cheers and a glow from being a part of something special. Not so this year, when a brush with the torch is suddenly a brush with something evil.
It's all good; China needs global embarrassment -- but I wonder, would this protest have happened without the Tibetans' timely protest? There are plenty enough other human rights abuses going on in China beyond Tibet, abuses that might not have attracted the world's attention without the efforts of brave Tibetan activists. All the abuses deserve attention, but it was the Tibetans who had the perfect mix of bravery and timing.
But will China, even if it's driven to improve things in Tibet due to world protest, clean up the rest of its horrific human rights problems?
Don't Read Arnie's Lips
The Dem-soaked California legislature has loaded up the state with spending programs up the wazoo, but don't talk to anyone in Sacto about cutting spending instead of raising taxes.
That goes for our once-Republican governor, too, who appears to have mastered the role of playing another free-spending Republican, George Bush:
Arnold Schwarzenegger, who stormed into office five years ago deriding tax-and-spend Democrats and who mocked his re-election opponent in 2006 as a gleeful "taxoholic," is singing a different tune these days.Sorry, Girly Boy, there should only be one thing on the table: cuts, cuts and more cuts, in a concerted effort to return California to the long-ago days of small, responsible government. Because as they used to say, as California goes, so goes the nation.
Facing the worst fiscal crisis of his political career, the Republican governor in recent months has signaled in increasingly frank language that he would consider new taxes as part of a compromise to close an $8 billion deficit.
To be sure, he's never declared: "Let's raise taxes." But more and more, he's saying he is at least open to discussing it.
"I made it very clear my proposal" does not call for raising taxes, Schwarzenegger said at one of several appearances around the state last month addressing the budget. "But I'm not the only one that runs the state Capitol and that runs the state."
Legislators, he added, are also involved in budgeting. And in the process of finding a compromise with the governor, higher taxes might enter the picture.
"I said and I made it very clear that everything is on the table," Schwarzenegger said. (San Mateo Times)
Freezing Out The Truth
For our relationship with the media to be fruitful, it needs to be based on either of two things: Either we must trust them, or we must understand that everything they say is a lie, and we can believe none of it.
If there's a gray area -- some lies, some truth, but how to tell the difference? -- we have a problem. We have a problem. From Greenie Watch:
Roger Harrabin is one of the less ideological reporters for the BBC and he sometimes mentions things that call global warming into question. But that does not suit the British Bias Corporation of course. In this article, Harrabin mentioned recent global cooling. But when someone senior to him saw it, they were obviously not happy. The article was changed after it initially appeared.Not even a hint of fairness and objectivity, just agenda journalism running wild, one of the four cylinders that runs the powerful engine that is global warming, with Greenies, government and science grant writers firing the other three.
I have a PDF of the article produced shortly after it was posted. I also have a PDF of what was up last time I checked. Let us compare the 3rd/4th sentences in each. In V1, they say:'This would mean global temperatures have not risen since 1998, prompting some to question climate change theory. But experts say we are still clearly in a long-term warming trend - and they forecast a new record high temperature within five years.'In V2 they say:'But this year's temperature would still be way above the average - and we would soon exceed the record year of 1998 because of global warming induced by greenhouse gases.'
Beauty In The Eye Of The Chip
Computer scientists in Israel -- home of many beautiful women -- have successfully programmed a computer to do a job no man needs help with: Differentiating between women based on looks.
"Until now, computers have been taught how to identify basic facial characteristics, such as the difference between a woman and a man, and even to detect facial expressions," says [Amit Kagian, an M.Sc. graduate from the TAU School of Computer Sciences]. But our software lets a computer make an aesthetic judgment." (Science Daily)Uh-huh, cool. But why bother?
The discovery is a step towards developing artificial intelligence in computers. Other applications for the software could be in plastic and reconstructive surgery and computer visualization programs such as face recognition technologies.So how about the more challenging test: A computer that can identify beauty in men?
This may be more difficult. Psychological research has shown that there is less agreement as to what defines "male beauty" among human subjects. And his own portrait, jokes Kagian, will not be part of the experiment.
"I would probably blow up the machine," he says.