Killing children

Bewildered prisoners, who were rounded up in useless and indiscriminate raids, were stripped naked, and left to stand terrified and bewildered for hours in the baking sun. They were subjected to a steady torrent of verbal and physical abuse.

"A lot of guys really supported that whole concept that, you know, if they don't speak English and they have darker skin, they're not as human as us, so we can do what we want,"

"This unit sets up this traffic control point and this 18 year old kid is on top of an armored Humvee with a .50 caliber machine gun," remembered Geoffrey Millard who served in Tikrit with the 42nd Infantry Division. "And this car speeds at him pretty quick and he makes a split second decision that that's a suicide bomber, and he presses the butterfly trigger and puts 200 rounds in less than a minute into this vehicle. It killed the mother, a father and two kids. The boy was aged four and the daughter was aged three."

Four year old male suicide bomber and a three year old female ahhh, suicide bomber.

Bewildered prisoners, who were rounded up in useless and indiscriminate raids, were stripped naked, and left to stand terrified and bewildered for hours in the baking sun. They were subjected to a steady torrent of verbal and physical abuse

He saw how the callous and unchecked abuse of power first led to alienation among Iraqis and spawned a raw hatred of the occupation forces. When army units raided homes, the soldiers burst in on frightened families, forced them to huddle in the corners at gun point, and helped themselves to food and items in the house.

Iraqi families were routinely fired upon for getting too close to check points, including an incident where an unarmed father driving a car was decapitated by a 50-caliber machine gun in front of his small son, although by then, Mejia notes, "this sort of killing of civilians had long ceased to arouse much interest or even comment."

wow, decapitating the driver without killing his son takes some goddamn artistry. Give that man a congressional gold medal and, no, don't let that president anywhere near that man. He'll just pull him down to his level.

Units, he said, nonchalantly opened fire in crowded neighborhoods with heavy M-240 Bravo machine guns, AT-4 launchers and Mark 19s, a machine gun that spits out grenades.

They're not "fighting them there so they won't have to fight them here", they're MAKING MORE. And people, the arabs are out procreating all of the developed world combined. Did I say that they were making more? I mean that BOTH SIDES were making more terrorists. And the only way to win that war is to nuke ALL of saudi arabia, Iraq, and Iran. Something the U.S. can't afford to do. Instead, they'll just create more terrorists and spend the next 50 years applying superior firepower, torture and genocide. Letting the blood flow so that the oil may flow too.


Not Coming to America

In the Guardian, Joshua Steinwonders why the british aren't coming to America as much as they used to and suggests places to visit There are more suggestions and some polemic in the comments.

And then, further down, this gem.

The only way you'd get me there would be by extraordinary rendition.
Posted by tarquinbullocks on July 24, 2007 8:39 PM.

Bravo. I wish I'd said that :-)


who's messianic and apocalyptic

In The Economist Binyamin Netanyahu is quoted as saying:
“THE Iranian regime is basically a messianic apocalyptic cult.

That's pretty funny since the same can be said for George W Bush who is hoping for the rapture to make his problems go away, and is doing all he can to bring the rapture on by creating armageddon.
And, actually, Netanyahu himself, that ultimately vain death merchant (smoother, but just as evil as Avigdor Lieberman who wants to create a holocaust of those troublesome arabs) is similarly messianic and, if he gains power, will create the apocalypse by nuking Iran if Olmert doesn't get there first.


cat haiku

Hahahaha. Cat Haiku

among them,

Humans are so strange.
Mine lies still in bed, then screams;
My claws are not that sharp.


You must scratch me there!
Yes, above my tail!
Behold, elevator butt.

That must be why

That must be why I'm so happy then.


A reddit link says "Whatever your opinion on the war in Iraq, you have to admire the men and women over there who give their lives to serve their country, and especially this man, who just died at the age of 18 (cnn.com)".


I don't enjoy death (although I might enjoy it if GW Bush and Cheney were both executed after trial) and I don't normally wish death on anyone.

However, as a practical matter, the longer americans stay in Iraq and Afghanistan, the more civilian deaths they cause. Despite the drumbeat and news of suicide bombers, the american occupation is still the direct cause of more than half the death in those countries. That will continue while the Americans stay in those countries (and a large minority kill Iraqis with impunity and a smaller minority rape Iraqi women and children, also with impunity).

Americans who go to Iraq and fight in that immoral war are directly responsible for the U.S. staying in that country, killing its citizens, raping its children, and stealing its land and oil. They may be TOO DUMB to understand the degree of their responsibility, but that doesn't excuse that responsibility. They're still raping and killing every day.

So, while I hate the thought of young life snuffed out unnecessarily, unfortunately, in this case, it is necessary for many americans to die. The more americans die in Iraq, the higher the likelihood that the american public will finally exorcise itself of the evil in the white house and finally leave Iraq. There will still be death in Iraq when the U.S. leaves, and it will be ENTIRELY the fault of the U.S.A., but the U.S. can stop directly shooting up Iraqi civilians. And then it can expend its wealth to bring good where it had previously brought death.

The more americans die now and Bush is finally repudiated, emasculated and left completely powerless, the less likely there'll be an attack (perhaps nuclear, by the Israelis, but if not nuclear, almost certain to release radioactive materials into the atmosphere) on Iran. If it's not a nuclear attack there is certainly going to be a long term Iranian guerilla war against the U.S.A. and the U.S.A. will entirely deserve what it gets. More dead americans in Iraq now means fewer (perhaps by a factor of 10 or more) dead Americans (and, the dead Iranians and Iraqis next year who will die in ratios of perhaps 100 for every dead American, although if the war goes nuclear, then the ratio will be 1000 to 1 or higher).

Let me be clear. The end-goal here is to minimize deaths. American deaths should be minimized, but not at the cost of Iraqi, Iranian, Saudi, Afghan lives. While the Americans are in Iraq (and look at Iran for more blood), there will be wasted lives. Most of those lives, at a ratio of perhaps 500 to 1 are non-american lives. So my first concern is to stop unnecessary non-american deaths. Americans die at too low a rate to worry about for now. When American deaths in war approach 5-to-1 I'll start worrying about dying Americans. For now, however, Americans are causing 200 to 500 times more dead for every dead American. Clearly, the first thing to do is get the Americans out of the theater so they stop killing civilians. Also, so they stop thinking about stealing the oil under their boots.

Once the Americans are out, the Iraqis will fight among themselves, someone sufficiently strong and ruthless will arise, someone like Saddam Hussein, in fact. That someone will kill perhaps 10-50,000 Iraqis in his rise to power. Even at the high end that's 1/4 the number of Iraqi dead under the Americans IN A SINGLE YEAR.

At the end of that process, the Americans can pay Yen for Iraqi oil. Or go without. They have NO RIGHT to any of it. They only have the right to pay market price plus war reparations (2-3 billion dollars at least). And maybe, after 50 years, if the american military stays at home and oppresses only its own people, the world will forget, or perhaps forgive this atrocity. By then I'll be 90 or, more likely, not around anymore to remind people of American iniquity.

murder heaven

Hoorah!!! americans can murder anyone they want in Iraq, be CONVICTED of crimes that would get them jail in the U.S., but since the dead are only ragheads and muslims, the murderers go free

In other news, while american soldiers and mercenaries rampage through Iraq killing at will (they have now killed more civilians than all the car bombs, Al-Qaeda, and militias on all sides have killed) with the occasional rape of innocent girls sleeping in their homes along with the massacre of everyone in the house to silence all witnesses, plus the rape of boys by american soldiers, and the sexual humiliation of a father in front of his son (that's the charitable view, the father being sexually humiliated while his son watches, more likely though it was worse than that, although perhaps not as bad as having the father rape his son or vice versa) in Abu-Ghraib, in Guantanamo, prisoners are tortured to life by forcing tubes up their noses every day and forcefeeding them. What is it like when soldiers tie you down in bed and force the tube through your nose?

Having male detainees pose nude while female guards pointed at their genitals; having female detainees exposing themselves to the guards; having detainees perform indecent acts with each other; and guards physically assaulting detainees by beating and dragging them with choker chains.
...I learned from Taguba that the first wave of materials included descriptions of the sexual humiliation of a father with his son, who were both detainees.

American soldiers raped women and at least one 9 year old girl, videotaped the rapes and actually put the videos online (website has been since shutdown, damage control you see)

and of course there was Abir Qaseem Hamza Al-janabi

Abeer was raped, killed, burned, and her family killed. Was she raped before or after her family was killed? Did her family hear her screaming while she was being raped by american soldiers? or did she know that they were all dead while she was being raped? Did she hope that she'd be allowed to live in shame? Did the american soldiers think she was lucky they raped her at all instead of just killing her out of hand as they did (or they would) her family? Is there any shame left in the world? Out in the world. There isn't any in America while GW Bush lives.

What a country, a beacon of torture and savagery. Land of the brave indeed, it's a land of soldiers who create enemies because all they care about is their own skins.

While I love certain individual americans (and non-americans who live in the U.S.A.), I will never set foot on American soil until the U.S.A. has paid in full, and then paid interest, for the barbarity it has unleashed on Afghans, Iraqis and innocent detainees. And, as far as I'm concerned, all detainees are innocent unless proven otherwise, in non-kangaroo-courts. If any of those detainees had personally flown one of those airliners on 9/11 and then parachuted out, he's innocent until the U.S. proves him guilty. So far, all the U.S. has done is prove itself guilty of directly killing hundreds of thousands of civilians, and indirectly causing the deaths of close to a million more.

Oh yeah, payment in full includes execution of George Bush and Dick Cheney, at least, after trial. Execution of Don Rumsfeld and various neocons would be a bonus.

But it won't happen, of course. Americans are too chickenshit to protest a million raghead deaths. They're just ragheads. They're not even Christians (which goes to show what Americans know, Christians are being killed in Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq, but they're just raghead Christians, so the american killers can't tell the difference and wouldn't care if the ragheads had crosses sewn onto their clothes).


No aspartame

An italian study has recently concluded that aspartame, even at doses of 20mg/kg of body weight can have carcinogenic effects

Now, I don't know how realistic the risk is since I don't yet have data on how much aspartame a can or 500ml bottle of diet coke contains. Some googling gives me some numbers with no units (0.06% [by volume?] or 15 [no unit at all, mg?]), so I won't link to those as the lack of units indicates that the informants are too dumb to be worth listening to or has no interest in accuracy. In any case, I don't drink diet coke much anymore.

What I do drink is iced tea (just steeped green tea) with Summit Clear, for the sweetness, since the green tea doesn't have any sugar.

Summit Clear has Sucralose which isn't aspartame. Good news, since I have to make it to 62 or so, by which time Timmy will be 20+ and independent.


Scott Adams on Bull Schadenfreude

From the comments, I didn't know that about how they hang greyhounds after the race season, but then I still don't know that since I'm too lazy to google for it.


nanny finally

Timmy had a nanny for a few months, but we let her go after the trip to camiguin. Shortcomings that we did not notice in day-to-day work were magnified when we lived and worked with her for a week and a half. It's been almost a month since we left for Cagayan de Oro and about 2.5 weeks since we let her go.

It was hard for those 2.5 weeks. I had to be absent from work for several days to help take care of Timmy and that made my chronic back pain bad enough that I had to take some days off to recover, apart from some sufficiently bad health problems too that were separate from the back pain.

We've got a new nanny now though. That should help a lot with the work situation. She also comes highly recommended by my mother, my brother's sister-in-law, and the househelp in Cagayan de Oro. She's made a very good impression in the two days she's been with us (actually, less than a day total since she arrived on the boat in the afternoon yesterday and today was her day off). I hope that Sol is right when she says that Loida was a test and training for us and that Neneng is the nanny meant for us. We have a lot of work to do to get ready for immigrating to New Zealand and sol needs all the help she can get with Timmy so that she can do consulting work toward immigration.

We aren't able to have Neneng stay in the house with us since the house is too small. There's just nowhere she could stay. Fortunately we were able to find a ladies dormitory for her about 3 minutes walk away. It's a comfortably large room with a nice landlady. She likes it so far. I hope she continues to like it. There are a lot of lodgings nearby though and if she finds that the dormitory (really, an apartment owner with an extra room) management isn't congenial then we can find her something better nearby.


On to Camiguin

Moving on from The flight to CDO, resting in CDO and the trip to balingoan, we took the ferry to Camiguin. From the balingoan pier,

Camiguin always has that halo of clouds covering the tops of the 7 volcanoes on the island. The picture isn't very clear because, well, the camera guy isn't very good at taking long distance landscapes and the camera only has 5x optical zoom.

At close range, approaching Benoni pier, it's much prettier

Inching along to the pier, are more pretty views. And one rock which must still have a campaign poster on it from the last elections.

We didn't waste any time. We hired a multicab immediately at the pier and drove straight to CamiguinAction. Well, we dropped off my cousin Manny at Tita Mercy's house, and then drove straight onward.

CamiguinAction Geckos have found a local artist who will carve Geckos for them. The Geckos are reasonably priced and can be made available for sale to guests. Price depends on size, of course.

This one isn't for sale though, being the centerpiece of the resort restaurant :-)

The CamiguinAction owners collect these antique (well, circa 1930 or so) glass fishing net buoys. In a time without plastics, these blown glass balls are completely closed and were attached to nets to keep parts of the net above water. They could also be used as buoys.

The accomodations are lovely and very comfortable, we had a great time.

We stayed at a cottage. They've got very nice beach cottages for around $30 a night. The cottages don't have airconditioning, for the authentic feel. There's a ceiling fan, and standing electric fans are available on request. Since the cottages don't have airconditioning, there's a mosquito net that covers the bed. We didn't have a problem with mosquitos during our stay, but it's always a good idea to bring anti-mosquito cream and citronella based anti-mosquito things

There are also budget rooms ($7 a night) above the restaurant. I don't know what the charges might be for extra bed or mattress, but those budget rooms are a great option. My sister and Timmy's nanny stayed in budget rooms (no more cottages available) and they were very comfortable.

It's too bad I didn't think to take any pictures of the bathrooms either in the cottage or the shared bathrooms for the budget rooms. They're all very clean and comfortable. I had a great time in the bathrooms (and that's not something I usually boast about. at all :-). Some of that enjoyable time was the twice a day baths that Timmy had in our bathroom. He's great with baths, very calm and always enjoying the experience.

Our good friend Christian Asch manages the resort. He's also the PADI certified scuba diving instructor there. He's got a divemaster to help with large group dives but I didn't get to meet him this trip as he was on vacation.

Chris (in a former life, he was also nicknamed Diggi, which is what I still call him since it's more fun) would make a great, certainly a very loving nanny.

Except I think he doesn't quite realize that Timmy is doing his doody (i.e., doing number 2) when he's straining like that

We hadn't planned on diving on the first day, so we just rested. We were too lazy to go to Mambajao or anywhere else. There wasn't any reason to, really.

The bar and restaurant is a great place to relax. We didn't join this conversation though since it was entirely in German

That's Kevin, the son of one of the guests. Timmy would have played with him, but Timmy can't walk yet. Or stand. And he usually falls over when he sits, head top heavy :-)

The cottage has a desk on the balcony. There's another desk inside. I had my laptop on the inside desk, plugged in, ready to play Desktop Tower Defender, which I'd downloaded and then kept around in an open browser while my laptop was suspended (so the browser window was always available).

I thought the bamboo suspended from the string was just decorative, or maybe some tarpaulin was missing for protection from strong winds or something. The next day I saw our neighbors in the other cottages hanging bathing suits from them. And then I was enlightened.

Manang finally met Timmy


And the next morning was BEAUTIFUL


Land of the free

Land of the free indeed


I was confused because 3 or 4 people greeted me a happy birthday today, Jen from davao, Chris from camiguin, Gamie, at work, brent, and myna.

I couldn't understand why everyone was greeting me since it's not my birthday. Finally, sol told me what the deal was. I'd set my birthday in Friendster to 3 July. That's not my real birthday, but it's an anniversary more significant than my birthday and less significant than 8 May.

Heck, I thought it was some online spam generating scam website where I might have registered and told it my birthday and a few of my friends. But no, this was entirely my fault, right here.

I think it's pretty funny :-). If I get birthday greetings on 10Feb I'll think it's funny too. But less so, because more obscure and superseded by events.