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Ol' Blackwater Keeps Rolling On Past Just The Same ...

Thursday, Oct. 11, 2007 2:16 AM

In the Much Ado About Nothing Department is the Associated Press story that the State Department may phase out or limit the use of private security companies in Iraq, which could mean cancelling Blackwater USA's contract.

As a Jedi Master is known for saying, 'Do or do not. There is no try.'

Oh, look, we have the Bush Administration investigating itself again. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice has ordered a top-to-bottom review of the use of Blackwater personnel, etc., etc., blah blah blah.

So if they discover the ROE for Blackwater contractors is insufficient, whose fault is that, again? And are we talking the top, top? As in the folks who made the decision to hire Blackwater in the first place, and must accept some portion of responsibility for the ... enthusiasm with which they have pursued their work?

It should be noted that Blackwater USA is among the recipients of a new contract to fight 'narcoterrorism,' showing that we'll just give them other work to do if we can't browbeat the Iraqis into shutting the fuck up. And that mission creep (not that we've ever had a clear mission there) is taking hold as the War on Drugs meets the War on Terror.

(I've always expressed concerns that when the illegal wiretaps didn't net real, live terrorists in Peoria, that those nifty surveillance capabilities would be directed elsewhere, because it'd be such a waste otherwise.)

Speaking of ILLEGAL and WARRANTLESS wiretaps, President Bush is insisting the 'new' FISA � a permanent implementation of August's rushed-out-the-door version - must include legal protections for the telecommunications companies who may or may not have helped spy on Americans.

So Congress is once more being asked to legitimize the illegal actions of the Bush Administration after the fact.

Grow a spine, people. Not only was the August measure passed with the help of some blatant fear-mongering about A Plot To Attack The Capitol, but this has never been about the inadequacies of FISA - it's been about not leaving a fucking paper trail for the crooks and liars occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Got documents? Ooops, lost them when we used an illegal e-mail system. Can't remember. It wasn't me.

As a voter and taxpayer, I'm asking Congress to actually exercise their powers of oversight and hold these clowns accountable.

With the first major rainfall of the season, there was a lot of 'rain blamed for traffic' and 'rain causes accident' headlines flying about.

The rain did not cause the accident. Rain can flood areas, but it does not drive cars at the 10-20+ MPH that Bay Area commuters usually enjoy.

Slow down.

Okay, while I've had the dubious pleasure of living in a multi-unit dwelling (apartment building) where other residents smoked, I disagree with Belmont's new anti-smoking ordinance, which makes smoking within such dwelling illegal - in addition to the usual strictures about public places, restaurants, etc.

It's an unenforceable mess. What's next, a law saying you can't sing in the shower?

There's doubtless more to be learned about the shootings at an Ohio school, but the problems apparently extend beyond the young man responsible.

According to one student, the suspect came out of a bathroom and bumped into another student, who punched him in the face, then walked off. The suspect shot him in the side.

Doesn't quite line up with the description of the school being orderly, calm, quiet, and focused.

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