Monthly Archives: August 2004

This is no $20 million entry

Today I want to go to TransVision 2004 (here's what's going on, check it out Torontonians), head up to the daVinci unveiling, and do a site update as well… Hope I can fit it all in!

While Russia denies it provided any assistance (more), according to Jane's Defense Weekly, North Korea is currently deploying a new set of missiles based on the old Soviet R-27 submarine missile with a range of 4,000 km (more, more). While the range isn't quite enough to drop nukes onto the US mainland, these missiles can be ship launched and North Korea does have a Navy of about 60,000, and could easily use them to strike at mainland US cities (more). More importantly though, while a very small arms dealer ($100 million) in comparison to the US ($33 billion; more), North Korea's “sell to anyone” policy and connections with organized crime and the drug trade make this particularly dangerous (more). Thanks a lot Bush for making every nation feel like they're about to be attacked, forcing them to arm desperately themselves.

Of course, maybe we'll see nuclear war between former Soviet states first… The Georgian government (who were just awarded a civil rights award by the US) just threatened to kill Russian tourists in Abkhazia (more), and Georgian civilians have already been opening fire on Russian groups entering the country (more). To put this into context, Russia and Georgia are now on war footing (more), and with US bases in Georgia and the US training Georgian troops (more), it once again puts Russia and America at each other's throats. High stakes dead pool deciding where the mushroom clouds are first sighted!

Other than that, back at home the US has had to admit that not only was their well timed “DNC-distracting terror alert” (more) based on information from many years ago, but now they're admitting that they don't even think that an attack is imminent from that information (more). So basically they're admitting that they're making fake terror alerts to try and influence the election… At this point, if another terrorist strike does happen in America, do you still trust the government enough to believe they didn't actually just do it themselves to swing the election?

Today in history

Today isn't just a good day for getting rid of Popes (St. Sixtus II, St. Hormisdas, and Constantine all ended their reigns today). Here's some other stuff that happened:

August 6, 1861
The US passes the Confiscation Act, which lead up to the Emancipation Proclamation, which allowed the Union to seize the property of rebels, and freed all slaves which stayed loyal to the Union. Lincoln objected to the act on the basis that it could cause more states to seceed than already had.

August 6, 1890
After first killing thousands of animals in public demonstrations in the battle of AC versus DC power, the US executes its first prisoner using an electric chair at New York's Auburn Prison. The prisoner, William Kemmler, survives the first electrocution and does not die until electrocuted a second time. George Westinghouse commnents, “they would have done better with an axe.”

Augst 6, 1945
The largest terrorist attack in human history is committed by the US as they drop an atomic bomb on the civilian population of Hiroshima, Japan, killing aproximately a hundred and forty thousand men, women, and children, with tens of thousands dying later from the radiation. President Truman descrbes it that day as “the greatest thing in history”. Three days later, another nuclear bomb would be dropped on Nagasaki, killing 70,000 more civilians.

August 6, 1965
President Lyndon Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act, allowing blacks in America the right to vote. Over the years the rights were expanded, although because many jurisdictions ignored the Act, in 1982 provisions were added in an attempt to get blacks the right to vote everywhere in America. However, since then black voters have continued to be disinfranchised and illegally scrubbed from voter's lists, and further clarification of this act will still be required before blacks in America have equal voting rights.

August 6, 1985
The USSR independently commits to stop all nuclear testing, while the US responds by conducting more underground nuclear explosions. The USSR ceases its moratorium 19 months later in the face of continued US nuclear escalation that persists to this day.

Terror alert

First, this is worth reading.

Anyway, last week the Democrats put on a hell of a convention that threatened to shoot Kerry's popularity to toxic levels (toxic to Republican swing voters that is). To keep Kerry's speech and the other well-scripted charismavomit off TV, the Republicans responded by issuing an urgent terror alert on specific financial instituions in NYC. Extra security was ordered, barricades were put up, and, most importantly, the terror alert was talked about on CNN, not the DNC.

Now, to make it a little more clear that this was simplely political maneuvering than Tom Ridge's “…thanks to the President's war on Terror, the American people are safer…” spiel did, lets put the intel that caused this urgent alert into context. It was gathered in 2000 and early 2001. Long before the 9/11 attacks. It's no more urgent now than it was four years ago. (more).

Ignoring for a second the obvious attempt to psychologically manipulate the American people through fear, don't forget as well that issuing these alerts, mobilizing a ton of police and security, and so on, is expensive, and you (the American tax payer) have to foot the bill. Every time Bush gets afraid that the Democrats have made an advance, he spends millions of your dollars to try and trick you and distract you from it. And people just keep paying the bills, digging their own graves.

Other than that, Michael Moore is an idiot (more). Remember the scene in F911 where he shows a newspaper headline screaming out “Latest Florida recount shows Gore won election” as its front cover? Well, turns out that he doctored the newspaper… That “headline” was in fact only the synopsis for a letter to the editor in a different issue of the newspaper, and not on the front cover. WTF? Bush is such an easy target, that when Moore pulls stunts like this I begin to think he's on the payroll.