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    23 September 2005

    Rita watch

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    [UPDATE] Rita has hit land and is now a cat 1 hurricane which is great news that it is deteriorating so quickly. It is also moving north quickly which is good for local rainfall total. There isn't much coming out of groundzero but the surge associated with Rita was large and I'd expect that the damage to whatever was around is severe. In addition, there has been no report on the oil rigs in the affected part of the Gulf.

    This could have been a lot worse, let us hope the remainder of the season fizzles.

    The latest is that the weakening trend that took place today is about over and additionally the water beneath Rita has shallowed giving us a now stable storm with chance minor strengthening. This would make it a cat 3 with at least 115 mph winds, but that's in terms of wind. In terms of storm surge, this is a bad cat 4 maybe even a cat 5; much like Katrina. The reason is that these storms act like a giant vacuum, which creates low pressure. This vacuum sucks the water below it into storm surge that follows the storm. Creating that suction takes a lot of work but sustaining this suction doesn't. Therefore the weakening of a storm in terms of wind has only slight effects on the storm surge levels reached at peak intensity. An 18' storm surge on and east of the TX - LA boarder isn't going to be pretty.

    There is some talk about what course the system will take after the storm hits. There is a possibility that it may stall bringing rainfall totals amounting to a foot or more! Or the highly unlikely case where it would drift ESE and back into the Gulf...

    It's funny seeing all these announcements and preparations being made for Rita. C130's for civilian transport and central FEMA command centers... days before the storm! That shows you what a F up Katrina was, and on a broad scale not just FEMA.

    Lake Charles Radar

    This was posted by Geoff and will be updated throughout the weekend.

    The Saddam - al Qaeda link

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    This is a subject of much debate; was their a connection pre-war? Many say there was not so why do so many still say there was a connection?

    This popped into my thoughts yesterday as I watched the confrontation between Phil Donahue and Bill O'Reilly where Billy claimed that the connection between Iraq/Saddam and al Qaeda existed. He then went on to claim the Phil didn't know anything about geopolitics. Well this of course is not true, not that Phil knows little about geopolitics he probably doesn't and I've seen nothing to indicate Billy knows much either besides AEI/PNAC BS that Fox News slimes the public with each day. But what I really wondered is what is the rebuttal to these seemingly false statements? I don't think I've heard anyone on the left side of the spectrum put fourth a good counter argument to this. I suspect that it is an illusion of saliency where most have heard the truth and just live with the lies on the right or ignore them on the left. I questioned Col. Pat Lang on this at his blog and his reply was similar; "Saddam's government and AQ can not be defeated because it is both ignorant and deceptive." I agree, but there are some who believe this fallacy and that is a shame.

    Here is his reply (truncated)
    Their argument about Saddam's government and AQ can not be defeated because it is both ignorant and deceptive.

    They (Jacobins) gave up the possibility of showing evidence of Iraqi participation in 9/11 years ago.

    Their remaining argument is based on the evidence that there were contacts between the Iraqi intelligence services and governments and various Jihadi groups including AQ and the then independent Zarqawi group.
    This is an argument based on the idea of "guilt by association," a favorite method for the Jacobins. An example of this is their claim that Zarqawi's presence in Afghanistan at one point "proves" that he was always AQ's man.

    Two things:

    - The "evidence" as compiled by by OSP and Hayes consists of a number of unconfirmed Intelligence Information Reports (IIR) received from the intelligence community. These are not analytic documents. They are "raw" reports of observations or rumors collected by the intelligence collectors in the field and sent to Headquarters where they are normally considered in the light of a mass of other information AND THE ANALYSTS' SKILLS so that a judgment is reached as to their veracity and accuracy. These disconnected IIR that the Jacobins cite were judged by the Community as being unreliable and meaningless. Nevertheless, the Jacobins believe that they are better at judging the validity of information collected by the Community than is the Community. They believe this is true because they, the Jacobins, have the "correct" attitude towards history in that they generally see the world through the lens of "resistance to the tyrants." (Churchill, etc.)

    2- They do not seem to know, or they pretend not to know that Arab governments operate everywhere on the basis of either imprisoning their present and possible opponents or remaining in sufficient "touch" with them to ensure a knowledge of "what they are up to." To that end, it is a commonplace of Arab statecraft to meet with opponents (often this is carried out by the security services)often enough to assess the situation and the threat. It is a fairly common thing for Arab governments to give medical treatment to dangerous 3rd party actors or even offer asylum to unstable elements in the political world. The asylum thing particularly appeals to them since they then "have the body." A number of people under asylum have learned that to their sorrow, or at least the sorrow of those who survived.

    So, the Jacobin method method is to string unconfirmed reports together to say that "where there is smoke there must be fire," or to claim that contact or custodial assistance equals alliance.

    This has been exploded a number of times, but THEY have mastered the Goebbals propaganda technique which is basically to keep shoveling falsehoods and half-truths at the barn door until it sticks.

    My POV is if you are coeharent enough to think things through (as Lang has) then you come to the correct conclusion, or some version of it. If you are lazy, a hack, or a lazy hack then you are just fine with what one man or group says despite lack of conclusive evidence.

    Posted by Geoff

    22 September 2005

    More Jewish Terrorism

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    Shin Bet head Yuval Diskin said yesterday that he viewed the two Jewish terror attacks carried out during the disengagement period, in which a total of eight Arabs were killed, as a failure on the part of the security service.



    There are terrorists of every stripe

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    A Jewish man of the Jewish Defense League was sentenced to 20 years for plotting to blow up a mosque and kill a lebanese american congressman. God damn Religious extremists. Gotta love what religion helps people do...


    Rita - good news, bad news

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    Rita is weakening fast and is in a re organization stage. She will level off as she travels over cooler water and other conditions change around her in our favor. This is good in terms of wind which is a minor aspect in hurricanes. That is the good news. The bad news is this will have very little effect on her storm surge. Basically TX will get a strong cat 3 storm in terms of wind but a 4 or 5 in terms of surge; which is the real danger on a large scale in hurricane events. This is all much like Katrina which was average as a wind storm but with a disaster of a storm surge. Furthermore, the storm track continues to shift to the east, and is about to begin bearing down the rigs in that part of the gulf. This will be a main part of the story next week if the storm stays together and delivers the expected punch to the oil industry. But who really cares about them? It looks like the storm will fizzle as it rides over cool, shallow coastal water of the Gulf, but still be a major hurricane. Steve Gregory forecasts "complete devastation within 1-3 miles of the coastline near the point of landfall" which appears to be between Galveston and the LA-TX boarder.

    Posted by Geoff

    21 September 2005

    Drinking Liberally - Charleston

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    Where have all the flowers gone?
    Long time passing
    Where have all the flowers gone?
    Long time ago

    ... Rep. John Conyers ... Rep. John Lewis ... Jimmy Carter ... Sen. Harry Reid ... Bill Clinton ... Cindy Sheehan ... Paul Hackett ... Howard Dean ... DL Charleston ...

    Where have all the graveyards gone?
    Long time passing
    Where have all the graveyards gone?
    Long time ago

    ... W ... Attorney General Alberto Gonzales ... Halliburton ... Dick Cheney ... Karl Rove ... George Bush ... Condi Rice ... Colin Powell ... George Tenet ... Judge John G. Roberts Jr. ... Tom DeLay ... Bill Frist ... John Bolton...

    Whether you bring your ukelele or not, please join us for our weekly
    drink & drone at Voodoo Lounge, 15 Magnolia Rd (West Ashley),
    beginning at 5:30. Word on the street has it that Downtown's own City
    Council Rep Yvonne Evans may be joining us tomorrow. Yep, she's one
    of our flowers, and she's running for reelection in November.

    Free parking behind the bar - Look for our DL signs on the tables -
    Your only cost is your drink - Promoting democracy one pint at a time

    Of course, we can't finish without a quote, this courtesy of Katrina:
    "They took everything - all the electronics, the food, the bikes,"
    said John Stonaker, a Wal-Mart security officer. "The only think left
    are the country-and-western CDs. You can still get a Shania Twain

    Liberally yours,

    The DL Charleston crew

    Malkin rips cronyism and thus Bush

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    Rarely do I link to the internment camp apologist Michelle Malkin, but I do read her blog. Yesterday she had this to say WRT this article in WaPo about the new nomination of Julie Myers to head the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, part of the Department of Homeland Security.
    This nomination is a monumental political and policy blunder in the wake of the Michael Brown/FEMA fiasco. And I can tell you that contrary to the Miss Mary Sunshine White House spokeswoman's comments, rank-and-file DHS employees and immigration enforcement officials are absolutely livid about Myers' nomination.

    This is some well put rage seeing that she (Myers) is poorly qualified (ahemmm!!) for the job in multiple ways and it must trouble level-headed Republicans that this is the niece of the departing chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers (ahemm, ahemm!). In addition, she just married John Wood who is currently Michael Chertoff's Chief of staff ant the Dept. of Homeland Security (ahemm, ahemm, ahemmmm!).

    Posted by Geoff

    20 September 2005

    Rita looks like Katrina

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    Rita's path is further south than Katrina, giving it little land to interfere with it as a system and it seems the storm will spin up into a strong one. Fortunately, depending on which way your looking at it, this storm probably wont hit NOLA directly or be too much of a factor there (I hope). That said, this storm could get big and is expected to hit TX this weekend. If the track continues in a WNW direction it will soon be over the shallow coastal waters off of the TX coast; which will slow the storm in terms of windspeed while increasing the surge associated with hurricanes. If it hooks more northward then all kinds of oil rigs are in the line of fire. Bottom line is that the Gulf is warmer than it has ever been which means plenty of latent heat and thus, hurricanes. I think I heard someone babbling about "the largest increase of something in relation to oil" on the TV or radio today. Go get your gash now.

    More info and Sat pics here (these are updated daily so here is a dedicated link to his home page, and Dr. Masters).
    Although this storm is not expected to be as Catastrophic as Katrina in terms of absolute storm surge heights and aerial extent -- it very well may bring a severe, CATEGORY 4 Storm surge to a 50-80NM stretch of coast. With oil and product imports along with a very large proportion of oil and especially Natural Gas production located near Galveston north and east to off the coast of Louisiana -- the potential total impact on the U.S. energy production is almost of unimaginable levels.

    [UPDATE] DarkSyde has written a great diary highlighting the threat to energy prices this storm has made. Fortunately, the computer models have all grouped themselves as hooking to the south and west of the critical production centers off the coast and on land. I'm not saying that they are out of the woods by any means, these models are pure speculation although they are scientific. This storm is going to be huge, approaching the level of Katrina. People in the line of sight get out and Godspeed.

    Follow up on previous post

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    Juan Cole uses a term that I was searching for last night but couldn't think it up; dual sovereignty. Iraq is now, following on this, a state with dual sovereignty. Read Dr. Cole's sequence of events which began last week and ended (for now) with the Brits attacking an Iraqi jail to retrieve some special-op's units.

    Does the idea of dual sovereignty fan the flames of conflict? You betcha.

    [UPDATE] If you choose to trust the Chinese press, and I'm not saying that I do, they have an interesting tidbit of info.
    Iraqi police detained two British soldiers in civilian clothes in the southern city Basra for firing on a police station on Monday, police said.

    "Two persons wearing Arab uniforms opened fire at a police station in Basra. A police patrol followed the attackers and captured them to discover they were two British soldiers," an Interior Ministry source told Xinhua.

    The two soldiers were using a civilian car packed with explosives, the source said.

    We'll have to wait and see but this is not good for the Brits and Southern Iraq. The Brits were pulling a lot of troops out but reversed that logic recently as they have become a target of the usual Sunni insurgents as well ad the various Shi'a militias in the region.

    19 September 2005

    Reason Iraqis hate their occupiers #199

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    When two occupying coalition soldiers are arrested by the government of the country that they, the soldiers, have occupied, don't send in more coalition soldiers and tanks to break the suspected criminals out of jail.
    In a major show of force, British soldiers used tanks to break down the walls of the central jail in this southern city late Monday and freed two Britons, allegedly undercover commandos, who had been arrested on charges of shooting two Iraqi policemen.

    About 150 Iraqi prisoners also fled as British commandos stormed inside and rescued their comrades, said Aquil Jabbar, an Iraqi television cameraman who lives across the street from the jail. Earlier Monday, demonstrators hurled stones and Molotov cocktails at British tanks, and at least four people were killed.


    Buchanan uses science

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    I'm shocked that Pat Buchanan knows what this word means and how to use it; nadir.

    In a post at Hardball blog Hardblogger Pat writes "there is no denying that George W. Bush is now at the nadir of his presidency."

    look it up, seems to be an odd term for politics. It is used and a lot in Satellite and atsro-stuff as the point directly below zenith, in short the low point. While odd, this is a good way to represent the build-up of failures that the president has accumulated lately.


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