Tuesday, June 21, 2005

A proposal to repeal the 22nd ammendment of the U.S. Constitution

This was a hardly noticed proposal on February 17th, 2005, in the U.S. House of Representatives. That is, to repeal, outright, the 22nd ammendment of the U.S. Constitution.

REPEAL 22ND AMENDMENT TO U.S. CONSTITUTION -- (Extensions of Remarks - February 18, 2005)

Bill Summary & Status for the 109th Congress - Text - Sponsors - All congressional actions

What is the 22nd ammendment? It's the one that term-limits the U.S. President to two terms. However, even if it were repealed, it would not allow GW Bush to serve another term. The "Extensions of Remarks" link above is very instructive.

Fortunately it's stalled in Committee. But, if it were to be enacted, that would be a disaster, in my opinion.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

How to tell when George W. Bush is lying

He's moving his lips.

Bush says US is in Iraq because of attacks on US (Sat Jun 18, 1:15 PM ET)


"We went to war because we were attacked, and we are at war today because there are still people out there who want to harm our country and hurt our citizens," Bush said Saturday in his weekly radio address.

The people who attacked us were in Afghanistan and Pakistan, not Iraq.

More leaked memo's in Britain

There's a new set of memo's leaked in the British press currently. This is on top of the prior memo, leaked during the recent election campaign.

The new set of memo's provide more ammunition to my prior writings on this subject. The memo's show the political calculations going around the British government in the Summer of 2002, leading up to a meeting between Bush and Blair at Bush's Crawford TX "ranch". It shows in more detail the concerns that the evidence was weak, and that they would have to manipulate the public in order to get the war going. Finally, it shows that in the immediate aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attack, the push was to topple Iraq's government, regardless of any other consideration.

My previous writings on this issue are:

The Associated Press has the memo's online here:

And the Associated Press has published this overview: Newly leaked memos add to debate on war motives Blair aide noted concern on US rush to invade (By Thomas Wagner, Associated Press | June 19, 2005)

http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/ also has the memo's, and is tracking the story.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Visibility building on Bush war memo: Congress finally saying the 'I' word

I've written about this issue before: Bush asked to explain UK war memo, and Bush/Blair planned Iraq invasion in July 2002.

The story so far is rooted in a memo, which reveals that the Administration was planning, in July 2002, to manipulate the public to create justification for the Iraq war - Now, the memo is building up a story, and Congressional leaders are now holding public meetings about the memo, demanding answers:

Just hearsay, or the new Watergate tapes? (By David Paul Kuhn, June 17, 2005, SALON.COM)

The story Salon.COM gives indicates the Republicans reluctantly gave permission to use a meeting room in the Capital building, and that the Republicans scheduled several votes and important committee meetings to conflict with that meeting. However what it says to me is that the impeachment push is building some legs.

Elsewhere on this blog I've collected pointers to the evidence. Basically, the Bush administration lied through their teeth to create this war in Iraq. It's cost over $300 billion dollars to fight that war, cost over 1700 U.S. lives, cost probably 100,000 Iraqi lives, cost U.S. credibility around the world, and the war in Iraq had nothing at all to do with the attack on September 11, 2001. The government of Iraq had nothing to do with the international Terrorist movement that planned and executed that attack, those people are Saudi's and were in Afghanistan. Everything that Colin Powell told the U.N. Security Council in February 2003 was a lie.

If lying about sex is impeachable (think, 1997, and Monica Lewinsky), then what do you do with a liar that talks us into a war?

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Friday, June 3, 2005

Another brick to building the Total Information Awareness system

The Total Information Awareness system was so obviously a plan to create Big Brother. While the project ran into some political difficulties and was "canceled", the individual pieces have obviously continued to be developed. I am tracking those on this thread in my blog.

Forging an anti-terrorism search tool (Published: June 2, 2005, 5:52 PM PDT, By Stefanie Olsen, Staff Writer, CNET News.com)

This article discusses a project that obviously fills in part of the Total Information Awareness system picture.

The technology, released as a prototype in recent weeks, is designed to mine a corpus of documents for associated ideas or connections--connections between two unrelated concepts, for example, that would otherwise go unseen or would take countless hours of investigative work to discover. The project was specifically funded for anti-terrorism efforts and initially was used for searching over data within the 9/11 Commission report and public Web pages related to the suicide bombings carried out by terrorists who hijacked three U.S. commercial planes.

"Say you have the kind of question that connects these two people that we don't know about. You could start reading through all those documents. But our system is designed to look specifically for those evidence trails" that connect those two people, said Rohini Srihari, UB professor of computer science and engineering.

The research is being conducted at The Center for Excellence in Document Analysis and Recognition.

CEDAR Overview

A wide variety of documents are encountered by each of us everyday. They cover all spheres of our lives including commerce, education, law, health, religion, music and entertainment. Some of these documents have a simple and predictable structure such as a page in a printed book. Others have much more complex structure such as those involving figures, tables, logos, signatures, handwriting, etc. Discovering methods and algorithms for analyzing the structure and content of complex documents, and their generalization to related domains, is the focus of research at CEDAR.

From a computer science research and education perspective the work spans the areas of pattern recognition, machine learning, information retrieval and computational linguistics. There is a continuum from the analysis of scanned document images to areas such as text mining and information retrieval. There is also a continuum from analyzing documents for forensic purposes to the analysis of fingerprint images and other areas of biometrics.

Having received sustained funding from the United States Postal Service (USPS) since 1984 CEDAR was designated the Center of Excellence for Document Analysis and Recognition (CEDAR) by the USPS in 1991. Today, while postal-related document analysis problems continue to be of interest at CEDAR, a number of projects have emerged with other sponsors.

CEDAR has been a conduit for scholarly collaboration as well as individual accomplishment for many scientists and students. Over a period of 20 years faculty, students and research scientists at CEDAR have published more than a thousand scientific papers. CEDAR has supported more than 500 students, resulting in the award of several hundred master's degrees and more than 40 doctoral degrees.

They've already developed and fielded a few technologies:

  • Name and Address Block Reader
  • Handwritten Address Interpretation
  • Handwriting Verification and Recognition

All of which would be useful in the automated Big Brother picture that the TIA team put together.

Remember that the Total Information Awareness system was the original name, and that they renamed it to Terrorism Information Awareness system after the September 11, 2001 attacks made anti-Terrorism of interest. However, just because they say they're focusing on "terrorism" doesn't mean that it can't be used for other purposes. Information is information, and when you have this kind of data mining system you can use it to search for any information.

e.g. I see this trend in the public discussion that says "Fundamental Christianity is the only valid spiritual path". That idea is fine until that idea becomes enshrined in the Government, and the Government starts enforcing it. Given that the government leaders are tending towards speaking that idea more and more frequently, it's rather possible they'll begin using the Government agencies to enforce that idea. So, would we find this system employed towards finding connections among people in the "new age" movement?

Thursday, June 2, 2005

Oil prices may double in three years, analyst says

Oil prices may double in three years, analyst says (webnewswire)

One of the worlds leading energy analysts, Matthew Simmons (an advisor to Pres. Bush), told an energy conference in Edinburgh:

"This is a new era," Simmons told a conference of oil industry analysts, government officials and academics in Edinburgh. "There is a big chance that Saudi Arabia actually peaked production in 1981. We have no reliable data. Our data collection system for oil is rubbish. I suspect that if we had, we would find that we are over-producing in most of our major fields and that we should be throttling back. We may have passed that point."

Simmons told the meeting that it was inevitable that the price of oil would soar above US$100 as supplies failed to meet demand.

"Demand is pulling away from supply ... and we have to ask whether we have the resources that we think we do. It could be catastrophic if we do not anticipate when peak oil comes," Simmons said.

One can assume then that Pres. Bush has been informed of this opinion as well.

Which just leads me to wonder why he is continuing to promote oil-based energy strategies.

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