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Singapore is not known for its activism, much less dramatic infighting.  More people know Singapore for what's forbidden (purchasing chewing gum, taking durian fruit on the subway) than what's allowed (table-top dancing in bars with a license).  That said, there are numerous NGOs and issues-oriented groups that undertake the hard slogging of street level organizing for women's issues, racial and inter-religious understanding, and environmentalism.  

For the last quarter century, the leading organizational advocate for the cause of women has been a group called AWARE (Association of Women for Action and Research).  AWARE has functioned tirelessly and effectively for equality in marriage rights, citizenship, the treatment of foreign domestic workers, and disenfranchised women across the island state.

Amazingly, AWARE  has just been taken over in a coup by a group of conservative Christian Singaporean women concerned that AWARE was too "pro-gay".  On May 2, we will find out if the coup succeeds.

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As everyone knows by now Gov. Sarah Palin's third interview of the general election has been granted to Katie Couric, who will be traveling with her as part of the interview process. The interview will be aired September 29 and 30.  Like the previous interviews with Charlie Gibson and Sean Hannity, the Couric interview is carefully scripted to reinforce the image the McCain/Palin campaign is trying to craft.

This ain't gonna happen.  Katie Couric will lay the wood on Governor Palin, not as a partisan but as a professional, and it will be glorious.

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In my family, we have a tradition of making written predictions every Christmas.  It started when my father used to write down in a little notebook his guess for when the spring peepers (frogs) would start making sounds from the ponds behind our house.  Then it grew, and we'd sit around making predictions about family and about politics.  One year we predicted my sister would have a boyfriend, and she did.

We lived in Silver Spring, Maryland, so even though our house was in a semi-rural part of what is now an absurdly overdeveloped concrete jungle, we subscribed to the Washington Post, and politics was huge.  At Christmas 1973, when I was nine, we made predictions about what would happen to Nixon (nobody was right).  The 1976 presidential elections were a big deal, and we made predictions for both the primaries and the general.  In 1979, my dad correctly predicted Reagan's win, and we tried to make predictions for the decade of the 1980s. My grandfather even predicted his own death during that decade, but was wrong (he got it right the next time).  

This year, my brother made a prediction that both of us want to see proved wrong.

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There's a little uncompleted work between good newsblogs.

On October 25, the NY Times blogger Jim Rutenberg reported that Fox News had sent a cease and desist letter to the McCain campaign, telling them not to use Fox News footage on the McCain campaign web site or advertisements.  A day later, TPM's Greg Sargent followed up
with the story that the Fox News letter was sent only to the McCain campaign, despite Fox News footage plastered on the Romney and Guiliani web campaign sites.  Just another day in the Rudy-Rupert lovefest.

But is this all just cover for Rudy? Did Fox even send a letter, or did they send it with a wink and a kiss?

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Kent Hovind is well known in evolution/creationism battles for  (i) running a young earth creationism theme park in which dinosaurs and humans live together ('like the Flintstones?', as Tony Soprano asked) (ii) calling himself "Dr Dino" because he bought on a phony Ph.D. from a degree mill, and (iii) offering $250K to anyone who can prove (to his satisfaction) that evolution happened.  Not surprisingly, the terms of his offer show such a basic misunderstanding of evolution that it's pointless.

If you are willing to risk wanting to tear your eyes out of their sockets, you can find a FAQ on him here.

Anyway, Hovind is going to need his money.  He and his wife were just arrested on multiple federal charges, including tax evasion and making threats againt investigators.  This is the latest, but perhaps most significant, chapter in a long running saga: Hovind has been battling the feds for almost two decades.  

The Mysterious Intelligent Designer knows on which side his divine bread is obediently buttered.   And it ain't Dover, PA.  It's Kansas, of course.  So naturally, said Designer delivered a trophy to the evolution-skeptics of Kansas: an enormous rock carefully placed and oriented seven feet under ground.

Now I know some of you are scratching your heads, thinking "maybe it is just an oriented pallasite, a rare kind of meteorite that doesn't tumble as it falls to earth".

In fact, that's exactly what the MSM wants you to believe:

The meteorite is classified as an oriented pallasite, a type noted for a conical shape with crystals embedded in iron-nickel alloy. Only two larger ones of that type are known to have been found: a 3,100-pounder in Australia and a 1,500-pounder in Argentina.

But that's just your fucking naturalistic worldview religion talking.  Did I mention oriented pallasites were rare?  That's right!  RARE.  And it was found THIS WEEK!  So just try to explain them without an Intelligent Designer.  You can't!  HA!  ID triumphs!



How did it get there?

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As covered in The Guardian
Philip Cooney, who was chief of staff of the White House council on environmental quality, quit his job two days after a report released by a watchdog group, the government accountability project, showed he had deleted some paragraphs and edited others drafted by government scientists.

The White House said his departure was "completely unrelated" to last week's disclosure. "Mr Cooney has long been considering his options following four years of service to the administration," said White House spokeswoman, Dana Perino. "He'd accumulated many weeks of leave, and decided to resign and take the summer off."

Mr Cooney, a lawyer with no science background, previously worked for the American Petroleum Institute, which lobbies for oil firms.

A small victory eeked out over a weekend. But we need need to make sure this gets the coverage that it deserves as the tip of a melting iceberg of science policy manipulation

I suspect it won't get much coverage during the news week, but is a good basis for letter writing.  Please god, let somebody do a good investigative followup in the MSM

  • noodles are as important as rice
  • sometimes in China you don't get either rice or noodles.  Think about that.
  • Szechuan dishes are often cooked in oil

What's your greatest misunderstanding?

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Today's New York Times reports that Jack Abramoff paid directly for trips to the Marianas, in violation of House Rules.

The lobbyist, Jack Abramoff, submitted bills to his law firm for more than $350,000 in expenses for several trips to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in 1996 and 1997 on behalf of the congressmen, as well as several others including Edwin Buckham, Mr. DeLay's former chief of staff, and Tony Rudy, his former deputy chief of staff.
In letters and e-mail messages to the Marianas, Mr. Abramoff acknowledged that he had paid for the trips and asked the island government, which had hired him to lobby against proposed labor measures that would have affected the islands, to send him checks.


When all is said and done, what will be the strangest Delay/Abramoff boondoggle?

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So says Larry Johnson, former counterterrorism official at the State Department, of the statistics compiled but not released in this year's State Department report to Congress on international terrorist incidents.

What's an order of magnitude between friends?

According to today's Washington Post, the number of significant attacks worldwide grew from a record 175 in 2003 to about 655 in 2004.  The number of significant attacks in Iraq grew from 22 to 198 over the same time period.  

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Today's NY Times has more on yet another example of Bolton trying to misrepresent intelligence views to fit his policy agenda.  This time it's Syria

One newly declassified message, dated April 30, 2002, and sent by a senior State Department intelligence official, dismissed as "a stretch" language about a possible Syrian nuclear program that had been spelled out in a draft speech circulated by Mr. Bolton's aides for approval. In the speech itself, delivered five days later, Mr. Bolton made no reference to a Syrian nuclear program.

Until now, Senate Democrats leading the opposition to Mr. Bolton's nomination have focused mostly on a 2002 dispute related to Cuba, in which Mr. Bolton has acknowledged seeking the transfer of two intelligence officials with whom he had differed. But a top Democratic staff member on Monday described the clashes over Syria as "an example, perhaps the most serious one, not of Mr. Bolton's abusing people, but of trying to exaggerate the intelligence to fit his policy views."

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When the US Military announced that the attack on mess hall troops in Mosul was likely a suicide bomb, FOX News described it as a "homicide bomb".  A Google News search indicated that FOX News was the only news site describing it in these terms, compared with the thousands accurately describing it as a suicide bomb.

But that was at least under their own byline.

Today the AP has a story entitled US: Mosul Bomber Wore Iraqi Uniform.  FOX News carries the same story, under an Associated Press byline, with every reference to "suicide bomb[er]" changed to "homicide bomb[er]".

Don't they even bother to hide their tracks?

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