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Spring is beginning to spring! The weather goes from wintry to almost summery in the same day, rain falls, rainbows appear when the sun comes out, and the whole place looks a little greener and more alive than we remember it. We welcome the spring with walks in the fresh air, trips to favorite hangouts, and...



And what better way to fight allergies than to stay in a hypoallergenic home until the antihistimines kick in, and in the meanwhile pass the time with some dust-and-pollen-free ITEMS!

ITEM! My own personal yardstick for whether President Obama is doing his part to end the Iraq fiasco is whether he abides by the withdrawal time line negotiated by his predecessor. That time line should have combat troops out of Iraq by August of this year, and the rest of our troops out by summer of 2011. So far, he's been very good about meeting all the milestones of that time line. Now it looks like that time line is about to slip. More here.

(Added bonus: before you click on that link, see if you can guess why the time line might slip. Here's a hint: I've been warning about this happening for years now.)

ITEM! Are unmanned aerial vehicles "illegal combatants?" What about the pilots that control them? More on this thorny question about the laws of war here.

ITEM! Women's rights in Iraq took a huge hit after the US deposed Saddam. How have things changed since then? In a nutshell: they haven't. Have a look here.

ITEM! The Chicago Tribune? Trying to smear Alexi Giannoulias with an unfair guilt-by-association job? Heavens forefend! (And the newspapers wonder why nobody trusts them anymore?)


Someone needs to dub this to Slayer.

ITEM! I think MTV is crap, but I can't help but like this.

ITEM! The Buckman Show-And-Sell, a fundraiser to help support the arts program at Buckman Elementary School (a Portland Public School!), is on! It runs from 10-5 today at Buckman Elementary School, 320 NE 16th Avenue, Portland, Oregon. Come and buy some art -- the school gets a cut! More here, and check out the news coverage here!

And now, a word from our sponsor.

Originally posted to Finding God in a Dog on Sat Mar 13, 2010 at 08:54 AM PST.


Eric Massa is

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar! (7+ / 0-)

    And yes, my wife does have artwork at the Show-And-Sell. Go to the back of the sale and look for the fine wood block prints that look like this!

    This weekend I plan to:

    • Study databases
    • Visit with my cousin whom I've never met
    • Chaperone my mother in law while my wife meets Mayor Sam Adams done

    How's your weekend looking?

  •  Bit of an upset stomach this morning .. (5+ / 0-)

    ..... putting a crimp in my plans. But getting better as the day wears on.

    SATURDAY's CHILD is Sylvester the Cat - a Missouri pootie up for adoption.

    REMEMBER to recommend this diary, so others can see it.

    .......... and for a Saturday song  ......................... the song by Steve Winwood of Traffic "No Time to Live" - here performed by the keyboard whiz Brian Auger & the Trinity.

    "We should pay attention to that man behind the curtain."

    by Ed Tracey on Sat Mar 13, 2010 at 09:32:40 AM PST

  •  UAV issues (5+ / 0-)

    The biggest problems with UAV's is who is running them.  I have no problem with most of the tactical UAV's that the Army and Marines have developed since their very mission will help deal with collateral damage.  USAF, however, is gearing up to switch more and more away from manned flights to UAV's.

    So what is the difference?  First off, the tactical UAV's we ground-pounders use help us recon areas that in the past would mostly be too dangerous to recon in person.  This usually is the case in urban areas.  Traditionally if a building was too hard to get near and do a proper assessment of who was in the building (snipers vs. civilians) the typical U.S. doctrine is to have artillery and/or mortar units blow it up.  Now we can use UAV's to help us assess who where are up against.

    Right now the U.S. Air Force is still the greatest means the U.S. has to kill civilians as well as our allies.  Prior to the big pushes down in Helmand Province in AFG, the Air Force had killed far more Canadians in two "friendly fire" strikes than the bad guys ever did.  When I was there, the Air Force would ROUTINELY send B-2 stealth bombers to drop a big BLU-152 onto a field where two suspected insurgents were suspected of planting IEDs.  So they were obviously killing farmers doing what they do (i.e. farming) all the time!

    So while UAV's will allow the 'pilots' to have better cameras, the types of UAV's the Air Force has still are big mostly stand-off missile platforms.  So unless there is a big shift in USAF culture, we will still see USAF drones killing people because they still have that "looking down from 10,000 feet' mind-set instead of the Army & Marine up close and personal thinking.

    One good thing is that traditional USAF pilots are sharks; they are very aggressive and I've seen training films where they like to blow stuff up that they've been specifically warned NOT to blow up.  I would think that your typical UAV 'armchair' pilot would be a lot more geek and a lot less Top Gun so I do believe they would be more willing to look more before shooting.

  •  I am happy to see some sunshine! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maxomai, Ed Tracey, ilovecheese

    Yesterday was rainy and gray and chilly.  This afternoon I will be working on my WFD diary wherein I will talk about what it's like to cook in a motel room;)

    "In a democracy, dissent is an act of faith." -- J. William Fulbright

    by ninkasi23 on Sat Mar 13, 2010 at 02:23:19 PM PST

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