••can ye pass the acid test?••

ye who enter here be afraid, but do what ye must -- to defeat your fear ye must defy it.

& defeat it ye must, for only then can we begin to realize liberty & justice for all.

time bomb tick tock? nervous tic talk? war on war?

or just a blog crying in the wilderness, trying to make sense of it all, terror-fried by hate radio and FOX, the number of whose name is 666??? (coincidence?)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011



News today from the Case-Shiller home-price index says home prices in the nation's largest cities plunged to new depths in March. The index says these are the worst housing numbers since the Great Recession.
[more]


EL MIRAGE, Ariz. — The nation’s biggest banks and mortgage lenders have steadily amassed real estate empires, acquiring a glut of foreclosed homes that threatens to deepen the housing slump and create a further drag on the economic recovery.

All told, they own more than 872,000 homes as a result of the groundswell in foreclosures, almost twice as many as when the financial crisis began in 2007, according to RealtyTrac, a real estate data provider. In addition, they are in the process of foreclosing on an additional one million homes and are poised to take possession of several million more in the years ahead.

Five years after the housing market started teetering, economists now worry that the rise in lender-owned homes could create another vicious circle, in which the growing inventory of distressed property further depresses home values and leads to even more distressed sales. With the spring home-selling season under way, real estate prices have been declining across the country in recent months.
[more]

it's just basic supply and demand again: the more houses on the market, the lower the price. foreclosures have swollen the supply, slowing sales and forcing sellers to cut asking prices.

we need to freeze foreclosures, but that's only part of the solution. as long as banks can make more money trading on financial markets, they have little motive to lend, so when interest rates are low it's extra hard to get a mortgage, which also slows sales and depresses prices. we need to reinstate glass-steagall (1933).

Monday, May 30, 2011

Post-revolution move is hailed as 'first step towards breaking the siege', but Israel voices concerns
Egypt has opened its border with Gaza, letting Palestinians leave the blockaded territory, in a move seen as indicating a more supportive policy since February's revolution.

Hundreds of people laden with luggage gathered at the Rafah crossing in the south of Gaza before the border opened at 9am. Around 300 crossed in the first hours and officials said they expected up to 1,000 to leave Gaza by the end of the day. Women, children and men over the age of 40 will be permitted free travel from Gaza to Egypt, but men under 40 will be required to apply for and be granted a visa. A large proportion of Gaza's 1.5 million population is aged between 18 and 40.

The crossing will open for eight hours a day, six days a week. In the four years since Hamas took control of Gaza, 18 months after winning elections, and Israel imposed a stringent blockade, the Rafah border has opened intermittently and only students, businessmen and people needing medical treatment have been allowed through.

All other border crossings are with Israel, which has tightly controlled the movement of people and goods. Despite easing the blockade almost a year ago, Israel continues to proscribe certain goods, such as construction materials, from entering Gaza and blocks nearly all exports. Rafah will not be open to commercial traffic.

Israel's government has expressed concern that the reopening of the border will lead to the shipment of weapons and militants into Gaza and is also alarmed at the prospect of closer ties between the new Egyptian government and Gaza.
[more]

Germany, the economic engine of Europe, said Monday that it will close all of its nuclear power plants over the next 11 years, the latest aftershock from the Japanese earthquake and partial meltdown it set in motion at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex.

...

“We believe that we can show those countries who decide to abandon nuclear power — or not to start using it — how it is possible to achieve growth, creating jobs and economic prosperity while shifting the energy supply toward renewable energies,” [German Chancellor Angela Merkel] said.
[more]







Sunday, May 29, 2011

3 adam smith quotes that may surprise

When the regulation, therefore, is in support of the workman, it is always just and equitable; but it is sometimes otherwise when in favour of the masters.

...

No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable. It is but equity, besides, that they who feed, clothe and lodge the whole body of the people, should have such a share of the produce of their own labour as to be themselves tolerably well fed, clothed and lodged.

...

It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expence, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
poem that helped fire up tunisia



إلى طغاة العالم

ألاّ أيّهــــا الظـــالمُ المســـتبِدُّ حــبيبُ الظــلامِ, عــدوّ الحيــاه
ســخرتَ بأنّــات شـعبٍ ضعيـفٍ وكــفُّك مخضوبــةٌ مــن دمــاه
وســرتَ تُشــوِّه سِــحْرَ الوجـودِ وتبــذرُ شــوكَ الأسـى فـي رُبـاهْ
رُوَيـــدَك! لا يخــدعنْك الــربيعُ وصحـوُ الفضـاء, وضـوءُ الصبـاحْ
ففـي الأفُـقِ الرحـبِ هـولُ الظـلام وقصـفُ الرعـودِ, وعصـفُ الريـاحْ
حــذارِ! فتحــت الرمــادِ اللهيـبُ ومـن يبـذرِ الشـوك يجـنِ الجـراحْ
تــأمل! هنــالك.. أنّــى حـصدتَ رؤوسَ الــوَرَى, وزهــورَ الأمـلْ
ورويَّــت بــالدمِ قلــبَ الــترابِ وأشْــربتَه الــدمعَ, حــتى ثمِــلْ
ســيجرفُكَ الســيلُ, سـيلُ الدمـاءِ ويـــأكلُك العـــاصفُ المشــتعِلْ


To the Tyrants of the World
by Abu al-Qasim al-Shabi

brutal tyrant
lover of darkness
foe of life
you sneer at wounds of the weak
your hands drip innocent blood
you twist life's spirit
and sow soil with seeds of sorrow

don't let
springtime
clear sky
or dawn's light
fool you

on the horizon
waits
dreadful darkness
roaring thunder
howling wind

beware
under ash rests fire
and who grows thorns reaps pain

behold
I harvest
man's mind
and hope's flower

with blood I water earth's core
with tears I drench it drunk

a flood of blood will sweep you away
and a storm of fire consume you

the english language interpretation above was made using three different translations found on the web.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

from charles blow's op-ed in yesterday's times:

A poll of people ages 50 and over that was released this week by the AARP Public Policy Institute found nearly half had experienced extraordinary and unexpected expenses in the previous three years; half had delayed getting medical or dental care or delayed or ceased taking medication; a quarter said that they used up all their savings; and 12 percent said that they had dropped health insurance coverage altogether.

Only a quarter expected their financial situation to improve next year, and most said that they were not too confident or not at all confident that they would have enough money to live comfortably throughout their retirement years. Only 8 percent were very confident that they’d have enough money.

This is not to say that Medicare isn’t in crisis. It is. But, we don’t have to gut it to save it. This election season, Republicans are suffering from the same disconnect over the idea of change that caused problems for the Democrats in 2010: Voters say “rearrange the furniture”; politicians hear “remodel the house.”

Ryan is known as a numbers guy, but numbers can be cold comfort. People don’t quantify the quality of their lives by the money they save or the money the government saved on them, but by the moments they savor. When dread creeps into the spaces where those moments should be, politicians pay a price at the polls.
[more]

The conservative New Democracy party, which last year voted against Greece's 110 billion euro bailout deal, claims austerity is choking the economy and impeding it from growing out of the debt mess.

It has vowed to fight the measures. Underlining public hostility to further austerity, Greece's public sector union has called for a 24-hour strike in June.
[more]

europe must be in a state of panic. don't they know government spending is essential when an economy turns down? austerity is insane, not to mention counterproductive.

hard to believe conservatives got this right. they must be a lot different from american cons, who either know nothing of economics or want things to get worse so they can win elections.

Friday, May 27, 2011

chairman coward*


* too strong a word?

consider this. the constitution's article 1 section 6 says members of congress can't be sued for anything they say on the job. so mchenry can call anybody a liar or defame anyone in some other way and get away with it, so long as he is in the act of performing his duties as a congressman. that's why in 1950, when joe mccarthy called owen lattimore a russian spy, lattimore challenged mccarthy to repeat the charge outside the senate. it's also why mccarthy refused to do so. during those early cold war days a lot of imprudent allegations against innocent citizens got made by congressional cowards like mccarthy, nixon, and members of HUAC. whatever lawsuits got filed got thrown out of court.
looks like gops keep shooting selves in foot (medicare, collective bargaining, consumer financial protection, &c)
but...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

bbc

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has told the US Congress Israel would be generous with the size of a future Palestinian state but that the border could not rest at pre-1967 lines.

But he said he was "willing to make painful compromises" to achieve peace.

A Palestinian official said the Israeli PM had added more obstacles to a deal.

On Friday, Mr Netanyahu rejected US President Barack Obama's call for a peace deal with the Palestinians based on pre-1967 borders, plus land swaps.
[more]


ny times

WASHINGTON — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, broadly laying out the Israeli response to President Obama’s peace proposals, called on the Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, on Tuesday to accept what Mr. Netanyahu framed as a tenet: that Palestinians will not get a right of return to Israel. In so doing, he made clear that he was giving no ground on the major stumbling blocks to a peace agreement.

“I stood before my people and said that I will accept a Palestinian state; it’s time for President Abbas to stand up before his people and say, ‘I will accept a Jewish state,’ ” Mr. Netanyahu said to cheers from a hugely friendly crowd of Democratic and Republican lawmakers gathered in the House chamber of the Capitol.

“Those six words will change history,” Mr. Netanyahu said. “With those six words, the Israeli people will be prepared to make a far-reaching compromise. I will be prepared to make a far-reaching compromise.”
[more]


haaretz
The man who explicitly said he would do his level best to destroy the Oslo Accords suddenly says he's in favor of peace with the Palestinians.
It was an address with no destination, filled with lies on top of lies and illusions heaped on illusions. Only rarely is a foreign head of state invited to speak before Congress. It's unlikely that any other has attempted to sell them such a pile of propaganda and prevarication, such hypocrisy and sanctimony as Benjamin Netanyahu did yesterday.

The fact that the Congress rose to its feet multiple times to applaud him says more about the ignorance of its members than the quality of their guest's speech. An Israeli presence on the Jordan River - cheering. Jerusalem must remain the united capital of Israel - applause. Did American's elected representatives know that they were cheering for the death of possibility? If America loved it, we're in big trouble.
[more]

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

npr

the insane preying on the ignorant

excerpts from a "guy noir" skit on prairie home companion the weekend after the 2004 election:

GK: I walked down to the river. (FOOTSTEPS, TRAFFIC PASSING) I felt okay. I can operate in this world. What the Democrats were trying to sell was a romantic comedy and what the Republicans offered was a detective thriller. People wanted the thriller. Politics isn't about hope or romance, it's about money and power. And fear. You scare people and they'll give you power and that enables you to get the money and the money buys you more power. It works beautifully — create fear, take power, get the dough. And by Friday, you could see a lot of Democrats learning that lesson. They'd been blinded by idealism but now they'd figured things out. (TIME CHORDS)

...

GK: I stood in my office, the light slicing through the Venetian blinds, and I looked down at the street. A street of disillusionment, where con artists and gangsters operate freely under one disguise or another, the insane preying on the ignorant, but as Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1798, after one of his defeats, "A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people, recovering their true sight, restore their government to its true principles. It is true that in the meantime we are suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the horrors of a war and long oppressions of enormous public debt... If the game runs sometimes against us at home we must have patience till luck turns, and then we shall have an opportunity of winning back the principles we have lost, for this is a game where principles are at stake." Thank you, Mr. Jefferson.

(THEME)

TR: A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets. But one man is still trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions... Guy Noir, Private Eye.

(THEME UP AND OUT)

yes, thank you, mr jefferson. and thank you, mr keillor.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Song On the End of the World
by Czeslaw Milosz
translated by Anthony Milosz

On the day the world ends
A bee circles a clover,
A fisherman mends a glimmering net.
Happy porpoises jump in the sea,
By the rainspout young sparrows are playing
And the snake is gold-skinned as it should always be.

On the day the world ends
Women walk through the fields under their umbrellas,
A drunkard grows sleepy at the edge of a lawn,
Vegetable peddlers shout in the street
And a yellow-sailed boat comes nearer the island,
The voice of a violin lasts in the air
And leads into a starry night.

And those who expected lightning and thunder
Are disappointed.
And those who expected signs and archangels' trumps
Do not believe it is happening now.
As long as the sun and the moon are above,
As long as the bumblebee visits a rose,
As long as rosy infants are born
No one believes it is happening now.

Only a white-haired old man, who would be a prophet
Yet is not a prophet, for he's much too busy,
Repeats while he binds his tomatoes:
No other end of the world will there be,
No other end of the world will there be.

Friday, May 20, 2011

remember when gops wanted to amend the constitution so arnold could run for prez?

yes, they wanted it during the bush admin, and some even suggested it after obama's election. they want power so much they just don't often think past the next election.

recall it again next time gops propose a constitutional amendment. whatever their amendment is about, and however good it looks at first sight, chances are it will be a bad idea in the long run.
Obama backs Israel plan with pre-1967 border

? ? ?

is everybody deaf? the above washington post headline to the contrary notwithstanding, obama said "based on" 1967 lines, not "with" and certainly not "identical with." what's wrong with "based on"? too subtle for you?

by the way, don't take my word for it. and if the following excerpt isn't close enough to the source for you, feel free to read the original:

Ultimately, it is up to Israelis and Palestinians to take action. No peace can be imposed upon them, nor can endless delay make the problem go away. But what America and the international community can do is state frankly what everyone knows: a lasting peace will involve two states for two peoples. Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people, and the state of Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people; each state enjoying self-determination, mutual recognition, and peace.

So while the core issues of the conflict must be negotiated, the basis of those negotiations is clear: a viable Palestine, and a secure Israel. The United States believes that negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine. The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states. The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state.

As for security, every state has the right to self-defense, and Israel must be able to defend itself – by itself – against any threat.

but what's that about a contiguous state? there's no way the gaza strip will ever be contiguous with the west bank.

but is it necessary? alaska and hawaii aren't contiguous with the rest of the US. it doesn't seem to bother us much.

The theory that the "Rapture"--or Judgment Day--will occur on May 21 appears to have originated with the 89-year-old leader of the ministry Family Radio Worldwide, Harold Camping, who earlier predicted the end of days as Sept. 6, 1994. He went back to the drawing board and says his calculations are now correct. (The Daily Beast's Bryan Curtis profiles Robert Fitzpatrick, one of Camping's most ardent followers, who gave up his life savings to spread the word about the coming day of reckoning. "For Fitzpatrick, the calculation's outlandishness confirms its rightness," Curtis writes. "'A genius could not understand this,' he says, 'because God has to open your mind to allow you to understand this.'")

Camping--an uncredentialed evangelical minister in California whose radio show is broadcast on 66 stations--took out an ad in Reader's Digest magazine proclaiming: "The Bible guarantees the end of the world will begin with Judgment Day May 21, 2011." He's also plastered the message on 2,200 billboards around the country, according to Reuters, and his followers have traveled around in caravans to spread the word. After a big earthquake on Saturday, true believers will be swept up to heaven while everyone else descends into hell before the world is officially over, he says.

Camping's full-on PR campaign for the apocalypse seems to be working. At Yahoo!, searches for "May 21 2011 Rapture" spiked 30 percent to 11,500 searches on May 17 compared to the day earlier. "May 21 2011 End of World" and other related search terms have also spiked.

A bevy of entrepreuners hope to capitalize on believers' fear. A website called "Eternal Earth-Bound Pets" is offering to care for believers' furry friends after their masters have been Raptured and can no longer care for them--for a fee, of course. (The site, which claims to be the brainchild of a group of pet-loving atheists, claims it's not a joke, but we're not so sure.) There's also You've Been Left Behind, a kind of high-tech concierge service for the chosen, which will send their digital records to un-Raptured friends or loved ones for the low, low price of $14.95. NPR has rounded up an array of jokes the prediction has sparked on Twitter and other social media sites.


In the 2,000 years of Christianity, there have been countless predictions of the end of the world, derived by just as many methods. Biblical scholars have not come to consensus over how literally, or symbolically, to interpret biblical descriptions. Or even where we are on the millennial timeline.

"If you talk to Christian theologians, you might find they do not agree as to what moment we live in now," said Mikhail Sergeev, a professor of religion at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. "Whether the Apocalypse is in the future, or partly in the future, partly in the past, or completely in the past, or in the present."

However, followers of Harold Camping believe they know. Many trust Camping's teaching that the answer has always been in the Bible, but God has not allowed people to understand it until now.

"It's almost like a software upgrade," said Kevin Brown from South Jersey. "We couldn't run the program before he gives us an upgrade, it was there all along, but we couldn't run it before. That's a pretty close analogy."

apparently i'm wasting my time posting this, since the world will end tomorrow, but just in case the zero probability event occurs and we survive, i want you believers to know i won't be gloating.

life is hard and full of uncertainty, and the world is a dangerous place, so of course it's tempting to seek some deeper meaning behind it.

and all of us are fallible and make mistakes, so it's natural to make excuses.

but every end is a new beginning, so when you don't get what you want, stay in the struggle.

who knows? maybe you'll even find a little meaning there.

Monday, May 16, 2011


Jon Stewart waded in to the contrived controversy last night on "The Daily Show," pointing out the lack of reading comprehension and hypocrisy on the part of those criticizing the Obama administration's invitation of the rapper to the White House.

Much of the criticism of Common stems from a 2007 spoken word poem in which conservatives allege the rapper encourages the shooting of police. In actuality, the poem argues against violence, Stewart concludes after reading it in its entirety. [more]

that got my attention because i noticed something similar in 2004, when swiftvet john o'neill attacked john kerry. in an interview on nightline, o'neill displayed what might very well have been poor reading comprehension as he cited a passage from kerry's book as "evidence" that the senator's heroism was exaggerated. check out my analysis here.

along slightly different lines, you might also want to review my comment on glenn beck's reading of a famous poem, here. it's timely, too. it's about illegal immigration.

now i'm starting to wonder if sub-par reading skills have anything to do with the tempest in the tea potty. have you noticed how some t-buggers seem to think we're getting taxed "without our consent", as the declaration of independence puts it? you'd have to reject (or misread) the constitution to reach that conclusion. article 1 section 8 clearly empowers congress to "lay and collect taxes...."

is it possible that not only bush's second term but much of the flak obama has taken are due to poor reading by voters?

Friday, May 13, 2011

guardian

American conservatives – immune to camp – worship a cartoonish hyper-masculinity. It all seems a bit hysterical

Unfortunately, the right's obsession with masculinity, and the fear that if they aren't constantly shoring it up and attacking the feminine, they might grow soft, has very real effects. Many, maybe most of America's problems go back to this manlier-than-thou attitude on the right. Wars are started. Women's basic human rights are denied. Gays are bashed. The main slurs against Democrats are about how they're feminine, childish or weak for doing things like thinking through important decisions before making them or caring about the environment. Even fights over the budget become masculinity displays, with Paul Ryan casting people who use the social safety net living "lives of complacency and dependency" – all the while, portraying himself as a tough guy with his own hefty workout routine.
[more]

Thursday, May 12, 2011

npr

newly discovered life

Two cells — one marked mostly in green, the other in blue — of a newly discovered organism found in water samples collected from the University of Exeter pond. Scientists think these "cryptomycota" use their tails to propel themselves while searching for food.

cryptomycota

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

war on women heats up


A new South Dakota law requires an unprecedented 72-hour waiting period before an abortion and several states are debating bills to ban abortion at 20 weeks....


A new proposal that would keep a Nebraska doctor from opening a clinic in Iowa will be introduced this week, Senate Democrats said in a press statement this morning.

The announcement comes after statements by leaders made Monday saying they would likely reject most of House-approved bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy because they believe it is unconstitutional.


HARRISBURG - In an unusual move, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams has waded into a bitter dispute over whether legislation aimed at tightening state regulations for abortion clinics is really a stealth effort to limit access to abortions.

Williams wrote a two-page letter this week to legislative leaders regarding House Bill 574, which would have the law treat most abortion clinics as "ambulatory surgical facilities" and thus subject to stricter inspections and operating regulations.

Monday, May 09, 2011


ISLAMABAD (AP) — The United States wants access to Osama bin Laden's three widows and any intelligence material its commandos left behind at the al-Qaida leader's compound, a top American official said in comments broadcast Sunday that could add a fresh sticking point in already frayed ties with Pakistan.
[more]

here's a response i found in a forum on democratic underground:
International treaties such as extradition agreements, are the same no matter what country signed them. Canada will not be the only country to fear placing detainees in the hands of the US until we get serious about prosecuting torturers. Right now our torturers are teaching college courses, on law! They are given a platform on our media to promote the use of torture. Those women should never be handed over to this country until we have proven to the world that we are serious about ending this vile and illegal practice, and start prosecuting those who put us in this position.

China and Canada so far have used our torture policies for their individual purposes. This is the legacy of policies that this current administration believes we should just move forward on. I hope it is becoming clear that that is not possible. Crimes were committed, the Wikileaks revelations show that this administration protected the accused criminals, AND attacked the most respected organization on Human Rights, the European Court of Human Rights and its highly respected judges. That doesn't make it sound like this administration is serious about ending torture, rather it sounds like they are annoyed at the world for trying to get justice for our victims.

Pakistan should ensure safe passage for these women to some country which will protect them from US interrogators. Perhaps they should appeal to the European Court of Human Rights for protection. Or some other Human Rights entity.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

photos or no photos

the message

with all that can be said about the extrajudicial killing of bin laden, the message carried to other nations by our signed, SEALed, delivered death squad is simply this:

being our friend is not always an easy relationship,
but if you choose to be our enemy
we are your worst nightmare incarnate!

and i think barack obama put his personal stamp on the operation by choosing to send SEALs rather than any other special ops force. in evidence i offer the lyrics to his campaign song:

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Like a fool I went and stayed too long
Now I'm wondering if your love's still strong
Oo, baby, here I am, signed, sealed, delivered, I'm yours!

Then that time I went and said goodbye
Now I'm back and not ashamed to cry
Oo, baby, here I am, signed, sealed, delivered, I'm yours!

Here I am baby
Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm yours
(You got my future in your hands)
Here I am baby
Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm yours
(You got my future in your hands)

I've done a lot of foolish things
That I really didn't mean, didn't I?

Seen a lot of things in this old world
When I touch them, they mean nothing, girl
Oo, baby, here I am, signed, sealed, delivered, I'm yours!

Oowee baby, you set my soul on fire
That's why I know you're my heart's only desire

Here I am baby
Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm yours
(You got my future in your hands)
Here I am baby
Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm yours
(You got my future in your hands)
democracy now!


The death of Osama bin Laden has sparked a debate over whether torture of suspects held at places such as the U.S. military base at Guantánamo Bay helped track down and kill the al-Qaeda leader. Some claim the mission vindicated controversial Bush policies on harsh interrogation techniques. We speak with Matthew Alexander, a former senior military interrogator in Iraq. "The laying of the groundwork, if you will, of these [Bush-era] techniques, I believe wholeheartedly, slowed us down on the road towards Osama bin Laden and numerous other members of al-Qaeda," Alexander says. "I’m convinced we would have found him a lot earlier had we not resorted to torture and abuse." [includes rush transcript]
[listen,watch,read]

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

npr
a couple pretty good predictions
14 years ago, Peter Bergen interviewed Osama bin Laden on a rocky plateau near the caves of Tora Bora in Afghanistan. Recently, he theorized that the world's most wanted terrorist was hiding not in a remote cave but in a comfortable house in Pakistan. On Sunday, his hunch proved correct.
bergen doesn't think it so strange that pakistan didn't know anything, either:
PETER BERGEN: And then to go live a life of luxury back in Abbottabad. I don't think it was luxurious. By the way, you know, one of the things about this story, which I think is worth underlining, you know, there's a great deal of concern what do the Pakistanis know, what did they didn't - what didn't they know. The thing that's very puzzling to somebody who's been in Pakistan repeatedly since 1983 is lots of people live in compounds with high walls in Pakistan. I mean, that's so completely routine. In fact, you know, it would be un-routine to have the reverse.

And so, you know, the idea that, you know, bin Laden was sort of living there openly and people should have known, that doesn't make any sense. So you know, the U.S. government had eyes on the place for several months and never actually saw bin Laden or his family. It was really putting together a lot of circumstantial evidence. So you know, the criticism of Pakistan is coming fast and furious, but I think, you know, in fairness to them, there are extenuating circumstances.
the other prophets were a team. UCLA professors thomas gillespie and john agnew and students in 2009 used the theory of "island biogeography" to predict where bin laden might be.
The study also makes assumptions that bin Laden might need:

• Medical treatment, requiring electricity in an urban setting.

• Security combining few bodyguards and isolation that requires a walled compound.

• Tree cover to shield outdoor activities from aircraft.
they picked the wrong town, but the right country.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

what is this crap?


ABBOTTABAD, Pakistan – When a woman involved in a polio vaccine drive turned up at Osama bin Laden's hideaway, she remarked to the men behind the high walls about the expensive SUVs parked inside. The men took the vaccine, apparently to administer to the 23 children at the compound, and told her to go away.

The terror chief and his family kept well hidden behind thick walls in this northwestern hill town they shared with thousands of Pakistani soldiers. But glimpses of their life are emerging — along with deep skepticism that authorities didn't know they were there.
[more]

"skepticism that authorities didn't know they were there"? why? it was a goddamn mansion! since when do "authorities" disturb the privacy of the rich?

if he'd hidden in a "spider hole", on the other hand, they'd've found him long ago.

of course, you can't entirely rule out the possibility of some officials taking bribes to remain silent, but more likely it's just a case of ordinary bureaucratic incompetence rather than something characteristic of pakistan's present government that another regime would have handled more effectively.

i can't believe even the BBC got sucked into this one.