The Decline and Fall of Western Civ for 10 Feb.
Kick the tires and light the fires...
Editor's note: Many thanks to the folks at Sphere and Real Clear Politics for linking to the blog over the past two days. I'd also like to ask anyone visiting the blog through the mysterious and exclusive aSmallWorld.net what's so engaging that you would spend over ten of the past 24 hours reading my posts?
- Russian President Vladimir Putin, in one of his harshest attacks on the United States in seven years in power, accused Washington on Saturday of attempting to force its will on the world, according to Reuters.
In a speech in Germany, Putin accused the United States of making the world a more dangerous place by pursuing policies aimed at making it "one single master".
"People are always teaching us democracy but the people who teach us democracy don't want to learn it themselves."The Associated Press continues the story, reporting that Putin accused the U.S. of sparking an arms race.
"Unilateral, illegitimate actions have not solved a single problem, they have become a hotbed of further conflicts," Putin said at a security forum attracting senior officials from around the world.Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who was also attending the conference, described Putin's remarks as "the most aggressive speech from a Russian leader since the end of the Cold War."
"One state, the United States, has overstepped its national borders in every way."
- Associated Press reporter Nedra Pickler didn't stop at Obama-Kennedy comparisons in a fawning story about the senator's official campaign launch. Pickler pulled out all the stops and said Obama is "a black man evoking Abraham Lincoln's ability to unite a nation and a Democrat portraying himself as a fresh face capable of leading a new generation."
It's a widely held notion among conservatives that Democrats won their slim leadership margin in the `06 election because rookie Democrat candidates out-Republicaned the Republicans. However, it's a totally different thing altogether to liken the politics of a Democrat, any Democrat, to the party of Lincoln. Furthermore, the comparison is downright surreal.
Senators usually lose presidential elections because, in the end, they have to run against their record. Obama really doesn't have that problem. But don't take my word for it, Obama said it himself:
"I know I haven't spent a lot of time learning the ways of Washington. But I've been there long enough to know that the ways of Washington must change," Obama said to some of the loudest applause of his 20-minute speech.Actions talk and slogans walk.
- Speaking of actions, The New York Times reports the most lethal weapon directed against American troops in Iraq is an explosive-packed cylinder that United States intelligence asserts is being supplied by Iran.
The focus of American concern is known as an “explosively formed penetrator,” a particularly deadly type of roadside bomb being used by Shiite groups in attacks on American troops in Iraq. Attacks using the device have doubled in the past year, and have prompted increasing concern among military officers. In the last three months of 2006, attacks using the weapons accounted for a significant portion of Americans killed and wounded in Iraq, though less than a quarter of the total, military officials say.
- The Bush administration is set to assert that Iran is providing lethal help to Iraqi fighters, reports AP.
After weeks of preparation and revisions, U.S. officials are preparing to detail evidence supporting administration's claims of Iran's meddlesome and deadly activities. A briefing was scheduled Sunday in Baghdad.
AP also reports serial numbers and other markings on bombs suggest that Iranians are linked to deadly explosives used by Iraqi militants, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Friday in some of the administration's first public assertions on evidence the military has collected.
- Telegraph reports a "world lottery draw" with a possible £250 million (an amount larger than some county's annual GDP) jackpot could be available within five years.
- With more than 8 feet of snow already coating the ground in Parrish, New York, AP reports it wasn't good news for this winter-weary region when the blue sky turned gray Saturday, signaling another intense snow squall was about to dump some more.
"This is bad," said 67-year-old Dave DeGrau, who has operated an auto repair shop on Main Street for 45 years. "We had a very easy winter until now. Last fall during hunting season it rained every time I went out. I kept saying 'I'm glad this isn't snow.' Now, it's snow."Now that's an inconvenient truth for ya'.
- Here's a story about something we were predicting ten years ago when I worked for AOL. The growth in video downloads could create an Internet traffic jam that threatens the net's development, according to Google. Services such as YouTube, which is owned by the Californian giant, are proving tricky for Internet providers to deal with and new developments could create even more problems, the Guardian reports senior Internet executives were told yesterday.
- On that note, I'd usually post some foolishness from ROO TV. But alas, for once I will try do my part to save the endangered bandwidth.
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