News Round Up

U.S. decision can’t wait for Afghan legitimacy: Gates | Reuters

The overriding question is not, “how many troops you send, but do you have a credible Afghan partner,” Emanuel said, adding it was important the election outcome be seen as legitimate and credible.

An interesting comment that highlights Emanuel’s silly statist notion that the government are more important than the people. That and proving he’s an idiot for trying to blur the truth about Afghanistan: it’s a war against the Al-Qaeda and their allies, the Taliban. Besides I think there’s actual progress in Afghanistan since Karzai agreed to a new round of elections, something that would not have happened under Afghanistan’s many assorted dictators of the past generations.

House panel redraws credit agency bill | Politics | Reuters

Draft legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives to rein in credit rating agencies has been redrawn to drop a provision mandating across-the-board repeal of U.S. laws requiring the use of credit ratings.

Just more proof on the complete failure and corruption of our government. Why does the repealed language have to be reinstated into a bill after it was stripped out if there was not anything wrong with it in the first place? Just typical games and corruption. The whole credit ratings system has become one giant scam.

NATO a corpse, fumes former Canada military boss | International | Reuters

At least it’s still somewhat more relevant than say…the United Nations. Not that the General doesn’t have a point about NATO’s problematic members that want all the benefits but none of the responsibility nor the burden such responsibility entails.

Vatican welcomes Anglicans into Catholic church – CNN.com

Interesting though I can not help but wonder if Roman Catholics are going to start questioning why these new “converts” will be allowed to operate under a different set of rules for Anglican priests regarding marriage versus Roman Catholic priests. Seems odd, but the RCC will work it for themselves.

World Conflict Today

Todays conflicts: Russia-Georgia (on going obviously), North Korea, DNC protests

Russia recognizes Georgia rebel regions | Reuters
No surprise there, but I still say Russia must cede North Ossetia to South Ossetia to prove they are just in it to ensure the Ossetians can be independent. I can guarantee the Russians aren’t going to do that. It’s just a Russian land grab (and a way to control resources in the region headed for Europe) and all the world knows it, despite claims to the contrary: Известия.Ру: Россия не собирается присоединять Абхазию и Южную Осетию (Trans. Russia will not join Abkhazia and South Ossetia) Interesting since Russia claims the Georgia invasion was to allow the Ossetians the right to self determination but Russia makes no mention of giving up Russian controlled North Ossetia for a unified Ossetian state. In other words, it’s all BS.

Russia condemned for recognizing rebel regions – CNN.com And rightly so. And was noted the decision was “direct violation of numerous U.N. Security Council resolutions regarding Georgia’s territorial integrity.” Russia will face consequences from it’s recent actions, consequences I suspect they have not fully considered with respect to their relations in the world. As an interesting article at Russia Profile put it: What’s the Rush? (some interesting notes on China, potential disunity in the Putin/Medvedev regime, and discontent over the move by pro-Moscow loyalists)

Russia: NATO warships in Black Sea are worrying | Reuters and RussiaToday : News : Russia warns NATO over build-up of warships in Black Sea Duh. What did Russia think was going to happen? They invaded a sovereign nation without any apparent reason, expelled the local Georgian population, looted, pillaged and destroyed civilian, government, and military equipment, building, and businesses and siezed control of ports with the military. Of course military vessels would be used to deliver aid in turn to prevent the Russian navy from following the same activities of it’s army and committing piracy.

RIA Novosti – Russia – Moscow says NATO begins supplying new arms to Georgia
and RIA Novosti – Russia – NATO helps Georgia restore air defenses, ups Black Sea presence That’s what allies do for one another, especially when said allies are attacked. Russia has done the same so has no legitimate reason to complain aside from any expansionist plans of their getting derailed somewhat. More troubling was a recent comment by Lavrov:

“Russia is a self-sufficient country, and attempts to block our ambitious plans, which are extremely important for the country’s social and economic development, will bring no good, although someone is obviously keen to take advantage of a provocation like Georgia’s attack,” Lavrov said.

Okay, what exactly are these “ambitious plans” and why was Ossetia so important to them? Such comments make me think given the Russian governments somewhat recently bizarre behavior of a number of scenarios over Russia’s intentions speculators have made: Russian desire to control the flow of oil, gas, and other resources from the Caucasus to Europe, Russian dominance and control of former Soviet states, Russian nationalism, militarism, and expansionism, rising dictatorial behavior and oligarchs, suppression of free press and dissent, etc., etc.

Aside from that Lavrov needs to be reminded that no nation can stand alone any longer. The global economy will not allow this. Nor the environment. Nor a myriad of other issues ranging from war and terrorism to medicine and development of poor nations.

Angry North Korea threatens nuclear U-turn – CNN.com Same old, same old here. Any excuse not to abide by the agreements they sign.

DNC Protests

Political Radar: DNC Protesters Arrested, Pepper-Sprayed

The Associated Press: Protesters: We’re being treated like prisoners

Unconventional Griff: Live Shot Leads to Protester Outrage – America’s Election HQ,

VOA News – Protesters Clash with Police at US Democratic National Convention

Little Green Footballs – Zombie: Recreate 68 Finally Lives Up to Its Name: Riot in Denver (Highlights how stupid the supposed protesters and anarchists are. You go looking for violence you’ll get it–directed at you.)

Not really that unexpected since some groups had indicated they wanted to stir up trouble at both the Democratic Convention and the Republican Convention. The fact that there were some idiots who thought recreating the riots of the 68 convention would some how be a good thing shows the stupidity of some of the protesters. Seriously, Recreate 68? Dumb. As evidenced in some of the articles and blogs, the more violent protesters deserved to be arrested while others I suspect just got caught between the police and the extremists.

The fools take away from legitimate protests that simply want their often ignored issues and concerns acknowledged and addressed by our nation’s leaders.

News commentary

U.S. regulation stops short of defining abortion | Reuters Good, the religious wing nuts didn’t get their ridiculous definition that contraceptives = abortion through, though I have no doubt the nutters will keep up attempts to interfere with people’s private lives and reproductive decisions through government interference. I have no problem with protecting medical personnel from performing procedures they feel unethical or morally wrong so long as there is another person available for those patients that desire said same procedures or information on them. In the end it should be the individuals choice, not the government or government agencies.

Russia promises to start Georgia pullback | Reuters I’ll believe it when I see it. There will be no peace in that region so long as Russian troops remain in Georgia, especially with the growing reports of Russian abuse including theft, looting, harassing ethnic Georgians and so on.

Georgia war shows Russian army strong but flawed | Reuters Interesting to note the flaws. I do remember being puzzled as to why the Russians were riding on top of their vehicles and not looking like they were doing it out of some sense of bravado or machismo. Now we know why. If nothing else, NATO, the EU, and US military forces can adjust accordingly knowing what improvements the Russian military needs to make.

How Many Houses? McCain Doesn’t Know And Obama thought there was, what, 57-58 states? So what? Who cares. Stupid article title showing the author(s) political bias and just plain stupid article intent to divert the public away from core issues and play into Obama’s socialist class war agenda over “good” Americans, the poor and middle classes, and “bad” Americans, the “rich”. Really pathetic since Obama fits into the “rich class” as much as McCain does. It’s not really surprising this old tactic, class warfare, is being dredged up again. Both parties have continually tried to divide America along class lines, usually failing miserably, when they are weak on the issues of the day or support positions unpopular with the voting public. The news media needs to ignore this fluff and drivel and get to the issues that matter in this country.

Two McCain offices evacuated after letter threat | U.S. | Reuters I do have to wonder at allowing a inate known for sending threatening letters to be allowed to do so without some sort of oversight. I wonder if they’ll charge the guy under the terrorism laws. Probably not.

Survey: Americans feel churches shouldn’t meddle in politics – CNN.com
Definitely agree that churches shouldn’t meddle in politics. And vice versa, of course. No two religions or religious sects seem to be able to agree one hundred percent on any one issue anyway so why should they have undue influence pushing political and social agendas based solely on their singular doctrines.

For YouTube videos, a ‘fair use’ boost | News – Digital Media – CNET News Interesting turn of events. We’ll see how this plays out. I’ve been on both sides of the ‘fair use’ issue: once being asked by a company to remove content deemed to be in copyright violation and another time being encouraged by the same company to continue what I was doing as it promoted their product. Go figure. The whole ‘fair use’ issue is especially dicey on the web especially when the companies themselves are inconsistent but I’ve always complied with their wishes on the rare occasions my websites have drawn corporate attention.

Psychological profiling on the Web | News – Security – CNET News Emo-trackers. Joy. As for the whole “it could be used against you” fear mongering, guess what? That already goes on and is easily avoiding by knowing when to exercise self restraint in revealing your thoughts and moods online. Heh, could be fun for those I know who are intentionally strange on their blogs and would just love to act bi-polar just to screw these “emo-trackers” up.