Archive for July 16th, 2008

Real American Heroes

Admittedly, they’re not the sexiest kind of heroes, but their courage and service is undeniable.  CREW has compiled a list of 30 government whistleblower all-stars.  Some names, like Joe Wilson, Richard Clarke, and Sibel Edmonds, are very familiar; others, not so much.  The sad truth is that there have been so many outrages perpetrated by the Bush administration, that it’s almost impossible to keep track of them all.

Here’s the full PDF, and here’s a very brief rundown on each whistleblower:

Colonel Stephen Abraham, Army Reserve: Spoke out against kangaroo court Gitmo detainee status hearings.

Marty Bahamonde, FEMA: Frantically (and unsuccessfully) tried to get FEMA management to take Katrina disaster conditions seriously.

Charalambe Bobby Boutris, FAA: Testified to Congress about FAA’s lax inspection procedures and too-cozy relationship with airlines.

Richard Clarke, NSC: Published book about Bush administration’s total failure to take terrorism or al-Qaeda seriously prior to 9/11.

James Comey, DOJ: Former Deputy Attorney General who rushed to Ashcroft’s hospital bed to block Card and Gonzales’ attempt to get the AG’s approval for illegal surveillance.

Pasquale D’Amuro, FBI: Told FBI agents to stay away from GItmo interrogations for both moral and practical reasons (i.e., tainted prosecutions, al Qaeda propaganda).

Joseph Darby, Army Reserve: Blew the whistle on Abu Ghraib.

Col. Morris D. Davis, USAF: Blew the whistle on politically rigged military commission system for prosecuting alleged terrorists.

Earl Devaney, Interior: Inspector General who exposed failures to collect on oil and gas leases, and general lawlessness at Interior.

Sibel Edmonds, FBI: Blew the whistle on incompetence and espionage in translation division.

Glenn Fine, DOJ: Inspector General, exposed extensive malfeasance and incompetence at FBI and DOJ senior management.

Gloria Freeman, HUD: Objected to excessive, inappropriate contracts to tiny Republican company.

Jack Goldsmith, DOJ: Opposed “torture memos,” accompanied Comey to Ashcroft’s hospital room.

Dr. David Graham, FDA: Blew the whistle on Vioxx and general uselessness of drug approval process.

Bunnatine Greenhouse, Army Corps Of Engineers: Opposed and testified against massive long-term no-bid contracts to KBR.

James Hansen, NASA: Resisted Bush administration attempts to stop him from speaking out on climate change.

John P. Higgins, Jr., Department Of Education: Inspector General, exposed NCLB corruption including dodgy purchases of Neil Bush’s Ignite! products.

Captain Kevin Jarvis, Coast Guard: Exposed contract irregularities in Deepwater modernization program.

David Kuo, Office Of Faith-Based Initiatives: Wrote book about BushCo’s exploitation of his department to win religious votes.

J. William Leonard, Information Security Oversight Office: Challenged OVP’s refusal to report on its classified data holdings.

Brian Miller, GSA: Inspector General, exposed Lurita Doan’s conflicts of interest and violations of the Hatch Act.

Dr. Robert Misbin, FDA (Clinton administration): Pushed for withdrawal of deadly but profitable diabetes drug Rezulin.

Rick Piltz, Climate Change Science Program: Resigned in protest against BushCo. tampering with climate assessment reports.

Coleen Rowley, FBI: Blew the whistle on FBI headquarters’ refusal to seek search warrant to allow her field office to investigate Zacarias Moussaoui, possibly preventing 9/11.

Charles M. Smith, Army: Attempted to deny payment of $1 billion of inadequately documented KBR expenses.

Bruce C. Swartz, DOJ: Opposed torture of detainees, for reasons similar to Pasquale D’Amuro’s.

Major General Antonio Taguba, Army: Investigated and reported extensively on Abu Ghraib abuses and those responsible.

Anne Whiteman, FAA: Exposed air traffic controllers covering up their own mistakes by reporting them as pilot errors.

Ambassador Joseph Wilson: Wrote NYT op-ed debunking Bush’s claim that Iraq was seeking yellowcake in Niger.

Bassem Youssef, FBI: Blew the whistle on Bureau’s illegal surveillance and lack of Arabic-speaking translators.

Thank you all for standing up for us.

1 comment July 16th, 2008 at 10:39pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Corruption/Cronyism

Quickie B&W Non-Fisheye Photoblogging

Just a couple of unplanned on-the-way-home kind of photos:
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I was on my way back from taking fisheye photos and I liked the lighting in the alleyway. The end result exceeded my expectations.

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I just missed the shot I really wanted, when the dumptruck and the Roadtec thingy were both tilted up into more of a V.

I am The World’s Slowest Photographer, especially when my camera is tucked away in its bag because I don’t expect to see anything requiring Urgent Photographic Action.

July 16th, 2008 at 07:13pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Photoblogging,Pittsburgh

Wednesday Why-I-Love-The-Weekly-World-News Blogging

Well, this is considerably less sporting than I thought…

(By Vincenzo Sardi)

A new scientific examination of Goliath’s skull proves conclusively that David, in the words of one scholar, “putteth a hit” on the biblical giant with a .38-caliber handgun, NOT with a stone as most preachers tell us!

And some experts are suggesting that the incident, in fact, was a drive-by attack, with David having fired the weapon from a moving chariot!

A team of forensic pathologists using high-tech computer analysis reached their startling conclusions after examining holes in the forehead and the back of the ancient skull.

“The skull was penetrated by a .38-caliber slug that entered above the eyebrows at a high rate of speed and exited at the back of the head,” confirms Dr. David Ben-Levy, who coauthored the study, published in Israeli Archaeology Quarterly.

“A great mystery, of course, is what a handgun was doing in the Holy Land more than 3,000 years ago, centuries before the first known use of firearms.  We can only assume it was a gift from God.

“But an even bigger mystery is why the Lord in all his wisdom and power didn’t give David an Uzi or a rocket-launcher or a submachine gun.  He really does work in mysterious ways.”


The Bible talks of David loading his weapon, described as a “sling,” with five “stones.”  Miraculously, David used the weapon to strike down the far bigger man.


The sheer size of the skull – nearly 18 inches tall – has left little doubt among archaeologists that it did indeed belong to the warrior, by far the tallest man of his day.

But experts have always been puzzled about the huge hole at the back of the skull.

“It looks like a classic exit wound,” Dr. Ben-Levy explains.

Many stunned Bible scholars admit they’re baffled by the discovery.  But the Rev. John Deneck, a leading theologian, says the answer to the riddle may be simple: God knew that in a fair contest, Goliath would cut David to pieces, so He stepped in to help the boy.

“Since the Almighty was on David’s side, He could supply him with any weapon He chose – even one from another time,” the London-based clergyman points out.

But the biblical description of the battle of David and Goliath is contradicted by other writings of the era that say David “unleashed fire from his hand” and “putteth a hit on his foe.”

One account suggests Goliath was a victim of the world’s first drive-by shooting, with David riding past his foe on a chariot and squeezing off a single shot.

Another account says David had a second shooter – a sniper – waiting nearby, in case David’s marksmanship proved not up to the task.

Man, where’s CSI: Israel when you need it?

July 16th, 2008 at 07:35am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Weekly World News

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