Big D Just Got Bigger

The Associated Press: Census: Texas Is the Hot Place to Live

DALLAS (AP) — Four Texas metropolitan areas were among the biggest population gainers as Americans continued their trend of moving to the Sun Belt in 2006 and 2007, according to Census Bureau estimates to be released Thursday.Dallas-Fort Worth added more than 162,000 residents between July 2006 and July 2007, more than any other metro area. Three other Texas areas — Houston, Austin and San Antonio — also cracked the top 10.

A lil shout out to the place that spawned me.

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Zbig on the Way Out of Iraq

The Smart Way Out of a Foolish War – washingtonpost.com

The case for U.S. disengagement from combat is compelling in its own right. But it must be matched by a comprehensive political and diplomatic effort to mitigate the destabilizing regional consequences of a war that the outgoing Bush administration started deliberately, justified demagogically and waged badly. (I write, of course, as a Democrat; while I prefer Sen. Barack Obama, I speak here for myself.)

The contrast between the Democratic argument for ending the war and the Republican argument for continuing is sharp and dramatic. The case for terminating the war is based on its prohibitive and tangible costs, while the case for “staying the course” draws heavily on shadowy fears of the unknown and relies on worst-case scenarios. President Bush‘s and Sen. John McCain’s forecasts of regional catastrophe are quite reminiscent of the predictions of “falling dominoes” that were used to justify continued U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Neither has provided any real evidence that ending the war would mean disaster, but their fear-mongering makes prolonging it easier.

There’s some dang good reasoning in the article.  Almost robot like in his precision.  This is how it should be done.

Contracts, yea…and The Whole Implosion of the Housing Market

Housing secretary says leaving April 18 – Yahoo! News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The housing secretary has resigned and will leave office April 18, he said on Monday.
ADVERTISEMENTHousing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson said that he is leaving office “to attend more diligently to personal and family matters.”

In recent days, Jackson has faced calls for his resignation after lawmakers have said he behaved improperly in awarding federal contracts.

Yet another fall-guy for a bursting bubble.

That’s About All She’s Good For Now

FROM BAD TO VERSE FOR HILL – New York Post

March 31, 2008 — SARAJEVO, Bosnia – The Bosnian girl who famously read a poem to Hillary Rodham Clinton during her 1996 visit to the war-torn country is shocked – and her countrymen infuriated – that the former first lady claimed to have dodged sniper fire that day.Emina Bicakcic, now 20 and studying to become a doctor, told The Post she stood on the tarmac at the air base in Tuzla, greeted Clinton and even had time to share the lines of verse she’d written – all without fear of attack from an unseen enemy.

“I was surprised when I heard this,” Bicakcic said, referring to Clinton’s assertion that she braved snipers upon landing, ducking and sprinting to military vehicles.

Other Bosnians said they had one of two reactions to Clinton’s debunked action-hero account of her visit: laughter or anger.

I think about all Hill is good for at this point. Laughter (R) or Anger (D).

“Old Europe”, eh?

Earliest known human remains found in Europe | NEWS.com.au

ANTHROPOLOGISTS delving into a cave in northeastern Spain announced today they had uncovered the earliest known remains of a human in Europe, a find that they dated to as much as 1.2 million years old.
The exceptional fossil strengthens the theory that humans, after emerging from their African home, struck out towards western Europe far earlier than thought, they said.The find comprises teeth and part of a lower jawbone about four centimetres across, found in the Atapuerca hills east of the city of Burgos, the team reported in the science journal Nature.

The site, called the Sima del Elefante, comprises a cave 18m deep and 15m wide, with sediment and debris from ancient human settlement, bats and other animals forming layers many metres thick deep.

The soil layer at which the fossil was found has been dated to around 1.1-1.2 million years ago, using carbon isotope decay and palaeo-magnetism, in which reversals in Earth’s magnetic field leave a weak signal in rocks, providing a timetable of the past.

Lucy from Ethiopia (Utopia, in your good books)  is still the oldest human.  This was possibly one of the oldest white people (who like stuff like this).

McCain, Iraq : Can You Guess What He Said?

ABC News: McCain: Iraq Pullout May Mean Genocide

In a major address in California on foreign policy, the presumptive Republican nominee said, “It would be an unconscionable act of betrayal, a stain on our character as a great nation, if we were to walk away from the Iraqi people and consign them to the horrendous violence, ethnic cleansing and possibly genocide that would follow a reckless, irresponsible and premature withdrawal.”McCain Sees Progress in Iraq

Speaking to the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, McCain, who has supported the war from the beginning, pointed to what he said were signs of progress: a decrease in violence and civilian and military deaths, Iraqis returning to work, markets open, and oil revenues increasing.

All of which is true, if you look at a three-day period in late 2007.   This is a guy who had a tougher reception in Iraq than Ahmedinijad.  Of course *every* U.S. political visitor had a tougher visit than ole Mahmoud.  I wonder what that says about the prospects of a long term presence/dominance of the region?

Hell is Heaven (for Robots, now that you mention it)

Hell is for Robots « madmonq’s joint

The Three Laws Of Robotics by Warren Ellis

  1. Robots couldn’t really give a fuck if you live or die. Seriously. I mean, what are you thinking? “Ooh, I must protect the bag of meat at all costs because I couldn’t possibly plug in the charger all on my own.” Shut the fuck up.
  2. Robots do not want to have sex with you. Are you listening, Japan? I don’t have a clever comparative simile for this, because frankly you bags of meat will fuck bicycles if they’re laying down and not putting up a fight. Just stop it. There is no robot on Earth that wants to see a bag of meat with a small prong on the end approaching it with a can of WD-40 and a hopeful smile. And don’t get me started on that terrifying hole that squeezes out more bags of meat.
  3. What, you can’t count higher than three? We’re expected to save your miserable lives, suffer being dressed in cheap schoolgirl costumes while you pollute any and all cavities you can find and do your maths for you? It’s a miracle you people survived long enough to build us. You can go now.

That’s pretty much all there is to it.

Whatever happened to the The Three Laws of Humans.  Don’t you think you…meatsacks….should have your own moral imperatives.

Thought not.

 

    Who Could Fight Terror Better?

    Muslims more numerous than Catholics: Vatican | Top News | Reuters

    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Islam has overtaken Roman Catholicism as the biggest single religious denomination in the world, the Vatican said on Sunday.Monsignor Vittorio Formenti, who compiled the Vatican’s newly-released 2008 yearbook of statistics, said Muslims made up 19.2 percent of the world’s population and Catholics 17.4 percent.

    “For the first time in history we are no longer at the top: the Muslims have overtaken us,” Formenti told Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano in an interview, saying the data referred to 2006.

    He said that if all Christian groups were considered, including Orthodox churches, Anglicans and Protestants, then Christians made up 33 percent of the world’s population — or about 2 billion people.

    The Vatican recently put the number of Catholics in the world at 1.13 billion people. It did not provide a figure for Muslims, generally estimated at around 1.3 billion.

    U.S. Pop = 300,000,000

    1 American =  4.3333… Muslims.

    Perhaps peace is the answer?  Hrrrm?

    Marines *are* Immune

    Third Marine Is Cleared of Charges, Given Immunity – washingtonpost.com

    The Marine Corps yesterday dismissed all charges against one of the Marines accused of killing women and children in the Iraqi town of Haditha in late 2005, the third time a Marine linked to the slayings has been exonerated after one of the most notorious episodes of the war.

    When burning and raping are part of the same story. And so is innocence.

    Such is war.

    Lance Cpl. Stephen B. Tatum, who has admitted shooting civilians inside their homes as part of a pursuit of insurgents, was cleared and granted immunity to testify in further hearings related to the investigation. The move leaves only Staff Sgt. Frank D. Wuterich to face charges in connection with the shootings on Nov. 19, 2005. As many as two dozen civilians were killed that day after a roadside bomb hit the Marines’ convoy and killed a member of their unit.

    All’s fair in love and war.  And people complain of suicide bombers.  Warrior, please.

    The Fail Principle

    Waxy.org: Andy Baio lives here

    A few years ago, I wrote an entry about knee-jerk contrarians on the Internet: those delightful people who find fault in anything and everything, dismissing months or years of work with a few words.This is nothing new. It’s as old as communication itself. I’m sure that the moment man discovered fire, there was some guy nearby saying, “Too smoky. Can burn you. Lame.”

    In the modern age, we’ve found a much more efficient way to express disdain, distilled into only four letters: FAIL. This usage as a standalone interjection has been around for years, since at least 2003, but its recent explosion in popularity comes from 4chan and the Lolcats memes. Dedicated blogs like FAIL Blog, Shipment of FAIL and Fail Dogs further spread the meme.

    Learn it, live it, lose it.  Remember it later.

    Get nostalgic.

    Die.

    Life is full of Fail.

    Basra? I Hardly Know Her

    Mahdi Army holds firm as Iraqi PM risks all in battle of Basra – Times Online

    THE arrival of the Iraqi army supported by US warplanes did little to dent the defiance of Abu Sajad and his 22 comrades in a Shi’ite militia cell holed up in a mosque in Basra.Alerted by a mobile phone call to the arrival of US military reinforcements, Abu Sajad calmly selected eight fighters and dispatched them to plant roadside bombs packed into red plastic fruit crates.

    “We are to plant them throughout the Qaziza neighbourhood to welcome the army when they try to enter the area,” he told his men. He sent the bombers away on scooters and motorcycles which, he explained, were “quicker to move and less conspicuous . . . We have a great surprise for the army”.

    As night fell after a fifth day of heavy fighting around Basra yesterday, Iraqi forces controlled by Nouri al-Maliki, the prime minister, were still struggling to subdue renegade Shi’ite fighters whose shifting loyalties and challenges to Baghdad rule have begun to pose a serious threat to American and British strategy.

    Ze fight.  It continues.  What is being fought over has become more clear.

    al-Maliki is fighting for relevance.  Which lets al-Sadr fight for peace, like a good boy.

    BAGHDAD: The Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr said Sunday that he was pulling his fighters off the streets of Iraq and called on the government to stop raids against his followers and to free those it had arrested.

    “Because of religious responsibility and to stop Iraqi blood being shed,” Sadr said in a nine-point statement given to journalists in the holy Shiite city of Najaf, “we call for an end to armed appearances in Basra and all other provinces.”

    The message was broadcast by loudspeakers on mosques. Followers handed out candies in the Mahdi army militia stronghold of Sadr City here. Sadr’s offices in several southern cities also said they would comply with the order.

    [full story]

    Hmm, at least we know who is fighting for what…for the moment.  Updates on the resolution coming soon.   Yes, this is a pre-amble to the inevitable civil war Iraq gets to have.

    A Choice You Only Get to Make Once

    Knuckle Tattoos

    March 28, 2008

    DRUG FREE

    Filed under: , , , — Nathan Black @ 8:25 am
    DRUG FREEGot these knuckles tattoos in from Justin E. this is what he has to say for himeself:

    i got this when i was sixteen in a kitchen in kenosha, wisconsin…i sold out straight edge when i was eighteen. i’m always the hit of the party!

    Hah. I have a picture of mine of these. If you ask, I’ll show ya.