If I Should Die In A Cubicle Zone…

According to the old clock on the wall I’ve been at my real work desk for ….carry the three….oh, about 14 1/2 hours. My goal is to get out of here in a couple of hours, around 1-ish, because I have to be back here at 6am-ish to deal with programers on the elitist east coast. After which I’m guessing I’ll be here until 7pm-ish when I have to leave to go to dinner with mrsTbogg, and the L&T Casey for the L&T’s 22nd birthday.

Come and take it, Galtian Overlords

Thursday Basset Blogging is iffy right now because I haven’t been able to pick up my Mac from the geniuses yet.

Quitcher whinin’…

WikiLeaks’ Cablegate Spawns Passwordgate

Cablegate (photo: Global Astrology Blog)

Decryption passwords for an encrypted file containing the entire cache of unredacted unpublished US State Embassy cables have been disclosed. The file has been cracked and supposedly two WikiLeaks mirror sites have published the cache of unredacted unpublished cables. It is only a matter of time before cables that WikiLeaks did not intend to make public are being shared widely.

WikiLeaks asserts a Guardian journalist “negligently disclosed top secret WikiLeaks’ decryption passwords” for the hundreds of thousands of unredacted unpublished cables. The Guardian’s James Ball toes the line and defends The Guardian stating the newspaper denies any “charges of complicity in the release of the unredacted US embassy cables.” As this story develops and more details and facts become known, Pfc Bradley Manning, accused whistleblower to WikiLeaks, remains in pre-trial confinement at Ft. Leavenworth in Nebraska.

One wonders what Manning would think about this if he knew all the shameful details.

WikiLeaks writes, “Guardian investigations editor, David Leigh, recklessly, and without gaining our approval, knowingly disclosed the decryption passwords in a book published by the Guardian. Leigh states the book was rushed forward to be written in three weeks—the rights were then sold to Hollywood.” Assuming that’s true, Leigh is responsible for a crime against whistleblowing that may not be prosecutable in a court of law but in a court of public opinion it would be tough to see a whistleblower trusting Leigh with information ever again.

The Guardian calls WikiLeaks allegations “nonsense”:

It’s nonsense to suggest the Guardian’s WikiLeaks book has compromised security in any way. Our book about WikiLeaks was published last February. It contained a password, but no details of the location of the files, and we were told it was a temporary password which would expire and be deleted in a matter of hours.

It was a meaningless piece of information to anyone except the person(s) who created the database. No concerns were expressed when the book was published and if anyone at WikiLeaks had thought this compromised security they have had seven months to remove the files. That they didn’t do so clearly shows the problem was not caused by the Guardian’s book.”


Can Coffee Prevent Military Suicides?


Ashley Joppa-Hagemann

It is difficult to watch this video without both crying and being inspired.  Ashley Joppa-Hagemann recounts her husband’s struggles before he killed himself to avoid an eighth or ninth tour in the Iraq-Afghanistan Wars. Ashley confronted Donald Rumsfeld last week over the lies that led her husband to enlist.  This led to her appearing on Democracy Now on Tuesday and being featured in Amy Goodman’s column:

“One person convinced by Rumsfeld’s rhetoric was Jared August Hagemann.

“Hagemann enlisted in the Army to serve his country, to confront the threats repeated by Defense Secretary Rumsfeld. When the U.S. Army Ranger received the call for his most recent deployment (his wife can’t recall if it was his seventh or eighth), the pressure became too much. On June 28, 2011, 25-year-old Hagemann shot himself on the Joint Base Lewis-McChord, near Seattle. The Pentagon notes that Hagemann died of a ‘self-inflicted’ gunshot wound, but has not yet called it a suicide.

“Hagemann had threatened suicide several times before. He was not alone. Five soldiers reportedly committed suicide at Fort Lewis in July. It has been estimated that more than 300,000 returning troops suffer from PTSD or depression.

“Hagemann’s widow, Ashley Joppa-Hagemann, found out that Rumsfeld was doing a book signing on the base. On Friday, Aug. 26, she handed Rumsfeld a copy of the program from her late husband’s memorial service. She recounted, ‘I told him that I wanted him to see my husband, and so he would know—he could put a face with at least one of the soldiers that had lost their lives because of his lies from 9/11.'”

Joppa-Hagemann will be speaking at and participating in a conference on September 16-18 in Virginia.  She has begun speaking out because she heard someone else doing the same, and because a group of veterans in Washington State has helped her to do so.  Other bereaved military family members are already beginning to get involved as a result of hearing Hagemann.

These connections, and the Rumsfeld encounter, are the work of an anti-war GI coffee house called Coffee Strong located within 300 meters of the gates of Fort Lewis in Lakewood, WA.  I spoke on Wednesday with Joseph Carter, Co-Executive Director of Coffee Strong and a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War.  I recommend listening to the audio. (more…)

Department of “Justice”?

DADT Whitehouse 13
DADT Whitehouse 13 Arrested

As one of the thirteen people who handcuffed themselves to the White House Fence on 15 November 2010, I have been following the trial of Dan Choi with much interest; he has been in my thoughts and prayers through this whole ordeal. The reason I handcuffed myself to the Fence was to draw attention to an unjust law that has destroyed the careers of countless members of the U.S. Armed Forces, simply because they are members of a minority group.

At the time of this act of Civil Disobedience, the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell had been de-prioritized by the Obama Administration. The House of Representatives was about to fall under Republican Control in January 2011. Unless the lame-duck session of Congress, specifically the U.S. Senate, passed repeal legislation sent to them by the House, DADT would remain the law of the land. Our action put DADT repeal on the front page of media. That spotlight helped to move repeal forward in Congress.

Typically protestors are penalized with a $100.00 fine and misdemeanor count, which is about as serious as a traffic ticket. As the current Court proceedings clearly indicate, we were singled out for “special treatment” by Obama’s Justice Department. Twelve of us agreed to plead “guilty” with a plea agreement that dismisses charges against us. Our motives for accepting this agreement were: 1) some members of our group are teachers who would lose employment and be barred from their profession and become unemployed as a result. 2) All of us would have a federal crime on our records that would undermine future employment. 3) Twelve of us did not have the considerable financial resources to retain competent legal counsel and pursue costly litigation in Federal Court.

I am happy that Dan Choi was in a position to pursue this matter further. In doing so he is unmasking not only the true face of this Administration, but a corrupting arrogance on the part of the Federal government since the enactment of the Patriot Act, the de facto suspension of habeas corpus at Gitmo and the violation of the Geneva convention by the Bush Administration. Not to mention our nation’s engagement in a war against Iraq in violation of the Just War Theory. A war prompted by corporate greed for Iraq’s oil, as Alan Greenspan pointed out, and paid for with the blood of civilian non-combatants (collateral damage) as well as members of our Armed Forces.

Regardless of how you feel about LGBT Equality, there are other broader issues at stake here. As Chris Geidner reports in MetroWeekly, (more…)

Late Night FDL: Rejoice! Chaz Bono on Dancing with the Stars

Chaz Bono will appear on the upcoming season of Dancing with the Stars, which is super cool. What’s not cool are some of the comments at ABC.com’s page announcing Season 13: Narrow minded folks are all het up over Chaz having undergone gender transition, and they are going on about the “gay agenda.” Oh puhleeeze. Chaz is a man and he dates women. That means he’s straight. Even if he dated men, like really do these ignorami think some of the male dancers on DWTS are 100% straight? And why the funk and fandango for this show–or anywhere else– does it matter what a person’s sexual preference is?

Frankly I am curious how Nancy Grace is gonna do. Isn’t she really short? Or LA Laker forward Ron Artest, who is 6’7″. Or David Arquette who is goofy as all heck. Also really cool casting, JR Martinez, a former US Army Humvee driver in Iraq who was burned on over 40% of his body when his vehicle struck a landmine but now is an actor on All My Children. (more…)

Timing of Obama’s Speech, Incompetence or Pettiness?

[Update II: Obama compromised and will deliver his speech on September 8th.]

President Obama has requested a joint session of Congress to address them on the issue of jobs creation. The time he chose for this speech is September 7th at 8 pm, which happens to be the exact same time as the next Republican Presidential primary debate.

While I agree jobs is the crisis of our time that needs to be addressed, his address isn’t so time sensitive that Obama can’t give it on the 6th, 8th, 9th, 12th, 13th, etc.

Obama’s press secretary, Jay Carney, claims it is pure coincidence that the Obama administration happened to schedule this speech at the exact same moment as Rick Perry’s first primary debate performance. Carney suggested the Republicans re-schedule their debate for the night after Obama’s address. This suggests either the Obama administration is either extremely incompetent or just remarkably petty.

I sincerely hope it is not incompetence. If I thought the people running the White House were actually too stupid to check the TV guide website to find out what also might be happening at 8pm on September 7th before planning an important speech, I would honestly fear for this country.

So it is best to assume Carney is simply lying. This scheduling decision seems more like an incredibly petty move by the White House, designed to step on the Republican debate, and an attempt to prevent Rick Perry from being the big story the next day.

What makes this childish, passive aggressive act really ironic is that Obama will probably use the speech to call for more civility in Washington and ask for both sides to work together. But needlessly stepping on the other party’s important events isn’t how you actually go about promoting civility and encouraging cooperation.

Update – Speaker John Boehner has decided to elevate this into a battle for who can be the most petty by sending Obama a letter requesting he move his speech to Thursday the 8th.

This begs the question, did Obama’s people not privately have a quick talk with the Speaker’s office about scheduling before the administration made its public announcement? It seems not. If so that is a pretty good indicator of what little hope there is for true bipartisan cooperation on almost anything this year.

Watercooler – Hump Day

RA Dumas was kind enough to leave some suggestions in yesterday’s Watercooler. I really thought the same way; let’s go innerspace after the Cosmic Perspective deal.

But you know what? I looked at 20 videos and those innerspace folks just aren’t as good as that Cosmic thing; I mean in terms of wider appeal.

So, what do I do? Appeal to a low common demominator: Hump Day:

After exhaustive review, I just don’t see any rules against a fuck thread on MyFDL.

So, have at it!

Obama Announces Regulatory Speed-Up for Infrastructure Projects

The President’s Rose Garden demand for a clean surface transportation bill at least gets out in front of the looming hostage-taking situation ahead. The FAA Authorization bill didn’t exist for Obama until a week or more into the shutdown. In addition, this is that “bully pulpit” thing that some on the left have wanted to see out of the President. I think action matters a bit more than talk, but if Republicans can be pressured into not killing a million jobs unnecessarily, this is how you would do it. And this is very good:  [cont’d.] (more…)