You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Isreal’ category.

Common Core took quite a few arrows into the heart with the release of New York’s Test Scores.   One of the huge questions being asked, is how did the Commissioner John King, know what the drop would be before the tests were given?

We are learning; new reports popping up every hour on how those scores were derived.  To understand the process, you must first be familiar with how regular grading scores are determined.  Most teachers when they score their tests assume that if a student can show that they understand 65% of the material, they can pass the class.  It is reality based.  Here is the material, you know this much, you shall pass because it is above the 65% threshold.  If you have a good class, you can pass all of them.

I hope you are sitting down.  The Pearson tests were taken, then graded.  After that was done,  they were then scored.  They were not scored on whether a person got the answer right or wrong.  They were scored on where the benchmarks should be.  A benchmark is that spot where a score of 1 then becomes a 2, or a score of 2 becomes a 3 and so on.

This is the story of how those bench marks were determined.  Close coordination was done with the College Board SAT’s.   The tests were going to determine which students were… or were not, college and career ready.

So how was the level where one is college-ready determined?.  It was decided to be at that level where there was a 75% chance that a student would receive a B- or above in ELA,  and writing, and a 65% chance that he would receive a C+ in math, in his first college course in those two subjects… Got that?  “That” is college ready.

Once that arbitrary level is set, and it is arbitrary.  Is a B- the same at Harvard as it would be in Michigan State?  is a B- the same if given by Professor X or Professor Y?   Anyone who has ever picked their college classes over the alleged difficulties of certain college professors, certainly knows that this method is very suspect.  But regardless of whether it makes sense, once the threshold is set, one can compare the SAT scores of those students and come up with a correlation.  The correlation  between these grades  and those SAT scores that would determine if one was college ready, happened at the score of 1550.

Now that you know how this score was determined, you can forever dismiss its validity.  That is not being snippy. That is a real assessment of the credibility these scores now have.

From the score of 1550, the next step was to determine how that works downward to the test scores of 8th graders who still have 3 years before they take the SAT. The Breakdown of that score was 560 Reading, 530 Writing, and 540 Math.

To those teachers gathered for the opportunity to cut the scores, the Pearson executives showed them all the data, then told them where the bookmark should be for a 3.  From there the groups determined where to draw the lines for a 1,2,3 and a 4. Then they went and did the 7th grade, then the 6th.  Each grade was determined by the previous one, all of which went back to comparing the 8th Grade to the SAT to be taken 3 years into the future.

They returned to the 8th grade, and re-walked through that process then, that was the cut turned into the commissioner.  Because he had given them the rubric  or guidelines upon which to make their judgment, he already knew ahead of time how the results would turn out.   Does that make sense?

Here is an first person account of what went on inside those cutting rooms…  and here is a humorous account with diagrams, which help a lot in understanding the twists and turns taken to determine this result.

Your test question now. Did you add the three individual scores I posted up above? Had you done so, you would have noticed that they came up to 1630 instead of 1550. It is 1630, significantly higher than the 2011 College Board’s index associated with a B- in college.

The above illustrates how one can manipulate the percentage of college readiness by hopping between the columns and changing the definition of “college ready” to suit oneself. If the State Education Department had increased or decreased the grade and/or the probability, the college readiness indicator would move up or down. In the end, they chose values that are extraordinarily high, producing an index that exceeds the College Board’s index for achieving a B- average.New Yorks score was already higher than the national average.

From this assessment, comes the criteria that permanently classify a student, that fire a teacher, that close down a school, that wreak havoc in a district.  An assessment that has no basis in reality…

What does have a basis in reality?

Decades of research have shown that the SAT test can be an accurate indicator of IQ. Which is why, test prep classes rarely move the needle on the actual scores themselves.

According to the College Board’s own research, the SAT is not such a great predictor of college grades. The correlation between the SAT and college grades is about .48, which means that its predictive power (r squared) is only 23 percent. High school grades are a better predictor of how students will do in college courses (nearly 30 percent). In addition, other research has found that high school GPA is three to five times more important in predicting college graduation than an SAT or ACT score. Even with all of that known, the State Education Department aligned students 3-8 scores with later performance on the SAT to create cut scores that give the illusion of being on the road to college readiness.

They created this report to justify their methodology.

If you connect the dots and read all of these links you will see that these scores were supposed to be low for a reason, a reason of politics,  They had the data and knew that the results would be scored low, that was their plan.

As they even state here, education did not fall apart; the students are not dumber; the teachers are not derelict; the schools are not failing.  They were just graded on a different curve, that’s all.

It was all done politically to show that large numbers of students did not meet the arbitrarily decided new standard of being college and career ready…

Yes, in even those in Third Grade.,

Here is what we know.

Group of people put up money for film.   Allegedly  \$5 million dollars.

Film gets made, and actors are later shocked to find their voices were dubbed over and that they were portrayed completely different from what was actually filmed.  Evidence is visible on trailer if you watch.

Film can find no Arabs who will play.  They use hillbillies and put on spray on tans ( rushed job; you can see where they missed)

Film gets edited , and  debuts in a theater in Hollywood, and all wait…  BOOM…. nothing happens….

Film finally debuts on website of that fake charlatan  who was in Florida burning Korans a little while ago.   That sets off search engine and the trailer hits Google.

That being a known, monitored anti-Muslim site, the film gets picked up in Egypt and goes viral.

Upset people riot.

Riot occurs in Libya, not where ambassador was, but at a consulate.  Ambassador goes to consulate and dies.

US announces that those attacking the embassy were not part of the riot, unless they created the riot as a diversion.

Romney criticizes Obama for causing the problem.

Romney defends his remarks despite the death of the ambassador.  Meaning did Romney, like John McCain over Georgia, have foreknowledge of the impending attack, and the ambassadors death was a freak accident, he stumbled in and discovered it was not an Islamic but a US operation?

Wishy Washy Romney,  is stuck, cannot give more fuel to the claim he doesn’t think before speaking, so he buttons down harder on his original remark….

The director who made the film is a fictitious person.  Some reports say he is in hiding, but,  a producer, Steve Klein who is now taking full responsibility for the film, has a history.

This Steve Klein is not what reports said.  This Steve Klein is the author of a piece  called “Eric Holder: The Ugliest of Things” which uses the trial of Gitmo holdees in a civilian court way back when, to call for the impeachment and imprisonment of the US Attorney General for violation of the Constitution.  This is a very provocative piece made to defend the insanity of right wing thinkers, and the element of provocation fits very well with this film’s provocative nature…  If put on a couch and analyzed Steve Klein would  be a person who has to shock and awe others  in order to consider himself worthwhile….. like a meth-head.

Steve Klein is connected to the whacky shell group called Courageous Christians United.  This strange group or eclectics  has a division that sparks hate with Muslims, a division that sparks hate with Jehovah’s Witnesses, and a division that sparks hate with Mormans.

Obviously the anti- Morman connection is perfect, for who would expect Mitt Romney of orchestrating this fiasco, if it got traced back to Steve Klein.  The smart money would bet that Klein’s group could be stoked to sponsor an anti Muslim film, and then those with the right connections could create the hassle in Libya that Romney needed to illustrate his lie which portrays that Obama is not truly the best president in foreign affairs we have ever had in our lifetime…  Everyone knows:  Flat out, he is.

That press statement of Romney was off; it didn’t make sense as pundits were quick to point out.  It was like it had been rehearsed way too many times,  and was just waiting for the right second, to be spit out…   “Ok, Romney, it just went down. Got confirmation; it’s a go..  in 5;   four, three, two, one. You’re on!…………………………………..”

The Republican Party is like a WWII bomber, missing its tail section and having both wings shot off..  It is going down……. They desperately needed a diversion to try to get the men out alive before it explodes on the ground.   Hey, fighter pilots… look over there.

This is a Swift Boat Attempt upon the current president. But instead of using film, a medium whose threads could be trace, they decided to use Muslims who have no accountability, and basically  pull out of the same play-book as 1980, and stage an embassy takeover to bring down Jimmy Carter and put Ronald Reagan (oh my… what a wonderful coincidence that the hostages get released as soon as Reagan ,pronounced as President of the United States of America, gets beamed to Iran…)  Oh, yeah that’s right.  It was Dick Cheney was authored that. With that much guilt, I’d have heart attacks too…

The link got pulled within the past three hours,  but earlier according to Google, one of  the backers of this \$5 million film was Sheldon Adelson, who once backed Gingrich,  and then flipped to Romney.   Very soon we will know who the others were.

So the theory stands even though it is still being put together, that this event was caused by the same people supporting Romney, this event was orchestrated in order to make it appear that Israelis made the film and the United States sanctioned it.  Truth is, we do have a contingent of America that is very unchristian and actually do believe whatever they are told, (our Tea Party Contingent), just as Muslim leaders have similar headaches within their own borders.

The more one looks into all the pieces that came together and the smooth planning that seamed all the pieces together leaving no loose ends, even though the idea is far fetched, and as yet, still speculative….  it is fun putting the pieces together, even if later they turn out wrong…..

The theory that makes the most sense out of Romney’s ridiculous statement, is that he appears to have had fore knowledge and was uninformed at his speech that something had gone desperately wrong.

When you look at the evidence this is the only way it could be….  Just like our Commander in Chief’s birth certificate is a forgery . It’s the only way it could be… 🙂

“The events in Egypt and Libya show the failure of the Egyptian and Libyan governments to uphold their obligations to keep our diplomatic missions safe and secure and the regard in which the United States is held under President Obama in these two countries,” he told Foreign Policy’s Josh Rogin. “It’s all part of a broader scheme of the president’s failure to be an effective leader for U.S. interests in the Middle East.”

Wrong… Wrong… Wrong

It was because of a movie.   A really bad movie… in fact.   I was offended by it.  Deeply so.

If  someone made a similar movie about Jesus,  the American Tea Party would have done exactly the same as did those Muslims.  They would have attacked a black church, killed the preacher and burned it to the ground.

The problem is the movie., not Obama.  A movie that was incidentally funded by groups also providing support to the Romney Campaign, and to the Republican Party.  The same benefactors.  As soon as the New Century Club’s  name come up,  it begs for a comparison to using public events to mold and formulate policy.  It now appears that the riots were staged as a cover up for the murder.

Delaware Liberal provided a list of those advising Romney on foreign policy.  Many of  those names  give credence to the unthinkable, that this event was staged by supporters of the Romney campaign, to make Obama look bad…….

It is obvious Romney is being advised by nuts.  People who are just nuts.  They are nuts on foreign policy. They are nuts on economic policy.  They are nuts on women.  They are nuts on religion.  Simply put, they are nuts.

How can anyone who is a real Christian, support these nuts?

Today’s joke:   Why did Romney’s staff scatter when the convention was over?  They thought they saw a squirrel…..

It has been an amazing day on the international news front… These three stories are all tied together, thanks to the skill of the new administration…

1) The opening of dialogue with Cuba.

2) The handshake with Chavez of Venezuela

3) The UN walkout of the president of Iran’s diatribe of Israeli racism…

All three show a break from outdated Republican policies….

First with Cuba… A State Department’s go-slow approach was shocked by the admission of Raul Castro, that he is ready to discuss “human rights, freedom of the press, political prisoners… everything.” He said: “We could be wrong.. We admit it. We’re human beings too.

Ok, so how long have we had the embargo? And now…. we get the admission.. If you want progress, you must have dialogue… Those who punish first, expecting capitulation, are just plain wrong.. That of course includes the entire Republican Party…As most of you are now just finding out, they are just plain wrong…

The handshake from Chavez was motivated more by how much Obama is worshiped in Venezuela than by any policy change… Chavez cannot afford the appearance of being the enemy of one so admired by his own constituents… Therefore as long as the US interests do not directly impinge upon the welfare of Venezuela’s citizens, we should have an ally in Chavez who must appear to be on our side, especially since he may have his own domestic challengers… And as most of America knows, the criticism Chavez leveled at our former administration, was shared by 65% of Americans as well… In fact, America went to the polls in record numbers to elect our current president, simply because our last one was so bad…

Now with a simple handshake, we have far more political inroads into Venezuela than we ever would have had Obama dissed Chavez as did Bush… You might remember how stupid every American was seen to be, because Bush would never mention Chavez by name? We were the joke of civilization… and well deserved we should be.. Anyone out there who still thinks we should treat Chavez as a stepchild, is simply ignorant… And yes, they are also all Republicans….

Third, the president of Iran got up and railed against Israel’s racist policies… He was jeered off stage and half of the crowd walked out… Here we gave him the rope, and he hung himself… Today he gave the United States’ cause for the support of Israel, far more credibility than had we as the old administration would have done, forbid him from coming and speaking… The old policy gave him support among his allies… Today, based on his personal implosion, his allies are running away for cover…. He is far more isolated upon the world’s stage, than at any time over the past administration’s misjudgements….

Hence the brilliance of the Biden/ Obama tact… Let our enemies do our work for us.. Let them ruin their stature in the world by themselves, without us damaging ours in the process…

But if one of our former enemies can outmaneuver us on the global stage, so that they truly appear willing to change, and anxious to open new relations up with us, then after all these wasted years it appears they weren’t really our enemies after all…

Of course Republicans will complain they are… But then, by now, we all know that when it comes to governing, Republicans don’t know much of anything.

Perhaps my information is sketchy, but it comes featured on AOL… Apparently the Israeli cabinet has two women on it whose images were photo chopped so the published picture would only show men..

Some ultra conservative Jews feel women are not human.

That philosophy is so close to the opinion currently held by the Taliban, that one must criticise the excessive amounts of money we funnel to Israel to support a country that sanctions the seclusion of women from public life..

Up to now, I always supported Israel because I thought they were exemplary in giving women equal rights to men…. Why are we sending tremendous amounts of American women’s tax dollars to fund a piddly nation that can’t find the testosterone within itself to criticise those within its own borders who uphold those same archaic values which are no better than the Taliban?

The official results do not come out until later. But preliminary evidence has now proved beyond all doubt that no recession this grave has been experienced during the lifetime of anyone younger than 69 ( a good number by the way).

There are signs that those in the know like to watch, which tell the future years down the road and those signs now point to a Great Depression. It would be wise to note, that these “shades of what may be to come” as mentioned in Charles Dickens Christmas story can still be altered by changes in future events…

The fate was solidified with this which occurred on today’s last broadcast of CNN’s Late Edition. Vice President Dick Cheney, known among betting men, as “the man who is always wrong”, today declared “that its premature to call it the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.”

Being the one to know, Mister “He-who-is-never-right”; with a record of wrong choices a mile long, some of which include statements such as: “I am the best person to serve as the Vice President of the United States”; “Deficits Don’t Matter”; “Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid”; “There are stockpiles of WMD’s in Iraq and we will find them”; “We have to make America the best place in the world to do business”; “We will in fact be greeted as liberators”; …… always seems to make sense at time, but after ample time has passed, seems to have strung us along, fully knowing what he was saying was not backed up by facts, and each time seems to have bettered himself financially by having us believe in what he says, and take him for his word.

So if we look at his record, we see that he was wrong on Iraq, wrong on Afghanistan, wrong on Iran, wrong on Israel, wrong on Syria, wrong on Georgia, wrong on tax breaks, wrong on the deficit, wrong on securities deregulation, wrong on the economy, wrong on global warming, wrong on renewable energy, wrong on Enron, wrong on education, wrong on environmentalism, wrong on ethics, wrong on Executive privilege, wrong on gasoline prices, wrong on immigration, wrong on privatization,wrong on racism, wrong on what’s best for America; we can only assume by his track record that he is also wrong when he says it is too premature to call this episode equal to the Great Depression. Of course you can go against conventional wisdom and bet against him, ……… but the odds of winning are long…… way too long……

As his track record shows, he is fully aware of the facts, and each time he makes such a brash statement, it is ultimately proven to be wrong and designed to throw us off. Therefore the best option to take away from his last interview as Vice President on CNN is to accept the premise that we ARE in a Great Depression, and pull out all stops now to stop its slide, ….. before it is too late… That means pulling out ALL stops, so that the opposite of this foreboding last statement by Cheney is not given its chance to come due:

“The days of looking the other way while a despotic regime tramples human rights, robs it’s nations’ wealth, and then excuses it’s failings by feeding it’s people a steady diet of hatred … are over.”

As of this writing we have 8 days and twenty hours before it really does comes true………. Let’s not jinx ourselves by listening to any arguments being made by Cheney’s compatriots now arguing against the passage of Obama’s “Economic Jump Start”. Remember all along, they were just as wrong too……..

I came across this post while searching for root causes in the Middle East. I have noticed that with the outgoing Bush now tainted as a target of shoes and other things, domestically there has been much more vocal sympathy for the Palestinians now than I can remember ever hearing before….

I can remember when Palestinians were not thought of highly at all, and all assumed that Israel could do no wrong.

Things change.

Apparently AP Wireservices miss-translated and juggled this headline in an effort to tie Iran to the killing of Jews…

The author of this post, juxtaposes AP’s headline with that from the Iranian newspaper itself…

Here is the Iranian Paper:

In separate phone calls to IRNA, students from universities of Tehran, Mashhad and Kerman announced their readiness to undertake operations in defense of the people of Gaza.

Here is the AP report:

Hard-line Iranian student groups have appealed to the government to authorize volunteer suicide bombers to leave Iran and fight against Israel in response to the Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip. . . .

Five hard-line student groups and a conservative clerical group launched a registration drive on Monday, seeking volunteers to carry out suicide attacks against Israel.

I’ve heard of journalistic leaps …. but from AP?…From where did you get the notion of “suicide”? Where did you get the clue there were “bombers”? How did you get “attacks against Israel” out of the words “in defense of the people of Gaza” ? One has to laugh. AP’s statement has the same validity as if Pravda back in August had headlined that the University of Delaware’s Young Republicans’ Club, was sending volunteers to blow themselves up in Moscow train stations in order to protest the Georgian invasion…. If Pravda were to go to press with such a silly story…. I sure not one Muscovite would believe it….No one would… And I would certainly hope that our nation is perhaps a tiny bit more sophisticated than the average vodka infused citizen of Moscow (Za Vas)? 🙂

So why is AP doing this? To drive a wedge into America’s new found sympathy to the Palestinian cause? Or, do they just get their translations from these people and print them?

Bottom line: after being told that there were WMD’s in Iraq back in 2002, and that Iran was close to detonating a nuclear device in May 2007…..you can’t trust anything these guys say.

I am taking a break from discussing wind power and just how much it will save for each of us, in order to talk about another topic which has hit the news recently. Of course, based on my pocketbook, dropping every Delawarean’s electrical rates is very important. But it pales far less than whether or not we have a country left, or more appropriately, whether like Humpty Dumpty, the pieces are splintered too tiny to even bother picking them up and patching them back together.

As you know, Dennis Kucinich proffered the Articles of Impeachment on the floor of the House and they are now in the Congressional Record for every historian to read….. There is some question where Mike Castle stands on the issue, which of course is what brought that topic into the arena of the local blogosphere.

In essence the articles were shelved into committee, and done with little national coverage….. But there was much rejoicing among real Americans, ie those not controlled by corporations. Actually a more apt description would be this: those often screwed by corporations……

Republicans, at least those who still carry cards touting their Republicanism, are dumbfounded…. How can this be? They wonder. How can a large segment of the population wish for and support the impeachment of the one to whom they’ve sworn a secret loyalty pledge, like little fifth graders playing in the bushes…..? They wonder.

Today, a spokesman for House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) dismissed the call for impeachment as the efforts of “left-wing bloggers“:

This is just another example of the Democratic leadership in the House indulging trivial and silly conspiracy theories from left-wing bloggers, rather than working with Republicans to deal with the real issues facing the American people.

I feel kind of honored. Although he would be shocked to find out who I am. But we are getting through, and they are scared… We know this from that fact that we were not dismissed. As anyone knows who has run a third party candidacy, the first line of defense against a new force is not to acknowledge it… “What, bloggers? What are they?” Obviously normal American citizens simply tired of the way this country has spiraled downhill over the last 8 years, are a force to be reckoned with, and now need to be castigated with derogatory terms… We have been bumped up to the second level.

This is a badge of honor in a way. This means two things. One is that it means that we are scaring them. There are grounds for impeachment and they know it. It means that only a hair is left standing to protect their president from the most shameful thing to ever happen within their party. And that thing is that: their official party structure openly and entirely supported the Executive’s office disrespectful dismissal and violation of the Constitution. From the email soldiers of 2004 up to the highest office itself, except for the brave few (Chick Hagel) who tried to publicly call them out on the error of their ways, the Republican Party goosestepped their way across the pages of our nations most revered document.

Our ancestors fought for that document. Our police officers swore to uphold that document, and ironically so did each of those legislators withing the Republican party who looked the other way when this happened….

Now I understand that my title may be shocking for some. And since I am more of a rational than emotional type of person, the casual reader should probably know that this title came to mind only because just an hour before typing this screed, I was in a park serendipitously describing to eleven year olds, the rise of Hitler in Nazi Germany…..

[1933 Nazi Election Poster – This poster is from the March 1933 Reichstag election, the last one in which Germans had a choice. The poster shows President Hindenburg and Chancellor Hitler. The caption: “The Reich will never be destroyed if you are united and loyal.” Courtesy of Dr. Robert D. Brooks.] Courtesy of Calvin.edu

Most often we blame Hitler for the horrible things that occurred during that time of history…. What I told those children in their yellow day-camp shirts, was that we often look and blame a villain without looking at the fact that we ourselves put them in power and then did nothing out of timidity, to stop them….. Those few actually speaking out were killed off first, then those likely to speak out were killed off second, and those who knew those who had been likely to speak out were killed off third,…etc, etc and soon there was no one to say “hell no… it ain’t so.” (Little kids love cool sounding phrases).

There were 35 million voting Germans, and only one Hitler. If they truly wanted they could have gathered on his front lawn, stormed his house at midnight, grabbed him and pulled him apart, literally, in 35 million directions…. It didn’t happen.

The Republican Party, except for a few heroes, (Chuck Hagel) are as guilty as was the German population during Hitler’s ascendancy during the 30’s. ( The Germans had their hero Speer).

The second important fact that Boehner makes when he paints “left wing bloggers” as an evil empire living on a nearby death star, with a secret weapon almost in completion, instead of who they really are, regular people who work for a living and are tired of the way things have been run under Republican leadership, so tired in fact that they use their free time to research the Republican government and expose their inadequacies to a public that is not allowed to read those type of things in corporate sanctioned media outlets…..

And that is…

That they are afraid of the defection by party faithful…. Normally one tries to act like a good guy. a jovial person, a likable bloke for the simple reason that as one deals with other people in the give and take of the real world, that if people like you , you tend to get more of what you want…. Therefore this controversial tone being used by Boehner is not dispensed to make things easier for Republicans to exercise their power. It is designed to scare their core group away from defection, and into staying within the Republican fold…. Just as did the Nazi party, just as did Khrushchev after Stalin’s death, just as did the Communists is Southwest Asia, and most recently just as did a handful of extremists in some summer camp in the Afghan Himalayas, anytime one wants to browbeat a group that would rather be somewhere else, one rants and raves at a common enemy while blocking all information that proves the contrary is true….

Brainwashing.

That is just what Boehner did….. or attempted to do,…..of failed miserably at doing…….

Because this is not yet a country of broken spirited people as was Nazi Germany during the 1920’s and 1930’s.

This is America… and damn it, we understand the Constitution and we understand exactly what Republicans are doing to destroy it!

And unlike those feeding on the udders of the Republican Party, we, the normal people of America, tend to see those actions as being synonymous with the terms of ” High Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

If any Republican wishes to be reelected, perhaps they should consider this too. For if they are willing to cite poll data, and trust it implicitly when it states the number of Americans who want offshore drilling (today’s news)……. be advised that the same type of poll data doesn’t paint you well at all.

Now that we know the truth, that your administration did got to war and lied about its reasons, that number is much higher than 42%…..

Shall we guess 71%? (based on April’s data).. At 300 million Americans that amounts to 213 million Americans desperately craving some form of accountability by Congress for Republican’s total disregard for the Constitution…….

That’s quite a few “left wing bloggers” Boehner,…..wouldn’t you say?

There are so many things that need said….At this moment I want to focus on the NIE (National Intelligence Estimate) that came out recently stating that Iran did not have a weapons program since 2003…..Many of you know that we have been speculating that this administration was about to attack Iran with another shock and awe campaign, and since there were NO supporters either in this country or the rest of the world for such an attack, to launch it would be seen as an illegitimate act of aggression against an innocent country. We now know exactly how innocent that country really was……What a mistake we almost made…………..

Seriously, think about it. What a mistake we almost made…..Conflicting news being what it is, I believe this report caught the administration flat footed. They had just rehired Wolfowitz, the architect of the Iraq War, to take over the America’s dealings with Iran…..

Now that all out war is out of the picture, he is probably soon to be out of a job……So what does this episode say about our current administration, the fact that we got a report in 2007, that said Iran stopped their weapon’s program in 2003? Well, there are three options….all of them scary.

Option 1: We did not know. That is scary, What kind of intelligence are we getting if we are not able to determine whether or not Iran has a weapons program in progress….Had we been so stupid during the Cold War, we would be speaking Russian now…..This is a travesty of great importance. Is it our people?. Is it our satellites? Is it that they rarely take their head out of their ass except to send reports back that they assume we all want to hear? Intelligence is gathering facts. The part that is most absymal, is that this is the second time intelligence has failed this administration. But as we saw, there were plenty who tried to say that in Iraq, there were no WMD’s. One intelligence agent was even “outted” under orders by our own Vice President… Which leads us to the second alternative.

Option 2: Our people on the ground did know, and did their best in passing the information on. Somewhere in the chain, the message was scrambled and the information never got inside the Oval office. The decision to start WWIII was made by Cheney/Bush based on faulty intelligence that someone in the chain of command had substituted for the real deal…..In this case we have two realities. One that was actually occurring in Iran, based on ground reports. The other was the perception that we were under attack, that existed within the four walls of the oval office. But someone would have gotten the message out, if that were the case….They did finally through the NIE report….The thousands of men and women who, based on their knowledge, strongly disagreed with the Cheney/Bush administration on the strength of the threat, would have eventually let us, the public, know. Which leads us to the rather chilling thought and the third possibility.

Option 3: The intelligence was received and discounted because it did not fit in with the political agenda being pushed by this administration. They needed a war to wag the dog…….They need one very badly, seeing how their poll numbers cling to the bottom like algae on a rock…..This war, WWIII, was their ticket out…….Obviously the timing of this report coming out now, and Cheney’s hospitalization, is no coincidence. Perhaps we can race a late night delegation to Cheney’s deathbed to get him to rescind his order to attack Iran giving us a freehand for talks and diplomacy…….

All three options are bad. This administration has taken a bullet in its vital area…It may survive. But it may not……..For how can anyone take anything else either Cheney or Bush says seriously, now that he has been wrong two times, with great consequences to the parents of those who died, and every man, woman, and child who will have to pay back the cost of this war plus interest over their entire lifetimes……

And equally important is how anyone can take seriously someone who wrongly supported this administration, who was duped by their duplicitous lies, twice? How can Mike Castle who stood by Bush when he was wrong once, and now is wrong twice, be anything but a laughing joke? How can Carper who switched sides from his Democratic party-beliefs to support the hard line that this administration was proposing, be taken seriously on other matters improtant to Delaware?

This NIE turns the tables on everyone. So what are America’s options.

Option 1: We can defend our actions, even knowing we were wrong. We can make other feel we were seriously going to attack an innocent country and scare them into submission. Bush started this defense yesterday when answering reporters questions…..We can say that our warmongering was working….”see they stopped in 2003″. We can say that they still have the potential to make weapons at sometime in the very distant future and we need to attack to insure that never happens. We can say pressure from our attack on Iran, was responsible for our success in Iraq. “They were too worried about our attack, to supply the Shiites with weaponry”. Expect all these excuses to filter out….and when they do, respond with: “oh, so you are saying it’s ok for America to attack an innocent nation, that has neither the plans, nor means to attack us. You know,… sort of like Hitler and Stalin did?” Because essentially that is what they are saying…only they haven’t thought that far ahead, they are still reeling from the NIE.

Option 2: Is to say “we were wrong.” “We made a mistake.” Then begin hearings with full subpoena power to find out how to prevent such a massive intelligence failure again (didn’t we just do that?) Start from the bottom and move up the chain, until we reach the fall guy……Just as in Nixon’s White House, there will be some who after serious introspection, will find their loyalties are to America, and not its miserly old Vice President. They will come forward, no doubt using a nickname similar, but different from “deep throat.” Then after we have cleared the air, we implement the recommendations and hope it works…..

Option 3: We hold those elected officials accountable for their errors. As we come to discover that the information did make its way to the top, and was overlooked, we need to hold those at the top accountable… That’s what we do with school superintendents. That’s what we do in the corporate world. Particularly as the word gets out that we did this for oil, and to improve Cheney’s net worth, America should become outraged and demand his removal…..So option 3 is essentially to pull the plug and start anew with Democrats in charge…..

We will see if Castle votes to acquit Bush as the impeachment call comes around….If he says Bush is not guilty, we will be ready………

Culled from the world’s news organizations, various bits and pieces, lumped together as a group, provides good insight into what may soon lurk on our horizon.

The most explicit media report, entitled “Bush setting America up for war with Iran”, published in last Sundays Sunday Telegraph, concluded that Rice was “prepared to settle her differences with Vice President Dick Cheney and sanction military action.

In these discussions, Rice’s only proviso was that “if the administration is to go to war again it must build the case over a period of months and win sufficient support on Capitol Hill.”

The shift in Washington was underscored by a blunt public warning yesterday in France from Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner. While calling for tougher sanctions against Tehran, Kouchner told RTL radio and LCI television: “We must prepare for the worst. The worst, sir, is war.” He admitted that the French military was already drawing up plans. “We are preparing ourselves by trying to put together plans that are the chiefs of staff’s prerogative, [but] that is not about to happen tomorrow,” he said.

Senior Pentagon and CIA officials, who spoke to the Sunday Telegraph, laid out a scenario for war against Iran, using the pretext that Tehran is aiding anti-US insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan. “[A] senior intelligence officer warned that public denunciation of Iranian meddling in Iraq—arming and training militants—would lead to cross border raids on Iranian training camps and bomb factories,” the newspaper explained.

“A prime target would be the Fajr base run by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards-Quds Force in southern Iran, where Western intelligence agencies say armour-piercing projectiles used against British and US troops are manufactured. Under the theory—which is gaining credence in Washington security circles—US action would provoke a major Iranian response, perhaps in the form of moves to cut off Gulf oil supplies, providing the trigger for air strikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities and even its armed forces.”

According to the Sunday Telegraph, “two major contingency plans” have been drawn up. “One is to bomb only the nuclear facilities [in Iran]. The second option is for a much bigger strike that would—over two or three days—hit all of the significant military sites as well. The plan involves more than 2,000 targets,” an intelligence officer said. The Sunday Times published a similar article a fortnight ago, citing Alexis Debat from the right-wing Nixon Centre, who explained that the US military was preparing to strike 1,200 targets. “They’re about taking out the entire Iranian military,” Debat explained approvingly. Debat, a former ABC News consultant, who has often been quoted as a security expert supportive of Cheney’s agenda, has most recently had his credibility debunked following events arising from his publishing of an Obama interview, that never took place……

Chillingly, yesterday’s Sunday Telegraph added to the persistent leaks that the Bush administration is considering the use of nuclear weapons against Iran. “The vice-president is said to advocate the use of bunker-buster tactical nuclear weapons against Iran’s nuclear sites. His allies dispute this, but Mr Cheney is understood to be lobbying for air strikes if sites can be identified where Revolutionary Guard units are training Shia militias,” the article stated.

Despite France’s previous assertion that war is inevitable, there are rumblings of dissent deep within the EU.

The Fox News article pointed to the reasons for Berlin’s opposition, noting that “the Germans voiced concern about the damaging effects any further sanctions on Iran would have on the German economy.”

The passing comment stunned the room and further highlights the underlying economic and strategic issues at stake. According to diplomats from other countries, the Germans gave the distinct impression that they would privately welcome, while publicly protesting, an American bombing campaign against Iran’s nuclear facilities.

The case for war with Iran can be furthered bolstered by looking at the scenarios of what might be the results if a diplomatic breakthrough were achieved.

If normal international economic and diplomatic relations with Iran established the main winners would be the European powers, China and Russia, which have all built a substantial economic stake in Iran. The main loser would be the US, which has maintained a blockade of the country since the ousting of its ally, Shah Reza Pahlavi, in the 1979 revolution.

This is what drives the fear of both China and Russia who see that the Bush administration is preparing for war against Iran, not to stop its alleged nuclear weapons programs or “meddling” in Iraq, but to assert untrammeled US dominance throughout Central Asia and the Middle East. Iran not only has huge oil and gas reserves of its own but is strategically located at the juncture of these two resource-rich regions.

The Guardian also reported predictions of war in response to opposition to tougher UN sanctions. The article pointed to “signs that the Bush administration is running out of patience with diplomatic efforts to curb [Iran’s] nuclear program. Hawks led by the vice-president, Dick Cheney, are intensifying their push for military action, with support from Israel, and privately from some Sunni Gulf states.”

With US presidential elections looming next year, the Bush administration felt that time was running out, the Guardian indicated. “Washington is seriously reviewing plans to bomb not just nuclear sites, but oil sites, military sites and even leadership targets,” Patrick Cronin from the International Institute for Strategic Studies told the newspaper. “In Washington there is very serious discussion that this is a window that has to be looked at seriously because there is only six months to ‘do something about Iran’ before it will be looked at as a purely political issue.”

Britain’s Independent reported Wednesday that UK troops stationed in Iraq have been deployed to the Iranian border.

According to the exclusive by Kim Sengupta in Baghdad, the move, which is said to involve some 350 soldiers, “has come at the request of the Americans.”Brigadier James Bashall, commander of 1 Mechanised Brigade, based at Basra, said, “We have been asked to help at the Iranian border to stop the flow of weapons and I am willing to do so. We know the points of entry and I am sure we can do what needs to be done. The US forces are, as we know, engaged in the ‘surge’ and the border is of particular concern to them.”

The report continued, “For the British military the move to the border is a change of policy. They had stopped patrols along the long border at Maysan despite US concerns at the time that the area would become a conduit for weapons into Iraq.”

This echos what Petraeus said in an interview last Monday that seems for the most part to have been missed by the American MSM. The move came as General David Petraeus, the US commander in Iraq, and Ryan Crocker, the US ambassador to Iraq, made some of the strongest accusations yet by US officials about Iranian activity. General Petraeus spoke on Monday of a “proxy war” in Iraq, while Mr Crocker accused the Iranian government of “providing lethal capabilities to the enemies of the Iraqi state”. General Petraeus strongly implied that it would soon be necessary to obtain authorization to take action against Iran within its own borders, rather than just inside Iraq. “There is a pretty hard look ongoing at that particular situation” he said during an interview on Monday.

Later, the Daily Mail reported that a “Ministry of Defence spokesman in London confirmed British forces were working with Iraqi border protection forces. British forces were also involved in patrolling the waterways, he said.”

Sengupta’s account said that the US request was in response to “elements close to the Iranian regime [who] have stepped up supplies of weapons to Shia militias in recent weeks in preparation for attacks inside Iraq.”

The reference to “elements close to the Iranian regime” is so vague as to be almost meaningless. Yet as the Independent makes plain, it is enough for the US, with British support, to take measures that could escalate into a military confrontation with Tehran.

As Sengupta points out, the British deployment is part of a “high-risk strategy which could lead to clashes with Iranian-backed Shia militias or even Iranian forces and also leaves open the possibility of Iranian retaliation in the form of attacks against British forces at the Basra air base or inciting violence to draw them back into Basra city. Relations between the two countries are already fraught after the Iranian Revolutionary Guards seized a British naval party in the Gulf earlier this year.”

It was underscored by a report Monday in the Wall Street Journal that the US is planning to build its first military base near Iraq’s border with Iran, slated to be operative by November of this year, as well as fortified checkpoints on major roads leading to Baghdad from Iran.”Petraeus’s plan to withdraw one army brigade of some 4,000 troops from Iraq by the end of this year was undoubtedly a major factor in “accelerated planning for a military attack on Iran.”

The US military base is to be located four miles from Iran’s border and will house at least 200 troops. It is hoped to be fully operational by November. There are also plans to build fortified checkpoints on the major roads between Iran and Baghdad.

An event that received little publicity is the agreement by Georgia to send an additional 1,200 troops to Iraq, making it the third largest force after the US and the UK. The troops will also be involved in patrolling the border between Iran and Iraq, the first time Georgian forces have assumed a frontline role.

At the end of August, Dr. Dan Plesch and Martin Butcher, two British security analysts, released an 80-page study detailing US preparations for a military assault on Iran.

At the weekend the Sunday Telegraph reported that the US and Iran had established “listening” posts to monitor each other’s activity. The Telegraph cited US sources claiming that the Iranian spy post, built “on the foundations of a crane platform sunk during the Iran-Iraq war, is equipped with radar, cameras and forward facing infra-red devices to track the movement of coalition naval forces and commercial shipping in the northern Arabian Gulf.

“Commanders fear that one of the main purposes of the Iranian operation is to enable the Revolutionary Guard to intercept more coalition vessels moving through the disputed waters near the mouth of the Shatt al Arab waterway south of the Iraqi city of Basra.

“But the US military believes the listening post could also be used to help Iranian forces target commercial shipping in response to any US air strikes on its nuclear facilities.

“Such operations would form part of their threat to launch guerrilla or asymmetric attacks on western interests if Iran is attacked.”

The newspaper quoted British naval personnel as stating that “tensions between the Americans and the Iranians have soared.”

They continued, “Up to March, when our sailors were captured by the Iranians, coalition patrols concentrated on protecting Iraq’s oil export terminals from Al Qaeda suicide bombers.

“Now watching the Iranians is our top priority. We don’t want to be taken by surprise again and we need to … know what they are doing in case things kick off if the Yanks bomb the Iranian nuclear sites.”

Fortunately things were put on temporary hold today. The world’s six major powers agreed today to delay until November a new United Nations resolution that would toughen sanctions against Iran to see whether Tehran answered questions about its nuclear program.

Perhaps, some blue sky has shown itself among the storm clouds.