Tuesday, May 30, 2006

More fear and idiocy from our government

The government has started a new website that is suppose to help American's prepare for the next potential disaster or terrorist attack. This is big government doing what it does best striking a healthy dose of fear into the hearts of its people.

Most amusing on the site are the warning illustrations that hearken back to the old "duck and cover" method taught to school children during the cold war.

Here's how the website explains its mission:

Terrorists are working to obtain biological, chemical, nuclear and radiological weapons, and the threat of an attack is very real. Here at the Department of Homeland Security, throughout the federal government, and at organizations across America we are working hard to strengthen our Nation's security. Whenever possible, we want to stop terrorist attacks before they happen. All Americans should begin a process of learning about potential threats so we are better prepared to react during an attack. While there is no way to predict what will happen, or what your personal circumstances will be, there are simple things you can do now to prepare yourself and your loved ones.

The website covers everything: biological threats, chemical threats, nuclear blasts, radiation threats, natural disasters.

One of the main problems with the site is that it is too vague and offers no explanation. Terrorists are plotting, make sure you lock yourself in your house with plenty of bottled water and canned goods.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

DOD releases Pentagon 9/11 video

The public interest group, Judicial Watch, announced yesterday that the Department of Defense released the missing video tape of American Airlines Flight 77 striking the Pentagon on September 11. The DOD contacted Judicial Watch about A Freedom of Information request the group filed for the video in January but said they would not release the tape because it was part of an investigation involving Zacarias Moussaoui. Now that the trial is over the DOD said they could provide the footage.

I heard very little about this from the media yesterday and today. The group’s website is saying that it hopes the tape "will put to rest the conspiracy theories involving Flight 77."

There are two videos on the website that give two angles of the crash from a guard checkpoint. The first video has more footage. Fast-forward to about one minute and 20 seconds into the video, there is a sliver flash in the middle right corner and then the explosion. The tape is grainy and it is difficult to tell what exactly is hitting the Pentagon.

The second video is from a guard tower that most have been a little bit further back. The crash happens much more quickly in this video.

I'm not sure that this will put to satisfy the "tin foil hat people" but it certainly seems crucial in understanding what happened on that terrible day.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

New Gitmo list shows no serious terrorists at the base

The Pentagon released the names of 201 more prisoners being held at Guantanamo Bay. None of the names are of serious or notorious terrorists.

Three questions.

One, so where are these "notorious terrorists" being held?

Two, if the terrorists are not the most dangerous then what is our reasoning now for holding them there and suspending their right to a trial?

Three, is it any coincidence that this new list comes out on the heels of our president saying that he wants to shut down Guantanamo and finally give the prisoners their trial?

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Where's Dr. Fallon?

Right here.

Those of you kind enough to ask about my whereabouts know that this is the busiest time of the semester. The last few weeks of school can be pretty harrowing, and this week -- finals week -- is usually the occasion of much hand-wringing and anxiety. I am in the middle of dozens of graduate and undergrad papers, and evaluating the semester's work of a handful of neophyte bloggers, and grades are due at the end of the week.

I won't lie to you: the news of the last month or so has my head spinning, and the longer I stay away from IN THE DARK (it seems), the harder it gets to know where to pick up.

I'd like to be able to say that as soon as grades are in, and Roosevelt University's annual commencement is over, I'll be back in the saddle, running at full steam (how's that for mixed metaphors?), but that is probably not the case. I'll be leaving at the end of the month for two weeks in Ireland, and before I go, I have some serious academic writing to do.

I've been invited to present a paper based on my book, Printing, Literacy, and Education in Eighteenth Century Ireland : Why the Irish Speak English, at the first annual Conference on Irish Studies at the National University or Ireland, Galway. My problem is coming up with a text, based on a book of more than 200 pages, that I can present in about a half-hour. So I will be little more than a ghost on this blog for the next month or so.

I am inviting my fellow IN THE DARK team bloggers, SkeetsV, Matt, Publisher, Docintheory, and Commandante Agi to pick up my slack while I'm gone. I am most appreciative for all they have done in the past, and I look forward to reading their thoughts in my absence.

See ya soon.