dr anonymous's blog

Statistically Relevant Irritating Behavior

By: on 20 Sep 2007

You know what's almost as insane as the Iraq war? That people counting the civilian body count are fighting over whose estimate is most accurate in detailed analyses of the other's methodology.

Here's a thought: Save several pages of text and say "low estimate, high estimate."

P.S. (as of last count, low estimate is 70,000, high estimate is upwards of 600,000).

September 12th: A Letter To My Friends On Ensuing Darkness

By: on 12 Sep 2007

Who is Osama Bin Laden?

The question is rhetorical, as is it should be, because in world historical terms he may not be more significant to people in 100 years, if there are many, than the guy who shot Archduke Ferdinand and triggered World War I.

The latest message from Osama Bin Laden has prompted the usual outcry of "oh this" and" oh that," but the bogey man is not real, even when he is.  Whether he is dead or alive, on video or not, significant or insignificant, it does not matter.  What matters is that we are headed towards a catastrophe and if we don't start fixating on something o

Open the vents!

By: on 6 Sep 2007

Just in case anyone still thinks of John McCain, U.S. Presidential candidate and erstwhile media hero, as a "moderate," of some kind, he has a war criminal as a foreign policy advisor and "old friend." Because we haven't had enough of either of those in the U.S.

Relatedly, the AP article linked above refers to Henry Kissinger, the war criminal in question, as a "foreign policy guru," a "valued [advisor]," part of a "star-studded [cast]," and a "heavy hitter." This is a man who allegedly "had to slip out of Paris in May [2001] when French police tried to serve him with a court summons."

Why won't this guy go away?


In contrast, here's just a part of what pre-insanity Christopher Hitchens was able to come up with:

It will become clear, and may as well be stated at the outset, that this is written by a political opponent of Henry Kissinger. Nonetheless, I have found myself continually amazed at how much hostile and discreditable material I have felt compelled to omit. I am concerned only with those Kissingerian offenses that might or should form the basis of a legal prosecution: for war crimes, for crimes against humanity, and for offenses against common or customary or international law, including conspiracy to commit murder, kidnap, and torture.

Thus, I might have mentioned Kissinger's recruitment and betrayal of the Iraqi Kurds, who were falsely encouraged by him to take up arms against Saddam Hussein in 1972-75, and who were then abandoned to extermination on their hillsides when Saddam Hussein made a diplomatic deal with the Shah of Iran, and who were deliberately lied to as well as abandoned. The conclusions of the report by Congressman Otis Pike still make shocking reading and reveal on Kissinger's part a callous indifference to human life and human rights. But they fall into the category of depraved realpolitik and do not seem to have violated any known law.

The Truth: Imperialism Edition

By: on 2 Sep 2007

Be Nice To America…or else!

courtesy Uncle Anonymous


Courts 2, Musharraf 0

By: on 24 Aug 2007

Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan's formerly exiled former prime minister, and his wife are going to be allowed back in Pakistan because of a Supreme Court order.  More details here.

This Is A Big Deal, particularly on the heels of the bourgeois movement that saved the job of the Chief Justice Ifikkhar Muhammad Chaudry.  I don't know what this is: backroom power sharing arrangements between a weakened Musharraf and nonm

Open Thread

By: on 23 Aug 2007

Somebody write something, will you? :)
There's a lot going on.

and I'm getting bored as f#ck.

Financial Crisis For Dummies

By: on 21 Aug 2007

First why you should care:

Regardless of whether you're a doctrinaire Marxist and think that the concentrations of capital will inevitably lead to a crisis in the capitalist system or you're a left-liberal worried about people's pension funds, this is a big deal. Why? Because there has been a 2-decade trend (give or take) of confidence in stock markets as the prime movers of economies and, more generally, how you should measure social happiness. That is now ending and additionally, real economies may suffer (for better or worse) and real people (who have money) may lose money.

Here are the things you need to know most:

Look, Ma, Pictures!

By: on 17 Aug 2007

As you might remember, there was a bit of a hubbub recently about exactly how the Hindu Students Council is affiliated with the Hindu Right (RSS, VHP, VHP-America, etc.).

The issue was that Campaign to Stop Funding Hate, an anti-Hindutva group, says that they're the youth arm of the Hindu Right in the United States, as discussed previously by vivek and others on PTR. Meanwhile HSC says they operate independently now and in a decentralized way. In their own words:

When HSC was started in 1990 by few students, they got very little support from adults in the Indian-American community. There was no national Indian/Hindu organization that could provide HSC with resources like intellectual speakers/Swamijis, books, etc. The only non-sectarian Indian organization with a pan-American presence that offered to help them was the VHP-America (VHPA). The leaders and members of the VHPA offered to support HSC as a project, helping HSC with resources like speakers/swamijis, books, etc. Once HSC was started up, it become an independently run organization within 3 years, in 1993

Here's the wikipedia entry on VHP, which was involved in sparking massive violence in South Asia by destroying Babri Masjid over a decade ago, involved in the anti-Muslim genoicdal campaign in Gujarat in 2002, etc., which gives some context on why people outside of HSC might be concerned with any ties between the student group(s) and VHP and other Hindu nationalist groups.

As the massive press coverage around Wikiscanner the last few days reminded me, every once in a while, it's fun to trawl for interesting data. In that light, I did a little digging in the United States government's trademark database (click on "Search TM database").

Here's what I found under the mark for "HSC KNOWLEDGE UNITY PROGRESS DHARMA":


Yes, it's the Hindu Students Council's mark, still used on their website, as you can see from the clipped version of the banner headlining the site:


As far as I can make out, the trademark was filed May 16, 2003 by "Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION NOT PROVIDED 2 Ventnor Drive Edison NEW JERSEY 08820" and abandoned in May 2004. The purpose of the trademark is listed as "promoting the interests of the Hindu culture and heritage, through various activities, events and projects; promoting public awareness of the Hindu culture and heritage."

Who's Next?

By: on 16 Aug 2007


"We begin with a chilling report in the War on Terror..."

That's how a local TV newscast began its segment [video] on a 90-page report by the New York Police Department [pdf at nyc government website] on violent actors emerging from the United States entitled: “Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat.”

As you might expect, this isn't a report about how the War in Iraq came about.

The report studies several cases in the United States and other parts of the wealthy world to depict the "process of radicalization" as a four stage process: Pre-Radicalization; Self-Identification; Indoctrination; and Jihadization.

The majority of the individuals involved in these plots began as “unremarkable” - they had “ordinary” jobs, had lived “ordinary” lives and had little, if any criminal history... It is useful to think of the radicalization process in terms of a funnel. Entering the process does not mean one will progress through all four stages and become a terrorist. However, it also does not mean that if one doesn’t become a terrorist, he or she is no longer a threat. Individuals who have been radicalized but are not jihadists may serve as mentors and agents of influence to those who might become the terrorists of tomorrow.

So what do they say this means?

NYT: British commander says American air force killing too many civilians in Afghanistan to win hearts and minds

By: on 9 Aug 2007


In related news, this "war" is now almost six years old.  The war in Iraq is now about four and a half years old.  Shall we have cake now or wait until the civilian death toll hits a million?

If you live in the U.S., this might be a good time to start taking to the streets...again.

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