Thursday, June 30, 2005

What Country has the highest % of their population with Blogs?

Question of the day: What Country has the highest % of their population with Blogs? The answer will surprise you. It is not the United States. As a matter of fact, the US isn't in the top 2 based upon population. It turns out that Singapore is number one with 904 Blogs for a population of about 2.9 Million people, based upon World Population statistics available from 1996. The number 2 country is Canada with 3,533 Blogs with a population of about 28.4 million people. The US is 3rd with 28,298 blogs with a population of 263.8 million people. The source is Blogwise numbers which doesn't capture all Blogs, but it is a good place to begin to look at the question.

Here is another interesting piece of data. Starting at the bottom of the list and working up, are these 10 nations:
Iraq, Bangledash, China, Syria, Russian Federation , Saudi Arabia, Egypt, India, Pakistan and Cambodia

And finally the last surprise: Iran has the most Blogs from the entire Middle East, beating out such notables as Japan, Mexico, Indonesia, Turkey and the 10 above.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Bush's speech-Justifying the war or securing the peace?

Does anyone in this Administration know the difference between justifying the war in Iraq versus a plan to win the war? it doesn't appear that President Bush did last night. Or maybe there isn't anyone in this Administration that wants to be held accountable by the American public? Now here's where being a centrist can help in this dialogue. Democrats, Independents, and Moderate Republicans need to contribute ideas to elements of a plan to win the peace in Iraq. I heard one last night when Senator Joe Biden of Delaware offered up something when he said that we need to ask Nato to embrace the idea of securing the borders of Iraq. Someone needs to if we are going to stop the stream of insurgents, from countries like Saudi Arabia, from entering Iraq to join the jihad.

Now how about my readers offering up some suggestions. I throw the challenge out there to start becoming part of the solution rather than being entwined in the problem. Thanks Senator Biden for your contribution to the dialogue.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Most hope Bush will offer strategy for war in Iraq tonight

Ft. Bragg soldiers looking for answers. Most hope Bush will offer strategy for war in Iraq. This is the title of an article on MSNBC after interviews with our soldiers. They want to know, "What's the Plan Mr. President!" So don't we. Guess what, there won't be any, because there isn't one! (See previous post about Rumsfeld.)

Monday, June 27, 2005

Rumsfeld evades answering questions on "Meet the Press"!

Rumsfeld spoke on Meet the Press yesterday hosted by moderator Tim Russert. Every time he was asked a question, Rumsfeld avoided giving a straight answer. It was pathetic. He hemmed and hawed, used phrases like, "I don't remember" and other noteworthy evasive maneuvers. Former straight speaking Rumsfeld has learned a lot being in this Administration on how to avoid giving straight answers. Where's the old Rumsfeld?

Now the questions were not spoken by Russert in a hostile tone, as I could understand that tactic, if they were. But Russert asked great questions we all have had about the war and where we are and how will we know how we are doing and the Iraqi's. In effect, Russett was asking for the PLAN we should have and certainly Rumsfeld should have. What measurements should we use to know the progress in the search for turnover to the Iraqi's. It's appalling what he has done on this. Even if Rumsfeld perceived the questions weren't on target, he should give us the answers to questions that help us understand and evaluate our progress. Otherwise, what is the difference between a quagmire, like Vietnam, and this self induced, chosen war that was unnecessary, or necessary with the world community with us? You can't ask us to support a war that has no plan for success and expect us all to march in step with you. No wonder the polls show Bush at the lowest approval ratings of his Presidency. Mr. Rumsfeld owns a good share of those numbers, and that's my measurement of success and so doesn't VP Cheney. They do not serve this President well, no matter what President Bush says. This President deserves better and so do we!

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Apology? Karl Rove just proved the case I made!

Can you believe it? Karl Rove just proved the case I made in my previous piece Titled "Apology? What do Senator Durbin and Richard Clarke have in common?" No apology from Mr. Rove yet. He has used 9/11 to paint anyone not a right wing Christian conservative as follows, and I quote him, "Perhaps the most important difference between conservatives and liberals can be found in the area of national security. Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers."

Give me a break. This is the closest advisor to a President who said during the campaign of 2000 and 2004, "I will work to unite rather than divide, the country." I think what President Bush really meant was that he would work to unite Christian Conservatives and divide everyone else. I take personal offense to Karl Rove's remarks and so should any American. I am at least writing this Blog piece devoted to the topic. So what are you doing about it? This President, VP, Secretary of Defense and the rest of this Administration and yes, Karl Rove, have not made us safer, not brought us together, not helped the economy, not helped the average working person, not pushed the case against Ken Lay of Enron, not protected our environment, not paid for the cost of the war as we now have trillions more in debt, not worked to save Social Security, not ensured fair elections take place and not told the truth to the American people and since this was about Karl Rove's comments about the aftermath of 9/11 and what liberals would have done, these folks haven't caught Osama bin Laden. And you want to elect someone like these people. Shame on us all as Americans. The world must be laughing at us, the arrogance of our leaders. We will have the elections in 2006 to redeem ourselves and our choices. I can't wait! Can you?

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Apology? What does Senator Durbin & Richard Clarke have in common?

Do you think we are owed an apology from this Administration for not having a success for winning and securing the peace in Iraq? There is a lot to do about nothing regarding the apology Senator Durbin gave on the Senate floor yesterday. Many had called for his apology for remarks made about the Prisoner abuses at Gitmo, etc., and references to comparisons to the Nazis of Germany and the Gulags in Russia and their treatment of prisoners. I wonder why no self respecting Administration official has apologized to us. The last apology I heard from anyone in this Administration was from Richard A. Clarke, former Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence, who testified before the 9/11 Commission about how both the Clinton and Bush Administration had failed this country as did he, and he asked for forgiveness from us all. What a class act he was and is. We are all given a chance to be a class act many times throughout our lives. It is up to each of us to answer the calling in our own way. But my question is this, "Is anyone home at the Whitehouse, with some respect for the rest of us, willing to apologize for past mistakes?” I think not! There first has to be an admission to oneself and I don't think anyone in this Administration has shown a willingness to admit a mistake was made. No one in the Pentagon in the civilian leadership (code for Rumsfeld and Wolfiwitz) thinks they made a msitake even after this long a time has passed since "MIssion Accomplished". And when are we going to count the dead of the heroic contract personnel for trying to do a service for their country. The death toll and injured in Iraq and Afghanistan is much higher when you count contractors in the overall cost of the war. We should be honoring them in their return but we don't pay special attention to returning remains of soldierts and contractors for it might be offensive to the American public and draw unnecessary attention to the cost of this war. I say it is worth seeing the entire picture and that includes the sacrifice made by so many, so that we may all pay honor to them. Maybe it would force those in charge to consider making private apologies to those families at least.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Former Senator Danforth on Politics and Religion

Former Republican Senator Danforth spoke on Chris Matthews show, Hardball, on MSNBC today about his OpEd piece in the NY Times. To quote him, 'People of faith are not of one mind, whether on specific issues like stem cell research and government intervention in the case of Terri Schiavo, or the more general issue of how religion relates to politics." I couldn't agree more. As an ordained Minister in the Episcopal Church, he is a firm believer in the separation of church and state and worries we are crossing the line in that area over the past 3-4 years. He is concerned that the Republican party is allowing the Christian right to hijack the party. The Shaivo casse was one example he gave where in his opinion the Congress should not have been involved. I think that is what we are confronting in the Middel East, where religion has hijacked some countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia, and our government constantly complains about them in that they are not democratic. We are headed in that same direction in this country, one small step at a time so it is not noticed as such. Elimination of a freedom here and a censorship there. Before you know it, it will be too late unless you are truly conscious and seeing things for what they are. It was a concern when Kennedy was running for President because he was Catholic and the public was concerned of the Vatican having influence in our affairs.

Let's hope more responsible politicians (and you my readers) speak out on this blur between Church and State and get us back more to the middle ground. It's your country and if you are on the religious right, reaffirm that our country was founded on a principle of separation of Church and State that has survived 230 years with a diverse culture representing many religions and no religion. It is worth saving, isn't it?

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Senator Biden announces run for President today.

Senator Biden
Originally uploaded by cdiamico.
Senator Joe Biden of Delaware, made news this morning announcing his intent to run for President in 2008, on "Face the Nation". His comments on what we need to do in Iraq shows why this Senator knows what he is talking about. From enlisting Nato to help guard the borders in Iraq, to accepting the Europeans offer to train more Iraqi's, I hope the President and the Administration listen to his suggestions to turn the Iraq situation around right now. Senator Biden, returning from a trip to Iraq, his 5th trip, reports US. Generals there tell a different story than what the Administration is touting now. VP Cheney even said the insurgents are in the last throws of being defeated in the past few days. Recent pronouncements by the Administration said we had turned a corner there. This was about the 6th time we had "turned a corner" there. Seems to me when you turn the corner so many times one could accurately conclude, we are going in circles. I think so. Don't you?

This is an email I sent to Senator Biden this morning after the "Face the Nation" broadcast:

Wow! I am thrilled you will be a serious candidate for President in 2008. I saw the "Face the Nation" broadcast this morning and again realized what a plain speaking, intelligent, thoughtful and sincere person you are. I was particularly touched by your comments about wanting to help a family bring home the remains of their son from Iraq and you were turned away. I did a short summary of your comments, as well as a link to your web site on my Blog this morning at:
Keep speaking out on what is needed in Iraq. It is too important to just let failure play out. I am encouraged by your comments on this Father's Day, that there is hope still.
Thanks Senator.

More Downing Street memos leaked

A total of 8 memo's, 36 pages have now been linked as being reported today by various media outlets. Most troubling to me was the disclosure that Condi Rice dined with Toni Blair's chief foreign policy advisor 6 months after 9/11 the then US National Security advisor didn't want to discuss Osama bin Laden or al-Qaida. She wanted to talk about regime change in Iraq. If you follow the timelines in the memo's carefully and include what was going on in this country, a picture emerges of a President and Administration that was hell bent on overthrowing even knowing to do this they had to mislead all of us.

Here are some quotes from the memos:

"US scrambling to establish a link between Iraq and al-Qaida is so far frankly unconvincing. To get a public and Parliamentary support for military operations, we have to be convincing that the threat is so serious/imminent that it is worth sending out troops to die for; it is qualitatively different from the threat posed by other proliferators who are closer to achieving nuclear capability (including Iran)."

Peter Ricketts, British Foreign office political director, openly asks whether the Bush Administration had a clear compelling military reason for war. "US scrambling to establish a link between Iraq and al-Qaida is so far frankly unconvincing," "For Iraq, 'regime change' does not stack up. It sounds like a grudge between Bush and Saddam."

Couple this with the writings of former Treasury Secretary, Paul O'Neill, who claimed they were working on Iraq even before 9/11, and Condi Rice's statement before the 9/11 Commission, when asked the reason we went to Iraq and the first reason out of her mouth was that Saddam attempted an assassination of George W.'s father, and you have a President who misled us for as much personal reasons as anything else. To me this is an impeachable offense if there ever was one. Let's see where this Congress goes with it. I'll bet nowhere!

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Has technology changed our morality?

My wife and I had a dinner with a couple of friends last night. In the conversation, my friend had a question for me. "Has technology changed our ethics, behavior and/or our morality?" The context of the conversation is this, it started over the decision Microsoft has made with respect to its products in China, where they have agreed to add filters on their products to check for words like freedom, democracy and other topics forbidden in China. This would allow the Chinese officials to track dissidents and keep control over the people. Cisco and a few other companies wanting to do business with China have agreed to similar restrictions in order to sell their products there.

Then the conversation branched to the development of guns, the morality issue with them and also to the development of nuclear, for making bombs to drop on Japan in WWII.

I thought it was an interesting question, so much so, that I wanted your view on the topic. So please make a comment. Contribute to a better understanding of the nuances in the question, as nothing is as simple as it seems. Thanks!

Friday, June 17, 2005

Senator Biden on "Face the Nation" this Sunday

Much to catch up on this weekend. On Sunday, Senator Joe Biden will be on Face the Nation. Sen. Biden is usually a moderate Democrat and he has been working with the Administration regarding the Iraq war. He has been critical but always offered good advice to the President in a way that is respectful and wanting the same goals as does the President. It will be interesting to hear what he has to say about Iraq and other topics of interest. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Iran Women's Protest

Iran Women's Protest
Originally uploaded by cdiamico.
Protest Against Violations of Women's Rights in the Iranian Constitution (June 12, 2005)

Iranian women have courage on display

I came across the picture above and web blog this morning that spells out clearly how lucky we all are here, no matter what is going on in our country right now. Take a moment and read what an Iranian young brave woman faces each day. She protested on Sunday and I felt empathy for her and felt that the reason we are free is because we speak out continually over things that don't sound right or aren't right. It is a lot easier here to speak out, as there are little repercussions. But Iran you take your life in your hands and yet they still speak out. Bravo, courageous Iranian-girl. See or you can click on the title above and be taken to her web page.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Senator Feinstein and Senator Hagel on Gitmo abuse reports

This is a letter I sent today to Senator Feinstein, as she and Senator Hagel, who both serve on the Select Intelligence Committee, were on CNN commenting on a report of a log book kept at Gitmo which kept track of prisoner abuse in 2002 and 2003. The original report which published the log was Time magazine.

"I saw you on CNN this morning with Senator Hagel. You both sounded correct and I know you chose your words carefully. But this treatment of prisoners at Gitmo, if true, now is making me ashamed to be an American. It does sound like a pattern of behavior that is prevalent. The Pentagon leadership may be minimally guilty of acts of negligence, if not complicity, if this is found true. You and Senator Hagel must hold hearings and get to the bottom of this and hold senior people accountable, and I stress accountable. This belongs at the steps of the civilians in leadership positions in the Pentagon, if not Rumsfeld himself."

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Bolton delay update

News from Senator Harry Reid of Nevada is that if the White House doesn't turn over records of communications intercepts Bolton sought from the secretive National Security Agency, the Democrats will not allow a vote on Bolton. A good site to visit for analysis on this is:

You can read CNN news on this late development on Thursday at:

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Downing Street secret memo

The secret memo that many in the US have not seen, except through other bloggers, is available by going to this web page:,,2087-1593607,00.html
It is being advanced by Democracy for America group as well as other liberal Democratic web sites. You should make up your own mind as to conclusions to be drawn. Mine was that there were a few lines that specifically said that Bush and the Administration were making intelligence fit their case to invade Iraq, but it didn't say they were making up intelligence, as some have claimed. Also, it is not clear as to the authors prejudice but we all have some. It is a damaging memo if you believe that, all along, the President and Vice President and other neocons within the Administration felt a score needed to be settled with Saddam. I can't blame George W. for that, as if someone had tried to assassinate my father I would want to get back at them too. The thing that is troubling to me is that there weren't cooler heads around this President. But there seems to have been ideologues that just wanted a grander scheme to have a chance at success and so they used this opportunity to fool all of us by deceit. For that I am angry.

Army divorce rate story on CNN

Today on Wolf Blitzer of CNN, they reported that the divorce rate among Army officers has increased significantly as the data reported by CNN shows:
Army officers Divorce rate for past 3 years:
2004 - 3325
2003 - 1866
2002 - 1060

Then they reported the Overall Army divorce rate for past 2 years as:
2004 - 10,477
2003 - 7,453

If the Bush Administration really cares about Family Values, then why don't they do something to keep past promises and allow our brave men and women to come home more frequently instead of extending their time in Iraq and Afghanistan without troop rotation. It has affected regular Army and the National Guard and their families. Come on Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, walk the talk! I'm sick of all your the flag waving rhetoric and from your Administration. WeThePeople will all be subjected to more of this rhetoric throughout the 4th of July celebrations. Why not do something really patriotic and have some troops come home for the 4th to spend with their families. Don't worry, the war will still be there when they go back! Or bite the bullet and start the draft again. That's the surest way to get this war to wind down. Start drafting sons and daughters of this Administration, members of Congress, the Senate, and sons and daughters of the Executive elite and watch how things change quickly.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

And we think we are so ahead of the rest of the world!

Sweden imposed a smoking ban at all restaurants and bars, following in the footsteps of Ireland and Italy. That's right, these countries have voted to do this. On another note, yesterday Sweden shut down its last nuclear reactor, as they had a vote and the population agreed to shut them down indefinetely. One of the main reasons given, after safety concerns, was the pursuit of new technological developments to find new sources of energy that are more global environmentally friendly. And we think we are the undisputed leaders of what's right for the rest of the world. Ha!

Monday, June 06, 2005

Bolton Update - News of firing UN Diplomat that would have mucked up the case against Iraq invasion.

More news yesterday comes from the Associated Press on John Bolton, Bush's nominee for US Ambassador to the UN, orchestrating the ouster of a Brazilian diplomat heading the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) because Bolton was worried he might be successful in stopping the US casse to invade Iraq. Read the whole article in the link provided and then come back and vote on the Bolton nomination Mini Poll. More and more evidence is surfacing the the Bush administration had a strategy to invade Iraq whether or not there was a case on WMD's. Our government deliberatly misled us at every turn and now wants young kids to enlsit and fight this war on their behalf, where these "leaders" were all too afraid to go fight themselves when given the chance back when they were young. At least I admitted I wasn't going to fight in the Vietnam war, because it was not a just cause in defending America, as a 20 year old at that time. Iraq was not a direct threat to the US as we were told at the time repeatedly using our fears to scare us in going along quietly.

I would love to see us more of a democracy than a theocracy but that is going to require new leaders. 2008 seems so far away, but 2006 is right around the corner. Yum, Yum! I hope we wake up as a country before it is too late.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Nixon and Mark Felt in 70s.ap

Originally uploaded by cdiamico.

Deep Throat: A lesson in courage or a criminal?

"Deep Throat" revealed himself recently, as he is 91 years old now and was the #2 person at the FBI back during Watergate. Some in the Administration have called him a criminal or, worse, a traitor, others not in the Administration have called him a hero. I wouldn't call him either. I believe he was in a situation, not unlike many of us have faced in our lives, where we see something wrong and, at the very least, unethical, and we are faced with what if anything to do about it. In my 25 plus years as a consultant, I saw business leaders faced with similar choices of ethics go through their own decision making processes about what to do. When someone like myself was there speaking as a voice for doing the "right" thing, they did. But I often wondered if I wasn't there or someone else wasn't there to speak for ethical behavior, what choices would they have made. Mr. Felt chose a difficult path. He had noone to raise the issue to in the Administration as his bosses and others at the highest level were in on the coverup of the crime. He did the right thing in my view, as I would hope I would have, given the same situation, by involving the media. I call Mr. Felt a patriot for democracy, which requires checks and balances. When there doesn't appear like anyone is providing those checks and balances, it is up to all of us to have the courage to fill that role ourselves. I have been fortuante to be around many colleagues that did just that in my years working for IBM. Just ordinary people who contributed in their own way to have the courage to see some things within a large monolith and spoke out. Maybe not on such a grand scale as did Mr. Felt, but it is through lesser battles that we gain the courage to do the "right" thing in grander situations. I would be willing to bet, Mr. Felt, over his carrer as an FBI official, had many small trials as to what path to take, courage to do what's right or allow fear to immobilze him from doing anything. Many break rules to bring the spotlight on issues and individuals. Thank God they do. And thank you, Mr. Felt, for having the courage of revealing you were Deep Throat, so late in your life. You certainly didn't have to, as your secret had been kept by Bob Woodward et al for all these years. And thank you Bob Woodward et al for doing the "right thing" in bringing us the Watergate story. This was the media's finest hour. Hopefully many journalists will take some good lessons from this.
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