Seattle Your dark exterior masks a caffeine driven activism. You'll take up a cause and you'll get ugly to advance it.
All of the possible quiz results for this quiz: New York (You scored 0) [Editor's comment: I like New York. I wonder why it didn't get any score...] Las Vegas (You scored 1) Cleveland (You scored 1) Washington DC (You scored 0) San Francisco (You scored 1) Seattle (You scored 2) Los Angeles (You scored 1) Memphis (You scored 0) Boston (You scored 0) [Editor's comment: I like Boston. I wonder why it didn't get any score...] Orlando (You scored 0)
In the Swedish news: German agencies have exposed a Swedish import company trying to get hold of products that could be used for the production of WMD. Some middlemen tried to sell German "high-voltage switches" to Iran.
Some weeks ago I participated in a course on economical supplier evaluation. I "crunched" numbers, figured out financial ratios and went through annual reports. We ended the course by playing a business simulation game.
In a recent article in a Swedish daily newspaper, a business reporter writes about Claes Fornell and the American Consumer Satisfaction Index. Mr. Fornell says that you could see a clear pattern between changes in the ACSI and the GDP. The article points out that a big change of a certain company's index could give an indication that something dramatic is going to happen with the stock price in the near future.
It would be interesting to read comments on the relation between consumer satisfaction, financial ratios and stock price.
As the bearer of good "cakewalk" news, Chalabi collected almost $40 million from U.S. taxpayers before the plug was pulled on his ambitions to succeed Saddam. Even though the CIA and the State Department certified Chalabi as a super con man, the Defense Intelligence Agency decided he was on the level and went on paying him $340,000 a month until early May. Now everyone is running for cover. (United Press International, 05/24/04.)
Before Saddam fell, Chalabi appeared to be a secular Shiite. (During a public forum last June at the Council on Foreign Relations, he referred to Iraq's Shiites as not "we," but "they.") Now, as power gravitated toward the Grand Ayatollah Sistani, Chalabi formed a pact with the most militant of Shiite sects, even leading a walkout when the Governing Council took up a measure to secularize family law. (Slate, 05/24/04.)
Apart from money, which is a powerful motivator in and of itself, the question is why Chalabi would be willing to get into bed with the Iranians? One theory is that Chalabi, a Shiite, was attempting to position himself as a "man of the people" in efforts to ingratiate himself to the Shiites of Iraq and solidify his political base. Iran admits "close ties" to Chalabi, but maintains that there is no espionage involvement. Are we to believe such gobbledygook? It just doesn't ring true, given the patently corrupt nature of the Iranian regime. (Enter Stage Right, 05/24/04.)
Perhaps the Chalabi affair will prompt some thinking in Washington about how not to choose a "bad" friend in the first place, and how to avoid giving the impression that its allies have duped the United States. Washington also needs to figure out a way of cutting ties with undesirable allies without deepening the impression that America does not stand by its friends. (International Herald Tribune, 05/25/04.)
In this fight the enemy does not play by our rules, or by any rules at all. WMD will be in terrorist hands eventually; conventional wisdom recognizes this reality. Concessions and negotiations at best only delay catastrophe. Europe and its people are in this war whether they acknowledge it or not. Those who would appease terrorists must realize that by pretending that this battle does not exist, they will soon have blood on their hands--both real and metaphorical. (OpinionJournal, 05/19/04.)
Here is a new column by Burgess Laughlin. Have you purchased his book yet?
"We, who live by values, not by loot, are traders, both in matter and in spirit."
The reason for living in society is trade. The vast network we call society is largely a network of trade of one form or another, directly or indirectly.
Trading what? Common examples are trading money for groceries, or labor for money. Concrete-bound mentalities stop there in an examination of trade. There are other forms of trade.
1. TRADING FAVORS
Some individuals have an internal conflict over doing favors for others. This conflict is needless. The same principles apply to trading favors that apply to trading money for groceries. For example, if I do a job-related favor for a co-worker -- one that helps him do his job and helps the company improve its profit -- there is a trade.
A tiny example is holding a co-worker's cup of coffee while he quickly grabs his ringing cell phone.
Why do such favors? First, generally speaking, I am being paid to increase the company's profit, not merely to do a strictly circumscribed job. I always do such favors, assuming that, first, doing them doesn't undermine my particular job assignments, and, second, that the co-worker reciprocates someday and in some way.
Of course, if there is no trade, short-term or long-term, or if doing a favor creates a sacrifice because I cannot do my own narrowly defined job, then I would need to take some other action such as saying no or discussing the conflict with my manager.
2. TRADING INFORMATION
Let's say that on a certain morning I have a headache as I walk up to my bus stop. A casual acquaintance standing at the stop asks, "How are you?" I might either shrug or briefly answer, "Okay." This near-stranger offers me nothing that would lead me to give him more information.
On the same day, my employer gives me an immediate assignment. He says it is the most important task I will every have in this job. He then asks, "How are you feeling at the moment?" I explain, at whatever length is required, that I am feeling somewhat ill, but that I am confident I can do the assignment (or I will suggest that he find someone else for this task, to ensure success on the project). Giving him that information is part of the pattern of trade I have established with him and the company that employs both of us.
Later in the day, if I meet my closest friend for dinner, and she asks, "How are you?" -- then I might explain at some length that I am feeling ill and why. Judging me is important to her, and she deserves enough information to make an informed decision about my behavior.
The general rule is: The more I value another person, the more information I offer. Shutting out highly valued individuals is a contradiction in evaluation.
A SLIDING SCALE
What determines how much we offer and how much we expect in return? Each person's hierarchy of values is the guide. That principle applies as much to spiritual, social, and other nonmaterial values as it does to material ones.
SB 1822, which sailed through the Senate Judiciary Committee with only one dissenting vote, would change the agreement between Gmail users and Google. The bill would require Google (as well as other providers of e-mail and instant messaging) to obtain the prior consent of the sender for any outgoing messages. It would also require Google and other companies to obtain the prior consent of both sender and recipient for any incoming messages. (The Mercury News, 05/19/04.)
Will the folks at Google stick to their guns and follow the company's motto: "Don't Be Evil." Or, will they cave in to the pressure from the bureaucrats in Washington? Time will tell...
The primary Iranian supporter of Senator John Kerry and a subject of many controversies, Hassan Nemazee, has sued the "Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran (SMCCDI) and its coordinator for 10-million dollars in damages.
You have read his books. You have seen him on television shows ranging from Crossfire to C-SPAN to Politically Incorrect to The O’Reilly Factor. You may even have read his full-page ads taken out in newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post in defense of America after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. And yet few people know Leonard Peikoff – the man behind the headlines.
This week's Carnival of the Capitalists is hosted by Josh Cohen of D-42.com. I agree with Rob of BusinessPundit that this edition is one of the best. Here is an excerpt:
Martin Lindeskog of EGO notes that smoking will be illegal in restaurants starting 6/1/05. He links to a paper on restaurant owners and their perceptions of the effects of the smoking ban. I include this in "World Economics" because smokers are a fairly large bloc of consumers, and by banning them from smoking except in certain areas or at certain types of restaurants/bars (as it is in Florida) the government crushes businesses who depend upon the smoking bloc. (Blogspot Alert: Scroll down to "Smoking Ban in Sweden on 06/01/05")
[Editor's comment: I wonder why the trackback link is not showing up on my post. I have to check it with HaloScan.]
Speaking about blogging tools, I wonder how the folks at Six Apart Ltd. will ride out the storm with their new Moveable Type pricing strategy. Jeff Jarvis and Jay Solo are offering constructive criticism.
I must admit that I watched part of the Eurovision Song Contest. I am glad to inform my (and The Politburo Diktat a.k.a The Pravda) readers about some interesting tidbits from the show and give you a "socio-politico" analysis by linking the musical trends within the European Union... [Editor's note: I wonder how this post will end... ;)]
Commissar said: "This is what has happened since great Union of Soviet Socialist Republics has broken up." Comrade, you have a point there. The Russian representative was acting like a bully and told the TV audience how big their country was and you could read between the lines that the Russian delegates were not happy about Ukrania's independence from the Soviet Union.
I think that Ruslana's song was pretty cool and it had a lot of energy. My favorite songs came from Malta, Albania and Cyprus. It was interesting to watch how candidates from former Eastern block countries had an outspoken Western style and sometime acted with sexy overtones, e.g., Bosnia & Herzegovina's female disco dancers in mini shorts and Romania's singer dressed in a black teddy lingerie. Maybe they could participate in the next episode of Eurotrash TV show?
Freedom of choice has been crushed in Sweden. A proposal of a ban by the government has received support by a majority of the members in a committee with the name "Health and Welfare." You will not be able to smoke freely at a restaurant on June 1, 2005. If you have to smoke, you will be asked to sit in a separate room without any food or drinks. The intention of the new ban is to "create" a "smoke-free working environment" for the restaurant workers, according to Kicki Moeler (Social Democrat), a spokeswoman for Health Minister Morgan Johansson. The National Institute of Public Health has come to the conclusion that there is no economic loss from a smoking ban. If you are interested in this topic, read Henrik Hammar's (School of Economics and Commercial Law, University of Gothenburg) paper, Restaurant Owners Perceptions of Effects of a Smoking Ban (2001).
What's the root of the problematic situation in the Middle East? I think that my readers would be interested to read a future column by Burgess Laughlin on this topic. At the end of his book, The Aristotle Adventure, he has a graphical summary of the Fate of Aristotle's logic, through the Arabic-Islamic branch - to 1600 AD. (Click here for viewing the poster.) Burgess Laughlin writes the following on page 124:
After the two contemporaries, Ibn Rushd and Ibn Maimun, no significant Arabic philosophers (Aristotelian or otherwise) appeared in Islamic culture - ever. In Islamic-Spain, the study of logic and philosophy (as parts of "alien learning") became extinct, extinguished by popular and theological hostility to non-Islamic culture.
I don't think that the antidote to militant Islam is a new crusade by the Christians, forcing people in Middle East to convert to another type of faith, but I could agree with the first part [my emphasis in italics] of Ann Coulter's quote [Hat tip to Moxie for the quote]:
"We know who the homicidal maniacs are. They are the ones cheering and dancing right now. We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity."
The solution is not more faith-based initiatives, but instead looking at the reality and guide your life by using reason.
The West doesn't have the power to change Islam; it only has the power to destroy it. We have a lot of nukes. We could kill everyone. We could just take out a few troublesome nations, kill millions, and irradiate Mecca so that the Fifth Pillar is invalidated.
We don't have to change the religion of Islam. What we should do is to challenge Islam (and other religions) in the ideological battle field, and continuously to spread better ideas.
James Lileks gives five alternatives of different reactions to beheading of Nick Berg:
There are five reactions one could have to such acts, committed by a coreligionist: Endorsement, Indifference, Denial, Rejection, Participation.
In my eyes, Nick Berg is not just one person, but 3,000 people. His murder is another 9/11, on a lesser scale, but not on a less important scale. He was murdered because he was an American. Just like the two towers and the Pentagon represented America to those bastards who flew the planes that day, and to those that planned the attacks, and to their followers, Nick Berg represented America.
Read Bob McManus' article, Turning the tables, if you want to learn about the military process called the "Boyd Cycle." Mr. McManus ends the article in an eloquent way:
In the end, of course, the real enemy in the War on Terror is a madness that at the moment of murder shouts "Allahu Akbar"-"God is great."
There is no reasoning with radical Islam. All that can be done is to reduce it to a state where it no longer poses a threat to the United States or its interests in the world.
Of necessity, such a strategy would produce graphic pictures in abundance - enough, perhaps, to convince the radicals of the folly of making war on America?
Nick Berg's murder needs to be the beginning of yet another Boyd Cycle, turning the enemy's strength - America's weak stomach - against him.
By all means, transmit shocking images - of dead al Qaeda terrorists, and the wreckage that will attend their defeat.
America will win, it if has the guts. (New York Post, 05/12/04.)
I have added a countdown script (powered by Blogtricks) to the Poll category that is showing how many days have gone since America attacked ("Uncle Sam Tour") Afghanistan and Iraq. I have also included how many days that are left until the Presidential election. Do you think that G.W. Bush will order to attack another member of the Axis of Evil before November 2?
Robert Tracinski wrote the article, Islam vs. the West, in November 1998. Here is an excerpt:
The primary terrorist threat to the United States comes from Islamic fundamentalists—and the more fervent a country’s or organization’s Islamic beliefs, the more venomous are its denunciations of the West. This is not a coincidence. It stems directly from a fundamental ideological conflict between Islam and the West—an ideological conflict that can be seen, not only in the attacks by Islamic terrorists, but also in the near-civil-wars in countries like Turkey, Egypt, and Algeria between Islamic factions and their more-Westernized governments.
This central issue is the conflict between secularism and religious fundamentalism. (Robert W. Tracinski, The Intellectual Activist.)
Read Victor Davis Hanson's article, The Wars for the West. [Hat tip to Ben, George Mason University Objectivist Club.] Here is an excerpt:
This classically liberal vision is always under assault on the left by utopian totalitarians, devils who demand coercive government powers to force us to be angels, and on the right by autocratic romantics who believe in the superiority of a pure religion, race, or nationality. Thus we must defend the promise of the West and its manifestation in America almost constantly. (VictorHanson.com, 05/07/04.)
Morally, to fight a war in self-defense requires that one soundly defeat the enemy while safeguarding one's forces and citizens. ... If we continue to wage a compassionate war, it will be a matter of time before Islamic militants bring suicide-bombings and mass murder (again) to the streets of the United States. (America's Compassion in Iraq is Self-Destructive, 04/20/04.)
We all witnessed the devastating impact of bad ideas on September 11, 2001. The terrorists embraced a death-worshipping religion, unrelieved by reason, which violently opposes all that is beneficial to mankind: reason, freedom and capitalism. Its adherents desire not the betterment of their own lives but the destruction of ours. The consequence for them is an insecure existence subject to the arbitrary whims of mullahs, dictators and sheiks.
"A video posted Tuesday on an Islamic militant Web site showed the beheading of an American civilian in Iraq, and said the execution was carried out by an al-Qaida affiliated group to avenge the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers." (The Guardian / AP, 05/11/04.)
With this post I want to shift my readers' attention from Osama bin Laden's way of using gold to attract terrorists, to a positive and productive way of using Aurum. My friend Christer Sjöback has placed an ad for his goldsmith business, SJC Jewelry. For further inspiration, check out Damon A. H. Denys's painting, Gold Standard, at Cordair Fine Art gallery. I found out about Mr. Denys' new painting from Chris Davis' post, Tools of the Trade.
Do you want more fuel for your soul? Read the following excerpt from Ayn Rand's book, Atlas Shrugged. The quote is taken from a dialogue between Dagny Taggart and Owen Kellogg:
There was no printing on the package, no trade name, no address, only the dollar sign stamped in gold. The cigarettes bore the same sign. "Where did you get this?" she asked. He was smiling. "If you know enough to ask that, Miss Taggart, you should know that I won't answer." "I know that this stands for something." "The dollar sign? For a great deal. It stands on the vest of every fat, piglike figure in every cartoon, for the purpose of denoting a crook, a grafter, a scoundrel—as the one sure-fire brand of evil. It stands—as the money of a free country—for achievement, for success, for ability, for man's creative power—and, precisely for these reasons, it is used as a brand of infamy. It stands stamped on the forehead of a man like Hank Rearden, as a mark of damnation. Incidentally, do you know where that sign comes from? It stands for the initials of the United States." [Atlas Shrugged (1957), Part Two -"Either-Or," Chapter 10 - "The Sign of the Dollar," page 630.]
"Speculation is rife that Israel, will take this matters into its own hands, and strike the Bushehr reactor or the sites. The Israeli government is apparently ready to eliminate Iran's nuclear program with specific military strikes. A special unit of Mossad intelligence service received orders to prepare plans for attacks. Half a dozen of targets are to be destroyed at the same time and completely by F-16 fighter bombers." (Persian Journal, 05/09/04.)
I share Robert Tracy's (Illustratred Ideas) reaction to Osama bin Laden's latest message of rewarding terrorists with gold. I thought to myself: Has O.B.L. run out of paper money, plastic keys to the penthouse in heaven and virgins / abkarun? I will not try to come up with something clever and witty as Robert's post, The Root of All Good, so I will direct you to the following pieces:
Here is an excerpt from Osama bin Laden's statement:
"You know that the United States offered great prizes for whoever would kill those engaged in jihad in God's cause. God willing, we within the al-Qaeda Organization are committed to offering a prize amounting to 10,000 grams in gold to whoever would kill the occupier Bremer, his deputy, the commander of the US troops, or his deputy in Iraq."
I wonder if the jihadis fully understand the fine print text of the "contract":
"In view of the security circumstances, the handing over of the prizes will be at the nearest possible opportunity, God willing." (BBC Monitoring, 05/07/04.)
A former teacher from the state of AR is trying to become the new "führer" of the neo-national socialist movement. Read Rebecca Sinderbrand's article, A Racist On the Rise. [Hat tip to Quent Cordair's post on HBL mailing list, 05/08/04.] Here is an excerpt from the article:
"The day after the 9/11 attacks, Roper posted a statement on the Web that read, in part: "Anyone who is willing to drive a plane into a building to kill Jews is alright by me... The enemy of our enemy is, for now at least, our friend."" (Newsweek, May 10 issue.)
"It has been fun, interesting and rewarding to blog. I will continue to do it as long as I think it is worth spending time on doing it. Right now, I definitively get a "kick out of it". EGO blog has become my own web portal and start page. It is a place for me to archive things that I think are interesting to save for the future. It is a great way of keeping online articles in one place. It is also very convenient to have your favorite links and bookmarks in the sidebar of the blog.
Why did I start to blog? One reason is the great opportunity to be able to vent your views in public. I have the chance to comment on today's news in a quick and direct way. I think that blogging is a great way of spreading better ideas."
I must admit that it have been ups and downs during this past year. Directly after I introduced EGO online store, I got this "friendly" comment from someone called "jackiefg":
"hold on, this is too much. now i'm supposed to want to buy t-shirts from a guy on blogspot because he writes his thoughts on the net (much like how many zillions of us do?) wait! this guy has a website! well then let me buy one of his t-shirts! i hope i can get in before the big line up."
What's up with this kind of comment?! I want to thank you who have purchased EGO products. If you are interested in buying a certain product, please contact me and I will add it to the store.
Recently I felt a bit down and was thinking of taking a break from blogging. I had published my interview with Dwayne Bell (founder and editor of Body in Mind) and later on I found some nasty comments by a bunch of anarchists who attacked my post in a very nihilistic way. But I am happy to say that I got moral support from some of my loyal readers and I got back on my feet again!
I must say that today is not an easy day to blog. I got totally disgusted by reading today's newspaper (The Swedish Daily) and I have had a hard time to concentrate my thinking on positive things. Luckily, you could get new energy by surfing around the blogosphere. Here is an excerpt from Michele Catalano's (A Small Victory) post, Inside Blogging: The email edition:
"Many people mistake weblog writers for paid mass media columnists. They mistake weblogs for daily newspapers.
There's really no other way to explain the mail I get.
Why haven't you been covering the torture scandal? Are you avoiding the issue? Are you embarassed? Are you trying to cover it up? Do you not deem it as worthy as Ted Rall's comic?
Real email. Verbatim.
Here's the thing: I have no obligation to cover everything in the news. I am not Newsday or the Daily News. I have no business model of fair and balanced coverage. Should I skip the days events and write about badgers and bananas, you really have no right to complain. If you pay for delivery of the Daily News every day and you feel as if they have not been complete in their war coverage, by all means - write them and tell them. Complain about their bad grammar or poor choice of headlines or biased editorials. They may even listen, because they depend on you to keep in business.
I don't. If you choose to skip over this blog, I don't lose any money. I lose a hit, but hits aren't cash and your decision to not read here does not really weigh heavily upon my mind. I have no board meetings or story meetings. I have no staff. I have no one to answer to but myself. Therefore, I write whatever the hell I want.
It's not just me. I see it as I glance over other weblogs. You've seen the posts: Blogger A has ignored the latest Bush controversy! Blogger B is ignoring John Kery's past! That must mean something, right? Lack of coverage means you condone whatever it is your not covering!
Well, to set the record straight (even though I already wrote a lengthy post on this a while back), I am really not in favor of torture. There, I said it. That should take care of about three emails I received last night." (Michele Catalano, 05/06/04.)
The second part of Michele's post is dealing with the exchange of links in a proper way. For more on the issue of linking, read Bill's (INDC Journal) confessions.
Some of the new features that have been added during the year are the Book of the Month and the Guest Columns. I have also been able to place ads on my blog. I am still a "poor" capitalist and I don't think I will get rich on advertising, but I am happy to provide my readers with different products and services that could be of interest.
And now it is time for some trivia stats compared with last year:
According to recent Site Meter statistics, my blog has on average 123 visitors / 165 page views (2003: 50 visitors / 90 page views) per day. I am ranked # 7,344 of 144,065 (2003: # 19,866 of 134,387) on BlogStreet.
I want to end this post by sending a greeting to John Cox & Allen Forkum: Thanks for taking the time answering my interview questions. Your First Annual Report has been great inspirational reading in preparation for writing this post.
To my readers: Thanks for reading my blog. I appreciate the email messages, comments, and feedback that I have received during this period. Keep 'em coming! See you around! Cheerio & Right Ho!
UPDATE 05/10/04: Allen, Elizabeth, Christer, Jim: Thanks for your kind words! :)
The following comment by Mats is the type of remark that could result in a blog break:
"Doesn't the man on the ego logo remind you of other men in other posters from other countries during other times?"
I will give Mats a chance to explain himself. For your information, here is an excerpt from my interview (12/04/03) with John Cox & Allen Forkum:
EGO: First of all, I want to thank you very much for your work with the EGO logotype. Do you want to tell my readers how you came up with the logotype?
FORKUM: The initial idea for the logo was a graphic solution using the word "ego" to form a person's face, but the results didn't really connote egoism strongly enough. I knew John could illustrate a heroic, proud man so that is the tack we took. The original drawing had a square border around it. We eliminated that so the man would be the highest graphic element in the logo. The sphere was meant to connote a lofty peak or even the world itself.
COX: Heroic was what I was shooting for. There was power in his stance that I think captured a sense of joy and determination. I really wanted to work simple, simple, simple. You put the logo on a jersey and I've worn that shirt out. [EGO Editor: How about sending a X-mas gift to John & Allen?] I really liked the understated size of the artwork, yet its intent is a real attention-getter. That logo was a fun project.
"Less than 24 hours after accusing the Walt Disney Company of pulling the plug on his latest documentary in a blatant attempt at political censorship, the rabble-rousing film-maker Michael Moore has admitted he knew a year ago that Disney had no intention of distributing it." (Andrew Gumbel, Independent.co.uk, 05/07/04.)
"My sources say, however that not only did Davey make the $5 million deal with Moore, but when it was announced Gibson got calls from Republican friends urging him to back out of it right away. Gibson, who was then working on "The Passion of the Christ," acceded to their wishes rather than be involved in two headline-and-headache making projects." (Fox News, 05/07/04.)
Hollywood reporter Pat Nason ends his analysis in the following way:
"Moore may be an Oscar-winning filmmaker and a best-selling author, but he is also a world-class provocateur. If he had not capitalized on the Disney distribution deal to promote his movie, that would have been news." (United Press International, 05/06/04.)
The Financial Times concludes:
"In this case, there is not too much to fret about. Mr Moore has again pitched himself as a hero of the left, oppressed by the power of big corporations. The publicity will no doubt help him to strike a good distribution deal." (FT.com, 05/07/04.)
UPDATE 05/23/04: Michael Moore's movie, Fahrenheit 9/11, won Palme d'Or. The jury said that the movie won the award on "merit." Lee (MooreWatch.com) thinks that's "bs." For more on this topic, read the following:
UPDATE 05/06/04: [Editor's note: Bill from INDC Journal has the following comment: "Hey - I noticed a trackback on my post, but I see no related link. Out of curiosity, can you explain the logic? Thanks." I sent a trackback ping to Bill's post, INDC and Gorebot: "Al Gore's company that launched his new television network is called INdTV Holdings. This company has absolutely NO affiliation with INDC Journal. Repeat, I am in no way directly compensated by Al Gore, though I do benefit greatly from his involvement with the whole internet thing. Just wanted to make that clear ..."
I thought that both my post and Bill's were related to the news that Gore had acquired Newsworld International, but maybe I am mistaken. I thought that my "TraktorBack" (using the Politburo Diktat's dictionary) link could continue the discussion on Gore's interest in media. For more on how-to blog, read Commissar's post, Trackbacks - The Peoples' Version.]
"Newsweek has learned that top Bush administration officials have been briefed on intelligence indicating that Chalabi and some of his top aides have supplied Iran with "sensitive" information on the American occupation in Iraq. U.S. officials say that electronic intercepts of discussions between Iranian leaders indicate that Chalabi and his entourage told Iranian contacts about American political plans in Iraq. There are also indications that Chalabi has provided details of U.S. security operations." (Newsweek, May 10 issue.)
Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor) [via Iran va Jahan] reports the following on Chalabi's connection with Iran:
"That Chalabi had close relations with Iran is not in itself startling. He is a Shiite who was deeply opposed to Saddam Hussein; he took friends where he could get them. It is somewhat more surprising that his extensive dealings with Iran were not regarded as a hindrance to a U.S. relationship with him prior to the war. He was in rather deep with the Iranians." (Stratfor, 02/18/04.)
BOOK OF THE MONTH, WISH LIST, BIRTHDAY COUNTDOWN SCRIPT
I have picked Essays on Ayn Rand's We the Living by Robert Mayhew as the Book of the Month. I have added it to my Wish List at Amazon. Have you seen the birthday countdown script (powered by Blogtricks)? [Editor: Should I classify this hint as a "public service announcement"?!]