Sunday, September 30, 2007

Taliban Suicide Blast in Kabul Kills 30

Taliban Suicide Blast in Kabul Kills 30

By JASON STRAZIUSO – 22 hours ago

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A Taliban suicide bomber wearing an Afghan army uniform set off a huge explosion Saturday while trying to board a military bus in the capital, killing 30 people, most of them soldiers, officials said. Hours later, the Afghan president offered to meet personally with the Taliban leader for peace talks and give the militants a position in government.

Digital Life Bits

Today is the beginning of a family project I call DigitalLifeBits. The goal is to use technology to bring my family closer together. We have all been sharing emails, emails with photos, digital photo albums, blog sites, Skype (video and voice over IP), chat and other tools to communicate. This project is to take it to the next level of using technology to enrich our lives by sharing more of who we are and what we are doing.

Saturday, September 29, 2007


DIKW stands for Data, Information, Knowledge and Wisdom. Anyone who knows me knows that this has been a major interest of mine for some time. So what is DIKW?
Data - a string of identified but unevaluated symbols
Information - Evaluated, validated, or useful data
Knowledge - Information in the context of understanding
Wisdom - according to the dictionary, is defined as the
1 a: Accumulated philosophic or scientific learning-knowledge;
b: Ability to discern inner qualities and relationships-insight;
c: Good sense-judgment
d: Generally accepted belief.
2: A wise attitude, belief, or course of action.
3: The teachings of the ancient wise men (is 53 ancient?)

I hope that you will all share your wisdom with me. I plan on spending the rest of my life collecting wisdom and sharing it with those I love.

NIE - Iraq

The following is an extract from the January 2007 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq.

Iraqi society’s growing polarization, the persistent weakness of the security forces and the state in general, and all sides’ ready recourse to violence are collectively driving an increase in communal and insurgent violence and political extremism. Unless efforts to reverse these conditions show measurable progress during the term of this Estimate, the coming 12 to 18 months, we assess that the overall security situation will continue to deteriorate at rates comparable to the latter part of 2006. If strengthened Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), more loyal to the government and supported by Coalition forces, are able to reduce levels of violence and establish more effective security for Iraq’s population, Iraqi leaders could have an opportunity to begin the process of political compromise necessary for longer term stability, political progress, and economic recovery.
• Nevertheless, even if violence is diminished, given the current winner-take-all attitude and sectarian animosities infecting the political scene, Iraqi leaders will be hard pressed to achieve sustained political reconciliation in the time frame of this Estimate.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Army Expansion

WASHINGTON -- The Army's top official called Thursday for the acceleration of a multiyear expansion of the country's biggest fighting force, a move that probably would require radical new approaches for keeping soldiers in uniform.

Army Secretary Pete Geren said the planned expansion from its official size of 482,000 to 547,000, announced by President Bush in December as the first post-Cold War increase in U.S. forces, should be completed in four years rather than five to alleviate the strain on troops from frequent combat tours.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Afghan battles 'leave 150 dead'

Two battles in southern Afghanistan have left more than 150 people dead as Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, prepares to discuss his country's escalating violence at the White House.

At least 104 Taliban fighters died in fighting in the district of Musa Qala, the group's stronghold in Helmand province, the US military said on Wednesday.

One soldier from US-led forces was also killed and four others wounded, while another 65 Taliban were killed in the Uruzgan province on Tuesday, the US military said.

Check out the rest of the story on Al Jazeera by clicking the title to this blog entry. We need to keep our focus on Afghanistan and hunting down Osama.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Bin Laden losing control of Al Qaeda?

Bin Laden losing control of Al Qaeda?

By Sami Yousafzai and Ron Moreau

According to a Taliban liaison officer with Al Qaeda, bin Laden recently learned that a faction within his own organization had been conspiring to sideline him.

Click on the title of this blog entry to read the whole story in the Daily Times - Pakistan.

Osama bin Laden - wanted terrorist

The world still seeks to bring Osama bin Laden to justice for his terrorist acts. The US is bogged down in Iraq and should be expending more resources in Afghanistan to find and capture Osama bin Laden. We think he is hiding in the Hindu Kush Range, Badakhshan province, Afghanistan. The September 3, 2007 edition of Newsweek has a special report about the US hunt for the wanted terrorist.

Monday, September 24, 2007


Operation Noble Eagle is the name given to military operations related to homeland
security and support to federal, state, and local agencies in the wake of the September 11th attacks.

Operation Enduring Freedom includes ongoing operations in Afghanistan, operations against terrorists in other countries, and training assistance to foreign militaries which are conducting operations against terrorists.

Operation Iraqi Freedom includes the invasion of Iraq, the defeat of Saddam Hussein’s regime, and the subsequent peacekeeping, rebuilding, and counter-insurgency operations in Iraq.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Kuwait Science Club

This way to the Kuwait Science Club

Science & Technology - Iran

Some internet sources about science and technology and Iran from the Library of Congress. Science is important to the human race we would all do well to remember this.

Federation of American Scientists (
The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) ‘is the oldest organization dedicated to ending the worldwide arms race, achieving complete nuclear disarmament, and avoiding the use of nuclear weapons for any purpose.' Whatever one's views are on its goals, a search of the site yields valuable information on a country's armament found only with difficulty elsewhere.

Geological Survey of Iran (GSI) (
Prepared by the Ministry of Mines and Metals of Iran, the site offers both in English and Farsi scientific and technological reports on geological topics relating to that country. Related links are also given.

Green Party of Iran (
English and Farsi language home page of the Green Party of Iran (Hezb-e-sabz Hayeh Iran), dedicated to environmental issues in Iran.

International Institute for Caspian Studies (
‘The International Institute for Caspian Studies (IICS) is a non governmental research and consultancy institute based in Tehran and aimed at promoting and undertaking scholarly studies regarding political, economic, social, cultural, environmental, and legal issues of the Caspian region.' Its English language site offers newsletters, seminar and program information, links and other services related to its mission.

Ministry of Agriculture Jahad (
Farsi and English language site published by the Iranian Ministry of Agriculture.

National Research Center of Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology (
Located in Tehran, the Center has provides an English language site which presents its faculty, programs and other aspects related to its mission and initiatives.

Research Institute of Petroleum Industry (RIPI) (
Founded in 1959 as a subsidiary of the National Iranian Oil Company, RIPI conducts research and develops technology relating to the petroleum industry. The site is invaluable in providing access to information on this industry vital to Iran's economy.

World Health Organization (
The official site of the WHO offers text in English, French or Spanish on its mission and health initiatives, programs and warnings world wide.

Knowledge Dispersion - Iran

I was doing some research on knowledge dispersion in our society. You know how is scientific knowledge shared and how is it used. When I came across this website;

Knowledge Diffusion Network is a nonprofit organization that aims to promote collaboration of Iranian academics living abroad with the scientific community in Iran.

Click on the title to this blog entry and you will go to the site. I have not looked too closely at it yet so this link is here so I can come back and look when I have more time. If anyone looks let me know what you think.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


Had dinner at Chili's tonight on Gulf Road with friends. We usually meet for dinner on Saturday and catch up on stories. It is good to get out of the apartment and share a good meal with good conversation.

Friday, September 21, 2007


The Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) promotes applied research in areas closely connected with Kuwait's development needs. It includes the National Scientific & Technical Information Center (NSTIC) which supplies scientific data to public and private clients. Check them out on the web by clicking the title to this blog entry (KISR) above. Science is the pathway to the future.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Ramadan in Kuwait

So it is Ramadan in Kuwait. The other day a TCN (Third Country National) was working out in the hot sun and had himself a drink of water. During daylight as you have guessed and during Ramadan. So what did the local Kuwaiti do who observered this terrible infraction? As a devote follower of Islam he walked over to the young man and began to bet the hell out of him! For drinking water during the daylight hours of Ramadan. It did not occur to him to perhaps go over and explain that drinking water during the day during Ramadan is "bad". So he just bet the hell out of another human being. All in the name of religion.

Death in the name of Religion

Sunni's and Shia's continue to kill each other in Iraq. In August the Iraqi death toll was down to 1,500. Down to 1,500 from a high last year of 3,000 per month. Humans killing each other because they are not members of the same religious group. Does anyone think this makes any sense what's so ever? Killing in the name of religion.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Man masters nature not by force but by understanding.
This is why science has succeeded.
-- Jacob Bronowski

World Record - Death

"Drive defensively. One-third of all deaths in Kuwait are driving-related and the country has one of the highest road accident rates in the world."

From Kuwait Pocket Guide 2007, 22nd Edition.

Now there is a world record to be proud of, highest road accident rates in the WORLD! And I can provide first hand accounts of this fact. Since I see new wrecked cars along the side of the road every day. I have seen a man dead in the street outside his wrecked car. I have seen blood on cars along the road. The local Kuwaiti drivers are rude and inconsiderate. They have major road-rage issues. Wonder why? Unhappy with the rest of their lives?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Thought of the Day

Our belief is not a belief. Our principles are not faith. We do not rely solely upon science and reason, because these are necessary rather than sufficient factors, but we distrust anything that contradicts science or outrages reason. We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free inquiry, openmindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake... We are not immune to the lure of wonder and mystery and awe: we have music and art and literature, and find that the serious ethical dilemmas are better handled by Shakespeare and Tolstoy and Schiller and Dostoyevsky and George Elliot than in the mythical morality tales of the holy books. Literature, not scripture, sustains the mind and – since there is no other metaphor – also the soul. We do not believe in heaven or hell, yet no statistic will ever find that without these blandishments and threats we commit more crimes of greed or violence than the faithful. (In fact, if a proper statistical inquiry could ever be made, I am sure the evidence would be the other way.)... We are reconciled to living only once, except through our children, for whom we are perfectly happy to notice that we must make way, and room. We speculate that it is at least possible that, once people accepted the fact of their short struggling lives, they might behave better toward each other and not worse. We believe with certainty that an ethical life can be lived without religion. And we know for a fact the corollary holds true—that religion has caused innumerable people to not just to conduct themselves no better than others, but to award themselves permission to behave in ways that would make a brothel-keeper or an ethnic cleanser raise an eyebrow... There is no need for us to gather every day, or every seven days, or on any high and auspicious day, to proclaim our rectitude or to grovel and wallow in our unworthiness. We atheists do no require any priests, or any hierarchy above them, to police our doctrine. Sacrifices and ceremonies are abhorrent to us, as are relics and the worship of any images or objects. To us no spot on earth is or could be “holier” than another: to the ostentatious absurdity of the pilgrimage, or the plain horror of killing civilians in the name of some sacred wall or cave or shrine or rock, we can counterpose a leisurely or urgent walk from one side of the library or the gallery to another, or to lunch with an agreeable friend, in pursuit of truth or beauty.

Christopher Hitchens
God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

Iraq in the news

1. Washington Post, "Petraeus Backs Initial Pullout," 9/11/07 2. Ibid.
3. New York Times, "Time to Take a Stand," 9/7/07
4. Washington Post, "Experts Doubt Drop in Violence in Iraq," 9/6/07
5. ABC News, "Iraqis' Own Surge Assessment," 9/10/07
6. Washington Post, "Experts Doubt Drop in Violence in Iraq," 9/6/07
7. Associated Press, "1,809 Iraqi civilians killed in August," 9/1/07
8. Los Angeles Times, "Iraqi civilian deaths climb again," 9/1/07
10. Washington Post, "Among Top Officials, 'Surge' Has Sparked Dissent, Infighting," 9/9/07
11. Washington Post, "Scarier than Bin Laden," 9/9/07

Friday, September 14, 2007

Intellectual Freedom

"Those to whom intellectual freedom is personally important may be a minority in the community, but among them are the men of most importance to the future."

Bertrand Russell

Mr. Russell could not be more correct in the above quote. When will we have true intellectual freedom? Many places still supress the advancement of knowledge and understanding. In many cases in the name of some religion.


So a letter was stuck to my apartment door yesterday. Inside it said "Ramadan Kareem" from the apartment management company. I know what Ramadan is but what is "KAREEM?" Anyone know?

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Well the general and the ambassador continue to testify in Washington, DC about the effectiveness of America's involvement in Iraq. I can only hope that we begin our pull out of American troops soon. This should not be a long term military intervention. We need to protect our shores and keep the terrorist out. Part of this is taking the fight to them. When will we be able to focus our resources on something positive? To build a better future for our children should be where our money and more important our blood goes.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I will never forget 9/11

The criminals of 9/11 must be brought to justice.

After six years, two wars, and dozens of senior al Qaeda figures arrested, Osama bin Laden and his chief associate Ayman al-Zawahiri remain at large. In this week’s List, FP runs down some of the other most dangerous senior al Qaeda leaders who are still on the loose.

Abu Ayyub al-Masri

Possible whereabouts: Iraq. Last October and again in May, Iraqi government sources reported him killed, but his death has not been confirmed.

Position: leader of al Qaeda in Iraq

Activities: An expert in roadside explosives, al-Masri has been one of al-Zawahiri’s disciples since joining Egyptian Islamic Jihad in 1982. He met his predecessor, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, when the two were training in Afghanistan in 1999. After moving to Iraq in 2001, al-Masri directed suicide bombers in Fallujah for al-Zarqawi and was charged with recruiting new members. In a notable show of brashness, al Qaeda announced al-Masri as al-Zarqawi’s replacement less than a week after the latter’s death in June of last year. “I think to some degree he’s had a much more difficult time than Zarqawi,” says Seth Jones, a counterterrorism analyst at the Rand Corporation. “I would point to the huge defeats they’ve had from Sunni tribes in Anbar. Also, the links between him and the core leadership are not as close as they were with Zarqawi.”

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Deep Space Network

When you are tired of reading about all the people killing each other over religion try reading the below. It may raise your spirets that we are looking to the future and exploring space and thus learning about ourselves in the process. This ia also one of the mega projects that I so admire.


The NASA Deep Space Network - or DSN - is an international network of antennas that supports interplanetary spacecraft missions and radio and radar astronomy observations for the exploration of the solar system and the universe. The network also supports selected Earth-orbiting missions.

The DSN currently consists of three deep-space communications facilities placed approximately 120 degrees apart around the world: at Goldstone, in California's Mojave Desert; near Madrid, Spain; and near Canberra, Australia. This strategic placement permits constant observation of spacecraft as the Earth rotates, and helps to make the DSN the largest and most sensitive scientific telecommunications system in the world.

Pullout 1 Brigade?

Petraeus Open to Pullout of 1 Brigade
Top General in Iraq Said to Favor Caution

By Robin Wright and Jonathan Weisman
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, September 7, 2007; Page A01

Army Gen. David H. Petraeus has indicated a willingness to consider a drawdown of one brigade of between 3,500 and 4,500 U.S. troops from Iraq early next year, with more to follow over the next months based on conditions on the ground, according to a senior U.S. official.

The pullouts would be contingent on the ability of U.S. and Iraqi forces to sustain what the administration heralds as recent gains in security and to make further gains in stabilizing Iraq. President Bush signaled the possibility of drawdowns after visiting Anbar province earlier this week. After meeting with Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker, Bush said he was told that "if the kind of success we are now seeing continues, it will be possible to maintain the same level of security with fewer American forces."

Friday, September 07, 2007

Doha, Qatar

Well I'm in Qatar now, been here for a few days. Its been hot and humid, big surprise. Attending a conference which has been great in terms of meeting old friends and new friends. Lots of good information being presented and good working sessions.

Monday, September 03, 2007


Reason is our tool of understanding. It is the method of identifying entities through one's senses. It is the means of integrating those perceptions into concepts, gaining knowledge through this integration, integrating that knowledge into the rest of one's knowledge, and evaluating and manipulating ideas and facts.

Reason is the process of thinking. Its fundamental attribute is clarity. The use of vague notions, fuzzy feelings, or "instincts" is not reason. Reason requires clear, identifiable building blocks. It uses ideas, memories, emotions, and sensory input. The ideas must be clear and definable. The memories must be recognizable, and vivid. The emotions are recognized as emotions only, with no further meaning. The sensory input must be identified in order to be used.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Karbala Investigation

Iraqi Gov't Orders Karbala Investigation
By BASSEM MROUE - from the AP

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ordered an investigation Sunday into last week's deadly clashes surrounding a Shiite religious celebration in Karbala, promising that it would be conducted without bias.

The announcement came only hours after anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr called for the government to investigate the violence, which many have blamed on his Mahdi Army militia.

The firebrand cleric's followers threatened to take unspecified measures if the government refused the demand, and criticized recent raids against the Mahdi Army by U.S. and Iraqi forces.

A statement from al-Maliki's office said an investigative committee was being formed to look into the Karbala bloodshed, which saw more than 50 people killed and hundreds injured.

It did not detail the makeup of the committee, but said that it would perform its duties "neutrally and professionally without being biased to any side."

No specific time frame for the investigation was given, but the statement said it would be concluded "as soon as possible."

Al-Sadr, who has denied that the Mahdi Army provoked the confrontation, announced a surprise six-month suspension of the militia's activities last Wednesday following the fighting in Karbala in an apparent bid to deflect criticism. On Sunday, he threatened to take matters into his own hands if the government didn't open an investigation.

"After the procrastination we had seen in the past two days, we warn the Iraqi government and the executive authorities in Karbala if they don't open a fair, neutral and quick investigation, the Sadr office will be obliged to take unspecified measures," spokesman Sheik Salah al-Obeidi said at a news conference in Najaf. He refused to elaborate on what the measures may be.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

The Peral

I am going to Qatar next week to attend a conference. In doing some research on Qatar I came across this project called the Pearl-Qatar. Talk about the rich and they think they are famous crowd. A short summary from their web page which you can visit by clicking on the title to this blog entry. I've been to Qatar before so my goal is to learn something new about the country. Which I did via the wonders of Google.

Riviera Arabia
The atmosphere of the Riviera within the warm waters of the Arabian Gulf. A rediscovered island off the coast of one of the world's most rapidly expanding economies. An investment in a place of outstanding beauty and cosmopolitan charm. This is The Pearl-Qatar, an island, which will redefine an entire nation; a destination of qualities that are unique in the region.

The Pearl-Qatar will be talked about around the world. It is founded on a determination to position Qatar as a place of superlatives - a country that welcomes guests with openness and friendship and encourages investment for all in a location of incredible potential.

Fortress America


Fortress America
By Jane C. Loeffler
September/October 2007

A citadel is rising on the banks of the Tigris. There, on the river’s western side, the United States is building the world’s largest embassy. The land beneath it was once a riverside park. What sits atop today is a massive, fortified compound. Encircled by blast walls and cut off from the rest of Baghdad, it stands out like the crusader castles that once dotted the landscape of the Middle East. Its size and scope bring into question whether it is even correct to call this facility an “embassy.” Why is the United States building something so large, so expensive, and so disconnected from the realities of Iraq? In a country shattered by war, what is the meaning of this place?

For security reasons, many details about the embassy’s design and construction must remain classified. But the broad outline of its layout says a lot about one of America’s most important architectural projects. Located in Baghdad’s 4squaremile Green Zone, the embassy will occupy 104 acres. It will be six times larger than the U.N. complex in New York and more than 10 times the size of the new U.S. Embassy being built in Beijing, which at 10 acres is America’s second largest mission. The Baghdad compound will be entirely self sufficient, with no need to rely on the Iraqis for services of any kind. The embassy has its own electricity plant, fresh water and sewage treatment facilities, storage warehouses, and maintenance shops. The embassy is composed of more than 20 buildings, including six apartment complexes with 619 one bedroom units. Two office blocks will accommodate about 1,000 employees.
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