Sunday, February 29, 2004


Ripped it out of Friday's paper -- thought it was good enough to share.


Saturday, February 28, 2004

Higher Education Dumbing Down? 

Ok, so this editorial from USA Today tries to make the case that more high school students are doing AP work in colleges, yet colleges are doing more remedial coursework than ever before, especially in math and English.

I'm not so sure. Who is to say the students taking AP are the ones in remedial coursework? There is this faulty assumption that one effects the other when in fact they are most likely completely separate beings. Universities are scrambling for warm bodies and trying out new perks to lure students in and keep them there. Cable in rooms, TV's in lounges, pool tables, kitchenettes, movie rentals, computer stations (from my experience these are mainly used for gaming, instant messaging, and email), and a host of perks outside the dorms as well.

Thus, more students than ever before are going to higher education and more schools are lowering their standards for admissions to their programs. Perhaps that has caused the burgeoning of these remedial programs.

The question is: Are the colleges making money off the students who enroll in the remedial courses? Most definitely. Tuition is only a small part of the money students generate for the U. Much more is generated through dining services and residence life. And now that higher education is a big business, forget the ideal of the ivory tower -- it is becoming more of a dream that fades away rather than a goal to aspire to.

Look, high schools and colleges can do a better job in teaching students; however, there are serious institutional and state sponsored policies that adversely effect the education opportunities of students and teachers have nothing to do with those. Ultimately it is unfair to place the burden of those problems on the people in that profession.


Live from Iran 

According to an AP report, Osama has been captured. Not only captured, but he was done in a while back.

Iranian state radio quoted its reporter as saying the arrest happened a long time ago. "Osama bin Laden has been arrested a long time ago, but Bush is intending to use it for propaganda maneuvering in the presidential election," he said.

Both American and Pakaistani officials deny the allegation. We'll just have to wait and see.

I'm not sure even Osama can help Bush at this point. Dubya did too good of a job of distracting a lot of people away from OBL with Iraq and now many are focused on the current state of the economy. Yes, he will undoubtedly show an uptick in the polls, but it should just be another speedbump to the third ring of hell.


Friday, February 27, 2004


Ouch. Poor Lou Dobbs. A business friendly journalist -- well, usually. But when Dobbs criticizes them for outsourcing jobs, they call him of all things a pinko commie. Stop laughing, I'm serious.


60 minutes? 

That's all Bush can spare for the 3000 lives lost in the greatest crime committed against us on American soil? 60 minutes? Josh Marshall succinctly describes the Bush platform: run on 9/11 while stonewalling the commission. Priceless.

And check out the gaggle this morning -- go get 'em Helen.

And check out what Aaron Brown said -- yeah, Brown from CNN -- whoda thunk?

I've had my ups and downs with Aaron - I actually had an ongoing exchange with him via email, back when the media was still in 'sacred presidency' mode.

Nice to see he's located his sense of outrage once more. From tonight's program:

"We admit we don't do "causes" very well on the program, and I don't do "outrage" well at all, yet tonight, a cause, and an outrage.

The decision by the speaker of the house to deny the independent commission investigating the 911 attack on America a 60 day extention, that's all, 60 days, is unconscienable and indefensible, which no doubt explains why neither the speaker nor any member of the house leadership nor any of their press secretaries would come on the program to talk about it, despite repeated requests.

The commission itself has gone about it's work quietly. It has had to fight tooth and nail to get necessary information. And now this, an arbitrary decision to deny not just the commission, that's the least of it; but the country, the chance to know all of what happened, how it happened, and how best to prevent it from happening again. Perhaps the speaker and his team assume you do not care. I hope they're wrong. I hope you care enough to write them and email them and call them until they relent. Do that. Do it for the victims and their families, do it for the country that was attacked, and for history.


We don't want you colored people 

You remember our esteemed preznit who touts his compassion for human beings across the globe? You know, our W who deposed that guy, because of his WMD, I mean, his human rights record. Well now he says Haitians are not wanted. They should stay in their home country and get slaughtered. Nice.

I can just picture Bush turning away all the Jews fleeing Germany -- he would have said "Go find a political solution, you fuckheads." Unless they had a ton of cash or knew how to make an A-Bomb. Too bad the Haitians don't know how to make WMD's. Crap, too bad the Haitians weren't part of our coalition of the willing.


Thursday, February 26, 2004

Clear Channel has a clear vision for you 

This vision is without Howard Stern. I never listened to him much, but I might now.


I wonder if the will get their due? 

Here's two pilots who died for their country. They deserve more than a measly two sentences mention, don't they?


innocent? guilty? who cares -- no soup for you 

The detainees, yes, those detainees on THAT island (Guantanamo Bay), can be held indefinitely even if innocent. Sucks to be a muslim, or shit, a black man in North Carolina--see below.


9/11 answer not forthcoming--terror/fear that's all you need to know 

So the renigged on another promise -- this time to extend the 9/11 commission's dealine. Yeah, who needs thorough? Who needs complete? Only 3000 people were murdered, why should the nation care about how it came to be?


who says racism is dead 

Oh boy, what can you say?


For a TV? What do they smoke in NC? 

This guy is in prison for LIFE for stealing a black and white TV. While this guy got a whole 100 days for KILLING somebody. HMMM, 'bout right I reckon. Pass the burning cross.


Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Must read 

Propaganda and gulf war 2. Great read.


In Defense of Marriage 

Via L: what a great idea -- in defense of marriage a fidelty pledge by all elected officials -- I don't know, a lot of these politicians would argue it's not the same thing. One is a sin, by God! Oh wait.... adultry, or loving a person so much you want to make a lifelong commitment and be recognized for that commitment -- hmmmm


I Love This 

OK, so it's a officially a Billmon copycat day -- This post on the Republican letter writing machine and how any person (liberal, progressive, gay, straight, libertarian, chicken-lover, whatever) can use their easy to use site to pen letters to just about any newspaper in the country on any issue. How sweet is that? Go write now and let your community what you think about this administration and its policies.


History repeats... 

Billmon on authority figures.


War 2002 

A fair minded and intelligent person can hardly keep up with all this so I must be missing a shitload of information; however, you have to check out this piece which highlights a book by Rowan Scarborough, the Pentagon correspondent for the conservative Washington Times. It lays out that Bush signed a directive in February 2002 to prepare for an Iraq war. Uh, no shit. There were a few million of us in the streets protesting who kind of had a clue.

Meanwhile a mass lawsuit has been filed in Japan on its agreement to send troops to Iraq. And who can blame them? It's not like the Iraqis are discrimnating. They're going after everybody. Even themselves -- the police, the Kurds, and the Shiites have had major seen major bloodshed.

But we just don't hear about the good news.


The Amendment, Mary, and the Passion 

OK, so how fitting is it that when whole Christian congregations are buying theatres to view Gibson's Passion (some say it will increase animosity toward Jews) while Bush proposes an amendment against love?

Via Sweddle: where is Mary Cheney? She's getting paid a lot of money to keep her mouth shut is where she is. Check under some big military rock.

I think Atrios and Talking Point's Josh Marshall are really covering this story well -- you should check out what they have to say (links to the right).


Tuesday, February 24, 2004

higher education -- oxymoron 

So let's just outsource intellectuals, professionals, and dedicated teachers -- who needs em? More on this later.


Philosphy Talk 

This is NPR's Car Talk but devoted to philosophical topics--weird. Fun, but weird. Let me know when they get into the nature of truth.


let's get it on 

In this story, the AJC reports that the Iraqi police are taking a lot of casualties -- which we all knew. What I find interesting is this little statement by Rummy:

``We know that Iran has harbored al-Qaida,'' he said, referring to senior operatives who crossed into Iran from Afghanistan more than a year ago, many of whom the Iranians said they captured and deported. ``We know they've had people moving across the border. They're certainly aware of that; they have border patrols. We know that Syria has been a hospitable place for escaping Iraqis.''

According to Bush's preemptive doctrine, let's go-go. Load 'em up boys. As the neocons said in the weeks after Bagdad fell and rose petals were strewn in front of Americans' feet, "Anybody can take out Iraq, real men go to Tehran." And that's the rest of the story.


Official Denials 

Ok, now the offcial denials are coming in -- we do not have Osama surrounded as previous newspapers reported.

Maybe we do, maybe we don't. I think there is enough history out there for a healthy dose of skepticism. Then again, consider the source the original piece came from.

I wonder if they peaked too early; you know that's a problem for some men. They get excited, and oops. It's to early to tell the country we have Osama surrounded, the election is 9 months away -- put that thing back in your pants.


Monday, February 23, 2004

Suicide Gamers 

Holy crap. I wonder how many times you have to play the game before you want to blow yourself up?


National Education Association is a terrorist organization 

Educators beware. Soon you will be considered a terrorist and detained as an enemy combatant for not being willingly assimilated.

Of course this is the Education Secretary we are talking about. I guess it's no different than the Department of Labor's secretary Choa come out in favor of no overtime pay for labor.

There must be somthing said about a strange "joke" that actually connotates a lot more than just animosity for the group that is looking out for eduactors. Remember the student in Michigan who was suspended from school for a T-Shirt? Or how about the teacher fired for anti-war remarks? So even jokingly it seems as if this statment is a powerful indictment against any group that questions the current administration. If a liberal jokingly called the administration a terrorist organization, why -- oh wait. That did happen. Too bad she doesn't have any POWER which seems to be the main distinction.


10 step program for liars anonymous 

Need one for Marc Racicot. Marshall has the full story and links. This is ridiculous. What's more outrageous is that the reporter just let it slide. Where's Helen Thomas when you need her? At least she has balls.


Darth Nader take on the black-robed one 

I think this is very good news and Nader may be doing a huge service to the Dems if he sticks with his line today.

I'd go after Bush even more vigorously as we are in the next few months in ways that the Democrats can't possibly do because they're too cautious and too unimaginative, but they can pick up the vulnerabilities and the failures of the Bush administration that we point out," Nader said Monday on ABC's "Good Morning America."

Only, there is this: Nader acknowledged the pledge but said it does not mean he will refrain from criticizing Democrats if they attack him. "I'm not going to avoid responding," he said.

So does that mean, leave me alone, let me do my thing, and I won't go after you? Or will he initiate attacks on Kerry and Edwards? As I said previously, that's the key question on this whole thing.

What's funny is Nader acts like Kucinich isn't even there as a voice of the most progressive of us. Poor Denis; no respect I tell ya.


How cool is this 

A friend of mine turned me on to this site -- a daily picture and info of the cosmos. I've been checking it for awhile and now and am almost always amazed.


Kuwait, can't wait 

This is funny. Iraqs are close to civil war and the current interim president says they hold territorial claim of parts of Kuwait and Jordan. Isn't this what started it all in 1990-91? Oh wait, it was non-existant photos and babies being thrown out of hospital windows -- that's right. At least we know we can have a strong presence in the area for awhile.


Where are the opiates? 

Afghanistan? Are we still there?


oh Canada 

This is something that I didn't see in any of our papers. A private who fought in Afghanistan refused to go to Iraq.

Private Hinzman said: "I signed up to defend my country, not carry out acts of aggression."

Yeah, our military is so benign. And made a long, strange journey to Canada where he is fighting to stay as a objector. Not to mention Canada's Hockey Night and LaBatt Blue. He signed up like many 17-18 year olds do--for the money.

Private Hinzman said he liked army life for the subsidised housing and groceries and the promises of money for college. "It seemed like a good financial decision," he said.

Insert, I never thought I'd actually have to kill anybody. I never thought I would actually be shot at. Yo, I thought I might have some stories to tell, you know, like gramps coming back from Korea, but shit, this sucks. How about you give me a tcket home and we call it even?

Volunteers at the GI Rights Hotline, a legal aid centre for soldiers, are receiving about 3500 calls a month from military personnel looking to leave the armed forces.

Now that's what got me. If you remember the draft bill is in committee and the Selective Service is trying to fill its local boards. Meanwhile Reservists are being shipped over in record numbers. Now that's a lot of calls. Granted some are probably a guy who got drunk and was missing family and some are probably just those people in the desparate hours of silence after their convoy was attacked with roadside bombs and RPG's, but shit, even 1000 a month looking for a way to get and out now is disturbing.


Mother's Sons and Transfer Tubes  

From the Baltimore Sun a fairly middle of the road story of the transfer tube and media blackout policy at Dover. Of course the government's position is we don't want to show the transfer tubes out of respect for the families; however, some of the families don't see it that way.

"Carolyn Hutchings, whose son, Marine Pvt. Nolen Ryan Hutchings, 20, was killed... 'That's crap. I'm sorry, that's crap,' she said of the government's desire to protect families' privacy. 'Everybody knew my son had died,' she said. 'Why not acknowledge it?'

To acknowledge it may effect public sentiment. Many blame the media for the disaster that was Vietnam and the administration does not need or want a disaster in an election year.

"'That's all you hear on TV, it's a count,' said Hutchings, her voice quavering. "'It's nothing but a count.'"

PBS has a section after every Newshour where they show some of the men and women who have been killed. It's moving. I've previously posted a link to CNN's special segment as well. To a large degree the media does not want to personalize this war; in part I wonder if they don't have some collective guilt, some twisted sense of responsibility, and believe they did cause the public to turn against Nam thereby made the war unwinnable. Maybe that's why they agreed to be embedded. It's was their contrition. Their "forgive me father".


Saturday, February 21, 2004

ouch -- that was funny 

via Tbogg -- this was pretty funny.


Osama gonna git ya -- but we'll wait till September 

According to this article, we have Osama surrounded. Supposedly "The special forces are "absolutely confident" there is no escape for bin Laden, and are awaiting the order to go in and get him. 'The timing of that order will ultimately depend on President Bush," the paper says. "Capturing bin Laden will certainly be a huge help for him as he gets ready for the election.'"

Sign me up for the tin foil hat club newsletter --


Nader no swiping! Nade no swiping--well, 

The more I think about Nader running the more I like the idea. I don't think any progressives will truly vote for him; too much is at stake. However, if he can generate media attention toward all of Bush's horrible policies and keep the pressure on Bush on issues that the Dems may not want to touch, he could be just what we need. essentially he'll take the place of Dean--

If, however, he focuses attention on the Dems becomes a slime machine against the Dems, we have problems. So the question becomes will he bash Bush and keep his focus there, or does he truly believe he has a chance of getting enough votes as a third partyy and try to split the progressives?


Friday, February 20, 2004

Fox news poll has the pres at a 48% approval rating. I wonder how Tony is going to interpret this number over the weekend? Should be fun.


I LOVE New Yorkers-- the protest that highlights what's to come for Rove and company.

Break the free speech zones in the same way --


I was just wondering what was going on with this issue -- you remember, republican staffers stealing confidential memos off the deocratic servers and using them in strategy meetings. Well, you have to read Josh Marshall's update. Unbelievable.

Again, the honesty word comes up --


This from a new Pew survey. "When the pollsters asked people for a one-word description of Bush, equal shares gave positive and negative responses, a stark shift from last May, when positive answers outnumbered negative ones 2-to-1. The most frequently used negative word this time was "liar," which never came up last May. The most frequently used positive description this time was "honest," the same as last May.

Uh, honest....yeah that's the first word I think of. Dems need to keep hammering away at that honest image -- it shouldn't be too hard.


Great. Nader is announcing his plans to run again. Idiot. His camp says, "He's felt there is a role for an independent candidate to play." Like splitting the progressive vote and keeping Bush in office.

sweddle sent me this -- watch it take action.

I never blamed him for the last election like some liberals -- I thought then, as I do now, that we need more vopices than just the 2 parties. I voted Green last time and don't feel like I wasted my vote -- it was a vote of dissention: democrats were rolling over, trying to be rebublican lite, and I had had enough. Now there are stronger progressive voices and a little bite to the rhetoric. Also, another 4 years of Bush is truly a disaster waiting to happen.

So Ralph, get that other crazy Texan, you know the businessman with the pointer, and then run -- otherwise stay the hell out.


TBogg on Pynchon's foreward to the new edition of 1984.


Anticipating the Capture of Osama bin Laden By Ahmed Bouzid tells the Dems that they need to start reframing the Osma question -- not why haven't they caught him, rather why has it taken so long? He's got it. I've been saying for awhile he will be caught prior to the election (though I always couch that with "or something else that will bolster our 'wartime' [snicker] president"). And take the questions further -- why so long on the 9/11 commission? Why so long in giving them support? Why so long in releasing info on the guard story? etc. etc.


Chalabi is classic -- your government did exactly what we wanted -- "As far as we're concerned we've been entirely successful. That tyrant Saddam is gone and the Americans are in Baghdad. What was said before is not important. The Bush administration is looking for a scapegoat. We're ready to fall on our swords if he wants." How nice of him. Maybe they have a butter knife our dear leader can fall on and fall on and fall on.....Read the rest here.


Via Atrios -- this is hilarious. Maybe teachers could be considered manufacturing jobs too.


Here they come for you.

Congress has been trying to push a draft resolution through. It's been in committee since 2/3/03. You think the committees will make their recomendations before or after the election? My guess is sooner rather than later since people are dying everyday, not extending their service contracts, and the reserves' numbers are starting to dwindle. Fun times ahead.

But hey, I'm an optimist so let's look at why this is good news: Colleges and universities around the country will be bursting at the seams with new students (even if parents give up their retirement to get their kids there); the war economy may give every working woman left a job making bullets and Kevlar vests; the news will have something to cover rather than this pesky election; these Congress people who are supporting the bill don't have to worry about their kids going; and I'm too old to be drafted and my kids are too young.


Mel Gibson's father stirs up trouble and Mel doesn't want to speak "against him" -- you know, honor thy mother and father and all that.

His dad is living in Texas, so maybe there's something in the water that makes Texans say dumb things.


Thursday, February 19, 2004

This flash by Eric Blumrich is very strong. emotional piece. One problem: it's all Iraqi's. Yes, war is terrible and destructive, but Americans in general won't be upset with seeing "them" die -- of course, transfer tubes and daily counts just don't have as much effect as pictures of our men and women.

The flash is made for Kucinich's campaign and asks "do you feel more secure?" then goes on to tell us most Americans do not and only he has a plan to get our people out of harms way. Why, then, isn't it pictures of our people with no limbs and bloodied in the animation? Kucinich will never do well because he doesn't present his ideas/policies sharply enough, with as much clarity as the others, and besides, he's pretty damn ugly -- the TV doesn't like him and he doesn't have the war hero or the millionaire wife stories to give him a little intrigue.

I hope he stays in -- keep raising issues, talking policies, because when he stops, the GOP shit thrower will start hurling and all policy discussions are buried. Dean got out too early for my money for the same reason. Keep the focus on Bush and the positive progressive policies; let the other side sweat it out until after the caucus.


Saturday, February 14, 2004

ok, I'm back -- maybe with a few additional members.


Friday, February 13, 2004

boiled meat will be moving soon -- when the new site is ready, should be by monday, i'll post it. Till then you have to enjoy our very own Purity Day. Yes, a full day in which we can celebrate our purity, or make fun of those who do. -- seriously, i think abstinence is great, but a purity day? Homeland Secruity celebrates purity day by shrouding staues all over the country in white sheets -- hoorah.


Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Some good news. It's still disturbing that they were willing to test the waters though.


Never forget -- ask questions.


Monday, February 09, 2004

Associated Press
Feb. 6, 2004 12:30 PM
ZAPOPAN, Mexico - The Mexican crowd hooted "The Star-Spangled Banner." It booed U.S. goals. It chanted "Osama! Osama! Osama!" as U.S. players left the field with a 2-0 victory.

Aren't they our allies? Don't we give them all kinds of crummy, menial jobs and stuff? Don't we send our teenagers and wannabe teenagers there to pick up their prostitutes? What's wrong with those people?

Soccer fans. Enough said.


Yeaaaaaargg -- no shit.

"Instead, the cable and broadcast news networks aired Dean's Iowa exclamation 633 times — and that doesn't include local news or talk shows — in the four days after it was made, according to the Hotline, a Washington-based newsletter. " Sorry you don't get to tell people about your policy ideas - they don't matter. It's American politics after all. Globe and Mail has an interesting piece on the trashing of political voices.


Bush's interview on Sunday -- and comments to come if I ever see the light of day again ....


How long has it been and we're still playing this game? People say remember 9/11 but we still don't know why it happened thus we don't know what to fix so it doesn't happen again. Let's get this straightened out already. Shit.


Max Boot on the doctrine of preemption in the 02/16/2004 Weekly Standard: "In the first place, preemptive war--or even preventive (some say preventative) war where no threat is imminent--was hardly invented by the Bush administration. It has long been an accepted option not only for the United States, but for other nations as well. In his new book, The Breaking of Nations, Robert Cooper, a career British diplomat who is now a senior European Union official, writes that "the War of the Spanish Succession, fought to ensure that the crowns of France and Spain were not united . . . was a preventative war. No one attacked Britain; but if Britain had allowed the two countries to unite it would by then have been unable to deal with an attack from the resulting superpower." . . .

Japan preempted what they believed a major US threat in the Pacific immidiately comes to my mind.

Boot claims, "Recent U.S. history is replete with smaller-scale instances of preventive action, from the invasion of the Dominican Republic in 1965 to the invasion of Grenada in 1983. In neither case had there been a direct attack on the United States; the threats being addressed (the rise of communism in the Dominican Republic, the cultivation of Grenada as a Soviet and Cuban base) were largely speculative, and many critics charged that they were being blown out of proportion. But Presidents Johnson and Reagan, respectively, thought the dangers grave enough to risk American lives."

The major difference I see in these instances are the US has preempted small nations unable to defend themselves while Japan, a smaller nation, preempted a superpower in its region. Also to note, these were "speculative" threats. Iraq, Grenada, Domincan Republic. Speculative. And I think the critics are being borne out in history -- they were right.

Of course, as an individual we are bound by laws, as a nation we are strong enough to pick and choose which ones we abide -- whose going to hold us accountable? I still can't imagine this "military action" has been nor will be good for our nation. We are the bully. The superpower. Let's just hope we don't have to take out half the world to prove it.


Sunday, February 08, 2004

Have you checked in today -- maybe you should. Make it a daily thing with your coffee. Say a prayer. Support them, but not the reason they are there. Remember -- because it's not life as normal and it's not just a talking point.


Now this is freaky. Here's some highlights:

"Four of the subpoenas went to Des Moines peace activists, who were told to appear Tuesday before a federal grand jury. One went to Drake University, asking for information about the anti-war conference and records of the National Lawyers Guild local chapter.

The U.S. attorney's office in Des Moines convinced a judge Thursday to issue an order under seal - described by peace-movement sources as a gag order - to prohibit Drake employees from talking about the document search.

The subpoena demanded records from campus security reflecting any observations of the Nov. 15 conference, including "any records of persons in charge or control of the meeting, and any records of attendees of the meeting." Drake University President David Maxwell declined to comment Friday on how the university would respond.

"I don't like the smell of it," said Sen. Tom Harkin, adding that he did not know details of the investigation. "It reminds me too much of Vietnam when war protesters were rounded up, when grand juries were convened to investigate people who were protesting the war."

"Rep. Steve King, a Republican from Kiron, said it appeared the government was using significant resources to investigate a relatively minor protest."

And here's a response by Mr. Terrell of the Catholic Peace Ministry.

Yesterday, February 3, Detective Jeff Warford of the Polk County Sheriff's Office-FBI-Joint Terrorism Task Force came to Catholic Peace Ministry's office here in Des Moines with a subpoena for me to testify before a Federal Grand Jury next Tuesday, February 10. Mr. Warford also served papers on Elton Davis at the Catholic Worker House and Patti McKee, who was coordinator of Iowa Peace Network until last month. The Grand Jury process is shrouded in secrecy. We do not know who or what the object of this investigation may be, beyond "possible violations of federal criminal law in the Southern District of Iowa."
The proceeding will be behind closed doors. We may not have an attorney present. We have the right to plead the Fifth Amendment, refusing the answer questions that might incriminate us. The government, then, can offer us immunity from prosecution, in which case we will obliged to answer under threat of contempt of court and could be imprisoned for the length of the Grand Jury session, 18 months, should we continue to refuse to answer. This immunity would be limited to our own testimony and anything any of us say could be used against the others.

Whatever is going on, this is definitely an escalation on the part of the government's war on dissent and clamp down on civil liberties. The fact that anything that we three and the peacemaking communities we represent could possibly attract the notice of a "Terrorism Task Force" is reprehensible. Please spread the word, express concerns you have with Federal and Polk County authorities. Keep us in mind and prayer.

Brian Terrell
Executive Director
Catholic Peace Ministry

This is chilling to say the least. Civil Libertarians, conservatives, and active religious organizations should be highly concerned. Obviously without the full scope of information it is difficult to comment on fully; however, when put in context with the Patriot Act, the right of the government to hold any person as an "enemy combatant" (Padilla--though now there is talk he may be moved to a civilian court--of course the Justice Dept. is fighting this), and the "Free Speech Zones", there is no doubt that this may mark the future of dissent and how it will be reacted to.

I'll be following this story closely as I hope all of you will as well.

--sidebar: I have always been hesitant about Bush's faith-based programs. On the surface they seem like a decent and moral idea. Give neighborhood organizations the money to help their neighborhoods, however, we all know how the Federal Government uses money to squeeze the states (raise the drinking age to 21 or lose funding; enact he no child left behind or lose funding, etc.) what's to stop them from saying Pastor, Reverand, Father, reign in your congregation on (abortion, death penalty, civil rights, war) or lose funding? Talk about a Catch-22. Help people who really need it or fight for a "higher" purpose? I'm ashamed to say, many would probably go with help the people on the ground and pray about the higher purpose. Let someone else risk their necks. ----- Thoughts?


Saturday, February 07, 2004

Maybe I spoke too soon on McCain -- sounds like he has made up his mind already from the BBC:

"But speaking shortly after the announcement of the commission, Mr McCain told reporters: "The president of the United States, I believe, did not manipulate any kind of information for political gain or otherwise."


Friday, February 06, 2004

Poor Rush, TBogg sums it up nicely


Yeeaahhhh -- Gotta check out the hate mail.


Ah Orwell, how we love thee.


Now I may be a little slow, but shouldn't you know for sure if you're going to take you country to FREAKIN WAR on that "we could be blown to bits in 45 minutes" claim. Is he that gullible? Are we?

Ultimately this makes him look stupid or incompetent. Neither are good for the boys at Downing Street.


No more history, no more books, no more teacher's dirty looks -- (thanks to Jali)


So, how rich are you? Puts things in perspective -- uncomfortable perpective, but perspective.....


Thursday, February 05, 2004

This is good news. I trust McCain and think he's smart enough and politically savvy enough to look for and present the truth. Unfortunately that truth will be strictly limited in scope and focus solely on the intelligence without delving into how the information was used. We may have our own Hutton report.

Of course, narrowing the focus is politically pragmatic as the RNC would not take kindly to a man who supported the war and still supports the war openly question the very machine that got us into the war. Once this commission is done, we may another, more independent commission, exploring how the information was actually used versus gathered. This will be long after the election, of course.

Some good news. Bush has given the 9/11 commission more time to do its job. He should not have made it an issue and just said "whatever you need."


As I said before I'd like to put out some feelers on my creative work, so here's a piece I've been working on --


There are no more stories, not like we used to hear.
No beginnings, middles, ends. There is always
A chair made of sticks from the forest out back
And someone telling us to not sit
for fear of it cracking under our weight;
a father who whistles nothing in particular
as he mows the lawn; a teenager rooftop and naked
crystallizing his hope into one long scream;
always a child pointing a finger into the dark
Saying “scary, scary”. August, 5, 1994—

Light. Airy. Apathetic
Might be a better word. The cow dung had been sifted
For fertilizer. Significant in only it was another day
Of sifting shit and nothing of true significance had happened.
A man who loaded his S10 up with said fertilizer
Recounted how his son had died of cancer.
Reheating macaroni the day he found out,
He watched the digital numbers on his microwave
Pass into nothing and he said it was the first time
He was ever truly aware of every moment.
He lost his appetite quickly like a single note
Pressing into an empty room, a syllable
Of hollowness in his midsection. Fear

Is not disease, nor darkness, nor the cracking of sticks
When a voice trumpets the air jolting a man
From his chair; fear sieves stories into oblivion,
Into a place where they cannot rise up, clog the nostrils,
Clump in the lungs, satisfy the slightest need
For music. Fear is lack of meaning.

Back in the 50’s Miles played something new; it still is.


Marshall has some new info on the Plame affair and it looks to be huge. Two major officials in the Vice President's office. No wonder Cheney has so many heart problems -- all the lying, bribing, outing, and hiding has got to be stressful -- poor guy.


There is just too much going on -- Rumsfeld's "what I meant to say," or "if you had ESP, you'd know I was making shit up," comment. Tennent coming out and saying Iraq wasn't an immanent threat -- yeah, thanks, quite a few Americans were out there in protests all over the country BEFORE the war saying that -- and thanks, by the way, for having the balls to say so now when it does absolutely no freakin' good.

Canadians have the right idea -- they love hockey and know how to call a dog a dog.


Who says our tax money is not being spent wisely? We need to pay for advertising that promotes the new and ALREADY PASSED legislation. You know, new ads with a bunch of seniors saying how great the new program is -- of course, that sounds like something that would have made more sense BEFORE the legislation passed -- and it would've made a heck of a lot more sense if it wasn't our tax dollars paying for it.

Why don't we have ads telling us how great the new Homeland security department is? Or the Patriot Act? Or how about ads that tell us why speeding laws are in place, cause we done forgot.

You know folks, there's this concept in the scientific community called Bayesian Analysis. Essentially it's a way of taking new information, adding to conventional wisdom, and running with it. Around here, we call that common sense, but if we applied this type of analysis to this advertising crap there's not a fiscal conservative who wouldn't be up in arms over it. This is ultimately political -- as Deepthroat said to Woodward, "Follow the money."


Wednesday, February 04, 2004

check this out -- the interesting wink is again the allusion that we will get Osama this year -- but what I find intriguing is this:

"Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is convinced the U.S. will track down the elusive mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks before November.

“Obviously, he’ll be caught between now and the election,” Grassley said Monday when asked if he’s disappointed that Osama bin Laden hasn’t been killed or captured.

“I think they’re on his trail now in a way they haven’t been all year,” Grassley said. “It will happen because we will be able to divert more resources [to hunting down bin Laden].”

ok, so we could have had him, the mastermind-evil-doer himself, say, a year or two ago but we don't because we were NOT funnelling in the resources to do it? Are you kidding me?


God is Pro War -- so all you pacifist weenies out there, Pfffft.

Though I am a Christian, I'm not a biblical scholar; so I have to ask: when Falwell says, "Many present-day pacifists hold Jesus as their example for unvarying peace. But they ignore the full revelation concerning Jesus pictured in the book of Revelation 19, where He is depicted bearing a "sharp sword" and smiting nations, ruling them with "a rod of iron," is he saying Bush is Jesus? Bush is the only leader I know currently leveling pre-emptive nation smiting.

And the other passages he uses, are they from the Old Testament? If he was looking to prove Jesus was a war-monger, shouldn't he use at least a quote from the Man Himself?

I love the evangelists. Let them sign up, ship out, and wear Kevlar, Falwell will buy.


Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Whoa boy.

Bush never looked so good.


If you missed it, you have to check out Lou Dobbs informal survey before they take it down. A whopping 97% of people, 10938 votes, to 365 votes believe the new investigation on intelligence program deficiencies and activities is a bunch of crap. Granted this is not a scientific poll, but....


Ok, you have got to be kidding -- the media is acting like the Jackson nipple is freakin' 9/11. The, uh, budget, or the handy dandy pick your buddies to save your ass commission, or the other commission on 9/11 which is being refused more time to put a complete report on the table are a little more important than boobies. Power Twin Rangers activate.


Monday, February 02, 2004

You have to help Tom Tomorrow out on this one -- it should prove classic.


007 has left the building

From Atrios.

"Sen Select Com on Apr 26 discloses that CIA plans to continue to employ as agents more than 25 journalists or other reprs of Amer news orgns. Says those persons are not covered by public pledge made in Feb by CIA Dir George Bush that agency would stop hiring correspondents 'accredited' by Amer publications and other news orgns. Com staff member repts that many of individuals were in exec positions at Amer news orgns. Panel recommends enactment of law precluding agency's 'operational use' of any person regularly involved in writing, editing or setting policy for US news orgns. Says it is concerned that use of Amer journalists and media orgns for clandestine operations is threat to press integrity. "

This is very disturbing considering the practical implications of American journalism and the state of "fair and balanced" reporting. Though I would love to see the gadgets the fourth estate is getting -- cameras that cloud the issue, recorders that only record the "good" news, pens that distort quotes and automatically take them out of context -- how fun.


Ah Breasts -- the nectargivers

Who could say more than Wonkette? There you have it. (Thanks to sweddle for the tip)



Ok, so here's Bush's 2.4 trillion budget while facing a 521 billion deficit. He wants to cut over 60 programs -- who wants to guess at what programs he's reffering to? AP reports, "Hardest hit were the departments of Agriculture and Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Small Business Administration, and the Corps of Engineers, with cuts ranging from 1 percent for the Commerce Department to as much as 49 percent for the General Services Administration."

Who needs the EPA? And why help small business, corporations are where the big money is?

I wondered why they cut almost half of the GSA budget until I looked at their website:

"GSA supports over one million workers " Oh, now I get it -- workers. Ok. The agency merely, "Provide(s) superior workplaces for federal workers;
Facilitate(s) procurement of state of the art commercial products and a wide range of services; Offer(s) best value and innovative solutions on IT products and services; and
Develop(s) and implement governmentwide policies." Makes sense, get rid of them. Keebler didn't need to give the elves decent working conditions, just shut them up the tree and let them start cranking out double fudge cookies.

More money to the missle defense program (The request for the Missile Defense Agency is $9.14 billion, according to a copy of the budget that President Bush plans to send to Congress on Monday) and the Pentagagon. Don't mention the nice December surprise for another new Iraq supplemental bill on top of their world breaking budget.

I'm still not sure why we should trust a guy who got an MBA from an ivy-league school and STILL bankrupted three companies before becoming governor of Texas.


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