Monday, May 31, 2004


I think two things are important to note -- the Bolts works hard about 2/3 of the time and won -- which is lucky. Some sloppy puck handling and poor passes discount part of the things they are doing well like winning the key battles at the end of the game. We should keep in mind they were also playing short two starters, their top goal scorer in Ruslan, and top defenseman in Kubina. I think it bodes well that they won a game on the road and short those guys -- it should boost confidence and give them that needed desire they seem to lack at times.

Watch for niemanen to get roughed up game 5 -- cheap shot with 4 minutes to go.

What's up with this? Soon after Jerome's dad evangalized on TV for his son, Leveclair got nailed. I'm not a lip reader, but I'm pretty sure Jerome wasn't praising Jesus while jawing at the refs.

Prediction: Bolts win 5, Flames win 6, and a toss up in 7.


I want this 

Holy -- um, er, yeah.


Tampa Bay 

One thing that I have enjoyed about Tampa is the openness of the people here. Yes, the weather is fantastic; the wind coming off the Gulf while you're nursing a beer is wonderful; the city lights reflected off the water is amazing; but the people I've met have been amicable and friendly (except for that old fart parking lot security guard at the Green Iquanna -- he was an asshole).

Rueben, a Latino stock trader from New York who was talking for so long with us, his woman companion had to come get him. Paula, the body building science teacher who makes her good money bartending. The couple who hailed from Dayton and complained at how dark they were becoming. The hostess who hid her facial deformity behind her hair and hand -- she, in particular, was extremely nice and one can't help but feel for the situation she was in because half of her face was "normal" while the other swollen and bulbous.

Tampa reminded me a great deal of Toronto in this respect, the people, whether natives or tourists, were willing to meet and talk with strangers and have a good time. J told me about a family he met who had sold all their earthly belongings, bought a RV, pulled their three kids from school, and traveled for a year. At the end of the trip, they would decide where they wanted to live, sell the RV, and start over. What a wonderful experience. And what a wonderful way to figure out where you feel most comfortable.

It reminded me of my experience when I was younger -- before the weight of responsibility and reality had overtaken me. I had finished high school in January and spent about 3 months working full-time and getting ancy. As soon as the summer hit, loaded up my 72 Monte Carlo and my Siberian Husky, Kiesha Blue, and took off. This, of course, much to the dismay of my mother. I drove south -- Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, up the coast to DC, back west toward the Blue Ridge Mountains, and home. A great deal came from those experiences but there was one I always wished I'd taken more time with -- I was, I believe, traveling in North Carolina when my car died. I donned my backpack, grabbed the dog, and starting walking. I had no idea what I was going to do or how I was going to do it. The car was my safety blanket -- it would get someplace.

A guy a few years older than me stopped and asked if I needed a hand. He was just out of the Army and lived close by, right on the edge of a national park. His father was an old hand with cars and might be able to help. We got to his place, and I was struck by the chickens roaming the front yard. His father and mother both came out and we chatted for some time about the dog, the travels, etc. They invited me to dinner. I declined, said I needed to get on the road -- and the father said, hold on a sec, where you at? He grabbed some tools and followed us back to my car. Within about ten minutes he got it started and I was shaking hands and saying thank you, and army was petting blue. I wasn't a mile down the road when I wished I had taken them up on dinner.

Yes, I was tired of peanut butter and cold, canned soup; more importantly, I was happy to talk with them. They were good people and had a story to tell. I was so immersed in my own I couldn't hear it. I wish I had.


Sunday, May 30, 2004

faith based wuh? 

bad idea -- bad plan -- bad for the church and bad for the government --

Q Forgive me. What I wanted to ask was about next week, the faith-based conference that's on Tuesday. Can you describe what that's about?

MR. McCLELLAN: We'll try to get you more information as we get closer to it. But the President -- one of his highest domestic priorities is reaching out to faith-based groups who have a proven record of helping people in need.

The President believes -- we're talking about the budget here. The President believes that it's important that we focus our resources and money on programs that work to help people in need. He insists on results for that funding that is going out. And, certainly, there are faith-based programs that have a long and proven track record of reaching out to people and helping them move forward and improve their quality of life.

And we have had a number of regional faith-based conferences around the United States through our Office of Faith Based and Community initiatives. Jim Towey has been very involved in those efforts, Cabinet members have been participating in it. Our Cabinet departments have been working to implement the President's directives to make sure that faith-based groups can compete on a level playing field, that they're not discriminated against. And we'll have more details on the specifics about the conference, but this is -- this will be the first national conference focusing on the President's efforts to rally the armies of compassion and reach out to faith-based groups.

Here's why --


uh, you are the filter -- get it? 

At the last press breifing, a foxlike question which makes Scotty's nipples tingle:

Q Scott, I frequently communicate with soldiers stationed in Iraq. And many of them ask me why only the bad news about Iraq is reported in the American media. More than one has told me how demoralizing it is to hear so much about the Abu Ghraib pictures, and so little about the murder and annihilation of American contractors and the beheading of Nicholas Berg. Can I get you to comment on the negative impact our reporting is having on morale of our troops?

MR. McCLELLAN: One, I always try to avoid being a media critic from this podium. I'm here to address your questions.

But let me point out that the President is solidly behind the outstanding jobs that our troops are doing in Iraq. Our troops are performing brilliantly as they work to provide for a secure, democratic and free Iraq for the Iraqi people. And they're doing an outstanding job, and we should always express our gratitude to those who are serving and sacrificing to make the world a better and safer place and to make America more secure.

Q Okay. But is it time to take the filter off again? Is it time to go around the filter? Because, you know -- because there are men and women that we have sent to defend our country that are hearing nothing but bad news in the press.

MR. McCLELLAN: Your point is well taken. There is important progress that is being made in Iraq. The President talked about some of that progress the other night in his remarks at the Army War College. There are also tough days and difficulties that remain.

There are those who are enemies of freedom who want to derail the transition to democracy, and we shouldn't lose sight of what we have accomplished in Iraq to this point. We removed a brutal regime from power, a regime that, when its economy started going down, went and found seven merchants and tried to blame that on those merchants and had their hands cut off and Xs put on their head. That was the kind of brutal, oppressive regime that has been removed from power. And thanks to the gratitude of some Americans, those individuals came to the United States and received prosthetic hands. And they met with the President the other day. And it's a clear reminder of what we have worked to accomplish in Iraq, and there's more to accomplish as we go forth.

This is especially poignant: "There are those who are enemies of freedom who want to derail the transition to democracy, and we shouldn't lose sight of what we have accomplished in Iraq to this point." Did the press secretary just call journalists who did not spout the administration's line "enemies of freedom"? Where's the follow up? Like "Did you just call Bob, here, an enemy of freedom? And if so, does that mean your going to revoke his press pass?


The Abu Ghraib Scandal Cover-Up? 

A must read which details some of the difficulties of a corporation investigating itself. Lays out a strong case that the Pentagon can not or will not be able to fully investigate the scandal which may implicate some of the Pentagon's own leadership.


Saturday, May 29, 2004

we in 1939 Germany now? 

Makes a person wonder.

Update: Came across this story today -- facsism afoot? Ever since the movie Fight Club came out, I thought we were ready, pschologically ready, for facsism -- now Dear Leader may bring us to a point where emotionally and physically were ready --


Friday, May 28, 2004

more good news 

Bout time.


last nights game 

Will be posting a piece on last night's game later this evening. It had everything but a penalty shot.


So, interrogations yeilded little. Huh,  

Now that the few bad apples has been debunked by the Army's own reports, this comes out -- the interrogations netted little information. Meanwhile Iraqis are buying CD's with the pics like some dolt's single.

The questioning of hundreds of Iraqi prisoners last fall in the newly established interrogation center at Abu Ghraib prison yielded very little valuable intelligence, according to civilian and military officials.

But civilian and military intelligence officials, as well as top commanders with access to intelligence reports, now say they learned little about the insurgency from questioning inmates at the prison. Most of the prisoners held in the special cellblock that became the setting for the worst abuses at Abu Ghraib apparently were not linked to the insurgency, they said.

Most of our useful intelligence came from battlefield interrogations, and at the battalion, brigade and division-level interrogation facilities," said a senior military intelligence officer who served in Iraq. Once prisoners were sent on to Abu Ghraib, the officer said, "we got very little feedback."

Well then, it was all worth it.



Finally, some truth coming from Dear Leader:

"I want to thank my friend, Senator Bill Frist, for joining us today. (Applause.) You're doing a heck of a job. You cut your teeth here, right? That's where you started practicing? That's good. He married a Texas girl, I want you to know. (Laughter.) Karyn is with us. A West Texas girl, just like me."



Krugman gets it-- but they'll be birdliners until they prove themselves otherwise.


Thursday, May 27, 2004

Saturday? I'm setting up my lawn chair now 

thanks Helen -- email joke making its rounds:










better and better 

How can I express this? I best play the lotto cause this year has been amazing -- we knew after being shot (yes, a bullet wizzed over my wife's and my head and brushed the hairs of my father in law's head) at on new years eve that this year would either be great or a disaster. Unqualified off the scale excellent is how the year is panning out. My wife is expecting our third and last child, I was accepted into a new, competitive program that may take my career in a new direction, and my father in law (who will be called J) calls me with tickets, airfare, and complimentary jersey to the Cup Finals in Tampa where on days off I can write my scripts, read, and play golf or swim. Holy shit.

My grandfather, upon hearing the news, asked about my wife who could not get away. He replied, "You owe her." I know, I said. He replied, "No, you OWE her." And I do. Amazing. Truly amazing.

Last night J and I get into a wonderful discussion on politics and the ways of the world. Very cool. Don't agree with about %80 of what he said, but some was right on and he made decent arguments. It was nice having a discussion rather than what you ussually see on TV or hear on the radio (a bunch of talking heads with scripted comments and ad hominem attacks). I'll try and post more later on the discussion -- I think it would generate some responses.

Topping much of this off, J has about a kazillion MP3's -- music is one thing we both appreciate a great deal, though he is a musician whereas I have no musical ability whatsoever, and we're working on swapping songs. Sweet.


bird cage liners -- 

funny -- but disturbing -- comment on the media -- look for the bird cage liners -- and note, looks like evryone no matter their political leanings is tired of this crap that's getting published



At least Toratella cmae out and said the bolts were playing a bit "nonchalant" on Tuesday. I think tonight's game will be a completely different animal. I expect a lot more physical play which will lead to both teams capitalizing on their speed in break aways. The Bolts better get the silly mistakes put away, or it won't matter how tough they play, they'll lose --

Bolts have something to prove, they have to redeem themselves; this should prove to be a fantastic game.



Trying to find the original Army report, but this article will do for now. According to the Army report, abuse was widespread -- there go them apples again --


Perle's pissed 

Warhawks lost Perle -- what is going on in the world?

Of course, this may be his play to support Chalabi and publicly rebuke those who are distancing the hand picked exile into some middle ground.


Kerry Bush no difference 

Kerry, it seems, is much like Bush on Iraq and the democrats have no one to blame except themselves. Instead of looking for new blood, instead of looking for someone who would invigorate the base, they chose an elite fossil of the Senate. Of course there have been many who say they don't vote because, well, why vote for the republocrats -- it's all the same? As unpopular as Nader is, he just gained some more support. Though I doubt it matters much; I still believe something major will happen just prior to the elections that will give Dear Leader his second term; I'm a pessimist that way.


Terrorist numbers growing 

According to a Overseas Security Advisory Council">report by the Overseas Secrurity Advisory Council, Al Quedas numbers are growing and their finances are in "good order". Just think of the billions of dollars we have spent in Iraq. The hundreds of troops we have lost in Iraq. The intelligence gathering forces that have been transferred to Iraq. Meanwhile our real enemies, the enemies who killed three thousand people, are getting stronger.


war crimes and misdemeanors 

Sad day when we start taking Newsday.com - World News">hostages to get the "bad guys".

"U.S. officials deny that there is a systematic practice of detaining relatives to pressure Iraqi fugitives into surrendering. "The coalition does not take hostages," said a senior military official who asked not to be named. "Relatives who might have information about wanted persons are sometimes detained for questioning, and then they are released. There is no policy of holding people as bargaining chips."

But Iraqi human rights groups say they have documented dozens of cases similar to Moayad's, in which family members who are not accused of any crimes have been detained for weeks or even months and told that they would be released only when a wanted relative surrenders to U.S. forces.

"We have many cases of Americans going to a house looking for someone, and when they can't find him, they take another family member in his place," said Bassem al-Rubaie, director of the Council of Legal Defense Care, a group of Iraqi lawyers that has been campaigning for prisoner rights. "This has been going on since the early days of the American occupation."
The article goes on to detail further examples.

Here's the problem -- I want to trust the Pentagon, but they don't seem to have a very good track record of telling the truth. It seems as though even some of the armed services committee may feel the same way. Amnesty says between 70-90 percent of people in the prison are innocent and the Pentagon doesn't deny it. We don't know what's going on in the prison and the very commensensical question is should we? I tend to think nothing would get done about the abuses being done in our names if we didn't know about it. I also think the moral high ground we have in this fight on terror is quickly being eroded by questionable tactics. McCain is sickened by the abuse; Kerry is sickened by the abuse; I posted about other conservatives and Generals in the Army sickened by the abuse; and guess what they have in common -- the were all in the military or have sons in the military. All the politicians and media types who say this is humiliating prisoners with hoods and masturbation was like taking a shower in high school gym class (thanks Zell Miller) have not been in the military nor have sons or daughter who could be captured by enemy forces at some point. More on the apologists. Jessica Lynch and Soshana Johnson and a number of other ex-POWs were said to have been treated very well by the Iraqis -- I can't believe we were shown up by Shithead Hussein -- cripes even the damn people who are kidnapping workers have been treating them better than the Army is treating the Iraqis.

And remember -- I don't want to see our men and women over there tried for war crimes -- but these are war crimes.


Wednesday, May 26, 2004

scotty gets all the easy questions 


Q Scott, I'd like to ask a question on a different subject. The New York Times says that the prison abuses have been much more widespread than acknowledged by this government -- 37 deaths of inmates. I want to know why the President doesn't give a worldwide order to all of our military prisons that we should abide by the Geneva Accords. And I have a follow-up.

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, first of all, the President made it very clear that the Geneva Conventions do apply in Iraq --

Q To all prisons? Guantanamo?

MR. McCLELLAN: -- we made that very clear. And in terms of Guantanamo Bay and the al Qaeda detainees there, we're talking about the threats that we face right now --

Q You call it a war. They're prisoners of war. Why do you make a distinction, which has led to so many abuses by not abiding by the rule of law.

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I don't know, when you say "so many," what exactly you're referring to. General Taguba looked into the reports of abuses at Abu Ghraib and he talked about how it indicated that there were a small number of individuals involved in those incidents we saw in these appalling photos. And at the same time, the military is taking a comprehensive look at matters. They're looking to see if there is a bigger problem there just to make sure, and they'll continue to investigate this.

Q My follow-up is, how could he say Rumsfeld did a superb job, Sanchez did a fabulous job? You mean only the MPs are to blame for this horror?

MR. McCLELLAN: Again, there are ongoing investigations right now, Helen, and it's important that we show the world that when these kind of abuses come to light, that we take them seriously, we act by pursuing those responsible and bringing them to justice, and we act by making sure we put steps in place to prevent something like this from ever happening again. That's exactly what we are doing. And we want anyone who was involved in these kind of abuses to be brought to justice. And that's what the President expects.

Q Why don't you say the law applies to all the prisons run by the military?

MR. McCLELLAN: The President has made it very clear that the Geneva Conventions do apply in Iraq, and that when it comes to al Qaeda and the Taliban, that they should be treated humanely and consistent with the Geneva Accords.

Did scott just say taliban and al qaeda should be treated humanely and consistent with the geneva accords or am i reading the sentence incorrectly? what is the distinction exactly?

Q Scott, could I ask about the Amnesty report, which we talked about in the briefing earlier, and its contention that the U.S.-led war on terror has resulted in the worst attack on human rights and the rule of law in 50 years? Helen talked about Guantanamo and the decision not to apply the Geneva Accords there, but let me just specifically quote from the report. They blame this administration for "picking and choosing which bits of international law it will apply and where." What is your response to that?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, my response is that the war on terrorism has resulted in the liberation of 50 million people in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the protection of their rights. People in those countries did not have the kinds of protections that we're used to in the United States. And now they do. So the war on terror has helped protect human rights for some 50 million people.

Uh, is he serious? Afgahnistan is a mess. Taliban continue to regroup and fight, warlords have taken over their previous positions of power throughout the country, poppy farming has increased, and karzai's people only have control of a small swathe of the country. Meanwhile Iraqis hear rumors of torture for months and then see the pictures of it -- many say at least they knew what to expect from saddam and are starting to equate us with them -- i understand the need for spin, but sheesh.

Q So does that justify -- does that end, protecting those people, and obviously the American people, as well, justify the means of picking and choosing which bits of international law it will apply and where?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, the President has been very clear in terms of applying international law to detainees -- if that's what you're referring to, which I suspect it is. He's made it very clear that whether or not the Geneva Conventions apply, that those detainees should be treated humanely. And you have to keep in mind that al Qaeda is not -- does not represent a nation. It is not a party to the Geneva Conventions. The United States is.

Q They're human beings, aren't they?

MR. McCLELLAN: And certainly Iraq was. And the Geneva Convention applies in the Iraq. And in terms of the al Qaeda and Taliban detainees at Guantanamo Bay, the President has made it very clear that he expects our military to treat them humanely and consistent with the Geneva Accords. But we also have to remember, as we're talking about today, that we are at war on terrorism, and that it's important to talk to these individuals and gather as much information as we can to try to prevent attacks from happening in the first place. These are individual at Guantanamo Bay who were involved, or want to help carry out attacks against the American people.

Q So why don't you charge them and try them?

MR. McCLELLAN: And these are dangerous people. And despite that, the President has made it clear that he expects our military to treat them humanely and consistent with the Geneva Accords.

Q They also, by the way, accuse the administration of, in effect, giving a green light to places like Uzbekistan and elsewhere to basically shield under the war on terror for some pretty awful human rights abuses.

MR. McCLELLAN: The United States of America is a leading advocate of protecting human rights, and we will continue to be.


Did Freepers Kill Nick Berg? 

This "story" seems to be gaining more traction as the conspiracy theory becomes more widespread in many areas of the blogosphere. I wondered about the orange jumpsuit myself, but just wrote it off.... could it be? I'm not convinced, yet, but I'm listening.

Another note, why do the freepers wholeheartedly believe the Clinton have raped and murdered more than a handful of people, but find it hard to believe that our government would do anything wrong.


Media Matters petition 

Get Rush off of American Forces radio! Sign the petition.


guess that means more than a few 

"bad apples" -- the tree is diseased and if the root is Rumsfeld, the horticulturist is Dear Leader -- one should be dug up and thrown away and the horticulturist at the very least should be fired.


NHL -  

Well, I blogged my initial thoughts on the game and the atmosphere last night. The article above highlights some of this 6th seed no one in the States knows about versus the bolts --

"We're going to have to play a lot simply," Tortorella continued. "We had a lot of unforced errors and that's when Calgary jumps on you. We need to keep it simple and play with more grit in areas. Our biggest problem tonight is we were a little too fancy."

Yes, a ton of give aways -- Sydor made a number of them which truly surprises me since he won the cup while in Dallas. He should be settling the younger guys down and focusing, but he looked green. And more grit? -- yeah, passion would be nice. They played with none until the third -- that's on the coach -- he should have lit a fire under their asses after the first period. And where was the physical play they "learned" from Philly? Everyone was talking about how the lightning players like lecavalier raised the level of his game by getting physical -- well, last night it looked like they were doing the mamba. It was sick.

More sign ideas needed for tomorrows game --


Lobbyist in the House 

Denver Post has a great in depth story about the White House that is for sale. Of course, that's what we get with a CEO president, right?

The whole idea that government should be run like a business is foul -- it's antithetical to the purpose of a business. The governemnt is there to support the people, not make a profit. A business naturally looks out for its own interests first and foremost, whereas the government should have the "people's" interests at heart.


the woman(?) we all love to hate 

Becasue she is so hate filled it radiates around her -- it's like bad karma just pulsating off this vapid, caustic, professional slime impersonating a woman.


scare tactics 

Are we really that desparate for more "fodder" in Iraq that recruioters would lie to get people to sign up or re enlist?

"Kelly Akemann, of Elgin, said she received repeated phone calls recently from a Guard recruiter warning that her husband, a Guard veteran, could be sent to Iraq if he did not re-enlist quickly.

“I told him I thought these were scare tactics and he told me they weren’t scare tactics, these are the realities of life,” Akemann said. “I told him you don’t need to raise the blood pressure of a three-month pregnant woman. . . . Then I hung up.”


Impeach will be music 

Nader is playing some fine music for many anti-war voters ears -- Impeach Dear Leader and get out by the end of the year. Not sure Kerry has defined himself clearly yet on this issue -- and most people want clear cut choices, not nuanced policy.


The quiet war 

I support the actions in Afganistahn and only wish the resources (both financial and military) were used there and not split up into Iraq -- Ross Perot might describe that huge sucking sound we hear as our money and our troops' lives being funnelled into Iraq. Yesterday I saw a tabloid paper with Osama on the cover with some hottie on his knee -- the headline screamed "Osama in Atlantic City". Makes sense to me, lucky bastard. If Dear Leader hadn't diverted so much of our focus, he'd be caught -- absolutely.


we're winning, right? 

Remember that "Dead or Alive" comment by Dear Leader? Remember how we were fighting terror? I'm not sure our actions were supposed to have this effect -- terrorist organizations' memberships are swelling worldwide. Nice. That Iraq thing was a great flypaper move, cons.


Tin Foil 

Ok, conspiracy nuts have a case with this now. Or do they? Unamericans for even questioning the veracity of the video -- every one of them.



As a marine recalls his experiences in Iraq saying he felt like he was commiting genocide (the warfloggers will be all over this guy -- tearing up his provate life and calling him everything from a coward to a traitor within a week if this story gets any stateside press).

Meanwhile, instead of dealing with actual problems in Iraq, the Pentagon banned soldiers from owning/using digital cameras in the area. Yeah, screw the policy, it was the damn camera that got us into the mess.


even the canucks 

Scary -- here's something I've been writing about for awhile now and what's truly disturbing is that it's those damn canucks who are running on a "anti-American plateform." You know we've fucked up when the canadiens grow some oranges and stand up to us.


Tuesday, May 25, 2004

The final 

So I have not been posting regularly the last few days because of the finals – I’ve been preparing for my trip to Tampa. I’m here. And it’s hot. And it’s freakin’ hoppin’. This is just a quick post – more to come.

The trek to the cup -- Check this out: parking was 20-25 dollars. It was higher than Dennis Miller’s ratings. We found a meter and doled out 5 bucks. About what Miller’s worth.

Outside the mood was, no pun intended, electric. Yes, the mood seemed like mardis gras complete with a juggler on stilts, a blond girl throwing out silver and blue beads, and 6 dollar beers. A kid, about 8 yearsr old, had a Mohawk and lightening bolt painted on his cheek and an inflated Stanley cup. All the TV guys wanted to get him on tape.

Inside the stadium, a guy lounged on a leather couch. He won some tickets to the finals. A short guy with a go-tee and baseball cap looked a little uncomfortable there hanging out but.... I asked what he did to get those seats and he said he wrote in to a local sports show with an answer to this question: “If you had the cup for a day, what would you do with it?” He laughed and said, “I’d get the Cup and the Lombardi trophy right next to each other and take a picture. Then I’d buy a full page advertisement in the Philly paper and say, ‘Thanks Philly, we couldn’t have done it without you.’” There ya go. Rome would have been proud.

Free thunder sticks were covered by the 6 dollar beers and 4 dollar peanuts. The lightshow was pretty damn amazing while they projected TB still pictures onto the ice.

It seemed it took the bolts two and a half periods to start playing. In first 45 minutes, they looked slow. They were not physical. They did not control the puck well. And it looked like Calgary just wanted it more. I was surprised they looked so green, although perhaps it was merely because they had gone 7 games just a few days prior. Calgary’s goalie is no Eschole – he’s going to get the easy shit. I think game two we will see a different TB team -- look for me -- I'm sitting ON THE GLASS in the calgary zone. I'm taking suggestions for a kick ass sign -- c'mon, help me out here.


Friday, May 21, 2004

Be on notice 

This article is so utterly shocking that I am sick to my stomach. And Rumsfeld is beyond contempt with his statement taht there are many more pictures and videos and if they are released, they will "make matters worse."

Of which matters is he speaking? And worse for whom?

Damn them for making me feel ashamed of what is done in our names.


Fox News Losers 

I wasn't going to post much today, but this story is just too funny.

WSJ reports:

"Media buyers say they generally pay Fox News ad rates that are about 75% to 80% of what they pay CNN -- even though CNN has only about half the audience of Fox News. And for all the inroads Fox News has made as a news organization, Mr. Rittenberg has to contend with advertisers who use CNN as a yardstick of quality.

Although the rest of the lineup is news, those shows leave some advertisers with the impression that Fox News is sometimes too hot-blooded and partisan to be considered true journalism. "The Fox News Channel is not perceived as pure news, because it really is no different than talk radio," says Jon Mandel, co-chief executive of Mediacom U.S., a media-buying company. That should translate into lower ad rates, he argues. (Mediacom clients that advertise on Fox News include Staples Inc., Warner Bros. and GlaxoSmithKline PLC.)"

No, ya don't say. On the surface this is comedy; however, a tragedy lurks underneath -- the state of journalism on cable TV has nowhere to go but down as long as Fox continues to play to people's emotions and continues to tell them what they want to hear. MSNBC and CNN have ventured slowly toward that, dare I say, style.


Thursday, May 20, 2004

Speech is free unless it's critical  

An article by Bill Hill of the Daytona Beach Online describing something you think would be happening in other countries, but not in the good ole US of A. Here's the gist:

"In March 2003, a teenage girl named Courtney presented one of her poems before an audience at Barnes & Noble bookstore in Albuquerque, then read the poem live on the school's closed-circuit television channel.

A school military liaison and the high school principal accused the girl of being "un-American" because she criticized the war in Iraq and the Bush administration's failure to give substance to its "No child left behind" education policy.

The girl's mother, also a teacher, was ordered by the principal to destroy the child's poetry. The mother refused and may lose her job.

Bill Nevins was suspended for not censoring the poetry of his students. Remember, there is no obscenity to be found in any of the poetry. He was later fired by the principal".

If that wasn't bad enough -- "After firing Nevins and terminating the teaching and reading of poetry in the school, the principal and the military liaison read a poem of their own as they raised the flag outside the school. When the principal had the flag at full staff, he applauded the action he'd taken in concert with the military liaison."

(Thanks for the tip, Max) Ok, so obviously this will be dealt with in the courts and public opinion, but the sheer fact that these types of things happen on a regular basis is cause for concern. Likewise, that these right wing nutholes continue to act on their fascist passions scares the crap out of me.

Also, teachers "get" the message. Across the nation teachers will be more unwilling for students to engage in any politics or issues either in exploration, reaction, or action out of fear of losing his/her job or merely out of a reluctance to have to "deal with" the reprocussions. Let me go in, teach to the test, get out, and get back to my "real life" and kids; really who needs that crap -- they don't pay me enough -- besides, the college teachers will make them think, that is, if they go to college.

A friend, The editor at Zugernaut, sent along this info if you so feel inclined.

"Here is the Rio Rancho Public Schools website:


Here is their feedback page:


Here is the school board's email:


Rio Rancho High School's principal is named Richard Von Ancken--make that HERR Richard Von Ancken.

Here is the high school's phone and fax numbers:

Phone: (505) 896-5600
Fax: (505) 896-5901

Here is the high school's webmaster address:


Drop them all a line or email, and pass this info along to your friends!!"

Take his advice -- make some poetry and write a letter!



Simply they outworked and outfought the Sharks. It was obvious that they wanted to win so desperately they were willing to get into the corners, stay physical, fight for the puck, and treat every shift like it mattered. You only have to look at the last few minutes of the game when the Sharks were beat 3 times on icing calls. The Flames, through pure hustle, kept the puck alive in the Shark's zone when they should have been face-offs in the Flames end. The Flames are no Cinderella team -- they deserve to be there -- they WANT it.

Now let's see the Bolts knock off the Flyers.


Asia and US 

You really should read this article on the paradox between the US's strong ties with many Asian governments while their masses are telling their leaders to cut us loose. The article highlights something I've been concerned with for awhile -- the rise of popular anti-American candidates throughout the world which will be extremely adverse to our policies, our interests, and our place in the world of nations. It's only a matter of time before the people's voices are echoed more strongly in their governments and, as you know, it takes a lot longer to build up trust than it does to break it.

They said it:

"In fact I would say that anti-American sentiment is growing at a disturbing rate and has never been that bad as it has become today," former senior South Korean diplomat Kim Kyong-won told the conference in Washington.

"For the first time in 50 years, relations between the US and all the countries in the region, notably India and Pakistan, have been good and yet, paradoxically, the US has never been more unpopular than it is today," said Farooq Sobhan, a retired senior diplomat from Bangladesh.

The other disturbing trend is the neocons shrillness concerning these types of warnings -- oftentimes it the standard, "fuck 'em we don't need them" line; instead of more people saying it, the neocons are screaming it louder and more emphatically and we know from history that small, passionate groups with an inclination towards hate and fear can change the course of nations. Let's hope that more reasoned voices can be heard.


Not surprised--again 

The redundancy of all this new information that points to Dear Leader not being stratight about war is getting to be a bit ridiculous.

"The Bush administration helped rally public and congressional support for a pre-emptive invasion of Iraq by publicizing the claims of an Iraqi defector months after he showed deception in a lie detector test and had been rejected as unreliable by U.S. intelligence agencies."

drip, drip, drip.


Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Another disk? 

Yes, the Pentagon recovered another disk with photos on it.

"Meantime, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee revealed that the Pentagon has recovered another disk containing more photos of prisoner abuse."

And the pugnacious Delay and spongebob friend, Inhoffe, again show their twisted logic and hubris with these comments:

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay has said, “The people who are against the war are using this to their political ends.” Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., has said he is outraged by “the press and the politicians and the political agendas that are being served by this.”

Are you kidding me? People who are morally outraged at the humiliation of men, women, and CHILDREN are using these events for political gain? How did they view the blue dress again? I can't believe these people -- how can they hold office?

A quick note on Harmon who was one of the first identified in the "old" photos -- she looks genuinely happy giving the thumbs up over a dead Iraqi on ice -- how is that possible? It looks like a bad horror movie -- have we created a whole group of people who are so morally corrupt or emotionally damaged or bainwashed or all three that they can get actual enjoyment out of these types of acts?


another surprise 

Oh wait, no, it can't be, another lie? How? I don't believe it --

"The Bush administration’s promotion of the new Medicare law through videos made to look like news reports violated a prohibition against using public money for propaganda, Congress’ General Accounting Office said Wednesday."



CNN poll -- wow

Has the United States apologized too much for Iraqi prison abuse?

Yes 52% 28157 votes

No 48% 26234 votes
Total: 54391 votes

We have? If that was your kid, mother, daughter, son, who was hooded and raped or sodomized or beaten while in custody, would the hollow apologies from the foreign leaders truly have been enough? I knew we were a forgiving people, but wow --- I'm at a loss for words.


quick note 

This seems odd to me -- the Pentagon's response to the latest massacre/fiasco:

"A military officer at the Pentagon said the operation was carried out at about 3 a.m. against a "foreign fighter safehouse" in the desert about 15 miles from the Syrian border. He said the U.S. troops came under hostile fire and called in close-air support.

The officer declined to say if anyone was killed. Lt. Col. Dan Williams, a U.S. military spokesman, said the military was investigating. "

The officer declined to say if anyone was killed? Every night the Pentagon is pumping out the numbers -- so many insurgents killed last night; x amount of the madhi army taken out; a dozen sadr militiamen killed; etc. If this was a military operation, and a "successful" one, let's see those numbers.


go bolts 

Have I mentioned that the Flyers can suck my hemmoroid? I'm hoping for a bolt / flame matchup here. With both team's speed and intensity, it would be a good time. Plus, I would hate to watch the flyers any more than I have to --



From the AP: "Bush also proposed halving this year's huge deficit expected to exceed $400 billion in five years. The congressional plan achieves that goal, but partly because its tax cuts would last only for one year."

So what I assume we'll see in ads this November is "we will halve the deficit within five years" without the fact only if the tax cuts are not made permanent. Then we'll see other ads admonishing anyone who doesn't want to make the tax cuts permanent. Hopefully we'll also see more journalists like Fram here lay all the information on the table.


D'ya think Ladden will be signing up 

For this misadventure -- get this, he proposes we attack Iran to stabalize Iraq. Makes sense to me. I suppose that means when Syria and Egypt and Jordan and Lebonon erupt, we'll just have to take them out to stabalize Iran. As he so duly notes: "it's a regional war".


Rall on the warpimps 

Via Cursor (link to the left) this Rall piece. What else can be said but "I concur". Though I doubt the war pundits will take from this experience any hesitancy toward the next Dear Leader misadventure. America, as Rall states, will forgive, and will clearly forget -- just like the warfloggers themselves.


Tuesday, May 18, 2004

poor scotty-boy 

Yes, it was another day of dodge, bait, pontificate, and sidestep for poor scotty-boy. The WH just does not give him much to work with.

Q Scott, back on the sky-rocketing oil prices, that seems to be just the beginning, as there are reports now that this summer America could face rolling blackouts because there's not enough coal, apparently, to help facilitate a lot of these energy-producing companies. So what is the White House doing to prevent this energy crisis in America that's expected?

MR. McCLELLAN: You brought up -- we had a major blackout last year, and the President again urged Congress to act to pass a comprehensive energy plan. The plan that the President put forward focused on some key priorities, like I mentioned earlier: expanding domestic exploration and production and promoting alternative sources of energy, like ethanol and hydrogen power, things that the President has proposed; and called on Congress to pass modernizing and expanding the electricity grid, an issue here you're bringing up; and passing mandatory reliability standards so the system has adequate capacity; promoting conservation; increasing energy efficiency; and encouraging investment in our energy infrastructure. We need a modern grid.

We also need to recognize that high gas prices reflect a shortage of supply, an increase in demand, and insufficient oil pipeline and refinery capacity. And so those are issues that we're trying to work to address so that we don't continue to go through these problems.

Q Those are long-term issues. In just a couple of days, summer will be here, people will be turning their air-conditioners on. There's a lack of coal. There are going to be rolling blackouts, not in one city, but throughout the nation is expected. What is --
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, remember there is a joint task force with Canada that Secretary Abraham was involved in with his counterpart to look at some of these issues. And our administration stays on top of these issues to address them. And we will continue -- we will continue to do so.

Q What is the White House doing right now to prevent this?

His response? Next question, and if it's an easy one, I'll buy you a bottle of bourbon.

Of course it doesn't stop there-- how could it? Different topic but, well, you'll see:

Q Can I clarify something you just said on Greenspan?


Q You said his term expires in two years.

MR. McCLELLAN: Yes, on the Fed.

Q Well, then, why renominate him now?

MR. McCLELLAN: He's renominating him for a term not to exceed four years as Chairman of the Reserve. Again, I'm not going to get into speculating on what may occur two years from now.

Q It's hardly speculation. The President is nominating him for another four years.

MR. McCLELLAN: As I said to Terry's question, the President has great confidence in him, thinks he's doing a superb job, and wants him to continue to serve as long as possible.

Q What do you have -- do you have to get some sort of okay from Congress to extend his time limits?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, now you're getting into speculation about something that --

Q No, no, I'm asking you what the policy is. Is --

MR. McCLELLAN: And I'm not going to get into speculating about it at this point. The President has renominated him, wants him to serve as long as possible.

Q I'm not asking you to speculate.

MR. McCLELLAN: But that question does go to speculating about what might happen two years from now.

Q You're the one who said four years.

Q Second question, please?

If you're not going to dutifully write down exactly what I say, then I'll move on -- got it? (I won't even get into what some, counterspin specifically -- though I can't find the post this minute -- have been theorizing for some time: Greenspan is a republican hack).

A question must be asked: is this highly divisive and partisan administration making journalist ask questions like these or are those journalists finally growing some oranges?

Q Scott, as I remember where the energy bill is, it's stuck in a conference between Republicans in the House and Senate. So are Republicans also responsible then for not getting an energy bill to the President?

MR. McCLELLAN: It's the Senate Democrats who have been obstructing the process and holding up passage of an energy -

Q Well, no, actually, the energy bill has passed --

MR. McCLELLAN: -- plan through their procedural moves.

Q -- has passed the Senate. It's in a conference now between the House and the Senate. So what's --

MR. McCLELLAN: It's through the procedural moves in the Senate that they will not move forward on passing the energy legislation.

Actually the reporter is right on -- look it up. But energy is where it's at and scotty-boy just can't catch a break.

Q Scott, you mentioned that Secretary Abraham was going to be meeting with the producers. When, and what producers?

MR. McCLELLAN: I think that the Secretary of Energy put out information about that earlier. He's going to be attending the International Energy Forum in Amsterdam this Saturday and Sunday. And this is a meeting of consumers and -- consuming and producing countries. The Secretary is going to be participating in workshop sessions, as well as bilateral meetings during this session.

Q Is he going to be jawboning there, then?

Q Scott, the Democrats do like to keep reminding the President of what he said as a candidate in 2000 about the jaw-boning of his -- people in the oil industry and the oil business, or whatever. Has the President done any particular jawboning himself regarding this matter?

MR. McCLELLAN: He stays in touch with -- he meets with world leaders all the time, and these are issues he raises in those meetings.

Q What -- give us an idea of what he says to --

MR. McCLELLAN: I think -- I think we tend to read those out at the time. But the President says what I said at -- what I have said repeatedly and what you have heard him say, as well, in terms of not taking action that would harm the global economy, harm the American economy, and hurt our consumers.

For those who don't remember, here's what the President said in the debates of 2000: “I think the president ought to get on the phone with the OPEC cartel and say, ‘We expect you to open your spigots.’ … The president of the United States must jawbone OPEC members to lower the price.” [Financial Times, 2/2/00]

I don't know about you, but I wanna see some damn jawboning before, say, September.



So today my 2 year old daughter, known for her adventurism and appetite, grabbed a bucket of country crock butter and was happily shoving spoonfuls in her mouth as fast as she could. As her mother raced to her, she ate faster and made this laugh was pure comic book--bwahaha. I lost my appetite.


Not sure this is a good idea 

I'm no expert on Latin American affairs, but it seems to me that arming militias with training and weapons to help defend the country is anathema to the idea of "rule of law". Chavez has called on training and arming civilians out of an obvious fear of the "right wing" opposition to his government. This may ultimately fuel his opposition and actually trigger more "outside" involvemnet in his ouster. Likewise he's starting to look like he's ready to join the tin foil hat club; though if I were in the opposition, that would be one of my goals -- make him undermine himself.


peace protestors denied (again) 

If you were pro-Dear Leader or pro-occupation, no problem; but as you are -- go shag a sheep.


You say 22 Thousand?! 

According to the AP, 22 thousand troops are already seeking care from the VA -- it is not clear as to whether this number includes those injured in combat (no mention of troops in rehab for lost limbs for example) --

"Nearly 18,000 soldiers who have returned from Iraq have sought care at VA health facilities, officials reported at the end of March. A separate report in mid-April said 4,000 troops from the war in Afghanistan sought care, although there is some overlap from those who served in both conflicts."


Here's hoping -- war crimnals punished 

Looks like the White House debated on and decided to use torture, but only on alQuada. And it is also apparent that the cheif white house lawyer was worried about the US being charged with war crimes.

Here's the crux via MSNBC:

"It is difficult to predict the motives of prosecutors and independent counsels who may in the future decide to pursue unwarranted charges based on Section 2441 [the War Crimes Act]," Gonzales wrote.

The best way to guard against such "unwarranted charges," the White House lawyer concluded, would be for President Bush to stick to his decision—then being strongly challenged by Secretary of State Powell— to exempt the treatment of captured Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters from Geneva convention provisions.

"Your determination would create a reasonable basis in law that (the War Crimes Act) does not apply which would provide a solid defense to any future prosecution," Gonzales wrote.

The memo-and strong dissents by Secretary of State Colin Powell and his chief legal advisor, William Howard Taft IV-are among hundreds of pages of internal administration documents on the Geneva Convention and related issues that have been obtained by NEWSWEEK and are reported for the first time in this week's issue.

And you can find the memo here. What's got into Newsweek? Big green arrow up, ya know.


Moore is less according to Dear Leader 

Well normally I would be skeptical of a charge like this and chalk it up to a director pumping the headlines to garner controversy and thus ticket sales (call that the Passion Theory), but with this WH, you never know. From the BBC:

"The White House tried to halt the making and release of Michael Moore's new film Fahrenheit 9/11, the film-maker alleged in Cannes on Sunday."


Moore is less according to Dear Leader 

Well normally I would be skeptical of a charge like this and chalk it up to a director pumping the headlines to garner controversy and thus ticket sales (call that the Passion Theory), but with this WH, you never know. From the BBC:

"The White House tried to halt the making and release of Michael Moore's new film Fahrenheit 9/11, the film-maker alleged in Cannes on Sunday."



Atrios on Hitchens, the caustic intellectual hack.

Hitchens then: "...many countries maintain secret police forces and inflict torture on those who disagree.... [R]elatively few states will take photographs or videos of the gang-rape and torture of a young woman in a cellar and then deposit this evidence on the family's doorstep. This eagerness to go the extra mile, as is manifested in Saddam Hussein's regime, probably requires an extra degree of condemnation. And if we are willing to say, as we are, that the devil is in the details, then it may not be an exaggeration to detect a tincture of evil in the excess. We could have a stab at making a clinical definition and define evil as the surplus value of the psychopathic -- an irrational delight in flouting every customary norm of civilization."

The moral relavist that Hitch is, I suppose he will claim he was speaking of a copuntry's leader who did that to his own people and not an Army doing that to an occupatied one. Thus, we are doing this to foriegners for very good reasons so it's ok.


somebody wants to shine the light; guess who its not 

According to Martin Seiff at UPI there's a new trifecta being born and it doesn't give Dear Leader a "get out of jail free" card. Seiff contends the Army, the Senate Republicans, and the CIA are ready to just get this whole scandal out in the open.

One particular point: "But what enrages many serving senior Army generals and U.S. top-level intelligence community professionals is that the "few" in this case were not primarily the serving soldiers who were actually encouraged to carry out the abuses and even then take photos of the victims, but that they were encouraged to do so, with the Army's well-established safeguards against such abuses deliberately removed by high-level Pentagon civilian officials."

Of course, all three groups have not been treated well by the administration since the beginning and I wouldn't doubt they have had enough. Let's see what happens.


Monday, May 17, 2004


NPR had two interesting stories this afternoon. I found it quite fitting that they should be done within a half hour of each other. The first was the school segregation case while the second concerned gay marriage. The reactions to the events were amazing -- letters written to President Eisenhower were especially moving and disturbing (extreme racism highlighting the end of society as we know it versus wonderful optimism on how it was a positive step in achieving equality); the reactions to gay marriage were across the spectrum as well: joyous celebration by people who finally get to make a commitment to one another and their community versus the "end of the world", civilization is falling apart, we have no morals crowd.

I always hesitated comparing the two "groups", however, the one thing they have in common are those closed minded people who hate them for who they are.


Gonzales Memo -- go shag a sheep 

From today's gaggle --

"Q Did Al Gonzales's memo of 2002 lead to the -- clear the way in some way for what happened at the Iraqi prison?

MR. McCLELLAN: Absolutely not. First of all, the memo you're referencing related specifically to al Qaeda and the Taliban. It did not reference Iraq, at all. We have made it clear that we are bound by the Geneva Conventions in Iraq. And I would point out that in his memo, that -- just to put it in context, there was part of the quote from that memo that was left out. It said, "In my judgment, this new paradigm does not square with Geneva's limitations on interrogation of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of its provisions." This part, it did not say: "Some of its provisions requiring that captured enemy be afforded such things as commissary privileges, scrip (i.e. advances of monthly pay), athletic uniforms, and scientific instruments."

Q Can you give us a copy of the memo?

MR. McCLELLAN: If you'll recall, the President made it clear that while Geneva does not apply to the al Qaeda, Taliban detainees being held at Guantanamo, that he directed our military forces to treat them humanely and consistent with the Geneva Conventions.

And I just remind you that we are a nation at war. We are also a nation of laws. And our most important responsibility is the safety and security of the American people. And we act in an appropriate manner to meet that responsibility. But our policy is clear. The United States policy is that we comply with all our laws and with our -- and with our treaty obligations. And that is our policy.

All right, thank you."

Guess that means -- uh, no. I will not give you a copy of it -- don't you trust me or something?

Scotty might not give a copy of that memo, but here's a taste of the type of memo writer Gonazales is -- my goodness, a lot of memos supporting the death penalty to then Gov Bush-- I hope he's not Catholic.


Stupid White People 

This A-hole goes free after 100 freakin' days in jail for KILLING someone while this guy is in prison for LIFE for stealing a black and white TV. Then you read shit like this which was in my neck of the woods and you begin to wonder, what the fuck country am I living in?



Sometimes logic is just so, well, outdated -- via Riverbend:

"The assumption that Al Zarqawi himself was doing the beheading seems a little far-fetched. So now the heads of terrorism in the world seem to be Ossama Bin Ladin, Aimen Al Dhawahiri and Abu Mussa'ab Al Zarqawi. Here's some food for thought- Ossama is from Saudi Arabia, Al Dhawahiri is Egyptian and Al Zarqawi is Jordanian. Which countries in the region are America's best allies? Let's see now… did you guess Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt?! Fantastic! You win a trip to… Falloojeh!! (And no- it doesn't count if you give Saudi Arabia a little slap on the wrists and poke Egypt in the ribs- you're still buddies). "

But, but, but, we attacked Iraq to draw all those guys to your country -- its flypaper, ya know.



Looks like the "bitch in a box" technique used by our troops was learned by the best in the mafia -- Maybe Scorcesee will do his next movie in Iraq.


show me the money 

Yep, as I mentioned previously, jets bombed neighborhoods and tanks rolled through after saying we'll buy your weapons -- now according to AFP, prisoners leaving the prison get cash and a note saying, get this, "you have not been mistreated." Out tax money at work -- is this what Wolfowitz was referring to as the Pentagon's discretionary fund?



"As President Bush was traveling through the Midwest on his exuberant bus tour last week, his campaign aides still sounded confident that the revelations of how Iraqi prisoners were abused would do far more harm to the United States' image abroad than to the president's standing at home."

And that's the good news folks?



You know how we started a war on false pretenses and in the process alienated a number of our allies; and you know how that alienation could very well effect our ability to, well, lead? Here's an interesting tidbit -- Europe is ignoring our sanctions placed on Syria. So who gets hurt? It looks like our very own businessmen and women.


Gitmo set the stage 

The observer reports that detailed abuse was videotaped and now lawmakers are getting excited. I'm completely against this abuse, but Rummy and Dear Leader already defined "those guys" (illegal combatants) and "that place" (Gitmo) as off limits to any laws international or otherwise where the Geneva convention does not apply, so what's the furor? Sure they may have some innocent people there. Sure they might have some teenagers there. Sure abuse is most probably happening -- but Iraq made such big waves because Rummy and Dear Leader did NOT define them as terrorists. They were Iraqi Army, Iraqi civilians, or maybe new troops in the uprising, but NOT terrorist. The irony: I have a feeling we've grown a couple honest to god Iraqi terrorists since our invasion.

The question becomes what will happen to Gitmo once the international body views said videotapes and how much pressure they will bring to bear. I don't think anything will happen-- most foreign politicians will give a nod to that place as they have already done(911) but their populations absolutely will not, especially in combination with any visual evidence. (I'm assuming all that info has been destroyed or shipped off to Cheney's undisclosed position at this point) Here again is where the anti American rhetoric could again heat up and help those who have a certain animous toward us or our policies.


dear leader 

Sieg Heil.


sucks for haiti 

This is not surprising.

"Jamaicans have long suspected the waters off their southern coast are teeming with shipwrecks and sunken treasure from the days when the island was a haven for pirates. But they have always been happy to leave the mystery to the sea.

Now some islanders are angry to learn that their government has not only given an American treasure-salvage company permission to explore the area — called Pedro Banks — but also to keep half the bounty. They say all the artifacts — precious or not — are part of their history and belong in Jamaica."



"Days like today convince us even more so that the transfer must stay on track," said Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, speaking on CNN.

After the head of the Iraqi Governing Council was killed in a suicide car bombing. "Ready or not, here we goooo."


Sunday, May 16, 2004

New war sounds like he old war but... 

Check this out:

"Suspected insurgents attacked a coalition combat patrol in southern Afghanistan (news - web sites), killing one American soldier and wounding two others, the U.S. military said Sunday."

If one isn't reading closely one might assume this happened in Iraq; so what's up with calling the Afghanistan fighters insurgents now? Are we trying to further blend the two wars, when in fact they have nothing to do with one another? Or is it less insidious and they are just running out of terms(terrorist, thugs, killers)? Later in the article they refer to them as Taliban, so are they giving the Taliban a more positive connotation now by referring to them as rebels against an authority in power?


Saturday, May 15, 2004


Lovely ads abound on the internet to bring traffic to websites for the all powerful dollar, but some are just downright ridiculous -- by making an ad in the form of a poll dealing with us foriegn policy (should we leave Iraq, you're chance at a 50 gift card) seems so -- well -- appropriate. Thanks, Dear Leader for showing me the way. Where's my 50 bucks?


A few quick notes 

This article highlights a number of new developments of the latest round of fighting which really seems to have gotten lost in the ever-blooming prison scandal. One thing I was taken by was this:

U.S. jet fighters bombarded the outskirts of Sadr City overnight, forcing militiamen to flee positions, the witnesses said. On Saturday, U.S. soldiers drove through the neighborhood with loudspeakers, urging people to hand in their weapons within a week in exchange for money.

Does anyone else find it odd that as jet fighters bomb their neighborhoods, tanks roll through their streets offering money in exchange for weapons? I just hear John Stewart all over this one.

Meanwhile Hersh, it seems, has broken a whole new angle here that could truly spell disaster for Dear Leader and America. As you may or may not know, Rumsfeld gave the thumbs up to the interrogation methods. Here's the lede:

"Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld authorized the expansion of a secret program that encouraged physical coercion and sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners to obtain intelligence about the growing insurgency in Iraq (news - web sites), The New Yorker reported Saturday."

Now this piece of info comes after Dear Leader wholeheartedly endorsed him as the "best Sec. of Defense we've ever had" -- that's in the entire history of the US. This is after Rumsfeld lied under oath:

So here's one problem -- how to save any shred of reputation for endorsing Herr Rumsfeld. But it gets worse, "The program got approval from President Bush's (emphasis mine) national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice (news - web sites), and Bush was informed of its existence (emphasis mine), the officials told New Yorker reporter Seymour Hersh."

So Dear Leader lied as well? On TV? Again?

Arabs and regional papers already felt as though the "apologies" from Bush and Rumsfeld were insincere and merely for American audiences, so this will only confirm their suspicions. Further, now that we have shagged the sheep so utterly and so completely, there's nothing left; there is no amount of propaganda that can help change Arab opinion that we are not there for selfish goals or to help their populations.

This reverberation may have long lasting affects on US policy long after this debacle. Our standing in the middle east is now kneeling and I fear other populations throughout the world will see a major decline. These new revelations don't just effect Dear Leader -- they may in fact give fodder to extreme groups throughout the world with fringe politicians with anti American rhetoric springing up worldwide and gaining grassroots support. I'm not certain how I see this helping our troops.


Friday, May 14, 2004

humane, not humane. 

It seems as though the two quotes flying around the net on how we brke the Genev Convetion are these:

JACK REED: Mr Secretary, do you think crouching naked for 45 minutes is humane?

PAUL WOLFOWITZ: Not naked, absolutely not.

JACK REED: So if he's dressed up, that's fine?

Let me put it this way. 72 hours without regular sleep, sensory deprivation which would be a bag over your head for 72 hours. Do you think that's humane? And that's what this says, a bag over your head for 72 hours. Is that humane?

PAUL WOLFOWITZ: Let me come back to what you said the work…

JACK REED: No, no. Answer the question, Secretary. Is that humane?

PAUL WOLFOWITZ: I don't know whether it means a bag over your head for 72 hours Senator. I don't know.

JACK REED: Mr Secretary, you're dissembling, non-responsive. Anybody would say putting a bag over someone's head for 72 hours, which is sensory deprivation…

PAUL WOLFOWITZ: I believe it's not humane. It strikes me as not humane, Senator.

And --

"Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., had asked [Marine Gen. Peter] Pace if he would consider it good interrogation methods or a violation of the conventions if he saw a video of a U.S. Marine in enemy hands, bound, naked and in a stressful position with a hood on his head.

"I would describe it as a violation, sir," Pace replied.

"What you've described to me sounds like a violation of the Geneva Conventions," [Paul] Wolfowitz added later."

Here you can read a debate on PBS concerning our newfound freedom from inetrnational law.


Decapitation video here 

I debated putting this link here because it seems to cater to our worst sensibilities as human beings -- either morbid curiosity, sadistic longing, or our desensitization to violence reaching unimaginable heights leading us to want more extreme forms of entertainment. However, there it is. I have not seen it, nor will I. I don't need to see the act to understand the cruelty or barbarity.


Thursday, May 13, 2004

must read 

Everyday -- Media Matters is quickly becoming a must read -- they are putting on ads targeting our favorite fat druggie, no, not Belushi, but Limbaugh using (gasp) his own words. Check it out.


must read 

Everyday -- Media Matters is quickly becoming a must read -- they are putting on ads targeting our favorite fat druggie, no, not Belushi, but Limbaugh using (gasp) his own words. Check it out.


what the &^%^@ 

From the Fort Wayne Journal

Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba, who conducted the Army's first investigation into the abuse, told Congress on Tuesday that he believed the pictures were taken by military personnel using their personal digital cameras.

"One I know I'm going to have nightmares about," he said. "There's nothing violent about it, but it's an image of an Iraqi simply looking up with a horrified look on his face. ... The man is clearly tormented and terrified.

"I expected that these pictures would be very hard on the stomach lining, and it was significantly worse than anything that I had anticipated," said Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. "Take the worse case and multiply it several times over."

Some photos showed consensual sex between Americans; another showed a U.S. solider shooting a camel in the head.

Seeing scenes of bloody dog bites and prisoners forced into sexually humiliating positions "is the first time, since I've been elected to Congress, that my job made me sick to my stomach," Rep. Mike Pence, R

But Mike, I'm sure the camel had some information about the next terrorist attack on the US and needed to be softened up to spit it out. The soldier just got carried away with the bullet in the head and all.


the docs 

I took a friend to get a colonoscopy yesterday. Before we went in England was one explaining her reasoning for posing in pictures, basically saying she was ordered to. My friend turns to me and says, “She has no remorse. Absolutely none.” And there wasn’t. Not a lick. Somehow the setting I found myself sitting in seemed appropriate to listen to her.

Later my friend went in for her procedure. It didn’t take long. When I went into the recovery room, she was in the first curtained off space. Essentially the recovery room held about 15 beds separated by curtains. She was out of it. The demoral hadn’t worn off so she’d ask a question then pass out then wake up long enough to get out another question. Three nurses came over at different times during these episodes and tried to rouse her from her stupor. Once she woke, she asked for juice. The nurse sternly said, “only after you pass gas.” They really wanted her to pass gas. My friend is on the introverted side, so this request seemed awful.

Why is it that in those situations I feel like I am reduced to a 13 year old? It’s not so much gas as air. The docs pump a bit of air into the abdomen or colon or whatever they need to see and try to get it out before recovery, but sometimes it’s not possible. In the curtain next to us an old woman couldn’t contain herself and it sure didn’t sound like just air – they were, well, juicy. While she was letting it go, the doc is talking to my friend pretending like he can’t hear the woman next door. I started to laugh. I bit my tongue so I wouldn’t laugh. And I kept thinking this is serious business, these colons and intestines and such. Quit laughing. But the more she passed, the more I thought I was going to lose it.

Suddenly my friend looks at me with this horrified expression. Eyes wide, her hand covers her mouth, and a small plane takes off beneath her. Then she giggles and says,” It’s so odd. I have no control whatsoever. It’s not passing gas, it’s deflating.” I went to get the car.

No wonder I get along with my kids so well. Pull my finger, sweetie.


That's about right 

A friend wrote and had a comment/question. Here it is in full:

SF chronicle:

"Rumsfeld again condemned the abuse of Iraqis at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison but said that such Pentagon-approved practices were legal...

'The Geneva conventions apply to conflicts between states, parties to the conventions. In the case of Afghanistan, it is a state, and therefore the Geneva Convention applied to Afghanistan as a state. It did not apply to the al Qaeda that was using that state,'' Rumsfeld said."

so let me see if I get this straight:
1) the abuse was wrong, but
2) it was perfectly legal, and remember
3) we're at war with terrorists but
4) terrorists like al qaeda aren't part of a state, so the Geneva
Convention doesn't apply to them
6) even though these particular prisoners have nothing to do with al qaeda
7) and besides, even though the GC doesn't apply, we didn't ignore it either, but
8) the abuse was still wrong...

Yep, that about sums it up.


Wednesday, May 12, 2004

party pooper 

I'm in, though it's probably that cheap shit anyway



The defense secretary defends the indefensible -- glad to see we are in an enlightened age of moral relevativism. I can't even begin to address the ridiculousness, the utter hubris of his statements. I guess the ringing endorsement of Dear Leader gave him some new plantinum cajones which sucks for us.

I guess we should all reconsider any global travel plans -- the next Berg may not be in Iraq, but another part of the globe where the people witnesses atrocities committed in our names and defended by our leadership -- I've never read so much concerning the poor worldwide opinion of us. I've never felt ashamed of my country or its actions even if I disagreed with its course of action; I can't say that anymore. Are we safer? More importantly, are our kids safer?


Boykin and torture 

You remember, that crazy christian fundamentalist general who makes more new spreading his brand of extremism and hate than Falwell himself, well he's tied to the torture and rape of innocent people in Iraq. Great.

Crusades got nothing on us. Looks like our boys have been abusing children over there.

"The US network NBC News reported last week that unreleased videotapes, apparently shot by US personnel, showed Iraqi guards at Baghdad’s Abu Ghraib prison raping young boys. British newspapers have reported that children were tortured under interrogation."

Even if our soldiers weren't the ones actually doing the penetration, they taped the damn thing -- The men or women who watched and said nothing are just as guilty. Meanwhile one troop says, "who cares" about killing Iraqis in prison. I'm not sure this bodes well for any soldier or civilian caught by any group opposed to the US, as of now, it looks like the Geneva Convention is out the window. Hello, Mr. Kurtz.



Over 1200 images of rape and torture are still unreleased. That doesn't sound like they were taken by a few bad apples.



The bad thing about this -- Venezuela raiding a US warehouse and arresting Colombian paramilitaries -- is that we have little room for credible deniability at this point. I'll be interested to see how this thing shakes out --


Tuesday, May 11, 2004


from the press gaggle---Q The other thing is you mentioned the privacy concerns. What are the privacy concerns?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think there are always privacy issues involved here. I'm not a legal expert, but they would be looking at issues that could involve lawsuits and things of that nature if they got into releasing these pictures. I think you can address those questions to some of the legal authorities over at the Pentagon.

Lawsuits? Privacy concerns. Uh, does he mean sued by the tortured and the families of those killed during torture or by the troops?

A gotcha moment it seems --

Q Does the President believe that anybody other than the individuals who were directly involved in these acts is culpable, not just in a direct sense for the acts, but for whatever breakdown of leadership --

MR. McCLELLAN: I'm not going to prejudge investigations that are ongoing at this point. There are investigations that are ongoing to look into all these matters.

Q The President seems to have prejudged Secretary Rumsfeld's role by giving him a very fulsome endorsement.

Ya think?



Read it. Read the comments section. Oh geez.



The post at Riverbend is moving and I recommend it highly. It's a personal reaction to the latest fiasco.


Monday, May 10, 2004


Kos has an insightful piece on the Gitmo trail and our Dear Leader's moral authority.


Just following orders 

One of the MP's charged -- his dad defends him: "Apparently, he was told to take a picture and he did what he was told," Daniel Sivits told The Associated Press in an interview late last month. "He was just following instructions."

Sivits grew up in a military family and "knows how to follow instructions," his father said.

Let us remember Dear Leader's words on March 16th, 2003:

And all Iraqi military and civilian personnel should listen carefully to this warning. In any conflict, your fate will depend on your action. Do not destroy oil wells, a source of wealth that belongs to the Iraqi people. Do not obey any command to use weapons of mass destruction against anyone, including the Iraqi people. War crimes will be prosecuted. War criminals will be punished. And it will be no defense to say, "I was just following orders."
And rightly so; let's see if it applies to everyone or only those durned foreigners.


Part of the process 

Looks like them apples was the whole damn orchard. Disgusting.


Ugly is as Ugly does 

That is only part of the torture story. The more we learn about how nasty this situation was and how pervasive it was in multiple prison systems in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Gitmo, the more it disturbs me that people are defending the Pentagon and administration by saying this was a few "bad apples". A few bad apples do not hide torture victims from the red cross.

This is quickly turning into a WMD media story in which journalists, in an effort to get "both sides of the story", are actually inflating a false premise and creating an ill-informed culture. Many still believe WMD existed and were found. Many believe that Iraq had links to Osama. Both are without merit.

Now we have the "bad apples" going around when evidence suggests torture was systemic of a broad US policy -- get information no matter the cost.

Similarly, I don't understand how Dear Leader can say this abuse is morally unacceptable, yet say Gitmo is okeydokey. The moral leader has done left.

Sidebar -- remember when Dear Leader highlighted Enron as a few bad apples then a whole slew of them apples turned up all over the country -- yeah, me too.


Yeah, so is this what high stakes blackmail looks like 

Martha Stewart 's lawyers plan to tell a federal judge that a prison sentence could hurt her company and force it to lay off some of its 500 employees, reports Kara Scannell of the Wall Street Journal.


Sunday, May 09, 2004

bake in 106 heat with no electricity 

Now that my regular life is "slowing down", I will have time to write some longer pieces that I've been kicking around and hopefully post more regularly.

Jali sent me this link (thanks for the tip) -- it's interesting to note how much the war is costing your particular city -- costofwar.com especially compared to your other "butter" programs.


A cup of arrogance and stir vigorously 

Via xoverboard -- do you think Dear Leader will follow his own advice? Here's just the first catch, which I remember well -- War crimes will be prosecuted, war criminals will be punished and it will be no defense to say, "I was just following orders."
-George W. Bush, 3/19/2003

At the same time we have to assume that is a negatory -- Cheney tells people to get off "Rummy's Case". Nice conciliatory tone considering Cheney is one of the primary a-holes who drove this bus off the cliff.


Saturday, May 08, 2004


All the Limbaughs, Coulters, and Hannitys of the press will have much more to explain away it seems. Rumsfeld in his testimony: "The American public needs to understand we're talking about rape and murder here. We're not just talking about giving people a humiliating experience." The conservative soul-less nasties were sick to try and explain it away in the first place -- now let's see what they do.


Wednesday, May 05, 2004

video footage 

Drum has footage of the US helicopter kiling 3 people. Meanwhile there wasn't any responsibility taken nor a simple apology from Dear Leader. Ugly is as ugly does.


25 what? 

Yes, Dear Leader is asking for another 25 BILLION dollars for our Iraqi theme park of destruction. I thought we wouldn't have to spend any money -- it Iraq would pay for itself. Dear Leader just keeps pissing in the pool and none of us can get out.



They won't air the "reagans miniseries", they won't let people see Nightline, they stall bad stories for 2 weeks before airing them, and they won't distribute a doculmentary but they will tell us all the good things coming out of Iraq. Sounds like America's media to me.

" Disney 'blocks' Moore documentary
Controversial director Michael Moore has said film studio Disney is refusing to release his new documentary, which heavily criticises President Bush.
Fahrenheit 911 was to be distributed by Miramax, a division of Disney.

But Disney has "officially decided to prohibit" Miramax from distributing the film, the director said on his website.

Moore, who won an Oscar for Bowling for Columbine in 2003, questioned whether in a "free and open society" Disney should be making such a decision.

Fahrenheit 911 links Mr Bush with powerful families in Saudi Arabia, including that of Osama Bin Laden, and attacks his actions before and after 11 September.

Some people may be afraid of this movie because of what it will show
Michael Moore
Miramax, run by Hollywood moguls Harvey and Bob Weinstein, agreed to distribute the documentary but Disney signalled it was not happy with the deal.
Disney bought Miramax 10 years ago but retained the rights to block films it deemed against its interests, such as adult-rated films.

But the New York Times said Miramax did not agree this was a situation where that clause should be invoked.

"For nearly a year, this struggle has been a lesson in just how difficult it is in this country to create a piece of art that might upset those in charge," Moore said on his official site.

"Some people may be afraid of this movie because of what it will show.
"But there's nothing they can do about it now because it's done, it's awesome, and if I have anything to say about it, you'll see it this summer - because, after all, it is a free country."

Miramax spokesman Matthew Hilzik told the New York Times: "We are discussing the issues with Disney. We're looking at our options and look forward to resolving this amicably."

But Zenia Mucha, a Disney spokesman, said: "We advised both [Moore's] agent and Miramax in May of 2003 that the film would not be distributed. That decision stands."

Moore's agent, Ari Emanuel, accused Disney and its chief executive Michael Eisner of fearing a loss of tax breaks if it backed the release in the US.

Moore will give Fahrenheit 911 its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, but no date has been set for a US release."


The more I think about this scandal the more I believe it should be directly tied to Dear Leader. As CEO, I mean, commander and chief, he is the ultimate authority -- the buck stops here, so to speak. He was willing to take accolades for getting us into the war and "winning" the war quickly why should the reverse not apply. There were a number of investigations going on for months and he made no decisive action -- why? Look at Gitmo in Cuba and they may give you an idea. Look at Padilla and that may give you an idea. Both imply a disregard for law, for human rights.

Still there are a number of reports now detailing the abuses and torture. It does not seem to be isolated at all. What has Bush said beyond he's disgusted? Who has Bush fired? What STEPS has he taken as the highest authority in the military to get a handle on this? So far, well, let's look at his mouth piece -- Scotty boy.

Q The phrase you used, "shameful and appalling," and do you think that steps that are being taken are strong enough now, so far?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, one, our military does not tolerate prisoner abuse. The images are appalling, and such action is inexcusable. And the shameful actions of a few do not represent the 99 percent of our men and women in uniform who are performing superbly and representing the United States with honor and distinction. It is -- we believe in treating all people, including prisoners, with dignity and respect. And that is a stark contrast from the regime of Saddam Hussein, who encouraged and tolerated prisoner abuse.

Q Do you think the administration action -- administrative action that's been taken against the troops is strong enough?

MR. McCLELLAN: The President expects appropriate action to be taken, and he is confident our military is taking appropriate action to correct the situation and hold those who are responsible accountable.

Q You say the President will take appropriate action. What is that? Does the President, for example, think that these soldiers should stay in the Armed Forces?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, again, I can't get into discussing specific cases that may be being pursued. But there are criminal charges that are being pursued by the military. The military has instituted a comprehensive review of policies and procedures throughout the prisons in Iraq. And they are looking at additional criminal charges from -- it is my understanding.

Q Does the Commander-in-Chief think that soldiers participating in this kind of activity should remain in the Armed Forces?

MR. McCLELLAN: They should be held fully accountable for their actions. Again, I'm not going to speculate about individual cases. But the military is taking strong action. They are pursuing criminal charges and appropriate steps against individuals who might be responsible for these -- for this kind of abuse.

Q Does the President see any need for a larger review about how military intelligence and interrogations are conducted?

MR. McCLELLAN: Look, the military is looking into all these matters. That would be asking me to get into speculation about where this may lead. But I think you can look back to General Myers' comments from yesterday, as well as General Kimmitt, from earlier this morning, in terms of where things stand in terms of the investigation and the criminal charges that are being brought.

And this from April 30.

Q Also, the President said they would be taken care of. What does the President want to see done?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, appropriate -- if people -- the people who carried out these acts, the military is working to address that matter. They are pursuing criminal charges. They are looking at additional criminal charges. And we need to let that process work.

Obviously the process does not work and obviously Dear Leader wants to put himself as far away from the scandal as possible, which includes not leading. This CEO needs to be fired. Our country is bankrupt morally and spiritually.


Torture and helicopters oh boy 

So as we follow Dear Leader down this path where we put our men and women in harm's way and expect sort out the "good" Iraqis from the bad which results in widespread human rights violations, we now start to see things like this story in which a helicopter is (supposedly) killing unarmed civilians. The tape is going to be shown on Tuesday in France. It's a sickening account and brings into question the whole idea of our high moral pretense. I have a feeling we are like a cockroach with its head cut off but the body continues to scramble around -- this can go on for weeks until the thing dies of starvation. We have already lost, we just don't know it yet.


Tuesday, May 04, 2004

This would be funny 


The head of the US funded Iraqi newspaper is quiting and taking his staff because of intereference by the US. It's some kind of democracy we got going on over there, ain't it?


Prison story delayed 

They had two freakin' weeks before the prison story ran on CBS and the Pentagon couldn't get their crap together enough to figure out whose heads would roll? This administration is by far one of the most incompetent ones we have ever seen.

And what's up with CBS giving them a heads up and two weeks anyway? Crap.

Meanwhile the Iraqis say we are worse than Saddam -- well, that sucks. I know we are resorting to have Saddam's REPUBLICAN GUARD (number 48 on the most wanted list, remember that -- classic) quell the uprising for us just like Saddam would do, but this is ridiculous. WMD's? Check? Threat to the region? Check. Religious fanatic leader who talks to God (and not like most of us talk to God, rather like a Koresh figure who is moved to violent action by His words)? Check.


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