Tuesday, June 29, 2004
Maybe not. By the fourth inning, the fans were cheering an eventual 11-3 Yankees victory. In the seventh inning, during Ronan Tynan's "God Bless America," they booed the sight of Cheney on the right-field video screen.
On Hitchens, journalists, and courage:
No one among us is going to throw that first stone, though. Not even Chris Hitchens, a man who makes a neat living completing advanced Highlights for Children exercises like the following: "Denounce a like-minded colleague, using the words 'Lugubrious' and 'Semienvious.'" Such is the pretense of modern journalism, that we are to be lectured on courage by a man who has had his intellectual face lifted so many times, he can't close his eyes without opening his mouth. By a man who, if the Soviets had won the Cold War, would be writing breathless features on Eduard Shevardnadze for three bucks a word in Komsomolskaya Vanity Fair ("Georgia on His Mind: Edik Speaks Out." Photos by Annie Liebowitz...).
Which is fine, good luck to him, mazel tov. Everybody's got to make a living. But let's not leave people confused out there. The idea that anyone in today's media is either courageous or cowardly on the basis of what they write or broadcast is ridiculous.
Gallup said the more important issue would be "the images and news reports that Americans receive over the next weeks and months. If the images are positive, then it could reflect better on the president."
Bush's major advantage, one that he used in his favor during the 2000 election, is a low level of expectations among voters.
"If there's almost any kind of improvement, it may look like a major advance in comparison" to expectations.
Meanwhile a mother calls the media to picture her son's coffin coming into the Sacramento airport. It's about time someone called that "policy" of privacy what it is -- crap. Meanwhile the administration, so ably said by Cheney previously, to the reserves: Go fuck yourselves.
Light posting -- doing some side jobs --
Monday, June 28, 2004
Two things. First, when they, and I will use the most general "they" including the insurgents and al-Qaida, RPG a convoy or attack the green zone or even manage a coordinated series of attacks that kill almost 100 people, they make the headlines, but the headlines are fleeting. There seems to be natural public apathy to these stories because they are so commonplace and happening to nameless, faceless people "over there" somewhere. When they behead someone, even a "foreigner", they make and keep the headlines. They personalize the story. They make a connection with the audience. Indeed it is a disturbing connection, one of sick curiosity and horror, but people tune in and watch. They follow what's going on. The story becomes something more than just a killing over there and their message of both promising more violence, more kidnappings and beheadings, and their "reasons" for doing it are broadcast over and over again. Their message may not be understood or it may be overscored by the pugnacious act and overwhelmed by the shock of its audience, but it is out there--likewise, if the audience is plugged in for this story, they may plug in for the other, more mundane, stories including the the other "normal" combat related deaths or the resources that keep disappearing there.
Second, Bush said these terrorist thugs, evildoers, what have you, will harden our resolve -- but what mother who has a child either in the military or working for Haliburton will see her resolve harden after watching numerous beheadings and imagining her child in that position? What child who sees the news or has access to the net won't be begging for their parent/sibling to return? Who is actually saying, "yes, I will be beheaded for this cause of Iraq"? How many 18 year olds are going to enlist for the Iraqi mess versus say, "fuck it, I'm flipping burgers and getting drunk"?
Friday, June 25, 2004
The labor unions of the nationÂ¡Â¯s two airliners, Korean Air and Asiana Airlines, declared Thursday that they refuse to transport anything related to the troop dispatch to Iraq, including Korean soldiers to be stationed in Iraq along with armor and related equipment.
The association said, Â¡Â°Both Korean Air and Asiana Airlines should not sign contracts with the government to transport troops to Iraq... If they sign such contracts, the security of our union members cannot be guaranteed as they may become a target of terror during operation... Also, in order to show our rejection to a war of invasion, we will suspend all flights.
This was a preemptive attack by the unions as the government did not yet request transport. I suspect more unions and workers will start flexing similiar muscle in the coming months as the crapfield deepens.
The new ad by the cons can be seen here. It's actually quite funny because there are a number of Bush Hitler comparisons and if you remember cons were out in full force denouncing such practices by individual progressives (as no progressive group or leader has ever made the comparison nor endorsed the comparison no matter how apt it may be).
The ad follows a number of dems in the zenith of their speeches where passions come out. It included Dean, Gephart, Gore, MoveOn, and even Kerry, the zombie, himself. Of course the menacing music pulsates behind the denunciations of the president. I actually liked it all the way to the upbeat sound of music music change and the picture of Bush with the steady leadership tag. The new slogan: "This is not a time for pessimism and rage".
No it's a time for fear and preemptive war. This ad is aimed at the con base -- most indies aren't going to be swayed by snippets, spliced images, and scary music. It will do as much for the con base as it will the progressive base, though. Libs, especially angry Libs, may actually love this ad as it says things the dems are too afraid to say and put out there -- like the hitler comparison.
The thing that pisses me off, however, is that now pundits, dems, and journalists will be discussing the inflamatory negative ad and defending people's speeches taken out of context instead of focusing on Bush's policy failings and miserable war. I wish the media would grow up this campaign season, but I suppose that's asking too much.
Thursday, June 24, 2004
Last night, though, we went over to some friends of our who had twins recently. Great boys -- the twins. Had dinner. Then went to a drive in and saw Shrek 2 and Dodgeball. Dodgeball was funny but not because of stiller. Anyone could have played his part. My wife said "it's zoolander, it's zoolander" about 50 times. Yes, the film is worth seeing, but be prepared for the hack, stiller, to take too much screentime to from the other actors.
Today I'm laying carpet and doing errands before our trip to Virginia, so posting will be sporadic. Take a look at one of the links to the right.
High quality jobs in the U.S. have been replaced in the past three years by lower-paying, less stable employment, according to a report released on Monday by CIBC World Markets.
The report said since the economic expansion got underway in the U.S. in late 2001, the number of jobs in high-paying industries fell by more than 2 per cent while the number of jobs in low-paying industries rose by 1.2 per cent.
During the same time, the number of part-timers rose by more than 5 per cent and the number of self-employed Americans was also up by nearly 5 per cent, while regular full-time employment grew by just 1.7 per cent.
"Given that swap of good for bad jobs and the current employment distribution, it will take 20 per cent more jobs than in the last extension to generate the same salary gain," said CIBC World Markets' senior economist Benjamin Tal, the report's author.
The institution said its U.S. Employment Quality Index, established by examining the key factors of job stability, relative compensation and part-time vs. full-time employment, has fallen 8 points since 2001.
One effect that may should be discussed is how foreign bodies will be effected by this attack. Will they line their troops up after such a show of force? Especially if reports like this one contnue to highlight cooperation between who we put in power for secruity and the insurgency? Our military is said to ask for 25 thousand more bodies to help in Iraq -- I didn't realize the 'volunteer' force was doing so well.
That great whooshing sound, as Ross Perot might say, is foreign money being sucked out of Iraq reconstruction and into home domestic programs which will leave us holding the very expensive doggie mitt as we try to clean that mess up. Likewise, governments have the luxury of having Army to say: 'we will not be detered; we are forces of light; the dark forces shall not win'; however, companies do not have such power or control. The S. Korean who was recently beheaded and the domestic pressure from that act put on the company has caused it to pull out from Iraq. Not all companies will pull out, but I can't imagine people hearing and seeing these men and women just trying to make a living getting beheaded for their associations with the US and the occupation forces are going to be willing contiinue to risk their lives in that situation -- what's the old adage, money isn't everything. When workers start to expect/demand hefty salaries to do the work, more of domestic programs like education spending or healthcare will be found dumped into that crapfield.
I'll take a guess at what dear leader will say -- "My fellow Americans, yesterday a small group of armed thugs ganrnered the world's attention. These forces of darkness are trying to deter our mission of goodwill and best intentions for the liberated Iraqi population. They will not shake our faith in doing the right thing and continuing to make steady progress toward true democracy. We are charged by the lord god to bring them out of darkness, um, wait a minute, we are charged with the responsibility to make their culture like ours; no, I mean, the evildoers will not win."
Wednesday, June 23, 2004
One gives a political boost to the idiot son of an a-hole, while the other does not.
Tuesday, June 22, 2004
It's a bribe. Bribe. Bribe. Not a cloud, or probe, or pressure -- he quit because he took bribes.
For the "responsibility party", the GOP sure has a tough time taking personal repsonsibility for anything -- divorce, sex scandals, lying about programs that effect us, killing people -- even Bush can't say the dreaded "I did "x" wrong", it's always his underlings falling on their swords. Sad day for sure.
Anonymous, who published an analysis of Al Qaeda last year, called Through Our Enemies' Eyes, thinks it quite possible that another devastating strike against the US could come during the election campaign, not with the intention of changing the administration, as was the case in the Madrid bombing, but of keeping the same one in place. "I'm very sure they can't have a better administration for them than the one they have now," he said. "One way to keep the Republicans in power is to mount an attack that would rally the country around the president."
Oh geez, now all the pundits will come out and say anyone who believes this is a conspiracy theorist and traitor. Of course, I've been wearing the tin hat for over a year now saying something major will happen just prior to the election to keep dear leader in power -- we'll roll out Osama, we'll get attacked, somebody will get assassinated.
Monday, June 21, 2004
Anonymous is a puportedly a high ranking intelligence official with a book coming out soon -- here's one significant paragraph.
The reason we've made these mistakes, he argues, is that we fail to understand that bin Laden doesn't hate us because of our freedom. Or, rather, while he does hate the licentiousness and modernity that the U.S. represents, it's not what compels him to declare war on us. Nor does an anti-modernist bent explain bin Laden's appeal across the Muslim world. Instead, it's what Anonymous identifies as six points bin Laden repeatedly cites in his communiqués: "U.S. support for Israel that keeps the Palestinians in the Israelis' thrall; U.S. and other Western troops on the Arabian peninsula; U.S. occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan; U.S. support for Russia, India and China against their Muslim militants; U.S. pressure on Arab energy producers to keep oil prices low; U.S. support for apostate, corrupt and tyrannical Muslim governments." Combined with his charismatic biography, bin Laden's strategic success has been to frame these arguments through a Koranic prism, "to convince everyone that U.S. policy is deliberately anti-Muslim and anti-Islamic," he says. Bin Laden's critique presents in resonant Islamic terminology a coherent jihadist explanation for practically everything Muslims can find offensive about the U.S.--the most deadly slippery slope there is. And the more Americans insist on treating bin Laden's anger with the U.S. as a pure hatred of freedom, the less equipped we'll be to answer him in a battle of ideas.
It said Saudi security forces provided uniforms and police cars to militants who then set up a fake checkpoint to kidnap Paul M. Johnson Jr. The militants say they posed as police to stop Johnson's car, anesthetized him and carried him to another car.
"A number of the cooperators who are sincere to their religion in the security apparatus donated those clothes and the police cars. We ask God to reward them and that they use their energy to serve Islam and the mujahedeen," the article said.
I previously critiqued Moore on Columbine saying there were times he was over the top and set people up for his film, however, his basic premise is worth noting -- f911 should be interesting because there is a growing question about why we protect the saudis and they are our allies. As a primer, everyone should go see the Panama Deception.
The second is this: the lower escelon troops' lawyers: "won permission to seek testimony from the top U.S. general in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez and from the chief of the U.S. Central Command, Gen. John Abizaid. But the judge turned down a request to seek testimony from higher-ranking witnesses, including Rumsfeld, at this time." At this time is significant because Cheney and Bush are also on that list.
Like I said, this is one scandal that won't go away. Why? Because it's more clear cut and involves sex -- just as the pundits ramp up their coverage of Clinton's penis, I mean, book and blow job, this scandal too has that element -- though the fantasy makes many lose their viagra induced expression of wish-fulfillment and frat-boy fun.
Graner, of Uniontown, Pa., has been accused of jumping on several detainees as they were piled on the floor. He is also charged with stomping the hands and bare feet of several prisoners and punching one inmate in the temple so hard that he lost consciousness.
He also faces adultery charges for allegedly having sex with England last October. He could receive 24 1/2 years in jail, forfeiture of pay, reduction in rank, and a dishonorable discharge.
Frederick, of Buckingham, Va., is accused of forcing prisoners to masturbate, placing naked detainees into a human pyramid and placing wires on a detainee's hands, telling him he would be electrocuted if he fell off a box on which he was forced to stand.
He faces a maximum punishment of 16 1/2 years in confinement, forfeiture of pay, reduction of rank, and a dishonorable discharge.
Davis, of Maryland, is accused of maltreating prisoners, stomping on their hands and feet and putting detainees in a pile on the floor to be assaulted by other soldiers. He faces maximum of eight and a half years in jail, forfeiture of pay, reduction in rank and a dishonorable discharge.
Saturday, June 19, 2004
Friday, June 18, 2004
In June 2002...the Pentagon quickly drafted plans to attack [Zarqawi's] camp [but]....the plan was debated to death in the National Security Council....The Pentagon drew up a second strike plan, and the White House again killed it....The Pentagon drew up still another attack plan, and for the third time, the National Security Council killed it.
Military officials insist their case for attacking Zarqawi’s operation was airtight, but the administration feared destroying the terrorist camp in Iraq could undercut its case for war against Saddam.
And he continues in much the same vein as the dog in comments to a previous post.
Drum: "Or, of course, they (the press) could have tried the more obvious followup and asked Bush why he continues to flog the Zarqawi connection when it's well known that Zarqawi's camp was in Kurdish territory in northern Iraq, territory that was part of the northern no-fly zone and outside of Saddam's control."
The commission did acknowledge that a meeting had taken place between al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden and Iraqi intelligence officers during the 1990s in Sudan, but said there was no evidence it led to a working relationship.
Ok, so 10 years ago some Iraqi intelligence (no pun intended) met with Osama. Does that suggest anything? Yes, they met. Let's see who else had contacts then -- oh yeah, the Bush family and the bin Laden family -- you know, big oil business is a small family indeed. Do people suggest the Bush family should be hunted down because they had a connection to the bin Ladens? No, not really. But lawmakers are now saying Saudi Arabia has been given a pass on terrorism since 9/11 even though most of the hijackers came from that country. Yeah, it was the same bright guys who ok'd Dear Leader's premptive war, so they don't hold much water for me, but they do raise an important point: why have they gotten the treatment?
So we're reaching back 10 years to draw some flimsy connection because Dear Leader used that lie as one of the primary reasons we went to war, and as the Finacial Times says:
Yet there was nothing intrinsically absurd about the WMD fears, or ignoble about opposition to Saddam's tyranny - however late Washington developed this. The purported link between Baghdad and al-Qaeda, by contrast, was never believed by anyone who knows Iraq and the region. It was and is nonsense, the sort of "intelligence" true believers in the Bush camp lapped up from clever charlatans they sponsored such as the now disgraced Ahmad Chalabi. Yet, even this week, vice-president Dick Cheney continues to assert Saddam had "long-established ties with al-Qaeda".
No wonder that, until recently, polls regularly showed more than half of Americans believed Iraq was behind the attack on New York's twin towers.
Whether the Osama and Saddam thesis was more the result of self-delusion or cynical manipulation, it - along with Washington's mismanagement of the whole Iraqi adventure - has been enormously damaging.
The Bush administration has misled the American people. It has isolated the US, as American diplomats and commanders pointed out this week. And its bungling in Iraq has given new and terrifying life to the cult of death sponsored by Osama bin Laden. Above all, it inspires little confidence it is capable of defeating the spreading al-Qaeda franchise, which always was the clear and present danger.
Hell, if were going to go back to recent history to develop our rationale for war, let's go, back a mere 20 years ago Rumsfeld was shaking hands with the evildoer himself -- fuck, Reagan was selling him WMD's. I know, I know, times change -- he was our dictator then.
Today Moscow came out with a startling revelation -- saddam was planning to attack the us and they gave that info to bushco before the war -- remember church lady -- how convinient. More will come out in the days ahead I'm sure -- but here's a tidbit from the Telegraph:
The statement, coming from a man who vocally opposed the war against Iraq, baffled political commentators in Moscow.
There was speculation that Mr Putin made the comments to offer Mr Bush a helping hand at a time when he is facing criticism at home.
Uh, ya think? Do they need some oil contracts or what? Or maybe they like our definition of torture, especially in relation to Chechnya. And do we really put a lot of faith in an ex-kgb agent who will probably never leave office? Our own State Department is baffled by the information (although that's not too surprising since Powell has been licking dear leader's boots for three years now and has been an impressive stooge. He's the only guy that can go from commanding respect from people in many different ideological/political backgrounds to looking like sparky).
I miss the days when we could argue about a blow job, it was so much simpler then. Where was Putin then? I like yer pretty lips -- can you squeal like a pig?
Bush insisted again on Thursday that in spite of months of investigation and exhaustive research, the Sept. 11 Commission is wrong when it says there's no evidence to support any serious connections between the two.
Former U.S. diplomats and retired high-ranking officials declared themselves today in favor of President George W. Bush’s exit from the White House, calling the current administration a “political and moral disaster,” PL reports.
Thursday, June 17, 2004
Here's the comment:
Come on BM, at least be fair. The prelim report says there is "no credible evidence that Iraq and al Qaeda cooperated ON ATTACCKS against the United States" (emphasis added). It does not say there is no connection between al Qada and Iraq. In fact is describes exactly the opposite. Bush has NEVER said Iraq participated in 9/11 attack. Now ask yourself why this isn't being reported this way?
First let me say, go bolts -- and how the heck did what's-his-name from the Devils get the award for the best goalie when the Bulin wall shut them out in the finals? Raw deal.
Next, there seems to be a parsing of words much the same way of administration lines including: "depends on what you mean by 'torture' or 'leak' or even 'law'. Remember the jolly good time folks had when the discussion of what 'is' is? This is 10 times that. Let me explain.
As far as I can tell the premise here is that Dear Leader believes there is some connection, however tenuous or strained it might be is up for debate, and although they did not cooperate on attacking us during 9/11, the terrorists were in Iraq, Saddam supported them or had some "connection" to them, and they ultimately needed to be dealt with. Let's go to Bush's own presidential letter that acts as his declaration of war where he not only says they cooperated, but makes Saddam and terrorist on 9/11 one in the same.
March 21, 2003
Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)
On March 18, 2003, I made available to you, consistent with section 3(b) of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (Public Law 107-243), my determination that further diplomatic and other peaceful means alone will neither adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq, nor lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.
I have reluctantly concluded, along with other coalition leaders, that only the use of armed force will accomplish these objectives and restore international peace and security in the area. I have also determined that the use of armed force against Iraq is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organiza-tions, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001. United States objectives also support a transition to democracy in Iraq, as contemplated by the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-338).
Consistent with the War Powers Resolution (Public Law 93-148), I now inform you that pursuant to my authority as Commander in Chief and consistent with the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1) and the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (Public Law 107-243), I directed U.S. Armed Forces, operating with other coalition forces, to commence combat operations on March 19, 2003, against Iraq.
Look at the section I emphasized where the President explicitly makes the connection.
Still not convinced?
Here's another nice line by, as Atrios notes, flightsuit boy:
"The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on September 11, 2001, and still goes on," Bush said.
"The liberation of Iraq is a crucial advance in the campaign against terror," he said. "We have removed an ally of al Qaeda and cut off a source of terrorist funding."
Now if we are defining this war as a campaign against terror, I would expect a clear, cogent connection between Iraq and Al Quada. But it seems as though 'connection' is merely "talking to" individuals who might be involved in Al Quada. This stretches it a bit, doesn't it?
At some point we have to stop parsing words. There are associations and there are associations. If there was no collaboration, no direct action or link, then the association is like Howard Stern being a feminist because he associates with women all the time. Or Rush Limbaugh associates with doctors who will prescribe him oxcontin, does that mean he supports drug dealers? Or if you associate with people in the gay community, does that mean you support the "gay agenda"? If you have been in contact with people with fetishes, does that mean you support want to try out some bondage? No. If Saddam paid them, if he trained them, if he gave them weapons, shit, if he gave them intelligence on how to hijack planes, then we can say they were 'associates' and we should invade, but the thing is, Iraq didn't do any of those things.
Ok, but harboring terrorists--he did that. Did he harbor, or were they just there? Pakistan harbors. Saudi Arabia harbors. Afghanistan used to harbor. Al Quada is on every continent -- probably in the US right now -- does that mean we harbor them? We have right wing militias armed to the gills, are they terrorist organizations? Do they threaten livlihoods? Is the state of Texas harboring them because they live there? There is an implied action/connection that essentially turns out to be misinformation.
Dear Leader continues in his misinformation so well, in fact, he responded to reporter's questions today thusly:
"The reason I keep insisting that there was a relationship between Iraq and Saddam and al-Qaida because there was a relationship between Iraq and al-Qaida," Bush said.
The president denied ever alleging that Hussein had a role in the 9/11 attacks, but added that he had asserted "there were numerous contacts" between the Iraqi leader and al-Qaida. "For example, Iraqi intelligence officers met with bin Laden ... in the Sudan," he said.
Again, as his own letter dictates above, he actually did.
After his State of the Union address before the invasion, there were questions specifically about Bush's "connect the dots game" -- Here's the Mercury News on January 29 -- "However, U.S. officials and private analysts said Bush's suggestion that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein might give such weapons to terrorists -- and the implication that the risk of American retaliation can no longer deter him -- stretches the analysis of U.S. intelligence agencies to, and perhaps beyond, the limit." But he made no such assertion--the paper is biased, one might say. Ok, how about this site? Or this one?
Now one name Dear Leader pulls out is Zarqawi. This is the guy who supposedly, was dead, wasn't dead, had no legs, had legs, beheaded Berg, and was a most wanted terrorist who collaborated with Saddam. However, a quick search on the FBI's most wanted terrorist list -- nada. He's not on it. Likewise after reading a great deal about him, there seems to be little to no evidence he had any support from Saddam, nor any massive ties to Osama -- he wanted to attack Jordan, his home country, and close targets, not the US -- which didn't sit well with his boss, Osama. Of course, I am not an expert here, but there seems to be enough information here to highlight the fact that there wasn't any tie.
One of the issues seems to be that the big media is suddenly interested in this story and it's huge news. To many who have been following the whole premise for war very carefully since the beginning this is actually old news.
The problem is that the misinformation and misleading nature that both Cheney and Dear Leader give actually affects people's basic understanding of this very important issue. If they cloud it up enough, make it so murky that a vast majority of people won't know what to believe or have time to look for the answers, they may find themselves or their kids or grandkids in another war. I don't even think it matters who is in office -- the next pres will look at this misinformation campaign and see how successful it was in duping people and use a similar tactic in the future (shoot, we know a large percentage of people still think we found WMD's -- but we haven't; not to mention, do we ever talk about Osama anymore? The mastermind? The man who started this whole mess? Why not?).
Bush used a scare tactic -- Saddam will give WMD's to terrorists so we must take him out -- to take us to war. He implied there was a connection to 9/11 even though Saudi Arabia and Pakistan harbor more terrorist and are more likely to sponsor and or leak weapons to terrorists. Obviously it's time the news called him on the deception.
We have to wonder: why do Cheney and Dear Leader stick to their obviously flawed story? (A quick tangent -- when i was a teenager i was out driving while slightly intoxicated and wrecked my car. when i told my mom about the vehicle and how it need to be fixed, she asked the logical question: what happened? i replied, i swerved to miss an animal. she nodded then asked, "what kind?" caught slightly off guard i said "a furry one." i stuck to that story till about 5 years ago -- why? good question.) I have a better idea on why Bush sticks to his lie; he rode his "credibility", his "truthfulness" into office, and if that goes, he's got nothing to run on.
To be fair, Dear Leader is not a three year old, he's a teenager caught lying and doesn't see any way out. Might as well keep telling the lie, flightsuit boy. As Goebels said, you tell a lie often enough and forcefully enough, people will believe it.
-- Dear Leader, today.
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
Will a journalist other than Helen Thomas please call Cheney, Dear Leader, and Scotty boy on this?
speaking of Helen, check out yesterday's gaggle -- holy cow was it good. It spanned the CIA leak, the purported al queda ties, the president's lawyer, and the end run around the Geneva conventions. Someone might want to send Scotty boy a tub full of Tums.
Tuesday, June 15, 2004
Some rightwing nutcases are writing to various theater chains to pressure them into not showing Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11.
We can use their page against them.
Email, call, or write any of the addresses listed on that page and ask them to show Moore's film.
I'm sure these people are already counting their profits due to the controversy surrounding the film, but pro letters will still help counterbalance the cons.
There ya go.
Though what depresses me is that what people hear first is always sticks in their minds. Many still believe we found WMD's -- why? Because of fox's first impressions and unwillingness to go back to any story and correct the record. Here, bunker bombs in neighborhoods were touted as successful in taking out high profile targets, but air force reports claim all they took out were civilians. Thise raids were damn successful though.
Those civilians were threats by god; not to mention this is war, it happens. The don't want to get blown up, they should have deposed saddam a long time ago.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - Democrat John Kerry (news - web sites), trying to blunt recent good news about job creation, says President Bush (news - web sites) has not done enough to help the middle class.
ends on this note:
"If you get D-minuses for three-and-a-half years in college, one semester with a B-minus doesn't put you on the honor roll," Sperling said. "And our economy does not recover after three-and-a-half extremely weak years of job creation with just a few positive months."
But mom and dad, you can't sop paying for my school, we have to look to the future -- don't look backwards.
While the administration plays hot potato with the ticking bomb of “Torture-gate,” the consequences of legalizing torture are wreaking havoc with America’s reputation. Official memos sanctioning the use of torture dangerously undermine U.S. foreign policy and place the lives of every American abroad at risk. As Senator Joseph Biden recently reminded the Attorney General, “There’s a reason why we sign these treaties: to protect my son in the military.”
Monday, June 14, 2004
It would further exemplify my total disregard and ultimate concern for these faith based programs. Once again, a government that gives money to these religious organizations may expect those organizations to be beholden to that government. This spells ill for both religious organizations and the government.
The Fallujah Brigade was established to end three weeks of combat in April that killed 600 to 700 insurgents and 10 Marines.
I bet there's a few civilians in that city who have had a little more than their patience tried, especially if they were burying loved ones.
That's when the second blast struck, killing the lieutenant and blowing Brosnan face first to the ground. He lay bleeding profusely from multiple shrapnel wounds.
Aside from feeling guilty that he has abandoned his comrades to a nasty mission, Brosnan didn't exhibit any desire to return to Iraq.
Asked whether he planned to vote for President Bush in November, he sarcastically replied, "Yeah, right."
"Bush said, 'Not all the American bishops are with me' on the cultural issues. The implication was that he hoped the Vatican would nudge them toward more explicit activism."
Although they are against gay marriage and abortion, Dear Leader, they were also against the war and torture -- do you see the conundrum?
One must wonder about the level of desparation Dear Leader is feeling to enlist the pope for help and to try and divide the religious community as Josh Marshall points out.
Sunday, June 13, 2004
UPDATE: Along the same theme, Orcinus on America's deadly creep toward accepting facist behavior.
Anyone know who says this:
Powerful communications that make a difference, that go beyond the ordinary, that can transform, inspire, move and educate is why we exist. This power can be accessed by our clients wherever and whenever they need it; in specialist arenas and in global campaigns; in the corridors of government; in the financial centres and in the minds of consumers everywhere.
It's another GOP anal sucking PR firm that was hired back in the 90's. Anyone remember this story dished out by our friends at Hill and Knowlton? Yes, we can see how that power can manipulate a population; they proved their salt -- cripes, they assisted in starting a war; you can't get much better than that. And now Russo et al. want to get in on the Moore fun; c'mon boys bone up -- give us a reason to go into Iran or something.
Saturday, June 12, 2004
"I personally hold Blair more responsible for this war in Iraq than I do George W. Bush, and the reason is Blair knows better. Blair is not an idiot. What is he doing hanging around this guy?"
There may be more than a few journalists who will keep digging and enough honest people in the military and other areas of government who may be willing to give it a push or a nudge so that the full situation can come to light.
I can't imagine Rove will want this to continue to trickle out like a chineese water torture on dear leader unless he's thinking we'll just tire of this scandal and say "who cares, it's war" -- I don't think this is that kind of scandal, nor do I think people are willing to say that to this kind of president.
Thursday, June 10, 2004
This article by Jane's is extremely interesting -- Bush's private Army and the implications of such.
"High school graduation tests are not "overly demanding" and measure only a small part of the skills considered essential by colleges and employers, according to a study of the exams in six states that was released Wednesday."
And the horrible fallacy of standardized testing actually holding people accountable for their jobs and their educations has actually done little to better our kids' prospects. Instead of really revamping how we treat education as a society including the length of days, dates, and assessment methods, we play pussyfoot with bandaids and big sticks.
Bill Christianson was in the CIA for a few decades and here's his exploration of some of the root causes. Here's a piece by T. Homer-Dixon that looks at the simplistic arguments addressed right after 911. The US Information Agency has its own report. Even Dick Clarke cheered on our Iraq war as the most important thing to combat the "root causes" of terrorism. I disagree with his premise, but he is at least trying to develop a thoughtful piece that transcends the good/evil argument. Terrorism is complex, we should treat it as such.
When the US gets involved in other parts of the world, we understand that sometimes we back evil guys (Saddam, Pinochet, Noriega) but allow ourselves the rationale in that our government is acting in our best interest and the actions it takes are more complex than merely backing a vile dictator. We should afford the same consideration when looking at terrorism.
Ultimately I believe its a combination of poverty and totalitiarian regimes which leave many susceptible to fanatical arguments -- though it is more complex than that.
Wednesday, June 09, 2004
It is pretty plain; they hit our economy, as tentative as it is, the world will feel the reverberations. Let's see if the world starts to finally deal with some of the root problems of terrorism and not merely reactionary.
I guess I'm not surprised -- it is a political season after all. I don't know much it will matter really. More later.
Update: Came across this story about the theological litmus test that was being used in Texas -- thought I'd pass it on.
The cup finals were more than expected and it was an amazing experience to see Lord Stanley's Cup up close and personal. I'll post more regularly soon.
Monday, June 07, 2004
As the CIA braces for criticism on 9/11 and WMD, UK spies ignored an al-Quada recruits 9/11 warning. More recently the Pentagon has ignored CIA's evidence of Chalabi and Iran's closeness.
I understand the report's conclusions which basically offered this:
"The top human rights official for the United Nations said Friday that the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. soldiers could constitute a war crime, and he called for the immediate naming of an international figure to oversee the situation."
Although I think the action may mollify some critics around the world and may go a long way in repairing our image and those strained relationships, I can't imagine any president giving an outside body any power or legitimacy that may ultimately jeopardize our position to protect the members of our military. Also, the reprocussions would be severe -- especially in Dear Leader's base who already have a loathing of the UN that is near rabid.
The idea of having an independent voice, though, is highly appealing to many observers even in the US, especially in light of the outcry concerning the current investigation which many call a sham that does not have the power or authority to go where the evidence takes it.
Sunday, June 06, 2004
Intelligence collection, as traditionally practiced, means stealing secrets. As such, it often entails a calculated and deliberate violation of foreign or international laws. This extra-legal dimension of intelligence is highlighted by new legislation introduced in the Senate, which is intended to help preserve it against the encroachment of international law.
Within the Central Intelligence Agency, "hundreds of employees on a daily basis are directed to break extremely serious laws in countries around the world in the face of frequently sophisticated efforts by foreign governments to catch them," according to a 1996 House Intelligence Committee report.
"A safe estimate is that several hundred times every day (easily 100,000 times a year) [intelligence] officers engage in highly illegal activities (according to foreign law)...." (IC21: Intelligence Community in the 21st Century, p. 205).
This caught my eye: ""Because the DOD produced this flawed modeling, it set Gulf War research back seven years at least," said Steve Robinson, executive director of the National Gulf War Resource Center, a Gulf War veterans advocacy group."
Yeah, but if we drag this out long enough, they'll just go away, right? We have other issues now -- like how do we deal with these guys?
John Kerry recently stopped in Las Vegas to say: "Rest assured, Nevada. If I'm president, Yucca Mountain will not be a depository." Back to mind comes Chic Hecht, a one-term Republican senator elected in 1982, who said he opposed using Yucca Mountain, 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas, as a nuclear waste "suppository."
Also to mind comes the French sovereign known as Henry of Navarre (1553-1610).
That's the first thing I thought of because Kerry is a damn elite frenchy.
The Columia restaurant and Martinez family cigars was a fascinating place. On one side they had four old men each hunched over individual stages of the cigar making process. They worked in silence and barely looked up at us as we wandered through. Cigar aficionados have told me they are extremely good cigars -- of course, not being one myself I'll take them at their words. The gift shop wasn't anything special -- it seemed pretty standard fair; ethnic pottery, t-shirts, dresses, cigar "extras". The restaurant, however, was very commodious. Huge courtyard like area with tables circling the dining room and a statue in the middle.
The strip reminded me of Bourbon Street in New Orleans in many respects: music, drinking, and the smell of sex -- the hunt. There was the "Irish Pub" which sported 80-90's heavy metal, dart boards, and signed bras hanging over the bar. I've seen dollar bills, but never bras. What's next? Tighty whiteys? Jock straps? Sheesh.
We ended up in the Tampa Bay brewpub. Fun place. Excellent food. The bartender, Dean, had that dry sense of humor and a wry smile when he found something funny. When the bolts won, everyone was high fiving each other and even the reluctant Dean gave a tentative high five, which he quickly chastised himself over afterwards.
The Iron Rat, an oatmeal stout, was one of the better beers (though Abita Turbodog still ranks on the top of my list) while the Moosekiller, a barley wine beer with alcohol volume of 10% was a little too fruit.
On one wall of the place they had t-shirts including "beer is your friend" right across the street a neon sign blinked "Jack Lives Here." Weekend warriors donned their leather and do-rags and rode their Harleys down side streets. You know, the doctors and lawyers who play the bikers on the weekends.
The game itself did not disappoint. I thought for sure it would be more chippey than it was, but the flamers are most certainly afraid to put the bolts on the power play and for good reason -- yesterday only one of their 3 goals came on 5 on 5 hockey. Game 7 should be wide open -- either way, I'll try and post some pics of the cup.
Saturday, June 05, 2004
Tampa has embraced hockey in a way that I never thought possible in a place that never sees snow. NHL's TV ratings for the city were 13-14.1 compared to the national average of 1.4 Stores can't keep anything with a Bolt on it and people who don't ussually watch hockey are coming to the game in droves which is wonderful in my opinion. Welcome to the game. As a matter of fact, at the game 5 I met more kids who have moved from street hockey to ice hockey because of the Bolts and more ice arenas are popping up to support the interest. The series has been excellent but don't take my word for it -- watch.
I'm off to Ybor city, the cigar capital of the world, and then to watch the game.
If this were a terrorsist attack, it doesn't seem as though the authorities were ready for it, nor did they know how to deal with it. Not a good sign. I was wondering if they could deploy the Colorado army national guard against this guy so I visited comic book pages; I mean, this very cool video game ad; I mean, their homepage. Sweet -- I always wanted to be GIJoe. And we wonder why Kleebold and Harris were so disconnected from reality.
Friday, June 04, 2004
Again, our standing in the world's eyes has diminished because of Dear Leader, and it will make it harder to get assistance in the war on terror -- nothin' new, but still pisses me off.
It's not as if ole Rush hasn't been booted before -- ESPN is pretty recent history -- and the military has proportionally more minorities in it than the general population, I just can't velieve the government continues to defend a vitriolic hack.
Thursday, June 03, 2004
They may be a major ally, but they really don't like us. Of course, there isn't one nation on the planet where a majority of people actually like us, so not suprising.
One banner read "Liberate Rome from Bush". US President George Bush is coming on Friday to mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Nazi-occupied Rome by allied forces.
Another banner showed some of the pictures at the centre of the prisoner abuse scandal in Iraq, which has inflamed the Arab world and embarrassed the United States by revealing the ugly side of its occupation in Iraq.
"This is the democracy of Bush, Blair and Berlusconi," it said.
Lucky they aren't in America. They couldn't have done that without a permit and no one would have given them one. Likewise, they just might have been arrested and charged with a felony -- yep, protestors are not liked in this country, not one bit.
I'm waiting in line -- just like I did for the return of the king -- i wonder what costume I wnat to wear? Bush in prison stripes or orange jumpsuit? Cheney in a straightjacket? Should be fun.
Wednesday, June 02, 2004
Tuesday, June 01, 2004
Of all the missed opportunities since Baghdad fell, surely this is one of the most heartbreaking. Iraqi detainees might have been going home to their families and saying, as German POWs did so many decades ago, that these American soldiers are for real, that they treated us humanely -- that maybe they mean what they say about liberation, not occupation. Instead, the United States is reduced to pleading that it's not as bad as al Qaeda and obfuscating the reality that policies adopted in the White House helped lead to this breakdown of law and discipline.
The prison scandal and the administration's failed response haven't doomed those efforts, but they've lengthened the odds (our troops fighting the insurgents succesfully). They've given aid and comfort to the enemy.
Can I get an AMEN?
10. On June 1, 2002, in your West Point speech enunciating your new doctrine of preventive war, you said there were 60 countries that were potential targets for regime change. Would you please list those 60 countries for us, and are you still determined in a second term to proceed down this list?
8. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the war and occupation in Iraq by 130,000 U.S. troops now costs close to $5 billion per month, or $60 billion a year. So far the war has cost American taxpayers $186 billion in direct military expenses. You've asked for another $425 billion in defense appropriations for the 2005 Pentagon budget, plus another $75 billion for Iraq, $25 billion for the development of new generations of nuclear weapons, and untold billion for such things as military pensions and veterans' health care. Not included in these figures are the multibillions in secret amounts spent on the CIA and other intelligence activities, not to speak of other Department of Defense "black budget" activities kept out of the appropriations process. Where is all this money going to come from?
2. Please tell us: If we plan to return Iraq to the Iraqis, why is the U.S. currently building fourteen permanent bases there?
Read them all here
Last week The Washington Post got hold of an Office of Management and Budget memo that directed federal agencies to prepare for post-election cuts in programs that George Bush has been touting on the campaign trail. These include nutrition for women, infants and children; Head Start; and homeland security. The numbers match those on a computer printout leaked earlier this year — one that administration officials claimed did not reflect policy.
Of course, voters would never support this agenda if they understood it. That's why dishonesty — as illustrated by the administration's consistent reliance on phony accounting, and now by the business with the budget cut memo — is such a central feature of the White House political strategy.
Right now, it seems that the 2004 election will be a referendum on Mr. Bush's calamitous foreign policy. But something else is at stake: whether he and his party can lock in the unassailable political position they need to proceed with their pro-rich, anti-middle-class economic strategy. And no, I'm not engaging in class warfare. They are.
The second refrain is that they want to privatize the agency. Bad idea. We all know what it's like to get a rent-a-cop high school graduate who straps on a gun and suddenly feels empowered -- all those damn bullies better watch out.
"Mica and other Republicans, who were never entirely comfortable with creating a new bureaucracy, want to return all airport security screener jobs to the private sector, where they were before September 11, 2001."
That is not a typo folks. That's like Hillary Clinton hiring Monica to be Bill's personal secretary on his book tour. That's like ABC sports hiring Rush Limbaugh to do color commentary on the NBA. That's like sending Negraponte over to Iraq -- oh wait. I would think there isn't a second chance, there isn't a do-over, and just because a bunch of securityompanies are lobbying like mad to get those sweet deals that they had with the airports back, they shouldn't be handed to them on a silver platter.
Let's fix it. Let's get it right. Let's keep it out of the private sector where profit may dictate what's invested in and what's cut, because what's cut may just lead to disaster.
"Kerry's position is being eroded," said one top Democratic foreign policy analyst who asked not to be named. "Kerry is in a position where the best he will be able to say is that Bush is finally doing what I said to do all along."
And this is bad because? According to the article, people aren't going to see a difference between him and Bush, and you know, he's the one who has to define himself -- implicitely here is the idea that he will have to move toward Nader's position, which is garbage. He doesn't have to do anything -- make a few ads that tout his ideas with dates and compare them to what Bush has said with dates and end with, "even the president can recognize a good idea some of the time -- too bad their from his democratic rival."
Instead of looking at this as a major opportunity by Kerry's team to show how Bush has (the dreaded) "flip-flopped" or as they say "shifted" policy mid-course, the paper has made the onus on Kerry which has been documented well by other bloggers.
I may not agree with the Iraq mess and may not agree with Kerry, but I'm not voting on one issue, even one as large as Iraq.