Tuesday, June 29, 2004

maybe yankees ain't so bad 

I hate the Yankees, but love their fans.

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.



It is just that good.

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.


That about covers it 

From UPI

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

My emphasis.


this and "go f-bomb somebody" 

Speaking on torture-gate David Ignatieff says, "But no other democracy is so exposed by these painful moral juxtapositions, because no other nation has made a civil religion of its self-belief." Try to figure that one out. It's ridiculous on its face and ludicrous on its ass. (hat tip to jali) --

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


I am disturbed by the "new" technique that is being employed by al-Qaida and not just because it seems overly cruel and bestial. The technique seems to be effective -- now before you rush off and think I condone the beheading, I want to clarify that murder is murder period and I don't; however, this seems to be garnering worldwide attention which in al-quada's eyes must be "good".

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


That Reagan, a smart guy. I actually agree with him 100%.


right wing militias 

Archy says it so I don't have to -- looks at Rudolph and why his name is not associated with "terrorist". I do want to add, though, is this story in Texas where terror or terrorist plot did show up; however, because the story did not include a middle eastern man our media did not seem to cover it as thoroughly nor continue to update the story every other day.


check it out 

Jimmy mac is cracking me up -- go take a look.


those crazy russians 

Do ya believe Putin or former prime minister Yevgeny Primakov who said Saddam cut a deal with the US prior the capture date?


Workers wield their strength 

Previously I mentioned the psychological effects on the poor SOB's just trying to make a living in Iraq, and now we two S. Korean airlines refusing to transport the governments troops to Iraq.

The labor unions of the nation¡¯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, ¡°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.


debt ceiling and politics 

It's just money -- like I said -- conservatives have been replaced by cons.


new con ad 

I have given up calling the republicans "right wing", or "right", or even conservative -- dear leader's slant on politics should make true conservatives shudder; they are now merely cons -- as in adverse to, or crooks.

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


So after replacing part of my roof -- it got too expensive with OSB costing 16 a sheet; will have to do the rest next summer -- painting, patching concrete, taking my daughter to the allergist (which was traumatizing as the nurse individually poked her with a about 30 out of the 52 substances and of which she was allergic to about 20 of those), and watching old movies on TCM, I've been swamped.

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.


college grads 

Good news for you college grads who have shelling out big bucks and taking out loans to keep up with rising tuition -- jobs suck.

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.


69 Said Dead in Attacks Across Iraq 

Not quite TET but psychologically this has got to be devastating.

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

ah, yeah 

Patriotboy said it so much better than I -- and the graph helps out a lot.


everyone's losing his head 

Afghans behead Taliban in revenge for beheadings -- our plan for a great democracy at work -- instead of making it work, we spend our money and resources in the quagmire that is Iraq.


cia refutes white house -- go figure 

It will just keep going like this till the average person gets bored with the story (about a week ago) and believes what he/she wants to believe regardless of facts. Score one for dear leader.


logic on the half shell 

So why can we see Reagan's coffin for a week, and can't see even one transfer tube at Dover?

One gives a political boost to the idiot son of an a-hole, while the other does not.


Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Tell it like it is 

ok, so now to get the news straight, we have to go over the pond.

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.


check out the sideshow 

Because the sideshow illuminates the main show and listen to the programs -- yes, they are that good.


The Australian: Film shows jail horror under Saddam [June 21, 2004] 

Are we supposed to compare the two -- our abuse and saddam's fadeen? How did the think tanks get the film? Why did they post it? We all knew saddam was a bad guy, does abu ghraib prove that we are too? saddam was gone for a year and a half while we employed the same tactics on iraqi's; yet they are better off? Morally we can't condemn with one hand while doing it with our other.


Yahoo! News - Nobel Winners Back Kerry, Say Bush Ignores Science 

He may have lost the scientists, but he has the theocrats. Good Morning Iran, I mean, America.


It's not too hard to get your vote lost -- if some politicians want it to be lost 

The bucs started a trend, the lightning did the impoosible, and now the devil rays are winning -- too bad florida still hasn't figured out how to get everybody's vote counted -- where's tortarella, maybe he can straighten this shit out.


Terrorism & Security -- wha? 

Alqueda wants who to win? Bush of course. Remember their previous statements in which members read aloud their wish for Bush to win reelection and now we get this.

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.


US Lacks Votes for Immunity from War Crimes Court 

One small reason allies and world opinion is important.


Monday, June 21, 2004

yet another reason to "trust" the administration 

Read the entire article on Padilla.



Spencer Ackeman and Anonymous -- must read.

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.


Kurds Advancing to Reclaim Land in Northern Iraq 

Are we watching the slow march to civil war? Let's hope not, but this can not be a positive development.


al-Qaida: Saudis Aided American Abduction 

But Iraq was the real threat.

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.


Judge -- Abu Ghraib a Crime Scene 

And can not be torn down as Daer Leader wants -- however, that's not the big news in this story. A couple of things: first, no mention of the new four star general, Kern, who has taken over the investigation role because the previous 2 star couldn't go where he needed to go.

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

Private space launch  



draft bruce 

sign the petition.


Friday, June 18, 2004

Drum's catch 

This was too good. Kevin Drum at the Washington Monthly made this catch and once I read it I remembered reading it at the time -- it's so appropo now (from NBC News way back in March):

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."


you say potato i say.... 

Ok, there seems to be a great deal of wordplay going on with this whole "we didn't say collaboration, we said connection" crap -- so let's take a look:

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?


don't be afraid 

Jump over the junkyard fence and visit the Talking Dog.


Cash crunch curbs rebuilding in Iraq 

Things are going swell.


On the road to democracy 

It's just a long, windy dirt road through the mountains and under an ocean. The new government wants to declare martial law. The suspicious Iraqi street may just see this as another nudge toward a new Saddam like government propped by the US. Maybe a new slogan is needed to quell concern. Maybe posters or cool signs. Or maybe some good old fashioned logic.


bad guys 

Look, one of the resounding tenets of Dear Leader's apologists is the tired argument: you want saddam in power? aren't the Iraqi people better off (in the same breath dismissing the torture scandal and civilian casualties which is in the tens of thousands)? Ultimately they say he was a thug -- which he was. But then we court thugs like this guy in Uzbek who is systematically silencing activists -- anyone who is opposed to his rule. So what's the point? Saddam was our thug for years before he was the evildoer incarnate, how long before we go after Karimov? Oh wait, they don't really have any resources to plunder. Nevermind. As long as we keep our bases there, he's safe from us.



Why would the Pentagon need powers to spy on Americans without and checks or balance? That's just what we need: a crazy rumsfeld with his own independent organization that is above the law.



Holy crap this is almost funny if it weren't so freakin' weird:

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 diplomats against bush 

That's gotta hurt. Read the whole article and add these people to Clark, O'Neal, et al.

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.



Heard this guy in Tampa. Hilarious. He does all the voices of both his guests and as host. People think he's for real.


cool -- 

Like to see more of this. Comics getting involved in getting people to vote. (hat tip to Walt).


Thursday, June 17, 2004

Response to a comment 

And earlier post elicited a comment about Dear Leader's and Cheney's steadfast "delusion" that Iraq and Al Quada had some connection -- I tried to respond in the comment section itself, but alas, I pontificated a bit too much; however, this is an important point that should be fully explored.

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.


there ya go 

Asked whether he was disappointed that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld had improperly held an Iraqi prisoner in secret for more than seven months in violation of the Geneva Conventions, Bush replied: "The secretary and I discussed that for the first time this morning. ... I'm never disappointed in my secretary of defense. He's doing a fabulous job and America's lucky to have him in the position he's in.

-- Dear Leader, today.


Bush Disputes al Qaida-Saddam Conclusion 

He's a three year old for freakin sake. He's created his own reality and screw anything that may not conform to it. Uh, the guys scares the crap out of me. Paging Dr. Krauthammer, you have a psycho in the white house.


we must be livin the high life 

According to LA Times, pentagon waste may be billions. Yes, that's billions. That's ok, we didn't need that money for our schools, drug benefits, healthcare, or any other program that would help most Americans -- it's better spent on war profiteers and crooks.


ferget iraq, pakistan helped al queda 

what a joke -- it makes sense why every country who may be on our target list is scrambling for a nuclear bomb -- it seems its the thing that deters us. Well, that and the lack of resources to plunder.


Wednesday, June 16, 2004

here we go again 

Everyday we see a devastating story like this one with 23 wounded and 2 troops killed, and everyday we see a blatant lie from the administration even when there is independent evidence to the contrary on the same day. Either this shows a great deal of chutzpah, a little bit of insanity, or a nasty tendency to believe that with enough lies floating around people won't know what to believe and will support Dear Leader.

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.


9/11 Panel Disputes Iraq Link to Attacks 

Somebody might want to tell Cheney.



One definition of insanity is to try the same thing and expect different results. This guy has been telling the lie so often and no one, I mean, no one, calls him on it, he must believe it. Go back to Haliburton and steal money -- it suits you -- and they use it just as wisely (yes, that's 85 grand truck they left behind because of a flat tire).


US Army chief: Iraq "cannot be won militarily" 

Traitor. (sarcasm)


Iran massing troops on Iraq border - 

I've been looking for more info on this story, but to no avail. It seems to me that its bunk. Iran knows its on our axis list and it knows there are many neocons who want to go into Tehran, so this seems highly unlikely that they would post troops to invade Iraq when we leave--which is also odd since everyone knows we will be there longer than june 30; most people say 10 ten years.


Tuesday, June 15, 2004

using the list 

A freind of mine has a good idea concerning Moore's film--here's his idea:

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.


killed 'only civilians' 

More collataral damage.

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.


Cheney linked topentagon no bid contracts 

If this is true, I hope someone breaks out the prison pabble and spanks the bastard.



Guess whose lede this is:

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.



More on why the torture scandal won't go away -- full text here:

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

Cal Pundit 

This is some insightful analysis -- the basic premise is that the religious constintuencies are in Bush's pocket -- read it.

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.


Fallujah Brigade tries U.S. patience 

This stood out on the failed experiment that is Fullajah:

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.


26 Former U.S. Officials Oppose Bush 

And what's most interesting is that many of the 26 are republican or independents who vote republican.


The casualties  

NYD article highlighting some of the wounded troops' stories coming out of Iraq. I thought this was particularly insightful:

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."



Mother Jones has a pretty solid roundup of the torture campaign and who broke which aspects of the story.


Bush enlists the pope 

Great NYT article on Bush's latest grasp at enlisting religious leaders to do his bidding.

"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

Another must read 

By Billmon. No explanation, just go.

UPDATE: Along the same theme, Orcinus on America's deadly creep toward accepting facist behavior.


heads up  

Here is some great info on the republican attack machine getting into gear on Moore's new film. Essentially they hired a PR firm to run a smear campaign against the film. Losers. It will be huge; he already has a wider distribution than "Bowling" and there is a lot more buzz about it than there ever was about the Passion.

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

Moore again 

This guy cracks me up -- Moore on Blair:

"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?"


The other shoe 

I was not convinced anything would ever come of the torture scandal, especially after Bush allowed the military to investigate one of their own and put in a 2 star general who had limited powers to do his investigation; however, with these new revelations concerning Sanchez giving "latitude", the torture memos from the white house lawyers basically doing an end run around the laws against torture, and Hersh's latest damning comments (the videos of "interogations" of children and women) which will depict a "horror" we can not imagine, I believe the story has its own legs.

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.


water on mars? 

This is pretty damn cool -- and space exploration is one of the dear leader's programs i supported. Unfortunately I think it was more of a wag the dog proposal rather than one based on any true desire.


Limbaugh strike 3 

Rush is getting another divorce. It's either the damn liberal's fault, or maybe the overzealous prosecuter in his oxcotin case, or even, as atrios notes, gay marriage. Any which way, he is a bastion of moral authority and manly integrity who is a shining example of what a man should be.


Thursday, June 10, 2004

june 30, june 30, june 30 

Can anyone say, oh shit?


Allawi and CIA, huh... 

Interesting reading. I doubt Iraqis would be surprised, many Americans aren't. Juan Cole, Billmon, and Josh Marshall -- links to the left -- should be watched for thorough analysis of this developing sitaution


Another one bites the dust 

Ok, why did we go into Iraq? To make the world safer? Hmm, the state department revised its report and apologizes for the "mistake" -- terrorism is up. Go figure.


Torture by any other name 

Is just a way to escape responsibility. When governments use terrorists to help support their goals, we take them out, and justly so. When a business does this for profit, and we support them with lucrative contracts, we are morally repugnant. Welcome to shitsville -- on the other side of hell -- and it includes CACI and Titan.

This article by Jane's is extremely interesting -- Bush's private Army and the implications of such.


High school is easy? 

Are we surprised?

"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.


root causes of terrorism 

Everytime someone mentions there may be more to terrorism than a simple bloodlust on the part of savage dehumanoids, there is a vociferous outcry and a begging for the simplistic good for evil argument. While I would agree that terrorism are evil acts that should be condemned, to simplify their actions and dismiss the ideology behind their actions we are doomed to a lifetime of fear, bloodshed, and war. Only when we can understand who our enemy is and why they are making the choices they make, can we truly defeat them -- and I don't mean by merely blowing the crap out of them.

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

can we get past the few bad apples already? 

Pervasive. Where's Rush? Where's Krauthammer? Where's the warfloggers and Coulter? They're still in panagyric mode for Reagan.


Taliban--weren't we done? 

Thought we finished here -- is it going to become Iraq Lite?


This sucks 

Especially for the members of the 1st armored division. They may get tours extended again.


60 percent of of brits say Iraq spending is a waste -- uh, yeah? 

This is news?


tactics changing 

Terrorists may be changing their tactics. I'm not surprised -- look, a few deaths will make some news for a short period of time, but you start hitting people in their pocketbooks, then the real attention is doled out.

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.


why we should not allow the fox to police the henhouse 

Red Cross said abuse continued at military prisons even after the story broke. This exemplifies the absolute need to have an outside investigator with absolute story -- the Army can nor will not be able to get to the bottom of this and our reputation in the world will not begin to be repaired until the bottom is found.


Separation of church in state -- who needs it 

Via Josh Marshal and the Washington Post -- religious organizations can engage in politics.

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.



Sorry light posting -- I've been traveling an reaquainting myself with my home and family the last couple of days.

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

Proposal May End Fixed-Rate Student Loans -- Lenders say, "whose your daddy?" 

Once again, they're looking out for the little guy. Horrible idea and one that should be denounced on everyone's campaign platform.


spooks in the news 

A poor Cursor impersonation:

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.


Terrible twos 

Classic. Kay, the handpicked lead UN inspector, calls Blair delusional for the WMD fiasco. What's up with Dear Leader and Blair inability to take any kind of responsibility for their actions in any setting? Oh, if only dr krauthammer were here. Yes, he would sift through the hundreds of psychology disorders just to come up with the right one that would explain their behavior -- I have it for you doc, it's called being two year old.


war crimes in Iraq 

Like that's going to happen. There is no way any president, not Dear Leader, not Clinton, not Kerry, would allow an international body to be able to control the fate of its military personnel.

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

must see 

Rascally Wabbit -- another trailer for a must see movie.


Secrecy and Government Bulletin 

Very interesting reading. If you have any interest in the inner workings of the government or in the world of intelligence and intelligence gathering, this is a must read. For example, here's the first few paragraphs of "Intelligence versus the Rule of Law":

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).


wmd commission 

Well, the wmd commission has a website up and running -- no real news or updates posted but the committee members are listed and their charge posted in full -- the people who argue "fuck it and move on" miss a larger point: we have to figure out how we got it so wrong so we can perhaps get it right later. The same reason we have the puppet commission -- i mean, 911 commission.


China Cracks Down on Net Games 

Weird. Though I agree with the sentiment that the media should not distort history or disparage groups of people for obvious reasons, I'm not sure governments should be censoring any content. They produce history that places their power structure in a positive light, they may as well also allow the "negative".


Gulf Vets Victimized Again -- No kidding.... 

We support our troops while they're dying, but once they come home, well, cut taxes and cut services.

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?


Critical Mass -- George Will makes people's brains explode 

It takes a particular kind of idiot to tie suppositories, Kerry, and a long dead frenchman into a meandering and oblique commentary. Nice job, George

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.


Felon List -- it's a start 

Well, Florida, it's a start -- hopefully they'll get it straightened out before November.


Bourbon Street Lite 

Ybor city was an interesting place. One of the historical districts of Tampa, Ybor City sports a number of cigar shops, bars, tattoo parlors, and restaurants. A few trendy art dealers and stylish clothes boutiques, one sex shop where you can find toys galore including anatomically correct blow up dolls of both sexes, and one head shop.

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

NHL -- I want a game 7 

Tonight's game should be fantastic. Viel is back on the ice and the bolts' find themselves with their backs on the wall, again. Both should give them that little extra burn. I also expect someone to go after repeat offender ville -- should get a chippy.

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.


shout out 

Friendly shout out to all the readers coming out of the bush for an appetizer. This is the only way I'll serve our friend, Skippy. I'm fully aware he could kick our ass.


home made tank 

So the obvious thing to do here is outlaw owning and using metal sheeting and concrete or concrete tools without a license and permit--that way terrorsists can't do this type of thing in the future.

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

500,000 protest Bush's visit 

Bush says: They love us, they really love us.

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.


Isreal and America sittin' in a tree 

What's interesting about this story is when you read it in context with the allegations that Isrealis were in the Iraqi prison system -- I'm sure we are good at torture and all, but I wonder how much professional advice we got from our friends.


That stunk -- but didn't 

The game between the tin foil hats (Calgary) and the bolts was great. Unfortunately it ended the wrong way. I don't think the bolts did anything wrong, per se -- though I do wish they'd shoot the puck toward the net more and go for slop. More later -- tee-time in 20 minutes.


Defense Department defends Limbaugh -- says he's crap, but wholesome crap 

Looks like Stern's content is not appropriate for men and women who are getting shot at, but Rushbo's is; go figure. Is it the sexual innuendo? Is it the trashy comedy? Or is it that Stern has finally started wetting his lips on a fifth of whoopass concerning Dear Leader?

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

Bush not wanted in Italy 

Damn Italians -- always spouting off early.

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.


june 25 c'mon already -- 

More on Moore -- fahrenheit911 trailer -- i know, i know, the commie bastard yada yada yada

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

any more of this and... 

This is the good news we're missing, right? Or maybe it's this? Yes, you 119 billion dollars -- what do ya think we could've done for 119 BILLION dollars? Or maybe it's the fact that hospitals are open for business but the best doctors are out.


Tuesday, June 01, 2004


Hiatt's on somebody's list.

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?


Great questions 

Chalmers Johnson has twelve -- here are but a few:

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


Shorter Krugman - Dear Leader Lies, sigh, again 

Krugman --

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.



title alone says it all 

Incredulous. The title says it -- "antiterrorism Terror Agency shrinking in size" -- and some want to dismantle it completely saying it's too big and not living up to expectations. As the refrain from the wingnut crowd goes "uh, remember 9/11"? This has more to do with keeping us safe than Iraq does.

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.


so what is the problem exactly? 

Guess what, Kerry is in another tough spot. According to this article on Newsday, now that Bush has started to implement Kerry's ideas and shifting to a more UN centered approach in Iraq, Kerry is in trouble.

"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.


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