Saturday, November 25, 2006

Force Is Not The Answer

I've said in the past, somewhere on this blog, you can't force democracy on a people. Democracy has to be home-grown. It has to be something the people want not something they're force fed.

You can't force abstinence nor morality nor heterosexuality nor peace on people anymore than you can force them to think like you do.

You can persuade, conjole or influence, but never get the desired results from force.

History has shown you can subjugate the people under fascisim and communism, but most will never accept it. They'll "go along" because they have a sense of self preservation, but they won't "buy into it".

Why people in government, control, don't realize this is unfathonable. Its as though none of them have any knowledge of history. Even those who went to Harvard and graduated with a degree in history don't seem to grasp this simple concept.

OMG! Bush Has No Clue

This is very funny, only because no one died.
US president George Bush shrugged off massive protests against his visit to the world’s most populous Muslim nation today as a sign of a healthy democracy, as thousands braved heavy rains to call him a war criminal and a terrorist. [emphasis mine]

No you fucking idiot, it is a sign you are hated, hated, HATED, HATED!

Did I mention they despise you?

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My Public Service Contribution

Because most pundits in the MSM and on blogs are becoming so boring and predictable with their speculations of what will happen in the next 6 months, I'm offering a new time frame. Feel free to cut and paste this for the next few months at which time I may supply you a new 5 month time frame.

will happen in the next 7 months

You are so welcome.

Russian Spy Poisoning Is Cleared Up

Alexander Litvinenko

Move on, folks. Nothing to see here. Case closed. Because the Russian newspapers say Putin isn't responsible although the Russian Special Forces can't be ruled out.
Pro-government newspapers poured cold water on Saturday on claims that the killing of former Russian intelligence agent Alexander Litvinenko was the work of the Kremlin.

The official Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper said that Litvinenko's poisoning death in London could have been orchestrated by his associate, the Russian exiled businessman Boris Berezovsky, in order to discredit Russian authorities.

The death could have resulted from "joint actions between former Russian special service agents and the fugitive oligarch Boris Berezovsky," the paper said, saying that Berezovsky would have no compunction about killing a former friend.

"Getting rid of a superfluous former associate, who furthermore held secrets dangerous to the fugitive oligarch, is entirely in the style" of Berezovsky, Rossiyskaya Gazeta said.

While devoting most of its article to Berezovsky's possible involvement, the newspaper acknowledged that "the liquidation of the traitor by Russian special forces, of course, cannot be ruled out".

The mass circulation tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda meanwhile was scathing of claims in the Western media that the Kremlin was involved in Litvinenko's death.

"Vile -- that's the feeling that arises when one sees the pandemonium that the West has created around the killing and death of Alexander Litvinenko. Hardly has the man's body cooled when they take up their virtual battering rams and hammer at Russia's authority," Komsomolskaya Pravda said.

"For whom was Litvinenko's murder profitable? For Putin, for the over-reaching special services, as a suspicious chorus of Western newspapers bellows?" the paper demanded, before answering its own question.

"Sure! Why would Russian authorities dirty themselves over some kind of deserter of an ex-special services officer....? Already for six years, like an ass, he did all the damage he could to the 'Putin regime' and represented absolutely no threat to the Kremlin," Komsomolskaya Pravda said.

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Feeling Secure? Well Don't #12

Maybe its time the US changes its name. Perhaps United States isn't quite descriptive enough. How about Unbelievably Stupid? The US probably effectively put terrorists, intent on blowing up airliners bound for the US, out on the streets.
A team of suspected terrorists involved in an alleged UK plot to blow up trans-atlantic airliners escaped capture because of interference by the United States, The Independent has been told by counter-terrorism sources.

An investigation by MI5 and Scotland Yard into an alleged plan to smuggle explosive devices on up to 10 passenger jets was jeopardised in August, when the US put pressure on authorities in Pakistan to arrest a suspect allegedly linked to the airliner plot.

As a direct result of the surprise detention of the suspect, British police and MI5 were forced to rush forward plans to arrest an alleged UK gang accused of plotting to destroy the airliners. But a second group of suspected terrorists allegedly linked to the first evaded capture and is still at large, according to security sources.

The escape of the second group is said to be the reason why the UK was kept at its highest level - “critical” - for three days before it was decided that the plotters no longer posed an imminent threat.

The alleged airliner plot caused chaos and fear at airports throughout Britain when details emerged in August of an alleged plan to smuggle liquid explosives on board up to 10 flights and destroy them after take-off.

Apparently Bush's incompetence and stupidity is catching.

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Take Your Dramamine®... Or Else

Roller coaster anyone?

(via Attu)

Israel Rejects Militant's [sic] Peace Offer

Well that sort of belies the Israeli claim they're only defending themselves now doesn't it? Maybe the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) should change their name to IOF (Israeli Offensive Forces). Seems more accurate, what with this and what happened in Lebanon.
The Palestinian prime minister said militants were prepared to stop barraging Israel with rockets if Israel would halt all military action in Palestinian territories.

Israel rejected the offer as lopsided, and said it would respond positively only to a total truce.

Similar proposals in the past have failed to curb fighting, and a spokesman for the ruling Hamas group quickly stepped back from the cease-fire talk, which came as fighting between militants and Israeli troops in Gaza claimed the lives of a 10-year-old Palestinian boy and a militant filming the clashes.

A third Palestinian died yesterday of wounds sustained in earlier violence. It wasn’t immediately known whether he was a militant or civilian.

Israeli launched a military campaign in Gaza five months ago, in an unsuccessful attempt to curb militant rocket fire on Israeli border communities.

Prime minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas said armed factions had agreed a day earlier to halt rocket fire in exchange for a complete cessation of Israeli military operations in Gaza and the West Bank.

“The ball now is in the Israeli court,” Haniyeh said. “It (Israel) must stop its aggression and escalation against the Palestinian people, then there will be no problem according to what the factions agreed in their last meeting.”

Haniyeh was scheduled to meet faction leaders again later today, and the sides hoped to draw up a written truce proposal, officials said. [emphasis mine]

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Cat Blogging

Mexican hairless cat

Actually a gopher tortoise

Robert Gates: The Perfect Choice For Bush's Purposes

Oh yeah, this is just the guy needed. Watch out Iran. Feeling the laser sights yet, Ahmadinejad?
The man nominated by President George W. Bush to be the next US secretary of defense recommended in the 1980s overt military action against Nicaragua, including air strikes and a naval quarantine of its ports, according to a document made public here.

Former top US spymaster Robert Gates outlines these proposals -- and his general views on confronting threats around the world -- in a December 14, 1984, memorandum to his boss, then-Central Intelligence Agency director William Casey, that was released Friday by the National Security Archives.

Gates was tapped by Bush to replace outgoing defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld in the wake of the November 7 midterm election, in which Republicans, facing voter discontent over the war in Iraq, lost control of Congress to their Democratic rivals.

The president has described his defense secretary pick as "an agent of change" at the Pentagon. But the declassified memorandum showed Gates to be a proponent of a no-holds-barred approach to foreign policy, an advocate of covert and overt military action with little appetite for diplomatic niceties.

The document begins with a bitter overview of US foreign policy setbacks in Cuba, Vietnam and Angola and conplains that "half measures, half-heartedly applied, will have the same result in Nicaragua."

Acknowledging the covert US aid to Nicaraguan "contras" was not having the desired effect, Gates writes that the US goal should now be "overtly to try to bring down the regime" led at the time by Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega.

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This Could Be Huge

File under: Eclectic and we'll hear more about this.
By James Randerson, science correspondent

It has been called the invention that will bring down global capitalism, start a second industrial revolution and save the environment - and it might just put Santa out of a job too.

The "self-replicating rapid prototyper", or RepRap for short, is a machine that literally prints 3D objects from a digital design. Its creators hope that in the future it will be a must-have mod con for every home. Instead of queueing for this year's equivalent of Buzz Lightyear, Robosapiens or TMX Elmo, parents will simply download the sought-after design off the internet and print it out.

"If people can make anything for themselves what's the point in going to the shops?" said Adrian Bowyer at Bath University who started the project.

The Santa machine works like a printer, except that rather than shooting ink out of a moving nozzle it squirts molten plastic in layers. These build up to make 3D shapes. To date the machine has made a belt buckle, a scale architectural model and even one of its own components. Dr Bowyer said that soon it would be able to make items using other materials. "In principle it could make almost any item that people want," he said.

So-called rapid prototyping machines that manufacture objects from digital designs have been around since the 1980s, although they still cost upwards of £20,000 (USD 38,600+) and mostly have specialised industrial applications.

The difference with RepRap, which is the size of a fridge, is that the ideas behind it are not owned by anyone. Dr Bowyer's vision is a machine that can be made, adapted and improved by its users. "I did not want an individual, company or country to make money from this," he said.

If Dr Bowyer's vision is realised there could be profound implications for the global economy. Instead of large companies manufacturing large numbers of consumer goods and distributing them to shops, consumers would buy or share designs on the internet, manufacturing items on their own replication machines.

"At this time of year, toy companies lose thousands by not being able to get toys to the market or having toys they can't sell... This way the product would always be available and you would be able to reuse materials afterwards perhaps in another product," said Professor David Wimpenny of De Montfort University, Leicester. "It would revolutionise Christmas."

Michael Hart, founder of Project Gutenberg, an online repository of more than 19,000 e-books, predicts that if RepRap takes off, vested interests in industry will fight the technology tooth and nail.

"In 30 years replicators are going to be able to make things out of all sorts of stuff," he said. "Somewhere along this line the intellectual property people are going to come in and say 'No we don't want you all printing out Ferraris and we don't want you printing out pizzas'."

Who wants a Ferrari that fits inside a fridge?

That's the whole post so...(courtesy link)

I Will Survive

"It has yet to be proven that intelligence has any survival value."

-- Arthur C. Clarke

I would contend Bush as well as alligators are proof intelligence isn't necessary for survival.

Now being reptilian on the other hand...

This Should Anger You

This is exactly how I believe Cheney behaves in any situation, deviously:
A month before the November elections, Vice-President Dick Cheney was sitting in on a national-security discussion at the Executive Office Building. The talk took a political turn: what if the Democrats won both the Senate and the House? How would that affect policy toward Iran, which is believed to be on the verge of becoming a nuclear power? At that point, according to someone familiar with the discussion, Cheney began reminiscing about his job as a lineman, in the early nineteen-sixties, for a power company in Wyoming. Copper wire was expensive, and the linemen were instructed to return all unused pieces three feet or longer. No one wanted to deal with the paperwork that resulted, Cheney said, so he and his colleagues found a solution: putting “shorteners” on the wire—that is, cutting it into short pieces and tossing the leftovers at the end of the workday. If the Democrats won on November 7th, the Vice-President said, that victory would not stop the Administration from pursuing a military option with Iran. The White House would put “shorteners” on any legislative restrictions, Cheney said, and thus stop Congress from getting in its way.

The White House’s concern was not that the Democrats would cut off funds for the war in Iraq but that future legislation would prohibit it from financing operations targeted at overthrowing or destabilizing the Iranian government, to keep it from getting the bomb. “They’re afraid that Congress is going to vote a binding resolution to stop a hit on Iran, à la Nicaragua in the Contra war,” a former senior intelligence official told me.


But many in the White House and the Pentagon insist that getting tough with Iran is the only way to salvage Iraq. “It’s a classic case of ‘failure forward,’” a Pentagon consultant said. “They believe that by tipping over Iran they would recover their losses in Iraq—like doubling your bet. It would be an attempt to revive the concept of spreading democracy in the Middle East by creating one new model state.”

The view that there is a nexus between Iran and Iraq has been endorsed by Condoleezza Rice, who said last month that Iran “does need to understand that it is not going to improve its own situation by stirring instability in Iraq,” and by the President, who said, in August, that “Iran is backing armed groups in the hope of stopping democracy from taking hold” in Iraq. The government consultant told me, “More and more people see the weakening of Iran as the only way to save Iraq.”

The consultant added that, for some advocates of military action, “the goal in Iran is not regime change but a strike that will send a signal that America still can accomplish its goals. Even if it does not destroy Iran’s nuclear network, there are many who think that thirty-six hours of bombing is the only way to remind the Iranians of the very high cost of going forward with the bomb—and of supporting Moqtada al-Sadr and his pro-Iran element in Iraq.” (Sadr, who commands a Shiite militia, has religious ties to Iran.) [emphasis mine]

There has to be a way to stop these people. This is a train wreck just waiting to happen.

I suggest you read the whole article (long) by Sy Hersh. It'll be tough on your blood pressure, but its filled with very important information. The guy's just amazing.

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Told Ya

Sooner or later:
The security situation in Iraq is so bad that young Mister Bush and Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki had to schedule a meeting in another country to talk about it. Then Shiite cleric and militia leader Muqtada al Sadr warned through an intermediary that if "Mr. Prime Minister does not cancel his meeting with Bush the criminal in Jordan, we will suspend our membership at the Council of Deputies (parliament) and government."

Al Sadr's political bloc blames U.S. troops for the Thursday bombings in Sadr City that killed more than 200. Al Sadr follower Qusai Abdul-Wahab said, "…occupation forces are fully responsible for these acts, and we call for the withdrawal of occupation forces or setting a timetable for their withdrawal."

Al Sadr's bloc in Iraq's parliament is Maliki's main source of political support within the country. Bush is Maliki's main source of political support outside the country. Maliki's between a rock and a hard place--whatever choice he makes his goose is cooked. I say we make the choice for him.

Him or Me

Al Sadr's group blames the U.S. troops for failing to provide security in Sadr City. So they want us to leave? Then let's leave. Much has been made of a Pentagon group's three proposed Iraq options with the jingo jive names of "Go Big," "Go Long" and "Go Home." I think it's time for a fourth option: "Go Fish."

If Maliki can't survive politically without al Sadr's support, and al Sadr wants us to leave, then the best thing we can do for Maliki is to give al Sadr what he wants.

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Friday, November 24, 2006

This Really Rings True

The "pretty poor stuff" post.
A preacher was glowing with pride as the church members made their way out of the sanctuary, and he asked an honest old farmer what he thought of the sermon. The farmer, who just had to be truthful, shifted his Sunday allotment of chewing tobacco from one cheek to the other as he gave his verdict. "I was in the back pew, Reverend, and the people up front were swallowing up all the best parts, so what got back to me was pretty poor stuff, pretty poor stuff."

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File Under: Who Gives A Shit

Why are so many bloggers posting about what Robert Novak says? He's a tool. I have no interest whatsoever in what he's writing.
That said, Bob Novak wrote a scathing column yesterday on how Bush handled the Rumsfeld problem, but from an entirely different perspective. The president, Novak said, wasn’t loyal enough to Rumsfeld.

(read more if you must)

Globalization Explained

This probably won't surprise you. If it does, follow the link.
Economic Empire building (EEB) is the driving force of the US economy and became more central over the past five years. More than ever before in US economic history, the principal US banks, oil companies, manufacturers, investment houses, pension and mutual funds all depend on exploiting overseas nations and peoples to secure high rates of profit. Increasingly the majority of banking and corporate profits accrue from overseas plunder.


As EEB becomes central to the viability of the entire US economy, competition with Europe and Asia for lucrative investment rates and economic resources intensifies. Because of heightened competition, and the crucial importance of overseas profits, corporate corruption has become a decisive factor in determining which imperial center’s MNCs and banks will capture lucrative profit-generating enterprises, resources and financial positions.

The centrality of corruption in imperial expansion and in securing privileged positions in the world market exemplifies the increasing importance of politics, in particular relations with states in the imperial re-division of the world. Globalization, so-called, is a euphemism for the increasing importance of competing empires intent on redividing the world. Corrupting overseas rulers is central to securing privileged access to lucrative resources, markets and enterprises.

The point is, CEOs today aren't managing their companies. They should all be wearing eye patches and change the company flag to a black flag with a skull and cross-bones. They are pirates.

Do any of you doubt for a second, given a successful company to run with the billions of dollars they have, that you couldn't grow that company? You just find profitable companies with honest accounting practices and read their annual report. Then buy them up, fire a few hundred employees and make them more profitable. Where's the skill in that?

Granted, you will have to master the corruption and bribery parts, but that shouldn't be too difficult for a pirate.

Oh yeah, and the parrot. Forgot the parrot.

And don't forget the US government will help out wherever possible. For instance.
Worried about losing market share, American oil companies are pushing the Bush administration to remove Saddam from power. By removing Saddam from power, the new U.S. supported regime will give the most lucrative oil deals to American oil firms rather than European and Russian firms.

Need more? There's plenty.
But ultimately, Chevron, Exxon, BP and Shell came to the rescue, doubling imports from Iraq from 500,000 barrels in November to more than 1 million barrels per day to solve the problem. Essentially, U.S. importers diverted 500,000 barrels of Iraqi oil each day that were headed for Europe and Asia.

The trade, though bizarre given the possibility of an invasion of Iraq, is legal under terms of the United Nations’ oil for food program.

But for war opponents, it shows oil is the unspoken reason for military action in Iraq, which has the world's second largest proven reserves – some 112 billion barrels, and at least another 100 billion of unproven reserves – according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

While the State Department is mindful of cynical world opinion about U.S. war aims and the oil connection, officials do not always stick to the script, the Observer reports.

Grant Aldonas, undersecretary at the U.S. Department of Commerce, is quoted as saying war "would open up this spigot on Iraqi oil, which certainly would have a profound effect in terms of the performance of the world economy for those countries that are manufacturers and oil consumers."

SWIFT Found At Fault In Handing Over Personal Financial Data To The US

This out of the EU. Now correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this the sort of thing you would expect to come out of the US and not the EU? Stupid question. Forget I asked it.
A report by an EU panel released Thursday said the bank data transfer agency SWIFT broke European privacy laws by handing over personal data to U.S. authorities for use in anti-terror investigations.

The Belgian-based company, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, "committed violations of data protection laws" by secretly transferring data to the United States, without properly informing Belgian authorities, the EU's data protection panel said.

The panel's report calls on SWIFT, financial institutions and EU authorities to "take the necessary measures" to end the transfer, which it said contradicts Belgian and EU data protection rules. SWIFT is still transferring data under U.S. subpoenas.

EU spokeswoman Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen said the report was adopted unanimously by the 25-member panel which also chided the role of the European Central Bank in the affair. It demanded clarification from the ECB over its role in the affair. ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet has acknowledged his bank knew of the transfers but could not prevent them.

"SWIFT is expected as well as financial institutions to take the necessary steps immediately to remedy the present illegal infringement," Ahrenkilde Hansen said, adding the group will monitor the implementation of the recommendation by SWIFT and the ECB and other national banks which sit on SWIFT's oversight board.

Lebanon: A Powder Keg

But you already know that. This is the whole post by Christopher at Back to Iraq.
After today’s funeral for Pierre Gemayel, Lebanon is ready to blow.

Tonight, about 1,000 Shi’ite youths gathered along airport road and began protesting what they said were the insults made against Hezbollah secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah at the funeral this afternoon. (Saad Hariri more or less said the majority claimed by Hezbollah and others in the March 8 movement was a mirage.)

Soon, a crowd of Sunni youths gathered nearby, prompting a large response from the Lebanese security forces. Local Hezbollah officials told the Shi’ite crowd to go home, but they were ignored, prompting Nasrallah to call Manar TV, the group’s television channel, and issue a call for the crowd to disperse. That, too, initially seemed to be ignored, and it is only after several hours that the protestors drifted home.

In another worrisome development, in a Palestinian camp in the north of the country (I haven’t pinned down the name yet), camp residents clashed with Sunni extremists loyal to Jund al-Sham, a group with ties to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the slain leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq.

And finally, former Interior Minister Hassan Sabaa has withdrawn his resignation, meaning Ahmad Fatfat is no longer acting interior minister. This is important because it increases the numbr of people in the Siniora cabinet who are full-fledged ministers. The cabinet is normally made up of 24 ministers, with 16 needed for a quorum. Last weekend, five Shi’ite ministers and a pro-Syrian Christian minister resigned, threatening the stability of the government. Then Pierre Gemayel was killed, bringing the number of absent ministers to seven. If two more ministerial seats became vacant, Siniora’s government would be automatically dissolved.

Since Fatfat was only an acting minister, there might be some legal justification to dissolve the government if only one more minister was removed. So by bringing Sabaa back, the March 14 forces are solidfying their position and hunkering down for a long fight.

Must Read IMHO

I'll offer the tiniest of snippets from Bad Attitudes:
War supporters who consider themselves liberals — for instance, New Yorker editor David Remnick and writer George Packer, author of Assassin’s Gate — seem to have allowed themselves the colonialist illusion, believing that American military force can pull a democracy out of a hat. Admittedly, the strategy involved shouldering the White Man’s burden in honorable and exemplary fashion, to the extent possible given the inherent contraditions in the position.

These folks share a certain innocence with the neo-cons, which in both cases can be engaging but is more often exasperating. A wish to make the world better can be evidence of a good heart properly oriented. But unless you’re pretty damn sure that description applies to you, you’d be wise to remember that it can also be evidence of an insecure ego needing validation from the world, an issue that often has negative results when played out on a community scale.

This Can't Be Good

Two things: 1. He's right because he's pretty much saying what I've been saying only I didn't write a book because I'm incapable. 2. He has written a book and wants it to sell.
Fred Iklé, a Nixon-era arms control veteran and mentor to the current generation of nuclear “hawks”, has an apocalyptic vision of the future.

However, as a contrarian who confounds his neo-conservative admirers, he is also highly critical of the Bush administration’s handling of threats to the US, and calls the “global war on terror” a serious mistake.

Hopefully for mankind, Annihilation from Within: The Ultimate Threat to Nations, his latest book, will not become another classic to follow his 1971 Every War Must End, credited in 1991 by General Colin Powell, then chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, with inspiring him to bring to closure the first Gulf war. What he calls the “sad message” of his latest work is that the accelerating advance of technology far outpaces the zig-zag development of social and political frameworks that act as controls and brakes.

“We are spreading the dark side of technology,” he tells the FT, describing the “curse of dual use” where, in biotechnology and development of superhuman intelligence in particular, scientists may inadvertently be sowing the seeds of future destruction to be wrought by anarchists or revolutionary groups.

Sixty years ago the US contemplated maintaining a monopoly on nuclear technology, he notes as an example. Just this month the Senate approved giving nuclear assistance to India.

“This is a mistake,” he says.

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Oh Canadia

Sometimes I just can't believe people. From Overheard in New York:
Lady #1: Canadia is a continent!
Lady #2: No, Canadia is definitely a state.


I think its an island in the South Pacific myself.

Yeah, You Were Good In Your Day, But We Don't Need You Now

I think one of the things that infuriates me most about the Bush administration is how they always, always go shooting for the most vulnerable Americans. You know the elderly, poor, injured vetrans, gays, immigrants. They really are the cruelest of the cruel.
A federal advisory panel says that long-term care for aging baby boomers threatens to bankrupt Medicaid, and it recommends sweeping changes to rein in costs, including greater use of managed care for the sickest Medicaid recipients.

The proposals set up a likely clash between the new Democratic Congress and the Bush administration, which has sent strong signals that it will seek big savings in Medicaid next year.

Panel members adopted the recommendations last week, by a vote of 11 to 1, and are drafting a report to be submitted next month to Michael O. Leavitt, the secretary of health and human services. Mr. Leavitt created the panel in May 2005 and is receptive to many of its proposals.

The panel, known as the Medicaid Commission, said states should have more freedom to alter benefits and eligibility for the program, which serves more than 50 million low-income people.

Moreover, it said states should be allowed to enroll some of the sickest Medicaid recipients, including nursing home residents and people with disabilities, in managed care plans.

All that said, I have to admit I was in an HMO for a while. My experience was nowhere near the horror stories others have to tell, but I know very poor HMOs do exist and the elderly won't know which they're getting. In my case there were no long waits for an appointment nor at the doctor's office and I was treated by the same doctor each time. It was not unlike a private, non-HMO clinic I later used.

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Its That Damn War On Terror Again

War On Christmas

Now doesn't this just fit right in? The handgun ornament.
Product Description
Bust a cap in your tree with this super glittery ornament in the shape of a handgun, complete with a satin ribbon for hanging. Imported.
* 4.75"l, 3"w, .75"h
* Plastic, glitter

Thursday, November 23, 2006

What They're Saying On The Streets Of Beirut

Its unbelievably tense in Lebanon:
While hundreds of soldiers and riot police surrounded the square, people pounded drums, waved thousands of Lebanese flags — alongside those of their respective political parties — and giant loudspeakers played former speeches of Gemayel, who once said he was prepared to die for Lebanon’s freedom.

His voice boomed forth: “There are people who are planning every moment to overthrow the government.” It was a poignant statement; many believe Gemayel was killed to reduce the anti-Syrian cabinet to fewer than 16 members. If that happens, and there are only two ministers standing against that fate, the government will fall.

But among the crowd, rather than letting Syria and its Lebanese allies — Hezbollah, Michel Aoun and President Emile Lahoud — topple the elected government of Prime Minister Fuad Siniora, some were planning their own revolution.

“Tomorrow, God willing, we’re going to Baabda,” said Boushahine, referring to the presidential palace and home to the staunchly pro-Syrian Lahoud. “We’re going to liberate the palace from the cockroach that lives there.”

Others were less direct, but in agreement.

“We hope that Lahoud resigns today,” said Tariq Najjar, 22, from a town called Abadieh. “We hope that today that Lahoud hears our voices and (Hezbollah, Iran and Syria) know that we are the majority of Lebanese people.”

This Just In

Its the whole story from Reuters (courtesy link).
About 30 militants attacked the Iraqi Health Ministry in central Baghdad with mortars and gunfire on Thursday, an Interior Ministry source and the deputy health minister told Reuters.

Deputy Minister Hakim al-Zamily said he could see gunmen outside the building in Bab al-Muadham district who were shooting at staff. He said mortar rounds had also been fired.

"Terrorists are attacking the building with mortars, machine gun fire and we can even see snipers. Any employee who leaves the building will be killed," Zamily said.

An Interior Ministry source said gunmen had surrounded the ministry and were clashing with Iraqi security forces. Some casualties had been taken to hospital, he said.

The source said the gunmen had attempted to break into the ministry compound but had been driven back.

Zamily said the ministry officials had called the Iraqi Defence Ministry for help but so far none had arrived.

Zamily, who is a member of a Shi'ite party, is one of two deputy health ministers attacked earlier this week. Gunmen attacked his convoy on Monday and killed two of his guards.

His colleague Ammar al-Saffar, a member of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's Shi'ite Dawa party, was kidnapped from his home by gunmen in uniform last weekend.

Those attacks came after gunmen suspected of belonging to Shi'ite militias last week abducted dozens of civil servants from the Sunni-run Higher Education Ministry.

Was Cheney In Iraq Or Not?

There've been several reports of Cheney's quietly sneaking into Baghdad, but the people who would know for sure say he isn't.
Iraqi state television today reported that US Vice President Dick Cheney was in Baghdad, but US officials said Cheney was not in the capital.

State-run Iraqiya TV and the private Al-Arabiya TV station both reported Cheney had arrived in the Iraqi capital this morning, apparently to visit American troops for the Thanksgiving holiday.

But Lt Col Christopher Garver said that the vice president was not in Iraq “as far as we know".

Now you know he wouldn't be outside the green zone, that would take courage if not stupidity.

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Oh Yummy, Thanksgiving In Iraq

Wanna see how well the troops are eating? Read Chinese papers. There are 11 more pix.

Does Bush 41 Really Want An Answer?

"How come everybody wants to come to the United States if the United States is so bad?"

-- George H W Bush
Former US president

The short answer idiot is because your dim son is making much of the rest of the world too dangerous.

Minute By Minute - We've Got Your Minutes Here

Look at the big story out of Australia which doesn't seem so big to American MSM. This via David Swanson:
Over a year before the United States launched an endless war on Iraq in what President George W. Bush told Congress was an urgently needed action to prevent an attack with nonexistent weapons by non-Iraqi terrorists…

Eleven months before Bush told British Prime Minister Tony Blair that a good way to start a war on Iraq would be to paint planes with U.N. colors, fly them low, and get them shot at…

Five months before the Downing Street Minutes were taken at a meeting revealing the knowledge top British officials had of the secret war plans of the Bush administration…

Just a week or two before several of the Downing Street Memos recorded U.S.-British discussions of the coming war…

On February 27, 2002 – just five months after 15 Saudis, 2 Lebanese, and 2 Yemenis flew airplanes into U.S. buildings – Trevor Flugge, who was then chairman of AWB, the Australian Wheat Board, a private corporation, told AWB's board that John Dauth, who was then Australia's ambassador to the United Nations, had revealed to Flugge the plans of the U.S. and Australian governments for war on Iraq. Tragically, for war-profiteers everywhere, somebody took minutes of the meeting.

You may not have heard about this from the U.S. media. Maybe if we all scream really loudly for six weeks you will. That's how the Downing Street Minutes found their 15 minutes of fame in June 2005. But, as we stuff our faces with dead turkeys, the new Melbourne Minutes are the top news story in Australia. According to the Australian Associated Press:

"Mr Dauth briefed Mr Flugge in New York in February 2002 - 13 months before the invasion - and the details appear in minutes of AWB's February 27 board meeting tendered to the inquiry.

Love Reading Such As This About K Street

And obviously there is much room for improvement. Particularly notice the last paragraph.
The Democrats' takeover of Congress this month has turned official Washington upside down.

Labor and environmental representatives, once also-rans in congressional influence, are meeting frequently with Capitol Hill's incoming Democratic leaders. Corporations that once boasted about their Republican ties are busily hiring Democratic lobbyists. And industries worried about reprisals from the new Democrats-in-charge, especially the pharmaceutical industry, are sending out woe-is-me memos and hoping their GOP connections will protect them in the crunch.

"Change is in the air," said Melinda Pierce, a senior lobbyist for the Sierra Club. She had never even been invited to meet with Republican House leaders, but since Election Day, Democrats have welcomed her advice.

Dan Danner sees change in the opposite direction. The top lobbyist for the National Federation of Independent Business has attended meetings with Republican leaders at least twice a month for the past 12 years. But he has yet to see any of the new Democratic crowd and doesn't expect to anytime soon. "That's a significant difference," he said.

Access is tantamount to influence in Congress. Individuals and organizations with entree to lawmakers in the majority are the ones with the best chance of getting things done. In January, when the 110th Congress convenes, Democrats will control that inside track for the first time since Republicans began their reign on Capitol Hill a dozen years ago.

Companies caught in the Democrats' cross hairs, such as oil and drug firms, are hiring Democratic lobbyists, but they're holding on to their Republican lobbyists. They reason that they will need to persuade Republican lawmakers to block bills they dislike in the Senate, where 60 out of 100 votes are required to pass anything of consequence. Democrats hold only a 51 to 49 majority.

In addition, in a move that is raising ethical questions, some Democratic lobbyists are planning to take congressional staff jobs, attracted by the chance to wield real clout.

This Can't Be Good

Well it seems the training of Iraqi forces isn't going quite as well as we've been told. This from the Washington Post:
The U.S. military's effort to train Iraqi forces has been rife with problems, from officers being sent in with poor preparation to a lack of basic necessities such as interpreters and office materials, according to internal Army documents.

The shortcomings have plagued a program that is central to the U.S. strategy in Iraq and is growing in importance. A Pentagon effort to rethink policies in Iraq is likely to suggest placing less emphasis on combat and more on training and advising, sources say.

In dozens of official interviews compiled by the Army for its oral history archives, officers who had been involved in training and advising Iraqis bluntly criticized almost every aspect of the effort. Some officers thought that team members were often selected poorly. Others fretted that the soldiers who prepared them had never served in Iraq and lacked understanding of the tasks of training and advising. Many said they felt insufficiently supported by the Army while in Iraq, with intermittent shipments of supplies and interpreters who often did not seem to understand English.


Farrell, the officer in east Baghdad, said some advisers were literally "phoning in" their work. Some would not leave the forward operating base "more than one or two days out of the week -- instead they would just call the Iraqis on cellphones," he said.

Aren't Legislators Supposed To Legislate?

Something we need to call attention to in hopes most of the MSM will pick up on it. Nah, won't happen. This story from AP:
Republicans vacating the Capitol are dumping a big spring cleaning job on Democrats moving in. GOP leaders have opted to leave behind almost a half-trillion-dollar clutter of unfinished spending bills,[sic]

There's also no guarantee that Republicans will pass a multibillion-dollar measure to prevent a cut in fees to doctors treating Medicare patients.

The bulging workload that a Republican-led Congress was supposed to complete this year but is instead punting to 2007 promises to consume time and energy that Democrats had hoped to devote to their own agenda upon taking control of Congress in January for the first time in a dozen years.


Driving the decision to quit and go home rather than finish the remaining budget work is a determined effort by a group of conservative Republicans to prevent putting a GOP stamp on spending bills covering 13 Cabinet Departments — and loaded with thousands of homestate projects derided as "pork" by critics.


Bush is likely to be torn between the necessity of working with Democrats to finance his priorities — including the war — and a desire to take a stand against spending increases. Bush has never vetoed a spending bill in his six years in office, but that may change now that it will be Democrats writing them.

Democrats pledge not to overreach in their dealings with the president.

"We're not going to send him veto bait," said Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., who will be taking over as the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. "We're not that stupid."

This Can't Be Good

It seems people aren't visiting the US because it's too difficult:
"This study should be a wake-up call for the US government," said Geoff Freeman, Executive Director of the Discover America Partnership.

"Visiting the United States and interacting with the American people can have a powerful, positive effect on how non-US residents see our country. Unfortunately, perceptions of a 'rude' and 'arrogant' entry process are turning away travelers and harming America's image."

The survey found that the US entry process is considered the "world's worst" by travelers, by more than a two-to-one margin over the next-worst destination area.

(read more)

When Is A Doctor Not A Doctor?

When he's Eric Keroack apparently.

These Guys Are Soon To Be Unemployed

This is truly comical:
First Daughter Barbara Bush had her purse and cell phone stolen as she had dinner in a restaurant in Buenos Aires, Argentina, even though she was being guarded by a detail of Secret Service agents, according to law enforcement reports made available to ABC News.


according to the reports, the Secret Service agents failed to notice the incident.

It isn't like their sole purpose is to keep an eye on the twins.

She sure looks familiar. Oh yeah, she used to be an actress, right?

(read more)

Must Read IMHO

More Equipment Needed in Afghanistan, U.S. Commander Says

Maybe its just me, but I doubt it. My guess is beefing up Afghanistan's security forces will result in new, improved troops to attack US in the future. Its not unheard of is it?
The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan today declined to say whether more American troops will be needed to confront increasing insurgent and terrorist attacks in the country.

But Army Lt. Gen. Karl W. Eikenberry said the United States should provide more military equipment to beef up Afghanistan's security forces. [emphasis mine]

I originally came upon that story because of something Joe in DC said on AMERICAblog:
But not enough equipment for our soldiers? That's a crime:

I too was ready to be outraged, but then realized Joe may have committed a sin I'm often guilty of; reading a story too quickly and coming away with the wrong idea.

It seems the story doesn't say US forces are short on equipment, but the Afghans are.

Who Ya Gonna Call?

Found this on a web page:
Featured Advertiser Links

Refinance Rates As Low As 2.9% - FREE QUOTES!

$200,000 Loan for only $896⁄mo. Bad Credit OK.

$200,000 Loan for only $667⁄mo. Bad Credit OK.

Check out the last two. Who is offering the better deal? Duh!

BTW, I don't know if the ads change so you may not see the same ones if you go there.

Too Kewl

Wonder how kewl translates. Anyway, I found I'm being translated. Três internationale.
Terça-feira, agosto 01, 2006
Im pesaroso, mas eu quebraram meus reforços e não podem blog por 4-6 semanas. Minha esposa está afixando esta para mim.

Eu espero que você volte e me junte quando eu retorno.

Jill e Kayinmaine, este são um invitation aberto para você ao borne do convidado em minha ausência.

Até que eu retornar…

(lido mais)

October deadliest month ever in Iraq

That's the headline from AP.
Iraq - The United Nations said Wednesday that 3,709 Iraqi civilians were killed in October, the highest monthly toll since the March 2003 U.S. invasion and another sign of the severity of Iraq's sectarian bloodbath.

Sounds awfully familiar:

September already deadliest month for British forces since 2003 - Yahoo! News UK

August saw most Iraq combat deaths of '05 - The Boston Globe

In Iraq -- September is second-deadliest month of 2004 in Iraq for U.S. troops

September Among Deadliest Months for U.S. in Iraq

I think you get the idea. We don't make up this shit just to taunt Bush supporters. We deal with the facts and the facts are showing most months are deadlier than preceding ones.

Records are being set and none of them good.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Must Read IMHO

How High Can You Go?

Help me out here, folks. When I click on referrals to my site, I'm often listed no lower than 6.

Why? What is determining the lists? Is it how recent the post? My boyish smile? My willingness to offer my first born? Or is it just random?

Inquireing minds want to know. Me too.

I Don't Usually Do This, But Probably Should

Keep in mind, folks, these people are making the big bucks by being outrageous. They might, "might" believe some of what they say or write, but that's beside the point. They need to press your buttons for the bucks. Hey, a new term "Buttons for Bucks". Fits quite well.

Bill "I hate to say this" O'Reilly
Michelle "anchor baby" Malkin
Ann "will hate for food" Coulter
Rush "ya got oxy?"Limpbaugh

Well, its up to you to add to the list. The point being they are outrageous because it sells.

I could do it too, but am not so greedy. Poor does not equate to greedy.

Must Read IMHO

If only for perspective. Via Mahablog.

Prepare To Be Angry

A few things you probably won't like:

Denise Brown: News Corp Offered Family Money to Allow O. J. Simpson Interview to Proceed Video here.

Muslim scholar calls for airline boycott

Global Hawk Spy Drone Makes First Official Air Combat Command Flight Across USA

Officer in Taser case identified


Richard Cohen: Find A New Job

How Rent Makes Poverty

State psychiatric hospitals to stop admitting new patients

Oh yeah, its Mitt Romney's state. We really need him as president, right?
Nothing to be angry about.

Just a post about a great Hollywood director.
BU group offers white scholarship

I don't usually "do" video because I don't have the bandwidth and assume you don't too, but this is worth it.
This appalling video shows a group of U.S. soldiers in a truck taunting a pack of Iraqi children with a bottle of water.

A bottle of water...

The troops are going bat-shit crazy. We have to get them out of there.

Global HIV/AIDS epidemic continues to grow

Justice Department Quashes Wiretapping Inquiries

Blighted Homeland | Navajos' Desert Cleanup No More Than a Mirage: Part III

Folks, I'm getting tired now. Just do some surfing of the internets tubes and find your own sources of infuriating posts. I really do feel like Alice.

Must Read IMHO

Info about Pierre Gemayel's assassination from someone who's in the region.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Trust Me On This

Welcome To The Nut House

Two quick items. First from The Washington Dispatch.
...the democrat's newest shill Chris Mathews...

Then we have this from openlettertochrismathews. apology for his gay-bashing and right-wing bias...

How can two sites see one person exactly the opposite of how the other sees him?

Of course the correct opinion is Chris Mathews should be out of a job because he's so incompetent, but that's just me.

Iraq And Syria Restore Ties

File under: Not exactly what Bush was aiming for.
Iraq and Syria agreed to restore full diplomatic relations on Tuesday after a break of nearly a quarter of a century, a move Iraq hopes may help stem what it says is Syrian support for militants.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem, making the first visit by a Syrian minister to Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, signed an accord with Iraqi counterpart Hoshiyar Zebari in which they agreed U.S. troops should stay in Iraq for now.

Moualem had earlier called for the setting of a timetable for the withdrawal of 140,000 U.S. troops. The document contained wording used by the Iraqi and U.S. governments, saying troops should gradually withdraw once they were not needed.

Amid calls for President George W. Bush to open talks with U.S. adversaries Syria and Iran to help stabilise Iraq, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani is also flying to Tehran on Saturday. Washington and Iraqi leaders accuse Iran of backing Shi'ite militia groups and Syria of helping Sunni insurgents.

How far either foreign government can limit mounting sectarian violence in Iraq is unclear, as hundreds of deaths a week fuel fear and hatred at the heart of Iraqi society.

This may not produce fruitful results, but it becomes more and more clear the US can't solve Iraq's problems.

(read more)

Stick with me... it gets interesting.

I stole Jil In Pattaya's first sentence for the title. She's right, it does get interesting.

I Didn't Jump On This Story When It Broke, But Can Help Clear The Guy's Name

I try my best to find real evidence before accusing others. It only makes sense and can prevent libel suits. The righties don't worry about such niceties.
Remember Larry Hanauer, the Democratic aide on the House Intelligence Committee whose clearance was yanked because he was suspected of leaking the Iraq NIE?

House Intel Chairman Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) probably hopes you don't, because, as Roll Call reports (sub. req.), Hanauer's access to classified info has been quietly reinstated, "essentially clearing the aide of accusations that he leaked a sensitive report on the Iraq War to The New York Times."

(read more)

A Little Cost-Benefit Question

Ignoring the horrible fact a 6 month old is one of the dead, how much fucking money did the military spend to kill the other 2 people? And were the others innocent too?
A U.S. air strike in Baghdad's Sadr City district killed at least three people on Tuesday when U.S.-led forces mounted their latest raid in the hunt for death squads and a kidnapped U.S. soldier, Iraqi officials said.

Iraqi Health Ministry spokesman Abdul Ahdi said the dead included a six-month-old infant and that up to 50 people had been wounded. Other Iraqi officials put the number of wounded at 15.

The Interior Ministry said U.S. and Iraqi forces raided the sprawling slum suburb of about 2 million at 5 a.m. (0200 GMT), sparking clashes with militiamen loyal to Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

The U.S. military said it was checking the reports.

(courtesy link)

Calling All Number Crunchers

Actually I mean the ones who aren't lazy like I am.
We are pleased to announce that we have posted spreadsheet files the include every poll result we gathered for 2006 Senate, House, and Gubernatorial races. These are now available for download from each respective national summary page. For each poll we've includes a link, a name of the pollster, sample size, population, margin of error, and polling dates where available.

--Mark Blumenthal on November 20, 2006 in Mystery Pollster

All the data you need.

Rove On Way Out

This comes from Think Progress. Now I realize we all work with what we have but...
The rumors that chief White House political architect Karl Rove will leave sometime next year are being bolstered with new insider reports that his partisan style is a hurdle to President Bush’s new push for bipartisanship. “Karl represents the old style and he’s got to go if the Democrats are going to believe Bush’s talk of getting along,” said a key Bush advisor.

My problem is this:
Bush’s new push for bipartisanship???

I just don't see it. Bush is being the same ass he always has been and has no desire to work with the Dems.

AP Interview: Edwards says Obama should run for president

At first blush I thought...What? Then I kept reading.
Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards isn't yet willing to commit to another run for president, but the 2004 Democratic nominee for vice president said Sunday that Illinois Sen. Barack Obama should get into the race.

"I hope he runs. I think he should run," Edwards told The Associated Press. "This is such an important job that I would urge anybody who can make a serious contribution to the campaign and the dialogue _ either in our party or the other party _ to run."

OK, if he will contribute ideas and add to the dialogue, fine, but that will be his only role because he has no chance of winning. Two thousand twelve is possible for president or vice presidential choice in 2008. My opinion is he is not yet tainted but he isn't seasoned enough for the top spot.

I Can't Make This Shit Up

You realize if not for your visits to this site (or Jonco's, and don't you dare abandon me for him) you wouldn't know such things existed.

(via Jonco - who else?)

Ya Know Life's Gonna Suck When You Start Out With A Bad Hair Day

They are really pathetic looking for the first few minutes and then they're just...ahhh!!!1!!

(via Jonco)

Experts: UN Climate Pact Unlikely Until After Bush

Let's be clear on this. EVERY FUCKING IMPROVEMENT is on hold until after Bush. You name it, climate, ozone layer, war, world opinion, the list goes on.

Does Bush Need Any More Proof America Doesn't Belong In Iraq?

The governments in the Middle-East are trying to work things out. US troops are just in the way.
Gunmen killed a much-loved Iraqi comedian on Monday as attacks and kidnaps of senior politicians and dozens of ordinary people prompted the defence minister to declare that Iraq was now in a "state of war."

As pressure mounts on U.S. President George W. Bush to try a new tack and allies urge him to approach Syria and Iran to help, Iraq said Syria's visiting foreign minister was about to restore diplomatic relations after a quarter-century of frost and the Iraqi president prepared to visit Iran this week.

The Iraqi government spokesman said talks with Syria's Walid al-Moualem had produced a deal to set up a joint security committee and boost trade and added "The first step is restoring diplomatic relations before the delegation leaves, God willing."

An Iraqi presidential spokesman confirmed that President Jalal Talabani had accepted a long-standing invitation from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and said he would lead a delegation to Tehran on Saturday with a wide-ranging agenda.

He denied reports that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was invited to the summit.

Damascus also said there were no such plans.

In Washington, a State Department spokesman said such talks had failed in the past to produce "concrete steps" by Syria or Iran, which the United States accuses of backing militants.

On a rare trip by any senior Arab official to U.S.-occupied Iraq, Moualem stressed he was not coming to please Washington: "I am nobody's godfather and am not a mediator for the United States ... I'm not here to please the United States."

I've had my differences with presidents before and dislike too, but I really, honestly hate Bush and all he stands for. His pig-headed unwillingness to negotiate, or talk at all, with others is infuriating. Its the diplomacy, stupid!

Sorry, forgot the link. It really is too easy to forget them.

Why Didn't I Think Of This

It's just too good. Courtesy link to Jonco.
It is amazing what kind kind [sic] of brilliant scams people thing [sic] of.

Australian Police have been unable to recommend a prosecution for the following scam. A company takes out a newspaper advertisement claiming to be able to supply imported hard core pornographic videos. As their prices seem reasonable, people place orders and make payments via check. After several weeks, the company writes back explaining that under the present law they are unable to supply the materials and do not wish to be prosecuted. So they return their customers [sic] money in the form of a company check. However, due to the name of the company, few people ever bother to present these to their banks.

The name of the company is ‘The Anal Sex and Fetish Perversion Company’.

I Be Very Lazy Or Maybe Just Overwhelmed

Please visit some significant sites. They're all good today and take on a wide array of topics, all of which will discomfort you. You've been warned.

First up is Balloon Juice. As an aside, this is written by a former Republican who decided to join the reality community.

Next is Carpetbagger Report.

On now to The American Prospect.

Think Progress weighs in. And this is really precious. I'm gonna get me a gun to ward off those iPods.

As I predicted yesterday, the Dems will be blamed for a military draft which is very necessary. This over at GINA COBB who titles her site: GINA COBB News ~ Opinion ~ Insight, but forgot to mention stupidity.

And the killing continues at an accelerated rate.

I'm gonna pound it into your brain. Read Don to Earth.

Echidne, my favorite goddess, has a post about what is to come now that Dems are in power. I kid you not, it is as deranged as anything you can imagine.

Please also visit my friend Jill at Brilliant at Breakfast. Just too much there to summarize. Not to mention it would take effort on my part. Três lazy.

One little blurb from moi. Jesus H Christ on Sudafed, I'm so tired of McCain all the time everywhere in the MSM and on blogs. He's a joke and will only become more comical in the next few months, but everyone has to pay attention to him. That is, everyone except for SPIIDERWEB™. I shant mention him again until he does something monumentally stupid...which he will.

As always, Simbaud delivers. Ya think Bush is not drinking again and the elections were honest? Hmmm. I'm not in your fantasy world.

This is something you need to get behind. Via Making Light.

Kay, Clif and Larry are good reads today too.

Educate Yourself

I was gonna cut and paste from Back to Iraq, but decided you need to read the entries yourself. Just a snippet:
Such comments always inspire in me a Lou Reed-size world-weary sigh. Yes, it’s all so simple: evil Muslims, persecuted Christians.

Except, it’s completely wrong.

Read what someone who is "on the ground" (gawd I hate that phrase, but it works) has to say.

File Under: No Shit

From Anonymous Liberal:
As a general rule, it's not wise to take claims made by the Heritage Foundation at face value.

No Decisions Yet on Iraq Troop Levels, Bush Says

Well isn't that just special? We have a "decider" who won't decide.
President Bush said Monday that he has made no decisions about altering the number of U.S. troops in Iraq, and he refused to discuss the pros and cons that would accompany such a decision.

"I haven't made any decisions about troop increases or troop decreases, and won't until I hear from a variety of sources, including our own United States military," Bush said. "They will be bringing forth the suggestions and recommendations to me here as quickly as possible."

What a tool. But wait, haven't we been here before? Oh yeah, we have. Its all coming back to me now.

Either one of the last two pix should be this idiot's official photo. He has never had a clue. Even with his and his daddy's money, he can't even buy a clue.

File Under: Fuck You

I would be forced to defy this law just on principle. No one has the right to tell me not to fly any fucking flag I want to.
This is where we've arrived in this country: You have the constitutional right to burn an American flag, but you can get into trouble for simply flying a foreign one.

At least you can in the 30,000-person town of Pahrump, Nevada, which is close to Las Vegas and even closer to stepping over the line with an idiotic, intolerant and insulting ban on foreign (read: Mexican) flags. The town council voted last week, 3-2, to approve an ordinance that makes it illegal to display a foreign flag -- unless an American flag is flown above it. Scofflaws face a $50 fine and 30 hours of community service.

Pahrump resident Michael Miraglia proposed the ban because, he said, he got upset when he saw immigrant activists marching through U.S. cities last spring, waving Mexican flags. Mr. Miraglia told USA Today that he was especially miffed that "we had Mexican restaurants closed that day."

FYI, that's the flag of Venezuela which should piss off Miraglia even more than the Mexican flag.

Oh no. The plumber

I'm really starting to hate this guy.


I'm the Bloglines Plumber. Bloglines is down for a little fixer upper. We will be back shortly. Bloglines will be all better when I'm done with it.

The Bloglines Plumber

[Update] Again!!!1!!

[Update] And again!!!1!!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Where Ya Been?

Northhampton, missed ya.

You Would Not Believe What I'm Not Showing You

OK, one example, but no more. I'm not that sick.

This is YMCA. 'nough said?

Because I'm A Hit Whore

I think I need to mention Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin in each post because their names draw people to my site.

Interestingly enough, Jesus does not.

File Under: No Shit

You Might Be Surprised At What I Find

Hey, is this eclectic or not?

Because Bloglines Is Down, We Shall Get Very Eclectic

Sorry, Blogger Is Now Working, But Bloglines Is Not

That means I can't check my usual sources for info. I'll be back in action ASAP (As Soon As Possible)

Ladies And Gentlemen - Ann Coulter

The 15 most stunning quotes from the crazy-ass-shrew.

Oops. Wrong shrew. Let's try again.

Well, it is a shrew, but still not very crazy-ass so its probably not right. One more try.

Maybe this is it. Is it Coulter's crazy-ass? Not sure, but the head's in the right place.

Cruise, Holmes Leave for Honeymoon

Just file under: Who gives a shit?

Must Read IMHO

By olvizi via ECHIDNE OF THE SNAKES. A snippet:
A president is a citizen with rights equal to those of the most destitute bum on the street.

Is that a grabber or what?

Mind Your Elders For They Are Wise

No comment. Just read this guy's site.

OK, a comment. Read it. You'll be glad you did.

Must Read IMHO

And feel free to join in the discussion. My take is, its up to the military to decide, but you may not think so.

(read more)

Is That The Fat Lady Singing? Nope, Henry Kissinger

If Henry doesn't think we belong in Iraq, then its pretty damn certain we don't.
Military victory is no longer possible in Iraq, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said in a television interview broadcast Sunday.

Kissinger presented a bleak vision of Iraq, saying the U.S. government must enter into dialogue with Iraq's regional neighbors — including Iran — if progress is to be made in the region.

"If you mean by 'military victory' an Iraqi government that can be established and whose writ runs across the whole country, that gets the civil war under control and sectarian violence under control in a time period that the political processes of the democracies will support, I don't believe that is possible," he told the British Broadcasting Corp.

But Kissinger, an architect of the Vietnam war who has advised President Bush about Iraq, warned against a rapid withdrawal of coalition troops, saying it could destabilize Iraq's neighbors and cause a long-lasting conflict.

"A dramatic collapse of Iraq — whatever we think about how the situation was created — would have disastrous consequences for which we would pay for many years and which would bring us back, one way or another, into the region," he said.

Kissinger, whose views have been sought by the Iraqi Study Group, led by former Secretary of State James Baker III, called for an international conference bringing together the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, Iraq's neighbors — including Iran — and regional powers like India and Pakistan to work out a way forward for the region.

He is, in this instance, right. The US has no chance of pulling off the neo-con wet dream.

And he's also right about the withdrawl in that politicians shouldn't dictate how or when it should occur outside of a very loose timeline. That's something only the military has the expertise to accomplish. They need to decide how to withdraw without losing troops and equipment, but mostly without losing troops.

(read more)

Of Course This Call Will Carry A Lot Of Weight With Bush

Syria asking for a withdrawl timetable? Should make Bush stop and think.

Sorry. That was a very bad joke.
Syria's foreign minister called Sunday for a timetable for the withdrawal of American forces to help end Iraq's sectarian bloodbath, in a groundbreaking diplomatic mission to Iraq that comes amid increasing calls for the U.S. to seek cooperation from Syria and Iran. At least 112 people were killed nationwide, following a week that had already seen hundreds of deaths.

Walid Moallem, the highest level Syrian official to visit since the 2003 ouster of
Saddam Hussein, denounced terrorism in Iraq even as Washington mulled its own overture to Damascus for help in ending Iraq's violence.

Syria and Iraq share a long and porous desert border and both Baghdad and Washington have accused Damascus of not doing enough to stop the flow of foreign Arab fighters.

Moallem spoke at the end of a day that saw suspected Sunni Muslim bombers kill at least 33 Shiites and the kidnapping of a deputy health minister — believed the senior-most government official abducted in Iraq. Many Sunni attackers are believed to have infiltrated from Syria.

(read more)

A Military Draft Is Inevitable, But The Dems Will Be Blamed If We Have One

We all knew this was coming. There just isn't enough cannon fodder to keep feeding the war machine.
Americans would have to sign up for a new military draft after turning 18 under a bill the incoming chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee says he will introduce next year.

Rep. Charles Rangel (news, bio, voting record), D-N.Y., said Sunday he sees his idea as a way to deter politicians from launching wars.

"There's no question in my mind that this president and this administration would never have invaded Iraq, especially on the flimsy evidence that was presented to the Congress, if indeed we had a draft and members of Congress and the administration thought that their kids from their communities would be placed in harm's way," Rangel said.

Rangel, a veteran of the Korean War who has unsuccessfully sponsored legislation on conscription in the past, has said the all-volunteer military disproportionately puts the burden of war on minorities and lower-income families.

Rangel said he will propose a measure early next year. While he said he is serious about the proposal, there is little evident support among the public or lawmakers for it.

And he's right. If Jenna and not Jenna were at risk, the Iraq invasion might not have happened. Well, that is unless Bush could find a way to get them into the National Guard where they were free to party instead of participate.

Oh yeah, the story is a tad misleading.
Americans would have to sign up for a new military draft after turning 18...

It's already required that all persons turning 18 register for the draft. They just aren't conscripted right now.

(read more)

Yes I Have To Look Up The Spelling Of Most Words

Wen you lern to reed foneticly, it's a purty gud aproach for reeding, but not for riting. I can, litraly, think of 2-5 wayz to spell most werds.

That background covered, I had to look up "politician". Have you? Emphasis mine.

One entry found for politician.
Main Entry: pol·i·ti·cian
Pronunciation: "pä-l&-'ti-sh&n
Function: noun
1 : a person experienced in the art or science of government; especially : one actively engaged in conducting the business of a government
2 a : a person engaged in party politics as a profession b : a person primarily interested in political office for selfish or other narrow usually short-sighted reasons

Experienced hardly defines any of the people working for Bush. So that leaves us with selfish, short-sighted people. Hmmm. Seems to fit the bill quite well dontcha think?

Moderate Policy Will Defeat Extremists

What the hell? You mean invasion, bombing and killing thousands wasn't the best approach? Duh!
British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Sunday that brokering an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal would help diminish the anger fueling Islamic militants in places outside the Middle East, such as Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Blair, speaking after a meeting with Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf, said more aid, moderate Islamic role models and a lasting resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were key to defeating Islamic extremism.

"This global extremism is an ideology that exploits grievances. So what we have to do is at the same time as we are taking on the ideology, we have to take away those elements of grievance," he said.

My gawd these politicians are total loons.

(read more)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

If This Is Tuesday, It Must Be Vietnam. May We Move On Now?

I really can't express my distain for this asshole:
President Bush likes speed golf and speed tourism — this is the man who did the treasures of Red Square in less than 20 minutes — but here in the lake-studded capital of a nation desperately eager to connect with America, he set a record.

Laura Bush saw the Temple of Literature with other leaders’ spouses.

On Saturday, Mr. Bush emerged from his hotel for only one nonofficial event, a 15-minute visit to the Joint P.O.W./M.I.A. Accounting Command, which searches for the remains of the 1,800 Americans still listed as missing in the Vietnam War.

There were almost no Vietnamese present, just a series of tables displaying photographs of the group’s painstaking work, and helmets, shoes and replicas of bones recovered by the 425 members of the command. He asked a few questions and then sped off in his motorcade.

On Sunday morning, Mr. Bush attended an ecumenical church service in an old French-built Catholic basilica to underscore the need for greater religious freedom.

The idiot was visiting a site of huge historical significance and he could spare a Goddam 15 minutes? What a fucking insult to all of US.

(read more)

Kenya and Iraq. Not A Good News Day

Many are dying in Kenya because of flooding. When if floods in Kenya, crocodiles enter the mix:
The United Nations and aid groups have launched a massive humanitarian operation in Kenya to assist more than 150,000 people hit by killer floods caused by unusually heavy seasonal rains.

Neighbouring Somalia, which is on the brink of war with the country's weak government under threat from a powerful Islamist movement, appealed for emergency international aid to help 1.5 million people affected by flooding.

Residents of flood-hit areas of Somalia reported that nine people had been devoured by crocodiles unleashed by raging waters, bringing the death toll from three weeks of flooding to at least 52.

In Kenya, authorities said the death toll had risen to at least 28 with the drowning of five more people in the east, badly hit along with the country's northern and coastal areas.

Then there's the continuing horror of Iraq:
At least 47 people have died in attacks across Iraq, including a suicide car bombing that killed nearly two dozen building workers, ahead of the first visit by a Syrian foreign minister since the toppling of Saddam Hussein in 2003.

A suicide car bomber posing as a contractor looking for workers blew himself up among a crowd of labourers Sunday in the mainly Shiite town of Hilla south of Baghdad, killing at least 22 people.

In another attack on labourers, gunmen killed eight farm workers travelling in a minibus near a restive city northeast of Baghdad, police said, while a tripe car bombing at a Baghdad bus station left another 10 dead.

Elsewhere in Iraq seven others were killed.

(read more on Iraq) That is, if you have the stomach for it.

I'll say it again although it won't matter.

ONE death is a tragedy. And one death would be fantastic news from Iraq.