Saturday, September 08, 2007

Political soldiers


I've never been in the military so I need assistance.

At what rank, if its definitive, does a soldier turn from a soldier into a politician?

I know generals are all politicians, but is a sergeant? Corporal? Lieutenant? Major?

OMFG! Perfect. Via watertiger.



BTW, does someone think Bush's best side is the right side of his face?

CLUE:
He's ugly from any angle, K?

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Bush on Iraq: 'We're kicking ass'




First off is that any way for a world leader to speak (note emphasis)? Some people object to my profanity and I'm sure many more object to the leader of the free world (hahaha) using it.

And what reality does Bush live in? This is beyond being inside a bubble.
When President Bush made a surprise visit to Iraq last weekend, he made clear he was pleased with what he saw.

"The security situation is changing," Bush told reporters during the visit. "There's more work to be done. But reconciliation is taking place."

But according to the Sydney Morning Herald of Australia, the president gave a more-to-the-point assessment to Australia Deputy Prime Minister Mark Vaile.

"We're kicking ass," Bush said to Vaile Tuesday, according the Herald, after the deputy prime minister inquired about his trip to Iraq.

Folks, this ain't no fucking football game. Kicking ass means killing. From the numbers I've seen, the visitors are hardly losing. Those are horrid pics, but that was the point. Wanna see someone you love in a pic like that? Just asking.

Via CNN.

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Must read IMHO

Are you getting tired of all the secretiveness, obfuscation, ploys of this Bush administration? Well I fucking am.

In case you wanted to fact check Petraeus’s report to Bush, compare it to his testimony before Congress, or do a comparison between what Petraeus tells Bush and what the White House writes, forget about it:

A senior military officer said there will be no written presentation to the president on security and stability in Iraq. “There is no report. It is an assessment provided by them by testimony,” the officer said.

The only hard copy will be Gen. Petraeus’ opening statement to Congress, scheduled for Monday, along with any charts he will use in explaining the results of the troop surge in Baghdad over the past several months.

Heaven forbid we have WRITTEN RECORDS.

Via Balloon Juice.

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Why is life so unfair?

Jesus H Christ with time on his hands.

I wait and wait and wait for everything to settle down so I can get in and out of the internets tubes quicker and it happens.

BUT now I have other obligations which make it impossible to post. ARGHHH!!1!!

I'll slip in a couple and then I'm gone for a day or so.

So play with yourselves. Ooops. I didn't mean that. Play amongst yourselves.

I'll return ASAP.

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Friday, September 07, 2007

Smörgåsbord


I'm still having problems (see last post) and figure it'll take a couple days to sort out. In addition to my other problems, now Bloglines is loading slowly and anything with a pic is nearly impossible. Videos, Hahaha.

The following things I've been able to s.l.o.w.l.y glean from the internets tubes and I can wait long enough for one post. Trust me, this isn't my usual "being lazy" stuff.

Always start with a joke, right?
A young female came to the ER with lower abdominal pain. During the exam and questioning the female denied being sexually active. The doctor gave her a pregnancy test anyway and it came back positive. The doctor went back to the young female's room.
Doctor: "The results of your pregnancy test came back positive. Are you sure you're not sexually active?"
Patient: "Sexually active? No, sir, I just lay there."
Doctor: "I see. Well, do you know who the father is?"
Patient: "No. Who?"

I'm shocked this wasn't identified as a blond joke.

Via Jonco.

Now what is interesting about this item? Is it safety on the roads? Lost US jobs? Brown people allowed to drive? Possible illegals hiding in trucks? Competition?
Mexican trucks granted authority to operate in US

(Corrects second paragraph to show Nuevo Leon is a Mexican state) (Recasts with U.S. approves program, authorizes Mexican firm to begin service)

By John Crawley

WASHINGTON, Sept 6 (Reuters) - The Bush administration granted authority late on Thursday for long haul Mexican trucks to operate anywhere in the United States, launching a one-year pilot program that some members of Congress, labor and consumer groups assert shortchanges safety.

Transportation Department officials said they had authorized the first Mexican trucking company, Transportes Olympic of the state of Nuevo Leon in northern Mexico, to begin operations. Its trucks could roll within days. Mexico has granted reciprocal authority to Stagecoach Cartage and Distribution of El Paso.

The interesting part is none of the items I asked you about. Its this.
Almost half of the articles published by daily newspapers in the US contain one or more factual errors, and less than two per cent end up being corrected.

The findings are from a forthcoming research paper by Scott R Maier, an associate professor at the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication. The findings challenge how well journalism’s “corrections box” sets the record straight or serves as a safety valve for the venting of frustrations by wronged news sources.

The study’s central finding is sobering: 98 per cent of the 1,220 factual newspapers errors examined went uncorrected. The correction rate was uniformly low for each of the 10 newspapers studied, with none correcting even 5 per cent of the mistakes identified by news sources. While it is not plausible or arguably even desirable for every newspaper error to be detected and corrected, Maier noted, the study shows that the corrections box represents the “tip of the iceberg” of mistakes made in a newspaper, therefore providing only a limited mechanism for setting the record straight.


Being first is important here. If we're inaccurate, or missed something, we corret ourselves.

Perhaps other bloggers don't care, but my mistakes, if I know of them, are always corrected with my limited intelligence and resources. Well, not typos because I miss many of those.

I want my readers to know I'm doing the best job possible for me at accurately presenting what's out there.

Via Mathaba.



Via Jonco.

Maybe this's my problem, typing too fast. Hahaha.


Via Jonco.

Of course it's entirely possible my updating my keyboard is adding to my misery.



More info on the B-52s carrying nukes.

Check out Larry's post. It' alarming and probably true. God help you all.

Barksdale Air Force Base is being used as a jumping off point for Middle East operations. Gee, why would we want cruise missile nukes at Barksdale Air Force Base. Can’t imagine we would need to use them in Iraq. Why would we want to preposition nuclear weapons at a base conducting Middle East operations?

His final point was to observe that someone on the inside obviously leaked the info that the planes were carrying nukes. A B-52 landing at Barksdale is a non-event. A B-52 landing with nukes. That is something else.

Via No Quarter.

One final missive.

The internets tubes and media are all abuzz about Osama bin Laden. He's gonna attack US before 9/11.

His WMD is a fucking video tape.

You read that right. He's gonna attack US with a video. Hell, Britney, Madonna and Black Eyed Peas have already done that and we survived.

Fear, always fear,Fear, always fear,Fear, always fear,Fear, always fear,Fear, always fear,Fear, always fear,Fear, always fear,Fear, always fear,Fear, always fear,Fear, always fear,Fear, always fear,Fear, always fear.

"People get the government they deserve,"

-- Thomas Jefferson
Third President of US (1801-1809)


My Question to you dear US reader, do you sincerely believe you deserve the fucking idiot you have for a president? I know I don't.

Truth is, I don't think anyone on this earth deserves this sack of shit. But it just be me.

I'm gonna steal this from Pensito Review. Quote du Jour. Its just so fucking elegant.

Arghhhh!!!1!!

I click on websites with new entries and Bloglines shows me nothing, nada, zip.

I'll retire to the sidelines for a few more hours and run diagnostics.

Have a nice life.

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Sorry, but I'm taking a break


Je me suis projeté ce soir
No idea what that says.
Got a "D" in French.
But it seems kewl.


Between the age of this fucking computer, its small memory size, my internets tubes connection and blogger, I might die in the time it takes to load a page right now.

I give up. Will be back in a few hours. Most of my life's consumed by this blog. It ain't getting all of it.

And just when my visitor count was climbing...Waaaaaa! Tissue please.

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We should take what we can get



Folks, here is my take on all this smoke and mirrors, dog and pony show.

I don't fucking care how much Bush and Petraeus lie to us as long as some of the troops are withdrawn.

Yeah, Iraq is doing fine, Maliki is in charge, the Iraqi police and military have control, everyone respects the law and new constitution, yada, yada, yada.

I'll be patient while you laugh until it hurts. Please do return.

Bush, we aren't complete idiots (some parts are missing), but we know your lies and don't believe you for a minute, but if those lies allow you to save face and deliver our objective to save some American troops' lives. That's, as they say, goodness.
Petraeus said that while it is still “very dangerous” in Iraq and the insurgents remain “capable” of carrying out what he called barbaric attacks, he believes that this summer the surge has produced an “initiative, in general, against al Qaeda, which is a change, and that is an important change.

“Eight of the past 11 weeks have seen the number of incidents, the number of attacks, come down, and to the point that they reached a level that’s about the lowest in well over a year, I think,” he said. “Civilian casualties [are] still certainly too high. But again, pretty substantial progress, and certainly, trending very much in the right direction.”

He specifically points to the progress in al Anbar Province, which was once an al Qaeda hotbed.

And this bullshit from Bush:
President Bush on Monday made a surprise visit to Iraq for meetings with his commanders and senior Iraqi officials, raising the possibility that some U.S. soldiers could soon begin to withdraw from Iraq if security gains in recent months continued.

Bush's visit to Iraq - his third - was a dramatic move with a clear political goal: to set the tone for a series of upcoming hearings in Congress. The hearings are expected to be critical of the administration's strategy, but Bush tried to pre-empt opponents' pressure for a withdrawal by hailing what he called recent successes in Iraq and by contending that only making Iraq stable would allow U.S. forces to pull back.

This's what we call reality. If you lie to us and still give us what we want we won't piss on you. Got it?

Oh yeah, watch for Petraeus to mention al Anbar province often. It is one of the few successes in Iraq, but not because of the SURGE™. That was Iraq's doing. There are several accounts of this. Here is one:
THE ANBAR AWAKENING....Josh Patashnik has other problems with National Review's latest editorial about Iraq, but it's this passage that makes me want to bang my head against the wall:

The fact is that the surge is President Bush's policy, and one that he implemented over the vociferous opposition of Democrats who thought the best strategy against al Qaeda in Iraq was to begin to leave. Now the surge has helped turn Sunni tribes against al Qaeda, advancing the goal that nearly everyone in the U.S. notionally shares of routing the terror group from Iraq.

Say it slowly: This. Is. A. Lie. The Sunni tribes began turning against AQI nearly a year ago. They did it on their own, not as part of any American military plan. They did it before the surge started. They did it before Gen. Petraeus was even a gleam in George Bush's eye.

This is the Bush administration. They flat out lie and you believe them. Get real. Iraq is going to have to resurrect itself after the coalition forces leave. Most likely a strong person like Saddam will emerge and all will be hearts and flowers except for the slight problem of ethnic cleansing which is just so so bad.

Have I mentioned lately how much I hate Bush? Consider it done.

Via Mercury News

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A Preview of General Petraeus' DC Dog-and-Pony Show


I rarely do this. But sometimes there is info out there you must see without the hassle of clicking. Aren't we be getting lazy?

This is the whole article. I'll include a link so you can visit this fine site.

You're welcome.

On September 10 and 11, army counterinsurgency guru David Petraeus and Ryan Crocker, the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, will deliver a much-anticipated report to Congress on the status of the occupation. The White House is exerting a heavy hand in shaping the report, so it will be heavy with spin.

Expect the decline in violence in parts of Anbar Province to provide a hook on which Petraeus and Crocker will hang the claim that the troop escalation begun in February is working. As the AP notes, even that modest good news had little to do with the troop surge: "In truth, the progress in Anbar was initiated by the Iraqis themselves, a point [Defense Secretary Robert] Gates himself made, saying the Sunni tribes decided to fight and retake control from al-Qaida many months before Bush decided to send an extra 4,000 Marines to Anbar as part of his troop buildup."

The reality of where we are in Iraq is this:

* The civilian death toll in Iraq has climbed throughout the surge, according to Iraqi government statistics obtained by Reuters (the government itself stopped releasing official data). According to Agence France Presse, the figures for July represented a 30% increase over the month before.
* Similarly, US military deaths have been significantly higher since the start of the surge than in 2006, despite the Orwellian claims that the opposite is true.
* The Iraqi government continues to teeter on the brink of collapse, with PM Nouri al-Maliki facing a crisis of legitimacy at home for doing Washington's bidding and criticism from Washington for being unable to build a consensus in Iraq for doing Washington's bidding.
* Talk of a coup, perhaps led by former Interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, an erstwhile Baathist thug and alleged CIA operative who might have gone on a rampage and murdered a half dozen prisoners during his last brief tenure leading Iraq, continues to swirl around Baghdad and the luxury hotels of Amman and London where most of Iraq's elites are holed up. Allawi recently retained the high-power DC lobbying firm Barbour, Griffiths and Rogers for $300,000 to prepare the ground in Congress and among the media for a "palace coup."
* Fewer than one in five Iraqis have confidence in US and UK occupation forces, compared with six in ten who have confidence in the Iraqi army and two out of three who have confidence in the Iraqi police. Three out of four say coalition forces have done "quite a bad job" or "a very bad job" carrying out "their responsibilities in Iraq"; Seven out of ten Iraqis say "the presence of US forces in Iraq is making security worse" in Iraq and seven out of ten Iraqis "somewhat" or "strongly" oppose the "presence of coalition forces in Iraq" (PDF)
* Fraud is rampant within both the occupying coalition --- where reports of a massive American bribery network represent just the latest in a series of mini-scandals that's resulted in the Iraqi government's refusal to accept most reconstruction projects -- and in most Iraqi ministries.

The University of Michigan Middle East scholar Juan Cole summed up the situation well, calling it a debate over a country that's looking more like "Night of the Living Dead" than a nascent democratic state:

People lack potable water, cholera has broken out even in the good areas, a third of people are hungry, a doubling of the internally displaced to at least 1.1 million, and a million pilgrims dispersed just this week by militia infighting in a supposedly safe all-Shiite area. The government has all but collapsed, with even the formerly cooperative sections of the Sunni Arab political class withdrawing in a snit (much less more Sunni Arabs being brought in from the cold). The parliament hasn't actually passed any legislation to speak of and often cannot get a quorum. Corruption is endemic. The weapons we give the Iraqi army are often sold off to the insurgency. Some of our development aid goes to them, too.

Iraqis still lack regular electricity, face a public health crisis and have seen 40 percent of their middle class flee the country as refugees.

Next week, we'll likely get a very different perspective. Stay tuned.

Obviously the GAO report is pure shit. Just ask Bush and Petraeus. Everyone else is lying to you.

Complete GAO report (sorry, but its PDF).

Truth is, I'll trust the GAO over the Bush administration on any given issue.

Via alterNet.

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Petraeus: Iraq progress is ‘almost breathtaking.’

I'm so hahaha amazed hahaha by this I can't, exuse me, but hahaha. Oh my! My stomach hurts so bad. Is he trying to become a professional comedian?

How can so many independent people see bloodshed, bombings, IEDs, horror, death counts and Patraeus sees breathtaking success?

Am I so fucking gone I just don't understand?

OK, don't answer that. I have some dignity left.
In an interview with CNN this morning, Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. military commander in Iraq, declared that “what is taking place in Anbar is almost breathtaking.” “Clearly there is still work to be done,” he added.

Sorry. Hahahahahahahahaha!!!1!!

I will say this, I've not been in the military, but come almost as close as possible without joining. Military big wigs don't use "breathtaking" unless they've had too much to drink and are after someone of the opposite sex. That is not a word they would normally even think of. Its a political word. Its intended to make you feel great.

Just watch. That word's gonna pop up again and again because its just too fucking good to abandon.

Via Think Progress.

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Feeling secure? Well don't #20


An Australian B-52 dropping dumb bombs
(they look like missiles to me)


This is the whole story as offered by The Seattle Times. It was really too short to excerpt. But there are some other short stories at the link, so you may want to go there.

This mistake is really serious and the procedures need to be "fool proofed".
A B-52 bomber mistakenly loaded with five nuclear warheads flew from Minot Air Force Base, N.D., to Barksdale Air Force Base, La., on Aug. 30, resulting in an Air Force-wide investigation, three officers told the Military Times on condition of anonymity.

The B-52 was loaded with advanced cruise missiles (ACMs), part of a Defense Department effort to decommission 400 ACMs. But the nuclear warheads should have been removed before being transported to Barksdale, the officers said. The missiles were mounted onto the pylons of the bomber's wings.

ACMs carry a warhead with a yield of 5 to 150 kilotons and are designed for delivery by B-52 strategic bombers.

Air Force spokesman Lt. Col. Ed Thomas said the transfer was safely conducted and the weapons were in Air Force custody and control at all times.

Air Force officials wouldn't specify whether nuclear weapons were involved, in accord with policy, Thomas said.

Yes I do realize it was highly unlikely one of the ACMs could have come loose and fallen, but it was a possibility. A human attached them to the pylons.

Via Seattle Times.

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Bush Restricting Travel Rights of over 100,000 American Citizens


Airport security isn't always fun and games. This is especially so for some journalists, academics, activists, and politicians not in favor with the Bush administration.
The freedom to travel of more than 100,000 Americans placed on “watch” and “no fly” lists is being restricted by the Bush-Cheney regime.

Citizens who have done no more than criticize the president are being banned from airline flights, harassed at airports’, strip searched, roughed up and even imprisoned, feminist author and political activist Naomi Wolf reports in her new book, “The End of America.”(Chelsea Green Publishing)

“Making it more difficult for people out of favor with the state to travel back and forth across borders is a classic part of the fascist playbook,” Wolf says. She noticed starting in 2002 that “almost every time I sought to board a domestic airline flight, I was called aside by the Transportation Security Administration(TSA) and given a more thorough search.”

During one preboarding search, a TSA agent told her “You’re on the list” and Wolf learned it is not a list of suspected terrorists but of journalists, academics, activists, and politicians “who have criticized the White House.”

Via Mathaba.

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U.S. farmers go where workers are: Mexico

There isn't really much to add to the original story except to point out something the story doesn't. The wages he's paying are being spent in Mexico whereas before most were sent to Mexico, but some were spent in California
Steve Scaroni, a farmer from California, looked across a luxuriant field of lettuce here in central Mexico and liked what he saw: full-strength crews of Mexican farm workers with no immigration problems.

Farming since he was a teenager, Scaroni, 50, built a $50 million business growing lettuce and broccoli in California's Imperial Valley, relying on the hands of immigrant workers, most of them Mexicans and many probably in the United States illegally.

But early last year he began shifting part of his operation to rented fields here. Now, about 500 Mexicans tend his crops in Mexico, where they run no risk of deportation.

"I'm as American red-blood as it gets," Scaroni said, "but I'm tired of fighting the fight on the immigration issue."

...

While there are benefits for Mexico, as American farmers bring the latest technology and techniques to the rich soil of its northern regions, economists say that thousands of middle-class jobs supporting agriculture are being lost in the United States. Some lawmakers in the United States also point to security risks when food for Americans is increasingly produced in foreign countries.

...

Scaroni expects recover his start-up costs because of the lower wages he pays farm workers here, $11 a day as opposed to about $9 an hour in California, although Mexican workers are less productive in their own country, he said.

Obviously labor is cheaper in Mexico, but at peak season Scaroni employs 5,000 workers who spend that $55,000 in daily pay in Mexico.

Oh yeah, everybody is less productive in Mexico because of the heat.

Via International Herald Tribue.

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I can't argue with this


Via Jonco.

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Quote of the day

"We don’t need a third party in this country, we need a second one"

-- Chuck Dupree
Blogger
Delos?

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"Mission Accomplished" at Nahr el-Bared?

File under horrendous reality. Like I've said before, Christopher is there.

Do you wanna live like this? Just asking.
NAHR EL-BARED, Lebanon — Wassim al-Hagehussein was worried. The Lebanese soldier was twitchy, suspicious as he stalked through the dark and powerless grocery store where Wassim worked. It was a day after Prime Minister Fuad Siniora had declared an end to the war over the Palestinian camp Nahr el-Bared, during which fanatical jihadists had fought off an Army onslaught for 106 days. And now, today, the fighting had started up again and the grocery store was in the crossfire. A company of soldiers was pinned down by an unknown number of Fatah al-Islam fugitive fighters.

“Are there any Palestinians in here?” the soldier asked the owner, Rabieh al-Masri, who was a boss and a friend to Wassim. The soldiers had just arrested another Palestinian in front of the store and taken him in for questioning.

Al-Masri deliberately didn’t look at Wassim. “No,” he said. “There are no Palestinians here.”

He was lying. Wassim was a Palestinian from Nahr el-Bared.

Via Christopher.

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

China rejects U.S. charge it hacked Pentagon


I posted about these Chinese hackers who allegedly got into the Pentagon's computers when the story first showed up on the news services. Now its time to give China a chance to tell their side of the story.
China on Tuesday rejected a report that hackers controlled by its military had successfully entered a Pentagon network, calling the claim a product of "Cold War" thinking.

Via Reuters.

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Exploring the 'inherent contempt' option

This a story about a very bizarre legislative power. Its one that won't be used, but it has been used in the past.

But what I found interesting is the areas I've emphasized. Congress is not gonna get what it wants and, even if they did, bush has already burned the bridges Congress has to cross.
Congressional Democrats searching for legal ways to force President Bush’s senior advisers to testify before their committees have few good options and one really odd one.

“The sergeant at arms could stick [former White House counsel] Harriet Miers in the basement, lock her up and wait until she’s ready to talk," said University of Missouri—Columbia law professor Frank Bowman, describing the little-known legislative power called “inherent contempt.”

The scenario, while unlikely, is technically legal, according to law professors. Until about 70 years ago, imprisonment was one way Congress compelled testimony from a reticent witness. But don’t expect to see Miers, former political adviser Karl Rove or any other former Bush aides locked up in the Capitol jail anytime soon. The jail was razed in 1929, so they’d have to use a makeshift slammer. No one — not even the most vocal administration critic — is likely to volunteer an office for a prison.

...

The Bush administration has instructed Justice Department attorneys to refuse to prosecute any congressional contempt charges.

...

The Senate Judiciary Committee is threatening its own citation. “Time is up,” Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said at an August press conference. “Right now there’s no question they’re in contempt of a valid order of the Congress.”

Criminal contempt of Congress carries a punishment of up to one year in prison and $100,000 in fines.

Under federal law, once a contempt citation is passed by the House or Senate, it’s submitted to the District of Columbia U.S. attorney for prosecution before a grand jury.

That’s where it would likely end. In July, the White House barred D.C. U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Taylor from pursuing the case.
As a presidential appointee, Taylor cannot undermine the White House’s assertion of executive privilege, administration lawyers argue.

Bush can't control Congress, but his people can sure find dirty little ways to thwart it.

Via Politico.

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Envoy’s Letters Counter Bush on Plan for Iraq


L Paul Bremer


Now who in the world would ever suspect Bush of lying? OK, you can all put your hands down. We got the message.
A previously undisclosed exchange of letters shows that President Bush was told in advance by his top Iraq envoy in May 2003 of a plan to “dissolve Saddam’s military and intelligence structures,” a plan that the envoy, L. Paul Bremer, said referred to dismantling the Iraqi Army.

Mr. Bremer provided the letters to The New York Times on Monday after reading that Mr. Bush was quoted in a new book as saying that American policy had been “to keep the army intact” but that it “didn’t happen.”

The dismantling of the Iraqi Army in the aftermath of the American invasion is now widely regarded as a mistake that stoked rebellion among hundreds of thousands of former Iraqi soldiers and made it more difficult to reduce sectarian bloodshed and attacks by insurgents. In releasing the letters, Mr. Bremer said he wanted to refute the suggestion in Mr. Bush’s comment that Mr. Bremer had acted to disband the army without the knowledge and concurrence of the White House.

This is just the latest example of Bush's stupidity. He lied even though there was indisputable evidence available proving he was lying.

Bremers' dismantling of the Iraqi Army was a colossal blunder, but he did run it past the boss, who gave his approval, before doing it.

Via New York Times.

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Documents Show Soldiers Disregard Rules

Obviously the US military has some work to do on its regulations.
Newly released documents regarding crimes committed by U.S. soldiers against civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan detail a troubling pattern of troops failing to understand and follow the rules that govern interrogations and deadly actions.

The documents, released Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union ahead a lawsuit, total nearly 10,000 pages of courts-martial summaries, transcripts and military investigative reports about 22 incidents. They show repeated examples of soldiers believing they were within the law when they killed local citizens.

The killings include the drowning of a man soldiers pushed from a bridge into the Tigris River as punishment for breaking curfew, and the suffocation during interrogation of a former Iraqi general believed to be helping insurgents.

How anyone could think drowning a man in a river was legal is anyone's guess.

Via Guardian.

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Iran: The Next Quagmire

Some on the internets tubes are doubting this story, but check out these five details.

1: Air strikes
2: 1,200 targets
3: Pentagon plan
4: Destroy Iran's military
5: Three days
With a series of airstrikes aimed at 1,200 targets, the Pentagon reportedly has plans to destroy Iran's military capability in three days.

I've noticed every story, regardless of source, reiterates these five details. The words around the details change, but not the details themselves.

So this a very disciplined urban legend* or true.

Via AlterNet.

* urban legend
–noun
a modern story of obscure origin and with little or no supporting evidence that spreads spontaneously in varying forms and often has elements of humor, moralizing, or horror. (source)

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State sponsors of terrorism


This post over at Left I on the News reminded me of an item I've meant to offer.

No, they aren't a "state", but why in the fucking hell is the Taleban not on a State Department list of terrorist organizations?

Even the UN and EU recognize the Taleban as such.

I can find nothing stating the US classifies the Taleban as terrorists.

This shit doesn't count? Attack,attack,attack,attack, attack, attack, attack, attack, attack...

Folks, spell it "Taliban attack" and you get more than two million hits in Google® search. Other variations such as "Taleban", "kill", "behead", "bomb" would probably produce more.

They are fucking terrorists, but NoKo was is worse? Yeah, right.

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Must read IMHO


This is sooooo good. Such incisive skewering of Bush and the US education system. Could I have done better I would, but I can't, so read Dennis.

He's also right about Lauren Caitlin. Cut her some slack.

Side note: In my image search, it seems most Ms Teen USA winners are blond. Coinkydink?

Via Dennis Perrin.

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Just a reminder

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Weak kneed and worry free


Just what is it with Pelosi and Feinstein? Are they completely worthless? I'm beginning to think so.
Democrats have promised to keep up the investigation [of Gonzales] and will likely face further media wrath should they try to keep that promise. Considering Democratic cringing in the face of previous threats of name-calling, this promise will likely go unfulfilled.
-- me

Chuck Schumer and Dianne Feinstein told myself [me? - ed] and Jonathan Weisman in separate interviews Monday that if Bush picks a consensus AG, that the spirit and drive of the Dem investigations into the U.S. attorney firings likely would dissipate.
-- Paul Kane

We want impeachments and Pelosi "takes impeachment off the table". Now Feinstein is shrinking from investigating Gonzales.

What the fuck is going on here? We the People want action and the fucking Dems are folding. NO!!!1!! Do what you were elected to do you God damn mice.

Represent We the People. It isn't your call on Gonzales regardless who replaces him. He belongs behind bars. Put him there.

Via theBhc.

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Feeling secure? Well don't #19


This is so fucking funny I may hurt myself laughing.

We be secret. Hahaha.
The Chinese military hacked into a Pentagon computer network in June in the most successful cyber attack on the US defence department, say American ­officials.

The Pentagon acknowledged shutting down part of a computer system serving the office of Robert Gates, defence secretary, but declined to say who it believed was behind the attack.

Current and former officials have told the Financial Times an internal investigation has revealed that the incursion came from the People’s Liberation Army.

One senior US official said the Pentagon had pinpointed the exact origins of the attack. Another person familiar with the event said there was a “very high level of confidence...trending towards total certainty” that the PLA was responsible. The defence ministry in Beijing declined to comment on Monday.

These are the adults in charge of your intelligence community. Duh!

I'm beginning to think everyone with private information is loony and not to be trusted.

Via Financial Times.

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Must read IMHO


Jesus H Christ with time on his hands, but this is coming.
Scott Horton at Harper’s makes an excellent point with respect to the withdrawal of the British military from Basra Palace.

Namely, that Gordon Brown is getting his troops out of the way in case the generals in Washington are crazy enough to obey an obviously illegal and stupid order to attack Iran. And to send a signal to Washington that he will not support such an attack in any way.

Personally I don’t think the Joint Chiefs are that dumb; but if they were my troops I’d be moving them out of the way too, because you never know. There’s usually someone in every army crazy enough to lead the Charge of the Light Brigade.

I know I'd be getting my ass out of Dodge City about now.

Via Bad Attitudes.

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Monday, September 03, 2007

A little philosophy from SPIIDERWEB™

Jesus H Christ eating cheese. I spelled Philosophy correctly. I should. It was one of my majors at university. Hahaha.

LOVE!

Does it exist? Possibly, but I seriously doubt it. If you disagree, feel free to comment.

Most people marry/link because the other can provide something they need. It may be money, sex, companionship, protection, security (in many aspects), but love ain't got nothin' to do with it.

Have you gotten weak kneed over someone? K. Good for ya. You're in the minority as I see it.

I love many people. But its more trust, support, honesty, respect, fascination, intrigue, comfort than it is love.

OK, write me off as cynical. I plead gulty.

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Bush Makes Surprise Iraq Visit



NO fucking comment. Bush, troops, speechifying, we're winning in Iraq, Bush, troops, speechifying, we're winning in Iraq, Bush, troops, speechifying, we're winning in Iraq, Bush, troops, speechifying, we're winning in Iraq, Bush, troops, speechifying, we're winning in Iraq,... Ad nauseum.
President Bush made a surprise visit to Iraq this morning.

President Bush made a surprise visit to Iraq on Monday, using the war zone as a backdrop to argue his case that the buildup of U.S. troops is helping stabilizing the nation. The president secretly flew 11 hours to Iraq as a showdown nears with Congress over whether his decision in January to order 30,000 more U.S. troops to Iraq is working.

All politicians do this, but never to the extent this idiot does. He may speak outside military locations, ah but, it is always in front of GOP/Bush supporters and anyone who wants to protest Bush is shuttled off to a "free speech zone" so no one can see them.

From American Heritage Dictionary: free speech n. The right to express any opinion in public without censorship or without the restraint by the government

Is this the fucking US you want? Jesus H Christ taking test exams. Wake up fools. Bush may very well destroy everything you value and your country. Stop him and Cheney now. Put down the beer, turn off the TV and ACT. If you don't know you're being fucked, you've had too much to drink.

Via Outside the Beltway.

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Terror rules for chicken farmers


Virgil Shockley demonstrated how hard it would be to
move, let alone steal, one of the 500-gallon propane
tanks on his chicken farm in Maryland. The Department
of Homeland Security has proposed regulations to
safeguard such tanks. (nikki kahn/washington post)


In 28 years of raising chickens, Virgil Shockley has had his share of worries, from bird disease to pollution. But nothing prepared him for the latest concern sweeping the poultry industry: Local farms could be deemed terrorist targets by the US government.

"Out here?" Shockley exclaimed, gesturing across a rutted dirt road from his home on Maryland's Eastern Shore, toward six long metal sheds filled with birds.

But nestled in the grass between his sheds are rows of large propane tanks, used to heat the chicken houses. They fall under regulations recently proposed by the Department of Homeland Security for the chemical industry. Like many others in the $1.6 billion Delmarva poultry industry, Shockley can't imagine that a propane tank could pose a threat in that rural area.

"If it blows, you've got barbecued chicken!" he said.

Shockley is part of an unlikely group of people who have been swept up in Homeland Security's quest to protect the chemical industry from terrorist attacks.

The proposed regulations, drafted after years of debate, would require thousands of chemical-using businesses to fill out extensive questionnaires in coming months. Homeland Security would then require the highest-risk companies to draw up detailed security plans.

Industry groups and politicians are complaining that Homeland Security is casting too wide a net. In recent months, they have bombarded the agency with concerns that the regulations could affect not only big chemical companies but also mom-and-pop dry cleaners, university labs, doctors' offices, and even camper parks.

Via Boston Globe.

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Lines at United States Borders Longer


Canada-US Border



Mexico-US Border


File under: Unintended consequences.

It seems businesses are suffering whether they be US restaurants, stores, theaters near the Canadian border or US-Mexican owned businesses in Mexico. It used to be fairly common for Canadians to cross into the US for a meal in the evening, to go shopping, or to catch a movie, but many are disinclined because they don't want the border hassle.

Of course the people in all those vehicles are suffering because of the long waits to cross the borders too.

And having been a trucker in a past life, I can guarantee you the truckers are using profanity as they wait at about the same or greater rate than I usually do.
Stepped-up inspections at the Canadian and Mexican borders have led to lines nearly as long as they were after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The longer lines of people driving into the United States from Mexico or Canada, some returning U.S. citizens, have appeared over the past month or two at several ports of entry.

The wait to cross became so long this month at Blue Water Bridge, which connects Port Huron, Mich., with Point Edward/Sarnia, Ontario, that the Ministry of Transportation in Ontario set up portable toilets along the road.

Via Associated Press.

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Book Tells Of Dissent In Bush's Inner Circle

According to a new book by Robert Draper 'ol Turdblossom didn't have quite the influence over Bush some people thought he had.

In fact, had Bush listened to Rove he could have avoided at least two of his many mistakes.

Rove was saying things Bush didn't want to hear. His counsel was ignored.

This fits with my assessment of Bush as a petulant four year old. He does what he damn well pleases. Unfortunately Bush's political "parents", the Congress critters, let him get away with such behavior.
Karl Rove told George W. Bush before the 2000 election that it was a bad idea to name Richard B. Cheney as his running mate, and Rove later raised objections to the nomination of Harriet E. Miers to the Supreme Court, according to a new book on the Bush presidency.

In "Dead Certain: The Presidency of George Bush," journalist Robert Draper writes that Rove told Bush he should not tap Cheney for the Republican ticket: "Selecting Daddy's top foreign-policy guru ran counter to message. It was worse than a safe pick -- it was needy." But Bush did not care -- he was comfortable with Cheney and "saw no harm in giving his VP unprecedented run of the place."

When Rove, President Bush's top political adviser, expressed concerns about the Miers selection, he was "shouted down" and subsequently muted his objections, Draper writes, while other advisers did not realize the outcry the nomination would cause within the president's conservative political base.

Via Washington Post.

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Iraqi civilian deaths rise in countryside

Sometimes you really do wish you're wrong, but then reality strikes.

We were warned.
Newly released statistics for Iraqi civilian deaths in August reflect the strikingly mixed security picture that has emerged from a gradual six-month increase in U.S. troop strength here: The number of deaths across the country rose by about 20 percent since July, but in the capital itself, the number dropped sharply.

The figures, provided by Iraqi Interior Ministry officials Saturday, appeared to mirror the geographic pattern of the troop increase, which is focused on Baghdad. The national rise in mortality is partly a result of the enormous death toll in a truck bomb attack in August north of the capital, outside the areas directly affected by the additional troops.

More than 500 members of a small religious minority called the Yazidis died in the Aug. 14 bombing in the north, according to figures collected by the Iraqi Red Crescent Society, which paid compensation to victims' families.

As Ryan C. Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, and Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top commander of military forces here, prepare to brief Congress on the progress of the troop increase, Iraqi politicians, recognizing what is at stake, view the new figures through the lens of how their parties hope Congress will assess the situation in Iraq.

"We were hoping the figures would go down, but what happened was expected," said Haidar al-Ebadi, who sits in parliament as a senior member of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's Dawa Party. The troop
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increase had made it harder for insurgent groups to operate in Baghdad, he said, so they had pushed outward to easier targets.

"I believe that we should not read these numbers as an assessment of the security plan," Ebadi said. "The security plan was a success so far." [emphasis mine]

Oh yeah, a success? Tell that to the surviving friends and families of those killed. What a tool.

Via Mercury News.

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Transcript: LaRouche's Sept. 1st Emergency Message to the Citizens of the USA


Jesus H Christ on pain medication, but this guy sounds more worried than I. However he does hold out hope and he's probably closer to the truth than we want to believe.

Some snippets:
This is Lyndon LaRouche speaking. We are faced with the greatest financial crisis, globally, which has been known to humanity in centuries. This goes far beyond the experience of the immediate period following the World War, such as the Great Depression of 1930s, but we can handle it.

...

Our immediate concern must be to save the United States from being destroyed, and that is really a possibility, by what is now oncoming. This is the greatest financial collapse, of a form similar to what happened in Germany in 1923, that we have known in living history of our time. In my time, as well as yours.

...

I've produced a piece of proposed conception of legislation, which will do the job. I have proposed legislation by the Federal government, which will go into emergency implementation, which must be passed within the month of September, because the month of October is enormously dangerous: We dare not risk proposing anything beyond the early part of September. The action must occur by both Houses within September, as emergency legislation, with sufficient support from both Republicans and Democrats in those bodies, to create a bill which will resist a Presidential veto, a veto-proof bill.

If we do that, we may find a depression hitting us in October, which will be far worse than that of 1929-1933. But! If we protect our banks, even if they're bankrupt, and if we protect our homeowners, so none of them are evicted because of this crisis, then, in the month of October and later, we can clean up the mess, and start the process of a general recovery. We need to mobilize to do that.

Via Mathaba.

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Safety Agency Faces Scrutiny Amid Changes


Of course I'm sure things are much improved by now. Hahaha. I break myself up.

Tainted and dangerous toys' being imported. Now how the hell could that happen?
In March 2005, the Consumer Product Safety Commission called together the nation’s top safety experts to confront an alarming statistic: 44,000 children riding all terrain vehicles were injured the previous year, nearly 150 of them fatally.

National associations of pediatricians, consumer advocates and emergency room doctors were urging the commission to ban sales of adult-size A.T.V.’s for use by children under 16 because the machines were too big and fast for young drivers to control. But when it came time to consider such a step, a staff member whose name did not appear on the meeting agenda unexpectedly weighed in.

“My own view is the situation is not necessarily deteriorating,” said John Gibson Mullan, the agency’s director of compliance and a former lawyer for the A.T.V. industry, according to a recording. The current system of warning labels and other voluntary safety standards was working, he said. “We would need to be very careful about making any changes.”

Robin L. Ingle, then the agency’s hazard statistician and A.T.V. injury expert, was dumbfounded. Her months of research did not support Mr. Mullan’s analysis. Yet she would not get to offer a rebuttal.

“He had hijacked the presentation,” Ms. Ingle said in an interview. “He was distorting the numbers in order to benefit industry and defeat the petition. It was almost like he still worked for them, not us.”

Under the Bush administration, which promised to ease what it viewed as costly rules that placed unnecessary burdens on businesses, industry-friendly officials have been installed at agencies that oversee the nation’s workplaces, food suppliers, environment and consumer goods.

Top officials at the Consumer Product Safety Commission say they have enhanced protections for the American public in recent years. But they have also blocked enforcement actions, weakened industry oversight rules and promoted voluntary compliance over safety mandates, according to interviews with current and former senior agency officials and consumer groups and a review of commission documents.

At a time when imports from China and other Asian countries surged, creating an ever greater oversight challenge, the Bush-appointed commissioners voiced few objections as the already tiny agency — now just 420 workers — was pared almost to the bone.

At the nation’s ports, the handful of agency inspectors are hard pressed to find dangerous cargo before it enters the country; instead, they rely on other federal agents, who mostly act as trademark enforcers, looking for counterfeit Nike sneakers or Duracell batteries.

I've lost track. In how many agencies has Bush placed a former lobbyist who has more loyalty to an industry than to Americans?

Via New York Times.

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Must read IMHO

One of many who saw the horrors and was silenced by those in charge. At least this person tried to do something.
Watching Act I of the faux-trial of Lt. Col. Steven Jordan last week at Fort Meade, Md., confirmed my worst suspicions. I know Jordan; I was in place for his entire tenure at Abu Ghraib, including when prisoners were being tortured. He was an immediate boss.

Via No Quarter.

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Not politics at all


Damn, I wish I had some extra money laying around. I would love to own Brian the Brain. Forget the kids, I wanna play with this thing.
This animatronic brain incorporates The Concise encyclopedia from Britannica®, a dictionary, and a world history timeline, and uses voice recognition technology to respond to verbal prompts, for an interactive roommate that children can use as an academic resource or as a toy. Not only an academic aide, Brian the Brain asks questions concerning the child's likes and dislikes, using the child's responses to personalize conversations and to tell jokes. Brian's database can store telephone numbers and the device connects to a phone jack, allowing Brian to become a child's personal operator that dials the phone numbers of friends and family in response to verbal commands, or children can use the attached keyboard to prompt Brian to initiate a phone call. Brian the Brain plays word, memory, and trivia games, and he can say thousands of trivia facts. With digital clock, calendar, MP3 player jack, integrated speaker, and retractable keyboard for text communication with Brian the Brain. Includes a free 3-month subscription to Britannica On Line®, Student Edition. Requires three AAA batteries. 13 3/4" H x 11 3/4" W x 10" D. (4 lbs.)

Watch Brian the Brain in Action

Item 74335 ................... $119.95

Via Hammacher Schlemmer.

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Can we (you) stop this?


Maybe if most Americans write, phone, email, snail mail, SMS, shout at, visit their Congress critters, Bush/Cheney can be stopped.

Almost everyone, including the media, thanks to Bush's PR, "know" Iran is in the cross-hairs. Well it doesn't have to happen. It shouldn't happen. To sit back and say, "Oh well, there was no way to stop it." is fucking lame.

Do everything you can to stop it NOW!

You really won't like the results of an attack on Iran.

And, if the attack does happen, don't fucking vote for your current Congress critter. Send their ass packing. Because you don't need such incompetents in office. They're there to protect you and they will be abysmal failures.

Do you, did you, let your child play with knives, scissors, fireworks? Well, OK, probably in the southern US.

Sorry cheap southern US redneck joke. Couldn't help myself and I apologize.

Anyway, back to the issue. Don't let Bush play with the "toys" he has. They're much more dangerous. Just imagine nukular dust drifting over the Mid-East, Russia, Europe. The toll will be enormous.

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Legacy boy


Folks, basically its called inbreeding and it produces idiots. Bush? I rest my case.
Robert Draper has taken on the unenviable though presumably lucrative task of writing a book about George Bush and the "legacy" that Bush postulates will be his. Except for some bloody money royalty payments, this will certainly be a grim and fruitless charge, one that can only result in aspersions directed against the complicit author. Nonetheless, there appear to be no end of saps and dullards who aspire to hagiography. But this is made easier for Draper considering that, ironically enough, Bush Sr. was a pall bearer at the funeral of Draper's grandfather, Leon Jaworski, special prosecutor in the Watergate scandal. Yes, they really are just like the mafia.

Via Anything They Say.

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Nahr el-Bared is taken

Ya knew this wast coming, dintcha?

The fight over the Palestinian refugee camp Nahr el-Bared up north is over. The Lebanese Army stormed the last positions of Fatah al-Islam militants earlier today after a last-ditch escape attempt by the militants failed. At least 35 fighters were killed, and about 20 others captured. The leader, Shaker al-Absi, apparently escaped. Celebratory gunfire broke out in the north, while villagers around the camp pelted the army with rice. In Beirut there's a bit of celebration and horn honking. After three months and more than 220 people killed (including 158 Lebanese soldiers) Lebanon's worst violence since its 1975-1990 civil war is over. Let the fighting over the presidency begin.

Via Chistoper who always delivers the best.

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Sunday, September 02, 2007

Three Children Shot Dead by Tank


Three children are playing an innocent children's game and get blown to hell. Is that right?

In a word: NO!

Fuck it. Stop all these atrocities. Get your fucking acts together and figure out how to end this bloodshed. K?

The US and Israel both employ assassination as a tool in combating terror. The vast majority of those killed under this policy are innocent bystanders. Despite the fact that extrajudicial killings violate the right of all suspects to remain innocent until proven guilty or that the policy has shown to increase terrorism rather than eliminate it, the lives of the innocent always seem to be an acceptable loss to countries supposedly battling terrorism. Earlier this week, three innocent children become the latest in a long line of civilian Palestinian victims.

Three cousins, a 10-year-old boy and 12-year-old boy and girl, were playing tag outside of the Gaza town of Beit Hanun near some rocket launchers. The Israeli army detected movement in the area, then used aerial surveillance to direct tank fire at the children. “They were playing right next to the launchers, including touching them,” the army statement said. “At the very last second, it was apparent that they were children, but it was impossible to stop the explosion.”

And I'm ashamed no other lefty bloggers I read picked up on this shocking discovery. And very few media outlets did too.

Children are dying when playing children's games? This it totally convoluted. I have to check with the Queen of Herarts.

Via The Largest Majority.

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Tooth extraction



Too graphic. Does it hurt?

Personal shit: I have an extremely high pain threshold, but...

When I have dental work done, I need three times the normal Novocaine as do the average person. We all have our Achilles heels I guess.

If you aren't checking out Jonco on a regular basis, at least check here at SPIIDERWEB™ because I pick the best of the best at Jonco.
A man goes to an oral surgeon to have a tooth extracted. The dentist takes out a syringe to give the man a shot. "No way! No needles! I hate needles," the patient said.

The dentist starts to hook up the laughing gas and the man objects. "I can't do the gas thing. The thought of having the gas mask on is suffocating to me!"

The dentist then asks the patient if he has any objection to taking a pill. "No objection," the patient says. "I'm fine with pills."

The dentist then returns and says, "Here's a Viagra tablet."

The patient says, "Wow - I didn't know Viagra worked as a pain killer!"

"It doesn't" said the dentist, "but it will give you something to hold onto when your tooth comes out."

I know I need help, but I laughed my fucking ass off at the punch line.

Via Jonco.

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Crap stamp


I really really really need one of these. I'm gonna get one tomorrow.

Can I email it? Or even add to comments? Kewl.

Anal alert: "got" is superfluous and incorrect.

Via Jonco.

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12 injured in a South Korean plane due to turbulence




OK, this is a public service announcement from SPIIDERWEB™.

When the flight attendants tell you to keep your seatbelt fastened when seated...THIS IS WHY!
Twelve people on board a Korean Air airplane were injured late Sunday when the plane met an air turbulence before it landed in Kansai International Airport in Osaka, Japan, Jiji press said.

The Airbus 300-600 passenger plane landed at the airport at around 8:14 p.m. (1114 GMT) after it met the turbulence, the report said, adding that the five injured passengers and seven injured crew members have been sent to hospital.

It will rarely get as bad as Airplane!, but it can get close.

Via Xinhua.

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US-led troops kill 25 suspected Taliban


Afghan children


When reading the following my first thought was: how many civilians were bombed?
US-led coalition and Afghan security forces aided by airstrikes killed about 25 militants during raids on a Taliban command centre in southern Afghanistan, the coalition said today.

The joint force raided two compounds south-west of Kandahar city late last night after weeks of observing the area, it said.

“Local residents had been seen leaving the area for the last few weeks and intelligence has suggested that insurgent commanders were attempting to re-establish their control in the area,” it said in a statement.

The clashes, in which the troops also called in airstrikes, left 25 suspected militants dead, the coalition said. No coalition or Afghan soldiers were injured, it said.

Well, what do ya know? The story doesn't say and its probably because the military didn't report civilian deaths.

Perchance you've noticed I often focus on the civilians. That's because I'm one, but not living in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran. Civilian deaths is one of the main reasons I fucking hate armed conflicts and wars.

Civilians are innocent women, children, grandmothers, grandfathers, the infirm, mentally ill. In other words armed conflicts and wars kill so many who aren't fighting.

Which leads me to a subject I've avoided posting about. It may be those civilians are supporting or hiding the insurgents. Truth is, I would too. My guess is you would too. These insurgents are nasty and you don't wanna get on their bad side.

End of soapbox session.

Via BreakingNews.ie.

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Iran is running 3,000 atomic centrifuges

Here's what we have. The Mid-East, if not the world, is screwed because the US is run by an idiot and so is Iran.

What in the hell is ahmadinejad doing? Is he strutting to gain support in Iran while pissing off the guy who already has nukes? Or is he trying to provoke Bush? Perhaps a death wish?

I'm at a loss here.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Sunday Iran had met a planned target of installing and running 3,000 atomic centrifuges used in enriching uranium, Iranian news agencies reported.

Iran had said it aimed to have that many centrifuges, which are set up in interlinked networks or "cascades" of 164 machines each, by the end of July. Diplomats in Vienna have said Iran appeared to have fewer than the target of 3,000 operating.

The diplomats have also said Iran's nuclear work appeared to have slowed down during the summer, possibly due to technical glitches or for fear of spurring world powers to pass a third U.N. sanctions resolution. Iran has denied any slowdown.

"We have more than 3,000 centrifuges working and every week a new set is installed," the president was quoted as saying.

Via Reuters.

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Vital Lockerbie evidence 'was tampered with'

Very interesting if all true. I haven't seen anything about this in the US media.
The key piece of material evidence used by prosecutors to implicate Libya in the Lockerbie bombing has emerged as a probable fake.

Nearly two decades after Pan Am flight 103 exploded over Scotland on 21 December, 1988, allegations of international political intrigue and shoddy investigative work are being levelled at the British government, the FBI and the Scottish police as one of the crucial witnesses, Swiss engineer Ulrich Lumpert, has apparently confessed that he lied about the origins of a crucial 'timer' - evidence that helped tie the man convicted of the bombing to the crime.

The disaster killed 270 people when the London to New York Boeing 747 exploded in mid-air. Britain and the US blamed Libya, saying that its leader, Colonel Muammar Gadaffi, wanted revenge for the US bombing of Tripoli in 1986. At a trial in the Netherlands in 2001, former Libyan agent Abdulbaset al-Megrahi was jailed for life.

Via The Guardian.

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Bush Apologizes to Wiccan Soldier's Widow for Meeting Slip-Up



I'm definitely into conspiracy theories when it comes to anything Bush. I'd bet my house, if I had one, this was not "accidental". It was intentionally done to avoid an uncomfortable situation just as anti-Bush protesters are not allowed to be visible at any Bush speaking engagement.
President Bush has apologized to the widow of a Wiccan soldier after she was excluded from a Nevada meeting this week that the president held with the families of soldiers killed in combat.

Roberta Stewart, whose husband, Sgt. Patrick Stewart, was killed in Afghanistan in 2005, was left off the invitation list for the private meeting Tuesday even though other members of her husband's family were invited.

When she heard about the exclusion from her mother-in-law, Stewart said, she concluded that it was done because of her public fight to force the federal government to engrave the symbol for the Wiccan faith on her husband's marker on a memorial.

Via Washington Post.

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GENERAL PETRAEUS'S PR BLITZKRIEG


An extremely good post. Not this one. The one I link to.

Kevin's right ya know. Petraneus has been methodically building his case and few if any have bothered to call him on it except for Kevin and the LA Times.

I have commented from time to time to time, but hardly adequately and have a small audience.

I don't have a spiffy uniform and stars and battle ribbons. I'm in shorts and barefooted. So how could I and the bloggers/news sources I cite ever know more that Petraeus?
I've been thinking about the whole David Petraeus issue for the past couple of days, and what I've been thinking about is how badly the liberal blogosphere and the liberal establishment have been outplayed here. While we've spent the last six months snarking about Friedman Units and complaining aimlessly about spineless Democrats, Petraeus has been slowly and methodically carrying out an extremely disciplined military campaign with a very precise goal: gaining support for David Petraeus and the surge.

Via Kevin Drum.

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Sadr Threatens to Rescind Order


Yeah, it kinda sucks to be the only one not fighting. Like al-Sadr thought the US would do the honorable thing and quit attacking? Such a silly rabbit.
A day after the Al-Sadr political movement leader Muqtada al-Sadr said he was taking his Mahdi Army out of action for up to six months, he threatened to rescind the order unless the government stops detaining his followers within the next 48 hours, an official said.

“The warning was a response to US raids in the Karbala area on al-Sadr offices, in which six people were killed and 30 detained,” Karbala Deputy Gov. Jawad al-Hasnawi said.

Before daybreak, US occupation forces carried out raids in Sadr City, targeting Mahdi Army members.

Several cars were demolished during the operation by US occupation tanks, according to a police officer speaking on condition of anonymity.

Its almost impossible to stem Bush and Cheney's blood lust.

Where's Buffy when we really need her?


Oops! Never mind.

Via True Blue Liberal.

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Do We Have The Courage To Stop War With Iran?


One headline - two stories. Both are terribly important and shouldn't be missed.

From No Quarter and from No Quarter Redux.

A couple snippets. One from each story:
Day after day, almost hour by hour, fresh confirmation comes of the impending American attack on Iran. Yet the same surreal malaise that hung over public affairs before the war of aggression against Iraq has descended again. Everyone knows the war is coming and nothing will stop it, but the strange, ludicrous shadow play of sham “debate” goes on, as if there were some kind of political or diplomatic maneuver out there that could deflect the Bush-Cheney junta from its long-chosen course. But nothing will stop them, just as nothing — not even 10 million people in the streets around the world, the largest protest in human history — stopped them from the rape of Iraq.

Why do I feel like the proverbial skunk at a Labor Day picnic? Sorry; but I thought you might want to know that this time next year there will probably be more skunks than we can handle. I fear our country is likely to be at war with Iran—and with the thousands of real terrorists Iran can field around the globe.

It is going to happen, folks, unless we put our lawn chairs away on Tuesday, take part in some serious grass-roots organizing, and take action to prevent a wider war—while we still can.

I've been harping on this for a very long time. All indicators are there. Unless Americans tell Bush and Cheney to go fuck themselves, its gonna happen. And you won't believe the shit storm that'll follow.

Yes, I know you're worried about your house mortgage, your inadequate schools, that bridge you cross daily on the way to work, but this is far bigger than all that. This will kill many more thousands than the Iraq fiasco. This is probably going to result in a return of the military draft. This is gonna drain the last few shekels from the US money supply. This is gonna kill many many more Americans.

On the bright side, its gonna make the military industrial complex much richer. Invest now and hope you live to see the returns.

Folks, this ain't a game. It ain't PSP. The soldiers are American children, sons, daughters, wives, husbands, mothers, fathers. They don't deserve to end up in flag-draped coffins long before their time and neither do the Iranians.

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More than 1,800 Iraqis killed in August

Yeah, this be good.
Civilian deaths rose in August to their second-highest monthly level this year, according to figures compiled Saturday by The Associated Press. That raises questions about whether U.S. strategy is working days before Congress receives landmark reports that will decide the course of the war.
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At least 81 American service members also died in Iraq during August — an increase of two over the previous month but well below the year's monthly high of 126 in May. American deaths surpassed the 80 mark during only two months of 2006.

U.S. military officials have insisted that the security plan launched early this year have brought a decrease in attacks on civilians and sectarian killings, especially in the Baghdad area, which was the focus of the new strategy.

The top American commander, Gen. David Petraeus, is expected to cite security improvements when he and Ambassador Ryan Crocker submit reports on progress toward stability and national reconciliation to Congress during the week of Sept. 10.

However, figures compiled by the AP from police reports nationwide show that at least 1,809 civilians were killed across the country last month compared with 1,760 in July. That brings to 27,564 the number of Iraqi civilians killed since AP began collecting data on April 28, 2005.

According to the AP count, civilian deaths reached a high point during the wave of sectarian bombings, kidnappings and killings at the end of last year — 2,172 in December and 1,967 in the previous month.

Via Yahoo! News.

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Is this even possible?


I just watched a movie that didn't include Christopher Walken.

Perhaps I'm losing my mind.

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World Health Organization's rankiing of the world's health systems

The US has the best health care in the world. Woot!!!1!!

NOT!

Of course the US has the most fucking expensive health care in the world. Hey, we gotta claim our successes, right?

We beat Alabania.

We also beat Malaysia and the Philippines and I don't believe it for a minute. I've been treated in both countries and their medical expertise rivals or exceeds that of the US. Even a US doctor admitted that to me.
1 France
2 Italy
3 San Marino
4 Andorra
5 Malta
6 Singapore
7 Spain
8 Oman
9 Austria
10 Japan
11 Norway
12 Portugal
13 Monaco
14 Greece
15 Iceland
16 Luxembourg
17 Netherlands
18 United Kingdom
19 Ireland
20 Switzerland
21 Belgium
22 Colombia
23 Sweden
24 Cyprus
25 Germany
26 Saudi Arabia
27 United Arab Emirates
28 Israel
29 Morocco
30 Canada
31 Finland
32 Australia
33 Chile
34 Denmark
35 Dominica
36 Costa Rica
37 United States of America
38 Slovenia
39 Cuba
40 Brunei
41 New Zealand
42 Bahrain
43 Croatia
44 Qatar
45 Kuwait
46 Barbados
47 Thailand
48 Czech Republic
49 Malaysia
50 Poland
51 Dominican Republic
52 Tunisia
53 Jamaica
54 Venezuela
55 Albania
56 Seychelles
57 Paraguay
58 South Korea
59 Senegal
60 Philippines
61 Mexico
62 Slovakia
63 Egypt
64 Kazakhstan
65 Uruguay
66 Hungary
67 Trinidad and Tobago
68 Saint Lucia
69 Belize
70 Turkey
71 Nicaragua
72 Belarus
73 Lithuania
74 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
75 Argentina
76 Sri Lanka
77 Estonia
78 Guatemala
79 Ukraine
80 Solomon Islands
81 Algeria
82 Palau
83 Jordan
84 Mauritius
85 Grenada
86 Antigua and Barbuda
87 Libya
88 Bangladesh
89 Macedonia
90 Bosnia-Herzegovina
91 Lebanon
92 Indonesia
93 Iran
94 Bahamas
95 Panama
96 Fiji
97 Benin
98 Nauru
99 Romania
100 Saint Kitts and Nevis
101 Moldova
102 Bulgaria
103 Iraq
104 Armenia
105 Latvia
106 Yugoslavia
107 Cook Islands
108 Syria
109 Azerbaijan
110 Suriname
111 Ecuador
112 India
113 Cape Verde
114 Georgia
115 El Salvador
116 Tonga
117 Uzbekistan
118 Comoros
119 Samoa
120 Yemen
121 Niue
122 Pakistan
123 Micronesia
124 Bhutan
125 Brazil
126 Bolivia
127 Vanuatu
128 Guyana
129 Peru
130 Russia
131 Honduras
132 Burkina Faso
133 Sao Tome and Principe
134 Sudan
135 Ghana
136 Tuvalu
137 Ivory Coast
138 Haiti
139 Gabon
140 Kenya
141 Marshall Islands
142 Kiribati
143 Burundi
144 China
145 Mongolia
146 Gambia
147 Maldives
148 Papua New Guinea
149 Uganda
150 Nepal
151 Kyrgystan
152 Togo
153 Turkmenistan
154 Tajikistan
155 Zimbabwe
156 Tanzania
157 Djibouti
158 Eritrea
159 Madagascar
160 Vietnam
161 Guinea
162 Mauritania
163 Mali
164 Cameroon
165 Laos
166 Congo
167 North Korea
168 Namibia
169 Botswana
170 Niger
171 Equatorial Guinea
172 Rwanda
173 Afghanistan
174 Cambodia
175 South Africa
176 Guinea-Bissau
177 Swaziland
178 Chad
179 Somalia
180 Ethiopia
181 Angola
182 Zambia
183 Lesotho
184 Mozambique
185 Malawi
186 Liberia
187 Nigeria
188 Democratic Republic of the Congo
189 Central African Republic
190 Myanmar

I thought Benin should have been rated higher, but what the hell.

Sometimes I get so fucking tired of "the US is always the best". The US isn't. It has its good points and a shitload of bad points. Live with it.

Via WWW.geographic.com.

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