Saturday, September 29, 2007
Does this sound familiar?
"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the state can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie ... The truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the state."
-- Joseph Goebbels
minister of propaganda
Nazi Germany, 1933-1945
Thank you blogs.
Photo: Old School Cylon Begging For Work
Why the hell does Simone come to mind?
Its a movie, folks, about a CGI generated woman just in case you don't know. Her name is SIM ONE.
OK, Eli, top this
BEST OF WEB: When America Went Fascist
As I've said before, I don't do subtle.
My take is we're in a pre-fascist or pro-fascist state. We're definitely in a state that's open to fascism.
"Fascism: a system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator" -- The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000 It is a truism in the blogosphere that one more terrorist attack will turn America into a fascist state. People speculate about what fascism in America will look like, or how they might fight it. Others boast that they plan to flee the country ahead of the coming fascist takeover of the United States. One cannot read these posts without a sense of bitter irony, because one thing is clear to those who are watching carefully: The United States of America is already a fascist state. [emphasis mine]
One can only hope Chris is wrong.
O’Reilly Unhinged: ‘I‘m Going to Hunt You Down, And I Mean It … I‘m Coming for You.’
OLBERMANN: [It‘s] time to consider another question, is Bill ill? Not to equate racism with mental defect, although the argument can be made, but last night Mr. O‘Reilly demonstrated some classic signs of paranoia and an inability to distinguish between the rest of the world and the contents of his own head. [emphasis mine]
Via Pensito Review.
Questions requiring answers
President Hamid Karzai today offered to meet personally with Taliban leader Mullah Omar for peace talks and give the militants a high position in a government ministry as a way to end the rising insurgency in Afghanistan.
1. Is this a re-branding? Is this the same Taliban that was defeated?
2. Uh, what about this?
As part of a public relations offensive that has received extensive media coverage, President Bush declared in an August 31 speech in Salt Lake City that "[w]e have made it clear to all nations that if you harbor terrorists, you are just as guilty as the terrorists, you are an enemy of the United States, and you will be held to account."
Does that mean Bush will cut off aid to Afghanistan?
3. Will the US talk with these terrorists?
4. Who provides the bottled water in these talks?
5. Does this mean its OK for the US to arm the Taliban?
6. Does this mean terrorism is a viable option in politics?
7. Am I the only one at a loss here?
I'm sorry, I do believe dialogue with any and all factions is productive and necessary, but offering government positions? Perhaps after a few talks and concessions it makes sense, but not right out of the box*.
* "out of the box" - US phrase meaning in the beginning or at the start.
Fans riot in India over derogatory remarks about TV star
Its a fucking performance competition! There are many other things you should get upset about, but derogatory comments? Give me a break.
More than 60 people were injured and dozens of vehicles set ablaze in eastern India when an angry mob demonstrated after a radio host made derogatory comments about the winner of the popular television show Indian Idol, officials said today.
U.S. Urges China to Help Curb Violence in Burma, Prepare for Transition
Is that headline a fucking joke or what?
Jesus H Christ with bad hearing, pot-kettle? How many people is Bush killing?
Granted, even one, two, five deaths (reports vary) in Myanmar are tragic and countries should speak out, but I'm sorry, when you have blood all over your hands you have no room to chastise others. That's just the way the world works.
For a Democrat, Options in Iraq Could Be Few
If you haven't given up hope already, here's your wake up call.
In their debate Wednesday night in Hanover, N.H., none of the three top Democratic presidential candidates would promise to have the U.S. military out of Iraq by January 2013 -- more than five years from now.
I thought democracy worked. People voted and got what they wanted. But it doesn't work when every candidate is the same except for the attire.
OK, Guliani in a dress doesn't count...
Must read IMHO
US regrets if women and children killed in Baghdad raid
File under: One fucking horrible oops.
The US military said on Saturday that it regretted if women and children were killed in an air strike on a Baghdad Sunni neighbourhood but that it had targeted a group of men firing mortars.
Five hundred pound bombs will to that to civilians. They always do.
Via Agence France-Presse.
Defaults on Insured Mortgages Increase 30 Percent
Invest in cardboard boxes, folks. You will thank me you did.
Just make sure to be careful what you sell them for and don't take credit cards. And remember, a grocery cart is not good collateral.
More American homeowners are missing mortgage payments, pushing defaults on privately insured home loans up 30 percent last month from year-earlier levels, according to a trade group. Borrowers more than 60 days behind rose to 58,441 in August, Washington-based Mortgage Insurance Companies of America said today on its Web site.
I'm being really flippant about this, but it isn't funny at all. Middle class families will be homeless soon and that's nothing to laugh about.
Via Signs of the Times.
Help me here
I don't have the fucking bandwidth (well maybe), but definitely don't have a PC that can handle videos. Waaaa!
Its frustrating to click a link, wait several seconds, find out its a fucking video and have to kill it.
Your attention to this matter would be appreciated. Sorry, no prize.
Minor update below.
This is something I hope to make recurring, but will bet my ass I won't. If you have suggestions, I'd love to hear them.
Basically, its memorable, pithy, important, funny lyrics.
I'm partial to:
It's A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll) by AC/DC.
Now I'm sorry, but this doesn't cut it:
Hey, hey, we're the Monkees
And people say we monkey around.
I sort of started with this.
So here's an offering for now. The emphasized part is best:
Don't know the reason,
Stayed here all season
With nothing to show but this brand new tattoo.
But it's a real beauty,
A Mexican cutie, how it got here
I haven't a clue.
Actually I was sober for my tattoo sessions. No, it doesn't really hurt that much.
I have no idea why, but whenever I hear the emphasized words I have to laugh, or at least smile...big. No, on second thought, I laugh and I laugh hard.
Margaritaville Lyrics (Jimmy Buffett).
Minor update: Don't even think about quoting lyrics from Singing in the Rain. Early in their childhoods my sons would hear that and exclaim, "Oh its Singing in the God Damn Rain!" I was responsible for teaching them profanity. I done well.
6 die from brain-eating amoeba in lakes
Not the one in question.
Remember you heard it here first or second. I have no idea what you're reading. National Enquirer?* I won't tell. Trust me.
It sounds like science fiction but it's true: A killer amoeba living in lakes enters the body through the nose and attacks the brain where it feeds until you die.
Even though encounters with the microscopic bug are extraordinarily rare, it's killed six boys and young men this year. The spike in cases has health officials concerned, and they are predicting more cases in the future.
"This is definitely something we need to track," said Michael Beach, a specialist in recreational waterborne illnesses for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"This is a heat-loving amoeba. As water temperatures go up, it does better," Beach said. "In future decades, as temperatures rise, we'd expect to see more cases."
This may turn out to be an urban legend, but, hey, I got it from Yahoo! It must be true.
*To give the National Enquirer its due, they've been known to be first with the truth. I think they're count is up to 2-3 now.
Via Yahoo! News.
Labels: brain-eating amoeba
Girl seen on sex tape found safe
For some reason the word "safe" escapes me.
A young girl who was seen being sexually assaulted in a homemade videotape was found Friday and is safe with relatives and sheriff's officials, authorities said.
"She looks like a very happy 7-year-old girl," Nye County sheriff's Detective David Boruchowitz said at a news conference late Friday. She was 3 when the tape was made, he said.
Via Yahoo! News.
Labels: crying time
Must read IMHO
Truth is, I've emailed Glenn about that very issue. He was quite nice in telling me I'm full of shit.
Incidentally I'm not full of shit. I'm a quart low. Ba rump bump.
Federal judge orders Murtha to testify in Haditha defamation case
A federal judge has ordered Rep. Jack Murtha (D-Pa.) to testify in a defamation case related to the deaths of Iraqi civilians in the town of Haditha in 2005, according to the Associated Press.
Murtha, a former Marine. accused Marines involved in the "cold-blooded murder and war crimes'' during the Haditha incident. Frank Wuterich, a Marine sergeant involved in the incident, has sued Murtha for defamation over his comments.
Frankly, I don't understand this ruling at all, and I wouldn't be surprised if it is appealed by the Justice Dept. and/or House general counsel's office on behalf of Murtha. Murtha, who can say some inappropriate things once in a while, was clearly acting in his capacity as a lawmaker when he made the comments and is thus protected by the Speech or Debate Clause from any type of prosecution for official acts.
Addendum: First off, Frank, should you decide to sue me for defamation you'll end up with a couple empty Diet Pepsi cans and navel lint. Second, when you have a traffic accident the first rule is SHUT THE FUCK UP! You don't admit to anything. Capiche?
What a maroon.
Good news for a change
When a 17-year-old at the center of a civil rights controversy in a small Louisiana town left jail, he had a stranger to thank.
Dr. Stephen Ayers, who lives about 135 miles away, said he felt compelled to help the family of Mychal Bell by posting the teen's bond and allowing him to go home for the first time in 10 months.
Bell is one of six black teenagers accused of beating a white classmate in the central Louisiana town of Jena, where more than 20,000 demonstrators gathered last week to protest what they perceive as differences in how black and white suspects are treated.
Ayers, 42, of Lake Charles in southwestern Louisiana, said Friday that he isn't politically active and isn't usually one to "get into things like this." But then a patient whose feet hurt after the march gave him a report on the event, in which Ayers did not participate.
Via Yahoo! News.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Must read IMHO
Downing Street en Espanol
In February 2003, the president was insistent that he hoped to find a peaceful solution to his standoff with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, and would work with and through the United Nations to resolve the conflict. At least, that was what he was saying publicly.
According to a new report published today by El Pais, Spain’s largest daily newspaper, Bush told then-Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar at the time that he was going to invade Iraq no matter what happened.
I'm at a loss for words. It isn't like we had no clue, right?
Let me be clear here
One is a guy who thinks he can cure his herpes with mayonnaise. That's just ludicrous. Everyone knows the condiment of choice for herpes is ketchup.
The second is a woman who thinks MacDonald's hamburgers talk to her.
She may be right.
Which brings us back to the idiot in Washington who thinks killing people will bring about peace. Fucking right on!!!1!!
Bush looks for fix for airline delays
President Bush promised on Thursday to take steps to reduce air traffic congestion and long delays that have left travelers grounded. "Endless hours sitting in an airplane on a runway with no communication between a pilot and the airport is just not right," he said.
Bush met in the Oval Office with Transportation Secretary Mary Peters and acting Federal Aviation Administrator Bobby Sturgell. The president urged Congress to look at legislation to modernize the FAA, and instructed Peters to report back to him quickly about ways to ensure that air passengers are treated appropriately and progress is made to ease congestion.
"We've got a problem," Bush said. "We understand there's a problem. And we're going to address the problem."
Jesus H Christ with too much time on his hands. That last paragraph is so damn funny. It sounds like the idiot Bush in full bloom: We be having problem. We understand da problem. We fix da problem.
Under tags, I almost always include "idiot" with "Bush". unnecessary?
Via Yahoo! News.
Blackwater blamed for guard deaths
To my mind, the name Henry Waxman should send cold chills down many people's spines. He's a badger who will pursue people until he's satisfied. Once he grabs onto you, he won't let go.
Ah, if only other Congress critters had the balls Waxman has...
Blackwater USA triggered a major battle in the Iraq war in 2004 by sending an unprepared team of guards into an insurgent stronghold, a move that led to their horrific deaths and a violent response by U.S. forces, says a congressional investigation released Thursday.
The private security company, one of the largest working in Iraq and under scrutiny for how it operates, also is faulted for initially insisting its guards were properly prepared and equipped. It is also accused of impeding the inquiry by the Democratic staff of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
The results of the staff inquiry come less than a week before Erik Prince, a former Navy SEAL and Blackwater's founder, is scheduled to testify before the committee, which is chaired by Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., a longtime critic of Blackwater.
The March 2004 incident involving Blackwater was widely viewed as a turning point in the Iraq war after images of the mutilated bodies of the four guards were seen around the world. Four days after the Blackwater guards were killed, a major military offensive, known as the Battle of Fallujah, began.
Blackwater will ultimately prove to be Bush's worst black eye among many.
Via Yahoo! News.
Gates considers Army's expansion plan
Why would anyone join the military right now? You like Russian roulette?
Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday he's inclined to approve an Army proposal to spend nearly $3 billion extra to accelerate the expansion of its active-duty force.
Army Secretary Pete Geren said speeding up the growth of the force, stretched thin by wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, would mean recruiting faster and increasing the number of soldiers who re-enlist.
"I'm probably going to recommend they go ahead and give it a try," Gates told reporters at a Pentagon news conference. Appearing with Gates was Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who is retiring on Monday after 40 years in the Marine Corps.
The defense secretary cautioned that he would not accept any sped-up expansion of the Army that would lead the Army to lower its recruiting standards, including levels of education required.
Lower your standard to vegetables and you might have a chance at increasing recruitments. At least that's my opinion.
Via Yahoo! News.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Iraq vet plans to return his medals in protest
Some people do have the courage of their convictions and here's one of them:
An Iraq war veteran said Tuesday he is returning his military medals in what anti-war groups are calling a rare and powerful protest. Josh Gaines, 27, plans to mail the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and National Defense Service Medal to former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. He said he will do so during a protest scheduled for Wednesday in Madison. "I'm going to give those back because I truly feel that I did not defend my nation and I did not help with the Global War on Terrorism," said Gaines, who lives in Madison. "If anything, this conflict has bred more terrorism in the Middle East."
First Lt Ehren Watada comes to mind. He had much more to risk than the loss of a few medals for exhibiting the courage of his convictions, but each does what s/he can. They are both heroes.
*I'm going for art here. Come on. Go along with it. And no, I don't think he's peeing. It just looks that way. OK, I thought that too. We both need help.
Via Signs of the Times.
Must read IMHO
This should lift your spirits some.
Federal judge rules 2 Patriot Act provisions unconstitutional
Two down, and the whole rest of 'em to go.
I was looking for a pithy quote and found none. So I'll just have to make up my own.
A person who is without hope will wither and die.
Pithy enough? Nah, I don't think so either, but I'm on a tight schedule here.
Via Making Light.
Labels: must read
Why Are You Here?
The young man on television was probably 16 years old. But he looked so young, his face chubby with baby fat, his lips poised in a child's pout.
"Why are you here," the Vice President of Iraq, Tariq al Hashemi, asked.
"I don't know," he said. "They hit me and hit me and hit me until they made me admit to something I haven't done. What can I do?"
Hashemi was visiting the Iraqi prison for juveniles with camera men. He asked them to film.
The Vice President is the only man from the Sunni Iraqi Accordance Front left in the government. With his veto power the party hoped his presence would keep pressure on the government to succumb to their demands. The ministers have resigned, the one who refused to was removed from the party. One of their grievances were all the men imprisoned who are innocent, most Sunni Arabs.
Must read IMHO
Help me here
I'm no mental health expert although I play one at parties.
I've never understood the mentality of someone who decides they have to die and take everyone around them with them.
You read about it all the time. A mother kills her children and then commits suicide. A husband/father kills his family and then takes his own life.
I'm talking about nuclear families here or just someone with hostages.
How do they get to that mental state? What makes them think they're gods who can choose when others die?
Which, inevitably, brings me to Dim Son.
He's cheer leading (à propos?) Armageddon. So who died (impossible?) and left him God? If he wants to off himself, fine, but don't take the rest of the fucking people of the world with you.
Fanatics come in all stripes. It just so happens Bush's is a streak and its yellow.
*If I remember correctly, no hostages were killed in that movie.
A question for ya
About my last post.
Two negatives make a positive...He don't do nothing.
Two positives make a negative...Yeah, sure.
Do two plurals make a singular...Childrens?
What a maroon!
Bush, think for once in your life
1. It will be far worse than Iraq which hasn't turned out well at all.
2. You will demonstrate to the world the US is no longer a super power.
3. Such an attack will ruin what little respect any country has for the US.
4. Iran will attack world-wide on a scale you won't believe.
5. You can't destroy all of Iran's offensive capabilities fast enough to prevent retaliation.
6. Ten dollar per gallon oil? Oh yeah, that's not a bad thing. I forgot.
7. Obviously Israel, Syria, Lebanon and others will join in.
8. You will wreck what's left of the US military.
9. Even Iranians deserve to live. You will kill civilians in obscene numbers.
10. You will be personally responsible for the deaths of millions of people throughout the Mid-East.
11. People around the world will revile you until the day you die and probably long after. What a great fucking legacy.
12. Your father may finally disown you. Oh, I forgot, you don't really care.
13. Everyone will finally realize just how psychotic you actually are.
14. Your balls will shrivel up and most likely fall off.
15. No doubt almost everyone will see your foreign policy was shit.
16. Paraguay may be too close to the US for you.
17. Because Iran can retaliate, Lebanon is viable, the PA is viable, Syria is viable, you may well trigger the destruction of Israel.
18. You will no longer be able to vacation in the Persian Gulf.
19. Quite possibly you'll see the sinking of one or more US warships.
20. Most likely many of the US's allies will lose thousands of people.
21. You will postpone and guarantee Iran's having nuclear weapons.
22. Its probable Iran won't be the last to develop nuclear weapons as that's the only way to keep you from attacking them.
23. You will prove beyond a doubt you are the most stupid fucker to ever lead a country...period.
24. The 23% approval rate you have may fall down to just members of the US Congress.
25. You will single handedly destroy what's left of the GOP. OK, that could be a good thing.
26. If you're lucky (we're all lucky?) this won't incite a world war.
27. Can you say military coup d’état? They've happened for lesser reasons.
28. You will crush the US economy which you've already decimated.
29. Billions of dollars in military aircraft will be lost. You don't think the Iranians won't fight back, do you?
30. Russia and China are nearby. They may decide its in their best interests to stop you. And China doesn't even have to intervene militarily. It could just call in its US debt. Huge fucking oops!
31. Then there are the American lives to be lost. Can't have enough of those can you, Bush?
This is a partial list. Its a start. Feel free to add to it in comments.
Cross posted at Brilliant at Breakfast.
Rather than that, I'll just stop posting for now and hope it heals itself. Its happened before, but fairly unoften because its on its last legs.
This post took more than 10 minutes to compose. This is really starting to piss me off and I may have to stop blogging if I get so angry with the PC speed I want to kill myself.
BTW, why doesn't Blogger spell check understand "unoften"? Shit.
Democrats, this is how it's done
This is from Al Franken. Whoda thought?
I'm a satirist by trade. And as a satirist, my job was to point out the absurd, the hypocritical, the ridiculous in life.
It's been a banner week for ridiculous.
Case in point: On Tuesday, Sen. Norm Coleman took out an ad in this paper criticizing me for criticizing a Senate resolution that criticized MoveOn.org for taking out an ad in the New York Times criticizing Gen. David Petraeus.
It is, of course, ridiculous that the United States Senate spent a day debating and voting on a resolution condemning an advertisement while our troops remained in Iraq, fighting a war with no end. And it's doubly ridiculous that Coleman, of all people, is still playing politics with this issue.
After all, he voted last week against a resolution that condemned personal attacks on anyone who had served our nation honorably. That would include Democrats like Max Cleland, John Kerry and John Murtha -- proud American veterans who were the targets of political attacks not just on their character, but on their patriotism. In 2004, when Murtha (a Silver Star winner) called for better armor for our troops, Coleman himself accused him of "emboldening the enemy" and "undermining the morale of our troops."
Via Brilliant at Breakfast.
Labels: al franken
Gotta do this
The crackdown on monks in Myanmar is something I've not commented on. My bad.
The government said its security forces opened fire today on demonstrators who failed to disperse, killing one person, and witnesses said police beat and dragged away dozens of Buddhist monks in the most violent crackdown in a month of protests in Myanmar.
While dissident groups reported as many as five dead, including monks, the military junta's announcement on state radio and television was the first acknowledgment that force has been used to suppress the protests and the first admission that blood had been shed.
The United States and the European Union condemned the attacks and called on the military rulers to open a dialogue with pro-democracy leaders, according to a joint statement on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.
I've never been to Myanmar, but have had experiences and conversations with Buddhist monks in Thailand and Malaysia.
Folks, these people are so serene, warmhearted, spiritual, you (or at least I) feel very calm in their presence.
A funny side note; we had a nice talk with a monk who advised us on marriage. Quite an ironic discussion to say the least.
Its impossible to picture soldiers gassing, beating, arresting such gentle people let alone killing even one. But I'm unsophisticated in such things, I guess.
Also have to do this.
Of course this is de rigueur with the Bush administration. Stomp on the dissidents. Don't allow anyone to challenge authority. Put them in a "free speech zone" and keep the fuckers away from the podium where they might be heard.
Via Seattle Times.
Candidates Send Spouses to Florida
Ya gotta fucking love this. Its your basic "gotcha" moment.
"Facing a boycott by presidential candidates over the state's hijacking of the presidential primary calendar, Florida Democrats are bracing themselves for the next best thing: their spouses," reports the Miami Herald.
Its all a game and some Democrats are learning to play it.
And to have Bill Clinton campaigning for HRC is hardly inadequate.
Slam dunk, John Dean and the DNC.
Via Taegan Goddard's Political Wire.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Hotline After Dark -- The Speaker Has The Floor
Jesus H Christ running the Boston Marathon, why 60 votes? You can make a political statement to the American people and the world with a simple majority and cut the Republicans off at the ankles.
Tell the world we are tired of feeding our troops into a meat grinder. We're abhorred to be killing innocent people. We aren't a blood thirsty regime such as Temüüjin (Тэмүүжин, Genghis Khan). Impressed? I have Dictionary.com. I couldn't spell Genghis Khan if my life depended on it. And forget about Тэмүүжин.
Do what you were elected to do you fucking dunderheads.
The president vetoed that bill. He got quite a response to that veto and the Republicans in the Senate then decided that he was never going to get a bill on his desk again. So we have a barrier. And it's important for the American people to know that while I can bring a bill to the floor in the House, it cannot be brought up in the Senate unless there is a 60 vote."
Sometimes its about making the gesture and not necessarily "winning".
Do I have more political savvy than the experts in office? Just asking.
FYI Genghis Khan's first name is also depicted as Chinggis, Chingis, Genghiz, Jengiz, Dzsingisz, and probably others. My guess is Charlie isn't one of them, but I have no proof.
FYI even more, Mongolian warlord Genghis Khan was notorious for his sexual as well as his territorial conquests. But the extent to which he captured women's hearts* has now been revealed with research suggesting that he has 16 million Asian descendants.
Khan was a one person population explosion.
* I serious doubt "capturing hearts" had anything to do with it. He took women when he wanted and probably raped most. Some Casanova.
Ain't it great what you learn at SPIIDERWEB™?
India tries outsourcing its outsourcing
From across India, thousands of recruits report to the Infosys Technologies campus here in India's deep south. Amid the manicured lawns and modern buildings, they learn the finer points of software programming.
But lately, packs of foreigners have been strolling the campus. Many are Americans, recently graduated from college. Some had been pursued by coveted employers like Google. Instead, they accepted a novel assignment from Infosys, the Indian technology giant: Fly here to learn programming from scratch, then return to the United States to work in the Indian company's back office.
Now India is outsourcing outsourcing.
One of the constants of the global economy has been companies moving tasks - and jobs - to India, where they could be done at lower cost. But rising wages for programmers here, a strengthening currency and companies' need for workers in their clients' time zones or for workers who speak languages other than English are challenging that model.
At the same time, India is facing increased competition from countries seeking to emulate its success as a back office for wealthier neighbors: China for Japan, Morocco for France and Mexico for the United States, for instance. [emphasis mine]
What's interesting is many companies in the US say they either can't find enough such talent (without government help in work visas) or can't afford to employ them in the US. So Indian companies have better managers? Just asking.
Via International Herald Tribune.
Japan trade surplus nearly quadruples
Japan’s trade surplus nearly quadrupled in August from a year earlier as strong exports to Europe and Asia offset a slowdown in shipments to the United States, data showed on Wednesday, but economists were watching for possible fallout from softer US growth.
The data did not change views that the Bank of Japan will hold off from raising rates for a while given uncertainty about the impact of trouble in the US subprime mortgage market on the real economy.
Economists saw few signs that the global credit squeeze was taking a toll on overseas demand for Japanese goods.
Britain backs four countries for Security Council veto
What's interesting is Britain's willingness to offer such power to others. They hold a very coveted position and agree to offer the same to others.
Is this a matter of what's right or is there a hidden agenda? Do they expect these countries to side with them in most matters? If so, they are forgetting political alliances change with the wind and one veto is all that's required. They don't need allies.
Britain is backing South Africa, Japan, Brazil and India for permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council, Foreign Secretary David Miliband said in an interview broadcast Tuesday.
He added that there was no question of a European Union seat on the UN body, nor was there any prospect of Britain giving up its own permanent seat, and veto, on the Security Council.
"We think, very clearly, that the South Africas of this world, the Japans of this world, the Brazils of this world, the Indias of this world, have a very clear claim (for a permanent seat), and we will be arguing for UN reform," Miliband told the BBC.
Via Channel NewAsia.
Monday, September 24, 2007
Bush Wields Vetoes to Block Democrats
Bush didn't need the veto with a Republican controlled Congress and signing statements.
President Bush, who didn't veto a bill for nearly six years, is now embracing the power to constrain the Democratic-controlled Congress even as his popularity remains low.
The strategy has blocked Congress from forcing troop drawdowns in Iraq and given Bush substantial leverage on children's health policies, federal spending and other issues.
But some say it carries a political risk. By thwarting congressional efforts to wind down the war and redirect spending to popular domestic programs, Bush could help Democrats portray Republicans as out of step with voters in the 2008 elections.
It must take tremendous effort to fuck America as much as possible before riding into the sunset.
I say to the Hague with him.
OK, I don't do subtle any more than does Bush.
Short and sweet. Get over it. It isn't like a story about some fucking missing blond girl, right?
Jesus H Christ with athlete's foot.
Just drop it.
Move on to the deaths in the Mid-East, Blackwater, NOLA, climate change, the economies of the world, the sex life of squirrels. Ya know, the important things.
The eerie familiarity of these preparations for war
Have we learnt nothing from the shameful and shameless run-up to the invasion of Iraq? Then, Mohammed ElBaradei, the Nobel prize-winning Egyptian head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, quietly but firmly said that as far as he and his UN agency were concerned, there was no evidence that Saddam Hussein had nuclear weapons or the materials to make them.
His conclusion was simply swept aside as the US and the British tore into the UN inspector, Hans Blix, determined to show that their worst warnings about Saddam were based on fact. ElBaradei and Blix proved right in their denial. Jack Straw and the hapless (in this case) Colin Powell were wrong.
So here we are, nearly five years later, and exactly the same is happening over Iran. Once again the UN process of inspection is in the firing line. Once again it is the figure of ElBaradei being roundly abused and told, more or less openly by the US and British, that his work is worthless, his opinions are of no consequence and that his proper place is sitting quietly by while the European Union and the UN Security Council got on with punishing Iran through sanctions.
And what has the poor man done to deserve this abuse? He had simply concluded that, while there was evidence that Iran had hidden some of its nuclear activities from the Agency, there was no firm evidence that it was in fact developing nuclear weapons or diverting materials from its civilian nuclear programme.
CENTCOM Team To Perfect Secret Strike Plan On Iran
A highly confidential strategic planning group? How "highly confidential" is something being bandied about on the the World Wide Web? Hahaha.
This also isn't really news. Preparation, although not part of Bush's style is essential as a contingency.
THE United States Air Force has set up a highly confidential strategic planning group tasked with “fighting the next war” as tensions rise with Iran.
Project Checkmate, a successor to the group that planned the 1991 Gulf War’s air campaign, was quietly reestablished at the Pentagon in June.
It reports directly to General Michael Moseley, the US Air Force chief, and consists of 20-30 top air force officers and defence and cyberspace experts with ready access to the White House, the CIA and other intelligence agencies.
Detailed contingency planning for a possible attack on Iran has been carried out for more than two years by Centcom (US central command), according to defence sources. [emphasis mine]
You guys need to be much more careful. No wonder you get hacked.
Kid Scored Perfect on SAT and ACT
Gotta do this.
This guy deserves all the credit and attention he's earned. Gawd...
John Liu of Kentucky was nervous when he took the SAT last December, but all that worrying was for naught: he scored a perfect 2400. He also scored perfect on the ACT.
I apologize for the size of the picture, but John Liu with his accomplishments doesn't rate the same size photo as Paris Hilton.
Labels: John Liu
Torture school subjects children to lethal punishments
Mother Jones has a long, chilling feature on The Judge Rotenberg Education Center, a private radical behavior-modification school based in Canton, Mass. The school is run by a rogue behaviorist who uses discredited "punishment" techniques -- electroshock -- on children as young as nine to change their personalities. Matthew Israel, the school's $400,000/year executive director, straps homemade, overpowered shock apparatus to children (including severely autistic and retarded kids) and has his staff administer strong shocks for even minor infractions. Some children have been shocked thousands of times a day, and several children have died at the school.
Eight states send troubled children to the school, where "high functioning" kids are "educated" by being sat in front of computers all day, running through automated tutorial programs. Talking, fidgeting, or acting out during this "school" time is punished with shocks. Some kids' shock apparatus misfires, shocking them without any provocation. The staff are instructed to activate the shock apparatus out of sight of the children, so that they can't mentally or physically prepare for it.
The Rotenberg process lacks any kind of scientific basis, and the school uses a 20-year-old film of its "successes" to convince parents to send their children to the program -- however, some of the success stories in the film are still institutionalized at Rotenberg 20 years after their "cure," wheelchair bound and in terrible shape.
In an era where torturing people is just fine and dandy, this fits right in.
Via Boing Boing.
When religions clash
As if the elders in any religion ever "got along", but this is just plain silly.
Israeli rabbinic authorities have abruptly called on Jews to shun a major Christian tourism event, baffling and upsetting evangelical groups that traditionally have been big supporters of the Jewish state.
More than 6,000 Christians from over 90 nations are expected to arrive in Jerusalem this week to take part in the 28th annual Christian celebration of the weeklong Jewish holiday of Sukkot, or Feast of Tabernacles, according to the event's organizers, the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.
I'm emphatically anti-proselytizing, but sometimes I think the rabbinic authorities and others are just trolling for things to be upset about and I have no idea why except its a cottage industry for them.
Yes, the Jewish people have suffered and are suffering now to some extent, but can they never let go? Will this litany continue for the next 5,000 years? Oy vey, enough already.
Take your shots.
I'm not antisemitic anymore than anti Democratic or anti clean air. I just get pissed off when people bitch about treatment suffered decades ago, not by them, and continually act as victims. I'm in a privileged position here, but...
This post is gonna leave scars.
Via Boston Globe.
The United States, the European Union, Russia, the United Nations.
These are the entities trying to negotiate peace in the Mid-East.
Mystery solved for some of you.
Do I get credit for exhaustive research? Hold on. I made one click of the mouse to find the information. But I saved you from possible carpal tunnel syndrome.
I won't even try
Robot Soldiers With Taser Guns Coming Soon
Just stay inside. Or will that help? I don't know. Everyone's a target.
Long live Robocop!!!1!!
Or should I say Solo?
"Transformers," the summer blockbuster movie about war on Earth between two robot forces, foreshadows a world that may be closer to reality than you think.
As part of the Army's $160 billion Future Combat Systems, to be deployed within the next decade, robot soldiers will be programmed to invade hostile terrain and shoot to kill. If all goes according to plan, there could be virtually no humans on the battlefield -- at least on our side -- by the end of this century. And while "Transformers" remains science fiction today, "RoboCop" is already real: Over the summer, iRobot Corp. and Taser International announced that the iRobot's bomb-disposal PackBot can be equipped with a Taser X26 stun gun, which lets it double as a law-enforcement officer and "engage, incapacitate and control dangerous suspects."
These cyborgs are only part of the coming robotic revolution. Robots are changing the way we live and work. At banks, they provide account balances and dispense cash. They help us through computer glitches and cable TV dysfunctions. On the road, they provide directions and guide us into tight parking spots. Nursebots in hospitals deliver medication and measure heart rates. They vacuum our floors, fulfill orders in warehouses and greet visitors in museums.
We can't -- and shouldn't -- stop technological advancement, but surely there's a difference between helping society and replacing a human with a robot.
Kinda makes one look differently at the ol' ipod, huh?
Labels: robot soldiers
Blackwater denies smuggling weapons to Iraq
Does this sound in the least like typical political rhetoric? The first response is denial. Bill Clinton anyone?
Its always the Republicans' first salvo, but it's not unknown to Democrats too.
Politicians are much like children. To wit: "No mommy, I didn't take any cookies". To be honest and forthright immediately just isn't in their nature. Nor mine for that matter. "No, honey, I didn't stop for a drink. I smell of alcohol because of Fred". Hahaha. Maybe they aren't so bad.
Jesus H Christ in purple shorts, but I hate it when I'm even remotely fair to DC.
Via Channel NewsAsia.
How Bush May Have Gotten Away with Mass Murder, War Crimes and Torture
If there's any justice in the world, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld will be tried as war criminals, but I'm losing my belief justice does exist.
Bush is desperately seeking ways to avoid prosecution at the Hague for his many war crimes in both Afghanistan and Iraq. This is a long and "tortured" story about how Bush and his cabal have hijacked the apparatus of government and intimidated the Congress. The obvious motive is money --millions made by defense contractors whose business is killing people. It includes Blackwater, another name for Murder, Inc. It's about war, crimes and torture. It's about a "President" who has committed capital crimes and re-wrote the law to absolve himself.
...Found in a recent Keith Olbermann broadcast:
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell tells G-Q magazine he is "sorry" he gave the world wrong information when he told the U-N of the threat Iraq supposedly posed.
Olbermann makes the case that the Bush administration is habitually wrong because being wrong or, worse, a bald faced liar is rewarded. The Bush administration is 180 degrees out of phase with every good and human value be it secular or religious.
WARNING: Do not follow link to Existentialist Cowboy if you have a computer as slow as my fucking computer. I literally took a bathroom break and the damn thing still hadn't stopped screwing around somewhere in the background.
If any of my readers have tons of money or a super fast computer they can send me, let me know. Address will be provided. Nigerians need not respond.
The last paragraph is only partly joking; the Nigerian part is no joke.
Via Existentialist Cowboy.
H/T True Blue Liberal.
Labels: Bush war criminal
Syria to be invited to Mideast peace conference: US
The United States plans to invite Syria to an international peace conference between the Israelis and Palestinians later this year, a senior State Department official said Sunday.
The United States would also invite neighboring states, major powers and the members of the Arab league follow-up committee and other key international players, said the senior official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
"I think you will find it newsworthy that the members ... of the Arab League follow-up committee would be invited to such a meeting," the official said.
The committee includes Jordan, Egypt -- the only two Arab states to have signed a peace treaty with Israel -- as well as Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Syria.
The committee is charged with convincing Israel to accept a Saudi peace initiative relaunched in March by the Arab League during a summit in Riyadh.
Sweet Home, Oregon.
Labels: great name
Or more accurately, emptying my brain which is too full.
Jesus H Christ with a high cholesterol level; what is wrong with Americans?
Americans are allowing their leaders to attack countries which haven’t harmed the US. They implicitly condone “disappearances” and torture. They readily submit to intrusive spying on themselves. They accept their leaders’ lying to them. They look the other way when the government purchases hired guns to operate in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Granted, Americans went to the polls in 2006 and said, “We’re not satisfied with the status quo”. We want to stop the war in Iraq. Ah, but then they sat around with their fingers up their asses as Congress ignored them. Congress voted more money for the meat grinder. No problem.
Is all this predicated upon a desire for “revenge”? Is there some kind of blood lust inherent in Americans? I find that hard to believe, but the evidence is not circumstantial.
Where’s the outrage at how the people of NOLA are being treated? Where’s the outrage at seeing the US economy collapse because of mismanagement which is also dragging down the world’s economies? Where’s the outrage because billions (if not trillions) of dollars of their money has disappeared in the Mid-East?
How many Americans have to lose their jobs due to outsourcing and downsizing before they rebel?
Why do 3,700+ dead soldiers and perhaps 1.2 million Iraqis not enrage every American?
Where’s the “real” concern for climate change? Oh yeah, its 50-100 years away before anyone feels the effects. What if the founding fathers thought that way? No problem, who gives a shit about what America is in 50-100 years? Let’s just handle the short-term.
Speaking of which, why doesn’t every American scream about the trashing of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. They’ve made America what it is (or was) and few seem to care the two documents have become nothing more than toilet paper.
Doesn’t it bother many that they make one one-thousandth of the salary of their CEO? What about unions? They used to protect workers. Now they are squelched, eliminated or in the company’s pocket.
Don’t get me started on globalization. I have nothing good to say about it.
I’ll end this brain dump or rant with this:
Whatever happened to the majority of Americans’ sense of humanity? Help thy neighbour whether in the US or afar was something which always impressed me about Americans. Now most don’t seem to give a shit. The mantra is: pick yourself up, take care of yourself, don’t be such a fucking wimp.
Now my brain has room for more stuff. Hmmm!!!1!!
Maliki Accuses Blackwater of Challenging Iraq’s Sovereignty
I have a question for you, Mr al-Maliki. Say toady, what's not challenging your country's sovereignty about the Bush machinations? Those are OK because Bush gives you gravitas?
Just because Bush is one, you don't have to be a hypocrite to run a country.
Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki said Sunday that the shooting of Iraqi civilians last week by Blackwater USA, a private American security company, amounted to a challenge to the nation’s sovereignty, but he added that the his government was working jointly with the United States to bring those responsible to justice.
All that aside, al-Maliki's right. Blackwater is a cancer and should be cut out as soon as possible.
Via New York Times.
A moment of silence please
Sorry, couldn't resist the temptation.
The world's preeminent mime is gone.
I was never a big fan of mimes in general, but Marcel always took it to a new level almost none could imitate. His work was like poetry or great prose where the words create an image. He was that good.
Via Google News.
Labels: Marcel Marceau
Must read IMHO
I realize this may make you persona non grata, but isn't it worth it?
Title: The Age of Irresponsibility
Sub: How Bush has created a moral vacuum in Iraq in which Americans can kill for free.
Note to Newsweek: Print this shit. Put it in your magazine so it is less transient and regular, non-computer surfers can read it.
H/T Jill at Brilliant at Breakfast.
I, dude, totally, like stole the picture from, like Jonco, I have no, like shame or whatever.
This is what Americans are experiencing right now in the Mid-East. But Bush wants to help you by adding fertilizer to the tree.
I will admit it's unfortunate the artist chose the model s/he did for the photo, but I wasn't consulted.
So, this bird walks into a store....
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Who Told You These Things?
The site specifically asks people not to cut and paste the content to their own blog and I'm respecting their request. Except I did steal the title.
The reason they don't want you to post on your own site is in the upper left corner of the linked site. The authors are paid part of the ad revenue.
You may read it here.
Labels: must read
Israel Scrambled Jets Toward Syria
As you'll see in a bit, this's not the story from earlier in the month.
The tension in the Mid-East is getting appalling. If Israelis, Palestinians, Syrians, Iranians, Iraqis, Afghans, Pakistanis, Lebanese aren't under tremendous stress, I'm sure all neighbors to these countries are.
Someone needs to pull the fuses on these explosives before someone actually lights them.
Israel dispatched several fighter jets toward its border with Syria after a Syrian aircraft disappeared from Israeli air force radar screens, Israeli military officials said Sunday, reflecting the state of heightened tensions between the two sides over a reported Israeli air strike in Syria earlier this month.
The Israeli jets, which did not enter Syrian airspace, returned to their bases minutes later when it became clear the Syrian airplane had crashed. The incident took place on Saturday, which was Yom Kippur, the holiest Jewish holiday, when Israel's air force does not send any fighter craft into the air unless absolutely necessary.
Rising seas likely to flood U.S. history
a hundred years or so rising ocean waters from global
warming may kill the last remaining wetlands in
Palo Alto, Calif., behind her Sept. 6, 2007.
[Photo: China Daily]
Rising seas resulting from the climate change will likely swamp the first American settlement in Jamestown, Va., as well as the Florida launch pad that sent the first American into orbit, many climate scientists are predicting.
In about a century, some of the places that make America what it is may be slowly erased.
Global warming - through a combination of melting glaciers, disappearing ice sheets and warmer waters expanding - is expected to cause oceans to rise by one meter, or about 39 inches. It will happen regardless of any future actions to curb greenhouse gases, several leading scientists say. And it will reshape the nation.
Bush to ask for US$195b to fund Iraq, Afgan wars: report
Tell the American people you care about the troops and that's why your trying to get them home. Don't buy into the "don't support the troops" shit the Republicans will bellow. Support is sending good money after bad. Caring is bringing them home so they won't be killed or maimed.
Don't blow it this time.
The White House will ask Congress next week to approve another massive spending measure for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan totalling nearly 200 billion US dollars, The Los Angeles Times reported on its website late Saturday.
Citing unnamed Pentagon officials, the newspaper said if President George W. Bush's spending request is approved, 2008 will be the most expensive year of the Iraq war.
Mine Resistant Ambush Protected armored vehicle (MRAP)
US war costs have continued to grow because of the additional combat forces sent to Iraq this year and because of efforts to quickly ramp up production of new equipment, such as mine-resistant trucks, the report said.
The new trucks can cost three to six times as much as an armoured Humvee, according to the paper.
Of course, if the troops aren't in Iraq, they won't need these MRAPs will they?
The Bush administration said earlier this year that it probably would need 147.5 billion US dollars for fiscal 2008, but Pentagon officials now say that and 47 billion US dollars more will be required, The Times said.
Mercenaries don't come cheap I guess.
And NOLA, just wait your turn. Jesus H Christ in sandals, can't ya show a little patience? Its only been a couple years now.
Please remain seated....
Does it make you believe in God?
Does it make you want to wear your seat belt?
Does it make you afraid to fly?
Does it make you believe in fate?
Does it make you believe in luck?
Does it make you think this is one fortunate son of a bitch?
Labels: air crash
Iran promises missiles will fly if US attacks
Ya got two total idiots taunting each other who're destined to have a go of it. It's just a matter of time.
And Bush doesn't care because he's on a mission from God. Besides, Iran's missiles won't be used against the US or Israel who will aim its missiles at Iran and probably Syria. It isn't like the US is going to be bombarded. That is the US itself won't be bombarded, but US interests in the Mid-East certainly will.
That last paragraph can be found in the Encyclopedia Britannica next to the term "chicken shit". Nah, it can't, but should be.
So what's a lot more bloodshed? Bush'll be safe in Crawford and, when he's there, in the White House.
Iran has threatened to retaliate with missile attacks if Western forces launch raids against the Islamic state's nuclear programme — putting on a defiant show of military force to back up the message.
The Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, addressed a military parade in Teheran and mocked threats from the United States, while the head of the Revolutionary Guards said Iran would "pull the trigger" if attacked.
Their bellicose intervention came as officials in Washington warned that time was running out for the secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, to "get a result" from diplomacy or hand the initiative to White House hawks who want military action.