Wednesday, December 31, 2003

I found it!
If you've been reading my blog, you've probably caught my references to what I have said were the original meanings of the terms Democratic and Republic. There are two types of Republics, Aristocratic (elections) and Democratic (lottery). I finally found a reference that refers to this (I'm waiting to find a translator for some French and Italian for more...). From kid's education on New York state
The first government of New York State grew out of the Revolution. The State Convention that drew up the Constitution created a Council of Safety which governed for a time and set the new government in motion. In June 1777, while the war was going on, an election for the first governor took place. Two of the candidates, Philip Schuyler and George Clinton, were generals in the field. Two others, Colonel John Jay and General John Morin Scott, were respectively leaders of the aristocratic and democratic groups in the Convention.
Nope, doesn't say whether the Dems supported public office by lot, public referendums, or universal membership in the lower House. On all tax bills, the entire adult population of Switzerland forms a body of Congress, and as progressive as that sounds, they are often considered quite conservative, when one notes that women got full voting rights in the entire Confederacy only in 2000.
The Lesson of America
How ever much I believe, however positive most of the record is, elections can fail to bring about a good deal, or better yet, a great deal, one hundred percent of the time. The lesson of America is that there is no perfect system, and therefore the more we have "one" system, the worse things might possible get if we've made a poor choice. The number of ways it can go wrong, remember, seems far more limitless than the ways it can go right. We could have a Twelve Monleys like scanrio (minus the time travel), we could have some sort of outer-space based catastrophe (remember that asteroid we didn't know about until it had passed?), we could have a terrestrial climate problem (too hot? too cold?) or what often seems like the most likely, an intersection of desires of non-divisible goods.
I hope I don't die tonight
It's just one of those things, living in NYC. Please remember Iraq.
Dean on Sunday
At the Center in Ames, Iowa. Saw it on C-SPAN. Fantastic. I'm worried he might be slaughtered by the media (i.e. converted into McGovern), I'm worried the Democratic machine will choose Hillary (i.e. Dean = McCarthy '68), I'm worried he might have some skeleton in the closet which will make me regret my support, I'm worried he speaks too intelligently for the media to catch on, or for his ideas to filter into the national psyche, I'm worried his performance in the debates will be shaky until he gets his footing. I'm worried that I might not have learned anything in the last four years. By the way, it was a Sunday, between Christmas and New Year's, and Dean got 400 people to come out for him in Iowa.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

It Is Certainly Possible
That one of Valerie Plame's old co-workers in the CIA leaked the story, isn't it? One who knew she was on the left, perhaps? Or even resented her she-ness? I'm just saying it wouldn't really 100% have to be the Bush administration, or even anyone appointed by them.
Jesus the Nazarene and America
Just the snip from
"And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?" A good quote for your shield... or for your Christmas card, which is where Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynne, decided to put it. I find myself wondering how the Cheneys’ pastor reacted to their Christmas card. This, of course, is not the first hijacking of "Him" for the needs of empire. In 312, before the great battle at the Milvian Bridge at Rome, Hijacker the Great—also known as Constantine—saw a cross in the sky with the words "In Hoc Signo Vinces" ("In This Sign You Will Conquer"). Constantine had a cross inscribed on his soldiers’ armor. The new "Christians" won the battle and lost Jesus’ message of nonviolence. Several centuries later, "Deus Vult" ("God wills it") was the inscription chosen by St. Peter’s successors as they dispatched crusaders to war in the Holy Land. And "Gott Mit Uns" decorated Nazi belt buckles. So "He" was hijacked long ago, with countless imperial and other brutalities carried out in "His" name.
It's enough to bum one out in "His" season.
Anti-US DVD 4 Sale, Cheap
This can't be good. The resisitance in Iraq has a theme song. Thanks to Media Revolution for the link.
The Confederacy and Slavery
As if anyone needed to bring the Civil War up again, but, if you don't believe the South and Slavery were inextricably intertwined, just take a peak at the first official act of the Confederate Congress...
Resolved, First. That this convention do appoint a commission to proceed to each of the slaveholding States that may assemble in convention, for the purpose of laying our ordinance of secession before the same and respectfully inviting their cooperation in the formation of a southern confederacy
(italics in original, emphasis mine) Non-slaveholders will not be invited..
Stop Afghani Literacy!
Imagine what would happen if they learned to read and they read the writings of American luminaries like Thomas Jefferson!
Shall ... any other nation come at pleasure into our territory, and lay hold of whomsoever she pleases, under the pretence that this man is her subject, and that man is in her employ; that here there is a felon, and there a deserter? Our national ships are our territory, in whatever quarter of the world they are found; much more so, then, when within our own acknowledged limits and juridiction. We care not who the men that were demanded from the Chesapeake; we care not whence they came [ed: not even Saudi Arabia], where they were born [ed: not even Yemen], nor who claimed allegiance from them [ed: not even Talebani Afghanistan]. Had they fled from Europe [ed: or the WTC] stained with blood, no foreign force had a right to invade our territory; no foreign officer, civil or military, had a right to exercise his functions without our limits, or to transport the supposed offender to the precincts of a distant tribunal
(emphasis mine) The last thing in the world we would want is Afghanis thinking that foreigners oughtn't come into their country and grab whomsever they please. From a letter from President TH. Jefferson to the Congress, October 27th, 1807 Here's a website with all the old congressional records.
Do I Believe This?
Corporations Aren't Person. Well, surely they aren't. Corporations must all die, or divide, after 115 years, and there better be a good reason if they are not after ninety. Hey, wait, corporate regulation talk isn't going to get me ratings! Teenagers in Love Frolicking on the Beach Threatened by Saddam Hussein! The living dead are rising and telling Americans to vote against President Bush! God has sent the message out to the Faithful(R)(tm) to look busy, because Jesus is coming! Life could be a whole lot more exciting, with a ton more factions, half of them militarized, all of them angry... or we could just take boring. Too bad McGovern didn't win, because Watergate had already happened, the inevitable was coming on that score. Too bad "boring" Gore didn't win, because the plans for the most succesful attack on America in history were already on their way, maybe even would have been stopped. In this light, the choice of currently hawkish Senator Joe Lieberman for VP in 2000 makes sense, doesn't it? Gore wouldn't have been sitting on some council of Dove's, his own VP was one of the guys gunning for both the Afghan and Iraqi wars. I'm sorry I'm dreaming so much.

Monday, December 29, 2003

Overacharges? Not a problem
We've already heard that President Bush, upon hearing about gasoline-overcharging by his Vice President's former firm, assured America, and the defenders of America, that any excess charges will be reimbursed by Halliburton. There should be no effort by any crypto-communists or terrorist-sympathizers to make any connection between this overcharging and the Ken Lay/Enron overcharging in California. Thanks to J. Bradford DeLong for the link.
Lessons on Iran for Potential Warmongers
Three major things.
    For over seven years, at a cost of hundreds of thousands of lives and billions of dollars, Iran fought Saddam Hussein, with little or no help from the outside world, although Ronald Wilson Reagan, a former President of the United States, did manage to sell them a few anti-aircraft systems in that period.

    The Iranians have free elections, where super-majorites (i.e. far more than half, in this case, more than three quarters) vote for the pro-Western "reform" candidate, Khatami. Factually, Iran is saddled with a very conservative Constitution which drastically limits opportunity for rapid change in Iran.

    In the late 1990s and 2000-01, Iran was arming and funding the Northern Alliance in an effort to overthrow the Taleban

I repeat, Iran fights Iraq, Iran fights the Taleban, super-majorities of Iranians are pro-Western.
The American Media is Mum
But the rest of the English speaking world is on the story UK (left and right) India Australia (100% right wing, basically) and Taiwan for good measure. Paul Bremer said Blair was lying. Whoops, you mean Blair said that? I mean to say that whoever said that was correct. Thanks to a C-SPAN caller for bringing it up.
Do you live in New York State?
Do you realize your budget, and a lot of other state functions, are handled by three men in a room? That the New York State Constitution, being quite old and all, and drafted during a time of relative commercial power in NY politics, is actually one of the most conservative US State constitutions (and that Texas has the most liberal one?) Well, thank the NY Times for having a special section on the NY State Capitol, Albany.

Sunday, December 28, 2003

What did Jesus Nazareth look like?
Do you mind if I call him that? I hope not. The renaissance depicted Jesus as almost Irish. Much more recently, it's been wondered if he weren't from Egypt, specifically with charcoal melanin. But, considering modern nearby Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt, and the various subgroups in the area, he had to look Palestinian, no?

Saturday, December 27, 2003

John Birch Society, again
It looks like they've won, if you examine them like the anonymous donors at have...
"According to Welch," writes Political Research Associates in its analysis of the Birchers, "both the US and Soviet governments are controlled by the same furtive conspiratorial cabal of internationalists, greedy bankers, and corrupt politicians. If left unexposed, the traitors inside the US government would betray the country's sovereignty to the United Nations for a collectivist new world order managed by a 'one-world socialist government.' The Birch Society incorporated many themes from pre-WWII rightist groups opposed to the New Deal, and had its base in the business nationalist sector..."
Looks to me like this band of loonies has effectively "won."
This Made Me Happy!
Not a lot does that, nowadays, with all this war, and the spectre of a fifty year terrorist war casting a looming shadow over the rest of my life (as if terrorism would ever entirely go away, but I digress). The Bubble of American Supremacy Ask me sometime to explain how to realize the neo-con dream, those neo-cons will never get there.

Friday, December 26, 2003

Good Rall
I like Ted Rall most of the time, although not so much with the art. He should add, for this one, (like a Mad magazine character in the margins) "and his best years were the most recent" The lion's share of death and destruction attributed to Saddam happened before 1992, and especially so since 1999.
Language Idiocy
Did you know that the different transliterations of Arabic generally come from different regions of the Arabic-speaking world? Although that doesn't explain to me why Congress spells it Usama bin-Ladin while the President spells it Osama bin-Laden, it does help explain why I've seen the name of Moammar Qaddafi spelled in a half dozen different ways, at least. (Kha, Gha, Qa)(d, dd)(f?)(fi, fy). Did you know that the FBI claims this is part of the problem in fighting terrorism? Makes sense to me that if I had choices on spellings, I might mix it up a bit to stey below the radar. But the real solution is to support Arabic script in records in America. Sign the guest register in English and in your native tongue, please. This would help with every non-Romance (non-ASCII) language. Since there aren't hundreds of Arabic language students in high schools in America, the FBI is basically effed. Whose looking out for you, babe?
The truth about yellowcake
How many times will the adminitration lie about the yellowcake, and why does their lie not even matter? Don't ask Atrios! First, the administration used documents, known to be forgeries, resulting in a technical lie in his State of the Union. The documents which formed the basis of this claim, according to public press reports, had been known to the CIA to be forgeries months before the Bush speech. The second forgery, and I must admit this is only a likely forgery, is a handwritten memo found in post-Saddam Iraq, which, presented by Iraq Governing Council member Allawi, claims to discuss not only Mohammed Atta in Baghdad in 2001, but also uranium from Niger. Note the total lack of interest the press has shown in this document. Mostly, of course, because Allawi is up there with Chalabi, inveterate scoundrel, in terms of reliability in the eyes of the Iraqis. The second point, of course, is that the note is just too convenient. Why didn't it mention Saddam's ability to launch chemical weapons in forty-five minutes, too? Can experts look into the precise date of the writing? I don't know, but I'm very willing to throw this document out for the "unbelievable" and the "pushed by a flunkie" aspects. The third forgery was recently published by the Washington Post, and I found it via Atrios, and it included this tasty tidbit
Sources said the CIA is angry about the circulation of a still-classified document to conservative news outlets suggesting Plame had a role in arranging her husband's trip to Africa for the CIA. The document, written by a State Department official who works for its Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), describes a meeting at the CIA where the Niger trip by Wilson was discussed, said a senior administration official who has seen it. CIA officials have challenged the accuracy of the INR document, the official said, because the agency officer identified as talking about Plame's alleged role in arranging Wilson's trip could not have attended the meeting.
Three strikes and your out, baseball players say, but there is a darker, much more fundamental issue, that makes the Bush administration's false-penpals orchestrations really quite absurd, before they hit the press. Yellowcake is a heavy powder. One can not make a nuclear fission or fusion bomb with yellowcake, and it would be a poor choice for "dirty" bomb, just because the controls are tighter on that than other forms of radioactive material. To make a nuclear bomb one needs to "enrich" the uranium. The more enriched the uranium, the more explosive power per kilogram possible. How big is an enrichment facility? It's a kilometer long, at least. What would make it cheap enough for Saddam to build? Leaving off all the shielding which would make the enrichment undetectable from outer space. Since that's the most important part, and you did me the service of reading this whole thing, I repeat, uranium enrichment is generally detectable from outer space without the added, large expense of shielding. In other words, the Bush administration and friends have forged three separate sets of documents to prove a claim which wouldn't get Saddam Hussein one step closer to having a nuclear bomb.
The Paris Flak, and spin
The US called France and had them cancel six flights to America on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (why not twelve?). The main source of the US claim was that a Tunisian man who had a pilot's license, who was not booked on any of the flights. The Fox news reporter on television actually suggested that this shows how close Franco-American intelligence relations are, while everyone who knows sees it more as a blatant poke in the eye at Bush-hated France. Then, minutes later, going to commercial, the main central banner declares "PLOT FOILED" while the voiceover asks (close paraphrase)"Did the Bush administration foil a terrorist plot on Christmas Eve? And was it the right thing to do?" Who questions the President? Opponents question the President. Opponents are asking if it was OK for the President to save Christmas? That's what FOX wants you to think. But it's all a lie.
What If?
I believe that US foreign policy, wherever humanly possible, follow Kant's categorical imperative, if it can be understood like this...Rules are valid for me if they would also be valid for you. If you accept this, and my example will help, the fundamental flaw with Bush's logic becomes clear, and grounds for the rejection of this policy plain. Example: President Musharaff of Pakistan has had some serious attempts on his life in the last few months, and although I hope his military dictatorship devolves into something stabler at the first opportunity, I do not hope the directive comes from any but the President himself. If another attack comes, and is very succesful, Pakistan, the only acronym country on Earth, could find itself without a clear successor. Since Musharaff won the last election with ~95% of the vote, it is clear the public has not yet rallied around a replacement. This could lead to control being held by who knows whom, including, perhaps, a radical wing of the ISI-faction which was so enthused with the Taleban, earlier. Considering that Pakistan controls nuclear weapons, which the Islamic-oriented parties would likely want to use to threaten India in their desire for Kashmir, it would follow Bush's logic for India to invade Pakistan. In fact, if the administration of any government wants to go to war with another, the US strategy has proved that lying to your people about it is AOK. For all intents and purposes, the entire country of Iraq was open to inspections before the war, which means Saddam was no threat, he was disarmed, he was under sanctions, he couldn't even buy a pencil, dammit.

Thursday, December 25, 2003

One Reason to Like Dean
I like the politics of the Clinton family. But I am 100% sick of their availability as targets to a bunch of psychos who can't remember that the last time President William Jefferson Clinton won an election was almost eight years ago. FOX, CNN and others are doing their damnedest to make sure the Democrats choose Hillary, because
    She's a known quanity==no new research

    plays to the media

    She is a polarizing, and therefore rating-grabbing, figure

I'm fucking sick of it. Let's just talk about theory and practice. I don't care if you used to be a terrorist.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Christmas in Baghdad
Thanks again to YankeeDoodle at DailyWarNews for this link from Asia Times, including the following quotes.
At night, most of downtown Baghdad is still in darkness, with only the blue and red police sirens lighting the streets and the only sound that of intermittent gunfire puncturing the silence
a double-columned queue of cars up to three kilometers in length snakes around street blocks and crosses a bridge over the Tigris, before finally terminating at a barbed wired gasoline station protected by a Humvee and an armored tank. Come closing time, so as not to abandon the queue and line up all over again the following day, most of the car owners decide to leave their vehicles parked overnight
During the day, some of Iraq's 12 million unemployed hang out in front of Checkpoint 3 of the Green Zone, the heavily fortified headquarters of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). The chances of an American accepting their resumes is next to nil, but they come every day anyway.
Iraqis are in broad agreement that life is deteriorating rather than improving. The prevailing sentiment is a complex mix of resentment and resignation, frustration and incredulity. On the one hand, Iraqis feel bitter about being occupied, and yet many are resigned to entrusting their day-to-day survival to the hands of the Americans
Considering that their option would be to try to take on the United States militarily. Can you say military-fucking-occupation? Do most citizens, at most times, rise up against their military occupiers? Well, only if they screw up like in the first three quotes above.
A Free Defense for Bush
What is our responsibility to the Iraqi people, to the State of Iraq? How does this responsibility change if no WMD are ever found? Whatever our responsibility to the Iraqi people, and I'd argue they should be given at least as much consideration as a Puerto Rican, a U.S. possession (for that is what it is in fact, regardless what new lingo some Bush-spinner decides to call it, there is no new fascism, just new names for it), finding, or not finding, WMD doesn't seem to change it. It's almost like getting married because you think she's pregnant. If she's not, you are still married. However, international "divorce" exists, and Bush would love to have one before Nov. 2004. Look for a lot of talk about a trial separation. We did not fight the war in Iraq to control Iraq. The only rational, pro-American policy is to relinquish control to the most responsible party ASAP. If you think Bremer is responsible, you are hopeless.
Chalabi, Allawi, Al-Hadeiri
These are three Iraqis liars. Chalabi lied about Saddam's WMD. Allawi lied about the "uranium from Africa" claim in a recently pushed [I allege forged] memo. Al-Hadeiri lied about helping to construct 20 below-ground weapons labs. So far, every single one of these men appears to be liars. Have we had such liars before, that have helped bring America to a bullshit war? I doubt it. What ought the punishment be? Lying to the President is not a crime. What ought to happen is that the entire establishment should turn their back on these people. Allawi and Chalabi must be dropped from the IGC, along with more than half the rest.
The Political Paradox of Truth
The political "conservatives" are correct, every loss in American history is because of "liberals" telling everyone about the awful things the "conservatives" do. And the liberals, among whom I'd like to count myself, promise to stop this anti-American behavior, the very second the right stops undermining the respectability of the United States by engaging in barbarous, insanely primitive and illegal acts (i.e. we will stop speaking anti-American when they stop acting anti-American). Machiavelli was an idiot. He had no grasp, in the first decades after the end of the Dark Ages, of what was going on around him, and his guess, that the Prince rules by Fear, was in fact a simple misapprehension of his society, and, specifically, the foundation of Medici rule/control over/of Florence and it's Hereditary Oligarchy. In any event, his philandering alone should keep his tome out of the hands of drooling conservative robots. The final word on the Prince is that is the handbook of fucking Tyranny. I'm currently engaged in a slow effort to get the Prince removed from my Alma Mater's reading lists, to have it replaced with, of course, Montesquieu!

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Right== "Chicken Shit Warmongering Fascists"
Damn Straight, Marine Corps General Zinni, former CENTCOM commander, tells the entire Right Wing it can step the fuck off. 3,000 men, women and children died on September 11th, 2001. Killing 50,000 Iraqis did not fucking help, you stupid, stupid, stupid fucking people. Thanks to Daily War News for the link, and the Washington Post for having the guts to print about this bullshit, imperialist idiocy, which can have no result but make America a victim of terrorism for decades. Bush's war causes terrorism. BUSH IS THE TERRORIST. TERROR=FEAR. He has already been using his new powers for other goals, PROVABLY, so now, what, do you expect to give his guy another chance? Then you are hopeless.
So, U Tink U Sum Kind Of Classical American Liberal?
Avid readers of Montesquieu...
    Thomas Jefferson (DR-VA) (author: Declaration of Indie-ness, Pres. #3)

    John Adams (F-MA) (author: Mass. Constitution, Pres #2)

    James Madison (DR-VA) (author: Constitution, Fed. Papers, Pres #4)

    Alexander Hamilton (F-NY) (author: Fed Papers, Sec of Treasury)

    John Jay (F-NY, author: Fed Papers, Supreme Court Justice)

Montesquieu, from the Preface
I beg one favor of my readers, which I fear will not be granted me; this is, that they will not judge by a few hours' reading of the labor of twenty years, that they will approve or condemn the book entire, and not a few particular phrases
with that in mind, from the author's Explanatory Notes
For the better understanding of the first four books of this work, it is to be observed that what I distinguish by the name of virtue, in a republic, is the love of one's country, that is, the love of equality. It is not a moral, nor a Christian virtue, but a political virtuel and it is the spring which sets the republican government in motion[.]
All authors should have that first bit in their introductions, or at least want it.
The Second Time This Has Happened
Well, apparently, America, or, more properly, Aristocratic Republics (what you folks call Representative Democracies) have a weakness to a sustained assault by what passes for news actually being a partisan, ratings-seeking effort to control the process. First it happened with Hearst, now with Murdoch. IF a population which elects its own representatives is
    dependent on the media for its news (especially in the case of foreign policy)

    with a variety of news sources

      TV is easy

      Can't be used as a reference w/o Lexis/Nexis, a fee service

THEN we get bullshit wars started on false pretenses. In both the current case and the Spanish-American war, the war was pre-ordained. The press was pushed? in either case? in both? to do their job with the greatest alacrity, to exploit every possible idea to damn the enemy, untried. Although it is debatable that Hearst ever uttered the precise words "You provide the pictures, I'll provide the war," there is little doubt how Hearst felt about the war, nor is there any secret about how Rupert Murdoch feels about this Iraq War. Is there? Now, the question: What can, if anything, be done about this? The FCC failed, did it fail because it was gutted by the President's nepotistic appointment of a kid to the Chairmanship? Was it gutted because Bush wanted the war? In either event, the FCC failed. Or prove that all solutions are flawed, except eternal vigilance, which apparently has already failed America twice. Is it possible that the media's central role in information exchange makes it invulnerable to sustained or transformative critique, and that fact makes it the ultimate weapon in a Republic?

Monday, December 22, 2003

Libya, Two Years Ago
The Rogue Who Came in From the Cold By Ray Takeyh According to this at Foreign Affairs
The colonel has embarked on a high-profile diplomatic campaign to settle conflicts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Horn of Africa, Sudan, and Sierra Leone. Libya has also signed bilateral trade and cultural pacts with Niger, Senegal, and South Africa, while extending aid to Ethiopia, the Ivory Coast, Mali, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. Tripoli has even demonstrated an uncharacteristic appreciation for multilateral institutions. Not only has it participated constructively in various regional forums, but it has hosted an extraordinary OAU meeting to press for the creation of a "United States of Africa" as a means to promote solidarity and economic integration. Most of these initiatives have yet to produce substantial practical results. But their importance lies in the fact that, after decades of attempting to subvert Africa's state system, Qaddafi is now making positive contributions to the continent's political cohesion and economic rehabilitation.
CNN, blind to its own doublethink
This article at provides a summary of the 2nd Circuit's ruling on the indefinite, incommunicado detention of U.S. citizen Jose Padilla, alleged gang member, alleged Al-Qaeda training camp trainee, arrested as he got off the plane in Chicago (I think he was returning from his training). The Bush administration decided to hold Padilla as an "enemy combatant." Eighteen months later, the Courts have decided what was obvious to me all along, that Bush had no authority to just start declaring people to have the status of "enemy combatant." That sounds reasonable, of course. Until you realize that the "enemy combatant" category itself is an arbitrary invention of the Bush administration, and a clear violation of the Geneva Convention, a cornerstone of the International Law that Bush pretends does not fucking exist. UPDATE: The very next day I found this, by Cato, in pdf and html.
Sneaking Things In
A lot of bloggers know the media tactic of leaking bad stories on a Friday evening, in order to slide them past the radar of America. This is doubly, or triiply true of the Christmas-New Year's holiday. The worst stories of the whole year come out now.
An Idea For Global Pollution Trading Schemes
These schemes are currently being discussed by Jonathon Lash, President of the World Resources Institute. He brought up the fact that mercury pollution credit trading will end up creating mercury "hot spots" which are a health concern for those people. The solution? Pollution credits can only be traded to places with a better environment. You could think of it as a law that people can only work for richer people, but since the Earth can't ask for a pay raise (or, more relevantly, an increase in living standards), this might do.
The Bush Administration and Bechtel, Continuing Decades of Corruption
Thanks to Daily War News!
Bechtel won the government's largest Iraq reconstruction contract, worth about $1 billion, to repair everything from hospitals to the southern port in Umm Qasr. Under the contract from the US Agency for International Development, Bechtel renovated 1,239 schools for a total of about $48 million, about $38,000 per school.
Well, $38,000 in Iraq is a lot, right? Well, let's see how they spend it, since that will make the difference. Don't get your hopes up...
"For that much money, we can build a new school," said Isra Mohammed, one of four regional planning directors in Baghdad. On her desk sat a stack of complaints about the reconstruction work from schools in the area she oversees.
For the price that Bechtel repaired the schools of Iraq, Iraqis could have built all new schools in Iraq? I doubt it, but I bet it's more than half the schools. Well, did it work?
[Christiansen] said materials and salaries for 10 expatriates who oversaw the work of the Iraqi subcontractors accounted for the bulk [of the costs]
Materials and Management, are you surprised that wages weren't a larger part of the equation? I'm not.
[Bechtel Iraq School Overseer] Christiansen ... insisted that the company had carefully chosen the 69 Iraqi subcontracters. "We reviewed their qualifications, which of course were difficult to verify; nevertheless we developed a list of 15-20 companies that competed" for each subcontract, Christiansen said. He also pledged that Bechtel would return to repair problems for up to one year if the company believes it is at fault.[emphasis mine]
Did you notice that? A one year guarantee. Isn't that what you expect with most construction projects? What percentage of their customers and their clients are aware of any "complaint procedure?" What do you think the review process possibly could have consisted of, considering how Bechtel can't have more than a tiny few actual Arabic translators.

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Premature World Ending Announcement Retracted
In the post right below I announced the world had ended. What I neglected to mention is that it is going to take a while to sink in. Murdoch himself is only one person, and his political agenda can't possibly address all issues and/or be be consistent (Gödel's proof). When the media has an agenda, we are hosed. See, Presidents William McKinley the crooked and Theodore Roosevelt the militarist jingo.
I applaud the Government of the People's Republic of China
There does seem to be some effort made to provide for the needs of your people. However, I would like to cap monthly trade with China at the current level, and let it adjust for inflation. I just don't want to like China any more, right now, than I already do.
I feel fine
It's the end of the world as we know it. Kudos to Google News, the Melbourne Herald Sun, and R.E.M.
NEWS Corporation will gain 12 million American viewers and the ability to broadcast to five continents after winning approval to take over US satellite service DirecTV.
From this really specatacular freedom deathknell
Both the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Department of Justice gave the green light to a plan, under which News Corp will gain control of the satellite television provider. The FCC voted 3-2 to approve the deal, but imposed conditions aimed at ensuring News Corp does not bully cable and satellite rivals who also want to offer their customers its network and cable programming.
(emphasis mine) As if BushCo FCC or DoJ would get in the way of a plan for Fox News global domination? And did you see the concession? President GW Bush: Now Rupee, repeet after me. "I, state your name," Rupert Murdoch: I, Most Powerful Bastard You'll Ever Meet, Rupert Fuckin-A Murdoch President Bush: do promise Responsible Media: do promise P Bush: not to bully Lying, Perjuring Pimp: not to bully The President, now bent over laughing: the people you savage on your networks every day Rupert, growing horns: the people whose lives I destroy on my networks every day/ You know what it must be? It must be that I just don't remember the media fawning over Reagan very well, did they do the same sort of cheerleading for him that our Cheerleader-in-Chief gets from Murdoch/Ailes?

Friday, December 19, 2003

Death Toll in Israel/Palestine
Thanks to the San Francisco Gate for doing the research.
Historical Parallels with the Bush administration
They fail. As much as he might resemble the corrupt McKinley's, remind us of Mussolini's infallibility(?), of Monarchists, Imperialists, or more. But the Oilocracy is uniquely American, as unique as they see themselves in the world. Money for punching a hole in the dirt. A religious denomination that, to me anyway, that seems intolerant, and anti-science. I'm saying it surpasses comparison because it is more powerful than any previous faction.
Gerald Seib, Wall St Journal Washington Bureau Chief, Reads from the Script
This tool of the fascist idiot machine repeated the bullshit claim about Dean's 2003/12/15 California Foreign Policy speech. The speech AND Seib's stupid propaganda are available in the C-SPAN archives, free, for two weeks. Find Dean's speech in the section Election 2004 on the left hand side, and Seib's comments are in today's Washington Journal (first half hour). All three hours were Wall St. Journal people, and clips of Wall St. Journal meetings. I didn't venture far from the bathroom, in case I needed to throw up.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

CNN, shilling against Dean
CNN is slamming Dean on his position on the war, and slamming Dean on his position on taxes ("leaves him open to attack," the only position this narrator ever mentions leaves anyone "open to attack.") Karl Rove can pack up, CNN is doing their best to keep to the script on Dean, the Democrats are crazy leftists for picking Dean, because all Democrats are crazy, untrustworthy terrorist sympathizers in any event! GO PRESS GO! (to ayche ee double hockey sticks!)
A Trial of Saddam Hussein
If it is handled by local Iraqis, specifically US puppets, then information about Halliburton and the CIA will be suppressed. They have full intention of suppressing the information about US involvement in the history of Iraq, and make the most of French dealings with Iraq, neglecting that Japan did the lion's share of trade with Iraq during the sanctions years.
U.S. Soldiers used to raid union organizers in Iraq.
THIS crap is going to repeat the stunning success of the sell off of the former Soviet Union to a few rich people. Do you think many Iraqis, except a few party loyalists, and a few people who say idly by while Saddam did his thing, can possibly afford to get in a bidding war with a Western firm? If all this hyper-capitalist bullshit we are pulling in Iraq does NOT blow up in the faces of the Iraqis (and how long I wait depends on a lot of factors), I will apologize.
It is excessive
If it were just the settlements, the assassination lists, the helicopter gunship approach to law enforcement, I would say "Please, let us do everything we can to separate the name of America from the name of Israel, their behavior is despicable, and worthy of our reproach." But on top of all the actual stuff they do, the disgusting, mindless, nazi-esque rationalizations they give... ...that is when I can only shake my head. It makes me not care if 100% of Israelis are run into the sea. Not that I feel that way, but it makes me feel that way.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

I've avoided
Because of their stupid one-click patent position. I'm not sure they still have it, but today I did a search at Amazon whose "suggestions" pissed me off. I searched for the Spirit of Laws (looking for the 2001 edition, which will be unabridged, compared to the 1973(bad) edition I have) and I did a search for Considerations on Representative Government (Hume, whose philosophy I've always had a soft spot for), which I have to admit I haven't read, and the worst pigs,, suggested Fareed Zakaria. As if that tool has anything but contempt for Republics.
Did you know?
The numerous post-WWI Iraqi regimes have had numerous positions on a claim to Kuwait. This map suggests that Kuwait was separated from Iraq even before WWI.
Gephardt Says Bush Fails As A Leader

Democrat Proposes Direct Aid to Soviets

by Tom Kenworthy, Washington Post Staff Writer House Majority Leader Richard A. Gephardt (D-Mo.) charged yesterday that the United States is failing to capitlize on the sweeping changes in Eastern Europe because of what he called President Bush's timid, unimaginative leadership and his obsession with public opinion polls and short-term political gain. In one of the sharpest Democratic assaults to date on Bush, Gephardt has called for direct U.S. economic aid to the Soviet Union and accused the president of running a government "of the polls, by the polls, and for the polls."
Dateline? March 6th (7th?) 1990, Page A1.
"[S]tability, democracy, and a market economy in the Soviet Union are in America's strong self interest." Specifically Gephardt proposed sending U.S. food aid to the Soviet Union, waiving a variety of trade restrictions, including those on high-technology, and changing U.S. law to encourage private investment in the U.S.S.R.
A Point You Perhaps Overlooked?
The government is seeming to ask us to be self-sufficient, and also to believe in the benefits of international trade. The government asks you, as a person, to be self-sufficient, and yet expects you to believe that international trade is a far, far better thing than being, say, self-fucking-sufficient. GOP... hypocritical bullshit the tillboys tell them to say!
I Hate Cato
Mostly because 95% of the time they shill for the billionaire bandwagon. Yesterday they had a conference on Iraq. They had a Cato guy up there talking about how he was against the war. His position was very similar to mine, although he is far more willing to debate whether or not Iraq was a threat, he does not believe it was. His name was Charles Pena, and he obviously wasn't a junior guy there. He concluded, however, in sharp contrast to my own views, that our only current interest in Iraq is to make sure the next regime does not connect to any terrorists. Col. Allard (Ret.) was also there, and he claimed that our only interest was to make sure it didn't end up like "Islamic" Iran (which is really just a fusion Theocracy-Republic, and that votes pro-Western with 75%+ supermajorities of the population). Sounds like they were both thinking of re-hiring Saddam, who did well at stopping terrorist ties and opposing Iran.
Vaughn Ververs, Editor of Hotline
GOP stooge... listen to this on Rowland... "sort of lied about it" There was no "sort of" about it, the guy flat out fucking lied to everyone's face. Yeah, but he's a fucking Republican, that shit is AOK. Oh, and then he goes on to explain how Rowland even paid back monies he didn't have to pay back, as if that somehow explains anything. What a bunch of simpering, pathetic fools we mortals can be.
Alan Greenspan, a smart bad person
Can you believe that on Dec 11, 2003, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan actually said that the theory that free trade hurt jobs was not true, because it isn't imports that hurt jobs, it is a lack of capital(business) investment and soft exports. Mr. Greenspan is obviously trying to snow his Texas audience, for if Capital is rational, and can purchase cheaper labor overseas, it won't invest in American business, but overseas business, resulting in more imports and fewer exports. Chairman Greenspan is one of the wisest men, mostly becaue of his access to and understanding of economic data and models (the Fed's budget includes tons of money for financial modellers and data miners and the like). However, Greenspan is basically a hyper Capitalist, and I loathe him. At every turn, economic freedom is more important to him than political freedom. The penalty for that, of course, should be jail time (a jail where you are free to engage in economic activity, of course ;) I just read about Cyprus in the 17th century... the Governor would buy his Governorship from the Ottoman Empire, then try to recoup the losses via taxes. Isn't that the Libertarian Dream? Aren't markets more efficient at allocating scarce resources (e.g. good leaders) than any other system known to humankind? Of course not, you stupid Libertarian shits.
Clayton Yeutter, Former U.S. Trade Representative, 1985-89
Actually just claimed that the US productivity rose as a result of the mid-1980s Japan trade deal (the general topic was NAFTA). Well, of course, you exposed a huge number of American firms to Japanese competition, so they had to improve their productivity or fail. It doesn't meant that unemployment didn't rise during the entire tenure of this USTR. Do we want more trade deals that increase producitivity and increase unemployment? FUCK NO. Yeutter, a robot drooling tool of the GOP. "Nobody knows what quote fair trade means" --Yeutter "I know what unfair trade is." --Senator Byron Dorgan

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Dear Self,
Today I seemed to piss off the libruls when I had that fat man tell those "other" people that they were to blame for decades of Saddam's rule. They started talking nonsense about how UN is spelled US, which obviously isn't right, and then they tried to say bad things about me, which everyone against terrorists knows isn't true. Sometimes I feel trapped, like the people don't hear me when I talk. Notes To Self: Speaker more slowly yet, increase repetition -DaPrez
Beg Bush To Pay Attention
The pro-Saddam rally I saw on TV today was far, far larger than any pro-American rally I saw, even on Liberation Day. please pay attention!

Monday, December 15, 2003

Richard Perle LIED Today
To the Hudson Institute. He claimed the UN had "documented" the production of "unaccounted" for stocks of chem or bio weapons. In fact, what the UN had documented was the extent of Saddam's production, under the inspections regime. Then they took those figures, and calculated a total output. The UN has been demanding the proof of the destruction of these "spreadsheet" (or some other calculator) armaments, most of which would have been unusable 7 years ago, for the last 12 years. Their existence was never documented, it was hypothesized. Oh, and blogger J. Marshall was vain and decent, debating Perle.
The last 2003 Bush Press Conference, Dec
shorter: Remember when gore got it for sighing? Today I watched Bush's press conference and he repeatedly sighed, shook his head, made poor eye contact, repeatedly made faces, in total, showed a complete lack of composure. It was pointed out to me, by someone who unpacked the SDI's records at the range, that the only critical note in my first eight weeks of boot camp was Day 4, when it was noted that I lacked composure (made faces)
Last Press Conference of 2003
The President mentioned on good thing about the actual state of the Iraqis, that the US is spending more on health care than Saddam did. He didn't even come close to saying Iraqis have better health care, just that we are spending more. Then he goes off into this long, intentionally conflation of Saddam and the War on Terror, which Bush alleges does not exist. We are a better nation this year, did you know? WE BECAME A BUNCH OF IMPERIALIST BASTARDS. President Bush the liar said we now have "protection of children from partial birth abortion." WHAT AN IDIOT! Children don't die from partial birth abortion. Bush sighs audibly during the first question, but the press corps ignored it. After dissing international law, he suggests Saddam's trial will "that will stand international scrutiny" Bush now reminds Americans how Saddam gassed people, killed people, and had rape rooms. Of course, that mostly happened when his Daddy was sending him bombs, but that's not the point, and the press corps will ignore it. "what matters now is the view of iraqi citizens" How many Iraqi citizens have you ever spoken to? He shakes his head when he said "a timetable" was a completely absurd thing for the press corps to ask. "over 60 nations involved now" "we've got a large coalition" I wonder how many of those 60 nations would have joined up if Bush had never lied about the WMD? He claims, falsely, that a democratic, stable regime in the middle of the Middle East is in the interests of all Nations. This is not so, and the proof is very easy to see. It is in America's interest to have this be so, that we can agree on. But why would it be in the interest of China or Russia to have America succeed in Iraq? Neither they, nor France nor Germany, wanted this war in the first place, and they reject the idea that America should go bomb whoever it wants in order to convert them into Democracy. Actually, this has never worked, Germany and Japan surrendered and negotiated a deal. He released another massive sigh, press corps ignored. He said "I will never forget the lessons of Sept. 11th, 2001" Listen, moron, the lesson of Sept. 11th is that there is an alternative ending to a hijacking scenario. You don't fly commercial, so you don't have to care. Bush is saying there will be a debate SOMETIME IN THE FUTURE, he hopes to explain how an Iraq war made America safer. He is the biggest idiot I have EVER seen in high public office. "We do have a plan to cut the deficit in half." I guess it is secret! When asked about WMD... BUSH INSTANTLY TURNED THE CONVERSATION TO 9/11! WHAT A STUPID SACK OF HAMMERS! He says the whole world thought Saddam was a threat for 12 years. Saddam was a threat to Bush! He had to bring up the sixty nations in Iraq three or four times. He brought up Sept. 11th (The day when no WMD were used, the day no Iraqis flew planes into American icons) several times.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

The Current Problem
For everyone who isn't us... The election of a US President can change the fates of all 6 billion people of Earth, but none but us get a vote. and most of us don't show up to vote that could be a good thing
Silly Easterbrook, Sillier Publisher
Tacitus blog writes that the real Bush administration record on the environment is FABOO! Absolutely the shiznit fizzle dit sweetwater. Bird Dog cites three things, all from a Easterbrook piece which says three things Bush deserves to get credit for, namely
He ordered that diesel fuel be reformulated to reduce its inherent pollution content ... He ordered that new diesel trucks and buses meet significantly stricter emissions standards ... Third, he imposed new emissions standards on a range of previously unregulated machines -- construction vehicles, outboard motors, all-terrain vehicles and others.
Simply refutable, I think, is #1, which this Truthout article shows was actually a Clinton proposal that Bush decided to follow through with, and not a Bush initiative at all. Here is proof that outboard motors, unlike Easterbrook the liar's contention, WERE PREVIOUSLY REGULATED. Will ANY portion of Easterbrook and Tacitus' claim hold water? We tend to doubt it. I am going to have to do some research on the remaining point, the diesel engine standards, over at the EPA, to compare the proposed and final rules, to see what Bush has "added" to the Clinton-era proposal, which shows that, at least, NONE of the initiatives came from the Bush administration, unless the diesel engine rule is somehow wholly removed from the Clinton EPA proposal.
Don't be fooled
Even if we had captured Saddam on Day One, the war was still BU..SHIT.
Saddam finally caught
Nine months later. It's about time. No WMD were found near Saddam, but Bush is still sure they exist. How many murderous tyrants did we ally ourselves with to stop him?

Saturday, December 13, 2003

The Real Story
The real story, often enough, is what people aren't saying. Brightness exposes the blindspot. Howard Dean doesn't talk about corporate welfare.
holy crump. alan colmes really believes he is a liberal! and thinks he is oppressed for not following the "liberal doctrine" and thinks fox is really fair and balanced
Is this even worse?
Is it somehow seedier when Powell is forced to play patty-cake with black dictators? Of course not, unless someone thinks skin color means something. Because of this random, year old find, I will add The Dictatorships, a site that doesn't get updated a lot, but has been around a long time, to my left hand column.

Friday, December 12, 2003

Is Dean another McGovern?
Knowing what you know now, would you have voted for Nixon?

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Newt Gingrich is a Deaniac
But what would you expect from a man who once tried to buy every student a 1994 laptop? According to this at the Washington TImes, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said
Dean clearly is a phenomenon, but not necessarily a Goldwater or a McGovern


Dean is more clever, and tougher

I'm not here to talk about phrases like "more clever, and tougher," but to suggest that Dean is tougher and more clever than McGovern the best known peacenik candidate for President and Goldwater, who is probably the best known example of "Oh my god, he's going to start a nuclear war" candidate since most people don't know Le May, then Newt Gingrich is probably the Dean's greatest supporter. That's like saying you're smarter and tougher than Gandhi and Hitler, but with a particular 1960s-70s perspective.
Major Garett actually said the "and that's the reason the drug companies didn't have profits last year" after explaining that the pharmaceutical companies apparently produced 15 million extra doses (of 85-95 million total) of flu vaccine in 2002. Drug companies had massive profits. Major Garret is a liar.
Why Does it Make Sense to Follow the Law
Well, sometimes you want to speed, and sometimes you want to jaywalk, and sometimes you do both of these, even though you know they are against the law. The President, in the aftertalk of the last Cabinet meeting of the year, kept playing with his hands, it was very funny, alternately tapping them on the table. Anyway, he said some outrageous stuff, totally dismissing the very existence of international law.
International law? What's that? My lawyer didn't bring that up with me.


I don't know what you are talking about "international law"

--President G. Walker Bush
It's not corruption anymore
I may be no fan of the administration, but here are some good ideas for free, to help them argue for handing out contracts to US companies.
  1. they collect some of the payments to US contractors back in taxes
  2. the incomes mostly go back into the US economy, further stretching those dollars
  3. it will solidify the administration's place as the most corrupt administration since U.S. Grant's
Adjusted for inflation, Bush has given more no-bid contracts to his friends and family than any President in history, but that's only called corruption in other times. Right?
Fascist Bremer & BushCo.
As if his breaking up of the SOEs and the mindless stupid flat fax, Bremer is also crushing Unions like Saddam. (and more on American idiocy) Thanks to Atrios.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

John Kerry's Nashua Firehouse Chili Speech
Perhaps the fire in his belly was there solely because he'd been eating chili, but if some of the attendees thought the chili wasn't hot enough, no one felt that way about his speech. This was the experienced Senator opening up, speaking with passion. An attendee came up afterwords and said how he should just be himself, and how much better tonight he was than when he had been on television. She was wrong, he was just not so good before tonight, as far as I've seen. He basically said that for everything Bush has ever done, there was a better way, which is certainly not only always true, but particularly true. UPDATE: At the end, the C-SPAN segment moderator (not Peter, not Pedro, not Brian L.) asked Kerry an anti-Dean question... giving Kerry a chance to take a stab at Dean without Dean around for a rebuttal. Kerry spun his standard line, that Dean had changed his mind in his life (thank Goodness Kerry was born with his views). Thanks Kerry, because of this, your 1+ hour performance was reduced on Fox News to the single story that Dean is a waffler.
Q3 8.2% GDP theory
Firms with time discretion in income accretion delayed 2Q events until Bush's 2nd tax cut went into effect, i.e. July of 2003.
About Twelve Years Have Passed
Since the Democratic Party last had a real chance to choose a front-runner, since, well, the custom is to allow the most recent Vice President the opportunity to run.
To Mr. Robert Somerby
Could the laugh fest get any bubblier? In case our intelligence hadn't been insulted enough, not only is Gore "disloyal" for not endorsing Sen. Lieberman, but the (plumpening?) Dick Morris was on hand for Fox & Friends in order to explain, "if any one can," Gore's possible secret plans in endorsing Dean
    Let's ignore
      Dean has been consistently anti-war

      Lieberman was one of ten Senators, and the only Democrat, to sign a letter to President Bush urging a war in Iraq back in October, 2001

      Dean has rallied the technological generation to his side

      Lieberman's campaign is moribund, and floundering

      Gore's own explanation, i.e. Dean's success rocking the base

So, what was really going on? Mr. Morris, permanent Clinton expert, ruined if someone outside the Clinton circle becomes President, said he knew of "many things going on here"
    Gore was taking a stab at the Clintons (the Presidential Winkie theory of politics = Clinton is the reason for the Season)

    Gore is trying to position himself as the darling of the left, positing, I shit you not, that an early Dean endorsement followed by a Dean loss to Bush will improve Gore's profile for 2008 (as if picking losers (and Dean is twice assured to be a candidate who can't win) endears us to one!)

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Dean Gets Gore For '04
Still working on this... feel free to comment. The Universe is a bit of a sloppy mess. There is no grand order to things, and despite what some people staking their reputations on a good hunch, or human forgetfulness, nothing in this world is pre-ordained. I see how nobody would want this to be the case, it is a useless explanation of things, lacking any inherent truth, justice or apple pie. Perhaps though, by being honest, it will let you get the answers you can. In a room lacking overhead lights, strangely dark at nine in the morning, a woman's voice singing a song that might have been the Cranberries or Sarah McLachlan, and then someone from the Harlem community took the stage and introduced the Doctor, who, in turn, introduced Gore. The event leaves me with a strange feeling, in part because of strange lighting, in part because C-SPAN cut away to talk to Ryan Lizza, an assoc. editor at the National Review (compared to Albert Gore, Jr?), so I had to switch to Fox to catch the rest, in part because I'm still not 100% convinced that the party in the White House will change hands, no matter how much the former Vice President and I wish it to be so. I couldn't help notice that Gore's hair was longer than usual, and hadn't been washed. I am sincerely hoping it was because the two gentlemen were up until the wee hours talking, which brings me to my next point. Dean mentioned he and Gore had been in talking for some time, perhaps for several months, and he mentioned foreign policy as one topic. The overall implication is that the Doctor had accepted phone calls from Mr. Gore, and had talked to him at length, and that perhaps the initial, or some subsequent phone calls, had been initiated by Dean. This probably has more to do with Dean's current occupation, unemployed, than anything else, and perhaps Gore was bowled over in a pattern of interest similar to that felt by the head of the SEIU. Bringing this up for a while, but, it isn't like the run-up to the war, when everyone (at least the some women) should have known we were going to be fucked, since he kept talking to us, and talking to us, and he would never bring us anything new, but his friends would talk to us, it was like the American Public said "Go ahead and do it already," and I have to admit to being partially inspired by Freeway blogging criminal who posted "We are all wearing the blue dress now." One of the things Mr. Dean let slip in his introduction to the former Vice President and Senator was This morning, in a very dark room, packed with people, many holding cameras above their heads, Albert Gore Jr., and Howard Dean shared the stage and lifted their hands together. This author, of course, is simply proud to have Vermont's three electoral votes in the column he votes for, come November. Well, we've convinced Democrats TM to choose Howard Dean, now on to the Rep Arguing from adverse consequences, if Dean doesn't win, all the children in America are going to be unhappy for the rest of their lives.

Monday, December 08, 2003

That Ends That
Gore Backs Dean It's nice not to have to worry anymore, isn't it? The recent announcement that former Vice President Gore will be endorsing Howard Dean for Democratic nominee has ended, for now, any debate about the course of the next eight or nine months, on the road to the Boston Democratic Convention in August. The story can be observed from many angles, here are a few. The Representative of the Process When Vice President Gore conceded the 2000 Presidential election, he became an international symbol of the respect for the institution of elections. As Vice President, he stood at the Speaker's desk in the U.S. House and had to read the votes of for the victor, and deny every motion to challenge the Florida results which changed his 281-246 victory into defeat. If you have any doubt of this, please see Governor of Florida Jeb Bush's multi-minute praise of Gore's concession. This is the most important sense of Gore's endorsement, and it is the central factor which clinches the nomination for Dean. Green'ish Gore for Green Mountain Dean Gore was known for being in the liberal half of the Democrats, even though he was the founder of the Democratic Leadership Conference(DLC), an organization with obvious centrist leanings. Gore's book, "Earth in the Balance" has the right idea, i.e. we can now easily screw the whole ecosystem, and in America, since we don't have real Communists, Greens are to the left of all of the rest of the left. Looked at this way, Gore's endorsement is only the Green left of the Democrats endorsing another "Green," although Dean is considered leftist solely because he is from the traditionally leftist State of Vermont, home of the greatest number of volunteers for the U.S. Civil War. I'm left wondering How well did Gore research the subject? I hope I find out.
This was real
Supposedly, this actually existed. Heh. It might even have been the smartest of them all, and it had an opposable thumb.
I sure wish...
I sure wish I could make more money, just by holding back drugs from dying people unless they pay seemingly absurd prices. I mean, there aren't many industries were you can legally exert life-threatening pressure on your customers.
Representative Boehner (R-OH)
Said that public schools aren't "real." What a douchebag.
Mike Leavit, former Utah Governor, Enivornmental Protection Agency Adminsitrator
This morning he appeared on Washington Journal, the C-SPAN morning call-in show. A caller asked why if trasmitting AIDS is a crime (knowingly infecting someone) why isn't air pollution (specifically, mercury poisoning, which can kill) prosecuted the same way? Then the caller said something really cool, but I have no idea whether it was true or not. Did James Watt (Reagan EPA Administrator) really think the End Timestm were coming, and that there was no need to protect the environemnt? In any event, let's look at Mr. Leavitt's answer. Mr. Leavitt began by explaining how mercury poisoning happens. It turns out that the main avenue of mercury into our bodies is through fish... the power plants (which I think he acknowledged produced most of it, through the burning of fossil fuels) send their waste into the sky, it travels, and it lands on a body of water... Mr Leavitt actually said that it was not a deliberate act. Yeah, I guess those fucking power companies just ACCI-FUCKING-DENTALLY produce power. They aren't deliberately in business.
General Sanchez doesn't "get it"
According to General Sanchez, suggests that because a lot of the resistance is organized/controlled/funded by local elements, the capture of Saddam (Job #1 in Iraq, according to me)may not end them. Apparently, Gen. Sanchez doesn't get it. Saddam is Iraq, Iraq is Saddam. I mean, of course ALL violence won't end the day he is captured... but until the precise moment when everyone in Iraq knows he is gone FOREVER (dead or humiliated), they will fear his return. They know how US politics might work, that a change in President means a change in policy. Just look at how elections changed the Afghans fortunes.... in the 1800s.

Friday, December 05, 2003

CHANGE the John Birch Society
It's not like they didn't want to do the right thing. What are the John Birch Society(JBS)? I think the most relevant aspect of the story is the founder, of whom I know few, but important, things about. Almost unrelated to the JBS is Mr. Welch's belief that salesmanship was the "uniquely, American art." Salesmanship and Capitalism, certainly, have a symbiotic relationship. He also seemed to believe that the enemy was Communism, and the group tended to paint anyone to the political "left" of Barry Goldwater as a communist sumpathizer. Technically, and in only the most abstract sense, Mr. Welch was entirely wrong. Communism was, at best, the name the enemy gave itself. Our government tries to be "propagandistic." Who wouldn't try to be, well, upbeat. Totalitarianism is the enemy, Republicanism is our cause. The conflict was never directly about Capitalism and Salesmanship Vs. Communism and Central Planning.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

A Brief Conspiracy Theory, with very little basis
This theory does not treat nicely one US-favored person, Ahmed Chalabi.
    Ansar Al-Islam
      Originally an Iranian front group

      Halabjah toehold in Kurdish Iraq

      Islamic and Terrorist and Anti-Saddam

    Ahmed Chalabi
      Wanted by His Majesty, the King of Jordan

      Whisked, with armed(?) militia, into the country

    Somebody blames the bombing of the Jordanian Embassy on Ansar Al-Islam
Whoops, looks like Jordan beat me to this. I wonder what their evidence was.
Creating an Iraqi Militia
Bush, also planning a return trip to the moon, is going to create a Militia in Iraq. Does one think, to follow up, he should go to Detroit and build a car? Iraq has militias! Every single adult male in Iraq was legally BOUND to be in a militia before this war, unless they were the 400,000 in the military. The CIA's public pre-war estimate of available manpower in Iraq was 6,400,000. We fired the 400,000 in the military. Doing some quick math, that leads 6,000,000 members of militias! Bush is going to create a militia in Iraq. He's also going to send a man to the moon.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Convoy Crew Opens Up
I got this link via Marine's Girl, an article from STFF, an alleged quote from someone at a recent battle in Samarra...
The ROE under "Iron Fist" is such that the US soldiers are to consider buildings, homes, cars to be hostile if enemy fire is received from them (regardless of who else is inside. It seems too many of us this is more an act of desperation, rather than a well thought out tactic. We really don't know if we kill anyone, because we don't stick around to find out. Since we armored troops and we are not trained to use counter-insurgency tactics;
I think ROEs (Rules of Engagement) are very important. In fact, at the blood & dirt level of the occupation, nothing is more important, other than the actual servicemembers involved. It is part of the fundamental difference between servicemembers and police, police have beats, sericemembers have ROEs. Cops deal with civilians, soldiers confront enemies. The fact that the convoy was carrying a lot of currency can not be ignored. That it was a larger scale offensive on the part of the rebels seems very likely.
I just learned, watching Washington Journal, from Viveca Novak, Washington Correspondent for Time Magazine... They are all interviewed each fortnight. Four person "Tiger Teams" do the interviews, which last from 1 to 16 hours. The Pentagon is saying that because Guantanamo Bay military base on Cuba IS NOT US SOIL, they have no rights. What a fucking Pentagon load of fucking steaming dung. The Democrats in power are spineless sea anemones. The Republicans in office are scum-sucking maggots.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Huh? Is that what that is?
I was reading some Mickey Kaus today, and I realized something. He's awful. Anyway, check this tidbit out, it was top of the page when I arrived...
Howard Dean has passed another milestone-his campaign is now successful enough to be endangered by his own advisers boasting in the press about how they helped shape his message
This is such a terrible thing? Did anyone hear Kaus crow about Karl Rove comparing himself to Hanna, again and again? From an educational website called Spartacus, an online bio of Hanna...
Hanna's influence over McKinley's victory illustrated the growing influence of wealthy industrialists in American politics.
Hanna's money and his efforts changed not only the results of the election, but also of policy, I would guess.

Monday, December 01, 2003

Thanks Riverbend!
I had never (for certain) heard the name Imad Khadduri before Riverbend brought his name to my attention? Why not? Because he is entirely inconvenient to the Bush adminsitration's pre-war story. Here is his on Iraq's WMD programs. Authored by Khadduri: Khadduri left the Iraq in 1998. HE HOSES BUSH FRONT MAN KHIDRE HAMZA PRETTY HARD CORE! But only ignorant people believed Hamza anyway.
OK, this is too much
I think both sides of the current US v Terrorists war are thoughtlessly murderous numbskulls. I rarely address the Arab world's issues re: the World, for the obvious reasons that
  • I am not from there, having only visited once
  • I am responsible, at most, for what goes on in my neck of the worlds, not who runs your country (unless I get a great opportunity to help)
But, having just listened to the Nov 26, 2003 C-SPAN of a panel discussion including Adib Fahra, a Professor at the Lebanese American University, I can't stay silent anymore. What did he say, that just is too bad? He said that Israeli members of the US Foreign Policy machine would "veto" any efforts to deal with Palestine in anything but the Israeli way. This instantly reminded me of outgoing 20+ year Malaysian President Mohammed Mahathir's comments, when he also made strong connections between Israel and the US. Like I've said before(?this blog?), and as President Stephen Grover Cleveland said 105 years ago (@ Mt. Holyoke, middle of para. 6) most anyone is free to come to this country, and publish what their pocketbooks, or others, will let them publish, including anti-Eskimo screeds bordering on the eye-bleeding ;) As a result of this great freedom, naturally and expectedly, for the last 55+ years (probably beginning with pro-intervention 39-41 Hollywood movies) people with a viewpoint have had the power to publish their views, directly or subtly. For various reasons, some legitimate (Israel has elections), and some not (the others are Muslims), these sympathies have generally been accepted by a large portion of the American public. What else do Americans know? I ask the Arab world... Do you make productions for the English language world on what you would like to present on your world? Would American TV stations even show this stuff? Nowadays? Maybe. I hope so. Dear Arab World. Our foreign policy is influenced by anyone with a voice and a platform. Our foreign policy has not been, consistently, handled brilliantly. Americans have consistently been more interested in their own issues than foreign policy. This, I promise, to try to work on, within my country. Jews don't run America, mmm'kay ? I only bring it up because Professor Farha was otherwise so exceptional. For him to have suggested that, well, it was a bit heartbreaking.