Monday, January 31, 2005

More Chertoff Mendacity

     Blah3 links to a story from the International Labor Communications Association which explains Sec DHS nominee Chertoff's role in the Lindh case.  Lindh was going to say he only signed the confession after... you guessed it, he was tortured.  Chertoff has gagged him, never fear.  Could the next sane President please have the US AG's office strike a new deal with Lindh?  And, even assuming the worst, Lindh was 1 out of 300,000,000 Americans working for the Taliban (not UBL).  If what I heard was correct, he never fired at US troops, only Northern Alliance warlord troops.

Per Usual

     WIIIAI is on top of things with wit and writing ability.

     MSNBC notes that 60 million ballots were imported into the country.  Dr Khadduri notes that Iraq only has 25 million people, only 15 million of whom can vote and asks "What will they be doing with the extra 45 million ballots?"

     Bob Somerby, of the Daily Howler, is tops.  According to Steve Twomey, published in the Columia Journalism Review, says Somerby thinks the press was better to Kerry than Gore.  I find this hard to believe.

Iraq Election Setup #1 and Failure #1

     Setting the stage.  When Bu$hCo liars want to fool you, they often will often make the possible seem inevitable.  Does Bush really look forward to working closely with Congress in a bipartisan way?  Of course its possible, if Bush has had a preventive lobotomy.  In any event, Bush looks forward to uniting the country, working with Congress, doing a whole host of things that aren't bloody fucking likely at all.

     Not surprisingly, the current Prime Minister, CIA-backed Terrorist Allawi, has handlers pushing the same scheme.  Today, Allawi is acting like he was already elected.  "Starting from today I will begin a new national dialogue to insure that the voices of all Iraqis are present in the coming government."  Was he elected to anything?  He sure acts like the vote counting process is in crooked, pro-Allawi hands.

     Perhaps Iraq Election Fraud #1 is relatively small, after all, the futures of 20 million people might, in some small sense where American dictation is not in play, be at stake.  In any event...

     If I were going to rig the vote, I'd sure not want any preliminary count, do you know what I mean?

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Foreign Affairs on Iraq, Jan/Feb 2005

     Foreign Affairs has three peices on Iraq in its newest issue.  In reverse order as presented...

     Luttwak: Wow.  So much about this article is wonderful, even, of course, as it was almost all terrible news.  Let me quote this section

The very word "guerilla" acquired its meaning from the ferocious insurgency of the illiterate Spanish poor against their would-be liberators under the leadership of their traditional oppressors.  On July 6, 1808, King Joseph of Spain presented a draft constitution that for the first time in Spanish history offered an independent judiciary, freedom of the press, and the abolition of the remaining feudal privileges of the aristocracy and the church.  Ecclesiastical overlords still owned 3,148 towns and villages, which were inhabited by some of Europe's most wretched tenants.  Yet the Spanish peasantry did not rise to demand the immediate implementation of the new constitution.  Instead, they obeyed the priests, who summoned them to fight against the ungodly innovations of the foreign invader -- for Joseph was the brother of Napoleon Bonaparte and had been placed on the Spanish throne by French troops a month earlier.  That was all that mattered for most Spaniards -- not what was proposed, but who proposed it.
     By then, the French should have known better.  In 1799 he same thing had happened in Naples, whose liberals, supported by the French, were massacred by the very peasants and plebeians they wanted to emancipate, mustered into a militia of the "Holy Faith" by Cardinal Fabrizio Ruffo (the scon, coincidentally, of Calabria's most powerful landowning family).  Ruffo easily persuaded his followers that all promises of merely material betterment were irrelevant, because the real aim of the French and the liberals was to destroy the Catholic relgion in the service of Satan.  Spain's clergy repeated Ruffo's ploy, and their illiterate followers could not know that the very first clause in Joseph's draft constitution had declared the Roman Apostolic Catholic Church the only one allowed in Spain.
     But it's not only this that puts him in a different class.  He explains the difference in efforts at mass political education, which definitely happened in post-WWII Germany and Japan.  He includes a detailed review of the interests of Iraq's neighbors, including facts about the Turkish support of anti-American forces in their effort to support (Azeri) Turkomen in Kirkuk over the Kurds, and that no neighbor except Jordan seems to be playing ball with the US, and presents a case for reversing that trend.

     Dobbins : This is the best I expected from Foreign Affairs.  It talks about the mood on the street, saying we've lost it and are most unlikely to regain its favor.  It talks about an emphasis on withdrawal, once the new government (which is admitted to have only some credibility) can secure Iraq itself.  It helpfully suggests avoiding combat with the insurgents, and instead focussing on the protection of the civilians.  The piece, with its emphasis on how things went in Bosnia, on the UN, on France and Germany, seems like cold war thinking on the topic. 

     Gaddis : Barely a paragraph goes by without some error of fact or logic occuring. You might as well watch Fox News.

     Sadly, I actually _bought_ Foreign Affairs to read this, and they (generally) don't publish their articles free on the net.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

ThomasMC, Resisting the 4th Reich

     The Guardian reports on a US link to the racist, greedy, neo-Colonialist and GOP embarassment, Mark Thatcher, son of Reupblican heartthrob and Reagan agent, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

  Also involved are a Labour Minister from England.  Not to mention that Jack Straw seemed happy to let the whole thing happen. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Hiatus? report

     I'll miss this, but, for at least a little while, one shouldn't expect to much original content from this blog.  If I won't be able to keep up with current events as readily (new job and apartment), I was thinking I'd make this into a different type of blog.  More of C-SPAN watcher and morality philosopher bent.  Eh, in any event, it will be a little while.  So, my first morality snippet appears in the gray bar above.  Aphoristic, that's the plan.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

It's a fact

     It's a fact that Sec DHS nominee Michael Chertoff defended Elamir Magdy (El Amir Magdy) while Chertoff was in private practive in New Jersey.  What I can seem to get a real handle on is whether or not Magdy and his brother were involved in funneling millions of dollars to al-Qaeda.  Wild, eh?

Monday, January 24, 2005

Iraqi Elections

     I am reading all the news stories I can this morning in Google News returned from "Iraq Elections."  I am left wondering why anyone would quote John Negroponte.  Perhaps it should be the job of journalists to point out what a terrible time John has with the truth, every time he is quoted, and that might help discourage Junta leaders from appointing such liars in the future, but back to the Iraqi elections.

     I found the strange Concord Monitor has four stories in the top 30 listed by date.  One includes the briefest description of life for Iraqis during election week

Al-Naqib said Baghdad's international airport will be closed for three days starting on the eve of the balloting.
The nighttime curfew in Baghdad and other cities will be extended and restrictions imposed on private vehicles to guard against car bombs, he said, adding that all leaves and passes for police and military forces have been canceled for the election period.

     and in another it includes this tidbit of dubious nature "Voters in areas deemed too dangerous will be allowed to cast ballots outside their home districts."  Now, that may seem fine and dandy (although the article also suggests an Allawi win, while that's a far cry from any poll result I've heard about) but is it all its cracked up to be?  Again, totally unreported in the establishment press is the full extent of the election lockdown.  People won't be able to enter or leave the country.  People will probably be not able to move from one governate to the next.  People won't be able to use cel or satellite phones.  There will be thousands and thousands of places Iraqis will not be allowed to drive.  What does it really mean to allow them to vote away from their homes?  It likely means that, like in Afghanistan, there will be amazing quantities of vote fraud, and, like in both America and Afghanistan, a Bu$hCo and establishment press whitewash.

     Reuters has a collection of strange facts about how secretive the election process is.  "Those who've made up their minds don't know where to cast their ballots, since the location of polling stations is being hushed up until the last minute to thwart election day attacks."

     I appreciated MSNBC's look into what's happening with Sadr and followers.  Hundreds of his people have been arrested since his ceasefire.  I wonder how much of it was simply rousting the usual suspects.

     WaPo refers to a "growing consensus among U.S. and Iraqi officials that the current strategy may be spurring greater opposition and deeper anger at the coalition."  I can only put my face in my hands and shake my head.  Why am I not in charge?  I am to blame because I have not arranged that.  WaPo (page 2) also has this inexcreable quote "In Baghdad, veteran Iraqi politician Ahmed Chalabi told CNN[.]"  Exactly what Iraqi politics is Chalabi a veteran of?&nsbp; He's been outside the country since he was young, and basically been a mini-strongman figure on the outside for a decade.

     It should be noted that the although all leaves and passes will be cancelled for the elections period (link above), the WaPo says "But the more significant shift being pursued is an acceleration in the deployment of Iraqi forces against the insurgents. 'It's time now to get them out into the fight.'" and another source (link forgotten) said that US forces will be in their barracks.  So, they will have their leaves cancelled and be held in their barracks.  It doesn't sound like a terribly wrong idea to me.  But they will not spend their time learning Arabic, or doing anything more than resenting their situation, in all likelihood.

     Meanwhile, the beneath-contempt establishment press is all atwitter today with news of the arrest (nine days ago) of a guy who has "admitted" to being behind 75% of the car bombs in Baghdad since the war started.  What no one ever dares ask is whether or not this might actually change the number of car-bombs in Baghdad, nor will anyone ever say, if the car bombs keep blowing up at the same rates, that it wasn't a victory to catch this guy.  Are there many who can fill his shoes?  I don't know.  See, even if the Americans were confronted with a Gandhi-like figure who proposed mass, peaceful action against the Americans, we wouldn't leave.  We would keep our CIA-backed terrorist Allawi in charge, we would rig their elections.  Reality simply does not matter to these mind-numbingly stupid people in charge.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Admin, Please Ignore

     This is apparently required in order to get a Technorati Profile

Mark Thatcher Update

     As I noted earlier, the right wing bloggers (Little Green Farts, InstaStupid, LowerLineBlog) are avoiding defaming the name of Mark Thatcher by avoiding any mention of his racist, murderous attempt to steal a lot of oil.  The Times Online has a description of the plotters plans.  Basically, a corporation would have been established, would have had sole access to the new "President," (currently in exile), and would have used the country's intelligence services to get dirt on him in case he became inconvenient.  The company was to be called the Bight of Benin Company (BBC, get it?) and would have run the place like a "private fiefdom" or the Dutch East India Company ran India.

     Thanks to WIIIAI for the link.

Saturday, January 22, 2005


     Apparently, the DHS has been keeping their daily terrorist activity briefs on the web.  Try Googling homeland security operations morning brief.  But easier than that, just check out the collection at hacker-paradise Cryptome.  It's a litany of mostly mundane law enforcement activities.  A number of people aren't allowed in the country for supposed terrorist connections, for example, on 22 Nov

7. (FOUO) NEW YORK: CBP Denies Entry to 25 Canadians With Possible Links to a Terrorist Organization. According to BTS reporting, on 19 November, at the Alexandria Bay Port of Entry, CBP officers denied entry to 25 Canadians applying to enter the U.S. in order to attend a protest rally in Washington, D.C. sponsored by the Council for Freedom and Democracy in Iran. Reportedly, the 25 individuals had possible links to the Mujahedin e-Khalq (MEK)—a known terrorist organization. (BTS Daily Operations Report, 20 November 04; HSOC 4444-04)

     As you are no doubt aware, Michael Isikoff has reported on John Ashcroft's links with Mujahedin-e Khalq, but Ashcroft will not be deported to Iraq.  It's not just Ashcroft.  Over 200 Congresscritters voiced their support for Saddam's MEK (yes, it was a Saddam backed organization) in the late 1990s.  Such fickle friends they are!

Friday, January 21, 2005

A Horrid Prophecy

     No matter how many decades pass, no matter how cursorily related, any time a tyranny falls in the next half century, stupid idiots will claim it is because of what Bush started.

Uninsularizing Blogs

     I have been reading some newer blogs of very religious, Orthodox and/or Hasidic Jews for the last couple of days.  What are Hasid?  Reading this shows I didn't know, either.  Usually I think of a the very religious Jew who wears black (an E. European tradition) and closely follows a Rabbi, living or recently living.  They are said to be as insular as the Amish.  I suppose I get something out of the exchange in part because I was raised Jewish, even if I now consider all religions problematic lies.

     What will you find?  Well, a lot of Yiddish(a German langauge) and Hebrew words dashed in with the English.  Frum means Orthodox, basically.  MO is Modern Orthodox.  Chabad Lubavitch is the largest single group within the Hasid.  The central Rabbi of Lubavitch (Luh-BUH-vitch) died not so long ago.  None of them say it, but he was their Messiah.  Kefirah is heresy.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Sinister, Cynical Strategies

     Don't let the hypocrisy hit you on the way out.  The Bu$hCo regime, or friendly agents thereof, have been floating the idea of a referendum to determine whether or not the Iraqi people want American troops to stay in the Iraq.

     The "whip" is the guy who runs around and counts the votes for/against, and usually is also tasked with getting wobblers back in line.  Who is calculating the odds in Iraq?  You can bet people like William Luti (of OSP fame) and Paul Wolfowitz are in on it.

     The winning coalition in the forthcoming elections, in all probability, will not be CIA Terrorist Allawi and his silent partner Yawwer, but the pro-clerical Sistani list.  Once in power they will ask for an immediate withdrawal of US troops.  The US Gov't, rather than seeing this as convenient cover for a hasty exit, considers the request to go a serious inconvenience to American influence and military-industrial profit margins.  Expect outright theft of US taxpayer funds to dramatically increase in the event of early withdrawal.

     Ergo, in defiance of the TAL, the US "friends of Bu$hCo" pundits are all out praising the idea of a national referendum to undo the problems of Iraqis electing the "wrong" leaders.

     It's pretty horrifying to think of what the US military might do to people who disagree with the referendum publicly in the Iraq, should this plan come to fruition.

     NOTE: The TAL specifically outlines, in Articles 53 and 61, that referendums can be used to form sub-national regional groupings(53) and as part of the process to ratify the Constitution itself(61).  The idea that the punditry is putting forward is as Constitutionally sound as a National referendum to ban gay-marriage.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Freedom's Just Another Word

     Going to add Dahr Jamail to my blogroll.  Found the link via Matt at DailyWarnews.  He's an independent journalist who has been in Iraq for seven months or more.  He reports this

The US-backed Iraqi government has announced draconian measures which state that from January 29th-31st the borders of Iraq will be closed, mobile and satellite phone services will be cut, the borders of Iraq's 18 governorates will be closed and no civilian traffic will be allowed near the polling stations.

     Don't expect the establishment media to cover any of this, but I'll check now.  Let's see

"News" Borders Interior Borders Celphones Satellite Phones Car Traffic
NY Times
Wash Post

     Also from Jahr, a quote from one of his Iraqi friends

"I do not know why they detained me," he told me, "This is the freedom-they are free to detain anyone here without a reason."

     Well, thanks to Civil Libertarians like Antonin Scalia, the cops are free to detain Americans and bring them downtown, without telling them the charge, for any thing in the entire law books, if their State allows it (Texas does).

     I'm a bit of an amateur archaeologist, and, I agree with this snippet Jahr found at the Guardian

"Outrage is hardly the word, this is just dreadful," said Lord Redesdale, an archaeologist and head of the all-party parliamentary archaeological group. "These are world sites. Not only is what the American forces are doing damaging the archaeology of Iraq, it's actually damaging the cultural heritage of the whole world."
Establishment Hypocrisy Continues


  Not Spent on Iraqi People Spent on Iraqi People
Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti 2 billion 62 billion
United States of America 150 billion 1 billion
First, the establishment NY Times says that the most recent bombing was done in order to disrupt elections.  It's not a long peice, but you'd still be better served by reading DailyWarNews.  No word on how the bombers planned to use this event to stop the elections, nor how they knew elections would be held, and where they weren't.  Nor was there any indication that the bombings has ceased in areas without elections.  When the violence started climbing, first it was blamed on "foreign fighters" bent on stopping the transition.  Then it was blamed on "dead-enders" bent on influencing the US election.  Now the "insurgents" want to stop an Iraqi election.

     The establishment media is all over the story of Samir Vincent, who is likely working with the US government to a far greater degree than is indicated.  He was born in Iraq, moved here when he was 18, and ran Pheonix Intl, LLC, an energy trading company (e.g Enron Energy Services), lived in... Virginia, and although he made no verbal statement in court, and could not be reached for comment, he said "I hope that my guilty plea and my agreement to assist the Department of Justice in investigating these matters will help not only the United States but also the Iraqi people as they struggle to rebuild their nation."

     Few reporters even bat an eyelash at any of the above facts, and fewer even mention that he turned himself in, yes, turned himself in on Tuesday, and is being charged today.  Justice is speedy, when the timing is good for C Rice's SecState confirmation hearings.  Reporters seem to be falling all over themselves to believe the establishment line.  The Chicago Tribune says C Rice was talking about Kofi Annan when she said "those who were responsible should be held accountable."  Except that's impossible for Kofi to be responsible, since the O-F-F program was run under the auspices of the Security Council itself (i.e. US, UK, Russia, China, France + 10 rotating others) and not the offices of the Secretary General (who is basically the Speaker of the General Assembly). 

     I'm halfway done with Suskind's Price of Loyalty.  I'll probably get a job offer this week, so I felt I could spend the money.  Bush is even more of an idiot than I thought.  He's got rules he won't violate, no matter what the numbers say.  The line about him "not negotiating with himself" is in there three or more times.  Normal humans, who don't play pretend-perfect-while-being-human, know that thinking things through is natural, and Bush simply believes thinking things through is a sign of weakness.

     Numbers for the table: Total $ produced by OFF=67 billion.&nsbp; Amount left in accounts=3 billion.  Amount of alleged corruption=1.7 billion (payoffs to palaces, we can talk about the 10s or 100s of millions the Bushes are spending on beautifying Pennsylvania Avenue later).&nsbp; Amount spent on Iraq War=150 bilion.  Amount spent on rebuilding contracts=1 billion.  The loony UN haters are alleging that the scandal was really 20 billion.  They are free to imagine how that chart would look with 20 and 44 replacing 2 and 62.  I've seen no compelling evidence at all yet.

     What was the value of getting the Oil-for-Food program begun?  It was a great humanitarian thing.  Turns out, according to Newsday, Samir Vincent was instrumental in starting the program!  He probably deserves a medal, if he hadn't taken the 5-7 million in "incentives" (Armstrong Williams would undoubtedly use a different term).

Sunday, January 16, 2005

A Philosophical Question

     Suppose evidence were uncovered that indicated the ancient Jewish people didn't worship God, as it is commonly understood, but that there was a person named Yahweh, who was called El, since all great leaders were called El...

  1. How would you choose to tell everyone, or, if you chose to keep it a secret, why?

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Blogging Around

     I found, via a philosophy dept. blog at the University of Singapore a link to some philosophy "tests."

     I took the morality tests.  They put respondents on two dimensions, which results in four quadrants, plus neutral.  I got 0.00 for Interference and 1.00 for Universality. I at the extreme of the quadrant known as "Personal Morality."  1.00 for Interference and Universality is called "Fully Moralizing."  0.00 for Universality and 1.00 for Inteference is "Enforceable-Conventional", and 0.00 for both is "Fully Permissive"

     The results claimed "There was no inconsistency in the way that you responded to the questions in this activity." which pleases me, except of course I know, by Gödel's proof that I am necessarily at most complete or consistent, but not both.

     Have fun with the tests here

I must be a Kurdophile

     I enjoyed reading all these blogs from Iraqi Kurdistan...

A Controversial Theory

     "The Cobb County Board of Education contains intelligent human beings. This is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of Cobb County educational policy. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered."

     Support your local interpretation of the infinite, invisible, imaginary sky fairy!

     Courtesy of Houston Chronicle.

More Middle East Peace

     In the words of an Ariel Sharon spokesperson, as reported in Wired News, "Israel is severing all planned contacts with the Palestinians on all levels, from security to government leadership[.]" as a result of a single attack.  The New Palestinian leader, known as Abu Mazen, hasn't even been sworn in.  The spokesperson is also quoted as saying "Everything is canceled until they [the Palestinians] take steps against terror, so we can see there is not only talk but also action."  The spokesperson also alleged that Abu Mazen "knows who carried out the attack, so he will be the one to stop them. It's very simple."

     The people who carried out the attack are dead. 

     This reminds me of a previous post of mine, where I explained why they told Polish jokes, when in fact the Poles helped end the Dark Ages and Soviet tyranny.  Polish jokes were told because, back in the 1500s, perhaps as many as 1,000 people had veto power over decress of the King, and nothing got done.  The Israeli government is far, far stupider.  They have given every Palestinian capable of engaging in an attack the power to veto the peace process. 

     Perhaps things are different in Israel, but here in America, the Jewish people take education very seriously, and outsider status (already conferred on intellectuals, see: high school), is often parlayed into intellectual success.  Especially in light of comments Dov Weisglas, I think the only just action for my country, America, is to sever all relations with Israel.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Dumb Post

     Who is Charles de Secondat, Baron of Montesquieu, again?  I found these quotes on this page, which was gone, so I refound them all.

  • "They [, the men of the 1787 Convention] had for their oracle of political philosophy the treatise of Montesquieu on the spirit of laws, which, published anonymously at Geneva forty years before, had won its way to an immense authority on both sides of the ocean. Montesquieu, contrasting the private as well as public liberties of Englishmen with the despotism of continental Europe, had taken the Constitution of England as his model system, and had ascribed its merits to the division of legislative, executive, and judicial functions which he discovered in it, and to the system of checks and balances whereby its equilibrium seemed to be preserved. No general principle of politics laid such hold on the constitution-makers and statesmen of America as the dogma that the separation of these three functions is essential to freedom. It had already been made the groundwork of several state constitutions. It is always reappearing in their writings; it was never absent from their thoughts." James Bryce, American Commonwealth, vol. 1 (New York: Macmillan Company, 1911), 29.
  • "The oracles usually consulted were Blackstone and Montesquieu. The 'Spirit of Laws' was studied by Washington as part of his preparation for the work of the convention," Hannis Taylor, The Origin and Growth of the English Constitution, vol. 1 (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1889), 60.
  • "Montesquieu is accepted as the oracle of political theory for that time," R. A. Ames and H. C. Montgomery, "The Influence of Rome on the American Constitution," CJ 30 (1935): 27.

     If Montesquieu was so big then, why don't all those damnable "Original Intent"ists and "Founding Fathers" worshippers talk about him?  Because Montesquieu is (in many ways) radical by modern American standards.  Please keep in mind he could have been killed, and/or his book banned (it almost was) for criticizing King or Church.

Stay Away!

     You know what's really hard to stay away from?  The Infinite, Invisible, Imaginary Sky Fairy.  It's true.  It's hard to stay away from imaginary things, and it doesn't help when they are invisible.  How does one get away from something imaginary?  I'm afraid this particular sky fairy is going to be around a long time.

     Are the people corrupt?  Yes.  Are they evil?  No.

     Montesquieu, Book VIII, Section 4.

Particular Cause of the Corruption of the People
Great success, especially when chiefly owing to the people, intoxicates them to such a degree that it is impossible to contain them within bounds.  Jealous of their magistrates, they soon likewise become jealous of the magistracy; enemies to those who govern, they soon prove enemies also to the constitution.  Thus it was that the victory of the Persians in the straits of Salamis corrupted the republic of Athens;d and thus the defeat of the Athenians ruined the republic of Syracusee.
Marseilles never experienced those great transitions from lowness to grandeur; this was owing to the prudent conduct of that republic, which always preserved her principles.

     Footnotes d and e are to Aristotle's Politics, lib. V cap. iv.

     Our victories are many, but WWII is the one I think of when I read this passage.

     Instead of humbly doing our best, the rightists crow about how powerful and great we are, e.g. "the greatest nation on Earth," which symptomatic of what Montesquieu discusses above.

     "What good is power," they ask, "unless we can oppress our enemies with it?" as they rack up more and more enemies.

     In so many ways, technical and factual, we are not the greatest on Earth today.  Our government, at odds with the intelligent, derides them and those who listen.  More on this tomorrow.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

He didn't really, did he?

     WIIIAI quotes Bush speaking the following, concerning Dept of Fatherland Security Mike Chertoff...

He understood immediately that the strategy in the war on terror is to prevent attacks before they occur.
Which WIIIAI follows up with "Because preventing attacks after they occur is, you know, hard work."
Weasel Math

     When Rumsfeld says "Of that, we -- as I recall, there's something like five or 10 of them that have been identified as people we've released and turned up back on the battlefield, trying to kill coalition and Afghan people." some questions need to be asked...

     One: How many have been released?

     Two: Does "something like five or 10" include the number 2? 3?

     Three: What percentage of people held without cause, tortured, for years, would turn around after freedom and join anti-American forces?

     Trusting Rummy's "something likes" is something stupid.

Rather and Thatcher

     Dick Thornburgh was the US Attorney General for the end of Bush41's administration, and rarely gets named in connection with Ruby Ridge (compare that to Reno and Waco.  Reno was sworn almost two full weeks after the seige began).  In his 284 page report, on page 4 states "The Panel has not been able to conclude with absolute certainty whether the Killian documents are authentic or forgeries."  Since proving they are not forgeries, without a chain of custody, is impossible, it becomes obvious to me that they were, in fact, real.  Full Thornburgh report here.

     The story of Mark Thatcher's plea deal remains at the top of Google News, but the right simply can't say jack about it. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Bush Still Can't Admit Mistake

     When I see this quote, I see a person who can't say he was wrong.  Perhaps hearing the quote could change my mind.  The bad grammar only says the UN believed Iraq had weapons.  In reality, Hans Blix said no such thing.  Here is the Dauphin, King George II, the unerring agency of the almighty, today...

Like many, many here in the United States, many around the world, the United Nations thought he had weapons of mass destruction, and so, therefore, one, we need to find out what went wrong in the intelligence gathering. Saddam was dangerous. And .. the world was safer without him in power[.]


     I should link to this old cartoon at Too Stupid To Be President (shockwave), which makes the same point with another quote.

Drat! Mark Thatcher (Maggie's Kid) Avoids Jail

     When Robert Mugabe announced he had foiled a coup to overthrow another African nation, most of the world called him loony.  I don't know how many likely-to-succeed coup attempts have ever been stopped, but this one was a doozy.  Jack Straw knew about it, but was happy to let the racist ex-South African military forces do away with an African sitting on oil reserves.  Oh yes, there is plenty of oil involved.

     How did coup-financier, bigot and fuck, Mark Thatcher, son of right-wing heroine, Margerat Thatcher, former Prime Minister of England, avoid jail time for his role?  We may never know.  Congratz to the Telegraph, UK for this engaging write-up. 

  • InstaPundit, No coverage of this story ever (Indeed, he's stopped enough coups himself)
  • Little Green Fucktards, no coverage ever (He's busy saving our troops in Iraq)
  • National Review Online? No coverage ever (Busy keeping those home fires of hatred burning)
  • Benador Associates (Neo-Con NewsWire) ...nada!
  • NewsMax... NOTHING! One story, avoids implicating Thatcher.
  • WorldNetDaily? Not a peep!

     That was fun.  I had no idea when I started looking that I wouldn't find a single story about this in any of those sources.  Generally I googled for "mugabe coup" and "thatcher coup" and "mark thatcher".

     I wonder if they'll try to sneak something in.  Gaw!  I'll start saving searches now.


     I went through and saved all the google results for the three above terms and "guinea coup" for all six sites.

     Turns out that NewsMax did have one story on this.  The story, run back in August, is a direct copy of the AP peice.  It is somewhat fair, but allows for the possibility that Thatcher was innocent.  I wonder why it is at


     I only ran one peice on the story (here), and I do a more colorful, and informative, job than NewsMax :)


     I decided to check around and realized that I had neglected and  Town Hall has two stories, one of which reveals a US angle in the whole plot.  Well, the plane carrying the mercs had been sold by an American company to the South Africans only days before.  Which company?  I don't know.  Here and here are the only two I could find at Townhall.  Both are from when the arrests were first made (back in March, 2004), and both tend to point to Mugabe as being a loon.  Townhall never mentions Mark Thatcher in connection with the allegations.

     For its part, Free Republic has a few stories.  The first two are ripped right from Townhall, so I won't repeat them, but this one goes further than even TownHall in calling the whole thing a fraud.  User OldGuardChampion is probably actually just that, saying he is "I am surprised that they were not shot out of hand and that this report ever made a headline anywhere."  FreeRepublic has one story which encourages the very nice person, Mark Thatcher to cop a plea to avoid jail time so he can come to America. 


     When the child of an important right-winger is implicated in being a greedy, racist murderous motherfucker, the right wing closes its eyes.  When an official enemy (Mugabe, whose country, Zimbabwe, still has over 75% of the arable land being owned by a few thousands of European descendants farmers (as of this date, it is far less than 75% now, probably more like 20%, but I don't have data)) helps stop a coup?  It simply didn't happen.

     Please don't let Mark Thatcher, the greedy, murderous fucktard, come to America.

UPDATE 4: The administration of George Walker Bush, which I regularly criticize here at Remain Calm, blocked the attempts of Mark Thatcher to come to America.  One of only a few decent things I think they've done.
Score! Another Great Day For Halliburton

     When most of you wake up, like the Vice-President you think "What can I do for Halliburton today?"

     Well, if you are part of the so-called "Axis of Evil," you can slide 300 million dollars across the table and say "Deal!"

     Thanks to Laura Rozen at the GadFlyer

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Shorter Tom Barry

     During the Cold War, US foreign and military aid budgets were used not in any humanitarian way, but to further the goal of anti-Communism.  During the Clinton years, without that rationale, "sustainable development" was tried, but it ended up more like aid-for-liberalization.  Now, the Bush administration has made US foreign and military aid a tool in the "War on Terror"(tm).

     It's long, but Tom Barry's article at CounterPunch is a calm, informative and thoughtful examination of US aid.

John Kerry gets buddy-buddy with Schwarzenegger and Miller

     Thanks to Thomas MC of Resisting the Fourth Reich.

     The Last Man To Concede, and, no, it wasn't John Kerry.  Authored by Sheila Samples.  The Schwarzenazi + Millerite juice comes from this article from the SF Gate.

One Neo Con Leaves

     John Bolton to leave the Bush administration.

     Thanks to the Gadflyer.

Google News Cache

     More on Bush's pick for new Fatherland Security Director (because Secretary of Defense isn't a job about the national security, and neither is the National Security Advisor), is Michael Chertoff!  Is Chertoff the new head of DHS, or is he simply the nominee, don't ask the Mainly Stupid Media.  Here is a cache of the google "cluster" of pages on Chertoff, i.e. the link that looks like "» all # related."

     Ever eager to please Bu$hCo, the MSM headlines scream that, in fact, Chertoff is the new head of DHS.  Most strangely, perhaps, only Voice of America, which has a reputation as propaganda, and the WhiteHouse website themselves get it right.  <me shakes="head" />

     Now, who is Judge Chertoff?  Well, you can be damn sure if the terrorists ever get into any land deals involved any failed Savings & Loans, Chertoff is going to get them.  Since 1980, when Chertoff was admitted to the bar, he spent twenty years either in the US Attorney's office or, from 1994-1996, as Chief Counsel for the Whitewater Committee!  Here is Joe Conason writing about Whitewater, blowing away one of Chertoff's stupider conspiracy theories concering monies to Web Hubbell.  Yes, land deals in Arkansas are not a wise move for the prospective terrorist with Chertoff on the case.

     In addition to his private practices, in the last twenty years Chertoff has also been a lawyer in the US Attorney's offices of New Jersey and Manhattan (S. District of NY).  He was appointed, during 2001, to serve as Asst. Attorney General, Criminal Division of the Department of Justice, since then.

     This (pdf|html) is an Alliance for Justice peace on Chertoff, which says the press has said that

Chertoff supervised the prosecution of Zacarias Moussaoui and has been described as "the driving force behind the Justice Department's most controversial initiatives in the war on terrorism." Civil liberties advocates blame him for what they see as dangerous curtailments to free speech and the rights of criminal defendants. According to press reports, Chertoff has played a key role in several matters: first, the increase in FBI agents' authority to conduct domestic surveillance; second, the use of "material witness" warrants to lock up people of Middle Eastern dissent; third, the interviewing of thousands of Middle Eastern men who entered the United States before and after the 9/11 attacks[.] ... [H]e has also been the first to defend controversial Justice Department policies. He spoke up for the government's right to hold suspects indefinitely without counsel as "enemy combatants," as well as the government's decision to interview 5,000 Arab Americans after the 9/11 attacks.

     One distinctly nice thing that can be said in favor of Chertoff as a human and lawyer, even if it is not particularly meaningful from the "qualifications for Sec of DHS" standpoint, is his pro bono work on the New Jersey racial profiling cases.

     And although I've been given some indication that the Guiliani prosecution of organized crime figures wasn't all it was cracked up to be, Chertoff took a part in that, too.  Again, from the Alliance for Justice report...

He has a record of accomplishment on organized crime going back to 1985 when he prosecuted the members of several major Mafia families under Rudolph Giuliani, then the U.S. attorney in New York. Chertoff helped to lead a wave of prosecutions against mob bosses in the Lucchese, Persico and Genovese families. Chertoff consolidated the cases, claiming the crimes were connected in what he called "the commission of La Cosa Nostra." All eight defendants in the case were convicted in a ten-week racketeering trial. 1 7 The case was hailed as "a blow to the mafia"

     And more...  Did you realize he was the prosecutor for Enron?  Lucky Ken Lay!  Here is a Muslim American Society report on Chertoff, which is none too flattering, and makes for well researched reporting.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

See The Next Post
  • Keep looking at the post below this one.  The Privateers are crooked.
  • Histologion blog has a link to Allan Nairn's reporting on Aceh.  Nairn is a veteran reporter on Timor Leste.
  • blog is reasoned, this includes news to me, concering David Ben-Gurion and the 1948 war in Israel.
  • Direland posts on the newest Christian Crusader at the top levels of the White House, Claude Allen.  Anti-abortion zealot, and formerly the only darker skinned staffer for Jesse Helms.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Stop the Bush Plan for Wrecking Social Security

     The 75 year projections of the Social Security Trustees are based on annual GDP growth of 1.5%.

     Bu$hCo's Social Security Commission Privateers base their estimates on an annual stock market returns of 6.5% over inflation.

     It is impossible to have a 6.5%-over-inflation market return for seventy five years and annual GDP growth, for the same period, of only 1.5%.

     If the Social Security Trustees used the larger GDP growth figures implied by the 6.5% market growth, there is no long term problem.

     One set of figures for the old system, another set of figures for the new.

     Here is economist PhD and UC Berkeley Professor J Brad DeLong saying the same thing...

In other words, the stock market can attain its 6-7% per year real payoff only if the macroeconomic news in the future is much better than [the] Social Security [Trustees are] projecting, in which case there's no Social Security financing problem at all.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Explaining the McAuliffe Move

     Wow, Air America is really just a DLC tool.  There are about 400 people who get to vote for DNC chair.  AAR is repeating a story I read somewhere on the net that McAuliffe is being requested to serve again, something he'd been cool to before.  The AAR report claimed none of the candidates was "gaining momentum."  It's such a small pool.  It's an absurd assertion.  The whole story seems designed to counter the reality that Howard Brush Dean is in the lead.  The story on AAR skips even mentioning Dean.

Dear Carlson Haters

     Why are we happy that Crossfire got cancelled and Carlson "fired?"  Carlson is going to have his own show now, over at MSNBC.  Crossfire cancelled means Carville and Begala are the ones "fired." with no place to go.  This is bad news, and the liberal blogosphere seems to be trumpeting it.

A great, sad day

     I don't think anyone is actually excited about Barbara Boxer's stand, although I respect her for it.  Did it seem to anyone else that she hinted that Kerry had asked her to do it, while Gore, in 2000, had asked the Senators to avoid doing it?  In any event, even if Ohio is contested, as in 2000, the Presidential election would get thrown to the US House of Representatives, where Bush would win.  Between the Gonzales hearings, and expected confirmation (what???), to the short debate and eventual confirmation of Bush as C-in-C for another four years, it's can't be counted as a good day.

     Then again, when was the last good day?

     A short note on Alberto.  John Ashcroft had been elected Governor of Missouri, and Senator from Missouri, without any help from George Walker B.  Alberto, however, has no real career without the current POTUS.  Alberto can be counted on to protect the White House, no matter what.  This loyalty might make him the "ideal" (from the point of the Executive) Solicitor General, but as Attorney General, Alberto is going to be expected to take the side of the people against the US government.  This task he is uniquely unsuited to do.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Tip to the London Economist

     For a few years I read the Economist, but got tired of the incessant libertarianism.  Sure, they had a cover story on BCCI, and don't treat their (richest of any magazine on Earth) readership like morons, but, hey, there's only so much a guy can take.     I haven't read the Economist, even once, since the Iraq War broke out.  A big "You Steaming, Stinking Idiots" shout out to Bu$hCo and Blair, available here

There is only one traffic law in Ramadi these days: when Americans approach, Iraqis scatter
[A] hefty marine sergeant leaps into the road, levels an assault rifle at his turbanned head, and screams: "Back this bitch up, motherfucker!"
"If anyone gets too close to us we fucking waste them," says a bullish lieutenant. "It's kind of a shame, because it means we've killed a lot of innocent people."
[M]arines say they shoot at any Iraqi they see handling a phone near a bomb-blast
"It gets to a point where you can't wait to see guys with guns, so you start shooting everybody...It gets to a point where you don't mind the bad stuff you do."
[T]he marines rarely see their attackers. When fired upon, they retaliate by blitzing whichever buildings they think the fire is coming from.

     There's plenty more, just like this.  This comes mostly from a deep disrespect for Iraqi life shown by the Marines.  None of this is at all surprising to me.  I've known its been happening the whole time.  I know Marines.  I was one.

Bait And Switch, Our Trillions Robbed by Bu$hCo

     The Social Security trustees calculate costs for the next 75 years based on certain assumptions.  Perhaps the most critical assumption is the rate of economic growth.  The Bu$hCo Social Security Commision Privateers rely on a rate of stock market profits.  The Privateers project 6.5% above inflation, annual return on the stock market.  This, in turn, implies a certain amount of GDP growth.  More growth, in fact, than is allowed for one when the Social Security trustees calculate the 75 year deficit of Social Security.

     The Bu$hCo hypocrites have one set of numbers for themselves, and another set for everyone else.

     Spread the word.  Thanks to J. Brad De Long's explanations, and I have no reason to slight Kinsley's proof .

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Social Security and the Markets

     One of the central tenets, if not the central axiom, of the "Markets do it better" philosophers is based on the idea that markets set correct prices.  One of the central premises of the Bu$hCo Fraud[1] known as "reform" of Social Security is that individuals will invest their own retirement portfolios.  Accurate pricing assumes that the buyer can choose between the available options.  There are, however, thousands of stocks available on the New York Stock Exchange and the American Exchange, and many thousands more on NASDAQ and regional exchanges.  The "new" entrant into the market will more likely than not put their money in a firm whose name they already know, namely, the Blue Chip and Fortune 50 firms.

     Markets, because no buyer knows the full range of options, are inefficient pricers.  I am not, in this post, even going into the central promises and government theory bases of a national pension program.  What does government theory say about encouraging citizens to adopt corporate risk?  Stocks represent an adoption of risk, for a probability of a reward.  Adopting risk is, in effect, the opposite purpose of a government pension program.  There are flaws in the Social Security program, and there are issues to be addressed.  The privatization plans do not address the flaws, and the current debate is not addressing the issues.

     As computer people say, "Garbage In, Garbage Out."

     [1] Like the war in Iraq, the Bush administration has already decided that Social Security will be partially privatized.  Nothing anyone can say or do will change their goals.  This is like the Iraq War, most notably, but also like most every other serious program pushed by the Bush administration.&nsbp; There is no god, Mr. Bush.

Thanks to Rall

     I like Ted Rall's work.  Reading a lot of it at once is pretty easy, too.  Now, a lot of people give him grief over his emphasis on the we-invaded-Iraq-because-of-the-oil theory, but which is more outlandish, his mentioning it, or the corporate media spilling so much ink dismissing it?

     Thanks to this comic I set out to search for the following quote from this article, concerning Bush's pre-saved 1978 run for the US Congress

According to Gary Ott, who was then a reporter for the Plainview Daily Herald, Bush stopped by the paper’s little office “maybe five or six times. He’d sit down at my desk; he was a fun guy. He was very outgoing, very friendly, and we would argue politics since I was a liberal. We’d argue over Carter policies.” Bush criticized energy policy, federal land use policy, subsidized housing, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“a misuse of power,” he said), and he warned that Social Security would go bust in ten years unless people were given a chance to invest the money themselves.

     This one is simply great in case you know any Democrats who think we need to be more like the Republicans.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Tidbits of Horror
  • This is an excellently handled treatment of the pension issue
  • This is about the top 10 contract winners in Iraq
  • This is a White House lie-fest where Bush lies and says "Our nation has committed military assets and made an initial commitment of $350 million for disaster relief."

     1 and 3 from Left I and 2 from American Samizdat.

Democrat Representative Matsui Passes

     An intelligent, experienced Democrat Representative, Matsui of California, died this week.  He was going to be one of the main assets for the Democrats in the upcoming Social Security debate.  You won't catch the Mainly Stupid Media quoting Matsui talking about this, available via (search for Matsui)...

Problems with the Social Security system are manageable and not as dire as in 1983, said Matsui, who was a member of a commission established by then-President Ronald Reagan to recommend ways to close the funding gap.

     Not as dire as 1983, that's right.

     Reminds me of my theory on the 107th Congress and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.  In the weeks between the start of Session in Congress and the inauguration of the new President, committee memberships were hashed out by the Rules Committee.  Seven Democrats were assigned to the House Committee which has oversight of intelligence, that most abused of Government features.  In order of seniority on the committee...

  1. Julian Dixon, died before Cmte met
  2. Norm Sissiky, died before Cmte met
  3. Gary Condit, politically dead
  4. Nancy Pelosi, very busy

     Three others were on the list at first.  Thank goodness Bu$hCo had such firm opposition from Democrats when he lied America into a war, eh?

I Spy

     In the last few days I started paying attention to my web server access logs.  My server is only handling the images, but it still means I can get a rough estimate of my "hits," and can also get a sense of where everyone is coming from. 

     Gosh durnit, I'm proud.  I've gotten people from .mil, .gov, from other government institutions.  I've gotten people from Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Costa Rica, Germany, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Iceland, Japan, Lithuania, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sweden, Singapore, the UK and from many parts of the United States.  And that's in the last thirty-five days!

     So, thanks for coming, unless you were a spy for some foreign intelligence service, in which case, the sunset alligator will tackle the sad clown when the moon's green cheese is snacked.  But don't tell them I told you.

     And apologies for the self-referentiality of this post.  I thought it was polite to say I was checking.  I probably could have left it at that.

More Money for Our Mercs

     Patriotic Heros, like sex-slavers DynCorp, deserve more tax dollars.  Tell Bush how you approve of his support of Virginia based, retired military, child prostitution ring operating, heros in Iraq!

     Thanks to Harry for reminding me.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

We are the good guys!

     No, honest!  Why, some French Aristocrat, some besotted Frog, said we rocked, and Tocqueville was talking about George Walker B!  Read this article to learn how PERMANENT DETENTION WITHOUT TRIAL is the "happy time fun world. no comment" in the New(tm) Pentagon!  Let the humanity begin!

     Image from Reuters.

Thanks to Left I

     It's kinda self explanatory, as long as you remember that Allawi told Fallujans is that all they had to do to prevent the razing of their town was to hand over Zarqawi... who apparently wasn't there.  And then remember that all 15-50 year old men were not allowed to flee (turned back), and that some US units had orders to shoot any men they saw in that age range.  We are slaughterers.  Merry New Year, from the LA Times

Lakes of sewage in the streets. The smell of corpses inside charred buildings. No water or electricity. Long waits and thorough searches by U.S. troops at checkpoints. Warnings to watch out for land mines and booby traps. Occasional gunfire between troops and insurgents.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Old News, Dr. Sell

     Rightists have one cause, the case of Dr. Sell the Dentist, which they like to bandy about, for whatever reasons.  Perhaps, in this case, it is fear of science, specifically the science of mind-altering drugs.

     It's old news, but one might come across a Freeper, or even a sane rightist, foaming at the injustice of the Sell case, and how lefties must be evil, since they don't seem to care.  This, from Psychiatry Online, is by far the best peice I have found, illustrating both (the rightist ignored) lunacy of Dr. Sell, and the (rightist ignored) facts of the case, and the (rightist ignored) Supreme Court decision on the matter.