Sunday, February 27, 2005

Rightist Hypocrisy

     Imagine if a female prostitute, without journalist's credentials, was granted regular access to the White House Spokesperson, and was even called upon by the President.

     Thanks to L Beyerstein.

Half Backwards

     Like the US used Navajo, is it possible that secessionist/terrorist/militant movements are more succesful if they speak a very different language than their opponents?  Isn't the US "intelligence" suffering for a lack of translators?

Kansas AG Denies Virgin Birth

     The Attorney General of Kansas has demanded the records from abortion clinics concerning, among other things, abortions by women under the legal age of sixteen.  He argues that the State of Kansas was never alerted to obvious cases of statuatory rape.

     I guess he is saying it is impossible for a woman to become pregnant without sex.  Guess that rules out Jesus.

Friday, February 18, 2005

UPDATE: As of 2008, please check this site

The Solution to the Problem of International Terrorism, in Four Parts
Part One (Version 1.1)
Correctly Identifying the Source of Conflict, or, "What seems to be the trouble?"



     This is my proof that the basis of terrorism is linguistic.  I will show that the linguistic basis is present, and non-trivial, in all the major internal terrorism problems in the world.  I will show that cases where it does not appear to be the case have alternative explanations which do nothing to undermine the main case.  I will then establish the parallel with the "war on terror."

     I started this project with the idea that religions, which are all based on lies, are a problem which can only be solved by their destruction.  I still think that religions are a major problem, but during my research I came to the conclusion that language was more important.  Without the ability to communicate, agreement or disagreement can hardly be reached.

     To pull up terrorism by the roots, you must know those roots.  Usama bin-Laden is right, from the perspective of Islam, that non-Muslims on the Saudi penninsula is an anathema.  The United States might well have needed troops stationed there for the first War in Iraq, but they stayed years and years after.  Why is it that so few Americans were aware of this insult to a billion religionists?  The absence of cross-culture communication, the lack of the ability to easily transfer or relevant ideas, can become critical.

     There are roughly twenty language families in the world.

     A person can learn a language closely related to their own more easily than they can learn a language from another family.

     Now, a detailed look at some of the world's largest nations, and their internal terrorism problems.

  Conflict Language Descent Maps Language Info Extra
China
-
Uyghur
(*)
China's Uyghur Dilemma
US Navy paper
Uyghur Info Bulletin Homepage
The Uyghur, of China's northwestern Sinkiang Province, live in what was formerly known as East Turkestan
Chinese
Sino-Tibetan
A-B Map, Boeree Map, Starling Map Chinese Family (E), Chinese Family Page Word Comparison in Sino-Tibetan Languages
Uyghur
Eastern Turkic
Turkic
Altaic
Boeree Map, Gippert Map, Turkestan Map Uyghur Language Family Uyghur Language Program at Kansas University
Russia
-
Chechnya
(*)
CFR writeup
Convoluted Apt Bombings Case
Voice of Russia Links
The Chechen live just north of the Caucasus mountains.  Ingushya, Dagestani and Georgian are the commonly known related languages, all in the Caucasus area.
Russian
East Slavic
Slavic
Indo-European
A-B Indo-European Map, A-B Slavic Map, Another Slavic Map Russian Language Family(E)  
Chechen
Chechen-Ingush
North Central Caucasian
North Caucasian
CIA Caucasus Map, Dryer Map, Another Caucasus Map Chechen Language Lineage(E), Humphries  
India
-
Tamil

Tamil Tigers accused by UN
Tamil Terrorism Links
Tamil Liberation Links
Dravidian might have the oldest roots of any non-African language group.  It is mainly spoken in Sri Lanka and southeastern India.
Indic
Indo-Aryan
Indo-Iranian
Indo-European
Boeree Indo-European Map, Indo-Iranian Map, CIA 1973 India Map Indic Language Group (E), Creighton's Language Tree Ignore Religion
Tamil
Tamil-Malayalam
Tamil-Kodagu
Tamil-Kannada
Southern Dravidian
Dravidian
Boeree Dravidian, Another Dravidian, And Another Dravidian Tamil Family (E)  
Spain
-
Basque
(*)
Basque Terrorists
Basque Homeland Links
News
The language of the Basque has no known roots or close relatives.  They live on both sides of the channel-side of Franco-Spanish border.
Spanish
Castilian
West Iberian
Ibero-Romance
Gallo-Iberian
Italo-Western
Romance
Italic
Indo-European
Boeree Indo-European Map, Romance Language Map, Spanish Dialects Map Spanish Language Lineage (E)  
Basque
Basque
Basque Areas Map, Basque in France Map, Basque in Europe Basque Language Lineage (E) ETA Demands Map
(*) indicates alleged al-Qaeda connection of which I've heard.

     What I hope you take away from the above table can be most quickly seen by examining the "Language Descent" column.  The languages in question aren't related, like English and German, or Chinese and Tibetan, but as alien to each other as human languages can be, each from one of the 20 different language families.

     And these terrorists aren't simply random choices.  They represent some al-Qaeda connected (China,Russia,Spain) groups and problems that plague some of the largest countries on Earth (China,Russia,India).

     If you are with me so far, I'd ask you to draw the following parallel.  America is the premiere power on Earth.  Its influence in matters cultural, financial, and diplomatic are generally paramount, even as culture and diplomacy require language.  And yet, for justice to prevail, I hope you will agree that America needs to be cognizant of the likes, bottom-lines, and lines-not-to-cross of each faction.  If only the tiniest handful of Americans speaks Arabic, we can't expect to "hear" if they have a problem.

     I know we all have had experience with miscommunication.  In the high stakes world of diplomacy, or the exacting world of the courts, a result can hinge on the understanding of a single word.

     To complicate the limited communication avenues between the English and Arabic cultures, and the unavoidable miscommunications, there is what I would term 'discommunication,' namely, the intentional messages of "distrust" or "hate" sent by each side to its own.  Notable hatemongers spread the rumor that the 'other' is simply not rational, or is bent on destruction of a way of life.  This holds for both sides, and comes from ignorance.

     In Part 2, the solution, probably already obvious, will be outlined.  Part 3 explains why seeming counter-examples, Israel, Chiapas and Colombia, actually cement the case.  Part four throws in some material that may not fit anywhere else.

NOTE: I am not a linguist.  Even though some of the links probably contradict some of the others, this doesn't change the merits of the case.

     Overall, the most comprehensive and quick-to-peruse set of maps and descent trees can be found on this page.  Unfortunately it is missing some maps, having split Indo-European into four parts, and only mapping three, for example.

     A Global Indo-European Map, a result of Europe's Imperialism.

A more primitive version of this post can be found in my archives.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Give Me Access!

     Was cruising the conservative drek sites and found out that Howard Brush Dean is debating Richard Lying-Gasbag Perle.  Might be aired on C-SPAN on Saturday.

     Almost famous are the Chomsky-Perle debates, from the late 1980s.  I should give a listen.  I hope Dean did, too.  Here they are.

DeLay(Religious Right) Packs the Ethics Committee

     After firing two members of the US House of Representatives Ethics Committee, second ranking House Republican, Tom DeLay of Texas picks two people who have contributed to his defense fund to replace them.  DeLay is also using his force in Texas to prevent prosecutors from bringing cases against Representatives unless a _partisan_ panel OK's it.

This?

     For a fuller discussion of John Negroponte see the link, from SourceWatch (formerly Disinfopedia).  Includes this most telling of tidbits

[F]rom 1971 to 1973, Negroponte was the officer-in-charge for Vietnam at the National Security Council (NSC) under Henry Kissinger

     Meanwhile, ever stalwart ally Britain claims to have lost 30 kilograms (66 pounds) of Plutonium.  British officials declare nothing's wrong and that "This is an accounting exercise."  Perhaps next time they can do accounting exercises with pencils and paper.
UPDATE: David Corn, at The Nation, has another article on John.

     Meanwhile, in East Asia...

     Now, the Remain Calm "Orange Team" (this naming pre-dates Yuschenko's efforts) in China/Taiwan, (4th or 5th in prominence, after Red, Blue and Green teams), believes China has no right to Taiwan (despites PRC's claim) and Taiwan has no right to China (despite Kuomintang claim's).  The US is (no surprise) being complete idiots now. 

  • US criticizes China for increasing military.  US claims this upsets Taiwan/China balance.  I believe China plans to take advantage of the US extension of forces (Iraq, Afghanistan, perhaps waiting for one more) to invade Taiwan.  I believe it is a rational strategy.
  • US criticizes Japan for engaging in trade talks with North Korea.
  • US Ambassador to Japan, former Senate Majority Leader, Howard Baker, III, critcizes North Korea, calling it an "irresponsible regime" and "a deadly threat.

     NOTE: Bush has placed hopes for a resolution to the crisis in North Korea on six-party talks, those six parties include, China, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Russia and America.

     NEW NOTE: Bush has replaced the old guy for the six-party talks, and put in Christopher Hill.  This, actually, might be a good thing.  After a little more research, here and here, it looks like Mr. Hill isn't any sort of hero, take this exchange

Q: I have met some Korean officials who have said that the U.S. seems to be limiting its information sharing with South Korea regarding the North. For example, the Yanggang-do explosion last September. Because the U.S. did not provide timely information, South Koreans had a difficult time analyzing the situation. Could you provide your comments?
Hill: I don't want to sound too much like a diplomat, but let me just say, we don't discuss specific intelligence issues. But, generally, and I must say including that incident, we have an excellent, excellent intelligence relationship, and an excellent relationship in sharing. I've worked with a lot of countries, I've never seen a better one.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Infinite Waste

     I started another blog.  In the past, I've started a number of other blogs.  Most of them have fallen by the wayside.  This one is based on everthing I hear on C-SPAN Radio, which I live blog.

Feeding the Rumor Mill

     I haven't said much about Guckert/Gannon here.  Was talking with someone last night about it, and I think I have (yet another) guess.

  • Either
    1. Guckert didn't have the regular security check, or
    2. The background check system sucks.
For the sake of the rest of this post, I am going with 1.
  • To get past the security check either
    1. He was part of a White House orchestrated plot (i.e. "Let's get someone in there and lob softballs at McClellan when we need it"), or
    2. He was having sex with someone important, who made the problems go away
I think I have a proof it is 2.  In times past, when the White House/the Republican Party, have wanted someone to do stuff for them, they usually go with lawyers.
  • Donald Segretti, lawyer, shady trickster during Watergate
  • Ann Coulter, lawyer, hatchet-lady pundit.
  • John O'Neill, lawyer (and Nixon supporter), hatchet-author of anti-Kerry "Unfit for Command"
  • Buckhead, lawyer, Freeper who made a whole bunch of false allegations about Killian Memos (re: typography).
I argue that lawyers are selected precisely because they know the law so well.  O'Neill and Coulter would _have_ to be very familiar with libel and slander laws to do what they do, wouldn't they?  Therefore, if Rove had tried to hire someone to sit in on White House Press Conferences, he would have hired some partisan, down on their luck lawyer, not some gay prostitute.
Media Wants War in Iran/Syria

     Lots of news stories about an explosion "near" a nuclear plant today.  In fact, the explosion was 110 miles from the (non-operational) nuclear plant.

     The media is reporting that Bush has withdrawn the Envoy from Syria.  The article I'm reading, from the SF Gate, ignores any help Syria has been in capturing al-Qaeda and related groups.  It's a "hit" peice, in the sense that it seems to encourage war.  No sense linking to it.  Also reported are large protests over the death of Hariri.  Based on (secret evidence? sheer belligerence? no one seems to know) the US is blaming Syria for the death of a popular Prime Minister, Hariri, who resigned in protest after Lahoud got a second term by having the Parliament change the Constitution, ostensibly at Syria's discretion.

     Too bad stupid RW Reagan backed the wrong forces in Lebanon back in the 1980s.  There would likely be a stable, pro-US government in Beirut today.

Tip to Faf

     House votes to keep section of law that allows Secretary of Homeland Security (we are all safe from terrorists engaging in shady Arkansas land deals, Whitewater prosecutor) Chertoff. for any reason he sees fit, to ignore all American laws.  A little background information, from OMB Watch

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

This feeling

     It's quite sad.  I love writing, but I base my writing on my reading.  A few days ago my laptop got hosed.  Fell off the table (my fault) with the lid open.  Over 2.2 years, but still, it's sad.  It's harder on this machine.  At least, as of today, this machine is working pretty decently as a desktop (had been just a server).  Expect the Great Seal of the United States (reverse) to dissapear from the blog, and no new ones to appear.

A Road Map Which Lies

     A new, planned settlement in the West Bank.

Screw 'em

     Without asking you, or telling you, slimy, greedy corporations have managed to collect and store every single peice of data they could get their hands on, firms like the SCUMBAGS who rigged the Florida election for Bush in 2000 (ChoicePoint) to market leader Axciom are doing what, in Republican memory circles, you could blast someone with a shotgun for in other times.

     "Why, you, coming up here on my porch, wanting information about me (for free) and selling it?  Why don't I just kill you? Git, ya dang whippersnapper."

     Ah, I can't really claim that all these data thieves (yes, theieves, did they ask? No, they just took) are with one party or not, but I do know that the corporate media and NPR are making sure to put THEIEVES in a fair and balanced light.

     I believe the just thing to do is to force them to empty their databases, and start over, this time with no theft at all.  Actaully, I'm not sure there is any non-spying application of this data.  There is no way to fix it if they are wrong (and they have a vested interest in saying they are right, even when they aren't.)

     Aha!  I figured it out.  I think I know how to nail them, now.  I had momentarily felt a bit powerless before these corporate scumfucks.

Monday, February 14, 2005

(The First) Good News for America (in Iraq)

     Election results which show the United States did not rig the elections to let their favored candidate win amount to the first good news for Americans concerning, as the Daily Show has dubbed it, Mess-o-potamia.  It's good news for Ameicans both because corporate profits are enured and because if Ba'athist Allawi had won, everyone would have known it was a set-up.

   .  Now, I don't see why this couldn't have happened months, or more than a year ago.  We have done little to nothing to get Iraqis ready for the event in the meantime.  Had we acted earlier, the voter turnout in Al Anbar province would have been closer to 70%, instead of 2%.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

No War In Iran

     Jim Lobe, has this on recent war-mongering developments on Iran.

     A funny story?  When I had my apartment overlooking the Hudson River, New Jersey, and the Statue of Liberty, I couldn't help notice that (post-9/11) there was a Coast Guard (Cutter?) parked near Lady Liberty 24/7.  Around then an Iranian expat terrorist group had a press conference, aired on C-SPAN, claiming that they had "proof" Iran was working on a nuclear weapon, which would be a violation of their NNPT commitments.  At night I would use a single bulb and my hand to send morse code (obviously legible to many Coast Guard members) "No Snaps, Just Maps, No War in Iran."  The facts were the terrorists only produced a map with two red stars on it, no "evidence" whatsoever of an Iranian weapons program.  I suspect the penalty for efforts like theirs, and Chalabi's, should be death.  "Lying In Order To Use America To Overthrow A Foreign Power" ought to be the crime's title, eh?

This is your F.B.I.

     Korean War era episode of "This is your F.B.I." "Draft Dodging, Inc." (Sep 22, 1950) has a great commercial in the middle, from the FBI, explaining how no home will be entered without a warrant, etc, etc, and really highlights the difference between modern Fascist Bushf*cks and Eisenhower Republicans.

New Drums Sound On Iran

     The US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is going to have a National Intelligence Estimate produced, and do a general review on Iran.  I'll link to it when its produced.

     Will it be the same sort of cherry-picked document that was released concerning Iraq?  Will they step up to the plate and admit they know nothing concrete?  Since the Committee is controlled by a pretty consistent Bush Republican, P Roberts of Kansas, we can guess that whatever is produced will be couched in the most inflammatory language.  In any event, the right wing press will jump all over select quotes to prove to the American people that Iran is "evil."  Bush is, in fact, evil, and the Iranian leadership are no saints.

     Who is Mark Palmer?

Mark Palmer, a former U.S. State Department official active in promoting democracy across Eastern Europe and the Middle East, says the fact Mr. Bush devoted part of the State of the Union address and almost his entire inaugural address to the importance of democracy indicates the value it has for the president. It also explains why Iran is a frequent topic of the Bush administration.
"He has made this the number one priority in the second administration: to help people who are willing to stand up for their freedom," said Mr. Palmer.
Ambassador Palmer, pointing to the success of recent elections in Afghanistan, the Palestinian territories and Iraq, says the Bush Administration wants free and fair elections in Iran.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Deep Throat Rumors

     I'm listening to Bush sell, sell, sell his lame, lame, lame medicare drug bill.  "I signed medicare reform proudly, and any attempt to limit the choices of seniors, or take away their prescription drug coverage under medicare, will meet my veto" (says the vetoless President).

     Please recall the very thorough study on who Deep Throat by University of Illinois Professor Bill Gaines, repeated more than a half dozen times in the last couple years.  Their results are available here.  They are pretty sure it was Fred Fielding.

The 2004 Dem Primary, in moving pictures

     Well, an animated gif, anyway.

     I put all the polls from 2004, statewide, in a program I wrote (using Gimp::Fu) to generate a *huge* animated gif (3MB).  If you want to look, I put it here.  Someone had said how well Lieberman had done.  I agree he did well in the NE, but rarely did well outside there.  I can generate sub-gifs for individual candidates, too.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Rice, Apperance in Paris was Managed

     Included scripted questions and banning most students at the school from attending.

Tip to Balta Blog

     Here is a funny post on the loony GOPster Tom Coburn, Junior Senator from Oklahoma

"And I thought I would just share with you what science says today about silicone breast implants. If you have them, you're healthier than if you don't. That is what the ultimate science shows. . . . In fact, there's no science that shows that silicone breast implants are detrimental and, in fact, they make you healthier."

     In related news, Coburn has received a call from the mother ship. 

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

All the left...

     Is it just me, or does the whole "left" want Novak nailed for revealing what a source told him, namely, that Valerie Plame was a CIA agent.

     What I don't need explained is that if reporters are forced to reveal their sources... leaks become less likely... which plays directly into the hands of the fascists.

     What am I missing here?  Or has the left that has been caught by a clever ploy, using the aged Novak to end reporter-source confidentiality forever!

     I found this well-meaning information page that says half the states have Shield Laws, which protect reporters from revealing their sources.  Another link says over 30 States and DC have such laws, and that in some case a Branzburg balancing test is required, but that in New York and Montana the shield is absolute

     Aha, here it is, a discussion of the Federal Shield Law.

     Either I am missing something, or the lefties are doing the fascist's bidding (yet again).

US/UK/Aus/Can Press Lies To Americans (More Proof)

     What actually happened with C Rice and european leaders for the last few days?  Does this even amount to a story?  That didn't stop the torrent of ink spilled.

     Was she there to make amends?  Not one story mentions any conciliatory gestures made on the part of the US, the strident demands, instead, were always for the EU to cave before the awe-inspiring freedom spreader of Bu$hCo.

     First, the foreign press...

  • Der Speigel French Size Up Rice "Condoleezza Rice is wrong if she thinks one pretty Parisian performance will make up for two years of strain and outright antagonism with Europe."

     Now the shameless anglophone press wraps it up completely different, here they are in recap.

  • NY Post (Murdoch) Condi Storms the Bastille
  • Washington Times (Moonie) Rice asks Europe to help spread freedom : Over 60% direct Rice quotes
  • Reuters Rice Boosts U.S.-French Ties But Problems Remain Starts with "Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice struck all the right diplomatic notes in a visit to Paris which French commentators hailed as a 'faultless recital'."  Generally rah-rahing, notes that three French at Gitmo might be released.
  • Washington Times (Editorial) : Rice Dazzles Europe "Miss Rice blew away the grumpy old men of Europe..."
  • ABC News (AP) Rice Gives Europe a New, Stylish, Intellectual Image of United States : Entirely laudatory, very fashion-minded.  Contradicts NY Post by saying she was wearing very, very expensive brooch, which claimed she was dressed low-key.
  • The Australian French kisses as 'Condi' heals rift : 100% upbeat, includes a godawful C Rice quote "Imagine where we would be today if the brave founders of French liberty or of American liberty had been content with the world as it was[.]".  She's a fucktard.  From article "She was, in turn, warmly received by her hosts, who were keen to downplay bitter disputes over the 2003 US-led Iraq invasion."
  • Sydney Morning Herald : Rice's trans-Atlantic charm offensive hits the spot 100% optimistic, mentions US demands.
  • The Age US calls on Europe to foster Arab stability : Upbeat
  • Toronoto Star : U.S. `stands ready to work with Europe,' Rice says Tiny bit of sobering background, mostly upbeat.
  • Guardian, UK Rice woos Paris with call to build bridges Almost entirely uncritical, one student quoted at end being unsure.
  • Houston Chronicle Rice warns Iran about nuclear weapons : 1st half on Iran angle, second on NATO/EU relations.  The Chronicle also ran the AP "style" peice linked to at ABC above.  Drivel.
  • Detroit Free Press Rice Makes Nice With Europe : Ends with lots of Rice quotes, almost fair.
  • Springfield, MO, News-Leader (Knight-Ridder)Rice calls for allies to move past differences Final sentence in short article is critical.
  • Wired China, Iran Splits to Test Rice and New US-EU Mood Upbeat
  • LA Times Rice Tries to Bridge Gap With Europe Happy.
  • Globe and Mail Rice strikes conciliatory tone in Paris but, in fact, the article notes no conciliatory gestures.  Instead we find "Rice urged France yesterday to get over a nasty rift about President George W. Bush's war on Iraq and make common cause 'because the fair wind of freedom is at our back.'"
  • NPR From before speech.  Pretty good for US coverage, still, but says C Rice will "talk straight" and be "intellectual."
  • Jerusalem Post (AP) Rice warns Iran of looming UN action Focusses on Iran angle, but entirely pro-US
  • Indianapolis Star (AP) Rice urges U.S.-European cooperation Is this getting repetitive for you, too?
  • Kanas City Star (Knight-Ridder) In Europe, Rice tries to turn page Ends with "tone of meeting respectful and non-confrontational
  • London Free Press? Rice takes unity talk to Paris Godawful.
  • SF Gate Rice moves to bridge U.S.-Europe divide Pathetic
  • Boston Herald Rice calls for US, Europe to move beyond differences Pathetic, again "On her tour across Europe, Rice has generally met a warm reception, including in Germany."
  • Seattle Times Rice urges unity in Europe Almost a bit critical, includes "'It was strange because the basic line, apart from freedom and liberty, was let's let bygones be bygones,' said Francois Heisbourg, a military and defense expert who had been invited to meet Rice at a small gathering this morning."
Iraq Election Results Delayed, Move to Make Sure Sistani gets less than 50%

     From the Guardian

Final results from the Jan. 30 balloting were to be announced Thursday. But spokesman Farid Ayar said the deadline would slip due to the need for a recount.
``We don't know when this will finish,'' he said. ``This will lead to a little postponement in announcing the results.''
Ayar would not say where the 300 ballot boxes came from.
C Rice, Blood Dripping From Mouth, Declares

     "Nato united over Iraq", a friend of mine suggests that they might fall and squish it, if they aren't careful.

     Meanwhile, down the memory hole, we have the opposite story, Divided NATO, from just two months ago, when Poland, Hungary and the Netherlands are upping the NATO contingent from 60 to 300, while France, Germany, Spain, Greece and Belgium all refuse to send troops.

     The newer story explains how that the 300 promised troops in the old story only amount to 100 so far, so actually amounts to an increase in only 40.

     No country is reporting a change in troop deployments, none of France, Germany, Spain, Greece or Belgium have decided to send troops, but C Rice says NATO is united now.

     She's on drugs.  I don't know how else to explain it.

     Still, she is, perhaps, more connected to reality than P Wolfowitz, who declared that the bombing of the UN station in Iraq, fifteen months ago was going to lead to a renewed UN support for US actions in Iraq.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

I was fooled

     Hey, it is bound to happen.  It sure seemed reasonable, as D Rumsfeld and C Rice said, and all the right-wing bloggers hoo-hoo'ed about, that after WWII, the Nazis still attacked us.

     But it was a fucking lie.

Channeling the NeoCon Mind

     Today, in the Middle East, SecState C Rice declared, as quoted in Zaman, "[The Iranians] behavior towards their own people indicate that they could not adapt to reform steps in the Middle East."  C Rice then grabbed her ankles to indicate how Middle Easterners should accept the "Bomb-Them-Into-Democracy" doctrine of BushCo.

     I don't know what sort of mindset this is, but Tunisian Foreign Minister Abdelbaki Hermassi, as quoted in the Turkish Press, said "We think that the integrity and the sovereignty of Iraq should be absolutely protected[.]"  I guess the border negotiations of the early 20th century racist Colonialists are good enough for us!

     See my solution to terrorism to explain the flaw in this reasoning.  Tunisia must be "acting the good puppet" and Turkey is simply afraid of their long-oppressed Kurds.  Recall that, during the 1990s, the biggest arms purchaser in the world was Turkey, and the target of all those weapons of destruction were the Kurds.

Palestine-Israel Cease-Fire Agreed

     Reuters reporter.

     Per usual, if even one of the millions of Palestinians attacks, all further negotiations by Israel will stop

Israel says it is ready to coordinate with Abbas on its plan to withdraw settlers from occupied Gaza and part of the West Bank this year if violence stops and Palestinians rein in militants, as they are meant to under the road map.

     If you'd read the news, you'd have thought that the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza was a done deal, and simply required the Knesset's approval.  Oh no, suckers, it's all dependent on all violence ceasing.

     Also from the same article.

Although no formal cease-fire was signed at the summit, it was widely seen as a step back toward negotiations on a U.S.-backed "road map" for a Palestinian state alongside a secure Israel.
But Islamic militants behind suicide bombings, rocket attacks and shootings said they were not bound by Abbas's cease-fire, though they would continue to follow a de facto truce at his behest.

     I can hear the pseudo-left and the neo-cons whooping it up now.  No progress on any sticking points, militants vowing not to abide, Israel's big promise seems to stop assasinating Palestinians, and only one side gets constantly insulted.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Admission of Reagan Corruption

     I'm listening to one of the convicted members of the Reagan administration explain what he did on C-SPAN Radio.  It's a couple of Reagan sycophants doing the interview, but the guy seems relatively honest.  A (mob related) "maritime union" "helped" with passing the first tax increase after Reagan's massive 1981 tax cut, called TEFRA.  The "maritime union" helped get it passed.  The convicted guy wrote Ed Meese, then Attorney General, saying how the "maritime union" should be helped out, since friends should be helped.

     Google searches for "Reagan 'maritime union' TEFRA conviction" and "Reagan mob TEFRA conviction" yield no results.

     Based on interviews with Gerald Strober and Deborah Hart Strober.

Uniting All Humanity

     I can't think of a better way than to collectively agree that religion was a mistake.  We can debate, and argue, about what religion really used to mean, but the important thing is that we are all willing to laugh at each other's former beliefs, and our own, and get back to the business of inhabiting the planet in a civilized manner.

     Perhaps I impose upon my readers by saying what I think religion was.  It was politics.  Before there was any, well-known philosophy of law, or known notion of the common weal, or society-at-large, there were still people who wanted things to work.  They wanted it so badly, they wanted everyone to obey the same set of rules, and to have these rules last forever.  Operating without a license, without writing, without a formal system, they wished and wished and wished, they thought and thought and thought.  Some of these people believed the inspiration came from themselves, some believed it came from outside, some believed one and acted like the other.  For a variety of reasons, but largely because its generally not the colossal boneheads who think of such things, they made their mark.  There is no god, there is no enlightenment, there is no spirit world, there is no afterlife.  We are all here, together, on Earth, and that only for a little while.  So, take care, enjoy yourself, and make sure to contribute to the greater good.

     Even if I managed to write that down perfectly, fully intelligible and instantly understood to all, there is room for argument.  Why did I say take care in front of the other two?  Are they equally important?  Of ranked importance?  Do we want a steady state society?  If we don't, we need a flexible system, and the powerful will always tend to flex the system for their own good, if not immediately, than eventually, usually right after we think everything is alright.

     I'm listening to the Cryosleep channel.

Another View of Bush

     He didn't order that the Americans should plant fake WMD in Iraq, for that we should thank him.  Perhaps its still in the works, but I doubt it.

     Looks like the pro-Sharia crowd is going to handily win the Iraqi elections.  Now, on the one hand, American conservatives are going to cry that we empowered another Iran.  However, if handled deftly, America has an opportunity to prove it has nothing personal against Islam and an Islamic State.  If America pulled this off, well, it might mean great things to undermining the campaign of Usama bin-Laden.  However, as asset sales of Iraq go directly to enriching American firms, I doubt this.  Not only that, the Bush administration will never spin it this way.

     As a bunch of people have noted, the farm subsidy cuts sound good, and have all the likelihood of occuring as snow in NYC on the 4th of July.

The Quickest Way

     The quickest way to get me to ignore your blog is to post about sports.  However, this morning Cheney picked the Eagles by three on some morning show.  Probably an anti-Massachusetts ploy, as the opposition has their stadium in Kerry's home state.&nsbp; The Eagles lost.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

google bombing

     I don't normally do this, abortion and Roe V Wade

The Politics of Freedom

     The Carpetbagger has a post from Morbo which discusses the chance that Bush's freedom cudgel will be weilded to free the people who need it the most.

     Sadly, like so much else, the issue of freedom is a political business.  Morbo relies on Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Freedom House, and Reporters Without Borders.  Now, up front, let me say that most of the employees of these organizations are well-meaning, but if you know of a case where a real political minded person was denied employment at one of these agencies, for having their own agenda, please let me now.  The truth is that all of these groups are in some sense or other front groups.  OK, I can't find any nefarious links to Reporters Without Borders, but I do sense a pro-Western bias in their coverage of non-reporter based facts.

  • Amnesty International
    For a few years now, Amnesty's Executive Director is man named Dr. William Schulz.  I'll start by saying the only nice thing I can about him, he doesn't like torture.  He doesn't like it at all.  Has AI cared at all about Alberto Gonzales, or the US torture or rendition?  Their front page trumpets Sudan, a classic issue of the religious right in America, where the UN doesn't think there was a genocide, but the US is pushing the idea anyway.  Even though Dr. Schulz is a sincere opponent of torture, he is, more than that, a true friend of the Bush administration.
    Schulz is a product of one of America's premiere right wing law schools, the University of Chicago(also alma mater of John Ashcroft).  The other two currently are Georgetown and George Mason, by the way.  With a Doctor of Divinity and a Doctor of Ministry from Meadville-Lombard Theological School, perhaps I am too harsh on him.  But I have seen Schulz mock the very concept of Human Rights, and declare that the greatest American champions of the oppressed are a couple of Georgetown professors.  He is a Unitarian Universalist, went to Oberlin, has no problem with gays, but that still doesn't explain what I saw when I saw him at Georgetown (on C-SPAN).
  • Freedom House
    Unlike Amnesty, I am hardly the first to point out Freedom House's right wing agenda, so I'll just like to the incredibly informative Right-Web.
  • Human Rights Watch
    Perhaps I'm overstating their political agenda, but there are a very large number of powerful CFR and Soros related people on the Boards of HRW.  CFR was the foreign policy establishment during the Cold War.  Gore was a member, Bush was not.
  • Reporter Without Borders
    Like I said, this is a new group to me.  I don't know who funds them, or who is in control.  On the topic of the murder, imprisonment, and harassment of journalists, I expect they are very good, if not the best.  But when they delve into other areas I have to criticize.  I see, for example, that they think it is a travesty that China, Cuba and Zimbabwe are on the Human Rights Commission of the UN.  The US has killed more innocent people in the last two years than any other country.  Another way to look at it is, if human rights abusers are never allowed to be on the Commission, they will always treat the Commission as suspect, and they will just tune out their constant nagging.  So, in this regard, at least, I see them as stepping outside what they understand and pontificating.
     Luckily I never do that ;)
Cheney, Continuing to Dissemble
"there is no doubt that if the sanctions were lifted, Saddam would be back in business again."

     He bases this on the Duelfer report, he claims the Duelfer report indicates this precisely.

     The Duelfer Report actually says that not one person interviewed claimed that Saddam had talked to them about restarting weapons programs.  That not one scrap of physical evidence indicates that Saddam planned to restart the weapons programs.

     With enemies like these in power, America is doomed.

     Perhaps Saddam, I mean, Dick Cheney, meant standard commercial contracts when he said "back in business," in which case it was simply sleight of words.

Sigh

     Is anything good happening?  Bush plans to cut back on farm subsidies, in a way that seems to support small farmers and undercut agribusiness, but I don't expect him to expend any political capital on this.

     The US is gassing one of the most biologically diverse regions of the world to eradicate Coca.

     Prof. J Cole and Pundit J Goldberg (son of L Goldberg) are in a tiff, because J Goldberg put forth that the 1997 Iranian election was a fraud compared to the 2005 Iraqi election.  Cole's follow up arguments sound good, while Goldberg's sound ignorant, but I don't know much about the 1997 election.  James Wolcott writes it up in a way that makes me smile.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Too Weird To Not Mention

     Italy has just started a primary election system.  In the primary race for Governor of a southern province, the centre-left part of Italy chose a gay, catholic, hard-line communist.

Friday, February 04, 2005

God Bless Executive Pay: Iraq's Oil

     Tip to Dahr Jamail...

    

On Dec. 22, 2004, Iraqi Finance Minister Abdel Mahdi told a handful of reporters and industry insiders at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. that Iraq wants to issue a new oil law that would open Iraq's national oil company to private foreign investment. As Mahdi explained: "So I think this is very promising to the American investors and to American enterprise, certainly to oil companies."

     Mahdi is on the Sistani list.  Corporate Profits Are Guaranteed!  WOO HOO! 

HOORAY

     With all the "serious" rivals out of the way, it looks like...
Howard Brush Dean is going to lead the Democrats!

     In light of this, I've removed my sidebar link to my poorly maintained page on the topic.

Act to Defend the Defense Of Marriage Act

     I'm married to the idea of acting to defend the defense of marriage act.  Corrupting liberals and their homosexual agenda have ruled America for far too long.  When are the decent people going to stand up and say, categorically, "No?"

     Every day I pick up the paper and read about gays bombing marriage license offices, assassinating Priests and Ministers during wedding ceremonies, car-bombing Vegas chapels, and forcing people to divorce at gunpoint.

     Thankfully, even as Democrats kowtow to terrorists, our President has the moral conviction necessary to confront evil proactively, to embrace positive change, and to wield the cudgel of freedom.

     Thanks to a friend for the idea for this post.

Revealed Wisdom

     The Washington Post has a human-readable explanation of the Bush privatization plan Social Security.  The article explains, I think handily, how the private fund would work, and by what amount of the gov't portion would be reduced.  As right wingers are quick to point out, the private accounts are transferrable upon death, unlike the gov't pension, and thus represent an asset. 

     However, two factors need to be taken into account, the first from the same WaPo article, namely, the Congressional Budget Office calculates that, adjusting for risk, and including overhead costs, the new accounts will result in zero net benefit for the citizen.

     The second, which I derived myself, says this.  If there is no net benefit change and the money is converted to relatives upon death, then the system will have even higher deficits than currently for no benefit.  Although, to be fair, the slightly increased deficits are part of the transfer from young diers to old, which is often cited as a weakness in the system.

Tip to ThomasMc

     An Iraqi's view on the recent elections in that country.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

News from Iraq, re:Election

     From the WSJ (no registration required) news of good and bad.  The author was the one who had their personal e-mail of the tragedies in Iraq blasted over the net, iirc Farnaz Fassihi.  On the bad side

What's happening in the Sunni enclaves of Adhamiya and Ammariya, where the residents are notoriously anti-American and sympathetic to insurgents? "None of the polling stations have opened here. The streets are desolate," said my friend, Ziad, from his home in Adhamiya around 3 p.m. "We haven't left the house."
and more good news.
Tip to Ironic Times

     BushCo plans to allow the simplification of firing gov't employees for their politics.

     That'll learn 'em.

On the Iraq Elections: Unanswered Questions

     First, apologies to Jay Garner, the quickly sacked first US Viceroy of Iraq.  I have repeatedly stated that he had no relevant experience.  I was ignorant of his position as autocrat in the Kurdish zone after the first Gulf War. 

     In March, 2004, Garner told the BBC that he was fired because he called for quick elections.  Here is lengthy coverage of Plan Iraq, courtesy of Greg Palast.

     Now, I don't know anyone who will argue that the situation has improved in the last couple of years in Iraq.  The attacks grow more numerous.  The animosity towards the occupation forces grow greater, with the lion's share reserved for the United States.&nsbp;

     So, why couldn't elections have happened earlier?  Was it a coincidence that they were delayed until after the US elections?  Assuming anyone even wants expat Iraqis like Allawi and Yawar to be in charge, wouldn't they have had a better chance before the current situation?  And lastly, why did on one day the head Iraqi election commissioner say preliminary results would be available, while on the next day, election day, nothing was?

     In truth, little to nothing has changed in the last 22 months to insure a more sagacious result from the Iraqi elections.  In this way, the Bush adminstration made a mockery of the Germany and Japan they so often reminded Americans about.

     America didn't liberate Japan and Germany.  And precious few Americans alive today had anything to do with it. 

     This post is in part a response to the abyssmal post, linked to by Direland, by M Malkin, on the "silence" of the left on Iraqi elections.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Iraq Conspiracy?  No, Confluence (UPDATE 2)

UPDATE 1: Added Palast link to list
UPDATE 2: Added Perle/Soviet to list

     In the last couple days I've seen a couple posts which attempt to answer the question "Why did we fight in Iraq?" and I realized that although I'd commented this material elsewhere, I'd never blogged it myself.  There were a host of forces at play, all with the same aim, while the anti-war arguments were generally based on hypothesis or law.  I'm not sure which order to describe the factors, so please don't read anything in there.

  • PNAC and neo-conservatism always favored using US force to destroy particular enemies of the US establishment, not that Cheney didn't do business with official US enemies.  Emerging out of 70s hawkish leftism (e.g. Scoop Jackson) and the classrooms of the disciples of Leo Strauss, these disturbing elements of the US power structure argue from the axiom that the US is the world Leviathan, a position which is false.
  • War is good for the media's ratings.
  • Colin Powell, even before Bush took office, was known to favor war against Iraq and North Korea, both of whom he considered Cold War aggressor nations which had not paid for their aggression.  It's hard for me to see how Kim Jong Il can be blamed for the war of his father, Kim Il Song, but that didn't stop General Powell.
  • Soldiers want action and medals.
  • The foreign policies of certain US allies, namely, Israel.  Israel wanted Saddam gone.  No one can argue that the Saudis really loved Saddam, either.
  • In 2000, Iraq became the first major oil producing country to replace the dollar with the Euro.  Many trillions of Middle Eastern "Petrodollars" have long been converted into US dollars before being spent.  This is a great deal for the United States, and changing it would weaken the US economy.
  • Defense contractors want sales.
  • Oil security.  I think the major US focus on oil as a national security measure dates back to WWII.  Tanks and planes don't run without oil.  Battles in WWII were won and lost based on fuel supplies.  Britian invaded Iraq during WWII because Iraq wanted to sell oil to Germany (a fact notably absent from this CIA timeline).  Having Iraq's oil in friendlier hands would help this aging national security issue, and continue to bolster the US economy.
  • Saddam had been, in fact, a murderous tyrant (although everyone glosses over the fact that his last few years had been his best, kills-per-year wise).
  • Saddam allegedly tried to kill Bush's father.  Taking the nation to war for personal reasons is treason.
  • Because they could.  Some people were tasked with things like "Find any dirt on Iraq that you can, and make a big stink about it."  They were given a job by the President, and they did it well (enough).  William Luti and Doug Feith figure prominently as neo-cons who can assert "I was just doing my job."
  • The last reason I can think of is Bush's religion.  He doesn't see things as events in the grand scheme of history, they are Signs From God, and God got him elected, and therefore, God's will must be done.  Israel is not a country, but the Holy Land, and Saddam was certainly an enemy of Israel.
  • If Greg Palast's report is correct, it had a lot more to do with greed than I have suggested.  Pure, unadulterated profit motive.
  • According to Richard Perle biographer Alan Weisman, Perle himself really wanted to live/relive the feeling people had when the Soviet Union toppled.  Kinda confusing, though, since we didn't shoot at Gorbachev, or try a "decapitation" attack, to do it.

     The arguments against the war?  The maintenance of the Westphalian system, international law, anti-pre-emption, and the "bound to be a quagmire" thesis are all based on high concepts or speculation. 

  • It might be obvious to sane people, but no one could prove it would be a quagmire.  No one knew, in advance, that Bu$hCo would choose oil-men and terrorists to run the new Iraq.  As unlikely as it was, war planners made comparisons to post-WWII Japan or Germany. 
  • It's doubtful Bush considered Saddam's Iraq as worthy of the rights of a Sovereign, as he doesn't consider Arabs to be worthy of the rights in the Constitution. 
  • And international law?  Why, I saw the Bush administration international law expert on C-SPAN.  It was pathetic.  He brought up the Caroline incident and the Cuba blockade/missile crisis as examples of US pre-emption.  The Caroline incident was a British action, while the Cuba blockade was used as an example, five years later, by Egypt, in their blocking the straits of Tiran (an important part of the run-up to the 67 war).

     So to will this action of Bush's be used in the future to start wars.  Like the Supreme Court decision that brought this mindnumbingly incompetent tool to power (Bush V Gore is the first case in USSC history that declares it is inadmissible as precedent), the Bush administration ignores the precedent setting nature of their war.  Considering, for example, past Bush maladministration efforts, wouldn't Iran be in their right minds to attack America now?

     The War in Iraq must be repudiated.