Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Monday, January 30, 2006
No Reichstag fire, But...The German Parliament building burnt down, and in the wake and panic of the event, Hitler was able to pass a lot of dictatorial laws, entrenching Nazi power. Saw an old hand at legal matters discussing the Bush administration (and not in glowing terms) saying "All he needs now is a fire in the Reichstag." I told him that the Bush administration doesn't need that, they just need to keep emptying Congress on security alerts, and that way they get permanently paranoid legislators and get to keep the building!
Friday, January 27, 2006
Strict Instructions for Hamas"When Elections Go Bad!" A big "FU" to the Palestinian people from the Bush administration, both today and yesterday. I'm going to discuss today's White House press conference. Even though Hamas won 76 seats out of 132 (giving it a far larger majority than the American Republicans have, in either body of Congress or in the Electoral College), if they don't keep Abbas (of the opposition) as President, we are not going to ever talk to them... unless they renounce violence. So, Hamas can not put the destruction of Iran in its platform, it can not label North Korea part of the Axis of Evil... and definitely not invade Iraq!.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
The FourthSo, I'm planning to do a nice post on the patently obtuse, ahistorical, anti-American reading of the Fourth Amendment Chucklehead Michael Hayden has been using to get around the Fourth Amendment (by simply, and ignorantly, misreading it) and I thought I'd give a link to what seems to be a great case in US history which relates. It's called Boyd v. United States, and it was heard in 1886. There are a lot of so-called "originalists" out there who couldn't find the Constitution with three Googles and a team of researchers, but if they actually read this case, they'd have to reconsider the patently criminal acts of the United States Government on this score. Read it for edification, please.
Monday, January 23, 2006
Sunday, January 22, 2006
Who do the Democrats Remind YOU of?
- Troop reductions were required to "take away one of the elements that fuels the insurgency, that of the coalition forces as an occupying force."
- Army General George Casey, THE TOP US COMMANDER IN IRAQ
- "The idea that this is going to go the way these guys planned is ludicrous. There are no good options. We're conducting a campaign as though it were being conducted in Iowa, no sense of the realities on the ground. It's so unrealistic for anyone who knows that part of the world. The priorities are just all wrong."
- Gen. Joseph Hoar (Ret), the former Commandant of the Marine Corps and head of US Central Command
- "We have a growing, maturing insurgency group ... We see larger and more coordinated military attacks. They are getting better and they can self-regenerate. The idea there are x number of insurgents, and that when they're all dead we can get out is wrong. The insurgency has shown an ability to regenerate itself because there are people willing to fill the ranks of those who are killed. The political culture is more hostile to the US presence. The longer we stay, the more they are confirmed in that view.
- "Most Iraqis consider us occupiers, not liberators."
- W. Andrew Terrill, professor at the Army War College's strategic studies institute
- "I see no exit. We've been down that road before. It's called Vietnamisation. The idea that we're going to have an Iraqi force trained to defeat an enemy we can't defeat stretches the imagination. They will be tainted by their very association with the foreign occupier. In fact, we had more time and money in state building in Vietnam than in Iraq."
- Jeffrey Record, professor of strategy at the Air War College
- General William Odom (retired)
- Bush's first 3 years have been "a national disaster"
- Bush has, "alienated our friends, damaged our credibility around the world, reduced our influence to an all-time low in my lifetime, given hope to our enemies."
- Air Force General Tony McPeak (retired), Air Force Chief of Staff during the first Gulf War, former fighter pilot, campaigned for Bob Dole in 1996, campaigned for George W. Bush in 2000
- Scowcroft said. "How do the neocons bring democracy to Iraq? You invade, you threaten and pressure, you evangelize." And now, Scowcroft said, America is suffering from the consequences of that brand of revolutionary utopianism. "This was said to be part of the war on terror, but Iraq feeds terrorism," he said....
- Air Force Lieutenant General Brent Scowcroft (retired), United States National Security Advisor under Presidents Gerald Ford, United States National Security Advisor under President George H. W. Bush, Military Assistant to President Richard Nixon, Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs for President Nixon, Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs for President Ford, Chairman of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005.
"This is far graver than Vietnam. There wasn't as much at stake strategically, though in both cases we mindlessly went ahead with the war that was not constructive for US aims. But now we're in a region far more volatile, and we're in much worse shape with our allies."
I do not recall posting thisHow many times did Abramoff and associates meet with the White House in the first 10 months of the Bush adminitration? At least 200. How many times has Abramoff been to the Crawford ranch? Three or four (same link). The Associated Press reports President Bush says he doesn't recall meeting convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. The AP story, gutlessly, only mentions the half dozen photos Bush and Abramoff appear in together, and not the hundreds of White House associations, the visits to Bush's personal home in Crawford, or the fact that Rove hired Abramoff's secretary, Susan B Ralston.
An Amusing Event?This article, from the Toronto Star, Hamas is a green tide rising by Mitch Potter is very amusing. The premise of the article, which seems plausible, is that Hamas is set to win the upcoming elections in Palestine. They've never won before. In fact, quoting an Israeli political scientist, the article says
Running for the first time, Hamas did not even ponder such an outcome. They wanted to do well, but not this well.The article also suggests that, like the religious right Taleban, or the religious right in Iran, that Hamas is a right wing party. It hadn't occured to me, either way.
Their idea was to sit in opposition, where Hamas can play the role of God-given saints that do no wrong. But the momentum is now carrying them beyond...
"The world has the wrong image of Hamas," says Aqtash, acknowledging that many Westerners equate the group's name with indiscriminate attacks against Israeli civilians. Aqtash takes pains to stress a mantra most Hamas candidates have embraced on the campaign trail: We don't hate the Jewish religion; we hate the occupation....or...
"Power mellows, so I actually prefer Hamas takes over, because then at least Israel will be dealing with the true Palestinians" --Uri Dromi, Israel Democracy InstituteNaturally, of course, the Bush administration doesn't even want Hamas to participate. Religious Right parties tend to not play well together, eh?
Friday, January 20, 2006
Ex Parte Milligan, Ex Parte Milligan, Ex Parte MilliganSo, I decided to start reading the Attorney General's document in defense of the NSA wiretapping. RawStory made it available here. 1) Bring up 9/11, early and often. By my count, Alberto Gonzales mentions September 11th thirty-seven times. It's laughable and sad. 2) Ex Parte Milligan (syllabus, decision) is about an Indiana man (actually a Copperhead) who was never in the military or on a field of battle, but was tried and sentenced to death, by a military tribunal. I think the conclusions relevant here can be found throughout this critically important case. A principle found in there is that, on the field of battle, there can be no justice. But if the courts are in operation, that civil justice is available, Constitutional Rights, like Habeas Corpus, must be obeyed by the government. A Bushie might cling to the words "the public safety is assured" (about the 8th para of the opinion above) but the whole principle of the War on Terror is that it can never end. There can be no direct frontal assault on America, no brigades raised against our tanks, no squadron of bombers to seek our soft underbelly. Terrorism is the only tactic remaining. Terrorism struck America, from Puerto Ricans, for 75 years from the date of our grabbing that Island from the Spanish (ostensibly to "liberate" the Cubans). As many have pointed out before me, terrorism is a tactic. As Peter Beinart has pointed out, terror can not capitulate, does not know if it has won, and won't care if it loses. In realistic terms, one's chances (currently) of dying of a car accident is far higher than dying by terrorism.
American Leftistsare very concerned about un-warranted wiretaps of American citizens. I have yet to hear anyone concerned about the fact that the US intelligence agencies need no warrant to wiretap foreign governments and people, and to help elevate (and damn) their careers based on the perceived needs of the US political establishment. For example, if we spy on both candidates in an election, we might well choose the murderous bastard who is more in favor of a US company building a huge plant in their country.
I don't Believe itIs anyone browsing the blogs to see whether or not people believe whether or not the most recent alleged bin-Laden recording is real or not? I don't believe it. I don't want to give away too many of the reasons why I feel this way, but there are a couple reasons why I think it is a fraud. Probably perpetrated by anti-neo-con Republicans in a US, UK or (much less likely) Australian intelligence agency. It certainly strikes me as the the product of a westerner.
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Pre-PostThere's so much terrible news about the future of Iraq in this post that I should link to it (tipped by Get Your War On). 'Marshall Plan' for Iraq Fades
But the commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Iraq, Gen. William H. McCoy, said at a recent briefing that the last of 3,100 reconstruction projects would soon be awarded, and almost all would be completed before the year ends.Oh, so I guess that means Iraq is all reconstructed, eh?
"We were never intending to rebuild Iraq," McCoy said. "We were providing enough funds to jump-start the reconstruction effort in this country."Oh, thanks for making that crystal clear. Could I get the President to repeat that?
Baghdad's roads are an obstacle course of barriers, potholes and debris. Many government and office buildings are either still gutted or strung with webs of electrical wire connecting to generators that run 12 hours on good days. A brown haze fouls the air and pools of sewage overflow dot the streets.Oh, I see. That's reconstructed. Don't like it, Iraqis?
"The world is a competitive place," Tom Delare, economics counselor at the U.S. Embassy, said this month during a news briefing. "You have to convince the investor that it is worth his while to put his money in your community."Not good enough? Try this guy...
"No pain, no gain," Andy Wylegala, whose job at the embassy is to help Americans do business in Iraq
White House Press BriefingMcLellan said today that Usama bin-Laden was "on the run". Now, imagine you were on the run for four years, four months, one week, and one day, wouldn't you have an amazing future in marathons? I mean, we could break the Kenyan/Ethiopian strangehold on olympic long-distance running like <that> (snap!). We're talking Wheaties boxes, here. Accept the truce
Absolute TruthSometimes one comes across a post and one simply has to blog it. This is such an event. Here is a selection, from Fafblog, on Jack Abramoff
A bribe is nothing more than the handshake of money, and money is nothing more than the badge of an honest day's pay - or an honest day's bribery. A man who bribes is a man who has worked, whereas a man who can't afford to bribe is a man whose sloth has deprived him of the stature that a solid work ethic affords.God Bless Executive Pay, and Amen.
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Transposition HypocrisyTo wit, "I do what I do here for perfectly valid reason X, I do what I do there for perfectly valid reason ~X". Traditionally, in boolean logic, ~X is read as "not X". John Bolton is on the scene, saving the day, yet again. Listen to his logic here, quoted at Bloomberg by reporter Bill Varner.
"The issue is exactly what the situation between the parties is," U.S. Ambassador John Bolton told reporters. "That is something we have to try and understand more precisely, rather than simply changing the size of the composition of the force. When a UN peacekeeping force becomes part of the problem, we have to ask ourselves whether the UN is contributing to the solution or not."The situation is Cote D'Ivoire. There are lots of weird twists to remember in this situation. Like Lebanon and Syria, Cote D'Ivoire is a former French colony (Iraq, recall, was British). Unlike the Middle Eastern situation, the US/UK axis has no interest in making sure things go OK. I'm saying that the US/UK played into France's hands in Lebanon to generate "dominoes" from their Middle East adventurism. The current President, who is certainly a corrupt douchebag, is also a member of an Evangelical Christian Church (FourSquare). Remembering that even our own Generals have admitted that the presence of US troops in Iraq is "fueling the insurgency." try to imagine the hypocrisy of Bolton whining about US troops in Iraq because they aren't helping.
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Consideration of ConsequencesFor more than a century, the Democrats dominated the South. The Democrats seceded from the Union to protect the slaveholding plutocracy. The Democrats were the ones, under President Wilson, to bring race segregation to Washington, DC. I've heard that many of President FD Roosevelt's programs were explicitly racist, too. President Nixon, who has always struck me as a bitter man, decided to change the balance of power in the country by a "Southern Strategy," appealing to the racists which had kept his party out of the South for a century. That Nixon himself was a bigot is no secret, but I haven't read that he complained when President Eisenhower used the Nat'l Guard to integrate the schools. Whether Nixon, or Thurmond by switching after Civil Rights, caused or simply was alert in noticing the re-alignment of the South, it is here. Does the switch, to some degree, also make the Democrats into the pre-64 Republicans? In other words, is the switch just about the issue of race, or is the isolationism of Senator Taft and Eisenhower now naturally a Dem position? It is, of course, not that simple. FDR's policies may have been affirmative action for poor whites, but they were poor. Even in the 1930s and 40s, the Republicans were the party of the large business interests. The same could be said of the McKinley administration, even though President T Roosevelt ended up being the "trust-buster." Is this, perhaps, the reason that so many Democrats today feel comfortable with the term "Progressive?" Just thinking aloud here, thank you for your time.
Monday, January 16, 2006
Ney, SimplifiedIt appears to me that Ney would take some money, and DeLay would do something, or DeLay would take some money, and Ney would act. This was a technique to make any quid pro quo harder to track. Ney has announced he's stepping down as the Chairman of the committee to manage lobbyists (snarf), federal elections (stomach sinking) and day-to-day operations of the Congress. Ney, for example, was inserting material into the Congressional record which damned SunCruz Casinos. Later, at reduced prices, DeLay, Abramoff and Kidan bought SunCruz. Then Ney put favorable material in the Congressional Record about the new management. Then it looks like Kidan wrote $30,000 of checks to the FUCKING MOB and had the old owner ASSASSINATED. Just because it doesn't appear that DeLay or Abramoff were accomplices in the murder, does not mean either
a) they weren't accomplices after the fact (it is almost certain Abramoff was)
b) this part of the story shouldn't be covered.
Sunday, January 15, 2006
Dear Congressperson FlakeAll over the blogosphere I've lumped you in together with Tom Tancredo and Dana Rohrbacher as a bunch of racist xenophobes. Who was I thinking of? It wasn't you. It was another nutcase from the Republican Study Group. I'm really sorry for the confusion.
ACTION!Get Chalabi out of the Oil Ministry now! This criminal, this louse, this alleged Iranian spy (and when was he cleared of those charges, anyway?) apparently runs a list which won ZERO SEATS of the Iraqi Assembly following the Decemeber 15th elections. Yet, after the election and when it was probably a known thing that Chalabi won ZERO SEATS he was, yet again, handed the Iraqi Oil Ministry. This is only corruption. There is no valid reason. Stop this crime. Guesses? He got the job to enrich his friends, or US oil interests, by signing some contracts quickly before the actually elected leaders take office. He got the job to enrich his pals by giving them jobs. He got the job to put US assets inside the Oil Ministry. He got the job to help arrange putting US spy machinery inside the Oil Ministry. He got the job to plant evidence in the oil ministry (against the UN, against Iran, whoever). He got the job to hide evidence (of his own, or US acts).
Saturday, January 14, 2006
When I was academe
I, and my friends
Would write poetry
In the most recent day
I've been feeling that again
Expect this blog to be corrupted
by such an influence
Iraqis have democracy
the longer it takes
for them to count the votes
It has now been / Dear Raeders / 30 days since / the December 15th election
Results are not expected
not this week
Thursday, January 12, 2006
I haven't read this throughBut I've always found it heart-warming. The modern conservatives tend to only praise the people who came after, and not those who made the way possible.
These principles of the civilized life were strongly illustrated in our War of Independence. The forerunners of that war were a race of giants. Their like has hardly been seen in any other epoch of that sublime scrimmage called history. Five or six names may be selected from the list of the early American prophets whose deeds and outcry, if reduced to hexameters, would be not the Iliad, not the Jerusalem Delivered, but the Epic of Human Liberty.From James Otis: The Pre-Revolutionist.
The greatest of these, our protagonists of freedom, was Benjamin Franklin. After him it were difficult to name the second. It is always difficult to find the second man; for there are several who come after. In the case of our forerunners the second may have been Thomas Jefferson; it may have been Samuel Adams; it may have been his cousin; it may have been Thomas Paine; it may have been Patrick Henry; it may have been James Otis, the subject of this monograph.
Partially Linguistic Theory RelatedPart of what makes me want to be an Army infantry officer is the desire to make sure everyone in my platoon is studying Arabic every single night. The practical reasons are manifold. It prevents Iraqis from plotting in front of you. It allows you to get a much better sense of what people are saying as you move down the street. It helps build community ties (I expect I'd have teens or younger start out giving the lessons.) My soldiers would get extra pay once they are certified as being proficient in Arabic. The Australian Sydney Morning Herald has a story about a report by a British General, the title? "US Army its own worst enemy: British officer". Link thanks to Respect UK blog (unofficial, I think) which I found through Rolled Up Trousers. It's relevant to my theory because of comments because of the "cultural insensitivity" (what vectors does culture have, besides language and costume?) that "arguably amounted to institutional racism." It is simply much harder to be that racist when being taught the basics from a teenager.
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Pentagon Rejected Bremer's Call for Troops
Pentagon officials acknowledged Monday that Paul Bremer, the senior U.S. official in Iraq during the first year of the war, told Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld in May 2004 that a far larger number of U.S. troops were needed to effectively fight the insurgency but his advice was rejected.
- Rich Lowry cites an unnamed Republican strategist at 2:12pm that Shadegg has a chance. Shadegg is way out there. I mean, he actually makes Barry Goldwater look liberal. Lowry don't know sheet. It's a great thing that such a nut is killing National Review so quickly. In separate news, I hear the New Republic's numbers have at least halved since Peretz took over.
Haiti UpdateFeb 24th, 2004, almost two years ago, the Bush administration decided to give a big middle finger to democracy in Haiti and install drug dealers, thugs, and messianic preachers. Haiti-Progres is certainly one of the best sites on this topic, as far as I know, and the article linked to includes details about how the National Endowment for Ending Democracy gave almost $100,000 to a group to undermine the then-elected government of Haiti. Elections? Are you kidding? The BBC reported back in February 05 that election would happen in November and December (multiple rounds) of last year. No, hasn't happened. Supposedly, it will happen soon. AfricaSpeaks.com has an article about the shamminess of the elections. Looks like Group 184 was planning to try the old electronic voting machine trick, but the kibosh is currently on that plan (as if they had enough electricity in most regions (port-au-prince gets about 12 hours/day). A couple days ago the government announced the election will take place next month. Haiti Policy is a site for all your anti-democracy, pro-America propaganda needs.
Monday, January 09, 2006
Alito's InThis smoothe liar is going to bowl over the public. The Democrats, sadly, have not used their infinite control over the media to galvanize the public on any single issue of Alito's record. How can I prove he's a liar? Did you hear his comments about when he attended Princeton? He was in a group that tried to stop blacks and women from attending. He used his immigrant status to make it sound like he, smarmy f*ck, had to overcome dark forces to get a fair shake at college. He was a dark force. That said, nowadays, he's always struck me more as a religious rightie, which means he's hard on women, hard on gays, he's also pro-business (as was Roberts to a serious degree) and I'd like to apologize in advance if, in any way, I prove to be wrong.
The US is NOT targeting Journalists
The director of the film, Callum Macrae, said yesterday: "The timing and nature of this raid is extremely disturbing. It is only a few days since we first approached the US authorities and told them Ali was doing this investigation, and asked them then to grant him an interview about our findings.
US forces raid and shoot up home of award winning Iraqi journalist.
FeingoldThe Senator from Wisconsin was in town this weekend, and I caught it. The room had 120-160 people in it, and they fit in nicely. Coffee and many deserts were available. I had a lot of coffee and stuck to one great tasting pile of little brownie squares. I was greeted by a half-dozen or more of the local politically active, and after the evening was over, my most senior State House Rep (5th term) came up and chatted with me. I found out that one of the other House Reps was a Dean supporter and met at least one other Dem whom I'll be seeing at meetings. Two people who want to replace our US House Representative (Charlie Bass, 15K from Abramoff, moderate) opened up. Seeing them only made me want to run against them both. One of the guys ran last time and was stomped so badly (he got in the 30s) that there is no chance we should let him run again. The other guy seemed a lot like "Republican-lite" which meant, in his particular case, that business solutions were good for government, too (i.e. he favored private health accounts). Neither had a message on Iraq that I could get behind, and that is just pathetic. I'm not sure any older people can really understand. The Puerto Ricans were terrorizing (bombing civilians in mainland America) for at least 70 years after we took their homeland (and still provide it no vote for President or representation in the Senate, only a vote in committees in the House (and only 1 Rep for that, for their 2+ million people)). Take a guess. How long will _some_ Iraqis be pissed at how malignantly, how despicably, how atrociously this idiot George Walker Bush has managed their country? You can be sure this will be going for the next six decades I am alive, the rest of my days, thanks to Born-Again Bush and his idiot's ways. I don't think Feingold has much of a chance becoming President (since when did "being right" count for much there?) but it was nice that he came out and helped the regional Democrats do a fund-raiser, as all the money went to us.
Friday, January 06, 2006
Predictions?I have no idea why so many people try their hands at being mini-Nostradamii. This post is about the fact that ultra-conservative (and nuts) Jeff Flake of Arizona and ultra-moderate (and ....) Charles Bass of New Hampshire are signing a petition to have a vote on new House leadership for the Republicans. Look to see LaHood, LaTourette or Blunt promoted. Why? They are Hastert;s top Lieutenants. Flake and Bass can agree on a problem, but there is no way they can agree on new leaders for the Republican Party.
Language Terrorism, BushBush puts forward mutant version of proposal directly related to my language and terrorism theory which I discussed in my Victory06 interview. What are some stupid parts about it?
- The languages mentioned (Arabic, Chinese and Farsi(Iran)) are obviously based on national security concerns. But we know that things always change. The languages needed last decade (e.g. Russian) might not be the ones needed a decade from now. If, instead, they divide it by actual _use_ overseas, we will always be prepared.
- Bush says "When somebody takes time to figure out how to speak Arabic, it means they're interested in somebody else's culture." which isn't the reason people in the Nat'l Security establishment learn languages, and starting a program with a weak lie is lame. We aren't doing this because we care.
Thursday, January 05, 2006
Recent Events WorryingSharon creates a party based on him, then quickly leaves power. A hotel in Mecca collapses. Iraq a mess. Abramoff/DeLay. It's not that I find any of these events, by themselves, particularly worrying. It's not like, even collectively, there is much to worry about. It is what George Walker "Signs & Portents" Bush, the current President of a country called the United States of America, sees in it all. I've always argued that to Bush, 9/11 wasn't a tragedy, it was a sign. That the close elections were events, they were indications of how close Satan was on his trail. Out, out darn evil-doers!
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Norway, Nebraska, BruneiPeople from all of those places read my blog on a regular basis, but this post has nothing to do with any of them. So, yesterday I attended the Airport Advisory Committee (I'm the Planning Board representative to it) and today I attended a local political group (basically partisan Democrat, but not always so). Part of the political meeting was about strategies for November 2006 to unseat the fairly well known Charles Bass. Bass voted for the war, for the tax cuts, for most of the major dumb Bush proposals, but he is pro-choice and generally a social liberal. He's a Board member of "My Party, Too" the Christine Todd Whitman group within the Republican Party. So, I'm like, the way things are going in the press, we shouldn't try to get out the Democrat voters who voted for Kerry in 2004, we should try to get _everyone_ minus Republicans out. Even if some of them vote Republican, they are going to break against him. It also means the Democrats are responsible for increasing turnout and we have the new packed party for subsequent elections. Bass has been in the US Congress from New Hampshire for more than a decade. He is fairly well known. But how could he know 100,000 people? There must be more than 400,000 eligible voters in this Congressional District. Find them, register them, then get them out. What's the trick? I've never met either of the guys who want to run against him. I'd much rather have a centrist but not particularly corrupt Republican compared to an incompetent or crooked Democrat. One of the two guys, Paul Hodes, ran against Bass last time, and he got stomped. He basically one 1/10th of the towns in the district, and only one over 60%. Saturday Russ Feingold and the two possible Democrat candidates for Bass's seat will be in the next town over. Yeah, I'm going.
Padilla USSC Decision: News ReviewCheck out the difference. All material from the first paragraph of the stories.
|CNN||Bill Mears||The Supreme Court ordered terrorism suspect and U.S. citizen Jose Padilla transferred from military custody Wednesday to stand trial|
|Bloomberg||Greg Stohr||The U.S. Supreme Court ordered Jose Padilla transferred from military custody to face charges of supporting terrorism|
|Washington Post||Jerry Markon||The U.S. Supreme Court this afternoon allowed federal prosecutors to take custody of "enemy combatant" Jose Padilla so he could face criminal charges,|
|NY Times||David Stout||The Supreme Court agreed today to allow for the transfer of Jose Padilla from a military brig to civilian custody to stand trial on terrorism charges|