Friday, March 28, 2008

A Movie To Watch: Hollywood vs. The Media

It's clear Hollywood has a better sense of humor about itself than the Media does (e.g. The Player, with Tim Robbins).

Imagine a movie that stars John Travolta.  Also starring is Dustin Hoffman.  Alan Alda has a major supporting role.  Another eight characters, seven of whom I recognized, had more than 50 IMDB entries each (Robert Prosky, Blythe Danner, William Atherton, Ted Levine, Tammy Lauren, William O'Leary, Raymond J. Barry, Lucinda Jenney).  And yet, Mad City is probably not a movie you have heard of.  Whether you are an AIM'ster or FAIR, Free Republic or Daily Kos, this is a movie you can appreciate.  Funny how you didn't hear about it when it came out.  Yes, funny.

Like I said, the media does not have a sense of humor about itself.  Any portayal of them as a bunch of vultures crushing flowers creating circus will not be tolerated.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Evils of George Walker Bush: Dying "in vain"

Let's say Bush and Congress went crazy.  Let's say we had (seemingly) concrete evidence that Canada was planning a takeover, so we invaded.  Then we find out that it was all faked up evidence (see the Niger-Uranium documents, crazy Curveball, cherry picking evidence, etc).  So, now, our military has beaten the Canadian military, their government is gone, but the whole war was a lie in the first place.  Would you pull out of Canada?  Even if that meant some of the soldiers who died for a lie die "in vain?"

Let's pretend you are a German in 1942, and, in an alternative history, Hitler dies.  Sounds great.  Even better, you get to become the new Reichschancellor, Fuhrer, et cetera.  Well, you are sane, and not a Nazi, so you want to stop the war machine your predecessor has put in motion.  Part of the reversal involves withdrawing from France.  Would you be swayed by people who say you couldn't do it, because that would mean other soldiers had died "in vain?"

The Corporate Media and Iraq War Hindsight

I was commenting on another blog when it hit me.  Of course, we all know that the corporate media is legally bound to maximize revenue for its owners, and that looking untrustworthy can cut into revenue, so the only revenue-positive way to look back at the run-up to the Iraq War is to say that "everyone" thought Saddam had WMD and, in general, never question the wisdom or sagacity of starting the war.

Reporting on the Democratic Florida Delegates for the Presidential Nomination in 2008

I've heard the topic brought up many times on television, but not once did anyone question the system that lets the Republicans of Florida pick the primary date for the Democratic party.  I suppose it happens like that in most states?  Could anyone come up with any defense of that?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Bill Press, Fucking Idiot

From his article published March 16, 2008, entitled "Florida and Michigan Must Count"
[T]hat didn't satisfy Florida and Michigan.  They both moved their primaries up before Feb. 5 -- in reponse to which Chairman Howard Dean dropped the hammer, refusing to seat both states at this summer's national convention.
The rules were drafted by the Democratic National Committee and they clearly stated that violations would result in losing delegates.  At no time did after the rules were agreed to by the DNC did Howard Dean have any say whatsoever over what then happened.

It's such a basic fucking part of the story.  I'm not saying Florida and Michigan shouldn't count.  I think the HRC and BHO raised over 80 million in February, and should split the bill for a revote in each state.  I'm just saying Bill Press is a fucking idiot and should be booted the hell out of Our National Press Corps.
Obama and Race! OMG!

I am going to summarize the entire weekend discussion of Obama.

Is this going to hurt his campaign?  Discuss.  Let's air the clip that might end Obama's campaign.  Let's ask millionaire journalists how the average person will react to the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.  Will this ruin Obama's campaign?

Note: McCain still hasn't released his tax returns.  Does it only matter if it is Clinton?

You should have seen Brit Hume provide cover for McCain's triple mistake on al-Qaeda (who is backing them, not Iran).

Friday, March 21, 2008

Totally Crazy Idea: Shareholder Accountability History

Was in the gym when a story came across the news about Starbucks owing 100,000,000 dollars in back tips.  The old guy next to me asked "I wonder who they are going to get it from?" and I said, I believe correctly, in effect, "the shareholders."  I think he had thought it was the workers, or something, but anyway.

When I got home it struck me that future shareholders would lose the money in question, not necessarily the same people who were profiting when, at least in one California Court's opinion, Starbucks was insufficiently disbursing tips.  And then it struck me, something that would have been completely unworkable in the paper age, but which seems doable today, namely, recording who owned what when, and collecting the money from them.  After all, anyone can plainly see that it was they who profited from the malfeasance, and not someone who bought Starbuck's stock yesterday.

Of course I'm talking about doing it for every stock, and not just Starbucks.  Don't be silly unless, of course, the situation warrants.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Kyra Phillips All Day Long, doo-dah, doo dah

Now she is saying that corruption is part of their culture.  Rarely are broader brushes weilded by less skilled artists.

Fakes News Online is Having Technical Difficulties, or Something

The link with the text "EXCLUSIVE: So the U.S. Army ISN'T Broken After All" leads to a story with the title "Storms Soak Texas, Bring Air Traffic at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport to Crawl"

Will Hill Spill on Jills?

Will Hillary Rodham Clinton attempt to counter Obama's recent "race" speech with a speech on sexism?

It won't be this week, but it could the week after.  It will fall flat, too bad.
Kyra Phillips Gets Suprise Interview With Petraeus After This Mornings Kissassery

Still wearing here fatigues (see below) and perhaps because she was wearing her fatigues (and more likely was spewing the Bush party line) Kyra Phillips got an exclusive interview with General David Petreaus.  Not only was it exclusive, it was a surprise.  CNN had, as late as 9:30AM this morning, scheduled other material for that same time slot.

Like her performance this morning, she harped on Iran and corruption, there was no discussion (that I saw, I missed the beginning) about Iraqis.  Petraeus was being realistic when he called Iraq's security challenges "innumerable" but he dipped into the speculative a bit when he started talking about Iran.  Iran/Iraq cross-border smuggling predates this war, it is a big business, through the mountains, and tough to stop.  However, I regret when the fingers get pointed directly at the Iranian government's highest echelons.  I'm not actually saying they aren't involved at all, but the constant implication is that we are 100% sure they are 100% responsible for their border. Please remember 100s of thousands of people (at least) cross our border every year in both directions and we are supposedly #1.  Iran is supposed to become the world's top border cop because it suits American interests? 

Bush Regurgitates Old Lies on Iraq's Fifth Anniversary

CNN Idiocracy: The whole time it said "LIVE" in the upper right corner and "HAPPENING NOW" over the chiron.  Aaaah!

The ironic part was that Bush was simply rehashing the innumerable old events, he even brought up September 11th and that we caught Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, as if that has anything to do with Iraq!

If I ever take an IQ test and it comes out lower than it did before, I will know a big problem was that I listened to waaaay too many George Walker Bush speeches.

When Bush says the terrorist will take over Iraq's oil if America leaves, other than sounding completely outrageous on the face of it, I have to wonder if anyone else is thinking "Yeah, we know how well you've done predicting what is going to happen in Iraq so far."

Someday, someone with more resources than I currently have will do a study of Bush speeches, and see how often he repeats the same exact phrases and clauses. 

Worst President Ever.
Kyra Phillips of CNN, Goverment Tool

From start to finish, it was nothing more than what the Bush administration wanted you to hear, even when directly asked about the hardship of Iraqis, she performed as a dutiful Bush stooge.

This morning she appeared dressed in something like Viet Nam era Army battle fatigues.  She was wearing an army green baseball cap with the letters CNN on the front.  She declared that since she could do the story in front of a particular stadium, that it was a sign of "progress."  In case anyone was actually paying attention, the only vehicles in the background were parts of military formations.  In other words, there was "progress" in a place without civilians, only the military.  After trumpeting the so-called "progress," she was asked a rather direct question about electricity and other basic needs of actual Iraqis.  She skipped providing any facts, and acknowledged things weren't perfect, but then immediately made it about "corruption" that was "creeping in," as if the expats Bush put in power weren't mostly self-serving, power hungry petty warlords in the first place, and then she had the fucking audacity to declare that the "real problem" was Iran.  Of course she should be fired, and perhaps banned from journalism.  Is Iran stopping anyone in Iraq from getting safe drinking water?  There is a good chance she is just stupid and ignorant and someone told her the real problem was Iran, so she repeated it, and that means she could be a good spokesperson, she has a nice smile and doesn't stutter.  But a journalist?  NEVER!

And, like so many other news organizations are doing, CNN said the maximum number of Iraqi civiliation casualties was "almost ninety thousand."

HBO's John Adams

Watching this, you'd never know that anyone else had much to do with Independence, outside Adams and Franklin.  The guy who played Washington moved around in his chair much to much.  There was no obvious distinction in manner between the Massachusetts and Virginian characters, although they did have different styles of dress. Nothing to comport with
The great colony of Virginia stood in strong contrast to New England. In both the population was English; but the one was Puritan with Roundhead traditions, and the other, so far as concerned its governing class, Anglican with Cavalier traditions. In the one, every man, woman, and child could read and write; in the other, Sir William Berkeley once thanked God that there were no free schools, and no prospect of any for a century. The hope had found fruition. The lower classes of Virginia were as untaught as the warmest friend of popular ignorance could wish. New England had a native literature more than respectable under the circumstances, while Virginia had none; numerous industries, while Virginia was all agriculture, with but a single crop; a homogeneous society and a democratic spirit, while her rival was an aristocracy. Virginian society was distinctively stratified. On the lowest level were the negro slaves, nearly as numerous as all the rest together; next, the indented servants and the poor whites, of low origin, good-humored, but boisterous, and some times vicious; next, the small and despised class of tradesmen and mechanics; next, the farmers and lesser planters, who were mainly of good English stock, and who merged insensibly into the ruling class of the great landowners. It was these last who represented the colony and made the laws. They may be described as English country squires transplanted to a warm climate and turned slave-masters. They sustained their position by entails, and constantly undermined it by the reckless profusion which ruined them at last. Many of them were well born, with an immense pride of descent, increased by the habit of domination. Indolent and energetic by turns; rich in natural gifts and often poor in book-learning, though some, in the lack of good teaching at home, had been bred in the English universities; high-spirited, generous to a fault; keeping open house in their capacious mansions, among vast tobacco-fields and toiling negroes, and living in a rude pomp where the fashions of St. James were somewhat oddly grafted on the roughness of the plantation,--what they wanted in schooling was supplied by an education which books alone would have been impotent to give, the education which came with the possession and exercise of political power, and the sense of a position to maintain, joined to a bold spirit of independence and a patriotic attachment to the Old Dominion. They were few in number; they raced, gambled, drank, and swore; they did everything that in Puritan eyes was most reprehensible; and in the day of need they gave the United Colonies a body of statesmen and orators which had no equal on the continent. A vigorous aristocracy favors the growth of personal eminence, even in those who are not of it, but only near it.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Cheney Says We Can Leave Iraq Now

Today, from Iraq, Cheney said Iraq has been a "successful endeavor."  Knowing the English language like I do, I know you can't call a journey from London to New York a "successful endeavor" unless you have already reached New York, ergo, we have reached the end point of our Iraq invasion.

Lots of other bad news, like the FBI lying about who was on the terrorist watch list, and I swear yesterday I read that the Iraqi cabinet would be reformed, but the President was saying Maliki wouldn't be in it.  Cheney met with Maliki today.
Language & Conflict in the News: Tibet

Tibetan and Chinese are the two largest languages in the Sino-Tibetan language family, the other two "biggies" are Burmese and Karen (spoken by people of SE Burma, including the group Aung San Suu Kyi comes from).

How good a deal was it for JPMorgan?

Bloomberg reports JPMorgan picked up Bear Sterns "for less than the value of its real estate," the office buildings it owns.

There is some good news!  Bear Sterns president for the last thirty years, until a few months ago, was Cayne. "Cayne ranked as Wall Street's richest CEO, with $1.3 billion of assets ... His stake in the firm approached $1 billion last year when the shares reached their peak price of $170. Under terms of the JPMorgan takeover, his holdings are now worth about $12 million."
I Know They Mean "Well"

Read this on Bloomberg (Update 3).
The Fed is in effect assuming responsibility for managing the assets [of Bear Sterns], a Fed official told reporters in a conference call. The central bank will manage the positions to minimize any market strains and maximize long-term value, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Even at a loss. From the same article.
The central bank on March 11 announced it will for the first time lend Treasuries in exchange for debt that includes mortgage-backed securities held by dealers to facilitate market-making. It holds about $713 billion of Treasuries on its balance sheet.

On March 7, the Fed said it would make $100 billion available through repurchase agreements, where the Fed loans cash in return for assets including mortgage debt issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Add another loss.

I think now is the time to remind people

That George Bush and most of the Republicans want to put the Social Security system in the stock market, barring that, they'd like to create private accounts so you can do it.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Interested in The Tibet Issue?

Since it has a lot to do with Monks, you can bet Bartholomew has a well informed take on it.

Iraq War Enters Sixth Year

There is Iraq Veterans Against The War Winter Soldier testimony.

Alexander Cockburn's brother Patrick has a few juicy tidbits, to remind of us of the success of the surge in Counter Punch
Baghdad remains the most dangerous city in the world
Different districts even have different national flags. Sunni areas use the old Iraqi flag with the three stars of the Baath party and the Shia wave a newer version, adopted by the Shia-Kurdish government. The Kurds have their own flag.
Iraq Body Count Sources

Whores like the NY Times regularly repeat that the Iraq Body Count number represents the number of dead Iraqi civilians.  I don't know how many people died, but not even Iraq Body Count pretends their number represents the total.  They only report on PUBLISHED deaths.

Here are their top sources:
Associated Press2084
Agence France Press1241
Voice of Iraq(US published)726
Imagine if the "Stalin Body Couny" (many millions) only included those reported from the West? Not all of the papers are reported, but that list, the top five, shows the western bias.  Language.
Profits Down 83% This Week

In another sign of the flagging economy, DC area whores are reporting significantly lower profits this week. Only part of the blame can laid on Eliot Spitzer, structural factors are also at play. "Jeanette", as she prefers to be called, says the domination of the religious right over the last decade has been a factor, "although it only seems to stop Democrats." 

"I'm surprised at the economic ignorance being shown by many Republicans" says one DC area Madam. "The monetarist theory says GDP is a function of money supply and the velocity of money, and there is no faster way to spend your money than on the girls I have, who will turn right around and spend it on drugs and daycare."  The velocity of money is the number of times a single dollar is spent in a year.  A DC area pimp said international considerations are often as important, "If that whore is buying Colombian blow, from President Uribe, then it is OK, but Bolivia is not in the Republican Party's good graces right now."

All the sex workers interviewed for this article agreed that the weeks after September 11th were some of the best for DC whoring since records began, a little over 200 years ago, but none want a repeat of the event just for the business.  "Maybe just another Anthrax scare?  That didn't hurt anyone" pleads a woman who was willing to do anything to get quoted.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Just A Theory: Hope Now

Hope Now is an industry group that is trying to "help" people with subprime loans.  I saw the Hope Now guy on TV, and one of the things he said meant nothing to me.  He said that no one should go into foreclosure, because that ruins their credit, and bankruptcy is bad, and, he said quite clearly, "deed in lieu of foreclosure" is better.  As far as the homeowner goes, the only other advantage of DILOF is that you may get better terms.

So, Hope Now openly suggested that was better.  What does it mean?  It means you more quickly give your house to the bank.  Woot!  The Industry Group Hope Now is our New Best Friend!
Bad Samaritan, by Ha Joon-Chang

This is great stuff.  The most entertaining attack on the buncombe known as free market capitalism, the mask for plutocratic corporatism.

Here is an article by Joon-Chang which can quickly give a sense of how good this is.  Send Your Six Year Old To Work.

I'm so excited about this book I want to buy it for you. Limit 10.
Rezko Required Reading for Obama Supporters

I read this, and I am still not 100% sure whether any wrongdoing was done.  My spirits are lifted, somewhat, since it seems (per usual?) the press's original accounts of the situation, especially about Rezko getting Obama a $300,000 discount, were wrong.  One thing is sure, that even if Mr. Rezko is cleared of everything in court...

These come after a joint meeting with the editorial boards of both papers yesterday:
Chicago Tribune
Chicago Sun-Times

Friday, March 14, 2008

Keeping Up With the Stupids

Within the last 20 minutes the mercantilist (not that there is anything wrong with that) Lou Dobbs said that the words of Jeremiah Wright would come up again and again because, in part, Obama took until now to respond to them.

Of course, the fact that he rejected them a fucking year ago is of no importance.  Damnit, Lou Dobbs didn't learn 'til recently, and that is all that counts!
Starry, Starry Night

Google Sky's Orion.

Media Torpedoing Obama Campaign

Pastor Wright, former preacher to Senator Obama, said stuff I agree with on the Sunday after September 11th.  The "blowback" argument that, the one Michael Scheuer, former head of the CIA anti-bin-Laden unit makes, the one Ron Paul keeps trying to get the Republicans to acknowledge and that Rudy Giuliani seems so pathetically ignorant of.

So, this morning, Joe "healthy young girl died in my office of a head injury" Scarborough was going on and on about it.  The douche even implied that the things Wright was saying were so bad that they couldn't be repeated.  After a commercial, they brought on Chris "I hate her" Matthews who was saying that Wright's argument, which is the same argument as Michael Scheuer's, couldn't be made.  That somehow it was "blaming the victims."  Were the people who died on September 11th responsible for the last 75 years of US policy in the Middle East?

If that wasn't enough, CNN was covering the same material again this morning.  Here is the April, 2007 coverage of the same from the NY Times.

This clip of it is from the Media Matters website.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Serially Seeking Whores: David Vitter, United States Senator

If there was justice, David Vitter, United States Senator from Louisiana, would have had been taken out by the media, too. Both or neither, but this way sucks.

First time Vitter was caught

Second time Vitter was caught

Fox News was the first to fake, yes, I said, fake, the news Spitzerw oudl be resigning, with a clip caught here.  That was about an hour after the news broke.
The Bug Made This

From Cabinet Magazine, originally linked from Athanius.
Snowclones: Define and Find

A snowclone is a phrase, a series of words, where one word can be replaced to fit the context.  "Dammit Jim, I'm a doctor, not a X"

This blogspot shows some of the fancier ones, and includes a link to this perl script.  Using it, you can find what people are using for X, or the lack thereof.

Kirchner, Website of Weird Science

Topics I can see on the home page of the Athanius Kirchner site include:

Cheers to Kirchner
FBI's lying about warrants continues further

Is it going on now?  We don't know.  Soon it will be revealed that it went on long after originally reported.  From the NY Times
The Justice Department inspector general found in March 2007 that the F.B.I. had routinely violated the standards for using the letters and that officials often cited “exigent” or emergency situations that did not really exist in issuing them to phone providers and other private companies.
In an updated report due out on Thursday, the inspector general is expected to report that the violations continued through 2006, when the F.B.I. instituted new internal procedures.

Channeling Bob Somerby: Huh to Daniel Schorr

Schorr just requested a "moratorium" on "specific campaign promises" because so many campaign promises have been broken before.

I'll request a moratorium on comments from Daniel Schorr on campaigning and the campaigners.
Doesn't Sound like a Bad Idea

I'm sure BushCo will ignore it, but someone had the idea of making March 19th an event to blogswarm the Iraq war.

Language And Conflict in History: Early America

Napoleon, after conquering Spain, had transferred the Lousiana Purchase area to France in 1800.  In 1803 America bought the Lousiana Purchase, and Louisiana became a State in 1812. 

The laws of Louisiana were, naturally, not, at that time, the English Common Law which all(?) the rest of the American States shared.  A man who would serve in the US House of Representatives from Louisiana, be one of Andrew Jackson's Secretary of State, and an associate of Aarob Burr, Edward Livingston wrote something which came to be called "The Livingston Code," which earned some popularity in American and Europe.  Unfortunately for my argument, it never became the law of Louisiana.  However, that doesn't mean that there wasn't a de facto bilingual legal system in Louisana at the time, especially in Acadian(Cajun) country.  More research is required. From Wikipedia:
In 1821, by appointment of the legislature, of which he had become a member in the preceding year, Livingston began the preparation of a new code of criminal law and procedure, afterwards known in Europe and America as the "Livingston Code". It was prepared in both French and English, as was required by the necessities of practice in Louisiana, and actually consisted of four sections: crimes and punishments, procedure, evidence in criminal cases, reform and prison discipline. Though substantially completed in 1824, when it was accidentally burned, and again in 1826, it was not printed in its entirety until 1833. It was never adopted by the state. It was at once reprinted in England, France and Germany, attracting wide praise by its remarkable simplicity and vigor, and especially by reason of its philanthropic provisions in the code of reform and prison discipline, which noticeably influenced the penal legislation of various countries. In referring to this code, Sir Henry Maine spoke of Livingston as “the first legal genius of modern times”

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Fancy Thinking, or Rules Violation

There is a Rule of the House which says you can't promise to allow an earmark based on someone else's vote on some other bill.  I'm sure the goal was to reduce horse-trading. 

You want to vote against allowing anyone to have any earmarks, but you want earmarks?

David Obey (D-WI), a very powerful member of the House, sent a letter to all Republicans, just Republicans, saying, quoted from The Hill.
the first box stated: “I believe the House should suspend earmarks for the year. Consistent with this position, I will therefore be submitting no earmark requests for fiscal year 2009.”
The second box read: “I believe the House should continue to provide responsible earmarks at a reasonable level and consistent with that position, I will be submitting appropriate requests for fiscal year 2009.”
All I'm Hearing is Problems, I Want Solutions

You've probably heard someone, someone you probably thought was a nitwit, say the above.  I had a manager who said it when he was trying to dodge responsibility for something that was wrong.

If you see a murder, you shouldn't tell the police unless you also have a plan to catch the killer.
Inconsistency in the Law: Prostitution

In Florida, the Legislature has passed laws so that firing a missile into a building is lesser degree of felony than the theft of $1 (one dollar) from someone over 65 years old.  Strange, but true.

I snagged this from Glenn Greenwald.
[O]ne of the following, but not the other, is illegal:
(a) Two people have sex, one of them gets paid for it;
(b) Two (or more) people have sex, all of them get paid for it, and it is videotaped and sold to third parties as a commodity.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Amazing Arrogance

John Bolton, interviewed by reasonably tough reporter, Paxman, from the UK.  About 8 and a half minutes.

Snagged from Glenn Greenwald, it is at least a few months old.
Advertisers Get To Do Things We Can't

Maybe you wish you could have done this.  Warning, it is, like I said, an advert.

Military News

Sorry, no, not any good news.  Well...

David Walker, Civil Servant

David M. Walker, head of the General Accountability Office, is leaving government service tomorrow.

America is losing one of its best civil servants.  He's a Republican, but was appointed by Clinton to the post.  He is there to do his job, and, from what I've seen, he's done it.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Cafferty File Fakery

Does anyone else think that Cafferty's choice of which if the hundreds or thousands of e-mails to read online is a cheap way to express offensive opinions?  It's not Jack Cafferty calling people names that political and media figures are not allowed to say, it's the e-mail!

Destroying the Language

The word "reality" comes from the word Royal.  The King's perception is the fact.  I'm going to fast here, but the language sometimes changes just because "senior" people misuse it.  They don't get criticized for their mistakes, and there is strong incentive to repeat their mistakes.

So, the President who doesn't not know, or purposefully misuses, the English language, who has already totally blown away the meaning of "accountable" and "accountability" is now attempting to pervert the meaning of the word "unacceptable" (actually, this is probably not the first time).

"The White House on Monday condemned delays in Lebanon's presidential vote as 'unacceptable'" says the AFP.  If you can't "accept" something you act.  Are we promising an invasion?  Of course not, probably just more covert crap.
Details on Spitzer

Emperor's Club VIP is the name of the prostitution recently broken up, and the likely destination of some of Eliot Spitzer's father hard-earned money.

$5,500/hour $4,300/four hours is probably only buying the non-vanilla stuff.

Addenda: I am remembering a quote that several Republicans at my office had under their computer screens. Something like "Never write when you can talk. Never talk when you can nod. And never put anything in an e-mail." --Eliot Spitzer.  I guess he never figured out phones.  The story is he ordered the hooker over the phone.  Other people are mentioning that, since it is interstate, the Mann Act applies, a federal law.

  • Clinton Campaign Says Barack Omama Would Be a Good VP Choice
    That's a campaign on the ropes, for ya.
  • Obama Campaign Calls Clinton Campaign Tactics Deceptive
    Deceptive about saying you would be a good VP?
  • McCain Campaign to Launch New Fundraising Effort This Week
    Old fundraising effort and funny loans to be put behind us, by the media.
  • Sen. McCain Announces Travel Plans for Europe & Middle East Trip
    Where conservatives have some respect for him? Traitor!
  • Senate Intelligence Committee to Issue Report on Iraq War
    This is like George Washington, isn't it? How is he? Still dead.
  • Pentagon Report: China Is Two Years From Moderate War Ability
    Scarmonger report in time for elections. They still couldn't get their army across the ocean.
  • DNC Chair Says MI & FL Delegate Decision Is Up To Lawmakers
    Because they won't forget he once said Yeehaw
  • Democratic Governors Offer to Raise Funds for Second Primaries
    Dean said lawmakers, not law executors.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

How can I not link to this?

Brain enhancement drugs, including a dosage guide (20mg, three times a day).

Shelby Steele, is he a great author?

Anyone who reads this blog knows I can't write, maybe Shelby Steele can.  But what Steele knows about game theory, sociology and/or politics would fit on a three by five index card.

The Carbon Tax

Bjorn Lomborg was the guy the Republicans in Congress used to counter Al Gore's presentation there. Bjorn thinks a carbon tax is a good thing, somewhere between 2 and 14 dollars per ton.

Cars emit about 200 grams of carbon per kilometer. A megagram is about a ton, so you'd emit about a ton every 5000 kilometers, which is about 3000 miles.

So the personal carbon tax for automobiles would be 2-14 dollars per 3000 miles.  Given 145,000 mile life expectancy for a car, that'd be $300-$2100 for the life of a car.  That last number sounds like a lot.  Lots more revenue, of course, would be generated from industry.

Works for me!

How true could it be?

John McCain is a Republican, and he votes with them most of the time.  In recent years he has been voting with the most right wing of them, for example, Senators Kyl and Gregg.

In the previous post, I discussed certain aspects of the recent McCain ad.  A friend asked me where the Roosevelt speech was from, what war Roosevelt was talking about.  Well holy patooties, ladies and gentleman, it was the greatest war, the constant war, a war Teddy Roosevelt fought well (although I hear he made an exception when he had to fight against his friend J Pierpont Morgan). Highlighted portion in the ad.
Political parties exist to secure responsible government and to execute the will of the people. From these great staffs, both of the old parties have ganged aside. Instead of instruments to promote the general welfare they have become the tools of corrupt interests which use them in martialling [sic] to serve their selfish purposes. Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to befoul the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day. Unhampered by tradition, uncorrupted by power, undismayed by the magnitude of the task, the new party offers itself as the instrument of the people, to sweep away old abuses, to build a new and nobler government. This declaration is our covenant with the people and we hereby bind the party and its candidates with this [signation?] to the pledges made there herein. With all my heart and soul, with every particle of high purpose that is within me, I pledge you my word to do everything I can to put every particle of courage, of common sense, and of strength that I have at your disposal, and to endeavor so far as strength has given me to live up to the obligations you have put upon me and to endeavor to carry out in the interest of our whole people the policies to which you have today solemnly dedicated yourselves in the name of the millions of men and women for whom you speak. Surely there never was a fight better worth making than the one in which we are in.
Another paragraph of the speech available at the Library of Congress's American Memory project.
McCain Ad: A Fraud in the Arena

The McCain campaign has a new ad, and his supporters are encouraging people to watch it.

The ad is a pretty big fraud, start to finish.

I'd like you to imagine the power of the Third Reich. Millions of soldiers with guns, thousands of tanks, figher planes, bombers, V2 rockets, a huge propaganda catapult, and control over almost all of Europe. Reports from the 1940 Republican National Convention suggest that Herbert Hoover was considering throwing his hat in the ring as the candidate who was going to acknowledge that Hitler had already won and who could do business with him(Peters 2005, 78-79).

The real experts, when quoted, will say there were a few hundred "hard core" members of al-Qaeda in 2001, and that maybe 20,000 people had gone through the training camps set up in Afghanistan in association with the group.

The ad pulls no punches comparing Winston Churchill and John McCain, and the Second World War with the so-called War on Terror.

The ad shows a lot of footage of John McCain during the Viet Nam war, where he served. It's almost ironic that he quotes Churchill saying "Never yield to force, never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy." But John McCain did yield. The fact that he got shot down maybe says he was a bad pilot, but the fact that he was captured alive says he did yield.

A better person than I would make fine points about the Banana Republic wars that Teddy Roosevelt was engaged in. Perhaps alluding to the esteemed Smedley Butler.

Peters, Charles. Five Days in Philadelphia: The Amazing "We Want Willkie!" Convention of 1940 and How It Freed FDR to Save the Western World. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Books, 2005

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Civixen and I recommend Butterfly Boucher

Civixen, and I, can recommend Butterfly Boucher.

C-SPAN2's BookTV

In a little while BookTV is going to present an author talking about their book "Saving the Reagan Presidency."

I'm going to guess the subtitle is "How to cover up murder, rape, racism, drug smuggling and his other moral lapses."
The Air is Warm and Wet

It's 57 out now in Central Park, the rain all day has left things warmer than they have been since December. Don't go out tonight, though, since it will be in the 40s, wet and windy.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Should Texas Secede Again

Should Texas secede again, I, for one, will not miss her.  I've just listened to a Senate floor speech by John Cornyn, Bush crony and all 'round idiot. 

Do you think there are more batshit crazy right-wingers worried about what "they" are putting in the drinking water down South because these same batshit crazy right-wingers wonder why all the people around them are so stupid?

Another NIE

The WaPo "McConnell publicly said the NIE judgment was poorly written because it emphasized a halt in the weapons program rather than Iran's continuing nuclear enrichment" and McConnell said that because he is a political tool, like Crocker, heck, like most of the Bush administration.  Of course, for more sophisticated views on Iran and enrichment, go to Arms Control Wonk.  Iran is allowed, by treaty, to enrich uranium.

The gist of the article is they won't be releasing this year's Iraq NIE.  Petraeus will be speaking in early April.
Bury the Dead Trees, Please
A Link

Last night I saw "Blind Mountain" which is a movie which explains how a perfectly capable woman, with two good legs, can get kidnapped and sold and forced to marry a peasant farmer in northern China. The Chinese version ends with the cops rescuing her.

From Gawker.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Did George Washington Read Your Mail?

There were still lots of pro-British people running around. 

Here's a small taste of how the USPS is participating in our surveillance society.  George Washington could have easily _both_ read the addresses from mail, and opened and resealed the mail.  At least they need a warrant for that.

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The Kind of President We Need: John McCain

John McCain is the kind of President we need, someone who, after they've made it, throws out their old wife and gets a new one.

If that's not America, I don't know what is.

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Cheers for the Huffington Post

They have bios on all the super-delegates, NY Superdelegates Bios here

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Kudos the FBI

FBI investigating RNCC Treasurer. Mr. Ward had been Treasurer of the Republican National Congressional Committee since 2003.  30 minutes before a meeting to report the results of a repeatedly-requested audit, he e-mailed saying "Haha, no audit has been done" (artistic license used in quote). Ward left his job three weeks ago.

Ward had been recommended for the job by now retired House Representative Thomas Reynolds (R-NY), who was dogged by allegations of irregularity in the books of the same committee.

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James Bond was a Bad Spy, An Author Said

Why was James Bond a bad spy?  Because he always got caught.  Maybe I am saying that John McCain wasn't that great of a pilot.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Another Florida Republican Governor, Another Tool

Hillary! If the Republican stooge Governor of Florida wants you to be the nominee, doesn't that tell you something?

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I Read This And I Still Don't Know

Did the Harper gov't leak it on purpose or not?

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Language and Conflict In the News: Afghan Prisons

The US has built, and trained the staff for, a new wing at prison in Afghanistan.  Compared to other Afghan prisons, it is a step up.  Importantly, and unrelated to the walls, but directly related to the US training... no torture allegations. Took almost seven years to get there.

The trials are happening, but they are pretty bad.  Well, at least some of the worst trials are being appealed.  However, the trials have one feature which I often talk about in Language & Conflict.  From Counter Punch:
Hearsay -- as in, "the Americans said ... " -- is reported to make up a good part of the prosecutors' cases. And while the prosecutors and judges generally speak Dari, the language of Afghanistan's Tajik population, the Pashtun-speaking defendants may not understand what is being said, and may not have the benefit of translation.

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Happens ALL The Time, in Alabama

The FCC is launching an investigation into a mysterious signal loss by an Alabama CBS affiliate during a "60 Minutes" segment concerning allegations that the state's imprisoned former Democratic governor was railroaded by Republicans in the Justice Department.
The Hollywood Reporter, yeah, you'd think that would be more of a CBS story.

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Fight Club: The Musical?

There's been talk about it. The first rule of Fight Club is you don't sing about Fight Club.

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Why We Need to Love President Bush

President Bush is interested in politics.  He knows, for example, at least basically, what the different Secretaries of the Cabinet do.  I bet he could name them, if only by thinking of the names of the people who show up at the meetings.

Compared to most Americans, Bush knows a lot about politics.  That should earn our respect, since most Americans throw their hands up in the air and simply ignore the whole thing.  They are the ones who elect incompetents like Bush.

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Lt. Gen. Odierno, Spinmeister

In defending the extensive contracting of mercenaries in Iraq, Odierno said awful things, which, when parsed, just show that an unpopular war doesn't result in much recruiting, and therefore we need to pay for extra killers, and pay for people to do basic services, freeing up our troops to do some of the more military tasks we have.  Yes, Clinton used mercs in the Balkans, although not nearly so many.

I'd love to start an anti-mercenary lobby on K Street, with big signage that said "Mercenary Killers Network" with lots of skulls, guns and black.

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The Psychoses of Chris Matthews: A Deep, Dark Fear

Last night Chris Matthews, sociopathically, said there was "a deep, dark fear that lives in us all."

That's his view of what lives in us all?  No wonder Matthews goes so far to kiss Republican butt.

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Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania

The story so far has been "Independents go for Obama" but what they mean is "Independents who lean Democrat" have been voting for Obama.

In Texas and Ohio, Independents (and Republicans?) could vote in the Democratic primary, including Independents who are committed to vote for a Republican in the fall.

The Republicans have wanted to run against Clinton for years. A calculating Republican or right-leaning Independent, if they wanted to help McCain win in the fall, would vote for Hillary.

In Pennsylvania, Independents can not vote. They do, I'm afraid, have more than a couple weeks to change their registration.

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Old News, a Must Read

I said, long ago, that when the current Republicans would start to lose power, it would get pretty ugly, and that they'd begin attacking each other, a sort of ghoulish feeding frenzy.

"We were ripping each other to pieces."  I'm sure some people would be welcome in a Hamas prison after they read "Iran Contra 2.0.

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Disturbing Headline: When a Loved One Ages, There Are Options

From really small outfite ARALifestyle

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Iraq: Not so Much of a Puppet

From the Chicago Tribune
President Bush had said he hoped Iraq would raise U.S. claims that Iranian agents are training and arming Shiite militias. Iraq officials said the subject had not come up.
"These allegations are old, and they are coming from a long history of hostility between the two sides," said Iraqi Minister of State for National Security Sherwan al-Waili. "We hope Iraq does not get involved. We don't want to be part of the Iran-America struggle."

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Patty Murray, A Bad Argument

Apparently the administration wants to close some US factories making US Air Force tankers and give the contract to Airbus.

Doesn't sound like much of an idea to me, but I don't know any of the backstory.

Part of Murray's argument is that Airbus tried to sell some planes to Venezuela. These planes had US technology on them. America, apparently, has a law that says you can't resell our military technology without our approval.  A little paranoid, but, sure, it makes sense.  However, Murray goes off the deep end when she describes Venezuela as a "threat" to American security.  I guess I can't be too critical, she didn't vote for the Iraq war authorization.  So, Iraq wasn't a threat, but Venezuela is?

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Of Course Bush Supports Hillary

Months ago Bush and Laura, in the Murdoch-owned NY Post, declared that Hillary would make a fine President.  That's as close to an endorsement that the sage of 1600 Pennsylvania has come.

Thinking about it further, of course Bush doesn't trust anyone in his 40s, like Obama.  Bush himself only stopped his heavy, brain-damaging drug and alcohol abuse when he reached 40.  Personally, I doubt his poll numbers will reach 40 in the next year.

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Monday, March 03, 2008

Wikileaks Resolved Succesfully, Judge White Embarrassed

Bush appointee Judge White's decision to shut down wikileaks has been overturned by a much saner Judge.  Judge White had given an order to make sure wouldn't "resolve" inside the United States (that a tech term for converting something like into the _real_ address, which will be something like, a story I covered last month. Judge Zimmerman embarassed Judge White.

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Sanctions Imposed on Iran for Uranium Enrichment

It does appear as if Bush's ill-conceived war in Iraq forced Iran to halt its limited nuclear bomb program back in 2003. By the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran is allowed to enrich uranium for civilian nuclear power use.  They are doing so.  The difference between enrichment for power and bombs is huge and easily detectable.  However, the western powers are insisting that Iran can't continue with this legal action.  I don't know why Iran should comply with the rest of the NNPT if they keep getting sanctioned.
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The State of American Schools

"Wretched condition," "understaffed" and crowded classrooms.  This complaint was aired on national radio over 50 years ago today.  Yes, you might be seeing a trend.
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Over 50 Years of "Cops!"

The 1950s radio show "Nightwatch" had the same exact premise as the modern days "Cops!"

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Weeks Late: Kosovo Secession

I really shouldn't have much of an opinion on people wanting to secede or not.  My country seceded.  I worry a bit that the new Kosovo doesn't have free access to the sea, but that probably won't be a problem in the short term.

I've supported Kosovar independence because the polls show that super-majorities want to secede, and they've wanted to for a long time.  That said, there is a section of northern Kosovo includes a Serb majority, and, when polled, they don't want to secede.  Rarely mentioned is a Kosovar population that exists in southern Serbia.  I'm annoyed that the Kosovar secessionists, who obviously believe in secession, don't recognize the rights of the Serbs who want to leave their new nation. 
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Congress Should Make No Law ... Abridging the Freedom of Speech OF ROBOTS!

Support Robocalls like the Framers Intended!

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Sunday, March 02, 2008

With Determination and Perserverence We Can Accomplish Amazing Things

According to Chris Broccoli, the opposition candidate in Kazakhstan committed suicide by shooting himself once in the head and twice in the chest.

Broccoli reminds us "Mr. Nazarbayev was a guest of Mr. Bush at the White House." and, of course, there are the recent comments by Fuckhead Bush, that meeting with Castro would send the wrong message. Please check out my new site I Want the Nobel Prize
Soul Drawings in Black & White

For some mysterious reason, world famous artist I.M. Makinitup decided to do a portrait of President Cheney's soul in b&w.

Turns out, no white was needed.

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Success in Physical Fitness

Should get back to it now, but all the exercise I've been doing lately has resulted in a couple noticable improvements. Still more to do...

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Leonard Sax, Is this Fraud Dangerous?

The NY Times is pimping Leonard Sax's single-sex education for public schools.  I'm not really against the idea, I'm basically for it.  I think, for children who have reached puberty, who, if I remember correctly, having a great deal of curiosity and hormones to back that up, putting them in one classroom makes public education into something more than it is intended to be.

Before you read the NY Times crappy report by crappy reporter E. Weil, read this, which shows what a charlatan Leonard Sax is.

Can you believe crap like this gets in print?
One, from a girl with two fathers, read: "Dr. Sax, Thank you so much for coming to Burkes. . . . I had a smell in my room and my Dads couldn’t smell it but I could. I thought I was going crazy. It ends up there was a dead rat in the wall. Hope you come back soon."
This is supposed to make it seem like Dr. Sax is right. We had a dead small animal in the walls of house I lived in once. I smelled it more than the other resident of the house, a woman. Have I proved that men smell better than women?
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A Message to Young Cheerleaders

You have a bright future in the Republican Party.  If it survives.

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The Right Wing Smear Machine Goes Conspiracy Theory

Jerome Corsi, a guy who made a large scale and spurious effort to sink the candidacy of John Kerry (author of #1 NY Times Bestseller Unfit for Command) is now "promoting" his new book, which is a conspiracy theory about the North American Union.

We should all be a little sad that this wingnut was so heavily published and helped further destroy America. Oh. he writes for Wing Nut Daily, I should have guessed.

That said, the penalty for treason is death, and to sign away the Constitution is the ultimate in treason.

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Saturday, March 01, 2008

I Regret To Inform You: Homo Sapiens Prehistory

In the space of time,
since our ancestors got wits,
a few things,
most certainly,
have happened:
  1. We mastered fire (woo hoo!)
  2. The long haired mammals went bye-bye (extinct)
  3. We developed a taste for cooked meats

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Reflection on the Westland Meat-Packing Nastiness

The responsibility was of the United States Government, specifically, the Department of Agriculture.

And if they don't pick it up it would have been the responsibility of the journalists.

We can be sure that, relying on the Humane Society, justice is backed into a corner.

Not that I'm completely surprised the Bush administration didn't heavily police industrialist criminals.

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Breathe, Planet, Damnit!

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Worst Press Conference Yet?

I've watched a lot of Bush Press Conferences.  No, don't worry about me, I can stomach it.  This most recent one (transcript) seemed to me to be the worst.  One could argue that with less than a year to go, he doesn't care as much.

I think, instead, that this appalling performance, at turns bullying and then idiotic, was a result of the loss of Karl Rove to the Fox "News" Channel.

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Monotheists Deserve Some Credit

There are a lot of things we don't know about the world, or the future, and we generally applaud people who give it a try, and who come close to the right answer.

As for the monotheists out there, the Christians, the Muslims, the Jews, well, they are only off by one. That's not so bad. The Hindus are off by, at some counts, 300,000,000!

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