Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Is it just me, or does anyone else get the feeling that the American government is thoroughly penetrated by mobsters and spies? The level of graft and corruption in the House of Representatives, and the Iraq war machine, topped by the the inability to solve 9-11 and apprehend the UBL gang of thugs vis a vis the London cops less than splendid efforts that resulted in multiple apprehensions.
The patronage and looting in New Orleans is a pikers pillage next to this.
I swear, the Christian right-wing has way too much time on their hands. I mean, with all the shit going on in the world right now, you’d think they’d be too busy spreading the gospel or something to bother with fussing about slogans on coffee cups. But of course, you’d be wrong, because there’s nothing evangelical fanatics love more than sticking it to the effete, latte-drinking liberal “man”:
A national Christian women’s organization is accusing the Seattle-based coffee maker of promoting a homosexual agenda because of a quote by author Armistead Maupin, whose “Tales of the City” chronicled San Francisco’s homosexual community in the 1970s and 1980s.
[ …Some right wing yada yada yada de da da…]
Look, first of all: Starbucks coffee cups are not media outlets. There’s no standard of “fair and balanced reporting” on receptacles for hot, caffeinated beverages. Honest. I looked it up. And second of all: the quotes Starbucks has selected actually do come from a wide variety of sources, including Jonah Goldberg, editor of the National Review online – which ain’t exactly a bastion of liberalism – and Michael Medved, nationally syndicated conservative columnist. So they’re already presenting a pretty balanced picture. So can y’all just back the hell off now? I’m sure there are snakes to be handled, tongues to be spoken, and progeny to be readied for years of therapy – how ’bout we lay off the nonsensical protests for a few days?
Yeah, what she said.
The BoingBoing reader who passed along the email noted this:
The poorest 20% (you can argue with the number — 10%? 18%? no one knows) of the city was left behind to drown. This was the plan. Forget the sanctimonious bullshit about the bullheaded people who wouldn’t leave. The evacuation plan was strictly laissez-faire. It depended on privately owned vehicles, and on having ready cash to fund an evacuation. The planners knew full well that the poor, who in new orleans are overwhelmingly black, wouldn’t be able to get out. The resources — meaning, the political will — weren’t there to get them out.
White per capita income in Orleans parish, 2000 census: $31,971. Black per capita: $11,332. Median *household* income in B.W. Cooper (Calliope) Housing Projects, 2000: $13,263.
This is a crisis, wrapped around a tragedy, soaked in disaster–all neatly curled around the true, racist heart of our deepest American shame.
Yeah, my blood’s so mad feels like coagulatin’
I’m sitting here just contemplatin’
I can’t twist the truth, it knows no regulation.
Handful of senators don’t pass legislation
And marches alone can’t bring integration
When human respect is disintegratin’
This whole crazy world is just too frustratin’
And you tell me
Over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, you don’t believe
We’re on the eve
Think of all the hate there is in Red China
Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama
You may leave here for 4 days in space
But when you return, it’s the same old place
The poundin’ of the drums, the pride and disgrace
You can bury your dead, but don’t leave a trace
Hate your next-door neighbor, but don’t forget to say grace
And… tell me over and over and over and over again, my friend
You don’t believe
We’re on the eve
Mm, no no, you don’t believe
We’re on the eve
by Barry McGuire
Also gone was the provision affirming the Iraqi people’s collective ownership of Iraq ’s oil and other natural resources and obliging the state to protect and safeguard them. Instead, a new article lays the legal ground for selling off Iraq ’s oil and putting it under the control of the big multinational oil companies. Article 110 goes so far as to spell out that “the federal government and the governments of the producing regions and provinces together will draw up the necessary strategic policies to develop oil and gas wealth to bring the greatest benefit for the Iraqi people, relying on the most modern techniques of market principles and encouraging investment”.
By “modern techniques of market principles”, the draft is most likely referring to current plans – supported by the interim government’s top leadership – to privatize the Iraqi National Oil Company and to open up Iraq ’s oil reserves to the big oil companies. Referring to such plans, Adil Abdel Mahdi, a senior leader of SCIRI and now Iraq’s vice president, told an audience in Washington , just before the elections: “[T]his is very promising to the American investors and to American enterprises, certainly to oil companies.”
About two thirds of the way down the article is a table comparing the Constitution of 1990 with the June 30,2005 July 20, 2005, and August 25, 2005 fianl draft Constitutions.
The American Government under Bush really is amoral. As Jefferson said, “If God is just, I shudder for my nation.”.
One thousand four hundred and forty nine days (1449) have elapsed since the attacks on 9-11 (today’s date, 31 August 2005).
since 2003 (we have gone from 203 significant attacks in 2003 to almost 700 significant attacks in 2004
Martin argues that the “framing” of U.S. labor coverage occurs through five means: 1. The consumer is king; 2. The process of production is none of the public’s business; 3. The economy is driven by great business leaders and entrepreneurs; 4. The workplace is a meritocracy; and 5. Collection economic action is bad. He also notes that corporate ownership of most media has led to a hostile relationship between unions and media outlets. None of those frames has anything to do with the plight of the worker, he added.
Seems spot on. Martin takes a close look at how the three major television networks, USA Today, and the New York Times covered five major labor issues in the 1990s, and concludes in each case that “media coverage predominantly focused on the effects on consumers and ignored the working conditions of employees.”
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 31, 2005
Times-Picayune’s 2002 five-part series warned of disaster
via War and Peace
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
WASHINGTON – The nation’s poverty rate rose to 12.7 percent of the population last year, the fourth consecutive annual increase, the
Census Bureau said Tuesday.
The percentage of people without health insurance did not change.
Overall, there were 37 million people living in poverty, up 1.1 million people from 2003.
Asians were the only ethnic group to show a decline in poverty — from 11.8 percent in 2003 to 9.8 percent last year. The poverty rate among the elderly declined as well, from 10.2 percent in 2003 to 9.8 percent last year.
Pat Lang looks at the details and implications of the SoDs realignment of the US military, andits’ implications in various war time scenarios. The comments are worth a read through as well.
I wonder if this realignment of forces won’t wind up being the equivalent of the British Navy’s fater lighter battleships of WWII.
On of the commenters also brings up some good points on the new Iraqi Armed Forces and their capability to defend Iraq from Iran and Syria.
Update: Welcome sandia.gov visitors! BTW, if you’re NOT in the IG’s office, you might want to visit from home from now on. 😉
I’ve covered this story before, so I’ll refrain from expired equine abuse for a change. Read the whole article to get additional details.
Unable to resist a cool code name, TIME has plunged in to the Titan Rain story about Chinese hackers targeting US military networks. TIME gives us more new code names (“Spiderman” – OK, no points for originality there) but also has some details which suggest that this story may be a legitimately big deal.
via War and Peace
Monday, August 29, 2005
“Its failings notwithstanding, there is much to be said in favor of journalism in that by giving us the opinion of the uneducated, it keeps us in touch with the ignorance of the community.”
— Oscar Wilde
“Propaganda tries to force a doctrine on the whole people; the [party] organization embraces within its scope only those who do not threaten on psychological grounds to become a brake on the further dissemination of ideas.”
— Adolf Hitler.
In discussing the Bell Curve, supporters of it invariably trot out all kinds of straw men to argue with. Let’s deal with some of them.
What he said.
Oblivious to Oblivion
stay the course, that things are getting better
I wonder just how blind you have be
to see the genius of the forgetter.
I hear the man has plan
success is around the corner
you need to run with the also ran
whose a loser and a loaner.
Seems to me that fly away
has crashed into a table
pretzel choked the locals say
smashed on the bottle of his fable.
Spell bound man mushroomed visions
from the fields and countless fissions
where Merlin waves and greets Meridian,
riding Phoenix into oblivion.
You know the man keeps telling me
stay the course, that things are getting better
I wonder just how blind you have be
to see the genius of the forgetter.
A top Army contracting official who criticized a large, noncompetitive contract with the Halliburton Company for work in Iraq was demoted Saturday for what the Army called poor job performance.
The official, Bunnatine H. Greenhouse, has worked in military procurement for 20 years and for the past several years had been the chief overseer of contracts at the Army Corps of Engineers, the agency that has managed much of the reconstruction work in Iraq.
Known as a stickler for the rules on competition, Ms. Greenhouse initially received stellar performance ratings, Mr. Kohn said. But her reviews became negative at roughly the time she began objecting to decisions she saw as improperly favoring Kellogg Brown & Root, he said. Often she hand-wrote her concerns on the contract documents, a practice that corps leaders called unprofessional and confusing.
Following this; Profiling Report Leads to a Demotion at DOJ, and you tell me this is what Republicans suppor?
Sunday, August 28, 2005
With the resolution of lightning
thundering through the night sky,
the vanguard of our nation
fuses valor to Semper Fi.
In the sculptured halls of courage
although no man stands alone,
God grants few to be the cutting edge
that he strikes against the stone.
Today the scabbard hangs empty.
Another eagle has paid his pledge.
While the high gloss polish of honor
is applied to the cutting edge.
Then, within the missing man formation,
where the cutting edge strikes the sky,
an honor gaurd of Angels cuts a path
to the Lord of Semper Fi.
In Memory of 1st Lt. Kerry D. Dale, U.S.M.C.
Good Reads for Sunday
TBogg has a little fun with Move America Forward kicking The Protest Warriors asses. Splitters Of course if you’re queasy and uneasy with foul language then you might tag a barf bag with you, but I doubt you read this blog either.
Tom Watson looks at things as they are, and in Sands of Death gives us a pretty melancholy reality check.
Juan Cole discusses how accurate Andrew Sullivan’s tantalizing vision of success is in Sullivan and Tantalus in Baghdad.
UpDate: dKos’ darksyde has Kossacks offering/seeking Relief, Rooms available@no charge, and Organization Thread
There is other good stuff out on the web, so I will leave it to you to do the clickety click thing you do so well. I just thought this was some of the best.
Short Sighted Narrow Minded Chauvinist
In the end I try to listen to both sides of an issue, and the other points of view that do not fit the coin analogy, before concluding that this or that point of view is correct, or more correct, than another one.
Of course there are some fundamental things that I believe in as well, such as neocon policy is usually wrong, and frankly a hateful policy, but there isn’t a judgment as to the person holding, or advocating the policy, in that those who believe in American Imperialism are not necessarily evil people in and of themselves. Neoconservatism is almost a self loathing policy, in that it leads the nation to do things that will ultimately lead to its’ own destruction, and so the result of the policy is exactly opposite of the intentions of those who advocate it.
Conservatism in general I disagree with because it is based on a philosophy that assures narrow minded policy, the assuredness that traditional behavior and norms were superior to present day behavior and norms, which unfortunately does not take into account the negative aspects of that previous behavior, the unjustness of that previous normative, anymore than it can see those injustices current in the present moment.
Liberalism, when it looks at the past tries to rectify the normative, and modify the present behavior so as to prevent further injustices to individuals and groups, need not reject all traditions, in that not all traditional thinking, normatives, and behaviors are counter productive to building a better society.
Liberalism by its’ very nature should be open minded, since it looks to change and modify, while remembering that it cannot adopt a policy designed to destroy any group or individuals. It should seek to convince by reasoned arguments that those views held by conservatives are counter productive to the society that the conservative idealizes in their own philosophy. Liberalism should be coercive argumentation against current normatives and behaviors, that deny the fundamental rights of groups and individuals to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Modern liberalism however is starting to show signs of the closed mind, in that it argues against traditional values merely for being traditional values, not based on any argumentation that that tradition is detrimental to the public good. Liberalism is poor at best when dealing with sweeping generalizations that it itself has manufactured, or as the case may be, political operatives holding to conservatism have manufactured for it, such as Embryonic Stem Cell Research, Intelligent Design and Abortion Rights.
These are issues that coincide with life liberty and the pursuit of happiness, are traditional values, and so liberalism must answer with yes, but…, and present a positive argument for the changes it espouses. Liberalism has to be advocacy for a thing, or change and it cannot be based on convenience, or it gets clobbered in principles and morals. It cannot denigrate the traditionalists as they do the liberals because all liberal issues begin as the minority opinion, and minority views are often disdained, as was the case of democratic republicanism.
In fact democratic republicanism in the US and UK is still disdained in some quarters of the reactionary movement of conservatism, so that liberal attacks that impugn conservatism in toto, push more conservative minded individuals into reactive conservatism, and thus hinder the liberal cause all the more. Liberalism cannot afford to not be pragmatic. It cannot afford to answer every taunt. Liberalism has to be optimistic, positive and persuasive in its argumentation for a policy. Liberalism has to for the future, not against the past.
The best recourse to conservative’s ad hominem is to ask if they are referring to you individually, as a person, which they generally are not. They are more comfortable with the anonymous liberal that they attack than the individual liberal that they have become engaged in debate with, and who more often than not shares their values in all but a few details of policy, so it is up to the liberals to make sure that the debate remains specific in detail and personalities, because liberalism change’s hearts and minds of individuals on specific issues, not groups of individuals with sweeping generalizations.
Saturday, August 27, 2005
The flashpoint in the tensions between Mr. Greenfeld and his political supervisors came four months ago, when statisticians at the agency were preparing to announce the results of a major study on traffic stops and racial profiling, which found disparities in how racial groups were treated once they were stopped by the police.
Political supervisors within the Office of Justice Programs ordered Mr. Greenfeld to delete certain references to the disparities from a news release that was drafted to announce the findings, according to more than a half-dozen Justice Department officials with knowledge of the situation. The officials, most of whom said they were supporters of Mr. Greenfeld, spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss personnel matters.
Mr. Greenfeld refused to delete the racial references, arguing to his supervisors that the omissions would make the public announcement incomplete and misleading. Instead, the Justice Department opted not to issue a news release on the findings and posted the report online.
Once they were stopped, Hispanic drivers were searched or had their vehicles searched by the police 11.4 percent of the time and blacks 10.2 percent of the time, compared with 3.5 percent for white drivers. Blacks and Hispanics were also subjected to force or the threat of force more often than whites, and the police were much more likely to issue tickets to Hispanics rather than simply giving them a warning, the study found.
Apparently the DoJ buried it here, which only took about thirty minutes to find. Citizen Jounalamismim time that its.
I will read the pdf, and if I am wrong update the link.
Here is the link to the page which links to the previously mentioned page above, and links to the NEW YORK: ETHNIC PROFILING AT ISSUE IN SUBWAY SEARCHES in the Buffaloe News and the ACLU lawsuit against NYPD racial profiling in the city of NY.
GUIDE FOR ANALYZING RACE DATA FROM VEHICLE STOPS
The Police Executive Research Forum has completed By the Numbers: A Guide for Analyzing Race Data from Vehicle Stops. The final version (with three new chapters) are available for free from the PERF web site. By the Numbers is a detailed “how to” guide for analyzing race data from vehicle stops. It provides a social science framework for understanding the challenges of trying to measure racial bias in policing and presents an array of methods for law enforcement professionals, researchers and other stakeholders to consider when interpreting the vehicle-stop data. The primary audience for this technical guide includes the people who will actually be conducting the analyses, though police professionals at all levels, policy makers and others have much to gain by reading the preliminary and final chapters. Following these introductory chapters, By the Numbers provides step-by-step guidance for implementing various benchmarking methods. Forthcoming is a shorter document entitled “Understanding Race Data from Vehicle Stops: A Stakeholder’s Guide” which will target policy makers and other concerned stakeholders and highlight the key themes of By the Numbers.
Thanks to MAUREEN DOWD for the heads up and links in column.
Mr. Lichtblau wrote that when Mr. Greenfeld sent the planned press release to the office of his supervisor, Tracy Henke, then an acting assistant attorney general, the section on the treatment of black and Hispanic drivers was crossed out with a notation: “Do we need this?” Ms. Henke herself had added a note: “Make the changes.”
Like Condi Rice, Stephen Hadley, John Bolton and others who helped spin reality to suit political ends, Ms. Henke was rewarded by the president. She has been nominated for a senior post in the Homeland Security Department.
There is no cause for despair, or for abandoning the basic U.S. strategy in Iraq, which is to support the election of a permanent national government and train security forces capable of defending it with continuing help from American troops.But it is dispiriting, and damaging to the chances for success, that President Bush still refuses to speak honestly to the country about the challenges the United States now faces, or how he intends to address them. In two major speeches on national security this week, Mr. Bush simply repeated the misleading description of Iraq he offered during his national television address in June, conflating the war with the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and describing the enemy as terrorists akin to al Qaeda.
So what’s new here? Is there a Green Zone in DC too? Bush has been prevaricating from the gitgo, with the conivances of certain editorial boards. Lets see. Iran is the main benefactor, Women are going to lose their human rights, continued training of Iraqi Benedict Arnolds who rat out intelligence to the insurgents, and who then help kill the US Forces, this is the WaPo’s idea of US Strategy?
If you want to CYA the least you could do is remove your heads from the same.
JOHANNESBURG (AFX) – The World Health Organisation has declared tuberculosis an emergency in Africa after cases of the killer disease tripled in countries with high rates of HIV and doubled on the continent as a whole since 1990.
We’re so sorry, but we must discuss ID, and stem cell research, stuff that matters. Quite sure you’ll muddle through. Good Luck – The Democratic Party USA