Monthly Archives: June 2007

Flagpie Slats June 21-25, 2007

Monday, June 25, 2007

Pungent, Profane Lefty Blogging

Good Night Charles.

Bong Hits For Right To Liferz

In 5-4 Ruling,(with Thomas dissenting on grounds that children should be seen and not heard, God didn’t make little green apples for pipes, and no one listens to him anyway so he has to go over the top,) the Supreme Court has ruled that 1st Amendment as understood by the Founding Fathers was not applicable to all people, especially those running banners at marathons.

Here’s your lighter boys.

George Will, You Ignorant Slut

July 2-9, 2007 issue – George Washington Plunkitt (1842-1924), who practiced what he cheerfully called “honest graft” on behalf of Tammany Hall (and himself), made up with pith what he lacked in polish when he explained: “I seen my opportunities and I took ’em.”

Oh well, Will, do tell.

The most consequential American third-party candidate was Ralph Nader in 2000. But for his 97,488 votes in Florida, which George W. Bush won by 537 votes, Al Gore probably would be finishing his second term. But even successful independent or third-party candidates have one thing in common: They lose.

Forgetting Teddy Roosevelt and Taft lost, OK. But Gore won Florida, and all the pomp amd circumstance of George Will ain’t going to change the facts, for those of us interested in those things. (Remember what I just said about conservatives changing history to suit their needs?)

A candidate can succeed in giving an aggrieved minority a voice—e.g., George Wallace, speaking for people furious about the ’60s tumults.

You mean the jocks stuffing you in the garbage can in High School, George? Or are referring to the whole shebang, the Beatles, the Stones, the end of white wall tires?

You know this is almost exactly what George said on TV Sunday, but he was succinct on television, and so actually made sense. I can only suppose that George wants to make it all come alive and so had to interject Mr. Wallace into it, because there is his own historical memories of those years, and he lacks another vector for projecting his dislike of those effing freeks onto to todays more urbane dirty effing hippies.

Mr. Will is a perfect example of why some people should never smoke marijuana, since he is already a square baby and can be stacked in the corner anyway.

(I updated the title to keep it in line with the reference. My apologies to Mr. Will, since to be honest I think people may do stupid things, but there are in fact no stupid people.)

When the Lights Go Out In the City

Goodbye to the City on the Hill
By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

Cohen & Grigsby’s legal experts describe the strategy for ensuring that no American firm has to hire an American. The advertising requirements can be met by advertising the job in obscure or ethnic newspapers in locations where there are no likely job candidates. If a qualified American candidate turns up, “have the manager of that specific position step in and . . . go through the whole process to find a legal basis to disqualify them for this position–in most cases there doesn’t seem to be a problem.”

This isn’t by any means meant to be a news flash for you, and it definitely dovetails with what Trapper John was saying in the first post this morning.

Israel To Train Poxy’s Forces in the Negev

Marines to train at new Israeli combat center

BALADIA CITY, Israel — In a new, elaborate training center in the Negev desert, Israeli troops — and someday, U.S. Marines and soldiers — are preparing for the wide range of urban scenarios they may confront.

Here, at Israel’s new National Urban Training Center, the Israeli Defense Force’s Ground Forces Command is preparing forces to fight in four theaters: Gaza, Lebanon, the West Bank and Syria.

Built by the Army Corps of Engineers and funded largely from U.S. military aid, the 7.4-square-mile generic city — balad, in Arabic, means village — consists of 1,100 basic modules that can be reconfigured by mission planners to represent specific towns.

QWhat’s the point in training all this military force in invading if we aren’t going to use them?

And with the “reasonable likelihood” of another war on Israel’s northern front — perhaps by summer’s end, according to some intelligence estimates here — that Red Team force may not come soon enough.

And the band plays “Twilight of Liberty” to the tune of the “The Star Spangled Banner,” an old drinking song, at the Brass Balls Memorial of the MSM.

The Progessive Case Against The Immigration Bill

by Trapper John Is worth the read, especially if you haven’t madeup/closed your mind, to the debate. I may take it up again later myself, on its’ merits as policy. Then again, Trapper has always been a pretty tough nut to crack.

The temporary worker program has nothing to do with immigration policy. To the contrary — it is a guaranteed cheap labor program grafted on to an immigration bill. When most people think of “immigration” to the US, they think of people coming to America to build a new life for themselves and their families, just as their ancestors did. But the temporary worker program has nothing to do with building American families and American dreams. Under the program, 400,000-600,000 guest workers would enter the country every year on two-year visas.

Agreed, while most of the debate will swirl around farm and service sector employees, the guest workers will be crafts, or technology workers.

And those employers won’t have to pay their new indentured servants any more than the minimum wage. See, unlike the existing H-2B visa — the visa that governs most “unskilled” temporary workers in the US today — the proposed temporary worker program contains no requirements that employers pay their temporary help the federally determined “prevailing wage” for their occupation and the geographic area.

Which ought to be enough to get you over there to read the whole thing.

Because They Hate Our Freedom

Trove of F.B.I. Files on Lawyers Guild Shows Scope of Secret Surveillance

One can only hope the American people aren’t as bogus as their government.

The F.B.I.’s surveillance of the guild was part of a broad monitoring operation mounted by the agency under Mr. Hoover against groups and individuals it deemed seditious, like the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The F.B.I. insisted that the guild was rife with communists who were directed by Moscow. Although some early guild members had been communists, there was scant evidence to show that the group was controlled by the Communist Party.

The surveillance spanned the administrations of seven presidents even though the Justice Department determined in 1958 and 1972 that the guild was not subversive or criminal.

Thousands of people were drawn into the inquiry’s orbit, whether as targets or peripheral figures, and the files provide an unusually revealing window into efforts that often focused on law-abiding citizens. The files include mentions of the A.F.L.-C.I.O., the N.A.A.C.P., Students for a Democratic Society and Vietnam Veterans Against the War.

Of course we no longer rely on Echelon, Tempest, NSLs, or private corporations to spy on each other at the governments behest, because we are a freedom loving, Christian ethical nation, and firm believers in the Constitution and the ideals of the Declaration of Independence.

Nosy MFs

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Purple Brain, Overdosing on Hype

The Purple Brain: America’s New Reefer Madness

The plot is as follows: Sure, the pot you and your 40-something peers once enjoyed may have been innocuous, but that’s only because it bears no resemblance to the super-potent weed of today– strains with such foreboding names as “Train wreck,” “AK-47,” and “The Purple.” As proclaimed by Drug Czar John Walters recently, “[W]e are no longer talking about the drug of the 1960s and 1970s — this is [in computer parlance] Pot 2.0.”

Pot 2.0? Dillhole. Like THC^2?

I was wondering where all of this was coming from, and now I know. From the people that have brought us Iraq 1.0 or Shock and Awe, Iraq 2.0 Mission Accomplished, Iraq 3.0 Democracy for Free, Iraq 4.0 Fighting Them Over There, Iraq 5.0 Central Front on the GWOT, Iraq 6.0 Al Qaeda Wins if We Withdraw, Iraq 7.0 Surging Viagras, Iraq 8.0 Post Coital Iraq.Iraq 9.0 Refractions on a Boner, Iraq 10.0 Wolf Ugly.

If Your Happy and You Know It

Go Read this.

I think that one of the drawbacks of technology is that it is just as easy and cheap to get video footage of a fire in Ohio, as it is to get it from Baghdad, and since a good murder always beats the gruesome truth of war, viola, another missing white woman to titillate the masses.

Back when video was film and had to be physically sent at some expense, one would see the important film video and not crap that would sell other crap. Like the rest of the capitalist society’s infrastructure, it is now built at the cheapest cost to maximize profits.

Contrary to what you may think, this is an observation, and not a judgement. It just is what it is, a soft target.

Ring Around the Posers

Ashes, ashes, we all fall down

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Ain’t Nobody’s Business But Your Own

On of the biggest pains in every one’s ass is other people. Other people are always trying to figure you out, when there is really nothing there to figure out, since you happen to be an individual that makes a lot of individual choices that wind making you you, or W, if your the pResident.

One of the things that always pissed me off about the sixties was the idea that everyone was supposed to conform to the prevailing non conformity of whatever group you happened to be free loading free loads off of at any particular time, and so there were always those who where cool, and there were always those who were dildos, and depending on what you were doing at any particular time you could be one or another, or both at the same time, so long as no one caught on that you weren’t buying into their trip altogether, and were just there to help them smoke their weed and drink their Sangria/Boons Farm/MD 20-20 and beer.

Some people took those times seriously I’m sure, while others look back and take them seriously, but I never took those people too seriously because I never thought that other peoples perceptions were important enough to either accept or reject, they were always just as entitled to them as well as anyone else was. I still feel the same way. If what you’re doing is making you happy then by all means keep on keepin on, because I sure will, and I don’t quite know where to fit you into this short life span in such a way as to make you that important to me to change what I’m doing if what I’m doing doesn’t help in making you happy. You should, hopefully, be able to do the same with me.

I think it is important for people to understand what a short flash life really is, and how you or I go about shining in that flash isn’t anyone else’s business. A hundred years from now we’ll all be dead and broke, and in two hundred years forgotten, and anyone who thinks differently is really full of BS. I don’t think anyone will remember Jobs or Gates anymore than we recall who Eli Whitney or Thomas Edison or the person that invented the wheel was. Most of us just won’t make it to being an historical pain in the ass, either. In short, we’re all trying to be a somebody in a universe of nobodies.

Living well is your own perception of living well, unless you buy into the peer group pressure of the groups collective perception of living well, doing well, etc, whence you can start being either cool or a dildo all over again like you did or were when you were a kid, and that’s what will presumably make you a grown up, but it doesn’t make you free and is probably just moving the goal posts so adolescence perceptions are now adult perceptions, and hence a distinction without a difference.

The only lesson anyone should have really learned in the sixties was that freedom is a head trip, and all the rest of it was a mind game, and not because it was the wisdom of that age, but because it is the wisdom of any age.

Gimme a Break!

I tend to agree as much as I disagree with Lou Dobbs, but at least he covers issues that will have some import, some impact, on the national life, and to interrupt his show to give us all time coverage of a murder is mind boggling.

That is all the further I think I can go, and keep to my own self imposed restrictions on knocking CNN, but I think we just found the straw that breaks the camels back. Unbelievable.

Democratic Congress Saves You Money!

Finally, over the strenuous lobbying of the conservative groups leaching off this particularly insidious form of “bleed the beast” wingnut welfare, Federal funding for abstinence-only sex (mis)education is being cut:

A controversial federal program that stresses abstinence outside heterosexual marriage has been chopped by $28. million.Previously, under the Republican Congress, the federal government spent about $50 million annually on abstinence-until-marriage education.

Participating states then provide $3 for every $4 they get from the federal government. Eight states decline to take part in the grant program.

That means 59 Million Dollars when the state funding no longer needs to be ponied up to tell young people to do as we say not as we did.

When Reading Between the Lines,

read this first. I should have linked this in the last post. Oh well.

The Garbage Barge

Updated below, The garbage barge that makes it hard to remember the garbage barge.

These are conservatives who one would think are trying to conserve something, which apparently consists of throwing it all away.

I have always thought that 911 was aimed squarely at the American people because we as a people had failed to control our government, and as such that government had interfered with the worlds economies in ways that aggravated many people to high degree, and coupled with the religious sacrilege of basing troops in the holy land of the two cities, pushed UbL over the edge. I admit I’m being overly simplistic for brevity, but, I have always just assumed that we as a nation, as a whole people were the targets. I may have underestimated UbL. I think he was shooting at conservatives who actually controlled the levers of power of the United States at the time of his attack.

I think, given his upbringing, UbL was well acquainted with the American upper classes, and he and his family fit in quite well as far as business propositions went. I think he understood them better than they understood themselves too.

When you look at the history of this administration and its’ reactions to one crisis after another you start to see a pattern of derangement. The administration not only took out the Taliban and left UbL free to traipse around Afghanistan, which now has an imposed government, but subsequently expanded the terrorist base by invading Iraq, which is completely in opposition to the stated goal of the War on Terror. This is not logical.

In going over the post at War and Piece you notice that almost every activity of the administration has been in keeping with a policy of destabilizing the US government, in a time of war, while increasing the enemies without.

For what ever motivation they may have, and I am sure some people will ascribe a theory or two of conspiracy to it all, there it is. This administration and its’ supporters are attempting to destroy the United States as it has existed under the Constitution, either by design or folly. It really doesn’t matter what reason you ascribe to the activity, the results will be the same.

For a movement that has so long prided itself on law and order, Christianity and doing the ethical things to have come to this pass is mind boggling, as they like to say. This administration, and this conservative movement display none of those characteristics.

The problem with being an economic conservative at this juncture in history is that our economic base is built on empire, which destabilizes democratic political institutions since it is based on the economic interest of the few, the elite.

Ultimately, UbL hit the economic interests of that elite in hitting the Pentagon and WTC. He did not strike a blow against liberal democracy or freedom, and in fact he is quite free and at liberty to pursue his aims, more so now than we who claim those as our highest ideals.

If social liberalism has faltered since 911 it not because the hearts and minds of the American people had changed, but because they had become preoccupied with their own physical security which was fed into the conservatives law and order themes, but hardly changed anyone’s personal views as to their own personal behaviors.

The result has become a more repressive government at home, with an emphasis on protecting the homeland instead of addressing the root causes of terrorism. I think terrorism, like wars, are always economic, and departing with profits is not a capitalistic ideal. It matters not at all if those are just profits, since as has been noted by many, capitalism does not reward virtue. Virtue does however reward capitalism. This is the seam that UbL has split, and now both the lack of virtue in the capitalistic system, and the dynamic tension between capitalistic elites and democracy are exposed nerves to the air.

This leaves the MSM and right wing apologists in a sticky situation since the very things they espouse are the very things they are colluding to destroy. Nice work if you can get it.

Updated with links and stuff.

The Magic of the Free Market

Apparently the Magic of the Market Only Works in Radio

This week the Center for American Progress issued a report documenting the severe imbalance between conservative and liberal political talk radio (over 90% of programming is conservative) and postulating that structural factors such as consolidation of ownership and syndication practices are at least partly responsible for this imbalance.

Yes, the people who insist that conservative dominance of talk radio is purely a product of the market and mock any suggestion of structural imbalance are the very same people who complain endlessly that every other form of news media is plagued by “liberal bias.” According to conservative gospel, the “mainstream media” is dominated by liberals who continually foist their liberal views upon the public.

Of course colleges do it too, which is why none of the conservatives have a college degree.

Try Corn Flakes For The First Time Again

Friday, June 22, 2007

Until Forever Fades Away

Tell me something different
show me something new
tell me how you create it
show me what to do.

Teach me how to say it
and how to listen to it too
how does it become a madness
will it always fade to blue?

Show me how the road goes
forever on and on
and who’ll be watching in the mirror
long after we’re all gone.

I want to know the future
I want to see it in my past
I want to hold you tight
but I know it just cant last.

So please forgive me baby
it had to end this way
I’m going to love you forever
even though it’s only for today.

Yeah I’m going to love you forever
even as forever fades away.
Yeah I’m going to love you forever
even as forever fades away.

I’m going to love you forever
I’m going to love you forever
I’m going to love you forever
even as forever fades away.

Do You Know What I Mean?

If conciliation does move forward, the US will need a long-term strategy, operational plan, and budget tailored to Iraq’s real-world needs. It will need to treat the conflict in Iraq as what it is: armed nation-building and not a counterinsurgency campaign. In practice, the US government must also provide reporting that has the transparency and integrity to build both bipartisan trust in the Congress and give the next Administration time in which to make its own choices and take effective action.

This is an unpopular and perhaps politically untenable reality of the situation in Iraq. The US cannot bring security and stability within the life of the Bush Administration. It can only create a hollow and crumbling façade or withdraw. One key message that emerges from both the content and flaws in the June 2007 report is that success will be limited, uncertain, and take time. When it comes to effective US action in each of the major areas listed above, the time-scale is 2010-2015 and not 2008.

Cordesman’s sober, lucid, unsentimental analysis just lays out the picture in Iraq as it is — not like he or any of us hope it might be. This kind of truth-telling needs much more air time.

From the Radical Center of the Washington Note.

Mornings, We Get Mornings

Thursday, June 21, 2007

OK CNN That’s It!

I said if I insulted CNN once I’d apologize, twice I’d run for office, and since I have done the former, apologies to CNN.

To avoid the other self imposed punishment of running for office I should spend the next week sneaking across the northern border with a Mariachi band in a brightly Mediterranean colored bus running diesel fuel, red pop, of course just to chap Willie and Neal’s asses at the same time as Lou’s and Uncle Sam’s.

That will give me time to think about how I can transition out of opposition and campaign mode into advocacy and consensus mode, and give the beleaguered Democratic Congress a bit of break.

I think I’ve been a little too hard on the Congress and the MSM, since it is the easiest thing to do, be critical. That doesn’t mean they aren’t open to it, Lord knows they are in many, many facets of their jobs, but if I can get into a rut then I can get out of one, and so can these two institutions. I really don’t know the cure for any of us three, and yes,I am an institution in my own mind. I know I can walk away, well, theoretically I can, blogging is a hard habit to break, but the Congress and MSM are kind of stuck doing whatever it is they do when they aren’t intentionally pissing me off. I suppose it’s like Atrios’ advertising. People have to pay the bills.

On the other hand it would probably be good idea to spend time with a Mariachi band just in case Bush declares martial law and I wind up at Gitmo, where I can’t handle Mariachi bands. (I have to say that for a daughter in law who used to play in a Mariachi band, but that isn’t any of your business which makes reading the blogs more real life than real TV, and more entertaining too.) But just so you know, we’re all Merrykins, and for the musically inclined, just because Texas means friend doesn’t mean Texan does.

On this hand, it is time to re-evaluate and regroup, which means standing back and seeing which direction the wheels are turning instead which way the wheels say they are turning. Politics is a perpetual motion machine I suppose, because it consists of mostly talking until someone has to give up and go to the bathroom or such. Anyone who has ever debated a conservative knows exactly what I’m talking about. Of course the liberals will start of with policy and then wonk it to death which to a conservative is explaining how a watch is made when all they think they asked for was the time. Conservatives are always trying to figure out the times, don’t you know, not history. They see history as liberals see the future, a thing to be changed to suit ones needs.

One of these days both ends of the spectrum will finally see that it is all a big circle and then Mr. Broder will have his bipartisanship, in a big family of know nothings saying “I told you sos!” When it happens David, you remember I told you so.

Why Can’t We Have A Decent Press?

I just heard Wolf Blitzer report on Judicial Watch’s FBI report on the bin Ladens bailing out of the US right after 911, which everyone noticed since US airspace was closed at the time. I really don’t have a big dog in the 911 hunt anymore, and I appreciate Judicial Watch’s work on the holocaust museum, but haven’t spent a lot time there in years, which may be my bad, but such is life.

Anyway the only questions I really have about all the cleared bin Ladens since they left is how many of them have been back, and how often have they been back, and how long have they stayed? Just wondering. Knowing our press I’ll take those Qs to the grave.

Run Ralph, Run

Yup, he’s still an idiot.

Ralph Nader says he is seriously considering running for president in 2008 because he foresees another Tweedledum-Tweedledee election that offers little real choice to voters.

“You know the two parties are still converging — they don’t even debate the military budget anymore,” Nader said in a 30-minute interview. “I really think there needs to be more competition from outside the two parties.”

Anyone who clings to the fiction that President Al Gore would’ve been no different than President George W. Bush is beyond redemption.

OK Marcos, let’s get real. No one who even supported Ralph Nader in 2000 even thinks that, never did, and never will. (I voted for Gore.)

But the fact of the matter is, was, and shall forever be, is that Gore had the election stolen, and had the Republican’ts needed to steal another 10K votes to secure JEBs Florida they would have. It is just that simple.

The only way a Democrat is going to win the Presidency is if the electoral vote is overwhelmingly Democratic, and hence overwhelmingly so at the polls. If you haven’t figured out Florida in 2000, and Ohio in 2004, then you had a least better figure out 2008.

I’m not saying any of this to be snarky either, but the plain truth is that the Republican’ts have been doing everything they can to create a one party state, and so they have politicized every branch of the federal government to that end, and so the entire weight of the state will brought to bear against the Democrats and democratic forces of the United States in the next election.

The dirt will not just be thrown against the elite, but against everyone that doesn’t toe the line as well. Dirty tricks, I would presume have been and are being deployed against the blogosphere already. You may want to get your house and office TSCM swept once in awhile yourself. I’m sure CNN is more interested in your nasal cleaning habits more than in the news.

The blogosphere will not be sneaking up on the right wing this election, but the right wing will damned sure be hitting back, using every legal and illegal method at their disposal, including using the media as they have for years.

The netroots will get clocked if like our generals and foreign policy eluts we run the same election campaign again. I would say we have about six months to find another gate to crash myself. YM of course MV.

Turkey Prepares to Surge Too

Massing Turkish Army Has Kurds Fleeing Comon June 29.

SULAIMANIYAH, 21 June 2007 (IRIN) – Hundreds of Iraqi Kurds have been forced to flee their homes after up to 30,000 Turkish soldiers massed on the Iraqi-Turkish border and launched attacks against Kurdish fighters, Iraqi border police say.

Local aid agencies said Kurdish fighters had prevented them from entering the villages, which were being targeted.

“The bombardments have forced hundreds to abandon their homes and leave for safer areas. Some houses were looted by Kurdish fighters, according to witnesses in the area,” said Rastgo Muhammad Barsaz, spokesman for the non-governmental organisation Kurdistan Campaign to Help Victims of War.

Of course the MSM will be shocked when the Turks finally have had enough of secure Southern borders.

I wonder how much Israeli gear intended for Iran is ending up in Ankara? I say this because I don’t think Israel is an exception to the rules of unintended consequences, or blow back.

On the other hand it is hard to imagine that with so many foreign governments involved in Iraqi internal affairs that sooner or later some little war monger will set off the big war mongers, and of course the US MSM will profess shock at the whole affair and regale us with the impending threat the situation posses for US National Security. Duh!

Time To Paint The Walls Again

Move the furniture, reload the bookcases, set the clocks, etc., etc.

Maybe this color,

Or this, which has a nice lawyerly color…

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Flagpie Slats June 24-30, 2007

Saturday, June 30, 2007

You Don’t Have To Call Me Darling, Darling

Oh The Insanity

Well I just finished moving all the damned furniture, which is an obligation of men ever since God created Eve and she wanted a chair and then a sofa, and lo and behold in my goyish sort of way I have moved the computer from facing West to facing the East, instead of the North South thing, since there was no calamity and I am not Jewish, although on some Saturdays that might be a good thing. Like today.

One of the things I recall about the whole terrorism thing is what an Israeli security guy once said about the color coding of terror alerts is how useless they were to the Israelis, but how useful they might be for the terrorists, since basically the codes telegraph the preparedness level to the terrorists, and that has absolutely nothing to do with the good guys except some sort of physcological window dressing to show that the government is doing something to keep us safe.

I can’t do much but agree with Larry about the Glascow incident, although I am fairly confident that when he hits fifty he will find that he doesn’t need Viagra or Cialas when Dr. Martin’s Penis Cream still works fine. ( That’s for those of you old enough to remember SNL when Martin was on it.) The rest of you, Never Mind.

I can see the Republicans trying to make hay out of this, which is juxtaposed on the fact that terrorism has increased under their watch and the worst terrorist incidents have occurred while they were keeping us save for promoting democracy in foreign lands. But that’s how that works.

Incomes Grew Flaccidly in May Despite AP’s Viagra

If you read this AP article – Consumer Spending Up As Incomes Rebound – you might think that the Personal Income and outlays report showed strong real growth in May. You’d be wrong.

From the Census Bureau report on real Disposable Personal Income (DPI):

Real DPI — DPI adjusted to remove price changes — decreased 0.1 percent in May.
And spending?

Real PCE — PCE adjusted to remove price changes — increased 0.1 percent in May.

So real disposable income declined in May and real spending barely increased. Oh, and that great 0.1% increase in spending is really 0.06% rounded up. Annualize that!

Simple enough.

John Edwards Geek or Tech Savvy?

goombah99 writes

“John Edwards, the presidential candidate and lawyer, is standing out from the pack by showing himself to be a bit tech savvy. In 2003 he was a guest host on Lawrence Lessig’s Blog, giving his view on the imbalance between property right protection and the good of public access. As of this week he has become the first presidential candidate to support ‘open source code’ for election systems in addition to voter verified paper records. He’s even personally using Twitter. ‘Currently, software used in election systems remains the proprietary property of vendors. This situation has created a continual problem when anomalous results have been reported and independent experts are denied the ability to review how the systems work. A growing body of critics oppose this privatization of the voting system.'”

via slashdot You know, stuff that matters.

Beavis and Butthead in London jihad

Because the opinion and observations are just so Brit, I even nicked the title.

Police and securocrats know that there aren’t enough real terrorists in the world, which is why they have to keep manufacturing them. This is because citizens tire of being watched by cameras, frisked and x-rayed, having their belongings searched, giving fingerprints to so-called friendly nations on entry, contemplating the myriad government databases where their details and activities are preserved, and wondering if some dour little bureaucrat is reading their email or listening to them on the phone.

Citizens tire also of reading the rolls of the war dead fraudulently sacrificed in the name of counterterrorist “victory”, and of seeing hundreds of billions spent on surveillance and private security, ridiculous wars, and security-related gimmicks and gizmos, when it could be so much better spent on, oh, needs like housing, medicine and pensions, and mitigating actual mass threats to life via such non-sexy routes as traffic safety, fire safety, vaccinations, buildings and infrastructure inspection, water treatment, and food safety.

Sometimes some Britons seem like the only sane voices in the whole damned world.

If Your A Serious Conservative

You really need to read this guy because he really is one. The People Are Sovereign Wouldn’t hurt the left to read him either.

Conservative Ethics

The editorial page of the New York Times picks up on the Siegelman story, and calls for congressional intervention.

The idea of federal prosecutors putting someone in jail for partisan gain is shocking. But the United States attorneys scandal has made clear that the Bush Justice Department acts in shocking ways. We hope that the appeals court that hears Mr. Siegelman’s case will give it the same hard look that another appeals court recently gave the case of Georgia Thompson. Ms. Thompson, a low-level employee in a Democratic administration in Wisconsin, was found to have been wrongly convicted of corruption by another United States attorney.

Congress, though, should not wait. It should insist that Mr. Canary and everyone on the 2002 call, as well as Mrs. Canary and Mr. Rove, testify about the Siegelman prosecution. In standing by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales throughout the attorneys scandal, the Bush administration has made clear that it does not care about the integrity of the Justice Department. By investigating Mr. Siegelman’s case, Congress can show that it does.

Of course Trent Lott and company of Gomorrah will Sodomize that effort too.

Bwahahaha

THE RIGHT’S MOVEON.ORG….For years, one of the principal concerns on the left was creating a political and intellectual infrastructure that the right developed over decades. Conservatives had the think tanks, the massive membership organizations, the media outlets, the conferences, the deep-pocketed benefactors, etc. The left scrambled to catch up in the late ’90s, but the right has a big head start.

But as it turns out, the envious looks cut both ways. The right wants its own
MoveOn.org
.

Move On is not a leftwing organization unless anything more progressive than the OVP is “left wing.”

Bradley Blakeman, a former aide in Bush’s White House said, “We’re in the formative stages of creating a new group that will give voice and hope to conservatives everywhere who believe in peace through strength and limited government. We expect to have more to announce sometime down the road.”

Peace through strengthe requires both, peace so one doesn’t expend one’s strength, (in useless immoral wars, Hint, hint,) and limited government is not exactly the forte of the Republican Party, unless you’re just smoking crack or a true believer. The Federal government has expanded under the last three Republican Presidents, and the budget has too.

These guys need a Skidaddle Out org, not a move on org. HT Atrios

What Digby Said

Obstruct The Obstructionists via the So Redundant one, posting here.

In its first 40 hours, the new majority of the House of Representatives kept their promise to voters and passed legislation—increasing the minimum wage for the first time in a decade, empowering Medicare to negotiate lower prices on drugs, cutting interest rates on student loans in half, revoking big oil subsidies and using the money to invest in renewable energy—that provided a down payment for a new direction for this country.

These bills are overwhelmingly popular, and are simply common sense reforms. Yet every one of them—and many more—got held up in the U.S. Senate.

Conservatives boast about the “success” of their strategy in discrediting the new majority. As Senate Minority Whip Trent Lott, R-Miss., put it, “the strategy of being obstructionist can work or fail. So far it’s working for us.”

How is it working? It’s dragging the reputation of the Congress down to the level of the failed president. Conservatives lie in the road of progress and then complain that nothing is moving.

So far the obstructionist “it’s working for us,” has got over 300 Americans killed in Iraq Senator Lott, which is fine with you I suppose, but kinda chaps the rest of our asses, ya friggin wankers.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Far Be It For Me To Say Anything About That

I really do have every intention of getting away from riding the MSM’s ass, since we can all do a better job, and if we can’t then we all need to find a better job. Nuff said.

I know everyone is paying attention to the two car bombs,(so far,) found in London, and I wouldn’t want to denigrate the seriousness of those two gigs, but I would also be remiss not to note the extensive lack of coverage of mortar rounds from the IRA hitting near 10 Downing Street so many years ago.

I also would be remiss not to mention the Richard Jewel case, the so called Olympic Bomber who wasn’t, and the media frenzy that also drove that case against that man forward.

These are things that have occurred that somehow we as individuals put behind us and never call back to mind when something very similar occurs again down the road, which is basically that insane people find any number of ideologies, religious interpretation, and what not to rationalize and justify their acts of insanity.

My earliest memory of this behavior, and some older farts will have earlier events I’m sure, was when the Weathermen-soon to be Weather Underground, set off a bomb in the US Senate as an act of John Brownism for the somebodies.

You know it just goes on and on, and so I am pretty sure you can list out your loony acts of self inspiration that lead to the destruction of whatever cause these people espouse. In fact it might be applied to larger movements with larger groups of lunatics in charge, such as nation states and guys with funny mustaches.

In the end all we can do is keep our eyes and ears open, and hope that the government is listening when the 911 call comes in, but there is no way of telling when the final bolt will back out of the uninspected engine and fall of in mid flight of most individuals.

You would think the government would be able to profile these things, but in reality they can’t, or they would never discover Hanson’s and Pollard’s in their sensitive jobs pimping stuff of to unauthorized people. Profiling doesn’t even work close to home.

I know everyone wants to make a political issue out of terrorism, but it is a mental health issue, and hence the right is just as likely to go off, if not more so, than the left. After all it wasn’t the American colonists that shot first in the Revolutionary War.

Therein lies the rub too. Those who shoot first usually lose the high moral ground, if they ever had it, and without the high moral ground it is impossible to sustain a movement for change. Those who shoot first usually premeditate their activities which removes the high moral ground from their position before they even act. This doesn’t make them less dangerous in their acts, but it does undermine their cause, and starts of a cycle of counter reaction.

I don’t think these observations are rocket science either, and in fact I think it may be redundant to most of you, but that basically is terrorism in a nutshell. You folks setting bombs off on innocent people undermine your own cause, even if you are a religious leader, or leader of the most powerful nation on Earth.

Well After All It Is The 29th

Even given my bad arithmetic from the twelfth, it’s been two weeks, and since I did knock CNN and didn’t quit blogging, I apologize, YA. That being said, I didn’t knock them twice so I don’t have to run for office.

Over the last couple of weeks it has become easier to let a lot of what the media does slide, having come to the realization that not everyone is a hard core news enthusiast, not even media watchdogs, and I would imagine my idea of television news would probably suck for the majority of people. In fact apparently hard core news seems to be pretty boring to pundits, as well, so I shouldn’t be too surprised at the producers of the major telebision news crews for not presenting the public with an overdose of events in context to whatever is currently on the screen as the next big event. That’s why we have blogs, and people read blogs.

There are exceptions to the rule of course, as some advocacy journalmalists will go into great detail about what is their pet issue, which has more to do with ratings than with any real ethical principle to back up the position they are taking. So long as these people pull in eyeballs to sell peas they will be allowed to what they do, sell peas. That some of them call themselves broadcasters or reporters is semantics, and given we are not allowed our own facts, we are however allowed to have our own definitions I suppose, which is how lawyers go about having their own facts.

Blogs on the other hand really don’t have to address any issue they don’t want to address either, and most of the time they don’t, so there is no superiority or inferiority of blogs over or under the MSM there. Of course I decide for a one man gang, and others have a staff, and others a whole news division, so the size of an organizations audience determines what weight one may gage one’s own influence, but should also be determinative in what sort of responsibility one feels towards that audience in presenting the truth which is in fact sometimes subjective, but should not have any bearing on presenting the facts.

I don’t think anyone really doubts that I am an advocate for all sorts of issues and causes, but I tend to think that when I present something totally out of line or wrong that I ought to correct that wrong, and apologize for being out of line. I would suppose the corporate types don’t feel the same since they seem to roll over a lot of that stuff as though it had never happened. Dick, head of OVP and Iraq are just two current examples, but in the end prevarication is a tool of the state, and so are the major media outlets, whether by hook or crook. That personalities become so important to the discussion is probably more of an internal capitalistic drive thing from the bean countering perspective and the ego driving, competitive aspect of human nature in conjunction with any economic system, in this case unrestrained capitalism.

All of these flaws came to bear recently in the immigration debate, which was pretty similar to the bill that passed the Senate last year under the Republicans, none of this information coming to light during the recent debate in any guise whatsoever. Mr. Dobbs was at least consistent in providing his point of view if not the facts. This isn’t meant to imply anything specific, or impugn Dobbs, unless of course he doesn’t want to admit he is basically a video blogger from way back, and there is no other side of that blogosphere. Television is decidedly bent conservative, just as radio is, and free speech requires that the state not interfere in speaking truth to power, if in fact the people are the power. The bubble of information that is bad for Presidents is somehow good for the people who ultimately must elect one.

The pundits and journalists,((sp)(definition)) that I have teed off on from here are very much one sided individuals, as am I. I do however feel some obligation to present sourcing and facts that can be double checked, even when they sometime interfere with achieving the goal I have in mind. I think that is the main difference in writing a blog, which is written in my case, by me for me, as an outlet and percolator of information and opinions so that I might derive some semblance of truth and rationality of the events occurring my lifetime.

I do not think that the Russerts and Tweety’s and Broders are on this frequency Kenneth. That is why they are continually shocked!, I tell you Shocked!, that there is gambling going on in there, even though they know and have known about the liquor in front and poker in the rear hats since they first appeared in their “town.” Such naivete can only come from being in the know, and that requires a cabal of true believers of in the know. You just can’t cheat an honest man or woman. Of course honesty, like charity begins at home, and is not Biblical either.

Anyway remind me to tell you what really went down with the immigration debate sometime. The only one I think really knows is BillMon, and he ain’t talking.

A Taste of Morning

Surge Strategy Changes

Iraq strategy geared to U.S. pullout

BAGHDAD — U.S. commanders plan a summer of stepped-up offensives against Al Qaeda in Iraq as they tailor strategy to their expectation that Congress soon will impose a timeline for drawing down U.S. forces here.

The emphasis on Al Qaeda, described by commanders in interviews here this week, marks a shift in focus from Shiite Muslim militias and death squads in Baghdad. It reflects the belief of some senior officers in Iraq that the militias probably will reduce attacks once it becomes clear that a U.S. pullout is on the horizon. By contrast, they believe Al Qaeda in Iraq could be emboldened by a withdrawal plan and must be confronted before one is in place.

When the Bush administration began sending additional troops to Iraq, U.S. commanders spoke frequently of the threat posed by the Al Mahdi militia, and they issued thinly veiled threats against its leader, radical Shiite cleric Muqtada Sadr. Although military leaders say the militia remains a priority, Sadr has tacitly cooperated with the U.S. troop buildup, telling his followers to avoid confronting U.S. forces. He is also a key supporter of the U.S.-backed government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki.

For what it’s worth, basically, all this is saying is that the administration has flip flopped on who we are fighting, why we are fighting and the road goes on forever until the circle rounds again, and nothing ever changes because nothing ever ends. via Antiwar

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Here, I’ll Look Far For You

Since I think most of us spend a lot of time looking at monitors.

Sometimes the best parts of a sunrise and sunset are behind us, other times just some really nice views are, like this one, which was behind this one;

Dollar to a Dognut

If I was putting this stuff down and coming from a conservative perspective and twisting the tails of the liberals my ass would be a media star.

Weapons of Mass Destruction

Bioweapons exposure at A&M gets feds’ attention— And we invaded Iraq why?

Texas A&M University is under scrutiny from federal authorities after failing to immediately report the exposure of researchers to biological weapons agents last year.

Three university workers tested positive in April 2006 for the bacterium that causes Q fever, according to documents obtained this week by the Sunshine Project, an Austin-based watchdog group that opposes biological weapons. The incident happened two months after another researcher was exposed to Brucella bacteria.

I wonder if the President of A&M knew about this.

Awash In Oil, A Wash in Sand

Top official: without Iraqi oil, we hit the wall in 2015

In a stunning interview for the French (reference) daily Le Monde, Fatih Birol, the chief economist of the International Energy Agency (i.e. the intergovernmental body created after the oil shocks of the 70s to coordinate the West’s reaction to energy crises) effectively says that peak oil is just around the corner, and that without Iraqi oil, we’ll be in deep trouble by 2015:

via NoQuarter, this interview is presented in English and French.

I find it interesting the convergence of events in 2015, Rods from God,

This is an unpopular and perhaps politically untenable reality of the situation in Iraq. The US cannot bring security and stability within the life of the Bush Administration. It can only create a hollow and crumbling façade or withdraw. One key message that emerges from both the content and flaws in the June 2007 report is that success will be limited, uncertain, and take time. When it comes to effective US action in each of the major areas listed above, the time-scale is 2010-2015 and not 2008.,

end of production gains…Hey! Why not pay less for productivity gains in the oil fields like the labor market does to worker productivity?

Anne, Anne, Anne

Look David, all we need to strip away from Anne Coulter is her clothes to see if see she’s really not a dude, dude.

NBC’s David Gregory thinks we just need to “strip away” Ann Coulter’s inflammatory rhetoric to listen to her points

You know what they say about President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. So is it a sexist double standard, jingoism, or do you already know the answer to my question and now I’m getting personal?

HT Atrios on his blog

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

CIA Jewels, Freshly balled

Hippie-era CIA skulduggery report unveiled

Having promised to do so last week, the CIA has now released the entire 700-page report dating from 1973. Parts of it were already known, but last night’s release provides a wealth of detail and spook-history trivia. It can be downloaded here (pdf).

Mr. Page was kind enough to note,

So Hayden is right; the 1970s were a different time indeed, in that the US intelligence community often accepted that there was more than one branch of government.

which information may be useful to more than one agency, Dick, head of the OVP, and perhaps some press wankers. Of course it should also go without saying not to hold your breathe.

Plug Those Holes, (No Not Anne Coulters)

Serious security hole plugged in RealPlayer and HelixPlayer

The vulnerability exists within the code that handles time formats for a feature in the applications that acts as a wall clock, according to iDefense Labs, which first discovered the flaw. An attacker can exploit the vulnerability by effecting a stack-based buffer overflow that allows for the execution of malware.

The gaping hole has been plugged, but you’d never know it from browsing the RealPlayer blog or the company’s security advisories. That’s unfortunate. Given the severity of the vulnerability, the updates – available here for RealPlayer and here for HelixPlayer – should be installed immediately.

Reckon So.

ESS and the Three Month Source Code Delay

Electronic voting machines vendor Election Systems & Software Inc. has finally given in to demands by California’s Secretary of State office that it submit the source code used in one of its products. But it made it abundantly clear it is unhappy about the requirement.

ES&S complied with the demand in an overnight package that was received yesterday by the office of Secretary of State (SOS) Debra Bowen, about three months past due date. Of the four e-voting firms selling products to California counties, only ES&S failed to meet the deadline.

Of course if it weren’t for the Brits no one in America would even know. Of course it is only the right to vote and have that vote counted.

Three Car Bombs and Civil Order in Iraq

Three Car Bombs in Baghdad; Country-Wide Reported Death Toll: 132 Iraqis Meanwhile Paris Hilton has developed a zit on her ass.

Why The CIA Engages In Domestic Spying

They actually have an inkling about the culture. Read it and weep.

Of course there is always CounterIntelPro and if you want to, just have to, involve the liberal media, the old Operation Paper Clip, which is a story Dan Rather and the Washington Post won’t bring up on their own, if you know what I mean.

Republican’s Rubicon the Fillibuster

What the Senate GOP is obstructing

If you haven’t read Kagro’s post on the latest GOP obstructionism, check it out. Those champions of the “up or down vote” are now filibustering passed legislation.

Kagro has the sordid details, but I want to highlight exactly what they’re filibustering: the ethics and Lobbying Reform Bill and the 9/11 commission recommendations bill.

More do as we say, not as we do, Republican’t have a principle, without an a.

We Don’t Do Nation Building, Gerson, Remember?

Now & Later

Fred Hiatt’s favorite new columnist, Michael Gerson, says now:

History seems to be settling on some criticisms of the early conduct of the Iraq war. On the theory that America could liberate and leave, force levels were reduced too early, security responsibilities were transferred to Iraqis before they were ready, and planning for future challenges was unrealistic. “Victory in Iraq,” one official of the Coalition Provisional Authority told me a couple of years ago, “was defined as decapitating the regime. No one defined victory as creating a sustainable country six months down the road.”

And all this for an argument that we cannot leave in any fashion or dimension because it would be a disaster for those who live in the country we have taken from bad to worse.

Yeah, but it is those pungent and profane lefty bloggers who noticed this before the war and ruined all the fun for the adults who were busy congratulating themselves on being the most powerful nation on Earth, and the modern Rome. More historical revisions from the ahistorical to begin with.

HT Atrios

How Do You Like It Now, Ladies, and Gentlemen?

After years of putting up with, or enduring the rights’s snark and smarmy innuendos and personal insults the media has discovered the vitriol of the left, and lo and behold it is directed at the purveyors of such, themselves. The end of fair play, in which the right wing was allowed to say anything about the left that would sell Mr. Matthews and company’s peas has now become an equal imbalance from the left and right political fringes, and is part of the political discourse as we have come to understand and love it.

This of course overlooks decades of the right wing’s personalities attacking not only politicians and the press, but their wives, children, and brothers and sisters, all with the blessing of a fair and balanced liberal media. That it should become an issue now is of some little surprise, since it has heretofore not been a problem whatsoever. It was bound to happen sooner or later however, and that the very urbane, erudite and gentlemanly and gentlewomaly among you did not foresee it, nor do anything short of promoting it for ratings and for your own egotistical bastardizations, one must ask again, ladies and gentlemen, how do you like it now?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

It was wonderful to be here,

It was certainly a thrill…

A Day In The Blogosphere

OK, No more rubber biscuits.

Meanwhile, Back at Ranchero Arbusto…

“NIR ROSEN, JOURNALIST: Well, it already did. We created a civil war. This is actually outrageous. Outgoing U.N. envoy to the Middle East peace process, Alvaro De Soto, himself accused the U.S. of fomenting a civil war by training, funding and arming Fatah thugs and inserting them into Gaza to destabilize the Hamas government. We never gave them a chance. They were democratically elected in an election that was widely recognized as free and fair, even by former President Jimmy Carter. And then the U.S., along with Israel, Jordan and Egypt trained these gangs and actually put them in Gaza to overthrow the Hamas government. And, of course, it’s actually backfired and Fatah was overthrown. But all you’re going to do is isolate and further radicalize Hamas. And so when you say that the U.S. is seeking to ease tensions in the Middle East, I disagree with you. These are tensions that the U.S. actually created in the Middle East.

via Pat Lang,

“we have Fatah thugs being sent into the country to wage war with Hamas?” John Roberts. This should be treated as a rhetorical question. Roberts is good at his job.

More “liberal media” at work.

Understatement for the Truly Annoyed

In any case, two observations. The first is that this isn’t a on-off affair. The Cheney OVP seems to have a serious issue safeguarding classified material — one so serious it has led to two felony convictions. So Bill Kristol may think it’s annoying to have government ‘bureaucrats’ checking on how classified material is being safeguarded. But the Cheney crew could really use the help.

Sure seems like the Republican’s only like less government when they are being investigated.

Vote Caging Almost News

Cage Match: Did Griffin Try to Disenfranchise African-American Voters in 2004?Apparently, very much so. Given the reported statement;

…None of the six voting rights experts consulted on this story had otherwise heard or seen the term used to describe the generation of challenge lists – though all six said that Republicans had used such a tactic repeatedly over the past twenty-five years. Such efforts, said Chandler Davidson, Professor Emeritus at Rice University and an expert on the history of voter suppression, have traditionally gone under the banner of “ballot security” initiatives.

I can understand being conservative, sort of, but how anyone would want to be tainted repeatedly by this beyond me. If you can’t win with ideas, good sirs, then don’t whine about pungent and profane speech that matches your own ideological soul mates behavior.

On the other hand maybe conservatives have no shame, no decency, no sense of honor, and so they have to perculate some sort of trapezoidial reason such as the liberal media to square their arguments. Why not just be honest, Abe?

Divergent Thoughts on Immigration

There are many reasons not to support immigration reform, or the current bill, and Lord knows I’ve done my best to bone up on the issue, and the other side’s point of view which even in the case of Dobbs probably goes beyond racism and over developed sense of Americana. I wouldn’t grant that to a lot of the opposition, but I will to Dobbs.

But sometimes we are called upon to be more than Americans, more than Christians, Muslims and Jews. Sometimes we are called upon to be human beings with an understanding of the plight of the human condition in a historical context, that precludes worrying about the hypothetical electrician in Detroit, who is currently being replaced by undocumented labor here now, instead of the rejected guest worker to be named later under provisions that can be modified later under the hypothetical Democratic Congress and President.

There is in fact national security implications in not knowing who is in the country, and there are no laws or enforcement mechanism that will ever give us 100% compliance with those laws, and so we as the living must accept that there is an element of risk to being alive, and this is just one of many elements. I think we should do what we can to minimize that risk, and the current legislation does. It is not a matter of it being better have done something, even if it’s wrong, than nothing at all, because doing nothing at all does not reduce the risk.

There is also the Holy Scriptures, that if one is to call upon to oppose homosexuality and abortion, must also be called upon for the compassion, and sacrifice if necessary, for our own brothers and sisters who have had the temerity to have been born in another nation state, which is an artificial construct of man and super ceded by the Good News of the Kingdom of God. There are far more injunctions against mistreating the foreigner than against the previously mentioned bugaboos of the religious right. We cannot decry the slavery of the guest worker provisions and ignore the defacto slavery already in our midst.

The fact that incoming labor reduces wages is beyond dispute, as is the exporting of jobs oversees, which seems to be very much excepted by the pro business party of America. If the standard of living is to be lowered for the many then the solution is to lower it for the all by increasing the tax burden on those who are benefiting most from the labor market being international in scope. It is they that are reaping what they have not sown, and it is hardly progressive in my view to penalize the weakest members of a society for the gains of the strongest. To divide labor along lines of national origin is to miss the reality of the modern world and splits the labor movement at a time when it is already in ebb. Trapper John in my opinion has his flags crossed up.

The issue that no one wishes to actually confront, except perhaps Mr. Dobb’s in his fears of the tri-national union of North America, is the ultimate obsolescence of the nation state. To ignore this fundamental aspect of modern life is akin to ignoring the industrial revolution and the technological revolution we are currently undergoing. But we are inextricably linked now in economics and communications to the entire world and they to us, and we must face the reality that we as Americans will have to bear the weight and burden of integration of all these disparate societies and forces, not because we are the strongest, but because we are the ones in the position to have to do so.

The future has already arrived, get used to it. We cannot debate the issue in a twentieth century framework because that framework is no longer a valid paradigm.

Flagpie Slats June 15-20, 2007

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

New Blog Disscription

Fringe

Glenn Greenwald takes a look at the fringe kooks of the progressive blogosphere. You know, people like me.

Ohh doom disspair and agony on me…

On the other hand I am probably as fringy as you want me to be. I am the accommodating blogger.

Obama don’t allow no bloggers blogging around here

Obama don’t allow no bloggers blogging around here
But we don’t care what Obama say, we’re gonna blog anyway,
Obama don’t allow no bloggers blogging around here

Don’t Tell Obama You Blog

Last night I headed out to Keene, NH to attend one of Obama’s “Faith, Action, Change” forums at the small Keene State College student center. Billed as an opportunity for Progressives to discuss their faith in terms of social change, they’re free and open to the public. Registration is recommended, but not required. I got to the event a little early and hung around the student center, speaking with an intern, until the event started to begin.

Walking into a small room, Nicole Derse from the political desk of the Obama NH campaign was busy meeting folks. As she turned to me she started to say hello, so I replied with a smile, “Hi, my names Jerid. I’m a blogger.”

“Oooooooh, I’m sorry, but you’ll have to leave,” she shot back. “These events are closed to the press.”

I was dumbfounded. Searching for words I spurt out, “But I’m a blogger,” as she started to usher me out of the room.

Apparently it depends on what one’s interprtation of the press is. This would, be hilarious, (well actually it is,) if it wasn’t kinda important not to go out of your way to antagonize the active base of one’s own partay. I mean that any political candidate is going to find some disagreement with the activists eventually, with one or more positions that they take with just about anyone who isn’t an autodork of the candidate/politician/office holder. But what the hell do I know, I’m just a blogger, but I get along with all the Democrats, all the time. All the time. I am unique. No really. Honest. Would I BS you?

Stealing Elections, By Bullets or Ballots

I observed on the tube a week ago that it is very difficult under any circumstances to tell a people who their leaders may be. It is even more difficult to do that when those leaders were democratically elected in a process held to be fair by the international community. The US/Israeli/AIPAC/WINEP position seems to be to “hope” that the bribery and threats being employed against Hamas will bring the Palestinians to accept that they may not have Hamas as their government until Hamas accepts de jure the permanent existence of Israel. The Palestinians have never shown any vulnerability to such “arguments” before. Why do we/they think that will work now? There are no countries or parties in the Arab World that truly accept Israel. Even the ones who have signed treaties with Israel have done so most grudgingly and exist in a state of “cold peace” with her. Is FATAH really reconciled to the idea of Israel? If you think so, just wait a few months. What you will see is the commencement of operations against Israel by factions of FATAH.

Americans used to have a sense of fair play, when democracy meant what it said it meant.

I also am becoming concerned because the same voices that were warning of the consequences in Iraq are now warning, as best they can, the consequences of our Middle Eastern foreign policy that serves as a proxy for Israel.

I can understand the Arabs hatred of America, it is the same reason the Neocons hate America. Empire. My concern is that Israel has always leaned on reeds, and that doesn’t bode well for America.

On a side note, I have to wonder at the impression that the “radical” left is constantly quoting and using policy statements and observations from both the left and right, and has some how become too polarized. I can’t imagine a wider spectrum of ideology in the world than is speaking out against this foreign policy.

Just Security

What a Concept! Oh this is what the War mongers call too far left.

WASHINGTON – Insisting that US foreign policy of the past six years has clearly failed, a left-leaning Washington think-tank is calling for the adoption of a comprehensive new approach to international relations called “Just Security” in which the US would act “as a global partner, not a global boss”.

Among other features, “Just Security” calls for reducing US military spending by a third, or some US$213 billion; carrying out a “rapid” withdrawal of US forces from Iraq; and seeking sharp cuts in the US and Russian nuclear arsenals as a first step toward realizing the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty’s goal of banning nuclear weapons.

The new approach, laid out in a 69-page report released in Washington on Tuesday by the Institute for Policy Studies’ Foreign Policy in Focus (FPIF) program, also calls for sustained and generous US engagement in multilateral institutions, particularly those aimed at reducing the emission of greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming and enhance the abilities of poor countries to curb the spread of deadly diseases. By Jim Lobe

Peace is too far left. War is independent voter centrist. Perpetual war is just good conservative positioning. Peace is Libertarian too far right.

Only the war mongers have got it right, I mean, “we’re Americans, we know what the world needs,” war mongers.

And The Band Played On

Nihilism and Neoconservatism
Brothers under the skin
by Justin Raimondo

Because, you see, smashing up the Middle East was and is the whole point. Every new day’s headlines reminds me of a prescient piece by Joshua Marshall, published in the April 2003 issue of The Washington Monthly, entitled “Practice to Deceive,” the subtitle of which was “Chaos in the Middle East is not the Bush hawks’ nightmare scenario – it’s their plan.” Marshall pointed to:

“[T]he curious fact that much of what could go awry with their plan will also serve to advance it. A full-scale confrontation between the United States and political Islam, they believe, is inevitable, so why not have it now, on our
terms, rather than later, on theirs? Actually, there are plenty of good reasons
not to purposely provoke a series of crises in the Middle East. But that’s what
the hawks are setting in motion, partly on the theory that the worse things get,
the more their approach becomes the only plausible solution.”

As the neocons marched America to war against Iraq, Marshall surveyed the tragic scene and foretold World War IV:

“The great majority of the American people have no concept of what kind of conflict the president is leading them into. The White House has presented this as a war to depose Saddam Hussein in order to keep him from acquiring weapons of mass destruction – a goal that the majority of Americans support. But the White House really has in mind an enterprise of a scale, cost, and scope that would be almost impossible to sell to the American public. The White House knows that. So it hasn’t even tried. Instead, it’s focused on getting us into Iraq with the hope of setting off a sequence of events that will draw us inexorably towards the agenda they have in mind.”

Few liberals had the presence of mind at the time to see the larger picture and warn us of the impending disaster: almost none had a sense of the true significance of the decision to go to war, or any real inkling of the War Party’s true agenda. Nowadays, at least some of Marshall’s fellow liberals and “progressives” are waking up – now that it may be too late…

Yeah we’re moving to far too left there folks. I mean if perpetual war is now the Mainstream Media’s perception of conservatism.

Are Democrats Moving Too Far Left?

Who could pass up the opportunity to see Matt Lauer interview Tweety, I mean it is the political root canal of the 7:15 AM political extravaganza. And everyone loves Hillary and Bill’s video spoof of the mafia spoof the Soprano’s. Then we all go see Netanyahu;

Ha’aretz: Netanyahu departs for U.S. in bid to increase pressure on Iran. … “Netanyahu will then arrive in Washington where he will meet for talks on the Iranian issue with Vice President Dick Cheney, Democratic Party presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, and Republican Party presidential hopeful Fred Thompson.”

No wonder she is being loved by Tweety and Matt. Reminds me of the Electric Prunes.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Day of, “Needs to be Said.”

If Only Americans Appreciated Congress’s Hard Work

I think Susan is right here. I am not surprised by the poll results since the questions are designed to be leading.

I really do think it is important that the MSM improve on its’ coverage of hard news, dull news, and just plain old news news, and move away from the infotainment that has become our staple diet over the years.

This isn’t a criticism of the MSM either, Lord knows we have all gone down the same path together with each other, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t try to humor or entertain my few readers with this blog either.

But I think we have reached a critical point in our Republics history when the forces that would rule are stronger than the forces that would govern, and those two forces are not distinctions without differences. It has become incredibly harder to govern as mass communications have improved, and it is no longer Walter Cronkite’s call on when the President has lost middle America.

I think we sometimes loose sight of the fact that only in the political arena is there any thing approach democracy, and only our political institutions reflect that salient fact.

We do not find democratic ideals in our businesses, or our churches, the other two legs of the tripod of our modern civilization. A case could be made for the needs of cohesive actions in business and in theology and hence a top down chain of command. In fact it so convincing, and so obvious, that to raise the questions can and does lead to misunderstanding and excoriations from the many.

There is no way for democracy to be cohesive however, except through the manipulation of public opinion, and for better or worse it needs to be sorted out by someone with enough authority to speak convincingly to public about which is which, and we have deluded ourselves that that is what the MSM, or press, does. Perhaps when there were enough independent outlets this may have been true, but we now have an industrial corporate press and it is just as top down and hierarchical as any other business, with the caveat of the first amendment to make it religious as well.

I think this is the main concern and infatuation with the blogosphere as well, because it derives its’ authority from the many experts who blog, and the ability to convince their readers that their observations and conclusions on any given topic are more correct than the MSM’s, with the provoked passions an insurgency, albeit, of ideas and opinions. It is very much like Stallman’s “The Cathedral and the Bazaar,” only instead of software we are dealing with open source information. Unfortunately this information is not always home grown stash, and so it may come stepped on by others for their own diverse reasons of and propagandist slants as well, but that does not mean the local stash isn’t sprayed with paraquat either.

Of all the things that are being overlooked in our modern quest for Lewis and Clarkedom is the political institutions that have made it all possible, and they are the only institutions that can and wish to guarantee that business and other hierarchies continue to be able to thrive and excel, even as those hierarchies seek to destroy those institutions.

Personal liberty and the mess of democracy is what built this country, because it provided the environment that allowed individual dictators to build their companies and churches.

Observations on the “Oilies”

There is pretty interesting discussion on Oil and the Middle East over at the Athenaeum for those who care about the topic.

Mr. Lang also has a new Biography posted up on his main site, which calls for an apology from myself for the Central American crack. I was out of line.

Update: Another good point on the Oil in Iraq situation, although of a different thrust.

Everyone Else Has An Easy Job

I’ve got to give it to the camera, it is a reminder of how out of focus people are. I don’t mean in their daily lives, but in the observations of other peoples lives, or occupations. If I had my druthers I’d be taking pictures of the sunrises and sunsets in a metropolitan area than out here in Podunk which has the tendency to attract attention from people who are curious as to why anyone would waste their time doing those things. Not living in the city I can state positively that it would be better there. Which thought is the gist of the post.

Before I got the digital camera for Christmas I was inclined to take a throw away camera shot once every blue moon, usually of relatives in various stages of disarray, sort of visual snark that one keeps in the family. Now I am learning all about a complex camera and how to foul up a really beautiful and picturesque moment with the wrong settings, angle or light. Zoom is also a big help if you really want something to fuzz out.

I have to admit that when I am shooting I really like burst mode too, and provided the display frame in the auto focus goes green you can wind up taking hundreds of really cool pictures that all look the same when you download them onto the computer.

On the other hand it is really a lot of work because you can never just focus in one area of the horizon since the sun seems to affect the whole sky, (in case you haven’t noticed,) and there are colors and shadows playing and moving around with clouds and in some cases the water, with attendant bugs and birds flying through the frame and fuzzing up a perfectly good picture. I know I could increase the shutter speed some but dragon flies are in cahoots with the wind I believe. Anyway I’m already ready for a better camera.

But I digress.

I have come to appreciate not only the complexity of photography, but of the software that is used to render ones and zeros into pizazz. I mean even a duffer digital and the lame Windows Movie Maker are pretty complex, and Picassa allows me to straighten out a lopsided tripod, and fix or futs with the lighting, color and shadows too, plus numerous other effects I could use if I thought that that stuff was cool to do. I think if anyone who looks at my stuff and wants to do that they should go ahead and do so, I mean I don’t care what other people do with them, but I just don’t think it is being honest with you’s guys for me to do so, except for the straightening thang, since everyone knows that water is level.

All of this brings me to the point of what a lot of work goes into putting together decent graphics and videos from all the diverse source we get them from, and reminds me that no matter how easy professionals make their jobs appear, looks are deceiving. There is a lot of work behind everything we see and hear on television, radio and newspapers, (which is a pretty nifty trick with newspapers.)

Being something of a natural when it comes to writing I suppose there is a lot more going into it than I can imagine for other people. But I thought I might ought to tell the rest of you out there that I really do appreciate the efforts you go to to make my world a more interesting place, even though for the most part, it goes without notice or saying. Just saying.

(This post took forty minutes to put together, just so you know.)

Monday, June 18, 2007

Here’s the Other One

Nothing to see here folks, Move along

And what about those missing Karl Rove emails?

Q We have been through this, but you were saying at the time there were, like, 50 staffers — Waxman is saying, no, it’s more like 88, and there are indications — I mean, 140,000 emails is a lot of emails.

MR. SNOW: That is a whole lot of email.

Q And that’s just Rove, that’s not all the other folks.

MR. SNOW: That’s a whole lot of email, absolutely right.

Yep, that’s a whole lot of email…next question.

And;

Massive Destruction

Lots and lots of emails, lots and lots of emails destroyed.

So when does the MSM actually think this becomes a story?

I really don’t understand this. I really do think this administration is doing a good job of stonewalling every investigation, which makes me wonder why no major media outlet sees it as a challenge. Congress’ lack of movement can [probably written off as being in the same boat of corruption, which may or may not be an accurate rationale, but at least it is a logical one.

The Press I can’t figure, especially if it is becoming more not less conservative, you would think that law and order would be an increasing concern, and the need to derail the government a more pressing issue. Unless of course the Republicans eleventh commandment covers high crimes and misde… oh wait I forgot, Iran/Contra. Never mind.

I’ll Repost It Later

Maybe by then YouTube will have finished processing it.

Your modern world frightens and confuses me.

Try It This Way

Well Richard,

Someone Refilled the Wanker Machine

I guess I have a new one to kick around. Roger Cohen, in a column praising the vapid “Euston Manifesto.”

The American supporters of the manifesto, who include the historian Walter Laqueur, several journalists from The New Republic and Michael Ledeen of the conservative American Enterprise Institute, reject “the ossified and unproductive polarization of American politics.”

Nice appeal to higher authority, but I remain unimpressed.

They deplore the tendency on the left to substitute hatred of Bush for thought about fighting jihadism. Why, they ask, is the left more incensed by America’s errors in Iraq than “terrorist outrages by Islamic extremists?”

Two completely different topics, and one that I would find difficult to do. When you speak of hatred of Bush, is it a personal hatred, or political, or just a general over arching hatred? How would one move from the personal issue of Mr. Bush to the national security issue of jihadism, and what solutions do you propose, vis a vis, one of retaliation or one of antidote, or a mixture of sweeping generalities and innuendos about the right wing and mushy center?

They note: “In World War II and the Cold War, liberals, centrists and conservatives found moments of commonality. Indeed, if those efforts had been borne exclusively by the left or the right they very well might have failed.”

Yeah, apparently bombing Pearl Harbor and Declaring War on the United States unites the American people more than thumbing your nose at Mr. Bush and the UN. Imagine that, I’m astounded.

Taken together, the two statements set out core principles of the Anglo-American liberal tradition, bringing Europe and the United States together at a time of apparent ideological divergence. As the U.S. signatories note, the Euston Manifesto hews to “the traditions of American liberal anti-fascism and anti-totalitarianism.”

It also adheres to the continuance of Empire, a poison most subtle and deadly to a democracy. It compounds the jihadist problem you decry, and it narrows our foreign policy down to a Eurocentric outlook as out moded as the Cold War

.

If you’re tired of sterile screaming in the wilderness, tired of the comfortably ensconced “hindsighters” poring over every American error in Iraq, tired of facile anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism masquerading as anti- Zionism, try the Euston road in 2007. It might actually lead somewhere.

Again, who are you talking about? For you to say you are looking for new solutions to sweep everyone who disagrees with your position into these general categories is nuts. As far as the, “comfortably ensconced,” you frigging wanker, sounds to me like some of you get paid to wave your patriotism while some of us do it day in and day out for zero dollars, and hence more than likely from a higher sense of patriotism than yours.

And since when has anti Zionism been anti Semitic. If you wish to write about ant Semitism then write about the morons in Victoria vandalizing the Bnai Brith Temple, and maybe see if they are the same morons that are busting up Catholic statuary. I would bet a dollar to a doughnut they are right wingers, but that is conjecture on my part, since Victoria is also possessed of many teenagers, which age group has a proclivity to doing stupid things. If you wish to write about anti Zionism then do so.

This of course is free advice sir, do as you may wish with it, but don’t lecture others with your immature tone and argument developments. We’ll go all snarky on you.

What I Saw This Morning

I was going to say, “I always worry about loading pictures, since I don’t know what you like,” but I don’t always load pictures anyway.

So You Want To Change The World

Looks like I’m falling into the old rut of early to bed early to rise. Something about being a little sleepy and tired is good for the soul, I suppose, although it remains to be seen whether it is any help in actually writing a decent post. One of the obvious drawbacks is it doesn’t improve your spelling or typing skills.

Lord knows I never though that a small potato would mix it up with all the big cheeses, but time and circumstances have left us with Au gratin spuds and a lot of beefs. Such is life and here we are.

The photos of the lightning are free and clear to use for whatever use beyond education anyone would like to use them for, like in a sentence pointing out the different enunciation’s of the word use. I love English for that stuff, although as a second language I’m not sure that other people appreciate it as well.

I had one other thought on immigration reform that I’m a little loath to provide, but it’s a weird morning already so what the hey, and that is that I really would prefer that Bush not wind up as the totally worst President in US history, a position that I have long reserved for Mr. Buchanan. I think this issue is his civil rights to Viet Nam that Johnson had, and which perhaps when Iraq has faded from living memory will stand out as the more important of the issues. It’s hard to see that happening right now for sure, but hope springs eternal.

I think the only way for that legislation to do that is if the Congress and the Executive remain committed to the issues being address in the bill, and that would include the enforcement provisions that are more important to others than myself. I still find it rather disconcerting that a fence only needs to be built along the Southern border. That doesn’t pass the smell test with me now, nor will it ever. This is a big gotcha for those one trick pony advocates of the reform for border security. If it can be implemented in the North where the logistics are as difficult but the security threat is not as culturally biased then maybe it will work in the South.

Given Mr. John Hancock’s professed profession of smuggling I doubt that anything that modern law makers do will have a serious impact on the essential American character. Given George Washington proclivity for surveying the Ohio valley in violation of the law of the land at the time, I doubt we’ll see much change in the behavior of business either, and whether anyone likes to or not, immigration can be reduced to nothing but economics if one wishes to do so, as can smuggling. After all NAFTA has been smuggling jobs out of the country for years.

Anyway, I don’t hate George Bush, since I have never meet the guy in person, but I am inclined to think that we would get along for about half a day at most. I’m not particularly fond of, or hostile to the rich, but I am towards those who pander to them, even if they are rich themselves. I like people that do things, like Gates, Jobs, and Torvalds and if they get rich, more power to them. It doesn’t seem to me that the John Quincy Adam’s are the rule of inherited wealth and power, but more the exception, nor am I inclined to attribute genetic decline to the cause. Perhaps the rich are no better at being good parents than the poor, which makes a strong case for universal education, which seems to pull the spoiled and the destitute up to a higher level of social and moral development, and hence for most Murican’s, a better bread earner.

I doubt any of that will ever have any effect on us doughnut makers however, or the people like me that like to see the sunrise and watch it set as well. In the summer it seems to make for a long day when you take a couple hundred pictures of each and sort through them all to find maybe one with a hug factor. Speaking of which;

The picture is from the same spot I was in in May, and the weed is the same one that was about three feet shorter and less intrusive.

This is looking East from the same spot. Sometimes it pays to look behind yourself. Y’all be cool – if you can’t then chill.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Obviously,

I haven’t been watching the TV today. You guys have a good one, and try not to shoot anyone in the face.

Why You Need To Stay In The Car

This fourth one (2nd in sequence,)fits in obviously, and when I get to new blogger draft I’ll upload the videos these pictures are pinched out of. If you have some decent software you can probably see more than I have. In a strange way I think that would be pretty cool too. Well #2 was #1 in the sequence so I fixed that. I can see the video in preview, but not on the main page, which hopefully is just a time out problem on my end.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Tiananmen Square

Republican’ts Is Us

In April, the Office of Special Counsel launched what the LA Times described as a “broad investigation into key elements of the White House political operations that for more than six years have been headed by chief strategist Karl Rove.” The OSC, generally a fairly obscure federal investigative unit that reviews Hatch Act violations and charges of discrimination in the federal workforce, suggested the probe would encompass quite a bit, including the U.S. Attorney purge, missing White House e-mails, and the Bush gang’s efforts to politicize presidential appointees.

Oddly enough, the day before that report was published, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) delivered a sweeping indictment of the White House’s political tactics in a speech at the Brookings Institution. “Instead of promoting solutions to our nation’s broad challenges, the Bush Administration used all the levers of power to promote their party and its narrow interests,” Emanuel explained. He added that the Bush gang lives by a “guiding principle… insinuating partisan politics into every aspect of government.”

Meanwhile back at Ranchero Arbusto Casa Blanca de los Iraqeros,

A White House spokesperson responded that Emanuel’s conclusions sounded like something from “the National Enquirer,” and accused Emanuel of “creating grand conspiracy theories that have no basis in fact.”

Yeah, But We Said It Before We Didn’t Say It.

During a recent White House press briefing, Tony Snow was once again trying to explain away the scandal surrounding the Justice Department purge of U.S. Attorneys:

Q Okay, but at the beginning of this story, the President, you, Dan Bartlett, others said on camera that politics was not involved, this was performance-based.

MR. SNOW: That is something — we have never said that. I think you’ll have to take a look at comments that have been made by the Justice Department. What we’ve said is that people serve at the pleasure of the President. That’s the operative principle here.

Is this one of those depends on what the definition of is is moments?

Note to Loe-ing Jieberman

Don’t have a cow man.

Q. There was a big flap yesterday about some comments made by Harry Reid concerning Gen. Petraeus, and the outgoing Peter Pace, saying they were incompetent, basically. Is that useful, and do you know that to be true or not… It’s generally being reported in a lot of places.

LIEBERMAN: I don’t know what Harry Reid is up to. I was very upset, even offended, by what he said about General Pace and General Petraeus. Look, you call General Pace incompetent? That’s abs – this is a man who has devoted his entire life to the Marine corps, the service of our country, defense of our country.

Uh, Joe, none of that has anything to do with competence or the lack thereof, unless of course the purpose of the remark you made here was to highlight your own.

How can so many neoconpoops demand immigrants speak English when they can’t do so themselves? Whata Putz.

More on Putzilla here

Maybe I Need To Get Around More

It has occurred to me, belatedly so I reckon, but given all the cross linking with this blog the MSM and Pundidiots might use Google or Live Search and catch a clue.

Anyhoo I heard some of the pResidents weekly in imitation of FDR radio address demanding fiscal discipline from the Democratic Congress, which is like asking Otis of Mayberry to make a MADD advertisement. If the pResident really thinks that argument is going to fly I would suggest that he take Otis’ place.

This falls pretty much in line with the spendthrift Republican’ts in Congress demanding that Democrats follow through on earmark reforms, which can only hurt Democrats naturally, even though they are up to their eyeballs in having snowballed the problem into the mess it is today.

Again, I don’t expect the MSM to pounce on that line of reasoning either, having been assailed by those hard core bloggers, that the best that I can tell consists of one, unless one takes the more polite and constructive criticism from the blogosphere which amounts to 50 at best.

Of course the last sentiment is really conjecture on my part since I don’t track any of that stuff, but I would imagine others might have an interest in doing so, and so may be better informed of the traffic and readership here at “Enduring Blog,” or whatever in the hell it’s called when you finally get around to reading this post, than I do.

What a weird country. I wouldn’t change a thing to be honest. Reminds of the tune “I’ve always been crazy,” It’s kept me from going insane…

Don’t Pick on the Pundidiots

HT Atrios, and C&L

A little more than one minute into the interview, Hannity said to Russert, “I think the Democrats have gone further left than anybody would have anticipated. I think these bloggers have really gotten to them. I think they’re really positioning themselves that they’re gonna have a very difficult time moving center. Do you see that?”

“Absolutely,” Russert replied. As proof, he cited the fact that the “major candidates were very reluctant to consider cutting off funding a year ago.” He further stated that three Democratic senators elected in 2006 voted against cutting the funding (Webb, Tester, Brown), unlike Clinton and Obama.

Like Clinton and Obama aren’t DLC, the very definition of centrist.

It is an interesting observation about bloggers, I suppose, but to think that the right wing talking heads have to parrot whatever the Alfred E. Institute, and Heritic Foundation puts out says more about Hannity and Russert than the bloggers.

What I think is really chapping their asses is the fact that the blogoshere of the left is holding our politicians feet to the fire when it comes to keeping campaign promises, and holding to the ideals and ideology of the Democratic Party. This would include ethics reform, the earmark gig, fair trade, and ending the illegal immoral Republican war.

For Republican’ts to suddenly get their knickers in a knot speaks volumes about their ability to say whatever they think is popular, with the same hollow rhetoric that we’ve heard from them since their Contract on America days.

They also seem to think that some of us lefty activists are also Democratic activists, a mistake that many in the Democratic Party also make, ie the DLC. I for one have no problem allying myself with the President on immigration reform, mostly because I think the aliens need to be treated fairly for the work they have done to support both their families at home, and in building a better America by raising the standard of living for the vast majority of newer home owners, besides their willingness to bust their asses for 50-60 bucks a day in the fields working our crops, which effort probably has more impact on lowering food prices than any Farm subsidy has done for years. Sorry boys, I aim for results, and wedging the Republican’ts is just a side benefit.

Hannity went on to say that he sums up the Democratic positions as “they’re willing to accept a defeat right now in Iraq, they’re all on record supporting higher taxes and nationalizing our health care system.”

Russert’s response to that outrageous statement? He collegially said, “They’d disagree with your characterization, obviously.”

“Where would they disagree?” Hannity asked.

“They feel they’re on very secure ground on the war on terror” because approval rates of the president and the war are so low, Russert said. But he never questioned, never objected to Hannity’s dubious (at best) assertion that Democrats are accepting defeat.

We have to accept defeat, Shaun, you guys lost the war. You advanced the cause of incompetence, doing the unnecessary, for the ungrateful, and now it’s the Democrats fault. Sure thing, dude. Nor do we exploit the fear of terror like the Foxorons do. In fact many of us have made common cause with the rationalists on the right to find a solution to the problem without sacrificing our badsic liberties on the alters of ego and power, like you do sir.

Given Timmehs recent bouncing I hardly expect him to stick up for me, but I do at least expect him to be fair to the Democratic and Republican Parties, and I fully expect Hannity to continue being a Republican’t tool. If in fact life is about not getting mad but getting even, then we all have a lot of growing up to do. You want to go mano y mano well and good, but don’t play that childish game with the national security.

I am still somewhat amazed at the Pundits reaction to having come under criticism from the left after having endured twenty years plus of it from the right, even after the conservatives wound up buying every major media outlet they could and turning most national news into mush. It seems to me they can dish it out but can’t take it. Especially Hannity.

For any of my two readers still left, I would advise you not to take the Presidential politics too too seriously right now anyway, since the individual candidates will wind up crippling each other before the general election of 2008 anyway. You don’t necessarily have to be a sick bastard to be President, but you do if you want to run in our times. The current process is not conducive to electing great leaders any more, and we shall not have one.

I don’t think we can overlook the sheer amount of money that rolls through DC, the inevitable temptations that go along with it, and the rationalizations that will be made when one and all have succumbed to it. It is the primary reason that Republics cannot survive being Empires, and the primary reason for dismantling the fledgling American Empire post haste. Money begets greed, and greed has no moral or ethical constraints.

So we will hold our Congress’ feet to the fire, and if that happens to be labelled leftist then so be it. The right has been anything but for the last six years. Their bloviations in Congress are just that too, IMHO, but if it helps accomplish the goals of reforming the government then let them talk, they are their most dangerous when they stop talking and start doing.

Good Morning World

Enjoy.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Twists of Fate

This version, according to the poster, was recorded just before Ringo did the lead vocals of the same tune, with the same musicians, including George on lead guitar, and lead vocals, and Ringo on drums. You can still ask Ringo, who knows, maybe he’ll tell ya.

Cooking Coffee June 12-13, 2007

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Ok, Now a Cease Fire on the Democrats?

If I can leave CNN alone for two weeks I suppose I can leave the Democrats alone for that long too.

Following up on the supplemental fiasco, Senate Dems are regrouping for a new round of Iraq votes in the coming weeks. In a conference call with bloggers yesterday, Sen. Reid laid out the four pronged approach they are planning to take as they consider the Defense Department authorization bill.

Of course I wasn’t in on the conference call because,

During this podcast interview with Ana Marie Cox, he says:

The other thing I would mention specifically is the tendency in places like Kos to value tactics over substance, to try and force Democratic politicians to take tactical positions that Markos thinks are good ones, that may or may not be good. I happen to think you don’t do tactics on an issue like the war, like war and peace, life and death, you do, you vote what is the right policy.

Doesn’t that sound wonderfully noble? However, he goes on to say:

The important thing here is–was my feeling, which was then, remains to this day, that voting against the funding for Iraq was a really bad idea substantively and tactically for Democrats.

Tactics, in other words, should not be mentioned unless they agree with what Joe Klein believes.

I have mixed feelings about this crap, since all these civilized, educated folks are the very ones who drumbeat us into a war of endless summers that may very well ignite the Middle East in a regional war, and Israel up in a fireball of thermal nuclear viagra. I won’t even mention the hundreds of thousand dead, maimed, wounded and displaced brown people of non American European descent that they bear responsibility for.

In fact all I’ve really asked of the MSM is to tell the truth about the issues. I just sort of expected that the politicians, at least the Democrats, would do so. Since the election of 2006 neither has happened, and so I’m suppose to clean up my act, and not be so critical of these people who have feelings too.

Far be it for me to point out that the Church was silent on the war, the bombing of the abortion clinics, and now the bombing of civilians in cities that just happen to be in nations where other super fine apostles are fighting an unjust war even by their own standards of “Christianity,” or listen to pompous asses on television decry Church State blurring on immigration when it was never a problem with abortion or any other social ill that wasn’t a problem for said pompous asses prejudicial proclivities. Yeah I’m a real asshole. But your my favorite turds and that’s why I never shit you, especially you super civilized and refined ones who wouldn’t say shit if you had a mouth full of it. Just don’t get your knickers in a knot when some snarky blogger points out that your head is full of it too.

Now, I’m going back to being civilized and refined like I was raised to be.

US to Build Fence On Canadian Border

New Holland, New Holland: For seven hours, MSNBC hosted only conservatives and reporters to discuss immigration

In an effort to drive Canadians and Americans with tuberculosis back across the border, MSNBC and other liberal media outlets have began an intensive effort to derail immigration reform in the US Congress.

During the seven hours of the June 11 edition of MSNBC Live (9 a.m.-4 p.m. ET), 15 segments aired about immigration or the Senate immigration bill, none of which featured a Democratic or progressive commentator. Indeed, in nine of the 15 segments, the anchor interviewed a conservative anti-immigration activist who had opposed the bill — including six separate solo interviews with MSNBC political analyst Pat Buchanan. The remaining six segments consisted of two panels with Buchanan and conservative activist and Manhattan Institute senior fellow Tamar Jacoby (who, alone among the guests, favored the recent immigration bill), an interview with Congressional Quarterly immigration reporter Michael Sandler, an interview with MSNBC terrorism analyst Joe Cantamessa, and two reports from MSNBC congressional correspondent Mike Viqueira.

Buchanan is the author of the book, State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America (Thomas Dunne Books, August 2006), which, as the weblog Think Progress has noted, asserts that the United States must keep “Americans of European descent” from becoming the “minority” in order to “survive[].” As Media Matters for America noted, Buchanan was given five appearances in four days on NBC or an NBC-owned cable channel to promote his book.

In a segment during the 10 a.m. ET hour of MSNBC Live, Novotny interviewed Grassfire.org president Steve Elliott. Grassfire.org is a self-described “online conservative issues advocacy organization.” Elliot’s biography asserts that “Grassfire has been at the forefront of the effort to secure our borders and stop illegal immigration.” A July 19, 2006, Arizona Daily Star article quoted Elliot saying that the number of illegal immigrants in the United States “truly amounts to an invasion of our community.”

In the 2 p.m. hour, host Contessa Brewer interviewed Jason Mrochek, national director of the Federal Immigration Reform and Enforcement (FIRE) Coalition, an organization whose website declares, “We believe that it is the duty of our government [to] … effectively secure our nation’s borders and vigorously enforce our immigration laws, including repatriation of foreign nationals illegally in the United States.” As with Gheen, Mrochek also has a history of conservative misinformation on the issue of immigration, documented by Colorado Media Matters.

In fairness to MSNBC it must be noted that none of the guest advocated building a fence along the Atlantic, Pacific, or Gulf coasts of the United States, and refused to comment on why that subject wasn’t broached.

There has been no reaction from Canada as of yet, since Ottawa had assumed that it was an internal American prejudice against brown people, cheap food, housing and services provided by illegal immigrants sneaking across the Southern US border, since no mention was made of a fence to keep black Haitians out of the US.

Canadian officials acknowledged that it would look into transporting illegal Canadians, tuberculosis patients, and others of a European origin on container ships and other modes of transportation to Mexico if the Nortern fence was indeed built.

Come Let Us Remember Together

How the DLC Does ItJust read it.

Knowing Obama, Knowing the DLC

Wanker of the Day Obama campaign general counsel Robert F. Bauer. -Atrios 12:18

The Progressive Case for a Libby Amnesty

Progressives are not so much appalled by Libby’s lies as they are frustrated that this is all they have: Libby and only Libby. Left with only this, they want this small victory unspoiled. They want someone to pay.

via CounterPunch

Why Barack Obama Needs a Whuppin’

We at Black Agenda Report are not immune to the illness. While our team was operating out of Black Commentator, in 2003, Bruce Dixon and I discovered that Obama was listed as a member of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), the corporate-funded rightwing of the party, created by white southern Democrats (Bill Clinton, Al Gore) for the purpose of blunting Black and labor influence in the party’s affairs. Obama was at the time a national nobody, not ranked as a front-runner in the Illinois senatorial primary. We called him on his alleged affiliation with the DLC, which was posted for all to see. He claimed to know nothing about it – a transparent lie. But we gave the “brother” a pass, and engaged him in a dialogue.

There followed a month-long series of interchanges – June 5, June 12, June 19, June 26, 2003 – in which Obama danced like Mr. Bojangles to get around the issues at hand. Was he a DLC Democrat, by affiliation or political affinity? Finally, tiring of the charade and the reflexive spin from Obama’s mouth, Dixon and I compiled three questions to the wannabe senator, the answers to which would determine if he should be in the DLC and, therefore, unworthy of our support. Obama, a genius at double-speak, fudged all three, on the Iraq war, universal health care, and NAFTA/so-called free trade. We gave him a pass, and said he was clean, although both of us knew by then he was an inveterate liar and evader. He had actually flunked the “bright line” test. Neither of us wanted to be the ones to put a damper on an up-and-coming Black star. We understood that our people didn’t want crabs in the barrel, pulling brothers down, or the appearance of it.

We apologize, to our people and to history.

The stuff you learn on the Intertube -YA- just today.

George Will’s Chamois

How Offsourcing Undermines America

Americans need to understand that it is jobs offshoring, not lower tax rates, that is worsening the income distribution. Because of the million dollar cap on tax-deductible executive pay, executive incomes depend primarily on performance-related bonuses. The multi-million dollar CEO pay checks are not salaries. They are bonuses for making or exceeding profit expectations by such practices as offshoring jobs and lowering production costs. We have created an incentive system in which a few corporate executives are amazingly well paid for destroying jobs and career opportunities for Americans. The more they can worsen income inequality by offshoring American jobs, the higher they are paid.

Princeton economist Alan Blinder, a former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, says that the entire range of tradable professional services can be offshored. I agree with him. He estimates the number of these jobs at approximately 50 million.

Should such displacement occur, what occupations would absorb such numbers of economically displaced Americans? As I have documented relentlessly, in the 21st century the US economy, according to the nonfarm payroll data of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, has been able to create net new jobs only in nontradable domestic services, jobs such as waitresses and bartenders and health and social services. Free trade ideologues claim without evidence that the lost jobs will be replaced by better jobs. They do not explain why any such better jobs, should they materialize, would not themselves be offshored.

Maybe we can offshore the pundits.

Likudness Gracious, Great Balls of Fire

It’s All About Israel What’s behind the calls for the U.S. to bomb Iran?

I see that Zbigniew Brzezinski is stealing my ideas and not giving me credit, but, what the heck, I’m in a generous mood – and he puts his own gloss on it – so I don’t mind (via Matthew Yglesias):

“Zbigniew Brzezinski at the conference says the U.S. and Israel should try to put their demands for Iranian disarmament in the context of support for a regional nuclear-free zone (i.e., Israeli nuclear disarmament). After all, he says, if we’re supposed to believe that Israel’s nuclear arsenal isn’t a sufficient deterrent to ensure Israeli security in the face of Iran’s nuclear program, then it obviously isn’t a very valuable asset.”

For those of you who actually followed the debate.

Sine Wave To Hell

US Military Riding the Perfect (Sine) Wave by William S. Lind

It turns out the bombed railroad station was no fluke. An AP story by Charles J. Hanley, dated June 5, reported that

“U.S. warplanes have again stepped up attacks in Iraq, dropping bombs at more than twice the rate of a year ago. … And it appears to be accomplished by a rise in Iraqi civilian casualties.

“In the first 4 1/2 months of 2007, American aircraft dropped 237 bombs and missiles in support of ground forces in Iraq, already surpassing the 229 expended in all of 2006, according to Air Force figures obtained by The Associated Press.”

Nothing could testify more powerfully to the failure of U.S. efforts on the ground in Iraq than a ramp-up in airstrikes. Calling in air is the last, desperate, and usually futile action of an army that is losing. If anyone still wonders whether the “surge” is working, the increase in air strikes offers a definitive answer: it isn’t.

I first started reading Lind when he made a brief stint at TPMCafe and was shelled there by some of the uber-liberals because of his conservatism, which pretty much put him in league with Lang and Johnson. I don’t really have a problem with military people being conservatives since in my mind war is not very progressive and so it would take a conservative to sit around and ponder this stuff anyway. The thing I do admire about these three is their willingness to avoid wars if at all possible, at least so far as I have followed them over the last four to six years.

That doesn’t mean I agree with everything they say, but it does mean I respect their opinions when it comes to their various fields of expertise, even when I disagree, or more apropos I suppose, when I am aiming for a domestic political objective that does not comport with their analysis, or seems to elude their calculus of any particular situation which seems perfectly natural to me given their profession.

On the other hand it bugs the hell out of me when I become to overtly political whether on domestic or foreign policy issues, and wind up being a left wing Rush. I suppose that is the major advantage of blogging over other genre of communications, it is quite simple to re-examine one thrust and direction and modify them to suit the writer, while affording me the luxury of telling you what I want to and not necessarily everything I am thinking or know about any given topic like the MSM.

One of the most endearing things about blogging in fact, for me anyway, is the diversity of style and substance on each and everyone of them. I also understand that some of them actually do this for a living and so they do things with their blogs that builds up their name brand and community, along with a lot of other things that they do that I refuse to do for my own reasons, the primary one being that I can go out further on the limb on many issues. Sometimes to far. Being right about a lot of things doesn’t make you right about everything for sure, so having the freedom not to live up to others expectations also gives me the liberty to not do so either.

Falling on your own sword is not too bad provided you don’t miss the point, and the Democratic Congress would do well to remember that, as would the MSM and pundits. It’s a long ways to November 2008, and whether anyone believes it or not the game is afoot and falling on my sword if your not me is something I wouldn’t want to experience myself.

Yeah, Baby

A Thunderhead Falls Apart

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

OK Two Promises I’ll Try to Keep

If I say anything snarky about CNN for the next two weeks, I’ll quit blogging for two weeks. That means nothing snotty until the twenty ninth, and if I can do that then that’ll be peachy. Of course their guests are not included in the exercise in self control. Only the outfit. If I break either one I’ll apologize, if I break them both I’ll run for public office since it will mean I’m a natural.

We Keep Getting Bitchier

But we can’t get our picture
on the cover of the CNN

Why the Immigration Bill Died in the Senate — and Will Keep Dying

That’s what the data show. For two years the issue has been subject to the most extreme demagoguery. Rush Limbaugh and Lou Dobbs have claimed repeatedly and wrongly that illegal immigrants are violent felons who take American jobs and depress American wages. For the past two years Michelle Malkin has argued that immigration is a Mexican plot to retake the Southwest. While interviewing Sen. John McCain last month, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly said that the latest immigration bill was supported only by “the far left” in order “to break down the white, Christian, male power structure, of which you’re a part, and so am I, and they want to bring in millions of foreign nationals to basically break down the structure that we have.” “It’s an invasion!” they cry.

A CNN poll taken early in May (PDF) found that 80 percent — four in five — favor “creating a program that would allow illegal immigrants already living in the United States for a number of years to stay in this country and apply for U.S. citizenship if they had a job and paid back taxes.” Less than half of respondents favored “building a 700-mile-long fence on the border with Mexico.” (Making those 46 percent happy was part of the comprehensive reform proposal agreed in the Senate last year and in the draft “compromise” that was shot down last week. This year’s draft called for an increase in the number of border patrol personnel and “the installation of at least 200 miles of vehicle barriers; 370 miles of fencing; and 70 ground-based radar and camera towers along the southern border, and four unmanned aerial vehicles.”)

Basically I think we have a vocal minority of boleos that despise Mexicans, and that’s why they don’t want immigration reform. It’s hard to understand them because they are usually talking around the food in their mouths.

It is of course left to the Good Senator Sessions to point out that the last twenty one years of immigration non enforcement have been under thirteen years of law and disorder Republican’ts. Good job. These are the same people that want to kick Scooter free with a Presidential amnesty, heretofore called a Pardon.

Republican’t Boehner Up to old trick

John Boehner just appeared on CNN griping because the Democrat Party isn’t keeping its’ promise to expose the authors of earmarks, a practice that Boehner and the Republican’t balance a budget took to an art form of pork barrelling when the Republica Party controlled the House of Reprehensibles.

CNN in their promise to tell us what earmarks are all about proceeded to do no such thing, so perhaps I can swiftly enumerate them. Basically the budget for each Federal Department is authorized in spending bills by the Congress. Earmarks are those instructions to those Federal Departments from specific Congresscreeps that tell the Departments to spend the money on whatever specific boondoggle the Congresscreep has received lobbying/graft/kickbacks from,which is not additional funding, but part of the original budget I alluded too in the spending bills, and that lobbying/graft/kickbacks is called by the US media “special interests.”

So basically Boehner is griping about being short changed on his side of the aisle and CNN is being a useful idiot because of the level of recent criticism they have received of late from the left, and so instead of improving their coverage have decided to act like titty babies. ( ‘ows that for a cheap shot?)

War in Iraq Liberates School Children for Work

BAGHDAD, 12 June 2007 (IRIN) – Iyad Abdel-Salim, 12, left school six months ago and has been working to boost the family income. His father was killed in Iraq’s political violence. As the only boy in the family, and with three smaller sisters to look after, he was forced to go onto the streets and work.

“I cannot see my family suffer without food. My mother cannot go to work because she has to stay with my sisters, and our uncles cannot help us as they are displaced and without money,” Abdel-Salim said.

“I feel tired when I get home. I usually stay 12 hours in the streets selling chocolates and pencils. I eat just one meal a day to save money, and when I return I just want to sleep,” he said.

Only one FU ago this kid had a father and went to school.

Joe Lieberman, meet your son. Perhaps he should start selling Botox to your colleagues in the Senate.

Doctor Please…

Where Have All the Soldiers Gone?

Updated to acknowledge the blogospheric uprising.

There are more signs of serious problems with recruiting and maintaining the full complement of the United States Army. Many are focused on today’s report from the Associated press:

The Army fell short of its recruiting goal for May, its first significant slip in two years. The active-duty Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force met or surpassed their May targets, although the Army National Guard and Air National Guard fell far short.

But the situation is more dire. A well connected friend of mine, who is a significant Republican fund raiser, tells me that Republican Senators are having trouble filling the slots at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Fewer troops and fewer officers is a recipe for disaster.

I won’t get into the Army is fried part, you can read that on your own.

This is another issue that Congressional Democrats could absolutely spank the Republicans with if they had a lick of sense, but as we have been seeing lately on many issues, that group is either politically tone deaf, or selling out. Us oilies have an opinion I suppose, on that as well, but far be it for me to explain to my betters what they are not seeing from the lofty heights of their own imagined status as experts and consultants.

This isn’t meant in a negative way either, but just as there are many medical doctors, and within that group many specialists of various functions, the patient is a far more complex individual than the physical mass presented, and is far more complex than the shrinks will ever fathom, and on top of all of that may have some spiritual, (in a non religious sense,) factors that do not comport to analysis by experts either. It’s the human calculus, and each one has a different equation. It is in the not knowing that we understand.

Well Said

In the final analysis though the criticism doesn’t add up for me. There’s no denying the fact that the administration, often the prosecutors and always the media are in a tacit conspiracy of nonsense to take virtually nonexistent or purely notional ‘plots’ and fool everyone who doesn’t read the details into thinking that a major terrorist plot has been foiled. I don’t see how we can remain sane or balanced as a society, or maintain our equilibrium in the face of the threats we do face without simply calling these things as we see them. The little lies, the avoiding saying the obvious for some larger purpose, is just too corrosive. We can lampoon the nonsense and take the threat seriously at the same time.

Politicians Still Pinching My Stuff

Blair attacks ‘feral’ media Heh.

Tony Blair used one of his final speeches as prime minister today to launch an attack against the media, accusing it of hunting like a “feral beast tearing people and reputations to bits”.
Admitting he began his premiership with a reliance on spin, Mr Blair went on to say TV and newspapers had become demonstrably worse over his 10-year reign.

And he singled out the Independent for particular criticism, saying it was a “metaphor” for how modern journalism had degenerated

Why don’t the elected leaders blame themselves? They have the media. Next thing we know he’ll have a blog.

Cooking Coffee June 12-13, 2007

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Ok, Now a Cease Fire on the Democrats?

If I can leave CNN alone for two weeks I suppose I can leave the Democrats alone for that long too.

Following up on the supplemental fiasco, Senate Dems are regrouping for a new round of Iraq votes in the coming weeks. In a conference call with bloggers yesterday, Sen. Reid laid out the four pronged approach they are planning to take as they consider the Defense Department authorization bill.

Of course I wasn’t in on the conference call because,

During this podcast interview with Ana Marie Cox, he says:

The other thing I would mention specifically is the tendency in places like Kos to value tactics over substance, to try and force Democratic politicians to take tactical positions that Markos thinks are good ones, that may or may not be good. I happen to think you don’t do tactics on an issue like the war, like war and peace, life and death, you do, you vote what is the right policy.

Doesn’t that sound wonderfully noble? However, he goes on to say:

The important thing here is–was my feeling, which was then, remains to this day, that voting against the funding for Iraq was a really bad idea substantively and tactically for Democrats.

Tactics, in other words, should not be mentioned unless they agree with what Joe Klein believes.

I have mixed feelings about this crap, since all these civilized, educated folks are the very ones who drumbeat us into a war of endless summers that may very well ignite the Middle East in a regional war, and Israel up in a fireball of thermal nuclear viagra. I won’t even mention the hundreds of thousand dead, maimed, wounded and displaced brown people of non American European descent that they bear responsibility for.

In fact all I’ve really asked of the MSM is to tell the truth about the issues. I just sort of expected that the politicians, at least the Democrats, would do so. Since the election of 2006 neither has happened, and so I’m suppose to clean up my act, and not be so critical of these people who have feelings too.

Far be it for me to point out that the Church was silent on the war, the bombing of the abortion clinics, and now the bombing of civilians in cities that just happen to be in nations where other super fine apostles are fighting an unjust war even by their own standards of “Christianity,” or listen to pompous asses on television decry Church State blurring on immigration when it was never a problem with abortion or any other social ill that wasn’t a problem for said pompous asses prejudicial proclivities. Yeah I’m a real asshole. But your my favorite turds and that’s why I never shit you, especially you super civilized and refined ones who wouldn’t say shit if you had a mouth full of it. Just don’t get your knickers in a knot when some snarky blogger points out that your head is full of it too.

Now, I’m going back to being civilized and refined like I was raised to be.

US to Build Fence On Canadian Border

New Holland, New Holland: For seven hours, MSNBC hosted only conservatives and reporters to discuss immigration

In an effort to drive Canadians and Americans with tuberculosis back across the border, MSNBC and other liberal media outlets have began an intensive effort to derail immigration reform in the US Congress.

During the seven hours of the June 11 edition of MSNBC Live (9 a.m.-4 p.m. ET), 15 segments aired about immigration or the Senate immigration bill, none of which featured a Democratic or progressive commentator. Indeed, in nine of the 15 segments, the anchor interviewed a conservative anti-immigration activist who had opposed the bill — including six separate solo interviews with MSNBC political analyst Pat Buchanan. The remaining six segments consisted of two panels with Buchanan and conservative activist and Manhattan Institute senior fellow Tamar Jacoby (who, alone among the guests, favored the recent immigration bill), an interview with Congressional Quarterly immigration reporter Michael Sandler, an interview with MSNBC terrorism analyst Joe Cantamessa, and two reports from MSNBC congressional correspondent Mike Viqueira.

Buchanan is the author of the book, State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America (Thomas Dunne Books, August 2006), which, as the weblog Think Progress has noted, asserts that the United States must keep “Americans of European descent” from becoming the “minority” in order to “survive[].” As Media Matters for America noted, Buchanan was given five appearances in four days on NBC or an NBC-owned cable channel to promote his book.

In a segment during the 10 a.m. ET hour of MSNBC Live, Novotny interviewed Grassfire.org president Steve Elliott. Grassfire.org is a self-described “online conservative issues advocacy organization.” Elliot’s biography asserts that “Grassfire has been at the forefront of the effort to secure our borders and stop illegal immigration.” A July 19, 2006, Arizona Daily Star article quoted Elliot saying that the number of illegal immigrants in the United States “truly amounts to an invasion of our community.”

In the 2 p.m. hour, host Contessa Brewer interviewed Jason Mrochek, national director of the Federal Immigration Reform and Enforcement (FIRE) Coalition, an organization whose website declares, “We believe that it is the duty of our government [to] … effectively secure our nation’s borders and vigorously enforce our immigration laws, including repatriation of foreign nationals illegally in the United States.” As with Gheen, Mrochek also has a history of conservative misinformation on the issue of immigration, documented by Colorado Media Matters.

In fairness to MSNBC it must be noted that none of the guest advocated building a fence along the Atlantic, Pacific, or Gulf coasts of the United States, and refused to comment on why that subject wasn’t broached.

There has been no reaction from Canada as of yet, since Ottawa had assumed that it was an internal American prejudice against brown people, cheap food, housing and services provided by illegal immigrants sneaking across the Southern US border, since no mention was made of a fence to keep black Haitians out of the US.

Canadian officials acknowledged that it would look into transporting illegal Canadians, tuberculosis patients, and others of a European origin on container ships and other modes of transportation to Mexico if the Nortern fence was indeed built.

Come Let Us Remember Together

How the DLC Does ItJust read it.

Knowing Obama, Knowing the DLC

Wanker of the Day Obama campaign general counsel Robert F. Bauer. -Atrios 12:18

The Progressive Case for a Libby Amnesty

Progressives are not so much appalled by Libby’s lies as they are frustrated that this is all they have: Libby and only Libby. Left with only this, they want this small victory unspoiled. They want someone to pay.

via CounterPunch

Why Barack Obama Needs a Whuppin’

We at Black Agenda Report are not immune to the illness. While our team was operating out of Black Commentator, in 2003, Bruce Dixon and I discovered that Obama was listed as a member of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), the corporate-funded rightwing of the party, created by white southern Democrats (Bill Clinton, Al Gore) for the purpose of blunting Black and labor influence in the party’s affairs. Obama was at the time a national nobody, not ranked as a front-runner in the Illinois senatorial primary. We called him on his alleged affiliation with the DLC, which was posted for all to see. He claimed to know nothing about it – a transparent lie. But we gave the “brother” a pass, and engaged him in a dialogue.

There followed a month-long series of interchanges – June 5, June 12, June 19, June 26, 2003 – in which Obama danced like Mr. Bojangles to get around the issues at hand. Was he a DLC Democrat, by affiliation or political affinity? Finally, tiring of the charade and the reflexive spin from Obama’s mouth, Dixon and I compiled three questions to the wannabe senator, the answers to which would determine if he should be in the DLC and, therefore, unworthy of our support. Obama, a genius at double-speak, fudged all three, on the Iraq war, universal health care, and NAFTA/so-called free trade. We gave him a pass, and said he was clean, although both of us knew by then he was an inveterate liar and evader. He had actually flunked the “bright line” test. Neither of us wanted to be the ones to put a damper on an up-and-coming Black star. We understood that our people didn’t want crabs in the barrel, pulling brothers down, or the appearance of it.

We apologize, to our people and to history.

The stuff you learn on the Intertube -YA- just today.

George Will’s Chamois

How Offsourcing Undermines America

Americans need to understand that it is jobs offshoring, not lower tax rates, that is worsening the income distribution. Because of the million dollar cap on tax-deductible executive pay, executive incomes depend primarily on performance-related bonuses. The multi-million dollar CEO pay checks are not salaries. They are bonuses for making or exceeding profit expectations by such practices as offshoring jobs and lowering production costs. We have created an incentive system in which a few corporate executives are amazingly well paid for destroying jobs and career opportunities for Americans. The more they can worsen income inequality by offshoring American jobs, the higher they are paid.

Princeton economist Alan Blinder, a former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, says that the entire range of tradable professional services can be offshored. I agree with him. He estimates the number of these jobs at approximately 50 million.

Should such displacement occur, what occupations would absorb such numbers of economically displaced Americans? As I have documented relentlessly, in the 21st century the US economy, according to the nonfarm payroll data of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, has been able to create net new jobs only in nontradable domestic services, jobs such as waitresses and bartenders and health and social services. Free trade ideologues claim without evidence that the lost jobs will be replaced by better jobs. They do not explain why any such better jobs, should they materialize, would not themselves be offshored.

Maybe we can offshore the pundits.

Likudness Gracious, Great Balls of Fire

It’s All About Israel What’s behind the calls for the U.S. to bomb Iran?

I see that Zbigniew Brzezinski is stealing my ideas and not giving me credit, but, what the heck, I’m in a generous mood – and he puts his own gloss on it – so I don’t mind (via Matthew Yglesias):

“Zbigniew Brzezinski at the conference says the U.S. and Israel should try to put their demands for Iranian disarmament in the context of support for a regional nuclear-free zone (i.e., Israeli nuclear disarmament). After all, he says, if we’re supposed to believe that Israel’s nuclear arsenal isn’t a sufficient deterrent to ensure Israeli security in the face of Iran’s nuclear program, then it obviously isn’t a very valuable asset.”

For those of you who actually followed the debate.

Sine Wave To Hell

US Military Riding the Perfect (Sine) Wave by William S. Lind

It turns out the bombed railroad station was no fluke. An AP story by Charles J. Hanley, dated June 5, reported that

“U.S. warplanes have again stepped up attacks in Iraq, dropping bombs at more than twice the rate of a year ago. … And it appears to be accomplished by a rise in Iraqi civilian casualties.

“In the first 4 1/2 months of 2007, American aircraft dropped 237 bombs and missiles in support of ground forces in Iraq, already surpassing the 229 expended in all of 2006, according to Air Force figures obtained by The Associated Press.”

Nothing could testify more powerfully to the failure of U.S. efforts on the ground in Iraq than a ramp-up in airstrikes. Calling in air is the last, desperate, and usually futile action of an army that is losing. If anyone still wonders whether the “surge” is working, the increase in air strikes offers a definitive answer: it isn’t.

I first started reading Lind when he made a brief stint at TPMCafe and was shelled there by some of the uber-liberals because of his conservatism, which pretty much put him in league with Lang and Johnson. I don’t really have a problem with military people being conservatives since in my mind war is not very progressive and so it would take a conservative to sit around and ponder this stuff anyway. The thing I do admire about these three is their willingness to avoid wars if at all possible, at least so far as I have followed them over the last four to six years.

That doesn’t mean I agree with everything they say, but it does mean I respect their opinions when it comes to their various fields of expertise, even when I disagree, or more apropos I suppose, when I am aiming for a domestic political objective that does not comport with their analysis, or seems to elude their calculus of any particular situation which seems perfectly natural to me given their profession.

On the other hand it bugs the hell out of me when I become to overtly political whether on domestic or foreign policy issues, and wind up being a left wing Rush. I suppose that is the major advantage of blogging over other genre of communications, it is quite simple to re-examine one thrust and direction and modify them to suit the writer, while affording me the luxury of telling you what I want to and not necessarily everything I am thinking or know about any given topic like the MSM.

One of the most endearing things about blogging in fact, for me anyway, is the diversity of style and substance on each and everyone of them. I also understand that some of them actually do this for a living and so they do things with their blogs that builds up their name brand and community, along with a lot of other things that they do that I refuse to do for my own reasons, the primary one being that I can go out further on the limb on many issues. Sometimes to far. Being right about a lot of things doesn’t make you right about everything for sure, so having the freedom not to live up to others expectations also gives me the liberty to not do so either.

Falling on your own sword is not too bad provided you don’t miss the point, and the Democratic Congress would do well to remember that, as would the MSM and pundits. It’s a long ways to November 2008, and whether anyone believes it or not the game is afoot and falling on my sword if your not me is something I wouldn’t want to experience myself.

Yeah, Baby

A Thunderhead Falls Apart

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

OK Two Promises I’ll Try to Keep

If I say anything snarky about CNN for the next two weeks, I’ll quit blogging for two weeks. That means nothing snotty until the twenty ninth, and if I can do that then that’ll be peachy. Of course their guests are not included in the exercise in self control. Only the outfit. If I break either one I’ll apologize, if I break them both I’ll run for public office since it will mean I’m a natural.

We Keep Getting Bitchier

But we can’t get our picture
on the cover of the CNN

Why the Immigration Bill Died in the Senate — and Will Keep Dying

That’s what the data show. For two years the issue has been subject to the most extreme demagoguery. Rush Limbaugh and Lou Dobbs have claimed repeatedly and wrongly that illegal immigrants are violent felons who take American jobs and depress American wages. For the past two years Michelle Malkin has argued that immigration is a Mexican plot to retake the Southwest. While interviewing Sen. John McCain last month, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly said that the latest immigration bill was supported only by “the far left” in order “to break down the white, Christian, male power structure, of which you’re a part, and so am I, and they want to bring in millions of foreign nationals to basically break down the structure that we have.” “It’s an invasion!” they cry.

A CNN poll taken early in May (PDF) found that 80 percent — four in five — favor “creating a program that would allow illegal immigrants already living in the United States for a number of years to stay in this country and apply for U.S. citizenship if they had a job and paid back taxes.” Less than half of respondents favored “building a 700-mile-long fence on the border with Mexico.” (Making those 46 percent happy was part of the comprehensive reform proposal agreed in the Senate last year and in the draft “compromise” that was shot down last week. This year’s draft called for an increase in the number of border patrol personnel and “the installation of at least 200 miles of vehicle barriers; 370 miles of fencing; and 70 ground-based radar and camera towers along the southern border, and four unmanned aerial vehicles.”)

Basically I think we have a vocal minority of boleos that despise Mexicans, and that’s why they don’t want immigration reform. It’s hard to understand them because they are usually talking around the food in their mouths.

It is of course left to the Good Senator Sessions to point out that the last twenty one years of immigration non enforcement have been under thirteen years of law and disorder Republican’ts. Good job. These are the same people that want to kick Scooter free with a Presidential amnesty, heretofore called a Pardon.

Republican’t Boehner Up to old trick

John Boehner just appeared on CNN griping because the Democrat Party isn’t keeping its’ promise to expose the authors of earmarks, a practice that Boehner and the Republican’t balance a budget took to an art form of pork barrelling when the Republica Party controlled the House of Reprehensibles.

CNN in their promise to tell us what earmarks are all about proceeded to do no such thing, so perhaps I can swiftly enumerate them. Basically the budget for each Federal Department is authorized in spending bills by the Congress. Earmarks are those instructions to those Federal Departments from specific Congresscreeps that tell the Departments to spend the money on whatever specific boondoggle the Congresscreep has received lobbying/graft/kickbacks from,which is not additional funding, but part of the original budget I alluded too in the spending bills, and that lobbying/graft/kickbacks is called by the US media “special interests.”

So basically Boehner is griping about being short changed on his side of the aisle and CNN is being a useful idiot because of the level of recent criticism they have received of late from the left, and so instead of improving their coverage have decided to act like titty babies. ( ‘ows that for a cheap shot?)

War in Iraq Liberates School Children for Work

BAGHDAD, 12 June 2007 (IRIN) – Iyad Abdel-Salim, 12, left school six months ago and has been working to boost the family income. His father was killed in Iraq’s political violence. As the only boy in the family, and with three smaller sisters to look after, he was forced to go onto the streets and work.

“I cannot see my family suffer without food. My mother cannot go to work because she has to stay with my sisters, and our uncles cannot help us as they are displaced and without money,” Abdel-Salim said.

“I feel tired when I get home. I usually stay 12 hours in the streets selling chocolates and pencils. I eat just one meal a day to save money, and when I return I just want to sleep,” he said.

Only one FU ago this kid had a father and went to school.

Joe Lieberman, meet your son. Perhaps he should start selling Botox to your colleagues in the Senate.

Doctor Please…

Where Have All the Soldiers Gone?

Updated to acknowledge the blogospheric uprising.

There are more signs of serious problems with recruiting and maintaining the full complement of the United States Army. Many are focused on today’s report from the Associated press:

The Army fell short of its recruiting goal for May, its first significant slip in two years. The active-duty Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force met or surpassed their May targets, although the Army National Guard and Air National Guard fell far short.

But the situation is more dire. A well connected friend of mine, who is a significant Republican fund raiser, tells me that Republican Senators are having trouble filling the slots at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Fewer troops and fewer officers is a recipe for disaster.

I won’t get into the Army is fried part, you can read that on your own.

This is another issue that Congressional Democrats could absolutely spank the Republicans with if they had a lick of sense, but as we have been seeing lately on many issues, that group is either politically tone deaf, or selling out. Us oilies have an opinion I suppose, on that as well, but far be it for me to explain to my betters what they are not seeing from the lofty heights of their own imagined status as experts and consultants.

This isn’t meant in a negative way either, but just as there are many medical doctors, and within that group many specialists of various functions, the patient is a far more complex individual than the physical mass presented, and is far more complex than the shrinks will ever fathom, and on top of all of that may have some spiritual, (in a non religious sense,) factors that do not comport to analysis by experts either. It’s the human calculus, and each one has a different equation. It is in the not knowing that we understand.

Well Said

In the final analysis though the criticism doesn’t add up for me. There’s no denying the fact that the administration, often the prosecutors and always the media are in a tacit conspiracy of nonsense to take virtually nonexistent or purely notional ‘plots’ and fool everyone who doesn’t read the details into thinking that a major terrorist plot has been foiled. I don’t see how we can remain sane or balanced as a society, or maintain our equilibrium in the face of the threats we do face without simply calling these things as we see them. The little lies, the avoiding saying the obvious for some larger purpose, is just too corrosive. We can lampoon the nonsense and take the threat seriously at the same time.

Politicians Still Pinching My Stuff

Blair attacks ‘feral’ media Heh.

Tony Blair used one of his final speeches as prime minister today to launch an attack against the media, accusing it of hunting like a “feral beast tearing people and reputations to bits”.
Admitting he began his premiership with a reliance on spin, Mr Blair went on to say TV and newspapers had become demonstrably worse over his 10-year reign.

And he singled out the Independent for particular criticism, saying it was a “metaphor” for how modern journalism had degenerated

Why don’t the elected leaders blame themselves? They have the media. Next thing we know he’ll have a blog.

Frank & Phoebe Phillips’ Flyer June 6-8, 2007

Friday, June 8, 2007

Long long way from home

U.S. officials back off Iraq progress report

Kenneth Katzman, a Middle East expert with the non-partisan Congressional Research Service says officials are laying the groundwork for an extended U.S. stay in Iraq.

“There is an increasing realization that a glowing report is simply not going to be viewed as credible,” Katzman said.

Officials are “preparing the political landscape for a report that is not glowing … and that not all U.S. troops would be leaving.”

Pentagon deployment orders issued so far for Army and Marine combat units show a growing number of American military personnel in Iraq. An analysis of these orders by Hearst Newspapers last month showed that elements of 17 combat brigades in Iraq in January 2007 could grow to elements of as many as 28 combat brigades in Iraq by December 2007.

via Antiwar

Now Turkey is assembling its forces on the border. It is not too late to act. The US government shold aggressively seek an agreement in which Turkey and the Kurdish entity in the north accept a US guarantee (enabled by an American military presence) that preserves both Kurdish and Turkish equities. The US is now a Middle Eastern regional power and must accept its responsibilities as such. pl

Terrorism 100 for Dummies

Somebody’s gonna get hurt tonight,

America’s imperial aspirations are also cause to fear a threat on yet another front: as 9/11 proved, “blowback” is likely to hit us on our own soil. It behooves us to remember that, for all the diversions away from our real enemies, al-Qaeda and its satellites around the globe, we do indeed face the very real threat of a 9/11-like attack in the continental US. This, after all, has always been the linchpin of Osama bin Laden’s strategic line: that, rather than conducting guerrilla operations around the edges of the empire – say, against Israel, or the local U.S.-supported tyrants, such as Hosni Mubarak and the House of Saud – it is necessary to hit the Americans where they live.

You know, I just don’t know how anyone, on the left or right, can be more clear about it than this.

I really don’t understand the good Republicans and Democrats acting as if this isn’t the case, but all snark aside TJ, neither one of them is any good at this defense, and this isn’t any sucker shot coming either. It has been advertised, not by Antiwar, but by Al Qaeda themselves, and the repercussions will be serious, both at home and abroad as America looses whatever is left of its’ collective mind.

The spark was struck when we invaded and occupied Iraq, and the fuse is now burned nearly to the end. If our republic survives the inevitable explosion, it will be in some permanently disfigured form – an America rendered unrecognizable not only to the shades of the Founders, but to ourselves.

So anyone want to stand in front of a tank?

Turkish troops ‘chase Kurds in Iraq’ I had thought this was all resolved to the negative, but then,

The US military said it could not confirm the reports but was “very concerned”. Turkey has been threatening an attack into Iraqi Kurdistan in recent weeks and, last weekend, Robert Gates, the US Defence Secretary, warned Ankara against a foray into northern Iraq.

If the US military can’t confirm it then who can? Anyone want to guess why Russia wants the US ABM in Azerbaijan given the situation in Pakistan?

So I can see why Americans would rather hear about the M’s Winkler and Hilton, because there is some weirdly held concept that Americans have that if they watch enough of a trial or watch enough television news and listen to enough radio news about any given trial, it is almost the same as being there and thus they are as equally as informed as the participants to those events, all without ever quite catching on how clueless the participants themselves are of the whole story.

These are the people that are headed into the maelstrom of the coming attack, and these are the people that will have to be brought through it, in case anyone is really wondering why I am being so hard on the MSM. For all the talk about pre 911 and post 911 thinking you’d never know it happened listening to the politicians and political pundits discussing the issues, or by the issues facing our nation according to the MSM. I told you so won’t cut it after it all goes down either, so I’m telling you now because afterwards talking won’t be allowed. Mark my words.

Beware the Bloggers’ Bile, Now I Get It

Updated for Frum

TIME writer Joe Klein blogs during a spare moment

Reckon So.

This is not the first time this kind of free-range lunacy has been visited upon me. Indeed, it happens, oh, once a week to each of us who post on Swampland (Karen Tumulty, Jay Carney and Ana Marie Cox are the others).

As opposed to the corralled, heifered lunacy of, say the punditiocracy, which is visited on us in a daily diet of Rocky Mountain Oysters served luke warm?

First, let me say that I really enjoy blogging. It’s a brilliant format for keeping readers up to date on the things I care about—and for exchanging information with them.

So instead of getting specific, you wish to go general, for one must presume Hume et al, while somehow excluding yourself from the generality of being a lefty blogger? Comon Joe name names, or stfu.

Big Yawn,

My own working theory till now has been that the anti-Klein sentiment exposes the tyrannical impulses of the American Left. Being a left-leaning journalist is not sufficient, comrade! We demand total unquestioning obedience! You are guilty of deviationism and individualism: Go practice self-criticism until you are prepared to submit to the perfect correctness of the thoughts of Chairman Kos!

The tyrannical impulses of the American left?! ROFLMAO, you friggin moron, look who’s running the country. I believe that is the American right, you know, the ones who are objecting to the ram it down our throats immigration bill while somehow forgetting the Patriot Act they rammed down the country’s throat within a week of of 911. Catch a clue.

Update: Eli Lake adds a comment.

I bet at least half of the netleft are failed professors, over-educated literary theory PHDs, who make themselves appear more numerous than they arethrough their anonymity and deliberate manipulation of google. Their real audience are the technocrat staffers for Dems on the Hill, who agreed with them that their bosses were pushovers during the Bush presidency.

So now we get an appeal to a higher authority I suppose? I am none of those things, do not write for staffers, wankers, and/or other lefties, and in fact write for whomever wishes to drop by this ‘ere blog at any given time and see what I am thinking about on any given topic, that for the most part I choose of my own volition, and not because I need to back up Kos or Atrios, those strangely powerful forces of Gandalf the White arrayed against Mordor, and orcs like you.

What if the netleft, that has created the impression that there is a rising plurality that would like to abandon Iraqis to Qaeda, Quds and the Ba’ath, are just a few thousand committed Marxists in their pajamas? What if the Dems have strategically miscalculated? What if their over-compensation is to appease a vocal 1 percent of the electorate that actually draws contempt from the rest of the country?

We would be just like you sir. Over simplifying the opposition with hypotheticals and innuendo.

But the Dems have strategically miscalculated if they think that bidness as usual will garner continued support from this lefty. As for the Marxist in Pajama’s remark, I would surmise from this little blog that I have up now, that on most days I’ve done more by accident before sunrise than you are apt to accomplish all day long on purpose.

Helter Skelter

Updated HT JMM etc.

When I think of you
I hope you’d slow down
Take a little time
To take a look around

It’s only a hope
But I hope that you find
Just a little of my time,
Helps ease your mind.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

It’ll Have To Do

Morning This Morning

Notice Johns Left Hand?
And who is that on the left?
Twofers All Around

Until I feel like writing again.

EZSmirkzz June 1-4,2007

Monday, June 4, 2007

Pretty Accurate Summation

The Congressional Keys to Leaving Iraq: Incremental MovesThis is one of those no brainers if all one is doing is calculating the political reality of the situation as it is now. Joe Biden had it right last night, as did Hillary. But it doesn’t negate the positive influence of keeping, and even increasing the pressure on to end the boondoggle that is Iraq. This is pretty much the same pincher movement that was initiated last year six months before the election, and since the Democrats have acquired the control of the Congress the tactics will of necessity have to be adapted to fit the strategic reality of the current situation.

I find it rather hard to believe that anyone who is politically active, or part of the political coverage hasn’t really figured this out yet, especially since it has been an open secret. Perhaps that explains why Rove could pull his dirt ball political stunts for so many years and keep them out of the press that was ostensibly covering the politics of the time. That would make it understandable as well, that those political reporters would spend their time trying to decide if others, such as viewers and critics, are credible since they haven’t a clue as to what is really happening anyway.

I think I prefer to place those political reporters in that category, since to do otherwise would make them collaborators with Rove without having the benefit of learning anything from him. These are things that I can’t answer without actually meeting the reporters, so I have to work on the assumption that they are the former, and not the later.

Personally I don’t think Hillary can be derailed unless she just pulls a completely boneheaded stunt, and so I am working on the assumption that she will be the next nominee. It is my personal observation that most people think Obama needs more experience because of his youthful appearance on television, and that John Edwards is Southern and so there is some reflexive reluctance to having yet another Southerner as President. It would be foolish in my estimation to over look these minor sticks in the craw, which tend to taint and magnify whatever gaffes that the candidate might otherwise make. Hillary is a Senator from New York for a reason, and in this one fact alone she is proving to be the most intelligent of all the candidates, who is able to formulate and carry through on long range planning. I tend to like that in Presidents, personally.

My job then, is not to encourage Hillary to move to the center, but to dissuade her of her Neocon tendencies which she and her advisers may very well think make her more electable in the 2008 general election, but will also open her up to a very rough term of office should she in fact receive the nomination and the election and continue the policy of power consolidation at the Federal level, and the subsequent revival of a foreign policy of empire.

All the political posturing about Iraq from both parties candidates is just that. It may nice for the media to have a lame duck President to ignore for the more rating favorable political debate of the next of kin, but in reality there isn’t a damn thing going to change in Iraq unless Bush decides that it is. It is just that simple. Even if the Democrats had veto proof majorities the Food and Forage Act could and would be used to keep the troops abroad, and anyone who thinks differently fails to understand the Imperial Presidency of George W. Cheney.

Now I’m getting tired of explaining what I’m doing to people who have failed to catch a clue about what is going on in their own professional area of expertise, and I will indeed go tit for tat with them if they wish, solely because I can ignore them at my discretion and they cannot ignore me if I use their name on my blog. Just because the national media and all politicians have to have a big ego doesn’t necessarily mean that all bloggers do, and in fact for some of us that would be a dangerous thing indeed. They can overlook their own drive and ambition as they wish, but it would be a foolish mistake to project that drive and ambition, or lack thereof, on to a blogger. Our goals are decidedly not the same, and hence our motivations are not either. Lao Tze comes to mind again.

And now the chain is complete grasshoppers.

News of Note Not Noted

via the dKos

I have some bad news to report via The Hill. Senator Craig Thomas, who has been fighting leukemia, has returned to the hospital in “serious condition.

Sen. Craig Thomas (R-Wyo.), who has battled leukemia in recent months, is in “serious condition” and is with his family at National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., according to a statement released by his family

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Thomas family tonight.

A grand jury in Washington is set to indict Rep. William Jefferson, D-LA, in a long-running bribery investigation. Jefferson needs to go. Hopefully he’ll recognize the drag he is on the Dems and will do the right thing by resigning.

Wonder if this sort of stuff doesn’t impact the Democrats standing in the ABC poll? It does around here.

Naming the 3500. How Many This Time Next Year?

Just a year ago, on Father’s Day, several of my friends and I stood at the entrance to a shopping mall in Los Angeles and read out the names and hometowns of the 2500 American soldiers, marines, and sailors who had by that time been killed in the Iraq war and occupation.

This is definitely one of the drawbacks of living in the boondocks, although not necessarily insurmountable.

There’s a Hole In Daddy’s Head

Where all the money goes,

Cost of living: Key factors of the cost of living are much higher than they were six years ago.

In particular, fuel is up 100 percent, higher education costs are up about 44 percent, health care premiums are up 80 percent, and affordable housing is scarce.

Normally, when the cost of living goes up, we have inflation. But we’ve had low inflation during the Bush years.

How can the cost of living go up while the cost of money stays low?

Here’s the most peculiar statistic of all: the Dow Jones index

You may have been hearing that the Dow Jones Index is at an all-time high. It’s true. However, it is only 16 percent higher than the day George Bush came into office. By comparison, when Clinton left office the Dow was 320 percent higher than when he came into office.

Of course as the article points out inflation has been 18% so the market is not as pretty as it seems. But, any port in a storm I suppose.

Digby, You May Have Just Done It

An interblog moment, For the two of you who haven’t heard of or read Digby then you need to read TBogg too, but I digress.

A lot of tributes to our friend Steve Gilliard have mentioned the fact that there aren’t enough African American voices in the blogosphere. As it happens there are quite a few and some of them have created a nice site called rsspect.org to access them. I thought you might want to add it to your bookmarks.

Update: All About George tells me his blog Negrophile.com has 1100(!) links to blogs written by African Americans. Check it out.

Pictures were the best I could do for Steve and Jen, since I really didn’t spend a lot of time reading the blog the last couple of years, although I did managed to pinch a few good recipes, we always seemed to be focused on different issues at whatever moments I did drop by, or appealing to a different audience would be more apropos, I suppose.

The Temerity of the Terrorists of Late

BREAKING NEWS: Another Group of Halfwits Arrested in Connection with Plot that Makes No Sense

So where does this terrorist plot rank relative to other recently thwarted plots? In terms of imaginary destruction, these guys probably have the Brooklyn Bridge bomber beat. He was just going to knock down a bridge; these guys were going to take out Queens. The same is probably true of the infamous Miami Seven, whose completely impossible plan involved knocking down the Sears Tower. As long as you’re not constrained by reality or the laws of physics, you might as well set your sights high.

It really is worth the read. Just for the levity.

Mug Shots! We Get Mug Shots!

So who has the coyest mug shot, Tom Delay or Paris Hilton? And do you suppose either one of them works the pole?

Hmmmm. MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough asks CQ’s Craig Crawford whether he thinks Fred Thompson’s half-Fred’s-age wife, Jeri Kehn, “works the pole”.

I guess it depends on the spelling of poll, doesn’t it?

Here We Go Again

Internet Tax Imminent?

jhigh writes

Proposals to tax the Internet are gaining steam as state legislators see a giant pot of money just waiting to be dipped into. “At the moment, states and municipalities are frequently barred by federal law from collecting both access and sales taxes. But they’re hoping that their new lobbying effort, coordinated by groups including the National Governors Association, will pay off by permitting them to collect billions of dollars in new revenue by next year.””

Tax and Bend, Tax and Bend over.

Another Boat Missed

Look Ma, I ain’t doing this either.

Hot on the heels of its purchase of photo-sharing website Panoramio, Google has bought FeedBurner for an undisclosed amount.

FeedBurner allows bloggers, or anyone else with a website, to better manage RSS feeds. As well as offering ways to get blogs more widely read, FeedBurner provides statistical tools so you can see where your content is going. FeedBurner claims 431,171 publishers.

On its company blog, FeedBurner said combining its stats tools with Google’s ad-serving and counting technology would give publishers better ways to promote content and make money off it. Feedburner hopes the Google deal will allow it to offer improved services more quickly to its users.

Must be a post Industrial disease.

Brit uploaders teach Yanks man-hug techniques

Culture British web-vid upload site VideoJug launched yesterday in the States, offering a striking example of reverse cultural colonisation. VideoJug is a sort of how-to version of YouTube, offering short instructional clips on diverse topics such as tying a Windsor knot and coping with cancer.

But, as Reuters tech hacks in New York were quick to spot, the most noteworthy vid on the site, made apparently by Brits, describes “How to Give a Great Man to Man Hug.” The tongue-in-cheek production is now – following the US VideoJug launch – in something of a how-to-suck-eggs-for-the-elderly position. America is, after all, the home of the inappropriate emotional display.

Oh, those snarky Brits.

Someone must be waking up on the wrong side of the rock, there mate.

For Those We Have Lost

For Those We Console

Worth a Read

Ron Paul vs. the Throng and Back to the Future. Even if you disagree with them, at least you’ll be disagreeing with honest people.

Agreed

We’ll all be worn out before there is an election of the most minor sort, and I would imagine by then the Press will have decided who ought and ought not to running for President anyway. Half the stuff the candidates are debating now will either be resolved or old news by the time Iowa and New Hampshire do their thing, which means that teh candidates are basically just giving Republicans fodder for the Nov 2008 election campaign against Hillary.

We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ ABM Treaty

The new cold war: Russia’s missiles to target Europe

President Vladimir Putin yesterday declared that a new arms race and cold war with the west had begun and announced that Russia would retaliate against US missile defence plans in Europe by pointing its missiles at European cities.

In a hawkish speech that sets the stage for a frosty G8 summit this week, Mr Putin launched an extraordinary broadside at the west over missile defence, Kosovo and democratic standards.

I don’t suppose those who actually voted for Bush-Cheney will be apologizing for this either, nor will the press take any culpability for not reporting on the electorial sham that put these yoyos in office either, nor will we hear from any of the lawyers that subverted the process to complete the misdeed, will just hear about Putin being the problem, I mean who could have forseen this. But it does show the caliber of their minds, doesn’t it Mr. Will?

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Maybe They Should Just Quit

Maybe the Post should have just quit after the headline.

Of course what would Glenn Beck do for a twit if it weren’t for Flathead Fred?

Mr. Cheney’s Foreign Policy

” What’s the point in having these grand weapons… “

And it goes on and on.

Worth the Money

I suppose, if your Saint McCain’t, but for the rest of us he is overpaid at that.

There is another problem with the cover story. We didn’t intervene in Iraq primarily to save the Iraqi people. We went in mostly for reasons of our own, to protect our interests and our allies from the menace of a serial aggressor whose domestic repression was of a piece with his desire for regional domination. And now that we are in Iraq, the United States, not just the Iraqi people, will suffer the consequences of our failure. If Iraq implodes, if the region explodes, if al-Qaeda gains a victory and a foothold in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf, it will be our interests that have suffered.

No we didn’t do that you, you guys did that, and now that the world has made it, rightfully so, an American collective guilt and responsibility trip, you wish to make it so for domestic political reasons as well.

Republican leaders think they’re being clever in saying that if there is no progress by September, or by the end of 2008, we will have to wash our hands of the whole mess. That’s nonsense. Defeat will be no more tolerable in January 2009 than it is now. And it won’t matter whom we try to blame.

There you go again, to quote the hidden President who enabled Saddams WMDs, defeat is intolerable so if we keep jay walking and keep getting hit by a bus, eventually we will avoid the bus and quit being hit by that bus, buy a car and wash it whenever we need rain.

Robert Kagan, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and transatlantic fellow at the German Marshall Fund, writes a monthly column for The Post. He has been advising John McCain’s presidential campaign on an informal and unpaid basis.

It shows too.

Real World Minimum Wage


Why do washing machines always break with a tub full of water in the wash cycle? Last time I used a double loader it was $1.25, and minimum wage was $5.15 and hour.

Today we have a glass half full, just to be upbeat and optimistic, and apparently some people are sacrificing for the war, in small ways that the elite don’t understand nor share.

You can bet that the people that depend on these machines don’t come in the store with thirteen quarters and a line of bullshit. There’s your real fucking world George, FOX.

So What

All We Know

It’s not that bad
It was all we had
so we walked along
and we sang the songs.

And the blood flowed free
from the insanity
of the bishops greed
and the rulers needs.

It must be true
It’s on the cable news
and the radio,
It’s in our heads
it fills our beds
It’s all we know
It’s all we know

We breathe the TV blues
It’s the path we choose
how we pay our dues
walk the mile in our shoes.

And the culture war
is a lesbian whore
in a world of men
without any sin.

It must be true
It’s on the cable news
and the radio,
It’s in our heads
it fills our beds
It’s all we know
It’s all we know

Saturday, June 2, 2007

More ol’ Fred, and this ol’ baby

Meet Fred Thompson: The New McCain

Bob Somerby has been trying to warn people, but his considerable insight into the predilections of our fickle press corps has largely fallen on deaf ears. All the signs are out there: the fawning profiles, the willingness to repeat obviously phony anecdotes and airbrush away true ones, the persistent implication that “authenticity” and the “who would I rather drink a beer with” test are the most important criteria for choosing presidents.

All the ingredients are there. Just like they were in 2000. A Democratic front runner who is disliked by the press and portrayed as being too ambitious and calculating. A GOP dark horse candidate who charms the press with this straight-talk.

The funny thing, ha ha, about our unbiased press is their willingness to push this crap out even a week later, even, or especially on the best political team on television, when this stuff is so well documented.

You also have to wonder at the hostility these same unbiased-“trust me, I’m a professional,” journalists have toward criticism that is apparently well justified accusations of political bias, especially of the non FOX News Channel sort, which network has the dignity of at least dropping the pretense of being “Fair and Balanced,” while another limps along as the Most Trusted News in America. I suppose we’ll be hearing about the ethically challenged out here in the blogoshpere for having the temerity to point this stuff out to them as well.

Personally I wonder how often, or much longer, I will feel a twinge of conscience for an observation on specific individuals when there is an outside chance that I am reading some intonation into their reporting that I may be wrong about, when time after time my instincts have come to be correct. I like to think I might be wrong sometimes, which disqualifies one from working for the MSM, I would suppose, since it appears to be ol’ Fred’s new ol’ red truck.

Just an Ordinary Average Guy

Let’s back up a moment: Thompson didn’t even drive the rented pickup, as The Washington Monthly reported in 1996:

Finishing his talk, Thompson shakes a few hands, then walks out with the rest of the crowd to the red pickup truck he made famous during his 1994 Senate campaign. My friend stands talking with her colleagues as the senator is driven away by a blond, all-American staffer. A few minutes later, my friend gets into her car to head home. As she pulls up to the stop sign at the parking lot exit, rolling up to the intersection is Senator Thompson, now behind the wheel of a sweet silver luxury sedan. He gives my friend a slight nod as he drives past. Turning onto the main road, my friend passes the school’s small, side parking area. Lo and behold: There sits the abandoned red pickup, along with the all-American staffer.

The pickup was, literally, a rented prop designed to help a wealthy actor/Washington lobbyist/trial lawyer play the role of salt-of-the-earth populist.

Baby you can drive my truck

Big Porkers and the Lobby of Empire

With an annual budget that currently exceeds that of all of the world’s other militaries combined and is more than 20 times greater than the State Department’s, the Pentagon has in many key countries become a far more-influential actor than the State Department, even, in some cases, in the disbursement of US development assistance, more than 20 percent of which is now channeled through the military.

Ok so let’s say the military is the final extension of diplomacy, and let’s say America is a peaceful democracy and believes in diplomatic rather than military solutions, and let’s pretend the Embassy in Baghdad is for peaceful purposes,

The result has been the outflow of billions of dollars in military and security assistance to repressive governments, such as Pakistan, Djibouti, and Uzbekistan that, before Sept. 11, previously received little or none at all or, as in the case of Ethiopia, have become increasingly repressive in the name of fighting terror, according to the project.

”We’ve found massive transfers of funds from our country that have taken place with very little Congressional oversight or public discussion,” said Bill Buzenberg, CPI’s executive director.

Thus, Pakistan, which received a mere nine million dollars in military and security aid in the three years before Sept. 11, received 4.2 billion dollars in military aid in the three years after Sept. 11, making it the world’s third biggest recipient of US military aid after Israel and Egypt.

No Congressional oversight? Oh Puleese, Congress has and continues to be one of the most comprehensive oversight bodies on the whole face of the universe, and the Milky Way for sure.

Military aid to tiny Djibouti, which turned over a former French military base to US forces after Sept. 11, skyrocketed from less than two million dollars to more than 53 million dollars over the same two three-year periods, while aid to Bahrain and Oman jumped from $700,000 to $145 million and from $2.5 million to $138 million, respectively.

Jordan, Georgia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Azerbaijan, Yemen, and other key countries in the war on terror stretching from Central Europe and East Africa to the Pacific gained tens of millions of dollars in military and security assistance from these new programs, often with the help of high-priced Washington lobbyists, including former lawmakers and senior administration officials, according to the project.

Collateral Damage includes detailed reports on aid to Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia, Romania, Poland, Israel, Jordan, Turkey, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Uzbekistan.

So, we’re a peaceful people. I mean com’on they teach it in all the finer and less finer schools, and we’re a Christian nation, and we have State Department, and golly Beaver, these are all our bff nations, and they all love Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington.

Somethings Just Can’t Last

Others go
on forever so
turn them over in your mind

Friday, June 1, 2007

Yeah, It’s called an ADDICTION!

No wonder Rush is A-OTay, he’s got one too,

“The Republicans want to get reelected,” he said. “I don’t know if any of you know the burning desire to get reelected. It is as though the demons actually take over, and children and mothers are no longer important.”

Rangel, who said he and Bush get along well personally despite profound policy differences, also said Bush has to be affected by the depth of public opinion against his policies.

Probably the first honest political remark in 65 years. Of course that would explain the current crops aversion them, since no one ever told them to think one either.

Try it Charlie, you’ll like it. Shishkaboom, Shishkaboom.

Taking Back the Flag Too

We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Open Government

Senator blocks open government bill

By Jennifer Talhelm, Associated Press May 31, 2007

WASHINGTON (AP) — Advocates of a bill promoting openness in government are fuming that a Republican senator is blocking a vote.

Dozens of journalism and advocacy groups supporting the Open Government Act argue it would speed up the government’s response to public requests for information under the federal Freedom of Information law.

Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., says the Justice Department is concerned that it could force them to reveal sensitive information.

Yeah I bet they are.

Turn the Pages

Appropriate Disillusionment

I have in front of me two documents of despair, of disillusionment with the American political system that allows this criminal war to continue. Andrew J. Bacevich in his Washington Post op-ed column and Cindy Sheehan in her statement on her blog express despair over the failure of the Democrats placed in power by an antiwar electorate to take firm measures to end the war in Iraq. Sheehan declares, as she announces her departure from the spotlight that “hundreds of thousands of people are dying for a war based on lies that is supported by Democrats and Republican alike,” adding, “It is so painful to me to know that I bought into this system for so many years”

For those of you who missed Cindy’s interview on Democracy Now!, I told you to watch. For those of you who actually read this link, then I would say be on the look out for the reconfiguration that will inevitably follow.

If we really are the sons and daughters of the Founding Fathers, then we will have to learn the primary lesson that they did, if one system does not provide for the needs of the people then a new one will need to be instituted. If not now, when? If not us, Who? So much cliche ridden hyperbole I am surprised it wasn’t in the MSM.

With Friends Like These

Dem Consultants: Calculations of War

Now we read in the Boston Globe how John Kerry, preparing to campaign to be Commander in Chief, voted in 2002 for the Iraq War after his political consultants informed the would-be leader of the free world that he would not be “politically viable” unless he voted yes.

This followed the disclosure that Bob Shrum advised John Edwards to send young men and women to die as a way of improving his weak national-security resume in 2002.

Why Democratic officials listen to this is beyond me.

Here are the presidential campaigns that Bob Shrum lost: 1972, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004. Here are the presidential campaigns Mr. Shrum won: none.

Nice work, if you can get it.

And the boneheads are going to pay the price too.

I know I don’t speak for anyone but myself, but so far our dear leaders have caved on the war, lobby reform, and fair trade. Sounds like three strikes and you’re a sell out to me.

For what it’s worth, I don’t think a refurbished Al Gore is anymore helpful to the American people than a refurbished Newt Gingrich is. Al may have won the debate with Perot on CNN’s Larry King show, (Happy B’day CNN,) but the only winner in all of that was CNN.

Nor do I have much hope, if any, for a global warming initiative since China and India have been compelled by American imperial ideology to being third world nations for so long that they will not come around in time to save the planet since it would require them to do what no American would do, sacrifice their standard of living for a greater good. (updated thought,)Of course we really don’t have that high a standard of living anymore anyway compared to Europe, so perhaps we are willing to sacrifice those things for the few.

Pipe dreams are no replacement for hope, and American Presidential and Congressional politics are no substitute for leadership. All we have right now is a waste of skin.

link via Antiwar

Taking Back The Music

The Mind Readers Digest

6.4.07

Christians Don’t Know Christ

One of the most amazing things about most Christians, and I really hate to get off into the sweeping generalizations,( but in this case it will suffice since Christians that do know Christ won’t be offended, but if you are then you know you probably have a lot of work to do on your Biblical understanding of the Christ, and so you might just actually read the Book before getting your knickers in a knot over the title and ensuing post,) is that they don’t know Christ, but they may know if they are of the minority, their Christian religion.

Most of the Christians we hear about are the noisy, I hate yada yada yada, type Christians, or the, love the sinner hate the sin, Christians, and neither one of these attitudes is even close to understanding what Christ was all about. In fact the general ignorance leaves one wondering where to start, and if one is to blog it up, how to do so without it turning into a tome instead of a post.

This really is a shame, because there is just so much cool stuff that is revealed in the Bible about the person we call the Christ. In fact that is what the Bible is all about, revealing the things that pertain to God.

So the Bible is not a science book, it contains no science, as we understand science, since science as we understand science had not even been developed until long after the Bible was through being written. There are some things that we could in a stretch call scientific observations if we can understand that the science came a thousand years after the observance of any particular observation.

In short, mankind was observant of natural phenomena long before he was scientific about those observations. So the ancients would have observed the zodiacal lights without having any scientific need or basis for describing them. Lacking science they used whatever tools were available at the time, and so the Greeks pinched the term from the Babylonians to describe the zodiacal lights. The absence of the mathematical concept of zero didn’t prevent the concept of nothing or zero from being held by mankind either, and hence the Bible starts out with, “In the beginning God created the heavens, (plural,) and the Earth. That there was nothing there previous to the statement is inherent to the statement itself.

But Christians make a big mistake in trying to turn the Bible into a science book, especially with scientist who may or may not have enough education in either field to have an intelligent interplay with the concepts for philosophical purposes.

Philosophy is also not religion, and the Bible is also not a book of philosophy. They are again distinct, concepts, unless one discusses religion, which is a philosophical construct based on the Bible, more than a Biblical based understanding of Gods revelation of Himself to mankind.

The Bible is the Book of revelation. Christianity is a revealed faith, that has been written down as that faith grew and more was revealed, about God, and God’s purposes and plans. In that sense it has not been finished, and so anyone who thinks they know God and his purposes doesn’t know them as well as they ought to, and conversely should be more than a little bit shy about imposing that limited understanding that they may have obtained to on other people. In the things of God, all men are more ignorant than they are knowledgeable, and from the historical record, not very good students either.

I think it is important for us to try and understand that.

It is important because you can’t learn anything if you already know it all. You have already closed your mind, and so whatever level of ignorance you have obtained to, that is all you will ever obtain to, unless something traumatic occurs and you are forced to re-exam what you thought you knew. It is better to learn it the easy way from the book, but you have to read the book, and for today’s people that is way to much trouble. The Church wishes you to think so too, but that is a different topic for a different time. So you get clobbered, to focus your attention, and not because God is acting per se, but because you have failed to read the Book and heed the warnings.

Anyway, on Good Friday, it should be enough understand the death of the man called Christ, because by his death he made peace between God and mankind. So, “Blessed are the peace makers, for they shall be called sons of the Living God.”, carries many more connotations than one would expect to the term, “Son of God,” in that he is the first born of that peace making. (This has nothing else to do with all the other descriptions of the person of the Christ, such as whether he was pre existent, or Wisdom personified.) This has to do with the revealing of one facet of the man called Christ.

It is important for Christians to understand that the Bible is a slow revealing of the things of God. But it is also a revealing of mankind as well, his personality types, and those differing types in differing degrees, all interacting with others, and how situations were resolved or not. But it is also revealing these things in you and I as individuals, and just as the Book is not finished being written, neither are we.

Christianity is a living faith, but it can become dormant, and it does, but it is a revealing of all things, and it will, when we have come to a knowledge of its’ author. Until then, none of us has progressed to the point of being a judge or jury of any others as to their understandings, and hence behaviors, in the things pertaining to God. That so many an atheist could explain this to most you ought to give you pause as to your own understanding of the things of God, and reveal to you what He has revealed to those who do not believe, and that is He will judge them and you, and not you who shall judge them and yourself.

Of course of all of this is in the Book, so you probably already know this don’t you?

*Edited for spelling, and clarity.

In the Beginning

there was a blog, and the blog was without form, and the blog was a blog without title. And the title became the blog, and the blogger saw that the title was good blogging and the blogging became a blogger’s title.

And the blogger was a entitled without formula to enumerate in missives to the masses the ways of the blogosphere which the blogger was creating as he blogged. And the masses read them and saw that it was pretty good, but thought that they good do better.

And the first blog begat another blog and the law of associations was established that one blog should not blog another blog and the blogs saw this and thought that that was pretty good and blogged the MSM.

And the MSM ignored the blog until the blog started advertising, and the MSM said that’s no good, and so the MSM started blogging and saw that blogging was pretty good with advertising, so the MSM became the psuedo blog.

And the blogs revolted against the psuedo blogs and there was a blog war in the blogosphere, and the blog rings became circles of blogs, duh, and the bloggers saw that this was pretty good too.

And so the blogs started to blog the circles of blogs and the MSM, and the MSM said that was not good that the blogs should blog the psuedo MSM and the circles of blogs with advertising.

And so the psuedo MSM declared the blogs “the blogs,” and denounced them to the FCC and FEC and anyone else who listen as anarchist antithisandthats, and the MSM saw that this was pretty good, and the blogs were defined as such by the MSM, in the MSM and for the MSM and in the psuedo blogs.

And knowledge of the blogs came to be in all of the land and the blogger saw that that was pretty good, although the MSM still sucked from its’ own gravity, it had a psuedo blog to blog against the blog, and the MSM saw this and said that that was pretty good.

And the blog continued to persevere until the MSM noticed that itself was the psuedo blog. And the MSM was greatly ashamed that its’ skirt had been lifted by the blogs revealing its’ private workings to the passerbys of the missives to the masses, as partially made of sudo hacks and partially made of psuedo hacks.

And the MSM became enraged at the loss of revenue and veiwers to the blog, and waged war with the blog, and the blog saw this and said, eh.

And it came to pass that the blog became the blog yet again, and the MSM remained exposed as the blue psuedo shoes of its’ time that would not report on its’ owners.

And the MSM became a many headed beast of four owners, with radio and tv and printed outlets in the same city, sometimes competing with itself, and the FCC saw this and said it was good.

And the four heads of the many beast devoured all of the communications bandwith with bribes and smooth words, and the FCC and FEC saw this and said that’s probably alright, as we are protecting the masses from missives.

And the blogs continued to be defined by talent, luck and happenstance, and the blog remained the blogs.

And the MSM saw the blogs and wept, and the blogs found YouTube and the MSM became quaint, like the conventions of political parties and Geneva. And the blogs saw this and became vlogs and the MSM was sore afraid it reverted to King James Bible english, and topics.

And the masses rose up with many voices and said one!, and it was so, one! One blog to rule them all, one more blog for the road, one blog at a time, one blog is like any other blog, and one odd blog that didn’t hunt.

And the MSM and the psuedo blog was forgotten, until it was remembered as the forgotten media and blogged about yet again.

1.4.07

A Quantum Question

How is it possible to have an electron in an experiment be in two places at the same time, when at that sub atomic level time doesn’t exist?