Tuesday, July 26, 2005
What's the point? Slap 'em on the wrist and life goes on? WTF? I know Spitz wants to run for whatever, which means he'll need money from all these companies that he's *not* prosecuting, but at some point us lefties have to tell Spitz to stop being a corrupt mf. The Rethugs are on 'em for being too tough - we need to get on 'em for not being tough enough.
Posted by Peter at Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Monday, July 25, 2005
From a WaPo blog much less!
'I say in speeches that a plausible mission of artists is to make people appreciate being alive at least a little bit. I am then asked if I know of any artists who pulled that off. I reply, 'The Beatles did.' It appears to me that the most highly evolved Earthling creatures find being alive embarrassing or much worse....Two important women in my life, my mother and my only sister, Alice, or Allie, in Heaven now, hated life and said so. Allie would cry out, “I give up! I give up!”[further examples: Mark Twain, Henry David Thoreau, Jesus] So it is not one whit mysterious that we poison the water and air and topsoil, and construct ever more cunning doomsday devices, both industrial and military. Let us be perfectly frank for a change. For practically everybody, the end of the world cannot come soon enough.'
'It wasn't just a random event, and the most important thing to recognize is that it is still happening out there,' Sir Ian said Sunday in an interview with Sky News TV. He added, 'Somebody else could be shot.'"
Yes, Mr. Ian - someone else could be shot. I hope when that time comes that you'll be proud of what you've just said. Asshole.
UPDATE: More details:
He was shot eight times, with seven bullets being fired into his head, after police followed him from Tulse Hill. Early reports from witnesses said that he had been shot five times.
Well, at least he wasn't executed or anything...
UPDATE: Author who writes article seemingly defending the alleged criminal and the league manager gets letters:
You write that Forsythe and crew were 'told that the alleged bribe was $5 and that Bowers was struck only in the head.' Who told them these things? Ms. Bowers? Or, Mr. Downs? Or someone else? Do you think we should just assume it to be some nonbiased, omniscient observer? It's obvious that not everyone agreed to what happened the day of the attacks - so, who said what?
You write that "other coaches in the league ... told board members the ball that struck Bowers' left ear had glanced off his glove". Is it true? Was every coach in the league watching this little kid tossing the ball on this particular day? At the same time? How many coaches? They all had the same story? Am I the only person to think that odd? What was the special occasion which had all these coaches eyewitness this injury?
You write the following:
"The state police complaint said there had been ongoing arguments between Jennifer Bowers and Downs about her son not getting sufficient playing time ... but Forsythe said he never heard that allegation until after the criminal charges were filed."
Forsythe says he never heard about the Bowers/Downs arguments about playing time until after the criminal charges. So? Is that in dispute? If it is, you failed to mention it.
It seems to me as if you are carrying water for Mr. Forsythe and Mr. Downs by casting aspersions upon Ms. Bowers' honesty by using misdirection and ambiguity. Was that your intention?
UPDATE: North Carolina paper knows what the punishment should be:
We think there's a compelling case for letting the public handle Mark Downs. He could be tied to a fence with a bucket of baseballs set about 30 feet away, and indignant Pennsylvanians could buy three throws for $1.
Of course, it could never happen. But if it could, we'd spring for the whole bucket - and hand it over to the Pittsburg Pirates' bullpen.
Sunday, July 24, 2005
It only took me a week to figure out that the asshole cops who murdered that Brazilian dude in London were in plain clothes - i.e. NO FUCKING UNIFORMS.
One day later the city reeled again when plainclothes officers gunned down a supposed terror suspect...
We were all led to believe that the killers were in uniform - so, when ordered, the victim would have, and should have, stopped - right? Right. Only the killers were not in uniform. Fuckin gangsters. That detail must've slipped.
LA Times says all pols in Washington know that the U.S. needs more cheap labor:
"Hardly anyone in Washington would disagree that the nation needs far more foreign workers than current quotas allow. Two competing Senate bills introduced recently — one by John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.); the other by John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) — would expand temporary-worker programs and are scheduled to be considered Tuesday at a Judiciary Committee hearing."
Of course, the people who are working two jobs aren't doing it for the love of work - they're doing it to make ends meet. And the people who are unemployed and underemployed aren't doing it for unwillingness to work - they're doing it because there are no jobs, or jobs so horriffc that big companies keep running employment ads in their local newspapers to deal with the incredibly high turnover.
Even more cheap foreign labor will yield even worse working conditions for the lower working classes - blue collar folks who haven't organized into unions, in particular.
"The horror is captured in this para. from al-Sharq al-Awsat: 'Eyewitnesses said that a man was sitting in the cafeteria watching three of his sons play soccer on the plaza in front of the bazaar. Then the bomb exploded and they were blown to bits. The father, hysterical, ran around gathering up their body parts, shrieking and weeping.'"
WaPo on how pickup soccer brings the world together:
The second pickup soccer match of the season came on a gray spring Tuesday. It was drizzling and cool, and by 6:30 p.m., a dozen or so men had gotten home from work, changed into shorts and walked from their houses over to a field in their Loudoun County development, a left beyond a glossy red Sheetz gas station and a split rail fence.
As always, Arthur Skaer -- real estate agent, orchestrator, all-around community guy -- came in his Olympic-flag windbreaker and was now yelling, "Antonio! Que pasa ?!" at his neighbor, Antonio Duenas, who is originally from Peru and who passed the ball to Falayi Adu, originally from Nigeria. Eventually, the players included residents who once called Morocco, Colombia, Iran, Cambodia, Somalia, Poland, Austria and Finland home, in addition to places such as Alexandria and Springfield.
Saturday, July 23, 2005
UPDATE: Looks like T.O., and the author of the piece below, may have their facts wrong, and if so, don't show T.O. the money!
I had only ever gotten one side of the T.O. story - the owners' side. The other side of the story is this:
To review: Owens broke his right leg and suffered severe ligament damage to his ankle in the team's third-to-last regular season game and, after undergoing surgery, was told by doctors he'd need at least two months to heal. The Eagles won a pair of playoff games without him to reach the Super Bowl, at which point T.O. pronounced himself fit to return more than a week-and-a-half ahead of schedule.
Sure, the Eagles said. Go ahead. As long as you sign this injury waiver indemnifying us in case you reinjure the ankle.
Again, to review: Owens hurt the ankle while playing football -- and very good football at that -- for the Philadelphia Eagles. His desire was to return to the football field to help the Eagles win the Super Bowl. And if Owens, in the midst of doing that, were to have suffered further injury to the leg?
Uh, sorry man, but you'll have to pay for that out of your own pocket.
Only in the NFL could a scenario this twisted even be broached. For perspective's sake, think back to Willis Reed's dramatic and inspirational limp through the Madison Square Garden tunnel and onto the floor for Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals. Reed, who'd suffered a torn right thigh muscle in Game 5, scored just four points -- the game's first two baskets -- but his act of bravery was widely credited with inspiring the Knicks to a 113-99 victory.
Now imagine if this conversation had taken place as Reed was gingerly lacing up his low-tops while preparing to leave the locker room:
Knicks GM: "Hey, Big Guy, do you think you can go?"
Reed: "I can barely walk. But I'm gonna try."
Knicks GM: "That's great, Willis. You're a true warrior. Now, if you could just sign here."
Reed: "Sign what? What's that piece of paper?"
Knicks GM: "It's called an injury waiver. It means if anything happens to you out there tonight -- well, we know this orthopedist in Staten Island who offers really good discounts."
Reed (unlacing his shoes): "Uh, you know what? My leg hurts."
Yet Owens, bless his gambling heart, signed the waiver anyway -- and got away with it. He played, with a metal plate and two screws in his ankle, and played amazingly well, and he walked off the field without having reaggravated the injury. He caught nine passes for 122 yards and was arguably the Eagles' best player that day. His catch near the sideline with 3:42 remaining, which came after he planted on the tender ankle and lunged to snatch the ball a few inches from the ground, was one of the more memorable plays in recent Super Bowl history. Had some of Owens's teammates played a bit better -- in other words, as well as he did -- Philly's 24-21 defeat might have instead been a triumph.
And now you know ... the rest of the story.
Posted by Peter at Saturday, July 23, 2005
Thursday, July 21, 2005
Ron Paul (R - TX) says some outrageous shit, but sometimes he speaks common sense:
I, like many, have assumed that the driving force behind the suicide attacks was Islamic fundamentalism. Promise of instant entry into paradise as a reward for killing infidels seemed to explain the suicides, a concept that is foreign to our way of thinking. The world's expert on suicide terrorism has convinced me to rethink this simplistic explanation, that terrorism is merely an expression of religious extremism and resentment of a foreign culture.
Robert Pape, author of Dying to Win, explains the strategic logic of suicide terrorism. Pape has collected a database of every suicide terrorist attack between 1980 and 2004, all 462 of them. His conclusions are enlightening and crucial to our understanding the true motivation behind the attacks against Western nations by Islamic terrorists. After his exhaustive study, Pape comes to some very important conclusions.
Religious beliefs are less important than supposed. For instance, the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, a Marxist secular group, are the world's leader in suicide terrorism . The largest Islamic fundamentalist countries have not been responsible for any suicide terrorist attack. None have come from Iran or the Sudan. Until the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Iraq never had a suicide terrorist attack in all of its history. Between 1995 and 2004, the al-Qaeda years, two-thirds of all attacks came from countries where the U.S. had troops stationed. Iraq's suicide missions today are carried out by Iraqi Sunnis and Saudis. Recall, 15 of the 19 participants in the 9/11 attacks were Saudis.
The clincher is this: the strongest motivation, according to Pape, is not religion but rather a desire "to compel modern democracies to withdraw military forces from the territory the terrorists view as their homeland."
The best news is that if stopping suicide terrorism is a goal we seek, a solution is available to us. Cease the occupation of foreign lands, and the suicide missions will cease. Between 1982 and 1986, there were 41 suicide terrorist attacks in Lebanon. Once the U.S., the French, and Israel withdrew their forces from Lebanon, there were no more attacks. The reason the attacks stop, according to Pape, is that the Osama bin Ladens of the world no longer can inspire potential suicide terrorists despite their continued fanatical religious beliefs.
Posted by Peter at Thursday, July 21, 2005
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
More on the near-totality of FDA corruption:
The FDA asked dozens of companies to track the safety of devices used by children, whose growing bodies and active lifestyles can tax the products in ways not studied before approval. But the FDA could not say which studies had been completed or whether its requests had been ignored. And the agency rarely told the public what it learned about device safety, said a committee convened by the Institute of Medicine, the federal government's adviser on public health.
Even more on the near-totality of FDA corruption?
'It is becoming more and more obvious to me that F.D.A. is plagued by structural, personnel, cultural and scientific problems,' Mr. Grassley said. 'Those problems should be equally obvious to Dr. Crawford, but under the leadership of Dr. Crawford the F.D.A. appears to be in a state of denial.'
That's Grassley, R-IA, for those of you paying attention.
Retired Gen. William Westmoreland, who commanded American troops in Vietnam — the nation's longest conflict and the only war America lost — died Monday night. He was 91.
How's that for a send-off?
Shoot - I might not get an AP headline, but at least I won't have to worry about the AP implying that I'm the reason we lost the only war that we ever lost! Sheesh.
And, as for the accuracy of 'the only war we ever lost', I think it's safe to say that Bush has already lost the Iraq War, rendering the aforementioned phrase, 'the only war we ever lost', inoperative.
The only thing that could salvage Bush's reputation from total damnation is if we managed to keep permanent bases in Iraq. If that happens, and I'm fairly certain it will, then Bush will not be known for losing Iraq, but he will still be known for being the guy who 'lost the peace', destroyed our military, used soldiers as political props, wasted hundreds of billions (trillions?) of dollars in taxpayer money, radicalized normal law-abiding folks all over the world into self-exploding suicide bombers, trashed civil liberties in America, greatly weakened the protections of the Geneva Conventions, aggressively worked to break long-standing ties with major and important allies, diminished the reputation of the U.S. as a respectable nation of respectable people, etc.
Monday, July 18, 2005
Seems like some Iraqi leaders are starting to get the picture of U.S. military strategy in Iraq - it's the same strategy we used in the first major war we lost - Vietnam:
Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the most revered Shiite cleric in Iraq, asked the government 'to defend this country against the mass annihilation,' according to Vice President Adel Abdul Mahdi, who led a delegation that visited the ayatollah on Sunday.
That's right Mr. al-Sistani - we are there to annihilate your people - make no mistake about it. But don't take my word for it - take it from our troops:
"If somebody shoots at you, you waste him," said Estrada, 32, of Kearny, N.J. "When you go back to Camp Lejeune, these will be the good old days, when you brought . . . death and destruction to -- what . . . is this place called?"
A Marine answered in the darkness: "Haqlaniyah."
Democracy, 'death and destruction' - same thing...
Let's hope the bitch gets some sense:
Still, Miller's not on vacation, and she may find, as others have before her, that time in prison changes one's priorities. In 1993, for instance, Sol Wachtler, the former chief judge of the New York State Court of Appeals, spent 11 months in a federal jail for harassing his onetime mistress. Wachtler, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, ultimately wrote a book contrasting the cavalier assumptions judges make about prisons with the harsh and degrading reality of strip searches and solitary confinement. Since his release, Wachtler has been a powerful advocate for prisoners and the mentally ill."
This guy Sol Wachtler sounds like a true scumbag. Not just because he's a Republican, and not just because he's a criminal, but because it seems like he enjoyed being cruel and inhumane for so long, and for no good reason - he was just an evil motherfucker.
Response email to 'backtalk' at antiwar.com after I read this article:
"Some of the ditzier liberals have been quite upset at this turn of events."
The 'ditzier liberals' link doesn't feature any liberals who talk about Plamegate. It features a couple of conservative writers, Miller's lawyer, a representative of the conservative/statist New York Times, and some others.
This attack on liberals - much like the U.S. attack on Iraq's massive and mighy Republican Guard - is ficticious; that is, the foe does exist in some form, but it is neither massive nor mighty. Yet this attack-the-liberals sequence is a consistent feature of Raimondo's work. Bash the 'whiny liberals', bash neocons, the War Party - anyone and everyone but the people who supported both Bush elections - like conservative Republican Pat Buchanan, not Republicans, in general, and certainly not conservatives, in general. It's the liberals who should be despised, you see, because they are neither extremist pro-war, nor extremist anti-war. They're not one hundred percent certain of their righteousness, and therefore deserve to be relegated to 'whiny' status.
Raimondo's otherwise-solid analytical pieces are often interrupted by anti-liberal invective that gives pause to anyone, like myself, who is attempting to work in good faith with folks of all stripes, even with Reagan-worshipers like Raimondo, to defeat imperialism. Instead of wanting to run out and promote antiwar.com and Raimondo's work, we're pushed to write another tired critique of another tired attack piece on 'whiny liberals'. From reading Raimondo's work, one would think it was the liberals who had control of our government. To borrow a favorite Raimondo phrase, 'Bizarro World'.
You won't see a critique of conservative/Republican talking points on Miller that dominate the airwaves - on how the jailing of Miller is an outrage, how an overzealous special prosecutor is out of control, how Judy Miller should not be punished, but rather given a medal of honor. Why?
My best guess used to be repressed anti-liberal desires that work in Raimondo's subconcious to get in at least one anti-liberal screed per article. But now I'm coming to the conclusion, however late in coming, that this is just partisan hackery, plain and simple. Not every Republican needs to be filthy rich, perhaps, but they all want to feel as if they've done their part in defeating the liberal insurgency at home. Down with the freedom-hating ACLU! - that will always win hearts and minds of Republican friends.
Raimondo's piece suggests that that protestations over Miller's jailing were coming primarily from liberals. It's as if the party that currently controls our government and has the most, by far, to lose with a successful investigation (Hint: It's not the Democrats) doesn't even exist in Raimondo's mind. Or maybe they've been silent about Judith Miller, happy to have her jailed as special prosecutor Patrick Fitgerald comes ever-closer to indicting many top-level conservatives in the current administration. This is not a reality-based article.
Raimondo is entitled to write whatever he wants, and he's entitled to continue the titanic battle in his mind between himself and the vast - and quite powerful, mind you - left wing conspiracy, but it doesn't most effectively serve the purpose of defeating imperialism and promoting freedom. That's why I've wasted yet more of my precious time trying to point out the glaring hypocrisy in Raimondo's work. The work ends up lacking intellectual honesty, comes off as cheap partisan hackery, and helps the Rethugs keep a clear message from resonating with our fellow citizens.
It's time to join forces. The cold war is over - if it ever existed. There'll be plenty of time to jump to the other side again when you need that retirement nestegg. Regnery publishing and the cable news networks are not going away. The ACLU and those bad liberals won't hurt you anymore - I promise.
KILLEEN, Texas — Most of the men in 4th Squad, Charlie Battery, fought two wars while they were in Iraq. There was the war against the insurgents that had them patrolling for roadside bombs and raiding houses at all hours. Then there was the war back home, which had them struggling, over phone lines from 7,000 miles away, to keep their marriages and their bank accounts intact.
They say they eventually got used to the bombs. The crazy possibility of dying any minute didn't haunt them so much. But that other war, that was the one that tore them up in the downtime spent in Sgt. Cox's trailer at Camp Victory. It would get quiet, and then one or another of them would ask: "So, how are things going at home?" And they would begin to brood.
They all knew about "Jody," the opportunist of Army lore who moved in on a soldier's girl while the soldier was off fighting a war. They had sung hundreds of cadences in basic training deriding the name. But it had always seemed like a joke, something that happened to other guys.
After all, Sgt. Brent Cox, 36, and his wife, Kristina, were expecting their first child after 12 years of marriage.
Pvt. Ray Hall, 21, was married to his high school sweetheart, an airman first class stationed in San Antonio.
Spc. Jason Garcia, 23, believed that his on-again, off-again relationship with the mother of his then-2-year-old son was on again; he had given her his ATM card as a gesture of commitment.
But on the long-awaited day in February when the three soldiers returned here to Ft. Hood, Texas, turned in their rifles and stood on the parade field, only Hall had a sweetheart there to meet him. And he found himself wishing she hadn't come at all.
There's just too much wrong with this scenario to even comment on. It never should have happened in the first place. This war is unjust. Its consquences are unjust. It's just one, big clusterfuck.
Sunday, July 17, 2005
It's probably nothing. Really. The FDA is full of integrity - I swear.
Posted by Peter at Sunday, July 17, 2005
Friday, July 15, 2005
This is a great service. The other day I went into a coffee/magazine shop just north of Dupont Circle on Connecticut and orderd up a full black-and-white copy of the Sunday edition of the San Francisco Chronicle - on oversized paper, printed on both sides - almost exactly like having the real paper in my hands, and for less than $5. Very, very cool.
Found a nonsensical right-wing/nationalist op-ed screed in the Express & Star (regional set of papers with head office in Wolverhampton, UK), so decided to be a glutton for punishment.
What I found, instead, was something truly remarkable - a hard look at how old men brainwash young men into killing for them:
"He was a 19-year-old suicide bomber from West Yorkshire. Fired with love of nation and faith, he was trained in special camps to do unspeakable things to other human beings.
When the order came, he picked up his gun and his satchel of bombs and set out to slaughter the enemy. The enemy were mostly decent people but he had been brainwashed to believe they were unspeakable sub-humans.
He was my great-uncle. He was Private Alvin Smith of the Duke of Wellington's Regiment (West Riding), just another squaddie of the Great War. He was killed on his first day in battle on the Somme in September, 1916.
At the previous Christmas, over dinner shared with his family and his best friend, Willie Smith, Alvin said: 'We'd best enjoy this Christmas, Willie. I dare say we won't see the next one.'
He believed they were on a suicide mission. He was right."
Young GIs don't necessarily join the military with killing Muslims on their minds, but they're trained to do it. Young Muslims don't necessarily join a mosque with killing non-Muslims on their minds, but they're occasionally trained to do it. So, both are wrong, correct? Good. We agree. Killing of innocents is just not justified. There can be uber-extreme cases, sure, where we might decide that we'd like to play God, but those are so extremely rare that we don't even need to worry about them here. The principle holds - killing innocents is wrong, no matter what. On that much, we all agree.
And both sets of young men are on suicide missions - whether they know it or not. Whether you are killing innocents in the name of Allah, or whether you are killing innocents in the name of 'freedom', you are both killers of innocents, and you are both wrong. Agreed? Good.
So, when can we expect the denunciation of Bush and Cheney and the military and the rest of the people who indoctrinate our youth in the art of killing, sometimes killing innocents?
Of course, the US military doesn't train its GI to kill innocents (I dont' think so, anyways), but innocents killed by the US military are just 'collateral damage'. I'm sure the London bombers also thought of their prey as 'collateral damage' - not a primary objective, just something that is sometimes necessary to achieve a higher objective.
Hey Pete - I've heard of 'collateral damage' before - yep. Wasn't really sure if it was the best term, but it kind of made sense - until you refer to these dead white English people as collateral damage - that's making me think a little bit. Maybe collateral damage is not the right term? I just doesn't seem....to do justice to the fact that innocent people were killed - how can people just call them 'collateral damage'?
It's called passive racism. You're probably not a member of the KKK, but that doesn't excuse your laziness with respect to how you think about people of other cultures and skin colors as being less human than yourself. Fix that. Read books on race. Read 'Black Like Me'. Read Cornel West. Read Eldridge Cleaver. Just read. And then do.
So, some right-wing nutjobs will want to talk about the moral equivalency of the London bombers and US GIs. (We'll use the term 'GI' to refer to all US forces operating in/around Iraq, including Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines.) Fine - it distracts from the real culprits - the 'masterminds', if you will - but let's do it - to shut these fuckers up. Then, supposing they're satisfied with our analysis, we can all concentrate on capturing and punishing (not killing - us sane folks, want justice, not revenge) those responsible. (Of course, if the war crimes tribunals recommend death, who are we to argue?)
So, are GI's as evil as these suicide bombers? Yes, and no. Some are as evil, some are more evil, some are less evil (and some none at all). What are the percentages? Not sure. Depends on a lot of factors. Those GIs who have raped, sexually humiliated, tortured, and intentionally killed innocent Iraqis are more evil. Those GIs who have intentionally killed innocent Iraqis would only be as evil as the London bombers. Those GIs who have not intentionally killed innocent Iraqis would be less evil than the London bombers. Of course, we like to think that most Muslims and most GIs are not evil at all, but who knows, maybe that's just liberal utopianism.
What are the percentages? Good question. Of the 150,000 or so US GIs in Iraq, how many have intentionally killed innocent Iraqis? 1%? (For the purposes of this exercise, we'll leave out from this study those evil bastard GIs who did not intentionally kill innocent Iraqis, but who still took part, and currently take part, in torturing innocent Iraqis - i.e. we'll restrict this study to those GIs who kill.) That would amount to about 1,500 GIs. Sounds a little low to me, but we'll see how the calcs work out.
Now, how many innocent Iraqis have been killed intentionally by GIs? The total number of dead Iraqi civilians is about 130,000 right now - we'll say that one quarter that number is the number of Iraqis intentionally killed by GIs - that's about 32,500 innocent Iraqis who were intentionally killed by GIs. (Defining 'intentionally is a bit problematic. In my book, claiming that you "didn't mean it" doesn't qualify as not being intentional. For instance, claiming that you "didn't mean" to kill a few thousand innocent Iraqis in Operation Flatten Fallujah doesn't get you off the hook - you're still a war criminal and deserve to be treated as such. But there are plenty of unintentional cases.) So, we divide the number of evil motherfuckin GIs into the number they've killed, and that comes out to about 21 dead per GI. The London bombers killed about 60 (so the count says so far, b/c the cowardly cops wouldn't get their fat, donut-eating asses down into the subway!) - and with 4 attackers, that comes out to about 15 dead per bomber. So, the evil GIs are more evil than the suicide bombers, right?
Well, not quite. There are about 15,000 factors we did not take into account. We didn't talk about 9/11 victims. We didn't talk about Afghani victims. We didn't talk about Spain. We didn't talk about a lot of things. As I said, it's a ridiculous comparison - a ridiculous question. The real question we should concern ourselves with is how evil, respectively, are the leaders of the US and UK compared to the folks who trained these bombers? And what should their punishments be? And, how do we get them arrested?
Are Bush and Blair more evil than, say, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed? I believe I can make a convincing case that they are much more evil - and are much more deserving of being punished than some low-rent suicide bomb trainer. They all deserve punihsment, of course, but looking at the numbers alone points us to the obvious conclusion that Bush and Blair are the two most deadly 'masterminds', and must be apprehended and punished as quickly as possible.
But that's for another day...
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Wrote a letter to the editor about this:
Subject: "goat molesting raghead"?
WTF, jwalsh? Seriously. Does the DAOU report just reprint whatever someone says as long as enough people are reading it? How long before we get reprints of KKK literature?
Thanks for nothing. Glad I didn't renew. The once-premiere lefty political online mag now reprints racist hate rhetoric. Beautiful.
Posted by Peter at Thursday, July 14, 2005
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Right or wrong, it'd be pretty tough to argue at this point that the American system is not producing quality players, and in an outrageously short amount of time the quality of the play and players has gone from crap to amonger the world's best. Does it have to do with events like this, and the capitalist profit motive behind them?
Posted by Peter at Wednesday, July 13, 2005
From official statistics (an increase in terror-related deaths last year of, oh...4,000% or whatever it is), we know Bush has radicalized the entire world, not just the Muslim world, but let's take a look at what our headlines look like when Bush really gets going.
This is just a snapshot of what I find at Google News, the 'World' link, at 12.47 am on July 13, 2005 (too lazy to link them):
* Police Identify 4 Bombers in London Blasts
* US Condemns Suicide Bombing in Israel, Urges Palestinian Crackdown
* Murr escapes deadly car bomb attack
* Man on Trial in Dutch Killing Says He'd Do 'Same Again'
* Four terror suspects escape in Afghanistan
* Bombs hit Spanish power plant after ETA warning
* Muslims face attacks, resentment after terror strike
These are all different stories representing six different terrorist strikes. The world is mad, of course, but when Bush runs things, the world is really mad...
Posted by Peter at Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Not sure why this case hasn't attracted more attention:
Then the effort, about 18 months after its inception, drew to a halt, for reasons that had nothing to do with its virtues or drawbacks. The authority fired Mr. Anemone and Mr. Casale in May 2003, one month after they made allegations of corruption not related to counterterrorism efforts. Each man has sued the authority, alleging he was unjustly fired.
So, the New York MTA is trying to make things more secure - you know, post-9/11 and all that jazz, but two whistleblowers had to go fuck everything up by pointing out that a couple of crooks in the MTA were stealing shitloads of taxpayer money. Got it.
Read an article denouncing Che. Thought it started out well, if one-sided, but then it quickly slipped into ridiculousness. And you know what happens when some hack wastes my time while distorting history ... that author gets letters!
Why on earth would you destroy what seemed to me, at first, to be a reasonably factual, or at least, non-hysterical account of Che's dirty dealings?
You talk about Cuba's economy in 1997 as if it hadn't been under U.S. attack - literally and figuratively - for decades:
"In fact, by 1997, the thirtieth anniversary of his death, Cubans were dieting on a ration of five pounds of rice and one pound of beans per month; four ounces of meat twice a year; four ounces of soybean paste per week; and four eggs per month."
We'll never know what would have been possible in Cuba without Che and Fidel having to worry about getting murdered 24x7 by American presidents. But don't let that stop you from selectively choosing facts to suit your needs.
That you even mentioned the Bay of Pigs invasion starts to seem surprising, but then, instead of providing context for the attack, you use it to further attempt to bolster your argument that Che was so power hungry that he'd do just about anything to gain even more power - including inviting a full-scale U.S. invasion of the mainland:
"The U.S.-backed Bay of Pigs invasion in April 1961 became the perfect occasion to consolidate the new police state, with the rounding up of tens of thousands of Cubans and a new series of executions. As Guevara himself told the Soviet ambassador Sergei Kudriavtsev, counterrevolutionaries were never "to raise their head again."
No mention of the hundreds/thousands of U.S. funded 'counterrevolutionaries', both in the U.S. and in Cuba, who actively plotted against the Cuban government and its people. Did Che have a reason for rounding people up? Of course not - he was just power-hungry! Brilliant!
No mention of the decades-long U.S. campaign of terrorism aimed at both Cuban government officials and thousands of innocent Cuban civilians - the civilians that the heart of your article feigns to bleed for.
No mention of how the intent of these U.S. terrorist strikes was to weaken the Cuban economy, and eventually, to destabilize the nation.
No mention of just how many innocent civilians were 'injured, murdered, and traumatized for life' by these U.S. terrorist attacks on 'soft targets' like health centers. Not even an estimate from a former doctor who treated the wounded from such attacks. Despicable. As is the intellectual dishonesty with which you wield your poisonous and well paid-for pen.
The intent of your article was not to document U.S. atrocities in Cuba, of course - many others have completed this grisly history for us - but by intentionally leaving out the context for the strengthening security apparatus in Cuba, you've done your readers a great disservice, and have irreparably harmed your reputation among thinking readers - which, of course, means you'll probably be appearing on Fox News in short order.
An honest article, it seems to me, would have opened the door for the reader to draw the conclusion that it was the U.S. terror campaign against Cuba that was the main cause of the shift in Cuban domestic policy regarding personal freedoms. But allowing readers to think for themselves doesn't make much money these days, does it?
One doesn't need a PhD to spot a hack job when he sees one. Hope you were paid well, comrade.
Seems the article originally appeared in The New Republican. I found it here. Which said it was originally posted at the author's blog, here.
I'm all for human rights and all that fun stuff, but I'm not up for distorting history and reality to make a few bucks.
Monday, July 11, 2005
"I'm well aware, like you, of what was previously said," McClellan said. "And I will be glad to talk about it at the appropriate time." He said the appropriate time would be when the investigation is completed.
In other words - 'Fuck off'. He says he's well aware of what was said - i.e. "I'm well aware that I've been lying to you for the past two years, fuckers - now eat shit, and die."
These guys will lie all day, but their media supporters and voting supporters don't seem to care. What do you do when that happens? Obviously mainstream Republican voters think that this type of representation is what they want and deserve. Or maybe they just can't stand the thought of having a lying liberal in there. Whatever the case, you'd think that Rethug voters would at least tell Bush to stop lying to them. Wouldn't you?
Another piece of evidence showing that 40 hours a week is just too much.
Republican elites have managed to brainwash most of America that working more and more for less and less is a good and patriotic thing to do. Maybe working-class Republican voters (and others) will realize that maybe they've been had.
Listen - defend yourselves? Sure. But cap a 17-month old girl because you don't like the idea that you're going to be a little late for dinner? C'mon mf's.
Why was it so urgent that the LAPD force the issue on this father, who was intoxicated, distraught, mentally ill (according to the wife and now-dead baby's mother)? Why mf's? Why?
You wanna cap the Latino dude talkin shit? Fine. Go for it. Wouldn't be the first time you capped someone, and in this case, it even appears that you might have had sufficient cause to cap this dude. But the baby girl? The mother's pleading with you not to fire on the dude because she loves her baby girl to death and will die if the baby girl is injured or killed, and you still fire a hail of automatic and semi-automatic weapons at a dude holding a baby girl and using her as a shield?! What kind of sadomasochistic, evil ass bitches are you?
You had a SWAT team. You had lot of guns. You had lots of backup. Presumably you had a hostage negotiator. Presumably the dude's drunkenness would have worn off eventually - unless all you Hollywood LAPD bitches are all scientologists and don't believe in the sound science behind earthly intoxication. That's what they do with drunks, don't they? They put them in a holding cell for the night and release them the next morning when they sober up? Does that sound fucking familiar, assholes, or is this the new rocket science of the corrupt-ass, gangster LAPD?
Fuckin loser mf's...
And no, I'm not impressed that some loopy LAPD officer is gonna be on tv in a couple of days giving some teary-eyed bullshit explanation for why he blew this little girl's head off. It's not enough to be sorry, bitches!
And yes, we'll wait for the investigation to tell us who actually killed the girl - LAPD or LAPD SWAT. You bitches should be jailed!
UPDATE: Let's add other 'current greatest hits' by the LAPD:
* The B.I.G. civil trial - of at least two rogue-ass cops, now in jail. The city has to pay all the legal fees of the plaintiffs for this mistrial because they were lying the whole fucking time to the city, the court, the jurors, the defense, the judge, everybody. BIG's moms is trying to link BIG's killing with the rogue-ass cops who flourished even more brilliantly during the Rampart Division Scandal of 1997. You mean you don't remember the story about the LAPD cops who framed some black dude on the street? They beat, shot, and then arrested him. When they shot him, they managed to paralyze him. You don't remember that? Well, well, read up, friends. True gangsters will tell you who they look up to when it comes to being ruthless - LAPD, Rampart Division. Those bitches are pure, unadulterated evil.
* Two other LAPD cops sleeping on the job, having sex with strippers, committing adultery, and all sorts of other assorted criminalities.
* 15-year LAPD veteran has been charged with blowing a 15-year old boy at least 10 times.
* Robber tunnels his way out of jail using a penny. It's like the Bad News Bears version of the Crips.
And that's just a couple of weeks worth of news clips, folks. Just a couple. And that's not even all of the couple of weeks worth of misconduct captured on the wires. This is systemic abuse of the law, folks. Time to break it up. From the top down, it's time to clean house.
Meanwhile, contact this Antonio Villaraigosa cat and tell him you want these LAPD gangster reigned in! Killing a
three year 17-month old girl in cold blood. Fuckin shot her like a dog. Bastards. Someone needs to pay for that. Bigtime.
UPDATE: Villaraigosa gets letters:
Subject: Arrest those gangster LAPD cops!
Listen, the LAPD is out of control. Time to reign in those trigger-happy fools. We can't have these killers running loose on the streets thinking they can kill anyone they see just because they're gonna be late for dinner.
We're tired of this lawlessness. We have rules. Having a badge does *not* exempt you from obeying the rules of society. The idea that these gangster cops had to force the issue upon this guy would be only absurd, if it wasn't offensive.
That little girl deserved more of a chance than the LAPD gave her. These cops wanted to be home in time for dinner. Maybe they had to go collect some drug money. Maybe they had to go have sex with a teenage boy. Maybe they had to go cheat on their wives and have sex with strippers and fall asleep at firing ranges. Maybe they had to rehearse their testimoney of lies for the next BIG trial.
But I'm thinking maybe it's time for some justice around here. Maybe our new mayor has some intestinal fortitude. But maybe not...
UPDATE: And, the LAPD gets a suggestion via their 'Suggestion Box' (I also copied their 'suggestions' email address):
* Stop killing 17-month old girls!
* Hang your heads in shame!
* Apologize profusely!
* Pay that woman $100,000 restitution!
* Beg God (or Xenu) for forgiveness!
UPDATE: Well, at least she probably didn't suffer - LAPD saw to that by putting a hole in her head.
Could any good come of the murder of a little girl? LAPD will start using software, at the command of the Justice Department, that will help track rogue cops. They best have some serious iPod-like data storage...
UPDATE: A San Diego Union Tribune writes this:
Meanwhile, the mother of the dead toddler, Lorena Lopez, is screaming to the Spanish-language press – and anyone else who will listen – that the police killed her baby, that authorities should have made her child's safety their top priority and that she wants justice. She even – surprise – has an attorney and plans to sue the police department.
Which means he gets letters like this:
Subject: baby killers....
If the cops weren't so scared of *something*, why
would their spokesman be running around LYING TO THE
PRESS AND PUBLIC, REPEATEDLY, by claiming that Mr.
Peña is a killer? Unless Mr. Peña has a rap sheet we
have not been told about, how can the press take that
statement lying down? It's outrageous by itself.
The spokesman is talking about condolences and whatnot
for the family of the injured officer. Is he serious?
Getting shot in the shoulder is something that needs
to be deeply considered with 'condolences' or whatever
other wacky, offensive terminology he's attempting to
use to equate the killing of a baby girl with the
shooting in the shoulder of a SWAT officer?
And you painting the mother as some sort of welfare
queen trying to get rich off the death of her baby
girl is disgusting. You should be ashamed of
yourself. The next time your baby daughter is killed
by an LAPD cop in a completely uncalled-for raid,
*then* you can let us know how much of a loyalist to
the LAPD you are.
UPDATE: LA Indymedia has some video footage of the first of what are sure to be many more demonstrations to come. LA's gonna ignite if the LAPD whitewashes too much of this crime...
File this under, WTF:
*My mind and heart are, like those of so many Americans, focused on the Gulf and Iraq tonight. I am thinking about all those brave young men and women in the US and British armed forces whose lives are on the line, and send them my warm support. And I am thinking about all the innocent Iraqis in the line of fire, who fear what awaits them. I remain convinced that, for all the concerns one might have about the aftermath, the removal of Saddam Hussein and the murderous Baath regime from power will be worth the sacrifices that are about to be made on all sides. The rest of us have a responsibility to work to see that the lives lost are redeemed by the building of a genuinely democratic and independent Iraq in the coming years.
Actually, Professor, the rest of us have a responsibility to work to see that those responsible for this war crime are punished to the fullest extent of the law.
Who the fuck knew that Juan Cole was pro-war? Juan Cole?
Yes, Juan. Cole. Pro. War.
Like I said before... WTF?
Sunday, July 10, 2005
Just saying, it's time to combat all the 'outrageous jury awards' nonsense with common sense. Jury awards have little to nothing to do with the rising cost of medical insurance premiums.
Seriously, does it ever end with these asshole gangsters? I mean, c'mon folks. At some point we're all gonna have to offer a collective 'Enough is Enough, MF's!"
"Although Katz testified in a recent deposition that he forgot that the material was in his desk, the statement is utterly unbelievable. The detective, acting alone or in concert with others, made a decision to conceal . . .," the judge wrote.
I hope BIG's momma keeps keepin on...
Check it - want to live like a king? or queen? Just out a CIA agent - boom! You'll be staying in stylish quarters like this.
Sounds like this chick is livin large:
The scene resembles a dormitory with a lounge attached. At one end of a large room. a handful of young men are watching television; in another area, a second group watches a different set. Several inmates are playing cards. The area is bright, sunny, and clean. The furniture-sofa and chairs-is comfortable and clean. The carpet on the floor is unstained. No one has scratched his or her initials in the paints or on the wood tables. Windows allow a view of the outside. Despite all the activity, the room is relatively quiet. The television volume is low, and no one is shouting.
All for the low, low price of breaking the law, ruining someone's career for political gain, and jeopardizing U.S. national security!
Haven't been hearing the 'Rule of Law' and 'Soft on Criminals' tirades from the wingnuts lately. I'm sure it's going to happen soon. I swear...
(hat tip: E & P)
UPDATE: Thought it time to hear a strong voice a dissent. Dissent? Yes, sticking up for national security these days means you are dissenting from the conventional wisdom. Steve Chapman of the Chicago Tribune weighs in:
CHAPMAN: Look, we have a law against disclosing the names of undercover agents. Everybody agrees that's a good law. In this case it was violated. That's a serious federal felony, and I think any other citizen who was called to testify, having been witness to this crime, would consider it a normal obligation of citizenship to do so, and what we have here is reporters -- a reporter now -- who says she doesn't have that obligation.
And then, of course, we have pappy Bush, who was once CIA himself:
I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious, of traitors.
And, finally, that something from that lefty, Castro-loving, radical, Ed Gillespie:
Likewise, when asked whether exposing Valerie Plame's identity would be "worse than Watergate," Bush's close colleague Ed Gillespie said, "Yeah, I suppose in terms of the real world implications of it," adding that "to reveal the identity of an undercover CIA operative -- it's abhorrent, and it should be a crime, and it is a crime."
Friday, July 08, 2005
Seems true. But what the heck is going on? This case is bizarre. Not even sure what the crime is. Illegal dumping? That might make sense, but if you don't put the animals in the dumpster, where do you put them? The animal cruelty charges seem like a bad joke - guess the local sheriff's department either wanted to be sure of covering all their bases, which would be a good thing, or they just wanted some press because they're a bunch of right-wingers - guess we'll find out.
One, who knew PETA killed (euthanized) so many animals? Not I. That fact alone doesn't the whole story make, but it is important. It seems quite a few other people, including government officials, were under the same impression. I suppose it wouldn't be the best public affairs strategy - to annouce you're going to off a bunch of innocent animals - but seems like PETA hasn't been as honest with the public as they should have been.
Right-wing propaganda outfits like the Center for Consumer Freedom have been jumping on PETA for this, but in this case, rightfully so. I don't know the laws, but it seems like they were at least dumping illegally. This is one case where I'm basically on their side. A couple of rogue employees, though, shouldn't tar the entire organization. The question is, are there other rogue employees?
Why are the wingers after PETA? PETA is no friend of big business. They're always demanding humane conditions for animal treatment by big business, and that's expensive. So it's no surprise that the wingers are all over PETA.
31 felony counts is no joke...was there any evidence to suggest foul play in the offing of the animals? I don't know. Sounds a bit fishy to me.
AP report on counties cutting ties, at least temporarily...
On the other side of things, though, this 'Clubbing Baby Seals' clip will fuck you up. If, that is, you're stupid enough to watch it, like I was. So, take my advice: Don't ruin your night. Instead, go here and give these folks some cash. Or join up and give them some cash. Whatever. Just do something. Like the video says: Being heartbroken isn't enough.
And, that Running of the Bulls stuff in Pamplona Spain - what to say? Cool, but fuck - do you see what they do to the bulls?! J! H! C! Fuckin horrifying. So, check out the Running of the Nudes.
I can't support that shit. No way. I've known for a few years now the type of shit they do to the bulls - in bullfights - stabbing 'em and shit - but have never done anything about it. Well, now I can be counted a PETA member in good standing. It's a start.
Why, oh why, do I have to see shit like this?
Terrorist acts are meant to show us how thin the veneer of order and decency in the world is, but they can demonstrate just the opposite if we use them to deepen our commitment to the richness and civility of our lives. That sends a message to the terrorists: You have failed again."
Of all the meaningless rhetoric, this has got to be some of the worst. Worse, the terrorists haven't failed. They've got people scared shitless. Transit workers were threatening to strike - and I don't blame them. Would you go down into a hole in the ground when your government is doing all it can to turn law-abiding citizens into extremists who want to kill you in that hole in the ground?
Raimondo says the un-sayable:
Who benefits? Who loses? And who knew? Surely Netanyahu knew, either 'days' or 'minutes' before the blasts shattered all hope that the War Party might yet be defeated – and it wasn't Scotland Yard that tipped him off. In any case, the key question that must be asked, and answered, before the lesson of London's Terror Thursday can be fully assimilated and learned, is this: What did Bibi know, and when did he know it?
Read the whole thing.
UPDATE: Israel lying.
A Venezuelan opposition figure who was received by US President George Bush is to go on trial with three colleagues, accused of conspiring to change the government using US funds.
Judge Norma Sandoval ruled on Thursday that Maria Corina Machado and three other members of her Sumate group - which helped organise a referendum against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez nearly a year ago - are being charged with "conspiracy to change Venezuela's republican system".
Color me, not surprised:
Mindful of the wounded still left in the dark, Henning said, he pleaded with police to do more.
"When I got to the surface, I asked a fireman and a policeman that were just standing there why they were not going down to save people," he said. "I know they had a legitimate concern about a second bomb, but I said to them, 'There's sons and daughters down there. There's people dying.' "
Special election for San Diego mayor coming up near the end of July. It's a big deal.
You may remember that Donna Frye was the liberal write-in candidate for San Diego mayor who had 5,000+ votes thrown out because they weren't filled-out in favor of the Republican candidate - or something like that.
Well, Republican candidate went down in a flame of scandal, as per usual, and now there's a special election in a couple of weeks, and if there is no outright winner, another election in November.
San Diego is a damn beautiful place. It deserves to stay beautiful. Help Donna Frye keep it beautiful. Send cash, go out there, tell your friends, whatever.
Thursday, July 07, 2005
This is the kind of stuff the U.S. media totally shut out of the debate after 9/11 - to the extent that it was even available from pseudo-mainstream voices:
We extend our condolences to the families and loved ones of those who have lost their lives today and our heartfelt sympathy to all those who have been injured by the bombs in London.
No one can condone acts of violence aimed at working people going about their daily lives. They have not been a party to, nor are they responsible for, the decisions of their government. They are entirely innocent and we condemn those who have killed or injured them.
The loss of innocent lives, whether in this country or Iraq, is precisely the result of a world that has become a less safe and peaceful place in recent years.
We have worked without rest to remove the causes of such violence from our world. We argued, as did the security services in this country, that the attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq would increase the threat of terrorist attack in Britain. Tragically Londoners have now paid the price of the government ignoring such warnings.
We urge the government to remove people in this country from harms way, as the Spanish government acted to remove its people from harm, by ending the occupation of Iraq and by turning its full attention to the development of a real solution to the wider conflicts in the Middle East.
Only then will the innocents here and abroad be able to enjoy a life free of the threat of needless violence.
The statists over at The Sun pile on, of course:
VILE George Galloway last night confirmed he is Britain’s No1 TRAITOR after blaming Tony Blair for the terror bombings.
Thanks Sun - for showing the world what cowardly little people you are.
Posted by Peter at Thursday, July 07, 2005
I don't know enough the history of the U.S. military fucking around in civilian affairs, except that, for the most part - shit is illegal.
Now, just a few hours after the WaPo tells us about Rummy's domestic spying plans, we get the first uncovering of how Rummy plans to suppress dissent, this particular case coming out of San Diego.
Posted by Peter at Thursday, July 07, 2005
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
WaPo says impeach? Not exactly, but they sure are curious why the media is not talking about it:
More than four in 10 Americans, according to a recent Zogby poll, say that if President Bush did not tell the truth about his reasons for going to war with Iraq, Congress should consider holding him accountable through impeachment.
But you wouldn't know it from following the news. Only three mainstream outlets that I can find made even cursory mention of the poll last week when it came out.
You also wouldn't know it judging from the political discourse in Washington, but that makes a little more sense. After all, impeachment is for all practical purposes a political act, not a legal one. So with a Republican-controlled Congress that doesn't even like to perform basic White House oversight, it's basically a moot point.
Nevertheless, could there be anything that 42 percent of Americans agree on that the media care about so little?
Worst. Movie. Ever.
From my Yahoo Movies review:
If you have the money, and the time, and the inclination to see the worst of humanity - if George W. Bush's puss all over the tv just isn't enough for you - then go see this movie. It is *nothing* what it is billed as - something where you might be able to discover how a couple goes wrong from seemingly insignificant acts that develop ever-larger fissures over time. Try, catastrophic, tsunami-like, cataclysmic, asteroidal-destructiveness type of 'insignificant acts'. Total garbage.
Read a bit about Alice Waters in a book I haven't yet covered on this blog (it was very good). Lefty, spiritual, NJ-born, highly influential American chef with a famous Frenchie restaurant in the Berkeley area of California.
I've been dissing the Folklife Festival this year b/c it seems very politically-motivated - if you can believe that (I can) - but I didn't know they'd have anyone like Alice Waters showing up. Pretty cool.
Little ditty from WaPo about an 'intensely religious man' who is fighting for the separation of church and state. Seems the ACLU has jumped in the game, and the wingers don't know how to handle it. Can you use the same-old smear tactics against a guy with a Bible in his hand? Time will tell...
Something sounds awfully strange about this little tale of police-on-Rudolph-the-red-nose-reindeer violence:
Martin said the officer was called to the 6900 block of Williamsburg Boulevard about 6:40 a.m. after the deer jumped over a guardrail on Interstate 66 and plunged 30 feet to the road below. After consulting with his supervisor -- a lieutenant in the patrol division -- the officer fired a single shot at the deer's head, Martin said, in accordance with the department's policy to kill any suffering or dangerous animal.
But the deer didn't die.
Instead of shooting the animal a second time, the sergeant authorized two other responding officers to drive a cruiser over the deer's neck. That, too, did not kill the animal.
Finally, Martin said, the three officers wrapped a plastic bag around the deer's head and suffocated it. A photograph of the dead deer and the sergeant was taken by one of the other officers, but Martin said the sergeant's explanation for the Polaroid was that it was needed for the incident report.
PTDR pointed me here, for a rundown on what one guy thinks about atheists being generally accepting of religions. He thinks this acceptance ends up putting atheism on the same plane as any other religion or cult.
I don't agree, but I always find it refreshing to read this kind of material. Even people like me, who consider themselves to be morally brave, or at least less morally cowardly than the average person, are still apprehensive (scared) about calling people out on their bullshit - especially when it comes to religion. Some of us like to think we have good reasons, and maybe some of us do (compassion?), but atheist voices need to be heard now more than ever. The religio-fanatics are taking over, but it won't be as easy for them if we get people to start questioning their faith. That requires atheist voices be heard.
The understated anger expressed by this author is a good answer to the thousands of preachers around the world who soak up television time and peoples' money every day and tell us all that we're doomed to hell (or its equivalent) if we don't 'believe' - that is, if we don't send them our money. I usually don't feel it necessary to slam believers like this, but I have sure felt like doing it on occasion:
But religions--all religions--are false, while atheism is true. Are we to constellate atheism with 1000 ridiculous and mutually contradictory cults and sects, as if truth were just the newest kind of falsity? Am I to acknowledge seriously that you have a reasonable choice of believing or disbelieving the account of the flood in the Book of Genesis? There is no reasonable choice. It simply didn't happen. Am I to concede that perhaps, by an act of faith, you can move mountains? Just do it or shut up! No one can move mountains by an act of faith, nor am I asking for a sign by challenging anyone to do it. No one can do it, there is no such faith, I know it, and I don't seek a sign, because there is no sign.
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Drudge tells us about some Russian dude who is suing NASA for breaking up a big rock in outer space.
I was surprised, but happy, to see that someone was actually questioning what NASA was doing up there. There were probably plenty of dissenting voices, but none the media could be bothered to report on.
I'm all for exploration and all that, but I hate the idea of human debris litering space, the militarization of space, etc., and this NASA 'experiment' felt like a little of both, and some more, to me.
The NRA and GOP have overruled the DC cops. Guns will be more readily available on the streets of DC, whether DC cops like it not.
My position is not pro- or anti-gun; it is stop-fucking-around-in-my-backyard.
DC should be responsible for DC gun rights, within reason. I can buy some of the argument that guns should not be permitted in DC because the entire U.S. government is contained within DC's borders. So, if anything, I'd allow for reasonable demands by the federal government to set some restrictions on gun rights for DC - it really is a matter of national security.
DC should be allowed to strengthen gun control laws from what the federals hold, but the federales should not be able to force DC to weaken their gun control laws. This is common sense.
Been following this chick for a while. Looks like she finally has a book out, complete with book tour - and really, isn't that how one knows that they've 'made it' today?
Think I first read about How to Rent a Negro at Salon.com, but since that, seems Damali Ayo has been doing some other cool artsy-fartsy stuff.
Kind of a freaky-sounding group, the SCO (wiki) seems to be the new USSR - only the states are less closely linked together than were those of the USSR.
Well, they're getting uppity - telling the U.S. to get the fuck out of their region. We can handle our own oil and security very well by ourselves, fuck you very much.
I didn't realize how close all the 'stan' countries were to China. That'd make me nervous as heck, too.
Monday, July 04, 2005
Such a cool name for an island. Why did Bushco have to turn it into a CIA-run torture chamber? They'd already made it a fucking military outpost. WTF?
I have to read some Chalmers Johnson. Dude knows way too much about U.S. military installations around the world, and subsequently, U.S. imperial military policy in its most concrete terms - our troops stationed abroad.
This just seems very, very cool. This whole Lula thing is bad business for Microsoft. Wonder how they'll try to stop him. Finally, a Negroponte we can be proud of (@see mass murderer, John Negroponte). Holy twizzlesticks, Batman! They're brothers!
This article mentions that Indian automaker, Tata, plans to roll out a $2,000 car by 2008. That goes in line with this article on how there is lots of money (and progress) to be made by for-profit businesses catering to the poorest people in the world.
If Palo Alto police are correct, some of the teenage anarchists who paraded in downtown Palo Alto a week ago were prepared to go medieval on someone. Police Chief Lynne Johnson said police found a wooden club with a nail protruding from one end, stashed downtown ahead of the demonstration.
But anarchists gathered on Lytton Plaza that night scoffed at the notion, dismissing it as police propaganda.
So Internal Affairs asked the chief this week if we could take a peek at the weapon, which medieval warriors would have called a ``mace.'' But, alas, the chief said it had been thrown away. No photos, either.
``There was no arrest, no crime associated with it, the event's over,'' the chief said. ``We don't have any reason to keep it.''"
They get letters:
Why did you do it? Seriously? Just couldn't have a peaceful demonstration of anarchists in your town without pulling out the propaganda? You think you can just throw out any garbage you want and people will buy it? A board with a nail in it? Planted ahead of the march? You think your J. Edgar Hoover out there in Palo Alto? Listen - don't even try it. You've failed miserably in your attempt to mislead the public. Don't do it again.
And now it's time for someone to suffer the consequences for misleading the public. It's time for your to step down, Chief Johnson.
Was it worth it? Lying to the public? Lying to the press? Your police chief now looks like a conniving idiot. And for what? So you could set the public's perception of the 'violent demonstrators' in case you had to beat down a few teenagers? Pathetic.
The dishonesty and hypocrisy emanating from the Palo Alto Police Department is too much to take. No wonder the kids don't look up to cops anymore.
Time to step down, Chief Johnson, and let the police department begin to rebuild the trust the community once had in them.
Fuckin cops. Un-fuckin-believable. They're a disgrace to Palo Alto, a disgrace to every decent cop on the streets of America who relies on being believed to be effective in their jobs. Fuckin lying mf's.
The master of ceremonies sure knows how to lighten up a crowd of folks grieving for lost loved ones:
He dropped his forehead onto his cane and began to sob as the master of ceremonies said, 'Soldiers, make sure to wear your name tags, so all of these burka-free girls know who to kiss.'
One GI is bawling his eyes out because his boy got killed in Iraqistan, and some fucknut master of ceremonies is having a good time with the pseudo-racist jokes. Asshole.
Saturday, July 02, 2005
OK - Dana Milbank is a fuckin asshole. He labeled everyone who was concerned about The Downing Street Memo a wing nut, here.
So, some protesters followed up with Milbank, who hasn't lost a son in Iraq, and after repeated hassling, at least one of them finally got a callback from fuckface. During the call, Milbank asserted "Everyone knows they lied...".
Why did he say that? Because he believes it? Because he felt bad for calling these folks wing nuts? People who had lost family members in Iraq?
Despicable. This guy writes for what is probably the most important political newspaper in the country. Asshole. Plain and simple. Irresponsible, despicable, subhuman, asshole.
Posted by Peter at Saturday, July 02, 2005
This story says that Bushco only declared Darfur a genocide because of 'domestic concerns' - not because it was the right or wrong thing to do.
The Bush administration described the Darfur atrocities as genocide in order to please the Christian right ahead of the American presidential elections, according to a senior US official.
America's former ambassador to the United Nations, John Danforth, made the admission in an interview in which he confirmed that the Bush administration's stance was dictated by domestic considerations.
While not surprised, I wonder if there's anything to be learned here. Ruthless killers like George W. Bush will not be easily swayed by any notion of decency, that much is clear.
But can we learn something about how to deal with genocides in the future, except maybe for the obvious? That is, try to position an Administration's support for genocide in such a way that the Administration's base supporters begin to feel guilty about it? During an election year? Got me...
Posted by Peter at Saturday, July 02, 2005