Friday, August 26, 2005

Old News

I like reading news from a few years back, and comparing the wisdom of what was said then, and is being said now. Back in the days when Karl Rove and Grover Norquist had not yet been busted....

Countdown with Keith Olbermann’ for Oct. 23 2003
Guest: John Loftus, who said the following:

"Well, you know, it’s a funny story. About a year-and-a-half ago, people in the intelligence community came and said-guys like Alamoudi and Sami al-Arian and other terrorists weren’t being touched because they’d been ordered not to investigate the cases, not to prosecute them, because there were being funded by the Saudis and a political decision was being made at the highest levels, don’t do anything that would embarrass the Saudi government.

But, who was it that fixed the cases? How could these guys operate for more than a decade immune from prosecution? And, the answer is coming out in a very strange place. What Alamoudi and al-Arian have in common is a guy named Grover Norquist. He’s the super lobbyist. Newt Gingrich’s guy, the one the NRA calls on, head of American taxpayers. He is the guy that was hired by Alamoudi to head up the Islamic institute and he’s the registered agent for Alamoudi, personally, and for the Islamic Institute.

Grover Norquist’s best friend is Karl Rove, the White House chief of staff, and apparently Norquist was able to fix things. He got extreme right wing Muslim people to be the gatekeepers in the White House. That’s why moderate Americans couldn’t speak out after 9/11. Moderate Muslims couldn’t get into the White House because Norquist’s friends were blocking their access.

It’s as rotten as it gets. Think of the Muslim chaplain’s program that he set up as a spy service for al-Qaeda. The damage that’s been done is extreme. It wasn’t just sending home mom and dad messages from the prisoners. These guys, this network in Guantanamo, stole the CIA’s briefing books. Everything that the CIA knew about al-Qaeda is now back in al-Qaeda hands. That’s about as bad an intelligence setback as you can get.

There’s a lot more to go. Norquist had a lot of other clients. There’s a whole alphabet soup of Saudi agencies that funded terrorism in this country. They had an awful lot of protection. And, one of the things we may find about 9/11 is that people out in the field weren’t allowed to connect the dots and questions will be asked whether guys like Grover Norquist were part of the problem?"

Want to talk traitors? Patriotism is the first refuge of scoundrels, and scoundrels are who we have here. When are the Bush Administration, the neo-cons, the right wing money machine, the whole damn lot of them, going to put America first?

Fucking Up.

Is there a fuck up they can't make seem like it was their intention all along?"

"Months ago officials set August 15th as the due date for the country's new constitution and, as of August 11th, President Bush remained optimistic.

[clip of Bush: 'I'm operating under the assumption that it will be agreed upon by August 15th.']

Well guess what? The assumption that the president was operating on was wrong -- bringing the number of false assumptions we were operating under to -- let's see:

1. Iraq has WMDs.
2. We'll be greeted as liberators.
3. No insurgency.
4. All q's followed by u's.
5. Oil revenue will pay for war.
19,021. Iraqi army training on schedule.
19,022. Hummus left out won't spoil.
19,023. Not everything explodes.
19,024. Constitution by August 15th. ...

Is there a fuck up they can't make seem like it was their intention all along?"

--Jon Stewart

Just too many fuck ups, regardless of the validity of the plan. I agree with the President on one thing, which is, that we need to beat these terrorist fuckers. I just don't agree with how he is going about it, in fact I am extremely concerned that his methods are counter productive. New blood on this problem, please.

One more quote, just because I like it:

"North Korea is making several demands in exchange for giving up their nuclear program, including a promise from America not to attack them. Which is a little strange because for us to attack them we would have to have slam dunk proof that they have weapons of mass destruction. I mean, for Gods sakes people, we're not maniacs. It would have to be an air-tight case. We wouldn't just come in there and start bombing you."

--Jon Stewart

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Hugo Chavez

Hugo Chaves, took it in style.

From CNN:
Chavez offers cheap gas to poor in U.S.
"Robertson is rather mad dog with rabies", Chavez says

Why will the US not give Hugo Chavez a chance? After years of failed right wing dictators, the man gets elected by a majority of the Venezuelan people, in free and fair elections, but we will not let him govern? Arranging coup's, funding strikes, and now threatening assination by one of Bush CO's clerics. Lame, very lame. Lame that we don't respect democracies if they don't turn out supportive of our global raids. We'd better get used to governments being elected on an anti-USA platform. We are not behaving like responsible world citizens, and many people are pissed.

Bush is running around with the "Stay the course" speech, and about "preserving freedom for our children and grand children". Sad that these sorry souls cannot see forest for the trees. New policy, PLEASE!

Read about Chavez here.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Fetal Pain

Why all the attention on the "Fetus does/doesn't feel pain?" How is this relevent to the abortion discussion? Why are we even having this discussion?

Slam dunk:

1. It has to be a personal decision. The government cannot legislate what a woman should do. The government should not want to be involved in this decision. Doctors are more than capable of discussing the subject with their patients.
2. If abortion were illegal, who do you punish and how? Doctors? Women? Parents, teenagers, who? You don't want to go down this road, there is no satisfactory answer.
3. Unwanted children do society no good. These studies make perfect sense.
4. Population is a problem, one has to be realistic about this, as harsh as it may sound.
5. A person who does not want to have a child, should not be having a child.
6. Let doctors practice sound medicine. Don't compromise their oath to humanity with political pressure, fake science and religious based laws.

Opposing Abortion? There is only one:
Abortion kills a human being. Yes, that is awful. No one wants or likes to see people dying, but the reality is that everyday, plenty of people we don't know, die. "102 people died in a plane crash in Europe somewhere, 20 iraqi civilians died an a car bomb, 5 killed in landslide in California.." And how does it affect us? It doesn't really, we didn't know them, shit happens, it is part of the cycle of life. That's what an abortion is; a person we don't know, dying. Sure, it is the hand of man in the lifecycle, but what's the news about that?

Let's move on to other things.


When are we going to stop making the problem worse, and make it better?

The discovery of what came to be known as "The Great Escape" tunnel was a seminal moment for the Americans charged with guarding Iraq's exploding prison population. It underscored the fact that the guards were not simply policing more than 6,000 detainees but, in their own way, fighting an enemy that exhibited the same complexity and resilience inside the prison's chain-linked fences and miles of coiled razor wire as it did in the most embattled streets of Iraq. For the inmates, the fight had never stopped. "It was a military operation. It was very organized, and it was very disciplined," said Mohammed Touman, 27, an inmate released May 27 from Compound 5.

Talmadge, the battalion's assistant operations officer, had studied engineering at Virginia Tech. "I was just fascinated by the complexity and simplicity of the whole thing," he said. "The tunnel, it's like perfectly made. It's nice and smooth, the edges of the wall. So we started doing some math calculations. They moved 100 tons of soil in about eight weeks."

"Extremely intelligent, these guys are," said Talmadge.

Many of the freed detainees express bewilderment at why they were held; even the U.S. commander who oversees Bucca, Col. Austin Schmidt, 55, of Fairfax, estimated that one in four prisoners "perhaps were just snagged in a dragnet-type operation" or were victims of personal vendettas.

"This is like Chicago in the '30s: You don't like somebody, you drop a dime on them," Schmidt said. "And by the time the Iraqi court system figures it out, they go home. But it takes a while."

Most Sunni and Shiite prisoners are kept in separate compounds. In the Shiite area, about 20 clerics are in charge. They hand down stern justice. For breaking rules, inmates are denied food or beaten on the soles of their feet with poles, leaving no visible marks. In the more numerous Sunni compounds, inmates elect a leader from their ranks. Once in power, detainees said, his decisions are unquestioned.


We need to respect our enemies if we want to defeat them. Until we face the seriousness of this war, the long term ramifications, we are doomed to lose in too many ways to mention. In the States, the saying goes that being in the American prison system is the best training for a future criminal, as that is where they will learn their skills. Seems like the same thing thing is likely to happen in American prisons in Iraq. If you weren't a terrorist/insurgent/U.S.hater when you went in, chances are you are when you get out. Whether it be al Qaida, Iraq insurgent, Mujahadeen and whomever else, we Americans have sure as hell given them the talking points to sign recruits up:

- Americans want to take over the holy land
- America props up corrupt cruel monarchs as their bitches in the holy land
- America suppports and supplies Israel regardless
- America tortures and kills detainees
- America just wants our oil

I haven't been out on the street of Kabul for a while so the above talking points are just what I could come up with on the spot. I am sure the average Afgan/Iraqi could come up with a few more. And it doesn't matter if the talking points are right or wrong, hell, it doesn't matter in the USA either.

What people are not told is how miserable life would be under Shia law, under a Taliban style government. But no one needs to go that far. The bad Amercan spieel is more than enough.

Like I keep saying, I don't know if the answer pull the troops out now, but I do know that the present plan is an abject failure and the time is now for a reassesment. New leadership, new blood and new ideas are desperately needed. When are we going to stop making the problem worse, and make it better?

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Rummy, you twat.

Rumsfeld Compares Iraq Critics To Communists, Stalinists

No Rummy, fuck you...

From Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s press briefing today:

"Throughout history there have always been those who predict America’s failure just around every corner. At the height of World War II, a prominent U.S. diplomat predicted that democracy was finished in Britain, and probably in America, too.

Many Western intellectuals praised Stalin during that period. For a time, Communism was very much en vogue. It was called Euro-Communism, to try to mute or mask the totalitarian core. And thankfully the American people are better centered. They ultimately come to the right decisions on big issues.

And the future of Iraq is a very big issue. So those being tossed about by the winds of concern should recall that Americans are a tough lot and will see their commitments through."

Rummy, let me remind you what this anti-war force is fighting for/against:

"Our own President condemned innocent Americans, those Americans who had volunteered to fight for the defense of this nation, to death for no good reason, and for no reason connected to the legitimate requirements of our nation’s security."

I am not fighting every war or all wars. I am fighting against a war that was born on a lie, incompetently managed, and hopelessly planned. I am fighting against betraying the trust of those fine people who signed up for our all voluntary force, trusting that their leaders would not send them needlessly into danger. I am fighting for someone in this administration to face the adversity and difficulties and put this right.

You call me a Commie, a Stalinist. I know with confindence you are wrong. If I call you the traitor, by how much am I wrong?

Damn Puppeteers

Bush Believes Those Who Protest Iraq War Don't Want U.S. to Win 'War on Terror,' Spokesman Says
Published: August 23, 2005 11:30 AM ET

NEW YORK Meeting briefly with reporters Monday aboard Air Force One, Trent Duffy, a White House spokesman subbing for Scott McClellan, said that President Bush believes that those who want the U.S. to begin to change course in Iraq do not want America to win the overall "war on terror."

Duffy spoke on a day when a surprisingly large antiwar protest met the president during his stay in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he addressed a Veterans of Foreign Wars convention.

Speaking to reporters, Duffy said that Bush "can understand that people don't share his view that we must win the war on terror, and we cannot retreat and cut and run from terrorists, but he just has a different view. He believes it would be a fundamental mistake right now for us to cut and run in the face of terrorism, because if we've learned anything, especially from the 9/11 Commission Report, it is that to continue to retreat after the Cole, after Beirut and Somalia is to only empower terrorists and to give them more recruiting tools as they try to identify ways to harm Americans.

Editor & Publisher

Aaah yes, still clinging to the idea that Iraq and the war on terror are synonymous. Afganistan should not be secondary to Iraq. Tracking terrorist trying to do bad shit in America and elsewhere, whould not be second. Iraq has done nothing but made the "War on Terror" more difficult, created more enemies, and bred terrorists. Lots of them. Until this president and his handlers/staff/advisors face their errors openly, and actively rectify them, we are fucked and will be attacked. It's great that the President wants to win the war on terror, but then why is he still standing by a failed policy? Change something! Change the team formation. Change a few players. Change a lot of the players. You're down by a few with only a few minutes left in the game. Make a fucking change....


kos: "I opposed Iraq because it forced the U.S. to take the eyes off the real threat -- the Al Qaida assholes that attacked the United States and many of our allies around the world. That was a rightous, honorable campaign. Yet we took the eyes off the ball to go after an impotent, contained, powerless regime that posed nary a threat to its neighbors, much less the U.S.

It's a war that never should've been fought, it's a war that's been negligently managed, and it's a war that we can't win. All the military might in the world can't convert fantastical wishful thinking into reality."

Daily Kos

Monday, August 22, 2005

Time for a laugh.

The Penguin Movie for Guys

This is well worth a read.

Fatwah This.

Religions scare the shit out of me. Why, you might ask? Because religious extremists like to solve problems by killing. Always issuing fatwah's and shit.

Here's one:
Robertson called for the assassination of Venezuela's president

August 22 broadcast of The 700 Club:

"You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war. And I don't think any oil shipments will stop. But this man is a terrific danger and the United ... This is in our sphere of influence, so we can't let this happen. We have the Monroe Doctrine, we have other doctrines that we have announced. And without question, this is a dangerous enemy to our south, controlling a huge pool of oil, that could hurt us very badly. We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator. It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with."

Here is another:
Bin Laden obtains Fatwah
After Sept. 11 bin Laden was criticized by Muslim clerics for launching such a serious attack without sufficient warning. That has now been given. And bin Laden has even obtained a fatwa, or Islamic decree, justifying a nuclear attack against the United States on religious grounds.

"He secured from a Saudi sheik named Hamid bin Fahd a rather long treatise on the possibility of using nuclear weapons against the Americans. Specifically, nuclear weapons," says Scheuer. "And the treatise found that he was perfectly within his rights to use them. Muslims argue that the United States is responsible for millions of dead Muslims around the world, so reciprocity would mean you could kill millions of Americans."

How about a good old Texas Fatwah? Madness.

Why doesn't Jesus do something about these people? I'm losing faith...

Listen Up.

Maybe we should listen to this guy? Just in case?

CBS 60 Minutes

On Osama:
"His genius lies in his ability to isolate a few American policies that are widely hated across the Muslim world. And that growing hatred is going to yield growing violence," says Scheuer. "Our leaders continue to say that we're making strong headway against this problem. And I think we are not."

"We had found that he and al Qaeda were involved in an extraordinarily sophisticated and professional effort to acquire weapons of mass destruction. In this case, nuclear material, so by the end of 1996, it was clear that this was an organization unlike any other one we had ever seen," says Scheuer.

In a letter to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees earlier this year, Scheuer says his agents provided the U.S. government with about ten opportunities to capture bin Laden before Sept. 11, and that all of them were rejected.

"The war in Iraq - if Osama was a Christian - it's the Christmas present he never would have expected," says Scheuer.

Scheuer believes that al Qaeda is no longer just a terrorist organization that can be defeated by killing or capturing its leaders. Now, he says it's a global insurgency that's spreading revolutionary fervor throughout the Muslim world.

"Bin Laden's still at large. His most recent speech, I think, demonstrates that he's not running rock to rock, cave to cave. We are tangled in a very significant Islamic insurgency in Iraq," says Scheuer.

"One of the great intellectual failures of the American intelligence community, and especially the counterterrorism community, is to assume if someone hasn't attacked us, it's because he can't or because we've defeated him," says Scheuer. "Bin Laden has consistently shown himself to be immune to outside pressure. When he wants to do something, he does it on his own schedule."

"He's told us it. Bin Laden is remarkably eager for Americans to know why he doesn't like us, what he intends to do about it and then following up and doing something about it in terms of military actions," says Scheuer. "He's told us that, 'We are going to acquire a weapon of mass destruction, and if we acquire it, we will use it.'"

After Sept. 11, Scheuer says bin Laden was criticized by Muslim clerics for launching such a serious attack without sufficient warning. That has now been given. And he says bin Laden has even obtained a fatwa, or Islamic decree, justifying a nuclear attack against the United States on religious grounds.

"He surely does reprehensible activities, and we should surely take care of that by killing him as soon as we can. But he's not an irrational man. He's a very worthy enemy. He's an enemy to worry about."

"Until we respect him, we are going to die in numbers that are probably unnecessary," says Scheuer.

I find it hard to believe that this country cannot act in its national interest, and do the right thing. Do we have to keep screwing it up and digging ourselves a deeper hole?


Lets face it, George W Bush has been given a free ride. Sure, we can begrudge him that fact, but if you had the opportunity to live the good life, why not? And things have been good. From serving in the "Champagne Division" during Vietnam, to making a killing on the Texas Rangers, success was easy. And a free ride into the Whitehouse. Twice.

But for Bush, times are a changing. The trusted advice of policy planners is turning out to be wrong, very wrong. The usual suspects are failing dismally. Iraq, no problem. In and out. Screw Osama, lets do PNAC instead. Do it all, with less troops. Stay the course. Screw the Iraqi's freedom; as long as we get the oil contracts, they can have whatever fundamentalist government they want. Works with the Saudi's, why not the Iraqis?

The whole bag is unraveling. Attacks and shootouts in Saudi Arabia are way up, from almost never, to daily. Iraq and Afganistan? Not good.

There were a lot of people fed inaccurate and doctored information. Bush was probably one of the many. Imagine having Cheney, Rumsveld, Card, Libby and Co advising you, "This is the info we have. Here is what we have to do. We'd be welcomed by every Iraqi, in and out, less troops, minimal commitment. And by the way, Powell doesn't know what he is talking about." If the information wasn't compelling enough, the conviction of the puppeteers would have been more than enough.

Powell needs to write a book. Now. Maybe he can get through to this president. A President who doesn't read the newspapers, or watch TV. I doubt he ever goes online. The delusions that come out of the White House are not only for us, but equally for the President himself.

Lance couldn't penetrate the bubble. Maybe Powell can. President Bush can turn this around. He is the only one who has the power to do it. The free ride is over. It is time to stand up and repay the country that he has sworn to protect. Time to create a legacy. Go down as the guy who saw the light, overcame great odds, and did the right thing in extraordinary circumstances.

Jesus H Christ!

Lord, please save us from those who believe in you.

"Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprize." -James Madison

Intelligent design? Jesus Christ. Okay, let me paraphrase Bill Maher: let us teach the alternative theory as to where children come from. In biology class we will teach that children are delivered by the stork, as well the theory that fornication produces babys, and let the child decide.

Morons, all of them. If they want their wacky religion as the foundation of our countrys laws, they are going to have to put up with mine.

1. Bill "Patty Shiavo seems fine to me" Frist.
2. George "Bring 'em on" Bush
There are lots of them, Google is your friend if you want more names.

"History warns us that when large religious groups start imagining themselves to be oppressed by a pernicious and cunning minority, bad things can happen. So it was with a growing sourness in my stomach that I watched the luminaries of the Christian right take the stage at a Tennessee “megachurch” Sunday evening for “Justice Sunday II.”

But as speaker after speaker hammered on the theme of oppression of Christians by a shadowy liberal establishment, it became clear that, like many of the sermons, books, and articles written by leaders of the Christian right, the real purpose of “Justice Sunday II” was to reinforce a sense of victimhood among the broadest possible swath of American Christians.

"Megachurch" Madness
The persecution of Christians in America and other themes of "Justice Sunday II."
By Rob Garver

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Pain everywhere.

"Our own President condemned innocent Americans, those Americans who had volunteered to fight for the defense of this nation, to death for no good reason, and for no reason connected to the legitimate requirements of our nation’s security."

The Republicans:
Republicans thought that this administration would come in and govern because they had experience, family values and whatever else they said they had. They couldn't have been more wrong. What happened to small government, fiscal responsibility, privacy rights, and the host of conservative Republican positions? Now we have massive debt, dishonesty, incompetence and a war mismanaged, ill advised war. Treason could probably be thrown in there. Neocons Inc used 9/11 to ram through a policy that under normal circumstances would have been rejected. Now what is there for Republicans to do? They only thing they can do is point out the fools who were too big a bunch of pussies to question right or wrong.

The Democrats:
You would think that with the truth about the Bush Administation finally being revealed, the Democrats would be sitting pretty. Some are, but the "Official Party" folks are struggling. The standard response by Democrats back in the post 9/11 days was to vote for this war. They were so pussy whipped, and scared by the post 9/11 poll numbers, they fell for the "either with us or against us" line. Now they have to put up with the Republican response of, "Well, you voted for the war." And you know, they are right. There was a large grassroots/blogger Democratic movement who documented the lies in the run up to war, but the Democrat leadership did not have the balls to do the right thing. Now they are in a sticky situation. If they don't jump on the grassroots Democratic bandwagon, they will be left behind. They don't have much of a choice. You are either with the people, or against them.

The Mainstream Media:
The biggest losers are the main stream media, your "old school reliable" journalists. Sure they had pressure from their corporate owners, but they were the ones who just let all the bullshit in the run up to war go unquestioned. Some even had an agenda to support the Bush Admin position. This is probably why Judy Miller is still in jail. It appears that there was even a quid pro quo with many in the media and the Bush Administration. "We'll give you lots of inside information, and you support our policies" seems to have been the deal.


This is what I am talking about.

Trent Lott had private conversations with Bush about Iraq "going back to just after 9/11"

Lott on Meet the Press with David Gregory admitted that President Bush had Iraq in his cross-hairs long before the "last resort" comments were made. He talked about the intelligence failures, but Trent made it very clear that Bush had targeted Iraq early on which had been said a long time ago by Richard Clarke.

It's Bush who is going to take the heat on this one. The buck stops with him. You can just see Chaney and Rummy and the rest of them pointing fingers, "we were just doing what the president told us to do". I'll bet they have documentation to prove it. It is more that they talked him into allowing them to implement their policy plan. The only way out now for President Bush is to take the bull by the horns; say he had a message from Jesus, or alien for all I care, to do the right thing. We don't need an embittered and embattled administration, hiding behind its own fear, refusing to die, refusing to admit fault, refusing to give in. We need openess and honesty, integrity and honor. Great men need to stand up for their country, for the people.

Go Lance!

What do you think Lance Armstrong and President Bush talked about?

I am still hoping this president makes a break through, as I wrote about here. Maybe that is why he won't meet with Cindy Shehan? The best place for Bush right now, according to his advisors, seems to be on vacation, riding his bike, hiding from adversity. I think they see George waking up. How long do you keep taking advice from people with a crappy track record? George is in this mess because those he had confidence in turned out to be failures in both policy and excecution. Maybe if he meets more people like Shehan and Armstrong, he can see the light, break the spell and force many of those around him to resign. Send Chaney to funerals in Africa, and British Royal Weddings. Turn this ship around. Bush needs a heart to heart with a regular human being, a man with humanity and honesty in his soul. For President George Bush, legacy time is here and now; maybe Lance can be the first of many to shovel that home...