vhat, me vorry?
Friday, September 29, 2006
vhat, me vorry?
right. what can they say?
House Votes to Give Pres. Wiretapping Authority for 90 Days
Attorney Gen Warns Judges Not to Interfere With Wartime Policy
Pres. Bush Praises Leaders of Pakistan, Afghanistan: Delivers Speech to Reserve Officers
another objective audience.
The latest Woodward project, State of Denial
WH says it's not true.
sewer pipes last about 50 years. the post-ww2 housing boom was when a lot of pipes were installed. time's pretty much up. and it's all underground where nobody notices and won't notice till it affects drinking water or crop irrigation.
repair is going to cost plenty, but we're talkin' E.coli here, folks!
Thursday, September 28, 2006
—arlen specter, senate floor, 27 sep 06, on a hearing of a detainee asked to respond to evidence he was not allowed to hear
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
kay bailey hutchison (r-tx) said on the senate floor today that da prez did release the whole report.
is she ahead of the curve? or not up to speed?
Too much testosterone kills brain cells
too bad i didn't have a different arnold story before this one....
Red wine slows Alzheimer's-like disease in mice
so if your testosterone's too high, have a nip. that's what i do.
Scientists uncover why Spanish Flu was so deadly
Iraq war 'cause celebre' for terror: US intelligence report
so what else is new?
Fox chief: Clinton response an 'assault'
right! when fox666 does it it's fair & balanced, when it's done to them it's another story....
Diminished regard for the First Amendment
they must be watching foxnews. or taking testosterone. or both!
Judge strikes down Ohio exit poll ban
no polling w/in 100 feet of polls? confusing! but clever if you want inaccurate results....
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
gop elites want to suppress votes to protect their power, so they plan to force an enormous number of folk to jump thru hoops before they can vote.
sure, it's easy if you've already got a photo driver license, but if you don't you have to get other proof first, like certificates of birth, marriage, divorce, &c, and take them to an agency that takes your picture and makes your card, which costs you money, effort, and time, possibly including time lost at work, not always just minor inconvenience.
it can be a real burden for folk living from paycheck to paycheck, as the majority of american workers do now.
the proposed measure would cost more than a poll tax and affect more of us than literacy tests, if either of those unconstitutional vote-suppression methods suddenly got legalized.
and it's all foisted on us thru fear: fear of terrorists, fear of immigrant "invaders," and even fear of unscrupulous politicians like themselves.
no wonder we call them "cons."
knowledge is power.
therefore, knowledge corrupts.
let's get discussion going.
not only the
anyone who lets
i wished i'd thought of it first. it's a brilliant formulation that frames the issue by putting into words just how i feel about everyone—in government or out—that i've heard take a stand in favor of abusive interrogation, from john yoo to alberto gonzales to alan dershowitz.
i'm curious to see what you think.
i'm not sure it's clear that the last 2 paragraphs refer to the USS cole bombing.
1) In a powerful interview that aired yesterday, President Bill Clinton took on the extremist Republican propaganda about 9/11 -- and Fox News tried to cover up the fact that the Bush administration downgraded terrorism as a priority before September 11th and has failed to eliminate Osama bin Laden since the attacks.
2) An explosive report on the still-classified National Intelligence Estimate states that the "invasion and occupation of Iraq has helped spawn a new generation of Islamic radicalism and that the overall terrorist threat has grown since the Sept. 11 attacks" -- and Republicans have been trying to cover it up.
Excerpts from President Bill Clinton's interview on Fox News:
"I'm being asked this on the Fox network. ABC just had a right-wing conservative run in their little Pathway to 9/11, falsely claiming it was based on the 9/11 Commission report, with three things asserted against me directly contradicted by the 9/11 Commission report. ...
"And I think it's very interesting that all the conservative Republicans, who now say I didn't do enough, claimed that I was too obsessed with bin Laden. All of President Bush's neo-cons thought I was too obsessed with bin Laden. They had no meetings on bin Laden for nine months after I left office. All the right-wingers who now say I didn't do enough said I did too much -- same people. ...
"...I worked hard to try to kill him. I authorized a finding for the CIA to kill him. We contracted with people to kill him. I got closer to killing him than anybody has gotten since. And if I were still president, we'd have more than 20,000 troops there trying to kill him. ...
"Now, I've never criticized President Bush, and I don't think this is useful. But you know we do have a government that thinks Afghanistan is only one-seventh as important as Iraq. ...
"And you ask me about terror and al Qaeda with that sort of dismissive thing? When all you have to do is read Richard Clarke's book to look at what we did in a comprehensive, systematic way to try to protect the country against terror. ...
"And you've got that little smirk on your face and you think you're so clever. But I had responsibility for trying to protect this country. I tried and I failed to get bin Laden. I regret it. But I did try. And I did everything I thought I responsibly could. ...
"The entire military was against sending Special Forces in to Afghanistan and refueling by helicopter. And no one thought we could do it otherwise, because we could not get the CIA and the FBI to certify that al Qaeda was responsible while I was President. ...
"They had three times as much time to deal with it, and nobody ever asks them about it. I think that's strange."
Saturday, September 23, 2006
i leave both unnamed out of respect for privacy.
suffice it to say that the first replaced a secdef who oversaw an operation in which 38 US marines and naval personnel gave their lives—perhaps unnecessarily—to effect the release of 39 detained merchant sailors, while the other supervised a successful campaign to force an invader to withdraw but was reportedly unhappy at not being allowed to march on the offender's capital to remove him from power.
it's as if both were brought back to compensate for not being given full opportunities to show their stuff the first time round.
so they got their chance at last.
and they really fucked it.
Friday, September 22, 2006
Thursday, September 21, 2006
i think this was the first of danielle crittenden's "the president's secret IMs" series on huffpo.
i don't IM, so i may never have any use for it, but i'm learning acronyms from the free dictionary as i read them in her posts.
did you know sos is an indirect way of texting bbiwy? [look'em up yourself!]
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
the other day his imperial majesty said "outrages upon human dignity"—his misquote of a geneva convention phrase—is vague and needs clarification in our law, but at ellis island on the first anniversary of 9/11 he said
ours is the cause of human dignity: freedom guided by conscience and guarded by peace.i assume he understood what he meant then. perhaps that's a wrong assumption, but if not it implies he objects to something in "outrages upon."
we can say this: even if we don't have a clear definition sitting in front of our faces, everybody knows none of us wants outrages done to us, so all we have to do is avoid doing to detainees what we wouldn't want done to us if we were detainees, and we'll be fine.
clear nuff yet?
Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed.
—Lincoln, First Annual Message to Congress, December 3, 1861
i'd also like to point out to the BVAC (blessed virgin ann coulter) that lincoln's religion is listed in time almanac as "liberal."
what's it all mean, mr natural?
Sunday, September 17, 2006
found this on newsmax.com from last november.
the headline reads
John McCain: Torture Worked on Methe last paragraph says
That McCain broke under torture doesn't make him any less of an American hero. But it does prove he's wrong to claim that harsh interrogation techniques simply don't work.but the writers and editors seem to have missed the point. inside the aricle, mccain said
The information was of no real use to the Vietnamese....see, they got no useful intel out of him. it didn't work.
in my last 2 posts i assumed king georgie was using one phrase from common article 3 as an example of what he thinks is "vague" in the article, not as the only vague part, but maybe i was wrong.
here, you decide:
THE PRESIDENT: This debate is occurring because of the Supreme Court's ruling that said that we must conduct ourselves under the Common Article III of the Geneva Convention. And that Common Article III says that there will be no outrages upon human dignity. It's very vague. What does that mean, "outrages upon human dignity"? That's a statement that is wide open to interpretation. And what I'm proposing is that there be clarity in the law so that our professionals will have no doubt that that which they are doing is legal. You know, it's—and so the piece of legislation I sent up there provides our professionals that which is needed to go forward. [full text]so, ok. i'll assume only that one phrase concerns him.
geez! maybe it really is reading comprehension: article 3 doesn't say "outrages upon human dignity" at all. it says "personal," not "human."
granted, it's got to be human to be personal, but the two words are nowhere near interchangeable.
let's give him the benefit of the doubt tho. let's assume it was just a trick of memory. that leaves us with another question: what's so vague? "outrage," "upon," "human/personal," or "dignity"?
you really don't need to be a lawyer to grasp this stuff, folks. it just ain't all that hard. takes a little common sense, ya know?
maybe he just doesn't know the meaning of the word "dignity...."
well try this, your majesty: the golden rule! ever hear of it?
don't do it if you wouldn't want it done to you, [expletive deleted]!
Saturday, September 16, 2006
i still just don't get why bush doesn't get it.
that's not just rhetoric. he admits he doesn't get it, and he says it very forcefully.
but forget the manner. read the words [transcript]. he demands congress authorize his brand of kangaroo court. if they don't, detainees will get no trials of any kind.
how does he justify that?
simple: common article 3 [text] is "vague" and needs clarification in our law so our personnel don't accidentally commit war crimes.
has he even read article 3?
like, our troops are so dumb they can't figure out what "shall in all circumstances be treated humanely" means, or "cruel treatment," or "personal dignity," or "regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees...recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples"?
there's the rub. no matter how you slice it, his military commissions won't be regularly constituted courts that guarantee fair trials. the only thing they'll guarantee is convictions—even if the defendant is innocent.
what else would you expect for terrorists? they're such horrible characters we can't afford to give them the chance to refute all the evidence, so we'll keep some of it secret from them, but not from our officers who will decide their fate. and we'll allow hearsay evidence, so they won't be able to confront witnesses we don't want them to see. and we'll make coerced evidence admissible, even tho we know we get nothing useful that way. and we'll have military trials for civilians turned over to us by foreign authorities, even tho our own constitution forbids it!
remember: these are terrorists! they don't deserve presumption of innocence. they must be punished, now and forever! otherwise they'll come back and get us! we don't want that, do we?
never mind the geneva conventions! forget the 5th and 6th amendments! we're under siege here! a billion islamofascists are massed on the mexican border about to invade the white house!
what'll we do? what'll we do?
somebody help me!
Friday, September 15, 2006
The world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism.
—Former Secretary of State Colin Powell
The proposed legislation would strengthen U.S. adherence to Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions because it would add meaningful definition and clarification to vague terms in the treaties.
—Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
bush also says common article 3 is "vague." have we got a reading comprehension issue here?
let's see if i can find something vague here:
(1) Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria. To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:
(a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture; (b) taking of hostages; (c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment; (d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.
is it "prohibited"? "cruel"? "dignity"? "outrages"? "regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples"?
the fear that something was coming—something bigger, something perhaps more devastating—it was not a daily fear. it was an hourly fear.
—condoleezza rice re post-9/11, koppel on discovery: the price of security, 9/10/06
i still worry that the really most awful nexus would be between terrorism and a nuclear device of some kind.
—ibid, re her "smoking gun/mushroom cloud" statement
the way it was interpreted, perhaps not. you know, you say what you think most vivifies for people the danger. i understand that some thought it was hyperbole. it wasn't meant as hyperbole.
—ibid, when asked if she'd still say it today
ri-i-ight! it wasn't meant as hyperbole, just meant to vivify danger.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
makes sense, considering:
In the three years since the invasion of Iraq, the Bush Administration’s own data has revealed an astonishing increase in worldwide terrorism....but
The Administration Claims Each Year that Terrorism Did Not Increase: When the data for 2004 was released last year, John Brennan, the Acting Director of the NCTC, asserted that the increase in the number of attacks “does not necessarily mean that there has been a growth in actual terrorist incidents.” Philip Zelikow, the State Department Counselor, also denied any increase. When asked whether the Administration believed terrorism was increasing, Mr Zelikow responded: “No, we don’t.”because faith trumps facts every time!
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
a major difference between gops and dems is what the military calls unit cohesion: gops move in lockstep, but the dems are a divided party.
sure, fracture lines occasionally appear within gop ranks—like over the torture issue—but when push comes to shove they pull together and follow reagan's 11th commandment: thou shalt not criticize a fellow gop. so most of them stay loyal even to nixon and bush as well as reagan.
dem division is both a weakness and a strength: they have trouble uniting around almost every issue—recall how 60% of house dems and only 42% of senate dems opposed the 2002 iraq force authorization resolution (while over 97% of gops voted for it)—but they have the potential for greater inclusiveness.
so, if you vote gop you pretty much know what you're getting, but if you vote dem it's hard to be sure: the gops have a fairly rigid platform, while dems have ongoing debates among themselves about almost everything.
public opinion changes. when most folk seek certainty, gops win. when folk begin to recognize gop certainty is only an illusion, appreciation for dem diversity grows.
still, it would help dems to agree on a vital concept on which they can focus undisputed unity.
that concept is oversight.
government must be accountable to the people. effective oversight is the only way to ensure that accountability.
gops abandoned oversight when the class of '94 took over congress. they replaced it with obstructionism to advance their partisan agenda and regain the white house. when they did take back the presidency, they rubber-stamped george w on virtually every issue, and oversight stayed in outer darkness.
thus, only dems can credibly claim to be able to restore strong, effective oversight, but they must explain its necessity to voters, and they must pledge to maintain it as long as they have a congressional majority, no matter which party occupies the white house.
let gops be the "party of ideas" as long as they want. we now see their ideas for what they are: smoke and mirrors.
forget worthless ideas.
dems must be the party of oversight!
i've often heard terrorism called a tactic, sometimes a method, once or twice a strategy.
it's none of them, but it uses them.
it's more a type of psychological warfare, or—even better—a genre of political theatre.
its true target is not its victims but its audience.
it doesn't mean to bring us to our knees. quite the opposite: the objective is overreaction.
terrorism aims to terrify enough folk into demanding governmental protection—at the cost of some of their freedom—to move the political status quo away from an open society and toward authoritarianism or totalitarianism, which will alienate folk from the state and thus lead to its destabilization and ultimate destruction.
that's the strategic goal.
Monday, September 11, 2006
by Rep Jane Harman
she charges he has "selectively declassified sensitive intelligence" to influence voters.
since we know such methods have been used, the statement directly contradicts administration hints that actionable intelligence has been acquired thru unconventional interrogation techniques, thereby suggesting that torture might sometimes be of value.
here is a truly priceless quote from the general:
Some of our most significant successes on the battlefield have been—in fact, I would say all of them, almost categorically all of them have accrued from expert interrogators using mixtures of authorized, humane interrogation practices, in clever ways that you would hope Americans would use them, to push the envelope within the bookends of legal, moral and ethical, now as further refined by this field manual. So we don't need abusive practices in there. Nothing good will come from them.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
—on meet the press, 9/10/06
well, gosh, dickie, you're holding all the marbles—unless you've lost them, that is—so i guess if you don't like what the supreme court says, you can just pick up your marbles and go home.
Saturday, September 09, 2006
the institute is part of the US chamber of commerce, a close ally of the GOP.
their heading above the link seemed a bit inflammatory, but i'm biased. here, you judge:
i didn't wade thru the whole paper, but i did notice figure 1, a graph which supposedly shows a relationship between premiums and tort awards. actually, it's not just awards but awards/payouts, and they changed the scale so the line looks like it rises at the same rate as premiums, when in fact premiums have risen faster.
it wasn't too hard to find other published work that draws opposite conclusions. all i had to do was scroll down to "references" at the bottom of the page.
the medical malpractice insurance "crisis" is over, folks. it ended when financial markets stabilized. lawsuits never caused high rate hikes. it was all a big scam by greedy insurers and power-hungry politicians.
so what else is new?
further excerpt from dem eml:
- Richard Clarke -- the counterterrorism czar for the Clinton administration, now himself a consultant to ABC News -- describes a key scene in "The Path to 9/11" as "180 degrees from what happened." In the scene, a CIA field agent places a phone call to get the go ahead to kill Osama Bin Laden, then in his sights, only to have a senior Clinton administration official refuse and hang up the phone. Sandy Berger, President Clinton's National Security Advisor, called the same scene "a total fabrication. It did not happen." And Roger Cressey, a top Bush and Clinton counterterrorism official, said it was "something straight out of Disney and fantasyland. It's factually wrong. And that's shameful."
- Another scene revives the old right-wing myth that press reporting made it impossible to track Osama bin Laden, accusing the Washington Post of blowing the secret that American intelligence tracked his satellite phone calls. In reality, responsibility for that blunder -- contrary to "The Path to 9/11" -- rests with none other than the arch-conservative Washington Times.
- The former National Security Council head of counterterrorism says that President Clinton "approved every request made of him by the CIA and the U.S. military involving using force against bin Laden and al-Qaeda," and the 9/11 report says the CIA had full authority from President Clinton to strike Bin Laden. Yet chief "Path to 9/11" scriptwriter Cyrus Nowrasteh, a friend of Rush Limbaugh, says the miniseries shows how President Clinton had "frequent opportunities in the '90s to stop Bin Laden in his tracks -- but lacked the will to do so."
- ABC asked only the Republican co-chair of the 9/11 Commission, Tom Kean, Sr., to advise the makers of "The Path to 9/11". The producers optioned two books, one written by a Bush administration political appointee, as the basis of the screenplay -- yet bill the miniseries as "based on the 9/11 Commission Report."
you can still use the link at the bottom of the post below this to give abc/disney a piece of your mind (or what's left of it).
Thursday, September 07, 2006
The ABC television network -- a cog in the Walt Disney empire -- unleashed a promotional blitz in the last week for a new "docudrama" called "The Path to 9/11". ABC has thrown its corporate might behind the two-night production, and bills it as a public service: a TV event, to quote the ABC tagline, "based on the 9/11 Commission Report".
That's false. "The Path to 9/11" is actually a bald-faced attempt to slander Democrats and revise history right before Americans vote in a major election.
The miniseries, which was put together by right-wing conservative writers, relies on the old GOP playbook of using terrorism to scare Americans. "The Path to 9/11" mocks the truth and dishonors the memory of 9/11 victims to serve a cheap, callous political agenda. It irresponsibly misrepresents the facts and completely distorts the truth.
ABC/Disney executives need to hear from the public and understand that their abuse of the public trust comes with a cost.
you can use this link to write disney:
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
no country has ever benefited from a protracted war.make no mistake: g w bush's speeches are not about fighting terrorists; they are about november and about expanding the power of his office.
those blind to the dangers inherent in using force are equally unable to see the advantageous ways to do so.
those adept in waging war need no second summoning of reserves nor more than one provisioning.
—sunzi, chapter 2
the worst policy is to attack cities.
—sunzi, chapter 3
a victorious army wins before seeking battle; an army that fights in the hope of winning is destined to defeat.
—sunzi, chapter 4
those skilled in war bring the enemy to the field of battle and are not brought there by him.
—sunzi, chapter 6
yesterday he surrounded himself with a military audience that he could count on to cheer and clap at triumphalist rhetoric to stir the patriotic hearts of tv viewers to keep his GOP majority in congress.
the speech alternated between chest-thumping and back-patting, giving the assembled brass ample opportunity to pat themselves on the back with him thru their applause. bluff, bluster, and bravado were heightened by extending to terrorists his penchant for diversionary nicknames—tho in the official text he didn't quite call them "islamofascists" again—and citing their rhetoric as proof that we must "stay the course" in iraq.
how intriguing that we "knew" saddam was lying yet we must take bin laden's words seriously—and both to justify the same war.
treat captives well and care for them.today he shifted emphasis and tried to terrify what's left of his base into bullying congress to let him torture prisoners and bring them to trial in his new form of court which the defendants can be kept out of for the first time in 200 years.
—sunzi, chapter 2
and all so he can get another chance to get a rubberstamp congress to enhance and safeguard the riches of his corporate buddies thru tort "reform," deregulation, and tax cuts, and to hack away at what's left of the new deal and fulfil his prophecy of a social security crisis by creating private accounts that bankrupt the trust fund.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
here are links to a brief summary, press release, and the full text (pdf).
this may be worth reading. on tv jenkins sounds like his pinkie knows more about terrorism than the entire bush admin.
The UN is supposed to be lame -- that's why we put John Bolton there!i don't know if DFA means doctor of fine arts, death from above, dark fuckin' angel, deterministic finite automaton, or what.
Dr. Stephen T. Colbert, D.F.A
Friday, September 01, 2006
President Bush said Thursday that withdrawing now from Iraq would leave Americans at risk of terrorist attacks “in the streets of our own cities....”
from huffington post:
Rep Emanuel: The Bush Admin Has "Got Only Fear To Sell"...
The Bush administration launched an aggressive campaign this week to bolster GOP candidates, working hard to paint the Iraq war as only one piece in an "uphill and uneven" battle to secure US national security. In response to the administration's publicity blitz to rally support for the war, Representative Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) said, "After six years, they've got only fear to sell."
President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld all focused on similar messages of fear in recent speeches, referencing Fascism, Nazi Germany, and Communism in a bid to use American concern about safety to boost GOP poll numbers. As the midterm elections approach, Democrats believe the increasing unpopularity of the Iraq war and skepticism of Republicans' handling of national security will undermine the administration's attempts to win votes from public anxiety.
more on bush's fears and fear tactics
according to the bureau of labor statistics, when gwb took office 137,778,000 civilians were employed out of a labor force of 143,800,000.
now those figures are 144,579,000 out of 151,698,000.
that's 6.8M more working, 7.9M more in the work force, leaving 1.1M more looking for work.
go ahead, do the math!
(btw, under clinton jobs grew faster than the labor force. nyah, nyah, nyah!)