••can ye pass the acid test?••

ye who enter here be afraid, but do what ye must -- to defeat your fear ye must defy it.

& defeat it ye must, for only then can we begin to realize liberty & justice for all.

time bomb tick tock? nervous tic talk? war on war?

or just a blog crying in the wilderness, trying to make sense of it all, terror-fried by hate radio and FOX, the number of whose name is 666??? (coincidence?)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

dems ok funds for troops tho lieberman & 45 gops say 'nay'

prez still sez he'll veto

whole world is watching
here's an odd one

i happened to catch a few minutes of a house oversight committee meeting when the members were arguing about chairman henry waxman's desire to have sec of state rice testify about an apparently untrue statement she once made about the false report that iraq tried to buy uranium from niger.

i don't recall why, but at one point christopher shays said he did not vote for the war.

that's funny. the roll call record says he did.

i wonder if any of the other 295 yeas were really nays.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

he says the american people will blame dems if he vetoes troop funds over the pullout timeline.

but jawjee! the money's there! all you've got to do is sign for it. you can't have everything your way anymore.

i know it's hard. for 6 years every bill (but one) was just what you wanted. hell, all your life everybody gave you what you wanted. it's understandable you're spoiled. but the american people have spoken! they took away your rubberstamp majority. now you won't get it all your way, wrapped up like a xmas present tied with a pretty pink ribbon. your years of self-indulgence have ended. at the tender age of 60 you're learning the meaning of limitation.

you're going to have to learn to compromise.

poor baby!
last night's conversation between john mccain and jon stewart deteriorated into both men talking at the same time and drowning each other's words. (i could be wrong, but i thought stewart was trying to engage the senator, but mccain kept filibustering.)

before that, mccain's final argument for remaining in iraq had been emotional rather than logical: because our brave men and women believe the mission is 'worth it' and right and in defense of our liberty, &c.

they may very well believe that, but it doesn't justify continued use of force. our troops' perspective is limited to their individual experiences. morality, legality, economics, sociology, diplomacy, and politics are among the strategic factors that must be taken into account but of which the troops as a whole are largely unaware. their beliefs result from a combination of indoctrination and cognitive dissonance. they are not the strategists or policy makers who (we hope) have a broader view of what's happening in iraq and in america and who must evaluate how our use of force impacts both countries and the world.

mccain thinks he understands war, and he surely does know how it feels to be in one, but a combat pilot doesn't see the big picture, and a POW knows little of what's going down on the home front.

his failure to recognize the parallels between iraq and vietnam comes from that narrow viewpoint.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Minimum Wage Hike, Tax Cuts Measure Attached to Iraq War Bill

vetoing the timetable: is bush playing hardball, poker, or chicken? does he even know the name of the game?

let's break down the possibilities:

scenario a:
1. gwb vetoes
2. dems fear public will blame them if troops run out of funds
3. they panic and pass new bill with no withdrawal demand.
that's what bush wants.

scenario b:
1. gwb vetoes
2. dems pass another bill with same timetable
3. bush scrapes together every last bit of agriculture, education, etc, money he can lay hands on, gives it to pentagon, and vetoes again
4. dems send another bill with same timeline
5. gwb knows he'll run out of war money if he doesn't sign but still hopes public will blame dems when troops run out of funds, so he vetoes again.
that's what bush wants dems to think will happen if they hang tough.

he's got nothin', folks! it's a bluff!

funny thing 'bout this guy, tho: he may not know he's got nothin'. he may think he's holdin' all the cards. he may even think he's playin' some other game.

it's like the classic english lit question: is hamlet crazy or pretending to be? the answer: both. but not too many scholars see that. it's too subtle for them.

the answer in bush's case may be unclear too, but—either way—hang in there, dems: sooner or later he's got to sign, because if he doesn't sign the war ends even sooner.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

a few days ago i heard a bushwar supporter on tv say 80% of the iraqi antiquities looted from museums after the invasion have been returned.

the claim was that patriotic iraqis had stolen the artifacts to safeguard them, then returned them when it became safe.

these sources disagree: 1, 2, 3.

in-state karma's gonna get you, neh?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

why do i keep hearing this was the biggest mass murder (or words to that effect) in US history?

are they joking?
you may've seen vultures already circling: some gundits claim tragedy could've been averted had students been allowed to carry firearms on campus.

yeah, or maybe cho—who i think wore body armor, didn't he?—would've taken out the armed ones first or avoided them and killed others. hypothetical is hypothetical.

gun nuts—to their eternal shame—got the assault weapon ban taken off the books, but in this case its relevant feature—banning high-capacity clips—would've made a marginal difference, at best. of course, it wouldn't've seemed marginal to a handful of kids who might've escaped as cho reloaded, but it still would've been an enormous massacre.

somewhere the system broke down: either the gun dealer didn't follow procedure or somebody didn't enter all the kid's legal and medical history into the database.

much as i'd like to hang seung-hui the kid round the gun lobby's neck, it looks like this is actually one of those cases of failure to enforce law—however true it may be that if they'd had their way that law wouldn't be on federal books and that they did get some of its teeth pulled when waiting periods got dropped.

my last feeble hope: that the poor demented kid will turn out to have been an NRA member in good standing.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

i claim no special prescience on killing sprees or supreme court decisions, but VA tech happened just 32 days after i posted this still incomplete piece on guns, and my partial birth post a few months ago anticipated justice kennedy's vote.

the next section of my gun post will deal with state vs federal regulation. meanwhile, check out this early post.

Monday, April 16, 2007

what a crappy day. kinda day jus makes u wanna pick up ur 9mm n set a new kill record, ain' it?

33 dead and counting.

"The president believes that there is a right for people to bear arms, but that all laws must be followed," White House deputy press secretary Dana Perino said, noting that Bush and Education Secretary Margaret Spellings held a conference on school gun violence last October. "Certainly, bringing a gun into a school dormitory and shooting...is against the law and something someone should be held accountable for," Perino said.

but stronger laws? forget it!
from c-span:

· Sudan Approves Deployment of UN Peacekeepers in Darfur
well, whaddaya know? they caved at last!

· US Appeals to Iran in Case of Missing Former FBI Agent
US appeals to iran? US appeals to iran? the world has changed!

· Macau Bank That Held N Korean Funds Appeals US Blacklisting

· Washington, DC Holds Rally for Full Vote in US House
seriously, why don't they just make DC part of maryland for federal elections only?

· NYT: Former Clinton Donors Give to Obama (D-IL)

·Ex-Military Leaders Call Global Warming Nat'l Security Issue

from yahoo:

Iraqi cleric al-Sadr's allies quit government
PM losing support

Gonzales set to testify before Senate panel
Attorney firings

US voices concern at breakup of Russian protests

French election is key test for far-right Le Pen
Le Pen's bid

New York adds 13 more lenders to student loan probe

Scientists discover source of spiral galaxy's ghostly arms

Indians outraged after Richard Gere kisses Bollywood actress
well, that's what they do in hollywood. then again, when in rome...

Saturday, April 14, 2007

from c-span:

· E-mail uproar gives Dems ammo vs Rove (AP)
see my comment below under wolfowitz story.

· Texas inmate basis of Supreme Court case (AP)

Democrats hope to get their way on Iraq (AP)
time's on their side: pentagon will run out of war money eventually. if dems stand firm, sooner or later bush will have to sign—timeline & all—to get it.

· Pelosi: A challenging first 100 days (AP)

White House, Senate to probe lost e-mail (AP)

from yahoo:

37 die as car bomb hits near Iraq shrine
Bus station blast

Democrats' Iraq timeline offers enemies a victory, Bush says
blaming his lost war on others. how mature!

Pressure grows on Wolfowitz in promotion scandal
not just cream rises to the top: scum does too. & if you don't skim it off, it stays there...

US Peace Corps volunteer missing in Philippines

Police detain chess champion Kasparov in Russia protest

Genetic engineers race to produce ethanol without corn
so much for iowa...

Friday, April 13, 2007

from c-span:

· Senate Votes to Allow More Iraqi & Afghan Refugees Into US

CIA Director Says Agency's Seen Rapid Growth

Iraqi Kurd Official Blasts Turkish Threat as "Dangerous"

Australian PM John Howard Seeks Ban on HIV-Positive Immigrants

· US Military Detains Iranian Agents Over State Dept Objections

CIA Director Claims Success at Stopping Leaks

John Walker Lindh Transferred to Supermax Prison in Colorado

Justice Department Sends Congress More Documents

Trade Deficit Shrinks for Third Straight Month

FEMA Throws Out, Gives Away $40 Million of Stockpiled Food

· Karl Rove Didn't Intentionally Delete E-Mails, Lawyer Says
heaven forfend!

from yahoo:

Iraq parliament in session of terrorism 'defiance'

US-led troops kill 35 Taliban militants in Afghanistan

Wolfowitz friend says she's the victim
no. we are.
More on World Bank

Chavez says Castro recovering well, resuming some duties

Researchers explore scrapping Internet, starting over
can't wait for the beta version....

Groups sue FDA over 'morning-after' pill ruling

Britain announces winner of oddest book title prize
first prize: The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification
2nd: Tattooed Mountain Women and Spoon Boxes of Daghestan
3rd: Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming Into Existence
the 3rd one's my favorite, but it's not a new idea: ancient talmudic sages reached the same conclusion. then they added "but since we exist, we may as well make the best of it."

btw, the article has some past years' winning titles worth checking out.

from npr:

Study: 'Abstinence Only' Goes Only So Far
hell! i knew that!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

from c-span:

· US & Trading Partners Pledge to Complete World Trade Deal

New Unemployment Claims Hit Two-Month High
this tho unemployment fell to 4.4% in march, a 5-year low, and there were 180,000 new jobs, the biggest gain in 3 months. guess what they blame it on: easter!

· Retired Gen. Says Health Care System Shortchanges Disabled Vets

Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA) Quits Hispanic Caucus

Sen. Dodd (D-CT) Said He Would Return to Imus Show

from yahoo:

Bush condemns attack on Iraq's parliament
Green Zone blast

North Korea unlikely to shut reactor down by deadline

Senate's top Democrat seeks vote on green energy bill

Prosecutor apologizes to three Duke lacrosse players

Mexican telecom magnate passes Buffett on world's rich list
ah, but did he give $30B to charity?

Researchers pinpoint gene linked to obesity risk

CBS fires Don Imus from radio show amid furor
More on Imus
Imus' Slur Meme (Sleme) by Cathleen Schine [from huffington post]
interesting. is imus racist or merely racially insensitive? does it matter? i suspect we've all got the memes schine is writing about, but we don't all unleash them indiscriminately. racism, sexism, and homophobia are phobias. they're caused by those memes. i imagine it's possible to be insensitive without actually being phobic, but when you give voice to those memes they get heard, and when they get heard repeatedly, they produce phobias in at least some of the hearers. it's a kind of codependency: repeaters of slurs are enablers of phobias, even if they're not phobes themselves, so we all need to heighten our awareness so we don't unconsciously contribute to the creation of phobias in unsuspecting minds. and don't forget how hurtful slurs can be to people talked about in that way.

Friday, April 06, 2007

bill richardson's daily show appearance also got rerun this week.

he told of his meeting with saddam hussein during the '90s.

governor, here's a flash: the reason those iraqi guards just about jumped out of their skin when you touched saddam is that showing somebody the bottom of your shoe is not the worst possible insult you think it is. the worst possible insult is touching somebody with your left hand.

you're lucky they didn't slit your throat.
the laughable reaction of dittoheads among C-SPAN viewers to nancy pelosi's remark during her damascus visit (that israel would talk to syria) revealed their ignorance of the nuances of diplomacy. they went beyond gloating over israeli PM olmert's supposed rejection of her statement and as far as accusing her of treason for negotiating against US interests.

in fact pelosi did not negotiate. what she did was open a door, pick up a ball, and pass it to olmert. analyze his response and you'll see he did not say he wouldn't talk. he said there are preconditions to talking. that means he will talk if syria makes some moves first. in other words, he put the ball in syrian president assad's court.

if assad doesn't drop it, we might see progress.
family values?

i'm sorry i never mentioned this before.

it defies common sense to deploy mothers of young children to combat zones.

i recall thinking that the first time i heard of a young american mother killed in iraq. and the next time. unfortunately i hadn't begun to blog yet.

i'm not against women having military careers, but when they have little kids at home it's crazy to put them in harm's way. are we really so short on personnel or so panicked by terrorism that we've overlooked that simple principle? even if you're totally gung ho for this suicidal war, your basic notions of 'why we fight' ought to tell you not to imperil young mothers.

i regret i forgot about it till the president of iran beat me to the punch.
with jon stewart off for passover, comedy central reran the recent daily show episode featuring stewart's interview of john bolton.

the doubly bushy bolton responded to a query on his former boss's refusal to let karl rove and harriet miers testify on the record about US attorney firings. he used the defense of executive privilege we first heard during the john roberts' supreme court confirmation process and have been hearing a lot more lately: presidential advisors might not speak freely if their words could someday be made public.

so it would inhibit them? from what? giving good advice????

these white house clowns seem to think the folk they work with are bashful little kids who blush and suck their thumbs when they get asked a question.

seriously, if you got hired to advise the president of the united states, would knowing other folk would find out what you say stop you from giving the best advice you could? i don't think so!

i've about had it with these weirdoes! what planet are they from?
there is something seriously wrong with that man.

from c-span:

AP: Justice Dept Aide Monica Goodling Resigns

Sen. Leahy (D-VT) Wants Written Account From Attorney General
rotsaruck, pat!

Sen. Obama (D-IL) Says He Will Unveil Housing Plan for Veterans

White House Backs GOP Stem-Cell Bill
then it can't be much good.

Sen. Brownback Wants Welfare Laws Changed to Encourage Marriage
how do we know jesus was single? because he didn't say "know the truth, and the truth will make you free...unless you're married."

from yahoo:

British sailors say they were bound, threatened
Sailors speak

US, Iraqi forces sweep through volatile city
Far from safe

Pilgrims mark Good Friday in Jerusalem
Footsteps of Jesus?

Senate Democrats delay Gonzales hearing

Disney parks open wedding packages to gay couples

Cinnamon doesn't help control diabetes, despite earlier findings

from ny times:

Federal Official in Student Loans Held Loan Stock