Thursday, March 15, 2007

"This Presidents Vision"
On NPR this morning (love NPR, love), I was listening to the Diane Rehm Show (what happened to her? she's been out for weeks and I don't believe the "she has pnemonia" line - though I do enjoy the hosting of the BBC's Katy Kay - such a nice english accent), anyway, right, listening this morning. They were talking about whether or not the "surge" (escalation) was working. Bombings are down, bodies found in the street are down etc.

Here's the thing though, according to AJ in DC, (via Americablog - AJ is "a former Department of Defense civilian Intelligence Officer who was decorated for his recent civilian service in Iraq. He is an Iraq expert, and an authority on Iran, democratization, nation-building, Middle East politics, intelligence, and national security matters. ") and according to the Brookings Institute, violence wanes at this time of year anyway, so there really is no way to know if the "surge" is working, or if violence is just declining like it traditionally has. So no, even if the body count is slightly less, the "surge" is not working.

Back to NPR - some idiot, and I'll find out later, actually used this phrase "the presidents vision" - I about drove off the road. The president's vision? What vision? Is this cocaine induced vision? Is he using again? Is he drunk? What kind of megalomaniac psycho has a vision for a country which includes violence everyday, rape and murder by our own soldiers, and the systematic break down of society all so that we can secure oil?

UPDATE: Ok, the idiot was Frederick Kagan from the American Enterprise Institute - "one of the leading architects of the Bush administration's foreign policy." Why do they even have these people on? How about someone that is not tied inexorably to Bush's foreign policy? And if you're going to have someone like, Frederick Kagan, why not just give them a skirt and pom poms and make them comment in rhyme?

UPDATE #2: He actually said "The determination of the president, the vision of this rolling surge." So I misheard him - but he's still an ass... He said the number one problem in Iraq is Al-Qaeda - which is bullshit. 1) The number one problem is the fucking civil war. 2) al-qaeda wasn't even in Iraq until we blew their country apart, and allowed al-qaeda to move in.

The "G" word
By now you've all heard about General Pace's comments on the gays. (at least I hope you heard, after all, I covered it the other day). After he made the comment Sen. John Warner (R-VA) came out (so to speak) and said " I respectfully, but strongly, disagree with the chairman's view that homosexuality is immoral." Fantastic. Now with such a strong rebuke of gay-bashing from a Republican, what will our Democratic candidates say in response to General Pace's comments? (extra points if you can match the comment to the candidate - for those living under a rock, the top tier candidates are Obama, Clinton and Edwards.)

asked in person about General Pace's comments:
- "Well, I'm going to leave that to others to conclude"
- "I don't share that view"
- "I think the question here is whether somebody is willing to sacrifice for their country, should they be able to if...they're doing all the things that should be done."

later through a spokesman or press release:
- "I disagree with what he said and do not share his view, plain and simple."
- the candidate "in fact, disagrees with Pace"
- no further clarification

That's right, not one of them could actually say the "g" word. Or come out with a statement like, oh I don't know - "being gay is not immoral." end of fucking story. Clinton is really disappointing, considering how less than two weeks ago she was getting a standing ovation from the Human Rights Campaign - a GAY rights group. She said, "I am proud to stand by your side." Yeah, that lasted real long.

And I'm not at all pleased with everyone's golden boy Obama - "the only silver lining!" What happened to "A belief that we are connected as one people" and "If there's an Arab American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties." (insert gay for "arab american family") What happened to that man who talked about the audacity of hope?

Edwards should have just repeated his Feb 2007 appearance on meet the press
Q: Do you believe homosexuality is a sin?
Edwards: No. Nuff said.

UPDATE: HRC tells Clinton and Obama they are not happy with their answers. (via A-blog)

UPDATE #2: Hillary joins the club: "I do not think homosexuality is immoral.... let's not be eliminating people because of who they are or who they love." Where''s Obama?

UPDATE #3: Finally, Obama jumps on the wagon: " I do not agree with General Pace that homosexuality is immoral. Attempts to divide people like this have consumed too much of our politics over the past six years."

Chiquita Banana
Chiquita International agreed to a $25 million fine today after it admitted to paying nearly $1.7 million to several terrorists groups in Columbia.
Question #1: Since when do you get to AGREE to your punishment? Don't we punish you and you have to take it? Because if I was arrested for marijuana possession, I don't think I would have the option of agreeing with or not agreeing with the punishment. It's called a crime.

Question #2: Only $25 million? Didn't we freeze all of the assets of some muslim-americans because they might have, maybe donated money to an organization which may have possible provided food for the children of terrorists? Didn't we freeze ALL of their assets and add them to the no-fly list. Didn't we call them terrorists?

Question #3: Isn't this called giving material support to a terrorist organization?

Question #4: Isn't that what we are holding a number of people on at Gitmo?

The terrorist organizations they were supporting were the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia which "has been responsible for some of the worst massacres in Colombia's civil conflict and for a sizable percentage of the country's cocaine exports." (Hmm, drugs, cocaine, I think we throw people in jail for that.) And to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia - which "has employed vehicle bombings,gas cylinder bombs, killings, landmines, kidnapping, extortion, hijacking as well as guerrilla and conventional military action against Colombian political, military, and economic targets, to attack those it considers a threat to its movement. It has not been uncommon for civilians to die or suffer forced displacement, directly or indirectly, due to many of these actions." (wiki)

Nice people. I'm glad an American company was directly financing their activities.

The 101 Uses of 9/11
The White House is feeling tremendous pressure lately, the high profile trial of US soldiers that murdered Iraqi civilians, Walter Reed, the firing of US Attorneys, the Scooter Libby verdict, the revelation that the FBI was/is breaking the law, Senators calling for the resignation of your Attorney General, calling for a timetable for withdrawal etc etc etc. What ever will an embattled White House do? What can they do to distract the American public from their blatant disregard for the troops, the Iraqis, the privacy of the public, the integrity of the DOJ etc etc etc? Why, parade out the Mastermind of 9/11 (said in a scary scary voice).

In a recently released revised transcript (revised?!) Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) admits to masterminding the 9/11 attack, 2002 Bali bombings, a deadly attack on a Kenyan hotel, the beheading of American journalist Daniel Pearl, the 1993 attack on New York's World Trade Center, and an attempt to down two American airplanes using shoe bombs.. Busy boy. He confessed all of this without duress (he says - even though he was probably waterboarded at sometime while in American custody), rather abruptly. Asked if he had been tortured... well we don't know - much of the transcript was blacked out.

(Here's my example of how blacking out a transcript can lead to misleading and false conclusions:

Original: George W Bush is not the best president ever. In fact, he is the worst president that we have ever had, ever. His legacy will be that of pain and misery. He has set the country back one hundred years and destroyed our reputation with the world.

Redacted: George W Bush is not the best president ever. In fact, he is the worst president that we have ever had, ever. His legacy will be that of pain and misery. He has set the country back one hundred years and destroyed our reputation with the world.

See how easy it is?)

Oh, and the 9/11 Commission found that KSM is prone to delusions of grandeur. So tell me why this hack, who probably never planned anything, makes it on all of the news media front pages, displacing those other stories we mentioned above? Oh right, displace the stories we mentioned above. Still don't believe me? This military hearing, where all of this information came out, happened last Friday. So why wait until now? Right, because news dumped on Friday is lost to the memory hole. No one really reads the news on the weekend. So they waited until it could last a whole news cycle, and the mainstream media took the bait. And we didn't hear a thing about Osama bin Laden. I thought he was the guy that planned all the attacks that KSM is taking credit for. We sure don't hear much about OBL anymore. I wonder why? Could it be that we can't fucking find him? Oh yeah, he's eluded capture for 5 1/2 years. Heckuva job Bushie, heckuva job.

Women are from Venus and Men Look at Crotches
The Online Journalism review reports on a new study that focuses on the placement of graphics and webdesign. Jakob Nielsen used eye-tracking to follow how men and women interact with a website, what they look at, when they look at it, how long they look. Given a picture of a baseball player batting, he found that men will tend to focus on genitals as well as the face. Women tend to only check out the face. And it doesn't stop with people either; men will also fixate and the genitals of animals when users were directed to browse the American Kennel Club site. Uh huh. No word on whether men also check out breasts. My guess is ....YES.

Evangelical Turnaround
Richard Cizik, Washington Policy director of the National Association of Evangelicals caused a ruckus among evangelicals when he said in a recent documentary about global warming "to harm this world by environmental degradation is an offense against God" - refocusing Evangelicals on environmental issues and away from abortion, gay marriage and abstinence-only education. Twenty-five conservative leaders sent a letter to the NAE demanding that they reign in Cizik - the NAE subsequently refused. The association's board also opened a new front by releasing a statement condemning torture - saying the United States had crossed the "boundaries of what is legally and morally permissible."

Which seems like a "duh" thing to say. How can Christians - love thy neighbor - be for torture, or restricting civil rights, or discriminating against other people, or illegal war, or any war?! How can they stand so firm on the side of Republicans, who are pretty much against everything that Jesus ever preached? Here's my favorite statement on the NAE's behalf - "It ought to be God's agenda, not the Republican Party's agenda, that drives us."

UPDATE: The woman from finance I talked about the other day, that was caressing another woman's hair...I just saw the same two in a little hallway off our office and their body language said we are not straight. how exciting.

How many times can someone pee in the course of the day? If you're me, and have had 64 ounces of water by 4 o'clock, the answer is, a lot. That's a half gallon of water.


Blogger Roko said...

Half a gallon of water? Try a whole gallon of beer. That's a good night.

6:16 PM  

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