Thursday, March 30, 2006

Jill Carroll Released


BAGHDAD, March 30 -- American journalist Jill Carroll, abducted in early January by gunmen in Baghdad, was released to a Sunni Arab political party in the capital Thursday morning after 82 days in captivity.

"I was treated very well. That's important for people to know," she said in an interview with an Arabic-speaking questioner at the headquarters of the Iraqi Islamic Party. "They never hit me, they never even threatened to hit me. I'm just happy to be free, and I want to be with my family."

The usual whiners can add this to their list of the good news that never gets reported from Iraq.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Low Tide

A commenter on Steve Gilliard's blog directed me to Michelle Malkin's sewer to see pictures of seething immigrant rage and unprovoked anti-Americanism.

Well there was one picture of a Mexican flag above an upside down American flag. Let's ignore the fact that an unpside down American flag means distress and let's imagine that the it was meant to carry some anti-American connotation. The flag was hung by high school students and it is ONE FUCKING IMAGE of a few people's actions out hundreds of thousands of marchers and protestors. The rest of the pictures show people at a rally, some holding foreign flags, others with American flags (carried respectfully). I guess carrying flags of other countries is un-American so want to help Michelle be as vigilant in denigrating ungrateful people like these haters on St. Patricks day.

And check out this Islamofacist waving his Italian flag on Columbus day.

Apparantly, Michelle sees a few assholes out of a crowd of 500K and decide that's what most of the people were really like (but remember - she's not a racist, even if she argues in favor of Japanese internment and racial profiling). I wonder how much she would appreciate it if other people based their perceptions of Americans based on the actions of a few people.

Uh, bad example.

Anyhow, it's getting a bit ugly watching people slag the very people they use, both here and abroad, to have one of the highest standards of living in the world.

How long until we start tagging immigrants and shipping them off in cattle cars? Diane Feinstien and others are ready to grant legal status to farm workers! Gee Senators, sorry about that whole 13th amendmentthing, but Pedro here will pick your cotton.

If they really cared about immigration issues they would stop whining about immigrants using our health care system or sending their kids to school and take issue with the people here who hire them. But of course it's much easier to pick on the new guy.

The Minutemen, Lou Dobbs, Tancreepo - all chickshit xenophobes too frightened to actually admit they're the neo-nazis of our day. Blaming all the problems of our country on the people with the least amount of influence - how sad, but how familiar.

My brief comment on illegal immigration

Americans can't face the fact that they fucked their own country by voting for the same monkey twice so now's a good time to pull out the immigrant bashing stick.

Lou Dobbs has been blathering on like this for years. No responsibility for insane fiscal policy - it's all about the greedy forners coming here to steal our lucrative grape picking and toilet scrubbing jobs.

Quasi-human Minutemen write a few letters, get blown off by the people they voted into office, then decide they need to play war buddy for a few days.

Americans need to address far more important problems than illegal immigration. We can start by changing foreign policy initiatives that effectively bankrupt South American countries.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Confederacy of Dunces

US rebuffs Bin Laden 'truce call'

Osama Bin Laden:
"We do not mind offering you a truce that is fair and long-term... so we can build Iraq and Afghanistan... there is no shame in this solution because it prevents wasting of billions of dollars.

I admit, not the most trustworthy source. Of course this guy isn't much better:

US Vice-President Dick Cheney rejected an apparent offer of a "long-term truce", describing it as a "ploy".

First of all, does anyone still give a fuck about what Dick Cheney thinks?

Speaking on the Fox News TV network, Mr Cheney said it was too early to draw firm conclusions about the tape, but added that al-Qaeda was "unlikely" ever to sit down and sign a truce.

"I think you have to destroy them. It's the only way with them," the vice-president said.

And we're doing an awesome job of it. Granted it is sort of hard when everything you do seems to send more and more people into the waiting arms of the very people you're fighting.

On Fox News, Mr Cheney said: "Obviously no-one can guarantee that we won't be hit again. But our nation has been protected by more than luck."

Barely. Nothing this administration has done has protected anyone in anyway. In fact it's the exact opposite. That Al Queda hasn't reaped mass havoc on this country with Bushco in charge is either a testament to Al Queda's incompetence or laziness.

Or maybe it's something else

The speaker on the tape said the reason there had not been an attack in the US since 11 September 2001 was not because of superior US security, but because the group had been engaged in activities in Iraq

Hey they should put Bin on the payroll (as if he's not already) and trot him out to make the talking head rounds because he's really pulling the administrations "we fight them there so we don't have to fight them here" line. They work so well together. Remember when they trotted him out to make his Michael Moore style speech right before the election? Terrorist mastermind/RNC schill - good work if you can get it.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan quickly dismissed the truce offer saying: "We do not negotiate with terrorists. We put them out of business".

God it's hilarious when pudgy duckmen try to talk tough.

The west frequently negotiates with "terrorists" and other assorted troublemakers with successfull results. To dismiss any peace talks out of hand is an act of perfidy and pride at the expense of innocent people.

The whole "we don't negotiate with terrorists" thing is nearsighted and imbecilic. We no longer have any moral high ground to decide who terrorists are. We use first strike, pre-emptive violence (against civilians) as much as any terrorist does to assert power, gain control and effect political change. But what this really comes down to is that the neo-con agenda won't allow for negotiatoins with terrorists because peace isn't part of their plan and they will never have another an enemy this well suited for their Straussian fantasy world. The negotiations have already taken place and Bin Laden is their man. They aren't letting him go anywhere.

Friday, March 24, 2006

The Agony and Apostasy

It's good that this story is getting so much attention:

KABUL, Afghanistan, March 24 — Afghan clerics used Friday Prayers at mosques across the capital to call for death for an Afghan man who converted to Christianity, despite widespread protest in the West.

Granted, if this guy hadn't converted to Christianity, and was going to be executed for say, being gay, it's doubtful it would have received much attention at all. Ok, it's not actually doubtful, it's certain not to have received any attention whatsoever unless Iran is involved, in which case you can be sure that the neo-con hawks and their dippy cheerleaders will be using it to promote their agenda all over it.

Now beyond the Christian aspect is the obvious P.R. issue for an Administration who frequently boasts of bringing freedom to the previously archaic Afghanistan. That their first democratic experiment is producing, well, no less barbaric results is somewhat embarrasing.

But to be fair to the administration, this isn't their fault. These allegedly moderate religious leaders make Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell (two men who also repeatedly call for executions and mass murder, by the way) look like hippies.

Check out this asshole:
Dr. Mohammad Ayaz Niyazi, an Egyptian educated in Islamic law, who attended one of the gatherings today, said, "There have been serial attacks on the Islamic world recently, starting with insulting the Holy Quran, insulting the prophet of Islam, and now converting to Christianity by an Afghan."

You know, I can understand the outrage over the Koran toilet thing because it happened during a war and was a larger symbol of western imperialism and cultural hegemony. I can understand the cartoons because it was a blatant attempt to smear an entire religion under the guise of an intellectual argument. But when one (1) guy converting to another religion shakes the foundation of your beliefs, your religion sucks and you should kill yourself for being such an unbelievable bane on humanity.

Condi's spinning her ass off being in the unenviable position of trying to stop a highly publicized human rights offense while still respecting the soveriegnty of the new country they just helped create. Now I know the though Afghani sovereignty is a joke and the U.S. caring about their autonomy even more laughable, but the fact is that it is important for Afghanistan to have the illusion of independance, even if its not accurate. To be too heavy handed in these cases reinforces the accurate perception that when we spread democracy what we really mean is we're making you our puppet. Yes the problem is the way we spread democracy and not the issues we choose to flex our muscles over, but its too late to debate that in this case - damage done, time for someone else to clean up the mess.

It's too bad Condi and the rest of the administration can't get off their asses a little more frequently to speak about the myriad of human rights violations, many which they support and helped create.

more to come...

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Great News

Peace group hostages freed in Iraq

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- U.S. and British forces have freed three Christian aid workers held hostage in Iraq, ending a four-month ordeal in which an American captive was found dead on a Baghdad street.

No shots were fired and no captors were present when the hostages -- Briton Norman Kember, 74 and Canadians James Loney, 41, and Harmeet Singh Sooden, 32 -- were freed early Thursday, officials said.

I would have liked to post without comment, but you know this is going to ruffle the usual chickhawk feathers:

Christian Peacemaker Teams posted a statement on its Web site expressing joy in the hostages' release but also criticizing the U.S.-led operation in Iraq.

"We believe that the illegal occupation of Iraq by Multinational Forces is the root cause of the insecurity which led to this kidnapping and so much pain and suffering in Iraq," the statement said. "The occupation must end.

"Harmeet, Jim and Norman and Tom were in Iraq to learn of the struggles facing the people in that country. They went, motivated by a passion for justice and peace to live out a nonviolent alternative in a nation wracked by armed conflict.

LGF hasn't mentioned this yet, he's still too busy reporting on the Danish Cartoon controversy (yes, still).

Michelle Malkin didn't waste any time before showing her indignance over the hostages beliefs. Er, well at least copying and pasting the indignance of one of her readers.

Not once do they thank or even reference the fact that a Special Forces team rescued these guys. In fact, the only reference to military at all is blaming them for the kidnapping in the first place. Nice!

Also on their home page is a long statement about how terribly treated terrorists are when detained by evil soldiers.

While I agree that the soldiers did a great thing by finding these guys, the fact is that this is another example of right wing jackasses trying to wash their hands of any responsibility for the cluster-fuck they helped to create.

I'm sure the Pentagon is pissed because the story reports that there were no captors present and no shots fired which means they can't spin this into some epic, Jessica Lynch style struggle for freedom. Combined with the lack of hero worship for their brave rescuers I can't see this getting much attention at all other than giving troglodytes like Michelle something else to get churlish about.

The good news is that these brave men, and yes right wing fucks, going into a war zone unarmed to help the people being brutally invaded (not liberated) is brave (see also Marla Ruzicka), are free to continue their work.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Things That Will Never Happen

Grow Your Own Oil, U.S.

Researchers hoping to ease America's oil addiction are turning sawdust and wood chips into bio-oil, a thick black liquid that could become a green substitute for many petroleum products.

Great idea, we should get started on this right away!

Yeah Right

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Terror in the Newsroom

I decided to trudge over to the sewer that is Debbie Schlussel's blog to see what sort of hysterical Islamophobia I've been missing lately.

If you didn't know, Debbie Schlussel is like Little Green Footballs with tits and a blonde wig, turned up to 11.

It's pretty much impossible to report on all the insane things you can find on her site. In fact, it's pretty much impossible to read a single sentence without her screaming hysterically about evil Arabs and Muslims and linking otherwise innocuous public or quasi-public figures to all sorts of attrocious terrorist activity. To say that Debbie thinks she's living in a real life "24" is an understatemtent.

In one of her most recent posts, Debbie, who calls Al-Jazeera the Terrorist News Network, in no small part because she thinks they hate Jews, Israel and America, rips into them for, get this, hiring a Jewish news anchor!

In the fine tradition of other bigoted, low rent trolls such as Charles Johnson, Michelle Malkin, Debbie has castigated Al Jazeera for both hating Jews and embracing them all at the same time.

In another stunning display of bizarre casuistry, she rips into former Marine and Iraq-vet, Josh Rushing, for working with them, calling him their "American Monkey." Nice to see Debbie respecting the troops in this way.

Of course the supreme irony is that Debbie jumped at the opportunity to appear on the Terror News Network to discuss a film, Paradise Now, with the movie's director. Why Al-Jazeera would stoop to the level of this low-rent Ann Coulter is a testament to exactly the opposite of what Debbie and others like her think of Al Jazeera's role as Bin Laden's mouthpiece. From her own reports it sounds like she was given more than ample opportunity to make her points on the movie clear and was treated fairly and with respect (not that she didn't find something to bitch about).

Monday, March 20, 2006

Happy Anniversary

Violence marks Iraq anniversary

Iraq on Monday marked the third anniversary of the US-led invasion with new bombings, more sectarian tension and continued indecision on government.

Well these last three years have been great, wish we could do it all over again.

Well since it's Persian New Year, which should be a good reminder to the President, who thinks everything's going great in Iraq, that it's about time to start a new war.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Thursday, March 16, 2006


Pamela, aka Atlas Shrugged, has a whole series of posts about helping Sudan.

The fact that she only cares about the crisis because it involves Muslims persecuting people doesn't dhimminish (lol!!!!) it's importance or credibility.

The fact that they are persecuting other Muslims isn't important to Pamela - she only cares about castigating Muslims bringing attention to the problem.

And she's really not doing it because this human rights disaster gives her the opportunity to chastise the Muslim religion, the U.N. and Kofi Annan all at the same time.

Because as she states:

I am the pacifist.

And she back this up by stating in the very same post:

BREAKING NEWS: BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) The American military has reported that U.S. and Iraqi forces launched the largest air assault since the U.S.-led invasion against insurgents north of Baghdad, in Salah ad Din. Go with G-d, fellas - we love you.

See - she's just like Ghandi or MLK and when she walks for Sudanese liberation, it's not because she hates Muslims or the UN or Kofi Annan, it's because of the children.

Not these children,

Because they're being liberated and if they get splattered, well we weren't actually targeting children and we try our best to avoid civilians casualties collateral damage as we dropped thousands of pounds of cluster bombs and bunker busters into residential neighborhoods. Plus you're an idiot if you think there aren't innocent victims in war. Plus, we were forced into this war - it was a last resort - we had no other choice. Its all the other people that target civilians - those children are innocent victims of very evil people and therefore they are the only ones you should care about because we are in a war for the very survival of our way of life and the Muslim hoardes are standing at the gates ready to kill or convert the entire western world. They're starting by killing people in Sudan, but you're next and that's why Pamela's on the front lines protecting your way of life.

Oh no more riots in Europe!

Violence flares at French rallies

Protests have turned violent in France as at least 250,000 people rallied against a controversial new labour law.
. . .

The march in Paris, which police said was attended by 30,000 but which organisers put at 120,000-strong, was mainly peaceful.

However, a group of about 300 masked protesters threw missiles at police, who responded with tear gas and rubber bullets.

A newspaper stand and a number of cars were set on fire and protesters at the symbolic Sorbonne University - where street protests shook France in 1968 - pelted police with stones and bottles and chanted slogans comparing them to the Nazi SS.

What? No cartoons? No Muslims? This isn't news! WTF is the BBC thinking?

Just look at all the real journalists who agree with me by not reporting on this 130,00 person riot:


Fox News

The bloggers are also doing there part to say non! to this dispicable reporting of non-news

Little Green Footballs:



Keep in mind these were the same people that were vigilant in bringing you round-the-clock Muslim cartoon riot updates, so they know news when they see it!

Good News...Sort of

US and Iran agree to Iraq talks

Iran and the US say they are prepared to hold bilateral talks on Iraq.

It would be the first public dialogue since the 1979 hostage crisis, after which the nations broke off ties, correspondents say.

This is a good first step. The fact that they're talking about anything is positive, even if they aren't talking about nukes.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the US ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, was authorised to talk to Iran about Iraq.

"But this is a very narrow mandate dealing specifically with issues relating to Iraq," he said.

They really should try to keep Scooter McDuck out of this.

Of course any notion of civil discourse must be tempered with shows of unbridled power and threats of brazen violence.

US backs first-strike attack plan

The US will not shy away from attacking regimes it considers hostile, or groups it believes have nuclear or chemical weapons, the White House has confirmed.

Gee, who could they be talking about?

In the first restatement of national security strategy since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the US singles out Iran as the greatest single current danger.

Of course. So out of one side of our mouth we're asking Iran for help in dealing with Iraq while threatening them out the other. That's productive.

But it stresses that continuing diplomatic efforts must succeed if confrontation is to be avoided, vowing to take "all necessary measures" to protect US interests against Iran.

That's exactly what they said (and still say) about Iraq.

"When the consequences of an attack with WMD [weapons of mass destruction] are potentially so devastating, we cannot afford to stand idly by as grave dangers materialise."

Sound familiar?

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Spin harder

In another fine example of Democratic submission, Dick Cheney dared Democrats to censure President Bush, and apparantly, they acquiesced.

Or at least that's how it's being spun by the blow hard right and headlines like Democrats Beat Quick Retreat on Call to Censure President. Ah yes, the old cut and run Democrats are at it again. Even Stephanie Miller was lamenting the weakness of Club Donkey in abondoning the man she refers to as her future husband, Russ Feingold.

To be fair to the press, the Dems recently pretended to have spines care about their constiuency, but when it comes to protecting the Constitution from power-mad neo-cons, and not having Arabs to scapegoat, they usually turn into pusillanimous children.

The Houston Times:
WASHINGTON - Democrats distanced themselves Monday from Wisconsin Sen. Russell Feingold's effort to censure President Bush over domestic spying, maneuvering to prevent a vote that could alienate swing voters.

Now we can be sure the Republican right is going to have a field day because V.P. 18 percent dared someone to do something and they did it.

But lets look closer:

WASHINGTON, March 13 — Senate Democrats on Monday blocked an immediate vote on a call by one of their own to censure President Bush for his eavesdropping program.

It doesn't actually sound like they want to quash censure, it sounds more like they don't want to vote on it today. I wonder why?

Democratic leaders held off the immediate vote that Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee requested. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said he didn't know if there ever would be one. Durbin said that Feingold had sought to use the censure resolution "as a catalyst" for thorough investigations.
Minutes before Senator Russell D. Feingold, Democrat of Wisconsin, formally introduced his resolution reprimanding Mr. Bush, Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee, the majority leader, said Republicans were ready to vote by day's end or Tuesday.

Oh, they just want an up or down vote.

"When we're talking about censure of the president of the United States at a time of war, when this president is out defending the American people with a very good, lawful, constitutional program, it is serious business," Mr. Frist said. "If they want to make an issue out of it, we're willing to do just that."

See, Bill said it was a lawful program, therefore there is no need to investigate, they should just vote now. This resolution deserves an up or down vote dammit!

Harry Reid thinks there should be an investigation.

"To try to limit debate on this most important matter that Senator Feingold is going to put before the Senate is not appropriate," said Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the minority leader.

Given how many Republicans are currently being investigated, it's easy to understand why they wouldn't want to see another one.

"The American people already made their decision," Vice President Dick Cheney said Monday in an appearance in Mr. Feingold's home state, The Associated Press reported. "They agree with the president."

And if Dick Cheney says the American people agree with the President, then they must agree with the President.

Except when they don't.

WASHINGTON - More and more people, particularly Republicans, disapprove of President Bush's performance, question his character and no longer consider him a strong leader against terrorism, according to an AP-Ipsos poll documenting one of the bleakest points of his presidency.
. . .
Personally, far fewer Americans consider Bush likable, honest, strong and dependable than they did just after his re-election campaign.

Given his 18% approval rating, I'm not sure Dick Cheney is really a reliable resource on what the American people think.

I'm going to use that awful talking point wingnuts love to use - "If you're not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about."

Well, Mr. Cheney and Dr. Frist, if you're doing no wrong, then you won't mind an investigation. And unlike wiretapping Americans without a warrant, a congressional investigation is legal!

Monday, March 13, 2006

The Truth Hurts


In 2003, a lot of us were saying, where is the link between Saddam and bin Laden? What does Iraq have to do with 9/11? We knew it was bullshit. Which is why it drives me crazy to hear all these Democrats saying, "We were misled." It makes me want to shout, "Fuck you, you weren't misled. You were afraid of being called unpatriotic."

Thanks George, for speaking the truth.

The government you deserve

From the BBC:

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has appealed to the Iranian people - saying he wants to help them have a freer and more prosperous future.

In a speech in London Mr Straw said the Iranian people "deserved better" than their current government.

I totally agree, but this is who the Iranian people want. They voted for Ahmadinejad who rivals a post-9/11 George Bush in his ability to stoke nationalism and jingoist bravado. As much of an idiot as he sounds to us, with his holocaust denial and idle threats, he is giving the Iranian people exactly what they want to hear in light of hostile actions and words from the west, and in particular, America. Iran had moderated quite a lot of the last decade but that was all pissed away by one ignorant speech given by one ignorant asshole.

This isn't about what Iran deserves, but what the west wants. Well the west isn't going get what it wants because our invasion of Iraq has radicalized the region to the point where they are voting for hard line extremists like Hamas and Ahmadinejad. Our recent global embarrasment in the Dubai ports deal further emphasizes to mideasterners that moderation and modernization don't gain you any currency with America and the hard liners are more than happy to remind them of it.

As of right now, what little bread they have is buttered by extremists and we can expect more western hand-wringing over what to do about a problem we helped to create. Pleading with the Iranian people to get a better government than the one they elected probably isn't going to help. If we haven't sent our reputation too far into the gutter, we now need to treat hard-line governments like we would any other, then the people of those countries can judge their governments on their own merits rather than on our reaction to them.

Saturday, March 11, 2006


What could you possibly have gained by this?

An American who was among four peace activists kidnapped in Iraq last year has been found shot dead in Baghdad.

You want to be an insurgent and protect your country? Whatever, fine, but killing these people truly makes you savages. Everytime you complain about being treated like barbarians - this is why.

Killing the best of humanity, the very people trying to help you - what do you gain from this senseless and ignorant violence?

Friday, March 10, 2006

One last port whine

A lot of people have been saying the Dubai ports deal is dead.

No, nativists, the deal isn't dead, just the part that pertains to the 6 US ports, the main part of the aquisition, the part that includes ports in Europe, Australia and Asia will proceed as planned.

Now while it seems many Americans think the rest of the world is a loose series of mud huts and banana republics, where people burn embassies and chop off heads, there is a whole world out there that really couldn't give a crap about overtly hysterical Americans and their overwhelming sense of exceptionalism. It's amazing how we find new and creative ways each day to reinforce our new-found image as the world's isolated xenophobe.

The rest of the world will go about its business and jet off to party in Dubai, who they realize is a major player in the global economy. DPW will still be the third largest port operator in the world, they will still run the port that the U.S. Navy visits more often than any other outside the USA and virtually everything you buy is going to be going through the hands of someone most Americans fear (that is, everyone else).

Despite what most may think, it's not the Emiratis that are the most outraged by this.

It's remarkable how many people in Dubai now accuse the USA of being anti-Arab. And many of those who say it loudest are the Westerners.

. . .

Emiratis, as UAE residents are known, are far more discreet. The DP World takeover of 6 US ports is a business deal pure and simple, they say. Once Americans look into it, they'll see that's the case and approve it.

Whoops, looks like the Emiratis underestimated our ability to be thoroughly idiotic.

To sum up, this whole ports fiasco has got to be one of the most appalling displays of over-wrought hysteria and contemptuousness every witnessed by a country that is supposed to be the vanguard for decency and tolerance.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Bennish Death Threats

Remember when all the "free speech advocates" were waxing hysterical about Muslim reaction to the cartoons?

Remember how they said the death threats made against the editors of Jyllen-Posten and others were evidence of the global conspiracy to turn everyone into Muslims?

Bennish's Dad Reports Death Threats Against Family

(AP) DENVER The father of a Colorado teacher who compared President Bush's State of the Union address to speeches made by Adolf Hitler said he and his family have received at least 12 death threats.

Since so many of them were so adamant about protecting free speech and western values in Denmark, I fully expect them to be balls out when it comes to defending the interchange of free speech and ideas in America.

Let's look at what they are saying:

Michelle Malkin:

and here's what Charles Johnson is saying in defense of our most cherished principles:

Cap'n Cubicle weighs in on this important issue:

The Jawa report, always a first rate source for information on how Muslims rape more women than other people*:

Jihad Watch who stands vigilantly against the dhimmification of our glorious country:

Debbie Schlussel:


Belmont Club:

With all these virulent anti-dhimmi, defenders of our way of life vociferously defending the free exchange of ideas, unlike those barbarians who make death threats when somebody says something they don't like, I feel much better.

*Actual rape rates from different areas around the globe:

Eastern Europe, 63 per million population
Western Europe, 63 per million population
North America, 392 per million population
Latin America, 112 per million population
Africa (sub-Sahara), 34 per million population
Arab States, 7 per million population
South Asia, 14 per million population
South East Asia, 49 per million population
East Asia, 63 per million population

Source: Global Report on Crime & Justice

Welcome LGFWatchers!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Ben Stein is an idiot.

via Tittsie McRandy, we learn of Ben Stein's ridiculous review of the Oscars, which in high wingnut fashion, he didn't actually watch.

There were pitifully dishonest calls for peace

Because George Clooney, et al. really love war. That's why they were out pimping for war, like Ben did, in the run-up to Iraq.

The idea that it is brave to stand up for gays in Hollywood,

Considering how much of Hollywood is in the closet, considering Republicans believe real American marriage does not include gay people, I would say it is.

to stand up against Joe McCarthy in Hollywood (fifty years after his death),

Ok, even the stupidest wingnut kid could see that the movie was obviously analogous to our current political climate. And Ben is your "smart guy?"

to say that rich white people are bad,

Who said that?

that oil companies are evil

He's obviosly not familiar with economic hitmen, but the fact that they are making record profits off the suffering of others, including our troops that he, in a most maudlin fashion, pretends to care about should be justification enough.

The brave guy in Hollywood will be the one who says that this is a fabulously great country where we treat gays, blacks, and everyone else as equal.

Actually the brave guy would be the Republican that can admit that denying marriage rights to homosexuals means that homosexuals are not treated as equals. It is the fucking ignorant moron that thinks that gays, blacks and everyone else is treated as equal as we continue to pass legislation limiting the rights of gays and blame black people for being drowned in a hurricane.

The courageous writer in Hollywood will be the one who says the oil companies do their best in a very hostile world to bring us energy cheaply and efficiently and with a minimum of corruption.

They sure do everything that can to get that energy cheaply (see economic hitmen) - do they pass that savings on to "us"? Umm I'm going to say no.

They would be heroes if they said that Moslem extremists are the worst threat to human decency since Hitler and Stalin.

Yes, because in their caves, the terrorists actually have the largest and most technologically advanced army on Earth. They could run through Poland in a few days, right?

But someone might yell at them or even attack them with a knife if they said that, so they never will.
More likely they realize that using reactionary metaphors doesn't actually change anything, and instead use global outreach and compassion instead of carpet bombings to influence people around the world. Crazy actors.

Hollywood is above all about self: self-congratulation, self-promotion, and above all, self-protection. This is human and basic, but let's not kid ourselves. There is no greatness there in the Kodak theater. The greatness is on patrol in Kirkuk. The greatness lies unable to sleep worrying about her man in Mosul. The greatness sleeps at Arlington National Cemetery and lies waiting for death in VA Hospitals.

Apparantly to Ben, by caring about other people, both domestically and internationally, these actors spit on the grave of brave soldiers.

What a fucking tool.

If you were Rush Limbaugh

or another conservative Republican in the Hannity/Coulter vein the following is all ok:

Mass Murder
Child Molestation
Rape and incest

It's all about values people.

Poll: Cheney Less Popular Than OJ

He's also less popular than Michael Jackson.

Michael Jackson, who was alleged of sexually harassing an underage boy, and American football player O.J. Simpson, who caused a huge clamor for being suspected of murdering his wife in 1994, each maintained 25 percent and 29 percent favorable impression rates, respectively.

To be fair, OJ and Michael were never convicted of any crimes and Cheney is a mass murderer.

Though Cheney shouldn't be too sad, there's still one person in America less popular than him:

The only person less popular than Vice President Cheney is Paris Hilton, the female actress. Hilton, who is the heiress of the global hotel chain Hilton Group, and who has a “blonde party girl” image, only got a 15 percent approval rating.

Legislating women's health care

Most reasonable people would consider the South Dakota anti-choice legislation barbaric. Even a Fox News poll showed most people were against the bill because it didn't allow exceptions for rape and incest even if they could care less about women's reproductive rights in general.

But emerging from this sewer of disregard comes a new voice of "reason":

BILL NAPOLI: A real-life description to me would be a rape victim, brutally raped, savaged. The girl was a virgin. She was religious. She planned on saving her virginity until she was married. She was brutalized and raped, sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it, and is impregnated. I mean, that girl could be so messed up, physically and psychologically, that carrying that child could very well threaten her life.

Apparantly non-religious, non-virgins aren't affected that much by rape. I'm glad to know that.

Brokeback Discrimination

A co-author of Brokeback Mountain is accusing the Academy of discrimination.

Not against gay people, but rural settings.

Larry McMurtry, co-writer of ‘Brokeback Mountain,’ thinks the urban drama ‘Crash’ beat out his film for best picture because Academy members discriminate against rural stories.
. . .
He feels ‘Crash’ won because it was set in Los Angeles, where most of the Academy voters live.

I wonder how the Ann Althouse style whiners who complain about Hollywood not being in touch with 'normal Americans' feel about the writer of Brokeback standing up for them.

Its sort of like when our government aligned with Iran in a recent anti-gay vote in the U.N.

I wonder if they will ever notice that all their little culture war bullshit issues are invalidated by the overlapping biases and animosity of varied cultures, religions, nations, sexual orientations and races.

That's the problem with culture warriors - frequently their enemies take the same side as they do, and when they play the "enemy of my enemy is my friend" game it makes them hypocrits, about which they don't seem too concerned since they do it all the time.

U.N. Peacekeepers to Sudan?

My first reaction was about damn time. But it isn't really that simple. For centuries African nations have been colonized by western ones who have treated the indigenous population like foreigners and left the countries much worse off than they were before.

Now add to this what people there are seeing of our involvement in Iraq and you get this:

Thousands of people have marched through the Sudan capital, Khartoum, to protest against UN plans to take over peacekeeping operations in Darfur.

Granted a lot of the protesters are organized by the Khartoum government and include their militias - the same ones causing the problem in the first place. But these protests include regular civilian Sudanese who are seeing what's happening in Iraq and fearing that western involvement will bring them the same nightmare. Islamic groups, in particular, are fearful of western intervention and threatening violence.

One commenter on the story from Kenya:

The United Nations should not take over the peacekeeping mission in Darfur. I smell a rat that the United States has a sinister motive - it wants to invade Sudan and cause mayhem and bloodshed like in Iraq. And Africa is not unable to solve problems, it can easily handle all issues concerning Africa, but alas it is our African leaders who are attending to the demands of USA. If the AU peacekeeping force is lacking funds why don't the international community intervene, it shows they are not serious about issues hurting Africans.

I can understand their concerns, and its just further shows how the disaster in Iraq is being felt globally.

Nonetheless, it is time for the U.N. to intervene, and use force if needed, to protect the refugees. Khartoum may not like it but they have had ample opportunity to correct the situation and have done nothing.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Cycle of Violence pt. MXMVLIII

I wanted to write about how Israeli defence minister, Shaul Mofaz called for the assinations of democratically elected members of the Palestinian Authority.

Like usual, Richard Silverstein has already written a brilliant post on the matter so I'll just link to him since he says everything I would have, but he does it much better than I can.

I will just say that many people have made the point that this is election cycle posturing.

These statements may be election year posturing but it's a little irrational to make threats, ones that are legitimized by past actions, against a democratically elected government and not expect them to feel as though they need to defend themselves as well.

Also its not all just talk:

“Mr Mofaz’s comments came a day after two Islamic Jihad militants and three other Palestinians were killed in an Israeli air strike on a car in Gaza City.”

Can someone please point me to the Palestinian act of violence that prompted this action? Considering that the Israeli right (and some on the left) consistantly use the defense idiom whereby they only respond to violence as needed, it would be nice to know what action they are responding to considering innocent people have been killed.

Considering HAMAS has observed a ceasefire over the last year it seems downright idiotic to give them justification to start new attacks. Or is that the problem? Not enough blood spilt lately for right-wing politicians to make hay over?

Well I'm sure HAMAS is happy too, they're more than happy to use Palestinian suffering to promote their cause too. Looks like its a mighty good day for the pernicious.

Bennish Updates

Colorado blogger Julie O. is all over the Bennish story.

This is one of the most important stories of the year as education is the front line in the War on Brains. Think how different this country would have been had Scopes gone the other way.

With all the Intelligent Design advocates trying to interchange Science and Magic Story Hour, your way of life is under attack. Be vigilant!

One thing that caught my eye was Allen's mom whining about "Sean's free speech."

First of all, this is a classroom and I don't recall students being given the opportunity to excercise their "free speech" on a regular basis, especially to voice opposition to the actual indoctrination that takes place through most of K-12.

But what's even worse about her whimpering is that Sean, and others, were not only given the opportunity to respond and ask questions, they were forced to question, criticize and analyze Bennish's statements:

Bennish, inviting a free exercise of speech in class: 'I'm throwing all this out to you guys. I want you guys to write about what I've said. I want you to take it apart. I want you to criticize it. I want you to analyze it, and if you do that I will give you extra credit. It doesn't matter what your position is - you can agree with me; you can disagree with me.'

So not only is Bennish right about everything he said (at least in my opinion), but he was secure enough in his statements to allow them to be questioned and challenged. These kids are lucky to have a teacher who pushes them to think for themselves.

Here's Sean Allen having his speech stifled:

  1. Isn't there a difference of, of, having Hamas being like, we wanna attack Israelis because they're Israelis, and having us say we want to attack people who are known terrorists? Isn't there a difference between saying we're going to attack innocents and we're going to attack people who are not innocent?
  2. Well, when people attack us on our own soil and are actually attempting to take American lives and want to take American lives, whereas, Israelies in this situation, aren't saying we want to blow up Palestine...
  3. We gave it to them.
  4. But is it [just] to say it's [ok] to attack Israel? If it's ok to attack known terrorists, it's ok to attack Israel?
  5. But we did not have the intention of killing innocent people. We had the intention of killing an al Qaeda terrorist.
  6. So, you're saying the U. S. has the intention to kill innocent people?
  7. But what gain do we get from killing innocent people in the middle east? What gain does that pose to us? [ed: from Malkin transcript]
  8. There's more in that. He stated that he's trying to kill innocents ...
  9. That we, that, that we were the ones that were attacked first. On September 11th, 2001, we were the ones that were attacked. We were not attacking, we were not attacking anybody until that point, then we said, okay, we're going to go to Afghanistan, then we said, okay, the Iraqi government has ties with al Qaeda, we're gonna go into Iraq. We were the ones that were attacked.

Wow talk about indoctrination, Sean Hannity himself would be proud of those questions.

Complaining about being oppressed when you're actually the one holding all the cards? That's the most recognizable feature of the North American Wingnut.

This kid just looks like a future Fox talking head (i.e., a little fucking prick):

He and his mom should be thankful Bennish has the patience to try and educate his punk ass.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Iraq pt. II, presented by AIPAC

Disclaimer: If you think the following is anti-semetic, fuck off because it isn't.

It looks like the build up to war in Iran officially got kicked off this weekend at, of all places, the annual AIPAC conference.

Pamela, who is like Debbie Schlussel, but tanner, was there live-blogging. First up was David Kay. Yes the same David Kay who couldn't find WMD in Iraq, despite the fact that the UN said there were no WMD in Iraq.

"Iran has spent he last 20 years understanding the inspection process. They know how to get around the the inspection process." "The Iranians themselves have been inspectors." Essentially we can learn nothing from inspections."

And essentially Kay can learn nothing from previous mistakes.

"They [the Iranians}do not do their clandestine work at the sites that are inspected. They have become the world's best deceivers." "They have been lying for 20 years, this not from the US. this is from the IAEA."

Hmmm, "He ( IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei) told reporters that during the IAEA's inspections, it had not seen indications of diversion of nuclear material to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices."

Of course this is the same Mohamed ElBaradei that Dick Cheney said with regards to Iraq, "I think Mr. ElBaradei frankly is wrong," Cheney said during the interview. "[The IAEA] has consistently underestimated or missed what it was Saddam Hussein was doing. I don't have any reason to believe they're any more valid this time than they've been in the past."

I don't know, call me crazy but where exactly does the credibility gap lie?

Back to Kay:

"Iranians lie."

Nothing ironic about broad, negative generalizations at a conference hosted by an Israeli PAC.

Everything is a struggle to understand.

Maybe it's their thick Persian accents?

"The culture of such institutions within the UN is the trouble they have making moral distinctions."

The U.S. and Israel are good, everyone else is ok, except the Muslim countries who are untrustworthy and dangerous.

"Until you can make those distinctions, weapons [ineffectual or not] are useless." Inspections inevitably produce ambiguous results.

Like they did in Iraq.

You can't throw someone against the wall and say ......"

John Bolton would.

"The fact is we won't know where Iran is in their nuclear weapons process until they test their nuclear bomb."

Because we have no interest in performing inspections that would tell us if they are making weapons.

"In closing, international inspections can not stop a nation state from producing nuclear weapons if that his intent."

Conclusion: we should commence carpet bombing immediately.

Next up, rabid sheepdog, John Bolton.

"Simply put, there will no destruction of the state of Israel."

Great, what a profound statement. For some reason, Pamela found this so profound that she bolded it. I for the life of me can't see why anyone would think it would be destroyed. Is Israel suddenly going to capitulate to the suicide bombings it currently uses to garner political sympathy? I especially wonder why this would need to clarified at an AIPAC rally?

"We must use all the tools of our disposal to stop Iran's clear and unrelenting drive to develop nuclear weapons."

Translation: We are going to bomb the shit out of Iran.

Let me clear, the longer we wait [to take action on Iran's development of nuclear weaponry] the harder it will be to solve. We must not ignore Tehran's refusal to engage the international community.

Translation: We are going to bomb the shit out of Iran.

Iran in talks [with Russia] doublespeak.

We're 2 for 2 in the "Iranians are liars" talking point. I look forward to months of hearing how Iranians are liars on CNN ad naseum.

There are a number of options available, failure to act is not one of them. The security council should note if they fail to will do serious damage to the credibility of the council. Rest assured we are not relying solely on the security council ........

Translation: We are going to bomb the shit out of Iran.

may be too soon to begin sanctions but many countries are using such language. They [Iran] must be isolated.

Translation: We are going to starve Iran, then bomb the shit out of Iran.

Iran has long been a rogue state.

Probably because we isolate them.

The largest state sponsor of terror.

I thought that was the UAE?

It is surreal to hear the kind of rhetoric [from a nation's leader] that we thought was relegated to the historical dust bin.

He shouldn't talk about his boss that way. After all, Bush went out on a limb to appoint him during a Congressional recess.

"Iran has a far more dangerous foe -- democracy."

Actually, it's the bombs we're going to drop on them.

The US wishes to reach out t the Iranian people. The US fully supports their aspirations for a free and better future.

Translation: We are going to bomb the shit out of Iran.

A couple of months ago, AIPAC wasn't happy with George's handling of Iran (and thanks to their spies in the Pentagon, they have the inside scoop). I hope they feel better now that a couple of incompetent boobs have reaffirmed our mutual bloodlust for the punishment of any Muslim state that doesn't meet Israel's approval.

Oscar Wrap-up


We say Bullshit!

Otherwise, everything else was great. It seemed like they spread the wealth around pretty well, which is good since there were so many deserving films.

Good Night and Good Luch got screwed, which is too bad, it was a great movie. Stewart got a good crack in about how responsible journalism made it a period piece.

Paradise Now didn't win best foreign film which makes Debbie Schlussel happy, which is bad. Considering some groups launched an aggressive campaign against the movie to have it removed from consideration, and a general American malaise (sometimes rising to animosity) towards the Palestinians its not too surprising. Another thing I found interesting was the Academy's decision to go with Palestinian territories instead of their previous provenance of Palestine, something Debbie Schlussel freaked out about during the Golden Globes, and apparantly so did a lot of other people for them to have changed it. Ironically they are the same people that freak out when Arab countries refuse to recognize Israel.

Tsotsi is supposed to be excellent and Gavin Hood's acceptance speech was great. I haven't seen Tsotsi yet so I can't really say for sure, but a movie about a street thug's redemption doesn't seem as socially or politically impactful as Paradise Now. In a awards ceremony that celebrated social justice it would have been nice to see some attention brought upon the Palestinian situation.

At the end of the day it was probably the best and most socially relevant Oscars I can remember. Clooney summed it all up (or previewed it, since his was the first speech) pretty well :

I would say that, you know, we are a little bit out of touch in Hollywood every once in a while. I think it's probably a good thing. We're the ones who talk about AIDS when it was just being whispered, and we talked about civil rights when it wasn't really popular.

It's pretty sad that you have to be "out of touch" to care about deadly diseases and racial equality, but that is our society today. Good thing there are people like Clooney to tell those who are apparantly "in touch" that they are assholes.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Like the Iraq civil war, but less civilized

Did you ever wonder what would happen if you took a "man" so heinous the thought of genocide gave him wood, and a woman so skanky she celebrates the death of innocent social workers, and thrust them into a war of invective, threats, and poop-throwing?

Could it go down in history as the most loathsome display ever witnessed on the internets? The question is, how could it not?

Ladies and gentlemen, ParrotLine presents
The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiller vs. Debbie Schlussel.

Tennis Anyone?

What happens when you mix Debbie Schlussel, Sports Illustrated, Tennis and Dubai?

Well if you're a rational thinking person, you get a headache from the overwhelming idiocy of the situation.

First Sports Illustrated's John Weirtheim, writing about the tennis tournament in Dubai, uses the usual unsubstatiated slander against Dubai:

The current "ports controversy" has laid bare the United Arab Emirate's role as a financial and logistical hub in the planning of the 9-11 attacks. As for the tennis, as I wrote a few years ago, the U.A.E. does not exactly have a sterling record on women's rights.

Unfortunately John didn't provide a link to see what he was basing this on but its an Arab country so they probably do have a poor record on women's rights.

I know that we had looked into playing golf at the Emirates Golf Club, host to the Dubai Desert Classic, where Tiger, Vijay and Mark O'Meara regularly appear, they didn't allow women to golf there, which completely sucks, but in terms of that affecting the UAE's record on women's rights, well I just have two words - Augusta National.

Anyhow, that's the usual factless slander about the UAE that we've come to expect from a myriad of sources from Pelosi to Malkin, no big deal.

Let's throw some Debbie Schlussel into the soup to real up the crazy quotient.

Debbie starts her post on the tournament like this:

It's Official: Dubai Tennis Tourney Bans Jews; Shame on Agassi

Tennis vs. the Jews Update

In our ongoing coverage of the rotten Dubai Ports World deal to run American ports, we asked this question, yesterday: Does Dubai ban Israelis and Jews from this week's Dubai Open?

Well, now, it's official: YES!

Well, uh, no.

Debbie uses this line from Weirtheim's article as evidence that the tournament has banned Jews:

Reader Lance Harke called this link to our attention. Note this prominent line: "Nationals of 'Israel' may not enter the U.A.E."

To which Debbie says:

Shame on the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) for sanctioning this bigoted event. Sickening. And shame on Andre Agassi, Martina Hingis, and the others playing in this Judeinrein event. Disgusting.

Maybe Debbie should read a little more carefully. It is the UAE, not the tournament making this ridiculous edict, and the ban is not on Jews but citizens of Israel. I'm sure that was pretty apparant to all but the most ignorant troglodytes but even if it wasn't Weirtheim goes on to say:

We asked the ATP and WTA about this issue and both tours reported that before giving their sanction, they had assurances that no player would be denied entry into the Dubai event.

So really, not only are the details of Debbie's statement incorrect, everything about it is patently false, and if she had read (or not ignored) the rest of the article after the Israeli ban is mentioned she would have known that. Of course, then she wouldn't be able to scream about how Arabs are anti-semetic and pose prophetic in justified outrage.

As far as the UAE ban on Israeli citizens go, yes that is ugly. It is an issue that must be addressed as it is indicative of the issues that cloud the middle east and the rest of the world. The fact that the UAE puts quotes around the name Israel says enough about their feelings towards the country.

Of course Debbie is being hypocritical in her outrage towards the UAE's igonorance of Israel as she repeatedly claims that any map with a Palestinian state is a "map of hate," she was outraged about Paradise Now being nominated for the Golden Globes and Oscars because Palestine is not a country, and she pretty much takes any and all opportunities to castigate Palestinians as animals, Arabs as terrorists and Muslims as murderers as we can see with her manipulative facts surrounding the Dubai tennis tournament.

Weirthheim poses this analogy:

Would the WTA or ATP ever even think about sanctioning an event in a country or club that excluded African-Americans?

First of all, it probably has in the past, but more importantly is how this statement shows the standard view of the problem.

They don't see this as countries protesting Israel's treatment of the Palestinians, as in the case of apartheid-era South African divestment, they see these boycotts and bans as plain bigotry. To some extent, bigotry and anti-semetism is a factor, but the main issue is that while trying to call attention to the plight of the Palestinians, Arab and Muslim countries usually just end up making themselves look worse.

Good Students

Teacher on leave for anti-Bush remarks

AURORA, Colorado (AP) -- About 150 high school students walked out of class to protest a decision to put a teacher on leave while they investigate remarks he made about President Bush in class, including that some people compare Bush to Adolf Hitler.

. . .

Sophomore Sean Allen recorded about 20 minutes of Bennish's class during a February 1 discussion about Bush's State of the Union speech and gave the recording to his father, who complained to the principal, Amole said.

"After listening to the tape, it's evident the comments in the class were inappropriate. There were not adequate opportunities for opposing points of view," she said.

Since when do High School kids get to hear opposing points of view?

In fact this is the opposing point of view from the usual indoctrination that is K through 12. These kids are some of the lucky few that actually get to hear what dissent sounds like - they actually get to hear the unvarnished truth.

Good for them in recoginizing the importance of this teacher (Jay Bennish) and standing up for him and against the surge towards totalitarianism this country seems bent on taking.

In related news:
Boy won’t be charged for anti-Bush essay

Update: I copped this portion of the transcript from Malkin who is having a hissy fit over this teacher (she never misses an opportunity to utilize the word "unhinged")

Teacher Jay Bennish: If you were Palestinians, who are the real terrorists? The Israelis, who fire missiles that they purchased from the United States government into Palestinian neighborhoods and refugees and maybe kill a terrorist, but also kill innocent women and children. And when you shoot a missile into Pakistan to quote-unquote kill a known terrorist, and we just killed 75 people that have nothing to do with al Qaeda, as far as they're concerned, we're the terrorists. We've attacked them on their soil with the intention of killing their innocent people.


Student Sean Allen: But we did not have the intention of killing innocent people. We had the intention of killing an al Qaeda terrorist.

Bennish: Do you know that?

Allen: So, you're saying the United States has intentions to kill innocent people?

Bennish: I don't know the answer to that question.

Allen: But what gain do we get from killing innocent people in the Middle East? What gain does that pose to us?

Bennish: Let me ask you this. During the 1980s, Iran and Iraq were involved in an 8-year-long war. The United States sold missiles, tanks, guns, planes, to which side?

Unidentified student: Iraq?

Bennish: Both. The answer is both. Why would we send armaments to two sides that are fighting each other. That seems to be self-defeating. Don't we want one side to win? Not always! Sometimes you just want there to be conflict!

The British -- this is one of the grand strategies of the British imperial system--was to play local animosities off each other. To prevent them is to divide and conquer.

Do we really want the Middle East to unite as one cohesive political and cultural body?

No! Because then they could what? Threaten our supremacy.

We want to keep the world divided. Do we really want to kill innocent people? I don't know. I don't know the answer to that.

I know there are some Americans who do. People who work in the CIA. People who have to think like that. Those kind of dirty minds, dirty tricks. That's how the intelligence world works. Sometimes you do want to kill people just for the sake of killing them. Right?

Notice anything about the transcript? Far from the school prinicples assertation of an unchallenged monologue it seems the teacher did allow plenty of time for questions, including ones from the very kid who taped the class then ran home to tell his Fox News watching daddy about it.

Funny how "free speech champions" like Malkin squeal like piggies the second the speech doesn't follow the Toby Keith doctrine of American moral superiority.

Update II: CNN has updated its story with a picture of Jay Bennish from his highschool fucking yearbook!

That's the sort of treatment usually reserved for mass murderers and child molesters. Of course, to some segments of our society, Bennish is even worse for telling unpopular truths to children.

Video Friday

Yellow Fever

A moving documentary about an asian guy's quest to find answers. (about 15 mins)

UNICEF: Pakistan's quake-affected children get winter supplies (about 2.5 mins)

Worst Job Ever (about 2.5 mins)

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Chomsky, tin foil hats and the Pope

This is interesting:

Soviets 'ordered Pope shooting'

An Italian parliamentary commission has concluded that the former Soviet Union was behind the 1981 assassination attempt on the late Pope John Paul II.

. . .

Turkish national Mehmet Ali Agca, now 48, shot the Pope in St Peter's Square on 13 May 1981, hitting him four times.

Agca never gave a motive, and mystery has continued to surround the shooting.

Ok let me be tinfoil hattish for a second. I'm not the sort to think there is a C.I.A. conspiracy behind every terrorist attack, but something about the London bus bombings really bothered me. I'm not saying it was a CIA, MI6 or Mossad plot, just that certain things just bugged me as too convenient given the timing of the incident during the G8 summit (the one where we were not too happy about talking about the environment instead of terrorism).

The bombers also didn't make sense - a newlywed Jamaican and Pakistani drug dealers don't sound like AQ fundamentalists to me, but they do make good patsies. This rundown of the events pretty much sums up my concerns and raises some interesting questions.

So I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this - over 20 yrs later we learn that the assasination attempt on the Pope which caused shockwaves around the world is now quietly reported as being an actual, real-life conspiracy orchestrated by a powerful government.

So why is it easy for us to accept this conspiracy but the thought of a western government spoofing an act of terrorism so hard to believe? That's where Chomsky comes in.

Chomsky would say that we, and our press, are more than willing to believe the most fantastic explanations and the most sordid stories about "the other," but never about ourlselves. Our media will happily castigate the Russian invasion of Afghanistan as barbaric, while downplaying, or ignoring, our own war crimes in the region, and the people will acquiescently buy into it - never questioning it for a second.

So were the London bombings a conspiracy? There was certainly a lot of heat coming from the administration over the emphasis on global warming and African aid at the G8. We know that elements of this government aren't above murder or using tragedy to suit a political end and we know Mossad has tried to create fake terror cells so while many will scream Occam's Razor, the simplest explanation is never satisfactory when discussing political hardliners and black operations.

Video Games

Video shows Bush Katrina warning

Video showing President George W Bush being warned on the eve of Hurricane Katrina that the storm could breach New Orleans' flood defences has emerged.

The footage, obtained by the Associated Press, also shows Mr Bush being told of the risk to evacuees in the Superdome.

It appears to contradict Mr Bush's statement four days after Katrina hit, when he said: "I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees."

In the past, the president has said nobody anticipated a breach but the video shows Michael Brown, the top emergency response official who has since resigned, saying the storm would be "a bad one, a big one".

"We're going to need everything that we can possibly muster, not only in this state and in the region, but the nation, to respond to this event," Mr Brown says.

He also gives a strong, clear warning that evacuees in the Superdome in New Orleans could not be given proper assistance.

How incompetent is your administration when Brownie is the rock solid voice of reason?

Update: August Pollock has some advice for the media and the teh l4m3 informs us that K-Lo from the Corner is calling this an MSM fix-up. It looks like KJ is basing this on the analysis of callcenter manager, special Ed.

Ed uses this to explain how the evil MSM is manipulating the public:

The big question is going to be: will that top some of the levies? And the currrent track and the forecast we have now suggests there will be minimal flooding in the city of New Orleans itself (his emphasis)

However, the sentence continues. . .

but we're -- we've always said that the storm surge model is only accurate within 20 percent.

Funny how little things like context can be sort of important.

Then there's this:

I don't think any model can tell you with any confidence right now whether the levies will be topped or not, but that's obviously a very, very grave concern.

Gee what about "very, very grave concern" doesn't sound like a warning?

Ed claims that because they were concerned about the levees being "topped" and not "breached" that the President wasn't actually lying and the MSM caused the levees to break to spite George Bush.

Update 2: Add Powertools and Wizbang to the list of pathetic assholes who have to defend El Presidente's incompetence by using the semantics argument about "topped" vs. "breached."

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

An Open Letter

I don't agree with everything in this letter, but I do think it touches on some very important issues and more importantly is, in a sense, a rebuttal to the right-wing freaks who keep repeating the same old mantras about Muslims, if only in the fact that it dispells some of the stereotypes they have about what Muslims think.

Since thousands of people visit here religiously each day (really, you didn't know that?), I figured I would help out with its distribution.

Go to Unwilling Self-Negation to read the whole thing with all the background information.

The Real Dubai

Yesterday, Nancy Pelosi went on the attack against the UAE and their treatment of women. Apparantly for Nancy, its an Arab country so they must treat their women poorly.

Here are some more "facts" about Dubai for Nancy to get jacked up about:

Guide to Dubai
With the world's eyes on Dubai over the ports controversy, here's a ten-point guide for foreigners considering a sojourn in the sandlands:

1. Language
You will need fluency in Arabic - including several Gulf dialects - to get by in Dubai, otherwise it will be impossible to even buy a loaf of bread or make a phone call.

2. Women
Traditionally, western expatriate women were required to live in a custom-built compound known as Jumeirah, which became increasingly cramped and run-down over the decades. The government has now built new, spacious enclosures for them in the middle of the desert, scenically and inaccurately titled "Hills", "Lakes", "Meadows" and so forth.

3. Driving
There are two types of driving license in Dubai. Category A is granted only to Arabs and westerners, and requires them to drive at no less than 200kmph on all major and minor roads. Purchase of a high-end four-wheel drive vehicle is mandatory with this licence. Category B is given to Asian expats, and requires that they drive below 60kmph in the fastest two lanes of all highways. Holders of Category B licences may only drive white Nissan Sunnies.

4. Locals
All locals in Dubai - that is to say the men in white and the women in black - have private oil wells in their palace gardens, giving them an average income of two million dollars each per week. When a child is born, a new well is drilled for it (similar to a "christening gift" in the west, but somewhat more useful).

5. Money
The money used in Dubai is called "wasta". A concept currency called the "dirham" also exists, but it is the equivalent to Green Shield stamps or internet "beanz" and has no real purpose beyond the UAE edition of Monopoly. To earn wasta, you visit important people and say appreciative things, and they may make a donation into your wasta pouch.

6. Sport
Sadly, the era of camel racing is long past, since foetal jockeys were forcibly repatriated to their mother's wombs in Bangladesh. Today's favourite competitive sport among UAE locals is a real-life version of Sim City, where families compete to build the biggest towers, earning bonus points if they max out Construction Chaos and achieve Gridlock Level 100.

7. Entertainment
All films are banned in the UAE due to various cultural sensitivities. But never fear! Cinema halls are far from silent: being filled instead with the haunting music of the Dubai Ringtone Symphony Orchestra.

8. Communication
Rather than having the internet, the UAE has a special communications system known as the Proxy, which consists of a few outdated html documents cached in a government office. To retrieve one of these documents, sandlanders must produce residence visas, passport copies and salary certificates in quadruplicate, and pay several thousand "wasta". Once the transaction is complete they can happily scan this document into their computer, and surf away! (That's if they're lucky enough not to get the notorious "Blocked" page, which accounts for 97.4% of all html documents in the cache).

9. Tourguides
As a tourism hub, hospitality in the sandlands is second to none. Any lost-looking visitors wandering around the streets, or entering a hotel, or just driving around in their car will rapidly be approached by one of tens of thousands of charming, multicultural "hostesses" who will help them feel very welcome. (Around 300 of the "dirham" Green Shield stamps is an appropriate tip for their services, perhaps 400 if they take you on a special tour of the back alleys).

10. Miscellaneous
Watches and other time-keeping devices are illegal in the sandlands, since punctuality is a serious affront to the local culture. Hazans are sufficient to wake residents up each morning. However, expats desperately wanting to know the time can drive to the Clocktower Roundabout in Deira (or walk, which is probably quicker) and get their horological fix.