Tuesday, September 4, 2007
At a briefing at his Crawford ranch the day before the hurricane made landfall, Mr Bush was "gassed" after an 80-minute bike ride and asked no supplementary questions following a briefing from advisers. He merely assured them the federal government was prepared to help.Does it seem that whenever the current president is at his Crawford "ranch" he thinks he's left all responsibility in Washington, D. C., that Cheney (or someone) has been handed the official reins, as when Bush was under the ether having his colon checked a few months back? Case in point: the infamous "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U. S." Presidential Daily Briefing of 6 August 2001, to which Bush's response was alleged to be along the lines of: "OK, you've covered your ass." Or maybe his habit of "clearing brush" (or performing for a "brush clearing" photo op in an effort to appear Reaganesque) in his vacation month of August leaves him too "gassed" to grasp anything his handlers try to get through his thick, stubborn skull. Just Another Blog™ is advised that the typical Texas ranch or farm owner performs brush clearance in much cooler months. And by "performs brush clearance" we mean hires a bunch of "wetbacks" (as the colorful term goes) to do the job. Not that it makes any difference at the Bush spread. The place could be covered in shoulder high brush & it wouldn't matter at all. To the best of our knowledge, nothing is grown or raised there anyway, just an image cultivated. Dear Cowboy Leader is scared of horses, you know. And the ranch was purchased at the urging of Karl "Turdblossom" Rove, to make Bush look more Texan, and minimize his connection to the Northeastern power elites. Carlyle Group, anyone?
Does that all sound petty? Sure. But it's the little things that count, & that indicate what the larger picture is.
We go to the local fishwrapper again:
When Ford introduced the Edsel -- on Sept. 4, 1957 -- it was hailed as a car of the future. Named for Henry Ford's son Edsel, it offered powerful engines (including a 345-horsepower V8) and advanced technology, including push-button gear-shifting and self-adjusting brakes.Happy Birthday to the New Coke© of its day. It's now getting its revenge. Its production run was 110,000, an estimated five to six thousand are still on the roads, & the prices are astronomical. And poor Edsel Ford. Bad enough to be Henry Ford's only spawn, but then they name a car that became a joke after you. (Though a bit o' research indicates the original, human model died in 1943, beating his father to the Great Beyond by just under four years, unless Wikipedia is lying to us again.)
Despite generally positive reviews and a splashy launch campaign that featured Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong and other icons of the era, the Edsel was a nonstarter with buyers.
Monday, September 3, 2007
Sunday, September 2, 2007
Casual acquaintance, would-be cult leader & astrology-believer The Divine Mr. M. (it's the fucking internet, what do you expect?) is nonetheless pretty well clued in to that which is happening about us in the world of today (horror, pain, stupidity, ignorance) which is why Just Another Blog™ checks him (his site, really) frequently. And he's found a couple of beauts.
Let's start w/ the "legitimate" (i. e., Mainstream Old Media, this particular example part of Rupert Murdoch's News International Group) TIMESONLINE, which reveals the Pentagon's "three day blitz" plan for Iran:
A voice of reason there, perhaps.
Alexis Debat, director of terrorism and national security at the Nixon Center, said last week that US military planners were not preparing for “pinprick strikes” against Iran’s nuclear facilities. “They’re about taking out the entire Iranian military,” he said.
President George Bush intensified the rhetoric against Iran last week, accusing Tehran of putting the Middle East “under the shadow of a nuclear holocaust”. He warned that the US and its allies would confront Iran “before it is too late”.
One Washington source said the “temperature was rising” inside the administration.
According to one well placed source, Washington believes it would be prudent to use rapid, overwhelming force, should military action become necessary.
Israel, which has warned it will not allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, has made its own preparations for airstrikes and is said to be ready to attack if the Americans back down.
But Debat believes the Pentagon’s plans for military action involve the use of so much force that they are unlikely to be used and would seriously stretch resources in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Although we're anxious to see if any of that nuclear winter stuff will cool off Southern California.
But enough of think tank jagoffs & the Old Media. Let's jump right into the New Media, and a report from someone on the ground (or the flight deck) from Daily Kos Diarist "Maccabee": CENSORSHIP UPDATE (2 September 2007 @ 2045): If you tried the link you noticed that DK has taken it down. We'll leave the parts we took (regretting we didn't take the entire item, 'though we did get most of it) and remind readers that Just Another Blog (From L. A.)™ has never made any claim that anything written or linked to on this "web log" is anything but the rantings of one sorry individual, & links he or she has posted to other, unverified sites. And here's a pertinent link to DK, & one to the New Yorker blog mentioned. And one for the item that started it all.
FINAL UPDATE: (4 September @ 0349) At last located the Google™ cache. We're just going to put the whole thing here, right below the photo of an LSO at work, no corrections to the original text. (Photo for illustrative purposes only.)
"We Are Going To Hit Iran. Bigtime"
Sat Sep 01, 2007 at 03:50:24 PM PDT
I have a friend who is an LSO on a carrier attack group that is planning and staging a strike group deployment into the Gulf of Hormuz. (LSO: Landing Signal Officer- she directs carrier aircraft while landing) She told me we are going to attack Iran. She said that all the Air Operation Planning and Asset Tasking are finished. That means that all the targets have been chosen, prioritized, and tasked to specific aircraft, bases, carriers, missile cruisers and so forth.
I asked her why she is telling me this.
Her answer was really amazing.
Maccabee's diary :: ::
She started in the Marines and after 8 years her term was up. She had served on a smaller Marine carrier, and found out through a friend knew there was an opening for a junior grade LSO in a training position on a supercarrier. She used the reference and the information and applied for a transfer to the United States Naval. Since she had experience landing F-18Cs and Cobra Gunships, and an unblemished combat record, she was ratcheted into the job, successfully changing from the Marines to the Navy. Her role is still aligned with the Marines since she generally is assigned to liason with the Marine units deploying off her carrier group.
Like most Marines and former Marines, she is largely apolitical. The fact is, most Marines are trigger pullers and most trigger pullers could care less who the President is. They simply want to be the tip of the sword when it comes to defending the country. She voted once in her life and otherwise was always in some forward post on the water during election season.
Something is wrong with the Navy and the Marines in her view. Always ready to go in harms way, Marines rarely ever question unless it’s a matter of tactics or honor. But something seems awry. Junior and senior officers are starting to grumble, roll their eyes in the hallways. The strain of deployments is beginning to hit every jot and tittle of the Marines and it’s beginning to seep into the daily conversation of Marines and Naval officers in command decision.
"I know this will sound crazy coming from a Naval officer", she said. "But we’re all just waiting for this administration to end. Things that happen at the senior officer level seem more and more to happen outside of the purview of XOs and other officers who typically have a say-so in daily combat and flight operations. Today, orders just come down from the mountaintop and there’s no questioning. In fact, there is no discussing it. I have seen more than one senior commander disappear and then three weeks later we find out that he has been replaced. That’s really weird. It’s also really weird because everyone who has disappeared has questioned whether or not we should be staging a massive attack on Iran."
"We’re not stupid. Most of the members of the fleet read well enough to know what is going on world-wise. We also realize that anyone who has any doubts is in danger of having a long military career yanked out from under them. Keep in mind that most of the people I serve with are happy to be a part of the global war on terror. It’s just that the touch points are what we see since we are the ones out here who are supposedly implementing this grand strategy. But when you liason with administration officials who don’t know that Iranians don’t speak Arabic and have no idea what Iranians live like, then you start having second thoughts about whether these Administration officials are even competent."
I asked her about the attack, how limited and so forth.
"I don’t think it’s limited at all. We are shipping in and assigning every damn Tomahawk we have in inventory. I think this is going to be massive and sudden, like thousands of targets. I believe that no American will know when it happens until after it happens. And whatever the consequences, whatever the consequences, they will have to be lived with. I am sure if my father knew I was telling someone in a news organization that we were about to launch a supposedly secret attack that it would be treason. But something inside me tells me to tell it anyway."
I asked her why she was suddenly so cynical.
"I have become cynical only recently. I also don’t believe anyone will be able to stop this. Bush has become something of an Emperor. He will give the command, and cruise missiles will fly and aircraft will fly and people will die, and yet few of us here are really able to cobble together a great explanation of why this is a good idea. Of course many of us can give you the 4H Club lecture on democracy in the Mid East. But if you asked any of the flight officers whether they have a clear idea of what the goal of this strike is, your answer would sound like something out of a think tank policy paper. But it’s not like Kosovo or when we relieved the tsunami victims. There everyone could tell you in a sentence what we were here doing."
"That’s what’s missing. A real sense of purpose. What’s missing is the answer to what the hell are we doing out here threatening this country with all this power? Last night in the galley, an ensign asked what right do we have to tell a sovereign nation that they can’t build a nuke. I mean the table got EF Hutton quiet. Not so much because the man was asking a question that was off culture. But that he was asking a good question. In fact, the discussion actually followed afterwards topside where someone in our group had to smoke a cigarette. The discussion was intelligent but also in lowered voices. It’s like we aren’t allowed to ask the questions that we always ask before combat. It’s almost as if the average seaman or soldier is doing all the policy work."
She had to hang up. She left by telling me that she believes the attack is a done deal. "It’s only a matter of time before their orders come and they will be sent to station and told to go to Red Alert. She said they were already practicing traps, FARP and FAST." (Trapping is the cat of catching the tension wires when landing on the carrier, FARP is Fleet Air Combat Maneuvering Readiness Program- practice dogfighting- and FAST is Fleet Air Superiority Training).
She seemed lost. The first time in my life I have ever heard her sound off rhythm, or unsure of why she is doing something. She knows that there is something rotten in the Naval Command and she, like many of her associates are just hoping that the election brings in someone new, some new situation, or something.
"Yes. We're gong to hit Iran, bigtime. Whatever political discussion that are going in is window dressing and perhaps even a red herring. I see what's going on below deck here in the hangars and weapons bays. And I have a sick feeling about how it's all going to turn out."
We have two or three carrier groups in the Persian Gulf, plans drawn up, & no one, it seems, can stop George Bush from doing anything he wants, which has previously seemed to be running a business into the ground (How are Poppy & his powerful, wealthy friends going to bail you out of this one, Georgie?) or mocking those his state of Texas is about to execute. Truly, this person makes Richard M(otherfucking) Nixon looking like a well-adjusted, rational being. Worst president ever? He could grab the coveted Worst Person Ever Award from the hands of the current co-holders, A. Hitler & Joe Stalin, if he goes ahead w/ this. But as an American, Just Another Blog™ likes to see things blowing up & other people suffering ("shock & awe") so let's hope there's some swell footage!!
Thank you, & Gawd Bless America.
VERACITY UPDATE: The Editor has found a detail that may indeed indicate this is less than truthful: "Last night in the galley, an ensign asked what right do we have to tell a sovereign nation that they can’t build a nuke." In the navy, one eats in the "mess." (Dining hall to you landlubbers.) Meals are prepared in the "galley." (What you know as a "kitchen.") Unless these officers were pulling double duty as cooks, that is an inaccuracy. Not a huge one, & we doubt that "Maccabee" was transcribing this from a recording, but it does start to raise doubts.
VERACITY UPDATE II (4 September 2007 @ 0440): Now that we have the entire item before us, we can take a good look at the whole thing. "Maccabee" isn't an outstanding writer, doesn't know much about naval air ops, & may not have been working from a transcription or recording of the conversation, although the quotes attributed to his friend the LSO scan pretty well. Most of our questions are about the first paragraphs that "Maccabee" wrote. We know there's no such thing as a "Marine carrier." It's a Navy amphibious assault ship, even if only Marine ground-support aircraft fly from it. And only Marine Corps helicopters & AV-8 "Harriers" fly off the LHDs & LHAs, not "F-18Cs." Actually, according to the Navy website we consulted, FA-18E/F Super Hornets & FA-18C/D Hornets, fly from the CVNs. (The big or "super" carriers, landlubbers.) And we're not sure about the whole thing of transferring from the Marines to the Navy. One might think that if she was qualified, the Marines wouldn't want to lose her, but while Just Another Blog™ knows a little more about Navy ships &amp;amp;amp; aircraft & Marine aircraft & their use than the average person, we don't know squat about BuPers & its Marine Corps equivalent. So, while we don't think much of "Maccabee's" writing, and do wonder if the alleged LSO said she was in the "galley," all other quibbles are w/ "Maccabee's" parts of the item. And we do wonder about being able to make a 'phone call (Cell 'phone? Satellite 'phone?) from a ship in a potential combat zone. Do look in the comments for a couple of notes from a commenter who seems to know his stuff, although we disagreed w/ his conclusions.
Saturday, September 1, 2007
They've already said it to every other state but Nevada. Ma Bell & her split-up, then re-combined offshoots have been saying it to everyone picking up a phone since A. G. Bell (on certificate below:) dropped acid in his crotch & whined to his flunky, "Mr. Watson, come here, I need you." Bastard probably wanted Watson to lick it off his lap. Not to mention that AT&T, Google, & every single other corporate "information" provider will cheerfully provide "your" information to any gov't. agency that flashes its tin badge. Often Feds who've put in their time & "retired" from gov't. service are hired to handle "security" for these corporations, but in essence function as arms of whatever agency they were attached to, from w/in the corporation.
From the L. A. Times:
The brief note in customers' bills hardly does justice to the momentousness of the decision. "Service withdrawal," it blandly declares. "Effective September 2007, Time of Day information service will be discontinued."
Times change," said John Britton, an AT&T spokesman. "In today's world, there are just too many other ways to get this information. You can look at your cellphone or your computer. You no longer have to pick up the telephone."
Let me make this perfectly clear: You fucking people are damn lucky Just Another Blog™ doesn't have access (yet, negotiations w/ Dear Leader Kim Jong-Il are ongoing) to nuclear weapons. 'Cause when we get them, if we have to put up w/ much more of this shit, we won't have any reason to live, & none of you have had any excuse for your oxygen wasting ways for quite some time now. Be warned, capitalist (& otherwise) assholes!! And come & get us, George W(orst) Bush!! We have just as much (if not more) intention of possessing & using nuclear weaponry as those two-bit nut jobs in Iran!! Whatcha gonna do, closet case cowboy? Huh?
(Pre-publication UPDATE: Crooks & Liars has finally wised up to this. You can link there & avoid the Levitra® advert.)
Just Another Blog™ saw this in the wee hours this morning, & would have been on it sooner if we hadn't been up so damn late, hadn't wasted time trying to find it on the Infobahn, & hadn't suspended typing to go to the Liquor Mart for the paper & a pack of Camel® regulars (C'mon, RJReynolds Tobacco Company, send us a fucking carton already!) And it would help if we could type a little faster.
(By the way, Sen. Craig apologized today, in his resignation announcement, not for anything he did, but for "what I caused." That's known as an "unpology.")
According to former Nixon advisor Stein (rhymes w/ "whine"): "As far as we know all he did was tap his foot, or at least listen to somebody else tap his foot..." & "He didn't do anything wrong, he tapped his foot." No, what he did was play footsie w/ the officer, then put his hand under the stall divider three times, according to the officer. And we all know that police officers don't lie. At least not when it's poor people accusing them of lying. It may be different when it's someone w/ power. We might also note that the Senator didn't deny these acts, merely attempted to explain them w/ his absurd statements that he has a "wide stance" when using the bathroom (pretty much an anatomical impossibility, as far as evacuating, hard to have a "wide stance" if your pants are around your ankles, and stupid unless you want your pants to hit the floor) and that he was "picking up a piece of paper" from the floor. When was the last time you decided to pick up a piece of paper from the floor of a public restroom, America? We're quite sure that the people who clean those restrooms are sporting disposable gloves & using brooms & dustpans when they're doing their job. But who are we to judge? Maybe the Senator has some neatness issues as well.
Further quotes (Crap on a crutch, we wish someone would post a transcript of this idiocy. If we have to listen to Stein's monotone a few more times we're going to hang ourselves. Unfortunately, virtually every sentence out of his mouth is such bullshit we must go over & over & over & over it to transcribe it all. Another reason we started this @ 1443 but it won't be "push-button published," as Blogger™ says, until about 2235. And breakfast. That got in the way too.):
What did he do wrong? Just tell me what he did wrong. And even suppose he was soliciting for gay sex, gay sex is not illegal in the United States, the Supreme Court has said that, if it were illegal, it would be a different story, it's not illegal, he didn't do anything illegal, they just bludgeoned him into a confession.Well, Ben, first get hold of a dictionary & compare "bludgeon" to "browbeat." Then let's see what he was "bludgeoned" into pleading guilty to (When Stein says "bludgeoned," we assume he means that in the time between the arrest, 11 June 2007, and the guilty plea, 8 August 2007, the Senator was being followed by Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport Police officers, who were pounding on him w/ truncheons the whole time.):
609.72 DISORDERLY CONDUCT.That's what he plead guilty to. He was also charged w/ peeping, but that charge was dropped, so he seems to have gotten off pretty easily.
Subdivision 1. Crime. Whoever does any of the following in a public or private place, including on a school bus, knowing, or having reasonable grounds to know that it will, or will tend to, alarm, anger or disturb others or provoke an assault or breach of the peace, is guilty of disorderly conduct, which is a misdemeanor:
(1) Engages in brawling or fighting; or
(2) Disturbs an assembly or meeting, not unlawful in its character; or
(3) Engages in offensive, obscene, abusive, boisterous, or noisy
conduct or in offensive, obscene, or abusive language tending reasonably to arouse alarm, anger, or resentment in others.
A person does not violate this section if the person's disorderly conduct was caused by an epileptic seizure.
(c) A person is guilty of a gross misdemeanor who:Tell me, Mr. Stein, what would your reaction be if the guy in the next stall played footsie w/ you? Would it "provoke an assault or breach of the peace?" Or would you take the Tucker Carlson approach, & come back w/ a friend to help you w/ the assault? And how might you react to a guy peeping into your stall for two minutes?
(1) surreptitiously gazes, stares, or peeps in the window or other aperture of a sleeping room in a hotel, as defined in section 327.70, subdivision 3, a tanning booth, or other place where a reasonable person would have an expectation of privacy and has exposed or is likely to expose their intimate parts, as defined in section 609.341, subdivision 5, or the clothing covering the immediate area of the intimate parts; and
(2) does so with intent to intrude upon or interfere with the privacy of the occupant.
And it just isn't a right wing rant w/o the traditional appeal to the pants-wetters, all of whom are "existentially threatened," all the time:
Hey, it's an airport, hello, there are security problems at airports, Al Qaeda, are you listening, our security people are entrapping perfectly honest U. S. Senators in lavatory stalls instead of looking for you terrorists.Just Another Blog™ is pretty damn sure the M-SP Airport Police are keeping their eyes open for terrorists, but there is also the Dep't. of Homeland Security & its Transportation Security Administration, who are more specifically charged w/ preventing terrorism at airports. Or does Mr. Stein think we should let everything else go to hell? Shoplifting @ the gift shop? Dine & dash @ an airport restaurant? Armed robbery @ an airport bar or bank branch? Drunken frat boys running around grabbing women? Sure, anything should go @ the airport, as long as we're looking for "terrorists." Like those imams who dared to pray in Arabic before their flight out of Minneapolis-St. Paul. That worked out pretty well. Or this recent event @ San Diego's Lindbergh Field. People speaking Arabic aboard aircraft seems to be the closest we've come to a high-jacking in seven yrs. Stein manages to use the word Gestapo five times in his spiel. Yes, a Jewish guy accuses the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport Police of using Gestapo tactics in trying to make a public restroom a place to use w/o having someone sticking their hand in your stall, or worse. Is this where we invoke Godwin's law?
More from B. S., asked about Republican reaction to the whole sordid event:
This is just what they did to Trent Lott, Trent Lott did a totally innocent, slightly amusing, slightly silly thing, they kicked him out of there, even though he was a great leader.Sure, many people found it innocent, amusing & "slightly silly" when Trent Lott wished that Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond had been elected in 1948, avoiding all the trouble that getting rid of Jim Crow laws caused. We can add that Sen. Lott was removed from his "leadership position," not urged/forced to resign. And that Senator Craig is not generally known as a "great leader."
Now we move into the realm of serious paranoia. Ignoring that the police probably wouldn't have known that Craig was a U. S. Senator if he hadn't shown them his business card*, & prompted by host Cavuto's statement: "Maybe like you say, Ben, they realize, hey, we have a big Senator here, this could make our careers if we bring him down, um, what then?" Señor Stein goes on to say:
I think the message is that the executive branch can belittle and destroy the legislative branch, that they can sting anyone they want, and ruin his career, I've seen that happen with legislators over and over again, some trumped-up charges, they bring down a legislator and change the balance of party, of power within the United States of America, generally. This is a really serious case of police over-reaching, and I think that the victim here is Larry Craig and the Constitution of the United States.The only "reaching" done was Sen. Craig reaching under the stall divider. And Craig certainly isn't a "big" Senator (OK, he's over six feet, indeed, that was part of his "wide stance" explanation) & it's completely absurd to think that this was some sort of set-up or sting (Sen. Craig stung himself) to "change the balance of...power within the United States of America." Idaho's Republican governor is not likely to appoint anyone too far to the left of Atttila the Hun to replace Craig, but firedoglake does offer this as to why the drumbeat for resignation was so loud & fast:
Bush is also angry with Craig, a conservative who joined with Democrats in a filibuster to defeat permanent renewal of the Patriot Act. As a meeting recently, Bush referred to Craig as “a goddamned traitor” and told the National Republican Senatorial Committee to start recruiting someone to run against the Idaho Senator in 2008.Last from Stein (Whew!):
Such anger against those who dare oppose him is typical for a President who all too often launches into obscene tirades when his policies are questioned. Bush, on many occasions, has called political opponents “traitors" and, in private, refers to Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter as a “lily-livered bastard.”
Look, I've spent a lot of time in Idaho, these are very nice, innocent people, they're not legal eagles, they're not tough guys, they're not shtarkers as we say in Yiddish...Nope, no "tough guys" in Idaho. They're all a buncha wimps. (In which case you'd think they would understand the Senator's little problem.) Certainly no shtarkers. Just retired LAPD officers, gun nuts, survivalists, tax dodgers, white supremacists, Ruby Ridge, etc. Senator Craig just pled down to disorderly conduct because his constituents wouldn't have been able to understand the complicated legal, ethical & moral concepts involved, we guess. And we'll bet that "Look, I've spent a lot of time in Idaho," is the closest to truth that Ben got in his entire diatribe. And that the translation of that is something along the lines of: "I've been to Sun Valley a few times with some of my wealthy show biz friends."
Neil Cavuto's closing line:
You're arguing a position not many have. Thank goodness for that. Ben Stein, thank you very much.That's open to interpretation. Is he thanking Stein for arguing his insanely absurd position, or does "thank goodness" mean Cavuto is glad no one else is nuts enough to argue it? Once again, they babble, you decide.
A final note: Stein is obviously out & about pimping his new book. You may look it up @ Amazon or Powell's if you give a shit. We don't. But Ben has another project about to curse the nation, a "documentary" called Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. WARNING to veterans & other nervous types: cheesy website opens w/ loud school bell & a gunshot, especially appropriate for the school theme on the page. (School shooting, anyone? It may be the sound of a school door being slammed on Intelligent Design/Creationism, but it'll frazzle your nerves either way.) A heaping pile of crap about about the dirty "scientists," & how they're crushing the spirit of enquiry, blah, blah, blah, it would appear. Ben seems to be getting even stupider in his old age. Or more desperate. Casting agents may be getting a little tired of his monotone schtick, & that Westside of Los Angeles/Sun Valley, Idaho "life-style" isn't easy to maintain.
*Business card? St. Nick on a Stick, if it takes five minutes to find a Senate Seal in the toobz, make a "business card" & throw some cardstock in the printer Just Another Blog™ will eat one of them. Business card? Izzat the only kind of Senatorial identification these toads carry? "Look at me, I'm Senator Crapo, the other senator from Idaho!!"
Friday, August 31, 2007
Lillie: Be sure you don't tap your paws (or tail) in a salacious way if anyone else goes in there.
You might remember when Dinesh D'Souza's book The Enemy at Home ("This book uncovers the links between the spread of American pop culture, leftist ideas, and secular values, and the rise of anti-Americanism throughout the world") came out. Yes, the book in which he says he has more in common w/ the Grand Mufti of Egypt than w/ Michael Moore, at least as far as "family values" & repression. Now, from the backwaters of AOL.com, he comes out in favor of democracy in Turkey. (Well, "Islamic democracy.") His last paragraph, appropriately, sums up his take on the matter:
No. Turkey, like Iraq, offers a better model. This is the model of traditional Muslims who support modernization and free markets and free elections. These traditional Muslims are willing to work with America and they are fiercely opposed to Al Qaeda and to the radical Muslims. Yet at the same time they believe that traditional Muslim values that enjoy majority support sometimes should become the basis of law. I'm not Muslim and most of the readers of this blog surely aren't either. We don't support all these laws, but then Turkey is not our country. Why should America or the West dictate how the Turkish people govern themselves? Why is secular thuggery preferable to Muslim democracy?He could be given credit for not wetting his pants at the very mention of Muslims, but considering that secularism gives him the same piss-puddle Islam does to most of his conservative compatriots, we're not cutting him any slack here. Not to mention statements like this: Turkey, like Iraq, offers a better model. Oooh-wee!! That Iraq! No thuggery going on there. Indeed, shouldn't Iraq be offered to all the world as the very best model of a nation ever? Speaking of Iraq: Why should America or the West dictate how the Turkish people govern themselves? Indeed. Why should America or the West dictate how the Iraqi people govern themselves, either? Sounds like D'Souza can't wait for that ol' Sharia law to be imposed. We expect Mr. D'Souza's call for total withdrawal of American forces any day now.
And if you dirty leftists w/ your pop culture & secular values don't just stop it right now, it may be necessary to impose a little "religious democracy" here in the U.S. as well. After all, September 11th was your fault.
He's certainly setting out in some interesting directions here. As an immigrant from India who's managed to attach himself to the teat of the Wingnut Welfare Machine, he of course has the zealotry of the convert to inspire him, and as a Catholic (imagine how marginalized he was as a Catholic w/ Portugese colonialist ancestry in India) he is wide open to the fascism of religion, whether Christian or Islamic. Deeply rooted psychological (& logical) problems is our conclusion. Proof, from Wikipedia:
Prior to his marriage, D'Souza had relationships with two well-known female conservatives, Laura Ingraham, a nationally-syndicated radio commentator to whom he was engaged but never married, and best-selling conservative author and commentator Ann Coulter.
Pointless side note: While looking for a shot of Mr. D., the editor came across this Sound Politics (one of Washington State's leading wingnut sites) story concerning the editor's alma mater (is it one's alma mater if one didn't graduate?) deciding not to have D'Souza speak there. When the editor was there, way back in the last century, it was chock-full of the male children of the old money right wing buttwads who ran Seattle. And the editor suspects it hasn't changed that much (other than having gone co-ed) though of course now the parents are the editor's age, or younger, and they may have learned something their parents didn't. Damned liberal education.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Two days ago, we wondered how much "national security" work was done @ NASA. Here's an answer from The Nation. (Also available @ Yahoo!® NEWS Opinion, where we first found it, & where the font is bigger & more legible.)
"Almost nobody at NASA does classified work," says Robert Nelson, a veteran scientist at JPL who heads up the photo analysis unit on the Cassini-Huygens space probe project exploring Saturn and its moons. "I think this is really all about NASA director [Michael] Griffin putting a security wrap around us."
The new security clearance requirement, which involves interviews of neighbors and checks into the distant background activities of scientists, many of whom have worked at JPL and Goddard for as long as thirty years, is puzzling because both locations have little or no involvement in secret or national
security research. Indeed, by law, NASA's activities and the research its scientists engage in are required to be publicly available.
From the Herald of Beantown:
Romney’s five sons appeared with their dad onstage in February when he announced his presidential bid in Dearborn, Mich., at the Henry Ford Museum, father of the American auto assembly line. But all of Romney’s boys are foreign car owners, and most have never owned an American vehicle, records show.
The parking lot at Romney’s Commercial Street campaign headquarters could be mistaken for a high-end foreign car dealership as staffers drive Lexus SUVs, Mercedes-Benzes, BMWs, Audis and Saabs, many adorned with Mitt Romney campaign stickers.
But Romney has touted American-made cars, including during his presidential kickoff speech at the Ford Museum. At the event, he stood in front of a Ford hybrid SUV and a white Nash Rambler as a soundtrack of all-American music played at the event.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
A Virgo. (So what.) Named Charles. Went by a diminutive of Charles, Charlie. Only child. And that's about where the similarities w/ Just Another Blog's™ editor end. (The Editor goes by another diminutive of Charles, & it ain't "Chuck!" And he did learn most of "Louie Louie" on the soprano in college. Now there was some honkin'!!)
Music available here.
Hideous UPDATE: Today is also Michael Jackson's B-Day (1958). The less said the better.
The MSNBC host has serious masculinity issues. He said that Obama "seems like kind of a wuss" and "It makes you wonder what he won't compromise of himself. Are we going to have mani/pedi parties next?" because the presidential candidate belongs to a book club.Just Another Blog™ does have to question the above paragraph a bit. If the "hit him against the stall with his head," event was perpetrated in high school, we don't think it was because Tucker was "so wound up about his manhood" by the Freepers questioning his masculinity, as Pam suggests. The Freepers weren't bugging him in high school. But it's pretty obvious that a bow tie wearing twerp's masculinity would be under question in the behavioral sink of high school, especially if Tuck was sporting bow ties then.
As I've noted before, Tucker has to deal with Freepers continually questioning his masculinity and sexual orientation; I guess it leaves him so wound up about his manhood that he can't simply tell the bathroom perv he's not interested or report the guy to the cops. Think about it -- he came back with a friend to bash the guy. Nice.
Media Matters has the full transcript & video, as well as a disingenuous response from Bow Tie Daddy himself. And see Just Another Blog's™ previous take on Tucker.Daniel Norton.UPDATED LINKS: Yes, we've picked on her (economics is so dismal) but Megatron provides this link to Wonkette's coverage. And Princess Sparkle Pony's Photo Blog™ has a swell image of Tuck & Craig, & plenty on the infamous Mpls.-St.Paul Airport restroom/tearoom. "Two lumps, please."
And the presence of Jumaily on the Brotherhood's American board confirms what has long been known: that the Brotherhood is part of Al-Qaeda and should be put on the State Department terrorist list.Not according to the Anti-Defamation League or the Council on Foreign Relations, however. And you'd think Little Debbie would trust the A-DL, if not those Rockefeller one-worlders @ CFR.
And Al-Jumaily had access to government officials at the highest levels. Top FBI, ICE and Justice Department officials repeatedly broke pita with him. That includes current U.S. Attorney Stephen Murphy III (a Bush Federal Court of Appeals nominee), past Bush U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Collins, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Special Agent in Charge for Michigan/Ohio, Brian Moskowitz, and several FBI Special Agents in Charge.
But now we know, he was far more than that--a high-ranking member of the Muslim Brotherhood. And he helped carry out its "grand jihad [against] Western civilization."
**** EXCLUSIVE - MUST CITE Debbie Schlussel and link to DebbieSchlussel.com (That Means You, Sean Hannity, WorldNutDaily, and Steven Emerson) ****
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
You just have to love local telebision, especially small town local telebision. Sac'to's Channel 13 shows us how to cruise a tearoom. Dig the sandals.
The Idaho Values Alliance has a nicely ironic page pointing out how Sens. Crapo (no jokes, please) & Craig "cast pro-life votes" against a stem cell bill, followed immediately by "Bonus Bytes" about airport restroom activities in Atlanta. Best line:
It is a little-acknowledged secret that many active homosexuals will have more than 1,000 sex partners over the course of a lifetime (the average among heterosexuals is seven – still six more than we were designed for).If you have more than one is your warranty invalid?
And, their "regretful" call for Sen. Craig's resignation.
After that you'll want to look at "Idaho Blows." Just Another Blog™ has always thought of Idaho as that narrow place between Washington State & Montana, but the author of "Give Idaho Back to Britain" takes a closer look, & doesn't like what he finds.
And Michelle Malkin calls Senator Craig a "supremely arrogant, lying crapweasel." Projection, we assume. And what is a "crapweasel?" A high school word? Considering Lady Eminem's repressed cheerleader desires, it just could be: "Now that I'm in 10th grade, doody-head just doesn't sound very mature any more."
Couldn't even open our e-mail w/o encountering Sen. Craig's denial. In both the legal & psychological senses of the word. From the Associated Press:
Sen. Larry Craig on Tuesday said the only thing he had done wrong was to plead guilty after a complaint of lewd conduct in a men’s room. He declared, “I am not gay. I never have been gay.”Here, again, is the Statesman story. (Gotta love it when a member of the Party of Religion & McCarthy calls "witchhunt." "Jiminy God," as the Senator likes to say.)
Craig also lashed out at the Idaho Statesman newspaper, which reported Monday that, according to an anonymous source, Craig had a homosexual encounter in a Washington train station. Craig accused the paper of waging a witch hunt against him.
A magnitude 5.5 earthquake struck off the coast of Russia's Kuril Islands, the U.S. Geological Survey said MondayAnd w/ the country burning up, the last thing needed in Greece was this:
ATHENS, Greece - A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.1 struck the western Greek island of Kefalonia on Monday, the Athens Geodynamic Institute said. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.Think Zeus & his friends are angry about something, and coming back w/ a vengeance?
It wasn't long after I stopped writing short stories that it occurred to me that dying old, desperate and alone probably wasn't nearly as inspiring for the people it happened to as it was for twenty-year olds looking for an excuse to smoke too much.Huh? At least she stopped writing short stories. We can't imagine why.
First of all, there's plenty of action in the Orlando, Fla. area. Literal "open season" in this story:
Police: Former Marine Killed 2 Others, Self
Motive For Shootings Unknown, Officials Say
The Orange County Sheriff's Office did not reveal a potential motive for Jason Robert Drake, 30. Deputies determined that he killed Ralph Gonzalez, a well-known 39-year-old GOP political consultant, and David Abrami, a 36-year-old attorney also active for the Republican Party.
Lovers' Quarrel May Have Sparked Murder-Suicide
Prominent Republican Party Consultant, 2 Others Found Dead
Rep. Allen's Solicitation Trial Date Set
Official Accused Of Offering $20 To Perform Oral Sex
Statements police said Allen made about being scared of a "stocky, black man," will not be entered into evidence. Also, taped statements Allen made to Assistant Chief John Lau will also be excluded, as previously agreed to by both sides.
Craig stated “that he has a wide stance when going to the bathroom and that his foot may have touched mine,” the report states. Craig also told the arresting officer that he reached down with his right hand to pick up a piece of paper that was on the floor.
“It should be noted that there was not a piece of paper on the bathroom floor, nor did Craig pick up a piece of paper,” the arresting officer said in the report.
For conservative group the Idaho Values Alliance the news was unexpected. "There are some disturbing elements to the police report and I think the Senator needs to give the public a thorough explanation," Bryan Fischer from Idaho Values Alliance told CBS 2 Eyewitness News.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Internet comment buddy D. Sidhe has posted a beautiful (in its horror) description of the agonies of being a member of the working poor, in response to an exceptional HTML Mencken destruction of National Review editor Rich Lowry @ Sadly, No!, which quoted Lowry's recitation of the usual "poverty is your fault, you lazy (insert derogatory term for any non-white group here)" theme so popular w/ those who suck at the teats of the wealthy & powerful.
Poverty in America is primarily a cultural phenomenon, driven by a shattered work ethic and sexual irresponsibility. Child poverty would be nearly obliterated if every household had one adult working full time and married parents.
The Russkies say they aren't flying their new bomber patrols w/ nukes.
The resumption of the long-range patrols, recent tests of a new generation of intercontinental missiles and the resumption of large-scale exercises have taken place against the backdrop of new strains in ties between Russia and the West.Oh well. Guess the Doomsday Clock can go back a few seconds.
Russia has 79 strategic bombers in service including 64 Tupolev-95MC, known as Bears by NATO pilots, and 15 Tupolev-160, known as Blackjacks by NATO, according to Russian media.
"There is deep modernization (of the bomber fleet) going on," Androsov said. "We are working on a new generation (of bombers), I don't even know what it will be called."
Just heard on the tee vee that AG Alberto Gonzales has resigned, according to the New York Times. So go to the NYT website & find out. Perhaps Skeletor™ will be the replacement. Nothing further on the "Sucky Gôögle News Feed" on the sidebar, as of 0530. That's why we call it "sucky."
Just Another Blog™ barely cares, but while checking Sitemeter™ we were led to Technorati™, where we are currently ranked 1,372,336, putting us in the top 14%, based on an estimate (very rough, obviously) of some 100,000,000 "web logs" in existence. And we found that Techorati™'s "Authority" ranking (currently four) is how many other "web logs" link to us. Four may not be much, but we know for a fact that more sites than the ones displayed @ Technorati™ link to us. The ego swells.
And a great big all American "Howdy!" to the Woosh Wireless user in Auckland, N. Z., who comes by & actually spends a few minutes reading this crap. Good for you, & don't be shy, leave a comment sometime, we don't bite!
And when it fades or is otherwise too damaged for repair, the flag is to be burned in a dignified ceremony. The flag is only to be displayed from local sunrise until local sunset, unless it is illuminated.
Alluding to former Secretary of State Colin Powell and his successor, Condoleezza Rice, who was then national security adviser, Khalilzad continued: “Powell and Condi were incredulous. Powell called me and asked: ‘What happened?’The next time some neo-fascist dipstick says something to the effect of: "Oh no, there's no racism in the Bush administration, look at Condie Rice & Colin Powell," remember that they have been/were so completely marginalized by the warmongers that they're barely tokens. And you don't think their somewhat darker skin tones would make it easier for the good ol' boys to ignore them, do you? Go ahead, call us cynical. We are, & we have every reason to be so.
And I said, ‘You’re secretary of state and you’re asking me what happened!’ ”
Powell confirmed his astonishment. “The plan was for Zal to go back,” he said. “He was the one guy who knew this place better than anyone. I thought this was part of the deal with Bremer. But with no discussion, no debate, things changed. I was stunned.”
One can't expect much of Dr. Rice, erstwhile member of the Chevron board of directors (fill in your own blanks about her relationship w/ Mr. Bush) but one can hope General Powell will write a book about how he was essentially fucked royally at every turn by Cheney & the neo-cons. He really should be doing that right now, if he's got any guts. Oops. Forgot about his role covering up the My Lai massacre back there in 'Nam. Never mind.
Powell in Viet Nam, 1963.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Mr. Peabody (check the comments) brings to our attention a 21st century grunt (Do they still call themselves that?) writing from Mesopotamia/Babylon (at least until the Pentagon weasel-dick monitoring this "web log" finds out & shuts him down) "Army of Dude." None of that WWII pencil & paper crap, censored & known only to the family & friends of the writer. (Until Ken Burns gets ahold of it & has a voice over artist read it over pans across some still photos.) "Dude" has a laptop, & must have access to a satellite link, or Wi-Fi, or a landline to a server somewhere. And he has a digital camera, photos available hither, under the name "˜leavethegun."
Never did read the Scott Beauchamp stuff in TNR (possibly hidden behind the subscription wall) but we wonder what the warlovers & chickenhawks will make of Dude. It's all required reading, but these seemed like the best excerpts:
Do you know what the light at the end of the tunnel is for us?
Yeah, food. When we're on patrols and house clearing missions, what's keeping us going is not the promise of freedom and democracy in Iraq. It's the vision of hamburgers, fries and ice cream. I can live without a market based economy in the Middle East, but I can't live without a toasted ham sandwich.
Several times we have raced back to the base to get to the dining hall as it closed. Something to eat is the high point of the day. Imagine the low points.
As Kurt Vonnegut suggested, our morale is shot to pieces. The few tattered remains left were eviscerated when they extended us four months. The most devious trick the media and the government has pulled in the last ten years is suggesting to the public that the soldiers believe in the mission and the war itself. In my unit that is definitely not the case. We just fight for food and friends, and the hope of getting home. I know a few people who still believe in the cause. I would know one more, but he died when I was on leave.
Readers, fear not! Despite the caustic undertone of this entry, I am glimmering with hope. The dining hall opens in ten minutes for breakfast, and they make some killer omelettes. [graphic from the hideous MoveAmericaForward.org.]
The military is obsessed with taking something and renaming it with a totally different term. A jumping jack is a side straddle hop, and any Islamic terrorist not affiliated with Al Qaeda is a concerned local. When a mission is complete, there is a rollup of killed enemies and found weapons. A rollup is another term for a summary. So I present my own summary (er, rollup) for the time my company has spent between June 2006 and June 2007:
525,600 Minutes Passed
"They call the boys who shovel our shit in Viet Nam shitshovelers."
Countless Enemies Killed and Captured
3 Destroyed Strykers
Dozens of Rifles, RPGS and Mines Found and Destroyed
2 Fatherless Baby Girls
Thousands of Rounds of Ammunition Found and Destroyed
9 Figure Severance Paycheck to Dick Cheney, Courtesy of Halliburton
3 Cleared Cities
2 Dead Friends
100,000 Contractors Making Five Times My Pay for Doing Laundry and Serving Food
Thousands of Cleared Houses
A year later and this is what we have to show for it. A year later and we care about the survival of each other more than a fledgling democracy in the Middle East. To officers and officials influencing policy, our goal is to stimulate the economy and prop up competent Iraqi Security Forces. To the unwashed enlisted in the muck, we’re just trying not to get blown to fucking bits. A year later and we have realized finally: we’re biding time until the next unit comes to replace us. That’s it. Rotate in, rotate out. A year’s worth of sore backs, twisted ankles, near death experiences, shootouts, blown up buildings, fires, mangled corpses, dead kids, dead soldiers, cold desert nights, hot desert days, shit covered boots, trash filled streets, unfulfilled dreams, stagnant aspirations and murdered futures.AH
A year well spent.
End the occupation. Now. The military will never be able to impose a "political" solution to the charnel house we've created, and now that the talk is of replacing the elected Prime Minister w/ yet another buffoon, Allawi (who, by all that is unholy, has hired Washington lobbyists to pimp for his appointment as P. M.) the Viet Nam analogy is complete.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Pong Su in Sydney Harbour. Photo: ABC TV. While wandering the wasteland of LiveLeak™ (Your source for stuff blowing up!!) The Editor came across this footage of a North Korean "drug ship" being sunk by an Australian F-111. Would that Bugger™ or LiveLeak™ could get their respective shit together so embeds would work here. Further info on the event, from F-111.net (WARNING: loud jet noise when site opens) reveals that the ship was set adrift & used for target practice, explaining why this wasn't a big news deal. (More video from Australian Broadcasting Company @ F-111.net. Requires