Saturday, October 6, 2007

Meet the New Boss, Etc.

Flag of Narodowe Odrodzenie Polski ("National Rebirth of Poland").
Remember when "Rummy" (Hell, do you even remember "Rummy?") made the distinction between "Old" & "New" Europe?

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld recently caused Paris and Berlin intense consternation by stating what should have been apparent to all: That the United States is not without allies in Europe when it comes to dealing with Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.
Oh, remember "Iraq's weapons of mass destruction?"

The International Herald Tribune reveals why "Rummy" was so hot about the "New" Europe: They're crypto-fascists, w/ a pinch of Catholicism:
In Hungary, Viktor Orban, leader of the opposition conservative Fidesz party, courts the far right, even refusing to distance himself from a new extreme right-wing grouping that harks back to the fascist years of the 1930s. In Slovakia, Robert Fico's socialist-led coalition depends on Jan Slota's nationalists to remain in power. In Bulgaria, extreme nationalists are in the ascendancy, and the mainstream parties are accommodating them instead of marginalizing them.
This new conservatism in Eastern Europe, so soon after most of the region joined the European Union in 2004, is spreading at the same time that conservative parties in Western Europe are moving toward the center.

[...]
"What the new self-proclaimed revolutionaries in Central Europe fear is the excesses of post-modern culture and the collapse of traditional values," said Ivan Krastev, director of the Center for Liberal Strategies in Sofia. "They are nostalgic and not utopian, defensive and not visionary," he added.
The Kaczynski government in Warsaw supports a greater role for the Catholic Church to protect Poland against the invading secularism of Western Europe and the globalization of consumerism, social mobility and new values.

[...]
Jiri Schneider, director of the Prague Security Studies Institute, said conservative parties have failed in deciding what they want to keep or, indeed, what they want to become. "What really is their point of reference? They cannot claim to be the heirs of these original conservative parties because of their ignominious past. Yet they are not prepared to develop into modern conservative political parties in which populism will be kept from the economic and social agenda," Schneider said.
As they say in "Old" Europe, "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose."

Behind the Blackwater Blogs

"God Bless America, or I'll have one of my goons thugsbrave retired soldiers shoot you." Blackwater founder Erik Prince being sworn in before Congressional hearing. (AP Photos/Susan Walsh)
Those of you wondering just which big PR firm was behind Blackwater "Facts" & About Blackwater need wonder no more. Looks like it might be Burson-Marsteller, whose president, Mark Penn, happens to be Senator Hillary Clinton's chief campaign strategist. From the NYT:
Mr. Penn’s firm has netted the sort of bad headlines that Mrs. Clinton would not seek: Other than Blackwater, clients have included Countrywide Financial, which has been tainted by the subprime mortgage scandal, and Cintas Corp., which has fought the unionization of its workforce.
Also covered by the AP & The Nation:
UPDATE II: Burson says its subsidiary, BKSH & Associates, run by GOP operative Charlie Black, "helped Blackwater prepare for their recent hearing before Congress. With the hearing over, BKSH's temporary engagement has ended."
Oh, well, it was a subsidiary, & it was just for the hearing. "Plausible deniability," anybody? A "subsidiary" run by "GOP operative Charlie Black." So when a right-wing entity needs spin, they go to BKSH & Associates. Doubtless there's another B-M "subsidiary" that spins for the left. Gotta cover all the bases to keep the money rolling in.

Religious Rupture, Not Rapture, Regarding Rudy

The Council for National Policy got together in Salt Lake City last wknd. An earlier take on the Council, from this very web log (quote from Mother Jones):
The Council for National Policy—a group that holds meetings for right-wing leaders, once dubbed “the most powerful conservative group you’ve never heard of”—was founded in 1981 as a project of top John Birch Society figures. Its members included Rushdoony, Gary North, Tim LaHaye, former Reagan aide Gary Bauer, and activist Paul Weyrich, who famously aimed to “overturn the present power structure of this country.”
Make no fucking mistake about it: These people are serious, they are powerful, and an organization like Blackwater fits right into their plans. Note the connection between Erik Prince's father, Edgar, & Gary Bauer (from Blackwater Runs Red):
The elder Prince was widely known for his close association with anti-choice crusader Gary Bauer. Bauer was a domestic policy advisor in the Reagan White House before succeeding Jerry Regier (a former Reagan official, as well) for the leadership role of the Family Research Council (FRC) in 1988. With Edgar's help, Bauer put the FRC on the map.
According to the NYT, some of the evangelical power brokers in SLC had an extra super-secret meeting, on the subject of Rudy "The Catholic" Giuliani & his lead in the polls.
The participants said that the group chose the qualified term “consider” because it had not yet identified an alternative candidate, but that it was largely united in its plans to bolt the party if Mr. Giuliani, the former New York mayor, became the nominee. [...] Gary L. Bauer, a Christian conservative political advocate who was a Republican primary candidate eight years ago, said that, speaking by phone to the meeting, he urged the group to proceed with caution. “I can’t think of a bigger disaster for social conservatives, defense conservatives and economic conservatives than Hillary Clinton in the White House,” Mr. Bauer said. He added, “But I do believe there are certain core issues for the Republican Party — low taxes, strong defense and pro-life — and if we nominate someone who is hostile on one of those three things it will blow up the G.O.P.” [...] Participants in the group that endorsed the resolution said they had reached their position after hearing an assessment of the state of the Republican primary from Mr. Perkins, who acts as a point man in Washington for the movement. Mr. Perkins told them that Mr. Giuliani could plausibly win the primary if he carried Florida, which has many conservative Christian voters, and that now was the best chance to stop any momentum behind his campaign.
Old fool James C. Dobson (see a scathing analysis of his son Ryan's website) cranked out a column for the Times on the extra super secret meeting:

Reports have surfaced in the press about a meeting that occurred last Saturday in Salt Lake City involving more than 50 pro-family leaders. [...] Although I was neither the convener nor the moderator of the meeting, I’d like to offer several brief clarifications about its outcome and implications. [...] After two hours of deliberation, we voted on a resolution that can be summarized as follows: If neither of the two major political parties nominates an individual who pledges himself or herself to the sanctity of human life, we will join others in voting for a minor-party candidate. Those agreeing with the proposition were invited to stand. The result was almost unanimous. The other issue discussed at length concerned the advisability of creating a third party if Democrats and Republicans do indeed abandon the sanctity of human life and other traditional family values. Though there was some support for the proposal, no consensus emerged. Speaking personally, and not for the organization I represent or the other leaders gathered in Salt Lake City, I firmly believe that the selection of a president should begin with a recommitment to traditional moral values and beliefs. Those include the sanctity of human life, the institution of marriage, and other inviolable pro-family principles. [Go fuck yourself, you hate-filled Yankee Taliban. — Ed.] Only after that determination is made can the acceptability of a nominee be assessed. [...] The Los Angeles Times reported on Monday, for example, that supporters of traditional family values are rapidly “splintering.” That is not true. The near unanimity in Salt Lake City is evidence of much greater harmony than supposed. Admittedly, differences of opinion exist among us about our choices for president. That divergence is entirely reasonable, now just over a year before the national election. It is hardly indicative of a “splintering” of old alliances. If the major political parties decide to abandon conservative principles, the cohesion of pro-family advocates will be all too apparent in 2008.

On the other hand, Lew Rockwell questions Dobson's sincerity:
I have long thought that the Christian Right would have no trouble supporting the Rudester because he is as pro-war and pro-police state as they are. And James Dobson won't be an exception, after he is promised patronage. That is the point of his protest. And now John Hagee says on TV that he can endorse Giuliani--despite pledging never to support a pro-choice candidate--because Rudy is more pro-Israel than Hillary.
On the Catholic front, from Taki's Underwear Drawer:
And that, I’m afraid, is frightening confirmation of the extent to which politically active conservative Catholics in America have become enslaved to the Republican Party. If Rudy Giuliani wins the Republican nomination, we will hear dozens of reasons why Catholics should vote for him. Some will declare a vote for Giuliani a positive good, deciding that his support for the war in Iraq (and, more broadly, the “War on Terror") is more important than his position on abortion. Others will make the (dubious) argument that he’s still more likely to appoint pro-life judges than any potential Democratic candidate. Still others will tell us that, of course, Giuliani is hardly better than a Democrat, but the alliance of pro-lifers with the Republican Party ”necessarily places voters in the situation of in effect having to buy a whole political package”--even when that package now includes abortion “rights.” And finally, and most pathetically, we’ll be told that pro-abortion “conservatives” are our most faithful allies in the fight against “Cultural Marxism"--as if Rudy and his ilk aren’t Cultural Marxists themselves.
"Cultural Marxists." Some of these bead-rattlers are just plain nuts. Does too much fish on Fridays lead to mercury poisoning & brain damage? From the AP:

Viguerie would not give specifics of the proposal or reveal additional names of participants, but said President Bush "would not have been elected in '04 without the people in that room." "There is such jaundiced feelings about any promises or commitments from any Republican leaders," he said in a phone interview. "You could almost cut the anger and the frustration with a knife in that room it's so strong. Because they don't know what else to do, they're talking third party." [...] The participants were in Salt Lake City for a separate meeting of the secretive Council for National Policy, a group of conservative business, religious and political leaders that was co-founded years ago by Tim LaHaye, author of the "Left Behind" series of books. Vice President Dick Cheney flew into the city Friday to address the group, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. Christian conservatives, who hold considerable sway in the Republican Party, have been deeply unhappy about the field of GOP presidential candidates. Dobson has said he wouldn't support Giuliani, calling the former New York mayor an "unapologetic supporter of abortion on demand." Dobson has also rejected former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson as wrong on social issues, and wouldn't back John McCain because of the Arizona senator's opposition to a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. [...] "Conservatives have been treated like a mistress as long as any of us can remember," Viguerie said. "They'll have lots of private meetings with us, tell us how much they appreciate it and how much they value us, but if you see me on the street please don't speak with me." A third-party run would be a long shot, requiring millions of dollars and challenges to ballot access. Such a bid could prove disastrous for the GOP by splitting the vote. Richard Land, head of the public policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, was not at the meeting. But he said no one floating the idea of a third party thinks there's much chance the candidate would win. He considers the proposal a reaction to "moguls of the Republican establishment" who think conservative Christians will support the GOP no matter what. "A lot of them won't hold their nose and do it," Land said.

Looks as if the Republicans can't depend on the cultural conservatives, conservative Catholics, religious reactionaries & so forth for too much longer. Maybe a Ron Paul-Alan Keyes third-party ticket is the answer. Just Another Blog™ would love to see that. And if Sen. Clinton gets the Democratic nod, maybe a fourth, leftist, ticket. If nothing else it could lead to the end of the Electoral College. And (fingers crossed here) political violence in the streets. Only 13 mos. to go, get your guns & ammo now. You won't want to be the last one looting the gun store.

The South, Rising From Its Grave

Maybe if you sign this petition we can get rid of these dead-ender losers once and for all. Click on the signatures to read some fine commentary.
Like this:
We fought for home, family and God. The North fought for personal gain and the reunification of the Union that only they were prospering from. That is the difference. We fought for our God, others, and ourselves. The yankees fought for - themselves. "Dulce et Decorum est pro partia mori" A.P. Hill. Latin for "It pleasant and fitting to die for one's country." Your country consists of your religion ( and therefore your God), your friends and kin, and yourself. What is more important? Nothing, to a true Southerner. Deo Vindici. Sic Semper Tyrannis.

Do the people who sign this petition in earnest really believe the south will ever rise again or whatever? This has got to be one big joke. I've lived in Mississippi for a couple years now, and from what I can tell, the only real components of Southern Culture are stock car racing and a firm belief in the god-given right to dispose of old sofas and washing machines in the woods.

Southern Culture Is the oldest continuous eurocentric culture in North America, and we MUST defend it at all cost!

Bill, Hillary, Al, Jesse, and all other Communist..............You are not welcome down here!

As a descendant of those who nobly fought and died for National Socialism, I have absolutely no hesitation in affixing my name to the cause of the Master Race. It is my duty to undertake this, to help preserve the cause that my ancestors died for.

The South Will Rise Again, go away Nigs

God Save the South from 'Hegelian' cultural Marxism, unfettered egalitarianism, Federal tyranny, and the advance of global government! Deo Vindice!

This is pathetic. This petition has been up for years, and has managed 1850 or so signatures, and a good many of those are ridiculing you nutters. You guys are impotent.

No dead, male, Jew is going to save any whites whatsoever. Moving south not soon enough; hate the North especially Taxachusetts and Khaneckticut. Give us our OWN land free of lying, immoral Jews loyal to IL and blacks loyal to Africa. I enslaved no one; we were enslaved thousands of years without handouts.

The Confederate States of America is our home. The south ( Under God ) is more important than aything. Any southern person can esily say, "My parents raised me to believe in God". Our southern morals, political views, faith in God and many other things differ extremely from those in northern states. We are still a nation and that nation is the C.S.A. I don't see how anyone would want to be to lay claim to being a citizen of the U.S. being a genuine believer in the Lord God Almighty and the Lord Jesus Christ. The C.S.A. is just as real now as it ever was. Take pride in the Lord my Confederate Brothers and Sisters because he will lead us to victory!! If you're to blind to see that the south is the "Nation within a Nation" writen about in the Bible then you must not be southern. C.S.A. Independence Now!!!

My, some people can really hold a grudge, can't they?

Friday, October 5, 2007

Let's Have a War (On Science, This Time)

Clownhall™ columnist "Michael Fumento is a, journalist, and attorney specializing in science and health issues as well as author of BioEvolution: How Biotechnology is Changing Our World ." (And a comma abuser.) The delightful Mr. Fumento, first brought to our attention by World O' Crap, is not given to irrational fears, other than those inspired by cave dwelling religious fanatics, of course.

Certainly anything based on evil, anti-God, pro-evolution science should be taken with a teaspoon of salt (And don't worry about any effect that might have on your blood pressure.) All this talk of avian flu? Doesn't really further the War of Terrorism, does it? OK, then.

New scientific discoveries keep eating away at the prophecy that “bird flu,” avian influenza type H5N1, will become readily transmissible from human to human and unleash a disastrous pandemic. This leaves little but rhetoric to counter the reality, such as massive death estimates.

We'll leave that last sentence alone. You try to figure it out on your own.

Taking this to heart, neo-con novelist and essayist Mark Helprin has proposed spending 2.5 percent of the national budget, or about 1 percent of GDP, to counter the alleged threat. This when defense spending has gone up only 0.8 percent of GDP since 9/11 to fight the war on terror and two ground wars.
May we point out that we are involved in one ground war & one occupation/quagmire, which is diverting resources & attention from the actual, necessary war. And that we already spend more on "defense" (or corporate welfare, if you will) than the rest of the world combined.
Since I began writing on avian flu back in early 1998 and then during the more recent panic in 2005, I’ve driven the scare-mongers – most of them left-wing like the mega-blog Daily Kos – absolutely nuts by pointing out there’s no evidence for a pending pandemic.
Ah, lefty bloggers. There's the culprit. This guy is to epidemiology what Megan McArdle is to economics.

Will this affect media perceptions? Pshaw! “Doctors warn the H5N1 virus is dangerously close to mutating so that it would pass easily between humans – which could spark a global pandemic that could kill millions of people orldwide,” declared Voice of America News shortly thereafter. Space limitations prevented it from saying which doctors.
[...]
All of this also helps explain one of the least-known facts about H5N1. The strain’s discovery in poultry dates back not to 1997, as we’re constantly told, but rather to 1959 when it was identified in Scottish chickens.
In other words, we’ve been exposed to this thing for half a century and yet it’s refused to go pandemic.
Small increases in the counted numbers of bird-to-human cases over the last four years probably represent little more than better reporting. Yet virologist Robert Webster, perhaps the most respected of the alarmists, last November in the New England Journal of Medicine specifically cited the annual increases in bird-to-human H5N1 cases since 2002 as cause for alarm.
So what does it mean that, according to the WHO, throughout this year such cases
have significantly lagged behind those of last year? You already know: “It’s even worse than we thought!”

Of course, it's just better reporting! Do you get the impression that whatever science & health attorneying he does is on behalf of large corporate entities & doctors being sued for malpractice? "Members of the jury, you're not going to let all these pointy-headed so-called scientists pull the wool over your eyes with their big fancy words, are you?"
And of course, viruses mutate like nobody's business. Maybe Atty. Fumento shouldn't be so certain in his steady state view of the universe. His column,, entitled "More Bad News for Bird Flu Chicken Littles," appeared 20 September. You don't suppose any of those pesky little bugs could have done anything sneaky since then do you? Like mutate somehow?
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The H5N1 bird flu virus has mutated to infect people more easily, although it still has not transformed into a pandemic strain, researchers said on Thursday.
The changes are worrying, said Dr. Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
"We have identified a specific change that could make bird flu grow in the upper respiratory tract of humans," said Kawaoka, who led the study.

"The viruses that are circulating in Africa and Europe are the ones closest to becoming a human virus," Kawaoka said.
[...]
All flu viruses evolve constantly and scientists have some ideas about what mutations are needed to change a virus from one that infects birds easily to one more comfortable in humans.
Birds usually have a body temperature of 106 degrees F, and humans are 98.6 degrees F usually. The human nose and throat, where flu viruses usually enter, is usually around 91.4 degrees F.
"So usually the bird flu doesn't grow well in the nose or throat of humans," Kawaoka said. This particular mutation allows H5N1 to live well in the cooler temperatures of the human upper respiratory tract.
In parts not extracted from Mr. Fumento's brief, he referred only to studies conducted in Indonesia.

"So the viruses circulating in Europe and Africa, they all have this mutation. So they are the ones that are closer to human-like flu," Kawaoka said.
Luckily, they do not carry other mutations, he said. "Clearly there are more mutations that are needed. We don't know how many mutations are needed for them to become pandemic strains."

Panic? Scare tactics?
"I don't like to scare the public, because they cannot do very much. But at the same time it is important to the scientific community to understand what is happening," Kawaoka said in a telephone interview.
Dirty liberal scientists. We're supposed to be scared of invisible terrorists, not invisible bugs.

And as always w/ Clownhall™, do read the comments. What fools those mortals be.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Who Is This Woman, Exactly? (UPDATED)

An excuse to run this picture? Hell, we're not even sure this is Jeri Thompson, though it's been claimed as her image. (Compare & contrast w/ these, we think from 2006.) When was it taken? What happened to her hair? If it is she, she's been dropping the lbs. like husband Freddie has. (Or is it an old photo & she's gained a few lbs. & some hair length & Botox™ since marrying?) And here they are together, in Newton, Iowa, on Monday (1 October) from The New York Times. Interesting body language, expressions, etc. (Personally, we think the one above is a shot of Judith Light that's been misidentified, but it's all guesswork here on the web. First seen here, but no credit/attribution given.)
Oh, speaking of the NYT (pronounced "nit") looks as if "D. A. Branch" isn't exactly riding the Straight Talk Express. More like the Lead Balloon Special:
Then he stood face to face with a silent audience.
“Can I have a round of applause?” Mr. Thompson said, drawing a rustle of clapping and some laughter.

[...]
In an interview with Kay Henderson of Radio Iowa on Wednesday, in talking about Iran, he referred to the “Soviet Union and China.” (Ms. Henderson, at the end of her blog post on the exchange, wrote: “No, I did not mistype. Thompson said Soviet Union rather than Russia.”)
Freddie, you don't have much time to drag yourself into the current century.
Mr. Thompson said that perceived stumbles by him, like appearing not to know anything on a visit to Florida about a dispute over oil drilling in the Everglades, had been seized upon by rival campaigns who had begun coming after him before he even got into the race. Not, he was quick to add, that he had a problem with that. “As I like to say, it’s not my first rodeo,” he said.
May be your last, cowboy, may be your last.

We see that firedoglake, who apparently have to get up before 1400, were on this a bit earlier today.

UPDATE (19 October 2007 @ 1621): See the comments. The "mystery woman" is probably country vocalist Lorrie Morgan, who dated ol' Freddie a few yrs. back. Compare here, & witness the wonder of Photoshop™.

Tin Ears & Tin-Foil Hats

"Koo-Koo" Kucinich in his aluminium chapeau.
The image above is taken directly from the Blackwater Facts web log. Tee hee. How clever. Just how old is the PR firm intern running it? Here's another example:

Rules for posting comments
Readers are welcome to post comments as
long as they:

1. Keep the discussion civil.
2. Do not use slander or libel.
3. Try to act like adults and avoid using potty language.
Written like a middle schooler. Just a note, Junior: "Grown-ups" (as we're sure you call them, not being one yourself) don't use the phrase "potty language" unless speaking to a child less than five yrs. old. And #s 1 & 2 are essentially the same. It's called redundancy. Look it up. As of this morning, readers are no longer "welcome to post comments." BF is no longer allowing anonymous comments, & is moderating those submitted. Way to do a thorough job of running your site, sonny.

And for further puppetry, see About Blackwater, also from the keyboard of "Standish," the pseudonym apparently an attempt to link Blackwater to the Plymouth colony & "the civilization that became the United States." 'Cause, you know, "[p]rivate security contractors, or PSCs" (please don't call them "mercenaries") are as American as apple pie or the Ku Klux Klan.

Disclaimers:
Facts about Blackwater USA. Blackwater USA is not responsible for this site. [BF]

This is an independent site and is not affiliated with Blackwater USA.
[AB]
Really?

A Totally Independent Web Log & Not A Sockpuppet in Any Way

And if you believe the title of this item, Just Another Blog (From L. A.)™ has oceanfront property you may be interested in, & some swell parcels in the mountains as well. In the meantime, try to keep a straight face if you bother to peruse Blackwater Facts, a web log started (allegedly, posting times & dates can be altered) in April 2006, w/ a second post 11 mos. later. Suddenly, 17 September 2007, the day after the most recent "incident" in Baghdad, Blackwater is all over the news & Blackwater Facts is posting as if there's no tomorrow (which there may not be for the flack writing it if things don't go well) w/ 26 items in September, & 24 in the first three days of October. Note the first four words of the most recent item (@ 0549 PDT): "Elite Blackwater security men." For a blog sympathetic to Blackwater, but probably not written by someone on the payroll (or subcontracted) try The White Rabbit. Just before publishing this item, we scrolled through all 50 items, reading the comments. And in that time, they suddenly wised up, stopped taking anonymous comments, & began moderating comments. Haw!!

It Can't Happen Here? The Red, White & Black

Palau @ progressive gold links to Inhuman Interest Stories, a new web log that looks to have potential, & some immediate takes on, yes, Blackwater. As a matter of fact, there are six posts on IIS, & each is worth reading. As is progressive gold.
And speaking of fascist iconography, self-confessed "odd fellow" Nebris, A/K/A The Divine Mr. M., Auteur & Guru, has some going as well.

Stairway to the Stars (Think I'll Write "Good Health to You")

"At 22 hours, 28 minutes and 34 seconds Moscow time on 4 October 1957, the world could see an artificial star that was created not by the gods but the hands of human beings." Thus spake Boris Chertok, last living Soviet rocket scientist who was involved in the project, Tuesday 25 September, in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad, where the congress of the International Astronautical Federation was held. And so our hideous species established itself in space, a mere 50 yrs. ago. The only mission of Sputnik 1 was to emit radio signals at around the frequencies of 20.005 megahertz and 40.002 megahertz—which it did for twenty-two days before its battery power supply died. Its orbit deteriorated over the next three months, & it burned up in the Earth’s atmosphere on January 4, 1958, having traveled about 60 million kilometers. An earlier attempt to get Vanguard up & away. Ooops! The second successful American satellite, Vanguard I, remains in orbit. Telemetry stopped quite a while ago, however. Hysterical reactions:
The United States was shocked. Senator Lyndon Johnson said the Russians had jumped way ahead of us in the conquest of space: "Soon, they will be dropping bombs on us from space like kids dropping rocks onto cars from freeway overpasses!" Jim Dawson, science writer for the Star Tribune, wrote about how his third grade teacher was very nervous at the time. His school at Omaha, Neb., was just a few miles from the Air Force's Strategic Air Command headquarters. A fleet of F-100 fighters appeared in the sky coming right for the school. MiGs!" the teacher shrieked. "MiGs!" She ran, hysterical, from the classroom, convinced they were about to be nuked by Russian fighter jets. The kids, mostly Air Force brats, ran to the windows to admire the F-100s, the coolest jet of its day.
The Economist has a "think piece" on fifty yrs. of space. TIME offers 50 highs & lows of getting off the planet. Sputnik: Celebrating 50 Years of Spaceflight. The NYT waxes nostalgiac.Sputnik's beeps, & some from other early birds. Serious history of Sputnik. Serious history of Sputnik & the U. S. space effort at the time. A more personal history, from both sides.Idiotic Attempt at Propaganda Dep't.: The stupid, it burns. Bear in mind that w/o the Commies beating us to orbit, we might not have had ARPA (now DARPA) which lead to ARPANET, &, eventually, today's cyberspace, dominated by Just Another Blog (From L. A.)™, & a few other, less significant, nodes on the web.

The Enemies at Home

We know them, we love them. Well, we love how pathetically ignorant & foolish they are. Michelle (John Doe) Malkin. Charles (Little Green Footballs) Johnson. Pamela ("Shrieking Harpy") Geller. Debbie (Debbie Schlussel) Schlussel. Yes, four of the all-time leaders in the paranoiac stupidity sweepstakes that is the right-wing side of the blog-o-sphere. (Not that there aren't many, many, more, but these are the top of the urine-soaked panties heap.) Campus shooting? Asian suspect? Oh, the PC media is saying "Asian," but they're hiding that he's a Pakistani jihadi! Bridge collapse in Minnesota? One of our commenters saw a guy in a turban driving on the very same bridge last week! Industrial accident? Refinery explosion? Five-car pile-up on the freeway? Eeeek!! Look! There's a mosque w/in two miles of the explosion/accident! Foot-baths for Moooslim students? A woman wearing a headscarf on the windiest day of the year? Holy Cow, it's the end of Western Civilization & Judeo-Christian values! Yes, these sad, frightened little people are convinced that This Great Nation of Ours™, and all of "The West," are in immediate mortal danger from the Islamo-fascist hordes. Never mind that this is the sole military superpower on the face of the Earth. Forget that the "Islamic hordes" are a few thousand, at most, fanatics, holed up in caves, whose navy may consist of a few dhows, and whose air force consists of no less than zero aircraft. Part of the thrill of their narrative is that sissified, immature, multi-culturalist, left-wing America-haters within are going to sell us out to the Red BrownMoon God menace. Because, as we all know, ever since the post-World War I Red Scare, the agenda of the Democratic/liberal/leftist/progressive conspiracy in the United States has been the elimination of labor unions, imposition of religious rule, subjugation of women & religious, racial & ethnic minorities, & the summary execution of homosexuals. You know, the Democratic Party platform that made Al Gore lose to George Bush by 500,000 votes in 2000. If there is an actual internal threat to these United States, besides greed, unbridled capitalism, and sheer lust for power, you won't hear about it from The Four Horsemen mentioned above. It doesn't mesh w/ their Us vs. Them, "Clash of Civilizations" story. Because the only real threat to the American Way of Life™ comes from their side. Recent revelations (Click here, then keep moving up; maybe a third of the items between then & now concern Blackwater, etc.) about the political & religious inclinations & connections of the founder & executives of "private security contractor" Blackwater USA, & its various subsidiaries & affiliates, have brought this danger into sharper focus. Let's take a gander at what can only be called Christo-American sharia, starting from the pages of Mother Jones:
Christian Reconstruction [is] an obscure but increasingly potent theology whose top exponents hold that Christian crusaders must conquer and convert the world, by the sword if necessary, before Jesus will return. [..] Reconstruction has slowly absorbed, congregation by congregation, the conservative Presbyterian Church in America (not to be confused with the progressive Presbyterian Church [USA]) and has heavily influenced others, notably the Southern Baptists. George W. Bush has called Reconstruction-influenced theoretician Marvin Olasky “compassionate conservatism’s leading thinker,” and Olasky served as one of the president’s key advisers on the creation of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. Bush also invited Reconstructionist Jack Hayford, a key figure in the Promise Keepers men’s group, to give the benediction at his first inaugural. Deposed House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, though his office won’t comment on his religious views, governs with what he calls a “biblical worldview”—one of Reconstruction’s signature phrases. And, for conspiracy buffs, two heavy contributors to the Chalcedon Foundation—Reconstruction’s main think tank—are Howard Ahmanson and Nelson Bunker Hunt, both of whose families played key roles in financing electronic voting machine manufacturer Election Systems & Software. Ahmanson is also a major sponsor of ultraconservative politicians, including California state legislator and 2003 gubernatorial candidate Tom McClintock. Yet for all its influence, Reconstruction is almost invisible to the media and secular society. Atlanta is ground zero for most Reconstruction activity—home office to DeMar’s publishing house and home district to movement prophet Larry McDonald, who served four terms in Congress in the 1970s and 1980s—but the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has done only one major article on the movement. The entire Lexis-Nexis database includes only 43 articles from all of the U.S. media that make reference to Reconstruction, and only a handful of those explore the movement. [...] “The long-term goal of Christians in politics should be to gain exclusive control over the franchise,” Gary North, a top Reconstruction theorist, wrote in his 1989 book, Political Polytheism: The Myth of Pluralism. “Those who refuse to submit publicly…must be denied citizenship.” [...] The Old Testament—with its 600 or so Mosaic laws—is the inflexible guide for the society DeMar and other Reconstructionists envision. Government posts would be reserved for the righteous, as long as they are male. There would be thousands of executions a year, with stoning a preferred method because it would turn the deaths into “community projects,” as movement theologian North has noted. Sinners in line for the death penalty would include women who commit adultery or lie about their virginity, blasphemers, witches, children who strike their parents, and gay men (lesbians, however, would be spared because no specific reference to them can be found in the Books of Moses). DeMar told me that among Reconstructionists he is considered something of a liberal, because he’d execute gays only if they were caught indulging in sodomy. “I’m happy to just drive them back into the closet,” he said. [...] Besides facilitating evangelism, Reconstructionists believe, government should largely be limited to building and maintaining roads, enforcing land-use contracts, and ensuring just weights and measures. Unions would not exist, and neither would unemployment benefits, Social Security, and environmental protection laws. [...] And, perhaps most importantly, the state is “God’s minister,” as DeMar puts it in Liberty at Risk, “taking vengeance out on those who do evil.” A major task for the government key Reconstructionists envision is fielding armies for conquest in the name of Jesus. [...] Rushdoony, who died in 2001, articulated a doctrine called “presuppositionalism.” All issues are religious in nature, he posited, and people don’t have the right or the ability to define for themselves what’s true; for that they must turn to a literal reading of the Bible. His defining tome, the 800-page Institutes of Biblical Law, was published in 1973. But because of its extremism and overt racism—Rushdoony denied the Holocaust and defended segregation and slavery—Institutes and its author were largely ignored in mainstream circles until the movement launched by Schaeffer found its intellectual grounding in Rushdoony’s writings. [...] Adam and Eve broke their covenant with God, and Satan seized dominion. Christian Reconstruction claims it has a reconstituted covenant with God and the right to a new dominion in his name. In this worldview, the mandate for Christians is not just to live right or to help their neighbors: They are called upon to take over or eliminate the institutions of secular government. [...] Gary North wrote in 1982, in an effort to reach Baptists,“We must use the doctrine of religious liberty…until we train up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government. Then they will get busy constructing a Bible-based social, political, and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God.” [...] Reconstruction’s major impact has been through helping to found and guide cross-denominational and secular political organizations. The Council for National Policy—a group that holds meetings for right-wing leaders, once dubbed “the most powerful conservative group you’ve never heard of”—was founded in 1981 as a project of top John Birch Society figures. Its members included Rushdoony, Gary North, Tim LaHaye, former Reagan aide Gary Bauer, and activist Paul Weyrich, who famously aimed to “overturn the present power structure of this country.”
Make no fucking mistake about it: These people are serious, they are powerful, and an organization like Blackwater fits right into their plans. Note the connection between Erik Prince's father, Edgar, & Gary Bauer (from Blackwater Runs Red):
The elder Prince was widely known for his close association with anti-choice crusader Gary Bauer. Bauer was a domestic policy advisor in the Reagan White House before succeeding Jerry Regier (a former Reagan official, as well) for the leadership role of the Family Research Council (FRC) in 1988. With Edgar's help, Bauer put the FRC on the map.
Information from the horse's mouth on the American Taliban & sharia: The American View The Chalcedon Foundation Christian Exodus The Council for National Policy/Policy Counsel

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

M. Dowd Finds Something More Interesting than Haircuts

The Duchess of Dowd prepares to sign a copy of her book. (Photo: Amy Sussman/Getty Images)
Ah, now that Mr. Sulzberger has torn down the wall, the world at last has full access to such New York Times luminaries as Maureen Dowd, Frank Rich, & Thomas "Oh, hell, give it another six months or so, & see what happens" Friedman.Perhaps in response to her new-found liberty, Ms. Dowd has decided to devote a column to something other than Cost Analysis of Presidential Candidate Hair-Cuts. Something worthy of the op-ed page of the self-proclaimed "paper of record." And she quotes Nietszche. Shall we look?
Once there was the military-industrial complex. Now we have the mercenary-evangelical complex.

Mr. Prince, a former intern to the first President Bush and a former Navy Seal, is from a well-to-do and well-connected Republican family from Michigan.

He and his father both have close ties to conservative Christian groups. His sister was a Pioneer for W., raising $100,000 in 2004, and Erik Prince has given more than $225,000 to Republicans.

Blackwater, in turn, has been the beneficiary of $1 billion in federal contracts, including a no-bid contract with the State Department worth hundreds of millions.
Not much there. Not much at all. Indeed, she appears unable to write a paragraph lengthier than two sentences. Really, this was an excuse for us to run the picture of Ms. Dowd at the Top of the Sixes or wherever she is, & to link to Doghouse Riley's MoDo Glossary. Enjoy!

Let's Have an (Air) War

From Pere Ubu's Debraining Machine:

Thursday, May 10, 2007

I hope I'm just being paranoid

Well, what with the present experiment in Middle East Liberation and Democracy going so well that U.S. Embassy workers in the "secure" Green Zone are being told to wear protection, not only do we have Bush & Rice (sounds like an entree at Outback) insisting that the "military option must stay open" and Shotgun Dick growling at Iran that the Persian Gulf is OURS, dagnabbit, and must therefore stay open to traffic or by golly he'll shoot someone in the face, I'm getting kind of anxious about this Iran thing again.
What's brought it to a head is the festival of low-flying jets over our house this past week. Jets probably from McIntire Air National Guard Base (check out the creepy disclaimer at the bottom of that Web page). McIntire hosts the 169th Tacitical Fighter Wing, whose primary mission is what's known as "SEAD":SEAD [link added] by (pronounced: see-add or seed), or Suppression of Enemy Air Defences, also known as "Wild Weasels" and "Iron Hand", operations are military actions to suppress enemy surface-based air defences (Surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) and anti-aircraft artillery (AAA)), primarily in, but not limited to, the first hours of an attack.
Just sayin', I don't think there are a lot of antiaircraft batteries in Iraq or Afghanistan. Iran, now, that's a different case entirely. These guys are doing some heavy training for
SOMETHING.

Never mind me. I'm just being nervous, that's all.
posted by Pere Ubu at
8:55 AM
Yes, it's from the merry month of May. As was this item. But they're at it again, according to Père.

Jonah Goldberg Infects America (UPDATED)

Wandering through the wilds of the Amazon, we again encountered Doughy Pantload's latest (Or is this his first?) hardcover excrescence, Liberal Fascism: The Totalitarian Temptation from Hegel to Hillary ClintonWhole Foods. The good news (for Jonah) is that they've finally replaced "Hillary Clinton" w/ "Whole Foods" on the low-resolution image of the cover. The good news (for humanity) is that the publication date has been pushed back again, although only by a week, to 8 January 2008. Expect it to see the light of day by about March of next year, then.

Twofer:

Better Together
Buy this book with
The Enemy At Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11 by Dinesh D'Souza today!
Buy Together Today: $36.24

Oh, Sweet Blood of Jeezis! Those liberal fascist secular-progressives!! It's all their fault!!!
And we quote:
The quintessential Liberal Fascist isn't an SS storm trooper; it is a female grade school teacher with an education degree from Brown or Swarthmore.
These assertions may sound strange to modern ears, but that is because we have forgotten what fascism is. In this angry, funny, smart, contentious book, Jonah Goldberg turns our preconceptions inside out and shows us the true meaning of Liberal Fascism.
Forgotten what fascism is? Take a look at Blackwater. True meaning of "Liberal Fascism?" There is no such thing. Fascism involves state & corporate power combining to render the individual citizen a powerless cog in the corporate machine. That's why "conservative fascism" would be redundant, and there is no "liberal fascism." We haven't looked at Goldberg's Tuesday L. A. Times column yet, but it will doubtless be an equally stupid exercise. Not going to link to it, but it's (surprise) more culture warrioring. And as stupid & ignorant as expected. How does he do it?

UPDATE (3 October 2007 @ 0520 PDT): Came across this w/in the hour:

Archon (not verified) says:
JJRousseau, you wouldn't know a Fascist if it bit you on your butt. "Fascist" is such an overworked word on the left that it has no meaning anymore except that you think the person is "mean." And we all know from the childish bumper sticker that "mean people suck." Actually Fascism and Nazism, as in National Socialism, are left-wing ideologies, (yes, that's right Mussolini and Hitler were leftists) so please spare us your
ignorance and stupidity.October 02, 2007 1:15 PM

So mean people don't suck? Yep, Mussolini & Hitler were leftists alright. That's why Hitler came to power railing against "Jewish-Bolsheviks" & attacked the Soviet Union. (Might've won the war if he hadn't, but he did.) Big "leftist," alright. Turned Germany into a worker's paradise by turning control of the means of production right over to the proletariat, just as soon as that Bolshevik burned down the Reichstag, didn't he? Mussolini may have been some sort of socialist when he started, but he soon enough found where the power was & went right to it. Jesus fucking Fuck, is it any wonder we despise right wing fools? "Spare us your ignorance and stupidity," our ass!! Talk about the Big Lie. Hope you're proud of yourself, Goldberg.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Blackwater Anticipation

Short on time, we'll merely link to various stories from the nation's leading cageliners, fishwrappers, & cat pan liners concerning Blackwater's activities & behavior, in advance of today's Congressional hearings. Knock yourselves out. Also, from Salon, more details of connections to the current administration.

Prince of Blackwater to Testify Today

With Blackwater founder Erik Prince scheduled to testify before a House committee today, let's look at the testimony earlier this year of Jeremy Scahill, author of a book about Blackwater, & his exchange w/ some Congressman from Georgia named Jack Kingston:

REP. JACK KINGSTON: Let me ask you now, being a conservative Christian, there’s a problem with that?
JEREMY SCAHILL: No. There's no problem with being a conservative Christian. The problem --
REP. JACK KINGSTON: Well, you said now -- you said -- I mean, you're saying he gives money to the Republican causes, and then you say to the religious right, and I’m having trouble
connecting that.
JEREMY SCAHILL: OK. Well, let's unpack that a little bit. I have an issue --
REP. JACK KINGSTON: I want to give you an opportunity to -- when you say a guy’s secretive, which is, you know, derogatory. “Multimillionaire who bankrolls the President” is derogatory. And then you put that he’s a conservative Christian. I want to just, you know, give you an opportunity to explain yourself.
JEREMY SCAHILL: I have a concern when someone is running a company that's being tasked with mission-critical activities in a Muslim country who’s a board member of an organization that believes that the Bible is the only infallible word of God. I have a problem with a company whose -- one of its senior executives is an open member of the Military Order of Malta, a Christian militia dating back to the first Crusades. Our president has used that term “crusade.” I think it's disturbing.
REP. JACK KINGSTON: Well, let me claim my time here now. So you wouldn't want a Christian running it. Would you want somebody who’s Jewish? Because, you know, as you know, probably if Iraq --
JEREMY SCAHILL: It's not about the individual religion, Mr. Kingston.
REP. JACK KINGSTON: Israel --
JEREMY SCAHILL: It's not about the religion. It’s about the politics --
REP. JACK KINGSTON: I didn’t bring religion --
JEREMY SCAHILL: It's about the politics of his --
REP. JACK KINGSTON: Reclaiming the time, I didn't bring religion up. You brought it up. You put here that he's a conservative Christian, and then you just stated the reason why you have concern about it. And I can understand what you're saying. But I would also say if Iraq falls, it's quite likely Israel would be next in line. And so, you know, there would be concern from, you know, our Jewish neighbors over there that -- so I just was a little perplexed here.

What a fucking weasel. "Our Jewish neighbors over there..." What, he doesn't want to call Israel his friend, so he'll settle for "neighbors," except there's an ocean & a continent between us & our "neighbors." How much you wanna bet he's got one of those Southern Republican "dry look" hair-dos?Well, he doesn't quite have the full "Trent Lott" going yet, but once he gets a little balder...

Here's a bit from an interview w/ Scahill, from New American Media:
Has it been helpful to be given the name of contractor instead of mercenary?
It’s part of a sophisticated re-branding operation. The mercenary trade association has the very Orwellian name of International Peace Operations Association and its logo is a cartoon lion. When you are talking about Blackwater you are talking about mercenaries.
What does it mean that now they are regarded as part of the “U.S. total force”?
In February 2006 Donald Rumsfeld issued the Pentagon’s quadrennial review which lays out the Pentagon’s vision for years to come. There he classified Blackwater and other contractors as a legitimate part of the total force making up the U.S. war machine. This was legitimacy that they could not have dreamed of. Now Blackwater has taken that designation and used it in two wrongful death suits filed against it – one for the incident in Fallujah and one for a plane crash in Afghanistan. They have said they should be immune from civilian legislation inside the United States because they are essentially part of the U.S. national security apparatus. At the same time it lobbies against placing its men under the US court-martial system.
A tip of the Bouffant chapeau to Marisacat for both of these Q&A sessions.

Out of Uniform, Out of Mind

Scott Horton types at the 19th century American magazine that isn't The Atlantic. But he's no Megan McArdle or Matthew Yglesias, so it's OK. Here's the most inflammatory part of his 25 September item, referring to General Ricardo Sanchez, U. S. Army (ret'd.):

For three months now, Sanchez has been making off-the-record statements. He eventually came to the conclusion, he says, that Republican politics had trumped the national security interests of the United States in the execution of plans in Iraq. The Bush Administration had not planned to win in Iraq, but simply to keep a war running so Bush could run around and play “war president.” That is as devastating a criticism as any general has made of a president since the days of Douglas MacArthur. Unlike MacArthur’s criticisms, however, it has the advantage of being accurate.
"Mission Accomplished!"

Monday, October 1, 2007

Wingnut Welfare from the Government

The rationale for the tax cuts given to the wealthy by the Bush administration is that the wealthy will invest in new businesses, venture capital firms, etc., resulting in innovation, creation of wealth, higher employment & eventually higher tax revenues. Pardon us for a moment while we go "Haw haw haw!!" More like kickbacks to the Bush regime. Probably not even new jobs in the yacht-building industry, nor increases in domestic help staffing. What we do get is a louder drumbeat for the neo-con "We've Always Been at War with Southwestasia" campaign, as shown in The New York Times:
Founded this summer by a dozen wealthy conservatives, the nonprofit group is set apart from most advocacy groups by the immense wealth of its core group of benefactors, its intention to far outspend its rivals and its ambition to pursue a wide-ranging agenda. Its next target: Iran policy. [See the item immediately below.] Next month, Freedom’s Watch will sponsor a private forum of 20 experts on radical Islam that is expected to make the case that Iran poses a direct threat to the security of the United States, according to several benefactors of the group. [...] Mr. Sembler, who is on the board of directors of the American Enterprise Institute, said the impetus for Freedom’s Watch “came out of A.E.I.” last winter. He said that at an institute event in December 2006 he listened to retired Gen. Jack Keane and Frederick W. Kagan, an A.E.I. scholar, talk about the need for a troop increase in Iraq, a plan adopted by Mr. Bush in January. “I realized it was not only what we needed to do,” Mr. Sembler said, “but we needed to articulate this message across the country.”
As the commenter who brought this to our attention said: "Presumably the American Enterprise Institute's credibility is so depleted by the Iraq fiasco that the neocons thought it best to start from scratch."
Mr. Pariser, of MoveOn, said his group’s grass-roots membership — it claims 3.3 million members — was the envy of Freedom’s Watch. “I think people see that Freedom’s Watch is a few billionaires, and not a large, mainstream constituency,” he said. Mr. Blakeman denied the accusation that Freedom’s Watch is a White House front group. “I don’t need their help,” he said of his former colleagues at the White House. “I don’t seek their help. And they don’t offer it.” Mr. Blakeman is a long-time friend of Ed Gillespie, the new counselor to Mr. Bush who succeeded Dan Bartlett. Mr. Blakeman said that he speaks with Mr. Gillespie, but that they are careful not to discuss the activities of Freedom’s Watch.
Mr. Blakeman "led the Bush-Cheney campaign’s public relations effort during the 36 days of the deadlocked election. He left the White House in January 2004," according to the Times. The other high muckety-muck in Freedom's Watch (Is it a diamond-encrusted Patek Phillipe?) is Ari Fleischer, the former Bush admin mouthpiece, who continues his job as a spinmeister, but now at a private sector salary. Lots of innovation & wealth creation there.
Mr. Fleischer said Freedom’s Watch was not coordinating with the White House and had an agenda beyond the Bush administration. “On Jan. 21, 2009, what will these critics say when we are still here, doing the same thing?” he said. “We will still be here after George Bush is gone.”
Mr. Fleischer, we'll be saying that, in exchange for a few hundred thousand dollars a year, you're a parasite & toady, enabling the wealthy in their ignoble quest to plunge this nation into perpetual war. Just as we've always said, you sad little bastard.

Let's Have a (Slightly Different) War

U.S. warships carrying 17,000 personnel enter the Gulf in a show of force off Iran's coast that navy officials said was the largest daytime assembly of ships since the 2003 Iraq war, in this handout photograph taken May 22, 2007. (Xinhua Photo) The New Yorker still arrives in the mailbox each week, addressed to Just Another Blog (From L. A.)™'s late mother, whose subscription will outlive her by 16 mos. & a wk. So much for planning. Nonetheless, some people continue to plan, including those in the Bush administration, who have been planning for war w/ any country they can find since entering office. And sometimes they change their plans a little bit.

In next wk.'s New Yorker (Why wait for the Postal Service when you have the Internet?) Seymour Hersh details everything told him by anonymous gov't. & former gov't. sources about the most recent plans to attack Iran. Which is now a part of our continuing series of links & selections, "Let's Have a War (So You Can Go Die)."

Essentially, the administration hasn't convinced any one but the habitual pants-wetters that Iran is an immediate "nook-u-ler" threat. It has, however, convinced the bloodthirstier elements of the right that Iran is behind all the troubles in Iraq, & realized that Iran is the nation coming out ahead in the mess that Bush caused in the Middle East. So rather than bombing anywhere Iran might have nuclear facilities, they now want "surgical" strikes on Revolutionary Guard Corps targets. The better informed among our vast audience may remember that last week the Senate passed a resolution urging the State Dep't. to declare the RGC a "terrorist" organization.

Let's steal some quotes:

At a White House meeting with Cheney this summer, according to a former senior intelligence official, it was agreed that, if limited strikes on Iran were carried out, the Administration could fend off criticism by arguing that they were a defensive action to save soldiers in Iraq. If Democrats objected, the Administration could say, “Bill Clinton did the same thing; he conducted limited strikes in Afghanistan, the Sudan, and in Baghdad to protect American lives.” The former intelligence official added, “There is a desperate effort by Cheney et al. to bring military action to Iran as soon as possible. Meanwhile, the politicians are saying, ‘You can’t do it, because every Republican is going to be defeated, and we’re only one fact from going over the cliff in Iraq.’ But Cheney doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the Republican worries, and neither does the President.”
[...]
In mid-August, senior officials told reporters that the Administration intended to declare Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps a foreign terrorist organization. And two former senior officials of the C.I.A. told me that, by late summer, the agency had increased the size and the authority of the Iranian Operations Group. (A spokesman for the agency said, “The C.I.A. does not, as a rule, publicly discuss the relative size of its operational components.”)
“They’re moving everybody to the Iran desk,” one recently retired C.I.A. official said. “They’re dragging in a lot of analysts and ramping up everything. It’s just like the fall of 2002”—the months before the invasion of Iraq, when the Iraqi Operations Group became the most important in the agency. He added, “The guys now running the Iranian program have limited direct experience with Iran. In the event of an attack, how will the Iranians react? They will react, and the Administration has not thought it all the way through.”
[...]
Iran would likely react to an American attack
[said Zbigniew Brzezinski] “by intensifying the conflict in Iraq and also in Afghanistan, their neighbors, and that could draw in Pakistan. We will be stuck in a regional war for twenty years.”
Ah, there's Bush's legacy. The war that will make Vietnam look like Grenada. Though it will probably turn out much worse than Vietnam.

And that sad old neo-con bastard Norman Podhoretz turns up again:

Many of those who support the President’s policy argue that Iran poses an imminent threat. In a recent essay in Commentary, Norman Podhoretz depicted President Ahmadinejad as a revolutionary, “like Hitler . . . whose objective is to overturn the going international system and to replace it . . . with a new order dominated by Iran. . . . [T]he plain and brutal truth is that if Iran is to be prevented from developing a nuclear arsenal, there is no alternative to the actual use of military force.” Podhoretz concluded, “I pray with all my heart” that President Bush “will find it possible to take the only action that can stop Iran from following through on its evil intentions both toward us and toward Israel.” Podhoretz recently told politico.com that he had met with the President for about forty-five minutes to urge him to take military action against Iran, and believed that “Bush is going to hit” Iran before leaving office. (Podhoretz, one of the founders of neoconservatism, is a strong backer of Rudolph Giuliani’s Presidential campaign, and his son-in-law, Elliott Abrams, is a senior adviser to President Bush on national security.)
More details:
The revised bombing plan for a possible attack, with its tightened focus on counterterrorism, is gathering support among generals and admirals in the Pentagon. The strategy calls for the use of sea-launched cruise missiles and more precisely targeted ground attacks and bombing strikes, including plans to destroy the most important Revolutionary Guard training camps, supply depots, and command and control facilities. "Cheney’s option is now for a fast in and out—for surgical strikes,” the former senior American intelligence official told me. The Joint Chiefs have turned to the Navy, he said, which had been chafing over its role in the Air Force-dominated air war in Iraq. “The Navy’s planes, ships, and cruise missiles are in place in the Gulf and operating daily. They’ve got everything they need—even AWACS are in place and the targets in Iran have been programmed. The Navy is flying FA-18 missions every day in the Gulf.” There are also plans to hit Iran’s anti-aircraft surface-to-air missile sites. “We’ve got to get a path in and a path out,” the former official said. A Pentagon consultant on counterterrorism told me that, if the bombing campaign took place, it would be accompanied by a series of what he called “short, sharp incursions” by American Special Forces units into suspected Iranian training sites. He said, “Cheney is devoted to this, no question.” A limited bombing attack of this sort “only makes sense if the intelligence is good,” the consultant said. If the targets are not clearly defined, the bombing “will start as limited, but then there will be an ‘escalation special.’ Planners will say that we have to deal with Hezbollah here and Syria there. The goal will be to hit the cue ball one time and have all the balls go in the pocket. But add-ons are always there in strike planning.”
[...]
The adviser said that he had heard from a source in Iran that the Revolutionary Guards have been telling religious leaders that they can stand up to an American attack. “The Guards are claiming that they can infiltrate American security,” the adviser said. “They are bragging that they have spray-painted an American warship—to signal the Americans that they can get close to them.” (I was told by the former senior intelligence official that there was an unexplained incident, this spring, in which an American warship was spray-painted with a bull’s-eye while docked in Qatar, which may have been the source of the boasts.) “Do you think those crazies in Tehran are going to say, ‘Uncle Sam is here! We’d better stand down’? ” the former senior intelligence official said. “The reality is an attack will make things ten times warmer.”
Another recent incident, in Afghanistan, reflects the tension over intelligence. In July, the London Telegraph reported that what appeared to be an SA-7 shoulder-launched missile was fired at an American C-130 Hercules aircraft. The missile missed its mark. Months earlier, British commandos had intercepted a few truckloads of weapons, including one containing a working SA-7 missile, coming across the Iranian border. But there was no way of determining whether the missile fired at the C-130 had come from Iran—especially since SA-7s are available through black-market arms dealers.

Vincent Cannistraro, a retired C.I.A. officer who has worked closely with his counterparts in Britain, added to the story: “The Brits told me that they were afraid at first to tell us about the incident—in fear that Cheney would use it as a reason to attack Iran.” The intelligence subsequently was forwarded, he said. The retired four-star general confirmed that British intelligence “was worried” about passing the information along. “The Brits don’t trust the Iranians,” the retired general said, “but they also don’t trust Bush and Cheney.”
Just Another Blog™ doesn't trust any of these douchebags, Cheney, Bush, Iranian religious fanatics, all of them probably listening to voices in their heads telling them what Jesus or Mohammad wants them to do. What kind of species allows people like this to lead it?

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Search of the Day (So Far)

Today's wacky search item comes from Columbia, MD: Search Engine: search.comcast.net Search Words: "heteralsexual intercourse" Yes, if you search for those keywords, Just Another Blog (From L. A.)™ is NUMBER ONE, as a result of this item, wherein Just Another Blog™ (before converting to the odd combination of the editorial we & referring to ourself in the third person) republished something from ABC News & then made mock of the commenters. How long ago that was, how innocent we were.

Ever seen a two headed racoon? A bus full of kids did in 1998. Nope, not natural but nature is imperfect and anyone not heteralsexual should not be discriminated as any less the a natural produce of an imperfect world. Posted by: webwaxer Jun-6

No man on two-headed raccoon sex either, Godammit!!!

Ever seen a two headed racoon? A bus load of kids did in 1998. Nature isn't perfect, never was and never will be. We must respect diversity. Posted by: webwaxer Jun-6

I guess that's better.

Unless "webwaxer" & the searcher from Columbia, MD are one & the same, we're not sure if we're surprised that more than one person thinks it's spelled "heteralsexual." Or is this the same searcher who was looking for "good old fashioned" whatnot. We guess that'd be the same thing.

From the Stall to the Closet (UPDATED)

Today's the day that Idaho's sweetheart, the swingin' Senator, Larry Craig, "intended to resign," according to his big announcement of 1 September. Except he decided to cop out of his guilty plea & fight the power. So it doesn't look as if he'll be leaving soon. It's far from impossible that he'll be found not guiltyget off, though Just Another Blog (From L. A.)™ would like to see him do some time. (Bet he wouldn't mind either).

Enough cheap shots in Sen. Larry's direction, there are other targets out there, as Pensito Review reveals. Here are four of them.
We don't give a shit what these clowns do in private, it's really none of our effin' beeswax, but living a lie is just not good for the non-existent soul, & in the case of an elected closet case, it may not be too good for the people they're supposed to be representing. Or in some cases, it may be fatal. We'll merely give you the headline for the first part of PR's report:
Rep. Patrick McHenry’s Connection to Gay Murderer Confirmed
It involves an "escort service," & seems to go farther than anything Barney Frank's "roomie" did on the 'phones in the basement. Mainstream media coverage? Not much, after the first reports attributed it to a "lover's quarrel."

Seems like Rep. Drier is already peeping coyly around the door, so we won't bother w/ him. Besides we can't wait to get to Sen. Graham. Look at his picture up there again.
South Carolina Republicans Would Be Unhappy to Learn that Sen. Lindsey Graham Is Gay
If it were to come out that McCain’s Mini-Me, Sen. Graham,
is gay, his chances of being reelected in South Carolina next year would drop to zero:
Lindsey Graham (R-SC), an unmarried/never married 52 year old with a funny, forced way of walking, has been far more fastidious with his homosexuality [than former Rep. Mark Foley was]. Again, “everyone” knows– except the voters in conservative South Carolina. Not that it doesn’t come up from time to time; people talk. In fact, the head of the Democratic Party in South Carolina said something when the effeminate Lindsey decided to run for Thurmond’s senate seat. “He’s a little too light in the loafers” to succeed Strom Thurmond. Graham got into a really queenie tizzy fit and loudly threatened to sue– although he didn’t. (They never do.)
Other famous never-married GOP figures in their 50s include White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and Sec. of State Condoleeza Rice.
Disclaimer: Just Another Blog (From L. A.)™ is in its 50s, has never married or had children (to the best of its knowledge) & lives in West Hollywood. However, it is not a closeted Republican (or closeted anything else, not that there's anything wrong w/ that) and none of these folks may be either. Though we heard some stuff about Sec'y. Rice a couple of weeks ago.

Sen. Mitch has something to hide too, but it may be cowardice. (Is he chinless or is it just that huge jowl or wattle or whatever you call it?) When his Army career was cut short, it was the height of the Vietnam War, & he certainly wouldn't have been the first or last to stay out of that mess by grabbing something.
“Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s quick expulsion from the Army — for fondling a private’s privates — is finally being discussed in Kentucky.” He notes that McConnell, discharged after just 10 days in the Army in 1967, “has consistently prevented anyone from seeing his military discharge papers” but a Freedom of Information suit may bring them to light. (After the revelation of Craig’s arrest and confession, McConnell cosigned a statement with other top Republican legislators stating, “This is a serious matter” and indicating he is examining “other aspects of the case to determine if additional action is required.”)
We'll let Jon Ponder of Pensito Review wrap this up on a cheerful note:

As we noted last week, Republicans painted themselves into this gay corner when they formed their star-crossed coalition with Christian nationalists in 1979. It was never a good fit. Country club Republicans don’t generally care about discussing family values, and going to church is not the central focus of their lives — not hardly.
The GOP could find itself right back where it was after Watergate. Bush and his toadying to the Christian right has driven away the right-leaning independents. Without the support of the poor, dumbass so-called Christians, there aren’t enough country clubbers and anti-taxers out there to win a national election. Status quo circa 1977.
If the secret lives of any of these men are revealed as the election cycle ratchets up, the Christianists could well seek solace in a third party next year, leaving the GOP’s Washington elite literally without a base to stand on.

UPDATE (30 September 2007 @ 1400): The Washington Post details how Republicans are trying to embarrass Sen. Craig into getting out of town, by holding an open ethics hearing:

The committee also could look for "a pattern of conduct" -- which means combing court records in other locales to discover whether Craig had prior arrests that haven't come to light.