Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Instant Karma: Julia's Son & Grandson (& PHOTO UPDATE)

John Lennon's B-day (1940) & his son Sean's (1975) as well. Photos w/ Sean added 20 October 2007. Quite a resemblance, huh?

Monday, October 8, 2007

Morning Schmoe, & a U. S. Official on Blackwater

We've already cheap-shotted Joe Scarborough a couple of times. Now we can see what a weasel he truly is: And in an op-ed in what we affectionately refer to as the "local fishwrapper," a woman who served as a "U. S. official" (apparently she was a "political officer," whatever that means) in Iraq describes her experiences w/ Blackwater contractors:

But much more appalling than the ride was the deleterious effect each movement through town had on the already beleaguered people of Iraq. I began to wonder whether my meetings, intended to further U.S. policy goals and improve the lives of Iraqis, were doing more harm than good. With our drivers honking at, cutting off, pelting with water bottles (a favorite tactic) and menacing with weapons anyone in their way, how many enemies were we creating? [...] As we approached at typical breakneck speed, the Blackwater driver honked furiously and motioned to the side, as if they should pull over. The kids in the back seat looked back in horror, mouths agape at the sight of the heavily armored Suburbans driven by large, armed men in dark sunglasses. The poor Iraqi driver frantically searched for a means of escape, but there was none. So the lead Blackwater vehicle smashed heedlessly into the car, pushing it into the barrier. We zoomed by too quickly to notice if anyone was hurt. Until that point I had never mentioned anything to my drivers about their tactics, but this time I could not contain myself. "Where do you all expect them to go?" I shrieked. "It was an old guy and a family, for goodness' sake. Was it necessary for them to destroy their poor old car?" My driver responded impassively: "Ma'am, we've been trained to view anyone as a potential threat. You don't know who they might use as decoys or what the risks are. Terrorists could be disguised as anyone." "Well, if they weren't terrorists before, they certainly are now!" I retorted. Sulking in my seat, I was stunned by the driver's indifference. [...] As we do the work of bridge building and improving our host citizens' lives, if the people providing our transportation and security are antagonizing, angering and even killing the people we are putatively trying to help, our entire mission is undermined.
"But, but, the hell w/ the (often actually physical) impression these clowns leave, not one American they've protected has been killed!" says the right-wing cowboy crowd. And of course Ms. Gans is an "ingrate" when she mentions that the activities of Blackwater subverted her mission to help the Iraqi people.

Blackwater Humour

Older People: As always, click strip for legibility.
From "get your war on." Truncated version (?) first spotted @ DOC 40.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Sunday Sermon

"Ah don' care ef et rains er freezes/All Ah need's mah plastic Jee-zis/Settin' awn the dashboard of mah car." Bet this'n glows in the dark, too!
It's the Lord's Day (Doesn't the Constitution say something about no fucking "nobility" in the country? Why yes it does: "No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States." Article I, Section 9, Paragraph 8.) so let's look at what's up in the world of said unconstitutional activities.

Here's a whopper: Oral Roberts' son, Richard, appears to be a dick.
Oral Roberts University President Richard Roberts says God is speaking again, telling him to deny lurid allegations in a lawsuit that threatens to engulf this 44-year-old Bible Belt college in scandal.
Likewise Oral's daughter-in-law, Lindsay (Well, she may not be a "dick," exactly, but she seems to like the idea of "dick"):
She is accused of dropping tens of thousands of dollars on clothes, awarding nonacademic scholarships to friends of her children and sending scores of text messages on university-issued cell phones to people described in the lawsuit as "underage males."

[...]

Colleagues fear for the reputation of the university and the future of the Roberts' ministry, which grew from Southern tent revivals to one of the most successful evangelical empires in the country, hauling in tens of millions of dollars in contributions a year. The university reported nearly $76 million in revenue in 2005, according to the IRS.
Oral Roberts is 89 and lives in California. He holds the title of chancellor, but the university describes him as semi-retired, and his son presides over day-to-day operations on the campus, which had a modern, space-age design when it was built in the early 1960s but now looks dated, like Disney's Tomorrowland.
Don't you just love how these little empires stay right in the family? As feudal as their religions. And one must wonder about the "reputation" of the "University."
Cornell Cross II, a senior from Burlington, Vt., said he is looking to transfer to another school because the scandal has "severely devalued and hurt the reputation of my degree."
"We have asked and asked and asked to see the finances of our school and what they're doing with our money, and we've been told no," said, Cross who is majoring in government. "Now we know why. As a student, I'm not going to stand for it any longer."

Majoring in gov't. at ORU? Is this another one of those Jerry Falwell/Pat Robertson deals where they fill the Justice Dep't. & any other agencies they can w/ little weasels more interested in their Bible than our Constitution?

Here's the lawsuit, in a pdf stylee. And here are the bullet points, well summarized by another web log operator, to save time:
• Richard Roberts ordered that university funds and resources be used to favor a candidate in a contested partisan race - an action that is illegal for tax-exempt corporations.
• The university furnishes the Roberts with complete housing benefits that include: 13 internet/cable connections, wide-screen televisions, hot tubs, and furnishings.
• The Roberts' home has been remodeled 11 times in the last 14 years.
• A longtime maintenance employee was fired so that an underage male friend of Mrs. Roberts could have his position.
• The Roberts children vandalized and damaged university property, but the university was never reimbursed for this damage.
• Dormitories received extensive structural modifications for the exclusive use of the Roberts' daughters, and all costs were passed on to the university.
• Richard Roberts' 2,000 square foot home office was remodeled into a walk-in closet to accommodate Mrs. Roberts' wardrobe. The wardrobe was paid for by the television production cost center.
• The Roberts family charged over $51,000 in clothing to the university, which was recorded as a business expense.
• Mrs. Roberts was given a white Lexus SUV and a red Mercedes convertible by ministry donors - including all insurance costs. Ministry Security was flown to Atlanta to take possession of her Mercedes and drive it back to Tulsa.
• Mrs. Roberts and her daughters frequently had cell-phone bills of more than $800 per month - the university pays this bill without limit.
• Records indicate that Mrs. Roberts replaced 21 cell phones within a two year period.
• Mrs. Roberts sent 800 text messages in a four month period. Many of those messages were sent between 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. to "underage males who had been provided phones at university expense."
• The Roberts' daughters were home schooled in a "guest house" that had been renovated into a classroom. The room remained a guest house for tax purposes, and was paid for by ORU. No guests have ever stayed in the guest house.
• Richard Roberts maintains complete control over the university's airplane. Though no vice-president or regent has access to this university asset, the plane was used to ferry one of the Roberts' daughters to her senior trip in Orlando, Florida and another trip to the Bahamas.
• During the Bahama trip, that daughter stayed at the Atlantis hotel and resort. The Ministry was billed for the trip as an "evangelistic function for the president." The bill was $29,411.
• Mrs. Roberts spent over $39,000 at one clothing store - Chico's - in less than one year. She's quoted in nine different statements as saying, "As long as I wear it once on TV, we can charge it off."
• The university and ministry maintain a stable of horses for exclusive use by the Roberts children.
• Mrs. Roberts awarded 13 non-academic, non-need-based scholarships to friends of her children, two of whom had test scores below ORU's admission requirement. When a university employee questioned the admission of the unqualified students, Mrs. Roberts ordered that they be admitted without questioning and that the employee be fired.
These two bozos, and every other one of the TV turkeys who run one of these scams, live like kings on the donations of deluded, often impoverished, fools. Paul & Jan Crouch of Trinity Broadcasting Network, for example. What money they don't scam goes to more telebision time & stations to raise more donations, not to help any one. Except of course for the "prayer lines." We've never called one (Depressed, yes. Stupid, no.) but we'd bet that there's a plea for money in the script right after the "prayer request" is taken.

Continuing on the infiltrating the gummint tip, here from the Xtian Science (there's an actually murderous, not merely financial, scam) Monitor is the story of "end-times" evangelizing, especially at the Air Force Academy, which is unfortunate enough to be located in the epicenter of this crap, Colorado Springs, CO, home to such scum buckets as "Dr." James C. Dobson, & a large assortment of other such outfits. Everybody's favorite evangelical meth-user & gay hypocrite, Ted Haggard, used to run his New Life church there, 'til they ran him out of town on a rail. Enough cheap shots, let's look at the allegations:
On Sept. 17, the soldier and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) filed suit against Army Maj. Freddy Welborn and US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, charging violations of Hall's constitutional rights, including being forced to submit to a religious test to qualify as a soldier.
The MRFF plans more lawsuits in coming weeks, says Michael "Mikey" Weinstein, who founded the military watchdog group in 2005. The aim is "to show there is a pattern and practice of constitutionally impermissible promotions of religious beliefs within the Department of Defense."
For Mr. Weinstein – a former Air Force judge advocate and assistant counsel in the Reagan White House – more is involved than isolated cases of discrimination. He charges that several incidents in recent years – and more than 5,000 complaints his group has received from active-duty and retired military personnel – point to a growing willingness inside the military to support a particular brand of Christianity and to permit improper evangelizing in the ranks. More than 95 percent of those complaints come from other Christians, he says.

[...]

Weinstein insists, however, that there are improper actions at high levels that not only infringe on soldiers' rights but, at a very dangerous time, also send the wrong message to people in the Middle East that those in the US military see themselves engaged in Christian warfare. For example, he says, Lt. Gen. William Boykin, who gave speeches at churches while in uniform that disparaged Islam and defined the war on terror in fundamentalist, "end times" terms, was not fired but promoted. (Speaking of a Muslim warlord he had pursued, Lt. Gen. Boykin said, "I knew my God was a real God and his was an idol." And our enemies "will only be defeated if we come against them in the name of Jesus.")
"There's an eschatologically obsessed version of Christianity that ... is trying to make American foreign and domestic policy conterminous with their biblical worldview," Weinstein charges. And "there's improper pressure within the military command structure to make members join them."


[...]

Col. David Antoon (ret.), another alumnus of the AFA and now a 747 commercial pilot, says his heart was broken when he took his son, Ryan, to an orientation at the academy in the spring of 2004. An overt evangelistic approach during part of the orientation so upset them, he says, that they decided his son would reject the treasured appointment and instead go to Ohio State University. "My son had dreamed of doing what I had done, but it was no longer the institution I went to," Colonel Antoon says, his voice cracking with emotion.
The Air Force set about reaffirming basic principles in religion guidelines, as a basis for widespread training, but a pushback by Evangelicals later led to Congress setting them aside until hearings could be held. The hearings have not taken place.

What are we waiting for? Someone in Congress to grow a backbone, we suppose. Could be a long wait.

In 2006, MRFF learned of a video produced by Christian Embassy, a group that conducts Bible studies at the Pentagon and seeks to evangelize within the armed services. Aimed at fundraising for the group, the video was improperly taped in the Pentagon and involved endorsements by Army and Air Force generals in uniform.
MRFF's public alert spurred a DOD investigation. In a report critical of the senior officers, the Inspector General said they gave the appearance of speaking for the military. One general defended his role by saying "Christian Embassy had become a quasi-federal entity."
The report noted that Maj. Gen. Paul Sutton participated while he served as chief of the US Office of Defense Cooperation in Turkey, a largely Muslim nation whose military takes pride in protecting the
country's secular status. After a Turkish newspaper wrote about the video as promoting a "fundamentalist sect," General Sutton was called in and questioned by members of the Turkish General Staff.
"They had to give him a lesson in the separation of church and state," Weinstein says. "Imagine the propaganda bonanza! And how this upset Muslims."
The DOD report on the video recommended "appropriate corrective action" be taken against the officers. According to Army spokesman Paul Boyce, "The Army has not yet completed any planned actions associated with the Christian Embassy review."

The Christian Embassy (that "quasi-federal entity") has removed the "improperly taped" video from their website, but it is available at the MRFF site (TRT: 11:54). Note especially one Jack Catton, Major General, USAF, & "director on the joint staff," who states (@ 4:16 in): "I'm an old-fashioned American, and my first priority is my faith in God, then my family, then my country." Excuse me, General, did you not you swear some sort of oath to protect & preserve the Constitution? Do we want a guy w/ these priorities anywhere near a nuclear warhead? If he thinks his "god" has told him to nuke Mecca, is he going to do that, hide his family somewhere in Idaho, & then worry about what may happen to the U. S.? Or is it just nuke 'em all & let "god" sort 'em out after the rapture?
Weinstein – an intense, voluble attorney who prizes blunt, no-holds-barred language – has struck more than one nerve with his bird-dogging. He says numerous threats have been made on his life. Last week, the front window of his house was shot out for the second time. After the lawsuit was filed, talk of "fragging" (killing) Specialist Hall surfaced on some military blogs. The Army is investigating.

[...]

Several conservative Christian ministries publicly proclaim an evangelistic aim "to transform the nations of the world through the militaries of the world," and they are active at US military installations in many countries. (See: www.militaryministry.org or militarymissionsnetwork.org.)
Again we must ask, which is more dangerous to the American Way of Life™? Bearded, turbaned fundamentalist Islamic psychopaths hiding in a cave on the other side of the world, who think they can establish a caliphate by random acts of violence & destruction that are as likely as a bolt of lightning to hurt American citizens? Or slick-ass, media-savvy Christian fundamentalist psychopaths in suits & ties who are already too influential in our society, & hope to gain control of the world by controlling its militaries, w/ the eventual intention of destroying said world so their magical sky-fairy god can lead all of the "good" people to heaven? Which of these two groups are truly dangerous to us?

Sound Advice from a Not-So-Sound Mind (Ours)

Late to the party as usual, Just Another Blog (From L. A.)™ only realized earlier this a. m. that October (besides being "Rocktober" @ "classic rock" radio stations nationwide) is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Then we saw Mrs. Brett Favre (a survivor) on Sunday Night Football, & even as we type this ABC News is starting a week-long series on breast cancer. All of which eventually reminded us that our mother (& her mother before her) was a breast cancer survivor. Her heart gave out a few months ago, so cancer wasn't on our minds, but she did, as John Wayne put it, "beat the Big C." (Lumpectomy & radiation treatment. Her mother had to have a double mastectomy. Progress is being made.) None of our female friends & acquaintances (NB: Men can get it too. Not common, but it does happen.) have had it (yet) but it's probably bound to happen, & none of us are getting any younger, if you know what we mean. So visit the croaker, get that mammogram (early detection via breasts-in-a-wringer gave my mother 15+ yrs. before her heart got bored w/ the whole thing) feel yourself up, whatever it takes, ladies. This is not an excuse to run photos of female human breasts, but it is a reason to link to them (Yes, some are nekkid. Happy now, you voyeuristic male gazers?) and further info, all from a second grade teaching, recovering attorney, libertarian lesbian. What, we're going to send you to some Internet public service announcement? Alright, enough w/ non-controversial public service & Just Another Blog™'s personal suffering, it's back to rage & abuse! Bastards!!!

Sinking Ship Minus Rats Equals ?

In your mind's eye, slap the manhole cover & cockroaches from this altered Michael Ramirez illustration on the Eastern Seaboard. Not that it doesn't work well on the Middle East, but for story purposes imagine that the water is the Potomac, not the Persian Gulf.
Nightmares. Lost friendships. Anger. The skies darkened by flocks of birds returning to their roosts. That about sums up the White House of late as more & more of Bush's corps of enablers/"advisers" stream out like cockroaches fleeing for darkness when the kitchen light is turned on, hoping to salvage something of their lives, careers & bank accounts.
Good luck, vermin. Aw, who are we kidding? Look where they wind up:
Most of those who have left in recent months are hitting the speaking circuit, considering book contracts or joining consulting firms. Peter Wehner took a position at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, Peter Feaver returned to teach at Duke University, Inboden has been hired to open a think tank in London. Former budget director Rob Portman has gone back to Cincinnati, where he plans to practice law and maybe run for governor.
Rove already has multiple options. While on the phone from Dallas before a meeting on the future Bush library, he excused himself to answer a knock at the hotel door. A package arrived and he ripped it open. "I sign it and suddenly I'm a lot richer," he said with Rovian mirth. What kind of contract, he would not say. It was not a book contract; Bartlett said nearly 20 publishers are competing for Rove's book.
[...]
As for O'Sullivan, she has taken a fellowship at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government while she
ponders her next step.

Is there no punishment for these people, no justice? A suggestion from Joe Klein:
In May, Klein used his Time magazine blog to directly challenge a Wehner essay on politics and the war, chastising his onetime friend for ignoring "the lives lost and shattered" and the "vast damage" to U.S. standing done by the Iraq war. "I have two pieces of career advice," Klein wrote to Wehner. "Stop writing this swill and think about penance. Take some time to clear your head, a lot of time, and pay for your sins by emptying bedpans at Walter Reed."
We'd suggest that these sub-humans serve as actual bedpans, but that's just us.

Inspiration for the crypto-Nazi tone of this item provided by Pirate's Cove & Blue Star Chronicles, as well as Michael Ramirez, the illustrator. After all, what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. (We're the gander, they're the geese.)

Rule, Britannia, Britannia, Blargle, Mumble, Aaa...!

NEWS FLASH!! BRITS SURRENDER!!! QUEEN HANDS ORB, SCEPTRE & CROWN TO BIN LADEN; DIAPER-HEADS TAKE POWER!
See? It's right here in The New Media Journal. Obviously the liberal Old Media has been hiding this from us!
Democrats in Congress aren’t the only ones fighting hard to hand victory to the free world’s terrorist enemies. Now the Sunday Telegraph reports that under new Labour Party leadership, the British Ministry of Defense will reduce the number of warships in the Royal Navy. The fleet would be reduced by an aircraft carrier, two submarines, and eight frigates initially. Some observers predict that the 103-ship Royal Navy will be reduced by half in the next twenty years, leaving the United Kingdom unable to mount an operation that would match in scale the successful Falklands campaign of 1982.
We didn't know the terrorists were on islands somewhere. We thought the terrorists were hiding in caves in Pakistan's North West Territories. (See? You can spell "terrorist" & still have an "i" & an "e" left over!) Not sure what good frigates will do against cave dwellers, but Lance Thompson seems convinced downsizing is a bad thing. Let's see, the Navy of Islamic Jihad has how many aircraft carriers? And the Brits are downsizing? Horrors! Shocking!
We’ll put aside the sentimental remembrances of the centuries of Royal Navy domination of the seas, when ships flying St. George’s ensign maintained not only Britain’s far-flung empire, but also the orderly conduct of commerce throughout the world. Whether its enemies were pirates, the Spanish Armada, Napoleon’s fleet, or the German High Seas Fleet, the Royal Navy shouldered the burden of defending England and enforcing the rule of law at sea.
Yes, do put aside the sentiment for Empire & Commerce. And while you're putting it aside by reminding us of it, don't even bother to mention other enemies of the Royal Navy, like John Paul Jones & the Bon Homme Richard, or that "enforcing the rule of law at sea" included the press gangs that led to the War of 1812. Or that the United States taxpayer & Navy took over the duties of protecting empire & commerce after the Second World War.
The United Kingdom, like all nations that stand up for freedom, is at war with Islamic terrorists and their state sponsors. The focus of this war is currently in Afghanistan and Iraq, but there is no question that the terrorist enemy recruits, plots, and carries out attacks all over the world–from the Middle East to Indonesia, from Europe to North and South America. The challenges to the armed forces of free nations are staggering, even as those forces are stretched thin by the continuing fight. The Royal Navy is integral to the United Kingdom’s contribution to this struggle.
Rather, old chap. Place an aircraft carrier in the London Underground or at a tourist club in Bali, & those terrorist chaps shan't be able to recruit anyone, to say nothing of exploding one of their ruddy bombs. And submarines at the train depots in Madrid would've quashed that unpleasantness. Tally ho!
[I]t is at least unusual for a government to disarm in the middle of a war. Disarming while the fight continues can only mean one thing–Gordon Brown’s government is throwing in the towel.

But the Labour Party in England, like the Democratic Party in the United States, either does not believe their nation needs to be defended, or that it doesn’t deserve to be. In the face of the terrorist enemy, both positions serve the enemy.
No, you inane drone, no one is "disarming." The pointless military action & threats you seem to want only benefit terrorists, by increasing resentment & recruitment. The Labour Party realizes that, as terrorism is committed by civilians on civilian populations & infrastructure, perhaps the resources of the U. K. might be better used for intelligence gathering & combating the small cells that terrorists operate in, rather than steaming around the Persian Gulf or wherever, pretending it's WWII all over again. A lesson sadly lost on George W. Bush & his handlers/enablers.
Lance Thompson is a script doctor [Hollywood Insider's Note: "Script doctor" means he can't sell a script to save his life, and is reduced to turning shit into mere crap.] who has written for movies and television, and is a freelance writer and photographer for magazines and newspapers. He lives in Meridian, Idaho, with his wife and daughter and does not own a cell phone.
Just Another Blog (From L. A.)™ has no truck with cell 'phones either, but we don't make a big deal of it. Chances are Lance & family live in a shack far from the nearest cell tower, & he makes his wife home-school their daughter so she doesn't get any "ideas," if you know what we mean.

And we'd be remiss if we left you w/o The New Media Journal's little disclaimer:
Photographs featured in The New Media Journal are for educational purposes only. While some of them are factual in nature others are creations meant to incite thought to further the socio-political and ideological conversation amongst of our readers. Contact the editor for a link request to The New Media Journal. The New Media Journal is not affiliated with any mainstream media or ideological organizations . The New Media Journal is not supported by any political organization. The New Media Journal is a group of non-compensated, independent writers bringing researched, fact-based commentary to the public in the midst of the mainstream media's blatant, agenda-driven bias. The New Media Journal is a non-profit educational effort.
Who, us? Agenda? No, no, it's the mainstream media that has the agenda. We're as pure & honest as the day is long.