Tuesday, November 6, 2007

She Was Only In It For The Money

As Slave Girl Moolah:
The Fabulous Moolah (born as Mary Lillian Ellison) Women's Wrasslin' Champ for the longest time ever, has made her last drop kick, at the age of 84.Above: Moolah at work.

We guess what they say about Baltimore is right (Edgar Allan Poe, John Waters, John Doe) 'cause the Baltimore Sun has a wrasslin' blog, which debunks the urban legend that Moolah held the belt continuously from the '50s to the '80s.Most impressive? She went out w/ Hank Williams (the real one, not Bocephus):
"He had just gotten divorced from Audrey, and we started dating. But after about a year I could tell it wouldn't work out. He was on the road seven days a week and under a lot of stress. It was hard on him. When he would get to drinking and mix it with other stuff, he would get really. . .demanding. What broke us up was, he said, 'Lilly, when you become Mrs. Hank Williams, you can forget about this damn wrestling.' I said, 'I beg your pardon.' It was over after that. A lot of times I feel sorry that happened, but it was for the best."

Sometimes that's the way it goes in show bidness, if you're dedicated to your art.Moolah later in life. She last regained the title at the age of 76. What a trouper.

Just Wondering: Is the Richard Goldstein who wrote Moolah's NYT obit the same Richard Goldstein who writes for The Nation, & was executive editor of The Village Voice & author of The Poetry of Rock?

E Minus 365, & Holding Our Nose

Just a year now 'til the big election. Don't know if this is the only gubernatorial race going on today, but the results may mean something for next year. Or may not, esp. as we here @ Just Another Blog (From L. A.)™ know absolutely nothing about any of the candidates, & not much about Kentucky itself, other than as the home of both bourbon whiskey & our late cousin Norma.
There is more electoral action: Haley Barbour was apparently reëlected in Mississippi, because somehow Federal funds for Katrina relief were a lot easier to get to Mississippi than to Louisiana, which of course would 'splain a Republican grabbing the governorship there a wk. or two ago. This is a bloated toad, not to be confused w/ Gov. Barbour, though it'd be easy to do.

Pakistan's Problem? Privatisation!

From Pakistan's leading English newspaper:
KARACHI, Oct 16: Eminent labour leader Habibuddin Junaidi on Tuesday said that the policies of privatisation and downsizing imposed by the present rulers had rendered more than 0.8 million labourers jobless. In a statement issued here on Tuesday, he said that workers had been suffering for past 10 years due to the privatisation and downsizing which had affected hundreds of thousands of families as the policies had resulted in the closure of more than 4,000 industrial units.
He said that promulgation of Industrial Relation Ordinance-2002 and inclusion of Article 27-B in the Banking Companies Ordinance were hanging over workers like a sword.

He appealed to all labour organisations and every worker to join hands against privatization and downsizing.—PPI
Commenting @ Sadly, No!, Mandos indicates that the story we are not getting is that the Pakistani courts are not going along w/ Mushy's privatisation plans. I think we all agree that making sure there's profit (on the backs of workers, of course) involved is the best way to stop terrorism & keep Pakistan's nuclear weapons out of the hands of the Taliban or Bin Laden. Don't you?

Dawn again:
HYDERABAD, Oct 23: Employees of Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (Hesco), on the call given by Pakistan Wapda Hydro Electric Central Labour Union, staged demonstrations and rallies across the province (CBA) on Tuesday in protest against proposed bifurcation and privatisation of Wapda [Water And Power Development Authority - Ed.] and growing joblessness, price hikes, lawlessness and terrorism in the country.

In Hyderabad, hundreds of Hesco employees led by central chairman of the CBA, Abdul Latif Nizamani, provincial secretary Iqbal Kaimkhani, Malik Sultan and Qazi Saleem Anwar staged a procession, which started from Labour Hall and terminated at the press club after marching on different roads.

Mr Nizamani said that 150,000 Wapda employees would not tolerate the authority’s bifurcation at any cost. The administration of Wapda in Sindh paid half month’s salary to employees as Eid advance although the Punjab government had paid full salary to all its employees, he complained. He demanded that the half month salary should be counted towards bonus else the employees would refuse to accept salary of current month. The employees would stage rallies throughout the country on Oct 30 on this issue, he said.

Mr Nizamani blamed government’s inefficiency for growing terrorism, lawlessness and unemployment and condemned bomb blasts in Karachi on Oct 18.

He warned that if the authority did not revise pay-scale of all the non-clerical staff on the pattern of clerical staff the employees would resort to tool down strike.

Hesco employees in Shikarpur staged a rally and a demonstration at Lakhi Gate Tower Chowk. Labour leaders demanded shelving Wapda privatisation policy and urged the government to accept their demands.

They said that there seemed to be separate laws for Wapda employees in Punjab and Sindh. Presently, Wapda had no power generating unit due to which there would be more load-shedding during next summer, they said.

They offered fateha for the innocent people killed in Karachi blasts and expressed grief over the sad demise of revolutionary poet Sarvech Sujawali.

In Nawabshah, members of CBA staged a rally and a demonstration at Manuabad.

The union leaders Fazal Shaikh, Inamuddin Qureshi, Saleem Taj and Anwar Chandio said that the half salary was given to them on the directives of Wapda chairman before Eid but it was not being converted into bonus and was being deducted from their salaries.They demanded that the deduction of Eid bonus
from their salaries should be stopped and Ordinance 2000 and privatisation policy should be withdrawn.
From Dawn, Oct. 29:
The senior vice-chairman of the union, Ali Said, said the international financial bodies had been pressurising the government to privatize profit-earning units at throwaway prices to multinational corporations.

He warned that Wapda workers would not tolerate the plunder of national assets. He said the privatization of Wapda would translate into an increase in the energy charges.

He called upon the government to control the deficit in Wapda by initiating rightsizing in the officer cadre.
Further from Dawn:

CHARGE-SHEET AGAINST JUDICIARY: While it started with what it called “visible ascendancy in the activities of extremists and incidents of terrorist attacks” as grounds for the action, the proclamation contained a long charge-sheet against the superior judiciary some of whose members, it said, “are working at cross purposes with the executive and legislature in the fight against terrorism and extremism, thereby weakening the government and the nation’s resolve and diluting the efficacy of its actions to control this menace”.

[T]he proclamation contained a long charge-sheet against the superior judiciary some of whose members, it said, “are working at cross purposes with the executive and legislature in the fight against terrorism and extremism, thereby weakening the government and the nation’s resolve and diluting the efficacy of its actions to control this menace”.

“... (T)here has been increasing interference by some members of the judiciary in government policy, adversely affecting economic growth, in particular,” it said, adding that there was “constant interference in executive functions.”
Well. No government in its right mind can put up with that sort of thing for very long. Checks & balances, our ass! And here's a real beaut, a gov't. official sucking up at the IMF & World Bank:

Pakistan economic aide stresses more privatization WASHINGTON, Oct 23 (Reuters) Pakistan is eager to deepen economic reforms that have delivered historic growth in the country despite political turmoil, Salman Shah, an aide to Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said Monday. He said Islamabad was eyeing “second-generation reforms” to follow a bank privatization program that helped power five years of 7 percent growth and doubled Pakistan's GDP during the seven-year tenure of President Musharraf. “These second-generation reforms would mean a leaner government and a much more active and aggressive private sector,” he said in Washington, where he attended the semi-annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. Shah appealed to foreign investors and governments to maintain interest in Pakistan, and said: “In the war on extremism, it's very important that we succeed in Pakistan and that's for the entire world.” “On our own, we are not going to be able to sustain it.” (Posted @ 11:15 PST)

Some sort of editorial:

The people are witness to what happens when the government tries to use unrestrained power to achieve its narrow political ends at the cost of independent institutions so badly needed for improved governance. Or when it ignores official rules for the benefit of the privileged with its negative outcomes.
It is the beneficiaries of reforms and the strength of public opinion that can provide support to formal changes in rules and regulations to make them effective. The masses, however, would only rally for governance reforms if they perceive them to be gainful for themselves.What do they care for free market, privatisation or institutional reforms, if it does not help them improve their lot? No matter how prudent, if free market means offering free hand to powerful market players to squeeze vulnerable customers and increase their profit margins, people’s opposition is but logical.

If privatisation put them out of job in a shrinking labour market no amount of theoretical argument will convince them to back it. If an autonomous central bank fails to make commercial banks share the gains of financial reforms with their depositors, the SBP will have to contend with the support extended by commercial banks in its favour.

Nothing convinces better than personal experience. The gains of institutional reforms in the economy will have to reach people for them to understand their relevance to progress.Reforms should not lead to consolidation of the traditional elite and the renter class at the cost of equality of opportunity, competition and economic efficiency.

So. Bush bought the same load of crap from Mushy as from Putin. Just look Bush in the eye & he's yours, like a rodent hypnotized by a snake, or a deer caught in headlights. Perhaps that explains his sparkling business career. Slick Texas oilmen looking him in the eye: "Shore, George, they's plenny uh earl here. Jes' keep drillin'."

And slick Pervis "Mushy" Musharraf has fooled Bush into giving him money to buy weapons that will be more useful against Pakistan's permanent enemy, India, than against the fanatical Islamic terrorists Pakistan allows to stay in Waziristan.

It'd be pretty damn funny if this libertarian "privatisation" crap resulted in A-Bombs in the hands of people even crazier than libertarians. In an ironic way, of course.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Time Shifting

Is any one else as disturbed/confused as the staff @ Just Another Blog (From L. A.)™ (now now, smart-asses, let us finish the question) by the reversion to "Standard" time? Sign of aging, perhaps? We've only noticed this the last two or three years. And it may have someting to do with our habit of sleeping much later than the average American go-getter anyway, & suddenly w/ standard time we have even less exposure to sunlight. (Well, less awareness that the sun is out there, beyond the blinds.)
Maybe we'll go on strike in solidarity w/ our sister & brother writers who are unionized. (And still getting screwed.)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

This One Is About Dr. Ron Paul (Ratpublican-Texas)

Dr. Paul's wacky fan base is having a virtual fund-raising event tomorrow, the Fifth of November. That's Guy Fawkes Day in the U. K. We can probably trust Wikipedia on this one:

Guy Fawkes (13 April 1570 – 31 January 1606), was a member of a group of English Roman Catholics who attempted to carry out the Gunpowder Plot, an attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament and kill King James I of England, to destroy Protestant rule by killing the Protestant aristocracy, on 5 November 1605.
(Guy Fawkes was hanged, then drawn & quartered for his anti-gov't. troubles. Can we recommend anything less for Dr. Paul & some of his more, shall we say, active supporters?)

Dr. Paul is a veritable Rudy "The Catholic" Giuliani, invoking terrorism for fund-raising. It's just that the Doctor goes back to the 17th century for his favorite attempt at terrorism. Not the only trip he takes far into the past for positions & policies. The good doctor (& especially his barely post adolescent fan-base) are nonetheless wise to the weasel-wide web. For example, some of the Internet denizens who favor Ron are credit card scammers. (Isn't Lyndon LaRouche in the big house for credit card fraud w/ the card numbers of his supporters?) From KXAN in Dallas:

"She said, 'Somebody by the name of Ron Paul has been trying to take $5 out of your account using this number,'" Ruffino said. As it turns out, credit card thieves used Ruffino's card to run a test charge, with the money going to the Ron Paul presidential campaign fund.
Here's how it works: Thieves gather stolen credit card numbers online and run the test charges to see which numbers work. If the charge goes through, they know they have an active card.
Representatives for the Ron Paul campaign said they have discovered more than a dozen mysterious $5 contributions in the past three days. They said they're working with banks to return the money.
We see true libertarianism here, don't we? No, not Doc P.'s actual employees, but his card scamming fans: "I'm getting mine, & I don't need any gov't. regulation to tell me how to get my money!"

Other activities his unofficial supporters appear to be up to:

Spam supporting presidential hopeful Ron Paul filled inboxes this week as zombie computers spewed thousands of messages to recipients, according to spam experts. The spam supporting Paul was sent using the same illegal spam methods used to distribute masculinity enhancement products and pump-and-dump penny stock schemes.
In this case, the Ron Paul 2008 Presidential Campaign Committee vigorously denies sending the spam, approving its distribution, or having any ties to its senders. Security experts analyzing the deluge agree the official organization is likely not the source.
Or, as everyone discussing the deluge noted, the spam may have been sent by someone trying to make Paul look bad by associating him with spamming.
As the saying goes, w/ friends like these you don't need enemies. But it's all good, they're just refusing to knuckle under to pernicious gov't. regulation. "If I know how to send spam from someone else's computer & they haven't made the choice to educate themselves on how to defend their computer and taken the steps necessary, that's just too bad for them. An' we don' need no stinking gummint makin' no regulations 'bout it, neither nohow!!"
Halloween Wrap-Up:
Which do you find more frightening, the jack o' lantern above, or the Official Portrait from The 109th Congress, on the right?

Not Ron Paul, Paul Tibbets

We used the "Sucky Google™ News Feed" to look for poop on Ron Paul, who's grubbing for money tomorrow. Nothing for Ron under "Paul." (We also have "Gravel" in the News feed. Guess what sort of stories appear?) Paul McCartney, yes. And this from CBS & Bob Schieffer, about Paul Tibbets, & his death. We didn't bury it, it was right on the front page here.Above: Reassembled Enola Gay @ the SASM hangar.

Help Screw Megan McArdle (Over)

As first run @ Firing Miss Megan: Democracy in Peril!! Not Pakistan, ninnies, the blog-o-sphere! Mme. McA. has made a plea for votes, obviously in direct opposition to the earlier entreaty here, and probably through the haze of a hangover, as it was posted @ 1403 EST. Clever, that, allowing for an extra hour of boozing. (I know the few blackouts in my drinking career occurred when I was safely ensconced chez moi & didn't have to worry about getting home, strangers, or such.)
[A]n (extremely successful, to judge by all the empty bottles and the ottoman we set on fire) housewarming party[.]
My criterion for success was the number of wymyn in my bed the next afternoon, but to each their own. If drinking & vandalism are more important to you than desire & affection, I can only pity you. Now get out there & vote for what you know to be right! And remember, you can vote once every 24 hours, or more if you've different IPs available to you. Make Megan cry. brad adds:
As longtime readers know, what happens when I do not win these things, is that I cry. [sic]* Huge, wet tears rolling out of my enormous green eyes and searing the lightly freckled, yet delicately translucent skin of my fair face. No one wants that, do they?
.... fair? *- "As longtime readers know, ..., is that I cry." No, I cry. Hmmm, actually, does the [sic] go after the second comma or at the end? Me not know Posted by M. Bouffant at 5:41 PM 0 comments Vote for tbogg. Or don't, but you should. Just DO NOT VOTE for "Asymmetrical Information." Democracy Now!!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Strongness Through Strength

Ann's hair has done some color flip-flopping since high-school.Mittens Romney has taken his business acumen & marketing skills & applied them to his campaign, along w/ a good portion of the fortune he made on the backs of people who work for a living, by buying & selling their companies out from under them. (This, of course, is why his five spawn are so anxious to get him elected; if he spends their inheritance they'll need plenty of that good old fashioned Republican cronyism to save them from working for a living.)
And what is Mittens' big marketing push? One word: Strength. That's it. All you need to know.
“I think we’re at a point in time in American history where we’re going to see America change course,” Romney said. “I think the key to America’s future is a philosophy, an ideology of strength.”
Absolutely. Certainly we've been looked at as the weak sister on the international scene until now, what w/ surrendering to Castro in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and only being able to lose 58,000 American lives, & a few limbs & eyes & souls & minds on top of that in Vietnam. Oh, there were Panama's & Grenada's successful invasions of Florida & Georgia during the '80s, & that whole mess when Saddam Hussein ran us out of New England in 1990. Who could ever forget?
But no more of that when "Double Gitmo" Romney is the man.
In Orange County, California:
Strength was the recurring theme of Romney's stump speech. Creating a strong military, ensuring a strong economy and facilitating strong families, he said, would guarantee a safe and prosperous future for America.
Talking to old fool Bill Schneider of CNN, about strength. Yes, you see, "strong families" (?) will be better able to compete, especially once free trade zones are established. What we'll be competing in is beyond us. China seems to have the cheap & dangerous toys, toothpaste, & other goods market locked up. India's about to be a software giant, & they already have a larger film industry then we do.
From Mittens' website:
MR: "Well, first it's important to communicate as you do to your audience that the trade and opening markets to American goods is essential. The only way America is going to remain the world's superpower is if we can compete globally, so I want to open more markets to our goods and I will negotiate with other nations to do so. At the same time I want to make sure that our trading with other nations is done on a fair basis, and when a nation like China does not honor our intellectual property rights then we're going to have to get serious with our Chinese friends and say guys you just can't do that or you're going to suffer consequences in our markets. So we're going to have to fight to make sure that our products are protected and our technology is protected but also to not close down foreign markets, open them up, we can compete around the world."
Maybe it's a good thing that he can hold two conflicting ideas in his mind at once. Maybe it's not.
From the traditional stomping ground of the Republican businessman, a country club:
He called for giving the president the authority to open foreign markets to American products before a crowd of approximately 120 people at the Mason City Country Club.
Strengthening the military is another goal of Romney’s.“You can’t be the world’s military superpower without being the world’s economic superpower,” he said.
Or vice versa. Back to the Greenwood, SC Index-Journal:
"It’s almost as if the Democratic contenders for president are living in a fantasy world,” he said. “They’re nice folks, they’re just wrong. It is critical America remains strong, and I think if the three Democratic leaders become president, they will not strengthen our military because they will declare defeat (in Iraq).”
Instead of declaring "Mission Accomplished" over three yrs. ago & sticking around for an occupation. And "declaring defeat" & bringing the occupation forces home certainly won't strengthen the military. You have to declare "Mission Accomplished, Occupation Over!!" & then bring them back. And bingo, the military is rejuvenated, because it's not being overextended.
In addition to cutting taxes and strengthening education in science and mathematics, Romney said one goal he would have if elected is to open the nation’s trade markets and provide training to workers to compete in those markets.
"We need to train, assist and empower U.S. workers to succeed in a global economy,” he said. “I’d like to audit all of the existing training and education programs and see which ones work.”
Oh yes, audits...This reporter has worked for a living (not the same as being a businessman, by the way, it involves actual work) too, & "audits" are a total joke, an exercise in bullshit & ass-kissing, in knowing what the boss wants to see & showing it to him. It couldn't possibly be any better in gov't.
Romney’s solution to the trade dilemma is creating what he called the “Reagan Zone of Economic Freedom.”
“The Reagan Zone is a group of nations engaging in trade and living by higher regulations and safety standards,” he said. “Let’s create a global zone of economic freedom to create the large free-trade area in the world. We can promote American goods and services on a global scale if it is fair.”
The zones would create a “true level playing field” for trade, he said, and involve enforcement of regulations and currency exchange.
“I am optimistic about this country,” Romney said. “I’ve been across the country and met a lot of people. The American people have the heart to succeed in anything we put our minds to. I want to make sure America remains the economic power of the world so we can also remain the military power of the world.”
Sheer fucking crap, from the invocation of St. Ronnie of Alzheimer's to this fantasy zone of indeterminate, undefined nations, goods & services. What the fuck do we still manufacture in this country? Oh yes, crappy cars w/ lousy mileage. The world is beating a path to our door for that better mousetrap. We do sell arms everywhere we can. No reason not to be optimistic about that. Americans seem better at destruction than anything that might create good. We want to sell crap to furriners so we can have a powerful military to threaten the furriners with. Or: "The Iraqi oil will pay for the war." Heard it all before.
Here's a clue, Republicans: Reagan was nothing but an amiable dunce, & suffering from Alzheimer's before he left the White House. He will have been gone from the political scene for 20 yrs. by the time the election arrives (Hey, exactly one yr. to go, as of Sunday!!) & no one who didn't vote for him 24 yrs. ago is going to vote Republican because of his name this time around. Many people who voted for him 28 yrs. ago will be voting for any one but a Republican this time around.
Face it Mittens, the Republicans are the ones living in the fantasy world of "free trade," & a new improved manufacturing base, selling imaginary widgets to fantasized nations. Just not gonna happen. How many American-made products are sold by the one successful business w/ which you were involved, Staples™? Got a percentage, Mittens?

Prince Group of Darkness

Consider the phrase "business-friendly government." Doesn't that imply "worker-hostile government?" Now consider where we encountered the phrase: In a WaPo story about the Prince Group's intelligence service.

The Prince Group, the holding company that owns Blackwater Worldwide, has been building an operation that will sniff out intelligence about natural disasters, business-friendly governments, overseas regulations and global political developments for clients in industry and government.
In other words, let Total Intelligence Solutions find where your corporate entity can maximize profits from natural disaster & the political disaster of lax to non-existent regulation.

Because of its roster and its ties to owner Erik Prince, the multimillionaire former Navy SEAL, the company's thrust into this world highlights the blurring of lines between government, industry and activities formerly reserved for agents operating in the shadows.
The roster? Here are thumbnail sketches of the two weasels named in the WaPo article, from Salon. (A tip of the Bouffant chapeau to alex constantine's blacklist.) Positions listed are those they hold at Blackwater; J. Cofer Black is the chairman of Total Intel, Robert Richer is its chief executive:

J. Cofer Black, vice chairman: Black spent most of his 28-year CIA career running covert operations in the Directorate of Operations, where he worked with Rob Richer (below). At the time of the 9/11 attacks, he was director of the CIA's Counterterrorism Center. There he was former CIA Director George Tenet's ace in the hole when it came to convincing Bush that the CIA should lead initial U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan after 9/11. Black is, according to published accounts, a man with a flair for the dramatic, the kind of briefer President Bush likes. In one briefing, according to several reports, Black told the president, "When we're through with [terrorists in Afghanistan], they will have flies walking across their eyeballs." (Black also ordered CIA field officer Gary Schroen to bring back Osama bin Laden's head packed in dry ice so Black could show it to Bush.) Black's Afghanistan presentation earned him "special access" to the White House, the Washington Post's Dana Priest reported in December 2005.
Black is also one of the more prominent faces associated with the Bush administration's interrogation and extraordinary rendition policies. In a famous moment, Black told Congress in 2002, "After 9/11, the gloves came off." And the group within the CIA responsible for extraordinary renditions -- operations in which covert agents grab terror suspects and take them to secret prison facilities for interrogations that would normally be prohibited as torture -- fell under Black at the CTC, Priest has reported.
Black later went to the State Department, where one of his roles was to begin coordinating security for the 2004 Olympics in Greece. In 2003, the State Department gave Blackwater a contract to train the Olympic security teams.
In 2004, Black left the State Department to join Blackwater, part of what Harper's Silverstein termed a
"revolving door to Blackwater" from the CIA. In addition to his work with Blackwater and his own company, Total Intelligence Solutions, Black also recently joined the presidential campaign of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, where he serves the Republican hopeful as senior advisor for counterterrorism and national security.
Oh, great. The guy who was in charge on 11 September 2001, a macho poseur who impresses the president, & he's Romney's senior advisor for blah blah blah. Romney's campaign theme, by the way, is: "Strength." That's it. "Strength." Sound a little, oh, what's the word, "fascist," to anyone?

Rob Richer, vice president for intelligence: Richer was head of the CIA's Near East division -- and the agency's liaison with King Abdullah of Jordan -- from 1999 to 2004. In 2003, he briefed President Bush on the nascent Iraqi insurgency. In late 2004, he became the associate deputy director in the CIA's Directorate of Operations, making him the second-ranking official for clandestine operations. He left the agency for Blackwater in the fall of 2005, effectively taking the agency's relationship with Abdullah with him. The CIA had invested millions of dollars in training Jordan's intelligence services. There was an obvious quid pro quo: In exchange for the training, Jordan would share information. Jordan has now hired Blackwater's intelligence division -- headed by Richer -- to do its spy training instead. The CIA isn't happy, writes Silverstein: "People [at the agency] are pissed off," said Silverstein's source. "Abdullah still speaks with Richer regularly and he thinks that's the same thing as talking to us. He thinks Richer is still the man."

Back-slapping, glad-handing, ass-kissing, networking, politics, & personal relations: Why the best & the brightest always succeed in the corporate & political worlds. (And why so many excellent movies are made here in Hollywood.) Makes you wonder how "business-friendly" the gov't. of Jordan is.

"Cofer can open doors," said Richer, who served 22 years at the CIA. "I can open doors. We can generally get in to see who we need to see. We don't help pay bribes. We do everything within the law, but we can deal with the right minister or person."
Total Intel, as the company is known, is bringing "the skills traditionally honed by CIA operatives directly to the board room," Black said. Black had a 28-year career with the CIA.
"They have the skills and background to do anything anyone wants," said RJ Hillhouse, who writes a national security blog called The Spy Who Billed Me. "There's no oversight. They're an independent company offering freelance espionage services. They're rent-a-spies."

Maybe it's just us, but when we hear someone denying bribery & proclaiming legality, we can't help but be suspicious.

Black and Richer spend much of their time traveling. They won't say where. It's a CIA thing. Black called at midnight recently to talk about Total Intel from "somewhere in the Middle East."
"I don't spend a lot of time telling people where I am as part of my business," he said. "I am discreet in where I go and who I see. I spend most of my time dealing with senior people in governments, making connections."
As he's no longer with the CIA, Richer said he's found that people are more willing to share information. He said a military general in a country he would not name told him of the country's plan to build its next strike fighter.
"I listened," Richer said. "We talked business and where we could help him understand markets and things like that." At the end of the conversation, Richer said, he asked the man, "Isn't that classified? Why are you telling me this?"
Richer said the man answered, "If I tell it to an embassy official I've created espionage. You're a business partner."

Let's return to a line from the second paragraph we stole from the WaPo:

[T]he blurring of lines between government, industry and activities formerly reserved for agents operating in the shadows.
Erik Prince, radical right-winger & converted Catholic, blurring the lines between government & industry, sniffing out business-friendly governments. We've already used the word, & we hate to beat you over the head w/ it.

Six Months of Shit, Leavened by Flattery

Noticed that today is the six-month anniversary of your editor's foray into the web as more than a commenter. Talk about late to the party! We read about this web log thingie in the newspaper several (ten?) years ago, & it occurred to us it might be an outlet of some sort. But we had no devil box until "inheriting" one from our most recent ex-girlfriend's late brother, in October 2003 (four yrs. ago). No high speed access until March 2006. And it still took over a yr. to start crankin' it out. Indeed, had we not submitted a comment to the Huffington Post (or "HuffPo," as we in the in-crowd say) that they noticed & put in their "Eat The Press" section, & had we not sent the link to a few friends, one of whom replied: "Now that you have been cited, I assume you will find the ego rush irresistible. Boufblog cannot be far in the future," we might still just be leaving comments. Thanks for the suggestion, Brick! Still took about two & a half months to start. Note very first item. Note different typeface (font, to you goofy young people). Note early use of the first person singular. Note not having mastered the art of spending hours looking for an image at least vaguely connected to the subject. (Not that it would've been so effing hard to find a shot of Sally Field.) That's about it.
Above: An exercise in self-flattery.

Well, two other things of notice. Three different comments today, two of them from people we know but haven't seen for a while, one from someone we may have met 30ish yrs. ago, all three complimenting us on the product here. Well, fair enough, they're all looking for something, but none of them had to say anything flattering. And right on the six-month anniversary (if you want to call it that) of this humble mess. Takes long enough to get any damn respect.
And, we're seeking abuse (as well as handing it out) @ Firing Miss Megan. Same pseudonym, but first person singular, as there are several of us, & your editor wouldn't want to appear to be speaking for anyone but ourself. And that's no big deal, just an open invitation we have the time to engage in. Not as if we were specifically invited or are paid. Still, they haven't told us to fuck off yet.

Four & a Half Months of Struggle

We should add that 20 June 2007, when we first looked @ our Technorati™ ranking, we were 2,202,298, and have now clawed our way to 437,475. Not bad out of an estimated 100 million web logs in cyberspace. Not terribly good out of the number that take themselves seriously & would like to be read by strangers, make some spare change out of the deal or at least become famous & respected. But we certainly don't take ourself seriously. (How could we?) And who the hell wants to be a member of any club that would have us, anyway?

Friday, November 2, 2007

Photo Fan Mail & More Sex Potatoes Re-Onion

Fellow agingmaturing punk/solitary type Jenny Lens checks in (look in the comments) w/ an improved URL for her new Wordpress website (Jenny Lens, in the Locals Only blogroll) & a bit o' commentary on the Sex Potatoes recent Roxy gig, which we mentioned as well, but we were being our usual smart-assed self, while Ms. Lens, apparently a human being w/ "emotions" &c., has something actual to say. And she posted the review from the (LA) Weekly cage-liner as well (not to be confused w/ the daily cage-liner, the Tribune Co.'s LATimes).

Jenny's Book:
Publication date: April 2008, order it now from Amazon; save $10.00 & change from the cover price.

Tibbets Obit

From the regional wrapper, an obit of Paul Tibbets, & an AP video obit.

Besides commanding the Hiroshima mission, Tibbets was involved in flight testing the B-47 Strato-Jet, the first jet engine bomber.Above: Tibbets & an early B-47. Dig the football helmet.

Theocracy Now!

The new Max Blumenthal video, Theocracy Now!, has dropped. It's from the Values Boaters Bund. The usual gang of idiots appear. And while you're @ HuffPo, put down your huffing rag & read the piece on Rudy, by the woman who named the blog after herself. We're starting to look forward to a Giuliani presidency. He seems willing to express his rage, rather than repress it Bush-style. And that's bound to be more amusing. And we're only in it for the laughs. And the Schadenfreude.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Heritage Foundation Presents

Had the misfortune to get up so early this a. m. that we saw the president on the telebision. You can too. What an asshole. The usual cliches, rendered post-meaningful through constant repetition by fools such as he who don't understand actual meaning. (Meaningless cliches highlighted in orange.)
One of the interesting things about the Heritage legacy is that the folks here have been tireless advocates, tireless champions of liberty, and free enterprise, and democracy and religious freedom. These are values that came under attack on September the 11th, 2001. Our nation was attacked by a brutal enemy that despises freedom, that rejects tolerance, that kills the innocent in the pursuit of a dark vision. These folks believe that it's okay to subjugate women and indoctrinate children and murder those who oppose their harsh rule. They have stated clearly they want to impose this ideology on millions. They're at war with America because they hate what they [sic] stand for -- and they understand we stand in their way.
The same old song & dance.
In the 1920s, the world ignored the words of Hitler, as he explained his intention to build an Aryan super-state in Germany, take revenge on Europe, and eradicate the Jews -- and the world paid a terrible price. His Nazi regime killed millions in the gas chambers, and set the world aflame in war, before it was finally defeated at a terrible cost in lives and treasure.
No mention of Grampa Prescott Bush building his treasure by dealing w/ Germany in the 1930s, when the Nazis were running things. Just as we never hear from the White House about the involvement of Saudi subjects & the Saudi gov't. & royal family in terrorism, madrasas that indoctrinate children w/ radical Islam, etc. When do we deal w/ that repressive regime & its subjugation of women & its harsh rule?
I know that when I discuss the war on terror, some here in Washington, D.C. dismiss it as political rhetoric -- an attempt to scare people into votes. Given the nature of the enemy and the words of its leaders, politicians who deny that we are at war are either being disingenuous or naive. Either way, it is dangerous for our country. We are at war -- and we cannot win this war by wishing it away or pretending it does not exist.
America & its wars on Poverty, Drugs, Inflation; we've been so successful treating everything like WWII. Given the "nature of the enemy" we've been absolute idiots in our attempt to conquer a nation that did not attack us.
Judge Mukasey provided nearly six hours of testimony. He patiently answered more than 200 questions at the hearing. He has responded to nearly 500 written questions less than a week after his hearing. Yet the Senate Judiciary Committee has been holding up his nomination.
For Bush, quantity is quality. Six hours of testimony. 200 questions. Doesn't matter what Mukasey said, of course.
When it comes to funding our troops, some in Washington should spend more time responding to the warnings of terrorists like Osama bin Laden and the requests of our commanders on the ground, and less time responding to the demands of MoveOn.org bloggers and Code Pink protesters. (Applause.)
One might think that he meant there should be no time wasted by Republicans on a motion of censure against MoveOn.org, & that he should have listened to the commanders on the ground & provided adequate body armor, properly armored vehicles, & enough troops to do the job in the first place, but that's not what he meant. And you should have heard him say "Code. Pink. Protesters," trying desperately not to screw up three little words. Those "P"s must be tough.
In the struggle against the terrorists and extremists, I hope I made my strategy clear today -- that we will keep constant pressure on the enemy in order to defend the American people; we will fight them overseas so we do not have to fight them here at home. (Applause.) At the same time, we'll use every available tool of law and intelligence to protect the people here. That's our most solemn duty. It's a duty I think about every day. In the long run, the only way to defeat the terrorists is to advance freedom as the great alternative to radicalism and repression.
Yes, they actually applauded at the "fight them there so we don't fight them here" line. They are that fucking stupid. And of course sending American corporations to make a nice capitalistic profit won't lead to any "radicalism and repression."
We're standing with those who yearn for liberty in the Middle East, because we know that when free societies take root in that part of the world, they will yield the peace we all desire. See, the only way the terrorists can recruit operatives and suicide bombers is by feeding on the hopelessness of societies mired in despair. And by bringing freedom to these societies, we replace hatred with hope, and this will help us to marginalize the extremists and eliminate the conditions that feed radicalism, and make the American people more secure.
I think Mr. Bush is making the liberal mistake of confusing the anarchy we brought to Iraq w/ freedom. Every "free" society that we "create" is going to vote the straight Islamo-fascist ticket, because they see us as crusaders imposing our values & religion on them. The American people, & our "liberties?" In increasing danger every day Bush is in office fucking things up.

Hiroshima, Mon Amour

Then-Col. Tibbets waves "bye-bye" before taking off to single-handedly eradicate a city. What a man. We need more like him to deal w/ the jihadi menace.
Paul W. Tibbets, Brigadier General USAF (Ret.) who somehow became or made himself the face & name of the Hiroshima bombing ceased all willed activity at the atomic level today at the age of 92.


We know you internet types, w/ your Chee-tos™ & what not. And your frozen pizza. So here's a public service announcement: Jeno's® & Totino's® Frozen Pizzas containing pepperoni are being recalled, due to the possibility of E. coli bacteria in the pepperoni. Tell mom to be careful when she's nuking your lunch today, basement dwellers!!
Some technical questions: Both of these fine products are made by the Pillsbury division of the General Mills Corporation. So why bother w/ two different brands, for what is essentially the same shit? Can anyone tell the difference between Jeno's® & Totino's®? Indeed, is there any difference other than packaging? Why the limited palette of Jeno's®:
compared to Totino's®:
Canadian Style Bacon
Classic Pepperoni
Mexican Style
Mini Meatball
Pepperoni Trio
Three Cheese
Three Meat?
What's the difference between "Classic Pepperoni" & "Pepperoni?" Not to mention "Pepperoni Trio?" Three pepperonis, all w/ E. coli? Why no Jeno's® Pizza Rolls®? Yet Totino's® has Pizza Rolls® & MEGA Pizza Rolls®?
Frankly, we here @ Just Another Blog™ are very confused. Can someone help us?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Brain Waves

Regular viewers may have heard The Editor mention one of his greatest regrets: He may not live long enough to see many of his fellow humans literally boiling in their own waste. Thus, he'll be deprived of the chance to say: "Nyah, nyah, told you so, but you wouldn't listen, would you? No, you knew more than the fucking climate science experts, didn't you? Ha ha ha!! Fucking know-it-alls. Boil, morons, boil!!"

It'd be a shame to miss a chance at that, wouldn't it?

Now we find a story indicating that we may have a chance for further mockery, this time of people too stupid to keep their brains from boiling into vapor.
[T]here tends to be a lag of many years between exposure to radiation and tumour growth but the number of cases already apparent suggest a much bigger problem to come.
"One would expect this to be only the tip of the iceberg because of the long latency of those diseases..."

Added to that is the increasing use of cellphones, especially by young people.

Stupid young people. They'll get what they deserve. We can only hope that the various types of radiation to which they're exposed will sterilize most of them.

Story brought to our attention by alex constantine's blacklist, whence we stole the graphic as well.

Halloween Extra

Here's an exciting costume idea:

Curtis allegedly donned women's clothing, red stockings and a black sequined lingerie top before engaging in a sex act at the store. He then continued to wear them throughout the night under his clothing, the [police] report says.
And if you're really into the Halloween thing, you can practice deception in words as well as appearance:

The police report offers a far different version of events from the brief account Curtis gave Monday to The Columbian, one that seems likely to threaten Curtis' political future.
But why pay attention to the biased, liberal Old Media? We all know that law enforcement & the military never lie, so let's look at the police report & the search warrant (Remember, the search warrant may have been signed by a liberal activist judge, so it must be taken w/ a grain of salt.)

You'd think Rep. Curtis could've just his worn his fire captain's suit for Halloween. Or borrowed some of Mrs. Curtis's clothes.
Curtis, 48, is married and has two daughters. The two-term legislator and retired fire department captain was in Spokane last week for a retreat with other Republican lawmakers in preparation for the 2008 Legislature.
Does the representative vote against gay rights every chance he gets? Need you even ask? Last question: Does the representative sport one of those big old macho fireman mustaches? You know, the kind often referred to as dick-dusters?Why yes he do! How'd you ever guess?

America: Sex & Death &...

A socio-cultural phenomenon. Perverted sexuality, Thanatos, Freud, psychobabble, etc.

Oh, and today is Halloween.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Shorter Joanie Zoidberg

Tuesday again, time to travel to the Tribune Co.'s toilet for felines & see what the Spawn of Lucianne has to offer.

The little feller has noticed that the vast majority of Americans (& sensible people throughout the civilized world) are not exactly enamored w/ conservative values & causes.

The trouble for conservatives [...] is that their worldview isn't overwhelmingly popular.
Can't fool him for more than two or three yrs., can you? None of this has anything to do w/ Bush of course:

Some conservatives respond to this dilemma with an "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" shrug. If voters don't embrace limited government -- which really just means self-government -- then have them choose between a big government that does right-wing things and one that does left-wing things. Some of those people are called "compassionate conservatives." Others seek comfort in the soothing irrelevance of purism and adopt libertarian candidates and causes that will never, ever, win at the ballot box.
Out of idle curiosity, when was the last time the phrase "compassionate conservatism" issued from any one's mouth? It had pretty much gone the way of "I'm a uniter, not a divider," by February 2001, hadn't it?

Committed conservatives, meanwhile, find themselves at a disadvantage: They advocate smaller government for everybody -- when Americans generally (including most Republicans) want smaller government for everybody but themselves.
Oh, those stupid Americans, w/ their self-interest, their desire to pool their risk, & have the pool administered by the gov't. instead of a profit-crazed corporate insurer.
If Hillary Clinton promised to socialize medicine -- which, let the record show, she has attempted to do in the past -- she would lose. But her current campaign promise to simply expand coverage sounds reasonable enough -- even though there's no reason to think she'll stop pushing for a national single-payer healthcare system (a.k.a. socialized medicine).
Let the record show that Americans don't realize that limited gov't. "really just means self-government." They're handing over their right to govern themselves & live free for a chance at health care, or a retirement consisting of more than scavenging for recyclables & eating canned pet food. How short-sighted of them. There's neither liberty nor virtue there. (Warning: It's frighteningly easy to spew crap like that.)

At this point we were afraid Doughbob was headed into "This Is Why Democracy Isn't Such a Good Idea" territory, but he may be saving that one for next yr., after the election.

But there is another course for conservatives: Simply do what you can, where you can, including supporting the most conservative candidate who can win and succeed in office.
Meanwhile, writes Voegeli, it "makes sense for conservatives to attack liberalism where it is weakest, rather than where it is strongest." Unlike the utopianisms of the left, conservatism is defined by an understanding that this life can never be made perfect, so pry out what bricks you can, when you can, wherever they are loose.
And while you're prying out the loose bricks, drowning the baby or whatever colorful metaphor you like to use for destroying the remainder of our social/governmental structure, don't let that building fall on you. Not that a ton of self-inflicted bricks on your head would make you any more of a brain-damaged fool than you already are.

And here's the shorter version (Ha ha, made you wait): Fellow committed conservatives, we've fucked up royally with stupidity, recklessness, cronyism, corruption, hypocrisy & all the other traits we're so well known for. Now all we can do is hunker down, wait for the demonic forces of liberalism to pass, then stand up & make funny faces at them. Once they're completely out of earshot, we can go "Nyah nyah!!" at them too.

Stylistic Notes: Unless not having a style is considered a style in this post-modern era, Jonah's only stylistic trait is the use of the word "crowd" in a condescending manner. And he comes through again:
[A]narchists, Marxists, flat-Earthers and every other creedal crowd -- all think they're right.
Usually it's something along the lines of "the brie and sandals crowd."
Above: DoughBob has an idea for (yet) another subtitle.
Liberal Fascism Update: We noted previously that the subtitle had changed, & the publication date had been pushed back, though only by a week. Not the first time the release date had been moved back. And now the subtitle has changed again, to: "The Secret History of the American Left, from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning." Sen. Clinton & Whole Foods don't get to sue any more. Editor & Publisher reports that Amazon's page for the book was hacked recently as well:
Now someone--presumably not a fan--has hacked the book's entry at online bookseller amazon.com. Its current title -- at least momentarily at that site -- is "Liberal Fascism: The Totalitarian Temptation from When I Got My Advance Until I Finally Hand in the Manuscript in 2011."
Not the first time that's been hacked, either.

Rudy, Rudy, Rudy

Six marriages between the two of them. Note Rudy's flag lapel pin in wedding photo. Note tiara & expression on Princess Judi. That's happiness? (Click for a better look.)This isn't turning into an exclusively anti-Giuliani web log, but it's easy & fun to pick on him. Incredibly easy, because he's always up to something suspicious or sleazy or arrogant or you name it.
Latest? From the WaPo:
Ten months into his presidential bid, Rudolph W. Giuliani continues to work part time at the security consulting firm he promised to leave this past spring to focus on his pursuit of the Republican nomination.
Giuliani's continuing involvement with a firm catering to corporate clients makes him unique among Republican contenders. It also complicates the task of separating his firm's assets from his campaign spending.
Last year, the ex-mayor raked in $4 million from his security consulting firm & $11 million from speech & book fees. (Did he "write" a book? We hadn't noticed.) 9/11 certainly "changed everything" for some people, didn't it?
One concern among ethics experts is that Giuliani's continuing affiliation with the firm might create a public perception that clients with business that could be affected by a Giuliani presidency might hire the firm to curry favor.
The firm's past clients had many connections to government.
They include:
• Purdue Pharma, which resolved a lengthy
Drug Enforcement Administration investigation into the security of its OxyContin painkiller with only a fine, with the Giuliani firm's help.
• A confessed drug smuggler who hired Giuliani to help ensure that his company could do security consulting business with the federal government in the post-Sept. 11 period.
• The horse-racing industry, which hired Giuliani's firm to review the security of its betting systems after a wagering scandal shook public confidence.
• BioOne, a company that can do biological cleanups, such as its cleaning of a
Florida media building after the 2001 anthrax attacks.
• Energy giant Entergy, which hired Giuliani's firm to help tighten its security.

Gov't. of , by & for the corporationspeople, just as the first Republican president said at Gettysburg, has not perished from the earth.

We might also point out that Barack Obama is the only "taken seriously by the media" candidate who isn't a multi-millionaire, though he seems to be getting there.

Lost Connection to Reality (Not Dial or DSL)

Those in the viewing audience who've not yet made the transition to post-literacy may be interested in the full text of Fareed Zakaria's response to Podperson Norman's "Bombs Away" essay & the other crap being spewed by the neo-crazies, rather than just the transcript of the two on the News Hour, where time factors & the limitations of verbal expression made the discussion less edifying than reasoned, edited composition.
This was the president of the United States, invoking the specter of World War III if Iran gained even the knowledge needed to make a nuclear weapon. The American discussion about Iran has lost all connection to reality. [...] Israel and every Arab country (except Syria and Iraq) are quietly or actively allied against Iran. And yet we are to believe that Tehran is about to overturn the international system and replace it with an Islamo-fascist order? What planet are we on? [...] Real power, they said (correctly), especially control of the military and police, was wielded by the unelected "Supreme Leader," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Now that Ahmadinejad is president, they claim his finger is on the button. (Oh wait, Iran doesn't have a nuclear button yet and won't for at least three to eight years, according to the CIA, by which point Ahmadinejad may not be president anymore. But these are just facts.) [...] Stalin and Mao—who casually ordered the deaths of millions of their own people, fomented insurgencies and revolutions, and starved whole regions that opposed them—were rational folk. [...] One of the bizarre twists of the current Iran hysteria is that conservatives have become surprisingly charitable about two of history's greatest mass murderers. [...] Last year, the Princeton scholar, Bernard Lewis, a close adviser to Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal predicting that on Aug. 22, 2006, President Ahmadinejad was going to end the world. The date, he explained, "is the night when many Muslims commemorate the night flight of the Prophet Muhammad on the winged horse Buraq, first to 'the farthest mosque,' usually identified with Jerusalem, and then to heaven and back. This might well be deemed an appropriate date for the apocalyptic ending of Israel and if necessary of the world" (my emphasis). This would all be funny if it weren't so dangerous.
The response from the blood-thirsty war-mongers (should they attempt to deal w/ facts) will, of course, be the tired refrain of: "9/11, 9/11! Everything changed after 9/11!!" Many people didn't buy that six yrs. ago, and fewer & fewer are going along w/ it now.

Bottom Five

C'mon! You'd turn her down? The Texas Terri of the New Millenium?
The "lads" @ Maxim picked the Five Unsexiest Women Alive. We should qualify that by adding: "In Show Bidness, Who Are Considered Sexy by Someone, Somewhere." Just Another Blog™ would allow any of the five to eat crackers or almost anything else in bed, as "sexy" is not determined by mere physicality. How much money do any of these gals have, & how much of the rent chez Bouffant would they be willing to pay? There's your sexuality!
Get real, Maxim. We'd like to know where your editorial staff would rank on the list of "Pathetic Jagoffs Who Type Big, But Whose Lives Are Devoted to Crummy Movies, Crummier Video Games & The Crummiest Music, Plus Voyeurism of Scantily Clad (But Still Clad) Women?"

More Bad News

Also in the bad musical news dep't.: Porter Wagoner, of the Nudie suit, pompadour, duets w/ Dolly Parton, & a syndicated telebision show that ran from 1960 through 1981 died yesterday, not much too young, like Lucky Dube, but @ 80, of lung cancer. No fun, but not senselessly violent like a carjacking.Are you looking at that jacket, or those...?
Funeral Thurs. @ the Grand Ole Opry.

Bad Fucking News

While checking out the Lindsay Roberts action @ Pissed On Politics we encountered this sad bit of news: South Afrikan reggae star Lucky Dube went to meet Jah in person as the result of a carjacking almost two wks. ago. Poor bastard had a three-month old daughter. This sucks like Peter Tosh's murder in a home invasion.

More Christian Wife Action

Speaking of Xtian (or at least Mormon) wives, as we were in the item just below, LEFT-OVER has a nice take on the Republican Wives Club. We're stealing their photo montage (Look @ Princess Giuliani, yikes!) but you should whip over & read their take on these ladies.We get the impression that if there's any Xtian Domestic Discipline going on w/ these power couples, the wives are not the ones wearing the crotchless pantaloons.

Most Popular Searches: Spanking & ORU

Viewers often ask, "M. Bouffant, Just Another Blog (From L. A.)™ covers so many different aspects of contemporary culture & politics, what is the most popular search to your wonderful blog?" Then they grow large leather bat-wings & fly away, but that's another story, which we're hoping medication will take care of. Other than the Mossad agents in Tel Aviv who seem to check in every half hour or so, and the CIA agents in Silicon Valley who do the same (Are they secretly communicating w/ each other through our devil-box? We'll have to check the times they're "reading" against each other.) the most common search we get is for Christian wife spanking (A/K/A Christian Domestic Discipline) based on this item we ran some time ago. We don't think many of the searchers are approaching it w/ the sense of humor we have about it. We also get hits for our screeds against Blackwater, and recently ones concerning the Oral Roberts U. scam. Pissed On Politics has several good links. It looks as if there is a second set of allegations. Here's the juiciest extract:
The report says that dead-bolt locks were installed on all bedroom doors at the Richard Roberts residence at the insistence of his oldest daughter. ''This was precipitated by Mrs. Roberts repeatedly moving into the home her 16 year old male 'friend,' which made her daughters uncomfortable.''
Damn. What is this world coming to when a parent doesn't have control of her own house anymore?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Risky Rudy

Niall Ferguson, colonialist & imperialist, had a column in the regional wrapper of fish in September about Rudy Giuliani, & how he would not be a good president. Ferguson is a historian, though of the right-wing revisionist type; one of his books, The Pity of War, suggests that Imperial Germany should have been allowed to win World War I, which would have lead to something similar to the current European Union, & Britain remaining an empire & the world's dominant financial power. Not much room for the U. S. in that scenario, but it gives an idea of how Mr. Ferguson approaches things. You might well imagine that the Mayor of 9/11 would be a favorite of Fergie's, but no. Ferguson seems to still have some connection to "liberally biased" reality. (Perhaps some more time @ the Hoover Institution, where he is a Senior Fellow, will disabuse him of that.) We quote:
...Giuliani buys the idea that since 9/11, the U.S. has been fighting World War III. You know how this routine goes. Al Qaeda is made up of Islamo-fascists; 9/11 was Pearl Harbor; Saddam Hussein was the Arab Hitler; the fall of Baghdad would be like the liberation of Paris. And so on. Now it's Giuliani's turn. "We should try to accomplish [in Iraq] what we accomplished in Japan or in Germany," he says. What, like bombing the place flat? The reality is that the threat posed by Islamist terrorism today is wholly different from the threat posed by the Axis powers in 1941-42. To judge by Osama bin Laden's latest rant, he aims at mass conversion, not conquest (with low-interest loans as the latest inducement). The Islamists have thousands rather than millions of trained warriors. Their most dangerous weapons are land mines and rocket-propelled grenade launchers, not aircraft carriers and guided missiles. The total number of American fatalities that can be attributed to this supposed world war is about 6,000 (adding together 9/11 victims with U.S. passports and the service personnel killed in action in Iraq). On average, the Axis powers killed about 20,000 Allied soldiers and civilians a day. The trouble is that the more Americans imagine they are in a world war, the less attention they pay to the more profound strategic threats their country faces. I can think of four in particular: • the descent of the greater Middle East into a large-scale war; • the disintegration of the system of nuclear nonproliferation; • the escalating competition between developed and emerging economies over scarce raw materials; • the breakdown of the system of multilateral trade liberalization. Taken together, these challenges will sorely test whoever occupies the White House after Bush. Has Giuliani given any of them serious thought? Does he have any strategic vision beyond preventing another 9/11 (his nightmare, he says, is an Iranian-made dirty bomb "in London or Rome or America")? Applied to cleaning up the mean streets of New York, Giuliani's offensive approach worked pretty well (though it eventually ended in overkill). How well it can work as foreign policy is another matter altogether.
And read the discussion from tonight's PBS News Hour w/ Norman "Nuke 'em All" Podhoretz, one of Giuliani's advisers, & Fareed Zakaria, editor of Newsweek International.
Commentary magazine editor Norman Podhoretz wrote in June that military force was "required" to stop Iran from getting a bomb and offered this description of Iranian President Ahmadinejad. Quote, "Like Hitler, he is a revolutionary whose objective is to overturn the going international system and to replace it with a new order dominated by Iran and ruled by the religio-political culture of Islamofascism," end quote. Newsweek International editor Fareed Zakaria responded recently to Podhoretz, writing, "For this staggering proposition, Podhoretz provides not a scintilla of evidence." And Zakaria wrote, "The American discussion about Iran has lost all connection to reality." [...] JUDY WOODRUFF: ... I do want to ask you both, because I think it's important. Mr. Podhoretz, do you think that, as you wrote a few months ago, this administration, this president intends before he leaves office to strike Iran? NORMAN PODHORETZ: Yes, I do believe he will, because he has said many times -- or at least two times that I know of in public -- that, if we allow Iran to get the bomb, people 50 years from now will look back at us the way we look back at the men who made the Munich pact with Hitler in 1938 and say, "How could they have let this happen?" Well, unlike Fareed Zakaria and the foreign policy establishment that is complacent and irresponsible, in my opinion, I think the president recognizes the danger. I think he knows that time is short, that time is not on our side. And I think he will take military action, not an invasion, but air strikes before he leaves office. JUDY WOODRUFF: And, Fareed Zakaria, if you would, a brief response. FAREED ZAKARIA: Oh, I would doubt it. Look, in the early 1980s, Norman Podhoretz and the neoconservatives believed the Soviet Union was going to take over the world and Finlandize Europe. When Reagan started talking to the Soviets, started talking to Gorbachev, Mr. Podhoretz excoriated him, called it the "Reagan road to detente" and such. It turned out he was wrong. It turned out that the Soviets were not that powerful, and that history was on our side, and that things were going to work out as long as we kept our cool. I believe in just the way that we have deterred the Soviet Union, Mao's China, Kim Jong Il, history will prove that we can use deterrence and containment to contain the problem of Iran and that we do not need to launch a third unilateral invasion just to do that. JUDY WOODRUFF: Fareed Zakaria and Norman Podhoretz... NORMAN PODHORETZ: God help us if we follow that counsel.
Who'll help us if we attack yet another country, Norm? The 101st Keyboard Kommandos? The 82nd Chairborne? Space Elves?

Only in North America: Halloween

Halloween is a mostly American phenom, though our cultural cousins in Canada are unable to escape the gravitational pull. Above: Whistling past the graveyard in Los Feliz.

What does this say about us? We worship (that is, are scared shitless of) death. Our other big holiday? The excess of commerciality that is X-mess. We don't want to die, but we expect a reindeer herder to break into our house & leave stuff for us. (The exact opposite of regular human behavior.) How fucking stupid, childish & ignorant can one nation be? (Don't ask, you'll find out.)

What Would Jesus Do?

Left to right: The Ex-Mayor, The Dog Stapler, & The Molesting Monsignor, in Rome.
More on Rudy "The Catholic" Giuliani's close friend, the Molesting Monsignor, Alan Placa, from ABC News' The Blotter:
At a campaign appearance in Milwaukee last week, Giuliani continued to defend Placa, who he described to reporters as a close friend for 39 years.
"I know the man; I know who he is, so I support him," Giuliani said. "We give some of the worst people in our society the presumption of innocence and benefit of the doubt," he said. "And, of course, I'm going to give that to one of my closest friends."

Is the ex-mayor admitting that the Monsignor is one "of the worst people in our society?"
Appearing publicly for the first time today on ABC News' "Good Morning America," Tollner says the abuse started when he and Placa were in the high school making posters for a Right to Life march.
"As he started to explain how these posters should be done, I realized that something was rubbing my body," Tollner said. "After a minute or two, I realized that he's feeling me, feeling me in my genital area."
Well, you won't have to have any more "Right to Life" marches if you only have gay sex.

SPECIAL NOTE: This is our 500th item, & a nice vicious one, politically meaningful even. How nice that it wasn't a lame attempt @ humor, an excuse to show unclad women, or any of the other tripe so often found here. 500 in a bit less than six months. Not bad for an editorial staff w/ nothing else to do.

Freddie Thompson, Crusading Prosecutor & Boy Genius

Good ol' boy Freddie in the local cage-liner:
He was "attacking crime and public corruption," boasts a video played at his campaign events. During a candidate debate this month, Thompson said he spent those years "prosecuting most of the major federal crimes in middle Tennessee -- most of the major ones." But a review of the 88 criminal cases Thompson handled at the U.S. attorney's office in Nashville, from 1969 to 1972, reveals a different and more human portrait -- that of a young lawyer learning the ropes on routine cases involving gambling, mail theft and, in one instance, talking dirty on CB radio.

He's a liar, he's lazy, & Nixon didn't think highly of him:

In this May 1973 recording, he shared his concern with then-chief of staff Alexander Haig. "He's talking to Fred Thompson. I said you're not --," Haig begins. "Oh sh--, he's dumb as hell. Fred Thompson," Nixon interjects. "Who is he? He won't say anything." [...] In his memoir of the Watergate era, Thompson admits to secretly alerting the White House to key evidence as it was discovered by congressional investigators. Former Watergate committee investigator Scott Armstrong told ABC News that Thompson's cooperation with the White House undermined the investigation.
Of course, he has as much of a chance at the Republican nomination as Ron Paul does. Too bad, as either one would be a worthy opponent. For Lyndon Johnson.

Things We Missed When the Internet Was Away

We missed this anyway, as the DSL didn't go away until several days after 6 October, but the 80th anniv. of talkies came & went. Get a fuller story from Susan King in the regional fishwrapper. (George Jessel, who'd played in the non-musical Broadway version, wanted $10,000 more than Warner Bros. offered, because he "wasn't getting paid to sing.") So the first talkie, The Jazz Singer, featured Al Jolson in blackface, instead of the Toastmaster General:And the first classic (silent division) of the American art form? You got it, Birth of a Nation. The real question should be, "Why doesn't everybody hate us?"

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Today's Sermon, Part Three: Mormo-Babtist Whatnot

Jesus, Mary & Elohim, three of Joe Smiff's Holy Space Elves.
Yes, it's a big fight over which lie/fairy story/con game is to be believed. The Southern Babtists are saying poopy-oopy-doopy to the Mormons, who of course don't have a leg to stand on because their fairy story was made up so recently that, on a historical scale, it's like yesterday. Mormonism is the same deal as UFOs: Why don't they show up on the White House lawn, instead of appearing to one or two ordinary people in the middle of nowhere? Why didn't the Angel Moroni & Elohim & Jesus & whichever other space-elves were involved make a big public announcement & hand over all the golden scrolls or whatever bullshit it was to a whole bunch of people, instead of one nobody who was the spawn of crooks ("treasure-hunters" or whatever the fuck) who "lost" half the revealed stuff anyway?


About this stupid:
The Mormons regard themselves as Christians, and Jesus figures prominently on the covers of LDS publications. They believe that after the death of Christ's apostles his church became confused, a period that ended only with the restoration of the Gospel by the presentation of another book of scripture by an angel to LDS founder Joseph Smith.

Most Christian theologians, however, disagree, not just because they disbelieve the angel story and the Book of Mormon that resulted, but by pointing to Mormon concepts including the ability of humans to become godlike entities after death. Most perturbed have been conservative Evangelicals like the Southern Baptists, who share many of the Mormons' conservatiave
[sic] social values yet have a very strict view of what is and what is not scripture, and find themselves in competition with the LDS for congregants.
That kills us: "Our Savior came to save us from some con involving an apple tree & a snake, perpetuated on us by a space-elf who is & isn't the father of Our Savior, but you expect us to believe a different space-elf appeared w/ more stuff to read ('Oh, reading's hard. Just tell me the good stuff.') in upstate New York in the 19th century? Do you think we're nuts? You're crazy!!"
Land explained that he would look at Mormonism "as another faith in the same sense that I would look upon Islam as another faith. I think the fairest and most charitable way to define Mormonism would be to call it the fourth Abrahamic religion — Judaism being the first, Christianity being the second, Islam being the third, and Mormonism being the fourth. And Joseph Smith would play the same character in Mormonism that Muhammad plays in Islam."
Or that L. Ron Hitler plays in Scientology©.

We won't even bring up that Coulter person & her "perfected Jew" crap. Sunday is almost gone.

Today's Sermon, Part Two: "The Devil Is Not Going to Steal ORU."

The President & "First Lady" of ORU. Is she on leave as well?
Oral Roberts University founder Oral Roberts (modest, isn't he, as befits a man of God) dragged his aging ass from California to Tulsa, OK earlier this wk. AP coverage.

Dep't. of Irony:

The most sensational bit of evidence in a civil case against Oral Roberts University ironically exists because university President Richard Roberts ordered it.
Mr. Roberts, who announced a temporary leave of absence Wednesday, said last week in an interview with The Associated Press that he asked his sister-in-law Stephanie Cantees to be his eyes and ears in Tulsa and to report to him every week what people are saying about the ministry, whether it was fact or rumor.
Her report reached his desk three years ago, Mr. Roberts said.
We don't get it. Was it supposed to be a weekly report, or a one-off that's now three yrs. old? That also from the AP. And from the same story:

An Oral Roberts student repairing Ms. Cantees' laptop discovered the document and later provided a copy to one of the dismissed professors.
"It's interesting to me that a president of a Christian university hires someone to report to him what rumors are going on about town," Mr. Richardson said.

Very interesting to us as well. Especially when it's his sister-in-law who's hired. Aren't these people supposed to be living on a higher spiritual plane? And perhaps not keeping everyone in the family on the payroll, as if they're fucking Mafia? Is it too much to ask that the human species move beyond feudalism?

Little has happened since Just Another Blog™ was on this three wks. ago. It may be some time before it makes its way through the legal system & we can get the full poop on Lindsay Roberts & her "underaged companions." And if there is any truth to those accusations, we can bet there will be a settlement long before one witness testifies, no matter how indebted ORU is. A summary of recent events from TIME.