Saturday, November 17, 2007

Annals of Living Vicariously: Meltdown or Trainwreck?

Bride of Finkelstein
Amy Winehouse has a smoke (or three) in the bathroom on the plane to Glasgow, & The Sun (The Limey paper, not the celestial object, moron!) throws a fit, & provides a mobile 'phone video of Ms. W. pulling something out of her towering 'do & snooting it, while performing. Rock rock rock'n'roll!!

As inspired by TBogg. If not for his item we might have let Ms. Winehouse off the hook. Instead, we were inspired to wander the web looking for more scurrilous items. And we found them!!

"Fagots Stay Out"


"Heckuva Job, Cookie"

Most interesting thing from an AP story about the Brothers Krongard, who apparently don't speak much to each other :
In addition to recusing himself from matters related to Blackwater, Howard Krongard also said he is no longer involved in corruption investigations related to the flawed construction of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, a $600 million project that is beset by logistical delays and security concerns.
From a statement released by BW founder & chief war profiteer Erik Prince:
"The publicized allegation of an 'apparent conflict of interest' against his brother Howard, with whom Buzzy has not been close for years, is just that, an allegation," Prince's statement said.
The Bush administration may not be getting the best value for its money if the State Dep't. Inspector General has to recuse his ass from half the shit he should be working on. Even if he has recused himself, are we to believe that he'll have no influence on anyone in his office?

Friday, November 16, 2007

"Huge Talent, Troubled Soul"

United Snakes Talent (Young Female Division): Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, blah blah, most of them best known for being known, some of them introduced to the public eye by careers in telebision & movies for 'tweens, others by dancing better than they sing, sporting school girl costumes & being the vocal tools of production whizzes. Some, we just have no idea why they're known or continue to be known.

Other Side of the Pond Talent (Same Division): Lily Allen, Amy Winehouse. Actual talent. Which doesn't always keep those possessing it out of the news.
Not exactly a schoolgirl costume, but not unfetching. And it goes w/ a performance a little more career-damaging than B. S. @ the MTV Video Awards. This might even link to some mobile 'phone video.

Looking slightly stunned, Miss Winehouse dropped her microphone, fell into the guitar stand, and screamed: "Let me tell you something. First of all, if you're booing you're a mug for buying a ticket.
"Second, to all those booing, just wait til my husband gets out of incarceration. And I mean that."
She then shocked remaining audience members by referring to them as "monkey c****".

Just Another Blog (From L. A.)™, who's been a fringie/freak/punk since the mid-'60s, is completely in favor of abusing one's audience. You passive bastards. Get your own fucking web log if you don't like this. It'll take you five minutes to set it up & start blogging away (& months & months to figure out how to do anything w/ it). Monkey cunts, all of you.

Back on subject:
The Sun reported today that doctors found heroin in Mr Stone's system after he inhaled it passively on Amy's tour bus.
The tour manager is said to have produced a doctor's note which revealed traces of the class A drug in his blood.
“He insisted to the management team that the only way that could have happened would have been through inhaling it from Blake and Amy. Thom just had it up to here. It was a nightmare job,” the paper reported.
WORLDnews Network has several pages of stories to pick from, you mugs.

There's One in Every Convoy

Blackwater guard 'lost it' Blackwater guard 'lost it' Yet another unwarranted attack on Blackwater. We're always proud & happy to present them, here at the Internet's primary source for calumny & unprovoked attacks.

From Today's Papers

From today's papers & telebision news, we bring you: STUFF THAT WE REALLY DON'T GIVE ONE SHIT ABOUT Barry Bonds; Last Night's Democratic "Debate;" Bush Easing Airspace Restrictions to Make Thanksgiving Travel Easier; Stocks End Volatile Day W/ Comeback; Indoor Tanning Season; Retailers Face Uphill Battle; Lindsay Lohan Spends 84 Minutes in Jail; Senators Want Back Taxes Collected; Rice's Mideast Legacy; Bishops Condemn Giuliani on Abortion; Madonna, Gucci, Team Up for Malawi Charity; Woman Finds Jesus on Pancake; Exploring the Geography, Glories of Oysters; Toyota Sees a Drop in Reliability Ratings. To mention just a few.

Please, No Pussy Jokes
(Species UPDATED)

You might not want to find this fellow when visiting the W.C. in the middle of the night. Don't know if he uses it or just likes it as a perch.Note ordinary Felis silvestris catus. Our command of Russian is limited to determining that the larger one weighs 15 kilos & is 30 centimetres at the shoulder.
Chicken Before:
Chicken After:
More photos. P. S.: Can't these Russkies keep their clothes on?

UPDATE (17 November 2007 @ 0135 PST): Thanks to Antipodean Herr Doktor Bimler, who advises us of Catzilla's exact species in the comments.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Special Ed

In visual form, so that even the slowest among us (i. e., Reichtards) may be able, at long last, to get it, by the somewhat popular TBogg.

The Peacock Network: 9²

Wouldn't ordinarily bother w/ a non-divisible by five anniversary, but these NBC logos (left: 1943, upper right: 1956, lower right: 1954) have been sitting in the devil box for a while, so we'll take this opportunity to note that the first NBC broadcast occurred 81 yrs. ago.
RCA formed a new corporation on September 9, 1926, known as the National Broadcasting Company. The new company was owned by RCA, as well as two of its parent companies, Westinghouse and General Electric.

NBC's first broadcast on the WEAF network took place November 15, 1926.

[...]

In the beginning, NBC was "National" in name only, as its programs reached only as far west as Denver. In its first years, NBC was unable to set up a coast-to-coast hookup. AT&T had not yet installed broadcast quality telephone lines across the Rocky Mountains.
That's right kids, in the Golden Age of Radio it went over the 'phone lines, replaced by microwave xmission from one land station to the next, & now you & every other living & inert thing on the planet are under constant microwave bombardment from satellites. More detail, & the story of NBC Orange (news to us too) from The Broadcast Archive, who don't want us infringing on their copyright, but we're going to go fair use nuts anyway.

Local yokels may be amused by these postcards of the NBC studios at Sunset & Vine, now occupied by the Home Savings bldg., which is no longer Home Savings, but a WaMu branch.

Meet The Neocons

Let's see if this Bugger™ "load a video" thing will work, as we couldn't get the video to embed from the site. Waiting...waiting...still waiting...7 of 41 MB loaded...8...11...33...38...39...

Here's a surprise. It didn't work!! Fortunately, a bit of research @ the blip.tv site led to the suggestion to paste it into "Edit HTML" rather than "Compose" or "Add Image" or trying to upload it w/ the Bugger™ "add video" featurebug.

OH CRAP!! You still have to download an "FLV player." And it's too big for this template anyway. Fuck it, here's the link to the page, play it on their site. It's amusing enough that we've wasted quite some time on it. Like about two fucking hours.

P. S.: Didn't they kick Rummy out of the band about a yr. ago?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

In Case You Thought We Were Joking: Room 641A

Room 641A, Folsom St. AT&T Facility, San Francisco, CA
Whistleblower saw AT&T assist Bush administrationWhistleblower saw AT&T assist Bush administration.

To find out for yourself (from WIRED's Threat Level):
If you're a Windows user, fire up an MS-DOS command prompt. Now type tracert followed by the domain name of the website, e-mail host, VoIP switch, or whatever destination you're interested in. Watch as the program spits out your route, line by line.

In the above example, my traffic is jumping from Level 3 Communications to AT&T's network in San Francisco, presumably over the OC-48 circuit that AT&T tapped on February 20th, 2003, according to the Klein docs. The magic string you're looking for is sffca.ip.att.net. If it's present immediately above or below a non-att.net entry, then -- by Klein's allegations -- your packets are being copied into room 641A, and from there, illegally, to the NSA. Of course, if Marcus is correct and AT&T has installed these secret rooms all around the country, then any att.net entry in your route is a bad sign.

Interlocking DoS I. G. & Blackwater Advisory Board Member

Blood is thicker then Blackwater
Blood is thicker then Blackwater
Please note that the incorrect "than" is entirely the fault of MSNBC, which, especially in this case, really does stand for Mighty Sorry, No Body Cares. The brothers Krongard are known as "Cookie" & "Buzzy." As noted in the photo caption of this item, now that you're both over 60, get names that don't end w/ an "e" sound. P. S.: The Constitution of the United States says: no nobility in our country. How about an amendment to deal w/ the de facto nobility/aristocracy of wealth & privilege that is slowly strangling this country?

Federal Blackwater Investigation

You know it's serious stuff when a Blackwater spokesweasel actually has a comment on something, even if it's pretty much a "non-comment comment." Let's examine the process: First, the NYT has a story that Mme. Spokesweasel won't comment on:
Anne E. Tyrrell, a Blackwater spokeswoman, said she would have no comment until the F.B.I. released its findings.
Then, the AP does a story on the NYT piece, & Mme. has a platitudinous response:
Responding to the Times report, Anne Tyrrell, a Blackwater spokeswoman, said the company “supports the stringent accountability of the industry. If it is determined that one person was complicit in the wrongdoing, we would support accountability in that. The key people in this have not spoken with investigators.” She added that the company will withhold further comment “until the findings are made available.”
The NYT story, based on statements from anonymous sources (DoJ & FBI spokespeople didn't comment either) indicated that once one of Blackwater's "private security contractors" started firing, all the others started as well. Hey, why not?
Investigators have concluded that as many as five of the company’s guards opened fire during the shootings, at least some with automatic weapons. Investigators have focused on one guard, identified as “turret gunner No. 3,” who fired a large number of rounds and was responsible for several fatalities. Investigators found no evidence to support assertions by Blackwater employees that they were fired upon by Iraqi civilians. That finding sharply contradicts initial assertions by Blackwater officials, who said that company employees fired in self-defense and that three company vehicles were damaged by gunfire. Government officials said the shooting occurred when security guards fired in response to gunfire by other members of their unit in the mistaken belief that they were under attack. One official said, “I wouldn’t call it a massacre, but to say it was unwarranted is an understatement.” [...] A separate military review of the Sept. 16 shootings concluded that all of the killings were unjustified and potentially criminal. One of the military investigators said the F.B.I. was being generous to Blackwater in characterizing any of the killings as justifiable.
When Blackwater's mouthpiece spoke to the AP, she had this to say:
“Without a doubt, the teams were faced with deadly force that day,” the Blackwater spokeswoman said.
Any possibility we could make P. R. flack a profession that's just plain illegal, like pimp or contract killer?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Triskaidekaphobia

Looks like Friday-the-Thirteenth falls on a Tuesday this month.

Tancredo Tells It Like It Is!

To hell w/ wasting time posting here (typing this is waste enough) go to Sadly, No! & look at Team Tancredo's campaign ad. They've also posted a beaut from Sick Rick Santorum's losing 2006 campaign.

And so viewers won't think we're stupid (we're just lazy) when this was on the news earlier we thought, Oh, that's funny, we could look for it on YouTube & put it up. But we didn't, 'cause we're lazy. And knew we could count on someone else to do it.

And when any of these nutjobs (Hunter, Paul, Tancredo) stick their heads out of their holes w/ a stunt like this, we like to remind all that a sitting Congressperson hasn't even been nominated for president by one of the big two parties in living memory.

Sometimes a Hot Dog Is Just a Hot Dog, But Not in This Case

Ingredients
1 hot dog, cook's choice
1 Idaho baking potato, 7 to 10 ounces
Mustard for dipping, any style
Other condiments as desired such as cheese sauce, sour cream, chili, chives, bacon pieces or black olives.


Wash and dry potato. Rub with shortening or butter. With an apple corer or small knife, core out the potato center (end to end). Push hot dog through the center. Bake until potato is cooked through.
Can you guess whose "recipe" this is? Sometimes this shit just about writes itself.

Super Tuber is a great snack that uses one of my favorite vegetables: The Idaho Potato. Of course, I suppose any type of potato could be used, but I cannot guarantee that a Super Tuber made with anything but a true Idaho potato would taste as good. Sincerely, Larry E. Craig, United States Senator
"Push hot dog through the center." Eeeww!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Angry Samoans Update

It seems they played (in TX?) a couple wks. ago, which was exciting to the 19 yr. old on whose website we found this vital info. Big question: Does Metal Mike ever change his threads, or did Anna Rexi just lift the photo from the same gig we did? The Lone Star sign & bottles may be a clue that this gig actually happened in TX.

We wonder about Metal Mike because, if he's always sporting the same costume, he may have turned into a cartoon character.

Not Just Blackwater

What the State Dep't. seems to feel is permissible for its private security contractorsmercenaries, in this case DynCorp International, to do:
Ms. Nantongo, the embassy spokeswoman, said that according to DynCorp’s own report to the State Department on the episode, the DynCorp guards first used “nonlethal means to warn the driver of the vehicle to stop.” In Iraq, the term “nonlethal means” often indicates that guards threw water bottles, waved or fired a small flare to get the attention of a driver. But DynCorp told the State Department that the vehicle continued forward, and that a guard “discharged his weapon to disable the vehicle,” Ms. Nantongo said. “There are conflicting accounts as to whether anyone was injured or killed,” she said. [...] Mr. Lagana said the DynCorp guards reported that they were unaware that they had wounded or killed anyone. “We knew that we had fired at the front of the vehicle,” he said. “We were kind of surprised that there was a death.”

In the immortal words of Gomer Pyle (who seems to have been promoted from private to "Guy in Charge in Iraq"): "Surprise, surprise!" HERE'S THE BLACKWATER PART: More on Erik Prince, from the Detroit Free Press, known as the Freep. Don't be scared, it has no relation to Fresno's finest, Free Republic. Yeah, yeah, it's over a month old, but it provides some insight into Mr. Prince's characterpersonality, whatever you want to call it.
"In Holland, there's very much a strong sense of patriotism," said longtime friend Jim Heetderks. "I think he really took that to heart more than the rest of us." Prince declined to be interviewed for this story. His mother and sisters did not respond to requests for comment. Prince was steeped in free-market, faith-based, Republican values from a young age. [...] After graduating, Prince headed to the U.S. Naval Academy, only to quit after three semesters. He told friends he was disappointed in the maturity and morality of his fellow midshipmen. "I know when he got back, he said that he thought everybody at the academy would just bleed red, white and blue like he did," the former coach, Heethuis said. "But he found out some people were just there for a free education." Prince landed an internship in the early 1990s in the White House under then-President George Bush. Again, he was disappointed. He later told the Grand Rapids Press: "I saw a lot of things I didn't agree with -- homosexual groups being invited in, the budget agreement, the Clean Air Act, those kinds of bills." But he didn't reject politics. He stumped for Pat Buchanan, and interned at Bauer's Family Research Council in Virginia, even climbing trees in Bauer's backyard to trim dead branches. Prince's connection with Christian conservatives was strengthened by another internship, with California Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, who recalled talking with Prince about his ideals. "If he wanted to make money, he could have done a lot of things to make more money," Rohrabacher said. "He is an idea-driven person."

Those who know of Rohrabacher will be amused by that statement. Also, a quickie bio of Erik Prince from the Freep. And, from an interview he gave the Free Press a few days after declining to be interviewed:
WASHINGTON -- As Blackwater USA's owner, Erik Prince can rattle off reasons for its meteoric success getting work as security contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan. But his family's political connections, its vast giving to Republican, Christian and conservative causes and campaigns aren't among them, he says. "I'm not a zealot," he said. "I'm a businessman."
Often the same thing. Certainly, family connections & massive donations (from the foundation he established, besides the $200,000 Prince has personally given to drooling wingnuts) have nothing to do w/ success in no-bid gov't. contracts.
Prince deflected accusations of a cowboy mentality within his company, that his contractors shoot first and ask questions later in protecting dignitaries and diplomats. "They're out there doing a very difficult job," he said, noting contractors' military and law-enforcement backgrounds.
Sure, no one in law enforcement or the military has ever acted like a fucking cowboy. From April of this yr., a look at Prince (w/ links) from Michigan Liberal.com. And all of this Michigan based stuff comes to our attention from nancynall.com, whose commentariat, & some other stuff we've seen, suggests that Western Michigan is a hotbed of crazy people. Oh, we're sorry, don't mean to be uncivil, they're perfectly normal people who just happen to hold 16th century views. And the Dutch Reformed Church (very popular around Holland, Mich.) of which Prince was a member before converting to Roman Catholicism, is one of those Calvinist outfits.

From The Obvious to The Stupid

Most "creative" types have a fair amount of contempt for their audience. Who's doing the heavy lifting, & who's just absorbing it like a sponge? Just Another Blog™ doesn't really have enough audience to be contemptuous, but we take a back seat to no blog in our contempt for this entire species we seem to belong to. (Though we still await the DNA results on that.)

Dick Locher, who got hold of the Dick Tracy© franchise following Chester Gould's demise, must think his audience are barely able to breathe through their mouths. A couple of examples from recent Crimestoppers Textbooks.

First, the obvious:No shit, stay out of dive bars, you say? Unless you're some kind of itching-for-a-fight biker or something? Really? And Dick doesn't seem to know his English too well. A "haunt" is defined as: "a place habitually frequented." It doesn't mean a bar filled w/ ghosts or crooks, or whatever scares Dick. But he wants you to be wary of the places you habitually frequent, 'cause you're too stupid to figure out what's going on in there.

This one really takes the stupid cake:First, we don't think the guy w/ the cast is faking his right arm. It's definitely injured, or a congenital defect. Thalidomide, maybe? He's lucky the hand developed at all, considering the arm stops above the elbow. The cast? Well, maybe Mr. Locher is warning us about charity scams, or that this guy isn't injured & is going to beat you on the head w/ the phony cast, or, or...well, just be on your guard. If you see someone w/ a cast, or on crutches, be ready to smack them a good one. Hey, a little libertarian philosophy there!

Another Jab at Cheney

As today is Veterans Day (Observed) & as we just found this, let's take another shot at Richard B. Cheney, courtesy of R. J. Matson.

Rudy, Pipes & Podhoretz: Not Well Liked

Rather sour-looking bastard, isn't he? No wonder haters like P & P are on Team Giuliani.
We wonder what the Mossad agents who are constantly monitoring this web log will have to say about this. From Lebanon's Dar Al-Hayat, one Jihad el-Khazen writes about Rudy "The Catholic" Giuliani & his coterie of advisors:
Rudy Giuliani is surrounded by some of the vilest and most dangerous enemies of the Arabs and Muslims, acting as advisors in his campaign to win the nomination of the Republican Party for the American presidency. If the proverb 'birds of a feather flock together' is true, 'president' Giuliani will make us long for George Bush's days since he out-Bushes him. In Israel, he referred to 'the blood bond' with the Jewish state.
Mr. el-Khazen lists the usual suspects, & then gets specific on the most dangerous:

However, a more important figure than the ones mentioned above is Stephen Rosen, a university professor and a member of The Project for the New American Century team. Since its launch, he has engaged in a campaign aimed at imposing the hegemony of an American empire all over the world. The [PNAC] members' letters addressed to Bill Clinton and George Bush urge them to wage a war on Iraq as the empire intends to dominate the entire Middle East and spread American military bases in it. The letters also urge lending support for Israel, reject a compromise with the Palestinians leading to the creation of a state of their own, and make the war on terror a pretext for hegemony.

Peter Berkowitz is considered the team theoretician. He is founding member and the director of The Israel Program on Constitutional Government. He is a neocon Jew who gives priority to Israel's interests over any other interests, including those of his own country, the United States.

Despite the above, Martin Kramer, Daniel Pipes, and Norman Podhoretz remain the worst and the most dangerous for Arabs, Muslims, and international peace.

Kramer and Pipes founded Campus Watch to persecute any professor criticizing Israel and to launch campaigns against any university curricula tending to doing justice to Arabs and Muslims. Their efforts are part of the Israel lobby activities.

Yet, Pipes is more despicable than his partner. He created the Monitoring Islamist Media Weblog and he claims that the confrontation is with Islamofascism. As I have frequently referred to him in this column, I chose some self-defense excerpts from his books that indeed condemn him. Replying to a Newsweek article, he said that advisors do not hold common views and that he personally objected to the expression 'war on terror', because in his opinion, it is a war against Islamofascism. He asserted his opposition to Bush's policy in the Middle East and rejected the idea of a Palestinian state as it represents a reward to terrorists. He also considers democracy in the Middle East an exaggerated ambition and a useless one because it will result in the Islamists' domination.

This man is poisonous and venomous. I can accuse him of being a Fascist promoting war while denying Israel's crimes and offering it blind support that increases hatred for the Jews, which in turn means that he is an anti-Semite.

My opinion of Podhoretz is much lower than the above. This radical has double all of Pipes' attributes. His recent book
World War IV: the Long Struggle against Islamofascism is racist and anti-Semitic. The man prays so that George Bush attacks Iran. He also wishes to see the attack involve Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf countries, Egypt, and even Pakistan and countries in central Asia. This will result in increasing hatred for the Jews around the world.

Podhoretz is a radical
par excellence, and in case Giuliani becomes president and takes into consideration his advice, another war or destructive wars will erupt.

(Several minor changes were made to the text, as Mr. el-Khazen is not a native English typer. We left the Limey reversed quotation marks though. The whole thing isn't much longer, you could go read it yourself.)

And a tip of the Bouffant chapeau to alex constantine's blacklist, where we found this. Mr. Constantine is always digging up dirt, & we here @ Just Another Blog (From L. A.)™ are more than happy to spread that dirt around.

More on the "poisonous and venomous" Pipes: As expected, while our initial comment was posted, our second one, where we really went to town on the bastard, has not appeared yet. Surprise, surprise!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Help, We Can't Stop Ourself

Just one more Althouse quote, which should tell anyone anything they need to know about her critical or cognitive faculties. It's from her comments section, & is in response to this comment:
Peter said... I was twelve or thirteen when I read The Naked and the Dead. I thought it was a great novel. Then, at age eighteen I went over a bow ramp at Chu Lai, May the 7th, 1965. After fghting [sic] a war I had the chance to read that book again and discovered how utterly lame and inane it was. As for the picture of our hostess, perhaps it is because I am an adult but I kind of like the Ann of today, speaking of reletive [sic] hotness. 8:16 PM
To which she replied:
Ann Althouse said... Thanks, Peter, both for fighting a war for us and for being an adult. I'm 19 in that picture. 8:30 PM
"Fighting a war for us?" Vietnam? That was fought for us? For America or the American people? Fought for the benefit of the Catholicized elites of Vietnam, the inheritors of French colonial power, perhaps. Fought for delusional reasons of "stopping communism," & then fought so that the United States (& Lyndon Baines Johnson & Richard Milhous Nixon) wouldn't appear "weak," yes. But fought for "us?" The last war fought for "us" was WWII, & that really was self-defense. Wars of choice, wars fought for rulers unable to lead their own countrymen, or wars to "show the world we mean business," Michael Ledeen-style, are never wars for "us," you foolish person. Are you truly allowed to teach anyone anything? Has idiotic patriotism blinded you to the simplest, most obvious truths? Or was it just the unthinking rote recitation: "Thank you for your service?" And has it ever occurred to you that if people didn't fight wars for "us," there would be no armies w/ which to start wars? And a note to Peter: Perhaps had you waited for the bow ramp to be lowered, you could have gone down it or across it, rather than having to go "over it." And learn to spell & punctuate; then we'll pay attention to your literary criticism.

Veterans Day Truth

Big, empty talk from political types:
The White House had said Bush was going to also [sic] use his Veterans Day speech to scold Congress for not sending him a veterans spending bill. But the president finished without any reference to the bill or Congress.
And Vice-President Other Priorities & Five Deferments dishonors the fallen by being in the same cemetery w/ them. What's really up w/ veterans & the country they served:
Veterans make up one in four homeless people in the United States, though they are only 11 percent of the general adult population[.] [...] Some advocates say such an early presence of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan at shelters does not bode well for the future. It took roughly a decade for the lives of Vietnam veterans to unravel to the point that they started showing up among the homeless. Advocates worry that intense and repeated deployments leave newer veterans particularly vulnerable. [...] Historically, a number of fighters in U.S. wars have become homeless. In the post-Civil War era, homeless veterans sang old Army songs to dramatize their need for work and became known as “tramps,” which had meant to march into war, said Todd DePastino, a historian at Penn State University’s Beaver campus who wrote a book on the history of homelessness.
Use 'em up & throw 'em away. A great American/capitalist tradition. Isn't hypocrisy grand?

Senator Babs, Hard at Work

From the in-box:
Dear Friend:

Most of us have come to understand the sometimes deadly consequences of the increasing reliance on private defense contractors in Iraq. More than at any time in our nation’s history, private contractors are doing jobs previously done by our military. These private contractors operate in a grey area of U.S., Iraqi, and international law, making it difficult to address any egregious action or unlawful use of force. In addition, the lack of accountability in the wartime contracting process has resulted in the waste, fraud, and abuse of billions of taxpayer dollars.

Following a shooting incident on September 16, 2007 in central Baghdad involving Blackwater guards that left 17 Iraqi civilians dead, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates recently announced an agreement requiring that all State Department security convoys will now fall under military control.

Although I am pleased with this agreement, I believe that Congress must act to generate new, more stringent rules to ensure that any lawbreakers are held to account for their actions. That is why I am co-sponsoring S.2147, the Security Contractor Accountability Act. This legislation grants the U.S. government the legal authority to prosecute crimes committed by all U.S. contractors working in war zones by clarifying the language of the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act. It would also establish Theater Investigative Units of the FBI to investigate allegations of criminal misconduct by private defense contractor personnel and would require the Department of Justice to report on the number of complaints, investigations, and criminal cases involving contractors.

I believe that Congress has a responsibility to help repair the damage caused by the Bush Administration’s reliance on private contractors and no-bid contracts. Please be assured that I will work to see that the Security Contractor Accountability Act becomes law.

Sincerely,


Barbara Boxer
United States Senator

Well, Mme. Senator, that's all well & good, but just a little bit late, wouldn't you say? The 16 September slaughter was hardly the first atrocity of its kind. Why is it never until something horrible happens that our gov't. or our representatives respond? Why no planning, no forethought? Why no awareness of what the fuck is going on?

Would the senator's head still be firmly lodged in her ass if Blackwater & other private defense contractorsmercenaries had only been killing two or three people per "incident?" This shit has been going on since this un-Constitutional war was started. Democrats have been in the majority in Congress since January of this year. Yet it is just now that Senator B. throws her tiny frame against the forces of waste, fraud & abuse represented by Catholo-fascist private army Blackwater. Better late than never, but never better late, Babs.

Armistice Day

You'd barely know today is the former Armistice Day if you were getting all your info from the comic strips. La Cuchracha comes through though.

Wealth Xfer

Once again, it's good when private cos. do it, bad when gov'ts. do it, even when it's done by representative democratic republics. But what's the glibertarian/wingnut view when it's entire nations grabbing it from other nations? Is the oil-addicted nation actually to blame for making the "wrong choice?" A WaPo article brings these questions to mind. Here are the highlights for nihilists:

High oil prices are fueling one of the biggest transfers of wealth in history. Oil consumers are paying $4 billion to $5 billion more for crude oil every day than they did just five years ago, pumping more than $2 trillion into the coffers of oil companies and oil-producing nations this year alone.
[...]
"There's never been anything like this on a sustained basis the way we've seen the last couple of years," said Kenneth Rogoff, a Harvard University economics professor and former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund. Oil prices "are not spiking; they're just rising," he added.
[...]
Britain's national average gasoline price topped 1 pound per liter, or about $8 a gallon, for the first time this week because of record oil prices.
[...]
But new oil wealth can trickle away even more easily than it comes. Last month, Standard & Poor's downgraded Kazakhstan's credit rating after the country's banks lost billions on purchases of subprime mortgages.
That's right, soon you'll be paying through the nose for the privilege of stewing in your own waste, as the financial house of cards falls around you. And while the technical term is house of cards, that's not pasteboard, it's bricks & other hard heavy stuff that'll be falling on your head, while your nether regions are being boiled away.