It is envy that makes a Communist, Nazi, or Moslem Terrorist. It is the fear of being envied that makes a liberal.
Liberalism is not a political philosophy or coherent set of beliefs. It is a psychological strategy to avoid being envied.
All forms of leftism and liberalism are based on an atavistic belief in Black Magic. All are based on the primitive fear of the envious Evil Eye.
Islam, including the biography of Mohammed and the text of the Koran, was invented in the centuries after the Arab Conquest as a religious rationale for Arab imperialism.
"Mohammed" is not a name, it is a title meaning The Praised One. His real name was Ubu'l Kassim and he did not come from Mecca. He was a bandit chieftain from what is now southern Jordan.
Saudi Arabia, just like the Soviet Union, is a colonial empire within its own borders. It will break apart just as did the USSR.
China is busy surrounding itself with countries capable of aiming nuclear missiles at it. China is in very serious economic jeopardy, summarized by the Three No's: No water, no wives, no banks. The entire financial and banking system of China is facing collapse. The economic collapse of China will precipitate an attack on either Taiwan or Russia (to seize the Primorski Krai in Siberia which once was China's) as an attempt to overcome economic disaster by appeals to jingoistic Chinese nationalism.
Russia is doomed as a culture due to its inheritance of Mongol concepts of justice and equality.
The only Americans who owe reparations to the descendants of slaves are the descendants of slave owners. These people are one and the same, i.e., American blacks are a racial mix of white slave owner and black slave. Blacks owe reparations to themselves.
The next insanity to come in the homosexual assault on the American Family will be PHM: Polygamous Homosexual Marriage. Pathologically promiscuous homosexuals will consider their "marriage" a legalism that will in no way prevent them from adultery en masse. To maintain the pretense of "marriage" however, they will have to quickly begin agitating for the legalization of group sodomization as "just another form of the married life-style".
The "Original Jurisdiction" clause in the Constitution (Article III, Section 2, Clause 2) offers a way to quickly obliterate Roe v. Wade and teach the Supreme Court a lesson it badly needs to learn: to never again invent non-existent rights in The Constitution.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Although "Uncle Tom's Cabin" is well-known in Germany, ordinary Germans are not always aware of the controversy surrounding the book. Visitors to Berlin are often surprised to find there is even a subway station in the city called Onkel Toms Hütte, after a residential district which was named in tribute to the novel.Huh? Wha'? When was this residential district named? Pre- or post-Hitler? And why? Uncle Tom's crib wasn't exactly a paragon of comfortable living. (Scheiss like this is why we at Just Another Blog™ don't make too much of our Bavarian ancestry & use a Froggy pseudonym, even though we, sadly, haven't a Gallic gene anywhere in our genome.)
Also, take a look at this geek:
Today's entry indicates trouble is a-brewin' right now.
In a year when global harvests need to be excellent to ease the threat of pervasive food shortages, evidence is mounting that they will be average at best. Some farmers are starting to fear disaster.Good idea. More planting so arable acreage decreases in the long run. So long, human suckers! The cockroaches won't miss you one bit. And don't let the door hit your malnourished asses on your way off the planet.
Last winter, as the full scope of the global food crisis became clear, commodity prices doubled or tripled, provoking grumbling in America, riots in two dozen countries and the specter of greatly increased malnutrition.
As the world clamors for more corn, wheat, soybeans and rice, farmers are trying to meet the challenge. Millions of acres are coming back into production in Europe. In Asia, planting two or three crops in a single year is becoming more common.
Monday, June 9, 2008
From Column One of the cat pan-liner, fished out for your edification.
Those who wear their guns in full sight are part of a fledgling movement to make a firearm a common accessory.A few quotes:
What we're trying to say is, 'Hey, we're normal people who carry guns,' " said Travis Deveraux, 36, of West Valley, a Salt Lake City suburb. Deveraux works for a credit card company and sometimes walks around town wearing a cowboy hat and packing a pistol in plain sight. "We want the public to understand it's not just cops who can carry guns."
As Clachelle pushed the shopping cart holding their two young children during a recent trip to Costco, her husband admired the new holster wrapped around her waist. "I like the look of that low-rise gun belt," he said.
The Jensens' pistols were snapped into holsters attached to black belts that hug their waists. Guns are a fact of life in their household. Their 5-year-old daughter, Sierra, has a child-sized .22 rifle she handles only in her parents' presence.
Clachelle is the daughter of a Central California police chief and began shooting when she was about Sierra's age. She would take her parents' gun when she went out and hide it in her purse because the firearm made her feel safer.
"I love 'em," Clachelle said. "I wouldn't ever be without them."
Jensen kept as many as 10 guns in the couple's 1930s-style bungalow in Santaquin, 21 miles southwest of Provo. In January 2005, he decided to get a permit to carry a concealed weapon, mainly for self-defense.
"I'm not going to hide in the corner of a school and mall and wait for the shooting to stop," he said.
Nope, he's going to get as many many innocent bystanders as his cartridge belt allows.
Travis White, 19, who has ear and chin piercings, congratulated Brandon Trask, 21, on carrying openly for the first time that night. "Just wait until you get confronted by a cop," White said. "It'll make you feel brave."
Oh yes, you'll feel like a real man, for once in your empty life. It'll be almost as kewl as playing a video game, except it will be real, numbnutz! And you're much more likely to be the dead one when the game's over.
Certainly you can't accuse someone who feels he must carry a gun openly wherever he goes to have "irrational fears." Seems like the most sensible idea in the world. It was good enough for John Wayne in many of his classic films. Some varmint or a rustler may show up at the Applebee's or the T. G. I. Fridays, drunk on lite beer & ready to shoot up the place at any minute.
Days later, Jensen was still thinking about the reaction and the man's belief that guns are unsafe.
"People can feel that way and it doesn't bother me," he said. "If they have irrational fears, that's fine."
We can attempt to define "normal" until the cows come home, but as the vast majority of Americans do not carry guns, open or concealed, we doubt if any of these people are anywhere near normal. You have to imagine that these are the sorts of people to whom "honor" & "respect" are driving forces, and that bumping carts in the aisles at Costco, let alone a fender bender, would escalate to gunplay like the crummiest horse opera.
"I love this," he said. "I want people to be aware that crazy people are not the only ones with guns. Normal people carry them."
Seriously, there's little attempt by these pindicks even to explain any necessity for being strapped 24/7, other than to feel brave when confronted by the police, or to fantasize about saving a classroom full of teen-age girls from a crazed school-shooter. At least we were spared the "An armed country is a civil country" chestnut. You know, civility at the point of a gun. Not unlike democracy at the point of a "shock & awe" on the other side of the world. Bogus, that is. Most adults who speak of defending one's house & whatnot w/ firearms advise that you had bloody well better be ready to do it, & be ready to deal w/ the psychological aftermath of killing someone, no matter what your fervid imagination thought the intruder was going to do to you, but no mention of this aspect of the "Guns, Guns Everywhere" movement by any of these open-carriers.
We recently mentioned at Fire Megan McArdle that Americans are a bunch of sad frightened losers; this certainly throws a few more rounds in the fire.
Sunday, June 8, 2008
"The suspect told police that he came to Akihabara to kill people," said Jiro Akaogi, a spokesman for the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department. "He said he was tired of life. He said he was sick of everything," Akaogi said.Who doesn't know that feeling?
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Anyway, it's another senseless, meaningless column from Bobo, in which his main point is bemoaning the end of "sin-centric" character-building.
The concept of maturity has undergone several mutations over the course of American history. In Lincoln’s day, to achieve maturity was to succeed in the conquest of the self. Human beings were born with sin, infected with dark passions and satanic temptations. The transition to adulthood consisted of achieving mastery over them.
You can read commencement addresses from the 19th and early 20th centuries in which the speakers would talk about the beast within and the need for iron character to subdue it. Schoolhouse readers emphasized self-discipline. The whole character-building model was sin-centric. So the young Lincoln had been encouraged by the culture around him to identify his own flaws — and, in any case, he had no trouble finding them. He knew he was ferociously ambitious and blessed with superior talents — the sort of person who could easily turn into a dictator or monster.
In January 1841, Abraham Lincoln seems to have at least vaguely thought of suicide. His friend Joshua Speed found him one day thrashing about in his room. “Lincoln went Crazy,” Speed wrote. “I had to remove razors from his room — take away all Knives and other such dangerous things — it was terrible.”
Lincoln was taking three mercury pills a day, the remedy in those days for people who either suffered from syphilis or feared contracting it. “Lincoln could not eat or sleep,” Daniel Mark Epstein writes in his new book, “The Lincolns.” “He appeared at the statehouse irregularly, hollow-eyed, unshaven, emaciated — an object of pity to his friends and of derision to others.”
Later, Lincoln wrote of that period with shame, saying that he had lost the “gem of my character.” He would withdraw morosely from the world into a sort of catatonic state. Early in his marriage, Epstein writes, “Lincoln had night terrors. He woke in the middle of the night trembling, talking gibberish.”
Instead, David B.'s idea of "maturity" is the usual Rabid Weasel approach, skin-deep only, & mindful of Exodus, the outfit that claims to "cure" gay people, mostly by telling lesbians to wear more make-up & play less softball, & telling gay men to play more sports & wear less make-up. More like a stuff back in the closet approach than a "cure."
Here's how Brooksie says Lincoln achieved "maturity."
Over the course of his young adulthood, Lincoln built structures around his inner nature. He joined a traditional bourgeois marriage. He called his wife “mother” and lived in a genteel middle-class home.
In the last few years, we may be [sic] shifting toward another vision of maturity, one that is impatient with boomer narcissism. Young people today put service at the center of young adulthood. A child is served, but maturity means serving others.
And yet, though we’re never going back to the 19th-century, sin-centric character-building model, for breeding leaders, it has its uses. Over the past decades, we’ve seen president after president confident of his own talents but then undone by underappreciated flaws. It’s as if they get elected for their virtues and then get defined in office by the vices — Clinton’s narcissism, Bush’s intellectual insecurity — they’ve never really faced.Do those last four paragraphs make any sense? "Gone to school on his own failings?" "Somehow?" "Most emotionally gripped by his own failings?" What does this mean? Bush certainly seems "emotionally gripped by his own failings," he's been nothing but a failure his entire life. Do we want another one like him? How about McCain, who claims never to have sought help, counseling, or whatever for his horrific POW experiences? We're surprised Mr. Brooks doesn't have anything about Sen. Obama's "failings." Maybe he's not a "narcissistic boomer."
It would be nice to have a president who had gone to school on his own failings. It would be comforting to see a president who’d looked into the abyss, or suffered some sort of ordeal that put him on a first-name basis with his own gravest weaknesses, and who had found ways to combat them.
Somehow a leader conversant with his own failings wouldn’t be as affected by the moral self-approval that afflicts most political movements. He’d be detached from his most fervid followers and merciful and understanding toward foes. He’d have a sense of his own smallness in the sweep of events. He or she would contravene Lord Acton’s dictum and grow sadder and wiser with more power.
All this suggests a maxim for us voters: Don’t only look to see which candidate has the most talent. Look for the one most emotionally gripped by his own failings.
We are, & we say up yours!
UPDATE (7 June 2008 @ 1620):
We were on deadline (the adult mental daycare center where we hang only allows us an hour of internettery a day) so we were unable to get to one last point concerning Mr. Lincoln & that fool Mr. Brooks. Here it is: Lincoln is generally assumed to have suffered from depression, & the mercury ingestion certainly didn't help. Here is but one web page the Just Another Blog (from L. A.)™ research staff located on the subject. Yes, it's from "Neuroscience for Kids." Perhaps a bit too deep for Mr. Brooks, who wouldn't want to be thought of as an elitist or anything, we're sure. One more, from The Atlantic. (Yes, the very same Atlantic where Megan McArdle types.)
Abraham Lincoln fought clinical depression all his life, and if he were alive today, his condition would be treated as a "character issue"—that is, as a political liability. His condition was indeed a character issue: it gave him the tools to save the nation.It would, therefore, appear that David "Bobo" Brooks' entire take on "character" & "maturity" is invalidated by his complete avoidance of Lincoln's mental health problems, especially as exacerbated by ingesting mercury. We may also note that Brooks dismisses mercury merely as medication for those suffering from or fearing contracting syphilis. Not so much at Neuroscience for Kids:
In the 1800s, these blue pills were commonly prescribed for a wide variety of conditions, including worms, tuberculosis, toothaches, and cholera. They also were often prescribed for "hypochondriasis," a very general medical term that was used to describe many different physical and mental problems. Lincoln was said to have suffered from one condition often attributed to hypochondriasis: melancholia or depression. It is likely that a physician recommended that Lincoln take these blue pills for his depression.According to Brooks, however, Lincoln managed to "mature" by "joining a traditional bourgeois marriage." Joining? Is that like joining the B. P O. E.? Or DeMolay? It's as if the marriage were already going on & Abe joined in, threesome-style. Oh, Bobo. Oh, New York Times. Oh, the humanity.
A fuller spectrum of stuff on Lincoln + depression may be found @ Google™.
Friday, June 6, 2008
Christian Sharia, Or: My Heart Bleeds for the Victims But I Stand By The Church's Hierarchical Structure
In a melodious voice, Mohammed chanted verses from the Koran expressing faith in Allah to protect him, then provided their English translations, observing that his linguistic skills seemed better than those of the tribunal's official Arabic interpreter. Mohammed denounced U.S. law as immoral, citing some states' recognition of gay marriage. "Evil laws are not the laws of God, laws allowing same-sexual marriage," he told the court. "I consider all American laws under the Constitution to be evil."Smarty-pants terrorists w/ their "linguistic skills." Hmmpf. We suppose Pat Robertson & Ralph Parsnips (Rod Parsley, to the uninitiated) will be coming out for leniency for these sexist & homophobic killers, now that their position on "same-sexual" marriage is out. After all, per Pat it was gawd itself as what allowed the attacks of 11 September 2001 to take place. You know, like gawd allowing Hitler to scare all the Jooos back to Palestine. In yesterday's Timeses (N. Y., L. A. & Washington) this collection of Mary-worshipping Catholic wackos published this screed. Two freaking pp. in Section A of the local wrapper, we'll assume the same in the other Timeses. Not inexpensive, though it wouldn't surprise us one bit if the Moonie Times extended a discount to them, even if the Rev. Sun Myung Moon thinks he's the real pope or Jeezis or whatever. Note similarities to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's approach to law & human rights.
The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property is yet another outfit that invokes the First Amendment as an excuse for their religion & morals to be imposed on everyone, because their "rights" are denied if any laws or court rulings don't exactly agree w/ their teachings, rather than treating the First Amendment as an admonition to mind their own beeswax & leave decent anti-theists alone. P. S.: Keep your mackerel-traps the fuck closed until you've cleaned up all the pervy priests your Holy Mother Church keeps shuffling from parish to parish, you sick bastards. ASDTFP's biggest concern w/ the pervy priests is that it may cost Holy Mother Church some of her tax-free donations & real estate profits. Second biggest concern is that the hierarchy may be threatened.
The stakes are also clear. This is a battle for the soul of America. The so-called Cultural War is gradually becoming a Religious War. For one cannot modify the lex agendi (rules of morals) without thereby modifying the lex credendi (rules of belief) given the profound relationship between the two. He who accepts as good and even exalts homosexual practice cannot adore the true and living God who destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of that sin. (Gen. 18-19) In view of the above, it is urgent to resist the imposition on our country of “morals” opposed to those of Christ. Our resistance must be accompanied by sincere, ardent, and persevering prayer, since, as the Savior admonished us, “without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) Lastly, since the legalization of homosexual “marriage” is a public sin that can draw God’s punishment upon our country, we must sacrifice and do penance, for God does not despise “a contrite and humbled heart.” (Ps. 50:19)
Far from denying the very real crisis inside the Church, the TFP takes note of the manner in which the present crisis is paraded before the public on every occasion. It also points out that a veritable media-reformist alliance seeks to undermine the trust of the faithful in all clergy. By creating a "hurricane of pressure," reformists create the conditions for presenting a range of demands to the bishops: empower the laity; eliminate, curtail, or render meaningless all priestly, episcopal, and papal authority; make priestly celibacy optional; ordain women; and change Church morality.Golly gee whillikers, there's certainly no reason to "change Church morality," is there? Let's just blame the media. After all, it's not that gay guys think their gayness is a call from gawd to be celibate &, therefore, join the priesthood, is it? No. Rather, "Sexual Abuse is a General Problem of a Hypersexualized Culture." Really, the devil made us do it.
The American TFP insists that these reformist pressure groups do not represent average American Catholics who are extremely concerned with the crisis and their [sic] hearts bleed for the victims of so much abuse. "However, they stand by the Church's hierarchical structure," Mr. Drake reiterates. "Their hearts are not those of revolutionary firebrands but of deeply hurt but faithful sons and daughters of the Church."
The "Church stands alone" w/ the Radical Fundamentalist Extremist Islamic Terrorists. "Knowable by reason?" If they can't reason the intent of the First Amendment, we're not trusting their "reason" on anything else.
As Michel de Jaeghere rightly reminds us “the Church stands alone in proclaiming today the existence of a natural moral order, knowable by reason, and which imposes itself on civil law.”10
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Life in this society being, at best, an utter bore and no aspect of society being at all relevant to women, there remains to civic-minded, responsible, thrill-seeking females only to overthrow the government, eliminate the money system, institute complete automation and destroy the male sex.Can you disagree? We thought not. Ladies, what are you waiting for?
This is perhaps the most breathtakingly naive statement of all, implying as it does that it is actually U.S. policy that motivates Iran rather than Iran's own perceived ambitions and interests. That would be news to the mullahs in Tehran, not to mention the leaders of Hamas and Hezbollah.One of Iran's primary ambitions & interests is not to be blown to shreds by a crazed United Snakes, which has made the "obliteration" of Iran almost official policy. We suppose Bolton's next move will be to deny that "infidel' Troops being stationed in Saudi Arabia was one of the reasons Bin Laden attacked this nation on 11 September 2001. Then he'll deny that the removal of those troops was an act of surrender. After all, his new book is entitled Surrender Is Not an Option. 'Cause we all know President Obama wants to hand Florida over to the Ay-rabs, just as soon as he's returned the Southwest to Mexico. 'Surrender." So lame we forget to laugh. Equally lame: "San Francisco Democrats." Another classic Bolton pulls from his pooper.
It is an article of faith for Obama, and many others on the left in the U.S. and abroad, that it is the United States that is mostly responsible for the world's ills. In 1984, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Jeane Kirkpatrick labeled people with these views the "San Francisco Democrats," after the city where Walter Mondale was nominated for president. Most famously, Kirkpatrick forever seared the San Francisco Democrats by saying that "they always blame America first" for the world's problems. In so doing, she turned the name of the pre-World War II isolationist America First movement into a stigma the Democratic Party has never shaken.Bullshit. Sheer unadulterated bullshit. Remember, Bolton is the bozo Bush couldn't get confirmed as ambassador to the U. N., so he had to sneak-appoint him when the Senate was out of session. What a colossal tool. Blame America first, last, & always, we say. You won't get very far from the truth when you follow common sense.
This is the paradigm—the relational model that shapes so much of our public life. Its primary components are intimidation and fear. It is essentially authoritarian. If not principally about the abuse of power, it rests, nonetheless, on a generally accepted notion of power’s privileges. Of its inherent rights. The Rights of Man? Please. The average man has the right to get rich so that he too can sit behind a desk wearing an absurd haircut, yelling, “You’re fired!” or refuse to take any more questions; so that he too—when the great day comes—can pour boiling oil on the plebes at the base of the castle wall, each and every one of whom accepts his right to do so, and aspires to the honor.Not even sad, only to be expected, & entirely true.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
In The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, Bugliosi presents a tight, meticulously researched legal case that puts George W. Bush on trial in an American courtroom for the murder of nearly 4,000 American soldiers fighting the war in Iraq. Bugliosi sets forth the legal architecture and incontrovertible evidence that President Bush took this nation to war in Iraq under false pretenses—a war that has not only caused the deaths of American soldiers but also over 100,000 innocent Iraqi men, women, and children; cost the United States over one trillion dollars thus far with no end in sight; and alienated many American allies in the Western world. [...] A searing indictment of the President and his administration, The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder also outlines a legally credible pathway to holding our highest government officials accountable for their actions, thereby creating a framework for future occupants of the oval office. Vincent Bugliosi calls for the United States of America to return to the great nation it once was and can be again. He believes the first step to achieving this goal is to bring those responsible for the war in Iraq to justice.Might be worth a read. It dropped (As the teens say, see how hep we are?) 26 May 2008, don't know why there hasn't been more (Has there been any?) controversy about it than the McClellan opus. Too hot to handle, perhaps. An actual plan & call for action, as opposed to yet another Washington post hoc mea culpa. Wait, some Googling reveals an exceprt on HuffPo.
As usual, we present the most interesting & damning portions:
On national security issues, McCain receives advice from several generations of Republican strategists and former top foreign policy officials such as Henry Kissinger and Richard Armitage, often grouped in the realist camp of foreign policy, as well as William Kristol and Robert Kagan, leading neoconservative voices. The campaign lists Kagan as a leading foreign policy adviser...Ah, some real winners there.
Scheunemann, Kagan, and Kristol are project directors of the Project for the New American Century, an organization formed when Democrats controlled the White House in 1997 around what many analysts say are neoconservative ideals. The project says on its website it aims to promote U.S. leadership in the world and "rally support for a vigorous and principled policy of American international involvement and to stimulate useful public debate on foreign and defense policy and America's role in the world." The organization's statement of principles says the United States needs to "increase defense spending significantly," "strengthen ties to democratic allies," "promote the cause of political and economic freedom abroad," and "accept responsibility for America's unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles."The usual gang of idiots, w/ virtually no idea of any other nations, ideologies or cultures (except that they're "other," & therefore wrong & "anti-American") who want to stick their fingers into everyone else's pie w/o even washing their blood-stained hands, & then are just "shocked, do you hear, shocked" when things don't turn out as they hoped & prayed (thinking they could "create their own reality" merely by exercising the military power that's bankrupting This Great Nation of Ours™).
Some observers point to McCain's embrace of policy issues identified with neoconservatives dating back to his presidential campaign of 2000, when he called for a "rogue state rollback" policy predicated on aiding opposition groups that could then drive from power some regimes seen as threats to the United States. His plan for a "League of Democracies," envisioned as a group of like-minded nations that would act in lieu of the United Nations against some threats to international security, is also seen as consistent with the neoconservative aims.
We'd be more convinced of their desire to "promote the cause of political and economic freedom abroad," if any of these chicken hawks had ever expressed the slightest interest in freeing working Americans from the economic exploitation that occurs every second right here in the United Snakes. "Political & economic freedom," like charity, begins at home, ass wipes.
Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria, say[s] the speech was indicative of a "schizophrenia" in McCain's foreign policy, due in part to his call for ousting Russia from the Group of Eight industrialized nations. In the speech, McCain describes himself as an "realistic idealist" who abhors war and emphasizes the importance of respecting allies. "When we believe international action is necessary, whether military, economic, or diplomatic, we will try to persuade our friends that we are right," McCain said. "But we, in return, must be willing to be persuaded by them.""God" & destiny. Wow. Makes us feel very insignificant. From The American Conservative:
Douglas C. Foyle, an associate professor of government at Wesleyan University, calls the Los Angeles speech a reaffirmation of McCain's core neoconservative beliefs. "He's talking about idealism with realistic tendencies but he's still talking about God and destiny for the United States, which is very neoconservative," says Foyle.
The varied balloons Kristol and company hoisted to give a focus to their politics (“national greatness conservatism” was one, with an emphasis on an assertive foreign policy and constructing patriotic monuments) never gained much altitude.Yes, kick Hussein's ass (quite a challenge, that) & build patriotic monuments, like the Nazis, the Soviets, or... (Dare we say?) Saddam Hussein.
The very same neo-cons who wanted a war/occupation on, of & in Iraq as far back as 1997. From the same American Conservative article:
Kristol and Robert Kagan’s “Saddam Must Go” editorial of November 1997 is reprinted: “We know it seems unthinkable to propose another ground attack to take Baghdad. But it’s time to start thinking the unthinkable.”Yes, the neo-cons. Bad, stupid ideas they stick w/ until well past the bitter end. Funny that so few mentioned Cheney's (& many others') pre-11 Sepember 2001 lust for war & occupation when commenting on Scott McClellan's new book. And funny (stupid) that McCain has bozos like Kristol & Kagan advising him, offset by "realist" Kissinger, who is scared to leave the country for fear of being arrested as a war criminal. In his case, we can only hope that he is captured & punished sooner than Pinochet, his good buddy in crime.
In “The Holocaust Shrug” (April 2004), David Gelernter wheels out the tried and tested appeasement analogy in support of the Iraq War. Saddam is no Hitler, Gelernter acknowledges, but “the world’s indifference to Saddam resembles its indifference to Hitler.”
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Any way, we always liked the play on words of "S. C. U. M.," & thanks to A. S. Hamrah, the author of the op-ed, we are treated to a bit more of Val's ideology:
It was in 1968 that Warhol first noted that in the future, everyone would be famous for 15 minutes. But in 1967, Solanas had prefigured that with a warning of her own. In the future, she wrote in her characteristic mode of threat-laced irony, "it will be electronically possible for [a man] to tune in to any specific female he wants to and follow in detail her every movement. The females will kindly, obligingly consent to this." These twin predictions sum up the world we find ourselves in now, the world of reality TV, Facebook, Twitter, the entire free-range panopticon. Solanas made her prediction in a footnote to "SCUM Manifesto," but the whole essay is like that."Totally insane & totally right." That's just what we've been hoping for at this stop on the Internet.
For a 50-page, sexually confused diatribe against men, the manifesto is filled with an odd glee, a kind of joy in the freedom to put down words with precision and wit. "SCUM," Solanas wrote, "wants to grab some swinging living for itself." The manifesto isn't just anti-men. It's anti-everything: anti-hippie, anti-work (and pro-"unwork"), anti-art, anti-military, anti-boredom, anti-you-name-it. Its nihilism is a form of utopia for Solanas, a pre-punk aesthete who fearlessly tossed out ideas that people are just now beginning to raise. She predicted reproduction without men, the elimination of aging, the end of reproduction itself and the dawning of an age of quasi-immortals. For Solanas -- who saw the extinction of men as inevitable, an evolutionary process -- these were all signs of hope that future generations, like men and all the other things she couldn't stand ("landlords, owners of greasy spoons and restaurants that play Muzak"), would become unnecessary and disappear.
As a mixture of social philosophy and fine shtick, her work has the rare virtue of seeming at the same time totally insane and totally right. That's a virtue we used to look for in philosophers, from Diogenes and Socrates up to Nietzsche.
More on Ms. Solanas here. Or let Google's™ fingers do the walking.
And perhaps the most useful thing the Times has done since publishing restaurant closures from the Health Dep't.; a list of songs w/ "The Beat," & YouTube links thereto. That should fill the rest of your day.
Monday, June 2, 2008
Hagee described the Antichrist as a seductive figure with "fierce features." He will be "a blasphemer and a homosexual," the pastor announced. Then, Hagee boomed, "There's a phrase in Scripture used solely to identify the Jewish people. It suggests that this man [the Antichrist] is at least going to be partially Jewish, as was Adolph Hitler, as was Karl Marx."To us, Hagee is at least partially a buffoon. And really, would anyone bother to hate gay people so much unless one hated oneself for being gay in the first place? Note the code phrase "fierce features," as in, "Ooooh, he's sooo fierce," heard in gay bars nation-wide. And the anti-Semitism? When will Sen. Holy Joe Lieberman get his head out of his ass? Check The Nation story for the full poop on all involved. And then wonder why this isn't all over the media like Rev. Wright.
Saturday, May 31, 2008
The proposed Iraqi-American agreement would provide a legal framework for U.S. troops to remain in Iraq after Dec. 31, when their U.N. mandate expires. Sadr views the pact as a blow to Iraq's sovereignty. His main Shiite rival, Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, who heads the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq -- an influential Shiite political party that is part of Maliki's ruling coalition -- has also denounced the plans. Aides to Iraq's most influential Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, have also expressed concern.Oh, looks like the U. S. is negotiating w/ its puppet Al-Maliki to stay longer. Kinda like Edgar Bergen & Mortimer Snerd (or Paul Winchell & Jerry Mahoney, if you want your references from the '50s) negotiating w/ each other. Someone's hand is up someone else's booty.
Friday, May 30, 2008
Upon the cast, your broken arm Stairway to the stars, I think I'll write good health to you Stairway to the stars, I hope you heal up real quickHe's like Hallmark cards, a lyric for every possible situation. As to Clear Channel, information will be on its way tomorrow, cara Sophia, & we do hope you heal up real quick. And sue like nobody's business. Ciao!!
He had spent the previous four years as the Navy’s liaison to the Senate, sampling life in the world’s most exclusive club as he escorted its members on trips around the globe — sitting with the sultan of Oman on the floor of his desert tent, or smuggling a senator’s private supply of Scotch through Saudi Arabian customs.We see how he ran on his status as a "war hero," as opposed to knowing anything about the Arid Zone & what an actual representative would have to know about the state to, um, represent it. And how Cindy's dad helped. A lot.
He had found a sense of purpose in an apprenticeship to some of the Senate’s fiercest cold warriors. And in Senator John G. Tower, a hawkish Texas Republican, he had found a new mentor, beginning a relationship that many compared to the bond between a father and son.
With Mr. Tower’s encouragement, Mr. McCain declined the prospect of his first admiral’s star to make a run for Congress, saying that he could “do more good there,” Mr. Lehman recalled. But Mr. Lehman knew duty was only part of the reason.
“He just loved it up there,” Mr. Lehman recalled. “Like very few military people, John heard the music up there, and he really wanted to do it.”
With Hensley beer money and other contributions, the McCain camp began spreading his story through advertising. There were photos and videotapes of him limping across the tarmac, returning home after years as a prisoner of war. The candidate also was aided by his friendship with Arizona Republic Publisher Darrow "Duke" Tully, who touted himself as a war hero and was eager to spread McCain's story across his pages. The two were so close that Tully was named godfather to John and Cindy McCain's first child. (Tully resigned from the paper after it was learned that he had fabricated his war achievements; it turned out he had never served in the military.) Another influential friend was financier Charles H. Keating Jr. The Phoenix resident raised more than $100,000 for McCain. (Keating went to prison in the 1990s for his role in the failure of Lincoln Savings & Loan.)
Carlson had moved to the Phoenix area about 15 years before McCain and worked to build her Arizona resume. She was a county committeewoman and a state representative. Before that she headed a local GOP women's group. When Rhodes stepped down, she figured it was her turn to move up. Two other candidates jumped in, which threatened to split the important Mormon vote. Then, as she said, in waltzed this out-of-towner named John McCain. "It bothered me. It bothered a lot of people," she said. At town hall meetings, she said, McCain's aura as a war hero upstaged everything. "It's pretty hard to run against that," she said. "How do you debate issues important to Arizona like groundwater contamination when everyone is talking about him as a POW celebrity?"Then you could turn to the local fish-wrapper's op-ed page & see how dedicated Johnny Mack is to his fellow vets. Apparently if they actually get benefits comparable to WWII vets, Sid's afraid they won't re-up for the many, many more wars "we" must have in order to insure democracy, squash terrorism, & control every natural resource that some other country has the nerve to be sitting on.
We've previously covered (alright, alright, excerpted & linked to, not "covered") the "McCain screws his fellow vets" angle. Twice.
And we'll leave you w/ this:
At one point, Mack reportedly tried to maneuver around the celebrity candidate by reaching out to McCain's first wife, Carol, in search of anything that might sink him. But Carol alerted McCain and, at the next debate, he unloaded. "If you ever try to hurt anyone in my family again," McCain said he warned Mack, "I will personally beat the [expletive] out of you." In describing the incident in his memoirs, McCain said: "I used as much steel as I'm capable of demonstrating" in forcing Mack to back off. Asked about the episode, Mack said: "I don't want to talk about it.""If you ever try to hurt anybody in my family..." Let's see, what's more hurtful, dumping your wife who raised your children while you were in the Hanoi Hilton, or asking the dumpee (Not really a family member any more, is she?) if she might have something bad to say about the asswipe who dumped her? Get the impression that Sid's response to virtually anything said to or about him would be "I will personally beat the [expletive] out of you?" Including other nations & world leaders? Just what we need, yet another pin-dicked pseudo-macho hothead in the White House.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
The bedroom community for New York bankers and traders isn't suffering like the rest of the nation, but it's still feeling the pinch.We don't know if Times readers are supposed to feel sorry for people who actually have "disposable income," & believe that the wealthy are suffering as much as we are & we shouldn't go kill them, or if this is some sort of liberal/Marxist attempt at class warfare, to make the wage-slaves want to take their guns to Greenwich & bag a few non-productive parasites. (Remember, "class warfare" is not when the disposable income crowd cheats & exploits those who work for their – & the disposable incomers – living, "class warfare" is when someone mentions that working people are being fucked by their employers on a daily basis. Very, very similar to the right wing approach to "race." Mention racism & you're "playing the race card," or you're the anti-honkie racist.)
Sylwester Lemanski was this close to selling a $400,000 Lamborghini to a Wall Street investment banker. The customer had been eyeing the car for months at the dealership Lemanski manages. He had decided on the model and color -- a titanium Murcielago -- and needed only to sign on the bottom line. Then, as financial markets teetered in March and layoffs mounted on Wall Street, the customer started getting cold feet. Lemanski could feel the deal slipping away.Oh, the pain.
Hedge-fund titans still have plenty of money. But pain is acute among rank-and-file investment bankers and traders -- those earning only $2 million or so a year -- who are worried about their jobs.You call sitting in a fucking office all day long having your assistant get you lattes & make lunch reservations a "job?" Try digging a ditch, driving a truck, or working retail for a while, "rank-and-filers." You wouldn't last a day. And a customer would probably punch your lights out. We're tempted to do so just on general principles.
The big concern: As energy and commodity prices soar, cost increases will seep into areas beyond food and energy, sparking a full-blown episode of inflation. So far, government statistics say that hasn't happened. Core prices — those minus food and energy — have risen just 2.3% the 12 months ended April, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Nevertheless, the inflation that consumers feel the most is much higher. Energy alone has soared 15.9%, and the price of a barrel of light sweet crude oil has skyrocketed 107% to $131.03. Including food and energy, prices are up 3.9%, the government says. Already, says David Huether, economist for the National Association of Manufacturers, soaring energy prices mean that the average worker's wages have fallen, when adjusted for inflation. "If you exclude energy, real wages would be rising now," Huether says.St. Nick on a Stick, when the NAM (they would have been w/ Prescott Bush supporting Hitler in the '30s, they are so right wing) says it's a problem for workers, you'd better take it seriously. It happened during the Nixon/Ford administration, now America's idiots let Bush in once & sort of reëlected him the second time around & the result is the same. Do you fucking morons never learn? And by the way, "inflation concerns?" Have you priced (let alone purchased) milk or bread lately? The very staffs (staves?) of life (along w/ circuses, of course) aren't exactly what they were a yr. ago.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
To this day, the president seems unbothered by the disconnect between the chief rationale for the war and the driving motivation behind it, and unconcerned about how the case was packaged. The policy is the right one and history will judge it so, once a free Iraq is firmly in place and the Middle East begins to become more democratic. Bush clung to the same belief during an interview with Tim Russert of NBC News in early February 2004. The Meet the Press host asked, "In light of not finding the weapons of mass destruction, do you believe the war in Iraq is a war of choice or a war of necessity? " The president said, "That's an interesting question. Please elaborate on that a bit. A war of choice or a war of necessity? It's a war of necessity. In my judgment, we had no choice, when we look at the intelligence I looked at, that says the man was a threat." I remember talking to the president about this question following the interview. He seemed puzzled and asked me what Russert was getting at with the question. This, in turn, puzzled me. Surely this distinction between a necessary, unavoidable war and a war that the United States could have avoided but chose to wage was an obvious one that Bush must have thought about in the months before the invasion. Evidently it wasn't obvious to the president, nor did his national security team make sure it was. He set the policy early on and then his team focused his attention on how to sell it. It strikes me today as an indication of his lack of inquisitiveness and his detrimental resistance to reflection, something his advisers needed to compensate for better than they did. Most objective observers today would say that in 2003 there was no urgent need to address the threat posed by Saddam with a large-scale invasion, and therefore the war was not necessary. But this is a question President Bush seems not to want to grapple with.Yes, George W. is that lazy, ignorant, & unreflective. McClellan says that proud C student Bush is intelligent, but just doesn't want to think. "It's hard work," as George has said. And he wants no part of it, after all, he's a Bush, & that sort of thing is really beneath him. We should also point out that McClellan is not a "Washington insider" or Wall Street nabob who joined the administration only to be disillusioned & write a book, but a fellow Texan who worked for Bush long before he was appointed president. One last bit, from the WaPo:
In another section, McClellan describes Bush as able to convince himself of his own spin and relates a phone call he overheard Bush having during the 2000 campaign, in which he said he could not remember whether he had used cocaine. "I remember thinking to myself, 'How can that be?'" he writes.We're also holding our breath as to when Congress will act on impeachment of these fucks. What more do you cowards need? This is well beyond the political; if starting an unnecessary war isn't a high crime or misdemeanor, what the hell is?
"We want what Middle America has as well," said the second-generation Mexican American, recounting the meeting. "We like to go to nice places like Claim Jumpers, Chili's and Applebee's. . . . We don't want the fly-by-night business, the 'amigo store,' which they use to attract Latinos like myself." [...] Anthony Bejarano, a Baldwin Park councilman and graduate of Georgetown University law school, is a fourth-generation Mexican American who says he speaks "very little Spanish." He said that the proliferation of what the mayor calls "amigo stores" forces him to go to other cities to shop. "I love to go to traditional Mexican restaurants. I shop at Vallarta [supermarket], but I can't get everything I need," he said. "At the end of the day, it's all Mexican restaurants here. When we want Italian, when we want sushi, where do we go? If I want a pair of Kenneth Coles, I have to go to Arcadia."Yeah, everything Pat Buchanan says is absolutely true: The Meskins all want to live in enclaves eating tortillas until they suddenly emerge to take America back from the Anglos who stole it from them right after they stole it from the First Americans. And we certainly sympathize w/ those poor souls who have to go all the way to Arcadia to get some Kenneth Coles. Corporate America is following the money, of course, which is how everyone gets assimilated.
The response by many retailers was often "This is not our customer," said Luis Valenzuela, executive vice president for NAI Capital, a commercial real estate brokerage firm. "The difference now is that corporate America has realized there's tremendous buying power in these communities." [...] And after the Starbucks opened in South Gate, it became one of the chain's leading seller of Frappuccinos, Valenzuela said. "You had some mainstream stores who really took a risk, for the first time really going into a predominantly Spanish-speaking area," Valenzuela said. "After that, you really saw Ross, Marshall, Applebee's, Chili's and a lot of those businesses in Latino areas," he said.By the way, if any of our readers have ever set foot in a Claim Jumper, Chili's, Applebee's, Olive Garden or the like, let alone eaten in one, you are cordially invited to fuck off & die, & never to darken our web log again. Moving on to crime, the racist crowd, if they weren't pathetic losers looking to blame their misfortunes on someone else, might be informed by the Times story indicating that it isn't genetics but lead poisoning that makes inner city/urban people a little more criminal than white suburbanites. Especially when combined w/ whatever social pathologies exist in those inner cities.
About 38 million U.S. homes, 40% of the nation's housing, still contain lead-based paint, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The problem is particularly acute in urban areas, which typically have older housing that has not been renovated.Remember the Roman Empire, whose decline & fall has been attributed to the use of lead pipes in plumbing.
Researchers have long known that lead exposure reduces IQ by damaging brain cells in children during their early years.It is also known that lead increases children's distractibility, impulsiveness and restlessness and shortens their attention span, all factors considered precursors of aggressive or violent behavior. [...] "The most important message is that lead affects brain volume, independent of demographic and social factors that are often used to explain away poor outcomes" in life, Cecil said. "This is independent biological evidence showing that the brain is affected by lead."Two strikes & you're out. But let's keep thinking that colored folks are sub-human animals by nature, who can't ever be allowed into "decent" society. We anxiously await a Congressional initiative to strip & re-paint houses w/ lead paint. And as usual, we aren't holding our breath.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Monday, May 26, 2008
Ruminating over brain damage and other fun things on a Memorial Day weekend
Fighting off a bug this weekend and catching up on my reading. So I've been going through a big stack of cognitive/neurology newsletters I get, and as you'd imagine there is a lot of discussion on brain injuries suffered by Iraqi veterans, particularly due to concussion caused by IED's. Very profound after effects with a lot of changes in memory, skills and, most fascinatingly, behavior; victims can get quite nasty, vile and dangerous. (I'm more than a little familiar with these things first hand myself following seizures.) But it is astounding how much damage can be caused to the brain by concussion alone. Which got me to thinking.... I wonder, during the First World War, especially on the Western Front, just how many concussions were inflicted upon the soldiers who were subjected to all that shell fire? What was it? Hundreds of millions of shells fired? Is that an exaggeration? It had to be in the tens of millions anyway. Falling in a very small area, upon enormous numbers of men, for four years. Even accounting for all the duds and gas shells, that is an incredible amount of explosions in a small area upon a lot of guys over a long period of time. Who knows how many of those soldiers were concussed, and how often? There must have been, then, enormous numbers of men in postwar Europe who suffered from the after effects. So...did those after-effects collectively have an effect on post war Europe? Did those hundreds of thousands – maybe millions – of concussed soldiers with all those classic symptoms of paranoia and hostility and rage and depression and confusion – were they in numbers sufficient enough to actually alter the social and political atmosphere of societies and nations in the post-war years? Pre-war and post-war Europe were much different places. Post-WWI Europe was much more violent, rent by extremism and sociopathic political movements. And I wonder if any of that mass brain damage among the men of Europe in the twenties and thirties somehow made Nazism possible? Would normal people ever have fallen for it? Hell, was Hitler himself a victim of post-concussion effects...is that what made him so evil? He spent time in the trenches, exposed, and was nearly blown to hell a couple times. A lucky bastard...but did he suffer after effects? Just an idea. But the Europe of 1918 to 1945...man, that is one inexplicably berserk place. Another horrible phenomenon that fascinates me is all these incredibly violent 'armies' of boys in Africa. They seem to be raised from the masses of orphans left by AIDS. There must be tens of millions of orphans in sub-Saharan Africa, and in many places so many adults have died or are dying that the social structure is simply not capable of taking care of them. Hence sociopaths collect them, Manson-like, into armies and they being kids they make ideal killers. Of course, HIV is becoming less lethal as the more virulent versions kill their hosts and, like malaria, soon it'll just incapacitate but leave the hosts capable of bearing and raising children. The supply of AIDS orphans will drop, and those armies will disappear. Funny how that happens. It's interesting that the Spanish flu pandemic had a mortality demographic somewhat similar to AIDS in that it killed almost exclusively people in the 18 to 35 year range (roughly..I can't remember the exact age range but it was young adults. The reason for this, btw, is that people above that and kids below had a resistance they'd developed after being subjected to a flu strain that the vulnerable group in between missed.) The flu killed tens of millions in Europe in 1918-19. I am guessing, then, that it left millions of orphans, especially combined with so many fathers having been killed in the war. It'd be interesting to see how many young Nazis in the early thirties were orphans. Anyway, little something to ponder on Memorial Day, I guess. War and its leftovers seem to linger long after the shooting stops. BrickEditor's Note: While we do present ourselves as the "Editor" here, we only spell-checked Brick's opus (Try it yourself sometime, B., it's fun!) & can't be responsible for any syntactical &/or grammatical errors. We don't have all day to check others' shoddy work. M. B.
Today, while you're consuming at a Memorial Day mattress sale, polluting the air while charring animal corpses laced w/ hormones & anti-biotics, financing terrorism by driving a gasoline-powered vehicle, or getting the white clothes out of the closet, please take a minute to remember all the Americans who've been murdered by your government for the benefit of the military-industrial complex, granting you the "freedom" & "liberty" to be wire-tapped by the FBI or any number of other three-letter government agencies, &/or used up & thrown away by a corporate entity.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Poor ticket sales, expected protests scuttle Bush-McCain fundraiser at Phoenix Convention CenterYou'd think the AP would make some mention of this in its article, but instead:
Bush's Arizona fundraising effort for McCain is being moved to private residences in the Phoenix area. A White House official said the event was being moved because the McCain campaign prefers private fundraisers and it is Bush administration policy to have events in public venues open to the media. The White House official said to reconcile that the Tuesday event will be held at a private venue and not the Convention Center.The AP does catch Official White House Lying Sack of Liquid Crap Dana Perino at it again:
During the Bush presidency, the press has nearly always been banned from fundraisers in private homes. Former President Clinton sometimes allowed the press into such fundraising settings, at least for his remarks. Bush press secretary Dana Perino said the fundraisers are closed because it has been the McCain camp's policy to close all money events. "That's their practice and we will respect it," she said. She added, however, that it is possible the two men would appear together waving at television cameras in Arizona upon arrival or departure of the president's plane.Airport photo-ops. That's really dealing w/ the issues.
The press has nearly always been banned from Bush's fundraisers in private homes. Former President Clinton sometimes allowed the press into such fundraising settings, at least for his remarks.Oh liberal media, why must you always compare President Bush to Slick Willie? Is that fair? It was eight years ago? Get over it!!
Friday, May 23, 2008
In Stockton, [a hellhole in Northern California, in case you didn't know] McCain said he did not think the comparison was fair. "I've never been in Pastor Hagee's church or Pastor Parsley's church. I didn't attend their church for 20 years, and I'm not a member of their church. I received their endorsement, which did not mean that I endorsed their views."No, Sen. McCain, you went begging to these two deluded psychotics/slick con men & practically kissed their rings & washed their feet to get their endorsements.
McCain said he had not been aware of the comments -- which were made in a sermon in the late 1990s and turned up recently on the Internet -- when Hagee endorsed him in February.We'll just steal the next refutation from the Great Orange Satan™ itself.
It's not like Hagee wasn't extraordinarily well known, before this election season, or somehow unvettable. I have Hagee's 2006 book, "Jerusalem Countdown", sitting on my table; it's chock full of insulting statements, dire prophecies and interpretations of Scripture so, shall we say, "unusual" that they bear far more resemblance to the ramblings of a UFO cult than to what many people would call Christianity. So here are the next questions. Will far-far-right evangelicals, of the sort that want to collect Jews into Israel so as to bring about the Apocalypse, forgive McCain for dumping one of their most prominent preachers under the bus? Will McCain learn anything from this about associating with far-right figures that use religion not just as little more than excuse for their own prejudices and bigotries, but as justification for violence and war? Will the media report McCain's repudiation with even one tenth as much vigor as they obsessed over Obama's "preacher problem"? I predict the answers to be yes, no, and you've got to be kidding.That really is a cynical left-wing hate-site over there, isn't it? That fat guy who has his own fund-raising scam going (The Catholic League) was munificent enough to accept the sincere apology of Heart Attack John Hagee.
But Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, said he found it "noble" that Hagee decided to sever his ties to McCain. "He knows he has become a liability to McCain, even after he has made amends to Catholics," he said. [...] "I found him to be sincere, apologetic and friendly," Donohue said. "I also found him to be the strongest Christian defender of Israel I have ever met, and that is why attempts to portray him as anything but a genuine friend to Jews -- one for whom the Holocaust is the horror of horrors -- is despicable."Who died & appointed Donohue Pope? And a big "friend" of Israel is Hagee, who hopes that all unconverted Jews will die in a lake of fire or some such crap, after Hagee has done his best to start Holocaust II in Israel in order to get the "Rapture" going. Also in the Times "repudiation" story:
McCain was in California on Thursday on a campaign trip. He participated in a business roundtable with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and vowed he would "compete and win" in the Golden State. At the rally later, he drew laughter when he mocked Obama, saying that "for a young man with very little experience, he's done very well."Great, now he's stealing St. Ronnie of Alzheimeria's lines. And the Compare & Contrast moment, also from the Times:
Less than four months after losing the California primary, Democrat Barack Obama leads Republican John McCain in projected November general election matchups, a new Los Angeles Times/KTLA poll has found.Percentage among registered California voters (705 of them questioned Tues. & Wednes.) Obama vs. McBush, 47% to 40 %, Clinton vs. McSame, 43% to 40%. As always, we remind you that there are still more than five mos. until the actual election, & that polls don't mean doodley-squat, especially this far away from the event.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Agent says the FBI is not prepared The bureau is 'ill-equipped to handle the terrorist threat we are facing,' he tells a House panel. Agent Bassem Youssef said that counter-terrorism agents and managers at FBI headquarters often lack basic knowledge about Middle Eastern culture, language and terrorists' ideology. Compounding matters, he said, is the fact that the FBI has continued to name supervisors to anti-terrorism positions who have little or no experience outside traditional law enforcement. The result, he said, is that agents are wasting resources chasing leads that more sophisticated observers would quickly dispense with. The time and energy expended on marginal cases has diverted resources from investigating more substantial threats, Youssef said. "The FBI counter-terrorism division is ill-equipped to handle the terrorist threat we are facing," he told a House Judiciary Committee subcommittee considering legal protections for government whistle-blowers working at national security agencies such as the FBI. "Regardless of what happens to me when I walk into the Hoover building [FBI headquarters] tomorrow, that is what I hope to convey to you," said Youssef, one of several who testified at the hearing. [...] A decorated counter-terrorism agent in the 1990s, Youssef was passed over for promotions after the Sept. 11 attacks and filed a lawsuit in 2003 claiming the bureau discriminated against him based on his ancestry. The son of immigrant Christian Egyptians, he grew up in Los Angeles; he has long been the highest-ranking Arab American agent in the FBI and one of its few native Arabic speakers. Youssef has been outspoken about the failure of the FBI to recruit Arabic-speaking agents and other bureau shortcomings. After the FBI denied him a transfer to a counter-terrorism unit, he was placed in an administrative job managing the receipt of information from telephone companies. [...] Also testifying was Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), who has frequently criticized the FBI for being insular and who has been a champion of government whistle-blowers. "The FBI is one of the most powerful and least transparent organizations in the federal government," he said. "Underneath all of the good things the FBI does, unfortunately, there is a history of abuse, mismanagement and retaliation so strong that it has become part of its organizational culture."Grassley said those who break the "code of silence" deserve more legal protection.And from the City Pages of the Twin Cities, we see what the FBI is up to as far as stopping domestic terrorism.
What they were looking for, Carroll says, was an informant—someone to show up at “vegan potlucks” throughout the Twin Cities and rub shoulders with RNC protestors, schmoozing his way into their inner circles, then reporting back to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, a partnership between multiple federal agencies and state and local law enforcement.Fucking vegans. The nerve, not eating meat. That's a terrorist act in itself. But not to worry, National Beef Council. Just Another Blog™ hates America, but we loooove the flesh of dead cattle. More anti-biotics & hormones, please! (Leave a contact in the comments if you'd like to ship us some dead meat, cattlemen!)
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Apparently clicking "reply" when he meant to hit "forward," Countrywide Financial Corp. Chairman Angelo Mozilo ignited an online furor Tuesday by describing a mortgage customer's plea for help as a "disgusting" example of form letters inundating the Calabasas home lender.Again we ask, "When will the 'online furor' turn into real fury?"