Thursday, February 26, 2004

Noam-piercing ammo -- a moron's guide 

Whenever I get bored, I like to head over to LittleGreenFootballs to see what the morons are up to.

This post, what I call a moron's guide to debating Chomsky, is truly hilarious.

Follow the links and have fun.

Amen, Rush 

Never thought I'd say that, but he's almost right-on (I say almost, because he sees the threat as coming from the left -- sorry chubby, but attacks on "indecency" are almost always from the right).

Via Drudge.

Lies, Damn Lies, and Search Warrants 

Still more for the law enforcement and prosecutorial misconduct files. Via NYTimes:
In the harshly worded decision, the judge, Nicholas G. Garaufis, said the [FBI] agent, Elvin Quinones, "recklessly, if not deliberately, disregarded the truth," and then gave confused and "grossly false" testimony when questioned about his earlier statements.


At a hearing on Tuesday, Mr. Quinones and other F.B.I. agents described going to the Tengs' warehouse after a tip from a drug informant. They said they suspected that the Tengs were suppliers of items like glass and plastic vials and glassine bags of the type used to package heroin and marijuana...

In his sworn statement requesting the search warrant Mr. Quinones said that he saw "hundreds of glass crack pipes" at the warehouse and "thousands" of mechanical devices known as "bullets" that are used to dispense cocaine powder during inhaling.

During the search, the judge said, the agents found only three bullets. At the hearing, another agent testified that he had told Mr. Quinones that he had seen only "a couple of them." Judge Garaufis noted that Mr. Quinones admitted that he had seen only one or two bullets, not thousands.

Lawyers for the Tengs also noted that a report by another F.B.I. agent did not mention any crack pipes at the warehouse. After hearing the testimony of Mr. Quinones, the judge said, "I do not believe that he personally actually saw any crack pipes in the warehouse.'' The judge said Mr. Quinones could not explain the difference between a crack pipe and a crack vial.

The ruling said the problems with the search warrant did not end with the false statements.

Mr. Quinones listed glassine baggies and glass vials among the items he saw at the warehouse, but the judge said those items were listed in the "mistaken belief" that they were considered illegal drug paraphernalia under the law. The judge said the error was made both by Mr. Quinones and the assistant United States attorney handling the case, Carrie N. Capwell. Ms. Capwell did not return a call seeking comment.

The Libya Lie....continued 

As even the casual reader of this blog already knows -- the Bush administration's claim that Libya gave up its WMD program because of what Bush did to Iraq is a complete fabrication. (See post "Beware the Manure" on 1/24)

The deal for Libya has always been -- you admit your role on Lockerbie and pay reparations (that'll end the UN's economic sanctions against you), you give up your WMD program (that'll end US economic sanctions).

This deal was on the table well before the so-called "Bush Doctrine" (invade first, ask questions later) -- yes, it goes back to the Clinton years.

Initially, the Bush aministration tried to waffle about whether they were going to lift the sanctions, "stressing" that this was "some time off" (in order to further the lie that Libya's relinquishment of their weapons program wasn't about money), but THIS BLOG predicted it wouldn't be long. Surprise, surprise, it looks like they're coming around.

Via The Guardian UK

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Prosecutorial Misconduct and Tim McVeigh 

The government cheats, even when it doesn't have to.

McVeigh's lawyer always said there were others involved, the FBI always denied it.

The FBI, it was later shown (after he was executed), hid evidence and likely fabricated some lab evidence used to tie McVeigh to the bombing (fiber evidence from his shirt showing exposure to suspect chemicals). This is old news.

The new news, via AP: Former FBI agents now say there was still more that wasn't disclosed -- and that could lead to the investigation being reopened.

Clear Channel Communications Issues New Indecency Policy! 

Via the AP:
The nation's largest radio station chain announced new rules to limit indecency Wednesday in the latest example of the broadcast industry's efforts to address criticism of what airs on TV and radio. The ambitious plan, labelled CCCP (for Clear Channel Communications Plan), includes a goal of discontinuing airplay of Santana's "Smooth" and other annoying songs heard constantly on Clear Channel.

[alright, so the second part I made up]

Jamal Lewis, a drug trafficker? 

I don't think so. He's got Ed Garland defending him, so we'll at least get a fight. But, the reality is, it's federal court --> he's facked.

The only way he gets out of serious, serious time is by dropping dime on somebody else.

Via NYTimes

Supreme Court tells Davey to go see "Passion" 

The outcome of this case was somewhat of a surprise. I knew Ken Starr would be highly disappointed -- and he is. Here's the email he sent to our class when the opinion came out:
Attn: Students!

In light of today's decision in Locke v. Davey, we will begin our reflections together on Friday with a detailed analysis of the Court's opinion. Please read the opinions with care...

All good wishes in the meantime,
Professor Starr
He really is a genuine guy, if a bit of a ninny.

Monday, February 23, 2004

Public Defender Dude 

Go check out the Dude's most recent post. The man's a poet I tell ya'. Drop him a comment or two while you're there.

More "frivilous" lawsuits 

John Dixon is infected with the "entitlement" mentality. I mean, c'mon, you serve 10 years in prison for a robbery/rape you didn't commit -- and then you have the gall to sue your incompetent legal counsel! President Bush is right. We need tort reform in this country, and we need it now.

via Law.com

Rumsfeld -- "Secatari" of Rock 

go read this from Oliver Willis. Facking hilarious.

Noam Chomsky -- in the New York Times? 

It's snowing in hell today. Mark your calendars. Today is a truly special day.

Noam Chomsky, who has been roundly ignored by the US media (most notably, the New York Times); who has had several of his past few books on the NYT bestseller list, yet the NYT refuses to review his books -- Noam Chomsky, has an Op-Ed piece in the New York Times.

Topic -- Israel's "Wonder Wall". Go.

More here, on the wall and the peaceful protests by Palestinians yesterday (broken up by tear-gas firing Israeli soldiers of course).

Friday, February 20, 2004

The "Free One", the "slave", or just a "new face for satan"? 

Al Hura marches on (Fair and Balanced). via NYTimes:
Mustafa B. Hamarneh, director of the Center for Strategic Studies at the University of Jordan [predicted] "I think the Americans are mistaken if they assume they can change their image in the region," he said. "People became anti-American because they don't like American policies." [silly Arab, these "policies" you speak of mean nothing. Soon, like most US citizens, you won't even know what a "policy" is -- unless of course that "policy" is spreading "democracy".]
While President Bush spoke about the need to foster freedom and democracy in the Arab world in his interview, for example, critics say he has done nothing concrete to encourage Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to end Israel's occupation of Arab lands and note that the United States has now occupied Iraq. [Pointing out our inconsistencies eh? That'll soon be trained out of you, insolent heathen.]

"As long as this policy continues, any attempt to improve this image will ultimately be no more than an attempt to market a new face for Satan," wrote Muhammad Abdalah Nab, a columnist on the news Web site Elaph. "Only one Apache, which American policy makers gave to Sharon for free to kill unarmed children, women and elderly Palestinians, makes the mission of this channel not only difficult, but impossible and stupid at the same time."
Between programs, Al Hurra presents unsubtle promotional spots. Heavy orchestral music surges behind images of horses running free, or men walking against the crowd, or eye after eye opening wide. "You think, you aspire, you chose, you express, you are free, Al Hurra, just the way you are," read the text on one.

There was some public giggling about the channel's name. "I've neither watched Al Hurra nor Al Abda," joked Sad Saleh al-Folihi, a laborer in the Yemeni capital of Sana, using the Arabic word for slave.
One sidenote: did anyone else notice that the title of this article was "Washington's Arabic TV Effort Gets Mixed Reviews"? Read the article and see if you can find any "mixed" reviews of this piece of shit propaganda machine.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Whoops, sorry about that one 

More for the Prosecutorial misconduct file:via MyWay/AP
Prosecutors in Gell's original trial withheld from defense lawyers a secretly taped phone call in which Morris, who was then 15 years old, did not answer when her boyfriend asked her twice whether Gell killed Jenkins. She also told her boyfriend she had to "make up a story" about Jenkins' death.
With that evidence, Gell was able to get a second jury to acquit him in 2.5 hours. Bastards.

Free Speech and "Genius" of Capitalism 

It turns out, neither are real. The market proves, once again, that it won't/can't accept money from advertisers that advocate against the war on drugs. Via WashingtonPost:
The American Civil Liberties Union and groups advocating the legalization of marijuana sued Metro and the federal government Wednesday for rejecting advertisements critical of the government's anti-drug policies.

The rejected ad -- sponsored by the ACLU, Change the Climate, the Drug Policy Alliance and the Marijuana Policy Project -- shows a group of people standing behind prison bars under the headline "Marijuana Laws Waste Billions of Taxpayer Dollars to Lock Up Non-Violent Americans."

Metro officials said they rejected the ad because the 2004 federal spending bill prohibits federal funding for transit agencies that run ads criticizing federal drug laws. Metro receives about $170 million in federal funds each year and can't afford to lose any of it, said spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein.

How Conservatives See It 

Newest This Modern World Cartoon, via Flagpole.

Something stinks here 

I'm sure we'll soon find out that this guy didn't actually do anything he's charged with doing, but that he did have some porn on his computer and was "for" gay marriage or something (ala Captain Yee).

Article here via NYTimes.

Your Papers Please! (to be read in best German accent) 

Follow the link and watch this video of a standard roadside arrest. The "suspect" refuses to cooperate and provide the police officer with his identification. He is arrested. The case (for some reason) is going to the Supreme Court. I'll take bets on this one -- the arrest will be upheld.

Law Enforcement Misconduct 

Your FBI.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

An End to Evil 

Richard Perle and David Frum talk about their plans for US hegemony. Read it. Don't be afraid. Kiss the snake.

For those too lazy to click the link, some soundbites (with my inserted sarcasm):

We must challenge the primacy of national sovereignty.
Our task is to make sure they fear us...
On Iraq, the French press was an abomination, rife with distortion on almost every element of the issue. Anyone reading the French press or watching French television would have concluded that we were acting out of base motives (mostly oil) and without regard for the hundreds of thousands of innocents who would perish in a long bloody war at the end of which the Middle East would be aflame. [how ridiculous]
Disapproval of the U.S. has many sources: jealousy at our success [is this a Tupac song?], fear that we will encourage democratic change at the expense of despots and dictators, ignorance about who we are and what we stand for... We should quit agonizing over why we have detractors and make sure our policy is a success—like which nothing succeeds.

The U.N.’s emphasis on collective response, after action is approved in the Security Council, tends to rule out preemptive action, even in self-defense. [A total lie. Self Defense has always been recognized in international law. Preemption has not, and for good reason.]
We need to modernize our institutions so that we can fight this new war - including threatening to leave the UN unless it amends its charter to recognize the sponsoring of terror as a form of aggression.
The operation in Iraq was a tremendous success [BWwaaa, ha, ha, ha]- and an indispensable prerequisite for what comes next. [shudder]
We have to raise their awareness of the sinister intentions of this French government - and to make it clear to them that they can't have it both ways: that following the French lead will have the most serious consequences for the Western alliance. [you're next frenchie]
The United States stands - and has always stood - for the idea that ordinary people deserve the widest possible opportunity for their aspirations and talents. That may sound like a cliche [it does; it is.]- the Muzak of American politics - but over most of the earth's surface that idea is and remains an outrage and a scandal.
You want to know what happens if Bush wins? It's no secret, just read their book.

Ham Sandwich 

There's an old saying, coined by former Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals Sol Wachtler, that "a grand jury will indict a ham sandwich." Indeed, Wachtler himself, later became a ham sandwich.

No serious criminal justice practicioner or scholer would argue that Grand Juries serve their "screening" function. They always indict. However, I propose that from this day forth, we condition the phrase. It will now read, "a grand jury will indict a ham sandwich, but not a police officer."

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Perhaps, Perhaps 

The 9/11 Panel is attempting to find out how neo-cons and Pres. Bush define "perhaps." Via the Associated Press

Remember this from the Meet the Press Interview?:
RUSSERT: Would you submit for questioning, though, to the 9/11 Commission?

BUSH: Perhaps, perhaps.

The "Free" One 

Here's one more word to add to our expanding neo-con dictionary -- "Free."
Via the Associated Press:
Al-Hurra, or The Free One, is to start broadcasting Saturday. President Bush has promised the news station, which will build up to 24-hour programming within a month, will ``cut through the hateful propaganda that fills the airwaves in the Muslim world.''

It already has landed a one-on-one interview with Bush. White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan has said the interview allows Bush to tell of ``his commitment to spreading freedom and democracy in the Middle East.''
They cut through the propaganda by allowing Bush to tell of his commitment to spreading freedom and propaganda! BWA HA, HA, HA, HA.

"The station promises a balanced approach" -- Indeed.

Flat out liars 

Damn I'm pissed about this one....

Put this in BOTH the prosecutorial misconduct & law enforcement misconduct files. Synopsis: State prosecutor lied to the judge and defense attorney in order to convict a man of murder in 1980. Lead Investigator lied to jury and said that three witnesses had picked the defendant out of lineup. A federal judge finally stepped up -- 24 years later -- to overturn the convictions. Via the Chicago Tribune (registration required)
The judge's decision hinges on a critical moment in Richardson's 1984 trial when his defense lawyers were about to conclude their case by calling Myron Moses.

Moses, the ruling said, was going to testify he was walking with his girlfriend outside the store when the killer emerged. The man he saw, said Moses, was not Richardson.

At the last minute, Lazzaro [the prosecutor] told the trial judge, George Marovich, that he would call a rebuttal witness--Leonard Butler--who was the brother of Moses' girlfriend and a Rosemont auxiliary police officer. Lazzaro told Marovich that Butler would testify that Moses had admitted that Richardson was the killer.

Richardson's lawyers consequently never called Moses to testify....At the August 2001 hearing, Butler testified that Lazzaro never talked to him and that Moses had never told him of seeing Richardson come out of the store after the killing [the DA was flat out lying].

Moses testified he had insisted to Lazzaro that the killer was not Richardson--information that Kennelly said Lazzaro never gave Richardson's attorneys in violation of court rules that prosecutors disclose information favorable to a defendant.
The lead police officer on the case was a liar too:
Kennelly [the judge] said Solecki [the lying cop] was "utterly lacking in credibility based both on his demeanor and the content of his testimony." The judge said a police report in which Solecki wrote that three witnesses tentatively identified Richardson appeared to be a complete fabrication. [he lied to the jury at trial and said that three witnesses had picked the defendant out in a lineup]

At the hearing, Solecki attempted to "embellish these purported `identifications' even further by making up a non-existent photographic identification by Myron Moses," the ruling said.[he kept lying, even after the gig was up]
Not shocking to me, shouldn't be to you either. Just goes to show something I've been saying for years: If you want to see what is really "wrong" with our justice system, turn off the local news and go to your neighborhood DA's office.

The worst part is the aftermath. This makes barely a peep in the national news, and nothing is going to happen to this attorney for what he did. If this prosecutor, Lazzaro, had been a defense attorney when he pulled this stunt --> His ass would be disbarred for life and end up "eating cheese" on a couch somewhere. However, because he was a DA (working for justice) he'll live out a long and prosperous legal carreer at the Department of Defense! {Lazzaro, who now works for the U.S. Department of Defense as an attorney in the Defense Legal Services Agency, could not be reached.} Again, parody is redundant here.

UN supports democracy 

Via NY Times:
The [UN] envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, said the cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, "is insistent on holding the elections and we are with him on this 100 percent because elections are the best means to enable any people to set up a state that serves their interest."
Why does the UN envoy hate America?

Fun with articles 

The real article, in todays NY Times, is about a post-war studey of the Hussein Regime. But, it occurred to me that by simply substituting "Bush" and "US" in a few places, great fun could be had by all.

"The study, a rough-draft history of the war from the perspective of [US] leaders, offers a scathing history of a Stalinist, paranoid leadership circle in [Washington] that guaranteed its own destruction. The interrogations yielded a portrait of a government disconnected from reality in peace and in war, where members of Mr. [Bush's] inner circle routinely lied to him and each other about Iraqi military capacities.
Fun right? Parody should not be this simple.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Hussein -- al Queda link myth continues 

As though scripted, as on que...Safire says the recent evidence clinches it.

Monday, February 09, 2004

Police misconduct file 

I've been meaning to post this for some time now, and I was reminded of it by Poker & Liberty's recent post about another police shoot dog incident.

Watch this video. If it doesn't make your heart turn, see a doctor.

Know your Neo-Cons 

Must read article from The Nation.

"In neocon ideology, the United States is reliving the experience of Britain three-quarters of a century ago. Osama bin Laden (or Saddam or the Chinese leadership or Yasir Arafat) is the new Hitler. Bush is the new Churchill, as Reagan was earlier. Moderate Republicans and conservative realists, as well as liberal Democrats, are the new Neville Chamberlains. The working-class Protestant fundamentalists of the rural and suburban American South are equated with the bourgeois dissenting Protestants of Victorian England. The American university is the new Bloomsbury, full of decadent liberals and leftists sapping the morale of young Americans, who many neoconservatives think should be drafted and sent to fight a series of wars abroad to promote democracy. Four years ago, Donald Kagan and Frederick Kagan (Robert Kagan's father and brother, respectively) published a book called While America Sleeps, comparing the United States to Britain in the late 1930s. For the neocons, America is the Britain of Churchill and Chamberlain, and it is always 1939."
This goes with something Bush said yesterday on Meet the Press (no doubt culled directly from "historian" and "oracle" to neo-cons -- Bernard Lewis). "We can't say, Let's don't deal with Saddam Hussein. Let's hope he changes his stripes, or let's trust in the goodwill of Saddam Hussein. Let's let us, kind of, try to contain him. Containment doesn't work with a man who is a madman."

Al Queda - Hussein link 

Something reeks here, a New York Times exclusive:
"The document was made available to The New York Times on Sunday, with an accompanying translation made by the military. A reporter was allowed to see the Arabic and English versions and to write down large parts of the translation."
Why am I getting a visual of the CIA spoon-feeding this lapdog reporter?

The gist: It's a letter from this guy in Iraq (no ties to Hussein) who we claim is Queda. He's sending this letter to request Al Queda to get involved in Iraq (by helping to attack the Shiite majority --> which will then lead to a counterattack on the Shia minority --> thus enveloping all Iraq into bloody civil war. Got it?
"So the solution, and only God knows, is that we need to bring the Shia into the battle," the writer of the document said. "It is the only way to prolong the duration of the fight between the infidels and us. If we succeed in dragging them into a sectarian war, this will awaken the sleepy Sunnis who are fearful of destruction and death at the hands" of Shiites.

The author offers his services and those of his followers to the recipients of the letter, who American officials contend are Al Qaeda's leaders.

"You noble brothers, leaders of the jihad, we do not consider ourselves people who compete against you, nor would we ever aim to achieve glory for ourselves like you did," the writer says. "So if you agree with it, and are convinced of the idea of killing the perverse sects, we stand ready as an army for you to work under your guidance and yield to your command."
Assuming the authenticity of this document (very, very reluctantly) there is some discordance here with the notion that this document somehow ties Al Queda to Iraq. I mean, this guy is begging the big shots to get involved in Iraq in January of 2004! If anything, this is just more proof that Al Queda didn't have anything to do with the Hussein regime at all.

Guess I won't be going to Cuba 

I've been interested in visiting Cuba for a long time now. AJ Benja wrote a great piece about his two trips to Cuba about 3 years ago. Facking unbelievable. But, looks like that won't be an option for me anymore -- or for any of you either. Via AP. Makes perfect sense to me.

Meet the Press...Release 

As those of you who watched already know, Bush's "interview" turned into a speech. And even though Bush is too dumb to deliver it well, he got out the important points he wanted to make. The same points we've heard, again and again.
- You have to look at the decision I made (to go to war with Iraq) in the context of the war on terror. [similar to argument police make when being questioned as to "probable cause" to arrest or search a citizen. Q by DA: Why did you search the defendant? A: I was in a "known" drug neighborhood, the "suspect" was acting nervous, he was making movements with his hand and I feared for my safety -- I thought he might have a weapon. Q by Defense attorney: So that's why you gave Mr. Johnson a body cavity search in front of his children, because you thought he might have a gun up there?]

- The intelligence I relied on was the same intelligence that Clinton had, and the members of Congress had. [this is both a flat out lie and a claim begging for clarification. Assuming the claim is true, there is still a huge difference between Clinton, the members of Congress, and you Georgie Pooh. They didn't invade a country and piss on the UN based on this "same intelligence"]

- Direct Quote: "What I decided to do was to go to the international community and see if we could not disarm Saddam Hussein peacefully through international pressure. You remember U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441 clearly stated show us your arms and destroy them, or your programs and destroy them. And we said, there are serious consequences if you don't. That was a unanimous verdict. In other words, the worlds of the U.N. Security Council said we're unanimous and you're a danger. So, it wasn't just me and the United States. The world thought he was dangerous and needed to be disarmed. And, of course, he defied the world once again." [Hussein "defied the world" by refusing to disclose the WMD's we said he had, but that he probably didn't have. What a madman.]

- My invading without pretext made the world safer. Why, just look at Libya. "And by the way, by clearly stating policy, whether it be in Afghanistan or stating the policy that we expect you, Mr. Saddam Hussein, to disarm, your choice to disarm, but if you don't, there will be serious consequences in following through, it has had positive effects in the world. Libya, for example, there was an positive effect in Libya where Moammar Khaddafy voluntarily disclosed his weapons programs and agreed to dismantle them, and the world is a better place as a result of that. And the world is a safer and better place as a result of Saddam Hussein not being in power." [I've talked a lot about this claim and why it is bunk. Libya had been trying for years to get the US to lift their trade sanctions. The deal was, we'll lift if you'll get rid of your weapons program. This had nothing to do with the Iraq war. Nothing.]

- Top irony of the "interview" -- "In other words, you can't rely upon a madman...You can't rely upon him making rational decisions when it comes to war and peace, and it's too late, in my judgment, when a madman who has got terrorist connections is able to act." [You got that right buddy. You can't rely on a madman. I would also add, you can't rely on a moron either.]

-2nd place for irony -- "RUSSERT: Are you surprised by the level and intensity of resistance? BUSH: No, I'm not. And the reason I'm not surprised is because there are people in that part of the world who recognize what a free Iraq will mean in the war on terror. In other words, there are people who desperately want to stop the advance of freedom and democracy because freedom and democracy will be a powerful longterm deterrent to terrorist activities. See, free societies are societies that don't develop weapons of mass terror and don't blackmail the world. [no comment necessary]

-3rd place for irony -- "The thing about the Vietnam War that troubles me as I look back was it was a political war. We had politicians making military decisions, and it is lessons that any president must learn, and that is to the set the goal and the objective and allow the military to come up with the plans to achieve that objective. And those are essential lessons to be learned from the Vietnam War."[no comment necessary]

- To the parents of the dead soldiers who Bush sent to their deaths. The Iraq war made us safer the US because "A free Iraq will make it easier for other children in our own country to grow up in a safer world because in the Middle East is where you find the hatred and violence that enables the enemy to recruit its killers." [Because we unilaterally went over to the Middle East and removed their brutal leader, based on bullshit evidence that the rest of the Middle East sees as bullshit, there will be less people mad at us. Brilliant.]

- When quizzed on his fuzzy economic policy, Bush proves once again why he is the champion of morons and high school economics teachers everywhere -- "BUSH: Well, because I believe that the best way to stimulate economic growth is to let people keep more of their own money. And I believe that if you raise taxes as the economy is beginning to recover from really tough times, you will slow down economic growth. You will make it harder. See, I'm more worried about the fellow looking for the job. That's what I'm worried about. I want people working. I want people to find work. And so, when we stimulate the economy, it's more likely that person is going to find work. And the best way to stimulate the economy is not to raise taxes but to hold the low taxes down." [This is, of course, complete horse hockey. Giving more money to middle class and poor people may stimulate demand (may). But giving more money to incredibly wealthy people does not. The wealthy keep their excess money, the poor do not.]
The transcript is here, via NYTimesAs I've said before, Bush is the perfect candidate for the ideologues; he's simple enough to catch the moron class of voter (who has basic knowledge of "economics" and some rudimentary "history" training -- his rhetoric, though wrong, sparks their memories. They argue into the late nights, calling "Savage Nation" and bemoaning the fact that "most Americans" are dumb and just don't know enough 'bout "economics" and "histry".), yet his cabinet and platform are transparent enough for the upper classes to know which side of his bread is butterred. Morons + Powerfule Elite = Win.

John Kerry may have put it best: He said that his colleagues are appalled at the quote "President's lack of knowledge. They've managed him the same way they've managed Ronald Reagan. They send him out to the press for one event a day. They put him in a brown jacket and jeans and get him to move some hay or move a truck, and all of a sudden he's the Marlboro Man." Smoke 'em if you got em.

Saturday, February 07, 2004


WOW! This guy is facking unbelievable.
"It was his choice," Mr. Rumsfeld said in a speech here to an audience of 250 government ministers, lawmakers and national security experts from 30 countries, most of them in Europe. "If the Iraqi regime had taken the same steps Libya is now taking, there would have been no war."
In this climate, many officials here expected a tempered, if not conciliatory speech on Saturday from Mr. Rumsfeld, who is still regarded by many Germans and French, in particular, as a villain for his dismissive remarks about "old Europe." Instead, Mr. Rumsfeld, feisty and unyielding, appeared eager to put a potential adversary on the defensive as he laid out the administration's rationale for the war in the absence of any illegal Iraqi weapons.

"Think about what was going on in Iraq a year ago with people being tortured, rape rooms, mass graves, gross corruption, a country that has used chemical weapons against its own people," he said in response to a question, his voice rising, his hands chopping the air for emphasis.

He then turned the question back on the audience. "There were prominent people from representative countries in this room that opined that they really didn't think it made a hell of a lot of difference who won," he said, nearly shouting. "Shocking. Absolutely shocking."

Asked whether America's stature in the world had been diminished since the war, he acknowledged the Iraq war had taken its toll, but contended that it was more because of biased reporting by Arab media like Al Jazeera than anything the United States had done. "I know in my heart and my brain that America ain't what's wrong in the world," he said.

Flash back one year
A year ago at this same international security conference, the Munich Conference on Security Policy, Mr. Rumsfeld sparred with European officials, notably Joschka Fischer, the German foreign minister, over whether NATO member countries should gird for war with Iraq or allow weapons inspectors to continue their search. Thousands of antiwar demonstrators gathered then in the streets of Munich.
Those protesters had obviously been misled by Al Jazeera or something. It had nothing to do with the US insisting that WAR was the only answer ("the time for inspections is over", etc).

Friday, February 06, 2004

Pardon me? 

I read about Dr. Khan's pardon yesterday, but I couldn't find any comments from the State Department. I figured we approved. Turns out I was right -- I found this article buried deep in the AP wires
He is a black-market profiteer who worked to help Iran and North Korea acquire the nuclear weapons secrets that President Bush said makes them part of an ``axis of evil.'' Yet when scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan received a public pardon Thursday from Pakistan's leader, there was nary a murmur of protest -- in fact there was praise -- from American officials.

To weapons inspector David Kay and others, it was an outrage. ``I can think of no one who deserves less to be pardoned,'' said Kay, former head of a U.S. team that searched for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. He said Khan was ``running essentially a Sam's Club'' of weapons technology.
According to Daryl Kimball, executive director of the private Arms Control Association, ``What has been revealed about Dr. Khan is perhaps the most egregious example of nuclear proliferation in the nuclear age.''
Dr. Khan is with our boy, President Gen. Pervez Musharraf in Pakistan -- and we don't want to do anything to criticize him. It is truly amazing that the US can get away with this sort of hypocrisy in a free country. We say we're fighting against the proliferation of WMD's; we say Iran and North Korea have to go because they have, or are trying to get, nuclear weapons; we say that we invaded Iraq for similar reasons -- yet when we find THE guy -- we are complicit in his pardon! Point --> we don't give a damn about WMD's or nuclear proliferation. We DO care about hegemony, and this whole WMD/nuclear weapons thing is just a smoke screen.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Is there really any difference 

Sure we may not be as apt to engage in elective warfare, but we're really getting more of the same with Kerry aren't we? Via the NYTimes:
In a statement on Wednesday night, Mr. Kerry clearly sought a middle ground. He said he believed in protecting the "fundamental rights of gay and lesbian couples, from inheritance to health benefits," but added that he believed the answer was civil unions.

"I oppose gay marriage and disagree with the Massachusetts court's decision," he said.
Just more proof that the "center" in American politics is way far to the right. Or, as my history prof put it -- "Even when we're liberal in the US, we're still pretty damn conservative."

I wanna be a Cowboy Baybe... 

Oh yeah, this guy got a "fair trial":
"At his trial in 1995, Mr. Panetti dressed in a Tom Mix hat and cowboy garb, rambled incoherently and tried to subpoena Jesus Christ, John F. Kennedy and Anne Bancroft. He went into trances, nodded off, and gestured threateningly at jurors."
He's a dead man today, unless somebody steps up. They won't.

Why the terrorists hate us 

I came across this article (via WallStreetJournal) about Princeton "historian" Bernard Lewis while cruising the wingnut LGF website. Initially, I thought it was just humorous. Upon second glance, however, there is nothing funny about it.

This so-called "historian" claims:
Most Islamic countries have failed miserably at modernizing their societies, he contends, beckoning outsiders -- this time, Americans -- to intervene.
A central Lewis theme is that Muslims have had a chip on their shoulders since 1683, when the Ottomans failed for the second time to sack Christian Vienna. "Islam has been on the defensive" ever since, Mr. Lewis wrote in a 1990 essay called "The Roots of Muslim Rage," where he described a "clash of civilizations," ... For 300 years, Mr. Lewis says, Muslims have watched in horror and humiliation as the Christian civilizations of Europe and North America have overshadowed them militarily, economically and culturally.

"The question people are asking is why they hate us. That's the wrong question," said Mr. Lewis on C-SPAN shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks. "In a sense, they've been hating us for centuries, and it's very natural that they should. You have this millennial rivalry between two world religions, and now, from their point of view, the wrong one seems to be winning."

He continued: "More generally ... you can't be rich, strong, successful and loved, particularly by those who are not rich, not strong and not successful. So the hatred is something almost axiomatic. The question which we should be asking is why do they neither fear nor respect us?"
Shorter Lewis -- they are just jealous. So what, you say? Why should we care who this guy is and what he says? Because he is now being held up as the brilliant architect of the new "Lewis Doctrine" (aka the "Bush Doctrine")
A faction led by political strategist Karl Rove believed soul-searching over "why Muslims hate us" was misplaced, Mr. Frum says. Mr. Rove summoned Mr. Lewis to address some White House staffers, military aides and staff members of the National Security Council. The historian recited the modern failures of Arab and Muslim societies and argued that anti-Americanism stemmed from their own inadequacies, not America's. Mr. Lewis also met privately with Mr. Bush's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice. Mr. Frum says he soon noticed Mr. Bush carrying a marked-up article by Mr. Lewis among his briefing papers. A White House spokesman declined to comment. Says Mr. Frum: "Bernard comes with a very powerful explanation for why 9/11 happened. Once you understand it, the policy presents itself afterward."
The Bush Doctrine and the Lewis Doctrine, is naturally, complete shit. As noted many times on this blog and others, the US could care less about "spreading Democracy". And we certainly never thought that invading Iraq would make the region "safer". This man is nothing more than a lapdog academic. He is, in a word, dangerous.

Fargain Hillarious 

I've been getting bored reading my standard news sources recently, so I headed over to wingnut territory for a good laugh. I read a lot of funny things but this post, via Littlegreenfootballs was by far the funniest.

Go read "From PLO Terrorist to Lover of Zion" -- sure to put a smile on your face.


Law Enforcement misconduct file continues to grow via the DenverPost:
Thomas Montoya, a prisoner serving an 18-month sentence from a probation violation relating to a 1999 domestic-violence-related assault, said he was shocked with a Taser during a sheriff's training class on Oct. 17, 2003.

"Imagine 50,000 volts traveling through your body. Would it hurt?" said Montoya, who suffered no injury but said he was left with a burn mark.

Reliable Source 

Bush (to be read in southern accent): "I appreciate people's opinions, but I'm more interested in news. And the best way to get the news is from objective sources. And the most objective sources I have are people on my staff who tell me what's happening in the world." [Newspapers give "opinions", but Bush does not read them because is more interested in "facts"]

Here's a "fact" from "objective source" Cheney on WMD's yesterday via NYTimes:
Rumsfeld offered examples of what he called ``alternative views'' on why no weapons have been discovered, starting with the possibility that banned arms never existed.

``I suppose that's possible, but not likely,'' he said.

Other possibilities Rumsfeld cited:

-- Weapons may have been transferred to a third country before the March invasion.

-- Weapons may have been dispersed throughout Iraq and hidden.

-- Weapons existed but were destroyed by Iraqis before the war started.
No wonder Bush is so confused all the time.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

The Prosecution of Captain Yee 

This is a must read via Counterpunch

I love it when a plan comes together 

Public Opinion (aka well-crafted lie):
(to be read in best southern accent)"You know, 'ole Bush may have been wrong about the whole WMD thing, but the world is safer because Saddam is gone -- and because we invaded Iraq, we scared Libya into giving up their WMD program. That whole "Bush Doctrine" thing is working! Invading Iraq was a good thing.
Fact: Way back on January 24th (and once before then) I pointed out that Libya did not, in fact, end its WMD program because it suddenly "feared" the US. In fact, according to Flynt Leverett (Clinton WH big wig) Libya had been trying for YEARS to get the US to normalize trade with Libya (end the sanctions). The deal --> normalized trade for ending WMD program.

Some readers of this blog may have doubted my sanity and Flynt's claim (he's just a Clinton-ite). Well, it turns out, Flynt is looking pretty darn good right now.From TODAY's Reuters:
"U.S., Libyan and British officials will meet in London on Friday for talks expected to include the possibility of easing U.S. sanctions on Tripoli, but U.S. officials stressed this may be some time off.
Think this might get some play from the talking heads on TV? Hell no. They'll keep blabbing about the so called "Bush Doctrine" and how it pushed Libya into quitting their WMD program -- and the Public Opinion will continue.

50 Million Served! 

More for the Halliburton government contract fraud file Via NYTimes:
The Pentagon said Monday that the Halliburton Company would repay the government for overcharges estimated at $27.4 million for meals served to American troops at five military bases in Iraq and Kuwait last year, but the company did not admit to any wrongdoing."
The company noted that it had served more than 50 million meals to soldiers in the last year, and the questions from the auditors deal with the way Kellogg Brown & Root estimates the number of meals it serves.
Hmmmm...$27.4million overcharge on 50 million meals? Seriously, when is this going to stop?

Public Places, Private Conversations 

I'm on line at the bank to make a deposit. The line is about 20 deep (standard at the Citibank in the Village), so I know it's going to be a while. I prefer to pass the time by staring off into space or scaning for provocatively clad female patrons.

Some, however, prefer to talk on their cellphones. Nothing wrong with it in this increasingly mobile and connected culture. Nothing at all. BUT, try not to have conversations which border on the inappropriate.

Like I said, I was on line. The girl behind me (18-22something) cranks up the cellie, she's calling everyone she can think of. Again, nothing wrong with it.

Her third conversation, however, goes something like this:
"Hey Steph what's up. Saw that thing in your trash yesterday morning. What were the results?"

"Oh my God Steph, I'm so sorry. What are you going to do?"

"Tomorrow? You're going to take care of it tomorrow at 8am?"

"I'm going with you Steph. No, Steph. No. It's not your fault Steph(voice rising)."

"These things happen. I'm so sorry Steph. I'm going to go with you tomorrow at 8."

"Don't worry, 'it' is taken care of. You're going to take care of it tomorrow."

"My God Steph, I'm so sorry."
I don't really have too much a point here, just that I was appalled. Your thoughts?

Noam Nostrodomus 

Chomsky in July:
[The message will be:] Don't pay any attention to the fiscal train wreck that we are consciously creating, which is going to force us (because we want to do it) to dismantle Social Security and Medicaid, and Medicare and other social services. [Or to policies] that transfer wealth-- even more than in the past-- into the pockets of a very narrow sector, and a rather corrupt sector of corporate power. Don't pay any attention to that. Just pay attention to the fact that we're going to defend you from disaster.

Via today'sNYTimes
Mr. Bush's calculation is that voters will care far more about protecting the nation from another terrorist attack than about cuts to popular programs, or, for that matter, the record-high deficit. To that end, Mr. Bush's $2.4 trillion budget provides the back-up material to the re-election theme that the president first set forth in his State of the Union address: He is the national security candidate to take care of America's fears.
Chomsky is no soothesayer, it's just that obvious if you're paying attention. That being said, it must get pretty tiring being right all the time.

A Ricin Shot in the arm 

This event should spike 'old Georgie pooh's flailing numbers.

Howard Dean, cool; Michael Powell, ninny 

He's over this whole JJ's breast thing. He's right. I mean, doesn't the FCC have better things to do? Michael Powell is a complete ninny.

Monday, February 02, 2004

President issues executive order creating commission 

Dean Eulick -- "Well, let me just say that the evidence against the Alpha Beta's is overwhelming and I urge that they be found guilty."

Stan Gables -- "Dean Eulick, I am an Alpha Beta. And I know, that no member of my organization could have committed such a callous act against the nerds...uh, the Tri Lamb's. No. You see instead, I will form a special blue ribbon fact-finding committee made up of myself, and Ms. Betty Chiles. And we will get to the bottom of this dastardly deed."

Sunday, February 01, 2004


Footage of the aftermath of a Palestinian suicide bombing.
This clip is not for the weak-stomached.

In case you are not yet sick of this 

The NYTimes has a huge article debunking Powell's "case for war" at the UN.

Here's the funny part:
Mr. Powell declined to comment on the latest information assembled by The Times. A State Department official said the secretary preferred to wait "until all the facts are in."
Powell, acting as the lead prosecuotr in making the "case for war" thought it perfectly fine to indict, convict, and kill based on the evidence he presented ("There can be no doubt that Saddam Hussein has biological weapons")! But in deciding whether or not the pre-war intelligence "evidence" (used by Powell to prosecute the case for war) was in fact manure -- they want to wait "until all the facts are in"!
I love these guys.

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