Sunday, July 31, 2005

In This Edition, The Stalwart Nation of Britain Shits Its Collective Pants

The threat of summary execution serves as a powerful deterrent to suicide bombers, who might think twice about blowing themselves to smithereens if they knew that police were prepared to shoot them for it.

His Highness the King of Zembla spends a moment refuting some of the ridiculous defenses offered for the London police's actions in pursuing, subduing, and then executing an innocent man in full view of the public on the 22nd. Fantasy Life is even pithier.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

This Just In - Tom Delay Is Still Slime

Look at what mysteriously appeared in a piece of recent energy legislation!

The subtitle appears to steer the administration of 75% of the $1.5 billion fund to a private consortium located in the district of Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

This Is What Turning the Corner Looks Like

In the wake of the recent attacks, another brief from Captain Obvious to everyone but those few in power responsible for the current mess:

"(The war in Iraq) has demonstrably strengthened al-Qaeda by providing it with a large pool of activists and sympathisers across the Muslim world it did not possess before the invasion of 2003. The war that started out as a demonstration of US strength as the world's only superpower has turned into a demonstration of weakness. Its 135 000-strong army does not control much of Iraq. The suicide bombing campaign in Iraq is unique. Never before have so many fanatical young Muslims been willing to kill themselves trying to destroy those they see as their enemies. On a single day in Baghdad this month 12 bombers blew themselves up. There have been more than 500 suicide attacks in Iraq during the past year. It is this campaign that has now spread to Britain and Egypt... "

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Another Activist Judge

"...I would like to convey the message that our
system works. We did not need to use a secret military tribunal,
or detain the defendant indefinitely as an enemy combatant, or
deny him the right to counsel, or invoke any proceedings beyond
those guaranteed by or contrary to the United States
-- U.S. Western District Judge John Coughenour, at the sentancing of Ahmed Ressam.

But Your Honor - 9/11 changed everything!

We Support Healthy Families - Oh, Wait, Not THAT One!

And what could be more traditional than marrying a teenager?

A 22-year-old man faces criminal charges in Nebraska for having sex with an underage 13-year-old girl, although he legally married her...

..."The idea ... is repugnant to me," said Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning. "These people made the decision to send their ... 14-year-old daughter to Kansas to marry a pedophile."

He said the marriage is valid, thanks to the "ridiculous" Kansas law, "but it doesn't matter. I'm not going to stand by while a grown man ... has a relationship with a 13-year-old _ now 14-year-old _ girl."

Yeah, hang the law - and the express will of the family - we'll just let your feelings decide everything. That sounds like real family values to me!

Saturday, July 23, 2005

U.S. Defies Order to Give Up Abu Ghraib Abuse Photos

Another dose of honesty and integrity, Republican style, by way of the DoD:

(Judge Alvin Hellerstein) rejected arguments from the government that releasing the photographs would violate the Geneva Conventions because prisoners might be identified and "further humiliated,"...

That's right - revealing the extent to which we violated our unlawfully held prisoners's rights might violate their rights. Their photographs are protected by international law, but apparently their persons are not. I wish I could hold every administration apologist up by the scruff of the neck and rub their noses in this mess. Look at the 'integrity' your idols promised you. And remember I told you so.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Republicans Ate My Baby!

Acknowledgements to August Pollak here:

First, listen to Paul Begala's remarks on the administration's terror policies, or read on below:

BEGALA: ...we sit back and allow George W. Bush and our Republican friends to pull out 9/11 like a cheap handgun in a bar fight. Okay? "9/11." There's a drought in the Midwest. "9/11." The deficit's up. "9/11" You know? But, I think we need to fight them on that. I think, frankly they did a piss-poor job of defending us, and their strategy was always "we'll fight them over there so we don't fight them here." Well guess what, bin Laden didn't get the memo. He wants to fight us here as well as we saw in London last week. And so, the- their theory is, "we can't really do everything to protect our country because we have to cut taxes for the rich." And so, it... they want to kill us- particularly this city and New York and some other places. I was driving past the pentagon when that plane hit. I had friends on that plane, this is deadly serious to me- they want to kill me and my children if they can. But if they just kill me and not my children, they want my children to be comforted that while they didn't protect me because they cut my taxes, my children won't have to pay any money on the money they inherit. You know, that is bullshit national defense and we should say that.

Now, hearing that, naturally, the braindead media decides - why, he must be saying that Republicans are hiring assassins to kill his children!

Have we put the final nail in the coffin of the 'Liberal media' myth, yet?

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Mind and Machine

Wired has an article about Princeton's Anomalies Research program, which since 1979 has been measuring the effects of human consciousness on machines:

The most substantial portion of the PEAR program examines anomalies arising in human/machine interactions. In these experiments human operators attempt to influence the behavior of a variety of mechanical, electronic, optical, acoustical, and fluid devices to conform to pre-stated intentions, without recourse to any known physical processes.

See also this critique of the program.

Saturday, July 16, 2005


Western Myth 101.

MythNET is a site designed to promote the growth of knowledge toward the great stories of Mythology. This page was created to be an entry for our school York Mills C.I. in the 1997 Ontario Students Classics Conference. We are pleased to announce that our site was the recipient of the first place ribbon for the most outstanding project in the technological category of the Ontario Students Classics Conference. Since then, this site has also been featured by MSN as one of their sites of the day. We would like to thank all of our visitors for all their kind words of encouragement with regards to this page.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

The Turdblossoms Bloom

“They will offer more lectures, and legalisms, and carefully worded denials. We offer another way -- a better way -- and a stiff dose of truth.”
-Dick Cheney

We're cultivating quite a field of 'em, too! It takes a special kind of fertilizer to suggest that Karl Rove deserves a medal. (For treason? They're giving medals for that, now?) Fortunately, we have The Left Coaster, Robert Parry, and David Corn, persons with a higher tolerance for crap than most, to debunk the latest bout of media ridiculousness. They certainly make for an interesting contrast with the RNC's official talking points.
Oh, and in case you hear that Ms. Plame hadn't done undercover work in the last five years, and that makes everything okay - she had. And it wouldn't.

TALKING POINT: Rove "was discouraging a reporter from writing a false story" based on Joe Wilson's "false premise" (that DCI Tenet or VP Cheney authorized his trip)
FACT: False. Moreover, Joe Wilson did not make such a claim before Rove exposed Valerie Plame's identity.
UPDATED: False. Moreover there's no "...'trying to prevent a bad or innaccurate story from being run' exception to the relevant statute..." [updated 7/14]

New Study Reveals One Third of All Studies Are Inaccurate

I'm not sure I trust the accuracy of this most recent study! The abstract is here.
Seriously, this is exactly the way science is supposed to work. Claims presented must be falsifiable, and our store of scientific knowledge is increased when they are in fact falsified.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

RNC : : Vice-President Guilty of Obstructing Justice

Well, no, that's not what they say. But examine this commentary, and read between the lines:

...if Cheney did tell Fitzgerald that he knew who had sent Wilson, then he would also have been forced to tell him how he got that information--from Rove. Which means Rove would be in a jail-cell right now, either for the leak itself, or for perjury, or for obstruction of justice. The fact that Rove remains free is, politically-speaking, res ipsa loquitur proof ("the thing speaks for itself") that Cheney maintained his claim of ignorance not only to NBC and to America, but to Fitzgerald as well. Which makes him not only a liar, but also, almost certainly, a criminal.

See? I Really Wasn't Joking

"But I didn't use her name!" Yes, that really -is- Rove's defense. No, I don't think he does expect grownups to take that seriously. How many people is that?

Monday, July 11, 2005

Bizzarro World Lessons from London

Meanwhile, in flying monkey land, an entirely different set of lessons is being drawn from last week's bombings.

"I think the entire conversation changes now. You know, we were talking about Gitmo and whether the prisoners had sufficient comforts.... That debate is obliterated. "

Moving Forward, BushCo Style

With acknowledgements to Democratic Underground, a summary of the 'War On Terra' so far:

"Our strategy in the war on terror is based on a clear understanding of the enemy, and a clear assessment of our national interest." - Dick Cheney, July 2003

"Either we take the war to the terrorists and fight them where they are – at this moment in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere – or at some point we will have to fight them here at home." - Donald Rumsfeld, August 2003

America is more secure. The world is safer." - George W. Bush, January 2004

"...we are making ourselves more secure, because we cannot fight the terrorists in New York; we've got to fight them out there." - Condoleezza Rice, February 2004

"The question is do we fight them over there - or do we fight them here. I choose to fight them over there." - Gen. Tommy Franks, September 2004

"The number of serious international terrorist incidents more than tripled last year, according to U.S. government figures, a sharp upswing in deadly attacks that the State Department has decided not to make public in its annual report on terrorism due to Congress this week." - The Washington Post, April 2005

"I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency." - Dick Cheney, May 2005

"In total, for the year from the handover of sovereignty on June 28, 2004, until June 23, 2005, there were at least 479 car bombs, killing 2,174 people and wounding 5,520. ... Last month was the most violent for Iraqi civilians since the U.S.-led invasion to remove Saddam Hussein from power in March 2003." - Associated Press, June 2005

"There is only one course of action against them: to defeat them before they attack us at home." - George W. Bush, June 2005

"...the Iraq insurgency poses an international threat and may produce better-trained Islamic terrorists than the 1980s Afghanistan war that gave rise to Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda." - classified CIA report, June 2005

"This shows that president Bush is doing exactly the right thing, or they wouldn't be making these kinds of attacks." - CSPAN caller, July 2005

"There were nearly 3,200 terrorist attacks worldwide last year, the Bush Administration said yesterday, using a broader definition that increased fivefold the number of incidents that Washington had previously tallied for 2004." - The London Times, July 2005

Once again - why is it taking so long for everyone to realize that these people have no clue what they're doing?

Intelligence Officials Were Braced For An Offensive - But Lowered Threat Levels

Here's a story that will be referred to a great deal in the days to come. Additionally, it was widely reported that Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu changed his travel plans after being warned of an impending attack in the area; the Israelis have denied having any forewarning. Last November, NewsWeek reported that terrorists were planning an attack in London, and that FBI agents were avoiding the Underground.

Fernando Suarez del Solar : : Blood in London

Another reflection on last week's attack. A voice in the wilderness calling for reason and rationality.

When my son died from an illegal U.S. cluster bomb in Iraq I said that this is the beginning of a wave of death around the world. To my great sorrow, I was not mistaken. The dying continues everyday while Bush claims that we are safer because of the occupation of Iraq.

Today, the Aztec Warrior Project calls on the Iraqi insurgents, Muslim religious leaders around the world, and those responsible for the terrible attacks in London to join in the search for political solutions based on dialogue and tolerance. This is the moment to put a stop to the spilling of innocent blood and the suffering of young children who barely have begun their lives.

What Karl Rove Told Matt Cooper

Rove's defense as it stands is that he didn't reveal Valerie Plame's -name-; rather he identified her as 'Joe Wilson's wife'. This may even work - provided Mr. Wilson has more than one wife..

Turning the Corner Towards Anarchy

Former Iraqi Interim Prime Minister warns the world that Iraq is facing imminent civil war:

“The problem is that the Americans have no vision and no clear policy on how to go about in Iraq,”
...“The policy should be of building national unity in Iraq. Without this we will most certainly slip into a civil war. We are practically in stage one of a civil war as we speak.”

Lessons of the London Bombing

Not the earliest reflection on last week's bombings, but the most cogent: Robert Parry describes some of the lessons to be gained from this tragedy.

The London bombings suggest, too, that al-Qaeda may be evolving into a diffused movement, more an inspiration to disaffected Muslim youth on how to wage war against the West than a centralized organization that hatches complex plots and dispatches operatives to carry out the attacks.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Peak Oil

The Saudis are now warning that their oil supplies are inadequate to meet future requirements. Matthew R Simmons has more perspective in this interview with the Agonist; also see this article by Kevin Drum.

In other words, there remains nothing to try. The best technology known to man has already been put to use all over Saudi Arabia in an increasingly desperate attempt merely to keep production steady at 10 million bpd. In the vernacular of the oil industry, Saudi oil fields have been in “secondary recovery” mode for years, and long experience elsewhere in the world has already taught us the limits of the advanced extraction technologies now being used in Saudi Arabia. They can mitigate production declines after a field peaks, but they can't stave off the peak itself. More money and more technology won't bail us out here. We're up against geological limits, not financial ones.

Think Progress : : Zarqawi: Symbol of a Mismanaged War

After yesterday's events, we're left contemplating the predictable consequences of the 'War on Terra'. This leads us to Abu Musab Zarqawi, whom the Administration has turned from a fringe Iraqi resistance leader into a huge threat to American lives., bin Laden has gained a powerful new ally in Zarqawi after first refusing to associate himself with someone who was not a major player. Al Qaeda has now made Iraq into the central front in the war on terror. And Bush says that’s what he was trying to prevent all along.

The "T" Word

Lawrence O'Donnell outlines the four reasons why not, and the one reason why Karl Rove might be indicted.

Tatel actually found that reason and experience “support recognition of a privilege for reporters’ confidential sources.” But Tatel still ordered Cooper and Miller to testify because he found that the privilege had to give way to “the gravity of the suspected crime.”
...All the judges who have seen the prosecutor’s secret evidence firmly believe he is pursuing a very serious crime, and they have done everything they can to help him get an indictment.

More Good News

Here's a terrifying thought - Chief Justice Scalia.
Time to start the weekend early, I think..

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Fucking Hell

Good morning! It's time for another gruesome terrorist bombing! And there goes the hope of possibly doing something constructive about terror for at least the next few years, lost in renewed hysteria..

Saturday, July 02, 2005

MSNBC Analyst Says Cooper Documents Reveal Karl Rove as Source in Plame Case

Gee, an act of treason committed in wartime. A capital crime which compromised our efforts to subvert nuclear terrorism.
Too bad it's just not newsworthy. But I'm sure there'll be another missing white girl soon enough.

"I revealed in yesterday's taping of the McLaughlin Group that Time magazine's e-mails will reveal that Karl Rove was Matt Cooper's source. I have known this for months but didn't want to say it at a time that would risk me getting dragged into the grand jury.

Cooper's going before a grand jury - Novac's still free and clear, apparently - and his notes will be read into evidence. Then perhaps the 'liberal' media will wake up; we'll see.

Friday, July 01, 2005

War Is A Racket

One from the archives! Here is the full text of Gen. Smedley Butler's famous 1935 pamplet.

War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses. . . .

There isn't a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its "finger men" to point out enemies, its "muscle men" to destroy enemies, its "brain men" to plan war preparations, and a "Big Boss" Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.

It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty- three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.