Saturday, May 29, 2004

Hearts and Minds

First in a long line...

Helena Cobban points out that the IGC and Bremer's "appointment" of Allawi as prime minister looks like Baghdad's first coup d'etat in several decades. It seemed designed to undermine the authority of the UN and Brahimi to appoint a apolitical transitional government, and to secure a Washington stooge in the government as well.

You didn't think they were gonna do this one right, did you?

Friday, May 28, 2004

Are you fucking kidding me?

The Oregonian follows the New York Times with an even more pathetic excuse.
The Oregonian published at least five articles or parts of articles cited by The New York Times as problematic. For example, a Dec. 20, 2001, article quoted an Iraqi defector who said he personally worked on renovations of facilities for biological, chemical and nuclear weapons. But Knight Ridder News Service recently reported that when U.S. officials took the defector to show them the sites, they found no evidence of them being used for weapons development. The New York Times had not followed up on those claims, and The Oregonian did not publish the Knight Ridder report.

The Oregonian, however, also published many stories that raised questions about the quality of intelligence, dating to months before the war. For example, the newspaper ran a disputed story from The New York Times on Sept. 8, 2002, that reported on aluminum tubes that the administration pointed to as components for the manufacture of nuclear weapons fuel. But in ensuing weeks and months, The Oregonian published at least nine stories that disputed that the aluminum tubes were to be used for the nuclear program.

Is that really supposed to be an apology? Nine stories, wow. How many were run in favor of the lies that led us in to this mess? I'd love to see all those articles that questioned the aluminum tube evidence. I imagine they went something like this:
Saddam Saddam evil evil tubes nuclear tubes tubes tubes nuclear evil biological prominent defector tubes evilit is possible that these tubes could have nothing to do with nuclear weapons tubes evil tubes regime change tubes reconstituted evil tubes

Not gonna cut it guys, not until you get of your knees and remember what journalism is all about and who it's supposed to serve.
Another edition of the Ludis Awards

Ok. We joke (snicker) about how crazy some of these right-wingers can be (sigh). But this donkey (arrghh), takes the ever lovin' cake. (snicker(mhehe)(haha-sniff)).

Congratulations, Lord Spatula. You're the latest recipient of a Ludis Award... and we're saying it to your face.

Jackoff. (snicker) really must click on the donkey link.

Much Better Now

The Whiskey Bar is Open, And the bartender is pouring 'em pretty stiff.

I can finally stop shaking.
Asscroft 3: Terra in 3-D

More holes in DJ Asscroft's Terror warning are exposed today, as two of the seven terrorists he named are already in prison.

A respected website that holds databases on terror suspects lists Amer El-Maati as 'incarcerated'.

Likewise, Aafia Siddiqui, a female former MIT student, was arrested in Pakistan over a year ago, according to NBC.

The 'cell' that these individuals are said to belong to doesn't even exist. The Abu Hafs al Masri group was described by the Boston Globe as a 'phantom organization'. Their researchers could find no evidence that the group was real.

This latest false hysteria is just one in a >long line of fake terror alerts. Was this last attempt so pathetic that the color code wasn't even needed? Or perhaps Asscroft knew two of his announced suspects were already imprisoned, so that he could claim at a later date that he foiled an impending attack? Since 9/11, The Bush Administration has exploited anxiety and carefully cultivated an economy of fear in America.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Way to go Steve...

Well, kind of.

Steve Duin, who I rarely agree with has hit it right on here... And then wusses out.
After a misidentified, smudged fingerprint placed Mayfield in the FBI's viewfinder, the agency justified his arrest by noting that his suspicious activities included driving to a Beaverton mosque.

He was arrested because the FBI -- ignoring the reservations and warning flares set out by Spanish authorities -- couldn't be bothered to examine the original fingerprint discovered at the scene of the March bombings in Madrid.

And when the West Slope lawyer was jailed, federal agents quickly seized his files of clients "who have Arabic or Muslim-sounding surnames."

This is unconscionable and unnerving stuff. What is equally scary is the complacency with which far too many Oregonians are watching it happen.

They are complacent because they are petrified by the terrorist threat, and they would happily sacrifice Mayfield for some tenuous peace of mind. Someone has to pay the price to prevent more Sept. 11 attacks, the argument goes, though those arguers invariably insist that the someone is "someone else."

Of course he goes on to quote 2 prominent Oregon Republicans, one of which was Kreepy Manix. He makes a great point and then goes to two right-wing apologists for a response. I mean is that really doing your job as a journalist? Having the fox comment on the latest batch of killings in the henhouse.

Oh well, you can't expect too much, and of course, quoting a liberal would be biased.
Solution to the Health Care Problem

Finally, we're addressing the problem at its core...

Bush Says He Was Cure for Illegible Prescriptions
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Reuters) - President Bush, taking on Democrat John Kerry over health issues, pitched a plan on Thursday to expand the use of technology in medicine -- including a cure for doctors' illegible handwriting...

..."Docs are still spending a lot of time writing things on paper. And sometimes it's difficult to read their handwriting," Bush told an audience at Vanderbilt University in the election battleground state of Tennessee.

This guy really has his eye on the ball. I mean, sure there are some major problems in the health care system, but now that we've tackled bad handwriting, everything else will fall into place.
Fuck You Asscroft II: The Electric Boogaloo

Like so many Christian fundamentalists, John Asscroft has an obsession. An inexplicable fixation on my home, the great state of Oregon. Let's look at the facts.

1. Asscroft attempts to block Oregon's assisted suicide law, despite the fact that voters in a statewide election have approved it... twice. I guess state's rights only count when Asscroft thinks that the state is right. Both the U.S. District Court and the Court of Appeals overrule Asscroft.

2. Using previously unavailable techniques now made legal by the Patriot Act, Asscroft uncovers a "terrorist cell" in Portland dubbed by the media as the Portland Seven. After Prosecutors are unable to prove that any of the seven committed any terrorist acts, Asscroft fears that the Patriot Act may be endangered by a legal challenge. Instead of dismissing the case, Asscroft charges the "terrorists" under a Civil War-era statute outlawing "seditious conspiracies." Facing life in prison and the inability to receive a fair trial, several of the "terrorists" cop a plea deal and will serve relatively light sentences. Strangely, the plea agreement states that they will not be required to cooperate with government interrogators. Asscroft refers to the convictions as a "defining day in the war on terror."

3. Asscroft has Brandon Mayfield, an Oregon attorney, held as a 'material witness' based on a faulty interpretation of a digital fingerprint. All along, Spanish officials voice doubt as to the fingerprint analysis. The ability to hold 'material witnesses' is a new tool provided by Asscroft's favorite piece of legislation, the Patriot Act. After the FBI concedes error, Mayfield is released after two weeks, his reputation destroyed.

4. Today, Asscroft states that a recently arrested terrorist attempted to set up a terrorist camp in rural Oregon. Prediction: Further investigation indicates the terrorist training camp was actually a marijuana growing operation run by migrant workers. Asscroft declares success by deporting the workers and promptly filing suit to block Oregon's medical marijuana law.

Oregon has a wonderful tradition of dissent and history of producing freethinking individuals. For example, former Oregon Senator Wayne Morse cast one of only two votes against the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, which ultimately authorized U.S. participation in the Vietnam conflict. However, according to Asscroft and his cronies, Oregon's tradition of dissent is only slightly less unpatriotic than wiping one's dirty ass with an American flag. Therefore, a few words of wisdom are in order for John-boy. To paraphrase the famous quote from Oregon's legendary Republican governor, Tom McCall, "Herr Asscroft, visit Oregon as often as you'd like, but for godsakes, pull your self-righteous thumb out of your stankity ass and quit fucking with us you fuck."
Winged Migration?

SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. Army and a contractor were fined nearly $52,000 for releasing a deadly chemical weapon on a wildlife sanctuary in the Pacific Ocean, federal environmental officials announced Wednesday...

...The atoll, located 825 miles southwest of Honolulu, is a national a bird sanctuary. It also held more than 6 percent of the nation's stockpile of chemical weapons: 412,000 different types of explosives, mustard and nerve agents. Congress ordered the weapons destroyed in 1986.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Fuck You, Ashcroft
Assisted suicide upheld

An appeals court says the Bush administration can't interfere with the landmark Oregon law.

That's why I'm glad I live in Oregon, if Bush gets four more years, I can just end it.

The speech didn't work... lets try a terra warning!

Although the U.S. intelligence community says it has been concerned for some time about the potential implications for the United States of the Madrid bombings, some U.S. counterterrorism officials told NEWSWEEK they were aware of no sudden surge in “chatter”—intercepts of terrorists communications—or other indicators of a possible imminent attack. “We’re always getting new threat information, but I wouldn’t point to a steep spike in chatter” said one U.S. official. Another counterterrorism official added: “What we’re seeing is a lot like what we’ve seen before.”

I think most of us have come to recognize that this administration is quick to trot out predictions of terrorist attacks when the political going gets tough for them. Remember back in 2002, when the New York Post's headlines screamed, "Bush Knew" about 9/11? Within days administration officials were warning that it was a matter not of if, but when we would be attacked. Remember "duct tape and plastic" in February 2003? Hmmm... that's right about when the administration needed the final seal of public approval before the invasion of Iraq. Then another Code Orange last summer when the insurgency began to gain steam. Now, days after Bush's Abu..guh...Buh speech failed to stop his bleeding in the polls, surprise surprise, its imminent attack time. Don't believe the hype, bitches.
More Berg Questions

Here and here
(safe links)
If only, if only...

Here's just a smidge (okay, it's more than a smidge) of Al Gore's speech...
How did we get from September 12th , 2001, when a leading French newspaper ran a giant headline with the words "We Are All Americans Now" and when we had the good will and empathy of all the world -- to the horror that we all felt in witnessing the pictures of torture in Abu Ghraib.

To begin with, from its earliest days in power, this administration sought to radically destroy the foreign policy consensus that had guided America since the end of World War II. The long successful strategy of containment was abandoned in favor of the new strategy of "preemption." And what they meant by preemption was not the inherent right of any nation to act preemptively against an imminent threat to its national security, but rather an exotic new approach that asserted a unique and unilateral U.S. right to ignore international law wherever it wished to do so and take military action against any nation, even in circumstances where there was no imminent threat. All that is required, in the view of Bush's team is the mere assertion of a possible, future threat - and the assertion need be made by only one person, the President.

...One of the strengths of democracy is the ability of the people to regularly demand changes in leadership and to fire a failing leader and hire a new one with the promise of hopeful change. That is the real solution to America's quagmire in Iraq. But, I am keenly aware that we have seven months and twenty five days remaining in this president's current term of office and that represents a time of dangerous vulnerability for our country because of the demonstrated incompetence and recklessness of the current administration.

It is therefore essential that even as we focus on the fateful choice, the voters must make this November that we simultaneously search for ways to sharply reduce the extraordinary danger that we face with the current leadership team in place. It is for that reason that I am calling today for Republicans as well as Democrats to join me in asking for the immediate resignations of those immediately below George Bush and Dick Cheney who are most responsible for creating the catastrophe that we are facing in Iraq.

We desperately need a national security team with at least minimal competence because the current team is making things worse with each passing day. They are endangering the lives of our soldiers, and sharply increasing the danger faced by American citizens everywhere in the world, including here at home. They are enraging hundreds of millions of people and embittering an entire generation of anti-Americans whose rage is already near the boiling point.

With friends like these, who needs enemas?

RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie and Reich-wing blogger Fat Matt Margolis.

Look at these jackoffs. I've seen better heads on boils. Seriously, if you are going to advertise a pic like this, at least run it through Photoshop's "Slimming" feature. Much like their radical muslim counterparts, the reason these guys are so reactionary is simple. No matter what they do, no matter what they try, they can never, ever get laid.
Wouldn't this be a failure
Al-Qaida Said Almost Ready to Attack U.S.

If al Qaeda is successful, wouldn't that once and for all shatter the myth of Bush and terrorism? A group they promised to destroy, successfully attacks on American soil twice in one term. I don't see how that equals 4 more years. I think there might be some other shenanigans at work here, which we will address later.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Berg anomalies

For the last week I've been reading about inconsistencies in the Berg video, and some other strange things about his family. I don't really like to get caught up in conspiracy theories, but there are some serious problems with the official story compared with analyses of the video.

The most obvious problem is the lack of blood. This probably means he was killed long before the beheading. This could mean the executioners didn't have the stomach to behead a living person. But these terrorists are also fat and wear western style tennis shoes. We've all seen plenty of Iraqis on TV lately and not too many are fat and none wear tennis shoes. They also carry Israeli made weapons.

Berg is wearing a jumpsuit just like the ones detainees at Abu Gharib wear. He is also sitting in a chair identical to the chairs in the infamous photos from the same prison.

It is also interesting that towards the end of the video a head that is distinctly white and with a crew cut comes into view several times. English can also be heard at the end, "Thy Will be Done".

I'm not sure how this relates, but Berg's dad and his own tower company were listed on the enemies list.

There are plenty more, and I don't want to get in to it too much, but this needs to be investigated more. There are several sites with good analysis, but some have still captions, so I don't feel comfortable linking to them. You can find a whole list of problems here, and with no images.
Thanks For the Lessons
Jazz Drummer Elvin Jones of Coltrane Quintet Dies

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Jazz drummer Elvin Jones, who rose to fame as a driving force behind the John Coltrane Quintet ensemble of the 1960s, has died of heart failure, his wife said on Wednesday. He was 76.

Known for his explosive drumming style, Jones was a fixture in Coltrane's influential quintet from 1960-66. A pioneer of greater improvisation among jazz percussionists, he was viewed by some jazz critics as the best drummer in the world.

"His main achievement was the creation of what might be called a circle of sound, a continuum in which no beat of the bar was necessarily indicated by any specific accent, yet the overall feeling became a tremendously dynamic and rhythmically important part of the whole group," the Encyclopedia of Jazz wrote about Jones.

I saw Elvin 3 times, and even in his late sixties and early seventies he was still amazing and incredibly inspiring. Truly unforgettable experiences. Thanks again, Elvin.
You sure about that, Tony
Iraq to have veto on military action, says Blair

I just don't see the Bushies agreeing to that one. Maybe he got his info from Colin.

On the other hand it could be Dinky's ticket out of there.


I'm afraid Billmon is a little burned out, the Whiskey Bar has been closed for a few days now. I'm starting to get the shakes. Open up, bartender.
Winning the War on Terra...

And now for another edition of "How to smile and nod as the world goes to shit" starring my favorite liar, George W. Bush.
"I sent American troops to Iraq to defend our security not to stay as an occupying power."

Wow, that sounds good. We're not going to occupy Iraq AND we're safer. That's good to know. I feel much better! That's all I need to know... Unfortunately, earlier in his speech he said,
Given the recent increase in violence we'll maintain our troop level at the current 138,000 as long as necessary

You would think if we weren't going to occupy Iraq we'd have some sort of exit strategy... oh well, at least we're safer, right?
LONDON - Far from being crippled by the U.S.-led war on terror, al-Qaida has more than 18,000 potential terrorists scattered around the world and the war in Iraq is swelling its ranks, a report said Tuesday...

...The report suggested that the two military centerpieces of the U.S.-led war on terror — the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq — may have boosted al-Qaida.

Top prize goes W. on this speech. It takes real skill to stand up in front of a prime time audience and spew absolute bullshit and present it as the truth. I mean, he almost had me convinced that the proper pronunciation of Abu Ghraib, really was Abu guhhhhh beeee. I mean, you would think that he would have discussed the problems at the prison enough with his staff to have at least learned how to say it correctly, wait, that would imply that he gives a shit. I gotta say, I watched that little slip up on TIVO quite a few times because the look on his face when he saw the name coming really was priceless. Stay tuned for the next installment...
Bad Idea Jeans

NAJAF, Iraq - One of the most sacred shrines of Shia Islam suffered minor damage during clashes Tuesday between U.S. forces and militiamen that killed at least 13 Iraqis, some of them civilians.

No matter who is responsible for this, the US forces will be blamed. Period. This is not just enraging Iraqis, it will enrage Shiites the world over. Juan Cole has more.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Ludis V2.0

Still messing with the site a bit, gonna try out some of the new features blogger has to offer. All old comments are lost now that we're not using haloscan.
The Halliburton Post-Game Show
Who's in your wallet?

The Bush Administration evened the Iraqi Championship series 1-1 tonight, with a slim Sovereignty over Tyranny victory. The Democrats led most of the way, but the game's misleading scorer Dubya put his team on his back with just too much pointless rhetoric down the stretch.

"The Iraqi people want freedom, freedom from Terrorists. God put me in a position to execute, and we just made plays. I have to give credit to my ambashaders. We will not fail," Bush said after sinking the go ahead sound byte.

"We just have to focus, and take it one speech at a time," Senator Joe Biden said. "After our Speech 1 blowout win, we felt confident going into this one. Bush was unbeleivable tonight; he kept talking and talking, but never said anything. It's tough to score when he doesn't give us any ammunition."

The Liberals jumped to a quick lead, taking advantage of Dubya's Abu-G-Raib technical foul. Trailing Regime to Progress after the first half, Bush then caught fire - in one sequence nailing three Terrors and 2 Freedoms in one sentence. The controversial buzzer beating "Mandem" out of nowhere stretched the lead to Courage. It appeared to some that the shot clock had expired.

"The @!#&! refs can go $%!@!# themselves," screamed Democrat Asst. Coach James Carville. "Twenty miles outta Washington they're still hangin' brothaz!" Carville was ejected with 6 minutes to speak.

Bush had his first triple double of the series with 18 Terrors, 19 Freedoms, and 10 Sovereignties.

"Both teams played 'ard, both teams played 'ard," a cautious Karl Rove said after the game. When pressed about the questionable "Mandem" shot, Rove just repeated "Both teams palyed 'ard, both teams played 'ard."

Joe Biden led the Democrat effort with an inspired post game analysis. "Bush didn't answer any of the questions that needed to be answered. Details are important. We've got 5 more speeches in this series before the June 30 deadline, and we've still got the home court advantage."

Speech 3 will be televised next Monday on Fox, MSNBC, and ESPN.
Fun and excitement

Its almost time for everyone's favorite Butler Bros. game. The clear favorites tonight are the usual suspects; freedom, terra(ism), sovereignty, stay the course, and cut-n-run. Now these standard phrases are of course only one drink per usage. Mispronunciations are also only one drink, for example, ab-horrent or ABBBBBBRENT.

The stakes do get higher when Dinky creates new words, that's two drinks per usage. Also, new talking points such as clear strategy or blueprint get you two drinks.

The latest line is 5-1 that clear strategy will be used at least 15 times. Waingroh should be back from Chino in time to post an update.


Abu Garr-(long pause)B was worth 4 drinks.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Solution to the Prison Problem

Finally, we're addressing the problem at its core...
Rumsfeld bans camera phones in Iraq: report
LONDON (AFP) - Cellphones fitted with digital cameras have been banned in US army installations in Iraq on orders from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, a business newspaper reported.

Quoting a Pentagon source, The Business newspaper said the US Defense Department believes that some of the damning photos of US soldiers abusing Iraqis at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad were taken with camera phones.

"Digital cameras, camcorders and cellphones with cameras have been prohibited in military compounds in Iraq," it said, adding that a "total ban throughout the US military" is in the works.

Now we're getting somewhere! At last we can round up those rogue cameras and all our problems will be solved.
Back on the pipe?

Bush Suffers Minor Injuries After Falling Off Bicycle

AP - President Bush is recovering from minor injuries he suffered Saturday, when he fell while riding a mountain bicycle on his Texas ranch.

White House spokesman Trent Duffy says Mr. Bush received minor scrapes on his face, right hand, and both knees when he toppled from the off-road bike.