Saturday, August 27, 2005

If you find me slumped over . . . 

The demon is still with me. This week I got tested (and am awaiting results) for whooping cough, since I've been hacking like a loon with emphysema since shortly after the 4th of July.

The bad part, as I've shared with a few of you, is a side effect called cough syncope, which causes me to sometimes black out after a particularly bad coughing jag. I sincerely hope I'm not killing a bunch of brain cells every time that happens, but there's really no way to know (an increase in typos on this blog might be a tip off -- let me know if that starts happening).

Anyway, if you should happen to find me slumped over in a coffee shop or pulled over on the side of the road, please be kind enough to clear the breathing passages and call 911 if I'm not responding. I've gone back to wearing my dog tags. They've got my legal name and blood type (A+) on them. Disregard the religious preference. That's no longer operative.

Have a nice weekend.


Uncle Duke Lives! 

I didn't attend the big send-off for Hunter Thompson's ashes and spirit last week. I suspect he was alternately amused and gagging as he watched the show from on high.

But I'm certain some part of Dr. Gonzo is still with us here on earth. Today it can be found in the writing of Billmon, speaking of fundie-fascist preacher cum con man Pat Robertson:
Personally, I've known Pat was either a demented psychopath or a world-class con artist ever since he first emerged on the national scene back in the early 1980s. I remember seeing some old footage of Robertson hopping down the aisle of his "church" on one foot in some kind of a faith-healing trace, and thinking to myself: Nobody does something like that unless they're authentically ripped on the Holy Spirit, or they expect to make some nice coin out of it.

I always assumed it was the latter (a business associate who traveled with Robertson claims he never saw him reading the Bible -- just Investor's Business Daily and the Wall Street Journal.) But then I happened to catch Robertson on the tube giving a speech during the 1988 Republican convention, and I realized he was both a con man and a nut case -- with no clear dividing line between them.

Robertson's speech was devoted not to the evils of the San Francisco Democrats or the disaster that would befall America if Mike Dukakis ever set foot in the White House -- the usual stuff -- but to a full-throated attack on the French Revolution, the Bavarian Illuminati and the international banker's cartel. He sounded like a cross between Robert Anton Wilson and Henry Ford on acid. I haven't heard so many freaking conspiracy theories in one place since my one and only conversation with Larry Flynt, back when he was still hooked on the hard stuff. (I'll tell that story some other time.)
Uncle Duke is alive and well.


The Sad Truth 

I was at a statewide party meeting last week. The "progressives" introduced a motion calling for pulling the troops out of Iraq. There was a fear among the leadership that the press would have a field day with it, pointing out how the Dems really are "soft" on defense.

After much negotiation, it got watered down enough that almost everyone could support it.

Now Fafblog explains why. I'm gonna go to a swap meet today to see if I can find a spine.


Thursday, August 25, 2005

Photos we hate to see 

Will work for Armor.


Summer of Truth 

The Freeway Blogger has photos from all around the country.

"Everyone should have a hobby." -- Edward Abbey, The Monkey Wrench Gang


Robertson apologizes for endorsing assissination 

. . . but not for lying about it.

A commandment here, a commandment there. But hey, who's counting?


War is Hell 

Billmon notes that the mierda is hitting the fandango in Iraq. Looks like the leading edge of full-blown civil war.

Susie quotes the entertaining and sometimes even reliable Capitol Hill Blue, which portrays Bush as positively Nixonesque in his angry rages over the "motherfucking traitors." Break out the official enemies list.

We have all been here before.


Warning Lables 

Bill in Portland Maine tells us what Merck should have had on their Vioxx warning lable. Maybe it would've helped them out in court last week. Maybe not. Good for more chuckles.


What are the "boy" scouts burning 

Go to Atrios. Read the comments. Good for several chuckles.


Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Old soldiers know yellow elephant shit when they smell it 

Ed Partridge found the perfect quote from an old soldier. Retired Colonel Pat Lang had this observation about those bright young Republicans and their opinions:
Yesterday I watched as a pretty boy 35ish yuppy political hack from the crowd of sycophants with whom the president has surrounded himself described Hagel (with a sneer) as "someone who has lost his way." He (the yup) went on to say that Hagel has no ideas worth listening to in the matter of the possible resemblance of the Vietnam War to the mess in Iraq. Actually, he said, Hagel no longer knows what the war in Vietnam was about.

Now, consider that. This kid was still crapping in his pants and crying for the pacifier when Hagel and his brother and Hagel's "boys" were fighting to defeat the VC/NVA in the outskirts of Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) but he, from the depths of his marvelous intellect knows better what VN was "about."
One wonders what preppy nursery school produced such valiant young men.


The President Believes 

Editor & Publisher via Armando at Daily Kos:
Meeting briefly with reporters Monday aboard Air Force One, Trent Duffy, a White House spokesman subbing for Scott McClellan, said that President Bush believes that those who want the U.S. to begin to change course in Iraq do not want America to win the overall "war on terror." (emphasis mine)
Really, who gives a fuck what the former governor of Texas believes? The man is dumber than dog shit, believes that intelligent design should get a fair shake in the science classroom, and probably wonders if the world might really be flat.

The leader of the fact-free administration stays the course. My apologies, but some times I just need to get the rant out of my system.


and the brave keep falling to honor the names . . . 

MoDo on Bush logic:
For political reasons, the president has a history of silence on America's war dead. But he finally mentioned them on Monday because it became politically useful to use them as a rationale for war - now that all the other rationales have gone up in smoke.

"We owe them something," he told veterans in Salt Lake City (even though his administration tried to shortchange the veterans agency by $1.5 billion). "We will finish the task that they gave their lives for."

What twisted logic: with no W.M.D., no link to 9/11 and no democracy, now we have to keep killing people and have our kids killed because so many of our kids have been killed already? Talk about a vicious circle: the killing keeps justifying itself.
Thanks to AMERICAblog for the link.


a clueless public affairs weenie at CENTCOM 

The General volunteers to help him out, while devising a cunning plan to save America from Venezuela.


Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Young American Taliban 

From the LA Times via Susie:

They learn to view every vote as a religious duty, and to consider compromise a sin.

That puts them at the vanguard of a bold effort by evangelical conservatives to mold a new generation of leaders who will answer not to voters, but to God.

[ . . . ]

The philosophy animating Cameron's lecture -- that federal law should be based on biblical precepts -- troubles the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

"This nation was founded specifically to avoid the government making religious and theological decisions," Lynn said. "We are not to turn the Holy Scriptures of any group into public policy."

Kennedy counters that evangelicals have every right to put up candidates who vote what they believe to be God's will -- and let voters judge them.

To which Lynn responds, with exasperation: "He says that because he knows in a majority Christian country, the Christian view is going to be expressed by more voters. They have no problem imposing their biblical worldview on every American."

Evangelical conservatives acknowledge that's their goal.

And they now have a systematic plan for achieving it.

Pass the Kool-Aid. I guess we need a word for the wacko christian version of sharia, and a Council of Guardians to make sure that federal and state laws are aligned with scripture. I'm sure that's what our founding fathers had in mind when they established America as a "Christian Nation."

UPDATE Monday morning: The General has recovered the lost verses, which show beyond a shodow of a doubt that The Lord and Savior was a butt-kicking ninja assassin.


Paranoia Strikes Deep 

Speaking of Utah, Crooks and Liars has video of the troops that were sent in to break up a rave. Apparently local officials were afraid the rave might be used as a launch pad to protest Dear Leader's visit to the Beehive State.

They also note that Salt Lake TV stations are refusing to air Cindy Sheehan's ad, stating that it constituted an "inappropriate commercial advertisement for Salt Lake City."

That's right. Send in the riot troops to stop the children from dancing, but don't let the mother of and dead U.S. soldier get anybody excited.

We should have let Utah keep polygamy and not let them join the Union. Of course, we would have missed out on those great National Parks. And there was the railroad that had to go though there.

But, jeebus, what a dysfunctional fucking state! No offense, Ed.

(Disclosure statement: Both my mother and father were born in Salt Lake City, though they met in San Francisco during WWII).


Monday, August 22, 2005

Another Religious Scientific Theory for our Schools 

This is getting to be fun. Tild~ is dishing up the Gospel of the Pasta. Get some.


What Would W Have Done 

Today in Salt Lake, the former governor of Texas compared his global war on terror to both World War I and World War II.

Having studied WWII a bit (I was a history minor before I was an intelligence officer), I found this proclamation facinating.

Let's have a little fun. Let's play, if W were president during WWII . . .

I'll start it off. If W were president during WWII, the U.S. would have invaded Mexico after Pearl Harbor (my apologies to Richard Clarke).

Anyone else?


Presidential Straw Poll 

Kos has a new straw poll up. I notice that over the last couple of months, the number of readers who have "no freakin' clue" for whom they would vote is going way down.

Go vote.


a declaration of civil war 

A deal perceived by Sunni elites has leading to the destruction of the Iraq state, rammed through an assembly in which Sunnis are almost entirely absent, will have the opposite effect. It could be read, in fact, as a declaration of civil war -- and probably will be so read by Sunni moderates and rejectionists alike.

By blessing such a deal, the Cheney administration will have ripped away the last fig leaf of any claim to support a united, democratic and free Iraq.
In April of last year, back when I had time to write rather long, well thought out posts, I looked at 5 possible ways the misadventure in Iraq could go. Civil war was the worst of the bunch. It also may have been inevitable, given how little reality was included in planning of this disaster.


Down in the Able Danger Weeds 

LTC Shaffer of the Able Danger controversy (If you're a little bit behind on this, Able Danger was an Special Operations Command open-source data-mining effort to identify terrorist networks. LTC Shaffer has maintained that Able Danger identified Mohammed Atta as being linked to al Qaeda and in the United States, and at one point claimed he briefed that to the 9-11 Commission.) has surfaced in the comments section at Intel Dump. He maintains that DOD attorneys prevented the sharing of information about Atta with the FBI.

Intel Dump is frequented by current and former military officers, many of them JAG officers. The conversation is getting lively. Check it out. It's the sort of information that should lead to a thorough investigation (and maybe a Michael Moore book).

UPDATE Monday afternoon: Be sure and read Laura Rozen's take over at War and Piece. She notes that Able Danger was cancelled in March of 2001 by the Bush administration. That's 6 months prior to 9-11 for anyone who is keeping track.


Boycott Wal-Mart 

There are so many reasons. Here's another.


Katherine Harris Colorized Photo Contest 

Go vote now! Hat tip to Susie.


Sunday, August 21, 2005

Criminally Incompetent 

Some winger pundits are coming to grips with their own gullibility, hallucinations and denial.

I'm not saying there's hope for these people. It's just kind of fun to see them get smacked across the head with the hard truth.


Church and State 

Death to the Secular Humanists.
In an unprecedented scale of terror attacks, a banned Islamist militant group yesterday simultaneously blasted at least 459 time bombs in 63 of 64 districts across the country.

[ . . . ]

In the leaflets, in Bangla and Arabic, found with the bomb devices, Jama'atul, which was banned on February 23 this year, said: "It is time to implement Islamic law in Bangladesh. There is no future with man-made law."
Maybe we should invade Bangladesh so we can help them learn about Democracy and stuff. Oh, wait. The Brits already tried that. Didn't they try it in Iraq, too? Never mind.

via TPMCafe


Opinions differ on shape of earth 

I guess you could call me a religious person. But really, that's between me and my higher power. I'm not looking to force my own mythology into the curriculum of my local school district.

I'd even be willing to consider the relative merits of Intelligent Design. But I've got this one little problem. I can't figure out how an intelligent Creator could have come up with the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Malkin, Anne Coulter, or George W. Bush.

Of course, that crowd seems to defy evolution, too. Go figure.

I guess I'm going to just accept that my higher power has a really twisted sense of humor.

Thanks to Duncan for the link.


the future (of Iraq) ain't what it used to be 

The US Army is figuring it's going to need to keep 100,000 troops in Iraq for the next 4 years (that's the "worst case scenario" and it doesn't include the Marine Corps forces in country, currently around 25,000).

General Peter Schoomaker, the Army Chief of Staff, continues with the Bush-Rumsfeld happy horseshit line that he will let the "commanders in the field" decide what forces they require and they will get them. You don't need a line and block chart and a caculator to know this is a lie. There are no more troops to send. The regular army is tapped out, and the mobilized reserves aren't likely to wait around for a second call-up once they rotate home.

As for that worst case scenario estimate, there is reason to believe that, as bad as things are in Iraq right now, they are about to get worse. Billmon notes a piece in the WaPo in which Tony Shadid and Steve Fainaru paint a picture of sectarian fighting in Iraq starting to look like civil war between the Crips and the Bloods.

And even if the US forces stay the course and somehow manage to keep a lid on the civil war that is already tearing Iraq apart, the end state is likely to be the creation of an Islamic republic that represses the non-devout, treats woman like cattle, and thumbs its nose at democracy.

Your tax dollars (and the blood of thousands), hard at work. Thank a Republican.



Over at Truthout.org:
I got an email the other day and it said, "Cindy if you didn't use so much profanity ... there's people on the fence that get offended.

And you know what I said? "You know what? You know what, god damn it? How in the world is anybody still sitting on that fence?

If you fall on the side that is pro-George and pro-war, you get your ass over to Iraq, and take the place of somebody who wants to come home. And if you fall on the side that is against this war and against George Bush, stand up and speak out.
Don't bother pandering to those "undecideds" on the fence. There's nobody there.


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