Wednesday, June 30, 2004

There's a whole new online site to answer all of your BushAWOL questions:
Under Air Force policy in force at that time, the only way that someone in Bush’s position could be placed in an “Inactive Status” was if they were being “completely severed from military status.” And the only way that could happen is if someone had become permanently disabled, or deserted. Bush was not disabled.

Instead, consistent with contemporaneous laws, regulations, and procedures, ARPC had reviewed Bush’s records, and found that he had failed to “satisfactorily participate” as a member of TXANG. Bush was then ordered to active duty, for which he did not show up. ARPC then certified him for immediate induction as a “non-locatee” (e.g. a deserter) through the Selective Service System.

This is the only explanation that is consistent with Bush’s military records and Air Force policy of that era.


Sometime after this order was mailed, George W. Bush finally communicated with the Air Force Reserves. In an undated letter, he requests information on how to get out of the “Standby Reserves” in order to make absolutely certain that even in the case of the most dire national emergency, when the USA needs the services of even those who are on the “Inactive Status” list, George W. Bush would not be called to serve his country.

Bush even includes a mailing address, to make sure that he finds out how to avoid any possibility of service as soon as possible.
Oh and here's our valiant AWOL-in-Chief when he actually did show up for duty:


Monday, June 28, 2004

Proconsul Paul checks out:

UPDATE! TomDispatch says it better than I ever could in a million years:
Other than L. Paul Bremer, not a significant American official was in sight, even though the President, Secretary of Defense, National Security Advisor, and Secretary of State were all in Turkey, not 90 minutes away. There were no representatives from other governments. No flags. No bands. No cheering crowds. No marching troops. No hoopla. Nothing at all. And two hours later, Bremer, the erstwhile viceroy of Baghdad, his suits and desert boots packed away, was on a C-130 out of the country.

Talk about "cutting and running," he didn't even stick around the extra five hours for the swearing in of the new interim administration. That's not a matter of catching a flight, but of flight itself. I'm sure Bremer is already heaving a sigh of relief and looking forward, as Time magazine tells us, to enrolling in "the Academy of Cuisine in Washington." As for the "psychological boost" provided by the transfer of sovereignty, Prime Minister Allawi and friends are not likely to be its recipients. It looks as if the Bush administration engaged in a game of chicken with a motley group of insurgents and rebels in urban Iraq -- and at the edge of what suddenly looked like a cliff, the Bush administration flinched first.

This is a victory, certainly, but not for Bush & Co. or for their plan to, as they like to say, put "an Iraqi face" on Iraq. It may be spun here as a brilliant stratagem to outflank the Iraqi insurgency, or as Carol Williams and Alissa Rubin of the Los Angeles Times put it, a "ploy to pre-empt disruptions," or as proof that the interim administration was ready ahead of schedule, but the word that most fits the moment is actually humiliation. Ignominious humiliation.


It's hard to believe that, in such a brief span, we've gone down the imperial rabbit hole and out the other side of who knows what, so that when the moment that would validate everything came in Iraq, though it was morning, it had the feel of the dead of night. Who would have believed that the administration which declared, in Greta Garbo's famous phrase, "I vant to be alone," would find itself so profoundly alone -- and undoubtedly fearful.

Be careful what you wish for, they say. The Bush administration talked the talk, but when it came to the walk, they bogged down on only the second stop in their armed stroll across our planet, and their representative in occupied Iraq had to make a mad dash for the exits.

George Bush himself now exists inside an ever-shrinking bubble of emptiness. This week the President and his entourage toured the emptied streets of Europe. Here's how Alec Russell of the British Telegraph described it:

"From Co[unty] Clare's cliffs to the Anatolian plain; from medieval battlements to Ottoman minarets; from the slate grey Atlantic to the Golden Horn; from armoured cars on deserted streets to, er, armoured cars on deserted streets… The only difference was the colour of the armoured cars: in Ireland they were khaki; in Ankara and Istanbul they were black. Otherwise the impression from the motorcade was the same: anti-Bush graffiti, lines of armed policemen, roadblocks, and emptied roads."


Sunday, June 27, 2004

Like the swallows returning to Capistrano and just in time for the 4th:
As the July 4 holiday approaches, Bush Administration officials are bombarding the nation's police, fire, emergency and corporate-security offices with another round of terrorism warnings. Although there are no plans to raise the threat level from yellow to orange, a senior Justice Department official says, "there's very serious intelligence that's corroborated, that's multiple sourced, that indicates that al-Qaeda is intent on hitting us and hitting us hard this year." The official concedes, however, that "we don't have specific information."


Along with this now familiar general warning, the FBI has introduced the specter of a new terrorism threat: booby-trapped beer coolers. A lightly classified bulletin sent to 18,000 state and local agencies last week advised local authorities to look out for plastic-foam containers, inner tubes and other waterborne flotsam commonly seen around marinas that could be rigged to blow up on contact.
Be an alert citizen!! If you see anyone with a styrofoam beer cooler this Independence Day CALL YOUR LOCAL POLICE!!!

UPDATE AND EDIT: Tasteless, gratuitous picture removed upon request...
Here's one movie theater owner who going to be eating a lot of crow the next few weeks for deciding NOT to show F911 at his chain:
One chain that has so far said no is Carmike, which owns theatres in the Mid-West. Mike Patrick, Carmike's president, insists that he made the decision purely for business reasons.

"This is in the biggest part of our season," he told the Chicago Tribune. "Business is great this year, and you think I'm going to play a documentary [instead of] 'Spider-Man?'"

"I'm not so sure that has commercial appeal compared to 'Spider-Man' or 'The Notebook' or 'White Chicks' or 'Around the World in 80 Days' and the other seven or eight pictures I have doing great business."
I'd have to say the same thing about Disney too....
William Rivers Pitt has about 1500 well chosen words about his Fahrenheit 9/11 experience:
The Who once sang about how the hypnotized never lie, but as we have seen, people hypnotized by television and deliberately enforced fear can certainly support a war, and a President, which are fundamentally at odds with basic American decency. In fact, people hypnotized by television and deliberately enforced fear will feed themselves into the meat grinder with "God Bless America" on their lips.

Michael Moore's film will snap that hypnosis, but good. Those Americans who believed what their President told them because they saw it on the TV will, after less than two hours in their local theater, look at both their television and their President with doubt and loathing when they walk from the darkness into the bright light of day. There are millions of Americans who believed what they were told - about 9/11, about Iraq, about George W. Bush himself - who will come into that bright light with the realization that they have been lied to.

Speaking personally, none of the data in this film surprised me. Having spent every day of the last three years working to expose as many Americans as possible to the truth of the man they call President, Mr. Moore was unlikely to explode any shells across my bow. The connections between Bush, the Saudis, the Carlyle Group and the 9/11 attacks were there. The connections between Cheney and Halliburton were there. The connections between Enron, Unocal, natural gas pipelines, the war in Afghanistan and a little-known country called Turkmenistan were there. I enjoyed the fact that Moore showed off unredacted copies of Bush's military service record, allowing us to see the parts of those documents which had been blacked out. I found no fact, no assertion in this film to question or doubt. I have done my homework, and as was made painfully clear, Michael Moore did his.

Most Americans don't know about this stuff, and seeing it fully documented and meticulously researched on the big screen will be, to say the least, revelatory. Yes, Virginia, there are billions of dollars to be made off this Iraq war for Bush's friends. The second door on the left is the recruiting office. Sign on the line that is dotted, and be the first kid on your block to die for the benefit of Carlyle's stock options. Be sure to save your pennies beforehand, however, because the Army will dock your pay for the days you are dead. It's policy, you see.

Mr. Moore put two daggers into me with this film, the first of which had to do with American soldiers. Trooper after trooper spoke frankly for Moore's camera, condemning both the war and the people who thrust them into it. Several scenes graphically explained what happens to a soldier's body when it is caught in an explosion. The result is ruinous, and the cries of the wounded and the dying will ring in my ears forever.
Let's give a warm welcome to KABUL FOR KERRY!!!
KABUL: The doughnuts and the donkey suffered in the summer heat, and the man himself was nowhere to be seen, but American Democrats have held one of the most remote gatherings of the US presidential campaign so far with 'Kabul for Kerry'.

Afghanistan's event lacked the glamour of this week's star-spangled fundraiser in Hollywood and is unlikely to make any impact on candidate John Kerry's campaign funds, but organisers are hoping it brings attention to a significant foreign policy issue.

"Part of the reason we had this was we thought it was important to show there was support for John Kerry in the far-flung corners of the world," says organiser Karen Hirschfeld.

"Particularly in Afghanistan which should still be a high priority for Americans... given the potential for it to fall back into chaos."

While efforts to bring Kerry to Afghanistan for the gathering of aid workers, consultants, private contractors and journalists failed, supporters are keen to invite the senator, his as yet unannounced running mate and other team members to the war-scarred capital.

"We tried to inform them, we just weren't able to," says Hirschfeld, a program officer for the Asia Foundation, which studies democracy issues.

About 60 people turned up for Friday's breakfast event although US embassy staff were advised against attending for security reasons, in part because it had been widely advertised. Several foreign embassies issued warnings last week that attacks against expatriates were being planned in Kabul.
I'd love to see JK suddenly show up campaigning in Afghanistan one afternoon, but that's going to be impossible for a while since things are getting back to normal there:
KABUL : Suspected Taliban have killed 16 Afghans carrying voter registration cards, an official said Sunday as the UN vowed to push on with staging historic elections in the war-torn country despite a deadly attack on woman electoral workers.

Two young female electoral officers were killed and another 11 women and children wounded Saturday when a bomb exploded inside a minibus carrying them to voter registration sites in eastern Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, an official in rugged south-central Uruzgan province told AFP 16 people were shot dead, apparently for carrying voter registration cards, when their vehicle was stopped by militants on Friday.

Taliban, who have vowed to disrupt the landmark presidential and parliamentary polls scheduled for September, have claimed responsibility for both attacks.

UN special envoy to Afghanistan Jean Arnault travelled to the eastern city of Jalalabad Sunday to speak with the victims of the bomb attack, their families and co-workers and local leaders.

"He (Arnault) affirmed that this attack will not slow us down re (regarding) the pursuit of the electoral process," UN spokesman Manoel de Almeida e Silva told reporters in Kabul.

"He went on to say that the best way to pay tribute to the two women killed is to re-dedicate ourselves to this process."
But but but Team Smirk told us that we had WON that war and all was "just peachy":
KABUL : Two US marines have been killed and one injured during an operation in northeastern Afghanistan, the US military said.

"Thursday evening, two marines were killed and one was wounded during an operation northeast of Asadabad," Master Sergeant Cindy Beam told AFP.

"The wounded marine is in stable condition."


Saturday, June 26, 2004

From Two Visions of America:
If the struggle against terrorism were to be carried out consistently with the institutional theory embedded in the U.S. Constitution, America's leaders would be well aware of the potential for abuse - even by decent patriots. They would have ensured not only that the Constitution was upheld at home, but that the more limited protections embodied in international law would have been conscientiously applied to people living under American occupation, or otherwise within U.S. control.

Behind the debate about the conduct of the war in Iraq, and the occupation, is a larger divide - between those Americans who believe that their unique virtues should permit them to act above the law, and those who believe that people in authority, necessarily imperfect, must be constrained by institutions and by law. Those who understand and believe in the theory of the American Constitution should reject the Bush administration's political theory of personal good and evil. We must continue to insist that the United States is a "government of laws and not of men."

Oh how they hate Smirky:
How can there be so little enthusiasm for welcoming President Bush in as pro-American a country as exists on the face of the earth? Our intelligentsia is pro-American; American popular culture, far from being resisted as it is elsewhere in Europe, has been a precious modernizing influence on the grim patriarchy that dominated Ireland until recent times; our teachers and students work in the United States in the summer, our athletes train there, our doctors and scientists do postgraduate work there, we all have friends and relations there. No wonder Ireland shut down more completely than any other country in the world — schools, pubs, business, transport, everything — on its day of mourning for the Sept. 11 attacks.

But nations on the periphery watch the center more keenly than the center realizes. The vacuum where our enthusiasm should be is our response to the perception — the fear — that this administration is indifferent to any world view but its own; that it doesn't care whether a little place like this loves it or not.


And Iraq is only the most lurid in a sequence of isolationist initiatives — the abrupt rejection of the Kyoto Protocol, the imposition of protective tariffs, the hostility to any international court of justice, and above all, the disrespect this administration has shown to the United Nations. Not that anyone has unqualified respect for the United Nations. But small nations, in particular, have to rely on international bodies, and the United Nations for all its flaws is the international body we've got. We take it seriously and we strongly support it. Irish troops are serving with United Nations missions in places that could do with the money and attention Iraq is getting, like Liberia, Kosovo, Lebanon, Congo and the Western Sahara.


But for the present administration — and a 1,000-strong entourage will be accompanying President Bush on his visit — my welcome flag is furled. It was such fun and such an honor, the first four times a president came here. But in the bitter words of a poet: "Never bright, confident morning again."

I'm just saying....
"I have also determined that the use of armed force against Iraq is consistent with taking necessary action against those nations who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11."

George Bush
Letter to Congress
Thanks to Working for Change and Joe Conason for the quote.

I think this explains it
Hey, Jude. Don't let me down:
I`m sure you read the NYTimes story this morning from Beijing, "U.S. Cites Scant Progress in Nuclear Talks With North Korea. It notes Senator Kerry`s position that the U.S. should "engage in intensive, bilateral discussions with North Korea in addition to the six-party talks, and has criticized the Bush administration for being slow to enter serious negotiations." I agree with this position, but if you look at the last paragraph of the article by Joseph Kahn you should realize the administration is still not serious about negotiations with Pyongyang: "During the talks, North Korea repeatedly denied using uranium enrichment to make nuclear fuel in addition to its acknowledged plutonium program. The United States said that no deal could be reached unless North Korea admitted to having two methods to make nuclear fuel."

In other words, the Bush administration is willing to bend over backwards to come to a diplomatic agreement with North Korea... as long as it confesses to having a hidden program to develop highly-enriched uranium (HEU) that it insists it does not have, and for which there is no evidence. Yes, James Kelly, who leads the American delegation in the six-party talks, awhile back said a North Korean delegate told him at a cocktail party that his country had an HEU program, but the government immediately disputed the story that Kelly fed to the NYTimes. Our intelligence agencies have yet to locate evidence of an HEU program and wouldn`t know where to look for one if they were invited to search high and low, the way Saddam Hussein invited the CIA last year. North Korea -- supported by its neighbors in Seoul and Beijing -- has indicated it would be willing to rejoin the Non-Proliferation regime and permit U.N. inspectors to come look high and low, but not unless they get iron-clad assurances

That`s right, our good old Uncle Sam has been acting in bad faith toward North Korea for a long, long time, preferring to keep it as "an enemy" rather than work things out with them, as their neighbors clearly would like to do. Here is a memo I posted here last November 6 that goes over the recent history in support of my contention. The neo-con intellectuals in the Pentagon and their stooges in the State Department need to have "enemies," or their plans for an American Empire with military outposts throughout the world dissolve. They really don`t want the U.N.`s IAEA inspectors back into North Korea, you surely understand, because the inspectors will find no HEU program, just as they did not want UN inspectors back into Iraq, knowing they would find no weapons of mass destruction. Diabolical little jokers, aren`t they?

Jude Wanniski

Friday, June 25, 2004

There's Friday Catblogging. There's Friday Ferretblogging. How about some Friday Lilyblogging:

Via my garden.
I generally don't like Joe Biden (OK I know he has a metal plate in his head and that can account for some of his sometimes bizarre behavior), but THIS I like:
Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) might not be invited back to the Oval Office anytime soon to do his Donald Trump imitation. In May he dispensed blunt advice to President Bush on whom he would fire. As Biden recounts in the new Rolling Stone:

"I turned to Vice President Cheney, who was there, and I said, 'Mr. Vice President, I wouldn't keep you if it weren't constitutionally required.' I turned back to the president and said, 'Mr. President, Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld are bright guys, really patriotic, but they've been dead wrong on every major piece of advice they've given you. That's why I'd get rid of them, Mr. President . . .' They said nothing. Just sat like big old bullfrogs on a log and looked at me."
Via Overspun.
Go have a bite at The Big Picnic who was nice enough to link to me this week.
Quick! Without looking...who said this:
It is an extraordinary blessing to live in a nation so carefully designed to protect individual liberty and safeguard self-governance and free communication. But if George Washington could see the current state of his generation's handiwork and assess the quality of our generation's stewardship at the beginning of this 21st century, what do you suppose he would think about the proposition that our current president claims the unilateral right to arrest and imprison American citizens indefinitely without giving them the right to see a lawyer or inform their families of their whereabouts, and without the necessity of even charging them with any crime. All that is necessary, according to our new president is that he -- the president -- label any citizen an "unlawful enemy combatant," and that will be sufficient to justify taking away that citizen's liberty -- even for the rest of his life, if the president so chooses. And there is no appeal.

What would Thomas Jefferson think of the curious and discredited argument from our Justice Department that the president may authorize what plainly amounts to the torture of prisoners -- and that any law or treaty which attempts to constrain his treatment of prisoners in time of war is itself a violation of the constitution our founders put together.

What would Benjamin Franklin think of President Bush's assertion that he has the inherent power -- even without a declaration of war by the Congress -- to launch an invasion of any nation on Earth, at any time he chooses, for any reason he wishes, even if that nation poses no imminent threat to the United States.

How long would it take James Madison to dispose of our current president's recent claim, in Department of Justice legal opinions, that he is no longer subject to the rule of law so long as he is acting in his role as commander in chief.

I think it is safe to say that our founders would be genuinely concerned about these recent developments in American democracy and that they would feel that we are now facing a clear and present danger that has the potential to threaten the future of the American experiment.
Thanks to Avedon Carol at The Sideshow for the heads up, and I also want to thank her for the link to The Skeptic this week.
BIF! WHAM!! SNUGH!!! Holy Photoshop, Batman:

Via Thru the Looking Glass.
So you've gotten into a fight with a wingnut and you need ammunition to prove your points. Go to Winning Argument for everything you'll need:
Argument: The war in Iraq made al-Qaeda stronger

Why you're right:

1. The war in Iraq reenergized al-Qaeda. The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) says, "the war in Iraq has focused the energies and resources of al-Qaeda and its followers." The group estimates al-Qaeda now "has 18,000 potential operatives and is present in more than 60 countries." (BBC)

2. The war in Iraq weakened the global counter-terrorism coalition. President Bush frames the war in Iraq as part of the broader, international effort to combat terrorism. But the war in Iraq was fought without an international consensus. IISS found that, as a result, the war had the effect of "diluting...the global counter-terrorism coalition."(BBC)

3. The war in Iraq unfocused counterterrorism efforts. According to an Army War College report, fighting the war in Iraq made the war on terror "dangerously indiscriminate and ambitious." As a result, America's counterterrorism campaign "is strategically unfocused, promises more than it can deliver, and threatens to dissipate U.S. military resources in an endless and hopeless search for absolute security." (Washington Post)

4. Since the war in Iraq, international terrorism is on the rise. According to a State Department report, "the number of significant international terrorism episodes rose slightly last year, and that the number of those injured in all international terrorism episodes went up by more than 50 percent." (New York Times)

Why they're wrong:

Supporters of the war in Iraq – including President Bush and Vice President Cheney – continue to say that it weakened al-Qaeda because Iraq had a relationship with al-Qaeda. But the independent bipartisan 9-11 commission reviewed the evidence and concluded there was no "collaborative relationship" between Iraq and al Qaeda. (Washington Post)

BRITNEY SPEARS NAKED!!!!! know you want to.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Unka Dick drops the F-Bomb:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Vice President Dick Cheney blurted out the "F word" at Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont during a heated exchange on the Senate floor, congressional aides said on Thursday.

The incident occurred on Tuesday in a terse discussion between the two that touched on politics, religion and money, with Cheney finally telling Leahy to "fuck off" or "go fuck yourself," the aides said.

"I think he was just having a bad day," Leahy was quoted as saying on CNN, which first reported the incident. "I was kind of shocked to hear that kind of language on the floor."

"That doesn't sound like language the vice president would use but there was a frank exchange of views," said Cheney spokesman Kevin Kellems.
That sounds EXACTLY like the kind of language that Cheney would use. Maybe he's seen Fahrenheit 9\11.


Wednesday, June 23, 2004

The Moon also rises:
More than a dozen lawmakers attended a congressional reception this year honoring the Rev. Sun Myung Moon in which Moon declared himself the Messiah and said his teachings have helped Hitler and Stalin be "reborn as new persons."

At the March 23 ceremony in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-Ill.) wore white gloves and carried a pillow holding an ornate crown that was placed on Moon's head. The Korean-born businessman and religious leader then delivered a long speech saying he was "sent to Earth . . . to save the world's six billion people. . . . Emperors, kings and presidents . . . have declared to all Heaven and Earth that Reverend Sun Myung Moon is none other than humanity's Savior, Messiah, Returning Lord and True Parent."

Details of the ceremony -- first reported by writer John Gorenfeld -- have prompted several lawmakers to say they were misled or duped by organizers. Their complaints prompted a Moon-affiliated Web site to remove a video of the "Crown of Peace" ceremony two days ago, but other Web sites have preserved details and photos.
Moon, 85, has been controversial for years. Renowned for officiating at mass weddings, he received an 18-month prison sentence in 1982 for tax fraud and conspiracy to obstruct justice. In a 1997 sermon, he likened homosexuals to "dirty dung-eating dogs."

Among the more than 300 people who attended all or part of the March ceremony was Sen. Mark Dayton (D-Minn.), who now says he simply was honoring a constituent receiving a peace award and did not know Moon would be there. "We fell victim to it; we were duped," Dayton spokeswoman Chris Lisi said yesterday.


"You'd have to be deaf, dumb and blind to not know that any event that is sponsored by the Washington Times . . . could involve the influence, or the potential presence, of the Reverend Moon," he said.
WE WERE DUPED!!! LOL what a bunch of bullshit......

Via Billmon

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Anonymous opens up at TPM this week. Must read:
Then there's Iraq. "There is nothing bin Laden could have hoped for more than the American invasion and occupation of Iraq," he writes.
All Muslims would see each day on television that the United States was occupying a Muslim country, insisting that man-made laws replace God's revealed word, stealing Iraq's oil, and paving the way for the creation of a "Greater Israel." The clerics and scholars would call for a defensive jihad against the United States, young Muslim males would rush from across the Islamic world to fight U.S. troops, and there--in Islam's second holiest land--would erupt a second Afghanistan, a self-perpetuating holy war that would endure whether or not al-Qaeda survived.
The reason we've made these mistakes, he argues, is that we fail to understand that bin Laden doesn't hate us because of our freedom. Or, rather, while he does hate the licentiousness and modernity that the U.S. represents, it's not what compels him to declare war on us. Nor does an anti-modernist bent explain bin Laden's appeal across the Muslim world. Instead, it's what Anonymous identifies as six points bin Laden repeatedly cites in his communiqués: "U.S. support for Israel that keeps the Palestinians in the Israelis' thrall; U.S. and other Western troops on the Arabian peninsula; U.S. occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan; U.S. support for Russia, India and China against their Muslim militants; U.S. pressure on Arab energy producers to keep oil prices low; U.S. support for apostate, corrupt and tyrannical Muslim governments." Combined with his charismatic biography, bin Laden's strategic success has been to frame these arguments through a Koranic prism, "to convince everyone that U.S. policy is deliberately anti-Muslim and anti-Islamic," he says. Bin Laden's critique presents in resonant Islamic terminology a coherent jihadist explanation for practically everything Muslims can find offensive about the U.S.--the most deadly slippery slope there is. And the more Americans insist on treating bin Laden's anger with the U.S. as a pure hatred of freedom, the less equipped we'll be to answer him in a battle of ideas.
TPM has been great (and important) all week. Go read everything

Monday, June 21, 2004

So let us never EVER forget that Maj. Leader Bill Frist was a cat murderer:
I'm talking about the cat-killing. What perspective should we put this in?

Think of it this way: You have a sister, and she comes to you for advice. This guy named Bill has asked her to marry him. Great guy, this Bill, practically Mr. Perfect: a heart surgeon, ambitious, dedicated, everyone speaks well of him. There's just this one thing, something he felt the need to confess to her, something he did as a youth in medical school, something he now regrets, something he says he's ashamed of. It's long ago in the past, but it troubles your sister, and she's asking your advice about it because Bill-well, he lied and cheated essentially to kidnap and then dissect and kill cats.

Oh, he did it for a good cause: He had some advanced ideas about a medical breakthrough, and they'd run out of cats to dissect at the medical school, so he'd go to animal shelters, make goo-goo eyes at a cat at each shelter to get them to let him adopt the shivering strays, take them home, and then perform experimental surgery on them. For a good purpose, a higher humanitarian purpose, he says-but obviously he isn't trying to excuse the lying and cheating, or the implicit betrayal of the poor trusting animals, who thought they were going to be given a home off the mean streets at last. So there it is, the question you can sense your sister is asking you: Should she put her life, her trust, in this fellow? Was it just a youthful indiscretion, or was it a signal of something deeply twisted?
I'll take "Deeply Twisted" for $500, Alex...
I knew it. I JUST KNEW IT!!!!:

Thanks Talent Show.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Go play some poker with The Editors

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Say what you will about Team Smirk, but they are as good as any at changing the subject:
Bill Clinton claims that he warned President George Bush before he took office that the biggest threat to national security was Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, in a sensational passage from his memoirs revealed for the first time yesterday.

Mr Clinton also speaks frankly in the book about the Lewinsky affair, calling it "the darkest part of my inner life", and even thanks his enemies’ pursuit of him for bringing him and his wife, Hillary, back together.

The details - culled from the first leaked copy of his memoirs - reveal that Mr Clinton has pulled no punches in his account of his presidency, even when it is he on the receiving end.

In the passage on his al-Qaeda warning, when Mr Bush was president-elect, Mr Clinton claims Mr Bush said little in response, and then switched subjects.
Via Democratic Veteran.

Friday, June 18, 2004

This one sure didn't get the exposure it deserved:
A House panel Wednesday rejected the Bush administration's request for money to research a nuclear "bunker-buster" bomb that critics said could increase the chances the United States would use a nuclear weapon in war.

In a sign of bipartisan unease with a plan sought by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, an Appropriations subcommittee eliminated money for the bunker bomb. It also wiped out funding for "advanced concepts" in nuclear weapons and accelerated testing.

This year's House action goes further than a move by the same panel last year to reduce, rather than eliminate, nuclear weapons research funding.
To paraphrase..."In your heart you know he might".

From the mind of RudePundit:
Sometimes you're driving down a country road in mid-autumn, a time the Rude Pundit likes to refer to as "Suicidal Squirrel Season," the time of year when the squirrels are getting their winter mojos going in a mad search for nuts and acorns to store for winter. And the squirrels, having little tiny brains, dash across roads haphazardly, crazy little legs a-pumping, hoping to avoid cars, cars that inevitably swerve or screech to avoid the prospect of squirrel guts on the tires. But squirrels are stupid little fuckers, and on more than one occasion the Rude Pundit has heard the heart-sickening "thump" of a squirrel running into the car. Looking back in the rear-view, all you could see was the damn squirrel, head obviously half crushed, fruitlessly spinning in circles, trying, for the love of squirrel-god, to get across the road. You can feel pity, watching the St. Vitus's dance of desperation, but you know there's nothing to be done. That was just one fucking stupid squirrel.
He's really talking about Dubya, but you probably allready knew that...

Saturday, June 12, 2004


Thursday, June 10, 2004

Here's the Understatement of the Day:
If and when an atom bomb ever does fall near you, you will be scared. There is no doubt about that. If you are normal, you will be plenty scared.

You may not be aware of your own emotion. In fact the chances are that you will be numbed, stunned. You will probably go about like a sleep walker, going through motions in an automatic, robot way. This is the reaction of three-fourths of all the persons involved in a major disaster -- whether it is a bombing, a catastrophic fire or a devastating earthquake.

One person out of five remains cool and collected in the face of major disaster.

The expressions, "scared stiff," "paralyzed with fright," "frozen with fear," describe very well the effects on 75 percent of us. Such persons, caught in an emergency, may be unable to get out of bed and dress themselves. Even if they are physically unharmed, they are unable to take any action to save themselves or others, but lie down to await the death that appears inevitable. Some pass from this paralyzed state into death without ever coming out of their death-like trance.

We know what happened when the first atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Some people dashed along the roads without any destination in mind, in a purposeless stampede, screaming out their terror. Others remained apathetic, apparently unable to sense what had happened to them and what they needed, and equally unable to do anything about the situation. What would you do?
Well I don't know about everybody else, but I'm planning on dashing along Hunnell Road hopefully in a purposeless stampede, screaming out in terror. Duck and cover just doesn't do it for me....


Tuesday, June 08, 2004

OK so this made me laugh:


Monday, June 07, 2004

Congrats to the Tampa Bay Lightning for their first-ever Stanley Cup win!!!

Ahhhh the Stanley Cup. The most beautiful trophy in all sports.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Smarty Jones loses at Belmont.

Bonzo buys farm.

Friday, June 04, 2004

Via Tristero comes this.
Two weeks ago I set aside the speech I prepared. This is a cry from the heart, a lamentation for the loss of this country's goodness and therefore its greatness.

Future historians studying the decline and fall of America will mark this as the time the tide began to turn -- toward a mean-spirited mediocrity in place of a noble beacon.
For me the final blow was American guards laughing over the naked, helpless bodies of abused prisoners in Iraq. "There is a time to laugh," the Bible tells us, "and a time to weep." Today I weep for the country I love, the country I proudly served, the country to which my four grandparents sailed over a century ago with hopes for a new land of peace and freedom. I cannot remain silent when that country is in the deepest trouble of my lifetime.

I am not talking only about the prison abuse scandal -- that stench will someday subside. Nor am I referring only to the Iraq war -- that too will pass -- nor to any one political leader or party. This is no time for politics as usual, in which no one responsible admits responsibility, no one genuinely apologizes, no one resigns, and everyone else is blamed.

The damage done to this country by its own misconduct in the last few months and years, to its very heart and soul, is far greater and longer lasting than any damage that any terrorist could possibly inflict upon us.

The stain on our credibility, our reputation for decency and integrity, will not quickly wash away.

Last week, a family friend of an accused American guard in Iraq recited the atrocities inflicted by our enemies on Americans, and asked: "Must we be held to a different standard?" My answer is yes. Not only because others expect it. We must hold ourselves to a different standard. Not only because God demands it, but because it serves our security.

Our greatest strength has long been not merely our military might but our moral authority. Our surest protection against assault from abroad has been not all our guards, gates and guns, or even our two oceans, but our essential goodness as a people. Our richest asset has been not our material wealth but our values.

We were world leaders once -- helping found the United Nations, the Marshall Plan, NATO, and programs like Food for Peace, international human rights and international environmental standards. The world admired not only the bravery of our Marine Corps but also the idealism of our Peace Corps.

Our word was as good as our gold. At the start of the Cuban missile crisis, former Secretary of State Dean Acheson, President Kennedy's special envoy to brief French President de Gaulle, offered to document our case by having the actual pictures of Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba brought in. "No," shrugged the usually difficult de Gaulle: "The word of the president of the United States is good enough for me."

Eight months later, President Kennedy could say at American University: "The world knows that America will never start a war. This generation of Americans has had enough of war and hate ... we want to build a world of peace where the weak are secure and the strong are just."

Our founding fathers believed this country could be a beacon of light to the world, a model of democratic and humanitarian progress. We were. We prevailed in the Cold War because we inspired millions struggling for freedom in far corners of the Soviet empire. I have been in countries where children and avenues were named for Lincoln, Jefferson, Franklin Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy. We were respected, not reviled, because we respected man's aspirations for peace and justice. This was the country to which foreign leaders sent not only their goods to be sold but their sons and daughters to be educated. In the 1930s, when Jewish and other scholars were driven out of Europe, their preferred destination -- even for those on the far left -- was not the Communist citadel in Moscow but the New School here in New York.

What has happened to our country? We have been in wars before, without resorting to sexual humiliation as torture, without blocking the Red Cross, without insulting and deceiving our allies and the U.N., without betraying our traditional values, without imitating our adversaries, without blackening our name around the world.

Last year when asked on short notice to speak to a European audience and inquiring what topic I should address, the chairman said: "Tell us about the good America, the America when Kennedy was in the White House." "It is still a good America," I replied. "The American people still believe in peace, human rights and justice; they are still a generous, fair-minded, open-minded people."

Today some political figures argue that merely to report, much less to protest, the crimes against humanity committed by a few of our own inadequately trained forces in the fog of war, is to aid the enemy or excuse its atrocities. But Americans know that such self-censorship does not enhance our security. Attempts to justify or defend our illegal acts as nothing more than pranks or no worse than the crimes of our enemies, only further muddies our moral image. Thirty years ago, America's war in Vietnam became a hopeless military quagmire; today our war in Iraq has become a senseless moral swamp.

No military victory can endure unless the victor occupies the high moral ground. Surely America, the land of the free, could not lose the high moral ground invading Iraq, a country ruled by terror, torture and tyranny -- but we did.

Instead of isolating Saddam Hussein -- politically, economically, diplomatically, much as we succeeded in isolating Gadhafi, Marcos, Mobutu and a host of other dictators over the years -- we have isolated ourselves. We are increasingly alone in a dangerous world in which millions who once respected us now hate us.

Not only Muslims. Every international survey shows our global standing at an all-time low. Even our transatlantic alliance has not yet recovered from its worst crisis in history. Our friends in Western Europe were willing to accept Uncle Sam as class president, but not as class bully once he forgot JFK's advice that "civility is not a sign of weakness."

All this is rationalized as part of the war on terror. But abusing prisoners in Iraq, denying detainees their legal rights in Guantánamo -- even American citizens -- misleading the world at large about Saddam's ready stockpiles of mass destruction and involvement with al-Qaida at 9/11, did not advance by one millimeter our efforts to end the threat of another terrorist attack upon us. On the contrary, our conduct invites and incites new attacks and new recruits to attack us.

The decline in our reputation adds to the decline in our security. We keep losing old friends and making new enemies -- not a formula for success. We have not yet rounded up Osama bin Laden or most of the al-Qaida and Taliban leaders or the anthrax mailer. "The world is large," wrote John Boyle O'Reilly, in one of President Kennedy's favorite poems, "when its weary leagues two loving hearts divide, but the world is small when your enemy is loose on the other side." Today our enemies are still loose on the other side of the world, and we are still vulnerable to attack.

True, we have not lost either war we chose or lost too much of our wealth. But we have lost something worse -- our good name for truth and justice. To paraphrase Shakespeare: "He who steals our nation's purse, steals trash. 'Twas ours, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands. But he that filches our good name ... makes us poor indeed."

No American wants us to lose a war. Among our enemies are those who, if they could, would fundamentally change our way of life, restricting our freedom of religion by exalting one faith over others, ignoring international law and the opinions of mankind, and trampling on the rights of those who are different, deprived or disliked. To the extent that our nation voluntarily treads those same paths in the name of security, the terrorists win and we are the losers.

We are no longer the world's leaders on matters of international law and peace. After we stopped listening to others, they stopped listening to us. A nation without credibility and moral authority cannot lead, because no one will follow.

Paradoxically, the charges against us in the court of world opinion are contradictory. We are deemed by many to be dangerously aggressive, a threat to world peace. You may regard that as ridiculously unwarranted, no matter how often international surveys show that attitude to be spreading. But remember the old axiom: "No matter how good you feel, if four friends tell you you're drunk, you'd better lie down."

Yet we are also charged not so much with intervention as indifference -- indifference toward the suffering of millions of our fellow inhabitants of this planet who do not enjoy the freedom, the opportunity, the health and wealth and security that we enjoy; indifference to the countless deaths of children and other civilians in unnecessary wars, countless because we usually do not bother to count them; indifference to the centuries of humiliation endured previously in silence by the Arab and Islamic worlds.

The good news, to relieve all this gloom, is that a democracy is inherently self-correcting. Here, the people are sovereign. Inept political leaders can be replaced. Foolish policies can be changed. Disastrous mistakes can be reversed.

When, in 1941, the Japanese Air Force was able to inflict widespread death and destruction on our naval and air forces in Hawaii because they were not on alert, those military officials most responsible for ignoring advance intelligence were summarily dismissed.

When, in the late 1940s, we faced a global Cold War against another system of ideological fanatics certain that their authoritarian values would eventually rule the world, we prevailed in time. We prevailed because we exercised patience as well as vigilance, self-restraint as well as self-defense, and reached out to moderates and modernists, to democrats and dissidents, within that closed system. We can do that again. We can reach out to moderates and modernists in Islam, proud of its long traditions of dialogue, learning, charity and peace.

Some among us scoff that the war on jihadist terror is a war between civilization and chaos. But they forget that there were Islamic universities and observatories long before we had railroads.

So do not despair. In this country, the people are sovereign. If we can but tear the blindfold of self-deception from our eyes and loosen the gag of self-denial from our voices, we can restore our country to greatness. In particular, you -- the class of 2004 -- have the wisdom and energy to do it. Start soon.
I probably broke a few copyright laws with that. Tough.

It's an important speach.