Monday, August 28, 2006
Muzzle of Bees, one of my favorite MP3 blogs is hosting a new Wilco tune, "There's a Light". Download it here. It's a live cut, but the sound is pretty good.
Also, rbally is an excellent mp3 blog which is heavy on the Wilco.
Friday, August 18, 2006
He also said, without a hint of irony whatsoever:
"Leaving before we complete our mission would create a terrorist state in the heart of the Middle East, a country with huge oil reserves that the terrorist network would be willing to use to extract economic pain from those of us who believe in freedom"
He's referring to Iraq I presume, not Afghanistan. So we're clear: Before our unilateral, unprovoked invasion, Iraq was NOT a terrorist state in the heart of the Middle East. Iraq was a lot of bad things (just like Sudan, et. al), but it was not harboring, assisting or fostering terrorists. I get it, it's part of the great neocon strategy. CREATING a terrorist state where there was none before helps us to fight the terrorists. After all, we can only fight them if we create them.
I get it now.....
"Turkey and Iran have dispatched tanks, artillery and thousands of troops to their frontiers with Iraq during the past few weeks in what appears to be a coordinated effort to disrupt the activities of Kurdish rebel bases."
I think the Kurds are allies with Israel. We're allied with Israel, obviously. So, it's Iran and Turkey and the Shia in Iraq v. Kurds/Israel/U.S.
"Frustrated by the reluctance of the US and the government in Baghdad to crack down on the PKK bases inside Iraq, Turkish generals have hinted they are considering a large-scale military operation across the border. They are said to be sharing intelligence about Kurdish rebel movements with their Iranian counterparts.
"We would not hesitate to take every kind of measures when our security is at stake," Abdullah Gul, the Turkish foreign minister, said last week."
Thanks, Mr. President.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
But when revieing the "War on Terror" or Islamofascism or whatever they're calling it these days, ponder this:
Is there anyone in the country who can say honestly, in their heart of hearts, that when that moment of fear hit them after the recent reports out of London, they said to themselves, "God, I'm glad we're in Iraq"?
Friday, August 11, 2006
Well, leaving aside for a second the falsity of that statement (and how often people who have been wrong so many times on matters of foreign policy are allowed to espouse it uncritically in the press), wouldn't any rational person conclude that with the 33% number and the 60% number (from the CNN poll) who oppose the war are clearly the majority now?
So everyone understands, repeat after me:
The recent terror plot, a plan orchestrated by British subjects of Pakistani origin, foiled by British intelligence agencies working in conjunction with law enforcement and US intelligence gathering (all of which was legal and none of which was done in Iraq), has absolutely nothing at all to do with Iraq.
Next, since we have 130k+ troops, other personnel, other intelligence resources, unimaginable $ resources and other tools bogged down in Iraq, the United States is LESS equipped to address, detect, investigate and foil a terrorist plot like the one described above.
Ergo, if you SUPPORT the mission in Iraq, thereby depleting our ability to deal with real threats from terrorists, you necessarily OPPOSE or undermine the effort to foil terrorist plots that pose a real threat to American lives and treasure.
If you support the Iraq war, you enable those terrorists to continue with their plans to attack America. If you oppose the Iraq war and want the US government to direct its attention to real threats like the one recently foiled, then you wish to stop those terrorists in their quests to attack America.
Muslim tipoff 'led to arrests'
LONDON, England (CNN) -- A British intelligence official has told CNN that the original information about a plot to down commercial jetliners in mid-Atlantic with explosives came from a tip from the Muslim community in Britain. The official said the tip resulted from a person who had been concerned about the activities of an acquaintance after the July 7 terror attacks in London.
One other point re: the above. Bush's unilateral, unprovoked invasion of a majority Muslim nation has unquestionably given rise to Anti-American hatred around the world. To the extent the invasion makes it less likely that good people like the tipster above will act to help us thwart attacks, the Iraq debacle has made us less safe.
Under this backdrop, Kevin Drum makes the following observation:
British and American counterterrorism agencies have been tracking 50 al-Qaeda (or al-Qaeda-ish) terrorists for over a year. They were under intensive surveillance the entire time and never had any chance of pulling off their plans. What's more, the investigation has probably provided us with hundreds or thousands of additional leads to keep tabs on.
I wonder: what lesson will al-Qaeda draw from this? Osama bin Laden may be a religious fanatic, but he's not stupid, and my guess is that he'll conclude that in a post-9/11 security environment it's simply impossible to keep a plot this big a secret. There are too many entry points and too many ways for a single mistake to derail the whole thing.
Bin Laden may be fond of big statements, but I wonder if this failure will convince him and his compatriots to think smaller? Is our future now more likely to be full of lots of little attacks rather than the occasional big one?
These are excellent points. I wonder whether our alarmist media will think to ask them.
Monday, August 07, 2006
Let's remember that's EXACTLY what the Bill Kristols of the world were saying when Gore gave this speech:
Relevany portions of Al Gore’s Sept. 23, 2002, speech to the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco:
GORE: “To begin with, to put first things first, I believe that we ought to be focusing our efforts first and foremost against those who attacked us on September 11th and who have thus far gotten away with it. The vast majority of those who sponsored, planned and implemented the cold-blooded murder of more than 3,000 Americans are still at large, still neither located nor apprehended, much less punished and neutralized. I do not believe that we should allow ourselves to be distracted from this urgent task simply because it is proving to be more difficult and lengthy than was predicted.
"And, I believe that we are perfectly capable of staying the course in our war against Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network, while simultaneously taking those steps necessary to build an international coalition to join us in taking on Saddam Hussein in a timely fashion. If you're going after Jesse James, you ought to organize the posse first, especially if you're in the middle of a gunfight with somebody who's out after you.
"I don't think we should allow anything to diminish our focus on the necessity for avenging the 3,000 Americans who were murdered and dismantling that network of terrorists that we know were responsible for it. The fact that we don't know where they are should not cause us to focus instead on some other enemy whose location may be easier to identify.
"Nevertheless, President Bush is telling us that America's most urgent requirement of the moment right now is not to redouble our efforts against Al Qaida, not to stabilize the nation of Afghanistan after driving his host government from power, even as Al Qaida members slip back across the border to set up in Afghanistan again.
"Rather, he is telling us that our most urgent task right now is to shift our focus and concentrate on immediately launching a new war against Saddam Hussein. And the president is proclaiming a new uniquely American right to preemptively attack whomsoever he may deem represents a potential future threat.
"Moreover, President Bush is demanding, in this high political season, that Congress speedily affirm that he has the necessary authority to proceed immediately against Iraq and, for that matter, under the language of his resolution, against any other nation in the region regardless of subsequent developments or emerging circumstances…..
"Now, here's another of the main points I want to make: If we quickly succeed in a war against the weakened and depleted fourth-rate military of Iraq, and then quickly abandon that nation, as President Bush has quickly abandoned almost all of Afghanistan after defeating a fifth-rate military power there, then the resulting chaos in the aftermath of a military victory in Iraq could easily pose a far greater danger to the United States than we presently face from Saddam. …
"I believe that we can effectively defend ourselves abroad and at home without dimming our core principles. Indeed, I believe that our success in defending ourselves depends precisely on not giving up what we stand for. We should have as our top priority preserving what America represents and stands for in the world and winning the war against terrorism first.”
Full text here.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Well, the neighborhood bully, he's just one man
His enemies say he's on their land
They got him outnumbered about a million to one
He got no place to escape to, no place to run
He's the neighborhood bully.
The neighborhood bully he just lives to survive
He's criticized and condemned for being alive
He's not supposed to fight back, he's supposed to have thick skin
He's supposed to lay down and die when his door is kicked in
He's the neighborhood bully.
The neighborhood bully been driven out of every land
He's wandered the earth an exiled man
Seen his family scattered, his people hounded and torn
He's always on trial for just being born
He's the neighborhood bully.
Well, he knocked out a lynch mob, he was criticized
Old women condemned him, said he could apologize
Then he destroyed a bomb factory, nobody was glad
The bombs were meant for him. He was supposed to feel bad
He's the neighborhood bully.
Well, the chances are against it, and the odds are slim
That he'll live by the rules that the world makes for him
'Cause there's a noose at his neck and a gun at his back
And a licence to kill him is given out to every maniac
He's the neighborhood bully.
Well, he got no allies to really speak of
What he gets he must pay for, he don't get it out of love
He buys obsolete weapons and he won't be denied
But no one sends flesh and blood to fight by his side
He's the neighborhood bully.
Well, he's surrounded by pacifists who all want peace
They pray for it nightly that the bloodshed must cease
Now, they wouldn't hurt a fly. To hurt one they would weep
They lay and they wait for this bully to fall asleep
He's the neighborhood bully.
Every empire that's enslaved him is gone
Egypt and Rome, even the great Babylon
He's made a garden of paradise in the desert sand
In bed with nobody, under no one's command
He's the neighborhood bully.
Now his holiest books have been trampled upon
No contract that he signed was worth that what it was written on
He took the crumbs of the world and he turned it into wealth
Took sickness and disease and he turned it into health
He's the neighborhood bully.
What's anybody indebted to him for ?
Nothing, they say. He just likes to cause war
Pride and prejudice and superstition indeed
They wait for this bully like a dog waits to feed
He's the neighborhood bully.
What has he done to wear so many scars ?
Does he change the course of rivers ? Does he pollute the moon and stars ?
Neighborhood bully, standing on the hill
Running out the clock, time standing still
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
I know the conventional wisdom is that this one will be a free-flowing affair, but I don't think that will be the case. I do think there will be goals, but I think it will end 1-1 after extra time and Arsenal will win the penalty shootout. Henry will put us up late in the first half, then Barca will come out guns blazin in the second half and equalize on about 70 minutes, probably due in part from a catastrophic gaffe by Sol.
We'll come close in the late stages thanks to a moment of inspiration from DB10.
Extra time will be, for the most part, uneventful.
We'll win the penalty shootout 5-3, with Ronaldhino missing and the mad German saving one.
Of course, what I WANT is a 3-0 thrashing with Bergkamp finishing Barca off with a miracle goal in the 89th minute and an immediate post-match joint announcement from Pires, Henry and Cole that they've all signed reasonably priced contract extensions. Not likely of course but a fella can dream.
Leaving work for the afternoon in a bit. My marginal Gooner friend Chris and his friend, a Canadian whose profession is that of a player in Italy's professional hockey league are coming to the Franklin's Tower Pub to watch the match.
I'll be rubbing my Villareal ticket stub for good luck.
C'mon Arsenal! C'mon Arsenal!
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Saracens v. Wasps (throw in):
An owl on the Southend High Street:
The rest can be found here.
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Yesterday Arsenal beat WBA 3-1, goals from Hleb, Pires (set up by DB10) and DB10. AND it was Dennis Bergkamp day at Highbury. Storybook stuff. Following the match, enjoyed some time at the Tavern, talking to James and Tom from Richmond, Jeremy from LA and Adam from Indianapolis/Cleveland. We also went for a late dinner at the Finsbury Bite, a nice little Morrocan joint where I had the Merges Sausage Brochette with savoury rice.
Went to mass this morning and then to the Spring Cafe for some Eggs, chips and beans. Solid if unspectacular. Good tea, though.
LAter today it's off to Watford for Saracens v. Wasps in an exciting Rugby Union contest.
Tomorrow it's Southend v. Barnsley with Pete. Tuesday, mercifully, is a break.
Until next time----
Friday, April 07, 2006
Vice President Dick Cheney's former top aide told prosecutors President Bush authorized the leak of sensitive intelligence information about Iraq, according to court papers filed by prosecutors in the CIA leak case.Before his indictment, I. Lewis Libby testified to the grand jury investigating the CIA leak that Cheney told him to pass on information and that it was Bush who authorized the disclosure, the court papers say. According to the documents, the authorization led to the July 8, 2003, conversation between Libby and New York Times reporter Judith Miller.There was no indication in the filing that either Bush or Cheney authorized Libby to disclose Valerie Plame's CIA identity. But the disclosure in documents filed Wednesday means that the president and the vice president put Libby in play as a secret provider of information to reporters about prewar intelligence on Iraq.
Now, let's take a trip back to September 30, 2003:
THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Let me just say something about leaks in Washington. There are too many leaks of classified information in Washington. There's leaks at the executive branch; there's leaks in the legislative branch. There's just too many leaks. And if there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. And if the person has violated law, the person will be taken care of.
I want to know the truth. If anybody has got any information inside our administration or outside our administration, it would be helpful if they came forward with the information so we can find out whether or not these allegations are true and get on about the business.
I know of nobody -- I don't know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information. If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it, and we'll take the appropriate action.
And we can clarify this thing very quickly if people who have got solid evidence would come forward and speak out. And I would hope they would.
And we've had leaks out of the administrative branch, had leaks out of the legislative branch, and out of the executive branch and the legislative branch, and I've spoken out consistently against them and I want to know who the leakers are.
Ok, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNBC, etc. let's step up to the plate. Bush lied. Again. Blatantly and on a matter of importance. Let's go. Don't gimme the "Well, republicans dispute the characterization of the president's comments as misleading..." baloney. Bush KNEW who authorized the leak of classified information. HE did it. He knew he did it and he sat there and lied to you, media people. Lied to your face. So step up, call him the liar he is. We're waiting.
Update: We've got the party line. ATTENTION! ATTENTION! FULL SPIN MODE!
A senior administration official, speaking on background because White House policy prohibits comment on an active investigation, said Bush sees a distinction between leaks and what he is alleged to have done. The official said Bush authorized the release of the classified information to assure the public of his rationale for war as it was coming under increasing scrutiny.
Ya see, it wasn't a lie, there was a distinction, it's not the same. See, he didn't LEAK the classified information, he authorized its release. Not the same at all. Completely different words and everything. Leak and authorize even have a different number of sylables. Besides, he was doing it for a GOOD reason, to educate the public.
Later Update: Here's a man who means what he says!!! --->
“But it is a shameful act by somebody who has got secrets of the United States government and feels like they need to disclose them publicly. . . . We’re at war, and we must protect America’s secrets. “
– George W. Bush, December 19, 2005.
Monday, March 27, 2006
Lara Logan, CBS news correspondent, responding to a GOP talking point regurgitated by Howard "Time Warner/Washington Post" Kurst, summed it up well:
KURTZ: But critics would say, well, no wonder people back home think things are falling apart because we get this steady drumbeat of negativity from the correspondents there.
LOGAN: Well, who says things aren't falling apart in Iraq? I mean, what you didn't see on your screens this week was all the unidentified bodies that have been turning up, all the allegations here of militias that are really controlling the security forces.
What about all the American soldiers that died this week that you didn't see on our screens? I mean, we've reported on reconstruction stories over and over again…I mean, I really resent the fact that people say that we're not reflecting the true picture here. That's totally unfair and it's really unfounded.
...Our own editors back in New York are asking us the same things. They read the same comments. You know, are there positive stories? Can't you find them? You don't think that I haven't been to the U.S. military and the State Department and the embassy and asked them over and over again, let's see the good stories, show us some of the good things that are going on? Oh, sorry, we can't take to you that school project, because if you put that on TV, they're going to be attacked about, the teachers are going to be killed, the children might be victims of attack.
I mean, security dominates every single thing that happens in this country….So how it is that security issues should not then dominate the media coverage coming out of here?
On conservative radio host Laura Ingraham's recent statement that journalists need to do less "reporting from hotel balconies" in Iraq, LOGAN said: I think it's outrageous. I mean, Laura Ingraham should come to Iraq and not be talking about what journalists are doing from the comfort of her studio in the United States, the comfort and the safety. I mean, I don't know any journalist that wants to just sit in a hotel room in Iraq. Does anybody understand that for us we used to be able to drive to Ramadi, we used to drive to Falluja, we used to drive to Najaf. We could travel all over this country without having to fly in military helicopters. n\nThat's the only way we can move around here. So, it's when the military can accommodate us, if the military can accommodate us, then we can go out and see. I have been out with Iraqi security forces over and over again. And you know what? When Bob Woodruff was out with Iraqi security forces and he was injured, the first thing that people were asking was, oh, was he being responsible by placing himself in this position with Iraqi forces? And they started to question his responsibility and integrity as a journalist. I mean, we just can't win. I think it's an outrage to point the finger at journalists and say that this is our fault. I really do. And I think it shows an abject lack of respect for any journalist that's prepared to come to this country and risk their lives. "
Oh, sorry, we can't show this reconstruction project because then that's going to expose it to sabotage. And the last time we had journalists down here, the plant was attacked. I mean, security dominates every single thing that happens in this country….So how it is that security issues should not then dominate the media coverage coming out of here?
Well, when I see something like this I think I should just trust my first reaction. The murder in Iraq is NOT the result of a disagreement over policy or a civil dispute about whether the US's national security interests justified unilaterally, and without provocation, invading a sovereign nation, killing its people, endangering and throwing away the lives of thousands of US servicemen, wasting billions upon billions of dollars for no good reason other than to satisfy Bush's bloodlust.
The guy is a monster, a delusional, dangerous, and possibly sociopathic SOB. I don't know of ANY other way to interpret this from the NY Times:
During a private two-hour meeting in the Oval Office on Jan. 31, 2003, he made clear to Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain that he was determined to invade Iraq without the second resolution, or even if international arms inspectors failed to find unconventional weapons.
....The memo also shows that the president and the prime minister acknowledged that no unconventional weapons had been found inside Iraq. Faced with the possibility of not finding any before the planned invasion, Mr. Bush talked about several ways to provoke a confrontation
The U.S. was thinking of flying U2 reconnaissance aircraft with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in U.N. colours," the memo says, attributing the idea to Mr. Bush. "If Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach."
It also described the president as saying, "The U.S. might be able to bring out a defector who could give a public presentation about Saddam's W.M.D," referring to weapons of mass destruction.
A brief clause in the memo refers to a third possibility, mentioned by Mr. Bush, a proposal to assassinate Saddam Hussein.
And let's not forget this article outlining Saddam's offer to basically unconditionally surrender that would have met the administration's faux demands and spared thousands of lives. And all of this happened BEFORE Bush was asked whether he made any mistakes. If he doesn't think THIS qualifies as a mistake, then he really must be a sociopath.
Bush is a liar and his deliberate lies have costs thousands of innocent lives. There is simply no other way to put it. He should be censured, impeached, and then charged with war crimes.
Worst. president. ever.
Friday, March 17, 2006
Thompson doesn't display state's flag
I recently traveled to Washington, D.C., to speak with legislators. While there, I spoke with staffers from the offices of Reps. Chip Pickering, Roger Wicker and Bennie Thompson; and Sens. Trent Lott and Thad Cochran.
Outside all of the offices were flags on display. All offices had the American flag on display and also the Mississippi state flag.
Only one congressman did not have the Mississippi state flag on display outside his office - 2nd District U.S. Rep. Thompson.
The only flag he had on display outside of his office was the American flag. Why does he refuse to display the Mississippi state flag? Rep. Thompson's office was the only one I saw without a state flag on display.
Is Congressman Thompson ashamed to be recognized as a Mississippian? That he refuses to display a state flag outside of his office should say something about how he feels about Mississippi.
I encourage all of his constituents to contact him and find out why he does not have a state flag on display at his office.
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Gays, pimps have big Oscar year
It is hard out here for me to keep from laughing at the world of entertainment that chose the Rap song It's Hard Out Here For a Pimp from the movie Hustle and Flow as the best original song of the year.
No doubt they realize the inner conceit, the need they have to prove their superior intellect, their elegant tastes, higher values, enviable character and quality of life to the world.
Do they feel It's Hard Out Here For a Pimp will go down in the annals of great songs to be sung
in future ages?
Surely they do. Their egos would not consent to less.
Stardust, Tenderly and all the songs that remain on all our lips, that we still dance to, will just have to take a back seat to the reality that those in the field of entertainment today know music better than the normal listener.
They found it impossible to make political statements at the Oscars celebration. Were they cowardly or were they afraid we might hurt their pocketbooks if we refrained from going to the picture shows to see Capote and Brokeback Mountain - a couple of other winners?
Gays and pimps had a big year at the Oscar ceremony recently. Is that really what they want - recognition? I want to join the entertainment industry in this endeavor by further highlighting them for what they are and for their achievements.
Some prime candidates for such a public apology:
"Maybe disgraced commentators and politicians alike, like Daschle, Jimmy Carter, Dennis Kucinich, and all those others, will step forward tonight and show the content of their character by simply admitting what we know already: that their wartime predictions were arrogant, they were misguided and they were dead wrong. Maybe, just maybe, these self-anointed critics will learn from their mistakes. But I doubt it. After all, we don't call them 'elitists' for nothing." (MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, 4/10/03)
"The war was the hard part. The hard part was putting together a coalition, getting 300,000 troops over there and all their equipment and winning. And it gets easier. I mean, setting up a democracy is hard, but it is not as hard as winning a war." (Fox News Channel's Fred Barnes, 4/10/03)
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
On a related note re: the "controversy" over Brokeback Mountain, personally, I don't see society imploding because someone made a movie about a love story involving two men. It's not REQUIRED viewing, after all. Homosexuality is not being thrust (forgive the pun) upon us. Note to those who would obliterate all references/discussions/representations, etc. of homosexuality. Lean in, listen closely: Some people are gay. It's not going away. But relax, there's not a big gay recruitment drive going on out there and, chances are, any homosexual with any taste probably isn't interested in YOU, anyway.
So let's just live and let live, shall we? Anyway, enough of my ranting, here's your letter of the day:
Must we allow our civilization to 'go down the tubes' now?
Throughout history, every advanced civilization that has come along grew, flourished and declined due to an increase in complacency and decadence in all its forms. After seeing the Oscars, I say it's evident that we are headed in the same direction.
Recently, a couple of tribute shows on public TV were dedicated to the '50s and '60s, and a host of the musicians and groups popular at that time, many of whom are still performing. Seeing the precision of the dance moves and the tremendous harmonies sent chills down my back as I envisioned the contrast between then and now.
When a screaming mob of foul-mouthed goons can lurk about the stage spewing their message of hate, sex and violence and command any kind of audience or attention, we are in trouble.
When the same group can do this on national TV in front of millions, muster respect from their peers and claim awards for a best song, or a best anything for that matter, we are really in trouble.
It's amazing to me how we as a country have allowed this rap onslaught to happen. Many great and talented groups and individuals are still out there performing; but they can't get their music played on the air because of the recording industry.
The FCC is the main one to blame. It used to regulate the airwaves. Now, stations police themselves, affecting our children's minds and morals.
Isn't it time we start calling our representatives? Or is it not that important?
Note to writer: I'm not sure if your question is rhetorical, but in the event it's not, the answer is no, it's not that important. Hurry, Michael Bolton is on Mix 98.7, and I know you don't wanna miss it....
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
In other news, Liberace was gay and Iraq has and had no weapons of mass destruction.
Whoa, and then there's THIS-->
"In addition to detailing the drug usage, the excerpt portrays Bonds as a menacing boor, a tax cheat and an adulterer given to (probably because of the rampant steroid use) sexual dysfunction, hair loss and wild mood swings that included periods of rage."
Sunday, March 05, 2006
Hey, you! Yes, you, the one without a house or any clothes or a job or money, based solely on the fact that you were the victim of possibly the single worst disaster in U.S. history, and one which for some reason apparently spared Mike Walker, quit yer durn bellyachin, ya hear? Go build you a house, man! Just go to the Home Depot and get some lumber, get a few pipes and build you a nice house down there. Heck, that's what ole "Iron" Mike Walker would do (if he had to, of course, which he doesn't, but ya just know he would, what with his refusal to be treated like a 2 month old). What are ya waitin for, disaster victims? Get out there and prove Mike Walker wrong!
N.O. residents should stop 'whining'
New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin appears to have terminal "foot-in-mouth" disease on national television, while Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour deals with Congress one-on-one, pointing out the fact that Mississippi Gulf Coast residents are doing their best with what they have.
Evacuees from New Orleans are on the airwaves complaining about the hotel rooms they have been staying in for lo these many months, while Waveland and other Coast survivors are still living in tents, basically exposed to the elements, without bellyaching.
The media constantly talk about New Orleans, probably because, erroneously, they say New Orleans is where Katrina hit, not the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
I know this is a generalization where New Orleans' evacuees are concerned, and to the few that this description does not fit, I apologize. The rest of them should get out of the hotel rooms, get a tent and go back to New Orleans and start rebuilding. They should hush about the accommodations and stop whining!
It's time all of us quit expecting the government to feed us and change our diaper like a 2-month old child and started taking responsibility for our own actions, or lack thereof!
Friday, March 03, 2006
Anyway, I liked Mrs. Kelly Jacobs' letter today and she makes a point I hadn't thought of (which is not that hard to do, but still). It's a little more sinister than I would describe it, but it's a good point nonetheless. Mrs. Jacobs asks:
"I think a darker reason was behind the cuts in student loans: the war in Iraq and the low enlistment numbers. By cutting low-interest student loans, this president is trying to force America's youth to enlist with the military so their college will be "paid" for - if they survive."
Again, I don't know that I agree, but she makes a good point.
Here's the letter in its entirety:
Must students pay for war in Iraq?
I have two sons - a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old who's going to Ole Miss in the fall - so I am concerned about how we will pay for their college tuition. Congress keeps passing tax cuts, during a time of war and massive deficit spending, and now another $6 billion will be added to the $12 billion cut from the budget for student financial aid/loans and Pell Grants.
The president said, "If we ensure that America's children succeed in life, they will ensure that America succeeds in the world." Bush is exhorting the children of America to get a good education "so they have a better chance at good, high-wage jobs." How can they when they cannot afford college without financial assistance?
I think a darker reason was behind the cuts in student loans: the war in Iraq and the low enlistment numbers. By cutting low-interest student loans, this president is trying to force America's youth to enlist with the military so their college will be "paid" for - if they survive.
America's only salvation will be the 2006 elections when we must get out the vote and toss out the officials who have supported the unending war in Iraq, budget deficits, tax cuts for the rich and the lack of any oversight for all of this spending, spying and lying.
I'm not the only parent who wants her children to get a college education; I'm just fortunate that they will not have to risk their lives to get one.
Thursday, March 02, 2006
Jump into the Fire - Radiators (right click to download)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- On the eve of Hurricane Katrina's fateful landfall, President Bush was confident. His homeland security chief appeared relaxed. And warnings of the coming destruction - breached or overrun levees, deaths at the New Orleans Superdome and overwhelming needs for post-storm rescues - were delivered in dramatic terms to all involved. All of it was captured on videotape.
The Associated Press obtained the confidential government video and made it public Wednesday, offering Americans their own inside glimpse into the government's fateful final Katrina preparations after months of fingerpointing and political recriminations.
"My gut tells me ... this is a bad one and a big one," then-federal disaster chief Michael Brown told the final government-wide briefing the day before Katrina struck the Gulf Coast on Aug. 29.
The president didn't ask a single question during the briefing but assured soon-to-be-battered state officials: "We are fully prepared."
Bush declared four days after the storm, "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees" that gushed deadly flood waters into New Orleans. He later clarified, saying officials believed, wrongly, after the storm passed that the levees had survived. But the transcripts and video show there was plenty of talk about that possibility even before the storm - and Bush was worried too.
Isn't that just a LIE? The WH has said we shouldn't take too much from this single briefing, but in the briefing the President was specifically informed that the levees could be breached. Doesn't the statement "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees" directly contradict that? Perhaps I'm missing the subtle nuances of this scenario, but isn't this fundamentally dishonest? Didn't Bush vow to restore "honesty and integrity" to the White House?
Tax swap debate just smokescreen
I think all this talk of helping the poor with a tax swap - cigarettes for groceries - is just a smokescreen, pun intended, for pols. It's the poorest one quarter of the state who are the smokers and they aren't going to quit just because rich folks think they ought to. There may be worse unintended consequences from this than a black market, and I shudder to think what they could be.
Gotta admit -- good pun
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
I absolutely cannot get enough of this song. As Wendi can attest, I've listened to it obsessively for the last couple of weeks. She's good-natured about it thankfully.
Here it is:
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth (right click to download)
P.S. Ok, so it appears that link is outdated. Bear with me, I'll try to find another place hosting this file. If not, would it kill ya to go out and buy the song on itunes or even the whole CD?
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
"34 percent approved of how [Bush] is handling his job, down eight points from a New York Times/CBS News poll conducted in January.….In addition, 62 percent of those polled said the efforts to bring stability and order to Iraq were going badly, up from 54 percent last month….There has been a decline in Mr. Bush's support even among Republicans. In the January Times/CBS News poll, 83 percent of Republicans approved of the way he was handling his job; in the latest poll 72 percent approve. Approval among self-identified conservatives also dropped to 52 percent, from 62 percent.”
Feels good to be part of the mainstream, the majority. I suppose those who still support this failed president (speaking of which, this is just UNBELIEVABLE) are now part of the fringe hard-core right wing. Why do the Joe Liebermans of the world keep behaving as if Bush is untouchable?
And for your dose of liberal media, according to Chris Matthews, the "left-leaning" host of "Hardball...." --> "Everybody sort of likes the President, except for the real whack-jobs."
P.S. For those who couldn't find what I was referring to parenthetically above, the 5-year old preznit is described by Paul Bremer thusly:
"The President's directions seem to have been limited to such slogans as "we're not going to fail" and "pace yourself, Jerry." In Bremer's account, the President was seriously interested in one issue: whether the leaders of the government that followed the CPA would publicly thank the United States. But there is no evidence that he cared about the specific questions that counted: Would the new prime minister have a broad base of support? Would he be able to bridge Iraq's ethnic divisions? What political values should he have? Instead, Bush had only one demand: "It's important to have someone who's willing to stand up and thank the American people for their sacrifice in liberating Iraq." According to Bremer, he came back to this single point three times in the same meeting. Similarly, Ghazi al-Yawar, an obscure Sunni Arab businessman, became Bush's candidate for president of Iraq's interim government because, as Bremer reports, Bush had "been favorably impressed with his open thanks to the Coalition."
Commence preparation of doomsday survival kit. We are screwed.