Saturday, December 13, 2003
"President Bush warned on Tuesday that al-Qaida terrorists still 'want to hurt us,' while his Pentagon chief said terrorists inevitably will acquire weapons of mass destruction from countries like Iraq, Iran or North Korea."
"Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said terrorists are sure to obtain chemical, biological or nuclear weapons through their links with countries trying to develop them. He mentioned Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya and North Korea as possible sources."
This is Now:
"The US government needs to explain why the missile shipment on a vessel intercepted a year ago on the high seas by the Spanish navy ended up in Libya, a spokesman from Spain's Defense Ministry said this week.
The official was referring to declarations made by sources from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to the Madrid daily El Mundo that claim 15 complete Scud missiles, a set of conventional warheads and 85 containers of chemical products - some 20 holding nitric acid - were ultimately delivered to Libya under a Washington decision. "
"The NATO sources cited in El Mundo said that at the time the shipment was intercepted, the United States was secretly negotiating the possibility that Libya would accept Saddam Hussein, then still president of Iraq, in exile. And Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, who played the role of go-between during the Gulf War in 1991 by assisting in Iraq's withdrawal from Kuwait, had hopes of gaining access to the weapons. "
And yes, the weapons and chemicals came from North Korea.
Tip of the hat to Calpundit.
(Also posted at edwardpig).
Anyone who thinks the administration and its law enforcement chief, Attorney General John Ashcroft, aren't out to impede a free press need only hear how the federal government is treating foreign journalists coming to this country on assignment.I've got more of this editorial from The Blade, plus my own cinematic spin on it, at Bark Bark Woof Woof.
Pastor Smitty Bellows explains: Via Corrente. Read: Letters to the Editor
Friday, December 12, 2003
Hello Everyone! Some of you may all ready know me (I used to be in the League of Liberals) but for those that don't, here's a little bit about me:
I'm an aspiring (struggling) cartoonist who lives on the East Coast but leans toward the left... did I get that right? I have very strong opinions on how things should be but I tend to look at most things and laugh. I hope you like the way I put news I think is important out there and I hope you dig my cartoons. Please visit often! My blog is The Gotham City 13.
Herbert's column is - as usual - incisive, and this paragraph is illustrative:
The Dems may indeed sink like the Titanic next year. But I don't think Dr. Dean is the problem Â at least, not yet. The problem is the party itself. God and the Republicans have blessed the Democrats with the high ground on one important issue after another, from the war in Iraq to national economic policy to health care to education to the environment.But as always, the Dems are so busy circling up and loading their rifles that they're missing out on these issues. Instead of leadership in focusing the outrage and confusion of the voters, we get quotes like this:
One very prominent Southern Democrat, who asked not to be identified, said of Howard Dean, "This guy will take us down like the Titanic."Now there's a quote guaranteed to have supporters running away as fast as their TV remote controls can be clicked. But it's not too late - at least not yet. My hope was that an endorsement by either Gore or Clinton would sort the field a little bit, thin it out, make a true leader rise to the top. The latter may have happened, the first two - well it's just too soon to tell.
But it has to happen, and soon - sooner, I think, than the end of the primaries. With nobody to run against, BushCo has the whole primary season to attack all Democrats on a variety of issues unencumbered by other political distractions. If the various Democratic candidates are still sniping at each other instead of coming together - if not behind one of their own, then at least against aWol - then the fight may come too late.
Herbert writes an all too appropriate line; one I'll close with and one I find very frightening:
Those cackles of glee you hear in the background are coming from the White House.
Oh, and if you're wondering who is funding such a generous compensation package for the soon-to-be ex-Vice President, you shouldn't. It's you. And me. And you, you, you... oh, yeah, you, too.
From my blog, The Fulcrum:
I blogged about this more than a month ago but it seems the Pentagon and congress is just now figuring it all out.It seems that other subsidiaries of Halliburton who have contracts in Iraq are also under investigation for overcharging the government. You'd think that perhaps such a recipient of public largesse wouldn't "bite the hand that feeds it," but you'd be wrong.
The Pentagon has launched a sweeping investigation of Halliburton Co. activities in Iraq and found evidence of "substantial overcharging" in $1.2 billion of fuel sales by the company once run by Vice President Dick Cheney.
An audit of fuel costs, which still isn't complete, found that the company may have overcharged by as much as $61 million for gasoline in Iraq, a claim that Halliburton denies.
I love words. I like how certain words just sound so right for their meaning. Not just onomatopoeic words, but those that seem so perfect: vicious, bludgeon, and zephyr, whisper. There's one word, I think, that describes these people so perfectly: rapacious. And yes, it is from the same root as rape.
How long can members of this administration get away with things like this? How much of this kind of behavior will pass unnoticed by the voters? There seems to be a stirring of public recognition of just how bad these people are, but will it be enough to overcome the inertia? There remains reason for both hope and despair.
Read more here.
Letter to the local paper here. One of those not sure whether to laugh or cry things.
More letters on the debate from my paper, plus my response, at Speedkill.
Thursday, December 11, 2003
"Why should they profit from it?" is the wrong question; a question phrased by the right wing to trap people into agreement. The actual question is: "Why should other nations send troops to help us in a war they believe was unjustified? If getting less of our own people killed means organizing a larger coalition, how do we do it? How do we get an international presence on the ground there, when the fact of the matter is that we're asking them, literally, to send people to get killed in place of our own soldiers?
-more at And Then...
Ladies and Gentleman! It is time for the main event!
In the blood red corner, is the favorite. Although he's never won a fair fight, he acts like a champion and has beaten down all challengers with harsh rhetoric and the iron fist of opression wrapped up in the flag and crowned with the devil's smirk. Managed by a consortium of special interests who love green only when it's on a bill, the challenger! George "The Planet Smasher" Bushco!
And in the green corner. The longtime champion. Weak from years of neglect and powerful forces aligned against her. Even her fans in the Green Party abandoning her to prove a specious point. Still alive even though she's been kicked nearly to death like a fat black man in Cleveland. Struggling to the center of the ring, we give you Nature!
Get the blow by blow at the Fantabulous Blog.
More at edwardpig.
Whenever I hear C-Span callers or, say, Barbra Streisand opine that the Iraq war was fought for the benefit of Halliburton, my immediate reaction is that these people need to understand that life isn't a cartoon.
WTF? Does anyone out there speak punditstani? I need a Jonah/English dictionary to understand what he's trying to say. Is bad writing genetic?
Wednesday, December 10, 2003
Eligibility is open to public and private entities, including faith-based and community organizations, which develop and/or provide an abstinence program consistent with the definition of "abstinence education'' in section 510 of the Social Security Act. In addition, the entity must agree not to provide a participating adolescent any other education regarding sexual conduct in the same setting.Read more about this atrocity and the reaction of a Planned Parenthood volunteer at Bark Bark Woof Woof.
As I read the rules for TTLB Showcase, it says "Other bloggers can then read the submitted posts, and, if they find them worthy, can 'vote' by linking to the posts they like . . . ." I interpret this to mean that one blog may 'vote' for as many of the entries as they like.
And I believe someone else has confirmed this with N.Z. and posted it, but don't ask me who/when.
Still, perhaps someone should check with N.Z. Let's promote lots of other blogs if the rules allow it!
Good luck to Peter and Clonecone, both of whose New Blog Showcase entries I plugged on my blog today, but I must confess that my heart belongs to another this week. I was the one who talked Echidne into entering the contest (and even suggested the entry) so my vote has to go to her this time. Besides, I'm thinking of talking her into joining the LC as well, so it's not like I'm a traitor or anything. :)
I've got another longish post on Iraq at my site, based on some sobering reports from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the folks Rummy sent to Iraq in July. Here's an excerpt from the first report, Four Wars and Counting:
Almost without sensing it, America has drifted into involvement in four separate and simultaneous conflicts. The most obvious war is Iraq. Former regime loyalists and violent Islamic extremists are fighting a low intensity conflict. American and other coalition soldiers die there every day, a US-led occupation force governs it, and it has the highest media and political profile. No matter how this conflict develops, there is little prospect of a stable Iraq over the next 5-10 years, or that Iraq will serve as an example that will transform the Middle East.
Read the rest at Dohiyi Mir.
The principles of journalism, as set forth in a memorandum for the reporters of the Washington Times.
The Washington Times should be full of bright, snappy, interesting local stories.
We have a natural tendency to place emphasis on matters which are ponderous, dull and uninteresting. We must resist this tendency.
We must consider the COMPOSITE newspaper reader does not care a hang about tax rates, budgets, insurance, disarmament, naval appropriations, public utilities policies, municipal improvements, or scores of other subjects which may appear to be important.
Read all about it. Full Washington Times "memorandum" via Corrente.
Tuesday, December 09, 2003
i was going to post an excerpt here, but i can't seem to find a good one. sorry
The punditocracy is in full tizz mode over Howard Dean. Witness Nick Kristof and his "Democrats-Can't-Win" mantra last week, and now David Brooks today goes after Dean as the "mysterious stranger" who seems to be all things to all people, which is a new version of the old rant against Clinton, Gore, and - lest we forget - Richard Nixon.
They're all twitterpated because Howard Dean does not fit the mold of the cookie-cutter candidate for president they've gotten so used to - or think they've gotten used to. But for the life of me, I can't recall a successful candidate in my lifetime who did fit into the Conventional Wisdom - the "mainstream." Everyone runs as an "outsider." Eisenhower had no elective office experience, JFK was a Roman Catholic, Nixon had all the warmth and charisma of a cross-eyed halibut, Jimmy Carter was a one-term governor, Ronald Reagan was an actor...you get the idea. They "weren't supposed to win." But they did. And they did it by fitting with the time in which they ran. JFK couldn't win today; neither could Eisenhower, but they don't belong in 2004.
Howard Dean, if anything, recognizes the times. He knows the country is restive and frightened and that what is needed is not more fear and division but energy and inclusion. If he comes across as angry, why not? Our budget surplus is gone, we're in a war that we started - and Americans are dying almost every day to support the lie. Our stature around the world is at an all-time low, and we live in a nation of fear from within and without. And what does the president do? Cut taxes for the rich, get his cronies to redistrict states illegally to insure a Republican majority, screw over Medicare and the envrionment, and cut taxes again, all the while mangling the language to the point where every English teacher in the country wants to throw rocks at him.
So I guess the pundits had better get used to yet another "out of the mainstream" candidate. Howard Dean has started a fire, and, to shamelessly lift a line from John F. Kennedy, "the glow from that fire can truly light the world."
Also posted at Bark Bark Woof Woof
I'll be entering the showcase this week from Kick the Leftist. Help me out if you haven't voted already - here's the link. Thanks!
Wal*Mart has brought no end of misery to so many people while trying to bring those same people with "low prices, everyday." Effects from the Walmart-ization of America have ranged from the destruction of once vital downtown areas in the small communities where they love to locate their stores to the loss of well paying production jobs as suppliers are forced to move production overseas to bring a lower price every year to Wal*Mart's buyers.
In a post yesterday at The Fulcrum, "Conflicted Shopping," I worried "aloud" about what this vicious cycle means to all of us. My final paragraph:
So as we made our way home with our bags, to our warm new house, my wife and I were happy that we were able to get gifts for our friends and family. We were happy that we were able to figure out a way to keep within our budget, without contributing to the further Walmart-ization of the U.S. We were glad that we weren't presented with such a choice.So please, this holiday season, and throughout the year, if you believe in a progressive world for workers and families, don't feed the beast.
Thanks to Stradiotto for inspiring for the title of this post.
This is something I originally blogged about back in early November, so I'll excerpt it here and link it. I may have changed a little since then, feeling Clark as VP is a good choice, but mull over the ideas here.
Lately, all you hear is how the Democratic candidates are all sniping at one another, particularly at Dean. The GOP will hammer at all of the front runners until the convention; expect extremely nasty ads next Spring, since ShrubCo is not using matching funds -- they'll be able to attack any and all Dems, with lots of money to spare.
(Don't get me started on how the RNC is claiming how broke the Shrub is in their fundraising pitches -- the man is the all-time record fundraiser. But then, I would expect nothing but this sort of behaviour from them.)
So, here's what I think might need to happen. Once we're past Super Tuesday, we're going to have a good idea about who will be the candidate.
At the convention, then, is where everything changes. I feel that Dean, Clark, or whomever is the candidate then, should announce not only the VP candidate, but their choices for prime cabinet positions. This way, each person can then begin to nail the lies and ineffiency of their counterparts in ShrubCo.
For example, my dream has been a Dean/Graham ticket. Graham is a bright man who is on the Senate Intelligence Committee. Can you imagine how he'd do in a debate with Cheney? He could correct all of the misconceptions that ShrubCo has spread, Cheney in particular.
For SecDef, imagine General Clark taking on Dumsfeld. It would be beautiful. Maybe not in a debate, but having Clark out there, acknowledged as the choice for SecDef would be inspiring and would show the public what is planned.
The rest can be found here.
I'm entering this week's New Blog Showcase. I would appreciate any support you find appropriate. I don't care where your vote goes, just as long as you vote. Let's keep that sponsorship. Link
Monday, December 08, 2003
Okay, quiz time. Where are we? There are entire villages surrounded by razor wire. There are signs on the wire stating "This fence is here for your protection. Do not approach or try to cross, or you will be shot." Occupation troops are imprisoning the relatives of suspected terrorists and demolishing buildings, and assassination squads are operating behind Syrian lines.
Time's up! Did you guess the West Bank? Ooohh, so close. No, we're in the freedom-loving 'model of Democracy', Iraq! The New York Times printed a story Sunday about how U.S. tactics in Iraq are starting to 'echo' the Israeli tactics used in the West Bank and Gaza. The Guardian, which does not suffer from the wimpiness of the American media, states more bluntly that U.S. occupation forces are getting lessons in thuggery from the Israeli Defense Forces. After all, these tactics have worked so well to bring peace and democracy to the occupied territories.
The Guardian piece also has a surprise ending. Follow the links, or see edwardpig.
The Liberal Coalition wins the New Blog Showcase sponsorship. Yay us! Now let's see if we can do better next week.
And congratulations also go out to our very own Mustang Bobby at Bark Bark Woof Woof for coming in second in the Showcase. It was neck and neck until the Alliance of Free Blogs mobilized its members and broke things open. Still, More On Moore, Who Is No More was close, with 29 votes to the winner's 37.
A hearty handshake and "well done!" also go out to the winner, dangerous liberty. Al Franken on Book TV is a deserving champion.
Oh, Al Gore is endorsing Dean (and rumor has it, so will the Big Dog). I agree with Charles (see below). Say goodnight, Gracie.
To follow up with a post from Kick the Leftist:
Gore is apparently poised to endorse Dean:
"NEW YORK - Former Vice President Al Gore will endorse Howard Dean for the Democratic presidential nomination Tuesday, a dramatic move that could tighten Dean's grip on the front-runner's position and usher more support from wary party elite."
This is interesting. There are two possible motives with the same final intention. Either Gore actually supports Dean more than the rest of the candidates, or he is throwing his weight behind the man he sees as the inevitable winner. In both cases, the centrists in the DLC who haven't had too many good things to say about Dean may be more inclined to support him after Gore, solidifying the party behind the candidate (assuming he wins the primaries, of course, which is merely my prediction). In the end I see this as a positive development - even though Dean wasn't my first choice - because Dean's victory seems likely. It's better to unite the party regulars behind him now than to have it seem forced when the general election rolls around.
It's late and as I was doing one last check of the news I see that Al Gore will officially endorse Howard Dean tomorrow and then travel to Iowa with him.
The media seems to think this pretty much sews up the nomination for Dean - I'm going to have to agree with them this once.
I'm too tired to do a detailed post, but I'm sure one of my fellow Coalition members will follow up on this in fine fashion.
I've had a few ideas for our friends at the DCCC:
Could we elect a congressperson, for instance, who's only job is to be a pest to, let's say, Tom Delay. Now I know what you're thinking. Ol' Tom's a bug killer from way back and he know's how to smash a bug or two. Well, Raid may work well and good on small insects, but to kill a human, well, that's murder and while we're sure Ol' Tom's killed a man or two in his time (allegations only, no hard evidence...just conjecture based on lack of a soul...people without souls are more likely to be murderers...), I don't believe he could get rid of his congressional pest so easily. See, what this person needs to do is simply attach themselves to Delay. Anytime he makes a speech or statement, they are right there, in his press, to rebut him.
Check out the rest at the MX23.
Happy Merry NODWISH!!!
The Greatest Wall
Information Use and Information Seeking Behavior of Neo Conservatives
"This is truly a great Wall."
~Richard M. Nixon
It should come as no surprise to anyone by now that George W. Bush is intellectually incurious. We even joke about it. Some seem to think it adds to his down home, awe shucks image as a red- blooded
Think about this for a moment. Let it sink in.
It isn't just that he prefers to gather his news from the Internet as many of us do (I admit that I prefer Internet sources to print sources myself) but that he receives all of his information second hand. Now we assume that the Leader of the Free World has some smart cookies roaming around the halls of the White House. We shouldn't but we do. And there inlays our problem: We assume too much and let Bush get away, literally with murder, while he pretends he just didn’t know any better.
Read more here...
I have a post over at my site about death of a local soldier.
Tipton, Iowa is planning the largest funeral the town has ever witnessed. This Saturday, Iowa National Guard Spc. Aaron J. Sissel will be laid to rest. Aaron died November 29th in an attack on his convey in Hadith, Iraq. He was 22 years old.Please read the entire post at It's Craptastic!.Too many of our young men and women are dying for Halliburton.
I don't know how Aaron felt about the war. I won't presume to put words in his mouth or feelings in his heart. He died performing his duty. Those of us responsible for sending him and so many others to die have a duty to perform as well. End this war and bring our loved ones home safely.
Time To Fire The Contractor
I just posted some thoughts on my blog about our current quagmire in Iraq:
Yeah, Saddam was bad, the world is better off without him in charge, blahblahblah. But on balance, I'm not convinced we have created a greater good.
We peaceniks were not and are not pro-Saddam, but rather pro-Peace. We want to find more constructive ways to deal with the issues at hand, not run headlong into a quagmire. We want to spend our immense resources on trying to be a positive force as a leader among the community of nations. We want to stop throwing away lives and treasure, and instead address the root causes that underlie our problems.
Read the whole thing at Dohiyi Mir.
Living as I do up in the Bronx, I'm extremely disturbed by the thought of the Republican masturbatory fest that'll be swinging into town next summer. I'm still shaking my head in disbelief over the fact that the Dems totally dropped the ball on this one, picking anywhere else but NYC.
What disturbs me even more is the rumors I've seen that Pataki is raising heaven and hell to get everything ready for the new WTC so the Shrub can lay the cornerstone for the new building(s) at the Convention, this year so conveniently moved to be close to the third anniversary of the Sept. 11th attacks. George may want a cabinet position, and since he's already said he won't be running for governor again, this all fits together rather neatly.
We've already heard how the Secret Service is working with the NYPD to guarantee security at the convention, and I can't help but think we're primed for something that will make Chicago '68 look like a schoolyard scrap. The sheer amount of protesters who will show up in the city to protest the convention is going to be staggering, I believe, and it won't matter how many blocks around Madison Square Garden get cordoned off if things turn ugly.
I know this is alarmist, after a fashion, but I know I'm going to find myself involved in anything protest-related, and I'm wondering what other folks might be thinking in regards to this.
Originally posted Dec 07, 06:08:46 PM
I wanted to note the addition of 2 links in our blogroll: the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the DNC blog, Kicking Ass.
While the Coalition won't be making any official endorsements of candidates for now, our individual members might on their own blogs, so check them out. Regardless, we are committed to helping break the GOP hold on our government and nation, and are proud to link to these sites. Our members are not all Democrats, but we are all united in trying to get our country back on a more positive, constructive path.
We liberals are wise, thus our new logo to the right (heh). Thanks very much to the farmer from corrente for the work! In addition to our primary logo, Coalition members actually have a wide array of images to use on their individual blogs. Diversity is strength.
Over the coming days and weeks look for more changes on our young site as we tackle the design next!
Sunday, December 07, 2003
Alot of people here are supporting BBWW's article More on Moore Who is No More in the Showcase. I don't know if the URL posted in the mailing list was wrong or if the URL has changed, but THIS is the correct URL. (At the time of this posting.) It might be a good idea to check your link.
Edit: The link in the actual Showcase is wrong. This brings with it questions: which links are counted, ones to the wrong address or ones to the right address?
Taking A Breather
The Coalition has experienced great success over the last few days. For one thing, we've hit the Magic Number Of 20, so we can compete in the sponsorship thingy at TTLB. We're also having some great discussions about some interesting opportunities that we'll share here at another time.
One issue that our growth brings up is regarding recruitment. The Coalition has reached a critical mass and is now putting energy into finding its voice in blogtopia (y! sctp! ahsbhiuifac!). Thus, we are temporarily putting the brakes on expanding our membership.
What this means for those of you who might still be interesting in joining: we will consider applications to be a member of the Coalition, and are simply going to move more slowly in officially adding people to our community. Until we do, we heartily encourage you to discuss issues and promote your blogs and ideas in our comment threads. We also commit to helping you start your own communities, if that's a path you are interested in.
If you would like to join us on a more official basis, please send an e-mail to email@example.com that includes the following:
1) Links to 1-3 posts that you think are most representative of your writing.
2) A brief bio (no more than 2 paragraphs) so we can get to know you better.
3) Indicate whether you are interested in being a full member, which includes following our draft mission/guidelines, or a guest contributor, which requires no TTLB voting or ownership of a blog (but does still require impeccable ethical standards).
We will discuss your application privately and will get back to you within 5 business days with our thoughts and decision.
Thank you so much to all who have helped the Coalition get up and running. We hope to see you all here working together.
Hello there. [Shameless site plug.] [Charm readers with funny quip.] I'm honoured to be a part of [organization or site name], and will do everything in my power to uphold [mission statement]. [More shameless plugging.] [Charm readers with funny quip.] [Say bad things about conservatives.]
Thank you, I look forward to [activity].
Hi all. My name's Scott, and I'm mostly known for my blog, The Gamer's Nook. I'm a progressive liberal who is working to do everything he can to assure that ShrubCo is tossed out on their collective behinds come next November.
I'll be a somewhat regular poster here, I hope. Thanks from me as well to NTodd for getting this rolling.
Hello there, I'm Pete/r from over at Kick the Leftist. I must thank N Todd for allowing me to join the ranks, especially after witnessing my blog, which - I'm guessing - must be insanely tedious. I look forward to the experience, ladies and gentlemen.
Oh, wait, that's a different game. Sorry. I get so confused, bouncing between all my different web sites and on line communities.
Anyway, I'd like to thank N Todd for the opportunity to join the ranks of a group of liberals dedicated to the overthrow of the fascists currently at 1600 Penn. Ave.
Oh, do stop by my site where I have rather poorly ranted about politics and my life, etc, etc, etc. It is really a cover for my more devious activity of devising world domination...............