Saturday, August 21

First Black Female to win Olympic Swimming Medal

One of these days I will tackle the issues of Race in America in substantial fashion, but for now, I would like to celebrate the achievement, of the 50 meter Silver medalist, Malia Metella of France, first black women to win a swimming medal in Olympic competition. Congratulations, Malia.

As a member of the darker daughters of the American revolution, I salute you.

Fancy New Pants Part Deux

I have always been an inveterate hacker. As a kid I took everything apart that I could get my hands on, things that would not result in my ass being paddled back to the stone age. More often than not, I have been able to get what ever it was, working again, or modified to serve a new purpose. I have never lost the urge to repair, improve, or modify, for modifications sake. Anything that was not of vital importance, or bolted down, was fair game.

We had a oxy-acetyline torch at the first bikeshop I worked at, and as soon as the boss showed John and I how to use the thing, we were off to the races. We started practicing on the tubing stash we had, and when satisfied with our brazing skill, I ordered a set of Reynolds 531 tubes, Henry James lugs , dropouts, and other fixtures, and within a couple of months, we were riding frames that we had built from scratch. I ended up building 2 for myself (first a mountain bike frame, built out of road tubing with more agressive angles {they were too heavy, and not very responsive, for my taste at the time} and one road frame [also experimental, with a sloping top tube, and lower seat stays]) and 2 custom jobs for friends, one which is still being raced at the velodrome in Indianapolis. I am happy to be among the few, that have raced in organised competition, a frame that they constructed themselves. And of course I built the wheels, and installed every part on the frame as well. I rode the crap out of mine to the breaking point and they have, I'm sorry to say, been decommisioned.

My greatest triumph of the mechanical arts involves a '53 Plymouth Cranbrook owned by my good friend Mike, a bum clutch, library parking lot, microfilm, and the serendipidous discovery of the wrench of the correct size on the floorboard under the passenger seat. He had come down from Michigan to visit some friends, and one day we were driving along in this styling, sky blue sedan, when it became clear that something was terribly wrong, and getting worse. Now I have never worked on cars prior to this because I had never owned one, but it was obvious that Mike was not going to get back to Michigan under the present circumstances. I realised that at this rate we would be lucky to get to the library parking lot (we were a few blocks away) and told Mike to steer the ship in that direction.

Once at the library, we went looking through the microfilm storage, praying that they had a manual, or diagram, of the clutch mechanism for this nearly 40 year old car. We were in luck, fired up the microfilm reader, arranged to have copies of the pertainant pages, and went back to the parking lot to compare car to diagram. I have to admit that they made things pretty accessible back then, and a trip underneath the car confirmed the location and means of adjustment. Now for a wrench.

My tools were a couple of miles away at this point, so we started rooting through the car and to my astonishment discovered an open ended wrench of the correct size, and with that I went to work. Five minutes later we jumped back into the car, started her up, and bingo, we were good to go. Mike made it back to Kalamazoo with no problems and proceeded to find and order replacement parts as the clutch was on its last legs when we pulled into the parking lot and when we pulled out probably had a couple thousand miles left on it.

When my first computer arrived it was missing several agreed upon components
(CD-rom, modem and soundcard). And when I got that sorted out It was time to learn about computers. While I was pissed at first, the episode left me unintimidated by computers and since them I have always constructed mine from scratch. Then there was that wired magazine article, a couple of months after I had finished getting my first box dialed in, with a title "the greatest operating system that almost never was". Hmm I thought to myself "windows is an operating system, you mean there are others for my hardware"?

You see, thats the problem, I have a perfectly good computer, that is working well, and I find out that I can install another operating system, I can't leave well enough alone. Of course I am going to install the first version of linux I can find (RedHat 5.0).
So I had this dual boot set up, that would allow me to choose windows or linux at boot up so I could try to figure out how to get the stinking modem to work under linux. A couple of months later I got my hands on a real modem (all hardware) instead of the winmodem (part hardware, part software) and set it up in linux, heard those wacky beeps and said goodby to windows. I still kept a partition around for playing flight simulator, but since then I haven't really looked back.

I don't expect that anyone has made it this far, hell if I read this bullshit I would probably be asleep by now, cause this is not my A material, but I have to wrangle up some moolah for now, and will finish this post upon my return, yeah I know "are you kidding?" But I havent gotten to the modifications to the blog yet, dont worry, in due time my friend.

So the chores are done and I am back trying to think of some other interesting things to yack on and on about oh yeah, Radio. I have already bloviated rather aimlessly I might ad in an earlier almost stream of conscience post, like this one, I am not particularly proud of it so you can dig around the archives if you are so inclined.
So yeah I've built a few radios. Crystal radios, transcievers, recievers, and transmitters. Also modified a Heathkit HW-7 to improve the reciever section ( as originally implemented, it had a hidiously bad reciever). The problem being that the original modification article called for parts that have not been made in a long time. This is cool because it adds to the hassle and requires the scouring of white pages and any other documentation that you can find regarding the internal attributes of the original part and try to figure out if there is anything that comes close.

In this case I was looking for a substitution for an old RCA integrated chip CA-xxxx I for get the number and the article is not close at hand. No one is making anything like it, IIRC it was a single-ended mixer, but nonetheless nothing fitting its specifications is available. The output end of the circuit looks good and parts are available so that can be recreated, and with some impedence adjustments bolted to the once ubiquitous double-balanced gibson cell mixer/occilator IC the SA602. The front end remains, scour numorous handbooks looking for a the proper front end to mate to the SA602 chip, when I suddenly remember the nice little reciever circuit for the Small wonder Labs SW-40. Of course. Now the problem. The sw-40 is a single band rig, and the HW-7 is a three bander. I could use the RF gain band switching circuit from the original circa '75 mod article, and find a way to bolt that to the front end of the sw-40 back end, and voila.

She was a lovely radio after that, that is until I was tuning up one day, looking for some european openings on 20 meters one evening, and suddenly poof, the transmit output transisters blew. Unfortunately mpf-u05 transistors haven't been made in 20 years or more, and reconfiguring the entire output circuitry for the transmitter to accomodate something more readily available is substantially more difficult. Many more stages are involved, to make sure that the signal meets the stringent regulations for spectral purity.

On to the original intent of the post which was to talk about the new look of the Blog. Ok there were two reasons, maybe three, I wanted to have the tortured naked iraqis not be the first thing you see, and I need to write a resume, so I might as well blather on and on, about the rather extraordinary level of competance demonstrated in a variety of disciplines, and under a variety of conditions.

So the first post titled 'fancy new pants', was to announce the fact that I had changed the colors a bit and introduced nifty blockquote boxes. I then found this site and was inspired to accomplish that which you now see. It took a lot of screwing around with the style sheet, other hacks, and basically like the HW-7, bolting this to that, wondering what the fuck, this should work already, realise that the url is not pointing to image location, ok, were close now. Change this thing, shit, back at square one. On and on and on, three hours later I am satisfied with the results, there you have it. I know a little bit more now, than when I woke up in the morning. Isn't that nice. Only one problem, I'm not sure what I had to forget to learn this new stuff. If I had anything for a prize I would give one to any reader who has made it this far. Mention any detail about the trip to the library in the comments and you win cyber hugs and kisses or attaboys.

They hope we won't kill them off

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Friday, August 20

Lest we Forget

Batshit Crazy? You decide.

I can't stop flogging this poor pony

Sometimes you miss the Obvious

Digby reminds us of an old quote by G-Dub, made of the finest hemp/jute twine that money can buy, and of a length appropriate for hanging. George the lesser from his ass to your ear:
“I was not prepared to shoot my eardrum out with a shotgun in order to get a deferment. Nor was I willing to go to Canada. So I chose to better myself by learning how to fly airplanes." George W. Bush on why he joined the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War, 1990.
Shorter Bush: "I was a coward, but not the worst kind of coward".

Tweety , Keith and Little Lulu.

I have to wonder after the condition of tweety's arm and shoulder after so vigorously patting himself on the back. On the MSGOP blog, hegushes
On tonight's interview with Michelle Malkin (Chris Matthews)

One of my jobs on 'Hardball' is to cut through to the truth. Tonight on 'Hardball,' one of our guests pushed the idea that John Kerry had won his Purple Heart by deliberately shooting himself. The charge was without merit and baseless, as our guest under close questioning herself admitted.

We'll keep covering the political issues and will stand up against any attempt to broadcast misinformation.
Chris nice to see that you are considering doing your job on a more regular basis. I'll admit that you seem to be on a roll, but expect that you will be brought back to whoring on a regular basis. In Fact (actually my opinion) I will not be suprised to hear that you have asked John Kerry, "did you shoot yourself to get out of vietnam?" I really hope that you have turned the corner, but I won't count on it.

Meanwhile a little bit of deuling between Olberman and Malkin. Lets hear from Keith first.

My producer handed me a piece of paper, unexpectedly blank except for a brief quote that had just been clipped from Chris’ 'Hardball' interview with Larry Thurlow. He told me he thought the brief sound bite would fit ideally at the end of page A-2, our story on the conflict between Thurlow’s current version of the day John Kerry got his Purple Heart, and the Navy’s official records of 35 years ago— records that should have been written by Thurlow himself.

“I’m saying that he had a plan that included not only being a war hero, but getting an ‘early out.’”

There wasn’t much time to reflect —Countdown was to start about 20 minutes later— but the question formed quickly in my mind. “An ‘early out’? What the hell does he mean by that?”

The answer magically appeared moments later: “The Swift Boat Veterans For Truth” are going to steer the Kerry-Shot-Himself flotsam into the mainstream media.

Michelle Malkin, the unfortunate and overmatched author of a self-loathing book that attempts to justify our World War II internment and robbery of Americans of Japanese heritage, became the harbinger of the next mucky smell of low tide. She raised the story— heretofore consigned largely to Robert Novak and everybody to his right— in that delightful, Teflon way of modern politics: ‘I’m not saying that John Kerry shot himself. But in the Swift Boat Veterans’ book, they ask whether or not his wounds were self-inflicted.’

Ouch. And on the money. Lets see how long Michelle can restrain herself from the ad hominem attack:

By the way, the full MSNBC Hardball transcript is here. Matthews and Olbermann's blog bloviations are here. Olbermann expresses incredulity that I was simply reporting what the Swift Boat Vets' book says, rather than spouting off in a half-baked manner:

Ms. Malkin wouldn’t even go so far as to attribute the suspicion to herself. It was in the book.

Olbermann, alleged journalist, is smearing me because I agreed to discuss and analyze claims made by the authors of Unfit for Command and actually referred to what was in the book--rather than cluelessly spew uninformed opinions about the book a la Chris Matthews (of whom Olbermann drools, "never prouder of you, Chris.") Parroting Matthews' conspiratorial line, Olbermann ignorantly suggests that I am following orders from the Swift Boat Vets to "steer the Kerry-Shot-Himself flotsam into the mainstream media." I suggest he talk to the producer, Dominic Bellone, who booked me about the circumstances of my appearance on the show and ask whether I was dispatched by the Bush campaign or Swift Boat Vets operatives or anyone else associated with the vets' book.

Olberman correctly asserts that you are attempting to "steer the Kerry-Shot-Himself flotsam into the mainstream media," whether under orders from SBV or not, please he did not say that you were following orders, but I am going to say that your mission was to imply that Kerry was a coward, who shot himself to get out of vietnam. Bye the way, I watched the show deary and your performance was a disgrace, and is justifiably being savaged.

Mendacious Mouthpiece for Myopic Morons

I can't avoid the agency of alliteration, when indulging in a retributive rhetorical rejoinder with Michelle Malkin. The younger Asian version of Ann Coulter, who hates the Phillipines, land of her ancestors. Last night she made an appearence on HardBall, and Tweety, who seems to have momentarily forgotten which side the bread is buttered on, was a bit antagonistic, and MM isn't pleased. You see, (and I'm reasonabley sure you have, here, here, over here, etc) Michelle went on the show to propogate inuendo and Matthews to his credit was having none of it. The talking point she held on to like a pitbull was the loaded phrase "self inflicted wound". Words and phrases can have a variety of meanings and in many cases this is not a problem because meaning is sifted through context. Some times though you like to use loaded phrasing to impugn your enemy. To the target audience "self inflicted wound" is supposed to mean shot himself to get out of combat at worse, or to suggest incompetance in deployment of the weapon at best (Coulter's slander of Cleland comes to mind.

Hopefully that army of fighing strawmen will have her back, but lets start with her side of the story. With a column titled: AMBUSH JOURNALISM...OR MY EVENING WITH CAVEMAN CHRIS MATTHEWS which makes clear that she intends to keep the high ground and avoid the ad-hominem:

Here's a peek behind the cable TV curtain. It's not pretty.

So, my publicist arranges for me to go on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews on Thursday night to talk about my recent columns on the FBI and national security profiling and my new book. Despite the show's basement ratings, we figure it's a good opportunity to reach out to a new audience. FOX News, with whom I have a contract, has generously allowed me to appear on some competing networks to talk about the book. Thursday was the second to the last day that I could make such appearances.

A few hours before the show, a producer calls to tell me I will be on for two segments--the first topic will be the Swift Boat Veterans, the second topic will be related to the book. Fine. This is the news business. I understand the need to go with the flow and cover the hot issues of the day. I am prepared to discuss both topics.

Oh the generosity, to appear on a show who's ratings are in the basement, I can see why you thought they would be more respectfull of your journalistic and intellectual integritude, specially since you have a contract with the network of deceptive dissemination, darling.

As I am seated at the table with Matthews, who I am meeting for the first time, he cracks a joke--and not in a well-meaning way--about how I look. (There are quite a few people who are hung up on this.) "Are you sure you are old enough to be on the show? What are you? 28?" I grit my teeth. He badgers me again with the same question. I politely answer his question and supply my age.

(I wonder how Matthews' wife, the respected TV journalist Kathleen Matthews, who hosts a show about working women, would react if informed about her husband's treatment of a fellow female journalist. I've been in the business a dozen years and would be happy to talk to Mrs. Matthews about my firsthand experience with Neanderthal chauvinism in the workplace.)

She's good, she takes a swipe at Atrios, tries to drag tweetys wife into the fray and insults good neanderthals everywhere. And she thinks she belongs to the party of moral turpetude, she conveniently seems to forget that a little bit of grab ass (aka Neanderthal chauvinism) forced the retirement of Senator Bob Packwood,

2) When I tried to make a point about how the mainstream media ought to subject John Kerry to as much skull-pounding interrogation as private citizens such as Swift Boat Vet Larry Thurlow had endured from Matthews and the Washington Post, Matthews cut me off and snorted that he had never been thought of as "mainstream." Yeah, keep snorting.

3) In response to Matthews' claim that the Swift Boat Vets campaign was orchestrated by the White House, I noted that the Boston Globe--hardly a hothouse of GOP operatives--had raised many of the same questions about Kerry's war record as the Swift Boat Vets had. No response from Matthews.

Can we hook up this spinning top to a turbine. Michelle would you like some chees and apples with that whine, Oh poor Lulu, embracing the victimhood that is a staple of conservative crybaby's everywhere. And poor Larry Thurlow, who was just trying to malign the character of a presidential canditate, with no intention of profit. Lets get on with the transcript of the show
MATTHEWS: Do you think Massachusetts politics is softball?

BROWN: I think Massachusetts politics is always been very respectful of the other person‘s view and very committed to the idea they don‘t want to seem negative and they don‘t want to be criticized for an absence of integrity.

MALKIN: He is a boy in the bubble, Chris. And...

MATTHEWS: What does that mean?

MALKIN: He hasn‘t been subjected to this kind of heat. And as Willie Brown is suggesting, if he can‘t stand the heat from his fellow veterans, do we really want to trust him to stand up to Islamic extremists?

By the way, it‘s not just—not just these right wingers who have been questioning his record. The “Boston Globe” isn‘t, aren‘t operatives of the Bush campaign and they have said the same thing as the veterans did about all three incidents regarding the purple hearts. You were hammering Larry Thurlow about specific name.

BROWN: He volunteered twice. He volunteered twice in Vietnam. He literally got shot. There‘s no question about any of those things. So what else is there to discuss? How much he got shot, how deep, how much shrapnel?

MALKIN: Well, yes. Why don‘t people ask him more specific questions about the shrapnel in his leg. They are legitimate questions about whether or not it was a self-inflicted wound.
No Michelle they are not legitimate questions. At best they are loaded questions e.g. "have you stopped beating your wife?" at worst they are a repetition of unfounded accusation from people with questionable motives, and that's as charitable as I can put it. Thus begins the decent into lunacy, and the attempted hot beef injection of the ambiguous phrase, "self-inflicted wound"

MATTHEWS: What do you mean by self-inflicted? Are you saying he shot himself on purpose? Is that what you‘re saying?

MALKIN: Did you read the book...

MATTHEWS: I‘m asking a simple question. Are you saying that he shot himself on purpose.

MALKIN: I‘m saying some of these soldiers...

MATTHEWS: And I‘m asking question.

MALKIN: And I‘m answering it.

MATTHEWS: Did he shoot himself on purpose.

MALKIN: Some of the soldiers have made allegations that these were self-inflicted wounds.

MATTHEWS: No one has ever accused him of shooting himself on purpose.

MALKIN: That these were self-inflicted wounds.

Pardon me, but I think that this is a very simple question and no Michelle, you are not answering it. Did JK shoot himself on purpose? A very simple question, to which your answer could come in three forms; 1. Yes. 2. No. or 3. I don't know. See how easy that is. You could simply answer the question and then discuss the definition of "self inflicted wounds" and then argue whether there was anything other than hearsay to substantiate these claims. But then you would lose the intended effect of the accusation, which is to paint Kerry with a cowards brush. And paint Michelle must.
Back to Lulu's column:

Matthews frantically stuffed words down my mouth when I raised these allegations made in Unfit for Command that Kerry's wounds might have been self-inflicted. In his ill-informed and ideologically warped mind, this transmogrified into me accusing Kerry of "shooting himself on purpose" to get an award.

I repeated that the allegations involved whether the injuries were "self inflicted wounds." I DID NOT SAY HE SHOT HIMSELF ON PURPOSE and Chris Matthews knows it.

You avoided that statement like the plague, yet not once did you answer his direct question in the negative. Cry as much as you like little girl, but your intention was to leave the impression that Kerry shot himself on purpose, please don't try to deny this.
Your reason for appearing on the show simply put, was to leave people with the impression that Kery was a coward, period. That tweety declined to play your game and challenged you is your problem. I know you though "but I thought it would be like Fox - they wouldn't challenge my mendacitude there" I know so dissapointing when you are used to a stacked deck and find out that you actually have to play fair every once in a while, at least you can ply your trade unchallenged over at Fox, Town Hall, Regnery Publishing, so please quit yer bitchin'.
Only someone who had not read Unfit for Command would interpret what I was saying the way Matthews did. The book raises questions by vets, many of whom were with Kerry, about whether there was or wasn't enemy fire during the Dec. 1968 incident that led to his first Purple Heart
Bullshit bitch, Matthews knew exactly what you were trying to do and called you on it.
Only someone who had not read "Mein Kampf" would interpret.............................
Only someone who had not read Jenson's the "Bell Curve"..........................................
Only someone who had not read "yet another nutjob theory".......................................
When the integrity of a source is less than solid, one might wish to distance herself from that which might impugn her integrity.

MATTHEWS: I want a statement from you on this program, say to me right, that you believe he shot himself to get credit for a purpose of heart.

MALKIN: I‘m not sure. I‘m saying...

MATTHEWS: Why did you say?

MALKIN: I‘m talking about what‘s in the book.

MATTHEWS: What is in the book. Is there—is there a direct accusation in any book you‘ve ever read in your life that says John Kerry ever shot himself on purpose to get credit for a purple heart? On purpose?


MATTHEWS: On purpose? Yes or no, Michelle.

MALKIN: In the February 1969 -- in the February 1969 event.

MATTHEWS: Did he say on it purpose.

MALKIN: There are doubts about whether or not it was intense rifle fire or not. And I wish you would ask these questions of John Kerry instead of me.

Just answer the question Michelle, OK I'll do it for you. No, I have only unsubstantiated rumors from a highly questionable source that alledge all kinds of nefarious "plans" and "suspicious activities" of a vietnam veteran, but thats enough for me. Because I think that it is OK for Muslim Americans to sacrifice their liberty in exchange for my security.

Kerry's "self-inflicted" 'Plan' related Program Activities

You know a couple of days ago (see Tweety Redux below) I got after Matthews for his performance as a gushing school girl in the days following Commander Codpiece "astride the narroe Lincoln like a colossus". While that episode is still embarrasing and an example of shameles whoredom, I do have to through a biscuit of credit his way after his performance last night on Hardball. I think that I watched nearly 80% of the show and had the pleasure of listening to Matthews attack Thurlow's obviously bitter and definitely partisan charges that John Kerry falsified after-action reports, and had a "plan" to get out of vietnam early.
MATTHEWS: Larry Thurlow, thank you very much for joining us tonight. I admire your service, certainly. Let me ask you, sir, about the quote that you have in this ad. It says—and these are your words, speaking them in the advertisement—“When the chips were down, you could not count on John Kerry.” Why do you say that?

LARRY THURLOW, ANTI-KERRY SWIFT BOAT VETERAN: Mr. Matthews, the main reason I say that is because it became apparent early on that John Kerry had a master plan that went far beyond the service in the swift boats, and because of the fact that he was trying to engineer a record, so to speak, for himself, he was not a trustworthy member of a very tightly-knit unit that counted on each other at every second. And once it became apparent that he had this plan that kind of excluded what was required of us at certain times, it became apparent to me that you could not count on him.
Apparent and its adverb apparently, are fudge words, terms used when you do not have the winds of certainty at your back. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary: APPARENT suggests appearance to unaided senses that is not or may not be borne out by more rigorous examination or greater knowledge.
When pressed by Tweety for evidence to substantiate his claim, Thurlow had to concede that he had none, "basing it on my observations"
MATTHEWS: Can you honestly tell me now, sir, that you could swear in open court that you know that John Kerry, when he was a lieutenant JG in the same theater you were in had some plan for winning medals? Do you know that for a fact?

THURLOW: OK. In other words, present evidence that he had this plan?


THURLOW: Of course, I couldn‘t.

Then what in heaven's name are we even doing here. It should be "apparent" that unsubstantiated allegation (the more salacious the better) is the right wing stock-in- trade. So Thurlow admits that he can not prove his "he had a plan" allegation, at which point any reasonable person might admit that the ground they were standing on has become unstable and scurry off into the darkness.

But we aren't dealing with reasonable persons here, we're talking about a monkey with a bucket of shit that isn't empty yet, a person who will continue to flog an allegation that he as vociferously admitted that he could not prove. Was it really so long ago "of course, I couldnt", I guess not as matthews immediately follows that with:

MATTHEWS: Well, what...

THURLOW: I‘m basing it on my observations.

MATTHEWS: These are after-the-fact observations. You say he had a plan ahead of time to make himself a war hero to get elected to office.

THURLOW: I‘m saying that he had a plan that included not only being a war hero but getting an early out.

MATTHEWS: But you admit you have no tangible evidence.

THURLOW: I have my own personal observations.

MATTHEWS: Of what?

THURLOW: And you‘re right, it is not tangible evidence.
I am one of those naive, school of solomon, types with respect to criminal justice. You may have heard the phrase "inoccent until proven guilty", "rather let the guilty go free than kill an innocent man" And sometimes I forget that in the court of republican opinion, tangible evidence is not required for conviction and if your feces bucket still has some heft, then keep flinging away. Even if it taints your own record-stories- breaking-hither-and yon.

Next up and late to the party as usual we will continue with Tweety's takedown of Michelle "little lulu" Malkin, a mendatious mouthpiece for myopic morons.

Thursday, August 19

Doin' the Lindy

I was over at BoingBoing looking for the post about Iridium and came across this sick gag. Called "Stealth Lynndie-ing" the object is to, well we'll let the picture say it all. Click on the picture to check out the original post. This just cracked me up.

Homeland Security on Drugs

Is he Department of Homeland Security a political tool for the Republicans? We could ask Tom Delay, (who apparently did something nice, you can read about it at Steve Gilliard's place) who made use of the resource when trying to track Democrats down during his Gerrymandering Rodeo last year. Or we could ask Tom Ridge (R-Moron) how a United States Senator would end up on the No-Fly list. I guess it makes sence that the Senator in question is a Democrat from
. This is doubtless being celebrated in Freeperville.

(CBS/AP) The Senate Judiciary Committee heard Thursday morning from one of its own about some of the problems with airline "no fly" watch lists.

Massachusetts Democrat Ted Kennedy says he had a close encounter with the lists when trying to take the US Airways shuttle out of Washington to Boston.

The ticket agent would not let him on the plane because Kennedy's name was on the no-fly list — in error. After a flurry of phone calls, Kennedy was able to fly home, but then the same thing happened coming back to Washington.

Kennedy says it took three calls to Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge to get his name stricken from the list. The process took several weeks, in all.

It took three freakin calls and several weeks to correct this error, pardon the rhetorical qustion, but are you shitting me. Probably took Delay and Cornyn less time to do their good deed, I mean their jobs.

If this list includes a multiple term U.S. Senator and a 3 year old Californian, is it unfair to question whether the list is valid? Back to the original question; is it possible that the DHS is being used for political purposes?

The senator's complaints are not the first concerns raised about the system, which is supposed to keep suspected terrorists off flights but, critics say, also has been used to discourage left-wing activists from traveling.

A retired minister, a college student and a member of the military are among those involved in the American Civil Liberties Union's challenge to the list.

Airlines are instructed to stop anyone on the "no fly" list that is compiled by the Transportation Security Administration. The ACLU contends, though, that some people are wrongfully put on the list.

"Many innocent travelers who pose no safety risk whatsoever are stopped and searched repeatedly," the ACLU said in a statement issued in April.

Not sure that this is a definitive answer, but the cynic inside me thinks that this administration would be willing to use any available tool for political gain, including something orwellian like a no fly list. Not sure how much I would like to be continually harrased just to fly across the country, not like flying pisses me off to no end in the first place. Lets see what the FBI has to say about this.

The FBI released heavily-redacted memoranda on the no-fly lists last year.

One memo read: "The essential purpose of the No-Fly List is to prevent the transport of persons who …" The rest of the sentence is blacked out.

The TSA acknowledged the name-matching technology used by some airlines confuses people on the no-fly list with passengers who have similar names

I sure would like to know the wording of the last part of the No-Fly mission statement. Now everything is clear, the software confused Senator Ted Kennedy with Unibomber Ted Kaczynski. Of course that must be the rub, they are both named Ted and their last names are practically homophones. I often confuse Ireland and Poland, 'cause, well, they both got land in the name

One of my favorite pictures

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This is the guy so fervently supported
by that freedom lovin' patriot below

Republican Debate Strategy

Title ripped from Kos poster Geheimbundler

An unidentified supporter of President Bush tries to silence protester
Kendra Lloyd-Knox (right) outside Southridge High School in Beaverton.
Elsewhere in Portland, supporters of Democratic
candidate Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., rallied on the waterfront.

Gummie Venus De Milo aaaarrrrrrgghhhmmm

Too bad that Willy the Janitor was not around with his video camera when Deal Hudson was sposedly putting the moves on little mis thing. But since ole' Willy was not able to save this poor CathiBaptist, we have yet another Mea Culpa from a member of the party of Family Values. Newt, which wife are you on?

David D. Kirkpatrick, New York Times
August 19, 2004

Deal W. Hudson, the publisher of the conservative Roman Catholic journal Crisis and the architect of a Republican effort to court Catholic voters, said he is resigning as an adviser to the Bush campaign because of a Catholic newspaper's investigation into accusations of sexual misconduct. The accusations involve a student at a college where he once taught.

"No one regrets my past mistakes more than I do," Hudson wrote in a column posted Wednesday on the online edition of National Review announcing his resignation. "At the time, I dealt with this in an upright manner and the matter was satisfactorily resolved long ago," he wrote, without specifying the accusations. Hudson, 54, said he had been happily married to his current wife for 17 years. Called for comment, he declined.

I know, I just hope that your regret eclipses that of Jimmy Swaggart tear stained confession of yeilding to temptation. But Deal, just between you and me I know that it was just a Gummi Bear on her ass that you were after and not the ass itself.

Bush's Base, The Second coming.

Fundimentalist Born agains, Old Testement Christians (wherein any "love your neighbor...", .."least among us..." pronouncement of Jesus is trumped by Leviticus), Snake charmers, whatever you want to call the adherents of Biblical literalism, are of one mind concerning bush, "he does the work of god" This fealty to the God King was in evidence at a recent campaign stop in West Virginia.
Associated Press Writer

HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. (AP) -- Forget the war. Forget the economy. For many George Bush supporters, the presidency is about something more fundamental -- faith.

It's about their faith in him, and his faith in God.

Cindy Wilson, of Keyser, takes comfort in the knowledge that Bush is a Christian, she said, because if he is uncertain of a decision, God will make it for him.

"I believe the Bible is our guidebook, our user manual for life,'' said Wilson, who joined a crowd of at least 7,500 at Hedgesville High School for a Bush campaign rally Tuesday night.

"When man depends on man, we're limited,'' she said. "But God is limitless and will help him make the right choices.''
Not that any of this blind faith scares me as much as Bush's faith based governing style. When is Cindy going to face the fact that either God is a monumental fuckup artist, or does not speak through bush.
"I just love him, he's a good man,'' said Andrea Allen, of Hedgesville. "He has good morals.''

Janet Lyons, of Martinsburg, believes Bush's faith helps him withstand critics on the war in Iraq and other controversial policies.

"I like the fact that he isn't afraid to do what he thinks is right,'' she said.
I'm experiencing serious mental disconnect--morals, bzzt do whats right, bzzt crkckl bzzt, lets move on to the economy, shall we, where even the kids get involved.
But the region's unemployment rate has risen since Bush took office in 2001, Kerry campaign economic adviser Gene Sperling said. He cited figures from the final summer of President Clinton's second term, which ranged from 2.6 percent for Jefferson County to 2.9 percent for Morgan County.

Koch is unconvinced.

"There's plenty of jobs out there,'' she said. "People just don't want to work.''

Even 9-year-old Jonathan Frisby, who came from Mechanicsburg, Pa., with his grandmother, had an opinion.

"Kerry is going to raise taxes, and Bush will get us into wars we don't belong in,'' he said. "I'd vote for Bush, because I'd rather be in a war than spend a lot of money.''
This young christian sure has his priorities straight, wars we don't belong in, woohooo, christian charity be damned. I am sure that young Jonathan can't wait to be fighting it out in some unknown future hell hole we don't belong in in 9 short years. What is truly disturbing is that this 9 year old's viewpoint accurately mirrors the rest of the hate abortion, love the death penalty even if we have to kill a few innocent people crowd. After all to make an omelet..........

Promises Promises

You know, when bush's lips start moving, expect misrepresentation, prevarication, the old bait and switch. Yesterday at a loyalty oath rally in Wisconsin, bush proposed a new education plan for members of the National guard and Reservists, who have served 90 days or more.
He proposed to increase monthly education benefits for all Guard members and reservists on active duty for more than 90 consecutive days.
Let me make a couple of guesses. First, the final wording of the plan will state that it is not retroactive, and second, Guard and Reserve forces, will be rotated out after 88-89 day tours. With bush, you see words mean things, just not what you think they mean.
He said he disagreed with Kerry, who he wants to begin withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq within six months of taking office. Bush said it would send the wrong message to U.S. enemies, who say 'Fine, I'll stay six months and one day.'
This is the cutest of his new one-liners, "Fine, I'll stay........" must have been a laugh riot when they came up with that soundbite, now for some real hilarity, that is if you really think that it is remotely plausible that the Iraqi's trust our motives.

"It sends the wrong signal to our troops," Bush continued. "It sends the wrong signal to the Iraqis. You see they're watching carefully. They're wondering whether or not we will stand with them as they do the hard work for a free society.

"So long as I'm the president when America gives its word, America will keep its word."

Hey buddy, Uhm, you see, nobody really believes our word, after we uhm failed uhm to deliver on the WMD thingy. And well we pretty much failed to deliver on our promices of reconstruction, now matter how many time Pickles trots out the freshly painted schools theme.

It really wouldn't suprise me if devinley inspired precognition, Romans carved BVSH on the cross on which Christ was crucified, If not they should have. Is there any symbol that these guys won't appropriate?

Wednesday, August 18

Back to the Future, Ahead to the Past

Presidential Sock puppet, Smirky McBubblehead, lets us know how much hea cares about our future safety, by grabbing a piece of history. the following is from the WaPO via Digby.
RIDLEY PARK, Pa., Aug. 17 -- President Bush reaffirmed his administration's commitment to building an antimissile system, accusing opponents of the program of "living in the past."
He must be talking about that "Star Wars" program that Teller sold us as feasable, and that got Reagan all hot and bothered. No one who is qualified to speak of the technology claims that it will work, without Billions upon billions and years and years of research. There has never been a single sucessful trial run, even the ones where we rigged the game and made it as easy as possible. Got to love Dubya's command of the cliche.
Although Bush did not mention his Democratic rival by name on Tuesday, his speech here at a Boeing Co. plant included a thinly veiled attack on John F. Kerry's stance on missile defense. "I think those who oppose this ballistic missile system don't understand the threats of the 21st century," he told 1,400 cheering Boeing employees and supporters.
I don't think Georgie understands the threats posed by a 21st century pretzel, let alone any other dangers. In fact I am not sure that georgie could distinguish his ass, from a random hole in the ground, with a mexican standing in it still digging away. "Why would my ass have a mexican fella in it?" Ya too bad that missle defense system can't shoot down missles, let alone, planes, or, detect and disable a suitcase nuke, or protect our ports, borders, chemical plants, water treatment facilities, combat cyber terror, protect us from biological or chemical warfare. I am sure there are some others that I missed, but aside a major league cash injection for the military industrial complex, what is this defence system good for. Given that it is a one purpose tool, that fails to successfully accomplish it's purpose, it just sounds like corporate welfare to me.
Standing on a platform flanked by two Chinooks, Bush said foes of the missile system are "living in the past. We're living in the future. We're going to do what's necessary to protect this country. We say to those tyrants who believe they can blackmail America and the free world: You fire; we're going to shoot it down."
Can someone inform the dauphin that this thing wont take care of shoulder mounted missle systems, and besides Russia and China, who has the capability to hit us with an ICBM, Israel, North Korea, maybe. By the time this thing is working, China will be exercising economic hegemony on the world stage and we will be living in a third world country/banana republic, watching our wages drop to the point where India can outsource jobs to us, if we are lucky. Well let george tell you some more.

"Thems what agin me livin in the past times, Thems what fer me livin in the tomorryland."

What is it about these guys and their failure to understand that the terrorist threat is assymmetric and not state based. These guys remind me of the generals of WWI who stuck to their nineteenth century tactics in the face of 20th century military hardware to the devestation of millions of soldiers. It always takes the old guard a while to wake up. Jesus, we are talking about the oldedst of the old guard here. Edward Teller was a manhatten project physicist, credited by some for coming up with the solution for imploding the nuclear material so fission would start. He, as a dottering old fool was the one scientist who gave full backing of a missle defence plan, slobbered all over by another dottering fool, Reagan.

Given that this administration is also filled with fools from the Reagan era, presently dottering and slobbering, it is no wonder why we are failing in the war on terra, we're at least 5 decades behind the 8-ball as far as followship is concerned, and this without a leader.

more Loyalty oath related campaign activities

Teacher, 55, wanted to see a president

Record-Eagle staff writer
TRAVERSE CITY - Kathryn Mead wanted to see her first sitting president when George W. Bush visited the city.
Instead, Bush campaign staffers tore up the 55-year-old social studies teacher's ticket and refused her admission because she sported a small sticker on her blouse that touted the Democratic ticket of John Kerry and John Edwards.
"I had my ticket and photo identification, but they would not let me in because of this sticker," said Mead, a teacher at Traverse City West Senior High, who said she has seen Queen Elizabeth and Pope John Paul in person.
"I have never found this kind of screening anywhere in my travels around the world. I can't imagine being denied access to hearing the president of the United States speak."
Several people outside the campaign event tried to console Mead, who was visibly upset.
"It really is comedic," said a man holding a Kerry/Edwards sign. "What absolute nonsense."
Kate Stephan, chair of the Grand Traverse Republican Party, could not be reached for comment after the rally.
But Ralph Soffredine, a Traverse City commissioner, school board member and former police chief who worked security at the front gate, said it is part of the Bush campaign policy.
"We were told that anyone with stickers or shirts would not be let in if they would not take them off," he said. "(Mead) came to me after her ticket was torn up, but I told her there was nothing I could do.
"I know her and it was really too bad, but I would say that we had very few instances of that. I thought it went very well."
Yes very well indeed, if you live in a fucking police state. I have recently come to the conclusion that GWB aint my president. He ain't yours either. In his little fucking pinheaded dreamworld, he is the president of the funditudinists and the wealthy, and it's bonus if any Slack-Jawed idiots are willing to offer inblinking, unwavering fealty. Who do these fucks think they are? This is at least the 10th such story I have heard about people being exorcised from campaign stops, and these people have friends. But I'll go out on a bit of a limb and suggest that everyone has a right to listen to what the president has to say, period. Cause trouble, sure, your ass can be asked to leave, but this pre-emptive shit, patently UN-AMERICAN. It can't help them that the local papers are all over these incidents if only because it may reveal the disconnect between National and Local media, and people might begin to pay attention. Thanks to Maru for the heads up.

Did we or did we not

In the labarynthine twists and turns that is the story surrounding the "outing" of a former al-Queda operative, Muhammed Naeem Noor Khan, there are still questions remaining about whether Administration background sources or Pakistani officials are responsible for the leak.
Juan Cole goes into some detail on the subject here and introduces a little primer in Aristotelean causality:
Aristotle thought there were four kinds of causality. The material cause of a baked clay vase is the clay out of which it is made. The formal cause of a baked clay vase is the shape of a vase. The efficient cause of a baked clay vase is the artist who works the clay and then bakes it. The final cause of a baked clay vase is the reason it was made, e.g. to hold water.

Although the efficient cause of the naming of Khan was a Pakistani official speaking to the NYT, I would argue that the final cause of the naming was the Ridge press conference.
Personally speaking, there is no question on my mind that as soon as the bush administration got ahold of the intelligence on Khan's computer that they lept at the chance to blunt the success of the DNC with a politically motivated terror alert, no question in my mind at all. Every single thing that happens in this administration is politically motivated. Whether the leak was ours or Pakistan's matters not, If Rove hadn't pushed Ridge out there to raise the threat level, and at the same time let slip that our president is such a good guy keepin us safe and stuff, then Khan would probably still be a tremendous asset, to bad presnidentin campaign program activities had to get in the way. More from Cole on the British raids follows:
The appearance of Khan's name in the New York Times on August 2 caused the British to have to swoop down on the London al-Qaeda cell to which he was speaking. As it was, 5 of them heard about Khan's arrest and immediately fled. The British got 13, but it was early in their investigation and they had to let 5 go or charge them with minor offences (immigration irregularities e.g.). On Tuesday, the British charged 8 of them.
Whether guilty of Coverin presidential ass related program activities, or of only aristotelean final causality, the idiots in charge are ultimatley responsible for the outing and neutering of a high value intelligence target. Can we get some competance back in the whitehouse--please.

Operation Censorship

Over the course of the last few days there have been reports that Iraqi officials want the press out of Najaf. Maru at WTF is it now, brought this new development to my attention:
Iraqi officers threaten reporters
By Stephen Farrell
August 18, 2004

IRAQI police have threatened to kill every journalist working in the holy city of Najaf, where US forces are locked in a tense stand-off with Moqtada al-Sadr's Mehdi Army.

After a series of veiled warnings to leave on Sunday, two marked police cars pulled up at dusk outside the Sea of Najaf hotel on the outskirts of town, where Arab and Western journalists are staying.

Ten uniformed policemen walked into the hotel and demanded that the al-Arabiya, Reuters and AP correspondents go with them.

Journalists told them they were not there, but the policemen found and arrested Ahmed al-Salahih, the al-Arabiya correspondent, who the day before had been given a special exemption from the earlier eviction orders.

A uniformed lieutenant then told the assembled journalists and hotel staff: "We are going to open fire on this hotel. I'm going to smash it all, kill you all, and I'm going to put four snipers to target anybody who goes out of the hotel. You have brought it upon yourselves."
Nice, you couldn't ask for a less ambiguous request, I'll be packing my shit up now and getting the hell out of Dodge. They must have a new angle of attack that the world should not see, maybe some suprise remodeling or a big cake and they don't want to ruin the suprise. Just in case you were worried about the Ali iman Shrine Allawi assures us that all wil be fine:
After US marine commanders last week issued a hawkish threat "to finish this fight that the Moqtada militia started", Mr Allawi moved swiftly to defuse alarm even among his own senior government officials, reassuring Iraqis: "The holy shrine will remain safe from all attacks that could possibly harm its sacredness."
Glad to know that the sacreliciousness of the shrine will be maintained, even though we pretty much have blasted the shit out of the holiest of cemetaries. It is also nice to see the marines have stepped up their macho rhetoric, cause god knows we need more of that. A quick trip over to Juan Cole reveals some interesting charges, that the marines may have engaged the mahdi fighters on their own:
Alex Berenson and John Burns of the New York Times make the explosive allegation that local Marines in Najaf launched the attack on Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Militia on August 12 all on their lonesome, without direction from the Pentagon in Washington. At most, they had authorization from the American-appointed governor, Ali al-Zurfi, though he won't take responsibility for it all, either.
So who in fact is in command of our troops on the ground. And if a local provisional governor can authorize attacks made by US forces, I can only imagine the variety of uses that someone with scores to settle could accomplish, using our men. I must be a cynical bastard to believe that those american appointed officials over their would not have the best interests of our troops at heart. Oh, now I know why, I am increasingly convinced that Dubya does not have the country's best interest at heart. Cole also has the latest on the labarynthine tale that I have previously referred to as the Plame Identity and the Pakistani Supremecy, there now seems to be a question as to who outed Khan. I'm off to find out more about it myself. Later

Ground Zero recovery silver.

There is a shameless new coin out commemorating the Twin Towers and the (yet to be constructe Freedom Tower. 100 mils of .999 silver clad coinage (clad means the coin itself is likely to be 95% Nickel or Zinc) The kicker, the silver used in these fine commemorative issue from Commonwealth of North Marianas Islands (CNMI) was recovered miraculously from a bank vault found under tons of debris at "ground Zero". Now that same silver recovered from the (still beating) heart of "ground zero".............

"Each comes with a certificate of authenticity confirming it is government issue 100mill .999 pure "ground zero" recovery silver content."
Get yours before, this batch of silver runs out.

How long before we can get watch fobs made out of 100 mill ground zero recovery dental gold. Or did Ashcroft already have little gold crosses made out of this stuff and anointed in crisco, you know for extra Jesus Power.


Tuesday, August 17

I've got it.

We have all heard of the "new Pearl Harbor" quote from PNAC's (Project for a New American Century). I read it myself a year and a half ago, but since then have been unable to find those words in the document in question. Yeah I know, I could have read the whole thing, but I always found better things to do with my time. The Money quote from a piece called "Rebuilding America's Defense" written in September 2000 is on page 51. Thanks to marie_aey on a Kerry-Edwards forum. A pdf is available here. Starting at the bottom of page 50, is the set up:
A transformation strategy that solely pursued capabilities for
projecting force from the United States, for example, and sacrificed
forward basing and presence, would be at odds with larger American
policy goals and would trouble American allies.
Image Hosted by
So as we approach the three year anniversary of this document's publication, it is nice to see that this particular sentence has not been deleted or re-written. So feel free to have a gander at what for me has been about the most amazing thing I have laid my eyes on.

They may not have looked the other way on 9/11, but they sure ran with that ball when it was handed to them.

Tweety Matthews Redux

Apparently Tweety (MSGOP-whore) took swift boat liar O'neil to task last week and has some folks all atwitter over his takedown of Bush campaign spokespuppy Matthew Dowd last night. I didn't see it because, well, I like my TV, and I like to limit my exposure to high blood pressure. Anyway all this talk about tweety left me thinking about the sweet loving hard-on he had when the Commander in thief walked across the tarmac of the USS Abraham Lincoln, you remember Rove's favorite foto op, don't you.

Too bad they had to put that colossal disaster back in the can. Well here are a collection of things that Matthews had to say about presnident sweet cheeks McGuilicutty.

MATTHEWS: Let's go to this sub--what happened to this week, which was to me was astounding as a student of politics, like all of us. Lights, camera, action. This week the president landed the best photo op in a very long time. Other great visuals: Ronald Reagan at the D-Day cemetery in Normandy, Bill Clinton on horseback in Wyoming. Nothing compared to this, I've got to say.

Katty, for visual, the president of the United States arriving in an F-18, looking like he flew it in himself. The GIs, the women on--onboard that ship loved this guy.

Ms. KAY: He looked great. Look, I'm not a Bush man. I mean, he doesn't do it for me personally, especially not when he's in a suit, but he arrived there...

MATTHEWS: No one would call you a Bush man, by the way.

Ms. KAY: ...he arrived there in his flight suit, in a jumpsuit. He should wear that all the time. Why doesn't he do all his campaign speeches in that jumpsuit? He just looks so great.

Chris and Katty getting all googly-eyed over this precedent breaking stunt. Let's see what else there is.

MATTHEWS: I want him to wa--I want to see him debate somebody like John Kerry or Lieberman or somebody wearing that jumpsuit.

Mr. DOBBS: Well, it was just--I can't think of any, any stunt by the White House--and I'll call it a stunt--that has come close. I mean, this is not only a home run; the ball is still flying out beyond the park.

MATTHEWS: Well, you know what, it was like throwing that strike in Yankee Stadium a while back after 9/11. It's not a stunt if it works and it's real. And I felt the faces of those guys--I thought most of our guys were looking up like they were looking at Bob Hope and John Wayne combined on that ship.

Mr. GIGOT: The reason it works is because of--the reason it works is because Bush looks authentic and he felt that he--you could feel the connection with the troops. He looked like he was sincere. People trust him. That's what he has going for him.

Maybe Chimpy will take Chris's advice and put the thing on for his debate with Kerry, and its nice that Dobbs can manage his baseball analogies, setting up Chris with another gushing, pant-stiffining, memory. With Gigot doing his best Sally Fields impression, "They trust him, they really trust him"
MATTHEWS: Fareed, you're watching that from--say you were over in the Middle East watching the president of the United States on this humongous aircraft carrier. It looks like it could take down Syria just one boat, right, and the president of the United States is pointing a finger and saying, `You people with the weapons of mass destruction, you people backing terrorism, look out. We're coming.' Do you think that picture mattered over there?
There it is, what we have been waiting for. You know that Chris was beginning to get a little light headed with all that blood moving south and all, and that the picture of a Humongous aircraft penis carrier.........lets just say that if Matthews's Stomach was competeing with his Johnson for blood, he'd have passed out by now.

Mr. ZAKARIA: Oh yeah. Look, this is a part of the war where we have not--we've allowed a lot of states to do some very nasty stuff, traffic with nasty people and nasty material, and I think it's time to tell them, you know what, `You're going to be help accountable for this.'

MATTHEWS: Well, it was a powerful statement and picture as well.

Chris is talking powerful, as in the power of his member to rip through 2 or 3 layers of cloth, I can only imagine that Fareed at this moment is happy to be in the middle east and that Katty is getting mighty nervous by now. Well that ends this show but for now I am gonna see if I can find the Liddy/Matthews lovefest that followed this one.

Well I've tried to find more but transcripts from hardball from may 2003 seem to have slipped into the memory hole, but we do have this courtesy of the Daily Howler:
MATTHEWS: What do you make of this broadside against the USS Abraham Lincoln and its chief visitor last week?

LIDDY: Well, I—in the first place, I think it’s envy. I mean, after all, Al Gore had to go get some woman to tell him how to be a man [Official Naomi Wolf Spin-Point]. And here comes George Bush. You know, he’s in his flight suit, he’s striding across the deck, and he’s wearing his parachute harness, you know—and I’ve worn those because I parachute—and it makes the best of his manly characteristic. You go run those, run that stuff again of him walking across there with the parachute. He has just won every woman’s vote in the United States of America. You know, all those women who say size doesn’t count—they’re all liars. Check that out. I hope the Democrats keep ratting on him and all of this stuff so that they keep showing that tape.

You know I always thought that a manly man like G. Gordo would not bring him self to discuss the presnidental package, but maybe he has "latent" tendancies.
Matthews:“You know, it’s funny. I shouldn’t talk about ratings,” he said, also gazing at Bush’s crotch. “But last night was a riot because…these pictures were showing last night, and everybody’s tuning in to see these pictures again.”
The italicised text is the howler being funny. And it is funny to watch Chris gushing like a schoolgirl who just met her favorite boy band star.

Oregon overun by the Great Unchurched

The commandant in thief is a hard boy to keep up with, busy doing all that presidentin', saying all those presidentin' things, and in what must be an attempt to dislodge some enormous hairball, keeps talking about the rich and their wily accountants and all. I hope he gets that hairball out soon, 'cause I don't think that message plays well on the north fourty.

What really does it for me about the preznit, though, is his tough stands on religinatin and godfearin, his steadfastliness in a sea of swirling changeables. The man is like a freakin rock of ages, can't be swayed and once hims made up hims mind aint no tarnin back. Like Bin Laden, he had that rascally wabbit all cornered up after 9/11 and six months later still finds our virtuous and true leader still holding on to that stick. When he said "I dont care where he is", he meant, "I got a piece of his calf stuck betwixt these presidentin' dentin" and he smiled to show the nice lady the piece of flesh from Bin Ladens ass that was stuck betwixt said presidentin' dentin.

When he waxes religious, and talks about the tragedy of poor kids who can't pray in schools, 'cause activisitatin justice get in the way, a tear drapes my cheek. Enough already can no longer stay in that character whoever the fuck that was, here's the deal
Atrios points to AmericaBlog who points to this WaPo article about the presnident at his cute little, loyalty oath vetted, gathering of the faithful in Portland last friday. Him wanted to let us know about things and stuff like taxin the rich is just not productive and that everyone is the rich and stuff, what really made hims day was when nice lady ask him:
Bush had to calm the ardor of the crowd at Southridge High School in Beaverton. One woman noted that Oregon has one of the nation's highest percentages of "unchurched" citizens and asked the president to "take a minute to pray for Oregon."

Bush, who had won loud applause earlier when noting his Christian faith, told the woman "I appreciate what you say" but then seemed to rebuke her statement. "People can choose church or not church, and they're equally American," he said, adding that it is important that "we jealously guard" the tradition of protecting religious freedom.

The crowd, seemingly surprised by Bush's refusal to endorse the woman's statement, responded with only a smattering of applause.
First we had the Great "Unwashed" and now we have to put up with the Great "Unchurched", holymolygeewillikers words mean stuff and things. Presnident inclusitude, didn't think a moment of on bended knee was apporpriate for this occasion 'cause he said "I wear my jesusitude on my sleave but after memberin all this here talking things, I had to forget all that prayin stuff to make room" verisimilitude notwhithstanding Poopypants Dauphin refused to pray for the god Dubya fearin faithfull'cause as he says "Thers a few moderates out there that don't want to vote for a 'ligious nut and have as yet to realize that I am an idiots idiot" possibly the most 'telligent thing out of the mouth of the babe this year and the press didnot 'port on that.

Meanwhile at the cod-cave James T Kirk is in the fight of his life with the leader of the Gorn ship and kent is wondering when this stone-dumb hick for brains 'sgonna git the f' out of his head. Come on back later...

Monday, August 16

This is just about right

I was over at Sid's and saw this. He's right, whoever wrote this should be given a wider audience:
Salt Lake Tribune

2004-08-05 23:21:11.612

Police have determined that a young woman reported missing a couple of weeks ago was murdered. They say her husband did it. Even the suspect's family says he has confessed. He is in jail.
Hundreds of volunteers who were scouring the foothills and putting up posters have been thanked and sent home. Police are left to dig through the local landfill.
Incessant national media attention no longer serves any purpose.
Unlike the Elizabeth Smart case, there is no reason to hope that Lori Hacking will be spotted at a truck stop in North Platte, or a trailer park in Yakima, no point in spreading the all-points bulletin to everyone with a television set and a cell phone.
So, with all due respect and thanks, we have a simple message to the national media paratroops who have parachuted into Salt Lake City for another juicy story on a missing white woman:
Go away.
Wow, nuff said, I always wonder why I stumbled across the news that when Joe Scarborogh, presently of "Scarborough Country", was a congressman and during his last term a staffer was was found dead at his state congessional office. Ohh yes I remember now--the media paratroopers, were busy with Condit/Levy. He/She concludes with this observation:
But for so much of the talent, time and resources of our worldwide media to be spent on a story of strictly local importance displays no courage and little imagination. Instead, it is a symptom of a perverse laziness on the part of both the media and its audience.
So it's time for the circus to pack up and leave town. Don't worry. If anything happens, we'll let you know.

Go read the rest, it's not long, but it is good.

Is this your america?

First they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew, then they came for the Gypsies................
In another example of Fatherland security related program activities come this harrowing tale:
On June 30, 2004 Penny McClurg responded to a letter she had received in the mail from the Department of Homeland Security. The letter requested her to report to Tampa International Airport Airside F. Penny made the necessary arrangements to have her children cared for, while she attended this appointment. Upon arriving at the airport airside F, she called the telephone number listed on the letter and informed the respondent on the phone that she was waiting at the instructed area as described in the letter. The operator told her that they would send someone to escort her into the terminal. Penny waited approximately 30 minutes; however nobody came to escort her. Penny called the number on the letter again and told the operator that she had been waiting. The operator then asked her if she was sure she had an appointment letter to come in because they were apparently not expecting her.

A Department of Homeland Security officer finally arrived and escorted her through to the secured airside F terminal and asked her to be seated in an office area. She was greeted by a Department of Homeland Security officer by the name of Mr. Guthier and told to remain seated and that he would be with her shortly. Approximately two hours went by before Mr. Guthier motioned her into his office. Inside his office he questioned her about a 1997 felony conviction that she had on her record. She acknowledge the felony conviction and informed him that she he had completed her sentence and probation for this incident.

Penny was sent back out to be seated again and waited another three hours. She had now been in the office approximately five hours.

Mr. Guthier finally came out of his office and informed her that he was not able to get a hold of who he needed to speak to and that she should report back the following morning at 9:00am. Penny reported back the following morning as instructed and this time remained in the seated office area. During this time officer Guthier told her that he was still waiting to get a hold of the person he had been trying to reach the previous day. Approximately three hours went by before Mr. Guthier asked Penny to come into his office. Mr. Guthier told Penny that he had some bad news for her and that she was officially being detained. Penny asked what that meant and officer Guthier informed her that she was basically being arrested and that everything would be explained to her when she arrived at her next destination. Penny asked where she was being taken and she was told by Guthier that he did not know and that someone else would tell her.
Read the rest, it can't be long before someone starts screaming about lebensraum, and the annexation of Canada, for security you know.

Zombie Armies of Compassion

The Dauphin unleashed the latest from the campaign platitude factory.
"We will all be better off as we continue to rally the armies of compassion," he said. "The strength of this country is in the hearts and souls of our citizens. If you really think about it, you don't find it in the halls of government. You find it in the hearts of people."

It was that kind of from-the-heart style that brought cousins Andrea and Kara Compton of Eugene to the event.

"I think he's an honest man and he has principles and he does what he believes and he doesn't flip-flop on the issues," said Andrea Compton, a senior at the University of Oregon.

Armies of Compassion? Does there weoponry include "Fear, Suprise, and a fanatical devotion to the Pope? Or have the M1A1 tanks been fitted with hug dispensing units? If ms Compton can show me a universe where principle and Dubya intersect, I'll show you a universe about to implode.

The rubes still fall prey to the siren song of this snakeoil salesman:
Others shared the feeling that the country is stronger with Bush as president. Lisa Michaels, an alternate delegate to the Republican convention, came to the event with her children and a "Flush the Johns" sign and said former President Bill Clinton never took action when terrorists bombed the USS Cole, the World Trade Center in 1993 or overseas embassies during his term.

"Bush takes action and Clinton doesn't, and I don't think Kerry would either," she said. Bush "wants to protect the country."
This is clearly a Fox news viewer but she at least has three words right "I don't think" Really cool sign you got there Lisa, clever, but not too clever, you wouldn't want anyone to think that you were and eletist now would ya. On another stop this time in Iowa bush trots out his favorite pet theme of the campaign - that it is ridiculous to believe you can tax the rich because the accountants have money cloaking devices.
"We've still got about 80 days to go in this campaign, and the fellow I'm running against has already made about $2.2 trillion of new promises," Bush said.

"And so I said, 'Well, how are you going to pay for it?' And he said, 'Oh, don't worry, we'll tax the rich.'

"You've heard that rhetoric before, haven't you? It's why the rich have got accountants. Figure out how he can't tax them."
Hardehardeharhar, You just know that the last line was delivered as a joke. Dear leader sure is funny. Georgie just makes promises he has no intention of keeping, mandates that he has no intention of funding, and just grabs any stray 2.2 trillion dollars that aren't bolted down to hand out to his friends. Thats governatin my friends.

Police State related program Activities

You say there is an investigation of voter fraud in the state of Florida, no shit? Are they looking at Harris? No, Absentee ballots you say. Do they think that there was some hanky panky with the military vote? No. Oh I'll have to guess that black folk are involved - did I win? ding ding ding.

Apparently there is an "investigation" involving "absentee" ballots cast by elderly black folk, including door to door visits by the state police, to conduct "interviews" leading some to reach this conclusion:
"One woman asked me, 'Am I going to go to jail now because I voted by absentee ballot?' "
A conclusion I am sure that the guardians of the democratic process in Florida, would like these folks to reach. From Herbert at the NYT:
The state police officers, armed and in plain clothes, have questioned dozens of voters in their homes. Some of those questioned have been volunteers in get-out-the-vote campaigns.

I asked Mr. Morales in a telephone conversation to tell me what criminal activity had taken place.

"I can't talk about that," he said.

I asked if all the people interrogated were black.

"Well, mainly it was a black neighborhood we were looking at - yes,'' he said.

He also said, "Most of them were elderly."

When I asked why, he said, "That's just the people we selected out of a random sample to interview."

So we have an inability to discuss an ongoing investigation, which happens all the time when the victims of crime are white and pregnant, then by some bizarro world coincidence it turns out that the people being intimidated interviewed are mostly black and mostly elderly, and chosen at random----Yeah that's the ticket....
Back in the bad old days, some decades ago, when Southern whites used every imaginable form of chicanery to prevent blacks from voting, blacks often fought back by creating voters leagues, which were organizations that helped to register, educate and encourage black voters. It became a tradition that continues in many places, including Florida, today.

Not surprisingly, many of the elderly black voters who found themselves face to face with state police officers in Orlando are members of the Orlando League of Voters, which has been very successful in mobilizing the city's black vote.

The president of the Orlando League of Voters is Ezzie Thomas, who is 73 years old. With his demonstrated ability to deliver the black vote in Orlando, Mr. Thomas is a tempting target for supporters of George W. Bush in a state in which the black vote may well spell the difference between victory and defeat.

The vile smell of voter suppression is all over this so-called investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
What is so vile about these measures is that many of these black florida voters have only been allowed to exercise their right to vote without fear of reprisal since 1965 and the passage of the voting rights act. Why did we need a VRA in 1965? Lets just say that the 14th and 15th amendments, after Plessy v ferguson, meant little in the south. Also that goons like a young Renquist (your chief justice and mine) liked to rough up and intimidate black folk that had the audacity to pay a poll, tax pass their literacy tests, and still have the temerity to vote. I'll dig up a link on Renquist later, suffice it to say that if you lived in the south and were a victim of excess melanin, you did not have the right to vote.
Such disfranchising laws included poll taxes, literacy tests, vouchers of "good character" and disqualification for "crimes of moral turpitude." These laws were "color-blind" on their face, but were designed to exclude black citizens disproportionately by allowing white election officials to apply the procedures selectively. Other laws and practices, such as the "white primary", attempted to evade the 15th Amendment by allowing "private" political parties to conduct elections and establish qualifications for their members.
It has always been somewhat interesting to me that while the 13th amendment abolished the practice of slavery, the 14th gave the former slaves citizenship, why would the 15th be necessary if the rights of citizens include the vote. You see some crackers need things spelled out real clear like I guess.
But whats dreally cool is that in the Jim Crow south they got away with the suppression of the black vote like the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments did not matter. Nearly 100 years of supression and they did such a good job that the constitution had to be amended again enter the 24th.
Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.

Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Compare with the 15th
Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
See the similarities. This is why I wish that the Framers had specifically enumerated the right of privacy in the bill of rights. Because if it is not in the constitution, you have asshats who are likely to conclude that privacy isn't a right, just like 125 years ago some asshat said to himeself that "hey they didn't say none such 'bout poll tax in that mendment, thats how well keep the niggers from voting."
Power mad asshats on the loose, I hope you have a sturdy umbrella.
Clinton had it right "they have to divide us to win"

The Proud Southern Tradition, is a skidmark on the bowl of history, sorry guys, you gotta quit hanging on, its Ugly.

Sunday, August 15

I am John Gault

I sit in astonishment and watch Puerto Rico beating the US men's Olympic Basketball team. Now up 22 at half time, 49 to 27. While I wait for the Oatmeal to cool down for consumption, I check some of the blogs. At Hullabaloo, Digby points to a Pandagon treatment of an Annie "the terrorists are coming, the Syrian musical terrorists are coming" Jacobsen, "interview" of "another terrified passenger" on the flight that made Annie famous, as she continues to flog her new Broadway production "the Bride of Paul Revere". A pretty fucking hilarious takedown of the ladies auxiliary of the "hair on fire brigade" ensues. Go see it for yourself.

After enjoying Annie's craven attempt to steal yet another 15 minutes of fame I am distracted, hearing in the background the sound of a coffin door ajar and contemplating in astonishment whether the wooden implement in Ben "those who would sacrifice liberty in the name of security deserve neither" Franklin's hand is an early prototype of a Louisville slugger and whether the look on what's left of his face is one of anger, derision or a combination of both. At least he's not looking at me, one of his eyeballs, dangling in a come hither way on Franklin's left cheek seems to have it's gaze planted firmly on Annie, folks I don't think that this is gonna be pretty........

Anyhoo I decide to head to the Pandagon home page and see what else of interest they might have waiting for me, besides that too damn cute panda playing with the beachball. As usual the youngsters astonish with their scope, insight, and acumen. Damn Kids, I wish I could blame their success on that logo of theirs..........mmmmmmmmmm but I can't. So on down the page a bit is a mention that a certain follower of Ayn Rand has endorsed Kerry. It had never occurred to me to check google and see if any objectivist sites were out there, and thanks to the gang at Pandagon I didn't have to. I read "Atlas Shrugged" after reading the Dagney Taggart vehicle "the Fountainhead" and a few of her other fiction and nonfiction works. I felt it necessary to read this somewhat influential writers work as a part of my intention to examine modern philosophical viewpoints.

........Update Puerto Rico 69 US 55 7:20 left...They were up 22 after 3rd quarter........

Back to Rand, so I head over to the site linked and find the Rand acolytes have met this news with the uncharacteristic formation of a panties bunched collective. One of the nice things about finishing Atlas Shrugged was the realization that most self identified adherents had it wrong. Ayn had it wrong. Her inspired Triumph of the Individual, ends up with a super smart collective of Individuals, living in an isolated utopian enclave of the elect, in a hidden mountain valley. You can't expect Gualt to raise all the tobacco, roll all those great cigarettes, raise the beef, grind it, and cook all of those fantastic hamburgers himself, can you. No, he needs help, like the rest of us.
...........Update, US looses to Puerto Rico 92-73. Hats off to PR they played well..............

In fact just thinking about the variety of skills necessary to live as an individual, forces me to have a lot of respect for the isolationist hermit, not that I or any of Ayn's acolytes would be interested in maintaining such an existence. In any event the news that one of their own has decided to endorse Kerry has ruffled a few Randian feathers:
Damn. So Peikoff would rather have a lying, quasi-socialist, professional politician as President?

Look, I'm no fan of President Bush's religion-based premises, and his advocacy of "faith-based" stuff is abhorrent to me. BUT - he is rooted in reality, has integrity, and whether or not he frames the "War On Terrorism" in terms of religion or reason, the fact is that he is ACTING on it, and getting results. He understands American sovereignty and that America is truly unique in the world, and is not willing to compromise America's leadership position for the sake of placating "old Europe."

Bush isn't perfect, but he's far better than the alternative. - dave
It's the delusion of intellectual grandeur, that plague these folks. The sense of entitlement that permeates the "I'm better than just about everyone I know" set epitomized by our friend Dave here. The observation that "he is rooted in reality...." is humorous at best, and demopnstrates that once one chooses to put on intellectual blinders, one tend to stop learning. As enticing as any philosophical viewpoint that paints the world in a black/white duality is, I have been unable to embrace it. It would be nice if the world became less complicated as I learned more about it but that just hasn't been my experience.
Oh Zeus. You used to be able to say "Well, at least the Ayn Randians are principled".

Peikoff's been an idiot for a long time, though.-Bo
I would really like Bo to explain a universe where "principled" and George W Bush, intersect. But I won't hold my breath.
This is ridiculous. If it comes to a choice of getting to keep what I earn while putting up with some religious based restrictions or giving up my money to a government that will squander it on it's own form or religion (read welfare and political correctness), I'll keep what I earn, thank you.
Kerry offers no more social freedoms than Bush, but comes at the cost of wanting to tax the people who Ayn Rand held in the highest regard even more than their current 40%+ burden. For this election (and all others) I'm a single issue voter, I vote on who will keep my taxes the lowest because freedom to keep what one earns is the most fundamental right.-Matt
Matt joins the party like a good libertarian, self absorbed and selfish, and quite fankly poorly informed. Matt apparently thinks that Ashcroft is a champion of civil liberties, me thinks that Matt spends too much time counting his money to notice what is going on. At least he's honest.
I listened to it. He spent at least 10 minutes talking about Bush's ties to the Christian right.

However accurate or inaccurate his portrayal of this relationship might be, a Kerry endorsement makes sense for this guy, I guess: He's picked his issue (religion) and he's voting accordingly.

Yes, I know, everybody on this forum could point out that Kerry is so much worse than Bush on so many issues. Well, this guy has decided, however rightly or wrongly, to be a single-issue voter. This is the sort of thing that happens when you vote based on a single issue: You ignore everything else.-thoreau
Yes, Kerry proposes taxes on the kind of money these guys are never likely to make, but other than that I am not sure what bush policies are worthy of endorsement. Attempting to suppress rights via constitutional amendment should be anathema to these folks, but I guess as long as male, white, and heterosexual are at the bottom of the list of groups likely to be targeted as "enemies of the state" in this neverending war on terra, I guess its OK.
That the Objectivists would rather elect a socialist rather than a capitalist who happens to be religious is unbelievable. Tells you how screwed up the Objectivists are.

As for Bush being a socialist - he's certainly a big spender, but look at the people he has advising him. Dick Cheney, Larry Lindsay, George Shultz - these were all people steeped in Chicago-school economics. They are followers of Hayek and Friedman. Anyone who believes in free markets should support this group of people over the likely band of socialists and societal engineers Kerry is likely to surround himself with.

A Kerry presidency will set the cause of free minds and free markets back years.

Shame on the Objectivists. You've lost your way, Peikoff. You don't have a frickin' clue.-Dan
Wow, I'm nearly convinced, 'cause I would follow Selma Hayek anywhere, oh he's not talking about Selma, oh well, damn. "Free minds and markets attacked by alien societal engineers" would make a nice weekly world news headline. I guess that if you want to support a guy who couldn't be bothered to read your favorite "philosopher", ............ Feel free to read the rest for yourself

I have always been into utopian enclaves of the elect. My version is called the Artfarm™. It includes a boatload of land, a boatload of gifted friends, off the grid power sources, a variety of barns for livestock and laboratories. A woodworking shop, machine shop, music, ceramics, and glass studios. Chemistry and electronics labs. I want to wake up in the morning and if I decide I want to build a telescope, Including grinding and silvering the mirror myself, I can. Yeah I know its a wet dream, but it is my wet dream.