Saturday, October 16

Trolls and tactics to combat them

Trolls are a fact of life on discussion boards all over the internets, and from a month or two after I made my first foray into this world, I discovered the beast known as a troll. From the naked and petrified trolls, the first post trolls, the Ogg guy, on slashdot, to the haloscan highjacker on Atrios, I have been aquainted wih the attempts to limit or combat the tactics of the beast known as troll. Slashdot used moderators and a rating system, and ultimately changed quite a bit of their code to combat trolling.

Recently a commenter (millionthmonkey) who had a clue at eschaton posted a solution to combat a rather vicious (though I honestly have to admit that he made me laugh sometimes) tactic of blowing out the table formatting. A real pain in the ass. So millionthmonkey posts a css file modification or hack to the board, l. it is tested, found desireable, yet some are not sharing in that success. I have always heard that haloscan is to blame, I find that to no longer be true. It is a simple hack, like the one I did for a previously mentioned clutch of a '53 Plymout Cranbrook.

To start lets take a look at the Haloscan Hijacker tactic, which blows out the width of the window requiring a lot of scrolling back and forth to read comments. This is a pain in the backside and fortunately easy to fix.

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Take a look at the bottom of the screen and see the amount of scrolling that needs to be done. Now imagine the time it would take to try to read the comment above, well there is a client side solution for this which when implemented changes the above to
something much more manageable. For example:

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Now isn't that better. The difference should be obvious. Not everyone is comfortable editing files to make this client-side solution work. The good news is that we don't have to. The owner of any site with comments by haloscan can make a simple mod to one line of code and never be bothered with attacks that break formatting seen in the first image above. Since I like to open things up take a look around and see what I can fix, break or modify, I have discovered that the blockquote tag is sort of broken in the unmodified haloscan comment box.

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Normal blockquote tags will indent the cited text, but screws the justification on the lines following the citation, but with a little modification that is no longer a problem.
I guess it really isn't a problem as the message remains the same, it just looks bad IMO.
Now with modifications to the css you can have the blockqote tag work as designed and add a border to boot. I happen to like the border.

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Now I am going to see what other things I can do with css hacks for haloscan, and hopefully avoid breaking things. And if this post makes no sense, don't worry. If you would like more info just drop your request in the comments. It turns out that you can also make shaded blockquote boxes, and I like it.

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Which one is it Mr Bush?

He said that, after a debate with Kerry, "I made it very plain. We will not have an all-volunteer army." The crowd fell silent. "WE WILL have an all-volunteer army," Bush said, quickly catching himself. "Let me restate that. We will not have a draft."
Bottom of the page via Atrios.

Faith Based Leadership

I have written on more than a few occasions that not only do I believe that bush runs a faith based presidency, but is also an end-timer, and likely expects Jesus to come back while on his watch. Basing policy and military decisions based on articles of faith, facts that don't fit the equation are easily discarded. A New York Times Magazine article sheds some light on this problem.
''Just in the past few months,'' Bartlett said, ''I think a light has gone off for people who've spent time up close to Bush: that this instinct he's always talking about is this sort of weird, Messianic idea of what he thinks God has told him to do.'' Bartlett, a 53-year-old columnist and self-described libertarian Republican who has lately been a champion for traditional Republicans concerned about Bush's governance, went on to say: ''This is why George W. Bush is so clear-eyed about Al Qaeda and the Islamic fundamentalist enemy. He believes you have to kill them all. They can't be persuaded, that they're extremists, driven by a dark vision. He understands them, because he's just like them. . . .
Bingo, and the religious right in this country are equivalent to the Taliban, and hell bent on the establishment of a theocracy. When you think that you are working under orders from god, you simply don't have to agree with anyone.
''This is why he dispenses with people who confront him with inconvenient facts,'' Bartlett went on to say. ''He truly believes he's on a mission from God. Absolute faith like that overwhelms a need for analysis. The whole thing about faith is to believe things for which there is no empirical evidence.'' Bartlett paused, then said, ''But you can't run the world on faith.''
This is precisely what make Bush such a horrible steward, and explains why we listen to the same things over and over again, as if bush believes that repetition will open our eyes to the "truth" he sees. A wonderful example of this blindness follows. When having a discussion about strategies for peace between the Palestinians and Istreali's, someone suggests using the Swedish Military to anchor a peace-keeping force. The president's responce?
''I don't know why you're talking about Sweden,'' Bush said. ''They're the neutral one. They don't have an army.''

Lantos paused, a little shocked, and offered a gentlemanly reply: ''Mr. President, you may have thought that I said Switzerland. They're the ones that are historically neutral, without an army.'' Then Lantos mentioned, in a gracious aside, that the Swiss do have a tough national guard to protect the country in the event of invasion.

Bush held to his view. ''No, no, it's Sweden that has no army.''

The room went silent, until someone changed the subject.
Uhm, Mr preznit, I am sorry, but you are wrong. Later at the White House Christmas party Bush says:
The president saw Lantos and grabbed him by the shoulder. ''You were right,'' he said, with bonhomie. ''Sweden does have an army.''
I find it somewhat terrifying that I had a better grasp of geography in 3rd Grade than our president does now. The following sums up the problem of this faith based president perfectly.
This is one key feature of the faith-based presidency: open dialogue, based on facts, is not seen as something of inherent value. It may, in fact, create doubt, which undercuts faith. It could result in a loss of confidence in the decision-maker and, just as important, by the decision-maker.
There is much much more, and I would suggest this as something that any of your remaining undecided friends should read.

Friday, October 15

My face? I'm not in Control of that thing.

We're now being shot at from Syria

Troops along the border with Syria are under morter attack.

By FISNIK ABRASHI, Associated Press Writer

QAIM, Iraq - American troops stationed along Iraq (news - web sites)'s border with Syria are coming under increasing mortar attack from shells fired from Syrian territory, but it's unclear who's responsible, U.S. officers said Thursday.

AP Photo Photo
AP Photo
Slideshow Slideshow: Iraq

The 82 mm mortar rounds have been fired at U.S. and Iraqi positions in and around Husaybah in the far west of Iraq's Anbar province, said Lt. Col. Chris Woodbridge, commander of the 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment.

"Who exactly is firing these mortars, we do not know. But what we do know is that the point of origin of these rounds is on the Syrian side of the border," said Woodbridge, 39, of Brooklyn.

There has been no evidence linking the Syrian military to the attacks, he said. However, the Syrian military has the capability to determine who is launching the mortars and act against them, Woodbridge said.

"Syrian authorities should be the ones to go after them, no question about it," he said.

And if they don't? We really have the situation in control, nothing to see here move along.........

Thursday, October 14

Who made Karl Rove Commander-in-Chief?

I have oftem remarked that bush is playing politics with the war in Iraq. It was always about politics, with a little revenge in the mix for spice, and a whole lot of war profiteering for purposes of luting the treasury. I am too tired to dig up stuff to back up this rather strident accusation. Just thought I'd make it. Thanks to Jerry for the idea.

Another angle, the word count

It occured to me that it might be interesting to see a word count for each candidate. Given that they each are given roughly the same amount of time, and that Drooly McStaggers gets out of the gate a bit late most of the time, I imagine that Kerry will best him in this category. [..slinks off to count words..]

OK here we go. Kerry used 7376 words and Drooly McStaggers came in at 6096, and the word "gosh" accounted for at least two and "whew" one, of Drooly's words. Kerry managed to fit in 1280 words more than Drooly in a similar amount of time allotted. I actually did not think it would be that big. There you have it, and there is just so much to harvest in the 6096 that I am sure we will be busy for days to come.

Flu Shots, just don't take one.

As I have been traveling the blogsphere, studying the post debate analysis, I have yet to see anyone make note of the President's solution to the Flu vaccination shortage. Now I haven't been everywhere so I am sure someone has this ankle in his or her teeth, but jesus lets take a look at the words.
BUSH: Bob, we relied upon a company out of England to provide about half of the flu vaccines for the United States citizen, and it turned out that the vaccine they were producing was contaminated. And so we took the right action and didn't allow contaminated medicine into our country. We're working with Canada to hopefully – that they'll produce a – help us realize the vaccine necessary to make sure our citizens have got flu vaccinations during this upcoming season.
Now that would be the Canada where they make drugs we can't import because we can't be sure they are safe, right? Or is there another Canada?
My call to our fellow Americans is if you're healthy, if you're younger, don't get a flu shot this year. Help us prioritize those who need to get the flu shot, the elderly and the young.
Russian Roulette as a solution to the flu shot shortage --- Brilliant. Tell us about how manly you are gdub.
I haven't gotten a flu shot, and I don't intend to because I want to make sure those who are most vulnerable get treated.
That is mighty manly of you, nice to know that the president has saved a shot for one person, and I guess that as I have never gotten a flu shot that I am doing as much about this problem as the president is, how cool is that? Buy the way while we are on the subject, can you please 'splain why you have not taken a physical exam and please avoid talking about how all this campaigning and presnidentivicitatin' is keeping you too busy. But you gotta luv the dub, turning this question into a referendum for tort reform.
We have a problem with litigation in the United States of America. Vaccine manufacturers are worried about getting sued, and therefore they have backed off from providing this kind of vaccine.

One of the reasons I'm such a strong believer in legal reform is so that people aren't afraid of producing a product that is necessary for the health of our citizens and then end up getting sued in a court of law.

But the best thing we can do now, Bob, given the circumstances with the company in England is for those of us who are younger and healthy, don't get a flu shot.
Dub, would you bury that bone already, drug companies aren't afraid of lawsuits, they just can't generate the explosive proffit from flu vaccinations like they can with Viagra. And thanks again for the reminder Drooly, I am sure mr Schieffer will be happy to take you're vaccination. Dumbass.

Much ado about Mary Cheney

She's a Lesbian who has long since been out of the closet, in fact she even authored a book that reportedly has some steamy same sex stuff in it (heaven forfend). I did not happen to catch her mothers outrage over the fact that Kerry would use Mary as an example, in his answer to a question about whether homosexuality was a choice or not. From ABCNews via Atrios. Here is what Lynne said:
LYNNE CHENEY AT POST-DEBATE RALLY: "The only thing I could conclude is that this is not a good man. This is not a good man. And, of course, I'm speaking as a mom. And a pretty indignant one. This is not a good man. What a cheap and tawdry political trick."
Well indignant mom, you would happen to be an authority when it comes to tawdry political stunts, now, wouldn't you. In fact the Iraq war is probably the tawdriest of all political tricks. This administration married policy to political hackery as a matter of course. Lets see what her handsome man has to say (and you thought that irony was dead).
DICK CHENEY TO NBC AFFILIATE WHO: "I would have said Sen. Kerry was out of line to bring my daughter into it. I thought it was totally inappropriate."
Out of line? Totally inappropriate? Give us a break sir, embracing a campaign built on a foundation of shit flinging and dirty tricks. Sorry if you had a few feverish fundies out there who were not as yet clued in to the gay elephant in the living room. And the way you treated her and her partner during you're convention, keeping them off the podium, when the rest of the family proudly took the stage after your speech, that sir, was out of line.

Wednesday, October 13

Osama Bin Forgotten or One term Preznit Walking

Just a quick look at the first of many lies that the presidential prevaricator spun last night. The man who said were gonna git him dead or alive and then just under six months later "not that concerned" (paraphrased).
KERRY: Yes. When the president had an opportunity to capture or kill Osama bin Laden, he took his focus off of them, outsourced the job to Afghan warlords, and Osama bin Laden escaped.

Six months after he said Osama bin Laden must be caught dead or alive, this president was asked, Where is Osama bin Laden? He said, I don't know. I don't really think about him very much. I'm not that concerned.

We need a president who stays deadly focused on the real war on terror.

SCHIEFFER: Mr. President?

BUSH: Gosh, I just don't think I ever said I'm not worried about Osama bin Laden. It's kind of one of those exaggerations.

Of course we're worried about Osama bin Laden. We're on the hunt after Osama bin Laden. We're using every asset at our disposal to get Osama bin Laden.

My opponent said this war is a matter of intelligence and law enforcement. No, this war is a matter of using every asset at our disposal to keep the American people protected.
If you are gonna lie Dub, pick something that is not going to be so easy to refute.
It is obvious that they had a better cocktail of meds to control the boy wonder, but one has to wonder wether or not Bush has had a stroke of some sort with the drooling and droopy mouth. Will have more later.


Found a clip that combines the debate question, and the "not concerned" clip above. Via Kos Diarist onegoodmove. George you are an idiot.

Bill O'Rielly is being sued

Atrios has it here, Sid has it here, and for what they term shits and grins I present it here. I just wonder how much trouble O'Reilly is gonna get into for one, threatening the plaitiff, and even more scary, his claim that Al Frankin won't know when it's coming, or in what way his life is gonna change. I Really Really Really hope she has this stuff on tape.

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click on image for link to original

There is appasrently alot of sleezy telephone sex involved and other nasty bits I'd rather not get into, but for those of you who were previously unaware of this tale feel free to dig as deep as you wish.

"I can't believe you pulled my finger"

Thanks to Hesiod, this appeared on my desktop just a minute ago and I would like to pass it along. How many idiotic expressions does the dimwit have in his bag of tricks? More than the average person, that's for sure.

Just a quick hack, just not a
lot of good baboon images available

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Not only Naked, but the Chimperor has very thin skin.

I'm sure everyone remembers the money shot of George during the last debate, when so riled up about something Kerry had just said, proceeds to interrupt the moderator, to make a very important point. I would also suggest the possibility that he was also interested in avoiding the real question. Thanks to Digby for the reminder and inspriration.
KERRY: Now, I'm going to add 40,000 active-duty forces to the military, and I'm going to make people feel good about being safe in our military, and not overextended, because I'm going to run a foreign policy that actually does what President Reagan did, President Eisenhower did, and others. We're going to build alliances. We're not going to go unilaterally. We're not going to go alone like this president did.

GIBSON: Mr. President, let's extend for a minute --

BUSH: Let me just -- I've got to answer this.

GIBSON: Exactly. And with reservists being held on duty --


BUSH: Let me answer what he just said, about around the world.

GIBSON: Well, I want to get into the issue of the back-door draft --

BUSH: You tell Tony Blair we're going alone. Tell Tony Blair we're going alone. Tell Silvio Berlusconi we're going alone. Tell Aleksander Kwasniewski of Poland we're going alone. There are 30 countries there. It denigrates an alliance to say we're going alone, to discount their sacrifices. You cannot lead an alliance if you say, you know, you're going alone. And people listen. They're sacrificing with us.
He pretty much flew off the handle there for a moment and scared the crap out of a lot of people watching the debate. No matter how the spinbots try to cover for this Babboon, this moment may have sealed his fate. I can guarentee that Dubby had no interest in taking any questions about the reality of the back door draft, and he pretty much scared Gibson out of following up on this issue. I do presume that we will hear about it tonight. I know that tonight is supposed to be aboput domestic issues, but with such large numbers of reservists and Guardsmen and women in Iraq, this subject will rear it's ugly (for Bush) head. The Rude one nails it:
What we saw on Friday night was how much George Bush hates us, all of us, how we are simply impediments to his will to power, his a priori rightness. Goddamn, how Bush seethed. If he thought the idea of being called to account for his actions by a journalist in the first debate was odious, Bush could barely contain his deep contempt for the American public, treating the questions derisively, answering them like the debate was a particularly bad Cape Cod Thanksgiving and he was the meth'd-out uncle being accused of fondling his nephews, screeching,

Look at his answer to Rob Fowler, one of the many shitting-themselves timid middle Americans forced to be seen by millions of people while questioning the President, who dared to believe that the Patriot Act might infringe on his civil liberties: "I really don't think your rights are being watered down. As a matter of fact, I wouldn't support it if I thought that" and then he said, most strangely, considering the fucking question had just been asked, "I hope you don't think that." Look at that non-answer: in essence, Bush said, "You are wrong. Shut the fuck up and trust me."
Folks, make sure you have popcorn for tonights theatre of the absurd presentation of "I'm the president dammit, I don't have to talk to you!"

Democratic Headquarters Burgled in Toledo

What can you do when faced with the uneasy feeling that the leader of your cult is about to be shown the curb. I gues you could vandalize of break into the opposition headquarters and steal things.
The Lucas County Democratic Headquarters was burglarized overnight, and three computers, including the party’s main system, were stolen.

The computers contained highly sensitive information, including the party’s financial information, names and personal phone numbers of hundreds of party members, candidates, and volunteers.

The computers also stored e-mails from candidates that included discussion about campaign strategy.
A second computer, belonging to an attorney-volunteer working to ensure voters’ rights, also was taken, officials said. The headquarters on 1817 Madison Avenue does have an alarm system that volunteers believed they set late Monday when they left.

However, it apparently wasn’t tripped during the night. Workers arriving about 7:30 a.m. yesterday noticed the back window had been shattered and called police.
If I remember correctly no republican has been elected to the presidency without a victory in the state of Ohio. The desparation is palpable, they are terrified of losing Ohio. They know that they are close to setting up their dream of a United States of Fascishtan and know if they lose, then all that hard work will slip down the drain. Too many people are awake to Rove's game and so it will be president one and done just like the father.

More signs stealing fun

First we will take a look at A story from town hall titled Democrats gone wild or somesuch (It showed up in the google search, and I haven't read it yet) because there are sure to be some good lib-bashing outrage in the piece to balance out the truth. And wouldn't you know it, I check out the page and find that it's my favorite pony™ Michelle Malkin. This should be good.

October 13, 2004

How many hate crime anecdotes does it take before the mainstream media spot a trend? If the victims are politically correct, all it takes is one or two.

One alleged name-calling. A few alleged acts of vandalism. A suspicious arson here or there. In an instant, an unsubstantiated attack against the right kind of ethnic, racial, religious or sexual minority becomes undisputed evidence of an epidemic of violence. A symbol of rising hate. A national crisis.

Oh my god, what horrors are going unreported in the Mainstream Media? If I were a betting man, I would guess a republican must be on the wrong end of the stick, but that would like shooting fish in a barrel, hell I don't mind.
Hello, reporters? Is anybody home? Is it my imagination, or do I hear pins dropping in the grievance corners of America's otherwise victim-friendly newsrooms?

This is like paragraph four and all you're doing is teasing me. Michelle, I think I'll try to answer your questions. 1. Yes? 2. Yes. 3. Yes. 4. I have no Idea what you are talking about, but I think we may finally be getting somewhere.

For the past several weeks, the Internet has been buzzing with story after story of election-related mayhem aimed at Bush/Cheney supporters. Some have downplayed the incidents as run-of-the-mill pranks. Others claim that "both sides are doing it" equally.

One of those pesky, rumor-filled, Internets is abuzz with stories documenting untold atrocities against faithful supporters of dear leader. What follows are a boatload of unlinked (and therefore unverifiable, as I have no intention of doing the heavy lifting) anecdotes about a litany of horrors visited upon poor republicans. She finishes with this subtle dig:
A single act of hate is a danger to the Republic, except when it's fomented by bug-eyed, rock-throwing, lighter-wielding Kerry/Edwards supporters just exercising their "free speech."

Wow, I'll have to take a look in the mirror one of these days, I've allways wondered what bug-eyed looks like.

Anyway back to the real world. In Iowa:
"There are a lot of Kerry/Edwards signs missing; even out in the country," McMahon said. "And the way those signs are disappearing seems to me to be more organized than haphazard.

"I don't think it's the average high school vandal doing that."
In Utah:

"If this were a predominately Democrat county then I would think the opposite," he said. "A lot of people take politics the wrong way, where they feel a moral obligation to protect the world from people they don't agree with."

And there isn't much that people can do about stolen or defaced signs. When Keri Jensen, north Utah County regional supervisor for the Utah County Democratic Party, reported that seven John Kerry signs had been stolen in Pleasant Grove, the police told her there was nothing they could do unless the individual was caught in the act.

And to be perfectly fair, someone who may or may not have bug-eyes vandalized a bush pig in Florida:
One political veteran even suggested the GOP might be vandalizing its own signs to gain media exposure.

"That is a total crock," Brower said. "Absurd."

But the vandals who defaced the Bush pig at the corner of U.S. 41 and Indian Avenue win the award for Dumbest Vandals.

In defacing the pig, they crossed out the word Tomorrow in the Bush slogan "Building a Better Tomorrow" and wrote "holacost." instead of holocaust.

Don't know what a Bush pig is and I dont think I want to either.

GOP Smears Ratfucking and Dirty Tricks

With Odds that resemble slim and none that the preznit will improve upon his dismal performance in the previous two debates, expect and embrace the GOP endgame to come. They will only grow more vicious in attack and slimey in innuendo. They have nothing to sell now that Preznit Prop and Smirkumstance has revealed himself as clearly unfit for the office. They know this and are desparate.

As Krugman noted yesterday, Bush will lie tonight, like he lied in the last couple of debates.
It's not hard to predict what President Bush, who sounds increasingly desperate, will say tonight. Here are eight lies or distortions you'll hear, and the truth about each. JOBS - Bush will talk about the 1.7 million jobs created since the summer of 2003, and will say that the economy is ''strong and getting stronger.'' That's like boasting about getting a D on your final exam, when you flunked the midterm and needed at least a C to pass the course.
Bush's statements, on the other hand, are fundamentally dishonest. He is insisting that black is white, and that failure is success. Journalists who play it safe by spending equal time exposing his lies and parsing Kerry's choice of words are betraying their readers.
This is nothing new, they hit the ground lying and haven't stopped, big lies, small lies, white lies, it doesn't matter. Next (via Atrios) we have former congressman Jankow (R-SD) complaining about GOP methods used to disenfranchise voters
The former governor and congressman says the national GOP is encouraging campaign workers to cheat. He says his ire is directed at the Republican Party's Victory operation, which helps register people and get them to the polls.
Oky Doky Meanwhile in the too angry to think straight while desparately clinging to the falsehood that is my leader, department, the theft of Kerry signs is rampant, in Texas, Iowa, North Carolina, and Michigan for example.

It wasn’t the first Kerry sign to be stolen from their yard in this well-to-do neighborhood in south Arlington, and so the couple wasn’t surprised.

Surprise came when they checked their mailbox and found a mean-spirited, vaguely threatening letter from an anonymous sender. The letter accused Kerry of lacking leadership, standing against God and the military, and favoring abortion, homosexuality, big government, welfare fraud, and high taxes. “Seven out of 10 people in Texas will vote for George Bush,” the typewritten letter said. “Remember that as you advertise your support for John Kerry and all the issues above. People see your sign or bumper sticker and think, What an IDIOT!!!”

Gotta love the Brownshirts and the stink of desparation left on anything they touch.
Gird up thine loins, kids it's gonna get ugly. Just remember that we are in the majority and this time wil prevail.

Just caught this one over at Kos. Just a reminder of what projection looks like the next time you hear of a nefarious Democratic plot to steal the election.
Two former workers say they personally witnessed company supervisors rip up and trash registration forms signed by Democrats.

"We caught her taking Democrats out of my pile, handed them to her assistant and he ripped them up right in front of us. I grabbed some of them out of the garbage and she tells her assisatnt to get those from me," said Eric Russell, former Voters Outreach employee.

Eric Russell managed to retrieve a pile of shredded paperwork including signed voter registration forms, all from Democrats. We took them to the Clark County Election Department and confirmed that they had not, in fact, been filed with the county as required by law.
Personally I'd be happy if everyone voted, and would accept a bush presidency on that basis, but I suspect (as the republicans must) that a dufus like the dimwit Dauphin would never see the light of political day. The stink of fear is strong, as Clinton said "they need a divided America, we don't".

Cal Thomas has Debate Advice for the Faithful

I made a visit to Town hall today prompted by a post at 100 MonkeysTyping, where I discover that a certain Town Hall Columnist suggests the best way to take in the debate--the way he did the last time, and guess what Dear Leader just comes of better this way. Take it away Cal.

What you don't see, you get
Cal Thomas (archive)

October 11, 2004 | printer friendly version Print | email to a friend Send

Try listening on the radio to the final presidential debate for a different perspective. Then read the transcript. Only after that, watch a rerun on television. That's what I did for the second debate between Sen. John Kerry and President George W. Bush. My impression was starkly different from what it would have been had I only watched TV.

Listening and reading summon different senses. These focus more on the content of the answers than on appearance and debating styles, neither of which has anything to do with policy.

My impression from radio and the transcript was that President Bush was much more credible and substantive than Sen. Kerry.

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha
Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha
Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

OK, now that I have that out of my system, lets get this straight. The Cal thomas debate watching guide hopes to shield you from the shame of seeing the President Prop and Smirkumstance, scaring the shit out of people live and in real time. First he wants you to listen, then read, (and when I informed my girl of this strategy at this point she asked "and then what, you're supposed to listen to Rush Limbaugh?") and finally, when you have all your ducks in a row, you invited to project your reality on a replay of the video. And if you follow these steps you will be able to conclude that Furious George doesn't exist, and that he "won the debate"
The president made a substantial comeback in the St. Louis debate from the first one a week earlier. The last debate will give him a final chance to persuade the dwindling number of undecided voters and motivate his base to turn out on Election Day. Maybe they should listen on the radio or read a transcript and stay away from TV for a better and more accurate perspective.
To sum up, take this advice, because it is important for you not to have your faith rattled by whichever version of bush is on display tonight. Will it be Petulant and Incurious George, or will it be HighSchool Bully, Furious George on display tonight, or will we be shown a new and improved (god forbid) George of some kind, a Serious George if you will, now that they have had a chance to tweek the meds.

I've got some better advice for the faithful, skip the debate entirely, act really busy at work tomorrow (to avoid any of those water cooler discussions) and wait for the sweet voice of Rush to tell you everything is all right, otherwise you just might decide that you have been a fool all this time.

Monday, October 11

I'm Sorry ma'am but we have to Fondle your Breasts.

Thanks to a theory that females smuggled explosives under their shirts in the recent Russian airplane bombings, If you are female you may have the pleasure of being felt up by a stranger. Will the insanity end, the tired hacks to create the illusion of security. Caught wind of this in the comments of eschaton via bkny. Why am I not suprised.
By Jeff Ristine

October 10, 2004

A new layer of security at the nation's airports last month caught a Mira Mesa woman by surprise. Now Ava Kingsford wants other women to know just how uncomfortable the "secondary screening" process can become.

Kingsford, 36, was traveling back to San Diego from Denver International Airport with her 3-month-old son when she was flagged for a pat-down search, possibly because of an expired driver's license.

She took the procedure in stride until the female Transportation Security Administration screener announced, "I'm going to feel your breasts now."

Kingsford, wearing a snug-fitting tank top, objected to what she considered an unduly invasive search. More security agents arrived, warned her that she couldn't board her flight without submitting to the final step of the search, and the situation escalated.

"I was crying; I was shaking," she said. And just after she tugged down the top of her shirt just a bit to show that she wasn't hiding anything, the agents told her she wasn't going anywhere. She ended up renting a car for a two-day drive home.
Feeling safer anyone? Hello.......
The agency announced the extra security measures Sept. 16, just a few weeks after two Russian jetliners exploded in midair, killing all aboard. Authorities believe two women smuggled explosives onto the aircraft, possibly in "torso packs" underneath their clothing.

Bob Kapp, customer service manager for the TSA in Denver, said that to conduct a thorough pat-down search of women, "it does require going beneath, between and above the breasts."

In these first few weeks of the procedure, Kapp said, "a few people have been a little bit alarmed" by the touching. But he called it "a sign of the times" that is probably here to stay. Screeners are coached to try to minimize the discomfort by explaining each step as they go along.

Kingsford, however, thinks there ought to be some common sense to the approach and that the TSA is going to get a lot more complaints.

"There is nothing that I could possibly have been hiding there," she said.
This is ridiculous on so many levels the mind reels. Maybe later a proper takedown will ensue, but lord have mercy.

Iraqi Nuke stuff Gone Missin' ---- Natch

I remember reading something about this last summer or in the early fall. Essentially that while we were guarding the ministry of oil (and not much else) and allowing unchecked looting take place all over Iraq, some intrepid folks made off with Saddam's Stash of Yellow Cake. Other folks used the empty drums to collect rain water. This is all from memory, and of course was buried by the sheer volume of administrative incopetance during the occupation.
UN: Iraqi Nuclear-Related Materials Have Vanished
By Irwin Arieff

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Equipment and materials that could be used to make nuclear weapons are disappearing from Iraq (news - web sites) but neither Baghdad nor Washington appears to have noticed, the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency reported on Monday.

Satellite imagery shows that entire buildings in Iraq have been dismantled. They once housed high-precision equipment that could help a government or terror group make nuclear bombs, the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a report to the U.N. Security Council.

Equipment and materials helpful in making bombs also have been removed from open storage areas in Iraq and disappeared without a trace, according to the satellite pictures, IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei said.

While some military goods that disappeared from Iraq after the March 2003 U.S.-led invasion, including missile engines, later turned up in scrap yards in the Middle East and Europe, none of the equipment or material known to the IAEA as potentially useful in making nuclear bombs has turned up yet, ElBaradei said.

The equipment -- including high-precision milling and turning machines and electron-beam welders -- and materials -- such as high-strength aluminum -- were tagged by the IAEA years ago, as part of the watchdog agency's shutdown of Iraq's nuclear program. U.N. inspectors then monitored the sites until their evacuation from Iraq just before the war.

The United States barred the inspectors' return after the war, preventing the IAEA from keeping tabs on the equipment and materials up to the present day.
I also remember the decision to keep the inspectors out post war. In my mind it would be what you would do if you were planning on planting WMD's. At this time I have to admit that I lost any remaining respect (Yeah I know) for the administration, when it became obvious that they had not planted WMD's. That was proof of incopetance on a scale I did not think that these guys could reach. So Preznit DimWit, we are safer you say? Simply Amazing.

Compassion in action at Republiqué Libéré

Digby wandered into the sewers at Republiqué Libéré and found some compassion on display for the recently departed Christopher Reeves. It must be horrible to live in fear of the allmighty Clenis™, and embrace a veneer of victimization at the hands of a Democratic cabal hellbent on their destruction. In this case, the death of Christopher Reeves, is yet another shameless attack on their belief system. I am not sure these guys could store enough ammo to vanquish all of their imagined foes. Digby says in part:
It seems almost inhuman that some people can't feel any empathy for someone who had been a celebrated movie superhero one moment and in the next became a fragile corporeal being facing the most fundamental and difficult challenges a person can face --- and who then became an inspiration and spokeman for others with the catastrophic disability he lived with from that moment on. But there are such people.
He has a large number of comments quoted, and apparently, some of the stuff was soo bad that it was deleted (no doubt democrats trying to make 'em look bad). Here is but a small sample of the goodness and light:
Wouldn't rule out that Kerry might have spoke with Reeve before the last debate. Reeve might have had an idea the end was near for him and told Kerry to play up the emotional angle with stem cell research and Reeve's own paralyzed circumstance.
Wonder if Hell is handicapped accessible
I'm sorry, but I have no compassion for this man. He suffered a terrible injury through his own fault and, instead of accepting it, he lashes out in anger against Bush.
Oh, this is going to be disgusting. Bitter twst of fate that Reeve is mentioned by Kerry and then he dies. Or perhaps did Kerry know in advance Reeve was ill/on his deathbed?
The main gist of the dem line is: we need to keep legal the ability to take growing humans and detroy them through abortion so we can use their body parts to help other people like Chris Reeve (potentially) live better. The bloodlust is positively demonic.
I am just not happy hearing about this this AM.
You think you're cynical? I am wondering if Clark Kent would possibly pull the plug on himself in a desperate attempt to "matyrize" the stem-cell issue and help Kerry?
The fact is, Mr. Reeve spent his last days using his fame and access to champion the murder of unborn children.
Sure hope he was a saved man. Otherwise right now he is roasting in hell.

Wow, Sweet, huh. By the way, this was only a taste of what Digby coughed up which is probably just a taste of what remains on that thread. Digby finishes his post appropriately.
Reeve was a better man on his worst day in Hollywood than these solipsistic little morons could ever hope to be.

Furious George

Thanks to particle man for extending the Furious George meme. Feel free to add to the list.

Worry-us George
Hurry-us George
Bury-us George
Marry-us George
Scarry-ass George
Delerious George
Nefarious George
Chimperious George.

After the election
Spurious George

Thanks to Vicki Stein and Dawna and FeralLiberal for playing.
Particleman is back with a couple more.

Slurriest George
Perjerous George

and more

Surliest George

Smirkious George
Smirkiest George

Dionne gets it.

E.J. discusses Bush's non answer to a question we would all like answered. Name 3, just 3 mistakes that you have made over the course of your administration. What we got was a re-framing of the question, followed by a non answer smothered in Snootitude.
Noting that the president had made "thousands of decisions that have affected millions of lives," Grabel sensibly wanted this piece of information: "Please give three instances in which you came to realize you had made a wrong decision, and what you did to correct it."

The president's answer was notable in two ways. First, he spent many words not answering at all. He spoke vaguely about how historians might second-guess some of his decisions and that he'd take responsibility for them. He also asserted: "I'm human."

Second, when Bush finally did admit something, he said this: "I made some mistakes in appointing people, but I'm not going to name them. I don't want to hurt their feelings on national TV."

There, in brief, are the core reasons why polls suggest that undecided and independent voters are having a problem with this president. His tactic of never admitting mistakes is backfiring in light of events. And when asked to take responsibility, his first instinct was to direct attention to others by speaking of his supposedly mistaken appointments.
When you are born with a silver platter in your mouth, never worked an honest day in your life, made it through life soley on the powerful connections of your father, and never have taken responsibility for anything, are a congenital idiot and liar, well, can you really expect anything else.
But a president who pushed the country so hard to go to war on the basis of supposedly imminent threats owes his fellow citizens more than a desultory "oops." That's why Bush's refusal to admit mistakes matters. It suggests his belief that voters, even at election time, have no right to a clear and candid explanation of what went wrong, and why.

And when in doubt, the president blames somebody else. Almost all of the war's supporters believe that the United States put too few troops on the ground to keep order after Hussein's fall. What did Bush say about this in the debate? He recalled "sitting in the White House looking at those generals, saying, 'Do you have what you need in this war?' " and going to the White House basement and "asking them, 'Do we have the right plan with the right troop level?' And they looked me in the eye and said, 'Yes, sir, Mr. President.' "
Ahh yes, insulation from contrary opinion. Sure the Generals told you what you wanted to hear, I mean the ones that wanted to keep their jobs anyway. They saw what happened when one of them crossed you Mr. President, he got his ass canned. A manager who surrounds himself with yes men is always going to lead to disaster. Dubbya, is your head so far up your ass that we need to install a window in your abdominal cavity so you can see where you are going?

Bin Laden Alive, maybe, somewhat to the East, North.....

According to Pakhistan president Mussharraf Osama may or may not be alive, and might be hiding in an area to the north east, south and west, but not in an area near Tikrit.
Bin Laden alive, says Musharraf
From correspondents in Islamabad, Pakistan

PAKISTAN President Pervez Musharraf said today he believed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was alive, but he was unsure where he was hiding.

"I do believe that he is hiding somewhere and I think he is alive," Mr Musharraf told reporters at a joint news conference after talks with visiting German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

Asked if he believed bin Laden was in the area along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, he said: "I can't be one hundred per cent sure if he is in the border region. He can be there or he cannot be there."

Mr Musharraf said bin Laden, considered the mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, "is an enemy who is hiding".

"We are not sure when we can track him down."

Pakistani security forces have been conducting search operations in the rugged tribal terrain near the Afghan border against al-Qaeda fugitives since last year.

Pakistan, a key ally in the US-led war against terrorism, has arrested 600 al-Qaeda-linked militants, with the majority of them handed over to US custody.

Mr Schroeder welcomed the "courageous role Pakistan played in the fight against terrorism, despite the considerable risks".
So there you go. He might be alive and if he is, he is hiding, and if he's dead, well, he's dead. That certainly clears things right up.

Haloscan html sandbox

After many queries from a variety of folks about how to imbed links, make bold and italicized text in Haloscan comment boxes, this post will hopefully serve a couple of purposes, to educate those who wish to communicate more effectively, and help those that wish to avoid "breaking" Haloscan. Lets start with italic text.


<i>italicized text goes here</i>

Bold text

<b>bold text goes in here</b>

Linky Dinks

<a href=" "> </a>

<a href=""> link to!</a>

Copy the HTML above the examples and paste them into your haloscan box and you should be able to make links and add emphasis to your posts, while avoiding the haloscan blowout.

Feel free to practice in the comments below.

Sunday, October 10

The 7 percent Security Solution

From and open thread over at The Daily Kos, I'd like to thank dweb8231 for posting it.
American Shipper/Internet - 2/13/04
Senator Murray Decries Bush Administration Port Security Funding:
Sen. Patty Murray, D.-Wash said the Bush administration is failing to provide sufficient funding for U.S. port security. Speaking at a press conference on homeland security Wednesday, Murray said Bush's budget for fiscal year 2005 calls for spending only $100 million on port security to comply with the requirements of the Maritime Transportation Security Act, whereas the U.S. Coast Guard said estimated costs are $1.5 billion for the fiscal year and $7.3 billion over 10 years. "That's just 7 percent of what Admiral Collins says we need," Murray said, referring to the commandant of the Coast Guard. "A 7 percent security system is just not good enough." "The truth about the president's homeland security budget is that the rhetoric doesn't match the reality," she said. "This administration is flirting with disaster with its lack of sustained and serious attention to port security."
Sing it Patty. Like everything else he touches President "Stingy Mcspendalot" underfunds port security, and Halliburton and the Carlyle group put the rest in their pockets.
On Feb. 2, the American Association of Port Authorities expressed "great concern" that Bush's fiscal year 2005 budget lacks funds for port security. AAPA said that protecting America's ports is "critical to the nation's homeland security and economic vitality." The association said that despite the Coast Guard's cost estimates, Congress has appropriated only $493.2 million in port security grants since Sept. 11, 2001. AAPA cited comments made by a U.S. Coast Guard official that a major port closure for one month due to a maritime terrorist act could cost up to $60 billion in economic loss to the United States. Murray also warned of dire consequences for the United States' security and economy if ports have to be shut down. "If the federal government walks away and sticks our local ports and businesses with a billion-dollar bill this year, we won't get the security we need," Murray told the press conference. "We know how our economy was affected when aviation was grounded after the attacks on Sept. 11," Murray said. "If our nation's ports were locked down after a terrorist attack, the economic impact would be astounding." "Stores in every state wouldn't be able to stock their shelves. Businesses wouldn't have the supplies they need. Everyone who works at or relies on our ports would be threatened. And our exports could be stuck on the docks -- instead of being sold overseas," she said. Murray said Bush's budget "abandons the progress that our government, ports and shippers have worked together to achieve." She also criticized the elimination in the Bush administration budget of Operation Safe Commerce, a pilot program to track maritime containers.
With the government being run by Mr."I had other priorities"Cheney, talk is an inexpensive way to divert money into an offshore bank account. Just keep saying that we are safer until the cows come home and maybe it will come true, but in the meantime silkworms are working overtime making the silk for that impressive golden parachute to provide the gentle landing that Cheney and his nest egg will need when the time comes. May you land softly in a courtyard in Holland.

More Truth from Iraq.

The rest of the WaPo article posted below contains a boatload of sensible analysis from our young men on the ground. The parallels to Vietnam continue to mount. From Officers toeing the administration line:
Bell said Marines offering dire predictions for Iraq were not taking into account the training of the new Iraqi security forces. He said the installation of the new Iraqi army, Iraqi National Guard and police across the country would lay the foundation for the withdrawal of U.S. troops.

"That's how we're going to get out of Iraq," Bell said. "That's how America is going to get out of Iraq."
To troops that see a different situation.
The Marines acknowledged that the elusiveness of the insurgents was frustrating. "You don't really know who you're fighting. You're more or less fighting objects," said Elston, the lance corporal from New Jersey. "You see something on the side of the road. It blows up."

But the Marines said their frustrations run deeper. Several said the Iraqi security forces who are supposed to ultimately replace them were nowhere near ready and may never be.

"They can't take care of themselves," said Lance Cpl. Matthew Combs, 19, of Cincinnati, who added that he didn't think the National Guardsmen "can do anything. They just do what we tell them to do."

Why are some of these kids here?
Perez said the frustrations inherent in the war became apparent almost immediately after he arrived in Iraq in late July. A Colombian immigrant, he said he decided to join the Marine Corps after attending the funeral of a friend who had died in the Sept. 11 attacks. The friend, Thomas Hetzel, was a volunteer firefighter at the Franklin Square & Munson Fire Department on Long Island, where Perez also volunteered.

At the time, Perez was studying criminal justice at Nassau Community College. "While I was at the funeral I was looking at his little daughter cry," he said. "He had a pregnant wife and two kids. I just said, 'All right, this is what I want to do.' "

But Perez said he came to think that war in Iraq was unrelated to his anger. "How do I put this?" he said. "First of all, this is a whole different thing. We're supposed to be looking for al Qaeda. They're the ones who are supposedly responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks. This has no connection at all to Sept. 11 because this war started just by telling us about all the nuclear warheads over here."

Snyder, who was listening, added: "Pretty much I think they just diverted the war on terrorism. I agree with the Afghanistan war and all the Sept. 11 stuff, but it feels like they left the bigger war over there to come here. And now, while we're on the ground over here, it seems like we're not even close to catching frigging bin Laden."
Dog and pony show characterises the next part nicely. Thank you Mr. Kelly for your candor.
The frustration of the Marines was evident one afternoon last week as members of the platoon traveled from Forward Operating Base Kalsu back to Camp Iskandariyah. An attack had reportedly taken place in the area, and members of the platoon were asked to leave their Humvees and walk up a road to look for suspicious activity.

Traffic quickly began to pile up: cars packed with families, trucks loaded with animals and vegetables. The line of vehicles would have taken hours to search. An order was suddenly passed for the Marines to search all buses for insurgents or weapons.

"This is what we call a dog-and-pony show," said Kelly, the heavyset, sharp-tongued lance corporal from Fairbanks. He said the operation was essentially a performance for American reporters who were traveling with the Marines. "This is so you can write in your paper how great our response is," he said. Combs and another Marine boarded a small bus packed mostly with women and children. He walked up the center aisle carrying his M-16 assault rifle, then got off, disgusted.

"We just scared the living [expletive] out of a bunch of people," he said. "That's all we did."

Pfc. Kyle Maio, 19, spots Lance Cpl. Carlos Perez, 20. Maio said he thinks U.S. officials are not being candid about Iraq because of upcoming U.S. elections.
Kyle, I pray that your vote gets counted, because sir, you are absolutely correct. BushCo can't be honest about Iraq, or they and there supporters will be run out of washington on a rail, with clothing composed of tar and feathers, and that if they are lucky. No, this genie has to be kept in the bottle. George W Bush is gaming the war for political purposes, I imagine that he now wishes that Osama had waited a year to lauch his attack, because then Georgie would be coasting to victory about now, but like his daddy, his timing and aim is off, and he is running a campaign of desparation.
Asked if he was concerned that the Marines would be punished for speaking out, Autin responded: "We don't give a crap. What are they going to do, send us to Iraq?"

The WaPo let's the Truth out of the Bag

You may have already seen this on the front page of The Daily Kos, but it is unusual so I am compelled to spread it along. For once a less than varnished truth gets out. in an article titled "For Marines, a Frustrating Fight" Soldiers speak the truth the post outs them. Speaking truth to power can have a negative impact on ones future as long as the goonsquad in charge, so lets do these brave men a favor, and put some adults in charge. It's a long article, and as it exposes the truth on the ground, it is a must read.
Now, two months into a seven-month combat tour in Iraq, Perez said he sees little connection between the events of Sept. 11 and the war he is fighting. Instead, he said, he is increasingly disillusioned by a conflict whose origins remain unclear and frustrated by the timidity of U.S. forces against a mostly faceless enemy.

"Sometimes I see no reason why we're here," Perez said. "First of all, you cannot engage as many times as we want to. Second of all, we're looking for an enemy that's not there. The only way to do it is go house to house until we get out of here."
The Marines' opinions have been shaped by their participation in hundreds of hours of operations over the past two months. Their assessments differ sharply from those of the interim Iraqi government and the Bush administration, which have said that Iraq is on a certain -- if bumpy -- course toward peaceful democracy.

"I feel we're going to be here for years and years and years," said Lance Cpl. Edward Elston, 22, of Hackettstown, N.J. "I don't think anything is going to get better; I think it's going to get a lot worse. It's going to be like a Palestinian-type deal. We're going to stop being a policing presence and then start being an occupying presence. . . . We're always going to be here. We're never going to leave."
And if this is true, I feel a chill draft in the air, regardless of what presnit blinky "the lying sack of shit" bush tells us. Mr. Elston is peaking the truth, and we continue building bases (14 at last count) planned for a permanent occupation, an occupation on the one hand to mirror the one in germany which for the patently stupid sounds like a fine plan, but the Germans never viewed us as the infidel, and our actions have done little to suggest that our intentions are pure. While bush might think he can blame Kerry for a loss of troop morale, it would seem that the ministry of information is doing a fantastic job already
"Every day you read the articles in the States where it's like, 'Oh, it's getting better and better,' " said Lance Cpl. Jonathan Snyder, 22, of Gettysburg, Pa. "But when you're here, you know it's worse every day."

Pfc. Kyle Maio, 19, of Bucks County, Pa., said he thought government officials were reticent to speak candidly because of the upcoming U.S. elections. "Stuff's going on here but they won't flat-out say it," he said. "They can't get into it."
Maio said that when he arrived in Iraq, "I didn't think I was going to live this long, in all honesty." He added, "it ain't that bad. It's just part of the job, I guess."
Mighty fatalistic for such a young man, but then some come to terms with reality sooner than others, but when you have to deal with the following, I guess you learn quick.
As a reporter began to ask Maio another question, the interview was interrupted by the scream of an incoming rocket and then a deafening explosion outside the platoon's barracks. Pandemonium ensued.
"Get down! Get down!" yelled the platoon's radio operator, Cpl. Brandon Autin, 21, of New Iberia, La., his orders laced with profanity. "Get in the bunker! Get in the bunker now!"

Members of the platoon raced out of their rooms to a 5-by-15-foot bunker, located outside at the end of the one-story building. The dirt-floor room was protected by a low ceiling and walls built out of four-foot-thick sandbags.
Jesus. Now for some extremely astute commentary, followed of course by the company line.
"The reality right now is that the most dangerous opinion in the world is the opinion of a U.S. serviceman," said Lance Cpl. Devin Kelly, 20, of Fairbanks, Alaska.

Lance Cpl. Alexander Jones, 20, of Ball Ground, Ga., agreed: "We're basically proving out that the government is wrong," he said. "We're catching them in a lie."

Senior officers said they shared many of the platoon's frustrations but added that it was difficult for low-level Marines to see the larger progress being made across Iraq. Maj. Douglas Bell, the battalion's executive officer, said "one of the most difficult things about the insurgency is identifying the enemy."
Devin, Alexander, thanks for your service, your candor and your Bravery, I pray that we can clear the way to see you safely reunited with your friends and families and that the rest of your pals can make it home safely. Douglas, you are an officer, and as an educated man, must know something of history. Was not the inability to identify the enemy one of the reasons we had our asses handed to us in Vietnam?

Read the rest, this summary only covers the first page and a half of four, and so far its a refreashing blast of truth, if not disconcerting. So I suggest you do what I am gonna do and finish the article.