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Friday, July 29, 2005

A Little Journalism Humor

An actual lead sentence in an Associated Press article in today's The Gainesville Sun:

This definitely ain't no refrigerator magnet.

Considering that this story is about a new, 15-ton supermagnet, I think it is safe to say that the writer's use of southern slang is a sign that he or she just couldn't think of a lead. Normally, journalists employ such devices in situations where it is appropriate; in this case, had the story been about a redneck who, while rewiring his kitchen accidentally magnetized his refrigerator and subsequently became stuck to it because he couldn't remove his tool belt, then "This definitely ain't no refrigerator magnet" might have worked.

And, yes, I realize that "journalism humor" isn't that funny.

Someone Wake Up Dick Cheney and Give Him The News

The American-led terror campaign in Iraq is apparently in its last throes.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Mars is After All the God of War

Another great Steve Bell cartoon.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Happy News About Iraq

If you're one of the sick and deranged that support this disaster.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The Dumb Leadership Council Eats its Own

If you wonder why the Democratic Party has been so unsuccessful in politics lately, here is a good example of one major reason. The Democratic Leadership Council, run by Clintonites, including 2008 Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, has obvious disdain for anything liberal, which sounds exactly like the rantings of the Republican Party.

Peter Ross Range, writing for the DLC's Blueprint magazine, basically parrots Dubya's explanation of the US and British terror attacks by calling it "a calculated attack on all that liberals hold dear: tolerance, diversity, women's rights, the fundamental freedoms and protections of democracy, even trade unionism. In short, liberal values. That's why the liberal left makes a profound mistake if it concedes this war to George W. Bush and the right."

Range added that the attacks in New York were because it is "one of the most liberal-minded cities in the world."

Did this guy use Pat Robertson as a ghost writer? From OBL's own words, the attacks against the US have to do with our foreign policies, both political and economic. The World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon and the White House (which was targeted but not hit) were attacked because of their symbolism of those policies.

Yes, the London bombings were aimed at locals and not the seats of power, but I could hazard to guess that mass transit is an easier target, considering the security measures taken to protect government buildings and other major institutions of power.

Range ends his rant by saying that the violence in Iraq is aimed at Iraqis, mostly, and not American soldiers, which is proof that the insurgency is not about Iraqis wanting the US to withdraw. It is because they hate democracy, he says.

In a way, Range is right. But it is not the concept of democracy, but rather the US-imposed version that includes American companies controlling Iraq's economy, stealing the profits from its resources, and planting a dozen military bases throughout the country. And of course every single poll of Iraqis shows a massive opposition to our continued involvement in Iraq post-Saddam, even among Iraqis who want the bombings to stop.

Americans need to understand that the terror attacks against the US were not, in OBL's mind, the first shot in this war. His complaint, from what he has said is against US involvement, overtly and covertly, in the governments of Muslim nations, which he believes should be run by Muslims. OBL opposes our decision to dominate the region because of its oil supply, which is an official part of our national security plan, added by President Carter. OBL opposes authoritarian governments like Saudi Arabia that oppress its people. OBL opposes the way the US backs Israel while it commits vicious acts of terror against Palestinians.

To say that the attacks against the US happened because we have trade unions and women's rights is, at best, a giant load of horseshit.

Worse, to attack the liberal wing of your party so viciously and in error can only serve one purpose – to drive people away from the party.

I do not condone OBL's attacks and have said from day one that if the nations of the world, under the auspices of the UN, should have gone after OBL immediately. He should be tried, convicted and punished.

Instead, Dubya half-heartedly went after OBL, who escaped, and then decided to invade Iraq, which had nothing to do with the terror attacks. The gruesome effects of that war and our inability to provide security, food, medicine, housing, water or electricity turned the liberated Iraqis against us. As they began rebelling, we responded with massive might, destroying towns and killings thousands of civilians, leaving many more homeless and penniless. Now Muslims from across the region are streaming in to Iraq to fight us, to get us out, and two recent studies of such fighters show that they were not anti-US before the war and became radicalized by our actions in Iraq.

In essence, many Muslims feel that the US response to 9-11 proved OBL was right about us.

As I have always said, the easiest way to end terror attacks against our nation is to stop sponsoring or committing acts of terror against other nations, and to use our economic and military might to make the world a better place for the people of the planet and not for the corporate interests that are driving our foreign policies.

It is obvious that the DLC, which does not control the Democratic Party but certainly has a weighty influence, is not interested in changing those policies. If successful in getting Hillary the Democratic presidential nomination, I will not be supporting her.

Monday, July 25, 2005

His Parse is Stuck in His Arse

I can't believe I voted for this guy.

3,814 Miles from Hanoi

The right-wing nutjobs won't notice this.

Thank God the Insurgency is in its Last Throes

"The hatred of the Americans has increased. I myself hate them."

-- Iraqi police Brig. Gen. Majeed Farraji, chief of the major crimes unit, after being shot by US soldiers who mistakenly thought he was carrying out an ambush.

US war planners call this "winning the hearts and minds of Iraqis."

Of course, this problem has nothing to do with the thousands of unregulated private mercenaries the US has hired to help with "security" . . . right?

From the LA Times:

One contractor who works for the U.S. government and saw a colleague killed in a suicide bombing said it was better to shoot an innocent person than to risk being killed.

"I'd rather be tried by 12 than carried by six," said the contractor, who insisted that he not be identified by name because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Now We Go Home

After learning that the "terrorist" they had gunned down was actually an innocent Brazilian man, Scotland Yard announced that such mistakes are justified in the war on terror.

The man was shot five times in the head at close range aboard a tuba train in south London Friday. Police had followed him to the station and tackled him when he boarded the train. Witnesses described the shoot as "execution-style."

Scotland Yard Commissioner Sir Ian Blair said the "shoot to kill" tactic was necessary against suspected suicide bombers and that cops had to "shoot suspects in the head if it was feared they might trigger devices on their body."

"The Metropolitan police accepts full responsibility for this," Blair said. "To the family I can only express my deep regrets. What we have got to recognise is that people are taking incredibly fast-moving decisions in life threatening situations. There is no point in shooting in someone's chest because that is where the bomb is likely to be. There is no point in shooting anywhere else if they fall down and detonate it. The only way to deal with this is to shoot to the head."

The last sentence reminded me of a great line from the movie Miller's Crossing, where one character is being told how to perform an execution. A veteran mobster tells Gabriel Byrne's character: "Your first shot puts him down, then you put one in his brain. Then he's dead, then we go home."

Did I mention that the War on Terror is getting really, really, really fucked up? Now we have to be afraid of both terrorists and the cops mistaking us for terrorists.