Friday, June 30, 2006

A Shuttle Cock Up

posted by The Vidiot @ 8:19 PM Permalink

Space Shuttle 'Discovery' Launch Set for Saturday
Normally this would turn me on like 2 hookers and an 8 ball ... but somehow I have my doubts:
NASA test director Jeff Spaulding said the shuttle has no technical problems that would prevent a launch.
Well Hooray for Captain Spaulding! At least until you read this:
At a meeting two weeks before the expected launch, leaders with NASA's Office of the Chief Engineer and Office of Safety and Mission Assurance recommended that the shuttle not fly until further design changes had been made to the tank. NASA administrator Michael Griffin, however, favored flying without more changes
Now wait just a darn tootin' minute! An administrator overruled engineers!? Isn't this exactly how the Challenger and Columbia accidents happened?

But wait, there's more!
A top NASA engineer says he's been forced from his job.
In an e-mail to co-workers, Charlie Camarda praises colleagues for questioning the wisdom of going ahead with the launch and says he was reassigned.

The former chief of the engineering directorate did not say whether he believes the shuttle is safe to launch Saturday. Earlier this month, two top engineers recommended postponing the mission to do more work to prevent foam from breaking off during launch.

Camarda says he "refused to abandon" his position on the mission management team. His e-mail says he was moved to a different job after he said he'd "have to be fired from" his position if he wasn't allowed to work this mission.
Since there is a public record of Bush appointed administrators silencing scientists, whether it is global warming, 9/11 contamination, public health, reproductive health, AIDS, etc, etc, etc; Bush has always appointed political idealogues to rule over actual science.

God speed the crew of the Discovery, and god protect you ... especially from administrators and politics.

Friday Nano Shuffle

posted by The Vidiot @ 4:39 PM Permalink

Baby Please Don't Go 5:39 Amboy Dukes

Breakdown 2:42 Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Smooth Up In Ya 4:25 Bullet Boys

Fresh Air 5:18 Quicksilver Messenger Service

Come As You Are 3:39 Nirvana

Sailin Shoes 6:21 Little Feet

Prettiest Cop On The Block 3:13 Alice Cooper

What Is Hip 6:35 Tower of Power

The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway 4:46 Genesis

War Pigs 7:56 Black Sabbath

Waiting 4:38 DavidBowie-LouReed

5 O'clock World 2:09 The Vogues

Hear My Train a Comin 3:04 Jimi Hendrix

Can't Find My Way Home 3:16 Steve Winwood

Thursday, June 29, 2006

So how's that whole War On Terror thing going?

posted by The Vidiot @ 5:39 PM Permalink

Ehh, not so well, but don't take my word for it, let's ask the experts.
First up, Iraq:
U.S. isn't winning its war on terror, experts tell poll

More than eight in 10 American terrorism and national security experts don't agree with President Bush's claims that the U.S. is winning the fight against terrorism, and the Iraq war is the biggest reason why, according to a poll released Wednesday.
And now for Afghanistan
Corruption and coalition failures spur Taliban resurgence in Afghanistan

The United States and its allies have been forced to launch their biggest military operation of the war here because in the 55 months since ousting the Taliban movement from power, they neglected to establish minimal security or governance in the country's south, analysts say.
"If we had made efforts on this scale five years ago, we would be in a much stronger position than we are now," said James Dobbins, a former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan
And why didn't we pay more attention?
Nato: Taliban's resurgence due to world focus on Iraq

British General David Richards said he was "optimistic" of defeating the movement, whose recent resurgence has led to the worst violence in Afghanistan since the Taliban were toppled by United States-led forces in late 2001.
"Why? Largely it's because people took their eye off this ball and a vacuum was allowed to develop and that vacuum was filled by the Taliban.

Light Blogging by the Vidiot

posted by The Vidiot @ 10:01 AM Permalink

And I apologize. After brain surgery, I realized I needed a vacation. So, I'm off to Spain in a few days. Well, it's actually, a honeymoon, but whatever. Mr. Vidiot insists on running with the bulls. THAT outta' be interesting. If he gets hurt, I'll kill him.

So, hopefully, I'll return, batteries charged and literal guns loaded.

My biggest concern: Should we purchase Canadian flags to attach to our luggage? I hear the anti-American sentiment is very high.

Who could blame them. Really.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Some Things Are Just Too Dirty and Sticky for Teflon ... or ... The Formica Report

posted by The Vidiot @ 5:51 PM Permalink

Pentagon Resists Ban on "Degrading Treatment"

The Pentagon is pushing to omit from new detainee policies a central principle of the Geneva Conventions that explicitly bans "humiliating and degrading treatment". Critics say such a step that would mark a further shift away from strict adherence to international human rights standards.
The Formica report reviewed only three allegations of abuse by special operations forces, but found that Iraqi detainees were held for up to seven days at a time with their eyes taped shut in tiny box-like cells so small that they had to sit with their knees to their chests while loud music blared, and detainees were fed only bread and water for up to a week.
Formica concluded that overall conditions "did not comport with the spirit of the principles set forth in the Geneva Conventions", but dismissed allegations that prisoners were physically abused or humiliated.
Neither report recommended punishment of any military personnel.
Late last year, the U.S. Congress passed an anti-torture amendment championed by Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican who was held and tortured in a North Vietnamese prison for years. McCain, along South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham -- a former military judge -- pressed Congress to establish the Army Field Manual as the standard for treatment of all detainees.

The Bush administration initially opposed the amendment, but the measure passed and became law. However, in signing the law, Bush appended a statement saying, in effect, that he had the authority to override it under a variety of circumstances involving military necessity and national security.
Where does one start? Well, I'll start with the idealistic:
Why would our government resist a ban on behavior that violates the Constitution, the Geneva Conventions and Universal Declaration of Human Rights?
The pragmatic:
The Formica Report dealt with three cases that proved that we held people in inhumane conditions ... what about the cases they didn't 'deal with'? Which include death, torture and humiliation.
The outrage:
They freakin' found that these abuses occurred and yet they recommended no one be prosecuted!?
The loophole:
Congress passed the McCain's (R- hypocrite) amendment, which according to the article, says the Army Field Manual is the standard for treatment of all detainees. So Bush changes the manual.
The uber loophole:
When Bush signed the law he also signed a statement that he didn't have to abide by it. (more about 'signing statements' later.)
The end zone:
We have a cruel and unusual provision in our Constitution. That means every citizen of this country is bound by that clause. The misAdministration approved practices at Abu Ghraib and Gitmo that violate the US Constitution. And Bush swore to uphold the Constitution.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Who's That Tap, Tap, Tapping on My Phone*

posted by The Vidiot @ 5:30 PM Permalink

Will the Prez ever tell us, our rights he's denied us, our rights he swore to uphold?
Will he come clean, resign while demeaned, render his garments and atone?
I wondered aloud and started to post, lost connection to host, while dialing, dialing my phone.
'Tis just a bad connection, a reflection on my host, I told myself alone- a line must be down, lying prone.
Then a DHS maven, quoting the raven, said you won't be posting, posting while we're in charge of hosting, quoth the maven ... Nevermore!**

US Plays Terror Card in Hearing on AT&T Wiretap Lawsuit

A lawsuit accusing AT&T of illegally collaborating in government electronic surveillance will help terrorists communicate "more securely and more efficiently'' unless it is promptly dismissed, a Bush administration lawyer argued in a packed San Francisco courtroom Friday.
An admission either way by AT&T would betray "a state secret of the highest order,'' he said.
Also, he said, a confirmation of AT&T's role in the program would "immediately heighten the risk that the company and its facilities would be subject to attack.''
President Bush acknowledged in December that the federal agency has eavesdropped on communications between Americans and alleged terrorists abroad without the court warrants required by a 1978 federal law. His claim that he has the constitutional power to authorize the surveillance is being challenged in another lawsuit in Michigan.
AT&T's argument for dismissal was that federal law protects communications companies from being sued for taking part in government intelligence programs.

If the company had a role, which it refuses to confirm or deny, it was merely a "passive instrument of the government,'' said AT&T lawyer Brad Berenson. He also told Walker that the company had no obligation to consider the legality of the program because it was solely the government's concern.
So the government's position is that the 'terrorists' already know about this but if we confirm it they win. Oh, and AT&T will be a target. The first is pure Bushwa, the second ... uhh, if terrerists [sic] wanted to attack the infrastructure wouldn't they target AT&T anyway?

And AT&T claims they were just following orders ... I think we've heard that excuse before, and according to them if the government told them to jump off a bridge they would! Not a bad idea if Bush would go first.

*With sincere apologies to Edgar Allen Poe

** I'm sorry it doesn't scan,
Poe's a genius, not I am,
but it really shouldn't matter,
because if I was smarter I'd write it in iambic pentameter.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Saturday Sailboat Blogging, Deluxe edition!

posted by The Vidiot @ 3:51 PM Permalink

I took this shot off of the back of my boat about 5 minutes ago! In other news, my marina is now a hotspot in every sense of the word!

Saturday Sailboat Blogging

posted by The Vidiot @ 1:01 PM Permalink


posted by The Vidiot @ 8:18 AM Permalink

Ask a criminal "would you mind if occasionally watch what it is you do?" and he'll say "Hell no! Are you high?" In the real world, the person asking would say "Too bad. You need supervision and you're going to have it." In OUR world however, the person asking meekly says "ok."

Excerpt: A US court has thrown out a controversial Securities and Exchange Commission rule that subjected the $1,000bn hedge fund industry to stricter regulation.

Reason #2,356 Why GW Bush is Bad for Everybody

posted by The Vidiot @ 8:12 AM Permalink

Remember his stance on stem cells? And how it made stem cell research here in the US almost impossible? Well, here's what stem cells might be able to do:
Excerpt: Julia suffered blurred vision and a loss of sensation in her limbs as the disease began to take hold of her body and she was forced to use a wheelchair.

In desperation she resorted to having cells from the umbilical cords of new-born babies injected into acupuncture points in her body.

The radical treatment, which took place in February at a Rotterdam clinic, is untried in this country but has seen Julia achieve incredible results.
A possible cure for MS. THAT'S what he's keep from the American people.


Friday, June 23, 2006

Breaking News! WMDs found in Iraq! ... or ... Sanction Santorum*

posted by The Vidiot @ 8:13 PM Permalink

"Congressman Hoekstra and I are here today to say that we have found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, chemical weapons," Santorum said.
Sounds dramatic don't it? But then along came the truth:
Neither the military nor the White House nor the CIA considered the shells to be evidence of what was alleged by the Bush administration to be a current Iraqi program to make chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.

Last night, intelligence officials reaffirmed that the shells were old and were not the suspected weapons of mass destruction sought in Iraq after the 2003 invasion.
Now why would li'l Ricky make such claims? Could it be Satan? Or just another repub down 18 points in the polls? Sources tell me if he hits 20 points down he'll claim to have personally captured Osama Bin Laden ... or maybe it was just Mr Natural.

*Get it? It's a latin, greek, judaism pun ... get it? Yeah, well, I thought it was a stretch too. But not as big a stretch as Santorum made.

From the Department of Redundancy Department

posted by The Vidiot @ 6:47 PM Permalink

The government agency charged with fighting identity theft said Thursday it had lost two government laptops containing sensitive personal data, the latest in a series of breaches encompassing millions of people.
The car theft occurred about 10 days ago and managers were immediately notified.
Winston said, noting that the FTC employees did not violate security procedures by storing the password-protected laptops in their cars.
Let me see if I have this right ... the agency in charge of investigating and preventing identity theft lets our personal records get ripped off because they have a policy of letting their employees take the data home. And they try to justify it by saying the laptops were password protected. Sheesh, I can bypass that in about 30 seconds (15 if it's a Windows laptop), and most 14 year olds can probably do it in half the time.

Full disclosure: I have patient records on my laptop. I bring it home. But I encrypt all the data! Sheesh, my laptop cost $450 refurbished, the encryption program was open source (free). Why can't our government be bothered to take the same care with much more sensitive data!?

And it's not like the first time this has happened. The linked article gives us a bit o' history:
- At the Agriculture Department, a hacker who broke into the computer system, obtaining names, Social Security numbers and photos of 26,000 Washington-area employees and contractors. Victims will be offered free credit monitoring for a year after the break-in in early June.

- At Health and Human Services, personal information for nearly 17,000 Medicare beneficiaries may have been compromised in April when an insurance company employee called up the data through a hotel computer and then failed to delete the file.

- At Energy, Social Security numbers and other data for nearly 1,500 people working for the National Nuclear Security Administration may have been compromised when a hacker gained entry to its computer system last fall. Officials said June 12 they had learned only recently of the breach.
Not to mention the VA theft of 26 million+ records and the fact that Federal Judges have had to shutdown the whole Department of the Interior's access to the internet because of "the potential alteration or destruction of [Indian] trust data by unauthorized access through the Internet"

And on another note, if I was The Vidiot, (thankfully I'm not because, ewwww, she's a girl and she's got cooties), I might wonder why all these 'identity thefts' were occurring at the same time the government is illegally tapping our communication and banking records? Can you say 'plausible deniability' for when our records start turning up in Halliburton et al databases? I thought you could.

General Confusion and the Secretary of Defensiveness

posted by The Vidiot @ 5:46 PM Permalink

U.S. commander predicts new reductions in troop levels in Iraq this year, but no firm timetable

"I'm confident that we'll be able to continue to take reductions over the course of this year," Army Gen. George Casey told a Pentagon news conference with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld at his side.
Rumsfeld reiterates that U.S. plans no troop reductions in Iraq

After three days of congressional debate over possibly withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said Thursday that no reduction is planned and that the military force could even grow.
Yep, in the same news conference they promise to reduce the troop levels and to keep them the same.

I can't be the only person to have noticed this!

I did not know this ...

posted by The Vidiot @ 3:00 PM Permalink

The number of Iraqi civilian deaths at American checkpoints and in encounters with US convoys has fallen sharply, from as many as eight a week a year ago to one a week last month, the US military reported yesterday.
We were killing 8 Iraqi civilians a week!? No wonder they want us out!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Timeline of TimeLying

posted by The Vidiot @ 8:40 PM Permalink

May 29, 2006
White House Promises Full Disclosure Of Alleged Haditha Massacre

The Bush administration has promised full public disclosure of the results of a U.S. military investigation into the alleged killings of Iraqi civilians by U.S. Marines last year.
June 16 2006
Haditha report on Chiarelli's desk

A report into whether Camp Pendleton commanders covered up or failed to report the killing of 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians in the town of Haditha last November is now on the Baghdad desk of Lt. Gen. Peter Chiarelli, second in command of U.S. forces in Iraq.
June 17, 2006
The general charged with investigating whether Marinestried to cover up the killing of 24 civilians in Haditha has completed his report
And then ... and then ... June 22, 2006

The ACLU has to file a lawsuit suit to force the government to release the facts they said they were going to.

We Heart HAVA, but Repubs Don't HAVA Heart*

posted by The Vidiot @ 5:47 PM Permalink

*Yeah, yeah, I know, this post is about the Voting Rights Act, not the Help America Vote Act, but I couldn't resist the headline;-)

The south will be risible again:
House delays renewal of Voting Rights Act
Well, not exactly. The dems in the house didn't delay it, just some repubs. And how did they delay it? I'm glad you asked!

They did it by blocking it from a floor vote. Funny how Rethugs are all about 'up or down' votes until they object to legislation. If the DNC was smart, (stop laughing, I said 'if'), they'd pound this issue in the next election.

Let's continue:
House GOP leaders on Wednesday postponed the renewal of the 1965 Voting Rights Act under objections from Southern Republicans who complained during a private meeting that the legislation unfairly singles out their states for federal oversight, a leadership aide said.
Golly, why would Southern states be singled out? Aside from the 'poll taxes', 'stricken from the rolls', lynchings, rebel flags, KKK candidates, I can't think of a single reason ... well maybe this one:
One such measure, sponsored by Rep. Steve King (R-wackjob), would have stripped a provision that requires ballots to be printed in several languages and interpreters be provided in states and counties where large numbers of citizens speak limited English.
In case anyone besides Rep King hasn't noticed, the most obvious example is Puerto Rico, which is a dominion of the US and English isn't their native language. King also admitted that his district isn't required to use multi-language ballots. so what the hell is his problem ... well aside from the obvious.

And then there are all of the other non-native english speakers who are citizens of the US, who love this country and want to participate in our theocracy democracy.

The new GOP slogan: If we think you won't vote for us, we'll make it harder for you to vote. (see: poor people, Democrat districts, blacks, hispanic Americans, ... ad nauseum.)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


posted by The Vidiot @ 9:20 PM Permalink

If I had a yard, I'd have one of these. (Damn zwerge.)

And if I had money to spend on senseless toys, I'd buy these.

They want me!

posted by The Vidiot @ 9:08 PM Permalink

They really want me!
Excerpt: The Army has again raised its age limit for active-duty and Army Reserve recruits in hopes of expanding its pool of potential soldiers.

The new maximum enlistment age is 42 for both components, Recruiting Command announced Wednesday.
Oh wait. I forgot, I had brain surgery.

Hey, it's a better reason than Rush Limbaugh's butt boil.

Oh, for heaven's sake!

posted by The Vidiot @ 8:50 PM Permalink

This guy really needs... oh, I don't know... SOMEthing. He got all freaked out from some graffiti that said "problem reaction solution... get it yet?" with a little drawing of a continental soldier next to it. Now, that could be just an anarchist saying "Hey! Bozos! Do ya' think it's time for a revolution already?" or, as the janitor thinks, part of some HUGE conspiracy movement.
Excerpt: Roberts didn't know what to think when he first saw the graffiti yesterday. Later, inspired by crime scene investigation TV shows and "The Da Vinci Code," Roberts researched the message using Internet searches and was bowled over by what he found. According to various Web sites, the graffiti traces back to a government conspiracy theory. The idea is that when the government wants to do something, such as start a war or pass a law, officials create a problem that causes the public to demand a war or a law.
Honestly, I don't think it's much of a theory. It's kind of a fact. But that's neither here nor there. I think the janitor was all freaked out at the very THOUGHT that the government could be so conniving. So, to calm the cognitive dissonance, he just couldn't believe that people actually thought that. (e.g. how could they possibly think something so awful about OUR government?) Funny how some people just can't "get" that our government lies to us, steals from us, and generally, couldn't give a rats ass about us.

Yeah. Funny.

They're mad I tell you MAD!

posted by The Vidiot @ 6:02 PM Permalink

From the desk of Col. Jack D. Ripper:
US activates missile defense amid N. Korea concern

The United States has activated its ground-based interceptor missile-defense system amid concerns over an expected North Korean missile launch, a U.S. defense official said on Tuesday.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed a Washington Times report that the Pentagon has switched the multibillion-dollar system from test mode to operational, after being in the developmental stage for years.

"It's good to be ready," the official said.
'Operational!?' 'Ready!?' WTF have they been smoking!? Let's take a brief look at the history of the SDI project, AKA Star Wars, the Debacle:
Jan. 26, 1989
In confirmation hearings, President George H.W. Bush's nominee for secretary of defense, John Tower, says, "I don't believe that we can devise a [ballistic missile defense] umbrella that can protect the entire American population from nuclear incineration. I think that's unrealistic."
Feb. 27, 1998
An independent panel chaired by retired Gen. Larry Welch issues its report on the Pentagon's missile defense testing programs. The panel says that the ambitious programs amount to a "rush to failure." The report's authors, which include several defense experts, urge a longer development period for missile defense weapons.
September 1999
In a rare move, the intelligence community revises its 1995 National Intelligence Estimate and finally gives Congress the worst-case scenario some lawmakers have been seeking. It adopts the Rumsfeld commission's standard for measuring the threat: instead of what was likely to happen, it considered what could happen.
March 7, 2000
The New York Times reports that "a former senior engineer at TRW, a top military contractor, has charged the company with faking tests and evaluations of a key component for the proposed $27 billion anti-missile system."
July 8, 2000
The third intercept test fails when the kill vehicle doesn't separate from its booster.
Aug. 10, 2000
Following the failed July test, Philip Coyle, director of the Pentagon's Office of Test and Evaluation, issues a devastating 67-page critique of the proposed national missile defense system (download in PDF). It details how the tests had been simplified to ensure the perception of success. The report is delivered privately to the president, but the Pentagon refuses for eight months to release Coyle's report to the public.
July 14, 2001
The fourth NMD hit-to-kill test successfully demonstrates the system's interceptor capabilities. But during the final stages of the test, a software problem prevents the ground-based radar system from assessing the kill vehicle and whether or not it had hit the mock warhead.
May 15, 2002
Defense Daily reports that the MDA "has decided to classify details of the targets and countermeasures that will be used in all future [GMD] flight tests." Critics contend that the Pentagon is being unnecessarily secretive: "The devil is in the details," complains one congressman, "and the details are now classified."
June 12, 2002
The Washington Post reports that "in recent months, defense officials have exempted missile defense projects from the planning and reporting requirements normally applied to major acquisition programs. They have stopped providing Congress with detailed cost estimates and timetables for anti-missile systems."
So they don't tell anybody yet somehow the SDI is 'operational'!? Sheesh, we couldn't even hit SCUD missiles with Patriot missiles, and those were slow flying regional missiles that we knew when they were launched.

It's true!

posted by The Vidiot @ 5:16 PM Permalink

Celebrity heads DO get larger as they get more famous!

Austria is freer than we are.

posted by The Vidiot @ 3:48 PM Permalink

The country that gave birth to friggin' Hitler is freer that we are.

Nice. Bush is there and, understandably, there are protests. Note in this video: no barricades, cops aren't wearing riot gear, and protesters are allowed to carry sticks. I hope that dribbling monkey sees it. He's kept so far away from protests here.

Are we to believe

posted by The Vidiot @ 1:03 PM Permalink

that this guy tied himself to an anchor, then shot himself with a shotgun AND THEN threw himself overboard?? I mean, I could maybe understand that he shot himself on the edge of his boat, and his body weight managed to get the anchor to slip overboard, maybe. But shooting yourself with a shotgun? Them is some long arms, no? His family might not be buying it either.
Excerpt: In a statement, Merrill's relatives say they were - quote - "shocked at the news and found it very difficult to accept."
However, Merrill's history is, um, interesting. He was president of the Ex-Im Bank (Cheney swore him in). Said bank has a lot to do with loans to the Coalition Provisional Authority. And the CPA has some 'splaining to do with regads to $21 billion. My guess? Mr. Merrill knew where the money went and was therefore, a liability.

Small planes and boats -- The leading causes of death for those "in the know."

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

If the state government violates the constitution what happens if you want to sue them?

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:26 PM Permalink

UPDATE: A reader who lives in Indiana sent us even more info on this debacle:
Ironically, Indiana Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels, who ran as "My Man Mitch" on a platform of halting the state outsourcing of jobs that could be done by Hoosiers, has done a full 180 by not only giving our Indiana toll road to a Spanish-Australian group for the next 70 years, but by attempting to further privatize other functions that were doing just fine. Case in point - jobs now done by the Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) will be outsourced to one of two private companies. The first, Accenture, got an F for their poor performance in Texas. The second, ACS, formerly employed one Mitch Roob, who is now Daniels' FSSA director. Conflict? What conflict - they're all on the same page.

Lying, cronyism, outsourcing, privatization ... My Man Mitch learned well under Bush's tutelage in Washington.

Original post: In Indiana you'd better be able to pony up 1.9 BILLION dollars!
The high court affirmed a St. Joseph County court ruling in May that labeled the action a public suit and required opponents of the highway plan to post a $1.9 billion bond within 30 days to continue the case -- something organizers said will not be possible.
Unlike the government and the conglomerate from Spain, most citizens can't come up with those kinda bucks.

Here is the latest Republican version of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address: the government of the people (who can afford 2 billion dollars), by the people (who can afford 2 billion dollars), for the people (who can afford 2 billion dollars), shall not perish from the earth (unless you can't afford 2 billion dollars.)

Even Iraq Thinks Bush Should Pull Out ...

posted by The Vidiot @ 12:57 PM Permalink

... like his father should have.

June 15, 2006
Top Sunni asked Bush for pullout timeline
Associated Press
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraq's vice president has asked President Bush for a timeline for the withdrawal of foreign forces from Iraq, the Iraqi president's office said.

Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi, a Sunni, made the request during his meeting with Bush on Tuesday, when the U.S. president made a surprise visit to Iraq.
And what was Bush's response?
June 14, 2006
Bush rejects pullout plans
After surprise visit, president says setting timetable bad policy.'

President Bush, just back from Iraq, dismissed calls for a U.S. withdrawal as election-year politics and refused to give a timetable or benchmark for success that would allow troops to come home.
Not only will he not set a timetable as requested by the Iraqis, he won't even give a metric for success. 'Stay the Course' is a slogan, not a plan.

But wait, there's more!
June 18, 2006
Snow says Iraqis asked U.S. not to leave
WASHINGTON, June 18 (UPI) -- White House Press Secretary Tony Snow said Sunday Iraqi officials have asked the United States not to leave Iraq.

Speaking on CBS' "Face the Nation," Snow said Shiite, Sunni and Kurd leaders all asked for U.S. forces to remain in Iraq to support the newly elected government.
Maybe he didn't technically lie thru his teeth and out of his a$$ ... if the President and Vice President of Iraq don't count as 'leaders' to Tony Snowjob.

And now for a trip down memory lane:
January 28, 2005
President Bush said in an interview on Thursday that he would withdraw American forces from Iraq if the new government that is elected on Sunday asked him to do so
May 15, 2004
Powell Says Troops Would Leave Iraq if New Leaders Asked

Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, joined by the foreign ministers of nations making key contributions of military forces in Iraq, emphatically said yesterday that if the incoming Iraqi interim government ordered the departure of foreign troops after July 1, they would pack up without protest.
I'd like to emphasise that the emphasis on 'emphatically' was emphatically mine!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Now, I know Chavez is not perfect.

posted by The Vidiot @ 5:38 PM Permalink

I know he leans towards the totalitarian. (Though, mostly only the wealthy have access to the media down there and if they're reporting the bad things about him, well, is it them? or is he really bad? I don't know. I don't know anybody who lives there. But I DO know that people with money can't stand him.)

Anyway, I have to say, the man DOES have a clue.
Excerpt: Venezuela has launched a new social mission aiming to reverse deforestation, according to a June 4 Venezuelan Presidential Press Office statement. Mission Tree aims to plant 100 million trees within five years.

Launching the mission, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said that capitalism was responsible for the destruction of many flora and fauna species and that socialism would help to change this trend by making human needs -- rather than private profit -- the priority.

As the article states,

posted by The Vidiot @ 5:30 PM Permalink

this is called "hedging your bets."
Excerpt: Some big companies are boosting their share of campaign contributions to Democrats this year, a sign that executives may be starting to hedge their political bets after a decade of supporting congressional Republicans.
Which goes to show that no matter who's in power, they all get paid.

And additionally, a Biden run for president annoys the hell out of me.
Excerpt: The next Democrat, whether it's me or Sen. Clinton or John Kerry, whomever -- the Democratic nominee -- they'd better be able to ante up right in front of the American people two things: security and faith," he said.
Security ONLY if it means "secure in your homes and privacy" and faith ONLY if it means "faith that the elections honestly reflect the will of the people."

When will we stop talking about security and start talking about why we're so damned insecure to begin with? When will we stop tossing religion in there just to make one tiny but vocal segment of the population happy?

It's all so annoying. Isn't there ANYONE else who gets this?

Best memo ever

posted by The Vidiot @ 5:29 PM Permalink

In case you missed it, here's Matt and Trey's memo to the MPAA regarding their South Park movie.

It's exquisite.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Fathers ... can't live with them and wouldn't be alive without them

posted by The Vidiot @ 4:31 PM Permalink

So when I was about 5 my Dad started taking me to his alma mater's football games. This time with my Dad was special, it was only him and me and none of my sibs were allowed. (It wasn't until I was an adult that I realized that there was no way in hell they wanted to go, but still, it was a big honor and my special time with my Dad.)

And every year at the start of the season he'd say the same thing, "By god Bonson if they go to the Rose Bowl we're going!" And once again I didn't realize till much later that this was a pretty sure bet to tell your 5 year old son since our team had never, ever been to the Rose Bowl!

Heck, our team was so bad we didn't even say 'wait till next year,' we just said 'well, there they go again.'

But when I was ten lightning struck. During the regular season they pulled every game but one out their collective a$$es, usually by some last second bizarro play. Hell, they gained yardage on fumbles! They were nicknamed the 'Cardiac Kids', looking back, I would have called them 'Satan's Spawn'; nobody could have a season like that if they hadn't made a deal with the devil.

That season ended with a 3 way tie for 1st place in our conference. I remember waiting in the car for the announcement of which team was going to the Rose Bowl. Then it came, our team was going to the Rose Bowl ... and my Dad told me we we were going too!

All those years of watching losing teams together, eating frozen malteds in sub-zero weather, (the malteds were my idea, not Dad's), sitting in the snow, the rain, driving hours to away games, watching every last second of turf pounding misery, (did I mention that my Dad thought leaving early, no matter how lopsided the score, was disloyalty?), and finally we were going to a bowl game ... and it was in sunny SoCal!

Just my Dad and me, going to Disneyland, going to the Rose Parade and going to the Rose Bowl!

Ahh, good times, good times.[/wistful]

My Dad passed away some time ago, so if you still have yours give him a hug. And then give him a hug for me.

Happy Father's Day.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Saturday Sailboat Blogging

posted by The Vidiot @ 11:18 AM Permalink

Friday, June 16, 2006

This guy is so going down ...

posted by The Vidiot @ 11:25 PM Permalink

... in every sense of the phrase:
DHS aide bashed Bush online

In Internet and phone chats with someone he thought was a 14-year-old girl, a Department of Homeland Security press aide talked about underage sex, boasted about his job and called President Bush a "liar,"
The transcripts also quote Doyle as saying he met Bush, adding, "nice guy but not a good president ... he is not very bright and it is evident ... bush is a liar ... there were NO weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. total lie to go to war."
Wow, even child molesting members of the Bush regime realize he f@#!ed up.

When Joe Wilson told the truth Bushco put the slime machine into overtime, imagine what they'll do to this guy!

The Postman always rings twice ... or ... Who dat knocking on my door?

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:34 PM Permalink

Well it can't be the police, they knocked:
Police don't have to knock, justices say

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A split Supreme Court ruled Thursday that drug evidence seized in a home search can be used against a suspect even though police failed to knock on the door and wait a "reasonable" amount of time before entering.

The 5-4 decision continues a string of rulings since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks that in general give law enforcement greater discretion to carry out search-and-seizure warrants.

President Bush's nominees to the high court, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, notably sided with the government.
Actually it isn't notable that they would limit our rights, that's why Bush appointed them.

Writing for the majority, Justice Antonin Scalia said disallowing evidence from every "knock-and-announce violation" by officers would lead to the "grave adverse consequence" of a flood of appeals by accused criminals seeking dismissal of their cases.
So scalia's whole point is that that the justice system would actually have to, you know, administer justice. Gee, that would take so much more time and resources than just sending them to Gitmo.

The justices have ruled in the past that police should announce their presence, then normally wait 15 to 20 seconds before bursting into a home.

Justice Stephen Breyer wrote a lengthy dissent, saying, "Our Fourth Amendment traditions place a high value upon protecting privacy in the home." A centerpiece of those protections, he said, includes the "exclusionary rule," under which evidence seized in illegal searches should be suppressed at trial.
So the supremes ruled that cops can violate the constitution and get away with it.

I feel so much safer now.

Nano Technology - retro edition

posted by The Vidiot @ 5:02 PM Permalink

Stand Or Fall 4:00 The Fixx
Suspicious Minds 3:56 Fine Young Cannibals
Suite Judy Blue Eyes 7:24 Crosby Stills Nash & Young
Frankenstein 4:46 Edgar Winter Group
Hold Your Head Up 6:16 Argent
Radar 6:24 Golden Earring
Pleasure and Pain 3:42 Divinyls
Crazy On You 4:51 Heart
All Along the Watchtower 4:00 Jimi Hendrix
Drift Away 3:57 Doobie Brothers
Runaway 2:31 Del Shannon
Baby Please Don't Go 5:39 Amboy Dukes
She Bop 4:17 Cyndy Lauper
Pipeline 2:25 Ventures
what becomes of the broken-hearted 3:00 jimmy ruffin


posted by The Vidiot @ 4:07 PM Permalink

The American Medical Assn. has also stepped into the Guantanamo controversy in an effort to address an ethical dilemma created by new Pentagon rules authorizing military doctors to take part in prisoner interrogations.

At a meeting in Chicago on Monday, the AMA's House of Delegates adopted guidelines that make it unethical for physicians — AMA members or not — to use their medical knowledge to interrogate prisoners, deeming all such operations inherently coercive and adversarial.

The AMA's ruling counters guidance issued last week by the assistant Defense secretary for health affairs, William Winkenwerder, who found no ethical obstacle to military medical personnel questioning prisoners or disclosing confidential medical information to other interrogators.
No ethical obstacle ... except it's a violation of the Geneva Conventions!
The AMA action came after decisions by the American Psychiatric Assn. and the World Medical Assn. explicitly prohibiting physicians from assisting in interrogations.

"The new AMA policy goes a long way toward protecting the ethical commitments and integrity of all military medical personnel," said Leonard Rubenstein, executive director of Physicians for Human Rights.

Also supporting the AMA's position at the Chicago meeting were the surgeons general of the armed forces. Combined with the association's swift rebuke of Winkenwerder's statements, the opposition highlighted an apparent rift between medical professionals and civilian strategists in the war on terrorism at the Defense Department.
So the AMA, the APA, the WMA and the surgeons general of the armed forces and The Field Manual on Intelligence Interrogation of the Department of the Army all agree that these techniques are illegal. So why whould the DoD's top doc, William Winkenwerder, disagree with all of them? Well, he was appointed by Bush and his previous position was Executive Vice President of Health Care Services for Blue Cross Blue Shield. So it also shouldn't surprise you that while his job description is to look after the medical needs of the military, his actual work has been to cut medical benefits for the military.

How Conveeeeenient!

posted by The Vidiot @ 1:27 PM Permalink

UPDATE: Now with added snark ... and correct spelling:
Captured papers show weakening insurgency

A document purportedly captured in an al-Qaida hideout portrays the insurgency in Iraq as being in "bleak" shape, saying that it is losing strength and proposing ways to stir up trouble between the U.S. and Iran to divert American attention.
Great news! ... Right? ... Right!? Uhh, maybe not so much:
There was no way to confirm the authenticity of the information attributed to al-Qaida, and U.S. and Iraqi officials offered conflicting accounts of when and where it was seized.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's office said Iraqi forces found the document in al-Zarqawi's hideout after the June 7 U.S. airstrike that killed him.

However, U.S. Maj. Gen. William Caldwell said the document had been taken from a computer in a raid during the three-week operation to track down al-Zarqawi.
Hey fellas, next time you pull the wool over our eyes at least grab the same sheep! When ewe try to ram these talking points down our throats we tend to get a bit testy.

The al-Qaida document said its insurgency was being hurt by an increase in U.S.-trained Iraqi forces, by widespread arrests and seizures of weapons, and by a crackdown on financial outlets. [ED: Aren't those phrases lifted directly from RNC Talking Points?]

According to a translation provided by National Security Adviser Mouwafak al-Rubaie, the document said the best way to overcome the "current bleak situation" would be to involve U.S. forces in a "war against another country" or hostile group.

The way to do this, the document said, "is to try and inflame the situation between America and Iran" or between the U.S. and followers of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq's most influential Shiite cleric.

It suggests carrying out a range of terrorist acts for which it will falsely implicate Iran, including bombings in the West and kidnappings. It also recommends declaring the existence of a relationship between Iran and terrorist groups, and disseminating bogus confessions showing that Iran has weapons of mass destruction.

Vice President Dick Cheney said the document, if authenticated, shows the terrorists know they are losing the war.

The words "are fascinating because they do reveal - obviously whoever wrote them, assuming they are authentic - somebody who believes they are on the losing end of the engagement," Cheney said on the Sean Hannity radio show.
Sounds more like a page out of Karl Rove's ploybook. I mean if you change the country from Iran to Iraq it sounds just like how they got us into this mess:
try and inflame the situation between America and Iraq

declaring the existence of a relationship between Iraq and terrorist groups

disseminate bogus confessions showing that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction.
And I agree with Cheney, it does sound like "somebody who believes they are on the losing end of the engagement!"


posted by The Vidiot @ 12:41 PM Permalink

Read it and weep. (Though, save those tears. You don't want to dehydrate yourself and need to drink more water.)
Excerpt: The Safe Drinking Water Act makes it voluntary for plumbing companies to comply with national standards. If your water is tainted with lead, there isn't much you can do about it. The manufacturer probably won't be liable and probably can't be sued.

I have to recommend

posted by The Vidiot @ 12:10 PM Permalink

watching CSPAN while on the stairmaster. NOTHING else will get you to stomp on those stairs like watching the self-congratulating circle jerk that is Congress debate a non-binding resolution on a war that was started based on lies and that has killed tens of thousands of people. A war Congress is unwilling to investigate. A war Congress abrogated their oversight on. A war where profiteering goes unabated and unhindered.

(And as an aside, don't you love it when they say "the death toll is 2500" and you KNOW that doesn't include the ones that died in the hospital from their wounds or, for that matter, all of the Iraqis that were killed. Like 2500 really covers what's going on over there. CHEEERISTE stop this nightmare already!)

Bush's Foreign Policy

posted by The Vidiot @ 11:29 AM Permalink

You might've wondered why Bush would come out the way did with regards to immigration. He went against his base, for the most part, but doing a sort of worker's amnesty thing. His base really hates that idea. Well, you have to look at it from the foreign policy angle. He was basically trying to support his good buddy Vicente Fox down in Mexico. Because next month, if Bush does nothing, it will like result in yet another lefty taking over down south. And this time, it'll be right on our border.
Excerpt: But there is something else worth remembering about Lopez Obrador's record of managing Mexico City, that teeming metropolis of almost 20 million people. When he resigned as mayor in 2005 to run for president, his approval rating was at 80 per cent. It was not just that he gave money to the poor but also that he managed to enter into a conversation with them and arouse their passions. Even detractors will admit that in the capital, Lopez Obrador became a phenomenon who could motivate millions to march in the streets when he needed their support. Now he is casting himself as the champion of Mexico's vast lower class, while painting his rivals as representatives of a privileged and corrupt old guard.
Add to that potential stunning foreign policy loss, this tidbit from the Middle East
Excerpt: Iran's National Oil Company signed a declaration allowing Russia's Lukoil oil producer to launch talks on further exploitation of the Azar oilfield in western Iran, the ITAR-TASS news agency reported Thursday.
Now, do you think that for one instant, Putin is going to give up Russia's share of the oil in Iran? No. There's no way. So if George goes ahead and does what he wants to do in Iran, Russia will have to address it, and we've all seen "The Day After" haven't we?

Me LOVES this.

posted by The Vidiot @ 11:27 AM Permalink

The whole concept of "non terrestrial officers" is delightful.

(Read about Gary's plight here. Poor guy. He's just a stoner. A harmless stoner.)

Who runs things over there?

posted by The Vidiot @ 11:25 AM Permalink

Barney Fife?
Excerpt: Convicted former Congressman Randall "Duke" Cunningham urged the Department of Homeland Security to give a $21.1 million contract to a controversial Washington limousine company, but the letter has mysteriously disappeared from DHS files, members of Congress were told Thursday.

Second verse, same as the first.

posted by The Vidiot @ 8:32 AM Permalink

Once upon a time, it started with the Office of Special Plans. That office, outside the purview of Congress, manufactured, cherry picked, and manipulated intelligence regarding Iraq. You remember the Niger forgeries, right? Well, it's long been rumored that Micheal Ledeen had something to do with those forgeries. He went to Rome, met with Ghorbanifar, an arms dealer from Iran-Contra, prior to the Iraq war. Well, scary thing, a NEW Office of Special Plans has been created. It's called the Iranian directorate. And the similarities don't stop there. Ledeen has gone back to Rome and has hooked up with his old buddy Ghorbanifar. Really. I can't make this stuff up.
Excerpt: Moreover, sources say that the Iranian Directorate is staffed with many of the same people, including OSP’s former director Abram Shulsky, and receives expert analysis from such controversial figures as Project for the New American Century member Reuel Marc Gerecht, who by all accounts was a failure as a CIA field officer. It also includes military personnel such as Ladan Archin, who appears to be serving in the Larry Franklin analyst role among a sea of think-tank operatives and neoconservative war hawks.


A recent trip by Michael Ledeen to Rome has raised red flags among those concerned about a potential war with Iran. Some believe that Ledeen -- a long-time advocate of Iranian regime change -- was involved in the Niger forgeries scandal.
Do they think we're complete idiots?! I mean, they're doing the EXACT SAME THINGS they did in the lead-up to the Iraq war! A complete xerox of it! Do they think the media won't notice?! Or Congress for that matter?! I mean, WTF!?

Oh, wait.


Never mind.

You know

posted by The Vidiot @ 8:12 AM Permalink

Blogger has been crap lately. Every time I want to post something, I go to blogger and it's not responding. VERY annoying.

Mostly this week, I've been stewing about the police state. The other night, when Mr. Vidiot and I were coming home from having a few drinks at the bar down the street, we were standing on our stoop, waiting for him to finish smoking his coffin nail. On the way to our apartment, there was a butt-load of cops standing around a cop car. We don't know what happened, and we weren't too concerned since they didn't seem to be in paramilitary mode. We watched the cop car put on it's lights and drive the wrong way down our one-way street. Now, Mr. Vidiot, being the jovial anarchist that he is, jokingly yelled out "Wrong way! You're going the wrong way!" Granted, it may not have been the brightest thing to do, but really, it was pretty harmless in the grand scheme of things. At that point, the cop car stopped, reversed and called Mr. Vidiot to the car and proceeded to give him a tongue lashing... which just proves our point that cops are fascists idiots. A normal person would've just waved him off and thought, "asshole." But a cop, well, a cop needs to assert his authority every chance he gets. They seem to be in a constant state of emasculation, a state the requires their constant assertion of their "manhood" (even if they're women). It was such a laugh. Do we really want such people walking our streets, carrying guns and handcuffs?

What makes it worse is the courts want to hand MORE power to these idiots. SCOTUS just ruled in favor of the police not having to knock or announce themselves upon entering your home as long as they have a warrant. And the deciding vote in the 5-4 decision? Alito.

Meanwhile, Congress has abdicated its responsibility when it comes to protecting their constituents' civil rights by not challenging this administration's use of secret surveillance.
Excerpt: Unfortunately, spying on those who pose a threat is not easily separated from spying on everyone else, and no one is watching the Bush administration with equal attentiveness. Despite lots of rhetoric, Congress has offered little to fulfill its duty to act as a check on the executive branch.
Yes, yes. Spy on everyone so everyone is used to being spied upon.

And it's no joke, Congress thinks they're doing their job. Really. I shit you not. They really believe they're keeping this administration in check.
Excerpt: I do not believe that the President, Vice President, or any members of his cabinet have acted in any manner that deserves impeachment. President Bush and his administration have had extremely difficult decisions to make in light of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and I feel that the Administration has done a good job in leading the country in the War on Terrorism.
Additionally, it is important to remember that within the Constitution of the United States, a system of checks and balances was established to limit the powers of the federal government by dividing the authority of government among the three branches. Therefore, Congress and the Supreme Court provide oversight to what the President and his cabinet members decide to do. These checks and balances have served our republic well over the last 230 years.

Thursday, June 15, 2006


posted by The Vidiot @ 6:12 PM Permalink

I kept trying to write how I feel about 2,500+ of our troops dying in Iraq ... but then I saw Carnacki's post on skippy.

Please read it. It's exactly how I feel but can't put into words.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Git mo Blues ... coda

posted by The Vidiot @ 9:15 PM Permalink

If a detainee dies and there's no press to report it does he make a sound?
Pentagon Orders U.S. Reporters to Exit Guantanamo

In the aftermath of the three suicides at the controversial Guantanamo prison facility in Cuba last Saturday, reporters with the Los Angeles Times and the Miami Herald were ordered by the office of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to leave the island today.
A curt e-mail to reporters Carol Rosenberg of the Herald (who spoke to E&P about the expulsion) and Carol Williams of the L.A. Times mentioned a directive from the office of Rumsfeld, and stated: "Media currently on the island will depart on Wednesday, 14 June 2006 at 10:00 a.m. Please be prepared to depart the CBQ [quarters] at 8:00 a.m.''
The Pentagon spokesman told E&P that Rumsfeld's office was overruling any of the permissions from military at the base.
Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, issued a statement today declaring, “If the United States wants to restore its credibility as a democracy in the eyes of the world, it should be inviting journalists in, not kicking them out. Our government insists it has nothing to hide, but its actions show otherwise."
How peculiar, Rumsfeld didn't order it, his office did! Was it the stapler, the fax machine or maybe the word processor! Or perhaps all of the furnishings conspired to kick the press from Gitmo.Gitmo ... Git mo blues ... Get Mo' Blues ... coda.

Git mo Blues ... development

posted by The Vidiot @ 9:07 PM Permalink

Guards tighten security to prevent more deaths
Human rights groups, defense lawyers call for investigation of 3 men's suicides in military prison

Even as demands grew for an independent investigation into the weekend suicides at Guantanamo Bay, military leaders inside the prison began cracking down on inmates to prevent more deaths.
"Right now, we are at ground zero," an emotional prison commander, Col. Mike Bumgarner told his officers at his morning staff meeting.

"The trust level is gone. They have shown time and time again that we can't trust them any farther than we can throw them.
Sounds like he speaks from experience ... I wonder what his personal best is?
There is not a trustworthy son of a ... in the entire bunch."

With that, Bumgarner, a Kings Mountain native, ordered his staff to assess and curtail existing policies on detainee clothing, meals, recreation time, prison lighting and discipline.
So folks are so desperate they'll kill themselves and the solution is to take away what little they have and punish them more!? Hey, why not, it's worked so well so far.

Meanwhile, back at the raunch:
The suicides occurred early Saturday morning in three cells on the same block. The detainees, a Yemeni and two Saudis, hanged themselves with strips of knotted cloth taken from clothing and sheets. They used pillows and blankets to make it appear they were sleeping in their beds. They left suicide notes in Arabic. And Bumgarner said each had a ball of cloth in their mouth either for choking or muffling their voices.
Wait a minute ... they left suicide notes!? Why haven't we heard about them? You can't possibly tell me that a guy who's been held incommunicado for 3+ years has some secret message to tell his followers ... especially when one of the three dead guys was due to be released!
Harris' characterization of the suicides as acts of "asymmetrical warfare" and a State Department official's assertion that the first deaths among Guantanamo inmates were "a good P.R. move" brought renewed outrage in the Muslim world as well as among European allies.

But Cmdr. Robert T. Durand, spokesman for the prison and interrogation compound, said the admiral in command of the detention operations here stood by his view that the deaths "were not acts of despair but coordinated efforts by three committed combatants."
Bumgarner ordered a high suicide alert for "the brothers," the term used by the military personnel to describe the detainees. "Brother" also is a term of Muslim endearment the inmates use among themselves.
Mid-afternoon, Senior Petty Officer Mac King walked into the colonel's office to discuss how to handle "The General," whom Bumgarner called the leader of the detainees' military wing.

King, of Spartanburg, said The General had refused to exchange his brown prison suit for an orange one, signifying he was moving to a more restricted status.

Bumgarner put his face in his hands. "Why does this brother do this to me," he said.
Why do I think there's a battered wife in his past!? And a racist father.

Git mo Blues ... exposition

posted by The Vidiot @ 6:22 PM Permalink

Lawyers Protest Delayed Notification of Guantanamo Deaths

Attorneys for detainees who committed suicide at the "war on terror" detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba said the military failed to notify them of their clients' deaths for three days, calling the delay unacceptable.
In a news conference Saturday, General Bantz Craddock*, head of the US Southern Command, and Rear Admiral Harry Harris, the commander at Guantanamo, would not identify the detainees but said none of them were represented by outside lawyers.
A spokeswoman for CCR said Ahmed and Utaybi were represented by the civil rights group and private lawyers.

She said Zahrani also was represented by CCR because he fell under a habeas petition filed on behalf of all prisoners at Guantanamo whose names had not been disclosed by the Department of Defense (DoD)
"This is indicative of the DoD's inability to know who they are or identify them properly," said Gitanjali Gutierrez, a lawyer with CCR.

"Its claims that Guantanamo provides good intelligence is belied by the fact that the DoD doesn't know who is there," she said.
Earlier, the Pentagon Tuesday rebuffed calls by human rights groups for an outside investigation into the suicides.

"I wouldn't expect that," said Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman. "The United States is very capable of reviewing its own procedures to determine whether or not any changes need to be made."

He said the incident "will be looked into appropriately."

"If there is one thing the United States military does very well, it is review with a critical eye all its processes and procedures when significant events occur," he said.
Somehow I think his use of the word appropriately is the key to the military's response. They've so appropriately investigated things so far: Abu Ghraib, Ishaqi, Haditha, Guantanamo ... etc, ect, etc.

I'll turn Bushco's words around on them: If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear ... by an outside, impartial investigation.

*Miller would have been the highest-ranking officer to face discipline for detainee abuses so far, but Gen. Bantz Craddock, head of the U.S. Southern Command, declined to follow the recommendation.

King of the Bungle

posted by The Vidiot @ 12:22 PM Permalink

So Rep. Steve King (R-Wackjob) tells the house that, based on his brilliant math skills, Iraq is safer than Washington D.C. ... yeah, I couldn't believe it either so let's go to the tape:

"my wife lives here with me, and I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, she's at far greater risk being a civilian in Washington, D.C. than an average civilian in Iraq."
So I guess Rep. King dresses like the folks below when he's going from Washington National to the Hill.

White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, left, and White House Counselor Dan Barlett, ride in a military helicopter wearing helmets and flak jackets for a trip from Baghdad International Airport to U.S. Embassy
Notice Bartlett & Snowjob dressed in the height of fashion for their limo ride from the airport to the embassy. And they look so calm, cool and collected.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Lost in translation

posted by The Vidiot @ 5:54 PM Permalink

What they say ... and what they mean
When he said:"we will not hesitate to act alone, if necessary, to exercise our right of selfdefense by acting preemptively"

What he meant:"Strength lies not in defense, but in attack."
What I say: While I wouldn't want to violate Godwin's Law, Ya just gotta wonder about the similarities in those statements.

When he said:"My message to the Iraqi people is this: Seize the moment"

What he meant: "Bring it on"
What I say: How freakin' disconnected can he be to actually encourage Iraqis to 'seize the moment'!? Well, at least Bush didn't call for a crusade ... oops, sorry, Bush already did that.

When he said:"Rumsfeld said that many U.S. troops have already been brought home."

What he meant: many U.S. troops have already been brought home ... in transfer tubes.
What I say: 1,500 U.S. Troops in Kuwait Going to Iraq
50,000 U.S. Troops In Iraq For Decades
Pentagon: Iraq insurgency steady until ‘07

I really wish I had some great closer, but my snark deserted me and my frumious bandersnatch has yet to arrrive.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Feel safer yet?

posted by The Vidiot @ 9:14 PM Permalink

Homeland Security accepts fake ID

The Department of Homeland Security allowed a man to enter its headquarters last week using a fake Matricula Consular card as identification, despite federal rules that say the Mexican-issued card is not valid ID at government buildings.

Bruce DeCell, a retired New York City police officer, used his phony card -- which lists his place of birth as "Tijuana, B.C." and his address as "123 Fraud Blvd." on an incorrectly spelled "Staton Island, N.Y." -- to enter the building Wednesday for a meeting with DHS officials.

Update to The Vidiot's post: Up is down, red is blue ...

posted by The Vidiot @ 5:51 PM Permalink

... war is peace, and we have always been at war with Oceania

US Disavows Guantanamo Suicide Comment

The Bush administration distanced itself Monday from a remark by a senior U.S. official calling the suicide of three prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay detention center a public relations move. The State Department said the choice of words was unfortunate.
Ahh, I get it, we can say that they committed suicide as a means of warfare, but saying it was for PR disturbs their delicate sensibilities.
Sheesh, the choice of words wasn't unfortunate, the imprisoning of people without trial or effective council, torturing them and strapping them into restraint chairs and shoving tubes up their noses and down their throats till they bleed, now that's unfortunate ... if by unfortunate you mean war crimes.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Up is down, red is blue,

posted by The Vidiot @ 12:33 PM Permalink

and a suicide at Gitmo is asymmetric warfare.
Excerpt: "They have no regard for human life," he said. "Neither ours nor their own. I believe this was not an act of desperation but an act of asymmetric warfare against us."
The article goes on to say that these men had been held at Gitmo for over four years and had been on hunger strike and force fed. They had been held without the chance to see the evidence against them and they had no idea how long they would be incarcerated.

I dunno, indefinite incarceration, can't see their families, probably mistreated on a regular basis, hot Caribbean climate, no end in sight. Do you think they thought death would be a sweet release? You must consider that maybe they had such a high regard for life that they felt the need to do something drastic.

Holy Jeebus! When will the people in the US wake up to the fact that we have a bunch of sadistic criminals running our foreign policy??!

Suicide is terrorism.


Saturday, June 10, 2006

Saturday Sailboat Blogging

posted by The Vidiot @ 11:12 AM Permalink

Friday, June 09, 2006

Friday (non)Random 10

posted by The Vidiot @ 4:08 PM Permalink

It's been that kind of an afternoon:
Sing Sing Sing 8:41 Benny Goodman Gene Krupa
What'll I Do 3:12 Alison Krauss
Cry Me a River 5:03 Diana Krall
Guess Who I Saw Today 3:25 Nancy Wilson
Under My Skin.mp3 6:10 Diana Krall
Fly me to the moon 1:56 Count Basie and Keely Smith
The Way You Look Tonight 3:13 Benny Goodman w/ Peggy Lee
Danny Boy 5:26 Diana Krall & The Chieftains
Fever 3:19 Peggy Lee Jazz Vocal
Beyond the Sea 2:56 Bobby Darin
The Boy From Ipanema 2:37 Julie London

Deja Vu all over again ...

posted by The Vidiot @ 11:50 AM Permalink

UPDATE: Check out the captions section.
UPDATEx2: Can you tell which one of the captions is coherent now? I thought you could!

Here's a headline I never get tired of seeing, (which is good because I've seen it four times in two years):
[Katherine] Harris' chief of staff quits

And in related news Katherine Harris will replace him with a seeing eye dog ... or maybe the bitch is just a wet nurse for her sweater puppies ... no, no, the other bitch.

Caption contest:

1) New logo of the Harris campaign: More Horses' Asses Than Horses!
2) I told you I'd turn this campaign around.
3) And now for a word from my constituents.
4) Whew! I swear it was the horse!
5) There are two points I'd like to call your attention to ...
6) They're gyro stabilized, they always point forward no matter how backwards I look.

Bonus track: Check out Kat's latest campaign video!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Another small fracture to American hegemony.

posted by Mr. Vidiot @ 12:20 PM Permalink

In an article called Father of Beheaded Man blames Bush, not Zarqawi, he says,
"I don't think Zarkawi is responsible for the killings of hundreds of thousands of people in Iraq, I think George Bush is."
Beautiful to see in Reuters.

Irony. They should look it up.

posted by The Vidiot @ 10:11 AM Permalink

Bush decided to go off on one of his favorite targets, Hugo Chavez. At the very end of this article though, he says something so bizarre, so unbeeeeleeeevably ironic that I actually did a spit take. Honestly. I had to change my keyboard.
Excerpt: But Bush added: "It's going to take awhile. Sometimes leaders show up who do a great disservice to the traditions and people of a country."
Indeed. (I'll wait while you swap out your keyboard.)


You back? Ok, let's compare, shall we?

“Venezuela has achieved substantial improvements in the fight against poverty. The statistical evidence that we have compiled shows that from 1995 to 2005 the number of homes under the poverty line has decreased,� stated the World Bank.

The organization said that in these years the number of homes in poverty decreased from more than 40% to 30%



(You know, I couldn't pick just one story on how much "disservice" he's done, so I'm just linking to my 6/6/6 blog entry that has a lot of links in it. )

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

And speaking of shoving it down their throats ...

posted by The Vidiot @ 10:22 PM Permalink

Pentagon Endorses Force-Feeding Hunger Strikers

A Pentagon document setting rules for medical professionals in detainee operations endorses force-feeding hunger strikers, a practice criticized by rights activists, U.S. officials said on Monday.
Critics note that ethical codes endorsed by the American Medical Association, including a declaration by the World Medical Association, state that if a doctor considers a hunger striker "capable of forming an unimpaired and rational judgment concerning the consequences of such voluntary refusal of nourishment, he or she shall not be fed artificially."
'nuff said ... right? Sadly, no!

A senior general told reporters some detainees subsequently decided taking part in the hunger strike had become "too much of a hassle."
How quaint, yet another euphemism for torture.

But wait, there's more!
"The hunger strike technique is consistent with al Qaeda practice and reflects detainee attempts to elicit media attention to bring international pressure on the United States to release them back to the battlefield," a military statement said.
OK then, it's all OK, since Bushco, which refused to release their names and won't let the UN in to examine them, and has claimed 'classified' on every court case challenging that claim, says this is just a trick by AQ to garner media attention.

The same Bushco that has never given a rats a$$ about 'international opinion' but still claims OBL can muster international opinion and force the US to release these folks.

Somehow I doubt that.

Winning their hearts ... and mines (sic)

posted by The Vidiot @ 9:45 PM Permalink

'U.S. Military Hides Many More Hadithas'

An Iraqi doctor who was in Haditha during a deadly U.S. raid last year says there are many more stories like that in Haditha that are yet untold.

The Pentagon admitted last week that U.S. Marines killed 24 civilians -- including a 66-year-old woman and a four-year-old boy -- in the Western Iraqi town last November. Before that, the military had maintained the civilians were killed by a roadside bomb. [...] "The hospital has been attacked three times. In November 2005 the hospital was occupied by the American and Iraqi Army for seven days, which is a severe breach of the Geneva Conventions," he said.
Of course, he's only an Iraqi, just because he lives there and practices there, what would he know!?

So let's hear from a 'boot on the ground'
Joseph Hatcher served in the western Iraqi town of Dawr from February 2004 until March last year. He said his cultural training before deployment consisted of a three-hour class and a pamphlet he was given. [ED: Hmm, same as the Ethics Classes, what a coincidence.] [...] "We would use very little language at all in house raids," he said.. "You point a barrel of a gun at somebody and pull them to the ground. It's fairly standard. There's no way to know if you're getting anyone of value.. You just arbitrarily raid an entire block."
So we still have an problem with intelligence ... in every sense of the word.

Oh, and by the way:
The Washington Post reported Monday that Marines went to the home of a 52-year-old disabled Iraqi, took him outside and shot him four times in the face.
Now I wonder where they got the idea to shoot him in the face!?

But wait, there's more!
US Troops Accused of New Murders in Iraq

US troops faced fresh accusations of unlawful killings of civilians in Iraq as Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki ordered the release of 2,500 detainees in a gesture to promote national reconciliation. [...] "On May 13, US forces launched an air assault on a civilian car in Latifiyah and killed six people," Juburi told reporters.

"On the same day US aircraft attacked the house of a civilian, Saadun Mohsen Hassan, and killed seven members of his family," he added.

Juburi said US forces carried out another air strike the next day on the house of Sheikh Yassin Saleh Shallal in Yusifiyah, "killing 13 people -- including women and children."
To quote The Animals, We Gotta Get Out Of This Place!

Oxymoron of the day

posted by The Vidiot @ 1:26 PM Permalink

In addition to ethics classes these folks need Remedial SexEd 101:
Several religious leaders joined Allard to argue that the [Gay Marriage] ban is needed to counteract an array of social ills, from rising divorce rates to out-of-wedlock births.
Point 1) Children rarely result from gay sex*
Point 2) Even with artificial insemination, denying people the chance to marry only ensures that the kids will be out of wedlock! What a maroon!

The government really has no business in the marriage trade anyway except as registering the civil contract just like they do any other contract. The government should stick to contracts and leave churches to do the marrying. This whole issue is about nothing but pandering and bigotry.

Hat tip to WTF!

* So this woman walks into her Doctor's office and after the exam says she has an embarrassing question to ask. The Dr reassures her and asks her what the problem is.

Finally, blushing and embarrassed she says "My husband wants to have anal sex! Is it safe?"

The Dr says "Well as long as he's gentle and you don't object I don't see a problem, just make sure you use birth control."

"Birth control! ... there!?" she exclaims.

"Of course," he says, "where do you think lawyers come from?"

For years now,

posted by The Vidiot @ 1:07 PM Permalink

I have believed the Micheal Ledeen had something to do with the Niger forgery scam. And even though, recently, it was revealed who the possible forgers of the uranium papers were, (and Ladeen wasn't one of them) I STILL thought Ledeen has something to do with it. Now, Vanity Fair might think so as well.
Excerpt: n the wake of Billygate and the Bulgarian Connection, Ledeen allegedly began to play a role as a behind-the-scenes operative with the ascendant Reagan-Bush team. According to Mission Italy, by former ambassador to Italy Richard Gardner, after Reagan's victory, but while Jimmy Carter was still president, "Ledeen and Pazienza set themselves up as the preferred channel between Italian political leaders and members of the new administration."
(In all fairness, the next line in that paragraph has Ladeen denying all of it. Which of course, he would.)

If I had money to bet, I'd bet it was Ledeen who coordinated the whole thing with elements in SISMI.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


posted by The Vidiot @ 5:43 PM Permalink

Billy Preston may have gone round in circles, but his nothing from nothing definitely left something.

If you're of a certain age as I am, you know that Billy Preston contributed a lot to the soundtrack of our lives. Just a quick synopsis:
(1970) Let It Be -- including "Get Back"
(1970) All Things Must Pass (George Harrison)
(1971) Sticky Fingers (Rolling Stones)
(1971) The Concert for Bangla Desh (George Harrison And Friends)
(1971) There's a Riot Goin' On (Sly & the Family Stone)
(1972) Exile on Main Street (Rolling Stones)
(1973) Goats Head Soup (Rolling Stones)
(1974) It's Only Rock'n Roll (Rolling Stones)
(1975) Blood on the Tracks (Bob Dylan)
(1975) "You Are So Beautiful" (Joe Cocker's biggest hit)
(1976) Black and Blue (Rolling Stones)
Bye Billy ... and thanks.

Why this day isn't different than any other.

posted by The Vidiot @ 1:08 PM Permalink

Today is 6/6/6

Big deal. The apocolypse can't possibly be worse than what the Bush administration has already brought upon our nation. Between the corruption, the secrecy, the lies, the failed war, the impending war, the wrecking of medicare/medicaid, the economy, the attacks on our civil liberties, the pandering to the wealthy, the collusion with corporations, the assault on the middle class and poor, I mean, I could go on and on.

So, if you're sitting at home thinking "Ooo. Scary day. I think I'll stay home." Don't worry. Whatever happens CAN'T be worse than the Bush administration.

Monday, June 05, 2006

So if you don't tell the troops it's a war crime ...

posted by The Vidiot @ 5:36 PM Permalink

... who do you hold responsible for the war crimes they commit?
Army Manual to Skip Geneva Detainee Rule

The Pentagon has decided to omit from new detainee policies a key tenet of the Geneva Convention that explicitly bans "humiliating and degrading treatment," according to knowledgeable military officials, a step that would mark a further, potentially permanent, shift away from strict adherence to international human rights standards.
For more than a year, the Pentagon has been redrawing its policies on detainees, and intends to issue a new Army Field Manual on interrogation, which, along with accompanying directives, represents core instructions to U.S. soldiers worldwide.
The directive on interrogation, a senior defense official said, is being rewritten to create safeguards so that all detainees are treated humanely but can still be questioned effectively.
For decades, it had been the official policy of the U.S. military to follow the minimum standards for treating all detainees as laid out in the Geneva Convention. But, in 2002, Bush suspended portions of the Geneva Convention for captured Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters. Bush's order superseded military policy at the time, touching off a wide debate over U.S. obligations under the Geneva accord, a debate that intensified after reports of detainee abuses at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison.
The move to restore U.S. adherence to Article 3 was opposed by officials from Vice President Dick Cheney's office and by the Pentagon's intelligence arm, government sources said. David S. Addington, Cheney's chief of staff, and Stephen A. Cambone, Defense undersecretary for intelligence, said it would restrict the United States' ability to question detainees.
The military has long applied Article 3 to conflicts — including civil wars — using it as a minimum standard of conduct, even during peacekeeping operations. The old version of the U.S. directive on detainees says the military will "comply with the principles, spirit and intent" of the Geneva Convention.

But top Pentagon officials now believe common Article 3 creates an "unintentional sanctuary" that could allow Al Qaeda members to keep information from interrogators.
Gee, what a conundrum; if you don't torture them, they won't tell you what you want to hear. If you do torture them they'll tell you anything you want to hear.
Common Article 3 was originally written to cover civil wars, when one side of the conflict was not a state and therefore could not have signed the Geneva Convention.
But top administration officials contend that after the Sept. 11 attacks, old customs do not apply, especially to a fight against terrorists or insurgents who never play by the rules.[...]

Yes, everything changed after 9/11 ... we are no longer a nation of laws, we torture people, we hold them indefinitely without charges, we murder innocent civilians in a country that we attacked 'preemptively,' a country that had no connection to 9/11, no WMDs and no ability to attack us. We have our government tracking all our calls and email messages, we have chain link free speech zones and we have the military performing internal law enforcement.

Everything changed after 9/11.

Stupid Amendment

posted by The Vidiot @ 12:05 PM Permalink

Honestly, if the American public can't see through the political ruse that is the Marriage Amendment, then they deserve the government they have.

My uncle had a pretty good thought about the whole thing:
It occurred to me this morning (around 5:30 am) that if Bush really believed in the holiness of marriage between a man and a woman, and that those marriages were the foundation of our country, he should go all the way and promote an amendment that would outlaw the one thing that's most destructive to marriage--Divorce. What's the divorce rate now? More than 50% I think. That means there would be twice as many marriages if divorce were outlawed, twice as much sanctity. Of course, the murder rate and abuse crimes would probably more than double too, but on the other hand, think of the money that would be saved in alimony, which could be used in other ways, would probably help the economy. Many lawyers would need new jobs. There would be no broken families. There would be none of those weddings where people have to worry about inviting former in-laws. And best of all, gays and lesbians would see so many people living in bad marriages that they won't want to get married any more.


I mourn for what could've been.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Saturday Sailboat Blogging

posted by The Vidiot @ 11:12 AM Permalink