Thursday, August 31, 2006

I Got No Mo'Joe Rising ... or ... Lieberman for Lebensraum

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:10 PM Permalink

I've avoided posting on this because so many others have done it better, but something in the latest exchanges between the Joe Lieberman [R- loser] and Ned Lamont [D-victor] campaigns has caught my attention.

While most have pointed out the fact that Joe's latest commercial is a sunset, not a sunrise as Dan Gerstein insists against all reality, I prefer to concentrate on the message:
"So just sit back and think about - good stuff," the unseen woman advises viewers.
Maybe it's just me, but isn't that the same thing old white guys used to tell women about rape?

I guess Bush didn't get the memo

posted by The Vidiot @ 6:42 PM Permalink

The White House says:
Many Democrats accuse the president of advocating "stay the course" in Iraq, but the White House rejects the phrase and regularly emphasizes that it is adapting tactics to changing circumstances, such as moving more U.S. troops into Baghdad recently after a previous security strategy appeared to fail.

And yet Bush still says:
Iraq remains the central front in the terror war, and if the United States and coalition leave Baghdad before the job is finished, "we will have to face the terrorists in our own cities," Bush said. He vowed to stay the course in Iraq and to help its new democracy succeed.
BTW, the above is from "The Conservative Voice", not exactly what you call a left wing publication.

I can't wait for the WH and Ken Mehlman to smack them down ... no, really, I can't wait because it ain't gonna happen.

The Continuing Culture of Corruption

posted by The Vidiot @ 6:24 PM Permalink

Broadcast Chief Misused Office, Inquiry Reports

State Department investigators have found that the head of the agency overseeing most government broadcasts to foreign countries has used his office to run a “horse racing operation� and that he improperly put a friend on the payroll, according to a summary of a report made public on Tuesday by a Democratic lawmaker.

The report said that the official, Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, had repeatedly used government employees to perform personal errands and that he billed the government for more days of work than the rules permit.

The summary of the report, prepared by the State Department inspector general, said the United States attorney’s office here had been given the report and decided not to conduct a criminal inquiry.
Gee, Tomlinson, now where have I heard that name before? Oh yeah ...
Mr. Tomlinson, a Republican with close ties to the White House, was ousted last year from another post, at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, after another inquiry found evidence that he had violated rules meant to insulate public television and radio from political influence.
A spokeswoman for the White House, Emily Lawrimore, said President Bush continued to support Mr. Tomlinson’s renomination. Ms. Lawrimore declined to comment on the State Department report.
Investigators who seized Mr. Tomlinson’s e-mail, telephone and office records found that he had improperly and extensively used his office at the broadcasting board for nongovernmental work, including work for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the horse racing and breeding ventures. The material seized included racing forms and evidence that he used the office to buy and sell thoroughbreds.
People who have seen the report said it noted that Mr. Tomlinson, on his lawyer’s advice, ended an interview with investigators early. One person familiar with the inquiry said Mr. Hamilton ended the interview as the investigators began to ask about using the office for horse racing business. Mr. Hamilton would not comment about the interview.
Let's get this straight: After failing in his efforts to use propaganda on the American people and getting caught abusing his office he gets promoted to propagandizing everyone else in the world.

Then he gets investigated for fraud, gambling and abusing his office again. But the DoJ declines to prosecute. I wonder who made that determination? I'm betting it was a Bushco political appointee and not a career lawyer.

And now he's up for renomination to the office he abused and has Bush's 'continued support.'

Sheesh, sounds like he's in line for a 'Mettle in Freedumb' award.

Bizarro Ratner

posted by The Vidiot @ 11:16 AM Permalink

Where Ratner takes from the underprivileged and underrepresented and gives to the rich and over-represented, Chavez is taking from the rich and over-represented and giving to the poor and underrepresented. What a novel concept:
Excerpt: Caracas Mayor Juan Barreto announced late Tuesday that the municipal government planned to seize two elite country clubs, Valle Arriba and the Caracas Country Club, and redevelop them as low-income housing projects.
From the article, Chavez' definition of eminant domain:
In Caracas, Barreto's officials say the takeover is prompted by a housing shortage and is permitted under the Chavez land law, which gave the government sweeping new powers to seize property that it deemed idle, misused, illegally acquired or not contributing to "social goals."
That's a far cry from our Kelo decision now isn't it?
The case arose from the condemnation by New London, Connecticut of privately owned real property so that it could be used as part of a comprehensive redevelopment plan. The Court held in a 5-4 decision that the general benefits a community enjoyed from economic growth qualified such redevelopment plans as a permissible "public use" under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment.

No matter how you polish it

posted by The Vidiot @ 10:50 AM Permalink is what it is.
Excerpt: US military leaders in Baghdad have put out for bid a two-year $20 million public relations contract that calls for extensive monitoring of US and Middle Eastern media in an effort to promote more positive coverage of news from Iraq.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Dr. Jekyll and Mister Frist

posted by The Vidiot @ 9:09 PM Permalink

Frist medical license renewal questioned

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist [R- kitten killer] acknowledged Tuesday that he may not have met all the requirements needed to keep his medical license active — even though he gave paperwork to Tennessee officials indicating that he had.
Responding Tuesday to repeated requests from The Associated Press, a Frist spokesman said the Republican senator may not have done his continuing education after all, and had contacted the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners to see if corrective steps were necessary.
A renewal application Frist filed with the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners in February of this year specifically mentions the continuing education requirement and bears his signature.
Tennessee law states that doctors who fail to do their continuing medical education "will be subject to disciplinary action."

Dan Warlick, a Nashville lawyer who represents doctors in trouble with the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners, said a case such as Frist's would likely be taken seriously.

"They have been routinely revoking licenses for physicians who have misrepresented to the board what they have done," Warlick said.
So the same Doctor who was able to erroneously diagnose Terri Schiavo from a videoptape lied about his continuing education that his license is dependent on. What a surprise! [/snark]

We Will Not Be Silent; an update to the continuing WOT*

posted by The Vidiot @ 5:34 PM Permalink

JFK passenger told he couldn't fly wearing Arabic script T-shirt

An Arab human rights activist says he was prevented from boarding a plane at Kennedy International Airport while wearing a T-shirt that said "We will not be silent" in English and Arabic.
One of the officials told him, "Going to an airport with a T-shirt in Arabic script is like going to a bank and wearing a T-shirt that says 'I'm a robber.'" he said.
Whaaa!? The slogan "We will not be silent" was originally used by the German anti-war movement ... against Hitler. How ironic, (yeah, just ironic, I've run out of adjectives to describe the constant rape of irony that constitutes Bushco), that suppressing that message is alive and well in America.

We should all wear that slogan on our chests and in our hearts, translated into Hebrew, Arabic, Hindi, Farsi, Spanish ... and especially Texan.

*War On T Shirts

Wal-Mart kills puppies!!!!

posted by The Vidiot @ 5:27 PM Permalink

Sort of. But it's still pretty bad.
Excerpt: Earlier this year, Boulder County asked Wal-Mart to contribute to local land preservation to offset the impact its new store will have on local prairie habitat. Additionally, one local resident offered to help the company relocate the animals to city open space.

The company rejected both offers and fumigated the colony after researching relocation and other options.
Yes, to preserve life or not to preserve life depends on the bottom line.

How did our society get so f--d up?


posted by The Vidiot @ 5:18 PM Permalink

I don't like Joe Lieberman. Never have. Couldn't figure out why on earth Gore chose him as VP. Now, I don't like mostly ALL of the people in our government these days. They merely contribute to our problems, not ameliorate any of them. But Joe, he's special. So it's with tickled glee that I read about the sublime stupidity of his latest political ad.
Excerpt: Lieberman's latest ad features a hilarious metaphor -- a setting sun. Gerstein claims it's a sunrise.

I betchya'

posted by The Vidiot @ 12:46 PM Permalink

...the talking carp had the voice of Vincent Pastore.
Excerpt: A Jewish fish-cutter in New York was busy slaughtering a batch of carp when one of them started shouting apocalyptic warnings to him in Hebrew. 'The fish shouted that everyone needed to account for themselves because the end is near,' says Zalmen Rosen, the fish-cutter.
FYI: Pastore played Big Pussy on the Sopranos and was killed for being a rat. Came back in a dream sequence as a talking fish.

There once was a Bill from Obama...

posted by The Vidiot @ 9:41 AM Permalink

The bill, written to create a database of who gets what money and what senator arranged for said money, was moving through committee at a good clip. There was a lot of bipartisan support for the bill. However, a secret hold was placed on the bill to keep it from being voted on. And the name of the Senator, by Senate rules no less, was to remain secret.

That is, until now.
Excerpt: Twelve days ago, at a town meeting in Sallisaw, Oklahoma, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) accused Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) of obstructing his porkbuster-database bill with an anonymous hold.
Give the Senator a call and say "Thanks for keeping us in the dark! We really appreciate it."

Update: There were two holds, the other was Sen. Byrd. His excuse? He wanted time to read it. Lame.

The longer you're in, the deeper in crap you are and the harder it is to see what's right.

Fire them all! Now!

Update 2: Maybe Stevens had something to hide.

Web Site:

Washington Office:
522 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-0201
Phone: (202) 224-3004
Fax: (202) 224-2354

Main District Office:
222 W. 7th Ave., #2
Anchorage, AK 99513
Phone: (907) 271-5915
Fax: (907) 258-9305

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


posted by The Vidiot @ 5:02 PM Permalink

Last picture taken of Mr. Vidiot walking the streets of his hometown, 2 weeks Pre-Katrina.

Last year at this time, I was watching Mr. Vidiot frantically dialing his friends and family in NOLA, making sure everyone was OK. (Only one of his friends stayed behind. He survived it.) He had just come back here from a three-week visit. There was nothing he could do so far away from home. He was glued to the TV, miserable, watching the city he loved get destroyed. He said he knew it would happen one day. They all knew. They all talked about how the levees were inadequate, and the wetlands destroyed. But as it unfolded, the reality of what was happening made him morose. While Mr. Vidiot's family and friends were safe, his home town was gone. It's still gone. Last time we went back, he barely knew anybody. He used to know everybody. Mother Nature certainly had a hand in NOLA's destruction, but the aftermath, well that was just criminal.

I feel bad for Mr. Vidiot and a little envious as well. I feel bad because his home town is gone. The house he grew up in was washed away. While his family is in the suburbs, his friends are all over the place. But I'm a little envious too. I'm envious that he got to live in such a unique city and got to know it like nobody will ever know it again. I went to NOLA a few times several years ago, but due to the alcoholic hurricanes, the memory of it is somewhat of a blur. But he really knows that town... or, at least he really knew it. Who knows what it will be like once the developers swoop in like a plague, further destroying all that made NOLA unique, while manufacturing what THEY THINK will sell.

The incompetence of the local, state and federal governments didn't surprise him much, and he wasn't all that surprised at how overt and callous they behaved towards the lowest strata of class. I, on the other hand, was shocked as hell. One year later though, I'm not so shocked any more and I've begun to notice even bigger cracks in our social structures. Katrina was the beginning of my awareness. Before Katrina, I thought that it was possible to make government work, that we just needed the right people. That's why I worked for candidates and fought against Bush et al. But now, I'm beginning to think government is the problem, or, at least, OUR government.

I don't know what the solutions are, but one year post-Katrina and before another disaster occurs -- whether real or manufactured -- we'd better start working some of them out before there are more innocent victims.

Who Knew!?

posted by The Vidiot @ 11:10 AM Permalink

Who knew the maggot infested, pinwheel spinning, bullet ridden, IED eviscerated, rotting corpse of irony could again rear it's dear departed remains while Bush was still in office?
Rumsfeld says terrorists manipulate media

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Monday he is deeply troubled by the success of terrorist groups in "manipulating the media" to influence Westerners.
Of course Bushco would never resort to spending 254 Million dollars for such tactics.
"They are actively manipulating the media in this country" by, for example, falsely blaming U.S. troops for civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan, he said.
Gee, I guess he means the rapes, torture and murders that US troops have committed are the fault of the media. That would explain why soldiers are targeting reporters and cameramen.

And if these atrocities weren't true then why would Bushco be trying to retroactively change the War Crimes Act?
"They can lie with impunity," he said, while U.S. troops are held to a high standard of conduct.
Speaking of lying with impunity, here's Bush, Cheney and Rummy lying with impunity.
"The enemy is so much better at communicating," he added. "I wish we were better at countering that because the constant drumbeat of things they say — all of which are not true — is harmful. It's cumulative. And it does weaken people's will and lessen their determination, and raise questions in their minds as to whether the cost is worth it," he said alluding to Americans and other Westerners.
The war may be costing us blood and money but Bushco is profiting from it.

Comment from The Vidiot: I have to agree with Rumsfeld on this one. Terrorists definitely do manipulate the media. Of course, that's if you define terrorists as corporations and the Bourgeoisie interests who rape and pillage the economy and the environment, fund wars and funnel money into our political system.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Topical Depression ... or ... A Katrina Timeline

posted by The Vidiot @ 9:35 PM Permalink

A Summer Song 2:36 Chad & Jeremy

Sitting on the dock 2:45 Otis Redding

Summer Rain 3:51 Johnny Rivers

In The Rain 4:56 The Dramatics

A Hard Rain's A-gonna Fall 6:55 Bob Dylan

Stormy Weather 3:10 Etta James

Against The Wind 5:34 Bob Seger

Riding The Storm Out 5:50 REO Speedwagon

Fire And Rain 3:26 James Taylor

Black Water 4:20 Doobie Brothers

Tequila Sunrise 3:28 The Eagles

Somewhere Over the Rainbow 2:49 Judy Garland

Thanks to Think Progress for the timeline.


posted by The Vidiot @ 2:08 PM Permalink

That if voting really mattered, they'd make it illegal.
Excerpt: Court told votes don't have to be counted, certified

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Rummy's Missile Shield Doubts ... or ... Skeptical on Ass

posted by The Vidiot @ 10:26 PM Permalink

Look for the $$ quote:
Rumsfeld cautions on missile shield

Asked at a news conference later whether he believed the missile shield was ready for use against a North Korean missile like the one test-fired unsuccessfully on July 4, Rumsfeld said he would not be fully persuaded until the multibillion dollar defense system has undergone more complete and realistic testing.

He alluded to his own skeptical nature. "I want to see it happen," he said, "A full end-to-end" demonstration is needed "where we actually put all the pieces" of the highly complex and far-flung missile defense system together and see whether it would succeed in destroying a warhead in flight.

"That just hasn't happened," he said, adding that some elements of the missile defense system are yet to come on line, including some of the radars and other sensors used to track the target missile.
Yep, the money quote, swallowed hook line and sinker by the press, was his self referential "skeptical nature."

Gee, Rummy, would that be this skeptical nature!?
"We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south, and north somewhat."

"I can't tell you if the use of force in Iraq today will last five days, five weeks or five months, but it won't last any longer than that. "

"And within the last week or two, they have in fact captured and have in custody two of the mobile trailers that Secretary Powell talked about at the United Nations as being biological weapons laboratories. We have people who are telling that they worked in these vehicles. And they look at panels and say, "That was my work station in that panel, and that's what it's for."

"His regime has amassed large clandestine stockpiles of chemical weapons, including VX and sarin and mustard gas."

"And he has biological and chemical weapons."

"We have seen . . . intelligence over--over months, over many months that they have chemical and biological weapons, and that they have dispersed them and that they're weaponized . . . ."

"They are perfectly capable of being equipped with spraying and aerosol-type capabilities." [...] We know that Iraq has a number of so-called UAVs, unmanned aerial vehicles, of different types, that they train with them and exercise them."
Does he sound skeptical to you? Since none of those things were true, hell, he doesn't even sound informed!

He's out of touch, they're out of time

posted by The Vidiot @ 8:55 PM Permalink

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on Saturday praised the work of an Army brigade whose one-year tour in Iraq was extended just as they prepared to return home, and said he saw no reason for the soldiers or their families to be angry at him.

"I don't put it in that context," he said. "These people are all volunteers. They all signed up. They all are there doing what they're doing because they want to do it.
Reporters who traveled with Rumsfeld from Washington, D.C., were to be excluded from the session.

Asked why reporters would not be permitted to cover the event, Rumsfeld at first replied, "I don’t have any idea. I haven't addressed the subject." Later he said he makes it a practice to make all family meetings private.
Rummy has to make a special trip to calm the families down and he tries to tell them "They all are there doing what they're doing because they want to do it." Really!? Then why don't you let them have a choice and see which ones want to stay!

And the transparent lie about the reporters being excluded, first saying he didn't know and then saying he always does it that way; you'd think he'd know if he always did it that way.

But then you go to war with the SecDef you've got, not the SecDef you want ... because if you had the SecDef you wanted you wouldn't have started this war!

From the Are you freakin' kidding me Department:

posted by The Vidiot @ 8:39 PM Permalink

Pentagon eyes non-nuclear ICBMs against terrorists

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (Reuters) - The Pentagon is considering a plan to replace the nuclear warheads on some intercontinental ballistic missiles with conventional weapons for preemptive strikes against terrorists, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on Sunday.
Rumsfeld said he hoped Russia would consider the idea too, but Ivanov said Russia had concerns.
You know Rummy's nuts when not even the Russians are crazy enough to go for it!

America, just not for Americans anymore ...

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:44 PM Permalink

2 Lodi residents refused entry back into U.S.

Muhammad Ismail, a 45-year-old naturalized citizen born in Pakistan, and his 18-year-old son, Jaber Ismail, who was born in the United States, have not been charged with a crime. However, they are the uncle and cousin of Hamid Hayat, a 23-year-old Lodi cherry packer who was convicted in April of supporting terrorists by attending a Pakistani training camp.

Federal authorities said Friday that the men, both Lodi residents, would not be allowed back into the country unless they agreed to FBI interrogations in Pakistan. An attorney representing the family said agents have asked whether the younger Ismail trained in terrorist camps in Pakistan.
Mass said Jaber Ismail had answered questions during an FBI interrogation at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad soon after he was forced back to Pakistan. She said the teenager had run afoul of the FBI when he declined to be interviewed again without a lawyer and refused to take a lie-detector test.
"They can't be compelled to waive their constitutional rights under threat of banishment," Mass said. "The government is conditioning the return to their home on cooperation with law enforcement."

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Saturday Sailboat Blogging

posted by The Vidiot @ 12:54 PM Permalink

Friday, August 25, 2006

Uh, I have no idea if this a joke or not

posted by The Vidiot @ 4:53 PM Permalink

but DAMN.

Sorry for the light posting,

posted by The Vidiot @ 3:22 PM Permalink

But I'm still trying to digest a meeting Mr. Vidiot and I attended on Wednesday that was about Bruce Ratner's mega-development less than a mile from our home. (For some background, you can go to Develop, Don't Destroy Brooklyn.) The gist of the background is that through a bunch of sweetheart, backroom deals, a college buddy of Governor Pataki was able to gobble up lots of land at a cheap price. Not only that, because of his close ties with city and state officials, he's gotten his hands on lots and lots of city and state money. Not only that, he's using eminant domain to get rid of the people who don't want to lose their homes. On top of that, he's making all sort of promises that he will never fulfill. We know that because Mr. Ratner has built before in Brooklyn, made similar promises, all of which were never kept. On top of all that, the development is huge, ugly, will blot out the sun for many neighborhoods and increase traffic to an already congested area. And all of THAT ain't even all of it. But you get the gist.

So, we went to this meeting that was supposed to be the only public meeting on the environmental impact statement. It's a 1,400 page document and the meeting was called just a few weeks after they released it and in the middle of most peoples' vacations. They're only required to have one meeting because a large portion of the development is over state property and state requirements are lame. But of course, Ratner already knew that which is why he chose the site.

Never before have I ever witnessed such a ridiculous and insulting piece of political theater. Ratner's people had organized huge groups of labor people to be there. See, Ratner has "donated" money to lots of groups and acquired lots of support for himself that way. In some cases, he's given money and empty promises to organizations, mostly minority groups and in return, they promise to remain quiet until needed. This was a clever strategy because with so much support coming from the working class and minority communities, anyone who is white who is against the development, which many of the opponents are because many of the neighborhoods around the development have been gentrified over the years, then those white people can be labeled as racist or elitist. Clever, no?

Anyway, the Ratner people had all these labor unions and ACORN and BUILD, etc, get in line WAY early for a 4:30 meeting (like 7am) and fill the auditorium up. They were fed and were given matching t-shirts, etc. So there were these huge swathes of orange labor shirts and red ACORN shirts and blue BUILD shirts, etc. Oh, and they were told to be quite vociferous in their support. So the rest of us, the ones who WEREN'T paid to be there, had a hard time getting in and signing up to say our piece. Once inside, there of course were cameras and reporters everywhere, it was quite a zoo. The first part of the meeting were the "officials" talking about the report. Most of them wore expensive suits, were young and spoke in monotone. Then all of the elected officials got to speak, most of whom were for the development plan. (Though, to be fair, Marty Markowitz, the Brooklyn borough president who was the first to invite this blight upon our community to begin with, has begun to sing a slightly different tune. He's toning down his support and calling for a scaling back of the mega project, probably because Pataki will be out by the end of the year and the new guy who's leading the race, Elliot Spitzer, is taking a second look at the whole project. Marty knows what side his bread will be buttered on. And that man knows bread. Trust me.) Only a few politicians are against it. VERY few. Even ones from Coney Island who have nothing with downtown Brooklyn, got to speak in favor of the thing.

Then finally, it came time for the public commentary. And who's the first guy to speak out against it? Who's the first person to get up there in front of the cameras and mics? Some morbidly obese, video-gaming, pasty white schlub from New Jersey! Man, those Ratner people are good. They made sure that guy got up there and was the first to represent the opposition! That HE was the poster child for the opposition. I admire the man for his brilliant manipulation of the system. He's gifted. It's an evil gift, but a gift nonetheless.

So, Mr. Vidiot are watching the show. He's signed up to speak though we suspect it will be hours before he's called. He yelled "Boo! Boo! Liar!" when necessary. At one point, some slobbering politician in a snake-skin suit was doing his victory walk after his big support speech and Mr. Vidiot yelled right at his face "You're a manipulator and a liar! You know it and I know it! You are a liar!" He must've looked quite mad to the person. (I'm sure at some point, he'll have a nightmare and some portion of it will have Mr. Vidiot in it, with his crazy, long, mad curly hair screaming "Liar! Manipulator!" You know. Just his head in that cartoony floaty way.) And we watched as the majority of the speakers were in support, mostly because they were allowed into the building first and were able to sign up, as was the plan. It doesn't represent the feelings of the surrounding neighborhoods though.

The vast majority of the supporters were labor people who were going on and on about the 2400 or so affordable housing units (less than a third of the units being built and in Brooklyn, affordable housing is a misnomer anyway. It's based on the median income of a neighborhood and the median income of that neighborhood far exceeds anything a labor union employee could hope to make.) They also went on about the jobs for union labor. (Anytime union labor was mentioned, there were loud hoots and hollers) But see, there really aren't going to be THAT many jobs for them. Some, but not a lot. What they don't get is that everything they support is such a small part of the project. Teeny weeny. Miniscule. Near sub-atomic in portion. They're being used and I don't know if they don't care or don't realize or are they just structurally blind to a powerful, dominant, corporate power class. (An example of class hegemony.)

But the "opposition" made us even angrier. We can forgive some people for being tricked into believing this or that, but the opposition is supposed to oppose, and they didn't. They picked out this or that and said "Waaaah. It's bad. WAAAAAH." But they didn't oppose.

And here's what this whole blogpost is about:

There is no opposition. There rarely is. There is a constructed argument. Two sides are fabricated, problems are created, solutions are presented and the solutions that are created by those who created the problems are what's discussed. In the case of Ratner, he's going to build his damn megalopolis. He's created a monster of an issue, knowing full well that as it was proposed, it won't happen. So he presents compromises and solutions, so that the "opposition" feels like it's winning things and beating "the man." But everything they think they're winning is really what Ratner wanted all along. Those in power create the problem, explain the important debates to solve the problem, and offer all solutions as well as "alternatives" to the problem, to which the solutions are already worked out.

Nobody said what was really going on. Nobody talked about the fact that there is a myth called "private property" in this country. There is no such thing as private property. You may THINK you own your home. But you don't. The bank does. And even if you pay of the mortgage, you still don't own it. Just try to not pay your property taxes and see how long you get to live there. The crux of the Ratner project is the way he acquired the land -- through guise and eminant domain abuse.

Mr. Vidiot has coined a really good term for this and he doesn't want me say too much about it yet, and hopefully, he will blog about it soon. (He doesn't blog much. He'd better start. Hint hint.)

It was all so demoralizing and disappointed and disheartening. Mr. Vidit didn't get to speak and we both left, aggravated and upset, made worse by our low blood sugar. (Remember, the union people were fed. We were not.)

This is only one battle in a much larger fight. A fight we are destined to win in the end.

Of course, Mr. Vidiot made me write that last line. He wants me to be optimistic. Not my natural state as many of you might know.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Rounding up the Snakes on a Plane

posted by The Vidiot @ 6:47 PM Permalink

What the Terrorists Want

The point of terrorism is to cause terror, sometimes to further a political goal and sometimes out of sheer hatred. The people terrorists kill are not the targets; they are collateral damage. And blowing up planes, trains, markets or buses is not the goal; those are just tactics. The real targets of terrorism are the rest of us: the billions of us who are not killed but are terrorized because of the killing. The real point of terrorism is not the act itself, but our reaction to the act.

And we're doing exactly what the terrorists want.
The article has a run down on all the latest 'terrerist' events, I recommend you read the whole thing. I'd like to add
Iran's Mideast influence boosted by "war on terror"

Iran's standing in the Middle East has been bolstered by President George W Bush's "war on terror" and its power will continue to grow unless stability is restored to its neighbors, a top think tank said on Tuesday.

London's Royal Institute for International Affairs said wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and Israel's conflict with the Palestinians and with Lebanon's Hizbollah had put Iran "in a position of considerable strength."

"There is little doubt that Iran has been the chief beneficiary of the war on terror in the Middle East,"
the RIIA said in a report on the region.

"The United States, with coalition support, has eliminated two of Iran's regional rival governments -- the Taliban in Afghanistan in November 2001 and Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq in April 2003 -- but has failed to replace either with coherent and stable political structures."
Which brings me to a larger point. I'll start with Hezbollah.

Only 4 countries in the world outside of the US and Israel think Hezbollah is a terrorist organization.

Hezbollah is an umbrella group that has political, military, humanitarian, religious and guerilla factions ('terrerists' is just too polarizing to use for this discussion), think IRA rather than AQ.

If we can change the discussion from 'us' v. 'them' to 'reasonable factions on both sides can have mutual grounds' there might be a solution that is permanent rather than 'final.'

Refusing to negotiate and continued violations of the current treaty are not a viable path; It's obvious that an eye for an eye eventually leaves everyone blind.

Once you demonize and label 'evil' you have reduced whatever group, faction and /or country to subhuman. After that you can justify anything.

And that's just what this misAdmin is doing with everyone they disagree with. They refuse to negotiate with Iran, with North Korea, with Syria, even though all those countries have expressed interest in negotiation.

Maybe it's just a ploy by the 'axis of evil' ... but if you are talking it gives a chance for cooler heads to prevail. All of those countries have the same internal debates we have. All of these countries have reasonable and unreasonable factions.

My humble offering: Talk to each other; Don't demand someone give up their only bargaining chip before they negotiate; Listen to what they have to say and especially to the subtext.

The majority of the people in every country just want to be left alone to pursue their lives in peace. They want to do well by their children, and want their children to be able to do a bit better than they did.

We might disagree on what this consists of and how this can happen, but by talking to each other, leader to leader, and even more effectively, person to person ...

We Can Make It If We Try 3:38 Sly & The Family Stone

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Soundtrack of Their Lies

posted by The Vidiot @ 10:45 PM Permalink

UN report finds violence against Afghanistan women is widespread
Where Are the Simple Joys of Maidenhood 3:02 Camelot

Bush's Words On Liberty Don't Mesh With Policies
Running With The Devil 3:33 Van Halen

'Backdoor draft'?
Close To The Edge 18:13 Yes

U.S. involvement in Iraq has been incredibly successful and developments there have been "nothing short of a miracle," Sen. James Inhofe said Monday.
Return To Fantasy 5:48 Uriah Heep

Veterans' Benefits "hurtful" to National Security, says Pentagon
Talking Old Soldiers 4:06 Elton John

Israel, Hezbollah Exchange Fire In Lebanon
Waiting For Elijah 3:46 Seatrain

President Bush cautioned against placing too much importance on the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's Gulf Coast strike
Don't You Forget About Me 4:21 Simple Minds

Bush Is Steadfast In Refusing Policy Change In Iraq
Same As It Ever Was 4:20 Talking Heads

Bonus tracks, just because I need them ... now more than ever:
I Wanna Be Sedated 2:19 The Ramones
Our Day Will Come 2:32 Ruby and the Romantics

Iraq is 'just a little pregnant'

posted by The Vidiot @ 8:47 PM Permalink

British Gen. Calls Iraq Mini 'Civil War'

The British deputy to the top U.S. commander in Iraq said Tuesday the country's sectarian conflict is not a full-blown civil war but could be described as a "civil war in miniature."

Read the entire thing.

posted by The Vidiot @ 1:39 PM Permalink

If it doesn't make your blood boil, you're not human.
Excerpt: Of course when I say she "told me later," it's because she wasn't able to tell me at the time, because as soon as I demanded to know what the federal employee had done to make her cry, I was swarmed by Portland police officers. Instantly. Three of them, cinching my arms, locking me in handcuffs, and telling me I was under arrest. Now my wife really began to cry. As they led me away and she ran alongside, I implored her to calm down, to think of the baby, promising her that everything would turn out all right. She faded into the distance and I was shoved into an elevator, a cop holding each arm. After making me face the corner, the head honcho told that I was under arrest and that I wouldn't be flying that day – that I was in fact a "menace."

The Red Hand of Lies

posted by The Vidiot @ 11:16 AM Permalink

Good catch by Mike Rivero.

Bush said the other day that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.
Excerpt: QUESTION: What did Iraq have to do with it?

BUSH: What did Iraq have to do with what?

QUESTION: The attack on the World Trade Center.

BUSH: Nothing. Except it's part of - and nobody has suggested in this administration that Saddam Hussein ordered the attack. Iraq was a - Iraq - the lesson of September 11th is take threats before they fully materialize, Ken. Nobody's ever suggested that the attacks of September the 11th were ordered by Iraq.
Though, the actual letter he wrote on March 18, 2003, authorizing the use of force against Iraq, says otherwise:
Excerpt: 2) acting pursuant to the Constitution and Public Law 107-243 is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Here's how atrocities are enabled, part Trois:

posted by The Vidiot @ 11:04 PM Permalink

Right from the jump I'd like to say that my headline is unfair in this context. It's just a continuation of a series.

This isn't about the military committing more atrocities. In fact I'm willing to wager that the Marines being called up are among the least likely to do so. The point I am attempting to make is that we are short of qualified soldiers. So short that they lowered the standards and raised the age limit. So short that now ...
Thousands of Marines face involuntary recalls

The U.S. Marine Corps said Tuesday it has been authorized to recall thousands of Marines to active duty, primarily because of a shortage of volunteers for duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Up to 2,500 Marines will be brought back at any one time, but there is no cap on the total number of Marines who may be forced back into service in the coming years. The call-ups will begin in the next several months.
Does anyone else remember all the stories about how the military had exceeded their recruiting goals for 14 months straight?

A Lesson in Free Speech

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:20 PM Permalink

Stuart Middle School teacher burns U.S. flags in class

A Stuart Middle School teacher has been removed from the classroom after he burned two American flags in class during a lesson on freedom of speech, Jefferson County Public Schools officials said.

Dan Holden, who teaches seventh-grade social studies, burned small flags in two different classes Friday and asked students to write an opinion paper about it, district spokeswoman Lauren Roberts said.
Roberts said the flag burning did not appear to be politically motivated, based on an interview with Holden.
Regardless, school board member Pat O'Leary said the flag burning was unnecessary and could have offended some students, including those in military families.
I'm waiting on a response to the email I sent the reporter on this story, but in the mean time I'd like to point out:
He made a demonstration about free speech.
He had his speech curtailed.

The school's main question seemed to be whether it was politically motivated.
Political motivation is the reason we have free speech.

The school board said his demonstration might have offended some folks.
I have news for them ... if it offends you, that's how you know it is an example of free speech.

More Snakes on a Plane

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:05 PM Permalink

Miami-bound flight makes emergency landing for security concern

American Airlines flight 2036 from Dallas landed at Tampa International Airport shortly after 7:30 p.m., airport spokesman Fred Dettmann said. The flight crew became suspicious after noticing that two lavatory doors in the back of the aircraft had been locked for a long period of time, Dettmann said.

After the plane landed, police, air marshals and Transportation Safety Administration officials searched the aircraft and used K9 dogs but did not find anything suspicious. They unlocked the bathroom doors, but no one was inside, Dettmann said.

"There was no security threat detected," American Airlines spokesman Tim Smith said.
How bad is it when allegedly professional airline personnel are afraid of doors!?

Bush, soft on crime, inept on terrorism:

posted by The Vidiot @ 12:09 PM Permalink

As Violent Crimes Rise, Law Enforcement Officials Battle $1.1 Billion Funding Cut

With murder and other violent crimes on the rise in many American cities, local law enforcement agencies and elected officials are battling to stave off $1.1 billion in federal funding cuts proposed by President Bush.
Murders and non-negligent manslaughter increased 4.8 percent nationwide in 2005, the largest jump in 15 years, according to a preliminary FBI report in June. Murders were up over 2004 rates by 76 percent in Birmingham, Ala., 44.1 percent in Charlotte/Mecklenburg County, N.C., 42 percent in Kansas City, Mo., and 38 percent in Cleveland.
Former New Jersey Gov. Thomas Kean, who chaired the bipartisan commission on the Sept. 11 attacks and made recommendations to prevent more of them, called the federal government's failure to solve such communications problems among emergency-response agencies a "scandal." Last December, his panel gave the White House and Congress an "F" for failing to adequately address this issue.
"Everything is going to homeland security," said David Jones, executive director of the North Carolina governor's crime commission.
And what does Homeland inSecurity do with the $$?
Agency countering terror threats seen in disarray
Budget leaders call it 'a rudderless ship'

The federal research agency in charge of countering emerging terrorist threats such as liquid explosives is so hobbled by poor leadership, weak financial management, and inadequate technology that Congress is on the verge of cutting its budget in half.
Its reorganization was put on the back burner by Secretary Michael Chertoff, who took over in March 2005. Meanwhile, its management problems sapped the confidence of administration and congressional budget officials, analysts said.
In a 2007 spending bill awaiting a vote after the congressional recess, the Republican-led House would cut spending by the Science and Technology Directorate from $1.3 billion to $668 million. Congress noted about $250 million in unspent funds.

Just in case

posted by The Vidiot @ 12:07 PM Permalink

they try to use Iran's boarding of a Halliburton owned Romanian oil platform in the Gulf as a pretext for war, please keep in mind that it appears to be a contract dispute and nothing more.
Exerpt: A Dubai-based energy and offshore consultant said this was a simple contractual dispute and a court would give its decision based on the contract.

I've been thinking about this for awhile ...

posted by The Vidiot @ 11:28 AM Permalink

... especially since the latest media frenzy over JonBenet, but as usual, someone else did it sooner ... and better:
Beautiful Dead Girls

via Kos

Monday, August 21, 2006

Haven't done one of these for a while.

posted by The Vidiot @ 9:17 PM Permalink

Interesting website.
Your name in Japanese (though, I couldn't do "vidiot")
Paper from Elephant poop.
Cool pen holder.
Excellent push-pins. (I think they have magnets too)
This explains a lot about New Jersey.

This says it all.

posted by The Vidiot @ 9:14 PM Permalink

From the Times Union.

posted by The Vidiot @ 6:22 PM Permalink

Just for ppj!

Break the bank!

posted by The Vidiot @ 11:39 AM Permalink

The bank of Focus on the Family that is!
Few people know that Focus on the Family—the powerful evangelical Christian para-church based in Colorado Springs—will give you, absolutely free of charge, books, CDs, and DVDs. Usually people pay for these products, and the millions of dollars raised helps Focus on the Family produce yet more books and CDs featuring Dr. James Dobson and other Focus "experts."

via TBogg

Ridiculous reporting really riles me.

posted by The Vidiot @ 9:17 AM Permalink

This is the dumbest thing I ever read. There's an increase in violent crime in the United States. Mr. Vidiot says that rise in crime can be attributed to the following:
This is due to that fact that the faults within capitalist society produces overwhelming contradictions. Scapegoats are created to justify the faults within the social order, rather than saying the faults of the social order lie within the social order itself. So, minorities, blacks, Hispanics, are labeled as "urban terrorists," "haters of American values," "thugs," and are accused of "trying to destroy the social fabric of society." And most people easily fall into this trap. This contradiction plays out as capitalist society promises dreams, success through hard work and opportunity while delivering class disparity, compulsory miseducation, dead-end wage jobs, slum neighborhoods, and hypersegregation due mostly to redevelopment. That is, capitalism creates the very class of people they seek to destroy.
In contrast, let's look at the lame-assed reporter's explanation:
Excerpt: The slaying of the 20-year-old mother -- on a narrow street behind a police station in Boston's poor Roxbury district last month -- is one of the shocking examples of a rise in the murder rate across the United States that is raising questions about whether police are fighting terrorism at the expense of crime.
Yes, the police are just distracted is all. If we can just get them to pay attention. Everything would be just fine. Because, right now, they're just focusing on non violent crime and terrorists posing as protestors.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Wait a minute, didn't we just see this movie!?

posted by The Vidiot @ 9:29 PM Permalink

Take one - hysteria
Bomb squad sweeps plane, man questioned

Bomb-sniffing dogs swept a Delta Airlines flight from Atlanta upon landing Saturday after authorities said a passenger tampered with a smoke detector and moved ceiling panels in a lavatory.
The passenger on Delta Flight 6492 was overheard being "disruptive" in the lavatory by flight attendants and had spent an extended amount of time there, said Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman Jennifer Peppin.

The man had apparently tampered with the smoke detector, Vasys said. Authorities said ceiling tiles had also been moved.

A bomb-sniffing dog that inspected the lavatory upon landing "showed some interest," airport spokesman David Hebert said.
Take two - reality
FBI says passenger not suspicious after all

The F-B-I in San Antonio says a passenger detained after flight attendants said he tampered with a bathroom smoke detector isn't suspicious after all.
But F-B-I spokesman Erik Vasys says there was just no evidence the man was behaving suspiciously. The man was released after questioning and a search of his home.

Explosives experts searched the plane after it landed but found nothing.

Nothing was found out of the ordinary, and authorities still weren't sure what happened in the bathroom. Vasys said officials didn't even have enough evidence "to make it a vandalism or damage charge" against the detained passenger, the spokesman said.

I wonder if he was Pakistani, like that poor lady last week?
Take one - hysteria
Airport terminal evacuated after explosive found in luggage
Take two - reality
No explosives in US airport alert
Expect to see more of these stories the closer to the election we get. Personally, I'm expecting a 'terrerist attack' sometime late September or early October because, as former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card put it, "from a marketing standpoint, you don't roll out a new product in August."

Fun with marketing calls

posted by The Vidiot @ 9:20 PM Permalink

Just got one of those marketing research calls. This one was all about gasoline companies and my perceptions of them. Heh heh heh. Poor guy, didn't know what hit him. When asked what gas company I used, I said "Citgo". When asked why, and I said "Citgo is owned by Venezuela. Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela, is one of the few who stand up to the American imperialist power. Therefore, I buy my gasoline from Citgo."

He laughed and there was a long delay. (I assume there was no box for that.) When asked about Exxon, I said "They screwed up Alaska." When asked about BP, I said "They made their logo green so that there would be an illusion that they're environmentally concerned, which of course they are not." He asked about pricing and who had more competitive prices, and I said "Well, I hardly think two or three cents is competitive."

Yes, all in all, I totally wasted an ad agency's -- and by extension -- a gas company's money.

That's a nice change of pace!

Oh, and Mr. Vidiot and I had a good laugh while we tried to picture how the guy was going to present that data to his boss.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Oh for heaven's sake.

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:00 PM Permalink

People just become dumber and dumber the more afraid they get.
Excerpt: British holidaymakers staged an unprecedented mutiny - refusing to allow their flight to take off until two men they feared were terrorists were forcibly removed.
And what, pray tell, caused them to behave this way? Behold the lunacy in all its glory.
Excerpt: The extraordinary scenes happened after some of the 150 passengers on a Malaga-Manchester flight overheard two men of Asian appearance apparently talking Arabic.

Passengers told cabin crew they feared for their safety and demanded police action. Some stormed off the Monarch Airlines Airbus A320 minutes before it was due to leave the Costa del Sol at 3am. Others waiting for Flight ZB 613 in the departure lounge refused to board it.
You have to read the whole article. It's just riddled with stupidity.

See, I told you!

posted by The Vidiot @ 6:49 PM Permalink

I've always said there's no way to control genetically modified foods and there's no knowing what they'll do to the human body in the long run.
Excerpt: Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns announced late Friday that U.S. commercial supplies of long-grain rice had become inadvertently contaminated with a genetically engineered variety not approved for human consumption.
We'll have to wait and see what havoc this wreaks.

Saturday Sailboat Blogging

posted by The Vidiot @ 12:21 PM Permalink

Down under edition.

I'm sorry...

posted by The Vidiot @ 10:14 AM Permalink

but a topless Kate Moss offends me!

Dumbest idea EVER.

posted by The Vidiot @ 10:06 AM Permalink

And no, I'm not talking about the Iraq war, though it's a close second.

No, I'm talking about the FDA allowing viruses to be sprayed on processed meat in an effort to kill certain types of bacteria. And not only will things like sliced turkey or hotdogs be sprayed with the stuff, they won't be required to label the products as having been sprayed. The Dept. of Agriculture said that they would "monitor it's use." Oh, yeah, I feel safe by that fact.
Excerpt: "The FDA is applying one of the toughest food-safety standards which they have to find this is safe," said Caroline Smith DeWaal, director of food safety for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer advocacy group. "They couldn't approve this product if they had questions about its safety."
Unless those questions were answered by a lobby group giving skads of cash to someone, right?.

Listen, I don't enjoy being the harbinger of doom, but alas, it is a role I play well and here it goes:

Life wants to live. Viruses are life. If viruses have nothing to live on, then they'll mutate to survive on something else. It's just that simple. So if these viruses, at this moment, won't effect any human bacteria, you can be pretty damn sure that at some point in the future, they will.

Ohhhhh, yet another food category to ban from Mr. Vidiot's diet. (He's already not allowed to eat beef, non-organic milk and anything with nitrites. He'll not be happy about this.)

Friday, August 18, 2006

The Department of Homeland inSecurity

posted by The Vidiot @ 6:41 PM Permalink

US delays security for liquid bombs

The technology exists to detect liquid explosives -- at least three Massachusetts companies have created such tools -- but the federal government says it's still not ready to deploy the devices in the nation's airports.
But TSA spokeswoman Amy Kudwa says that none are ready to be deployed because of reliability and feasibility issues.
The TSA has not outfitted airports with the devices, in part, because officials have to prioritize where they spend limited dollars.
Really!? Then why didn't they spend the $200 million that congress already gave them? And remember how Amy Kudwa said they weren't reliable or feasible? Gosh, guess where they are being deployed:
SmartCheck systems are used at the White House and the US Supreme Court. But they're not widely used in airport security. TSA agreed last year to conduct tests of the system. But Reiss said those tests had not yet begun.
TSA spokeswoman Kudwa said the agency has been evaluating the First Defender system in US airports since October, along with the General Dielectric system, but the devices have not always proven reliable. ``We are seeing high false alarm rates for the solutions we are testing right now," she said.
Golly "high false alarm rates" ... you mean like the ones TSA already has? Airport terminal evacuated after explosive found in luggage which turned out to be No explosives in US airport alert
We'll talk later about the constant 'Omigod the terrerists are coming!' alerts.

Bush, protecting America ...

posted by The Vidiot @ 5:00 PM Permalink

... if by 'protecting America' you mean:
Bush staff wanted bomb-detect cash moved

While the British terror suspects were hatching their plot, the Bush administration was quietly seeking permission to divert $6 million that was supposed to be spent this year developing new homeland explosives detection technology.
The department failed to spend $200 million in research and development money from past years, forcing lawmakers to rescind the money this summer.
A 2002 Homeland report recommended "immediate deployment" of the trace units to key European airports, highlighting their low cost, $40,000 per unit, and their detection capabilities.
A 2005 report to Congress similarly urged that the trace detectors be used more aggressively, and strongly warned the continuing failure to distribute such detectors to foreign airports "may be an invitation to terrorist to ply their trade, using techniques that they have already used on a number of occasions."

Tony Fainberg, who formerly oversaw Homeland Security's explosive and radiation detection research with the national labs, said he strongly urged deployment of the detectors overseas but was rebuffed.
Fainberg said research efforts were often frustrated inside Homeland Security by "bureaucratic games," a lack of strategic goals and months-long delays in distributing money Congress had already approved.
Because bureaucracy and politics is so much more important than protecting Americans.

More thoughts on the the Judge's Ruling

posted by The Vidiot @ 11:15 AM Permalink

The decision against the NSA's spying program continues to be on my mind. Mr. Vidiot and I had our usual "discussion" about it. He suggests that the dems and repubs BOTH wanted this decision in order to create the illusion of opposition, further propagating the myth of the two-party system. And I don't entirely disagree with him.

But there was one interesting bit in the Greenwald piece mentioned in my previous post. About an eighth of the way down, in his explanation of the decision, he says the following:
First, the court rejected the administration's assertion of the "state secrets" doctrine with regard to the NSA eavesdropping program on the ground that the program has already been publicly confirmed by the administration, and that all of the known facts necessary to rule on the plaintiffs' claims -- namely, that the administration is eavesdropping without warrants -- are already publicly known. The court adopted the reasoning of Judge Walker who, as noted above, rejected the administration's invocation of this doctrine on the same ground.

(The court here did, however, grant the administration's motion to dismiss the part of the case challenging the constitutionality of the data-mining program, on the ground that it has not yet been confirmed, and litigation of its legality would therefore require disclosure of state secrets).
Now, if you've been reading Wayne Madsen at all, you might be aware of his theory that all of the data theft that's been going, above and below the radar, is all part of the government's covert ops to fill up the TIA database (Total Information Awareness a la John Negroponte). We all know it's going on, but the administration hasn't admitted it. Every time the program gets shot down in Congress, it pops up again as part of another program. Like whack-a-mole. Anyway, that little tidbit from the decision just rubs me the wrong way.

Yes, the TIA program is probably unconstitutional, but that can't be discussed or debated because the Administration won't admit to what we all know they're doing. So it's off limits.

Does that strike anybody else as ridiculous?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Here's how atrocities are enabled, part deux:

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:07 PM Permalink

Violations by Military Recruiters Up Sharply
Numbers Rose From 2004 to 2005 With Pressure to Meet Goals, GAO Finds

The number of alleged and substantiated violations by U.S. military recruiters increased by more than 50 percent in one year, a rise that may reflect growing pressure to meet wartime recruiting goals, according to a Government Accountability Office report released yesterday.

Allegations of wrongdoing by military recruitment personnel rose from 4,400 cases in fiscal 2004 to 6,600 cases in fiscal 2005, with substantiated cases increasing from 400 to almost 630, according to the report. The number of cases found to be criminal violations more than doubled, from 33 to 68.

The increase in violations was noted despite a significant decline in the number of people who joined the military. The number of new recruits fell from 250,000 in fiscal 2004 to 215,000 in fiscal 2005, even as recruiting efforts were significantly boosted, according to the GAO report.
Citing internal Defense Department data, the GAO found that about 20 percent of active-duty recruiters believe that irregularities -- such as coercion, concealing information that would disqualify a candidate and falsifying documents, among others -- occur frequently. A majority of recruiters also reported dissatisfaction with their jobs.

The data indicate that irregularities increase around the time of monthly quota deadlines, according to the report.

The recruiting effort has become more difficult, especially for the Army, because new recruits know that they are likely to be deployed in support of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Army officials have said that parents, coaches and advisers -- the "influencers" of recruits -- are less likely to recommend that young men and women join the military because of the wars. The low unemployment rate also means that young people have other options.
So they've lowered the standards, raised the maximum age and also doubled the number of recruiting violations all in order to feed our children into the maw of an illegal war on a country that posed no danger to us. But that's just my take ... others see the class half full.

More unconstitutional acts by Bush ... or ... We all have our cross to bear

posted by The Vidiot @ 6:29 PM Permalink

Disputed Latin cross transferred to feds

President Bush signed a law on Monday transferring a 29-foot-tall Latin cross high on a hill in San Diego to the federal government, stepping into a long-running dispute over the separation of church and state.

Bush, in just the latest unusual action designed to save the Mount Soledad cross in the La Jolla district, sided firmly with cross supporters who acknowledge it is the pre-eminent symbol of Christianity but contend it forms part of a secular war memorial. An atheist, Philip K. Paulson, has fought the cross, built in 1954, for 17 years in federal and state courts, asserting the memorial was built only after he protested the cross and filed suit and is a ruse to cover its intent to promote Christianity.

The legislation Bush signed essentially uses eminent domain to transfer the memorial land
The private group that built the cross, the Mount Soledad Memorial Association, will continue to maintain it.
Wow, the Rethuglicans just schiavo'ed a cross for election year pandering.

Cheney IS a terror alert.

posted by The Vidiot @ 4:20 PM Permalink

Oh, this is just splendid. From the man who eats babies, at a republican fundraiser:
Excerpt: ‘‘Here in the U.S. we have not had another 9-11,’’ the vice president said. ‘‘No one can guarantee we will not be hit again. But the relative safety in recent years is not an accident.’’
Meaning: It was on purpose. We didn't need to manufacture another 9/11 to keep you sheep in line, but if you start electing democrats, we may have to put you in your place!

The snark escapes me.

posted by The Vidiot @ 3:06 PM Permalink

All of this "a vote for democrats or against Joe Lieberman is a vote for al Qaeda" crap is just so ridiculous and demoralizing that I can't possibly come up with a pithy headline.
You can't get more ridiculous than Senator Hatch saying that a democrat win could help terrorists. But, then again, Lieberman is implying that the Connecticut voters are al Qaeda sympathizers, (which is what Cheney is saying), which is pretty ridiculous seeing as he was defeated because he's, UGH, I can't even come up with a worthwhile adjective for Joe. (Any adjective I would've used couldn't possibly have captured the gestalt of what a horribly out-of-touch Senator he's been, and besides, the adjective used would have been deeply offended at having to modify "Joe Lieberman.")

I really hope those idiots in the red states, the ones who STILL think Saddam had WMDs, are on some level, whether it be conscious or subconscious, offended by these shenanigans.

Hero or not

posted by The Vidiot @ 3:03 PM Permalink

Today, Judge Anna Diggs Taylor did a good deed in ruling the NSA program is wrong and anti-constitutional. Here's the much ballyhooed money quote:
Excerpt: "We must first note that the Office of the Chief Executive has itself been created, with its powers, by the Constitution. There are no hereditary Kings in America and no power not created by the Constitution. So all 'inherent power' must derive from that Constitution."
Here's the actual decision. (pdf)

Update: Greenwald does the parsing for us, so we don't have to. Bottom line (literally, it's the bottom line of his blogpost)
Excerpt: From the decision: "The AUMF Resolution, if indeed it is construed as replacing FISA, gives no support to Defendants here. Even if that Resolution superceded all other statutory law, Defendants have violated the constitutional rights of their citizens."

Op. at 39 (emphasis added). If Congress is not empowered to authorize this program through the AUMF (because the program is unconstitutional), then there is no good argument as to why the Specter bill can.

Deja Vu all over again

posted by The Vidiot @ 9:57 AM Permalink

Behold Mexico's December 12, 2000.
Excerpt: Mexico's top electoral court rejected complaints about the July Congressional election on Wednesday, giving conservative candidate Felipe Calderon's party the largest stake in the legislature.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

It was SO obvious

posted by The Vidiot @ 5:33 PM Permalink

The latest scare was just so typically ridiculous -- to the point that they're telling women to not where gel bras for Pete's sake -- that you KNEW it would be utilized by this administration in SOME less-than-desired way.

Well, behold.
Excerpt: Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales on Monday ordered a side-by-side review of American and British counterterrorism laws as a first step toward determining whether further changes in American law are warranted.

Remind me again

posted by The Vidiot @ 5:30 PM Permalink

why there's profit in something as necessary as health care?
Excerpt: Pharmaceutical companies are making billions in excess profits under the new Medicare drug benefit, according to a report by the Center for Economic and Policy Research. In the first year of the Medicare Part D program, Pfizer will make $1.2 billion in excess profits on Lipitor and $585 million on Zoloft; Wyeth will make nearly $1 billion on Protonix; and Merck will make $1.6 billion on Zocor.
Well, you had to know by the way the Medicare legislation was pushed through Congress that SOMEBODY'S hands were gettin' greased and it's pretty clear who was greasin' 'em.


posted by The Vidiot @ 5:26 PM Permalink

I have no idea where the above icon comes from. (I saw it on Bartcop's page I think.) Anyway, it so aptly suits this story, I had to include it. My apologies if it belongs to anybody.
Excerpt: A California-based consumer watchdog group has accused energy interests in the state of ratcheting up gas prices by increasing refinery outages, RAW STORY has found.


posted by The Vidiot @ 5:21 PM Permalink

Mr. Vidiot gives me a bit of grief for being so hard on the Republicans, mostly because the Democrats deserve an equal amount of derision as well as the fact that anything discussed is part of a media manufactured controversy to begin with.

Ok. I know he's right.

But, sometimes, this administration just makes it too damned difficult to do the "equal bashing" thing. Like Mr. Gleason said, "One of these days, Alice. One of these days. BAM! To the moon Alice! To the moon!"

Excerpt: The Office of Special Counsel, which investigates campaign fundraising violations by government officials and employees under the Hatch Act, seems to be sweeping Republican violations under the rug. I have received reports from whistle-blowers that, in the lead up to the 2004 Presidential Campaign, an investigation of then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice was assumed by high ranking partisans in the office and placed on the back burner, while the same high ranking partisans gave their immediate attention to an investigation of Senator John Kerry.

Corporate Hubris

posted by The Vidiot @ 5:13 PM Permalink

You spend your life working for "the man" thinking that you'll have a retirement, that you will be able to sit back, relax and sip the mojitos. But just as your daydream starts to get really good, someone hands you a package called "Preparing for a Financial Setback" and all of a sudden, you realize that retirement may never happen. Especially when the aforementioned package includes a booklet called "101 ways to not spend money" which has prize little gemlets like this in it:
Excerpt: Bankrupt Northwest Airlines Corp. advised workers to fish in the trash for things they like or take their dates for a walk in the woods in a move to help workers facing the ax to save money.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

It may be silly

posted by The Vidiot @ 5:46 PM Permalink

and it may be poking fun at stuff that we really should be taking more seriously, but hell, THIS I'll see -- Robin Williams as Jon Stewart running, and winning, the presidency.

Can't say it any more clearly than Olberman

posted by The Vidiot @ 12:13 PM Permalink


'Nuff said.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Topical anOintment ...

posted by The Vidiot @ 6:11 PM Permalink

...and only iTunes can salve it
Bush 'helped Israeli attack on Lebanon'
War 3:20 Edwin Starr
Evil Ways 3:54 Santana
Masters of War 3:24 Judy Collins
War Pigs 7:56 Black Sabbath
Crime Of The Century 5:35 Supertramp
US sending 300 newly returned troops back to Iraq
Crossfire 4:09 Stevie Ray Vaughn
We Gotta Get Out of this Place 3:16 The Animals
Road to Nowhere 4:20 Talking Heads
Let It Bleed 5:02 Rolling Stones
Follow the Liquids
Combination Of The Two 5:48 Janis Joplin, Big Brother And The Holding Company
Subterranean Homesick Blues 2:21 Bob Dylan
Pakistani Men Investigated For Buying Bulk Phones
Communication Breakdown 2:27 Led Zeppelin
Don't Call Me Nigger, Whitey 5:57 Sly & The Family Stone
Bring on the rapture
Goodbye Blue Sky 2:48 Pink Floyd
Dont Fear The Reaper 5:09 Blue Oyster Cult
Oh Death 3:19 Ralph Stanley

Mike Wallace is an asshole

posted by The Vidiot @ 10:28 AM Permalink

I usually don't use "blue" language in a headline, but after watching him interview Iran's president last night, well, "asshole" is about the nicest thing I can say about Mike Wallace.

Never before have I ever witnessed such condescension and disrespect of a world leader. Wallace was dismissive of almost everything Ahmadinejad said AND Wallace saved the most inflammatory things for the voice over, not allowing Ahmadinejad any chance at a rebuttal. At one point, he accused Ahmadinejad of being a coward for not clearly admitting to hating Israel and Ahmadinejad, who was a commander during the Iran/Iraq war, kinda smiled and said something like "I find it interesting that YOU are telling me how to be brave." the subtext being "You pansy ass little old man. Who the hell do you think you are calling a coward!"

Watch it for yourself. Ahmadinejad is actually intelligent and very clear headed. He's not inflammatory at all and CBS has stooped to new lows in their attempts to uphold the administration's edicts on who the next boogeyman is.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Saturday Sailboat Blogging

posted by The Vidiot @ 12:41 PM Permalink

Sent by a friend racing overseas in Singapore.

Why is this news?

posted by The Vidiot @ 11:53 AM Permalink

Read this headline:

Cheney Accused of Politicizing Terrorism

That's like saying "Santa wears a red suit." or "That movie star has had some 'work' done."

I mean, really.

Friday, August 11, 2006

"How many people do you have to kill ...

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:10 PM Permalink

... before you qualify to be described as mass murderer and a war criminal?" - Harold Pinter
Israel wants hastened shipment of US rockets: NYT
Fri Aug 11, 2006 10:47 AM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Israel has asked the Bush administration to hasten delivery of short-range anti-personnel rockets armed with cluster munitions, which it could use to strike Hizbollah missile sites in Lebanon, The New York Times reported on Friday.

Sourcing its report to two American officials, the newspaper said the request for M-26 artillery rockets, which are fired in barrages and carry hundreds of grenade-like bomblets that scatter and explode over a broad area, is likely to be approved shortly.
The newspaper said the United States maintained a moratorium in the 1980s on selling cluster munitions to Israel, after it learned civilians in Lebanon had been killed with the weapons during the 1982 Israeli invasion. But the moratorium was lifted late in the Reagan administration, and some types of U.S. cluster munitions have been sold to Israel, one senior official said.
He added that it was likely that Israel will get the rockets, but will be told to "be careful."
"be careful"!? Be freakin careful!? How the hell can you be careful when you use a weapon that can spread explosive bomblets over 2 football fields?

BTW, the use of cluster bombs is a war crime when used in civilian areas.

Now I really am terrified ...

posted by The Vidiot @ 12:07 PM Permalink

(Photo by John Fletcher. Appeared in the Asheville Citizen-Times. Seen on AmericaBLOG.)

So let me get this straight; the airline terror plot that was just exposed by the Brits involved the use of binary liquid explosives.

And what was the US's response?

Have everyone poor out their liquids into common trash cans ... which would combine the binary elements and cause the explosion! WTF!?

Either Bushco knows the report is hype, or they are too stupid to figure out that 1 + 1 = boom!

Of course I wouldn't be surprised if 'all of the above' was the answer.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Loserman's Loose Lips

posted by The Vidiot @ 5:36 PM Permalink

UPDATE III: by The Sailor
Jeebus, they even admit it!
But Bush aides on Thursday fought the notion that they had exploited their knowledge of the coming British raid to hit Democrats, saying the trigger had been the defeat of Democratic Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut by an anti-war political novice.

"The comments were purely and simply a reaction" to Democratic voters who "removed a pro-defense Senator and sent the message that the party would not tolerate candidates with such views," said Snow.
"Weeks before September 11th, this is going to play big," said another White House official, who also spoke on condition of not being named, adding that some Democratic candidates won't "look as appealing" under the circumstances.
Remember when Bushco said it would be wrong to politicize the WOT?

UPDATE II: by The Vidiot
Bush on the British Terror Plot

watch it and tell me he's NOT getting the words radioed into his ear.

g'head. I dare ya'

UPDATE: by The Sailor
Lieberman Seizes on Terror Arrests to Attack Rival

Senator Joseph I. Lieberman seized on the terror arrests in Britain today to attack his Democratic rival, Ned Lamont, saying that Mr. Lamont’s goals for ending the war in Iraq would constitute a “victory� for extremists, including those accused of plotting to blow up airliners traveling between Britain and the United States.

“If we just pick up like Ned Lamont wants us to do, get out by a date certain, it will be taken as a tremendous victory by the same people who wanted to blow up these planes in this plot hatched in England,� Mr. Lieberman said at a campaign event at lunchtime in Waterbury, Conn. “It will strengthen them and they will strike again.�
How odd that that is exactly what Cheney and the White House said. What a coincidence.

I've been mulling over Lieberman's "concession" speech (and I use that word "concession" lightly since he conceded nothing) and there are a few things that struck me, as well, you'll see.

First, let's examine the this bit:
People …and not just the Democrats are angry at the direction of this country - so am I. People are fed up with the petty partisanship and angry vitriol in Washington
Now, read that last line again. "People are fed up... with... partisanship... ." Interesting. And here's why.

Mr. Vidiot and I have had many a conversation (loud at times) regarding how the two parties are an illusion. He thinks they're more of an illusion and I have to agree with him these days. There is NO two-party system. There hasn't been for years. On the surface, it may appear that the two parties stand for different things, but dig a little deeper, and it's easy to see that the both support the military machine, they both support inequality, they both support big business, they both do a lot of things that are counter to what we THINK they should be doing with their time in office.

What Lieberman revealed in that one little line is that he thinks it's high time to stop the facade. That partisanship isn't working, that everyone working together is the way it should be. Now, when you take into consideration the underlying pursuits of both the parties, you can see that means, well, for all intents and purposes, a one-party system.

He later said:
Together. I am confident that we can find common ground and secure a better future… that and nonpartisanship is what politics should be about.
Nonpartisanship. That's exactly exposing the ugly truth that the stupid Lieberman has blurted out for all to see: there are no parties, there shouldn't be a perception that there is an opposition anymore. Just everyone working together, out in the open like they've been doing behind closed doors for decades. There's just no standing up to it. Let it wash over you like the sweet smell of almonds... when there's too much cyanide in the air.

Think I'm wrong? Give me one argument, one debate that they have, whether it be healthcare or the war, where the "debate" isn't focused on two false points and the real crux of the issue is discussed. Can you do that? I doubt it. They obfuscate the real issues with misguided debates on this or that, to mask the fact that, bottom line, the interests of the corporations and donors will be honored.


More on this later. Mr. Vidiot and I must go out and have a few drinks. Thinking like this makes me want to numb myself.

It's just so discouraging.

iPods and Gatorade.

posted by The Vidiot @ 4:10 PM Permalink

I shit you not.

Though, this made me laugh my ass off: "Who the fuck brought this motherfucking beverage onto this motherfucking plane?"

(If you're oblivious to the whole "Snakes on a Plane" thing, go here.)

Just remember

posted by The Vidiot @ 1:25 PM Permalink

Saw this on a reader's forum:
In the case of the most recent booga booga coming out of the UK, please note:

Two U.S. counterterrorism officials said the terrorists had targeted United Airlines, American Airlines and Continental Airlines. They spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case.

The suspects were "homegrown," though it was not immediately clear if they were all British citizens, said a police official who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case.

A senior U.S. counterterrorism official said authorities believe dozens of people — possibly as many as 50 — were involved in the plot. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

Heathrow's block on incoming traffic applied to flights of three hours or less, affecting most of the incoming traffic from Europe, an airport spokesman said on condition of anonymity in line with airport policy.

A U.S. intelligence official said the plotters had hoped to target flights to major airports in New York, Washington and California, all major summer tourist destinations.
As a matter of course, the more “anonymous� sources, the less likely the story is to be true. Also keep in mind the timing of this story: An overtly anti-war democrat just pushed out a pro-war incumbent, (in all, three incumbents lost their jobs on Tuesday, a VERY rare occurrence indeed) and the mess in the Middle East is creating even more anti-US sentiment and well, you get the picture. And if that’s not enough, look back through the history of the booga-boogas and note how many of them were debunked.

Elections are coming up, let the booga-booga begin!

Best Movie Review Ever ...

posted by The Vidiot @ 12:09 PM Permalink

It takes heart of Stone to relive 9/11

BY RICHARD ROEPER Sun-Times Columnist
"These broads are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities. ... I've never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths so much."
Hatemonger Ann Coulter's assessment of some of the widows of 9/11 victims.

It would be my great pleasure to arrange for a screening of Oliver Stone's "World Trade Center" for Ann Coulter and some of the families whose loved ones were killed or seriously injured on 9/11. It could take place in New York, New Jersey, any place, any time, all expenses on me. All I ask is, after the screening is over and the lights go up, that Coulter should stand and face these families and explain to them why she believes they experienced anything but the most profound emotional pain on that day and on all the days that have followed.

Of course, Coulter will never go for something like that. That would take character and humanity, and she's an unconscionable pig.
Jeebus! Tell us what you really think Richard!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Becoming Unrove

posted by The Vidiot @ 9:57 PM Permalink

ABC news says:
According to a close Lieberman adviser, the President's political guru, Karl Rove, has reached out to the Lieberman camp with a message straight from the Oval Office: "The boss wants to help. Whatever we can do, we will do."
This is a tricky dance for Lieberman. He needs to figure out a way to get the benefits of Bush support -- some votes from loyal Republicans -- without turning off the independents and moderate Democrats he needs to win. The safest course may be a polite "thanks but no thanks" to the White House offer.

UPDATED @ 3:35p ET: Dan Gerstein called from the Lieberman campaign to say the above account from another Lieberman adviser is not accurate. While confirming that Rove called Lieberman, he added: "Rove made a personal call, no help was offered, and we are not interested regardless." A senior White House official also says that the account is "not accurate."
I'm sorry, but didn't that sound just like a 'polite "thanks but no thanks"?' And the White House saying 'the account is "not accurate."' is just a clever way of not saying it is true.

Taxing Revelations

posted by The Vidiot @ 6:05 PM Permalink

How the US Super-Rich 'Dodge' Taxes

The Senate's subcommittee on investigations has spent a year tracking the finances of several billionaires and discovered they funnelled hundreds of millions of dollars to tiny Caribbean islands and the Isle of Man.

Named in a subcommittee report are Robert Wood Johnson IV, the owner of the New York Jets American football team, Haim Saban, the billionaire behind the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers TV show, Texan tycoons Charles and Sam Wyly and telecoms entrepreneur Walter Anderson.
The offshore deals, the report said, enabled Johnson and Saban to "shelter" hundreds of million of dollars through an opaque deal called POINT, or "Personally Optimized INvestment Transaction."

Saban blamed his tax advisors for the transactions, telling Senate investigators, "You have a very disappointed person, who feels misled, lied to, cheated."
Poor baby, he was cheated into millions of dollars! I'd have believed him more if he'd said it was 'drink and bad companions yer honor.'
Lawmakers estimate that such transactions cost the US taxpayer up to 70 billion dollars a year and they are demanding a radical reform of the law.
IRS commissioner Mark Everson told lawmakers that "offshore tax shelters are robbing the American treasury of billions of dollars," and vowed to prosecute their improper use.
so he 'vowed to prosecute their improper use'? How is he going to do that when
I.R.S. Will Cut Tax Lawyers Who Audit The Richest

The federal government is moving to eliminate the jobs of nearly half of the lawyers at the Internal Revenue Service who audit tax returns of some of the wealthiest Americans
And what is Bush's response!?
He said Congress should extend tax cuts, [ED: to the rich] including the elimination of the estate tax, and pass a bill giving him a line-item veto.
And the money quote is from
Just remember, when you're talking about, oh, we're just going to run up the taxes on a certain number of people -- first of all, real rich people figure out how to dodge taxes.
Gee, I wonder how he'd know that?