Thursday, January 31, 2008

Listen, Do you want to know a secret, Do you promise not to tell, whoa oh ... oh no!

posted by The Sailor @ 7:01 PM Permalink

[Meghan O'Sullivan] President Bush's former deputy national security advisor, had been contracted by the [Student Alliance for National Security] to speak Tuesday at the Indiana Memorial Union. O'Sullivan had planned to lead a discussion with students and members of the public about recent gains made in the Iraq war.
What, they couldn't get an expert on the subject!? But seriously folks, it was open to the public, at a public university, mainly paid for by student fees. WTF!?

And either all the members of the resulting press quoted and saw everything wrong, or the organizers and their faculty adviser, (ex-CIA agent Gene Coyle) just plain lied.

Lie number one:
For about half an hour afterward, O'Sullivan, student group members and their faculty adviser, Gene Coyle, stood in the back of the auditorium. Several cell phone calls were seen to be made. Coyle and others were observed speaking to Indiana Daily Student reporter Elvia Malagon. IU student and [Student Alliance for National Security] Adam Newman took the podium to announce there would be a delay because of issues with the IDS and whether the talk could take place 'off the record.'

Around 7 p.m., Coyle took the stage to announce that the talk would not take place. 'Dr. O'Sullivan is taken ill and is in the bathroom in a very poor state,' Coyle said. He also said that O'Sullivan only agreed to come to IU if she could speak off the record.
So, is it only me or does it seem like quite a coincidence that she got 'sick', just as soon as she realized her remarks about how most excellent things are going in Iraq might be made public?

I don't blame her, it makes me sick too.

Lie number two:
Event organizers said this type of request is typical and said they were disappointed in what they called the press' lack of professionalism.
Plainly untrue. There is nothing typical, or even precedented, about a public university using public money holding an event open to the public barring the press from reporting on it.
Malcom A. Glenn, president of Harvard’s student newspaper, The Harvard Crimson, said he was not aware these types of presentations went on at the university, but said reporters at his newspaper would not concede to requests for off-the-record presentations.
Larry MacIntyre, IU’s assistant vice president for University Communications, said he’d never heard of something like this happening at a college campus.

In addition, University Chancellor Ken Gros Louis said denying press access to a public event “goes against the grain of what a university is.” He also said that, in his 43-year tenure at IU, he cannot remember a situation like this occurring.
Reporters are citizens too. And in today's world where we have citizen journalists, blogs, camera phones, iPod recorders, where does one draw the line between 'press' and 'public?' I draw the line the same way that judges already have. There isn't one.

Not to mention that whole US Constitution thingie about a free press and free speech.

Lie number three:
[Miles Taylor, director for the Student Alliance for National Security] was also upset that IDS staff members waited until five minutes before the event began to say they wouldn't accept O'Sullivan's request.
Really, 5 minutes!? Then why would ex-CIA agent Coyle say:
SANS’ faculty adviser, Gene Coyle, said via e-mail that he had been trying to find out from the university all day Wednesday about if or when a speech or lecture could be delivered as “off-the-record.”
When I first heard about this event I wondered why don't just plain folks record the audio and video and put it on the web.

After the story broke I wondered why would the IDS reporter even asked for permission? I appreciate that she stood by her guns against the personal and professional attacks she endured then, and even more that have resulted.

But why even ask?

My advice to the reporter: it's easier to beg for forgiveness than ask for permission. You would better have served the public by doing so.

That said; this was a college student on a college newspaper, trying to do her best, trying to report on an important story. And she did it better than almost all of the DC press do covering the White House.

If I was her journalism teacher? I'd give her a 4.0
She faced down an ex-CIA agent, a White House adviser and hostile students that she has to continue to go to school with. Wow, talk about a tough crowd.

And we'd never have known about it if she hadn't reported it.

She gives me hope about the future of the 4th estate.

Cross posted at SteveAudio

Brooklyn Blogging

posted by The Vidiot @ 4:32 PM Permalink

Haven't done one of these for awhile, but this person's trash can made me laugh on my way to the train. Had to share.


Think Globally, Act Locally.

posted by The Vidiot @ 2:15 PM Permalink

This plan that NYC has to secede from New York state is awesome. Honestly, this city funnels a lot of money into the dysfunctional Albany machine and so much of it never finds its way back to the city. Why should our hard work support all those upstate layabouts? I say all major metropolitan areas should secede from their states. Like California for instance. The entire West coast of the state to 20 miles in should be its own state. Chicago? Does Chicago REALLY need Illinois? No, I don't think so. Miami? Hell, it's practically its own country anyway because of the Cubans. And New Orleans? You have no idea how different New Orleans is from the rest of Louisiana. On second thought, New Orleans should just secede from the whole planet it's so different.

And why stop there? States' rights aren't being respected anymore, why not just secede from the United States? New York certainly hasn't benefited from Washington. Its not like Washington has prevented the foreigners from invading the city via their real estate purchases. We should take a few pointers from the Lakotah Nation and just make our own country. Each state should secede from the US and each large city should secede from the state. Let's see the American government try to control THAT mess.



American led genocide of Iraqis "surge" to one million -bush finally succeeding at something

posted by Bill Arnett @ 1:32 PM Permalink

Most people are aware, I think, of the history of dismal failures of gw bush, throughout his lifetime, from blowing up frogs, to failing to show up for pilot duty as required of all pilots, to blowing it with a baseball team, to screwing up business deals daddy had to bail him out of, to his abysmal performance as president of the United State, to his inability and incompetency in waging illegal wars, his demonstrated inability to stop spending borrowed money, and on and on and on.

The only area in which bushco and the military have "succeeded" is in the killing, actually conducting a genocide, of the Iraqi people.

From Reuters comes this report titled, "Iraq conflict has killed a million Iraqis: survey" where it is noted that:
More than one million Iraqis have died as a result of the conflict in their country since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, according to research conducted by one of Britain's leading polling groups.

The survey, conducted by Opinion Research Business (ORB) with 2,414 adults in face-to-face interviews, found that 20 percent of people had had at least one death in their household as a result of the conflict, rather than natural causes.

The last complete census in Iraq conducted in 1997 found 4.05 million households in the country, a figure ORB used to calculate that approximately 1.03 million people had died as a result of the war, the researchers found.

The margin of error in the survey, conducted in August and September 2007, was 1.7 percent, giving a range of deaths of 946,258 to 1.12 million.

ORB originally found that 1.2 million people had died, but decided to go back and conduct more research in rural areas to make the survey as comprehensive as possible and then came up with the revised figure.

The research covered 15 of Iraq's 18 provinces. Those that not covered included two of Iraq's more volatile regions -- Kerbala and Anbar -- and the northern province of Arbil, where local authorities refused them a permit to work.
All for oil we could have purchased legitimately on the world market, at much lower costs than those of the war, and without killing over a million people.

Gosh, don't it make you proud to be an American? And won't it make you even prouder when we nuke Iran and kill many, many millions more people totally innocent of any crime against us, hostility directed at us, and that pose no threat whatever to America?

bush can kill millions more in the year he has left, so every country in the world better watch its a$$. He WANTS to use nukes. See Sailor's terrifying post below about five men, ONLY FIVE MEN, that will decide if it is appropriate to nuke a country they even THINK may have or be working on a nuclear weapon. But it's okay, one of the five is an "accomplished organist," obviously a quality you want among five men deciding the make the earth a smoking cinder so irradiated that no life will remain.

Except cockroaches. But I don't think they can play an organ.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Libera te tutemet ex infernis ... or ... liberate me ex infernis

posted by The Sailor @ 5:35 PM Permalink

The Self Fulfilling Prophecy of Doom:
Pre-Emptive Nuclear Strike a Key Option, NATO Told

The west must be ready to resort to a pre-emptive nuclear attack to try to halt the "imminent" spread of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, according to a radical manifesto for a new Nato by five of the west's most senior military officers and strategists.
"The risk of further [nuclear] proliferation is imminent and, with it, the danger that nuclear war fighting, albeit limited in scope, might become possible," the authors argued in the 150-page blueprint for urgent reform of western military strategy and structures. "The first use of nuclear weapons must remain in the quiver of escalation as the ultimate instrument to prevent the use of weapons of mass destruction."
The five commanders argue that the west's values and way of life are under threat, but the west is struggling to summon the will to defend them.
This is the scariest, most insane thing I've ever read.

And not only do these idjits have nukes, they even have bullet points:
The key threats are:

· Political fanaticism and religious fundamentalism.

· The "dark side" of globalisation, meaning international terrorism, organised crime and the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

· Climate change and energy security, entailing a contest for resources and potential "environmental" migration on a mass scale.

· The weakening of the nation state as well as of organisations such as the UN, Nato and the EU.
The hypocrisy astounds! George Bush and the GOP also preach 'Political fanaticism and religious fundamentalism.' They've brayed to the world about 'the axis of evil' and called the Iraq invasion a crusade!

And the 'dark side of globalization'!? Of course there is a 'dark side' to globalization! Countries that don't respect human rights or the environment can always make a product cheaper! Not to mention we also sold their governments arms, WMD chemicals and gave them nuke weapons technology. (See Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan.)

And since Bush has 'unsigned' the Kyoto protocol and refused to reduce emissions or even to seriously acknowledge climate change the 'migrate or drown' is forced upon low lying areas in the world due to the greenhouse gasses we refuse to curtail.

And The UN is weak because the US weakened it! We don't even pay our dues. This is like killing your parents and asking mercy from the court because you are an orphan!

To prevail, the generals call for an overhaul of Nato decision-taking methods, a new "directorate" of US, European and Nato leaders to respond rapidly to crises, and an end to EU "obstruction" of and rivalry with Nato. Among the most radical changes demanded are:

· A shift from consensus decision-taking in Nato bodies to majority voting, meaning faster action through an end to national vetoes.

· The abolition of national caveats in Nato operations of the kind that plague the Afghan campaign.

· No role in decision-taking on Nato operations for alliance members who are not taking part in the operations.

· The use of force without UN security council authorisation when "immediate action is needed to protect large numbers of human beings".
The Bush Doctrine of preemptive war against folks you just don't like is now supposed to be a NATO strategy ... with the generals in charge ... and nuclear hell is the opening gambit.

Cross posted at SteveAudio

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bush proves that his government is for sale…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 2:00 PM Permalink

…or at least parts of it are going on sale soon.

With all the chutzpah, hubris, and arrogance bush can muster (and that's quite a bit), bush will now charge congressmen $200.00 per copy for a look at his proposed budget.

From Raw Story comes this ludicrous nonsense:
Lawmakers to be charged $200 for previously free paper copies

In a move it says is aimed at saving money and trees, the Bush administration plans to charge lawmakers $200 for copies of this year's federal budget.

Democrats and Republicans alike groaned about the decision, telling The Hill that the extra expenses will not be easy to find in already strained budgets.

“It’s pennywise and pound-foolish,” Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-NC), a member of the House Budget Committee, told the newspaper. “I don’t think as a member of Congress that I should have to take money out of my account [for the president’s budget request].”[…]

Even some Republicans scoffed at the idea of squinting at a computer screen to read through 2,000-plus pages of fine print on federal spending proposals.

“I think people who request a copy of the budget should be given it gratis,” Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.), another Budget panel member, told The Hill. “You want something in your hand so you can thumb through it and mark it up and reference it.”
First of all, bush is now suddenly a conservationist wanting to save trees after ok'ing the clear-cutting of forests and the destruction of much more forest by allowing many thousands of new mines in, on, and around the Rocky Mountains that is certain to kill millions more trees than necessary to supply everyone in America with a copy of his budget?

Here's a good idea for the congress: refuse to consider any budget offered by the president until they receive a written version that my be scoured and marked up for corrections, modifications, or different opinions. If he will not provide it, don't even calendar it for any consideration by committees or the bodies of congress.

Haven't we had a fifth grader running this country long enough? Don't talk to anyone you don't like; promise to break any laws that you choose; charge people for documents the government is obliged to provide; refuse to listen to the grownups in your own party; trying to peek up Nancy Pelosi's skirt…uh…okay, I made that last one up, but I think my point is obvious.

Thank the spirits that be, if any, that the petulant little boy running the White House will be gone soon and forever irrelevant after that.

The only things people will remember bush for is illegal wars badly fought and lost, the bankruptcy of America, and that he is the worst world leader any country has ever had including, sadly enough, America right now.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

More Stupid Senatorial Tricks…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 3:35 PM Permalink

It is not possible for me to express the contempt I have for Senator James Inhofe (Revisionist-OK) as he stands there on the floor revisiting, revising, and being totally disingenuous about Iraq and our reasons for being there.

Many of the various reasons he gave for our being there went all the way back to the 1991 Gulf War: the Saddam torture rooms, burning of oil wells, etc., which played no role whatever in bushco's litany of offenses calling for American intervention.

He completely rewrote history again by accusing Bill Clinton of being solely responsible for the reduction of our armed forces in the 90s when the facts are that Dick Cheney and the Republican congress were the parties responsible for the reduction of our forces.

Now he is addressing Iran and stating that the five speedboat incident off the coast of Iran recently constituted an "intimidation" of our Navy. Puh-l-e-e-e-e-s-s-e. "We cannot allow Iran to be the dominate power in the Middle East."

He now claims that al-Qaeda was defeated in the Middle East and has migrated to the Horn of Africa. Hooray! That must mean we've won in Iraq and our troops can come home!

And comparing the Iraqi parliament to the young congress formed early in America is just totally over the top. The differences between American and Iraqi cultures alone make such comparisons impossible.

So: we went to kill Saddam; close down the terrorists camps (one of which had the shell of a 707 on the ground and, "Who knows if that's where they got their training for 9/11?") , give the Iraqi's freedom, and to accord their "freedom fighters" the same opportunity to fight for their liberation as our early pioneers took upon themselves. I guess he's unaware that 80% of Iraqis believe America is the problem and that it is a good thing to kill an American soldier.

Will it ever dawn on him that he completely left out WMDs and every single reason bush gave for invading Iraq? Is it genetically impossible for a Republican to tell the truth?

I swear, the difference between the honesty of Democratic senators and dissembling of Republican senators who, with very few exceptions, lie their a$$e$ off in the most shameful manner possible, is truly mind-blowing.

Take the time to read Inhofe's speech today and judge for yourself. (This probably proves I'm not cut out to be a "live-blogger" as my meager typing skills do not allow me to keep up with all the lies.)

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

New lies for when a certain kind of satellite dies…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 2:29 PM Permalink

…comes from this article from the Huffington Post, which, it seems to me, is disinformation being put out to prepare the world for something altogether different from what is stated. The title is, "Disabled Spy Satellite Threatens Earth," which sounds pretty dire to me for what they represent this satellite to be:
A large U.S. spy satellite has lost power and could hit the Earth in late February or early March, government officials said Saturday.

The satellite, which no longer can be controlled, could contain hazardous materials, and it is unknown where on the planet it might come down, they said. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the information is classified as secret. It was not clear how long ago the satellite lost power, or under what circumstances.[…and here's where it get "v-e-r-r-r-y in-ter-esting" in a Henry Gibson kind of way. Bill][…]

The spacecraft contains hydrazine _ which is rocket fuel _ according to a government official who was not authorized to speak publicly but spoke on condition of anonymity. Hydrazine, a colorless liquid with an ammonia-like odor, is a toxic chemical and can cause harm to anyone who contacts it.

Such an uncontrolled re-entry could risk exposure of U.S. secrets, said John Pike, a defense and intelligence expert. Spy satellites typically are disposed of through a controlled re-entry into the ocean so that no one else can access the spacecraft, he said.

Pike also said it's not likely the threat from the satellite could be eliminated by shooting it down with a missile, because that would create debris that would then re-enter the atmosphere and burn up or hit the ground.
Hydrazine is toxic and can, "…cause harm to anyone who contacts it," but seems to me that the several thousand degrees of heat generated by reentry would alone resolve that problem by exploding the rocket fuel long before it could possibly harm anyone on the surface of the planet.

The "government official" also ruled out shooting the satellite down and said that allowing it to crash could reveal U.S. secrets.

Why would this satellite pose such a problem to "Earth?" The debris field would be smaller than that of the shuttle which exploded during reentry, a shuttle by the way that was probably fueled with hydrazine. How many reports do YOU remember about the threat of hydrazine poisoning from the crashing shuttle?

This smacks of a different problem: a mini-nuclear reactor that has been powering this satellite, carrying enough plutonium that, if shattered and scattered into very fine particles, could be landing in a neighborhood near YOU.

Comforting thought, eh?

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

This made me laugh

posted by The Vidiot @ 11:32 AM Permalink

Saw in letters page:

READER: This year, both Groundhog Day and the State of the Union Address fall on the same day, February the 2nd, 2008

This is an ironic juxtaposition:

One involves a meaningless ritual in which we look to a creature of little intelligence for prognostication, and the other involves a Groundhog.


Friday, January 25, 2008

Happy Blogiversary to US!

posted by The Sailor @ 3:01 PM Permalink

Today is the second blogiversary of VidiotSpeak! As we enter our 'terrible twos' I thought it appropriate, (and easy), to reprint our One Year Blogiversary post:

It's been a year since VidiotSpeak was conceived in blogtopia (y,wksctp!*). And they said we would never last!

If you're in the mood for a 'how we met' story it's pretty good; She was in a black leather motorcycle jacket and I was a rock & roll outlaw hiding in academia ... umm, actually, we've never met. The Vidiot previously had an excellent online column about current events that occasionally went down because it was so popular. I offered some reserve bandwidth to make sure I could get my daily fix of snark and outrage that quieted the voices in my head while expressing the voices in my heart.

But I digress, without further urdu, here are our self-chosen highlights and excerpts for our one year blogiversary (y,wktjmotlctp!**):

The Vidiot:
At the beginning of last year, I wrote this: Constructing Our Reality ... I could’ve written it today. NOTHING has changed.
The Sailor:
Cognitive Dissonance ...
... Is the sound of one hand clapping, inside your head, in space, where no one can hear you scream.

"The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him."
- G.W. Bush, 9/13/2001


The Vidiot:
In february, I liked these two little ditties: Corporate Control

I saw this headline and nearly did a spit take:
Exxon: America will always rely on foreign oil
I'm so koany

If a real estate bubble bursts and the media doesn't mention it, did it really burst?
The Sailor:
Since we're talking about our favorites, I kinda liked this one: Cartoon uproar felt throughout Bay Area
and here's a blast from the past we should keep in mind during The New Way Forward:
Lies Big Brother Told Me

March and April
And who can forget The Vidiot's Brain Salad Surgery Saga?
The Vidiot:
Brain Damage...

I feel terrible not posting very much. But I have a very good reason.

So, funny thing, I've been feeling like crap lately and I went to the doctor, and guess what? I have a brain malformation. Well, OK, anyone who knows me might've suspected that right off the bat. But, it gets better.
It's official

Just got back from seeing the neurosurgeon and he said "Yup. You need surgery."
So, I've provided pictures to explain what's going to happen.
The day before tomorrow....

Tomorrow is the big day. (Update: Surgery is scheduled for 8:30 am) Today is the last day I'll not have a scar on the back of my head for the rest of my time here on Earth.
The Sailor:
So here's the deal ...

I'm sure the millions, well thousands, OK, hundreds ... would you believe 3 ... people who read vidiotspeak know Sara Bellum (AKA The Vidiot), is going in for a bit of 'nip and tuck.' Hopefully this time she'll get a brain surgeon and not a rocket scientist to do the ... uhmm ... honors.
[ED: BTW, thanks very much to skippy, Jeralyn, Myra, therealmrsjamesrubin, Rose and the various anonymouses who sent their good wishes. It meant a lot then and it means a lot now.]
Mr. Vidiot:
Update on The Vidiot:

The vidiot is out of her six hour surgery as of Thursday afternoon and doing well. The surgery was a success as everything went exactly as planned.
The Vidiot:
Well THAT sucked.

That sucked more than the 2000, 2002, 2004 elections COMBINED, multiplied by a bazillian. I'd rather have 8 more years for Bush/Cheney than go through THAT again.
[ED: If you ever want to see true love in action, read the whole post!]
The Sailor:
Well, that was a downer ... OK, a lot of downers, intubation and an IV drip. But there were a couple of light spots:
The Acme of Corruption ... or ... Gee, Brain, what do you want to do tonight?
It's Easter Sunday, the time of year we genuflect to eggs that were dyed for us ...

May saw Mr. Vidiot stand up, step up and sound off!
Mr. Vidiot:
"Blame the Victim"

Articles about the Katrina effect are ridiculous.

This article gets somethings right and some things wrong:
The Sailor:
So how bad do the neocons want a war with Iran?

I swear, looking back over our posts for this retrospective, some could have been written today.
The Sailor:
So how's that whole War On Terror thing going?

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

General Confusion and the Secretary of Defensiveness

U.S. commander predicts new reductions in troop levels in Iraq this year, but no firm timetable
Ohh, and there was a minor personal event for
Mr. and The Vidiot:
Light Blogging by the Vidiot

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

The Vidiot:
The other day, I went OFF. I mean really, went OFF.

The Sailor:
Res ipsa loquitor

Is US Winning? Army Chief Is at a Loss

Mr. Vidiot:
Viva Cuba Libre

What they really mean
The Sailor:
He's out of touch, they're out of time
The Vidiot:

Last year at this time, I was watching Mr. Vidiot frantically dialing his friends and family in NOLA, making sure everyone was OK.

In September we got some things right and some things wrong.
The wrong:
The Vidiot:
Wait for it, wait for it....
And the Right:
The Vidiot:
That's it then
The Sailor:
Bushco, making government smaller ... by poisoning us

The Vidiot:
What the hell!

Is this a tactical nuke going off in Iraq during the ammunitions fire? Watch the video. At about 3:56, there's a HUUUUuuuge explosion. Looks like a nuke with a glowing mushroom thingy to me.

Let's reflect for a moment

on the fact that this war and Iraq, a byproduct of the neocon plan to militarily dominate the planet and its resources, has caused the death of well over a half million Iraqi lives.
The Sailor:
Sunday Sermon on Wednesday

I don't understand the 'debate' on torture. I don't understand why there is a debate. I just can't see it. It's wrong, it's immoral and it doesn't work. You can make anyone say anything you want if you torture them long enough.
And we can't leave out the Guest Post by Edger:
What can we do about Islamic Terrorism?

November brought some good news:
The Vidiot:
Well, It's official.

The dems now control both houses of Congress.
The Sailor:
The Election is Making a Difference Already

Democrats Purge Climate-Change Skeptics
And some bad news:
The Vidiot:
The coffin doesn't need anymore nails.

Every other day, I read about some legislative assault on the constitution. Here's another one.
The Sailor:
Lied to death

Army Recruiters Accused of Misleading Students to Get Them to Enlist

And what year would be complete without the blessings that the season holds for all of us? Well, maybe not all of us.
The Sailor:
2006 by the Numbers ... or ... 3 freaking THOUSAND!?
The Vidiot:
Funny, isn't it.

They have $3 billion a week for the Iraq war, yet NO $$ to treat the 9/11 workers.
So, there it is. Just a small part of what inspired vidiotspeak to speak out in the darkness. That and we're pissed off and our friends are sick of listening to us.

Special thanks:
The Sailor:
I'd like to thank the academy, my agent and all the little peo ... oops, sorry, wrong speech.
Special thanks go to our good friends skippy and SteveAudio, for believing in us and linking to us first. AMERICAblog for linking to our posts and helping us in our research. But most of all I want to thank my partner in crime, without whom none of this would have been necessary!

* Yes, we know skippy coined that phrase! [back]

** Yes, we know Jeralyn Merrit of TalkLeft coined that phrase! [back]

So as you can see not a lot has changed in the world. But a lot has changed at VidiotSpeak. We've had a bloglift, we've added most excellent new writers, and our readership has more than doubled.

So I propose a toast to our new writers, our new readers, and especially to The Vidiot, without whom none of this would be!


Why stop at immunity for telecoms?

posted by Bill Arnett @ 1:50 PM Permalink

Asking for retroactive immunity for the telecoms means that bush knows he has violated laws, aided and abetted by the telecom companies, and now wishes to be free of any penalty.

Why stop there? Let's grant retroactive immunity to everyone arrested for a drug offense since September 11, 2001. Let's also include retroactive immunity to: everyone currently in prison, bank robbers, rapists, murderers, child molesters, drunk drivers, armed robbers, assaulters, those who battered someone else, spousal abuse, jaywalking, speeding, and, oh hell, let's just retroactively grant immunity to any and everyone who committed any crime since 9-11.

After all, they all broke the law and the only difference is the degree and type of crime committed.

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Headline for the day…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 12:56 PM Permalink

…comes from the Huffington Post:
Mitt Romney: "Well, I'm Not Concerned About The Voters"
What a coincidence. Most voters don't give a damn about him or what he says either.

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Over 900 documented lies and bush can keep us in Iraq with a treaty that binds?

posted by Bill Arnett @ 12:13 PM Permalink

From this mornings NYT comes word that the worst, most dishonest, and biggest lie-telling president in U.S. history is seeking agreements with Iraq that purportedly would tie the hands of the next president and force America to stay in Iraq:
With its international mandate in Iraq set to expire in 11 months, the Bush administration will insist that the government in Baghdad give the United States broad authority to conduct combat operations and guarantee civilian contractors specific legal protections from Iraqi law, according to administration and military officials.

This emerging American negotiating position faces a potential buzz saw of opposition from Iraq, with its fragmented Parliament, weak central government and deep sensitivities about being seen as a dependent state, according to these officials.

At the same time, the administration faces opposition from Democrats at home, who warn that the agreements that the White House seeks would bind the next president by locking in Mr. Bush’s policies and a long-term military presence.[…]

Democrats in Congress, as well as the party’s two leading presidential contenders, Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, have accused the White House of sponsoring negotiations that will set into law a long-term security relationship with Iraq.

But administration officials said that the American proposal specifically did not set future troop levels in Iraq or ask for permanent American bases there. Nor, they said, did it offer a security guarantee defining Washington’s specific responsibilities should Iraq come under attack.

Including such long-term commitments in the agreement would turn the accord into a bilateral treaty, one that would require Senate approval.[…]

“Where have we ever had an agreement to defend a foreign country from external attack and internal attack that was not a treaty?” he [Representative Bill Delahunt, Democrat of Massachusetts] said Wednesday at a hearing of a foreign affairs subcommittee held to review the matter. “This could very well implicate our military forces in a full-blown civil war in Iraq. If a commitment of this magnitude does not rise to the level of a treaty, then it is difficult to imagine what could.”
Just what basic flaw in thinking is it that prompts the Democratic party to believe that anything bushco does, while responsible for telling or encouraging over 900 lies to take us to war in Iraq, cannot be quickly undone?

I've got an idea for them, CANCEL THE AGREEMENT the very minute they enter office. bush himself has no right to bind future presidents to anything based upon his multitude of lies, and it is he himself that unilaterally withdrew America from treaties in the recent past in order to be able to threaten the world and spread U.S. hegemony.

So the new president and congress should swiftly advise the Iraqis that any agreement they make with liar bush will be null and void the very instant he leaves office. After all, bush set the standard of unilateral withdrawal from agreements and treaties, so how can he be heard to complain and why should any of us give a $hit whether he likes it or not?

Everyone needs to talk to their senators, congressmen, and the presidential candidates to insist that, as we have the biggest liar and worst president ever leaving office, everything he has done should and needs be undone swiftly.

Liars making binding agreements, indeed. Especially treaties detrimental to all of the parties, including Americans.

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

More shades of Vietnam…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 2:19 PM Permalink

…as an unidentified "senior pentagon official" has put word out to the press that more American troops will be going to Pakistan to aid in training their army.

I'm sure they will be serving in an "advisory role" only.

Move along. Nothing to see here. There will be no skulking around to discover where the nukes are, we promise.

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Headline for the day…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 11:22 AM Permalink

…comes from the Huffington Post:
Economists Predicted Prolonged US Presence In Iraq Could Spark Recession
No $hit, $herlock. It took a bunch of economists to figure that out?

Hellfire and damnation, I've been sayin' that for a long time and I don't even know what an "economist" looks like!

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Kick back, relax, take another toke…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 11:02 AM Permalink

…of whatever they're smoking in Washington that makes them believe they can spend their way out of being broke.

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Speaking of cowards…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 10:17 AM Permalink

Check out this article from, stating that the man most responsible for the many and varied problems currently cursing our beloved country won't even provide funds for the war he so passionately and stupidly lied America into:
The White House confirmed Wednesday that its new budget next month will not request a full year’s funding for the war in Iraq, leaving the next president and Congress to confront major cost questions soon after taking office in 2009.

The decision reverses the administration’s stance of just a year ago
, when President Bush’s budget made a point of spelling out in advance what he thought the costs would be for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan for 2008. By comparison, the new budget, to be unveiled Feb. 4, requests only incremental “bridge” funding into 2009 and won’t sustain the military through the full length of the fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, 2009.[…]

In preparing lawmakers for the new budget, administration officials have argued that the next president should rightfully make these funding decisions, and much still depends on the recommendations of the top commander in Iraq, Army Gen. David Petraeus, whose March report to Congress will influence the pace of future U.S. troop withdrawals.

“A budget is a reflection of military strategy, and we don’t want to prejudge the recommendations of commanders,” a White House budget official said in explaining the decision. But the end result is also that the new budget will understate the long-term costs of the war at a time when the government faces growing deficit problems, given the troubled economy.

New estimates by the Congressional Budget Office on Wednesday show a worsening situation, with the deficit jumping to at least $250 billion this year and possibly $350 billion once the full costs of the economic stimulus legislation are factored into the equation. The CBO forecast reflects a weaker economy and lower corporate profits but could very well prove optimistic since it was prepared before the recent spike in unemployment and downturn in world markets.[…]

“I think it’s bad policy,” said New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg, the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee and a Bush ally on the war. “You ought to let there be some transparency. We should be honest about where we’re spending in all areas, but especially in supporting the troops.” [Isn't this statement indicative of how dishonest is our government? Bill]

Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.), a leading critic of the war and chairman of the House Appropriations Defense panel, was equally blunt, saying he had urged the Defense Department to be more upfront in the 2009 budget request.

“They want to hide the cost of the war. We figure it’s costing $343 million a day in Iraq. And it’s all borrowed money.”
That's over 14,000,000 dollars an hour, folks.

This shows why bush has always failed almost every endeavor undertaken and ALWAYS needs somebody else to clean up the $hit he has left behind. He's just not a "finisher."

This is also why no country that is military centric and devoted to world domination ever survives for long unless they abandon these most base and foul motives.

How many could we feed, house, provide medical care to, and educate with $343 million dollars a day?

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Chain, Chain, Cheney, Chain that Fool

posted by The Sailor @ 5:00 PM Permalink

Bump & UPDATE II: As of 5:00 pm EST Rep. Wexler has collected over 213,929 signatures from citizens in addition to 9 members of the House Judiciary Committee agree that impeachment hearings should be held for Dick Cheney.

If you haven't signed up yet, sign up now.

Bump & UPDATE: As of 1:00 pm EST Rep. Wexler has collected over 123,832 signatures!
Sign up now!

US Rep Robert Wexler got motivated when the news outlets refused to run his, (and fellow Members of the House Judiciary Committee, Luis Gutierrez and Tammy Baldwin's), Op-Ed listing the reasons why and calling for impeachment hearings for Dick Cheney, so he decided to go to the people.
Call for Cheney impeachment hearings

The charges are too serious to ignore. There is credible evidence that the Vice President abused the power of his office, and not only brought us into an unneccesary war but violated the civil liberties and privacy of American citizens. It is the constitutional duty of Congress to hold impeachment hearings.
I agree, and so do a lot of other people. Wexler launched his impeachment Web site last Friday and as of Monday afternoon, almost 80,000 people had signed an online petition to support the hearings.Update: Since about 3:00 pm EST the count is now 89,000.

Cross posted at SteveAudio

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Naaaaaw. Really? Ya' don't say. Huh. Whodda' thunk it?

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:47 AM Permalink

Wow. It took them two whole years to figure out the GW et al lied us into the Iraq war.
"It is now beyond dispute that Iraq did not possess any weapons of mass destruction or have meaningful ties to al-Qaida," according to Charles Lewis and Mark Reading-Smith of the Fund for Independence in Journalism staff members, writing an overview of the study. "In short, the Bush administration led the nation to war on the basis of erroneous information that it methodically propagated and that culminated in military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003."
Two years of going through statement upon statement. Two years of listening to tapes, watching video, reading press releases. And after those two loooong years, they came to the glorious conclusion that they lied.

It’s as if they have been living under a rock for five years.

I did the exact same research for a paper I did when I was in graduate school a few years back. I came to the exact same conclusion. And apparently, that was before they even started to study it. I was ahead of the curve yet again.

Stuff like this causes my Chiari to act up.

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R.I.P. Heath Ledger

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:38 AM Permalink

I only mention it because he and his then-wife Michelle bought a house around the corner from Casa Vidiot. They were kind of neighbors, we saw them around here and there, and they have a cute kid. So, I was walking home from the subway and saw about five people standing on the corner opposite the house with cameras and video. I wanted to yell at them so I asked them what the hell they were doing there and they told me that Ledger had died a few hours before.

As the evening wore on, the number of paparazzi increased until it looked like a crowd. How can those people live with themselves? I wanted to scream at them "you are contributing to the misery of the family and the overall demise of our society! Go Home!"

OK. Maybe I give them too much credit, but still, they were annoying.

Update: I had no idea HOW annoying. Watching them this morning, chasing Ledger's parents down the street. I'd only see photogs doing their thing on TV. But honestly, seeing them in person is just SO MUCH MORE disgusting than you can ever possibly imagine. When did celebrities become less than human? And now I'm convinced that any celebrity who DOESN'T punch a photog in the face every now and then is the insane one.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

When will someone - ANYONE - speak out against nuclear war…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 4:15 PM Permalink

It is becoming increasingly apparent that the U.S., acting through jewish surrogates, fully intends to engage in another illegal war of aggression, against Iran this time, and that it will entail the first use of nuclear weapons since WWII. This will be bush's "legacy" of shame that will surely reduce Israel and America to the status of inhuman monsters, killing hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, of women, children, and totally innocent men indiscriminately, inhumanely, and in a manner certain to result in the greatest humanitarian and ecological disaster in history.

The environmental disaster from the fallout and decades of radiation-induced deaths and deformities of future Iranians, as well as in countries bordering Iran, will be horrific.

And for what reason? Because Iran is perfectly and lawfully, by treaty, enriching uranium to power its perfectly legal nuclear reactors.

A people who survived the Holocaust of WWII will themselves be the ones inflicting a Holocaust on the Iranians, aided and abetted by America, a country to which Iran poses absolutely no threat.

They will do this in the name of their god and justify their crimes as a preemptive strike against a country they IMAGINE might pose a threat to them.

And, as a result, the entire world will realize that the nuclear-armed countries of America and Israel are willing destroy the world to further their political ends, giving Russia, China, and many other countries the incentive to strike America and Israel with nuclear weapons before America and Israel turn their sights to their own, peaceful countries.

Too, a nuclear strike against another Muslim country will simply affirm everything Osama bin laden and other radical clerics have been saying for years about the West. That our only intent and desire is to kill them all without mercy.

And what do you reckon Saudi Arabia will do with its $20 billion order of American-made sophisticated weaponry? Sit there and watch while their stated and hated enemy Israel uses nukes against unarmed, nuclear speaking, countries?

"If World War III is fought with nuclear weapons, World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones." Albert Einstein.

No wonder I cannot believe in the existence of a god, and a good thing, too. For if a god exists he/she will be mightily pissed with humans too weak to resist the perversion of war and an inability to recognize the beginning of the end of the world as we know it.

Apparently in America and Israel there is no thought or care about man's inhumanity to man. How sad.

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Stupid is as stupid does…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 12:07 PM Permalink

Our economy has totally tanked because of the out-of-control spending of Republicans who have brought us to a $9 trillion deficit, the highest rate of borrowing ever, and who deregulated the subprime loan and the credit industries so that they could prey upon those poor, but mostly honest, people who could never possibly pay off their debt, but by having two or three people in the family working two or three jobs apiece, they could at least make the minimum payments, enriching the banks on credit card loans that it would take 40-50 years to pay off at that minimum rate. The subprime market is rapidly collapsing of its own weight from their reckless practices.

Then the Republicans, with Democratic support, rewrote the bankruptcy laws so these poor people cannot escape the unjust debts they were suckered into by unscrupulous lenders who repackaged all these bad loans and sold them to the banks now forced to borrow hugh sums of money or sell off hugh portions of their companies to stay solvent.

Overseas countries and companies are buying up America at fire sale prices. When do our national parks and monuments go up for sale?

The anemic rate of job creation is insufficient to employ even just the new entries into the job market; more people than ever abandoning hope of finding a decent job. America has gone from being a first class industrial nation to being a service nation, serving as distributors and buyers to all the industries that have gone overseas to produce cheaper goods and not pay taxes on their overseas operations. Tax rates for millionaires cut so low that income to the treasury has plummeted, with millionaires paying lower taxes as a percentage of their income than their secretaries, as Warren Buffet recently pointed out.

Republicans can bitch all they want about "tax and spend Democrats," but that sure beats the hell out of "borrow endlessly and still spending even more than you can borrow Republicans."

We're borrowing $15 billion a month to throw into the Iraqi Black Hole. And Republicans still want to nuke Iran at an absolutely incalculable cost in money and lives. The "party of life" sure does like to kill as many people as possible.

Stock markets worldwide are following America down the rabbit hole to insolvency, and it can't be much longer before countries holding our dollars and starting to lose billions as the dollar steadily loses its value begin a sell-off of dollars that will cause runaway inflation and, perhaps another Great Depression and Stock Market Crash as in 1929.

The Dow Jones has fallen below 12,000 and the sell-off continues despite the Fed's "surprise" move of again reducing the prime lending rate, now at 3.5%. How much longer before a run on the dollar starts?

And every single Republican candidate can only offer their usual panacea of, "…lower taxes, cut corporate tax rates, keep bush's tax cuts permanently, and spend less than before," while being perfectly aware that it was these Republican monetary policies got us into this sh*t to begin with. Their lack of honesty (and outright lying) on this subject is breathtaking in its scope. Republicans are apparently genetically incapable of seeing financial truths and doing the right things.

Seems to me that the only way out of this debacle is to tighten our belts, raise taxes and eliminate the bush tax cuts for millionaires, get out of Iraq, spend our money employing Americans to rebuild our terrible infrastructure, and employ thousands in appropriate industries to come up with a viable, reliable alternative to oil, our nation's heroin and what is causing our slide into one of those circles of hell.

We must stop war-mongering, cut the defense budget by more than two-thirds, pull our troops back home and stop paying trillions every year in leases for bases, and instead use the umpteen billions, or possibly trillions, of dollars we would save by becoming a peaceful nation working in behalf of our own people and country.

Call me an isolationist if you want, it's always easier to negate someone's influence or standing or ideas by applying a denigrating "label" to them so you can close your ears and minds when you hear the label and therefore not have to apply any serious thought or considerations to their position. Even when their ideas may be the very ones that could save a nation.

As long as we make war, start wars, provoke other countries into war, and continue to lay waste to our treasury and borrow billions and trillions of dollars to maintain our war machines this country will never prosper. We will, instead, spend ourselves into oblivion and right out of existence, yet our leaders, who must know this at least subliminally, continue the folly of war, the folly of spending almost every dime earned or borrowed on making war, and continue to ignore the genuine needs of their fellow countrymen. If this continues, well, we're all dead meat, and the stench of the rotting society in which we live will soon become overpowering.

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A day in our financial life…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 11:17 AM Permalink

…woke up, got out a bed, turned on the TV set with dread,
Hadn't even made it to the coffeepot, when on came CNNs financial spot,
Grabbed a cup and sat right down, listened to people of financial renown,
They spoke of a lowering the interest rate, I listened well to hear our new fate.
The markets worldwide continue to tank, turns out that our currency still stank.
I heard the news today, oh boy, it sucked a lot worse than a broken toy,
Then came the worst news of all, the Republicans claim they'll stop this free fall!
'though it was Republicans that caused the fall, they assure us that they can cure it all,
They want to lower taxes again, and slow the rate at which for years they spent it all.
As always the poor will suffer most, and all because of Ronald Reagan's ghost.

(h/t The Beatles, A Day in the Life )

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Monday, January 21, 2008

King for a Day

posted by The Sailor @ 6:27 PM Permalink

I grew up in a small town in the mid-west during the days of the civil rights movement. While I was mainly surrounded by folks who thought Reverend King was 'uppity', a communist and a troublemaker, I was lucky enough to have chosen my parents wisely.

They were white and middle class when I was born, but they didn't start off that way. And they didn't fall for the trap of blaming 'the coloreds' for their problems in society like a lot of the politicians in that day wanted them to. (Anyone else see a parallel to blaming 'illegal immigrants' today for the problems in society?)

I remember the days of 'separate but equal', of 'Whites Only' schools, water fountains, bathrooms and restaurants.

And I also remember that Dr. King was not only not revered by the majority of our country, he was reviled. He was constantly investigated and slandered/libeled by America's government and press.

And his crime was preaching hope, peace, and non-violence.

Just as his message started to resonate with white America he then had the temerity to equate the civil rights struggle in the US with the Vietnam war.

So a lot of whites who were shocked by the lynchings, the dogs, the waterhoses, the Jim Crow repression of their fellow citizens, turned away from Dr. King's message of preaching hope, peace, and non-violence.

They were wrong to turn away. Dr. King was always consistent in his message, preaching hope, peace, and non-violence.

Dr. King saw that our government lied us into the Vietnam war and it was fought by a draft of poor blacks and poor whites against poor brown people. Even some of Dr. King's fellow civil rights leaders didn't see the consistency in Dr. King's message of preaching hope, peace, and non-violence.

Some would argue that we've come a long way from those days. And in a lot of ways I agree. Heck, we've come such a long way that fewer houses of worship, whether Christian, Muslim or Jewish, were defiled last year in America than in 1965.

We've come such a long way that we rarely lynch or drag our fellow humans to death in America. And we've come such a long way that we seldom kill black, brown or gay people in America just for being black, brown or gay in America.

We've come such a long way that even today, literally today, our fellow Americans march in Jena, Louisiana to protest MLK Day and shout ni**er.

We've come such a long way that GOP presidential candidates still court the vote of white supremacists.

Oh yes, we've come such a long way.

But Dr. King's legacy isn't about the snark and bitterness I've just espoused, it's about hope, peace, and non-violence. So I'll leave you with just an excerpt of just a few of the words he spoke about hope, peace, and non-violence (but please read the whole thing):
A Time to Break Silence
By Rev. Martin Luther King
4 April 1967

Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government's policy, especially in time of war. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one's own bosom and in the surrounding world. Moreover when the issues at hand seem as perplexed as they often do in the case of this dreadful conflict we are always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty; but we must move on.

Some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak.
Over the past two years, as I have moved to break the betrayal of my own silences and to speak from the burnings of my own heart, as I have called for radical departures from the destruction of Vietnam, many persons have questioned me about the wisdom of my path. At the heart of their concerns this query has often loomed large and loud: Why are you speaking about war, Dr. King? Why are you joining the voices of dissent? Peace and civil rights don't mix, they say. Aren't you hurting the cause of your people, they ask? And when I hear them, though I often understand the source of their concern, I am nevertheless greatly saddened, for such questions mean that the inquirers have not really known me, my commitment or my calling. Indeed, their questions suggest that they do not know the world in which they live.
Now, it should be incandescently clear that no one who has any concern for the integrity and life of America today can ignore the present war. If America's soul becomes totally poisoned, part of the autopsy must read Vietnam. It can never be saved so long as it destroys the deepest hopes of men the world over. So it is that those of us who are yet determined that America will be are led down the path of protest and dissent, working for the health of our land.
This I believe to be the privilege and the burden of all of us who deem ourselves bound by allegiances and loyalties which are broader and deeper than nationalism and which go beyond our nation's self-defined goals and positions. We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy, for no document from human hands can make these humans any less our brothers.
We must rapidly begin the shift from a "thing-oriented" society to a "person-oriented" society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.
America, the richest and most powerful nation in the world, can well lead the way in this revolution of values. There is nothing, except a tragic death wish, to prevent us from reordering our priorities, so that the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war.

Cross posted at SteveAudio


Headline for the day…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 1:35 PM Permalink

…comes from the Huffington Post: "IRS Audits Of Millionaires On The Rise"

This cracks me up as it was bush 1 who stopped the auditing of millionaires and started our long, slow decline to Banana Republic without the Bananas status.

Back at the beginning of time (if you are Republican) the Sainted Ronald Reagan had an unspoken policy at the IRS: If a taxpayer owes less that $25,000, don't bother the poor bastid, go after the guys who owe really big bucks.

On practically his very first day in office bush 1 reversed that policy, basing it on this: Go after all the little guys who cannot afford big bucks attorneys to represent them and forget about pursuing the millionaires who CAN afford great representation, as they are too difficult to collect from. We can eat the small guys alive!

Amazing how karma can bring things around full circle isn't it? Bush is so desperate for money to throw down the Iraq Black Hole that even he apparently realizes the stupidity of his daddy's position.

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Religion must make people insane…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 12:25 PM Permalink

From the Huffington Post:
Gaza City was plunged into darkness Sunday after Israel blocked the shipment of fuel that powers its only electrical plant in retaliation for persistent rocket attacks by Gaza militants.

The power cut sent already beleaguered Gazans to stock up on food and batteries in anticipation of dark, cold days ahead. Gaza officials warned the move would cause a health catastrophe while a U.N. agency and human rights groups condemned Israel.

"We have the choice to either cut electricity on babies in the maternity ward or heart surgery patients or stop operating rooms," Gaza Health Ministry official Dr. Moaiya Hassanain said.[…]

Israel justified the fuel cutoff because of continuous rocket attacks by Gaza militants. Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Arye Meckel said the Gaza Strip continues to receive 70 percent of its electricity supply directly from Israel, which would not be affected, and another 5 percent from Egypt.

The blackout "is a Hamas ploy to pretend there is some kind of crisis to attract international sympathy," Meckel told The Associated Press.[…]

The regular fuel shipment from Israel did not arrive Sunday because the fuel terminal was closed, and the power plant has almost no reserves, said Rafik Maliha, director of the power plant.

The U.N. organization in charge of Palestinian refugees warned the blockade would drastically affect hospitals, sewage treatment and water facilities.

"The logic of this defies basic humanitarian standards," said Christopher Gunness, spokesman for the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, or UNRWA.

The British group Oxfam called Israel's cutoff "ineffective as well as unlawful." Gisha, an Israeli group that has fought the fuel cutbacks in Israel's Supreme Court, said: "Punishing Gaza's 1.5 million civilians does not stop the rocket fire. It only creates an impossible 'balance' of human suffering on both sides of the border."

Israeli Cabinet minister Zeev Boim said that rather than condemning Israel, the U.N. should condemn Palestinian militants for firing rocket barrages at Israel.

"I don't hear the U.N.'s voice," Boim said
No one in Israel heard the U.N.'s voice when it ordered Israel to withdraw to its 1967 borders in U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 of 1967 either. Had they done so and allowed the Palestinians to form their own state on the ancestral lands Israel stole from them the Middle East would be a very different place.

Why don't the Israelis just admit that, having been victims of the Holocaust, they are somehow entitled to kill without discrimination, force entire societies from their homes, and conduct a genocide of their choice against anyone whom they please. (Desiring to nuke Iran along with the U.S. wouldn't ring a bell, would it?)

I concluded long ago that there is no god and the bible is nothing but the greatest work of fiction and propaganda written and propounded to keep evil men in charge of the world.

Seems to me that religion drives men insane, without regard to whether the religion is christian, muslim, jewish, or evangelical.

The only religion that truly preaches love, life, care for the environment, and the improvement of man's station in life is Buddhism. But the other religions will soon see Buddhism is exterminated in the name of their god.

Religion makes people insane.

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Movie Review: Cloverfield

posted by The Vidiot @ 9:44 AM Permalink

I recommend it ONLY if you didn't get sick watching the Blair Witch Project.

Ugh. Both Mr. Vidiot and I got woozy watching the thing because it looks like it was filmed with a hand held. Also, if you're sensitive to 9/11 type imagery, you may not like it. But overall, I have to say it was very entertaining... in between wanting to throw up.

The BEST thing though was the preview for the new Star Trek movie. I'm so there. Can't wait until next Christmas. People actually applauded at the preview. OK. I applauded at the preview.

I'm such a geek.


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Coward is a Hero

posted by The Sailor @ 4:53 PM Permalink

This is a bit different from our standard fare but when I read about it I just felt compelled to share. It's also nice to have a break from all the government crimes and politics (is that redundant?) we normally cover.

Here is an absolutely amazing feat of skill and professionalism:
Inquiry Finds Power Failure in London Jumbo Jet Crash

Both engines on the British Airways jumbo jet that crash-landed just short of a runway at London’s Heathrow Airport on Thursday failed to respond to a demand for more power during the final few moments of the flight, British investigators said Friday.
Part of the main landing gear was torn off and another part was jammed up into the wing; the airplane plowed on its belly across open grass before slowing to a halt when it hit the tarmac. The 136 passengers and 16 crew members exited through emergency slides.

Several passengers told British news organizations that they had been unaware of the emergency until it was over. “It was a very quiet, normal flight. I didn’t have the feeling we had crashed until we left the plane,” said Jerome Ensinck, a passenger. “When you look at the plane you realize it could have been way, way worse,” he said in a television interview.
Now aside from the fact that the headline is probably wrong, (I read the initial report and it seems to say that the engines didn't respond with more power, not that they failed completely, and the plane didn't crash, it had a forced landing, (Forced landing is defined as the inability to continue flight due to the consequences of damage, uncontrolled fire or thrust loss where imminent landing is obvious but aircraft controllability is not necessarily lost.)

Obviously this dedicated crew did everything right. On final approach, at 600 feet and 2 miles from the airport, (about 45 seconds from a normal landing), with co-pilot John Coward at the controls, they reacted immediately to the emergency and brought the plane in safely. The only serious injury was a broken leg, and while I can't find the cause in subsequent reports I'm willing to bet that it was during evacuation.

Here's part of the Captain's statement:
Captain Paul Burkill explained that it was actually First Officer Coward "who was the handling pilot on the final approach, and did the most remarkable job."

"As Captain of the aircraft I am proud to say that every member of my team played their part expertly yesterday, displaying the highest standards of skill and professionalism," Burkill said. "Flying is about teamwork, and we had an outstanding team on board yesterday."

Burkill also singled out cabin service director Sharron Eaton-Mercer: "It was typical of her selflessness that she took time to check that we on the flight deck were all right before going down the chute herself."
Video and full statement here.

Having had 2 engine outs in an experimental aircraft where I was the pilot and only SOB, (Soul On Board ... or sunnavabitch, because I did the building and the maintenance;-), I can tell you it's somewhat disconcerting to not have the throttle respond and realize there is no way you're going to make it to an airport. And that was in a plane that landed at less than 60 mph while flying over fairly flat land and green fields. I can't imagine doing it at 170 mph with 151 passengers ... over London.

Kudos to the crew. Big, BIG, kudos to the crew!

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Not so subtle subliminal stuff

posted by The Vidiot @ 12:35 PM Permalink

One of these things is not like the others.

(Hint: Everyone has a happy smiley picture except for Gravel and Paul)

And don't even get me started on the ridiculous fundraising numbers on the side. Paul blew them all away by the end of the year, but those numbers are from September.

Update: OOOO, here's another one. Who's missing?

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Would like a little outrage with your coffee this morning?

posted by The Vidiot @ 11:02 AM Permalink

Why I watch the Sunday talk shows is a mystery to me. More than a few times on any given Sunday, you will find me wiping down my computer, my TV, or my coffee table with a rag because at some point, some yahoo has said or done something so ludicrous that it made me do a spit take. This morning's absurdity happened as as soon as I switched on the TV. It was ABC's This Week with George. He was interviewing Rudy Giuliani, and the first question was something like "Ron Paul beat you in Nevada and South Carolina, how do you respond to that?" and Mr. Vidiot and I BOTH did a spit take and started laughing because rather than have Ron Paul on, the winner versus "superstar" Rudy in two recent contests, they'd rather have the loser on to talk about how he's not really a loser. Right now I'm torturing myself by listening to Tim Russert's round table about the "Race for the Presidency" OH. MY. GOD. What a bunch of goddamned idiots. Just watching them frame the discourse, set the rules and bolster their fabricated arguments makes me want to pull my hair out.

"McCain's passion lays in honor"
"Hillary Clinton will unify the Republican party"
"Obama has independent support"

I mean, I could go on with the stupid statements, but you get my drift.

It's all so meaningless.

Why do I watch them? I'm not a rubbernecker. I'm not one to slow my car down and look at an accident. Yet I watch these train wrecks.

Jeebus! Now they're talking about Giuliani like he could be the nominee!!


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Warning bells

posted by The Vidiot @ 10:55 AM Permalink

I was reading this ominous post about possible war with Iran and one of the statements caused a few bells to go off.
About eight weeks ago, toward the end of November last year, the US Navy put out tenders to charter extra ships to carry over a million barrels of ship and jet fuel for their warships and aircraft in the Straights of Hormuz off the coast of Iran. Before the end of January the carrier USS John C. Stennis will join the carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower which is already cruising Persian Gulf waters. This extra fuel order comes on top of last August’s massive order from Israel for millions of litres military JP-8 jet fuel and military diesel fuel. Allowing time for the various House and Senate committees to approve the order, the fuel has either been recently delivered or is also on its way.
I remembered reading something else about oil and the petroleum reserves last week.
How do you not notice when 308,000 barrels of oil go missing?

That's the question government auditors were asking after they looked into the Department of Energy's management of oil received for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a critical program to assure energy stability in the U.S. in case of an oil crisis.

Now, if you were planning a war, but didn't really want to let anyone know just how big or bad it was going to be, wouldn't you sneak some extra oil out on the side? I think you would.


Saturday, January 19, 2008

Oh, I have a comment alright.

posted by The Vidiot @ 3:08 PM Permalink

But it's not fit to print.

Update: Nevada Results here (as of 4:30 EST, Paul and Obama are 2nd)

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Friday, January 18, 2008

The New Hampshire Primary Should be Declared Null and Void

posted by The Vidiot @ 1:13 PM Permalink

The boxes for the recount were not secure. They've been opened prior to the recount.
No worries, say New Hampshire officials when cuts up to eight inches long are spotted in newly delivered ballot boxes. "The only seal that counts is the one on top."

Except the seal on top can be peeled off without leaving a trace, then reaffixed.

Black Box Voting has been doing a chain of custody exam for the New Hampshire Primary's recount. On Wednesday night, Election Defense Alliance's Sally Castleman mentioned a troubling observation: After following the ballots back to the ballot vault following Wednesday's recount, she had the opportunity to enter the ballot vault, and noticed what looked like cuts, or slits, in the side of many ballot boxes. New Hampshire officials assured us that these cuts, which slice through the tape and seals do not permit access to the uncounted ballots, pointing to a label on the boxtop which they call a seal.
What will the MSM report about it? Nothing, 'natch.

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Exterminate! Exterminate!

posted by The Vidiot @ 12:47 PM Permalink

Please compare the following two items:
One is a race of beings hell-bent on conquering the known universe, the other is a Dalek.

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It may be a mordant chuckle, but it's a chuckle nonetheless.

posted by The Vidiot @ 11:42 AM Permalink

Cuba is sitting on some oil. Maybe a lot of oil. And guess who's stomping their feet and holding their breath?
Sometime later this year, less than 70 miles from Florida, a consortium of Spanish, Indian and Norwegian companies will likely start drilling for oil. It could mark the beginning of a Cuban oil rush - one that American oil companies won't be able to join, despite their proximity to the action.

And that has some U.S. oil industry executives and lobbyists seething, especially since the American Association of Petroleum Geologists calls the offshore Cuban oil deposits a "significant find."

U.S. oil companies can't play in these waters, of course, barred as they are by sanctions prohibiting them from doing business with Cuba. But irked at the irony of sanctions designed to isolate Fidel Castro that isolate them instead, some in the oil industry are seeking to exempt U.S. oil companies from the 45-year-old embargo.

Well, well, well. Big Oil can't play in Cuban water. Too bad for them.

As far as I'm concerned, they had better not be exempt from the embargo before my husband and his family can visit their family in Cuba without having to apply for a visa.

Of all the stupid US foreign policies that are out there, and there a plenty of them, that embargo has to be one of the dumbest. Isolating Castro only made him stronger. Fools.

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A bad stock market doesn't necessarily predict a recession…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 10:56 AM Permalink

…so says CNNs financial reporter this morning (paraphrasing). She went on to recount some examples of when an awful market didn't result in a recession, and then examples of when a downturn in the market did precede a recession.

How duplicitous of her to not point out that during other severe stock market downturns America wasn't $9 TRILLION dollars in debt, taxes for the rich so low that the middle class is bearing way more than their share of the heavy load of financing the country, gas prices that have more than doubled on bush's watch, the subprime market crash, a plummeting dollar, banks having to borrow billions from overseas investors to keep afloat, entire industries and companies that have moved from the U.S. to overseas to avoid paying taxes altogether (taking millions of good jobs with them), unemployment at record highs, 1 out of 4 homeowners delinquent on their home loans, record numbers of foreclosures and bankruptcies, a war acting as a black hole sucking up $15 billion a month, foreign debt that is slowly selling off America (cheap!), and a president so lacking influence, honesty, integrity, and commonsense that America is the laughingstock of the world.

I'm sure she just "forgot" to mention those things while not just one, not two, but THREE so-called financial experts denied we were in a recession, citing various inane statistics to justify their financial oracle credentials. Really disgusting dishonesty.

Well, they can all talk and talk and talk until they're blue in the face and done talking, but it won't change the fact that we are in a recession that is probably a precursor to a full blown second Great Depression. The Republicans have wanted to bankrupt the country for at least the last forty years, and it looks as if they have finally succeeded with their surrogate economic witch doctor, bush, circling the world begging for lower oil prices to at least try to make the next election cycle better for the GOP candidates.

CNN also reports that bipartisan efforts are being made to help out, which is as it should be, 'cause the democrats are as guilty and responsible as the GOP for the dire straits in which we find ourselves.

But rest easy. The ass who got us into all this serious trouble, bush, is going to give another another lame and lying speech about how strong all the fundamentals of our solid economy remain. SSDD

Oh well, bush just called for an economic stimulus package that, "…must include tax breaks, definitely no new taxes…" and the usual call for extending the tax breaks for the uber wealthy that is mostly responsibly for how broke we are from the lack of sufficient tax income to the Treasury. And, of course, lowering the tax rate of the mega-rich corporations, which will use the extra money to hasten their exodus from America.

So all the rich can relax and keep ever more of their under-taxed income.

If you are middle to lower class, financially speaking, bend over, grab your ankles, and, just like at a fraternity hazing beg, "Please, sir, screw me again, and this time make sure it's longer and deeper and bigger than ever. We love getting f*cked over and over again by the Republicans, sir!"

And who is the idiot that made the definition of a recession, "… as having two quarters in a row with no growth in the GDP?"

How convenient, a definition that ignores several hundred thousand homeless, millions without health insurance, more children going to bed hungry and without needed medicines than ever, more people who have exhausted their unemployment benefits, more people who have given up trying to find jobs that no longer exist because of the exodus overseas, families with two or more members working two or more jobs and still not being able to make ends meet, but one that, by grace of their christian god preserves millions of dollars for millionaires that don't need relief from this piss poor economy to keep enjoying the luxurious lifestyles to which they are accustomed.

My taxes, being just barely in the middle class, have gone UP every year bush has been in office, increasing about two hundred dollars a year, so as far as I am concerned "tax relief" is a myth perpetuated by those million and billionaires who need my money for illegal wars and to pay their share of taxes for them.

CNN just announced that the stock market sell off has increased in just the few minutes since bush gave his speech!

The world watches and waits. Waits for the great American fire sale so they can buy all our monuments, parks, land, remaining industries, and Wall Street (which is on sale now). They already own the White House, but it's not too late to buy the Senate and House of Representatives, CHEAP. Maybe we can sell Washington, D.C. to the highest bidder…oh sh*t… we've already done that.

This is a watershed moment for the GOP, a party that can point to this disaster and proudly proclaim, "We did that!" while finally realizing the irony of the Democratic Party asking old Ronnie Raygun's question, "Are you better of today than you were four years ago?"

But even with a chorus of millions of agonizing taxpayers simultaneously screaming, "NO!", we will still not be heard in Washington.

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Get around round round I get around

posted by The Sailor @ 5:37 PM Permalink

In this episode I get around blogtopia*:

In the "nice work if you can get it" category ThinkProgress reports
Former Attorney General: Ashcroft’s No-Bid Contract Was ‘As Wrong As It Can Be’

Last fall, New Jersey U.S. Attorney Chris Christie awarded his former boss, John Ashcroft, a lucrative no-bid contract to “monitor a large corporation willing to settle criminal charges out of court.” Ashcroft’s consulting company is set “to receive payments of $28 million to $52 million” in the deal, one of the biggest payouts ever reported for a federal monitor.
Crooks & Liars reminds us that the GOP is hard on rhetoric but soft on terrorists
Former Republican Congressman indicted in terrorist fund-raising conspiracy!
The best/worst part? It wasn't even his money, it was from the U.S. Agency for International Development.

And we would be Fairly Unbalanced if we didn't mention our friend from across the Ailes aisle Jon Swift. Somehow his piece "Jonah Goldberg's Shining (Liberal Fascism with LOLCats)" was eliminated and then restored by Google. We feel his pain, (well, not like we feel our pain, but you get the idea.)

And of course I Miss Fafablog, Spot, and their Rentlord catches something I think we all miss(ed):
FEC enters election season without quorum

As the U.S. 2008 primaries begin, the Federal Election Commission has effectively shut down, without enough members for a quorum.

the FEC, with four vacancies, is unable to take any action, including suing or issuing binding opinions or regulations, The Christian Science Monitor reported.

That is also likely to delay the implementation of the Honest Leadership and Open Government Law, which requires more information from lobbyists who arrange bundled campaign contributions. Bush signed the bill last September
And last but never least, we direct you to the bLAWg of our favorite, (probably because he's the only one that actually responds to our emails,) Justice of the California Court of Appeal, (apparently in CA you only get one appeal), Justice Bedsworth and his Criminal Waste of Space. Sheesh, how can I not include Beds, who writes things like this regarding The Queen of Mean
She was worth something like five billion dollars. Five billion. That's the number five followed by a parade of zeroes and commas and floats and marching bands.
And tha, tha, tha, that's all folks!

*y, wksctp!

Cross posted at SteveAudio


Scientology and Christianity: Both based on fiction?

posted by Bill Arnett @ 4:05 PM Permalink

I stopped believing in a christian god long ago, as I realized that not even a being that supposedly created everything would allow his creation, Earth, to be so used, abused, corrupted, and co-opted by the long, long list of tyrants, despots, kings and others that used religion to terrify the masses, used his works and words as casus belli to start wars, allowed evil men to come to the fore to take money from the poor for the self-aggrandizement of the churches, which own trillions of dollars of gold, silver, platinum, works of art, magnificent churches, and more untold riches. Again, all financed by taking the money of the poor in return for a promise of salvation, a ticket to Heaven, or the penalties of Purgatory and Hell to punish those not contributing.

A pope drinking from silver chalices, eating from plates of gold, and riches such as King Midas could never have imagined. All based on a book that is the greatest piece of fiction ever written by men, for the benefit of a group of men, and published by the only men with the wherewithal to print, bind, and distribute that work of fiction, the Church's acolytes.

By the time Guttenberg invented the printing press and thus finally made knowledge available to more people, the bible was so well-established and ingrained into the minds of "god-fearing" men that the Churches saw to it that the bible became the most recognized book in history, filled with stories of a vengeful, but loving, god whom was the only god that could grant absolution for your sins.

Millions have died in the name of the christian god who, when he spoke to Moses through the burning bush, commanded that, "Thou shall not kill," which is obviously the least obeyed commandment, freely violated without people being smote.

Fiction. All fiction written by men with a vested interest in seeing their scam succeed so they could enrich themselves in the precise manner churches did, tithing, collection plates, magnificent structures for their worshippers to put awe and fear in their hearts and minds, and prompt the giving of extreme riches accumulated as noted above. If just the catholic church sold all those assets, they would probably be able to feed every indigent, homeless and hungry person on earth for a long time, especially if the riches being accumulated anew were used strictly to serve the least amongst us, don't you think?

Now to Scientology, founded by L. Ron Hubbard, about whom most people probably had no idea who the man was and what he did for a living although most people know he authored "Dianetics," the seminal work upon which Scientology is based.

Beginning in 1925 or so Hubbard started writing science fiction for pulp magazines. He was the most prolific writer of fiction, especially science fiction, the world has yet seen, He wrote thousands of short stories, novels, and some of the most creative fiction I have ever read. See: Battlefield Earth and his "deckology," a word he made up to describe a group of ten novels in a series about a god-like man from another planet, Jettero Heller, so advanced in knowledge that Jettero, despite the efforts of others from his planet who would destroy earth for its resources, single-handedly outwitted and defeated those evil-doers and returned to his home planet in humble triumph. (Does any of this seem familiar to you or seem to bear a faint resemblance to Jesus?)

I forget when he died; it's not important. He wrote science fiction in such a compelling manner that it is my belief, and I'm convinced, that Scientology was derived from a fictional story he wrote, a story that for many was at least as valid as the fiction in the bible for many people, believers recruiting for this supposed religion, waiting for their ultimate salvation.

What is important is that he was the inventor of Scientology, which speaks of aliens controlling destiny and eventually rescuing all its worshippers who are true believers, who keep themselves totally free of any kind of drugs, even prescription ones that might harm the little aliens coursing through the bloodstream of believers (again, anything familiar here? Rapture anyone?)

I think both are complete works of fiction, with the advantage going to the bible with its two thousand year head start, all the wars fought and people killed or tortured by bible believers, and the churches incredible accumulation of wealth while the least amongst us still suffer, for the poor their only salvation, a kindly dispensation from a god who promised eternal happiness upon the death of those who were true believers and eternal damnation for those who were not.

How can you argue these things with true believers who certainly never have had anyone return to earth to vouchsafe the veracity of either faith? The very definition of faith is believing in something or someone whose existence can never be empirically proven.

Please, believe as you will and in whatever makes you happy, but at least put some thought into religion. I will always maintain that these two religions are based upon two of the greatest fictional works ever written.

I could be wrong, but that's my belief and I'm sticking to it.

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