Saturday, May 31, 2008

tried to mix with those animals, and it just left you full of humiliated confusion

posted by The Sailor @ 2:13 PM Permalink

Was Press a War ‘Enabler’? 2 Offer a Nod From Inside

In his new memoir, “What Happened,” Scott McClellan, the former White House press secretary, said the national news media neglected their watchdog role in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, calling reporters “complicit enablers” of the Bush administration’s push for war.Surprisingly, some prominent journalists have agreed.

Katie Couric, the anchor of “CBS Evening News,” said on Wednesday that she had felt pressure from government officials and corporate executives to cast the war in a positive light.
[...]
At the time, Ms. Couric was a host of “Today” on NBC.

Another broadcast journalist also weighed in. Jessica Yellin, who worked for MSNBC in 2003 and now reports for CNN, said on Wednesday that journalists had been “under enormous pressure from corporate executives, frankly, to make sure that this was a war presented in a way that was consistent with the patriotic fever in the nation.”
Well that's clear enough, and us DFHs have been saying it for years. But what really shocked me was the flat out lie GE, (the owner of NBC), responded with later in the article:
A spokeswoman for General Electric, which owns NBC and MSNBC through its division NBC Universal, declined to speak about the specifics of the comments but said, “General Electric has never, and will never, interfere in the editorial process at NBC News.”
That statement goes against all evidence:
Shortly after George W. Bush declared his candidacy for president in June of 1999, General Electric Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jack Welch was contacted by Bush political advisor Karl Rove. Welch later informed associates that Rove told him a Bush administration would initiate comprehensive deregulation of the broadcast industry. Rove guaranteed that deregulation would be implemented in a way that would create phenomenal profits for conglomerates with significant media holdings, like GE.
[...]
In 1988, NBC News president Lawrence Grossman insisted to Welch that news was a public trust and should not be subjected to the same pressure to make profits that was applied to other GE units. Welch fired him.

In 1999, the GE chairman decided that it was no longer good enough for NBC News to just be profitable. Seven years of a frequently uncooperative Democratic Administration, combined with the Rove-inspired vision of spectacular profits through deregulation, now motivated Welch to take action.

He began to aggressively, but very discreetly, evangelize the gospel of corporate media as corporate lobbying tool. It was not a new concept; in the opinion of many, it was already the status quo. But from Welch’s point of view, the corporate news organizations were not living up to their potential.

The mainstream media could make George W. Bush president.
[...]
Welch viewed Al Gore as the candidate of the parasites. Gore voters were not the generators of wealth; they were the consumers of taxes. Welch privately described the typical Gore voter as “someone who needs all these goddamned social programs because she’s too goddamned dumb to keep her legs crossed and too goddamned lazy to get an abortion.”
And it's not like Welch is alone, Rupert Murdoch has done the same thing in the print media.

There is no longer a divide between the corporate and news divisions, and for GE to pretend otherwise is just ludicrous.

UPDATE: Glenn Greenwald has more:
Interview with former "Donahue" producer and MSNBC pundit Jeff Cohen

One of the most amazing aspects of this week has been watching network media stars feign shock over the fact that anyone could suggest that they were "deferential, complicit enablers" of the Bush march to war. It's as though they never heard anyone ever suggest such a thing until George Bush's own Press Secretary mocked them for being meek, uncritical disseminators of government propaganda, and now -- they seem to want to convey -- they're just so confused and astonished that anyone could possibly think that about them.




Cross posted at SteveAudio

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Friday, May 30, 2008

New inanities from David Brook…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 10:56 AM Permalink

…to whom I will never link under any circumstances.

Todays ridiculous column purports to be an "open letter" to Obama and McLame the insane clown killer. Quote:
You are now engaged in a campaign debate over whether to talk with Iran. As I’m sure you both know, this is a political exercise that will have little relevance should you actually take office. [Hasn't Iran already been identified as our next existential threat, makers of atomic weapons, a regime we cannot possibly risk allowing to survive under threat of withholding all the ice cream for the European Union? Bill]

In the White House, you will find yourself spending more time on Iran than any other foreign policy issue. You’ll be reminded that the 1979 Iranian revolution is one of the signature events of modern history, akin to the 1917 Russian Revolution, and the U.S. has never figured out how to deal with it. [Didn't he just say above that talking to Iran, "…is a political exercise that will have little relevance should you actually take office…?" What, they should flip a coin? Heads Iran is a threat, Tails we can deliver the ice cream to all the little chirrun of Europe? Bill]

You’ll gather your intelligence experts to help you understand the Iranian threat. They will tell you what they have told the current administration: We don’t know much about how the Iranian regime operates. There are at least four internal factions that seem to regulate each other, but we have little idea how. [Well, we know they exist, they have people there, some good, some bad; we just don't know their intentions and have no idea what they're up to so we better bomb the sh*t outa them just like every other country we attack without understanding. Then we can deliver the ice cream… Bill]

We don’t understand the Iranians because the Iranians don’t understand themselves. [In this way they are very much like American OPINION writers who issue forth columns that contradict themselves silly trying, and failing, at the old, "On the one hand this, but on the other hand that, in a pale imitation of semi-coherent but intrinsically idiot suppositions from a guy who admits that not only he, but our country's intelligence agencies, have no idea how the country is run. I, however, without fear of reprisal, can now definitively reveal that the Iranians run their country the same way America under Republicans do. they use a Magic Eight Ball to make all important decisions. Bill][…]

As you sit in the Oval Office contemplating how to engage Iran, you won’t be reliving the campaign debate about when to negotiate. You’ll be thinking about how to exert pressure. [Why not relive the campaign debate about Iran with a view of finding peaceful means and using diplomacy to settle our differences instead of bombing them and creating a THIRD GENOCIDE FOR OIL. Bill]

You will develop newfound sympathy for your predecessors in the Bush administration. There are a hundred things they could have done differently, but the primary fault for the failure to contain Iran does not lie in Washington. [You'll even feel sorry for yourself once you figure out how bad bush has f*cked America and Americans. And, "…the primary fault for the failure to contain Iran does not lie in Washington.…" even though that is the seat of power for America, where the Prez, the House, the Senate, the Pentagon and most of the other levers of power are located. No, the true failure to contain Iran is the fault of all the political big cats living in a small Northern California town named Weed. Bill]

It lies first with the feckless international community. The United Nations has passed resolutions demanding an end to Iranian nuclear enrichment. Iran ignores them. The United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 forbids the rearmament of Hezbollah in Lebanon. [And since 1967 and U.N. Resolution 242 Israel has been defiantly and obnoxiously ignoring the terms of that Resolution while facing no consequences whatever, Bill]
The rest of this garbage falls apart, logically so, when insisting that every other country in the world that violates a U.N. Resolution is a rogue nation open to attack while Israel apparently has been given a full pass on their violation.

Just by way of reminder, U.N. Security Council Resolution 242:

NOVEMBER 22, 1967
The Security Council,
Expressing its continuing concern with the grave situation in the Middle East,
Emphasizing the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in which every State in the area can live in security,
Emphasizing further that all Member States in their acceptance of the Charter of the United Nations have undertaken a commitment to act in accordance with Article 2 of the Charter,
Affirms that the fulfillment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles:
Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;
Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force;
Affirms further the necessity
For guaranteeing freedom of navigation through international waterways in the area;
For achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem;
For guaranteeing the territorial inviolability and political independence of every State in the area, through measures including the establishment of demilitarized zones;
Requests the Secretary General to designate a Special Representative to proceed to the Middle East to establish and maintain contacts with the States concerned in order to promote agreement and assist efforts to achieve a peaceful and accepted settlement in accordance with the provisions and principles in this resolution;
Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Security Council on the progress of the efforts of the Special Representative as soon as possible.


Why do we expect other countries to jump when the Security Council snaps their fingers while all Israel does is give the world the finger? I won't be holding my breath waiting for Brook to explain this dichotomy.

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Economy is good, struggling, fundamentally strong, incredibly weak, somewhere in-between, but definitely bad…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 1:06 PM Permalink

…which should surprise no one with the bogus numbers and obfuscating language used by the government to deliberately confuse the public.

See this article from the NYT titled, "Economic Growth Is Revised Higher," and read the quotes:
The economy grew at a faster pace than originally estimated in the first quarter, the government said on Thursday, but the nation remained mired in its most stagnant period of growth in five years. [Translation: Our economy would have to die to feel better. Bill]

Gross domestic product, a measure of overall economic growth, expanded at an annual rate of 0.9 percent in the first three months, according to a Commerce Department report. That was higher than the initial estimate, released a month ago, which had put the growth rate at 0.6 percent. [Translation: "Happy days are here again…," Bill]

The government revised its figures because imports dipped more than expected in the first quarter, narrowing the trade deficit. Smaller demand for imports meant less money flowed out of American businesses into foreign countries, pushing up domestic bottom lines and, in turn, the overall growth rate. [Translation: We're too broke to keep buying so many imported goods so it appears to look good when it really ain't. Bill]

But demand for imports fell because Americans were buying less. The bleak economic outlook has made many Americans more hesitant to spend, especially on large-scale purchases like cars and kitchen appliances. [Self-explanatory (S-e)] Bill][…]

…despite the nominal increase in the G.D.P. figure, the revised report still showed an economy struggling to tread water as the housing slump and a crisis of confidence in the credit markets weighed on investments and buying.[S-e. Bill][…]

Inventories slipped slightly, signaling that businesses are producing fewer goods in anticipation of slack consumer demand. Imports dipped 2.6 percent, revised down from an initial estimate of a 2.5 percent increase. [Huh? Down is up, up is down. Bill][…]

“There is no end in sight to the economic slump,” Joshua Shapiro, an economist at the research firm MFR, wrote in a note to clients. [Got to have it both ways, this guy must be the optimist of the group. Bill]

The Commerce Department also provides data on inflation, almost all of which remained unchanged from last month’s initial estimate. Prices rose at a 2.6 percent annualized rate in the first quarter, following an increase of 2.4 percent in the final quarter of 2007. [Remains unchanged, but prices rose at 2.6% following last quarters 2.4%. No inflation here, move along, move along. Bill]

Data on the G.D.P. is regularly revised; the Commerce Department’s final estimates for the first quarter will be released June 26. [Which means, "Wait for numbers we cannot possibly backup as they are poorly made estimates at best." Bill]

…Thursday, the Labor Department said that the number of new applications for unemployment insurance rose to 372,000 last week, seasonally adjusted. The increase, of 4,000 claims, was slightly more than economists had anticipated. [Meaning that once again they did not see the obvious coming straight at them - and these are the people we trust to lay out our economic status with some modicum of accuracy? Bill]
This has been a public service provided by VidiotSpeak, an organization dedicated to exposing idiocy in government and their nonsensical financial reports.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Lieberman, in a nuttyshell

posted by The Vidiot @ 4:57 PM Permalink

Lieberman’s speaking gig at Hagee's CUFI summit can be put into perspective by reading Matt Taibbi's piece on going undercover at church much like Hagee's.
Here I have a confession to make. It's not something that's easy to explain, but here goes. After two days of nearly constant religious instruction, songs, worship and praise — two days that for me meant an unending regimen of forced and fake responses — a funny thing started to happen to my head. There is a transformational quality in these external demonstrations of faith and belief. The more you shout out praising the Lord, singing along to those awful acoustic tunes, telling people how blessed you feel and so on, the more a sort of mechanical Christian skin starts to grow all over your real self. Even if you're a degenerate Rolling Stone reporter inwardly chuckling and busting on the whole scene — even if you're intellectually enraged by the ignorance and arrogant prejudice flowing from the mouth of a terminal-ambition case like Phil Fortenberry — outwardly you're swaying to the gospel and singing and praising and acting the part, and those outward ministrations assume a kind of sincerity in themselves. And at the same time, that "inner you" begins to get tired of the whole spectacle and sometimes forgets to protest — in my case checking out into baseball reveries and other daydreams while the outer me did the "work" of singing and praising. At any given moment, which one is the real you?

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Do you feel safer yet?

posted by The Sailor @ 3:30 PM Permalink

Investigators find gaps in port security program

A Department of Homeland Security program to strengthen port security has gaps that terrorists could exploit to smuggle weapons of mass destruction in cargo containers, congressional investigators have found.
And in related news:
Gamblers' shuttle gets terrorism funds

Colorado Springs-based Ramblin Express, which shuttles gamblers to mountain-town casinos, including Cripple Creek, has received $382,000 in anti-terrorism grants.

The most recent grant, for $184,415, was announced this month as part of the Department of Homeland Security's $844 million Infrastructure Protection Activities program.




Cross posted at SteveAudio

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Bad Cops, Bad Cops, Whatcha gonna do?

posted by The Sailor @ 3:03 PM Permalink

Cop gets 4.5 years for lying after fatal drug raid
WTF!? The prosecutor never heard of 'felony murder'!?

If someone dies during the commission of a felony, any death that occurs during that crime can be 'felony murder.' It can be from a heart attack, or any other cause.

So even tho this officer didn't pull the trigger he was involved in a cover up of the murder. He helped plant drugs, he lied to investigators, he lied to the FBI, and he was convicted of multiple felonies. That's felony murder.

IMHO, the dirty cops who conducted the raid, the judge who signed off on their specious no-knock warrant, the police department officials that encouraged these actions, should all be on trial for conspiracy, and felony murder.

I emailed an Atlanta reporter who covered this story and asked him why the cop wasn't charged for felony murder. Here is his reply:
Simply put: the politics in this case are rife.

What the DA does or doesn't do, what the U.S. Attorney does or doesn't do, are decision hugely influenced by the political climate in this city.
In related news:
Board overseeing Atlanta police faces slow start
Created after illegal shooting of Kathryn Johnston


5-16-08 People in the police oversight community told her that no one in Atlanta — not residents, not city officials, not the media — would be sympathetic to delays in getting the city's Citizen Review Board up and running.

But it's been more than a year since the board was created in response to the Atlanta Police Department's illegal shooting of Kathryn Johnston, and even Shields admits that she expected to be investigating complaints about the city's law enforcement officers by now.




Cross posted at SteveAudio

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Beam yourself up, Scotty…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 2:50 PM Permalink

…or are you already so high you can get by without the beam?

People who genuinely follow modern politics already know that:
bush is the worst world leader in history.
He has surrounded himself with a doltish sycophantic staff that enables his fantasies and acts as his Andover Cheering Squad.
bush lies just because he likes to lie, deceive, mislead, and is genetically unable to tell the truth (look to the parents on this one).
He (bush) has built the greatest propaganda machine since, well, those people of German descent who liked to kill millions last century.
bush is engaging in not one, not just two, but soon will be engaging in his third genocide for the purpose of stealing oil.
Anyone working for bush that claims they didn't witness and know of bush's destruction and bankruptcy of our society is a liar or too stupid to breathe without instructions.
And belatedly having a "come to Jesus" moment like Scott McClellan apparently has does not make an honest or truthful man of Scotty whose opinion that crimes were committed is no longer of any value after keeping mum and not speaking out in time to stop the crime or aid in prosecution of those crimes.
Scotty is therefore hook, line, and sinker embroiled up to his eyeballs in criminality, betrayal of the country, and he is a demonstrated coward for only now coming forward with the truth he has known for years.
And, if Scotty wrote about the good things bush has done it would have been printed on the fliers you find on your cars in supermarket parking lots.
It kills me that after all the phony rightwing authors that have had their books bought by Republican "think-tanks" to create the illusion that the book is a bestseller will be shunning Scotty as if he carries the bird flu. He is already being minimized by the W.H. as a "disgruntled employee," and everyone knows there is nowhere else to go after labeling someone a disgruntled employee.

And if Scotty should just "disappear," rest assured he will be basking in the beautiful Cuban sunshine, getting three hots and a cot, and feverishly working to finish writing his assertions that his first book was entirely a work of fiction, just like everyone else speaking ill of the W.H. or bush.

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How lame are we as a society

posted by The Vidiot @ 1:56 PM Permalink

when we buy books to decorate a library instead of actually reading books to fill our library?
Designer books unlike draperies or carpeting appreciate in value and never wear out. They are an investment for the future, as well as the ideal item with which to decorate your home or office. Warm rich leathers and antique gilt accent any room from traditional to contemporary in style. A library, study or simply a corner table...designer books are an affordable and elegant way to add warmth and beauty to your decor.
We're doomed.

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Alright.

posted by The Vidiot @ 1:44 PM Permalink

I know my posting on McClellan's latest blathering was nothing more than, well, my own blather. I have read other blog posts that say it better. First, Toast has a tempered look at it, but I think he's way too easy on McClellan:
Excerpt: The recent buzz that's erupted around pre-release excerpts from Scott McClellan's harsh new insider's take on the Bush White House has engendered in me some decidedly mixed feelings. On the one hand, anything that further trashes the reputations of Bush, Cheney, Rove, Libby et. al. has to be considered a net positive to our discourse. Yes, most of the "revelations" are not doubt old news to lefty political junkies -- "Bush used 'propaganda' to push war! Film at 11:00 PM!" -- but there are millions of Americans out there to whom the full extent of these miscreants' malign machinations actually remains "news". And, good politics aside, I just can't help but take pleasure in the fact that McClellan is kicking his ex-colleagues when they're way, way down. Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of guys.
There's a bit more, so read the rest.

But Micheal Rivero over at whatreallyhappened.com was the only one who showed the right amount of disdain and anger:
Second, I do not congratulate McClellan on his book. I will not buy it, read it, or promote it. The book is an admission that Scott McClellen KNEW HE WAS LYING TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WHEN HE STOOD AT THAT PODIUM IN THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS ROOM. The blood of our dead young men and women stains his hands and every page of that book. And having earned his keep as a paid liar for the government, now McClellan shamelessly tries to reap a few more bucks with a "how we put the screws to the country" manual.
Visit his site for a bunch of articles that will basically underscore the fact that McClellan's book is a sham and useless and doesn't tell us anything we didn't already know.

Bottom line, this story is really important for one reason and one reason only. This:

Why aren't the people who supposedly run this country in jail? What's wrong with us?

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File this under WTF?

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:53 AM Permalink

So, basically, in McClellan's tell-mostly-all book, he says the following: We may have used propaganda, but the press didn't call us on it. So, not my bad, bro'.

And therein lies the problem of politics: a total lack of personal responsibility. Nobody in politics has it, wants it, or even knows how it's supposed to be used. Frankly, I doubt that many in the corporate sector has any idea either. It's as if these people check their souls at the door in exchange for money and/or power.

If you're wondering how things got so mucked up, the lack of personal responsibility pretty much sums it up. If those in positions like McClellan's remembered that they're part of the human race rather than functioning above or outside of it, we'd be in much better shape.

I know, I'm stating the obvious, but it still twists my knickers.

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Sailing Senator Kennedy!

posted by The Sailor @ 5:25 PM Permalink

(Pic stolen from here.)
Sen. Kennedy competes in ’Figawi’ sailboat race

HYANNIS - It was a “great day,” Sen. Edward M. Kennedy said today after his surprise decision to compete in the last leg of the Figawi regatta -- and his schooner "Mya" finished second.

“Well, it couldn’t be a more beautiful day,” Kennedy said on his private pier. “We have wonderful friends and family. It’s a tradition out here and we had a great day.”

A crew member on Kennedy’s sloop told the Herald the skipper was “in a great mood.” The Mya came in second in division 3 in the weekend Hyannis-to-Nantucket race.
[...]
Asked why Kennedy took to the seas today, spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter told the Associated Press, “The wind was just right.”
“The wind was just right” ... for a sailor there's no better answer to many of life's persistent questions.



Cross posted at SteveAudio

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

In Memoriam

posted by The Sailor @ 6:14 PM Permalink



It's Memorial Day and for the third year in a row here is my offering:

It's Memorial Day and the unnecessary deaths from friendly fire, bad political decisions, poor equipment ... have nothing to do with the soldiers who died. Those conditions have been inherent in war since war began. And especially so in the wars that started with lies. Just in my lifetime: 'Gulf Of Tonkin Incident'; 'Grenada Was Taken Over By Communists'; 'Iraq Has WMDs and We Know Where They Are' were all lies.

But the people who died because of these lies did not die for these lies. They died for their fellows, they died for their country, they died for us.

This is why we should remember them every day, not just between brats (edible and sired) on this day, but because regardless of the lies, the coverups, the sheer incompetence that put them in harm's way to begin with, they were doing it for us.

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Caption Contest!

posted by The Sailor @ 9:30 PM Permalink


(I added the text to the photo, inspired by Shipment of Fail website.)

Here are my submissions:
That's the hard way to join the Mile High Club!
If you can't Fly United, land united!
Honey, I swear, that tail-dragger meant nothing to me!
We wuz OK till we hit that yeller tape!

OK, now it's your turn.



Cross posted at SteveAudio

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Let's give them something to think about…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 4:46 PM Permalink

…regarding John McLame.

He was close to, or at, the bottom of his class at the Naval Academy. The Navy either lowered their standards during Vietnam or it may have been common practice to allow poorly performing students to apply for Flight School. (After all, they trained that monkey bush to fly planes.)

McBlame somehow took and passed flight training and was subsequently sent to Vietnam, dropping bombs and napalm from a relatively safe platform - a jet fighter seat.

He was shot down and held in captivity for over five years, finally released at the end of the war. I do not know what military duties he performed until his discharge/resignation.

These experiences, as tough as they may have been, hardly qualifies McLame as a tactical or strategic military leader or genius and does NOT mean he has some special insight to the conduct of military affairs or qualities that mark him as a military 'expert' that make his OPINIONS about war any more valuable than ANY ONE ELSE with military experience.

To pretend otherwise is to deceive, mislead, and scam the public as to his qualifications.

I'm sick of it. If being shot down and held prisoner marks you as being a military 'expert,' this country is in sad shape.

I respect Mr. McPains service, but I recognize he is no more a 'military genius' than I am. Somebody had to say this.

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No time to think about what to tell them, No time to think about what shes done, And she was

posted by The Sailor @ 3:01 PM Permalink

What can you say to this?
"My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right?" Clinton said. "We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. I don't understand it." (Here is transcript of her original remarks, clarifying her remarks and her explanation for them.)
Keith Olbermann said it best:

(via AMERICAblog)
Keith Olbermann's "Special Comment" about Hillary Clinton invoking Bobby Kennedy's assassination





Cross posted at SteveAudio

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"…it is Bush administration policy to have events in public venues open to the media…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 2:59 PM Permalink

…is the current lie being espoused by the ever more irrelevant and despised Republican Party. Seems bush and McPain wanted to hold a fundraiser at the Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona (McBlame's home state, right?) but ticket sales were so anemic they canceled the C.C. and instead 'opted' for smaller events held in various supporters home.

Here is the rest of the quote from Phoenix Business Journal:
A Tuesday fundraiser headlined by President Bush for U.S. Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign is being moved out of the Phoenix Convention Center.

Sources familiar with the situation said the Bush-McCain event was not selling enough tickets to fill the Convention Center space, and that there were concerns about more anti-war protesters showing up outside the venue than attending the fundraiser inside.

Another source said there were concerns about the media covering the event.

Bush's Arizona fundraising effort for McCain is being moved to private residences in the Phoenix area. A White House official said the event was being moved because the McCain campaign prefers private fundraisers and it is Bush administration policy to have events in public venues open to the media. The White House official said to reconcile that the Tuesday event will be held at a private venue and not the Convention Center.
Notice bush likes open events for the media, but the don't forget the screening of the public and the requirement that they must sign a pledge to support bush, or face inability to entry or forceful ejections if they managed to sneak in.

It does show that neither man can take honest, heartfelt protests from the public regarding their disastrous, disgusting, and damning policies that have so injured this country.

I just hope that Billy Bob's and Suzi's garage will handle the half-dozen or so contributors that might show up. I hear the menu for the event will consist of brazed all beef hotdogs, drenched in Grey Poupon, served with wafer thin slices of deep fried potatoes, with an optional dipping sauce made of a special chili and Velveeta Cheese mixture for the truly discerning palates.

After all, these people, while miniscule in numbers, are all VIPs as long as they bring their checkbooks.

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Saturday Blogtopiate Diversions

posted by The Vidiot @ 10:44 AM Permalink

Haven't done one of these for a while.

Cornstarch lifeform 80Hz is really creepy and cool

Very cool beds.

And so it begins: a 2-legged robot that walks like a guy. Next stop: Terminator

Top 10 Office Freakouts. (Some of these are commercials. By my fav was the elevator guy. Been there, wanted to do that.)

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Oh. My. Gawd.

posted by The Vidiot @ 12:43 AM Permalink

The blogosphere, and anyone else with more than half a brain, has been saying this since 2004:
The number of US soldiers "stop-lossed," or forced to serve past their agreed terms of enlistment (from an additional few months to over a year), has reached 58,000 in the past six years, NBC reports.

"Many lawmakers and critics claim the Army has used 'stop-loss' as a back-door draft to make up for the shortage of soldiers for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan," reports Jim Miklaszewski.

So, NBC has finally noticed that "stop-loss" is really just a back-door draft. Well, THAT only took like forever. And they did it without a hint of irony.

Amazing.

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Friday, May 23, 2008

So you got to let me know, Should I stay or should I go?

posted by The Sailor @ 5:53 PM Permalink


Petraeus Expects to Recommend Troop Cuts in Iraq This Fall

"My sense is I will be able to make a recommendation at that time for further reductions"
Now where have I heard that before? Oh, I remember, it was exactly what Petraeus said last year:
Monday, September 10, 2007 - General David Petraeus made his long-awaited appearance on Capitol Hill today. The general said he believes the United States can reduce its presence in Iraq to pre-surge levels by next summer
Well summer's here and now he says he'll let us know next fall, oddly enough, it's yet another 'Friedman unit', what a surprise! And just in time for the elections!

Doesn't anyone in the MSM or Congress have enough brain cells to remember that this is the exact same lie that's been repeated for the whole war!? (More here.)

Why Congress isn't rejecting this "an ass-kissing little chickenshit" out of hand I'll never understand. (More here.)

Petraeus also said 'violence has hit a four-year low'

That's just an outright lie. Last month, April 2008, 52 Americans died and Iraqi military & civilian deaths were 744 (confirmed).

In the last 4 years there were 18 months that American soldiers had fewer deaths. In the last 2 years there were 5 months that Iraqi military & civilian deaths were lower. (That's just confirmed, actual civilian deaths are probably much higher, but our military refuses to do 'body counts.')

General, I just got one thing to say: You better go now, go now, go now.




Cross posted at SteveAudio

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I told her I didn't really care, High water everywhere

posted by The Sailor @ 5:29 PM Permalink

We've had a little bit more rain than we can use this Spring. (Click for larger pics.)
But more water just means more sailing!

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

I want one of these!

posted by The Vidiot @ 4:34 PM Permalink


Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, symbolizes the ridiculousness of our politics and political discourse better than a Larry Craig Bobblefoot!

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The Bell Curve revisited.

posted by The Vidiot @ 4:21 PM Permalink

This is ridiculous on its face.
WORKING-CLASS students have lower IQs than those from wealthier backgrounds and should not be expected to win places at top universities, an academic has claimed.
Bruce Charlton, an evolutionary psychiatrist at Newcastle University, has written a paper asserting the reason why fewer students from poor families are admitted to Oxford or Cambridge is not because of social prejudice, but lack of ability.
Even if you were to give any of those stupid IQ tests credence, you have to take into consideration all sorts of stuff like do the tests skew white, do the tests skew male, do the tests skew class, you know? I usually score high on those dumb things and honestly, if you knew me, that would shock you.

The more likely reason for the underrepresentation of working class kids in elite institutions has more to do with class then intelligence. Read C Wright Mills and get back to me. Bruce Charlton should be laughed out of his profession. Or better yet, he should have his IQ measured by a test that skews African American, female and working class and see how he does on that.

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Lying just for the sake of lying and concealing an obvious truth…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 1:27 PM Permalink

…which is what Petreaus is once again doing, lying that is, to cover his boss' ass and mislead the country as to the truth of his new optimism that serious numbers of troops could be returned home this fall.

See this article from the NYT titled, "Generals See Hope for Troop Reductions by Fall.":
The American military commanders in Iraq offered a cautiously optimistic picture of the situation there on Thursday, seeing the possibility of troop reductions this fall and no need for the United States to take extra security steps for provincial elections a half-year from now.

“I do believe that there will be certain assets that, as we are already looking at the picture right now, we’ll be able to recommend can be either redeployed or not deployed to the theater in the fall,” Gen. David H. Petraeus told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

And Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, who will soon succeed General Petraeus as commander in Iraq, said he did not foresee a need for extra troops to guard against violence around the time of the Iraqi elections.
Just a tad duplicitous and more outright bare-faced lie being foisted off on a public that knows better, isn't it?

I am just going to throw out some info here that can easily be confirmed using the google: bush and current military leaders have so over-stretched our military that it is close to being completely broken, equipment levels so low replacement will be impossible without massive infusions of even more borrowed money, officers and senior NCOs leaving the services in droves, waivers being given to large numbers of convicted criminals in an attempt to keep up manpower levels, and repeated warnings from flag-level officers that we cannot possibly continue to sustain both wars in Iraq and Afghanistan without greatly increasing the size of our military forces without expending hugh sums in enlistment and retention bonuses or, failing to achieve their goals in these ways, reinstating the draft.

There is no choice in the matter, the JCS has repeatedly and publicly stated that America cannot possibly continue to try and maintain current troops levels without facing defeat in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Even the Pakistanis recognize that we are bogged down in Afghanistan just as the Russians had been for twenty years and at extreme expense. Pakistanis know we cannot achieve success in Afghanistan and have made pacts with the Taliban and other elements America considers terrorist groups and will be of no further help in combatting al-Qaeda or the Taliban.

So for Petreaus to allege that because things are going 'so well' that he can begin sending troops home this fall is a total fabrication, a deliberate attempt to again deceive the American people by failing to reveal the truth of how badly our military has become depleted in both troop levels, equipment levels, the foolish desires of bush to embroil America in yet another war we cannot win, and the fact that most of the recently retiring flag officers have definitively stated we cannot maintain this level of commitment without disastrous implications for our military services.

Therefore there will be troop reductions for which bush will tout success, not total incompetency, a broken military, and a genuine belief on the part of many that we face defeat on two fronts simultaneously with a third defeat on the way.

Lie just to lie for the sake of lying to and concealing from the public the criminal manner in which our forces have been abused.

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How bush handles foreign diplomacy matters…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 1:03 PM Permalink

…reminds me of an old joke I first heard as a child. I cannot source it, which is a shame, because it is both funny and prescient of gwb, who fits the joke tolerably and truthfully well:
A man sees his old friend Bobby Joe walking down the street with several sticks of already blasting-capped sticks of dynamite in his shirt pocket. He is alarmed, to say the least, and the following dialogue ensues:

Man: Bobby Joe! Where the hell are you going with all that dynamite in your shirt pocket?

Bobby Joe: Well, I normally carry my cigars in this pocket and every damned time I go to Sam's barber shop, ole Sam slaps my chest, breaking every cigar in my pocket.

Man: What does that have to do with all that dynamite?

Bobby Joe: Well, I've had enough of that, so me? This time I'm gonna blow his damned hand off!
bush foreign policy in a nutshell.

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Some consideration needed.

posted by The Vidiot @ 10:20 AM Permalink

I don't know what to make of this story.
What they were looking for, Carroll says, was an informant—someone to show up at “vegan potlucks” throughout the Twin Cities and rub shoulders with RNC protestors, schmoozing his way into their inner circles, then reporting back to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, a partnership between multiple federal agencies and state and local law enforcement. The effort’s primary mission, according to the Minneapolis division’s website, is to “investigate terrorist acts carried out by groups or organizations which fall within the definition of terrorist groups as set forth in the current United States Attorney General Guidelines.”
Now, if it's true, it seems like a waste of time. Vegans won't even eat dairy products. I'd hardly think of them as a threat of any kind. The story also pokes at those civil rights soft spots, making the reader angry, suspicious and nervous, all at once.

If it's not true, who's lying and why? I doubt very much the government gives vegans a second thought. The guy might work for the FBI and he's lying on their behalf. Or, the guy might just be a big, fat liar. If he's just a big, fat liar, then the whole thing is just to boost his level of self-importance. If the story is a plant by the FBI, either using this guy or not, well then, that's a little more interesting.

What purpose does that serve? To create an overall feeling of surveillance? I mean, I can't think of a better way to instill a little trepidation in the general public by letting them THINK that this sort of surveillance is going on. That way, a certain percentage of folks will be too afraid to even participate.

See, I don't think there's any actual surveillance going on so much as there is the suggestion that surveillance might be going on. I mean, if you THINK someone has a gun, that's enough to get you to act accordingly, no?

Then again, as usual, I could be full of crap.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Yeah

posted by The Vidiot @ 4:17 PM Permalink

Because this




is just like this.

From RawStory:
Detainees released from the prison at Guantanamo Bay have complained about inhumane conditions there, but according to the admiral in charge, their living situation is "pretty much" like that in a fraternity house.


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Part of the reason America is no longer, and may never again, be the most innovative country on the planet…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 12:50 PM Permalink

…from the Huffington Post comes this article titled, "Creationism In US High Schools: 16 Percent Of US Science Teachers Are Creationists."

Quote:
ABC News reports on the findings of a study that concluded 16% of U.S. science teachers are Creationists, and that, disturbingly, one in eight are teaching creationism as a valid science:

Despite a court-ordered ban on the teaching of creationism in U.S. schools, about one in eight high-school biology teachers still teach it as valid science, a survey reveals. And, although almost all teachers also taught evolution, those with less training in science -- and especially evolutionary biology -- tend to devote less class time to Darwinian principles...[…]

However, a quarter of the teachers also reported spending at least some time teaching about creationism or intelligent design. Of these, 48 percent -- about 12.5 percent of the total survey -- said they taught it as a "valid, scientific alternative to Darwinian explanations for the origin of species".
You cannot educate a child and expect him/her to be competitive with students in more advanced countries that are receiving classical educations in true sciences and not the voo-doo, religiously based and biased educations being given to so many of our youth.

America will never again be on a level playing field when it comes to educating engineers, scientists in any/all fields, or even general scholastic knowledge with so many of our schools and teachers, inculcated in, believing, and teaching the Creationist culture of doubt, disbelief, and utterly discredited (at least in my mind) courses in evangelical 'science.'

And for any and all that want to argue this point logically, think of this: Man has been a 'hunter/gatherer' since the beginning of the species and has left the world much art to illustrate their world as they saw it.

There are ancient drawings everywhere depicting man, man hunting, man gathering, living in tribes, war, ancient mariners, etc. It seems that man was destined from the beginning to record as much as they could of men's lives, the animals they hunted and interacted with, portraits, and after paint and canvas came along, ya just couldn't stop the painting of current events, landscapes, people, the stars, and so much more.

The first dinosaur bones were, if I remember correctly, first discovered around 1815 or so in Paris, France, and turned the known world on its figurative head, setting off searches planet-wide to find out more of these creatures of the past. 1815 to now is obviously well within the 6,000 year period that Creationists try to claim that man and dinosaur coexisted.

I call utter B.S. on this.

If man and dino had coexisted, where is the artwork depicting the terrible monsters roaming the earth, where is the art showing the epic battles between man and monster? Where are the dinosaur hides that would have been taken for trophy, ceremonial wear, and display? Where are the various heads of velociraptors, T-rex, and triceratops mounted for tasteful display on the hunters walls? Just how many men did it take to bring down a brontosaurus?

Why is there absolutely no mention of dinosaurs in the greatest work of fiction ever passed off onto a gullible peoples, the Bible?

Creationism is so obviously false it defies credulity and teaches our children things that never happened, could not have happened, and does so without a shred of any empirical evidence as mentioned above. Where ARE the hides, the heads, the weapons which would have been made of the hugh teeth of many dinosaurs, or even the dandy custom carved, ornate but deadly clubs fashioned as weapons from the hugh bones of some dinosaurs?

Where are the depictions of entire tribes fighting for their lives against creatures that would have been so numerous it is highly doubtful man would have survived at all. Dinosaurs would still be roaming and ruling the earth, eating the curiously small mammals who would attack them for food or hides for shelters. Where are the vast piles of bone clearly showing the teeth-marks of hungry man?

Why are no dinosaurs depicted on the walls of the great pyramids, in the ancient cave drawings, where are the descriptions of teaching how to corner and defeat creatures that were little more than eating machines that ruled the earth for 125 million years (and Creationists only go back 6,000 years or so).

No logically thinking and considerate man or scientist would miss this utter lack of any shred of evidence that man and dino coexisted, and I challenge any Creationists to prove me wrong by providing the passages in the bible, the Koran, ancient hieroglyphics, cave art, or any other method known or unknown to man that in fact do depict events such as these in any recognized form of communication and that can be dated to a certain period.

And if you are still naive enough to believe such an unbelievable hypothesis as Creationism, well, I've got a dandy mounted triceratop's head and lovely carpets made from genuine T-rex hide suitable for use in any abode that I'd love to sell you.

If we teach our children poorly, fill them with totally false 'science', and short-sheet their educations in so many ways, America will never again be the innovative, inventive, leading society it was during the 20th century.

Just another corrupt attempt by radical evangelicals and others whom arrogantly refuse to believe we descended from the apes, but one that does an insidious disservice to our children and country when they teach, knowingly in my mind, lies instead of real science.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I don't know how to love Him

posted by The Sailor @ 5:51 PM Permalink

Imagery in Bastrop school mural stirs controversy
Religious symbols, historical scenes cause some to call for painting's removal.


The painting in question, a student project completed in 2003, adorns a wall in the corridor leading to the Bastrop High School gym. It depicts the sometimes unpleasant history of the town, showing scenes of a Mexican and Comanche raid and slaves working in a cotton field, as well as unifying visions of children of different ethnicities reaching out to one another.
[...]
Patty Green, the art teacher who coordinated the project, said she doesn't understand why the issue is coming up now. Austin muralist Raul Valdez organized a group of Bastrop students to paint the mural using a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Bastrop Association for the Arts.

"It sat up there for five years, and nobody had a problem with it
," said Green, the head of the Bastrop association.

Bastrop resident Lauren Hansell, who made the original complaint, homeschools her children but visits the school on Fridays to pray with students at the flagpole.

A Christian, Hansell said she wants the mural removed because of the war and slavery scenes and depictions of Buddha and ancient gods.

[...]
Among the images on the mural are an Aztec sun, ancient Egypt's King Tutankhamen, Buddha and Shiva, a Hindu deity, dancing on a demon of ignorance.

Hansell, who at first interpreted Shiva's dance as a message in favor of abortion, said laws that bar Christian symbols from public schools should apply to the mural.


The First Amendment, which bans government-sponsored religious activities even as it protects religious expression from government interference, allows students to pray during school in informal settings, according to U.S. Department of Education guidelines.
So after 5 years of the mural being displayed a woman who has nothing to do with the school except for proselytizing every week on school grounds complains and engenders a controversy.

"Dancing on a demon of ignorance" indeed.



Cross posted at SteveAudio

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Let's Talk About Sex

posted by The Sailor @ 5:45 PM Permalink

OK, now that I have your attention, let's talk about race ... and sex.

In a kinda sorta follow up to SteveAudio's post about the racist Curious George T-shirt and in light of the comments on that post, I'd just like to say: Misogyny is terrible, racism is worse.

Let me re-phrase: Misogynists are terrible, racists are worse. I suggest you read the post and read the comments, and read the links to the comments on other sites. I'll wait ...

... ... ...

Yep, those were awful, sexist, misogynist comments about Hillary.

And that's really bad, but racism is about both men and women. Men and women that were kidnapped and stolen from Africa and auctioned off as chattel in our country. Men and women that were considered as property, and even enshrined in the Constitution as 3/5ths of a person so that Southern states were equally represented in Congress.

There aren't groups in our country that want to kill women just for being women but there are groups in our country that want to kill black people, just for being black.

And if I were to put on my cynical hat I would say that Hillary should take the VP job, if offered, because Obama being assassinated, (and if he's elected I put the odds of that at 50/50), is the best chance she has of being President.

And that's why misogyny is terrible, racism is worse.

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Insipid quotes from David Brooks re: John McLame…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 11:51 AM Permalink

…which are made up from the compost heap in which he writes his "opinion" column. He is no more a REAL columnist than I.

I will not link to his trashy columns, ever, for fear of offending too many. Quotes:
John McCain opposed the farm bill. In an impassioned speech on Monday, he declared: “It would be hard to find any single bill that better sums up why so many Americans in both parties are so disappointed in the conduct of their government, and at times so disgusted by it.”

McCain has been in Congress for decades, but he has remained a national rather than a parochial politician. The main axis in his mind is not between Republican and Democrat. It’s between narrow interest and patriotic service. And so it is characteristic that he would oppose a bill that benefits the particular at the expense of the general.

In fact, in this issue, McCain may have found a theme to unify his so far scattershot campaign. He has always been an awkward ideological warrior. In any case, this year may not be the best year for Republicans to launch a right versus left crusade. But McCain has infinitely better grounds than Obama to run as a do-what-it-takes reformer.

He has a long record of taking on not only the other party, but his own. In the current Weekly Standard, the brilliant young writer Yuval Levin suggests that McCain put reforming America’s decrepit governing institutions at the center of his presidential race.
Yes, John McCain, as conservative as they come, head up bush's a$$, selling out to virtually every special interest, flip-flopping so fast no one can tell you where he stands until they read the morning paper, and a man who never met a lobbyist he didn't love like a rock.

bush on steroids personified and a man that will finish the ruination of America begun under bush, grover norquist, karl rove, richard mellon scaife, and all the 'good ole boys' of the neocon cabal that actively pursues eternal war and American Empire.

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A quick word about the movie "Ironman"…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 11:16 AM Permalink

…I know not everybody is nuts about the many movies released based upon comic books, but I gotta tell ya, just like they say, "If you can only see one movie this year, make it this one!"

Robert Downey, Jr does an absolutely stellar job as millionaire industrialist playboy Tony Stark. When he finds out (in Afghanistan) that the best and most lethal of the weapons Stark Industries produces have fallen into the hands of the enemy he is horrified.

Captured there, Tony builds a rudimentary Ironman suit he uses to escape his captors, and when he returns to Stark Industries he has a real epiphany, realizing he has been responsible for s-o-o-o many lives lost that he decides to build a real combat version of his original Ironman. The game is on.

I'm a real aficionado of this genre of films so I knew I'd like it, but this is totally the most mind-blowing, rip-roaring, special effects extravaganza with a such a compelling story that it left me practically gasping for breath like no other movie I can think of, including Spiderman and the X-men.

It is a 2 hr 6 min roller coaster blast that seems like it lasts a half hour, which is to me a sure characteristic of a great movie.

GO SEE THIS ONE, I'll guarantee fun for all. (Gwyneth Paltrow is stunning as well!)

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Meanwhile, overseas, bush, "a failed president who delivers nothing but a lousy speech." …

posted by Bill Arnett @ 12:29 PM Permalink

…quoted from a front page editorial in Al-Gomhouria, another Egyptian state-owned daily.

I've been reading quotes such as this in virtually every overseas newspaper today. Maybe that's why their citizens are so much more aware of what a horse's arse bush is than the average American citizen.

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"With the help of the overgrown U.S. financial sector, the United States of 2008 is the world's leading debtor,…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 10:54 AM Permalink

has by far the largest current-account deficit and is the leading importer, at great expense, of both manufactured goods and oil. The potential damage if the world soon undergoes the greatest financial crisis since the 1930s is incalculable. The loss of global economic leadership that overtook Britain and Holland seems to be looming on our own horizon.
Quoted from a NYT Editorial. Looks like the Big Boys of Finance are finally waking up and realizing that what they're smelling isn't coffee.

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Saturday, May 17, 2008

American Leaders as Despotic and Cruel as any Cruel Foreign Despotic Leaders…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 12:14 PM Permalink

It's been in a lot of newspapers lately that although America has only about a fifth of the worlds population, we arrest and hold more prisoners than any other country, including China and Russia. But there finally arises a time when the jailers become a captive of their own prisons.

That breaking point, the zero sum game, has now been reached in Afghanistan, to be followed by Iraq and other countries where America is running black prisons that make impossible the prosecution of people tortured and forced to live for years under the most deplorable conditions imaginable.

See this article from the NYT titled, "U.S. Planning Big New Prison in Afghanistan."

Excerpt:
The Pentagon is moving forward with plans to build a new, 40-acre detention complex on the main American military base in Afghanistan, officials said, in a stark acknowledgment that the United States is likely to continue to hold prisoners overseas for years to come.

The proposed detention center would replace the cavernous, makeshift American prison on the Bagram military base north of Kabul, which is now typically packed with about 630 prisoners, compared with the 270 held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

Until now, the Bush administration had signaled that it intended to scale back American involvement in detention operations in Afghanistan.[…]

But American officials now concede that the new Afghan-run prison cannot absorb all the Afghans now detained by the United States, much less the waves of new prisoners from the escalating fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban.[…]

The proposal for a new American prison at Bagram underscores the daunting scope and persistence of the United States military’s detention problem…[…]

After the prison was set up in early 2002, it became a primary site for screening prisoners captured in the fighting. Harsh interrogation methods and sleep deprivation were used widely, and two Afghan detainees died there in December 2002, after being repeatedly struck by American soldiers.[…]

American officials also acknowledged that there are serious health risks to detainees and American military personnel who work at the Bagram prison, because of their exposure to heavy metals from the aircraft-repair machinery and asbestos. [I am really sympathetic to both prisoner and guards as I suffered two devastating cancers from Agent Orange exposure, so this is just plainly cruel. Bill]

“It’s just not suitable,” another Pentagon official said. “At some point, you have to say, ‘That’s it. This place was not made to keep people there indefinitely.’ ”
It brings a tear to my eye that our American leaders are so concerned with the health of American's that work at those facilities while failing once again to get proper legal and medical attention to the people America would keep incarcerated forever.

It's a cruel irony that thousands of prisoners in Afghanistan and Iraq cannot or will not ever be expected to receive a fair trial from what used to be the country - America - renowned for its judicial system and respect for human and legal affairs.

Yet more shame brought to you courtesy of the most violent country in the world with a president considered to be the greatest threat to world peace.

McLame would just be as bad as bush, if not worse. McCain already seems sometimes to present signs of some type of dementia, just as Reagan did during the final years of of his tenure, and all it would take to destroy America would be a couple of years of war pigs leading an incompetent president around by the nose or keeping him occupied with bright, shiny trinkets.

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Headline: "Edwards: "I Have No Interest" In Vice Presidency"…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 2:22 PM Permalink

…but can you picture Edwards as the new U.S. Attorney General? With the keys to all the hidden files, knowing the dead bodies he'd find, and the myriad of crime and corruption by this maladministration he would uncover?

bush/cheney's worst nightmare as the new A.G. prepares his cases for prosecution of war crimes. And this man is a true "trial attorney" that would be relentless in seeking justice for ALL Americans, not just the rich.

I'm drooling already…

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We now know for sure what a staunch ally is Pakistan…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 1:03 PM Permalink

…as bush has told us so many times, Pakistanis are our most reliable ally in the Middle East, bush says so, that makes it so, and the reporting of the NYT is clearly biased:
Pakistani officials are making it increasingly clear that they have no interest in stopping cross-border attacks by militants into Afghanistan, prompting a new level of frustration from Americans who see the infiltration as a crucial strategic priority in the war in Afghanistan.[…]

In an unusual step during a visit to Pakistan in March, Adm. Eric T. Olson, the commander of United States Special Operations Command, held a round-table discussion with a group of civilian Pakistani leaders to sound them out on the possibility of cross-border raids by American forces. He was told in no uncertain terms that from the Pakistani point of view it was a bad idea, said one of the participants.[…]

“Pakistan will take care of its own problems, you take care of Afghanistan on your side,” said Owari Ghani, the governor of North-West Frontier Province, who is also President Pervez Musharraf’s representative in charge of the neighboring tribal areas.

Mr. Ghani, a key architect of the pending peace accord, believes along with many other Pakistani leaders that the United States is floundering in the war in Afghanistan. Pakistan, he said, should not be saddled with America’s mistakes, especially if a solution involved breaching Pakistan’s sovereignty, a delicate matter in a nation where sentiment against the Bush administration runs high.

“Pakistan is a sovereign state,” he said. “NATO is in Afghanistan; it’s time they did some soldiering.”
Oh, what lovely, friendly, caring, and concerned allies have we!

And to be blown off so unceremoniously by a third world country which, I guess, makes us one of them (third world wise).

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Just the headline is needed to explain this…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 12:16 PM Permalink

…and further reinforces that bush and the Republicans are simply clowns whom, collectively, transformed the greatest and most powerful nation in the world into a hat-in-hand, dog broke beggars in the New World Order. (My apologies to dogs. Bill)

From the NYT front page:
Bush in Saudi Arabia to Make Oil Plea
Then, for some real entertainment, click on the headline in the NYT (or click here) and you find the article is titled with the Saudi answer:
Bush Rebuffed on Oil Plea in Saudi Arabia
Followed by this opening paragraph:
With the price of oil hitting record highs, President Bush used a private visit to King Abdullah’s ranch here Friday to make a second attempt to persuade the Saudi government to increase oil production and was rebuffed yet again.
Actually I think the Saudis enjoy making bush jump through hoops, sit up and beg, and crawling away with his tail between his legs.

It's a national embarrassment.

Next time Cheney should be dressed as an organ grinder, lead bush around on a chain, dressed as one of those monkeys attired as a doorman, while Chimp bushie circles the palace with his beggars tin cup, holding hands with the very people who wouldn't dream of giving a dime to America now that the country's demise is imminent.

I think the Saudis are just waiting for the bankruptcy bidding on individual states to begin.

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BY FAR the dumbest thing I ever read.

posted by The Vidiot @ 10:28 AM Permalink

Read this blog entry on Obama's mom. Go ahead. I'll wait. It's quick.

I can't grab a snippet of it because the whole thing is just so ridiculous and badly written. Basically, the guy is pointing to all the things in Obama's mama's life that make her a radical leftist Marxist wacko.

Now, more than likely, a goodly portion of it isn't true. If any of it is true, it's probably inflated and conflated and frankly, very few, especially the guy who posted the diadribble, really understands what Marxism and Communism is anyway. According to the entry, she's a Marxist because she went to a high school that had a few Marxist teachers. Yeah, right. She studied critical theory OH MY. That just means she just critiqued society (google Horkeimer and the Franklin School) in an effort to change society. They say she was a communist, but really, communism is just capitalism with the owners of production being the state and not a corporation. Marxist? Marx wasn't anti-capitalist. Marx wasn't into totalitarianism. Marx was more about having the means of production more firmly in the hands of those who produced.

The worst thing in that post is, if the statements that Obama made distancing himself from his mother's political ideas are accurate, it only shows that Obama is more of a politician than his supporters are probably willing to admit.

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MSM, how I loathe thee.

posted by The Vidiot @ 9:43 AM Permalink

Maybe loathe is too strong of a word. When I was 12, my dad and I had a discussion about what the opposite of love was. I, being 12, said hate. He, being a dad, said "nope, apathy." Of course, he was right. Love and hate both are strong feelings while apathy is the complete absence of feeling. At the time, I knew he was right, but I didn't want him to know that I knew he was right. I mean, I was a 12 after all. Can't give a dad that much slack, can you?

Anyway, I used to loathe MSM. I mean, really LOATHE them. The whole system, everything about them: their duplicitous, sycophantic and propagandistic behavior really twisted my knickers. But I'm moving away from that. Now, I'm more like, "Ugh, I just don't care anymore." I don't believe a word they say or a story they report. Whatever it is they say, I immediately assume the opposite is true.

For instance, this story in the LA Times blog about how bad Ron Paul lost in W. Virginia is meaningless. First, it's a blog (see my post below) which, frankly, who cares what a blog says. Second, there's no examination done on why he may have done so poorly. Was it his message? Was it that his message was never heard? Or was it the voters in West Virginia are, well, for wont of a better word, unintellectual {ahem}. Watch this video of W. Virginia voters that were interviewed for MSM. It drove Jon Stewart to drink, it just made me shake my head.

And don't think for a minute that the senate's slapping a band aid on the problem is going to help.
The Senate Thursday night voted to nullify a Federal Communications Commission rule that allows media companies to own a newspaper and a television station in the same market.
Because it won't. MSM is broken beyond repair. Don't listen to it and if you do listen to it, don't believe it.

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Bush foreign policy expertise at work

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:56 AM Permalink

If at first you don't succeed and you can't get them the old-fashioned way using bombast and manipulated intelligence:
The George W Bush administration's plan to create a new crescendo of accusations against Iran for allegedly smuggling arms to Shi'ite militias in Iraq has encountered not just one but two setbacks.
Then just start poking them with sticks until they react.
Iranian Embassy employees and their driver were shot Thursday in a Baghdad incident that some reports said involved Iraqi troops.
...
Iran's state-run Islamic Republic News Agency was blaming the United States for the attack.

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A reminder about blogs

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:33 AM Permalink

I feel that it is necessary to remind people of something that is very important with regards to blogs and I mean ALL blogs, even the 'good' ones: blogs are silly, blogs are reactionary, blogs are usually inaccurate and worst of all, blogs live forever. Anyone who blogs knows this about blogs and those who think otherwise are delusional, mentally deranged or has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g. Matt Drudge).

The reason I bring this subject up is that I've had this back and forth with a commenter regarding a story that was posted on this blog back in March of 2006. It was about a Suffolk University professor and charges of pornographic misconduct. The story was odd, the blogging on it was even odder and once blogged, the whole thing was completely forgotten.

Well, this person who commented said that the story was inaccurate and that it should be removed and well, that rubbed me the wrong way. Scrubbing is what MSM does, not us. If we print a turd, the turd stays. If the turd must be referenced for clarification, it will be and if the turd needs polished, we'll do that too.

So, I've referenced the turd (see link above) and I also polished the turd (note that I've placed Xs where the names would be.) Seems that the teacher was exonerated and that the student had dubious ulterior motives for reporting the teacher. Though, a note to the person who commented: the names of the people will live on in Google's cache and nobody in our strata of society can do a damn thing about it. Sorry.

In conclusion: Don't believe everything you read, compare and contrast with other postings on the same subject, and check out what sounds fishy and sound off on it if need be. Reading blogs should not be a passive pastime. Here at VidiotSpeak, we'll try to do our due diligence (if it doesn't interfere with a jobs or our family life or our drinking of beer) and we'll clarify whatever needs clarified.

So remember, let's be careful out there. Surf intelligently.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

It' My Party and I'll Whine Cry If I Want To

posted by The Sailor @ 6:54 PM Permalink


GOP leaders sought yesterday to "re-brand" the party with a new slogan and renewed pledges of fiscal rectitude and limited government. But the slogan -- "The Change You Deserve" -- came under mocking fire, because it parallels Democratic presidential front-runner Barack Obama's "Change We Can Believe In" motto and it mirrors the advertising slogan for the antidepressant Effexor. [ED: Take for depression, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder. Common side effects include apathy, irritable bowel syndrome and sexual dysfunction. Take only if you are a republican.]
And in a rare moment of honesty:
House Minority Leader John A. Boehner said "It's not that the party's going to change, it's what we talk about and how we talk about it"
See, even Boner (R-loser) admits it's just talking points and nothing is going to change if McCain (R-bushleague) gets elected.



Cross posted at SteveAudio

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A poem for the day…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 2:10 PM Permalink

I’ll always remember the day my Daddy died,
I was sittin’ right there at his side
When he told me “Son, don’t ever trust a politician.”
And of all the subjects that could arise
This one caught me by surprise,
‘Specially since he said they were all evil magicians.

I asked him just what he could mean
I’ve been around and there’s plenty I’ve seen,
And he said that he would just make a simple prediction:
“That evil men doing evil deeds
Would ultimately subjugate the country’s needs
To suit their needs and their own perverted predilections.”

He told me that that would be the day democracy died,
And that it would die so quickly we wouldn't have time to cry,
that the ground would simply disappear beneath our feet.
He said when that happened and the ground was gone
It’d be to late for us to repent and before too long
America would be in full retreat facing imminent defeat.

Now as we reach the end of “America’s Golden Age”,
As we lose influence and power and stir up the world’s rage
I finally believe I know now what my Daddy meant.
Maybe we’ve already see the best our country can produce,
While our government, poorly run, egocentric, unable to deduce
All the good things we have done and the money we’ve well-spent.

Now it goes to fulfill corporate bribes, no-bid contracts, killing the ways of our lives,
Graft, corruption, cronyism, conspiracies to enrich even their own wives,
Without regard to the destruction of America and its ideals.
So now all I can do is look back on words spoken true,
Thinking I failed to protect America and you, the only thing to look forward to
Will be taking down all the war pigs, puttin’ ‘em on trial and listening to them squeal.

2009 is on the way, the people will have their say, and the evil politicians will rue the day. Run, bushie, RUN!

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Headline: "Flip-Flop Alert: McCain Sets Timetable For Getting Out Of Iraq"…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 12:30 PM Permalink

…why should any flip-flop by John McLame be news? If he speaks to a dozen big-buck donors he will espouse least a dozen changes in his firmly held beliefs.

And that's a firm tentative maybe.

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Appeasement for Dummies and Current Idiots in the White House…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 11:32 AM Permalink

…w-h-h-o-o-e-e! Man did bush unload his burdened soul regarding appeasement at the Israeli Parliament, which, due to some obscure rule allows retiring or overthrown politicians to speak and requires an open mike day for the retiree or over-thrownee to speak

From the the NYT:
President Bush used a speech to the Israeli Parliament on Thursday to issue a veiled rebuke to Senator Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential contender, who has argued that the United States should negotiate with countries like Iran and Syria.

Mr. Bush did not mention Mr. Obama by name, and the White House said his remarks were not aimed at the senator.
We all know that even though bush is the most egregious admitted liar in the history of America that in this case we can take his word he is being honest this time and NOT being critical of Obama, so the reporter here obviously completely misunderstood bush and didn't listen to her White House handler.
Drawing parallels to the transformations of Europe and Japan after World War II, Mr. Bush in his speech touched on themes familiar to him, including the triumph of democracy over terrorism. He predicted “free and independent societies” across the region. “Iran and Syria,” he said, “will be peaceful nations, where today’s oppression is a distant memory.” Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, and Hamas “will be defeated,” he said.
bush added that he hoped America might one day again be free and not under the control of despotic egotist leaders such as the current administration.
Israeli officials have heaped accolades on Mr. Bush during his time here, a pattern that continued Thursday when Dalia Itzik, the speaker of the Knesset, said Mr. Bush was “a great friend, one of the greatest we’ve ever had.”
Which shows how absolutely desperate Israelis are to make new, aw , hell, ANY friends. I had to research that word "accolades," which, in Israel is defined as, "Animal droppings of semi-solid nature and firm enough to inflict quite a sting when shot from a slingshot."
The Parliament rolled out the red carpet, literally, for Mr. Bush, who arrived on the plaza in the early afternoon under bright sunny skies.
Unfortunately they pointed the carpet in the wrong direction and almost caused a very embarrassing international incident as bush and wife walked directly into the path of a landing F-18 causing the pilot to have to jettison its payload of nuclear weapons, which were all recovered by the small children playing on the flight line.
Mr. Bush is also expected to meet on Thursday with Tony Blair, the international envoy for Palestinian development, who earlier in the week announced a package of economic and security aid for Palestinians to improve life in the West Bank.
And this is where the appeasement of demented world leaders ends. bush has sternly advised Tony Blair, in the harshest terms, that bush will no longer be appeased by the, "Mutual Pud Pounding," for which they had become famous.

Well, that's today's political report.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A little perspective.

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:25 PM Permalink

The MSM is trying to make sort of horse race between Obama and Hillary, trying to make it waaaaaaay more interesting than it actually is, because, I mean, WOW, that requires some effort since there's like nothing interesting about it. Meanwhile, down in Mississippi, a dem won an historically GOP seat, and not by a few points either. And the GOP is freaking out.

So what does this tell you? It tells you that Daffy Duck could be running on the dem ticket with Barney Rubble as his running mate and they would STILL beat John McCain.

Obama? Hillary? It don't matter.

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pResident Evil

posted by The Sailor @ 6:10 PM Permalink

Domestic Spying Far Outpaces Terrorism Prosecutions

WASHINGTON — The number of Americans being secretly wiretapped or having their financial and other records reviewed by the government has continued to increase as officials aggressively use powers approved after the Sept. 11 attacks. But the number of terrorism prosecutions ending up in court — one measure of the effectiveness of such sleuthing — has continued to decline, in some cases precipitously.

Bush administration rules limit lawsuits

Faced with an unfriendly Congress, the Bush administration has found another, quieter way to make it more difficult for consumers to sue businesses over faulty products. It's rewriting the bureaucratic rulebook.

Lawsuit limits have been included in 51 rules proposed or adopted since 2005 by agency bureaucrats governing just about everything Americans use: drugs, cars, railroads, medical devices and food.

Government asks court to block wider testing for mad cow

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Bush administration on Friday urged a federal appeals court to stop meatpackers from testing all their animals for mad cow disease, but a skeptical judge questioned whether the government has that authority.
[...]
Less than 1 percent of slaughtered cows are currently tested for the disease under Agriculture Department guidelines. The agency argues that more widespread testing does not guarantee food safety and could result in a false positive that scares consumers.
[...]
Larger meatpackers have opposed Creekstone's push to allow wider testing out of fear that consumer pressure would force them to begin testing all animals too. Increased testing would raise the price of meat by a few cents per pound.




Cross posted at SteveAudio

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Oh, Sweet Bird of Hitler Youth

posted by The Sailor @ 4:58 PM Permalink

School Military Recruiting Could Violate International Protocol

[...]
The 46-page report, “Soldiers of Misfortune“, which was prepared by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for submission to the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child, also found that the U.S. military disproportionately targets poor and minority public school students.
[...]
While the United States is one of only two countries — the other being Somalia — to have never ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the U.S. Senate ratified the Protocol in 2002, making it binding under U.S., as well as international, law.
[...]
The army’s own Recruiting Programme Handbook, for example, instructs its more than 10,600 recruiters to approach high school students as early as possible, and explicitly before their senior year, which, for most students, starts at age 17. “Remember, first to contact, first to contract…that doesn’t just mean seniors or grads…,” according to an excerpt quoted in the report. “If you wait until they’re seniors, it’s probably too late.”

Once recruiters are inside their assigned high schools, the Army’s Recruiting Command instructs them to “effectively penetrate the school market” and “(b)e so helpful and so much a part of the school scene that you are in constant demand”, with the goal of “school ownership that can only lead to a greater number of Army enlistments.” That includes volunteering to serve as coaches for high school sports teams, involvement with the local Boy Scouts, attending as many all school functions and assemblies, and even “eating lunch in the school cafeteria several times each month”.

The report documents a number of specific cases, mostly in New York and California — the two most populous states with the largest number of minority high school students — in which recruiters clearly followed these instructions. In a survey of nearly 1,000 children, aged 14 to 17, enrolled in New York City high schools, the ACLU New York affiliate found that more than one five respondents — equally distributed among the different grades — reported the use of class time by military recruiters, and 35 percent said military recruiters had access to multiple locations in their schools where they could meet students.

The report also noted that the Pentagon’s central recruitment database systematically collected information on 16-year-olds and, in some cases even 15-year-olds, including their name, home address and telephones, email addresses, grade point averages, height and weight information, and racial and ethnic data obtained from a variety of public and private sources. The explicit purpose of the database is to assist the military in its “direct marketing recruiting efforts”. As the result of a 2006 ACLU lawsuit, the Pentagon agreed to stop collecting data about students younger than 16.

But recruitment efforts even dip below 15-year-olds, according to the report, which found that the Pentagon’s Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC), which operate at more than 3,000 junior high schools, middle schools, and high schools across the country, target children as young as 14 for recruitment. The report cited recent studies that found that enrollment in some JROTC programmes was involuntary.

JROTC “cadets”, of whom there were nearly 300,000 in 2005, receive military uniforms and conduct military drills and marches, handle real and wooden rifles, and learn military history, according to the report, which noted that the programme is explicitly designed to “enhance recruiting efforts”. African American and Latin students make up 54 percent of JROTC programmes.

JROTC also oversees the Middle School Cadet Corps (MSCC), in which children ages 11 to 14 can participate, according to the report. Florida, Texas, and Chicago schools offer military-run after-school MSCC programmes in which children take part in drills with wooden rifles and military chants, learn first-aid, civics, military history and, in some cases, wear uniforms to school for inspection once a week.

The Army also uses an online video game, called “America’s Army”, to attract potential recruits as young as 13, train them to use weapons, and engage in virtual combat and other military missions. Launched in 2002, the video game had attracted 7.5 million registered users by September 2006.
This was what Bush meant when he said 'No Child Left Behind.'



Cross posted at SteveAudio

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More signs of progress

posted by The Sailor @ 3:24 PM Permalink

Ex-State officials allege corruption in Iraq

The Bush administration repeatedly ignored corruption at the highest levels within the Iraqi government and kept secret potentially embarrassing information so as not to undermine its relationship with Baghdad, according to two former State Department employees.
[...]
The Office of Accountability and Transparency, or "OAT" team, was intended to provide assistance and training to Iraq's anti-corruption agencies. It was dismantled last December, after it alleged in a draft report leaked to the media that al-Maliki's office had derailed or prevented investigations into Shiite-controlled agencies.
[...]
Brennan charges the State Department never responded to his team's report, which was retroactively classified because agency officials said it could hurt bilateral relations with Iraq. Other recommendations by the group also were kept secret, including a negative assessment of Iraq's Joint Anti-Corruption Committee, Brennan said.

In July 2007, the OAT team concluded that the committee's only purpose was to provide a forum for complaints against Judge Radhi Hamza al-Radhi, a top anti-corruption official in Baghdad whom many U.S. officials have hailed as the most effective in exposing fraud and abuse.
In related news:
U.S.-Backed Head Of Iraqi Anti-Corruption Agency Now A ‘Destitute’ Undocumented Immigrant In U.S.

After the 2003 Iraq invasion, Coalition Provisional Authority chief Paul Bremer created a major anti-corruption ministry in Iraq, the Public Integrity Commission (CPI). Last October, former CPI commissioner Judge Radhi al-Radhi, who was appointed by Bremer and whose work has been praised by top U.S. officials, told Congress about the “rampant” corruption in Iraqi ministries that had cost Iraq as much as $18 billion.

Radhi’s gripping account detailed how Prime Minister Maliki tried to subvert his commission and how nearly four dozen of his staff members were killed. Subsequently, he was forced to seek asylum in the United States.

But today, Radhi is living as an undocumented immigrant in Virginia.
[...]
The State Department turned against Radhi, according to Mattil and Brennan. They “said a senior State Department official had ordered agency employees not to give al Radhi references or contact him” about the asylum. Radhi is “destitute” in his current situation, they noted.




Cross posted at SteveAudio

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If you ever troll the oddball forums

posted by The Vidiot @ 2:55 PM Permalink

You’ll know what I mean when I say that they chat about something called disclosure when it comes to UFO information. They believe that all of the major governments and players are suppressing the truth about the UFO phenomenon, meaning, they think aliens exist, alien technology has been acquired and the government knows about it and has maybe even struck a nefarious deal with various and sundry of the aliens. Recently, there's been a lot of hullabaloo on the forums because of recent disclosure-like news stories. From the Vatican announcement that it was OK to believe in aliens to the shuttle astronauts basically saying we're not alone to the Brazilian Air Force Brigadier saying the silence must end to the recent release of UFO-related documents by the UK, everything, to them, points to the possibility that the powers that be are softening us up for the real deal.

Why do I mention this stuff? Well, because I'm bored, for one thing. For another thing, I find the whole concept of aliens fascinating (and who doesn't) but the really fascinating thing about this stuff is how much energy is devoted to the topic. I don't see too many forums discussing the possibilities of a post-nation state future and what that might look like or how a nonprofit-based capitalist system might function. No. They're spending their time dissecting the minutia of every public report of alien encounters. (I mean, are you aware that there is a pseudo science called Exopolitics?)

Honestly, everyone should just put their aliens and Bilderbergers and illuminatis and masons aside for a moment and focus on what's real and tangible. Sure, all of those things may well exist, but we can't do much about them. We can make changes in our lives and in the world around us. If we all worked at the same thing, imagine the reality we COULD create. All that other stuff is just a freakin' distraction.

However, if you're a REAL conspiracy theorist, you just might think that all of these little pieces of UFO-related information are being tossed out there just to keep the idiots busy, to distract them even more from even more scandalous behavior by the powers that be.

Hey, now....

Update: I am not kidding when I say that these folks think EVERYTHING is a conspiracy. NASA was making quite a big deal about some announcement that they were going to make today and these forums were all atwitter about it. Turns out, it was really nothing, some supernova remnant or something, but here's what they think it was really all about:
NASA purposefully created an atmosphere of SUSPENSE to gauge our reaction to news of the "disclosure".
See what I mean?

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