The Execution of Private Slovik: War is a brutal business, and people are going to die. But to execute anyone, for simply not wanting to kill or be killed to me is outright murder. I could understand sending him to the stockades for a few months, but to out and out order his murder just to make an example is wrong on so many levels. Personally forcing anyone to kill or be killed is way more cowardly than what Eddie Slovik did. Slovik, at least as far as the way the movie presented him, while not being an angel, was a man of principals after he left the reformatory. He never lied about his intentions, all he wanted was a discharge. He was willing to spend time in the stockades and face contempt most likely when he got back to the states. I liked at the end of the movie after he was pronounced dead where Ned Beatty's charachter said "the bravest man here today was Eddie Slovik". War is a horrible thing that has been going on for around 5000 years, and probably will keep on for another 5000, if we as a people don't kill ourselves and our planet first.  
Robert Fisk: Unflinching, provocative, brilliantly written–a work of major importance for today’s world.  
Tickling the Body Politic: Swami Beyondananda   Swami's hilarious and pertinent live performance DVD, where he manages to touch the body politic -- appropriately -- in all its sensitive spots, and still leave 'em laughing. Perfect for in home parties for voter registration, education and inspiration - and it will still be funny long after Election Day.  
RFID, which stands for Radio Frequency IDentification, is a technology that uses computer chips smaller than a grain of sand to track items from a distance. And as this mind-blowing book explains, plans and efforts are being made now by global corporations and the U.S government to turn this advanced technology, these spychips, into a way to track our daily activities-and keep us all on Big Brother's short leash. Compiling massive amounts of research with firsthand knowledge, Spychips explains RFID technology and reveals the history and future of the master planners' strategies to imbed these trackers on everything-from postage stamps to shoes to people themselves-and spy on Americans without our knowledge or consent. It also urgently encourages consumers to take action now-to protect their privacy and civil liberties before it's too late.  
Part family comedy and part horrifying investigative reportage, Blue Vinyl can make one simultaneously laugh and shiver with fear in the same, deceptively low-key moments. Documentary filmmaker Judith Helfand, upset that her parents are re-siding their house with blue vinyl, sets out (with co-director Daniel B. Gold) to discover how vinyl is made and why, according to some scientists, it is the most hazardous of synthetic materials. Along the way, she meets industry representatives who tell her the key chemical ingredient in vinyl, chloride, is no more toxic than table salt. She also travels to Venice, Italy, to meet with families of vinyl factory workers dead or dying from chemical exposure, and she visits an intrepid, Louisiana attorney who has sued American vinyl manufacturers on behalf of severely injured former employees. The tale is grim, yet the often on-screen Helfand's approach is folksy and calm--less so when her skeptical parents reject, in several funny scenes, even empirical data about a product they find so convenient. --Tom Keogh  
The Boy with Green Hair. This movie should be seen by all, young and old, alike. Let There Be Peace!  
Fundamentalism has gotten America into a mess, but religion can once again help the country finds its soul. The Republican version of Jimmy Carter, former Missouri senator John Danforth, started an important national discussion when he criticized right-wing extremists in his party for their certainty that God was on their side. By adding his own voice to the discussion, Carter reminds us of a time when religion was tied to such virtues as humility and to such practices as soul-searching. He may not have been one of our best presidents, but he is undoubtedly one of our finest human beings.  
In their eye-opening, soul-prodding look at the excess of American society, the authors of Affluenza include two quotations that encapsulate much of the book: T.S. Eliot's line "We are the hollow men / We are the stuffed men," which opens one of this book's chapters, and a quote from a newspaper article that notes "We are a nation that shouts at a microwave oven to hurry up." If these observations make you grimace at your own ruthless consumption or sigh at the hurried pace of your life, you may already be ill. Read on.  
Although "the purchase of African Americans was outlawed many years ago," ayo writes, "black people are once again a valued and popular commodity." In her view, they appeal especially to whites who rely on their relationships with blacks as evidence of their own progressive politics or simply to inject some sorely needed "cool" into their lives. Ayo has in mind real-life versions of George Costanza, the "Seinfeld" sidekick who spent an entire episode in search of a black person whom he could pass off as his friend.  
"It is a fascinating story and a deeply moving one. And it is a story that should make people pause and think--think not only about the Germans, but also about themselves."--Ernest S. Pisko, Christian Science Monitor  
The most brilliant Action Figure ever! What better way to celebrate the man who is probably the most important thinker of the 20th century than with an action figure? Dressed for intense classroom action, this 5" tall, hard plastic Einstein Action Figure stands with a piece of chalk in his hand, poised to explain relativity or do battle with the forces of entropy. Some quality time with Albert might just inspire you and your other action figures to think a little bit more deeply. Features realistic disheveled hair.  
The basis of human nourishment is obvious: it is raw plant foods. And Nature presents this to us in abundance. Raw plant foods are simple, easy to find, fun to eat, enjoyable, contain thousands of health-giving nutrients, and conform to the biological design of the human digestive system. The sun is the source of all life and raw plant foods represent the purest form of transformed sun energy.  
Sacred cows make the best hamburger. Mark Twain Reality's Bitch, Doomsday's Child: Subscribe to Rb's Newsletter
Reality's Bitch, Doomsday's Child: Donations
Arthur Silber Explains Iraq:

So to Kos and everyone else who mouths the same empty platitudes, the identical fundamentally false and thoroughly conventional phrases that spring from a perspective drenched in "American exceptionalism," which views the United States as the highest possible point of human development and Americans as uniquely good and virtuous in the entire span of history, and which reduces all other peoples to fifth-rate bit players in an increasingly desperate global drama, I have this to say:

American History [thank you (and kudos) to wimp.com]


    Add to My Yahoo!

15th FEBRUARY 2006

I heard Cheney murdered Vince Foster [and am sure that was neither his first murder nor will it be his last]! He and his wife are partners in a bunch of schemes involving Blackwater! His wife and his daughter are lesbians! He lets contributors sleep in the Lincoln bedroom! He's doing the nasty with a career diplomat! Maybe he's worried his heart couldn't take an intern.

Dick Cheney, forced to leave Yale because his penchant for late-night drinking exceeded his devotion to his studies, and who is one of the small number of Americans who can count two drunk driving busts on his driving record, may have been doing more than hunting quail on the day he shot a Texas lawyer in the face.

This is an outrage! Made possible only because of the rabidly-partisan liberal media. Were Cheney a conservative, demands for his impeachment would be on the front page of every newspaper in the nation, above the fold, and the lead for every local and network newscast, until he was in jail where he belongs!

  http://tinyurl.com/b3acr click for loony left-wing bullshit

Sirius Radio's Alex Bennett came out and said what many in the media had been whispering but were too timid to report: Pam Willeford, the ambassador to Switzerland and Lichtenstein who was standing at Cheney's side when the shotgun went off, could be more than his hunting partner. RJ Eskew has more: "The real story is already emerging, if you're willing to do a little digging. Cheney and Whittington went hunting with two women (not their wives) …"

Oh, dear God, please -- for the children -- don't let the videos be stolen. Because Dick Cheney may be hung like a horse, but he's an ass [who looks like a corpse]. And I don't want to even think about [let alone be subjected to] the never-ending litany of "Tommy and Pam in twenty years" jokes.

"It is not best practice -- in fact it's unsafe -- to send three guns into the field and to chase two coveys at once. I would never -- ever -- go chasing a second covey while someone else was occupied with a first covey. My experience is that safe quail hunters generally hunt no more than two guns in the field at a time and chase one covey at a time."  Paul Begala -- longtime hunter from Texas.

Goody-two-shoes spoilsport. How does it feel to be "perfect," Mr. Long Time Hunter from Texas. Unlike you, Dick Cheney makes mistakes. Lots of them. And, unlike you, Dick Cheney makes more mistakes which actually affect people's lives -- in one day -- than you will in a lifetime. Jealous, much, you petty, little rule-followin' mama's boy? By the way. Haven't you heard? The Rules are for girls!

  http://tinyurl.com/8zlks click [and bring soap]
  http://tinyurl.com/8ugqf click [I double-dog dare you]

Cheney's Chappaquiddick II: The Real Story Emerges. The real story is already emerging, if you're willing to do a little digging. Cheney and Whittington went hunting with two women (not their wives), there was some drinking, and Whittington wound up shot. Armstrong didn't see the incident but claimed she had, Cheney refused to be questioned by the Sheriff until the next morning, and a born-again evangelical physician has been downplaying Whittington's injuries since they occurrred. Neither the press nor law enforcement seems inclined to investigate.

  http://tinyurl.com/czpcs click for a good time

Speaking publicly for the first time since he shot and wounded a hunting companion, Dick Cheney took responsibility for the accident but defended his decision not to immediately disclose the episode. Cheney's comments struck a more conciliatory tone than did earlier statements by the White House and some defenders of the vice resident, who had said Harry Whittington might have erred by stepping into Cheney's line of fire and failing to announce his presence. "Well, ultimately, I am the guy who pulled the trigger, that fired the round that hit Harry," Cheney said in an interview with Fox News.

No way. He had the guts to face Fox News?! I take back everything I've said or thought about the man. He didn't avoid 'Nam because he's a coward. He avoided 'Nam because he couldn't stop drinking! It took bravery to face that difficult Truth and remain home with the bottle, while all around him were headed soberly to "fight for our freedom" on foreign soil [whether Canadian or East Asian]. Dick Cheney's got guts. No heart, but a lot of guts [and, most probably, an enlarged liver].

"I fired, and there's Harry falling," Cheney said. "And it was, I'd have to say, one of the worst days of my life, at that moment."

Poor Dick. I don't like speaking ill of the shot, but the depth of Cheney's pain makes me almost hate Harry Whittington. Why did he have to make Dick feel so bad? And what's his payoff for continuing to make Cheney's life a living Hell. Come on, now. A heart attack? That is so Sanford & Son. Old and tired. What can he possibly hope to accomplish? And exactly how far is he planning to take this? Birdshot pellets don't just "migrate to the heart" all by themselves...

Cheney described Whittington "laying there on his back, obviously bleeding. You could see where the shot had struck him." Cheney recalled saying: "Harry, I didn't notice you were there." Whittington was breathing, but he did not respond.

Oh, this guy's goooood. Thank God the media isn't fooled by his shenanigans. They're all as worried sick about Dick's pain, and the effect Harry's behavior might have on his health, as I am. They just have more cute and heartwarming personal anecdotes of their own experiences with Dick than I do. But at least they're willing to share! I feel like I'm getting to know a whole new veep [and, unfortunately, I'm discovering things about Harry Whittington which aren't very flattering].

  http://tinyurl.com/9u47d click 'n bring tissues

And, speaking of the gang that couldn't shoot straight:

Federal officials in Dallas mistakenly disclosed classified counter-terrorism info in a breach of national security that could threaten one of the country's biggest terrorism prosecution cases. The blunder exposed secret wiretap requests that include classified information from U.S. agencies, foreign intelligence reports and confidential sources.

I feel so safe in [the sites of] their arms. This is further evidence that we the people made the right choice when we placed our lives in their hands and our Constitutional rights in the toilet. If this is the best they can do, imagine how badly we [the people] would screw up if we ever got off our couches and behaved as citizens. Perish the thought...Rb

  http://tinyurl.com/95gq7 click 'n wonder

13th/14th FEBRUARY 2006

1. [KC Star] The White House blamed the 78-year-old man Dick Cheney shot for the incident. Scott McClellan tried to absolve Cheney of blame for shooting Harry Whittington, saying that hunting "protocol was not followed by Mr. Whittington when it came to notifying others that he was there. And so, you know, unfortunately, these types of hunting accidents happen from time to time." The lag between the shooting and the reporting of it prompted questions about why a private citizen, not the government, was disclosing a shooting involving Cheney.

2. [Melbourne Herald Sun]  The White House yesterday tried to blame the victim and absolve Dick Cheney after he shot a friend. Officials struggled to explain why they waited 24 hours to make Saturday's shooting public. White House press secretary Scott McClellan said the victim, wealthy lawyer Harry Whittington, 78, had not followed basic hunting safety rules. "Protocol was not followed by Mr Whittington when it came to notifying others that he was there," Mr McClellan said.

You want annoying? Yesterday, the above articles were available from a number of American "news" sources. Today, they've been replaced, by almost all, with articles containing no mention of Whittington's "culpability." Same urls, same article numbers, different articles. I could find the originals still available only from The Kansas City Star and The Melbourne Herald Sun [Australia]. Kudos to them both! And boo-hiss to the cowards. Do our tax dollars pay a staff to contact every "news" outlet in the nation? Or have "editors" and "journalists" [and "etc."] been implanted with chips through which they can receive direct instruction.

  http://tinyurl.com/85jon click for missing link #1
  http://tinyurl.com/9oquu click for missing link #2

Cheney, who has his own history of heart trouble, called Whittington at his hospital room in Corpus Christi, Texas, to offer his best wishes, according to a statement issued by the vice president's office.

So many "best wishes" and "heartfelt prayers for Whittington and his family" have been offered by the veep-in-creep. Haven't heard of a single apology, though. No "expressions of remorse." Bet if he ever mentions it, at all, it's in terms of "when Whittington was shot" rather than the more mature and responsible "when I shot Whittington." Cheney needs a pants-down spanking [and no safe word]. A few months at one of Florida's teen boot-camps. That'll make a man out of him [and another chunk o' change for his buddies at Wackenhut -- a twofer].

  http://tinyurl.com/czstw click for condolenspin

Apparently I'm not the only one who is aware of Cheney's need for adult supervision, and a push in the right direction:

At the start of the Bush presidency, Dick Cheney was viewed as the grown-up.

That's a euphemism for:  when Bush's poppy asked Unca Dick to find the bestest vice-president ever for his boy, Cheney sacrificed his own dreams of becoming king of the world, and put the baby first. Because that's what grown-ups do.

Cheney remains popular with the GOP base. A Republican pollster and strategist said all vice presidents have to overcome that "you never get the benefit of the doubt for the good things you do, and never any lack of blame for the bad things."

Luckily, Cheney hasn't done any "good things," thus benefit of doubt is unnecessary. And surely the devil makes him do "the bad things." I just wish they'd come clean with the public, and admit he's possessed by Satan [shouldn't be a problem with the base, as it's common knowledge Georgie has God on a leash]. All it'd take is a bit of honesty, and Cheney wouldn't be blamed for any of the things he does, bad or bad...Rb

  http://tinyurl.com/dac48 click for tsk tsk tsk

This was inspired by the principle - quite true in itself - that in the big lie there is always a certain credibility, because the masses are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds, they more readily fall victim to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be too ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods.

It would never occur to them to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe others have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though facts which prove this may be brought to their attention, they will still doubt and waver and continue to think there may be some other explanation.

The grossly impudent lie always leaves traces, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars and to all who conspire in the art of lying. These people know only too well how to use falsehood for the basest purposes.

-- Adolf Hitler [Mein Kampf]

11th/12th FEBRUARY 2006

A Cincinnati company is requiring any employee who works in its secure data center to be implanted with a microchip. The highly controversial device is marketed as a way to access secure areas, link to medical records and make purchases.

When Tommy Thompson joined the VeriChip Corp. board of directors, he pledged to get chipped and encouraged Americans to do the same so their electronic medical records would be available in emergencies. But the chipping never took place. Thompson is "too busy" to undergo the procedure, and has no clear plans to do so.

But, here's the best part:

Researchers have shown the VeriChip to be vulnerable to hackers. A hacker can clone a chip and duplicate someone's implant to access a secure area. The VeriChip is not secure and "not good for anything." The VeriChip will be hard to sell when people learn of the security flaws, combined with a general squeamishness about implants.

"When people realize it takes a scalpel and surgery to remove the device if it gets hacked, they'll really think twice. An implant is disgusting enough going in, but getting it out again is a bloody mess."

Can't they just tag our ears [or brand us]?

  http://tinyurl.com/c5rhq click 'n freak

When was the last time you read about a truly heroic act [as opposed to truly hyped heroics]:

Anonymizer Inc. [anonymizer.com], of San Diego, Ca., a provider of on-line identity protection technology, has announced that the company is developing a new anti-censorship system that will enable Chinese citizens to safely access the entire Internet filter-free, and also free from fear of persecution or retribution.

Anonymizer's anti-censorship system for Chinese citizens will be available before the end of March, and provide a regularly changing URL. In addition, users' identities will be protected from on-line tracking and monitoring by the Chinese government.

If we're lucky, it will also be available in the US, allowing users to protect identities from on-line tracking and monitoring by the American government. Kudos to Anonymizer Inc. [anonymizer.com], of San Diego, Ca! We salute you...

  http://tinyurl.com/8dhls click 'n clap

While the world community scrutinizes Iran's nuclear plans, Latin America's biggest country is weeks away from taking a controversial step and firing up the region's first major uranium enrichment plant. That move will make Brazil the ninth country to produce large amounts of enriched uranium, which can be used to generate nuclear energy and, when highly enriched, to make nuclear weapons.

Oh, man, have we got our work cut out for us. [Americans who believe Brazilians will go down more easily than Iraqis have never seen Brazil lose a soccer cup.] As long as we're going to be in the neighborhood, we might as well take out all of South America. It'd save us from having to make the extra trips we know will be necessary, eventually. No more Hugo, no more coca, no more competition [Disney could throw a much better Carnivale (and nobody beats the CIA for drug-running and money-laundering)]. Central America and Mexican America would still be full of maids and busboys and landscapers and nannies. We don't need Venezuela's oil. We'll have Iraq's and Iran's, and freeing Russia's oil from communism would be a cakewalk. I think we're set [because, truth be told, the world doesn't really need more than one country, as long as that country is America].

  http://tinyurl.com/de6f7 click 'n say adios

And, I saved the best for last:

Laura Berg is a clinical nurse specialist at the VA Medical Center in Albuquerque, where she has worked for 15 years. Shortly after Katrina, she wrote a letter to the editor criticizing the Bush Administration. After the paper published the letter in its September 15-21 issue, VA administrators seized her computer, alleged that she had written the letter on that computer, and accused her of "sedition."

Sedition!   se·di·tion  n.  (s-dshn)  1. Conduct or language inciting rebellion against the authority of a state.  2. Insurrection; rebellion.  The crime of creating a revolt, disturbance, or violence against lawful civil authority with the intent to cause its overthrow or destruction. An illegal action inciting resistance to lawful authority and tending to cause the disruption or overthrow of the government.

Here’s what her letter said:  "I am furious with the tragically misplaced priorities and criminal negligence of this government. The Katrina tragedy in the US shows that the emperor has no clothes!" She mentioned that she was "a VA nurse" working with vets. "The public has no sense of the devastating costs of post-traumatic stress disorder," she wrote, and she worried about the hundreds of thousands of additional cases that might result from Katrina and the Iraq War.

After her computer was seized, Berg wrote a memo to her bosses seeking information and an explanation. Mel Hooker, chief of human resources management service at the Albuquerque VA, wrote Berg and acknowledged "your personal computer files did not contain the editorial letter written to the editor of the weekly Alibi."

But rather than apologize, he leveled the sedition charge: "The Agency is bound by law to investigate and pursue any act which potentially represents sedition. You declared yourself 'a VA nurse' and publicly declared the Government which employs you to have 'tragically misplaced priorities and criminal negligence' and advocated, 'act forcefully to remove a government administration playing games of smoke and mirrors and vicious deceit.'"

Those who approve of and/or defend [usually rabidly] anything Bush et cie hath wrought are so mentally deficient there is truly no hope for them. They'd make good soldiers if one could get them off their couches and away from their keyboards...and out of their chauffeur-driven limousines and down from their high-horses.

Are we in Iraq to protect our freedom to shut the fuck up? Or to protect our freedom to be ordered to shut the fuck up [the fine points always throw me]. Sedition. A VA nurse who spent the last 15 years working with veterans has, as a patriotic American, the right to be charged with sedition for behaving as though the Constitution is more than "a goddamned piece of paper." It's enough to make a girl shit yellow ribbons...Rb

  http://tinyurl.com/8w7au click for fascism

10th FEBRUARY 2006

Conventional wisdom says that none of us are safe from terrorism. The truth is that almost all of us are.

Stop trying to rain on our parade! Believing terrorists are around every corner [and would love to bomb even my town (population 98)] is one of our few remaining pleasures. And it's free! So, don't be an asshole. Use spoiler alerts if you're going to ruin it for those of us who don't want to know.

Homeland security has costs beyond spending, costs that conventional thinking rarely considers. Homeland security policy conjures up a flawless enemy that could strike at any moment, in any place. That policy institutionalizes the fears.

My point, exactly! [And if we didn't have terrorism to blame for our fears (and our behavior), we'd be institutionalized.] People in other countries have to pay for this kind of entertainment. All we have to worry about is the snacks.

Most homeland security experts say that Hurricane Katrina's flooding of New Orleans shows how vulnerable we are to terrorists. In fact, it shows that most Americans have better things to worry about.

Yeah, like. If this is the way they respond to something they saw coming for days [and years], holy shit! Maybe we shouldn't be entrusting our lives to the guy with whom we'd most like to throw back a few brewskis [or, if he's sleeping one off, to his fraternity brothers (which reminds me...what's the deal with that house? Seniors are supposed to humiliate pledges, not the other way around)].

By any statistical measure, the terrorist threat to America has always been low. As political scientist John Mueller notes, in most years allergic reactions to peanuts, deer in the road, and lightening have all killed about the same number of Americans as terrorism. In 2001, their banner year, terrorists killed one twelfth as many Americans as the flu and one fifteenth the number killed by car accidents.

And all of the above [including (both undeclared state and declared non-state) terrorists], combined, would still be meaningless when compared to the threat of "modern medicine." Were we to put our shock and awe where our statistical measures are, we'd be bombing pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, HMOs, and doctors' offices.

Most experts dismiss this history.

The very reason they're considered expert! There's no face-time [nor gravy train] for [alleged] "experts" who can't get -- and stay -- with the program.

ex·pert  adj.  (kspûrt) Having, involving, or demonstrating great skill, dexterity, or knowledge as the result of experience or training.

As I was saying. Great skill, dexterity, knowledge, experience, and training are required to [in all sincerity and with a straight face] completely dismiss history. That's why they make the big bucks. Not everyone can do it [at least, not in all sincerity and with a straight face].

Most people's risk perception is confused. The world is complex. No one can be an expert in everything. Human psychology leads us to overestimate the likelihood of dangers that are novel and uncontrollable. Media and social interaction reinforce these common errors. We also tend to overestimate risks that lend themselves to memorable images, like planes crashing into buildings. Like shark attacks and kidnapping by strangers, terrorism is strange, uncontrollable, and forms a ready mental image. So people overestimate terrorist's risk and demand excessive protection from it.

Yes! You're finally getting it. The best haunted house in the whole wide world. All terror, all the time. And it rocks! We don't want to go back to the days when we had to get all worked up over blowjobs. Or lies about blowjobs. Or lies about lies about blowjobs. That's so boring even we would feel too silly now. Which means we'd have nothing to talk about at work or when the cable's out. The possibility of being blown off the map at any moment is also the only excuse we've got to stay glued to our cell-phones. People who think we should live in the real world totally know how to kill a buzz...

Another cost of homeland security is the creation of domestic interests that have an interest in frightening us. Along with the Department of Homeland Security and its little brothers in every state, there are now dozens of university institutes and think tanks of homeland security full of ambitious people. Contractors, buttressed by lobbyists, feed on funds to defend us against terrorism. This growing apparatus would not exist without a sense of danger. Those who comprise it have disincentives to tell Americans how safe they truly are.

Whatever they're asking, we'll pay it.

  http://tinyurl.com/d6wco click but don't look

Where would the Bush administration be without terrorism? We must remember that this "war" was launched against an enemy, still mostly at large, who accomplished phenomenal destruction and suffering with some box-cutters.

Our response to September 11th has been military, granting the Defense Department an excuse to increase spending by 48% in just four years. Despite all this spending, and the loss of life that has accompanied it, we have never captured or killed Osama bin Laden or his top strongman, we don't know how to "fix" Iraq or Afghanistan and we have greatly strengthened the hand of our rivals in Iran.

OMG, this is so exciting. They're all coming after us. I'll bet Jesus [an honorary American (we don't need to wonder who He's rooting for)] is making popcorn...Rb  [who's counting on Him to do the loaves and fishes thing with the nachos and dips. Let's get this party started!]

  http://tinyurl.com/deeom click 'n snack

9th FEBRUARY 2006

Powell made it clear he had serious doubts about the "evidence" loaded by the White House into his UN speech, a speech designed by neoconservatives to initiate the invasion of Iraq. Powell and Wilkerson knew the "evidence" was greatly overstated if not an outright fabrication. The reason Powell disgraced himself is that he could not free himself of the conditioning that breeds success in the U.S. military.

That's an excuse. And a piss-poor excuse for an excuse it is, too. Had Powell been on the battlefield -- thousands of "his" soldiers' lives in danger, and his own life on the line -- would he have led them all to certain death because he received orders to do so...by telegram...from his pathological liar and raving lunatic of a commander-in-chief? I don't think so. That'd be a classic "who're you calling 'we,' Kemo Sabe" moment. "The name's Powell, not Custer." But were Powell to have just followed orders. Would he have been considered a great leader and a "military success story?"

The reason Powell disgraced himself is that he'd worked his piggy little self all the way to the trough and felt he had as much right to be there as anyone. We already know one of his son's very first actions after being loosed upon the FCC netted daddy-o a cool $13 or $15 million. Something to do with aol stock, if memory serves. I'd be interested in knowing how much stock he owns in Halliburton, GE, and Blackwater [etc.]. And whether or not he owned stock in Enron, and whether or not he ever lost money on Enron stock.

It's frightening that Americans believe the man who left the door wide open is the man who should now guard the door. And that a man who perpetrated lies which cost lives -- because he wasn't ready to retire -- is a man who deserves understanding and forgiveness [and excuses]...because he was lied to by the guard. Even though he admits he knew the guard had his fingers crossed behind his back. We'll entertain no questions as to how Powell can be both a strong, intelligent, respected, trustworthy leader and a gullible, easily manipulated tool.

Powell could have saved the world from a strategic blunder, the disastrous consequences of which are only beginning to unfold. The maelstrom set in motion by the treachery of the neoconservatives, people whom Powell has described as "crazy," has already cost tens of thousands of dead and wounded and hundreds of billions of dollars, destroyed America's reputation, and radicalized Middle East politics.

If I remember correctly [and I believe I do], Powell often referred to them as "the fucking crazies." And he admits that, at best, "evidence" of Iraq's axissy evil was "greatly overstated." But he'll pass Go and collect two hundred million dollars because we are desperate for a negro in this house.

  http://tinyurl.com/7bjc6 click 'n wake up

There aren’t many elected officials in Washington who want to throw the gantlet down on Iran more than Hillary Clinton. The New York Senator believes the president has been too soft on the militant Islamic country, claiming that Bush has played down the threat of a nuclear-armed Tehran.

Clinton has attempted to out-hawk Dubya on other foreign policy matters. You’d have to pull out a microscope to differentiate between George Bush and Hillary Clinton. Both want a continued occupation of Iraq. Both want sanctions on Iran. Both claim to want democracy in the Middle East. Neither will accept a democratic outcome if it doesn’t favor US interests.

Go away, Hillary. You and the testosterone patch you rode in on. With "liberals" like you, who needs neocons. With women like you, who needs women! "'60s Idealism." What a joke. Arlo Guthrie singing Ex-Lax and Folgers jingles twenty years ago was the canary in our mine. How Dylan and the Stones and McCartney would have sneered, thirty years ago, had we told them one day they'd be whoring themselves out on Madison Avenue. But at least they're not killing anybody. Please. Go away, Hillary. I'm begging you. We don't have time to fuck around. So fuck off...Rb

  http://tinyurl.com/aad9t click 'n hyperventilate

8th FEBRUARY 2006

It's not annoying. It's fucking frightening to find oneself agreeing, more often than not, with Patrick J. Buchanan. And to seriously consider him a voice of sanity, well...I haven't been anywhere near an hallucinogen in more than three decades. Am I dead? [And, how badly must I have transgressed. Because being surrounded by Christianistas is pretty much my idea of Hell. Please. Tell me it only feels like Eternity. It will end. Won't it?]

In the run-up to war in Iraq, The Weekly Standard was the voice of the “cakewalk” crowd clamoring for “Action This Day!” Cawing and cawing, in the end they got, and we got, the war they had craved. No voice was more resolute that the war would be an historic blunder than ours. Until the 3rd Division stepped off, we warned this was an unnecessary war. We scoffed at the utopian blather about democracy breaking out as propagandistic nonsense. History has proven us right. And Now Iran.

This is absurd. America has thousands of nuclear warheads we could put on Iran and hundreds of rockets and bombers to deliver them. There is no evidence Iran even has the ability to build a bomb. To equate our situation with a missile crisis where Soviet rockets with atomic warheads were within hours of going operational is neocon scare-mongering.

  http://tinyurl.com/dskkm click 'n trip

Democrats are worse than useless, as both "patriots" and as an [alleged] opposition party. Those who aren't in actual collusion with bush et cie are the political equivalent of self-hating queens. The Log Cabin girls spend much of their existences trying not to seem queer. The asses spend theirs repressing liberal urges [when not apologizing for their very existences].

What was with them after Coretta Scott King's memorial, anyway...falling all over themselves to talk about the "bad manners" of Carter and the Reverend Lowery and others who had the temerity to speak Truth in the vicinity of "power." Many democrats claim that the Kings, themselves, would have been appalled! They would have us believe in a new and improved King. A kinder and gentler King. A more civilized King. A King who knows his place!

Please forgive me. I hope you don't mind, but. I have a dream. Don't get me wrong. It's not that I don't appreciate the dream you've given me. But I was thinking that, maybe, if I told you my dream, and you could see that it's a good dream...I promise I wouldn't let it interfere with your dreams...well, I was just hoping that maybe you'd let me have my dream. At least for a while. We could try it out and see how it goes. Thank you for listening. I know you're busy. If you could maybe just think about it when you have a minute.

Yeah. Were Martin and Coretta in their prime, today, and suddenly given the podium and the chance to address a man who hides [when not protected] from us, the people, their primary concern would have been that they not rock the boat, nor say anything which might make bush feel uncomfortable. Sin duda!

So, tell me why, when they have the Honorable Russ Feingold, did the democrats decide Mr. Rogers should give the rebuttal to rove's state of the union hogwash.

Last week the [P]resident gave his State of the Union address, where he spoke of America’s leadership in the world, and called on all of us to “lead this world toward freedom.”  Again and again, he invoked the principle of freedom, and how it can transform nations, and empower people around the world. But, almost in the same breath, the [P]resident openly acknowledged that he has ordered the government to spy on Americans, on American soil, without the warrants required by law.

The [P]resident issued a call to spread freedom throughout the world, and then he admitted that he has deprived Americans of one of their most basic freedoms under the Fourth Amendment -- to be free from unjustified government intrusion.

I will be blunt:  This program is breaking the law, and this [P]resident is breaking the law.  Not only that, he is misleading the American people in his efforts to justify this program. How is that worthy of applause?  Since when do we celebrate violating our most basic freedoms, and misleading the American people in the process?  When did we start to stand up and cheer for breaking the law?  In that moment at the State of the Union, I felt ashamed. Congress has lost its way if we don’t hold this [P]resident accountable for his actions. The Congress is not a King's Court.

What other explanation could there be but that both the democrats and the republicans are using Congress as their BDSM club? Nothing else makes sense! We already know that they're sex-obsessed kink-jobs [as are repressed hypocrites, everywhere (it goes with the territory)]. We've heard about the Bohemian Grove. The traditional skull & bones initiation blowjobs. The leathers, the hookers, the extra-marital affairs, the homosexual affairs [not that there's anything wrong with it]. The under-age girls, the secretaries, the strippers, the personal assistants. The rent boys.

Then there's Mistress Condi and her collection of trampling pumps. Most of the women in Congress probably have the Domme thing down. Give the boys what they want, and they'll let you play in their sandbox. I know, I know. Topping from the bottom. But women desperate to play boy-games will take what they can get, I guess. We haven't come that far, baby [smoke 'em if you've got 'em]...

So, I'm sayin' it loud and sayin' it proud. I could never be a democrat [because I make a really shitty sub]. In their present incarnation, Miss Manners might be proud, but "the founding fathers" are spinning in their graves. Would there ever have existed an "America" had they been less dedicated to their ideals and more worried that King George might find them "impertinent" and "rude?" We've had two coups become faits accomplis because democrats didn't want to appear impolite! And, to be fair, because we the people didn't want to appear, at all.

The pervs need to start doing their jobs [as do we, the people. Political discourse does not have to sound like a Jerry Springer show]. S&M role-playing is for after-hours, not the House and Senate floors. Swag is for celebrity gift baskets, not public servants' troughs. And the Constitution clearly limits the power of the state, not the rights of the people. It may, indeed, be a goddamned piece of paper, but it's our goddamned piece of paper.

  http://tinyurl.com/a25z4 click for the words of an American Patriot

"Scandal, Shmandal," Say Ohio Voters. It sounds as if Ohio isn’t all that bothered by republican shenanigans. Almost 60% in Zogby’s poll said they couldn’t care less about all that.

On the bright side [and it's either the bright side or the barrel end, for me], that means 40% cared at least somewhat when the question was asked! Not counting Star Search, American Idol, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and Survivor, we haven't seen that kind of citizen participation in decades...Rb

http://tinyurl.com/cbggg click for a glass half full

4th 5th 6th 7th FEBRUARY 2006

Ever have days you awaken with a song in your heart, and your whole life ahead of you...but then you answer the phone or leave the house or read a newspaper or check your email...and, suddenly, you realize the song is a dirge  --  and you've got your whole freakin' life ahead of you? Ahhhhh, these are the days.

Lab officials excited by new H-bomb project. U.S. nuclear-weapons scientists are designing a new H-bomb, the first of probably several new nuclear explosives on the drawing boards. If they succeed, the United States would have an entirely new nuclear arsenal, and a highly automated factory capable of turning out warheads as needed, as well as new kinds of warheads. "We are on the verge of an exciting time," the nation's top nuclear weapons executive said last week at Lawrence Livermore weapons design laboratory.

Gosh. That is exciting. Considering what's happened with computers and other high-tech gadgetry over the past few decades, I'm counting on being able to have one of these babies at my desk [and one on my dashboard].

  http://tinyurl.com/8jw2a be the first on your block -- click now to order!

NSA may tap 'ordinary' Americans' e-mail. Agents operating a controversial National Security Agency surveillance program may have inadvertently spied on the e-mails and phone calls of Americans with no ties to terrorists, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said.

Everybody makes mistakes. Takes a real man to learn from his. I trust this guy. And, for all we know, today's American with no ties to terrorists is tomorrow's hog-tied terrorist. Better safe than sorry [if you love your country].

Gonzales stressed that the program is "narrowly focused" and that adequate steps are taken to protect privacy, though he said he was unable to describe such procedures because of the program's classified nature.

Well, there y'go! And, to tell you the God's-honest truth, I don't really wanna know what those crazy kids're doin'. 'Cause what I don't know can't hurt me!

  http://tinyurl.com/cnz2g click but don't look!

Of course, any time one receives such as "Congress must do its job" from MoveOn, it's enough to remind a girl that -- hey! Didn't MoveOn take that tone with us when MoveOn insisted we Just Move On [as evidence of vote fraud began pouring in from Ohio]? Guess they read the writing on that wall. Were votes actually counted [and accounted for], who'd still be hanging on their every word, sending donations, reading their newsletters, responding to their action alerts, following their direction, and, generally, making them feel like players. There was a lot of that going around after the last selection. The smell of the fear of irrelevance was in the air. But we still had our whole freakin' lives ahead of us.

The umpteenth time "Doomsday For The Internet As We Know It?" hits one's inbox, one begins to worry that it hasn't yet arrived with a snopes link [for recent history would suggest we the people respond to the anti-Constitutional actions of our appointed leaders by muttering vague threats under our breaths, and shaking our fists (behind closed doors)].

Must admit, however, that this is the first time I can ever remember thinking, "the children will save us!" You don't screw with American kids' toys. Especially not those upon which they rely for constant and instant gratification. Take away their music downloads? Their text messaging and instant messaging? Their online gaming? Their live journals and web-pages and worldwide mall? I don't think so. They will take to the streets.

Several developments that are coming to the fore indicate a noticeable advance towards a government regulated, taxed and controlled system that spells doomsday for the Internet as we know it. The first steps in a move to charge for every e mail sent have already been taken. Under the pretext of eliminating spam, Bill Gates and other industry chieftains have proposed Internet users buy credit stamps which denote how many e mails they will be able to send. This of course is the death knell for political newsletters and mailing lists.

  http://tinyurl.com/9fjsx click and tell yourself you're "free"

As the war in Iraq drags on into its fourth year with no end in sight, still American soldiers continue to fight and bleed, not for the American people, but for the resident, the government, and the military-industrial complex. No one is fighting and bleeding and dying to "defend our freedoms" or anyone else’s freedoms. What makes this even more disturbing is that the majority of American soldiers would claim to be Christians or at least identify with Christianity.

Amen, hallelujah, and tell it, brother.
Please. Do continue.

Christian soldiers should know better. Unless they had their heads in the sand for the past three years, watched nothing but Fox News, listened to no one besides Sean Hannity, and read nothing but the Weekly Standard, they can’t help but see that this war is not just unconstitutional, unnecessary, immoral, unjust, and senseless, but is also unscriptural.

They say Jesus can make the blind see.
Further proof today's Xtians are Christ-Free?

  http://tinyurl.com/dgvoj click for a conscientious objection

The new headquarters of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in the District is at least $19 million over budget at a time when the agency is considering sharp cuts in the number of new cars, bulletproof vests and other basics it provides agents.

$300,000 in extras for the new director's suite, including a $65,000 conference table and more than $100,000 for hardwood floors, custom trim and other items, according to the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal. Officials said the conference table was replaced with one that costs half as much.

A $32,5000.00 conference table, in our nation's capital? What will the neighbors think! I say we put million dollar conference tables in every government office before they waste any more of our hard-earned money on crap like education and health-care.

  http://tinyurl.com/dg9mb click 'n puke

A meeting between Cuban officials and U.S. energy executives was moved after the Sheraton in Mexico City, under pressure from the U.S. government, asked the Cubans to leave. The U.S. government pressured the chain to ask the Cubans to leave, arguing the U.S. company was violating a 45-year-old trade embargo against Cuba. Sheraton Hotel officials in Mexico City declined to comment. The Mexican government declined to comment.

America. What's not to like?! I mean, besides our freedom.

  http://tinyurl.com/7tx2y click 'n crow [we won!]

In the latest twist in the debate over presidential powers, a Justice Department official suggested that in certain circumstances, the resident might have the power to order the killing of terrorist suspects inside the United States.

WHEW! I always worry Bush'll show a little too much restraint.

Current and former government officials said they could think of several scenarios in which a president might consider ordering the killing of a terror suspect inside the United States.

Oh, I'll bet government officials could think of hundreds of scenarios if they really buckled down and put their minds to it. Not only will we be safer, but ripped-from-the-headlines television can crank it up another notch. Sweet!

  http://tinyurl.com/7kuxe click for joy

T-shirts, it turns out, aren't the only things that get you in trouble with the Capitol Police at the State of the Union address. On the same evening that Bush was lauding democracy and freedom, there was one other person in attendance whose rights were infringed upon. The man was a personal guest of Florida Democrat Alcee Hastings. He is a prominent businessman from Broward County, Florida, who works with the Department of Defense and has a security clearance. After sitting in the gallery for the entire speech, he was surrounded by about ten law enforcement officers as he exited the chamber and whisked away to a room in the Capitol.

For close to an hour the man, born in India but an American citizen, was questioned by the police, who thought he resembled someone on a Secret Service photo watch list. Eventually, police realized it was a case of mistaken identity. Gainer assured Hastings the Capitol Police, Secret Service and FBI will investigate why the man was detained for so long, and try to "sharpen our procedures." But the man was "very, very scared" by the incident. He told the congressman that the experience was "maybe just the price of being brown in America."

No, really, America. What's not to like?!

  http://tinyurl.com/drr5v click 'n weep

And it goes on and on and on. Halliburton Gets Contract to Build Detention Centers...military jury issues a reprimand to Army interrogator convicted of negligent homicide of Iraqi general who died during questioning. No prison sentence for the murder...more than 56,000 in the Army divorced since the campaign in Afghanistan started...Ability to Wage 'Long War' Is Key To Pentagon Plan. Oh! And, check this out:

The demonstrators arrived angry, departed furious. The police had herded them into pens. Stopped them from handing out fliers. Threatened them with arrest for standing on public sidewalks. Made notes on which politicians they cheered and which ones they razzed. Officers from special unit videotaped their faces, evoking for one demonstrator the unblinking eye of George Orwell's "1984."

"That's Big Brother watching you," the demonstrator said in a deposition. Mr. Liddy's complaint about police tactics, hardly novel from a big-city protester, stands out because of his job: He is a New York City police officer. The rallies he attended were organized by his union to protest the pace of contract talks with the city.

Officers are suing the city, charging that police procedures at their demonstrations — many routinely used at war protests, antipoverty marches and mass bike rides — were so heavy-handed and intimidating that their First Amendment rights were violated.

Off-duty officers faced a "constant threat of arrest," Officer Liddy testified, echoing the complaint by activists for other causes that the city has effectively "criminalized dissent." Police in disguise have taken part in demonstrations, an approach the Police Department used before receiving expanded powers; other officers made hundreds of hours of videotapes of people involved in protests and rallies, very few of whom were charged with breaking any law. Neither form of surveillance, the city argues, violates the Constitution.

Don't get me started. We've got our whole freakin' lives ahead of us...Rb

  http://tinyurl.com/a4sl8 well, aren't they special

3rd FEBRUARY 2006

The reason we the people will be held completely blameless by history is that...well, really. Who could've seen any of this coming in 2000. We the people had every reason to believe that a guy who calls reporters "assholes," a guy who managed to get inconveniences like desertion and dui convictions and cocaine possessions and girlfriend's abortion conveniently swept under the rug, and a guy whose poppy's buds at the supreme court had the cojones and means to punk the nation, is just the man to restore integrity to the White House. Who knew? It's not like we're German. Check out the Monday morning quarterbacks:

Bush has lost credibility: The American people no longer trust Bush. 60% say he has not fulfilled his promise to restore integrity to the White House. He misled the public about weapons of mass destruction and Al Qaeda. He continues to mislead today.

Bush plunged recklessly into Iraq with neither a strategy nor the informed support of his people. Bush destroyed bipartisanship. Bush lacerates critics, despite the fact that they have been proven more correct than he. Bush appeals to fear not reason. Bush's ham-fisted grab for added Executive Power has sown needless division.

And, yet!

Only on terrorism did the poll find that more than 50% of Americans approved of his performance. Bush's tenure has featured his irresponsibly raising fears of "terrorism" at every opportunity, the one issue a majority of Americans still support him on. The 2004 election featured a steady stream of homeland security "alerts", and Bush-watchers expect similar tactics in election-year 2006.

How can this be? The question is pondered, endlessly. Which is very annoying, as the answer could hardly be more obvious. And is being missed only because we don't really want to know said ever-so-obvious answer.

*** SPOILER ALERT ***  Unflattering Truths Ahead

The reason an American majority still [clings to the delusion that it] "trusts Bush" when it comes to "terrorism" is that such "trust" allows us to continue experiencing and considering our acts of murderous aggression as we would experience [and consider] a series of theme park attractions. Bush starts sounding the alarm, and we approach another crest on the roller coaster. Der Homeland Sekuriten screams "ORANGE!" and suddenly we're plunging from a tower drop. We're addicted to the adrenaline rush, and live for the descents. Our hearts pound. We love to scream our heads off.

And between wild rides [because no one could do that all the time], we've got our couches and TVs. Protected trams which allow a spectacular and thrilling ride through The War On Terror. Deep down inside, we know we're safe. But, in America, the happiest place on earth, it's fun to pretend. And it feels so real! Especially if you've got Dolby...

Even though "9/11" happened on BushCo's watch; even though his "first response" was to clutch a goat and then fly away; even though he's gotten everything wrong; even though we know he's a pathological liar, a fool, and an international embarrassment -- our cracker-jack critical thinking "skills" have led us -- the people -- to the only "sensible conclusion."

A maniac walked right into our home. Through the front door! Because the babysitter forgot to lock it [and was fooling around on the couch with her boyfriend]. And, somehow, this vicious lunatic managed to get past the babysitter [and her boyfriend], sneak upstairs, then waltz into a bedroom and murder one of the twins.

Only an idiot would disagree that we the people can and should trust no one but this very same [though alarmingly confused, possibly medicated (and definitely drinking)] babysitter [and her boyfriend] to protect the remaining twin. Were we the people to change babysitters, now, why. That would be to support the murderous maniac who killed our beloved child! And it would be an open invitation to other maniacs. "Bring it on! We the people have a different babysitter, now, and we don't care what happens to the kid." Do they think we're stoopid? Then we've been misunderestimated. We the people love our child, and will keep the babysitter we know, thank you very much.

It's very simple [and obvious]. We handed Bush et Cie our reins in exchange for a fresh stack of e-tickets under our pillows every morning when we awaken...Rb  [who will always believe that 9/11 was an inside job. It wasn't the babysitter's fault. It was Daddy and Uncle Dick and their fraternity brothers.]

  http://tinyurl.com/aymjj click for butt-naked emperor

2nd FEBRUARY 2006

There are two kinds of people in the world. Those who believe calendars were made to be taken literally, and we who understand that if one awakens on the 1st, it is never the 2nd until one has both gone to sleep and re-awakened. Yes, even if one awakens on the 1st and does not sleep until what might, technically, be referred to as "the 3rd" [by slaves to clock and calendar (who will never know the joy and psychological benefit of getting two nights and one full day's worth of sleep in 6 - 8 hours)]. In other words, if it says it was written on the 1st [2nd, 3rd, whatever], trust me. It was written on the 1st [2nd, 3rd, whatever]. And, with that said...get a load of this!

Austria's legal system and its insufficient zeal in investigating alleged crimes committed under Hitler's Third Reich make it a paradise for Nazi war criminals. "There is a system here that makes Austria a paradise for Nazi war criminals, plain and simple. Apparently the modus operandi is not to look very hard for evidence and then to speak to the suspect and ask him: 'Well, are you guilty?'" Austria's interior ministry declined to comment while the justice ministry was not immediately available for comment.

Does that not read like ad copy for a relocation service, targeting republicans and cleverly disguised as a news article? The hurricanes must be scaring them away from the Caymans.

  http://tinyurl.com/cgr88 click for Austrian Welcome Wagon info

And, speaking of Nazis:

Students could earn $100 every time they turn in another student for drugs, alcohol, weapons or tobacco. The program has tentatively been titled "Safe Schools," and it's to start in every high school and middle school. "This program empowers the child to create a safe environment for themselves," said Woodford. "You just have to realize what the goal is and have it firm in your mind that this is worthwhile and that this is something I need to do to help people," Williams said. "You could actually be saving people's lives by doing this."

We are sick! Completely ignorant of history [and human nature (especially our own)]. My family was as dysfunctional as any other, but the parental units would never have let something like this happen in their children's lives. Never. Not in a million freakin' years [and this fact is based upon actual childhood experience rather than hypothetical conjecture]. I have no such faith in today's parents [already willing to not only have their children drugged, but subjected to drug testing].

All fascism aside, how many [American] kids would be able to resist the lure of such easy money. How long will it be until they start turning up dead for snitching. Who actually believes "anonymity" will matter when it's obvious which students have more "disposable income" than they "should," all of a sudden [and will there be kids who see this execrable program as a way to put themselves through college]. How many false accusations will be made as "payback," for harrassment's sake, or sheer amusement. How many kids will be injured or killed because fellow students thought a bit of birthday cash was a bounty. This is such a bad idea, on so many levels, that it will be implemented nationwide, no doubt. Beyond annoying. Soma, anyone?

  http://tinyurl.com/964h3 click for Orwellian nightmare

And, "the insurgents" and "terrorists" might be setting us back, but the good news coming out of Iraq is that -- our male soldiers can kick our female soldiers asses!

Military Hides Cause of Women Soldiers' Deaths:  Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, former senior US military commander in Iraq, gave orders to cover up the cause of death for some female American soldiers serving in Iraq. Women died of dehydration because they refused to drink liquids late in the day. They were afraid of being assaulted or even raped by male soldiers if they had to use the women's latrine after dark.

"There were no lights near any of their facilities, so women were easy targets in the dark of night," Karpinski told retired US Army Col. David Hackworth. It was there that male soldiers assaulted and raped women soldiers. So women took matters into their own hands. They didn't drink in the late afternoon so they wouldn't have to urinate at night. They didn't get raped. But some died of dehydration in the desert heat.

"And rather than make everybody aware of that - because that's shocking, and as a leader if that's not shocking to you then you're not much of a leader - what they told the surgeon to do is don't brief those details anymore. And don't say specifically that they're women. You can provide that in a written report but don't brief it in the open anymore."

Certainly, the women will feel much safer now that we've begun sentencing criminals to military service [and this should teach them feminazis to be careful what they wish for. They wanted to play with the boys? Well, this is how boys play].

  http://tinyurl.com/bgktr click for the chivalry

Finally [in only the most temporal and fleeting sense], are los cabalyahoos more Snidely Whiplashian than even Snidely Whiplash? You tell me:

America's "Best and Brightest" Swap Prison Cells for Military Service:  Facing an enlistment crisis, the Army is granting "waivers" to an increasingly high percentage of recruits with criminal records - and trying to hide it. "We're transforming our military. The things I look for are the following: morale, retention, and recruitment. And retention is high, recruitment is meeting goals, and people are feeling strong about the mission." [George W. Bush in a Jan. 26 press conference]. The troubling statistics from the Army and anecdotal information derived from the files of the Air National Guard raise a warning flag about the extent to which the military is lowering its standards to fight the war in Iraq.

  http://tinyurl.com/bgktr click for the dastardly deeds

But, wait! Factor evidence of yellow ribbon fatigue [and typically (alarmingly) short attention spans] into the equation:

GAO Audit Finds Accounting Flaws at Veterans Administration:
Veterans' Actual Value Greatly Exaggerated

Eager to reduce spending, the Bush administration falsely claimed savings of more than $1.3 billion in the Department of Veterans Affairs to justify cuts to health care services. Report by the GAO is the latest to document funding woes at the VA, which currently offers health care to 7 million out of 24 million eligible veterans. The agency used misleading accounting methods to prove its claimed savings. Although Congress has increased VA's budget in recent years, the agency found itself with a gaping budget hole last year and had to ask Congress for emergency funding. Veterans groups and some lawmakers say the agency's increases have been inadequate, but others say the agency has to set priorities on who gets care.

Are they brilliant, or what?! Create an army of criminals, and we the people won't care if there are no veterans' services. Homeless, disabled, traumatized "Army! Navy! Air Force! Marines!" clogging the streets, sleeping in parks, shooting up in doorways, urinating in stairwells, dining in dumpsters, and begging at stoplights? We the people can rest easy in the knowledge that their lives were headed for the crapper before they ever put on a uniform. Iraq was just a detour. At least they got to see some of the world before they came home to the gutter. This is such evil genius it's got to be Rove's or Cheney's...Rb

  http://tinyurl.com/bgktr click for the chivalry

1st FEBRUARY 2006

"Freedom" [as in, "we must insist our brave troops kill people who protect their freedom if we are to protect our own freedom"] has become the plastic-covered furniture in our national parlour. Its use, of course, requires adult supervision. Everyone knows it's only for company and special occasions. We keep it tightly under wrap, lock, and key, otherwise. Daddy says we don't need to impress us, and we'd only ruin it, anyway.

Deb Mayer was a teacher. She was leading a class discussion on an issue of Time magazine’s school-age version, which is approved curriculum. There were several articles that discussed topics relating to war against Iraq, and one that mentioned a peace march. A student asked if she would ever participate in such a march. Mayer said, "When I drive past the courthouse square and the demonstrators are picketing, I honk my horn for peace because their signs say, ‘Honk for peace.’" She thought "it was important for people to seek out peaceful solutions to problems before going to war and that we train kids to be mediators on the playground so that they can seek out peaceful solutions to their own problems."

Because of this one conversation, which she says took all of about five minutes, the district refused to renew her contract. (The quotes are taken from court documents.)

"It didn’t dawn on me that people would object to me saying peace was an option to war. I didn’t even think it was controversial." Parents called the principal and demanded a conference. "A dad was complaining that I was unpatriotic. He was very agitated. He kept pointing his finger at me and yelling, ‘What if you had a child in the service?’ I said, ‘I do have a child in the service.’" One of Mayer’s sons was a naval nuclear engineer aboard the USS Nebraska. He’s now an officer in Afghanistan. She told a parent that her son also "doesn’t preclude peace as an option to war," she recalls. "And that made him even angrier."

My ears now bleed every time I hear someone use the words "America" and "freedom" [or "peaceful"] in the same breath [unless it's the set-up for a punchline].

  http://tinyurl.com/7wpfo click for freedom fried

An early but promising contender for this week's "It's Only News to the News [but They'll Call in 'the Experts,' Anyway]" Award:

American media stood up and took notice when an improvised explosive device grievously injured an ABC News crew. Having a personal connection to someone injured or killed on the battlefield is a relatively rare experience for journalists. Fewer than 1 percent of the U.S. population is part of the military; very few reporters have served. The war is comfortably distant, until a fellow journalist is affected. It could have been me, we think. The full weight of war is hard to comprehend until it happens to you, or someone you know, or someone like you. It has never before happened to any anchorperson for any of the U.S. television networks. Consequently, the event had significant news value.

And, an early but promising contender for this week's "You're Just Jealous Because You're Not Famous " Award:

In Iraq, and throughout the military, there is sympathy and concern for Bob Woodruff and Doug Vogt, but there is also this question: "Why do you think this is such a huge story?" wrote an officer. "It's a bit stunning to us how absolutely dominant the story is on every network and front page. You'd think we lost the entire 1st Marine Division. There's a lot of grumbling from all ranks about it. That's a really impolite and impolitic thing to say ... but it's what you would hear over here."

In a world that was changed forever on 911, through no fault of our own, direct nor indirect, all Americans recognize and agree that there are good ways to talk about things, and then there are ways which only help those who wish to destroy us and our way of life simply because they hate our freedoms. You'll also agree that real Americans know which is which.

The "officer" who wrote the freedom hating email, above, is giving comfort and aid to the enemy, and demoralizing the brave troops who are committed to our noble mission in the war on trrr. We need to start focusing on the good things that are happening because a famous journalist and his cameraman became collateral damage. And, just a reminder -- it isn't really "noble" if you're only fighting for our freedoms because you want to be famous after you die. Nobody likes a glory whore...Rb  [who thinks the deaths of soldiers would get more attention if the haircuts were better. They need dos as cool as the camouflage. Where's their stylist!?]

  http://tinyurl.com/cg3k8 click for treasonous thoughts

31st JANUARY 2006

What could possibly be more annoying than hallucinatory speechifyin' from the resident moron? Hallucinatory reviewifyin' from the moronic LATimes, maybe?

A comfort speech: It is not an unusual experience to listen to President [sic] Bush deliver a major speech and find yourself, regardless of your politics, nodding along in vigorous agreement. Tuesday night was no exception. The president hit the right notes.

It might not be an unusual experience to listen to resident Bush deliver a major speech and find oneself, regardless of one's politics, nodding along in vigorous agreement -- if one is in the habit of mixing hard liquor and heavy narcotics, perhaps. But it is due precisely to such debilitating impairment of one's mental faculties that the practice is contraindicated.

  http://tinyurl.com/dccmx click for the ravings of a lunatic

SOTU-a-GOO-GOO:  More predictable than annoying, television's slavering sycophants [often (though curiously) referred to as "respected journalists"] were the epitome of prepotency and "professionalism" [pro·fes·sion·al·ism  n. the use of professional performers; performed by persons receiving pay]. Exhibiting the natural courage one would expect from those protected by the First Amendment, and fully committed to the integrity of the Fourth Estate, they counted and exulted in the standing ovations -- according to the giddy fools, there were three before the speechifyin' had even begun! And they gave props to con[gress]-artists whose personal assistants had managed to grab aisle seats, allowing said con[gress]-artists the coup of appearing on television [all the best people do]. Mostly, they made me glad I live in a democracy where the press is free to tell me not only when members of the audience stand and clap, but when they sit back down, again [and keep me informed as to whether or not those on camera managed to get on camera]. It was riveting, edifying, and made me feel a part of history, itself.

As it is for "respected journalists," the mechanically spontaneous ovations and applause breaks are also my favorite part of any appearance by li'l dubya, and tonight's Star-Search moments did not disappoint. Here we have a garden-variety doofus who got his figureheadship by the hair of his daddy's friends' chinny chin chins; he could hardly be less popular or successful [and is considered a 'toon, surely, even by his handlers]; he's responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, both at home and abroad; a quintessential [if not apocryphal] example of "failing upward," he's made a complete and utter mess of absolutely everything he's touched; his pathological lies are legion and well-documented; he's embroiled in scandal, and surrounded by the scandalous; America and Americans are now hated, scorned, and ridiculed, worldwide; et cetera, ad nauseam...and he stands there beaming, convinced that he's earned the admiration, adoration, and supplication of all creatures, great and small. Most people with good track records would soon show some humility, raise their hands, and begin trying to speak. Not our dubya! He could stand there, all night, without saying a word. Soakin' up the suck-ups. What do you want to bet the doting Mama Hughes set up a little podium in his playroom, facing a home theater which shows applauding audiences. On a loop. He's just a little too comfortable [and way too needy]...Rb

30th JANUARY 2006

So, I'm reading the NYTimes and playing "Outright Lie or Obfuscation?" when I happen upon an opening sentence which sucks me into an otherwise uninteresting story:

Bob Woodruff was in Baghdad for ABC reporting the good news that the Bush administration complains is ignored by the news media, and he ended up as a glaring illustration of the bad news.

Mmmm, no. Let's be honest, if only for a moment. Bob Woodruff was in Baghdad for ratings, macho posturing, vicarious soldiering, and media whoring, and he ended up as a glaring illustration of the fact most Americans, and that would include American journalists, believe we are invincible [no matter the evidence to the contrary], and that our assault against Iraq and its people is a video game. That local news affiliates have sent and continue sending local "reporters" to "bring the war home" [uh-huh] is a glaring illustration of the fact that we find war most entertaining. But here's where it gets a little too American:

blah blah blah...special report on the dangers faced by soldiers and journalists in Iraq. The attack was not a Cronkite moment, of course. Nobody in this era of what Ted Koppel describes dismissively as "boutique journalism" has the mass audience and unconditional trust Walter Cronkite held. Mr. Woodruff, an experienced, talented newcomer, had neither the fame nor stature to report anything truly groundbreaking about the Iraq conflict.

First, let us ignore the hilarity [irony, and hypocrisy] of Ted Koppel, Media Whore & BushCo Water Carrier [for whom the NightLine Boutique was created during the Iranian hostage fad], speaking dismissively about his brothers in boutiquity. It's about the "Mr. Woodruff, an experienced, talented newcomer, had neither the fame nor stature to report anything truly groundbreaking." This "experienced newcomer" [is that, like, "a professional amateur?"] isn't famous enough to report anything truly groundbreaking?

So, were there anything "truly groundbreaking," the story would be given to whom...Angie and Brad? Britney and K-Fed? Or would such require the gravitas of a Madonna.

And, if Woodruff is the evening anchor for ABC, but he's not famous enough [nor does he have the "stature"] to report anything "truly groundbreaking," aren't they [finally] admitting what we've known for decades -- that one will learn little of import by watching the evening news?

  http://tinyurl.com/clgcu click for freudian slippage

And, because a day without Florida is like a day without travesty:

Woman Becomes Quadruple Amputee:  After giving birth, Orlando hospital performed a life-altering surgery and refuses to explain why they left [the new mother] a multiple amputee. The hospital maintains the woman wants information that would violate other patients' rights. The hospital wrote that if she wanted to find out exactly what happened, she would have to sue them.

Had the idjits at Orlando Regional Healthcare Systems half a brain cell between them, they would've told that nosy bitch [in no uncertain terms] that she was either with her  OB/GYN or with the terrorists. Would she have them release her records, knowing it would only embolden the enemy? She shouldn't open her trap unless to thank God she had access to the greatest medical care in the world. What is wrong with people?! [Especially people who look like they're really Mexicans. Everybody knows those people have it better here with no arms and legs than they'd have it in Mexicoland with three of each. So I don't know what she's complaining about...]

  http://tinyurl.com/7tsbw click for the delimbing

This one wasn't even in Florida!

Fairfax County's [VA] police chief said yesterday that one of his officers accidentally shot and killed an optometrist outside the unarmed man's townhouse as an undercover detective was about to arrest him on suspicion of gambling on sports. Culosi was not making any threatening moves when he was shot once in the upper part of his body, police said. He was taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Oh, those boys. Amazing that we put such faith in "law enforcement" [considering their body count is higher than "the insurgents" and "the terrorists," combined]. Wouldn't be surprised to learn that trigger-happy cop was on the take from LensCrafters, though.

  http://tinyurl.com/brseb click for "line of duty" load of bull

Speaking of 2 + 2:

A large-scale government-financed study has concluded that when it comes to math, students in regular public schools do as well as or significantly better than comparable students in private schools.

A stroke of genius! Since all of our kids look like idiots when compared to other countries' children, let's start releasing studies which show that some American students do better than other American students. It's about time we focused on the good news coming out of our schools! Besides, if we don't care about the lives of people in other countries, why should we care about their kids' math skills. Especially since our kids can afford calculators...Rb

  http://tinyurl.com/ctjkb click for an ejukayshun
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