Saturday, September 29, 2007

Mitt Romney is a communist

Bush spends us into deepest debt ever

...and blames Democrats. Talk about not taking responsibility for his actions. "I'm the War President, but when the shit hits the fan, let's let the commanders on the ground call the shots."

"I'm a conservative. But when the debt soars, let's spend money like there's no tomorrow."

Maybe there's something to this: Bush thinks Armageddon is near, he's trying to hasten it, tomorrow doesn't matter...

Bush signs spending bill, jabs at Dems - Yahoo! News

Childrens Do Learn

Oh my god, George Bush is a complete idiot. I wish he would have been left behind in school...

Friday, September 28, 2007

Marijuana-enhancing snack maker Tainted, Inc. raided

Love the name of the company! Tainted, Inc.

DEA nabs makers of dope-infused snacks - USATODAY.com
The Drug Enforcement Administration said it arrested three people Wednesday and was looking for a fourth who operated Oakland-based Tainted Inc.

Rush LImbaugh is a BIG, FAT, blathering drug addicted asshole

AlterNet: Blogs: PEEK: Iraq War Vet to Limbaugh: You're the Phony

I'm no soldier. Never have been. Hopefully never will be. I support the troops. How? I want them to come home. I vote for people who pledge to bring them home.

I am sad for the troops' families. I can't even imagine my son being in the military during a war...I might go off the deep end if he died. I frankly don't know how they manage their emotions. I'd be a basketcase.

For Rush "Oxycontin" Limbaugh to come out and call any soldiers who've served in Iraq "phony," I'd say he has a severe mental deficiency. He might even be mentally retarded. It doesn't make logical sense, though I'm sure it makes some political sense. He does the Repugnican bidding. He has no shame.

There is no shortage of lies, misinformation, or other deceptive Limbaugh material. Here are a few:

Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting
Chickenhawks
Rusty "Rush" Limbaugh had a boo-boo on his bottom

Have fun.


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Siberian woman gives birth to 17-pound trophy

Kentucky ABC chief slapped with DUI

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a fruitcase

but he's a powerful nutjob who is not wrong about everything...like our incompetence.

Ahmadinejad urges world to renounce Satan; U.S. walks out

Rental luxury car worker clocked at 172MPH

Better that he was a rental car worker than a valet...

Police: Briton drove at 172 mph - Vehicular Peculiarity - MSNBC.com

More than he bargained for: Human leg in smoker

Not to be confused with yesterday's post about how to smoke trout...

Man finds human leg in smoker - Peculiar Postings - MSNBC.com
Maiden police said the man opened up the smoker and saw what he thought was a piece of driftwood wrapped in paper. When he unwrapped it, he found a human leg, cut off 2 to 3 inches above the knee.

The "Tact Filter" theory in a picture


Buyer beware: Counterfeit products abound on internet

Knocked off by a bargain - Los Angeles Times

Consumer reporter gets scammed by 'too good to be true' earphones. Great story and illustration of one of the tenets of life: Buyer beware.
A consumer reporter learns the whole world is a street corner when he shops online for a set of earphones and finds a price too good to be true.
By David Colker, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
September 26, 2007
I make my living writing about scams.

Check-cashing schemes, Nigerian frauds, fake Viagra -- I've covered them all. And in the back of my mind was always the sense that the victims must be a bit greedy or stupid.

Like me.
Sometimes, you can get great deals on the internet. But when the offer is way below normal retail, think 3 times about buying. And if you do buy, don't get upset when you realize you got exactly what you paid for...

Joke: Adam and Eve and God

Adam was walking around the garden of Eden, moping. God asked him, "What is wrong with you?" Adam replied that he was lonely and didn't have anyone to talk to.

God said that He was going to make Adam a companion and that it would be a woman. He said, "This person will gather food for you, cook for you, and when you discover clothing, she will wash it for you. She will always agree with every decision you make. She will bear your children and never ask you to get up in the middle of the night to take care of them. She will not nag you and will always be the first to admit she was wrong when you've had a disagreement. She will never have a headache and will freely give you love and passion whenever you need it.

Adam asked God, "What will this woman cost?"

God replied, "An arm and a leg."

Adam thought a moment and asked, "What can I get for a rib?"

Romney adviser is vice chairman of Blackwater USA

Romney Withholds Comment on Killings - washingtonpost.com

I swear, these guys inbreed with alarming regularity and frequency.

Of course, Romney has no comment on Cofer Black's involvement in killing Iraqi civilians. Blackwater's job is to kill, presumably, Iraqi insurgents.

The broader question is: Is Blackwater the beginning of a privatized military?

Background on Blackwater USA


Oil program: Broad failures in collecting payments

Inspector Finds Broad Failures in Oil Program - New York Times
In one case, senior officials decided that it would impose a “hardship” on oil companies to demand that they calculate the back interest they owed after having been caught underpaying. The agency itself was years behind in billing the companies, because its computers could not perform the calculations.
How can it be that our government cannot collect payments, in a proper and timely way, from oil and gas companies? They sure can collect my taxes! And, I believe, their computer can compute, and collect, any interest I owe them on that debt. Is it because "the numbers are just too big?" I say that tongue-in-cheek, of course, but maybe there's some truth to the claim...the numbers are too big in that there's a lot of, um, grease lubricating the wheels.

It must be great to be an oil company.

UAW and GM settle: Strike over

UAW, GM reach tentative agreement - Yahoo! News

I didn't expect this strike to have such a short lifespan. I think this is good for the economy, GM, and the UAW.

Now, I'm sure, the UAW will try to strike up a similar deal with Ford and Chrysler.

Previous Post

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Chinese hack into Department of Homeland Security computers

FBI investigates Unisys over U.S. government hack | InfoWorld | News | 2007-09-24 | By Jeremy Kirk, IDG News Service

Figures, it's the Chinese. We need to put them in their place before they take our crown.

How to smoke trout

Okay, I'm a sucker for anything fleshy and edible that you can barbeque, smoke, or otherwise set on fire.

Where there's a smoker, there's a feast

Housing slump worsening: 18-year high on unsold homes

New reports point to further distress in housing market - Los Angeles Times

Wasn't real estate supposed to go up forever, just like stocks in 1929?

Bush and Saddam: Brothers in arms?


Giuliani fish out of water on gun control

Giuliani defends right to bear arms - Yahoo! News

Rudy now believes that the right to bear arms is constitutionally granted because of a recent court decision. Of course, he brings in his signature issue, 9/11, into this one (it's the only thing he's ever done, apparently) to prove his point.

The fact is, he was for gun control when he was mayor. Guns had nothing to do with 9/11 (planes, if memory serves, were the weapons used -- duh!) -- so his linking 9/11 to gun freedom is utterly stupid.

Rudy Giuliani can be bought for $9.11

Giuliani party draws criticism from Dodd - Yahoo! News
A Giuliani spokeswoman said the $9.11 idea was selected without the campaign's knowledge. "These are two volunteers who acted independently of and without the knowledge of the campaign," Giuliani spokeswoman Maria Comella said. "Their decision to ask individuals for that amount was an unfortunate choice."
The Giuliani people are unconscious. They have a mental deficiency. When the firefighters are against you, you must be a real ass.

Rudy has proven over and over what an ass he is. Let's hope he wins the Republican nomination. The fraud he is will be overwhelmingly obvious in a national campaign.

Iran's Ahmadinejad gets cold, cruel Columbia welcome

Amazon.com launches DRM-free a la carte MP3s

Amazon.com--News Release

Is this the end of Apple's dominance of the digital music scene? I hope that competition encourages all the music suppliers to reduce prices, offer a greater selection.

Amazon.com is encoding at 256kbs for $.89 to $.99 per song with albums priced between $5.99 and $9.99. Best part of all: They're in the mp3 format, which means 100% compatibility with nearly all music players (I can't think of one player on the market that won't play an mp3, except for Sony's now-dead last generation minidisc players.

Hurray!

UPDATED: amazonmp3 beta

Andrew Tobias is a self-admitted idiot

Monday, September 24, 2007

FREE iTunes: Starbucks and Apple team up

Starbucks to Give Away 50 Million Songs - New York Times

Pretty cool. I might start drinking coffee. Nah, but I will buy their pastries. They're pretty good.

GM workers on strike...to save jobs?

Union workers at all General Motors plants and facilities have gone on strike, not over money or benefits but over job security.

This hits GM while it's down, unfortunately. I think, like in years past, GM will have to acquiesce to an extent in order to stay viable.

UAW says strike about saving jobs - Yahoo! News
GM wants the trust, called a Voluntary Employees Beneficiary Association, or VEBA, so it can move much of its $51 billion in unfunded retiree health care liabilities off the books, potentially raising the stock price and credit ratings. It's all part of the company's quest to cut or eliminate about a $25-per-hour labor cost disparity with its Japanese competitors...
GM wants to move that horrible burden, health care liabilities, off the books, so that it can reap the rewards of a higher stock price. Not sure how this will help, or hinder, the bread-and-butter skilled laborers, but it will surely enrich the executives.
The striking workers will receive $200 a week plus medical benefits from the UAW's strike fund. The union had more than $800 million in that fund as of last November, according to the UAW's Web site. A fund of that size would last about a year at $200 a week for 73,000 striking workers.
This is somewhat unbelievable. I have to hand it to the striking workers: They have balls. Or unlimited funds.

Big dope bust involving DEA and China, among others

DEA nabs 124 in 27 states in steroid crackdown - Other Sports - MSNBC.com

Deemed the biggest steroid drug bust ever made by the Department of Drug Enforcement, the probe spanned 10 nations, including Mexico, Canada, Australia, and Germany.

I guess people taking performance-enhancing drugs ought to be alarmed? It's a good thing we won the war on drugs with respect to other illicit drugs, like cocaine and opium. Whew. Load off my mind!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

MoveOn and the weak-kneed Democrats

I like her moxie -- she's a lesbian conservative who has a good head on her shoulders. She nails the Dems on this one. I've been saying this for some time: The Democrats have no heart.

Time for a Roundup: the MoveOn Ad

John Force, of Driving Force fame, crashes

Wicked crash, lucky both guys didn't die or suffer more serious injuries. Kenny Bernstein and John Force involved.

Screwball Alan Keyes enters race for president

Pardon Larry Craig? Opinion of one NYT op-ed columnist

Pardon Poor Larry Craig - New York Times

Frank Rich makes some good points here. Like, tapping your toes in a restroom, even if it signals that you want sex, isn't a legal offense.

No, the "crime" here isn't the solicitation of sex (for solicitation of sex is only a crime if it directly involves money, i.e., the exchange of money for sex). Rather, the crime here is hypocracy. Larry Craig and all of his homophobic colleagues "on the hill" are hypocrites: They say one thing, do another.

It's sad but true: Many politicians exhibit this behavior.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

US government has been tracking your every travel move

Still think Big Brother isn't watching? The voice of George Orwell can be heard from the dead. It's 1984 all over again.

Collecting of details on travelers documented - Washington Post - MSNBC.com
But new details about the information being retained suggest that the government is monitoring the personal habits of travelers more closely than it has previously acknowledged. The details were learned when a group of activists requested copies of official records on their own travel. Those records included a description of a book on marijuana that one of them carried and small flashlights bearing the symbol of a marijuana leaf.
It's a scary time to live in America.

Blackwater USA: smuggled weapons into Iraq that "somehow" got into the hands of...

...the enemy. Imagine that! How could this happen, you say? Because the enemy has more money. They were the highest bidder.

Feds target Blackwater in weapons probe - Yahoo! News
Blackwater USA Wikipedia entry

Founded and led by former Navy SEALS, Bush administration officials, and certified loons, this company is nothing if not lethal (and crazy).

Some interesting things about the company:
  • Overall, the company has received over 500 million dollars in government contracts.
  • Blackwater USA consists of nine companies
  • It trains over 40,000 people per year
  • At least 90% of its revenue comes from government contracts, two-thirds of which are no-bid contracts.

The Next War

Retired General Wesley Clark on The Next War:

The Next War - washingtonpost.com
Surely here is where some of the most salient lessons from recent wars lie: in forcing civilian leaders to shoulder their burdens of ultimate responsibility and in demanding that generals unflinchingly offer their toughest, most seasoned, advice.

Gen. Tommy R. Franks embarked on the 2001 Afghanistan operation without a clear road map for success, or even a definition of what victory would look like. Somehow, that was good enough for him and his bosses.

So Osama bin Laden slunk away, the Taliban was allowed to regroup, and Afghanistan is now mired deep in trouble and sinking fast.

In Iraq, President Bush approved war-fighting plans that hadn't incorporated any of the vital 1990s lessons from Haiti, Bosnia or Kosovo; worse, then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld fought doing so. Nation-building, however ideologically repulsive some may find it, is a capability that a superpower sometimes needs.

At the same time, the United States' top generals must understand that their duty is to win, not just to get along.

They must have the insight and character to demand the resources necessary to succeed -- and have the guts to either obtain what they need or to resign.

If they get their way and still don't emerge victorious, they must be replaced. That is the lot they accepted when they pinned on those four shiny silver stars.

Above all else, we Americans must understand that the goal of war is to achieve a specific purpose for the nation. In this respect, the military is simply a tool of statecraft, one that must work in tandem with diplomacy, economic suasion, intelligence and other instruments of U.S. power. How tragic it is to see old men who are unwilling to talk to potential adversaries but seem so ready to dispatch young people to fight and die.

Friday, September 21, 2007

If all vegans looked like this...


Nice.

New York Times to stop charging for Times Select

Times to Stop Charging for Parts of Its Web Site - New York Times

Yay. I will tell you that charging for Times Select caused me to stop reading their online paper. I know at $50 a year, some thought it was a bargain. But at FREE, how could it be any less of a bargain?

Apparently, the NYT was not making money with this scheme. Here's to a sound business decision.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Washington state suffers no housing downturn

No housing woes in booming Washington state - Yahoo! News

My, how a few years changes everything! Just two or three years ago, Microsoft seemed to be stagnating and Boeing was laying people off. Now, they're both hiring and the Seattle area is booming.

Protesters converge on Jena, La. amid racial tensions

Sharpton: Congress should grill Jena DA - Yahoo! News

So many things to comment on about this story. I don't know where to begin, so let's start at the top and work our way down.
The crowd broke into chants of "Free the Jena Six" as the Rev. Al Sharpton arrived at the local courthouse with family members of the jailed teens.
Any story or issue with Al Sharpton involved is bogus. Sorry to say, the man has cried "race" too many times. I think that when the sky does finally fall, he should bear its weight for he brought it down.
Sharpton told the Associated Press that he and Reps. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, and William Jefferson, D-La., will press the House Judiciary Committee next week to summon the district attorney to explain his actions before Congress.
William Jefferson? The guy who put $90,000 in his freezer for safekeeping? This guy has zero credibility.
"What we need is federal intervention to protect people from Southern injustice," Sharpton told the AP.
Did he just slander the entire South?
The six black teens were charged a few months after three white teens were accused of hanging nooses in a tree on their high school grounds. The white teens were suspended from school but weren't prosecuted. Five of the black teens were initially charged with attempted murder. That charge was reduced to battery for all but one, who has yet to be arraigned; the sixth was charged as a juvenile.
Finally, we get to the story!
The beating victim, Justin Barker, was knocked unconscious, his face badly swollen and bloodied, though he was able to attend a school function later that night.
Sounds like attempted murder was over the top, if the victim was able to attend a school function the same day of the "beating."
The Rev. Jesse Jackson spoke to one crowd. Dennis Courtland Hayes, interim president and CEO of the NAACP, was also there.
Jesse Jackson? He's in the same league as Sharpton.
Martin Luther King III, son of the slain civil rights leader, described the scene as reminiscent of earlier civil rights struggles. He said punishment of some sort may be in order for the six defendants, but "the justice system isn't applied the same to all crimes and all people."
Has there been a dumber statement than this on this topic?
Walters said he didn't charge the white students accused of hanging the nooses because he could find no Louisiana law under which they could be charged. In the beating case, he said, four of the defendants were of adult age under Louisiana law and the only juvenile charged as an adult, Mychal Bell, had a prior criminal record.

"It is not and never has been about race," Walters said. "It is about finding justice for an innocent victim and holding people accountable for their actions."
Um, I think the DA did his job. The attempted murder charges may have been ridiculous (though, if one tries to kill another with a baseball bat and misses, it's still attempted murder, right?), but the story of the nooses? Not sure that ranks as anything other than -- albeit sick and twisted -- a threat. Did anybody try to put anybody else in the nooses? Some of these same people decrying the noose display would have a hard time reconciling their reaction to this and their reaction to displaying other symbols as a freedom of speech, guaranteed by the US Constitution.
"We all have family members about the age of these guys. We said it could have been one of them. We wanted to try to do something," said Angela Merrick, 36, who drove with three friends from Atlanta to protest the treatment of the teens.
Seems to me that this argument only holds water if at least one of the "Jena 6" was falsely accused. Are we sure that any of the six youths weren't a part of the battery (and, in fact, it was a battery, even if the white boy "deserved it" which is not clear either. Did he hang the nooses? Did he threaten anybody? Nobody's talking about that)?

Race has been and always will be an issue. Sorry to say. People always target differences and race is one of the most obvious differences. So is weight. Some fat people dislike thin people and vice versa. Some blondes don't like brunettes. Some women hate men. Some people are stupid. Since we can't "cull the crop" of stupid people, racism and other "-isms" will always exist.

We can only hope that there are less racists tomorrow than there were today. This type of thing doesn't advance that cause, it worsens it.

Until the world stops seeing color, people are going to focus on it.

Bush paints cheery picture of economy, so we can rest assured, the economy is going to tank

Bring out your dead

Bush optimistic about economy - Yahoo! News
Pressed on whether he thought there was any risk of recession, Bush said: "You need to talk to economists. I think I got a B in Econ 101."

Dan Rather sues CBS over firing

Rather’s Lawsuit Says CBS Made Him a ‘Scapegoat’ - New York Times

It's about time! Nobody ever thought that "Dan Rather" and "Howard Stern" could ever be uttered in the same sentence, but now that they both hate CBS and Les Moonves, anything's possible!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Jesse Jackson accuses Barack Obama of 'acting white'

FOXNews.com - Report: Jesse Jackson Says Barack Obama 'Acting White' in Case of Six Blacks Accused in Assault Case - Politics | Republican Party | Democratic Party | Political Spectrum
He later told the newspaper that he did not remember making the remark, but State reporter Roddie Burris told FOX News that Jackson's "acting like he's white" comment came during a 45-minute, one-on-one interview Tuesday after an hour-long speech at Benedict College in Columbia, S.C. Burris said he stands by his report.
Where's the outcry? Where is the national call to remove Jackson from his employment?

Where's the double standard? More like "Right here's your double standard." Jesse Jackson is a jackass. "I don't remember saying it."

I think Don Imus ought to punch Jackson in the nose, and when he sues, accuse him of acting like an uppity wuss, who "happens to be nappy-headed and black." And then Imus totally forgets he ever said it.

I wish the planet would forget that Jesse Jackson ever existed. He's done nothing good. Ever. Period.

More Jesse Jackson slurs
More Jesse Jackson specific "hymie" slur

OJ Simpson out on $125k bail

Judge grants $125,000 bail for Simpson - USATODAY.com

Two things: History must really not be an indicator of future performance, since the court system apparently doesn't believe he's a flight risk.

Second, where's the orange jumpsuit? So disappointing.

More on tasers

Galbraith and Schumpeter: Two peas in a pod or diametrically opposed?

Bush does the 'fake n sheik'

Bush’s Fake Sheik Whacked: The Surge and the Al Qaeda Bunny Greg Palast

But now he's extra crispy. Read all about President Bush's fake sheik.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Cops: Man dies after armless artist's head butt

The Black Knight has made a comeback!

How many students will it take getting tasered?

So after the last post, where I showed a video of some punk getting tasered after he wouldn't cooperate with the authorities, I checked YouTube for "student taser." Wow, to my surprise, I got 119 search results, no doubt some of them duplicates (I haven't checked, and really don't care to).

But it seems that students are getting on the wrong end of the taser pretty frequently.
I don't care who you are or what you're doing, good intentions and all:
If the police tell you to shut up and sit down, do it. If they put their hands on you, relax. Don't fight it.

You'll have plenty of time and people on your side later. Don't make the situation escalate. YOU ARE THE CAUSE OF YOUR ISSUE.
Now I know some of you may say you have every right to speak your mind. And you do. But if the police tell you to do X, do X. Why the fight?

Can they take away your freedom of speech? Sure, temporarily. But think of the larger audience you'll have if you just let the situation pass and then, out of harm's way, do something about it. Like speak out. Write the Editor of your local newspaper. Talk to your Congressional representatives. Talk to the Chief of Police.

Do something positive. Don't be a punk. The police, in most cases, are really only doing what they've been trained to do and the last thing they want is this unwelcome notoriety. Don't you think?




University of Florida student gets tasered



Is he the biggest pussy in the world, or what?

Nebraska State Senator sues God

How the Iraq war is so unlike the Vietnam War

There's been some chatter about comparing the Vietnam War with the Iraq War; some say they're similar, some say they're not to be compared. Some say both. So I started thinking. How are the wars the same? How are they different?

I try to compare and contrast the two wars below. In the paragraphs below, I may refer to the Vietnam War as "that war" and the Iraq War is "this war." For example, that war (Vietnam) was fought over the course of two decades. This war (Iraq) has been fought barely half a decade.

A few things to get out of the way first. I am not a military expert. I am not a war expert. Most of what I know comes from paying attention to current events (of which Vietnam was not). I wasn't even born until after the Vietnam War started. On that note, most of what I know about the Vietnam War has come from reading and hearing about it from my relatives and Wikipedia.

I have an issue with war in general and the Iraq War in particular. So take that for what it's worth. The commentary below may cause you to become really angry at me and want to tear my head off. I mean no disrespect to anybody who's ever put on a military uniform, provided they served and aren't wearing something they got out of an Army surplus store.

What compelled me to think and write about this subject was the President himself. I seem to recall that he bristled at comparisons between the Vietnam War and the Iraq War. Then, just the other day, he compared the two wars himself. I don't know why he waffled, but he did, it seems.

Before he compared the two wars, he seemed to get really bent out of shape whenever somebody else did it.

Here's a brief video on President Bush's speech comparing "that war" to "this war."

In any event, here goes:

The Differences

There's a joke that goes something like this:
What is the difference between the Vietnam War and the Iraq War? President Bush had a plan to get out of Vietnam.
But that's not really funny. Okay, it is funny, but it isn't true.

Alright, it's true, but, damnit, that's not the point.

That war was then. This war is now. The 1960s suffered from the Cold War jitters. There was an understanding -- and fear -- that Soviet Communism had to be curtailed, at almost any cost. They were trying to take over the world, one country at a time; we needed to save the world, and to do that, we had to rebuff the Soviets every step of the way.

Almost 60,000 US military were killed in Vietnam. "Only" (at last count) close to 4,000 Americans have died serving their country in Iraq.

Vietnam was about combating Soviet Communism. Iraq was about, hmm, not so sure. Was it:
  1. Oil More
  2. Israel
  3. Weapons of mass destruction
  4. Iraq ties to Al Qaeda
  5. The first in a string of experiments on installing American democracy in the Middle East
  6. To bring down Saddam Hussein because he threatened George W. Bush's father, George H.W. Bush
  7. A pre-emptive strike against a known, albeit impotent, enemy
  8. To serve as a warning to any and all other nations that the US was to be taken seriously
  9. To topple a regime that posed an imminent threat to the United States
Who knows? The stated reasons can be found here.
And our mission is clear, to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, to end Saddam Hussein's support for terrorism, and to free the Iraqi people.
We've been fed so many reasons that it's hard to figure out why we went to war. Maybe it was some or all of the above. But the official justification for war changed several times over the course of the last few years. In any event, the reasons are more complicated and convoluted than they were for Vietnam.

That war had a draft. This war doesn't. Yet.

One of the biggest differences between the Vietnam War and the Iraq War is the way the American public has responded. Americans were generally very angry with members of the military, oftentimes calling them "baby killers" and other vile things. This anger with the war was not focused on the engineers of the war, but rather it was focused on the military (who, in large part, but with notable exceptions, were "just doing their jobs").

Contrast that response with the response given to the soldiers fighting today's war. "Support the troops" banners are all around: On cars, trucks, boats, windows. I don't know of many who have been terribly critical of the troops on the ground. No, the anger and frustration that people have with this war have been targeted towards the orchestrator of the war, namely, the Bush administration.

People get angry when they're lied to. It would have been more palatable for Bush to say, "We're taking out Saddam because he's killed thousands of his own people." Not "imminent threat," "mushroom cloud," or "WMDs," all reasons given but unsubstantiated and, after-the-fact, of course, proven wrong.

I'll go out on a limb here and say that those claims were lies.

There, I said it. Send your hate mail to the link at the bottom of this site.


The Similarities

Contrary to President Bush's claims, up to his latest flip-flop, Iraq and Vietnam are quite similar. It seems that, in both, the engineers of the war had no plan for withdrawal. It's as if nobody asked the question, "How do we extract ourselves without causing untold damage to the country?"

Maybe that points to another difference, however: Perhaps George Bush didn't want to get out. Maybe he wanted the US to establish a firm foothold in the Middle East.

But I digress.

The success of both wars, then and now, were predicated on political and economic victory in addition to military success and the establishment of security.
The big thing that we need to understand and learn from Vietnam as we try to deal with very different issues of Iraq is that the major issues are political and economic, not military and security. The path to the future is, in fact, a legitimate Iraqi government that has the loyalty of the Iraqi people and the Iraqi governmental system. What we always lacked in South Vietnam was a credible government that the people of South Vietnam respected and were willing to fight to preserve. (William Nash, retired Major General who served in Vietnam and was a commander in the first Iraq War)
In Vietnam we were fighting a strong and determined guerrilla force. In Iraq, it seems we're fighting a similarly strong and determined insurgency, made up of multiple factions: Sunnis, Shias, al Qaeda, and perhaps other terrorist organizations. But the flavor of the opposition is the same.

Iraq, some say, is in the midst of a civil war. Our own Civil War, fought nearly one hundred and fifty years ago, tore our country in two. That's what civil wars do. Iraq and Vietnam are no different: Both have been torn into at least two factions, with one side fighting the other.

Vietnam spanned two decades. Iraq might just get there. There is no indication that the US will withdraw its troops before 2009; I doubt we'll ever leave. How can we? And, really, have we ever left Vietnam? Have we ever left Korea (oh, yes, we're not in North Korea, but we're right on the border)?

We never completely withdrew from the Middle East after the first Iraq War. Which brings another point: We wage wars and never leave. We can't. Doing so would upset the status quo. It would show weakness. It would allow our enemies to rebuild and reconstitute.

As Korea was a prelude to Vietnam, so, too, was the first Gulf War to the Iraq War. World War II was largely the result of unfinished business of World War I.

It is obvious that war breeds war. Think of it as the playground mentality, only with much graver consequences: Two kids fight, next thing you know, they fight again, or they bring in friends to fight with them the next time. War is using schoolyard tactics by grown men with guns.

Yes, sometimes it is necessary. The World Wars are excellent examples. The war in Afghanistan, after the attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11/2001, is another good example.

However, this war was a war of choice. As former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill said, subsequent to 9/11, Bush, Rumsfeld, and Cheney wanted to attack -- not Afghanistan -- Iraq because "it was an easy target."

Another notable similarity between the Vietnam War and the Iraq War lies in the rationale for going to war: Both wars had dubious beginnings. The Vietnam War was supposedly started (at least the US intervention) because the North Vietnamese fired on two US boats. Iraq: WMDs.

Both contentions proved false.

One final similarity is the rosy predictions of victory. Iraq was supposed to be fully-funded by oil revenue. We'd go in, topple the regime, and (what was that third thing?) get out. This war has cost over $400 billion (actual dollars).

Vietnam should have been a cakewalk, too. But we underestimated the ferocity and ingenuity of the enemy. That war ended up costing, in dollar terms only (not the irreplaceable lives lost and ruined forever), over $500 billion (in 2005 dollars).

So a comparison of the cost of the two wars reveals their final similarity: Pretty much an easy victory was predicted, followed by years of death and carnage, accompanied by a price tag of roughly a half a billion dollars (and this war is not nearly over).

Perhaps the only solace we can take from Vietnam and bring to the Iraq situation is: We got out of Vietnam (for the most part). We'll get out of Iraq. That's the glass-half-full part of me.

The glass-half-empty part of me says we'll never leave. Time will tell. It's just sad that with the passing of time will come the passing of more and more people, most of whom are "just doing their jobs."

I won't even bring up the civilian loss. Iraqis didn't ask us for this. After all that's gone on, I'm not sure they feel better off today.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Attorney General nominee: Michael Mukasey

Should be an easy confirmation. Bush "did good" on this one. Unless the libs can dig up some dirt on this guy...has he ever been arrested in a public restroom? Dressed like a girl? Had an affair with a page?

Bush picks ex-judge for attorney general - Yahoo! News

To BlogRush or not to BlogRush, that is the question

So I signed up for BlogRush with the hope of driving more targeted traffic my way. Will it work? I don't know? Is it worth a shot? Maybe. Will I offend more real and potential readers with one more ad? Perhaps.

That is not my intention. I hope to derive more readers, a more active dialog about today's issues, and, to be completely honest, a little more cash. I'm not here to make a fortune in the blogosphere, but wouldn't it be nice to get a little change for inspiring others to think about what's going on in the world?

How does it work? Basically, two ways. You install the BlogRush widget. You get one credit each time the widget loads. This means, that within the network, if I get 100 pageviews today, my blog gets "published" in other BlogRush widgets 100 times today.

I also get credit if you sign up. (See all the links in this post?) Sheesh!

If your blog gets 500 pageviews, I get 500 credits. It's like a giant Ponzi scheme, only it appears to be made of real money! :)

Whatever, life?

Girl Power - Whateverlife.com - Ashley Qualls - Nabbr

An amazing story about an amazing girl who makes up to $70,000 per month in ad revenue for creating web layouts for myspace.com and other social networking sites.

Phenomenal.

Oh, she's 17.

What a dumbass

Bush as Caesar

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Mexican bus crashes, kills "at least" 17

I've been to Mexico, and between the shitty roads and daredevil drivers, it's no surprise that a bus crashed and killed a lot of people.

All along the road from Cabo north to Los Barilles are makeshift memorials to the victims of some sort of road wreckage. The roads are barely big enough for one car; but the drivers down there somehow think they can pass, going uphill around a curve. Amazing.

What's more amazing? That there aren't more crashes and carnage.

Bus carrying U.S. passengers crashes - Americas - MSNBC.com

Fred Thompson is a lot like Reagan...

...especially the senility. Read more here -- Reaganesque: Fred Thompson Is Already Senile - Wonkette
The GOP primary’s great white hope, Hollywood Fred Thompson, is either purposefully trying to derail his campaign before Halloween so he can lazily enjoy the winter holidays, or he’s so Reaganesque that he’s going senile before the election.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Greenspan critical of Bush in new book

Former Fed chair Greenspan criticizes Bush in book - International Business - News - The Economic Times

Sounds like he's covering a bit for his own miscalculations, but he's infinitely smarter than most, so I give him some benefit of the doubt.

Though, to be honest, he lives/lived in a world that isn't inhabited by the rest of us mortals. So, did he see the mortgage mess coming? Probably not. I'm sure the guy hasn't had to worry about his own money for quite some time.

The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World

How to bbq the perfect steak

How to Turn Cheap “Choice” Steaks into Gucci “Prime” Steaks | Jaden's Steamy Kitchen

I personally have never had to resort to gimmicks to get perfect steak, but, hey, this article is funny, witty, and might just help the bbq-challenged amongst us! The pictures and notations are hilarious.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Greenspan didn't see mortgage mess coming

Greenspan's Britney Moment

This guy's way too smart to have missed this. I think he made a killing on real estate during this time. The Ultimate Inside Job.

Gonzales is dead. Long live tyranny!

Gonzales leaves Justice Department - Yahoo! News
"Over the past two and a half years, I have seen tyranny, dishonesty, corruption and depravity of types I never thought possible," Gonzales said in prepared remarks at a Hispanic Heritage Month ceremony at Bolling Air Force Base. "I've seen things I didn't know man was capable of."
And we was just talking about the United States!

Top 100 productivity foods

This should be called, "Top 100 Foods that taste like crap."

Bootstrapper » Top 100 Foods to Improve Your Productivity

O.J. Simpson is an attention whore -- accused of casino robbery

This guy wants to go to jail. He just wants it really, really bad. And society is too stupid and/or timid to do anything about it.

O.J. Simpson Questioned In Connection With Casino Robbery - Entertainment News Story - WMAQ | Chicago

It's not just a US credit crunch

...when something like this affects the global economy, dealing with it takes swift, prudent, coordinated effort.

Liquidity crunches often precipitate severe economic downturns. Let's hope the Fed coordinates and cooperates with other central banks and they deal with this swiftly.

I don't really feel like enduring another Great Depression. And we all know we can't start a war to get ourselves out of this mess.

British Mortgage Lender Offered Emergency Loan - New York Times

Oregon Ducks mascot brawls, suspended

Can anybody take this stuff seriously? It may in fact be an unstaged fight, but it just looks so silly!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Obama's war plan

I think he's got it right. General "Betray Us" Petraeus says otherwise, that US military forces have made progress, but I don't know what progress means. I mean, I could try pushing a rock uphill, and I might even make some progress, but what is my objective? Is it to make progress or to get the rock to the top? Maybe the goal is to get the rock halfway up the hill. Maybe it's to get the rock out of the way.

Who the hell knows? Our beloved president hasn't told us what the military objective is, except "to win" (whatever that means), and his other objectives (ie, non-military) have changed at least a dozen times.

Obama Offers Most Extensive Plan Yet for Winding Down War - New York Times
“Too many politicians feared looking weak and failed to ask hard questions. Too many took the president at his word instead of reading the intelligence for themselves,” Mr. Obama said.

He added: “I opposed the war in 2002. I opposed it in 2003. I opposed it in 2004. I opposed it in 2005. I opposed it in 2006.”

How tsunamis work

Bank robber uses personal check to write note

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Sex day in Russia: Let the vodka flow

This would never happen here in the US with Mr Abstinence in power.

BBC NEWS | Europe | Russian 'sex day' to boost births

Ron Paul is right about a lot of things...

...especially on two things:
  1. Our foreign policy is crap
  2. Bill O'Reilly better be careful. Oh, wait, his job is to be a maniac, throwing out words like they don't mean anything and knee-jerking his way to fame.
The Raw Story | Ron Paul tells Bill O'Reilly US policy, not Iran, is the real problem
"You're wrong on that. I voted for that. So you be careful on your quotes," said Paul, pointing out that his complaint about Afghanistan is that the US didn't capture bin Laden but got bogged down in nation-building instead.

China: Killing us softly with the song, um, leaded paint and crappy products

Why Lead in Toy Paint? It’s Cheaper - New York Times
The simplest answer, experts and toy companies in China say, is price. Paint with higher levels of lead often sells for a third of the cost of paint with low levels.

What you eat is doing more damage to the environment than what you drive

So this explains why all those goddamned vegans drive Volvo SUVs!

Trying to Connect the Dinner Plate to Climate Change - New York Times
In late November, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization issued a report stating that the livestock business generates more greenhouse gas emissions than all forms of transportation combined.

Putin dissolved Russian government

This can't be good...

Before we know it, Russia becomes Soviet Union again and we go to Hell in a handbasket. For some, capitalism and democracy just don't work.

Putin dissolves Russian government - Yahoo! News

Bush playing the shell game with American troops' lives

"You see, hehehe, I raised troop levels 40,000, then I dropped them 30,000 (a year from now -- maybe).

"So, you see, I dropped troop levels. Hehehe."

Officials: Bush to announce troop cut - Yahoo! News

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Are you left-wing brained or right-wing brained?

Study finds left-wing brain, right-wing brain - Los Angeles Times
M appeared four times more frequently than W, conditioning participants to press a key in knee-jerk fashion whenever they saw a letter.

Liberals had more brain activity and made fewer mistakes than conservatives when they saw a W, researchers said. Liberals and conservatives were equally accurate in recognizing M. Researchers got the same results when they repeated the experiment in reverse, asking another set of participants to tap when a W appeared.Are liberals smarter and more accurate, is this what this is saying?
Seems to be suggesting that liberals are less-prone to knee-jerk reactions, they think about things more, and they make less mistakes.

Sounds about right to me.

Republicans gay as a two dollar bill? You betcha

Mark Morford rules.

Just How Gay Is The GOP? / Sen. Larry 'Wide Stance' Craig, just another in a long daisy chain of happy homoevidence
Hell, show me a vociferous anti-sex fundamentalist of any religious or political bent -- be he Muslim, Christian, Jew, Mormon, Republican or other -- and I'll show you a slideshow of his secret nighttime fantasies so kinky and dark it would make Jenna Jameson shudder. And not in a good way.

Is Fred Flintstone for real?

Thompson: Due process for bin Laden - Yahoo! News

Fred Thompson has not made a grand entry into the political spotlight called "running for president."

He is doing quite the opposite.

First, he made a stupid statement about Osama bin Laden:
On Friday, Thompson told reporters in Iowa that bin Laden is "more symbolism than anything else" and said his presence in the "mountains of Pakistan or Afghanistan is not as important as there are probably al-Qaida operatives inside the United States of America."
Then, he "oopsed" it again:
Thompson also railed against same-sex marriage and judges whose rulings allow it. Thompson said the U.S. is a nation of laws, but judges "more often than not are the main violators of the rule of law." He said the "same-sex marriage business" is a "judicially created thing and needs to be addressed by a constitutional amendment." He was referring to an amendment that would limit the role of judges on the matter.
Can somebody tell me where the constitution even broaches the subject of marriage? And for that matter, what laws are on the books that talks about it, in any state? I know some states have passed laws in this regard, but what judges have broken those laws?

In any event, is Fred Thompson making any political movement? I think not. He sounds like all the other Republicans. Except for Rudy. Who sounds more like a girl.

Just How Gay Is The GOP? / Sen. Larry 'Wide Stance' Craig, just another in a long daisy chain of happy homoevidence
Hell, show me a vociferous anti-sex fundamentalist of any religious or political bent -- be he Muslim, Christian, Jew, Mormon, Republican or other -- and I'll show you a slideshow of his secret nighttime fantasies so kinky and dark it would make Jenna Jameson shudder. And not in a good way.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Leading candidates for Attorney General nominee

...no longer includes Michael Chertoff. Maybe there is a god.

Playbook 24/7
Two leading contenders for the job, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and White House homeland security and counterterrorism adviser Frances Fragos Townsend, are no longer under consideration.
More on Secretary Dumbass

Oversalted hamburger sends cop blood pressure through roof, he arrests fry cook

Salt lands McDonald's employee in jail - Criminal Peculiarity - MSNBC.com
A McDonald’s employee spent a night in jail and is facing criminal charges because a police officer’s burger was too salty, so salty that he says it made him sick.

Attention Wal-Mart shoppers: Prices are rising.

That could be the headline soon. However, it won't. Wal-Mart will simply find another country to manufacture its cheap products.
Meanwhile, Skyway is gearing up to open a factory this fall in Vietnam, where wages are lower.

"I think the consumer will not accept the full impact of price increases from China," Wilhoit said. "We're going to have to do things differently, like Vietnam, to get the same quality stuff on the shelf and make money."
Fixing Chinese goods will be costly - Los Angeles Times
More on China

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Bad economic news: Good for anybody?

Bad News Puts Political Glare Onto Economy - New York Times

Oh, sure, Republicans and Democrats alike jumped all over the bad news, citing divergent 'causes' from Bush's failure to lead (Obama) to the never-ending business cycle (Thompson). But does anybody win from this kind of news? Is it all just jockeying for position?

I think so. Do any of the candidates have any suggestions that are based on sound economic principles rather than politics? I haven't heard any yet.

The kinds of things that the Dems talk about (mostly social programs) will only raise taxes, dampening consumer spending, and thus, aggregate demand.

The things that the Reps talk about, like lowering taxes, will only cause the budget deficit, and the national debt and its concomitant interest payment burden, to increase, thus effectively selling our economy, one bond at a time, to the Chinese...

What's the solution? Is there a solution? What can we do?

Not sure anything can get us out of this mess.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Anti-climactic debut for Fred Flintstone Thompson

Talk about a let-down. Man, this guy is sterile.

But in spite of all that, the talk is that he's gotten in too late. Too late? I say everybody else got in too early! I, for one, am sick of just about all of them. Fred got one thing right: This whole escapade has been one long preseason.

Thompson announces candidacy on Leno - Yahoo! News

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Remove FEMA from DHS

US Labor in short supply

The Emerging Workforce Crisis

This is a very good article on the crisis that nobody talks about. Oh, it's not as inflammatory as illegal workers, but it's more frightening. What we're talking about here is the shortage of qualified workers right here in the US of A.

More from CNN Money.

Robber beats woman with fake leg


I guess she'll think twice before trying to be a Good Samaritan!

Air Force flies nukes over US, by "mistake" of course

Wired News - AP News
A B-52 bomber was mistakenly armed with six nuclear warheads and flown for more than three hours across several states last week, prompting an Air Force investigation and the firing of one commander, Pentagon officials said Wednesday.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

China vows to slowly kill us one by one

Senator Larry Craig is reconsidering his resignation




AP: Craig reconsiders decision to resign - Yahoo! News
BOISE, Idaho - Sen. Larry Craig is reconsidering his decision to resign after his arrest in a Minnesota airport sex sting and may still fight for his Senate seat, his spokesman said Tuesday evening.
This guy gives new meaning to the term flip-flopper!

More on Larry "I'm still not gay, lookin' for man-love in all the wrong places" Craig. For those of you who haven't read his signed guilty plea, which, by definition, means he's guilty, here you go:

Interesting piece on Gerald(o) Rivera

Making waves - The Boston Globe

Bet you didn't know he was an egotistical rich bastard!
"Michelle Malkin is the most vile, hateful commentator I've ever met in my life," he says. "She actually believes that neighbors should start snitching out neighbors, and we should be deporting people.

"It's good she's in D.C. and I'm in New York," Rivera sneers. "I'd spit on her if I saw her."


Rudy Giuliani to face some serious -- and not so serious -- criticisms

The REAL Rudy

I'm sure the first thing he'll do is get them to stop using his name and likeness on the web site...then obfuscate, deny, and whine. Just like all the other Repugnicans. They've all learned a lot from Bushie.

The Sexy Fascist State by Mark Morford

America, The Sexy Fascist State / Surveillance cameras are booming. The question is, do they make your butt look big?
It all comes down, I suppose, to how you choose to see it: It's either incredibly disturbing and shockingly dangerous and illuminates a rather ugly side of the failed human experiment, or it's all just a bit silly, hugely flawed, laughably inept. Then again, much like the Bush regime itself, it's probably both.
Morford speaks the truth, in such an elegant way.

Diane Feinstein is a (blank) sucker

Firedoglake - Firedoglake weblog » Wrong…Very, Very Wrong, Part Deux
And what do we meanies on the blogs and out in the hinterlands of America really want? We want them to do their jobs.
Diane Feinstein turned -- yet again -- on the party she calls her own.

I can't remember the last time Feinswine did her freakin' job. She ought to be fired for at least two things:
  • Failure to perform
  • Insubordination
Not to mention:
  • Ethics violations

Horsepower wars in overdrive

Chasing Bugatti: Two Upstart Carmakers Race to Beat the King
SSC Ultimate Aero TT
This American-built supercar is powered by a massive V8 engine fitted with two turbochargers. Engineers tuned its aerodynamic signature at NASA's Langley wind tunnel, and a test driver hit 230 mph during a recent trial run in Nevada before being forced to slow by road conditions. The throttle was at just 56 percent.
Engine: Twin-turbo 6.3-liter V8
Power: 1,183 hp
0 to 60 mph: 2.8 seconds
Weight: 2,750 pounds
Price: $549,000
Price of knowing you're killing the planet on your own terms, all by yourself: Priceless

Private student loans next credit debacle?

Reeling In the College-Bound - New York Times

I'm jealous -- Dan Meyers founded a private student loan company, First Marblehead, modeled after other securitized loans, and made bazillions.

But did he make it by exploiting students?

From this New York Times article, I'd say he didn't.

However, the business he originated may be. Congress and New York state are investigating predatory lending practices by the student loan industry.

Saturday, September 01, 2007