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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Bad metaphor du jour

We can't impose freedom, but we can eliminate roadblocks to freedom, and to allow free societies to develop.
-- aWol, yesterday

You mean like this roadblock to freedom in Iraq?

Or maybe this one in the West Bank?

Occupation isn't the path to freedom--it's the opposite of freedom.

Of course, Bush has no interest in freedom. His latest executive order is a threat to us all:
The new Executive Order quietly signed by Bush this week... bestows upon himself -- and designated minions -- the arbitrary power to seize the assets of anyone whom he decides "poses a significant risk" of commiting violence aimed at "undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people."
Chris Floyd analyzes this Nazi proclamation in greater detail.

When it comes to hating freedom, nobody hates freedom more than George Bush--except maybe Dick Cheney.


Oil nears all-time high. Strangely, about a month ago oil was under $70 a barrel, while local gas prices were near all-time highs at $3.59. Now that oil is pushing new highs, gas is back at $2.99 or less per gallon locally.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


The Bush administration is preparing a package of arms sales to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states that could be worth some $20 billion over the next 10 years, a senior U.S. defense official said on Saturday.
The United States has sought to allay Israeli concerns about the forthcoming package. The senior U.S. defense official said Washington was working on a military assistance deal for Israel expected to top $30 billion during the next decade, a significant increase on current levels.
The package would cover other U.S. allies in the Gulf, the official said. Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are expected to benefit, the Times and Post said.
The United States also is preparing a package of military assistance worth some $13 billion in the next decade for Egypt, another U.S. ally in the Middle East, a senior State Department official said.
Egypt--home of Mohammed Atta. Saudi Arabia--birthplace of 16 of Atta's alleged 9/11 accomplices, as well as Osama bin Laden. Both countries brutal repressors of their people, as are most of the other countries on the weapons list. In fact, counting Israel's brutal rule of Palestine and the US's brutal misrule of Iraq and Afghanistan, a huge percentage of the Muslim world is oppressed by the un-elected leaders of these countries. Why, it's practically a caliphate!

The chances that these weapons will someday (probably soon) be used against each other are great. That some will be used against Americans is also quite high. None of this matters to our Daddy Warbucks government, and it hasn't for decades. We armed Iran and Iraq during their war in the 1980's (begun by Saddam largely at US urging). We arm long-time nuclear enemies India and Pakistan. Like free trade but even worse, perpetual war is good for the wealthy few running the world, and terrible for everyone else.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Wounded soldiers as props


AWol used two of his victims as props for a photo op yesterday. It amazes me that these soldiers could still be so brainwashed as to agree to appear with this war criminal. I'd love to see one of them give Bush an emergency colonoscopy with one of those metal feet.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Reasonableness will be punished

In Monday's debate from Charleston, S.C., Obama was asked by a questioner via YouTube if he would be willing to meet--without precondition--in the first year of his presidency with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea.

"I would," he responded.
This bit of reasonableness, of course, was an open invitation to Hillary to go into "more Republican than thou" mode:
"I thought that was irresponsible and frankly naive," Clinton was quoted in an interview..."I don't want to be used for propaganda purposes," she said.
Yeah, like meeting with Hillary would be a big coup for Fidel or Hugo. AP impartially asks a bunch of Republicrats like Madeleine Albright and flat-out Republicans to comment on Obama's "gaffe," and of course they reinforce Hillary's BS.
"Anything that looks like pandering to dictators is bad politics in South Florida," said Republican state Rep. David Rivera of Miami.
Funny, I don't recall Bush's smooching up to the beheading terror-exporting Saudi dictators, or the people-boiling Karimov of Uzbekistan, or Osama-harboring Musharraf of Pakistan, costing him votes in Florida in 2004. Not to mention that Chavez and Ahmedinajad are in no way dictators.

The common "wisdom" of the "mainstream" politicians and pundits is so non-sensical it just makes me want to Ralph--again.

Wishin' Accomplished

From R.J. Matson.

From Jeff Parker.

From Tom Toles.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Quote du jour

The enemy, by the way, defines success as, can they pull off a car bombing. If we ever allow ourselves to get in a position where it's "no car bombings, therefore we're successful," we've just handed these killers a great victory.
-- pResident George W. Bush, yesterday

Not content to be Big Brother (or maybe Big Brother Cheney's little buddy), Bush wants to go Big Brother one better:


Thursday, July 19, 2007


I was in Iraq '78 to '80 when it was a real republic of fear when -- in the way that security system worked, it just made everybody afraid of talking to anybody else, afraid to talk to your neighbors, afraid to talk even in your family.
-- US Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker, May 3, 2007
If there is one word, I would use to sum up the atmosphere in Iraq -- on the streets, in the countryside, in the neighborhoods and at the national level -- that word would be fear.
US Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker, today.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

From Tom Tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Making the world safe for opium

Afghanistan's heroin-producing poppy crop set another record this season, despite intensified eradication efforts, the American ambassador said Tuesday.

Ambassador William Wood said preliminary data show that Afghan farmers harvested 457,135 acres of opium poppies this year, compared to 407,715 acres last year. The growing industry fuels the Taliban, crime, addiction and government corruption.

Follow the money

As long as Shillary Clinton and Bigbuck Obama continue to sell their souls to the highest bidders, those highest bidders are the people they will represent. Letting the wealthy buy Congress and the White House is completely undemocratic, and has ghastly consequences which we read about every day.

Bob Edgar of Common Cause has a question for the Democratic pResidential candidates: Who supports public campaign financing? You can try to get CNN's Anderson Cooper to ask this question on Monday by going here.

What's in your wallet?

That's the dollar crashing versus the euro over the past 8 1/2 years. From CBS Marketwatch.

It looks as though something happened in 2001 which turned dollars from something to have into something to avoid. (Hint: It wasn't 9/11, although the reaction to it certainly played a part.)

Monday, July 16, 2007

Most foreign insurgents in iraq are Saudis

After Americans, that is, of course. AFP:
Most foreign fighters and suicide bombers in Iraq come from Saudi Arabia, despite attempts by US officials to portray Syria and Iran as the main culprits of violence, a US newspaper reported Sunday.

Citing an unnamed senior US military officer and Iraqi lawmakers, the Los Angeles Times newspaper said about 45 percent of all foreign militants targeting US troops and Iraqi security forces were from Saudi Arabia, 15 percent from Syria and Lebanon, and 10 percent from North Africa
There's some progress aWol can cite: 79% of the alleged 9/11 hijackers were Saudis! Gasoline at $3.40 a gallon has bought a 34% reduction in Saudi terror involvement! Still, I think compared to Iran's miniscule alleged involvement, this should require all 100 senators to forcefully condemn Saudi Arabia. Yes, Sen. Vitter, this is worth sacrificing your manhood for! (At least as far as I'm concerned.)

Come on, America. If the Bush/Cheney lies aren't enough to convince you to impeach the bastards, how about the blatant hypocrisy? Every awful crime or thoughtcrime they've ever accused Saddam Hussein or Iran of goes a hundred times over for "allies" Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. No, we shouldn't go to war with Saudi Arabia or Pakistan. But the provocations from these two countries are far greater than anything Iraq, Iran, or even Afghanistan ever did.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

All the Benchmarks I Need

Yesterday, Iraqi Prime Target Minister Nouri al-Maliki said that Iraqis can handle security and American forces can leave "any time they want."

And then there's this from AP on a trial of Marines charged with killing Iraqi civilians:
A Marine corporal testifying in a court-martial said Marines in his unit began routinely beating Iraqis after officers ordered them to "crank up the violence level."

Cpl. Saul H. Lopezromo testified Saturday at the murder trial of Cpl. Trent D. Thomas.

"We were told to crank up the violence level," said Lopezromo, testifying for the defense.

When a juror asked for further explanation, Lopezromo said: "We beat people, sir."
Lopezromo, who was not part of the squad on its late-night mission, said he saw nothing wrong with what Thomas did.

"I don't see it as an execution, sir," he told the judge. "I see it as killing the enemy."

He said Marines consider all Iraqi men part of the insurgency.
Meanwhile, back at home, pResidential candidate John Edwards tries to discount Maliki's message by calling him a "weak leader." Edwards also made headlines, although not enough, for plotting with fellow big-money corporate Dumbocrat Hillary to eliminate all quality opposition in their path to the White House.
According to the Associated Press, Fox News Channel microphones picked up Clinton and Edwards on stage discussing their desire to limit future joint appearances to exclude some rivals lower in the crowded field. "We should try to have a more serious and a smaller group," Edwards said into Clinton's ear following a Presidential Forum in Detroit hosted by the NAACP on Thursday.

Clinton agreed with Edwards, according to print reports and video footage of the exchange. "We've got to cut the number. ... They're not serious," she said. Clinton added that she thought representatives of her campaign and Edwards' had already tried to limit the debates, and "we've gotta get back to it," according to the AP.
In case you're wondering, Hillary's definition of "serious" is "having millions of corporate bribe money on hand." Hillary has been in the Senate for more than six years, and hasn't once been serious about stopping the war in Iraq or the fascist takeover of our government. If she and Edwards want to eliminate the "unserious" candidates, they should be the first to go.

In fact, on Thursday Hillary joined 96 other senators in supporting a Joe Lieberman amendment to a bill which basically declares war on Iran. Only three senators didn't vote for this saber-rattling BS, including Sen. Johnson (D-SD), who is still recovering from brain surgery, and Sen. Vitter (R-LA), who is currently on the sexual lam. (His wife once said she'd be more Lorena Bobbitt than Hillary Clinton if her hubby cheated on her, and now that there's evidence he did, he apparently won't come back--even to vote for another war!) Of course, Michigan's icreasingly horrible senior senator was all for it:
"There is no division when it comes to threats to the troops of the United States," Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., said. "We want to make it very clear to the government of Iran that we speak as one when it comes to protecting those troops from those kinds of threats."
Levin immediately signaled that he wanted to join Lieberman, even though the two have been at sharp odds over Iraq for months. Still, Levin said of Iran, "We should speak with one voice on this issue."

Hillary, Edwards, Lieberman, Levin. Scum of the earth, they are, really.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Dollar sinks to new low against the euro

The euro broke through the $1.38 mark Friday for the first time, as persistent worries about the strength of the U.S. economy pushed the European currency higher.
And oil's selling at $73.93 a barrel on NYMEX, nearing an all-time high. What the stock market is so excited about I don't know--the US economy seems to be swirling the bowl on its way down. Of course, the prospect of endless war always thrills Wall Street, and with Cheney in the White House and the Dumbocrats on Capitol Hill, every day is a trip to the amusement park for the war profiteers.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Chocolate Rations Are Up!

NY Times headline: Report on Iraq Sees Progress; Bush Rejects Troop Pullout

It appeared that there had even been demonstrations to thank Big Brother for raising the chocolate ration to twenty grammes a week. And only yesterday, he reflected, it had been announced that the ration was to be reduced to twenty grammes a week. Was it possible that they could swallow that, after only twenty-four hours? Yes, they swallowed it.
-- George Orwell, 1984, Part 1, Chapter 5

If you are wondering what might be coming next, the complete text of 1984 is online.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


I saw Michael Moore's new movie on Sunday. Excellent and entertaining. Oh--enlightening, educational and edifying as well. Not particularly alliterative, though.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Quote du jour

The longer I'm here, the more I'm persuaded that Iraq cannot be analyzed by these kind of discrete benchmarks.
US Ambassador to Iraq Ryan C. Crocker, dictating to NY Times stenographers from Saddam's former Republican Palace (his Democratic Palace was leveled by cruise missiles in the first days of the war).

What Crocker is saying, I think, is that the longer he and his fellow invaders are there the more obvious it becomes that no benchmarks will ever be reached.

Elsewhere from the article:
On the potential for worsening violence after an American withdrawal from Iraq, [Crocker] said: "You have to look at what the consequences would be, and you look at those who say we could have bases elsewhere in the country. Well yes, we could, but we would have the prospect of American forces looking on while civilians by the thousands were slaughtered. Not a pretty prospect."
As opposed to now, where American forces don't just look on (though they do plenty of that), but they also take part in the slaughtering and being slaughtered.
Mr. Crocker said there were better ways to measure progress, including the levels of security across Iraq, progress in delivering basic services like electricity to the population, and steps by Iraqi leaders from rival groups to work more collaboratively.
So how's all that going, Mr. Crocker? Care to set some benchmarks? Got any evidence that the American presence has improved any of that? Why didn't you bring this up before?

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Quote du jour

I'm proud of you, Mom. You're like Christopher Columbus--discovering something that millions of people knew about before you!
-- Lisa Simpson, after her mother Marge finally gets introduced to the Internet.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Impeach Cheney

It will make impeaching Bush so much more satisfactory. Sign petitions here and here.

Then again, based on her track record so far, President Pelosi will probably pardon them both and appoint them to her cabinet.

And a Grim one at that...

From Doonesbury.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Hey Dumbos! YOU run Congress now!

Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM) joined the growing list of Repugs who are starting to realize that way too much is almost enough when it comes to the ongoing slaughter in Iraq (approaching one million Iraqis dead due to the invasion). The "leaders" in Congress jumped on the news:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Thursday it was time Republicans backed up their words with action and voted to bring troops home.
Defund. Impeach. It's in the Dems' power to do both. But they're STILL waiting for the Repugs to take the lead. "Worthless" doesn't begin to describe it.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Quote du jour de Independence

Remember, no matter how many times words like freedom and liberty vomit from the chimp-like mouth of George W. Bush, they’re still good things. It may, however, be a while before we can hear them without flinching.

BTW, I walked with the peaceniks (Michigan Peaceworks) in Ann Arbor's Fourth of July parade this morning. Aside from one or two cranks, our reception was extremely positive. At times, it felt like we'd won the World Series or returned safely from the moon or something.

Too bad aWol didn't come here for his speech. I guess a captive audience in an airplane hanger in Lynndie England's home state is more to his liking.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

(Obstruction of Justice)2

So Cheney has commuted Libby's sentence.
"I respect the jury's verdict," Bush said in a written statement. "But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive. Therefore, I am commuting the portion of Mr. Libby's sentence that required him to spend 30 months in prison."
Thirty months is too harsh for a convicted rich-white-guy criminal, but 76 months (and counting) for dark-skinned hostages at Gitmo doesn't even phase our ruling criminals.

But don't worry, the Dumbocrats are all over this one. Harry Reid says that "history" will judge Bush harshly for this particular travesty of justice (the Libby one, not the far greater Gitmo one). Jonathan Schwarz comments:
Oh, if only the United States Senate had some way of judging George Bush! If only our Founding Fathers had had the foresight to provide such a method in Article I, Section 3, Clause 6 of our Constitution!

But sadly, the Senate is completely powerless in such situations, leaving this matter entirely in the hands of history.
Of course, Bush didn't consider any of the 152 executions he approved as governor of Texas to be too harsh. But those weren't rich white guys.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Putting out Rudy's fire

From TPM Cafe:

Giuliani's efforts to run on on his 9/11 performance have hit another snag as the president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association, New York's firefighter union, has vowed to sink his candidacy. As one would expect from an organization of firefighters, the UFA is not kidding around:

The UFA "will never be with Rudy Giuliani," [UFA head Steve Cassidy] proclaimed. "We will make it known that he is not qualified to lead."
"For someone running for the highest office in the country claiming to be a leader on terrorism, Giuliani's track record stinks," Cassidy declared.

Unless, of course, you compare his track record to that of the current occupant of that office.

Happy "Bring 'em on" day!

July 2, 2003--A day which continues to live in infamy, the day on which aWol told the insurgents to "bring 'em on."

So how'd that work out?