Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Tavis Smiley Leaving NPR

I'm gonna be honest, maybe a little ugly and maybe a little silly. I'm not Tavis' biggest fan. Though I listen to NPR daily, I rarely catch his program and, even though I tape his PBS show (because it comes on at 1am), I almost always forget to watch it too. You see, he has a kazoo-like timbre to his voice that basically grates my nerves. I have a few issues with his diction, his inappropriate lapses into slang and ... I really just have a hard time with the name "Tavis." For some reason, it conjures up visions of Blaine and Antione. I keep seeing them - wrists twirling, lisps in full force - calling him "Tavist." It's an odd train of thought but, hey, that's where he takes me.

Smiley criticized NPR for what he characterized as its failure to "meaningfully reach out to a broad spectrum of Americans who would benefit from public radio but simply don't know it exists or what it offers ... In the most multicultural, multi-ethnic and multiracial America ever, I believe that NPR can and must do better in the future."

The launch of "The Tavis Smiley Show" was designed in part for NPR and its member stations to reach out to minority listeners.
(link via afronetizen)

I guess I really don't buy that somehow NPR let Tavis down. To his credit, I'd say that he got a lot more exposure and had the opportunity to appeal to a much broader audience than the "Tom Joyner Morning Show" demographic (a show which didn't make it in the Bay Area - thank God ... I listened to him in the 70's and I've outgrown him). He was given the opportunity to interview a wider range of guests than he had on BET and was able to showcase some of my favorites like Cornel West and give a voice to black conservatives like Joseph C. Phillips. I see it as a net win for him.

For NPR, on the other hand, I'm guessing they didn't pull in the broader audience that they wanted. For that, however, I am not sure I can place blame on them or their marketing of him. Tavis has a strong following in the black community and with the "hip-hop" crowd. From his days on BET, his books, his collaboration with Tom Joyner and his coordination of the annual "State of the Black [dot dot dot]" specials on C-Span, I think it was on him to bring his crowd with him ... much in the way barbers and beauticians bring their old clients to a new shop. He didn't. Is that NPR's fault? I don't think so. I just can't envision too many of the folks who supported Tavis on BET and the "call in for some free tickets" shows tuning into him on NPR when more often than not, it seems, NPR is asking you to send them money. It's one thing listen to him for a segment with the "fly jock" but quite another to tune in to a station where all they do is talk - with no music, buffoonery or prizes (I know that sounds a little Bill Cosby-esque but...).

I can't say I'm surprised that he's leaving - nor am I really disappointed. He'll do fine in his next life. He definitely has a following and NPR, surely, can find another black person to draw in a more diverse audience. "Tavist" just wasn't it.

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They Know They Look Stupid

Now this is "hard work!"



(link via nykola.com)

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How The East Was Won


While a neophyte United States expanded west, Russia conquered an inhospitable territory to its east--Siberia, a vast land of majestic beauty and abundant natural resources. This is the little-known story of how the east was won, Russian-style--from settlement by ancestors of North America's indigenous people; 16th-century Cossack invasion; the 1890s, when the Trans-Siberian Railroad enabled convict labor; Communism's arrival in 1917; and the rush to develop heavy industry.

Wow! If I'd taken a good Russian history class in high school or college, perhaps I would have been as facinated as Condoleezza Rice was and would have parlayed it into some sort of career too. I watched Siberia: How The East Was Won over the weekend on The History Channel was totally engrossed.

Alas, so much to learn, so little time ...

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My Number!






You Are the Investigator



5




You're independent - and a logical analytical thinker.

You love learning and ideas... and know things no one else does.

Bored by small talk, you refuse to participate in boring conversations.

You are open minded. A visionary. You understand the world and may change it.





2 Comments:

At 8:21 AM, Blogger s.R said...

I'm a 5 as well. (thought i'd post it here instead of the listserv. *smile*)

 
At 1:26 AM, Blogger Fkitten said...

I was a nine
a mellow flower child at heart

 

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Oh, Gees Frickin' Louise!

Will somebody please throw this record on the floor and stomp it into a million pieces? The WHOLE WORLD knows that Dubya thinks he did the right thing in Iraq! Why must he keep repeating it over and over and over and over and over again?

"President Bush and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin sought on Tuesday to mend fences after four years of strained relations between the two neighbors aggravated by the U.S.-led war on Iraq. 'I made some decisions that some in Canada obviously didn't agree with,' Bush said.

'I'm the kind of fellow who does what I think is right,' Bush said in the Canadian capital, with Martin at his side at a joint news conference."

Heck! Just send me to Guantanamo! Hearing him defend his decision on Iraq is more torture than what they are doing down there!

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Go Home ...

Tell me something new! Where can this fool go without being greeted by protesters?

"Bush's trip here was the first official visit by a U.S. president in nearly 10 years and his meeting with Prime Minister Paul Martin was akin to a political dance; Bush wanted to avoid any missteps that could amplify anti-Americanism north of the U.S. border.

But his unpopularity in some Canadian quarters was unmistakable. Some of the several hundred protesters near the Parliament building were polite. 'Please leave,' read one sign along Bush's highly secured motorcade route. But others near where Bush and Martin met held placards that branded Bush an 'assassin.' A truck parked near the motorcade route was emblazoned with the phrase 'Bush is a war criminal.' Another placard simply commanded, 'Go Home ... ' and included an expletive."

Sorry Canadians, take my President ... please.

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If You Can't Win 'Em, Kill 'Em

I guess this whole plan of winning the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people is pretty much a wash. Let's just get real about it, our death numbers are fast reaching those of Sadaam, in record time. Things aren't getting better and are, in fact, worse than they were while Sadaam was in power.

The US-led war in Iraq has created a healthcare disaster in a country where 20 years of war, mismanagement and sanctions had already left public health in a fragile state, a UK-based medical charity said today.

Medact reported that the health of Iraq's people had deteriorated since the 2003 invasion, both as a direct result of violence and through the collapse of medical facilities, public health provision and essential infrastructure such as water supplies. The report specifically blamed the tactics of the US-led occupying forces for exacerbating the country's health problems, particularly the decision to sideline the UN, which has traditionally handled humanitarian relief efforts.

Medact cited a nationwide survey of nearly 1,000 Iraqi households, published in the Lancet, as evidence that the war had caused around 100,000 deaths since the US and British invasion in April 2003.

"Violence accounted for most of these deaths, particularly air strikes by coalition forces. More than half of those reportedly killed by coalition forces were women and children," the Medact report said.

It called for a re-evaluation of the weaponry used by coalition forces in populated areas, given the high rate of civilian casualties.

The risk of death from violence in the 18 months after the invasion was 58 times higher than in the 15 months before it, the report said, while the risk of death from all causes was 2.5 times higher after the invasion than before. The effects of the war left Iraqi society less able to respond to the public health crisis created by the 2003 invasion.

What good will it do to save a people if we have to kill half of them to acheive it?

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Monday, November 29, 2004

How Many Can We Kill?

I nearly choked when Chris Matthews asked this question on Hardball last week:

MATTHEWS: Oh, I don‘t doubt that. How many Arabs can we kill to convince the Arab world we like them?

MCCAFFREY: Oh, could many on. That's not a good way to set it up.

MATTHEWS: If you‘re looking at it from the other side. If we continue to kill them night after night to kill Arabs because we‘re trying to save the cities. And the Arab people in the world, the Muslim people, keep seeing us kill them, when do they get to the idea we‘re over there to help them? How does that work?

But, now given the fact that we've flattened Fallujah (much like the late Syrian President Hafez al-Assad flattened Hamah - we're in such good company now) and have supposedly used skin-melting napalm against insurgents and, without a stretch of the imagination, innocent civilians, how does this work?

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Nooooo, Not Napalm ....

Lord, I hope hope, hope, hope we did not do this!

"If it is proven that US forces deployed napalm on the citizens of Fallujah it will send shockwaves through the international community.

Claims of napalm have been heightened by eyewitness accounts of the Fallujah attack. Abu Sabah told the news agency IPS: 'They used these weird bombs that put up smoke like a mushroom cloud. Then small pieces fall from the air with long tails of smoke behind them.'

Reports of 'melted' dead bodies are emerging from Fallujah, prompting Labour MP Alice Mahon to demand a Commons statement from Tony Blair clarifying the position regarding napalm and unconventional weapons.

Fallujah resident Abu Hammad is quoted as saying: 'Poisonous gases have been used.' He described how the bombs exploded into fires that burnt the skin, similar to that caused by napalm.

The Independent on Sunday quoted an American commander, Colonel James Alles of Marine Air Group 11, admitting the use of napalm in Iraq.

He said: 'We napalmed both those [bridge] approaches. Unfortunately there were people there ... you could see them in the [cockpit] video. They were Iraqi soldiers. It's no great way to die. The generals love napalm. It has a big psychological effect.'"

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Here We Go Again ...

I was certainly about to go through my "what's wrong with y'all" in Texas meme but I am glad to see that Texas isn't the post-partum/baby killing capital of the world. But, the minute I heard this story I knew there were going to be some religious undertones

"Though the killings have been brutal, legal and psychiatric experts say such cases are no more common here than in other states.

They note that several factors have caused Texas to get more attention on the issue, including intense media coverage following the Yates case that may have created an illusion that Texas has more mothers killing children.

'Texas seems to be a lightning rod,' said George Parnham, the Houston attorney who defended Yates. 'I don't necessarily go with the idea that we're wackos down here.'
Dena Schlosser, 35, was charged with capital murder Monday after calmly telling a 911 operator that she had cut off the arms of 11-month old Margaret. Police found Schlosser sitting in her living room, covered in blood, a church hymn playing in the background."

I do wish, though, that Texas would come out of the dark ages when it comes to mental illness and that its male citizens would stop breeding with women who, obviously, never recover from post-partum depression from previous children.

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Where In The World Is Carmen San Diego Osama Bin Laden

I swear, the world is missing out on some folks who should be brain surgeons or rocket scientists. Bin Laden isn't hiding in in or near Pakistan and, just a few weeks after the US election, they decide to suspend efforts to find him.

"After more than two years of battling remnants of al Qaeda and the Taliban, Pakistan's government has announced it will end its military operation in the tense tribal region of South Waziristan.

The province along the border with Afghanistan is among the potential hiding places for Osama bin Laden and his top lieutenants.

The announcement late Friday came a day after a Pakistani army commander said repeated searches by the military have failed to turn up any trace of bin Laden in the tribal lands."

Really! Everyone was positive he was sitting around in a cave for three years waiting for the Pakistani special forces to root him out. In his pre-election greeting to the people of the United States, he certainly looked as though he was in good health and spirits ... just the way most cave dwellers with kidney disease would look. Gosh. I'm just dazzled by the brilliance of our allies . They acknowledged the obvious. Maybe if we are really nice to the other countries that are rumored hiding places (like Iran and China), we can get them to search until the end of Bush's term. At least he'd be able to say he never stopped looking for that evil doer.

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Monday, November 22, 2004

Simply Ridiculous!

I sure hope this dude is bona fide crazy because this is just insane!

"A trespassing deer hunter in Wisconsin opened fire without warning on other hunters when they asked him to leave, killing five and wounding three, police say. Chai Soua Vang, 36, of St. Paul, Minnesota, a member of that city's Hmong community, emptied his SKS semiautomatic rifle into the hunter who confronted him on Sunday and others who had come to his aid, Sawyer County Sheriff James Meier told a news conference on Monday.

Vang is 'showing some cooperation' with investigators but has not been charged, Meier added.

Police in Minnesota said they knew of nothing in Vang's past that would have predicted the violent incident.

'This is an incredible tragedy,' said Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle, one that clouds a tradition-rich annual autumn deer hunt in which more than half a million hunters take to the woods.

'It's just unbelievable,' added Meier, the sheriff.

He said Vang apparently got lost, asked for directions and later wandered onto a 400-acre parcel of private land where 'he found an empty deer stand and crawled up and occupied it.' Hunters often build platforms called stands from which they watch for deer to appear within shooting range.

Meier said a hunter using the land saw Vang in the stand, radioed others in his party and said he was going to ask the intruder to leave. The land owner and others in the party arrived shortly thereafter, the sheriff said, and Vang after walking about 35 metres 'turned and he opened fire on the group' after apparently removing the telescopic sight from the rifle."

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Adds Absolutely Nothing To Genuine Political Discourse

Hallelujah! There is a God ... or at least someone with sense enough to take out stinking garbage when it is smelling up the place. Hopefully other outlets will follow suit and drop Michelle Malkin like a bad habit.

Michelle Malkin had been added, giving another voice to the conservatives. But readers often took issue with her seemingly mean-spirited rantings and suggested that she be dropped.

Well, she’s outta here, silenced for being “too stridently anti-liberal,” the assessment of the editorial board, Hartig said.

“I was really put off by her penchant for name-calling and ad hominem attack. I think we can do much better,” said editorial writer Don Luzzatto.

Says fellow editorial writer Bronwyn Lance Chester: “I think she habitually mistakes shrill for thought-provoking and substitutes screaming for discussion. She’s an Asian Ann Coulter.

“I also think that, like Coulter, she says outrageous things just to get TV appearances and book deals. She’s the worst of what’s wrong with punditry today. She adds absolutely nothing to genuine political discourse.”

So why did we add Malkin in the first place? I asked Chesley.

“We wanted another conservative voice on the page,” he said. “Also, she was Asian American and gave a viewpoint you don’t always hear from Asian Americans.”

Wait a minute! Rewind! Did they add her because "she was Asian American and gave a viewpoint you don’t always hear from Asian Americans?” Isn't that affirmative action? Isn't she staunchly against programs of that nature? I'm shocked that she would allow herself to be tokenized. But then again, I am sure that she thinks she is so brilliant that the Asian was never part of her appeal. Oh well, back to the point: "She adds absolutely nothing to genuine political discourse!"

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Still Between That Rock And A Hard Place

As much as I would love for us to just pull out of Iraq, I know, along with the rest of the world, that we just can't. Other nations in the Middle East, like Egypt, are just as afraid of what will happen if/when we leave as I am.

"An early withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraq may lead to civil war, Egypt's foreign minister said, as his Iraqi counterpart begins two days of talks with neighboring countries and officials from the Group of Eight nations.

Ahmed Aboul Gheit said that delegates to the conference in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh will call for international troops to leave Iraq by the end of 2005. At the same time, in comments carried by the state news agency MENA, he warned that an early withdrawal may lead to a fight for power.
"If the foreign forces pull out early form Iraq, I expect that there will be a civil war,'' Aboul Gheit said. "Every party will be shooting at everybody else to capture power.'' "

This is nothing short of a fine mess Bush has gotten us into and I doubt it will be cleaned up by the time he leaves office.

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More Rocket Science

Perhaps there are many red staters who might find this to be news, but we need more troops in Iraq.

The officers said the exact number of extra troops needed is still being reviewed but estimated it at the equivalent of several battalions, or about 3,000 to 5,000 soldiers. The number of U.S. troops in Iraq fell to nearly 100,000 last spring before rising to 138,000, where it has stayed since the summer.

To boost the current level, military commanders have considered extending the stay of more troops due to rotate out shortly, or accelerating the deployment of the 3rd Infantry Division, which is scheduled to start in January. But a third option—drawing all or part of a brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division on emergency standby in the United States—has emerged as increasingly likely.

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Friday, November 19, 2004

Utter Contempt' for Humanity

Even though I am from the James Brown school of "don't start none, won't be none (IEEE we don't have any business over there and should have expected resistance)," I agree that this "war" has just turned into one big mass of civilian carnage and property destruction. So this goes for EVERYBODY involved:

"We are deeply concerned by the devastating impact that the fighting in Iraq is having on the people of that country," said Pierre Kraehenbuehl, the ICRC's director of operations.

"As hostilities continue in Fallujah and elsewhere, every day seems to bring news of yet another act of utter contempt for the most basic tenet of humanity: the obligation to protect human life and dignity," he added.

"For the parties to this conflict, complying with international humanitarian law is an obligation, not an option," Kraehenbuehl said in an unusually tough statement by the relief agency.

There are no WMD's and Saddam is gone. What could our mission possibly be that is worthy of all of this misery and how many people have to die (no matter who kills them) before it will end?

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Thursday, November 18, 2004

He's Dead Now

This is yet another event that I didn't even want to touch. I know this will probably be dismissed as a 'fog of war' mistake as opposed to a war crime. This may be one of the few episodes that was caught on tape and I am sure there are more. But, this kind of thing cannot continue. I understand that the young soldier had watched one of his comrades get blown up the day before and that he may have been trigger happy, traumatized and totally disoriented. I know this is a war but I don't see how they could have expected anyone who witnessed that kind of thing to go out and perform as though nothing had happened. What are they doing to the minds of our young men over there?
Narrating the video, NBC correspondent Kevin Sites reported that one of the Marines noticed that one of the injured was breathing. "he's f****** faking he's dead," the Marine shouts, raising his rifle and firing a single shot in the man's direction. At that point, the video as broadcast on US television, goes black, but an unidentified voice is heard saying, "he's dead now."

In a report that accompanied the footage, Sites said, "The prisoner did not appear to be armed or threatening in any way."

Under international law, military forces have an obligation to protect and provide necessary medical attention to wounded insurgents who are "hors de combat" -- or outside of combat that is, those who no longer pose a threat.

"The deliberate shooting of unarmed and wounded fighters who pose no immediate threat is a war crime under international law," said Amnesty, who stressed that the U.S. authorities should immediately investigate the case and hold perpetrators responsible.

Under the circumstances, the only defense would be that the Marine had reason to believe that the insurgent was armed and posed a threat, in which case the shooting would constitute an act of self-defense.

I don't see a positive end to this conflict in Iraq. Our motives were shaky at best and the insurgents have no intention of ceasing their fight against us. We have virtual teenagers over there fighting a guerilla war when the most many of them had previously seen was a schoolyard rumble. I just cannot imagine how warped they will be if and when they get back. Yes, that Iraqi insurgent is "dead now." Unfortunately, a lot of our young soldiers are too - physically, mentally and/or spiritually.

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Blows The Mind!

I can see I am going to be speechless on a regular basis.
"House Republicans voted on Wednesday to change their own rules to allow their powerful Majority Leader Tom DeLay to keep his post even if he is indicted in connection with illegal fund-raising activities.

In a closed-door session, House Republicans approved the rule change in a voice vote to allow a leader or chairman to keep his post after an indictment. The leadership would then make recommendations, based on whether the indictment was deemed legitimate or politically-motivated."

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Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Sometimes You Just Don't Have The Strength

... to go there. So it is nice when you find someone who did. I don't watch football so never see any of the commercials. But, I let out an "oh Jeeee-sus!" when I heard there was some hoopla over one of the advertisements. I saw the offensive ad this morning and the minute I saw blond Nicolette Sheridan and that big, black buck football player, I sighed because I knew that whatever happened next, it wasn't about decency it, was about the same ole, same ole, same ole ...

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It's The Loyalty Stupid!

Anytime I am agreeing with Bill O'Reilly that Bill Clinton would be a better choice for Secretary of State than Condi Rice, you know the doubts about Bush's choice are serious and far reaching. But, I think we've learned that experience is not one of the requirements for members of Bush's cabinet. It's loyalty.

"'Condoleezza Rice was loyal to the president, and clearly has his confidence, but she never really managed the inter-agency process the way a national security adviser should,' said Joseph Cirincione, an arms control expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. 'Most of the world will see Condi Rice as a step down from Colin Powell, and they would be right. She doesn't bring much experience or knowledge of the world to this position.'
There were reports yesterday that Mr Powell had hesitated before resigning as secretary of state. Although he had long said he would stand down after serving a single term, the Washington Post reported that he had recently expressed a desire to stay, but had been rebuffed by the White House.

'The president is trading off multiple viewpoints in favour of policy coherence, but the risk is that you are liable to be surprised by events that you hadn't anticipated,' said Raymond Tanter, who was on the national security council under Ronald Reagan. 'If the focus is on the global war on terror then the issues are simpler with respect to the demands they make on her skills. But if the focus is on postwar reconstruction of rogue regimes - the next Iraq - then you need to build a coalition of the willing, which takes considerable skill.'"

Seriously going to take up Yoga so I can keep breathing properly over the next four years.

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Damn! Damn! Damn!

(and the punch bowl crashes to the floor)

I guess I was being slightly naive to believe that they would release this woman unharmed. I hate to say that I feel worse about her because she is a woman but that is part of it. But the main thing that I really have an issue with is that this woman was not a mercenary or a contractor for KBR trying to make a mint in a short period of time. She was a humanitarian worker who'd spent the better part of her life trying to make things better for the people of Iraq. I know I posted early on that I thought/hoped/recommended that the kidnappers trade her in for someone else. I felt that another American might make their point more poingnant. I cannot see the point in capturing, torturing and killing this woman. I just can't.
"Hassan was believed to be the first foreign female hostage killed in Iraq's wave of kidnappings. More than 170 foreigners have been abducted this year, and at least 34 killed. One woman -- a Polish-Iraqi citizen -- remains captive.

Hassan's family in London said the longtime director of CARE in Iraq was likely the victim, and British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said analysis of the video showed Hassan has 'probably been murdered, although we cannot conclude this with complete certainty.'
CARE said it was in mourning for the 59-year-old Briton, a veteran humanitarian worker known around the Mideast for her concern for Iraqis -- particularly during the years of U.N. sanctions, whose effects on children she vocally denounced.

'To kidnap and kill anyone is inexcusable,' Straw said. 'But it is repugnant to commit such a crime against a woman who has spent most of her life working for the good of the people of Iraq.' "

I don't know which "terrorist" group committed this crime but this was NOT a smart move.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Bloggers Are Blazing

... new trails in the media.

Even though I've spent the past 16+ years or so with a career in technology, I do have a degree in Journalism and have been trying to find a way to get back to my writing roots. One can't really call themself a writer if they don't write and despite the same resolution every year, I just never got the motivation or inspiration to do much of it. So, even though I am no bigtime blogger with a wide reading audience, this is my way of making good on my resolution, brushing up on my old craft and making sure that I write - something - everyday.

My personal reasons for blogging aside, it seems that:

Blogs have drawn attention to political stories that more established media outlets then report on, and exposed flawed journalism by those same newspapers and television news programs. But some at the gathering said they face a near-constant struggle to establish the credibility enjoyed by professionals.

'Things get picked up by bloggers that take awhile to get picked up by the mainstream media,' said Mark Glaser, a columnist for the Online Journalism Review who writes about Web logs. 'Bloggers have to start from scratch in building trust.'

Glaser noted the importance of bloggers in tearing down CBS News' election season story about President Bush's service in the Texas Air National Guard. The constant barrage of questions and charges from the Web kept heat on the network until it admitted a mistake in relying on what turned out to be fake documents.

Mindy McAdams, a University of Florida journalism professor, applauded bloggers' efforts but urged them to adhere to ethical standards held by mainstream journalists.

"Our credibility is suffering with so many people rushing to publish things without checking them out," McAdams said after Cox's speech. "Blogging is really great. I like that more and more people have a voice. That's good ... But it doesn't give people who call themselves journalists an excuse to not check out the information."

I think blogs may end up being quite the force over the next four years of the Bush administration. He and his friends had better watch their backs!

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Punish, Ignore, Forgive

It's gonna be a long, LONG, four years:

"After all, it was Rice who raised eyebrows last year with her Machiavellian suggestions for how Washington should treat European opponents of the U.S.-led invasion.

''Punish France, ignore Germany and forgive Russia,'' Rice was widely quoted as telling associates in the spring of 2003"

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Monday, November 15, 2004

Chirac Says UK Got Punk'd

You'll just have to call me unpatriotic but there are times when I love Jacques Chirac. I know that I live in land of the world's only superpower but I think it is absurd for us to think that everyone else is just going to roll over, die and let us dictate world policy. I thought that part of the reason why Blair decided to support the United States was so that we would take a more even hand in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. To date, we've basically been on one side - that of Israel. But, leave it to Chirac to point out the obvious and say that the UK got nothing from Bush support:
"Chirac said he had urged Britain before the invasion to press U.S. President George W. Bush to revive the Middle East peace process in return for London's support.

'Well, Britain gave its support but I did not see much in return,' Chirac was quoted as saying in Tuesday's Times. 'I am not sure that it is in the nature of our American friends at the moment to return favours systematically.'

Blair's staunch support for Washington over Iraq led to bitter divisions within the Labour Party and dragged down his public approval ratings.
Chirac, who will hold talks with Blair when he makes a state visit to Britain on Thursday, recalled a Franco-British summit last year when he asked the prime minister to try to influence U.S. policy on the Middle East.

'I said then to Tony Blair: 'We have different positions on Iraq. Your position should at least have some use'. That is to try to obtain in exchange a relaunch of the peace process in the Middle East.'"

Chirac is right. Tony Blair is just plain stupid if he's put his own country through so much internal strife over the war in Iraq and won't have a damn thing to show for it.

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Brothas Can't Catch A Break

Why do sistah's always gotta be takin' a brotha's job? (LOL!) The ink isn't even dry on his resignation letter and little Miss Condi is ready to fly the globe trying to be diplomatic. I know Powell was not a fit with the rest of Bush's vulcans but now a henchman black woman will be there to happily do the things he fought so hard against?

"National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, one of President Bush's closest counselors, will be nominated to replace Colin Powell as secretary of state, ABC News has learned.

Senior administration sources confirmed that Rice would be Bush's choice. The news comes just hours after the White House announced Powell had submitted his resignation.

ABC News has also learned that Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley will likely replace Rice as national security adviser.

Powell submitted his resignation on Friday, though his departure was not announced until today.

The retired four-star general was known for his moderate views and for clashing with members of the administration on the issue of Iraq. Even so, it was Powell who went before the United Nations in February of 2003 to make a case for the U.S.- led invasion of Iraq.

Rice, if confirmed by the Senate, will take over the job of international diplomat during a war that has divided the nation and the world. "

Yeah, we knew it was coming. Bush will have a faithful neo-con in every slot now - given his "mandate." At least it seems that Mr. Spitcomb Wolfowitz won't be taking her old job. Lord help us!

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If Only


President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

Nigga please. Are you f’real?

Is you bugging with this whole Iraq shit? Then putting me up to fronting my American peeps with your lies? I don’t play that shit.

Bitch, you lucky I don’t roll up to your crib and put a hurt on you.

Read the entire letter at Human Bacon

Ahhh ... Wouldn't it be pretty to think so?

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More With Us Or Against Us BS

What country is this? I've always had some odd view that there was supposed to be a system of checks and balances in our government - not some Baathist regime where dessenters are tourtured and/or killed. Yet, it seems that Bush is at it again with getting rid of everyone who doesn't agree with him.
"The White House has ordered the new CIA director, Porter J. Goss, to purge the agency of officers believed to have been disloyal to President Bush or of leaking damaging information to the media about the conduct of the Iraq war and the hunt for Osama bin Laden, according to knowledgeable sources.

'The agency is being purged on instructions from the White House,' said a former senior CIA official who maintains close ties to both the agency and to the White House. 'Goss was given instructions ... to get rid of those soft leakers and liberal Democrats. The CIA is looked on by the White House as a hotbed of liberals and people who have been obstructing the president's agenda.' "

So much for diverse opinions in a democracy!

1 Comments:

At 5:38 PM, Blogger Fargus... said...

Yeah, things certainly are getting scary around Capitol Hill way, huh? Colin Powell resigns, bringing the average ideology of the remaining cabinet careening to the right, and now this purging of the CIA. I'm not a praying man, but if I were, I'd've been on my knees since the election.

 

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Who The Hell Asked Him?

Blair tells Europe to work with Bush:

"Tony Blair has urged Europe and the United States to bury differences over Iraq and focus their energies on global challenges such as lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Blair, speaking three days after meeting President George W. Bush, said on Monday to lampoon the U.S. administration was self-defeating and that a positive attitude from EU leaders could temper impulses in Washington to go it alone around the world.
'It is not a sensible or intelligent response for us in Europe to ridicule American arguments and parody their political leadership,' the prime minister told the Lord Mayor's Banquet in London -- his major foreign policy speech of the year."

Who do these men think they are? Bush and Blair have single handedly turned the world upside down with violence, divisions and hostility. Now he wants to lecture Europe on getting along with a manaical idiot? Bitch please!

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Sorry Everybody



The site features more than 2,200 pictures of contrite Americans holding up placards expressing their sorrow at the victory of George W. Bush. There are 1,000 more pictures waiting to be posted.

"It was mind-boggling the amount of emotion the website has triggered," said the 20-year-old neuroscience student at the University of Southern California.

Not all the emotional responses have been positive, however. Mr Zetlen's site for rueful Americans has spawned at least eight websites for people who say they are not at all sorry that Mr Bush beat Democratic candidate John Kerry.

Mr Zetlen said the reaction from outside the US has been overwhelmingly positive. "The international community is absolutely mortified at what has happened," he said.


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Family Values

The fact remains that the soldiers who do these kinds of things under the guise of following orders will return to the US sooner or later and will have to function as regular members of society.

AP colleagues in the Baghdad bureau, who by then had not heard from Hussein in 48 hours, became even more worried.

Hussein moved from house to house — dodging gunfire — and reached the river.

"I decided to swim ... but I changed my mind after seeing U.S. helicopters firing on and killing people who tried to cross the river."

He watched horrified as a family of five was shot dead as they tried to cross. Then, he "helped bury a man by the river bank, with my own hands."

"I kept walking along the river for two hours and I could still see some U.S. snipers ready to shoot anyone who might swim. I quit the idea of crossing the river and walked for about five hours through orchards."

I'm just not sure how many will be capable of forgetting what they've done nor how many innocent citizens will have to pay for their memories.

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Powell Throws In The Towel

Thank God! I don't know who will replace him but I am glad he is
stepping out.:
"'The Secretary announced to his staff this morning that he had submitted his resignation on Friday. He said he was staying on until a successor is confirmed and on board,' a State Department official, who asked not to be named, said.

An administration official also said Powell had said he would stay on 'until such a time as a replacement is named.'"

Brazen stupidity is a hard thing to accept in a boss. I am glad he is getting out of Dodge.

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Friday, November 12, 2004

Eve Of Destruction ...

And the band played on.
[...]
Eve of destruction, tax deduction, city inspectors, bill collectors,
Mod clothes in demand, population out of hand, suicide, too many bills,
Hippies moving to the hills.
People all over the world are shouting, 'End the war.'

And the band played on.

Great googalooga, can't you hear me talking to you.
Sayin'... ball of confusion.
That's what the world is today, hey, hey.
Let me hear ya, let me hear ya, let me hear ya.
Sayin'... ball of confusion.
That's what the world is today, hey, hey.
Let me hear ya, let me hear ya, let me hear ya, let me hear ya, let me hear ya.
Sayin'... ball of confusion.

For some reason I cannot get that song (Ball of Confusion by the Temptations) out of my mind everytime I think about Iraq. However, given the current state of things in the midst of our assault on Fallujah, I'd say it is totally apropos.

Fighting in Fallujah has created a humanitarian disaster in which innocent people are dying because medical help can’t reach them, aid workers in Iraq said on Wednesday.

In one case, a pregnant woman and her child died in a refugee camp west of the city after the mother unexpectedly aborted and no doctors were on hand, Firdoos al-Ubadi, an official from the Iraqi Red Crescent Society, told Reuters.

In another case, a young boy died from a snake bite that would normally have been easily treatable, she said.

"From a humanitarian point of view it’s a disaster, there’s no other way to describe it. And if we don’t do something about it soon, it’s going to spread to other cities," she said.

I just don't know how many lifetimes Americans will have to live through to pay for this atrocity.

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Murder!

No comments. Just read this:

"People in Falloojeh are being murdered. The stories coming back are horrifying. People being shot in cold blood in the streets and being buried under tons of concrete and iron... where is the world? Bury Arafat and hurry up and pay attention to what's happening in Iraq.

They say the people have nothing to eat. No produce is going into the city and the water has been cut off for days and days. Do you know what it's like to have no clean water??? People are drinking contaminated water and coming down with diarrhoea and other diseases. There are corpses in the street because no one can risk leaving their home to bury people. Families are burying children and parents in the gardens of their homes. WHERE IS EVERYONE???"

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Thursday, November 11, 2004

U.S. says Falluja battle won't break insurgency

And This Is News To Whom?

"The U.S. military says this week's Falluja offensive will not shatter Iraq's insurgency, while analysts argue that merely seizing real estate does little to stop rebels able to relocate and keep fighting.

U.S. officials have said Iraqi rebel leaders and foreigners, including al Qaeda ally Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, used the Sunni Muslim city west of Baghdad as a safe haven from which to direct a campaign of bombings, killings and kidnappings.

But U.S. commanders acknowledged Zarqawi and other senior insurgents probably left Falluja before Monday's launch of the long-expected offensive to take control of the city."

We've lost 18 American soldier's lives in a matter of days, killed and injured dozens of civilians for ... ?

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Silly Ho!

Okay, who is surprised? I like Bill Maher, think he is a good political pundit and was pissed when his show "Politically Incorrect" was pulled because he was ... politically incorrect about 9/11. But, he was an obvious pig and seemed to make any number of racist and misogynistic comments. Granted I think I could give him a run for his money in the wit/intellect department, but his nose is too dang big and he just comes off as an arrogant dirt bag. I don't mean to bash 'centerfold' types but if he were a real man, he would have been dating someone like Ann Coulter (can't stand her but she does have a brain) instead of some woman that - from her looks on the red carpet - resembles a freaking transvestite. If someone is making racist and insulting comments, you bail. Palimony is stupid because cows who give free milk shouldn't come a begging later. He's an ass! She's an idiot!

Comedian Bill Maher was slapped yesterday with a $9 million palimony suit by an ex-girlfriend who alleges that the HBO star subjected her to physical and verbal abuse, including 'insulting, humiliating and degrading racial comments.' In the below Los Angeles Superior Court complaint, Nancy Johnson, a centerfold model and former flight attendant also known as Coco Johnsen, alleges that Maher, 48, reneged on promises to pay her expenses and purchase a Beverly Hills home. Johnson, who says she dated Maher for 17 months before splitting from him in May, also contends that the performer promised to marry her and have children. Johnson, pictured at right, does not detail the degrading racial comments allegedly made by Maher, and recounts only one episode of supposed physical abuse by the host of HBO's 'Real Time.' She charges that Maher pulled her arm and shook her at one party, causing 'injuries to her back and neck,' and later that evening warned he'd hit her on the head with a hammer if she was unfaithful. "

2 Comments:

At 1:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is Vita. Great blog entry. There would be no way that I would stand for dating anyone who would make racial comments.Seems like Ms. Coco had a few self-esteem issues, no?

 
At 3:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One day... celebrity types will 'get it' and understand that there are vultures out there latching onto them for a fast buck and a few minutes of personal fame. On another day ...the general public will 'get it' and understand that if you speak out against the powers that be (and really tick them off) then they will air your dirty laundry (real or planted) for all to see.

 

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Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Oh Thee Who Own Jesus

Yes, the bats have been released from hell for sure! This letter to the editor is from but one bat who's zooming around, blindly, basking in the glow of Bush's re-election.

Jesus speaks through the Republicans
I hope the election of George W. Bush is seen as a wake-up call to all the liberal Democrats who oppose God's will.

It is His doing that George W. Bush is still our president. Millions of born-again Christians helped win this election through our prayers and votes. Jesus speaks through the Republicans.

The Democrats will not be able to win elections until they renounce their sinful ways and stop encouraging abortions, gayness, and trying to take away our guns.

Earl Balboa
Washington Township

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Getting One's Kills On

Sounds Like A Plan:

Fallujah: the plan
Step one, take over the hospital: "One unnamed senior American officer also admitted that the hospital had become a 'centre of propaganda,' reflecting the military's frustration at the high death tolls doctors frequently announce after American bombing raids."

Step two, kill, kill, kill: After seven months in Iraq's Sunni triangle, for many American soldiers the opportunity to avenge dead friends by taking a life was a moment of sheer exhilaration. … 'Yeah,' he yelled. 'Battle Damage Assessment -- nothing. Building's gone. I got my kills, I'm coming down. I just love my job.'

Step three, soak in the love: "As U.S. Marines launched the most significant offensive in Iraq since the fall of Baghdad in April 2003, Rumsfeld argued Monday that Iraqi public opinion was at a "tipping point" and that defeating the insurgents in Fallouja could help nudge a large majority of Iraqis into supporting the U.S.-backed interim government. "

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Many Insurgents May Have Fled Fallujah

Gee! Ya Think?

"The rapid U.S. push into Fallujah has come without the sort of fateful showdown that would break the back of the insurgency. In fact, advance U.S. and Iraqi government warnings gave the militants plenty of time to get out of town, and it appears many did just that.

Military reports say small bands of guerrillas, with no more than 15 members each, fled the city in the weeks before the U.S.-led onslaught - which was widely telegraphed by public statements and news reports.

'That's probably why we've been able to move as fast as we have,' one officer in the Army's 1st Cavalry Division said Wednesday.

Insurgencies typically succeed by avoiding face-to-face battles with stronger military forces and by staging attacks where armies are weakest. The guerrillas who fled Fallujah may simply be repositioning themselves to fight elsewhere, said the officer, who agreed to discuss the Fallujah situation only if not quoted by name. Under embed rules, military officers have the option of refusing to be identified in news reports for security reasons."

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Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Berry Berry Interesting

Hmmmmmmm!

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Ashamed And Disgusted

Just the thought of this mission to "take Fallujah" makes me ill because I know the total devastation that will be left in its wake. It's pointless for me to keep ranting on how I was against the war from day one but now that we are there I'd just like to hope that we'd display some semblence of morality and decency. From the ground again, things aren't as they are being presented to us here:

"The last few days have been tense and heart-rending. Most of us are really worried about Falloojeh. Really worried about Falloojeh and all the innocents dying and dead in that city. There were several explosions in Baghdad these last few days and hardly any of them were covered by the press. All this chaos has somehow become uncomfortably normal. Two years ago I never would have dreamed of living like this- now this lifestyle has become the norm and I can barely remembering having lived any other way.

My cousin kept the kids home from school, which is happening quite often. One of the explosions today was so close, the house rocked with the impact and my cousin's wife paled, 'Can you imagine if the girls had been at school when that happened- I would have died.'

Dozens of civilians have died these last few days in Ramadi, Falloojeh, and Samarra. We are hearing about complete families being killed under the rain of bombs being dropped by American forces. The phone lines in those areas seem to be cut off. We've been trying to call some relatives in Ramadi for the last two days, but it's next to impossible. We keep getting that dreadful busy tone and there's just no real way of knowing what is going on in there. There is talk of the use of cluster bombs and other forbidden weaponry."

I just don't see how this administration can be authorizing this with abosolutely no shame or remorse. I am, for sure, ashamed and disgusted.

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Monday, November 08, 2004

Democracy Died Today

A Poem From The Pink Compendium:

Democracy died today

We want to give freedom to others
yet people are still enslaved here
the binds may not be around our ankles
but they are still there... on our minds.

Democracy died today.

Millions went to the polls
waited hours upon hours to vote
in the sun, the rain
still to be disenfranchised.

Democracy died today.

Did the solider in Iraq have his ballot counted
Or the citizens working in Afghanistan
Why are the Iraqis laughing about
our version of democracy when

Democracy died today.

Blackwell choked the system
so that his boy could win
Kerry conceded the election
so that his brother could win.

Democracy died today.

I'm looking at a map
Not every state is filled in
Does this mean we gave up too soon
Or did we just give up because we knew

Democracy died today.

Freedom of expression
Freedom of religion
Freedom to live our lives as we see fit
Now all floating in the wind as

Democracy died today.

A country divided on every issue
Hate and prejudice coming to the surface
Bubbling up like lava
It will soon overflow and destroy because

Democracy died today.

Copyright 2004 - EHJ "

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Just Plain Nasty!

The only thing I don't understand is why these female "pedophiles" seem to think that they have an actual relationship with these children. How can an EIGHT year old be your boyfriend?!?!?!


"BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- A woman faces charges of having a sexual relationship with an 8-year-old boy whom investigators said she considers her boyfriend.
Tammy Imre, 29, was arrested Friday and charged with sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor. A judge set bond at $250,000 Monday.
Police began investigating in September after the boy's mother discovered a letter Imre had written him, in which she tells the boy she doesn't 'want anyone but you.'
She continued: 'Now tomorrow it's supposed to rain, you can come over we can (you know what).'
Police said the boy, the playmate of Imre's 7-year-old daughter, initially denied doing anything with Imre because he feared getting into trouble. He later admitted having sexual relations with her.
Police said Imre told investigators she plans to marry the boy someday. If convicted, Imre could serve more than 20 years in prison. A trial date has not been set. "

I don't know. Perhaps I am using a double standard but I just have to believe that there is a clinical diagnosis for this type of behavior.

2 Comments:

At 8:47 PM, Blogger Fkitten said...

It's called freak-a-leek-osis

 
At 7:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just saw an article about AN 8 YEAR OLD BOY BEING CHARGED WITH LEWD AND LASVICIOUS BEHAVIOR!!!!
It was with the babysitter he moved on...Imre's mother says the 8 year old in her daughter's case moved on her...(stupidly, or insanely, she allegedly allowed his actions to develop into a sexual relationship. No news on the Imre case ot hearings...just that she's still in prison awaiting a trial. I think she should have been institutionalized and given help instead of sitting in a cell not understanding her problems..(which, obviously, she has). I'm sure a long sentence (even in a plea-bargain) will be given, but again, I think an institution would be a better place than prison for someone this "out-of-it" if she is convicted.

 

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Friday, November 05, 2004

Adopt-A-Gramps

This is nice. I am not sure how many Americans would be open to something like this:

"A neat, dignified-looking bearded man was on a chat show describing how lonely he was. He was making a nationwide appeal for a family to adopt him.

'I looked at my husband, and I looked at the children,' says Marlena Riva, sipping tea at the same kitchen table on an autumn evening. 'What do you think?' I found myself saying. 'Would you like a new grandfather?'

'We hardly hesitated,' she continues. 'It seemed the obvious thing to do. We wrote a letter straightaway to say who we were and what we had to offer. But we tried not to get the children's hopes up too much. I kept telling them there was no chance he would pick us. We didn't want them to be disappointed.'

Months later, Giorgio Angelozzi has not disappointed. He has become a grandfather to her children, a father to her husband, Elio, and a friend to her.

'I've turned a new page,' he says, busying himself with teacups from the sink to the table and offering a plate of biscuits around. 'I recommend other lonely old people try getting adopted.'"

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Baby Got Back!

But those big butts are supposedly jacking up fuel costs. Of course that means higher airline ticket prices for my skinny behind. I know many carriers are asking some obese people to pay for two seats but does this mean they are ultimately going to come up with a "fat tax" for chubby passengers?

"Heavy suitcases aren't the only things weighing down airplanes and requiring them to burn more fuel, pushing up the cost of flights. A new government study reveals that airlines increasingly have to worry more about the weight of their passengers.

America's growing waistlines are hurting the bottom lines of airline companies as the extra pounds on passengers are causing a drag on planes. Heavier fliers have created heftier fuel costs, according to the government study.

Through the 1990s, the average weight of Americans increased by 10 pounds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (news - web sites). The extra weight caused airlines to spend $275 million to burn 350 million more gallons of fuel in 2000 just to carry the additional weight of Americans, the federal agency estimated in a recent issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

'The obesity epidemic has unexpected consequences beyond direct health effects,' said Dr. Deron Burton of the CDC. 'Our goal was to highlight one area that had not been looked at before.'

The extra fuel burned also had an environmental impact, as an estimated 3.8 million extra tons of carbon dioxide were released into the air, according to the study. "
[...]
Just like we don't control the costs of our fuel, we don't control the weights of our passengers," he said. "Passengers gain weight, but airlines are the ones that go on a diet. It's part of the conundrum we face right now."

A conundrum? Let's bank on a new weight impact surcharge!

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Preparing For Genocide?

What exactly does this mean? They aren't letting the men out of a city they are about to assault with major weapons? Why is this not genocide? If the men are detained, how are they going to decide who is or is not an insurgent. Heck, with racial profiling in the US your average cop wouldn't know the difference between Will Smith and a street hood. How the heck are these "Bamas" we sent to war going to know the difference between an insurgent and a citizen? We are committing war crimes in Iraq and I just hope I live to see the day when someone is punished for them.

"U.S. forces sealed all roads to the city and used loudspeakers and leaflets in Arabic to tell residents they would detain any man under 45 trying to enter or leave the city.

'We are making last preparations. It will be soon. We are just awaiting orders from Prime Minister (Iyad) Allawi,' Marine Colonel Michael Shupp told Reuters near Falluja.

Many residents have already fled the Sunni Muslim city of 300,000, about 50 km (32 miles) west of Baghdad.
U.S. warplanes and artillery bombarded Falluja on Friday, residents said, and rebels fired mortars and rocket-propelled grenades at U.S. forces on the city outskirts."

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Thursday, November 04, 2004

Causes Worth Fighting For

I've yet to have my formal rant. I'm still vacillating between disappointment, acceptance, anger and sadness. So, until I officially blow my top (or get over it - NOT), I'll try to find some bright spots and encouraging words like these (link via americanblack.com)

We should be fighting for the poor, not against the rich, because they can't fight for themselves.

We should be fighting for real, good health case, not against insurance companies, because if you don't have your health, what do you have?

We should be fighting for real education reform, not against testing, because learning is the stepping stones out of poverty and into a fulfilling life.

We should be fighting for the small business, not against multinational corporations, because they are us, and where the jobs are, not go.

We should be fighting for environment, not against polluters, because we deserve to give our future generations a beautiful planet.

We should be fighting for the lost causes, the ones that we have no chance to win, because those are the causes that make a real difference, and always have. We fought slavery, and won. We fought for women's rights, and won. We fought for civil rights, and won.

But, yes, we did lose. We lost a battle, but we cannot lose the war. This may be a setback, perhaps a very large setback, in forwarding our progressive agenda, and making our nation an even greater place to live, but we cannot give up. I've heard talk of moving, of giving up on our great nation, abandoning it to greener pastures, but like all lost causes, this one is worth fighting for.

The author is right. We do need to be fighting for something. I know that I've posted that I've been pondering going Green - if for no other reason than to draw the masses back to the center. But I also agree with much of their progressive platform. I'll let my wounds heal for a while before I officially join any party (I'm a registered Independent you know). I, like many passionate progressives, have a lot to think about over the next four years. While I'd hate to have our ideas take root only because people have hit rock bottom, perhaps Bush's glaring mistakes and incompetence will finally catch up with him - and his supporters.

1 Comments:

At 6:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We aren't out of this fight yet and we aren't helpless for the next 4 years. In 2 years we have an opportunty to send a message about the direction we want the country to go. There are 19 Republicans that hold House seats in California. They represent half the lead the Republicans have. Everyone of those guys we don't allow to get reelected pushes America that much closer to the middle again. We can crush the rampant Republican corporate welfare efforts and get the Budget back on track no matter what they want. The Democrats in the Senate will mute the Republicans efforts to put radical judges on the Bench, we just have to send them a House.
If we take the house Bush will be reduced the impotent monster that he's been all along.

So there really isn't going to be as much of a break as you are thinking. All we have to do is watch and wait. Their way is ultimately doomed to failure.

Jamison
www.daffodillane.com

 

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I Guess They Are That Dumb

This morning on Good Morning America, I caught a segment of a piece on why conservatives and liberals "hate" one another. It seems liberals have been labeled the "cultural elite" and think they are intellectually superior. Conservatives, on the other hand, have claimed religion as their banner and believe that the are morally superior.

My take is that intellect and morality are not mutually exclusive. Yet, in the world of politics they are constantly being pitted against one another as choices on opposite ends of the spectrum. My belief is also that not only are they a comparison between un-like things, one can be feigned while the other cannot. One can feign morality and religiosity - but only for so long (think of all the conservatives who've recently proven themselves to be emperors with no clothes). Intellect, however, is hard to fake. You can play dumb but it is damn hard to play smart. I suppose one can also fake immorality - until a test comes along where one will ultimately do the right thing whether other people are watching or not.

I am not sure if Bush is playing dumb but he doesn't appear to be able to play smart either. He claims religiosity yet his key policies violate basic tenets of Christianity. Kerry, a boring yawn to some, is perceived as being being an intellectual snob. Yet, his record as the "liberal Senator from Massachusetts" is right in line with the bulk of his Catholic values.

I cannot deny that I am on the bandwagon that thinks that the conservative population of the red states must lie someplace between dirt and stupid. Who could be so totally clueless about the gravity of how much damage had been done domestically and abroad by this administration? I cannot fathom that a good hunk of these people still think that Iraq was directly involved in 9/11. I cannot believe that people in the poorest states, with no jobs or healthcare, would vote for someone who clearly (to those with intellect that is) does not have their interests at heart - simply because they believe he is a man of faith. What kind of people would sacrifice their own well being and security over phantom values which, if their own are in tact, will never be a personal issue for them anyway?

I guess this dichotomy is at the crux of the great divide in this country and other people are struggling to figure it out as well. Slate Magazine columnist, Jane Smiley, takes a stab at it too:

Ignorance and bloodlust have a long tradition in the United States, especially in the red states. There used to be a kind of hand-to-hand fight on the frontier called a "knock-down-drag-out," where any kind of gouging, biting, or maiming was considered fair. The ancestors of today's red-state voters used to stand around cheering and betting on these fights. When the forces of red and blue encountered one another head-on for the first time in Kansas Territory in 1856, the red forces from Missouri, who had been coveting Indian land across the Missouri River since 1820, entered Kansas and stole the territorial election. The red news media of the day made a practice of inflammatory lying declaring that the blue folks had shot and killed red folks whom everyone knew were walking around. The worst civilian massacre in American history took place in Lawrence, Kan., in 1862 Quantrill's raid. The red forces, known then as the slave-power, pulled 265 unarmed men from their beds on a Sunday morning and slaughtered them in front of their wives and children.

The error that progressives have consistently committed over the years is to underestimate the vitality of ignorance in America. Listen to what the red state citizens say about themselves, the songs they write, and the sermons they flock to. They know who they are they are full of original sin and they have a taste for violence. The blue state citizens make the Rousseauvian mistake of thinking humans are essentially good, and so they never realize when they are about to be slugged from behind.
[...]
The reason the Democrats have lost five of the last seven presidential elections is simple: A generation ago, the big capitalists, who have no morals, as we know, decided to make use of the religious right in their class war against the middle class and against the regulations that were protecting those whom they considered to be their rightful prey—workers and consumers. The architects of this strategy knew perfectly well that they were exploiting, among other unsavory qualities, a long American habit of virulent racism, but they did it anyway, and we see the outcome now—Cheney is the capitalist arm and Bush is the religious arm. They know no boundaries or rules. They are predatory and resentful, amoral, avaricious, and arrogant. Lots of Americans like and admire them because lots of Americans, even those who don't share those same qualities, don't know which end is up. Can the Democrats appeal to such voters? Do they want to? The Republicans have sold their souls for power. Must everyone?

I am one person, of the 48% who voted for John Kerry, who will not be looking for a compromise or middle ground with the Bush camp or his sheep. I don't want to appeal to them. I should not have to pander to the lowest common denominator in the wealthiest, most powerful country in the world. I am too moral and too smart for that.

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Is He Is Or Is He Ain't Dead?

Okay! I'm already agitated! Is the man DEAD or NOT! Holy Bajeebus! Dead isn't rocket science!

"A spokesman at the military hospital on the outskirts of Paris where Yasser Arafat is a patient today denied reports that the Palestinian leader had died. "

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Oh What The Heck!

May as well post this one too:



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I Know They Aren't Asking Me ...




But, these IQ averages may lend a clue.

2 Comments:

At 4:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a valid question don't you think? I saw this cover yesterday somewhere online and it pretty much summed up what I was thinking.

Dianne
www.daffodillane.com

 
At 4:20 PM, Blogger Qusan said...

The Daily Mirror now has the November 4 cover available for download
in pdf format.

 

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Sharing The Death

My, my! That certainly didn't take long. Tony Blair agreed to send British troops further into harms way at Bush's request. The three deaths are their worst single combat loss since August 2003. Good job Blair!

"Insurgents attacked British troops at a checkpoint in central Iraq on Thursday, killing three and wounding eight in a suicide bomb and mortar barrage aimed at soldiers sent to the high-risk area to free U.S. forces for an assault on the militant stronghold Fallujah.

U.S. troops pounded Fallujah with airstrikes and artillery fire, softening up militants ahead of the expected assault. Loudspeakers at Fallujah mosques blared out Quranic verses and shouts of 'Allahu akbar,' or 'God is great,' during the assault, residents said.

The three British soldiers were from the Black Watch regiment, which was moved last month from relatively quiet southern Iraq to the dangerous area just south of Baghdad."

The best is yet to come too!

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Soldiers Saw The Looting

In the drive up to election day, Bushco squirmed and lied about the possibility that tons of weapons could have disappeared from Al QaQaa under US watch. But according to soldiers, that is exactly what happened. In fact, our soldiers saw the Iraqis do it.

In the weeks after the fall of Baghdad, Iraqi looters loaded powerful explosives into pickup trucks and drove the material away from the Al Qaqaa ammunition site, according to a group of U.S. Army reservists and National Guardsmen who said they witnessed the looting.

The soldiers said about a dozen U.S. troops guarding the sprawling facility could not prevent the theft because they were outnumbered by looters. Soldiers with one unit — the 317th Support Center based in Wiesbaden, Germany — said they sent a message to commanders in Baghdad requesting help to secure the site but received no reply.

The witnesses' accounts of the looting, the first provided by U.S. soldiers, support claims that the American military failed to safeguard the munitions. Last month, the International Atomic Energy Agency — the U.N. nuclear watchdog — and the interim Iraqi government reported that about 380 tons of high-grade explosives had been taken from the Al Qaqaa facility after the fall of Baghdad on April 9, 2003. The explosives are powerful enough to detonate a nuclear weapon.

I guess this doesn't really matter, though. It is clear that at least half of American could care less who or what goes wrong with regards to Iraq, the economy or anything else with Lord and savior Bush at the helm.

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Wednesday, November 03, 2004

The "Yeeeee Haaaaa" Doctrine

I turned the channel when Ah-nold appeared at the RNC last summer when he started the "girlie man" speech. Life isn't an action film and the Tarzan act shouldn't have any place in politics. Unfortunately, the Texas cowboy has the feigned American machismo that so many men (and women) feel is necessary. Unwittingly we fail to realize that that need for the swagger and brash talk (over brainy talk) can breed everything from violence against women to unnecessary wars. This author examines this trend which has rendered us another four years of George W. Bush.
Swaggering machismo got a new lease on life after the post-9/11 attacks, as Republicans tried to appropriate not just patriotism but also masculinity as a GOP virtue. Attacking the manhood of the opposition has become a signature tactic of any GOP election strategy. So it isn't surprising that the 2004 presidential election campaign has been played out over the past six months as a battle over John Kerry's masculinity. Be it his "sensitivity" on the war on terror or "girlie-man" preoccupation with the lack of jobs or health care, Kerry has been forced to defend himself from a barrage of rhetoric carefully designed to cast not just him but the entire Democratic plank as the epitome of feminine weakness.

As Stephen Ducat points out in his new book, "The Wimp Factor: Gender Gaps, Holy Wars, and the Politics of Anxious Masculinity," this obsessive focus with masculinity is hardly new. The penis was a major player even in ancient Greek politics. In the United States, politicians have long adopted a working class machismo to win popular support. Wonder where Dubya got his inspiration? You need look no further than Teddy Roosevelt, who was as much a faux cowboy as our current president.
[...]
And so that's the big difference between American and, say, European politics, where being aristocratic is not necessarily seen as being feminine. Why is the working-class male seen as the epitome of machismo in a culture that's all about upward mobility?

In working-class culture, hyper-masculinity is understood more in terms with physicality, and it might be expressed in drinking, gambling, fighting, and so on. Over the years, this kind of working-class hyper-masculinity has been appropriated by those in the upper classes. It's seen as being more authentic because it's a more primitive expression of manhood.

Have you seen that movie "Fight Club"? That's a movie about white-collar men who are unable to affirm their masculinity, [men] who live in a corporate hierarchy, and need to appropriate brutal pugilism that is their fantasy of working class masculinity. I think it relates, in part, to the inchoate sense that working as a paper shuffler, or as a bureaucrat, or in a cubicle, that there's something unmanly about that. The popularity of boxing in the 19th century is actually about middle-class men who were drawn to the sport.

And so you see the kind of swaggering, cowboy pugilism among members of the elite like W. because that almost makes him seem like a regular guy.

Which in political life is very valuable.

Absolutely. It helps to disguise his class privilege as well, allowing him to seem like an ordinary guy something his father was unable to do.

This is where his inarticulateness actually becomes an advantage because in American culture, there is a disdain for intellectuality. And that disdain is a gendered disdain men who are intellectual are seen as somehow less manly. And so if somebody speaks too well, or too articulate, his masculinity is called into question. That is why Kerry's demeanor and facility with language has been problematic for him, while Bush's dyslexia and inarticulateness and graceless use of language has actually been an advantage.

Yes, we need a leader who can stand tall and firm. Perhaps, at times, a cowboy analogy can be motivating to a cheering crowd. "Yeeeee Haaaaa", however, should not be the cornerstone of American and foreign policy.

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Moment of Silence

I am not much of a happy camper right now and I'm still not ready to launch into my diatribe on what four more years of Bush means for this country and the world so, until then, I think this blog pretty much sums up my frustration and severe nausea (warning for the kiddies ... you may see some bad words).

I'll come up with my own rant later. I just need a few more moments of silence.

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Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Vote Y'all

I knew I wouldn't be sleeping tonight. I dozed off just before 10 o'clock and woke up a couple hours later. I will try to get some sleep before I have to get up to go to vote and to work. My views are clear as are my voting intentions. I hope that the bright and brilliant people of the country outnumber the uninformed, the bigoted, the scared and the misguided people of faith who are being used as pawns to advance the agenda of the arrogant and the greedy.

I am hoping that by this time tomorrow, I will know who our President is and that my night will be more restful.

2 Comments:

At 5:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with you on this sentiment. I would like to have a good nights sleep knowing that this nightmare is almost over. Let's hope that comes true this evening!

Dianne
www.daffodillane.com

 
At 11:11 AM, Blogger s.R said...

I second that!!

 

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Monday, November 01, 2004

Bong Brain

Bill O'Reilly is so incredibly ignorant and obnoxious. His broad and sweeping generalizations and stereotypes are downright insulting. We've already seen that his fixation on others' participation in porn and lewd behavior was just a mask for his own 'falafel ways'. Now he seems to be fixated on pot and bongs (didn't he accuse Jon Stewart's viewing audience of being druggies too when they are actually more educated than his own audience?).

This remark about young voters is uncalled for:

CALLER: I'm calling today because I think it's fair to say that a large amount of the youth that are involved in this election now, this time around. And I just think that the majority of them are voting Kerry. Is that crazy?

O'REILLY: Yeah, I think the stoned slackers'll go for Kerry. I think he'll carry that vote. ... The stoned-slacker vote. Ummm -- but I don't know if they're gonna go. You know, look, Puff Daddy [Combs] and his crew -- they're running around, 'Vote or Die!' and all that. Yeah, it's good publicity to get on TV. Are they gonna get out? Are they gonna leave the bong and stand in line for an hour? I don't know."

But, as long as he went there, he ought to bring up that the Bush twins are of the same ilk that he is so critical of:

... And not long ago Jenna Bush was spotted partying with Sean "P. Diddy" Combs in Saint-Tropez...

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Michael Moore's Final Words

Tomorrow, Election Day 2004, will either be the eve of destruction or the eve of a brand new day. I am not sure I will get an ounce of sleep tonight (or tomorrow night if the returns don't show a decisive win - by somebody). By EOD, I plan to post my last thoughts before the most crucial election of my lifetime (except for the one in 1964 when I was only four years old). But, for now, Michael Moore has published his final appeal and advice to voters, non-voters, first-time voters ... and to decent conservatives and recovering republicans:

In your heart of hearts you know Bush is a miserable failure. From having no plan on what to do in Iraq once he conquered Baghdad to the 380 missing tons of explosives that could be used to kill our brave young men and women, this guy doesn’t have a clue how to fight and win a war. You should see the mail I’ve been getting lately from our troops over there. They know how much the Iraqi people hate them. They are sitting ducks anytime they go out on the road. Many believe we are not that far away from a Tet-style offensive inside the Green Zone with hundreds of Americans and Brits killed.

Bush refused to go after and capture Osama bin Laden. He fought, every step of the way, the investigation into the 9/11 attacks. Who on earth would oppose such a thing? If 3,000 people died at your place of work and your boss said we don’t need to find out why or how it happened, he’d be thrown out on his ear. Bush’s behavior after this great tragedy alone is reason enough for his removal.
You already know that George W. Bush is the farthest thing from a conservative. He’s a reckless spender who has run up record-breaking deficits and the biggest debt in our history. He believes in having the government pry into everything from your library records to your bedroom. He has hit you with hidden taxes with his tax cuts for the rich.

I know many of you don’t like Bush, but are unsure of Kerry. Give the new guy a chance. He won’t raise your taxes (unless you are super-rich), he won’t take your hunting gun away, and he won’t make you visit France. He risked his life for you many years ago. He’s asking for the chance to do it again. Scott McConnell at The American Conservative magazine has endorsed him. What more do you need?

Thanks Michael! You have certainly taken active citizenship to new levels and your "treasonous" movie has opened the eyes of many people who've been asleep for many election cycles. No matter who wins, I think the masses have realized how important their vote is and that it actually does count.

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Faking Fallujah

Nothing like hearing about Iraq from an Iraqi who lives there and is able to witness things first hand. I have no clue what we are doing over there nor why we are so fixated on Fallujah (note different spelling in essay). Whatever the reason, it looks like Bushco is lying again.
Allawi is vile and the frightening thing is that he will *never* be safe in Iraq without American military support. As long as he is in power, there will be American tanks and bases all over the country. How does he expect to win any support by threatening to unleash the occupation forces against Falloojeh? People are greeting refugees from Falloojeh like heroes. They are emptying rooms in houses to accommodate them and donating food, money and first-aid supplies.

Everyone here knows Abu Mussab Al-Zarqawi isn’t in Falloojeh. He isn’t anywhere, as far as anyone can tell. He’s like the WMD: surrender your weapons or else we’ll attack. Now that the damage is done, it is discovered that there were no weapons. It will be the same with Zarqawi. We laugh here when we hear one of our new politicians discuss him. He’s even better than the WMD- he has legs. As soon as the debacle in Falloojeh is over, Zarqawi will just move conveniently to Iran, Syria or even North Korea.

As for the ‘peace talks’ with Falloojeh- they never existed. They’ve been bombing Falloojeh for several weeks now. They usually do the bombing during the night, and no one is there to cover the damage and all the deaths. It’s only later we hear about complete families being buried alive or shot to death by snipers on the street.

By the way, Americans- 100,000 deaths in a year and a half, and the number is rising. Keep Bush another four years and we just might hit the half-million mark…

I find this entire debacle positively sinful!

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Cherie Blair Doing A Teresa Heinz Kerry

It seems that the first lady of the United Kingdom has more of a backbone than her husband. She certainly isn't afraid to speak her mind:
The Prime Minister’s wife was condemned by supporters of the US President, after a speech to Harvard law students which contained a stinging rebuke to Bush, while on a lecture tour of the United States.

She attacked the manner in which the White House has dealt with the human rights of UK citizens detained at the US-run Camp X-Ray prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

Blair said the decision by the US Supreme Court, fiercely opposed by Bush’s government, to give legal protection to two of the Britons detained at the camp was "profoundly important" and a "significant victory for human rights and the international rule of law".

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