Sunday, April 29, 2007

Good News From The War On Terror That You Probably Haven't Heard Yet: European Edition

According to the European Union's Terrorism Situation and Trend Report for 2007, out of 498 documented terrorist incidents in the European Union in 2006, exactly one was attributable to Islamist extremists.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Good News From The War On Terror That You Probably Haven't Heard Yet: Middle East Edition

Many people can now correctly spell the name of the capital of Iran, "Bagdad."

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Friday, April 20, 2007

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Some People Worry

Some people worry that after 60 years of attacking neighboring countries, political assassinations, stealing land, burning crops, blowing up villages, shooting Palestinian men, women, and children, herding survivors into refugee camps and then blowing up the camps, Israel might be in danger of beginning to wear out its welcome in the Middle East.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Generic Junior Officer Saves The Generic Situation With A Sudden Burst Of Intuition. Again.

"Looks like our ass is grass, Lieutenant."

"General, couldn't we just framoozle the meningroid with the happentrap?"

"By God, that just might work. Good thinking, Lieutenant. Sergeant Major, make it so."

"Sir! Alright you pathetic sacks of !@#$%, framoozle that &^%$# meningroid with the @#$%^& happentrap and be quick about it or you can kiss your *&^%$ goodbye because your ##@@!! will belong to me! Look out!"

Klang!

"General, sir the happentrap just broke loose!"

"Alright, Sergeant Major, as you were. Well, Lieutenant, any more bright ideas?"

"Let's give this another six months, sir. You never know, it may work without the happentrap."

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Friday, April 13, 2007

All Other Things Being Equal, Which Major News Outlets Have The Most Clueless Readers/Viewers?

And the winner is: AOL news surfers.

Taken from latest poll results that asked about Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, the following percentage of respondents had never heard of her:

  • AOL/AP - 55
  • LA Times - 50
  • CBS News - 47
  • CNN - 23
  • Fox News - 19
  • USA Today - 19
  • Newsweek - 17

From the PollingReport.com website.

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We're Making A List. We're Checking It Twice.

Courtesy of Sietske In Beiroet:

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We Guffawed When He Spun His Crazy Claims, But Who's Laughing Now?

Test your attention span. Try to remember who made these statements about the Iraq War:

  • "Do not be hasty because your disappointment will be huge."
  • "You will reap nothing from this aggressive war, which you launched on Iraq, except for disgrace and defeat."
  • "We will embroil them, confuse them, and keep them in the quagmire."
  • "[T]hey [the US] cannot just enter a country of 26 million people and lay besiege to them! They are the ones who will find themselves under siege."

Give up? It's old Baghdad Bob himself, the Iraqi press secretary we in the West took such delight in deriding 4 short years ago.

Maybe he who laughs last, really does laugh best.

Marina Hyde, writing in the British paper, The Guardian, has this retrospective.

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How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love Li'l George's New Suitcase Nukes And Stuff

Whatever happened to the good guys? You know, the Americans in white hats who were going to eliminate war, starvation, poverty and disease from the world and make America a beacon of freedom?

The Bush administration's stubborn determination to prevail, whatever the costs, is evident not only in its reckless military venture in Iraq, but in its single-minded pursuit of new nuclear weapons.

The U.S. government, of course, is supposed to be divesting itself of its nuclear weapons under the provisions of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which it signed in 1968. As recently as the NPT review conference of 2000, the U.S. government joined other signers of the NPT in promising an "unequivocal undertaking by the nuclear-weapon states to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals."

Furthermore, when the Bush administration ignored these commitments and pressed Congress hard for funding to build new nuclear weapons—nuclear "bunker busters" and "mini-nukes"—Congress dug in and rejected them as totally unnecessary. With some 10,000 nuclear weapons in the U.S. arsenal, members of Congress, both Democrats and some Republicans, seemed to feel that enough was enough.

The History News Network has the complete story.

A footnote. According to travelers coming through the Bonneville Salt Flats, Nevada area, residents there say they've started noticing frequent, strong earth tremors coming from the highly restricted military reservation to the south. Most assume the tremors are caused by underground tests of extremely high explosives, which may or may not be nuclear tests.

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To the Finland Station Part Два: Billionaire Plots Violent Russian Putsch

Here we go again. Russian strong man Vladimir Putin is put in the crosshairs by the Billionaire Boys Club:

Exiled Russian billionaire Boris Berezovsky told British newspaper The Guardian on Friday that he is "plotting" a violent overthrow of Russian President Vladimir Putin from his home in Britain.
The Finland Station in St. Petersburg, Russia "...is best remembered for the arrival of Vladimir Lenin by train on 3 April 1917 to start the October Revolution," according to WikiPedia. Lenin's revolution knocked Russia out of World War I and ultimately led to the deaths of millions of Russians.

Round 2 in the cards?

France24 is one of the outlets carrying this AFP article.

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First, They Came For The Photographers

One year after his arrest, an Associated Press photographer is still being held at a prison camp in Iraq by U.S. military officials who have neither formally charged him with a crime nor made public any evidence of wrongdoing.
Editor & Publisher has the sordid story.

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Former Armchair Warrior Paul Wolfowitz Gets Something Caught In World Bank Cookie Jar. Can Rehab Be Far Behind?

Bush appointed World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, formerly DOD number two, not only ordered promotions and an increase in pay for his girlfriend to nearly $200,000 a year for a no-show job, but apparently lied to the World Bank Board of Directors about it.

...newly released documents included an August 2005 memorandum in which Wolfowitz ordered the bank's human resources division to award [Wolfowitz flame] Riza the extraordinary pay increases.

Contrary to accounts given by Wolfowitz's office, the board also said that neither it nor the World Bank's ethics committee had approved the arrangement.
AFP has the story here and here.
Late breaking:
Poor Paul just can't seem to catch a break. Now he's been caught in another whopper, this time involving that Republican Party third rail, family planning.

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This Space Reserved For A Statement By Senator John McCain Which Is Neither Delusional Nor An Outright Lie

We're still waiting.

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Army Officer: "I am making this statement as an act of wilful defiance of military authority."

An Army officer speaks out:

I am making this statement as an act of wilful defiance of military authority, because I believe that the war is being deliberately prolonged by those who have the power to end it.

I am a soldier, convinced that I am acting on behalf of soldiers. I believe that this war, upon which I entered as a war of defence and liberation, has now become a war of aggression and conquest.
Read entire letter.

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Generals to Bush: Drop Dead

Investigative journalist Robert Parry gives some of the backstory on the refusal of three US generals to consider appointment as President Bush's new "War Czar":

Retired Marine Gen. John Sheehan was another four-star who rebuffed the White House. “The very fundamental issue is, they don’t know where the hell they’re going,” Sheehan told the Post. “So rather than go over there, develop an ulcer and eventually leave, I said, ‘No, thanks.’”
See the full story here.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I Know I Should Be Very Afraid But We're All Going To Wind Up In The Gulag Anyway, So What The Hell

In case you haven't been following the latest indicators about what the Ministry of Fear (aka DHS) is up to these days, here's a sample:

"I presented my credentials from the Marine Corps to a very polite clerk for American Airlines. One of the two people to whom I talked asked a question and offered a frightening comment: "Have you been in any peace marches? We ban a lot of people from flying because of that." I explained that I had not so marched but had, in September, 2006, given a lecture at Princeton, televised and put on the Web, highly critical of George Bush for his many violations of the Constitution. "That'll do it," the man said. " -- Professor Walter F. Murphy
Looks like I'll be riding the dog. Mark Graber has the complete story.
Late breaking:
Transcript of interview with Professor Murphy.

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BS Meter Explodes When Washington Post Publishes False Medicare, Social Security Scare "Stories"

The once proud Washington Post continues its slide into the abyss of propaganda, lies, and deceit. Mark Thoma has the sordid story:

Once again, Robert Samuelson lumps all the social insurance programs together and foresees a dire future, in this case generational warfare. But as Dean Baker continually and correctly reminds us, Social Security is not the problem, and the programs themselves are not to blame - Medicare is not the cause of the growth in costs for health care:
The Washington Post ... complained about ... "the coming crisis in Social Security and Medicare." The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office's most recent projections show that Social Security can pay all scheduled benefits, with no changes whatsoever, until 2046, and roughly 75 percent of scheduled benefits for many decades after that date, even if no changes are ever made. ...

The Medicare story of course boils down to projections of exploding health care costs. If the health care system is not fixed, then "fixing" Medicare is irrelevant. We can zero out the program, but exploding health care costs would still devastate the economy. If the health care system is fixed, so that costs in the U.S. are in line with health care costs in other wealthy countries, then Medicare would be easily affordable. ...
I think the last point is too often missed - it's not the Medicare program, it's the growth in health costs that is the source of the dire projections for rising budget deficits.

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My Pay Just Went Up But I Still Can't Afford Burger King

Mike Whitney says he knows why:

The American people are in La-la land. If they had any idea of what the Federal Reserve was up to they'd be out on the streets waving fists and pitchforks. Instead, we go our business like nothing is wrong.

Are we really that stupid?
Jury still out on the "stupid" part. For the full article: CounterPunch.

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How Many Times Do You Have To Shoot Yourself In The Foot Before You Can No Longer Put Your Foot In Your Mouth?

Apparently, there is no limit*.


* Too many recent examples found to catalog. Only one mild example provided. Sorry about that.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

What Would Jesus Do If His 401(K) Was Split Between Hi-Tech & Grain Futures, & Virgin Air Bought Cisco & Argentine Corn Went To 15.05 Pesos?

H-m-m-m-m.

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Sunday, April 8, 2007

Bush And Inner Circle Pensively Ponder Challenges Faced, Their Place In History, Feel Twinge Of Regret

"So many flim-flams, so little time."

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Sen. Henry Waxman, Contemplating Unraveling Mare's Nest Of Six Years Of Republican Waste, Fraud, And Abuse, Feels Twinge Of Regret

"So many flim-flams, so little time."

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Saturday, April 7, 2007

How to spot a terrorist

In this topsy-turvy world of color-coded terror alerts and increasingly muddled guidance from the powers on high charged with protecting this great nation of ours from those pesky terroristas, it becomes increasingly important to set forth some simple guidance on terrorist detection.

Although we are not an expert, we have determined the most effective rule in feretting out an actual terrorist in a crowd of mostly innocent civilians.

First, carefully scan the crowd using your eyes. Note the color of clothing of each individual and the general movement of the crowd. When one of the individuals in the crowd disappears in a blinding flash, accompanied by an ear-splitting, "kaboom!", that, ladies and gentlemen, would be your terrorist.

Happy shopping.

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Are Bush, Rove, And Cheney The Three Stooges Of The Apocalypse?

So far, so good.

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Friday, April 6, 2007

I have this crazy theory that if we stop shooting people and blowing up their stuff we might get along better with them.

Plus, their stuff is easier to fence while it's still in one piece.

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Sunday, April 1, 2007

Why Admirals Are Airheads And Should Never Be Put In Charge Of Anything

It's the Navy culture, stupid.

Bush's hand-picked leader of the massive fuckup war on terror in the Middle East, Navy Admiral William J. Fallon, told CNN's Kyra Phillips today that:

...Iraq isn't in a civil war...but is driven by "small factions fighting each other." -- Admiral William J. Fallon, Commander, CENTCOM
Oops, isn't that the definition of a civil war?

According to the latest National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq, the official assessment by intelligence agencies in the US government:
"The intelligence community judges that the term "civil war" does not adequately capture the complexity of the conflict in Iraq, which includes extensive Shiite-on-Shiite violence, al-Qaida and Sunni insurgent attacks on Coalition forces, and widespread criminally motivated violence," an unclassified summary of the new NIE released Friday said.

"Nonetheless, the term 'civil war' accurately describes key elements of the Iraqi conflict, including the hardening of ethno-sectarian identities, a sea change in the character of the violence, ethno-sectarian mobilization, and population displacements," the NIE summary said.
By all reports, Admiral Fallon is "...doon a heckuva job."

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