Friday, November 30, 2007

CIA Operation Pincer

Is the CIA "going operational" with a plan to destabilize Venezuela?

Operation Pincer

This would be a lot of people to harm just so oil companies can earn even more obscene profits at our expense isn't it?

Aren't we supposed to make the world safe for democracy?

Is the US now going to destabilize all nations that use national resources for the benefit of their citizens?

Look out Norway! In fact all you Slavic people best be on your guard. Don't think we'ze don't know what yur a doin' over thar' jes because it's cold. We knows. We seize eva'thang.

ADDENDUM: Embassy official accused of trying to sway public opinion

Right on time?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Too greedy

I don't eat a lot at Burger King but after reading this story I am going to eat nothing from Burger King. When greed goes this far there should be a response. So, however humble my one-man boycott may be, I am going to do it anyway.

An avalanche can start with a pebble can it not?

Scrooging migrant workers

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Generally speaking you gain political power by preying, or praying, on People's fears. To cite two examples, the fear of death turned into the power of religion and the fear of poverty turned into the power of communism.

It struck me that as I thought about power that America's enemies and America's politicians are invoking the same methods against us. That is, the power to divide is the power to conquer whether you are employing a "red state" political strategy or waging a holy war for the glorification of an imaginary friend and his poet.

I began to wonder...

How can America defeat the external threat of religious extremism abroad, while pandering to it at home (see, for instance, John McCain's supplications)?

How can America promote cooperation abroad while miring itself in partisan bickering at home?

Have we become too divided to stand?

Is there that which unites us anymore?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


It is getting to be the time of year for "Best of" lists, so, here are some of my favorite rebukes of the Bush administration (since 2000):

Channel Surfing the Apocalypse (love the banjo):

Will Ferrel as George Bush on a ranch in Texas:

Stephen Colbert Roasting the president Bush:

2006 White House Correspondents Dinner

And an excerpt from the final scene of the Chaplin masterpiece The Great Dictator, written to skewer Hitler and Mussolini but applicable to all training-wheel tyrants that want to turn the clock of human progress backwards:

Monday, November 26, 2007

Edwards onto something

John Edwards' campaign is onto something with the "Politics of Parsing" pieces.

Here is installment two

Cha cha cha

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Ayaan Hirsi Ali Security Trust

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is author of the books Infidel and The Caged Virgin: An emancipation proclamation for Women and Islam.

Not surprisingly she has become so much the target of Islamic wrath that she needs a security detail 24/7 to protect her from the "religion of peace". The Dutch government used to provide such security, but when she traveled to the U.S. for safety's sake the Dutch revoked her detail and announced it to the world, placing her in grave danger.

Sam Harris has set up a website with an urgent appeal for donations to cover her security costs:

Helping Ayaan

A little-discussed fact, for some reason, is that there are no more committed enemies of Islamic fascism than liberals. Islam cannot tolerate multi-culturalism. Islam cannot tolerate feminism. Islam cannot tolerate free inquiry. Islam cannot tolerate secularism. This is why New York is despised by Islam. This is why London, too, was attacked. Jihadists can't stand freedom so they can't stand liberals.

Ayaan is in danger because she is a committed to freedom and here is the question you must answer: "Is it important to give aid to a voice that challenges the barbarism of political Islam or isn't it?"

Time is critical now that the Dutch have shamefully deemed toleration of intolerance a virtue.

My global warming

Ever wonder what would happen to your neck of the woods if/when sea levels rise in response to glacial melting?

Wonder no more. Here is a link to a site that displays an interactive map adjusted for user-selected flood levels.

How high's the water mama?

Imagine the potential for disaster planning.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Why protest?

I suppose I blog because it is my way of publicly acknowledging that I do not agree with the behavior of the Bush administration. I do not agree that we should torture abroad and suspend habeas corpus at home. I do not agree that Iran poses a serious threat to America. I don't agree that Iraq attacked us on 9/11. I do not agree that politicizing the department of Justice is good for America. I do not agree that striving to "drown government in a bathtub" is a good way to govern. I do not agree that supporting the troops means cheerleading incompetence.

The war in Iraq is something I find particularly exasperating. The reality is that our objectives in Iraq don't matter a whit because the president's incompetence exceeds all challenges placed before it. Furthermore the specific challenge of Iraq has been hopelessly doomed. Look at this recent news, for instance:

Clashes between rival Shiite Muslim militias in the holy city of Karbala today killed at least 50 people, torched three hotels and prompted Iraqi authorities to order the evacuation of more than 1 million pilgrims from the shrine where they had gathered.

More than 150 people were injured in the helter-skelter panic that followed random gunfire by militants in the Mahdi Army loyal to anti-American cleric Muqtada Sadr and those of the Badr Organization, the armed wing of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq.

....The death toll threatened to climb, with witnesses reporting dozens of bodies in the streets surrounding the Imam Hussein shrine and amid the smoldering rubble of the three buildings set on fire during the rampage.


Every day seems to bring worse news from Iraq but everyone in Washington talks as if Iraq is a land somewhere over the rainbow where bluebirds sing.

President Bush does not seem like he will ever learn from his mistakes and I cannot imagine how he ever kicked the alcohol habit with denial like he possesses. I hear admitting you have a problem is the first step one must take.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Good and Beautiful things...

At times when life presses in with its burdens it pays to be aware of the Good and Beautiful things that surround us.

Here is one such story about a cat named Sergeant Podge:

A little pick-me-up

And here is a 15-lateral football play in which Trinity U. defeats Millsaps 28-24 with two seconds left to play:

Here's a video about Moebius Transformations which is engaging to watch:

And we end with a crowd-pleasing link to a video of a hockey brawl that is seriously out of control. Perhaps it is neither Good nor Beautiful, but it is incredible to see.

Halifax Jr. Fight

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Down in Memphis

One of the things that struck me as I toured Memphis, Tenn. last year was how many people were homeless.

One other thing also struck me. It seems that in order for a homeless person to get a bed for the night they must come up with about 7 dollars. The effect of this is predictable. All the panhandlers for miles ask not for change, but for 7 dollars.

The local political response seems to have been to post signs asking citizens not to give money to pan-handlers. This would be the 7 dollars they need for a bed thanks to their earlier policies.

We have the mouse eating the cheese and the cat eating the mouse.

The next step is easy to predict. Police will begin dogging tourists that respond to pleas for money.

This will not likely be a boon to tourism. Perhaps this will even create even more homelessness?

In Florida people have been arrested for feeding the homeless. Perhaps they have already taken steps one and two and are now moving to criminalize compassion:

Details here

There are always so many obstacles to behaving well in this world of ours that I don't enjoy stories like this.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Let the bar raise!

I hate to scapegoat our media for the mess the US is currently in, when it is of course the Bush administration and republican ideology that deserve the lion's share of blame, but every once in a while a story comes along which is so important for it's unimportance that it speaks volumes. Such a story has just appeared in the Washington Post, a paper which in my opinion reached a new low.

They wrote a story about Hillary Clinton's boobies: Tits to win?

Then, rather than apologize and correct for the lack of judgement, they tried to defend the nonsense (here) with an article that begins "A journalistic assessment of Hillary Clinton's cleavage became the most improbable presidential campaign controversy yet".

I will take my response no further than to point out that you cannot conflate "journalistic assessment" and "cleavage" in the same sentence if you want to maintain credibility. You will hold your readers attention, Janet-Jackson-like perhaps, but do people take their news from Janet Jackson?

In the interest of journalistic thoroughness may I suggest a few more topics of national importance which the Post must assess?

  • Just exactly how large of an imprint, in square inches, does the backside of Karl Rove make at the beach? What is the volume in cubic centimeters? How many yards of cloth does his tailor use to make his pants?
  • What is causing the sickly pallor of John McCain? It seems to have come on about the time he "made nice" with the president. Is he still in possession of his soul?
  • How is Condi Rice's bust-line holding up these days? We have been treated to an article about her boots and her shoe purchases but her titties have been sadly devoid of thorough journalistic attention.
  • Is Joe Biden a Pomade man or does he prefer Dapper Dan?
  • How much does president Bush pay for his haircuts?
  • Certainly Madeline Albright must have had days where her hem-line was a little higher. Are there any articles in the archives equating that with saucy teasing? What about for Margaret Thatcher?
"Tisk, tisk!", I sez, and "Tut, tut!"

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Impeachment for Cheney?

Articles of impeachment for Richard B. Cheney have been brought to the floor of the House by Ohio's Dennis Kucinich. Here he is reading them:

A. B. C. Impeach Cheney

Most people seem to know it should be done, yet everyone politely pretends not to notice.

Most everyone, that is.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


Not many political ads can lay a claim to beauty, but that is really quite a masterwork:

It shows both why I don't care for Hillary Clinton and why John Edwards is my favorite.

I watched it again and again.

If you would like to see it again try the official version where you can also support the Edwards for president campaign:

La la la la laaaaaa
Ba da bump.
Ba da bump.
Ba da bump, da dump dump.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Candies and Flowers

Here are a few memorable lies told to us about Iraq:

We would be welcomed with candies and flowers. We would be welcomed as liberators. Gratitude would name boulevards in Iraq after American presidents. This war would be short, sweet, and self-financing.

Iraq could attack us with their stockpiles of WMDs.
Iraq could pass their WMDs off to al Qaeda.
Mushroom clouds could blacken our skies.

We'll turn a corner just as soon as we get Saddam.
We'll turn a corner just as soon as Iraqis vote.
We'll turn a corner when we kill al-Zarqawi.

The lies keep coming and coming and coming from the president Bush and his administration. When caught in a lie they lie, then lie about it.

According to Andrew Tilghman, even the presence of al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) is "a myth":

Story here

Haven't you had enough?

You aren't going to keep listenting to tall tales about Iran, about progress, about valuing the opinions of commanders "on the ground" are you?

Where is the tipping point, the straw that breaks the camel's back, the cry of wolf rejected?

Stop believing him. Stop pretending he has credibility. Stop it!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Covering sick children

Here is an analysis of the health care debate over SCHIP. It was prepared by the Rockridge Institute which rethinks progressive politics:

Which Child Left Behind?

Foot Quotes

"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge"

Charles Darwin