bush lied, people died. escalate nonviolence.
Mercenaries Tell No Tales?
A while ago I posted a link to a BuzzFlash interview with Dan Briody, who's written a book on the activities of the Carlyle Group. Now that outspoken civil servants have made quite a bit of trouble for Blair's government, check out this part again:
Think maybe it's looking like a better idea all the time to have more people working for them who won't feel obliged to speak up out of some perverse sort of loyalty to their country?posted by Natasha at 8:57 PM | PERMALINK |
California's pine species boast the tallest (California Redwood, Sequoia sempervirens), heaviest (Giant Sequoia, Sequoiadendron giganteum), and oldest (Bristlecone Pine, Pinus longaeva) known living organisms.* But they also have another record in their ranks, one for the largest pinecones:
As I can personally attest, handling one of the heavy little buggers is like picking up a porcupine shaped brick, and don't get me started on the sap. These trees, and the cones, positively ooze with thick, sticky, pale yellow goop. When they fall, they have tremendous potential to do damage.#
And what kind of pine is it? Why, a Coulter Pine (Pinus coulteri), of course ;)
* With the possible exception of certain fungi, as some mycelial mats may possibly be older and heavier than even these giant trees. But it's so hard to tell with fungi.posted by Natasha at 8:31 PM | PERMALINK |
The farmer posts an excellent set of excerpts on Italian fascism over at Eschaton.
Check out the Bush Lied - People Died memorabilia store, and pick up something special.
Billmon writes about Tony Blair's white man's burden speech to congress, and clarifies (in case anyone were still uncertain about this point) why it's still a bad idea to launch wars with impunity.
Tristero comments on Eric Alterman's analysis of The Smoking Sentence.
Wampum has the good links and commentary on the Cheney Energy Task Force story, pointing out pieces by Tom Tommorrow and a Judicial Watch interview with Bill Moyers. She will be joining the Blogathon on behalf of Cure Autism Now, so go support a good cause.
Go to Pandagon to get the goods on the new and improved
From PLA, Bill O'Reilly wants you to believe that our government has a Rumplestiltskin department that can spin strawmen into gold. Also, he notes what Jonah Goldberg said about presidential lies back before there was a Republican Liar-in-Chief.
If you read this via Atrios: "Still, he and other Pentagon officials said, they are studying the lessons of Iraq closely — to ensure that the next U.S. takeover of a foreign country goes more smoothly", you might have been wondering (as I was) who exactly we're practicing to invade. Sisyphus has some ideas.
From Kos, where everything is good (as usual), there's a particularly troubling story guaranteed to bring "the tinfoil hat people from the woodwork" that the suspected BBC source for the allegations of "sexed up" dossiers has been found dead. Reading down in the linked BBC article, it turns out that their conservatives have learned a few tricks of blame misdirection from watching the Bushies:
Anyway, I'm back to the books, right after I stop by my kitchen for a tinfoil hat.posted by Natasha at 9:56 AM | PERMALINK |
Friday, July 18, 2003
Why we went to war
Uggabugga has a really exceptional piece reporting on a speech from Joseph Wilson (the Ambassador who debunked the claim that Iraq recently approached Niger to purchase uranium). Wilson has one point that needs to be repeated again and again about the responsibility of the US military (emphasis quiddity's & mine).
Please read that speech. Wilson is right to be angry. I am too! I want this administration to be held accountable for their lies, for how they have tried to undermine our constitution and our democracy, and the deaths that occurred under their regime without benefit to our safety or our ideals.
Back in March, retired Gen. Merrill A. "Tony" McPeak suggested that we require the Presidential candidates take an IQ test before declaring their candidacy. Yes. please! It would prevent the "cult of bush" syndrome we are fighting today.posted by Mary at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK |
Questions for Blair
Blair says he believes this war was part of a mission and that destiny requires the US to act. And he believed that history would forgive a mistake in starting this war:
Question 1: Where are the WMD? If the threat was so imminent, then shouldn't we have found something by now? Why would the world forgive a preemptive war that was started on lies when the result was to make the entire world less safe?
Blair also said that the Niger-Iraq connection was relevant because Niger had sold nuclear material to Iraq in the 1980's.
Question 2: Then why isn't the fact that the US and the west also sent Iraq ingredients for MWD relevant?
Blair also stands by the British has additional evidence that Saddam was trying to get nuclear material from Iraq.
Question 3: Then why in March, did the British tell the IAEA that the only evidence they used to back this charge was the Niger documents?
I know I'd like to have some answers to these questions before Blair backs our Beloved Leader for his next war to teach the world the values of peace and freedom.posted by Mary at 8:59 AM | PERMALINK |
Thursday, July 17, 2003
Economic News Review
This morning I woke to good news. The group that decides when recessions begin and end have said the recession is officially over and, by gosh, its been over for a while. They determined that the recession actually ended in November, making it one of the shortest recessions ever.
Now all we have to do is to wait for that 4% growth that the White House and Alan Greenspan tells us is just around the corner.
I know that we in Oregon are very happy to know that the economy has been growing. We expect that it will sometime make a dent in the 8.5% unemployment rate we are enjoying under President Bush's watch.
Speaking about other good economic news on the radio. The Bush White House is quite sanguine about the booming deficit. John Bolten, head of the OMB, says that is all "manageable". And you know, it is all that excessive spending on social programs that is causing the problem.
I can hardly wait for the next tax cut we'll see out of the White House for next year as they stick to their annual tax-cut strategy. Grover Norquist is probably auctioning off who will be the lucky recipients for it right now.
George Bush did promise to do for America what he did for Texas. It's just that we get to enjoy the results of his policies while he is still in the White House rather than having to wait until he moved on.
Now if you really want to learn something about what all of this means, visit MaxSpeak who says that his group measures the economic cycle by when the unemployment numbers start to change. Under their rules, the recession doesn't seem to be over yet.posted by Mary at 8:05 AM | PERMALINK |
Tuesday, July 15, 2003
Odds & Ends
One of the ways the radical right is moving the country to the right is by undermining the public's trust in the institutions that serve the country. The main way they do this is by framing and focusing on wedge issues that for many people seem like common sense positions. They've created a crisis of confidence in our schools, our universities and our government. Other tactics have been to repeat over and over again a particular argument so that it finally becomes perceived as true (ie: only lazy people are on welfare, public schools are failing, government regulations are bad, etc.). They are still talking about the Liberal Media when it is pretty clear that if there is one, it is a pretty marginal part of the media system which is now dominated by big corporations and big money. One area that they have not been quite so successful in converting to the conservative world view is in the realm of the progressive religious organizations. Well, perhaps it would be good not to be too complacent about this. The Right Christians writes today about how an innocuous religious coalition with many progressives on their board is actually getting funded by Scaife, and the president of this coalition fits in very nicely with the religious right. It seems like time to find out more about what is happening with this group and who is setting its agenda.
For a bit of humor, drop in on Ruminate This and check out Bush's careful attention to detail. [BTW: Isn't it nice to have Lisa back again after her move?]
Tristero has an eloquent post about Graham Greene's The Quiet American. What does it mean to be moral? Greene has always been a writer that illuminates this question well. As Tristero says: [This book] is must reading right now.
Gee, does the WaPo even read its paper before writing its editorials? In tomorrow's paper is an incredible story by Walter Pincus about how by March 8th, every piece of evidence that the Bushies used to claim that Saddam had a nuclear program to worry about had been debunked. So what does the lead editorial say?
My question is, how many facts do you have to wait for before we have a formal investigation?
Update: One more classic piece of humor that I couldn't resist sharing is from Josh Marshall who posted this letter from a reader:
As Josh says, "Good point..."posted by Mary at 11:17 PM | PERMALINK |
Monday, July 14, 2003
Wampum wonders if Howard Dean really is electable outside the somewhat narrow slice of society constituted by liberal netizens.
Emma at Notes on the Atrocities highlights an article stating that the CIA had already pulled the Niger uranium story from a speech. One that was delivered a few months before the SOTU. Also, it seems that even amateur doomsayers have been unfortunately vindicated.
From the Left Coaster, the multiple sources story the British coughed up on pain of humiliation has begun to unravel with a wicked quickness.
There's loads of good stuff up at Kos, but here's a sampler: Tony Blair now seeks to grant a coalition of western nations the pwer to pre-emptively invade any country for their own good, because it worked so great this last time. Bush lied, they died. Fight the lies, give through ePatriot.
Talk Left indicates that the LAPD has finally started to wonder what they were gaining from behaving like an occupying army, and about time. Also, Howard Dean had a pretty poor record as governor for defendants' rights, and would probably not be a reform candidate in this area. (Note to wingnuts: A defendant is someone who has been accused of a crime, and the term is by no means to be construed as interchangeable with the word 'criminal.')
Magpie on the trend of musicians to bail on the major record labels and sell directly to the listener.
A little while ago, I asked Al-Muhajabah to clarify something about the Islamic position on the study of nature and science, and she responded with a wealth of interesting references. Also, as she points out, Kucinich will be in Seattle.
The Guardian: The UK Parliament is having a blogger's summit. Jack Straw says, 'they believed us at the time'. A sixth of British homes could be wind powered by 2010. The America that idolizes immigration isn't too keen on immigrants. A columnist speaks about how war and the curtailment of civil liberties was sold to the US in an advertising fueled climate of fear, and indicates that yes, unfortunately, people outside the US do indeed read Ann Coulter's writing:
Feel safer yet? Well, go read the rest of the article.
BTW: If you live outside the US, and are reading this, I renounce Ann Coulter and all her works. Her writing is a trick and a trap devis-ed by Satan to lead us astray. [The previous sentence is meant to be read quickly, with the word 'devised' uttered as though it had three syllables.] Our only excuse for her is that it is not, in fact, a crime to merely be a lying, vicious, hypocritical partisan hack. Because as you probably know, we have enough people in prison in this country already. Anyway, how else would Republicans find press lackeys if all the suitable candidates were enjoying the hospitality of the state?posted by Natasha at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK |
Sunday, July 13, 2003
Bill Gates: Doing Good
Today's NY Times has a very interesting article about Bill Gates and his philanthropy. The transformation of yesterday's Bill Gates, the man who would conquer the world by selling software, to today's Bill Gates, the man who now spends considerable time trying to do something about the world's worst diseases has been fascinating to follow. Bill Gates has found a cause and this cause is improve the health of the world, one child at a time. Some highlights from the article:
Probably the most interesting program Gates has proposed is an international contest that provides grants to underwrite research to find ways to fight malaria and scourges of mankind. Putting together an international challenge to excite the top researchers throughout the world is a great idea and should result in some very interesting results.
If you missed the NOW program on Bill Gates in May, then checkout that extraordinary interview here. I love the story about what caused Gates to realize that perhaps computers were not the answer to all the world's problems.
When I get down thinking about the unfairness of the world and the policies that seem to promote selfishness rather than compassion, it helps to find stories like this that restore my faith in people. Bill Gates is following the tradition of David Packard in finding ways to spend his money so that it can make a real difference to the world and we are all richer for it.posted by Mary at 6:23 PM | PERMALINK |
Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown, and Root is raking in the Iraqi reconstruction dough, and their main qualification seems to be that like a certain famous mountain, they were there.
Fishy GOP group may be fined by Florida election commission for actions taken during the 2000 recount.
Wolf Blitzer takes on Scott Ritter in a failed bid to apologize for Bush's lies to the American public.
Tom 'I am the government' DeLay used the FAA to track down a Democratic lawmaker.
The minimum wage hasn't risen in seven years, but the GOP controlled legislature thought that $1.50 over two years was a little extreme.
BuzzFlash interview on the machinations of the Carlyle Group.