Saturday, September 8, 2007

Quote of the Day

Osama bin Laden via the lovely Avedon:

"Despite America being the greatest economic power and possessing the most powerful and up-to-date military arsenal . . . 19 young men were able, by the grace of Allah, the Most High, to change the direction of its compass."

Osama could have declared "Mission Accomplished" on 12 September 2001.

How could anyone...

Saturday whorage

The next chapter of The Fourth Estate us up at The Practical Press. Render your opinion at my Sort of Contest if you feel like it too.

As always, pimp yourselves in comments.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Is it me?

I'm no forensic engineer, but something strikes me funny about 'then' and 'now'.

The OAPEC Summit

Our Fearless Leader embarrasses us again. The Rude One summarizes:


Another meeting with leaders of other countries, another rank humiliation, with Bush oblivious or just apathetic to how much he's walking around with piss stains on his pants, except now others are pointing out the wet marks to him. Bush, though, doesn't give a fuck. Why should he when his own nation doesn't seem to?

Osama's Bitch

Click, if only to embiggen his chachabingoes

Non cogitat, ergo Chimp est

Daily Mail

The US president thanked Australian premier John Howard for visiting 'Austrian troops' in Iraq.

An honest mistake given that Austria is the birthplace of both Bush's and Howard's idol, nicht wahr? (heels click)

Talking at a business forum on the eve of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Sydney, Mr Bush also told Mr Howard: "Mr Prime Minister, thank you for your introduction. Thank you for being such a fine host for the OPEC summit."

And this was with a script! They never let him speak off the cuff. Surely the neocons could have found a son of a bitch for their puppet mouthpiece that could at least talk. Maybe they could have found one that could read too. Or maybe they couldn't. Perhaps Bush was the only idiot they could find who was dumb enough to go along with their imperialistic warmongering bullshit and a closet fascist to boot. He does OK at that.

I used to feel embarrassed as an American when Bush would commit verbal and social gaffes. Not any more. He doesn't speak for me, let him fuck up however he wants to and show himself for the stupe he is. It's not like we didn't know.

Petraeus will delaeus, betraeus

Paul Krugman nails it again in a 'must read':

Here’s what will definitely happen when Gen. David Petraeus testifies before Congress next week: he’ll assert that the surge has reduced violence in Iraq — as long as you don’t count Sunnis killed by Sunnis, Shiites killed by Shiites, Iraqis killed by car bombs and people shot in the front of the head.

There are five things I hope Democrats in Congress will remember.

First, no independent assessment has concluded that violence in Iraq is down. On the contrary, estimates based on morgue, hospital and police records suggest that the daily number of civilian deaths is almost twice its average pace from last year. And a recent assessment by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office found no decline in the average number of daily attacks.

So how can the military be claiming otherwise? Apparently, the Pentagon has a double super secret formula that it uses to distinguish sectarian killings (bad) from other deaths (not important); according to press reports, all deaths from car bombs are excluded, and one intelligence analyst told The Washington Post that “if a bullet went through the back of the head, it’s sectarian. If it went through the front, it’s criminal.” So the number of dead is down, as long as you only count certain kinds of dead people.

Second, Gen. Petraeus has a history of making wildly overoptimistic assessments of progress in Iraq that happen to be convenient for his political masters.

Third, any plan that depends on the White House recognizing reality is an idle fantasy. According to The Sydney Morning Herald, on Tuesday Mr. Bush told Australia’s deputy prime minister that “we’re kicking ass” in Iraq. Enough said.

Fourth, the lesson of the past six years is that Republicans will accuse Democrats of being unpatriotic no matter what the Democrats do. Democrats gave Mr. Bush everything he wanted in 2002; their reward was an ad attacking Max Cleland, who lost both legs and an arm in Vietnam, that featured images of Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.

Finally, the public hates this war and wants to see it ended. Voters are exasperated with the Democrats, not because they think Congressional leaders are too liberal, but because they don’t see Congress doing anything to stop the war.

And six or seven months from now it will be the same thing all over again. Mr. Bush will stage another photo op at Camp Cupcake, the Marine nickname for the giant air base he never left on his recent visit to Iraq. The administration will move the goal posts again, and the military will come up with new ways to cook the books and claim success.

Mr. Krugman is a small man with a big sack. He has a way of cuttin' through the shit as well.


From BuzzFlash:

PDF of Congressional Report Indicating the Case for Iraq is Hopeless

Advance Copy

Following on the heels of Wordsmith's and Fixer's posts just below this one, from Yahoo! News:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government has obtained a copy of a purported new videotape of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and is studying it, U.S. officials said on Friday.

Studying it? Or are they editing it? As a prescient sage commented in Wordsmith's post:

He can release it as soon as the WH approves it.


"Six years after 9/11, the arrests in Germany and Denmark this week, and the battles we fight against al Qaeda in Iraq, Afghanistan ... remind us of the continuing threat we face from extremists and why we must continue to take the fight to them wherever they are."

Unless it's in Western Pakistan. Or anywhere else in the world when the terrorists are friends and bidness partners of the Bushes.


OBL's video already has a Wikipedia entry. Yeesh.


Blue Girl's quote by way of Brother Lurch:


Europe has been dealing with terrorism, and doing so effectively, for many years now, and they have done so with common-sense security measures and with good, old-fashioned police work. Today, they led the way once again, showing us once more that the way to effectively fight terrorism is law enforcement, not blowing shit up, invading countries that didn't attack us, and terrorizing the citizens of said country.


Because the "War on Terra" is merely an excuse to steal the resources of a sovereign nation.


Being I'm really late for work, but I accidentally put my tinfoil hat on, I'll do this quickly. Related to Wordsmith's post below.

Ya think the Chimp and Osama (or Familia bin Laden) conspired to oust a secular dictator and divvy up the loot - oil for Bush/Cheney, more Mujaheddin for Osama?

Off to the shop ...

Contrived or Just Downright Thoughtful

Is it just me or does this seem just a bit, um, contrived? Or - sure, it could be just very thoughtful on his part.

According to al-Qaida's media arm, Bin Laden is planning a video for release on 9/11.

Wonder who could put it in the proper perspective for us? Maybe George 'We're Kicking Ass in Iraq' Bush?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Tell him what he wants to hear ...

Bill Maher has a good idea:

New Rule: For the next 18 months, let Bush be Reagan. A completely dissociative personality who lets the real work of the nation go on elsewhere, while he sits behind his desk and hums. I don't think the problem is that Bush lives in a bubble. I say make the bubble thicker. Use the armor we can't get to the troops. For example, on this whole "bomb Iran" thing. Let's not, and just tell him we did.


Keep him ignant and figure out a way to overload the Dickster's pacemaker and we might make it through until the elections.

Great thanks to litbrit at Shakes' place for the heads up.

Funny, pathetic, ignorant, and all too prevalent

Go have some fun and read Mark Morford's idiotic wingnut hate mail. Here's some bait:

Why are you promoting sex so intensely? Wet, slippery, dirty sex?

As opposed to dry, raspy, God-fearing clean Repuglican sex, followed by beating your wife for being a sinner because she pretended to like it? Yeesh.

Much more. It embarrasses me that these are Americans writing this crap.

Someone is trying to warn us

Larry Johnson

Why the hubbub over a B-52 taking off from a B-52 base in Minot, North Dakota and subsequently landing at a B-52 base in Barksdale, Louisiana? That’s like getting excited if you see a postal worker in uniform walking out of a post office. And how does someone watching a B-52 land identify the cruise missiles as nukes? It just does not make sense.

So I called a old friend and retired B-52 pilot and asked him. What he told me offers one compelling case of circumstantial evidence. My buddy, let’s call him Jack D. Ripper, reminded me that the only times you put weapons on a plane is when they are on alert or if you are tasked to move the weapons to a specific site.

Then he told me something I had not heard before.

Barksdale Air Force Base is being used as a jumping off point for Middle East operations. Gee, why would we want cruise missile nukes at Barksdale Air Force Base. Can’t imagine we would need to use them in Iraq. Why would we want to preposition nuclear weapons at a base conducting Middle East operations?

His final point was to observe that someone on the inside obviously leaked the info that the planes were carrying nukes. A B-52 landing at Barksdale is a non-event. A B-52 landing with nukes. That is something else.

Now maybe there is an innocent explanation for this? I can’t think of one. What is certain is that the pilots of this plane did not just make a last minute decision to strap on some nukes and take them for a joy ride. We need some tough questions and clear answers. What the hell is going on? Did someone at Barksdale try to indirectly warn the American people that the Bush Administration is staging nukes for Iran? I don’t know, but it is a question worth asking.

"Ask" shit. Lock Cheney up before he does something we'll all regret for the rest of our lives.

Twenty-Two Things We Now Know Six Years After 9/11

Yep, twenty-two. I counted 'em. From The Crisis Papers:

What we now more fully understand is how the CheneyBush Administration utilized the murderous terrorism of 9/11 as the one-size-fits-all justification for their unfolding domestic and foreign agenda.

By and large, one can sum up that overall agenda as: Amass and control power in the U.S. and much of the world, and, in cahoots with their corporate supporters, loot the treasury. All this was to be carried out secretly, with no accountability.

Here followeth the 22. How he got it down to that few is pretty amazing.

In sum, we know that permanent-war policy abroad and police-state tactics at home are taking us into a kind of American fascism domestically and an imperial foreign policy overseas. All aspects of the American polity are infected with the militarist Know-Nothingism emanating from the top, with governmental and vigilante-type crackdowns on protesters, dissent, free speech, freedom of assembly happening regularly on both the local and federal levels. More and more, America is resembling Germany in the early 1930s, with group pitted against group while the central government amasses more and more power and control of its put-upon citizens, and criticizing The Leader's policies is denounced as unpatriotic or even treasonous.

The good news is that after suffering through six-plus years of the CheneyBush presidency, and despite the Bush-compliant corporate mass-media that often disgraces the journalistic profession, the public's blinders are falling off. The Republicans can count on no more than 30% of the voting population for support. The 2006 defeat of the Republicans in the House and Senate and Tom DeLay's fall from power are good symbols of this, and the true nature of these men and their regime is finally starting to hit home. Cheney is acknowledged as the true power behind the throne, and Bush is seen for what he is: an insecure, uncurious, arrogant, dangerous, dry-drunk bully who is endangering U.S. national interests abroad with his reckless and incompetently-managed wars, his wrecking of the U.S. economy at home, and with his over-reaching in all areas.

If a Democratic president and vice president had behaved similarly to Bush and Cheney, they'd have been in the impeachment dock in a minute.

No shit.

He has a few less than complimentary things to say about the Dems as well. By comparison, however, they are a glowing tribute. Go see.

Baghdad's still Burning

Riverbend posts from Syria:

The Syrian border was almost equally packed, but the environment was more relaxed. People were getting out of their cars and stretching. Some of them recognized each other and waved or shared woeful stories or comments through the windows of the cars. Most importantly, we were all equal. Sunnis and Shia, Arabs and Kurds… we were all equal in front of the Syrian border personnel.

We were all refugees- rich or poor. And refugees all look the same- there’s a unique expression you’ll find on their faces- relief, mixed with sorrow, tinged with apprehension. The faces almost all look the same.

The first minutes after passing the border were overwhelming. Overwhelming relief and overwhelming sadness… How is it that only a stretch of several kilometers and maybe twenty minutes, so firmly segregates life from death?

How is it that a border no one can see or touch stands between car bombs, militias, death squads and… peace, safety? It’s difficult to believe- even now. I sit here and write this and wonder why I can’t hear the explosions.

I wonder at how the windows don’t rattle as the planes pass overhead. I’m trying to rid myself of the expectation that armed people in black will break through the door and into our lives. I’m trying to let my eyes grow accustomed to streets free of road blocks, hummers and pictures of Muqtada and the rest…

I'm glad she made it OK.

Let's go with option #2...

Click to embiggen

Bullshit walks ...

Greenwald looks at Republican Tough-Guy Syndrome. Now, I don't know what a tough guy is. I've been called a tough guy over the years and I've also been called a pussycat. I'm just trying to be the man I aspire to be. It looks to me like the Rethugs put too much stock in the appearance of toughness and not so much emphasis on acts of toughness be they moral, mental, or physical.


Virtually the entire top layer of Republican leaders, both political and media figures, are the very opposite of the virtues this movement claims to embody. From Fred Thompson, Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and the rest of the right-wing noise machine, along with our brave neoconservative warmongers -- to say nothing of the likes of George Bush and Dick Cheney -- it is virtually impossible to locate genuine acts of strength, bravery, regular-guy wholesomeness, or any of the warrior attributes and virtues of traditional masculinity they claim to exude.

Indeed, as this Mark Hemingway "sissy mary" outburst illustrates, the opposite is almost always true. The gap between the Mythological Right-Wing Male Leader and the reality of their actual leaders is virtually infinite. Examining that gaping disconnect between what their leaders really are and what they pretend to be -- and highlighting the manipulative cultural themes the right-wing has wielded to win elections -- is the topic of my current book. [my ems]


We have a saying where I come from. "Cash talks, bullshit walks."

Perfect Storm

How long have I been saying the economic conditions the Rethugs created could not sustain themselves? Truthfully, I expected a recession a couple years ago (didn't think the housing bubble would stay intact so long), but the chickens are coming home as we speak:

GOP economics are coming together to build the perfect storm. Not so surprisingly the easy credit system that the financial market wanted and the GOP delivered has turned out to be a major problem and is dragging down the economy. Add to that the brilliant GOP plan to cut taxes during a war plus the black hole of spending in Iraq (including heavy payouts to GOP-friendly businesses) and you have just about all you need for a soft economy. While Greenspan never saw this coming, plenty of others did but were swept aside because everyone had houses and money was falling from the sky.


Brain Bleach Alert!

Fox 'News' Superheroes. [not work safe]

Hey, if I have to have that picture in my head, so do you.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

They just seem gay ... revisited

Now, I don't know if I agree with the act of 'outing' closeted gay folks, but not having a frame of reference, I'll leave that argument to the folks who have a dog in the fight. However, I like to see hypocrites suck ass:

In the wake of closeted Sen. Larry Craig’s self-outing in an airport men’s room this summer, Mike Rogers, the Washington-based publisher of blogActive who outed Craig, is threatening to reveal the secret sexual identities of two leading GOP senators, while two allegedly gay Republican congressmen are making headlines and drawing unwelcome attention to themselves, the timing of which could not be worse.


Sorry, boys, but you're complicit in too much fucked up shit. Hope ya all crash and burn.

Some things never change...

LATimes story about some ree-croots' first day in the Marine Corps.

(the recruiter) Diazdumeng hugged each one and whispered encouragement. "Hey, you'll do great," he said. As the recruits reached the door, he yelled out: "I love you guys!"

The intake officer, a thin, intense woman carrying a clipboard, sang out in a saccharine tone: "Oh, isn't that sweet! He loves you!"

Well, maybe some things do change a little...

The center's commander, a Marine major, gave a long motivational talk, stressing educational opportunities and pay -- $1,500 a month for most recruits -- that with increases in rank would accumulate to $100,000 over four years in the unlikely event they saved every penny.

I got $73 a month, but I got a big raise after 10 days when they kicked me up to $78. Performance-based, no doubt. Later on, as an E-4 with over 2 years service, I got $212.50. I certainly didn't join to try to make a living, but some guys were after the three hots and a cot. I never saw $100 all at once during my whole enlistment. I take that back - a coupla times we got paid in cash, and there were many thousands of dollars laid out on a table, guarded by several well-armed Gunnies, like someone was gonna scoop it all up and make a break for the front gate three miles away.

The only things the single guys needed money for was laundry, smokes, toiletries, and beer. There weren't many married guys in those days. Today, the recruits have to pay for their uniforms and God knows what else that we got with the deal. The Marine Corps provided the necessities of life instead of Halliburton.

The driver warned the recruits, just before reaching the Marine depot at dusk, that a drill instructor would soon rush aboard and "go crazy."

Me and three other guys got driven in the back of a pickup from the San Diego bus station. The only warning we got was that the gate guard looked at us and shook his head. The first five seconds off the truck, we all thought we had just committed the biggest mistake of our lives.

All night long and well past dawn, they followed orders. Recruits were selected at random and ordered to scream the same instructions at each of the 458 recruits processed that night.

I drew 'firewatch' my first night, which meant I stood outside the NCOIC's office staring at the clock above his desk. Every fifteen minutes I took a walk around the building to make sure it wasn't on fire. I got a small victory in that I snuck a smoke on one of my tours. Scared me to death to do it too, but I felt like I really got over on 'em.

Still, they had no regrets: They yearned for their eagle, globe and anchor -- the Corps symbol pinned to the chest of each newly minted Marine. And as corny as it sounded to some of their friends, they wanted to serve their country.

I just wanted to be a Marine. I don't think I realized I was serving my country until about twenty years later.

Only the details have changed in 44 years. These kids will emerge from the other end of MCRD as Marines just like they always have. Most of the ones who survive will be just as proud of it in later years as I am.

Empire of Stupidity

Tom Engelhardt with a very good read about 'Vietnam sybdrome', the neocon militarists, and how they are causing the United States to do a re-enactment of the Fall of Rome. Take a lunch.

As David Walker, U.S. Comptroller and head of the nonpartisan Government Accounting Office, pointed out recently, the American government has also, in a remarkably short period of time, taken on the look of a faltering imperial Rome with "an over-confident and over-extended military in foreign lands and fiscal irresponsibility by the central government." And imagine - it was only a few years ago that neocon pundits were hailing the U.S. as a power "more dominant than any since Rome." Think instead: The Roman Empire on crack cocaine.

Looking back, it will undoubtedly be clear, if it isn't already, that, with the adherents of the cult of force at the helm of the ship of state, the world of fantasy took over and, even in imperial terms, what resulted was an empire of stupidity, hustling headlong down the slope of decline. That's often the way with blind faith, with anything, in fact, that prevents you from actually taking in the world as it is.

The Bush administration is not alone in being unable to face the idea of defeat. Sometimes even crushed imperial states, blind with defeat, can't admit what's happening to them. Think of Japan in August 1945, facing a defeat so total that just about every one of its cities had been burnt to a cinder. Japan's leaders still couldn't say the word. When the emperor gave his surrender speech (and his previously god-like voice was heard for the first time by ordinary Japanese), he claimed that, well, things hadn't turned out quite as expected. You can search that speech in vain for an actual acknowledgement of defeat.

So imagine a country whose fundamentalist leader sits in an untouched office, where the crisis of the day seems to be a faltering of the home sales market or a foot under a stall in a public bathroom, where the young he's sent to their deaths have largely come from out of the way places, where the stock market remains reasonably buoyant, and the worst casualties are taken on holiday highways.

It's important to remember, however, that there was once quite another tradition in America. Whatever our country was in my 1950s childhood, Americans were still generally raised to believe that empire was a dreadful, un-American thing. We were, of course, already garrisoning the globe, but there was that other hideous empire, the Soviet one, to point to. Perhaps the urge for a republic, not an empire still lies hidden somewhere in the American psyche.

Please read the rest.

The internets are truly the wonder of the age, making stuff like that available to read 24/7. It never ceases to amaze me.

Walk Score

Go check out Walk Score just for fun:

We help homebuyers, renters, and real estate agents find houses and apartments in great neighborhoods. Walk Score shows you a map of what's nearby and calculates a Walk Score for any property. Buying a house in a walkable neighborhood is good for your health and good for the environment.

I checked out my own address of course. Even though we have no sidewalks or street lights, my location got 46 out of 100 for having some businesses not too far away. They list some that aren't there any more, and left out some new ones, so they're slightly out of date. Also, they don't point out that it's all downhill going, and all uphill coming back.

The only other address I tried belongs to a guy I know in beautiful downtown Lawn Guyland whose 'hood got 25, although he has a deli/grocery (if it's really there) a block away and many more businesses a little farther away.

New mechanical procedure in Nepal

KATHMANDU (Reuters) - Officials at Nepal's state-run airline have sacrificed two goats to appease Akash Bhairab, the Hindu sky god, following technical problems with one of its Boeing 757 aircraft, the carrier said Tuesday.

I wonder if that would work with motorcycles? After I fix the bike, I could have lunch.

"Yet you are lying, Mr. Bush."

[Transcript of Olbermann's Special Comment last night. Video here.]

Finally tonight, a Special Comment about Mr. Bush’s trip, and his startling admission of the true motive for this war, which was revealed in his absence.

And so he is back from his annual surprise gratuitous photo-op in Iraq, and what a sorry spectacle it was.

But it was nothing compared to the spectacle of one unfiltered, unguarded, horrifying quotation in the new biography to which Mr. Bush has consented.

As he deceived the troops at Al-Asad Air Base yesterday with the tantalizing prospect that some of them might not have to risk being killed and might get to go home, Mr. Bush probably did not know that, with his own words, he had already proved that he had been lying — is lying… will be lying — about Iraq.

He presumably did not know, that there had already appeared those damning excerpts from Robert Draper’s book “Dead Certain.”

“I’m playing for October-November,” Mr. Bush said to Draper.

That, evidently, is the time during which, he thinks he can sell us the real plan.

Which is, to quote him: “To get us in a position where the presidential candidates, will be comfortable about sustaining a presence.”

Comfortable, that is, with saying about Iraq, again quoting the President, “stay longer.”

And there it is, sir. We’ve caught you.

Your goal is not to bring some troops home — maybe — if we let you have your way now;

Your goal is not to set the stage for eventual withdrawal;

You are, to use your own disrespectful, tone-deaf word, playing at getting the next Republican nominee to agree to jump into this bottomless pit with you, and take us with him, as we stay in Iraq for another year, and another, and another, and anon.

Everything you said about Iraq yesterday, and everything you will say, is a deception, for the purpose of this one cynical, unacceptable, brutal goal — perpetuating this war indefinitely.

War today, war tomorrow, war forever!

And you are playing at it!


A man with any self-respect, having inadvertently revealed such an evil secret, would have already resigned and fled the country!

You have no remaining credibility about Iraq, sir.

And yet, yesterday at Al-Asad, Mr. Bush kept playing — and this time, using the second of his two faces.
The President told reporters, “They, (General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker) “tell me if the kind of success we are now seeing continues, it will be possible to maintain the same level of security with fewer American forces.”

And so, Mr. Bush got his fraudulent headlines today: “Bush May Bring Some Troops Home.”

While the reality is, we know from what he told Draper, that the President’s true hope is that they will not come home; but that they will stay there, because he is keeping them there now, in hope that those from his political party fighting to succeed him, will prolong this unendurable disaster into the next decade.

But, to a country dying of thirst, the President seemed to vaguely promise a drink from a full canteen — a promise predicated on the assumption that he is not lying.

Yet you are lying, Mr. Bush. Again. But now, we know why.

You gave away more of yourself than you knew in the Draper book

And you gave away more still, on the arduous trip back out of Iraq — hours in the air, without so much as a single vacation.

“If you look at my comments over the past eight months,” you told reporters, “it’s gone from a security situation — in the sense that we’re either going to get out and there will be chaos, or, more troops. Now, the situation has changed, where I’m able to speculate on the hypothetical.”

Mr. Bush, the only “hypothetical” here is that you are not now holding our troops hostage.

You have no intention of withdrawing them.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t pretend you’re thinking about it, does it?

That is your genius, sir — as you see it, anyway.

You can deduce what we want — we, the people, remember us? — and then use it against us.

You can hold that canteen up and promise it to the parched nation.

And the untold number of Americans whose lives have not been directly blighted by Iraq — or who do not realize that their safety has been reduced and not increased by Iraq — they will get the bullet points: ‘Bush is thinking about bringing some troops home. Bush even went to Iraq.’

You can fool some of the people all of the time, can’t you, Mr. Bush?

You are playing us!

And as for the most immediate victims of the President’s perfidy and shameless manipulation — those troops, yesterday sweating literally as he spoke at Al-Asad Air Base…

Tonight, again sweating figuratively in The Valley Of The Shadow Of Death…

The President saved, for them, the most egregious “playing” in the entire trip.

“I want to tell you this about the decision, about my decision about troop levels. Those decisions will be based on a calm assessment by our military commanders on the conditions on the ground — not a nervous reaction by Washington politicians to poll results in the media.”

One must compliment Mr. Bush’s writer.

That, perhaps, was the mostly perfectly crafted phrase of his Presidency.

For depraved indifference to Democracy, for the craven projection of political motives onto those trying to save lives and save a nation, for a dismissal of the value of the polls and the importance of the media… for a summary of all he does not hold dear about this nation or its people — nothing… could top that.

As if, sir, you listened to all the “calm assessments” of our military commanders –rather than firing the ones who dared say The Emperor Has No Clothes, and The President, No Judgment;

As if, sir, your entire presidency was not a “nervous reaction”, and you yourself, nothing but a Washington politician;

As if, sir, “the media” does not largely divide into those parts your minions are playing, and those others who unthinkingly and uncritically serve as your echo chamber, at a time when the nation’s future may depend on the airing of dissent.

And as if, sir, those polls were not so overwhelming, and not so clearly reflective of the nation’s agony and the nation’s insistence.

But this President has ceased to listen.

This President has decided that night is day, and death is life, and enraging the world against us, is safety.

And this laziest of Presidents, actually interrupted his precious time off to fly to Iraq to play at a photo opportunity with soldiers, some of whom will — on his orders — be killed before the year, maybe the month, is out.

Just over 500 days remain in this Presidency.

Consider the dead who have piled up on the battlefield in these last 500 days.

Consider the singular fraudulence of this President’s trip to Iraq yesterday, and the singular fraudulence of the selling of the Petraeus Report in these last 500 days.

Consider how this President has torn away at the fabric of this nation in a manner of which terrorists can only dream in these last 500 days.

And consider again how this President has spoken to that biographer: that he is “playing for October-November.” The goal in Iraq is “To get us in a position where the presidential candidates will be comfortable about sustaining a presence” and consider how this revelation contradicts every other rationale he has offered in these last 500 days.

In the context of all that… now, consider… these next 500 days.

Mr. Bush, our presence in Iraq must end.

Even if it means your resignation.

Even if it means your impeachment.

Even if it means a different Republican to serve out your term.

Even if it means a Democratic Congress — and those true Patriots among the Republicans — standing up and denying you another penny for Iraq, other than for the safety and the safe conduct home of our troops.

This country cannot run the risk of what you can still do to this country in the next 500 days…

Not while you, sir… are playing.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Quote of the Day

That guy from Philadelphia:

So, US deaths are still high. Civilian attacks are still high. Civilian deaths still high. There's been no political reconciliation.

It's been an awesome surge, with hundreds more dead US troops because of the vanities of old men. [my em]



Click to Enrage

Ultracapacitors May Have Batteries Beat


Millions of inventions pass quietly through the U.S. patent office each year. Patent No. 7,033,406 did, too, until energy insiders spotted six words in the filing that sounded like a death knell for the internal combustion engine.

An Austin-based startup called EEStor promised "technologies for replacement of electrochemical batteries," meaning a motorist could plug in a car for five minutes and drive 500 miles roundtrip between Dallas and Houston without gasoline.

The technology also could help invigorate the renewable-energy sector by providing efficient, lightning-fast storage for solar power, or, on a small scale, a flash-charge for cell phones and laptops.

Skeptics, though, fear the claims stretch the bounds of existing technology to the point of alchemy.

So? I took alchemy in school. Blacksmithing too. They both still come in handy.

The result is an ultracapacitor, a battery-like device that stores and releases energy quickly.

Batteries rely on chemical reactions to store energy but can take hours to charge and release energy. The simplest capacitors found in computers and radios hold less energy but can charge or discharge instantly. Ultracapacitors take the best of both, stacking capacitors to increase capacity while maintaining the speed of simple capacitors.

Until EEStor produces a final product, Perry said he joins energy professionals and enthusiasts alike in waiting to see if the company can own up to its six-word promise and banish the battery to recycling bins around the world.

"I am skeptical but I'd be very happy to be proved wrong," Perry said.

The problem with capacitors is size. Capacitors are rated in terms of capacitance in units of farads. Most capacitors are very small and measured in microfarads. When I was learning how to fix radios for Uncle Sam's Misguided Children, my instructors told me that a one-farad capacitor would be about the size of a football field. That's maybe a little dated, along with the vacuum tubes they taught me about, although those are still being used for design and prototype work because they are highly adjustable. But I digress...

There are capacitors in every piece of electronic gear. Period. I think their earliest use in automotive technology was as the condenser in contact-breaker-point ignition systems, where they were used to prevent counterflow voltage from causing arcing at the points and subsequent rapid point wear. CB ignition has gone the way of the buggy whip.

In motorcycles, electrolytic capacitors are sometimes used as battery eliminators, providing a load for the charging system, in effect fooling the charging system into thinking the system has a battery. I explained this to my buddy Sluggo one time in his garage, and his reply was, "Damn, how ya gonna fool it now? You said it right in front of it!", pointing at his motorcycle.

There's no reason you couldn't do this on cars as well, if your car has a kickstarter.

In this age of electronic miracle progress, nothing seems impossible. I hope they can do it.

Crossposted at the world's other Best Blog.

National Service

From time to time, Fixer and myself have espoused a belief that national service is called for to make actual citizens out of the apathetic populace. Time magazine, obviously regular readers of the Brain, finally picked up on it.

But at this moment in our history, 220 years after the Constitutional Convention, the way to get citizens involved in civic life, the way to create a common culture that will make a virtue of our diversity, the way to give us that more capacious sense of "we" — finally, the way to keep the Republic — is universal national service. No, not mandatory or compulsory service but service that is in our enlightened self-interest as a nation. We are at a historic junction; with the first open presidential election in more than a half-century, it is time for the next President to mine the desire that is out there for serving and create a program for universal national service that will be his — or her — legacy for decades to come. It is the simple but compelling idea that devoting a year or more to national service, whether military or civilian, should become a countrywide rite of passage, the common expectation and widespread experience of virtually every young American.

The basic plan as outlined in the article uses a "carrots instead of sticks" approach. Hey, whatever works - at least somebody's thinking of ways to make it workable. Go read and tell us what you think.

They call for us Olde Fartes (lctp) to do what we can in our Golden Years to act as mentors to the youngsters. I volunteer to help the babe on the cover learn whatever she wants to know and then some...

They just seem gay ...

The great Jon Swift:


Of course, seeming to be gay is not the same as actually being gay, despite what the Minneapolis police department believes. In fact, the more one looks at the evidence that Craig seems to be gay, the more one can see that it is really just evidence of being conservative. There are many attributes of conservatism that seem really gay and unfortunately the more we deny that we are gay, the gayer we seem. This incident should put a chill in every conservative who has a "wide stance" or belongs to a barbershop quartet.


Unfortunately, many conservatives are awkward and shy around women, which just fuels rumors that they are gay. That is why, for example, blogger Ace of Spades often seems so gay even though he is one of the most heterosexual unmarried bloggers on the Internet. Like many conservatives, Ace of Spades tries to overcompensate for these unfair perceptions by making a lot of anti-gay jokes. But sometimes his efforts to use light-hearted anti-gay humor to deflect these false impressions make him seem obsessed with homosexuality. And no matter how many times Dan Riehl tells us that he turned his back on his gay brother who died of AIDS or that he can't stop thinking about how homosexual acts disgust him whenever he sees Barney Frank on television, there are still people who will say that maybe he protests too much. It is a Catch-22 situation that many conservatives sadly get caught in.


See, it's all a big misunderstanding. Only the liberals are gay ... well ... aside from the 'Log Cabins'. Heh ... he said 'log'.

Monday, September 3, 2007

The Golden Voice of the Great Southwest.

So there I was - oops, sounds like a war story, sorry 'bout that - cruisin' around the internets lookin' fer somethin' apropos for Labor Day. Oh, I found some stuff all right, but I decided on this as more entertaining.

This is U. Utah Phillips, the Golden Voice of the Great Southwest, at the Strawberry Music Festival earlier this year at Camp Mather, Yosemite. We've posted about him before. Go see. Many links. If you go to his search at YouTube, there's much more.

Mr. Phillips is possibly the most distinguished resident of my county. Please enjoy.

Things are looking up ...

Oh ... wait ... Logan:


The White House says the decision to have the president fly into Anbar was to show the successes of the surge in that region and touting this as “a symbolic expression of impatience with political paralysis in the nation’s capital.” The truth of the matter is that the president is nowhere near an Iraqi city, he’s tucked away in a remote area and safe — surrounded by soldiers. I guess this is the best spin they could put on this seeing as how after four years of U.S. occupation, it still isn’t safe enough for him to fly into Baghdad.

As usual, the Chimp is supportin' the troops using our soldiers as props for a photo op.

Labor Day 2007 - Which Side Are You On?

Come all of you good workers
Good news to you I’ll tell
Of how that good old union
Has come in here to dwell

My daddy was a miner
And I’m a miner’s son
And I’ll stick with the union
Till every battle’s won

They say in Harlan County
There are no neutrals there
You’ll either be a union man
Or a thug for J.H. Blair

Oh, workers can you stand it?
Oh, tell me how you can
Will you be a lousy scab
Or will you be a man?

Don’t scab for the bosses
Don’t listen to their lies
Us poor folks haven’t got a chance
Unless we organize

Florence Reece*

In 1931, coal miners in Harlan County were on strike. Armed company deputies roamed the countryside, terrorizing the mining communities, looking for union leaders to beat, jail, or kill. But coal miners, brought up lean and hard in the Kentucky mountain country, knew how to fight back, and heads were bashed and bullets fired on both sides in Bloody Harlan. It was this kind of class war -- the mine owners and their hired deputies on one side, and the independent, free-wheeling Kentucky coal-miners on the other -- that provided the climate for Florence Reece's "Which Side Are You On?" In it she captured the spirit of her times with blunt eloquence.”

*(Hat tip to Celeste Monforton, The Pump Handle, who turned me onto this incredible song!)

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Contest ... sort of

Since The Fourth Estate is winding down (2 chapters left), I was rooting around in the files, looking for something to follow. Since there was a favorable response to the sci-fi epic The Captains, my first thought was Thirty Days at Zeta and then I reread Birthright and I thought you folks might like that too.

So, I figured I'd leave it up to y'all (did a New Yorker just say 'y'all'?). I put the prologue of both up at one of my blogs and I'd like you folks to decide which one you'd like me to start posting*. Links below:

Thirty Days at Zeta


Thanks for your time. The Sort of Contest ends when September does.

Have a happy and safe Labor Day.

Cross-posted at The Practical Press.

*If you're voting, leave it in comments here.

"And the company takes ...

What the company wants."

Midnight Oil - Blue Sky Mine

Happy Labor Day ...

Thanks to PSoTD for the impetus.

Neverending War

Not satisfied with fucking up one sovereign nation (not counting the United States), destroying their society and infratructure, and making us less safe than before September 11, the Chimp wants to go 2 for 2.

THE Pentagon has drawn up plans for massive airstrikes against 1,200 targets in Iran, designed to annihilate the Iranians’ military capability in three days, according to a national security expert.

Alexis Debat, director of terrorism and national security at the Nixon Center, said last week that US military planners were not preparing for “pinprick strikes” against Iran’s nuclear facilities. “They’re about taking out the entire Iranian military,” he said.


Does anybody besides the "kill the ragheads" crowd think this is a good idea? An attack on Iran will do nothing but bankrupt this nation and destroy what little credibility we have left in the world.

If the Dems let him get away with it, we might as well give it up.