22 people attended an Obama house party June 28th on a remote island in the Pacific Northwest that has just 5 year-around residents. At least half a dozen republicans were among the attendees. Jack officiated starting the proceedings with a rundown of some of the Bush administration's blunders. There followed some spirited debate with almost unanimous agreement that the past 7 years of the Bush administration have been disastrous.
The house party was followed by an Obama beach party in a location of incomparable beauty, underscoring the importance of getting back on track protecting the environment.
The song is "One of These Days" by Emmylou Harris.
Heh. So much for the 'youth vote', at least on Nameless Island WA. The old farts like me got the pretty girls The party appeared to have as guests several of my peer age group as well as some attractive young ladies. That cheered me up 'til I realized they were probably nurses.
No sooner had Bush started speaking at the naturalization ceremony welcoming new American citizens than protesters began shouting at him, calling him a “war criminal.” The President paused in his remarks and then responded, “To my fellow citizens, we believe in free speech in the United States of America.” One woman moved towards the stage before being stopped by security, but other protesters still made their voices heard. Only minutes later, another protester shouted expletives at the President, while still another called Bush “a fascist”. By the time Bush finished his 10-minute remarks, at least nine protesters had been escorted out of the event by law enforcement. Protesters also lined the President’s motorcade route, chanting “Arrest Bush” as he drove to and from the Monticello ceremony.
They're not bothering to herd protesters into "free speech zones" blocks from his motorcade route any more, nor trying to shield Bush's privileged & pampered eyes from seeing citizen reaction to the evil he has done.
He can still do a lot of damage, but he doesn't matter much any more.
The United States has a lot to live down in Bush's wake, but we're starting to recover. The process will continue as long as there is no 3rd Bush term.
Great thanks to everyone; the readers, commenters, the blogs who link to us, contributors, and especially Gordon. I never thought we would go this long, or this far (close to 11,000 posts).
This little 'mortar battery' will keep lobbing them in and hoping for a secondary (thanks, Gord) so long as this 'Information Civil War' (my term) goes on, helping to cover our line until this great nation we love comes back to its senses.
It's been a fantastic ride so far; more than I ever expected when we first 'deployed'.
Everything Fixer said in the above post, plus my 2¢.
The day I reported into this lash-up changed my life. Whichever story you choose to believe, that I was left on Fixer's doorstep in a basket with money pinned to my chest (ouch!) (Fixer's version), or that he tracked me down with dogs and chained me up in his basement (my version), doesn't matter. Fixer gave me the best opportunity I have ever had to do a little writing, a little reporting, and hopefully a lot of communicating. As the red & yellow banner on the wall of 1st Bn/8th Marines' comm shack said, "Communications* lends dignity to what would otherwise be considered a brawl".
As much as I would love to mix it up up close and personal with some of the jackholes in this country and its maladministration, this is as close to a great bottle'n chain swingin' brawl with 'em as I'm likely to get, so thank you F-Man.
*Yes, there's an 's'. Refers to the Military Occupational Specialties that tie the battlefield together.
When I got here, I could barely spell 'blog'. I didn't know shit from shinola. Fixer taught me everything. He has given me free rein to do whatever I want to. A brave man! The only - I say again only - editorial direction he has ever given me came when I discovered how to post pictures and consisted of "try to hold down the porn a little", with which direction I have generally complied, mostly.
I absolutely love our masthead and the mortarman waiting for a fire mission metaphor. Thank you to our dear departed friend Lurch, who is still the only blogger I've met in person.
So to continue the metaphor, we lob 'em high, we lob 'em low, max range and danger close, sometimes we get a hit (mortars are 'area fire' weapons, so close is OK), and sometimes we drop one right on our foot. Sometimes the tube gets red-hot and we have to piss on it to cool it off, sometimes we sit and wait. Not often enough. We fire as much High Explosive as we can, but we try to fire a lot of Illume as well.
I could go on and on, but I'll let YouTube provide the visual. Picture one mortar pit in Lawn Guyland and the other in the High Sierra.
Of course, there's a lighter side to this blogging shit, and thank God for it! When I signed on, Mrs. F said it scared her a little how alike me'n Fixer are, which extends to our slightly offbeat senses of humor. Sometimes it goes more like this:
I feel like I've found a home here, and I hope it goes on for a long, long time.
To all our wonderful readers and friends, have a fine Independence Day.
Fixer, try not to blow off the finger ya pick yer nose with...
Needless to say, since we're gonna be in Amsterdam in September, we've been watching this closely:
Coughing and spluttering resonated around Tweede Kamer coffeeshop in Amsterdam yesterday as customers got to grips with new Dutch smoking regulations that prohibit tobacco but not marijuana.
“They're having to smoke pure weed now and they're not used to it,” Frank, working behind the counter, said. “That's why there's all this coughing. It's going to be quite tricky.”
The Netherlands' unique approach to smoking was much in evidence yesterday as it became the latest European country after the likes of Britain and France to introduce a ban on lighting-up in public places.
No worries, I'll figger out a place to grab a cigarette. Heh ...
Bush administration officials knew that a Texas oil company with close ties to President Bush was planning to sign an oil deal with the regional Kurdistan government that ran counter to American policy and undercut Iraq’s central government, a Congressional committee has concluded.
Keep in mind that stated policy and actual Cheney/Bush policy are rarely, if ever, the same. Say one thing, do the opposite, lie about it, and blame someone else.
The company, Hunt Oil of Dallas, signed the deal with Kurdistan’s semiautonomous government last September. Its chief executive, Ray L. Hunt, a close political ally of President Bush, briefed an advisory board to Mr. Bush on his contacts with Kurdish officials before the deal was signed.
To which advisory Bush's response, no doubt, was "Where's my check?"
In an e-mail message released by the Congressional committee, a State Department official in Washington, briefed by a colleague about the impending deal with the Kurdistan Regional Government, wrote: “Many thanks for the heads up; getting an American company to sign a deal with the K.R.G. will make big news back here. Please keep us posted.”
The release of the documents comes as the administration is defending help that United States officials provided in drawing up a separate set of no-bid contracts, still pending, between Iraq’s Oil Ministry in Baghdad and five major Western oil companies to provide services at other Iraqi oil fields.
Disclosure of those contracts has provided substantial fuel to critics of the Iraq war, both in the United States and abroad, who contend that the enormous Iraqi oil reserves were a motivation for the American-led invasion — an assertion the administration has repeatedly denied.
Cheney and Bush can deny it until the trap door drops out from under them for all I care. These two oil men/criminals, one pretty good one, one an abject failure, started a war for oil and profit. They are well into the process of getting caught at it by those who have known about it from the start but were too scared of them to do anything about it and are coming out from under their beds only because C&B's war crimes are starting to stink publicly and their power and influence are waning.
The documents released by Mr. Waxman also lay bare what has become a serious dispute between the company and the State Department over what was said between them before the deal last year.
For example, a senior Hunt official said he was told by State Department officials during a meeting on June 15, 2007, that the United States government did not object to deals with the Kurdish regional government.
Sounds to me like part of the State Department was in on the scam and part of it wasn't.
Note to Condi: One of the secrets Cheney and Bush should have told you is that a successful criminal enterprise such as the ones all of you have attempted and are failing at, is based on all parties getting their stories straight. You were in the awl bidness too, and I'm surprised you didn't already know that. You'll be OK. You'll like Paraguay much more than prison or the gallows. Unless B&C throw you to the wolves, of course. They're pretty one-way about loyalty.
If the oil company execs and administration officials ever get in front of investigators who have the power to jail them and offer them immunity from doing the time they should, they will roll over on Cheney and Bush and many others so fast it will make your head spin. As soon as Bush and Cheney are out of power. Pray for the day.
There are some politicians whom advisers should never permit to run their own campaigns, and John McCain is one of them. Watching him, I get the sense, at times, that he still sees himself as the macho, hotshot naval cadet whose picaresque adventures install him as the truest man among men, which voters are bound to see, acknowledge and swoon over.
Keep thinkin; that way, Johnny me boy. I think yer doin' a wonderful job!
There has always been, and so it remains, only one slim way in which McCain can control his destiny and thereby win this thing: to blast away at Obama with unremitting assaults on his character, his inexperience and his "liberalism" (in anticipation of which, of course, the Obama campaign has already launched a concerted flanking maneuver to the center-right).
But above all, the McCain campaign must blast -- blast anything and everything, go as negative as the almost limitless boundaries of poor taste can take it.
Yet, there may be a problem with this Rove-Schmidtian strategy.
Buried, I sense as well, in McCain's macho-cadet code of manliness is the nagging political anachronism of personal honor: that is, a few hijinks are OK, but a sustained campaign of outright dishonesty -- the very species of fraudulence deployed against him by Bush in 2000 -- is for McCain, perhaps, beyond the pale.
Don't bet on it.
Because, I further sense, even deeper in McCain's psyche is the emotional undercurrent of recognition that he has already lost. So why not go down with a little honor intact?
Very little. I like the rest of that though. A man who thinks he has lost, has.
Just look at McCain; watch him, on the stump, and you see a man almost clinically depressed and already defeated. His performance is so unstintingly morbid, it's as though he just wants to get the inevitable over with.
And if I'm correct, Steve Schmidt is about to encounter a lot of internal flak, guaranteeing yet more campaign confusion, if not more rearrangement of the deck chairs.
McCain has been screwing up so badly that I actually had the thought that he was hired by the Dems so they'd have have someone demonstrably and positively worse than the candidate they thought they were going to have.
Supporters of Mr. McCain insist that his military service should be exempt from discussion, except when they feel like bringing it up to prove some point about national security, terrorism or the presidency that it really doesn’t prove at all. But of course he was not the only soldier, sailor or airman to survive such experiences with courage and nobility. There was once another former POW whose candidacy for high office vindicates the Clark argument.
Or has everyone forgotten Admiral Stockdale?
I remember Admiral Stockdale as an honorable and somewhat dotty old gent who was enlisted somehow by Perot to participate in an election campaign that never stood a chance.
One can only wonder, or perhaps surmise, that POW captivity affected his dottiness. It follows that it had similar effects on McCain's mentality. Or exacerbated whatever defects were already present in his brain housing group to the point where he is absolutely unfit to be President.
The Iraqi government sued dozens of companies, including oil giant Chevron Corp., for more than $10 billion on Monday, saying they paid kickbacks to former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's government under the U.N. oil-for-food program.
The civil lawsuit, filed in U.S. federal court in Manhattan, seeks to recover damages from companies investigated by a U.N.-commissioned inquiry, claiming they cheated the Iraqi people out of benefits of the $67 billion U.N. program.
The lawsuit says billions of dollars were lost, "all of which were directly translatable into food, medicine and other humanitarian goods that were supposed to reach the Iraqi people."
The lawsuit said the defendants had violated U.S. racketeering laws including mail and wire fraud and money laundering. Chevron and Swiss oil trading firm Vitol were also accused of breaching their fiduciary duties.
Other companies named in the lawsuit include European bank BNP Paribas, drug makers GlaxoSmithKline and Roche Holding, and units of drug company Schering-Plough, as well as several units of Switzerland's engineering company ABB Group.
The lawsuit also names AWB Ltd -- Australia's largest wheat exporter. A 2006 Australian government judicial inquiry found the company paid $222 million in kickbacks to Saddam's regime for wheat sales.
Note to Iraq: Good luck getting any of the money back. Those are some of the most heavyweight companies in the world. Between them they own more lawyers, judges, politicians, and heads of state than you have grains of sand. They will either get the lawsuit dismissed out-of-hand all over the world, or keep it in court so long you will impoverish yourselves for generations. Even if your great-grandchildren manage to get a judgment, you will likely never see a dime, or the equivalent in whatever kinda money you use.
BuzzFlash, with 'comments' and a link to Pravda. You don't think the U.S. corporate press is going to print anything like this, do you?
Cimavas EGF, based on two proteins, triggers an immune response from the victim's body and has absolutely no side effects, as most anti-cancer therapy does. The vaccine only attacks cancer cells. The vaccine is meant to serve as a compliment to rather than a replacement for conventional methods such as chemotherapy and radiation. The vaccine also improves patients' breathing and decreases their pain. Posted Jul 1, 2008 08:42 AM PST Category: CUBA Unfortunately, courtesy of the US prohibition against Americans traveling to Cuba, sick Americans who might benefit from having access to this vaccine won't be able to, unless they have the money to travel to South America for treatment.
tags: health, gop denies treatments
And why can we not get access to that here?
The margin of profit is too small if they cure you.
There it is. I see two reasons why this or any other real breakthrough medical advances from certain places will not be coming here anytime soon:
1) The Repugs would rather we die than accept help from godless commie fucks who, medical advances not withstanding, have been thumbing their noses at us for fifty years instead of kowtowing to us like the should, the heathen fuzzy-wuzzies, and
2) Curing diseases might fuck with the bottom line, which is not Corporate/GOP policy.
Also, you can bet your bottom dollar that the Ruling Elite will have access to any treatment that prolongs their miserable lives. Fuck the rest of us.
Of words. Larisa looks at how the Republicans' "linguistic choreography" sets up the field the Dems have to play on and mis- and dis-informs the American public in the process:
Jonah Goldberg continues to demonstrate how the right-wing is manipulating public discourse in order to confuse and conflate patriotism with rabid nationalism. Make no mistake, this is a coordinated effort to deliberately replace substance with its symbol, meaning with an emblem, and essentially strip language down to nothing but trinkets.
For a people to be controlled, they must first be robbed of honest discourse and open debate. Distorting language and stripping it of real and honest meaning is the first tool and the best mechanism for transforming a democracy into an authoritarian state. An informed populace is a dangerous populace.
Patriotism is the word that authoritarians most like to distort and Goldberg demonstrates - once again - just how this distortion is created.
"What's wrong with John McCain is symptomatic of what's wrong with the Republican Party in these first years of the 21st century," Barr said on "Fox News Sunday." "They talk one thing but do something different, and that's become very obvious to the American people."
I wish Mr. Nader Barr the absolute best of luck in his run for the presidency. Experience has shown us that the couple of percentage points he's going to get can make all the difference in the world.
Bob Schieffer: General-could I just interrupt you-I have to say, Barack Obama has not had any of those experiences either nor has he ridden in a fighter plane and gotten shot down.
General Wesley Clark: I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president...
-- Face the Nation (CBS), 6/29/08
After a careful reading of Article II of the U.S. Constitution, it appears General Wesley Clark is correct. "Riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down" is neither a qualification nor a requirement nor a recommended prerequisite to being president.
Watch for the RS3M* to label progressives as 'strict constructionists' and make it sound like 'godless commie fucks'. Heh. Strange bedfellows, indeed...
More at the site, but that was the 'bada-bing' of it to me.
Oh, no, they told us, Iraq isn't a war about oil. That's cynical and simplistic, they said. It's about terror and al-Qaeda and toppling a dictator and spreading democracy and protecting ourselves from weapons of mass destruction. But one by one, these concocted rationales went up in smoke, fire and ashes. And now the bottom line turns out to be ... the bottom line. It is about oil.
Shades of Daniel Plainview, the monstrous petroleum tycoon in the movie, "There Will Be Blood." Half-mad, he exclaims, "There's a whole ocean of oil under our feet!" then adds, "No one can get at it except for me!"
No wonder American troops only guarded the Ministries of Oil and the Interior in Baghdad, even as looters pillaged museums of their priceless antiquities. They were making sure no one could get at the oil except ... guess who?
There you have it. After a long exile, Exxon Mobil, Shell, Total and BP are back in Iraq. And on the wings of no-bid contracts - that's right, sweetheart deals like those given Halliburton, KBR and Blackwater. The kind of deals you get only if you have friends in high places. And these war profiteers have friends in very high places.
Perhaps those sweetheart deals in Iraq should be added to his proposed indictments. They have been purchased at a very high price. Four thousand American soldiers dead, tens of thousands permanently wounded, hundreds of thousands of dead and crippled Iraqis plus five million displaced, and a cost that will mount into trillions of dollars. The political analyst Kevin Phillips says America has become little more than an "energy protection force," doing anything to gain access to expensive fuel without regard to the lives of others or the earth itself. One thinks again of Daniel Plainview in "There Will Be Blood." His lust for oil came at the price of his son and his soul.
Trouble is, this ain't a movie. Cheney and his henchmen didn't lose their souls, they sold them long ago. It makes me wish all the heaven/hell bullshit is real just to see the looks on their faces when they find out just how wrong they went.
Some folks are even more cynical about Iraq. From a comment at the site:
[...] Perhaps, if you are a conspiracy theorist, it wasn't to secure access to more oil, but rather to take the Iraqi reserves off the market so that oil might go to $100+/barrel making much more profit to the companies, at less corporate expense, than actually extracting the stuff." [...]
I don't know, but I put nothing - say again, nothing - past this bunch. The bottom line is...the bottom line.
A personal point: I have a crazy life. I'm always doing something or running somewhere; the Mrs. too. That said, I'm not good with keeping up with basic shit here like updating the blogrolls.
I usually get to it when there's a Blogtopia-wide (y!sctp!) linkage event (usually in response to one of the bigger blogs purging their rolls). I know there are a buncha regular readers and commenters whose blogs I haven't added to the blogroll yet so here's your chance. Leave a link to your place in 'comments' on this post (if you are not on the blogroll), and tell me what category I should put you in, and I'll update over the long weekend (along with other site maintenance that's long overdue).
A group of American advisers led by a small State Department team played an integral part in drawing up contracts between the Iraqi government and five major Western oil companies to develop some of the largest fields in Iraq, American officials say.
The disclosure, coming on the eve of the contracts’ announcement, is the first confirmation of direct involvement by the Bush administration in deals to open Iraq’s oil to commercial development and is likely to stoke criticism.
In their role as advisers to the Iraqi Oil Ministry, American government lawyers and private-sector consultants provided template contracts and detailed suggestions on drafting the contracts, advisers and a senior State Department official said. [my em]
Heh ... Republican lawyers. One day, the Iraqis will realize they have signed away their sovereignty (oh wait, we took that away from them 5 years ago) and are now an official U.S. territory (see - Guam, Puerto Rico, etc).
"See, we told you it was our oil."
At this point does anyone have any doubt about why we went in there?
Unlike Hillary Clinton’s rumination about the Bobby Kennedy assassination or Barack Obama’s soliloquy about voters clinging to guns and faith, Mr. Black’s remarks were not an improvisational mishap. He gave his quotes on the record to Fortune magazine. He did so without thinking twice because he was merely saying what much of Washington believes. Terrorism is the one major issue where Mr. McCain soundly vanquishes his Democratic opponent in the polls. Since 2002, it’s been a Beltway axiom akin to E=mc2 that Bomb in American City=G.O.P. Landslide.
That equation was the creation of Karl Rove. Among the only durable legacies of the Bush presidency are the twin fears that Mr. Rove relentlessly pushed on his client’s behalf: fear of terrorism and fear of gays. But these pillars are disintegrating too. They’re propped up mainly by political operatives like Mr. Black and their journalistic camp followers — the last Washington insiders who are still in Mr. Rove’s sway and are still refighting the last political war.
But you can’t blame the McCain campaign for clinging to terrorism as a political crutch. The other Rove fear card is even more tattered. In the wake of Larry Craig and Mark Foley, it’s a double-edged sword for the G.O.P. to trot out gay blades cavorting in pride parades in homosexual-panic ads.
Mr. McCain is trying to swing both ways. [...]
Yer a real card, Pop. Sorry about no liquid alert. I wonder if the bleach I'm pouring in my ear will help with gettin' the mud outta my keyboard...
The Telegraph has learned that the former president's rage is still so great that even loyal allies are shocked by his patronising attitude to Mr Obama, and believe that he risks damaging his own reputation by his intransigence. A senior Democrat who worked for Mr Clinton has revealed that he recently told friends Mr Obama could "kiss my ass" in return for his support. Note: ROFLMAO!!!! Boy, you talk about taking it hard. There is no defeat like conceit!!!!
Retired U.S. Army General Wesley Clark, an adviser to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, said Republican contender John McCain has oversold his military and national-security experience.
Gee, ya think?
"I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president," Clark said, referring to the incident that led to McCain's being taken prisoner of war in Vietnam. He also said McCain's service as a prisoner made him "a hero."
Here's the awful irony: If McCain had used proper judgment and not let the North Vietnamese shoot his ass out of the sky, we'd have never heard of him.
Now, I love this. When someone tells me something is right or wrong because the Bible says so. Everything in the Bible is true. I have some observations.
1) Being multi-lingual (I spoke German before I spoke English), and being someone who enjoys a good joke, I've come across many jokes that don't translate from German to English and vice versa. Nuance and meaning are lost in the translation.
2) Mrs. F's grandfather used to tell jokes in English but the punch line was in Yiddish because "it didn't translate properly".
3) If you look on the left sidebar on this page, you'll see the Alta Vista Babel Fish link to translate this page into a number of languages (mainly so my German relatives can read the Brain). While you get the gist of the posts, the translation is not great.
Now a question. When was the Bible written? I've heard everything from one of Jesus disciples wrote it not long after his death, to a century later, to the Middle Ages (900 - 1400 A.D.).
Another question. Was it written in English originally? From what I've heard, the original was probably written in Aramaic. It was most certainly translated into Latin long before the English version came out.
Last question. Taking the three statements and two questions together, how can some mono-lingual southern preacher (or anyone else for that matter) tell me exactly what truths are contained in the Bible? I am constantly amazed how people can point to truth in a document written hundreds (if not thousands) of years ago, translated from at least one 'dead language' into another before being translated into English.
When you talk to me about "Biblical truth" the Big Man/Woman better be standing next to you to translate (that word again) what he really meant before I'll believe it. 'God's mouthpieces' here on Earth have as much inside track to the Master Plan as I do and don't let anyone else tell you different.
Billy Joe Shaver is a member of a great sub-genre of country music, the Texas singer/songwriter, which includes Willie Nelson, Nanci Griffith, Joe Ely, Townes Van Zandt, and on and on. One of the best things to ever come out of that state besides Interstate 10. Being on the cusp of curmudgeonry my own self, I like this guy.
I think this is a very slyly subversive song. See if you do too.
This is so bizarre I couldn't resist. An old country tune, but a pretty clever song title/slideshow connection, I think. Looks like the wall at a Japanese tattoo parlor..."Herro, Sairor, you pick, I draw, carry you back to ship".
A question for people older than me (I’m 34): There was a time in this country, wasn’t there, when people who thought Congress was in league with our nation’s mortal enemies, and actively, knowingly plotted with them to have Americans killed, were confined to street corners with urine-soaked refridgerator [sic] cartons and tinfoil hats, right?
Please tell me this was so, and that it could some day be that way again.
Yes, hopefully one day people who are mind-numbingly stupid or downright delusional or criminally complicit will be treated as such once again.