Saturday, June 26, 2004

Lord of the Safety Dance 

In what must've been an entertaining interview to watch, the President (of Bizarro World) tells Ireland that the post-Iraq world is "a safer place". What a comforting grasp of the facts this man has! Then he adds a patented Karl Rovian false choice:

So the free world has to make a choice. Do we cower in the face of terror or do we lead in the face of terror?

How is this bullshit "playing in Peoria?" Not well at all (via Cursor).

Where to begin? The WMD's are missing. If they never existed, that represents a massive intel failure. But if they did exist HOW CAN WE POSSIBLY BE SAFER IF WE DON'T KNOW WHO HAS THEM!?! Secondly, the 9/11 commission has all but totally undercut the administration's assertions that Hussein was connected to al Qaeda in any operational sense. So that rationale is also out. Third, Bush's claim of safety is deflated by his own State Dept's updated report detailing how worldwide terrorism has increased-- not to mention the daily bombs and shootings occuring in Iraq.

Cursor also notes that "For the first time, a majority of respondents to a USA Today/CNN/Gallup Poll say that sending troops to Iraq was a mistake and that the war there has made the U.S. less safe from terrorism." This majority better vote in November.

(Tip o' the hat to the Big Event for topic suggestion.)

Update: Kevin Drum discloses Bush got all the questions in advance, and became testy that the interviewer had the temerity to do unscripted follow ups. He has links to the video and transcript of the interview, as well.
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Friday, June 25, 2004

Is it raining with you? 

Here came the rain again.

My new roof leaked.


Water in my home like a tragedy.

Last night I felt new emotions.
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Thursday, June 24, 2004

Clamoring for a warm bucket of spit 

One must marvel at John Kerry 's extended Veep deliberation. Capitalizing on the media's obsession with the campaign-as-horserace, Kerry has been maddeningly secretive, thus increasing speculation and interest. He has allowed a squadron of VP wannabes to furiously campaign and fundraise for him, has floated some unorthodox names (McCain, Vilsack) to sustain media coverage, and will-- presumably-- "arrive" at the obvious and correct choice: John Edwards.

Don't mind the unnamed sources saying he doesn't get along with Edwards. Winning is the only thing worth considering, and polls and focus groups will show Edwards as the clear cut choice now that McCain said "no" for the umpteenth time.

Kerry has played this beautifully.

Note: I helped run the Wes Clark campaign in LA and now hope he will be Secretary of Defense or State. If Kerry were assured of winning I'd hope (like Jeffrey) that he'd pick Richardson.
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Dancing between the rain drops 

The rude pundit (citing his experience at the Sears Customer Service Department) describes what he aptly calls "The Big Squirm".

Language, you see, can abbrogate your complicity in the actions of others.

So it is with this administration of business men, CEOs, and the like. They understand the unique hucksterism of deceptive language, the room to squirm. Like the al-Qaeda/Iraq connection: the squirm is that "we never said."

That is one reason the Bush administration so endlessly repeats the same simple, declarative half-truths. If anyone changes the pat phrase du jour in any way, it might become technically false instead of technically true. ("Saddam was a threat" The biggest? "He had used WMD's" In the 80's. "Terrorists hate our freedom." Which terrorists did Saddam support? "Saddam was a threat...")

Advanced challenge: pick out the squirm words in the letter to Congress just prior to the war.

Text of a Letter from the President to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and President Pro Tempore of the Senate
March 21, 2003

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

On March 18, 2003, I made available to you, consistent with section 3(b) of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (Public Law 107-243), my determination that further diplomatic and other peaceful means alone will neither adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq, nor lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.

I have reluctantly concluded, along with other coalition leaders, that only the use of armed force will accomplish these objectives and restore international peace and security in the area. I have also determined that the use of armed force against Iraq is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including [but not limited to] those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001. United States objectives also support a transition to democracy in Iraq, as contemplated by the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-338).
(brackets and emphasis by oyster)

They play these games when discussing war (and intelligence).
Such acts are beneath contempt, and unimaginably dangerous to the Republic.

Oyster trivia: Before leaving to serve in the Peace Corps in Tunisia, my father bought some sox at Sears. He had a short, friendly conversation with the clerk and went away for over two years. When he returned, and went back to Sears, the same clerk recognized him by name. He ended up marrying her daughter, and they became my parents. Believe it or not, at one time Sears did in fact "mean something".
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Wednesday, June 23, 2004

F9/11 is a joke in your town (or not) 

This will be the first Moore film I see. Recently I've begun tempering expectations, but still hope it grosses a hundred mil. For your convenience I offer the first sentence from various critics' reviews:

Rextasy (+): Michael Moore leaves no turn unstoned.

Eburpped (erect thumb): Michael Moore the muckraking wiseass has been replaced by a more subdued version in "Fahrenheit 9/11," his new documentary questioning the anti-terrorism credentials of the Bush regime.

Peter "this mag used to matter" Travers (+):Rumor has it that Michael Moore needs to get his Bush-bashing documentary out pronto (with the DVD following close behind) because his film will pass its sell-by date on Election Day.

Hollywood Repo man Kirk Honeycutt (-): In "Fahrenheit 9/11," Michael Moore drops any pretense that he is a documentarian to pull together from many sources an angry polemic against the president, the Bush family and the administration's foreign policy.

Bitchy Hitch (-):One of the many problems with the American left, and indeed of the American left, has been its image and self-image as something rather too solemn, mirthless, herbivorous, dull, monochrome, righteous, and boring.

The last quote doesn't really illuminate the film, but it is delicious and true.
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al-Zarqawi beheads dead president!! 


In a bizarre twist, terrorist al-Zarqawi captured and decapitated deceased "eternal president" Kim Il Sung. Apparently, the Axis of Evil (so coordinated hitherto) is now at war with itself!! The desecration of each other's dead-- this is big!!!


Update: Ew. My bad. Apparently South Korean translator Kim Sun Il was beheaded, and he was someone other than the already-dead dictator of North Korea. In my hurry to prove my belief, I accidentally juxtaposed the names. It happens. Sorry if anyone got the wrong impression.
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Mon dieu! You're the bong in our reggae song 

Billmon warns "I don't do news digests" and then easily presents one of the best I've ever seen. Complete with clever subtitles. Gee whillikers he's good. Don't miss the Juan Cole link, where he concludes:
Isn't it a shame that we have these key people doing important things who are either incompetent ignoramuses or dumb as posts?

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Silent Cal knew Persistence Pays 

As a (soon to be former) vp of a manufacturing firm, and a pessimist when it came to Blanco, I must say she deserves bouquets for this economic triumph:

ALEXANDRIA -- Celebrating the largest heavy manufacturing job announcement in Louisiana in more than 20 years, Gov. Kathleen Blanco took center stage Tuesday to announce that the Union Tank Car Co. of Chicago plans to build a $100 million train car plant at the site of the former England Air Force Base, which was shut down in December 1992.

"Without the governor's relentless personal involvement, I would not be standing here today," said Frank Lester, Union Tank Car president. The company plans to bring to the area 850 direct jobs with an annual payroll of $30 million to $35 million, and to support another 150 jobs for suppliers of the assembly plant.

Lester praised Blanco and her staff for working with the company to seal the deal. "I sense a level of trust that I normally don't assess with politicians," he said.
(oyster's emphasis)

What persistence have you shown today?
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Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Farrell thee well, Moz 

I don't know when this waste-of-time blog became a place for breaking music updates (or cheap shots at texas), but why stop now?

Lollapalooza cancelled due to underwhelming ticket sales.

Never peripheral Perry Farrell, (2nd best artist since 1970) explains:
Unexhausted is our virtue. We are taking Lollapalooza back and plan on rebuilding and recreating the festival in surroundings more conducive to the cultural experience we've become known for.

I think Bigmouth simply wanted to avoid that warm welcome Dallas showers upon its political opponents. This will certainly put music lover Ratboy the 2nd in a foul mood.

News from don't get any on you (via naked furniture)

Oyster trivia: Before last year's Lollapalooza in Houston, Lovely told me she was pregnant. We tripped away that summer day on music and wonder.

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A cool way to give is to find ways to assist a friend in helping someone else. This requires a degree of skill and tact, but if in your conversations you start learning about all the people in your friend's sphere of influence, interesting connections will undoubtedly emerge between them and the people in your own sphere. Ask questions, take notes (afterwards), and think about ways you can help your friends do something for the people they care about.

Important: don't force it.
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Past is Prologue 

If you want to understand Iraq's future, look at how Afghanistan has been handled.

If you want to understand our country's future, look at how GWB handled Tejas.

If you want to understand how future intelligence will be used as a political weapon, just look back at the Plame scandal, WMD's, the Iraqaeda non-link...

The only thing that will change is our acceptance or non-acceptance of this continuing stream of malicious dissimulation. It's time to stop getting rolled under the bus, by this group of the blind leading the dumb.
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Monday, June 21, 2004

Why does it hurt when I pee? 

Perhaps the genital electro-shock torture that ruptured a vein in my penis is one possibility...*ZAPPa!*

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Like a Good Neighbor (who doesn't throw poisoned meat over the fence) 

Seems as if all my friends' pets are dying of some rare disease requiring hideously expensive treatments, surgeries and medications. So I wondered, is there a thing called "pet insurance"? Yes, indeed.

Let me tell you about another form of coverage. My cat Asrielle (wife named him) lives outside and visits a couple times a day for food or a brief caress. The rest of the time he's out of sight and mind. Where does he poo? Beats me. What does he eat when I go out of town or forget to buy food? I dunno, but the hardy feline manages. He makes do. I know that one day, he'll have the good manners to curl up and die in some unnoticed corner of the neighborhood. But not before outliving every single one of those picky, pampered, Eukanuba-eating, anti-oxidized, pure bred excuses-for-animals attached to Yuppie owners on reel'em in leashes.

You want insurance without a premium? Get a pet who knows how to rough it.

"But Oyster, isn't your relationship with Asrielle a bit limited and distant? Don't you two lack the real connection other pet owners experience? Why are you so afraid to risk getting hurt?"


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Is it any wonder I reject you first? 

I don't know why I like the interweaving of song lyrics with current events. I guess it's pop-culturific in an easy way towards mild amusement. Without further ado, some abuse to the greatest artist since 1970:

Plame, plame, plame, plame
Is it any wonder you are too cool to fool?

Plame, bully for you, chilly for me
Got to get a rain check on pain

Plame, Plame, plame, plame, plame, plame, plame, plame, plame, plame
Plame, plame, plame, plame, plame, plame, plame, plame, plame, plame
Plame, plame, plame

What's your name?

Feeling so gay, feeling gay

Steve Guilliard and Needlenose have updates on my favorite Bush scandal. What's yours?
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Sunday, June 20, 2004

"I was not awakened when I gave orders for awakening." 

Happy Fathers, now I understand that joyful wisdom in your eyes (or is it only profound weariness?). Ah, to be king of the castle... Historical note on the holiday:

it wasn't until 1966 that President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the third Sunday of June as Father's Day, officially making it a national holiday.

I'll have more to say about the cuddly LBJ later. In the meantime, I'm supervising roofers installing a sprinkler system in my living room's ceiling. Why would I want that? I don't. But the new roof functioned as such after it rained the other night. Buckets of fun that was. Should've called Ricky.

So I've been out of pocket recently. Appy polly loggies, my brothers.But if you've been out of pocket the past couple of years, the matchless TBogg runs it down for you in a response to Insty.

The title quote is from young Alex who drove a Durango 95 and acted all horrorshow and learned that if a man cannot choose, he ceases to be a man. His choices, unfortunately, were not so gorgeous.
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