Saturday, February 19, 2005

Aw, you came here? Sorry. You should be elsewhere. 

Light posting today, but James R. MacLean has some damn interesting thoughts on the Ward Churchill kerfuffle. Yes, I'm officially declaring it a "kerfuffle". But James offers a stimulating analysis:

Unfortunately for all of us, Churchill probably meant the outcome he received. In this case, I'm indulging in a little conspiracy thinking of my own: I think Churchill understood his remarks, which are indeed genocidal and racist, would be a sweeptakes prize for the political right. He is associated--wrongly--with the left, perhaps because of social connections and some misleading associations. Like all such polemicists, however, his main object of hatred is not the actual perpetrators of the history crimes for which he waves the bloody shirt; it's those who really do espouse nonviolence.


The good stuff begins in the middle of this post on conspiracies. The comments are well worth reading (and contributing to) also. And by the way, you should be checking into Hobson's Choice much more regularly than you probably do.

For those who don't know who Ward Churchill is... well, I refer you to my conservative sister blog The Key Monk, who provided ungodly amounts of coverage on the story.
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Friday, February 18, 2005

Skip this post if you had biscuits for breakie 

Powerline will not apologize for saying Jimmy Carter is "on the other side". So the Poor Man takes'em behind the rhetorical woodshed, and horsewhips them thoroughly.

Honestly, what complete nimrods. Hindrocket isolates Carter's supposed "turning point" (to the dark side) and bases it on a Newsmax piece which gets immediately torched by a real historian, who says: "It's not accurate, and it is error based on fourth-hand hack journalism and scholarship." To Powerline's credit, they print the historian's criticism, but then wonder about the portions of the hackery which he didn't address. Sad.

Hindrocket's other main point is that sitting beside someone like Michael Moore implies you categorically endorse everything they have ever said, and are therefore "on the other side". You'd think they could point to something Carter actually wrote or said that would back up his "point"-- but, no, they're too busy slagging on the man's poetry...

Remember, Powerline's claim is that Carter isn't just misguided-- he's "on the other side". In fact, they've previously gone that far (yet in their view not far enough). Here's some earlier filth Hindy said in October:

Jimmy Carter has long ago passed by the point of being an embarrassment. He is now treasonous, fanning the flames of anti-Americanism abroad, and adopting uncritically the perspective of our mortal enemies.

Dreadful stuff.

Just go read the Poor Man-- whose lamest mockery is thrice as profound as Hindrocket's best "hacknalysis". Don't miss the finale, which includes this corker:

That's quite an impressive little circle jerk they've put together for themselves over there, all the kept men in Scaife's wingnut harem. That's the soggy biscuit you must eat if you want to be "on their side".
When appropos, remember to raise a glass to the Editors at Poor Man for kicking tail in such an entertaining fashion. Well done!
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Thursday, February 17, 2005

Welcome Cowtown visitors! 

While superior blogs are ignored by their hometown media, Your Right Hand Thief enjoys attention from... Texas' Metroplex?! That's right, the Fort Worth Weekly mentions YRHT in its detailed piece on Anthony Creme (whom I've previously castigated here). The comprehensive online-- but linkless!-- article states:

The attack [outside Galatoire's] made news in Dallas, where The Dallas Morning News and the Dallas Business Journal published articles about Hillwood Properties marketing director Tony Creme's arrest (Hillwood Properties is a Fort Worth-based division of Hillwood Development). D Magazine's "The Front Line" web site kicked the story around. Various blog sites, including Free Republic and Your Right Hand Thief, sashayed into the fray.

YES!! Not only is YRHT mentioned alongside the Freeps, but the magazine also notes my sashaying abilities. That's huge. All you obscure little anonymous fruitlessly-toiling bloggers out there can't imagine the amount of respect a good sashayer commands in Big "D". They love that sort of thing there. Soon, I predict YRHT will be receiving so much Texan traffic that I may have to reverse my biases, and start praising Dubya and slagging on the "gret stet" in order to appease my new audience... I'm gonna sell the rest of y'all out.

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And as if that wasn't enough big-time publicity, we've also got a resurgence of traffic from Libertarian Girl, now that she's been conclusively unmasked as a 30+ year old fedora-wearing dude w/o a girlfriend who swears he's not gay... hmm...

Developing...

Apparently the Libertarian Man of Mystery (as he now calls himself) posted a picture of a Russian mail-order bride above a fake profile and pretended to write as a chick. The ruse worked for nearly two whole weeks before skeptics like Ricky at the New Democrat were on to him. Now, a month later, after skyrocketing sitemeter numbers, Cattalarchy does a damning side by side with the photos.

The reason I mention this is that an early Libertarian Girl post linked to one of my better efforts, and I got early exposure to the growing "controversy" about her. (Btw, the subject of our posts-- insulting comments by Bush-- were never widely reported in the U.S..)

Totally captivating stuff, huh?

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(H/T Alameida at Unfogged)
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The current of events 

Dana Priest reports in the WaPo:

The insurgency in Iraq continues to baffle the U.S. military and intelligence communities, and the U.S. occupation has become a potent recruiting tool for al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, top U.S. national security officials told Congress yesterday.
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"Our policies in the Middle East fuel Islamic resentment," Vice Adm. Lowell E. Jacoby, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told the Senate panel. "Overwhelming majorities in Morocco, Jordan and Saudi Arabia believe the U.S. has a negative policy toward the Arab world."

Jacoby said the Iraq insurgency has grown "in size and complexity over the past year" and is now mounting an average of 60 attacks per day, up from 25 last year. Attacks on Iraq's election day last month reached 300, he said, double the previous one-day high of 150, even though transportation was virtually locked down.


Progress in Iraq goes swimmingly.
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Wednesday, February 16, 2005

 
Quote of the day comes from my current favorite show, Project Runway. In tonight's episode there was a clip of the superficial but likable Robert, who said the following while explaining his thinking behind a particular fashion creation:

"I falafelized my bodice."

Oh, YES! How that rules!!! And Robert was completely serious too, though I'm sure he meant "philosophized". Awesome. (For those who need the applicable O'Reilly background, go here.)

If you haven't seen it, Bravo's Project Runway is a combination of Apprentice, Queer Eye, Real World and America's Next Top Model-- plus a dash of "Iron Chef". My wife Lovely is an ardent fan of Jay, and was planning to boycott Miramax had he not made it to the finals. (He did.) Murph has more.

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As for American Idol, New Orleans' own David Brown and Ponchatoula's Lindsey Cardinale advanced to the final 24. Congratulations, once again. Now squeeze your lemon for all its worth, and bring it on home.
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The Others 

A lawyer who goes by the unfortunate name "Hindrocket" implies that former President Jimmy Carter actively supports terrorism. After noting Carter's earlier skepsis concerning the viability of elections in unstable Iraq, Hindrocket bizarrely concludes: "Jimmy Carter isn't just misguided or ill-informed. He's on the other side."

Now it takes a lot to get me to defend Carter, who ran a shockingly filthy and racist campaign for Governor in 1970, and was a massive hypocrite as a so-called "human rights" president. But to say Carter, a Naval submariner, a Sunday school teacher, a Habitat for Humanity volunteer, is "on the other side" goes beneath contempt. (Atrios notes Matt Yglesias' justified call for an apology.)

I'll wager Carter has written more books than the current Prez has read. He won the Nobel Peace prize. He appointed Paul Volcker as Fed Chairman. He aided the Afghan mujahadeen who resisted and ultimately "stung" a collapsing USSR (arguably the most successful CIA op ever). Eight million net jobs were created during his term (please notify me if/when Bush reaches that mark). Sure, Carter was ineffectual as a Commander, and he liked SALTed peanuts, and he damn near lost a battle with a swamp rabbit... but to say he's an active agent for "the other side"?

Utterly loathsome.

Almost as loathsome as a Secretary of Education categorizing Republicans as "our people", leaving one to wonder about her level of commitment to, say, the millions of children who are too young to register with a particular party-- be it "ours" or "the others". I wonder: how would Secretary Spellings describe New Orleans' families, who are the demographic opposite of Utah's lily-white GOP teetotallers?

Sincere apologies are truly in order.
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Tuesday, February 15, 2005

"It seems so strange to have our own country fighting us" 

Champollion at Rising Hegemon points us to this unbelievable story from the LA Times:

The latest chapter in the legal history of torture is being written by American pilots who were beaten and abused by Iraqis during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. And it has taken a strange twist.

The Bush administration is fighting the former prisoners of war in court, trying to prevent them from collecting nearly $1 billion from Iraq that a federal judge awarded them as compensation for their torture at the hands of Saddam Hussein's regime.

The rationale: Today's Iraqis are good guys, and they need the money.

The case abounds with ironies. It pits the U.S. government squarely against its own war heroes and the Geneva Convention.

Many of the pilots were tortured in the same Iraqi prison, Abu Ghraib, where American soldiers abused Iraqis 15 months ago. Those Iraqi victims, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has said, deserve compensation from the United States.

But the American victims of Iraqi torturers are not entitled to similar payments from Iraq, the U.S. government says.

"It seems so strange to have our own country fighting us on this," said retired Air Force Col. David W. Eberly, the senior officer among the former POWs.

Where do you possibly begin with this one? First, if you know anything about politics, you publicize the hell out of it. Second, little factoids like the following could be added for context: if we paid these victims of torture in full from the funds currently earmarked for the new U.S. embassy in Iraq, we'd still have about $400 million to build and staff the place....
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To make a freedom omelette you must break some freedom eggs 

The results from Iraq's election have been released, and it is clear that over a hundred thousand ChaldoAssyrian Christians were disenfranchised. These supporters of democracy have about half the representation one would expect them to have in the new Parliament-- mostly because over two hundred polling stations in Nineveh province were not opened on election day.

But aside from the oppressed Christians, isn't freedom reigning for everyone else?

Akeel, a 26-year old Iraqi, throws cold water on such talk:
Ah, the freedom. Look, we have the gas-line freedom, the looting freedom, the killing freedom, the rape freedom, the hash-smoking freedom. I don't know what to do with all this freedom.

Silly Akeel, enjoying freedom is as easy as these 3 steps: first you buy a truck, then you purchase a combo "meal" for lunch, and then you tune into Rush Limbaugh so you can "ditto" the party line. Simple, really.
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Fees, Lies, Ho-Hum! I smell the blood of a Louisianan! 

CB Forgotston (via Clancy DuBos):
A blatant example of how lawmakers abuse our constitution, and thus us, is how they routinely pass illegal or unconstitutional taxes disguised as 'fees.' They know that the amount is often too small for the average citizen to complain effectively or be able to afford to litigate against.

1. Airline Fees:
The White House budget unveiled Monday would raise existing ticket fees by $3 to help finance a $2.2 billion increase in the Department of Homeland Security budget [$6 increase per round-trip].


2. Ports:
Gary LaGrange, president and chief executive officer of the Port of New Orleans, called [Bush's budget] proposal "unacceptable."

"We feel as though once again we're getting the proverbial stepchild treatment."
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The Port of New Orleans still needs about $50 million to complete its security projects: Some $25 million to $30 million is needed for "pure hard-core brick and mortar projects," such as fences and detectors, LaGrange said, and the remainder is needed for overtime, security training and Harbor Police hires.

The port received a total of about $8 million in security grants in the first two of four rounds of federal funding but has been shut out recently. Increased competition, LaGrange said, would lessen the port's chance of getting money to pay for security expenses.
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To cover some of their increased security costs, the New Orleans port, along with about 20 other port authorities in the Gulf of Mexico region, have decided to charge additional fees to port users. The new tariff, to begin April 1, will increase fees by $1 per cruise passenger, 10 cents per ton on breakbulk cargo, 2 cents per ton on bulk cargo and $2 per loaded container.

3. "President Bush's budget would more than double the co-payment charged to many veterans for prescription drugs and would require some to pay a new fee of $250 a year for the privilege of using government health care..."


Where is the conservative whining?

"But it's my money."
"I think we're overtaxed not undertaxed."
"Taxes Fees will slow the great American supply-side economic engine, ending the beneficent trickle-down of jobs, benefits and corporate love."
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Monday, February 14, 2005

Hell is for children (but in a pinch Tejas will do) 

A somewhat less Happy Furry Puppy Storytime with Norbizness.

And I know the "gret stet" isn't much better, but seventy cases per Child Protective Services case-worker?!?

Insane.

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Blood is thicker than water torture 

Da Paper summarizes the religious abuse of detainees:

According to the Associated Press and The Washington Post, detainees at a U.S. military prison at Guantanamo, Cuba, were subjected to sexually provocative interrogations that were designed to make them feel too sullied to pray. Reportedly, those sessions included women interrogators smearing the detainees with what they were led to believe was the women's menstrual blood.

Phil Carter has a problem with it:

There are many reasons for outrage here. But perhaps the most salient to me is this: we have many young men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan (and elsewhere) right now, in harm's way. Every story like this emboldens their enemies, undermines their mission, and makes it harder for them to prevail. The greatest tragedy of all would be if we spent all this spirit, blood and treasure in the Middle East, and won so many tactical victories, only to lose the strategic war on terrorism because of our immoral and unlawful treatment of these detainees.
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Allegations of misconduct at Gitmo like these prove what our enemy has been saying about us for some time. It's not hard to imagine how these allegations will be seen by our enemies; I have no doubt that they will form the foundation of future fatwas lodged against us by Islamic fundamentalists.

Luckily, Phil Carter grossly overestimates the Arab mind, with its comically short memory. I'm sure the Arab "Street" will soon forget these Guantanamo menstrual baptisms, just like it forgot that silly Abu Ghraib-ass scandal. In fact, they've probably already turned their attention to more important matters: like Green Day's tres cool Grammy award, and the Left's "all in" wager on islamofascism.

These are the issues that really inspire and embolden our enemies, not cultural humiliation or religious violations.

Right, squirrels?... Right?!
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Sunshine from my behind is the best disinfectant 

John at Americablog is promising a "very big" story on Gannon today, and is releasing clues while he finishes it up. So far I think there is a watch, a dog and a candlestick.

(After the tsunami, using descriptions like "tectonic shift" when talking about an upcoming story is now frowned upon.)
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Update: Here it is.
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