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Archive for July, 2003

Betting on the lives of Middle Easterners not such a popular idea.

July 31, 2003 Leave a comment

Poindexter to Resign Following Terrorist Futures Debacle

WASHINGTON, July 31 — The Pentagon official who oversaw the development of a plan for the military to operate a terrorist futures-trading market is resigning under pressure, a senior defense official said today.

John M. Poindexter, a retired rear admiral who was President Ronald Reagan’s national security adviser, is stepping down “in the next few weeks,” the official said, following disclosure of a proposal that outraged lawmakers and embarrassed senior Pentagon officials. The plan was to create in essence an online betting parlor that would have rewarded investors who forecast terrorist attacks, assassinations and coups.

Good. And looks like there were other good reasons for him to be gone as well:

Admiral Poindexter first gained notoriety in the Iran-contra scandal during the Reagan administration, and more recently he oversaw a Pentagon program that proposed spying electronically on Americans to monitor potential terrorists.

Under that plan, Admiral Poindexter envisioned a program of sweeping electronic surveillance as a way of forestalling terrorism by tapping into computer databases to collect medical, travel, credit and financial records.

So finally Poindexter is held accountable for his actions. Gee, could someone do the same for Bush?

Categories: Silliness

Catching up

July 31, 2003 Leave a comment

My ISP was being a pain yesterday and on top of it all the phone lines in the county were down. So I have some catching up to do with regards to news. Sheesh, the state’s burning up, bad internet connection…………..sucks to be in Montana.

Categories: Personal

Only a Republican

July 29, 2003 Leave a comment

Governor calls tax hike a Christian duty:

Alabama’s new governor is trying to persuade voters to approve the biggest tax increase in state history by telling them it is their Christian duty. And for a state in the Bible Belt, that might seem like a winning strategy.

A Republican…………wanting to raise taxes………….using religion to sell it. See what kind of hole Bush is digging the states into? REPUBLICANS are forced to raise taxes. And he’s using religion to sell it. Of course, that may be Republican tactic #2, but you can bet it’s immoral not to lower taxes when it suits them. Sigh……

Categories: Silliness

There are no words to explain this

July 29, 2003 Leave a comment

Pentagon plans terrorism futures market:

The Pentagon (news – web sites) is setting up a stock-market style system in which investors would bet on terror attacks, assassinations and other events in the Middle East. Defense officials hope to gain intelligence and useful predictions while investors who guessed right would win profits.

Two Democratic senators demanded Monday the project be stopped before investors begin registering this week. “The idea of a federal betting parlor on atrocities and terrorism is ridiculous and it’s grotesque,” Sen. Ron Wyden (news, bio, voting record), D-Ore., said.

….

Dorgan described it as useless, offensive and “unbelievably stupid.”

Glad to see people aren’t totally insane. But holy christ, I really wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry at this. It’s both scary and hilarious at the same time. People think this is a good way to get intelligence? I had to keep checking what section of Yahoo! news I was in just to make sure it was real. It’s very scary that they think this is a worthwhile endeavor. Holy shit. I’m damn near speechless.

Categories: Silliness

Iraqi council member resigns

July 28, 2003 Leave a comment

‘I did not want to be a collaborator’

I feared my role with the reconstruction council was sliding from what I had originally envisioned – working with allies in a democratic fashion – to collaborating with occupying forces.

….

Though we council members came from all over the world, we are all Iraqis. I accepted the fact that we were a defeated country, and had no problem working with the US. But there seemed to be no interest on the part of the coalition in involving Iraqis as advisers on the future of their nation. Our role was very limited. Even reporters who visited us took note, writing that although the reconstruction council has an office within the presidential palace, there seems to be little done there apart from members reading their email.

….

Iraq is now in almost total chaos. No one knows what is going on. We’re not talking here about trying to achieve an ideal political system. People cannot understand why a superpower that can amass all that military might can’t get the electricity back on.

First off, this “almost total chaos” is what some are calling “nearly flawless?” This really flies in the face of people who say the Bush administration is trying it’s hardest to get Iraq back on it’s feet. Of course these are also the people who say the guerillas that attack our soldiers are Baathists (Steve Gilliard at Daily Kos has been saying otherwise), Iraq was a threat to our national security, and Saddam was in active collaboration with terrorists. And they don’t read much. I feel safe, don’t you?

Categories: Iraq

"Some people might think there is something wrong here."

July 28, 2003 Leave a comment

Does Israel target Children?

The numbers are staggering; one in five Palestinian dead is a child. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) says at least 408 Palestinian children have been killed since the beginning of the intifada in September 2000. Nearly half were killed in the Gaza strip, and most of those died in two refugee camps in the south, Khan Yunis and Rafah. The PCHR says they were victims of “indiscriminate shooting, excessive force, a shoot-to-kill policy and the deliberate targeting of children”.

And children continue to die, even after the ceasefire declared by Hamas and other groups at the end of June. On Friday, a soldier at a West Bank checkpoint shot dead a four-year-old boy, Ghassan Kabaha, and wounded his two young sisters after “accidentally” letting loose at a car with a burst of machinegun fire from his armoured vehicle. The rate of killing since the beginning of the ceasefire has dropped sharply, but almost every day the army has continued to fire heavy machineguns into Khan Yunis or Rafah. Among the latest victims of apparently indiscriminate shooting were three teenagers and an eight-year-old, Yousef Abu Jaza, hit in the knee when soldiers shot at a group of children playing football in Khan Yunis.

“Purity of arms?”

Categories: Israel/Palestine

Movin' on up

July 27, 2003 Leave a comment

First it was CIA Director Tenet.

Then it was Stephen Hadley, deputy national security adviser.

Now it’s looking like Condi Rice.

We’re getting closer to where the buck stops.

Categories: Bush

SUVs

July 27, 2003 Leave a comment

Pretty funny article on SUVs (or a review of a book about SUVs, more specifically)here.

According to market research conducted by the country’s leading automakers, Bradsher reports, SUV buyers tend to be “insecure and vain. They are frequently nervous about their marriages and uncomfortable about parenthood. They often lack confidence in their driving skills. Above all, they are apt to be self-centered and self-absorbed, with little interest in their neighbors and communities. They are more restless, more sybaritic, and less social than most Americans are. They tend to like fine restaurants a lot more than off-road driving, seldom go to church and have limited interest in doing volunteer work to help others.”

He says, too, that SUV drivers generally don’t care about anyone else’s kids but their own, are very concerned with how other people see them rather than with what’s practical, and they tend to want to control or have control over the people around them. David Bostwick, Chrysler’s market research director, tells Bradsher, “If you have a sport utility, you can have the smoked windows, put the children in the back and pretend you’re still single.”

I’ve never really understood the huge SUVs in the city thing. Unless you’re some incredibly rich athelete, wouldn’t you care about the extra cost and lack of extra benefits that an SUV brings? Need cargo space? Get a van. It has to be about image, and this book seems to nail it. Or it could be a “fuck off” to liberals. That’s always possible. And isn’t this supporting terrorism anyway?

Categories: Culture

Is the anti-war camp being hurt by the Niger story?

July 26, 2003 Leave a comment

Even with my earlier post about the Daily Howler’s coverage of the press coverage of the Niger story, I’m inclined to agree with them now, or at least today’s post. We know the Niger claim isn’t accurate, but there are 3 other African countries that are known to produce uranium. The impression I got from Joesph Wilson on the Daily Show on Thursday night, is that these countries are monitored by the IAEA. Now, another thing, the SOTU didn’t say that Iraq acquired uranium, it said it sought uranium from Africa. Acquired seems very unlikely, sought is possible. I really don’t know.

Now, should this be the only thing that Bush is criticised for? No. Should it even be the main thing? No. There are other claims, like claiming the trailers are biological labs, claiming the tubes were for nuclear weapons, and the 9/11 report’s dismissal of Iraq-al Qaeda links.

So when the press latches onto the Niger story, a claim that could still be accurate, does it hurt the anti-war camp? Don’t people think if this is the best they have, the war was still completely justified? People still think the media is liberal, wouldn’t they see this as grasping for straws? I can see why people (myself included) were happy to see the Niger criticism, but isn’t it doing more harm than good? I suppose I may be expecting too much of the press corps; they finally decide to criticise Bush, and it may actually be worse for us.

Categories: Iraq

We knew he was stupid, but….

July 25, 2003 Leave a comment

<img src="http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20030725/capt.1059092783.bush_cdh111.jpg&quot;

US Code, Title 4, Chapter 1, Sec. 8 (g):

The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.

From the people that bring you the annual attempt at banning flag burning. Of course, they’ll spin this saying there was no intent to disrespect the flag (although, most of what aWol signs disrespects SOMETHING), assuming this even gets mentioned (it won’t). Them Republicans, always above the law, from outing CIA operatives to attacking Iraq.

By way of Daily Kos from the Wyeth Wire.

Categories: Bush
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