Friday, September 08, 2006

Now They'll Maybe Start Researching "Male Chickenhawk Effect"

I'd begin by profiling the Republican Party membership.

Researchers identify "male warrior effect"

Men may have developed a psychology that makes them particularly able to engage in wars, a scientist said on Friday...

"Men are more likely to support a country going to war. Men are more likely sign up for the military and men are more likely to lead groups in more autocratic, militaristic ways than women," [Professor Mark van Vugt] added.

First, speak for yourself, professor. And second, I WOULD like to see some sort of research into the pathology of chickenhawkery. Like I said, there are plenty of subjects to choose from at high levels of the US government...and they're largely responsible for the mess we find ourselves in.
On Tap for Monday Night

I didn't know it was possible to stoop lower than whale shit at the bottom of the ocean, but Team Bush is apparently so desperate that they're willing to descend to the upper if not lower mantle. Here's hoping the public is tired of shit for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner:

President George W. Bush scheduled a prime-time speech on the fifth anniversary of Sept. 11 on Monday amid acrimonious election-year debate over whether America is safer and who is to blame for the attacks.

The Oval Office address, marking five years to the hijacked plane attacks that killed almost 3,000 people, is the latest in a series in which Bush has insisted the United States is more secure while still facing an al Qaeda threat.

Bush has been trying to frame a debate on national security to political and policy advantage and keep his Republicans from losing control of the U.S. Congress to Democrats in the November election.

White House spokesman Tony Snow said the Monday speech would not be political and that Bush was not trying to rekindle the warm glow he got from Americans of all political stripes after the attacks, only to lose it along with his high popularity ratings as a result of the Iraq war.

Sure, Tony...

Meanwhile, in a "well, DUH" related story, it turns out that Saddam Hussein viewed Al Qaeda as a threat, according to a Senate Intelligence Committee report...and anyone with a few functioning brain cells who knows even just a little bit about the Middle East.

And Steve M. links to what he describes as a "preview" of the prime time address. As for me, I'll be heading out of town on Monday, and, if all goes to plan, will just be arriving/settling down to a Shrub-less dinner with two very close friends at that hour...
And He Puts the Ox Before the Cart Cart Before the Ox, Too
(apologies: that was a "hadn't finished my morning coffee" title)

Inspired by WIIIAI:

Actually, this is another speech with a more clever and effective rhetorical strategy than we’re used to hearing from Chimpy. He narrates the 9/11 plot as it unfolded, interpolating at various points how it could have been stopped if there had been in place the visa screening and unified watch-lists we now have, or the warrantless surveillance he wants Congress to legalize. Most of this is Bush congratulating himself for closing the barn door after the horse has, um, hijacked an airplane with box-cutters, but someone has put better than usual words into his mouth.

How they come out of his mouth is another matter entirely: “And the United States Congress was right to renew the terrorist act -- the Patriot Act. (Applause.) The Terrorist Prevention Act, called the Patriot Act.”
There's More Than One Way to Get Rid of Rodents

Billmon notes the efficacy of traps. And, h/t to Dependable Renegade, there's also a more natural approach:

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Time to Ratchet Up the Fear Mongering, I Guess

No, I don't think Team Bush has managed to plant anyone inside Al-Jazeera, but it sure interesting to see "the enemy's network" getting SOOOOO much attention, what some 65 days and counting till election day (assuming no cancellations, of course). So, I wonder how many more "Best of Osama" tapes will "surprisingly" surface between now and then.

Do you think Karl stashes them in the same place as his, ahem, other "videos of questionable taste?"
And In This Corner...

...Chuckleheaded BuShit. As if the Disney/ABC sellout isn't shameful enough.

What's next? NBC offering time to the Klan?
Singing in the Rain

Maybe the reason why Team Shrub is so manifestly unconcerned with the Gulf Coast...where MOST of the domestic oil supply is located, because, well, on a very relative scale, it's marginally better off than that wonderful example of wingnut stupidity merged with a bizarro, conservative version of flower child naivete, Iraq:

More than 1,500 violent deaths were recorded in Baghdad in August, a morgue official said today, making the month less violent than July but undermining earlier reports of a sharper drop in deaths.

Yeah, that'll REALLY win over hearts and minds...

And speaking of OUR Gulf Coast, Part III of Scout Prime's education of Jonah Goldberg is now online...while Jonah is likely to be found in his usual seat on the short bus...
Your 21st Century Banana Republicans!

Juntas 'R Us.

What's next for these assclowns? "The elections have been cancelled!"? Pinochet, the Argentinian generals, and/or the Rios Montt's of this world have got nuthin' on Team Shrub:

I cannot describe the specific methods used -- I think you understand why -- if I did, it would help the terrorists learn how to resist questioning, and to keep information from us that we need to prevent new attacks on our country. But I can say the procedures were tough, and they were safe, and lawful, and necessary.

The only thing missing is the stupid smirk he employed when snickering about the creeps who murdered James Byrd during the second candidate debate of the 2000 election.

Well, at least there's some hope: this time around, the sales pitch is starting to fall flat for some who've sipped the Kool-Aid in the past.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Another Alternative to a FEMA Trailer

Presented more or less without comment, here's a picture of a "New Orleans Bungalow," another prefab designed for the Crescent City...

A quick search for NOLA Homebuilder, LLC has more information than the picture profile from the online Pic.

I don't like to shill for corporations, and a certain blogger who goes by the name of Adrastos enlightened me quite a bit (considering how brief our conversation was) as to the pitfalls of unnquestioned New Urbanism as it relates to an already-extensively-developed city like New Orleans...but I've gotta believe the NOLA bungalow--or its cousins--have a place in the post-levee failure city. If nothing else, they could serve as a modern version of the little "earthquake shacks" built after the 1906 quake--that is, something to start from (in San Francisco, some of the remaining structures are actually highly desired as affordable urban housing).


(am a little busy over here today...sometimes work
Abu G.: "I Love the Smell of Napalm Sound of Torture in the Morning"

Attorney General Torquemada reminds us that "some day...this war's gonna end:"

"I think that Guantanamo will be shut down one day. Guantanamo exists because it is necessary -- we are engaged in a war on terror," Gonzales told reporters in Doha.

And, without any hint of irony, the article concludes:

Gonzales, who came to Qatar from Iraq, said he had discussed reports about "serious violations of human rights" by Iraqi security forces during his talks in Baghdad Tuesday.

"I was assured that these reports have been taken seriously," he said.

Gonzales met with Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh and discussed the tactics used by Iraqi security forces to combat a wave of violence, allegedly including torture.

The US military itself is currently battling a series of accusations about abuses by US troops in Iraq, including allegations of the rape and murder of an Iraqi girl and the killing of her family in the town of Mahmudiyah by a group of American soldiers in March.

O Sama Where Art Thou?

Perhaps nothing better explains the Bush "strategery" for the GWOT, TWAT, or whatever you want to call it than the--how say?--DELICATE approach we've taken towards our strongest "ally," Pakistan.

If you DON'T think the rest of the world notices, well, then you're just plain nuts. Virtually EVERYTHING Team Bush has accused "the evil doers/militant Islamicists/Islamo-fascists/whatever is being done in spades in the Indus valley:

Nuclear (that's nu-CLE-ar, not nu-KU-lar, dumbshit) prolfieration? Check.

Harboring international terrorists? Check.

Non-democratic? Check.

Oh, and take the western provinces, aka the Tribal Belt--please.

The truth is, regardless of what the Pakistan government says one day--or the next--that global terrorism, yes, IS a dangerous, complex problem. Hell, in all honesty, I'm actually GLAD there appears to be a limit to Team Bush stupidity: aside from an idiotic and unsuccessful air strike, they haven't managed to bungle their way into a war THERE.

Which, if you think about it, pretty much lays bare their lies: if the BIGGEST problem in the region requires, ahem, diplomacy and police work (i.e., NUANCE), then war is NOT a defining element...war instead becomes, well, just a bullying tactic used against the small fry.

And we've seen how successful THAT is in Operation Enduring Clusterfuck...

Well, anyway, the only real surprise re: bin Laden's golden parachute, is that the Pakistani government's admitted what is already their de facto policy--appeasement. Live and let live hope that any attacks occur outside of Pakistan, which, so far, is exactly what's happened: as western government display ever more bizarre, paranoid behavior towards anyone who "looks suspicious," at least some of the "suspicious looking" ones have made the decision to lash out...rinse, repeat.

Hell, under those circumstances, bin Laden probably CAN retire to a quiet life in Waziristan (with the occasional foray into broadcast media)--the western reaction has got to be beyond his wildest dreams.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Jonah and IS the Whale

I was happy to help Scout in a very small way with a graphic (see below), but the proof of the proverbial pudding, in this case, is in the READING:

Katrina was devastating for Bush in the eyes of Americans and the world. Of course Jonah’s whole point in all this is to shift the blame from Bush to the media. It is that one slim blade of grass upon which he attempts to rest the president high above the awful weedy mess that was the failed federal response. It’s a wholly pathetic attempt at political resurrection and historical revisionism. But given the Bush administration’s massive failure which American saw unfold before their very own lying eyes (thanks to the media) it is all with which he and other wing nuts have had to work. It should all be pilloried for what it is and I’ll take up Jonah’s other “arguments” in the next post.

By all means take a look at Part I, and I'll be keeping an eye out for the rest of the series...particularly after reading Mr. Goldberg's dreck...ah, where to begin? The lies, the lies--blaming "corrupt local officials" for what is the responsibility of the Army Corps of Engineers, repeating the canard about all the money that's supposedly flowed to the region, and suggesting that in Mississippi, things are just swell...finally, for good measure, he brings up 9-11 as some perverse badge of honor...then proceeds to ignore the post 9-11 anthrax attacks, insisting that there "hasn't been a successful attack on the homeland since 9-11."

It takes a mighty big doughy pantload to pack in THAT much dumb. Nonetheless, I managed cut Jonah down to size and squeeze him into a boat--which is more than he'd do on his own:

"No, there aren't any twinkies in the hold."
Two Sides, But Only One Coin

Or, to use another figure of speech, boxcars and snake-eyes both are losers.

Howard Zinn argues why war IS terrorism:

THERE IS SOMETHING important to be learned from the recent experience of the United States and Israel in the Middle East: that massive military attacks, inevitably indiscriminate, are not only morally reprehensible, but useless in achieving the stated aims of those who carry them out.

The United States, in three years of war, which began with shock-and-awe bombardment and goes on with day-to-day violence and chaos, has been an utter failure in its claimed objective of bringing democracy and stability to Iraq. The Israeli invasion and bombing of Lebanon has not brought security to Israel; indeed it has increased the number of its enemies, whether in Hezbollah or Hamas or among Arabs who belong to neither of those groups.

I remember John Hersey's novel, ``The War Lover," in which a macho American pilot, who loves to drop bombs on people and also to boast about his sexual conquests, turns out to be impotent. President Bush, strutting in his flight jacket on an aircraft carrier and announcing victory in Iraq, has turned out to be much like the Hersey character, his words equally boastful, his military machine impotent...

Beyond the futility of armed force, and ultimately more important, is the fact that war in our time inevitably results in the indiscriminate killing of large numbers of people. To put it more bluntly, war is terrorism. That is why a ``war on terrorism" is a contradiction in terms. Wars waged by nations, whether by the United States or Israel, are a hundred times more deadly for innocent people than the attacks by terrorists, vicious as they are.

The repeated excuse, given by both Pentagon spokespersons and Israeli officials, for dropping bombs where ordinary people live is that terrorists hide among civilians. Therefore the killing of innocent people (in Iraq, in Lebanon) is called accidental, whereas the deaths caused by terrorists (on 9/11, by Hezbollah rockets) are deliberate.

This is a false distinction, quickly refuted with a bit of thought. If a bomb is deliberately dropped on a house or a vehicle on the grounds that a ``suspected terrorist" is inside (note the frequent use of the word suspected as evidence of the uncertainty surrounding targets), the resulting deaths of women and children may not be intentional. But neither are they accidental. The proper description is ``inevitable."

So if an action will inevitably kill innocent people, it is as immoral as a deliberate attack on civilians. And when you consider that the number of innocent people dying inevitably in ``accidental" events has been far, far greater than all the deaths deliberately caused by terrorists, one must reject war as a solution for terrorism.

For instance, more than a million civilians in Vietnam were killed by US bombs, presumably by ``accident." Add up all the terrorist attacks throughout the world in the 20th century and they do not equal that awful toll.

If reacting to terrorist attacks by war is inevitably immoral, then we must look for ways other than war to end terrorism, including the terrorism of war. And if military retaliation for terrorism is not only immoral but futile, then political leaders, however cold-blooded their calculations, may have to reconsider their policies.

About all I'd add would be: how many of US would willingly accept "collateral damage" in the form of a friend or loved one being horribly killed or maimed if this or any administration decided to, oh, I don't know, declare "war" on urban gang violence?
Value Added

As I've noted before, I'm not a big fan of the petro-chemical industry...but the Gret Stet, or at least the politicians, have aligned their compass with it, for better or worse.

Chevron Corp. said Tuesday it had successfully drilled for oil in the Gulf of Mexico's deep waters, in what could be one of the most significant finds for the domestic oil industry in a generation.

The successful well, known as Jack 2, reached a record total depth of 28,175 feet, coming in 7,000 feet of water, and more than 20,000 feet under the sea floor. Analysts said the find suggested the success of that drilling may mean more oil than previously believed is available under the Gulf of Mexico, a region that already provides a quarter of U.S. output...

During the test at record depths and pressure, the Jack No. 2 well flowed at more than 6,000 barrels of crude per day, Chevron said. That puts it on a par with discoveries in exploration hotspots such as the waters off Angola...

Chevron first announced the discovery of the Jack prospect in September 2004. It is 270 miles southwest of New Orleans and 175 miles offshore. The test on Jack 2 broke Chevron's 2004 Tahiti well test record as the deepest successful well test in the Gulf of Mexico.

Without the infrastructure provided by Louisiana, there'd be no way to transport and/or process the crude. To use an analogy: it'd be as if the only filling station was, well, out in the Gulf, which isn't exactly an area you can drive to.

The Gret Stet washing away isn't just a local issue, but one of vital, national, strategic concern...

Monday, September 04, 2006

"Labor" Day

OK, I've got several tons worth of chores to do, so I hope no one minds if I take an extra day off from posting...have a safe and happy holiday, y'all.