Monthly Archives: April 2004

They're watching…

Yahoo! News – Blog-Tracking May Gain Ground Among U.S. Intelligence Officials

Blog-Tracking May Gain Ground Among U.S. Intelligence Officials

Tue Apr 27, 8:53 AM ET

By Doug Tsuruoka
People in black trench coats might soon be chasing blogs.

Blogs, short for Web logs, are personal online journals. Individuals post them on Web sites to report or comment on news especially, but also on their personal lives or most any subject.
Some blogs are whimsical and deal with “soft” subjects. Others, though, are cutting edge in delivering information and opinion.

As a result, some analysts say U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials might be starting to track blogs for important bits of information. This interest is a sign of how far Web media such as blogs have come in reshaping the data-collection habits of intelligence professionals and others, even with the knowledge that the accuracy of what’s reported in some blogs is questionable.

Having been visited by the good folks at CACI after mentioning turdblossom, I can tell you they are indeed watching…

yes, it's true – they have no decency

washingtonpost.com: Stooping Low to Smear Kerry

“Have you no sense of decency, sir?”

It was the classic question posed by Joseph Welch to Sen. Joseph McCarthy 50 years ago during the Red-hunter’s hearings investigating the Army for alleged communist influence. With his query, Welch, the Army’s special counsel, began the undoing of McCarthy.

Unfortunately, the question needs to be asked again. It needs to be posed to shamelessly partisan Republicans who can’t stand the fact that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are facing off against a Democrat who fought and was wounded in Vietnam. Cheney said in 1989 that he didn’t go to Vietnam because “I had other priorities in the ’60s than military service.” While Kerry risked his life, Bush got himself into the National Guard.

Funny, isn’t it? When Bill Clinton was running against Republican war veterans in 1992 and 1996, the most important thing to GOP propagandists and politicians was that Clinton didn’t fight in Vietnam. Now that Republican candidates who didn’t fight in Vietnam face a Democrat who did — and was awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts while he was there — the Republican machine wants to change the subject.

One person who is outraged by the attacks on Kerry is McCain. When I reached the Arizona Republican, I found him deeply troubled over the reopening of wounds from the Vietnam era, “the most divisive time since our Civil War.” He called Sampley “one of the most despicable characters I’ve ever met.” McCain said he hoped that in the midst of a war in Iraq, politicians “will confront the challenges facing us now, including the conflict we’re presently engaged in, rather than refighting the one we were engaged in more than 30 years ago.”

McCain recalled that he had worked with Kerry on “POW/MIA issues and the normalization of relations with Vietnam” and wanted to stand up for his war comrade because “you have to do what’s right.” Speaking of Kerry, McCain said: “He’s my friend. He’ll continue to be my friend. I know his service was honorable. If that hurts me politically or with my party, that’s a very small price to pay.”

Now that McCain has spoken, will Bush have the guts to endorse or condemn the attacks on Kerry’s service? Or will he just sit by silently, hoping the assaults do their work while he evades responsibility? Once more, Welsh’s words call out for an answer: “Have you no sense of decency, sir?”

slumming

Ann Coulter: Donkey trapped in elephant’s body

At first I thought this was someone attacking Coulter as a donkey, which is just silly, everyone knows she’s a bitch dog in heat. Then I clicked on the link from where I was slumming on Drudge, and found that it’s just Ann attacking one of her own for a change, Arlen Specter. Guess he’s just not far right enough to be a real Republican these days, since only the uber elite Christian right is now allowed to use the term.

According to Ann:

Except for the presidential election, the most important election this year will take place on April 27 in Pennsylvania. No, it’s not the “American Idol” finals. It’s even more important than that. That’s the day of the Republican primary pitting a great Republican, Pat Toomey, against the 74-year-old, Ira Einhorn-defending alleged “Republican,” Arlen Specter.

Thanks to Arlen Specter:

States can’t prohibit partial-birth abortion;

Voluntary prayer is banned at high-school football games;

Flag-burning is a constitutional right;

The government is allowed to engage in race discrimination in college admissions;

The nation has been forced into a public debate about gay marriage;

We have to worry about whether the Supreme Court will allow “under God” to be removed from the Pledge of Allegiance.

Gosh. How awful. And it’s all Specter’s fault. Obviously this Toomey fellow will make sure God, guns and the flag are properly respected, and those darn women will be back in the kitchen barefoot and pregnant where they belong, and the niggers will be put back in their place and not taking up valuable college space.

More from Ann:

In a democratic process, liberals could never persuade Americans to vote for their insane ideas � abortion on demand, gay marriage and adoption, handgun confiscation, cross-district busing, abolishing the death penalty and affirmative action quotas. So issues are simply taken out of the voters’ hands by the Supreme Court. Vitally important cultural issues are now decided for us by a handful of unelected elites, who, coincidentally, share the ideology of Janeane Garofalo. It’s a lot easier to get a majority out of nine votes than it is to get a majority of 280 million votes.

As long as liberals have a majority of Supreme Court justices in their pockets, they never have to persuade their fellow countrymen to support any of their crackpot ideas. They just sit around waiting for the Supreme Court to give them the “nine thumbs up!” sign to abortion on demand.

OK, liberals are insane. Interesting. Allowing women freedom of choice is a “crackpot idea”. Someone oughta knock this bitch up, and fast. She certainly hasn’t ever had to make that difficult choice for herself, probably since no man in his right mind would dare go near her.

Heh. Unelected elites. That’s a good one, considering they appointed Her Man to the Presidency…

Gotta admit, the Ann Coulter talking action figure is cute, though. Good photoshop opportunities there!

Ann Coulter Talking Action Figure
Amuse your conservative friends and annoy your liberal neighbors with the Ann Coulter Talking Action Figure. This incredibly lifelike action figure looks just like the beautiful Ann Coulter, and best of all . . . it sounds like Ann, too! This highly collectible doll comes in a display box with information highlighting Ann’s unique contributions to America’s political discourse. If you can’t get enough Ann Coulter, you’ll want to order the Ann Coulter Talking Action Figure today!

I tell ya, if this is the best the right has got, along with good ol Rush, the pill addict, we oughta be knocking their socks off. Too bad so many people are taken in by this shit.

It's her choice…

Yahoo! News – Abortion rights march draws 1.1 million in US: organizers

More than 1.1 million people from across the United States and dozens of other countries took part in what organizers said was the largest ever women’s rights protest on abortion, aimed at influencing politicians ahead of the November 2 presidential vote.

Older women in their Sunday best mingled with college students in T-shirts in a massive demonstration sparked largely by what they see as President George W. Bush (news – web sites)’s efforts to chip away at a women’s right to an abortion.

Organizers put the turnout at 1,150,000, saying the count was done in designated grids on the National Mall, which are designed to hold a predetermined number of people, and verified by 2,500 volunteers at key entry points to the march area. Police did not issue any crowd estimate.

Waving signs that read “Fire Bush” and “Keep Abortion Legal,” the crowd packed onto the Mall — the grassy esplanade that links the Congress, the White House, and America’s most revered monuments and museums.
“All the people are here today not only to march on behalf of women’s lives but to take that energy into the election in November,” Senator Hillary Clinton (news – web sites) told the crowd before the march began.

“What we need to try to communicate as clearly as possible to all women and men who are fair-minded in America is that a vote for a pro-choice candidate is a vote for conscience,” she said, urging the crowd to vote for the Democratic presidential candidate, Senator John Kerry (news – web sites).

More than 1,400 civic groups worked together to organize the protest, sparked by recent efforts to curtail the reach of a landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling that recognized women’s right to abortions.

Abortion is one of the most volatile issues in US politics, but polls show a majority of Americans support the right for women to choose to terminate a pregnancy.

A Gallup poll released Friday found 48 percent of respondents consider themselves “pro-choice,” while 45 percent identify as “pro-life” — ie anti-abortion.

Asked if current abortion laws should be made more strict, less strict, or left alone, only 37 percent wanted stricter laws. More people, or 40 percent, wanted the laws left unchanged while 20 percent thought they should be more liberal.

____

As a 70s kid, this one is fundamental and easy. I’m old enough to have heard the horror stories, and young enough to have had several friends who made the difficult choice. And lucky enough and smart enough, thank God, to have never needed to do so myself.

My standard response to the pro lifers is “OK, it’s your 13 year old daughter who has been raped and is pregnant. What will you do?” Usually shuts them up fast enough.

North Korea asks for help

Yahoo! News – North Korea Appeals for Aid After Blast

Issuing a rare appeal for foreign help, North Korea (news – web sites)’s secretive government said Friday that a devastating train explosion killed several hundred people, and it invited aid workers to come see the disaster site.

North Korean officials told diplomats and aid groups that more than 1,000 people were injured and thousands of apartments and houses destroyed or damaged by the blast at a railway station Thursday near the Chinese border.

They said many more could be trapped in collapsed buildings near the station in the city of Ryongchon, home to chemical and metalworking plants and a reported population of 130,000. Red Cross workers were distributing tents and blankets to 4,000 families.

But while the communist North disclosed some details of the blast to the outside world, its state-controlled domestic media remained silent on the disaster.

The British Broadcasting Corp. showed on its Web site what it said was a satellite photo taken 18 hours after the explosion. The black-and-white photo showed huge clouds of dark smoke billowing from the site.

Initial reports described a collision, but aid workers said North Korean officials on Friday blamed an electrical accident with a train carrying explosives.

“What they’ve said is that two carriages of a train carrying dynamite � they were trying to disconnect the carriages and link them up to another train,” Anne O’Mahony, regional director for the Irish aid agency Concern, told Irish radio station RTE from Pyongyang.

“They got caught in the overhead electric wiring, the dynamite exploded, and that was the cause of the explosion,” she said.

I hope an infusion of outside aid will be an opportunity to show the North Koreans we do care about them. I think they’ve been cut off from the world for far too long.

The puppet show

Boston.com / News / Nation / Washington / Bush, Cheney to face 9/11 panel next week

President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney will answer questions together and in private April 29 before the commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the White House said yesterday.

Too cowardly to appear in public…

They will meet at the White House with the five Republican and five Democratic members of the commission. Their appearance had been planned, but a specific date had not been announced.

“The president looks forward to meeting with the commission and answering any questions,” White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters.

The two will not testify under oath.

Too dishonest to testify under oath…

It is unusual for such investigations to hear from two officials at one time, which could eliminate the possibility of contradictory testimony and allow the two to defer to each other during the questioning. But the panel chairman, former New Jersey governor Thomas Kean, a Republican, said the commission accepted the unusual arrangement to hear from Bush, noting that sitting presidents rarely appear before investigative panels or congressional committees.

Too stupid to speak without Cheney there…

Bush, who initially opposed the creation of the independent commission, had earlier insisted he meet with just the chairman and vice chairman and for only one hour. Under pressure from the panel, however, he agreed to meet all 10 members and answer questions for as long as necessary

Or until naptime

Welcome to the puppet show.

Jonah Goldberg is gay – pass it on!

Jonah Goldberg: A question of patriotism

In fact, I think liberal defensiveness sometimes undermines their case. After all, if I angrily asked, “Are you saying I’m gay?” as often as liberals say, “Are you questioning my patriotism?” a lot of people would think I’m hiding something.

Jonah’s gay as they come. Obvious, since he’s danying it and I never even asked him. What a fruitcake.

Stinkin' Badgers

Articles: Installing Linux on a Dead Badger: User’s Notes, by Lucy A. Snyder
Please note that zombie badgers are banned in many municipalities in California and Wisconsin; zombie badgers must remain leashed at all times in Texas. Zombie badgers can move at great speeds, and are prone to sudden acceleration; use proper caution when driving your zombie badger. Do not allow your zombie badger to consume mushrooms or African snakes, or your badger may emit catchy techno music. Do not taunt zombie badgers. Prolonged use of a zombie badger may cause acne, insomnia, leprosy, unusual weather, or the end of time. Please dispose of your zombie badgers properly; consult your local recycling company for proper disposal protocols.

No Apology from Dubya

Why Won’t Dubya Apologize? / Botched 9/11 info, two botched wars, a gutted economy, global scorn. Why can’t W be a man?

For here is Dubya, mumbling his way through another shockingly insulting news conference just recently, screwing up both his face and his intelligence data (again) and still a-huntin’ for nonexistent WMDs in Iraqi turkey farms (?) as reporter after reporter asks him, point blank, why he won’t simply come clean.

They ask him, repeatedly, why he cannot find a single mistake in any policy his slithery admin has unleashed upon the nation, much less confess to any rampant missteps and botched decisions and oily ulterior motives and blatant screw-ups regarding 9/11 and Saddam and WMDs and his fetish for warmongering and for rewriting intelligence data to suit his corporate needs, all while taking more vacations than any president in history.

His answer? Nope. Nossiree, no mistakes were made. In fact, we as a nation are more on track than ever and hey lookit my shiny new boots okey doke thanks fer comin’ gotta run. Plants wilted, children cried, even semicomatose cats couldn’t help but wince at Bush’s weird deflections and alcoholism-grade denials. What a surreal and sad country we swim in.

Why won’t Bush admit he got 9/11 at least partially wrong? Why won’t he acknowledge, at the very least — as even longtime egomaniacal terrorism wonk Richard Clarke had the calm cojones to do — that the U.S. ain’t perfect and the government could’ve done much (much, much) better and hey we’re flawed and we’re learning and sorry, everyone, for the bloodbath and the malevolence and the rampant ongoing death and the 100 dead U.S. soldiers in the past month alone?

Maybe it’s faux-macho Texas pride. Maybe it’s dumb-guy humiliation, that feeling that if Bush admits to just one of his policy defects, it’s a slippery slope toward admitting he hasn’t had much of a clue as to what’s going on in his administration since pronouncing our country’s name as “‘Murka” in his swearing-in ceremony.

Or maybe it’s all about God. Maybe it’s because Dubya still genuinely believes he’s divinely inspired, that he’s truly doing the Lord’s work by sanctimoniously blowing the living crap out of ragtag nations and allowing American GIs to die for his administration’s hollow and increasingly indefensible political stratagems, and to admit personal error is to admit error in his overall pseudo-religious worldview.
This is the BushCo way: To apologize is to show weakness. To say you might’ve made some mistakes whilst tromping blindly down the warpath, well, that sort of humility doesn’t sit well with the hawks and the corporate profiteers. There is only the push toward bigger, toward stronger, toward nastier and angrier and more troops and more weaponry and more draconian Patriot Acts and more enraged anti-U.S. fundamentalists and more dead soldiers in Iraq.

And there is, tragically, only more numb, shell-shocked citizens and weeping families of the dead, all begging for someone, somewhere, to offer up just a single note of apology, of contrition, of hope and common recognition of the sad tragicomic circus in which we all perform.

This is all anyone is really asking for from our leaders, finally. Just a glimmer of our shared messiness, a common understanding of our collective awe, a single hint of that most tragically rare of current commodities: humanity.