Saturday, December 15, 2007

Saturday What-I-Found-on-YouTube-Post

Songs of freedom...

Friday, December 14, 2007

Mass Graves On Our Watch Don't Count

Funny how wingnut "concern for the Iraqi people" has dwindled down to pretty much absolute zero now that their safety is their responsibility...
A New Overseer for the Huckabee Campaign

Welcome aboard, Ed!
...And German is the Language You Speak to Your Dog In

Bill O'Rielly declares victory in this year's "Storm Troop for Santa and the Baby Jesus" nonsense fest.
Not Exactly How to Get on the Map

Except for college football, a refinery or chemical plant explosion, or the odd inflated statewide political ego, Red Stickburg doesn't usually make the national news...ergo I was a little surprised to see a report on CNN and Yahoo News. Unfortunately, it's not exactly a ringing endorsement:

Two students were found shot to death in an apparent home invasion at their Louisiana State University apartment, and officials decided to keep the campus open Friday while police searched for three suspects.

The victims, Chandrasekhar Reddy Komma and Kiran Kumar Allam, both international Ph.D. students, were found inside an apartment at the Edward Gay complex late Thursday night after authorities received a call seeking medical attention.

Both men had been shot once in the head, said Charles Zewe, an LSU system spokesman. Three men were seen leaving the area, and police were searching for them.

"From what we're being told, Komma was bound with a computer cable and shot," Zewe said. "The other man was found near the door."

The call to 911 was made by Allam's pregnant wife, who returned home and found the men dead, said Srinivasa Pothakamuri, a friend of Komma. Komma, a biochemstry student, was visiting the apartment at the time. Allam was in the chemistry program. Both men were from India, Zewe said.

Sad to say, my first thought was the possibility of redneck rage/all ferriners look alike/let's kill all the moooooslims; however, the location suggests home invasion/robbery. In fact, I didn't even know the complex was still open. I assumed it had been shut down due as it's literally on the border of a massive slum and the fact that LSU has been on quite a building spree of late, constructing large numbers of apartments.

That said, the fact that LSU borders a massive slum is significant: you'd think housing near a college campus would be, oh, a little less depressed, but that's not the case...or at least it hasn't been for a while. Certain areas, like the Bottoms (called because it's on bottom-land bordering the natural levee) have been impoverished for some time, other spots, while never the high life, hit hard times during the 1980s depression down here, and never really recovered.

You know, like with a lot of things, neighborhoods can VERY easily fall apart...but they're not nearly as easily restored. That might be worth considering on a larger level. In the meantime, I certainly hope they catch whoever did this, and I feel terrible for the families who lost loved ones...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Rape Rooms

Another Halliburton/KBR employee reveals she was raped while in Iraq. The case is now in private arbitration, which sounds to me like something Saddam Hussein would do...and makes me think that all the wingnut fury directed towards the Iraqi thug was based, in the end, on...envy.
Is Your PODS Container Harboring Terrorists?

It's refreshing to see that the citizenry, or at least a panel of twelve jurors, is capable of rendering a sober judgement based on real evidence, as opposed to Team Bush's constant opting for the batshit insane, sky is falling approach. Maybe there's a shred of hope after all...
Al Gore Completes Home Renovations

Actually, it appears that Gore really DID significantly reduce his carbon footprint on a structure that's more than a mere residence (it also functions as a office and is likely a focal point for any number of initiatives)--good for him.

Of course, wingnuttia's mind is made up, so there's no chance of confusing them with factual data, although perhaps they can offset any sort of typical tantrum behavior by repeating to themselves, over and over, like a mantra, that Michael Moore is...still fat.
"They Can Always Just Go to the Emergency Room"

"As long as, you know, they don't miss any work."

Nice to know that providing health care to the sick won't get in the way of Shrub's "principles," although the only "principle" I see here is his
not-giving-a-shit-about-anyone-but-himself. Well, that and perhaps a bit of sadistic glee.

(h/t Rising Hegemon)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Still Worth Less Than a Loonie--or a Loon

Click here, if the embedded code doesn't work.
(I came across this at AmericaBlog)
Fully Cooperative

Is this really what we want "freedom" to look like?

(via Cursor)
And Get Off My Lawn, You Damned Kids!

Sounds like Hollywood Fred forgot to take his Metamucil...well, either that or his Depends are all in a knot:

In today’s GOP presidential debate in Iowa, Fred Thompson refused to answer whether or not global climate change is a "serious threat and caused by human activity." When the moderator asked to see a show of hands from the candidates, Thompson became combative and declared, "I’m not doing hand shows today." At least four other candidates raised their hands.

When the moderator refused to give him a full minute to answer the question, he replied, "Well, I’m not going to answer it." While McCain and several other candidates followed up and outlined their energy plans, Thompson stayed silent.

Hey everyone, make sure to save some of the cream-style corn for the former senator, ok?
Bond: Waterboard, Boogieboard--What's the Difference?

Kit Bond is no James fact, Kit Bond isn't even a tinpot Torquemada wanna be. As Ray McGovern points out, the Spanish didn't trifle with euphemism:

The 15 & 16 Century Spanish inquisitors were not squeamish, and had little need for "alternative set of procedures" that are part of President George W. Bush's lexicon. The Spanish called this procedure, quite plainly, "tortura del agua." Lacking cellophane, they inserted a cloth into the victim's mouth, forcing the victim to ingest water spilled from a jar starting the drowning process. Four centuries later, the Gestapo put out several technically improved releases of this operating system of torture, so to speak.

No, we should call Kit Bond and all the others like him what they are: vicarious sadists, loathsome enough, but utterly lacking the courage of their creepy convictions...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

Turn enough corners, and eventually you'll find yourself back at square one:

Has the US turned the tide in Baghdad? Does the fall in violence mean that the country is stabilizing after more than four years of war or are we seeing only a temporary pause in the fighting?

American commentators are generally making the same mistake that they have made since the invasion of Iraq was first contemplated five years ago. They look at Iraq in over-simple terms and exaggerate the extent to which the US is making the political weather and is in control of events there...

American politicians continually throw up their hands in disgust that Iraqis cannot reconcile or agree on how to share power. But equally destabilizing is the presence of a large US army in Iraqi and the uncertainty about what role the US will play in future. However much Iraqis may fight among themselves a central political fact in Iraq remains the unpopularity of the US-led occupation outside Kurdistan. This has grown year by year since the fall of Saddam Hussein. A detailed opinion poll carried out by ABC News, BBC and NTV of Japan in August found that 57 per cent of Iraqis believe that attacks on US forces are acceptable.

Nothing is resolved in Iraq. Power is wholly fragmented. The Americans will discover, as the British learned to their cost in Basra, that they have few permanent allies in Iraq. It has become a land of warlords in which fragile ceasefires might last for months and might equally collapse tomorrow.
Color Me...Skeptical

About the only thing John Kiriakou says that I'll consider valid is that he's now of the opinion that waterboarding is torture, is unnecessary...and was ordered from the very top people within the Bush administration.

The assertion that they got ANYTHING useful from Abu Zubaydah is dubious at best...besides, what idiots would trust them NOW after some seven years of lies? Nope, I call bullshit, particularly given that they willingly and deliberately destroyed evidence.

My guess is that Shrub, regardless of his true feelings, was told to maintain deniability for his own good...Cheney almost certainly was in on it, the sadistic creep, along with Rumsfeld. Asscrossed might have had a general idea, no pun intended, but was probably insulated for the same reasons as Shrub. NSA Rice? Who knows?

As for the myriad underlings and/or fall guys? Well, given Democratic complicity in some of this, I doubt any are in danger, and certainly none have become John Dean-like figures. Besides, when you've got people getting away with this, I doubt seriously that anything will happen to those who, in wingnut/pinhead "thought", are merely "interrogating the wogs."

'Tis the Season

That crackling noise isn't a burning Yule Log:

BATON ROUGE, La. - Authorities say a Springfield woman was booked on attempted murder counts for allegedly shooting two men whose dog damaged Christmas decorations at her home. Ethel Shannon McKinney, 28, was booked on two counts of attempted second-degree murder and illegal use of a weapon, Jason Ard, a spokesman for the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Department, said.

McKinney and her boyfriend got into an argument with the men over the damaged decorations, and McKinney allegedly fired at the men, Ard said.

One man was hit in the upper torso and arm; the other, in an arm. Ard said none of the injuries were life threatening.

Peace on earth...
And They Killed Jesus, Too

The Secular AP Prepares to Cast Lots for Christ's Cloak

Hating the Jews is no longer in fasion, and dang-nabbit, there so few genuine Moooooslims around that wingnuttia has taken to playing dress-up (thanks First Draft), the Bible thumpers have chosen 'the secular media' as this week's object of hate, despite the very clear evidence that yesterday's tragedy was the work of a deranged individual raised in a "Christian" household.

At the risk of overusing the word "pathetic,"...well, it really IS pathetic to watch Evangelical Christians, in perhaps THE most hyper-Christian nation on the planet, pine out loud for the opportunity to claim victimhood, which, not so coincidentally, becomes the excuse to justify their revenge fantasies...that is, when they're not claiming that, in the bizarro logic they've adopeted, saying the magic words ("I accept Jeeeesus, etc.") means you can pretty much do whatever you feel like without ramification.

Sort of like Scooter Libby, but without the loss of your law license and those annoying legal fees.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Um, Maybe So...

Jeffrey has the details.
Crawling Out of the Woodwork

Things that won't go away--cockroaches, Keith Richards...and the Terry Schiavo nuts, who've found themselves something new to glom onto:

A Christian biologist is suing the prestigious Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, claiming he was fired for refusing to accept evolution, lawyers involved in the case said on Friday.

PZ Myers has more on this, including the fact that plantiff Abraham's lawyer, one David C. Gibbs III, represented Schiavo's parents during that particular example of whack-loonery. But it's in an earlier post that he highlights the true absurdity:

If he thinks he can get a half-mil for wrongful termination on this, I'm going to march down to the local fundie church and demand a job as youth pastor, which I will prosecute by explaining the absurdity of god-belief to the little kids in Sunday School, and then I'll sue when they fire me. This isn't simply firing someone for incidental, private beliefs—it's firing him for practices that actually conflict with the stated purpose of the job.

Abraham is now working at Liberty University, where all creationist poseurs who claim to be scientists go to die.

Blonde Joke

OK, so it's one thing to express blind loyalty to a vicious, mendacious cretin...but when Ms. Perino--the OFFICIAL White House Spokesperson--owns up to utter ignorance about one of the most significant events in recent history...geez (h/t Rising Hegemon):

Appearing on National Public Radio's light-hearted quiz show "Wait, Wait . . . Don't Tell Me," which aired over the weekend, Perino got into the spirit of things and told a story about herself that she had previously shared only in private: During a White House briefing, a reporter referred to the Cuban Missile Crisis -- and she didn't know what it was.

"I was panicked a bit because I really don't know about . . . the Cuban Missile Crisis," said Perino, who at 35 was born about a decade after the 1962 U.S.-Soviet nuclear showdown. "It had to do with Cuba and missiles, I'm pretty sure."

So she consulted her best source. "I came home and I asked my husband," she recalled. "I said, 'Wasn't that like the Bay of Pigs thing?' And he said, 'Oh, Dana.' "
"It's Not a Bug, It's a Feature"

Krugman on Team Bush's mortgage "plan:"

The plan is, as a Times editorial put it yesterday, "too little, too late and too voluntary." But from the administration’s point of view these failings aren’t bugs, they’re features.

In fact, there’s a growing consensus among financial observers that the Paulson plan isn’t mainly intended to achieve real results. The point is, instead, to create the appearance of action, thereby undercutting political support for actual attempts to help families in trouble...

Mr. Paulson’s plan -- or, to use its official name, the Hope Now Alliance plan — is entirely focused on reducing investor losses. Any minor relief it might provide to troubled borrowers is clearly incidental. And it is does nothing for the victims of predatory lending.

The plan sets voluntary guidelines under which some, but only some, borrowers whose mortgage payments are set to rise may get temporary relief.

This is supposed to help investors, because foreclosing on a house is expensive: there are big legal fees, and the house normally sells for less than the value of the mortgage. "Foreclosure is to no one’s benefit," said Mr. Paulson in a White House interactive forum. "I’ve heard estimates that mortgage investors lose 40 to 50 percent on their investment if it goes into foreclosure."

"The appearance of action"...sort of like their plan for the Gulf Coast. And otherwise, there's a degree of consistency: just like with the drug bill, they've chosen big business over the American people.

Heckuva job.