Thursday, December 29, 2005

The Fuse is Lit


Civil war has already begun in Iraq. Over 10,000 imbedded Kurdish troops await orders to seize petroleum-rich Kirkuk and regions of Mosul when US troop pullouts begin.
"It doesn't matter if we have to fight the Arabs in our own battalion," said Gabriel Mohammed, a Kurdish soldier in the Iraqi army who was escorting a Knight Ridder reporter through Kirkuk. "Kirkuk will be ours."

The Kurds have readied their troops not only because they've long yearned to establish an independent state but also because their leaders expect Iraq to disintegrate, senior leaders in the Peshmerga — literally, "those who face death" — told Knight Ridder. The Kurds are mostly secular Sunni Muslims, and are ethnically distinct from Arabs.
Things look just as bad in the South:

Their strategy mirrors that of Shiite Muslim parties in southern Iraq, which have stocked Iraqi army and police units with members of their own militias and have maintained a separate militia presence throughout Iraq's central and southern provinces. The militias now are illegal under Iraqi law but operate openly in many areas. Peshmerga leaders said in interviews that they expected the Shiites to create a semi-autonomous and then independent state in the south as they would do in the north.
All this while Ukraine and Bulgaria pull out the last of their forces and Poland prepares to cut its Iraqi contingent nearly in half by March.

Iraq's "elections" have just been hailed as a major victory for Islamic funadamentalists in what the State Department has declared "the most active state sponsor of terrorism" in the world.

But not to worry; the Bush >cough!< "Administration" has turned back the clock on centuries of foreign policy development "...to deter and defend against the threat before it is unleashed", vowing that, "to forestall or prevent hostile acts by our adversaries, the United States will, if necessary, act preemptively."

...even if "intervention" of that stripe runs counter to what the vast majority of Americans want.

The orders have already been issued; UN Security Council Resolutions 1373 and 1540 will be cited
as justification for preemptively bombing Iran when negotiations with the EU over its nuclear program reach an impasse.

"Proof? We don't need no stinkin' proof!" when outrageous lies will suffice to convince the lowbrow set to throw their flabby weight behind our next crazed international kill-spree -- not that the Bushites care overly much about popular support or the rule of law anymore.

Hate to say, "I told you so", but...

As Chris Floyd notes, the line has now officially been drawn in the sand.

Now's the time, while they're reeling, to deliver the knockout blow.

Bob and weave. Wait for that opening. There's really only one thing they can do to stop us.

Are we going to let them?

It's your call.

Quote of the Day: [The average Bush supporter] may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot but don't let that fool you. He really is an idiot - Groucho Marx

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Cana-DOH!

Although the story's now a year old, after having been buried by the NY Times at the White House's behest, it finally made all the news that's eventually fit to print, despite the Chimp's 11th hour attempt at killing it (again):

(NY Times) publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. and executive editor Bill Keller were summoned to the White House on Dec. 6, 13 days ago, in a last-ditch bid to get the newspaper to kill the story....

the National Security Agency eavesdropping on American citizens without a warrant, in what lawyers outside the administration say is a clear violation of the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act....

The Times is to be congratulated for finally not buckling to pressure from the White House -- direct pressure, as it turns out -- and for running the story. It's just a damn shame that their scoop is so tarnished by the year's delay and now by the paper's excessive secrecy.
Turns out that -- big surprise -- the FBI and Pentagon are in on the dirty game too.

But, of course, that's all "A-Okay" with the Dick....

And Spot, the incessantly yipping, leg-humping terrier snarled at the press corps for daring to besmirch the holy name of Chimpus Maximus:

The revelation shows how we've come yet one step closer to the frightwing's ultimate dream.

Turns out they couldn't be arsed with putting a signature on a piece of paper to get permission, permission which has never been refused and takes only 48 hours at most to receive, because they were too busy pursuing threats from the newest member of the Axis of Evil -- Canada.

We'll be on vacation for a week. Have a good holiday, one and all.

Peace.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

And God Help You if You Said "I Got Bombed Last Night" on the Phone....

Even the conservative news agencies have cannonballed into the pool, splashing lurid details about Emperor Pan Troglodytes reading everyone's porno spam. Newsday weighs in with this:
Americans wiretapped without court approval -- Report that Bush OKd wiretapping of Americans, without court approval, fuels criticism, accusations

A report that President George W. Bush authorized wiretapping of Americans and others in the United States without the normally required court approval touched off a furor Friday, as some experts and senators charged the action violates the federal law governing national security surveillance.

Since Bush issued the order in 2002, The New York Times reported Friday, the secretive National Security Agency has monitored the international phone calls and e-mails of hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of people in this country without warrants to track possible links to al-Qaida terrorists.

Meanwhile, The Associated Press reported Friday night that Bush had personally renewed the NSA eavesdropping program more than three dozen times since October 2001....
And the Associated Press had this to say:

James Bamford, author of two books on the NSA, said the program could be problematic because it bypasses a special court set up by the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to authorize eavesdropping on suspected terrorists.

"I didn't hear him specify any legal right, except his right as president, which in a democracy doesn't make much sense," Bamford said in an interview. "Today, what Bush said is he went around the law, which is a violation of the law — which is illegal."
So how did Chimpus Maximus express his heartfelt apology? Why, naturally, with the usual series of bald-faced lies:

In the weeks following the terrorist attacks on our nation, I authorized the National Security Agency, consistent with U.S. law and the Constitution, to intercept the international communications of people with known links to al Qaeda and related terrorist organizations. Before we intercept these communications, the government must have information that establishes a clear link to these terrorist networks.

This is a highly classified program that is crucial to our national security. Its purpose is to detect and prevent terrorist attacks against the United States, our friends and allies. Yesterday the existence of this secret program was revealed in media reports, after being improperly provided to news organizations. As a result, our enemies have learned information they should not have, and the unauthorized disclosure of this effort damages our national security and puts our citizens at risk. Revealing classified information is illegal, alerts our enemies, and endangers our country.
And while the "Big Brother Loves and Protects You" rhetoric may serve its intended purpose of easing the truck-drahvin', Blue-Ribbon-swillin', ball-scratchin', wrasslin'-luvin' set back into happy somnambulance, the truth is, of course, much more sinister.

Matthew Rothschild, who's been keeping score since the conservatives' favorite anniversary in '01, reveals just why the unfettered exercise of such power is such a bad idea time and time again.

Turns out the NSA, FBI, Secret Service and Pentagon hounds have been running amok (again), spying on such patently obvious dangers to our national security as grannies, quakers, art galleries, cartoonists, history professors and high school students.

Not that, as the Federation of American Scientists explains, it's anything particularly new.

Again, it begs the question, "Now that we've brought freedom to Iraq, can we have ours back?"

Quote of the Day:
"Power tends to corrupt. Absolute power corrupts absolutely."
--Lord Acton, British historian

Saturday, December 17, 2005

YES!!!


Christmas has come early with not one but two fat presents for Americans.

And, should there have been any doubts as to where the Bush Administration's heading, this juicy little holiday treat should put them to rest. So to speak.

Ho ho ho.

Merry Christmas, one and all.

And thanks for the motherboard, Dad! :-)

And here's to you, kind readers (courtesy of Arietta). May you and your dearest all enjoy peace and the warmth of love and mutual happiness.

Quote of the Day:
Joy, beautiful spark of God,
Daughter of Elysium,
We enter, fire-drunk,
Heavenly one, your shrine.

Your magic reunites
What custom's sword has parted
Beggars become princes' brothers
Where your gentle wing alights.

Whoever has succeeded in the great attempt
To be a friend to a friend;
Whoever has won a lovely woman
Mix in your joy!

Yes, who calls even one soul
His own on the earth's sphere!
And let whoever has never achieved this
Steal away crying from this group!

All beings drink joy
At the breasts of nature;
All the good, all the bad
Follow her trail of roses.

She gave us kisses and vines,
A friend, proven in death;
Great pleasure was given to the worm,
And the cherub stands before God.
Glad, like his suns fly

Through heaven's splendid plan,
Run, brothers, your race,
Joyful, like a hero to the victory.
Be embraced, millions!

This kiss to all the world!
Brothers, over the starry firmament
Must live a loving father.
Do you bow down, millions?

Do you sense the Creator, world?
Seek him beyond the starry firmament!
He must dwell beyond the stars.

--Friedrich Schiller/Ludwig van Beethoven, "Ode to Joy"

Monday, December 12, 2005

Apologies!

Folks, my trusty workhorse PC has died a noisy death. The motherboard is fried, and, as I'm a one-man operation working on a self-built machine, it might not be online until after the holidays are over. If anyone is feeling in the holiday spirit, right now would be a great time to donate so I can get up and running again. Also badly in need of an audio card for multimedia recording.

Sorry for the gap in posting. As soon as cashflow allows, I will rebuild and be back to posting stories and graphics the powers that be love to hate!

In the meantime, from the Ineternet cafe, I've found the folowing*
Yet more proof emerges of how the Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld triumvirate lied us into war.

Israel PM Ariel Sharon has ordered preparations for a March strike on Iran's nuke facilities.

and Kos has compiled more on the biggest mind-blowingly brazen theft in modern history, reported earlier by Cannonfire. All courtesy of the same nasty thugs and serial liars.

peace and best wishes for the holiday season,
Eric
aka New American Patriot

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Jesus Christ....



Not really related, but I just watched the French thriller "Haute Tension" ("High Tension").

Jesus Christ.

Scariest thing I've ever seen. I've literally been shaking for the last 20 minutes.

If scary movies freak you out, DON'T watch this.....

Thursday, December 08, 2005

How Much More Goddamned
Freedom Can We Take?























Displaying their fervor for democracy yet again, conservatives call for the head of the Democratic party to be executed for suggesting a shift in troop deployments.

Meanwhile, Joseph Iscariot Lieberman wants to form a new "War Cabinet" (because we obviously aren't allocating enough resources to war), and the Netherlands has threatened to stop cooperating with the White House if it continues to operate its secret concentration camps.

But while the overwelming majority of Iraqis want us to get the hell out of their country
and a number of their leaders have (again) formally asked us to do it (which, of course, is what the majority of Americans also want), Preznint Howdy Doody is too busy with the much more urgent job of wrapping up a Christmas present for America's wealthiest one percent. Oh, and Halliburton's got an early fat Christmas bonus from you. Ho ho ho.

Meanwhile , Captain Christmas is hallucinating an imaginary enemy in his own little war, and has threatened to "bring horror into the world" of his phantom adversaries. Perhaps someone should alert Homeland Security in case Crazy Bill plans something like a sarin gas attack in the name of protecting Santa Claus.

Quote of the Day: "I would rather belong to a poor nation that was free, than to a rich nation that had ceased to be in love with liberty."
- Woodrow Wilson

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

GOP: RIP.


With the Republican Party floundering about in its recent sea of difficulties, I thought it only right to offer a little assistance as it were.

It's become patently obvious that the party of George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, the PNAC, Diebold, Enron and Halliburton has diverged significantly from its roots -- the party of Lincoln, Roosevelt and Eisenhower, a party which once had some semblance of honor.

Thus, with the death of the Grand Old Party as such, the current group which has seized the reins of power finds itself in something of an identity crisis. Not to worry, however, as we liberals -- the adults -- are always at hand to clean up in the wake of the integrity- empathy- and reason-challenged infants across the Congressional aisle.

And so in the spirit of genuine, deep-seated hatred, revulsion and horror, I offer the following alternative mascots and pet names to the new party we all know and despise.

First there's the obvious POP (Party of Pork):


And, of course, the MOD (Merchants of Doom):

The TOB (Treacherous Old Bastards):

There's always the other POP (Party of Pestilence) to consider, for helping heap disease, ruin and misery upon so many:

Of course, there's always the distinguished-sounding GUI (Globally Unwelcome Interlopers), for their missions of dubious sanity and calamitous result across the globe:

The Party of Poison is an excellent option, I'd hazard:

Next we have the CAD (Crazed and Dangerous):

And finally... well, I leave this one to your imagination, kind reader.

Quote of the Day: "Politicians, like bombers, seldom see their victims..."
-- Donald Boudreaux

Monday, December 05, 2005

The Mother of All Congressional Scandals: Cannonfire Reports 22 Resluglicans Took Dirty Money from Fake "Defense" Contractors

Read the latest dirt on the crooked bastards who've hijacked America.

Quote of the Day: "Thieves respect property. They merely wish the property to become their property that they may more perfectly respect it."
--G. K. Chesterton quotes

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Diebold Strongarms North Carolina into Illegal Certification... Baghdad Sniper Videotapes Kills

As California Sec. of State Bruce McPherson quietly begins the process for recertifying Diebold machines after his predecessor tossed the company out on its ass, we learn from Bradblog rival SOS candidate Debra Bowen is hosting an email petition demanding thorough tests before any such machines are certified by the state. Non-Californians can also sign.

Meanwhile, the Electronic Frontier Foundation reports:

Raleigh, North Carolina - The North Carolina Board of Elections certified Diebold Election Systems to sell electronic voting equipment in the state yesterday, despite Diebold's repeated admission that it could not comply with North Carolina's tough election law. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) believes that this raises important questions about the Board of Elections' procedures as well as the integrity of Diebold's bid for certification. In all, three companies were certified for e-voting in North Carolina: Diebold, Sequoia Voting Systems, and Election Systems & Software. However, Keith Long, an advisor to the Board of Elections who was formerly employed by both Diebold and Sequoia, has said that "none of them" could meet the statutory requirement to place their system code in escrow. Instead of rejecting all applications and issuing a new call for bids as required by law, the Board chose to approve all of the applicants.

"The Board of Elections has simply flouted the law," said EFF Staff Attorney Matt Zimmerman. "In August, the state passed tough new rules designed to ensure transparency in the election process, and the Board simply decided to take it upon itself to overrule the legislature. The Board's job is to protect voters, not corporations who want to obtain multi-million dollar contracts with the state." Last month, Diebold obtained a broad temporary restraining order that allowed it to evade key transparency requirements without criminal or civil liability. The law requires escrow of the source code for all voting systems to be certified in the state and identification of programmers. Diebold claimed that it could not comply because of its reliance on third-party software.

Monday, responding to EFF's arguments, a judge dismissed Diebold's request for broad exemptions to the law and told Diebold that if it wanted to continue in its certification bid, it must follow the law or face liability. Diebold had told the court that it would likely withdraw from the bidding process if it was not granted liability protection. But instead, Diebold went forward with the certification bid. Diebold's certification now means it is permitted to sell e-voting equipment in North Carolina. But Zimmerman says that any county that buys from Diebold is taking a risk. "If Diebold's certification is revoked, counties using their equipment could be left holding a very expensive bag," Zimmerman said.

Despite Long's assertion, at least one Diebold competitor -- Nebraska-based Election Systems & Software -- has publicly stated that it is capable of meeting the escrow requirement for the code used it its system.
More here.

If you haven't already read it, you can download the excellent book "Black Box Voting" in Acrobat format for free here. Links for each chapter are in the right-hand margin of the site.

If you're new to this stuff, be prepared for some shocks.

And, speaking of shocks, we came across this movie clip today. You may well want to bypass it if you're squeamish. It's a video compilation of a Baghdad sniper killing coalition soldiers -- casualties which have definietly not been reported.

He posts a "scorecard" at the end of the video -- in arabic -- that shows figures of 141 and 56 respectively. Which are kills and which are injuries, I don't know. Suffice it to say this is a deeply disturbing video, and is definitely not for everyone.

Quote of the Day: "This is a fight between a free world and a slave world."
--Vice President Henry A. Wallace

Friday, December 02, 2005

[Slap!] Just Hand Over my GODdamned Prescription and Get Back to Counting the Aspirins, Beeyatch.....


Four minor-league fascists in St. Louis have tried to impose pregnancy on yet another unwilling victim in the name of "freedom". Fortunately, their employer, Walgreen, has had the good sense to take disciplinary measures.

And meanwhile, Preznint Pan Troglodytes inadvertently dropped a chilling qualifier in his latest progress report on the mission he said we accomplished two years ago:

Six months ago, I came here to address the graduating class of 2005. I spoke to them about the importance of their service in the first war of the 21st century -- the global war on terror.
If what they define as a global war is only the first they have planned, one shudders to think of what else those eminently competent PNAC folks have prepared for us next.

As expected, our glorious emperor once again lied baldly about how well the suppression of our occupation's resistance is going, bleating out

Now, there are over 120 Iraqi Army and Police combat battalions in the fight against the terrorists -- typically comprised of between 350 and 800 Iraqi forces. Of these, about 80 Iraqi battalions are fighting side-by-side with coalition forces, and about 40 others are taking the lead in the fight. Most of these 40 battalions are controlling their own battle space, and conducting their own operations against the terrorists with some coalition support -- and they're helping to turn the tide of this struggle in freedom's favor.
-- before inadvertently letting slip the phrase "My commanders" -- not "our commanders", "America's commanders" or even "the Pentagon's", but his own personal holy enforcers.

Bush then threw a token piece of human gristle to Zell's Vice-Rodent-in-Donkey's-Clothing Joseph Lieberman for the senator's betrayal of his party and the majority of his constituents.

Meanwhile, as two more countries follow South Korea's lead in announcing troop pullouts, former Abu Ghraib interrogator Tony Lagouranis tells PBS we don't know the half of it. It was much, much worse than even General Tsuguba's grim assessment.

Which is undoubtedly one of the reasons General Pace gave Herr Rumsfeld such a deserved (if muted) public smackdown on national television yesterday.

And the rabid right are frothing at the mouth yet again; this time it's complete lies in a non-scandal over the NY Times' publishing of Marine Cpl. Jeffrey B. Starr's final letter, apparently found on his laptop posthumously and reading almost like something some PR agency might cook up -- not, of course that we'd suggest anything as nefarious as that might actually ever occur.

So what's next for Iraq? Pulitzer prizewinner Seymour Hersch has a pretty good idea, and it smells suspiciously more like napalm than victory.

That's just one more in a sea of reasons why the EFF's less theatrical war is so vitally in need of your personal support today.

And as Judith Miller delivers her characteristically sob-wracked mea culpa for her role in the greatest disaster in the history of the American military, Scottywatch continues at 23 days and counting, leading us to the inescapable conclusion that, at least for some in the White House, cutting and running isn't such a bad idea after all.

Quote of the Day: "The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you're inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it." -- Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus

Thursday, December 01, 2005

It All Comes Down to This, Folks....

Our democracy now teeters on the brink of final oblivion.

It all comes down to one critical battle that will determine who chooses our government representatives from this point forward -- the voters or the power and money interests seeking to permanently subvert our election system.

Because, make no mistake, there is no "theory" to this conspiracy; the proof that our electoral process has been the subject of a hostile takeover is there in abundance.

Between the 2000 and 2004 "elections", you may have been one of the approximately 400,000 who received a Citizen's Emergency Call to Arms from me.

This is likely our last shot at holding back the barbarians. If we blow it, it's game over folks.

Permanently.

Eventually, we'll stop hearing about the torture camps and Congressional thuggery, because they'll have clamped it all down nice and tight.

And then, God help us all.

Get involved.

Now.

Quote of the Day: "We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people."
—- Martin Luther King, Jr., "Letter from Birmingham Jail"