Friday, May 25, 2007

Keith Olberman - Da Man!

Thank you, Keith Olbermann

This guy used to do sports, worked for ESPN, and now he's hitting the nail on the head--and hard!

Writing on Bush and Co. and mess that we are needlessly in. The man is upset. So am I.

Here's a list of some topics he's written on. I have been missing bloggers and journalist not asking tough enough questions. This guy does it.


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Please, don't fund the war, you Dem Wimps

This idea that if This President doesn't get another hundred-plus-billion-dollar check for his war, the troops will be put in danger is ludicrous and should not have been accepted as an argument. Glenn Greenwald puts is best here.

money quote: This unbelievably irrational, even stupid, concept has arisen and has now taken root -- that to cut off funds for the war means that, one day, our troops are going to be in the middle of a vicious fire-fight and suddenly they will run out of bullets -- or run out of gas or armor -- because Nancy Pelosi refused to pay for the things they need to protect themselves, and so they are going to find themselves in the middle of the Iraq war with no supplies and no money to pay for what they need. That is just one of those grossly distorting, idiotic myths the media allows to become immovably lodged in our political discourse and which infects our political analysis and prevents any sort of rational examination of our options.

After all, it is the President who is commanding them, and one would hope that if the money would not be there, he would move them out of harm's way. Why hasn't this argument been made?

What happened to "We're gonna ram (this bill) down his throat, Senator Biden?

J.


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Paula Abdul falls and breaks her nose

Isn't she a dancer? She's supposed to be extremely nimble, excellent reflexes, lithe, etc.

Considering the worst, even if she was tripping, couldn't her hands and arms have moved to the front & stopped her head from hitting whatever she hit?

My guess is that she was bombed out of her gourd and fell. I stopped watching Idol because she was always looking, acting and talking like she had Shlitz Malt liquor in that coke cup.

Go back to Arsenio.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Newt, you're getting close

Newt Gingrich has some good points here. He seems to be taking a center road between kicking the rascals out and letting them stay. The idea of drying up the safe havens for employers and illegals should be implemented. Money quote:

First, it is essential to understand how big and how serious this problem is.
Second, it is equally essential to understand how big the changes will have to be to really solve the problem.
Third, it is important to follow a logical set of sequential, sustainable solutions that build a momentum that over time will result in a rational and orderly immigration policy acceptable to a majority of the American people.
Getting there is a matter of national survival both in immediate and in the long-term.



I say Good luck, Newtie. We're watching you. I still want everyone who came to the US illegally to be kicked out, never to return. This is the only way to avoid more people coming illegally.

Border patrol? You gotta be kidding me. And my wife is not a US citizen, s0 there.






Pat Buchanan - Bigot

In Pat Buchanan's latest article, titled "Path to National Suicide," he shows himself to be truly a white-supremacist bigot. Thank goodnes he was never elected. How did he ever get so far, I wonder.

I strongly agree with him that we should not give amnesty to people who entered our country illegally. Those who broke the law should be captured and sent home at their own expense, never to return again. As far as I'm concerned, if you enter our country illegally, you have no respect for our core values. Anyone hiring illegals should also be punished.

However, my agreement with him stops there. He writes:

According to the Census Bureau, from mid-2005 to mid-2006, the U.S. minority population rose 2.4 million, to exceed 100 million. Hispanics, 1 percent of the population in 1950, are now 14.4 percent. Their total number has soared 25 percent since 2000 alone. The Asian population has also grown by 25 percent since 2000.

The number of white kids of school age fell 4 percent, however. Half the children 5 and younger in the United States are now minorities.

So what, Pat? It's not the quantity of the colors, it's the quality. Is the issue illegal immigration, or your sick idea that our country must be white? Look around you. He goes on:

First, while the black and Hispanic population combined is now 85 million – five times what it was in 1960 – half of all black and Hispanic kids drop out of high school. And the average math and reading scores of the half who graduate are at seventh-, eighth- or ninth-grade levels.

So now your point is that whites are smarter than blacks and Hispanics? You make me sick, Pat. Let's dance, Ignorant Bigot Buchanan.

"In 1960, 18 million black Americans, 10 percent of the nation, were not fully integrated into society, but they had been assimilated into our culture. --What the hell do you mean, Our Culture? Oh, White culture. In that case, you're wrong.


They worshiped the same God, spoke the same language, had endured the same Depression and war, watched the same TV shows on the same four channels, laughed at the same comedians, went to the same movies, ate the same foods, read the same newspapers and went to schools where, even when segregated, we learned the same history and literature and shared the same holidays: Christmas, New Year's, Washington's Birthday, Easter, Memorial Day, July 4, Labor Day, Columbus Day. Segregation existed, but black folks were as American as apple pie, having lived in this land longer than almost every other group save the Native Americans. -- You are about as ignorant work of art as has ever been. American as apple pie? Ask Rosa Parks, Dr. King, Jackie Robinson. You are un-American.


"That cultural unity, that sense that we were one people, is gone." Oh, yeah, segregated blacks really felt "one" with you and your family, you ignorant idiot.

Pat you miss the point on the immigration issue. You see color of skin, not quality of character -- of which you have none.

J.

I'm white too, Pat. But not like you.








Monday, May 21, 2007

My Footprint

Check this out. You can take a test that tells you about your carbon footprint. I went to the site, took the test and they spat at me that "If everyone lived like you, we would need 2.8 planets to sustain ourselves."

I'm feeling some shame right now, but I think I'll take the test again to make sure. 2.8 planets?

This, and the recycled shoes you can buy, or shoes from recycled materials are examples of how to make this eco-idea a bit more cool for the general and young population.



J.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Discussion on Barak Obama's church

1. Barak's church's 12-point Black Value system:

1. Commitment to God

2 Commitment to the Black Community

3 Commitment to the Black Family

4. Dedication to the Pursuit of Education

5. Dedication to the Pursuit of Excellence

6 Adherence to the Black Work Ethic

7. Commitment to Self-Discipline and Self-Respect

8. Disavowal of the Pursuit of "Middleclassness"

9. Pledge to make the fruits of all developing and acquired skills available to the Black Community

10. Pledge to Allocate Regularly, a Portion of Personal Resources for Strengthening and Supporting Black Institutions

11. Pledge allegiance to all Black leadership who espouse and embrace the Black Value System

12. Personal commitment to embracement of the Black Value System.


2. Cheerful Iconoclast says: (I Substituted Black for White) ... other aspects of this creed are quite troublesome. The commitment to the (Black) Community implies that one is less committed to other communities -- Black, Hispanic, Asian, etc. The commitment to the "(Black) Family" implies that the families of other racial groups are somehow less worthy. And how exactly does the "(Black) work ethic" differ from the plain old "work ethic"? The bit about pledging allegiance to (Black) leaders who embrace the (Black) Value System seems almost like a fascist "leader principle."

3. To that I say -- Hey, Cheerful, I don't agree with this, despite (sort of) getting your point: ...other aspects of this creed are quite troublesome. The commitment to the Black Community implies that one is less committed to other communities...

Black and Hispanic communities (especially children) desperately need successful Black and Hispanic role models to actively give back, participate and be committed to helping the rest of their specific community.

It's a bit naive (and not helpful today at least) to expect minorities to play by the same rules as the non-minorities.

J. Allen

Got this from the Cheerful Iconoclast

Okay, still sorting out my feelings about Obama. Got this from the Cheerful Iconoclast. Scroll down a bit to the church he's chosen as an adult. Seems they are rather Afrocentric. I get the feeling that a white guy like me wouldn't be welcome at Mr. Obama's church.

You know, until Bush 2 came along, a President's religion didn't matter much to me as I don't believe it is necessary to belong to an organized religion to be a good leader. But after this Bush, I think I'd rather have a president who doesn't have a god telling him to invade foreign countries.

J.

Got this at instapundit from Glen Reynolds - thanks

THIS SOUNDS KIND OF INTERESTING:

Many respected engineers have been trying for years to bring a compressed air car to market, believing strongly that compressed air can power a viable "zero pollution" car. Now the first commercial compressed air car is on the verge of production and beginning to attract a lot of attention, and with a recently signed partnership with Tata, India's largest automotive manufacturer, the prospects of very cost-effective mass production are now a distinct possibility. The MiniC.A.T is a simple, light urban car, with a tubular chassis that is glued not welded and a body of fibreglass. . . .

Most importantly, it is incredibly cost-efficient to run – according to the designers, it costs less than one Euro per 100Km (about a tenth that of a petrol car). Its mileage is about double that of the most advanced electric car (200 to 300 km or 10 hours of driving), a factor which makes a perfect choice in cities where the 80% of motorists drive at less than 60Km. The car has a top speed of 68 mph.

Refilling the car will, once the market develops, take place at adapted petrol stations to administer compressed air. In two or three minutes, and at a cost of approximately 1.5 Euros, the car will be ready to go another 200-300 kilometres.

As a viable alternative, the car carries a small compressor which can be connected to the mains (220V or 380V) and refill the tank in 3-4 hours.

Due to the absence of combustion and, consequently, of residues, changing the oil (1 litre of vegetable oil) is necessary only every 50,000 Km.

The temperature of the clean air expelled by the exhaust pipe is between 0 - 15 degrees below zero, which makes it suitable for use by the internal air conditioning system with no need for gases or loss of power.

Adiabatic air conditioning. Cool! Er, literally . . .

If this catches on first in India and China, that's okay -- that's where the growth of auto sales is likely to be fastest in the coming decades. I wouldn't mind having one for commuting, though.

I'm beginning to like this Obama guy

Barak Obama makes a speech "on becoming a man."

-cut and pasted from Andrew Sullivan's Dish. Thanks.

There is a verse from the Bible that is sometimes read or recited during rites of passage like this. Corinthians 13:11: “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child. Now that I have become a man, I have put away childish things.”

I bring this up because there’s often an assumption on days like today that growing up is purely a function of age; that becoming an adult is an inevitable progression that can be measured by a series of milestones – college graduation or your first job or the first time you throw a party that actually has food too.

And yet, maturity does not come from any one occasion – it emerges as a quality of character. Because the fact is, I know a whole lot of thirty and forty and fifty year olds who have not yet put away childish things – who continually struggle to rise above the selfish or the petty or the small.

We see this reflected in our country today.

We see it in a politics that’s become more concerned about who’s up and who’s down than who’s working to solve the real challenges facing our generation; a politics where debates over war and peace are reduced to 60-second soundbites and 30-second attack ads.

We see it in a media culture that sensationalizes the trivial and trivializes the profound – in a 24-hour news network bonanza that never fails to keep us posted on how many days Paris Hilton will spend in jail but often fails to update us on the continuing genocide in Darfur or the recovery effort in New Orleans or the poverty that plagues too many American streets.

And as we’re fed this steady diet of cynicism, it’s easy to start buying into it and put off hard decisions. We become tempted to turn inward, suspicious that change is really possible, doubtful that one person really can make a difference.

That’s where the true test of growing up occurs. That’s where you come in...


I like this guy and Hillary too. The question (whether it's being asked out loud or not) is "Can more than half of our voting public vote for an African American or a woman?" I hope so, but I'm not so sure.




Jimmy Carter cuts down the shrub.

Go, Jimmy, go!

Get this...Carter calls Bush's Administration "the worst in history" in international relations, taking aim at the White House's policy of pre-emptive war and its Middle East diplomacy.

Why did he and so many others wait so long?

J.

Gingrich against "radical secularism"

Heaven forbid this person wins any election ever again.

Newt Gingrich, you had your turn. Now SDSU. Sit down and Shut up.

That religion has so pervaded the political landscape in the past 7 years is sinful. Bush says God told him to invade Iraq. The insincerity is bad enough. The inability for half the population to see this is disastrous.

J.

Smoking and R-ratings?

Marshall Herskovits over at Huffington Post chimes in on R -ratings for smoking.

He's got a good point. R ratings should be for acts that children under 17 do not see on the street.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Wonkette's day, My Day

Wonkette's Day: I saw James Carville at the Cosi at 2nd and Penn SE around 3pm [5/14]. A staffer type asked for a picture together with him (he obliged), but far more entertaining was overhearing pieces of the conversation he was having with his young and attractive companion. The best line was “even if you run two child molesters, one of them will still win the election”.

My Day: Went to Maksat's corner grocery and bought some potatoes. Vladimir was visibly drunk, buying a couple shots of vodka. Maksat had put in a new fridge with some cold imported beers in it.

Wonkette's Day: I just saw Chris Matthews in the Dirksen Cafeteria, getting a 1/4 platter of Rotisserie Chicken. I didn’t recognize him at first, because his trademark blue and white striped shirt was rolled up well above the elbow, and he is much taller than expected (he also must have a great make-up team over at MSNBC). I recognized the distinctive voice though as he thanked the server, and also as he walked away singing fairly audibly to himself.

My Day: I just saw Nadia outside sawing a branch or two of her tree that was hanging into our yard. She told me that Stas' mom was having a hard time after Stas had strangled his father. Now Stas was in jail and she was all alone.

Wonkette's Day: Saw Newt Gingrich giving an interview [5/15] in front of the News Corp building in Manhattan. A brother hollered at him and Gingrich acknowledged him and waved because he apparently cares about black people despite the fact he’s running for President as a Republican

My Day: Wanted to mow the lawn but it was raining.


Go, Gonzo...Just go. -- "SDSU"- Sit Down and Shut Up


From TPMMuckraker



MR. FRATTO: I think it adds up to the bottomless bag of tricks that Democrats in the Senate would like to pull out on a weekly basis, regarding the Attorney General. The Attorney General has the full confidence of the President....

This President seems to very often have a lot of confidence in a lot of soon-to-be-leaving officials.
Harriet Miers, Don Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz...

It's gotten to the point that when I hear this President say he has confidence, I cringe and immediately know that nobody else does.

Barak O-BOMB-A!

Well, O-bomb-A is on the neocon train, and I tend to agree. The Iranians need to be stopped. They are part of the Axis of Evil, remember? They almost have nuclear weapons, the North Koreans already have nuclear weapons and are workin' that long-range missile strategy now, and Iraq, whom we invaded didn't have any WMD.

Wait, did we really invade the only member of the Axis of Evil, (under the pretext of WMD) that had no WMD? -- Okay, maybe not entirely fair, but it probably is fair to say that we invaded the "least evil" country of the three.

Boy were we stupid. I can't even put this one on the administration, whose intentions are questionable to begin with. This one goes on everyone else who shut up at the time. Media and congress, you guys blew it. And you blew it because you were afraid to speak truth to power.

So, there.

J.

Wolfowitz: Bases in Arabia Motivated al Qaeda

You know, Wolf.

You just got chased out of the World Bank. Why start so soon?

1. As Undersecretary of Defense on 911, you failed to defend us.
2. You didn't catch OBL.
3. Your Iraq attack is a disaster.
4. Torture -- you're also responsible.
5. Your World Bank stint and scandal, and refusal to step down shows just how low you are.

I'm not even posting the link to what you had to say, because I'm not in the mood to hear from you right now. Sit down and shut up.

Brief on the Capitol Brief

Wow, first time I have seen this, although I'm sure it's been around for awhile. I think I linked to it from Drudge. This is the Washington Post's Capitol Brief, with short updates on everything you want to know and more about politics. Here's some snipps:

During a meeting Thursday on immigration legislation, McCain and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) got into a shouting match when Cornyn started voicing concerns about the number of judicial appeals that illegal immigrants could receive, according to multiple sources.


THE RESIGN NOW CROWD for Gonzales: I count 12 Senators who want Gonzales to leave.

McCain Misses 42nd Straight Vote ... and Counting

Sen. John McCain (R-Campaign Trail) missed another vote today on a resolution related to the Iraq war, skipping a procedural move on a war funding measure in favor of hitting the campaign trail in New York.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Sicko - Time Interview with Moore

Good target. The wife of one of my best friends from high school, Jim had around 2001 given birth to their 3rd child. At the time, they had a lapse in their health insurance. Their child became very ill and was treated and cured over a few weeks. The bill was over $220,000. I haven't heard from him in about 4 years and can't find him.

You have to be kidding me. What illness could cost someone without insurance $220,000? What hospital could suck, what doctor could suck so much money from one family in one month.

I don't know what all is covered in the Moore film, but the above is sick.

J.

"There should be limits to freedom" - GWBush

Well, let's just move on to the military. We've got illegal wiretapping at home, the Patriot Act, and ...Let's continue.

Al Gore, Senator Byrd -- Please read

at least the 1st half-- it goes down from there. But the first half is first rate.


kicker:

"Not long before our nation launched the invasion of Iraq, our longest-serving Senator, Robert Byrd of West Virginia, stood on the Senate floor and said: "This chamber is, for the most part, silent—ominously, dreadfully silent. There is no debate, no discussion, no attempt to lay out for the nation the pros and cons of this particular war. There is nothing. We stand passively mute in the United States Senate."

Why was the Senate silent?

In describing the empty chamber the way he did, Byrd invited a specific version of the same general question millions of us have been asking: "Why do reason, logic and truth seem to play a sharply diminished role in the way America now makes important decisions?" The persistent and sustained reliance on falsehoods as the basis of policy, even in the face of massive and well-understood evidence to the contrary, seems to many Americans to have reached levels that were previously unimaginable.

A large and growing number of Americans are asking out loud: "What has happened to our country?" People are trying to figure out what has gone wrong in our democracy, and how we can fix it.

To take another example, for the first time in American history, the Executive Branch of our government has not only condoned but actively promoted the treatment of captives in wartime that clearly involves torture, thus overturning a prohibition established by General George Washington during the Revolutionary War."

R. Kelly, Your Big Dummy

R. Kelly wins the Fred G. Sanford award today for comparing himself to Dr. King.

He sounds a bit like The Bush below:

...Kelly's reply also includes this comment: "So I have to walk with a certain humility. I have to walk with love in my heart for those that hate me. I have to. I have to get out and touch people in order for me to continue to feel the pulse of the world."

Isn't that a bushism?

J.

Russia US tensions not easing

So now Russia is suing The Bank of New York for some 22.5 billion dollars. The amount is for was for "unpaid taxes on money taken out of Russia via an illegal scheme facilitated by the US bank."

They like to go after these long overdue, unpaid taxes with penalties piled on. I wonder how Khordokovsky is doing these days.

J.

Light Blogging

Apologies for the light blogging today and yesterday. Got a problem with my service provider moving even slower than usual. Should be speeding up soon.

J.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Threats halt Harry Iraq deployment

So now Prince Harry is not going. Obviously expected. So why all the noise?

Understanding the exceptional risk to himself and those around him, Harry should be allowed to serve in the region in some other capacity that allows him to directly help the effort.

Keeping him home helps nobody.

J.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Jail Paris Hilton Petition

Here it is.

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/jailparishilton/index.html

Think I signed it?

So Global Warming Isn't Such a Problem

Here's the headline:

Climate Momentum Shifting: Prominent Scientists Reverse Belief in Man-made Global Warming - Now Skeptics

but on Sky News...

Our planet is just five years away from climate change catastrophe - but can still be saved, according to a new report.


What I make of all of this is the following:

1. Smog is bad, so we should get rid of it.
2. Energy is limited, so we should conserve it even if we can individually afford to pay our electric bill, our gas bill, etc.
3. Doing good things for the environment is cool, doing bad things is not cool. Somehow we need to drive this deeper into society. It shouldn't be only the tree-huggers.












Idol ratings dropping - Thank goodness.

From Drudge: FADING FINISH: 'IDOL' RATINGS DROP 8% IN WEEK... 14.7 RATING/23 SHARE FOR FOX SHOW, DOWN FROM LAST TUESDAY'S 15.5/25... SHOW HAS LOST RATINGS FROM WEEK-TO-WEEK FOR LAST 3 OUTINGS... MORE

I'll give you more, Drudge. Idol is a great idea gone very bad. Why? ___ reasons

1. Paula rarely seems sober and reminds me of a drunk high-schooler.
2. Dog! If I hear the word "Dog" again I'm gonna chase my tail.
3. "Three groups of three...(suspense)...You are...SUSPENSE..SAFE" Come on, if this is entertainment, we are in trouble.


Having said that, there has been some good talent found...too bad they focus too little on them.

Nice to blog on something a bit lighter.

It's the itty bitty, teeny weeny thing they call...

The Love Bug

I'm not putting a picture of this thing up, but Jonah and the folks over at buzzfeed got it going on. Listed under "weapons of mass orgasm," This thing is banned in Cyprus.

Looks like a lava lamp with a stainless steel hat on it.

Cost $60.

Why Cyprus?

On Wolfowitz - borrowed

Borrowed from Andrew Sullivan at the Atlantic as it was so to the point.

Many of his Himalayan-size errors were enabled by his careful placing of close friends and allies in key and lucrative positions. In the end, his career suffered remarkably little from his substantive policy mistakes. But once he moved beyond the forgiving world of high Republican Party politics, his dependence on cronyism finally caught up with him. That he ran into such trouble at the World Bank for behaving in ways that apparently were business as usual for him at the Department of Defense only underlines how corrupt the Bush administration really is.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Iran Us Friendship

Just Keep Condi out of it. Never has there been a more useless Sec of State. "She's not making any deals. She goes, gets off the plane and waves, sits at a 45 degree angle and goes home."

She's Useless.

It seems that no one’s safe from Donald Trump’s wrath — not even Secretary of State Condi Rice. According to the New York Daily News, Trump says: “She goes on a plane, she gets off a plane, she waves, she goes there to meet some dictator. They talk, she leaves, she waves, the plane takes off. Nothing happens, it’s a joke, nothing ever happens. I think she’s a very nice woman, but I don’t want a nice woman. I want someone that’s not necessarily nice.” Who is Trump’s kind of woman? Senator Hillary Clinton, who he calls “very capable.”

Trump called Secretary of State Condoleezza "lovely," but the author of the best-selling The Art of the Deal complained that she never makes any diplomatic deals.

"Everything in Washington has been a lie," Trump added. "Weapons of mass destruction, it was a total lie. It was a way of attacking Iraq, which he thought was going to be easy and it turned out to be the exact opposite of easy."

Trump doesn't believe that Bush is much of a reader, mocking, "He reads 60 books a year. He reads a book a week. Do you think the president reads a book a week? I don't think so."

Well, isn't that special?

Condi, you never make any deals. You're fired.

More on Sprouts Later...

Soanya, from the 1000 days non-stop at sea blog. Writes about sprouts here.

After they hit another boat on day 16 or thereabout, Ried fixes the boat and Soanya washes sprouts. They need some bondo on the side. Do follow this one...3 years at sea. Wish them well and check the site.

J. Allen

Study: Blacks, Latinos fare worse in traffic stops

Study: Blacks, Latinos fare worse in traffic stops, but Paris Hilton fares the worst.


This is from the LA Times.

WASHINGTON — Black, Latino and white drivers are equally likely to be pulled over by police, but the black and Latino drivers are more likely to be searched and arrested, a Justice Department study found.

Police are more likely to threaten or use force against blacks and Latinos than against whites in any encounter, traffic stop or not, the study said.

About 9% of drivers in the U.S. were stopped by police in 2005, it said.



J.

Madonna on the Media

Madonna's got this right for sure:

What they (the media) should care about is that there are over a million orphans in Malawi, and following me around is just a gross misappropriation of attention and money.

Giddyap.

Good stuff on war, terror,bush, wolfie, mission accomplished

Blogging on blogging on blogging...

Check that out, the stuff from William F. Buckley Jr. is sound. Bunch of others jumping in also.

A taste:

The number of terrorism incidents in Iraq — and resulting deaths, injuries and kidnappings — skyrocketed from 2005 to 2006, according to statistics released by U.S. counterterrorism officials yesterday...

and...

"You know, if Bush would stop his self-indulgent stubbornness for half a day, he could see plain as day that he has an opportunity to retain American control of the World Bank by easing Wolfie out. If he tries to keep Wolfie in that spot, American control could end.

J.

Advice For Paris in Jail

I liked this one, despite hoping that she returns from jail very very safe.

Step Eight

If someone hits you, hit them back. NO MATTER WHAT! This might be the single most important survival tip for jail. Don't go looking for fights by any means but if someone clocks you, hit them back until you just cant hit anymore. Its not the fact whether you win or lose, its about respect. If you let someone abuse you, it wont stop. Picture the elementary school bully who takes the same kid's lunch everyday ... except these ladies will take more than your lunch.


Somehow, I just can't find it in my heart to feel sorry for her.

Paris Hilton's true colors -- Stripes


Paris, you blew it!

So, you drove intoxicated, had your license suspended, drove again and got caught. (I think you got caught twice, actually.) You've proven yourself to be a party girl, racist, porno star, and a bunch of other bad stuff. We still loved you for all your cute badness.

Not anymore.

Your comments of "I just sign what people tell me to sign," your disrespect for the judge by showing up 15 minutes late for your hearing, your whiny ignorance defense "I thought I could drive to work and back," your mother's after hearing comments show you to be a snotty little brat at 26. Your new lawyer came a bit late. It's clear who you are.

If you had owned up and admitted your mistakes, shown some respect for the law and been willing to take responsibility for your actions, you would still be loved. Instead, we see your true colors -- stripes.

Monday, May 14, 2007

No one suffers more than the president and first lady

No one suffers more than the president and first lady.

So out of touch I feel sorry for them.

Thanks to Dan Froomkin:

The first lady was on NBC's Today show mostly to talk about the president's malaria initiative, but at one point Ann Curry showed some video from Iraq and asked Bush, in a hushed, solicitous tone: "You know the American people are suffering, watching --"

The first lady replied: "Oh, I know that, very much. And believe me, no one suffers more than their president and I do when we watch this. And certainly the commander in chief who has asked our military to go into harm's way --"

Curry: "What do you think the American public need to know about your husband --"

Laura Bush: "Well, I hope they do know the burden of worry that's on his shoulders every single day, for our troops. And I think they do. I mean I think if they don't, they're not seeing what the real responsibilities of our president are."

Curry: "It must be hard for you to watch him in this."

Bush: "Well it's hard, of course, it's absolutely hard."




Afer Imus: More jocks bite the dust

"Slimp Flied Lice" got a couple more fired.

I just don't know. If we can't offend people anymore on the radio, then I guess we're gonna have to respect all groups of people equally. Or could we choose to offend all groups equally? It seems that for now at least (see the hip hop crowd) we can offend only groups to which we belong.

Why is this okay? Why can rappers continue to spew what many call hate without being taken to task?

Why?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

John Brady Kiesling comes out of the woodwork

I posted here after Arianna Huffington criticized George Tenet, saying he should have resigned as did John Brady Kiesling (a diplomat) for being at odds with The Administration. I disagree.

Resigning (in these cases) is saying: "I don't like how you play, so I'm not going to play with you." It's a relatively easy "out" that can be managed in a soft way..."personal reasons"..."want to spend time with my family"...etc. And it allows the "resigner" the to change his/her story at will, depending on who they are speaking with as to why they really resigned.

This is a cop out. Particularly for people who work in government. The John Brady Kieslings who resigned were quietly replaced with who?... loyalists...who strengthened and furthered the bad cause that John Brady Kiesling was against.

Sometimes remaining part of something you disagree with and trying to change it is the most difficult, but most honorable thing to do.

Wanna dance?

J.

In Defense of Al Sharpton

Now I have given my couple of jabs at Sharpton here over the past few weeks. Mostly because I believe he's not sincere about stamping out racist language. If he was, he would have gone after the hip hop crowd long ago.

But what he has done with the Imus firing is indicated that the line drawn has moved again. Radio hosts and those in the media must be ever more careful about what they say. If this means there will be less negative "racial" commentary on the radio...that's probably a good thing.

When Imus made the nappy headed hos comment, I felt like a kid in the 6th grade watching some other kid who had just thrown a spitball at the teacher's back. Bad thing for him to do, but those of us watching felt something...I'm not sure what, but there's something about having people around who step over the line sometimes...throw the spitball.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Imus producer: Sharpton a 'race-baiter'



Well, at least someone gave him a smack. The problem with the Sharptons and the Jessee Jacksons (to a lesser extent) is that we need them. But we need them to deal with these issues in a sober way that continues to build respect for them and for their causes. It just seems like Sharpton is looking for an excuse to collect a crowd and create a fuss, when the task could be done much better and in a much more respectful way. Someone compared him to an "ambulance-chasing lawyer."

Oprah, you don't get off so easy either. Bringing these poor girls on your show (I didn't see it by the way) because somebody called them "nappy headed hos." You, Miss Winfrey, were above that. What happened?

What you should have done was you should have brought some actual nappy headed hos on to your show, and stood them next to the Rutgers Women's Basketball team. What we all would have noticed is that the actual nappy headed hos don't look like the Rutgers women. Maybe they look like Sharpton and that's what he's so upset about.



Then, and only after doing this, could we have made a fair judgment of Imus.


Go ahead, fire me too.

Friday, May 11, 2007

War debate cited as aiding al Qaeda

I'm feeling sick.

On November 3, 2008 we are going to collectively wake up with the biggest national (and possibly international) hangover ever. Remember college, 3am...bedspins. That's where we are now.

Any comments? Didn't think so.

Russia & Estonia: So What, Pat?

Here is a well-written and informative piece by Pat Buchanan...on the situation between Estonia and Russia and the removal of the unknown soldier monument from Talinn's city center. Nice history lesson too. He goes on to inform us that as Estonia is a NATO member, we could end up fighting the Russians if they step into Estonia.

Pat's not recommending what should be done, just complaining.

My recommendation to Pat: Tell us what do we do about this.

Blog Review: Drudge Report

Very big (widely read) blog focused on headlines. News, politics, and culture...slanting toward scandal. A good place to start your day. This is more a collection of articles from around the web. Minimal, if any content written by Matt Drudge.

What? Paris Hilton Out Early?


Drat.

I really wanted to see her get what she deserves. 45 days in jail for her arrogance and disrespect for the law. Driving drunk on a suspended license she could have injured someone.

Where does the 500lb gorilla sit?

Well, Richard Buchanan at Pajamasmedia discusses it, (the US) Here

China and India will certainly continue to grow, however their huge, largely uneducated populations will not add much horsepower to their economies.

My comments:
  1. Russia's huge energy reserves and sale of them will allow it to become a superpower again if it chooses.
  2. Economy and economic power will continue to become more important than defense or offense.
  3. For these reasons, the movers in this century will be Russia, and Russia.

MOSCOW: President Vladimir Putin of Russia obliquely compared the foreign policy of the United States to the Third Reich

So, Putin ratchets up the rhetoric, comparing US foreign policy to the Third Reich. Not nice, but I have no doubt many inside and outside the US have become more afraid of their government these past 6 years.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The "war is lost"

Say Syndey Blumenthal (from September 2004) and more recently, Paul Craig Roberts,

...and Harry Ried.

Of course the war is lost...still we've got ourselves a war President. Yee...ha....ouch.

Bush Report Card from me

George Bush Report Card

On Iraq

1. Invading Iraq and removing Saddam. SUCCESS (as if there could ever have been any doubt)
2. Winning the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people. FAILURE
3. Making the US and the world safer from terrorists. FAILURE
4. Ensuring that Iraq not become a haven for terrorists. FAILURE
5. Overall winning the war on terror: FAILURE

On the Economy...coming soon.

Ultimately, overall responsibility for this goes to those who voted for Dubya. He was elected for various reasons. For those of you who voted your pocketbook based on taxes, I have some understanding. For those of you who wanted a religious president, you got it. He said he believed God told him to go to Iraq. If true, his God doesn't seem to show much love for the Iraqis, or for the killed and wounded American troops.

More on this too coming soon...

Any comments? Didn't think so.

Al Sharpton shows his true color...again!


After jumping on Don Imus for the Nappy Headed Hos comment, and calling for, and getting Don Imus fired, the Reverend Al said during a New York debate on faith on Monday that "those that really believe in God" would defeat Romney, a Mormon, in the 2008 race for the White House.

It was clear what he meant, but instead of apologizing for his remarks (something he can only require of others) the man with the laying-down-Don-King-hair, said:

he was not questioning Romney's faith but was aiming his comments at author and atheist Christopher Hitchens, who he was debating.

Yeah, Right.

1000 days at Sea and on Day 15...CRASH!

This is a nice little blog about a couple out for a nice sail...around the world...THREE TIMES...without stopping...or seeing land. The lady on board has never before been at sea.

But the unfortunate part is that on Day 15 they managed to be hit by a tanker in the middle of the Atlantic. Bad enough, but the damage repair goes as follows:

From the Captain: "I was on watch in the pilothouse looking for lights of ships every 15 minutes to a half hour. I heard a loud bang and some scraping. When I opened the hatch, I saw the stern of a freighter passing by. We were not hit hard."

I'm no sailor, but sheesh! Good luck for the remaining 985 days!



The Few, The Proud...

The Marines. -- Marine says he urinated on dead Iraqi at Haditha.

This is not the kind of thing that helps capture the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

100 hits

The blog has reached 100 hits. I have no idea how. If anyone wants to leave a comment on how you got to this blog I'd appreciate it. Still a lot to learn, and I'd like to add some pictures soon.

Also, if you agree or disagree with what's written, feel free to comment.

J.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Don't do the crime...

If you can't do the time!

Paris Hilton, we love you! We're also happy you are going in the slammer for a short time. After you get out, you and Martha Stewart can compare jail tattoos, talk about the bad food, and try to wash that prison smell off your uppity butts. Not gonna happen. We know you were there and you can't wash that off even with a hundred dollar bill.

I just love seeing people who act as if they are above the law because of who they are --being reminded that they are not.

And don't we (the people) just love seeing the privileged being taken down when they deserve it? I do. And I don't feel bad about it. Having said that, I do look forward to her leaving prison very safely and very unharmed.

And after all of the recent "happenings" under dubya's watch, "patriot" act, torture smörgåsbord, Cheney, Wolfowitz, wire-tappings, and oh my tummy hurts... I'm happy to see you being treated fairly.

Thank you, America. Please hold tight.

The thing is, I really like Paris. I watch her show, she looks quite like my wife, and she's fun on a very un-serious level. I don't want to know her any more than that. I want her to go to jail for being a nitwit. Her mom only hurts her case. Her mom should have stayed home and out of the picture. She just made things worse.

Victory Day

First of all, I'm not a historian. If I err, please correct me soonest.

Americans, British, Soviets...and the French were on the same side. The Soviet losses were enormous...don't even want to go there. Millions? Millions. Either a disregard for life, or a necessity, depending on who you ask.

After living in the former soviet union since 1992 as an American in 4 different countries, and speaking Russian fluently, I've heard some anecdotes...but the one that stands out most vividly is the tale of how the USSR helped to hold off the Germans from reaching Volgograd, or Stalingrad. My bodyguard, Vasya+ in 2001 told me..."they (the Germans) set up "zota"... these well-protected holes in the ground with cement cover over them used to protect a position and prohibit advance of the Russians. In the holes were Germans with guns and a shitload of ammo. And the soviets needed to get past these "zotas."

"So how did they do it?" I asked.

They sent huge numbers of infantry to be killed in front of the "zotas,"...hundreds, thousands...until the bodies piled up and blocked the shooting range of those Germans inside the zotas...then they walked on top of the bodies and engaged the Germans.

The Russians also used "zota." They would take prisoners from jail and shackle them inside a zota, leaving them a gun and a bunch of ammo...sometimes they would leave them a few liters of vodka.

no more comment

Fame and Shame: May 1-7

Fame
George Tenet -- You're probably no angel, but I'm sure there is a lot we don't know. Resigning would have not helped. Is Paul O'Neil helping after his resignation?

Sheryl Crow -- Thank you for stepping up and standing up to Karl Rove.

Imus -- Go Get 'em (CBS) , you good guy who said a bad thing and may be only slightly racist.

Andrew Sullivan -- Boy, you're on a tough road. Catholic church AND the GOP!? "You keep a knockin' but you can't come in." My heart goes out to you.

Ried and Soanya -- You hit another boat? After only 15 of 1000 days at sea? In the middle of the Atlantic? Remind me of Andrew Sullivan, who is tangled with the GOP and the Catholic Church at theatlantic.com.


Shame
George Tenet -- You were good, but a great one would have evaded this senseless war.

Sheryl Crow -- You stepped up whining, using big words that we don't want, don't need from you. Make it a song.

Rush Limbaugh -- You will always have a place here.

Bush -- You winked at The Queen?, said "What's up Blair?", and you are the "Merkel Massager" - I would have expected that from you.


I need to find out how to format this better. Trying for next week.



Tenet - Piling on by the Pundits

Well, now they're piling on George Tenet.

How Will You Look Yourself In The Mirror, Mr. Tenet?

George Tenet, spook for all seasons by Sidney Blumenthal



Arianna Huffington (whining) - Why Didn't George Tenet Just Resign?

And the fact that it is being done by respected columnists/journalists doesn't sit well with me. They are just as responsible, if not more as part of their job is to make sure things like the Iraq war don't happen unless they really have to.

The truth is either they were blinded by the hysteria of hating Saddam, as so many of us were, or they were not blinded, but afraid of being labeled, "unpatriotic" and possibly fired.

In any case, it was a very sad day for freedom and for the US.

Liking "Let's Dance"

Started the "Let's Dance" section last week after years of commenting out loud while reading articles that I mostly don't agree with. So far have "danced" with Arianna Huffington,
Sheryl Crow, and finally Rudy Giuliani.

Have to say, that after jumping on Arianna's article on George Tenet, I went on to read more of what she has written, expecting to find more "dancing material." So far, I haven't. Nice lady.

Feel free to comment or send an email.

My View on Andrew Sullivan

Aside from the link-o-rama posted on the right, I will be occasionally giving short reviews of blogs that I like and (on rare occasion) don't like.

His was actually the first blog I started reading regularly a couple years ago. For those of you who haven't visited, he has a casual writing style on politics that is refreshing and usually to the point. Also, he blogs on a variety of issues that are moving. But the thing that makes me smile most about him is that he is openly homosexual and a member of two groups that really don't support homosexuals all that much, the GOP and the Catholic Church.

You can check it here. http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/

Monday, May 7, 2007

Rudy Giuliani, Let's Dance.

(my comments in bold)

Rudy said of Bush:
"He will be, I believe, a president who will be viewed by history for this one decision as being a great president," the former New York mayor told about 100 Cedar Rapids-area Republicans during a quick campaign stop in eastern Iowa. "He decided in a flash to put our country on offense against terrorism." -(if you mean by offense, offending just about the whole world, you're right. Even this was done only after our country was kicked between the legs. That is a no brainer, Rudy. Not difficult to do. No points for you or for him for that matter.)


"The very best way to deal with it, which I understand ... is for America to be on offense against terrorism and never, ever, ever go back to being on defense," Giuliani said during a 45-minute forum at a heavy equipment dealership on Cedar Rapids' north side. -- so this means we continue to invade countries that have not attacked us, nor pose no threat to us? We continue to manufacture terrorists as we have been doing for some years now? We stay at "war" forever. Offense? I'm offended.

But the candidate's two biggest applause lines came when he reminded the group of his association with Sept. 11, 2001, and Bush's performance in its aftermath.

"He reversed years of being on defense," Giuliani said of the president. "He reversed it immediately. He put us immediately on offense, and we have been safe as a result of that. And he deserves credit for that," he said, sparking applause. -- (again, No Brainer.)

So, Rudy, do you recommend changing the name to the Department of Offense? (DOO) -- DOO......Doh!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Bush doesn't like the idea of pulling out

VETO

Bush Vetoed the "pull-out" bill, also known as the... well I'm not going to go there as it is too easy to make a joke on the lack of creativity of this president.

1000 Days at Sea - Crash on Day 15

What a bummer. Day 15 of a 1000 day journey in the middle of the Atlantic and you HIT ANOTHER BOAT?

One might guess you are growing more than bean sprouts on the boat, Reid and Soanya.

Incidentally, a slightly cool read if anyone wants to check it out. The young lady on board has never sailed off a river and is out for 1000 days non-stop.

Imus and Free Speech

Pat Morrison from LA Times has a nice Op-Ed piece HERE,
talking about how "Two journalists who questioned Bush's leadership weeks after the attacks lost their jobs and faced threats."

And the nail is hit hard here by Dan Rather, the much-hated patriot.

The Kicker: Rather says: "It is an obscene comparison - you know I am not sure I like it - but you know there was a time in South Africa that people would put flaming tyres around people's necks if they dissented. And in some ways the fear is that you will be necklaced here, you will have a flaming tyre of lack of patriotism put around your neck. Now it is that fear that keeps journalists from asking the toughest of the tough questions, and to continue to bore in on the tough questions so often. And again, I am humbled to say, I do not except myself from this criticism."

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Imus, Go Get 'Em

Wow, I like this. Imus plans to sue CBS. I blogged a bit HERE regarding how I felt bad that things went as they did. What Imus said was bad, but he was paid to say bad things. The question really comes down to "does he have the right to make the comments he did?" And the piling on still bothers me. Particularly Sharpton, becasue it seems that he doesn't have anything better to do. How did this guy get a radio show to begin with?

And Oprah. Very respectable lady for all I can tell. I would have liked to hear her say, "You offended me greatly, D0n Imus." And left it at that. Unless we're not allowed to offend anyomore. If that's the case, then things are gonna get pretty boring.

Global Warming Ain't Cool & Fur Coats of the 21st. Century

To: Sheryl Crow --

Here's your next song: "Global Warming Ain't Cool"

I have been trying to find some parallel here, and the only one I can come up with is the "natural fur" one. For years, furs were cool. Mink, fox, chinchilla, etc. I remember my aunt wearing an expensive one. Now she can't even take it out of cold storage for fear of having it inked. Somehow we came to look not up to people wearing these things. An inverted snobbism blossomed, and we all applauded (to ourselves) those who inked the furs as they walked down the street.

"You have so much money that you can wear a $3000 coat that needed the killing of 265 small animals to make. Yeah, you are sooooo cool!" -- Furs became uncool fast.

We have to find a way to do this with the environment. We have to get rid of the "tree-hugger" nerd wearing Birkenstocks as the symbol of the environmental movement.

Maybe if large, gas guzzling cars became the "fur coats" of this century that would be a start.

To be continued...

Any help on this will be welcome.

Sheryl, I'm with you but...

Put it in a song. I think you're doing right. I bought and like your first album. You are a cool lady. I totally agree with you, but to me you sound whiny and overreaching with this. Sadly, you are doing a good job of making yourself uncool. Please stop! (my comments in bold. Let's Dance, Sheryl)

You wrote:

First, I am deeply concerned over where we are as a nation. (fine Sheryl, leave it at this)

We are so blessed to live in a country where we enjoy so many rights that other countries cannot even begin to imagine. (oh, yes how wonderfully said.) However, what terrifies me is not what we are ignoring about the state of our planet but the fact that we seem to have lost touch with our connection to the earth. (So now you are a tree hugger.)We have risen to great heights of arrogance in our refusal to acknowledge that the earth is changing. We hold steadfast to our belief that nothing can happen to us as a people. (Sheryl, I'm trying to connect this with the image I have of you after hearing your music and reading about your AFTER CONCERT requirements) We get into our oversized, war-machine-like vehicles, get on our cell phones and blackberries, and avoid having human contact all day long. (Oh please.)

Been said a million times, now falling on deaf ears. This is the tree-hugging, "un-cool," bleeding heart prose that will get us nowhere.

We need to make caring for the environment cool. So far it's not. The fact that you are doing the right thing is great, but it needs to become cool. And for some sick reason, the media have tried to take your "coolness" and give it to Rove.

We can't let that happen. How do we make the environment "cool?"

"Global Warming Ain't Cool" -- There's your next song Sheryl.

Gun Free Zones -- Only with metal detectors

From Daily Kos and Kagro X


Fred Thompson becomes the latest conservative "thinker" to pour salt in the wounds of Virginia Tech:

One of the things that's got to be going through a lot of peoples' minds now is how one man with two handguns, that he had to reload time and time again, could go from classroom to classroom on the Virginia Tech campus without being stopped. Much of the answer can be found in policies put in place by the university itself.

Oh boy, here we go.

Virginia, like 39 other states, allows citizens with training and legal permits to carry concealed weapons. That means that Virginians regularly sit in movie theaters and eat in restaurants among armed citizens. They walk, joke and rub shoulders everyday with people who responsibly carry firearms -- and are far safer than they would be in San Francisco, Oakland, Detroit, Chicago, New York City, or Washington, D.C., where such permits are difficult or impossible to obtain.

But Virginia allows such permits. So how could this have happened?

Virginia Tech administrators overrode Virginia state law and threatened to expel or fire anybody who brings a weapon onto campus.

Ah! I see!

So Virginians asked their legislators to change the university's "concealed carry" policy to exempt people 21 years of age or older who have passed background checks and taken training classes. The university, however, lobbied against that bill, and a top administrator subsequently praised the legislature for blocking the measure.

Fascinating. It's those damned public university egg-heads again!

Whenever I've seen one of those "Gun-free Zone" signs, especially outside of a school filled with our youngest and most vulnerable citizens, I've always wondered exactly who these signs are directed at. Obviously, they don't mean much to the sort of man who murdered 32 people just a few days ago.



My View is that we should consider metal detectors controlling all gun-free zones. Anybody else?



Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Arianna, You've got it so wrong

Arianna Huffington wrote this
and showed her ignorance and her naivety regarding the actions of George Tenet during his tenure, and after. She says he should have just resigned as did others, such as John Brady Kiesling...WHO??? Mr. Tenet headed the CIA, Ms. Huffington. He was a very important person to our country, despite what we may think about him. Your comments that he should have resigned were wrong. I take the liberty of posting your article here, with my comments in bold at the end of your paragraphs. Let's Dance.

Arianna Huffington:

Does this sound familiar? A senior Bush administration official plays a key role in selling the Iraq war debacle to the American public, resigns a few years later, and then tries to distance himself from Bush and the war by writing a book or talking to Bob Woodward, portraying himself as a poor, hapless victim who knew the truth at the time and really, really wanted to tell it, but, somehow, just had no choice but to go along. What else could he do?

He could have resigned, Arianna. But any good he might have been able to do at the agency, despite the predicament, would not have been possible from the outside. Maybe some "agency" projects needed him, and he decided to stay, despite the mess.

Each version of this contemptible tale shares the same fatal flaw. It requires that the remedy that was readily available -- resignation -- did not exist.

It always existed, however for a "true patriot" (and I'm not judging Tenet) it is possible that the best place he could be was at his job.

The latest to trod this pathetic path is George Tenet.

Poor George Tenet. Flogging his book, At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA, on 60 Minutes, Tenet tells Scott Pelley about how his phrase "slam dunk" was misused by the Bush administration. Tenet, you see, didn't mean it was a "slam dunk" that Hussein actually had WMD, he only meant it was a "slam dunk" that a public case could be made that Hussein had WMD.

-- ...so it means that whether he has them or not, we can make the case that he does.

I can't really see that the distinction matters, but Tenet apparently does. "I became campaign talk," Tenet tells Pelley, "I was a talking point. 'Look at what the idiot told us, and we decided to go to war.' Well, let's not be so disingenuous. Let's stand up. This is why we did it. This is why, this is how we did it. And let's tell, let's everybody tell the truth." ...wow, Tenet suggests "we" tell the truth, because we haven't told the truth. What is the "truth," Mr. Tenet?

Great -- except he's about four years too late. Tenet seems to believe there's a major distinction between lying and standing by silently while others lie, and then proudly receiving a Medal of Freedom from the liars. -Good point, Arianna, except maybe he believed he deserved the Medal of Freedom for other reasons that we don't know about.

He could have simply resigned and freed himself to "tell the truth." Tenet acts as if resignation were not an option. But it was. And the passion and anger he displays now in the service of book sales could have been used then in the service of his country. ...Good point, Arianna, but the scenario plays like this: Tenet resigns. Tells "the truth." Is discredited by the administration, who were still (at that time) influence at its most powerful and dangerous. He is smeared by the administration... Well, I hope you get the point. There would have been no positive effects to his resignation, although today we might be saying, "Yeah, he was right. But so what?"

"It's the most despicable thing I've ever heard in my life," Tenet tells Pelley. "You don't do this... You're gonna throw somebody overboard just because it's a deflection? Is that honorable? It's not honorable to me." No, George, not honorable, but expected and you should have expected it starting way before November 2000. This you must have seen coming.

The problem is, the honorable train left the station a long time ago, and Tenet wasn't on board. Maybe you are wrong, Madam. Honor, to some is found in doing your job faithfully. Sometimes in resigning. Sometimes is the important word here.

But others were. Like John Brady Kiesling, a career U.S. diplomat, who resigned from the State Department. As he wrote in his resignation letter to Colin Powell:

"I am resigning because I have tried and failed to reconcile my conscience with my ability to represent the current U.S. administration. I have confidence that our democratic process is ultimately self-correcting, and hope that in a small way I can contribute from outside to shaping policies that better serve the security and prosperity of the American people and the world we share."

That, Mr. Tenet, is how it's done.

That, Ms. Huffington is one way, and not always the best way to do it. Pay attention, please. Paul O'Neil (remember him) resigned, seemingly for reasons similar to those of John Brady Kiesling. He spoke out. His usefulness to us diminished afterward. Perhaps Tenet remained as a force for good surrounded by negative forces. Resigning can be a proper path, but Tenet's could have been the act of a true patriot also.

It's way too late for George Tenet to do the right thing. But can someone please remind Paul Wolfowitz and Alberto Gonzales, as they are pathetically fighting tooth and nail to cling to their jobs, that there is another option. Not in the same class, Madam. Gonzales is incompetent, and Wolfowitz is a very smart man with ideas that don't work . They are not relevant here. Wolf and Gonzo were dragged to DC in 2000. Tenet was already there.

And how long do you think it's going to be after the end of the Bush administration before we are treated to General Petraeus' memoir explaining how the surge would have worked "if only he had been given the troops he needed to implement it properly." -- Nobody will believe him.Get real. He inherited his execution. Probably a great patriot. Who signed up for War Czar, Arianna?

So here is a plea to all Bush administration officials: Now is the time. If, like John Brady Kiesling, you're finding it hard to reconcile what you see going on around you with what you know to be the truth, do the right thing and resign. While it matters. What a useless recommendation. They will be replaced with who? WHO, Madam? Harriet Miers as AG? It doesn't get any better than this. It only gets worse. Tell me what would happen if everyone with a conscience resigned. It would be worse. My hat goes off to those competent, well-meaning officials who remain in office during this dark time.

As Tenet says on 60 Minutes: "At the end of the day, the only thing you have is trust and honor in this world. It's all you have. All you have is your reputation built on trust and your personal honor. And when you don't have that anymore, well, there you go." --Not sure I agree totally, George, but okay.

George Tenet and I are both Greek and there is a great word for it: filotimo. -- I really don't care to know the meaning of this word, but I like Greece just the same.

There are still lives to be saved if a few administration officials have the guts to do what they know is right now -- instead of five years from now while flogging their books.

You seem to say that officials resigning will save lives. How?




Any takers?











Held Hostage

Zbignew Brzezinski, national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter, makes THE POINT here that using the words, "War on Terror" has created a culture of fear in America. He says that, it "has had a pernicious impact on American democracy, on America's psyche and on U.S. standing in the world. Using this phrase has actually undermined our ability to effectively confront the real challenges we face from fanatics who may use terrorism against us.


And as we might expect, he is refuted here by Michael Chertoff, secretary of homeland security who says, "Yes, we're at war. No, it's not hype."

Hype or not, one could say we have been hijacked by the Bush administration. We, have been held hostage as a nation, by a new culture of fear. The bombings have been in the form of rhetoric such as, "If we (do)n't...then we could be hit again." and "If we (do)n't...there is the chance that THEY WILL FOLLOW US HOME. "

I have lived abroad since 1992, and have visited a few US embassies around the world. Getting in always required showing your passport, and there was a guard and metal detector. I was recently at the US embassy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. To enter took 20 minutes, 3 rings of security, two phone calls, a metal detector, an X-ray machine like in the airport, (possibly a bomb-sniffing machine,) and I had to check my cell phone and my car keys. After finally making it in, I exhaled and couldn't help but ask myself about the relevance of "Land of the free...home of the brave."

Monday, April 30, 2007

Leadership at its Easiest

We've all heard so many times about how Bush and Guliani showed strong leadership after 911. But if you think about it, this is easy leadership.

I respect Bush & Guliani's so called "leadership," however the things that they did were "no brainers" It was a given that Rudy would come before the city and the world after 911, to list casualties, services being offered, looking stressed and sad and inform about what was being done.

It was a given that Bush would stand before the world, vowing to bring the terrorists who organized the attacks (the Taliban and Bin Laden) to justice. Not hard leadership if you ask me. This had to be done.

This is leadership at its easiest. There was no other choice for these two at that time. Real leadership is hard. Real leaders do what few can do. Where were the leaders who said, "Wait, this information on WMD is too weak to go to war on." Where was the leader who shouted that there was no link between Saddam and 911?

These leaders were around, I know. However they were followed by the few, not the masses.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

How to Build an Islamic Terrorist

1. Behave arrogantly as a foreign government in Islamic countries. -- Invading a country (or two countries) for however good a reason, (and there are some good reasons) is extremely arrogant no matter who you ask.

2. Be present in Islamic countries conducting activities other than: free health care, sports, arts, community development, humanitarian, other philanthropy. -- War does not fall into the above.

3. Kill, or be responsible for, or be associated with the killing of friends or relatives of people in Islamic countries. -- This has happened to great extent both in Afghanistan and Iraq.

4. Put people out of work in Islamic countries, without at least providing other viable employment for them and their families. -- De-Baathification.

The above, in my opinion should be heeded by those wishing to decrease the number of terrorists today and tomorrow. This is not rocket science. This is common sense at its most basic level.

Hitting the Wall

I remember being at a management training in LaSaunne a few years ago and we heard a presentation from a highly respected member of the business world working in banking. He said:

"Sometimes in business, (and maybe in life) you find yourself on a bicycle, riding down a steep hill, no brakes...What do you do??

After some discussion, he gave his answer: "You hit the wall."

After hearing so much about global warming, carbon emissions and the need to control them, I found this: showing just how carbon emissions have grown over the past few years. Now, I don't claim to know how this is impacting (or will impact)our global environment, but if the "chicken littles" are correct, then one has to wonder if the world has the will to do what may need to be done about this before it's too late. No brakes?

to be continued...

Friday, April 27, 2007

Our Generation, Our Nastalgia

Not so many good things about growing old. However, of all the good things about growing older, Nastalgia is one of them. No nostalgia for kids. In fact, life has exempted anyone under 21 from feeling it. And you really can’t begin to really enjoy it until you’re past 30.

It first hit me when I was 32 and at the SF airport. I was in the music store where they were selling CDs. (remember those?) And there was a 4 disc package of all the Schoolhouse Rock songs. I couldn’t not buy it as “Conjunction Junction” started playing in my head. Before I got to the counter, “Zero, my hero” started, and as I was walking out with my gift box, “Noun is a person, place or thing” was rocking. It truly is a cool feeling.

Websites are great for a nostalgia fix also. Try “Jump the Shark” a website dedicated to TV programming since its beginning-- with a twist: Discussion is about when the show turned bad. For Happy Days, it was certainly the arrival of Chachi, wasn’t it? Sometimes, it seems, shows “jump back,” meaning that they get good again. And then there are the great ones that “never jumped the shark” Monday night football. I still remember watching a Monday night game when I was 12 and John Lennon was shot. A ticker across the bottom reported it first.

As far as movies goes, there is no better source for nostalgia. I bought Saturday Night Fever on DVD a couple years ago. Watched it six times before it was damaged beyond repair. Wonderfully nostalgic. Check this nostalgia review by John Derbyshire at the National Review.

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NTQ4NzAzMGVkNGViYmM4OThjMzljMmMwNWI2OWQ5YjA

How about The Breakfast Club? St. Elmo’s Fire anyone? Taps. What about that one with Matt Dillon, Jodie Foster and Tatum O’Neil at summer camp? (Deep sigh.)

Yeah, getting old is not so bad. What a wonderful feeling, Nostalgia. Even the bad moments of our past give us fine feelings sometimes. In any case, I’m gonna order SNF again. Just to see John Travolta in that film is a blast.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Central Asia ain't a Bad Place to be

Central Asia Ain’t a Bad Place to be.

After living outside the US since 1992, I can say that Central Asia living is underrated. The number of people who come here, and at first glance are hating it, don’t know what they’re missing. I’ve spent multiple years in each Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan (where I’m living now), and find the living here just fine for several reasons. But most of all I find the people, the relatively easy living, and the nature just great. As I am in Bishkek now and plan to be for awhile, I’ll tailor my comments to Kyrgyzstan for this article.

The People. The Soviet Union left Central Asia with a highly educated, and integrated population. People here are interested in the arts, politics, sports and science on par with people from any country. As a foreigner from the US, I have always been treated with respect, and find the people here just as interested in me and where I come from as I have been in learning about their part of the world. As the economy is developing, you can see the progress the business people are making as just about daily a new café or bar is opening somewhere.

What one might not realize is the relative easy and enjoyable living that can be found here. Real Estate is very reasonable, as is labor if you want to run a business. There are a few okay restaurants around. (I always make the point that since I like to cook, I don’t need 100 great restaurants, but 10 okay ones will do.) And prices for eating out are a fraction of what you would pay in the West. Traffic is light for the time being. There are rare traffic jams, but only in the very center of the city and at predictable times.

Finally, if you like nature, Kyrgyzstan can’t be beat. The country is 93% mountains, and from the capital you have a great view of some very close, and breathtaking peaks. The country is home to the world’s second largest alpine lake, Issik – Kol, which is fast becoming a tourist destination not only for Russians and Kazakhs, but also for Europeans. And if you like skiing, from the capital, Bishkek, you can be on some pretty good slopes in about 40 minutes.

So, for anyone interested in an enjoyable place to visit that you might not have considered, check out Central Asia, and specifically Kyrgyzstan. On and off, I’ve spent over six years here and find so many things about the place to my liking. Whether you are interested in meeting new, interesting people, or are looking for a new, relatively inexpensive destination, or if you are into nature and like to hike or ski or just hang out in a new place, Central Asia should be on your list.

J.

Pillar Articles

Ariticles in the Pipeline.

1. Central Asia ain't a bad place to be.
2. Our Generation, Our Nostalgia -- Conjunction Junction, Happy Days, and things that make us warm inside.
3. Tips to help Americans elect future Presidents
4. Why Midlife retirement is where it's at, and how to avoid pitfalls.
5. Neo-Socialism: Why philanthropy will explode in the near future.

Chudy Rudelioni, I mean Rudy you had your chance

Rudy Giuliani said if a Democrat is elected president in 2008, America will be at risk for another terrorist attack on the scale of Sept. 11, 2001.

But if a Republican is elected, he said, especially if it is him, terrorist attacks can be anticipated and stopped. Get it here:
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0407/3684.html

I say to Chudy Rudliani and Chick Cheny, and those who will listen, "You had your chance to stop a terrorist attack. It was a big one in September 2001. You failed. Now sit down, shut up and stop screwing up the world.

Expect more like this...

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Pat Tillman...Hero.

You are our hero not for how you died, but for how you lived.

Pat Tillman's brother tells it like it is here.

How much more disrespect for our fallen soldiers can be shown, than lying about the circumstances in which they died for your own benefit. The Pat Tillman and Jessica Lynch inventions tell us that this administration believes that creating and protecting a lie are more important than getting at the truth.

...Working on a positive post and some good news.

Obama on Global Affairs: Two thumbs up.

The man has it right as far as I'm concerned. You can read the speech here. Looking forward to what he has to say about domestic policy.

Top 10 coolest toys from my childhood

1. BigWheel - best use of plastic ever!
2. Evel Knevil gyro motorcycle
3. Stretch Armstrong - always wanted to cut him open
4.
5.
6. GI Joe - shaved him and his beard grew back
7. Head to head football - coolest TV commercials "That's a Bradshaw in there!"
8.
9.
10.

Anybody else? I need 5 more. No video games, despite my affinity for them.



Fame and Shame: April 23-30

SHAME
Don Imus Just let us down.
Al Sharpton Hypocrite let us all down again.
Paul Wolfowitz: Would have expected no more from you
Alberto Gonzales Ya big dummy
Bush & Cheney perpetually in this part of the list

FAME
Ried and Soanya Good Luck brave souls
Virginia Tech Students Hang in there
Boris Yeltsin Thanks, you were the right man, in the right place at the right time

Monday, April 23, 2007

Iraq Wall: Wait a minute...Stop. Someone's unhappy.

Is seems so. The kicker: Iraq's prime minister said Sunday that he has ordered a halt to the U.S. military construction of a barrier separating a Sunni enclave from surrounding Shiite areas in Baghdad after fierce criticism over the project at home.

Now I'm not in favor of building barriers. They are very bad and usually not very pretty. But sometimes (in dire situations) they can help. The Berlin wall, kept a lot of people behind it, and there seems to be fewer "suiciders" in Isreal after the building of their wall.

"I oppose the building of the wall and its construction will stop," al-Maliki said during a joint news conference with the secretary-general of the Arab League. "There are other methods to protect neighborhoods,...

Other methods? Like what? And why haven't you been using them? Oh, the surge. It seems the only thing surging since the infusion of an additional 20,000 US soldiers (make that 30,000 now) are the number of and "spectacularity" of the attacks.

Maybe the "fierce criticism" is coming from car bombers. I'm sure they don't like the wall either.






Poison: KGB men? Noooo.

If proven to be orchestrated by the Kremlin, the Litvinenko poisoning is just another in a long line of (increasingly) brazen acts by the Russian government to stifle dissent at home and abroad. I recently read that a friend of Litvenenko's in the US was mysteriously murdered recently as well. (correct me if I'm wrong on that)

Regarding Litvenenko, the evidence is pointing to the KGB and then to "you know Pu." Read about it here. If I got it right, the plutonium was on them, and on the planes they traveled on to and from the UK. So there's a good chance they've got something to do with it. As KGB they had motive as Litvenenko was anti-Kremlin and making threats. The idea that Berezovsky was behind it is very, very weak.


Fact is, the Russians are holding a great hand (energy resources). They have smacked Ukraine, Georgia, Belarus and even Western Europe with nicely timed gas cuts in an effort (at least in part) to flex some muscle. Muscle that the have and are building.
continuing...

BTW as I'm living now in the former Soviet Union for 15 years, I'll be following the region.

Shameful Royal Navy Hostages

I still don't get it.

1. While fighting a war, you somehow manage to get yourselves captured by a country NOT fighting a war. No shots fired.
2. You immediately confess, seemingly to anything the Iranians want you to confess to, allowing yourselves to be filmed smiling and relaxing, putting up no resistance.
3. Upon release you thank those who captured you and accept gifts from them?!
4. Upon returning home you sell the story.
5. And NOW you go on and make sick jokes about it while you are home on leave.

Any money that any of these hostages earned should be confiscated and invested in the war effort.

Not exactly the behavior I would expect from brave, honorable, well-trained service personnel.

Finest Hypocracy

_________'s operatives have been known for torturing

_________ has a history of attacking countries posing no threat to him.

_________'s government has wmd, and has used wmd.

_________'s soldiers have raped innocent women.

2 names fill the blanks equally well. Guess which two.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Reid and Soanya 1000 Days Non-stop at Sea

This one might be interesting to follow. These two are gonna get bored. The blog sure sounds romantic, but it's still pushing 3 years on a boat! The young lady has never been at sea! I'm sure bets are being taken as to how long she'll last, but I wish her and the two of them the very very best.

Virginia Tech. A moment of silence for you.

4/17 Virginia Tech

Very sad. But what to do about it? Now we can expect the question in the media or at the political level, “How can we make sure this never happens again?” And Bush to declare war on school shooters. “We have to take the war to them, and stop them before they get started and can ever do this again.” Gun control will come up again, but the truth is that if someone wants to kill a lot of people, he doesn’t need a gun. Timothy McVeigh anyone?

And then we have people like Dr. Phil saying this is all something new and something needs to be done about it. While something needs to be done about it, it isn’t new. Sad to say but there have been school shootings & massacres for decades. They will continue. And when they happen we will all gather ‘round the fireplace and come up with no good answer, or a good answer that will not always be implemented. Unpleasant…I’ll get back when I have the solution, or I hear of a good one.

Putin tightens the screws...

...further

As if the Litvinenko case, British Petroleum's problems, foreign retail workers ouster, etc. weren't enough, now 50% Good News Is the Bad News in Russian Radio.

And we can expect it to get worse before it gets better.

More coming on this for sure.