Friday, November 21, 2003

Reason #101 on why we went to war with Iraq 

Intent made us do it! It seems the United States, the strongest nation in the world, could not let the immediate threat of "Saddam's intent" to threaten us:

“I, for one, begin with intent. ... There is no question that Saddam Hussein had intent to do harm to the Western alliance and to the United States of America.

“If we know for sure ... that a regime has intent to do harm to this country, and if we have something beyond a reasonable doubt that this particular regime may have the wherewithal with which to execute the intent, what are our actions and orders as leaders in this country?”

Oops, he went a little off the script of keeping the focus on "intent". By inserting the phrase "wherewithal with which to execute the intent" he indirectly reminded everyone of the missing WMD's. Which begs the question, "What wherewithal did Saddam have to execute his intent?"


P.S. Gen. Franks seems is not too shy at suggesting our Constitution which had withstood the crises presented by the Civil War, WWI and WWII and more, is too fragile of an instrument to withstand the challenge presented by terrorism:

“It means the potential of a weapon of mass destruction and a terrorist, massive, casualty-producing event somewhere in the Western world – it may be in the United States of America – that causes our population to question our own Constitution and to begin to militarize our country in order to avoid a repeat of another mass, casualty-producing event. Which in fact, then begins to unravel the fabric of our Constitution. Two steps, very, very important.”

A lack of faith?

How do you say sucker in Polish, Czech, etc. 

Well, how does the Bush administration say thank you to his Central European patsies, er, uh, partners in Iraq? By employing his favorite strategy, the bait and switch. I know the Central European states admire the U.S. because of its support for them during the Cold War, but now they should realize that the U.S. is showing them how capitalists screw their partners.

Via Corrente

The Setup:
In early March, the State Department invited representatives of more than 30 countries to discuss postwar reconstruction of Iraq. . . On April 15, the spokesman for the Slovak president stated that Commerce Secretary Don Evans had given the Slovak minister of economy a list of sectors pertaining to Iraqi reconstruction in which Slovak companies could participate.

The Fall:
But since the end of the war, not a single reconstruction contract has been awarded to a company from Central Europe, while the large American corporations Bechtel and Halliburton have been awarded contracts amounting to more than $3 billion.


Friday Furball Sports Day 

Here's this weeks picks from the friendly folks at Maisonnueve. Derek Webster again fills in for the ailing Mark Toft. Fresh from his success with the Haiku form, Derek pushes the envelope once again by expressing his picks through Limericks. I will try to rise to the challenge with a matching Limerick post-weekend analysis.


Thursday, November 20, 2003

Very Prestigious!? 

This is incredible: The one-year anniversary of the foundering and floundering, tipping and sinking of a ship that was prevented from making an emergency berth on the Galician coast and thence was towed out to sea to create Europe's "greatest ecological disaster". And, unlike the Exxon Valdez, the captain was ostensibly sober at the time. El gobierno in Spain, apparently not. Here are some good sources of material about the disastro de tamano grande....

English-language report
En Espanol

And some other reports:

As usual, Indymedia gives us the juiciest summary:

"The crippled tanker Prestige, transporting 77,000 metric tons (24,000 million gallons) of fuel-oil, was sailing six days under the Spanish authorities' guidance after being informed of its situation at 130 miles from Fisterra with a 40 degrees inclination by a water inlet in the hull. Instead of carrying the broken ship to a safe seaport in order to transfer the fuel, they decided to move it away in the middle of a storm following an erratic route wich extended the spillage, aggravating its deterioration and causing the sinking of the tanker 3.5 km depth."

Nice move, Ass-nar. It's probably insured, anyway, and this'll help keep the cost of oil high. Berlusconi. Aznar. Bush. Blair on a bad day. You can keep trying to move us farther to the right, but if it's too far, it's off the coast of Galicia and it's sunk to the bottom of a very cold sea.

By the way, Ass-nar (Aznar en espanol) is married to Ana Botella. My Catalunyan friend says that "se dice que su esposa es la botella"--that is, his wife is the bottle--apparently another thing he has in common with our favorite drunk, "W".


Tuesday, November 18, 2003


Football rivalries? Nothing compared to regional rivalries here in Europe. Not only do they distinguish between people who speak different languages, but also between people who speak nearly the same. Look at the pathetic "war" (it wasn't really a war, it was a concatenated set of crimes) in Bosnia...these people all understood each other better than a man from Liverpool might a man from Arkansas, but it didn't matter once the bullets started firing.

Now look at France and Spain. I know Napolean once said the Pyrenees don't exist, but they do, pal. Folks here in Catalon speak Spanish--and...here's a shock...Catalon--but they don't speak French. I mean, Catalon is nearly French, and some of Catalon *is* in France (Perpignan, whose railway station Salvador Dali thought the center of the world), but they don't speak it. I thought French was the International language of diplomacy, toast, bread, fries, kissing, Revolution and "W" eye-rolling, but apparently only the latter doth matter anymore. That, or all these folks are already fluent in three languages or more, so they don't want to show off!

And, for healthy rivalries, let me throw my hat in the Haiku ring with these inspirations from my last meeting:

The Department of
Redundancy Department
Brings you this meeting

Crucial checkpoint reached
I must either slap speaker
Or nap on the floor

Bullets on the slides
Echoed in the droning voice
More bullets coming!

I stare at the bug
Squashed on the sole of my shoe
My soul is squashed, too

Some people can talk
For many hours without end
Without saying a

My hand is trapped now
Between the table sections
Pain keeps me awake


Monday, November 17, 2003


Continuing my repentance, I bring forth a story on Football rivalries. Of course, I couldn't let it go without a dig at "The Boy in the 'Security' Bubble" Bush. Here the article states the #1 football rivalry and what's at stake.

1. Harvard-Yale
Overview: Two of America's oldest universities tussle on the gridiron, the very names of their alums conjuring up memories of luminaries from our nation's past: Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Jennifer Beals.

What's at Stake: If Yale wins, Eli G.W. Bush gets to write Crimson Conan O'Brien's monologue for a day, rife with awkward jokes like, "Q: How many Iraqi Republican Guards does it take to screw in a lightbulb? A: I don't know. Karl Rove hasn't told me the punchline yet." If Harvard wins, the Crimson get to remind Yalies, every day, that G.W. Bush graduated from New Haven.

History lesson: Bubble boy's cheerleading of the Iraq War was so effective given his past cheerleading experience at Yale. Give me a "W", Give me a "M", Give me a "D". What's that spell? "Oil!" Yeah! "Go Big Oil, Go!"



Here's another sports offering to atone for the missing Friday Sports post.

Ping-Pong Matrix Style (with sound).


Belated Friday Furball Sports 

My apologies to Wilk. I did not do my usual sports post on Friday. I was taking care of some pups. To make up for my usual Friday posting, I decided to post a weekend wrap-up. Here's the weekend picks for week 11 from Maisonneuve. It seems Mark Toft was out and Derek Webster the publisher/editor-in-chief had to fill in with an haiku oriented analysis:

A good friend of mine once wondered out loud what would happen if the great haiku masters of medieval Japan, in place of skewering rice farmers for sport, had known about football. I humbly submit that the following NFL haiku would have been the happy result. Winners are in CAPS.

Because of the belated nature of the post, I will be highlighting only his missed picks with an analysis of what went wrong in matching haiku form.

Houston Texans (3-6) at BUFFALO BILLS (4-5)
Across the Great Plains
The Oil Men cometh richly.
Bison shake the earth.

Houston 12, Buffalo 10
Quarterbacks matter
Buffalo's inept offense
Tony Banks kills Bills

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (9-0) at Cincinnati Bengals (4-5)
Kill! Kill! Radio
Station screams . . . in the background
War drums and Vermeil.

Cincinnati 24, Kansas City 19
Defense! Cries the crowd.
Warrick, TD punt return
Chiefs left wondering

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (2-7) at Denver Broncos (5-4)
Clean running note of
An ancient flute. Nine games late.
A new season has begun.

Denver 37, San Diego 8
Puzzled by the pick
Starting Denver QB plays
Chargers the worst team

WASHINGTON REDSKINS (4-5) at Carolina Panthers (7-2)
Cats in the jungle:
Single, wide eyes peer through leaves
Too late! Fake reverse.

Carolina 20, Washington 17
Cats in the Jungle!
Native american slur,
Bite and chew that team

MINNESOTA VIKINGS (6-3) at Oakland Raiders (2-7)
Vikings are raiders
Yet Raiders are themselves raided.
Oh, how ironic!

Oakland 28, Minnesota 18
Daunte Culpepper
fumbles and interceptions
The Vikings raided

Monday Haiku
PITTSBURGH STEELERS (3-6) at San Francisco 49ers (4-5) on Monday Night Football
A yawn, a crinkle
Of silver chip packet.
I have wasted my life.


Sunday, November 16, 2003


No one posted a Friday thing about sports. So let me just say as a long-time Viking fan: the Vikings suck! Their best ability as a team is allowing crappy or slumping teams get a face-saving win or a much-needed momentum change. The week, the hapless Raiders get a shot in the arm.


Vulf in Europe 

A big hello to Faolin from my first destination in Europe. All is well except for the 200-pound head I carried off the plane.

Time for a nap.

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