Saturday, January 08, 2005

Bush Says Four Iraqi Areas Pose Voting Challenges 

I thought this would be North, South, East and West...

In earnest, though, remember this quote by Bush--we'll revisit it after the election:

Bush also brushed off criticism from Brent Scowcroft, who was national security adviser in his father's administration, who said the elections may deepen the Iraqi conflict instead of marking a turning point. Scowcroft said the poll could increase divisions between majority Shi'ites and minority Sunnis who once ruled the country. Asked his reaction to Scowcroft's comments, Bush said: "Quite the opposite. I think elections will be such a incredibly hopeful experience for the Iraqi people."


Friday, January 07, 2005

Dumber than Bush... 

OK, as part of my New Year's resolutions, I want to occasionally point out people who are clearly less intelligent than our President. I will (separately, of course) point out people who may be more evil, but let's stick to the plausible for now.

Cheer on this man. Look up and find an old friend, set him up with your sister, then stab him 7 times, including in the heart. And the worst part of this story, he's not the dumb one! No, no, no--his old friend testified on his behalf! Do I hear wedding bells?

A British man was jailed on Friday for repeatedly stabbing a long lost best friend he had traced via the popular "Friends Reunited" Web site, and the victim says he still wants to be buddies.
Brendan Walsh, 27, nearly killed Noel Duff when he stabbed him seven times in a drunken rage because he mistakenly believed his friend had attacked his sister, Karen, whom Duff had started dating. However, Walsh immediately became full of remorse, called an ambulance and Duff was rushed to a hospital where doctors said it was a miracle he had survived a stab wound to the heart. Walsh, who was sentenced to three years in jail by London's Old Bailey after pleading guilty to wounding with intent, had been a close friend with Duff at school and had met up with him again via the Web site, later introducing him to his sister. "The victim is no longer angry at you and the remarkable fact is that (he) even gave evidence on your behalf and said he would like to be friends with you again," Judge David Paget told Walsh, who was cleared of attempted murder. "Even the victim later remarked 'I can't believe a stupid fight came to this'."

One thing's for sure. Come three years from now, I wouldn't respond to the "Friends Reunited" site again...


Thursday, January 06, 2005

The Pentagon Hoax 

Still waiting for a credible official story?

Me too... http://www.911-strike.com/pentagon.htm

The worst part of all this is that the official explanation says that the plane blew into confetti on hitting the reinforced building...but that the fuselage miraculously went through all the way to "C" ring. This makes the JFK "magic bullet" (not to mention the Sienfeld "magic loogie") seem like child's play. But, then again, there's really nothing surprising in bUShA.


Another tsunami... 

Over 160,000 have died from the tsunami in the Indian Ocean, but lost in the response is that nearly as many Iraqis have already died due to US "smart bombs":

Jack Dalton writes:

In the 12 years of U.S. sanctions on Iraq prior to the invasion, over 500,000 children died--as a direct result of those sanctions. Where was the care and concern of the world then? Where were the so-called ‚Äúcompassionate conservatives‚ÄĚ of the U.S. then? Oops! Forgot for a moment, they are the ones supporting the Iraq war.

Currently in Iraq over 100,000 (and the number is growing rapidly) Iraqi's have been killed by U.S. bombs, "smart" bombs--that keep going to the wrong address and killing more children--and hand held weapons for up close and personal killing. It has been estimated that well over half of that number have been children.

The "collateral damage" the U.S. keeps referring to, that's the Iraqi children, in large part. Where is the compassion for them? Or is it that they deserve to die simply because they are the children of Iraq?

You cannot be a compassionate conservative. It is Orwellian doublespeak...like peace is war (the war on terror brings us peace), or control (the "Patriot" Act) is freedom. A conservative is unmoved by the need for change, and thus unmoved by passion. It is, as Faolin points out, the same doublespeak as a "social liberal, but fiscal conservative" that so many claim to be. If you're fiscally conservative, there is no money available to allow social liberty. Fiscal conservatives fuel social repression--many or most unwillingly, but more's the pity.


Salazar sell-out-a-zar? 

Tough call here on the Bite, where we are very supportive of a diverse power base. But has Ken Salazar sold us out by backing Gonzales?

Attorney General nominee Alberto Gonzales endured tough questioning Thursday about Bush administration policies on the treatment of terror suspects but won praise from leading Hispanics for his work on behalf of Latinos. Gonzales was endorsed by Sen. Ken Salazar, a freshman Democrat from Colorado and one of two Hispanics in the Senate. Salazar helped introduce Gonzales at his daylong confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has no Hispanics. ''He and I understand people as they try to build a better life for themselves and for their families in America,'' said Salazar.
Individually, members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus had differing views about Gonzales. El Paso Democratic Rep. Silvestre Reyes, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, defended a January 2002 Gonzales memo in which he argued the war on terrorism ''renders obsolete Geneva's strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of its provisions.'' Some critics believe the memo helped lead to the torture scandal at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison and prisoner abuses in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. ''I think people need to understand we basically are treading into uncharted waters following 9/11,'' Reyes said. ''That was an unprecedented attack by a terrorist organization that requires us looking at what context they would fit into. They are not a traditional military opponent of the United States.'' Gonzalez repudiated torture tactics and vowed to abide by international treaties on prisoner rights at his hearing. But Rep. Jose Serrano, D-New York, said Gonzales' recent record ''raises concerns that his Justice Department might continue (former Attorney General John) Ashcroft's appalling approach to civil liberties.''

My vote on this? I don't like Gonzales. But I like Salazar. The house of Lupus and the house of Vulf supported him during his campaign, and of course the alternative ("No abortion ever, lower the drinking age, give Coors a tax break" Pete Coors) was shocking, to say the least. I won't condemn Salazar for supporting him, but I won't endorse Gonzales, either.


Spare us the torture 

Alberto Gonzales today condemned torture tactics during a painful interrogation process. But let's look at all the violent imagery (in bold) in just a short blurb on the confirmation hearing:

Attorney General nominee Alberto Gonzales condemned the use of torture against terror suspects Thursday and distanced himself from a notorious Bush administration memo arguing for harsh interrogation methods by U.S. personnel.

Gonzales, under sharp questioning from some Senate Democrats at his confirmation hearing, repeatedly fended off queries about whether he believes the president as commander-in-chief has the power to ignore a law prohibiting torture in the treatment of enemy combatants, but he left the door open.

"I would have to know what is the national interest the president must consider," Gonzales said. But he added, "I will say that I will take an oath to defend the statutes." He also said if confirmed he would prosecute U.S. personnel who abuse prisoners.

In addition, Gonzales disclosed that the Bush administration has discussed the idea of trying to revise the Geneva Conventions, which dictate the international minimum standards for treatment of military personnel and noncombatants during warfare.

Gonzales and other administration officials have said the war on terror is "a new paradigm" which the Conventions do not adequately address. Gonzales said he wasn't proposing that "the basic principles, the basic treatment of human beings, should be revisited. ... But there has been some very preliminary discussion: Is this something that we ought to look at?"

The language speaks volumes about where the country is headed--I guess it doesn't help to ask the Attorney General to be what he might do to make this a happier place to live anymore?


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