Saturday, October 22, 2005

No Crony Left Behind

Remember ex-FEMA Director Michael Brown? He is STILL drawing a paycheck. A FEMA spokeswoman said that Brown is working from home, where he is "pulling all the documentation together" to aid in the investigations into the government's response to Katrina. His original 30-day contract was recently extended for another 30 days, she said.

The Chicago Tribune
The only FEMA employee to ride out Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans painted a grim portrait Thursday of an agency led by officials who were unprepared for the scope of the disaster and failed to respond to his increasingly desperate pleas for help.

Marty Bahamonde's emotional testimony to a Senate committee, backed by e-mails he sent from New Orleans as floodwaters engulfed much of the city, provided the most detailed eyewitness account yet from an agency official of FEMA's handling of the disaster.

A veteran public affairs officer with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Bahamonde was its only representative in the city from the Saturday before the flood began on Monday, Aug. 29, until the early morning hours of the next day.

He contradicted testimony that then-FEMA Director Michael Brown gave a House committee in late September and portrayed him as failing to grasp the severity of the catastrophe. In an e-mail he sent to a co-worker, Bahamonde's frustration with Brown burst through.

Bahamonde had just learned, as he huddled in the Louisiana Superdome with tens of thousands of New Orleans' residents driven from their homes, that Brown's press secretary was fretting about blocking out time for the director to eat dinner at one of Baton Rouge's busy restaurants that night.

"OH MY GOD!!!!!!!" Bahamonde messaged a co-worker. "I just ate an MRE and crapped in the hallway of the Superdome along with 30,000 other close friends so I understand her concern about busy restaurants."

In his Sept. 27 testimony to the House panel that also is investigating the government's response, Brown had said that he sent a dozen FEMA staffers, including a medical team, to New Orleans before Katrina struck. He said Bahamonde was designated as his liaison to New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin.

Not true, Bahamonde said Thursday. "I was the only one" Brown sent to New Orleans before the hurricane, Bahamonde said. He added, "I was not sent there to be a liaison with anyone."

Brown testified that Bahamonde had sent him a "fairly routine kind of e-mail" on Monday, Aug. 29, describing the "general conditions" at the Superdome. Bahamonde also communicated later that day, Brown testified, that the shelter "had plenty of food" to feed those thronging there.

Not so
, Bahamonde said Thursday. "Nothing I did was routine as I tried to express in the best way I could the urgency and need for medical teams before the hurricane hit because there was already a critical situation developing there on Sunday."

He never told Brown, he said, that food supplies were adequate.

Bahamonde's effort to sound the alarm began shortly after he arrived in New Orleans on Saturday, Aug. 27. He learned the next day from city officials that only 40,000 of the 360,000 military rations FEMA had promised to deliver had arrived, along with only five of 15 promised water trucks.

Thanks and a tip of the hat to Crooks and Liars and The Petrelis Files


Friday, October 21, 2005

Kinder, Gentler Bullets? What is this B.S.?

From the AP:

BAGHDAD -- The U.S. military announced the deaths of five service members Thursday, including three killed Wednesday by a roadside bomb near Balad, north of Baghdad, and another by a suicide car bomb near the Syrian border. A fifth soldier died from a non-hostile gunshot, the military said.


Enough of this crap! There is no such thing as a "non-hostile" gunshot. Why do reporters just accept and regurgitate this garbage anyway? Do they mean "accidental gunshot"? If so, why not just say it. I suspect that more likely it was yet another suicide, in a war becoming known for an unusually high number of such deaths.

But at least the people of Iraq are better off now then they were under Saddam.



A man with a blood-stained shirt walks away Thursday after carrying an Iraqi student, laying on the bed, to a hospital in Baghdad. A rocket hit a public school for students ages 12 to 15 in the western al-Mansour neighborhood of the capital, killing one child and wounding five, said police Capt. Qassim Hussein. It wasn't reported whether the rocket was fired by U.S. forces or insurgents.
THE TOLL

As of Thursday
Service members who have died in Iraq-related military operations since March 2003:
United States 1,988
Others 199

U.S. service members injured in Iraq-related operations:

From hostile action: 15,220
Estimated minimum number of Iraqi civilians reported killed since March 2003: 26,661

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Congress To Make Life Less Hard For Seniors

Recognising that what should be "The golden years" are actually too hard for many Americans, Congress has taken steps to reduce the rigidity faced by many senior citizens. "We don't want these people to think that they are getting shafted" said one congressional aide. In answer to many complaints, especially from elder women, Congress yesterday passed, and sent to the President, legislation which removes Viagra and similar erectile disfunction medications from the lists of medicines which will be paid for by Medicare and Medicaid.

Malkin, Wash. Times Choose Faith over Fact

In a stunning display of faith (Faith - Aceptance of ideals, beliefs, etc., which are not necessarily demonstrable through experimentation or reason.) both The Washington Times and columnist Michelle Malkin insist that the October 13th video conference between President Bush and members of the armed forces was not staged. One can only wonder then if The Devil has adapted to changing times by becoming proficient in digital manipulation of satellite feeds. Our hats are off to Malkin and The Times for being willing to disregard what their eyes see in favor of what they believe. It is such faith and trust in a higher power which has made this country what it is today.

Bennett Mum on SF Mom



Former Regan adminstration official Bill Bennett, still smarting from criticism over recent remarks in which he opined that the crime rate could be significantly reduced by aborting every African American pregnancy has not yet said if he approves of the actions of the young black mother who drowned her three children last evening in the San Francisco bay.

Some political observers speculate that Bennett may be "gun shy", and suspect that he fears any remarks he makes about any affect the deaths of the toddlers may have on California's future crime statistics will be taken out of context by the liberal, left leaning mainstream media.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

They Don't Hate Freedom. They Hate Each Other

Gee, and it only cost us $200 Billion + 2,000 American lives + thousands of Iraqi lives to figure that out. And we didn't even get the damn oil!

From The San Jose Mercury News:

(KRT) - Swadi Ghilan's two sons were dropping their sister off at high school earlier this year when a carload of Sunni Muslim insurgents pulled up and emptied their AK-47s into their bodies. In broad daylight his children were torn to pieces, their blood splashed against the windshield as they screamed and died.

Ghilan is a major in the Iraqi army and a Shiite Muslim, the sect that makes up some 60 percent of Iraq's population. Now, more than ever, the grieving father says he wants to hunt down and kill not only Sunni guerrilla fighters but also Sunnis who give those fighters shelter and support. By that, he means killing most Sunnis in Iraq.

"There are two Iraqs; it's something that we can no longer deny," Ghilan said. "The army should execute the Sunnis in their neighborhoods so that all of them can see what happens, so that all of them learn their lesson."

The Bush administration's exit strategy for Iraq rests on two pillars: an inclusive, democratic political process that includes all major ethnic groups and a well-trained Iraqi national army. But a week spent eating, sleeping and going on patrol with a crack unit of the Iraqi army - the 4,500-member 1st Brigade of the 6th Iraqi Division - suggests that the strategy is in serious trouble. Instead of rising above the ethnic tension that's tearing their nation apart, the mostly Shiite troops are preparing for, if not already fighting, a civil war against the minority Sunni population.

Ghilan's army unit is responsible for security in western Baghdad, where many Sunnis live. But the soldiers are overwhelmingly Shiite, and, like Ghilan, they're seeking revenge against the Sunnis who oppressed them during Saddam Hussein's rule.

U.S. officials hope that Saturday's constitutional referendum will help salve the nation's wounds. Many of the Shiite officers and soldiers said they look forward to the constitution and December elections for a different reason. They want a permanent, Shiite-dominated government that will finally allow them to steamroll much of the Sunni minority, some 20 percent of the nation and the backbone of the insurgency.

American commanders often refer to the 1st Brigade as a template for the future of Iraq's military. It was the first in the nation to get its own area of operations, the tumultuous western side of the Tigris River in Baghdad, and one of the first to take over a base from U.S. forces. It's one of the rare Iraqi units with a command competent at the brigade level, instead of just smaller company or battalion-based units.

The Iraqi troops consult with American advisers daily. On big raids in dangerous areas, the Americans often take the lead with their superior firepower.

But day to day, the Iraqi officers mostly run their own show, carrying out most of the patrols and running checkpoints without help. Increasingly, however, they look and operate less like an Iraqi national army unit and more like a Shiite militia.

The brigade last week raided the home of Saleh al-Mutlak, one of the most prominent Sunni politicians in the country, a day after an Iraqi soldier was shot and killed in the neighborhood. Soldiers said some gunfire had come from the direction of Mutlak's house during the raid on his neighborhood.

Arab satellite news stations carried images of a car with its windows smashed in Mutlak's driveway, and Mutlak held a news conference, saying that the soldiers who came into his home were thugs.

Sgt. Maj. Asad al-Zubaidi said Mutlak was lucky he wasn't shot.

"When we are in charge of security the people will follow a law that says you will be sentenced to prison if you speak against the government, and for people like Saleh Mutlak there will be execution," Zubaidi said. "Thousands of people are being killed by Saleh Mutlak and these dogs."

The soldier who was gunned down in Mutlak's neighborhood was with a group manning a checkpoint when he went to a nearby shop to buy cigarettes. A dark BMW with gunmen pulled up; three shots to the head later, the soldier was on the ground.

The brigade leader, Brig. Gen. Jaleel Khalif Shwail, drove to the site less than an hour after the shooting. The sidewalk was covered in blood, "like a sheep had been slaughtered," Shwail said.

"These people in Amariyah are cowards," he said, his voice full of rage as he stood at the spot where his soldier had fallen. "I swear, I swear I'll have revenge."

The shop owner was rousted from bed. He said over and over that he had nothing to do with the killing and he begged the soldiers for mercy.

Maj. Saad al-Mousawi, an intelligence officer with the brigade, shouted at the man to shut his mouth.

"Even if you people, you Sunnis, roll tanks on our heads we will not give this country back to you," Mousawi said. "It's ours now."

The brigade and its sectarian leanings has alarmed not only Sunnis in the area but also other Iraqi military commanders.

They said they worry that a mostly Shiite military unit will follow religious clerics before national leaders, risking a breakdown in the army along sectarian lines.

Although the U.S. military hasn't released statistics, anecdotal evidence from reporting in the field over two years suggests that a disproportionate number of soldiers are Shiite, except for a few units that are mostly Kurdish.

"It is a mistake," said Col. Fadhil al-Barawary, the Kurdish commander of the Iraqi army's commando battalion, housed on the same base with the 1st Brigade. "The danger is that when there is strife between Sunnis and Shiites in the neighborhoods it creates problems" with loyalties.

Barawary continued: "It's a total mistake to have soldiers taking orders from the marja'iya. It puts us all in danger." Barawary was referring to the ruling council of Shiite clerics, whose word is law for most Shiites in Iraq.

Shwail, the 1st brigade's top officer, regularly reviews important decisions, including troop distribution, with a prominent local Shiite cleric who's closely aligned with Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the top Shiite religious figure in Iraq.

During a recent meeting with his officers, several of them asked Shwail why he didn't send more troops to the troubled Sunni neighborhoods of Amariyah and Ghazaliyah when he has more than 1,000 patrolling the streets of Kadhemiya, the Shiite neighborhood where the brigade is based and the site of a major Shiite shrine.

Shwail told the officers that Ayatollah Hussein al-Sadr had informed him that the troops must stay in Kadhemiya to protect the Shiite faithful.

"Sayyid Hussein al-Sadr has more influence than (Prime Minister) Ibrahim Jaafari," Shwail said, using an honorific title. "The battalion in Kadhemiya won't be moved from there for the next 100 years."

The officers looked at each other, dismayed. Their men, stretched thin in the insurgent hotspots, are shot and killed regularly.

"But sir, we need more troops," one officer said.

"The problem," Shwail said, "is convincing Sayyid Hussein al-Sadr."

Some Iraqi troops went a step further, saying they were only awaiting word from the marja'iya before turning on American forces. Although many Shiites are grateful for the overthrow of Saddam, they also are suspicious of U.S. motives. Those suspicions partly stem from the failure of the first Bush administration to support a U.S.-encouraged Shiite uprising against Saddam in 1991. Saddam suppressed it and slaughtered thousands.

"In Amariyah last week, a car bomb hit a U.S. Humvee and their soldiers began to shoot randomly. They killed a lot of innocent civilians. I was there; I saw it," said Sgt. Fadhal Yahan. "This happens all the time. If they keep doing this, the people will attack them. And we are part of the people."

Sgt. Jawad Majid chimed in: "We have our marja'iya and we are waiting for them to decide when the time to fight (the Americans) is, when it is no longer time to be silent."

Posters and flags of Shiite religious figures adorn trucks and office walls throughout the brigade.

A senior U.S. military official in Baghdad familiar with Iraqi army operations said American officers are concerned about the lack of Sunnis in the Iraqi forces and have started a massive recruiting campaign. In the past three months, some 4,000 Sunnis have been recruited and are undergoing training, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic.

"We never intended to create a Shiite army," the official said. "Clearly, one of our number one concerns going forward ... is sectarianism ... that revenge mentality."

The official said he was unaware of any Sunnis being rounded up and killed by the army.

"I hope it's all just talk," he said. "You can't stop what's in a man's mind, and you can understand it with what they've (Shiites) gone through. But there's no place for it in a national army."

The Shiite troops are angered both by the thousands of Shiites who were killed and buried in mass graves during Saddam's Sunni-backed rule and by the huge number of Shiite casualties suffered from fighting Sunni insurgents.

When they roll through the Shiite neighborhood of Kadhemiya in pickup trucks, the Iraqi troops see men saluting them and yelling, "Heroes! Heroes!" Little children salute and smile.

But as soon as they cross into nearby Sunni neighborhoods, the troops lean out of the trucks with AK-47s and shoot above the cars in front of them to clear traffic. When they jump out of the trucks to clear crowds, the men frequently mutter, "Shit on Saddam."

Riding in one of the trucks is a chilling experience. The trucks have no armor, exposing men in the back to AK-47 fire. Hitting a roadside bomb, a favorite insurgent weapon, would probably kill most on board, as would a car bomb.

At least 300 of the brigade's roughly 4,500 troops - the numbers fluctuate with casualties and resignations - have been killed and 1,350 have been wounded during the past two years. They take gunfire daily and frequently are targets of suicide car bombers and mortar barrages.

Adhemiya, on the eastern bank of the Tigris, across from the 1st brigade's base, is a Sunni neighborhood. Snipers on rooftops shoot at troops sitting in courtyards in front of their barracks.

In the Sunni stronghold of Amariyah, where guerrilla fighters control entire blocks, snipers shoot around troops' flak vests, targeting faces and, from the side, vital organs. The results are horrific - soldiers are brought back to the base in ambulances and on the backs of pickups trucks with blood pumping out of their necks.

Last week, as Sgt. Hussein Jabar manned a checkpoint underneath a bridge, a sniper's bullet pierced his left side, tore through his organs and flew out his right side. Iraqi troops carried him away, his body limp and pouring red onto the sidewalk.

His fellow soldiers screamed and threw their AK-47s on the ground in frustration as Jabar was taken first into a medical triage unit and then to an American helicopter, which took him away for surgery. He's still under U.S. care.

Two days after the shooting, Sgt. Ahmed Sabri stood outside the Umm al Qura mosque, home to the militant Sunni Muslim Scholars Association. The mosque is just down the road from where Jabar was shot.

"Every man we've had killed and wounded is because of that mosque. Thousands and thousands of Shiites are being killed, which is why they're joining the army," Sabri said. "Just let us have our constitution and elections in December and then we will do what Saddam did - start with five people from each neighborhood and kill them in the streets and then go from there."

Asked if he worried about possible fighting between his men and the Sunnis at Umm al Qura, the brigade's command sergeant major, Hassan Kadhum, smiled.

"Your country had to have a civil war," he said. "It will be the same here. Everything in this world has its price. In Iraq the price for peace will be blood."

Kadhum thought the matter over for a few more moments.

"There will be a day when we take that mosque and make it an army headquarters," Kadhum said.

---

(A Knight Ridder Newspapers correspondent who isn't named for security reasons contributed to this report.)



From Stars and Stripes:

KHARK WATER TREATMENT PLANT, Iraq — The desolate Khark Water Treatment Plant, located in a dusty corner of northern Baghdad Province, is not an obvious front in this nation’s war on terror.

Yet the plant, which pumps the nation’s most vital resource to more than 70 percent of Baghdad’s residents, is a microcosm of the enduring struggle Americans and Iraqis face in bringing stability to this country.

The facility — under the constant specter of attack from outside insurgents — is secured by three separate security details: one predominantly Sunni, one predominantly Shiite and, between them, U.S. forces.

The two Iraqi groups distrust, dislike and often try to kill each other, often incorporating outside insurgent groups to do so. American forces — Company C of 1st Battalion, 13th Armor Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division, of Fort Riley, Kan. — are stuck in the middle. The soldiers are trying to deflect the groups’ attacks against each other while also staving off attacks from outside fighters.

In July, insurgents attacked the plant’s power distribution control center. Insurgents also have attacked two water distribution points that relay the water to Baghdad. Mortars and small-arms fire are common.

“For centuries, there has been an unwritten rule in this region that you don’t attack water,” said battalion commander Lt. Col. Eric Wesley. “And what are they attacking? The water supply. That just indicates the level of depravity we’re working with.”

If the plant were incapacitated, officials say, chaos would ensue in Baghdad.

“If you’re at home and your power goes out and your water goes out, who are you going to blame? Anybody,” said Lt. James Rippee, Company C fire support officer.

The company guards the plant around the clock.

“We put a lot of money and resources into this,” Rippee said. “Ultimately, the goal here is to get them self-sufficient where the Iraqis can self-police this place.”

The Khark Water Treatment Plant was built in 1985, during the height of the Iran-Iraq war. In the last 13 years, says plant supervisor Ahmed Abd Homaadi, the facility functioned largely without incident. The plant pumps about 300 million gallons of water a day from the Tigris River to Baghdad, said engineer Khalid Khodir Salih.

Homaadi and Salih attributed the plant’s current security problems to the American presence.

Battalion officials dispute the accusation, saying that the plant’s problems also are caused by growing unrest between its two sets of guards: the Sunni-dominated Force Protection Service, a civilian group; and the Shiite-dominated Iraqi army. Both groups have been known to harbor insurgents or collaborators, Rippee said.

The plant’s civilian guard corps, hired by the Mayorality of Baghdad, are also quick to assign blame.

“When the Americans came here, the terrorists came here too,” said guard Mustafa Esmaeel Abdulla, 22, who said he has worked at the plant for six years.

Nor, guards said, do they feel safe with the area’s 100-plus Iraqi army security force.

“I don’t trust them,” said guard Mohammed Ahmed Mahmood.

The Iraqi army, for its part, says it has trouble holding down such an important target in such a hostile area.

“The civilians that live around here, they don’t like the [Iraqi] army,” said Col. Raad Rasam Ali, a Shiite resident of Baghdad. “They like Saddam Hussein. We can’t trust the FPS. No one can trust the FPS. I can’t trust anyone. No one can defend the country except the Iraqi army.”

American advisers say they doubt that assessment.

“I don’t completely trust the Iraqi army,” said 1st Sgt. Mike Summers. “I don’t trust them to protect me. They have a lack of discipline.”

American soldiers at the water plant — many of whom live in its aging, dilapidated confines — say the fight to keep the peace is a constant one.

“There might be a few days when it’s quiet, but it’s very rare,” said Sgt. Charles Richardson, 22, a native of Front Royal, Va., and a member of Platoon B, 4th Battalion, 1st Field Artillery, which is attached to Company C. “We could use more people. It’s stressful out here.”

Of four Platoon B soldiers interviewed, all had earned Combat Action Badges, though one soldier had only been stationed at the plant for three months.

Some soldiers said they wanted to persist.

“That would be the worst-case scenario: us coming here, turning this place upside down, and leaving without accomplishing anything,” said Pvt. Lawrence Jatker, 27, of Paterson, N.J. “I support what we’re doing here and I’d come back for it.”

The enormity and difficulty of the task is perhaps the only point on which all three groups at the water treatment plant can agree.

“Everyone now tries to be in charge,” said Ali, the Iraqi army colonel. “It’s difficult to control.”

Were You Good While I Was Gone?

OK, we all have some catching up to do, now that my day job has settled back down.

First of all, I assume that all of you did the work I assigned before I left. As you recall I told you all to keep up with the postings on Pam's House Blend, Americablog and The Raw Story. If you've gotten behind, go back and catch up.

My week was pretty boring, driving my boss around and waiting at the car while he went through endless meetings, dinners and other events in honor of a visiting foreign government official.

The high point of the week though came when we took the visitor and his party back to SFO and put him on a plane out of the country. It was cool not only because it meant that things around here would get back to normal, but also because I got my first chance to take part in a high level VIP convoy through San Francisco.

We had 14 cops on motorcycles close Market Street as we loaded up our passengers into a little convoy consisting of the San Francisco Mayor's limo (with really cool flashing blue and red lights behind the grill), a second "regular" limo, me driving a big Lexus SUV (I know, I know) and then a fancy leased bus with all the rest of the VIP's party in it.

It was awesome. lights flashing, sirens howling. Motorcycles whizzing by to close each of the cross streets and alleys and to make sure the path in front of us was clear. I could get used to traveling like this...

At SFO we bypassed the terminal entirely and drove directly onto the tarmac, wending our way through taxing airlines to a corner of the field where the VIP's jet was parked. There some VERY courteous Customs officials had set up folding tables right on the ground next to the plane where they quickly ran the travelers through the formalities. I used to think that flying First Class was cool, but this has it beat all to pieces.

That was the high point of my week. The rest of it was mostly spent leaning on the fender of the car for hours on end, waiting and waiting and waiting some more.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Sorry - 12 hour day at work today

Will try to post something tomorrow, but that looks like a long day too. In the meantime, if you haven't done so, check out my daily "must reads":

Pam's House Blend

Americablog

Raw Story

I'll be back as soon as work lets up a bit.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

My Favorite Quote

MP3 Download-Compassionate Conservatives-Midnight Confessions Of Emperor G.W. Bush
"President Bush is the most brilliant man I have ever met."


Thanks, Harriet. That's all I need to know about you.

Monday, October 10, 2005

God: New Tactic; Preemptive Strikes. Thousands of Fag Enablers Now Dead


MP3 Download-Raging Slab-Hell Yawns Before Me

Heaven, October 10, 2005 - In a press conference held Monday morning outside of The Pearly Gates, God's press secretary, Michael (The Archangel) Smith, told reporters that God had opened a new offensive in the war against the sodomites with two preemptive strikes, one in Central America and a second in Pakistan.

Smith said that a stealth earthquake was launched against Pakistan after Heaven's intelligence agencies confirmed reports that two fourteen year old boys in that country had been having sex with each other for the past two weeks.

Smith said that the two teenagers had been killed along with some 20,000 others whom he characterized as collateral damage. "People have to know," Smith said, "That if they harbor sodomites in their midst, they will suffer the same fate as the sinners."

Heaven rocked Central America with a hurricane which resulted in a series of floods and mud slides after learning that a 31 year old Homosexual operative in Guatemala had launched a web site espousing equality and civil rights for sodomites. The attack killed not only the blogger, but also hundreds in Guatemala, El Salvador and Mexico.

Heaven's new hard line stance comes after mounting criticism from opposition leaders that God has been soft on sodomy. Smith would say only that the war has moved into a new phase. "We have reorganized our Intelligence Unit," he said, "There were valid concerns that we, being all knowing of everything past, present and future, could do better in forecasting the enemy's plans."

Smith also went on to say that the policy changes were sparked in part by the failures to defeat the sodomites with the 1989 San Francisco earthquake and the recent hurricane attack on New Orleans. "We learned," he said, "that it is almost impossible to wipe out the insurgency once it gains too much of a foothold in an area. We can disperse them for a short time, but they come right back. We now plan to concentrate our efforts in areas loyal to heaven, striking like a hammer whenever we see the first sparks of homosexual passion."

Smith also took the opportunity to praise the new hardliner, Pope Benedict XVI. "God wanted me to let you know that He thinks that 'Rati' is doing a heck of a job," Smith said. "God was particularly pleased at Rati's handling of the issue of sodomites in the seminaries. In fact He cracked up over The Pope's decision that fags could be admitted only if they could meet the impossible burden of proving that they hadn't had sex for three years."

Breaking: Rice slept with "her husband"?

All of the evidence is not in, but it appears that
Secretary of State Rice may have slept with

President George W. Bush. Will post details when they
become available; all I have now is this attached photo.




scroll down








Friday, October 07, 2005

He Ain't Gone Yet


MP3 Download-Evolution Control Committee-Rocked By Rape

While it is really fun to watch Bush and his cronies squirm under the fallout from the far right wing, and to listen to all the talk about him losing his "base", we need to keep in mind that Coulter, The Heritage Foundation, et al are really not his base. don't forget that infamous clip from Fahrenheit 9-1-1:

"What an impressive crowd: the haves, and the have-mores.
Some people call you the elite, I call you my base."
Let's not get distracted, folks. The rape and destruction of America is going on full bore.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

MP3 Download-Compassionate Conservatives-Frat Boy

President Bush was visiting a primary school and he
dropped in on one of the classes. They were in the
middle of a discussion related to words and their
meanings. The teacher asked the President if he would
like to lead the discussion on the word "tragedy". So
the illustrious leader asked the class for an example
of a "tragedy". One little boy stood up and offered:

"If my best friend, who lives on a farm, is playing in
the field and a tractor runs over him and kills him
that would be a tragedy."

"No," said Bush, "that would be an accident."

A little girl raised her hand: "If a school bus
carrying 50 children drove over a cliff, killing
everyone inside, that would be a tragedy."

"I'm afraid not," explained the president. "That's
what we would call a great loss." The room went
silent. No other children volunteered.

Bush searched the room. "Isn't there someone here who
can give me an example of a tragedy?"

Finally at the back of the room a small boy raised his
hand. In a quiet voice he said: "If Air Force One
carrying you and Mrs. Bush was struck by a 'friendly
fire' missile and blown to smithereens that would be a
tragedy."

"That's right!" exclaimed Bush. "Can you tell me why
that would be a tragedy?"

"Well," says the boy, "It has to be a tragedy, because
it certainly wouldn't be a great loss and it probably
wouldn't be a fucking accident either."

Thanks to Buddy and h for the above

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Bush Economic Policy Starting To Come Home To Roost


Photo courtesy of Officer.com

We have been warned over and over again that our current economy is unsustainable. Between shrinking tax revenues, which were slashed for the rich, our record high and ever growing national debt and our incredible trade imbalance we are fast approaching meltdown. Economists say that it won't be long before most of our tax revenues will go to pay off the interest on the national debt. The government will no longer be able to afford to provide those services we have come to expect as taxpayers.

Here's a case in point:

Police chiefs facing tight budgets are turning to a new source for money - drivers who cause fender benders or more serious accidents.

A few dozen police departments in the Midwest, including Indiana, began charging drivers and their insurers within the past year for the cost of investigating traffic accidents and writing up reports.

Bills for drivers range from $120-$500.

''That's money we can use to buy a patrol car or pay for gas,'' said Lt. Don McCarter of the Griffith, Ind., police department. ''Everybody's always looking for extra money.''

Expect to see more and more charges along these lines. I suspect that it won't be long before all police and fire calls will come with a user charge. Report a robbery, get a bill. Call the Fire Department, prepare to pay.

MP3 Download-The Finer print-Suburbia

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The National Guard Came Through -- They Sent Me The Free i-Tunes

Last week I filled out a form which promised 3 free i-Tunes downloads in exchange for being willing to talk to a National Guard recruiter. I wanted to see, considering that I'm a 59 year old faggot, if they would give me the tunes and send someone to contact me.

Well they sent me the code to download the tunes. I'm still waiting to see a couple of big buffed up troops come knocking. They tend to pick the pretty ones as recruiters...

I do hope that they call up and want to come visit. I'll buy 'em lunch. We can walk up the street to The Castro district, lot's of restaurants there. I figure that the longer that they spend talking to me, the less time they will have talking to poor, naive young people.

Hell, maybe they can even talk me into going back in. But as author David Rakoff pointed out in a recent Daily Show interview (watch here) that if we're ever asked to bear arms, something calamitous has happened.
MP3 Download - Sergent Garcia - Stop Da War


No Wonder They Are Pissed Off


Photo courtesy of IndyMedia

Science has finally answered the nagging question of why bicycle riders always have such a "screw you" attitude. You know what I'm talking about, the way that they blow through red lights, forcing motorists to slam on their brakes to avoid a collision. Ya, attitude, like how they bang on and jump up and down on the cars of motorists who even entertain the thought of dashing across the street in an opening during one of those 15 block long Critical Mass rides. You know what I'm talking about.

Well, the answer is pretty simple according to an article in The New York Times. Bicyclists don't have any balls to speak of. That's right. It seems that those bike seats cut off circulation to a guy's gonads. The poor suckers can't get it up anymore. Hell, that would give me an attitude too. I'm glad to finally learn what that's all about. The next time some guy on a bike flips me off I won't get mad in return, I'll just pity the (non) fucker.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Why I Don't Like Homosexuality

There's a great diary over at Daily Kos, "What I Don't Like About Homosexuality". Here's just one paragraph. When you are ready to read the entire thing, just click on the Daily Kos logo.



"First- Let's be clear here. I'm a gay man. I am NOT a closeted gay man, I'm an open to everyone, in your face gay. I'm not particularly feminine acting, but can be as campy as the next person when it's appropriate (and often when not appropriate). I have a partner in a very stable relationship. I've done the club kid scene and now have settled into homebody/nester scene. So what could I, as an open gay man, not like about homosexuality?
hint #1 - it's not the sex with men part."


Saturday, October 01, 2005

A Sign Of Military Intelligence Finally

"Top generals say U.S. troops' presence may fuel insurgency"
MP3 Download-Radio Sub-Rosa - A Stumble & A Kick
MP3 Download-Company Graveyard-BB Chung King & The Buddaheads

By Seattle Times news services

WASHINGTON — The U.S. generals running the war in Iraq presented a new assessment of the military situation in public comments and sworn testimony this week: The 149,000 U.S. troops in Iraq are increasingly part of the problem.

During a trip to Washington, the generals said the presence of U.S. forces was fueling the insurgency, fostering an undesirable dependency on American troops among the nascent Iraqi military, and energizing terrorists across the Middle East...

U.S. officials months ago dialed back their expectations of what the U.S. military can achieve in Iraq. But the comments this week showed that commanders believe a large U.S. force in Iraq might in fact be creating problems as well as solutions...

US Recruiting At New Lows - Insurgency Recruiting Booming


Unlike the U.S. military, which is facing new lows in its recruiting efforts, the Iraqi insurgency finds their numbers swelling by the day. Today the officials in charge of the Insurgency Personel Department announced that just today alone they had inducted 500 new fighters in the battle to throw the Americans out of Iraq.



MP3 Download - Michael Fronti & Spearhead - We can't bomb the world to peace

Detainees are checked by U.S. soldiers during a prisoner release at Abu Ghraib prison, 25 km (15 miles) west of Baghdad October 1, 2005. Clutching new Korans and given $25 apiece, about 500 Iraqi prisoners were released from the U.S. military's Abu Ghraib jail on Saturday in a goodwill gesture ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
REUTERS/FALEH KHEIBER

We Have To Fight Them In Iraq So That We Don't Have To Fight Them Here


MP3 Download - Public Enemy-New Orleans: Hell No We Ain't Alright


Oops! Too Late!

In Iraq, 2003 (From Riverbend)

"One of my cousins works in a prominent engineering company in Baghdad- we’ll call the company H. This company is well-known for designing and building bridges all over Iraq. My cousin, a structural engineer, is a bridge freak. He spends hours talking about pillars and trusses and steel structures to anyone who’ll listen.

As May was drawing to a close, his manager told him that someone from the CPA wanted the company to estimate the building costs of replacing the New Diyala Bridge on the South East end of Baghdad. He got his team together, they went out and assessed the damage, decided it wasn’t too extensive, but it would be costly. They did the necessary tests and analyses (mumblings about soil composition and water depth, expansion joints and girders) and came up with a number they tentatively put forward- $300,000. This included new plans and designs, raw materials (quite cheap in Iraq), labor, contractors, travel expenses, etc.

Let’s pretend my cousin is a dolt. Let’s pretend he hasn’t been working with bridges for over 17 years. Let’s pretend he didn’t work on replacing at least 20 of the 133 bridges damaged during the first Gulf War. Let’s pretend he’s wrong and the cost of rebuilding this bridge is four times the number they estimated- let’s pretend it will actually cost $1,200,000. Let’s just use our imagination.

A week later, the New Diyala Bridge contract was given to an American company. This particular company estimated the cost of rebuilding the bridge would be around- brace yourselves- $50,000,000 !!"
Yep. You read it right, The Iraqi company bid of Three Hundred Thousand dollars was turned down in favor of a bid from an American company for Fifty Million of our tax dollars.

And here on the home front:

In Louisiana, 2005 (From the Seattle Times)

"NEW ORLEANS — Across the hurricane ravaged Gulf Coast, thousands upon thousands of blue tarps are being nailed to wind-damaged roofs, a visible sign of government assistance.

The government is paying contractors an average of $2,480 for less than two hours of work to cover each damaged roof — even though it's also giving them endless supplies of blue sheeting for free.

As many as 300,000 homes in Louisiana may need roof repairs, and as the government attempts to cover every salvageable roof by the end of October, the bill could reach hundreds of millions of dollars.

The amount the government is paying to tack down blue tarps, which are designed to last three months, raises major questions about how little taxpayers may be getting for their money as contractors line up at the government trough for billions of dollars in repair and reconstruction contracts.


Steve Manser, president of Simon Roofing and Sheet Metal of Youngstown, Ohio, which was awarded an initial $10 million contract to begin "Operation Blue Roof" in New Orleans, acknowledged that the price his company is charging to install blue tarps could pay for shingling an entire roof."

Makes you wonder just how much we are going to end up paying when they finally get around to actually replacing the roofs, doesn't it?