Saturday, January 28, 2006
Friday, January 27, 2006
So, where are we now? As best as I can tell, the Iraqis have elected an anti-US government that is getting ready to align itself with an "Axis of Evil" star (Iran). We are STILL trying to get out from under an insurgency that is killing, on averge, 2 US soldiers per DAY (not to mention all those luckless local pedestrians in Baghdad and environs). And now we've spent nearly a half-billion dollars in Palestine to elect a government actively opposed to our policies.
The punchline to all of this is found in a Chicago Tribune piece today:
It is the (McLiar/Vader Junta) administration's hope that the responsibility that comes with power... will change Hamas."
Q: My name is Tiffany Cooper. I'm a sophomore here at Kansas State and I was just wanting to get your comments about education. Recently 12.7 billion dollars was cut from education. I was just wondering how is that supposed to help our futures?
Bush: Education budget was cut , say it again. What was cut?
Q: 12.7 billion dollars was cut from education. I'm wanting to know how is that supposed to help our futures?
Bush: At the federal level?
Bush: I don't think we've actually --for higher education? Student loans?
Q: Yes, student loans.
Bush: Actually, I think what we did was reform the student loan program. We are not cutting money out of it. In other words, people aren't going to be cut off the program. We're just making sure it works better as part of the reconciliation package I think she's talking about? Yeah--It is a form of the program to make sure it functions better. In other words, we're not taking people off student loans. We're saving money in the student loan program because it's inefficient. So I think the thing to look at is whether or not there will be fewer people getting student loans. I don't think so...... I plan on doing some talking about math and science and engineering programs so that people who graduate out of college will have the skills necessary to compete in this competitive world. But I think I'm right on this. I will check when I get back to Washington, but thank you for your question.
(Editor: Moron. yes, they are cutting. The hard-pressed "middle class" will bankrupt [oh wait, they can't! The Credit Card Industry protection Act has done away with bankruptcy) helping their children. When he doesn't know, he just makes it up.)
Election: Selection by vote for an office or for membership.
Democracy: Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives
Liberty: Freedom from external (as governmental) restraint, compulsion, or interference in engaging in the pursuits or conduct of one's choice to the extent that they are lawful and not harmful to others; enjoyment of the rights enjoyed by others in a society free of arbitrary or unreasonable limitation or interference
Note: It is VERY dangerous to confuse these concept. See "Iraq" and "Hamas."
May I -- if I might, you said that I have to circumvent it. There -- wait a minute. That's a -- there's something -- it's like saying, you know, you're breaking the law. I'm not. See, that's what you've got to understand. I am upholding my duty, and at the same time, doing so under the law and with the Constitution behind me. That's just very important for you to understand. Secondly, the FISA law was written in 1978. We're having this discussion in 2006. It's a different world. And FISA is still an important tool. It's an important tool. And we still use that tool. But also -- and we -- look -- I said, look, is it possible to conduct this program under the old law? And people said, it doesn't work in order to be able to do the job we expect us to do. And so that's why I made the decision I made. And you know, "circumventing" is a loaded word, and I refuse to accept it, because I believe what I'm doing is legally right.
Thursday, January 26, 2006
I'm confused about a couple of things.
First of all, Fearless Leader says about Bin laden that "when he says he's going to hurt the American people again, or try to, he means it. I take it seriously, and the people of NSA take it seriously." But yet he didn't take that whole "Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US" stuff seriously, did he?
And now, we are engaging in "terrorist surveillance," not domestic spying. But if they've had time to discern that they are terrorists, wouldn't they have had time to go to the FISA court?
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
New York Times
By James Glanz
A new audit of American financial practices in Iraq has uncovered irregularities including millions of reconstruction dollars stuffed casually into footlockers and filing cabinets, an American soldier in the Philippines who gambled away cash belonging to Iraq, and three Iraqis who plunged to their deaths in a rebuilt hospital elevator that had been improperly certified as safe.
The audit, released yesterday by the office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, expands on its previous findings of fraud, incompetence and confusion as the American occupation poured money into training and rebuilding programs in 2003 and 2004. The audit uncovers problems in an area that includes half the land mass in Iraq, with new findings in the southern and central provinces of Anbar, Karbala, Najaf, Wasit, Babil, and Qadisiya.
The special inspector reports to the secretary of defense and the secretary of state. Agents from the inspector general's office found that the living and working quarters of American occupation officials were awash in shrink-wrapped stacks of $100 bills, colloquially known as bricks....(more at link above)
Just think, for every "freedom," "progress," "war," "the Iraqi people," "democracy," etc. etc., plus bonus points per lie, half-truth and obfuscation. I need suggestions as to the rules. The competing concerns are that you wouldn't want to pass out too soon, but no decent person could watch this sober.
it appears unlikely that a court would hold that Congress has expressly or impliedly authorized the NSA electronic surveillance operations here under discussion, and it would likewise appear that, to the extent that those surveillances fall within the definition of “electronic surveillance” within the meaning of FISA or any activity regulated under Title III, Congress intended to cover the entire field with these statutes. To the extent that the NSA activity is not permitted by some reading of Title III or FISA, it may represent an exercise of presidential power at its lowest ebb, in which case exclusive presidential control is sustainable only by “disabling Congress from acting upon the
While courts have generally accepted that the President has the power to conduct domestic electronic surveillance within the United States inside the constraints of the Fourth Amendment, no court has held squarely that the Constitution disables the Congress from endeavoring to set limits on that power. To the contrary, the Supreme Court has stated that Congress does indeed have power to regulate domestic surveillance, and has not ruled on the extent to which Congress can act with respect to electronic surveillance to collect foreign intelligence information. Given such uncertainty, the Administration’s legal justification, as presented in the summary analysis from the Office of Legislative Affairs, does not seem to be as well-grounded as the tenor of that letter suggests.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
The McLiar/Vader Junta is using its token Hispanic mouthpiece Alberto Gonzales to try to spin the impeachable offense of warrantless spying on American citizens as a "turrist surveillance program." There are several nuggets in the AP story posted here. My favorites are:
- Gonzales says that a 15 day warrantless surveillance grace period written into the FISA legislation covering a congressional declaration of war is **proof** that congress has given the ruling Junta the powers which it has exercised.
- He said that the Junta's "reasonable basis standard" for warrantless spying is the same as the probable cause standard of the 4th amendment and falls well within the spirit of FISA.
- He opined that the MEDIA has been responsible for twisting the facts and making the spying seem much more widespread than it actually was/is.
I can't say that I'm surprised that the guy responsible IN PART for formulating this travesty is now the Junta's pointman in spinning it. Let's cut through the crap. First off, WAR HAS NOT BEEN DECLARED. That makes the 15 day grace period immaterial to the debate. But even if we agree that the AUMF allowed for this so-called grace period, by my quick math, it's been somewhere over 1550 days since the warranless searches began. That's about 100 times more than the "grace period allows. Second, no court has EVER had the opportunity to RULE on the "reasonableness" of the Junta's justification to unilaterally decide which US citizens aren't deserving of the Constitution's protection. Third, even if we all agree that the number of citizens targeted is as low as the several hundreds (although, I'm more inclined to believe that the number who were subjected to warrantless datamining is in the several HUNDRED THOUSAND range) ----- I have a question - how many is not many? If even somehow only ONE citizen was unfairly warrantlessly surveilled is that somehow OK? Have we so lost our way that we can say that there are specific classes of American citizens who are not entitled to the protection of the Constitution?
And finally I wonder: Would the Junta have nodded in agreement while the Clinton administration warrantlessly surveilled christian groups in the wake of OK City????
Monday, January 23, 2006
Osama Tape Wrongly Translated
Latest Tape Actually Bin Laden's Newest Album
(Local Fake Wires) An audio tape attributed to wanted terrorist Osama Bin Laden apparently was incorrectly translated by the CIA. As originally transcribed, the tape was said to contain threats of future terror attacks and an offer of a truce in exchange for an American withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan.
A closer examination reveals, however, that the tape actually contains previously unreleased recordings by Bin Laden of American standards, such as "Jihad to be You," "Fly Me to the Moon, but Watch Out for Those Shoulder-Mounted Rockets," "Witchcraft, but What Would You Expect From the Great Satan," and "I Get No Kick from Champagne Because Allah Forbids Alcohol."
When asked for comment, a source familiar with the recording said, "Hell, if Rod Stewart can do it, why not Osama?"
"Congress gave me the authority to use necessary force to protect the American people, but it didn't prescribe the tactics"
So now campaigning is now unpatriotic? And an authorization to use force repeals the constitution??
This Morning on Today
7:00 Katie and Matt interview the short-track speedskating team
7:30 Today presents a special report on how watching the winter Olympics on NBC reduces cholesterol
8:00 Al demonstrates the triple axel
8:30 Stars of insipid NBC sitcoms discuss their favorite Olympic moments, you know, and stuff.
9:00 Previews of NBC News coverage of the Iran-Israel war. Today's stories include the more than two million civilian casualties, the destruction of Tehran and Tel Aviv and the disruption of the world's oil supply. As a reminder, throughout the Olympics, all war coverage can be seen over on Nickelodeon.
Sunday, January 22, 2006
"Earlier this month, gamer named Mitchell S. with the online screenname "Kuja105" who posts on a few online videogame forums (including GameFaqs.com and MetalGearSolid.org) committed suicide. On January 2 he posted a message in both forums detailing his intent to end his own life, citing overwhelming complications with school and finances.
A very brief period of initial disbelief was followed by a barrage of replies from fellow forum members pleading that he not take his life, trying to talk him out of it.
For days, no word was heard from Mitchell. Fearing the worst, members and administration from metalgearsolid.org began searching for contact information, spending hours on the phone trying to get in touch with him. Finally on January 4, Ryan K., an administrator at metalgearsolid.org, got him on the phone and spent hours desperately trying to talk him out of it.
Sadly, Mitchell soon ended his own life by consuming antifreeze and painkillers.
Later, members from the site contacted Mitchell's family to find out the grave news. They reported it to their online community, and posted a tribute to their passed friend on the front page of metalgearsolid.org." Full Report Here.
"Your "gamer friend" will find peace through the Lord, Jesus Christ, but sadly it's too late for that.
There is a void in every heart. You can fill it up with the things of God, or the things not of God. This unfortunate soul chose to fill it up with combat games. The playing of these video games is masturbatory activity, meaning senseless self-stimulation. If you gamers could use a dictionary you would know that that term is not necessarily a sexual one.
The real tragedy here extends beyond the life and death of this one fellow. There are literally millions of young people and young adults whose despair is deepend by turning to the things of this world and then finding them meaningless.
All of you gamers need to put down the controllers and get a life. The utter inanity of the vast majority of postings here shows how vapid "gaming" really is.
You are one of the cheerleaders for this wasting of time and the wasting of lives. Do you feel any remorse for having contributed to this "culture of death?" Of course not. Hey, let's all play MORE games, and ignore all the really productive things to do with our lives.
Let's pretend to be shocked that a gamer might descend into deeper depression, as his gamer "buds," knowing he was killing himself, couldn't figure out how to call 911 themselves for him. That would have involved leaving their computers I guess.
Sad. Sad for all of you."
Here is an article written by friends and peers of Mitchell at MetalGearSolid.org.
For anyone who doesn't know, Jack Thompson is a Lawyer from florida who is strongly outspoken against violence and obsenity in public media, especially video games.