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Showing posts from February, 2006

More good news from Iraq

...the international community should also "start planning for the contingency that Iraq will fall apart, so as to contain the inevitable fallout of regional stability and security."

A new report finds Iraq "teetering towards civil war." This article, interestingly enough, puts the death toll since the mosque attack at 130. Where are these news organizations getting their numbers?

Atrios has it right

It's not racist to object to us cozying up with truly shitty governments. I imagine the people of the UAE might be fine people. But the people who run the country are just a bunch of shitty human rights abusing suffrage opposing terrorist hanging out with assholes. The relevant question is whether these people should be running significant port operations.

Atrios has a series of posts today about the UAE port deal. Most notably: the government of the UAE participates in the Arab boycott of Israel. And the Bush Administration used to "care" about that, but I guess when business interests override national security interests, well, all of that goes out the window.

This doesn't add up

MSNBC reported last night that 1,300 people had been killed in the mosque violence. Now CNN is saying it's only 300 people, and says that Iraqi officials "dispute" earlier newspaper reports that the number was "much higher." This doesn't add up.

34%

The latest CBS News poll reports that Bush's approval rating is down to an all-time low of 34%. If only we could have had these numbers in October 2004.

This is insane.

The latest violence in Iraq, I'm talking about since the mosque was bombed last week, has claimed 1,300 lives.

Yeah, sure, we can fix this mess. GET US OUT OF THERE!!!!!

Ned Lamont

A lot of blogs are talking about Ned Lamont's primary challenge against Joe Lieberman. The link above goes to a site called LamontBlog, which is an unofficial blog promoting Lamont's candidacy. This particular entry gives excerpts of an interview with Lamont.

From this interview, and from the interest he's getting from the blogs, it seems like Lamont might be the real deal, a chance to get a real Dem in that seat and get rid of the Republican boot-licker Lieberman. If I were in Connecticut, I'd vote for Mr. Lamont in the primary. Though one wonders about his chances in the general--much of Lieberman's success comes from his support base among Republicans. Can Lamont win the seat without that support base? Honest question--I don't know.

File not found

The above link is to the official page of the Palestinian National Authority. Click on it, scroll down the page and look for "The Palestinian Vision of Peace." Click on that, and this is what you'll find:

Active Server Pages error 'ASP 0126'

Include file not found

/articals/details.asp, line 2

The include file '../Connections/mopic_con2.asp' was not found.

Fitting.

Quote of the day

"Nobody knows the age of the human race, but everybody agrees that it is old enough to know better."
- Anonymous

Bill would redirect funds to Oklahoma's roads

Car tag and registration money in Oklahoma currently goes to the General Fund. This bill would apparently redirect that money to road and bridge construction and maintenance. Fantastic news if it passes, because Oklahoma's roads and bridges are in sorry, sorry shape.

Dems ahead on national security for the first time ever

Good news brought to my attention by the good folks at DailyKos. Looks like the Democratic Party is beating the Republicans for the first time EVER on the issue of national security. This according to a new poll released by the Rasmussen people. Link is above. This is a huge deal, and very very good for the Democratic Party.

What this means is that November will see huge changes and major incumbents go down. I predict a Democratic sweep of the Senate and a major gain for the Dems in the House. Dems taking back the House would be nearly impossible due to the horrid redistricting system we have especially in states like Texas. Of course, what else would you expect when you put political parties in charge of choosing political districts? That's why I'm in favor of creating an independent non-partisan Federal body to map out congressional districts. Or maybe have a non-partisan body in each state that does it. Either way, it's got to be non-partisan.

From tolerance to bullying

The problem with the Islamic world is not that they get offended at cartoons that are against their faith. Indeed, we Jews should likewise defend Islam against every act of defamation. But as Jews we have been conditioned to believe that violence is never a legitimate response to anything but a direct threat to human life. Arab newspapers regularly publish anti-Semitic caricatures displaying Jews with giant noses snorting up money. But the idea of going and torching Arab offices or threatening journalists with beheadings, as leaders of Hamas have done to the Danish cartoonists, would be as distant from us as eating pork on Yom Kippur.

Another voice heard from. Sometimes the Jerusalem Post is a little bit right-wing for my tastes, but then there are articles like these that make you think, even if you don't necessarily agree with everything they're saying. This article laments that Islam as a religion has gone from being a global leader in culture and education and ethics, to …

Gore in '08?

Two right-wing news sites have interesting stories giving a parallel between Gore's loss in 2000 and Nixon's loss in 1960, and predicting that Gore might be able to make the same kind of political comeback in 2008 that Nixon did in 1968. Both sites see Gore positioning himself to the left of Hillary and Kerry, as the anti-war candidate, and posit that his best chance would be if he rallied the Deaniac wing of the Democratic Party to win the nomination.

Interesting. If he wins the nomination, Gore might actually have a real shot at winning the general, considering the implosion of the Green Party, which was his nemesis in 2000, and assuming a continued farce of corruption and horribleness coming from the Republicans.

The articles are here and here.

Sheehan, Musicians Plan Protest Concert

Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan and REM frontman Michael Stipe will headline a New York concert to urge the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

The concert, dubbed "Bring 'Em Home Now!" will be held at the Hammerstein Ballroom on March 20, the 3rd anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. Rufus Wainwright and Bright Eyes will also perform, it was announced Wednesday.

Sheehan, who camped outside President Bush's ranch in Texas last year to protest the Iraq war, will speak during the concert. Her 24-year-old son, Casey, was killed in Iraq in 2004.

Chuck D, Fischerspooner, Peaches, Steve Earle and Devendra Banhart are also scheduled to perform.

"It is impossible not react to the current state of affairs through personal action and artistic production," said Casey Spooner of Fischerspooner in a statement.

Organizers said the concert will be followed by a national "Bring 'Em Home Now!" speaking tour that will feature Sheehan and various authors traveling to…

Sign the petition!

Subject: Stop AOL's email scheme

Hi,

I just signed an important online petition because the very existence of online civic participation and the free Internet as we know it are under attack by America Online, and we need to fight back quickly.

The petition's at:

http://civic.moveon.org/emailtax/

AOL recently announced what amounts to an "email tax." Under this pay-to-send system, large emailers willing to pay an "email tax" can bypass spam filters and get guaranteed access to people's inboxes--with their messages having a preferential high-priority designation.

Charities, small businesses, civic organizing groups, and even families with mailing lists will inevitably be left with inferior Internet service unless they are willing to pay the "email tax" to AOL.

The petition says: "AOL, don't auction off preferential access to people's inboxes to giant emailers, while leaving people's friends, families, and favorite causes wondering if t…

The Port Deal that Broke the Camel's Ability To Protect Itself

Ok, a strangled turn of phrase, but apt. The link above is a DailyKos analysis of the President's deal allowing the UAE to control 6 of our ports. Even such right-wing heavies as Bill Frist and Dennis Hastert, both of whom lick Bush's scrotum on a regular basis, and enjoy it, are coming out against this thing. And now Bush is saying he'll veto any attempt to block the deal. What exactly is going on here? Why is Bushie sticking so hard to his guns, when he seems to be the only one doing so? It's a little fishy, if you ask me.

Hamas could be just what we need?

The right will say that Hamas is lying now just to gain temporary advantage. They still want us out of here.

Some surprise. We want them out of here, too. Just as much.

We both failed in trying. Perhaps both of our peoples are finally ready to try something new. Living apart, and going on living.


I don't know if I agree with this article, but it does give an interesting perspective on the whole situation. What's that saying? Only Nixon could go to China? Well, this article seems to be saying that only terrorists like Hamas can get their fellow terrorists in Islamic Jihad and other groups to disarm. In any event, this article is presented as a thought piece, and I don't necessarily endorse its views.

Don McCorkell for Mayor

Just Progress, PAC (JP), a Democratic Political Action Committee organized by citizens for political integrity and a just society, endorses Don McCorkell, Jr. for Mayor of the city of Tulsa. JP endorses Don, because his record of government service and vision for Tulsa�s future perfectly matches our vision of a government that fosters Prosperity, Equal Opportunity, Healthy Communities, Civil Liberties, and Environmental Integrity.

A Background of Personal Integrity and Outstanding Public Service

Don McCorkell is a devoted family man who has been married for 37 years to Marilyn McCorkell. Don and Marilyn have raised two outstanding young men, Joe and Matt.

Don moved to Tulsa when he was in Junior High School. He has worked hard ever since to help make Tulsa a better place to live. Don's service includes Chairing the Greater Tulsa Council (1973-1975) and representing Tulsa in the Oklahoma State House of Representatives (1978-1996).

As a State Representative…

What the hell?

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is building a "Museum of Tolerance" on a Muslim graveyard. Ok, there has GOT to be more to this story, but if there isn't, then it's pretty crystal clear that this is a HORRIBLE idea. It's a Museum of Tolerance, aimed at promoting interfaith understanding and respect, and you're desecrating a graveyard to build it? I'm sorry, I don't buy the excuse that there are archeological and historical remains everywhere in Jerusalem. Surely there's a location that isn't a graveyard actively visited by people with relatives in it? This...just isn't right.

Quick note

I've just been looking over some of the posts I've done recently, and it occurs to me that progressive folks looking at this blog might not see much recently from a progressive standpoint. My little rant about consumer activism and my pro-Israel stance have kind of muddied the political waters a bit I think. Well, I don't apologize for being pro-Israel, though I do try to take as balanced a view as possible. I am a progressive Zionist.

All this to say that my political views are constantly evolving. In the last ten years, I've gone from being completely apolitical, to being a quasi-socialist, to being a real socialist, to being a hardcore socialist, to being a communist, to being a Democrat, and, ok basically I've wavered between far left and center-left. Right now I'm somewhere between Trotsky and Howard Dean.

So don't fret, fellow progressives, I'm with you. I've been reading DailyKos and Atrios quite a bit lately trying to get a better grip…

Mark Warner for President?

Interesting analysis of Mark Warner as a potential Democratic candidate and his thoughts about how Dems can win elections in "red" areas. I'd still like Barbara Boxer to run, but this guy might not be bad. Heck, he's a Democrat who managed to win the governorship of Virginia--and he apparently did it without resorting to becoming a DINO (Democrat in name only) like some people I know...ahem Brad Henry.

Charge them or release them.

UN Calls for Guantanamo Bay to be closed or detainees charged and tried in open court.

It's about damn time. You can't be a country that calls for expanding freedom and democracy overseas, and have what amounts to a political prison on your own territory. Hopefully this'll help to bring some international pressure to bear.

It's funny. Guantanamo Bay is in Cuba, which is theoretically our enemy because it's a politically repressive regime. And Guantanamo bay is American territory. And right there, on American soil, separated from Cuba by nothing more than a fence, there's political repression and torture happening. The hypocrisy couldn't be more stark.

This is who the Palestinians want representing them.

Image
Hamas: 'We drink Jews' blood'
By Nadav Shragai

A Hamas Web site recently published the videotape wills of two suicide bombers, with two main messages: One is directed to the Jews whose blood Hamas pledges to drink until they flee from the land of the Muslims, and the other is devoted to a mother who helps her son plan a suicide attack, according to Palestinian Media Watch, which presents the video shown on the Hamas site after its victory in the Palestinian parliamentary elections.

The video shows Idham Ahmed Majila and Maumin Rajab Rajab, who blew themselves up at the Karni crossing at the end of 2004. "My message to the hated Jews: There is no God but Allah," Majala says. "We will hunt you everywhere, when you wake and when you sleep. We are a blood-drinking people and we know that there is no better blood than Jewish blood.
Advertisement

"We will not leave you alone until we quench ourselves with your blood and we will quench the thirst of our children w…

funny cartoon

Image
yoinked from http://atrios.blogspot.com

Why Consumer Activism Is Futile

Capitalism is by its very nature unethical. The profit motive rules all, and the invisible hand of the market raises its middle finger to anyone who would suggest otherwise. Therefore, anyone seeking to create “ethical consumerism” will always be thwarted, will never succeed, will always be frustrated because some aspect of their ideals has been compromised.

It is absolutely impossible for anyone to be truly ethical in all of their purchases. Because of this impossibility, consumer activism itself is so impractical as to become impossible. Therefore, one should not focus one’s energies on buying “ethically.”

If a consumer wants to direct his spending towards reducing global warming, he can, for instance, buy a hybrid automobile, like the Toyota Prius. By buying the Prius, the consumer is reducing his impact on global warming. However, he’s also hurting the efforts of labor activists to promote the purchase of union-made cars. Toyotas are, by and large, not union-made.

If, right…

Another day, another revamp

Well, this blog is changing again. At least, the name is. It's now called "Sinister," which was originally a Latin term for "on the left side" and only became associated with evil bad things relatively recently in history. The word "sinister" has been used to denegrate southpaws for far too long. So I'm reclaiming the word "sinister" for all my left-handed brethren and sistren. Let's use it as a rallying cry! :-D

Footless hijackers

This has been posted on a number of blogs, but it's straight out of a White House Press Briefing:

Q Scott, I wanted to just ask a follow-up about the LA plot. Is there something missing from this story, a practical application, a few facts? Because if you want to commandeer a plane and fly it into a tower, if you used shoe bombs, wouldn't you blow off the cockpit? Or is there something missing from this story?

MR. McCLELLAN: I don't know what you're referring to about missing. I mean, I think we provided you a detailed briefing earlier today about the plot. And Fran Townsend, our Homeland Security Advisor, talked about it. So I'm not sure what you're suggesting it.

Q Think about it, if you're wearing shoe bombs, you either blow off your feet or you blow off the front of the airplane.

MR. McCLELLAN: There was a briefing for you earlier today. I think that's one way to look at it. There are a lot of ways to look at it, and she explained it earlier today, Alex…

Cartoon protests

A few things that I think haven't been mentioned enough in this insanity over the Danish cartoons.

1) Arab newspapers often print hateful, bigoted depictions of Israelis and Jews, comparing Zionism to Nazism, and generally being horrible and offensive. How many Iranian embassies have been burned by angry Jews? Beyond that, how much coverage does the regular and constant anti-Jewish, anti-Israel indoctrination in Arab countries get? Not much, that I can see.

2) A lot of otherwise sensible people have been talking about the free speech rights of both the newspaper and the protesters. I agree that the newspaper had the right to publish the cartoons, and that people have a right to be offended. But that offense cannot and should not justify criminal acts of violence. These extremists, and there seem to be a disturbing number of them in Arab countries, have no conception of free speech, and don't understand that when they demand that these newspapers be shut down for printing t…