Friday, April 30, 2004

Malkovich Signs for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Hollywood star John Malkovich has landed a starring role in the next Harry Potter movie, playing evil Lord Voldemort. The Dangerous Liaisons actor's daughters Amandine, 13 and Lowrie, 12 - huge fans of the fantasy franchise - convinced him to appear in Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire. But he will have to share the part with a computerized puppet - at the beginning of the film, the wizard is supposed to be so wasted by his own evil he is barely a skeleton. A movie insider says, "He is perfect for the role. He will play the 'restored' human version of Lord Voldemort and has a spectacular fight scene with Harry at the end of the film."

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | What the US papers say

Michael Hann examines the air of secrecy and silence surrounding the US media's treatment of George Bush's 'war on terror'

"American contractors and soldiers torturing Iraqi prisoners in a prison outside Baghdad? A huge story, by anyone's standards, surely, especially when pictures of the abuse were broadcast on the US TV network CBS.
So it was no surprise that newspapers around the world made huge, horrified play of the events at the Abu Ghraib prison. It was more of a surprise, however, that the story did not receive the same level of coverage in the US papers.


Tuesday, April 27, 2004

not feelin' much like a terrorist, meself...

Planned Parenthood Demands Karen Hughes Apologize for 9/11 Comparison; Feldt to Hughes: 'An insensitive and divisive Overreach;' Hughes Invokes 9/11 to Defend Bush Anti-Choice Policies

"WASHINGTON, April 27 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Gloria Feldt today demanded that Karen Hughes apologize for invoking 9/11 in her attempt to defend President George W. Bush's anti-choice policies.

"(This) was an insensitive and divisive overreach," Feldt wrote in a letter to Hughes today. "It is outrageous to suggest that those of us who challenge this administration's attacks on reproductive rights and access do not value life and human dignity. Indeed, it is because we value life and human dignity that we support a woman's right to choice," Feldt said today.

Hughes made her comments Sunday on CNN. Speaking in reaction to the more than one million women and men gathered for the March for Women's Lives, Hughes said:

"I think after September 11, the American people are valuing life moreand I think those are the kind of policies the American people can support, particularly at a time when we're facing an enemy, and really, the fundamental difference between us and the terror network we fight is that we value every life."


full text of the letter can be found at americablog.

you know, just a ways ago, it was the NEA they were after. now it's us freakishly liberal women. who next? homosexuals?

oh, wait...

americablog link from eschaton

TBRNews and the Madness of King George, the Total Annexation of the Media by the White House, and the Complete Corruption of the War On Terrorism

seriously, this is the scariest site you'll ever chance upon. read it and weep.

Krugman on Cheney's Energy Task Force Coverup


"As Linda Greenhouse recently pointed out in The New York Times, the legal arguments the administration is making for the secrecy of the energy task force are 'strikingly similar' to those it makes for its right to detain, without trial, anyone it deems an enemy combatant. In both cases, as Ms. Greenhouse puts it, the administration has put forward 'a vision of presidential power . . . as far-reaching as any the court has seen.'
That same vision is apparent in many other actions. Just to mention one: we learn from Bob Woodward that the administration diverted funds earmarked for Afghanistan to preparations for an invasion of Iraq without asking or even notifying Congress.

What Mr. Cheney is defending, in other words, is a doctrine that makes the United States a sort of elected dictatorship: a system in which the president, once in office, can do whatever he likes, and isn't obliged to consult or inform either Congress or the public.

Not long ago I would have thought it inconceivable that the Supreme Court would endorse that doctrine. But I would also have thought it inconceivable that a president would propound such a vision in the first place. "

Monday, April 26, 2004

two new politico blogs to point out: isebrand.com, with its crazy cool look and crazy good information, one i intend to keep an eye on, as well as nosey online, whom i've quoted before, and who deserves to be there in the sidebar with all the other good readin'.

take a few, check 'em out.

"It almost goes without saying that there are a few things wrong with this country right now.  There is one thing in particular, though, that seems to be the root of all of these problems. I'll give you a hint: it starts with a 'G', and ends with an 'eorge W. Bush'."

heh. do go have a look at www.johnkerryisadouchebagbutimvotingforhimanyway.com.

me, i just put a kerry sticker on my car this morning, he's gradually wooing me away from the "kerry is a douchebag but i'm voting for him anyway" camp.

"Mrs. Dalloway and Bridget Jones would have got along swimmingly"

The Chick Lit Challenge - what does the new popularity of books written for the sassy, single woman BY sassy, single women say about sassy, single women in the first place?

Pro-Choice March Largest in History

More than one million pro-choice activists converged in the nation's capital Sunday to protest the government's persistent effort to chip away at women's reproductive and health rights.


Republicans don't seem too worried about the message delivered by the marchers. Christine Iverson, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, doubts the event will threaten Bush's bid for reelection. And even though the event may energize the liberal base of voters, she suggested that voters are more concerned about issues such as the economy national security.

Officials from the Bush campaign did not return calls for comment. But Vice President Dick Cheney said that abortion was a top priority for the Bush administration on Tuesday night during an awards dinner for the National Right to Life Committee, which he reportedly hailed as "a great movement of conscience."

Before the last national reproductive rights march in 1992, NOW had organized three others: two in 1989 and one in 1986. Smeal said pro-choice groups won't wait so long between marches again, a "mistake" activists made because they felt the situation for women worldwide had been improving under the Clinton administration.

good. i'm a-goin', next time.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

daily kos with live reports and analysis from the March for Women's lives going on RIGHT NOW in Washington, DC...

you are ghostwhite

Your dominant hue is blue, making you a good friend who people love and trust. You're good in social situations and want to fit in. Just be careful not to compromise who you are to make them happy.

Your saturation level is very low - you have better things to do than jump headfirst into every little project. You make sure your actions are going to really accomplish something before you start because you hate wasting energy making everyone else think you're working.

Your outlook on life is very bright. You are sunny and optimistic about life and others find it very encouraging, but remember to tone it down if you sense irritation.
the spacefem.com html color quiz

from maggie!

Saturday, April 24, 2004


Friday, April 23, 2004

so i've been horribly busy today and haven't much time to blog, so i'm gonna pull an "adam lipscomb" and just post a couple of interesting links:

THE OPPENHEIMER RIDDLE / New evidence of Communist membership debated by scholars of Berkeley scientist


an interesting take on the national gay marriage debate.


CNN.com - Rhino gets amorous with car - Apr 22, 2004

now what?

krugman, on what has gone so very wrong in iraq...

"Now what? There's a growing sense of foreboding, even panic, about Iraq among national security experts. "This is an extremely uncertain struggle," says Mr. Cordesman, who, to his credit, also says the unsayable: we may not be able to "stay the course." But yesterday Condoleezza Rice gave Republican lawmakers what Senator Rick Santorum called "a very upbeat report."

That's very bad news. The mess in Iraq was created by officials who believed what they wanted to believe, and ignored awkward facts. It seems they have learned nothing.  "

use bug me not or salon/tabletalk to get in to the NYT site, as per the usual drill.

o brave new world...

matt drudge and the dead at dover. he's gotten THIS one right.

from andante

Thursday, April 22, 2004

--3 IS WE--

well, okay, so Darling New Neighbors doesn't have a website, and i get LOTS of hits for (you guessed it!) "Darling New Neighbors"; so i think i'll post the latest missive from Elizabeth on what they're doing, just for you websurfers who are dyin' for a little neighborly action...

--3 IS WE--

we are hereby announcing HOT WET DEEP SOUTH 2004!!
this is where we will tour some of the deep south in dripping hot july.

between JULY 6-14, projected key dates are:
Chapel Hill, NC (and/ or Greensboro and Asheville)
Hotlanta, GA (and/ or Athens)
AND the cradle of the known world: Jackson, MS (my hometown)

we want your support!!
1. please let us know yr friends/ paramours/ rockstar hook-ups in NC and GA, or
anywhere in between. i suppose you might even be able to tell me a few things
about MS that i don't know.
2. please buy our cd!! it is $6 and fabulous!
3. get ready for a scene-busting hair-raising hot-to-trot fundraiser with
fantastic events & raffles & side-shows, sometime in june.

we love you-- so love us! we are like your desperate spastic sister you always
wish you'd treated better.


interview with Freaks and Geeks creator Paul Feig (this is at suicidegirls.com, which your work internet nanny may interpret as "sex," so be warned!).

this is about ALL of us

I've mentioned (or maybe Molly Ivins did) these "Conscientious Objector"-types of public policy that are popping up 'round the country ...the prior mention was in the form of negating women's reproductive rights via idiotic pharmacists who refuse to dispense emergency contraception, the birth control pill, that sort of thing. and now they're using this sort of asinine bill to discriminate, willy-nilly, against even MORE of the general population...

Michigan Preparing To Let Doctors Refuse To Treat Gays

Doctors or other health care providers could not be disciplined or sued if they refuse to treat gay patients under legislation passed Wednesday by the Michigan House.

The bill allows health care workers to refuse service to anyone on moral, ethical or religious grounds.

The Republican dominated House passed the measure as dozens of Catholics looked on from the gallery. The Michigan Catholic Conference, which pushed for the bills, hosted a legislative day for Catholics on Wednesday at the state Capitol.

The bills now go the Senate, which also is controlled by Republicans.

The Conscientious Objector Policy Act would allow health care providers to assert their objection within 24 hours of when they receive notice of a patient or procedure with which they don't agree. However, it would prohibit emergency treatment to be refused.

now, let me get this straight: if you're a CHRISTIAN DOCTOR, you would refuse to treat someone because you differed with them on a theological point (god's blessing or condemnation of homosexuality)?? and furthermore, the michigan state legislature is about to sign this into law?!?!

my, i bet ol' Jesus Christ woulda been ALL OVER that one. way to exhibit some "tough-lovin' the sinner!!" i mean, c'mon, look at how he treated people he considered beneath him...nearly stoned that mary magdalene to death, he did.

*sound of julie's head repeatedly hitting desktop*

from eschaton

over-the-cliff notes?

The Condensed Bob Woodward --Slate reads Plan of Attack so you don't have to.

CNN.com - Church group slams Bush on Clean Air Act - Apr 22, 2004


"SEATTLE, Washington (AP) -- A national group of Christian leaders is sending a scathing letter to President Bush to coincide with Earth Day, accusing his administration of chipping away at the Clean Air Act.


Monica Myers, pastor at Seattle's Northwest Christian Church, a Disciples of Christ congregation, said she doesn't plan to bash Bush in her sermon Sunday. Instead, she said she'll simply remind her congregation that pollution and other environmental problems tend to affect the poor more harshly than those who can afford to live in places far away from polluting factories or toxic waste sites.

"I want to emphasize that their faith should direct them as they vote," she said. "Responsible Christians should weigh the teachings of Jesus Christ, especially as they speak of those who are poor and marginalized."

The council joined the Evangelical Environmental Network in a "What would Jesus drive?" campaign in 2002, urging the auto industry to adopt stricter emissions standards and calling on SUV owners to switch to more fuel-efficient vehicles. "

Molly Ivins on the March for Women's Lives: Be There.

google sez (and i do too):

Happy Earth Day!

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

well? why not?

Mark Morford; Why Won't Bush Apologize?

silicon valley sunset

can i just say that maggie rocks?

(requires sound)

(yes, that's right, i'm talkin' about THE maggie! guitarista extraordinaire!!)

heh. for all the bush-believers who were complaining that Kerry didn't deserve medals earned while serving in Vietnam...well, at least not his purple heart. noone seemed to question the Silver and Bronze Stars he was awarded "for gallantry and intrepidity in action" and "heroic achievement." and the OTHER two Purple Hearts. um...

Kerry Highly Praised in Military Records

...With conservative critics questioning his service in Vietnam, the Democratic candidate for president posted more than 120 pages of military records on his campaign Web site. Several describe him as a gutsy commander undertaking a dangerous assignment in Vietnam and detail some of the actions that won three Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star and a Silver Star....

...Talk radio conservatives and some veterans have questioned whether Kerry was wounded severely enough to leave combat, but Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe said he is eager to compare Kerry's record to President Bush's. McAuliffe accused Bush of using family connections to avoid service overseas and failing to show up for duty while in the National Guard.

"Simply put, Kerry has a proud record of sacrifice and service whereas Bush has a record of cashed-in connections and evasion," McAuliffe said in a statement Wednesday.

Republican National Committee spokeswoman Christine Iverson said, "Like so many of Terry McAuliffe's comments, this one is not worthy of the dignity of a response."

again, heh.

for the 0.0000003% of people who care, like me

smiths tablatures. for that one crazy hungover morning when you've GOT to play "how soon is now?" RIGHT NOW on the uke/guitar/mandolin/other random stringed instrument...now you won't have to look very far...it's there, bookmarked forever, in the right-hand column of my blog! sweet.

ed. note: "how soon is now?" sounds less than astounding on the ukulele, however is quite killer on accordion with full-stop bass-button action goin'.

marching for our lives

here we are, a few days before the April 25th March for Women's Lives, a "public demonstration of historic size in support of reproductive freedom and justice for all women." and it's about time. i surely wish i could be there, but as it is, i'm settling for making cash donations to Women's Health and Family Planning Association of Texas and Texas Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League and proudly wearing my Don't Mess With Texas Women" t-shirt (which can be seen and also purchased here at the Planned Parenthood of Austin site) all day on sunday while doing all sorts of crazily feminist things.

'course, at the same time, in the midst of all this glorious woman-power, it's important to realize how incredibly shaky our constitutional right to an abortion and even our access to things as incredibly "duh" as birth control are becoming in recent times. them right-wingers have been a-workin' at chipping away ANY sort of reproductive freedoms that we've got. Salon magazine goes into this with a frankly frightening report on just how far reproductive rights already HAVE been eroded, and what's lurking in the wings, just waiting for the right time to pounce on an unsuspecting American public.

dammit, part of the problem is the extreme apathy of most of the American public! they've been suckered into believing the pitches thrown by the right-wing extremists! it's time to get out there and let as many people as you can know exactly what threats we're facing, and what they can do about it. those who have ears; let them hear. those that gots eyes, let them see. give 'em something to KNOW, and let them know it.

okay, preaching over. just please think about contributing or volunteering or hell, just wearing a "don't mess with texas women" tee-shirt one of these days. anything to give the mindless majority just a bit more information than they'd otherwise get from their video games, mall-shopping, and friends-watching*.

*not that there's anything wrong with any of those three activities. just that noone's gonna larn nothin' about nothin' real from any of those outlets, unfortunately.

I'm going to be associated with staplers for the next 25 years.

The Onion A.V. Club interviews Ricky Gervais.

link from hayden. thankee kind sir!

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Home Sweet Home, where Bailey the Buffalo Roams:

For thousands of years, the majestic North American buffalo roamed freely over the wide-open Canadian prairies.

Today, most of these brown, woolly beasts spend their time grazing on ranches - or in the case of Bailey, watching TV in the living room of an Alberta family's home.

Jim and Linda Sautner are the proud owners of Bailey, a nearly four-year-old bison, who has a penchant for spending his time inside the couple's home, about 20 kilometres west of the provincial capital of Edmonton.

"My wife wouldn't let me bring my German shepherd puppy in the house one day, so I got even with her by bringing Bailey in," Mr Sautner said on Wednesday. "He's made a mess on the carpet a couple of times, so now we bring out an ice-cream pail whenever he gives us that look."

The Sautners, who own 270 head of buffalo, have become used to having the 725-kilogram beast watching television in their lounge room. "He prefers to watch The Nature of Things," Mr Sautner said, referring to a Canadian nature series.

The couple rescued Bailey as a baby, after the calf was abandoned by his mother. Along with farm hands, they bottle-fed Bailey with milk daily and their affinity for one another grew rapidly.

Christmas was especially memorable at the Sautners with 21 wide-eyed guests sitting down to a dinner of mashed potatoes and gravy, vegetables, and buffalo meat balls - with the furry giant snorting behind them.

Although the Sautners have lost more than $CAN1.6 million ($A1.5 million) this year on their buffalo meat business, the indirect result of a mad cow disease case that shut down much of Canada's beef industry, they have no plans to sell Bailey.

"He knows he'll never be buffalo burgers because he's an ambassador for the bison industry," Mrs Sautner said.

The laid-back Bailey, who has been neutered, has been involved in some unusual promotional stunts, including showing up in the lobby of three-star hotels and climbing with Mr Sautner to the top of a grandstand at the Calgary Stampede rodeo.

- Reuters

and they say John Kerry flip-flops...

"Pressed on how Iraq would assume sovereignty amid weeks of spiraling violence, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz called June 30th "just one step in a process," and not "a magical date" in which the U.S.-led occupation will shift responsibilities to a new Iraqi government."

Random Book Memes

from Mouse Words

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 23.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.

"You had some coupon on ye when you walked in at night." "Eurotrash," Acid House, Irvine Welsh.


Pat Skinner, 69, had part of her colon removed at Sydney's St. George Hospital in May 2001. But she said that she continued to suffer intense pain in her abdomen for months after the operation.

Eventually, she demanded doctors x-ray her abdomen. They did and discovered the 6.7-inch pair of scissors, which were removed in October 2002.

``It was like a nightmare seeing those scissors up on the screen,'' Skinner told Sky News television Tuesday. ``It was very, very traumatic and extremely painful.''


``Basically, the advice to ... Mrs. Skinner is that we couldn't explain how a pair of 6.7-inch scissors was left in her abdomen,'' [the hospital's chief executive David] Pearce told Sydney radio station 2GB Tuesday.

``We have put this down to human error. I've been executive director here for four years, and in that time we've done something like 40,000 operations and this is the first time this incident has occurred.''

chock-a-block Mutant Enemy news...

joss to get movies-of-the-week on the WB, wonderfalls might make a return, various rumors quelled and begun re: various ME cast members.

a python's opinion

Terry Jones, in the Guardian, "Invade Iraq? It's a no brainer!"

from uggabugga.

Monday, April 19, 2004

Wired News | White House Reviews Iraq Funds


...Woodward said Bush funded the war preparations with $700 million that was earmarked for Afghanistan and old appropriations...[white house spokesman Scott] McClellan said the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Pentagon were "reviewing this," but added, "At this time we are confident that Congress was kept fully informed of all expenditures."

"We're gathering all those facts," McClellan said. "In emergency spending, there is broad discretion in how those funds could be used in the war on terrorism. Iraq is a part of the war on terrorism."

Rep. David Obey of Wisconsin, top Democrat on the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee that oversees spending, said Bush owed Congress "a full, detailed and immediate accounting."

If the book is accurate, Obey said it was "ironic that the president was surreptitiously authorizing expenditures to begin a plan for war" while resisting efforts in Congress to boost spending for homeland security."...


worse than watergate?

a summary of bob woodwards' appearance on 60 minutes the other night and the explosive revelations that were exposed...

among the explosions:

*In violation of the U.S. Constitution, the Administration transferred without the knowledge of the Congress some $700 million from other accounts to fight the war in Iraq. The Congress legally is required to authorize any such transfers and the White House did not inform either legislative branch.

*Months before the war began, the senior military commander for the Iraq operation, General Tommy Frank, carried out secret plans for the invasion of Iraq. Yet, when questioned by the press, Franks blatantly lied when he claimed he had not been told of any plans for such a war.

*In violation of the law that proscribed foreigners from viewing a secret map of military operations, Cheney and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld summoned the Saudi ambassador to the United States, Prince Bandar, to the White House. They showed him details, including the classifield map, about the impending conflict that had not yet been shared with Powell. When Bandar insisted on hearing the plan from the lips of President Bush, he was summoned to the Oval Office two days later and was told by him, in reference to Cheney and Rumsfeld, “their word is my word.”

*Bandar then allegedly promised that Saudi Arabia would increase the production of oil substantially so that its price at the pump would drop dramatically before the November election, thereby working to favor President Bush’s re-election. Bandar and the Bush family have had a strong personal relationship of long duration.

um, hello? the PRESIDENT betraying state secrets to the ambassador to a foreign country, a foreign country known for harboring, aiding, even supporting, terrorists? THE foreign country from whom the majority of the 9/11 terrorists hailed?


this is big, and bad. very bad. what was i saying earlier about "just when you think it can't get any worse..."? yeah.


(edit: okay, i googled, and a few folks are looking at this: david corn in the nation.com's weblog,, reuters' reporting on scott mclellan's denial of the constitution-violating misappropriation of the $700 million earmarked for afghanistan, and a few asides on the New York Times website. maybe there are more, but that's all i could find. no major articles. bloggers, of course, are buzzing. maybe by tomorrow morning's news, or perhaps the evening news...)

chris speaks wisely...

chris dove on bush, the upcoming election, and fortunate son...

(okay, that link is a little off, but i don't know how to make it work. when you click on that, scroll down to "Friday, April 16, 2004: A modest suggestion for a song." well, that or enjoy chris' hellboyexegesis, as well...)

Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo with more on Bob Woodward's new book, and the exact timing of the planning for the Iraq invasion. verruh interesting, indeed...

"...Bob Woodward's new book is making a lot of news with the report that President Bush directed Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld to began planning for war with Iraq on November 21, 2001 -- little more than two months after the 9/11 attacks.


In mid-September 2001, at the same time Don Rumsfeld tasked Centcom with drawing up plans for attacking the Taliban, they were also tasked with putting together a plan to seize Iraq's southern oil fields.

(British officers, who were embedded in the planning process and actually on location in Tampa, Florida from mid-September 2001 onwards, reacted with something close to disbelief that this was what the Secretary of Defense had ordered.)..."

oh, and in case you haven't heard yet, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, had promised President Bush the Saudis would cut oil prices before November to ensure the U.S. economy was strong on election day, according to Bob Woodward.

just when you think the bush administration can't possibly BE any worse, it gets worse. the hole gets dug just a bit deeper. yeesh.

blogging: vanity or necessity?

Guardian Unlimited | Arts special reports | Blog all about it

Friday, April 16, 2004

Omnium, on the making of an American Police State. scary shit, and i don't know enough about the subject to comment very intelligently on it, other than to say it scares the crap outta me.

He's writing, btw, in response to reports of the Bush Administration's proposed new government post of Director of National Intelligence.

andante points out that perhaps that a top intelligence post of this sort could be called, oh, say, "the President of the United States..."

Mark Morford on the bloodpassion of mel gibson: How To Gag On 'The Passion' / Nine fun-filled ways Mel Gibson's brutal snuff film makes a mockery of true belief. Clip n' save!

i [heart] mark morford.

8) This is not Christianity. This is not a message anyone needs. This is the exact opposite of spiritual progress or insight or gentle divine heat and if Jesus came back right this minute and was made to sit through this film, he would sigh gently, shake his short, shaggy hair (long hair was forbidden by Jewish law -- wrong again, Mel), and, you know, hold a nice seminar or something.

You think this is how I want to be remembered? This is what he'd say, calmly and lovingly and more than a little sad. You really think this was my message? You believe this is what I want the world to focus on, two hours of deranged apocryphal torture and close-up butchering? Is really where humanity is still stuck, in bloodlust and shallow emotional manipulation and cheesy movie tie-ins and $17 popcorn?

Krugman on Iraq and the Vietnam Analogy

"Some say that Iraq isn't Vietnam because we've come to bring democracy, not to support a corrupt regime. But idealistic talk is cheap. In Vietnam, U.S. officials never said, "We're supporting a corrupt regime." They said they were defending democracy. The rest of the world, and the Iraqis themselves, will believe in America's idealistic intentions if and when they see a legitimate, noncorrupt Iraqi government — as opposed to, say, a rigged election that puts Ahmad Chalabi in charge.

If we aren't promoting democracy in Iraq, what are we doing? Many of the more moderate supporters of the war have already reached the stage of quagmire logic: they no longer have high hopes for what we may accomplish, but they fear the consequences if we leave. The irony is painful. One of the real motives for the invasion of Iraq was to give the world a demonstration of American power. It's a measure of how badly things have gone that now we're told we can't leave because that would be a demonstration of American weakness.

Again, the parallel with Vietnam is obvious. Remember the domino theory?

And there's one more parallel: Nixonian politics is back.

What we remember now is Watergate. But equally serious were Nixon's efforts to suppress dissent, like the "Tell It to Hanoi" rallies, where critics of the Vietnam War were accused of undermining the soldiers and encouraging the enemy. On Tuesday George Bush did a meta-Nixon: he declared that anyone who draws analogies between Iraq and Vietnam undermines the soldiers and encourages the enemy."

(don't forget bugmenot.com or salon/tabletalk for logins at the NYT)

why the tax cuts just don't add up

the not-so-hidden agenda behind the Bush Administration's tax cuts

"Bush has been open about each item he wants: lowering taxes on capital income, such as dividends and capital gains; creating two big new income-sheltering investment plans; eliminating the estate tax. But he's not been at all forthcoming about the ultimate effect of his program. If Bush gets what he wants, the income tax will become a misnomer�it will really be a salary tax. Almost all income taxes would come from paychecks�80 percent of income for most families, less than half for the top 1 percent. Meanwhile taxpayers receiving dividends, interest and capital gains, known collectively as investment income, would have a much lighter burden than salary earners�or maybe none at all. And here's the topper. In the name of preserving family farms and keeping small businesses in the family, Bush would eliminate the estate tax and create a new class of landed aristocrats who could inherit billions tax-free, invest the money, watch it compound tax-free and hand it down tax-free to their heirs.

By drastically favoring investment income over salary, fees and other 'earned income,' Bush would make it harder for people who start out with nothing to earn their way up the economic ladder, because they'd pay full taxes on almost everything they make, but he'd shower rewards on people who have already made it to the top rungs."

and there's more...the entire article is VERY interesting.

meanwhile, nosey, kos, and david sirota on the latest AP polls showing that most Americans favor balancing the budget over getting new "tax cuts" (especially since they think that their overal tax burden has gone *up* by 50% in the last 3 years! see? we are noticing things, us Americans.).

Thursday, April 15, 2004

check out these April 13 letters to the editor at Stars & Stripes magazine - military families less-than-overjoyed with the Bush Administration...to put it mildly...

from andante

Sidney Blumenthal on our very own Vacationer-in-Chief:

Hear no evil, read no evil, speak drivel

Bush's press conference shows just how ill-informed he is about Iraq


"As the iconic image of the "war president" has tattered, another picture has emerged. Bush appears as a passive manager who enjoys sitting atop a hierarchical structure, unwilling and unable to do the hard work a real manager has to do to run the largest enterprise in the world. He does not seem to absorb data unless it is presented to him in simple, clear fashion by people whose judgment he trusts. He is receptive to information that agrees with his point of view rather than information that challenges it. This leads to enormous power on the part of the trusted interlocutors, who know and bolster his predilections.

At his press conference, Bush was a confusion of absolute confidence and panic. He jumbled facts and conflated threats, redoubling the vehemence of his incoherence at every mildly sceptical question. He attempted to create a false political dichotomy between "retreat" and his own vague and evolving position on Iraq, which now appears to follow senator John Kerry's, of granting more authority to the UN and bringing in Nato.

The ultimate revelation was Bush's vision of a divinely inspired apocalyptic struggle in which he is the leader of a crusade bringing the Lord's "gift." "I also have this belief, strong belief that freedom is not this country's gift to the world. Freedom is the Almighty's gift to every man and woman in this world. And as the greatest power on the face of the earth we have an obligation to help the spread of freedom." But religious war is not part of official US military doctrine."

and the final grade on Mr. Blair's essay...

Terry Jones on why he disagrees completely with Tony Blair's essay on Iraq (the previous blog entry).

"Dear Mr and Mrs Blair,
I have just had to mark Tony's essay, Why We Must Never Abandon This Historic Struggle in Iraq, and I am extremely worried.

Your son has been in the sixth form now for several years, studying world politics, and yet his recent essay shows so little grasp of the subject that I can only conclude he has spent most of that time staring out of the window.

His essay, of course, is written with his usual passion and conviction, but, in the real world, passion and conviction do not count for many marks.

Crucially, Tony does not seem to have read any of the first-hand accounts that are easily available and describe what is really going on in Iraq. On the recent escalation in violence, for example, he writes: "The insurgents are former Saddam sympathisers ... terrorist groups linked to al-Qaida and, most recently, followers of ... Moqtada al-Sadr." This is simply not good enough. Tony ignores the multitude of reports indicating that revulsion against the occupation is now widespread among ordinary people.


To be honest, Tony seems to be totally unaware of what has been going on in Falluja. Back in June 2003, David Baran described how Falluja was a town at peace, until US forces took over, opened depots to looters, established a military base in a school, and kept the residents under surveillance through binoculars: "A gross invasion of privacy in a conservative area, where women keep out of the sight of strangers."

When residents protested, the Americans responded with bullets and grenades, killing some of them. Tony cannot simply ignore these factors if he is to stand any chance of being taken seriously in his AS-levels.


I can only give Tony three out of 10 for this current effort and must warn him to pull up his socks if he wishes to carry on in this subject.

To be quite candid, Mr and Mrs Blair, it's lucky that your son is not in a position of power, otherwise his lack of insight and his crass ignorance would place us all in appalling peril. "


also from dutcher! dutcher rocks.

now he's a believer...

Tony Blair, on Why we must never abandon this historic struggle in Iraq.


"I have come firmly to believe the only ultimate security lies in our values. The more people are free, the more tolerant they are of others; the more prosperous, the less inclined they are to squander that prosperity on pointless feuding and war.

But our greatest threat, apart from the immediate one of terrorism, is our complacency. When some ascribe, as they do, the upsurge in Islamic extremism to Iraq, do they really forget who killed whom on 11 September 2001? When they call on us to bring the troops home, do they seriously think that this would slake the thirst of these extremists, to say nothing of what it would do to the Iraqis?

Or if we scorned our American allies and told them to go and fight on their own, that somehow we would be spared? If we withdraw from Iraq, they will tell us to withdraw from Afghanistan and, after that, to withdraw from the Middle East completely and, after that, who knows? But one thing is for sure: they have faith in our weakness just as they have faith in their own religious fanaticism. And the weaker we are, the more they will come after us.

It is not easy to persuade people of all this; to say that terrorism and unstable states with WMD are just two sides of the same coin; to tell people what they don't want to hear; that, in a world in which we in the West enjoy all the pleasures, profound and trivial, of modern existence, we are in grave danger.

There is a battle we have to fight, a struggle we have to win and it is happening now in Iraq.

from dutcher.

by request

Official White House Transcript of the President's National Press Conference.

and in case you don't have time to sit down and go through the entire thing, the Busy Person's Guide to the Bush Press Conference. heh.

from andante.

but they don't come with a toy prize inside. hmphf.

on a lighter note, truthout.org's analysis of Bush's press conference the other night. the title? "George and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamtie."

and one last thing, also posted as an attempt to deflect from heaviness of previous blog entry: Coming soon to a McDonald's near you: Adult Happy Meals, featuring salad, bottled water, pedometer and a little bit of advice: Walk more.

UK Indymedia | Jo Wilding - Report from Falluja - disturbing report right from the heart of all that's wrong with the US invasion of Iraq.

"...the satellite news says the cease-fire is holding and George Bush says to the troops on Easter Sunday that, “I know what we’re doing in Iraq is right.” Shooting unarmed men in the back outside their family home is right. Shooting grandmothers with white flags is right? Shooting at women and children who are fleeing their homes is right? Firing at ambulances is right?

Well George, I know too now. I know what it looks like when you brutalise people so much that they’ve nothing left to lose. I know what it looks like when an operation is being done without anaesthetic because the hospitals are destroyed or under sniper fire and the city’s under siege and aid isn’t getting in properly. I know what it sounds like too. I know what it looks like when tracer bullets are passing your head, even though you’re in an ambulance. I know what it looks like when a man’s chest is no longer inside him and what it smells like and I know what it looks like when his wife and children pour out of his house.

It’s a crime and it’s a disgrace to us all."

and another...

You Have Normal Coping Skills
You are normal. Lucky little you

What Self-Mutilation Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

ABC looks to `Harry Potter' for `sweeps' magic

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- ABC hopes to make ratings magic with a night of television built around the network debut of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" -- and a sneak peek at the third Warner Bros. film in the franchise.

The 2001 movie, starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint and directed by Chris Columbus, will air on Sunday, May 9, (7 p.m. EDT), in an extended, high-definition version that includes previously unseen footage, the network announced this week.

It will be followed by a 10-minute look at "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," directed by Alfonso Cuaron, which opens in theaters on June 4.

All told, ABC will devote four hours to the Harry Potter phenomenon as part of May "sweeps," a key ratings measurement period used to help set local advertising rates.

The broadcast will include interviews from the "Harry Potter" set with Radcliffe, Watson and Grint. The films, which include 2002's "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets," are based on the best-selling books by J.K. Rowling.

You are a MASTER of the English language!

While your English is not exactly perfect,
you are still more grammatically correct than
just about every American. Still, there is
always room for improvement...

How grammatically sound are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

hmmmm. coulda done better. dammit.

from martinimade.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Opinions Vary on Bush News Conference.

you can say that again...just check out the blogs! i'm too lazy to link right now, actually, i just spent the morning READING the blogs, and i'm tired of the whole subject. just don't forget to look at juan cole, pandagon, david sirota, that colored fellas weblog, and all the other good ones (eschaton, a violently excecuted plan, andante, etc.) that i've got linked there to the right (plus, added the four listed above! they're good readin').

in other news, check this out. crazy!

and last but not least, they're getting ever-closer to developing workable brain implants that will allow us to operate our computers by thought alone! if that ain't progress, i dunno what is.

"Can a machine read a person's mind? A medical device company is about to find out.

The company, Cyberkinetics Inc., plans to implant a tiny chip in the brains of five paralyzed people in an effort to enable them to operate a computer by thought alone.

The Food and Drug Administration has given approval for a clinical trial of the implants, according to the company.

The implants, part of what Cyberkinetics calls its BrainGate system, could eventually help people with spinal cord injuries, strokes, Lou Gehrig's disease or other ailments to communicate better or even to operate lights and other devices through a kind of neural remote control.


for the NYTimes link, use either salon/tabletalk as login/password, or you can cut-and-paste the link into www.bugmenot.com (use them for all registration-requiring sites).

(dog video from toothpaste for dinner.)

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

wheeze cough ack!

Changing All the Rules

hugely long and irritating article on the Bush Administration's dismantling of New Source Review Regulations...Clean Air regs that were enacted in the '70s, and were just finally starting to work when bush took office.

you will be pissed off, you will.

use either salon/tabletalk as login/password, or you can cut-and-paste the link into www.bugmenot.com (use them for all registration-requiring sites).

oh, and here's the URL all written out: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/04/magazine/04BUSH.html?pagewanted=2&ei=5007&en=7

how'd ashcroft do?

salon's brief initial account of reno's, freeh's, ashcroft's testimony before the 9/11 commission.

great. more good news. again.

Salon.com News | Marines expect all-out fight for Fallujah: "April 13, 2004 | FALLUJAH, Iraq (AP) -- Digging in around Fallujah, their three-day-old truce punctured by shelling, gunfire and well-orchestrated ambushes, U.S. Marines gave vent to their frustrations Tuesday, saying they saw no alternative to an all-out battle for the city.
With U.S.-backed Iraqi officials still talking with city leaders about ending the standoff, it's not for the troops to decide how this tangle of conflicting forces will unravel.
But as Marines traded gun and mortar fire with rooftop snipers and fighters on the northern edge of Fallujah, some of them anticipated a bloody push to take the city of 200,000 people, a stronghold of Sunni Muslim insurgents.
'If they're trying to find a peaceful way out of this, great. But at this point, there seem to be few options other than to get innocents out and level it, wipe it clear off the map,' said 1st Lt. Frank Dillbeck, scanning the city's outskirts with binoculars during a relative lull in fighting. "

deputy dubya - gomer on crack

what if geo. bush and his buddy sammy osama had been born without the wealth and power they now possess? how would the world be different? how would a small town fare with deputy dubya in charge? a fanciful look at how things could be different...

asleep at the wheel?

maureen dowd on the no-can-do crowd sitting in the white house these days.

"From Abigail Adams to Tom Sawyer to Bugs Bunny to Jimmy Stewart's Jefferson Smith to Indiana Jones, the best American character is plucky, nimble, clever, inventive.

So it's disturbing to see our government reacting to crises with a jaded shrug and lumbering gait, especially since we are up against such a creative, chameleonlike enemy.

Consider the pathetic performance of NASA, which inverted its motto to "Failure is an option" by shrugging off warnings about the safety of the seven Columbia astronauts who burned up coming back to earth, and not trying to send up a rescue shuttle.

This no-can-do spirit marked George Tenet's lame excuses to senators in February who wanted to know why the C.I.A. never picked up the trail of Marwan al-Shehhi, the pilot who crashed Flight 175 into the south tower on 9/11, even though the Germans gave the agency his name and phone number. "They didn't give us a first and a last name until after 9/11," Mr. Tenet said.

And what would Eliot Ness say about an F.B.I. that is less computer savvy than American preschoolers and Islamic terrorists? The F.B.I. is only halfway through modernizing its computers, which could not, before 9/11, do two searches at once, such as "Al Qaeda" and "flight schools." Can't we draft Bill Gates for duty?

This ominous passivity was threaded through the testimony of Ms. Rice, a brainy and accomplished woman who should represent the best of America. She blamed "systemic" and "structural" impediments that prevented the C.I.A. and the F.B.I. from sharing. She complained that other people hadn't recommended what she should do; even the terrorists were faulted for not giving specifics.

The screeching chatter in the spring and summer of 2001 — "There will be attacks in the near future" — did not yank Mr. Bush and his team from their Iraq fixation. "But they don't tell us when," Ms. Rice protested. "They don't tell us where, they don't tell us who, and they don't tell us how." Paging Nancy Drew.

Inconclusive intelligence did not bother the Bush team when it wanted to be "actionable" on Iraq, or engage in "tit for tat" with Saddam.

The Aug. 6, 2001, presidential daily briefing — remarkably headlined "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States" — mentioned Al Qaeda's wanting to hijack planes and the 70 F.B.I. field investigations into suspected Al Qaeda sleeper cells in the U.S.

The briefing had three-month-old information that Al Qaeda was trying to sneak into the country for an explosives attack. No wonder the C.I.A. chief and counterterrorism czar were running around with their hair on fire.

What should have made Condi hysterical, she deemed "historical."

W. kept fishing and denouncing Saddam, while Condi sat for a glam Vogue photo shoot and interview.

On Iraq, they ran roughshod over the system. On Al Qaeda, Condi blamed the system, saying she couldn't act on Richard Clarke's plan until there was a strategy, a policy, "tasking," meetings, etc.


Dick Clarke has struck a chord because his passionate efforts reflected those great American virtues of ingenuity and brashness. Even if he was a bit of a cowboy, loading up his .357 sidearm to return to the West Wing the night after 9/11, at least he was not dozing through High Noon. "

Monday, April 12, 2004

bushwomen, united!

okay, so i'm diggin' on the title of Laura Flanders' new book, Bushwomen: Tales of a Cynical Species, as well as the review and interview with Flanders in today's Salon. talkin' 'bout those women who've given their lives over to the dark side Bush Administration and the furthering of its vision, misguided or no, biographies of the likes of Karen Hughes and Condoleeza Rice, women who are represented by the media as being compassionate conservatism embodied in sensible virtuosity, but whose backgrounds might just indicate a whole lot less of a moderate bent than idealogical partisanship and raw political ambition.

(see above sentence as an example of why i don't do all THAT much written opinionizing.)

and then of course, Salon's gotta go pandering to ME with their look at the increasingly apathetic-yet-potentially-enormously-powerful female singleton demographic--girls, we gotta get votin' (and i'm including here my young and married yet without kids kinda sistren) if we expect to have anything left to us once this bush administration gets done with us. the economy's gone to pot, our reproductive rights are in jeopardy, hell, even our health insurance coverage and social security benefits are hanging in the balance! and all them politicians, whether democrat or republican, are out there busily pandering to the children'd! (not that there's anything wrong with that, some of my best friends are have children!) what about us womenfolk that haven't gotten around to it yet, don't ever plan to, or don't manage to get around to it in time? why we gotta be so silent?! go vote!

or at least hope they come up with better solutions for us than lumping us in with their imaginary ward-n-june demographic.

and of course, as always, them Salon links can be bypassed with salon/tabletalk as login and password, or really, they're worth sitting through the daypass to peruse.


go read melissa's new column at austinmama.com! it's brand-new, it's amazing, and, well. she made me cry. again.

darn you, melissa, why do you always make me so joyfully glad to be alive and happy? i just wanna keep on' with my cynicism!

i loves me some melissa.

(catch up on her old columns, too, for melissa truly rocks.)

Howard Dean on the spoilsport: For Ralph Nader, but Not for President

"...I don't believe that the best way to do justice to Ralph Nader's legacy is to vote for him for president. Re-electing George Bush would undo everything Ralph Nader has worked for through his entire career and, in fact, could lead to the dismantling of many of his accomplishments.

Voting for Ralph Nader, or for any third-party candidate for president, means a vote for a candidate who has no realistic shot of winning the White House. To underscore the danger of voting for any third-party candidate in elections this close, a statistic from the 2000 campaign may prove useful: a total of eight third-party candidates won more votes than the difference between Al Gore and George Bush nationwide.


Ralph Nader once said that your best teacher is your last mistake. Too many of us learned the consequences of not standing together four years ago. This November, we can elect a president who fights for average Americans. But we can achieve this goal only if we join together — and don't repeat our last mistake."

yes, NY Times article, use salon/tabletalk for signin/password

Friday, April 09, 2004

Jimmy Carter on the co-option of Christianity by the Religious Right.

Subservient Chicken

this is just weird.

(can you tell i'm taking a political news hiatus today? it's almost a three-day weekend! i'm on break!)

from jon and i think maggie or adam or something.

OH and i forgot to mention earlier...there's a VIDEO CLIP from Anything But Prettier's first show if you click the video link at the bottom of the page...

ain't we all so cute?!?!

but of course!

Black cats may be the more fortunate felines

Black cats, a symbol of bad luck in many cultures, may be actually be more fortunate than their fairer relatives. New research shows that black coats have evolved separately many times in different species of cat - indicating that dark fur has a survival benefit.

Furthermore, the mutations leading to a black coat are in the same gene family as those involved in human diseases like AIDS, so it may be that black cats are more resistant to disease than others. Of the 37 species of cat that exist, 11 can have black coats.

[Eduardo Eizirik, an evolutionary geneticist at the US National Cancer Institute in Maryland] told New Scientist that the most likely benefit of a black coat was camouflage for hunting.


i knew it! black cats ARE the best! (except for Data, a dearly beloved tabby who ranks up there among the best)


oldest pet cat found in 9,500-year old burial site.

People tamed cats as pets at least 9500 years ago, say researchers who have unearthed the grave of a prehistoric tabby in Cyprus. The Stone Age moggy appears to have been carefully placed alongside a human corpse, along with offerings including jewellery and stone tools.

Until now, historians thought the ancient Egyptians first domesticated cats about 4000 years ago. But evidence suggests cats were culturally important outside Egypt long before that. Stone and clay figurines of cats up to 10,000 years old have turned up in Syria, Turkey and Israel.

awww. further reading says that the grave apparently contained a guy who got buried with his pet kitty. that's sweet and all, but ya know, if i die, can one of ya's just take fritz on as an addition to your household? the killing-the-cat thing might be a little, um, overkill.

check it out, y'all!

the official Anything But Prettier website has been updated with pictures! these are from our off-SXSW showcase at Jakarta Jack's down on 6th. we even had a pretty good crowd goin', although you can't tell from the photos.

of course, my demon self is showing through, as it usually does in any given photo of me, me and my red-eye. heh.

besides that, we need a drummer. our drummer got into Harvard's school of Firefighting (?!?!), so he's off to bigger and better life opportunities. anyone know a drummer wants a non-payin' beer-drinkin' gig?

Thursday, April 08, 2004


iraqis unite to break through US roadblocks to bring food and medical supplies to besieged Fallujah town.

a heart-warming story of sudden unity and the ability to overcome petty religious differences, of the common man peacefully taking on the military...and peacefully winning.

and i have such mixed feelings about it.

A convoy of pedestrians and cars has managed to break through US military roadblocks in order to bring aid to rebel fighters in Fallujah. Residents of the area helped push the convoy through and US soldiers saw a hail of stones come their way.

In a rare display of sectarian unity, Sunnite and Shiite clerics from Baghdad organized the convoy. marchers chanted: "No Sunnis, no Shiites, yes for Islamic unity. We are Sunni and Shiite brothers and will never sell our country."

Center for American Progress debunks claims made by Condoleeza while under oath this morning.

Stirling Newberry also blogging the 9/11 testimony.

for those NOT listening at home...

omnium's keeping a running tab on the condi testimony. maja, you rock!

Neal Pollack on Condi Rice's testimony this morning.

oh goody, more good news...

just some summaries and links, this time. i'm too tired of it to make anyone read anything (if anyone reads this thing in the first place!).

the dark road ahead, are we headed towards an utter quagmire in iraq? signs say "yes."

a doom-and-gloom look at what a second bush term in office would mean for our country and our world. WARNING: do not read unless you're ready to get either fairly depressed or fairly pissed-off.

and lastly, at least someone thinks that the situation we've gotten ourselves into is more aptly compared to british imperial colonialism at the turn of the 20th century than to vietnam. or maybe not.

(yeesh, it would appear that iraq is all i'm thinking about lately. gah. maybe that's true. i'm quite worried about that, the upcoming elections, the future of this country, all sorts of things. maybe it's time for a vacation from all this unwanted unsettling thought i'm having.

good thing i'm learnin' to play the mandolin in my spare time. if nothin' else, i can write some kickass folky protest songs and perform them on the pack porch in a blind rage. aw yeah....)

Wednesday, April 07, 2004


Yahoo! News - U.S. Hits Mosque Compound; 40 Said Killed

FALLUJAH, Iraq - U.S. Marines in the third day of a battle to pacify this Sunni Muslim city fired a rocket and dropped a 500-pound, laser-guided bomb on a mosque compound Wednesday, and witnesses said as many as 40 people were killed. Shiite-inspired violence spread to key cities in Iraq.


[U.S. Brig. Gen. Mark] Kimmitt called for the surrender of al-Sadr, who is named in an arrest warrant for involvement in the murder of a rival Shiite cleric almost a year ago.

There was no sign, however, that al-Sadr's forces had eased their attacks:

_ Militiamen battled Spanish soldiers in Najaf, and a taxi driver was killed in the crossfire, a hospital official said.

_ Clashes erupted overnight in Baghdad's Sadr City, killing four Iraqis and wounding seven others, doctors said.

_ Militiamen traded fire with Polish troops in Karbala overnight, killing two Iranian tourists, witnesses said.

_ Gunmen attacked a police car Tuesday night in Youssifiya, south of Baghdad, killing two policemen.

With confirmation of the latest deaths, the American death toll since the war was at least 630.

is it just me, or is this really getting a whole lot worse by the day? Radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr (who is behind much of the latest attacks and bouts of street fighting) wants this operation to turn into "another Vietnam" unless the US hands the keys over to Iraqis not currently associated with the US occupation of their country. Doesn't bode well, not when this guy, with all his influence, can get the entire country motivated against us.

sounds like he's got a much better plan than we do.

wrong numbers

okay, so yesterday i blogged that sky news was reporting that 130 US soldiers had been killed in the battle at Ar Ramadi. today they're sort-of retracting this, reporting that indeed, only 12 US soldiers were killed.

"Earlier reports put the death toll after the "intense" battle as high as 130."

and the fighting everywhere in iraq only keeps getting worse...

deep shi'ite?

Arab Rulers' Worst Fears on Iraq Come True

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (Reuters) - As U.S. forces battle on a new front in Iraq, Baghdad's Arab neighbors watch the escalating violence with alarm and a message that affords them only the grimmest satisfaction: "We told you so."

Arab leaders had said loudly and repeatedly that a U.S. war against Saddam Hussein would unleash chaos in multi-ethnic Iraq and the region and open a Pandora's box of radicalism.

With U.S.-led forces now battling Shi'ite Muslims in several cities, they now feel their ominous prophecy has come true.

The leaders fear that clashes between Shi'ites loyal to firebrand cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and occupation forces could lead to civil war -- and spill over their borders.

"This is what we've been warning about. We told the Americans Saddam Hussein was only five percent of the problem. The other 95 percent just wasn't visible to them," a Gulf Arab diplomat said. "It's a very dangerous situation. It's painful."

Qatar, a staunch U.S. ally, said it feared civil war could break out in Iraq and that the country was becoming a "fertile ground for (various) terrorists."

"The developments in Iraq are alarming and we fear that we are facing a civil war in Iraq like Afghanistan and Lebanon," Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani said.

"We cannot leave Iraq in this state because this disease will spread and I believe the situation is out of control."

U.S. troops in Iraq, under attack for a year by Sunni Muslims and Saddam loyalists, now risk a major conflict with the Shi'ite majority. They had been seen as allies in their opposition to Saddam, who brutally suppressed them.

Fighting between U.S.-led forces and Sadr's supporters flared after the administration arrested one of his aides and closed a militant newspaper. It has spread since the authorities then vowed to arrest 30-year-old Sadr in connection with the killing of a Shi'ite cleric last year. His group denies any involvement in the killing.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

bad, bad spin

sky news reports that as many as 130 americans were killed near fallujah, not just TWELVE as CNN reports.


A Pentagon source has said up to 130 US troops have been killed in fierce fighting in Iraq.

The large scale battle, described as "intense", has taken place in the town of Ar Ramadi, 20 miles west of Fallujah.

Sky News' David Chater said: "None of this is official yet - none of it is confirmed."

But he added: "It sounds very much like this is being carried out by men who are militarily trained."

Chater described the attack as "highly sophisticated".


thanks to naz for the heads-up!

I am an imaginary number
I don't really exist


what number are you?

this quiz by orsa

from omnium

i'm gonna name my new heavy metal band 'Albacore,' ayup!

krugman on the bush administration's latest handout to lobbyists, and how they're endangering lives (and not just nasty dirty WOMEN's lives (coz, ya know, they deserve it, sluts, all of 'em), yes, even CHILDREN'S lives!) with their mercury "regulation."

just a bit of the article...

The head of the E.P.A.'s Office of Air and Radiation, like most key environmental appointees in the Bush administration, previously made his living representing polluting industries (which, in case you haven't guessed, are huge Republican donors). On mercury, the administration didn't just take industry views into account, it literally let the polluters write the regulations: much of the language of the administration's proposal came directly from lobbyists' memos.

E.P.A. experts normally study regulations before they are issued, but they were bypassed. According to The Los Angeles Times: "E.P.A. staffers say they were told not to undertake the normal scientific and economic studies called for under a standing executive order. . . . E.P.A. veterans say they cannot recall another instance where the agency's technical experts were cut out of developing a major regulatory proposal."

Mercury is just a particularly vivid example of what's going on in environmental protection, and public policy in general. As a devastating article in Sunday's New York Times Magazine documented, the administration's rollback of the Clean Air Act has gone beyond the polluters' wildest dreams.

but go read the whole thing. guaranteed to piss you off. hell, even arianna huffington is PO'd about this very issue!

a spoiler spoiling?

Yahoo! News - Nader Fails to Make Oregon Ballot

PORTLAND, Ore. - Of all states, Ralph Nader should have had no trouble getting onto the Oregon presidential ballot given the support he's had here.

Most political observers had expected Nader would easily draw enough supporters at a Monday evening petition-signing rally intended to make Oregon the first state to qualify Nader for the 2004 ballot.

But only 741 people showed up — far short of the 1,000 required by Oregon law.

"Even the best basketball player doesn't get a slam-dunk every time," Nader told his supporters.

Still, Nader said he would not abandon his quest to qualify for the Oregon ballot, but will try another option available under Oregon law — collecting 15,000 signatures over a three-month period, rather than 1,000 signatures at a single gathering.

"Don't worry, we'll be on the ballot in Oregon," the longtime consumer activist declared.

Nader has been able to draw large crowds in the past in Oregon. A year after the 2000 presidential race, for example, he attracted a paying audience of 7,000 at an event here.

Nader said that having to compete with Monday night's NCAA basketball championship game likely contributed to the low turnout at his event.

"The ball game, it had to be the ball game," Nader muttered as he climbed a stairway leading to the stage.


reality check for one, please?

Monday, April 05, 2004

high heel
High heels- peppy, up-beat, and outgoing, you are
most likely a cheerleader of some sort. You
are usually happy and insist that others are
too. When you aren't cheering you are probably
at a party having a blast. [please vote! thank
you! :)]

What Kind of Shoe Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

from omnium.

Friday, April 02, 2004

Bush Aides Block Clinton's Papers From 9/11 Panel

could the bush administration POSSIBLY appear any more shifty?

i'm getting sick of rolling my eyes at them every time i read a news headline. at least they could ACT like they're not guiltier 'n shit.

WASHINGTON, April 1 — The commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks said on Thursday that it was pressing the White House to explain why the Bush administration had blocked thousands of pages of classified foreign policy and counterterrorism documents from former President Bill Clinton's White House files from being turned over to the panel's investigators.

The White House confirmed on Thursday that it had withheld a variety of classified documents from Mr. Clinton's files that had been gathered by the National Archives over the last two years in response to requests from the commission, which is investigating intelligence and law enforcement failures before the attacks.

Scott McClellan, the White House spokesman, said some Clinton administration documents had been withheld because they were "duplicative or unrelated," while others were withheld because they were "highly sensitive" and the information in them could be relayed to the commission in other ways. "We are providing the commission with access to all the information they need to do their job," Mr. McClellan said.

The commission and the White House were reacting to public complaints from former aides to Mr. Clinton, who said they had been surprised to learn in recent months that three-quarters of the nearly 11,000 pages of files the former president was ready to offer the commission had been withheld by the Bush administration. The former aides said the files contained highly classified documents about the Clinton administration's efforts against Al Qaeda.

The commission said it was awaiting a full answer from the White House on why any documents were withheld.


The disclosure that many Clinton administration files had been withheld took several of the members of the panel by surprise on Thursday.

"If it did happen, it's an unintentional mistake or it's another intentional act of the White House that will backfire," said Bob Kerrey, a former senator from Nebraska who is a Democratic member of the commission.

when will this end? oh, the humanity!

'I saw papers that show US knew al-Qa'ida would attack cities with aeroplanes'

Whistleblower the White House wants to silence speaks to The Independent

02 April 2004

A former translator for the FBI with top-secret security clearance says she has provided information to the panel investigating the 11 September attacks which proves senior officials knew of al-Qa'ida's plans to attack the US with aircraft months before the strikes happened.

She said the claim by the National Security Adviser, Condoleezza Rice, that there was no such information was "an outrageous lie".

Sibel Edmonds said she spent more than three hours in a closed session with the commission's investigators providing information that was circulating within the FBI in the spring and summer of 2001 suggesting that an attack using aircraft was just months away and the terrorists were in place. The Bush administration, meanwhile, has sought to silence her and has obtained a gagging order from a court by citing the rarely used "state secrets privilege".


new gervais/merchant production?!

(from scott)

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Salon.com fascinates me today. Not sure why.

best story of the day? confessions of a semi-successful fanfic writer (see that, bethany, merideth and melissa? oh yes, you know who you are!).

Maggie Osterberg - A Proposal for Modesty

"Obviously, the United States of America has a problem. We keep electing war-mongers, adulterers, patrician oil barons, California Fascists and ineffectual ex-peanut farmers to high office. Let's face it; for the last 80 years or so the electorate has shown itself to be a wild-eyed, hysterical bunch of barely controllable maniacs."

read on...

Jimmy Breslin - This enemy worships death

If more attention would have been given to the fighting in Northern Ireland, it might have been noted that the Irish Republican Army, or Provos, or whatever the title they used, had three-man cells, one not knowing what the other was doing, and the operation had its most success with perhaps 75 members. Mitchell McLaughlin, who was the third in charge, said that "Twelve people can hold down Northern Ireland."

They fought on beliefs. The desire for a country of their own was at the bottom of it, but the British troops, who could not win, were not fighting against a country. They were in with the worst enemies, religion and ideology.

George Bush, who more and more appears incapable of enough thought to lead this nation, talks about Operation Iraqi Freedom and how we have placed on the field the greatest army known to man. He and those around him seem oblivious to guerrillas. What is Iraqi freedom to them? They are Islamic and they want us slaughtered wherever we are. The American answer is weapons, Bush says. The generals acquire in delight. They cannot wait to spend more billions on tanks and bombers that are useless.

And except for yesterday's news, the deaths in Iraq have gone on, day by day, virtually unnoticed in the reporting of the day's news in newspapers and on television. The names of the five soldiers and four civilian security guards were unavailable as this was being written.

next listed, the names of some recently reported Americans killed overseas. and a pledge to keep the list faithfully.

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