For all my crunchy friends, who might be upset that Obama isn't acting "progressive" enough for appointing that mean warmonger Gates, cheer up! Obama just appointed Samantha Power to the State Department transition team. Read all about it...right here!
30 November 2008
29 November 2008
One of the biggest issues to fallout of the November elections has been the Proposition 8 fiasco in California. There has been some incidents that do not speak well for proponents of gay marriage including the new "blacklist" in Hollywood and thugs beating up an old woman at a protest. But equally egregious are some of these "culture warriors" with seemingly endless amounts of money to run ridiculous advocacy campaigns. Wonkette flagged this one about gay hairdressers spreading their homosexuality to small-town America (it's pretty funny):
What was surprising with the group that published this tripe, the American Family Association, is that it's on the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) list of charities. The CFC is a program where federal employees and military personnel fill out an annual form to have their paycheck garnished to go to charities of their choosing. Supposedly, the groups on the list to receive money get vetted heavily, but a website which devotes an entire section to "exposing the homosexual agenda" seems like a big waste of money.
All this culture war crap could be solved with the simple axiom "Mind Your Own Damn Business". America is a very cosmopolitan place and people who can't accept that need to get over themselves.
An innocent man was stampeded by a mob of unruly shoppers at Walmart, while attempts to revive him were met with laughter by onlookers. Two were shot dead at a Toys R' Us in California. Black Friday has certainly lived up to its macabre name, as America has become out of control in an orgy of spending. Despite polling a drop with shopping this holiday due to a lousy economy, it is clear that Americans urge to splurge continues unabated. It is short-sighted to use a few isolated incidents to make an indictment on American society, but our obsession with buying crap we don't need rarely gets discussed, and today seems appropriate. Certainly cheap megastores like Walmart help average citizens get materials they need for daily living, but our acceptance to go into massive amounts of credit debt is a disturbing sign of the times.
The advertising industry spends billions of dollars every year to dupe the public mind into buying products that are unnecessary for survival, needlessly driving up costs so that the consumer gains a false sense of social status. The big flat screen, the nice car, and the latest electronic gizmo of the moment are mere illusions of the Joneses while they fall deeper into their own self-defeating debt. Owing a significant amount of money to a financial institution that charges usurious rates that would make Shylock blush greatly hampers an individual's sense of freedom. Indeed, a society perpetually in debt and perpetually paying taxes for "necessary" government benefits like Social Security and Medicare can assure that regular Americans "won't make trouble". What's frightening are the large media corporations cheering us along on all this. Hosting wave after wave of afternoon economists encouraging people to buy more to do your patriotic duty.
Ownership is an important part of society, and the last hundred years has seen a rise in normal people living a life of modest luxury. But, it has become the gold standard for how successful you are and how happy you are while our planet goes down the tubes. A Fight Club quote seems appropriate "Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need." An apt quote when one of the best selling holiday gifts this year is most likely going to be Barry Manilow's 80s CD.
28 November 2008
Now that you've finished gorging yourself on Grandma's stuffing, it's time to start thinking mindless consumerism to reboot our shitty economy. One album that's fun for the whole fam is Barry Manilow's 80s CD, which is running commercials every 3 fucking minutes during my TV time. In response to Rick-Rolling going mainstream, Manilow takes on Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up". He also sings "Careless Whisper", a karoke favorite amongst drunk sailors for reasons beyond my comprehension, and he promises to butcher "I Just Called to Say I Love You". If Stevie Wonder weren't blind, I'm sure he show some Motown attitude and punch Barry right in his goofy face. Why the hell is Manilow-mania sweeping the nation anyways? Did I miss something?
Al-Qaeda's media wing, As-Sahab, continues its unsuccessful targeting of a Western audience. Since calling Obama a "house slave" didn't go over too well, they've tried advertising another piece in English entitled The Lion's Den (Counterterrorism Blog has the details). Obviously, the spell checker was turned off.
As the hostage crisis continues in Mumbai (Subrookie provided a good twitter feed as well), it's time to thank the military, intelligence operatives, law enforcement officials, diplomats, and aid workers who all contribute globally to ensure that our great civilization does not grind to a halt at the hands of terrorism. The plague of suffering and violence knows no international boundaries, as Bali, Amman, New York, London, Baghdad, Kabul, Islamabad, and many more cities from different cultures and continents have all been targeted in the last decade.
The global community should be thankful for people like Hemant Karkare, head of Mumbai's anti-terror squad, who was killed in the line of duty yesterday and is being hailed as a martyr by the Indian press. We should also be thankful that the Iraqi Parliament passed the Status of Forces Agreement today, which will help facilitate a peaceful exodus of coalition forces with adequate time for transition in a country that was once at the brink. The wags who predicted the Saigon-style evacuation from a country in chaos were thankfully proven wrong.
Mudville Gazette has a comprehensive list of bloggers who are forward deployed, and we should all give them kudos, because the stabilization of troubled states ensures that the enemies of modern civilization do not have a base to spread their viral ideas. They offer their own thanks, but surely you can drop the drumstick for two seconds and give 'em some credit.
27 November 2008
Unless you live in an information vacuum, you've heard about the grizzly attacks in Mumbai, India that have killed dozens. This Ain't Hell has published emails from a friend inside the besieged city and the Long War Journal has insight into the terror networks. Undoubtedly the most high-profile American, President-elect Obama, has issued a condemnation statement.
While anti-drug PSAs from the 80s usually provide the most kitsch value, this 70s anti-Marijuana PSA says the main reason to not get high is to prevent getting slapped with the dreaded "Smokey McBongwater" nickname. No wonder so many kids were listening to Pink Floyd.
26 November 2008
If you didn't know that the two-war Pentagon was operating on shoestring, here's the latest evidence. Adm. Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has just canceled his annual Christmas party. The chief has just sent out cards announcing that he and his wife have decided to "forego their holiday reception this year" in light of the "trying financial times."Everyone in the military knows that if the top officers waste money like a bunch of drunk frat boys in Vegas, it's license for their subordinates to do the same. Hence "setting the standard" of being humble and thrifty while our economy collapses and the military is about to get its budget slashed is a smart move for public relations on the Mullens part.
Are the top politicians doing the same during this nationwide belt-tightening? Well, Obama's inauguration is going to cost millions, and Bush pardoned a delicious and nutritious turkey to go on a plane ride to LA that could have fed someone. Next year when we're all eating pigeons we shot at the garbage dump for Thanksgiving, we're going to look back on that free turkey with regret.
Paintings from the combat zone are interesting and provocative, but scarce to come by. While looking on the blogs for information on the IZ, I came across Ramblings from a Painter. He works for the State Dept., and he posted one of his sketches. It looks like a Peruvian Triple Canopy guard at one of the checkpoints at the embassy:
Really captures the ambiance. I like it. A pleasant memento from an area of conflict.
Obama might've gotten a customary fist bump for picking Gates as his SECDEF, but his economic policies are still sketchy. A lede in Politico summarizes the mass confusion behind how he's going to pay for all the things he promised:
President-elect Barack Obama is vowing to watch spending carefully even as he plans to push for a stimulus package of $500 billion or more.The article expounds on Obama's rhetoric that he's going to cut "wasteful spending" and hold back "special interests", but never provides an example. Cruising over to the NYT, they can't even justify their guy's politician-like distractions:
Mr. Obama cited, as an example of the sort of cuts he expects Mr. Orszag and Mr. Nabors to find, a recent government report showing that farmers whose incomes exceeded $2.5 million had probably wrongly been paid some $49 million in government subsidies over a three-year period.$49 million is no small chunk of change, but considering that Obama's entitlement obligations are wracking up well into the trillions, he's going to have to start slashing and burning government spending a little further.
But he did not offer any other specific targets, and by itself, correcting the problem with the farm program would make only a trivially small dent in the budget deficits the federal government will face for years.
The Obama T-shirts are still selling well amongst college students, perhaps the President-Elect's advisors can start selling this wardrobe for the coming hard times to generate a little revenue.
(x-posted at The Obacalypse)
Lobbyist Steve Gano, who represents business clients in Olympia, said he's not troubled by activist bloggers who practice a form of journalism. But the increasing presence of Web-based advocacy groups are a different story, he said.Steve Gano represents a host of big business interests, and the perceived "chatter" from people without ties to elite institutions must threaten his livelihood. This tactic was tried before when there was discussion in the FEC to impose restrictions on politically-themed mega-blogs Daily Kos and Red State. Most people who blog, comment, or lurk are average schmoes who can finally take what they've been talking about at the dinner table to a wide-scale audience (at low cost). A true Vox Populi. It really has been a boon to our democratic process that regular people can access information and delve into the policies affecting our world. This might shake up the ruling class that has traditionally run our society, because it's best if we shut our yaps, pay taxes, and quietly die off on the Social Security dole. Expect threats to this newfound availbility to information to come from those that seek to keep their stranglehold on power.
If an online group doesn't have to report the type of activities that would otherwise be considered lobbying, Gano asked, why shouldn't lobbyists just close up shop and relaunch their efforts online?
Politico and Mudville Gazette have the latest leak from the Obama transition team, and this time it's actually some good news:
Defense Secretary Robert Gates has agreed to stay on under President-elect Barack Obama, according to officials in both parties. Obama plans to announce a national-security team early next week that includes Gates at the Pentagon and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) as secretary of state, officials said.
Further, keeping Gates on would only worsen Democratic image problems on national security, as he would be the second consecutive non-Democratic Secretary of Defense nominated by a Democratic President. The message would be clear: even Democrats agree that Democrats can't run the military.
25 November 2008
Shaq started Twittering last week when he found out a phony Shaq was on the loose besmirching his good name. The modern day Renaissance Man continues to prove that he is the jack of all trades in one-line Twitter format.
Shaq the Comedian: Im wearing a jacket dat says 1946, a lady asked me wat it means, i replied, mam its the yr i was born. Lol
Shaq the Philanthropist: I called my main man figs son bcuz da xcellence of a gift lies n its approiateness ratha than its value
Shaq the Muckraker: Does anyone have the names of the 14 people bush gave pardons
Shaq the Criminal Justice Expert: Detective oneal does not jordan vander sloots story about what happened to natalee
Shaq the Chiropractor: I get my neck cracked b4 everygame, today i felt a xtra clikadee clak
Shaq the Spartan: On my way 2 da arena. I feel like the main charachter n da movie 300
At least Shaq is not going to get slapped for being a smug and elitist web personality. He responds to a lot of his Twitter followers, and with that same one-line wit like "@phoenixsunsgirl i'm a vampire i neva sleep shaqula". Well, it's a lot more insightful than that stupid McCain/Obama staff Twitter debate.
A ruckus broke out in Iraqi Parliament on 19 November when they were debating the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), mostly instigated by the Sadrists (seen in the abayas). The NY Times Baghdad Bureau has some insight on why the debate is so heated:
During one of the debates a Sadrist asked: ‘are there any guarantees that the Americans will not use Iraqi land to attack Islamic and neighboring countries?’ But the agreement clearly says: ‘Iraqi land, sea, and air shall not be used as a launching or transit point for attacks against other countries.’It almost seems like the Sadrists are taking part in the anti-foreigner show for the cameras to appease their Shi'ite voting bloc, and Spencer Ackerman explores how a confirmed withdrawal date for Coalition Forces will further weaken Sadr and his followers political positioning. The SOFA sounds like a good compromise to eventually get our troops home and leave the Iraqi Security Forces in decent shape. But anytime there is political turmoil or elections in Iraq, there seems to be a spate of violence to accompany it. It's politics by other means, and, like Joe, the reason I'm hesitant to support Victory in Iraq day at this time.
The opponents of the agreement are using this big national issue to blackmail the government, and they are forgetting their duty to their voters.
For example, during the last five years they spent all the time raising their slogans to request the Americans’ withdrawal. They said they would accept any schedule for withdrawal, even if it takes 10 years. Now this agreement will give them guarantees to withdraw completely in the next three years. But they reject it because they will have no excuse left to toy with the government, and with their voters.
Some of them try to use our religion to convince their voters that this agreement will make Iraq submit to the Americans, and they use people’s ignorance about what exactly this agreement includes to make them support their party’s position.
It wasn't long ago that sports arenas were named after great heroes instead of lame corporations on the verge of bankruptcy. Take Joe Louis arena in Detroit, which is named after the badass American boxer who struck one of the first Allied blows against the Nazis in 1938. The Red Wings still play there, but most large cities are cursed with tax-funded monstrosities that reek of shameless corporate branding like a Costco-sponsored Blink 182 concert. Ed Morrisey has a list of the offenders. But, at least you used to be able to say that it was driving down ticket costs as you stared at a basketball court adorned in trashy advertising.
That's not the case anymore, as the $20B the feds just dumped on Citigroup will help pay to keep their name on the new stadium for the NY Mets. From ABC:
Struggling Citibank just sealed a multi-billion-dollar emergency "backstop" deal with the U.S. government. The financial behemoth, suffering with billions in bad mortgage-related assets on its books, recently shed 53,000 workers and saw its stock price lose over half its value. Yet it's in a 20-year contract to pay the New York Mets $400 million to name the team's new stadium "Citi Field."That's right, $400M of that $20B is going to pay for New Yorkers to understand irony better, I guess. I suggest the name "Uncle Sugar's Money Dump", because it will be a lesson for our nation on the kind of society you get for handing out billions of dollars to incompetent companies with no accountability. Is there anyone that still thinks this bailout is a good idea? Even with $7.4 Trillion in loans that the federal government has promised to disburse?!? It's okay if you once supported these ridiculous cash injections, just listen to Dierks Bentley's "What Was I Thinking?" and vote smarter next time.
Amidst lolly-gagging by the unattractive squares who run the GOP, Andrew Breitbart has an idea from babe central, Los Angeles, that the party should utilize sex appeal from the young and beautiful. From the Washington Times (h/t Libertarian-Republican):
With the economy in the pits, the young, the restless and unapologetically handsome should use their looks, vigor and Internet knowledge to wrest away elective office from joyless bureaucrats who gallingly repackaged the soiled utopian promises of their overly replayed Woodstock days as "hope" and "change."The Gutfeld/Breitbart conservatism brand of small-government/big-defense/pro-good times could take off if the Obama presidency crashes and burns. After all, Palin's babeness, according to the commentariat on this blog, helped propel her to #1 conservative of the year (it certainly wasn't her knowledge of foreign policy). But for everyone who tries to put a Hooters-like brand on the GOP, you'll get two or three girdle-wearing Huckabees saying Thou Shall Not Support Gay Marriage. We'll see what happens in the future. In the meantime, it's just easier to criticize Obama than to try and find a new vision for the sodomized corpse of the Republican Party.
Those young adults who weren't duped this time around can be at the forefront of cluing in their friends that were. In Facebook I trust.
Find out why at The Obacalypse. You can't make this stuff up.
24 November 2008
There's strength in numbers, and it's a rough world out there, so follow this blog and prevent yourself from getting shanked by the mean people out there in the blogosphere. Technically, I'm not really sure what "following" does, except the blogs show up in your blogger profile. But I added a widget on the sidebar so your avatar will be forever associated with this wretched cesspool. Cheers!
Obama's top pick for Attorney General, Eric Holder, has been going through the wringer for the Marc Rich pardon and the Elian Gonzalez debacle during his Clinton daze. But, the only major media publication that has been grilling him on his failed drug policies are those pesky libertarians at Reason. How far did he go with national drug policy? He coerced the city of Washington D.C. to "get tough" on that great scourge of our society, marijuana. From a 1996 Washington Post article (h/t Eric):
In addition, U.S. Attorney Eric H. Holder Jr. said in an interview that he is considering not only prosecuting more marijuana cases but also asking the D.C. Council to enact stiffer penalties for the sale and use of marijuana.Ever since Richard Nixon declared the War on Drugs, we have seen the explosion of meth and crack, continuous erosion of our civil liberties, and a string of lousy federally-funded PSAs of McGruff jamming out to 80s music. Our War on Drugs goal has even hampered the fight against terrorism as President Bush actually gave the Taliban federal aid to halt heroin traffic prior to 9/11. Don't expect Obama's pick for Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, to distinguish between the high-priority War on Terror as opposed to the War on Pink Floyd as evidenced to a press release he issued back in 2006:
"We have too long taken the view that what we would term to be minor crimes are not important," Holder said, referring to current attitudes toward marijuana use and other offenses such as panhandling.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Representative Rahm Emanuel released the following statement in response to reports that Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez’ called the war on terror a real war, not like the war on drugs.To help out Obama's Chief of Staff, here's a couple of photos to emphasize the priorities based on the current threats to our democratic society.
“Thanks for the white flag. From the United States’ most senior law enforcement official, the man who should be leading the war on drugs, this white flag of surrender will not be reassuring to the millions of parents trying to protect their kids.”
A Thai General, who made threats against protesters staging a sit-in at the Prime Minister's office, has been re-assigned to being in charge of Aerobics. From Breitbart:
An army spokesman said that Khatiya, who has written books about his combat exploits, had been appointed by army chief General Anupong Paojinda to lead the military's health club promotion task force.The "throwing-a-hand-grenade" comment was ill-advised, as protesters have been targeted with a grenade attack last month and today. The People's Alliance for Democracy is trying to oust the current Prime Minister because he is viewed as a puppet of the previous corrupt Prime Minister, who got booted by a military coup in 2006. No word yet if Olivia Newton-John was on hand to offer her expertise to the General.
Khatiya, who is under investigation on disciplinary charges, told newspapers that his new posting was "ridiculous".
"The army chief wants me to be a presenter leading aerobic dancers. I have prepared one dance. It's called the throwing-a-hand-grenade dance," the Bangkok Post quoted Khatiya as saying.
Wek has a post about the importance of Death Metal to Generation X culture and its origin in Florida. Of Morbid Angel, he says:
Death Metal filled a canyon sized void in hard music at the time. Hair Metal owned the airwaves for most of the 80's, Metallica torched their head-banging fans by giving us ballads and Seattle bands made guitarists ashamed for knowing scales. These Floridians couldn't be bothered with what was popular, they just wanted to bust ear drums and shred.This is much better than whatever is passing for music these days. Check out this latest POS from Hot Chicks with Douchebags:
Land Rovers, Bleached Blonde Emo Hair, and a pig costume. What the hell is matter with you kids.
Being such a grotesque lardass that you would require two coach seats is a lifestyle decision, and therefore, fatitude is an open grounds for ridicule. Society is not expected to pay for a dozen extra big macs to shovel in their face, wheelbarrow replacements every quarter to get them from point A to point B, and a wardrobe consisting of moo-moos, so why would we have to pay for additional airline seats? Apparently, the Supreme Court of Canada says thinner consumers all have to bear the "hefty" cost of transporting the obese. From Reuters:
Obese people have the right to two seats for the price of one on flights within Canada, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled on Thursday.On the bright side, collectively chipping in so that a triple-rolled forearm isn't drooping over the copy of Newsweek on your lap might be a good investment.
The high court declined to hear an appeal by Canadian airlines of a decision by the Canadian Transportation Agency that people who are "functionally disabled by obesity" deserve to have two seats for one fare.
It's often joked about amongst military personnel that their wife will try and kill them to get at their massive $400K SGLI life insurance policy. This is the first time I've heard of it actually being attempted. From Seattle P-I:
An Army wife accused of setting her apartment on fire botched an attempt to collect on her husband's $400,000 insurance policy when he survived and her two children died instead, a federal prosecutor said.Damn, that's messed up. At least the lady who drowned her five kids in the bathtub could blame her psychosis on a momentary rush of Post-Partum. And when I say "blamed", I mean about a 50,000 Volt difference in the judge's sentencing decision if you catch my drift...bzzzz, sizzle.
Billi Jo Smallwood, 35, was denied bond at a Friday hearing in northeast Georgia, where she appeared on federal charges of damaging government property by fire.
"She set fire to her own home in hopes of killing her husband and wound up killing her kids," Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Gabay-Smith said.
23 November 2008
Hopefully you all are enjoying the weekend in "Another State of Mind", just not operating a vehicle or heavy machinery, of course. Here's a pin-up babe for the road from Viva's Gallery by way of the great site Porn for Troops.
Last week we got news that one of our most important allies on the battlefield, Iraqi interpreters, were being forced to lose their identity-concealing mask for "professionalism" reasons. Like any thoroughly lousy idea (think Joe Biden's "Plan for Iraq"), it got vocal opposition from a wide range of people like The Captain's Journal, Brandon Friedman, and Some Soldier's Mom. But what do the Iraqis have to say about all this? Turns out an Iraqi Interpreter spoke against this policy last month (h/t Mad Tom):
They issued a new rule say:I guess he thinks that looking "professional" takes a back seat on the priority list to threats against his life. Who would've thought!
NO MORE MASK FOR IRAQI INTERPRETERS.
It's like they want to say :
HEY IRAQI PEOPLE...HERE THEY ARE...THE IRAQI INTERPRETERS...NOW YOU GET CHANCE TO SEE THEIR FACES...DO WHATEVER YOU WANT TO DO OF THEM,KILL THEM,TOURTURE THEM, WE DON'T CARE.
Yes, that was the truth, and I challenge any body has ability to give me another reason that make this commander took decision such this.
Code Pink to get tips on sharpening their anti-American rhetoric in Tehran
They may have packed up shop from protesting our troops in Berkeley, but the women you love to hate at Code Pink have taken their clown show to the streets of Iran. A blog post from the group's website indicates they are cruising around on some sort of "peace delegation" and getting fed a line of bullshit from puppets of the atrocious Iranian regime. From the Code Pink blog:
After a hearty Iranian breakfast that included delicious tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh eggs, cheese, yoghurt, flat bread and mouth-watering olives, the “work day” began for the three of us—myself, CODEPINK cofounder Jodie Evans and Col. Ann Wright. Our first meeting was with our dear friend Rostam Pourzal, who works with the anti-sanctions group CASMI. Rostam used to live in Washington DC, but moved back to Iran recently. Thank goodness he came to greet us, because it turned out that the government person who was supposed to set up our schedule today didn’t show up. So Rostam filled in the day for us with an amazing variety of activities and meetings.Rostam Pourzal is an apologist for the theocracy on staff at the Campaign Against Iranian Sanctions who wrote an article on mass murderer Ahmadinejad's rise to power as "Not that Bad". He also has criticized human rights activists who speak out against abuses by the Iranian regime, and even gave $2,300 to the failed presidential campaign of perennial peace wacko, Dennis Kucinich. While being led around this ridiculous propaganda tour, Code Pink swung by the abandoned American embassy:
Then we went to his office, but along the way he stopped to show us the old, abandoned U.S. Embassy. It is now surrounded by murals with anti-American slogans—a stark reminder of the harsh rhetoric emanating from both governments.It's a real shocker, I know, that the site where 52 American hostages were captured might have a touch of "anti-American" feel to it. Code Pink then goes on their little escapade to talk to Iranians about their government, and are surprised that they don't like a brutally oppressive regime that has driven the country's economy into the ground:
People in Iraq were afraid to speak out against Saddam, people in Iran aren’t. We heard criticism of the government while we were still on the plane. Then in customs, when an official asked our guide why we had come to Iran and she replied “trying to make peace,” he laughed and said, “Not with this terrible government of ours.” The taxi drivers complain; western-educated elites complain, businessmen complain. While most wouldn’t want to be filmed venting against their government, they talk to us in an amazingly open fashion, barely looking over their shoulders to see if anyone is listening.I'm sure Medea Benjamin and Jodie Evans will have no qualms signing these people's death warrants by turning in these malcontents to the Iranian authorities. On the plus side, maybe the Code Pink leadership will decide to stay over there and not come back.
It's sites like The Huffington Post that make me long for the bad-old-days of the internet, circa 1999, with failed start-ups producing zero profit who ran stupid blinking banner ads and pop-ups everywhere you surfed for your evening porn. Ironically, the dreaded Huffington Post had help getting launched in 2005 by Hollywood conservative and all-around good guy Andrew Breitbart, but this liberal beast of a site (#1 blog according to Technorati) has transformed into a Leviathan and produced enough wretched dotsam and netsam to clog up the innertubes worse than a Britney Spears twat shot.
Sure, there are a few decent archived bits there, notably from veterans Rieckhoff and Soltz, plus some hilarious commentary from Greg Gutfeld, but they are the exceptions not the rule. Time after time again, Arianna Huffington has been disastrously wrong about the War in Iraq. The guest posts are chocked full of morans, including agitating that Bush has already declared martial law and why billions in bailout money needs to go to fund Neil Young's electric car company. Other postings include anti-semitic commentary, that isn't even grammatically correct, from imbecile celebrities like Roseanne Barr, and Clinton flaks referring to our President-Elect as "boy" during the primaries.
You'd think this would be enough to sink a political blog's credibility faster than Larry Johnson and his crazy rumor about the "Michelle O Whitey Tape", but Arianna just keeps raking in the dough. From the London Times:
Arianna Huffington looks set to cement her position as the Queen of Capitol Hill in the next few days.Dear god, why do you internet people have no taste? Seeing how Arianna is nothing more than a shameless PR shill for the incoming administration, perhaps people will get tired of being force-fed kool-aid and seek commentary elsewhere. Don't give up hope and meticulously plan your apocalypse fantasy just yet.
The Times has learnt that the Huffington Post, her influential political website, will confirm within the next week that it has completed a $15 million (£10 million) fundraising from investors.
The money will finance the expansion of HuffPo, as it is known, into the provision of local news across the United States and into more investigative journalism. And it will ensure that Ms Huffington's influence continues to spread across the US political scene.
22 November 2008
Despite making a campaign promise to repeal the 15-year long policy of Don't Ask, Don't Tell in the military to allow homosexuals to serve openly, it's not going away in the near future. As co-blogger Jonn writes at The Obacalypse:
So far Obama has tossed the anti-war crowd and women aside and now the gays. I guess the "95% of Americans will get tax cuts" is next. Who would have thought that he's just another Democrat politician who thinks it's fine to ignore campaign promises.
21 November 2008
According to Jonn writing at The Obacalypse, some anti-war groups are not happy with "Barack the Hawk", so expect them to be lingering around for the next 4 years. That's okay though. Besides feeling better about yourself when you see unemployed hippies parading around in costumes, we will be treated to more excellent videos like this 2004 gem called "Weapons of Mass Affection":
The Soros-funded Center for American Progress has been a huge advocate of regulating free speech in their favor via legislation and policy. One example of this brand of regulation is the wretched Fairness Doctrine, which, luckily, went tits up on the house floor last year. If it had passed, you would have to be listening to Praise for Dear Leader on the TV/Radio/Paper, and not just the TV/Paper. So the wonks are trying to find new clever ways to silence the opposition. On the think-tanks website, one of the "Top Features" is an article about the "imbalance of political talk radio", where they desire leveling the playing field by a concept known as "localism", which means you grant "friendly" broadcasters access to the airwaves while imposing heaping mounds of regulations on those nasty wingnuts. Even though it is painfully obvious that this progressive think-tank wants to crush dissenting voices of the mostly conservative airwaves, one of their employees says we're all crazy for thinking it's a return to The Fairness Doctrine! From Yglesias at Think Progress (the blog for the CAP):
Marin Cogan has a great piece on the right-wing’s mobilization against the phantom menace of the fairness doctrine...It’s very strange. Political movements mischaracterize the other side’s general goals all the time. But I’ve never heard of anything like the current conservative mania for blocking a particular legislative provision that nobody is trying to enact.A phantom menace? It doesn't take a tin-foil hat to be concerned with Obama hiring the head of the Center for American Progress as a leader in his transition battalion, and the case for more regulations of free speech still being up on the CAP website. The fact that a writer employed by the same think-tank calling us Cassandras for dreaming up conspiracies of the collapse of the 1st Amendment is creepy. Just like all this newfound outreach of hugs n' kisses from the left, it seems to be a big ruse to float a bunch of turds through congress while we're off getting shitfaced like Troy.
It ranked near the bottom in adherence to principles and guidelines established in 2005 by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development -- which includes the United States and other industrialized powers -- to ensure that political considerations do not exclude worthy recipients of aid.This is not the first time that non-profits have voiced concern over humanitarian missions meshing with military objectives. But, the fact of the matter is that in countries like Somalia, Afghanistan, and Iraq, Western aid workers with little to no means of security have been targeted by thugs repeatedly and ruthlessly. The humanitarian mission has to go hand-in-hand with the Armed Forces in some crisis areas for the sake of self-preservation of those involved. Also, the military has the expensive resources and expensive training to respond quickly to disasters like the Tsunami in 2004. Democracy Arsenal also criticizes DARA's assessment because of the counter-insurgency aspect of civil/military relations.
DARA's findings reflect what it called the United States' use of humanitarian assistance to achieve military or political goals in eight crisis zones the group studied, including Afghanistan, Colombia and the Palestinian territories. The assessment challenges the United States' view of itself "as the paragon of global compassion," Larry Minear, a retired professor at Tufts University, wrote in the report.
I don't understand what DARA is advocating that the United States do, just use the military to drop bombs on everybody thereby alleviating the need for aid, or just shell out more money to the grossly incompetent United Nations? DARA should have spent more time snooping around their own backyard of Spain. That $23M waste of money on a palatial piece of mural art at the U.N. was partially funded by Spanish tax dollars meant for overseas development aid. Of course, I'm sure the starving children in the third-world were excited about it.
Staff Sgt. Matt Maupin was abducted and murdered doing convoy operations near Baghdad International Airport in 2004. He was declared in "missing-captured" status until 2008 when his remains were found. But today brought some news that one of his possible captors, an AQI operative, has been killed in the Mansour neighborhood in west Baghdad. From CSM:
An Al-Qaeda in Iraq leader believed by US officials to be responsible for one of the most notorious attacks on US soldiers was killed during American military operations earlier this month, military officials said Thursday.While this probably doesn't provide much solace for his family, it is nice to know that justice was served.
Hajji Hammadi, the regional Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) leader, was shot dead by US forces in a raid in the upscale Mansour district of Baghdad on Nov. 11, according to US military spokesman Brig. Gen. David Perkins.
20 November 2008
Thank you all for taking the political compass quiz to gage the political associations of this blog's readership. The internet provides an interesting opportunity for people from various demographics to voice their opinion at very little cost and with very little effort. However, political blogging has become too polarized along party lines in many cases, thereby making it as dull and predictable as a press release from whatever party happens to be swarming cyberspace that day. Generally, I write from a pro-market, pro-military, anti-"modern liberal" point of view, often in a manner that some might deem a tad "offensive" if you aren't in agreement. This is for the purpose of soliciting comments and interest in the links provided in a provocative manner and it often spawns opposition, which is good. I also try to throw in some humor now and then so that people don't get bored with the place and that they keep coming back. I'm glad you're all so opinionated and I believe it keeps things interesting in a world with a questionable future where politics plays such an important part. You can be assertive about your views, razz people who don't agree with you, and it's all in fun and games. I've only had to kick off 1 commenter during my year-long blogging adventure because he threatened to beat up one of the other commenters. It goes to show that you can respectfully disagree without having to resort to absolute douchey "let's kiss and make up" type nonsense. Keep up the good work and thanks for all the visits.
Anyhoo, here's how everybody weighed in.
[Left-Libertarian Quadrant, 12 Total]: MezzoSF (-4.0/-0.7), Barrage (-6.3/-3.6), Sisu (-2.9/3.1), CathCatz (-5.0/-4.1), Jess Roxx (-6.0/5.7), ABWF (-2.0/-2.9), Gecko (-3.3/-3.0), Liz (-6.0/-5.4), Wek (-3.5/-4.3), Brandon Friedman (-4.8/-6.2), Arli (-4.1/-3.9), Ms. Kiyum(-3.0/-5.4), Logically Locked (-4.6/-4.3)
[Right-Libertarian Quadrant, 12 Total]: M (1.5/-2.4), LT Nixon's Mom (8.5/-4.5), SubRookie (3.8/-0.4), ibelieveinlifeafterlove (4.8,-2.7), A-Ro (0.5/-3.5), Amagi (4.3, -4.1), Randy K (4.5/-0.1), Blendy (0.6/-5.2), Mike (7.4/-4.5), Antoinette (0.3/-3.4), DaveC (1.6/-2.7), Me (3.1/-2.9)
[Right-Authoritarian Quadrant, 8 Total]: Kevin Gregory (4.3/0.5), Consul Clemens (5.8/3.9), Mike (5.3/2.0), OlGreyDog7 (0.0/1.4), 509th Bob (2.5/1.2), Caroline (1.8/2.6), Brandon (5.7/2.8), Desert Sailor (1.3, 2.1)
Obviously, everyone has a different opinion, but these are my own generalizations:
Left-Libertarians perceive corporations as untrustworthy actors in modern society for causing damage to the environment and seeking only to line their own pockets. They are much more interested in the power of everyday citizens to end poverty, promote social justice, and create a more peaceful civilization through mutual understanding. Being more libertarian, they are tolerant of other people's lifestyles and think that the government is trying to curtail their freedoms. Modern issues they more than likely support are a more fair healthcare system, ending the Iraq war because it was waged for the benefit of a small group of powerful people, and they are slightly disturbed that Prop 8 passed in CA even though Obama won the election. Famous Left-Libertarians include Gandhi and the Dalai Lama.
Right-Libertarians perceive corporations as beneficial to society because they aid the common good through efficient techniques that provide services/goods for the least amount of resources. They are interested in policies and abstract ideas that provide increased wealth, peace, and prosperity. In general, they view the government as a complicated, bureaucratic mess that promotes bad ideas because it can readily secure its power by curtailing people's natural rights. Being Libertarians, they are tolerant of others lifestyles, but realize that some people are just inherently more brilliant thinkers and doers than others. Modern issues they more than likely support are an end to the bailout madness, despair over the slow corrosion of our Bill of Rights, and they are very curious about how Obama will govern the nation during these hard times. Famous Right-Libertarians include Thomas Jefferson and Ayn Rand.
Right-Authoritarians perceive corporations as beneficial to society because they provide economic stability for our nation, and that leaving them, for the most part, unregulated is what's best for America. They are interested in law and order, national strength, and patriotism to provide a bulwark due to the moral/economic decay of other nations and more degenerate parts of our own country. In general, they view the government as a necessary evil that must do what it has to do to keep America from perishing. They are supportive of our current foreign policy, because they believe that 9/11 was so egregious, that we needed to act to prevent similar attacks. They can also be very interested in faith and believing that they are living their life correctly. Modern issues they are more than likely to support are succeeding in Iraq, keeping their taxes low, and they are deeply concerned by this newfound "Hope and Change" foolishness. Famous Right-Authoritarians include Dwight Eisenhower and Abraham Lincoln.
Of course, if you want to be a dick, you can always say this:
Left-Libertarians are low-life hippies driving around in Volvos with 17 Obama bumper stickers for every square foot of aqua-blue metal. Supporting their terrorist friends through mass protests against our troops when they should be out getting a damn job. Living in trash-strewn urban hellholes so they can attend art shows where they burn wax Jesuses on stage...with federal funding! An endless tirade of sexual hedonism and "feel-good" slogans where they can wash away all their responsibilities by getting an abortion the next day at Planned Parenthood. Teaming up with union bosses and trial lawyers to steal money from decent Americans while they advocate cop-killers from being freed from prison. Famous Left-Libertarians include Charles Manson and Bill Ayers.
Right-Libertarians are the weirdos at the end of the block who own 20 assault rifles because they think the U.N. is stealing their mail from the local militia. Cooking up meth in rural areas of America so they can save enough money to get a ride on the Ron Paul blimp. A dangerous obsession with anime and science-fiction, these grown up nerds can usually be found cruising Hannah Montana websites to search for their sexual prey on a Saturday night because they have nothing better to do except for possibly ranting against the government. The fact that Lt. Nixon's Mom spawned a child with the same political leanings is a good argument for publicly funded contraception. Famous Right-Libertarians include Timothy McVeigh and Ed Gein.
Right-Authoritarians are the rich assholes who go to church every Sunday followed by taking their snotty little kids to the golf course in their massive SUVs that choke up the planet. They are criminals for who supported the Iraq War because they had all of their money invested in Hallibruton and their whale-killing yacht has big "Bush/Cheney" sticker. They only support because he torturing brown people and they all masturbate to Fox News. Famous Right-Authoritarians include Richard Nixon and Mr. Burns.
It's too easy to portray groups of people one way or another, and it's much more difficult to hear out every individual's opinion, but ultimately beneficial. The Political Compass Quiz provides some insight, but the modern era is almost so complex you might get yourself in trouble quickly making broad assumptions about anybody. However, huge polls like this can often show which way society is trending or what its baseline is. But enough rambling, here's a blinged out political compass quiz...for the memories.
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Iraq's cabinet has earmarked $3B for constructing a subway line in Baghdad:
The subway is the first in Baghdad and will have two lines. One would run 11 miles from Shiite-dominated Sadr City in the east to the predominantly Sunni neighborhood of Azamiyah in northern Baghdad. The second line would be cover 13 miles and link the mixed neighborhoods of central Baghdad to the primarily Sunni western suburbs. Both lines will have 20 stations.That would've been unthinkable in 2007 with sectarian violence rife in Iraq's capital, and only recently did the bridge from Kadhimiyah and Adhamiyah get reopened. Good for them. But I can't fairly characterize Iraq as a "modern democracy" until hippies start bitching about stupid trees getting cut down whenever the government wants to build new infrastructure so people can get to work on time.
...they all need to go away. But, they also all referred to our President-elect as an "Uncle Tom" or "House Negro". Spencer Ackerman is scheming up some interesting ideas on how to exploit this abominable statement by Zawahiri to our advantage, but Abu Muqawama suggests that getting labeled a racist thug might not have the same pariah-like stature here as it does "over there".
The stock market was -427 and closed at 7,997 today. Gateway Pundit suggests it's because of a looming Obama presidency, but in fairness, the Bush administration were the ones involved in the corporate welfare giveaway, while CEOs fly around in private jets. Time to take the advice of my elders and bury a shoebox full of cash in the backyard instead of investing in the circus sideshow known as the stock market. It would also be prudent to bury cartons of Newports, as cigarettes will most likely be our future form of currency as the dollar becomes worthless and society starts to look more like a prison.
19 November 2008
Army Wife Toddler Mom tagged me in one of those blog loopdy-loops. Not gonna be a pariah after almost getting beat up for being slow on supporting VALOUR-IT, so here goes. I'm supposed to write a couple sentences on page 56 from my nearest book. It happens to be Paul Rieckhoff's Chasing Ghosts. From pg. 56:
Walls were collapsed and missing; the windows were all blasted. The looters had stolen anything of value before U.S. forces had arrived. The locals knew where the money was. The ministry building was one of the tallest in the city, and the stairs seemed to last forever...
There's still one more day to take part in the Fun Times Political Compass quiz. Leave your score in the comments on this post here. A nifty blinged out graph with all the readers will be posted tomorrow. Thanks to everybody that has participated thus far.
That's lower case "t" taliban. Not these guys, but the Afghans that are just working with the Taliban for opportunistic reasons like money and power. This may be an effective tactic in turning the tide for a counter-insurgency operation that has seen an increase in violence. I've been weary of reconciliation because Pakistan trying to cut deals with the Taliban have been met with disaster, and possibly because the word "Taliban" is akin to "AIDS" or "The Plague" or "Guns N' Roses without Slash" in our modern lexicon. However, he's not some mealy-mouthed politician looking to stir up lies about war to get votes, so I'm giving him a chance. Wired has the full story.
With Juan Cole dubbing Fox News racist for not calling Obama the "Commander in Chief" (probably because he hasn't been inaugurated yet, Juan), Glenn Greenwald stating that the term "Commander in Chief" is actually deeply offensive, and John Amato thinking the first priority of the new Commander-in-Chief is to bitchslap Petraeus, it's not surprising that some on the left have no understanding of how civilian-military relationships are supposed to function. This evidenced itself with this ridiculous question at a press conference being held by Admiral Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. From Castle Argghhh! (full transcript here):
Dumbass Reporter: So on the question here of Iraq, how, with no disrespect, sir, how do you begin to support the president-elect's stated policy of a timetable for withdrawal, not the SOFA? How do you support his policy, stated policy of closing Gitmo, when that is something that you have led troops on for the last term of your office?
How do you, just to help people understand, how do you suddenly shift gears and say, okay, that's what my -- that's the strategy I was leading the troops on before; now I'll do this. Can you help people understand that?
ADM. MULLEN: Well, first of all, as I said in my opening comments, I serve the sitting president and certainly will until he turns it over to President-elect Obama. Should President-elect Obama give me direction, I would carry that out. I mean, that's what I do as a senior member of the military.