Raznor's Rants

Costarring Raznor's reality-based friends!

Monday, June 30, 2003

Yeah, Rumsfeld is trustworthy

Jeanne over at Body and Soul points to this article from the LA Times. Essentially what it is is that good ol' Rummy wants is an international peacekeeping force trained by the US and entirely separate from the UN.

She then adds this:

Some of the words sound nice, but I still doubt it. There's probably a need for a permanent, well-trained, truly international peacekeeping force. It's obviously needed not only where the U.S. is fumbling -- in Afghanistan and Iraq -- but also in places where we've turned a blind eye, like the Congo and, increasingly, Liberia.

The hesitant "probably" in the last paragraph stumbles over my not knowing exactly what such a peacekeeping force would do. Are we talking about keeping civilians from being slaughtered, as the UN did, at least somewhat successfully, in East Timor and Sierra Leone (with American help, although Republican opposition to peacekeeping is nothing new)? The UN is weak, underfunded, and far from perfect, but its presence has helped in many instances. Or are we talking about an entirely different order of peacekeeping: keeping the natives pacified so we can steal their resources?

Donald Rumsfeld's sketchy plan looks suspiciously like the latter -- a colonial police force with a lot of the bodies provided by our client states.

Not to get this wrong, I think Jeanne writes a good post here. But she hazes herself. She gives Rummy too much credit here as she sort of implies that this could possibly be anything other than a naked attempt to increase American imperialism.

First of all, this is a peace keeping force, which in itself would serve as a global police force to be effective. A global police force needs the same thing as a local police force, which is a monopoly of power, otherwise it cannot be effective. Now this would be trained by the US, so we can only assume that it would be controlled by the US. That alone should clue you in that this is about US world domination.

Second of all, if this were an attempt to actually help the impoverished, why go outside the UN? The UN isn't perfect, to be sure, but it's already an international organization designed to maintain peace. Improving on an organization that already exists is certainly much easier than making an entirely new one.

So this is nothing more than an attempt to build a colonial army to police our imperial holdings. I can't say I'm too surprised.

Sunday, June 29, 2003

Dean already getting the press treatment

Daily Howler has the details.

Saturday, June 28, 2003

Falwell: Is that guy a dick or what?

The unrelenting bigot commented on the recent Supreme Court decision:

The court allowed the right to privacy to trump the compelling interest the state has in promoting the family interests of right and wrong," Falwell said. "It just says that privacy permits anything between consenting adults. It would actually makes bestiality legal if it's taken to the limits or privacy."

Right, because apparently bestiality is somehow between consenting adults.

For the record, I'm sure Falwell has nothing against gays, either.

Quote comes from Mikhaela who has some pretty good thoughts on the decision.

Update: In case you don't know, I stole the title post from a headline from the first Onion after 9/11. I thought it was appropriate.

Thursday, June 26, 2003

Good ol' Rall

The critics are raving

Check out Mikhaela's latest cartoon.

More reason to like Dean

As you probably know, the Supreme Court voted 6-3 to strike down anti-sodomy laws.

Here's what Scalia had to say about that:

Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented.
The court "has largely signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda," Scalia wrote for the three. He took the unusual step of reading his dissent from the bench.

"The court has taken sides in the culture war," Scalia said, adding that he has "nothing against homosexuals." (emphasis mine)

Right, he just thinks gays shouldn't be allowed to have sex, and thinks they're horribly immoral and have already corrupted the Supreme Court with their insidious "agenda", but he has nothing against gays whatsoever.

Here's what Dean had to say:

"Justice Scalia, Justice Thomas and Chief Justice Rehnquist opposed the civil rights of homosexuals. Scalia wrote a harsh dissent filled with words that will be hateful to many Americans. He spoke darkly of “the homosexual agenda” and echoed Senator Rick Santorum by writing that laws against homosexuality further “the same interest” as laws against fornication, bigamy, adultery, adult incest, bestiality, and obscenity.

As a former Governor who appointed many judges to the Vermont bench, I value the quality of judicial temperament. Scalia’s intemperate dissent in this case shows why he should never have been appointed to the Supreme Court in the first place and why he is not fit to serve as Chief Justice should a vacancy occur. His increasingly shrill opinions have become an embarrassment to the Supreme Court.

President Bush says we need more Justices like Scalia. I say we cannot afford more Justices like Scalia, and we cannot afford four more years of the President who would appoint such Justices.

The shizzolator

Here's what I wrote earlier:

Let's face it, Bush is a shitty public speaker. And Gore was better, but not charismatic enough. Dean's ability to motivate with his voice can be enough to get people to support him other than a pre-packaged crapfest like the Shrub in office.

And here's that same quote when run through The Shizzolator:

Let's face that shiznit, Big Baby Bush is a shitty public speaker n' shit. And Gore wuz better, but not charismatic 'nuff, know what I'm sayin'? Dean's ability motivate wit tha dude's voice can be 'nuff get muthas support tha dude's ass other than a pre-packaged crapfest like da Shrub in office n' shit.

Found via Tom Tomorrow, who had a little fun with an Andrew Sullivan quote.

Blogger's gone through some changes

And so far I think I like it. The permalinks seem to be working more, and the edit page is a little more user friendly. Maybe I'll not need to move to raznor.com or something like that, as I was considering before this summer. I still want to go through a few visual changes to this blog, make it look cooler and more personal, but I don't know enough html to feel safe about altering the template. Maybe soon. We shall see. But it won't be as cool as what August did with his blog. Oh well.

Why does President Bush hate humanity so much?

This article from The Guardian:

The Bush administration has found its next target for pre-emptive war, but it's not Iran, Syria or North Korea. Not yet anyway.
Before launching any new foreign adventures, the Bush gang has some homeland housekeeping to take care of: it is going to sweep up those pesky non-governmental organisations that are helping to turn world opinion against US bombs and brands.

The war on NGOs is being fought on two clear fronts. One buys the silence and complicity of mainstream humanitarian and religious groups by offering lucrative reconstruction contracts. The other marginalises and criminalises more independent-minded NGOs by claiming that their work is a threat to democracy. The US Agency for International Development (USaid) is in charge of handing out the carrots, while the American Enterprise Institute, the most powerful think-tank in Washington, is wielding the sticks.

On May 21 in Washington, Andrew Natsios, the head of USaid, gave a speech blasting US NGOs for failing to play a role many of them didn't realise they had been assigned: doing public relations for the US government. According to InterAction, the network of 160 relief and development NGOs, Natsios was "irritated" that starving and sick Iraqi and Afghan children didn't realise that their food and vaccines were coming to them courtesy of George Bush. From now on, NGOs had to do a better job of link ing their humanitarian assistance to US foreign policy and making it clear that they are "an arm of the US government". If they didn't, InterAction reported, "Natsios threatened to personally tear up their contracts and find new partners".

- - - - -- - - -

This bizarre initiative takes as its premise the idea that there is something sinister about "unelected" groups of citizens getting together to try to influence their government. "The extraordinary growth of advocacy NGOs in liberal democracies has the potential to undermine the sovereignty of constitutional democracies," the site claims.

Coming from the AEI, this is not without irony. As Raj Patel, policy analyst at the California-based NGO Food First, points out: "The American Enterprise Institute is an NGO itself and it is supported by the most powerful corporations on the planet. They are accountable only to their board, which includes Motorola, American Express and ExxonMobil."

As for influence, few peddle it quite like the AEI, whose looniest of ideas have a habit of becoming Bush administration policy. And no wonder. Richard Perle, member and former chairman of the Pentagon's Defence Policy Board, is an AEI fellow, along with Lynne Cheney, the wife of the vice-president, and the Bush administration is crowded with former AEI fellows. As President Bush said at an AEI dinner in February: "At the American Enterprise Institute, some of the finest minds in our nation are at work on some of the greatest challenges to our nation. You do such good work that my administration has borrowed 20 such minds."

In other words, the AEI is more than a think-tank - it's Bush's outsourced brain. Taken together with Natsios's statements, this attack on the non-profit sector marks the emergence of a new Bush doctrine: NGOs should be nothing more than the charity wing of the mili tary, silently mopping up after wars and famines. Their job is not to ask how these tragedies could have been averted, or to advocate solutions. And it is certainly not to join anti-war and globalisation movements pushing for real political change.

Right now I feel like I should add a comment here, but I really don't know what to say. Right now I'm feeling a combination of anger and fear.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Why support Dean?

Bob Harris has posted this this comparison between the politics of Howard Dean and Dennis Kucinich, now during the MoveOn Primary. (you can vote until midnight Wednesday, so do so if you haven't yet). After reading this, I was reminded that Kucinich politics do mesh with mine much better than do Dean's. Still, I don't think it's enough for me to dampen my support of Dean, and here's why.

I've been a reluctant supporter of Dean from the start. Every so on, I hear more about Kucinich, and wonder about whether I should support him instead of Dean. Then I hear Dean speak, or read his speeches, and frankly I fall in love with the man. I don't know of any other politician who's been as charismatic, and I certainly trust him to oppose Bush moreso than Gephart or Kerry. He feels, to me at least, like this generation's Kennedy, a motivational politician who can motivate the youth into voting for him, and frankly that seems like the best chance we have to defeat Bush.

Let's face it, Bush is a shitty public speaker. And Gore was better, but not charismatic enough. Dean's ability to motivate with his voice can be enough to get people to support him other than a pre-packaged crapfest like the Shrub in office.

Monday, June 23, 2003

A reason to hate the French

You know, I'm noticing from reading Palast's article that thanks to the British media, the people of England are getting better information on American politics than Americans are. And you know what? If not for those fucking French, we'd still be part of England, and maybe we'd have a media with some ethics for a change.

And of course, McKinney is Gored

Greg Palast has a good article on the lies and political crucifiction of Cynthia McKinney. Here's the into, but you should read the whole thing:

Have you heard about Cynthia McKinney, former U.S. Congresswoman?

According to those quoted on National Public Radio, McKinney’s “a loose cannon” (media expert) who “the people of Atlanta are embarrassed and disgusted” (politician) by, and she is also “loony” and “dangerous” (senator from her own party).

Yow! And why is McKinney dangerous/loony/disgusting? According to NPR, “McKinney implied that the [Bush] Administration knew in advance about September 11 and deliberately held back the information.”

The New York Times’ Lynette Clemetson revealed her comments went even further over the edge: “Ms. McKinney suggest[ed] that President Bush might have known about the September 11 attacks but did nothing so his supporters could make money in a war.”

That’s loony, all right. As an editor of the highly respected Atlanta Journal Constitution told NPR, McKinney’s “practically accused the President of murder!”

Problem is, McKinney never said it.

That’s right. The “quote” from McKinney is a complete fabrication. A whopper, a fabulous fib, a fake, a flim-flam. Just freakin’ made up.

Read the rest.

Oh and a further note, the whole "politician gets Gored" title is something I take as an homage to Bob Harris. By which I mean I stole it from him. When he posted a link to this very same article. I just love the reference.

Great post at daily kos

Here. Go read it. Now. NOW!

Sunday, June 22, 2003

Hesiod on McCarthyism

Go read it.

Hesiod on McCarthyism

Go read it.

Friday, June 20, 2003

Other rants on what who isn't talking about

Via Calpundit. Oh and sorry about the kind of confusing post title.

Things right wing bloggers aren't talking about

Atrios has the details.

Historical Revisionism

Gary Leupp over at Counterpunch has something to say on Bush's notion of historical revisionism. You should read it, but I found the conclusion interesting:

Richard L. Armitage, a senior defense official in 1988 (and now a deputy secretary of state), argued that the U.S. should not let Iraq lose the war, and told Congress there was no international law preventing a leader from using WMDs on his own people. The senior intelligence officer at the time, Col. Walter P. Lang, has said both D.I.A. and C.I.A. officials "were desperate to make sure that Iraq did not lose" to Iran, and "The use of gas on the battlefield by the Iraqis was not a matter of deep strategic concern."

In September 1988, a Maryland company sent 11 strains of germs---four types of anthrax---developed at Fort Detrick for germ warfare, to Iraq. The Commerce Department approved the sale of WMDs. This was six months after the infamous massacre at Halabja ---the gassing of the Kurds. Perhaps the president would like someone to revise that history.

Byrd gets Gored

This from Spinsanity:

In what can only be described as a collective hallucination, Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) has been described by a wide range of journalists and commentators as having criticized the cost of President Bush's speech on the USS Abraham Lincoln, an aircraft carrier returning from the Middle East. The reality is that Byrd never mentioned the cost of the carrier event, at which Bush dramatically arrived on a Navy jet; the Democrats who most prominently raised those questions were Reps. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and John Conyers (D-MI). But because of Byrd's well-known success at directing federal funds to his state, commentators simply attributed the statements of Waxman and Conyers to Byrd and then called Byrd a hypocrite. This absurd political myth is now being widely repeated as fact.

On May 7, Byrd denounced Bush's landing and speech on the Lincoln from the Senate floor, saying that Bush "exploit[ed] the trappings of war" and used the military "as stage props to embellish a presidential speech." Waxman requested that the General Accounting Office investigate the cost of the event, while Conyers issued a similar request to the Defense Department.

Amazingly, the media couldn't even manage to get the facts right that day. On MSNBC's "Buchanan & Press," co-host Pat Buchanan said, "Senator Robert Byrd is saying bah humbug to the president landing on that carrier. He wants to know how much it cost and he thinks it was just a stage and a prop for the president's speech."

There's more. Oh there's so much more.

Bush the fanatic

Arianna Huffington has a good column on the psychiatric view of Bush's fanatacism:

Dr. Norman Doidge, professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto, has identified among the telltale symptoms of fanatics: an intolerance of dissent, a doctrine that is riddled with contradictions, the belief that one's cause has been blessed or even commanded by God, and the use of reinforcement techniques such as repetition to spread one's message.

Sound like anyone you know? George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, Karl Rove, Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle... come on down!

According to Doidge, one of the essential features of fanatics is their certainty that not only is their cause good "but that it is the only good, an absolute good." Or as President Bush famously declared: "There is no in-between, as far as I'm concerned. Either you're with us, or you're against us."

Read the rest.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Saddam is like an Iraqi version of Clinton

In that he's being blamed for everything regardless of circumstances:

The United States insists die-hard supporters of Saddam Hussein are behind a spate of deadly attacks on U.S. troops -- but many Iraqis believe American blunders are more to blame.

They argue it is heavy-handed American raids, along with the failure to restore basic services, that are fueling the violence and insecurity, not Saddam loyalists.

"The Americans are just using the Baath as an excuse to stay in the country...They don't want an Iraqi government. So they just talk about the Baath," said Ali Jassem, a unemployed Shiite Iraqi who lives in a slum.


Iraqis suggest that the overwhelming terror Saddam once inspired has evaporated. Even though he remains missing since Baghdad fell on April 9, his supporters no longer have the power to intimidate their countrymen, these Iraqis argue.

This is also of course a case of our media going to work. Any Iraqi who opposes US occupation has to be a Saddam loyalist just like every person killed by a predator drone has to be a terrorist.

Excuse me while I hit my head against the wall.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Kevin Moore's latest comic

Go read it. Now.

Stupid Americans

Bob Harris has a very amusing post on the subject. Read it.

George W Bush, supporter of terrorism

Tom Tomorrow points to this article. I haven't read the whole thing, only what Tom's posted on his site, but that's scary enough.

Beers's resignation surprised Washington, but what he did next was even more astounding. Eight weeks after leaving the Bush White House, he volunteered as national security adviser for Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.), a Democratic candidate for president, in a campaign to oust his former boss. All of which points to a question: What does this intelligence insider know?
"The administration wasn't matching its deeds to its words in the war on terrorism. They're making us less secure, not more secure," said Beers, who until now has remained largely silent about leaving his National Security Council job as special assistant to the president for combating terrorism. "As an insider, I saw the things that weren't being done. And the longer I sat and watched, the more concerned I became, until I got up and walked out."


In a series of interviews, Beers, 60, critiqued Bush's war on terrorism. He is a man in transition, alternately reluctant about and empowered by his criticism of the government. After 35 years of issuing measured statements from inside intelligence circles, he speaks more like a public servant than a public figure. Much of what he knows is classified and cannot be discussed. Nevertheless, Beers will say that the administration is "underestimating the enemy." It has failed to address the root causes of terror, he said. "The difficult, long-term issues both at home and abroad have been avoided, neglected or shortchanged and generally underfunded."

The focus on Iraq has robbed domestic security of manpower, brainpower and money, he said. The Iraq war created fissures in the United States' counterterrorism alliances, he said, and could breed a new generation of al Qaeda recruits. Many of his government colleagues, he said, thought Iraq was an "ill-conceived and poorly executed strategy."

"I continue to be puzzled by it," said Beers, who did not oppose the war but thought it should have been fought with a broader coalition. "Why was it such a policy priority?" The official rationale was the search for weapons of mass destruction, he said, "although the evidence was pretty qualified, if you listened carefully."

He thinks the war in Afghanistan was a job begun, then abandoned. Rather than destroying al Qaeda terrorists, the fighting only dispersed them. The flow of aid has been slow and the U.S. military presence is too small, he said. "Terrorists move around the country with ease. We don't even know what's going on. Osama bin Laden could be almost anywhere in Afghanistan," he said.


"The first day, I came in fresh and eager," he said. "On the last day, I came home tired and burned out. And it only took seven months."

Part of that stemmed from his frustration with the culture of the White House. He was loath to discuss it. His wife, Bonnie, a school administrator, was not: "It's a very closed, small, controlled group. This is an administration that determines what it thinks and then sets about to prove it. There's almost a religious kind of certainty. There's no curiosity about opposing points of view. It's very scary. There's kind of a ghost agenda."

Impeach Bush

Ted Rall has the case.

You know, the other day I saw on some news channel, I think it was CNN, some senator saying that Bush lying to get us into war was unprecedented. I couldn't believe that, and we need only look at Grenada to see another case where US military might was used with faulty intelligence at best. But the scale and destruction of Grenada was nothing compared to what happened in Iraq. Now Bush is calling for all weapons in Iraq be banned from civilian use but no one will give up their weapons willingly since they're preparing for a civil war. As horrible as Saddam was, I find it hard to believe that his regime could have been worse for Iraq than the anarchy that is brought about by the long arm of the United States.

Sunday, June 15, 2003

More on anti-spam

August has an update on his previous post on anti-spam stuff. Go checkit out.

Bloggedy blog blog

Hey, Raznor fans, I know there's been light blogging here lately. Sorry. I just got a job dishwashing at the Brewery, which is pretty cool since it is the best restaurant in town and I get a free meal per shift. But that's left me busy and unable to get to blogging and junk.

In the meanwhile, you have to read this less than encouraging post by Bob Harris on the current state of Afghanistan.

Thursday, June 12, 2003

Good Father's Day Cartoon

By Mikhaela Reid. Go read it.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

About those WMDs . . .

Bob Harris links to this article which I think pretty much speaks for itself:

BAGHDAD, Iraq - U.S. military units assigned to track down Iraqi weapons of mass destruction have run out of places to look and are getting time off or being assigned to other duties, even as pressure mounts on President Bush to explain why no banned arms have been found.

Let me repeat that, because it bears repeating, the US Military has run out of places to look for weapons of mass destruction. Remember these weapons of mass destruction were the whole reason we went to war in the first place, and lets not forget they were pretty damn sure they were there a few months ago.

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Eat Death Spam

August links to this article from the Weekly Standard (via TAPPED.

The Internet economy, as spam shows, turns out to be like a garden: Leave it alone and you will not get (as you might assume in theory) a profusion of wild and interesting growth. No--you'll get the entire space choked off by the most noxious and aggressive weed. And spam has reached the point where it calls for a mighty pesticide. An entire range of federal regulations is going to be necessary if the Internet is to be kept usable; and enacting such regulations responsibly will take legislative prudence and care. A do-not-spam list is a first imperative. But it is also a social necessity that the principle of taxing the Internet be established soon. This will mean retiring the (in retrospect) absurdly named Internet Tax Freedom Act of 1998, which placed a moratorium on certain Internet taxes, and was extended in 2001 until November of this year.

It was always unfair not to tax business on the Internet, of course. There is no reason that Amazon.com should enjoy a pricing advantage (a de facto government subsidy) over a corner bookstore. But the most damaging part of the moratorium turns out to have been the most innocent-looking: that it banned charges for Internet access. Something like e-mail "postage" will be required if we are going to change the economic incentives that have invited pornographers, snake-oil salesmen, and other social predators into Americans' living rooms, in some cases hundreds of times a week. There are reasonable ways such postage can be collected. A penny-per-e-mail charge would drive most spammers out of business, subject them to jail time for tax evasion if they hid their operations, and cost the average three-letter-a-day Internet user just ten bucks a year. If even that seems too hard on the small user, then an exemption could be made for up to 5,000 e-mails per annum. If the postage were decried as a tax hike, then it could be used to fund one-to-one tax cuts in other areas--like sales taxes for the brick-and-mortar retail stores that have labored under such an unfair tax disadvantage for the past half decade.

The problem with allowing a minimum of 5000 e-mails is I don't see what's preventing spammers from creating multiple new e-mail addresses through sites with free registration to avoid a very high rate. And even a one-cent per e-mail charge would restrict e-mail access to those without credit cards, and I'm not sure if I think eliminating spam would make it worth it, but this is still a good idea. There has to be something that makes spam more difficult to send en masse, even if it won't eliminate all spam.

The Revised History of Iraq

Right here. Go. It's funny.

Support our troops!

The Republican way!

WASHINGTON, June 8 — Senator Larry E. Craig of Idaho is blocking the promotions of more than 850 Air Force officers, including young pilots who fought in Iraq and the general nominated to bail out the scandal-plagued United States Air Force Academy, in a rare clash between the Pentagon and a senior Republican lawmaker.

Mr. Craig's price to free the frozen promotions now awaiting final Senate approval? Four C-130 cargo planes for the Idaho Air National Guard.

Pentagon officials express outrage that for more than a month Mr. Craig has single-handedly delayed the careers of hundreds of officers and stymied important Air Force business for a handful of parochial planes. They are vowing not to give in to his pressure. Calling the move blackmail, one senior military official said, "If we say yes to this, Katie bar the door." The official, like others contacted for this article, spoke on the condition of anonymity, fearing retribution from the senator.

Let me repeat that, Senator Craig (R-ID), as part of a personal vendetta, has delayed the careers of hundreds of military personnel. This being a man who, I assume, stayed in party lines and said we must support our troops, right?

You know, I know if I thought on this I could come up with some witty and bitingly sarcastic comment on this, but you know what, I'll just finish this by saying what an asshole this guy is and post this.

Right Wing conspiracy, turns out to be sort of a bitter-sweet, delayed victory

Lambert has the details.

Monday, June 09, 2003

Michael Savage is in the running for most hateful asshole in the world

Now the bastard is suing websites that criticize him.

Don't worry, Raznor fans, I'm sure I'm still under his radar.

Saturday, June 07, 2003

New Get Your War On

Here! I haven't read it yet, but will right now. All right!

Friday, June 06, 2003

Your Attorney General

I mean what can you say to that?

Via August.

That's one useful bear!

Blah. Link via News in Type.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

From Tbogg

This post is quite amusing:

I think I've heard this one before.

"A man running late for his flight to Phoenix called in a phony bomb threat Monday in hopes that the plane would be delayed long enough for him to get on board, police said."

Oh yeah.

"A President faltering in the polls called in a phony WMD report to the American public in the hope that it would distract the voters from his economic failings long enough for him to get re-elected, the media didn't report."

Sean Hannity's soliciting prostitutes!

I mean, what do you say to this? The prostitute is part of Bunny Ranch, which is taking a new take on patriotism:

A US brothel is offering free sex to US troops who took part in the war against Iraq to thank them for their endeavours abroad.
The Moonlight Bunnyranch in Carson City, Nevada, where brothels are legal, has produced a more erotic version of the standard TA-50 army kits issued to troops headed into battle.

Instead of a compass, toothbrush and soap, the pack handed to soldiers who turn up at the brothel includes condoms, lubricant and a free sex session - with a value of up to $1,000.

Good for them.

Both links from Tom Tomorrow who got them from Cursor.

Update: The picture isn't working. You can see the image here. I'll see if I can get it to work.

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

Yes! I'm number 1923!

According to this Blog ecosystem. Hey it gets a lot worse than that, it puts me in the crunchy crustaceans part in the ecosystem. Plus there's the number three next to the blog title which means some people are actually reading this and linking to me. So I think this means that someone must have linked to me who I haven't heard of, or at least don't know about. Yay.

Update: Looking at the details I see I was all the way up to 1700 at one point. Hey, believe me, this isn't too exciting, but this is still better than I expected.

Monday, June 02, 2003

Supporting our troops

The Supreme Court on Monday dodged a case that sought billions of dollars for the free lifetime health care promised to some World War II and Korean War veterans.
Young recruits were told the benefits would be covered if they stayed in the service 20 years.

Those promises, made by military recruiters, were not backed up by law, a lower court ruled late last year.

The high court refused to consider overturning that decision, which would have helped up to 1.5 million people, but could have cost the government as much as $15 billion.

Article here. Via Hesiod.

August's new page is semi-up

And it's looking pretty good.

Mikhaela's new cartoon

And it's a pretty damn good one.

Also apparently she turned twenty-three yesterday. So, Mikhaela, in case you're reading this happy birthday.

Good Krugman

He's right, here and therefore terrifying:

It's long past time for this administration to be held accountable. Over the last two years we've become accustomed to the pattern. Each time the administration comes up with another whopper, partisan supporters — a group that includes a large segment of the news media — obediently insist that black is white and up is down. Meanwhile the "liberal" media report only that some people say that black is black and up is up. And some Democratic politicians offer the administration invaluable cover by making excuses and playing down the extent of the lies.

If this same lack of accountability extends to matters of war and peace, we're in very deep trouble. The British seem to understand this: Max Hastings, the veteran war correspondent — who supported Britain's participation in the war — writes that "the prime minister committed British troops and sacrificed British lives on the basis of a deceit, and it stinks."

It's no answer to say that Saddam was a murderous tyrant. I could point out that many of the neoconservatives who fomented this war were nonchalant, or worse, about mass murders by Central American death squads in the 1980's. But the important point is that this isn't about Saddam: it's about us. The public was told that Saddam posed an imminent threat. If that claim was fraudulent, the selling of the war is arguably the worst scandal in American political history — worse than Watergate, worse than Iran-contra. Indeed, the idea that we were deceived into war makes many commentators so uncomfortable that they refuse to admit the possibility.

But here's the thought that should make those commentators really uncomfortable. Suppose that this administration did con us into war. And suppose that it is not held accountable for its deceptions, so Mr. Bush can fight what Mr. Hastings calls a "khaki election" next year. In that case, our political system has become utterly, and perhaps irrevocably, corrupted.

Sunday, June 01, 2003

Look out, here comes the master race

Spent the weekend with my parents visiting my brother for his birthday. That's why the light to non-existent blogging. A run-down of the weekend:

Thursday had Lou Malnotti's pizza while watching Marines, my brother's first script to be produced. It was hilariously bad. Basically they changed everything except the character names, and they didn't even get those right.

Friday, saw The Producers with Jason Alexander and Martin Short (hence the title of this post). Non-stop hilarity. The "Springtime for Hitler" number was great. Anyone who has a chance to see it must go.

Then Saturday went and saw the Dodgers game. Kevin Brown pitched, so it was a fast paced good game. Brown pitched 8 shutout innings, then Eric Gagne pitched the save. Jordan hit a homerun and had a good game besides which is good since he's on my fantasy team.

So, all in all, a good few days. I'll get backe to more or less regular posting again this week.