Archive for July, 2003

Poindexter to Resign Following Terrorist Futures Debacle

Thursday, July 31st, 2003

EDITOR’S NOTE: This man was a disgraced member of the Reagan Administration and should never have been hired for this one. He is yet another example of the breathtaking arrogance and incompetence of the DoD leadership.
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By ERIC SCHMITT

WASHINGTON, July 31 The Pentagon official who oversaw the development of a plan for the military to operate a terrorist futures-trading market is resigning under pressure, a senior defense official said today.

John M. Poindexter, a retired rear admiral who was President Ronald Reagan’s national security adviser, is stepping down.

MORE.

Welcome to the Big Darkness

Wednesday, July 30th, 2003

Sooner Thought

By Hunter S. Thompson
July 22, 2003

Hi, folks, my name is still Thompson, and I still drink gin with ER Nurses at night — but in one particular way, I am a New Man, a different man, a more dangerous man than I was the last time we talked. And that was a few weeks ago, eh?

Indeed, I can walk again, and I like it, because last month I felt an acute spasmodic pain in my spine when I walked. There was nothing cute about it, no socially redeeming factor. It just plain sucked.

But I have just returned from an extremely intense few weeks at the world-renowned Steadman Hawkins Clinic in Vail, Colo. (yes, the same city where Kobe Bryant …), where I had radical surgery to repair what was beginning to give me some pain. Great pain on some days, and I finally decided to get rid of it.

I am no stranger to organ replacement, and I always find it refreshing, always a happy improvement over Pain.

I hate pain, despite my ability to tolerate it beyond all known parameters, which is not necessarily a good thing. I once gouged about two-thirds of my hip socket into mush for five consecutive years, until I finally felt enough pain to have the bastard replaced.

And Titanium turned out to be far more comfortable and flexible than the human spine anyway, especially mine. It is lighter, stronger and far more adaptable, in every way, than bone or steel or anything else in the human body — and I am installing it in my own body as rapidly as possible without doing anything stupid.

My alloy spine replacement is about 70 percent finished, and after it’s completed, I will take a break. And maybe have a look at this weird and degrading Kobe Bryant story, which interests me. The more I learn about this case, the more I understand that this is not about Rape at all. It is about money, pure money and nothing else. Nobody is going to jail in this case, but some people are going to Pay.

The downward spiral of Dumbness in America is about to hit a new low. You thought O.J. was bad? Wait until we get a taste of the K.B. scandal. It will be like a feeding frenzy and a long parade of cannibals.

When I went into the clinic last April 30, George Bush was about 50 points ahead of his closest Democratic opponent in next year’s Presidential Election. When I finally escaped from the horrible place, less than three weeks late, Bush’s job-approval ratings had been cut in half — and even down into single digits, in some states — and the Republican Party was panicked and on the run. It was a staggering reversal in a very short time, even shorter than it took for his equally crooked father to drop from 93 percent approval, down to as low as 43 percent and even 41 percent in the last doomed days of the first doomed Bush Administration. After that, he was Bill Clinton’s punching bag.

Richard Nixon could tell us a lot about peaking too early. He was a master of it, because it beat him every time. He never learned and neither did Bush the Elder.

But wow! This goofy child president we have on our hands now. He is demonstrably a fool and a failure, and this is only the summer of ‘03. By the summer of 2004, he might not even be living in the White House. Gone, gone, like the snows of yesteryear.

The Rumsfield-Cheney axis has self-destructed right in front of our eyes, along with the once-proud Perle-Wolfowitz bund that is turning to wax. They somehow managed to blow it all, like a gang of kids on a looting spree, between January and July, or even less. It is genuinely incredible. The U.S. Treasury is empty, we are losing that stupid, fraudulent chickencrap War in Iraq, and every country in the world except a handful of Corrupt Brits despises us. We are losers, and that is the one unforgivable sin in America.

Beyond that, we have lost the respect of the world and lost two disastrous wars in three years. Afghanistan is lost, Iraq is a permanent war Zone, our national Economy is crashing all around us, the Pentagon’s “war strategy” has failed miserably, nobody has any money to spend, and our once-mighty U.S. America is paralyzed by Mutinies in Iraq and even Fort Bragg.

The American nation is in the worst condition I can remember in my lifetime, and our prospects for the immediate future are even worse. I am surprised and embarrassed to be a part of the first American generation to leave the country in far worse shape than it was when we first came into it. Our highway system is crumbling, our police are dishonest, our children are poor, our vaunted Social Security, once the envy of the world, has been looted and neglected and destroyed by the same gang of ignorant greed-crazed bastards who brought us Vietnam, Afghanistan, the disastrous Gaza Strip and ignominious defeat all over the world.
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Not Taking it Lying Down

Wednesday, July 30th, 2003

A Minnesota man who lost his job thinks Pres. Bush’s economic plan is “BS” and he is hitting the road to tell the people.

From his website:

July 24th I was “downsized” from my job of 3 years at a software company.

Later the same day I heard that President Bush’s economic team would be doing a bus tour through Wisconsin and Minnesota this week touting Bush’s tax cut and its prosperous economic effects.

“What a bunch of BS. I’d like to give their PR tour a dose of reality,” is what I thought. So I packed up the minivan and decided to follow their bus around the countryside and talk to whoever would listen about the real facts–that this economy stinks, and Bush’s tax cuts are making it worse.

Lieberman Should Bow Out

Monday, July 28th, 2003

Republican-lite Democrat Senator Joe Lieberman is not going to win and should withdraw from the race.

His stance on the Iraq war is indicative:

“Some in my party are sending out a message that they do not know a just war when they see it, and more broadly, that they are not prepared to use our military strength to protect our security and the cause of freedom,” he said.

Sodomites Owe Texas Republicans Their Thanks

Saturday, July 26th, 2003

By Dale Carpenter
(Former President of the Texas Log Cabin Republicans)

Let’s pause to thank the people who brought us the U.S. Supreme Court’s sodomy decision, shall we? There are the obvious ones: John Lawrence and Tyron Garner, who were arrested in Lawrence’s bedroom for having sex and then endured five years of public exposure and judicial appeals; the lawyers for Lambda Legal, who successfully shepherded the case from a Justice of the Peace to the Supreme Court; the six justices who accepted their arguments; and the generations of courageous gay civil rights advocates, who made it possible for a court to regard gays as citizens worthy of constitutional protection.

But don’t overlook the Republican Party of Texas, without whose tireless devotion to the 16th century none of this would have happened. In the face of repeated legislative attempts to repeal the state sodomy law, the Texas GOP stood firm, thereby making possible the arrests of Lawrence and Garner, thereby making possible their convictions and appeal to the Supreme Court, thereby making possible the ringing declaration of gay rights in Lawrence v. Texas.

National Review, the flagship magazine of American conservatism, opposes sodomy laws. Conservative commentators such as William Kristol do, too. Even Justice Clarence Thomas, a conservative Catholic, thinks sodomy laws are “uncommonly silly.” But the leaders of the Texas GOP are no ordinary conservatives, or even ordinary social conservatives for that matter. They are theocrats, devoted to the idea that there is no proper distinction between God’s law and civil law.

They have become an embarrassment to the national Republican Party. It’s the Texas delegation, you may remember, that had its members bow their heads in prayerful protest while openly gay Rep. Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz., was permitted to speak - on the issue of free trade - at the 2000 Republican National Convention. But the best evidence of Texas GOP leaders’ devotion to theocracy is their 22-page party platform, which is less a political document than a fundamentalist encyclical. It declares the United States “a Christian nation “founded on the Holy Bible.” It repudiates “the myth of separation of Church and State.” It supports a “school prayer” amendment to the Constitution. It backs “a character education curriculum” in public schools “based upon biblical principles.” On and on it goes in that fashion.

When it comes to gays, the state party platform lapses into obsessed rage. References to “homosexuals” or “homosexuality” (14) even outnumber invocations of “God” (10). Needless to say, the platform opposes gay marriage and gays in the military. It goes further, opposing domestic partners benefits and allowing gays to adopt kids or even have custody of their own children. It urges stripping AIDS sufferers of any legal protection from discrimination.

Here is the Texas GOP on gay sex: “The Party believes that the practice of sodomy tears at the fabric of society, contributes to the breakdown of the family unit, and leads to the spread of dangerous, communicable diseases.

Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God,” blah, blah, blah. In case you were in doubt, the platform adds, “The Party opposes the decriminalization of sodomy.” Elsewhere it declares, brazenly, “We are opposed to genocide.” (Whew!)

I had my own run-in with the Texas GOP on the subject of the state sodomy law. In 1996, I was president of the Log Cabin Republicans of Texas. We applied to run an information booth at the state GOP convention that year. Our application was denied because, the party’s executive director yold me, “Sodomy is illegal in Texas.” When I offered to forbid our members to sodomize each other in the booth, state party leaders were unmoved. Now all their fundamentalist fervor has yielded the most far-reaching decision affirming the basic dignity of gay people ever issued by the Supreme Court, with more to come. We couldn’t have done it without them.

I urge everyone reading this to send a thank-you note or e-mail to Texas GOP leaders, letting them know how profoundly grateful you are. Perhaps they can be goaded into concocting and defending even more purposeless discriminations against gays that generate even more precedent-setting reaffirmations of our rights. Keep your thank-you message short and simple. In fact, use the version of English most familiar to Texas GOP clerics, the King James version.

Try this: “O Holy Party: I thank thee for thine everlasting persecution of me. Thou hast delivered me from criminality. My civil rights runneth over. Thy faithful sodomite, [Your Name].”

Carpenter, a law professor at the University of Minnesota Law School in Minneapolis, is a former Houstonian.

Friday SurfFest

Friday, July 25th, 2003

Happy Friday. Hang Ten.

Watching BushCo Crumble
Ratings slipping, economy tanking, lies spiraling, credibility shot. Try not to cheer.

Ooh! Condi’s Amazing Stories!

Ann Coulter: Plagiarist.

Grounding the flying nun
Activists on the left and right — including a 71-year-old Milwaukee nun and an art dealer who told other passengers that President Bush “is dumb as a rock” — have long complained they were being hassled by airport security. After months of silence, the federal government says: It’s true.

And if you click the link for more, you get Greg Palast.
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Space-Based Missile Defense:

Thursday, July 24th, 2003

Sooner Thought

The Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency (MDA) recently admitted that it was pushing back plans to put up a space-based missile defense test bed to at least 2008. But that does not mean the agency has given up on developing orbiting interceptors for shooting down enemy missiles in their boost-phase, shortly after their launch.

MDA officials, and hawkish proponents of using space for missile defense, continue to assert that it is technically feasible to design such a system using only 300 to 600 interceptors and costing $50 billion.

A recent study by an illustrious panel of physicists begs to differ.

Reproduced with permission from the July 21 issue of Space News.

For more information, see CDI’s Space Security Project.

Shop Here, Keep Us Online

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2003

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Who’s Unpatriotic Now?

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2003

Sooner Thought

Check out Krugman:
And the war will have devastating effects on future recruiting by the reserves. A widely circulated photo from Iraq shows a sign in the windshield of a military truck that reads, “One weekend a month, my ass.”

And Greg Palast, too.

U.S. Troops Face Armed Violence in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Possibly Liberia

Monday, July 21st, 2003

U.S. Fails to Take Necessary Action to Curb Illegal Gun Trade” href=”http://www.cdi.org/program/document.cfm?DocumentID=1481&StartRow=1&ListRows=10&appendURL=&Orderby=D.DateLastUpdated&ProgramID=23&from_page=index.cfm”>U.S. Troops Face Armed Violence in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Possibly Liberia,
U.S. Fails to Take Necessary Action to Curb Illegal Gun Trade

(Washington, DC) – Last week U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Lincoln P. Bloomfield, Jr. offered a progress report on the United States’ implementation of the United Nations Program of Action for Small Arms and Light Weapons. The Program of Action (PoA) was adopted in 2001 to reduce the illicit global gun running that often aids terrorists and rogue nations in acquiring military-style weapons.

Secretary Bloomfield strongly supported the PoA and asserted the United States has done much to implement its recommendations. But the Small Arms Working Group, an alliance of U.S.-based non-governmental organizations working to promote change in U.S. policies on small arms, highlighted the following facts and trends, which underscore the need for greater U.S. commitment to eradicating the scourge of small arms and light weapons proliferation and misuse:

The United States is arming abusers and potential enemies. In fighting the “war on terror” the United States continues to arm certain countries and groups simply because they have pledged to help stamp out terrorism and terrorist networks. This simplistic strategy ignores the fact that some of these countries and groups have systematically abused human rights, are involved in regional conflicts, and have limits on democratic expression. Arms transferred by the United States too often end up in the hands of terrorists, rebel groups and unscrupulous governments who use them to terrorize and kill innocent civilians. Abuses committed with U.S. weapons have been documented in Afghanistan, Iraq and Liberia. American weapons have also been used by terrorist groups such as al Qaeda, insurgent groups in Sri Lanka, Colombia, the Philippines, and misused by governments such as Colombia, Uganda, and Iraq. As evidenced by these cases, blaming the consequences of small arms proliferation solely on the Cold War-era surplus stocks of former communist states ignores the very real need for the United States to better control its own weapons.

Small arms continue to threaten U.S. troops. As the United States considers sending troops into Liberia and U.S. forces are killed by heavily armed individuals and groups in Iraq, the pressing need for strong measures to neutralize the very real threat that small arms and light weapons pose to U.S. forces demands a U.S. response. Not only are U.S. troops put at risk by the uncontrolled availability of small arms while they are deployed overseas, but the spread and misuse of these weapons contribute to civilian casualties, grave insecurity, and even state collapse. But stopping the proliferation and misuse of small arms is a goal that does not lend itself to short-term solutions. Progress can only be made through a pro-active, long-term strategy that includes ongoing programs aimed at bolstering export controls, destroying excess stockpiles and dismantling smuggling rings. Waiting until U.S. troops are on foreign soil to develop and implement that strategy is a recipe for disaster.
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Quagmire II?

Monday, July 21st, 2003

Yahoo! News - Mortar Fire Hits U.S. Embassy in Liberia

Mortar Fire Hits U.S. Embassy in Liberia

By ALEXANDRA ZAVIS, Associated Press Writer
MONROVIA, Liberia - Mortar shells hit the heavily fortified U.S. Embassy in the Liberian capital Monday, injuring at least three people, the U.S. military said.

Aid workers said people were killed, though that could not be immediately confirmed. One round hit the commissary building of the huge compound, located by the sea and surrounded by concrete walls topped with barbed wire.

Civilians were being evacuated from the two-story embassy building, located on a hillside. A U.S. military official in Monrovia said a shell hit the embassy commissary.

Maj. Bill Bigelow, a spokesman for U.S. European Command in Stuttgart, Germany, said one or two mortar rounds landed in and around the embassy complex. An American reporter was injured outside the embassy, and two local security guards were hit at an embassy annex, Bigelow said.

An additional 41 Marines specially trained in anti-terrorism arrived from Rota, Spain to beef-up security at the compound, Bigelow said.

Justice O’Connor: Wear A Helmet

Saturday, July 19th, 2003

By Katherine Lee, Esq.

Well, thank whatever you might believe in, Justice O’Connor says she will stay on the bench of the Supreme Court.

She might not be the most liberal justice on the bench. She might not always make sense. She might sometimes write opinions that make me scratch my head in bewilderment, but she is stolidly on that centrist line and she is no sanity challenged Scalia. And good Lord, the mind quakes at who W would pick.

And yes, it is important.

It’s quite possibly the second most important power that a sitting president has (the first being the whole commander-in-chief thing). With one resignation or death, W will be able to effect constitutional interpretation for years to come. And if you don’t think that’s important, think back to a couple of weeks ago and Scalia’s rant about the Court’s succumbing to a cultural movement and dangerously veering away from the moral majority. However you feel about it, the Court has the power to force legislators to tow the line. And it all starts with us, the people. We have to vote.

It’s imperative.
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