Thursday, September 30, 2010


And it's one, two, three,
What are we fighting for ?
Don't ask me, I don't give a damn,
Next stop is 'Ganistan;
And it's five, six, seven,
Open up the pearly gates,
Well there ain't no time to wonder why,
Whoopee! we're all gonna die.

~ I Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die Rag (slightly edited)
We're not leaving Afghanistan...In fact, we're not ever leaving at all. ~ Defense Sec. Robert Gates
the military had photographs taken by the men, showing some of them posing with the corpses of the three Afghans they had killed, “as a kind of morbid sport.” ~ Story about five American soldiers who appear to have gotten drugged up and murdered Afghan civilians just for the fun of it. The photos are being hidden by the United States government.
Reports from election observers who visited polling places around the country depicted a flawed voting process rife with intimidation not only by the Taliban, but also by warlords and other armed factions. ~ Vote fraud in Afghan elections. The United Nations is just happy that even fraudulent elections happened.
Well, come on Wall Street, don't move slow,
Why man, this is war a-go-go.
There's plenty good money to be made
By supplying the Army with the tools of the trade,
Just hope and pray that if they drop the bomb,
They drop it on the Taliban.
~ I Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die Rag (slightly edited)
I give up trying to figure out what we are doing in Afghanistan anymore. It does not make sense. There is no way the American people as a whole can possibly benefit from this war. Like Vietnam before, we are there because we are there and we can't be seen as weak.

And, of course, we are there because it is good business. Raytheon, Boeing, and Fluor are among the many corporations profiting from this war (See here and here and even here). We fight, die, and kill solely to convert government finances, government debt, and taxes into corporate profits. So, while the people cannot benefit from this war, there are many wealthy owners of war stocks who are making massive quarterly dividends from the carnage.
And it's one, two, three,
What are we fighting for ?
Don't ask me, I don't give a damn,
Next stop is 'Ganistan;
And it's five, six, seven,
Open up the pearly gates,
Well there ain't no time to wonder why,
Whoopee! we're all gonna die.
For a definition of Afghanistanism, see Word of the Day.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

O'Donnell Endears Herself to the Uneducated Elite

For Republicans, education is a sin. Remember how Adam and Eve got kicked out of the Garden for eating of the knowledge of Good and Evil? There was George Bush's semi-literate ramblings. Remember how he only got unpopular when he started using complete sentences?
Remember how Republicans worship a God who is supposed to have created man but was dumb enough to include the appendix? Remember how in Texas they are removing facts from their textbooks? Remember how 7% of Republicans don't even believe that Hawaii is a state? Remember how Republicans believe in witches?

Republicans worship ignorance, how else to explain Sarah Palin?

Christine O'Donnell's Republican appeal is going to skyrocket. She has claims three universities as alma maters. One doesn't exist, one never heard of her, and it took her 21 years to graduate from the third. If Ignorance Is Bliss, O'Donnell is the happiest person in Christendom. (Explains why she doesn't need orgasms.)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Inexcusable and Irresponsible

What has been inexcusable and irresponsible has been the Obama Administration's general reluctance to fight for the issues they campaigned on.

There have been victories, like Health Care Reform, but even those were fought for hesitantly. From issues like helping the middle class, restoring reasonable taxation on the richest 1% of the nation, war, economic recovery, and I could go on (judges), the Administration has ceded the battleground to Radical Republicans, frequently surrendering without firing a shot.

The apathy the Administration has noticed in the public is simply a reflection of the apathy the public has noticed in the Administration.

All that said, if Republicans like Rand Paul, Sharron Angle, and Christine O'Donnell gain leadership posts in the Senate then this nation is in for a world of hurt. But the blame will have to be shared by an inert Democratic electorate and the passive Obama Administration which caused it.

In other words - Barack, people are more willing to fight for someone who is fighting hard himself.

In still more other words - Get your ass out of the White House and get fired up. Or you will only have yourself to blame.

Monday, September 27, 2010

E-Mail Wiretaps

Several years ago I advised a politician friend of mine who had never uses email before to "never send in email anything that you wouldn't want to see posted on the lobby bulletin board."

That is still valid today. Anything written in an email may end up used against you in a court of law. Be careful out there.

And, yes, I am as royally pissed off about this Obama initiative as I was when Bush/Cheney tried to do it.

San Diego Football Chargers 2010

Some more not-politics. I've been watching the San Diego Chargers play football since Jack Kemp was the quarterback. I've seen the good (Dan Fouts, Lance Alworth) and the bad (Ryan Leaf).
  1. Special Teams. If I were Special Teams coach, Steve Crosby, I wouldn't be making any long term plans, like dental appointments. His squad has allowed three returns for a touchdown already this year (out of only eight for the entire league) plus given up a blocked punt.
  2. Shawne Merriman. He's had one great year and enough good games to convince himself he's a stud even though he is now a pussycat. The last few years he has seen more doctor's offices and softcore porn stars than football fields.
  3. Wait until November. The Chargers under coach Norv Turner don't start trying before November. They may win a game here and there, mostly by accident, but the Chargers habitually sleepwalk through the first six games of a season.
  4. Darren Sproles. Not his fault but the coaches. Sproles is the highest paid player on the team, earning even more base pay than Phillip Rivers, but he hardly ever sees the ball. Yesterday, Sproles had six touches (one run, one pass catch, four kick returns). A waste.
  5. Choking. It's never too early for a Chargers fan to anticipate their annual playoff choke. They will win just enough to squeak into the playoffs then they will have a game so ugly even their mothers won't kiss them. They do it every year.
  6. Stadium. And the team will continue to try to coerce a bankrupt city into building a new play palace for them. All in all it's the most fun to be had from the team nowadays.


    Sunday, September 26, 2010

    Stagecoaches in the Old West

    Thanks to western movies, we all have visions of what travel by stagecoach was like in the 19th century. Here's the truth.
    • It was expensive. Mark Twain and his brother traveled from St. Joseph, Missouri to Carson City, Nevada in 1861. It cost them $200 apiece. (See Roughing It.) Even shorter trips cost 5 to 10 cents a mile and more. Most common laborers were paid $2 to $5 a day.
    • It was not egalitarian travel. On some routes there were fare classes. First class passengers road all the way. Second class passengers had to get out and walk the more difficult stretches of road. There was also a third, economy, class. Those folks had to get out and help push the stage up the steeper hills. 
    • Stagecoaches didn't gallop all the way. They weren't slow but they only averaged 5 to 9 miles per hour, which is a quick walk. That doesn't include having to stop to change horses every couple of hours and change drivers every 60 miles. Stagecoaches traveled about 120 miles per day. 
    • They couldn't outrun Indian raiders. Stagecoaches weighted over a ton, empty. Fully loaded with passengers and freight and those horses couldn't maintain a run for more than a few hundred feet.
    • Mail had priority. Riders might see their luggage left behind because the stagelines were all about getting freight and mail through. The passengers were only a sideline.
    • There were no free rides. Remember a horseless John Wayne in Stagecoach being picked up in the middle of nowhere?  The reality is he would have had to pay his fare or walk. 
    Never happened.
    Interesting links: A Brief History of Stagecoaches
    Montana Stage and Steam Travel
    The Butterfield Overland Stage
    Stagecoach slang

    Saturday, September 25, 2010

    Monkey-Man Politics

    Why someone should want to drink dried leaves in boiling water? Answer: because he’s an ignorant monkey who doesn’t know better. Cute, huh? ~ Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
    Some four million years ago the genus Pan (chimpanzees) and the genus Homo diverged. That divergence began before the Panthera radiation, when lions and tigers started to follow their separate evolutionary paths. So, it has been a few clicks of the evolutionary clock since "monkeys evolved into humans."
    The separate paths Homo and Pan have taken is not necessarily to the advantage of humans. And it doesn't mean that evolution has ended.
    In fact, there is some evidence that monkeys are beginning to look more like humans.

    And that humans are beginning to look more like monkeys.
    And, Christine O'Donnell is living proof that a well groomed ignorant monkey can get frightening close to the United States Senate.

    Friday, September 24, 2010

    Is Sanity Overrated?

    The 2010 midterms are going to be the battle between inspired lunacy
    and apathetic rationality.

    Republicans are putting up candidates with serious mental health issues like Sharron Angle, Joe Miller, Ken Buck, Rand Paul, and Christine O'Donnell.  Standing next to them makes even Sarah Palin look like an intellectual heavyweight. In a normal election year these Republicans would have a hard time getting elected hall monitor on Shutter Island. 

    Opposing them, Democrats have fielded a list of candidates whose main attribute is they still have pulses, not that anybody cares.

    On the issues, Republicans are mostly trying to hide except when they go on Fox News where Sean Hannity does all the talking and the candidates just nod politely and beg for money.

    Democrats are realistic, they stand firmly on the platform that It Could Have Been Worse. Democrats don't take credit for what they did accomplish (health care reform), they don't try to accomplish anything prior to the election (tax reform), and they don't promise to do much of anything if reelected.

    Republicans have motivated their bases. They have motivated them into a frothing at the mouth mob that is lynching Republican moderates. Democrats are staying calm and rational. They are staying so calm their base is in danger of slipping into a coma.

    The question before the electorate is do they prefer electing a bunch of highly motivated, dangerously paranoid, babbling idiots who promise to accomplish a whole lot of really bad and frequently impossible things. Or do they prefer calm, rational, boring, milquetoasts who won't promise what they can't accomplish and really don't think they can do anything.

    I am seriously rooting for rational to win, but I suspect this is an election where sanity is vastly overrated.

    Thursday, September 23, 2010

    The Wit and Wisdom of Will Rogers

    Sometimes, like watching Democrats blunder along on the middle-class tax cut issue, the only thing that makes life bearable is remembering Will Rogers.
    • I'm not a member of any organized political party.... I'm a Democrat.
    • The Senate just sits and waits till they find out what the president wants, so they know how to vote against him.
    • The Democrats and the Republicans are equally corrupt where money is concerned. It's only in the amount where the Republicans excel.
    • Democrats never agree on anything, that's why they're Democrats. If they agreed with each other, they would be Republicans.
    • The more you read and observe about this Politics thing, you got to admit that each party is worse than the other. The one that’s out always looks the best.
    • A Republican moves slowly. They are what we call conservatives. A conservative is a man who has plenty of money and doesn't see any reason why he shouldn't always have plenty of money. A Democrat is a fellow who never had any, but doesn't see any reason why he shouldn't have some.
    • We have the best Congress money can buy.
    • One wants recovery to start from the bottom, and the other wants it to start from the top. I don't know which is right. I've never heard of anybody suggesting that they might start it in the middle, so I hereby make that suggestion. To start recovery halfway between the two, because it's the middle class that does everything anyhow. But I don't know anything about it...
    • Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.
    And, finally, some good advice for everyone.
    • Never let yesterday use up too much of today.

    Tuesday, September 21, 2010

    Deregulation and Depression

    Jacob Lew is a minor character in the government, not worth the traditional warm bucket of piss, but he is a prime example of the weak thinking of American bankers.
    Lew, a former OMB chief for President Bill Clinton, told the panel that "the problems in the financial industry preceded deregulation," and after discussing those issues, added that he didn't "personally know the extent to which deregulation drove it, but I don't believe that deregulation was the proximate cause." ~ HuffPost
    It is accurate that the wild cowboy investing which brought banks worldwide to their knees existed before financial deregulation. Sandy Weill (Lew's former boss at Citibank and a prime mover in deregulation) wasn't born during the Clinton Administration. It is also true that investment banking was hobbled by Depression era regulation and once given its freedom the banks went crazy wild riding the economy into a canyon.

    Deregulation allowed those bankers to follow their desires and their desire was to be intensely insane. Lew was one of those who enabled the crazy.

    Monday, September 20, 2010

    Back on the Watch List

    Looks like I'm back on the terrorism watch list. I figure I was there through most of the Bush years, just because. Now I find that Greenpeace is tagged as a terror group by the FBI and I am a card carrying member.

    Short Takes

    Sharia in America
    I was going to go off on Salamander Gingrich for demanding a law banning Sharia laws by insisting that it also include Christian Sharia. Then TPM spoiled my fun by pointing out Gingrich's law already exists. It's called the First Amendment!

    Masturbating Witches
    The best hope Christine O'Donnell has is if the Delaware Senate election is all about witchcraft and masturbation. Such noise will drown out every real issue and just drag her opponent, Chris Coons, down into the muck.

    Dancing With the Stars
    The viewership for Dancing With the Stars must be entirely Republican. First there was Tom DeLay, who has all the rhythm of a spastic cripple on crack. Now there is Bristol Palin. Do As I Say Not As I Do Bristol is one of the spokespeople for the Republican Anti-Sex League. Apparently they are trying to prove that being a prim sexless prude is really hot.

    Sunday, September 19, 2010

    Joe Miller and Unemployment

    Given the nature of nature in Alaska (harsh winters with really long nights) there is probably no state in the union where the workers are more dependent on unemployment insurance. It's kind of hard to construct something when the temperature is 30 below zero and the days are two hours long.

    This makes Joe Miller's charge that unemployment insurance is unconstitutional all the more bizarre. Of course, Miller is a lawyer. Which means he spends all his time indoor in a well lit office. He has never had to step outside into the harsh, cold light of an Alaskan winter to work.

    Saturday, September 18, 2010

    My eReader and Me

    I don't own a cell phone (and God willing never will) but I did enter the 21st century and buy the Barnes & Noble eReader, Nook, last week.

    --> I like reading books while eating and this is just way easier to handle with spaghetti.
    --> I like reading outside while eating and if you've ever tried to hold open a book with your feet while reading and scarfing a torpedo sandwich....
    --> The Nook, as opposed to Amazon's Kindle, accepts books in ePub format which means all of the public domain books available at Project Gutenberg are available for free. I figure with just the works of Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, and Conan Doyle the Nook will pay for itself.

    --> You want pictures? The Nook handles photographs worse than an IBM 5150. You want color photos? Forget about it.
    --> You can get newspapers and magazines at full newsstand print edition prices. Which is a serious ripoff for something that requires no paper, no printing, and no delivery.
    --> You can only get a two year warranty. That means B&N believes the thing, at best, has a four year life expectancy.
    --> They claim it's memory can hold 1,500 books. Unless you read at a rate of one book a day you will never fill the thing.
    --> There is no Dewey Decimal System. All of your books are stored in one big box. If you get much over 200 books just browsing through the library will be an impossible task.
    --> When it dies your entire library goes away, poof, forever.

    Which leads to the macro problem with the entire eReader universe. Books printed on paper have a life expectancy in the centuries. Electronic books won't outlive their writers. When all of a civilization's knowledge is stored digitally it will only take one particularly nasty solar flare to return us to the Dark Ages.

    Friday, September 17, 2010

    Are Teabaggers Fascists?

    The question for the day is whether the Tea Party Movement are a bunch of proto-Nazis.
    1. Is it just Another Populist Movement? In many ways, yes. Populists movements want to "take the county back." They are born during times of economic distress. During such times the rich use their influence with politicians to preserve their wealth at the expense of "small people." Populists movement spawn from the muck of this corruption.
    2. Are Teabaggers patriots? They consider themselves uber-patriots, more American than anybody every was anywhere ever. That is their most dangerous, and least patriotic, conceit.
    3. Are they fascist? Kinda. Straight up populists want to take the government back from the wealthy. Fascists believe religious and racial minorities are the real source of the problem. Fascism is what happens when a populist movement is manipulated so the inherent populist anger is redirected away from the wealthy.
    4. What are populists angry about? Things are tough and they are just generally pissed. Left alone populists will tend to focus their anger on politicians, bankers, and greedy industrialists. In modern terms that would be Bush/Obama, Goldman Sachs, and British Petroleum. But the anger can be easily redirected to scapegoats - minority religions (Jews/Muslims) and foreigners (Mexicans) with claims that these scapegoats are conspiring with politicians to destroy the nation.
    5. Okay, was Hitler a populist? Yes. As was Karl Marx, William Jennings Bryan, Sarah Palin, and Huey Long.
    6. Is Palin a fascist? The truth is I don't know. She paints herself as an ultra-uber-patriot. She is quick to blame all of America's ills on Muslims and foreigners. These are certainly fascist traits. It's hard to picture her subscribing to the bloodier aspects of proto-fascism but it is harder to see her stopping her followers.
    7. Is the anti-intellectualism thing new? Nope. Populists believe that education is a way The Powers That Be suppress the common man. William Jennings Bryan believed the only things that need be read was the Bible and the Constitution. Just like the Nazis believed that German Jews in universities were teaching degenerate anti-German thoughts, Teabaggers believe that secret Muslims are teaching anti-Americanism in US schools.
    8. Should we be afraid? Populist movements tend to peter out (See William Jennings Bryan) because they are just too radical. Their better ideas are absorbed by the country (Social Security, child labor laws) while their more bizarre platforms are left to whither in the field. When a populist movement actually takes control of government is when things get dangerous. Germany in 1933 and Russia in 1917 are examples of what happens when populist movements unleavened by more rational thinking gains total power.
    The bottom line is that the Tea Party will probably die as other American populist movements have with some ideas (greater federalism) being accepted. If they win the 2010, and worse, 2012 elections than my advise is to bury your jewelry in the backyard, convert to a fundamentalist Christian sect (especially if you are Muslim or atheist) and hope you survive.

    See also: Chomsky on Tea Party
    Tea Party fascism in Revolutionary War clothes

    Thursday, September 16, 2010

    Sharia Law in America

    Example: Last week the Missouri legislature passed a law declaring that life begins at conception.

    The word "sharia" simply means path or way. Christians have tried to impose their opinion of The Way into American law since the beginning of the country. Everything from Blue Laws to the laws preventing homosexuals from entering into marriage contracts are examples of Christian Sharia.

    Another example of Christian Sharia has been the tendency of some Christian religions to ignore secular law. The Catholic Church's efforts to hide molesting priests was based in the belief that Catholic ecclesiastical justice had primacy over the civil laws against rape.

    The "Christian Nation" that Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck advocate is simply a nation where Christian Sharia law has been imposed.

    Wednesday, September 15, 2010

    The Tea Puppet Becomes the Master

    Remember a year ago when the Republican Party saw the nascent Tea Party Movement as a tool for regaining power? Republicans started playing up to the lesser angels of Teabaggers (racism, xenophobia, islamophobia, philistinism) expecting those naive rubes would be swallowed up by the Grand Old Party.

    It is the GOP that is being eaten alive. In primary after primary mainstream Republicans are being defeated by barking mad Teabagger loons. When you look at the group (Angle, O'Donnell, Paladino, etc.) and realize that Rand Paul is the most lucid of the herd you'll understand just how crazy this has become.

    If you are feeling safe because the American people would never vote these psychopaths into actual power, think again.
    What we demand is new, decisive, and radical, revolutionary in the truest sense of the word. That has nothing to do with rioting and barricades. It may be that that happens here or there. But it is not an inherent part of the process. Revolutions are spiritual acts. They appear first in people, then in politics and the economy. New people form new structures. The transformation we want is first of all spiritual; that will necessarily change the way things are. ~ Not Sarah Palin yesterday, this is Joseph Goebbels in 1929

    Tuesday, September 14, 2010

    I Hate Being Right - Banking Division

    This should have been expected as both Geithner and Dodd will only talk to bankers. ~ Me
    Tim Geithner spends more time talking to Goldman Sachs CEO
    Lloyd Blankfein than any other living human. Assuming of course that Blankfein is human and not a demon from another dimension.

    Dodd so badly wants a banking sycophant heading the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, he believes its banks that need protection from consumers, he'll kill the agency before allowing Elizabeth Warren to run it.

    Those two boys are responsible for the fact that every attempt to restore the economy has failed.

    My Top Five Posts Every

    I deliberately haven't tried to find out whether anyone is reading this indulgence of mine. I consider it like posting my daily rants on the corner telephone pole to be read or ignored as people wish. Well, Blogger has added a Stats feature that, like it or not, tells me about my audience.

    I have between 200 and 6oo page views a day. Now that doesn't mean readers. Many are probably spambots. Chances are most of the others just glance at the page, notice no pictures of Salma Hayek, and move on.
    I just doubled by readership.

    Most of my viewers come from the United States. No surprise since most of of friends and family are there. Interestingly, better than 10% are Dutch. I can't figure that out but, beste wensen, ya'll.

    My Top Five
    1. The Decline and Fall of the United States. By far my most popular title. Lots of people these days are googling variations off of "fall of the united states" and finding this. Judging from recent comments most are looking for proof that Obama is the Anti-Christ and go away disappointed that I blame George Bush.
    2. American Religious Cults. A personal favorite that is getting attention because of those Republicans who have taken to calling Islam a cult. Real religious cults are recent sects like Mormonism (for polygamy) and Southern Baptists (created to defend slavery).
    3. McCain's Delusional. I am baffled that this one is heading the list. When I wrote it he was a presidential candidate, now he's just another crazy Republican and, frankly, nowhere near the craziest.
    4. The National Languages of the United States. Another personal favorite wherein I look at some of the many vibrant, non-English languages within the United States.
    5. Pity Poor Hester Prynne, If She Lived in Mackinac. Probably only here because of students looking for a quick summary of The Scarlet Letter. Still, it is a pithy little title.

    Monday, September 13, 2010

    The Insanity of the Educated Conservative

    A Christian pastor is about to burn a copy of the Koran when a passing skateboarder snatches it from his hands before it can be lit.

    Not much of a story there but it has caused a stir over at conservative law professor Ann Althouse's blog. It seems the educated elite of the rightwing think that skateboarder ought to be imprisoned for theft.

    Conservatives aren't just wacky anymore, they have become dangerously psychotic.

    Short Takes

    The Duke of Chutzpah
    Former Republican Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham was in the news again last week. If you'll remember, Duke is serving an eight year prison sentence for soliciting and taking bribes. Duke was complaining to a judge that he shouldn't have to pay back taxes to the IRS for all the unreported bribes he took, that if he had known he'd have to pay taxes he never would have accepted a plea bargain.

    How Republican is that? He objects to paying taxes on bribes.

    Lobbyist Smoke and Mirrors
    Duke's replacement, Republican Congressman Brian Bilbray, is following in his master's footsteps. Brian has been caught sponsoring a "cigar club" where lobbyists puff stogies with congressmen and their aides (paging Sigmund Freud) and, hidden by the smokey haze, the congressmen give in to the lobbyist fondest wishes.

    Hillbilly Gun Culture
    One of the best arguments for gun control are gun owners. In the hills of eastern Kentucky, a wife served cold eggs to her husband. Understandably upset, the man, Stanley Neace, grabbed his shotgun and killed his wife plus four of his neighbors. It was his second amendment and biblical right.

    Sunday, September 12, 2010

    Sexy Politics

    There is a rule of thumb that when someone spends all of the time obsessively against something it is because they are plagued by that self same issue. An example is the anti-gay preacher who has homosexual trysts.
    That thought comes up with Tea Party Republican Christine O’Donnell who is running on an exclusively anti-sex, anti-masturbation platform. She is really obsessed with sex. On her first job, with a conservative publisher, she filed a sexual discrimination lawsuit and claimed sexual harassment. While she is unmarried and her opponent (Mike Castle) is married, she is working a whisper campaign that her opponent is gay.

    I have never seen anyone this obsessed with sex not named Hugh Hefner and that leads to some obvious questions. Is she trolling bars looking for hook-ups? Is she a lesbian? She reminds me of Julia from 1984.
    For more of this temptress read FireDogLake and Crooks & Liars.

    Saturday, September 11, 2010

    Wading Through 9-11

    It's the anniversary of the day conservatives when insane. Perspective time.

    Can we compare 9-11 to the Reichstag fire?
    Goodness knows lots of people have tried but the truth is it kinda was, in that pathetic, failed way everything George Bush touched was. In 1933, a Dutch communist set fire to the German legislative building; Hitler used it as an excuse to impose his dream of a 1,000 year Nazi dictatorship on a frightened German people and to wage war against much of the world.

    In 2001, several Arabs flew a couple of planes into the World Trade Center; Bush and Karl Rove tried to use it to build a Permanent Republican Majority and to reshape the Middle East.

    Was 9-11 a CIA conspiracy?
    I love a good conspiracy theory, but no it wasn't. This is probably the most documented conspiracy theory in history. The problem is that as a terrorist act it only requires a couple dozen people, as a conspiracy it would require the manpower of the moon landing.

    Demolition experts had to wire the buildings. There had to be a shitload of intelligence people who knew about the plane hijacking for there to be enough knowledge for the CIA to hijack the hijacking. Air Force personnel from generals to pilots to radar operators had to be involved. Civilian air traffic controllers had to be in on it. Ground crews and airport security had to assist for the government to install remote control of the doomed planes. All this intricate planning from a group of people who couldn't plant a couple of cylinders of nerve gas in Baghdad when they really needed to find some WMDs.

    Was it an Israeli plot instead?
    A more believable theory if only because the Mossad has a better reputation than the CIA. Still, it fails for the same reason as the CIA theory. Too many people had to be involved to pull it off as a conspiracy.

    Could airplanes and jet fuel do all that happened on 9-11?
    The basis for this theory is that jet fuel burns at a far lower temperature than the WTC fires. There are scientists on both sides of this debate, there is science saying conspiracy and equally believable science saying not. Until someone actually tests these theories I am going to believe that nobody knows.

    Did the government lie to New Yorkers about the health dangers around Ground Zero?

    The death toll of relief workers during the ensuing years proves this is almost certainly true.

    Did Bush ignore warning about al Qaeda?
    Of course. But not because he was part of some grand conspiracy but because he is an ignorant twit. He also ignored warnings about the 2008 economic collapse.

    Is 9-11 like Pearl Harbor, the beginning of a World War against Islam?
    Pearl Harbor was a massive attack - three carrier divisions, three submarine squadrons, over 400 planes. 9-11 was 19 hijackers who got lucky. The US death tolls were about equal.

    As for beginning a world war, that is just a neocon wet dream. There are no Muslim invasions of other nations, no massive armies fighting each other. Just a lot of IEDs set by people defending their homelands against American troops.

    Wednesday, September 08, 2010

    Mid-Term Predictions

    Depending upon who you read the Democrats are:

    a) going to get their lunch, breakfast, and midnight snack handed to them in November; or
    b) they are just going to get their lunch back.

    There are a lot of weird dynamics going on.
    1. President Obama has been a disappointment. It isn't so much that the Republicans have blocked virtually every new initiative, although they have. It is that the President and Democrats in Congress didn't use their big majorities aggressively early. He hasn't used the bully pulpit. As Democrats go, he is more like Grover Cleveland than FDR.
    2. Democrats gave the initiative to Republicans. For example, 12% of judgeships are empty. While there are 102 empty judicial seats there are only 39 pending nominees. There should have been a flood of judges drowning Republican resistance but Democrats kept seeking bipartisanship when it was neither needed, desired, nor even productive.
    3. Democrats were irresolute on the economy. This problem lay directly at the feet of Tim Geithner and Chris Dodd. Both saw the current depression as a banking problem only. They believed if they just made bankers happy everything would turn out fine. This should have been expected as both Geithner and Dodd will only talk to bankers. President Obama, rather than acting like FDR or even Ronald Reagan and acting boldly and aggressively to change the economic dynamics, chose to act cautiously1 so as to not frighten/anger the bankers. It would not have mattered if Republicans blocked bold action or even if the bold action didn't help much, Americans respect presidents who do something.

    4. On the other hand...
    5. Republicans are fielding the most wacked out candidates in the nation's history. There is Sharron Angle among many Tea Party candidates who want to force children to carry their rapist's babies to term. Rand Paul believes segregation is a right all businesses should have. Ken Buck and pretty much every Tea Party candidate wants to destroy Social Security. In a normal election year these candidates would only draw single digits in a Republican primary instead of winning them. It is difficult to believe that independents and non-insane Republicans will choose these wackos over any generic Democrat.
    6. The polls aren't all bad. And they could easily swing back to the Dems.
    The worst thing for Democrats is that if they are returned the promise is more of the same. The best thing is that if Republicans like Angle and Paul are elected things can only get very much worse.

    1 - Consider the public works program the President has recently proposed. President-elect Obama proposed an even larger program two years ago and then did absolutely nothing about it.

    Tuesday, September 07, 2010

    Florida Fascists to Burn Koran

    It is hard not the see the parallels between Nazi book burning and the the Florida Koran burning. Both were meant to cleanse society by fire of the influence of an "evil religion" - then Judaism, now Islam. Both were to be symbolic beginnings.
    ...the flames continued to crackle, in which heaps and heaps of collected Jewish poison-literature had been thrown. With this demonstration is the struggle against the Un-German spirit symbolically begun, a struggle that will now proceed. This struggle will not stop, until all Germans are again of the German spirit. ~ Joseph Goebbels, May 1933

    We draw the following tenets from Islam with the specific aim of outdoing the enemy in all aspects of the game of war on terror so that we could destroy Islam - once and forever. ~ War on Jihad
    We know that the 1933 book burning led to a Holocaust. The desired outcome of the 2010 book burning is nuclear annihilation.

    Monday, September 06, 2010

    Labor Day Origins

    Labor Day began because of death, murder of innocent workers by Federal troops.

    The year was 1894, a time very much like now. The nation was undergoing an economic depression (the Panic of 1893). Unemployment was at 18% (currently the real unemployment is 16.7%). There was a Democratic president (Grover Cleveland) who was more interested in foreign affairs (Hawaiian annexation) than the economy in part because Republicans had block many of his reforms and in part because, as a pro-business Democrat, he was not concerned with the plight of the unemployed.

    In 1894 the employees of the Pullman Palace Car Company went on strike. Pullman had fired nearly half his employees due to the depression. For the rest he had slashed wages while increasing their cost of living in his company town. Railway workers throughout the country joined the strike.

    Rather than negotiate with his employees, Pullman and the other railroad men pressured President Cleveland into sending in federal troops as strikebreakers. The troops did what soldiers do. They attacked the workers until enough had died to end the strike.

    President Cleveland compensated the workers for their lost jobs, lost wages, and lost lives with a holiday dedicated to them. The September date was chosen instead of May Day, which the rest of the world uses, because Cleveland was afraid of being called a communist.

    Saturday, September 04, 2010

    US Funds Afghan Corruption

    I understand the logic of this, I really do. I understand why the United States will bail out Kabul Bank of the money stolen from it by Afghan officials. I understand why the US is officially accepting government corruption in Afghanistan. The United States has put all of its eggs in the success of the Hamid Karzai. Any effort to fight corruption will threaten Karzai and the Karzai government will fail if the Kabul Bank goes broke.
    I understand that any other action will lead to the total failure of the US mission in Afghanistan and victory for the Taliban. However, from a purely political point of view these are horrible decisions for President Obama and the Democratic Party.

    It will put Democrats on the wrong side of any honest government debate. It will resurrect the moribund meme that Obama is part of the "corrupt Chicago machine." And what's worse, it won't save the Karzai kleptocracy, it will simply embolden the criminal element in the Afghan government into still greater acts of theft.

    While I'm at it, President Obama declaring the end of combat operations in Iraq (only seven years after Bush's absurd claim) carries all the weight of an anorexic flea since we still have 50,000 soldiers in country. By most definitions that is an occupation army.

    Friday, September 03, 2010

    Big Oil and the War Against People

    Just how stupid do they think we are?

    BP Extortion
    British Petroleum is threatening that if they are not given carte blanche to drill anywhere in the Gulf of Mexico they want at whatever the risk then BP will stiff the people they injured with their massive oil spill. Former CEO Tony Hayward may have been a jerk but we are learning the their current CEO Robert Dudley is a certifiable psychopath.

    What BP seems to forget is they have lots of assets the government can attach if it chooses and lots of ways to punish the company if it goes rogue. The government can take their entire American operations into receivership. And then there is the threat to ban BP from doing any business with the United States in perpetuity.

    Air Force Anti-Wind Farm
    The Air Force says they are terrified of wind turbines because they can fool radar. So can tall buildings. So can mountains. But like those other things, wind turbines don't move. If you know where something is you can work around it. What you see here is Pentagon officials being bribed by Big Oil to kill competing technology. Hell, it's probably BP doing the bribing.

    Thursday, September 02, 2010

    What If Al Capone Owned the Only Bank in Town

    There would be a run on the bank as honest working folk try to get their money out before it disappears.

    The bank's owner (Capone) would ask the US government to guarantee deposits against theft and then keep stealing until the Feds are bled dry.

    The safest place to keep your money would be buried in a coffee can.

    In other words, Afghanistan is pretty much a Goldman Sachs wet dream right now.

    News Report