Saturday, January 31, 2004

A Tale of...

a CIA asset who eventually came to power in a mid-sized country in the Middle East, and how the US aided and succored him, and his regime.

Go watch it.

The asset's name?

Saddam Hussein.

Kudos to J, for the link!
Media Power

The Awesome Destructive Power of the CPM

I just want to point out here that the Founding Fathers of my country? They've been spinning in their graves for a long, long time now.

Friday, January 30, 2004

In the Nail.Hammer.Bang. Department

"Bad Intelligence" didn't make anyone do anything

The Clinton administration was getting the same intelligence, yet it, reasonably, did not head off to the United Nations to warn that Iraq needed to be invaded yesterday.

It is simply not true that the Bush administration's decision to go to war with Iraq was the result of "bad intelligence." In the most significant sense, that decision had nothing at all to do with the quality of the intelligence they were getting. The decision was one of policy -- a decision that depended "not upon available facts but upon judgment." As the Star-Tribune editorial points out [linked to from above -- Sid.], the Clinton administration had virtually the same intelligence -- yet came to a different conclusion altogether with regard to the proper course of action.
But this tactic serves an important purpose: it passes blame off to another party, and in effect lets the administration off the hook. The administration thus hopes to insulate itself from examination, criticism and accountability. It's as if the administration is saying: "The intelligence made us do it."
But the intelligence, whatever it was, didn't make them do anything. They had already decided what they wanted to do -- and the intelligence was almost irrelevant.

NJ Gov Endorses Dean
Kerry talks the talk, Dean walks the walk

I stand by my support of Gov. Dr. Dean.

Dean continues criticism of Kerry's congressional record

Howard Dean said Friday that Democratic presidential rival John Kerry hasn't accomplished much during his 20-year Senate career and that the presidential nominee should be "a doer, not a talker."
Prime Minister Censured Over Iraq Lies

Senate censure PM over war

THE Senate today censured Prime Minister John Howard for misleading the people of Australia over the reasons for going to war with Iraq.

Senator Brown said Mr Howard was involved in an unprecedented deceit of the nation and deserved censure.
He said Mr Howard had declared that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and support of international terrorism threatened Australia and its people.

"It has become abundantly clear that the prime minister was not just a bit wrong. He was totally wrong."

Shouldn't we be following suit? I say, it's time to impeach.

kudos to T, for the tip.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

America as a One-Party State

Have you read this yet? Get into the details, you'll be appalled.

America as a One-Party State

Legislation Without Hearings. Before the DeLay revolution, drafting new legislation in conference committee was almost unknown. But under DeLay, major provisions of the Medicare bill sprang fully grown from a conference committee. Republicans got a conference to include a weakened media-concentration standard that had been explicitly voted down by each house separately. Though both chambers had voted to block an administration measure watering down overtime-pay protections for workers, the provision was tacked onto a must-pass bill in conference. The official summary of House procedures, written by the (Republican-appointed) House parliamentarian and updated in June 2003, notes: "The House conferees are strictly limited in their consideration to matters in disagreement between the two Houses. Consequently, they may not strike out or amend any portion of the bill that was not amended by the other House. Furthermore, they may not insert new matter that is not germane to or that is beyond the scope of the differences between the two Houses." Like the rights guaranteed in the Soviet constitution, these rules are routinely waived.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Bush and the Deficit

Read all of Krugman's article:

"Even conservatives are starting to admit that George Bush isn't serious when he claims to be doing something about the exploding budget deficit. At best — to borrow the already classic language of the State of the Union address — his administration is engaged in deficit reduction-related program activities."

Krugman also points out that "Federal tax receipts as a share of national income are now at their lowest level since 1950." Yet, "taxes that fall mainly on middle-income Americans, like the payroll tax, are still near historic highs," thanks to the Bush 'tax cuts'.

The ones he wants to make permanent.

Mr. Bush. Dr. Dean

The (very) short film.

Monday, January 26, 2004


Yesterday, I took the Director's Guild's Assistant Director Training Program test, as part of the application process to join their Asst Dir. Training Program.

Asst. Directors are not junior directors or directors-to-be. They're project managers and support staff, they keep things running smoothly so the director and focus on the camera. Pun intended. They're like the MIS department of a company as near as I can tell: you only really know they're there when something's *wrong*, not when everything is fine.

A friend and former work colleague suggested I look into it as a possible job option, and I found the program, read up on it, said, "Yeah, I'd like doing this. A lot," and signed up to take the test.

It was held at the USC campus, Sunday, so I've been in LA since Saturday night (since I work in south LA, now, it seemed silly to go home just to drive back this morning, when I was already so close to the office). I'm looking forward to going home to my cats tonight. Very much.

The test? It was pretty straightforward. Strong personality profile component. Like the LSAT, included reading/verbal comprehension and logic problems.

Easier, overall, I think. More time crunch, though. Instead of 30 minutes for a section, there were several that were 9 or 12. So the perception of ease might just be the perception of speed. I'll know how I did in 6-8 weeks.

Baby-Green Raglan

'member I said I felt like pulling out an old project and working on it? Yesterday I stood in line a lot, waiting to take a test, and knitted on the baby-green raglan pull over. It's about 15 inches from back neck down right now, so I'll probably switch to baby-yellow in another inch or so. Not sure what I'm going to do yet for the sleeves. Stripes in green and yellow, maybe.