Friday, July 16, 2004

Terror in the Skies, Again?

Terror in the Skies, Again?

Terrorists make a dry run on flight from east coast to L.A.

(Edited later to ask)

Or were they just 14 Syrian musicians?

(Edited later)

Looks like the cat's out of the bag: musicians it is.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Diagramming the Bush Dynasty

For those of you who think in pictures Cool. Well, icky, actually.

(If you don't watch, you should.)

What Is This 'Safe' Of Which You Speak?

Bush's Twisted Idea of 'Safer', by Juan Cole, who says, in a nutshell, it doesn't matter how many times Bush says we're safer, it's still a fib.

Among other things, he specifically argues that Afhganistan is becoming Europe's Columbia.

Who Knew What?

What Did Bush Know?And what did he think his intelligence agencies knew about Iraqi WMD?

What did the president know about Iraqi WMD—or, more to the point, what did he think (or what was he led to think) his intelligence agencies knew?
This is why the Senate Intelligence Committee wants the summary released. It's the same reason the 9/11 commission wanted the White House to release the president's daily intelligence briefing of Aug. 6, 2001 (the one headlined, "Bin Laden Determined To Strike in U.S."). They want to know what the president knew. Did he have reason to see Osama Bin Laden's attack coming—and, if so, should he have done something about it? Did he know about internal disputes over the evidence of Iraqi weapons programs—and, if so, should he have thought twice about going to war?
If all George W. Bush knew about the Iraqi threat was gleaned from a one-page summary that stated the case for WMD—and that did not even acknowledge the existence of a case for skepticism—that's important to know. It's important for citizens who want some insight on why we went to war. And it's important for the president, who may decide to read a longer document the next time there's trouble.

Emphasis added by me. *ahem*. Especially when that longer document is written at his request, expressly for him.

A National Intelligence Estimate is not an ordinary report. It marks the one occasion when the Central Intelligence Agency warrants its name, acting as a central entity that pulls together the assessments of all the myriad intelligence departments, noting where they agree and where they differ. Most NIEs are produced on an annual basis. Occasionally, the CIA is asked to produce what used to be called a "special" NIE. The 2002 estimate in question, titled "Iraq's Continuing Program for Weapons of Mass Destruction," was such a document. It was ordered so that the president could decide, in an informed manner, whether to go to war. The president is the main consumer of the NIE; it is written entirely for his benefit. To shrink the thing into a single page—to remove all distinctions between certainty and guesswork—is to evade the whole point.

*ahem* Emphasis, again, added by me.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

In Their Language

I understand that many people feel that permitting marriage between gays is essentially a sin, but if we legislate against the right of gays to marry, then we should also be legislating against divorcees remarrying; since no man should be permitted to sunder what God has joined together, divorcees are still married and cannot remarry.

And what other sinners should be legislated against after that, if we keep gays and divorcees from marrying? Should those who engage in pre-marital sex be barred from the right to marry?

Leave each church to censure amongst their own congregations, and let those of us who belong to a different church or faith live by our own religious beliefs. Don't violate everyone's First Amendment rights and hold one church's ideas over all of us.

Even sinners have equal protection under the law.

Monday, July 12, 2004

An Instruction Manual, an Ultimate Authority

I read this today at Bartholomew's Notes On Religion:

But back to the topic in hand: Snyder points out that Moore is responsible for at least two falsehoods in his film. First, Moore accuses Bush of stealing the 2000 election, which even “liberal journalists” have conceded is untrue; and, second, Richard Clark has shown the accusations about the Saudi flights out of USA after 9/11 to have been false. But Snyder has a more devastating critique: he’s compared Moore to the Bible, and found the latter more reliable:
in order to know the truth about reality, all readers and viewers should have an instructional manual, an ultimate authority on whom they can rely. The Bible is the best, most reliable, most truthful, most moral, most beautiful, most factual, most rational, most logical, most historical, and most profound instructional manual on the face of this planet. By knowing, studying, and using the truth that it reports, you can know the truth about the comments, opinions, and value judgments of the people, books, articles, movies, videos, TV programs, and theater plays in your life and in your social and cultural environment.

All this made me think to ask was...can the Bible teach me how to program my VCR?

Bush Flips Off Protesters

Bearing banner "MORE TREES, LESS BUSH"

Pennsylvania Protesters Get the Bird From Bush

...The action got started off right when we arrived on the scene, and seven or eight teenage guys decided to "re-enact" the prison abuse scandals in Iraq by stripping down to thongs and making a human pyramid, while donning black hoods. The police officers on the scene immediately tackled them and led them out in handcuffs...
After waiting around for about 45 minutes, the motorcade passed by us again. A few police cars, followed by a van or two, drove by. Then, a Bush/Cheney bus passed, followed by a second one going slower. At the front of this second bus was The W himself, waving cheerily at his supporters on the other side of the highway...[We] rose our banner...and he turned to wave to our side of the road. His smile faded, and he raised his left arm in our direction. And then, George W. Bush, the 43rd president of the United States of America, extended his middle finger.
Read that last sentence again.
I got flipped off by George W. Bush.

Funny how Mr. Bush never says "Bring 'em on" to those who disagree with him.

Absolutely Unacceptable

U.S. Mulling How to Delay Nov. Vote in Case of Attack

Don't even think, for one tiny minute, that we can permit this.

Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge warned last week that Osama bin Laden (news - web sites)'s al Qaeda network want to attack within the United States to try to disrupt the election.
[House Intelligence Committee member, Jane] Harman said Ridge's threat warning "was a bust" because it was based on old information.
Newsweek cited unnamed sources who told it that the Department of Homeland Security asked the Justice Department (news - web sites) last week to review what legal steps would be needed to delay the vote if an attack occurred on the day before or on election day.
The department was asked to review a letter from DeForest Soaries, chairman of the new U.S. Election Assistance Commission, in which he asked Ridge to ask Congress for the power to put off the election in the event of an attack...
The commission was created in 2002 to provide funds to states to replace punch card voting systems and provide other assistance in conducting federal elections...
In his letter, Soaries wrote that while New York's Board of Elections suspended primary elections in New York on the day of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, "the federal government has no agency that has the statutory authority to cancel and reschedule a federal election."

That's because, Mr. Soaries, if someone drives another plane into a tower somewhere, that should not stop an election in Des Moines. Or Kansas City. Or Irvine. Unless the tower happens to be located there. Delaying ALL of an election because of something happening in one state infringes on *my* right, in *my* state, to cast my vote. The appropriate response to another terrorist attack is to hold announcing the results of the election, until all the votes have been counted, including those in the specific precincts, districts, municipalities, counties, or states that could not keep their polls open or report their ballots received properly.

The US Election Assistance Commission referred to in this article was created in 2002 by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), which means...

The people who brought us Diebold, in all their unsafe and election-fixing glory, would like to 'delay' your vote.

The appropriate phrase here, is, "over my dead body". Got it? Good.