:: The Fred Willard Fan Site ::

(UNDER CONSTRUCTION)

:: Thursday, November 28, 2002 ::

'You Know, I Invented the Double Chin'


:: COINTELPRO Tool 5:51 PM [+] ::
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Think Advertising Might Be the Life for You?

Watch this to find out for sure.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 5:26 PM [+] ::
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When Two Different Kinds of Fowl Aren't Enough

I guess I've been out of the poultry loop, but I had never heard of this whole turducken thing until Ron and Fez were prattling on about it a week ago.

It strikes me as completely short-sighted and unimaginative. There are so many other members of the aves class that are not represented in this dish. If these people were serious, they would take their duck-stuffed-inside-a-chicken-stuffed-inside-a-turkey and cram it into the deboned carcass of an emu.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 5:24 PM [+] ::
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This Whole 'Delinking' Thing

I wasn't going to post on the two most recent delinking brouhahas, as they hardly merit the term "brouha," much less the extra "ha." Eugene Volokh pretty much speaks for me on the subject, though I would be a bit more curt about the whole thing.

If you link to me, thanks. If you don't, I'm not likely to give a shit, unless, as has been the case at least once or twice, you happen to be a blogger that I respect, but for some reason have found something I've written objectionable and have stricken me from your blogroll. In those cases, I have certainly been more than a bit disappointed, but I haven't whined about it publicly. Nor have I reciprocated. As for my own links, they are only a list of blogs I agree with some of the time -- some more frequently than others. They are not an endorsement of all content contained therein.

Needless to say, I don't have much sympathy for others who have publicly protested being ostracized from someone else's blog, unless they, like Charles Johnson, have been wrongly accused of being a racist, in addition to being delinked.

To those of you who use delinking as a pathetic substitute for engaging people and ideas you don't happen to agree with, I feel sorry for you. Especially in the case of someone who delinks to another blogger he/she often agrees with, only after finding out that they happen to disagree on the least consequential things, like facile political labels (I'm speaking hypothetically, of course). You're only cheating yourself. If you have any doubts about that, read this:
All I can say is, if Right Wing warbloggers aren't "cocooning," they need to start, because the Lefty bloggers are alive and well and regardless of outcome of the last Election, they are winning in the blogosphere through sheer malice, shrillness and personal attacks and it's not very pretty.

See what I mean, kids? Cocooning leads to stultifying ignorance, as reflected in the above quote (which is the only reason I posted on this nonsense at all). So quit while you still have half a brain. And if you haven't started, don't.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 4:55 PM [+] ::
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:: Wednesday, November 27, 2002 ::

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:: Monday, November 25, 2002 ::

Mmm, That's Good ... Hey!

If you're down in the dumps over the "shameful treatment" of Washington sniper suspect John Lee Malvo -- or if you just can't understand why the rest of the world (the sane part) doesn't realize that those riots in Nigeria are really the fault of "annual parade of female flesh," then head on over to Mike Hanson's pub.

Drinks are on the house!
:: COINTELPRO Tool 8:00 PM [+] ::
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:: Sunday, November 24, 2002 ::

You've Got To Be Shitting Me!

Damian Penny notes that Whatreallyhappened.com has posted yet another piece promoting the infamous lie that hundreds (the figure has been reduced from 4,000 to 1,200 in this version) Israeli Jews failed to show up for their WTC jobs on 9/11. No real surprise there.

And the piece in question is from Black Electorate.com. Okay, so that's somewhat of a surprise, but not really.

Here's the surprise, or at least outrage: the piece's author, David Graham Du Bois, is a visiting professor of Afro-american Studies at UMASS Amherst.

Got a problem with that? You can e-mail the UMASS provost here to voice your concerns.

UPDATE: Laurence Simon thinks I'm wrong to so quickly question Mr. Du Bois' value to an institution of higher learning ...
Dear University of Massachusetts Provost,

Your university ought to be commended for selecting such a fine individual as David G. DuBois for your African American Studies Program. However, I believe you have made a mistake as regards to his role in the Department.

Based on his recent article on the BlackElectorate web site (http://www.blackelectorate.com/articles.asp?ID=480), I would think that the students would most benefit from his years of experience not in the role of a professor, but as a case-study. He'd be a fine specimen of libelous hate and reliance on conspiracy theory instead of fact for a group of graduate students to analyze, ultimately searching for some explanation as to why a venerable member of the teaching profession would stoop to such acrimonious and shameful behavior.

The program is African-American Studies, after all, and I think it's important that he be studied to answer the critical questions of:

Why?
In God's name, why?

and

Is this man in his right mind?

I sincerely hope you have a discussion with the Dean of that program to rectify the obvious error in time for the Spring Semester so the students may gain the maximum benefit from his presence there.

Sincerely,
Laurence Simon
Houston, TX

PS: If you and the Dean should agree with my suggestion that he be studied for his rather ludicrous and unfounded paranoid fantasies, I'd suggest approaching Mr. DuBois with as many forms of ID as you have available. He might think you're a member of the Mossad, after all.

Ouch.

UPDATE II: Two people have forwarded messages from the UMASS provost saying that Du Bois retired from the "in the summer of 2001, a few months before he wrote the article in question." Fair enough, though his UMASS e-mail address was listed on the piece in question, and is still in the department's online directory.

Please desist from sending UMASS e-mails.


:: COINTELPRO Tool 8:25 PM [+] ::
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Appeasement Watch

The Saudi royal family link to the September 11 hijackers suggests that we're lurching back into our pre-9/11 realpolitik approach to dealing with countries that are not our friends. The administration continues to insist that the Saudis are cooperating fully in the war on jihadis, and have given us invaluable information.

That certainly appears to be the case with the Yemenis, as well as Pakistan. And I'm not ready to declare war on the House of Saud just yet -- it is a rather huge royal family, and shouldn't be viewed as a monolith.

But I'm not ready to take the administration's word for this Saudi cooperation, either. I have yet to see any evidence that they have either given us information that has helped us nab any al-qaeda leaders, or at least acted to curb the financing and moral support that continues unabated within their country.

As for Pakistan, I was a lot more sympathetic to Musharraf -- who has definitely given us valuable support, despite our reneging on promises to throw him a trade barrier bone -- until I read this. Even if they had already given us bin Laden's head on a platter, I'm not sure it excuses making one of our enemies a nuclear power.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 1:51 PM [+] ::
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Why They Hate Us™ ... In Their Own Words

Damian Penny links to the full text of bin Laden's grievances against America, and wonders if the Left will finally get it through their heads that the jihadi's will never be placated by changes in our foreign policy.

I doubt it. The problem here is that they actually believe the same nonsense bin Laden does, and view some -- if not all -- of his grievances as valid. I've been administering a consistency test on anyone I meet who holds the root cause Leftist view, by asking them if they believe that neo-nazis and other white supremacists in America would be appeased by the elimination of affirmative action and other policies that promote desegregation, or by closing our borders to brown people.

No one has said yes so far, but they usually argue that I'm begging the question: "those policies happen to be right, and it's the racists who are wrong. Why should we stop doing something good to placate people who are evil?"

Exactly.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 10:00 AM [+] ::
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:: Saturday, November 23, 2002 ::

The Magic of Compounded Stupidity

This is simply priceless. but at least they give you a T-shirt, and a "certificate suitable for framing."

The Nigerian e-mail scam artists don't do that.
[Via Something Awful]
:: COINTELPRO Tool 6:09 PM [+] ::
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:: Friday, November 22, 2002 ::

Correction

Yesterday, addressing the Global Howler's 9/11 conspiracy timeline, I incorrectly noted that Enron had pulled out of its liquid natural gas (LNG) venture in Qatar in 2001, not 1999. Bruce Rolston correctly points out that these were two different ventures. My mistake.

But my central point -- that Global Howler, among others, have falsely claimed that Enron's Dabhol electrical plant in India was "jeopardized" when the company "lost access" to Qatari LNG. First, I'm not sure you can say that Enron "lost" access -- they walked away from it because it wasn't profitable. And the Business World story Bruce cites for the impacts on Dabhol sounds remarkably upbeat.

Bruce also quotes this report:
The 1995 letter of intent was for the construction of an LNG plant in Qatar with an annual capacity of 5 mm tpy, supplying LNG to Dabhol, Israel and Jordan.
The project suffered its first set back when Israel in 1996 refused to purchase Qatari gas. Enron failed to find new clients for the spare capacity.
In December, Enron signed a sales and purchase agreement with Oman LNG for 1.6 mm tpy of LNG for the Dabhol plant. It said it would also sign a deal with Abu Dhabi Gas Liquefication for 500,000 tpy.

Essentially, Enron decided that it did not have enough demand for LNG to support an entirely new project, so it opted for "expanding existing facilities." This also belies Bruce's claim that the shutdown forced Enron to "look for alternate sources" to fuel the Dabhol project. They already had alternate sources, but that's a relatively minor point.

I suppose you could argue that technically one could be said to "lose" something when you decide it is no longer in your interest and walk away from it. And to be fair, Global Howler does not go as far as Mike Ruppert, who proclaimed that with the loss of "access" to Qatari LNG, Enron's "only remaining option to make the investment profitable is a trans-Afghani gas pipeline to be built by Unocal from Turkmenistan that would terminate near the Indian border at the city of Multan."

So, I'm willing concede that Global Howler's argument -- and it is an argument, and not merely a "question," as the site's publisher has repeatedly claimed in his lame impersonation of Eric Idle in Flit's comments -- is flagrantly deceptive, while Ruppert's is just a lie.

And an outrageous one at that.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 2:33 PM [+] ::
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He Got to Experience All the Jet's Features

From today's Inside the Ring:
VIP ejected
The military routinely puts VIPs in the back seats of supersonic jet fighters. It's good public relations. But what happened over the Nevada desert last week was anything but typical.
An F-14D Tomcat took off from Fallon Naval Air Station with a VIP in the back seat — a naval officer from the cruiser Anzio who was on what the military calls a "FAM Hop," or familiarization ride.
In flight, when the pilot pulled a "negative 1g," the gravity force moved the officer nearly off his seat. He reached down to reposition himself and accidentally pulled the ejection lever. The cockpit canopy flew off and out went the VIP.
"Imagine the reaction of the poor pilot lieutenant when he lost his VIP," said our source.
A Navy official at the Pentagon confirmed the incident. He said the ejection system automatically opened the VIP's parachute. He landed safely in the Nevada desert and waited for his rescue.
"He'll have a great story to tell sailors back on the Anzio," the source said.

Damn. Ejecting from a fighter jet has to be one of the most intense experiences imaginable, but when you're not even expecting it?

:: COINTELPRO Tool 11:04 AM [+] ::
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Assault With a Deadly Disposable Camera

Stefan Sharkansky has a must-read account of his encounter with the peace movement at Ehud Barak's address at Berkeley, and his subsequent notoriety on the San Fran Indymedia page (which has to be the tip of the lunacy spear).

In addition to reacting to Barak -- you know, the Jew who actually tried to give the Palestinians their own country -- as if he were Meir Kahane risen from the grave, the bay area chapter of Hebephrenics Anonymous actually try to paint Stefan as the aggressor:
After the talk was over, a proIsreal fanatic attacked a Palestinian woman and after a small scuffle he dropped a disposable camera and yelled for the police. A Palestinian man who may have pushed him was then arrested and is being held on felony charges for stealing and damaging the man's disposable camera...

Believe it or not, this Indymidiot probably has a future in journalism.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 1:08 AM [+] ::
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:: Thursday, November 21, 2002 ::

Who Said Anything About Being Objective?

Bruce Rolston has replied to my earlier post on the conspiracy theory web site, Global Howler. Curiously, he uses the headline, "Who's Really Still Objective." I've certainly never claimed to be objective, and my criticisms of Global Howler and the rest of the collection of conspiracy nuts have had nothing to do with objectivity, either. It's about honesty.

More to the point, Bruce puts in a great deal of effort into trying to reconcile Global Howler's rhetoric with the truth, or at least, within the realm of "reasonable questions." His general argument is that Global Howler is one of his "level one" conspiracy sites, in that it merely raises unanswered questions, and doesn't try to "link stuff in improbable chains." He also uses the term "dispassionate" to describe their presentation of the facts, which is quite a howler in itself. I'm not sure how dispassionate it is to post a story about the 9/11 hijackers working out at various gyms "presumably, to get in shape for a hijacking," under the headline, "Preparing to Die."

Global Howler does far more than merely raise questions. Although they do not go as far as Mike Ruppert and whatreallyhappened.com (which are not, as he notes, one and the same), but they still present information in a highly distorted manner, which is clearly intended to lean the reader toward the same idiotic conclusions. And yes, Bruce, the also lie.

In many places in his post, Bruce selectively edits passages both from the global howler website and my e-mails, leaving out relevant information. First, he quotes me on Larry SIlverstein's attempt to double his insurance policy on the WTC towers by claiming the attacks were two separate events:
'The howlers suggest WTC owner Larry Silverstein may profit from the attacks... And take a gander at the first source cited for this item: the rabidly anti-Semitic aztlan.net..."

What global howler actually said:

"July 24, 2001: The US Government sells the World Trade Center to Manhattan real estate mogul Larry Silverstein. This is the only time the WTC has ever been sold. Silverstein is now pursuing a $7.1 billion insurance claim, after paying $3.2 billion for a 99 year lease on the doomed property."

This is, simply a fact. The source, anti-Semitic or not, does not matter if it's true.

And here is what I actually wrote in the e-mail he butchered:
The howlers suggest WTC owner Larry Silverstein may profit from the attacks ("For Sale: Large Insurance Claim"), for pursuing a $7.1 billion
insurance settlement for property he paid $3.2 billion for.

To the innumerate (or actuarially illiterate, to be more precise) the $7.1B payout looks like a sweet deal for property that only cost you $3.2B, but the estimated liability is around $40B. Most business papers have derided Silverstein as an idiot for grossly underinsuring the WTC, but these guys make him sound like a profiteer.

And take a gander at the first source cited for this item: the rabidly anti-Semitic aztlan.net (they even have a Spanish version of the Protocols on their site).

As you can see, I did not suggest that the information in that specific item was factually incorrect -- just incredibly misleading, and quite obviously intentionally so. But he completely evaded this point in his response. And I maintain that my criticism of their use of the aztlan hate site was valid. The "facts" as they cited them, were available in the respectable sources the quoted after aztlan.net, so why include it?

Then, Bruce claims that I unfairly accused global howler of lying when they wrote that an Enron electrical plant in India was "is jeopardized when the company loses access to fuel for the plant from the State of Qatar." He grants me my point that Enron had two other sources of LNG to power the plant, and that the real reason the plant failed was over disagreement over a fair fee to operate the plant. But he maintains that the blurb is still factually correct, because Enron did, in fact, lose access to those particular sources.

Even if I were to grant him this point, the post still goes far beyond his "level one"standard, and is highly deceptive. But as it happens, the item is not true, despite his protests:
The move by the Dabhol Power Company, 65 percent owned by Enron, starts the clock ticking on a six-month notice period before the contract is voided, during which negotiations to settle the dispute are expected. The $2.9 billion Dabhol project represents the largest single foreign investment in India. Separately, Enron said today that it was withdrawing from a pipeline project in Qatar, which would have supplied some gas to Dabhol. The company said that the two steps were unrelated.[LA Times, May 22, 2001]

Please note that the "event" in global howler's timeline is dated April 1999, and yet Enron pulled out (and not the other way around) of its deal with Qatar two years later. I suppose it's possible that Enron had both lost it's deal with Qatar and gained it back within that two-year period, and only the Albion Monitor caught this amazing story (there is no reference to it on Lexis-Nexis), but I think I'm going to have to call this a lie.

On another howler item, Bruce says:
And they rely too much on the UK Mirror's description of the October, 2000 emergency drills at the Pentagon, which dealt with a airliner crashing into the building, but not necessarily a hijacked airliner, as they claim. But all that just suggests to me that they haven't seen all the evidence Herbert and I have yet, not that they're building air castles out of nothing.

Excuse me? They added details that were not included in the story they quoted. It's not that they missed some important detail, which could be attributed to not having access to all the relevant information. They made it up. You can't chalk that up to ignorance. It's a flagrant lie.

Finally, Bruce says that I was wrong on global howler's item about bin Laden family members being flown out of the U.S. during the grounding of all other commercial flights.
"The young members of the bin Laden clan... left the country on a private charter plane when airports reopened three days after the attacks."

Again, that's exactly true. Herbert's the one with his facts wrong this time.

He is certainly right about the "out of the U.S." part, as I did, in fact, miss the fact that they accurately quoted the infamous NYT story, which has been distorted by many others. But the headline of that particular item says "Flying when no one else can" -- another example of that "dispassionate" portrayal of the facts, and, in this case, quite deceptive.

And yet again, Bruce selectively edits the relevant passage, this time from the global howler's post. The complete item reads, "The young members of the bin Laden clan were driven or flown under FBI supervision to a secret assembly point in Texas and then to Washington from where they left the country on a private charter plane when airports reopened three days after the attacks."

Notice the Times writes "driven or flown," suggesting quite clearly that they had no confirmation at all that the bin Ladens were able to "fly when no one else can," as their headline suggests. I suppose that you can argue that their post was technically not a lie, but again, it was clearly intended to deceive.

Bruce says he believes that global howler "to be using their website to search for truth in a state of imperfect knowledge, I hold out hopes that that dialogue might be possible, and profitable." As for me, I wasn't suggesting that global howler was as bad as the blatantly racist sites like Rivero's. But they actively engage in deceipt to arrive at conclusions that are idiotic. In addition to their timeline, the web site features a flash video with the concise title, "Bush Knew." Tell me again how they are just asking reasonable questions, and provide a "flatter, more dispassionate telling of the same facts" as the other bastions of hebephrenia?

If Bruce really thinkshas he can engage in a reasoned discussion with the howlers, I wish him the best of luck.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 1:53 PM [+] ::
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:: Wednesday, November 20, 2002 ::

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A Lie Is a Lie

Bruce Rolston says that I shouldn't paint all conspiracy theory Web sites with such a broad brush, and takes issue with my letter to Toronto Star columnist Antonia Verbisias. He categorizes such Web sites into three different levels of looniness, and argues that one of the three sites Zerbisias shamelessly -- and uncritically -- plugged in her original column actually has some merit:
But for the moment I'd rate globalhowler.com, despite the silly name, as a Level 1 site. People should read it. There are a lot of questions it raises (such as the airline stock profiteering, or why John Ashcroft was warned to stop using commercial air) that, due to any official U.S. inquiry, have never been explained, at least to my satisfaction. It's certainly worth a look, and if Zerbisias had shown any ability to discriminate between the sane conspiracy theorists and the insane ones, I'd have a lot more respect for her.

As for Bill Herbert, I don't think he's read globalhowler.com. Because there are some questions there that I don't think he could "cut to pieces quite easily."

As it happens, I have read global howler, though I admit that I hadn't seen it until Zerbisias' column alerted me to it's existence. Its "9/11 timeline" is nearly identical to Mike Ruppert's own timeline, which of course is riddled with flagrant distortions and outright lies. Global Howler even cites Ruppert's idiotic Delmart Vreeland spy case. If Bruce had read my own five-part series on Ruppert's timeline -- and I don't think he has -- he would know that I have already cut the vast majority of the same arguments to pieces, quite easily.

I'll grant Bruce his contention that things such as the pre-9/11 put options have not been satisfactorily explained. But the suggestion that the CIA knew of the transactions beforehand -- and should have concluded that a series of coordinated hijackings to fly commercial airliners into the WTC and the pentagon was in the works -- is complete garbage. As for Ashcroft's flight plans, you don't even need Occam's razor to conclude that this was an example of the sense of entitlement political appointees often think they are entitled to. Remember John Sununu?

The main point of my letter to Zerbisias was that these kinds of questions are raised in the evil corporate-controlled media here in the states. And in a more responsible manner, I might add. The argument that reading outright lies on the internet, just to get at the nugget of truth that they sometimes surround, is nonsense.

So no, Bruce, people don't "need" to look at these conspiracy web sites -- any of them -- to maintain a healthy level of skepticism. There are plenty of respectable sources of news and opinion that are willing to take on sacred cows, and they do so without injecting silliness about Navy spies in Canadian jails, or urban legends about bin Laden relatives being flown out of the U.S. by the FBI while during a commercial flight grounding.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 12:09 PM [+] ::
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:: Tuesday, November 19, 2002 ::

Blogroll Updates

Andrew Northrup and Missy Schwartz have broken the blogger/blogspot cycle of abuse. Their new sites are very well done, too.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 12:21 AM [+] ::
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:: Monday, November 18, 2002 ::

I'll Bet You Didn't Know ...

Lyndon LaRouche's 2004 campaign Web site has a campaign humor page.

It's not as funny as the rest of the site, though.

Just FYI.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 11:54 PM [+] ::
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Ooh! Pamphlets!






:: COINTELPRO Tool 11:46 PM [+] ::
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News You Won't Read at Indymedia

'Cuz they're like trying to hide the truth, yo.

The usual idiots protested the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (formerly known as the School of the Americas) at Fort Benning. I guess they were expecting what passes for martyrdom in their weak subculture, but they were visited with the most insidious form oppression. The Benning soldiers actually tried to engage them intellectually:
By the hundreds, protesters boarded buses at Fort Benning and entered the training center they want to see closed.

But the 334 people who got in Saturday weren't arrested for trespassing. Instead, they were the guests of the commander and faculty of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation.

"If they want to protest against us, we thought they ought to know a little about us," said Lee A. Rials, a public relations officer for the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, the successor to the U.S. Army's School of the Americas.

Imagine that.


:: COINTELPRO Tool 7:36 PM [+] ::
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:: Sunday, November 17, 2002 ::

:: COINTELPRO Tool 11:11 PM [+] ::
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Damned If They Do, Damned If They Don't

Today, we have yet another "Stop Warning Us Already!" editorial, this time from NYT:
Once again last week, Washington, in effect, warned that the sky was falling, and officials did a good imitation of Henny Penny as they analyzed the latest intelligence data about Osama bin Laden. This is no way to conduct the affairs of the most powerful, technologically advanced nation on the planet.

The only thing warnings this vague are good for is providing political cover in case of disaster. They offer no specific information about the location, timing or method of attack, and are all but useless to the average citizen, or even to local law enforcement officers.

I suppose it never occurred to these flipping idiots that if the feds had "specific information about the location, timing or method of attack," they wouldn't need to issue public warnings about them. They would go get the muhfuggers who were planning them, a la London's finest.

And as for "political cover," I can't for the life of me understand why the feds would engage in such cynical behavior as that. It's not as if every amateur spook within the fourth estate is second guessing their ability to prevent terrorist attacks that were unprecedented in their ingenuity and sophistication or anything.

Maybe my threshold for this kind of stress is much higher than the delicate senses of NYT editorialists, but I really don't see where they get this "warning overdose" crap from. Such warnings, as vague as they are -- and sorry, but that's life. You don't get a blueprint, especially for dealing with chaotic events like acts of terror -- have been intermittent.

If Instapundit's dream of a vigilant society that acts "like a pack, not a herd" is to be realized, it will be over the dead bodies of these thin-skinned editorialists. They may chide the government for it's failures, but deep down, they want them to just take care of it, leaving the public out of it completely. But God help the feds if they don't do it perfectly, and without trampling on anyone's pricavy or civil liberties.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 6:23 PM [+] ::
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I'm Back ... Sort of

Haven't posted anything since midweek, as I've been incredibly busy with my life outside the blogosphere -- grad school, crises at my day job, and as if that weren't enough, my fucking car was stolen Wednesday night!

I loved that car -- 1996 Special Edition Acura Integra.

Anyhoo, posting will be less than prolific for the next three weeks or so. And if anyone has any great ideas for my next car purchase, you know where to find me.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 6:02 PM [+] ::
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:: Wednesday, November 13, 2002 ::

Sick Fucks 'R Us


From the Age:
Most of the conversation was inaudible to dozens of journalists and photographers who watched from behind glass, but at one moment Amrozi pointed to Western journalists and said in Indonesian: "Those are the sorts of people that I wanted to kill," prompting laughter in the room full of police.

General Bachtiar told reporters later that Amrozi had spoken of his pleasure when he heard that his bomb had exploded successfully.

Amrozi said he had been sent home to his village in East Java by the plotters he had been working with before the attack.

"He heard about the bombing in Bali on the morning of October 13 at exactly 7am on Radio EL Shinta," General Bachtiar said. "He was delighted that his bomb had successfully exploded in Bali."

Why haven't we granted MFN status to East Timor yet?

:: COINTELPRO Tool 9:33 PM [+] ::
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Today's Warped Google Referral

ann coulter panties

They never seem to stay on this page for very long.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 9:22 PM [+] ::
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Beat the Rush -- Get Your Inflated Body Counts in Now!

Marc Herold, you're already late. Even after Noam Chomsky's violently wrong prediction of a "silent genocide" in Afghanistan, Leftists still haven't learned the axiom, don't count your chickens until they've hatched -- or as the French prefer to say, "don't count your eggs while they're still in the chicken's ass." The Medical Association for the Prevention of War (MAPW) Australia is already weighing in with a body count for Gulf War II:
A US-led attack on Iraq is likely to result in between 48,000 and 260,000 deaths during the first three months of combat, according to a study by medical and public health experts launched in Parliament House by the Medical Association for Prevention of War (MAPW) today. Post-war health effects could take an additional 200,000 lives.

The group based this estimate on the casualties from the first gulf war -- all 205,000 of them. As they say, garbage in, garbage out.
[Via Mike Hanson]
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:: Tuesday, November 12, 2002 ::

Dogs and Cats, Living Together ...


"Greenpeace Demands Removal of IMC Articles Relating to their Labour Dispute"

Greenpeace. In a labor dispute. And hurling threats at Indymedia. What's not to love?
:: COINTELPRO Tool 9:10 PM [+] ::
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Warning: May Induce Spit-takes

Or projectile vomiting. Either way, something's got to give:
To: Mr. Michael Moore

Michael Moore, we come to you as very concerned citizens of the United States.

First of all, we want you to know that we have the utmost respect for you and your insistence on doing the right thing in support of freedom, truth and human rights. Through your words and actions, you have shown us that there is still a beacon of hope for the state of our nation.

It is our faith in the future of America, and the facing of the painful realities of the past and present, that brings us to you. America needs Michael Moore in the Oval Office.

Years from now, they'll call it "Payback Tuesday II: Electric Boogaloo."

:: COINTELPRO Tool 9:00 PM [+] ::
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In This War, There Are No Chickenhawks

Bruce Rolston gives some good insight on the absurdity of the chickenhawk nonargument, at least in a society that prides itself on civilian control of the military (duh!). Meanwhile, Christopher Hitchens has a more extended version of the remarks he made on C-SPAN Friday:
The first thing to notice about this propaganda is how archaic it is. The whole point of the present phase of conflict is that we are faced with tactics that are directed primarily at civilians. Thus, while I was traveling last year in Pakistan, on the Afghan border and in Kashmir, and this year in the gulf, my wife was fighting her way across D.C., with the Pentagon in flames, to try and collect our daughter from a suddenly closed school, was attempting to deal with anthrax in our mailbox, was reading up on the pros and cons of smallpox vaccinations, and was coping with the consequences of a Muslim copycat loony who'd tried his hand as a suburban sniper. Should things ever become any hotter, it would be far safer to be in uniform in Doha, Qatar, or Kandahar, Afghanistan, than to be in an open homeland city. It is amazing that this essential element of the crisis should have taken so long to sink into certain skulls.

My wife is not of military age, and there is little chance of a draft for mothers. Are her views on Iraq therefore disqualified from utterance? And what about older comrades who can no longer shoulder a gun? What about friends of mine who are physically disabled? Should their expertise—often considerable—be set aside because they can't ram it home with a bayonet?

Read the whole thing.


:: COINTELPRO Tool 11:15 AM [+] ::
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The Next Front

JI, the Indonesian al-qaeda subsidiary, is trying to establish a beachhead in Australia:
US-based terrorist expert Zachary Abuza, of Simmons College in Boston, said he had been told by Malaysian officials that Hambali had visited Australia, but it was not known precisely why he came and where he went.

"I'm not sure of what he was doing in Australia, I don't think anyone does, but clearly he was there to help establish a network," Abuza told ABC televison late on Monday.

"Of the Jemaah Islamiah cells in Southeast Asia it was the Malaysian cell, which Hambali was the head of that was in charge of setting up a cell, a network in Australia.

"We do not know how successful al-Qaeda or Jemaah Islamiah was in setting up a cell in Australia."

The author of the book "Inside al-Qaeda," Rohan Gunaratna, said Australian authorities had to do whatever necessary to disrupt any efforts by Hambali to set up a domestic network for Jemaah Islamiah.

Let's hope they're better prepared than we were.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 12:41 AM [+] ::
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Leftists Eating Their Young

The lede says it all:
The four high-horsemen of the Liberal Left have mounted and are riding again, sprinkling no-brainer criticism of the current anti-war movement in with gobs of self-righteous, mindless Left-bashing. Renowned white, male, former leftists David Corn, Christopher Hitchens, Marc Cooper, and Todd Gitlin are once again sounding off against the contemporary Left, and in tacit support of the Bush Administration.[Emphasis very necessary, but mine]

I'd have read further, but what's the point?

:: COINTELPRO Tool 12:24 AM [+] ::
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Neville Chamberlain Watch

Charles Johnson notes EU Foreign Affairs Commissioner Chris Patten's refusal to investigate European aid to the Palestinian Authority being used to fund acts of terrorism. This should be ample evidence of the EU's anti-Semitic tendencies, but actually, it's a lot worse than that.

Yesterday, I saw this Justin Huggler piece of tripe in the Daily Fisk, under the headline, "Hamas may halt suicide bombings." Then, Meryl Yourish brings this outrage to my attention:
The Cairo talks, the first of their kind since 1995, are being held under the auspices of the European Union and the Egyptian government. EU officials have held a series of meetings with Hamas leaders in Syria and Lebanon in an attempt to persuade them to confine their attacks to the West Bank and Gaza Strip.[Emphasis mine]

I think I'm going to be sick.

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:: Monday, November 11, 2002 ::


The professor has the rundown of the best Veterans Day posts. Here's another
:: COINTELPRO Tool 10:34 AM [+] ::
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It's Official

Indonesian police have formally linked the prime suspect in the Bali bombing to Jemaah Islamiyah leader Abu Ba'ashyir. No one will be surprised by this but the Indymidiots, who are working feverishly as we speak to explain away these facts, keeping their CIA/Mossad conspiracy theory intact.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 1:56 AM [+] ::
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:: Saturday, November 09, 2002 ::

Fisking Gore Vidal, the Extended Remix

To supplement Ron Rosenbaum's slamdunk on Vidal's tripe in the Observer, I offer a more extensive examination than my earlier post.

As Rosenbaum notes, LaRoucheVidal moves quickly from "we still don't know by whom we were struck that infamous Tuesday" to ...
Even so, we have been getting some answers to the question: why weren't we warned in advance of 9/11? Apparently, we were, repeatedly; for the better part of a year, we were told there would be unfriendly visitors to our skies some time in September 2001, but the government neither informed nor protected us despite Mayday warnings from Presidents Putin and Mubarak, from Mossad and even from elements of our own FBI.

Vidal cites the joint Congressional intelligence panel's report from September of this year, which, as I wrote back then, uncovered far more warnings of terrorist attacks abroad -- and not involving hijacked airplanes -- than the 12 warnings, over a seven year period. That Vidal would cite a 1994 warning of a plot to hijack American Airliners and blow them up over the Pacific ocean as evidence of "unfriendly visitors to our skies some time in September 2001" is a strong indication that he has never read the report, prefering the brief synopses provided by various conspiracy theory Web sites.

Similarly, his incredibly deluded interpretation of Brzezinski's The Grand Chessboard bears such strong resemblance to the "Afghan invasion blueprint" arguments, that it is doubtful he ever cracked open the book himself. Rather than quoting religiously from the book itself, he prefers the conclusions of others:
Ahmed sums up: 'Brzezinski clearly envisaged that the establishment, consolidation and expansion of US military hegemony over Eurasia through Central Asia would require the unprecedented, open-ended militarisation of foreign policy, coupled with an unprecedented manufacture of domestic support and consensus on this militarisation campaign.'

As I've written earlier, there is no mention of military designs whatsoever in Brzezinski's book. He merely states the obvious: that we are the last remaining superpower, and Eurasia is the most strategically-vital area on the globe. His criticisms of the isolationist mentality that has historically prevented U.S. engagement in far away lands unless we are attacked first, is twisted by the likes of Mike Ruppert into a brazen call for such an attack.

What Brzezinski really calls for is "maneuver and manipulation in order to prevent the emergence of a hostile coalition that could eventually seek to challenge America's primacy" and "gradually yield to a greater emphasis on the emergence of increasingly important but strategically compatible parters who, prompted by American leadership, might help to shape a more cooperative trans-Eurasian security system." Real scary shit.

Then on to the tired war-for-oil theory:
Currently, the pipeline is a go-project thanks to the junta's installation of a Unocal employee (John J Maresca) as US envoy to the newly born democracy whose president, Hamid Karzai, is also, according to Le Monde, a former employee of a Unocal subsidiary. Conspiracy? Coincidence!

The fact that Unocal no longer has an interest in the pipeline project doesn't enter Vidal's ossified brain. Nor does he entertain the possibility that maybe, just maybe, Unocal hired the likes of Maresca (who was, as Vidal doesn't bother to mention, a career diplomat before joining the oil firm) and Karzai because of their expertise and influence in both the region's political culture and international relations in general -- instead of the other way around.
On 21 January 2002, the Canadian media analyst Barry Zwicker summed up on CBC-TV: 'That morning no interceptors responded in a timely fashion to the highest alert situation. This includes the Andrews squadrons which ... are 12 miles from the White House ... Whatever the explanation for the huge failure, there have been no reports, to my knowledge, of reprimands. This further weakens the "Incompetence Theory". Incompetence usually earns reprimands. This causes me to ask whether there were "stand down" orders.'?? On 29 August 2002, the BBC reports that on 9/11 there were 'only four fighters on ready status in the north-eastern US'. Conspiracy? Coincidence? Error?

How about outright lie, from start to finish? In addition to restating the baseless nonsense that no fighters were sortied until after the pentagon was hit, Vidal suggests that somehow, the D.C Air National Guard -- the fucking D.C Air National Guard -- should have been able to respond earlier. Yes, you brainless twit, the fighters stationed at Andrews AFB are weekend warriors.

Vidal also quotes Stan Goff, a Marxist activist from Chapel Hill who served as an Army Ranger, in his tirade about "stand down orders." Though he touts himself as an expert in special operations, most of Goff's drivel has to do with NORAD procedures, and aviation, about which he is woefully ignorant.
Now the real kicker: a pilot they want us to believe was trained at a Florida puddle-jumper school for Piper Cubs and Cessnas, conducts a well-controlled downward spiral descending the last 7,000 feet in two-and-a-half minutes, brings the plane in so low and flat that it clips the electrical wires across the street from the Pentagon, and flies it with pinpoint accuracy into the side of the building at 460 knots.

I'm not sure how much "pinpoint accuracy is required to hit a 6.6 million square-foot building, and in any event, the plane actually skidded across the ground before slamming into the pentagon. Goff also wrote:
The so-called evidence is a farce. The US presented Tony Blair's puppet government with the evidence, and of the 70 so-called points of evidence, only nine even referred to the attacks on the World Trade Center, and those points were conjectural. This is a bullshit story from beginning to end. Presented with the available facts, any 16-year old with a liking for courtroom dramas could tear this story apart like a two-dollar shirt.

In his defense, Goff did not have access to what we now know of the attacks when he wrote this diatribe back in October of last year, but Vidal cannot claim that as an excuse.

Goff has a rich history of promoting conspiracy theories, writing once that:
Slobodan Milosevic is no war criminal. Nor was he a dictator. Until the US started a massive campaign of extortion, bribery and election-rigging in Serbia, he won his elections fair and square--unlike the current de facto President of the United States. Nor did Milsoevic ever lead the non-existent movement for Greater Serbia. Nor do Serbs collectively "share" any blame for whatever flavor-of-the-day atrocity is being invented by the IMF, the State Department, NATO Headquarters in Brussels, or that fake Tribunal.

Getting back to Vidal, he goes on to parrot one of Michael Moore's stale canards:
According to BBC TV's Newsnight (6 Nov 2001), '... just days after the hijackers took off from Boston aiming for the Twin Towers, a special charter flight out of the same airport whisked 11 members of Osama's family off to Saudi Arabia. That did not concern the White House, whose official line is that the bin Ladens are above suspicion.'

Unbelievable. This guy really doesn't get out much anymore, does he?

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Experts:Yemen Strike Not Political Assassination

Yes, it has taken a series of interviews with legal experts for the usually-lucid UPI to realize the obvious:
"Based on what has been reported in the press, this is viewed as a military action against enemy combatants which would take it out of a realm of assassination," said Suzanne Spalding, a former deputy general counsel with the CIA and now an official with the American Bar Association. "It does seem to me this was characterized as a military operation in the war on terrorism -- not a rhetorical war -- and that these are enemy combatants. You shoot to kill enemy combatants."

An executive order from President Ford, subsequently upheld and strengthened by both Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, barred the United States from engaging in assassination. Ford's order was a reaction to multiple failed and embarrassing attempts by the CIA to have foreign leaders assassinated, including several attempts on Cuba's Fidel Castro.

Steve Aftergood, with the Federation of American Scientists' Project on Government Secrecy, agrees the strike was not a violation of the executive order.

"I thought that the Yemen strike was necessary and appropriate. These are people after all who declared war on us and defending ourselves is the right thing to do. The bottom line is these are bad people that need to be stopped, so the mission counts as a success," Aftergood told United Press International.

But these legal experts do have reservations about such strikes, saying that conducting such "targeted killings" would make it difficult for us to criticize Israel for doing pretty much the same thing.

And they say it like it's a bad thing.


:: COINTELPRO Tool 1:45 PM [+] ::
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Credit Were Credit Is Due

A while back, I posted this parody of a Barbra Streisand fundraising speech, which someone had anonymously posted at Indymedia. The true author is one TC Rider, who had originally posted it at Free Republic.com. Rider/Streisand's dire predictions are worth a second look, since the Dems have, indeed, lost the Senate.
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:: Friday, November 08, 2002 ::

The Coup de Grace on the Chickenhawk Argument

If you're not watching Andrew Sullivan and Christopher Hitchens on C-SPAN, you should be.

Hitchens just brought up two excellent counters to anti-war positions. First, he chided those who make the argument that "the president hasn't made the case" for war, calling it a cop out for those who cannot do their own research and make up their own minds.

Brian Lamb asked a collection of students their views on the issue, following up each by asking the students if they would be willing to go to war themselves. Hitchens' counter to that was so blindingly obvious that I'm embarrassed that I hadn't thought of it before. He pointed out that in this war, it is far more dangerous to be a civilian than a combatant, making the question quite irrelevant.

Whoa.

UPDATE: Here is a link to the video.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 8:53 AM [+] ::
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:: Thursday, November 07, 2002 ::

No Wonder Fox Is Kicking CNN's Ass

I'm no fan of Roger Ailes' cavalcade of idiots, but at least they have better judgement than to allow a rabid quack like Helen "Every time you turn on an electric light, you are making another
brainless baby" Caldicott
parade without challenge the same tired lies about depleted uranium (not to mention the even more egregious bullshit about dead Iraqi children), accusing the U.S. of war crimes. Wolf Blitzer allowed her to respond to Pentagon "lies" -- which, by extension would include WHO lies, HHS lies, and European Commisison lies-- without any representation whatsoever for the sanity caucus.

Ideological balance aside, Caldicott has no standing in the medical research community, and the claims she parrots have been drubbed time and time again, most recently by Brian Carnell (writing for Skepticism.net).
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There's a PAC for Everything

Unfortunately, the Extraterrestrial Phenomenon PAC wasn't able to find any worthy horses this election cycle, but nonetheless managed to unload most of their inexhaustible coffers. On what, I have no idea.

Open Secrets even lists X-PPAC's donors. That's so wrong!
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:: Wednesday, November 06, 2002 ::

I Knew It -- Yak Balls in the Newsroom

Last Page provides an intimate look at an election night newsroom. But be warned -- this footage is disturbing.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 10:54 PM [+] ::
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Wounded Inner Children Watch

The Virginian-Pilot thinks that Rumsfeld's changing military combined commander titles (from "Commander in Chief," or CINC, to simply "commander") will be bad for morale. I can't see junior military personnel giving a rat's ass, but yeah, I guess the egos of some flag officers would go unsatiated.
With Osama bin Laden still at large, the Taliban in hiding and the anthrax killer not yet caught, Rumsfeld should be worrying about far more important things than titles and stationery.

Come to think of it, so should the Pilot's editorial staff.


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Every Combatant Has the Right to Counsel

That's the gist of Adrian Hamilton's sniv in the Daily Fisk. He's upset about the stain we left in the Yemeni desert the other day, and compares such missile attacks to assassination attempts on heads of state:
Before we accept this new morality, or applaud the CIA's blowing up of the al-Qa'ida's men in Yemen, it is worth remembering why the US Congress passed the law forbidding assassination of foreign heads of state in 1976.

Theevent was the farcical effort to kill Fidel Castro in Cuba using exploding cigars. The real reason was two generations in which the CIA had been involved in the overthrow of democratically elected regimes in Iran, Chile and Vietnam on the grounds that they threatened US interests. It seemed utterly wrong for a state founded on the rule of law to ignore it when acting abroad, for a country espousing freedom to adopt the methods of Josef Stalin, Enver Hoxha and Saddam Hussein.[emphasis mine]

What's next, an al-qaeda embassy and diplomatic immunity for their emissaries?


:: COINTELPRO Tool 11:08 AM [+] ::
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The Effective Use of Scare Quotes

The trick is to use them conservatively, and not in situations scream for the word or phrase being ridiculed. Antiwar.com, no stranger to distorting the meaning of the stories they recycle, spotlights this AP piece under the headline, "Emotions run high as U.S. raids Afghan village in search of an 'enemy'" -- suggesting we were harassing innocent farmers in our War Against Islam:
Some 400 U.S. troops raided Naray and nearby Kot Kalay over the weekend, acting on tips they are transit points for weapons and pro-Taliban fighters moving across the Pakistani border, just two kilometers (1 1/2 miles) away.

They found 115 107 mm rockets — the same kind fired almost daily at U.S. bases — in a stable. They also found 14 rocket-propelled grenades, land mines, detonators and thousands of rounds of ammunition, some of it armor-piercing. Five people were detained for questioning.

Somebody getting married?

:: COINTELPRO Tool 9:32 AM [+] ::
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And the Indymedia Connect-the-Dots Award Goes to ...

... Joel Mowbray, who is actually suggesting that flyers designed to confuse and intimidate black voters in Baltimore were actually planted by the Democrats -- to have the opposite effect!

Mikey Rivero, time to hand over that trophy.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 9:18 AM [+] ::
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The Herbert Candidacy -- What Went Wrong?

Bill Saletan has the best analysis of last night's embarrassing performance by the Democrats:
In 1980, voters turned out for Ronald Reagan because he had a simple story about how he would fix the economy: cut taxes, reduce government, unshackle free enterprise. For years afterward, Republicans won elections by claiming Reagan had done exactly that. In 1994, voters turned out for Republican congressional candidates because Newt Gingrich offered a Contract with America. But in 2002, voters aren't turning out for Democratic candidates, because Democrats haven't packaged and sold—and in most cases haven't tried to package or sell—a simple story about what Democratic policies are, how they've worked in the past, and how they'll fix the current mess.

Moaning isn't enough. Whether through lack of resolve, lack of agreement, or lack of imagination, a party that can't summarize its economic philosophy—and can't connect that philosophy to the boom that occurred on its watch—is in for a long decade.

For my part, I can only hope that coherent philosophical agenda doesn't simply translate into 70's Liberalism. I refuse to believe that only fundamentalism can inspire, that you're either a Wellstonian liberal or a cynic. The trick is getting people to associate your party label with what you stand for, not whom.

There are already calls for the heads of Gephardt and McAuliffe but why not add Rangel, Pelosi, and Nita Lowey to the hit list? It's their DCCC.

I expected the only bright side (apart from the governorships the Dems picked up, will probably help them more in 2004 than capturing both houses could have) is that we may finally see an end to the whiny "We Wuz Robbed in 2000" theme in lieu of having anything substantive to say to voters. Kind of hard to attribute such a resounding defeat as last night to voter irregularities.

Oops, looks like I spoke too soon.

UPDATE: McAuliffe will try to explain himself at the National Press Club (carried live on C-SPAN) at 1pm today.


:: COINTELPRO Tool 9:07 AM [+] ::
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:: Tuesday, November 05, 2002 ::

:: COINTELPRO Tool 12:23 PM [+] ::
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An Iranian Eulogy for Wellstone

this link from an Iranian pro-democracy student organization:
The saddening news of the deaths of US Senator Paul Wellstone, his wife, daughter, and staffers as a result of a tragic plane crash on October 25th has greatly saddened us.

The dearly departed Senator's support of the "18 Tir 1378" [July 9, 1999] student uprising in Iran and his sympathy for the beaten, injured, and imprisoned students in those dark and fateful days; Which was followed by the "Brownback" concurrent resolution, in August 1999 and presented, as well, by gentlemen Lieberman, Lott, Helms, Graham, Mack and Wyden to the US congress; Will never be forgotten by the struggling Iranian students or this committee.

Definitely more tasteful than some of the domestic tributes.


:: COINTELPRO Tool 7:58 AM [+] ::
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Why Not Me?*

I realize this is a little late, but I have just decided to run for Congress. No, not in 04, today.

The Bill Herbert write-in candidacy for the 11th District of Virginia was started by accident, really. You see, even with my warmongering tendencies and impatience with all Democrats to the left of Zell (which is like, what, all of them?), I cannot in good conscience vote for Tom Davis.

To be honest, I was completely oblivious to the flavor of opposition to Davis until a week ago. I moved here from the 8th District last year, and for the first time in my adult life, I didn't seek out the Democratic candidate. For all I knew, Davis was running unopposed this year, but I discovered who his opposition was really by accident, as I was checking the SBE Web site for the fine print on our various ballot initiatives.

And then ... whammo! Bill Herbert, meet Frank Creel.

You can imagine my dilemma.

So, I'm just going to have to vote for myself. The Senate, that's an even bigger mess. No democrat at all, unless you consider Nancy "What Happened in Brazil Can Happen in Virginia" Spannaus a true Democrat -- and if you do, you can bite me. Sure, Warner's pretty moderate, but I have my reasons for despising him as well.

So, it's Bill Herbert for 11th District Rep., and Meryl Yourish for Senate.
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:: Saturday, November 02, 2002 ::

Marc Herold -- Still a Dick

Roger Bournival has an interesting e-mail exchange with the UNH professor regarding his laughable research.

Not surprisingly, Herold refuses to respond to substantive criticisms of his numbers-crunching, except to say that those who discount sources such as the Frontier Post are guilty of "ethnocentric biases." In the interest of cultural sensitivity, I suppose we must now take seriously news reports such as this. Or this. Or this.
[Via Charles Johnson]
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:: Friday, November 01, 2002 ::

No Blood for Breadfruit!

The island nation of Kiribati is the victim of a vicious Kiwi prank:
The item claims President Bush had switched his attention from Iraq to regime change in Kiribati and that he had sent the Seventh Fleet to invade.

It turns out the source of the rumour is a New Zealand satirical website, Spinner , which claimed President Bush had forsaken his campaign against Saddam Hussein to go after President Tito, who was allegedly developing not only weapons of mass destruction but also some damn fine crab soup.

The invasion angle gained currency in Kiribati because one of the big issues in the election campaign is an Opposition promise to close down a Chinese satellite tracking station, which is believed to monitor the US Star Wars missile tests in the neighbouring Marshall Islands.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 8:41 PM [+] ::
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The Volunteer Spirit

Everyone needs a hobby, and Kevin's (if that is, indeed, his real name) is teaching geography to morons.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 7:16 PM [+] ::
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Flavor Flav Was Right

Still think racial profiling prevented DC area police from closing in on Mohammad and Malvo earlier? Let's go to the tape:
"Good morning," says a voice on a tape aired by the network. "Don't say anything, just listen. We are the people that are causing the killing in your area. Look on the tarot card: It says, 'Call me God.' Do not release the threat. We have called you three times before, trying to set up negotiations. We've gotten no response. People have died."

The call-taker replied: "I need to refer you to the Montgomery County hotline. We are not investigating the crime. Would you like the number?"

Would you like the number???

:: COINTELPRO Tool 7:10 PM [+] ::
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