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2006 February 12 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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Water Is Wet

In a monument to the obvious even a Republican House committee has determined that the US government ‘failed’ on Katrina.

The report was leaked to the media, and the Democrats boycotted the committee in a bid for a non-partisan commission, but not even the Republican House members could figure out how to put lipstick on this pig.

This report is going to be a classic of government malfeasance and nonfeasance – what they did, they did badly, but mostly, they did nothing.

Grass is green; the sky is blue; the Federal government totally failed the victims of Katrina.

February 12, 2006   Comments Off on Water Is Wet

Skip This, Karen

Multiple beaches are closed in Australia due to shark feeding frenzies along the coast line caused by schools of bait fish swimming close to shore.

Peter Benchley, author of the novel, Jaws, and a screenwriter on the Spielberg movie based on the novel, has died at home in Princeton, New Jersey as a result of a lung disease. He was 65.

He was the grandson of Robert Benchley, and son of the author Nathaniel Benchley.

February 12, 2006   Comments Off on Skip This, Karen

Happy Birthday

To Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin, both born on this day in 1809.

They managed to shake up the status quo during their lives, and after.

February 12, 2006   Comments Off on Happy Birthday

Neighborhood Watch?

From CBS News:

CBS News correspondent Randall Pinkston reports that a tip from Shannen Rossmiller – a judge from Conrad, Montana who in 2004 helped snare a Washington state national guardsman who was considering defecting to al Qaeda – was what pointed the FBI to Reynolds.

“Rossmiller was scanning terrorist websites when she noticed a post from Reynolds seeking $40,000 dollars to by fuel trucks to blow up refineries in New Jersey and Wyoming and a section of the Alaska oil pipeline,” said Pinkston.

My first thought was why wasn’t the government taking this obvious step, monitoring web sites associated with terrorists and setting up stings. They do it to catch child molesters, so why aren’t they doing it to catch terrorists?

The other thing that bothered me is the interaction between law enforcement and “amateurs”. They are generally referred to as “vigilantes”, “meddlers”, and other less kind terms, so having the same individual involved in two different cases is odd.

Then I saw Scout Prime’s article on First Draft and things came into focus.

The story of 7 Seas Global Intelligence is “fishy”. The use of Realtime Spyware is probably falls under the heading of an illegal wiretap making the results unusable in court and therefore a waste of time without a warrant. If the Feds used any of that information to obtain a warrant, the warrant isn’t valid.

This smells of another Federal program to trash the criminal justice system in an attempt to show that they are doing something about terrorists. As a judge, Ms. Rossmiller should be aware of how far from legal her efforts actually are.

Oh, $40,000 wouldn’t by[sic] one tanker, much less multiples, just check used truck listings. The offer was obviously ridiculous. This effort seems to be more appropriate for mental health professionals than law enforcement, and it certainly does nothing to make me feel safer.

February 12, 2006   Comments Off on Neighborhood Watch?

Cyberstorm Troopers

Kevin Hayden at the now accessible American Street sends a heads up on the recent Department of Homeland Security anti-terrorism exercise: Cyberstorm.

Showing roots of thinking derived from Leo Trotski’s Extraordinary Committee [CheKa] they have identified blogs as a national security threat. Apparently bloggers spread “misinformation”. The only bloggers willingly spreading misinformation are those that parrot what they hear coming from the mouths of official spokesweasels.

If you want to stop the spread of misinformation during a crisis, turn off the microphones in the White House briefing room.

This is another reason to move off Blog*Spot, TypePad, etc.: the government is targeting these sites to control the information flow.

February 12, 2006   Comments Off on Cyberstorm Troopers

It’s Contagious

This is what happens to politicians like Berlusconi from close contact with the Shrubbery:

“I am the Jesus Christ of politics,” Italian media quoted him as saying at a dinner with supporters on Saturday night. “I am a patient victim, I put up with everyone, I sacrifice myself for everyone.”

Giuseppe Giulietti, a leftist parliamentarian, joked that he was sure that “God the Father and the rest of Jesus’ family did not take this very well.”

The garden of governments around the world need pruning to prevent the spread of the blight. The cross pollination of government and religion produces sanctimonious kudzu.

February 12, 2006   Comments Off on It’s Contagious

Sunday Sermon

Molly Ivins:

It is one of the most famous sentences in all of American rhetoric: “My faith in the Constitution is whole, it is complete, it is total.” But what catches the eye today is the sentence that followed that famous declaration, the sentence that makes one so ashamed for Al Gonzales. Barbara Jordan’s great, deep voice brought the impeachment hearings against Richard Nixon to an awed silence when she vowed, “And I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator to the diminution, the subversion, the destruction of the Constitution.”

Thirty years ago, this state could produce Barbara Jordan — and now we send that pathetic pipsqueak Al Gonzales. Enough to provoke a wailing cry of “O tempera, O mores!” even from the depths of Lubbock.

Can I get an AMEN?

February 12, 2006   Comments Off on Sunday Sermon

Just Because

Slate Shot

Screen Shot

It took me a minute to decide which story the picture was for.

February 12, 2006   Comments Off on Just Because


Few people are aware that Nikita Khrushchev’s claim to fame was as the political officer for Marshal Grigori Zhukov during World War II. Zhukov won battles and entered Berlin, so Khrushchev made it to the top of the Party structure.

In the Soviet system every enterprise of any size had a political officer, someone to ensure that Party loyalty was enforced in the enterprise and there was no “counter-revolutionary thinking” allowed to take root.

As we hear of all of the crony appointees that are spreading throughout the structure of the Federal government it has become apparent that loyalty to the Party and the Great Leader of the Party are the only requirements for promotion. People with no experience or credentials beyond working on the Bush campaign or making contributions to Bush are given positions for which they are obviously unsuited.

These people have not made a single appointment that wasn’t predicated on the assumption of Party loyalty, and as soon as their orthodoxy came into question they were purged.

The people who cannot be replaced are given political officers to watch over them and to divert any “bourgeois” opinions to editors who redact their reports to conform to the Party line.

All of the press offices have become propaganda bureaus to ensure that the proletariat only receives good news about the success of the Party’s programs.

Anyone who dares to deviate from the Party line is declared an enemy of the people and working with foreign elements to harm the future paradise that is guaranteed by strict adherence to the plan.

The Party is the only hope the people have to protect them from the foreign powers wishing to destroy their way of life.

No matter what it said on the office door, George Deutsch was a political officer.

You should read the Constitution of the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics. It guarantees people many more rights and privileges than the Constitution of the United States. Too bad it was ignored.

February 12, 2006   Comments Off on Stalinists

The War On Senior Citizens

Close on the heels of the disastrous rollout of the Plan D drug program, Andante noticed that Homeland Security has increased seizures of drugs being imported from Canada. You should go over and read: Drop the Lipitor and put your hands up.

They are trying to sneak the dismantling of Social Security into through the back door, eliminate the $255 death payment, cut off payments for teenagers who have left high school, etc. to cover some of the revenue lost when they do away with the Estate Tax.

All of this talk about tax cuts never seems to include Social Security taxes, even as they spend hundreds of billions of dollars of those taxes to hide the real size of their deficits. They don’t talk about the fact that a lot of their revenue increases are based on increases in Social Security taxes, not general taxes.

February 12, 2006   Comments Off on The War On Senior Citizens

When Did The Shrubbery Hire Fellini?

I came across the article on CBS, Hey, Kids: Spying Is Fun!, and had to wait for my mind to adjust to this concept.

Why on earth would any rational human being think that is was a good idea to spend money and resources to create a children’s site for the National Security Agency?

This is beyond absurd.

February 12, 2006   Comments Off on When Did The Shrubbery Hire Fellini?

Rall Reaction

So Ann Coulter shoots her mouth off and says that cartoonist Ted Rall has submitted a cartoon about the Holocaust to an Iranian newspaper and Ted posts: Ann Coulter Lies; You Decide: Should I Sue?

Ted is looking for the $6,000 it will cost him to sue Ann Coulter for libel in New York. That’s the problem: Ann Coulter gets paid to tell lies and spread hate, but you have to pay to call her on it.

I don’t think Ted will have any trouble proving malice, that’s Coulter’s stock and trade, but you have to hire an attorney and start the paperwork.

February 12, 2006   Comments Off on Rall Reaction