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2007 April 02 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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Mr. McCain Goes To Baghdad

Update 04/03: Via Juan Cole, The Australian carries a report by James Hider in Baghdad for The Times:

…21 Shia market workers were ambushed, bound and shot dead north of the capital.

The victims came from the Baghdad market visited the previous day by John McCain, the US presidential candidate, who said that an American security plan in the capital was starting to show signs of progress.

John feels a need to prove that Iraq is becoming Eden, so he interrupts the war by showing up and demanding to go on a walking tour. He wanders outside the Green Zone and visits a market for a total of an hour and declares that a new era in dawning.

He fails to mention the sweep looking for bombs and snipers before he went, the 100 infantrymen in his bodyguard, the three Blackhawks used for aerial surveillance, the two Apache gunships for extra punch, or the personal body armor. He makes no mention of the lives he put it harm’s way, the cost, the wear and tear on people and equipment that were involved in this political stunt.

Quiddity noticed the reaction of a mild-mannered Middle East professor at mild-mannered Midwestern university, Doctor Juan Cole.

Quiddity is as stunned as I am. Dr. Cole wears tweed jackets and glasses, and always sounds so professorial.

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April 2, 2007   8 Comments

The Pet Food List Grows

Lurch at Main and Central labeled his post: Soylent Green.

Add Gravy Train, Jerky Treats, Pounce, Ol’ Roy, Dollar General and Happy Trails brands to the list of those who used the suspect wheat gluten. But the fun part is:

Wheat gluten is sold in both “food grade” and “feed grade” varieties. Either may be used in pet food, but only “food grade” gluten may be used in the manufacture of products meant for human consumption.

This was “food grade” gluten and they still haven’t identified the source, so it could have been used in the stuff you microwaved last night. I don’t guess consumers are ready for the truth – no one is inspecting the food supply.

April 2, 2007   5 Comments

A Grand Delusion

As Pensacola Beach Blog puts it :McCain’s Walk on the Wild Side.

Anyone with a company of heavy infantry, three Blackhawks and two Apaches for air cover, and personal body armor can walk through a carefully selected Baghdad neighborhood.

John McCain is clueless. He has hitched his wagon to a mission on its way over a cliff.

April 2, 2007   5 Comments


They started arriving this morning, a new kuddle of kittens at Out, Standing in Her Field. No time for pictures yet.

April 2, 2007   Comments Off on Granya


Shakespeare’s Sister has become Shakesville [http://www.shakesville.com] effective immediately, because making the move yesterday wouldn’t have worked. [Come on, who would have accepted the new site thing on April Fool’s Day?]

New name, new look, new location, with new and improved snark added.

Update: Now with Woof.

April 2, 2007   Comments Off on Moving

Poisoned Fruit

I’ve said before, you can’t trust any information provided as a result of torture. That reality is embedded in US law. People continue to promote torture because they are sadistic bastards: it doesn’t provide useful information, so QED they are sadistic bastards. Courts also refuse to recognize any agreement that results from coercion, a polite name for torture. The whole reason for coercion is to force people to do something they wouldn’t do if given the choice.

Lt. Col. V. Stuart Couch, JAG USMC, understands this. Pierre of Candide’s Notebooks tells the story of the colonel in The Conscience of the Colonel. The colonel has every reason, including the death of a friend to want to see al Qaeda pursued and destroyed, but he knows at a gut level if someone was coerced, you can’t be sure anything he said was true.

After all these years we are still hearing stories like, UK man released from Guantanamo: “Bisher al-Rawi, an Iraqi national, was held at the US detention camp in Cuba on suspicion of links to terrorism while on a trip to Gambia in 2002.” The man and a business associate are picked up in Africa, declared terrorists, and sent to Guantanamo. After four years he is released because there is no real evidence that he did anything wrong.

Then there’s Gitmo Australian Gets 9 Months, the story of David Hicks:

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April 2, 2007   5 Comments

Happy Blogiversary™

Jams O’Donnell of Poor Mouth is celebrating his first blogiversary.

Go congratulate or harass him as is your wont.

April 2, 2007   2 Comments