The GOP Home Shopping Network on the Washington Post has some information about that. Turns out that “…nearly half — 46 percent to be precise — of the duct tape sold in this country is manufactured by a company … [owned by] … Jack Kahl” who gave “more than $100,000 … to the Republican National Committee and other GOP committees in the 2000 election cycle…”
Do I believe that we’ve sunk so far as to cheerlead a product in the name of terrorism in order to benefit a single campaign sponsor?
No. We’d certainly need more evidence first. But it’s an interesting coincidence.
Added as an update above
Millions For A BJ, But Nothing For Energy on Plastic notes that the GAO has dropped the “lawsuit against the White House to release the energy task force records.” Looks like Cheney managed to outlast them and we’ll never know the deals that were brokered among the elite to decide US energy needs and uses. They decided that:
“further pursuit of the … information would require investment of significant time and resources over several years”
It’s not the GAO’s fault though, since they are just the in charge of ensuring that Congress gets the information it wants and needs in order to function. Since “only seven senators and congressmen had expressed support for the efforts to get the information”, it seems we’re just very poorly represented.
It looks like the Republican plan to sully the name of independent counsels during the Clinton administration (which were used almost constantly during his eight years in office — Whitewater, Monica, etc.) is working out really well. There are no calls for an independent counsel into any of the shady dealing of the administration, from Harken <em>Energy to Halliburton (military <em>and energy). It seems they can just get away with anything and the media is far to cowed to hold them accountable.
“…quoted the Bible, his eyes growing misty as he recited a passage from Isaiah: ‘Lift your eyes and look to the heavens. Who created all these? He who brings out the starry hosts one by one and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.’ … Bush continued: ‘The same creator who names the stars also knows the names of the seven souls we mourn today. The crew of the shuttle Columbia did not return safely to Earth, yet we can pray that all are safely home.’”
“The Bush Administration understands the importance of responding to the global explosion in anti-Americanism. Left unchecked, these irrational sentiments, harbored by billions of mentally inferior foreigners the world over, could contribute to an international consumer climate in which American corporations and products stand at a competitive disadvantage.”
If you think <em>my analysis wasn’t detailed enough, scurry on over to the WhiteHouse.Org site for a look at their Complete Transcript of the State of the Union. This guy had no qualms about completely re-interpreting Bush’s speech to more closely match his intentions.
U.S. Intervening Against Democracy in Venezuela on Alternet provides more details about US funding of the opposition: The “…U.S. National Endowment for Democracy stepped up its funding to opposition groups, including money funneled through the International Republican Institute.”
Just looking through more back issues of the Wave and I found Keeping the Skies Stupid, an article about post 9-11 airline security:
“On September 11th, the terrorists took over the plane with box cutters. This is never going to work again. The next person who tries to take 200 hostages with anything less than a bazooka is going to end up stuffed in an airplane toilet with the American spirit’s boot buried in his ass. Airports are openly mocking us when they take away our combs, nail files or boomerangs. Here’s a good way to test the deadliness of an item: Imagine you’re holding it and a gorilla bursts into the room. Now decide whether to hold on to it or fight with your bare hands. If you have to think about it, it’s not deadly. Instead of taking away toiletries from innocent travelers, we ought to take every citizen in groups of 200 into gymnasiums. Then, while they’re trying to figure out what’s going on, we have a guy come in and try to take them all hostage with a fork. If they let him, those 200 people are no longer allowed to fly on planes.”
The White House.org has released a transcript of Cheney’s latest speech, which includes:
“Over the past several days, despicable un-American traitors, including members of the liberal media, along with Congressmen and Senators from both sides of the aisle, have taken conspicuous glee in publicly questioning the wisdom and motives of this administration in its desire to invade and conquer the Middle East − starting with Iraq. And so this morning, to put a stop to this dangerous, effeminate and unpatriotic climate of discussion and contemplation, I am going to … reveal sensitive intelligence about the six nefarious Iraqi plots which require that America waste no time starting to kick serious raghead ass. ”
After a list of truly bizarre and likely hallucinogenic-inspired plans, he finishes strong with:
“I trust that the release of these terrifying plans will make the populace amenable to our pre-ordained course of action − the wholesale seizure of the earth’s most oil-rich lands from the evil, Godless hordes which currently inhabit them − and shut the cake-holes of disloyal busybodies who question the White House.”
Which, to me, is a pretty accurate translation of what Cheney’s actually saying into English we can all understand.
FIFA heeds call and appoints Europeans on Eurosport reports that “…FIFA President Sepp Blatter has finally bowed to the weight of public opinion and appointed six European referees to take charge of the World Cup semi-finals.” The selection for the rest of the cup had been a “regional selection policy”, but, unfortunately, many of the regions selected simply don’t have officials capable of refereeing matches at that level.
“Crush through mostly violent means any sign of anti- Americanism, no matter the cause, no matter that we can’t actually pinpoint the source, no matter that we claim to be the most peaceful and progressive and intellectually advanced superpower on Earth. Be pre- emptive and destructive and bomb-happy, or be a tree-hugging traitorous liberal commie sympathizer. There is no in-between. ”
However, he misinterprets the true irony because he says the Bush administrations plans “…to turn America from a place of nonpanicky relatively calm defense…”, which, quite plainly, it hasn’t been for at least the last 100 years, if you’ve read any unbiased history. The true irony is not that the policy is going into effect, it’s that it’s been in effect, but it’s now finally safe to announce it because the American people, in their fear, will wholeheartedly embrace it.
He closes with a summation of our new policy:
“And as the saying goes, if you don’t like the way America drives, stay off the damn sidewalk.”
“In “‘Harmless’ Marijuana? Don’t Bet Your Life on It” [Viewpoints, May 3], John P. Walters makes a mistake common to the drug-warriors. He compares the problems of the illegal recreational drug-user to those of his opposite − the abstainer − rather than to those of the legal recreational drug-user.”
“America’s alcohol-advertising tobacco-subsidizing society has declared war on adults using recreational drugs other than the two deadliest to kill the inconvenient pain and unhappiness in the sanctity of their bodies.”
“Our very criminal “justice system” is obviously afraid that non-alcohol/tobacco drugs aren’t harmful enough without the state multiplying their costs from pennies to twenties, from years wasted on Cloud Nine to years wasted in hate-filled TB-ridden prison cages with rapists and murderers, and from zero-to-five days’ withdrawal to lifelong ex-con status in a society that casually excuses its mayors’ and presidents’ “youthful indiscretions” as it drugs millions of schoolchildren daily with Ritalin and other legal prescriptions, then imprisons those youths for “corrupting America’s morals” when they graduate to non-prescribed mood elevators.”
“College students who form friendships and social groupings according to their drug of choice should not “grow up” to encage each other on such an insane basis as America’s drug-warrior policy.”
“- Haig Cedric Timourian Manhattan”
SatireWire published Closed Disinformation Agency Can’t Convince Staff It’s Closed, which does Joseph Heller proud with Rumsfeld playing the role of Major Major and a subordinate filling in for Milo.
““We got ya, sir, we’re ‘closed’,” said a winking Major Chad Brumley when Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld found him at his desk again today. “There is no one here spreading misinformation now, and certainly there won’t be anyone here spreading misinformation daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sir.””
“As a result, if the content companies continue to have their way, the once-freewheeling Net will be reduced to a glorified form of top-down broadcasting: “a digital multiplex and shopping mall,” in Litman’s words; “cable television on speed,” as Lawrence Lessig phrased it in “The Future of Ideas.””
It even offers a look at how the copy-protection is likely to be enforced:
“…everything will likely be encrypted. “For example, instead of sending analog signals to your speakers, you send an encrypted stream of digital data, and the decryption is done in a sealed module built right into the speaker,” he says. “Video is done the same way: Encryption is done in a sealed module built right into the monitor, so you can’t bypass the encryption by tapping into the monitor cables. Disk drive encryption is built into the drive itself, etc., etc.””
So, let me get this straight. I’m going to spend more on hardware to be smart enough to read digital content so that I can use the content I buy in fewer ways? Sounds wonderful. Regardless of the protection enabled here, it should always be possible to circumvent it. However, with the SSSCA and its precursor, the DMCA:
“… it’s the criminalization of the act of copying, and even worse, of the act of discussing copying, that critics find most alarming. Is it really in the public interest to continually increase the level of corporate ownership of ideas and expression? Who should Congress serve?”
Some of this guy’s comments were a little uncalled for:
<q>Herb Brooks: Amazing to report, the old disciplinarian got a little lax here. Won it all with much lesser players the last time around. … Figure skating coaches: Judging from the evidence at the women’s competition, apparently you need them.</q>
You had to know that there would be those that would love to see Kwan fail precisely because she didn’t have a coach. I mean, who does she think she is? Does she think she’s so good she doesn’t need a coach? Yeah, she does and yeah, she is. But there’s always that subconscious need to make it look like she’s great because she has help. The individual, intelligent acheiver is never popular. Her bronze medal is a vindication for many, I bet. But not in a good way.
Same problem for this album again (bad link, no extension). I’m just getting old, I guess.
Yeah, sorry about that. I just wrote them wrong (forget the file extension).
Yay! I got past level 4. Then, the bonus round that comes after that launches about 30 kids at you. I didn’t get very far.
*Hushed, Stunned Silence*
<q>Four nongovernmental translators worked on the tape Wednesday to try to provide a “thorough” and “accurate” translation despite the tape’s poor audio quality and instances of more than one person speaking at once, officials said. … U.S. officials said bin Laden’s actions in the tape make it clear he had advance knowledge of the planning and details of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.</q>
So let me get this straight. It’s in Arabic. There are a lot of other people talking. The audio is of “poor” quality. It even cuts out from time to time. It’s only being translated now. And our fearless leader, George Bush, has said that the tape is good enough proof for him?
I always thought that he didn’t speak English well. Now I realize it’s because it’s, at best, his second language, with fluent Arabic coming in first.
CNN has a decent article as well at Critics of new terror measures undermine effort. To Ashcroft’s rhetoric:
<q>To those who pit Americans against immigrants, citizens against non-citizens, to those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost liberty, my message is this: Your tactics only aid terrorists for they erode our national unity and diminish our resolve. … They give ammunition to America’s enemies and pause to America’s friends. They encourage people of good will to remain silent in the face of evil.</q>
Senator Leahy responds:
<q>The need for congressional oversight is not — as some mistakenly describe it — to protect terrorists, … It is to protect Americans and protect our American freedoms that you and everyone in this room cherish so much. And every single American has a stake in protecting our freedoms.</q>
Another Flash toy I just found from a long time ago is a Martial Arts Movie with excellent stick-figure animation.
<q>It’s been three years since Congress discussed removing the government of Afghanistan to make way for an oil pipeline, five months since the US Government told India there would be an invasion of Afghanistan in October, four months since BBC heard about the planned invasion of Afghanistan, nine months since Jane’s Defense got word of the planned invasion of Afghanistan, and of course, only two months since the attacks on the World Trade Towers that got the American people angered into support of the war that everybody on the planet BUT Americans had been told was on the way.</q>
Make sure to note the dates on many of the linked articles. Seems the invasion of Afghanistan comes as a surprise only to us.
<q> President George W. Bush is expected to sign the order shortly. A White House aide said that the Supreme Court held in 1977 that former presidents can continue to assert privileges for their records and that the order will simply establish “a procedure by which they can protect their rights.” The aide said “great deference” will be paid to their wishes. … “The majority of former presidents have released virtually all of their records,” the aide added. “This executive order does nothing to change that.”</q>
<q>The left is getting itself tied up in knots about the Just War and the propriety of bombing Afghanistan. I suspect some are intimidated by laptop bombardiers and kindred bullyboys handing out white feathers and snarling about “collaborators” and being “soft on fascism.” A recent issue of The Nation carried earnest efforts by Richard Falk and an editorial writer to mark out “the relevant frameworks of moral, legal and religious restraint” to be applied to the lethal business of attacking Afghans. I felt sorry for Falk as he clambered through his moral obstacle course. This business of trying to define a just war against Afghanistan is what C. Wright Mills used to call crackpot realism.</q>
<q>So here we have it. The equivocating distinction between civilization and savagery, between the “massacre of innocent people” or, if you like, “a clash of civilizations” and “collateral damage”. The sophistry and fastidious algebra of infinite justice. How many dead Iraqis will it take to make the world a better place? How many dead Afghans for every dead American? How many dead women and children for every dead man? How many dead mojahedin for each dead investment banker? As we watch mesmerized, Operation Enduring Freedom unfolds on TV monitors across the world. A coalition of the world’s superpowers is closing in on Afghanistan, one of the poorest, most ravaged, war-torn countries in the world …</q>
<q>The US government, and no doubt governments all over the world, will use the climate of war as an excuse to curtail civil liberties, deny free speech, lay off workers, harass ethnic and religious minorities, cut back on public spending and divert huge amounts of money to the defense industry. …</q>
<q>Terrorism as a phenomenon may never go away. But if it is to be contained, the first step is for America to at least acknowledge that it shares the planet with other nations, with other human beings who, even if they are not on TV, have loves and griefs and stories and songs and sorrows and, for heaven’s sake, rights. Instead, when Donald Rumsfeld, the US defense secretary, was asked what he would call a victory in America’s new war, he said that if he could convince the world that Americans must be allowed to continue with their way of life, he would consider it a victory.</q>
UPDATE: Here’s a conceptual map of the world from an American viewpoint sent to me that might help explain that 90% approval rating for war.
UPDATE: Aaron McGruder, writer of the comic strip the Boondocks, has been under attack for some of the views expressed in his strip in the last few weeks. He’s even been censored in a lot of newspapers because he’s not “standing behind a unified country.” His latest strips are a pretty thinly veiled attempt to do just that (Wednesday and Thursday).