Thursday, August 31, 2006

Dissent IS Democracy ... Or,

Why does the Bush Administration Hate America?

The following is the commentary by Keith Olbermann (of MSNBC) on a speech given by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to the American Legion (and kudos to DailyKos for posting the transcript):

"The man who sees absolutes, where all other men see nuances and shades of meaning, is either a prophet, or a quack.

Donald H. Rumsfeld is not a prophet.

Mr. Rumsfeld's remarkable speech to the American Legion yesterday demands the deep analysis--and the sober contemplation--of every American.

For it did not merely serve to impugn the morality or intelligence -- indeed, the loyalty -- of the majority of Americans who oppose the transient occupants of the highest offices in the land. Worse, still, it credits those same transient occupants -- our employees -- with a total omniscience; a total omniscience which neither common sense, nor this administration's track record at home or abroad, suggests they deserve.

Dissent and disagreement with government is the life's blood of human freedom; and not merely because it is the first roadblock against the kind of tyranny the men Mr. Rumsfeld likes to think of as "his" troops still fight, this very evening, in Iraq.

It is also essential. Because just every once in awhile it is right and the power to which it speaks, is wrong.

In a small irony, however, Mr. Rumsfeld's speechwriter was adroit in invoking the memory of the appeasement of the Nazis. For in their time, there was another government faced with true peril--with a growing evil--powerful and remorseless.

That government, like Mr. Rumsfeld's, had a monopoly on all the facts. It, too, had the "secret information." It alone had the true picture of the threat. It too dismissed and insulted its critics in terms like Mr. Rumsfeld's -- questioning their intellect and their morality.

That government was England's, in the 1930's.

It knew Hitler posed no true threat to Europe, let alone England.

It knew Germany was not re-arming, in violation of all treaties and accords.

It knew that the hard evidence it received, which contradicted its own policies, its own conclusions -- its own omniscience -- needed to be dismissed.

The English government of Neville Chamberlain already knew the truth.

Most relevant of all -- it "knew" that its staunchest critics needed to be marginalized and isolated. In fact, it portrayed the foremost of them as a blood-thirsty war-monger who was, if not truly senile, at best morally or intellectually confused.

That critic's name was Winston Churchill.

Sadly, we have no Winston Churchills evident among us this evening. We have only Donald Rumsfelds, demonizing disagreement, the way Neville Chamberlain demonized Winston Churchill.

History -- and 163 million pounds of Luftwaffe bombs over England -- have taught us that all Mr. Chamberlain had was his certainty -- and his own confusion. A confusion that suggested that the office can not only make the man, but that the office can also make the facts.

Thus, did Mr. Rumsfeld make an apt historical analogy.

Excepting the fact, that he has the battery plugged in backwards.

His government, absolute -- and exclusive -- in its knowledge, is not the modern version of the one which stood up to the Nazis.

It is the modern version of the government of Neville Chamberlain.

But back to today's Omniscient ones.

That, about which Mr. Rumsfeld is confused is simply this: This is a Democracy. Still. Sometimes just barely.

And, as such, all voices count -- not just his.

Had he or his president perhaps proven any of their prior claims of omniscience -- about Osama Bin Laden's plans five years ago, about Saddam Hussein's weapons four years ago, about Hurricane Katrina's impact one year ago -- we all might be able to swallow hard, and accept their "omniscience" as a bearable, even useful recipe, of fact, plus ego.

But, to date, this government has proved little besides its own arrogance, and its own hubris.

Mr. Rumsfeld is also personally confused, morally or intellectually, about his own standing in this matter. From Iraq to Katrina, to the entire "Fog of Fear" which continues to envelop this nation, he, Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney, and their cronies have -- inadvertently or intentionally -- profited and benefited, both personally, and politically.

And yet he can stand up, in public, and question the morality and the intellect of those of us who dare ask just for the receipt for the Emporer's New Clothes?

In what country was Mr. Rumsfeld raised? As a child, of whose heroism did he read? On what side of the battle for freedom did he dream one day to fight? With what country has he confused the United States of America?

The confusion we -- as its citizens-- must now address, is stark and forbidding.

But variations of it have faced our forefathers, when men like Nixon and McCarthy and Curtis LeMay have darkened our skies and obscured our flag. Note -- with hope in your heart -- that those earlier Americans always found their way to the light, and we can, too.

The confusion is about whether this Secretary of Defense, and this administration, are in fact now accomplishing what they claim the terrorists seek: The destruction of our freedoms, the very ones for which the same veterans Mr. Rumsfeld addressed yesterday in Salt Lake City, so valiantly fought.

And about Mr. Rumsfeld's other main assertion, that this country faces a "new type of fascism."
As he was correct to remind us how a government that knew everything could get everything wrong, so too was he right when he said that -- though probably not in the way he thought he meant it.

This country faces a new type of fascism - indeed.

Although I presumptuously use his sign-off each night, in feeble tribute, I have utterly no claim to the words of the exemplary journalist Edward R. Murrow.

But never in the trial of a thousand years of writing could I come close to matching how he phrased a warning to an earlier generation of us, at a time when other politicians thought they (and they alone) knew everything, and branded those who disagreed: "confused" or "immoral."

Thus, forgive me, for reading Murrow, in full:

'We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty,' he said, in 1954. 'We must remember always that accusation is not proof, and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law.

'We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men, not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate, and to defend causes that were for the moment unpopular.'

And so good night, and good luck."


I can find nothing to add to that flow of eloquence, save this: That the America that our forefathers created, that countless men and women have striven for, fought and bled and died for, is fast dissolving under a feeble and weak-minded government's misguided attempts at controlling the narrative of a "war" against what is primarily an expression of a social ill.

It is time for these people to go, and let better minds have a go at the problem.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

One Year

Has it only been one year?

Has it been only twelve brief months since the greatest natural disaster to befall our country?

Has it been only three hundred sixty-five days since we saw dead bodies drifting on turbid water through the streets of New Orleans?

Or heard President Bush tell the head of FEMA "You're doing a heckuva job, Brownie?"

Or saw the shocking videos of a mass of desperate humanity - American Citizens - suffering in the shadow of the Superdome?

Yes, it's been a year.

Give to charity, and prepare for the next one.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Here We Go (Again)

Hurricane Ernesto has developed in the Caribbean, and is currently smacking hell out of Haiti (as if they needed even more nastiness in their lives). The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's website gives H Ernesto's five-day track as heading up the west coat of Florida.

That, by the way, mimics the track taken in 2004 by H Charley, which beat hell out of central Florida from Port Charlotte to Daytona.

So, boys and girls, start buying water, food and gas, and batten down the hatches.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Way Too Funny!

This is just way too funny.

A Turkish man told baggage screeners in Chicago that the object in his suitcase was a bomb, since he didn't want to shame his mother by admitting that it was a penis pump.

Another "Slam Dunk?"

U.S. Spy Agencies Criticized On Iran
GOP-Led Panel Faults Intelligence
By Dafna LinzerWashington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 24, 2006; A01

A key House committee issued a stinging critique of U.S. intelligence on Iran yesterday, charging that the CIA and other agencies lack "the ability to acquire essential information necessary to make judgments" on Tehran's nuclear program, its intentions or even its ties to terrorism.
The 29-page report, principally written by a Republican staff member on the House intelligence committee who holds a hard-line view on Iran, fully backs the White House position that the Islamic republic is moving forward with a nuclear weapons program and that it poses a significant danger to the United States. But it chides the intelligence community for not providing enough direct evidence to support that assertion.

- snip -

The report relies exclusively on publicly available documents. Its authors did not interview intelligence officials. Still, it warns the intelligence community to avoid the mistakes made regarding weapons of mass destruction before the Iraq war, noting that Iran could easily be engaged in "a denial and deception campaign to exaggerate progress on its nuclear program as Saddam Hussein apparently did concerning his WMD programs."

"We want to avoid another 'slam dunk,' " Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.) said in an interview yesterday, explaining why the staff report was made public before it had been approved by the full committee. "We think it's important for the American people to understand the kinds of pressures that we are facing and to increase the American public's understanding of Iran as a threat."

Former CIA director George J. Tenet had called prewar intelligence on banned weapons a "slam dunk," but no such arms were ever found.

- snip -

Jamal Ware, spokesman for the House intelligence committee, said three staff members wrote the report, but he did not dispute that the principal author was Frederick Fleitz, a former CIA officer who had been a special assistant to John R. Bolton, the administration's former point man on Iran at the State Department. Bolton had been highly influential in the crafting of a tough policy that rejected talks with Tehran.

- big-ass snip -


Where's "Curveball" when you need him?

To paraphrase Dear Leader, "it's hard work" to manipulate, cherry-pick and fabricate the evidence that Cheney needs to start attacking Iran.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

NOW, The Fool Admits It.

QUESTION: A lot of the consequences you mentioned for pulling out seem like maybe they never would have been there if we hadn’t gone in. How do you square all of that?

BUSH: I square it because imagine a world in which you had Saddam Hussein, who had the capacity to make a weapon of mass destruction, who was paying suiciders to kill innocent life, who had relations with Zarqawi. You know, I’ve heard this theory about, you know, everything was just fine until we arrived [in Iraq] and — you know, the stir-up-the-hornet’s- nest theory. It just doesn’t hold water, as far as I’m concerned. The terrorists attacked us and killed 3,000 of our citizens before we started the freedom agenda in the Middle East. They were …

QUESTION: What did Iraqi have to do with that?

BUSH: What did Iraq have to do with what?

QUESTION: The attacks upon the World Trade Center.

BUSH: Nothing. . . . .Except for it’s part of — and nobody’s ever suggested in this administration that Saddam Hussein ordered the attack. Iraq was a — Iraq — the lesson of September the 11th is: Take threats before they fully materialize . . .


Guess he didn't get his daily memory treatment that day.

Just Plain Weird

Monday, August 21, 2006

Looking Ahead

Ordinarily my crystal ball doesn't work very effectively, but I can guess at a few things with some degree of confidence:

1. The Israeli Government of Ehud Olmert will fall, either through a confidence vote, scandal or the withdrawal of a member of the governing coalition. Either way, the Kadima Party's days in power are numbered.

2. There is a high probability that the Likud Party will regain power, selling itself as the party capable of restoring Israel's military and effecting a "true victory" over Hizbollah. Apparently, years of shooting twelve year olds with slings and stones didn't prepare the IDF for an enemy that was well-equipped, well-trained, and motivated (not to mention deeply entrenched).

3. There is a possibility (confidence level only so-so) that the Republican majorities in the House and Senate will be overturned and replaced by Democratic majorities. If there is such a turnaround, I expect that we will have a troop withdrawal scheme in place before mid-2007. I also expect the first of many investigations into the Bush Administration and those that Constitutional scholar Lawrence Tribe said had "Constitutional blood on their hands."

4. I do not expect the al-Maliki government in Iraq to survive for very long. Internal pressures are increasing within the cabinet and parliament as the sectarian violence escalates. Voices are already being heard talking about the partition of the country, after all. If the security forces suddenly start choosing up sides and the government collapses, the American armed forces will be faced with the need to make a fighting withdrawal to Kuwait.

5. We may not attack Iran, although Dick Cheney and certain other co-conspirators are cooking the books in a feverish attempt to make Iran the latest Iraq. The military options include the use of tactical nuclear weaponry, which would be regarded as final and convincing proof that our government's leaders have gone absolutely crazy-8 bonkers ga-ga insane.

6. I can not see far enough ahead to state with any degree of certainty whether or not George Bush will voluntarily leave his office at the end of his second term. Under the shadow government plans worked out in the 80s, all it would take to declare martial law and suspend the Constitution is either wide-scale civil unrest or a major terrorist attack. Scary stuff, huh?

7. Some people are suggesting that the world will end on August 22nd of this year, either due to the change of the Great Mayan Year Cycle or the commemoration of the Islamic Night of Nights. I, however, plan on going to work on the 23rd, laughing quietly to myself.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Who's the Winner?

Certainly not this guy (and a big hat tip to Steve Gilliard for the beautiful job of Photoshopping Bush into ex-Shah Reza Pahlavi's uniform).

No, THIS guy won, the 46-year-old eldest son of a Lebanese vegetable vendor.

The inevitable questions are being asked now in Israel:
How did this happen?
Why couldn't our army manage to resupply and communicate effectively?
Why weren't our reservists adequately trained and equipped?

These questions and others like them have the ability to force a confidence vote in the Knesset that could spell the end of the Olmert Government, and cause Israel to start some serious self-examination. Sort of like what we should be doing in America, provided we actually had a government that had balls and a spine, and a news media who was more zealous in defending their Constitutional prerogatives than in tearing down anyone who disagrees with our Hell-bent theocratic government.

Steve Gilliard makes the point that the big winner - the real winner - in both Israel's incursion into Lebanon and America's invasion/occupation of Iraq was ...

The Islamic Republic of Iran.

We need to reconcile ourselves to the fact that we're basically stuck, have lost all the respect and moral authority we've accrued since World War Two, and have handed our government over to a bunch of greedy rich idlers who are at best incompetent and at worst actually malevolent.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Santayana's Curse

"Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana, Reason in Common Sense.

"They had long brooded about Vietnam's effect on America's global security obligations. For two years, Johnson had been fighting a costly war without harnessing the United States to its imperatives. And, because he had refused to call up the reserves, army units in Europe and elsewhere, their officers and noncoms sent to Vietnam, were skeletal. The only combat-ready division defending the United States, the 82nd Airborne, had been stripped to one third its strength to provide troops for the war. The marine corps could not attract enough recruits. Draftees could be conscripted to replenish the ranks, but they lacked the experience to serve as leaders and technicians - and enlisting them in large numbers also posed domestic political problems. Ironically, Wheeler and the joint chiefs essentially concurred in General Giap's assessment: the conflict was bleeding America."
- Stanley Karnow, Vietnam: A History, Penguin Books 1983, pp. 550-551.

Change the names and locations, and you have what is essentially the face of the American military right now. Back then, of course, we had the draft, but the massive call-up and concomitant protests were still a year or so in the future at the point cited above (1968, shortly after Tet). And recall Osama bin Laden's threat - that he didn't have to defeat America, just to bleed it until its economy could no longer sustain its hegemony.

Mutato nomine, de te fabula narratur - change the name, and the story is about you.

Who'da Thunk It?

Who could have guessed that CNN's Lou Dobbs could get so sarcastic? This was actually fun to read - or would be if it wasn't soooo scary.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A Rhetorical Exercise

Are We Safer?

This is the question that people must ask themselves when stepping up to vote in the midterm elections this November. President Bush has asserted that he and his enlightened leadership and policies have made us safer from terrorism. But is that really the case?

Are our ports safer? No; only a tiny fraction of all the cargo entering this country is screened for contraband that could be used for a terrorist act. Attempts by the minority party in the Congress to increase funding for port security was blocked by the majority party. And an attempt to give operational control of several ports to a foreign company headquartered in a nation that had financial links to Afghanistan's Taliban regime was made by the administration currently in power.

Are our borders safer? Again, no; the current administration's assertions to the contrary, illegal immigration into this country has not decreased. In fact, look for it to increase as political infighting n Mexico gets worse and the economy there starts to suffer.

Are our skies safer? No. The British government managed to break the recent terrorism plot from solid law enforcement and human intelligence practices, but we're not out of the woods yet. Funds slated for the Transportation Security Administration were cut recently by the majority in Congress.

And who, you might ask, is responsible for this?

I'm so glad you asked that.

The party that is currently the majority in BOTH Houses of Congress, as well as the party that currently controls the White House - The Republican Party. The very same Republican Party that sobs that they couldn't get anything done (in their 76 days in session) because of Evil Liberals (who are in the minority).

The same party that is trying, once again, to hike up the level of Fear in this country so that the masses can go to the polls and keep them the majority party in Congress.

The majority that approves of, and seeks to facilitate, the President's scheme to eavesdrop on you, to spy on you, to restrict and limit your freedoms in the name of "saving" you from terrorism.

The majority that lied us into a war that threatens to bleed our armed forces white, that has cost us over 2,600 dead and hundreds of billions of dollars lost through peculation and fraud.

The majority that dares to say that they and their leader's policies have made us safer.

So, I ask again:

Do you feel safer?

And if you answered Yes, you are very likely the same breed of knuckle-dragging ignorant inbred dolt that voted for Bush twice.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Sex in America, Or Why Can't Johnny F**k?

This showed up on CNN's website today, and I must say I was impressed - not with the law enforcement effort that broke the case, but with the scope of the enterprise. Imagine it! 240 prostitutes, raking in millions of dollars for their bosses. Got to love that business model.

Who says sex can't sell?

Nobody in America, that's who. Very few populations on Earth have such a sharp disconnect when dealing with the human body and its reproductive function. Seriously, if intercourse wasn't pleasurable, why would we do it?

But we must recall that among the first non-natives to fetch up on American shores were Puritans, who had an abhorrence of the body. That attitude has been passed down over the years - that sex is dirty, that the naked body is something to be avoided. Violence, on the other hand, is perfectly acceptable.

This kind of attitude leads to all sorts of nasty behavior in the good old US of A - pedophilia, incest, spouse and other forms of domestic abuse, rape - the list is long and not at all distinguished.

Europeans have a better attitude, and I must say that I consider the attitude superior. There, violence is abhorred, while nudity and sex are considered healthy. People are more tolerant (and we must not dismiss studies that have shown secular nations are generally happier and better-adjusted than those intoxicated by god figures).

Thursday, August 10, 2006

"Mass Murder on an Unimaginable Scale."

That's a quote, by the way, from a member of the British Home Office regarding the terrorist plot uncovered in Britain today. Leaving aside my contention that the Bush Crime Family isn't averse to fomenting a terror alert just to keep us jerking around on strings until the election in November, I have a bit of trouble with the phrase used above.

Let's go to the numbers, shall we?

10 planes x about 150 people each = 1,500
September 11, 2001 (best guess) = 2,700
Hiroshima, 6 August 1945 = 86,000

I suppose "unimaginable" is a matter of perspective.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Simply disgusting.

Our Beloved Leader, Emperor and Anointed by God Personally to Bring the Blessings of Freedom to the Undeserving Non-White People - yeah, you know who; anyway, Bush and his little band of criminals and enablers have hit a new low in terms of ethics and morality.

Forced by the Supreme Court's Hamdan ruling to actually set up a legitimate hearing process for terror detainees, Bush's cronies have started putting together a series of exceptions to the War Crimes Act so that people who tortured detainees to extract information couldn't face trial for their offenses.

In years to come, if our system of government can survive the next few years, I expect to see huge classes in political science on ethics and morality - and how the Bush Crime Family managed to drag the good name of the United States into the muck.

A Right-Wing Conspiracy

Watching Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) 'concede' his loss in the primary election to Ned Lamont was a little like watching a crack whore - you feel soiled just watching her.

Which got me to thinking about a little scheme cooked up in the head of the Exalted Gonzo Journalist Dr. Hunter S. Thompson in his book Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail 1972. In the book, Thompson suggested that President Nixon had a plan, and it went like this:
1. Sell out the Republican Party to the Goldwater wing.
2. Use that support to get reelected.
3. Set up an Agnew / Ted Kennedy race in 1976.
4. In short, giving the Democrats the White House in 76, in exchange for another Republican administration in 72.

Perfectly logical (although Thompson admitted it was probably pure bullshit), but like I say it got me to thinking about Lieberman. It goes something like this:
1. Lieberman runs as independent against Lamont (not against the GOP candidate).
2. The race splits the Democrats, resulting in a Senate win for the GOP.
3. Lieberman gets rewarded by being appointed Secretary of Defense.

Plausible? Your thoughts, please.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Lemon-Dijon Chicken Recipe

I have to share this. It produces a very tender, juicy chicken.

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, washed and cut in half crosswise
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 slices lemon
pinch of freshly ground black pepper
pinch of crushed thyme
pinch of crushed rosemary
cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix together lemon zest, lemon juice, mustard and spices together.
3. Line a cooking dish (glass or otherwise) with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.
4. Cut two slices of lemon into 6 wedges and arrange in cooking dish.
5. Coat the chicken pieces in the mustard mixture and arrange on top of the lemon wedges.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Double Standard, Anyone?

Since today is the anniversary of the first use of nuclear weaponry in wartime, let's talk a bit about Iran's nuclear weapons program. After all, that's the great bugaboo in international diplomacy and a major reason that Certain People in Washington, DC want us to start raining ordnance down on Tehran.

Iran has several nuclear power reactors, and with some effort has started an enrichment cycle to produce either plutonium (harder than you think) or oralloy (enriched uranium - dandy for bombmaking). They have rejected the call from the United Nations to stop what they're doing, and they've tried to acquire more uranium (I had a link for that, and will post it when I find it again).

Now let's look at another nation.

Israel has a French-made nuclear reactor and enrichment facility, named Dimona, out in the Negev Desert. They are so paranoid about anyone seeing what goes on there that they shot down one of their own planes when it got too close (so any pictures of it are taken by satellite). They are notoriously close-mouthed about how many weapons they have, although one scientist, a fellow named Mordechai Vanunu, claimed that they had 100 to 200 weapons.

Even discounting that by ten times, that's a lot of glow in the dark for any nation.

Now, Israel knows that it can count on the United States to veto any UN resolution condemning it or leveling sanctions on it for its nuclear program. So isn't the US being a bit disingenuous in allowing one bunch of troublemakers to make nukes while denying the same privilege to another set of troublemakers?

08:15, Sixty-one Years Ago

It was a hot, muggy summer day in the city and surrounding countryside, and although the nation had been at war for twelve years, the people didn't feel the need to be overly nervous.

Children were going to school, men and women were going to work.

A single plane flew overhead.

And at eight-fifteen that hot summer morning, the world changed irrevocably.

This is a rare picture taken by a Japanese photographer at a distance of 7 kilometers from the hypocenter of the world's second nuclear detonation. The target was Hiroshima, a southern port city of the Japanese Empire. Estimates vary, but there is general agreement that 86,000 human beings died almost instantly from the initial firebomb and the resulting heat flash and shock wave. Many of those who were left alive wished they were dead, burned and injured and dying slowly from the impact of so much ionizing radiation.

People who flippantly talk about using nuclear weapons need to remember these pictures. A recent commenter on a blog that I regularly peruse suggested that the way to pacify the unrest in the Middle East would be to use nuclear weapons on the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina.

Setting aside the fact that we are outnumbered by the population of the Islamic world, we would run the risk of having the entire planet condemning us as terrorists and taking steps to either retaliate or find some way to contain us.

No sane, rational, intelligent person wants to use nuclear weapons. And I hope it stays that way.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Putting Up the Sledgehammer

I commend the linked article from the Sydney Morning Herald to you. In it, UK Prime Minister and Bush Bitch Tony Blair has admitted that our use of military might in Southwest Asia "has left the West losing the battle for hearts and minds in the Middle East."

The old saw that you have to break a few eggs when making an omelet won't work any longer, folks. People see through naked aggression, and they don't like it.

Using military force to counteract social ills doesn't work. Let's walk through a likely scenario:
1. What will we do to stop illegal immigration?
2. Put troops on the border!
3. How do the troops stop the illegals?
4. Shoot to kill!
5. And when the borders are surrounded by walls made up of corpses, will we have stopped illegal immigration?
6. No.
See, immigration is caused by social pressures; in the best example of this, economic pressure is forcing people in Mexico to seek work in the United States. So, how do we stop illegal immigration? Try to work with Mexico in solving its social ills so that people won't want to risk their lives sneaking through deserts.

Simple, huh?

In my opinion, based on what I've read and what I've seen, Terrorism is a product of social ills such as unemployment. It cannot be solved by military might, since every undeserving corpse you leave behind only makes the survivors angry - and supplies more recruits to the terrorists. In much the same way, street gangs see a rise in recruitment when socioeconomic factors take a downturn, and heavyhanded actions by the police make things worse in many cases.

Of course, convincing Bush of this would be like King Knut trying to order the tide to stop rolling in - it just can't be done.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

"We Stand Ready to Help ..."

If by "help" you mean rape your economy, degrade your already low standard of living and corrupt your young through a corrupt government.

The title of this post is a blithering comment by Presidential Spokesmodel and Joe Gannon Successor Tony Snow, more than living up to his more usual nickname of "Snowjob" for the benefit of the Slave Media.

The people of Cuba need to brace themselves if Castro dies.

You see, the Cuban exile community here in the United States (especially the young people) have been raised and fed on rosy fairy tales of how wonderful Cuba was before that mean old Revolution came and chased them out.

The reality was far different. The majority of Cubans suffered a standard of living little better than Haiti, while a minority of Extremely Rich Bastards made a fortune off sugar, rum and cigars. And presiding over all of this was the squat figure of Fulgencio Batista, the military strongman who seized power in 1952 and made it a point to go around to the casinos (run by a cabal of shadowy gents with Italian names, hint hint) to collect his cut of the earnings.

If Castro dies, I can foresee a sledgehammer composed of exiles and wielded by either the Dumbass-in-Chief or his porcine brother Jebbie the Hutt (although I doubt Jeb would buy into this - he's smarter than George by any yardstick). The outcome of all this would be to inflict a Potemkin village "democratically elected" government that would be beholden to the United States, complete with all these exiles trying to get back shit they lost back in 1959.

Talk about suffering all the way to Havana.