Mar 03

AP: Bill would automatically register

  • AP: Bill would automatically register men for a draft: The draft is wrong. Any conscription is wrong. In the event of domestic danger, people will volunteer if they would like to fight.
  • US promotes ‘whopper’ of a lie for propaganda purposes
  • Court bans Turkish Kurd party: The Turks are militarist fascists.

  • 12
    Mar 03

    Elizabeth Smart found alive, but too late to save innocent man

    I wouldn’t normally find this very newsworthy just for my own personal reasons, but I wanted to point out how they tried to pin this to that Ricci guy who had a brain hemorrage and died in jail. So, I’m glad the Smart girl has been found, but this just goes to show how ‘justice’ is often delivered by zealous prosecutors and police, on the backs of the hapless and innocent. Shame.

      Police earlier had focused on 48-year-old handyman, Richard Ricci, calling him “a possible suspect. He was later imprisoned for a parole violation stemming from burglary charges related to the Smart family. Ricci died in the Utah State Prison August 30, 2002, when he was taken off life support following a brain hemorrhage three days earlier.

    I have to wonder if he did indeed even take anything from the Smarts. Authorities can often find laws that have been broken and will even go so far to plant evidence.

  • On the same page: Texas executes 300th victim of the year

  • 11
    Mar 03

    Things can only get better

    1. Ashcroft Unveils DNA Proposal: Which political donors are gonna get the fat contracts for this jobby job?
    2. Drug habits die hard: Cocaine and amphetamine drug users struggle with the residual effects of their drug habits for up to a year after going cold turkey – much longer than previously reported.
    3. Cool art, via Metafilter
    4. ‘Superbomb’ Video Will Be Sent to Scare Iraq: I’m upset. You mean we’re not using nucular bombs to shed innocent blood anymore?
    5. US Secretly Urged Israelis to Walk Out of Peace Talks
    6. Movie Men Add Special Effects to Media War
    7. Bush apologizes to Afghan leader Karzai: Interesting timing considering Afghanistan’s puppet president has been talking to Russian officials and diplomats. If Afghanistan’s government came out against the Iraq war it would be a huge black eye for the American war establishment.

    Mar 03

    Whipping up the proles

    When the Germans were the ones we were supposed to revile during WWI and WWII government propagandists changed hamburgers into Salisbury steak, sauerkraut into ‘liberty cabbage’, German measles into ‘liberty measles’, and liverwurst into ‘liberty sausage’. Germans became huns. It was necessary to the war machine to foster hatred and mistrust of anything foreign, so that when you saw or heard anything German your mind would close up and your brain would go into a paroxysm of fear.

    This is happening now to the French because their government is opposing our government’s movement towards war. Americans are peace-loving and independent yet we allow our emotions to be swayed by slander and emotional appeals and insults against the French people? Now the French, who helped us against the British empire during our seminal moment, are our sworn enemies? Now they are ‘smelly, cheese-eating, surrender monkeys’? This only makes Americans look like uneducated assholes and does nothing to build support for American interests if that’s what you’re after. To this end, our ship of fools in Congress has passed a ‘symbolic’ measure to rename French fries “freedom fries.” When will the Orwellian irony stop? I’d like one bottle of Victory gin please.

    Mar 03

    Today in Babylon

    1. Markets threatened by ‘new world disorder’: A study by Lehman Brothers’ chief economist John Llewellyn says that regardless of who backs any action there is a one in 10 chance of an ‘open-ended conflagration’ which would lead to a Viet nam war-sized bill for the US, ‘equivalent to 12 per cent of contemporary GDP’, or $1.2 trillion.
    2. Bush Sr warning over unilateral action: Mr Bush Jr, who is said never to forget even relatively minor slights, has alarmed analysts with the way in which he has allowed senior Administration figures such as Donald Rumsfeld, the Defence Secretary, aggressively to criticise France and Germany.
    3. Why was Richard Perle meeting with Adnan Khashoggi?
    4. Frist yanks poll from web site after blaming anti-war results on “hackers”
    5. Supreme Court to hear police questioning case revising landmark Miranda decision
    6. Danger of super germs is immediate, doctors say
    7. China Moves Away From Communist System
    8. Kids’ viewing of TV violence linked to aggression as adults

    Mar 03


    1. The Independent: US prepares to use toxic gases in Iraq: The convention bans the use of these toxic agents in battle, not least because they risk causing an escalation to full chemical warfare. This applies even though they can be used in civil disturbances at home: both CS gas and pepper spray are available for use by UK police forces. The US Marine Corps confirmed last week that both had already been shipped to the Gulf.

      It is British policy not to allow troops to take part in operations where riot control agents are employed. But the US Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, has asked President Bush to authorise their use. Mr Bush, who has often spoken of “smoking out” the enemy, is understood to have agreed.

    2. Pentagon: Reporters leave Iraq now: She and other Pentagon officials stopped short of urging news organizations to pull their 250 reporters out of Iraq’s capital, but they repeatedly cautioned that they cannot count on a “heads-up” from the Pentagon to evacuate the city before war begins.

      Pentagon officials believe that in addition to being killed or injured by hundreds of cruise missiles and smart bombs expected to rain down on Baghdad, reporters risk being targeted for murder by Saddam’s troops or captured to be used as human shields.

    3. Revealed: US dirty tricks to win vote on Iraq war: Secret document details American plan to bug phones and emails of key Security Council members: Details of the aggressive surveillance operation, which involves interception of the home and office telephones and the emails of UN delegates in New York, are revealed in a document leaked to The Observer.

      The disclosures were made in a memorandum written by a top official at the National Security Agency – the US body which intercepts communications around the world – and circulated to both senior agents in his organisation and to a friendly foreign intelligence agency asking for its input.

      The memo describes orders to staff at the agency, whose work is clouded in secrecy, to step up its surveillance operations ‘particularly directed at… UN Security Council Members (minus US and GBR, of course)’ to provide up-to-the-minute intelligence for Bush officials on the voting intentions of UN members regarding the issue of Iraq. This is incredibly fucked up.

    4. Via RobotWisdom weblog Mortimer Adler’s Syntopicon:

    Feb 03

    A Balance of Power

    From InfoPlease.com: Balance of Power:

      balance of power, system of international relations in which nations seek to maintain an approximate equilibrium of power among many rivals, thus preventing the preponderance of any one state. Crucial to the system is a willingness on the part of individual national governments to change alliances as the situation demands in order to maintain the balance. Thucydides’ description of Greece in the 5th cent. B.C. and Guicciardini’s description of 15th-century Italy are early illustrations. Its modern development began in the mid-17th cent., when it was directed against the France of Louis XIV. Balance of power was the stated British objective for much of the 18th and 19th cent., and it characterized the European international system, for example, from 1815–1914. After World War I the balance of power system was attacked by proponents of cooperation and a community of power. International relations were changed radically after World War II by the predominance of two superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union, with major ideological differences between them, but this ended with the collapse of the USSR in 1991.

      See H. J. Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations (1960); H. Butterfield and M. Wright, ed., Diplomatic Investigations (1966); P. Keal, Unspoken Rules and Superpower Dominance (1984); R. J. Lieber, No Common Power: Understanding International Relations (1988).

    Feb 03

    What rock have I been under?

    Judging from photoshopped photos, editorial cartoons, and entries on other websites I think I missed something interesting having to do with duct tape and homeland security and/or Tom Ridge. I feel like I’m a traveller from the past experiencing some unknown cultural anecdote. Wtf.

    Feb 03

    Not much time, but here’s the goods

  • Iraq Shows Facilities Cited by Powell: Missiles Within U.N.’s Limits, Officials Assert:
    Nothing at the facility, Iraqi officials asserted as they showed reporters around, constitutes a violation of U.N.-imposed weapons restrictions.

  • CNN: French police seize mobile phone guns: The deadly phones come apart in the middle to reveal a four-chamber compartment for .22 caliber bullets, which can be shot out of a protruding fake antenna.
  • Bush Administration attempting to shift tax burden to poor Listen to this crap: Instead, the report says, such “distributional analyses” should consider that a poor person one year could be middle-class or even rich in subsequent years, and a rich person could drop down the income ladder. Given that fluidity, it would be folly to make social and tax policies to address the body of poor people at any particular point in time, it says.
  • Bomb kills 20 in meeting place for Colombian elite
  • Draconian Patriot Act II in the Works
  • CIA officer killed in Afghanistan
  • 200 high school students skip to protest possible Iraq war
  • New detainees held at Guantanamo Bay: More torture at camp x-ray
  • Moving Work Offshore Not Just For Blue-Collar Workers Anymore
  • Justice Dept. Drafts Sweeping Expansion of Anti-Terrorism Act: Center Publishes Secret Draft of ‘Patriot II’ Legislation

  • 12
    Jan 03

    Kinda weird

    I was reading the news (as I often do) and I noticed something that annoyed me a little especially since my mother has this habit of telling me ‘I don’t believe everything I read on the internet.’

    AP: Fuzzy Strands Fill Skies Over Texas City:

    A University of Wyoming microbiology professor attributed the webs in Santa Cruz to young spiders that launch themselves on their homemade parachutes after hatching to be blown to a new home.

    In Wyoming, dozens of the webs can been seen floating across the prairie in the spring, the professor was quoted as saying in the AP story.

    However, on the Internet, some conspiracy connoisseurs remain convinced the webs are man-made and could be part of an elaborate government plot.

    I mean, is that really necessary as the last sentence in an AP story?