Monday, March 31

Well-known reporter Peter Arnett gets canned for speaking the truth - how damaging was what he said (and it was oh-so-obvious anyway). So much for free speech and journalistic integrity in these American days - if he is canned for speaking the truth, how many other reporters or journalists will refrain from telling what's really happening? In 1998 Arnett got reprimanded (while two others were fired) at CNN for accusing the US forces of using sarin gas on a Laotian village in 1970 to kill U.S. defectors (see bottom of article for details).

The Motley Fool's Quote of the Day: I'm trying to decide if I should listen to less radio, or more; read less papers, or more. The news is bad -- it is the job of the news to be bad, of course; every paper might as well run 100-point headlines every day that say, 'Things Suck, Thousands Die' -- but that has an unnerving quality lately. Put simply: no one is in control, except for people who shouldn't be in control.

-- James Lileks, columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune

Saturday, March 29

Hee hee: Walton, the first of three Wal-Mart communities scheduled to open this year, introduces residents to the company's new 'all you can live' consumer goods subscription service. "Beyond its quality environment and top-notch municipal services, Walton represents our first serious foray into flat-fee provision of consumer products," explains Michael Elmoere, Wal-Mart VP of Intra-Regional Logistics and First Regent of Walton Township. "It's a 21st century horn-of-plenty, all for one no-fuss monthly fee."

I had not planned on winning an Academy Award for "Bowling for Columbine" ..., and so I had no speech prepared. I'm not much of a speech-preparer anyway. ... I spoke of the need for nonfiction films when we live in such fictitious times. We have a fictitious president who was elected with fictitious election results. He is now conducting a war for a fictitious reason (the claim that Saddam Hussein has stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction when in fact we are there to get the world's second-largest supply of oil). Viva Michael.

Friday, March 28

"Among the more extreme powers Patriot Act II would grant the executive branch: The ability to strip citizenship from an American who supports a group the feds label as terrorist. Secret arrests—the government could avoid revealing the location of, charges against, and evidence on someone it was holding. Far looser checks on search-and-seizure activities of law enforcement. And a DNA database for people deemed to be terrorist suspects." From the ever watchful Village Voice.

Thursday, March 27

Only in Detroit....

Tuesday, March 25

But of course, Dahhhh-ling, who else would receive this contract? Scratch, scratch, scratch. Everybody benefits from War!!!

$75 billion for a war. Mindboggling.

Sunday, March 23

Although completely suppressed by the U.S. media and government, the answer to the Iraq enigma is simple yet shocking -- it is an oil currency war. The real reason for this upcoming war is this administration's goal of preventing further Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) momentum towards the euro as an oil transaction currency standard. However, in order to pre-empt OPEC, they need to gain geo-strategic control of Iraq along with its 2nd largest proven oil reserves. This essay will discuss the macroeconomics of the `petro-dollar' and the unpublicized but real threat to U.S. economic hegemony from the euro as an alternative oil transaction currency. The author advocates reform of the global monetary system including a dollar/euro currency `trading band' with reserve status parity, and a dual OPEC oil transaction standard. These reforms could potentially reduce future oil currency warfare. --from The Real Reasons for the War with Iraq. (Thanks, Steven.)

Thursday, March 20

Once again, from Senator Robert Byrd:

Why can this President not seem to see that America's true power lies not in its will to intimidate, but in its ability to inspire?

By the way, we're at war. Oh, and don't forget to fill out your NCAA Tournament Bracket for the Road to the Final Four... (Do you get my correlation?)

Good news: Senate Republicans lost a battle to add a provision to the budget bill that would have opened an Alaska wildlife refuge to oil drilling. The vote to strip it was 52-48. (New York Times article - login: opensewer/password: iswatching)

On political language, a timely subject, by the always relevant George Orwell. from metafilter

Wednesday, March 19

Here's an e-x-c-e-l-l-e-n-t article regarding America and its past, future and present, both the good and the bad. It's a wonderful read so even if you skim it, give the entire article a chance from start to finish. Sure, it bashes Bush (see especially, "Part III - Where Bush Went Wrong") but it is logical - take a read here.

Sayz Ari Fleisher: "Americans ought to be prepared for loss of life. Americans ought to be prepared for the importance of disarming Saddam Hussein to protect the peace." Protect the peace my ass. It's the oil and we all know it! Bush can't even prove the link between Saddam and al-Qaida as his three-paragraph document ton Congress notifying them of war claims. Quick article here.

New Jersey "terror czar" (that sounds pretty awful, doesn't it?) describes what will happen if (when?) we ever go to "red" on the terror alert scale.

Dissent dissent dissent. Democratic Leader Tom Daschle is under fire for speaking his mind - probably too French-like for Amurika.

Tuesday, March 18

In case you were wondering why we are about to go to war this week, it's not to keep the United States safe, seeing as the FBI expects terrorist activity to pick-up as a result of the war and has a large mobilization planned at the onset of hostilities in Iraq.

Monday, March 17

It's not just the fries, man....."It is time for English-speaking peoples folk to throw off this cultural imperialism lording-it-over-others and declare say our linguistic freedom. It is time to purify clean the English language tongue." Carrying out the principle to its logical conclusion....

Saturday, March 15

Back to the "freedom fries" thing for a minute: This issue makes me ashamed of our leaders--once again. Regardless of France's cooperation/non-cooperation with our military initiatives, a lame-ass, grossly sentimental gesture like this (i.e., renaming the fries) just illustrates the myopic, reactionary, self-centered, violent attitude that continues to make the rest of the world both laugh at us and fear us. And when I sear "fear", I mean that kind of fear you have of someone who is acutely paranoid and defensive. We are so out of touch. I wonder if Jones and Ney were listening to Lee Greenwood (warning: MIDI link) when they came up with this idea. Maybe this was on the wall of the conference room...

Friday, March 14

Bad Pentagon, bad: The Pentagon is seeking exemptions from major U.S. environmental laws which would give it the freedom to pollute land, air, and water without being liable for damages.

I'm not always a big fan of Hendrik Hertzberg, the New Yorker critic, but his latest piece on war with Iraq (no pun intended) is one of the most even-keeled and accurate accounts I've read in a long time. The question he builds to, "Even among those who believe that an invasion of Iraq, sooner or later, cannot be avoided, some are asking, Where is the Administration’s wisdom, its sense of diplomatic touch, its Great Power modesty?" seems to be the crux of the world's disillusionment with the U.S.

"As it did in the West a generation ago, obesity is bringing with it a range of ailments led by cardiovascular disease. Once uncommon in Asia, diseases of the heart and cardiovascular system are now the continent's leading killers." Live like Americans, get fat like Americans.NyTimes lgin:opensewer; password:iswatching

Thursday, March 13

"The Pentagon has threatened to fire on the satellite uplink positions of independent journalists in Iraq, according to (a) veteran BBC war correspondent..."
Apparently, people like this woman are now war-time targets. Hmmm.

Wednesday, March 12

Late at night, flipping through channels on my way to the Cartoon Network, sometimes I chance upon this freak of nature.

Suze Orman has the courage to be rich, and apparently the adrenaline to avoid blinking altogether. I mean, how does she do that with her eyes? She’s like a combo demon-possessed horror chick and Type-A personality poster-child, MBA-style. Yikes.

It scares me that this woman, whose eyes have grown deeper and scarier over time (look at her various book covers), is so popular. People must be sad, desperate, looking for answers. Looking for the answer. If they look to her, they may see an oracle, but they’re dealing with a snake-oil salesman.

Long ago in a dusty village
Full of hunger, pain and strife
A man came forth with a vision of truth
And the way to a better life
He was convinced he had the answer
And he compelled people to follow along
But the hunger never vanished
And the man was banished
And the village dried up and died

Salon had a good article last year that spoke to this and related issues.

Tuesday, March 11

This is what we have sunk to. Oh man. So pathetic. So stupid. And two elected officials are standing there, proudly posing. Yup. I bet France is really hurting from this one. Hooray for intelligent discourse.

From fires to flying sheep-heads, concert going has gotten very dangerous lately. Of course, you can always stay home and watch the puppy channel.

Friday, March 7

A gem in the rough: Ford to sell the hybrid Ford Escape small sport/utility vehicle at a loss while it tries to cut the costs of the hybrid system in half. Kudos to Ford for putting customer awareness about this cleaner technology before profits.

The US Government is busy going after the real threat to America - no, not the terrorists, people who sell bongs! And their little websites, too!

Wednesday, March 5

News quickie - US held detainees found to by government to have been beaten to death.

Tuesday, March 4

Presenting the Raging Cow Weblog, the first corporate marketing campaign disguised as a teenager's weblog. What Dr. Pepper is depending on and also unfortunately what a lot of bloggers aren't going to know is the difference between real content and a corporate ad. This has the same stench as ramming advertisements down easily impressionable elementary school students' throats.

Advertising disguised as an innocent teen blog is dishonest. It's corporate America at its worst, and it stinks. More from MSNBC.

Most Americans Believe In Hell, Few Expect To Go There
quickie from the village voice

Monday, March 3

Now you can help decide the future logo of America's future thought-police. What nifty patch design do you want to see on the security officer's shoulder as they haul you away to for suspicious computer usage? The mailing-label friendly format? the eagle with a handbag?


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