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Here a border, there a border… what’s a little invasion between friends? 24 October 2007

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, California / Pacific Coast, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iraq War, SCOTUS, WAR!.

      PKK 2006 photo 

TAKING POSITIONS: Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) rebels storm a hilltop during military exercises in the mountains of northern Iraq’s Kurdish autonomous region in this 2006 file photo. [hindu.com]

Both bay and moiv posted this to the previous thread, within a minute or so of each other:

Russia’s Novosti says the Turks have crossed the border.

ANKARA, October 24 (RIA Novosti) – Units of the Turkish army have crossed the Iraqi border in a special operation against Kurdish militants, local newspapers said Wednesday.

The Yeni Safak newspaper reported that Turkish commandos supported by helicopters were chasing militants from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), and F-16 Falcon fighter-bombers and artillery were delivering pinpoint strikes at militant bases about 50 kilometers (30 miles) deep into the Iraqi territory.

Zaman, Turkey’s third largest newspaper, said the Turkish Armed Forces had stepped up their bombardment of the Iraqi border as part of an operation launched in retaliation for Sunday’s terrorist attack that killed 12 soldiers and wounded 16 others.

The newspaper cited a government spokesman as saying that the U.S. had been informed about the start of the cross-border operation, although Turkey’s military has not confirmed the media reports.

The Turkish parliament sanctioned last week military cross-border operations against the PKK, based in north Iraq, following an earlier government request. The PKK says it is currently holding several Turkish soldiers hostage.

Turkey’s military said on Monday that eight military personnel were missing following clashes with Kurdish fighters on the Iraqi border, 34 Kurds and at least 12 Turkish servicemen were killed last Sunday in an ambush by Kurdish militants.

Turkey’s National Security Council is meeting Wednesday to discuss further action against the PKK insurgents and the reaction of the U.S. and neighboring countries on the Turkish incursion into northern Iraq.

The PKK, listed by the U.S., NATO and the EU as a terrorist organization, has been fighting for autonomy status in southeast Turkey for nearly 25 years. The conflict has so far claimed about 40,000 lives.  [snip]


Other than that, Toobin is on with Charlie Rose, saying Hillary will put Obama on the SC....  frankly it seems nearly immaterial to me, by now.  Probably convinced a listener or two of the Rose show to give her another look. 



BHHM posted that his ISP Comcast is beginning to “mediate bandwidth” for overseas access, then posted this:

From EFF.

October 19th, 2007

EFF tests agree with AP: Comcast is forging packets to interfere with user traffic
Posted by Seth Schoen

This morning the Associated Press reported that Comcast is interfering with users’ ability to run file sharing applications over its network.

Since we spoke to Comcast last month and understood them to deny that they are doing this, we’ve been running our own tests.

The results of our tests have agreed with AP’s. Comcast is forging TCP RST packets which cause connections to drop (a technique also used by Internet censorship systems in China). These packets cause software at both ends to believe, mistakenly, that the software on the other side doesn’t want to continue communicating.

BHHM provided some additional links as well:

Link to EFF

Link to slyck.com forums

link to Forbes


UPDATE, 5:54 am

Day 3, Tuesday, of the fire:


Horses move restlessly as a fire approaches on Palomar Mountain in San Diego County.   (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times  / October 23, 2007)



A rabbit runs for shelter from theapproaching flames of the Ranch Fire near Lake Piru. (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times / October 23, 2007)


UPDATE, 6:18 pm – still hot in San Francisco…….

    Today Wednesday

Calvin Culbertson, a maintenance worker, surveys the damage to a trailer that melted on the Rincon Indian Reservation. (Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times / October 24, 2007)




1. BooHooHooMan - 24 October 2007

I can say that the Novosti link sails through here. The links posted in Moiv’s comment seem to be going through a very crowded hash bar though…stateside as well as overseas.

yenisafak.com, turkish language news link


2. BooHooHooMan - 24 October 2007

Not a wonder givn the language of the latter link

Several news agencies reported that numerous Turkish military helicopters ferried commando units and village guards from the southeastern town of Yüksekova, some 40 kilometers from the Iraqi border into the region, as part of an operation launched in retaliation for Sunday’s terrorist attack that martyred 12 soldiers and wounded 16 others.

3. BooHooHooMan - 24 October 2007

Whoa Buddy
or is that
Cheney is Nice Man

From AFP

President of Iraqi Kurdish region urges end to rebellion
24/10/2007 07h49
Hundreds of people walk behind an army vehicle carrying the coffin of a soldier killed by Kurdish rebels
©AFP – Aden Altan

ARBIL, Iraq (AFP) – The president of Iraq’s northern Kurdish region on Wednesday urged the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to end its more than two-decade armed struggle against Turkey.

“We call upon the PKK to eliminate violence and armed struggle as a mode of operation,” said a sternly worded four-point statement issued by the office of Massud Barzani, president of the autonomous Kurdish region of Iraq.

“We do not accept in any way, based on our commitment to the Iraqi constitution, the use of Iraqi territories, including the territories of the Kurdistan region, as a base to threaten the security of neighbouring countries.”

The statement said the Kurdish administration did not believe in the use of violence as a “doctrine” and method to achieve political objectives

Sorry, posted in wrong place back of last thread…

4. marisacat - 24 October 2007

God … what can you do. Guiliani out and about with his old friend, an accused child molester – and a priest, of course.

The priest, Monsignor Alan Placa, a longtime friend of Giuliani and the priest who officiated at his second wedding to Donna Hanover, continues to work at Giuliani Partners in New York, to the outrage of some of his accusers and victims’ groups, which have begun to protest at Giuliani campaign events.

“This man did unjust things, and he’s being protected and employed and taken care of. It’s not a good thing,” said one of the accusers, Richard Tollner, who says Placa molested him repeatedly when he was a student at a Long Island, N.Y. Catholic boys high school in 1975.

5. Hair Club for Men - 24 October 2007

Other than that, Toobin is on with Charlie Rose, saying Hillary will put Obama on the SC….

Doesn’t Obama’s assocation with a known homophobe like Donny McLurkin disqualify him from sitting on the Supreme Court?

Or does it only disqualify him from being president?

6. marisacat - 24 October 2007

well I consider it, Obama to the SC, immaterial, as I said.

7. Hair Club for Men - 24 October 2007

I’m only noting that if it is indeed Hillary’s campaign that’s pushing the Donny McKlurkin angle it would be poetic justice if it came back to smack her in the face when she puts up his name for the Supreme Court.

Personally I’d rather see a Dem put Feingold up for the Supreme Court if they take the White House back again. He’s not much use in the Senate any more and he does have a decent record on Civil Liberties. He’s also one of the club so he’d probably go through the confirmation process easily enough.

8. marisacat - 24 October 2007

Frankly I m just at the end with so called “stupid” mistakes.

Obama should not be wanting to send this message.. and touring with some “cured” gay does send a message. As does wallowing in Hsu money.

I always tag these shits as purposeful, whether Obama- Rama or Hillary or any of them.

9. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 October 2007

a longtime friend of Giuliani and the priest who officiated at his second wedding to Donna Hanover

Why is it that the first thought that occurs to me is “maybe there is another reason his children hate his guts”?

10. Hair Club for Men - 24 October 2007

Obama should not be wanting to send this message.. and touring with some “cured” gay does send a message

Yep but it only sends a message became Obama and all the other Democrats except Gravel are wishy washy and unclear on where they stand on gay rights. Obama could clear this up right now by coming out for gay marriage. And Hillary and Edwards could make this possible by promising not to exploit it and use it to label him “unelectable”.

Oh well, time to go into the city. Where did I put that Internal American Passport to go through the Lincoln Tunnel….

11. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 October 2007

Tucked in at the end of a piece on Bush’s comment about WW3, Nader moves on to the feckless Donks:

Then there is the matter of the Democrats in Congress. After their costly fumble on Iraq, the opposition Party should make it very constitutionally clear, as recommended by former New York Governor, Mario Cuomo in a recent op-ed, that there can be no funded attacks on any country without a Congressional declaration of war, as explicitly required by the framers of our Constitution.

But the Democrats are too busy surrendering to other Bush demands, whether unconstitutional, above the law or just plain marinated in corporate greed. Some of this obeisance was all too clear in the Democrats questioning of Bush’s nominee for Attorney General, Michael B. Mukasey.

After the two days of hearings, no Democrat has yet announced a vote against Mukasey, even after he evaded questions on torture and argued for the inherent power of the President to act contrary to the laws of the land if he unilaterally believes he has the inherent constitutional authority to do so.

This position aligns Mukasey with the imperial views of Bush, Cheney, Ashcroft and Gonzales on the “unitary Executive.” In short, reminiscent of the divine right of Kings, the forthcoming Attorney General believes Bush can say that ‘he is the law’ regardless of Congress and the judiciary.

After two recent lead editorials demonstrating its specific exasperation over the Democrats’ kowtowing to the White House, the New York Times added a third on October 20, 2007 titled “With Democrats Like These” The editorial recounted the ways Democrats, especially in the Senate, have caved on critical constitutional and statutory safeguards regarding the Bush-Cheney policies and practices of spying on Americans without judicial approval and accountability.

Accusing the Democrats of “the politics of fear,” the Times concluded: “It was bad enough having a one-party government when the Republicans controlled the White House and both houses of Congress. But the Democrats took over, and still the one-party system continues.”

There is more grist coming for the Times’ editorial mill. Last week, the first African-American chair of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, Charles Rangel (D-NY), declared that Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson, Jr., fresh from Wall Street, had persuaded him, during a decade of increasing record profits, to lower the porous corporate income tax rate from 35% to 25%.

“We can live with that,” Chairman Rangel declared.

Would the working families in his District, who would be paying a higher tax rate on their modest income, agree?

12. marisacat - 24 October 2007


thought I heard a big and bold statement from Kuc, at the q and a with Etheridge and other reps from teh gay community.

As for Obama, Edwards and Hillary, well I am sure Gilroy and FLH and other chumps are dead on. They are all hard core lefties. Jsut faking it to get elected.

These are not decent people. Zapatero in Spain is a decent man. I have posted his speech, from the day he opened marriage to all couples. It was to weep over.

Decent people in politics: WE DON”T HAVE THOSE ANYMORE.

13. marisacat - 24 October 2007

Jonathan Turley on the Mukasey testimony. The Dems score again. Duh.

14. BooHooHooMan - 24 October 2007

Mcat #12

A nation a sheep. A nation of

Boomers , x-ers — doesn’t matter. Swept away with hardly a bleat heard above the mouthful of onion dip. None the wiser either, till the taser prod hits them…or not.

Most intuitively know there will be no physical shock and you know what?? They’re probably right. Seeing the taser vids is enough Pavlovian conditioning to keep everybody in line. They’ll labor on – those fewer and fewer needed still will labor on, shocked only at the disparity between their income and their ability to keep up with their debt. Perhaps the cruelest shock of all is the one needed but never received, the 50, 60, coupla hundred grand one for a pacemaker slow walked by insurers for the surgically viable yet profitably inconvenient.

Maybe a life built on willful ignorance is its own reward, that ignorance of cruelty, that avoidance of shock and the necessity for extreme measures: Self actualizing simply as one consumptive tube from pie hole to anus.

Eventually, There may be regulation “necessary” to maintain the profitable derivative and futures markets already wagered on the aggregate quantity, length, and life spans of these poop shoots, yours and mine, as they are now in the actuarial tables figured in to every retirement, annuity, and wealth enhancing “subsistence” program. Think of it: your bowels as nothing more than a speculative venture to see how much dehumanizing shit you can ingest psychologically and politically before your marginal need for engineered, higher margin foodstuffs is exhausted.

As part of this devolution this is why I think abortion will not be made illegal in this country. The strictures will continue…But Choice? Sheeeyat. It’s going, going, ….Unavailabe will be the Newspeak in select areas….

Reproductive Rights are going to be subsumed under “States Rights” gerrymandered like politics to business interests…Some very dark days ahead, packaged as “reasonable accomodation’. As Always…..

I may post this in the sewer before catching the last McFuckMe Breakfast before they stop serving at 11….

15. BooHooHooMan - 24 October 2007

On second thought, thought yes- that forcible ecxercise most often lost among so much of my rote existence — I have bread, eggs cinnamon and milk.I’ll make french toast at home , then linger at the Cafe that feeds my mind…

16. BooHooHooMan - 24 October 2007

Correction re choice: “Unavailable” IS the Newspeak NOW. It is dancing around like fire on the dry grassy plains. What makes anyone believe their own currently well watered enclaves are safe from shifting winds?…

17. mattes - 24 October 2007

Didn’t we give Saddum biological weapons to take care of those pesty kurds?

What are we going to do now? After all….they have oil.

Turmoil in the middle east….higher oil prices and pressure to open up the Alaskan Wildlife Refugee.

18. JJB - 24 October 2007
19. aemd - 24 October 2007

“A nation a sheep”

LOL, no sadly, not sheep. Too many lust for empire and wash their hands with the greenest, scented softsoap. WooHoo, we’re number one and all that shit.

BTW, Ms Cat, amazing pics (as always) and still riding the google stream on the Ickes business. The key word, you provided, was “data mining”. 😎

20. lucid - 24 October 2007

BHHM – where are you looking to set yourself up? Especially in light of 2 things in the last thread [ISP filtering & getting a ‘hall pass’ to fly anywhere] I think I should really start looking myself. Maybe I should look more into Ezekiel’s thing. Problem is, if I can’t make a living as a musician, how would I live? I don’t speak Serbo-Croatian, so a white collar job would prolly not be an option despite my white collar skill set. Bartending would be out too – my skin can’t take that much soapy water exposure… hm…

21. BooHooHooMan - 24 October 2007

Lucid, I’ll e you rather than thread gorge. I’m outta the loop re Ezekiel …E -ing you in a bit…

22. bayprairie - 24 October 2007

After their costly fumble on Iraq, the opposition Party should make it very constitutionally clear, as recommended by former New York Governor, Mario Cuomo in a recent op-ed, that there can be no funded attacks on any country without a Congressional declaration of war, as explicitly required by the framers of our Constitution.

as if! unclear wording isn’t the problem here. and a more “explicit” clarification won’t do jack shit. congress has abandoned their constitutional responsibilities and are equally as derelict in their duty to serve the american people as bush is.

even without an “explicit declaration”, congress is funding and refunding the war. that in itself stands as a de-facto validation of the presidential misadventure by the invertebrate congressional pugs and donks.

besides, i don’t see bush having any problem at all getting a declaration of war if he wanted one. he could have it on his desk the day before the congressional thanksgiving break.

23. marisacat - 24 October 2007


I sent you ezekiel’s particulars.



glad you caught my reply with the google link, I had meant to email it to you to be sure…




one thing is certain. We will be selling people out. And causing death and destruction.

We must be god’s messenger, why bother to worry about satan. Let us credit him who we invoke in battle.

24. Hair Club for Men - 24 October 2007

The local press is getting feisty.

Click on the link and look at the cartoon.


If I were Bush, I’d keep making increasingly outrageous demands from congress to see if they have the ability to say no. Like next week he could ask for a pony, then demand a monster truck and a hot tub full of oatmeal.

25. marisacat - 24 October 2007

Priests Jailed for Protesting Fort Huachuca Torture Training

TO link

Writing for Truthout, Bill Quigley says,

“Louis Vitale, 75, a Franciscan priest, and Steve Kelly, 58, a Jesuit priest, were sentenced to five months each in federal prison for attempting to deliver a letter opposing the teaching of torture at Fort Huachuca in Arizona. Both priests were taken directly into jail from the courtroom after sentencing.”

26. marisacat - 24 October 2007

Bush should just ask for a “new toy”. I mean, that is where we are. He sends a note to congress to show he still knows they are there, they fuss, fuss, squeal and moan, then do whatever.

As if it mattered.

I see the congress took a hard line in children of illegals.

What else is new.

Senators Reject Legal Status for Children of Immigrants

Link, To picks up the LAT story

Nicole Gaouette and Johanna Neuman of The Los Angeles Times write:

“The Senate today rejected a bill that would have allowed young people brought to the United States as children by their illegal immigrant parents to gain legal status provided they attended school or entered the military.”

27. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 October 2007

We must be god’s messenger, why bother to worry about satan.

What God wants God gets God help us all
What God wants God gets
The kid in the corner looked at the priest
And fingered his pale blue Japanese guitar
The priest said
God wants goodness
God wants light
God wants mayhem
God wants a clean fight
What God wants God gets
Don’t look so surprised
It’s only dogma
The alien prophet cried
The beetle and the springbok
Took the bible from its hook
The monkey in the corner
Wrote the lesson in his book
What God wants God gets God help us all
God wants peace
God wants war
God wants famine
God wants chain stories
What God wants God gets
God wants sedition
God wants sex
God wants freedom
God wants semtex
What God wants God gets
Don’t look so surprised
I’m only joking
The alien comic cried
The jackass and hyena
Took the feather from its book
The monkey in the corner
Wrote the joke down his book
What God wants God gets
God wants boarders
God wants crack
God wants rainfall
God wants wetbacks
What God wants God gets
God wants voodoo
God wants shrines
God wants law
God wants organised crime
God wants crusade
God wants jihad
God wants good
God wants bad
What God wants God gets – What God Wants – Part 1

28. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 October 2007
29. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 October 2007

Thanks for the Turley link. That man should be on the Court one day.

30. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 October 2007

Hillary must have a lock on the Telecom’s money:

It’s official: Obama will back a filibuster of any Senate FISA legislation containing telecom immunity, his campaign has just told Election Central. The Obama campaign has just sent over the following statement from spokesman Bill Burton:

“To be clear: Barack will support a filibuster of any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies.”

Of course, I immediately focused on the word “retroactive” … very lawyerly.

31. marisacat - 24 October 2007

Telcom Act of 1996 – plus whatever other opportunites there were for them forge support for future runs.

Oh Obama has a toy. Filibuster.

So impressed.

32. marisacat - 24 October 2007

Danny Schechter/News Dissector is at a conf in Graz Austria… McKinney is there as well:

Cynthia left Washington and went back to school at Berkeley to finish a Ph.D.

But now, as she announced tonight, she may be back in politics. She announced that she is considering an offer from the Green Party to run as their presidential candidate.

Soon, Hillary may not be the only woman running for office. You heard it here first. Remember the outcry over Ralph Nader’s Green Party candidacy? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

I’d vote for her in a heart beat. half a heart beat.


And the fire is returning to areas where it had passed thru. If your house was saved in the first fires, it may go in the second sweep.

33. Hair Club for Men - 24 October 2007

I’d vote for her in a heart beat. half a heart beat.

Isn’t she anti-semitic 🙂

34. Hair Club for Men - 24 October 2007

Oh wait. She’s not. And she doesn’t attack Capitol Cops either.


On June 16, 2006, the grand jury declined to indict Rep. McKinney, finding insufficient grounds to proceed.[15] Under 18 U.S.C. §111(a), McKinney faced a fine or not more than one year in jail if convicted of assaulting an “officer or employee of the United States”.

Oops. They forget to mention that on Kos.

35. marisacat - 24 October 2007

Kos and his quacking whacks are all goose anuses.

36. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 October 2007

It’s messy, and not pretty, and work continues, but LSF is back up, and I have a new piece just posted:

“Extreme Makeover – Disaster Edition!”

A society demonstrates its values by what it funds publicly. During this disaster, with it’s pictures of primarily middle-class and wealthy refugees, we’re sold the consumer products industries as saviors. During Katrina, we were sold security contractors, militarism and fear.

/shameless blog whoring

37. marisacat - 24 October 2007

BRAVO! for shameless anything!

38. Hair Club for Men - 24 October 2007

How will they smear McKinney if she runs?

1.) Crazy
2.) Hates Jews
3.) Cop Slapper
4.) Guilt by association (fucktard father)
5.) 9/11 conspiracy theorist
6.) All of the above plus stuff we don’t know yet

39. marisacat - 24 October 2007

“fierce hairdo”, “not appropriate for a member of congress”.

That from Missy Pam of Durham.

yes really.

40. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 October 2007

OHh, go Rep. McKinney! She’s got my vote.

HCfM … you forgot “traitor”.

41. Hair Club for Men - 24 October 2007

That from Missy Pam of Durham

I’m assuming this isn’t the Pam from Atlas Shrugs.

42. Hair Club for Men - 24 October 2007

Oh. I forgot another Kos favorite.

“Did not represent her district effectively”.

Note: Soon to be used on Kucinich

43. marisacat - 24 October 2007

sorry.. I mean Pam Spaulding of Durham NC. I forget what she calls her site – she also is a main page blogger at Pandagon..

D Throat maintains Pam is a foundling of DH’s.

44. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 October 2007
45. Hair Club for Men - 24 October 2007

Well they’re going to have to pick a different smear artist to get McKinney. Niewert isn’t quite the right guy here. And breathless “if you vote for McKinney the Nazis are going to get you” aren’t going to work either.

It will probably look more like this.

(Deleware Dem, MBNY or watever his name is, Kos) says something like “OK. Let’s get realistic now. I hate to say it but Cynthia McKinney is not only anti-semitic but ineffective. I don’t need a president who beats up cops, hates Jews, and engages in 9/11 concpiracy theories).

Sort of the same line they use on Kucinich, but more of the “she’s aggressive and crazy” than “she’s loopy and crazy”.

And I don’t even want to think what’s going to happen on LGF and the right wing sites.

46. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 October 2007

U.S. air strikes on PKK weighed

I guess helping Saddam aim his chemical weapons wasn’t enough:

The Bush administration is considering air strikes against the Kurdish rebel group PKK in northern Iraq in an attempt to stave off a Turkish invasion of Iraq to fight the rebels, administration officials said.

President Bush spoke with Turkish President Abdullah Gul by phone Monday in an effort to ease the crisis. According to an official familiar with the conversation, Bush assured the Turkish president that the U.S. was looking seriously into options beyond diplomacy to stop the attacks coming from Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq.

“It’s not ‘Kumbaya’ time anymore — just talking about trilateral talks is not going to be enough,” the official said. “Something has to be done.”

No damned hippies with guitars in THIS government!

While the use of U.S. soldiers on the ground to root out the PKK would be the last resort, the U.S. would be willing to launch air strikes on PKK targets, the officials said, and has discussed the use of cruise missiles. But air strikes using manned aircraft may be an easier option because the U.S. controls the air space over Iraq, the officials said.

47. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 October 2007

Bomb Iran? U.S. Requests Bunker-Buster Bombs

White House Bomber Request Leaves Some Wondering if U.S. Is Preparing Action in Iran

Tucked inside the White House’s $196 billion emergency funding request for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is an item that has some people wondering whether the administration is preparing for military action against Iran.

The item: $88 million to modify B-2 stealth bombers so they can carry a newly developed 30,000-pound bomb called the massive ordnance penetrator, or, in military-speak, the MOP.

The MOP is the the military’s largest conventional bomb, a super “bunker-buster” capable of destroying hardened targets deep underground. The one-line explanation for the request said it is in response to “an urgent operational need from theater commanders.”

What urgent need? The Pentagon referred questions on this to Central Command.

ABC News called CENTCOM to ask what the “urgent operational need” is. CENTCOM spokesman Maj. Todd White said he would look into it, but, so far, no answer.

There doesn’t appear to be any potential targets for a bomb like that in Iraq. It could potentially be used on Taliban or al Qaeda hideouts in the caves along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, but there would be no need to use a stealth bomber there.

So where would the military use a stealth bomber armed with a 30,000-pound bomb like this? Defense analysts say the most likely target for this bomb would be Iran’s flagship nuclear facility in Natanz, which is both heavily fortified and deeply buried.

“You’d use it on Natanz,” said John Pike of GlobalSecurity.org. “And you’d use it on a stealth bomber because you want it to be a surprise. And you put in an emergency funding request because you want to bomb quickly.”

“It’s kind of strange,” Pike said. “It sends a signal that you are preparing to bomb Iran, and if you were actually going to bomb Iran I wouldn’t think you would want to announce it like that.”

48. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 October 2007

Dahr Jamail: Ill-Equipped Soldiers Opt for “Search and Avoid”

WATERTOWN, New York, Oct 24 (IPS) – Iraq war veterans now stationed at a base here say that morale among U.S. soldiers in the country is so poor, many are simply parking their Humvees and pretending to be on patrol, a practice dubbed “search and avoid” missions.

Phil Aliff is an active duty soldier with the 10th Mountain Division stationed at Fort Drum in upstate New York. He served nearly one year in Iraq from August 2005 to July 2006, in the areas of Abu Ghraib and Fallujah, both west of Baghdad.

“Morale was incredibly low,” said Aliff, adding that he joined the military because he was raised in a poor family by a single mother and had few other prospects. “Most men in my platoon in Iraq were just in from combat tours in Afghanistan.”

According to Aliff, their mission was to help the Iraqi Army “stand up” in the Abu Ghraib area of western Baghdad, but in fact his platoon was doing all the fighting without support from the Iraqis they were supposedly preparing to take control of the security situation.

“I never heard of an Iraqi unit that was able to operate on their own,” said Aliff, who is now a member of the group Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW). “The only reason we were replaced by an Iraqi Army unit was for publicity.”

Aliff said he participated in roughly 300 patrols. “We were hit by so many roadside bombs we became incredibly demoralised, so we decided the only way we wouldn’t be blown up was to avoid driving around all the time.”

“So we would go find an open field and park, and call our base every hour to tell them we were searching for weapons caches in the fields and doing weapons patrols and everything was going fine,” he said, adding, “All our enlisted people became very disenchanted with our chain of command.”

49. Hair Club for Men - 24 October 2007

Let’s see if I can be as self hating as Michelle Malkin.

OK her.

Both papers uncovered dishwashers, cooks and other suspect Hillary campaign contributors in New York’s Chinatown, Flushing, the Bronx, and Brooklyn who were limited-income, limited-English-proficient and smellier than stinky tofu. One Asian donor admitted to the Los Angeles Times “to lacking the legal-resident status required for giving campaign money.” Another, Hsiao Wen Yang, told the New York Post she was reimbursed for her $1,000 donation – setting off clear alarm bells over yet another possible straw donor scheme on the heels of Norman Hsu-gate. If it’s ‘ethnic profiling’ to be extra-careful of Chinatown donors who can’t speak English, live in dilapidated buildings, have never voted, can’t tell Hillary Clinton from Hunan Chicken or simply can’t be found, then ‘ethnic profiling’ should be the standard procedure of every responsible campaign

Both papers uncovered grandchildren of coal miners, Polka singers, and other suspect characters in (I don’t know say Hillary too) campaingers in Perth Amboy, Greenpoint, Buffalo and Chicago who were of limited English, and smellier than week old Kielbasa. One Polish American donor ADMITTED mind you that he has difficulty screwing in lightbulbs without help. Another, Stanley Kowalski admitted that his donation was made up of cash gotten from selling Blanch Dubois’ fake pearls after having his way with her and screaming “Stella” loudly up at her sister. If it’s ethnic profiling to be careful of dumb Polack donors who can’t speak English too good, can’t tell Hillary Clinton from Frankie the Polka King, and simply can’t find the the remote when Mika Brezinski comes on in the morning and you want to turn it off because Scarborough is flirting with her, then ethnic profiling should be the duty of ever responsible citizen.

Nah. That took too much work. Malking really does hate herself.

50. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 October 2007

Were Those Cruise Missiles Targeted? Did Anybody Check?

Philip Coyle, an analyst with the Center for Defense Information and a former assistant secretary of defense from the Clinton administration period, has a troubling question about the recent nuclear weapon incident in the US.

He wants to know if the six nuclear-tipped Advanced Cruise Missiles that were improperly removed from a guarded bunker at the Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota and flown in launch position on a wing pod of a B-52H Stratofortress bomber on Aug. 29-30 to Barksdale AFB were programmed with targeting information.

He also wants to know if the Air Force and Pentagon, which last Friday concluded an investigation into that shocking incident (no nuclear weapons have been flown on a bomber over US territory for 40 years on presidential orders, and since 1991 no nuclear weapons are even supposed to be loaded for practice on a parked plane), ever checked the missiles’ computer guidance systems.

51. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 October 2007

I’ll believe it when I see it:


At 9 pm New Jersey time, Tuesday, October 23rd, in a nationwide phone call to Progressive Democrats of America and other impeach organizers, presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich announced he will go before the U.S. House of Representatives in a point of personal privilege to move the impeachment of Dick Cheney. Mr. Kucinich stated he will bring the impeachment forward before Thanksgiving. As soon as we learn more details we will post them immediately.

52. marisacat - 24 October 2007

oh phooey.

Send Kuc some sleeping pills. He can wake up next year sometime.

53. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 October 2007

50-minute trip for immigration know-it-alls
Staten Island ferry enlightens

Even without knowing much about the history of immigration to the United States, looking at the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island has a way of lowering the emotional barometer about policy today. For both monuments attest to the hard fact that immigrants came, were processed and, for the most part, became Americans in the best sense of that term.

In all candor and as a professor of American history, I don’t have an easy answer to dealing with illegal immigration today from south of our borders. But what immigration history has taught me is that extreme penalties and restrictions don’t work.

For most of American history, there were no federal rules, and immigrants flowed easily into the various states. When the federal government did intervene, after the Supreme Court in 1875 opined that regulation was a federal responsibility, national laws reflected prevailing public prejudices: first, restrictions against the Chinese and Japanese, then against southern and eastern Europeans. At the height of anti-immigration restriction laws in the 1920s, the supreme irony is that the pecking order of acceptability was in stark contrast to today’s: Then, Latin Americans were warmly accepted, even encouraged.

But what is clear is that it’s virtually impossible for anyone today to verify that their first ancestors to America carrying their surname were legal immigrants. States accepting immigrants kept some records but not systematically. Ellis Island authorities, which rejected only 2 percent of arrivals (on health grounds or the view they might become public charges), lost records in fires. So the whole notion that the immigration process in the old days resulted in a proper entry may well be nothing more than legal fiction for many immigrants. As for the federal laws, they were often conflicting and confusing: Restrictions based upon race, place of birth, sex and residence were officially eliminated in 1968, but the long-standing, sort-of affirmative-action policy of encouraging Canadians and Latin Americans was set aside in 1976.

Non-extreme ways to deal with illegal immigration would accept the view that policy should not be retroactive — that is, it should not penalize already settled, working immigrants. And the idea of a required national identity card for all Americans is a lot of hooey, wrought with bureaucratic ballooning and invasion of privacy. Nor should policy concentrate on building a border wall that defies economic common sense and smacks of a Berlin-wall era. And if states, such as New York, choose to permit illegal immigrants to apply for drivers licenses (under the reasonable assumption such individuals, like any other New Yorker, would be easier to track), that’s really their business.

As for the extremists like Dobbs, O’Reilly and U.S. Rep. James F. Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, who see prison or deportation as a proper treatment for undocumented immigrants, I’d recommend more than a trip on the Staten Island ferry. I’d like to see their papers — that is, proof positive that their ancestors entered the country legally.

hat tip to Sensenbrenner Watch

54. Sabrina Ballerina - 24 October 2007

Re Cynthia McKinney, having been in all the McKinney wars on several blogs before the last election, one word her ‘enemies’, mostly so-called progressives, always used to describe her was ’embarrassing’.

It looks like she’s given up on the Democratic Party. Smart of her really not to run as Democrat. As a Green Party Candidate that gives us another choice.

Re the accusations of ‘conspiracy theorist’ – they were so fake. I have almost memorized exactly what she said to Congress regarding the Bush family and 9/11. Airc, she never said the knew about it in advance, as she was accused of. She wanted an investigation into the profiteering that surrounded it (shocking at the time) and she wanted an investigation in what information Bush may have had regarding a possible attack and if he had ignored it.

As we know now, none of that was as outrageous as it was made to seem. He did have warnings and did ignore them. And they did profit from 9/11. I think Abramoff at one point wanted to send his floating gambling casinos to NY Harbor for some reason. Those are the ones Gus Boulis was murdered over.

But no matter how many times I provided that transcript from McKinney’s Congressional speeches from that time, they were ignored.

I hope she runs. She is a very smart woman and has been proven right about everything she said back then. Now, it’s not at all shocking but at the time, it took a lot of courage for her to do the job Congress was too cowardly to do, ask for an investigation. For that she was vilified.

55. Miss Devore - 24 October 2007

43-Pam’s Morning Blend, or something to that effect. I’m a bit surprised at that, but I haven’t read her in awhile.

56. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 October 2007

Oh, just found my bookmark, it’s Pam’s House Blend.

57. marisacat - 24 October 2007

Pam’s comments about McKinney were made at the time of the Hill cop incident. Pam gave a rundown of black hair styles and in commenting that McKinney apparently expected to be recognised despite not wearing her identifying congressional pin (think I am remembering that right) Pam added that her overall appearance could have caused a cop to dismiss the claim that she was a House rep.

Probably findable for anyone who wants to google. Think it was at her site, rahter than at Pandagon but perhaps at both..

AGain, iirc w/r/t the timing.

58. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 October 2007

Pam is a toadie … sad, b/c her blog was interesting before she got roped in, but …

59. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 October 2007

Splendid Isolation:

The canyon that’s being carved in the West between underclass and overclass, and into which the middle class is being made to tumble, reifies the syndrome of the unrecognizable familiar. We have rulers who look like us, and appear to talk to us about what we’re told are our concerns and values, yet whose experience and environment and whose own values are so alien to our own that they may as well be aliens themselves. In turn neither do they recognize themselves in us, and only grudgingly and for their own ends use the power of state with egalitarian beneficence. You could call them reptiles, but just as truthfully you can call them Morlocks. And if you do then you must know what they eat.

Mark Morford writes today of the horror in the heart of an Oakland high school teacher nearing retirement, who “says he is very seriously considering moving out of the country so as to escape what he sees will be the surefire collapse of functioning American society in the next handful of years due to the absolutely irrefutable destruction, the shocking — and nearly hopeless — dumb-ification of the American brain”:

[He] simply observes his students, year to year, noting all the obvious evidence of teens’ decreasing abilities when confronted with even the most basic intellectual tasks, from understanding simple history to working through moderately complex ideas to even (in a couple recent examples that particularly distressed him) being able to define the words “agriculture,” or even “democracy.” Not a single student could do it.

It gets worse. My friend cites the fact that, of the 6,000 high school students he estimates he’s taught over the span of his career, only a small fraction now make it to his grade with a functioning understanding of written English. They do not know how to form a sentence. They cannot write an intelligible paragraph. Recently, after giving an assignment that required drawing lines, he realized that not a single student actually knew how to use a ruler.

Morford adds that their discussion then turns to “the bigger picture, the ugly and unavoidable truism about the lack of need among the government and the power elite in this nation to create a truly effective educational system, one that actually generates intelligent, thoughtful, articulate citizens.” Perhaps the lack of need is, from the perspective of Morlocks, a need for lack among its overstocked herd of the tazed and confused.

60. Sabrina Ballerina - 24 October 2007

I probably read that at the time, marisacat. But if that what she said, she was repeating the Fox News/Limbaugh story. I think I first heard the ‘hair’ comment (McKinney had changed her hairstyle.) The excuse was that the cops had been shown photos of members of Congress, including McKinney, but when she changed her hairstyle, according to Fox, the cop did not recognize her.

What should have happened was the cop should have been removed from that job as he failed to do what he was supposed to. Also, there were other complaints about discrimination against that Department by several other black police officers, one of them a woman airc. McKinney, and if I’m remembering correctly, the Black Caucus, had supported them and had written a letter to Congress. It was a big case and it seemed there was a lot of discrimination and harrassment going on.

It was thought that what happened with McKinney was planned as payback for her support of the Black cops. I don’t know if that was true or not, but that wasn’t the first time she had been treated badly by the Capitol Hill police. I think Sheila Jackson Leigh and another Congresswoman verified that they witnessed her being treated badly before this incident.

Re the anti-semitic charge, even AIPAC did not go along with that. Her mentor as a child was a Jewish politician,(I think he was a politician) who encouraged her to get involved in politics. Her father had supported a Jewish candidate for mayor, dropping his support for a black candidate (when McKinney was a child) which got him in trouble with the Black community at the time.

Another charge against her I recall was that she had no bills before the House. That was not true either as I found several, really good bills, she had presented. The problem was she had difficulty getting sponsors for them. One had to do with Global Corps treatment of workers in other countries. I think there were about 16 bills total (not sure of the number though) but the anti McKinney crowd focused on one which was to name some building after a rapper.

Arguing with them was a waste of time. I noticed, eg, that many of those who appeared on DU at the time, disappeared after the election. They were relentless and repeated the same talking points over and over again. I am certain they were operatives now. At the time though, I was so puzzled that these ‘democrats’ were so fiercely against her. They did get a lot of push-back and had their smears ripped apart many times, but that never stopped them.

I’m sure it will all happen again so I’ll have to do a refresher course as they are likely to use the same attacks again.

61. Miss Devore - 24 October 2007

“I’m in to win!”

Moving in one week. If we are going to have such hot weather this late in the fall, I hope it lasts til I’m in a place with a pool. Ridiculous today, go outside for 5 minutes and am sweating under my glasses.

58–do the Koufax awards do people in? I watched that TPM video spot with kos today. As if Josh is going to ask tough questions of kos. Circle jerk of bloggers.

62. marisacat - 24 October 2007

if that what she said, she was repeating the Fox News/Limbaugh story

sabrina, well, maybe you can find it at her site..

Pam was TEACHING the little white peoplem hence the lesson in hairstyles…. In her job as apologist and tool. She teamed up awith Americablog, in particular, to bash McKinney.

SOme people don’t need Fox.

I remember McKinney’s hairstyles (and I particularly remember being surprised that anyone would caption her newer style as “fierce”, that was Pam’s word, as well the admonition I quoted above, not appropriate, etc) and I remember what she wore the day of the incident as well as the day she was forced to apologise in congress.

63. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 October 2007
64. Sabrina Ballerina - 24 October 2007

Mitm, just read your piece at LSF. Very excellent as usual. Speaking of NOLA I was asking today on Pff if the total number of deaths that occurred was ever revealed. I don’t recall a number other than an estimate which pretty low. Dyslexic Writer at Pff said that in NOLA bodies that are not identifiable are not counted among the dead. I find that to be shocking, if it is possible to be shocked anymore.

who “says he is very seriously considering moving out of the country so as to escape what he sees will be the surefire collapse of functioning American society in the next handful of years due to the absolutely irrefutable destruction, the shocking — and nearly hopeless — dumb-ification of the American brain”:

Scary but I believe it. If something is not done soon, this country will be one big Springer Show. I hear a lot of people saying they are thinking of leaving, don’t want their children growing up here.

65. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 October 2007
66. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 October 2007
67. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 October 2007
68. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 October 2007
69. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 October 2007

IOZ … just go read all of the latest posts.

70. Hair Club for Men - 24 October 2007

It looks like she’s given up on the Democratic Party. Smart of her really not to run as Democrat. As a Green Party Candidate that gives us another choice.

Re McKinney. IF she runs (a big if) the question is not “will she be attacked” (she’s going to be slammed 100 times harder than Kucinich or Ron Paul is now) but “how do you take the inevitable attacks and use them to get some traction in the media”.

Dean did it when Kerry attacked in late in 2003. Ron Paul did it against Giuliani. Obama tried but failed to do it when they hazed im on meeting Chavez and Achmidinejad.

If they come at her as a 9/11 conspiracy nut she needs to be able to articulate scepticism about the official report while at the same time seperating herself from the controlled demolition crowd.

If they come at her and accuse her of being an anti-semite, she needs to very clearly articulate the difference between pro-palestinian and anti-semitic.

If they accuse her of assaulting a cop, she needs to be able to turn it into a plus. I take no crap when someone grabs me.

I think the best possible scenario would be for McKinney and Paul both to run third party campaigns. Paul needs to drain the Republicans from the right and McKinney needs to drain the Democrats from the left.

The goal is to deligitmize the inevitably pro-war winner be it HIllary or Rudy or Romney or Obama.

71. Sabrina Ballerina - 24 October 2007

Good links on the fires, Mitm ….

Marisacat, I think I did find that post by Pam on McKinney’s hair. Having a problem with her site, so I went to the cache. I remember now, Neil Boortz had said that McKinney’s hairstyle made her look like a ‘Ghetto Slut’. The post is about Boortz’ attack on McKinney and then Pam’s take on it.

The Politics of Hair

Just so you know, that new hairstyle McKinney is wearing is called a twist-out. I used to wear it that way on occasion before I decided to loc my hair. You can do a twist-out this with unaltered, kinky hair, or, if it’s not too damaged, with relaxed hair. I can’t really tell in her case. You can wrap it wet or damp around rods or in two-strand twists. Once dried you can take it out and shape it; no hair spray needed if your hair is in a natural state.

It’s a fierce style – I don’t think it’s inappropriate for a member of Congress, though it might be non-conformist, which I think is one of the surface objections Boortz has to the style. McKinney’s braids might have received the same scorn as this new ‘do had she worn them out and loose, as opposed to pulled back, as women with straight hair do when they wear their hair in a bun. It’s clear that the Hill has its unofficial, drab “dress code.”

She mentions Aravosis’ post which she calls ‘controversial and there is a link to that thread also.

Funny how Imus lost his job for what he said, and Boortz suffered no consequences for his vile attack on a US Contresswoman. He also stated that her hair was like a ‘brillo pad explosing’ ‘horrible’ etc. Different standards when it comes to McKinney.

72. Miss Devore - 24 October 2007

thanks Mitm

73. marisacat - 24 October 2007

here it is… someone emailed it to me:

so you know, that new hairstyle McKinney is wearing is called a twist-out. I used to wear it that way on occasion before I decided to loc my hair. You can do a twist-out this with unaltered, kinky hair, or, if it’s not too damaged, with relaxed hair. I can’t really tell in her case. You can wrap it wet or damp around rods or in two-strand twists. Once dried you can take it out and shape it; no hair spray needed if your hair is in a natural state.

It’s a fierce style – I don’t think it’s inappropriate for a member of Congress, though it might be non-conformist, which I think is one of the surface objections Boortz has to the style. McKinney’s braids might have received the same scorn as this new ‘do had she worn them out and loose, as opposed to pulled back, as women with straight hair do when they wear their hair in a bun. It’s clear that the Hill has its unofficial, drab “dress code.”

74. Hair Club for Men - 24 October 2007

Jesus (or should I saw Holy Allah Akbar), I wonder if I’m on this list.


75. CSTAR - 24 October 2007

Re #47 Pike’s comment:

“It’s kind of strange,” Pike said. “It sends a signal that you are preparing to bomb Iran, and if you were actually going to bomb Iran I wouldn’t think you would want to announce it like that.”

My guess is that this kind of “announcement” probably doesn’t help a defender against a stealth bomber.

That MOP is real child-molesting mother-raping bastard

76. lucid - 24 October 2007

Go Cynthia! She definitely will be tarred with the 9-11 nut shit. She did a series of speaking tours with Mike Ruppert after she was booted from congress the first time in 2002. Guilt by association regardless of her actual statements on record. I menat to get to the one in NYC.

She’s got my vote though. Hell given that I’m a registered Green maybe I’ll even go to some organizational meetings if the local organizers can actually get their heads out of their asses and realize that they have a mailing list they can use to contact GP members. I worked hard for a Green candidate for mayor during the primary here in 2001 & the local party has never bothered to contact me since – same e-mail – same phone number.

77. marisacat - 24 October 2007

The item: $88 million to modify B-2 stealth bombers so they can carry a newly developed 30,000-pound bomb called the massive ordnance penetrator, or, in military-speak, the MOP.

RE Madman at 47 and CSTAR at 75

I was reading in comments today at The Guardian (think it was to the Simon Tisdall piece, useful in some ways but a sly bit of ‘Hillary is better than Bush’ congeal) … a commenter had served on a base where B-2s were… and on the hangars, on the sides was painted:

Global Power for the USA!

and the children followed painted pathways from home to school, the pathway marked by black B-2s.

78. marisacat - 24 October 2007

Have a good move Miss D! You and the “medically necessary” chihuahua…



Speaking of Pam Spaulding.. and Cynthia McKinney, two very different peas.

I know CMcK would review plantation slave and mistress dolls quite differently than Pam.

I laud this group in a way for attempting to tackle slavery in a context that young girls can understand through dolls and books, but the romanticization of this period on this site in general is extremely disturbing, though mostly it makes me sad. I don’t think there’s any good way to deal with this issue (race and the legacy of slavery is such a third rail topic, even on the Left), but you can’t help wondering what the demographics are of the people that buy into the Life of Faith product line when you read the promotional material.

For every mild, couched criticism, she plants appeasement. Really it is appalling.

The difference is independence.

79. Sabrina Ballerina - 24 October 2007

I noticed that too in her post about ‘hair’. Btw, I did post the link above but the blockquotes didn’t work for some reason.

When all that was happening with McKinney, I never believed the cop’s story, as he never was interviewed or even identified at first. McKinney’s version seemed plausible to me. He WAS at fault, as it was his job to protect Congressmembers and airc, each cop had photos of who they were, those they were to watch out for. He screwed up. Had she been Trent Lott, eg, the whole incident would not have happened, but if it did, the cop would most likely have been fired.

I agree regarding Pam and appeasement. In the linked post she would not discuss the cop incident as, she said ‘we don’t have enough info’ well, at that point, we did. It sounded like she was waiting to be told what to say. She could have expressed an opinion.

Lucid, I’m with you on McKinney ….

Hairclub, the thing is McKinney never did say anything that could be called a CT. Her words are on the record. But I remember when she asked for an investigation and what she said. I was thrilled as no one had dared to even suggest an investigatio at that time. The spineless Dems were falling all over themselves trying to catch up to the ‘patriotism’ of the Repubs.

80. bayprairie - 25 October 2007

Letters, New York Times (cited at kos)


What Americans have in mind when they want other countries to be “democratic like we are” is our political system, in which voters get to choose between two corporatized parties, financed by the same moneyed interests that agree on major issues, while elections focus on lesser issues, personalities and smears (Noah Feldman, Oct. 7). Policy options and citizen involvement are minimal. Candidates who stray beyond conventional rhetoric or propose more than cosmetic reforms are quickly relegated to the “extremes.” Voters are obliged to pick the lesser evil and so end up with more evil no matter who wins.

There is a thriving business of interchangeable corporate and government political operatives working to reproduce this system in other lands. Their obvious aim is not to spread actual democracy but to earn their money by setting up compatible, and therefore more easily dominated, outposts of the American empire. The rest of the world got wise to this a long time ago.

Pete Karman, New Haven

81. marisacat - 25 October 2007

TOO right!

Like HAVA, Help America Vote Act.. so ballyhoo’d. But all it did was channel money and resourced into partisan GOTV that will only target “the likely voter”… and no money and resources to grassroots orgs with a focus similar to (for instance, tho long pushed aside) League of Women Voters…orgs whose focus is expanding the voter base, registering poor and minorities, etc., serving the voter as well as the process, from a non partisan basis.

82. marisacat - 25 October 2007

oh and HAVA was loaded iwth patronage jobs, too. Gah.

83. Madman in the Marketplace - 25 October 2007

CNN’s coverage has shifted this morning … mixing in talk of people “taking advantage” of the help at Qualcomm and other places, and of “looting”. No details … were homeless people coming in for bottled water and diapers? Poor people who didn’t have dream houses to lose?

Luckily Democracy Now came on … I couldn’t watch Kirin Chetry forget to shift the mic to the person she was “interviewing” any longer.

Off to work. Try to have a good day, everybody.

84. marisacat - 25 October 2007

hmm prolly only of interest to Westerners… I see a lot of silly chat around about the fires.

Media is pushing coverage of Qualcomm stadium. But it has 10K (can accommodate up to 30K they say) out of over a half million on the move. There are 140 refuge areas. Media is concentrating on covering white faces fleeing their homes. It is a bigger sotry than that. And yes NO/Katrina/Rita across 4 states and a larger land mass, greater numbers on the move was bigger. We will never know the number of dead from Katrina.

Some realities, the NYT round up piece. It will take days for the full story to come out. And one part of the story will be the show put on at Qualcomm park.

I specially note this, what goes around, as they say… (and again it is not just CA, people in Minneapolis finally said they might consider higher taxes after that critical bridge went kaflooie):

The fires of October 2007 have sharpened questions about the costs of protecting the increasing numbers of people who live in remote and highly flammable areas, reawakened old jealousies that simmer across Southern California and forced new examination of the tension between the need for local emergency services and the willingness to pay for them.

San Diego County, the largest county in California without a fire department, relies on a hodgepodge of local departments that are almost all serving areas where populations are growing faster than their tax bases, and which are often low on money among a constituency that is generally allergic to taxes.

“Typically it takes the second or third time for a local fire department to make a compelling case” for increased tax revenues, said Stewart Gary, a principal at City Gate Associates, a government consulting firm that studies San Diego fire departments.

One of the two firehouses in the East County Fire Protection District, which sits in the heart of the 2003 fire area, was nearly closed last month, saved only by a special tax approved by voters.

But don’t worry, always a chance to be fucking dumb. One of the things being looked at under the budget out of Sacto is school crossing guards. They make 30.00 a day for two hours of work. Mostly elderly, some disabled. Right, let’s take them out to balance the universe.

Go Arnold.

85. marisacat - 25 October 2007

From a Grist article last year”

The researchers found that a big jump in wildfire activity occurred in the mid-1980s — almost seven times more forested federal land burned between 1987 and 2003 than in the previous 17 years. Over the entire region, the length of the wildfire season increased by 78 days from 1970 to 2003.

The season has grown more intense as well, with fires taking an average of only 7.5 days to control from 1970 to 1986, compared to an average of 37.1 days from 1987 to 2003.

While those trends are dramatic, they are not surprising to wildfire professionals. Tom Zimmerman, director of fire and aviation management for the Southwest division of the U.S. Forest Service, says, “Fire season now doesn’t end until it snows. We used to count on season-ending rains in August or September. Now we just hope for season-slowing rains.”

86. Sabrina Ballerina - 25 October 2007

I’m always amazed that anyone thinks Arnold is some kind of ‘nicer’ Republican.

Regarding closing firehouses, they did that in NYC after 9/11 airc. After over 300 firemen died. But they never close a police station.

It is so apparent that no one cares about the American people. What I’m wondering is has it reached a point where they really don’t matter. And if so, why bother with elections anymore, why not just appoint a ‘leader’ which seems to be what happens anyway.

They are reporting on the news that one of the fires was deliberately set. Wonder how they can know that at this stage.

87. marisacat - 25 October 2007

hmm it ws reported very early that in two fires (out of 12 across 7 counties) there was arson. I assume somehow they found the point where the fire was started.

As for Arnold, Democrats helped sell Arnold, something Kos/blahgs were fully a part of. I speak here of the re-election. Democrats in CA – and the blahggers boyos, completely abandoned Angelides. In fact it was part and parcel of one of Meteor Blades extended ivsits here.

To berate wu ming and I and others for even semi burbles toward Angelides (any day of the week better than Arnold).

And you know, Maria, with her juvenile Catholic exceptionalism, helped iwth all that bullshit, as did Mum and Dad Shriver. No problem campaigning and standing on stages iwth Arnold.

I think they should all break out the jack boots.

Nunes, the Dem head of the CA Assembly as well.


88. Sabrina Ballerina - 25 October 2007

Yes, I remember the blahgs when Arnold was running. There was a diary by someone criticizing the press coverage of the race and I think it was Bradley (a columnist for the LA Times, I think although I could be wrong about that) pushing Arnold while denigrating Angelides who seemed to have little if any support from Dems.

The reporter came into the thread, very aggressive, attacking all of the posters there and banning from his own blog, the author of the diary. Name-calling, childish behavior from someone who is supposedly a ‘journalist’.

He was asked about Arnold’s meeting with Enron airc. That got his attention and he launched into a defense of it. Airc, this was someone considered to be a fairly liberal reporter.

I really should go look it up to be more accurate. But it was clear that Dems were supporting Arnold and the press was behind him also.

89. marisacat - 25 October 2007

Actually, in that Davis was muzzled in the Recall (and that came from the Clintonite wing of the party, imo), the Dems put Arnold in to start with.

And while it is nothing new, but a pox on the wealthy Dem LA Jews who support Arnold. A very big nasty pox. NOt the first nor the last of that sort of unholy alliance, but still wrong.

90. marisacat - 25 October 2007

Yup.. support the troops. And be sure to welcome guerilla killers home, when they are no longer there, but here.

From Tom Dispatch/Nick Turse:

“The Corps hopes to tap into skills certain Marines may already have learned growing up in rural hunting areas and in urban areas, such as inner cities, said Col. Clarke Lethin, I MEF’s chief of staff.”

Outraged by the statement, one Sgt. Ramsey K. Gregory wrote a letter to the publication asking, “Just what was meant by that comment about the inner city? I hope to God that he’s not saying that people from the inner cities are experts in killing each other and that we all just walk around carrying guns.”

While the colonel’s language — defended by some — did seem to suggest that inner-city dwellers lived in an urban jungle of gun-toting hunters of other humans, none of the letters, pro or con, considered quite a different part of the Colonel’s equation:

the implicit comparison of enemies in urban warfare, today largely Iraqis and Afghans, to animals that are hunted and killed as quarry. As Lethin had unabashedly noted, “We identified a need to ensure our Marines were being the hunters… Hunting is more than just the shooting. It’s finding your game.”

Certainly we saw that sentiment in NO and the US government had no problem putting osme of the 82nd Airborne, fresh out of Iraq, into NO, against US citizens.

91. Sabrina Ballerina - 25 October 2007

Hard to express the horror one feels when reading that. If that’s what this country has come to, that such sentiments can be expressed with no consequences, it probably is too late to do anything but leave.

The US officially viewing human beings as animals to be hunted, including right here.

I do remember Miller telling the troops to ‘treat the Iraqis like dogs’ but at that time, I thought he was an aberration.

Just found the diary I mentioned above. The ‘journalist’ was Bill Bradley. It’s enlightening to see what passes for journalism when you read both the diary, and Bradley’s comments in the thread.

Wherein the biggest media insider in CA (Bill Bradley) flips out on me:

Bill Bradley (not the great Senator from NJ and former Presidential candidate) has been one of the main political journalists covering state politics in Sacramento for years. He writes for the LA Weekly and at his site New West Notes, which used to be a top secret newsletter for political insiders. Indeed everything about him screams insider, and most of the time he’s the one doing the screaming. Bradley touts himself as a longtime Democratic operative, a moderate who crossed over to vote for John McCain in the 2000 Republican primary (um, wasn’t that held a couple months after McCain dropped out?), the first reporter to get it right on the outcome of the 2003 California recall, etc., etc., etc. In the world of Bradley, Bradley is king.

What he is not is forgiving of even a shred of criticism. As you will soon find out.

92. Hair Club for Men - 25 October 2007

Bill Bradley (not the great Senator from NJ

Cough. He voted for Contra Aid and helped designed Reagan’s regressive tax cuts. He reinvented himself in 2000 and got his ass kicked by Al Gore. Cornell West liked him but West also likes Obama.

It’s enlightening to see what passes for journalism when you read both the diary, and Bradley’s comments in the thread.

My experience corresponding with journalists (both liberal and conservative) is that this is the rule not the exception.

They’re incredibly touchy and hate criticism.

Agree with them and they’re polite. Disagree even slightly and BOOM. Prepare to get harangued and cursed out.

93. Hair Club for Men - 25 October 2007

Valerie Plame seems to be doing the media. She was on Hardball. Didn’t say very much. Tweety didn’t hit on her. Boring.

94. Hair Club for Men - 25 October 2007

I’m glad they’re onto Marc Cooper


Between Bradley and Marc Cooper, however, they sure do love to hate Democrats.

But Marc Cooper was one of the people trying to destroy Pacifica a long time before he started to “hate Democrats”.

A major league asshole in every way.

95. marisacat - 25 October 2007

On the Today Show earlier this week she underscored and gave weight to (withthe obligatory “must seek all diplomatic routes” blah blah) the nuclear issue with IRan.

If all I could say helped Bush I’d sure shut the fuck up. But after the first year I felt increasingly and fnally very burned on the entire Wilson Plame thing. Qutie aside from the Dem propaganda that ws “Fitzmas”.

Very effective selling of the good CIA to the wee liberals.

96. marisacat - 25 October 2007

I should say “helped Bush and Hillary and Ob and Ed”

since it is a gang.

97. Madman in the Marketplace - 25 October 2007
98. Hair Club for Men - 25 October 2007

Listening to Plame I really have a hard time believing she’s a big nuclear proliferation expert.

She actually uses the line “Saddam used WMDs on his own people”.

I may be wrong, but you don’t get the same sense listening to her that you get listening to Scott Ritter (who really does come across like an expert).

Plame reminds me of that description from Chalmers Johnson who says “the CIA’s intelligence isn’t very good. You put out third rate travel books. It’s real purpose is covert operations”.

I honestly have a tough time believing Plame was THE point person on Iranian nukes.

She half says it herself. “I was hoping that someone well above my pay grade had information I didn’t”.

This sounds more like a mid level corporate manager than a BIG TIME SECRET AGENT.

99. marisacat - 25 October 2007

Just saw this at Schechter’s News Dissector (he provided no link, but easy to find if anyone cares):

KUWAIT: Interior minister: US training terrorists in Iraq, Afghanistan

Kuwait City, Oct 25, IRNA

Interior Minister of Iran Mostafa Pour- Mohammadi said on Wednesday that US has established training centers in Afghanistan in the past years to train terrorist forces and dispatched them to other countries including Iran.

“There are enough documents in this regard” Pour-Mohammadi said in a press conference on the sidelines of the fourth meeting of interior ministers of Iraq neighboring countries.

The meeting began with participation of interior ministers of Iran, Turkey, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait as well as Egypt and Bahrain on Tuesday to discuss the security situation in Iraq.

The Iranian minister added that Washington has also established a terrorist-training school in Iraq.

100. bayprairie - 25 October 2007

evidently markos has provided “a forum” for larry sabato, who’s got a promo-piece up on the front page selling how great it would be if this country required “universal national service” for a couple of years out of every citizen’s life, beginning on or about the age of 18-26. not sure about you, sounds like the draft to me.

not even the whacks are buying it. his piece begins thusly:

In this final post…

one can only hope.

larry should stick to calling horse-races and give up on moonlighting as a comedian.

101. marisacat - 25 October 2007

IOZ tries some ‘earth to Fire Dog Lake’ EMT work.

102. marisacat - 25 October 2007


I agree. I am suspicious of THE WHOLE ENTIRE THING. From the get go.

103. marisacat - 25 October 2007


think the hwole Nat Service schtick is ONLY about a draft. AND is the biggest reason to shove a Dem into the Oval.

So they can wax lyrical aobut Kennedy and Peace Corps and SPudnik and the moon shot (2 + generations ago… get a clue).. but that is what we will be hearing about. Nationalism barely masking as the Great Projects. One of which will be a draft, in some form.

104. Hair Club for Men - 25 October 2007

universal national service” for a couple of years out of every citizen’s life, beginning on or about the age of 18-26. not sure about you, sounds like the draft to me.

Early 20ish Guy at Work: What are you listening to.

Me: Podcasts of Democracy Now

Early 20ish Guy: What’s that?

Me: Right wing radio show. Amy Goodman’s kind of a female Rush Limbaugh. She’s really into transferring the Palestinians to Jordon and cheerleading for Bush and all that.

Early 20ish Guy: Who are the Palestinians? Well, I’m not a big fan of Bush but to tell you the truth I don’t think much about politics. It doesn’t affect me.

Me: The draft will affect you.

Early 20ish Guy: The war in Iraq is over. How is there going to be a draft.

Me: I hope I don’t go through basic with you….

105. Madman in the Marketplace - 25 October 2007

Political Monday: Giuliani and the Race Race

I find it very interesting that a lot of the talk around Giuliani focuses on matters that are trivial when compared to some of the stuff talked about in this article. Yes, his three marriages and his swervy position on abortion are important factors. But not nearly as troubling as the prospect of a president who so completely disregards PoC and has already taken a position that white folks are “under siege”.

If his campaign against Dinkins is to be the template for his presidential campaign, then I’m really not up for Giuliani vs. Obama. I’m disgusted enough with politics. Having to watch that unfold may finally make me secede from the union.

106. marisacat - 25 October 2007

as I keep saying, Jersey Girls voted for Bush, barely clear on government (as in the houses of congress, that basic) and thought only that idiotic corp their husbands all worked for mattered. The corp that, iirc, cut them off Sept 15 then grudgingly extended it a couple weeks.

I oppose a draft as it will not work out, but it sure will affect people. No kidding.

107. Madman in the Marketplace - 25 October 2007

‘Self-Help’: A Stolen Word Wielded as a Weapon Against Black Activism

The mantra of “self-help” has been fashioned into a club to bludgeon or shame African Americans into inaction on all fronts that might challenge real power relationships in the United States. Stripped of all meaning other than philanthropy, non-controversial volunteerism, individual entrepreneurial pursuits, and varieties of motivational exercises, the shrunken term is deployed as a deterrent and warning against mass political action. Especially in recent years, Self-Help and its attendant terms “self-reliance,” “self-discipline” and “personal responsibility” have been stolen and twisted by right-wing forces in both white and Black society, to morally defame those who would organize Popular Power in opposition to Money Power.

From Faith-Based Initiative-funded preachers, to corporate groomed and financed Black media propagandists, to the near-incoherent rantings of Bill Cosby, to the raw cynicism of George Bush’s White House, a stilted version of Black Self-Help is presented as the wise and moral alternative to “Sixties-style” mass movement-building. A logical outgrowth of this insidious, calculated word piracy is the theory of “victimhood,” used to pillory anyone that dares to indict the rulers for their past and present crimes against African Americans. “Stop acting like a victim, and you won’t be a victim,” snap the sneerers – the equivalent of the common white demand that Blacks “get over it.”

Victimhood theory fits nicely with some forms of narrow, dwarfish Black nationalism, which is much more common than the number of dashikis sold yearly would suggest. “Don’t ask the white man for nuthin’, stand up like a man!” Of course, the admonition is irrelevant, since “the white man” has never given up a stitch of his unearned privilege and power in response to polite requests – that is, in the absence of a demand and implicit, credible threat. The directive to “stand up” while at the same time do nothing to confront those who put and keep Black people down, is pure bravado – and harmless to the powers-that-be. Which is how they like it.

The Black/white right-wing’s attempted usurpation of the civilized qualities “self-reliance,” “self-discipline” and “personal responsibility” amounts to slander against Black ancestry. To be successful, all mass movements had to rely on themselves, be more disciplined than the oppressor, and imbue participants with a deep sense of both personal and collective responsibility for their actions. The entirety of the Freedom Movement was a glorious saga of collective Self Help, Self-Sacrifice, and Self-Growth, that transformed African Americans, the nation, and the world.

Ford concludes:

The right-wing theft of the term Self-Help is a sacrilege against our heroic dead and Black history, itself. Wasn’t Harriet Tubman engaged in Self-Help when she escorted hundreds of slaves out of bondage? Didn’t the Pullman Porters exemplify Self-Help in their decades of struggle for recognition as a union – and as men? Were not the young lunch counter integrators involved in Self-Help, as they put their bodies in danger and their academic careers at the mercy of handkerchief-head Black college administrators? Was the Mississippi Freedom Summer of 1964 something other than Self-Help? Who would have done it but ourselves, and the allies we enlisted? Are the youthful Black Panther Party members who aggressively monitored police in Oakland, California, to be expelled from the Self-Help definition? Did scores of Party members die helping other people than their own? Is the fight for a living wage beyond the pale of Cosby and Co.’s Self-Help parameters? Does the mass demonstration at Jena, Louisiana, qualify as Self-Help?

How dare rascals and poseurs attempt to steal our language – and heritage.

Frederick Douglass would be horrified at the mangling of Black political culture, mugged directly or indirectly by Money Power’s intervention in Black affairs. Douglass, a man of many words, treasured only two:

“Agitate, Agitate, Agitate. Organize, Organize, Organize.”

That’s Self-Help.

108. Madman in the Marketplace - 25 October 2007

Freedom Rider: Christian/Jewish Fascism Awareness Week

The biggest perpetrators of terrorist acts are and always have been governments, not individuals of any religion. When the United States refers to “state sponsored” terror, it must be looking in the mirror. War is the very worst act of terror that can be practiced, giving governments permission to kill and commit brutal atrocities that would be loudly condemned if committed by individuals.

If the world’s major religions are compared in terms of body count, it is clear that Islam should not be seen as the enemy. The two nations now in the fifth year of a plan to commit wars of aggression in the Middle East are Israel and the United States. If there should be warnings about particular religions and allegations of fascist connections, the perpetrators are Christianity and Judaism, not Islam.

It is manifestly unfair to label entire groups based on the behavior of a few. The Israeli lobby actively promotes war, but it can’t be said that all American Jews are themselves pro-war. Around the world Bush is seen as the bogeyman representative of American Christianity. Many Christians may resent the verdict of guilt by association, but they would do well to remember that Muslims are also entitled to make their own pleas of individual innocence.

Instead Muslims are called upon to denounce any act of brutality committed by another Muslim, and to defend their religion from slanderous attacks. What is good for the Muslim goose, should also be good for the Christian and Jewish ganders. Therefore, October 22nd to October 26th in the year 2007 should also be known as Christian/Jewish Fascism Awareness Week.

The lawyers who wrote memos defending torture are all Jews and Christians, so are the members of Congress who advocate for endless warfare. All of the neocons who spent years plotting the occupation of Iraq and now the destruction of Iran are Christians or Jews. None are Muslim, nor are they atheist, agnostic, Baha’i, Zoroastrian, Buddhist, Hindu, or practitioners of Voodoo. All attend churches and synagogues and in fact brag about their religious piety.

109. Madman in the Marketplace - 25 October 2007
110. marisacat - 25 October 2007

oh gee someone who does not fit the easy scenarios around. The very family (one of them) that Bush stood iwth in 2003 is still waiting to rebuild. Stymied at every turn.

NBC evening news.

111. Madman in the Marketplace - 25 October 2007
112. Madman in the Marketplace - 25 October 2007

“Countdown” showed that family you mentioned from the 2003 fires too.

Speaking of disasters, more reasons to dread the thought of President Rudy

“I wanted to ask you two questions,’’ she said. “One, do you think waterboarding is torture? And two, do you think the president can order something like waterboarding even though it’s against U.S. and international law?’’

Mr. Giuliani responded: “O.K. First of all, I don’t believe the attorney general designate in any way was unclear on torture. I think Democrats said that; I don’t think he was.’’

Ms. Gustitus said: “He said he didn’t know if waterboarding is torture.”

Mr. Giuliani said: “Well, I’m not sure it is either. I’m not sure it is either. It depends on how it’s done. It depends on the circumstances. It depends on who does it. I think the way it’s been defined in the media, it shouldn’t be done. The way in which they have described it, particularly in the liberal media. So I would say, if that’s the description of it, then I can agree, that it shouldn’t be done. But I have to see what the real description of it is. Because I’ve learned something being in public life as long as I have. And I hate to shock anybody with this, but the newspapers don’t always describe it accurately.”


“If I can’t figure out that there’s been a significant media bias against this war, then I shouldn’t be running for president of the United States.”

“Sometimes they describe it accurately. Sometimes they exaggerate it. So I’d have to see what they really are doing, not the way some of these liberal newspapers have exaggerated it.”

“Now, on the question of torture. We should not torture. America should not stand for torture, America should not allow torture. But America should engage in aggressive questioning of Islamic terrorists who are arrested or who are apprehended. Because if we don’t we leave ourselves open to significant attack.”

“And the line between the two is very delicate and very difficult. But we can’t abandon aggressive questioning of people who are intent on coming here to kill us. Or killing us overseas. I think that that’s the point that the attorney general designate was trying to make.”

I think the applause disturbs me more than what he said.

113. Madman in the Marketplace - 25 October 2007
114. Madman in the Marketplace - 25 October 2007
115. Madman in the Marketplace - 25 October 2007

Ecuador wants military base in Miami

NAPLES (Reuters) – Ecuador’s leftist President Rafael Correa said Washington must let him open a military base in Miami if the United States wants to keep using an air base on Ecuador’s Pacific coast.

Correa has refused to renew Washington’s lease on the Manta air base, set to expire in 2009. U.S. officials say it is vital for counter-narcotics surveillance operations on Pacific drug-running routes.

“We’ll renew the base on one condition: that they let us put a base in Miami — an Ecuadorean base,” Correa said in an interview during a trip to Italy.

“If there’s no problem having foreign soldiers on a country’s soil, surely they’ll let us have an Ecuadorean base in the United States.”

The U.S. embassy to Ecuador says on its Web site that anti-narcotics flights from Manta gathered information behind more than 60 percent of illegal drug seizures on the high seas of the Eastern Pacific last year.

It offers a fact-sheet on the base at: http://ecuador.usembassy.gov/topics_of_interest/manta-fol.html

Correa, a popular leftist economist, had promised to cut off his arm before extending the lease that ends in 2009 and has called U.S. President George W. Bush a “dimwit”.

116. Miss Devore - 25 October 2007

Armenian genocide resolution scuttled (from CNN):

” Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told a House committee Thursday that the resolution’s consequences on the war in Iraq would be “quite dire.”

The House Foreign Affairs Committee approved the resolution earlier this month. But Rep. Rahm Emanuel, the No. 3 Democrat in the House of Representatives, conceded last week that “the votes are not there” for the resolution to clear the full House.

In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, its major sponsors wrote that the measure would pass “if the timing is more favorable.” Pelosi, D-California, had promised to schedule a floor vote if the resolution made it out of committee, but told reporters Thursday that she accepted the sponsors’ request to set the matter aside.

Though the sponsors, led by California Democrat Adam Schiff, suggested the measure could be brought back later this year, a senior Democratic leadership aide said the issue is off the table indefinitely.”

The only thing on the table is a glass of fainting goat milk.

117. marisacat - 25 October 2007


Love the humor… 😉

118. CSTAR - 25 October 2007

Madman: Giulani will certainly accelearte the slippery slope of government repression: The fiction of american exceptionalism (regardless of whether that idea ever really was nonfictional, it should be clear by now that has become fiction) suggests that the incipient slide down the slope of repression may well be a very long one, before it is widely seen as such. Chileans, argentinians, braziians and uruguayans never took too seriously anybody’s suggestion that they were really any different from anybody else in matters of goverment. In the case of Brazil, even the military were forced to accept at least implicitly the illegaility of their actions v. Herzog.

119. CSTAR - 25 October 2007

The Craig thing is both pathetic and hilarious. Since I use the MSP airport frequently (to catch planes that is) I often go by the Larry Craig Memorial Toilet.

120. Madman in the Marketplace - 25 October 2007

Humanism and Its Discontents by Joyce Carol Oates

We must imagine our distant ancestors discovering death–baffled and terrified by death–and needing to ascribe to this natural phenomenon a supernatural explanation. As T.S. Eliot observed, “Humankind cannot bear very much reality.” Especially, humankind can’t bear the crushing evidence of a reality that limits human delusions of immortality and omniscience. A primitive fear of the unknown and of death–a disbelief that “this can’t be all there is”–has prevailed, tempting us to believe in a deity that will guarantee not only our immortality but our worth and will likewise unite us with loved ones in the afterlife, as in the country and western classic “May the Circle Be Unbroken” (In the sky, Lord, in the sky).

And yet there still seems to be a powerful need in many (most?) people to believe in literal evil, good, God, heaven, and hell. Terms we might interpret as metaphorical have acquired an eerie Platonic realism.

Recently in San Francisco, when interviewed on Michael Kresnick’s popular radio call-in show, Book Forum, I inadvertently aroused the anger of a number of individuals who called in to protest my passing remark that I didn’t believe in evil–that I thought of evil as a theological term, not adequate to explain, nor even to suggest, psychological, social, and political complexities.

When we label someone as “evil,” we are implicitly identifying ourselves as “good.” The issue on the show was Islamic suicide bombers, who are surely motivated by political passions and so to call them merely evil is to fail to understand the phenomenon of terrorism. Though I said repeatedly that I wasn’t defending terrorism but rather was questioning the terms in which it was being discussed, it seemed to make no difference; my critics remained angry and unplacated.

As a novelist I tend to be sympathetic with persons who are religious, though I can’t share in their convictions. It has always been something of a mystery to me that intelligent, educated men and women–as well as the uneducated–can “have faith” in an invisible and nonexistent God.

Why, instead, is humanism not the preeminent belief of humankind? Why don’t humans place their faith in reason and in the strategies of skepticism and doubt, and refuse to concede to “traditional” customs, religious convictions, and superstitions?

I always marvel at that myself. So much is ascribed to an imaginary entity for which there is no proof, yet you can look around you and see so much that people do, and could do, if we only worked together, had faith in one another, instead of fairy tales.

I’ll never understand it.

121. marisacat - 25 October 2007

Giulani will certainly accelearte the slippery slope of government repression: The fiction of american exceptionalism […] suggests that the incipient slide down the slope of repression may well be a very long one, before it is widely seen as such

The reason the Dems, imo, want to run against Guiliani… they feel they can demonise him, quite easily. Hold on to wandering blacks and reel in wandering white whatevers.

They could run Satan and I would not vote for Hillary.

122. Madman in the Marketplace - 25 October 2007

me neither. Screw both parties … I refuse to ratify their crimes.

123. marisacat - 25 October 2007

that old bugaboo religion.

You know Richard Rodriquez the writer lived (and may still, just have not seen him lately) for many years, couple of decades, in my neighborhood. I loved his books, many of his short essays, stories. Some are about people in this neighborhood that we both see often… but when he gets on religion… another person. He romanticises as I see it and not in an alluring way.

124. Madman in the Marketplace - 25 October 2007

I don’t get the way religion just warps otherwise rational people’s thinking.

Of course, there is LOTS of warped thinking in this country.

FBI forces false confession out of man

125. CSTAR - 25 October 2007

I think I’m voting write-in for Emperor Norton: Better than Queen Hillary or Il Duce Giuliani.

126. Hair Club for Men - 25 October 2007

They could run Satan and I would not vote for Hillary.

Satan would actually be quite an improvement over Hillary, as long as its the urbane, suave Satan of popular myth and not that character Al Pacino played in Devils advocate.


Whichever party wins, whoever gets the Democratic nomination, progressives have already lost this one because the game will be fought on the right’s terms and in the right’s language.

That’s what taking impeachment off the table did.

If EVERYBODY on the anti-war side got together, and I mean everybody from Ron Paul followers on the right to Edwards and Obama followers in the center to Kucinich followers on the moderate left to the various anti-war groups on the left and IF Al Gore decided to throw himself into the race, this anti-war coalition could quite possibly coalesce around him and push him into an anti-war, pro-civil liberties platform.

But what we’re going to get instead is the candidate of the oligarchy vs. the candidate of the screaming, xenophobic, populist right, and whether the latter is Rudy, Huckabee, or John I was in Vietnam while those damned hippies were partying at Woodstack McCain means little.

And the most likely issue the anti-Hillary right will coalesce around is immigration. And this won’t be an anti-immigrant run coupled with an anti-war, pro-civil liberties platform a la Ron Paul. It will be a hardcore fascist one.

Think Chirac vs. LePan in 2002 without Chirac’s intelligence or moderation. It’s going to be ugly.

127. Hair Club for Men - 25 October 2007

I think I’m voting write-in for Emperor Norton

Maybe I’ll go all Wallace Stevens on everybody and write in the Emperor of Ice Cream.

128. Madman in the Marketplace - 25 October 2007

The Gestapo Inheritance

Sullivan’s website has links to other reports on these verschärfte parallels. He notes that the German lexicon of torture began in 1937, to be used “only on Communists, Marxists, members of the Bible-researcher sect, saboteurs, terrorists, members of the resistance . . . asocial persons, Polish or Soviet persons who refuse to work, or idlers.”

The list is taken from a directive by a Gestapo chief, identified only as Muller. No marks were to be left on subjects (an instruction, as I’ve reported, that can also be found in certain orders to CIA interrogators).

In 1948, Sullivan reports, there was a U.S.-run war-crimes trial in Norway prosecuting Nazis convicted of “enhanced interrogation techniques” in the Second World War. The victims had been “paramilitary Norwegians, operating as an insurgency, against an occupying force.” Various implements of torture were used, including “cold baths and blows and kicks in the face and all over the body.”

Previous Nazi records actually show that “the use of hypothermia and waterboarding (both later authorized by Bush and Rumsfeld) were initially forbidden” by the Nazis—but, Sullivan adds, “historians have found that all the bureaucratic restrictions were eventually broken or abridged. Once you start torturing, it has a life of its own.”

At the Norwegian war-crimes trial, “The Nazi defense of the [enhanced] techniques is almost verbatim that of the Bush administration: ‘The victims were not in uniform . . . and the acts of torture in no case resulted in death.'” (This became the Bush position in the 2002 Justice Department “torture memos” drafted by John Yoo.)

Significantly, in the Norwegian war-crimes trial, Sullivan writes, “The Court came to the conclusion that such acts, even though they were committed with the connivances of superiors in rank, or even on their orders, must be regarded and punished as serious war crimes.”

He adds that “there is no comparison between the political system in Germany in 1937 and the U.S. in 2007; what I am reporting is a simple empirical fact: the interrogation methods approved by the president are not new. . . .

“Freezing prisoners to near-death, repeated beatings, long forced-standing, waterboarding . . . stress positions ( Arrest mit Verschaerfung), withholding of medicine and leaving wounded or sick prisoners alone in cells for days on end—all these have occurred at U.S. detention camps [not only in CIA secret prisons] under the command of president George W. Bush. . . . ”

At the 1948 war-crimes trial in Norway, such methods were judged to be war crimes, and the punishment for the German torturers was death. But all Bush and his accomplices need fear is the permanent condemnation of history.

In this country, Congress is the “handmaiden of [our] torture program . . . having granted amnesty to officials who may have violated the torture and war crimes provisions of our laws; allowing a defense for future abusers if they relied on legal advice; authorizing the president to redefine cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment; and permitting the use of evidence derived from torture or coercion,” writes Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights (emphasis added). The center is heavily involved in litigation against the Bush administration, particularly its contemptuous refusal to abide by the Geneva Conventions. Yet, as of this writing, the Democratic (so-called) leadership in Congress has yet to insist on a thoroughly penetrating investigation. Such an investigation cannot rely on the Justice Department, which has also been “a handmaiden” of torture—and Michael Dukasey, if he becomes attorney general, has made it clear that he believes we have to go beyond our present system of justice in dealing with terrorism.

I am aware of the danger of runaway special prosecutors, but to head that much-needed independent investigation into the torture policies of this White House, I strongly recommend the appointment of constitutional scholar Bruce Fein, a former official of the Reagan Justice Department, who has written and testified, brilliantly and insistently, on the crimes against the Constitution—up to and including war crimes—committed by the Bush administration.

129. marisacat - 25 October 2007

Whichever party wins, whoever gets the Democratic nomination, progressives have already lost this one because the game will be fought on the right’s terms and in the right’s language.

That’s what taking impeachment off the table did.

I am sure you have noticed how one of the inevitabilites of the Democratic party is that they, over and over, make room for the right, hard right to dominate. They fall back and the right uses the opening.

If EVERYBODY on the anti-war side got together, and I mean everybody from Ron Paul followers on the right to Edwards and Obama followers in the center to Kucinich followers on the moderate left to the various anti-war groups on the left and IF Al Gore decided to throw himself into the race, this anti-war coalition could quite possibly coalesce around him and push him into an anti-war, pro-civil liberties platform.

not that I see. Even if one disregards all the “ifs”… For one Gore has proven over and over (see above, LOL) that he will not fight.

AND we don’t have a candidate who stood for election and won, we get the god damned fucking party. And its antibiotic proof superinfections.

Not a promising theory… Might work on paper, not in RL.

130. Hair Club for Men - 25 October 2007

not that I see. Even if one disregards all the “ifs”… For one Gore has proven over and over (see above, LOL) that he will not fight.

Agreed. But he’s really the only person of any stature who’s at least moderately progressive who could knock out the Clintons and who might be a focal point to unite the various anti-war factions in American society.

Kucinich, Paul, Gravel and Cynthia McKinney are all at best fringe candidates. Edwards and Obama have proven themselves to be losers of epic proportion. Richardson and Dodd are more or less saying the right thing but who cares. They have even less stature and charisma than Paul and Kucinich.

We’re screwed. Even though 70 percent of the country is anti-war and pro-civil-liberties we’re still so screwed.

I guess the best thing to do is ignore the presidential race but the presidential race has so much sucking power and so much ability to draw people down. And this one’s going to be like the Titanic when it sticks itself high up in the air before going down for good.

131. Hair Club for Men - 25 October 2007

But I guess on the bright side if you can get a couple of decent third party candidates in the race who can draw enough votes away from what is surely going to be the lowest turnout in history, you could delegitimize whoever “wins”.

Then again, a delegitimized Bush right now is doing whatever he wants.

Oh we’re so screwed. That’s the only conclusion I can come to, so, so screwed.

132. marisacat - 25 October 2007

the anti war – if they give a shit – should not vote for a Dem OR a R at the top of the ticket.

Vote down ticket, locally, however it works best but withhold the vote at the top of the ticket, or write in Martin Luther King… as an example..

But like the dinner party my emailer detailed a couple days ago, 5 anti war, who had marched and protested for years and 3 are for Hillary. And, I did nto add it to my post, but the dinner ended VERY tense and not happy.

IMO that knocks out whatever it is they THINK they believe in.

133. wu ming - 25 October 2007

i understand witholding one’s vote as a matter of conscience, but i don’t think it is possible to delegitimize american elections through low turnout, high 3rd party, whatever.

the system is already so rigged as to be illegitimate. bush still wields what power he can exercise. if people still think we live in a democracy after 2000, low turnout isn’t going to make a dent in that belief.

what will save us, if anything, is the slow, hard work of somehow organizing those sick of it all into an electoral weapon. i suppose witholding (a voter strike) might pan out if done as a bloc, loudly, ahead of time, with clear demands. done willy-nilly, it’s like those “consumer strikes,” lost in the noise.

that being said, i’ll admit that i could not bring myself to vote for feinstein last time around, and do not think that i could even talk myself into a clinton vote in the general. not pointing fingers here, just noticing that organized disobedience is going to be a lot more effective than wildcatting it.

which is why the online diverting of the organic upwelling in 2002-2004 into being self-disciplined wannabe volunteer operatives is such a fucking tragedy. another moment will come around again, but that was a great opportunity that was just totally blown.

as it stands, i’m holding out hope for gore (naive hope dies last), but i’ll admit it’s a long shot, and dependent on gore campaigning in a way 180 degrees from 2000. but then i’m not entirely free of both the hope and the fear that dems like to play upon.

we all gotta find our own way. if a better alternative pops up, i’ll jump aboard. might end up waiting fortever, i dunno.

134. marisacat - 25 October 2007

which is why the online diverting of the organic upwelling in 2002-2004 into being self-disciplined wannabe volunteer operatives is such a fucking tragedy

Very very true. Three cycles and now into a fourth and you hear so called liberal so called left rationalise casting a vote for war mongering.

I sure don’t see anything but versions of going to war on offer.

LOL The “debate” or more accurately point counter point today on Iran, on the News Hour was between Nicholas Burns, under sec at State and Webb. Webb portrayed himself very strongly as anti war. And Webb looked very self satisfied.

Good luck I say to anyone buying it.

135. marisacat - 25 October 2007

when I saw this over at PFF, I thought it was a joke.

Legislating against radical idealogy – with references to homegrown violence as diversion (that is my take, they already spy on anti war Quakers… and sic the FBI/Homeland Securitat on librarians).

It’s not. Put forward by Jane Harmon, pro war, pro Israel… and 14 co sponsors.

Don’t miss the Bloooooooooooo Dogs… and the shits (Dan Lundgren is a fucking nutter). It passed the House, now goes to the Senate.

Rep. Christopher Carney [D-PA]
Del. Donna Christensen [D-VI]
Rep. Yvette Clarke [D-NY]
Rep. Charles Dent [R-PA]
Rep. Norman Dicks [D-WA]
Rep. Al Green [D-TX]
Rep. James Langevin [D-RI]
Rep. Zoe Lofgren [D-CA]
Rep. Nita Lowey [D-NY]
Rep. Daniel Lungren [R-CA]
Rep. Ed Perlmutter [D-CO]
Rep. Ted Poe [R-TX]
Rep. Dave Reichert [R-WA]
Rep. Bennie Thompson [D-MS]

136. wu ming - 25 October 2007


137. marisacat - 25 October 2007

Text of HR 1955 as it was referred to the Senate, via thomas.loc.gov

138. Sabrina Ballerina - 26 October 2007

I just read that bill. Like you, I thought it was a joke also. I notice one of the ‘pinche’ posters appears to be party apologist. In that thread, s/he is attempting to blame the site that reported it for putting a ‘fox spin’ on the bill. Well, having read it, not even Fox could have come up with something as frightening as that.

I will always remember how mcjoan tried to fend off criticism of Jane Harman because she ‘came and talked to us and is willing to learn’. Do they really believe these things or they paid to say them?

I also had a run-in with one of the troll patrollers about Harman. There was a real effort on DK to prevent any criticism of her.

I noticed her name on the bill and just laughed, because what else can you do? The title alone is scary. But it will provide employment for some brown-shirt types according to the section on ‘compensation’. Who else would involve themselves in something like that?

139. BooHooHooMan - 26 October 2007

You know what “we” are going to get?

Hillary in 08, Huckabee in 2012.

Gore??? SO many opportunities to enter the race now that could have served “the cause” . Above the fray is not going to “save” “us”. Th philosopher king trip is laughable in the expectation that it will “get over” of itself. …Regarding his ambitions or lack thereof: A “slow bleed” strategy? or waiting to 2012 to REALLY REALLY REALLY show em then.? Christ

IMO – too long in coming, (I mean developing)–
This is structural rot we’re talking about.

Fuckin Yeltsin stood on a tank.

If Gore, Kerry, all those “who served” didn’t have the juice, hadn’t cultivated the loyalty or inspired even one god damn Armed Calvary careerist or maybe a few young bucks at Ft Meade– after all those years in DC…

Seems to me you need to know something about the use of force to repel a radical takeover of a Constitutional Government..Nothing. Not even a paper airplane sent astray.

“Fighting Dems” my ass.
Who was willing to join the antiwar protests and risk arrest?

Crash the Gates…What Bullshit.

Allow me to digress back a bit. CLINTON could have ordered TROOPS to protect the ballot in Florida 2000. You can do anything by EO if your willing to suffer the blowback. Hey in Fla they “found” the courage to “do the right thing” re sending in the Feds to take custody of Elian Gonzalez. Such a finely woven web they weave…

140. marisacat - 26 October 2007

sabrina – 138

I noticed the pinche apologist, too. sigh. I remember all the “don’t worry your little head, little lady” shit about the early bills, post 9/11, for the draft. Those too in DC and here in CA (Jackie SPiers for one) from the goddamnfucking Democrats. Bullfuckingshit.

Zoe Lofgren seems like some people post 03 primary run, the Dean knock out from the party declawed them – and they gave up. She had been an early supporter of Dean. I do understand, but it is dangerous. She never makes a peep now and infact signs onto this.



Yeltsin… yes stood on a tank and men held up sewn together packets of bullet proof padding (then illegal in Russia) to protect him. CNN ws still just enough of its old self to run a lot of near raw film (and of course the story fit our scenario).

Yes Iam sick of the scenarios shoveled out to us that keep us meek and mellow and yeowling for Gore to save us.

If he cared the least bit, or was not a prisoner of the party, he would have run in 04 and taken it away from Bush. That is what people of purpose do.

Suck slugs they all are.

141. marisacat - 26 October 2007

well I meant “sick slugs” but that works too…


142. Sabrina Ballerina - 26 October 2007

And in case anyone thought they were imagining the attacks on the ‘left’ while at the same time taking their money, it’s nice to see it in their own words, at least it’s a comfort to know that it is not paranoia if nothing else.

I’ll just link to the article at DU where I found the quotes from the DLC et al. It is sickening. It explains Daily Kos, MYDD et al perfectly, and why blogs are mentioned as part of the ‘problem’ is hard to understand, unless it is a diversion, an attempt to keep people going to them so they can be persuaded to donate.

Take their money, use their energy, but then distance yourselves from them.

“The bloggers and online donors represent an important resource for the party, but they are not representative of the majority you need to win elections,” said Steve Elmendorf, a Democratic lobbyist who advised Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign.

“The trick will be to harness their energy and their money without looking like you are a captive of the activist left.”

And from Rosenberg. Isn’t he behind the new Bowers/Stoller venture or am I thinking of someone else. Too tired to check right now. Anyway here’s what he thinks of the base of the party:

Simon Rosenberg, the former field director for the DLC who directs the New Democrat Network, a spin-off political action committee, says, “We’re trying to raise money to help them lessen their reliance on traditional interest groups in the Democratic Party. In that way,” he adds, “they are ideologically freed, frankly, from taking positions that make it difficult for Democrats to win.”

The same sentiment was expressed by Kos when he told people he didn’t ‘want their donations’ yelling at some hapless poster who thought he was helping by suggesting to those complaining about the Chevron ad that they donate so they did not have to see them. Kos said that would lower the clicks to the ads and he didn’t need their petty donations anyway.

But, as always, with kos, he did a complete turnaround recently by asking those same people he has so much disdain for to help pay for his ‘fellows’. And for BiPM.

There are several more revealing quotes in the link. Anyone who is even thinking of donating money to the DP would be better off giving it to a homeless person. At least that way, they know it will do some good.

143. marisacat - 26 October 2007

I remember both those quotes. And Dkos (and I mean Kos, himself) loved using the Elmendorf one to exemplify the sort of Dem he is against.

made me laugh.

Oh SImon Rosenberg and the NDN. What a joke. Kos is on the board of the adjunct group, as well as Trippi and Mark Penn, Hillary’s pollster/guru. You can find all of that thru the NDN site. Simon supported Lieberman in CT (as if it mattered, what a joke that was)

I keep saying, very conservative Dems/others running blogs, blahgs, and box car sites, butterfly net operations. I notice tho, people keep ordering the nose rings.

144. Sabrina Ballerina - 26 October 2007

Marisacat, re the ‘pinche’ – very much a party apologist as I found out in this thread http://politicalfleshfeast.com/showComment.do?commentId=38501

I suppose they will show up wherever people are who are not fooled by them.

In the DU link above, there is one quote which expresses the fear they have of the internet, that ‘even though only a few thousand people might be reading etc. the sentiments expressed can seep out …..’ paraphrasing, but it’s clear they were not going to let that happen, and I am now wondering about a few on Pff. Not sure, but wouldn’t be surprised.

Waving at Bhhm – ‘institutional rot’ – it’s so bad, worse than I imagined after reading those quotes. We are the ones who are lacking ‘morals’ by not talking about the ‘terrorist threat’ and objecting to attacking and killing a million people in a country that did us no harm. It’s worse than rot, it’s insanity.

145. BooHooHooMan - 26 October 2007

That Bill passed 404 – 6.
After reading that Bill, its hard to know where to begin

I’m going to throw in a few bits here on this

ONE:It shows clearly the bipartisan interest in a police state:


(c) Composition of Commission- The Commission shall be composed of 10 members appointed for the life of the Commission, of whom–

`(1) one member shall be appointed by the President from among officers or employees of the executive branch and private citizens of the United States;

`(2) one member shall be appointed by the Secretary;

`(3) one member shall be appointed by the majority leader of the Senate;

`(4) one member shall be appointed by the minority leader of the Senate;

`(5) one member shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives;

`(6) one member shall be appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives;

`(7) one member shall be appointed by the Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives;

`(8) one member shall be appointed by the ranking minority member of the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives;

`(9) one member shall be appointed by the Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate; and

`(10) one member shall be appointed by the ranking minority member of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate.

`(d) Chair and Vice Chair- The Commission shall elect a Chair and a Vice Chair from among its members.[snip}

Reading the markup language is a trip:

The Bold below ironically was in the first draft.
Cops and Contractors all getting paid in the Jane Harmon Zionist Stasi Jackboot Center. `

(e) Qualifications- Individuals shall be selected`(1) for law enforcement activities, except for appointment`(2) to the Commission solely on the basis of their professional qualifications, achievements, public stature, experience, and expertise in relevant fields, including, but not limited to, behavioral science, constitutional law, corrections, counterterrorism, cultural anthropology, education, information technology, intelligence, juvenile justice, local law enforcement, organized crime, Islam and`(3) to construct buildings or other world religions, sociology,`(4) to acquire land; or`(5) for any State or terrorism.

146. marisacat - 26 October 2007


well poking around years ago, it is clear winger money was behind DLC… and with Lieberman partnering with Rosenberg to get NDN going… more wingerism.

But liberal left whatever will reconcile and slavishly excercise the “right to vote”… come 08.

The dangerous thing about the internet, much less blogs (which had to be capped and managed early, it seems to me, then it was all just games of diversion, evermore) is that it causes information to move around.

Not what the wingers – of either party – want.

147. marisacat - 26 October 2007


reading the thread you linked to…
strikes me pinche cheek/gum/whatever is at a computer in a politico’s office.

All the tired tropes.

148. marisacat - 26 October 2007


thanks for breaking that out.. I only got to skim the text… will read it more closely tomorrow.

149. marisacat - 26 October 2007

new thread…


150. BooHooHooMan - 26 October 2007

Mcat IMO this is definitely worth a post.

Further on HR 1955
Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007

Point Two: A Setup for rampant contractor abuse delving into political opponents of the bipartisan PTB leadership that controls the thing.


(i) Powers of Commission- The powers of the Commission shall be as follows:


`(A) HEARINGS AND EVIDENCE- The Commission or, on the authority of the Commission, any subcommittee or member thereof, may, for the purpose of carrying out this section, hold hearings and sit and act at such times and places, take such testimony, receive such evidence, and administer such oaths as the Commission considers advisable to carry out its duties.

`(B) CONTRACTING- The Commission may, to such extent and in such amounts as are provided in appropriation Acts, enter into contracts to enable the Commission to discharge its duties under this section.


`(A) IN GENERAL- The Commission may request directly from any executive department, bureau, agency, board, commission, office, independent establishment, or instrumentality of the Government, information, suggestions, estimates, and statistics for the purposes of this section. The head of each such department, bureau, agency, board, commission, office, independent establishment, or instrumentality shall, to the extent practicable and authorized by law, furnish such information, suggestions, estimates, and statistics directly to the Commission, upon request made by the Chair of the Commission, by the chair of any subcommittee created by a majority of the Commission, or by any member designated by a majority of the Commission.

`(B) RECEIPT, HANDLING, STORAGE, AND DISSEMINATION- The Committee and its staff shall receive, handle, store, and disseminate information in a manner consistent with the operative statutes, regulations, and Executive orders that govern the handling, storage, and dissemination of such information at the department, bureau, agency, board, commission, office, independent establishment, or instrumentality that responds to the request. [ SURE political and ideological counter intelligence will be handlead appropriatly!@&%!! . Not even taking the bait to argue over the missing language dealing with the outcome that it won’t. ]

`(j) Assistance From Federal Agencies-

`(1) GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION- The Administrator of General Services shall provide to the Commission on a reimbursable basis administrative support and other services for the performance of the Commission’s functions.

`(2) OTHER DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES- In addition to the assistance required under paragraph (1), departments and agencies of the United States may provide to the Commission such services, funds, facilities, and staff as they may determine advisable and as may be authorized by law.

`(k) Postal Services- The Commission may use the United States mails in the same manner and under the same conditions as departments and agencies of the United States.

`(l) Nonapplicability of Federal Advisory Committee Act- The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall not apply to the Commission.

151. Sabrina Ballerina - 26 October 2007

Marisa, I wouldn’t be surprised. His rhetoric is so familiar, not to mention tactics. Ignore all points made, and put words in the mouth of the dissenter. They do need new tactics, these old ones are far too recognizable.

He’s trying to sell that horrific bill as a ploy by Dems to go after Repubs on ‘skinheads’ etc. Lol, really, he sounds like DhinMi weaving fairy tales to protect the party.

The diary itself was excellent, but they (he, enders) came in an derailed any discussion of the content of the diary. If they think they are going to change anyone’s mind about the Democrats they are mistaken.

As far as being in a politico’s office, I will ask him outright. They are all over the internet, no reason to think they will not invade Pff. And even if he’s just a blind partisan, I’m sick of them also. No one with any sign of intelligence can go on defending them at this point, unless they have some kind of agenda, imo.

152. marisacat - 26 October 2007


LOL I lved it when he said “Take it or Leave it”. As his further comment on some version of fuck you be happy with how we do it. And PS gimme your vote bitch

And I thought, great, I am leaving it. LOL.

153. bayprairie - 26 October 2007

As far as being in a politico’s office, I will ask him outright. They are all over the internet, no reason to think they will not invade Pff.

he’s probably an operative in schumer’s office.

and i wonder why peeder chose not to front-page that piece.

curiouser and curiouser.

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