Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

"
If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"
Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot,
by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse.
" -- Me

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Western Union Cat

This morning, I got up, fed the cats and then went back to bed. When I finally dragged my ass out of bed, I found that George had dropped a turd on the floor right in front of the place on the couch where I usually sit.

I guess he didn't care for the food.

McCain Changes His Tune

"It just wouldn't be appropriate to have a festive occasion while a near tragedy or a terrible challenge is presented in the form of a natural disaster," McCain said in an interview taped Saturday with "Fox News Sunday.

That didn't stop him three years ago when Hurricane Katrina rolled ashore:


Of course, the difference now is that the Governor of Louisiana is a Republican, so this time, you won't see the Chimpy Administration playing bullshit political games, such as trying to force the governor of Louisiana to turn over all emergency management authority to FEMA (a request which was never made of the governor of Mississippi).

The Republicans have seized on Hurricane Gustav as an excuse to keep their two least popular political figures, Chimpy and Lord Voldemort, away from the GOP convention.


Note also that the Republican preachers were praying that Obama's speech would be rained out. Didn't happen, of course. However, a major hurricane will make landfall in the U.S. when the GOP is supposed to start its convention.

Feel free to draw your own conclusions.

The Answer is "Yes"


But only for a few months longer, hopefully.

(H/T to Left Edge North)

Sweet Stearman

More than most airplanes, a Stearman these days is an adult toy.

But what a sweet toy they are.

The Prayer of the Wingnuts

Driftglass nails it:

Also read this post by Driftglass, on how the comments about Obama along the lines of "he's not patriotic enough" and "we don't know who he is" are really code for "we are not voting for a Black guy."

Additions to the Blog Roll

I usually don't make an announcement, I just add them.

This one is worth spending some time on: The Spy Who Billed Me.

Put Your Minds at Ease, People of New Orleans

The lovable goons of Blackwater are coming to help.

I wish this was a joke.

It most assuredly is not.

(H/t to C&L)

The Newest Import From China

Air pollution, including dust and soot, along with heavy metals, pesticides, PCBs, mercury, ozone, carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide; all that is blowing across the Pacific Ocean from China.

We cannot continue to treat this planet in the way that people like George Bush do, as a huge garbage dump.

Bush's Endless Assault on the Constitution

If you thought that George Bush and Richard Cheney were finished with their attempts to disembowel the Constitution and install a system of elected tyrants, you were so horribly wrong.

Of course, the Bush Drones in the Congress will go along with it, because the only card they have left to play is their fear card.

Bush wants, in essence, to scrap the Constitution and change this nation into a fascist state and the stated justification is that a bunch of goons hiding out in the Afghanistan-Pakistan frontier are plotting more terrorist attacks. That is such an insane proposition that I have to wonder what else he is trying to do. And no, I am not ruling out the possibility that Cheney and Addington are cooking up a plan to cancel or set aside the election.

Funny thing, though: Bush seems to think that history will regard him better than 70% of the American do. I used to think that was a safe bet, since most Americans now think that Bush is the worst president ever and after all, there is still an argument that his distant ancestor, Franklin Pierce was worse, and then there is Warren G. Harding.

Compared to current leaders around the world, only maybe Robert Mugabe is more thuggish and Mikhal Saakashlivi is more incompetent than George Bush.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Bushgrad, a City on the Mississippi River

This is what it has come to in George Bush's America: It is now illegal to plan to exercise your First Amendments rights. Just even talk about protesting and the Gestapo cops in Minneapolis and in St. Paul will arrest you.

Freedom, you see, only means the freedom to agree with George Bush. In that way, we are now as free as were the citizens of the Soviet Union.

McCain's Text Message Revealed

Stolen from Alternate Brain:

Three Years Ago

John McCain turned 73 yesterday.

On his 70th birthday, John "Sidekick" McCain and the Tsar of the Baboons were doing this:

The folks in New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast had other things on their minds that day:

Chimpy went onto a political fundraiser the next day, where he messed around with his presidential guitar.

While Prezit Oblivious mugged for the cameras, people were drowning and dying in New Orleans:


Two days later, after his aides finally dared to interrupt the good times to tell him that there was bad news in the land, Disgustus Maximus had Air Force One fly over so he could take a look:


Meanwhile, let's not forget that Vice President Voldemort was also on vacation. He did not return to Washington until a full week after Hurricane Katrina came ashore.

And on September 9, 2005, Chimpy told the then-director of FEMA: "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job."

So these clowns want another four years?

Hillary said it best: "No how. No way. No McCain."

Do We Need Another "Science is Stupid" President?

If Sarah Palin becomes McCain's vice president, that's what we could wind up getting, another ideologue as president who thinks research and scientific findings are meaningless, another politician who thinks that belief in supernatural intervention is the same as scientific theory.

Republicans Are Flip-Flopping At the Speed of Light

If you want to see how quickly the Republicans have flip-flopped on the prospect of choosing a first-term governor as a vice presidential candidate, read this.
  • First term governor of Virginia, former lieutenant governor and former mayor of Richmond: Too inexperienced.
  • First term governor of Alaska and former mayor of West Frostbite: Experienced.
Do you guys have any shame at all? Or is there now a new Olympic event: the 100 yard douchebaggery?

Caturday

It takes a little bit of technique to get a good photo of an indoor cat.

First general rule: Do not use a flash. Cats (and dogs) see well at night; their eyes are designed to amplify dim light. When you hit the eyes of a cat straight-on with a flash, you will get the "demon eyes" or "headlights" effect.

This is Rocky, with a flash:


Rocky, without a flash:


You will have to brace the camera if the light is not sufficient for a fast shutter speed. Digital cameras do not have the vibration of a film single-lens reflex camera (focal plane shutter flying, mirror slamming up), so you can cheat a little on the old rule that you need to brace the camera at any speed less than 1/60th of a second. But you can't cheat by much, as the digital cameras without a viewfinder, the ones that only use a LCD screen, are not as stable as a camera you can brace against your head. You don't have to use a tripod, set your elbows on something firm or rest the camera itself on something.

Generally, because you cannot trust a cat to hold steady, you may wind up using the autofocus feature. Just be careful that it is not fooled by other objects. Manual focus is the best way, though.

Enough with the lecture, here is a new stray cat that has been hanging around a friend's house. We think she is pregnant.

After she has her litter, we may see about catching and spaying her. The problem then is we either have to adopt her or find her a new home. She seems to be a lovable cat.

Could Steve Doocy Be a Bigger Idiot If He Worked At It?

Just watch:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
John McCain Chooses a Running Mate
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

This is a VP choice that can really be worked against McCain. It needs to be pointed out that Palin is on the opposite side of every traditional woman's issue. It also needs to be hammered that this an incredible condescending choice, in that McCain is apparently praying that women are so stupid as to vote for anyone who has a vagina.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Very First McCain-Palin Campaign Poster

From Rising Hegemon:

Try to Find Somone in Moscow Who Cares

Georgia is cutting diplomatic ties with Russia.

I'll bet that Putin and Medvedev are losing sleep over that....

Gee. What Was that About Inexperience?

From the WaPo:

John McCain has selected Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to be his vice presidential running mate, according to the McCain campaign, a surprise pick sure to shake up the race and reinforce the idea of the Arizona senator as a reformer.

The news that Palin, the mayor of a small town in Alaska just two years ago, was the pick came after CNN reported that a private plane had traveled from the Last Frontier to Dayton, Ohio where McCain is set to unveil his vice presidential pick later today. The Palin news came after the two supposed frontrunners -- Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney -- each confirmed he would not be traveling to Dayton today.

OK, so what was that GOP slam about "experience matters?" McCain is picking a Veep who was a small town mayor up until two years ago and has less than two years' experience at one of the most rural and most-federally-subsidized states?

Since if he is elected, McCain would be the most likely president to die in office since FDR was re-elected in `44, this pick matters. For all of Palin's experience, McCain might have well just gone to the convention next week and had someone throw a lawn dart into the crowd.

MacGyver Cat, Pt. 2

As I mentioned before, Jake has figured out that he can use my hand to wash his head.


Last night, he figured out that I do not have to be awake for that to work. I woke up in the middle of the night to find out that he was licking the palm of my hand and then rubbing his head against my hand.

So he definitely is smarter than the average Bush Administration political appointee.

Topsy-Turvy World

"The suspicion would arise that someone in the United States created this conflict on purpose to stir up the situation and to create an advantage for one of the candidates in the competitive race for the presidency in the United States. They needed a small victorious war." -- Vladimir Putin, CNN

In Washington, the White House spokeswoman, Dana Perino, dismissed Putin's remarks. "To suggest that the United States orchestrated this on behalf of a political candidate just sounds not rational," she said.

It's a strange world when the Prime Minister of Russia, a former KGB officer, is more believable than the Bush Administration. It's certainly not inconceivable that the Bush Administration would consider egging Georgia into starting a war with Russia for the benefit of McCain.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

"Fair & Balanced," My Ass

More like "Biased & Unhinged."

(found here)

Here is one of the New Minnesota Twins from the Alternate Brain:


(Added the name so Google will pick it up.)

Another Medal Contender in the "Lack of Self-Awareness Olympics"

Daniel Fried, Assistant Secretary of State for Fucking up the World, is going for the gold in both the Stupidity and Self-Oblivious Events:

"Russia is going to have to come to terms with the reality it can either integrate with the world or it can be a self-isolated bully. But it can't be both. And that's a choice Russia has to have," Fried said.

And how, exactly, does that differ from the way that the Bush Administration has conducted its foreign policy? "Bullying" is the signature tactic of George Bush and Vice President Voldemort.

Let's be clear on this central point: Georgia started this war. Russia did not. It turned out badly for Georgia. Too fucking bad for them. You don't get a free pass for stupidity and aggression just because your nation is nominally a democracy.

And let's also be clear on this: There are a lot of places in the world where, for not a huge investment, Russia can make life very difficult for American foreign policy, if they so choose.

Truth in Advertising.

This is a billboard in Minneapolis along I-494:

UPDATE: Seems the billboard is along the exit road from the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport (the one with the Larry Craig Memorial Bathroom)

(Found here)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

USCG-- What the Fuck

Would somebody terribly mind explaining to me just what the fuck is a Coast Guard cutter doing in the Black Sea?

That is a little far outside the normal stomping grounds of the Coast Guard by something around 5,000 miles.

This Is Not Good

The Navy's forecast for Hurricane Gustav has it drawing a bread on New Orleans.

(Linked page may change after this time, which is now 1330 EDT, 8/27/08)

Stupid, Bitter, Dead-Ender Bints

Clinton backers are not giving up.

They are not part a political party. They are part of a cult of personality.

If they are so bedazzled that they cannot see the differences between Barack Obama and John McCain, and that they think it doesn't matter which one gets elected, they should remember this: Many people felt the same way in 2000, not seeing any difference between Al Gore and George Bush. The truth turned out to be somewhat different.

These are questions that should be asked of the die-hard Clintonistas:
  • Do you really think that Al Gore would have endorsed the use of torture and the wholesale scrapping of the rule of law?
  • Do you think that Al Gore would have endorsed the tapping of everyone's e-mail and telephone?
  • Do you really believe that Al Gore would have falsified the reasons to invade a country not connected with the 9-11 attack?
  • Do you really believe that Al Gore would have cut the taxes of the wealthiest Americans and nearly doubled the Federal budget?
  • Do you really believe that Al Gore would have placed religious ideology over scientific reality?
  • Do you really believe that Al Gore would have turned the Justice Department into a partisan snakepit?
  • Do you really believe that Al Gore would have gutted rules on workplace safety or environmental protection?
If you believe all of those things would have happened anyway, then go ahead, take another hit of crystal meth, and stay the fuck home.

But if you believed in the things that Hilary Clinton stands for, and if you now really believe that John McCain would be a better choice than Barack Obama, I respectfully suggest to you that you have someone grasp your shoulders gently and have them firmly pull your head out of your ass.

Politics is often the art of the possible. You can get 95% of the way there by supporting Barack Obama or you can watch John McCain complete George Bush's work of destroying our democracy by turning it into a pro-corporation police state, like Chile under Pinochet.

Choose wisely.

UPDATE: Jill's post on the same issue.

UPDATE II: The Rude Pundit chimes in.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Bee Killers

It turns out that the reason honeybee colonies have been collapsing world-wide is being linked to a pesticide made by Bayer.

And, no surprise here, there are allegations that Bush's EPA knew about this years ago and kept quiet about it.

In Germany, companies that knowingly poison the environment get prosecuted. In Bush's America, they get protected.

Another "Family Values" Republican

If "stalking" is considered to be a "family value," that is.

Libby's No. 93! Libby's No. 93!

From Americablog:



Elizabeth Dole is apparently confused by the difference between her Senatorial ranking and her age. That doesn't say much for her cognitive skills.

"Only Surrender Monkeys Support Timetables in Iraq;" Part 2

Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki said Monday there would be no security agreement between the United States and Iraq without an unconditional timetable for withdrawal — a direct challenge to the Bush administration, which insists that the timing for troop departure would be based on conditions on the ground.

"No pact or an agreement should be set without being based on full sovereignty, national common interests, and no foreign soldier should remain on Iraqi land, and there should be a specific deadline and it should not be open," Maliki told a meeting of tribal Sheikhs in Baghdad.

The Bush Administration could fuck up a wet dream. If the neo-cons wanted to create an American empire, one of the things on their "to-do" list should have been the installation of puppet governments. The British knew how to do that, so did the Soviets. But here, their hand-picked puppet has realized that he has his own army, his own revenue stream and he isn't going to need the Bushies for long.

So we can add "empire creation" to the ever-lengthening list that is titled "the Failures of George W. Bush."

Noun, Verb, POW

Found on the Alternate Brain:

Also there was a link to John McCain's cheat sheet.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Cakes for George Bush

From Cake Wrecks:

This one should be sent to him by the RNC:


And this one is from the entire country. All 300 million of us:

Thank You, Captain Obvious

Rice sees difficulties in Mideast peace process.

(Or Captain Oblivious. Take your pick.)

When has reaching a peace deal in the Middle East not been difficult? The other problem is that, far from being an honest broker, the Bush Administration is conducting these negotiations like a realtor who is watching a large commission evaporate.

McCain's Vice-President Announcement

Great minds are thinking alike on the subject of how McCain is going to match Obama's text-messaging of his VP pick:





(H/T to Needlenose and the Alternate Brain)

Wow. Like This is a Shock.

The organization that tests and certifies electronic voting machines turns out to be a farce.

The electronic voting machines are pieces of shit that cannot be trusted to accurately count votes. Which is why Republicans love them. I guess when the president of Diebold (a maker of electronic voting machines) promised to deliver Ohio for Bush in `04, he meant every word.

MacGyver Cat

I was petting Jake last night.
When I was petting his head, he pulled back briefly, licked my palm three or four times, and then let me continue petting him. That cycle repeated about three times.

I first thought he was being affectionate, but then I realized what he was doing: Jake was using my hand to wash his head.

Smart cat.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

What the Russians May Regret

The Russians will probably soon regret that they didn't send the Russian Army into Tblisi and flatten it. One of the sad lessons of the 20th Century was that if you go to war against a country and you don't completely devastate it, they will come back at you sooner or later for another round.

President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia said Sunday that he planned to rebuild his country's shattered army, and that even after its decisive defeat in the war for control of one of Georgia's two separatist enclaves he would continue to pursue a policy of uniting both under the Georgian flag. "It will stay the same," he said of his ambition to bring the enclaves, South Ossetia and Abkhazia, under Georgian control. "Now as ever."


The Russians are right: This guy is somewhere between delusional and insane. Note also in the article that Saakashvili brags of talking personally to John McCain twice a day. If that is the truth, then John McCain is as much a crackpot as is Saakashvili.

You want more proof that Saakashvili is a mental case? Try these quotes from the same article:

"We had a choice here," he said. "We could turn this country into Chechnya — we had enough people and equipment to do that — or we had to do nothing and stay a modern European country."

He added: "Eventually we would have chased them away, but we would have had to go to the mountains and grow beards. That would have been a tremendous national philosophical and emotional burden."

Right. Some pasty-faced lawyer from Columbia University who has never served in the military or has ever gotten his hands dirty was talking about starting a guerrilla war. He is just another Bush-grade chickenhawk, a loud-mouthed braggart and an idiot who sends other peoples' kids off to die for him in moronic wars.

Beyond that, note that his model for an alternative conflict is Chechnya. Maybe he should have checked with the Chechens to see how well that has worked for them. (It hasn't.)

Danger Time

I cooked a chicken tonight. It is sitting on the counter, cooling. I'll debone it later.

But for now, I have to keep an eye on it, lest George jump up onto the counter and start licking it. The skin of the bird is the "Anti-George Tongue Shield."

Why the FBI Cannot Be Permitted Expanded Powers to Initiate Investigations

As I previously mentioned, Attorney General Alberto Mukasey wants to give the FBI the power to initiate investigations for no goddamn reason at all.

This is an example of why it is a bad idea
. The FBI spent years investigating one guy because the dumb fucks at the Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command suspected him of espionage.

What were the indications? He carried a backpack instead of a briefcase. (Yes, that is one thing the Army morons complained about.) He spoke Hebrew (one of the reasons he was both hired and suspicioned) and, worst of all, he was an observant Jew.

For those reasons, the FBI raided his home, on the Sabbath, no less. For those reasons, some witch-doctor of a polygraph examiner started screaming at him: "I've done other Jews before and gotten them to confess, and I'll get you, too." For those reasons, the management at the TACOM referred to him, in writing, as "the little Jewish spy."

And Mukasey wants to loosen the reins on the FBI?

No fucking way, Alberto.

(H/T to the Political Cat)

Chomp on His Ass, But Good!

From Cagle Cartoons:


This one is pretty good, too:

Breaking the Surly Bonds

I haven't been flying as much as I would like to. The weather in these parts has been peculiar this summer, with lots of forecasts for thunderstorms and rain. I do not do thunderstorms. So this summer, I have driven on my trips to spend time with friends. Between the weather and the fact that aviation gasoline is tending between $5.50 and $6 a gallon, driving often is an each choice to make. Even with the summertime traffic, which paradoxically seems worse this year (probably because people are stay-cationing it).

I flew this weekend, though. The weather was good where I departed and where I arrived, but in between, there was a low cloud deck.

Flying by visual flight rules, you really need to be certain you can get under the clouds, or that there will not be any, when you get to your destination. But if you can, the ride is as smooth as it gets.

The river of fog:


Having an airport in a river valley can make for some annoying times, when it is good VFR elsewhere. Keene, NH is notorious for that (this is not Keene).

The Conversation Joe Biden Needs to Have With Barack Obama

It would be along these lines:



I have a fear, whether unfounded or not, that there are elements within the Obama Campaign that truly believe that if they run a high-minded campaign, that they will win.

They are so terribly wrong. If anybody is beatable in an election, it is John McCain, but he will not be beaten if Obama's campaign refuses to fight.

This is what Republicans say; these words were spoken by Republican Rep. Terry Everett of Alabama about John Murtha:

“And don’t talk to me about him being an ex-Marine. Lord, that was 40 years ago. A lot of stuff can happen in 40 years. Thank you for your service as being an ex-Marine, but that doesn’t mean you’re (not) an idiot, and he is,” Everett said of Murtha.

Look what the GOP did to Max Cleland in 2002: They directly attacked his wartime service. Cleland came home from Vietnam a triple-amputee, but that didn't deter the GOP smear machine.

That is how low they are going and in those words of Everett, is all the license that Obama needs to start ignoring the fact that McCain got out of the Hanoi Hilton 35 years ago. McCain has used his "I wuz a POW" line to cover up all of his misdeeds, from cheating on his first wife to persuading the Federal government to let a crook bring on the S&L crisis in the `80s to having a paid agent of a foreign government influence his campaign. (What, you thought it was an accident that John McCain is parroting the propaganda line of the Georgian government?)

Ask yourself what questions would be asked by the major newspapers if Barack Obama had a lobbyist for a foreign government as the national security expert of his campaign. Ask yourself what the stories would be like if it came out that Obama had cheated on his wife ten years ago.

They'd be all over him like a cheap suit. But not McCain, because he was a POW.

Ask yourself why Republicans get treated with kid gloves because they were in a war and Democrats do not. Ask yourself why Republicans demand that we treat their veterans with hands-off deference and why Republicans feel free to smear Democratic veterans.

And then ask yourself why the national press buys into this claptrap.

This election contest is going to be played by Chicago Rules and the sooner that the Obama Campaign absorbs that reality, the better.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

"In the Event of an Earthquake, Take Refuge at the Nuclear Plant"

That's the rather outlandish claim of a spokesweasel for Entergy.

I'm not an anti-nuke plant activist, but even that seems a bit much.

Tweedledum and Tweedledummer On Tour

John McSame's butt-monkeys, Graham and LIEberman, went on a tour of Georgia. After they drove around Macon, asking the locals "where the Russians at," they got to the right Georgia and then visited Poland and Ukraine.

No surprise here: Both of those fools have swallowed the Georgian propaganda, hook, line, and sinker. It is pretty much undisputed that Georgia started the war by rocketing Tskhinvali, but that doesn't matter worth a shit to either Graham and Lieberman.

Caturday

I'm going to feature George today.

Here he is doing one of his favorite activities: licking a dripping faucet. The water is very hard here and faucets tend to start dripping over time. He loves that. If you look closely, you can see water droplets flying.


He also likes going for rides in an empty laundry basket. I pick up the basket and carry him all around the apartment, so he can see things from a higher perspective.


George is fascinated by the operation of a toilet. When I flush, if he is nearby, he will run in so that he can watch the stuff swirl down. He doesn't reach for it (that'd be too disgusting), but he will cock and bob his head as he watches the toilet empty itself. Once it finishes, he walks away.

Friday, August 22, 2008

McCain's Cribs

Lots of places that cost lots of money.

At least one even has a biometric access control system.

They Call Me "Mister Feebleshoom."

From a Day in the Life of an Ambulance Driver.

Some of it is not keyboard safe.

Georgia & China

I wonder if, by launching their stupid little war, the Georgians have royally pissed off the Chinese. China sought to grab the world's attention with the Olympic Games, but "Mini-Bush" Shaakashvili went and spoiled things by starting a war with Russia. So, for several days at least, coverage of the Olympics was pushed off the front page and either buried deep in the news section or relegated to the dungeons of the sports pages.

I'll bet that China is not at all amused. So I have to wonder what China may do to show its displeasure.

Republican Copycats

Has anyone else noticed that the Republicans have a track record of first attacking Democratic candidates for a characteristic and then, the next time that they have to run a new candidate, the Republicans pick a candidate that has the same characteristic?

In 1992 and 1996, the Republicans furiously attacked Bill Clinton for having dodged the draft. In 2000 and 2004, the Republican candidate was a draft-dodger; as anyone who lived through the Vietnam War knows full well that during that war, the National Guard was a place for the sons of the well-connected and rich to hide out from having to participate in the war.

In 2004, Republicans attacked John Kerry for marrying into money and for having a lot of houses. Marrying into money is exactly what John McCain did (even though he was still married to Carol McCain when he married Cindy). McCain has eight houses, more than he can keep track of.

So, the Surge is Working

That's the often-repeated claim of John "I was a POW" McCain. But key to the reduction of violence in Iraq has been the "Sunni Awakening," the switch in allegiance of the Sunni tribes from the insurgency to the government. Part of the Awakening has been the Sons of Iraq, a paramilitary group funded by our tax dollars, so that the former insurgents had jobs and something to do other than planting bombs.

The Shiite government in Iraq is trying to undo that. They are arresting key Sunni tribal leaders. They have vowed that the soldiers in the Sons of Iraq will not get jobs with the Iraqi security forces.

Care to place your bets as to when it all falls apart?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Yet Another Sign the Bush Admininstration is Full of Idiots

And yes, that goes double for the McSame campaign, for both of them have been blustering for the last week about punishing Russia.

Besides the Russians' holding the high ground in the moral department (as in the Bush Administration's hypocrisy has rarely been both so vast and so obvious on this issue), it is now starting to penetrate the thick skulls and the dim bulbs of the Bush White House that this time, they do not hold all the cards. In fact, as a lot of us non-Bush bloggers have been pointing out for the last several days, if we get into a game of "fuck me? Well, fuck you" with the Russians, they have a pretty good hand to play.

This is the time where we really need objective, sober analysis and careful, deliberate thought from our government.

Which is precisely what we are not going to get from either George Bush or John McCain.

Tank Cat

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

You can buy one for your cat, but you might have to be in the UK.

Noun, Verb, "Prisoner of War," Subject

That is basically the sentence structure being used by John McCain. One of the defenses being trotted out by his handlers for his "don't recall how many houses I have" gaffe is that McCain was a prisoner-of-war: "This is a guy who lived in one house for five and a half years -- in prison."

What does that have to do with anything? Is that going to be his generic comment on every issue?

I can see it now. So let's look at what McCain could say on a variety of issues:

Mass Transit: "I wasn't permitted to ride a subway when I was a prisoner of war."

Gun Control: "They didn't let prisoners of war have guns."

Obesity: "You were certain to lose weight if you were, as I was, a prisoner of war."

Climate Change: "I didn't concern myself with climate change when I was a prisoner of war for over five years."

Health Care: "I experienced socialized medicine when I was a prisoner of war."

So, that is all he has in his intellectual arsenal? McCain is starting to appear as just another George Bush, only even more retarded.

"Only Surrender Monkeys Support Timetables in Iraq"

At least, that used to be the line of the Bush Administration, and it is the current line of John McSame.

So how come Condi Rice is in the Green Zone to work on negotiating a deal that includes timetables for the withdrawal of American troops?

When Maps Are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Have Maps

Yes, folks, the Denver Police are focusing in on those tools of terrorists everywhere: Maps. After all, only terrorists need maps, because honest folks know where they are going.

Somebody tell Garmin that their GPS sets are nothing more than terrorist tools....

You Know You Are Rich When...

... you can't keep track of how many homes you own.

John McCain, for example, has no clue as to how many houses he owns.

I am sure he has a great appreciation for the lives of 90% of the American people. Just like his patron and role model, George W. Bush.

A Bad Idea, or "Kiss Your Freedom Goodbye"

The FBI is going forward with a plan to give its agents the ability to open investigations of Americans for no reason whatsoever.

Think about that. They will not have to suspect you of anything to investigate you. The logical consequence of that is that if you have a funny last name or come to some snitch's attention because of your political beliefs, you will be investigated by the FBI.

(And for those of you on the Right who think this is a good idea, care to bet that the FBI won't consider people who own a lot of guns to be a threat?)

If you think this is "tinfoil hat" thinking, you only need to read back into the FBI's history and the private files that were kept by its director on political enemies. You need only look at the investigation by the FBI on those who opposed the Vietnam War.

If you want to see how this really works, in practice, when the security organizations have carte blanche to investigate whoever they damn well choose, go look at what transpired in East Germany and Poland. In East Germany, in particular, the internal security people had millions of files and almost as many informants. They were masters at using subtle coercion to get people to spy on their neighbors and their families.

It can happen here. And it has a chance of happening if we let the FBI do this.

Gas Prices

Has anyone been paying attention to the price of gasoline? The pundits and the politicians have pretty much stopped talking about it, because the price of gas has slid 30-50 cents in the last month.

There is a history of this. Look at this chart and check the prices for 2006. In the summer of 2006, everyone was talking about the price of gas. But then, around July, the price of gas started to slide and it kept going down until the second week of November, when it bottomed out and then started to rise.

That did not happen in 2007. There were no Federal elections that year.

It's happening again.

And the pundits and the American people are just as stupid (or afflicted with short-term memory problems) as the oil companies and the oil exporters think we are.

Suuurree They Lost Those Emails

The White House claims to have lost 225 days worth of emails.

Yeah. I really buy that they just somehow lost those emails. And now I'm going to take my .30-06 and hunt down a unicorn.

Well, You Can Pretty Much Forget About Private Spaceflight

Because the FAA is involved.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Bad Idea On So Many Levels

The idea of using ICBMs, specifically SLBMs, to deliver conventional warheads is such a bad idea that those who proposed it should be lined up and shot. This idea was killed by Congress two years ago, but according to William Arkin at the WaPo, it is back.

Here is why they should be shot:

The rationale for such a weapon system is that it would enable the U.S. to hit almost anywhere on the globe within a very short timespan. The problem is that say such a launch is ordered. Before the launch, every other nuclear power that is close to the flight path of such a missile has to be notified and that other nuclear power has to have enough time to get the word out to its command and control system that the launch is occurring.

For if that word does not get out, then what the other nuclear powers will see is a missile coming out of nowhere and arcing towards them. They will immediately put their nuclear forces on high alert, for what they fear is a "decapitation strike," a single shot aimed at taking out their command authority, leaving their nation leaderless and ripe for the taking. It is by no means inconceivable that, not knowing where the missile is coming from, that they may decide to get their licks in at their primary enemy.

If you were the leader of a nation and your radar system had detected an incoming ICBM (or several of them), would you wait for it to impact to see what kind of boom it made before you ordered a retaliatory strike?

So if a submarine launches a SLBM at, say, the tribal areas in Pakistan, the Pakistanis may see the missile on their early warning radars and fire a few nuclear shots at India, for Inida has SLBMs under development. Or the Indians may see a missile coming out of the Indian Ocean and think that the Pakistanis launched it from some disguised merchant ship. Either way, a nuclear war gets triggered on the Indian Subcontinent.

Another problem is that if other nations start fearing the possibility of a U.S. SLBM or ICBM attack, they will start building anti-ICBM radar stations and installing ABM systems, which presumably the Russians will be only too happy to sell to them. At a time when the world is facing the wrenching dislocations that will occurr from global climate change, triggering another arms race is a pretty stupid idea.

The worst case scenario is that the missile launch is seen as a threat by China or Russia. One good guess who they are going to suspect. If the word does not get out to them in time, the only way they will know for certain if the missile is a conventional one or a nuclear attack is to wait for it to go off; I doubt very much that if the situation were reversed, that we would wait to see what kind of "boom" the warhead will make.

This is a very bad idea, brought forth by a bunch of bureaucrats in the strategic weapons community who are desperate to remain relevant in the battle for the defense budget. In order to keep their rice bowls full, they will cheerfully sacrifice the national interest of this nation and they will happily raise the risk of a nuclear war breaking out with somebody.

The people who dreamed up this idea need to be stood up against a wall and shot.

See If Your Head Explodes

The neo-cons and the feckless hawks in the Bush Administration have advocated freezing NATO cooperation with Russia to punish it for crushing the adventurism of the Georgians.

But now that Russia has taken that step (freezing all military ties with NATO), the Bush Administration calls that "unfortunate."

The mind boggles.

Totally Stupid Agency

Some moron at the TSA damaged nine (or more) airliners at O'Hare Airport while trying to see if he could break in through the cockpit windows.

Don't you feel safer, now, knowing that those Federal versions of Inspector Clouseau are on the job?

Dumbass Motherfuckering Moralists

A number of college presidents are finally stepping up to tell an inconvenient truth: Prohibition does not work.

No fucking shit. A decent respect for history would have told you clowns that. (You do have history departments at your schools, right?)

You can raise the drinking age, enact draconian laws, speak at meetings to say how evil Old Demon Rum is and all that and you cannot stop people from drinking. You will never stop people from drinking. Whether it was the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of a century ago or the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (which has morphed into a "no drinking, no place, no time" group), you folks are fighting a lost cause. You can make it harder to drink, but people will drink.

I do not know a single person who waited until the legal drinking age to start consuming alcohol. Not a single fucking person. If you know of anyone who did so for any reason other than religious prohibitions, let me know.

What He Said!



"Is John McCain being hypocritical to condemn Russia for invading Georgia when he voted to invade Iraq?" -- Jack Cafferty

While that is very close to a "no shit, Sherlock" question, at least somebody in what passes to the MSM is asking the question.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The "Lack of Self-Awareness Games" Will Run Out of Medals

At this rate, there are not going to be enough awards left for medal-worthy performances. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is going for a second win with this statement:

"Russia is a state that is unfortunately using the one tool that it has always used whenever it wishes to deliver a message and that's its military power," Rice told reporters en route to an emergency meeting of NATO foreign ministers set for Tuesday. "That's not the way to deal in the 21st century."

What century is the Bush Administration operating in, the 19th? Between their all-to-frequent resort to threatening military force and using it on occasion, the only tool that the Bush Administration has repeatedly used to get its way has been the threat of force.

Look in the mirror, Madam Secretary. Everything you have been saying about Russia applies to you.

The rest of the world knows that.

It is a shame that you seem to be so oblivious to it.

The Perfect Simile for the Russo-Georgian War

BadTux spotted it:

On the ground in Georgia, about 25 miles outside the capital along the main highway, four Russian armored personnel carriers passed a Russian checkpoint at the village of Igoeti on Monday and headed in the other direction, toward Tbilisi. Soldiers were piled on top, cradling Kalashnikov rifles.

As they drove by, one old man, Koba Gurnashvili, stepped into the road and yelled at them, "Where do you think you're going!" One of the soldiers yelled back, "To Tbilisi."

But they did not, instead turning up a side road leading to a village near the border with South Ossetia. They stopped at an intersection blocked by Georgian police cars.

The Russian commander climbed off his tank and began arguing with the Georgian police officers. He said he had orders to move up the road; a Georgian officer said he had orders to remain on the road, and asked to call his superiors for guidance. The Russian said, "You have three minutes to move your cars."

The two argued for a few minutes more. Then the police officers stepped away from their cars, stone-faced, with their keys. The tank smashed aside the cars and kept going.

You have to be a near-fatal blend of stupid and stubborn to think, in such a situation, that a tank commander is not going to have any qualms about squishing your car. But that is what the Georgians have been since they started their moronic war: Stupid and stubborn.

UPDATE: Watch the video. It is in Georgian, but apparently the Russian commander is trying to get the Georgians to move their fuzzmobiles. The Georgians locked the cars and refused to move them. The Russians just shoved two of them out of the way with their BMPs.

Batten Down the Economic Hatches!

If this report from the BBCis accurate, that a major bank is going to fail soon, then things may get a lot nastier.

Meanwhile, new home starts are at their lowest in 17 years and inflation, as measured by wholesale prices, is at its highest in 27 years.

Nice job, Dubya.

But McCain thinks everything is peachy and that the economic policies ("policies" being a synonym for "the vomit of a drunken imbecile") of the Bush Administration do not need to be changed.

HAR!

What Jill said. Go read it, it is one of the funniest and most truthful typos you will see this year.

Don't Drop the Ball

While people have been paying a lot of attention to the aftermath of this war, another war keeps simmering along at a low heat. Despite the bravado of John McBush, there are a shitload of things that can go very wrong, very fast, in Iraq.

I think that one of the problems in Georgia is that the neo-cons are looking at the wrong analogies. They keep babbling on about the Sudetenland and Hungary `56 and Czechoslovakia `68 as analogies for the Russo-Georgian conflict.

First off, they ought to stop talking about Czechoslovakia, for every time they do, McCain gets confused. He thinks that country still exists.

Second, the analogy is flawed. The more fitting analogy is 1919, for the Georgians started a war and they lost. Now, just like the Germans did after the Treaty of Versailles, the Georgians, especially that Bush-grade idiot Saakashvili, are running their mouths about no, they didn't lose the war, they were betrayed by outside and sinister forces.

One BBC video here
.

A second one:



(I have no idea if that second video is accurate, it is a YouTube video and could have been faked.)

The most accurate comment was made on Pravda: "US President Bush does not even think to stop making ridiculous statements regarding the conflict."

They could have really nailed the truth of Bush by leaving off the words "regarding the conflict."

Monday, August 18, 2008

Blackwater -- Peacekeepers for Hire

That is their latest pitch: Blackwater is offering the services of its trigger-happy goons as peacekeepers.

So, if your definition of "peace" includes "heavily armed thugs machine-gunning civilians for sport," or their lesser sport, the "throwing frozen water bottles at children" event, give those smiling mercenaries a call. They just might not bother to shoot you.

Paging Harry Reid! Paging Nancy Pelosi!

The Congressional Democrats have something in common with three of the characters in the Wizard of Oz. In that story, they lacked a brain, a hear and courage. The Democrats in Congress (most of them) lack courage, but they lack two other different things.

After a diligent search around the Internets, two of the missing parts have been found.

Your spine:



And your guts:



Try not to misplace them, again.

Got Raped? Go Directly to Jail!

That is no joke. If you are a woman in Afghanistan and you are raped, you will be sent to prison for 20 years for the crime of being raped. That is just one small step above the Taliban executing rape victims.

So where is the enlightened democracy that was supposed to bloom in Afghanistan? These are the people that we are sweating blood and treasure to free from oppression?

As Usual, Somebody Is Lying

The Bush Administration claims that the Turks are "being unhelpful" in granting permission for the Navy to send relief ships to Georgia.

The Turkish government says that nobody has asked them.

Given a dispute in facts such as that, I will presume it is the Bush Administration that is lying.

What I Fear

I am afraid that all we have read to date about the the Bush Administration's secret prisons, "disappeared" prisoners, use of torture, beating resulting in deaths and all of the rest is just the tip of the iceberg. I am very much afraid that there are far more graphic and disturbing revelations to come.

And when those revelations come, as they inevitably will, Gentle Reader, if you are an American citizen, you are going to have to look at yourself in the mirror and wonder how Americans could do such evil things. If you are a British subject, you are going to have to ask yourself why Englishmen so willingly connived and cooperated with such conduct.

Opposed to Gay Marriage?

If you are, then answer this question: How does this marriage affect your marriage?

Are you going to dump your husband or step out on your wife because Ellen DeGeneres got married to Portia di Rossi? Are going to start drinking heavily and/or take up crystal meth? Run off to join al Qaeda?

Or are you just the sort of pimply-faced, halitosis-breathed, repulsive, arrogant bastard who fears that every woman on the planet would rather marry another woman then be seen with you?

What, other than the vague "this is the end of civilization" screeds, comes to mind?

Why are you opposed to two adults marrying each other?

Our Deaf President

Bush went to the Black Sea resort of Sochi, at the invitation of President Vladimir Putin of Russia. There, he received a message from the Russian president: the push to offer Ukraine and Georgia NATO membership was crossing Russia's "red lines," according to an administration official close to the talks. ....

"We have probably failed to understand that the Russians are really quite serious when they say, 'We have interests and we're going to defend them,' " said James Collins, United States ambassador to Russia from 1997 to 2001. "Russia does have interests, and at some point they're going to stand up and draw lines that are not simply to be ignored."


Like all that is a shock. George Bush is an ignoramus. Richard Cheney is an unrepentant ideologue. What happened in Georgia was entirely foreseeable by any sober and objective adult who was paying attention. There were such people in our government, but Chimpy and Vlad the Torturer do not pay attention to them.

Georgia is led by an impulsive hothead who rigs elections, which makes him sort of a cross between Chimpy and the Wrinkly White-Haired Guy. The outcome was almost self-evident, given the clear statements of the Russians and the toxic combination of arrogance and ignorance that is the Bush Administration.

And we are all being ill-served by our own government, for only a fool would trust the statements coming out of Washington as to what the current situation is in Georgia, or anywhere else, for that matter. This Administration, more than most, has demonstrated that it will blatantly lie to the American people whenever they feel the urge. Too many of the "national security" reporters for the larger outfits will just parrot those lies, for otherwise, they run the risk of losing their access to sources at Ft. Fumble.

If you want to know what is truly going on, you are going to have to invest the time to learn the nuances of a situation and read a lot of different publications. It shouldn't have to be that way; our own press should be doing this sort of heavy lifting, that's supposedly their job. But it is clear that sort of detailed analysis is not going to be available until the books come out, months or years later.

Guess Which Word in this Headline I'd Like to Change

Musharraf announces his resignation

Just one little word. Is that too much to ask?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Day Off

Unless something catches my attention, I'm taking the day off. I'm not paying any attention to what Dorquemada or is butt-monkey, the Wrinkly White-Haired Guy, are saying. Dubya's probably "cutting brush," his time to deal with a life-form that is even dumber than he is.

From Cranky Epistles, come a link to this obit. (Seems to be broken, now.)

You can read how the Republicans are gearing up to steal yet another election.

Or you can see what my co-conspirators are up to.

UPDATE: Here's the obit.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Silver Medal Winner in the "Lack of Self-Awareness Olympics" Goes to

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice:

At the end, perhaps the only thing Russia will have proved is that "they can use their overwhelming regional military power to beat up on a small neighbor," she said.

Just like at the end of the day, the only thing that the U.S. will have proved in Iraq is that we can use our global military power to beat up on a distant nation that posed no real threat (notwithstanding that the lack of a threat which was known to the Bush Administration before they began the war).

Almost forgot about this:

"Freedom of Speech" is Often Not Free at All

Especially when someone tries to use the threat of litigation to shut down inconvenient blogs. These blogs deal with the FAA and the union that supposedly represents the air traffic controllers.

(H/T to Get the Flick)

You Know He's Lying, His Lips are Moving

White House spokesman Tony Fratto said the administration agrees that it needs to do everything possible to prevent unwarranted encroachments on civil liberties, adding that it succeeds the overwhelming majority of the time.

The big lie there is that the Administration has not yet found an "unwarranted encroachment on civil liberties." Every encroachment by the Bush Administration has, to their minds, been warranted. Tap your phones, read your email, track your Internet usage, read your bank statements, monitor your credit cards, watch what you take out from the library or what videos you rent, imprison you without trial, and torture you, all of those have been "warranted" to those ardent defenders of civil liberties who work out of Darth Cheney's offices.

The FBI, the Department of Defense and local police have been spying on political dissidents. The DoD was monitoring the Quakers because they thought they posed a "terrorist threat." This is not ancient history, this is what has been going on under Dorquemada's "Great War on Terror."

There is no concern by any of those police and military agencies for civil rights. Fratto had to have peed his pants in silent laughter when he espoused the concern of the Bush Administration for your civil liberties. If you are a public critic of the Bush Administration, if you are an activist with any civil liberties or human rights organization, or if you have a Muslim-sounding name, you would do well to consider that everything you do is being monitored by one law enforcement agency or another.

Back in Time

A long time ago, there was a nation that had a province on its borders, far from the capitol city. The province was settled, over time, in part by people who felt an allegiance to the neighboring country. Those people armed themselves, formed illegal militias and then declared that they were seceding from the country. The government sent in its army, which won a battle here, a skirmish there, but ended up losing the conflict to the locals. The locals first declared independence, but a few years later, they merged their new nation with the neighboring nation.

The nation with the troublesome province was Mexico. The province was Texas.

So one has to wonder why, 170 years or so later, a self-proclaimed son of Texas winds up so fervently backing the rough equivalent of Santa Ana and the Mexican Army?

Caturday

If you want to see why I put towels on my furniture, look in the foreground to the left.


It saves a lot of muss and fuss. A little laundry pre-treatment, into the wash and it's good to go.



Maaaaa! I'm bbbooooorrrrrreeeeedddddd!


This was the bed of a friend's cat. He's passed on and now I have the bed. Both George and Jake love it. Gracie, not so much.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Here's a Simple Fact of Life

When you start a war and then you lose it, neither you nor your so-called friends are really in a good position to make demands of the nation that just kicked your fucking ass.

“We will rebuild,” [Georgian president] Saakashvili said. “We want them out. I want the world to know, never, ever will Georgia reconcile with occupation of even one square kilometer of its sovereign territory. Never, ever.”

What a George-Bush-level fucking imbecile.

Saakashvili tried to pull a shitty; he thought that while Vladimir Putin was in Beijing, that he could send the Georgian Army into South Ossetia, preceded by a little "shock and awe" from a few batteries of Katyusha rocket launchers, and conquer the area. It was worse than that, for the Georgian Army attacked just hours after an agreement had been reached between Georgia and Russia for another round of negotiations about South Ossetia.

(Yes, that's a pretty raw shitty, all right. We were not too forgiving when the Japanese launched an attack on us during negotiations. Guess Bush forgot about that little bit of history.)

But Georgia's gamble didn't work, the forces in place, both Russian peacekeepers and Ossetian militia, stood their ground long enough until a Russian motorized rifle division or two could show up and, in combination with the Russian Air Force, kick the Georgian Army all the way back to Tbilisi.

Georgia spent a lot of money on weapons. Fat lot of good it did them: "The Georgian forces had good equipment," [a Russian sergeant] said. "But it wasn't enough. In the end, it was just like they had toys."

Saakashvili was a day or so away from having to sign a carte blanche surrender, so now he makes noises as though he is the victor?

If the Georgian people have any sense, once they come out of their stupor and see what Saakashvili's monumental stupidity has brought them, they will turn him into a wind chime. But I do not think they have that much sense.

One thing is certain: The Russian belief that "you can never trust a Georgian" has been reinforced with steel rebar. I doubt very much if they will ever leave South Ossetia.

And NATO would be utter fools to let Georgia into NATO.

The Gold Medal Winner in the "Lack of Self-Awareness Olympics" Goes to

George W. Bush, for this stunning statement:

"Bullying and intimidation are not acceptable ways to conduct foreign policy in the 21st century."

Ah, yep. This from the cartoon-cutout of a president who has had no trouble threatening myriad nations with everything from blockades and aerial bombardment to full-blown invasions now says that such things are "not acceptable." Unless he's the one doing it, I gather.

Hypocrisy, thy name is "Bush."

News for the Clueless; Georgian Edition

George Bush has no idea what he is talking about when he runs his mouth. Regardless of what his pea-sized brain vomits out his mouth, the Navy just can't shit out a ship because he demands it.

Pentagon officials told McClatchy that they were increasingly dubious that any U.S. Navy vessels would join the aid operation, in large part because the U.S.-based hospital ships likely to go, the USNS Comfort and the USNS Mercy, would take weeks to arrive. "The president was writing checks to the Georgians without knowing what he had in the bank," said a senior administration official. "The president got out in front of the planning when he talked publicly about using naval forces," said a second senior administration official.

Wow. Now there is a surprise. Not that Bush is an idiot, we all knew that, but that there are people in his own administration that are tacitly saying as much.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

What This Guy Said!

It’s touching how American neoconservatives who have no regard for international law when they want to invade some troublesome country have developed a sudden reverence for national sovereignty.

Yeah, it makes you just want to all tear up and cry over their new-found concern for the rule of law, doesn't it?

Funny, though, how in this country, the Bush/Cheney/Neo-con double standard is only being addressed by the editorial cartoonists and the bloggers. You don't hear of any reporter asking Bush or Cheney or Gates or Rice or any of the neo-con skells: "How come it was OK for the USA to invade Iraq and Grenada and Panama to effectuate regime change, but it's now suddenly not OK for Russia to do the same thing? How come it was OK for the USA to bomb Serbia into accepting the dismemberment of its country but it is not OK for Russia to attack Georgia for the same reason?"

You do not have to be a Russophile to see this. You only have to not be an utter hypocrite.

(H/T to the Alternate Brain)

The One Good Thing About John Edward's Affair

The one good thing is that it opens the door for reminding people that John McCain not only cheated on his first wife, but also to remind them that John McCain is a bigamist: He married his second wife before his divorce from his first wife was final.

What was that about "family values?"

Throwing Our Own Shit Back in Our Faces; Pt. 2

Pat Oliphant's take on it:

That's No Stinking DC-3

That is a Li-2 (Li = "Lisunov") in the colors of the Hungarian national airline for the 1960s.


Over 5,000 Li-2s were built under a license from Douglas Aircraft.

This is supposedly the only airworthy one left.

Gitmo Comes to Denver

That is what the Denver Sheriff's Department is re-creating in Denver in advance of the Democratic Party's convention.

I guess if you have to relieve yourself, you just shit and/or piss on the floor and if you are sleepy, you can just lie down in your puddles of piss and/or shit. They'll probably just throw a layer of sand on the floor and make it look like a stockyard's holding pen.

Well, at least the Denver Gestapo is operating at one level of humanity above that of the New York Police Department, for the NYPD just held people for days on end in open-air pens located on a pier on the Hudson River.

(H/T to Outta The Cornfield)

Throwing Our Own Shit Back in Our Faces

That is the thrust of an editorial in Pravda: The Russians are asking what right do we have to complain about Russia invading other nations, destroying their infrastructure and occupying their lands?

I've been saying for a long time that the Bush Administration has frittered away our moral authority in the world. The editorial in Pravda is proof of that.

Saakashvili is George Bush

Or Baghdad Bob, for all of them seem to have a problem with reality. This is what Georgian President Saakashvili had to say about fighting the Russians: “We will fight to the end, until the last Russian soldier leaves Georgian soil and this country is not going to be brought to the knees anymore. We are not surrendering, no matter what.”

Such as the Battle of Gori, where the Georgian Army abandoned the city and fled to Tblisi without firing a shot? A Russian battalion commander had a more honest view of Saakashviili:

"If he doesn't understand the situation, we'll have to go further," the commander said on the condition of anonymity. "He doesn't seem to understand that the Russian Army is much stronger than the Georgian Army. His tanks remain in their places. His air force is dead. His navy is also. His army is demoralized."

Bush sends some medical supplies to Georgia and Saakashvili sees that as a "turning point" and proof that we will support him in his war against Russia:

Saakashvili interpreted the aid operation as a decision to defend Georgia's ports and airports, though Bush administration and Pentagon officials quickly made it clear that would not be the case. A senior administration official said, "We won't be protecting the airport or seaport, but we'll certainly protect our assets if we need to."

If that is what he truly believes, he has smoked as much crack as George Bush. As seen in his behavior at the Olympics, Bush is either drunk most of the time or he is retarded (those are not mutually exclusive). I don't know what Saakashvili's excuse is.

(For Sale: 10,000 M-16 rifles, as issued to the Georgian Army. Never fired, only dropped once. Best offer. Contact v.putin@moscowrules.ru)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Oscar for Unintended Irony Goes to...

Sen. John McCain, for this corker:

"I'm interested in good relations between the United States and Russia," [McCain] said. "But in the 21st century, nations don't invade other nations.''

Refresh my memory, Senator McCain. Do you recall the name of a certain desert nation that borders Iran, Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Turkey? Remember how you walked around the capital of that nation, wearing your flak jacket, protected by a few hundred soldiers and you said it was a safe place? There are about 140,000 American troops occupying the place after we fucking invaded them!

Remember the name of that nation now, Senator?

(Fucking decrepit dumbass)

GOP Hypocrisy on Hawaii

Remember very recently how the Republicans tried to criticize Obama for taking his vacation in Hawaii (where his grandmother lives)?

But now, the senior mucky-mucks in the Department of Homeland Stupidity Security are going to fly to Hawaii for a conference. A boatload of those fuckers were going there, until reporters started asking questions. Now, maybe only enough to fit in one of DHS's Gulfstreams will go. For you know those highfalutin' brass are not going to subject themselves to riding Untied Airlines out there.

A Thought Experiment

Just suppose that Janet Reno did this:

  • Fired prosecuting attorneys so that she could move people into their jobs who were "more loyal to Clinton."
  • Engaged in prosecutions to imprison Republican election workers.
  • Had her underlings screen applicants for civil service jobs to weed out any lawyers known to be Republicans or members of the National Rifle Association.
  • Closely worked with the Clinton White House to make certain that Republicans were taken down wherever possible.
  • Wiretapped the electronic communications of Republicans.
  • Asked new hires "what is it about William J. Clinton that makes you want to serve him?"
  • Tortured people.
What do you think the reaction of the Republicans would be?

For extra credit: Compare and contrast those theoretical reactions with the actual reactions of Republicans when confronted with the misdeeds and crimes of the Justice Department under Ashcroft/Gonzales/Mukasey.

Blah, Blah, Blah

That is the unofficial translation into Russian of this statement by George Bush:

"The United States stands with the democratically elected government of Georgia and insists that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia be respected," Bush said sternly, during brief remarks in the White House Rose Garden.

Yeah, right. Bush talks about sending ships to Georgia, but he clearly has no clue what he is talking about. He has probably never looked at a map of that part of the planet and he probably does not know that the ships have to come out of the Mediterranean Sea, through the Dardanelles and the Bosporus and then go all the way across the Black Sea, which is as much a Russian lake as the Gulf of Mexico is an American one. He probably doesn't know that the Montreux Convention is fairly restrictive as to what numbers and types of ships he can send.

The bluster of the Bush Administration amounts to just noise, as there is little that can be done to stop the Russians and everyone, other than the neo-cons and their puppet in the Oval Office, knows that.

Legal Quote of the Day

"Under the Bush Administration, you'd think this would be a fucking pamphlet by now." -- an unnamed attorney, upon seeing West Publishing's compilation of Federal Labor Laws for 2008, which is over 1,600 pages thick.

Quote of the Day

From the Political Cat:

"Vladimir Putin is an ex-KGB man and nobody's fool. And unfortunately, the U.S. is currently in the hands of the biggest fool to ever walk the planet"

Pot, Meet Kettle; pt 2


Police State News

Not so much new, this is actually two months old, but here it is:

If you want to fly on the airlines and you lose your ID, then they will ask you some questions and give you the full-9-yards security screening, and they will let you pass. But if you refuse to show them ID, they will turn you away. So if you're careless or stupid, you can fly, but if you don't want to submit to the police-state mentality of the TSA, you are shit out of luck.

I suppose this makes sense, but don't ask me how.

(H/T to Schneier on Security)

UPDATE: If you do show up at the airport without your ID, the TSA puts you on their threat list because, after all, the grandmother who lost her purse just might be an al Qaeda operative..