Ungodly Politics

"Announcing your plans is a good way to hear god laugh." - Al Swearingen

Tuesday, November 25, 2003  

Off for the Thanksgiving break. I'm going to the wilds of Texas (quite close to Crawford, from what I understand), so I doubt much blogging will occur. I'll be back Sunday night or Monday, unless Ashcroft gets me.



posted by lazarus | 22:10 | |

Monday, November 24, 2003  

7Online.com: Weapons Lube Issued by Army May be Costing Lives in Iraq

What's worse, the lube that doesn't attract sand, Militec, was being ordered by the Army. Civilians in the Pentagon stopped ordering it just as the war began. Anyone care to explain this?

posted by lazarus | 17:55 | |

Thisshould scare the crap out of you:

"American civil liberties groups yesterday denounced the FBI for using new counter-terrorist powers to spy on anti-war demonstrations.
FBI officials said the surveillance of the anti-war movement was necessary to prevent protests being used as a cover by 'extremist elements' or by terrorist organisations to mount an attack. "

posted by lazarus | 02:21 | |

Carnivàle is the best original series I've seen in a long, long time. Bastards nailed us with a cliffhanger tonight, series finale is next week. If you have HBO On Demand, or a friend who's been taping it, I highly recommend catching it. Or just wait, I'm sure they're going to rerun the whole thing once it's done.

posted by lazarus | 00:24 | |

Sunday, November 23, 2003  

From the "party of fiscal responsibility":

As Congress rushes to conclude its 2003 session, Republican leaders are trying to garner votes for controversial legislation by loading the bills with billions of dollars in added costs that analysts said would expand the budget deficit for years to come. The year-end binge has alarmed analysts in Washington and on Wall Street, coming as it does after three years of presidential and congressional initiatives that have both substantially boosted government spending and shrunk its tax base.

"The U.S. budget is out of control," the Wall Street investment firm Goldman Sachs & Co. warned Friday in its weekly newsletter to clients.

In the final days of the congressional session, GOP leaders added billions of dollars to energy and Medicare bills to help persuade key factions to support the legislation. Overall, the energy bill would cost $33 billion and the Medicare bill $400 billion.

Less noticed were congressional moves to expand veterans' benefits by $22 billion and increase spending on forest-thinning projects from $420 million a year to $760 million to ensure passage of forest legislation promoted by the White House. Lawmakers are also trying to extend 14 expiring tax cuts through 2004, at a cost to the Treasury of more than $7 billion.

All those actions come in the face of a federal budget deficit already projected to rise from a record $374 billion in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30 to close to or above $500 billion in the current fiscal year.

posted by lazarus | 20:47 | |

And now, a bit of humour for the weekend. I just may do this....

Bonsai Potato - Zen Without the Wait!™

posted by lazarus | 13:29 | |

Wednesday, November 19, 2003  

Well, why not head on over to Clear Channel's server and look at their Index of Photos? That's right, someone left it open for browsing. In particular, check out their index of "babes", several of which don't appear to be of legal age. Seems a shame these are on Clear Channel's server, doesn't it? One would think they'd be a bit more concerned about this, being as conservative as they are. Oh, well.

posted by lazarus | 23:58 | |

Stunning. Just stunning. Have they no shame?

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | War critics astonished as US hawk admits invasion was illegal

International lawyers and anti-war campaigners reacted with astonishment yesterday after the influential Pentagon hawk Richard Perle conceded that the invasion of Iraq had been illegal.

In a startling break with the official White House and Downing Street lines, Mr Perle told an audience in London: "I think in this case international law stood in the way of doing the right thing."

President George Bush has consistently argued that the war was legal either because of existing UN security council resolutions on Iraq - also the British government's publicly stated view - or as an act of self-defence permitted by international law.

But Mr Perle, a key member of the defence policy board, which advises the US defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, said that "international law ... would have required us to leave Saddam Hussein alone", and this would have been morally unacceptable.

posted by lazarus | 19:12 | |

Monday, November 17, 2003  

This is just hilarious.

Twenty-one Iowa National Guard troops who tested positive for drug use on the eve of their deployment were sent overseas anyway, despite the Army's "zero tolerance" policy. And now the Army must decide how to deal with them when they return.

Thirty-seven Iowa troops tested positive for drugs, including two methamphetamine users, two cocaine users and one soldier who tested positive for both meth and amphetamines, according to the Des Moines Register.

Officials at Fort McCoy, Wis., one of the assembly points, said Friday that some of the soldiers used the drugs intending to be caught and sent home.

"On a certain level, it would be perverse to throw people out because of their misconduct, when other people who did not engage in that misconduct are having to put their lives on the line," said Eugene Fidell, a military law expert with the National Institute of Military Justice.


"A positive on their drug test is not going to keep them here, unless there's a dependency issue," said Linda Fournier, a Fort McCoy spokeswoman. "These units have to have so many people to go overseas."

Next up: Gay? Big deal, grab and gun and go die for Halliburton.

posted by lazarus | 14:43 | |

Freedom in Iraq:

Some also were furious that troops were arresting men who had more than the single AK-47 now allowed by the coalition forces. At least a dozen of those taken away were detained after the army confiscated revolvers or bird guns that could not have presented a serious threat to the security of the occupying forces.

"Of course everybody has weapons," said Samir al-Hadith, an engineer who works in Saudi Arabia and had returned to Baghdad to check on his home. "There are so many thieves nowadays. we have to defend our families."

"Under Saddam Hussein there was much more security and we could own guns," he said.

Zuheir Ali, 26, was detained after troops found a snub-nose .38 Smith & Wesson revolver in his house along with an AK-47. They left the automatic rifle but confiscated the handgun.

"I don't understand this, we're not criminals, we only want to defend our homes from looters," Ali said.

Journalists accompanying the troops during the bitterly cold night were offered hot tea by several of the residents.

"But no tea for the soldiers," said Lamya Shaheen Ahmed who stood on the sidewalk with her mother and two sisters after troops had gone through their house.

We're making lots of friends, aren't we? Has anyone alerted the NRA to the fact that the Army has become a gun-grabbing organisation?

posted by lazarus | 04:54 | |

Sunday, November 16, 2003  

The Sunday Herald brings us a fun story:

Airlines have been warned that passengers will boycott their services and that tourism to the United States will effectively stop if new data demands from America are introduced.
Talks between the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the European Union broke down last month because the US is demanding that incoming passengers should have a passenger name record (PNR) containing 39 key pieces of information, such as how the passenger paid for their ticket and whether they ordered a halal meal for their flight, seen as indicators for potential terrorists.

That's right. "Whether they ordered a halal meal for their flight...."

But this isn't a war on Islam, so stop saying that, right now.

posted by lazarus | 23:57 | |

Yahoo! News - Copters Crash in Iraq, Kill 17 Soldiers

One of my best friends graduated a year and a half ago from pilot training school. He's a Blackhawk pilot.

I haven't heard from him in a long time. I likely never will, to be honest.

Bush is directly to blame for every single death that occurs in Iraq. How many funerals has he attended?

posted by lazarus | 00:51 | |

Wednesday, November 12, 2003  

In honour of Veteran's Day:

Q: Scott, there are 17 former POWs from the first Gulf War who were
tortured and filed suit against the regime of Saddam Hussein. And a
judge has ordered that they are entitled to substantial financial
damages. What is the administration's position on that? Is it the view
of this White House that that money would be better spent rebuilding
Iraq rather than going to these former POWs?

MR. McCLELLAN: I don't know that I view it in those terms, David. I
think that the United States -- first of all, the United States
condemns in the strongest terms the brutal torture to which these
Americans were subjected. They bravely and heroically served our
nation and made sacrifices during the Gulf War in 1991, and there is
simply no amount of money that can truly compensate these brave men
and women for the suffering that they went through at the hands of
Saddam Hussein's brutal regime. That's what our view is.

Q: But, so -- but isn't it true that this White House --

Q: They think there is an --
Q: Excuse me, Helen -- that this White House is standing in the way of
them getting those awards, those financial awards, because it views it
that money better spent on rebuilding Iraq?

MR. McCLELLAN: Again, there's simply no amount of money that can truly
compensate these brave men and women for the suffering --

Q: Why won't you spell out what your position is?

MR. McCLELLAN: I'm coming to your question. Believe me, I am. Let me
finish. Let me start over again, though. No amount of money can truly
compensate these brave men and women for the suffering that they went
through at the hands of a very brutal regime, at the hands of Saddam
Hussein. It was determined earlier this year by Congress and the
administration that those assets were no longer assets of Iraq, but
they were resources required for the urgent national security needs of
rebuilding Iraq. But again, there is simply no amount of compensation
that could ever truly compensate these brave men and women.

Q: Just one more. Why would you stand in the way of at least letting
them get some of that money?

MR. McCLELLAN: I disagree with the way you characterize it.

Q: But if the law that Congress passed entitles them to access frozen
assets of the former regime, then why isn't that money, per a judge's
order, available to these victims?

MR. McCLELLAN: That's why I pointed out that that was an issue that
was addressed earlier this year. But make no mistake about it, we
condemn in the strongest possible terms the torture that these brave
individuals went through --

Q: You don't think they should get money?

MR. McCLELLAN: -- at the hands of Saddam Hussein. There is simply no
amount of money that can truly compensate those men and women who
heroically served --

Q: That's not the issue --

MR. McCLELLAN: -- who heroically served our nation.

Q: Are you opposed to them getting some of the money?

MR. McCLELLAN: And, again, I just said that that had been addressed
earlier this year.

Q: No, but it hasn't been addressed. They're entitled to the money
under the law. The question is, is this administration blocking their
effort to access some of that money, and why?

MR. McCLELLAN: I don't view it that way at all. I view it the way that
I stated it, that this issue was --

Q: But you are opposed to them getting the money.

MR. McCLELLAN: This issue was addressed earlier this year, and we
believe that there's simply no amount of money that could truly
compensate these brave men and women for what they went through and
for the suffering that they went through at the hands of Saddam
Hussein --

Q: So no money.

MR. McCLELLAN: -- and that's my answer.

I recommend reading the entire briefing. The press ate McClellan alive.

posted by lazarus | 13:45 | |

Tuesday, November 11, 2003  

Happy Veteran's Day to all our vets. Let's all remember how much they've given, and honour them in a way our so-called Commander in Chief seems incapable of.

Bring 'em on? I say, bring 'em home.

posted by lazarus | 00:30 | |

Monday, November 03, 2003  

Bush's comments on dead soldiers in today's USA Today:

Bush did not mention Sunday's casualties as he addressed a group of small business owners and community leaders at an Alabama factory. However, he spoke of U.S. casualties and said, "Some of the best have fallen in service to our fellow Americans.

"We mourn every loss," the president said. "We honor every name. We grieve with every family. And we will always be grateful that liberty has found such brave defenders."

From the speech Bush gave October 9 at Pease Air National Guard Base in New Hampshire:

Nearly every day in Iraq we're launching swift, precision raids against the enemies of peace and progress. Helped by intelligence from Iraqis, we're rounding up the enemy. We're taking their weapons. We're working our way through the famous deck of cards. We've already captured or killed 43 of the 55 most wanted former Iraqi leaders, and the other 12 have a lot to worry about. (Laughter.) Anyone who seeks to harm our soldiers can know that our soldiers are hunting for them. Our military is serving with great courage -- some of our best have fallen. We mourn every loss. We honor every name. We grieve with every family. And we will always be grateful that liberty has found such brave defenders. (Applause.)

Nice to know he's speaking from the heart, isn't it?

posted by lazarus | 13:28 | |
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