Thursday, November 29, 2007

"Surgical" strikes

It has happened again -- NATO has mistakenly killed another 14 civilians in Afghanistan:
The victims of the episode on Monday night were all Afghans who were working for $5 a day, Mr. Jalali said. His company has been contracted to build 273 miles of road in 10 Afghan provinces, and the major contracts are with the American military.
Mr. Jalali said he thought the accident happened because the foreign military either lacked information or had incorrect information.
I keep reading all this stuff about "surgical strikes", promoting the idea that technology makes it possible to target only "the enemy" and not the good guys -- but then we see hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent civilians getting killed.
Do any doctors actually perform surgery with wild, broad, and bloody swipes of the scalpel?
Reminds me of the Doc in Logan's Run:

Henry Luce is rolling in his grave

Time magazine has flubbed it.
I remember how shocked I was when I found out that the United States government couldn't recognize communist China until Time magazine publisher Henry Luce died.
That's how powerful Time magazine once was.
Now, they can't even get a smear campaign started properly.
The idea, I think, was to tarnish the FISA legislation now being considered by the US Congress -- so that the telcom companies can avoid legal responsibility for tapping thousands of phone calls without warrants -- by promoting the libel that the legislation would "protect terrorists".
But a couple of bloggers, Glenn Greenwald and Ryan Singel, have spotlighted this blatant, stupid lie and forced Time to disavow it, as well as hammering any other media outlet that picks it up -- the Chicago Tribune has also had to run a correction.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

"Politically Correct"

Chet writes about the post-modern and Politically Correct "movement" which actually wasn't much of anything, really -- just played one on TV, so to speak.
...the reality of the whole "PC" thing depends on where you were and when... There really were no common experiences of this stuff as far as I can tell, just scattered individual ones. What seems fairly certain to me, at any rate, is that while pomo and PC were not in and of themselves imaginary, the idea that there were actual movements based on these things was imaginary, and was used as a fear tactic by right-wing politicians and journalists for a surprising length of time.
That was my own experience, too -- of course, I went to university in the Stone Age, so this discussion brings to mind that old pre-modernist Shakespeare, who described "a custom more honour'd in the breach than the observance" -- that seems to describe "Politically Correct" rather well.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Rider Nation

The boys won it! And its been a long time coming:
"We have a saying in Saskatchewan," said Roughriders offensive lineman Gene Makowsky. "Tough times don't last. Tough people do."

Kerry Joseph gives his mother the game ball.

Johnson stepped up --his three key interceptions won the game.

And Fantuz was fantastic.
We heard it was being called the Banjo Bowl, but I don't mind -- some banjo! some bowl!

Saskboy has The Night Before Grey Cup.

The new Star Chamber

At Harper's magazine, Scott Horton writes about how Bush is resurrecting the Star Chamber and he uses the Omar Khadr case as one of his examples.
The Star Chamber was a secret security court used by the Tudors and Stuarts, and its abuses were one of the main reasons why the Purtians created the United States 300 years ago. How quickly they forget!
The Bush Administration is slowly introducing the Court of Star Chamber to the process of American justice. We see its elements everywhere. In the farcical Combat Status Review Tribunals created in Guantánamo, now repeatedly denounced even by judges serving on them as a travesty. In the Military Commissions, crafted in conscious avoidance of the standards both of American military and civilian justice. And in the steady press to lower the standards of our federal courts to introduce practices that continually tip the scales of justice in favor of prosecutors. Reports have begun to circulate that the Administration has put together a group of scholars headed by a right-wing activist judge to craft legislation to introduce a new court of Star Chamber, perhaps to be floated in the coming year. . . . in the Bush view of justice, a failure to convict is unacceptable. And which is why the Bush view of justice is no justice at all.
Horton cites the Khadr case as an example of Star Chamber thinking:
Five news organizations, The AP, The New York Times Co., Dow Jones & Company Inc., The Hearst Corp. and The McClatchy Company have filed a complaint stating that they are being denied access to critical information that would allow them to report on the Guantánamo Military Commissions proceeding against Canadian Omar Khadr.
Various arguments in the case of Omar Khadr at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, are apparently made via e-mail — a communications channel to which the public has no access — and issues apparently are being raised in closed sessions for which no transcripts or summaries are available, the news organizations, including The Associated Press, wrote in a filing. In addition, the filing stated, the public is not permitted access to motions and other documents submitted by the parties and “even the existence of a motion is not currently disclosed in any publicly accessible way.”
Khadr is now 21 years of age and has been in prison for five years, since he was 16. He is accused of having committed crimes as a minor. Radkhika Coomaraswamy, the UN Special Representative for Children in Armed Conflict, has registered strong complaints about the treatment of Khadr, as have other nations and human rights groups. “She raised her concerns about the creation of an international precedent where an individual is being tried for war crimes with regard to alleged acts committed when he was a child,” said a UN spokesman. There is a view in the international law community that the act of trying a minor as a war criminal is itself a war crime. Not that this would, of course, give the Bush Administration the slightest pause.
Specific charges against Khadr include having lobbed a grenade that killed an American medic in Afghanistan. The US strategy of closely guarding the proceedings and restricting media access to arguments and materials submitted is, however, highly selective. The Department of Defense leaked to CBS News’s “Sixty Minutes” program what prosecutors have long viewed as their “bombshell” evidence: film which they assert shows Khadr involved in insurgent activities in Afghanistan. The Government strategy is that the Government will exercise tight control over what the public learns about the trial and what transpires there. That, of course, was the very abuse against which “Freeborn” John Lilburne railed in his assault on the injustice of the Stuart courts, and the right to an open court is often cited in legal history books as having been established by him, in the middle of the seventeenth century. Which is why the Bush Administration is so much more at home with sixteenth century concept of judicial conduct. But the major issue that critics raise here is not Khadr’s guilt or innocence, but the procedural fairness and transparency of the process by which he is being tried.
As things stand now, whatever results from the trial of Omar Khadr, no serious observers are going to consider them to be fair. So what purpose is served by them? The answer to that question is fairly obvious: domestic political propaganda. This is a political trial, not an exercise in justice.
And successive Canadian governments have gone along with this travesty -- they have not fought for Khadr's rights any more than they originally fought for Mahar Arar.
Now Khadr, along with his family, have to be one of the least sympathetic defendants that Canadians have ever been asked to hold their noses and support.
But that, of course, is not the point
Its not about them, its about us -- are we the kind of people who will tolerate secret trials and endless imprisonment, or not?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Harper wins

And we lose.

Pictures that make you go Ahhh!

Knut, the polar bear cub from the Berlin Zoo

Why can't the left-wing be more like the right?

Bill from Portland Maine notes that Washington Post pundit David Broder thinks the left-wing should try to be more like the right -- I guess Broder thinks Imaginary Moderates find duplicity appealing, I don't know why.
So anyway, Bill helpfully provides this handy checklist:
>> Discriminate against minorities a little more
>> Be a little more skeptical about global warming, and give "global cooling" advocates a seat at the table
>> Think a little less about the poor
>> Slow down on trying to provide guaranteed health care for all Americans. The ones who don’t have insurance are probably fat, drunk, chain-smoking lazy asses, anyway.
>> Don’t be so quick to badmouth abstinence-only education, even though studies show it's not effective. We just need to give it more time. And money.
>> Practice putting profits above people---those who don’t earn much money have been blessed by God with conveniently-located Wal-Mart stores, so everybody wins!
>> Repeat after me: Every time the government takes away one of my civil liberties, I become a little safer
>> Dial down your curiosity and start trusting your leaders to know what's best for you
>> Be patient with Iraq. Give the surge more time. Six, nine, twelve months tops. And stop saying how bad the Iraq war is for the troops. They're doing what they were trained to do: be the de facto police force for a bickering, do-nothing sovereign government that's not our own.
>> Ladies: a little more time in the kitchen, if you please
>> Complain a little louder about sexual immorality, but don't deny yourself the pleasure of the occasional steamy affair or public bathroom hookup
>> At least admit that the planet might be six thousand years old, and that Adam might have ridden a triceratops to get his Pabst Blue Ribbon at the local 7-11
>> Stop fretting about how Republicans gutted the government over the past seven years. Look forward, not backward. Remember the famous quote: "Those who forget the past are taking the perfect combination of fine pharmaceutical products."
>> Be a little more hateful of illegal immigrants, especially now that we've just discovered over the past year that they exist. Come help build the wall---you can even carve your initials in it!
>> Ask yourself: how come there's not a single liberal judge who knows how to properly interpret the United States Constitution?
>> Be more skeptical of candidates for government positions who have the necessary skills and background to do their jobs well. Nobody likes a showoff.
>> Buy more guns---nothing builds confidence like the feel of a Glock tucked in your shorts
>> Be a little more "me me me" and a little less "we we we"
Well, I know I'm impressed.
Seriously, though, its sad, isn't it. Being a conservative used to be sorta honourable -- I think it was George Bernard Shaw who said if someone isn't a socialist at 20 they have no heart, and if they're not a conservative by 30 they have no head. I may not have ever been conservative myself but at least I could understand why someone would be and we could agree to disagree. But now the Conservative "brand" is sanctimonious, blustering, racist, sexist, homophobic, immoral, greedy, ignorant, and cheap -- Rush Limbaugh is their poster boy.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Kyoto Lite?

Delay, deny, obfuscate, mis-direct -- our Conservative government has the Bush administration formula down pat.
Now Canada is preventing a Commonwealth agreement on climate change purportedly because some of the world's big polluters are not involved.
"We would not support a binding target only for some emitters - especially if that excludes major emitters," Harper spokeswoman Sandra Buckler said in an e-mail.
Yeah. So what was it that Kyoto was attempting to do?
Of course, the right-wing climate-change-denial countries manufactured reasons not to join that one, either -- Kyoto, after all, was not perfect, and only an absolutely perfect plan would be good enough for them.
And of course the rest of us couldn't possibly do anything on our own to save the planet ... might cost us some money! Can't have that.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Great line of the day

About the Scott McClellan ain't-nobody-here-but-us-chickens denial, Josh Marshall writes:
It would seem that, despite leaving the White House, Scott McClellan's testicles remain in protective custody.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Great line of the day

TRex writes about the Imaginary Moderates:
You know, all those salt-of-the-earth ordinary Americans who believe that George W. Bush should decide when we get out of Iraq, and that the government is way too tough on big business. These reasonable pragmatists understand that war is not something to be exited lightly, that huge corporate profits benefit everyone, er… somehow, and that regulating pollutants and toy safety and food additives just inhibits the course of human evolution. If we simply let natural selection do its thing, then eventually we’ll be immune to everything, just like cockroaches and Karl Rove, and who wouldn’t want that?


I saw this Reuters photo on the Iraq Today website -- a mother grieving over her child, who was one of the three children killed in Baqubah on Sunday by a roadside bomb.
UPDATE: Anne Applebaum writes an appallingly callous column in the Washington Post about how the tragedy of Iraq is that the US has lost so much international credibility they won't be able to make a new war on Iran.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Looking into the briefcase

Summarizing The Brian Mulroney defense:
Mila and the kids are to blame, really. I would never have grabbed Schreiber's $100,000 cash if they hadn't expected to live in the lap of luxury after struggling along for so many years on the mere $10,000+ a month paid to a prime minister in 1993.
and there's more:
The money? Why, it was a retainer, yeah, that's it, a retainer. For consulting, yeah, that's it, for consulting.
and finally, you'll love this one:
Why didn't I tell anybody before? Well, gosh darn it, nobody asked.
I think his spokesman should just shut up.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The stupid, it burns

Tom Friedman writes the stupidest NYTimes column ever - which is, I know, saying a lot -- and Glenn Greenwald calls him on it:
The drooling, bloodthirsty desire for war and vengeance which Friedman spewed forth in the months after 9/11 has been suppressed some as a result of the disaster in Iraq, but it is still lurking in him and the rest of our pundit class with all the vibrancy it had in 2002. And now that they are starting to convince themselves that they were Right After All about Iraq, they're starting to unveil it again, in completely unchanged form. They have learned absolutely nothing. They cannot, because they are convinced that they are the Guardians of Great Wisdom and cannot err. Even in Iraq, they did not err.
Almost five years after helping to unleash the greatest disaster in our country's history, Tom Friedman is still openly indulging his adolescent, weakness-based fantasies about ass-kicking and chest-beating Dr. Strangelove threats and the virtues of acting like a mafia thug such as Tony Soprano, "quietly pounding a baseball bat into his palm." Friedman sits around watching TV shows and -- for reasons far more psychological than political -- identifies with amoral Tough Guy thugs and gets all excited by the vicarious sensations of strength and power and then disguises all of that as "foreign policy analysis."
This is exactly why the rest of the world no longer respects the United States -- call it whatever you like, we know thuggery when we see it.

Just for fun

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Defining "progress" down

The New York Times describes how things are improving in Iraq since al-Sadr halted his attacks:
Since Mr. Sadr gave his order in mid-September, the numbers of unidentified bodies found on the streets of Baghdad daily have rarely exceeded a half dozen. When his militia was more active, there were often 30 or more unidentified bodies found daily.
When you do the math, it works out to about 360 unidentified murders in the last two months. Great news, eh?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Great line of the day

I found one of the most chilling parts of the Afghanistan prison story today to be the matter-of-fact, bureaucratic tone in the Corrections Canada memo:
On a Health and Safety level we will be walking through blood and fecal matter when either on patrol or in the prison and should not be wearing our personal footwear as it will track into our personal quarters.
In a comment to Pogge's post, Skdadl pinpoints why this was so disturbing:
I think we call this the banality of evil. I have to walk through blood and fecal material, so I need better boots. This is the road to Nuremberg, folks. And this is being done in our name.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Young, old, western, eastern, English-speaking, French-speaking, northerner, southerner, right-wing, left-wing -- we are all united in sorrow and shame about the tragic death of Robert Dziekanski.

Great line of the day

Dave at Galloping Beaver has a post up about the Amnesty International report on Afghan prisoners:
... DND and the Canadian Forces have an obligation, no matter where our forces are deployed, to observe Canadian law. We don't get to ignore the mistreatment of prisoners taken by our forces, even if that mistreatment is happening at the hands of others after being turned over.
The responsibility for the detention of prisoners falls to the Aghanistan authorities because we have agreed to that obviously flawed arrangement. As a belligerent involved in a war, we have every right to retain prisoners in Canadian custody.
It's about time prisoners taken by Canadian Forces were placed in Canadian custody until the objectives of the Canadian mission have been fully satisfied. And if the argument is that it is too costly to do so, we shouldn't be involved at all.
Emphasis mine.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

So what's stopping you, Brian?

So Brian Mulroney is trumpeting the old "I just want to clear my name" schtick. Globe columnist Lawrence Martin's on-line chat about the Mulroney public inquiry pinpoints the flaws. First:
If Mr. Mulroney is so innocent, as he claims, why hasn't he come forward and explained himself on the question of the $300,000? Why can't he say how he made a bad error of judgment in accepting cash, in dealing with this man, and that he is sorry for it, but he did nothing illegal. Remaining silent leads to suspicion.
and second:
... It's not just a case of accepting Mr. Schreiber's words. They should be greeted with utmost suspicion. But... stories revealing Mr. Mulroney's failure to pay taxes on time on the $300,000 handout cannot be ignored.
Paul Wells reminds us that Mulroney had another option too:
A judicial inquiry is the "only way" to establish his innocence? Gee, I would have thought a 1,000-page book might have been a good place to try.
And Scott thinks the public is growing suspicious of Harper now too:
. . . the mere fact Mulroney’s name is some how connected to Harper, however tenuous that might or might not be, and the fact that Harper had 3 flip-flops in the past week on what type of inquiry to hold - from a cocky dismissal of it with a vague warning about investigating past Liberal regimes last week, to an independent person to see whether we need an inquiry, to now a full blown inquiry - gives the impression to the public something fishy has been going on.
It has led at least 2 pollsters to either conclude that it’s causing Con poll numbers to drop, or that it has potential to do so.
Finally, in the "if we knew then what we know now" department, Wells also observes:
if the Liberals had voted down the throne speech, Stephen Harper would be fleeing scrums today on the campaign trail, ordering candidates not to talk...

Denial is a river in Egypt

Kos asks why do conservatives deny global warming? Yes, I have wondered about this myself:
Climate science isn’t really partisan in any meaningful way, yet as long as the movementarians think that attacking the science will score a vctory against liberalism they will go on attacking just the same. All the petro lobby needed to do was polarize a scientific matter along political lines and the rightwing movement willingly became what amounts to the private army for a cause almost completely tangential to their individual interests. Retired tobacco execs look on with a mix of humor and deep jealousy.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Profound ignorance

If anyone ever wonders why the image of the United States is declining across the world, along with its economy, just ponder the profound ignorance and parochial egotism of this quote from LA Times columnist Jonah Goldberg:
Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business.
What gave him the idea that the United States has the right to act that way?

It's Win-Win

Vancouver dermatologist Neil Kitson has a suggestion for Afghanistan -- send in the Canadian Wheat Board, armed:
So Afghan [poppy] farmers . . . have a cash crop, but they're dependent on distributors and middlemen who make a fortune and might not pay a decent price. The whole thing needs to be taken out of the hands of these cartels, warlords, drug barons, and what have you, then nationalized and professionalized. That's where the Wheat Board comes in . .
Works for me. Now that the Saskatchewan's Gnu Gov is no longer willing to finance the legal battle against barley marketing privatization, the Board needs a new source of funds, too. So it's win-win for both the Board and the Afghan poppy farmers.

Its still fish and it still stinks

As Rosanne Rosannadanna said:
It's still fish and it still stinks.
Digby describes an interview today where a torture apologist AKA military lawyer did the old bob and weave and parse.
Try as he might, he can't change the reality that a civilized nation does not permit the torture of its prisoners. No matter what they might have done.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Great photo of the day

which I found in this good hockey post at First Draft which also has a great photo of a goalie doing a backflip to prevent a goal, though I liked the cat picture better myself.

Remembrance Day

In honour of Remembrance Day, here are a couple of great scenes from The Longest Day:

The fellow cursing the pigeons with "Damned traitors!" was Canadian journalist Charles Lynch, according to Cornelius Ryan's book. But I think Lynch was actually with the Canadians at Juno, rather than with the English at Sword.

And if you have ever wondered about why we have two minutes of silence, listen to Nova Scotia songwriter Terry Kelly:

The Movie Rule

Via Pandagon, I found The Rule for deciding whether a movie is worth watching or not:
1. There must be two or more women in it
2. Who talk to each other
3. About something other than a man
Works for me.

Friday, November 09, 2007

What Digby says

Digby talks about unions and why they are important:
A couple of years ago you may all remember that the Southern California grocery workers went on strike ... Yesterday, I was at one of those stores and overheard a very heartening conversation between a couple of customers and a couple of grocery workers. The customers were members of the striking WGA and they were talking with the grocery guys about the strike. They were very animated, talking tactics and telling of their experiences as Union Men. It brought home to me again why unions are important.
You hear a lot of nasty snark in this town about how these WGA strikers are all millionaires playing at being hardhats, and it totally misses the point. The union movement is about solidarity, which is a fundamental progressive value. I have no idea if those fellows in the store were highly paid TV writers or hopeful freelance screenwriters or what, but it wasn't relevant to the conversation. Those four guys had interests in common in their relationship to the owners of their industries. Unions are one of the vehicles that can make our capitalist society work to the benefit of all and not just the few.
In my own working years, I've been on both sides, in unions and in management. And both sides are better off when there is a union to bargain collectively.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Premier Archie

The Saskatchewan Party will be Saskatchewan's new government.
And Brad Wall will be Saskatchewan's new premier. Wall seems like a nice guy, I know, but I have to admit that he reminds me of Archie.
I don't understand this new craze for fixed election dates. Wall has already announced that the next election will be Nov. 7, 2011 -- and so I also don't understand why he thinks he should bother passing a law about it, he's the government so he can set the date whenever he wants to.
But turning immediately to those more serious issues which couldn't be discussed during the campaign, the press is wondering whether Premier Wall will continue fighting for the federal equalization formula that the Harper Conservatives are refusing Saskatchewan.
I think Wall is already preparing the ground for tossing in the towel, if my mixed metaphors make sense -- already, Wall is framing the argument that a few dollars more in annual federal transfer payments will somehow make up for the billion dollars that Saskatchewan will lose over the next several years if the equalization formula continues to include resource revenues:
Wall said the Saskatchewan Party still wants the same equalization deal as other provinces when it comes to resources. . . . He said there are other tactics to pursue, including pushing for increased federal funding in areas such as infrastructure, post-secondary education and First Nations . . ."There are really some opportunities to build a more constructive relationship."
Calvert, beginning his transformation into leader of the Opposition, told reporters he was concerned about Wall's comments.
"Political allegiances should not lead to a sell-out of Saskatchewan's interests, or people," said Calvert, who said legal opinions prepared by the Justice Department on the equalization challenge will stand up to any scrutiny . . .
The top-ranking of Saskatchewan's 12 Tory MPs, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, said he was looking forward to working with the new provincial government and had some favourable words for Wall's approach.
"My grandmother, who was a very wise lady, always said you catch a lot more flies with honey than you do with vinegar, so I'll leave it at that," he said in a phone interview.
MY grandmother used to say, if you've got the money, honey, I've got the time.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

It is to laugh

After my day down in the dumps yesterday, today's news is something to laugh at.
First we find out that the FBI in San Francisco thought they could find terrorists by tracking Falafel sales.
Then we find out that the Swiftboat authors are suing their publisher. Couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch, could it? As Jane Hamsher says, this is simply awash with irony.
Kevin Drum has finished his Golden Wingnut Award contest and Hinderaker won!
And what IS it with Liberal politicians and golf? Remember this? And this? Well, the Gazetteer has the newest scoop.
And then I found this, too:

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Great line of the day

Digby just quoted another Chris Matthews' Teh Stupid, and then in the Comments, Michael Scott says:
Tweety, Pumpkinhead, et al. make Ted Baxter look like Edward R. Murrow.

Outrage fatigue

I've reached some sort of nadir of outrage today
First, it looks as though the Saskatchewan [ie Conservative] Party will win big in the provincial election on Wednesday, which will be ballyhooed as a victory for the right wing and which actually will be nothing of the kind. Saskatchewan isn't turning to the right, but too many of us are just tired of a government that can't seem to come up with any exciting or even mildly interesting ideas anymore. The NDP delivered a flyer to our house today showing the disembodied head of Brad Wall floating over the prairie next to the disembodied head of Grant Devine, the Great Pumpkin meets the Wizard of Oz.
Then I read Dave's You are now entering the Reform Agenda, about why we should be outraged at Harper's decision that he can't be bothered going to bat for Canadians he doesn't like:
...the moral relativism now being employed by Harper and Day ... not only violates the rule of Canadian law, but makes Canadians expendable if the circumstances do not fit with the Harper/Day agenda - an agenda which, under a Conservative Party banner, they have been trying to camouflage.
So we'll all be waving bye-bye to Mark Emery, Michelle Rainey, Greg Williams,Omar Khadr, and anybody else of whom our new moral overlords disapprove.
Then I read Glenn Greenwald summing up the most recent Bush Administration outrages:
. . . we're at the point where a belief in due process, press freedoms and basic restraints on government and military power demonstrate a hatred for America and its freedoms. A belief in those principles constitutes "siding with the enemy." Only by joyously affirming the power of the Government to detain people for life with no charges, to break laws enacted by Congress, to spy on Americans with no warrants, to torture detainees, and to arrest war journalists and hold them for years can one prove one's loyalty to the country.
And finally I read a terrible story at Sadly, No! about how a bunch of Free Republic posters stalked a dying voting rights activist -- and turns out this was only one of several stalking incidents of this type.
All I can ask is this: what kind of people are they?
Or perhaps Winston Churchill's question is a better one:
What kind of people do they think we are?
Because Churchill continued:
Is it possible they do not realize that we shall never cease to preserve against them until they have been taught a lesson which they and the world will never forget?

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Great line of the day

TBogg writes about Blackwater:
. . . it doesn't take a whole lot of imagination to foresee a future when Blackwater becomes the go-to company for a government that requires plausible deniability (nudge nudge...say no more) . . . imagine if you will, a Third World country with an "insurgent problem" that can be sufficiently labeled as Communist or this Millennium's flavor of the day: Islamofascist. For a price, Blackwater will be there to train your secret police in counter-intelligence operations, provide logistical support, weaponry, manpower, and yes, that special something that falls short of the level of death, organ failure, or the permanent impairment of a significant body function.
Or not.
Blackwater is going to be the Wal-Mart of Death.
Emphasis mine.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Great post of the day

Others here and there have said this too, but not so succinctly as Matthew Yglesias:
As long as we're all worried about Hillary Clinton and the 'gender card' we do realize that about 75 percent of the 2004 race between John "I've killed people" Kerry and George "no you're a windsurfing frenchman" Bush was a series of efforts to play the gender card, right?
It's actually stunning how much of the erstwhile foreign policy debate is primarily an argument about the size of the debaters' dicks.


Shorter Conservative house leader Peter Van Loan:
"By forcing Mulroney to pay the income tax he owed on the Schreiber payments, it is Canadian taxpayers who have suffered for the Liberal vendetta against Mulroney!"
Shorter Harper:
"If you force us to hold an inquiry into the Mulroney-Schreiber payments, then we will also have to question something or other that Liberals did that otherwise, of course, we would shut up about!"