Archive for June, 2006

Of note.

Saturday, June 24th, 2006

I. A clearly frustrated Karzai complained that the coalition’s hunt for Taliban militants was killing hundreds of Afghans, saying that “is not acceptable.” More than 600 people, mostly militants, have been killed in recent weeks as insurgents have launched their deadliest campaign of violence in years.

“I strongly believe … that we must engage strategically in disarming terrorism by stopping their sources of supply of money, training, equipment and motivation,” Karzai said at a news conference.

“It is not acceptable for us that in all this fighting, Afghans are dying. In the last three to four weeks, 500 to 600 Afghans were killed. (Even) if they are Taliban, they are sons of this land,” he added.

The Iraqi government will present a national reconciliation plan to parliament tomorrow that would grant some insurgents amnesty and ask for approval of a series of steps for Iraqis to take over security from US troops, according to a key politician and a draft of the document.

The plan proposes a general pardon for thousands of prisoners who are determined not to have committed “crimes and clear terrorist actions.”

The government already has been pardoning groups of such prisoners and releasing them by the hundreds in recent months.

The plan promises to open a review of the new constitution to address demands made by Sunni Arabs, while attempting to find a way to eradicate sectarian militias. It also pledges to shield the crucial Defense and Interior ministries from outside political influence.

It is their nations. At the end of the day, they have to live with one another, and have to navigate their own frustrations against each other. Of course they have to reconcile and “mainstream” your militant forces into your fledgling governments! I hear a certain amount of outrage in liberal sphere of talk about the granting of amnesty to Iraqi insurgents — who have, by definition, killed American soldiers, and there is a bit of talk on the Senate floor from Republicans — sometimes with bad historical parallels, that such a thing is necessary. I take it be a bit false, and wonder if the political parties in the United States were reversed, the talk would be reversed.


Friday, June 23rd, 2006

A bumper sticker I saw yesterday:



Rick Santorum has found the Weapons of the Mass of the Destruction!

Thursday, June 22nd, 2006

Lordy, lordy.

So, Karl Rove is feeling frisky. He has found the opening to stir up just enough antipathy toward any position that is not “stay the course”, ie: “They want to cut and run”. But how to shore up a bit of support for the war in and of itself and show that going in was worthwhile anyways, at least amongst a couple voting blocks — and to various degrees.

The information is garbage, of couse. We have a page of the report that points to the canisters of decayed chemical weapons dating back from before the Gulf War of the George Herbert Walker Bush Administration, rolling around Iraq still to this day.

Rick Santorum is the perfect conduit to relay this, for reportage on Fox News and right wing radio. He is a sacrifical lamb at this point. Nobody believes he is going to defeat Bob Casey, Jr this November. The idea of floating out the startling revelations of discovered weapons of mass destruction in a hyped up press conference is to stir the sure-headedness of the true believer (that CNN and everyone else is not touching the story just goes to show their liberal bias), and to sow a bit of doubt in the minds of a few noncommitals. Imagine the storied water cooler. The Right wing blowhard pounces about that “Weapons of Mass Destruction have been discovered after all!” The largely apolitical loaf shrugs, and digests it as “Sure. Possibly.”

Hey! It works with Global Warming.

It short-circuits Rick Santorum’s credibility. He’s currently 18 percentage points behind Casey in his race for re-election, a gap that has grown. This little fiasco is probably worth a couple more points — an even 20 point race. The analogy for Santorum is the Swift Boat bunch. They did Kerry a lot of harm, but I’m pretty sure a poll rating of John O’Neal would show the majority of Americans find him untrustworthy. It’s a strange double-backed paradox. (Consider too that Katherine Harris is getting nowhere in her bid for the Senate seat in Florida.)

But Rick Santorum has been written away as dead, and thus… use him.

Did Rick Santorum believe his own press conference?

Another Larouche testimonial

Wednesday, June 21st, 2006

I was supporte of Lyndon Laroache for about 20 years it all started in
1979. I wish I never gotten involved with them. He was a Leon Trostsey
supporter. He stared the Labor movement I voted for him and handed out
phampets in local postal offices. I give them money for his articles
on Cheney The Children of Satan. I broke from them in 2005 after he
took all my money from me. I now realize I been lied to. I’m not shock
to learn that people are being use and taken advantage from through his
youth movements. He teaches hate all babyboomers and their culture and
music. He supported Kerry a pro war candiate. He move away from what
he stood for. I talk to them about Leon Troskey they called Leon
Troskey a sex pervert. I told them that was strange when Lyndon Laroache in
the 1970’s supported him. They called me a babyboomer and bunch of
names. I read WSWS web sites and sounded like Lyndon Laroach was ripping
them off. I need help getting my money back from them.

The problem with “SIC” is that it’s not technically correct, or at least not the root problem. “TIC” is closer, but type-writers are not in use here. There is no typing. I have never taken a typing class; I took a Keyboarding class. Thus I settle on “KIC”.

Except, as the case turns out, I am incorrect about the whole sordid mess.

The LaRouche comment came to the entry on “Scott’s Comment”, a post “Justice for Jeremiah” chose to post.

In the meantime, and I note this in the referrals, I have really only a couple of LaRouche questions at the end of the day.

#1: Why does Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, et al, possess any more power in the political sphere than LaRouche does? This thought popped into my mind anew when Pat Robertson’s dietary shake, and ability to leg-press one ton, came into the news. It’s… sort of the same money siphoning thingy.

#2: What will happen to the Larouche Mass Movement when Larouche dies? Scientology, for example, can go on past the life of L Ron Hubbard, ideas — such as they are — in check, the whole thing incorporated, someone else at CEO. But the nature of LaRouche suggests LaRouche needs to be running for the highestoffice every four years, to save mankind, to perpetuate itself — tiding over the four years with this crusade or that crusade, LaRouche keeping up with his writings and lectures. Are you going to annoit a new LaRouche? Or will the whole affair factionalize itself, each deciding on different “heirs” to Larouche, perhaps one deciding there can be no new Lyndon Larouche, and thus tiding their days in devotional prayer to the almighty? Maybe there will suddenly be a Larouchite Primary contest to decide who will be running for president every four years… diversity of opinion within the sphere of the now doctrine-giverless Larouchite brigade spilling over the whole group — just how do you double the square, and is it okay if I kind of like the early Beatles tunes?

Lamont v. Lieberman

Wednesday, June 21st, 2006

For Democratic activists around the country, Connecticut’s U.S. Senate primary is not just a local contest between a veteran political figure and an aggressive newcomer; it’s a crucial test of whether the left or the center has more influence in the national party.

Very well then. Let’s proceed in this article, skipping past the quotes from the leader of the Democratic Leadership Committee and Al Gore’s campaign manager, to get a good focus on the “rift”.

But those triumphs didn’t heal the rift. Long term, the debate is largely over social programs: The left says centrists are willing to compromise social spending to win; moderates say the progressives are impractical and too wedded to liberal shibboleths such as welfare or strict affirmative action.

Okay. And what of the present moment?

More recently, the conflict has centered on Iraq. Liberals want troops out of Iraq quickly and according to a clear timetable; moderates say they also want an end to the war, but with a careful and gradual troop withdrawal.

To review. There are three categories being set up here, one of which has skippted past the writer of the Hartford Courant article.

(#1) Liberals want troops out of Iraq quickly and according to a clear timetable.
(#2) Moderates say they also want an end to the war, but with a careful and gradual troop withdrawal.
(#3) Lieberman believes neither.

Interesting dichotemy, that. But then again Lieberman is no moderate. He is a “Centrist”.

Ned Lamont, meanwhile, is a Republican in Democrat’s clothing being supported by left wing loonies, and we already have too many Republicans in Washington* and Lamont represents the death of bi-partisanship. Oh so goes the amalgrem of the Lieberman campaign.

*”already have too many Republicans in Washington” near direct quote from one of Lieberman’s campaign manager. But then again, as is “Left wing loonies” and “death of bi-partisanship”.

By the way, how’s the Chaffee — Laffey race going?

From the Providence Journal June 17:

More than 14,500 Rhode Island Democrats have switched their voter affiliations within the past six months to participate in the Sept. 12 Republican primary, a figure that experts say will probably help incumbent Sen. Lincoln D. Chafee in his campaign against Cranston Mayor Stephen P. Laffey.


Madras, Oregon.

Tuesday, June 20th, 2006

My first roommate, a pretty nice guy I got along well enough with, came from Madras, Oregon — some small town I’d never expect to hear much about in the middle of Oregon. I know not from Madras, except bits here and there that Charlie told me over several months.

I believe the propreitors of the dorm stuck us together due to some small town background similarity logic, and to split him up slightly from the other Madras resident. In the midst of analyzing survey answers, such a set-up makes as much sense as anything else. At any rate, somewhere along the line he had a bit of a roadtrip with a neighbor (a girl who grew up in Eugene) to go back home to show her the sights and sounds of … Madras freaking Oregon. There’s nothing much to sell there, but apparently they would at some point go to that old teenage hang-out…

… A Gas Station.

Is Parochial the word? I shrug it off, and figure that anywhere is as good as anywhere else. But my imagination pictures a truck stop that serves a bit more as the base of the local economy than seems appropriate.

The girl from Eugene gave a simultaneous shrug, rolled eyes, and a “How quaint”. I let out a gaffow. To which I was asked, “Didn’t you have a gas station?”

Monday, Madras came up in the news. Thomas Tucker, from Madras, Oregon — and his fellow soldier from Texas, was missing from his unit. He had been kidnapped by Iraqi insurgents. Today, the bodies have been discovered. They were both savagely maimed and killed.

I caught his age today. It doesn’t take a great leap of faith to imagine him on the same high school football team as my old roommate… or if not that, something — anything — else shared by them at that time in their lives.

Condolences to to the community of Madras, Oregon.

Lieberman. Lamont. Take 15

Monday, June 19th, 2006

Democrats who support Lieberman sure are going to feel stupid when he addressed the 2008 republican convention giving an angry Zell Miller style speech. (Comments from Here.

Democrats will just have to cross that road when it comes.

The democratic party has always been a big tent. However, its clear that many on the left dont want it to be anymore.

Lieberman is about the most democratic democrat around. Went down to Mississippi in the 60s to help black register to vote, has been a loyal democratic public servant for 36 years allthough he could have made much more money in business, supports the enviroment, womens right to choose, Israel, a strong defense and active Truman-style foreign policy etc. etc.

And who is Ned Lamont? well he is somebody with a lot of money who thought it would be cool to be a politician. Allthough he voted with republicans in the past he now join forces with the pacifist-wing of the party to unseat Joe – a faithfull democrat througout his life.

Reasonable democrats must know join forces to stop what seems to be a new movement of intolerant selfish left-loonies who “just want to get out of Iraq and Bush is a liar, man” and dont shy any means whatsoever including going after one of the democratic partys most respectet leaders in the country.

“Respectful” as deigned by whom? I’m not a fan of “Centrism”. I’m keen and okay on ‘moderation”, and there’s a difference there. Cetrism assumses a one dimensional line with which you modify your stances to a mythical spot dead center, theoretically but not in practice “where the voters are”. Except a funny thing: they’re not there.

Assume that it’s all about Iraq. It isn’t, and I can say that as a person who didn’t vote for Al Gore and whose vote against Gore was weighted with Gore’s choice of Lieberman as running mate. It is symptomatic — say, for instance, In the case of Gore, Lieberman disallows me from answering with any clarity that a President Gore would not have taken us into Iraq. But if it were all about Iraq, half the rest of the party’s elected officials would be targetted right now. They’re not.

But assume it’s all about Iraq. You don’t have to agree with the political position to understand the idea that Lieberman is a roadblock to the, quote in quote “loony left”, or the quote-in-quote “Democratic pacificist”‘s political desire. More so than the “half of the party’s elected officials” not particularly targetted. He pops up on Meet the Press, he relays the “Stay the Course” position, it is a direct assault on the “Change the Course” position, and thus in the realm of democracy where people try, through the channels of electoral politics, guide the nation one way or ther other — would prefer to reject him.

And on the idea of toeing the line for the party:

“I know I’m taking a position that is not popular within the party,” Lieberman said, “but that is a challenge for the party — whether it will accept diversity of opinion or is on a kind of crusade or jihad of its own to have everybody toe the line. No successful political party has ever done that.”

There are some folks in the GOP would could take a hint from that last line when the names Olympia Snow, Lincoln Chafee and John McCain are mentioned.

To be honest, I wish primary battles were more successful — on the rate of one per cycle, actually, out of two or three strong or semi-strong challenges. As it is, the only real guage those following Lieberman versus Lamont has is Specter versus Toomey, Pennsylvania in 2004. At the moment, Hugh Hewitt is arguring that the Republicans jettison Lincoln Chaffee — perhaps the last real “Whig” in the party. There are a couple interesting stirrings in the Republican primary race in Rhode Island, which is that Chaffee’s challenger is attempting a dishonest feat of suggesting Chaffee might switch to “Independent”.

Actually, in the end the problem with Lieberman comes down to:

But Schumer has to abandon corrupting the ability of Democrats to refresh the cast of people they want carrying their views in Washington.

If Chaffee were the constant face on the Sunday Morning chattering class gabs, or for that matter on liberal talk radio as Lieberman has, and on a key issue of their concern, the Republicans would probably have a better case for jettisoning him and risking a Democratic seat.

Different Strokes for Different Folks

Sunday, June 18th, 2006

“Gawd, this is embarrassing. This is Faggot’s Day. And they do it on Father’s Day. I’m a dad. Why do they have to do it on Father’s Day?”

He’s referring to today’s Gay Pride Parade, and auxiliary run-abouts around town. The answer to this stranger’s question is, I suppose, it fits into the Gay Agenda’s (or, wait. I’m sorry. “Faggot Agenda”) plot to secure special rights and flout their immoral lifestyle choice in front of all of decent red-blooded Americans like himself.

Portland is degenerating into a wild array of special interest tribes. If today is — um, in the phrase of the man I lead with “Faggot’s Day” — last week was “Suburbanite Week” in Portland, otherwise known as “Rose Festival”. I did a double take when I saw the front-page headline for the Portland Tribune, and laughed reading a news article probing the question But in between the time Portlanders are children and have their own families, the Rose Festival loses them. The organizers’ own research has shown that between the ages of 18 and 34, most people have something better to do.

I try to divert my eyes at this time. Some Suburban family marks a space on the sidewalk with duct tape for prime seating space for some parade or other, a parade replete with marching bands and the finalists for some high school “queen” of some sort or other. Some rides show up on Waterfront Park, and I hear you can buy some cotton candy therein. In theory this festival has started to lose money in recent years, and thus that’s why the Portland Tribune implores why the Yute of Portland are not showing up for the festivities. But itt’s probably worth the loss, in that it boosts Portland’s Brand Image. To ask why I’m not taking part in any of this is silly and absurd. It reminds me of skipping out on high school pep rallies, which occasionally received a scornful “Why are these students walking away from our pep rallies?” from school officials and semi-officials, and I’m guessing Portland’s 18 to 34 set is full of people who in high school skipped out on pep rallies. (Also hilarious is this letter to the editor decrying the Rose Festival’s growing “commercialism”.)

But there is a tip for future marketers: The pirate ship that docked in Portland was used in the creation of the movie Pirates of the Caribbean. It was also used as the backdrop of a recent porn movie. A tour of the ship that points out key plot points of both movies might get a slice of that 18 to 34 demographic — I don’t know if it’s the slice you are hankering for, but take it for what it’s worth. At any rate, it’s an opportunity lost.

Speaking of Pirates, yesterday was Pirate Day. Portland, Oregon was overrun with Pirates. Portland’s Infernal Order of Pirates had a Plunderathon, an annual event I believe. And thus there wre Pirates. I don’t know what to say about that.

I guess more seriously tied to anything is that there’s the Juneteenth festival in North Portland. I walked by that fenced in area, never walking through it, unsure as to what it was. I congratulate Ron Saxton on his efforts to greet potential voters at… Juneteenth.

Though the Emancipation Proclamation had taken effect on January 1, 1863, it had little immediate effect on most slaves’ day-to-day lives, particularly in Texas, which was almost entirely under Confederate control. Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, the day Union General Gordon Granger and 2,000 federal troops arrived on Galveston Island to take possession of the state and enforce slaves’ new freedoms. Standing on the balcony of Galveston’s Ashton Villa, Granger read the contents of “General Order No. 3”:

The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.

That day has since become known as Juneteenth, a name derived from a portmanteau of the words June and nineteenth.

Slaves in Galveston rejoiced in the streets with jubilant celebrations. Juneteenth celebrations began in Texas the following year. Across many parts of Texas, freed slaves pooled their funds to purchase land specifically for their communities’ increasingly large Juneteenth gatherings — including Houston’s Emancipation Park, Mexia’s Booker T. Washington Park, and Emancipation Park in Austin. Within a few years, these celebrations had spread to other states and become an annual tradition. Celebrations often opened with praying and religious ceremonies, and included a reading of the Emancipation Proclamation. A wide range of festivities entertained participants, from music and dancing to contests of physical strength and intellect. Baseball and other popular American games were played. Food was central to the celebrations, and barbecued meats were especially popular.

So, with Pirates, Gay parades, and a celebration of the end of slavery abounding — not to mention Father’s Day — off the heels of a festival for our Suburban breathern — there’s plenty worth noting. None of too much interest to the man I mentioned at the top here, but I can probably find a Klan rally for him to sit in on.