Monday, March 29, 2004

This is weird. I can't access any of my archived posts from my blog, yet I can from where I post stuff. That's just fucked up.
You know, in retrospect, I should have republished the post on our "rationale" for the Iraq war on the actual anniversary of the beginning of the war, not February 7th. Stupid, stupid. So, in case you missed it, here it is again, ten days late (God I'm stupid):

Subject: WHY THIS INVASION MAKES SENSE
From: Progress
Date: Mar 20 2003 5:37PM

Peacenik: Why did you say we are invading Iraq?

Warmonger: We are invading Iraq because it is in violation of security council resolution 1441. A country cannot be allowed to violate security council resolutions.

PN: But I thought many of our allies, including Israel, were in violation of more security council resolutions than Iraq.

WM: It's not just about UN resolutions. The main point is that Iraq could have weapons of mass destruction, and the first sign of a smoking gun could well be a mushroom cloud over NY.

PN: Mushroom cloud? But I thought the weapons inspectors said Iraq had no nuclear weapons.

WM: Yes, but biological and chemical weapons are the issue.

PN: But I thought Iraq did not have any long range missiles for attacking us or our allies with such weapons.

WM: The risk is not Iraq directly attacking us, but rather terrorists networks that Iraq could sell the weapons to.

PN: But couldn't virtually any country sell chemical or biological materials? We sold quite a bit to Iraq in the eighties ourselves, didn't we?

WM: That's ancient history. Look, Saddam Hussein is an evil man that has an undeniable track record of repressing his own people since the early eighties. He gasses his enemies. Everyone agrees that he is a power-hungry lunatic murderer.

PN: We sold chemical and biological materials to a power-hungry lunatic murderer?

WM: The issue is not what we sold, but rather what Saddam did. He is the one that launched a pre-emptive first strike on Kuwait.

PN: A pre-emptive first strike does sound bad. But didn't our ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, know about and green-light the invasion of Kuwait?

WM: Let's deal with the present, shall we? As of today, Iraq could sell its biological and chemical weapons to Al Qaida. Osama BinLaden himself released an audio tape calling on Iraqis to suicide attack us, proving a partnership between the two.

PN: Osama Bin Laden? Wasn't the point of invading Afghanistan to kill him?

WM: Actually, it's not 100% certain that it's really Osama Bin Laden on the tapes. But the lesson from the tape is the same: there could easily be a partnership between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein unless we act.

PN: Is this the same audio tape where Osama Bin Laden labels Saddam a secular infidel?

WM: You're missing the point by just focusing on the tape. Powell presented a strong case against Iraq.

PN: He did?

WM: Yes, he showed satellite pictures of an Al Qaeda poison factory in Iraq.

PN: But didn't that turn out to be a harmless shack in the part of Iraq controlled by the Kurdish opposition?

WM: And a British intelligence report...

PN: Didn't that turn out to be copied from an out-of-date graduate student paper?

WM: And reports of mobile weapons labs...

PN: Weren't those just artistic renderings?

WM: And reports of Iraqis scuttling and hiding evidence from inspectors...

PN: Wasn't that evidence contradicted by the chief weapons inspector, Hans Blix?

WM: Yes, but there is plenty of other hard evidence that cannot be revealed because it would compromise our security.

PN: So there is no publicly available evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?

WM: The inspectors are not detectives, it's not their JOB to find evidence. You're missing the point.

PN: So what is the point?

WM: The main point is that we are invading Iraq because resolution 1441 threatened "severe consequences." If we do not act, the security council will become an irrelevant debating society.

PN: So the main point is to uphold the rulings of the security council?

WM: Absolutely. ... unless it rules against us.

PN: And what if it does rule against us?

WM: In that case, we must lead a coalition of the willing to invade Iraq.

PN: Coalition of the willing? Who's that?

WM: Britain, Turkey, Bulgaria, Spain, and Italy, for starters.

PN: I thought Turkey refused to help us unless we gave them tens of billions of dollars.

WM: Nevertheless, they may now be willing.

PN: I thought public opinion in all those countries was against war.

WM: Current public opinion is irrelevant. The majority expresses its will by electing leaders to make decisions.

PN: So it's the decisions of leaders elected by the majority that is important?

WM: Yes.

PN: But George B-

WM: I mean, we must support the decisions of our leaders, however they were elected, because they are acting in our best interest. This is about being a patriot. That's the bottom line.

PN: So if we do not support the decisions of the president, we are not patriotic?

WM: I never said that.

PN: So what are you saying? Why are we invading Iraq?

WM: As I said, because there is a chance that they have weapons of mass destruction that threaten us and our allies.

PN: But the inspectors have not been able to find any such weapons.

WM: Iraq is obviously hiding them.

PN: You know this? How?

WM: Because we know they had the weapons ten years ago, and they are still unaccounted for.

PN: The weapons we sold them, you mean?

WM: Precisely.

PN: But I thought those biological and chemical weapons would degrade to an unusable state over ten years.

WM: But there is a chance that some have not degraded.

PN: So as long as there is even a small chance that such weapons exist, we must invade?

WM: Exactly.

PN: But North Korea actually has large amounts of usable chemical, biological, AND nuclear weapons, AND long range missiles that can reach the west coast AND it has expelled nuclear weapons inspectors, AND threatened to turn America into a sea of fire.

WM: That's a diplomatic issue.

PN: So why are we invading Iraq instead of using diplomacy?

WM: Aren't you listening? We are invading Iraq because we cannot allow the inspections to drag on indefinitely. Iraq has been delaying, deceiving, and denying for over ten years, and inspections cost us tens of millions.

PN: But I thought war would cost us tens of billions.

WM: Yes, but this is not about money. This is about security.

PN: But wouldn't a pre-emptive war against Iraq ignite radical Muslim sentiments against us, and decrease our security?

WM: Possibly, but we must not allow the terrorists to change the way we live. Once we do that, the terrorists have already won.

PN: So what is the purpose of the Department of Homeland Security, color-coded terror alerts, and the Patriot Act? Don't these change the way we live?

WM: I thought you had questions about Iraq.

PN: I do. Why are we invading Iraq?

WM: For the last time, we are invading Iraq because the world has called on Saddam Hussein to disarm, and he has failed to do so. He must now face the consequences.

PN: So, likewise, if the world called on us to do something, such as find a peaceful solution, we would have an obligation to listen?

WM: By "world", I meant the United Nations.

PN: So, we have an obligation to listen to the United Nations?

WM: By "United Nations" I meant the Security Council.

PN: So, we have an obligation to listen to the Security Council?

WM: I meant the majority of the Security Council.

PN: So, we have an obligation to listen to the majority of the Security Council?

WM: Well... there could be an unreasonable veto.

PN: In which case?

WM: In which case, we have an obligation to ignore the veto.

PN: And if the majority of the Security Council does not support us at all?

WM: Then we have an obligation to ignore the Security Council.

PN: That makes no sense:

WM: If you love Iraq so much, you should move there. Or maybe France, with the all the other cheese-eating surrender monkeys. It's time to boycott their wine and cheese, no doubt about that.

PN: I give up.

*****

Ah, memories.
Get yo' threads at Karmaloop.
Pesah (known by the goyem as "Passover") is comin' up, and we have a traditional pilgrimage to Greenwich, Connecticut. (Did I spell that right? Yeah, I think so.)

Sunday, March 28, 2004

The Socialists are taking over Europe! Run for your lives!!
My blog has received over 1000 hits! Yea, muthafucka!

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Richard Clarke's fiery book Against All Enemies, which exposes for the Bush administration as the bastards that they are, has evidently polarized public opinion. Looking at the customer reviews for the book on Amazon, with few exceptions, the reviewers either give it one star or five.
Shit. I've fucked up my site beyond recognition. I guess I should learn HTML or something.
I'm getting rid of these stupid links. Nobody's usin' them.
Kanye West's new CD, The College Dropout, is great. My favorite tracks include "We Don't Care," "Jesus Walks," "Get Em High," "Breathe In Breathe Out," and "Two Words." All in all, solid.

Friday, March 26, 2004

The US shot down a UN Resolution that condemns the Israeli assassination of Sheik Yassin, the "spiritual leader" of Hamas. The assassination, aside from the unfortunate matter of the "unintentional" civilian deaths involved in the attack (they fired fuckin' missiles at him from a helicopter), is justifiable, because Hamas is a leading terrorist organization, responsible for about 400 Israeli deaths since its inception. The assassination was condemned globally and has sparked a fervor of outrage and hatred in the Muslim world. A leading Shi'a cleric in Iraq declared Israel's assassination (is it OK to call it murder, or would that be considered anti-Semitic?) as a "'dirty crime against Islam,'" and the atrocities of September 11 "'a miracle from God.'" We should be very wary of a very likely Shiite theocracy/dictatorship that is beginning to develop in Iraq in the midst of a civil war between the Shiites and Sunnis. Our founding fathers wanted religion and political power separate for a reason. Religion, especially radical, fundamentalist religious dogma, generally tends to lead toward corruption and oppression, as the historical record shows, again and again. Exactly like Iran, we are dealing with another Islamic revolution followed by the overthrow of another corrupt, secular dictatorship. Also like Iran, we supported the corrupt, secular dictatorship in Iraq. Bush is right when he said that Islam and democracy are not incompatible; however, it should be obvious by now that Islam and American democracy in the minds of many Muslims worldwide are. If you doubt the extent of the hatred and fear exhibited toward us by an apparent majority of Muslims, just check out the latest report by the Pew Global Attitudes Project.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Air America Radio, a left-wing radio network (that's a first; no, really, it is), is coming with a new program, "The O'Franken Factor" with Al Franken, set to air on Wednesday, March 31st, at noon, which will be in direct competition with that stupid blowhard Rush Limbaugh in order to battle the conservative strangehold on talk radio. God bless Al Franken, and may God continue to bless America.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Tom Cole is under fire for his comments on Sen. John Kerry, in which he said that "'if George Bush loses the election, Usama bin Laden wins the election. It's that simple. It will be interpreted that way by enemies of the United States around the world.'" He added, "'What do you think Hitler would have thought if Roosevelt would've lost the election in 1944? He would not have thought American resolve was strengthening. What would the Confederacy have thought if Lincoln would have lost the election of 186[4]?'" Fuck that bitch.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

I discern some bias in the Washington Post, a leading "liberal" paper; and no, it isn't "liberal bias," either. It actually might be more accurately interpreted as "conservative bias," dealing another blow to the "liberal media" myth. Yesterday, the 20th, there were massive global protests against the US war and occupation in Iraq, predominately in areas outside the United States. Any mention? No. However, there is mention of the protests in New York City, which was not deemed important enough for the front page; it's on page 9. On page 2, we hear about "minibottle" liquor in a South Carolina bar, which takes precedence over the global reaction to our ongoing occupation. In addition to that, a story about some US soldiers who were charged with assaulting and abusing Iraqi POWs is relegated to page 21. Finally, the layout of at least the front page of the New York Times, another so-called "liberal" newspaper, is roughly the same. The most important article of its front page is also the story of the election in Taiwan. Just like the Post, there is no mention of the global protests on the front page. In fact, the front page of the Boston Globe has a big picture of the Manhattan protests; the story is on page ten of the paper. On behalf of the American mainstream press, this is a disgrace.

UPDATE:

To my knowledge, these are the only news sources that have covered the global "M20" protests: the British Broadcasting Corp., the Independent, and the IMC (Independent Media Center). The Washington Post did not, at least not in its "A" section, where all of the important global events are reported; when we are acknowledging that the Post is widely considered to be one of the best papers in the world, this is truly a terrible revelation, indeed.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Global demonstrations (two million in London, 100,000 in New York, etc.) in protest of the US occupation in Iraq and an evenly divided electorate must really reassure Bush of his indisputable victory in November. Just kiddin'; Bush is out.

Friday, March 19, 2004

I am really psyched for Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill: Volume Two," coming out on April 16th. (It was supposed to come out in February, dammit!) Anyway, if you remember my review of the first volume (which I am still pissed off about; I would sit through a six-hour Quentin Tarantino film), you should know by now that I think this is a really great, brilliant film. It's going to be great.
Today marks the 1st anniversary of the war in Iraq. As of now, it is costing this country over $106 billion dollars, which is approximately $380 dollars per each person, man, woman, and child, in the entire nation, and $1500 per household, according to this source, which is what the running counter above is from. See it go? Ever higher and higher? That's our future, slipping away at a rate of about $1,700 every second.

Monday, March 15, 2004

If anybody remembers, March 19th will mark the anniversary of the 1st day of the Iraq war. Or, as I like to call it, "Piss Off the World Day."
A tenth planet has been discovered! Temporarily termed "Sedna," after an Eskimo goddess, it is three times farther away from the Sun than Pluto, which was discovered in 1930, and is about 1000 miles across in size. Very exciting stuff.
I still cannot get over how the Spaniards protested their government after the terrorist attacks in Madrid, claiming that because Spain "allied" with the US in the Iraq war, Spain became a target for al Qaeda. In the US, we did the opposite, yet, applying the principal of universality, one would (naively) assume that because of the wars we supported in the Middle East, the Americans would (therefore) protest the Bush administration for allowing al Qaeda to make the US a target for its retaliation. Oh, yeah, I already said this; I know, but it is still bugging me. It just shows how different those Europeans are from us, doesn't it?

Sunday, March 14, 2004

Remember when I said that the ETA was definitely responsible for the terror attacks in Spain? Well, now I am not so sure of that. In fact, many in Spain are actually protesting the Aznar administration for allying with the US in Op Iraqi Liberation, claiming that that gave al Qaeda incentive to kill innocents. Do you think any Americans would have protested the Bush administration after 9/11 because the policies of the Reagan and Bush I administrations that pissed off a lot of Muslims gave them a reason to retaliate? Of course not. We rallied behind Bush like nothin'. Four more years!
The 17-year cicadas are coming back from their long hibernation. Woo hoo!
The Bush administration's exploitation of the September 11 attacks for its campaign is sick. In fact, families of the people who died that day are fighting back against Karl Rove & Co., the Chief Campaign Spinners, as they are informally known.

Friday, March 12, 2004

President Roh of South Korea was impeached, a first in South Korea's history. Apparently the charge was "illegal campaigning." Phew. Good thing those kinds of corrupt wheelings and dealings don't happen with our President's campaign finances. Otherwise, who knows. ...
The ETA has now denied responsibility for Thursday's attacks. So, it may be al Qaeda, and it may not. Personally, I don't believe it was al Qaeda.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

200 people were brutally murdered today in vicious, coordinated bombings in Madrid. Although some may place the blame on al Qaeda, it is more likely that the ETA, the Basque terrorist organization aiming for Basque sovereignty, is responsible. These terrorist attacks are the worst ever to have occured in Spanish history.

Monday, March 08, 2004

The Critic is back, this time in Flash, on Atom Films. You can see all 10 episodes (so far), here. It's like the good ol' days.
FLASH FROM THE WASHINGTON POST! EXTRA! CHAIRMAN BUSH'S APPROVAL RATINGS HIT RECORD LOW! You can read the article, which cites a Post-ABC poll, here. You might need to register in order to read it, but it's free, and it doesn't take long at all. (It used to be that the New York Times was the one you had to register with in order to read it.)

Saturday, March 06, 2004

As of this writing, according to MSNBC "live poll" (which is not scientifically valid, just so you know; it's not a random sampling), based on roughly 160,000 responses, 55% would vote for Kerry, 41% would vote for Bush, and 4% would vote for Nader if the general election were held today.

Friday, March 05, 2004

iTunes Music Store is great. You can download full, virus-free music from a vast database of songs and albums over a wide range of genres. However, I do have some complaints.

First, I have a 1st-generation iPod, and so it cannot play AAC files, which is the format used for iTunes Music Store.

Second, they are "protected" files and so I cannot convert them to MP3 format, which my iPod will accept.

Third, you have to pay for the music, which sucks. You see, I used to use Kazaa without moral qualms (I don't see the wrong in it), but then I must have gotten a virus and I had to reinstall everything. And so, because I don't want to take that risk again, I guess I'll have to pay, or find a file-sharing program that doesn't have backdoors, through which these viruses pass.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

After seeing the Maryland primary, I completely disapprove of electronic voting. It is highly prone to error, it is highly vulnerable to hackers (especially in Maryland), and in case there needs to be a recount, there is no paper trail. Some may accuse myself of being a Luddite, but that would be a completely irrational conclusion. Being against electronic voting is not the same as being against electronics. Elections are simply the wrong application, at least until all the kinks have been ironed out and there is no room for error or fraud. I predict that this will cause a mess in the general election that shall make 2000 pale in comparison.

Monday, March 01, 2004

C'mon, people, the Oscars weren't that boring.