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All content © 2002-2005 Anne Zook

May 28, 2004
I'm not saying it.

I refuse to mention the p*ngu*n thing again. Refuse, do you hear me?

Seeing that someone was searching for this quote, "lord didn't see fit to put oil and gas reserves where there are democratic governments dick cheney reminds me that we're governed by idiots.

Which is good, because I was in danger of forgetting that, don't you know.

And, speaking of quotes, "it is enough that the people know there was an election. the people who cast the votes decide nothing. the people who count the votes decide everything" is a worrying one.

One inquiring mind asked, "can you take a dead body to india from usofa." Obviously, you can do almost anything, if you have enough money.

Someone wants, "erotica by anne". I hate to disappoint a potential reader but there's no point in bookmarking this site if you're in search of titillation. Ditto for the people in search of "pictures of smooching" and "bare women" although I find myself bemused by the delicate choice of language. Apparently a more refined type of stimulation is required than that provided by the more usual "wemen naked" searches.

I'm dismayed to realized that I might actually have typed, "achoo achoo achoo im sick" at some point. It sounds like me in a whiney mood.

I'm sure someone in this country has been called a "tin horn politician with the manner of a rural corn doctor and the mien of a ham actor" but I'm not familiar with the quote. It's not a very elegant one, though.

One seeker after medical assistance announces, "i get dizzy when i talk." I don't know what to offer. Breathing exercises?

Someone needed to know "the origin of the phrase chitty chitty bang bang soldiers." If they find out, I hope they tell me. I've never heard that one before and can't imagine what it means.

Some brave soul re-opens the lemmings conversation, asking "how do lemmings get there food." If I could determine whether the inquiry regarded, "getting their food" or "getting there, to the food" I might care enough to do some research and answer the question, but I can't, so I don’t.

A television viewer wanted, "dork tv." I suggest almost any channel, almost any time of the day.

"Adopt-a-gnome" I would, too. [Ed. Your lease says, 'no pets'.]

Elsewhere, we're alerted to a "brain teaser what is peculiar about the following sentence? i do not know where family doctors aquired" and we instantly notice that "acquired" is spelled wrong and it's not a sentence, it's a fragment. We're good at noticing that kind of thing (on other people's pages).

"Social commentary huck funn" What kind of person can spell "commentary" but not "Finn"?

"from 1985-1990 more than $500 million in dual-use technology was sold to iraq. these dual-use items were licensed to export for the iraqi air force and the iraqi atomic energy agency among others." I suppose I might have quoted that from some source, but I certainly don't remember it.

Are you obsessed with your blog? I'm not. Honestly. I'm not. In spite of the fact that I'm on a conference call at the moment and simultaneously creating a blog post. It's just that it's a boring call and I'm only listening, not participating and I'm a bit bitter because there's been no mention of closing the office early today.

Posted by AnneZook at 02:13 PM | Comments (4)
Cheney

What planet is he living on? His reality doesn't look familiar to me.

Posted by AnneZook at 12:16 PM | Comments (6)
Briefly

One of the wars in Sudan is the subject of a peace agreement, leaving the country only the second war to worry about.

On the other hand, in Somalia, things seem to be heating up again.

More about the floods in the Caribbean.

The Vatican sends another signal about its position on sexually abusing children and the clergy and that signal is "not that big of a deal". How else can you explain a man forced to resign in disgrace over having helped protect pedophiles being reassigned to a "prestigious church post in Rome"?

I still don't understand why people aren't in jail over this. Is there some law that says you can't put criminals in jail if they're clergymen? I'm pretty sure "separation of church and state" didn't mean church members weren't bound by the law.

As someone who used to post frequently with "trembling fingers" I found this interesting, but it's worth reading for other reasons, like the following quote:

"A lot of so-called conservatives today don't know what the word means," Barry Goldwater said in 1994, when the current cult of right-wing radicals and "neocons" had begun to define and assert themselves.

For the joggers among you, read Jogging in the twilight zone, about a runner taking his first job through Baghdad's Green Zone.

Posted by AnneZook at 07:15 AM | Comments (5)
May 27, 2004
Glimpses

That's all I'm getting of the news these pasts few days..

Demolishing Houses and Lives. Go ahead. Stand in the middle of your living room this evening and take the 5 minute test yourself.

A year, two years ago, they said it was a rumor. An urban legend. No one authorized members of bin Laden's family's stealth flights out of the USofA after 9/11, don't be silly. Except that now Richard Clark says he did, in fact, authorize it and he'd do it again under the same circumstances.

I knew this. I've never paid much attention to those "NPR is leftist propaganda" complaints. I listen to NPR regularly and I promise you I'm annoyed at least as often as I'm in agreement with their coverage of stories. That in itself tells me it doesn't lean that far Left.

We're in Iraq and we're staying until we feel like leaving, no matter what anyone else says. I sure am glad we have all of that humility in the White House these days.

I, myself, might have crossed the solid white line under those circumstances, but I would have felt guilty about it. Sorry. Regretful. (I might not have, though.)

There's too much political correctness these days. Bill Cosby seems to have had a brush with the PC Police.

Other than that, I've been following the story of the devastation in the Caribbean. And watching for reports of who is sending aid.

Free time for blogging seems to be at a premium this week, sorry.

Posted by AnneZook at 07:57 AM | Comments (2)
May 26, 2004
Honesty

Honesty is key. There's been a discussion between intelligent people (and me) in the comments section

In the meantime, read this. There will be a quiz.

Not really. I don't have time for such foolery. I have five conference calls today, all scheduled by the crazy people who think I show up in this office to work every day. Silly people.

Posted by AnneZook at 07:51 AM | Comments (4)
May 25, 2004
Bush On Cable?

Looks like I'm not the only one who can't bear to listen to Bush blathering on incoherently these days.

Not one of the blogs I read this morning mentioned that none of the networks carried last night's speech live. I don't watch much television and so didn't have the set on to notice that the networks were carrying on with their regular programming.

I'm not sure I really approve of the omission. I don't care for the Bush Administration (I'm sure that's news to all of you) and didn't really expect he'd deliver that "clear five-point plan" for Iraq's future they said to listen for, but I think the broadcast networks should carry a national presidential address when asked to do so.

There are people in this country who don't have cable or satellite television, okay? I think the broadcast networks should be required to provide this kind of coverage as part of the amazingly low price they pay to hog the airwaves.

Even if it's "sweeps week." They could just leave out the hour spent before the speech telling us what we're going to hear, then the hour of "post-speech commentary" that usually focuses on his tie and his posture and the tone of his voice, instead of telling us anything useful.

Posted by AnneZook at 12:55 PM | Comments (2)
Outrage Overload
If 'never again' means anything, then it's now or never in Darfur

Is Sudan's ongoing violence the world's shame?

I'm underwhelmed by reports of Bush's speech. It does little good to destroy a prison, symbol of torture and repression, and replace it with another prison, which is what we're doing.


Posted by AnneZook at 07:34 AM | Comments (1)
May 24, 2004
And then….

Are returning soldiers suffering from poisoning from depleted uranium used in USofA weapons?

Even some of us who never left the country have trouble accepting that this is still the USofA these days. Source story here but do check out the blog link because the comments section offers the principle's e-mail address for those of you who want to send rational responses to him.

Maybe now I regret this morning's latte indulgence, but not buying a latte won't feed anyone.

This is how we get it wrong.

I really don't think I can take any more stories of Iraqi prisoner torture. Check out TalkLeft. She's covering Iraq.

Aside from that, I can't deal with any more death and destruction at the moment.

Update: The good news is that Rumsfeld has figured out how to deal with pictures of torture in USofA prisons in Iraq. He's banning cameras and picture-phones. No evidence...no crime. Right?

Posted by AnneZook at 09:17 AM | Comments (5)
May 23, 2004
It's Okay, We're the USA!

Potentially flouting the ban on bioweapons.

Looks like the Bush Administration and their admirers can rest easy on one point. UsofA soldiers can't be tried for war crimes.

I try to keep faith in the fundamental military organization, even after painful, disturbing reading about the abuses. I try to believe they're interested in clearing their reputation, not in a whitewash.

We certainly can't count on any Bush appointees to come clean.

"What has been charged so far is abuse, which I believe technically is different from torture," said Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. "I'm not going to address the `torture' word."

"Technically" different. Well, that's good enough for me. Don't bother to read the rest of the column that discusses the torture methods used for hundreds of years that are probably still being used in Abu Ghraib.

The first story wasn't true, but a new story of torture by U.K. soldiers may be. I was especially appalled by this, toward the end of the article:

In a further blow to the Pentagon, a former US Marine reveals today in the IoS that soldiers in his unit routinely killed innocent civilians and desecrated corpses.

I've had occasion in the past to disagree with The New Republic. Let's see what this week's offering, "written by the editors. has to tell us

We hasten to add what would, in calmer times, be perfectly obvious: The atrocity in that room was greater by many factors of immorality than the atrocity in that prison.

Wrong, wrong, wrong. Inflammatory rhetoric can't hide the fundamental flaw in their reasoning. In no times would the murder of a single person be worse than the murder and torture of dozens, if not hundreds of people.

I know I've said this before, but I'm saying it again. I deeply regret the death of Nick Berg, but he walked open-eyed into a war zone.

We took a prison already famed and feared in the country for being the home of atrocities and made it even worse because we pretended we were doing it "in the name of freedom." We arrested people upon no definite charges, sometimes taking them from their homes in the middle of the night, we incarcerated them, and we abused, tortured, and sometimes murdered them.

There is no trick of argument that can, or should, be used to excuse or minimize this.

Indeed, the swift succession of images had the effect, or should have had it, of establishing a sense of proportion about the outrages of the day. The American torture in Abu Ghraib was a violation of American principles, but the jihadist slaughter in the anonymous abattoir was a fulfillment of jihadist principles.

As the increasing information on Abu Ghraib (and other places) makes clear, this torture was government policy at work, not the rogue behavior of a few sadistic soldiers. This was, I guess, the fulfillment of neocon principles. What the NR editors should be warning against is those becoming UsofA principles, not telling us we're over-excited and not thinking clearly.

We have a sense of proportion, guys. We see Abu Ghrain in context, okay? And it stinks.

Also, what kind of idiotic hubris brought them to this:

[...] our authority as the agents of all good things in Iraq has been calamitously damaged.

Our authority? Agents of "all good things"? What planet are they living on?

There's much to agree with in the column, but that one paragraph was an appalling mess.

Lies. If you want to believe something badly enough, you'll believe lies.

But forget all that. Support America. We (sort of) suck the least less than a lot of other places.

Posted by AnneZook at 11:03 AM | Comments (0)