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October 14, 2005
Friday Fun!

Fun With Fundamentalists

Children of Same-Sex Couples Do as Well as Other Children

Oct. 13, 2005 (Washington) — An analysis of multiple studies of 500 households shows that rearing children in a same-sex household does not affect the their self-esteem, gender identity, or emotional health, a Boston researcher reported.

Now let's all sit back and watch the wingers' heads explode.

(Requires registration. Use peevish/peevish)

Fun With Politics

My only problem with Eve's plea is the one you probably already expect.

Those of you who consider yourselves "Democrats" should stop referring to the Democratic party as "you" and start thinking of it as "us." Do something. Something more than sitting at that keyboard. Write a check, write a letter, attend a meeting.

Remember the rule. Never send a check without a letter. If you have four 'hot-button' issues, write four checks, and four separate letters. Even if the checks are only $5 each.

Because a politician is not your servant, before he's elected to public office, if you're not paying him.

Fun With...Delusions?

News Flash: George Bush? Is weird.

Less than two months before invading Iraq, George W. Bush fretted that his war plans could be disrupted if United Nations weapons inspectors succeeded in gaining Saddam Hussein’s full cooperation, possibly leaving Bush “looking weak,”....
Got it? Bush threatened to kill the guy if he didn't cooperate so...if the guy cooperated, that would make Bush weak.

With the U.N. inspectors coming up empty and other U.S. claims about Iraq’s WMD falling apart, Bush ditched the idea of seeking a second U.N. resolution authorizing use of military force. Instead, Bush began to pressure the U.N. inspectors to leave Iraq and Blix’s team prepared to withdraw.

“Although the inspection organization was now operating at full strength and Iraq seemed determined to give it prompt access everywhere, the United States appeared as determined to replace our inspection force with an invasion army,” Blix wrote in his memoir, Disarming Iraq.

Some of us were warning about this all along, weren't we? And it gets better:

On July 14, 2003, less than four months after the invasion, Bush said about Hussein, “we gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn’t let them in. And, therefore, after a reasonable request, we decided to remove him from power.”

I always think of lying as a tactic that has limited usefulness. Other people, I notice, use it with careless abandon as though the idea that they might be called on their lies is inconceivable.

I'm sure there's some kind of word for people who live in a fantasy world that way, but the precise term escapes my memory at the moment.

Begin: Fun With Google

antisocial personality disorder: a personality disorder characterized by amorality and lack of affect; capable of violent acts without guilt feelings

I was actually looking for "antisocial" which is defined as follows:

hostile to or disruptive of normal standards of social behavior; "criminal behavior or conduct that violates the rights of other individuals is antisocial"; "crimes...and other asocial behavior...."

End: Fun With Google

Now what was that word for someone who lives in an alternate reality where the consequences of his behavior never fall on his own shoulders?

Fun With SCOTUS

By the way, Supreme Court Watch has info up on Harriet Meirs. I haven't had a chance to read it yet myself, I'm always behind on my reading list, but they're usually a good source.

Fun With Numbers

Pew has new polls up. One bit I (naturally) found interesting:

Two-thirds of Americans (66%) say Bush's policies and decisions have made the federal budget deficit worse, compared with just 6% who believe his policies have had a positive impact, and 21% who say they have made the deficit neither better nor worse. Solid majorities also say that Bush's policies have negatively affected the nation's economy (57%) and the gap between rich and poor (57%). While tax reduction has been a centerpiece of Bush's presidency, nearly twice as many say his policies have made the tax system worse than say they have made the system better (40% vs. 22%). National security is the only issue mentioned on which a clear plurality (47%) says Bush's policies have made things better.

Note: A "plurality" is not the same thing as a "majority." It just meant that that answer got more votes than any single other answer. "Worse" (30%) and "no effect" (21%) got a combined 51% and, amusingly enough, illustrate that for all Junior's codpiece stuffing, strutting, and posing, 21% of those polled think he's irrelevant. That's a lot like...weak, isn't it?

Also note that when you pass "national security" and "morality" (a bare 53% approval) on one poll, even Republican approval of the Bush Administration's policies and legislation drops drastically.

Fun With Religion

On a lighter note, in an earlier comment, Jonathan Dresner (of Cliopatria) made a reference to something I wrote and Yom Kippur.

I didn't really get the reference at the moment but now I understand either that my post smelled bad or I'm a dead chicken.

I'm fairly certain it's a Jewish thing. And a compliment.

Fairly certain.

(Just kidding you, Jonathan)

(Hey,everyone, if they changed the picture before you got there, it's not my fault! They don't provide links to the front-page photos and blurbs on CJR.

It was a guy waving a dead chicken over a girl's head in a Yom Kippur ritual, and Jonathan will, I'm sure, understand. The rest of you can quit picking on me.)

Posted by AnneZook at 03:07 PM | Comments (2)
Op-Ed

Our unprovoked (and possibly illegal) invasion of Iraq has killed tens of thousands of Iraqi citizens. Women. Children. Babies. The elderly. Tens of thousands.

This is a number we should be discussing.

We invaded another country and killed tens of thousands of people. So far. For no reason. In fact, evidence is suggesting that lies were told to enable Our Leaders to shove us into this war that so far seems to be benefiting no one but the energy industry.

This is a crime and it should be punished.

Just in case anyone isn't clear on where I stand on the issue.

The Nexus of Politics and Terror is a timeline showing the interesting coincidence of internal threats to the Bush Administration and the raising of the terror alert system.

Tell us who fabricated the Iraq evidence

Politicians tell us they acted in good faith on the road to war, and maybe they did, but that leaves a prickly question: who was so keen to prove that Saddam Hussein was an imminent threat that they forged documents purporting to show that he was trying to buy 500 tons of uranium from Niger to develop nuclear weapons?

October 6, 2005 - 25 killed in blast at Hilla mosque

October 7, 2005 - US soldier among 21 killed in series of Iraq blasts

October 11 - Suicide bombs kill dozens in Iraq

The Iraq Coalition Casualty Count has a listing of suicide bombings.

On July 19 on this year, the BBC published an article suggesting that nearly 25,000 civilians had died so far, an estimated 37% of them (over 9,000) killed by "US-led forces."

Almost a fifth of the 24,865 deaths were women or children and nearly half of all the civilian deaths were reported in the capital Baghdad.

"On average, 34 ordinary Iraqis have met violent deaths every day since the invasion of March 2003," said John Sloboda, one of the authors of the report.

That's life in Iraq today, thanks to us bringing them "freedom."

What about the future?

Iraq's latest last chance.

THE U.S. HOPED THAT the process of writing an Iraqi constitution would weaken the insurgency that has killed nearly 2,000 U.S. troops and tens of thousands of Iraqis. But the suicide bombings and sniper attacks have not ended. And tensions among Kurds, Sunni Arabs and Shiite Arabs have only gotten worse as Saturday's constitutional referendum approaches.

Taking Iraq apart

Just 36 hours before voting began in the referendum on the constitution, Iraq's parliament finally added a clause indicating that the new charter would be "a guarantee for the unity" of the country. But even if the referendum being held tomorrow approves the proposed constitution, this clause will do nothing to prevent Iraq having one of the weakest central governments in modern history, and possibly splitting up as a nation. Many had feared that would be the outcome of the Anglo-American war and occupation. Others had actually planned for such an outcome.

Unifying force - or just a peace treaty?

Opinion is divided in Iraq and beyond on whether its new constitution, to be voted on tomorrow, will help to hold the country together - or accelerate its disintegration into three separate, mutually antagonistic Shia, Sunni and Kurdish statelets.

But what is clear is that the document that emerged from tense, and often bad-tempered, US-directed negotiations between Iraq's main communities is very different from the blueprint for a "democratic, federal, pluralistic and united Iraq" originally envisaged by the Bush administration.

Iraq's future? Looks like it could be bloody so, just more of the same.

Posted by AnneZook at 11:20 AM | Comments (0)
Bits of News

Bush's most recent photo-op was even stupider than it looked at first, and that's not always easy with these things. Tell me, at precisely what point did he decide to become a Saddam clone? (Most of us take it for granted any more that any time Bush appears in front of "real people," every move and every word is scripted.)

And, you know excuse me, but wasn't the Civil Service created precisely to prevent this kind of thing?

Speaking of the Bush Administration acting like idiots, are they punishing the print media?

A Knight-Ridder reporter lived with an all-Iraqi military group for a week. And he came back and said that what they're really prepping for is civil war. So, you know, I'm just thinking out loud here, but when the President says he wants total victory in Iraq, does he mean everybody who lives there dead so Halliburton can build a new corporate office complex? Or what?

One Iraqi Sunni party withdrew its opposition to the new constitution, coming up for a vote tomorrow. They got bombed.

In other news, the television channel Animal Planet is a hotbed of homosexuality. I find myself wondering if it's possible for someone to go so far over the edge of reality that they actually wind up in a different dimension. (Or do I mean I hope that's possible?) (Added: An exorcism? Could those people be any weirder?)

It's unpleasant, disturbing reading, but it's how things are in prison. This country needs to stop incarcerating so many people. Overcrowding and underfunding contribute significantly to this problem, as well as to the prison health care crisis.

We have a new spy agency. One so secret that we're not even allowed to know who's in charge. I'm just saying. If Negroponte helped create it, then I don't care who originally recommended it. I don't trust it.

Toking for memory improvement.

E.J. Dionne points out that we just finished an astonishingly short war on poverty. Lasted about a month.

Posted by AnneZook at 07:59 AM | Comments (0)
October 13, 2005
More From Blogs

I liked Lorelei Kelly's entry titled, "Dale Carnegie Yes!: Dr. Strangelove No!"

I think it's worth pointing out that this country has a history of supporting terrorists, torturers, and autocrats, all in the name of "national security." And that during our long and illustrious history, we've been on the "wrong" side of several small wars here and there. So, you know, along with a more rational approach to "homeland security" I think we need to have very public debates about where we're sending our troops (and money) and why.

And Liberal Oasis has a point. Where is the Republican Machine these days? They seem to be flailing about rather aimlessly. Is it...can it be that there are still honest politicians on the Right and that they've had Just. About. Enough? Or is it, as the entry suggests, just that the The Peepul are finally starting to wise up?

And is White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan going to crack up?

Lindsay Beyerstein Peeked! For those of you not checking until tomorrow, samples here and here and here.

Pam's House Blend brings us news of fries and a ride.

(Also? If I had sound on my PC at work, I'd follow the link Anyone but me think those "gay couples" are going to turn out to be actors?)

(Also? I don't normally buy sex toys, my favorite sex toy actually being a live man* but I think I'll have to throw a little support Target's way.)

Abortion as crime-preventative? Prometheus 6 gets a bit Swiftian and suggests aborting babies of the race that commits most of the violent crimes in this country.

David Sirota explains it to us. Politics in this country is corrupt. No doubt about it. It's a pity that those who benefit from the system are the only ones who could fix it.

Drat. Add this Sirota entry to tonight's reading list as well. "Dems New Agenda: The Good, The OK, and the Ugly"

And, via Avedon Carol (the emergency blog), a Nation article debunking, What's The Matter With Kansas?

To add to the Great Questions of Modern Society, let's add the one about why the Bush Administration keeps pretending scripted events are freestyle. Are they actually still fooling anyone? (ThinkProgress has the same story, only a bit more detail.)

And how about a President with a 2% approval rating (among one demographic)?

I'm sorry to spread idle gossip, but I can't read the entry any other way than that there are rumors Texas Governor Rick Perry should be a member of the Log Cabin Republicans?

I'm sorry...if there are any straight Republicans in office, could you hold up your hands or wear matching shirts or something? You're getting a little hard to find.

And Jeanne at Body and Soul has an excellent entry today.

(Lawrence? You see what I mean? "Corruption from a politician? Ho-hum.")

__________________

* Not, you know, in any degrading fashion or meant in any way to suggest that I'm in any way involved in anything not entirely consensual for, you know, intimate behavior.

In fact, I should probably just delete that entire link because further consideration suggests that it's just not appropriate subject matter for this particular blog but whatever. Anyone offended by an open mention of heterosexuality can just leave in a huff, never to return. That's a valid choice and I'll be okay with it.

Posted by AnneZook at 12:55 PM | Comments (0)
Being

... Taxed

TAPPED is right. Colorado has been having Tabor Pains. Let's hope we can put a stop to that this time. (Also? "Squawk Radio"? Love that description.)

... Assaulted

Counterrecruiting can be dangerous to your health. I find the idea that you'll be physically attacked for a silent, nonviolent protest to be very worrying.

On the one hand, it's good to find political passion in today's younger generation.

On the other, there's a disregard for civil rights, not to mention laws against assaulting people, coming from the Right that is disturbing. But then, I guess they're just following the leader, aren't they?

... Poor

There are links to reports from the Center for American Progress's Ending Concentrated Poverty program panels! I guess I know what I'll be doing tonight. Reading.

... Bush

You think Bush really will have the nerve to veto the defense bill just because it has an anti-torture amendment? It probably doesn't surprise you to hear that I totally hope he does. Because he does think torture is okay, so he needs to stand up and say so. Let all those delusional people get a better look at just what they voted for.

Over at IHT, Zbigniew Brzezinski is discussing George W. Bush's suicidal statecraft.

... Democrat

You know, some of us think that if the Democratic Party moves any more toward the "center", we'll fall off the right-hand side of the page.

Do we need to make the Democratic Party sign a "real" contract? Are you tired, yet, of hearing me repeat that this country's political parties are not (or should not be) entities separate from the voters and that the government shouldn't be either?

But then again, while Bush continues to display his idiocy, maybe I don't want to be associated with this government.

And, to top off with, read David Broder's For Democrats, a Path Back to Power. That's about the center, too, but there's still thought-worthy material there.

Posted by AnneZook at 09:49 AM | Comments (0)
A Few Blogs

Common Ills links to Brinkley's piece on Condoleezza"s trip to the Middle East. Rachel doubts it's all about "stabilization" in the area. She thinks Bush just likes to start things and can't see them through. (I think she's wrong there. I think he knows he has no reason to see things through. For his entire life, Friends Of Daddy have stepped in when Junior was in trouble and cleaned up his messes. He's just waiting for them to do it again.)

Hugo Schwyzer introduces us to the concept of an "ubersexual." Basically, he's a metrosexual only, you know, more of A Manly Man. If guys think the old stereotype of a man was hard to live up to, wait until they get a load of this guy.

Julie Saltman links us to a good WaPo piece, "Losing Hope in Louisiana."

Via Liberal Avenger, I found this gossipy little piece, suggesting there's trouble between Dick and George.

Mark Crispin Miller reminds us all that voting - machines and reform, should be an issue on everyone's mind these days.

For maybe the first time in my life, a disclaimer convinced me to avoid an article. I don't want to find myself on the street with no pants on tomorrow.

Posted by AnneZook at 08:03 AM | Comments (2)
October 12, 2005
Just A List

Best Reader Letters:

The E&P site gets my vote todayfor Tuesday's letters. If you want to understand what's happening with Judith Miller, you need to be an anagram fan.

Best Post Title:

It only appears that way when you have a pinhead. The pinhead is the guy who needed an intervention to understand there'd been a devastating hurricane in New Orleans.

Most Encouraging Moment:

Reading, " O’Reilly: “If Rove gets indicted, that could bring down the Bush administration.”

Iraq-gate, Treason-gate, whatever you want to call it:

Report: Lawyers say investigation into CIA leak widens to probe 'broader conspiracy' around Iraq

Quote of the Day (Via John McKay):

"The GOP rank and file takes its values seriously. Just imagine the outrage were Rush Limbaugh revealed to be a drug addict, William Bennett a compulsive gambler, Gary Bauer a philanderer, Strom Thurmond the father of a black child, or George Bush a coke fiend. They’d never work in this town again."

I didn't care for the rest of the entry, but I loved thequote and Mustang Bobby is working on the same theme.

Strangest Story I Hadn't Previously Been Aware Of:

"I prefer not": the peculiar saga of David M. Barrett. Why does Congress find itself unable to bring an end to this closed investigation?

Today's Best Onion Article:

Bush To Appoint Someone To Be In Charge Of Country

Item That Surprised Me The Least:

Government by Temper Tantrum

Blast From the Past:

Hold Bush Accountable

Fun With Google:

Type in "Failure" and hit the "I'm feeling lucky" button.

Posted by AnneZook at 12:58 PM | Comments (5)
Just Thinking

This morning, I was listening to NPR on the way to work and they described how Pakistanis were waiting for the relief helicopters...accepting the food and clothing and fighting to get their injured family and friends on board and on their way to medical help.

Some of these people live in a remote, almost untouchable part of Pakistan, hardly one of the worlds most democratic, or civilized (by our standards) of countries, but they never doubted the helicopters would arrive.

And I thought about New Orleans. About the people on the coast of the most powerful country in the world, waiting for the helicopters...or the planes or the trucks or the buses, or the cars, to arrive. Day after day, while the city rotted around them and floodwaters steamed in the summer heat.

I though about Aaron's mother. She died, listening for Uncle Sam's knock on her door.

I'm just saying. The fact that the majority of people polled now say that this country is on the wrong track is nice...but it would have been nicer if they'd seen the writing on the wall two or three years ago.


Posted by AnneZook at 10:09 AM | Comments (2)
It's Not Easy, Being Green

(Warning: Aimless thoughts leading nowhere.)

Over at Clusterfuck Nation, James Kunstler has a few bitter words about our energy consumption.

I don't know what to do about this. I had to gas my car up yesterday. If I didn't put gas in my car yesterday, I wouldn't have been able to drive to work today.

But I'm thinking about the energy problem and I'm feeling guilty that I needed gas. I'm feeling guilty that I'm unwilling to spend 1-1/2 hour commuting to and from work each day on public transportation, instead of 40 minutes each way. Three hours is a big chunk of person time, you know? (By the time they get the light-rail open and the public transportation commute is of sensible length, I'll be unemployed.)

I thought about the energy problem Monday morning, when I rolled out of bed and found out that the power was off and snow was pouring down outside.

"Some people will have to do without power a lot this winter," I thought. "Some people in Iraq have been doing without reliable power for years, even though it gets up to 110 degrees in the summer. Some people in remote parts of the world have never had much access to electricity and now they've had a devastating earthquake and they have nothing."

I sat there in the dark and thought about it. Thought about the end of cheap oil. About the end of oil. About the end of the never-ending parade of grimy coal trains that pour out of the Rocky Mountains every day. Thought about natural gas...the limited supply and the damage done to the surrounding environment when it's drilled.

When I got done brooding about that in my dark, but perfectly wam and comfortable living room, I spent some time feeling guilty because some people don’t have a roof over their heads, even one sheltering an unlit room.

And I looked around at the furnishings and I started feeling guilty about the environment because everywhere I looked, something was made of plastic or a fabric/substance that started as plastic.

From the plastic lunch dishes drying on the counter to the air conditioner to the television, I started seeing clouds of chemicals pouring into the pristine air as factories struggled to produce all of the necessary and all of the entirely useless items that I seem to require to sustain my existence from day to day.

I saw landfills overflowing with never-to-degrade plastic cases for computer hard drives. Tires, degrading with glacial slowness under a protective mound of cast-off clothing, broken toys, and kitchen waste. A toxic sludge of almost-empty cleaning bottles, leftover bits of soap, and rotting food sinking into the soil and leaching into the water supply.

I'm not, I should point out, excessively Green myself. When I'm feeling sulky about it, I decided that I did, after all, make the decision not to reproduce, which has to be the single-best thing a human being can do for the planet. When I'm feeling guilty about it, I buy bio-friendly cleaning products and comfort myself with the memory of how few bottles and cans pass through my kitchen. When I'm feeling defensive about it, I give money.

But, at that moment, sitting there in the dark torn between agitating for power and being grateful for shelter, I felt that old, familiar feeling. The one where you don't want to give up the comforts and luxuries you're used to, but where you feel a rare connection to the lives of those for whom the abundance you take for granted represents unimaginable luxury.

I felt that gap between the "haves" and the "have-nots" and felt, once again, that it's wrong to have so much if others have nothing.

(Nothing like a quick splash of Liberal Guilt to start the week.)

Sometimes I wonder if the difference between liberals and others is the ability to connect, not just intellectually, but emotionally, to the plight of the poor and the disenfranchised?

Posted by AnneZook at 08:06 AM | Comments (2)
October 11, 2005
What's interesting to you?

Who would have guessed that Bolton would have turned out to be such an ass? Ummm...quite a few of us? Heh.

Wondering what charities to donate your aid money to for Pakistan? Over at Cliopatria, Manan Ahmed offers a list.

Jeff Alworth at Low on the Hog is asking, National Coming Out Day. If anyone has been waiting for the right moment....

Over at PressThink, Jay Rosen has a long entry about the NYTimes and Judith Miller. To be honest, I'm still confused by all of that. Miller has a rep for cozying up to government sources, and not just ones on the Right. She must have been producing stories her employer found important over the years, because she's been in the hotseat before and she's still employed.

I guess maybe my brain is still stuck on the question of why she, and not Novak, the guy who actually publishedValerie Plame's name, is under investigation. (I suspect someone explained this to me before and I've forgotten.)

Emergency evacuations plans for pets? Why is Congress going to be addressing that when we can't even get people out of harm's way? Prometheus 6 is right. This is some bullshit right here.

Avedon Carol, always good, has a couple of very interesting posts up right now. Check out Liberals for liberalism especially. (You may have to scroll down.)

Those of you pondering politics and wondering what's wrong with our politics today could do worse than to include some analysis of Republican Dirty Tricks over the last 25 years in your consideration. I intend to read the full article closely myself.

Over at HuffPo (is that the accepted abbreviation for the Huffington Post these days?), David Sirota posts on Making the "Strong," "Tough," & "Macho" Case for Withdrawal.

Today's, "Well, duh winner, unusually enough, is Josh Marshall, at Talking Points. He advances the astonishing theory (also linking to Matt Yglesias) that maybe the invasion of Iraq was doomed from the start and would have been doomed, regardless of who was leading it. Except he argues that if there had been WMD, then maybe we would have been successful. (And, you know, if I had won the lottery, then I'd be rich today, which goes to show how much postulating an alternative reality is worth. Because the odds were stacked heavily against Iraq having any WMD and many people were saying that, before we invaded them.) Or maybe he's not arguing that. I dunno. I don't usually have any trouble following what Mr. Marshall says, but that post confused me.

Alex over at ACSBlog says go here, think about it, and then post a suggestion.

Jerome over at Bad Attitudes reminds us that the "Family Research Council" thinks women would be better of dead than protected against cancer.

Maybe we should all be keeping an eye on Missouri?

(P.S. Why are the Democrats so impotent?)

Posted by AnneZook at 01:50 PM | Comments (2)
A few stories

A suicide car bomber killed 30 people in Iraq.

Aid to Pakistan is being delayed by torrential rains.

While we're being generous with aid money, let's not forget Guatamala.

Gosh, I sure am glad I decided to start my day by seeing what's going on in the world. All the good news is really inspiring, isn't it?

Sigh.

_____________

Bing! They've found a money trail from the Ohio coin scandal to Republican campaign coffers. Not actually a smoking gun, but an important development.

_____________


Fortunately that "Freedom Museum" planned for the 9/11 site has been scrapped.

_____________


Over at the LATimes we see a critique of columns written to respond to the disaster in Pakistan. Odd idea, but interesting.

In the comments section, we've been discussing (wondering) what's wrong with the Democratic Party this century. Looks like they're missing another opportunity to display leadership and vision. Bottom line? It's starting to be very clear that they don't have any leadership, not that's worthy of the name.

And over at WaPo, Terry Neal is asking if Democrats need a Gingrich?

Posted by AnneZook at 07:40 AM | Comments (2)
October 10, 2005
Snow Surfing

It's snowing outside, so I'm inside, surfing the net. (For those of you who wondered where tonight's post title originated.)

Pakistan. 20,000 - 30,000 dead. Boggles the mind, doesn't it? And breaks the heart.... I know some of us may be starting to suffer from donor fatigue, but even a few dollars will help. (Although, apparently, the Red Cross is not necessarily a wise choice. Although the entry refers to the USofA arm and not to the International Red Cross.)

And you know what I find myself asking? I find myself reading stories about Pakistanis looting as they try desperately to survive and I wonder how it's possible for journalists to get into these areas but it's not possible for aid to get in? You might say these are reports that are phoned to the outside world, but there are pictures, and these don't look like pictures from a cell phone.

If you're one of the few who cares about what's happening in the Sudan, you might want to check out SudanReeves.org. I haven't had a chance to read it all myself, there's a lot of material there, but it's interesting and seems to be well-researched.

Militia Violence Escalating In Darfur, U.N. Envoy Says

And Hook, Line and Suckers is an interesting article. Those "leftist" pundits you see on TV? Are just pretending. (Well, duh.)

From In These Times, When We Were Psychos. I don't know if I could bear to see such a film but considering the public's (relatively) calm acceptance of the ongoing revelations of prisoner abuse, murder, and torture in Iraq, Aghanistan, and Guantanamo, maybe it's time and past time a lot of us did see it?

I'm just saying. Aren't there some kind of rules against taking money allocated for one purpose and spending it elsewhere? Even if you are the Federal Government? (And, yes, do read the article. Because my heart is torn between the people who want to return 'home' and the knowledge that the continued destruction of the fragile Gulf ecosystem will have disastrous results.)

No Child Left Behind...when the military comes a callin'. No contact? No school recognition.

An argument against the Meirs nomination on the grounds that the issues that face us today deserve the best minds we can find to resolve them. Now that's an objection I can support. And I do. A woman so bland that she has left little mark on the world beyond her complicity work with the Bush Administrations simply fails to inspire confidence.

And don't miss Ahistoricality on the topic of Miers.

And speaking of issues that face us today...was that video of those four cops beating a 62 year-old man in New Orleans a sign of racism, police stressed too far, or what? And does anyone else have the rumor that at least two of those 'police officers' were actually federal agents of some sort?

At the end of August, the U.N. was asked to investigate now that USofA troops have killed a reported 18 journalists in Iraq? Why haven't I seen any follow-up of this? (Or, maybe, the U.N. declined to investigate? I'll have to start poking around.)

E&P praises departing WaPo Ombudsman Getler, but notes the absence of the NYTimes in the list of publications that produced "much fine journalism" in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq.

(And, speaking of the NYTimes, Jeff Alworth over at Low on the Hog is pondering whether or not WaPo has replaced the NYTimes in the hearts of bloggers?)

(And, speaking of WaPo and actual journalism, don't miss Howard Kurtz on Stephen Colbert and the truth journalists cannot tell.)

Chinese thugs try to crush democracy protests.

BEIJING - Thugs trying to crush pro-democracy protests in a village in southern China have beaten a grassroots elections expert nearly to death and are terrorizing foreign journalists who approach the village

Slavery in Brazil.

Brazil abolished slavery in 1888. Earlier this year, however, the government acknowledged to the United Nations that at least 25,000 Brazilians work under "conditions analogous to slavery." The top anti-slavery official in Brasilia, the capital, puts the number of modern slaves at 50,000.

The fruits of Brazil's slave labor end up in the United States in the form of imported hardwoods, pig iron and processed meats. Other products, such as soybeans produced on farms cleared by enslaved workers, compete with U.S. products in world markets.

Slavery in Russia?

Ex-Iraqi Officials Sought in $1B Theft

BAGHDAD, Iraq Oct 10, 2005 — Iraq has issued arrest warrants against the defense minister and 27 other officials from the U.S.-backed government of former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi over the alleged disappearance or misappropriation of $1 billion in military procurement funds, officials said Monday.
Posted by AnneZook at 08:47 PM | Comments (0)