Saturday, October 30, 2004

 
They Voted for Bush in 2000, They'll Vote for Kerry in 04
Remember the old Apple ads that featured Mac converts abandoning Windows? Same concept. It's too bad these weren't circulating earlier...


 

Bush's Record on Jobs

This page has an excellent graph detailing each administration's job growth records since Truman. I think the graph will speak for itself, and should silence all of the radio hosts who claim that Bush's job loss is all some sort of myth. By the way, the graph is from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a division of the government, and non-partisan.

 

Bin Laden Video, Comments

I think the new video is clear in it's message, whether we want to accept it or not. Basically, we are paying the price for meddling in Middle Eastern affairs, whether these past interventions were right or wrong. It has nothing to do with cultural issues like Michael Savage and others on the right allege, nor some sort of "hatred for freedom" as the current administration claims.

So what can we do? It would be tempting to--taking the advice of the video--withdraw from the region. It would be hard to get new al-qaeda recruits to join up if the West was nowhere but here at home. But clearly, this will never happen. There are two problems: 1) Oil and 2) Israel. We need to protect both of these interests, and therefore, we're stuck being involved. We have no choice but to hunt down Bin Laden, but at the same time avoid making him a martyr and minimize the new recruits we add to the ranks of anti-Western sympathizers.

The war in Iraq was the worst possible response to this problem. Deposing the Taliban in Afghanistan was a sound decision, but we should have commited more effort to this activity than we have. Iraq, however, was a blunder of the highest order. An anonymous CIA agent has published a book stating that by doing this, we played right into Osama's hands, and we did. Iraq--being a secular state before--was actually in opposition to Bin Laden's goals. Moreover, it has dramatically increased anti-Americanism because we are seen as an occupying force, and because of scandals like Abu-Ghraib, which didn't sit well with the Arab community. Some intelligence reports suggest that al-qaeda has completely rebuilt it's structure already, filling in the gaps from members we have killed and captured. The Iraq war has taken our eye off of the radical jihadists we should be focusing on, has stretched our resources thin, and decreased our morale.

However, at this point, we really have no choice but to finish matters in Iraq. I don't believe we can just pull out right away, but we should be moving closer to that goal than we currently are, by supporting truly democratic elections and elevating support for peaceful clerics like Sistani rather than fueling recruits to radicals like Al-Sadr and Zarqawi. We must do more to get the Iraqis and the UN involved in peaceful transitioning to sovereignity.

For broader goals in the region, we need to secure a peace deal that both establishes a Palestinian State and allows Israel to exist as it does. No easy task--it's nearly a joke--but with strong leadership, we could make some progress. Under the Bush administration, this has stalled significantly.

As for the other big problem in the region, Iran has a large underground movement for democracy, and this should be supported by opening up lines of communication and negotiation with the nation that do not exist today. I think that allowing Western communication and entertainment into Iran would encourage the democratic underground movement there, and help foster support for change away from clerical rule, thereby solving the problems that exist in Iran today.

With Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan stable in the region, we should be able to gain their participation in stamping out radicalism as Pakistan is taking steps to do. Otherwise, radical jihadist groups will only continue to grow unfettered if steps like these are not implemented, and military intervention is seen as the sole tactic for change. This isn't even a really left wing or unusual idea...the bipartisan 9/11 comission emphasised using approaches that would enlist other countries in rooting out terrorists, but we can only do this if we encourage good relations with those countries, not provide motivation for new terror recruits to take up the cause.

Friday, October 29, 2004

 

Bush's Back Bulge: Not a Tailoring Problem

NASA photo analyst: Bush wore a device during debate
Ok, you'll have to watch a short Salon "Day Pass" ad to see this story in full, but it's worth it. The controversy surrounding "Bush's bulge" that has been raging around blogs like this one has hardhitting new evidence from just about the best person possible to weigh in on such a matter: Dr. Robert M. Nelson, research scientist for NASA and JPL, and an international authority on image analysis. His verdict: it's without a doubt some sort of device under the shirt, and not a badly worn shirt or suit.

The problem is, Bush is lying. Here's his quote on the matter: "I don't know what that is," the President said, "I'm embarrassed to say it's a poorly tailored shirt."

Except it isn't. What is going on? And why isn't this a huge issue right now in the mainstream press?

 
Disputed Iraq Explosives in Place After Invasion, Video Evidence Shows
Not only does it show..."boxes marked 'al Qaqaa' and 'High Explosives.' It shows 101st Airborne troopers cutting the locks to the facility to get inside. Worse, it shows the KSTP embedded reporters stating flatly that, despite the fact that all these explosives were inside the facility, the place went completely unguarded." - wrp

Keep in mind that there were 400 Tons of said explosives in the compound, and that less than 1 pound blew up Pan Am Flight 101 over Lockerbie. The same type of explosives were also used in the attack on the USS Cole, and yet this facility was--we now know with video evidence--completely unguarded?? And yet securing the Ministry of Oil and the oil fields was a very high priority? Doesn't this make the whole WMD pretext for the invasion of Iraq nothing more than a sham???


 
Iran: A Bridge Too Far?
This is one of the most terrifying (and plausible) scenarios I've come across regarding further intervention in the Middle East. My fear is that after the initial scenario outlined occured, things would only escalate until Russia and China (who have already signed military alliance treaties) became involved. This article is worth your time, especially if you are considering voting for Bush and his pre-emptive policies; it should give you pause.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

 

Leech Farming, An Occupation I Never Knew Existed


They're ready... Posted by Hello

After the FDA in the United States cleared the use of leeches for medical purposes, the demand for leeches has skyrocketed. Enter the leech farmers. This was apparently already a job for a handful of people across Europe, according to this article at the International Herald Tribune. Apparently, it can be a profitable line of work as well. Ricarimpex, one of the companies profiled in the above article, clears 300,000 Euros a year in revenue. Not too bad for raising and selling parasitic worms.

If you speak German, you can apparently buy leeches online from Zaug Farms here. Not to be left behind, the Americans have also began venturing into the leech market. Leeches USA sells not only leeches for $7.70 each, but also the very stylish Leech Mobile HomeĀ®.

So, future entrepeuners, maybe this could be your ticket to the top?

For some reason, this has just been my week for bizarre money making schemes (see also Iraq: Investing for Fun and Profit).

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

 
Blogger Grounded By Her Airline
"You have to remember that as an employee, you don't have total free speech anymore," he said.

Gen. Franks Doubts Constitution Will Survive WMD Attack
He expects another US attack to lead to the formation of military state USA, and he's the highest ranking person yet to suggest such a possibility. Maybe all of the FEMA conspiracy folks have been on to something...

9/11 Black Box Cover-up?
A firefighter and a volunteer involved extensively in the clean-up say they helped to recover 3 of the 4 recorders. None officially exist.

New Species of Human Discovered, Hobbit Sized
The biggest surprise is that they were still around 13,000 years ago, which means they could have interacted with modern humans.

Tom Harkin on the Possibility of the Draft Returning
Don't believe the spin that it's not possible...

So what did Jesus look like?
Out with the long hair and ivory skin....

 

Iraq: Investing for Fun and Profit

I'm not sure if the ordering aspect of BetOnIraq.com is legitimate, but the basic idea presented on their site is. Right now, Iraqi currency is in the gutter.

That may be an understatement. In fact, 1 Iraqi Dinar is equal to 0.000683597 US Dollars.

What this could mean for you is, if you purchased Dinars, and things go well in Iraq, you could stand to make a handsome profit. 1.00 Dinar used to equal 3.00 US Dollars before the Gulf War. Translation: if you were to purchase 100 US Dollars worth of Dinars, and reconstruction goes well, then your 100 dollar purchase could become something like 147,000 US dollars. Of course, that's if things go well. Are you willing to bet some of your own money on the future stability of Iraq?

An article about the Iraqi Dinar purchasing frenzy is located here.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

 
58,000 Absentee Ballots in Broward County Florida "Missing"
And so it begins...

BBC TV to Reveal New Florida Vote Scandal Republican "Caging List"
*sigh*

Cracking Down on Kava Kava
Motorists under the influence of kava kava had a "thousand-yard stare," Feasel said. "They're drooling on themselves sometimes, their motor function is so bad," he added.

Gene Wars Only a Few Years Away, Doctors Warn
This is why you need to support The Sunshine Project

100 More Reasons to Not Re-Elect Bush
This is a more detailed list of grievances, with sources for all your disbelieving conservative friends...

 
Lawmakers in Food Fight Over Arms Budget
How long until we have this here?

 

Should Al Franken be Afraid?

By now, everyone should know about Bill O'Reilly and his naughty fantasies. If not, I strongly urge you to take a look at The Smoking Gun's entry about it, which has the legal affadavit filed by Andrea Mackris.

Now, loofahs and the issue of sexual harassment aside, I found something interesting that no one seems to really be mentioning. Allegedly, along with some steamy Carribbean-style sex, O'Reilly wants to see some payback on Al Franken. According to O'Reilly, Franken is about to be "finished" and will be made "sorry he ever took FOX NEWS CHANNEL on".

He won't be acting alone either. Apparently, Roger Ailes--the Fox News President and evil scheme mastermind according to O'Reilly--will "go after you" if you cross Fox News. O'Reilly speaks about Franken's fate like this: "one day he's going to get a knock on his door and life as he's known it will change forever. That day will happen, trust me."

Now, that doesn't sound very nice.
Maybe Billy Boy has only been watching too many mobster movies and shoot-em ups for his own good, but I would strongly suggest Mr. Franken establish a good Neighberhood Watch program on his street. After all, Roger Ailes is a wanted man. Unfortunately, I was unable to turn up a rap sheet on the internet for Ailes. I was hoping for some previous convictions of assault with a deadly weapon, or maybe a few manslaughter charges, but no luck. So if you turn up any dirt on Ailes, let me know. You better let Al Franken know, too.

 

The Perils of Pop Stardom

Lip-Synching...who knew it was so complicated and hard? Ashlee Simpson apparently didn't. Watch her miss her cue and walk offstage here in a streaming video, or in a downloadable format here.

Oh, and the dancing is pretty special, too.


Monday, October 25, 2004

 

Could Coffee Kill You?

The latest in the study in the controversial coffee good/coffee bad field is in, and it's not good. In fact, coffee may raise your heart disease risk, thanks to two ingredients that appear to increase cardiovascular inflammation in your body, which is a pretty rude thing to do. The study will be in October's US Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

What to do until this is all sorted out? The lead researcher suggests not eliminating coffee, just cutting down on the amount you drink.

 

Vote Fraud, and 19 Reasons You Should Vote for Kerry...

There's a million, but this is a concise collection of 10 reasons Dubya shouldn't be allowed to sit in the oval office anymore. Pass it around to all of your undecided and wishy-washy friends. If they need another reason, Bob Harris has nine more.

Since we're only eight days away from election day, I find it disheartening to see the latest Election Scorecard at Slate. The most recent analysis at Electoral-vote.com is even more frightening. Even so, I think Kerry is going to--at the very least--win the popular vote, even if he loses in the electoral college and thereby the presidency. I'm not sure what kind of consolation that is, but it's something.

Anyhow, call me a dewy-eyed optimist, but I think Kerry will win this year. The reason being that, undecided voters tend to go with the challenger by a good margin. This year, there are at least 2 million of these commitment-phobes spread out across the battleground states, easily enough to swing the narrow margins we've been seeing in the polls between the two candidates. In fact, I expect this to be---no.

Something has me worried about this election, and I think you should be worried about it as well. Remember Florida 2000? I think we can expect something along these lines again this year. Kerry should win, but take a look at the following links. The people at the wheel don't want to give up power, and I think they're going to be pulling out all the stops:

Prepare for Litigation-filled Post Election

More Problems Arise With Black Box Voting

Computer Scientists Slam E-Voting Machines

Voter Intimidation Begins Early in Florida

Election Chief Warns of Absentee Scam

Republicans Sabotage Democratic Voter Registration

This is about .00034 percent of the stories out there. I'm overwhelmed by it. If you want more info about vote fraud and it's widespread ongoing and upcoming use, check out Vote Watch 2004 and Black Box Voting.Org.

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