Saturday, April 17, 2004
Making the World Safe for Blogging, Part II
The whole Haloscan thing seems better...for now.
posted by Green Voicemail 4/17/2004 05:47:00 PM
Friday, April 16, 2004
Making the World Safe for Blogging
Going off the political topics for a while. For the last few days, I've had a massive problem with adware, to the point where I think that it has somewhat corrupted the Microsoft Word files. Nothing dirty or smutty, just annoying as hell.
So I went up and picked up Norton Antispam and Spyware Blaster. They seem to be doing the job without any loss in system speed. However, I've learned that I've now lost my beloved Haloscan reading! Apparently, one or the other recognizes Haloscan comments as an evil pop-up and will not activated.
I've learned to activate the comments left here by going to the Haloscan website itself and just typing in the URL comments in longhand. However, I'll probably lose the capability to comment on YOUR blogs unless I either figure out how to reactivate Haloscan on my own or get some help. Inquiries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
posted by Green Voicemail 4/16/2004 12:32:00 PM
Thursday, April 15, 2004
If you read a lot of newspaper editorials dealing with the events in Iraq, you'll hear a common theme. "Boy, those Iraqis are uncivilized! They're like animals!!"
As Boy George said, "Iraq is the place in which the enemies of the civilized world are testing the will of the civilized world. We must not waver." In short, if you don't greet American troops with flowers and parades, you must be some kind of animal who gets what's coming to you.
Before we allow the right-wing to demonize Iraqis completely, we can explain some of the own contributions that American troops have made in civilizing the Iraqis.
The Iraqis, for example, have an annoying habit of firing celebratory gunshots during weddings or other festive occasions. Our Marines have informed Iraqis that is is not civilized behavior, not at all. I think the one teenager we killed and the six Iraqis we wounded last September now know the definition of civilized behavior. After all, they could have been shooting at us! Can't have that, now!
Furthermore, America is a liberated country. Even our women taste the heady waters of freedom. Some of our greatest bloggers are women. And frankly, Iraqi women are just going to have to get used to the responsibilities of being treated equally. Iraqi men are just going to have to get civilized and realize that we, as American peacekeepers, have the right to frisk Iraqi women and rifle through their possessions if we suspect anything awry. Whether it is a young child or an old mother being frisked makes no difference. You're never too young or too old to be civilized.
Conservative Shiites are just going to have to get used to this. Even American liberals should be forced to realized that the way Iraqi women are treated is just uncivilized. Women forced to wear the burqa! Or not being allowed to look at a man, or be in the presence of a man without her husband's or father's permission! I think Bush was right, that the uncivilized Iraqis are truly the enemies of freedom. It is our mission, nay, our DUTY to break as many of these illogical taboos as humanly possible.
Civilized countries are democratic. Direct representation, denied the Iraqis by Saddam Hussein. Good men like Paul Bremer, Ahmad Chalabi and others work tirelessly every day to spread the democratic spirit of the civilized world. Local tribal leaders and spiritual leaders who were formerly consulted on matters of importance should know that the civilized act directly and your former status holds no place with us. There is no logical reason you should be hostile that you are not consulted. You should take your issues up with the Iraqi Governing Council, and not expect special treatment. That would be uncivilized, and Americans are civilized.
About your uncivilized religion, I have little to say. In America, church and state are separate. A criminal cannot seek refuge in a church in the United States, and the civilized don't wait to negotiate with the local Imam before seeking a felon. Of course, we hear cries of "desecration" when we enter a mosque without permission, but giving up useless religious beliefs is the watermark of civilization. You shouldn't be kneeling to the ground five times a day like a bunch of savages!
Thank God that we're civilized. With luck and determination, we can show the Iraqis how to behave in a more civilized manner. Only the uncivilized would disagree.
posted by Green Voicemail 4/15/2004 05:17:00 PM
Wednesday, April 14, 2004
From Asia Times
Forget about George W Bush's scripted press conference, where, according to CNN, the president was "quite forceful in rebutting the attacks on his Iraq policy". Forget that Bush admitted to no mistakes in his "war on terror" and complained to a reporter: "You should have submitted that question in writing so I could have prepared." Let's go back to the real world, in Iraq.
New York Newsday: Initial headline was "Bush Forceful on Iraq" . This has now been changed to "Bush Willing to Send More Troops to Iraq"
In his forceful answers, Bush repeatedly demonstrated the determination that his supporters find among his most appealing qualities. ...
From Tom Shales at The Washington Post
After the news conference, CBS News anchor Dan Rather said Bush had come across as "steady, competent and forceful" while answering questions but that he delivered his opening statement "in a rather flat monotone," perhaps intentionally.
And finally, our flip-flopping friend, Andrew Sullivan
"I've just watched the press conference later on C-SPAN. Not only was the transcript encouraging. I found the president clear, forceful, impassioned, determined, real. This was not an average performance. I found it Bush at his best. He needs to do it more."
Tune in tomorrow night on ABC for a special by Hugh Down and Barbara Walters, "How Forceful IS the President?", 10 PM EST. Consult your local listings.
posted by Green Voicemail 4/14/2004 10:18:00 AM
Tuesday, April 13, 2004
" Our Drunken President"
April 13, 2004 : America Learns The Truth
posted by Green Voicemail 4/13/2004 08:22:00 PM
Monday, April 12, 2004
News Corp's Murdoch Predicts Second Term For US Pres Bush
And remember...News Corp is "Fair and Balanced!"
posted by Green Voicemail 4/12/2004 08:52:00 PM
"Have you seen the writing on the wall, reaching out for your calls?"
Excellent article from Slate . This is an article written in March 2004, about graffiti found in Iraq.
Progressive or conservative, there's enough her to prove your point, whatever point you might happen to want to make.
1. WE WILL RETURN SOON! -- The Baath Party
And underneath is written:
AND WE WILL WAIT FOR YOU WITH SLIPPERS, YOU DREGS! -- The Al Daawa Islamic Party
2. SADDAM THE DISGRACE! YOUR END IS TO BE LED LIKE A DOG BY A BLACK FEMALE SOLDIER!
3. BAATHISTS ARE THE MICROBES OF THE WORLD, AND BUSH IS THE MICROBE KILLER
4. SISTANI AND SADR [both Shiite leaders]: IF YOU WERE UNABLE TO PREVENT YOUR FOLLOWERS FROM PLUNDERING, ASSAULTING. AND STEALING, THEN HOW ARE YOU GOING TO RULE IRAQ?
5. INCREASE IN RATION SHARES:
100 KG. SADNESS, PAIN, AND MELANCHOLY FOR EACH CITIZEN
50 KG. WORRY, GRIEF, AND SORROW FOR EACH HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD
10 PROBLEMS PER FAMILY
4 VOLTS ELECTRICITY PER HOUSE
1 MASS CEMETERY PER CITY DISTRICT
5 RANDOMLY SHOT BULLETS PER STREET, INCREASED TO 50 BULLETS ON THURSDAYS
1 GAS CANISTER PER FAMILY PER MONTH
2 KEROSENE BOTTLES PER FAMILY PER MONTH
10 CANS OF FOOD PER FAMILY PER MONTH: VARIOUS OF UNKNOWN ORIGIN AND FULL OF DIFFERENT POISONS
NB: TRANSPORTATION COSTS ARE BORNE BY MR. BREMER
-- Anonymous pavement newspaper tacked up on a wall near Medical City
posted by Green Voicemail 4/12/2004 08:48:00 PM
Iraq About to Get A Lot Hotter
From Global Security
The summer months are marked by two kinds of wind phenomena: the southern and southeasterly sharqi, a dry, dusty wind with occasional gusts to eighty kilometers an hour, occurs from April to early June and again from late September through November; the shamal, a steady wind from the north and northwest, prevails from mid-June to mid-September. Very dry air which accompanies the shamal permits intensive sun heating of the land surface but also provides some cooling effect. Dust storms accompany these winds and may rise to height of several thousand meters, causing hazardous flying conditions and closing airports for brief periods of time.
Of course, I don't think the Iraqis considered such oppressive weather as a factor in making their attack. But it don't look like lemonade and recliner weather out there to me.
posted by Green Voicemail 4/12/2004 08:38:00 PM
Even During War Time, People Still Do Goofy Stuff
From Iraq -- apparently a University of Tennessee football fan found the time to paint a water silo UT colors.
The blog spot is this one. The painting was done by Iraqi civilians with Army Military keeping watch in September 2003. I just hope they don't think the "T" stands for "Taliban".
posted by Green Voicemail 4/12/2004 08:34:00 PM
From D-N-I Net
The boldness and sophistication of the attacks is staggering and it is clear that every one of the resistance fighters and Islamic militiamen have taken heart at the ease of inflicting damage on the Westerners. The abductions of the Japanese hostages is a sign that we have entered a new phase of bad as abduction requires a permissive environment for the hostage taker.
I refer to this entire mess as the second Intifada of Iraq. The first Intifida was last August in Fallujah when US soldiers killed 15-17 Iraqis and Fallujah fell into revolt. Vehicles are being hit where they are easiest to find and the security firms who are here to protect the Westerners are taking casualties because the US Army and Marines are literally stretched thin throughout the country and quite over their own capacity to stop the violence.
I love reading D-N-I.net. A bunch of ex-military, very different perspective than you usually get from the liberal/progressive blogs.
posted by Green Voicemail 4/12/2004 08:29:00 PM
Sunday, April 11, 2004
October Surprise (You Must Wear a Tin Hat to Gain Admittance to This Ride)
I was reading on Atrios's board and a poster named "In a Nutshell" speculated on the possibility of an "October Surprise". The term comes from the Ronald Reagan campaign against Carter in 1980, where the GOP suspected that Carter would use the power of his office to do something popular that would enable Carter to propel himself to victory. As it turned out, the "October Surprise" was the beginnings of the Iran-Contra deal, where high-ranking Republicans negotiated with the Iranian government to delay the freedom of the hostages until after Reagan had won the election. (Carter might have also secretly negotiated a deal as well.) The Iranians agreed to the Republican offer, but cynically freed the hostages only moments after Reagan was sworn in.
Knowing that Bush has no moral scruples in fixing an election, In a Nutshell states that there are four ways an "October Surprise" could happen.
1. "Allowing" another 911 style attack to take place on American soil. The theory is that the American public would reflexively rally around Boy George. The strategy might indeed work, but has great elements of risk to it.
The first element is that it is very hard to keep any secret when so many people would need to be involved. Already, nosy progressives are asking if Bush knew about an oncoming attack but did little to stop it. Bush's ordering American defense to deliberately stand down and let an attack happen would be much harder. There are National Guard units and the Department of Homeland Security, and workers there more concerned about preventing an attack than about assuring Boy George's reelection might not get the message in time. I remember the rumor that Army forces tried to plant WMDs in Iraq for Boy George to "locate", but that other Army forces didn't recognize them and it almost ended up in a disastrous fiasco. Revelations in this
area would doom the Republicans to second class status for at least two elections. They would become "the party of traitors", if they aren't that now.
The second element is that it might not work even if it can be kept secret. The recent elections in Spain are the counterexample, even though the conservative government tried to state that the train bombing were NOT Islamic terrorism. The big risk is that an al-Qaeda "attack" might not strengthen Bush's hand, but substantially weaken it.
2. Plan Two is the "capture" of Osama bin Laden. For all we know, OBL might already BE captured, in a cage somewhere, ready for release whenever October 2004 rolls around or when Boy George is behind ten points in the polls. I had posted a picture of the "spider hole" where they caught Saddam and pointed out the ripened dates on a tree when Saddam was captured outside of date-growing season, so in terms of tin hats, it's a nice theory.
The problem is, what if he took his life or managed to get some anti-Bush message on camera, some lie like "Bush was in communication with me before 911?" They've kept Saddam under tight wraps, but Osama might be a bit wily. Or what if OBL committed suicide while under custody? There is always the potential for embarrassment.
Furthemore, exactly how long would such a bump in the polls last? Saddam's capture boosted Boy George's poll numbers eight weeks, tops, and Bush had the advantage of a relatively peaceful February in Iraq.
There would definitely be a bump, but the question is what kind of bump and how long would it last?
3. Then again there is always the death of Ronald Reagan. Reagan is over ninety and has Alzheimers, and would be unable to defend himself if forces decided to "speed up" his death just in time for the election. (An alternate scenario is that Reagan might already be dead and we're just waiting until October to announce the fact.)
This brings up the question of "how much bump" it would bring Boy George. Bush would try to identify himself with Reagan. However, there is the question of Nancy Reagan, who would certainly ask a lot of pointed and embarrassing questions about her husband's medical care if it looked like dark forces were afoot. Nancy loves Ronnie more than she loved her own children -- so she probably loves him more than the Republican party as well. Very risky given Nancy, a force that too many powerful men underestimated when Reagan was president, to their dismay.
For a man who tried so hard to be Ronald Reagan II, it would be a just fate for Boy George to be laid low by The Woman in Red.
4. The attempted assassination attempt. Forces under Bush's command try to assassinate the Boy King -- with his complicit approval. A groundswell of sympathy rises for the injured president, who goes on to win the 2004 elections. Hey, it worked in Taiwan so why couldn't it work here?
A fake assassination, however, is hard to pull off. You certainly can't use real bullets. Actors won't do it either, because the public will want to have names and faces. And even if the event is done "off camera", say by crazed Iraqi chipmunks at Boy George's Crawford Vacation Resort, it raises the question of just how good Boy George is at security if he can be picked off so easily.
I'll have to say to In a Nutshell that yes, a tin hat is definitely required to believe that any of these scenarios would be considered for more than ten seconds by the brain trust behind Boy George. Those kinds of scenarios are the acts of desperate and really stupid people.
However, I'll keep my eyes open, not that I could do much about it anyway.
posted by Green Voicemail 4/11/2004 12:05:00 AM