Saturday, May 08, 2004
Added a white background instead of a green one for easier readability. Hope it helps.
posted by Green Voicemail 5/08/2004 05:01:00 PM
Why the Iraqis Hate Us
Reading Immanuel Wallenstein . Good reading, I might add him to my recommended reading list.
Basically, his conclusion is that the Iraqis hate us for two reasons:
a) We are killing innocent people in Iraq. Whether we're torturing them in prisons (left wing) or they are unfortunate losses in our quest to get to the bad guys (right wing), the fact of the matter is that Iraqis don't like seeing innocent Iraqis being killed.
b) The Iraqi-on-the-street is coming to doubt that the United States ever intends to leave Iraq. We are building PERMANENT military bases in Iraq. They see Iraq becoming a colony of the United States, where the whims of some Washington bureaucrat or Marine general can trump Iraqi soverignty.
So, what can the U.S. do? I suppose, since there is at the moment no central government and no army, an instantaneous U.S. withdrawal would indeed have chaotic consequences. But the U.S. could commit itself now to turning over full sovereignty to the interim government on June 30 (which would make the use of the U.S. military restricted and limited by the decisions of this government). It could permit immediately the reconstitution of an Iraqi army. And it could commit itself to total withdrawal of U.S. forces as of say January 2005. But above all, it could renounce all aspirations for any U.S. bases in Iraq in the future.
Does this have some risks from a narrowly U.S. point of view? Of course, it does. But this is the cul-de-sac in which the Bush administration put the U.S. and this is the best way to cut U.S. losses, probably the only way. Will the new government of Iraq be friendly to the U.S.? Quite possibly not. The U.S. didn't know it had a good thing with a virtually toothless Saddam Hussein in power. But when you make a really big mistake, the best thing to do is to admit it and pick up your life from there. Will George W. Bush do it? Almost surely not. Will John F. Kerry do it? Perhaps, but it is very far from sure.
posted by Green Voicemail 5/08/2004 03:02:00 PM
Friday, May 07, 2004
We Get Letters
Dear Friend (crossed out) -- "Tinheart"
Will you become one of the first to join the Bush-Cheney '04 Team as a Charter Member in Tennessee? I would be thrilled to tell the President that you are with us.
As a small token of appreciation and to welcome you to our team, I am proud to present you with the enclosed photo of the President and Laura Bush -- complete with a special, personal inscription to you....
Sure enough, there was an inscribed photo,
To Tinheart, Thank you for your early commitment and dedication as a Charter Member of the campaign in Tennessee. Grassroots leaders like you are the key to building a winning team.
(signatures) Laura Bush, George Bush
I'm still scratching my head over this one. :P
posted by Green Voicemail 5/07/2004 06:37:00 PM
In the near future, I might be sending a letter to:
The Moron Messing Up Iraq
The White House
No zipcode. No name. I just want to see which person in the White House the postal service SENDS IT TO!!
posted by Green Voicemail 5/07/2004 06:29:00 PM
Committee Meeting with Secretary of Defense, Translated
Representative Hunter: I want to remind everyone that it's just six guys. It's an isolated incident. Everyone in Iraq is a hero. Let me tell you about this other guy who died in Iraq. He was a hero. Everyone of our soldiers in Iraq is just like him. I can prove it. We've awarded a shitload of medals, and therefore, there must be a shitload of heroes in Iraq.
And by the way, any leftist detractors who keep moaning and groaning about this? They're traitors. We lost Vietnam because of these guys. And we love you so very much, Secretary Rumsfeld, everyone is grateful to you and we're not worthy to kiss your boots.
Representative Skelton: Boy...what a fuckup. Jeesus. We need to investigate. And by investigate, I don't mean a process where you throw a bunch of paper at us and we look at it and say, "well, the paperwork looks good". We need first-hand investigation.
Here's our problem. The Iraqis have to understand that we're nice guys. Why? Because if we lose the hearts and minds of the Iraqis, this thing is over. OVER. A first good step would be to destroy Abu Gharib prison; I'm surprised no one has thought of that yet. So let me tell you something. We're not stopping with six guys here. We're going after the senior officers, we're going after the private contractors, we're going all the way up the line. Did I mention "independent Congressional investigation"? And by the way, Rumsfeld, I read the papers and I've gotten wind about that memo that you plan to blow up to poster-board size. This isn't Romper Room, and you can take your props and shove them up your ass.
Rummy: Well...goodness, gracious. I'm accountable. I take full responsibility. My watch, my job. I will make changes. We should have treated the Iraqis as human beings, and I apologize to them.
I regret that our good guys fighting in Iraq have been made out to be some kind of psychotic gang members. Let me tell you, when those of us in DoD saw those photos, we shat bricks.
But...hey! It isn't like the media found out about something that we weren't investigating anyway! Hey, we had whistle blowers! We were doing our jobs! I swear we were....
(Five hundred men wearing generals' stars enter the chamber....)
posted by Green Voicemail 5/07/2004 03:14:00 PM
George Bush Hates Nurses
From the Nurses for Kerry website. Partisan, undoubtedly, but the first paragraph says it all:
The United American Nurses (UAN) AFL-CIO asked all candidates for the 2004 presidential election to give their responses on how they would address the issues important to staff nurses, from unsafe staffing to workplace safety to the right to join a union.
President Bush NEVER EVEN RESPONDED to the UAN questionnaire!
Hey, where's your patriotism, ladies? Our President was going over the latest reports by Rumsfeld! Don't you know we're going to have to masturbate over 10,000 more Iraqis before we win this war?
posted by Green Voicemail 5/07/2004 10:49:00 AM
Thursday, May 06, 2004
If the Green Party Puts Nader On the Ballot
Then the name of this blog will be changed to Whisky Tango Foxtrot. That is all.
posted by Green Voicemail 5/06/2004 06:30:00 PM
The Complete List of States, and The Number of Signatures to Get on the Ballot for President
From CBS News . Enjoy!
Texas: 64,076, May 10
New Jersey: 800, June 8
Arizona: 14,694, June 9
Illinois: 25,000, June 21
Indiana: 29,552, June 30
Colorado: $500, July 5
North Carolina: 100,532, July 6
Nevada: 4,805, July 9
Georgia : 37,153, July 13
Florida: 93,024, July 15
Michigan: 31,776, July 15
Oklahoma: 37,027, July 15
South Carolina: 10,000, July 15
Missouri: 10,000, July 26
Arkansas: 1,000, Aug 2
Kansas: 5,000, Aug 2
Maryland: est. 28,000, Aug 2
Pennsylvania: 25,697, Aug 2
West Virginia: 12,962, Aug 2
Massachusetts: 10,000, Aug 3
South Dakota: 3,346, Aug 3
Alaska: 2,845, Aug 4
Connecticut: 7,500, Aug 4
California: 153,035, Aug 6
Maine: 4,000, Aug 9
Montana: 5,000, Aug 11
New Hampshire: 3,000, Aug 11
Iowa: 1,500, Aug 13
D.C.: est 3,450, Aug 17
New York: 15,000, Aug 17
Ohio: 5,000, Aug 19
Tennessee: 25, Aug 19
Virginia: 10,000, Aug 20
Wyoming: 3,644, Aug 23
Nebraska: 2,500, Aug 24
Oregon: 1,000/one meeting Aug 24
Idaho: 5,017, Aug 25
Washington: 1,000, Aug 24
Alabama: 5,000, Aug 31
Delaware: 5,182, Sep 1
Hawaii: 7,711, Sep 3
Mississippi: 1,000, Sep 3
North Dakota: 4,000, Sep 3
Rhode Island: 1,000 Sep 2
Utah: 1,000, Sep 3
Louisiana: $4,500, Sep 7
New Mexico: 14,527, Sep 7
Minnesota: 2,000, Sep 14
Kentucky: 5,000, Sep 7
Wisconsin: 2,000, Sep 7
Vermont: 1,000, Sep 17
posted by Green Voicemail 5/06/2004 06:27:00 PM
May 10th Critical Day in Texas
No, it's not the Cinco after Cinco de Mayo. It's the final day that Ralph Nader has a chance to get on the Texas State Ballot.
As of April 24th, Suicide Ralph wasn't on the ballot in any state. Texas, however, is what he's hoping for. There are rumors that the Texas Reform Party will come out in force for him. Ralph needs to get 64,077 signatures to get on the ballot in time for 2004. He has a few problems , among those being that no one who actually voted in the primaries this year is eligible to sign his petition.
Of course, that won't affect the final vote counts in Texas. Bush will most likely win there, handily. However, if Ralph can't win in Texas, odds are he can't get on the ballot anywhere.
His first try was in Oregon. He tried on April 5, 2004 and couldn't get on. One would think of Oregon as a generally progressive left-coast state. It didn't look good. With most progressives putting on the tin hat and seeing Boy George bankroll Suicide Ralph's efforts in an attempt to take votes and press from Kerry, if Bush won't fund an effort in Texas, it won't be funded, period.
May 10th will be a critical day for Democracy in America. If Suicide Ralph makes the Texas ballot, expect a lot of bad days to come.
posted by Green Voicemail 5/06/2004 06:23:00 PM
An interesting "prediction blog" is at Election Projection . The guy who runs it is a solid conservative, but I think he bends over backwards to try to get his projections right.
His current projection is quite interesting: He has Kerry winning in the popular vote, 49% to 48% over Bush. BUT...he has Bush winning the Electoral College, 274 votes to 264.
Let's assume that this comes to pass. We have never had two close elections back to back. It would certainly damn Bush to being the "minority president". However, it wouldn't stop him. A minority president, unliked, with the power to control policy for four years -- I think that Boy George would actually be MORE reckless if he doesn't have a mandate.
The first call would be for the abolition of the Electoral College. Unfortunately, that requires a constitutional amendment, and the smaller states -- most of them western states that voted for Bush -- would never give up the Electoral College, since it makes their votes disproportionately more powerful than those in large states.
Another idea would be something like The Free State Project . Remember all those libertarians who wanted to move to New Hampshire. What's to say some freedom-loving progressives couldn't make Wyoming or North Dakota a project? I'm sure New York and California have some voters to spare!
But really, what would happen? What could we do if that came to pass?
posted by Green Voicemail 5/06/2004 06:16:00 PM
Wednesday, May 05, 2004
Tradesports Has Bush in Lead
Here's the current electoral vote count at Tradesports in 2004.
Boy George: 304 electoral votes
Milk Carton John: 234 electoral votes
John Kerry has the following areas:
The East Coast: Hawaii, California, Washington, Oregon
Part of the Mideast: Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Illinois
The Northeast Except New Hampshire: Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia.
Boy Geoge has actually gained ground (although his personal numbers haven't budged) since my last prediction. More people are putting up money and they're putting it on Boy George. Mind you, Tradesports is generally conservative; investors and bettors tend to the right politically. Just a little sober reminder of how the election COULD go.
Boy George's Strongest States:
1. Alabama: Raise the Stars and Bars!
2. Idaho: They come out to vote armed in Idaho.
3. Oklahoma: Try to have bigger Republican turnout than Nebraska.
4. Nebraska: Try to have bigger Republican turnout than Oklahoma.
5. Wyoming: Underpopulated state, strong winds blow away Democrats.
Milk Carton John's Strongest States:
1. District of Columbia: It isn't a state NOW. But it WILL BE!! BWAHAHAHAHAH!!
2. Massachusetts: Something tells me Kerry will be able to carry his home state.
3. Rhode Island: Pissed off at Wyoming for breaking "Axis of Low Electoral Votes"
4. Connecticut: See "New York".
5. Vermont: Who says Dean supporters don't have a sense of humor?
States That Could Go Either Way (a felony in Denver)
1. Wisconsin. Weak Kerry state. Kerry will promise federal law to send Green Bay to Super Bowl in 2005.
2. New Mexico. Weak Bush state. Expect Bush to use choice Spanish expression if Richardson gets the nod for Kerry veep.
3. Iowa. Weak Kerry state. Iowans still pissed off at Howard Dean.
4. Pennsylvania. Weak Bush state. Pennsylvania could be the decider.
5. A big clump of weak-to-moderate Bush states (Florida, New Hampshire, Ohio) and one weak-to-moderate Kerry state (Oregon).
posted by Green Voicemail 5/05/2004 05:48:00 PM
Tuesday, May 04, 2004
Swift Boat Veterans for Astroturf
You might have heard of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth organization that just popped up to sling mud at John Kerry. Gee, I wonder why we haven't heard of these "non-partisan" guys before?
11301 Olive Blvd
St. Louis, Missouri 62040
Registered through: GoDaddy.com (http://www.godaddy.com)
Domain Name: SWIFTVETS.COM
Created on: 14-Apr-04
Expires on: 14-Apr-05
Last Updated on: 14-Apr-04
Domain servers in listed order:
"11301 Olive Blvd" is corporate short-term housing. Looks like Mr. Waterman is giving his business address. Gannon International can be reached at http://www.gannonintl.com, and it appears that Mr. Waterman is their manager of information technology!!
The next question is what political party did Gannon International donate over $25,000 to in KNOWN donations between 1999 and 2003? Take a wild guess!!
posted by Green Voicemail 5/04/2004 08:52:00 PM
Army Report on Abuses at Iraqi Prison
MSNBC has their hands on the report. Some interesting highlights:
"GOMOR from BG Karpinski, Commander 800th MP Brigade, on 20 August 2003, for failure to properly train his Soldiers. (Soldier had negligent discharge of M-16 while exiting his vehicle, round went into fuel tank); filed locally."
"U) CPT Leo Merck, Commander, 870th MP Company
Court-Martial Charges Preferred, for Conduct Unbecoming an Officer and Unauthorized Use of Government Computer in that he was alleged to have taken nude pictures of his female Soldiers without their knowledge; Trial date to be announced.
Every time you let an Army guy near a camera, something completely wrong and unjustified happens. What's wrong with these people?
4. (U) The individual Soldiers and Sailors that we observed and believe should be favorably noted include:
a. (U) Master-at-Arms First Class William J. Kimbro, US Navy Dog Handler, knew his duties and refused to participate in improper interrogations despite significant pressure from the MI personnel at Abu Ghraib.
b. (U) SPC Joseph M. Darby, 372nd MP Company discovered evidence of abuse and turned it over to military law enforcement.
c. (U) 1LT David O. Sutton, 229th MP Company, took immediate action and stopped an abuse, then reported the incident to the chain of command.
I was about to say that they deserve medals. It's sad to think that it's come to the Army having to commend someone for following appropriate procedure.
posted by Green Voicemail 5/04/2004 06:53:00 PM
Monday, May 03, 2004
In The Pantheon of Presidents....
...why are these men smiling up in Heaven?
posted by Green Voicemail 5/03/2004 11:03:00 PM
Floating Logs Down the River for a (D)Raft
New reporting just about everywhere -- Eschation, Free Republic, you name it. I'm not posting a link, you can find it just about everywhere in News Google about some new plans for conscription.
The idea is that not only will people in "specialty areas" be drafted, but Selective Service will also require that women be registered. As well as all adults up to the age of 34.
The liberals are thinking out sending their kids overseas.
The conservatives think it's just a scare tactic thought up by the Kerry campaign. "No draft", they say.
Here's what I think. I think the current ideas about registration and the draft are "floaters". Basically, some ideas are being deliberately leaked to the press. The idea is to gauge public reaction -- will the left go ballistic, and if so, how ballistic will they go? Will the right be concerned, or insult Boy George, or just blow off the possibility?
The idea being, that if opposition doesn't reach some unknown critical point, you can bet your stars and garters that there WILL be a draft in 2005, or later. Bush needs fodder units.
First, the National Guard is going to face shortfalls. After all, National Guardsmen aren't regular army. They're not full time soldiers, and if someone wants to be a full time soldier, they'll join the US Army. There will be a decline in National Guard enlistment.
Second, you'll hear a lot about how the Armed Services are meeting "101%" of their recruiting goals. Don't pay too much attention to that number; that number's for rubes. The question is how many of these new recruits are interested in being infantry and artillery. More and more people are filtered away from the military, serving in admin, logistics, Korea, supply, whatever. The Army is having trouble putting men on the ground. If that WEREN'T true, then why the concern about a shortfall. Even though you could just take your supply clerks and shove a rifle in their hands; I don't think this is a good long term strategy in fighting a war.
The question for Boy George's handlers is only how much of a fuss will you put up when it does happen. Hmmm. I still have that draft board application I asked for about eight months ago. I wonder if I should fill it out to keep Boy George's minions honest, or if filling it out would put me in the front lines for whatever moronic military adventure Boy George's Risk-Playing Battalion should think of tomorrow. (North Korea, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Cuba, France....)
posted by Green Voicemail 5/03/2004 07:00:00 PM
And We Were Right All Along
An odd downtime at work allows me to do some blogging.
Recently, the wife and I went out to eat at a local sports bar, and I picked up one of the "independent" local papers. The paper had a very interesting idea for an article.
The paper asked various local writers to write about the Iraq war, and what, if anything, had changed. None of these writers were particularly well known, but all were erudite, calm, persuasive and well written. The long article was quite fair, as some of the best conservative and liberal local writers were asked how their perceptions have changed, are we winning in Iraq, what does it take to do the job, etc.
At the beginning of each person's segment, there was a headline reading "Former Position" and "Current Position": The choices were: for (meaning, "for the war"), for with reservations, against with reservations, and against.
There were at least 10 well written essays. Most of them recapitulated the same points you'll read elsewhere in blogland.
However, an interesting result. Everyone who started out "against" remained "against". ONE of the "fors" was now an "against" and two or three were "for, with reservations". In short, the conservatives were having doubts about whether or not the US could achieve victory. The liberals, however, had not seen anything that made them think their initial position was wrong. (It would have been interesting to see such an article written in May 2003.)
The fact is, every day the conservative position weakens on the war. Every day we get news, and the news is usually bad. We were unable to exert our will in Fallujah without turning it from a war against a few "bitter enders" to a war against the population of Fallujah itself -- only full-scale bombing might have made it possible for our Marines to enter Fallujah at will, and that wasn't an option, because Boy George says that this is just a war against the bitter enders and not the Iraqi people.
It is highly unlikely that Boy George's handlers will give him the same advice. Election season is starting to enter summer and the last thing Boy George needs is American boys coming home in aluminum coffins. That is why we have a June 30th handover date, so that the US can "turn over power" to a "representative" "government" in Iraq. Rove warned Boy George of the effect of further deaths in Iraq during September and October 2004. (Of course, if Boy George wins in 2004, you can expect a resumption of major military operations and even bombing of city blocks.)
The news leaking out of the prisons. The pictures. The danger. The fact is that aside from the removal of Saddam Hussein and the repainting of a few school buildings (which will probably be bombed in 2005 by our conscripted army), there is very little positive the conservatives can point to. Iraq is a SLOW LEAK.
As for Boy George's handlers, they "couldn't organize a fart in an outhouse" for all of their Ph. D. power and realpolitik experience. Boy George has been blessed with a "black thumb" all his life -- any business, any baseball team, any government initiative, any military operation is doomed to failure with his handlers on the job. It is guaranteed that the Iraq effort will get worse. Look who's running it.
Unfortunately, in this case, being right when everyone else was wrong proves little comfort.
posted by Green Voicemail 5/03/2004 03:04:00 PM