Saturday, November 27, 2004
Someone did their Christmas shopping early....
Right here :
The busiest shopping day of the year turned out to be a sticky affair. Vandals apparently glued the locks on dozens of Lafayette's biggest retailers, preventing managers from opening up promptly on lucrative "Black Friday." Hundreds of shoppers, some of whom arrived before dawn, were forced to wait outside Barnes & Noble, Old Navy and other stores while managers summoned locksmiths.
At least 200 locks on dozens of businesses were glued, including main entrances, rear doors and employee entrances, locksmith Garan Wilson said. Wilson's first job at about 5 a.m. Friday was to make his way to the front door lock at Old Navy by pushing through about 500 shoppers waiting outside, he said.
Lafayette Police had no suspects but were investigating the vandalism as cases of possible criminal mischief or criminal damage to property, both misdemeanors, Lt. Angelo Iorio said.
posted by Green Voicemail 11/27/2004 08:54:00 AM
"What Great Leaders Have Said About the Bible, Part II"
Didn't think much of Christianity
Man! Do a lil' independent searching on your own and you get more hits!
I've noticed that quite a few hits coming into Green Voicemail are from search engines, and the search terms are strikingly similar -- "what great leaders have said about the Bible". (You can find the original post and the complete list right here , helpfully italicised.
Therefore, since I'm getting so much traffic, I've decided to create a "Great Leaders" list of my own. Enjoy!
Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by a difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought to be deprecated. I was in hopes that the enlightened and liberal policy, which has marked the present age, would at least have reconciled Christians of every denomination so far that we should never again see the religious disputes carried to such a pitch as to endanger the peace of society. -- George Washington.
I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life I absented myself from Christian assemblies. -- Benjamin Franklin
I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved--the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced! -- John Adams
The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. -- Thomas Jefferson
When the Know-Nothings get control, it [the Declaration of Independence] will read: "All men are created equal except negroes, foreigners and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy. -- Abraham Lincoln
In 1850, I believe, the church property in the United States, which paid no tax, amounted to $87 million. In 1900, without a check, it is safe to say, this property will reach a sum exceeding $3 billion. I would suggest the taxation of all property equally. -- Ulysses S. Grant
We all agree that neither the Government nor political parties ought to interfere with religious sects. It is equally true that religious sects ought not to interfere with the Government or with political parties. We believe that the cause of good government and the cause of religion suffer by all such interference. --Rutherford B. Hayes
To discriminate against a thoroughly upright citizen because he belongs to some particular church, or because, like Abraham Lincoln, he has not avowed his allegiance to any church, is an outrage against that liberty of conscience which is one of the foundations of American life. --Theodore Roosevelt
I come of Quaker stock. My ancestors were persecuted for their beliefs. Here they sought and found religious freedom. By blood and conviction I stand for religious tolerance both in act and in spirit. -- Herbert Hoover
 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. -- Jesus Christ, Matthew 6:5-8
posted by Green Voicemail 11/27/2004 06:59:00 AM
Thursday, November 25, 2004
Why The Last Post Was Deleted
Answer: because it was too big for the screen. Damn Blogger formatting. The cartoon can be seen, in all its glory, right here . I put it up as it expresses my religous philosophy during this pseudo-religious holiday.
posted by Green Voicemail 11/25/2004 10:53:00 AM
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
"Help help! I'm being oppressed!"
Your cementheaded conservatives are at it again.
First, the incredibly misleading story that MSNBC just posted.
Second, the REAL story from Dave Johnson. Matt Drudge (no link provided) is trying to jump in and get his cementheads to call in and harass the principal of the school involved.
Johnson can fill you in better than I can. I want to elaborate.
Always read source documents. NEVER depend on conservatives to tell you the truth -- it's something they've forgotten how to do. You can find the lawsuit filed at The Smoking Gun, and I've linked to this particular page of it .
Among the "documents" Mr. Williams handed out were:
--a document entitled "What Great Leaders Have Said About the Bible"
--a document from the Treasury Department entitled "History of 'In God We Trust'"
Finding the first of these two documents isn't easy. If you put all of that in a Google search, you get about 5 hits. The source document is quoted on Christian web pages -- I won't link because those pages are REALLY CREEPY, if you're bold enough, you can Google on your own time.
Here is the first document:
What Great Leaders Have Said About The Bible:
George Washington...It is impossible to rightly govern the world without the Bible.
John Adams...The Bible is the best book in the world. It contains more than all the libraries I have seen.
Thomas Jefferson...The Bible makes the best people in the world.
Abraham Lincoln...But for this Book we could not know right from wrong. I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man.
Ulysses S. Grant....The Bible is the anchor of our liberties.
Rutherford B Hayes...The best religion the world has ever known is the religion of the Bible. It builds up all that is good.
William McKinley...The more profoundly we study this wonderful Book.. the better citizens we will become.
Theodore Roosevelt...No educated man can afford to be ignorant of the Bible.
Herbert Hoover...The whole of the inspirations of our civilization springs from the teachings of Christ. To read the Bible is a necessity of American life.
Jesus Christ...It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Do you consider that a value-neutral presentation of opinion? If you do, then congratulations, you now have a head filled with cement. If the last quote isn't an attempt to prosletyze -- ending with a quote from Christ about the authority of God with cherry-picked quotes from other Americans supposedly backing him up -- then people have forgotten their critical reading skills. (For an alternate viewpoint of the Founding Fathers and their views on Christianity, Go Here I dare not mention the Treaty of Tripoli and its views on whether or not the United States is a "Christian" nation.
The second document is unfortunately from the US Government, and can be read in its entirety right here . The long quote from the Rev. M. R. Watkinson makes sure that only one side of the story is presented, as if no one had any problem with the idea.
As for the other people on the list, note the "excerpts from". If you use excerpts, you can prove just about anything you want to. After all, if I use "excerpts from", I can prove in "Gone With The Wind" that Scarlett O'Hara hated Ashley Wilkes. After all, she says, "You did, it's true, you did! I'll hate you till I die! I can't think of anything bad enough to call you...." Of course, a mere summary viewing of "Gone With The Wind" would prove that that thesis is false.
My theory: Williams had probably been caught cherry-picking material before by the principal of this school. He's hoping that he can get away with it. He filed suit today so that the first impression would be the worst one before Thanksgiving.
And he got caught at it. Poor fella. NOT.
posted by Green Voicemail 11/24/2004 10:06:00 PM
"They're not a real country anyway!"
From The Globe and Mail :
U.S. President George W. Bush will not address Parliament when he visits Canada next week to avoid possible negative reception or heckling, White House sources said.
....sources said Mr. Bush wants to avoid a potentially hostile reaction in Parliament, despite the fact that Liberal MPs who are not pro-Bush had promised Prime Minister Paul Martin last week that they would behave.
I love the quote from an unnamed US government official: ""We didn't see the need and, frankly, we didn't want to be booed. There are other, better venues."
I'm sure there are: the Central African Republic, Pakistan, Libya, the Sudan...you know, those kind of places where a legislator who booed might disappear overnight. Boy George's problem is that he's running out of places to find a welcome.
posted by Green Voicemail 11/24/2004 09:20:00 PM
Left Wing Offense
Huzzah! The Left Wing Offense had its best week ever in straight up and down picks! I went 13-3 in the last 16 games, bringing my year to date total (not counting Weeks 1 and 2, since I only started at Week 3) to 72-42!
So since tomorrow's Turkey Day, and there are two games on tap on Thanksgiving, I need to get the picks out early. So here goes!
Indianapolis over DETROIT
Chicago over DALLAS
CINCINNATI over Cleveland
MINNESOTA over Jacksonville
Philadelphia over NY GIANTS
KANSAS CITY over San Diego
Tampa Bay over CAROLINA (my "WTF--?" pick for this week)
HOUSTON over Tennessee
PITTSBURGH over Washington
ATLANTA over New Orleans
NEW ENGLAND over Baltimore
Buffalo over SEATTLE
SAN FRANCISCO over Miami (might as well flip a coin)
NY Jets over ARIZONA
DENVER over Oakland
GREEN BAY over St. Louis
posted by Green Voicemail 11/24/2004 08:54:00 PM
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
Bulova Watch Time
"I'm traveling down the road, and I'm flirting with disaster...."
The new "Countdown to Iran Attack" is at the right side of the screen.
It is done by taking the number of times "Iran" and "regime change" appear in an article on Google and treating each article as one minute towards countdown.
Midnight means that we have actually LAUNCHED an attack on Iraq.
Current # of hits = 392
Time is now: 6:32 AM
posted by Green Voicemail 11/23/2004 10:24:00 AM
Monday, November 22, 2004
The Baghdad Boom-Boom Room
If a bomb went off in Baghdad, how could you tell?
From the Guardian :
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - A homemade bomb was found Monday on a commercial flight inside Iraq, prompting additional screening measures to go into effect at Baghdad International Airport, the U.S. Embassy said.
No further details were released and the statement did not say whether the affected flight had arrived or was preparing to depart.
Commercial flight INSIDE Iraq? Who the hell would be going to Iraq for tourism? Paris Hilton?
posted by Green Voicemail 11/22/2004 05:30:00 PM
New Kids on the Blog
Welcoming CultureGhost to the BlogRoll. Saves me the trouble of having to type in the URL!
posted by Green Voicemail 11/22/2004 11:49:00 AM
Lying Sacks of Crap
Resistance leader, or lying sack of crap?
This is WorldNetDaily , virtual conservative toilet paper:
The National Council for Resistance, a grass-roots Iranian organization that yesterday disclosed what they said was the secret location of an illegal uranium-enriching facility in Iran, revealed today that Abdul Qadeer Khan, who ran a nuclear black market that supplied Libya with nuclear technology, provided Iran weapons-grade material.
Shades of Niger and yellowcake! Sounds like a nice bunch of guys, the "National Council for the Resistance", young freedom fighters trying to make a democratic Iran.
However, Mr. Klein, the writer of this article, seeks to assure readers about the "National Council's" background.
The National Council, based in Paris, is the political arm of the People's Mujahedeen, which is listed by the U.S. State Department as a foreign terrorist organization because of its involvement in attacks on Americans in the 1970s. The group has in the past accurately revealed the location of several secret nuclear sites in Iran and is taken very seriously by U.S. and Israeli intelligence agencies.
However, I suggest that you read this article by Eli Segall , which asks the question, "Should Washington Embrace the MEK?" Because the real name of the "National Council of the Resistance" is the "Mujahideen e-Khalq", or MEK for short:
For starters, the MEK joined in an alliance with Saddam Hussein after they were exiled from Iran. Looks like they might have been TOO eager to help Hussein:
Above all else, the MEK's relationship with Saddam Hussein should prove most troubling to U.S. policy-makers as they debate whether or not to embrace this group. "Since 1982, the MEK has been politically, militarily, and financially supported by the Iraqi regime" and since 1986 has maintained its 'National Liberation Army' in Iraq. MEK paramilitary units helped Saddam crush the 1991 Kurdish uprising in the north and the Shi'ite insurgency in the south. It has also been estimated that the MEK received nearly $80 million per month from Saddam between late 1982 and early 1990 and - according to former Iraqi military intelligence official, Maj. Gen. Wafik al-Samara'ai – still received around $7 million a month from Baghdad after the Gulf War.
...and Segall's conclusion....
However, this is a dangerous attitude. The MEK is an organization that – due to being in a domain of loss - strategically presents itself as pro-West to gain allies in their quest to oust the Iranian regime. This manufactured image was created only due to decreased chances that allying with Saddam would allow the MEK to accomplish their goals. It is not an organization that the United States can trust, despite the fact that the regime in Tehran poses and international security threat and the largest armed resistance group to that regime is, in fact, the MEK. Their cult-like tendencies and current public relations maneuvering suggest that the real form of government the MEK would establish would be a single-party dictatorship under Masud Rajavi. The Mujahadeen's clear record of anti-West propaganda and terrorism highlight the true nature and origins of the group, and their relationship with Saddam Hussein shows that they will offer their services to convenient allies. Saddam supported the MEK because he followed the dictum "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." The United States should not follow suit.
You're going to be hearing a lot about the noble "National Council of the Resistance" and how they "haven't launched attacks against Americans since the 1970s." And about how they're peaceful, and about how they're the best hope for Iran.
What you won't be hearing about is the cult-like nature of the group, and the fact that its membership DOESN'T represent Iraq, and that it hasn't really given up its terrorist ways. I DO expect that you'll be seeing a lot of Maryam Rajavi, the female "mother" of the group, telling us all that all the Iranian government needs is a push, and the people will rush to the side of the "Resistance" -- just like they did for Ahmad Chalabi. (When does she make her appearance at the President's State of the Union Address?)
posted by Green Voicemail 11/22/2004 11:09:00 AM
The Policeman is Your F(r)iend
Looks like Iraq will be getting an efficient police force....
From The Telegraph :
Insurgents have acquired thousands of police uniforms after officers deserted their posts when rebels attacked stations in Mosul....American-led troops will now potentially face rebels wearing police uniforms making it extremely difficult to distinguish them from policemen.
I suggest this tip to the Bush Administration. If our soldiers come face to face with Iraqis wearing police uniforms, you might notice some strange behavior. One group of police will be strong, confident, very skilled with weapons, and fighting for a free Iraq. The other group will be gutless cowards who cut and run at the first sign of trouble.
Hint: Don't shoot at the group cutting and running. Those are our ALLIES.
posted by Green Voicemail 11/22/2004 10:23:00 AM
Sunday, November 21, 2004
It doesn't pass the sense test.
The definition of astroturfing from Wikipedia.org :
Astroturfing is carefully designed to appear as though it is the result of popular feeling, rather than manipulation. The astroturfing campaign attempts to gain legitimacy by affecting the appearance of having sprung forth spontaneously from "the people", whereas it is actually centrally coordinated and engineered by a small group. The planners hope that the public at large will believe that so many seemingly independent viewpoints could not have been faked.
With that in mind, it might be worthwhile to read Mykeru's report on the protest march yesterday in New York City by the "Council for Freedom and Democracy in Iran". Mykeru writes:
Now, they seemed to be rather well-organized. After the protestors left Freedom Plaza after accomplishing their mission of putting on a show for the press, the protestors didn't dispose of or take home their their banners and flags. Sorry to sound cynical, but most protests I've ever been to at least some people tossed out their signs and personally owned whatever banners and flags they carried with them. Looks like everyone came to this event empty-handed: One thing you didn't see at this demonstration were any home-made signs. Not a magic marker to be found in this group: Their signs were all uniform and commercially produced.
After the rally the protest paraphernalia was left neatly piled on the marble work of Freedom Plaza, getting a little sodden in the rain until some guys came by in a pickup truck a couple hours later --which happily coincided with my walking to Starbucks for some coffee-- and loaded the whole kit and kaboodle up. I've also never seen a small protest of this sort with their own road crew, but maybe the protests I've been too were far too amateurish to be compared to this one.
The pictures on his site tell the story. It looks like that if there's no popular groundswell for a war against Iran, the Bush Administration will just make one up. What's next? Atrocity stories?
posted by Green Voicemail 11/21/2004 08:28:00 PM
Yacht Bill Passes Senate
"My name is George W. Bush. I own a mansion and a yacht."
From Reuters :
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- The U.S. Congress on Saturday passed a $388 billion package financing government programs in this fiscal year after days of tough talks, but a last minute snag means it may not be sent to President Bush for signing into law for several days.
The Senate voted 65-30 for the legislation late on Saturday that sets aside funds for a range of priorities including a presidential yacht, foreign aid and energy. It is one of the final pieces of work for the 108th Congress and they may return to finish a spy agency overhaul before the end of the year.
The House of Representatives passed the bill 344-51 earlier on Saturday. But it must also approve a resolution that would correct part of the spending bill that would have allowed lawmakers access to the tax returns of Americans and which provoked outrage among lawmakers from both parties.
Democrats fumed that Republican leaders had cut crucial funding for education, health and the environment.
Among other bonuses of the Yacht Bill:
--allows health care providers to use religious opinions in deciding whether or not to deny women abortions
--cuts money for education (Pell Grants)
--cuts money for environmental cleanups
--not to mention providing $2 million dollars to get Boy George a yacht.
Among the Roll of the Gutless Senate Democrats who voted for this pork-laden, anti-American bill are:
Bingaman, New Mexico
CLINTON, NEW YORK (always standing up for the little guy)
DASCHLE, SOUTH DAKOTA (rolling over and exposing his belly to the last)
Dorgan, North Dakota
HARKIN, IOWA (home of your future Democratic caucuses)
Johnson, South Dakota
LIEBERMAN, CONNECTICUT (not surprised)
MILLER, GEORGIA (once a Democrat, always a Democrat)
REID, NEVADA (following in the 'leadershit' tradition of Daschle)
Schumer, New York
I think it's time for me to write my congressmen. If they voted against this shit, it will be a letter of thanks. If they voted for it, it sure as hell won't be.
posted by Green Voicemail 11/21/2004 11:10:00 AM