Thursday, July 19, 2007

Eat My Shorts

Long, artfully constructed posts not only have a lot of words but also you have to read them all, and I have to write them all (which is a lot harder), so I thought I’d make you slackers do some work for a change and put-up a number of short posts (collectively entitled Eat My Shorts) and see if you can make sense out of them, so I don't have to (as much).

The New Strategy for Victory In Iraq
“An important part of the American strategy against Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia has been to drive wedges between the group, other insurgent groups and the Sunni population…”
[NY Times 7-19-07]

…by talking trash about everyone I assume? Is it the ‘Poisoning Hearts and Minds’ strategy? Given that none of the Americans seem to speak Arabic, I suspect something’s going to get lost in translation. Still, I’ll give them an ‘F’ for “eFFort”

And You Thought; “At Least Canadians Aren’t Batshit Insane!”
“I adjust and stiffly greet the first man I see. He is a judge, with the craggy self-important charm that slowly consumes any judge. He is from Canada, he declares, and is the founding president of "Canadians Against Suicide Bombing".
Would there be many members of "Canadians For Suicide Bombing?" I ask.

Dismayed, he suggests that yes, there would.”
[Johann Hari reporting from the neocon National Review annual ‘Meet the Crazies’ Cruise] (Recommended reading!)
(Hat-tip to RedTory for this beauty.)

The 'Canadians For Suicide Bombing' don’t have a website probably because they are hiding in a cave in Waziristan and being liberal hippies they are too busy adding suede fringes to their knitted-hemp suicide vests to even have their own blog.
But the Canadians Against Suicide Bombing do have a website and thanks to them there hasn’t been a single Canadian Suicide Bombing since....since... everything changed after 9-11!

And When I Say Our Economy Is Strong, I Mean Strong Like A Wet Paper Bag
“All in all these bloated spending bills will increase government spending by $81.4 billion more than needed. These increases could very well drive up the deficit, increase taxes and ultimately cripple America’s surging economy.
[John Carter (R-TexAss), taking a dump on The Hill blog, 7-19-07]

Absolutely right, John! It’s only thanks to the hard-work and sacrifices of Big Oil and George Bush alone that spending over $500-billion on a war we still don't need, didn’t cripple our surging economy!

Mother Of Parliaments Gives Birth: Newborn To Be Christened "Democracy"
[UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown] launched a cross-party debate on a new bill of rights that could for the first time enshrine the rights and responsibilities of the citizen. The age of voting could also be reduced to 16 and elections held on Sundays.
Mr. Brown announced his government was surrendering or limiting the executive’s powers over the right to declare war..
There could also be limits on the executive’s power to ratify international treaties, grant pardons and make key public appointments.

[The Guardian]

I can think of thirteen former colonies who might start rethinking that old “give me liberty or give me death” independence thingy.
Now don't you go upsetting yourelf, sit yourself down and 'ave a nice cup o'tea!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

National Stupidity Estimate

‘The White House, anticipating that it would be accused of choreographing the release of the [National Intelligence Estimate] estimate today to bolster support for its Iraq policy as the Senate debates the war, dismissed the idea today. “We don’t keep it on the shelf and say, ‘Let’s look for a convenient time," Tony Snow the chief White House spokesman, told reporters this morning.’

--writes David Stout of The New York Times who is apparently not intelligent enough to note that the 2004 and 2006 mid-year National Intelligence Estimates which both reported major increases in terrorism and terrorist recruitment were mysteriously not released until after the respective November elections when the GOP ran specifically on its awesome “War on Terrah!” record.

The major thrust of this NIE, according to the keen mind and cut-and-paste skills of ace reporter Stout (and dozens of other Right-clicking reporters) is that:

‘The United States will face “a persistent and evolving terrorist threat” over the next three years, as Al Qaeda continues to plot attacks comparable in scale to those of Sept. 11, 2001’

So let me get this straight:

For the past 4 years we’ve been 'fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here', we were winning the war in Iraq for a couple of those years, we’ve been making progress (that has been “good”, “tremendous”, “steady” “remarkable”—according to Bush, Rice, Cheney etc.) every year, and the world is a safer place without Saddam Hussein and YET…AQ is now bigger and badder-than-ever and planning to unleash another 9-11 in the US in the next three years.

Dang! That makes Bush and the GOP look like assholes, doesn’t it?

Not according to Republican John Boehner who “said that the new intelligence estimate confirms that the administration’s policies have weakened terrorist capabilities” (as per Stout’s article). After all, according to the report;

“We assess that greatly increased worldwide counterterrorism efforts over the past five years have constrained the ability of al-Qa’ida to attack the US Homeland again and have led terrorist groups to perceive the Homeland as a harder target to strike than on 9/11. These measures have helped disrupt known plots against the United States since 9/11."

BUT…according to the NIE:

"We are concerned, however, that this level of international cooperation may wane as
9/11 becomes a more distant memory and perceptions of the threat diverge."

Of course!
Typical fucking worldwide counterterrorism efforts and international cooperationalists!

They’ll be all like: “ 9-what, dude?”
and we’ll be all: “ -11 man! 9-fucking11! Don’t you remember?”
and they’ll go: “that’s sooo 2001 bro, where you at?!”
And we’ll be all in their grill with:
“Hey! It’s not like you got attacked an’ shit, oh-Kaaay?!” and they’ll be like “Whatevuh!” and totally spaz and throw our cell phone into the bushes and then start making-out with the hot foreign chick who totally wanted me to liberate her sweet crude!

Sorry…let me back-up a second.

So it has been “worldwide counterterrorism efforts” that have “constrained the ability of al-Qa’ida to attack the US Homeland again” and that “these measures have helped disrupt known plots against the United States since 9/11” has it?

Well that’s mighty interesting, seeing as the “known plots” against the US over the last five-and-a-half years have been a complete joke (there’s a pretty comprehensive compendium here)
But more interesting is the assessment that “international cooperation may wane”.

Why? Presumably because the ‘international cooperationalists’ prefer mind-destroying surrender-cheese to ginko kenoba, so 9-11 will become “a more distant memory and [their] perceptions of the threat diverge.”

I don’t suppose that the assumed reduction in international cooperation would have anything to do with all the attacks that have been conducted around the world against US allies that are directly attributable to the US invasion and occupation of Iraq and the allies’ involvement in same, would they?
And just maybe protecting the US from another AQ attack is slightly less important than their protecting their own countries, especially as the US has a tendency to completely blow their intelligence operations for the sake of publicity and then claim the credit for thwarted plots whilst doing absolutely nothing to reciprocate and actually making the situation worse.

But never mind!

The US don’t need no stinking international cooperationalists, not now we have a one-and-a-half-page super-extra-detailed analysis of the 6-year long GWOT written by top experts in 14-point Georgia font WITH bullets points to explain to us how, after hundreds of billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives spent making progress, we are still going to be attacked in the next three years because Al Qaeda is not only “proficient with conventional small arms” but they also plan to “continue to try to acquire and employ chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear material in attacks and would not hesitate to use them”---just like Saddam Hussein, who we killed to protect our freedoms, crush terrorism, spread democracy and make the world and especially the US a safer place by fighting them over there!

And that’s the National Stupidity Estimate.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Go To Hell

''Do not our hearts cry out, most especially, when our young people are subjected to debased or false expressions of love which ridicule the God-given dignity of every human person and undermine family interests?'' (Pope Benedict--January 24 2007) .

"Unless of course you are a Catholic priest who likes fucking children, in which case forget what I just said."


“I apologise to anyone who has been offended, who has been abused. It should not have happened, and it will not happen again”

So said Los Angeles Cardinal Mahony following a $660-million settlement that if approved will excuse the Cardinal from having to testify how the Church dealt with the pedophile sexual abuse of a number of its clergy over the course of several decades.

The Boston Archdiocese managed a similar deal in 2002, paying $157 million, also promising that such things would never happen again. Several European dioceses have made similar arrangements in recent years and similar announcements that such things will never happen again.

The Catholic Church sits in judgment on the morality not only of its parishioners, but on those of other faiths and on those of no faith. When it comes to its own actions however, none may fully judge but themselves and no matter the crime, secular or moral, they have the power of absolution and “forgiveness”—a ‘Get-Out of Jail and Eternal Damnation- card’ which they print themselves whenever the spirit and necessity moves them.

Across the world the Catholic Church has obstructed every investigation into the moral and secular crimes of its officers, given them sanctuary and maintained themin comfortable seclusion. If I recall correctly only two priests (in the US) in the last ten years have actually gone to jail—after being stoutly defended by the Church with not just full knowledge of their crimes but with significant culpability in them.

Whilst the actions of the individuals may be considered aberrant the actions of the Catholic Church are not. In every case they intimidate victims and witnesses, obstruct secular investigation and never even punish their own. When finally forced they make “amends” by bargaining with money---money they have acquired over the course at least 15 centuries that has been founded in moral and political blackmail. There is no corporation, publicly subscribed-to but privately held, that has been longer established than the Catholic Church.

According to the Catholics sex out of wedlock, abortion, and even prevention of pregnancy are all sins and what’s more should be publicly legislated as crimes in their view. But child-fucking by Catholic priests is apparently neither a sin nor a crime.

In the mortal world of secular law, child-fucking is a crime, as is the harboring of criminals, accessory to criminal acts and obstruction of justice. What’s more the institutionalization of such criminal acts is also a crime. The Catholic Church, in this regard, is a criminal organization.

And yet neither the Catholic Church as a whole, nor its criminal officers are held to proper account because of some kind of nebulous special status afforded to them.

The Catholic Church should be recognized for what it is; a political corporation that should be subject to the full range of secular laws and held fully accountable for their repeated violations.
And the whole fucking lot of them, including their adherents who attend Mass and buy their place in Heaven with their tithes and devotion and apologies should all go to Hell—not in the hereafter, but in the present, in prison.