wide spectrum of interesting views from around the world
Woodward points out that he picked himself as the VP pick for Bush, so don’t scoff
guaranteed to turn any landlord into a gun-hater in 30 seconds
The Bush Administration has shown it has aof the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition (AMTAC), another big textile industry and Washington lobbyist group:
The administration action will impose limits on the amount of cotton trousers, cotton knit shirts and underwear that China can ship to this country. American retailers say that will drive up prices for U.S. consumers.
In announcing the decision Friday, Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez said a government investigation had found that a surge in shipments from China since global quotas were eliminated on Jan. 1 was disrupting the domestic market.
Clearly this (competition, ugh) had the campaign contributors in the textile industry’s panties in a bunch. Now tell me this action sounds like the same free trade advocate of 1999:
“I’ll work to end tariffs and break down barriers everywhere, entirely, so the whole world trades in freedom. The fearful build walls. The confident demolish them. I am confident in American workers and farmers and producers. And I am confident that America’s best is the best in the world.”
- George W. Bush campaign speech
Woops, looks like we caught Bush with his boxers around his ankles bending over for lobbyists.
» George W. Bush on Free Trade [OnTheIssues]
O’Reilly slams an editorial using quotes that never existed… AAAAH CUT HIS MIKE!
limits on resales, requirements that buyers live in their homes for a year, and mandatory profit sharing with the developers if a home is “flipped”
Hit & Run wrote up a great post about the recent annual report (pdf version) from The United States Committee on International Religious Freedom, a body created by Congress to give recommendations to the State Department, which rattled off the 11 “most egregious violators of religious freedom” in the world (some aren’t limited to just religious freedom either).
Reason listed the countries and shone a little light on the irony of the government’s close ties to Saudi Arabia, but I think the list could easily be expanded properly. So without further adieu:
North Korea [Axis of Evil]
Iran [Axis of Evil, Most-Favored Nation (info)]
China [Most-Favored Nation (info)]
Vietnam [Most-Favored Nation (info)]
Eritrea [this is a fake country]
Turkmenistan [Poster child for actual engagement!]
Uzbekistan [WoT ally, military aid]
Pakistan [WoT ally, military aid, home of Bin Laden's summer chateau]
Saudi Arabia [WoT ally, military aid, backrubs, , etc.]
» Mr. President, Unhand That Intolerant Brute! [Hit & Run]
David Rees, of Get Your War On infamy was seen blogging tongue-in-cheek over at the Huffington Post:
The Huffington Post has been live for two days and I still haven’t met Gwyneth Paltrow.
Arianna Huffington told me that if I participated in this “online conversation with all the smart people,” I would be introduced to Gwyneth Paltrow.
In spite of the setbacks, I still believe in this project. In fact, I made dinner reservations for me and Gwyneth Paltrow this Friday.
But Arianna, you better get on the case: I hate canceling dinner reservations.
Good to see some of the guest contributors have enough sense to poke fun at the whole celebrity blogging bandwagon nonsense. Unfortunately, I think Rees’s knack for humor is better represented in his comics, and not blogging, as his style of humor is not widely associated with anything other than the strips and something is lost when the dialogue isn’t coming out of a cartoon character’s mouth.
» Get Your War On [mnftiu.cc]
“This is Washington politics at its worst: when the legitimate needs of the troops are ignored by politicians pushing for pork.”
while we’re dreaming, how about a pony for every little girl too
fear the debris if they shoot it down (meh)
Person 1: Thank you for posting this. Most people don’t get past a knee jerk reaction and bother to look at what is really in Patriot beyond the FUD.
Person 2: Are you talking about the senators here?
» Congress to Revisit the Patriot Act [Slashdot]
Was reading some Toothpaste for Dinner comics and found this amusing (and self-referential for most anyone who blogs it):
Not a lot to say about the Huffington Post (or the Huff and Puff as some are beginning to dub it). I think celebrities can have just as valid opinions as anyone else, but that the main reason people are interested in them is because they look pretty and we like to know who they’re sleeping with or what they’re wearing.
As for the celebrity blog… my first though was: “oh how cute, they even let the little retarded boy from Life Goes On write some stuff,” they I realized it was David Mamet. Allow me to paraphrase how I read his horrid piece:
I like computer… me make computer beep. I type stuff on computer. Computers, blogs
internetinterweb . BEEEEP. Now I am a fire engine, CLANG CLANG CLANG WHOOOOOOOO….
The blog appears to be the sideshow and the real meat is that the underlying code is supposed to be a Drudge Report killer. Who knows, I’ll probably check it out from time to time, but I’m betting the initial interest will wane pretty quickly unless they start telling us who they’re sleeping with.
» Huffington Post
» She’ll Huff and She’ll Puff and She’ll Post Your House Down [Reason: Hit & Run]
» This Computer Thing [Huffington Post]
» The Huufington Post is Up and Running [The Volokh Conspiracy]
This about sums up what’s going to take place. Note the first senator:
Democratic Senator Hillary Clinton of New York calls the immigration measures known as REAL ID seriously flawed. She says she’s outraged that Republicans attached it to a bill meant to fund troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.
A spokesman for Senator John Corzine of New Jersey says the issues in REAL ID should get a full debate – they don’t belong in the spending bill. But both plan to vote for the bill because they don’t want to withhold funding from the troops.
This whole “support the troops” Catch-22 with this bill is really making everyone’s head asplode.
UPDATE: Unanimous approval in the Senate. The next logical step should be to mount a campaign to fling that unAmerican cunt Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) out of office in 2006.
FLASHBACK: Contrast this 100-0 Senate vote with the 100% approval vote for Saddam Hussein prior to the Iraq invasion. I bet those that voted against would clearly have risked being labelled “unIraqi” and many Iraqi pundits would have wondered “why do they hate Iraq?”
On President Bush’s recent visit to the Netherlands, some youths had a rare, unscripted opportunity to ask questions that some Americans might want to pose if given the chance. Per usual, Bush reverted to memorized rhetoric and even campaign stump speeches. As a public service, we’ll decode them for you:
MISS MADELINE HOFFMEISTER (phonetic): I have a question — concerning the terrorism. And you made many laws after 9/11, many — many laws and many measures. And I’m wondering, will there be a time when you drop those laws and when you decrease the measures?
PRESIDENT BUSH: No, I appreciate that question.
[Because I'm never asked it and I get to practice my post-election liberty and freedom rhetoric.]
Look, a free society such as ours, obviously, must balance the government’s most important duty, which is to protect the American people from harm with the civil liberties of our citizens.
[And it's come to my attention that the more civil liberties the citizens have, the less safe they are, amazing coincidence, really.]
And every law we passed that was aimed to protect us in this new era of threats from abroad and the willingness for people to kill without mercy has been scrutinized and, of course, balanced by our Constitution.
[Which is a quaint old document anyways.]
But the question really is, can a transparent society openly deal with a debate about civil liberty versus the tension of protecting ourselves. And I believe we have done so in good balance in America. But we’re constantly reevaluating law.
[Sneak and peek warrants? Vaguely defined new category of information that is exempt from release under FOIA? Reclassifing previously declassified information? Fooey on that kind of talk, this is Transparamerica!]
The Patriot Act was passed.
[Have you read it? Our legislators sure didn't.]
It was a very important measure to enable our law enforcement officials to share information which they weren’t able to do at times, to be able to protect ourselves.
[No really... have you read it? I didn't read it either but I hear it's awesome.]
And yet, Congress is now evaluating certain aspects of that law.
[They started reading it.]
That’s what happens in democracies, and stands in stark contrast, by the way, to societies that are closed and non-transparent, where people don’t get to determine the course of action.
[Try not to grin, try not to grin, try not to grin.]
And so, to answer your question, it depends upon what Congress says and whether or not I agree with it, because I have the right to veto any law, as well. Of course, they have the right to override my veto.
[My veto button is broken, but don't tell anyone.]
But I feel comfortable in telling you that we’ve been able to successfully balance the civil liberties of our citizens with the necessary — the necessity to protect ourselves.
[I always feel comfortable after I take a big dump, and hoo boy did I just unload some bullshit on you.]
Listen, one of the interesting things about September the 11th that I want you to understand as we have this discussion is that I fully understand that for some, September the 11th was an important moment and a terrible moment — and we appreciate the condolences of the people of The Netherlands — but for us it was a change of attitude.
[We realized a lot of people hate us because we are so free, duh... and our airport security really sucked. One of those items has been rectified.]
I mean, it changed a lot about how I looked at the world, and a lot of Americans, it changed how they looked at the world.
[USA = good; rest of world = crazy foreigners]
I mean, it was more than just an attack; it was a whole mind-set. And that’s why your question is really relevant — did that mind-set, did that change of attitude cause us to then begin to take away certain civil liberties, and I would argue, it did not.
[And our airport security... ok, you got me, we rectified the freedom thing. Wow, my bowels... cleansed to the max!]
PRIME MINISTER BALKENENDE: You’re convinced by the President? (Laughter.)
PRESIDENT BUSH: Don’t put her on the spot. (Laughter.)
[Oh snap, I know your little pot-smoking, legalized-prostitution, dyke-walled-in country didn't just besmirch my integrity! En garde Holland, prepare to be liberated!]
» President Participates in Youth Roundtable in the Netherlands [WH] (via Wonkette)
» National Security [BushSecrecy.org]
» Presidential Vetoes [US House Clerk]
On the heels of the previous blog entry, here’s a rundown of the freedoms Iraqis have but are highly regulated or illegal in the U.S.:
“Pleasure marriages were outlawed under Saddam Hussein but have begun to flourish again. The contracts, lasting anywhere from one hour to 10 years, generally stipulate that the man will pay the woman in exchange for sexual intimacy.”
“Patrolling in Iraq a couple of months ago, Army Spec. Carlos Arellano, a reservist and rapper from California, happened upon what he called “this beauty waving in the wind” — a marijuana plant just starting to blossom.”
Fully Automatic Guns
“[T]he Gun Owners of America, which attacks not the Iraqi gun ban but its relative laxity compared to gun-control laws in the United States. GOA states in a June 2 press release that the Bush administration is imposing a “double standard” by allowing Iraqis to own semiautomatic and even automatic weapons whose manufacture is banned in the United States.”
But hey, we waged this war for freedom after all, so let’s not get our panties in a bunch when we realize that in order to export freedom to Iraq and the rest of the Middle East, we might have to run a little bit of a freedom deficit here in America for a decade or so.
You know, when I was a kid, there were two things we used to make fun of Communist Russia for doing. One was snitching on your neighbor and the other was handing over your papers at various checkpoints (“Ve need your papers, please” is a Nazi German variant of the same).
Well, what a strange world we now live in, where our own country is now a bubbling cesspool of internal passports and roadblocks., and soon enough —
Expected to pass Tuesday in the Senate, the Real ID act is a rider bill on the larger Iraq/Afghanistan supplemental spending bill which senators are hesitant to vote against lest they be called unAmerican. So get ready for an even more ubiquitous police-state 3 years from now when this thing goes into effect, because they’re only starting to scratch the surface.
Freedom is Slavery.
UPDATE: Check out theadded to the faxes being sent to Senators. WOW!
A clever one “in favor” of Real ID:
I want you to vote in favor of the Real ID Act. I think we Americans have far too many freedoms and our freedom to travel without presenting ID at various checkpoints is a silly freedom anyways. I enjoy seeing our police work diligently to protect us and I would certainly feel safer if they were asking me for more identification, perhaps multiple times per day to assure I was safe from the terrorists. Maybe I can be assigned my own personal police officer if I pay some extra taxes (voluntary of course!), that is an idea you could work on.
I would love it if you could also make it so that these new IDs were a little more expensive so that there are less poor people on the freeway. They are becoming a nuisance during my daily commute and I fear they are uninsured and may get honda exhaust fumes on my new Mercedes SLK. I am also hoping you will introduce a provision that addresses the fact that the DMV employees are grossly underpaid and overworked, so you may want to mandate 15 minute breaks every hour so that they are not too tired to process the new IDs quickly.
Does anyone know when/where the next national convention is (I heard it was to be in San Diego but could be wrong)? I can’t seem to find a calendar of events over at the “revamped” LP.org website.
Drop a line in the comments if you know anything or have anything to say about their site.
UPDATE: The 2006 Libertarian National Convention is scheduled to take place June 30th to July 2nd at the Downtown Portland, OR Hilton (thanks Mr. X for the location info). You can (the lp.org redesign seems to have moved a lot of stuff around and not left any forwarding addresses).
Personally, I think lpconvention.org should have been switched over to a splash page with bare minimum information after the Atlanta convention instead of this stagnation we see now, but who knows what’s going on at the LNC anymore these days.
This has got to be the best rant I’ve seen against the proposed taxpayer-subsidized Jets stadium in New York. Spot-on and not a single pulled punch:
Almost nothing proves a politician’s fitness for office better than his ability to convince the public to fund a new sports stadium. You can doubt an elected official all you like, but any mayor or governor who can convince a majority of the electorate to hand over a quarter of a billion dollars to a bunch of gazillionaires ought to be given a goddamn medal. If he can pull off that sales job like Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty or Michael Bloomberg, with a straight face and a halo over his head, then he should be seriously considered as a candidate for sainthood.
Because in this world, there are little white lies, there are cynical public come-ons, and there is rank, fiendish bullshit; and then there is taking $300 or $600 million away from teachers and firefighters and police and handing it over to the heir of the Johnson & Johnson fortune, and asking for nothing but a job flipping burgers in return.
For that same money, the city of New York could buy the New York Knicks for $500 million or so, fire the idiot Isaiah Thomas, replace him with Daniel Doctoroff or anyone else with an IQ over ten, earmark the remaining $100 million to sign LeBron James a few years from now, and then spend the next decade after that quietly collecting the $150 million in annual revenues that the Knicks rake in now, even sucking as badly as they currently do.
That would be a shrewd business move and a legitimate public service.
I bet that if Mayor Bloomberg takes this plan into the election with him, his opponents will mop the floor with his Republican/conservative credibility.
This year Russia will buy more arms than it sells for the first time in a decade in a bid to modernize its armed forces. The Defense Ministry will spend $6.8 billion on arms in 2005, compared with the $5.1 billion it earned from arms exports last year, Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said in interview with Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily.
Be sure to take a gander at the list of links to other articles at the bottom. Is Russia trying to rekindle the Cold War or just responding to our military strategies?