Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
This much we pledge—and more. -JFK
Wednesday, July 25
Luckily It's Only One
It seems that fisherman in California have a new problem to contend with. A Humboldt squid has moved into the area and is eating smaller fish that we humans would prefer ended up in stick form in a Gordon's box.
Jumbo squid that can grow up to 7 feet long and weigh more than 110 pounds is invading central California waters and preying on local anchovy, hake and other commercial fish populations, according to a study published Tuesday.emphasis mine
I say we catch that fella and make calamari out of him.
Yes, I know there are more than one. I just love seeing stupid grammatical errors in major publications and couldn't resist. It's dumb, I know, but play along.
An ex-Guantanamo Bay inmate who led pro-Taliban militants in Pakistan after his release died Tuesday when he blew himself up with a grenade to avoid arrest, police said.
The one-legged militant was released from the U.S. jail for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in March 2004 after he was captured in Afghanistan fighting for the Taliban.
He quickly took up arms again, and became a leader of militants in the South Waziristan region on the Afghan border, and was wanted for the kidnapping of two Chinese engineers later that year.
You see, the torture he had to face at the hands of his American captors was too much for him to take. Rather than go back and face the unspeakable horrors that no doubt awaited him, he instead opted to take his own life with a grenade.
If only more of these brave freedom fighters would opt to take their own lives rather than face the inhumane treatment of Gitmo, the public outcry from the rest of the civilized world would be enough to force W. and his evil handler Cheney to finally close this vile place.
Jennings was barbecuing chicken when he heard a 7-year-old boy calling for help. He said he saw the suspect, Deshaun Ridge, on top of the child, allegedly raping the boy.
"He stood up, and I just punched him right in the face," Jennings said. "He put his hands up and I grabbed him, and we went fighting."
Rhodes called police and then jumped into the fight to help her son apprehend the suspect. They held Ridge until police arrived.
I love this story. First because they saw something wrong and they jumped in to help. Second because she stabbed him in the ass with a barbecue fork. It's a good warm-up for what he'll be going through when he goes to federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison.
Stories like this rekindle my hope for America's future.
This may get long, but I'm going to try to address everything that he brought up.
I'm not perturbed with you. I think you are wrong as you can be about the global war on terror, but should you show up at my door tomorrow, I would invite you in, offer you a cold beer, and we could sit face to face and argue this. It's not personal.
No matter what perspective I use, there are far fewer parallels between our troops and suicide bombers then Ted Rall displays. I can, however, make many more comparisons between suicide bombers and environmental activists. In fact, I think I'll publish my own cartoon by the end of the week doing just that.
I did make fun of the Muslims who not only protested, but threatened death to anyone who dared print the Danish cartoons. The difference is that while I think Red Rall is blithering idiot, I also believe that he is free to peddle his ware wherever he desires. I won't be threatening him with beheading, but I will refuse to buy any paper and/or magazine that carries his cartoons. That's the difference. I vote with my dollars, they threaten to seperate your head from your shoulders. Seems simple enough to me.
Most importantly, and I know you are still a bit preturbed over the last little discussion we had on my blog, exactly what is the difference between a patriot and a terrorist? I'd like to know really what your thoughts are... I mean, essentially, the framers of the constitution could be considered terrorists since they fought against the government of the country at the time... and the men fighting against US and UN forces in Iraq, arguably are not all iraqi, but they ARE fighting for their perceived freedom. The iraqi forces fighting against the occupation are doing exactly what I would expect you to do if a foreign power came in and overthrew our government and tried to install one of their own design... wouldn't you frank?
Terrorist vs. Patriot.
First, let's discuss the founding fathers. They fought against the British government, because they wanted a representative government that guaranteed freedom and liberty for its citizens. They declared their independence, and prepared to defend their rights to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness". But when they wrote the Declaration of Independence, they didn't hide in some cave, issuing orders for their minions to attack while they hid out from the fighting. They didn't wear masks to hide their identities, and they didn't leave prams full of explosives in crowded markets. They didn't execute women and children in an attempt to free themselves from the British. They organized an army, and they fought bravely, but civilly (for the most part), for their independence.
Do I consider the force that we are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan to be equivalent to the founding fathers? Short answer; no. The government we overthrew in Iraq was an oppressive, totalitarian regime that regularly executed thousands of its own citizens. Saddam was a threat to the citizens of Iraq, his neighboring nations, and to any free, peace-loving country in the west.
We came in, deposed the dictator, helped the country to organize their own government, ratify a constitution, hold elections where the citizens elected their own government, and are actively training the local army and police force to be self-sufficient so we can leave. If we were occupiers, or imperialists, we would be actively crushing anyone in the country who opposed our will, and we would all be swimming in oil.
The difference between what we are doing there and what would happen should someone invade America are such polar opposites, it all but makes the comparison laughable.
We live in a free society, where we have the liberty to chose our own government. Anyone who invades our country is going to be doing so with the hopes of overthrowing our representative government in order to set up their own dictatorship, or in the case of those fighting in Iraq, their own Islamic theocracy. Anyone who wouldn't take up arms to defend against that type of invader isn't worthy of the freedom they currently enjoy. But again, you wouldn't find mass graves where Americans were kidnapping the invaders, beheading them, and dumping the bodies in shallow graves. Or there wouldn't be video on Liveleak or Youtube of Americans singing "America the Beautiful" while a 12 year old saws off the head of a member of the invading Army. But we've seen both of those things in Iraq, minus America the Beautiful.
When we pushed Saddam's forces out of Kuwait in '91, Bush 41 came under intense fire for not "finishing the job". Why is it that everyone thought that taking out Saddam was such a good idea 16 years ago, but bad now? And why was it that so many in Congress thought that invading Iraq was such a grand idea 4 1/2 years ago, but now want to act like they never had a hand in it? Why was Saddam such a threat just a few years ago, but now everyone thinks that Iraq was some kind of happy playground under him?
In fact, I think it's time to bring this out again. One after the other, Democrats tell us why Saddam was a bad man and should have been acted against. And yeah, they can all claim that Bush lied to them, but listen to current Presidential hopeful John Edwards pontificate about his inside knowledge as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Hillary saying that there cannot be peace in Iraq without regime change. Bet you don't hear anything even close to that from her now.
Anyway, back to your comment.
Those fighting us in Iraq are fighting for anything BUT their perceived freedom. They don't want a free Iraq. The last thing they want is a citizenry that realizes that it has the right to self-determination when it comes to their government. What they want are a people who are scared shitless of what will happen to them should they violate anything imposed under sharia law. They want women who wear the burqa, and men who grow their beards, give up alcohol and cigarettes, bow to Mecca 5 times a day, and promise to help kill the infidel.
One more comparison of our army to theirs. Ted Rall, in his cartoon, makes a reference to religious fervor. Let me ask you this, what religion do you have to be to join the U.S. Army? I'll answer that one for you; there is no religious requirement. Our military is made up of people from every walk of life, and every religion imaginable, standing shoulder to shoulder, fighting for the freedom of the man or woman on each side of him to pray to whomever or whatever he choses to worship. Or to not pray or believe in anything. Let me see you try that as a part of the insurgency. They not only require you to be Muslim, but will actively force you to convert or they will send you to meet Allah.
Now let's look at the treatment of prisoners. Whatever perceived abuse there may or may not have been at Abu-Ghraib, it pales in comparison to what will happen to you should you fall into the hands of our enemies. Our troops know that when you are engaged by the enemy, you win that fight or you die trying, because what they will do to you if you are captured is unspeakable. You will be tortured, and I'm not talking about forcing you to watch them flush a Bible down the toilet. I'm talking about drill bits through your knees or hands, fingers cut off, eyes gouged out, and anything else you can or cannot imagine. But you're never going to hear about that on the nightly news, because it doesn't fit into their preconceived notion that the "insurgents" in Iraq are morally equivalent to our founding fathers fighting the British.
Who do I consider patriots? Patriots are the Sunni's who are coming forward to point out members of Al-Qaeda in Iraq. Patriots go to the polls in Iraq to vote, when they know that if this current fight doesn't succeed, they will most likely end up in a shallow grave somewhere. Patriots are those Iraqis who are putting their lives on the line every day to fight the insurgents who are trying desperately to destabilize the region so that they can move yet another Arabic nation into sharia law.
The mask wearing, IED planting, women and children executing, car bomb driving terrorist we are currently fighting in Iraq are the worst kind of cowards in comparison.
The more I read this cartoon, the more pissed off I get. I would love to see this fuck-tard say this to the face of anyone in uniform. He's so fucking brave, sitting in his office, drawing cartoons that compare U. S. Soldiers to suicide bombers. He doesn't have a fucking clue what he is talking about, but I'm sure the left will celebrate his bravery for daring to stand up against those who say we should support the troops. At least he has the balls to admit he's a brainless, treasonous bastard.
Do I question his patriotism? You're abso-fucking-lutely right I do. The only reason he enjoys the freedom to spew this idiotic trash is because of the very men and women he is belittling.
I love Ted Nugent's way of thinking. Okay, not all the time, but most of the time we're pretty much on the same wave length. Or at least in the same neighborhood.
This summer marks the 40th anniversary of the so-called Summer of Love. Honest and intelligent people will remember it for what it really was: the Summer of Drugs.
Forty years ago hordes of stoned, dirty, stinky hippies converged on San Francisco to "turn on, tune in, and drop out," which was the calling card of LSD proponent Timothy Leary. Turned off by the work ethic and productive American Dream values of their parents, hippies instead opted for a cowardly, irresponsible lifestyle of random sex, life-destroying drugs and mostly soulless rock music that flourished in San Francisco.
Not long ago my small, southern town came to a grinding halt for the funeral of a young soldier killed in Iraq. I took this picture in front of the funeral home. The Patriot Guard Riders, along with several local vets and members of active duty, were lined down the sidewalk, standing guard over this brave young man's funeral, ensuring he was treated with the dignity and respect he deserved.
Luckily none of the whack jobs from Westboro showed up and everything was as it should be. A nation lost one of its young heroes, a family grieved, and a town came together in support of that family.
I constantly point out that the evening news is not the best place to receive information about what is really going on in Iraq. Now I'm going to give you a few sources you should be checking if you want to know what is really happening.
The above briefing is by BG Kevin Bergner, Multi-National Force-Iraq Spokesperson, speaking with reporters in Iraq, providing an operational update. If you've never checked it out, you can see this and more like it on The Pentagon Channel.
Unless, you know, you happen to get in our way. Then we don't care if you are from our party or not.
If you haven't seen the video yet, you should watch it. Hillary and Edwards discussing the fact that the third tier candidates are "trivializing" the debate. Also that their people should get together and talk about how to get rid of the rest of them.
She has a point, for Dems and Republicans. The third tier candidates are basically cluttering the stage, and have no hope of ever winning the election. However, it's not up to the front runners to be rid of them. At some point the un-winnables will realize the futility of their campaigns and quietly slink into that good night.
"Candidates, no matter how important or influential they perceive themselves to be, do not have and should not have the power to determine who is allowed to speak to the American public and who is not," said Kucinich.
"Imperial candidates are as repugnant to the American people and to our Democracy as an imperial President."
The Kucinich campaign will immediately take steps to address the planned actions of the Clinton and Edwards campaigns.
A German motorist surprised by euro notes swirling in the air around her car hit the brakes and collected a "substantial amount of money" before turning it over to police, authorities in Worms said on Thursday.
Every time I watch one of those ads with the guy from Die Hard 4 telling me how easy and user-friendly his computers are to use, I thank God that he granted me the gift of intelligence so that I don't need to use Apple products to keep up in life. That's not to say that I'd describe myself as a "PC guy", either. It's just that Apple seems to market its products exclusively to people with a much lower than average IQ, and I wouldn't feel any pride in bragging to people that I prefer Mac. It feels like it would be admitting defeat. "I don't know what a hard drive is or how files work or how to double-click things, and the last time I got an error message I poured bleach into my CPU, and that's why I use a Mac!" I feel as though I'd be like the chubby, quiet kid with the Neanderthal brow in elementary school who got held back a grade for repeatedly cutting himself with the grown-up scissors, so now he has to use the big purple plastic safety scissors. And then Justin Long saunters in with his smart-casual attire and mild I-swear-I-won't-fuck-your-daughter expression, and announces smugly that that kid is the coolest kid in the class because he uses iShears.
And with that he is just getting started. You really have to read the whole thing. I laughed so hard my stomach hurts. It doesn't hurt that I, too, hate Mac.
I Hate To Keep Having To Say I Told You So.... But
Remember that big to-do about the government's "domestic wire-tapping"? Remember how everyone was all up in arms because it was warrantless? Remember how they said it was unconstitutional? Well, turns out they were all full of shit.
It seems that he does, indeed, have the right to spy on the terrorists, even when they may call some douche bag in this country to try to arrange for some funding or perhaps their next strike at us.
But a big thank you to all the ass-clowns at the New York Times who had to tell everyone about it, even though they had no evidence that any wrong-doing had occurred or that it had been abused in any way. Because, you know, they love America and would never do anything to help the terrorists out.
For all of you who are just howling mad about Bush's commutation of Libby's sentence, be sure to check out the list of Clinton's pardons.
Just for a frame of reference, the word cocaine appears 20 times, marijuana 12 times, false statements 12 times, perjury 3 times, and embezzlement twice.
I don't really have a dog in this fight, in that I don't care one way or the other about Libby or what Bush does or doesn't do for him. I just think a little perspective is needed.
Update: Okay, so maybe I should expand on this post. Dawn asked if comparing the two is really perspective. I think it is, only in that Clinton (Bill and Hillary) are out there attacking Bush about the pardons
"I believe that presidential pardon authority is available to any president, and almost all presidents have exercised it," Clinton said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "This (the Libby decision) was clearly an effort to protect the White House. ... There isn't any doubt now, what we know is that Libby was carrying out the implicit or explicit wishes of the vice president, or maybe the president as well, in the further effort to stifle dissent."
I find their accusations hilarious, considering the number of scandals the two of them have been embroiled in over the years, as well as the number of people close to them who ended up in jail. Among the list of Clinton's pardons is Roger Clinton. That is Bill's brother, for those who don't remember. You will also notice that there are no specifics about what he is being pardoned for.
Also, according to this article in the Boston Globe, Hillary's brothers are alleged to have received payment from people seeking pardons from ol' Bill before he left office.
In addition to the people who paid her brothers, those receiving pardons included commodities trader Marc Rich, a fugitive who was prosecuted for tax evasion by then-US Attorney Rudolph Giuliani and fled to Switzerland. Rich was pardoned after his former wife, Denise Rich, contributed heavily to Hillary Clinton's Senate campaign.
So, the wife gives Hillary a shit-load of money while she runs for the senate, and Bill magically pardons her husband. But yeah, they're right. It's the Bush's who have no respect for the law.
Much has also been made about Libby being such a high ranking member of the administration. However, he is not the highest to be indicted in recent years. In 1999 Clinton's Housing Secretary, Henry Cisneros, pled guilty to lying to the FBI "about payments to former mistress Linda Jones during background check". Cisneros received a full pardon from Clinton.
The Valerie Plame case was a witch hunt from the beginning. Richard Armitage, the number 2 guy at the state department, told Colin Powell that he was the one who leaked the name. The State Department has been at odds with Bush for years, so they kept his identity from the White House when they briefed them on the situation. If the State Department had come clean at the beginning, none of this would have been an issue. Instead we get a special prosecutor to investigate a crime that never happened, and Scooter Libby becomes the scape goat because he was a loyal foot soldier and stupid about his testimony.
The investigation should never have happened to begin with, but it did, and he lied to prosecutors. I think he should either have to serve the time, or Bush should have grown a backbone and just pardoned him. But this, like most everything Bush does, is half-assed. He takes what he thinks is the right path, but he never fully commits to it. He wants to pardon Libby, but instead of doing it, he pussies out on us and commutes his sentence. What the hell is that all about? You're the fucking President of the United States of America. You can pardon whoever the hell you want. The constitution gives you that power. Just like Clinton could and did pardon whoever he wanted, including members of his administration. But neither should try to point out how awful it is that the other did it, because ALL presidents do it. It's their right.
So that is why I think it gives perspective. It all goes back to the "let me get the beam out of my eye before trying to remove the splinter from your" philosophy. The Clintons are a master of accusing everyone else in the world of being what they are.
For the last 20 years we've not had a two party system, we've had a two family system. The has been a Bush or a Clinton on every presidential ballot since 1980, and one in the White House since 1988. I think it's about time for some fresh blood, don't you?