Edward Said (University Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University), in the latest Palestine Chronicle:
Hardly a single journalist except Helen Thomas has taken the administration to task for the outrageous lies and confected “facts” that were spun out about Iraq as an imminent military threat to the US before the war, just as now the same government propagandists, whose cynically invented and manipulated “facts” about WMD are now more or less forgotten or shrugged off as irrelevant, are let off the hook by media heavies in discussing the awful, the literally inexcusable situation for the people of Iraq that the US has now single-handedly and irresponsibly created there. However else one blames Saddam Hussein as a vicious tyrant, which he was, he had provided the people of Iraq with the best infrastructure of services like water, electricity, health, and education of any Arab country. None of this is any longer in place.
And Mussolini had the trains running on time. Said has inspired me to write a song. Sing along, if you like:
Saddam’s Land (sung to Dixie Land)
Oh, I wish I was in the land of Saddam,
The Glory days are now forgotten,
‘lectricity, WMD, tryanny, praise Allah!
In Saddam’s land Ba’athist were thrivin’,
No mention of Kurds a Dyin’,
Look away, explain away, lie away, where’s the UN?
Oh I wish we had a tyrant, No Cares, No Wares!
In Saddam’s Land I raised my hand
In praise of our new fascism.
No way, USA, no Way, Saddam was better.
[sarcasm] I think, in celebration, I am going to engage in a wild orgy of sodomy. I will sodomize at the office, at the grocery store,- hell, I will sodomize on the ride home to pick up my BBQ smoker today. No one can stop me now- I am going to engage in sodomy 24/7. [/sarcasm]
At least, from the reaction of those in favor of keeping sodomy laws, that is what you would expect everyone to do- I know I was just one step away from having gay anal sex when I found out it was illegal- that stopped me right there. My point, of course, is that it is none of the government’s damn business what my homosexual friends are doing in the bedroom. I see no reason why their sex lives should be under scrutiny (or mine, for that matter). A good day for common sense and privacy, if you ask me.
The chief medical examiners in Tarrant and Bexar counties went head to head Wednesday in the murder trial of Chante Mallard, sometimes offering conflicting opinions about what occurred after Gregory Glenn Biggs crashed through her car windshield.
The prosecution completed its presentation of evidence Wednesday morning, and the defense rested it case in the afternoon after calling only one witness – the Bexar County, Texas, medical examiner.
I found this piece of information just awful:
Tarrant County Medical Examiner Nizam Peerwani, who performed Biggs’ autopsy, explained that Biggs suffered a broken right arm, right leg and a nearly amputated left leg. Peerwani ruled the death a homicide.
He testified that Biggs likely survived about two hours before bleeding to death; that he could have been moaning and groaning, or even talking, because he had no neurological damage; and that “positional asphyxia” likely did not contribute to his death.
Positional asphyxia is the inability to breathe because something compresses the abdomen, which sometimes occurs by being lodged in a tight space.
Peerwani also testified that, after reviewing Mallard’s training records as a nurse’s aide, she appeared to be a “medically oriented person” who should have recognized the seriousness of Biggs’ injuries and sought help.
She just let the man die, it really is that simple. I don’t know if it is capital murder (or even murder), but the one thing I do know is that if I hear one more person on television try to excuse her because “she has never committed a crime before in her life,” I am going to wretch. This is an evil, awful, hideous woman, and I hope she never goes five minutes for the rest of her life without realizing what she has done.
For more than four years, the deadliest fighting since World War II has raged in the vast Central African nation of Congo. More than 3 million people are dead. In some parts of the country, organized society has collapsed, with tribal vengeance giving way to genocide. For those in the war’s path, childhood ends abruptly. Parents are butchered in front of their children and militias turn the orphans into killers by their early teens. Neighboring countries are inflaming the conflict, arming rival militias and looting resources.
Sadly, the United Nations has seemed powerless to reverse Congo’s deadly disintegration. Before the arrival of a small French-led military force this month, international action has been timid. The new contingent, better equipped and with a stronger U.N. mandate to use force, may now contain the anarchy in one particularly violent area, the northeastern regional capital of Bunia. But the new force has only about 1,400 soldiers and is scheduled to begin pulling out in September. The rest of Congo remains at the mercy of marauding militias.
To expand the Bunia operation nationwide could require a U.N. army as large as 100,000. There is no chance of the Security Council’s sending or paying for a force that large. Peace will come to Congo, if it comes at all, only by strengthening diplomatic efforts to bring together the country’s main factions in a transitional government. Even that won’t have a chance unless the neighboring governments of Rwanda and Uganda order their local proxies to stop fighting.
If we let those people get slaughtered without doing anything meaningful, none of us deserves to sleep peacefully for the rest of our lives.
President Bush has got to be the most powerful man to ever walk the face of the earth. Kevin Drum has a long post today about the growth in inequality in income and a discussion attempting to debunk the ‘myth’ of income mobility. He has some very telling charts, and then closes with this sweeping indictment of our current President:
This is fundamentally unhealthy in a democratic society. When the rich absorb more and more of the economic growth of the nation, and the poor begin to lose hope of economic advancement, you have a potentially toxic combination. George Bush and the policies of the Republican party are making this ever worse, and someday soon the poor and middle class are going to figure out what’s going on. How about 2004?
Here are the charts- why am I laughing?
For his next trick, Bush will explain how he shot Kennedy, started WWI and WWII, and helped to craft the policies that led to the Stock Market Crash. By the way, he apologizes for starting the Aids epidemic.
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpg00John Colehttps://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpgJohn Cole2003-06-25 11:54:102003-06-25 11:54:10How Powerful is George Bush?
I stumped it, in a sense, even though I gave it credit. My thing was a vodka tonic, and the machine guessed “Gin and tonic.” It shockedthe hell out of me because the questions seemed to be getting broader and I was starting to become convinced it would never get it. Then it guessed, and Iwas so shocked that it was that close that I just gave it credit. After all- how is it supposed to know my drink of preference?
Japan, Myanmar’s largest donor, froze all financial aid to the country on Wednesday to punish its military government for detaining pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Japan appears to be rethinking its policy of engaging the junta in a dialogue with promises of aid — unlike the United States, the European Union and Britain, which have already imposed sanctions to press for Suu Kyi’s freedom.
Also Wednesday, U.N. special envoy Razali Ismail, the only outsider to see Suu Kyi since her arrest more than three weeks ago, said U.N. officials are “increasingly alarmed” about the government’s refusal to release her.
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpg00John Colehttps://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpgJohn Cole2003-06-25 09:30:482003-06-25 09:30:48Aung San Suu Kyi
New York Times columnists Nicholas Kristof and Paul Krugman, whose power and influence dwarf those of the President, finally forced Mr. Bush to confess his deception.
“I guess I really didn’t think this thing all the way through,” Mr. Bush said. “I just thought I’d tell the people Iraq has WMD, then start a war…and…uh…that’s as far as it got in our strategy sessions.”
The President added that, despite the blow to his popularity ratings this revelation would surely bring, “at least we got the oil.”
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpg00John Colehttps://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpgJohn Cole2003-06-25 09:27:142003-06-25 09:27:14On a Roll
The Atlantic Coast Conference reached deep into its expansion playbook late Tuesday and pulled a shocking end run.
School presidents and chancellors voted Tuesday night to invite Miami and Virginia Tech to join the conference — a scenario that excludes fellow would-be Big East defectors Boston College and Syracuse.
Sources also told ESPN that the vote was 7-2 in favor of inviting the two football powerhouses.
One of the things that irritates me the most is hearing liberals tell me how good it is to be European. “They have a better quality of life, shorter work weeks, paid vacation, socialized medicine, blah, blah, blah.” Here is the latest perk for the Eurotrash:
Sexist or raunchy images on television or in advertising could be banned across the European Union under a directive being considered in Brussels.
Anna Diamantopoulou, the Greek commissioner for social affairs, has ordered an internal study of gender questions outside the workplace, it was confirmed last night.
But officials said discussions were still in their early stages, with different commission departments being asked for their views, and some already strongly opposed.
“This is a trial balloon,” insisted one well-placed source. “No decision has yet been taken.”
Such a directive could have implications for Europe’s media, advertising and insurance industries, and could stop TV programmes that stereotyped women – or men – and ban advertising that did not “respect human dignity”.
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpg00John Colehttps://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpgJohn Cole2003-06-25 08:00:582003-06-25 08:00:58This Will Help Sales
A brave man recently met with me and described how life in his country has become unbearable. “There is too much fear in the country, fear of the unknown and fear of the known consequences if we act or speak out,” explained Pius Ncube, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Yet Archbishop Ncube speaks out fearlessly about the terrible human rights conditions in Zimbabwe, and is threatened almost every day with detention or worse.
For hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans, the worst has already come. Millions of people are desperately hungry because the country’s once-thriving agricultural sector collapsed last year after President Robert Mugabe confiscated commercial farms, supposedly for the benefit of poor blacks. But his cynical “land reform” program has chiefly benefited idle party hacks and stalwarts, not landless peasants. As a result, much of Zimbabwe’s most productive land is now occupied by loyalists of the ruling ZANU-PF party, military officers, or their wives and friends.