Right Thinking From The Left Coast
Chance favors the prepared mind - Louis Pasteur

Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Make Up Your Mind, Mike
by Lee

It seems that Mikey changes his tune about Osama bin Laden quite often.  On September 12, 2001, Osama bin Laden was a monster created by the CIA.

WE created the monster known as Osama bin Laden!

Where did he go to terrorist school? At the CIA!

Dont take my word for it I saw a piece on MSNBC last year that laid it all out. When the Soviet Union occupied Afghanistan, the CIA trained him and his buddies in how to commits acts of terrorism against the Soviet forces. It worked! The Soviets turned and ran. Bin Laden was grateful for what we taught him and thought it might be fun to use those same techniques against us.

The, conveniently, on October 3, 2003, he was a harmless man on in a cave on dialysis.

Dear “Mr. President,” who attacked the United States on September 11tha guy on dialysis from a cave in Afghanistan, or our friends, the Saudi Arabians?

And let us not forget that in Dude, Where’s My Country? Moore speculates that the 9/11 attackers were part of the Saudi air force.

I would like to throw out a possibility here: what if September 11 was not a “terrorist” attack but, rather, a military attack against the United States? George, apparently you were a pilot once - how hard is it to hit a five-storey building at more than 500 miles an hour? The Pentagon is only five stories high. At 500 miles an hour, had the pilots been off by just a hair, they’d have been in the river. You do not get this skilled at learning how to fly jumbo jets by being taught on a video game machine at some dipshit flight training school in Arizona.

You learn to do this in the air force. Someone’s air force.

The Saudi air force?

What if these weren’t wacko terrorists, but military pilots who signed on to a suicide mission? What if they were doing this at the behest of either the Saudi government or certain disgruntled members of the Saudi royal family? The House of Saud, according to Robert Baer’s book Sleeping With the Devil, is full of them. So, did certain factions within the Saudi royal family execute the attack on September 11? Were these pilots trained by the Saudis? Why are you so busy protecting the Saudis when you should be protecting us?

So, we’ve gone from OBL being a “monster” to a guy on dialysis in a cave to the 9/11 attacks being a plot by the Saudi air force.  Then, on December 14, 2003, OBL was magically back to being behind 9/11 again.

Meanwhile, anybody know where the guy is who killed 3,000 people on 9/11? Our other Frankenstein?? Maybe he’s in a mouse hole.

So, it seems that Mike just can’t make up his mind whether he thinks OBL was behind 9/11, whether it was the Saudi air force, whether or not OBL is a guy in a cave on dialysis, or whether he is a “monster” who killed 3,000 people.

Why, it’s almost as if Mike really doesn’t have much of a logical, consistent position on this issue, and keeps changing his tune depending on what he perceives is the best way to smear President Bush.  Perish the thought.

Posted by Lee on 12/31/03 at 09:55 PM in Michael Mooron  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Another Small Link
by Lee

Here’s yet another sign that Iraq and al Qaeda would never have anything to do with each other.

U.S. forces operating in the so-called Sunni Triangle—the region of Iraq most loyal to captured former dictator Saddam Hussein—found a significant weapons cache that included al Qaeda literature and videotapes, the U.S. military said Tuesday.

Members of Task Force Ironhorse 2nd Infantry’s Arrowhead Brigade discovered the material Monday morning at a site in Samarra, about 65 miles north-northwest of Baghdad. Some of the items were found hidden in a false wall, the military said.

The troops also found a British-made body armor plate with a bullet hole. U.S. Central Command said it was an indication that insurgents were testing the ceramic plate’s ability to withstand expended anti-personnel ammunition.

“The capture of Saddam Hussein has not made America safer.”—Howard Dean

“Nothing that happened today (or in the past 9 months) has made us ONE BIT safer in our post-9/11 world. Saddam was never a threat to our national security.”—Michael Moore

Well boys, we’ll just see about that, won’t we?

Posted by Lee on 12/31/03 at 09:28 PM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Be Safe
by Lee

It’s the last night of 2003.  I want to see you all back here in 2004.  Be safe tonight, don’t drink and drive, and don’t shoot any fireworks off in your face. :)

Happy New Year, everyone!  All the best for a safe, happy, and prosperous 2004!

Posted by Lee on 12/31/03 at 08:46 PM in Etcetera  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Help Wanted
by Lee

According to the lefties, even though the economy is booming, people without jobs will never vote for Bush.  Well, that number just got a whole lot lower.

The number of people filing new claims for jobless benefits last week dropped to the lowest level in nearly three years, a dose of good news for President Bush who wants the economy on firm footing as he heads into his re-election campaign.

Nice bias there, AP.  I’m sure that the president wants people to have jobs because it is a good thing, and any benefits to his campaign are a secondary or tertiary concern.  That’s like saying “The surgeon wanted the patient to live because he was being considered for a promotion.”

The Labor Department reported Wednesday that new applications filed for unemployment insurance dropped by a seasonally adjusted 15,000 to 339,000 for the week ending Dec. 27. Last week’s drop marked the third week in a row that claims fell, and left claims at their lowest level since Jan. 20, 2001 Bush’s inauguration day.

Claims have been below 400,000 for 13 consecutive weeks, something economists view as a sign that the fragile labor market may be turning a corner.

The latest snapshot of the labor market suggested that America’s businesses are feeling more confident that the economic recovery is genuine, and thus are less inclined to hand out pink slips to workers, economists said.

“It is encouraging that this final piece of the puzzle the labor market may be falling into place. It’s a great economic note to end the year on,” said Richard Yamarone, economist with Argus Research Corp. [Emphasis added]

Note the highlighted sentence above.  Jobless claims are at their lowest level since the day Bush was innaugurated.  In other words, they’re as low as they were the day Bush inherited Clinton’s tanking economy.  With the economy skyrocketing upward, good times are ahead for the next few years, a boom of Reaganesque proportions.

Posted by Lee on 12/31/03 at 08:34 PM in Election 2004  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Predictions for 2004
by Lee

I was going to do this last year and didn’t for some reason.  So, not wanting to make the same mistake twice, here are my predictions for 2004.

  • George W. Bush will be reelected, but it will be a much closer race than any are predicting. 
  • The GOP will keep control of the House and Senate.
  • Bush will carry California.
  • There will be another terrorist attack on American soil, though not of the size or scope of 9/11.  Perhaps a suicide bomber in the Wall Street area, something of that nature.
  • Dean will get the Democratic nomination, and will offer the VP spot to Hillary Clinton, who will decline it.  He will then offer it to Wesley Clark, who will accept.
  • Michael Moore’s anti-American hate fest Fahrenheit 911 will open to rave reviews, but his goal of preventing Bush from being reelected will fail.  Moore will then blame this on the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy and the conservative media.
  • Ronald Reagan will pass away in his sleep.
  • San Francisco will pass an ordinance legalizing inter-species marriage.  “I now pronounce you man and cow.”
  • The liberal talk radio network will launch.  Bitter left-wing asshats Janeane Garofalo and Al Franken will host.  After an initial period of curiosity wears off the network will pull in dismal ratings and will fold.  Michael Moore will then blame this on the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy and the conservative media.  Al Franken will go on to make Stuart Rapes His Mother.
  • A drive for a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman will fail.
  • The Dow will close over 11,000 before March.

What are your predictions?  Leave them in the comments.

Posted by Lee on 12/31/03 at 05:14 PM in Deep Thoughts  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Knighthood.com
by Lee

Now this honor is truly deserved.

The inventor of the world wide web, Tim Berners-Lee, has been awarded a knighthood for his pioneering work.

Dubbed the “Father of the Web”, he came up with a system over 10 years ago to organise, link and browse net pages.

The famously modest man said he was “quite an ordinary person”, and although it felt strange, he was “honoured”.

Sir Tim was recently reunited with the machine he used to invent the web when he e-mailed 80 schools from the UN’s summit on the information society.

I think Sir Tim would approve of the blogosphere, too.

He recently told the BBC World Service’s Go Digital programme his invention was “just another program”, and that he originally wanted it to help achieve understanding.

“The original idea of the web was that it should be a collaborative space where you can communicate through sharing information.

“The idea was that by writing something together, and as people worked on it, they could iron out misunderstanding.”

The blogosphere might create more misunderstanding that it irons out, but it cannot be denied that it is a collaborative space where information is shared.  Congrats, Tim, you deserve it.

Posted by Lee on 12/31/03 at 04:39 PM in Science and Technology  • (1) TrackbacksPermalink

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

The Silencing of Dissent
by Lee

Californians, those from the Bay Area in particular, love to run around patting themselves on the back regarding their belief in free speech.  They have the communist America-hating Pacifica Radio Network, they stage a protest every five seconds, and they all have these snazzy yellow “NO WAR” bumper stickers on the backs of their Volkswagens.  They’re really big on free speech, and like Tim Robbins they believe that their dissent is being silenced by the conservative, pro-war, Pro-Bush media and their allies in the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.  Well, here’s an example of just that kind of silencing of dissent, from a little city about 15 miles north of where I live.

Tim Bueler recently received some unusual advice: His principal and a campus police officer suggested that he stay home from his California high school for a few days.

They feared for his safety because Tim, the founder of Rancho Cotate High School’s new Conservative Club, said he had received threats from other students after writing an article for the club newsletter calling for a crackdown on illegal immigration.

The 17-year-old junior says that stance inspired threats from which teachers have refused to protect him. Some faculty members even started a public campaign against his group, which seeks to promote “the pillars of the Bible, patriotism and conservative beliefs as balance to the mostly liberal viewpoints of teachers,” according to its newsletter, “The Conservative Agenda.” ...

Tim said teachers have also joined in the name-calling. One called Tim a Nazi, while another described the club as “a bunch of bigots.” In a parody of the newsletter, biology teacher Mark Alton called on students to “take a stand against the neoconservative wing-nuts who call themselves Americans.” ...

With about 50 members, the club has hosted speakers from the Eagle Forum and National Rifle Association.

Now, if this were a left-wing student in, say, Texas, whose bleeding heart anti-war club was being “silenced” by a group of fundamentalist Christian teachers, the media would be all over it.  (As of this writing a Google News search for Tim Bueler turns up virtually nothing.) Michael Moore himself would be wailing in a new Mike’s Message about how the neocon juggernaut is rolling over the individual free speech rights of a poor, hapless teenager.

Posted by Lee on 12/30/03 at 06:22 PM in Cullyforneah  • (4) TrackbacksPermalink

Indications of Terrorism
by Lee

Oh. My. God.  Give me a break.  This is asinine.

The FBI is warning police nationwide to be alert for people carrying almanacs, cautioning the books could be used for terrorist planning.

In a bulletin sent Christmas Eve to about 18,000 police organizations, the FBI said terrorists may use almanacs ‘’to assist with target selection and pre-operational planning.’’

It urged officers to watch during searches, traffic stops and other investigations for anyone carrying almanacs, especially if the books are annotated in suspicious ways.

The FBI also urged police to be on the lookout for people carrying spiral notebooks.  It has been noted in previous terrorist cases that spiral notebooks were used to plan out attacks, and therefore anyone seen carrying a spiral notebook should be considered with suspicion.  Items also designated by the FBI as possible indications of terrorist activity are laptop computers, cell phones, shoes, and newspapers.  The Bureau also reiterated that being a young Arabic male is in no way an indicator of possible terrorist activity, but anyone carrying an almanac should be considered armed and dangerous.

Posted by Lee on 12/30/03 at 04:48 PM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

The Appeasement Dividend
by Lee

And now we see all the payoff for Germany’s pacifist opposition to the United States.

Authorities closed off streets around a Germany military hospital Tuesday, saying they had received a tip from the United States that al-Qaida-linked extremists planned car bomb attacks against the facility.

An American intelligence agency passed on the information, which pointed to Ansar al-Islam, a group based in northern Iraq that is suspected of recruiting holy warriors in Europe for suicide missions in Iraq, Hamburg’s top security official, Dirk Nockemann, said.

Hamburg police said it had “concrete indications of people who want to carry out attacks by means of a car bomb” on the hospital, located in the Hamburg suburb of Wandsbek.

“Those potentially involved are believed to be from an Islamic terrorist background,” the police said in a statement.

The northern German city of Hamburg was home to an al-Qaida cell that included three of the Sept. 11, 2001 suicide pilots.

The police statement said state officials evaluated the threat as “very serious,” immediately ordering enhanced security at the hospital.

When the Islamists blew up the nightclub in Bali, the anti-war folks said it was because Australia had sided with America.  Now they have plans to attack Germany, a country that couldn’t have been more opposed to the US invasion of Iraq.  What justification will the left manage to divine from this incident? 

Winston Churchill once said that “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.” Well, the Islamic crocodile is on the prowl, and Europe’s pacifist populations are what it wants for dinner. 

Posted by Lee on 12/30/03 at 01:00 PM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Defending Halliburton
by Lee

Following up on this post, there’s more debunking of the Halliburton overcharge myth, this time in the New York Times.

The rebuilding of Iraq’s oil industry has been characterized in the months since by increasing costs and scant public explanation. An examination of what has grown into a multibillion-dollar contract to restore Iraq’s oil infrastructure shows no evidence of profiteering by Halliburton, the Houston-based oil services company, but it does demonstrate a struggle between price controls and the uncertainties of war, with price controls frequently losing. ...

So far this year, Halliburton’s profits from Iraq have been minimal. The company’s latest report to the Securities and Exchange Commission shows $1.3 billion in revenues from work in Iraq and $46 million in pretax profits for the first nine months of 2003. But its profit may grow once the Pentagon completes a formal evaluation of the work. If the government is satisfied, Halliburton is entitled to a performance fee of up to 5 percent of the contract’s entire value, which could mean additional payments of $100 million or more. ...

The contract to fix Iraq’s oil industry was granted to KBR by a secret Bush administration task force formed in September 2002 to plan for Iraq’s oil industry in the event of war. The task force, led by an aide to Douglas J. Feith, the under secretary of defense for policy, quickly concluded that the government alone could not meet the oil needs, members of the group said. “There were only a handful of companies, and KBR was always one of those mentioned,” said one Pentagon official.

Almost immediately, an alarm went off among members of the group. “I immediately understood there would be an issue raised about the vice president’s former relationship with KBR,” the official said, “so we took it up to the highest levels of the administration, and the answer we got was, `Do what was best for the mission and we’ll worry about the political’ “ fallout. [Emphasis added]

So much for the giant corporate oil conspiracy.

Posted by Lee on 12/30/03 at 11:30 AM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Monday, December 29, 2003

Mission Semi-Accomplished
by Lee

When Jim and I came up with the idea for MOOREWATCH we wanted to achieve two things:  we wanted there to be a single site to function as a repository for opinion and links that counter Mike’s lies, and we wanted that site to show up on search engines, so that anyone searching for info on Michael Moore would have a good chance of finding our site as well.  It looks like we’ve been successful. 

Googling the search string Michael Moore shows MOOREWATCH as second only to MichaelMoore.com.  We’re higher up the food chain than Dog Eat Dog Pictures (Mike’s production company), Mike’s own IMDb page, or even the Bowling for Columbine website!

VERY cool!

Posted by Lee on 12/29/03 at 09:24 PM in Michael Mooron  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

An Electoral Quagmire
by Lee

The Democrats are screwed, and nobody knows it more than Howard Dean.

Complaining about the torrent of attacks raining down on him from his rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination, Howard Dean on Sunday criticized his party’s national chairman, Terry McAuliffe, for not intervening to tone down the debate.

“If we had strong leadership in the Democratic Party, they would be calling those other candidates and saying, `Hey look, somebody’s going to have to win here,’ “ Dr. Dean, the former governor of Vermont, told reporters trailing him as he campaigned through central Iowa. Referring to one of Mr. McAuliffe’s predecessors, he added, “If Ron Brown were the chairman, this wouldn’t be happening.”

If you had strong leadership in the Democratic Party, Howard, you wouldn’t have had your asses handed to you in the lasty two elections by the Republicans.  The fact is that McAuliffe is Bill Clinton’s hand-picked boy, and Wesley Clark is Bill and Hill’s chosen candidate.  Terry and the Clintons all know that there is no chance of you beating Bush in the general election, so they’re hoping against hope that one of the other candidates manages to clinch the primaries.  Don’t expect any strong leadership from the Democrats until after the 2004 elections.  After Bush is reelected, and the GOP maintains its Congressional presence, McAuliffe will be thrown out on his ass, and maybe someone better will replace him.  If you’re looking for strong leadership, Howie, you should look to President Bush.

Dr. Dean also implied that many of his supporters, particularly young people, might stay home in November if another Democrat’s name ends up on the ballot.

“I don’t know where they’re going to go, but they’re certainly not going to vote for a conventional Washington politician,” he said.

As Shakespeare would say, “Therein lies the rub,” or “Therein lies the reason the Democrats are up shit creek.” Dean has gathered his momentum by positioning himself far to the left on issues like the war on terror.  He’s made himself the anti-Bush.  While this has been wonderful at drumming up support among the die-hard liberal Democrats it’s not going to play well with Mr. and Mrs. Middle America.  So, if the Democrats nominate Dean they’re guaranteed the left-wing asshat vote, but the centrist swing voters will either stay home or vote for Bush.  Or, if they nominate Lieberman or one of the other candidates, they have a better shot at winning the center, but they’re going to alienate the faithful, who will either stay home or vote for the Greens.

Why, it’s almost like the Democrats have gotten themselves into a… quagmire.

Posted by Lee on 12/29/03 at 04:00 PM in Election 2004  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Oh So Brawny
by Lee

Gee whiz, am I on the cutting edge of pop culture or what?  Back in October of last year I posted a link to a contest where you could vote for the new Brawny paper towel guy.  Well, the fine folks at Brawny have made their selection.

For the past two years, the folks at Georgia-Pacific Corp. have researched, focus-group-tested and debated the first significant change of the lumberjack look-alike in his 29 years.

Old Brawny Man was so out of date that some execs at Georgia-Pacific, which acquired the line in 2000, referred to him as “the ‘70s porn guy.” He became “a man female shoppers wanted to break up with,” said Gino Biondi, director of Georgia-Pacific’s paper towel brands. “They want a guy they can fantasize about.”

Georgia-Pacific wants a guy who can boost slipping sales. Brawny’s share of the $3 billion paper towel business has fallen from 14 percent to 11 percent since the ‘80s, a distant second to Procter & Gamble Co.’s Bounty. Georgia-Pacific has invested $500 million in a pair of plants to make Brawny stronger, softer and more absorbent, and rolled out the new face with the new towel two months ago.

Packages of Brawny paper towels with the old icon—blond hair, mustache—have been disappearing from supermarket shelves since November. In their place are rolls featuring the New Brawny Man: younger, clean-shaven, dark-haired, ethnically ambiguous, wearing red flannel over a white T-shirt (instead of Old Brawny Man’s blue denim), drawn with a far more visible, powerful torso.

I guess he did look like a 70s porn guy, huh?  Here’s a picture of the new Brawny guy.  What do you think, ladies?

See, the good thing is, if he gets you hot, you can use a Brawny paper towel to dry yourself off.  They’re creating their own demand.  Caliente!

Posted by Lee on 12/29/03 at 03:53 PM in Life & Culture  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Oil For Food
by Lee

Now, the source of this news is someone from the Iraqi Governing Council, so take it with a grain of salt.  But this story is tantalizing nonetheless.

Saddam Hussein has given his U.S. captors information on hidden weapons and as much as $40 billion (22.5 billion pounds) he may have seized while he was Iraq’s president, an Iraqi official has been quoted as saying.

“Saddam has confessed the names of people he told to keep the money and he gave names of those who have information on equipment and weapons warehouses,” Iyad Allawi, a member of the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council, told the London-based Asharq al-Awsat daily.

“The Governing Council is searching for $40 billion worth of funds seized by Saddam when he was in power and which has been deposited in Switzerland, Japan, Germany and other countries under the names of fictitious companies,” Allawi said.

I believe the part about the money, that makes perfect sense.  But Saddam giving up weapons details?  What possible motivation could he have for doing that?  Ego, perhaps?  At any rate, if this turns out to be true it is going to be a huge degree of vindication for us pro-war folks.

Posted by Lee on 12/29/03 at 10:27 AM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Sunday, December 28, 2003

French Culture
by Lee

Here’s another example of French tolerance and sophistication.

The saga of Joan of Arc is one of France’s greatest stories but a new investigation suggests her martyrdom at the hands of the English never happened.

When the French authorities called on Serhiy Horbenko to throw fresh light on the country’s medieval heritage they never anticipated the Ukrainian orthopaedic surgeon would try to undermine the most potent patriotic story in the nation’s history.

But Horbenko, who has established an extraordinary reputation for his expertise in examining skeletons, has risked Gallic ire by casting aspersions on the accepted story of the demise of St Joan of Arc.

The death of the teenage warrior burned at the stake as a witch - prosecuted by her English enemy and their allies in the Catholic Church - is one of the defining moments in the French national psyche.

But Horbenko’s research into the skulls and skeletons of France’s long-dead royals has led him to conclude that the woman on the pyre was not Joan at all but another French woman. The woman known as “Joan”, he says, lived on for decades after her supposed execution.

It’s an interesting article, I recommend it to anyone with an interest in history.  However, what I want to draw your attention to, gentle reader, is the reaction from the French who invited him to do his research.

Denise Reynaud, the deputy mayor at Clery who commissioned Horbenko, described the Ukrainian as a “very difficult man to work with owing to his Slavic temperament’.

Charming, no?  Basically Reynaud is calling him an “uppity nigger.”

Posted by Lee on 12/28/03 at 10:17 PM in Europe and the UK  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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