Right Thinking From The Left Coast
Don't stay in bed, unless you can make money in bed. - George Burns

Monday, October 03, 2005

The Logic of Harriet
by Lee

I think the Miers nomination makes a lot of sense at this point, all things considered.  Bush knows her and trust her, and as we all know, Bush only trusts about four people in the entire universe.  Andrew Sullivan has speculated (and I agree) that Miers is a substitute for the person he really wanted to nominate, Alberto Gonzales, but could not.  Why?  Because Bush would have been crucified had he not nominated a woman.

Given the historically low polling numbers of Bush and the GOP right now, he’s in a very vulnerable position.  With the off-year elections coming up, nobody in Congress is going to want to get into a protracted fight over a Democrat-led borking, so Bush was limited in who he could pick.  Miers, apparently, was a candidate who was favorable to Harry Reid, so by choosing her Bush avoids a costly, partisan fight.  He gets someone who might not be his first choice but is someone he can live with, and he get to put forth a candidate with very little judicial history (like Roberts) so there should be no problem getting her confirmed with a minimum of controversy.

A wise choice for the country?  That remains to be seen.  But it was a good choice for Bush, politically.  Good or bad, you make the call.

Posted by Lee on 10/03/05 at 08:50 AM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

I Have the Conn
by Lee

Since I’m home now and have more or less recovered for the bubonic plague that has gripped me since my return from the land of my birth, I have decided to fully retake control here at the USS Thunderdome.  I would like to officially thank all of my guestbloggers for keeping things interesting here in my absence.

JimK (from Right-Thoughts)
Nick (from The Horseback Riders)
Brian (from Tomfoolery of the Highest Order)
Aaron (from Free Will Blog)
Drumwaster (from Drumwaster’s Rants)

This little guestblogging experiment was a huge success, and I will definitely be doing it again the next time I have to go out of town.

Posted by Lee on 10/03/05 at 08:17 AM in Etcetera  • (1) TrackbacksPermalink

On the Ropes?
by Lee

John Fund sums up pretty well my feelings towards the GOP right now in this OJ op-ed.  Here’s a few snippets.

With Rep. Tom DeLay’s forced departure as majority leader, Newt Gingrich says, the Republican Party stands at a crossroads as important as any it has faced since nominating Ronald Reagan for president in 1980. “It must decide if it is going to be a party that fundamentally reforms government or one that merely presides over existing institutions and spends more money,” he says. Which path the GOP now takes may determine not only how much damage it suffers in next year’s elections but also whether it can hold the White House in 2008.

I don’t know whether or not the current GOP has enough brains to regroup and refine its message before the off-year elections.  I think it’s going to take a humiliating defeat to force them to return to their core message of small government, lower spending, lower taxes, and so on.  Right now they’re pigs at the trough, with the ability to vote themselves all kinds of pork and a president who doesn’t have the balls to veto a single bill, so why not spend themselves into oblivion?  They’ll all be out of office by the time the bill comes due, so who cares, right?

The ouster of Tom DeLay last week came over a dubious Texas indictment on campaign finance violations. But he was in hot water with the conservative base before that for a series of bizarre statements opposing budget cuts to pay for the costs of Hurricane Katrina relief.

He first claimed with a straight face that the GOP Congress had “pared [federal spending] down pretty good; I am ready to declare ongoing victory.” He then dismissed calls for delaying the start of the prescription drug benefit for a year by claiming it was designed to save money in the long run. “Postponing a reform that is going to implement fiscal restraint doesn’t make a whole lot of sense,” he lectured fellow members. Finally, he reacted to news that Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi would give up some specific transportation projects in her San Francisco district to help pay for Katrina by defending the projects in his own district. “The highway bill is an important part of building our economy,” he told reporters. Mr. DeLay seemed to be channeling Richard Nixon, another big spender, who once foolishly claimed, “We are all Keynesians now.”

Talk like that has demoralized much of the Republican base. With nearly all Democrats and two-thirds of independents reacting negatively to the Bush presidency, Republicans need to keep GOP voters in the fold. But only 78% of Republicans express approval of Mr. Bush, down from well over 90% at the time of his re-election. With only 32% of Americans believing that the country is headed in the right direction and only 33% approving of the job Congress is doing, the GOP has reason to worry. “By an eight-point margin, voters are now more likely to call themselves Democrats than Republicans; there was no gap in self-identification a year ago,” notes political handicapper Charlie Cook.

I went public on this blog that I officially do not identify as being a Republican any more.  A conservative, yes, but a Republican, absolutely not.  The GOP ceased being anything I feel like identifying with a few years ago, the culmination of a slide towards big government, big spending, and religious fundamentalism that began with the election of GWB.  So if you’re a fundamentalist Christian you’re probably thrilled with Bush right now, but anyone else is going to be pissed off to one degree or another.  Me, I’m in the camp right now that I’m so disgusted with both parties I honestly don’t give a fiddler’s fart who takes power in 2008.  There’s virtually no difference between the two parties any more.

But, ironically, the candidate who may benefit the most from the current discontent among Republicans is Sen. John McCain, a Beltway media darling who has often been unpopular among conservatives for his apostate views. But since Mr. McCain doesn’t depend on the Bush White House or his party’s leadership for favors, he is liberated to blast away at their abandonment of principle.

At a dinner last month with editors of The American Spectator, he called for revisiting the bloated highway bill and for outright repeal of the prescription drug bill--"a program that no voter understands and will usually oppose once they do.” It’s a sign of the failures of Republican leaders to follow conservative principles that Mr. McCain is becoming the most visible opponent of business-as-usual in Washington right now.

In 1999 I supported Bush over McCain.  I was wrong.  There’s a lot I don’t like about McCain, but knowing what I know now about Bush, McCain would have made a vastly superior president.  How ironic would it be if the Bush legacy was a McCain presidency and a Democratic takeover of Congress.

At this point, I’m voting Libertarian in 2008.  It’s a piss-away vote, to be sure, but I cannot in good conscience vote for the GOP any more.  I’ll vote for them in CA state issues, but the GOP is going to have to actively and publicly change its tune before I ever vote for them in a national election again.  If I wanted four years of incompetence, big government, and runaway spending I would have voted for the Democrats.

Posted by Lee on 10/03/05 at 07:58 AM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Harriet, Sweet Harriet
by Lee

It’s Harriet Miers.

President Bush on Monday nominated White House counsel Harriet Miers to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on the Supreme Court, reaching into his loyal inner circle for a pick that could reshape the nation’s judiciary for years to come.

“She has devoted her life to the rule of law and the cause of justice,” Bush said, announcing his choice from the Oval Office with Miers at his side. “She will be an outstanding addition to the Supreme Court of the United States.”

If confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate, Miers, 60, would join Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as the second woman on the nation’s highest court and the third to serve there. Miers, who has never been a judge, was the first woman to serve as president of the Texas State Bar and the Dallas Bar Association.

I’m really not in any position to comment here, because I don’t know a damn thing about the woman other than what I’ve read in the papers the last few days.  I’ll wait to read the opinions of others more versed in the law than myself.  That being said, check out the BBC article on the nomination.  They conveniently neglect to mention any of Miers’ qualifications for the post, but made sure to include this important information.

Ms Miers, 60, has been serving as President Bush’s top legal counsel since November 2004.

She also served on Mr Bush’s gubernatorial campaign in 1994 - and again during his presidential election of 2000.

That’s right, folks.  Her legal abilities, her professional experience, apparently none of this is newsworthy.  But pointing out the fact that she worked on Bush’s campaigns, well, that’s vastly important.  See, they can’t defame the candidate directly, so they do it via the omission of her qualifications and by tying her to Bush. 

Ah, the good old BBC, where bias is Job 1.

Update: There’s a good list of pre-announcement Miers-related links over at Right Side Redux.

Posted by Lee on 10/03/05 at 07:49 AM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Yet Another Camel Post
by Lee

It’s camel versus camel in an all-Arab death match!

Iraq’s interior minister has hit out at Saudi Arabian suggestions that Iran is wielding ever-greater influence in Shia-dominated Iraq.

Bayan Jabr accused Saudi rulers of hypocrisy over their autocratic regime, and disparaged the Saudi foreign minister as a “Bedouin riding a camel”.

Mr Jabr said Iraq was an independent nation that would not be dictated to by any foreign power.

His remarks were criticised by Hoshyar Zebari, Iraq’s Foreign Minister.

Mr Jabr’s comments were a retort to remarks made by Prince Saud al-Faisal, the Saudi Foreign Minister, on a trip to Washington in September.

Prince al-Faisal expressed concern that Shia Iran was using conflict and chaos inside Iraq to extend its influence across the border.

“We are Iraqis and we are responsible for solving our problems, we will not allow anyone to interfere,” said Mr Jabr, who sits in Iraq’s parliament for the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), a religious Shia party.

He added: “This Iraq is the cradle of civilisation that taught humanity reading and writing, and some Bedouin riding a camel wants to teach us.”

Yeah, how dare the prince think that a representative of a party called the “Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq” might be working in concert with the Islamic Republic of Iran.  Personally I think both of them are a bunch of camel-fucking savages, and their entire cradle of civilization isn’t worth a squirt of piss.

Posted by Lee on 10/03/05 at 01:00 AM in The Religion of Peace™  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Terror Strikes Home, Almost
by Lee

I found out from my Mom today that my cousin’s girlfriend, who is in Bali right now on holiday, ate at the restaurant where the attacks happened less than an hour beforehand.  Fucking Islamist vermin.  Kill them all.

Posted by Lee on 10/02/05 at 11:43 PM in The Religion of Peace™  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Enormous Genitals
by Lee

While the US was engaged in some hot girl-on-girl action with those feisty twins Rita and Katrina, the Chinese were getting cornholed by an enormous penis.

Typhoon Longwang headed for China after swirling through Taiwan on Sunday, injuring at least 34 people.

As the storm approached, more than 200,000 people were evacuated from boats to land in China’s eastern province of Fujian, state media said.

Most of those injured in Taiwan suffered cuts from broken glass, while strong winds lifted roofs off four homes and a university dormitory in the east coast mountain city of Hualien, disaster response officials at Taiwan’s National Fire Administration said.

“The damage and casualty situation right now looks as if we have had some good fortune in the midst of this misfortune,” Premier Frank Hsieh told reporters at the government’s disaster center.

It sounds like a teenage girl describing losing her virginity.  “Luckily the long wang didn’t do too much damage.” Besides, it reminds me of that scene from Kentucky Fried Movie.

Game Show Announcer: Guard number one is a senior on Klahn’s mountain, and aspires to be a research chemist. Welcome, please, Hung Well! Guard number two is a real skating buff. A warm welcome for Long Wang! Traveling comes naturally to guard number three, as he’s a licensed airplane pilot. Welcome, please, Enormous Genitals!

Posted by Lee on 10/02/05 at 11:18 PM in Etcetera  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Camel Toe
by Lee

And in other news, there’s this guy.

A man has been jailed for three months after admitting having sex on a regular basis with a female camel.

The man, a Bangladeshi national, was in Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates on a work visa and was employed as a driver. He was spotted by his employer going to the barn on a number of occasions. His employer followed him at one time and discovered him about to have sex with his camel.

The owner took him to the police station where he was arrested and charged with bestiality. His defence was that he had fallen in love with the camel.

The man will now spend three months in jail before being deported back to Bangladesh. His lover though will be put down in accordance with Islamic law. A representative of the Public Prosecution will be in attendance.

Islamic law contains a provision for the execution of a victim of bestiality?  We know how they treat their women; if a woman is raped the woman is blamed for it for “tempting” the man, and is from that point on considered unclean and dishonored.  So a guy fucks a camel, and they kill the camel?  And Islamic law has rules for this?  Maybe Islamic men would be less tempted by the sexual wiles of the camel if all camels were required to wear head-to-toe veils.

I wonder if it would be more offensive to Allah if the camel had been male.  Homosexual bestiality has to be worse than regular old bestiality, right?

Posted by Lee on 10/02/05 at 12:15 PM in The Religion of Peace™  • (1) TrackbacksPermalink

Leaving Before the Job Is Done
by Lee

To me, this sounds like we’re setting up Iraq in as a loss that can be spun as a win.

The U.S. generals running the war in Iraq presented a new assessment of the military situation in public comments and sworn testimony this week: The 149,000 U.S. troops currently in Iraq are increasingly part of the problem.

During a trip to Washington, the generals said the presence of U.S. forces was fueling the insurgency, fostering an undesirable dependency on American troops among the nascent Iraqi armed forces and energizing terrorists across the Middle East.

For all these reasons, they said, a gradual withdrawal of U.S. troops was imperative.

American officials backtracked on their expectations of what the U.S. military can achieve in Iraq months ago. But this week’s comments showed that commanders believe a large U.S. force in Iraq might in fact be creating problems as well as solutions.

“This has been hinted at before, but it’s a big shift for them to be saying that publicly,” said Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution in Washington. “It means they recognize that there is a cost to staying just as there is a benefit to staying. And this has not really been factored in as a central part of the strategy before.”

George W Bush:  “We will leave when the job is done.” I guess not.

During his congressional testimony, Army Gen. George W. Casey, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said that troop reductions were necessary to “take away one of the elements that fuels the insurgency, that of the coalition forces as an occupying force.”

A smaller U.S. presence could alleviate some of the anger feeding the insurgency, Casey suggested.

The “anger” feeding the insurgency?  What’s feeding the insurgency is Syria and Iran, across the porous borders that this administration didn’t seem fit to secure.  The only anger in the Iraqi people comes from the fact that while life under Saddam sucked, there were none of the daily terrorist attacks that are now the norm there.  We removed from their lives something bad and in return gave them something worse, a non-functioning government (democracy though it may some day be) and a country riddled with active terrorist cells.  Drop the idealism for a moment, if you were an Iraqi would this seem like a good deal to you?  Under Saddam you at least knew the rules to play by to avoid ending up in the torture chamber, here your kids might get blown up walking home from school.

This was a war that could have been won, and we’re losing it.  We expected to be greeted as liberators and we were, in the beginning, but we lost the momentum.  Too few troops on the ground?  Historians will be debating that one for decades.  Failure to secure the borders?  That’s probably the main weakness.  We have allowed thousands of foreign trained and financed Islamists to enter Iraq and fuel the insurgency, supplementing the guerilla operation that began with the old remnants of the Ba’athist regime.  In other words, we allowed defeat to be snatched from the jaws of victory.

The larger point here is one of credibility.  After WWII the United States built up the most awesome military force in the world.  We’re so powerful and so good at it that there isn’t another army in the world that would dare engage us in traditional warfare, because there is simply no way they could win.  However, as enemies so often do, they have found our weakness and are exploiting it.  The new rule for warfare in the 21st century is this: any army facing certain defeat from an overwhelming military invasion by the United States will immediately resort to guerilla warfare.  So, the question now is, how to we deal with guerilla tactics?  As Iraq has shown us, not very well.  You know the credible threat of force we had by going into Iraq?  Well, we’ve just pissed away that threat by showing that we don’t have the ability to complete the job.  Consider this.

The Central Command’s Gen. John P. Abizaid, who supervises all U.S. troops in the region, said the broader fight against Islamic extremism required the United States to “reduce our military footprint” across the region and push governments in the Middle East to fight the extremists themselves.

I’m sorry, but is he delusional?  Why the hell would these governments fight the extremists, when half of them are funding them in the first place?  We’re going to rely on the goodwill of Syria and Iran and Yemen to fight terrorists for us?  This is what American foreign policy has been reduced to, crossing our fingers and hoping that the bad guys will take care of their own?

The sad fact is that I don’t really see any way that we can “win” this one.  Iraq is too far gone at this point.  We’ve lost the Iraqi people, so now the question becomes how do we gracefully leave the country while we can still spin it as being something other than a defeat.  Going into Iraq was a righteous mission, and it was a mission that it was imperative that we win.  We’ve failed at that mission.  So, now we’re scrambling to try and redefine the mission to a set of parameters that are obtainable.  The larger point here is that we’ve just demonstrated to every rogue nation in the world that they really have nothing to fear from us, that for all our planes and bombs and carrier battle groups we’re totally incapable of successfully battling a guerilla insurgency.  Every one of our Middle Eastern enemies is currently preparing for that eventuality, stockpiling weapons and training fighters in the creation of IEDs and the like, so that if we ever happen to topple the governments of Syria or Iran we have no chance of ever securing the country.

We can spin it how we like, but I don’t see Iraq turning into anything but a loss at this point. 

Posted by Lee on 10/02/05 at 11:24 AM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (1) TrackbacksPermalink

When the Levee Breaks
by Lee

Here’s some interesting news on the levee walls which failed in New Orleans.

NBC News has obtained what may be a key clue, hidden in long forgotten legal documents. They reveal that when the floodwall on the 17th Street Canal was built a decade ago, there were major construction problems — problems brought to the attention of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

A 1998 ruling, by an administrative judge for the Corps’ Board of Contract Appeals, shows that the contractor, Pittman Construction, told the Corps that the soil and the foundation for the walls were “not of sufficient strength, rigidity and stability” to build on.

“That’s incredibly damning evidence,” says van Heerden, “I mean, really, incredibly damning.”

Pittman won the contract in 1993. There already was an earthen levee made of soil. Embedded in that was a thin metal wall called sheet piling. The contractor was hired to pour concrete on top of all that to form the flood wall.

But the 1998 documents — filed as part of a legal dispute over costs — indicate the contractor complained about “weakness” of the soil and “the lack of structural integrity of the existing sheet pile around which the concrete was poured.” The ruling also referenced the “flimsiness” of the sheet piling.

George W. Bush didn’t become president until 2001.  Why, in the three years prior to that event was nothing done to strengthen the levee system by the Clinton administration, the State of Louisiana, or the City of New Orleans?  Why is the failure of this system solely the responsibility of George W. Bush, especially in light of the fact that the city was pissing away its levee funds on riverboat casinos and fountains?

Bush deserves blame where he earned it.  The failure of the New Orleans levees is not his fault.

Posted by Lee on 10/02/05 at 12:51 AM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Why We’s Po’
by Lee

We heard a lot about the “racial divide” in this country in the wake of hurricane Katrina.  It was theorized that the reason so many of the victims were black was evidence of America’s legacy of racism.  My contention was that it was largely a cultural phenomenon, and that the racism involved was the soft racism of lowered expectations that the liberal American left has been showing black Americans for the past 40 years or so.  “Don’t try, you’ll never succeed.  Let government take care of you. “ Well, here’s a good example of what I was talking about.

Fantasia’s highest hope for the fall has nothing to do with her opening slot on Kanye West’s tour or her two nominations at the American Music Awards. She wants to read her 4-year-old daughter a book.

In the book, which Fantasia dictated to a freelance writer, the singer reveals that her mother is also functionally illiterate and that Fantasia was so ashamed of her own struggle it kept her from ever applying for a job. On “Idol,” she learned lyrics by listening to the songs, not reading the sheet music, and since winning, she’s signed contracts she couldn’t read.

While working with the music directors, “Somebody would say, ‘You know, it’s pronounced this way,’ and I’d be like, ‘Oh, I’m sorry, you know, I’m country, you know,’ “ Fantasia tells “20/20” in an interview airing Friday night.

Fantasia is now working with a tutor and is sharing her story to inspire others who struggle with reading and writing.

Okay, let’s look here.  It was well-publicized during her season on American Idol that Fantasia came from very humble origins.  She’s also an unwed single mother.  Now we find out that she’s illiterate, and that her mother is also illiterate. 

At what point do any of these people take responsibility for the fact that they are poor?  I’m assuming that Fantasia’s mother gave birth out of wedlock as well.  So we have an illiterate black woman who gives birth to a daughter, who grows up to be another illiterate black woman who gives birth to another daughter.  If it wasn’t for American Idol this cycle would have most likely repeated itself, with generation after generation of this family being poor, illiterate, unemployable, and tied to the welfare system.

How is this the fault of white America?  How is this a legacy of racism?  Why is this not the responsibility of these two women, who rejected the opportunities available to them to get an education, who got pregnant out of wedlock, and who set themselves up lives as unwed mothers, unable to provide for their own families?  Look, this doesn’t make these women bad people, and I’m sure that they all love their children and did the best they could under the circumstances.  But this doesn’t change the fact that they reason they are poor is because of their own doing, and when evaluating the situation the lion’s share of the blame for their poverty should fall on their shoulders, and not the nebulous bugaboo of white racism.

Posted by Lee on 10/01/05 at 02:53 PM in Deep Thoughts  • (1) TrackbacksPermalink

Killing Allah
by Lee

There’s a story within a story here.

Boeing Co. apologized on Friday for a mistakenly published advertisement for its V-22 Osprey aircraft showing troops dropping onto the roof of a mosque in what appears to be a simulated battle scene.

The ad, coming amid rising concern among Muslims over U.S. military action in Iraq and Afghanistan, prompted immediate complaints from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which demanded the withdrawal of the campaign.

But Boeing, which created the ad with partner Bell Helicopter, said publication was a “clerical error” by the National Journal, which ran the ad on September 24.

“We consider the ad offensive, regret its publication and apologize to those who like us are dismayed with its contents,” said Mary Foerster, vice president at Boeing’s defense unit, in a statement.

The ad “did not proceed through normal channels,” Boeing said, and despite asking for it to be withdrawn and destroyed, was published in error.

The National Journal, a Washington government and policy magazine, admitted it made a clerical error and said it accepted full responsibility in a statement issued on Friday.

Then there’s this.

The ad shows troops rappelling down from an Osprey craft to the domed roof of a building labeled “Muhammad Mosque” in Arabic as smoke billows from a burned-out car nearby.

“It descends from the heavens. Ironically it unleashes hell,” says the ad, published by Boeing and Bell Helicopter, a unit of Textron Inc., which jointly developed the Osprey. …

The ad “clearly portrays special forces assaulting a mosque, a structure dedicated to civilian worship purposes,” said CAIR executive director Nihad Awad, in a letter to the two companies. “This gives the impression that ‘the insertion points never thought possible’ are Islamic places of worship.”

Interesting, isn’t it, that in the current war against the Religion of Peace™ the US military finds the need to actually practice missions into mosques.  Why?  Could it be that the peace-loving Muslims are using mosques as staging points to attack US troops and innocent civilians?  Note that CAIR isn’t complaining that mosques are being used in this manner by their coreligionists, only that an ad brought to light the fact that entering a mosque is a completely legitimate military operation.  They don’t care that terrorists are prostituting the religion CAIR claims to “cair” about, only that the impression that Islam is a peaceful religion is maintained at all costs.

Posted by Lee on 10/01/05 at 02:45 PM in The Religion of Peace™  • (1) TrackbacksPermalink

Rop Peacefully Slaughters 19

Looks like our friendly neighborhood Muslims are at it again. They weren’t too creative this time, this is part duex, as it were. I’d like to take this time to thank Australians for having the resolve not to flatten this shithole of a tropical island if not for only to save orangutans (orang utan in Indonesian means forest people, I think they are more civilized than the native headhunters and cannibals that inhabit the islands).

As you all know I am married to a Chinese Indonesian and nothing boils my blood more than this topic. The writing was on the wall that this country is the next Afghanistan. Aussies tried to tell us when they intervened in East Timor. My wife was banished from the country during the Chinese genocide. ‘Free Willy’ stood by while thousands of Chinese Indonesians were raped, murdered, and their businesses burned by the wholly Muslim native population. My wife (as many Chinese immigrants to Indo are) is a Catholic/Buddihst who has told me countless stories of avoiding Christmas mass for fear of bombings. Bombings that were a reality in her lifetime.

My mother in law still lives there. I fear for her daily and this bombing is just another ‘I told you so’ to the current administration to pick up the fucking pace because the marathon is not over. In Indonesia the terroist are a group named jemiahl Islamia (something like that) and they too wish for a Wahhibi state. I will tell you from personal experience that the reason they choose Bali is for the fact that in addition to infedels of the Aussie and American sort, Bali is Hindi. To the Indo Muslim mindset killing Balis is cricket. I have been to Jakarta where my inlaws live, and to Bali.

In Jakarta you are woken up daily at 5am by calls to prayer. The city (if not the country) is a pestilence riddled shithole, and the only saving grace for culture is jaunting to Singapore or Bali and enjoying peace. Well, these assholes are determined to ruin that. I used to be a big fan of Soharto. He was a peaceful president, and under his reign a lot of progress happened. I was a fan of Megawatti when she was elected, but I realize her hands were tied by Islamic clerics with ties to our ole buddy Sokarno.

I could go on for hours about this topic, but please use this thread to mourn the loss of people who only went to Indonesia to have a vacation. they met their demise at the hand of souless monsters who will tear the once beautiful country of Indonesia down to another Afghanistan. It rips me to shreds to see this going on precious months after the tsunami, but hey. This is Indonesia we are talking about. The country where you can get raped and killed for being a wealthy Chinese shoemaker (my GFather inlaw) who starts his business peddling samples door to door by bike.

Die infedel. How dare you stray from our Qranic misery.....


Oh, it’s 22 now. as you can see this topic really raises my blood pressure. I have a part of my family there I have to worry about, and a LOT of history in our six year marriage to mull over. I don’t even know where to begin. Islam has been a huge problem in the last century, and if I can’t get my mother in law to this country (she loves it here BTW, peace, cleanliness and no one kills you for working you ass off to make money) where our economic prosperity settles her collective mind about our future, I don’t know what I’ll do. I can only wish pestilence and death upon these cowards who would do such a cowardly deed.

Update 2:

Sorry to sour you cretins from fixing your ARM loans(BTW you are all fucked, assways) and FEMA rantings. I thought this was big, but it appears the United States of Amnesia is fixated on alternate topics. I guess Lil Bow Wow’s new single draws more contraversy than an island state suffering from Islamic terror. Truly American.

Update 3:

I never have been a hater of Christianity. I attend ‘Bedside Baptist’ whilst my wife is attending mass. There might be a day I join her, but she loves me for contemplating the decision. I was raised Church of England. I am in no position to tell her how to live. Love is not how we collectively think. It is about acceptance betwixt a man and woman (or otherwise). she has her issues with my gay bishop, and I reluctantly give the apportioned salary to her faith.

Posted by Manwhore on 10/01/05 at 11:14 AM in The Religion of Peace™  • (2) TrackbacksPermalink

Ein Mann, Ein Job, Ein Kanzler
by Aaron

I continue to dance for your amusement in Lee’s absence: Kim du Toit once wrote that Germany seems to be one of those places where laughter is punished by the death penalty, and now even Germans agree: The whole country needs Prozac.

Germans’ sagging national pride and collective sense of gloom have reached critical levels, the country’s top media companies say. So they have decided to do something about it.

Get ready for Germany’s action plan!

Publishing giant Bertelsmann and 23 other companies — including publisher Axel Springer, newspaper Der Spiegel and broadcaster RTL Germany — have kicked off a four-month, $36 million campaign to lift German spirits.

Using the slogan “You are Germany,” the national pep talk began Monday [on all ten major television stations] with an emotional two-minute TV ad featuring celebrities such as figure-skating champion Katarina Witt and the theme song from the movie Forrest Gump.

“You are the miracle of Germany,” the celebrities tell their countrymen in the ad. “A butterfly can unleash a typhoon. The air moved by the flap of its wings can uproot trees a few kilometers away. Just as a breath of air can become a storm, your deeds can have an effect.”

That is some damn butterfly. I’m sure I’m also not alone in seeing the irony of the use of the theme from “Forrest Gump” as a backdrop to an effort to get Germans to, how can I put this, stop acting like retards.

The campaign’s aim: to create a “mood of optimism,” organizer Bernd Bauer says. “We alone can’t change the country, but we may be able to initiate change, which then needs to be taken up by ordinary people, companies and organizations.”

This sounds, to me, suspiciously like the campaign’s organizers also suffer from significant apathy. “You move the couch, I’ll cheer you on.” I mean, what makes these guys so special that they can speak of the “ordinary” people who need to do all the changing? After all, there’s no “I” in “TEAM”, but there’s indisputably an “M-E".

“It’s a rather desperate attempt to generate enthusiasm,” says Richard Schuetze, 50, a business consultant living in Berlin.

Benno Simmering, 27, a student from Berlin, says the project is a good idea but not what’s needed. “I’m not sure what it’s going to achieve,” he says. “The only way you’re going to change Germany’s image of itself is if you get serious about economic reforms.”

A survey this month showed that the economy, a great source of German pride for decades after World War II, has become its biggest source of angst. In the poll, conducted by an arm of insurer R+V Versicherung, 52% of Germans said they were “very afraid” of the future — up from 25% in 1991. Unemployment was among their biggest worries.

You don’t think this decline ran in tandem with the growth of socialist government programs, do you?

Germany’s election Sept. 18 might have compounded those fears. Neither of Germany’s two main candidates — Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder or opponent Angela Merkel — won enough support to form a government, and both have laid claim to the chancellorship.

“I think it’s rubbish because it’s nationalistic,” says Robert Erlich, 28, an unemployed German.

Self-loathing is always productive, but yeah, that “you are the miracle of the fatherland” stuff does make me wonder if they aren’t planning a pride rally at Nuremberg.

..."It’s got a lot to do with our history. This hesitancy and moaning have been passed on from generation to generation,” Faigle says. “Before you do anything, you have to work out what happens if something goes wrong.”

He adds, “We nurture our depression. We haven’t managed to laugh at ourselves enough.”

The ads tell Germans, “Don’t ask what others will do for you. You are the others.”

They ripped that off from Kennedy.

“We’re effectively telling people, ‘Don’t expect the politicians to get anything done. Try to take things into your own hands,’ “ says Oliver Voss, the project’s creative director.

“In Germany, you expect the political system and the economy to provide your (social and job) security,” he says. In the USA and Britain, “you expect to gain security through your own initiative.”

With economic growth at less than 1% (yet not the lowest in Europe, economic powerhouse that it is), maybe they should experiment with radical, impossible theories like “individual responsibility” and “the free market” as a fun change of pace from the tremendous successes of the proven, time-tested principles of socialism.

Posted by Aaron on 10/01/05 at 03:47 AM in Europe and the UK  • (5) TrackbacksPermalink

Friday, September 30, 2005

I Live, Redux
by Lee

Thanks to the guestbloggers for picking up the slack today.  I’m feeling a little better thanks to the wonders of medical science and a delicious cocktail of over-the-counter medications.  Of course, I’m still in JimK mode, where I’ve spent the last two days asleep, thus putting my internal clock totally off.  So, tonight I’m going to mix my OTC drugs with a couple of potent prescriptions, which should knock me on my ass and get me back into regular orbit.

Posted by Lee on 09/30/05 at 11:24 PM in Etcetera  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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