Friday, June 29, 2007

cat no longer in bag...again 

President Bush held up Israel as a model for defining success in Iraq on Thursday...


In Israel, Bush said, "terrorists have taken innocent human life for years in suicide attacks. The difference is that Israel is a functioning democracy and it's not prevented from carrying out its responsibilities. And that's a good indicator of success that we're looking for in Iraq."

Juan Cole criticizes this statement on the grounds that it will lead the Iraqis to believe they are slated to play the role of Palestinians and thus they will resist US occupation more violently.

Cole is right as far as he goes. Revealing your true intentions to your enemy is certainly stupid. However I think the good Professor could be more evenhanded in his critique. Surely Bush deserves some credit for his honesty?

Although perhaps we could further criticize Bush on grounds of expediency. Countering the perception that the US wants to colonize Iraq would be a very difficult thing to do since the perception is in fact accurate. Bush has, yet again, taken the easy way out by just admitting it. Certainly more strenuous efforts at deception will be required if the Iraqi population is to be made docile enough to accept external rule.

How pathetic that these pampered scions of the wealthy, never having worked a day in their lives, can't even be bothered lift a finger to lie properly. What is the world coming to?

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Yes Men update 

After their Exxon prank the Yes Men are getting shut-down by their internet provider. Apparently YM emails are also being blocked, so I'll post the press release in full.

This little incident tells you all you need to know about what will happen to our wonderful democratic intertrons if Net Neutrality is successfully destroyed:


Yes Men badly need sysadmin, server co-location

Contact: mailto:people@theyesmen.org

One day after the Yes Men made a joke announcement that ExxonMobil
plans to turn billions of climate-change victims into a brand-new
fuel called Vivoleum, the Yes Men's upstream internet service
provider shut down Vivoleum.com, the Yes Men's spoof website, and cut
off the Yes Men's email service, in reaction to a complaint whose
source they will not identify. The provider, Broadview Networks, also
made the Yes Men remove all mention of Exxon from TheYesMen.org
before they'd restore the Yes Men's email service.

The Yes Men assume the complainant was Exxon. "Since parody is
protected under US law, Exxon must think that people seeing the site
will think Vivoleum's a real Exxon product, not just a parody," said
Yes Man Mike Bonanno. "Exxon's policies do already contribute to
150,000 climate-change related deaths each year," added Yes Man Andy
Bichlbaum. "So maybe it really is credible. What a resource!"

After receiving the complaint June 15, Broadview added a "filter"
that disabled the Vivoleum.com IP address (, and
furthermore prevented email from being sent from the Yes Men's
primary IP address ( Even after all Exxon logos were
removed from both sites and a disclaimer was placed on Vivoleum.com
on Tuesday, Broadview would still not remove the filter. (The
disclaimer read: "Although Vivoleum is not a real ExxonMobil program,
it might as well be.")

Broadview did restore both IPs on Wednesday, after the Vivoleum.com
website was completely disabled and all mention of Exxon was removed
from TheYesMen.org.

While this problem is temporarily resolved, the story is far from
over. Meanwhile, though, two bigger problems loom, for which we're
asking your help:


Broadview Networks provides internet connectivity to New York's
Thing.net and the websites and servers it hosts, including the Yes
Men's server. Thing.net has been a host for many years to numerous
activist and artist websites and servers.

At the end of July, Thing.net will terminate its contract with
Broadview and move its operations to Germany, where internet
expression currently benefits from a friendlier legal climate than in
the US, and where baseless threats by large corporations presumably
have less weight with providers. At that time, the Yes Men and two
other organizations with servers "co-located" at Thing.net will need
a new home for those servers. Please write to us if you can offer
such help or know of someone who can.


The Yes Men are desperately in need of a sysadmin. The position is
unpaid at the moment, but it shouldn't take much time for someone who
knows Debian Linux very well. It involves monitoring the server,
keeping it up-to-date, making sure email is working correctly, etc.
The person could also maintain the Yes Men's website (which will be
updated next week), if she or he wants.

Thing.net also needs a sysadmin: someone living in New York who knows
Linux well. The Thing.net position involves some money and the
rewards of working for an organization that has consistently and at
great personal risk supported groups like the Yes Men over the years.


Mika Brzezinski 

I love these little moments, imagining that they are bits of humanity that slip through the cracks. That they somehow expose the conflicts that go on within the media world, and even within the individuals in that world. As though every day after morning coffee, the inner Brzezinski and Scarborough of each reporter have these confrontations.

Fascinating too how the boys alpha-dog her and shut her down. One wonders how they would have done their job of keeping America stupid if some 'manly man' had attempted the same thing as Brzezinski. Imagine if Sean Hannity had Mika Brzezinksi's brains and scruples. How would they attack him? What do these people do when "faggot" and "bitch" don't work?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

dance, monkey! 

Bush on the Bush/Blair relstionship:

“Somehow our relationship has been seen as Bush saying to Blair 'Jump’ and Blair saying 'How high?’. But that’s just not that way it works. “It’s a relationship where we’re both going to jump together."

He added, "Just as soon as Cheney tells us when to jump."

lost and found...and lost 

Nevermind album cover baby is now 17 years old.

Monday, June 25, 2007

C.T. Whitman not flipping--why? 

"There are people to blame. They are the terrorists that attacked the United States, not the men and women of all levels of government..."

For the sake of argument, let's say it was the terrorists--i.e., the hijackers--and only the terrorists who blew up the buildings. It was your job to try to help fix it. That begins with telling the truth about what was there (i.e., poison smoke). Instead, you lied about it. Thus, you abetted the terrorists. You were the government, yet you abetted the terrorists. That makes you a worse terrorist than the terrorists. They were agents of death via spectacular mass murder; you are an agent of death via silence and poison.

Congratulations on sticking with your "story."

the loyal opposition 

Last Wednesday the US House passed a resolution 411-2 that asks the UN Security Council to charge Iranian President Ahmadenijad with violating the UN Charter and the Convention on Genocide. Putting aside discussing the obvious hypocrisy of a US government body demanding adherence to international law, it is worth noticing that the resolution also contained this language:

Whereas Iran has aggressively pursued a clandestine effort to arm itself with nuclear weapons....

There is no evidence to support this claim, but it is now the official version of the truth. The Democrats are fully on board with the Bush war agenda.

Arthur Silber breaks it down.

Chancellors of Berkeley, Columbia have a very good idea 

Berkeley chancellor says that those in Britain who wish to boycott Israeli universities should also boycott Berkeley and other American universities. Well, yes. He has a point. American and Israeli universities should indeed be boycotted.

...if you seek to isolate Israeli universities then you must also include Berkeley, along with Columbia, in your boycott. We stand with all — including Prime Minister Tony Blair and British higher education officials — who have rightfully and strongly condemned this effort.

He's exactly right, though he doesn't understand what he's saying. The reasons for boycotting Israeli universities are excellent. But they are also reasons for boycotting American ones. And actually, despite himself, the chancellor makes a point against those in Britain proposing the Israeli boycott. What is the justification for targeting only Israel?

Bug in system? 

Somehow this exchange got aired on CNN. Anchor-"man" John Roberts interviews journalist Nir Rosen, who seems to have freaked out and probably ended his career in American journalism.

"NIR ROSEN, JOURNALIST: Well, it already did. We created a civil war. This is actually outrageous. Outgoing U.N. envoy to the Middle East peace process, Alvaro De Soto, himself accused the U.S. of fomenting a civil war by training, funding and arming Fatah thugs and inserting them into Gaza to destabilize the Hamas government. We never gave them a chance. They were democratically elected in an election that was widely recognized as free and fair, even by former President Jimmy Carter. And then the U.S., along with Israel, Jordan and Egypt trained these gangs and actually put them in Gaza to overthrow the Hamas government. And, of course, it's actually backfired and Fatah was overthrown. But all you're going to do is isolate and further radicalize Hamas. And so when you say that the U.S. is seeking to ease tensions in the Middle East, I disagree with you. These are tensions that the U.S. actually created in the Middle East.

ROBERTS: Nir, I mean what are you talking about, we have Fatah thugs being sent into the country to wage war with Hamas?

ROSEN: Well, they were trained by the U.S. General Dayton (ph), our envoy to the peace process, was responsible for a program, along with Elliot Abrams (ph), the deputy national security adviser for the Middle East, and they actually trained Fatah in the West Banks. The Jordanian special forces created the Fatah Badr brigade. The Egyptians, as well, trained Fatah in Egypt. The United Arab Emirates actually sent money and arms. And then they were allowed to enter Gaza and then began to attack Hamas. I mean this was an existential threat to a democratically elected government. What we've done is overthrow a government that was elected. The U.S. . . ."


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