Wednesday, June 23, 2004
Sometime during the past 3 days, an Iraqi "militant group" killed the South Korean hostage they'd been holding since sometime last week. I ask you, how many more heads must be hacked off before something is done? Such events are being treated, seemingly, as simply military matters in a time of war. That is dead wrong. We are dealing with subhuman detritus, rubbage. These are not people to be dealt with either diplomatically or even through "lawful" military combat. These are animals ripe for destruction. Such creatures can not be allowed to flourish anymore in that hive of inhumanity we call the Middle East. Do I have an answer? No, I really don't. But I have eyes enough to see that our current methods are simply not enough.
The above is from one of many interviews Bill Clinton gave for his new book. Hmm... the President of the USA sleeping on a couch. How many bedrooms are there in the White House? 30, 35? Maybe he had them all rented at the time. Hmmm...
Tuesday, June 22, 2004
Why? The teddy bear (and other merchandise on the site) simply reads " Bush 04 Kills Arabs Dead". That is hardly a threat to the POTUS or the country. And the FBI is investigating this? Shouldn't they be out looking for, i don't know, terrorists or something? Maybe murder some more women and children? You know, something the FBI is good at.
This has the makings of a very, very bad situation. I really don't know where we'll go from here, but let's hope it's not by way of bringing Iran into the Iraq "war".
Don't you just feel SO sorry for the poor girl? No? Yeah, me neither.
Saturday, June 12, 2004
Qucik, think to yourself, how many bar fights have you seen, heard of? How many drunken brawls NOT near a bar? Now, try to remember how many stoned-out people you've seen or heard of? One, 5, ANY??? No, ya know why? Because pot doesn't make you want to kill people, plain and simple. So read the article, or go play some Xbox...i'm gonna go get some nachos...
Police to let England fans smoke dope
From NICK PARKER in Portugal
ENGLAND fans will be allowed to smoke dope before Sunday’s crunch clash with France — to keep them calm.
Cops in Lisbon plan to crack down on drunk supporters while turning a blind eye to those spotted puffing on a spliff.
Pot-smoking fans have been assured they will not be arrested, cautioned — or even have their drugs confiscated.
Last night experts said the Portuguese police’s “Here We Blow” policy would reduce chances of a punch-up between rival fans.
Alan Buffry of the Legalise Cannabis Alliance said: “If people are drinking they lose control, if they smoke cannabis they don’t.
“Alcohol makes fans fight. But cannabis smokers will be shaking hands and singing along together.”
Dutch police used a similar policy in Euro 2000 and England’s hooligan element were too stoned to fight.
A Lisbon police spokeswoman said: “If people cause a problem through drugs and become a menace then police will take action. But when this doesn’t happen why should the police be the ones making the fuss?”
More than 600 officers will be on duty for England’s opening group game at Lisbon’s Stadium of Light.
Fans who seem to be drunk may be breath-tested and refused entry.
Limbaugh announces end of 10-year marriage
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Conservative radio commentator Rush Limbaugh announced Friday that he and his wife, Marta, were divorcing.
The Limbaughs "mutually decided to end their marriage of 10 years" and have "separated pending an amicable resolution," according to a statement released by Limbaugh's publicist.
The couple shared a $24 million oceanfront mansion in nearby Palm Beach. Limbaugh often broadcasts his daily three-hour show from a studio in a commercial area of Palm Beach.
And this is only his fourth wife. Has he beaten Ted Turner yet?
In another shocking development, the Deputy Foreign Minister of Iraq has been killed by assassins. Bassam Salih Kubba was shot in a Sunni neighborhood (they're the "Saddam loyalists", remember?). He died soon after from his wounds. This attack is the second against members of the "interim" Iraqi government in the last four days. On Wednesday, the deputy health minister, Ammar al-Safar, escaped an assassination attempt in Azimiyah, the same Sunni neighborhood where Kubba was killed today.
This, of course, just underscores the fact that a single, unified Iraq is a very realistic and easy goal. There will be no civil wars and tribal fightings. What a cakewalk.
(cue "isolated incident" music)
And in another isolated incident, there are two new developments in Riyadh. An American was shot and killed Saturday in the Saudi capital, police said, in the third slaying of a Westerner in the kingdom in a week. This is very shocking, as Saudi Arabia is a strong and staunch ally. I'm sure the perpetrators will come to a swift meeting with justice. That is, of course, unless Saudi law enforcement are too busy arresting women for not walking the correct distance behind their husbands, or perhaps attempting to cause armeggedon by having the nerve to drive cars.
And in yet another isolated incident, an explosives-laden 1991 GMC Suburban wanted by the Ministry of the Interior since February has been found in the Al-Sulai district in south Riyadh. This according to a release yesterday from the Saudi Press Agency. The Ministry of the Interior put out a warrant for this vehicle in February and had a bounty on the truck in the $7M range. The Ministry warned that "the vehicle was loaded with explosives and could be used in a terrorist attack." This brings me to ask the qurstion, how did these government officials know this Super Suburban existed? And why didn't they take care of it when they first found out about it? Obviously, my implication here is that the Saudi government is deep in bed with the "terrorists" but hey, i'm just some dumb guy, what would I know. Who am I to suggest that Saudi Arabia sponsors terrorism, it's not like i'm the Cato Institute or anything.I mean, Wahabism was only invented in Saudi Arabia, it's not as if they endorse it or anything.
Oh, and one final isolated incident, last Tuesday police found two explosives-laden GMCs primed for attacks on the Riyadh-Qasim road. Silly coincidences...
Our greatest "ally" in the "War on Terra" seems to be taking a beating in the polls. Or, rather, his party is taking the beating. Blair's Labour party lost 464 council seats in the recent local elections. What does this mean for Blair and also, what does this mean for us as Americans? Well, first, it appears that the overwhelming anti-Labour results are based almost solely in a desire to send a message to Blair. That message being, "Hey, we are the regular British people. We don't want our boys in Iraq. You screwed up." Now, I don't see the UK pulling its support anytime soon, they are too financially interested for now. But in the upcoming national elections, if Blair isn't able to make the public believe that he has heard their anti-Iraq War message, Blair may not have a long career left as PM.
Friday, June 11, 2004
From the UK Independent
20 Lies About the War
Falsehoods Ranging from Exaggeration to Plain Untruth Were Used to Make the Case for War. More Lies are Being Used in the Aftermath
by Glen Rangwala and Raymond Whitaker
1. Iraq was responsible for the 11 September attacks
A supposed meeting in Prague between Mohammed Atta, leader of the 11 September hijackers, and an Iraqi intelligence official was the main basis for this claim, but Czech intelligence later conceded that the Iraqi's contact could not have been Atta. This did not stop the constant stream of assertions that Iraq was involved in 9/11, which was so successful that at one stage opinion polls showed that two-thirds of Americans believed the hand of Saddam Hussein was behind the attacks. Almost as many believed Iraqi hijackers were aboard the crashed airliners; in fact there were none.
2. Iraq and al-Qa'ida were working together
Persistent claims by US and British leaders that Saddam and Osama bin Laden were in league with each other were contradicted by a leaked British Defense Intelligence Staff report, which said there were no current links between them. Mr Bin Laden's "aims are in ideological conflict with present-day Iraq", it added.
Another strand to the claims was that al-Qa'ida members were being sheltered in Iraq, and had set up a poisons training camp. When US troops reached the camp, they found no chemical or biological traces.
3. Iraq was seeking uranium from Africa for a "reconstituted" nuclear weapons program
The head of the CIA has now admitted that documents purporting to show that Iraq tried to import uranium from Niger in west Africa were forged, and that the claim should never have been in President Bush's State of the Union address. Britain sticks by the claim, insisting it has "separate intelligence". The Foreign Office conceded last week that this information is now "under review".
4. Iraq was trying to import aluminum tubes to develop nuclear weapons
The US persistently alleged that Baghdad tried to buy high-strength aluminum tubes whose only use could be in gas centrifuges, needed to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons. Equally persistently, the International Atomic Energy Agency said the tubes were being used for artillery rockets. The head of the IAEA, Mohamed El Baradei, told the UN Security Council in January that the tubes were not even suitable for centrifuges.
5. Iraq still had vast stocks of chemical and biological weapons from the first Gulf War
Iraq possessed enough dangerous substances to kill the whole world, it was alleged more than once. It had pilotless aircraft which could be smuggled into the US and used to spray chemical and biological toxins. Experts pointed out that apart from mustard gas, Iraq never had the technology to produce materials with a shelf-life of 12 years, the time between the two wars. All such agents would have deteriorated to the point of uselessness years ago.
6. Iraq retained up to 20 missiles which could carry chemical or biological warheads, with a range which would threaten British forces in Cyprus
Apart from the fact that there has been no sign of these missiles since the invasion, Britain downplayed the risk of there being any such weapons in Iraq once the fighting began. It was also revealed that chemical protection equipment was removed from British bases in Cyprus last year, indicating that the Government did not take its own claims seriously.
7. Saddam Hussein had the wherewithal to develop smallpox
This allegation was made by the Secretary of State, Colin Powell, in his address to the UN Security Council in February. The following month the UN said there was nothing to support it.
8. US and British claims were supported by the inspectors
According to Jack Straw, chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix "pointed out" that Iraq had 10,000 liters of anthrax. Tony Blair said Iraq's chemical, biological and "indeed the nuclear weapons program" had been well documented by the UN. Mr Blix's reply? "This is not the same as saying there are weapons of mass destruction," he said last September. "If I had solid evidence that Iraq retained weapons of mass destruction or were constructing such weapons, I would take it to the Security Council." In May this year he added: "I am obviously very interested in the question of whether or not there were weapons of mass destruction, and I am beginning to suspect there possibly were not."
9. Previous weapons inspections had failed
Tony Blair told this newspaper in March that the UN had "tried unsuccessfully for 12 years to get Saddam to disarm peacefully". But in 1999 a Security Council panel concluded: "Although important elements still have to be resolved, the bulk of Iraq's proscribed weapons programs has been eliminated." Mr Blair also claimed UN inspectors "found no trace at all of Saddam's offensive biological weapons program" until his son-in-law defected. In fact the UN got the regime to admit to its biological weapons program more than a month before the defection.
10. Iraq was obstructing the inspectors
Britain's February "dodgy dossier" claimed inspectors' escorts were "trained to start long arguments" with other Iraqi officials while evidence was being hidden, and inspectors' journeys were monitored and notified ahead to remove surprise. Dr Blix said in February that the UN had conducted more than 400 inspections, all without notice, covering more than 300 sites. "We note that access to sites has so far been without problems," he said. : "In no case have we seen convincing evidence that the Iraqi side knew that the inspectors were coming."
11. Iraq could deploy its weapons of mass destruction in 45 minutes
This now-notorious claim was based on a single source, said to be a serving Iraqi military officer. This individual has not been produced since the war, but in any case Tony Blair contradicted the claim in April. He said Iraq had begun to conceal its weapons in May 2002, which meant that they could not have been used within 45 minutes.
12. The "dodgy dossier"
Mr Blair told the Commons in February, when the dossier was issued: "We issued further intelligence over the weekend about the infrastructure of concealment. It is obviously difficult when we publish intelligence reports." It soon emerged that most of it was cribbed without attribution from three articles on the internet. Last month Alastair Campbell took responsibility for the plagiarism committed by his staff, but stood by the dossier's accuracy, even though it confused two Iraqi intelligence organizations, and said one moved to new headquarters in 1990, two years before it was created.
13. War would be easy
Public fears of war in the US and Britain were assuaged by assurances that oppressed Iraqis would welcome the invading forces; that "demolishing Saddam Hussein's military power and liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk", in the words of Kenneth Adelman, a senior Pentagon official in two previous Republican administrations. Resistance was patchy, but stiffer than expected, mainly from irregular forces fighting in civilian clothes. "This wasn't the enemy we war-gamed against," one general complained.
14. Umm Qasr
The fall of Iraq's southernmost city and only port was announced several times before Anglo-American forces gained full control - by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, among others, and by Admiral Michael Boyce, chief of Britain's Defense staff. "Umm Qasr has been overwhelmed by the US Marines and is now in coalition hands," the Admiral announced, somewhat prematurely.
15. Basra rebellion
Claims that the Shia Muslim population of Basra, Iraq's second city, had risen against their oppressors were repeated for days, long after it became clear to those there that this was little more than wishful thinking. The defeat of a supposed breakout by Iraqi armour was also announced by military spokesman in no position to know the truth.
16. The "rescue" of Private Jessica Lynch
Private Jessica Lynch's "rescue" from a hospital in Nasiriya by American special forces was presented as the major "feel-good" story of the war. She was said to have fired back at Iraqi troops until her ammunition ran out, and was taken to hospital suffering bullet and stab wounds. It has since emerged that all her injuries were sustained in a vehicle crash, which left her incapable of firing any shot. Local medical staff had tried to return her to the Americans after Iraqi forces pulled out of the hospital, but the doctors had to turn back when US troops opened fire on them. The special forces encountered no resistance, but made sure the whole episode was filmed.
17. Troops would face chemical and biological weapons
As US forces approached Baghdad, there was a rash of reports that they would cross a "red line", within which Republican Guard units were authorized to use chemical weapons. But Lieutenant General James Conway, the leading US marine general in Iraq, conceded afterwards that intelligence reports that chemical weapons had been deployed around Baghdad before the war were wrong.
"It was a surprise to me ... that we have not uncovered weapons ... in some of the forward dispersal sites," he said. "We've been to virtually every ammunition supply point between the Kuwaiti border and Baghdad, but they're simply not there. We were simply wrong. Whether or not we're wrong at the national level, I think still very much remains to be seen."
18. Interrogation of scientists would yield the location of WMD
"I have got absolutely no doubt that those weapons are there ... once we have the co-operation of the scientists and the experts, I have got no doubt that we will find them," Tony Blair said in April. Numerous similar assurances were issued by other leading figures, who said interrogations would provide the WMD discoveries that searches had failed to supply. But almost all Iraq's leading scientists are in custody, and claims that lingering fears of Saddam Hussein are stilling their tongues are beginning to wear thin.
19. Iraq's oil money would go to Iraqis
Tony Blair complained in Parliament that "people falsely claim that we want to seize" Iraq's oil revenues, adding that they should be put in a trust fund for the Iraqi people administered through the UN. Britain should seek a Security Council resolution that would affirm "the use of all oil revenues for the benefit of the Iraqi people".
Instead Britain co-sponsored a Security Council resolution that gave the US and UK control over Iraq's oil revenues. There is no UN-administered trust fund.
Far from "all oil revenues" being used for the Iraqi people, the resolution continues to make deductions from Iraq's oil earnings to pay in compensation for the invasion of Kuwait in 1990.
20. WMD were found
After repeated false sightings, both Tony Blair and George Bush proclaimed on 30 May that two trailers found in Iraq were mobile biological laboratories. "We have already found two trailers, both of which we believe were used for the production of biological weapons," said Mr Blair. Mr Bush went further: "Those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons - they're wrong. We found them." It is now almost certain that the vehicles were for the production of hydrogen for weather balloons, just as the Iraqis claimed - and that they were exported by Britain.
© 2003 Independent Digital (UK) Ltd
TV News Cameraman Killed On Job in Omaha
Friday, June 11, 2004
OMAHA, Neb — An Omaha news photographer was killed Thursday when he was hit by a vehicle while filming a story about a dangerous intersection in west Omaha.
Hospital spokesman John Crow said KETV photographer Jeff Frolio, 45, died at Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha Thursday night.
Frolio was crossing the intersection when he was hit by a vehicle at about 5 p.m. Thursday.
He was taken to Creighton Medical Center by medical helicopter where he later died.
Frolio, a 20-year veteran with KETV, was covering a story for that night's broadcast about two Elkhorn teens who died at that intersection just a month before.
He was filming near a memorial set up in honor of the teenagers when he ran out of tape, Douglas County Sheriff Tim Dunning said.
Frolio was crossing the road to get another tape from his vehicle and he walked into oncoming traffic, Dunning said.
Authorities said the driver who hit Frolio was not speeding or drinking alcohol. The speed limit of the highway is 60 mph.
The driver didn't realize that she struck a pedestrian until after she looked in her rearview mirror, deputies said.
The driver has not been ticketed, Dunning said.
The intersection is located near a hilltop and has a lot of free-flowing traffic from both east and west, Dunning said.
Several residents have complained that the busy intersection is a traffic hazard. But Dunning said he didn't think there was anything wrong with the highway.
"Unfortunately he walked into the path of a vehicle," Dunning said. "It's not a traffic engineering problem."
Dunning said he did not know if immediate changes would be made to the intersection.
"He was one hell of a nice guy," Dunning said. "He's been the camera guy for several people and it was a terrible loss."
KETV paid tribute to Frolio in its late broadcast Thursday by taking a moment of silence and telling stories about their colleague.
Pete Soby, a fellow photographer, said his colleagues just tried to get through the night.
"I've never wanted to be on this side of the story," Soby said "He was a great guy to work with. He was a great friend and will be sorely missed."
Anchors and reporters choked back tears during the newscast as they reported Frolio's death.
Frolio, a popular photographer with other members of the television news media, was chosen as the Nebraska Television Photographer of the Year twice in his career.
Frolio leaves behind a wife and three children. He was a 1976 graduate of Omaha North High School. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1982. His colleagues said he was a music lover who was passionate about North High School, trains, playwriting and photojournalism.
Thursday, June 10, 2004
Spears Injures Knee During Video Shoot
Jun 10, 7:26 AM (ET)
NEW YORK (AP) - Pop princess Britney Spears injured her knee during a video shoot and was hospitalized for arthroscopic surgery, her record label said Wednesday.
Spears, 22, was taken to a hospital after hurting herself late Tuesday, Jive Records said in a statement. An MRI showed floating cartilage in her knee.
The injury occurred after Spears completed outdoor scenes for the video of her new single, "Outrageous," with rapper Snoop Dogg in the New York City borough of Queens. Spears was doing choreography when her knee gave out, Jive said.
"Outrageous" will be featured in the movie "Catwoman," due out next month.
Spears is scheduled to begin a North American tour June 22 in Hartford, Conn., according to her Web site. Her latest album, "In the Zone," was released in November.
Spears was forced to cancel two shows in March because of a knee injury.
Yeah, and I'm sure it was way worse than when I got run over by a truck. You don't see me going around cancelling shows.
Saturday, June 05, 2004
Just for the record, Smarty Jones will enter history this evening as the 12th horse ever to win the triple crown. I was going to bet on the race, until I learned that as Smarty was already favored, I would only win about 40 cents on a $5 bet.
Well my friends, it seems the time is drawing near. President Reagan's chapter in this story will soon be drawing to a close. My heart goes out to his family and friends.
As he is 93 years old and has had Alzheimer's for 10 years, I realize that his death is not as tragic as it would have been had he succumbed to Hinckley's bullet. However, it is always a sad and somber occasion whenever a country loses such a great man, regardless of the circumstances.
I was just born as President Reagan took office. However, by his second term, I was old enough to remember. I remember the "Evil Empire" speech. I remember "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” These are my first political memories. And regardless which side of the aisle you favor, it's hard to debate Reagan's efficacy as president. You may not agree with everything he did, and I don't claim (as some have) that he was the greatest President we ever had. But he was good man, a regular guy, and a heck of a leader. You will be missed, sir.
Thursday, June 03, 2004
Yep, he did. Well, he is. Effective July 11th. Check out the full text of his speech here. Well, I guess that answers the question of whose head will roll over the Iraq Intel fiasco. Tenet seemed to have the anti-Midas touch anyway, so I can't say I'm bothered too much by his coming departure. However, I do find it sad (yet horribly unsurprising) that this is the way blame shall be shouldered. No one can admit fault these days it seems. Ah well, I must head out now. Seems I burnt my eggs I was cooking, and now I've got to force my brother to resign. Tally ho.