a left leaning political blog -- it's not really about pie
a political blog, mostly, with a few cat pictures

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

Xymphora and Ted Rall are talking about the possibility that Wellstone was assassinated. And there's this. Oh, and Andrew Sullivan thinks that the conspiracy theorists are stupid, but doesn't have much in the way of arguments.

Ventura to appoint an independent

Jesse Ventura is saying that the Wellstone memorial had a partisan tone, and that he found the speech by Rick Kahn to be offensive, because Kahn said, "I'm begging you to help us win this Senate election for Paul Wellstone."

"Help us win this election for Paul Wellstone." What is the problem with that? For that, Ventura wants to punish democrats by giving a senate seat to an independent (assuming that he can find one.)

I watched most of the memorial last night. While it was political, calling it a rally would be a stretch. It was pretty much what I would have expected. It was partisan, for partisan people. I think that Wellstone had claimed to "represent the democratic wing of the Democratic party," or something like that. The only people that can say what an appropriate memorial for Wellstone would be are what remains of his family, no one else. It's their call.

There was one strange thing about it. There was a big monitor above the speakers podium, and it showed what was being broadcast on cspan. It was problematic, because throughout the night people were seeing themselves on tv and reacting to it. They were grinning, poking their neighbors to point it out, (dude, we're on camera!) Family members and friends had little privacy, being up on the screen constantly. People responded to the politicians who showed up on the screen, both positively and negatively. I'm pretty sure that Jesse got a negative reaction. That would have been very embarrassing for him. That may be why he left. You don't really expect to get booed at a memorial service, and I'm sure he didn't. That certainly is why he's angry about the memorial, not because it was partisan.

Had there not been a monitor, (hey, it's not a basketball game after all) there would have been no booing, and Jesse would not have had much to complain about.

To the many bloggers that I owe emails to:

I haven't forgotten you. I'm having a heck of a week. Busy, busy busy.

Saturday, October 26, 2002

Gore Vidal claims 'Bush junta' complicit in 9/11

"Vidal argues that the real motive for the Afghanistan war was to control the gateway to Eurasia and Central Asia's energy riches. He quotes extensively from a 1997 analysis of the region by Zgibniew Brzezinski, formerly national security adviser to President Carter, in support of this theory. But, Vidal argues, US administrations, both Democrat and Republican, were aware that the American public would resist any war in Afghanistan without a truly massive and widely perceived external threat.

'Osama was chosen on aesthetic grounds to be the frightening logo for our long-contemplated invasion and conquest of Afghanistan ... [because] the administration is convinced that Americans are so simple-minded that they can deal with no scenario more complex than the venerable, lone, crazed killer (this time with zombie helpers) who does evil just for the fun of it 'cause he hates us because we're rich 'n free 'n he's not.' Vidal also attacks the American media's failure to discuss 11 September and its consequences: 'Apparently, "conspiracy stuff" is now shorthand for unspeakable truth.'

'It is an article of faith that there are no conspiracies in American life. Yet, a year or so ago, who would have thought that most of corporate America had been conspiring with accountants to cook their books since - well, at least the bright dawn of the era of Reagan and deregulation."

Friday, October 25, 2002

no, this can't happen.

What a terrible loss.

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Okay, this can't happen.

Green Party could play role in a few tight races

If there's one thing that liberals I know have in common right now, it's that they are pissed at their elected representatives. What happened with that Iraq vote? I can't imagine what possessed people like Gephardt, Feinstien, Edwards, Clinton, etc, to vote the way they did.

'troubletown' has become my favorite political cartoon!

I predict that the left wing of the democratic party will splinter off in a big way this election, thus helping even more republicans get elected, a la Nader.

[Yes, I am one of those people that blame Nader for jr's election. Sue me. Go read someone else's blog if you don't like it. (Although, of course, there's no conclusive evidence that proves this. It's just my assertion.)]

It goes without saying that if we give them the executive branch, the house, the senate and the supreme court, there's no telling what kind of crazy-ass shit they will try to pull. It's too scary to contemplate, so I won't go into it here. Just use your imagination.

The Parade of Experts

I heard one "expert" on cnn (you know that blond with the weird hair who apparently knows way less about crime than I do) say that the fact that the sniper said "mr policeman" in his note indicates that he was foreign born.

Sure, lady.

Saturday, October 19, 2002

thanks, sciatica

Friday, October 18, 2002

The Daily Howler is as annoyed as I am that the sniper story has taken over the media. There is only so much you can say about it. Move on, important things are happening.

The Wyeth Wire talks about what Orwell would think of the right wing blogger's special secret language.

Thursday, October 17, 2002

Bush FDA nominee tells PMS patients to "read scripture"

"(AP) A physician who pushed the Food and Drug Administration to ban the abortion pill RU-486 is in line to become an FDA advisor on reproductive health, drawing fire from women's groups that urged the Bush administration Wednesday to retract the choice.

Dr. W. David Hager is a University of Kentucky obstetrician-gynecologist and fairly well-known specialist on gynecologic infections. He also has written popular books asserting the healing power of prayer, and in August was a spokesman for the Christian Medical Association's petition asking FDA to ban the abortion pill."

No comment.

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

I saw it on TV so it must be true.


Timed to coincide with the one year anniversary of the creepy "Patriot Act," the ACLU is producing tv commercials to try and teach Americans that the Bush administration is looking more like an oligarchy than anyone wants to believe.

"ACLU's 30-second spot includes a voiceover saying, "Look what John Ashcroft is doing to our Constitution" and shows a pair of hands editing and cutting out a portion of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. It continues: "He seized powers for the Bush Administration no president should ever have. The right to investigate you for what you say, to intrude on your privacy, to hold you in jail without charging you with a crime."

It's so straight forward that a even child can understand it -- and if you can't understand the words, the pictures tell you everything.


ACLU National Headquarters
125 Broad Street, 18th Floor
New York, N.Y. 10004-2400

Become a member for just $35.

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

Time for some thank yous

Thanks very much to The Rittenhouse Review, my newest incoming link. I feel like I just made varsity or something.

Thanks very much to skippy, eschaton, and Ted Barlow, Who have linked to my posts in the last month or so. Thanks guys!

Thanks to almost everyone who is listed on my sidebar for linking to me.

And while I'm at it, thanks to my all time number one referrer, sciatica.

Thursday, October 10, 2002

Robert Fisk says that America wants a war and here's the proof

Fisk claims that the UN resolutions currently being discussed make a few demands that would be impossible for Iraq to accept. The resolutions require that inspection teams "shall have the right to declare for the purposes of this resolution ... ground and air-transit corridors which shall be enforced by UN security forces or by members of the UN [Security] Council." This would mean that Washington can order US forces to enforce these "corridors" through Iraq with ground troops, whenever it wants.

"If the United States truly wished to avoid war, it could demand "unfettered access" for inspectors without this sovereignty-busting paragraph, using it as a second resolution only if the presidential palaces of the Emperor Saddam remained off-limits."

There's also this problem -- one that has come up before. The resolution states that "any permanent member of the Security Council may request to be represented on any inspection team." This is the same clause that the US has used to have their intelligence people among the inspectors, who passed on their information to the US military and to the Israeli military.

Wednesday, October 09, 2002

Some random disconnected thoughts on Iraq

I fluctuate several times a day between "oh, they are pretty much disarmed at this point, maybe not completely, but how much money do they have for weapons with the embargo and all? Scott Ritter seems to think that they did their job pretty well the last time inspectors were there," and "omg, they are armed to the teeth, let's not give them a reason to use those weapons, I don't want to die of smallpox."

Both positions are anti-invasion. To go over to the hawk's side would not be possible for me. As a rule, you don't fire the first shot. It is not ethical to be the aggressor. It simply doesn't matter what weapons Saddam Hussein has, he might have them for defensive purposes (don't laugh.) The ethical thing would be to assume that they are defensive until he proves other wise. If I were sitting on the world's second largest oil reserves, I would want some weapons, too. I mean, if I had a million dollars in cash in my living room, you can bet I would also have a gun.

Don't get me wrong, I am all in favor of disarming him, with UN troops if necessary.

It seems to me that a litmus test that determines if someone is for or against invasion is how easily they can accept the idea that something like this could happen. For me, it is science fiction. It could happen someday, but in the distant future. A lot of people, especially since 9/11, can accept this scenario as an imminent possibility. If people can crash planes into big buildings and kill thousands, who knows what can happen next. We are not safe. it's possible that we have gotten a tensy bit irrational.

It's crazy to start attacking anyone that we think is dangerous. I might think my next door neighbor is dangerous, but that doesn't mean I can mow down his whole family with an assault rifle. It's not legal. International law has similar rules.

Yes, Saddam Hussein has shown imperialist tendencies in the past (which the US encouraged.) Why is it okay when US allies show imperialist tendencies? We're not bombing them. (You know who I mean.) It's not logical to say that we know what Saddam will do. We don't. We cannot predict the future.

And really, it is not likely that we will one day be confronted with the above mentioned scenario, without any sort of warning. They won't be able to use nuclear weapons without testing them first. They won't be able to manufacture nuclear weapons without us knowing, because of the detectable gamma radiation that is produced when making nuclear weapons. As for Biological and chemical weapons, come on, they just have not been successfully weaponized at this point by anyone, and it's not for lack of trying. They could do some damage (i.e. on the battlefield) but could not cause the mass casualties that we are so concerned about.

Sunday, October 06, 2002

Here's what I did for the Open Letters Blogburst: I went to congress.org and looked up my reps in congress. I sent them emails on the site, along with a few others. (Tom Daschle, etc.) I also printed out letters and got the addresses from the website. Hard copies sent in the mail have more impact, but if you have time for nothing else, you could go to the website and send a quick email. It takes no time at all.

Here's my letter for the Open Letters Blogburst. It's 62 words too long, but I don't think they read the whole thing anyway.


I strongly urge that you to vote against any resolution to give President Bush power to invade Iraq. I think that the cost in both human lives and money would be far too great.

Iraq does not currently have weapons of mass destruction, and is not likely to be anywhere near having them. Scott Ritter has said in a recent interview that "since 1998 Iraq has been fundamentally disarmed: 90-95% of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capability has been verifiably eliminated. This includes all of the factories used to produce chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, and long-range ballistic missiles; the associated equipment of these factories; and the vast majority of the products coming out of these factories."

When discussing Iraq's capacity for making nuclear weapons, Scott says that as of '98, the infrastructure and facilities had been 100% eliminated. Further more, to rebuild them, "they would have to build enrichment and weaponisation capabilities that would cost tens of billions of dollars. Nuclear weapons cannot be created in a basement or cave. They require modern industrial infrastructures that in turn require massive amounts of electricity and highly controlled technologies not readily available on the open market." Furthermore, the centrifuge facilities needed to make a nuclear weapon would emit gamma radiation, which would be detectable.

You may be aware of a proposal made by The Carnegie Endowment to back weapons inspectors in Iraq with a U.N. military troop of 50,000. This seems like the next logical step to me, should U.N inspectors fail to get the complete access that is required.

kim osterwalder

Wednesday, October 02, 2002

I have been asked to participate in the Open Letters Blogburst on monday, Oct. 7th. This would entail posting about my opposition to the war, and letting media and congress know my feelings on that date. And then, of course, encouraging everyone to do the same.

My opposition is not really an opposition, so much as it is just asking some questions. Questions like, why aren't we doing a, b, and c first? Why are we skipping directly to D?


-Can we really afford it?
-There are plenty of despotic leaders, why this one?
-Isn't it really about control of the world's second largest oil reserves?
-I'll need to see some proof about those nuclear weapons.
-I'll need to see some proof about those bio and chemical weapons.
-What does the rest of the world know that we don't? Why aren't they with us on this?
-What about coerced inspections?
-Won't we will be even more hated in the middle east (and most of the rest of the world) than we already are? (if that's even possible) What will the consequences be?