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

Friday, March 28, 2003

Iraqis get the food they bought with oil as "humanitarian aid"

Agression against Iraq (last paragraph)

During the past seven days of the war the US Navy detained all ships in the Persian Gulf going to Iraq under the US "Oil for Food" program. Since yesterday all these ships are being unloaded in Kuwait. Unloaded food is being delivered by the US military to Iraq and is being distributed as "American humanitarian aid" and as a part of the "rebuilding Iraq" program. These US actions have already caused a serious scandal in the UN. The US explained its actions by its unilateral decision to freeze all Iraqi financial assets, including the Iraqi financial assets with the UN. These assets the US now considers its property and will exercise full control over them. Captains of the detained ships have already called these actions by the US a "piracy."

Aren't we clever!

Thanks again, xymphora

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

I am listening to The UN Security Council emergency session on Iraq right now on NPR. More than 76 general assembly members have asked to speak today against coalition aggression. I learned from one speaker that our military has set up "freedom camps" on the Iraq borders for refugees to go to. They are empty.

Yep, that's right, "freedom camps."

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

I am having computer problems and problems with blogger, so posting will be light for the next several days. I may try to switch to movable type, so wish me luck.

Sunday, March 23, 2003

Operation "Iraqi Freedom"

Friday, March 21, 2003

Thanks, Kevin, for letting me know.

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Say hi to:

bitter shack of resentment
camp xray
the pennsylvania gazette
the reachm high cowboy network noose

Update: blogger won't let me make any changes to my template. It may be time to make a change.

Red alert = martial law -- now we know

Red alert? Stay home, await word

If the nation escalates to "red alert," which is the highest in the color-coded readiness against terror, you will be assumed by authorities to be the enemy if you so much as venture outside your home. . .

Thanks, Cursor.

News to me

Scalia addresses wartime constitutional rights

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said Tuesday night that government has room to scale back individual rights during wartime without violating the Constitution.

"The Constitution just sets minimums," Scalia said at John Carroll University. "Most of the rights that you enjoy go way beyond what the Constitution requires."

Thanks, Cursor.

Ted Rall -- Never one to mince words

THE MORON MAJORITY -- An American Warlord Races to Waterloo

Now it's official: most Americans are idiots.

Nuclear inspectors reportedly angry

As United Nations nuclear inspectors flee Iraq, some of them are angry at the Bush administration for cutting short their work, bad-mouthing their efforts and making false claims about evidence of weapons of mass destruction.

Some inspectors are ``scandalized'' at the way President Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell, among others, have ``politicized'' the inspection process, said a source close to the inspectors.

Thanks, Cursor.

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Bully pulpit -- Bush's worldview

Bush's actions, if not his words, seem also to be in line with end-times scenarios imagined by some conservative Christians and fictionalized in the "Left Behind" series that has sold over 50 million volumes since 1995. Up to 40 percent of Americans believe that we are living in the last days, says historian Paul S. Boyer, and that history is racing toward an apocalyptic clash between the forces of good and evil. Millions of Americans believe that the Bible foretells regime change in Iraq, that God established Israel's boundaries millennia ago, and that the United Nations is a forerunner of a satanic world order (The Chronicle Review, February 14). Bush is giving tacit support to such a perspective with his hands-off policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, his antipathy toward international cooperation and agreements, and his near apocalyptic discourse of good contending with evil.

Does the President believe we are living in the last days of history and does he see his own actions as leading toward a divinely ordained, cataclysmic conflict with the forces of evil? If it is not a literal reading of biblical prophecy that is informing his policies, then what does he mean by his talk of providence?

It seems that while during Gulf I President Bush asked Israel not to retaliate if attacked by Iraq, in Gulf II we have told Israel that "they have the right to defend themselves." Jr seems to be anxious for Israel to be drawn in to this conflict, which seems crazy, unless you consider the above.

Friday, March 14, 2003

What a surprise!

Democracy in Iraq doubtful, State Dept. report says (thanks, Eschaton)

The State Department has figured out what we already knew -- we don't really want a democracy in Iraq, because a democratically elected government there would be impossibly anti-American. Especially after we go there and kill them.

The report exposes significant divisions within the Bush administration over the so-called democratic domino theory, one of the arguments that underpins the case for invading Iraq.

Democratic domino theory? That phrase sounds familiar. . .

Thursday, March 13, 2003

Xymphora on Jr.'s mental state

This is well worth reading, as xymphora always is, but what I wanted to quote here were some pages that he/she links to -- like this:

Now recall a few details of "Shrub" Bush's history. As the first-born child, he spent much of his early childhood in an essentially single parent home since his father was frequently away on extended business trips. To exacerbate matters even more, he had a younger sister who died of leukemia just two months shy of her fourth birthday when "Shrub" was just seven years old. The sister's illness probably took up much of the mother's time, energy, and emotional focus making her less available to her other children. I also suspect that his mother may have been reactively depressed during this arduous and traumatic period making her even less emotionally available during a crucially important, developmental period of "Shrub" Bush's life. . .

Lack of parental availability typically leads to lack of parent-child attunement. And lack of parent-child attunement often makes for deficient empathic ability and a relative inability to identify with others. Frequently, such youngsters become rule busters or rule breakers as adults in the psychopathic sense. Clinicians who have studied attachment have noted the similarities between the behavioral manifestations of insecure attachment and disruptive behavior disorders. Antisocial behavior is seen, in part, as a covert communication to an unresponsive, emotionally distant parental figure.

And from the same article:

. . .Bush's developmentally immature and regressive obsession with Mr. Hussein seems to be part of an unfolding Oedipal drama. For him, the goal is to "defeat" the idealized father who "Shrub" was never able to measure up to and in whose footsteps "Shrub" seems to have assiduously sought to tread by defeating and destroying Mr. Hussein, someone his father was unable to vanquish. In this fashion, Mr. Bush hopes to win the Oedipal battle. Or as a colleague who is a socially committed, board certified psychiatrist, Dr. Carol Wolman, put it in "Diagnosing Dubya: Is the President Nuts?": "Dubya may be acting out a classical Oedipal drama - overcome Daddy to get Mommy. By deposing Saddam, when his father did not, he may want to prove himself more worthy of his mother's love. His rationale that he is avenging the [alleged] assassination attempt on George, Sr., may be a reaction formation - his way of hiding his true motive from himself." And I might add, to deny, suppress, and repress his own ambivalence and hostility toward his father.

And don't miss this one. It may explain why Jr. appeared to be drugged during his last "press conference," and why it needed to be "scripted." (The writer is talking about a previous speech.)

I noticed that his eyes never looked at the TelePrompTer. This is a device that carries the written words of the speech on a TV monitor. The monitor sits right above the camera with the words of the speech rolling by. The person on the screen reads the words and it appears as if they are staring right at the camera. When it is done right it has a very folksy effect because it appears as if the person on the TV is talking directly to you. President Ronald Reagan was particularly good at TelePrompTer reading. He did it so well that I believe this ability was one of the major reasons for Reagan's many successes. He could stare right at the camera while reading the TelePrompTer. It was like Uncle Ronnie was talking straight to you. Reagan knew how to work the TelePrompTer like no one else.

As I watched Bush give his recent speech I realized that his eyes wandered from right to left and from left to right. It was obvious that he was not reading from a TelePrompTer. Also I noticed that there were long pauses between his sentences. On queue he would look left and then right before beginning his next sentence. It soon became apparent to me what was going on and why President Bush had suddenly become erudite.

As a Film Director I recognized immediately what was happening. After making many documentaries, in all sorts of conditions, it is sometimes impossible to use a TelePrompTer to assist the narrator. For instance, sometimes the glare of the sun will blank out the words on the TelePrompTer screen, or there may be a number of other technical glitches that get in the way of using it properly. On these rare occasions when the TelePrompTer cannot be used, I, and others, have used, instead, another device to help the narrator remember his dialogue.

Using a small earpiece a FM signal is broadcast into the ear of the narrator. Another voice reads the dialogue and the signal is sent to the earpiece. The narrator hears the words in his ear and uses this as his prompt.

There are several problems with this technique, which is why it is used only rarely in films and documentaries: First, it should be said that the earpiece prompt is usually a last ditch effort to prompt the narrator, or actor, while shooting a film. Technical glitches aside, when a Director resorts to an earpiece prompt it usually means that the narrator, or actor, has trouble reading or remembering their lines. Secondly, long pauses have to be built into the prompt and the script. These pauses take place in between sentences so that the prompt does not get too far ahead of the person speaking. Thirdly the script must be rewritten for the earpiece prompt. The sentences must stay short and concise so that the narrator, or actor, does not get confused.

Is this what Bush is doing? My answer is a definite 'yes'. During this same speech I watched as he immediately corrected a word that he had just mis-spoken. I have encountered this before during film shoots using the earpiece prompt. This is done because the speaker has gone slightly ahead of the earpiece prompt. He makes the mistake and then hears the correct word in his ear. He then corrects himself and goes on like nothing happened.

Friday, March 07, 2003

The person that thought of this is a genius. I can't wait to see what Jim thinks about it!