:: Saturday, October 25, 2003 ::
Spring Allergy Capital
Louisville is the #1 spring allergy capital and #3 fall allergy capital in the U.S. Spring and fall combined, there is no worse city for an allergy sufferer! Home sweet home!
:: Bryan Travis :: 10/25/2003 @ 15:27 :: [link] ::
:: Saturday, October 18, 2003 ::
Rumsfeld appoints Lt. General William Boykin to lead religious hate campaign
I post gasoline prices on LouisvilleGasPrices.com, part of gasbuddy.com, and read the message forums there. Most topics are light-hearted or, at least, seem that way to me. Occasionally, though, I get drawn into the conversations.
What drew me in today was the need to clean house within the Pentagon to remove fundamentalist religious bigots leading occupation forces in the Middle East who make incendiary public comments against Islam, a house-cleaning campaign which Donald Rumsfeld has refused to do. In fact, Rumsfeld appointed one of the bigots, Lt. General William Boykin, as Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence to track down Saddam, bin Laden, and others.
So here's the scene: Someone pointed out Rush Limbaugh must be blushing now for his "war on drugs" comments throughout the years in light of his own drug addiction. Someone I'll refer to as "Off-Topic Dude" redirects the thread by quoting Dennis Kucinich for a peace and love quote he made (see below), as if that somehow vindicated Rush. Then someone else quoted Bush as saying God made him president to fight the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which, to "Off-Topic Dude's" credit, isn't exactly true. Then "Off-Topic Dude" comes back with this post:
No leader said god told him to invade Afghanistan and Iraq.
However Kucinich said : "I am running for president of the United States to enable the goddess of peace to encircle within her arms all the children of this country and all the children of the world."
Kucinich is on drugs
Okay, that did it - I could stand the ridiculous lines of reasoning within this gasbuddy.com message forum debate no longer. Someone would make a valid anti-conservative point, and "Off-Topic Dude" always came back with "Kucinich bad!" I was like, okay, already! That might be a weird statement. Either it's been taken out of context or the senator's election rival must have been that much worse if he won the election.
In the interests of full disclosure, I must admit that one of my main development points is maintaining focus on the big picture. All too often, I get tangled in the web of distractions and completely lose sight of the primary goal. Psychologists and counselors tell us that the behaviors/habits we dislike most in other people are the very same traits we dislike most about ourselves. It's the whole "don't worry about the splinter in the other guy's eye until you've removed the log from your own eye" philosophy.
Well, I never claimed I was completely perfect, so I couldn't resist taking "Off-Topic Dude" to task. And I am working on my development needs. Honestly, I am. That's why when I was able to see the big picture, I couldn't resist posting this in response:
Off-Topic Dude -
Nice. Page 1 from the Conservative playbook: whenever a conservative public figure gets into trouble, IMMEDIATELY fire a shot off the bow at the liberals. How does that statement by Kucinich justify Rush Limbaugh's hypocrisy?
Correct, no leader publicly said God told him to invade Afghanistan and Iraq. Now, watch this... I'm about to use your own tactic against you - not once, but twice by quoting the same person - except instead of digging up a quote by someone who doesn't even change the direction of a national political party or campaign, I'm going to quote a high-ranking Pentagon official who's calling the shots in Afghanistan and has been praised and protected by the Bush administration in light of his remarks which are causing an uproar in the international Muslim community, and ultimately causing people to die.
Ready? Here comes the first one: "the god of Muslims is nothing but an idol" by Lt. General William Boykin. He's a leader, and Rumsfeld is emphatically defending him for his statement.
Here comes the second: Boykin also presented a photograph from Mogadishu, Somalia with a dark spot on it and said it showed "the principalities of darkness. . . a demonic presence in that city that God revealed to me as the enemy."
Here's the source: UK Telegraph
So, on your Kucinich quote, what's your point? He brings up the rear of the Democratic candidate pool. In the polls he has, what, maybe 2% of the primary vote? He's not representative of Democrats across the nation, in all likelihood won't get the nomination, and doesn't influence the direction of the Democratic campaign. He's not shaping public opinion or leading a military occupation force like Rush or Boykin. He hasn't shown himself to be a hypocrite like Rush, and he's not causing civil unrest and people to die like Boykin.
You pick obscure Democrats and quote odd-sounding things they've said. Likewise, I can match you ironic quote for quote and action for action by prominent Bush administration officials and others near and dear to them, such as Boykin, Rush, and Ashcroft, who are causing real harm.
Next time a prominent conservative says or does something truly destructive, let's evade the issue and find some near-unknown yahoo who calls him-/herself a Democrat and make another attack, as if that somehow justifies the atrocities and issues at hand.
A couple other Boykin quotes from the same article I didn't include in my post, which I will include here to further illustrate why this guy is a disgrace to every U.S. taxpayer:
- "Why is this man in the White House? The majority of Americans did not vote for him. He's in the White House because God put him there for a time such as this."
- In January, he told Baptists in Florida about a victory over a Muslim warlord in Somalia, who had boasted that Allah would protect him from American capture. "I knew my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real god and his was an idol," Gen Boykin said.
- In the same month, Gen Boykin told an Oklahoma congregation that Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein were not the enemy. "Our enemy is a spiritual enemy because we are a nation of believers. . . His name is Satan."
And the best one of all, which I wish I had included in the message forum:
- Gen Boykin told NBC that he would be curtailing his speeches to religious groups. "I don't want to come across as a Right-wing radical," he said.
Woo hoo! You might not want to come across that way, Boykin, but a wolf in sheep's clothing is still a wolf, if not a more dangerous one.
Boykin apologized, and naturally, all is again well within the Bush administration... "Shhhh, boys! You can privately be bigots and fundamentalists if you want - in fact, that's what many of us within this administration are - but don't ever admit it in public! As long as you don't don't say anything to make the American people suspect your radical beliefs are affecting your judgement, it's a gray area, and we'll see to it that no one can prove your true intentions!"
:: Bryan Travis :: 10/18/2003 @ 12:18 :: [link] ::
:: Monday, October 13, 2003 ::
When the facts aren't favorable, let's just SENSATIONALIZE!
I've said before that malicious misinformation and dirty propaganda tactics really piss me off.
As the consequences of its failed strategies take shape, the Bush Administration realizes it would face such negative repercussions from releasing facts that it has taken up literary ventriloquism to spread propaganda. And the ventriloquist's puppet? Newspapers across the U.S. are receiving letters from hometown soldiers in Iraq proclaiming the operation's successes. What's the catch? Except for names, all the letters are identical!
And while I'm thinking about it, if the Bush Administration can't find a leaker in it's own White House staff, how does it expect to find WMDs, Saddam, or bin Laden? Oh, wait... DUH!
:: Bryan Travis :: 10/13/2003 @ 01:02 :: [link] ::
:: Friday, October 10, 2003 ::
Dudes, I couldn't even venture a guess where a single Hardee's restaurant is, but what do you think of the latest Hardee's commercials? Something just doesn't make sense to me. Earlier this year, Hardee's was advertising it's $6 hamburger (it's that good). Not exactly aimed at the low-end of the fast food market, it's appeal was aimed at those with sizeable disposable incomes. Hell, I'm single and even with a salary about twice the average family income, I wouldn't have bought one - if I want a hamburger that expensive, I go to W. W. Cousins and build my own hamburger!
I guess Hardee's $6 hamburger wasn't a big hit, because now they're running ads featuring construction workers new to job talking about how the foreman is sending them out for lunch all week as punishment because they were so dumb-assed that they went to Hardee's and garnered the ridicule of their co-workers.
Focus, people! FOCUS!!!
Something I hadn't considered: Rachel suggests the Hardee's $6 hamburger was marketed as fine dining for rednecks. Yeah, maybe so.
:: Bryan Travis :: 10/10/2003 @ 22:14 :: [link] ::
:: Sunday, October 05, 2003 ::
One more Bush administration loss...
And one more thing: UN turns a cold shoulder to U.S. requests for coalition assistance in Iraq. Why does this surprise us? What do you expect when you invade a country without UN approval? Especially when you stubbornly continue to demand you have the decision-making power? The UN exists to form member consensus and maintain geopolitical stability, not be at the whim of the United States. When you rebuff the UN and invade a country because you think you're right and you also happen to be the world's only superpower and your own country has an overwhelming lust for cheap oil and your father also happened to be the target of an assassination plot by the leader... well, the rest of the world is likely to call you arrogant imperialist and let you go at it alone.
Is it possible the rest of the world who are UN members knew something the U.S. didn't and is only now learning? For example, that pre-emption is an error-prone policy with a huge expense tag both in lives and taxpayer dollars?
:: Bryan Travis :: 10/05/2003 @ 09:17 :: [link] ::
:: Saturday, October 04, 2003 ::
Bush: "My job ... is to secure this country and to bring peace." So WHERE'S THE PEACE?
It's been a difficult week for the conservative camp.
- First of all, would someone please explain to me why a White House intern performing oral sex on the President justifies investigation by independent counsel, but a federal crime committed by the President's administration can be investigated within the Justice Department, an extension of the same presidential administration? Anyone? While morally reprehensible and justification for divorce, what Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky did was legal (she could have filed sexual harrassment charges against Clinton, but didn't) and didn't kill anyone, unless you can convincingly argue the Iraq bombing around the time the story broke was done specifically to cover up the breaking Lewinsky story.
The Justice Department is investigating a leak allegedly from a senior White House administration official that exposed the identity of an undercover CIA operative. This issue has been building for a while; I first heard about it in August. Exposing CIA operatives is a federal crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Allegedly, Valeria Plame (the CIA operative) was exposed in retaliation against her husband, Joseph Wilson, for publicly criticizing the Bush Administration's assertion that Iraq had sought to obtain weapons grade uranium from Niger, a key justification Bush used to invade Iraq.
- Adding insult to injury, six months' searching has turned up no Iraqi WMDs; however, leader of the Iraqi Survey Group, David Kay, has uncovered substantial evidence Iraq intended to continue development of WMDs in the future, perhaps after sanctions had been lifted. To further investigate these future intentions and continue the search for existing WMDs, Kay asked Congress for $600 million and another 6-9 months.
Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia (D): "To be where we are today, without any evidence ... and then asking for another six-to-nine months and a good deal of money, leads me to believe that we need to do some serious thinking about the doctrine of pre-emption."
Indeed! If the intention to produce weapons of mass destruction is acceptable justification for invading a country and ousting the leader, then Iran and certainly North Korea should have been invaded long ago.
Bush said: "I make tough decisions, based upon what I think is right, given the intelligence I know, in order to do my job, which is to secure this country and to bring peace." Well, my boy, where's the peace?
- Arnold Schwarzenegger. Sigh. You know, based on how he's laid out his platform, I mostly agree with him. Abortion rights, environment, sensitive to low income families, taxing Indian gaming revenues, no nonsense - you name it, I like what I hear. But he has been less than respectful of women, and he should have to answer for that. If he chose to have consensual sex with numerous women, that's cool... I don't exactly agree with it, but I don't think it would affect his performance as governor, so it's cool. But harrassment, well, that comes down to discrimination against a group of people, and be it sex, race, or religion, it just isn't cool.
I don't especially favor Gray Davis, but I also don't agree with the recall concept if Davis hasn't done anything unethical or illegal. He's done some really stupid things, like allowing illegal immigrants to get driver's licenses, but come on, a leader needs the latitude to plan ahead, to learn from their mistakes, to do something that costs in the short-term but pays off big in the long-term. You can't run a democracy by the whim of daily opinion polls.
To a certain degree, George Bush has been shielded from taking the blame for an economy that has been faltering since he came into office because of terrorist attacks. Well, the same holds true for the faltering economy of California, so let's do away with the double standards and think about it, people!
As for Arnold, yes, he's a hornball, but come on - what do you expect from anabolic steroids? If the polls are any indication, it looks like California is going to elect him, anyway.
- Speaking of illegal drug use... Rush Limbaugh. I wonder what he thinks of the war on drugs now that his reputation has been pulled onto the battlefield? And this just days after he had to resign from ESPN for making racially charged comments.
The guy is full of hate, a bigot, and now there's a dose of hypocrisy in the mix.
A friend listened to Rush show Friday to hear his reaction to recent events. Ironically, in light of the illegal prescription drug fiasco, he assumed the role of investigative reporter, pledging to keep listeners informed of details as he learned of them. HA!
He had it coming.
- Wesley Clark, retired general and former NATO supreme commander, joined the race for the Democratic presidential nomination recently, and has edged past the other Democratic contenders. Either George Bush is more shrewd than his bad grammar suggests, or he has excellent advisors, because as landing on an aircraft carrier in a flight suit demonstrates, someone in the Bush administration knows Americans currently have an ardent respect for those who've served in the military, and luckily for Bush, the military tends to sit on the Republican side of the fence... except Wesley Clark.
So now I'm trying to decide... Wesley Clark or Howard Dean?
:: Bryan Travis :: 10/04/2003 @ 21:18 :: [link] ::