Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Disassembling a Presidential Sentence

I couldn't believe the last sentence of this quote from today's "News" Conference when I heard it on NPR this afternoon, so I had to look it up in the transcript:

BUSH: I'm aware of the Amnesty International report, and it's absurd. It's an absurd allegation.
The United States is a country that promotes freedom around the world. When there's accusations made about certain actions by our people, they're fully investigated in a transparent way.
It's just an absurd allegation.
In terms of, you know, the detainees, we've had thousands of people detained. We've investigated every single complaint against the detainees.
It seemed like to me they based some of their decisions on the word of and the allegations by people that were held in detention, people who hate America, people that have been trained in some instances to disassemble, that means not tell the truth. [emphasis added]

No, it doesn't, George. It means "to take things apart". Dissemble, on the other hand, does have a meaning very close to "not tell the truth," only it's a little more subtle than that. Calling you a dissembler, for example, when discussing your intentions toward Iraq in the summer of 2002, would probably be closer to the truth than calling you a liar. Calling you a disassembler, on the other hand, would refer to your intentions toward Social Security and the United Nations and every other piece of FDR's legacy to this country.

But I can't help thinking that this easy emphasis on the presidential abuse of the English language, on his funny little "Bushisms", takes away from the heart of this ridiculous complaint about Amnesty International: "...they based some of their decisions on the word of and the allegations by people that were held in detention. . ." Does this mean that the torturers and other legal authorities are the only people Amnesty International should listen to? The victims should have no say? When Solzhenitsyn challeges Stalin and Khruschev, we should ignore him? There's the real Bushism in this sentence. Maybe we should start parsing, deconstructing, and disassembling, his language more carefully.

Why do we even need answers from the puppet in a president suit behind the podium when they ask him questions like this???

This is from the first transcript of today's Presidential "News" Conference at the New York Times site:

BUSH: Did you have your hand up?

QUESTION: I did, sir. Thank you very much, Mr. President.
At the Naval Academy last week, you spoke of a midshipman named Edward Slavis, who graduated and has served in Iraq, and you quoted him as saying that the mission will be a success and, 20 or 30 years from now, historians will look back on it and consider it America's golden moment.

BUSH: Yes.

QUESTION: I'm wondering, sir, if you agree with that assessment, and if so, why?

You think it's possible that the puppet in the president suit and flag lapel pin behind the Rose Garden podium answered "No"? I didn't see who asked the question on TV, but I can only assume from the tone of the question that Jeff Gannon's replacement has finally been found.

Not surprisingly, a search of the transcript does not reveal any hits for the phrase "Downing Street Memo." More surprisingly, the Press Corpse does not seem to have asked him about major news stories like the Runaway Bride® or Michael Jackson© or Steroids in Baseball either.

Another of the essential documents leading up to the Iraq war, via the new French Prime Minister

I was glad to see the news this morning that President Chirac Appointed Dominique de Villepin as France's new Prime Minister (New York Times, 31 May 2005) (and not only because he speaks a French so clearly enunciated that even TBL can understand most of it).

TBL will never forget that Dominique de Villepin was the man who made this great speech at the UN on March 19, 2003, hours before the American invasion began:
Make no mistake about it: the choice is indeed between two visions of the world.
To those who choose to use force and think they can resolve the world’s complexity through swift and preventive action, we offer in contrast determined action over time. [. . .]
To those who hope to eliminate the dangers of proliferation through armed intervention in Iraq, I wish to say that we regret that they are depriving themselves of a key tool for other crises of the same type. The Iraq crisis allowed us craft an instrument, through the inspections regime, which is unprecedented and can serve as an example. Why, on this basis not envision establishing an innovative, permanent structure, a disarmament body under the United Nations?
To those who think that the scourge of terrorism will be eradicated through the case of Iraq, we say they run the risk of failing in their objectives. The outbreak of force in this area which is so unstable can only exacerbate the tensions and fractures on which the terrorists feed. ...
(please read the entire speech. It's very short.)

Now the newly released Downing Street Memo of July 23, 2002, of course, shows that the new French Prime Minister gave too much credence to American goals and motives in Iraq, not too little:
C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action. [. . . ]
The Defence Secretary said that the US had already begun "spikes of activity" to put pressure on the regime. No decisions had been taken, but he thought the most likely timing in US minds for military action to begin was January, with the timeline beginning 30 days before the US Congressional elections. [. . .]
It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran. We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors. This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force. [. . .]
Read this whole document too (it's not much longer than the excerpts above) and think about how we were lied to about the reasons for war, the most serious act any nation can undertake. Think about how the UN weapons inspectors, who were in Iraq and who were physically dismantling rockets at the time, were removed for fear, not of Saddam, but of US invasion. Should a President who undertook a war of choice so cavalierly, and lied repeatedly to do so, really be allowed to remain in office? If presidential impeachment could be considered (and undertaken) by the Congress for semen stains on a dress, shouldn't it also be considered for this stain on our national honor?

Just asking,
True Blue Liberal

(If you want to do more than just ask, visit After Downing Street Dot Org to register your support and get more information on what you can do to keep this story alive)

Monday, May 30, 2005

Who said "Arguments must therefore be crude, clear and forcible, and appeal to emotions and instincts, not the intellect"?

Why is it important (as the Big Brass Alliance and others are hoping to do) to put, and keep, the short Downing Street Memo in the forefront of our discussions about Bush, the origins of the War in Iraq, and American foreign policy in general?

Here's a great quote from a long article in the June 9, 2005 edition of the New York Review of Books, The Secret Way to War By Mark Danner:

Power, the argument runs, can shape truth: power, in the end, can determine reality, or at least the reality that most people accept—a critical point, for the administration has been singularly effective in its recognition that what is most politically important is not what readers of The New York Times believe but what most Americans are willing to believe. The last century's most innovative authority on power and truth, Joseph Goebbels, made the same point but rather more directly:
  • There was no point in seeking to convert the intellectuals. For intellectuals would never be converted and would anyway always yield to the stronger, and this will always be "the man in the street." Arguments must therefore be crude, clear and forcible, and appeal to emotions and instincts, not the intellect. Truth was unimportant and entirely subordinate to tactics and psychology.
I thought of this quotation when I first read the Downing Street memorandum; but I had first looked it up several months earlier, on December 14, 2004, after I had seen the images of the newly reelected President George W. Bush awarding the Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor the United States can bestow, to George Tenet, [. . .] L. Paul Bremer, [ . . . ] and General (ret.) Tommy Franks [. . . ] One might debate their ultimate responsibility for these grave errors, but it is difficult to argue that these officials merited the highest recognition the country could offer.

Please read the whole article if you have the time. You'll find it worthwhile. In addition to its great long discussion of the memo's contents, it also includes the full (short) text of the memo.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Friday, May 27, 2005

My First Tagging!

Thanks to Paul the Spud, I've finally been tagged, from what I can see a real rite of passage in the blogosphere, so thanks (I think).

Here goes:

Three names you go by (that won't give away your identity): Moom, Dad, Schanz.

Three screen names you've had: TBL, Negations, and a hundred variations of my "real" name.

Three physical things you like about yourself: My height, my voice, my hands.

Three physical things you don't like about yourself: The spare tire, various moles, & breakable wrists.

Three parts of your heritage: Welsh, German, Scots.

Three things you are wearing right now: Pants, Shirt, Shoes.

Three favorite bands / musical artists: Radiohead, Miles Davis, Bob Dylan.

Three favorite songs: "Comin' Back to Me" (Jefferson Airplane), "Galaxy of Emptiness" (Beth Orton), & "Sister Morphine" (Rolling Stones). But ask me again in 5 minutes and at least two (probably three) of them will have changed.

Three things you want in a relationship: Trust, mutual interests, openness.

Three physical things about the preferred sex that appeals to you: It's a gestalt thing, so everything you need to know is in the "Three celeb crushes" below.

Three of your favorite hobbies: Reading, playing guitar, and this new blogging thing.

Three things you want to do really badly right now: Finish this list, think of three people to send it to, & catch the train home for the long weekend.

Three things that scare you: Religious fanaticism, Large vehicles being driven by people with small brains, & Nationalism.

Three of your everyday essentials: Coffee, Words, & Music.

Three careers you have considered / are considering: Writer, Musician, or One of those guys who does nothing but seems to have enough money to do anything.

Three places you want to go on vacation: France, Egypt, & Morocco.

Three kids' names you like: Uma, Grace, & Alice.

Three things you want to do before you die: See the return of the Sixties, See the complete renunciation and ridicule of the Reagan/Bush/Bush legacy, & See my son become a happy adult.

Three ways you are stereotypically a boy: I laugh uncontrollably at The Three Stooges and South Park, I have very selective hearing, & I forget ... well, I forgot something.

Three ways you are stereotypically a girl: I know the story of every character on EastEnders, I think ESPN should be banned (or at least an optional pay station), & I think men are generally idiots.

Three celeb crushes: Grace Slick, Beth Orton, & Audrey Hepburn

Three people to play next: Pax Romano, Francesca, & The Urban Fox.

A Memorial Day Question

Would we mind church involvement in American politics if ...

Thursday, May 26, 2005

W. sez, "... you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda."

"President Participates in Social Security Conversation in New York", from whitehouse.gov (not .org):
blue cheer bush"Now, a personal savings account would be a part of a Social Security retirement system. It would be a part of what you would have to retire when you reach retirement age. As you -- as I mentioned to you earlier, we're going to redesign the current system. If you've retired, you don't have anything to worry about -- third time I've said that. (Laughter.) I'll probably say it three more times. See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda. (Applause.)"

Please note that the "(Applause)" tag comes directly from the transcript on the White House website. I'll take credit for adding the bold italics.

Thanks to Shakespeare's Sister for pointing out this instance our President's uncharacteristic honesty.

Hey Kids!! Remember to Pray for the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy John Walters this Memorial Day

Why didn't they have such fun tools for Christian and Republican indoctrination when I was a kid: Presidential Prayer Kids. I might have turned out a little more balanced, a little less liberal and confused. But if "The Presidential Prayer Team is not affiliated with, nor does it receive funding from, any political party or office of the government," then how and why can it use the Presidential name and seal and photos (and official faith-based party line in every article)?

(thanks to Pascal Riché at A l'heure américaine for pointing this out. The French blogs have a way of finding the strangest corners of our culture. )

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

We at TBL Don't Care if a Radiation-Enhanced Green Hulk Hits 500 Home Runs a Season, and the United States Senate Shouldn't Either!

Here's yet one more sideshow to distract us. The Senate doesn't have time to discuss abuses in Guantanamo, or to fully debate the merits of unqualified ideologically-motivated federal judges, but it sticks its nose into this entertainment industry issue?
"McCain Offers Measure for Testing in Pro Sports"
- New York Times:
"WASHINGTON, May 24 - Senator John McCain, the Arizona Republican, unveiled the much-anticipated proposal for a Clean Sports Act on Tuesday, the culmination of a series of hearings full of discontent with steroid testing in professional sports. The legislation aims to require standardized testing procedures and stiffer punishments for athletes who test positive for banned substances."
What's next, testing stars of Desperate Housewives for breast implants that give them an unfair advantage over non-enhanced has-beens and starlets? Testing male porn stars for traces of Viagra and Cialis? Investigating telephone voting irregularities on American Idol? Testing Bill Maher for traces of marijuana before he can relax enough to broadcast Real Time? Testing the Simpson sisters and Britney for evidence of lipsynching? Professional wrestlers for "taking a dive"? Lead singers in hair bands for pants stuffing? Despite the clean-cut mythology, baseball and football are not any different from these other entertainment media. It's not the Senate's job. It's not the President's job (though it was when he was a figurehead in the Texas Rangers organization). It's not a priority for our tax dollars. It's another distraction.

Liberals are often falsely accused of wanting a nanny state. Not this liberal. When it comes to performance enhancing (or performance decreasing) drugs, the state is encouraged to mind its own business.

A Thank You Note to the Garden State's Senators

Dear Senators Corzine & Lautenberg,

Thank you for being among the 18 senators who voted yesterday to continue unlimited debate on George Bush's right-wing illiberal choices for the Federal bench.

You've continued to make me proud to be from New Jersey during this dark period in America's history.

True Blue Liberal

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The new TBL Poll of the Week Is Up! What's the most effective adjective to use in describing our opponents on the right?

I think this new question goes right along with the Lefty Blogger's Oath. It's all about how we speak, about how we frame and present our arguments.
Vote here or in the sidebar:

What's the Most Efffective Adjective to Use in Describing our Opponents on the Right?
Radical Republican
Conservative (or Con)
Fundamentalist (or Fundie)
Neo-Conservative (or Neo-Con)
Right Wing
Red State

Free polls from Pollhost.com

If you don't like these choices, please tell me your favorites in the Comments. If I get enough, maybe the finalists from this week's poll will meet the best suggestions in another poll next week.
--True Blue Liberal

Will You Swear The New Lefty Blogger's Oath?

From ThatColoredFellasWeblog regarding Howard Dean's recent appearance on Meet the Press:
... he held his ground under some tough and warranted questioning by Tim Russert.
But, there was one point the Governor so eloquently made, that had the pajama-clad TCF shouting and shaking his head in agreement, now the motto I blog by:

"I have an enormous amount of respect for people who have different opinions, but they have to defend their opinions. You can't just say, "I want to privatize Social Security because I want to privatize Social Security." You have to really show me why you want to do what you want to do. And if you can defend your ideas, I'll respect those ideas."
TBL has had some interesting visits lately from illiberal visitors who have commented on earlier posts, sometimes with what seems to me as a lack of intellectual rigor. Though these visitors may not have the same respect for Governor Dean that I do, I would ask them to take the Governor's words to heart when commenting here. I'll try to do the same when posting any entries or comments. Keep in mind, as others have pointed out, that "because God says so" is not a logical argument (outside of Saudi Arabia).

Friday, May 20, 2005

Another Taliban / AmTaliban parallel ( or, what's the deal with religious fundmentalists and their mules? )

There's been a lot of comment in the last week about an American Anti-Choice Taliban Neal "When you grow up on a farm in Georgia, your first girlfriend is a mule" Horsley, so I was surprised in my morning reading to find this quote in George Crile's book "Charlie Wilson's War" about the close personal/animal relationship between Osama Bin Laden's Afghan Taliban friends and their CIA-supplied mules, given to them to carry their CIA-supplied weapons (meant to kill Russian occupiers, not American Liberators®):
"... Eventually the mujahideen were moving their supplies on the backs of Tennessee mules, and the halls of Langley were soon filled with rumors (later confirmed by the Agency's spies) that the freedom fighters were copulating with these animals." (p. 355 of the hardcover)
The CIA officer in charge of the operation at the time explained that there was no shame in such an act as long as the mujahideen took "the dominant male role" in the exchange. The opposite role, however, makes for a much funnier image, in the case of both the Taliban and the AmTaliban Horsley (named after an ancestor's sexual preference for the equine set?).

Horsley("best known for his "Nuremberg Files," which, according to Planned Parenthood, lists abortion doctors "marked for death."), in his now infamous statement on Fox Radio, says that
"It has historically been the case. You people are so far removed from the reality. . . . Welcome to domestic life on the farm. You experiment with anything that moves when you are growing up sexually. You're naive. You know better than that. . . . If it's warm and it's damp and it vibrates, you might in fact have sex with it."
TBL, a city boy, is obviously very "removed from the reality," very confused, and a little scared.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Prominent Bush supporter jokes about murdering Michael Moore with his bare hands. Idiots listen to him on the radio and think he's sane.

Radio host Glenn Beck "Thinking About Killing Michael Moore" [Media Matters for America]

BECK: "Hang on, let me just tell you what I'm thinking. I'm thinking about killing Michael Moore, and I'm wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it. No, I think I could. I think he could be looking me in the eye, you know, and I could just be choking the life out -- is this wrong? ..."
TBL: Yes!

What's really scary is that these rightwingnut radio and television "personalities" have supporters and listeners who are even stupider and more violent than they are, and most of them are also armed. What if this jerk were expressing this same murderous fantasy about an "activist judge" or Bill or Hillary Clinton?

The TBL Poll of the Week has finally changed --- You see a red door and you want to ...

I loved the last poll so much that I kept it up for more than a week, but you can still view it (and vote after the fact) for the worst piece of BushCheneyCorpNewSpeak® by clicking here. At its official closing, the results are: Culture of Life is the big winner at 42%, War on Terror got 16%, Patriot Act and Faith-Based Anything tied at 10%, Activist Judge and Axis of Evil tied at 6%, Ownership Society, Clear Skies, and No Child Left Behind tied at 3%, and no one has yet voted for the poor Healthy Forests.

Here's the new poll. Vote here or in the sidebar for the next week or so.

I See a Red Door ...
and I want to paint it black
and I want to paint it blue
and I think of hearts and flowers
and I think of Nancy Reagan
and I want to knock
and I want to be a fireman again
and I can't help humming The Internationale
None of the Above
All of the Above, and more

Free polls from Pollhost.com

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

What gets cut when Bushies get "serious" about the budget deficit they created with military and faith-based pork and tax cuts for the rich?

From Bush Greenwatch, May 17, 2005:
An amendment to the federal transportation bill, SAFETEA, to be introduced today by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) will eradicate $11 billion from public transit funding, public health,community development, and environmental programs.
Thank Bleeding Jeebus they didn't cut any funds from Star Wars or from the Silver Ring Thing.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The big lie continues, this time from our Secretary of State: "This war came to us, not the other way around."

CNN.com - Rice makes surprise visit to Iraq - May 15, 2005:
"This war came to us, not the other way around,"
she lied (failing to clearly define her esoteric understanding of the terms "came", "to", "us", "war", or "this").
"When those Iraqi missiles came whizzing over our heads in DC, Georgie . . . I mean Mr. President, made the the most important decision of his life to save lives by killing tens of thousands of Iraqis [and 1,500 Americans]. In forty-five minutes, or forty-five years, Saddam Hussein could have inflicted great intestinal damage on all our major coastal cities with tainted clouds of mushrooms, blah blah anthrax, blah blah september eleven september eleven, blah blah ORANGE ALERT BOOO! BOOOM!" she didn't add (she's saving that as her UN speech before the Iran [or North Korea or Syria] invasion).

"Respectable" RightWing Media® like the New York Post can run their "Holy Shiite" headlines, but the so-called liberal media takes the heat

I'm upset with Newsweek too, but only because they apologized.
Howard Kurtz in Media Notes today points out how the Right is mobilized to demonize the messenger (again), when the real problem is the fact that real crimes and human rights abuses are being committed in our name in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib and probably a hundred other concentration camps with less-leaky security systems. Released detainees have been telling the same stories about Koran abuse, so Newsweek did not make a factual mistake; it's just a case of one government source being leaned on by the Administration. Now the Right is organized and unleashed and trying to do same thing they did to Dan Rather (whose facts about AWOL Bush were never in dispute, just the Rove-supplied fake documents), blaming the Librul Meedya for reporting their crimes. Donny Rumsfeld and Condi Rice can warn us once again to "watch what we say." And while the media engages in another round of self-flagellating mea culpas, Donny and Condi are busy creating a new Saddam Hussein so we can fight the War on Terra in perpetuity.

True Blue Liberal

Silver Ring Thing???

THIS gets government funding???

Monday, May 16, 2005

Stop Frivolous Lawsuits

Greg Palast writes on his blog: "Our story on secret US plans for Iraq's oil for BBC and Harper's Magazine has already generated two threats of lawsuits from the oil industry."
Why is it that when a group of people suffering from asbestos-induced lung cancer sues one of the tentacles of Richard "Dick" Cheney's former company it's frivolous and destructive in the eyes of our Republican overlords and their media lackeys, but it's A-OK for the purveyors of (possibly diseased) dead cows to sue Oprah Winfrey, it's OK for McDonald's to sue UK pamphleteers, it's OK for oil companies to sue anyone? These corporations have EVERY other advantage over us. The courts should be the last resort for actual people, not multinational legal entities.
Palast continues: "Our revelations on the manipulation of the US voting operations has generated more threats. We still have bills left over from our smashing legal victory over George Bush Sr.'s partners in his blood-soiled gold mining business."
It's great to know that they've won one against the Bush père, but investigative reporters and others with strong opinions shouldn't have to respond to (or worry about) these abusive suits in the first place. Their only purpose is to keep us all quiet and make us into nice little Good Germans.

Florence Aubenas (reporter captive since January 5)

Why is this still not a story here in the US?
Are we going to wait until she's released and she's shot at a US checkpoint?

Just asking,
True Blue Liberal

Friday, May 13, 2005

At least I'm never disappointed by my test results . . . but I'm never really surprised by them either

I had seen the results of this test on too many other blogs, so I had to take it myself:

You scored as Existentialist. Existentialism emphasizes human capability. There is no greater power interfering with life and thus it is up to us to make things happen. Sometimes considered a negative and depressing world view, your optimism towards human accomplishment is immense. Man is condemned to be free and must accept the responsibility.











Cultural Creative






What is Your World View?
created with QuizFarm.com

TBL is Proud to Have Been Raised a Lutheran

"Air Force Chaplain Tells of Academy Proselytizing"
- New York Times - 13 May 2005 :
"Captain Morton said she had decided to step forward without authorization from the public affairs office because: 'It's the Constitution, not just a nice rule we can follow or not follow. We all raised our hands and said we'd follow it, and that includes the First Amendment, that includes not using your power to advance your religious agenda.'

She added, 'I realize this is the end of my Air Force career.'"
Please read the entire article in today's Times about this brave Lutheran chaplain and her fight against the culture of the Air Force Christian Academy and Church of Fiery Death From Above (oh, and regular and ritual abuse of female cadets) in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Not that I'd want to go back to my old church now or anything, but it does make me proud that I learned my cathechism and got confirmed in this church. Captain MeLinda Morton also serves as a great example for why the Roman Catholic Church needs to ordain women.

true blue liberal

Oh God! I hope no stains resembling the Virgin Mother of Jeebus were harmed in the collapse!

OK, so yesterday I wrote that you should all watch Nightline last night to see the interview with Ex-General Karpinski about Abu Ghraib. From the teasers on the Nightly News it looked like it was going to be very revealing and move the spotlight from the stupid scapegoats and order-followers at the bottom of the military pyramid.

But, I couldn't watch it, nor could anyone else in the New York area, because Channel 7 extended its 11 o'clock news broadcast to a full hour because they had such great helicopter footage of a retaining wall that had collapsed on the Henry Hudson Parkway. No one was injured, and (as far as I know from the extended and extremely repetitive broadcast with lots of dramatic aerial pictures of a pile of dirt on the west side of Manhattan), no Virgin Maryish stains were destroyed, but the local "news" broadcast made no mentions of Iraq, Afghanistan, Bolton, DeLay, the Nuclear Option, Frist, Filibusters, etc. etc. How many people use these local Crime/Fire/Sports/Weather&HumanInterest Shows for their main source of "News"? It really is all about the media and its complete and total abdication of responsibility to keep us informed.

So did anyone outside of the NYC area see Nightline last night? How was it? Or will I have to look for stories about it in the European media?

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Why did they know they were going to need dog leashes when they were sent to Iraq?

Janis Karpinski will be spilling some beans on Nightline tonight

Janis Karpinski, the former Army Reserve brigadier general who was in charge of Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison, maintains she and other reservists have been unfairly scapegoated for the prisoner abuse scandal that shocked the world last year, and that the mistreatment of detainees may still be occurring.

"All the way up to the top of the Pentagon, they have a long-standing mindset about reservists and National Guard soldiers, and we are considered disposable," Karpinski said in an exclusive interview with ABC News' "Nightline." "We go back to our lives as civilians once we're released from active duty." [except, of course, for the lowest ranking scapegoats, who will go to jail to keep Donald Rumsfeld free, she didn't add.]

In the excerpts on the 6:30 news tonight she made it clear that she felt the orders -- and the details of the torture techniques -- did not come from the MPs, and that the general above her (Major General Jeff Miller) definitely knew about it. Of course he did, but she brought up an obvious point that I had not heard before. Do we really believe that these National Guardians and Reservists had the foresight to bring dog collars and leashes to Iraq? And if not, where did they come from? And was Lynndie England really just participating in a training video for future guards and torturers?

This may not be the issue here that it is in the rest of the world, but on the French news (at 7 on channel 25 in NYC -- I watched a lot of TV tonight) they made it clear that the anti-American riots going on in Afghanistan right now (protestors burning the stars'n'stripes being shot and killed on the streets by pro-US police) are the direct result of a Newsweek story in which the desecration of Korans in Guantanamo was described. We ignore our government's abuses and crimes at our own peril, if we ever want to travel freely and proudly through the world again.

Anyway, ex-General Karpinski looks like a woman scorned. It looks like she's going to pull no punches tonight now that she's out of uniform. I hope it's a big story tomorrow (along, of course, with the unexpected defeat of that chief defender of Guantanamo Kangaroo Courts, Captain Kangaroo Bolton - - a boy can hope, can't he?).


WARNING! Don't comment unless your politics and your grammar are correct (ever noticed that liberals have better language skills?)

Grammar God!
You are a GRAMMAR GOD!

Congratulations! If your mission in life
is not already to preserve the English tongue,
it should be. You can smell a grammatical
inaccuracy from fifty yards. Your speech is
revered by the underlings, though some may
blaspheme and call you a snob. They're just
jealous. Go out there and change the world.

How grammatically correct are you? (Revised with answer key)
brought to you by Quizilla

TBL is Proud to Be From The Garden State


Wednesday, May 11, 2005

It's good to be king ... (TBL doesn't have time to take bike rides with his security detail on weekdays... or weekends for that matter)

CNN.com - Aircraft prompts brief White House evacuation - May 11, 2005: "At the time of the incident, Bush was on a bike ride with a security detail in Maryland, officials said."

Shame! "Senate passes war-spending bill 100-0" Remember when headlines like this only came from military dictatorships and ... (oh, never mind)

Unanimity has always been seen as the symptom of a fake democracy. Even the Baathists and Stalinists liked the fig leaf of the occasional mere 98% or 99% victory.
But isn't there one person in our Senate with guts and a sense of outrage? Even if they only cast their vote as a protest against the fact that this war was started with lies, or that this bill also railroads "Real ID" into existence.
Or are they all planning their runs for President in 2008, 2012, 2016, or 2020? They wouldn't want to be painted as insufficiently bellicose in some future debate against a patriotic red-state demagogue.

Monday, May 09, 2005

If we really had declared war on an abstract noun, this mad bomber would be on the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists List

"Cuban Exile Could Test U.S. Definition of Terrorist"
- New York Times
- 9 May 2005

After reading that Times article, look at the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists List and you will see from the pictures and the names that anti-Castro terrorists simply don't come close to meeting the FBI's stringent and homogenous ethnic criteria for "terrorists." I guess the message is that you can blow up Cuban airliners with impugnity. If Luis Posada Carriles, who is known to be in the United States, is granted asylum in order to shore up the Bushies' political stronghold in South Florida, then the whole world will know that the "War on Terror" is just another convenient fiction of an administration that has no problems in twisting facts to match its desires.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Axis of Faith-Based Evil Patriots for the Ownership of Clear Skies and Healthy Forests--THE POLL OF THE WEEK IS EXTENDED TO 16 May

Now, some illiberal visitors of the True Blue Liberal blog have pointed out that there are no options in the current weekly sidebar poll for "None of the Above" or "Newspeak? What's Newspeak?" or "My President doesn't deceive with language". You know what folks? It's a biased poll. I'll admit it. But I think this abuse of language is such an important issue, at the heart of the Bush Administration and modern politics in general that I'm leaving it up for another week, so vote early and often for your favorite Bushism, or add your favorites below in the Comments.

Friday, May 06, 2005

She doesn't need to apologize to me. The media need to apologize to her for turning her life into a freak show.

Just an update on the recent posts about the differences between the home pages of CNN International and CNN for Dummies.

Right now the QuickVote question of the day on the International Version is "After the UK election results, how long do you think Tony Blair will stay on as PM?" (55% are saying "full term") and the question on the We Think All Americans Are Too Stupid for Real News Version is "Are you satisfied with the apology from runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks?" For the record, 40,000 internauts have voted so far and 63% of them are far from satisfied with the Runafuckingwaybride©'s apology. WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE and why do they feel that some woman from Georgia who had a flash of reality interrupt her premarital haze owes them anything at all, let alone an apology? We should not know her name. We should not know her deer-in-the-headlights stare as well as we know Michael Jackson's nose, but we do, and it's the fault of a media that has abdicated all responsibility about reporting on the thieves and murderers running our country.

("Alan S." a thoughtful reader of an earlier CNN posting has a slightly different explanation in a comment he left at 3:29 this morning: The Communist News Network only spews your liberal bias lies. That's why Liberals love socialism and hate America. So true. So simple and so true, Mr. Simpson. And TBL would like to say how proud and honored he is to have received notice from the former Republican Senator from Wyoming!)

Thursday, May 05, 2005

The Forgotten Anniversaries

"what if you knew her
and found her dead on the ground?"
These anniversaries are not really forgotten, it's just that the media choose not to remind us of certain things, like how we felt on May 4, 1970 (35 years ago yesterday) when we heard about the killing of four unarmed peace protestors on the campus of Kent State University.

Click this Google News link to see the paucity of stories yesterday.

I want to thank Pax Romano and Bark Bark Woof Woof for reminding me that this day -- a pivotal one in the radicalization of a 14-year-old boy who now sometimes answers to the name True Blue Liberal -- was passing. They put this angry and heartbreaking song by Neil Young firmly back into my head for the last 24 hours:
"tin soldiers and nixon coming
we're finally on our own
this summer I hear the drumming
four dead in ohio"
Not forgotten.

CNN International versus CNN for Dummies

A couple of days ago I complained about how the International Version of CNN's homepage is more apt to run lead stories about real news while the Version for Americans ("Dummies" of the heading) is more apt to run lead stories about Michael Jackson, Paula Abdul, and the Runafuckingwaybride (or whomever the media has agreed will be the White Female Victim - or in the case of the R.A.F.W.B., the potential victim - of the Week).

This morning they don't disappoint. The QuickVote® at the bottom of the international version is "Is PM Silvio Berlusconi right to challenge the U.S. report's conclusion that troops deserved no blame in the death of intelligence agent Nicola Calipari?" (currently 82% say Yes) and the QuickVote® at the bottom of the Dummies edition is "Do you think the Michael Jackson prosecution has proven its case?" (so far 45,000 of our fellow netizens and internauts feel they've seen enough reports about and dramatic reconstructions of the trial of this ex-popstar on television to make a judgement, and 25,000 of them say yes, fry the child molester because we're the vengeful children of a vengeful american god and we know a bad -- or unusual -- person when we see one on tv).

UPDATE at 1:47pm EST on 5/5/5--OK, now CNN International still has the Berlusconi question (still 82% yes), but CNN for Dummies has the burning question, "Should Texas restrict "overtly sexually suggestive" school cheerleading routines?" (right now it's 50%/50%, 34,495 yeahs / 34, 086 nays).


Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Brazil rejects Faith-Based AIDS Funds

Good for Brazil. I wish I knew some Portuguese so I could congratulate them on their bravery and pride in their own language, turning down 40 million precious American dollars with too many strings attached (wouldn't it be nice if we attached half as many strings when we were throwing hundreds of billions of dollars down the military-industrial rathole).
"... Brazil's top Aids official, Pedro Chequer, said the US' conservative approach to treating the disease would not help.
Correspondents say references to prostitution are likely to become a condition for all US Aids funding.
Washington says it is important not to promote prostitution, and does not want any of its funds to be spent on treating prostitutes.
US President George Bush has allocated $15bn to the worldwide fight against Aids.
Much of the spending is being channelled to programmes that advocate abstinence, rather than condom use, and cannot be used for abortions or to treat prostitutes.
But Aids activists in Brazil said the clause would hamper the treatment of infected sex workers and their clients.
Mr Chequer also called for official recognition of prostitution as a profession in Brazil.
Sex workers should have the right to collect state welfare payments like other workers, he said. "

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The Opposite of Bush. TBL shows off his test results for all to see!

I am:
"You're a damn Commie! Where's Tailgunner Joe when we need him?"

Are You A Republican?

Like I said in the header, I could not possibly be prouder of these results!
At least I'm not a whiny Lieberman Democrat!


Can we drop this yet? CNN.com - Runaway bride's story perplexes authorities - May 3, 2005

On the front page of the U.S. Edition of CNN.com right now, this endless runafuckingway bride story is the Top Story and the "QuickVote" poll is about her as well. But, one of my favorite web activities is to click on "International Edition" at the top of the CNN home page (if you're already using the International Edition as your default, then click on "View U.S. Edition"). The International Edition has the same page layout today, but its lead right now is this story about Condi warning the North Koreans about nuclear weapons, and a foreign policy question as its QuickVote. I love that the media helps to make us a stupid country, but even our media won't stoop to quite the same low level for the rest of the world.


I don't think you'll have to look real hard to find read news. Pretend we're Europeans. Pretend we don't want our intelligence insulted.
True Blue Liberal

Monday, May 02, 2005

Axis of Faith-Based Evil Patriots for the Ownership of Clear Skies and Healthy Forests--THE POLL OF THE WEEK IS ACTIVE--Don't be Left Behind!

There's a virgin poll of the week posted below and in the sidebar, so if you're quick you can be the first to register your choice for the worst (i.e., most effective) snippet of BushCheneyCo Newspeak.
Or do you have one of your own you want to suggest in the Comments?

Which is the worst example of BushCheneyCo Newspeak?
Clear Skies
No Child Left Behind
Patriot Act
Faith-Based anything
War on Terror
Culture of Life
Activist Judge
Ownership Society
Axis of Evil
Healthy Forests

Free polls from Pollhost.com

Last week's poll about the most appropriate Vietnam-Era song for the BushCheney era currently (5/2/05 @ 11:06am) has Bob Dylan's "Masters of War" in the lead with 31%. "Who are the Brain Police?" (Frank Zappa) and "Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore" (John Prine) are tied in second with 19% each. Those of you with a rooting interest in the songs of Phil Ochs, Edwin Starr, Randy Newman, Marvin Gaye, or Joni Mitchell may still click on the link and vote.

True Blue Liberal