Saturday, November 08, 2003

Halliburton vs. the Army

The Corps of Engineers is considering terminating its contract with Halliburton for overcharging on gasoline ($2.65 per gallon). It seems other sources are available at less than half the price. Could this really happen? Stay tuned.

It's a madhouse!

The Army reports that it still isn't certain what caused the Black Hawk helicopter to crash in Tikrit yesterday, killing 6 GI's. Nevertheless, to show the inhabitants that we have "teeth and claws," we have bombed and bulldozed buildings in Tikrit. If we don't know the cause of the crash, these can only be the blind flailings of frustration and rage. And the targets? Empty, abandoned buildings.

Does any of this make sense? Does it begin to feel like Israel/Palestine? Nazis/Paris? Rome/Carthage?

Revisiting yesterday's news

The two stories I referred to in Thursday's post--the Pentagon's rejection of Iraq's last-minute back-channel effort to avoid war, and Jessica Lynch's alleged rape--have indeed found different fates. The first never made it onto the Google News front page (which presents and categorizes the ongoing parade of most-reported stories) while the second was the lead article most of yesterday.

What's in a phrase

Editors at the Los Angeles Times have banned the use of the phrase "resistance fighters" to describe those who are attacking US troops in Iraq, while they admit the phrase may be accurate. It romanticizes them, the paper says.


Thursday, November 06, 2003

I can remain silent no longer

I waited through the day and am about to leave for an evening of dining out (I'll be baaaack in four hours or so), but cannot wait to make this observation about our times:

The New York Times reported 24 hours ago that it was possible that the US invasion of Iraq could have been avoided entirely because the Iraqis proffered what amounted to an unconditional surrender (see my post below entitled "Watching the Fur Fly") just about the same time as it was reported that the "biographer" of Jessica Lynch announced (without Jessica's memory of the event) that she was raped.

It's now a full newsday after these announcements, of somewhat differing global dimension, one would think. And guess which is trumpeted by the media (I won't link to the trumpets, because they're everywhere), and which is mute (and hence no links, notwithstanding that the Gray Lady was, after extensive investigation, the source).

Later tonight I'll check to see whazzup with the reporting, but there's no way anything now disseminated, after everybody's locked onto "Friends" or "Enemies" or whatever we TV-addicted idiots will be watching, can displace the rape report.

And so it goes. American media, and its slaves, abiding in the trough.

Deja vu all over again

This pamphlet, Scott Nearing's The Great Madness, was written ninety years ago as America was about to enter WWI. It could have been written yesterday. The plutocracy he describes, the use of a crisis and a claim of the need for national defense to galvanize public opinion in favor of big business as a salvation--my God, where have we heard that before?
Of course he was prosecuted for the pamphlet--which wouldn't happen today, right?

Here is his closing argument in defense of the charge of violating the Espionage Act

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

It's the jobs, stupid

For a straightforward take on the true effect of the present economic morass, including an illuminating chart that shows the relative job/income performance of the economy during the various cycles of recession/recovery, check out this short, telling article.

Bottom line: Not since records have been kept, through five decades of such cycles, have jobs and incomes continued to remain mired in loss for so long. Indeed, we're now losing ground on real income of wage-earners, long after the "recovery" should have floated all boats.

Watching the fur fly

This article from the NYT, relating in detail the last-weeks-before-the-war overture/capitulation by Iraq (essentially an unconditional surrender) that was conveyed to the Pentagon but not accepted by the US is going to create a firestorm of outrage. From the depth of the investigation, it looks like the NYT has got the goodies on the maniacs in the administration who have now killed thousands when it was likely all could have been avoided. Powerful stuff.
As intriguing as will be watching the administration try to squirm out of this one, will be observing the finger-pointing. From the tenor of the story, it looks like CIA finally put the kabosh on Iraq's overtures. But I'll bet, given the rift between the CIA and the other branches of government, that they won't take it lying down.
Stay very tuned.

Monday, November 03, 2003

Rooney Rocks

Andy Rooney ain't no rad, but this proposed speech for our current president is right on, Rooney.

Is the herd finally catching on?

At long last, a majority of people disapprove of Mr Bush's handling of Iraq, as the floundering war and sickly economy take their toll on his approval ratings. Now if the democrats will stop chewing cud and field a serious candidate or two, there's hope. News

A comparison

Iraq is about the same size as California, with about ten million fewer inhabitants--23 million. The contention that much of Iraq is "back to normal," in that context, seems odd. Consider if during any given day, there were thirty-five armed attacks on police in our state, and the area around Los Angeles experienced a cop killing and three or four bombings per day; and imagine how the Bush administration, after six months of such a situation, would regard California. We'd be immersed in National Guardsmen, and the first time one of them was killed, we'd be an armed camp, a state in a state of siege.
Could it be that what Bush (and Wolfie and Rummie and that whore Condie, not to mention the house-slave Colin Powell) regard what is intolerable for us white folks as "normal" for arabs?
Does this begin to feel a bit like the British Empire, except that our wogs are arabs?

Sunday, November 02, 2003

And as if the previous post wasn't enough...

According to Australia's foremost daily paper, two U.S. GI's are facing court martial for having married Iraqi women, both physicians who were working in hospitals where the soldiers were stationed. "Fraternization," or something, is the formal charge.

What the hell? Is this madness, or what?

Can't Bremer do anything right?

With $87 billion to play with, you'd think Tribune Bremer could toss a few sheckles to the Iraq national soccer team, whose field and equipment we demolished, so that they have a chance to make it into the Asia playoff. But no, and the recently-appointed coach has threatened to resign on account of it.

Let me do you a favor

I know there are more important things to blog about (such as the near-score of dead GI's in Iraq today), but if you read this you'll receive an immediate pecuniary benefit: You'll save eight dollars.

Don't see Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill vol. 1.

Or, to save you four dollars: Don't rent it, either.