Tuesday, October 28, 2003

I love pirate jokes. And "guy walks into a bar" jokes.

A pirate walks into a bar. Oddly enough, he has a steering wheel sticking out of the front of his pants.

He waddles uncomfortably up to the bar and orders a beer. Everyone is kind of looking at him. The bartender serves him his beer, and says, "Excuse me sir, I can't help but ask. I notice you have a steering wheel stuck there in front of you. Isn't that kind of uncomfortable?"

And the pirate says:

"Arrrh! It's drivin' me nuts!"

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Remind you of anyone we know? ... all noise - all the time: "Narcissistic Personality Disorder often have a grandiose view of themselves, a need for admiration, and a lack of empathy that begins by early adulthood and is present in various situations. These individuals are very demanding in their relationships. This pattern is indicated by five (or more) of the following:
Has an inflated sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without corresponding achievements).
Is overly concerned with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.
Believes she is 'special' and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions).
Requires excessive admiration. Is often an 'artist' or calligrapher.
Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of very positive treatment or automatic compliance with her expectations.
Takes advantage of others to achieve her own ends.
Lacks empathy: is unwilling to identify with the feelings and needs of others.
Is often jealous of others or believes that others are jealous of her.
Shows arrogant or domineering behaviors or attitudes. "

Sunday, October 26, 2003

what terrorism is:

Politics - World - s.f. bayarea forums - craigslist: "If you call the tail a leg, how many legs < RoughJustice > 10/26/03 10:31

does a dog have?

Answer: Four. (Calling the tail a leg doesn't make it one.)

We know what terrorism is: The attack on civilians by clandestine groups not acting as the lawful agents of a recognized state for the purpose of instilling terror among the populace to achieve political ends.

If terrorist-style attacks are made on our soldiers, that's not terrorism but it is facile to call it so. "

Saturday, October 25, 2003

Why are Iraq's debts not on the table?

Politics - World - s.f. bayarea forums - craigslist: "Funds for Iraq or for Iraq's creditors? < RoughJustice > 10/25 10:08:18

Why are Iraq's debts not on the table?

George Will writes ' for at least the next two years, oil revenue will at best match Iraq's operating expenses.

Iraq already has $127 billion of debt, not counting approximately $100 billion of reparations owed, mostly to Kuwait, from the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

This unadjudicated reparations sum might and should be radically reduced. Still, McPherson says that external debt equal to 100 percent of annual GDP is 'not sustainable.' Germany's debt after World War I, which may have helped put that nation on the path toward World War II, was twice its GDP. Iraq's debt is now four to five times that level.

It would be fun to forgive the debts contracted by a regime that ruled against the interests of the Iraqi people, money owed to nations that opposed the liberation of those people who are saddled with the debt. Fun, but improvident: Chaos in international finance would result from making the validity of nations' debts contingent on the virtues, or continuity, of nations' regimes. '


... Excuse me? Of COURSE they're contingent! When some tinhorn dictator or socialist mob takes over Ungabunga what happens to their old debt? It gets repudiated. Why should an Iraqi democracy have to suffer?


Friday, October 24, 2003

Best Gov't Money Can Buy rolls on

Politics - World - s.f. bayarea forums - craigslist: "The Best Gov't Money Can Buy rolls on < RoughJustice > 10/24/03 07:43

Campaign Finance Institute, a Washington nonprofit, offers strong evidence that time has caught up to the system first used in 1976.

As the report says, the system under which 'the federal government has matched the first $250 that candidates raise from individual donors if the candidates agree, among other things, to limit their spending . . . for many candidates is no longer worthwhile. Accepting spending limits has become too risky and public funding has become less valuable. And to top it all off, the whole public financing system faces the real threat of insolvency by 2008.'

www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A43862-2003Oct17.html "

Islam has become The Culture of Blame

Politics - World - s.f. bayarea forums - craigslist: "Islam has become The Culture of Blame < RoughJustice > 10/24/03 07:35

Christianity and Judaism preach personal sin and redemption, concepts like guilt and atonement.

Muslims have a worldview that deflects and externalizes guilt, inhibiting their ability to look at their own faults while facilitating a focus on their neighbor's. They consistently ignore the Christian admonition 'remove ye the log from thine own eye before ye cast out the splinter from thy brother's eye.'

The result is a predeliction to believe in conspiracies that are demonstrably false and an inability to deal with problems of their own making. "

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Malaysian PM blames it on the Jews

The Malaysian prime minister shouldn’t blame it on the Jews

One can only shake his head in outrage and frustration listening to Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad accusing the Jews of controling the world by proxy and asking the representatives of 1.3 billion Muslims at last week’s annual meeting of the Organization of Islamic states to confront the international Jewish menace, albeit nonviolentenly.
Designating the world Jewry as “the enemy” is deceiving and morally reprehensible. It’s also an easy escape from confronting the real challenges stemming from America and the West in general.
Instead of charting a new way forward to tackle the dangerous post-Sept. 11, 2001 misperceptions about Muslims, Mahathir’s populist discourse will further exacerbate religious tensions and geopolitical instability.
His utterance was even more surprising considering his 22 years distinguished career as a modern statesman during which he succeeded in bringing Malaysia to 17th trading country in the world and in putting forward many intelligent and bold ideas on the development of the Third World. He should know better than to use the Jews as a scapegoat for the Muslims’ trouble. This rings particularly hollow in the West.
Lumping all Muslims and all Jews as politically uniform is misleading at best. In the US, for example, Jewish voices critical of American foreign policy are louder than most others. And in Israel, an increasing number of Israeli Jews oppose their country’s occupation and support the Palestinian right of self-determination. Mahathir’s statement can only undermine the efforts of those Jews who do not find themselves represented by the government of Israel and damage the just struggle of the Palestinians people.
The power of the Palestinian cause stems from a universal right to freedom from occupation and colonialism. It is not a religious conflict between Muslims and Jews. Remember, Israel was established by less than 3 percent of Jewish people while Palestine was betrayed by more than 50 percent of Arab and Muslim leaders. Those leaders have also been selling out their nation’s interest for 30 coins of silver. Many have allowed an unconditional US military presence on their land and turned their back on Palestine in favor of better ties with Washington.
Inflaming the religious fervor of Muslims by attacking imagined Jewish conspiracies won’t solve their real problems. The ideological underpinnings of the Bush administration radicalized by Sept. 11 are motivated by geo-economic and geo-strategic interests that go beyond any Jewish influence.
There is no denying that pro-Israeli lobbies exercise substantial influence in America (and to a lesser degree in Europe) over foreign policy in the Middle East region. But their lobbying efforts bear fruit mostly because they are complimentary to America’s foreign policy and consistent with its global hegemony.
The question of who leads whom in the American-Israeli relationship has occupied many observers in the region in light of the unmatched American support for the Jewish state. Many, like the Malaysian premier, reckon that Israel and its Jewish lobby exercise a disproportionate degree of influence over Washington’s decision-making by supporting and financing the electoral campaigns and undermining those opposing strong support to Israel. Americans’ lack of interest in foreign affairs enforces this trend.
Others see Israel gaining favor in Washington in return for its strategic role as an ally in a region hostile to US interests. Deemed a “regional cop” by the Nixon administration and a “regional influential” by the Carter administration, Israel was designated henceforth as a “strategic asset” against the Soviet “Evil Empire” by the Reagan administration. After Sept. 11, Israel emerged as America’s closest ally in the “war on terrorism.”
While there is a large degree of truth in both views, they are not mutually exclusive. Nor do they justify talk of Jewish domination. In fact, Israel has become shamelessly dependent on Washington, while America evolved into a de facto promised land for the Jewish people В­ more Jews live there than anywhere else in the world, including Israel.
Every time American and Israeli interests have clashed, Israel has retreated in favor of America’s imperial outreach. Whether selling sophisticated arms to Israel’s neighbors or demanding withdrawal from occupied Arab territories, what America wants, American gets.
Washington has many strong allies in the world and is home to over 80 thousand registered lobbyists. What makes pro-Israeli influence great is the lack of even a handful of Arab lobbyists and the total absence of a common Arab strategy toward Washington and Israel.
Israel and its Jewish lobby do seem at times to be at the forefront of confrontations with the Arab and Muslim worlds. However, as I learned from an anecdote I picked up from a Jewish text recently, if a dog is walking ahead of its master (parallels notwithstanding), it doesn’t mean the dog is leading; just that it knows where its master is going and it stays a step ahead and a heartbeat away.
If Malaysian or other leaders have an issue with America or Europe, they should have the courage to take it up with their respective governments instead of scapegoating the Jews.

Marwan Bishara (marwanbishara2000@yahoo.com), a Palestinian analyst and professor based in Paris, wrote this commentary for THE DAILY STAR

The Cuban Missile Crisis: Parallels in History

Stratfor: Cuban crisis parallels < RoughJustice > 10/22 11:38:04

20 October 2003

The Cuban Missile Crisis: Parallels in History


Three things led to the Cuban missile crisis:

1. Consistently poor U.S. intelligence.

2. A prior administration that failed to react to the threat in a timely fashion and in essence passed on the Cuban problem to its successor.

3. A new administration whose president struck his adversaries -- and allies -- as a deer frozen in the headlights.

It is interesting to see these parallels:

1. Both Kennedy and current U.S. President George W. Bush were widely perceived as inexperienced in foreign affairs. Their foes perceived them both as bunglers.

2. Both focused intensely on anything that physically threatened the United States.

3. The rest of the world regarded both presidents as overreacting and as cowboys, risking world security on minor provocation.

4. Both were casual with the truth when it suited the national -- or their political -- interests.

... It is useful to look back on moments like the Cuban missile crisis, which we tend to see through the prism of time as a particular moment of U.S. courage and decisiveness. Like the current circumstance, it was a moment born of failure, ineptitude and dishonesty, and it ultimately gave rise to the things it was intended to prevent. The president that presided over the crisis is revered today. There are few who were alive in September 1962 who would have thought that Kennedy would be remembered for his strategic acumen. And there are many historians who still wonder what the shouting was about.

Bush's critics should take note of this. And Bush should remember that the kind of victory he gains -- if he gains one at all -- is as important as the victory itself.


Monday, October 20, 2003

The GOP Far White is doomed to extinction


Matthew Dowd, polling director at the Republican National Committee, has pointed out, if minorities and whites vote in 2004 as they did in the 2000 election, Democrats will win by 3 million votes, for just that reason. In the long term, unless the GOP can make inroads among minority voters, they'll lose. In 2002, they made essentially no inroads at all. Recall that in the 2000 election, Al Gore got 90 percent of the black vote; in 2002, blacks appear to have voted at similar rates – if not slightly higher – for Democratic congressional and gubernatorial candidates. Hispanic support for Democrats was similarly rock solid, despite strenuous GOP outreach efforts. For example, California governor Gray Davis beat his Republican challenger Bill Simon by 65 to 24 percent among Hispanics – figures essentially identical to those by which Davis beat his 1998 challenger, Dan Lundgren. Nationally, a Greenberg-Quinlan-Rosner poll taken after the 2002 election indicated that Hispanics supported Democrats by 62 to 38 percent, figures nearly identical to 1998 numbers.

Research by political scientist James Gimpel confirms that Hispanic voting patterns haven't shifted. He found that Hispanics in 10 states polled by Fox News supported Democrats over Republicans in Senate races by more than two to one (67 percent to 33 percent). Democrats didn't fare quite so well among Hispanics in governors' races in these states (54 percent to 46 percent), but that result probably had a great deal to do with the inclusion of Florida and the noncompetitive Colorado election in their sample. Gimpel found little evidence that Latinos are moving toward the Republican Party, despite all the talk of Hispanics as swing voters.

What limited data there are on Asian voters indicate that they, too, haven't wavered in their support of Democrats. In California, Asians voted for Davis over Simon by 54 to 37 percent, similar to their preference for Al Gore over George Bush in 2000. In other words, practically all the available data indicates that minority support for Democrats didn't budge in this election. For the GOP, that's a very bad sign.

Hamas 'retaliation'

I'm always struck by the Pal terrorists response of 'we will retaliate' to IDF attacks. I guess to them retaliation basically means 'We're just going to do what we were going to do anyway, but we'll pitch it as if peace would have suddenly broken out if only you hadn't done this one horrendous deed.'"

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Walls are inconvenient. Terror is something else altogether.

To listen to the plight of Pals in Jerusalem you'd never know there was a problem with sharing the city with Jews, much less that their culture was waging war on their neighbors with persistent unspeakable horrors of terrorism :

'I am a Jerusalem resident. It is not fair,' Kamel Suran, 56, a Palestinian grocer, said on a recent day as he pushed himself through the portal to the Arab neighborhood El Eizariyeh, clutching a bag of medicines for his kidney condition that he had just picked up on the official Israeli side. 'This is all Jerusalem.'

'This is unacceptable,' said Surkhi, a tribal judge who has Jerusalem residency. 'I will be in the West Bank and they will be in Jerusalem. I was born in Jerusalem. We are all Jerusalem residents. How can they take that away?'


... cry me a fucking river.


Saturday, October 18, 2003

Hijacking is passГ©

I'm constantly aware when I'm stuck in a long security check line that I'm being delayed by a fence with more holes than swiss cheese. Any determined adversary would know that getting a job on the tarmac would allow almost unlimited access to planes and passenger luggage.

Furthermore, there will never be another successful hijacking of an American passenger airliner simply because the entire planeload will know they have nothing to lose by rushing the attackers.

And if bad guys just want to kill a few hundred Americans, there's lots of easier opportunities than hijacking a passenger plane.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Politics - World -Muslims will accept responsibility for actions when pigs fly

Politics - World - s.f. bayarea forums - craigslist: "Muslims will accept responsibility for actions
when pigs fly. The Judeo-Christian worldview teaches personal sin, atonement, and redemption. We are told to remove the log from our own eye before we worry about the speck in our neighbor's.

Islamic culture looks for reasons to avoid responsibility and fix the blame elsewhere for all problems. Their love of conspiracy theories and persistent belief of 'facts' demonstrably false is simply the outgrowth of this blame-fixing weltanschauung.


Tuesday, October 14, 2003

OneVoice, spitting into the wind for all the good it will do




As a signatory to this Proclamation, I support resolving the historic dispute between Israelis and Palestinians. Specifically, I endorse the following principles and process:
I ACCEPT the mutual right of both peoples to independence, personal and state security, sovereignty, liberty, dignity, respect and economic viability.

I UNDERSTAND that for the Palestinians ending the occupation and achieving freedom is critical, while for the Israelis ending terrorism and ensuring security is critical. I support these goals.

I SUPPORT co-existence and mutual recognition between the two peoples.

I RECOGNIZE the suffering experienced by both sides.

I SUPPORT diplomatic efforts of leaders pursuing a two-state resolution to this historic conflict.

I UNDERSTAND that the OneVoice Council of Experts will present a set of proposals to the people. These proposals will address core issues necessary to achieve a mutual agreement. I will be able to vote on each separate issue, in an effort to produce a consensus document representing the broadest possible number of Israelis and Palestinians.

Friday, October 10, 2003

Why Sharon is dangerous

Why Sharon is dangerous

Why Sharon is dangerous

By Gideon Samet

Why? Because he doesn't even try to keep his
promise of peace, and has made his promise of
security worthless. Because he is a bloody
adventurer who scoffs at dangers, even if you pay
the price. Because this week he revived the
incitement against the left over a memorandum of
understanding that was drafted together with
senior Palestinian figures. Because the moves of
an especially skilled tactician are especially dangerous.

Plenty of familiar reasons for
Sharon being a political
ticking bomb spring immediately
to mind. Here are several more
that occur upon second, and
third, thought.

* They believe him: The
incredible and dangerous thing is
that despite everything, most Israelis still
believe him and believe in him. Sharon has
honed the art of political deception to such
precision that its victims become passive, and
even satisfied, observers. This is the Sharon
paradox: The situation under his leadership is
so terrible that the majority, which yearns for
some illusion of an achievement, prefers not to
believe that the situation is as abominable as
it is.

* The success of failure: This is why Sharon is
still able to plant the empty hope that things
will get better - if you'll all just wait a
little bit, and then some more. Under normal
circumstances, this tactic would collapse after
three years of such dissonance between hope and
despair. But Sharon is very dangerous because
of his tremendous ability to get the public,
ordinarily known for its cranky skepticism, to
suspend its disbelief in direct proportion to
the gravity of the national predicament.
Paradox number two promises to keep the Sharon
danger alive: As the country's plight worsens,
Israelis' dependence on a "strongman" who will
rescue them from their troubles grows in equal
measure - even if the purported savior is
largely responsible for getting them into the
mess in the first place. Sharon deserves a
Nobel Prize for his discovery of "The Success
of Failure."

* He has a sense of humor: The aforementioned
contradiction also has a comic effect, as if
directed by Eli Yatzpan. Abba Eban used to say
that Israel is not a banana republic, but a
republic that slips on bananas. Sharon manages
to make his repeated banana-slipping amusing,
while you just keep bruising your backside. He
knows how to giggle just like Yatzpan, how to
be as amiable as blooper impresario Yigal
Shilon. He's even shed his tic. When a
dangerous leader also has a sense of humor,
it's time to put on the flak jackets.

* The enemy as collaborator: Another dangerous
leader who has lost his quiver, Yasser Arafat,
is actually an important ally along Sharon's
twisted road. From Lebanon until today, Arik
has been pursuing Yasser like Sherlock Holmes
on the trail of Moriarty. But there is cause to
suspect that he is not really interested in
Arafat's elimination. If his legendary rival
were gone, Sharon would have to invent a new

As the Greek poet Constantine Cavafy wrote, in
his poem about the distress of Roman senators
who sat futilely "Waiting for the Barbarians"
(also the name of a book about apartheid by
Nobel Prize laureate J. M. Coetzee): "Now
what's going to happen to us without the
barbarians? These people were a kind of
solution." This is another secret of his
dangerous politics - perpetuating the enemy in
order to justify himself. Just wonder what
"difficult time" he could have manipulated
between crises without the Palestinian hook on
which to hang all of our troubles.

* The return of past glory: Amid the national
weakness, Sharon knows how to create
distracting images of power, as with the
dangerous bombing raid in Syria. He once said
that the Israel Defense Forces could even reach
Odessa. In dispatching the air force this way,
he seems to be practicing for a bombing of the
Iranian nuclear reactor. After a month of
revisited suffering on the anniversary of the
Yom Kippur War, the Syrian raid was like a
promise to a dejected nation that the glory of
the Six-Day War, that faded blue-and-white
grandeur, would yet return. Take cover.

* The bleating of the sheep: Beware of devious
leaders who can often be seen gently petting
animals. M's adversary in the James Bond films
wouldn't have been so menacing without that
little kitty in his arms. Sharon soars to the
heights of tenderness when with his bleating
sheep - on his farm and in the government. Come
on, really now, how could such a soft, gentle
man be at all dangerous?

Politics - World - s.f. bayarea forums - craigslist

Politics - World - s.f. bayarea forums - craigslist: "Take the pledge < RoughJustice > 10/10 10:23:37

'I, [your name], will never again watch, listen, read, or comment on anything related to Laci Peterson, Kobe, OJ, or any other utterly meaningless case clearly being hyped by news media for ratings.'


A Conservative Travesty in LA-LA Land

Palecon not going with the flow...

A Conservative Travesty :
By George F. Will
Thursday, October 9, 2003; Page A37
California's recall -- a riot of millionaires masquerading as a 'revolt of the people' -- began with a rich conservative Republican congressman, who could think of no other way he might become governor, financing the gathering of the necessary signatures. Now this exercise in 'direct democracy' -- precisely what America's Founders devised institutions to prevent -- has ended with voters full of self-pity and indignation removing an obviously incompetent governor. They have removed him from the office to which they reelected him after he had made his incompetence obvious by making most of the decisions that brought the voters to a boil.

The odor of what some so-called conservatives were indispensable to producing will eventually arouse them from their swoons over Arnold Schwarzenegger. Then they can inventory the damage they have done by seizing an office that just 11 months ago they proved incapable of winning in a proper election under ideal conditions.
These Schwarzenegger conservatives -- now, there is an oxymoron for these times -- have embraced a man who is, politically, Hollywood's culture leavened by a few paragraphs of Milton Friedman. They have given spurious plausibility to a meretricious accusation that Democrats are using to poison American politics, the charge that Florida 2000 was part of a pattern of Republican power grabs outside the regular election process.
Schwarzenegger's conservative supporters have furled the flag of 'family values' while mocking their participation in the anti-Clinton sex posse. They were unoffended by Schwarzenegger's flippant assertions that only the 'religiously fanatic' oppose human cloning -- not just stem cell research but cloning. These faux conservatives' new hero said that only "right-wing crazies" supported the proposal on Tuesday's ballot to bar the state from collecting the racial data that fuel the racial spoils system.

Some conservatives insist that they have been not empty-headed but hardheaded: They say a Republican governor will markedly strengthen the Bush campaign in California. Perhaps. But Republican governors did not prevent Bush from losing Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania in 2000.

During the coming presidential campaign, California's Republican governor will be busy proving the fatuity of his proposal to solve California's budget crisis by cutting waste, fraud and abuse -- things for which there is no constituency. In 2004 President Bush will not campaign in a California seething with resentment of spending cuts and attempted tax increases advocated by a hugely unpopular Democratic governor. Instead, Bush will campaign in a California in which the Republican governor will be illustrating the axiom that today only a Republican governor can substantially raise taxes.

This is so because the people, in their zeal for majority rule, have mandated, through the initiative process, a two-thirds supermajority requirement for raising taxes. Which means the Republicans' legislative minority is large enough to block a Democratic governor's request for tax increases but probably is not starchy enough to resist a Republican governor's request for -- Republicans believe in recycling, at least of squeamish rhetoric -- "revenue enhancements."

Then again, some Republicans might resist, because their principles need not threaten what is really important -- reelection. Almost all legislators of both parties represent safe seats because the political class has put an end to much of California's politics by using redistricting to protect all incumbents. This is one reason why politics has reemerged through the recall process, which allows the people to vent against their chosen representatives.

The put-upon people of California, groaning under the weight of decisions taken by California's electorate, have repeatedly taken lawmaking into their own hands through initiatives that mandate this and that allocation of resources. So an estimated -- no one seems able to say for sure, which says much about the consequences of California populism -- 60 percent to 80 percent of the budget is beyond the control of the governor and Legislature.

One of the new governor's two noteworthy campaign promises is that he will not cut education, which -- thanks to what the public did in a 1988 initiative -- is roughly 50 percent of state spending. His other venture into specificity during the campaign -- a campaign in which he said, brassily and correctly, that "the public doesn't care about figures" -- was his promise to promptly increase by 50 percent a deficit already at $8 billion by repealing the car tax that Davis and the legislature recently tripled.

A Washington-based Democrat who was making election eve get-out-the-vote calls to African American households in South Los Angeles knew Gray Davis would be recalled when voter after voter told her, emphatically and specifically, the precise dollar amount that the tax increase was costing him or her. The new governor should repeal it because it is unjust.

And because the people deserve to get what they demand. Don't they? "

... well, Rough Justice would have to agree with you there, George.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Politics - World - s.f. bayarea forums - craigslist

Politics - World - s.f. bayarea forums - craigslist: "What the voters were saying is < RoughJustice > 10/09 09:38:14

they don't like tax increases and they don't like service cuts, which are only inevitable when you run huge deficits AND you have to balance the budget.

Since Bush owns a building full of printing presses, he's in little danger on that score.


Monday, October 06, 2003


Anyone can predict the future ...

Predictions Dept:

1. There will be no Independent Counsel (even though Janet Reno is out there, tanned, rested, and ready) looking into Novak's sources. Susan McDougal's old cell is available but nobody will spend an hour in it.

2. Ahnold will be the next governor of CA.

And I can see dimly through the mists, by next November...

3. The next recall petition will be certified, possibly in time for the March primary.

4. Iraq will be out of intensive care and showing enough signs of stability that at least one division will be boarding ships for home.

5. The US economy will be distinctly in recovery (with higher plant utilization, strong GDP numbers, but precious little movement in unemployment and a deficit bigger than '03).

6. Tony Blair will survive a vote of no confidence. Labor will keep its hold on to a solid majority.

7. The Democrats will eschew anyone with cross-party appeal and insist on nominating an ideological pure candidate.

8. That won't prevent some well-intentioned 3rd party bleephead from siphoning off a point or two anyway.

9. In the end, the Dimmocrat will be outspent by Dubya by over $100 M, but still manage to keep it close. They may even hold W to less than 300 electoral votes and pick up a few seats in Congress, but not enough to break the GOP's chokehold.

10. The first recount involving touch screen voting will make people long for the days of hanging chad.

...But accurately predicting the future is tougher. Your guess is as good as mine.

Urban Legends Reference Pages: Politics (Words of Mass Destruction)

In pointed contrast to Colin Powell's flip flop, the Dems have flop flipped all over the place...

Urban Legends Reference Pages: Politics (Words of Mass Destruction): "
'One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line.'
President Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998.

'If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program.'
President Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998.

'Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face.'
Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998.

'He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983.'
Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998

'[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs.'
Letter to President Clinton, signed by Sens. Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others Oct. 9, 1998.

'Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.'
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998.

'Hussein has ... chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies.'
Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999. "

... and the list goes on and on...


Pokerface: "'Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate
agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up
the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning.
They want the ocean without the awful roar of its waters.
This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical
one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be
a struggle! Power concedes nothing without a demand. It
never did, and it never will. Find out just what people will
submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of
injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them;
and these will continue until they are resisted with either
words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are
prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.'
-----Frederick Douglass"

Sunday, October 05, 2003

A Missing Statistic: U.S. Jobs That Went Overseas

A Missing Statistic: U.S. Jobs That Went Overseas: "Among economists and researchers, the high-end estimate comes from Mark Zandi, chief economist at Economy.com, who calculates that 995,000 jobs have been lost overseas since the last recession began in March 2001. That is 35 percent of the total decline in employment since then. While most of the loss is in manufacturing, about 15 percent is among college-trained professionals.
Boeing, for example, employs engineers at a design center in Moscow, while having shrunk its engineering staff in Seattle. Morgan Stanley, the investment firm, is adding jobs in Bombay, but not in New York — employing Indian engineers as well as analysts who collect corporate data and scrutinize balance sheets for stock market specialists in New York.
Near the low end of the job-loss estimates sit John McCarthy, research analyst at Forrester Research Inc., and Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at Global Insights. For them the loss is 500,000 to 600,000 jobs over the past 30 months, again mostly in manufacturing — with Mr. McCarthy suggesting that the 600,000 might turn out to be 800,000. His research focuses more on the future: Starting in January 2000 and running through 2015, globalization of American production will have eliminated 3.3 million jobs at home, he estimates."

...More than ever we must impress upon our children that their economic competition won't be Joe and Sally anymore, but Ivan and Ashok.

Daily MarketWrap

Daily MarketWrap: "politics aside, the lag in job growth is within the normal range. Since the early 1960's, the median delay between an upturn in the stock market and the job market is fourteen months. The range is from eight to eighteen months. Given that the stock market hit its ultimate bottom a year ago, it will reach the median job-lag mark in December. "

...August's payroll loss was revised to 41,000 from 93,000 [much better]. Average hourly wages fell 1 cent to $15.45, the first decline since May 1989. In September, job losses in manufacturing slowed, falling 29,000. Services added 74,000 jobs, including 66,000 in business and professional services, 10,000 in retail and 10,000 in finance.

Friday, October 03, 2003

Politics - World - s.f. bayarea forums - craigslist


NPR listeners are informed, Fox ignorant.

but CBS et al aint much better.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Spirit of Oaklodge, Martin Luther King: "The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing that it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.
Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder the hate. So it goes.
Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.

--Martin Luther King "

... Well said, Dr. Of course he never had to deal with Arafat.
That Was Then, This Is Now Dept:

The Memory Hole > February 2001: Powell Declares Iraq Has No WMD and Is No Threat: "In Feburary 2003, Powell said: 'We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more.'
But two years earlier, Powell said just the opposite. The occasion was a press conference on 24 February 2001 during Powell's visit to Cairo, Egypt. Answering a question about the US-led sanctions against Iraq, the Secretary of State said:
We had a good discussion, the Foreign Minister and I and the President and I, had a good discussion about the nature of the sanctions -- the fact that the sanctions exist -- not for the purpose of hurting the Iraqi people, but for the purpose of keeping in check Saddam Hussein's ambitions toward developing weapons of mass destruction. We should constantly be reviewing our policies, constantly be looking at those sanctions to make sure that they are directed toward that purpose. That purpose is every bit as important now as it was ten years ago when we began it. And frankly they have worked. He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors. So in effect, our policies have strengthened the security of the neighbors of Iraq..."

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

The Politics of Hate

The sad truth, as David Brooks points out in NYT, is a growing culture of hatred and division. Brooks's column is called "The Presidency Wars." In it he noted that the "culture wars" of the 1980s and 1990s have given way to bitter, hateful combat over the very legitimacy of the president.

"The culture wars produced some intellectually serious books because there were principles involved. The presidency wars produce mostly terrible ones because the hatreds have left the animating ideas far behind and now romp about on their own ... now the best-sellers lists are dotted with screeds against the president and his supporters. A cascade of Clinton-bashing books hit the lists in the 1990's, and now in the Bush years we've got "Shrub," "Stupid White Men" and "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them."...

The quintessential new warrior scans the Web for confirmation of the president's villainy. He avoids facts that might complicate his hatred. He doesn't weigh the sins of his friends against the sins of his enemies. But about the president he will believe anything. He believes Ted Kennedy when he says the Iraq war was a fraud cooked up in Texas to benefit the Republicans politically. It feels so delicious to believe it, and even if somewhere in his mind he knows it doesn't quite square with the evidence, it's important to believe it because the other side is vicious, so he must be too ...
The warriors have one other feature: ignorance. They have as much firsthand knowledge of their enemies as members of the K.K.K. had of the N.A.A.C.P. In fact, most people in the last two administrations were well-intentioned patriots doing the best they could. The core threat to democracy is not in the White House, it's the haters themselves."

...Personally, I put most of the blame on hate radio and the hatemongers on the far right for starting the fire.