[regarding the Bin Laden tape that appeared just before the election]It certainly makes up for his refusal to consider Bin Laden was important back then. For instance, important enough to capture at Tora Bora, as Kerry kept bringing up.
''What does it mean? Is it going to help? Is it going to hurt?'' Bush told Sammon of the bin Laden tapes. ''Anything that drops in at the end of a campaign that is not already decided creates all kinds of anxieties, because you're not sure of the effect. ''I thought it was going to help,'' Bush said. ''I thought it would help remind people that if bin Laden doesn't want Bush to be the president, something must be right with Bush.''
I watch his plane at landing.
He's waving out the port.
He's unaware as always
How his time is short.
Right now I'm still a bucket,
Full of old warm piss,
But that plane holds the power
That damn fool thinks is his.
When I was still a student
We heard the prez was gone.
Rumors first were saying
A hunting trip gone wrong.
So I shot a man in Texas
Just to test my aim.
But that time was only birdshot.
This load is not the same.
I hear Fox News is sayin'
That he saved us all from doom.
The sycophants are swayin'
'Cause he raised them up from gloom.
Well I know that I asked for it.
I picked me for this spot;
But that moron thinks he runs things --
That's why I'll take my shot.
So when we have to end this hunt trip,
And when Air Force One is mine,
My wife will write new textbooks
And then it's my name that will shine.
No more second fiddle --
I won't be undisclosed.
And I'll ride that great big airplane
Bombing all my foes.
Over the weekend, Vice President Dick Cheney shot a man in Texas. Asked why he shot the man, the Vice President said, "Just to watch him die."
According to Bach and Kronen, on Sept. 19, 2005, Berg's American Federation of Government Employees Union representative, Thomas Driber, informed Berg that her letter to the Alibi had been sent through "VA channels" to the FBI in Washington, D.C. The attorneys say this information was confirmed by one of the union's Washington lawyers during a conference call between Driber, Berg and the union lawyer. (Multiple phone messages left at Driber's office by the Alibi were not answered.)
As if that weren't creepy enough, the attorneys say Berg made further inquiries and eventually received a response from the VA's Chief of Human Resources, Mel R. Hooker, who, in a memorandum dated Nov. 9, 2005, allegedly admitted that the VA had no evidence the letter was written on Berg's office computer. Despite this, Hooker claimed the investigation was justified because the "Agency is bound by law to investigate and pursue any act which potentially represents sedition."
In testimony before the Senate today, Michael Brown said that he has been made a "scapegoat" for the federal government's flawed response to Katrina -- and that the real culprits are Michael Chertoff, the Department of Homeland Security and the White House itself. Brown said that "policies implemented by the DHS put FEMA on a path to failure" long before Katrina struck New Orleans. Once the storm hit and the levees failed, Brown said, Chertoff's DHS "saw an opportunity to assert itself, as it always tried to do in FEMA operations, which slowed things down."
Brown said that he called the Bush compound in Crawford, Texas, on the night that Katrina struck to inform the White House that levees had broken and water was flooding into New Orleans. He said he spoke with Deputy White House Chief of Staff Joseph Hagin and that he told him that "our worst nightmares" seemed to be coming true. The next morning, Bush left Crawford for San Diego, where he made brief comments about Katrina before delivering prepared remarks in which he compared the war in Iraq to World War II.
Brown says that White House Chief of Staff Andy Card rebuffed his efforts to solicit more help from the White House, ordering him to work through the "chain of command" instead. That chain ran through Chertoff and the DHS bureaucracy, Brown said. "We've done a great job as Republicans of establishing more and more bureaucracy," Brown told Maine Sen. Susan Collins.
Brown said that he cried in his hotel room during the early days of Katrina, frustrated by the failure of the federal government to deliver the help he knew it was capable of providing. Asked whether the Bush administration was making him the fall guy for Katrina, Brown said, "I certainly feel abandoned." As for the president, Brown said: "Unfortunately, he called me 'Brownie' at the wrong time. Thanks a lot, sir."
Skeletons are being removed from the site of an ancient Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem to make way for a $150m (£86m) "museum of tolerance" being built for the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Centre.
Palestinians have launched a legal battle to stop the work at what was the city's main Muslim cemetery. The work is to prepare for the construction of a museum which seeks the promotion of "unity and respect among Jews and between people of all faiths".Israeli archaeologists and developers have continued excavating the remains of people buried at the site - which was a cemetery for at least 1,000 years - despite a temporary ban on work granted by the Islamic Court, a division of Israel's justice system.
Jack Abramoff said in correspondence made public on Thursday thatPayback is really a bitch.
President Bush met him "almost a dozen" times, disputing White House claims Bush did not know the former lobbyist at the center of a corruption scandal.
"The guy saw me in almost a dozen settings, and joked with me about a bunch of things, including details of my kids. Perhaps he has forgotten everything, who knows," Abramoff wrote in an e-mail to Kim Eisler, national editor for the Washingtonian magazine.
Abramoff added that Bush also once invited him to his Texas ranch.
The messages were made public by the American Progress Action Fund, a liberal activist group. Eisler confirmed their accuracy to Reuters but said he did not intend them to become public.
"They reflect the feeling of frustration he has not just with Bush but with all these guys claiming they didn't know him," said Eisler, who knew Abramoff through a book he wrote about the Pequot Indian tribe.
In a Jan. 23 letter to Libby's lawyers, Fitzgerald said Libby also testified before the grand jury that he caused at least one other government official to discuss an intelligence estimate with reporters in July 2003.That's guilty! Guilty, guilty, guilty!
"We also note that it is our understanding that Mr. Libby testified that he was authorized to disclose information about the NIE to the press by his superiors," Fitzgerald wrote.
In a Feb. 6 letter to White House counsel Harriet Miers, Brown’s lawyer wrote that Brown continues to respect Bush and his “presidential prerogative” to get candid and confidential advice from top aides.
The letter from Andrew W. Lester also says Brown no longer can rely on being included in that protection because he is a private citizen.
“Unless there is specific direction otherwise from the president, including an assurance the president will provide a legal defense to Mr. Brown if he refuses to testify as to these matters, Mr. Brown will testify if asked about particular communications,” the lawyer wrote.
Brown’s desire “is that all facts be made public.”
Oh, I'm sure. By the way, it's very smart before you testify before the Senate to publicly ask your former boss whether you should perjure yourself or not.
Seriously. You have to admire the raw, unapologetic villainy of these guys.
Indicted Rep. Tom DeLay, forced to step down as the No. 2 Republican in the House, scored a soft landing Wednesday as GOP leaders rewarded him with a coveted seat on the Appropriations Committee. DeLay, R-Texas, also claimed a seat on the subcommittee overseeing the Justice Department, which is currently investigating an influence-peddling scandal involving disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his dealings with lawmakers.
I said, "Are you a Christian or a Jew?" He said, "A Christian."
I said, "Me too. Protestant or Catholic?" He said, "Protestant."
I said, "Me too. What franchise?" He says, "Baptist."
I said, "Me too. Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?" He says, "Northern Baptist."
I said, "Me too. Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?" He says, "Northern Conservative Baptist."
I said, "Me too. Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist or Northern Conservative Reformed Baptist?" He says, "Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist."
I said, "Me too. Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist, Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist, Eastern Region?" He says, "Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist, Great Lakes Region."
I said, "Me too. Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist, Great Lakes Region, Council of 1879 or Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist, Great Lakes Region, Council of 1912?" He says, Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist, Great Lakes Region, Council of 1912."
I said, "Die, heretic!" and I pushed him over.
Probably the toughest time in anyone's life is when you have to murder a loved one because they're the devil. Other than that, though, it's been a good day.
Why be prejudiced against anyone because of their race or nationality or creed... when there're so many real reasons to hate others?
Islam makes very large claims for itself. In its art, there is a prejudice against representing the human form at all. The prohibition on picturing the prophet—who was only another male mammal—is apparently absolute. So is the prohibition on pork or alcohol or, in some Muslim societies, music or dancing. Very well then, let a good Muslim abstain rigorously from all these. But if he claims the right to make me abstain as well, he offers the clearest possible warning and proof of an aggressive intent. This current uneasy coexistence is only an interlude, he seems to say. For the moment, all I can do is claim to possess absolute truth and demand absolute immunity from criticism. But in the future, you will do what I say and you will do it on pain of death.
I refuse to be spoken to in that tone of voice, which as it happens I chance to find "offensive."
If this was a behavior experiment, the results would be kind of conclusive that something's at least a little wrong with Islam right now and needs fixing. This was criticism of the belief system and how it's manifesting itself and it's right on target. Nor is the same thing as a soldier, acting in the capacity of a representative of the government the United States, desecrating a Koran or subjecting a captive to specifically anti-Muslim humiliations. That sort of thing I would be surprised if there weren't riots over. Those are specific, and physical, violations.
These are fucking cartoons.
And Muslims, as I've said, seem to have no problem fostering the spread of the PROTOCOLS OF THE ELDERS OF ZION, or propaganda either from, or descended from, Nazi anti-Semitic works like THE POISON MUSHROOM. These are specifically offensive to a group with good reason to be a bit sensitive, and also are specifically used to foster and teach a distorted atmosphere of hatred that goes far beyond matters like Palestine, though that is the engine.
Muslims have a tradition not uncommon to religion, which is an idea of superiority as dignity. If you live in a Muslim country and are a Christian or Jew you paid higher taxes as acknowledgement that, though you weakly cling to your inferior ideas and beliefs and the caliph will humor you, you're lesser than a Muslim. That's not to mention the number of things woven into "Muslim" culture that are really from, specifically, Arab tribal customs and from the Ottoman Empire; which all Muslims, being not monolithic, do not honor.
And in some ways, many of the customs Muslims insist on the rest of us honoring are based in that concept of superiority. I rarely see an idea of dialogue. But in any case, I don't buy that coming from anyone, and I say we're perfectly free to be infidels. Christianity's own long humbling was necessary for there to be such a thing as freedom of speech, or indeed of conscience. I don't care if another religion wants to kill people over talk and ideas--which are supposed to be there instead of violence. If this were Christians, or indeed if this were the mob, or skinheads, or any other group of thugs, I wouldn't think it was right, nor do I think the threateners should be deferred to.
And I'm an agnostic. I'm not sure what happens to me in Islamic eyes, but I assume people like me aren't even of the book.
But this is not worth cartoonists' lives and Muslims should be ashamed of this knee-jerk, childish reaction.
An equivalent of the Reformation needs to happen there, and this is something a growing movement--who tend to be marginalized and shouted down--have been discussing for quite some time. But not publicly enough.
The current problem is both an old reaction to the secularism of pan-Arabism(except the economic element; like cell phones, that's an infidel thing that works) and Western influence as well. Not to mention that most Muslims are pretty fucking poor, which makes them perfect fodder. The Palestinian issue, the sponsorship of, for their own political purposes, Wahabi teachings by the House of Saud...Muslims have a lot to fix just as Christians did, and indeed do again.
But then, I have no use for either.
Islam has gone from a coherent and logical faith, probably, at one time, one of the most philosophically solid religions yet created, to something sad and often barbaric that has nothing to do with the book it has turned from a source of enlightenment to just a book-shaped idol. Again, something a lot of American Christians have done too; something all religions have done when they come loose from their moorings(no pun).
Muslims truly do need to clean their own house, and god knows, so does the West. But that particular housecleaning, a Reformation, has not even happened once in the Muslim world.
But in the immediate sense, our foreign policy is horrible, yes, but so is this. I really don't care about "sensitivity" towards maniacs. I have as much deferential feeling toward this vocal, but significant, minority of murderous religious fanatics as I do towards any(and god knows, I'm not known for sparing Christians). They're fanatics and they're threatening violence and death, AND towards cartoonists to boot.
If Islam is a religion of peace, then, these folks issuing their independent fatwas need to be slapped down by the authorities of their religion. You are what you do, and if Muslims only speak in public to threaten violence, they cannot then claim to be surprised when others take them at their word.
Till then, Islam will only be as respectable as a street gang.