Wednesday, August 31, 2005

And Suddenly, Poof! It's All Over

Via a new blog I haven't seen before, The Oil Drum... comes this terrible news:
WASHINGTON (AFP) - At least 20 oil rigs and platforms are missing in the Gulf of Mexico and a ruptured gas pipeline is on fire after Hurricane Katrina tore through the region, a US Coast Guard official said.

The anonymous source quoted at The Oil Drum had this to say before that report hit the wires:
There are MANY production platforms missing (as in not visible from the air). This means they have been totally lost. I am talking about 10's of platforms, not single digit numbers. Each platform can have from 4 to 100+ wells on it. Most larger ones have 20-30 wells in this area, with numerous caisson wells. They are on their sides, on the bottom of the gulf - they will likely be left as reef material, provided we can get permission. MMS regulations require us to plug each of the wells that were on these platforms - HUGE cost now, as the platforms are gone... Hopefully, MMS will grant `abandon in place' status for these wiped out structures.

We also set individual wells as satellites and pipe them back to existing platforms. These stand-alone wells are called caisson wells. 90% of those in the storm path are bent over, rendering them a total loss, We would have to remove the existing bent structure and drill a new well, as bent pipe is basically unusable.

We utilize platforms as gathering hubs. We pipe the raw oil/water to them and then send it on for separation, or separate it there and send finished oil on. Damage to a hub means everything going to the hub is offline indefinitely. There are +/- 15 HUBS missing. MISSING!! As in we cannot find them from the air.

Thus even if the wells feeding the hub are ok, we have nowhere to pump the oil to...

Ah yes, the vengeful wrath of the space-god... I can hear the thunder cracking now.

If you don't know what this news means, then I humbly suggest you carefully inspect your usual sources of economic news and information for qualifying language in the reports you are getting for telltale phrases like "depending on how long it will take to bring the equipment back online" and discount their happy-talk until they sober up.

Well That Didn't Take Long...

Via His Most Terrible and Unholy Shrillness, Professor Brad DeLong, we find today that Private Doughy Pantload, i.e. Jonah Goldberg, was born with a crippling impairment to his sense of humor gland.

The Corner on National Review Online: ATTN: SUPERDOME RESIDENTS [Jonah Goldberg] I think it's time to face facts. That place is going to be a Mad Max/thunderdome Waterworld/Lord of the Flies horror show within the next few hours. My advice is to prepare yourself now. Hoard weapons, grow gills and learn to communicate with serpents. While you're working on that, find the biggest guy you can and when he's not expecting it beat him senseless. Gather young fighters around you and tell the womenfolk you will feed and protect any female who agrees to participate without question in your plans to repopulate the earth with a race of gilled-supermen. It's never too soon to be prepared.

Won't someone please take up a collection to pay for Jonah to have the brain surgery he so desparately needs to be a fully functional and well-adapted adult in a civil society? I'd do it myself, but I don't think a pseuonymous blogger ought to be asking people for money unless they've got a lot more invested in their pseudonym than me.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Haiku Of The Week

By Lake Ponchartrain
Bartender, please set me up
The levee done breached

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Some Cheese With Your Whine?

How is it the wingnuts can still be crying like bitches after all this time? I mean, they run the shop, don't they?

Don't They?

This intercept from The Junkyard Blog:

President Bush, who is ten times the man of Clinton with a hundred times the courage, has done some big, noble, courageous things on our behalf. We bloggers have tried to maintain support for him but most Americans still don’t read blogs.

Suffering Jeebus… would you like some cheese with your whine?

You asshats own all three branches of government, and now your crying like sissies because none of it works like you thought it would?

What needs to be done? Well, the administration needs some big gun surrogates. It needs its aggressive spokesmen who, like Carville and Begala and their comrades, stick to a small set of talking points and hammer them 24/7 on the airwaves. These big guns must be already famous conservatives who can articulate the cause with passion and conviction, not a gaggle of bloggers and hangers on no one’s ever heard of. Bloggers aren’t enough.

Holy Cats! The Wingnuts have their own 24 hour a day propaganda network that is the highest rated of the three propaganda networks, there are your news papers, there is the never ending clamor of AM hate radio… And you losers still feel like your message isn’t getting out…

How badly must it suck to be you…

CNS News reporting the Code Pink attacks on Walter Reed aren’t enough. We need bigger guns in this battle, or we’ll lose.

Yeah… I saw the video… three aging hippies standing across the street with some signs. I’m surprised the Maryland National Guard wasn’t activated to meet this threat.

Really, what does it say to you that you have all this going for you, and yet the public doesn’t seem to be buying it from your perspective. Look around, there isn’t a shortage of microphones, and the Wingnuts have the biggest microphone in the world at their disposal… what ails you guys?

Either a. Your team sucks, or b. you agree with the president that a “dictatorship would really be much easier.”

mojo sends

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Texas Chain Saw President

This is just wrong. OMG. Wrong.

Funny as hell, tho...

Monday, August 22, 2005

The Army Field Manual Hates America

From the New Republic via Laura Rozen, Spencer Akerman in the New Republic addresses the drumbeat from the NeoCon Right that using Law enforcement methods in any way is futile and, well, limp wristed sissy talk. What I found fascinating in Laura's excerpt was this gem near the bottom:

Indeed, the real danger--to the war on terrorism, American values, and the rule of law--is unchecked executive authority. There would be nothing wrong with keeping detainees at Camp Delta and elsewhere if they were provided legal protection and their interrogations were restricted to the Geneva Conventions-compliant Army Field Manual on interrogations. Nor would there be any harm to national security. Senator Graham, a former Air Force JAG, stated two weeks ago that, when he recently visited Guantánamo, he asked "all the interrogators there: Is there anything lacking in the Army Field Manual that would inhibit your ability to get good intelligence? And they said no. I asked: Could you live with the Army Field Manual as your guide and do your job? They said yes." Whether the Bush administration can live within those rules is another matter.

Now, lets consider that famous Quote from Willam on the Factor when he claimed"

"Clearly, more pictures of Abu Ghraib help the terrorists, as do Geneva Convention protections and civilian lawyers. So there is no question the ACLU and the judges who side with them are terror allies.

The degree to which these people will bend themselves into pretzels to try to stick to the party line is astonishing. By Williams logic, not only is the ACLU a "terror ally" for attempting to hold the Pentagon accountable, but the Army field manual and the terrorists that wrote it apparently are on the bus.

This is truly an amazing feat of agitprop that is being attempted here. Instead of accepting that the Administrations abandonment of 50 years of legal and moral reasoning on the treatment of prisonors and use of torture was wrong, O'Reilly and the rest of these moral reprobates simply declare torture justified. Simply tilt the board when the rules are inconvenient. Outstanding!

Oh Army Field Manual! Stop hating America..pretty please?!!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Erosion of Rights

Once again, from the redoubtable Lindsay over at Majikthise:
Garbage, privacy, and the law

The Supreme Court of Montana recently ruled that citizens have no expectation of privacy with regard to the contents of their trash.

Read Justice James C. Nelson's remarkable concurring opinion. [via CNET]

That really was a remarkable opinion, if for no other reason it was amazingly introspective and personal for a piece of legal reasoning.

And to me, it was kind of refreshing, given the enormous amount of obtuse and ponderous legal writing I wade through every day.

But unfortuantely, I wish he had taken the final step as he threatened to at the end of his opinion, and just dissented, drawn the proverbial line in the sand and said "no, this is the limit to which we are going to allow invasions of privacy."

However, this is also a good example of how slowly law evolves and if you aren't watching closely one morning you wake up and find out that the rights you always seem to take for granted, or at least who's existence you didn't need to question, suddenly don't seem as imutable as they once did.

Thanks to the slow erosion of Fourth and Fifth Amendment protections, not one big reality changing decision just small changes over time, his reasoning was actually the "legally" correct one.

Thanks a lot legal positivists...

mojo sends

Friday, August 19, 2005

Baby Blogging

I don't have a cat, and my dog objects to having her picture taken because she believes it steals your soul. So, I decided to start baby blogging. This is my son Alex. We took this picture right after we told him who was President. His upper and lower fangs just came in, and he is able to exsanguinate his own prey, after we bonk it on the head a bit. He is also developing a high pitched scream that his doctor believes is how he will stun and paralyze his prey.

Friday Cat Blogging

I am continuing what seems to be a pathological compulsion in certain parts of the blogosphere... the obsessive need to show people pictures of my cats.

So, for your edification, I give you:

These are my cats, Piper and Desdemona.

And yes, they are plotting your downfall...

mojo sends

Explosion in Downtown San Francisco

It happened about an hour ago. I haven't turned on the radio or the television. Here's what KCBS, our local CBS News affiliate, posted on its website. No one killed. One person injured. FBI says it was "electrical in nature, possibly related to construction going on in the area."

Unfortunately for me, I found out about it by surfing Freeperville. Check out the comments in this discussion thread.

To: Reeses

Gay terrorists?..........

5 posted on 08/19/2005 10:07:44 AM PDT by Red Badger
(Want to be surprised? GOOOOGLE your own name. Want to have fun? GOOOOGLE your neighbor's......)

To: Reeses

Live-fire practice for the Harvey Milk memorial gerbil pyrotechnic show.

15 posted on 08/19/2005 10:09:05 AM PDT by RichInOC
("ARMAGEDDON!!!" *BOOM!* "And the rodents' red glare...gerbils bursting in air...")

To: zarf

Gay Days celebration?---- Heckfahr, that's every day there, ain't it? LMAO

26 posted on 08/19/2005 10:10:41 AM PDT by Past Your Eyes
(Some people are too stupid to be ashamed.)

To: Mr. Mojo

I hope we won't surrender CA to the Palestinians because of this.

Why not?

41 posted on 08/19/2005 10:12:59 AM PDT by dubyaismypresident
(The constitution is not in exile, it's in a nice safe deposit box in the Cayman Islands - Lileks)

When you live in a city as old as San Francisco, you learn not to be too surprised when the infrastructure occasionally explodes. This sort of thing happens because of poor attention to occupational health and safety concerns a lot more often than it does because some terrorist sets off a bomb. I've lived in San Francisco for more than ten years, and I can remember at least a dozen similar newsworthy events in that time— and none of them were terrorist bombs. Yet, look at how Freeperville reacted.

More to the point, look at how Freeperville is reveling in the destruction caused by what they have idiotically assumed was a terrorist attack. One can only imagine what the comments removed by the moderators contained. Remind me again why I should quit my job, sell my house, leave my family and join the Army to defend the way of life these choads think I owe them. (No, I'm not in a big hurry to do that, but they keep insisting that somebody, somewhere should— and I find it's like pulling teeth to get them to tell me who they have in mind for it.)

America: The Power of PRIDE.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

For The Record...

I know the physical resemblance is remarkable, but I am not The Rude Pundit.

I do admire his work, though... you can see it here. (Note: text at link usually contains very profane language.)

Monday, August 15, 2005

This is amusing...

Raw story via Mark Kleiman passes on this little tidbit. Now, it's hard to know what is the exact truth here. But does anything these people do surprise you anymore. I would dearly love to examine the Grand Jury testimony in the Plame case just to confirm this story.

This is my favorite quote:

"For two years, the assistant who answered Rove's phone was a woman who had previously worked for lobbyist Jack Abramoff, a close friend of Norquist's and a top DeLay fundraiser," Salon reported. "One Republican lobbyist, who asked not to be named because DeLay and Rove have the power to ruin his livelihood, said the way Rove's office worked was this: 'Susan took a message for Rove, and then called Grover to ask if she should put the caller through to Rove. If Grover didn't approve, your call didn't go through.'"

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Penalty for Early Withdrawal

From Atrios: The problem is that the jingosphere who are well represented in the administration believes that as long as the insurgents want us to "get out" then we can't get out because that would be doing what they want.

So we are already back to this point, huh? Really, in the scope of history, the United States is like that best friend who’s really talented but has some serious addiction problems. They go straight for a while and it’s all good, then it’s back to the spike and all your friends watch you go through the same depraved steps all over again.

This step? The Declare-Victory-And-Go-Home phase. About two weeks ago, the AP’s military writer Bonny Robert Burns broke this story:
“The Pentagon is laying the groundwork for beginning a withdrawal from Iraq, even as it is weighing the risk of moving so quickly that Iraqi security forces collapse without U.S. support.

The benefits of a U.S. drawdown are pretty clear. Fewer troops would likely mean fewer casualties and less strain on the Army and Marine Corps, which already are stretched thin. And it would lessen the degree to which the presence of foreign forces fuels an anti-U.S. insurgency.”

This also comes at a time of new poll numbers that show most Americans believe that a half-trained rhesus monkey, or perhaps a small ball of drier lint could do a better job of handling the Iraq and national security than Maximum Leader.

Beware the Ides of March, W. Right now, your clout on the hill is getting a little thin, I’m thinking. Hence a run up to a hasty retreat from Mesopotamia? And that’s what this would be, nothing more; the U.S. military, due to lack of decent civilian political leadership is going to get run out of Iraq by a handful of Iraqi thrillbillies and a few guest stars.

Oh, sure, we’ll have the big victory homecoming parade, with yellow ribbons, marching bands, heroic music and “Mission Accomplished” banners everywhere. We’ll talk about the stunning performance of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines in breaking the back of Saddam Huessein’s military, capturing the Butcher of Baghdad, killing his two murderous sons and so on…

And what will we leave behind? Several million righteously mad and terrified Iraqis Sunnis, Shi’a and Kurds, a legacy of our own torture chambers and rape rooms to replace Saddam Hussein’s, a bloody civil war, that will almost certainly end with the creation of another Islamo-facist fundamentalist state, much like Iran, except for a semi-autonomous Kurdistan, which itself will destabilize due to the Turkish government’s inability to cope with the needs of their own Kurdish minority, along with water and oil money they will potentially be losing if a real independent Kurdistan movement gets going.

According to the Burns piece, the draw down of troops would start right after the elections for the new government in Iraq. Of course, that would be predicated on the actual existence of a new government in Iraq. Given that they don’t look like they are anywhere near being able to complete a new Iraqi constitution by the August 15 deadline, there is some legitimate questions about whether there will be a new government for anyone to vote for come the fall.

And of course, that would also be assuming that the Iraqi military was certified as combat ready and the that the current insurgency/proto civil war doesn’t get any worse, especially with the prodding of Iran, Syria or Wahabist-backed groups from the Saudi Peninsula or Pakistan.

Even now the signs of retreat advance, even though Sec Def. Rummy has yet to proclaim the victory, there are omens and portends that we are preparing to tuck tail and run from what even the administration insiders are now probably admitting to themselves was one of the worst geo-political blunders since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan… oh, hey that’s right, we’re playing that game there, too. So wemay have two of them back to back…sweet!

You might have noticed lately that the rhetoric has changed somewhat from “destroy all monsters” to “the Iraqi army needs to destroy all monsters.” Rummy has been publicly saying of late that the Iraq insurgency is an Iraqi problem and his commanders on the ground have been telling him this for a couple of years now.

Some other portends brought up by Burns:

One; after setting up shop and hanging out the “Open for Business” shingle, U.S. Ambassador to the new Caliphate of Baghdad, Zalmav Khalilzad announced the creation of a new joint task force to deal with security issues, primarily in a way that transfers the responsibility from the U.S. forces to the Iraqi forces, allowing for a “phased pullout” in the ambassadors own words.

Next, there was the hand over of a complete area in the Divala Province northeast of Baghdad to Iraqi police and a brigade of the 5th Iraqi Army Division. A spokesman for Gen. George Casey said the transition was an example of how the Iraqi units were learning to fight without U.S. help. In spite of the fact that desertion is still rampant and that many units are reporting that they are rife with insurgent sympathizers and moles.

Finally, last Monday, Mowaffak Rubaie, the Iraqi Naitonal Security Advisor said that several more stable cities in the north and south have been identified and are ready for pull backs of U.S. and British forces, predominantly in places like Karbala and Najaf as well as the more predominantly Kurdish north.

But there is still a larger picture to see here. Why, after all the talk does W suddenly need to get the hell out of Iraq as quickly as possible? Is he really worried that the poll numbers indicate that people just don’t like him that much? Hey, politicians have this weird fetish to be liked by people, so that could be a strong psychological motivator.

But there is an even bigger reason. Namely 535 reasons, collectively called the U.S. Congress, especially the House of Representatives. These people have to start gearing up for reelection here within the next few weeks. Labor day is right around the corner, and those who don’t have a complete machine in place by Thanksgiving can pretty much just start sending out resumes. And the last thing they need as they head into a contentious election season is for this lemon of a foreign policy blunder to be hung around their necks.

Sure, they will stand shoulder to shoulder with the President for the photo op, (and even those are getting scarce) but in private, it is said, they are complaining bitterly about the lack of a clear victory in the war and the public’s perception of the war, or more to the point, the complete incompetence of the Bush Administration in handling the public perception of the war, much less its actual prosecution.

And moreover, a lot of these guys are worried about decorated Blue Staters getting home from the war and deciding they can run things better in Congress than their Chickenhawk incumbents. Already the GOP attack machine is running 110 percent on the reactors to try to deal with this situation.

And now you have mouth-breathing scumbags like Rush Limbaugh viciously attacking Democrats in uniform, like Marine Corps officer and Iraqi War vet Paul Hackett who nearly upset a highly favored Republican candidate in a special Congressional election in Ohio earlier this month. Limbaugh accused Hackett of being just another liberal democrat hiding in uniform.

Hey Rush, I’d rather be a liberal “hiding” in uniform, than being a dirtbag coward trying to hide my Oxycontin-stoned, 12-double-burgers-a-day eatin', lard-encrusted corpulence, all stuffed under my bed crying like a sissy when the call came to serve my country you low-life social retard!

But beyond the mid-term elections, there would only be one reason for the Bush administration to give up on its dreams of a pan-Arab WalMart extending from the Port of Haifa in Israel to all the way to Islamabad in Pakistan. And that’s to make sure that Jeb won’t have to run against his brother’s idiotic failures on the ground in prosecuting a needless and costly war.

But that sort of move would have to come fairly soon. Say, with a full retreat in process by the midterm elections, so that we could start having the victory parades and ginning up the necessary revisions to recent history, so that by 2008, the entire mythology will be complete and Jeb won’t have to worry about being asked about how he’s going to win the war in Iraq that his brother couldn’t.

Of course, Iraq will have completely gone to hell in a handbasket by then, but that will all be the U.N’s fault for letting Iran and Syria sabotage the country once we left with Al Qaeda terrorist cells imported fresh from France. There will be no questioning of the official story, to do so will be an act of treasonous disrespect for our valiant fighting men who defeated the forces of Eurasia in service to the greater good of Oceania, and secure in that knowledge, we will all rest easier knowing that yet another Bush has his hands on the helm.

Of course, the 2008 election will be a mere formality, those results were negotiated years ago…

No More Bets Please...

This is President Bush on October 16, 2002:
“Like the members of Congress here today, I've carefully weighed the human cost of every option before us. If we go into battle, as a last resort, we will confront an enemy capable of irrational miscalculations, capable of terrible deeds”

This is President Bush on May 3, 2003:
"The use of force has been, and remains, our last resort," he said. "Yet all can know, friend and foe alike, that our Nation has a mission: We will answer threats to our security, and we will defend the peace."

And this is also President Bush:
"All options are on the table," Bush, speaking at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, said in the interview broadcast on Saturday. Asked if that included the use of force, Bush replied: "As I say, all options are on the table. The use of force is the last option for any president and you know, we've used force in the recent past to secure our country."

However, this statement was made yesterday, August 13, 2005 and in this last quote he is referring to Iran, not Iraq.

That's it ladies and gentlemen, the bones are rolling, no more bets...

mojo sends

Friday, August 12, 2005

Rohrabacher Caught up with Abrahoff?

Interesting note on the Abramoff scandal in the Washington Post story this morning, it noted towards the end that one of my favorite Republican sociopaths in Congress, Dana Rohrabacher, either co-signed or was some sort of reference on the Abrahamoff boat loan.

Now for reasons that many of you know, I have a speical place in my heart of Dana. My question is just how far does Dippy Dana's involvement with Abramoff go?

Could this scandal actually expand to encomass Rohrabacher? Could this be the final bit that makes the Orange County GOP just finally cut him loose?

Will any local media pick up on this story?

mojo sends

Update 1.0: s9 informs us that apparently Dana was merely a personal reference for Abramoff's loan. You know, while it's supposed to be a character witness kind of thing, it's really that list of people the loan officer wants so he knows where to send the collectors to look for you once you skip town on your note.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Orcs Terrified Of The Nazgul

Over at The American Street, Lance Mannion invokes one of our favorite memes here at The MojoWire: analogies between conservatarian ideologues and the minions of Sauron in The Lord of the Rings. (Note: he cross-posted this at his own place.)

Let me quote discretely from his excellent take:
They think like the squabbling orcs in The Two Towers who start a conversation cursing the elf warrior they've imagined has left the paralyzed Frodo to be eaten by Shelob— regular elvish trick— and finish it laughing about the time they left a paralyzed comrade to be eaten by Shelob.
"D'you remember old Ufthak? We lost him for days. Then we found him in a corner; hanging up he was, but he was wide awake and glaring. How we laughed! She'd forgotten him, maybe, but we didn't touch him— no good interfering with Her...

Orc-like they hate in their enemies what they love in themselves. Or, in other words, what they hate most is catching sight of themselves in mirrors of their own devising that they have fumblingly held up to their own faces.

The orcs are at it with Cindy Sheehan, hating her for making them confront the reflections of their own chickenhawkery and political hackishness.

She's using her son's death for political ends! Regular elvish trick! How dare anybody use something like a war to advance their own political cause!

I think it's safe to say that Lance has joined the ranks of the Order of the Shrill.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Hackett Lost; Time to Get Up Off the Mat!

An open statement to all my brothers and sisters out there in outer Blogovia representing for the Progressive Cause...

I like Paul Hackett, I like everything about him and I look forward to seeing him back in 2006 to break a big blue boot off in Schmidt's scrawny ass...

But I am so past-tired of taking delight in "moral victories" for the Democratic Party. This was not a win. If this was a win, then we'd have the Ohio 2nd in the blue column.

Do we? No?

Then we lost. Quit congratulating yourselves for a fight we didn't win. Yeah it was close, and that's a good thing. Time to get up off the mat and get ready to fight even harder next time.

Take that vacuous cow's words along with the transcript from everyone's favorite fatass drug addict mouth-breathing scumbags and post that shit up on the locker room wall. Look at it everytime you think you don't have the energy to go to that next meeting or make just one more phone call.

Look at it: "Hackett's just another liberal hiding behind the uniform" and let the bile rise... then suit up, get out there and kick some ass!

mojo sends

P.S. Hey Rush, I’d rather be a liberal “hiding” in uniform, then being a dirtbag coward trying to hide my Oxycontin-stoned, 12-double-burgers-a-day, lard-encrusted corpulence stuffed under my bed crying like a sissy when the call came to serve my country you low-life social retard!

Byrnes Canned?

From Linday at Majikthise:
The official story is that General Byrnes was fired for an extramarital affair with a civillian. Allegedly, the Army terminated Byrnes to show how serious it is about moral values. Mark Kleiman notes irony: torture innocents, no problem; commit adultery, you're accountable. This doesn't pass the sniff test. Is it possible that someone wanted to punish Byrnes? For example, might he have said anything inconvenient about the Army and its recruiting goals? If anyone has any alternative hypotheses about Byrnes demise, they're eligible for one of these tinfoil medals that I am empowered to bestow.

Well, if we are entertaining flights of fancy, then here's one...

Byrnes might have been spaced out the airlock in a nasty political fight with a rival...

Tin foil hats on, everyone? Good...

One of the last major promotions made before the current junta took power was the tapping of Byrnes to be Lt. General in 1999. He was still at his post at that time as commanding general of the 1st Cav. In 2003, W punted him over to TRADOC taking him out of rotation for combat duty in the gulf. Why? Who knows...

But, while at TRADOC, he very quickly initiated a project called LandWarNet, a massive information integration command and control infrastructure that is -- eventually -- supposed to completely revolutionize the way data is used adminsitratively and on the battlefield.

So far so good... however, while he was working on this, a General Steven Boutelle, U.S. Army's G6 (or the Army's Chief Information Officer) was about to go to Congress and testify regarding funding for his pet project, called the "Army Knowledge Management Strategy."

In an April 2004 interview, Byrnes talks about how:

"The G6 has made significant headway for the institutional Army under the Army Knowledge Management Strategy. Now it is time to integrate the operational Army into a capstone strategy that is LandWarNet. The LandWarNet initiative will also establish the Army’s future networking efforts with the joint community, specifically in the joint battle management command and control development process.

In essence "thanks for all your help Steve, me and TRADOC will take it from here..." It ws shortly thereafter that Boutelle was sent up the Hill to pimp for LandWarNet, instead of his own deal, but as CIO, he really has little implementation control or funding access to it, since it is now a TRADOC program.

My theory turns on the idea that these guys are getting to the end of their useful shelf lives as flag officers. It is not uncommon for retired flag officers to "double dip" -- that is, take a pension, then get a job as a "consultant" with the Dept. of Defense, or just simply go to work as a pimp for any of the numerous defense contractors looking to open doors at the Pentagon.

And make no mistake, whoever ends up running LandWarNet is going to be in charge of majorly -- majorly-- phat stax of mad bank.

The fact that G6 technically outranks the TRADOC commander in the chain of command, although Boutelle was a three-star as opposed to the four stars of Byrnes is something I found interesting in the context that LandWarNet is something that is more naturally suited to the G6 command instead of Training and Doctrine, or so it would seem to me.

Boutelle's resume is not nearly as combat command intensive as Byrnes' and moreover he has not been in as long, making his bones as one of Rummy's hand-picked technocrat Tom Clancy desktop generals.

For Byrnes to have essentially seized a multi-billion dollar hardware and software intiative out from under Boutelle is the sort of thing that makes hard feelings in Washington.

After seeing Byrnes' resume, it seemed unlikely that a mere pecadillo would be the sort of thing that would force him out... what's the old saying in politics "unless he's found with a live boy or a dead girl, he's got job safety..." I think there's more to his ouster than just a dalliance.

Personally, I think the thing to watch for now is to see if G6 regains complete control of the LandWarNet project, and to see if one of his minions ends up running TRADOC... I would also be interesting in knowing more about the contractors bidding for LandWarNet projects and who in the Pentagon they are close to...

mojo sends

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

135 Things Jabba Is No Longer Allowed To Do In The USAF

It's derivative, but highly amusing. Pick your favorite thing and put it in the comments.

You Load Sixteen Terabytes And What Do You Get?

Via Bernard, throwing red meat to the conspiracy theorists over at Moon Of Alabama, I found a fairly dense report in Pravda On The Hudson about Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Liberated Tehran) and his latest efforts in the battle to recreate the Ministry of Information Retrieval from Terry Gilliam's Brazil.

From Pravda...
WASHINGTON, Aug. 8 - More than a year before the Sept. 11 attacks, a small, highly classified military intelligence unit identified Mohammed Atta and three other future hijackers as likely members of a cell of Al Qaeda operating in the United States, according to a former defense intelligence official and a Republican member of Congress.

In the summer of 2000, the military team, known as Able Danger, prepared a chart that included visa photographs of the four men and recommended to the military's Special Operations Command that the information be shared with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the congressman, Representative Curt Weldon of Pennsylvania, and the former intelligence official said Monday.

The recommendation was rejected and the information was not shared, they said, apparently at least in part because Mr. Atta, and the others were in the United States on valid entry visas. Under American law, United States citizens and green-card holders may not be singled out in intelligence-collection operations by the military or intelligence agencies. That protection does not extend to visa holders, but Mr. Weldon and the former intelligence official said it might have reinforced a sense of discomfort common before Sept. 11 about sharing intelligence information with a law enforcement agency.


Bernard, of course, wants to know what else the SOC and the Pentagon knew before 9/11 and was not shared. He asks a couple other fun questions too, so feel free to click through and play your hand there if you think my take is lame and boring.

On the other hand, I'm quite content to focus on the issue of the Congressman and his tumescent heat for the application of large-scale data-mining to catch terrorists before they commit terrorist acts, as in Minority Report. As Bernard rightly points out, Weldon is pretty clearly a wingnut of the first order, and depending on who you want to believe, he may not even be working for the good guys.

From Laura Rozen, writing in The American Prospect Online:
Moreover, said Murray, Weldon himself violated U.S. government protocol by failing to report his encounters with Mahdavi in France to the U.S. ambassador when asked whether he planned any meetings there while being hosted by the embassy in April 2004. According to Murray, Weldon denied he had planned any meetings -- and then proceeded to meet with both Mahdavi and Ghorbanifar, the subject of the CIA burn notice, at the Sofitel hotel around the corner from the U.S. Embassy.

Yes, that Ghorbanifar. Go ahead and search the Pravda article for any hint of these shenanigans in Weldon's CV, and the best you will find is this:
Mr. Weldon's book prompted one veteran C.I.A. case officer to strongly dispute the reliability of one Iranian source cited in the book, saying the Iranian "was a waste of my time and resources."

The rest of the Pravda article is basically the story of "a former defense intelligence official, [speaking] on the condition of anonymity, saying he did not want to jeopardize political support and the possible financing for future data-mining operations by speaking publicly."

Did you get that? Weldon has long been a huge supporter of these data-mining proposals. The most infamous data-mining plan to receive any serious public attention was the Evil Doktor Poindexter's Total Information Awareness.

So what's going in with this story? Suddenly, for no particular reason, the Congressman is floating information (probably sensitive information, but who really knows) about a data-mining operation called Able Danger managed to finger Mohammed Atta and three other 9/11 operatives in the summer of 2000 as being... well, what did it say? Oh yeah, that's right: it said they were probably an Al Qaeda cell. The article doesn't say how many other people it fingered as "probably an Al Qaeda cell" when they never have, and never will, fly any airplanes into large buildings.

We have some "former defense intelligence official" in the Congressman's bag talking smack about the C.I.A. Gee, who could that be? And why now? Oh come on. Isn't it obvious? The Pentagon never killed Total Information Awareness. Rumsfeld declared openly that he didn't give a damn what the U.S. Senate said about it— he was going to find a way to run a data-mining operation to sift through the private information of U.S. residents (citizens, legal immigrants and visitors alike) and use it to finger terrorists. No doubt, somebody in Weldon's district is sucking down phat stacks of mad black money from the Pentagon to design, engineer, build or operate this data-mining operation, and the Congressman is trying to make sure the money continues to flow.

Welcome to the Ministry of Information Retrieval. I'm afraid the budget is a little short, so you're going to have to share an office for a short time.

Mulitcultural Oppression...mmmmmmm

So I was swimming the education end of the Blog pool, when I linked my way toUkiah's own Coach Browns teacher blog recounting the abuse that was heaped on him during a month long seminar on Multiculturalism to get his CLAD certification. According to him he was abused with ephithets like racist, etc for answering the question regarding multiculturism: . What are the implications for today's immigrants? His answers sufficiently peeved me that I'm going to subject you to a few of them, and my take on them. Such as:
Thoughts about immigrants changed with 9/11. With the southern boarder of the United States so porous, terrorist access to U.S. soil is as simple flyingtoMexico City, driving to the border, and walking across. Fair or not, laws that demand more from immigrants will continue to be passed in the near future as the current influx of immigrants poses a threat to national security. With laws like the Real ID Act (driver's license only to citizens), immigrants will have more difficulty successfully assimilating into society. Other laws in states have also began to press immigrants even further. Arizona, California, and New Mexico have created laws that punish companies that hire illegal immigrants, although Arizona is the only state that is actively enforcing the law.

I have a question. If terrorist access is as simple as flying into Mexico City, then driving to the border and walking across, then why didn't the 9/11 conspirators simply do that? Answer: They could not have functioned without the Visa's and other documentation that comes from legal access. Terror operations as practiced by Al Queda would be operationally difficult, even close to impossible to manage trying to access the United States in that manner. They had to board aircraft, rent cars and apartments, contact other cell members, access money and dozens of other tasks that required some form of entry documentation. The fundamental premise that terrorists are streaming across the border hidden within the hordes of Central American illegal immigrants does not have a stich of proof to back it up. The chance of getting caught is too high, and their ability to operate would be limited. Our current issue at the border is not a national security issue in this sense.

As national and local security become more and more of an issue, racial profiling will become prevalent. In my opinion, it is only logical until the respective communities decide to take it upon themselves to start solving problems. Nationally, the Muslim community (particularly Arab or Persian) has not been as valiant as it needs to be to stop Islamic extremism. The U.S. government responds by taking it upon themselves to racially profile Arab or Persian people. The question is whether the concept of profiling is worth the security it can provide. My answer would be yes. The same goes for local government policies towards gangs. The Latino community has a horrible problem with gangs that has now spread over the border into the United States. In Mexico and Guatemala, these gangs run rampant. In the United States, evidence of gang
activity have multiplied over the last 8 years. Until the Latino community clamps down on the gang activity, local police
departments (and high school administrations) are more adept to profile Latino males that dress or act in a certain fashion. Again the question is asked; is this profiling worth the safety and security of towns or school campuses. Again, my answer is yes. Tom Friedman said it best, "If we lived in a perfect world, profiling wouldn't exist. I can't think of anyone who likes profiling. But if Muslim nations don't start policing themselves, deciding to act against the element that is killing innocent people, then what choice do we have?"

This is really where he gets going. First off, the people attempting to teach this guy multiculturalism should fail him immediately. The Arab/Persian community has not been valiant enough in trying to stop Islamic Extremism? First off, the "Persian Community", which is to say the Iranian Expats here in Los Angeles, are diehard opponents of the current regime in Iran. They have been tireless in their efforts to support regime change. If you were paying closer attention in your seminar, instead of baiting the other particpants, you might have learned that the "Persian Community" is chock full of refugees from the fall of the Shah's regime. They hate the Theocrats with the burning hatred of a thousand suns.

What constitutes sufficient "Valor" on the part of the Arab community, or the Muslim Community in general? The American ones have almost to a man condemned the 9/11 attacks and Usama Bin Laden. What the fsck are they supposed to do that, say, the College Republicans are doing so valiantly? The answer is nothing. And there is a big difference, Coach, between the American Muslim Immigrant Communities and foreign nation states. Ask your multicultural classmates to help you understand the difference. Developing a more effective checkpoint security process at airports is what Friedman was arguing for, not pulling over every Middle Eastern looking driver and slamming him on the hood of their car. By the way, Coach, TSA does profile. It's as pointless as many of their other showboat methods.

And the Latino community is responsble for gangs? What the Fuck? It's your fault Pedro, stop gangbanging...there you go! All Better!

I hate to break the news to Coach Brown from Ukiah, but he knows jackshit about Los Angeles street gangs. The Latino, and African American communities, thanks for asking about them by the way, are victims, not the cause. And bad news asshole, the rampant gangs of Guatamala and Mexico City are American exports. It was Americanized gangbangers who transformed youth gangs in those countries into the American model. Many of them were native born Americans who fled this country for fear of being incarcerated, and started local chapters. And what makes you think that LAPD does not profile? They, and virtually every other law enforcement agency in California, maintains a gang database, chock full of names, pictures and fingerprints. Sounds like profling to me. What people opposed to "profiling" are juiced up about is profiling based on the kind of worthless and simplistic standards that rely soley on skin color or dress. Pulling every "Latino" in Orange County looking for Osama Bin Laden in the trunk would be a full time job, and would target the millions of law abiding citizens who meet your pointless criteria. And it's a waste of time. Profiling is a methodology with a bad history and mixed success record.

I could go on, but you have suffered enough. Suffice to say that Coach Browns abuse at the hands of his classmates is well deserved. Keep up the good work, folks.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Haiku of the Week

Cherry blossoms fall
President on holiday
Cindy Sheehan waits

Racist Scumbag Alert!

This one comes to us from the good offices of Dave Neiwert over at Orcinus.

Apparently, the Minutemen have come to a town near us, and they have brought some of their little bullet-headed friends with them, to wit:

The extra galling thing for me is that this took place in Laguna Beach. I was born in Laguna Beach and I would suspect that not one of these fscking numbnuts can claim that. That's my fscking home!. It may sound odd to say, but I feel a littel violated. I'll let Dave tell the salient part of the story:

Well, I've been saying all along that the Minutemen's core demographic is constituted of right-wing extremists, including many outright racists.

At a recent anti-immigrant rally in Laguna Beach, the connection was made explicit.

The rally was held July 30. It apparently was a follow-up of sorts to a similar rally held in the same locale on July 16, in which a local anti-immigration activist decided to protest a local arts festival's financial support for a day labor center for undocument workers. This rally drew the participation of the Save Our State campaign (an ostensibly mainstream anti-immigration organization) and the Minutemen's Jim Gilchrist. It also drew a contingent of neo-Nazis.

A Live Journal account gives a quick overview of what occurred:
Save Our State and founder of the Minutman project Jim Gilchrist organized the protest at the Day Labor Center to oppose the hiring of day laborers by city residents two weeks after some members of SOS attended an unofficial rally at the Laguna Beach Arts Festival. There they protested the event's contribution through rental space sale to city coffers, which in turn pays out $21,000 to the group that operates the Center. That original anti-immigrant protest organizer, known as OCAngel, has publicly disassociated herself from the Minutman Project/S.O.S. after neo-Nazis stood with S.O.S. members threatened her due to her Jewish background.
... What's going on, of course, is that the Minutemen provide an ideal opportunity for white racists to "mainstream" their agenda, using the relatively benign "average citizens" that Lou Dobbs exclusively observes in their ranks as just so much cover.

These craptacular losers are now stepping into our house. That is really unacceptable.

And now they are officially doing their thing in the Tecate/Campo region. I can hardly wait for Labor Day when me and the gang go camping down there at a local park. If we have to pass through one of their pickets, that's going to be, as Jayne Cobb says, "an interesting day..."

mojo sends

Update 1.0 Apparently this was not a sanctioned "Minuteman" event, although the head Minuteman Jim Gilchrist showed up to the hatefest with some pals. This was sponsored by an even more odious group called Save Our State, which, if memory serves, was one of the prime bits of muscle in the last few Republican voter intimdation campaigns along with Barbara Coe's browshirts. Interetingly though, the rally organizer, OCAngel, has apparently bailed on this group out of terminal embarassment. She apparently didn't realize there would be Nazis at a Nazi rally.

Apparently this needs a title: Fsck Hitch!

Hitch must be drinking the generic grocery scotch for breakfast. His recent Reality Revision really takes the cake for blaming his rhetorical opponents for the failures of his latest smoke buddies...Here is particular paragraph that got up my nose:

The United States is awash in human rights groups, feminist organizations, ecological foundations, and committees for the rights of minorities. How come there is not a huge voluntary effort to help and to publicize the efforts to find the hundreds of thousands of "missing" Iraqis, to support Iraqi women's battle against fundamentalists, to assist in the recuperation of the marsh Arab wetlands, and to underwrite the struggle of the Kurds, the largest stateless people in the Middle East? Is Abu Ghraib really the only subject that interests our humanitarians?Insert quotation here.

Hitch, if you would crawl out of the scotch bottle and actually fire up your remaining brain cells, I think you could come up with a few more plausible explanations than the one you usually pimp. As a full service blog, I am happy to jump start this process for you:

  • The Security Situation makes it extremely difficult for NGO's to operate in Iraq. The lack of sufficient military manpower, which if you were a loyal Mojowire listener you would be up to speed on, has made the security environment untenable for any of the groups you cite in your little end of the bar diatribe to contribute very much to Iraq's reconstruction. The insurgents targeted the reconsturction effort for exactly this reason. It would be suicidal for any of these group to attempt to operate in Iraq until you can at least survive the ride from the airport to the Green Zone.
  • The Administration initially filled the CPA full of contributors, partisan hacks, and interns from AEI and Heritage, rather than the professionals from State and other agencies that actually had experience in rebuilding nation states. Liberals, Democrats and their hippie NGO allies were largely shut out. It's pretty ballsy, even for you Hitch, to now start yammering about rallying around the Administrations efforts in Iraq when they've gone out of their way to tell them to fuck off.
  • The Adminisration doesn't want them there. It is clear to everyone not a drunken NeoCon sycophant that the Administration and their pet CPA Viceroy, Paul Bremer, wanted to turn Iraq into Milton FriedmanLand, devoid of any regulatory or political control of the Iraqi economy. The last thing they wanted was feminists, labor, human rights groups or any other institution that would draw attention to the Gilded Age wonderland they wanted to build in Iraq. The last thing they want now is any of these groups in Iraq eyeballing what is going on and blabbing it to the press corp holed up in Baghdad hotels.

I could go on, Hitch, but I know your probably getting to the bottom of the scotch bottle, and your focus isn't what is used to be. Even in your current state, you can figure out that lack of the prescence of any the tradtional NGO's in Iraq is be design. Call up Uncle Donald or Aunt Condi to confirm it, I'm sure they'll let you in on the joke. You are part of the true believers now, right? They wouldn't blow off your phone calls?

Update: Edited by s9. Added a title and removed trailer.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Site Update

I signed us up with Haloscan for a new commenting account and I enabled trackbacks. In the process, all the old comments in archives are gone. Cope.

Pushing Scooter Out The Airlock

Our respected colleague, Digby, writes about the news (according to Murray Waas) that Scooter Libby and Judy Miller met on July 8, 2003, two days after Joe Wilson published his column, and that the special prosecutor wants to know more about that.

Mr. Waas provides some helpful background information here about the reason Judith Miller went to the cooler.

The new disclosure that Miller and Libby met on July 8, 2003, raises questions regarding claims by President Bush that he and everyone in his administration have done everything possible to assist Fitzgerald's grand-jury probe. Sources close to the investigation, and private attorneys representing clients embroiled in the federal probe, said that Libby's failure to produce a personal waiver may have played a significant role in Miller’s decision not to testify about her conversations with Libby, including the one on July 8, 2003.

Libby signed a more generalized waiver during the early course of the investigation granting journalists the right to testify about their conversations with him if they wished to do so. At least two reporters -- Walter Pincus of The Washington Post and Tim Russert of NBC -- have testified about their conversations with Libby.

But Miller has said she would not consider providing any information to investigators about conversations with Libby or anyone else without a more specific, or personal, waiver. She said she considers general waivers to be inherently coercive. Bill Keller, the executive editor of The New York Times, has previously said Miller had not been granted "any kind of a waiver … that she finds persuasive or believes was freely given."

Digby, bless his otherwise liberal heart, seems to miss the point.

This is bullshit. The white house cannot get away with saying they are cooperating with the prosecutor by not talking --- and then not require the staff to fully cooperate with the prosecutor.


Now that it's been reported that Libby is the source Miller is protecting the media should demand that Libby free their sister from jail.

"Scott, Judy Miller is languishing in a DC jail because the vice president's chief of staff refuses to grant her a specific waiver. The prosecutor has told federal judges that he needs to talk to her. Is this what the president calls cooperating with the investigation?"

There really is no good reason why Libby hasn't provided a specific waiver for Judy if he told Fitzgerald he talked to her.

This doesn't work. The wingnuts will respond with utterly maddening circular logic like this: how can the White House coerce Scooter Libby into providing a personal waiver to Judy Miller that Judy Miller will accept as non-coercive?

This is why it is time to demand that the Vice President push Scooter Libby out the airlock. He must either resign or be fired. His continued employment as staff ubergruppenfuhrer for Vice President Dick "May I call you Dick?" Cheney is the major obstacle preventing him from cooperating with the special prosecutor.

Now, a conspiracy theorist— we never entertain conspiracy theory here at MojoWire— would tell you that the reason Libby wasn't fired two years ago was to keep him from cutting a deal for immunity and spilling everything. I don't buy that for a microsecond. Why, there is no doubt whatsoever that Libby has his job today because he's a devoted believer in the neoconservative cult. That's why it's time to make the White House and, in particular, the Vice President explain why they still have confidence in Scooter Libby after the disclosure that Judy Miller is in jail to protect him.

Update: I see that Dave Johnson at Seeing The Forest has fallen into the same trap as Digby.

Friday, August 05, 2005

The ICEmen Cometh

So in case you missed it last week, because for some strange reason the Department of Homeland Security did not seem especially anxious to make a big media production with balloons and dancing girls out of this particular news release. The department has recently decided that since Al Qaeda and their devil robots and fish ninja are such intractable foes, that instead of attempting to fight harder or smarter against them, they would simply go after easier prey.

Which is where we get this headline, which in the preceding context really speaks for itself: “Homeland Security nets more than 500 gang members.” That’s right, the department tasked with preventing another 9/11 or that horrible mushroom cloud announcing the arrival of Atomic Osama has decided their better energies are spent on rousting El Chuco and Lil’Joker and the rest of the homies sitting out behind the AM/PM sippin’ on 40s after midnight…

Here’s a bit more of the story from the Associated Press Report:

“Federal authorities arrested 582 alleged gang members over a two-week period, officials said Monday, targeting an estimated 80 violent groups they say have spawned street crimes across the country.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff called the gangs "a threat to our homeland security and ... a very urgent law enforcement priority."

Investigators picked up most of the offenders between July 16 and July 28 on immigration violations for being in the United States illegally. Seventy-six face criminal charges, ranging from illegal possession of a firearm to holding fraudulent documents.

"For too long, these gangs have gone unchecked; flouting all laws and demonstrating a blatant disregard for public safety," Chertoff said in announcing the arrests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. ICE is an arm of the Homeland Security Department. “

Okay, I can hear the reflexively irate Redstaters already: “Holy Cats, Mojo, what could possibly be wrong with getting these violent thugs off the streets. You live in a fairly urban city, are you saying you want gangs to flourish?”

No, what I am saying is that the Department of Homeland Security-Related Kabuki Theater-Like Program Activities has absolutely no interest in solving this problem. For a bit of context, this follows on a conversation that Sean, Strychnine and I have been having for a very long time; this is pre-Mojowire rhetoric.

What is the big problem with gangs? Violence. How are they committing this violence? Guns. So from there, one could easily fire up that old vintage synapse-mobile and make the quick drive down the street to “therefore, the proliferation of small arms in the United States constitutes a threat to the national security.”

Whoa there Mojo, you say, that’s just crazy talk, that’s all liberal code ‘n stuff fer gun control… Well, if you want to look at it like that. Bur remember, your Second Amendment rights were never in danger, Redstate. Ever! This is about abrogation of those hippy afterthoughts in the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments.

You see hippies, it breaks down like this. The Department of Homeland Whatever declares gangs to be a “threat to the national security.” There are several ways they can go about addressing this problem, and tackling the gun angle is only one avenue. Nervous yet Redstate? Good, this is your fault meshbacks!

But there are the Redstaters out there right now saying “that’s all good, as long as they go get the criminals in the cities instead of the my guns, then I’m jest fine…” Remember your Patriot Act, Redstate? If a gun that is in anyway even remotely connected to you gets used in some sort of anti-American Patriot Act related program activity, then you own it, brother.

And two points on this whole heartland rap. One, living in an urban area I can tell you that it is terrifyingly easy to end up in a large police department’s gang database. Hell, just having a certain address on your drivers license in some places gets you flagged. Two, look at some of the places that Chertoff’s Untouchables were hitting with their raids besides LA, New York and Chicago: Birmingham, Ala., Grand Rapids, Mich.; Sioux Falls, S.D.; and North Platte, Neb. You got that? North Fscking Platte, Nebraska. What were they, freekin’ cattle rustlers?! For real Redstate, this is your heartland they are sending the jack booted thugs into.

So far, this operation, dubbed “Community Shield” (you gotta love that) has primarily been done under the auspices of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement guys, or the ICEmen as we like to call them. And while it doesn’t say specifically, when news stories talk about “local partners” of DHS, they are probably referring to the Joint Terrorism Task Forces, local cops deputized to act as DHS thugs and enforcers. They have focused a lot of their attention on foreign nationals in gangs, like 18th Street and MS-13, which have strong ties to Central American gangs.

And this is a problem for us. Because what the Department of Homeland Security is telling us is that if you are a dirt poor Central American or Mexican kid, or even an American-born black or Asian kid who for whatever reason gets in with the wrong crowd and falls into La Vida Loca, then you are not merely a criminal, you are treasonous enemy of the United States and must be dealt with accordingly.

But all you pissed off middle-class white kids, go right ahead and keep shaving your heads, carving swastikas in various body parts, burning crosses and publicly calling for the overthrow of the United States government, that’s all good…

Does anyone else see a problem with this?

And that’s going to be something of the the acid test for you Redstate. The day those crew-cut 6th era Klan-Kids or Fourth Reich Hitler Youth or what-the-hell-ever they are calling themselves now, start to get rounded up, we promise that you are not far behind.

As for the rest of us? This is yet another example of how the Department of Homeland Political Correctness and the Department of Jesus-tice has lied once against concerning the use of the Patriot Act. All of DHS’ power flows from the Patriot Act and its attendant enabling legislation. So instead of keeping us safe from the threat of another terror attack brought about by cranky Islamic extremists or South American Maoists with Che Guevera fetishes or Old European Spider Murphy-style Bader Mienhoff Socialist-Anarchist fashion victims, Chertoff and the Untouchables have decided they would rather engage in domestic police work.

We got a little taste of this last summer when the ICEmen started cruising part of Southern California in vans rounding up “Mexicans” off the streets for simply looking like they needed work and running them through the grill with no due-process. It wasn’t until some brave patriots in Congress like Maxine Waters and Joe Baca went to Chertoff and asked him what in the name of the nine million hells did he think he was doing, did they back off, although with promises that they’d be back for more.

You might recall wireheads, that when this was all spooling up back in the heady days of 2002, we were concerned that creating a new law enforcement agency with virtually no public judicial oversight was not, strictly speaking, the American Way. But, as with the FBI’s political spying scandal (that has yet to be properly reported by the beltway media, we might add), we were initially told not to worry, their powers would only be used to prevent another massive terror attack, that everything was under control, that we were simply being paranoid, and that 9/11 changed everything.

Well, they were certainly right about that last part. because with the convenient excuse of 9/11, we now have a secret police, at once charged with keeping us safe from foreign evil-doers now engaged in one of the nation’s most pressing urban problems, gang violence, which they are not going to treat as a sociological phenomena, we guarantee you. They are going to look at our neighborhoods now as potential battlegrounds in their war on violent terrible extreme terror or whatever the hell it is we’re supposed to call it now.

By estimates given in the Reuters piece on the new operation, there were some 84,000 so-called criminal aliens removed from the United States in 2004, although we are not told anywhere what crimes they were charged with committing. Victor Ceara of DHS testified earlier this year that around 400,000 of these evildoers are still at large in the United States. They could be your neighbors. They could be right next you. Hey, what was that sound? Did you see that?

In may the Congress passed a “gang-busters” bill which essentially made a federal crime out of freedom of association. The bill imposes a minimum sentence ranging from 10 years to life for individuals convicted of gang-related program activities, and expanded the death penalties to gang members as young as 16-and 17-year-olds, trying them as adults.

And for those of you playing along at home, lets review the bidding on what exactly constitutes a gang related crime. For starters, associating with known gang members is a gang-related crime. Next, there is any criminal activity, in which a participant is a gang member or associated with gang members is a gang-related crime. So you can see the bar is set pretty low.

This comes from cities, especially a lot of smaller suburban and semi-rural cities, back in the 1990s trying to pad their Department of Justice grant applications by showing high incidents of gang activity, thereby opening the door to more federal money based on a perceived need, through Bill Clinton’s generally successful COPS program.

And now, using the infrastructure created largely by the Patiot Act and the permissive, “anything goes” atmosphere in federal law enforcement these days, some might think it easy to see why are a tad upset at this latest turn of events. Because, really, who is going to seriously complain that the federal government is cracking down on gangsters? Who would be that stoopid?

But remember, this is from the same group of people who just a few months ago equated environmentalist groups with criminal and terrorist sympathizers and said that the environmental movement “extremists” like Greenpeace were one of the worst threats that this nation faces right now.

So let’s connect all the dots and see what shape emerges. The FBI has been performing a secret spying operation on political dissidents and perceived internal political enemies of the President. The Patriot Act and administrative act empower a national series of “Joint Terrorism Task Forces.” Meanwhile, the hive brain at DHS charged with preventing terrorism come out and say that the biggest domestic terrorist threat are those tree-loving liberal hippies at Earth First and their enablers in Greenpeace and the Sierra Club, a neo-con sycophant of the White House with a thing for Presidential perogative is poised to make the Supreme Court a 6-3 pro-White House majority, while the Department of Homeland Security spools up a massive domestic law enforcement operation aimed at alleged-gang members, looking primarily to arrest, then deport them…

Where does this all go? We’ll just leave you with the words of a senior DHS official from the AP story regarding the department’s next move.

"We're just getting started," said ICE investigations chief Marc Forman

Thursday, August 04, 2005


Is there something odd happening right now in Chicago?

Strange rumors and odd tales criss-crossing the 'net right now... Don't want to say more, but stay tuned...

mojo sends

The Zombie King Walks Off The Set

Media Matters for America asks, "Is the pressure getting to Novak?"

Looks to me like his supply of fresh brains is starting to tail off now that his friends are afraid to be seen in the same graveyard with him and he has to slum it with the likes of James Carville.


I have finally managed to get myself banned from posting in the comments at Wizbang!, one of the few right-wing blogs that even allows comments, and one of the fewer still whose editors claim (loudly and vociferously) that they do not ban comments from people simply for posting negative criticism of the editorial content.

What was the stated reason for my banishment? Well, there really wasn't one, but it's not hard to interpret the reason as this: I was "an annoying troll."

So. Having satisfied myself that the pinheads at Wizbang! can't take it as well as they dish it out, I'd like to know if there are any other right-wing bloggers prancing around as if they can resist the urge to police their comments forum and purge the sources of their negative criticism?

I fear I may have developed a taste for this kind of dirty work.

Update The Elder: Paul, one of the editors, has responded to my call for an explanation for why I was banned: "I banned you because you were stupid. Close enough?" I think that amounts to a capitulation, don't you? Let the matter be resolved then: Wifflebang! is run by a clique of mewling pussies who don't have the game to back up their smack, and they should be accorded maximum disrespect. Fscking chickenhawk keyboard commandos and too-precious prancing dandy-boys, all of them. And most of their fawning sycophant regular commenters too. Absolutely positively certain to be the first up against the wall when the counter-revolution comes.

Update The Younger: What's more, I see they have actively deleted some of the other comments I made in later threads before I was banned. In one of the deleted comments, I simply and politely asked what evidence they possessed that showed how Electronic Intifada is not really the pro-Palestinian news and opinion magazine it appears to be, but rather is actually a cut-out for a terrorist organization. (Hey, I'm willing to consider the evidence if they can show it. But they have only a goose-egg, the gits.) Those preening pansies at Whifflebang! really don't seem to like me! I'm crushed. Crushed, I say. Penelope, please bring me my glass of madeira— I fear the strain is making me woozy.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Get thee to Billmon

Look, I won't even pretend that we are as cool as Billmon over at Whiskey Bar. That said, if you want the low down on how the fscking Ohio GOP did it to us... again! then get thee to Billmon and read up.

Here is just a taste of the bile...

That being the case, it's not a big surprise Schmidt did well there, carrying the county with 58% of the two-party vote -- less than what a GOP candidate can usually expect, but enough to give her nearly a 5,000 vote margin in Clermont, and thus the election.

At about 9:00 PM ET last night, however, things didn't look nearly as good for Ms. Schmidt. In fact, her name looked more like Schmud. With 88% of the district's precincts reporting, including more than half of Clermont's, the count was almost evenly split -- with Schmidt holding a lead of less than 900 votes.

At that point, though, the Clermont election bureau experienced a "technical malfunction" with its optical scan readers:

The Board of Elections in Clermont County, east of Cincinnati, says it's optical scanners haven't counted all the ballots yet because it was so hot -- and humid -- Tuesday.

Board member Tim Rudd says the ballots pick up moisture when it gets hot, making it tougher for the optical scan machines to sort and count.

According to some reports I've seen -- but haven't been able to confirm -- at least part of the count in Clermont's final 91 precincts ended up being done by hand.

In any case, when the humidity had cleared, so to speak, Schmidt had picked up another 9,451 votes, compared to just 6,300 or so for Hackett -- an edge which, interestingly enough, almost equaled her winning margin for the district as a whole..

There are some others writing about this today as well... but Billmon, as usual, has about the best take on the whole thing.