The Facts Machine

"And I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide"

Saturday, February 01, 2003

I'll be back soon, will be out for a little while this afternoon.

In the meantime, Josh Marshall goes after CNN's Tucker Carlson on a ridiculous statement he made about South Africa:
What on earth is Tucker Carlson talking about? Thursday evening on Crossfire he said: "Without the American government, apartheid would still be in South Africa, just so we can get that straight." Now, was the American government responsible for apartheid? Of course, not. Was America responsible for keeping apartheid in place? Not really. (To borrow Thomas Merton's famous phrase, in respect to apartheid, America was mainly a guilty bystander.) But was the 'American government' responsible for ending apartheid? Please ...

This is not what anyone wants to wake up to.

My first memory of any news event in my lifetime was Challenger. I remember seeing that fireball on tv, over and over again. And as I watch the video of Columbia breaking apart, part of me becomes that scared, sad kid again.

Speaking of showing footage of the burning vessel breaking into peaces 200,000 miles up repeatedly, a couple of the major network anchors who were around for Challenger, notably Rather and Jennings, said that they would not excessively saturate the tv screen with a repeating loop of Columbia breaking up, and I salute them for that. But of course, Fox News has it on a loop. I'm not surprised.

The crew is undoubtedly lost. Six Americans, and one Israeli. That has to be really tough on the Israeli people. Putting all political opinions aside (and yes, I have many), it was a rare piece of good news for the Israelis to know that one of their own would make it into space, and even that ends in tragedy.

For more coverage, the New York Times has a whole section up.

I'm sure there are many other things to be said about this, but I don't feel they are very appropriate at this time. I'll probably say them later.

May the crew rest in peace. If praying is your thing, then please do.

Friday, January 31, 2003


Some very strong thoughts from a pro-Iraq-war blogger (via Max). Some of this is pretty damning.

My sister blog, the California Patriot Watch, is back in action, as those cute little boys (and maybe a girl or two) have updated again, still under the misimpression that "reactionary" somehow means "credible".

They gave me quite the softball to begin with, as Patriot staffer Mike McFarlane actually used the dishonest and thoroughly-discredited "20-12" argument about UM admissions.

Before you go to either place, make sure you read the Emerson quote on the bottom left of this blog.
Installment #2 of STFMGFHFRA (see previous entry)

A week and a half ago I outlined the case against nominating Holy Joe Lieberman (D-sorta) for president. His moralizing on movies and music is more than enough to irk TFM. His record on video game violence is equally silly. From the man himself, here's a rundown of Lieberman's moralizing silliness through the years. He makes Lynne Cheney look like Ice-T.

Sure, he got the videogame industry to agree to a pretty-much voluntary ratings system. The funny thing is, apparently, that parents almost always ignore it.

Of course, with any debate over violence in the media, the central issue is the chicken-or-the-egg one, concerning a both-ways cause-effect relationship between media violence and real-life, actual violence (like, you know, the Crusades). The Mushroom, which as far as I can tell is a gamer site of some sort, has an amusing take on Lieberman and this issue.

Holy Joe should also take note that if video games are good enough for members of the Norwegian parliament, they should be good enough for him:
OSLO, Norway (AP) -- While parliament hotly debated the actions of Norwegians fighting in Afghanistan, one lawmaker passed the time by playing a war-game of his own on his handheld computer.

What Conservative lawmaker Trond Helleland, chairman of the justice committee, didn't know was that national television was taping Wednesday's heated debate and zoomed in on him from behind as he played.

Helleland and the game made national television news Wednesday and major papers on Thursday, drawing furious responses.


Helleland said he had intended to check his schedule on his Palm personal digital assistant but couldn't resist a round of Metalion, a war-game set in space that lets players shoot laser cannon at targets. He played it for about seven minutes in full view of cameras.

"This is, of course, very embarrassing and should never have happened," said Helleland, who claimed he followed most of the debate while he played the game.
(inevitable beatles-related pun: Well yeah, a Norwegian would!)

Pondering this, perhaps government assemblies around the world should adopt the "High School Math/Physics class" policy: Scientific calculators only.
Installment #1 of "Stuff TFM Got From His Friend/Reader Alex"

Glory be! The Roman Catholic Church is scouring far and wide to pick a Patron Saint of the Internet.
(CNN) -- Fed up with hackers, a flood of spam and lousy connections, Italian Roman Catholics have launched a search for a patron saint of the Internet. And they hope their online poll will yield a holy Web protector by Easter.


"Everyone needs patrons in the Kingdom of Heaven, and perhaps the Internet as a very young child needs the interventions of a saint all the more,"
Please pick me! I am the internet!

Doesn't this seem a little much to you? Maybe, on the other hand, this is the evidence that the internet has truly made it.

Well if you want to take part in the voting festivities, go here and pick your saint! If you're not Catholic, still check it out, but I hope you enjoy your stay in Hell. Hehehe jk.

Jesse from Pandagon points to a study showing that people seem to value the internet more than tv and radiofor purposes of information.
NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. Internet users consider the information network at least as important as other media, yet they don't necessarily trust what they find online, according to a new study.

About 61 percent find the Net "very" or "extremely" important as an information source, concludes the third annual nationwide survey on the Internet being released Friday from the University of California at Los Angeles.

That's roughly the same as the importance Net users place in books and newspapers. By comparison, just half of them find television important, 40 percent think that of radio and 29 percent of magazines.
This is an interesting issue. A big part of this must have to do with the decline of TV news, particularly our friends at CNN, MSNBC and Faux, this era of "info-tainment" and all. I always have tried to give CNN the benefit of the doubt--they were the last of the 3 cable networks to give in to the flashy bullshit that is so pervasive on the other two--but the Wolf Blitzer-led cheerleading for Gulf War II has been too much for me to take.

I love the internet for information. I love reading weblogs, newspapers from all over the country and world, getting such a diverse range of opinions and information without ever leaving my chair (likely to give me a blood clot, but hey), and being able to access such information 24 hours a day. The internet is great because of the choices it provides (and hey, I'm pro-choice, what can I say), while TV is monstrously streamlined and filtered in its dissemination of 411.

The internet is still finding its equilibrium in human life, and huge numbers of people around the world have never seen it nor have ever had regular access to it. This, of course, opens up a larger debate about whether forcibly plugging other parts of the world into the system (whether it's the internet, or the global economy, etc) is a worthy idea. Certainly it violates the prime directive, hehe. Or of course, one could be creative in how they act with the rest of the world, as evidenced by Bush's SOtU speech: hmm, 15 billion for African AIDS, but no condoms? Stuff like that.
From Neal Pollack, some interesting tidbits about Groundhog Day that may have escaped you. Among other things:
If he stands up on his hind legs, it means we will have to sit through another season of "Frasier."

If he looks us directly in the eye, it means we have to get on with our lives and accept that Ben and J-Lo really are in love.
And if he brings his paws to his ears, then like omigod! His Nokia is down to only one bar!

NEW YORK (AP) - The White House said Wednesday it postponed a poetry symposium because of concerns that the event would be politicized. Some poets had said they wanted to protest military action against Iraq.

The symposium on the poetry of Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes and Walt Whitman was scheduled for Feb. 12. No future date has been announced. (full story)
I've seen the greatest symposiums of my generation lost to narrow warmongering...

From the hardworkin peeps at BuzzFlash, here are some suggested recipies for ChickenHawk Salad!

An example:
ChickenHawk Salad:

Dice up a bush (Jeb or Dubya brand)
add a few Limpballs (for a real Rush)
add only the right wings of a chicken
add 5 Dick Cheney small heart shaped onions
do Not use Johnny Ashcroft croutons that are shaped like boobs.
add some Scalia scallions
If you are a Wiccan (eye of a (G)newt.
For dressing use Rumsfeld rum sparingly.
Sprinkle with crushed pretzels and enjoy!

These may be hard to swallow. Almost as hard as the case for war as of this typing.

TAPPED on the California Patriot, and the intellectual decline of the campus right in general.

Naturally, I also posted this at my single-issue sister blog.

Thursday, January 30, 2003


Here's the link.
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (CNN) -- Former South African president Nelson Mandela has slammed the U.S. stance on Iraq, saying that "one power with a president who has no foresight, who cannot think properly, is now wanting to plunge the world into a holocaust."

Speaking at the International Women's Forum, Mandela said "if there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America."
By the way, may I say that any article that starts with Nelson Mandela, but then ends with Ari Fleischer, is a progressively more annoying article. ('Jesus said "love your neighbor". Now let's hear from Satan's spokesman...')
TBOGG has some fun with Nooner's take on the SOTU.

Watch out, Peggy, you aren't being very subtle. Keep an eye out for Laura whenever you cross the street.

N'Sync boy Justin Timberlake gets a blood blister from playing bass with the Flaming Lips on British TV. Yeah, you read that right.

Hey Justin, I can relate man. I once played my bass so hard that I got blisters, really.

On the other hand, I can't relate with you on the whole sucking thing.

The Beatles' Apple Records is planning a new version of Let It Be, the 1970 album that was released as the group's swan song, for the fall. Though the album will feature the same track listing as the original, the music it contains has been stripped of the orchestration that was added by legendary producer Phil Spector -- thus restoring Paul McCartney's "back to basics" concept that originally underpinned the project.

"It's the de-Spectorized version," says Ringo Starr. "Same tracks, same people. I was listening to it recently, and it was really great. I've been away from it a long time too. It fills my heart with joy to hear that band that I was a member of. They were just great. And also, the quietness of the tracks: It's a beautiful CD."
You better believe I'm buying it again! There are some places where I like the Phil Spector-esque "wall of sound" concept. He did it to good ends with, say, "Be My Baby", prior to his work with the fab 4. I like the whole "now that Spector's passed on, we can bitch about him without worry" thing they all have going:
"Paul was always totally opposed to Phil," says Starr. "I told him on the phone [recently], 'You're bloody right again: It sounds great without Phil.' Which it does. Now we'll have to put up with him telling us over and over again, 'I told you.'"


Along with Starr and McCartney, another figure who will welcome the Let It Be reissue is veteran British producer Glyn Johns, who engineered the original sessions. "My version of [the song] 'Get Back' actually was released fairly quickly as a single," he says. "And my version of [the song] 'Let It Be' was also released, before Phil Spector puked all over it. And I hope you quote me on that. If you hear 'The Long and Winding Road' without all that schlock on it, it's fabulous just like it is."

Anyway, in any incarnation, may I mention that Let It Be makes for great music for long car rides. :-)

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Umm, come back Henry Kissinger! All is forgiven! (via atrios, and originally fortune mag)

(1) Prominent Republican Thomas Kean, former governor of New Jersey, is the new chairman of the 9/11 commission.

(2) Kean is also a director of petroleum company Amerada Hess.

(3) In 1988, Amerada Hess formed a joint venture with Saudi company Delta Oil.

(4) One of Delta Oil's backers is Khalid bin Mahfouz, who is--here's where you need to clap your hat firmly to your skull--married to one of Osama Bin Laden's sisters. And suspected of financing Al Qaeda. Oh, and named in one of the lawsuits brought by 9/11 victims. Did we mention that he's also been involved in deals with the Carlyle Group, the ultra-secret investment group that includes, among others, George H. W. Bush? And also in deals with--yes, your tinfoil hat, properly adjusted, plays 1980s popular music!--BCCI?

(5) Three weeks before Kean's appointment, Amerada Hess severed its ties with Delta.
Well isn't that special...
This should ring true to some of you world travellers out there...

WASHINGTON -- The top bishop of the Episcopal Church, in a stinging rebuke of American foreign policy, said the United States is rightly "hated and loathed" around the world for its "reprehensible" rhetoric and blind eye toward poverty and suffering.

"I'd like to be able to go somewhere in the world and not have to apologize for being from the United States," Presiding Bishop Frank T. Griswold 3rd said Friday in an interview with Religion News Service. (full story)
Looks like everyone in the religious spectrum outside of the Protestant right and a handful of Jewish neocons have their doubts about Smirk's foreign policy.

Anyway, carry on.
I . . . WONDER . . . WHY . . .

AOL Time Warner shall post a loss of $100 billion-- that's billion, with a B -- for last year. Ouch!

Hmm, perhaps it's because the magazine portion of the conglomerate ran out of worthwhile things to write about.

(by the way, you kids are peaking early, enjoy middle management, hehe)

"Fucking amateurs"

Tom Morello (he formerly of Rage Against the Machine, and currently of Audioslave) goes after the Iraq war. Some highlights:
"The broader issue is the one that's most important. The Bush administration is looking for a pretext, any pretext, to invade Iraq, in the name of controlling oil reserves and concealing Bush's horrendous domestic record. Forty million Americans live below the poverty line; 50 million are without health care, a lot of them children; corporate crime is at an all-time high -- this is the Enron presidency. And far more damage will be done to the environment in the next twelve months than during the entire Reagan administration. We wouldn't want any of those things on the front page, now, would we? Glorious stories of beheading mustachioed dictators would make far better copy -- and that's just what George W. intends to do."
"The dream of the Bush administration is to install a puppet government in Iraq that will kowtow to U.S. interests. Iraq has the second-largest proven oil reserves of any country in the world. Controlling that oil will give us leverage over other countries dependent on Iraqi oil. It's a huge poker chip. You can just feel Bush's frustration, that he just can't get this war going. They're like drooling dogs looking at a steak. But they haven't been untethered. Why? Because the rest of the world knows what they're up to. We've been on tour in, like, four or five countries so far -- one of the things that's been obvious to us over here is that people are much more afraid of George W. Bush than of Saddam Hussein. All over Europe there's this belief that our government has gone out of its mind."
Yes! And for the rest of you, "wake up!" (:

Hesiod makes a point about Bush's speech which should have occurred to me right on the spot:
Year after year, Saddam Hussein has gone to elaborate lengths, spent enormous sums, taken great risks, to build and keep weapons of mass destruction but why? The only possible explanation, the only possible use he could have for those weapons, is to dominate, intimidate, or attack.
He left out the most probable and obvious reason: to DETER an attack.

Of course, when you point that out, people start to wonder: "deter an attack from whom?"

And, after pondering it for a few moments, a little lightbulb goes on over their heads.

Tuesday, January 28, 2003


David Eherenstein rips the State of the Union address to shreds.

Star high school basketball player is gifted with a $50,000 Hummer by his mother (please, don't go there). Everyone smells a rat. High schooler gets cleared.

And then he crashes his Hummer.

Well, just backed it into an old lady's car, but when you're hit by a Hummer, at any speed it feels like a crash.
James' Hummer rolled backward and collided with Winston's car, smashing her hood and radiator, Winston told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. She said James hopped out and walked over to her car. He told her that he didn't see her car there, she said.
Even when it just rolls, it smashes a hood and radiator. To me, buying a tank isn't just supporting terrorism, it fuckin is terrorism to the other drivers!

Anyway, teenagers really shouldn't be driving around in cars like that. Nor should adults, or any other responsible citizens of the world.
Oh, and if you didn't read it in advance of Bush's speech, tuesday's Krugman is still a good read.
I've been trying not to steal images from other blogs and stuff, but this made me laugh too hard, from Atrios:

Someone is a friggin genius.

How is the union doing?
The state of the union is strong.
Hmm, the state of the union is "strong". Just what does that mean in the scope of the state of the United States of America through the years? To figure this out, we must consult the Modified Starbucks Scale (MSS)...

When one orders a warm beverage at Starbucks (not that I've done that recently), your choice in sizes for the beverage are tall (small), grande (medium), and venti (large).

Applying that to the SOTU, it can be three different things: "Strong" (weak), "Very strong" (alright), and "The state of the union has never been stronger" (strong, and I remember Clinton saying that a few times).

To put it another way, it's like having straight B's in grad school.

As for the speech itself, it was the usual. Tax cuts . . . permanent tax cuts . . . dividend tax cuts . . . accelerated tax cuts . . . privatization personal accounts . . . faith-based . . . missile defense . . . yada . . . yada . . . etc.

The $15 billion to combat AIDS in Africa was good to hear. Where it will fit in Dubya's budget is yet to be seen. If it makes a dent into his tax cuts, then how principled and compassionate will he turn out to be? Which of those two things will get the short end of the stick? And needless to say, what's the point of all that money if you deny family planning funds and programs to the entire continent? (and by the way, he pronounced it "connent") Also how bout if Dubya talks to his buddies/donors from the Pharmaceutical industry about making deals with the more-afflicted African nations (elsewhere too) more quickly and fairly. The hydrogen cell automobiles are a good sign as well, I wonder how George Will is gonna take it?

Al Qaeda is not a concern anymore. Fascinating. I'd like to know what the people of Bali think of that. And by the way, where's that guy who masterminded and financed 9/11? Eh, forget it.

"On the Korean Peninchula..." The what!?!? Oh, fuck it.

I was amazed to hear a transition which sounded like it came straight out of The Onion:
On the Korean peninsula, an oppressive regime rules a people living in fear and starvation. Throughout the 1990s, the United States relied on a negotiated framework to keep North Korea from gaining nuclear weapons. We now know that the regime was deceiving the world, and developing those weapons all along. And today the North Korean regime is using its nuclear program to incite fear and seek concessions. America and the world will not be blackmailed. America is working with the countries of the region South Korea, Japan, China, and Russia to find a peaceful solution, and to show the North Korean government that nuclear weapons will bring only isolation, economic stagnation, and continued hardship. The North Korean regime will find respect in the world, and revival for its people, only when it turns away from its nuclear ambitions.

Our Nation and the world must learn the lessons of the Korean peninsula, and not allow an even greater threat to rise up in Iraq.
Of course, The Onion's headline was "Bush on North Korea: We Must Attack Iraq".

And the usual non-case case was made for war with Iraq. "Gassed his own people" . . . aluminum casings (if that's why we're going to war, then get me out of here, I'm off to Canada, or Taiwan or something). And wasn't the evidence of Saddam aiding Al Qaeda something like a guy who was passing through Iraq and got medical treatment in Baghdad? Yumpin' jiminy.

Remember that poll about how 50% of Americans think at least one Iraqi was among the 9/11 hijackers? Ponder that question in terms of Bush's speech. We know that ZERO Iraqis participated in the attacks. Did anything Bush say have the effect of making such a fact the slightest bit clearer?
Before September 11, 2001, many in the world believed that Saddam Hussein could be contained. But chemical agents and lethal viruses and shadowy terrorist networks are not easily contained. Imagine those 19 hijackers with other weapons, and other plans this time armed by Saddam Hussein. It would take just one vial, one canister, one crate slipped into this country to bring a day of horror like none we have ever known. We will do everything in our power to make sure that day never comes. (emphases mine)
Would that clear things up for said 50%? That first sentence has no other purpose than to muddy the issue. After everything, the case for war is still as empty as those warhead casings the inspectors found . . . for missiles that could travel, um, 12 miles.

We'll know more (or possibly not), when Colin Powell goes to the UN on February 5th. I don't think he'll be getting his full-blown Adalai Stevenson on, but we'll see. If they had a real case for war, we would have heard it by now.

Anyway, nothing I didn't expect escaped the chimp's lips. Though, when he talked about his faith-based drug-treatment plan, I got the feeling he was talking from, um, experience, and it recalled to me a classic Bushism, slightly-altered for the occasion:
I understand drug addiction. I was one.
Heh heh heh. I hope you enjoyed my silly commentary. Less than two years until Kerry/Edwards/Dean is inagurated, so I have that to look forward to.

The Likudniks are victorious in the Israeli elections.

And oh boy, the Highlander-esque struggle trudges on between two old warriors who know of no solutions in life outside of armed conflict. How many more refugee camps bulldozed. How many more public places suicide-bombed. How many more missiles from helicopters, in the name of "targeted assassination", but helplessly prone to killing more than one at a time. How much apathy from the Bushies at the present time. Yes, they're um, preoccupied.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An empty seat will symbolize losses from the Sept. 11 attacks when President Bush's delivers his State of the Union speech before Congress on Tuesday night.

The empty seat will be two rows behind first lady Laura Bush in the House of Representatives chamber where Bush gives his annual address.

The seat "symbolizes the empty place many Americans will always have at their tables and in their lives because of the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001," the White House said. (full story)
Ok, that's all nice and good.

Unfortunately, that chair also could symbolize Bush's inability to find Bin Laden, the man behind that terrible day. And is Bush going to mention him? Hey, it's been more than 15 months since "wanted dead or alive".

Actually, I really objectively don't care much about finding Bin Laden specifically. However, I do know what Bush said, and I'm not going to pretend it went down the memory hole.
Here's the Rolling Stone piece on "bug-chasing" (as in, gay men who intentionally strive to become HIV-positive) that's causing a fuss lately.

Dan Savage picks most of the RollingStone article apart this week in his column, completely obliterating that 25% statistic, for instance.

I am not sure what to think. I do know that I most emphatically do not want to contract the HIV virus, and will always take every possible precaution to see to it that I don't. Beyond any discussion of taboos or anything like that, I don't want HIV for the same reason I don't want to smoke. I'd shorten my own lifespan (and there's a LOT that I want to do in this world, the least of which being to travel around it), and I'd potentially affect the lifespans of those around me.
UNITED NATIONS—Responding to pressure from the international community, the U.N. ordered enigmatic candy maker William "Willy" Wonka to submit to chocolate-factory inspections Monday.

"For years, Wonka has hidden the ominous doings of his research and development facility from the outside world," U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan said. "Given the reports of child disappearances, technological advances in glass-elevator transport, and Wonka-run Oompa-Loompa forced-labor camps, the time has come to put an end to three decades of secrecy in the Wonka Empire."

The chocolate-making capabilities of Wonka's heavily fortified compound have long been a source of speculation. Wonka, defying international calls for full disclosure, has maintained his silence regarding his factory's suspected capacity to manufacture confections of mass deliciousness. (full story)
There are certainly some issues that complicate the situation, issues the crack Onion staff overlooked.

First of all, we musn't forget that Wonka only has his current capabilities because of money funnelled to him from, among others, Halliburton. How else could one explain how Dick Cheney keeps that figure of his?

The deeper irony, of course, is that given the way Bush is handling the American economy, we may very well see various grandparents and other senior citizens living in cramped rooms in groups of 4-6, having to subsist upon cabbage soup and having no joy outside of the relentless optimism and above-average singing voice of one of their grandchildren. And even he could only afford two chocolate bars.

It's Russia vs. Harry Potter! Apparently some Russians are upset that Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets character Dobby (the Elf) looks too much like Vlad Pootie-Poot Putin.

TFM doesn't see a problem here, nor does he see a similarity. Nevertheless, if this goes to trial, I'd keep a very close eye on the ventilation system in the courtroom.

But there is one which Putin might have issues over:

Yes, Vlad, it is, indeed, just a jump to the left.

You should definitely go over to Daily Kos to check out his coverage of SOTU day. He also links to the Democratic "pre-buttal" of Bush's upcoming speech. One of his entries could be rendered into a very unproductive drinking game: Take a shot whenever Bush says "the state of the union has never been better", or mentions "abortion", "the budget deficit", "affirmative action", "axis of evil", and of course, "osama bin laden".

America is catching on.

Via The Memory Hole (hehe), here's a fun little list of corporations that helped supply Iraq's weapons program.

(Hmm, hey Marissa, looks like you're in the clear on this one, hehe. TFM, on the other hand, uses an HP Pavilion most of the time... uh oh, I must be 'objectively pro-Saddam'! hehehe)

Monday, January 27, 2003


Let's compare: Between DC and SF, seven hundred thousand peaceful protestors.

But what about the Super Bowl, crown jewel of American sports, a largely-conservative domain?

Lookee lookee
"He gazed up at the enormous face. Two years it had taken him to learn what kind of smile was hidden beneath that monkey-esque smirk. O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved George W Bush."

(hmm, perhaps Powell, in DiLulio-fashion, is trying to make it up to Smirk after his public stance on UM admissions policy?-ed Hmm good point, plus he may still have delusions that the GOP base wants him to be VP)

Ok, show of hands: How many of you out there in internet-land are even remotely surprised by this?
Bush Address Won't Include New Iraq Data


To counter concerns about Iraq, Bush intends to reiterate his assertion that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction and is linked to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network, officials said. But new evidence of those charges will not be revealed until next week by Secretary of State Colin Powell, perhaps at the United Nations, officials said.
Hmm, wouldn't presenting evidence when Bush has the entire nation's ear a reasonably good idea? Shouldn't the American people be told directly why we have to go to war about this right now? I must be too darn idealistic for this regime. And by the way, is Bush gonna clarify, for the public, in his SOTU speech that there were ZERO Iraqis in the 9/11 hijackings, contrary to the 50% of Americans who think there was at least one? Isn't that something the public should know? If he clears that up, I'll quit blogging forever. Hell, I'll leave college.

And needless to say...
Bush will not repeat the "axis of evil" phrase he applied in last year's address to Iraq, Iran and North Korea, officials said
But fear not, I'm sure he'll find something new and equally stupid to have written for him. Though his drug treatment plan is sure to open a large can of church/state worms. ("Our Lord Christ Jesus doesn't want you to be smoking marijuana cigarettes all the time . . . oh and by the way, abortion is murder, and just for good measure, Saddam Hussein is a menace who must be dealt with militarily . . . what? you need a smoke?")

...for I have returned after an entire weekend off from blogging. I was back in the original hometown of TFM, San Mateo CA, to rehearse with my band among other things. Oh, and I missed most of the super bowl too (and Star Trek IV may or may not have had something to do with it, hehe). Word is I didn't miss much. Anyway, regular programming will resume shortly, guaranteed not to rot your minds! (: