The Facts Machine

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

Saturday, March 22, 2003


...mostly of the ex-highschool set, though that's no necessary limitation. Alex Charlow has re-opened The O House (a place to yell at eachother about stuff ranging from music to sports to politics to AIM abbreviations or something) for business.

Thursday, March 20, 2003


...that I'm not feeling terribly happy thinking about trying to be Iraq War Central here, hence the minimal posting today. Also, I was studying for a final, that will do it as well. Anyway, I'll be in transit for most of tomorrow, and blogging should be intermittent through next week. Have a wonderful rest of the week, everybody!

Over a thousand arrests. Incredible. Can Bush ignore this? (probably, doesn't mean it shouldn't be done)

Here's a recap of this morning's protests from SF Gate (and thus, the Chron):
09:20 PST -- Protesters linked with metal pipes blocked streets just after dawn Thursday in San Francisco's financial district, carrying out their pledge of a "festival of resistance" that would disrupt the morning commute and kick off statewide demonstrations against the war in Iraq.

Police and firefighters used power saws to separate the protesters and arrested scores of people, but not before traffic was paralyzed in parts of downtown. Roving bands of protesters occupied intersections throughout downtown, often staying one step ahead of police.

Freeway off-ramps were a particular target, and groups succeeded in closing several exits from the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge for brief periods, making for a fitful morning commute before drivers even got onto San Francisco's clogged streets.

Shortly before 9 a.m., a total of 23 Muni buses were stranded along Clay, Columbus and Montgomery streets and had to let all their passengers off.

Municipal Railway spokeswoman Maggie Lynch said earlier this morning that bus drivers had been ordered to avoid the downtown area, saying there was no way they could navigate around the clogged interesections. She said streetcars and the underground Muni Metro were still running.

At some intersections, dozens of protesters -- outnumbered by police -- sat stoically and then lined up in plastic handcuffs to be loaded into buses. At others, dozens of people occupied intersections while only a few officers on horseback watched.

Shortly after 7 a.m., about 50 protesters marched up Ninth, blocking traffic. Several offered motorists bags of cookies, an apparent attempt to appease them for the inconvenience.

At Turk and Van Ness, about 150 to 200 protesters carrying banners with the image of Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara, shouted "Bush, you liar. We're going to set your ass on fire."

"This party's just getting started," they added.

There were no immediate reports of violence, and police weren't immediately sure how many people they had arrested.

Sometimes, the bands of protesters dispersed without incident when police in riot gear ordered them to leave.

"We don't want to alienate people. I hope people realize that political murder merits action that inconveniences them," said Quinn Miller, 32, who took the day off from his job for a banking company and said he expected to be arrested for the first time in his life.

Sirens from police vans and the whirring of helicopters rattled through the city's concrete canyons. Braced for the civil disobedience, police were out in force.

Around 7 a.m., about 60 protesters moved into the street at Van Ness and Fell streets, and sat down in a circle in the intersection. Twenty of them chained themselves together, and were still sitting there more than an hour later.

Police began arresting the protesters around 7:50 a.m. Some Muni buses were getting through, though protesters were making half-hearted efforts to block them.
Click the above link for more.

Is this going to make the war end any faster or save the life of one Iraqi civilian? No. Will the presence of an increasingly vocal opposition to Dubya, in various forms of protest, have an effect on his chances for reelection next year? Yeah, probably.

With that in mind we at TFM say: yeah, it's messy, and I wouldn't like to be a lower-class public-transportation commuter in SF right now, but still, keep going.

Wednesday, March 19, 2003


Yeah, Saddam Hussein is an evil man, etc.


...judging by his pre-recorded speech on CNN just now, he could get a job making bumper-stickers right here in America! Two highlights were the phrases
"Criminal Jr. Bush"
"Bush the careless underestimated your values"
It was a spot-translation, and there are a lot of nuances to Arabic, so who knows if the translator was 100% accurate. One wonders if Saddam was getting a joke in, meaning to say "misunderestimated". Hehehe.

Anyway, apparently we tried to kill him with some pinpointed missiles a couple of hours ago. No word yet on whether it was successful, but didn't Republicans criticize Clinton for trying to do the exact same thing with Bin Laden in 1998?

Speaking of which, where is that guy...

...for news about Ringo!
Former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr will hit the road again this summer with the latest incarnation of his All-Starr Band. The tour is set to kick off with two shows July 24-25 at Toronto's Casino Rama, a fitting venue to showcase his forthcoming album, "Ringo Rama." Currently there are 28 North American dates scheduled through a Sept. 7 show in San Diego.
Yes, his album is going to be called "Ringo Rama". No, this is not a sign of the apocalypse. Though it appears he's gonna try the Santana-strategy:
The album is a star-packed affair with contributions from Eric Clapton, Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, Willie Nelson, Eagles/Poco principal Timothy B. Schmit, Shawn Colvin, Van Dyke Parks, and Charlie Haden.
I suppose Wyclef was busy.
Peace Event for John Lennon
by Yoko Ono
A: VIP (Visit In Peace) Event

Visit the Middle East.
Visit Asia.
Visit Africa.
Visit countries in the Southern Hemisphere.
Visit countries in the Northern Hemisphere.

Take photos of your friends who wish to make the trip but cannot.
Take music and/or an instrument from your country.
Take one thing you wear often and give it to somebody
you meet there.
What you give could be
As small as a handkerchief.
As useful as a T-shirt.
As pretty as a necklace.

a) Watch the sunrise and compare it with the ones at home.
b) Watch the sunset and compare it with the ones at home.
c) Watch the moonlight and compare it with the ones at home.

a) Stay until you find a friend to talk to.
b) Stay until you start to appreciate the country.
c) Stay until you start to feel love for their children.

Make a wish and hold it in your heart.
Deliver a wish and see it unfold.
Send a wish and ask it to be shared.

Bring back something you bought there.
Bring back memories.
Bring back a smile.

B: HIP (Home In Peace) Event
For those who cannot make the trip:

In your mind
In your heart
In your dream

Pen pal:
Make pen pals in countries you've never been to.
Ask your friends to do the same.
Make pen pals in troubled countries.
Ask your friends to do the same.
Make pen pals with people of different religion and beliefs from you.
Ask your friends to do the same.

Pin a world map on your wall.
Start putting flags on the countries you have pen pals in.
Take a photo of your map every month to record the increase of the numbers of flags.

Imagine all the people holding hands.
Imagine all the people hugging each other.
Imagine all the people living life in peace.

Listen to the heartbeat:
a) your own
b) your mate's
c) your child's
Listen to people.
Listen to animals.
Listen to the planet.
Listen to the Universe.
Listen to the Earth turning.

C: DIP (Dance In Peace) Event

When you are feeling bad
Do one thing a day
To make your heart dance.
It could be a simple thing like looking up at the sky.
If you can't manage even that
Do something for somebody
To make his/her heart dance.
It could be a simple thing like giving a call.
Do this for awhile and
Your life will change in a big way.
One day we'll all dance together.
Alright? y.o.

Note: send the Peace Event to your friends.
To be part of the Peace Event record,
send your experience to: IK (Instant Karma)
"Today I weep for my country. No more is the image of America one of strong, yet benevolent peacekeeper. ... Around the globe, our friends mistrust us, our word is disputed, our intentions are questioned. We flaunt our superpower status with arrogance. After war has ended the United States will have to rebuild much more than the country of Iraq. We will have to rebuild America's image around the globe. May god continue to bless the United States of America in the troubled days ahead, and may we somehow recapture the vision which for the present eludes us."

-Senator Robert Byrd
Ok, it's five. Are we an aggressor nation yet?
We're about to launch a pre-emptive war, the economy is in the shitter, and Bush is running a statistical dead heat with an "unnamed democrat" in a number of recent polls. So with that in mind, let's try to name that Democrat, shall we? TFM presents:


At the request of one of my readers, I will go through each of the major 2004 Democratic hopefuls for the nomination. First on our list is

John Kerry (senator, MA). At this point, I'm guessing that he'll get the nomination. Does that mean I want him to get it? I'm not sure, I have someone else in mind. But I'd be very happy with Kerry, he's a solid speechmaker, and could debate circles around Bush. He's pro-choice, anti-deathpenalty, and articulates Democratic policy very eloquently. In terms of Iraq, he fits the second of the two categories I describe in a post yesterday, the "it seems like a good idea, but Bush will fuck it up" category. He is a decorated 'Nam vet, and was also a very passionate speaker against the war back in his college days (while Bush was drinking and cheerleading, I might add). On the whole, his foreign policy as president would probably be pretty close to that of Bill Clinton. Oh, and he's raisng a ton of money by most standards. Just please, no prostate jokes, thanks! TFM 04 grade: A-

John Edwards (senator, NC). First of all, just to clear it up for middle America: He's not the guy who talks to dead people on tv. For those journalists who like to have tidy storylines for campaigns, Edwards represents the dashing young mystery-man, a Babbit/Hart type. He's from the south, like the last three Democratic presidents-elect (Carter, Clinton, Gore). He's been pretty good on social issues, and he's looking to turn the tables on Republicans who have been trying to label him as just a "trial lawyer". An strong advocate of pateints' rights against HMO's, Edwards runs into some trouble on the Iraq issue; he was just booed during a speech to the California Democratic Party last weekend when he reached the subject. He can be a bit wishywashy at times, and he is young. I'd still be a lot happier to call him president than Dubya. Plus, he's been solid on the environment. TFM grade: B-

Richard Gephardt (disgraced former house minority leader, MO). Just go away. I don't get it. It was your call to bend over for Bush on the Iraq vote last fall. That was what got the Dems screwed in the midterms. You took the blame, and you resigned as house minority leader. And . . . now you want us to back you for president??? Good luck. Even labor, which has been your biggest supporter through the years, is iffy on backing you. Still, every so often you say the right thing, and I'd still rather you over Dubya. Then again, that's true for any of these people. TFM grade: D.

Joe Lieberman (fake republican, CT). Pack it in, dude. You got out-debated by Cheney in 2000, there's no excuse for that. And Joe, this isn't how you energize the Democratic base:
"It's time to come together and support our great American men and women in uniform and their commander-in-chief,"
Not that your moralizing helps either. You have more name recognition than the other guys, but that's all you have. Please, hit the road. TFM grade: D-

Al Sharpton (big hair, NY). I've always liked Al Sharpton, a great speechmaker and advocate for civil rights and other causes. Remember him getting arrested in Puerto Rico not too long ago? Anyway, I was a little nervous about him being some sort of distraction when he said he was running for president. But the thing is, he's not actually running for president. He doesn't say so when he makes speeches. He's "running" for two reasons, 1) to move the political debate leftward, and 2) to get a good soapbox to attack Bush from. He's doing a great job with both of those goals.

Personally, I think Al Sharpton would make an outstanding president. But what he's doing kicks ass too. TFM grade: A/incomplete

Bob Graham (senator - FLA). He just got out of the hospital a little while ago, but he has two big things going for him: 1) he's big shit on the "homeland security" issue, and 2) FLORIDA. I haven't seen him speak much, though, and when I have, he doesn't wow me. He'll need that extra something that all winning candidates have. TFM grade: C+.

Finally, my candidate of choice,

Howard Dean (former governor, VT). The doctor is in! That's what the signs said during Dean's speech for the California Democratic Party, where he brought the house down. Dean describes himself in the Wellstone fashion, as in, "I'm from the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party". He's as progressive as Democrats come, pro-choice, antiwar, and much more. Best of all, you may remember that as governor of Vermont, he signed into law the most comprehensive civil unions legislation in the country, allowing hospital visits and other equal rights for same-sex couples. The only interesting quirk about Dean (other than him being only -- gasp! -- 5'9") is that he gets great ratings from the NRA. That would have bothered me several months ago, but after seeing Bowling for Columbine a few times, I have a better idea of what the problem is.

Dean has been the strongest anti-war voice in the field. As far as I can see, this is not a political choice on his part, he really believes it, and TFM salutes him. I'm guessing Kerry will get the nomination, and I'm fine with that, but I'm pulling hard for Dean. He'll get some redneck votes for being pro-gun. He'll get some ex-Nader votes too; this is no "republicrat". TFM grade: A.

Kucinich - no
Hart - how are the ladies?
Moseley Braun - nobody seems to care, i like her though
Biden - nahh
Clark - nice uniform

Senate Republicans thought they could sneak this one by us while we're all focusing on the war.

They thought wrong!!!
WASHINGTON - The Senate on Wednesday rejected oil drilling in an Alaska wildlife refuge, handing the Bush administration a defeat on one of its top energy priorities.

Despite intense lobbying by pro-drilling senators and the White House in the hours leading up to the vote, Democrats mustered the support needed to remove a refuge drilling provision from a budget resolution expected to be approved later this week.

The vote on an amendment offered by Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., to strip away the provision passed 52-48.

Before the vote, senators on both sides predicted it would be extremely close.

Development of the millions of barrels of oil beneath the 100-mile coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern Alaska has been a key part of President Bush's energy plan. However, environmentalists contend drilling there would jeopardize a pristine area valued for its wildlife.

All but five Democrats voted against refuge drilling. There were eight Republicans who joined the Democrats in favor of barring oil companies from the refuge.
Yay Barbara Boxer! I could kiss you! Well, no . . . but I could work for your campaign!

And by the way, among those eight Republicans who voted to stop drilling...
The vote appeared to tighten when freshman Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., under intense pressure, signaled he might vote in favor of drilling. But in the end, Coleman, who succeeded the late Sen. Paul Wellstone, an ardent opponent of drilling, sided with the Democrats.
Wow, that little weasel Coleman suddenly grew a conscience. I'm sure he'll quickly stash it away though. ("but they were cheering and chanting at the wellstone funeral!" says the gop, "thus, drilling in alaska is necessary!")

Reader JA finds some points of disagreement to Ms Mika's Jerry McGuire Moment:
...public opinion is a very fickle thing, and very much influenced by the press. A lot of people base their decisions on information from CNN, and a lot of people will blindly follow the president whatever he does, i think this is a point a lot of people haven't mentioned. A simple fact: the more widespread mass demonstrations there are, the more media coverage. Especially when these protesters are regular people, not just peace loving hippies, the average dumbass american sees the antiwar stance as more valid, more close to home. It encourages people to doubt their own assumptions and perhaps think about what is really going on. Marissa is only considering berkeley, where the anti war movement (made up primarily of hippies) has been terribly sad anyway. The rest of the country (and world) is not like here. Even at the SF protests there were many normal people.
Nowhere is the point about regular people more apparent than it was this past sunday during the global vigil.

(from my adjacent-to-hometown of Burlingame CA)

I stood among about 1000 people in downtown Santa Barbara on a cool, windy night. They were families, yuppies, baby boomers, professionals, all kinds of people. They were not, by appearance or otherwise, the "hippies" of the campus antiwar movement, in Berkeley, Santa Barbara or otherwise. A thousand regular people lining a couple of city blocks, softly singing "Give Peace a Chance", "This Little Light of Mine" and "We Shall Overcome". The same is true of the big marches in SF, DC, LA, NY and elsewhere. A great proportion of the protesters are the so-caled regular people of the country, people who'd be rather unlikely to, say, join A.N.S.W.E.R..

Also, media recognition of protests is very important. Example: Monday evening on CNN, anchors Judy Woodruff (ugh) and Aaron Brown (yay!) discussed Bush's little furrowed-brow "48 Hours" speech just after its completion. As they spoke, the crawler at the bottom of the screen constantly dispersed information. I noticed that at one point, the crawler displayed four consecutive stories about direct action protests around the country, including but not limited to San Francisco. And this is where many people go to get their information. From this evidence, the more protests the better.

Another way of looking at it? Consider the "big lie" practice of conservatives. Someone, either Fox News, Drudge, the Washington Times, or someone, makes an allegation that may not be grounded in any sort of fact. Right wing media circles repeat it as much as they can, creating an "echo chamber", eventually picked up by some sort of mainstream media, and the story's off and running. This, ladies and gents, is how Al Gore invented the internet. My point is this: If conservatives can do this so effectively with lies and deception, why can't we "flood the zone" with truths and actions?

Anyway, it's an hour and 40min until we become an aggressor nation, so I'd better go.

Official TFM best friend, sin-ternational correspondent, liberal hippie, and accomplished matchmaker Marissa Mika has some strong words for the campus antiwar movement.
I have one Yiddish expression for you: oy vey. If I get one more petition, one more flyer or one more invitation to a teach-in, I think I will impale myself with a short range ballistic missile. And this is coming from someone who thinks bombing Iraq on a pre-emptive strike and engaging in "nation building" à la Afghanistan is a ridiculous idea. And I can't believe our fearless leader has decided to do it.

Other than the cathartic bonus, activism at this juncture seems futile. I hope no one honestly thinks if she is tear gassed and riddled with rubber bullets it will change anything. Being peacefully handcuffed and spending a night in jail will not alter Bush's oil-slick heart.


Do you want to change the system? Here's a start: Challenge your conservative, hawkish, tax cut loving, red meat chomping, Social Security salvaging, international relations despising, terrorism fearing, SUV driving, Wal-Mart shopping, gun-toting relatives in the middle of this country who actually think Mr. President is doing a fine job to a dinner table debate match.

Don't be disheartened. You will probably lose because you are a liberal hippie from Berkeley who's had the luxury of preaching to the choir ever since you found the co-ops. Thus, your ability to win a debate about the war with people who are different from you or who go to church rather than meditation will be minimal.

If that doesn't work, and if you want to feel like you're making one last cathartic statement, get arrested. But if you want to make a difference, go into politics.

I am not going to the lockdown in San Francisco, nor walking out of my classes. Instead, I'll see you on the campaign trail of 2004.
Her point, in many ways, is quite well taken. The target of our beams of antiwar sentiment should be middle-America (hmm scroll down a few entries, hehe), indeed. She takes a few shots, including that 1) the co-op/liberal set in Berkeley, or at any other campus really, is enclosed socially (but not necessary in an 'outside world' sense, this is something i could talk at length about were it not so late and so close to my exams) to the point where a lot of things are preached to the choir, and that 2) some people protest for personal psychological ("cathartic") reasons, which may be true in some cases.

I disagree with her in that I'd rather people were protesting than not protesting, and the choice between direct action and debating your grandparents is a false one, both can be done. Nevertheless, I will agree with her that her prescription has the capability to help the cause more than causing someone to be late for work because their bus was blocked by direct-action participants in the street.

(also, hehe, i know you were trying to be cute, but we know whose fault cali's energy "crisis" was)

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

SAN DIEGO -- Academy Awards show producer Gil Cates says the red carpet arrivals portion of the pre-show will be "truncated" this year.

Some Oscars watchers had speculated that the show might be canceled in light of an almost certain war with Iraq. That will not be the case, but Cates said things will be a little different for this year's ceremony.

"Keeping in mind the world situation, the Academy has elected to prepare a more sober pre-show and a scaled-back arrivals sequence," Cates said during a Tuesday afternoon news conference.

He said celebrities will not go through, as he puts it, the "business-as-usual" interviewing and photograph-taking familiar to television audiences from ceremonies in the past.

Cates said the celebrities will get out of their limousines and go directly through what's known as the "arrivals arch." (full story)
The Iraq war has had its first (and probably last) positive consequence: no Oscar pre-show monstrosity!

I wonder who might be declaring war on Dubya now... could it be...


Maybe, thanks to Bush, I can go an entire calendar year without hearing the phrase "who are you wearing?".

...about the varying nature of those who oppose this war. In the most broad terms, there seem to be two signifcant categories of people against the war (though they do overlap to form a third). The first group are straight-up pacifists, peaceniks in the most complimentary sense, and I identify strongly with them. They'd oppose this war no matter whose idea it was. The second group is more pragmatic and composed of moderate Dems and some conservatives. Their thought is that removing Saddam Hussein from power would be a great thing for Iraq and the world, but that the way Bush is botching our foreign policy clearly signifies that he ain't the guy for this war. And of course, the third category would be people who not only oppose this war on the merits, but also know that Bush would fuck it up.

I fear that there's a disconnect between the opposed-no-matter-what camp and the I-like-it-but-Bush'll-fuck-it-up group. Personally, I am much, much closer to the first group than the second group. Yet, I think the cause of the first group wont really get fully over the hump until that second group is incorporated. Part of the protest movement is to influence the opinions of middle America. As a non-brainwashed longtime Bay Area resident, I know that there's a difference between my perceptions of the world and those of some people between the coasts. The government has spent 13 years flogging the idea that Saddam Hussein is Darth Vader incarnate, and that's a hard thing to get over. So if someone in the chewy nougat center of America starts to think that Bush will fuck this up -- regardless of whether they think armed removal of Saddam is a good idea in general or not -- that development is a good thing for the antiwar movement! There is a greater good to be found, and in terms of each group, it may involve teaming up with people who arent 100% like you.

2000 is a good example. If the Gore camp and the Nader camp reconciled a little more back then, then Gore would have received 52% of the popular vote and won in a walk. The end result? Greens would have ended up with around 70-80% of what they wanted in terms of policy, which is 70-80% more than what they're getting right now (to the extent that Republicans would have tried to block Nader's agenda too, you know).

I guess this is my emotional appeal to the protest movement: be inclusive! For what it's worth, the outright pacifists want us not to go to war just as much as the midwestern housewife who's been trained to hate Saddam but thinks Bush would fuck it up! I'll probably ponder this more in the coming days/weeks/months?
Here's a pretty good new anti-war flash.

Presenting, for your consideration, John "dont call me Cougar" Mellencamp's "To Washington".

Talk about direct action!
PARIS (Reuters) - U.S. citizens have turned on French fries and toast to vent their frustration at France's anti-war stance on Iraq. Now the French have joined in the food war -- with pretzels.

A French Web Site is urging people to send pretzels to U.S. President, who fainted and fell off a sofa in January 2002 after gagging on the salty snack.

The Web Site,, says the pretzels will be stored at a secret location before being sent to the White House in a historic mass action.

The retaliation follows moves by some in the United States to change the names of French fries and French toast to Freedom fries and Freedom toast.
Remember, this plan will only work if there's multitasking involved, i.e. watching sports on tv at the same time. Hmm no football, but there's the NCAA Tournament about to start. Look out, trachea!

First of all, it wouldn't be assassination. They're just delivering the pretzels, it's up to Smirk to stick the thingies in his gullet and take a wrong turn at the ol' windpipe. Second of all, if that fails, there's always next november, when we can banish him to his designer ranch for the rest of his life.

Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon turns 30.

* - you probably don't get it, hehe

Bush has two options for the next time he talks to Pakistani leader Pervez Musharraf.

1) "Yes, Pervez, we're about to launch a pre-emptive war, but that doesn't mean you get to start one with India, even if you think they could be a threat somewhere down the line . . . hmm I like that rationale . . . butbut NO! NO! We can't allow you to do that. (besides, how much oil could India have? heh heh)"

2) "Yes, Pervez, we're about to luanch a pre-emptive war, this is the new paradigm, get used to it"

Problem with #1: That would mean the rules of war would apply to everyone except us. Nothing new for Bush of course. The rules of college admissions, of exemption from fighting in 'nam, of selling stock, of receiving plum oil contracts in the mideast, and even of national elections have never applied to the boy king.
Problem with #2: That would mean byebye for the Taj Mahal. Thanks George!

reader ben alerts us to this story:
But Saddam indicated he wasn't going anywhere. After chairing a meeting of Iraq's highest executive body — Revolution Command Council — the leader condemned Bush and his dictates.

Iraq's foreign minister Naji Sabri later told reporters that it was "Bush who should go into exile, because it is Mr. Bush who is endangering the whole world."
But look, that's not going to happen, I can just tell. We know what kind of a guy Bush is, and he's stubborn to the point of not turning back. Hmm that sounds familiar.

Bummer that Tariq Aziz wasn't the one condemning Bush. Because I wonder what Aziz, a Christian, thinks of Bush's "lawless men" remark during his speech last night. (and hmm, the fact that we're going to war without a UN resolution, isn't that "lawless" in its own way?)

A week ago, we found out that a report, flogged by the Bushies, showing that Iraq allegedly bought nuclear materials from Niger, was an obvious fake, a rather embarassing revelation for the administration. A week later, they proclaim "fuck it, we're going to war". Shouldn't such revelatoins as the fake documents cause people to, you know, question the rush to war? This is very Strangelove-ian.

Reckless, heartless bastards.

Monday, March 17, 2003


Joe Lieberman had this to say in advance of Bush's moment-of-bullshittruth speech:
"It's time to come together and support our great American men and women in uniform and their commander-in-chief,"
Oh holy crap. Joe shall have a dream tonight which includes the phrase "I proudly accept the nomination from the Republicratic party!"

Joe, you're a funny guy, you sound like you have perpetual indigestion, but please: Go away. Thanks!

And Joe, you had a front-row seat in late 2000, do you remember how the "commander-in-chief" got his job?

Here is a transcript of Bush's speech. Again, I took notes, though I must say, I had trouble staring directly at the tv. Anyway here goes...
Many Iraqis can hear me tonight in a translated radio broadcast, and I have a message for them: If we must begin a military campaign, it will be directed against the lawless men who rule your country and not against you. (emphases mine)
Uh, two problems here. First, when thousands of "shock and awe" bombs rain down on Baghdad in the first days of war (destroying at least 10% of the buildings there), it will be hard for an innocent Iraqi civilian to think that the war isn't being fought against them. Second of all, interesting use of words there, Dubya. Where have I heard "lawless men" before? The last time I heard "lawless men" was a shade over three years ago, at those UCSB Campus Crusade for Christ meetings I went to for some reason. Yep, Bush is going full-on New Testament here. George, what are the implications in that? You're honestly trying to tell us this isn't a crusade? Oy vey.
Should enemies strike our country, they would be attempting to shift our attention with panic and weaken our morale with fear.
Bush would know. That's been his entire strategy for getting support for this war.

But it's not just that. If someone wants to make the argument that offing the Iraqi regime is part of the "war on terrorism", they're allowed to make that argument farily. I'd disagree completely, but they're allowed to argue such. But we have a situation in America where almost HALF of our population thinks Hussein was directly involved in the 9/11 attacks, and much of the support for this upcoming war is based on that. That, y'all, is deception, and not grounds for war.

Let's see. On the UN:
America tried to work with the United Nations to address this threat because we wanted to resolve the issue peacefully
Bullshit. You just wanted your war. A little earlier in the speech:
The Iraqi regime has used diplomacy as a ploy to gain time and advantage.
The Bush regime has used "diplomacy" as a disguise for their one and only plan, which was to get their war. If Hans Blix goes to the UNSC and says progress is being made, you build on that! Let's understand that we can use patience, that sometimes these things take time. The reason this disarmament could never look like past disarmaments is because the situation is politically different from, say, the post-USSR Ukraine. Or maybe also because Bush used "obviously" fake information regarding Iraq allegedly buying noo-kyoo-lar material from Niger.

Speaking of which, now that this friggin war is inevitable, when the time comes that we're occupying Iraq, I can't wait to see the evidence of WMD's they keep talking about to turn up. We might have to plant it, Mark Fuhrman-style.

Okay, what else?
And all Iraqi military and civilian personnel should listen carefully to this warning: In any conflict, your fate will depend on your actions. Do not destroy oil wells, a source of wealth that belongs to the Iraqi people.
Where's Pavlov when you need him? If only this were "Blind Date", cuz they'd stick a graphic of drool running down Dubya's chin as he demands that Iraq not ignite their oil. (this was the point when i scribbled "me wantee" on my notepad)
In free Iraq there will be no more wars of aggression against your neighbors, no more poison factories, no more executions of dissidents, no more torture chambers and rape rooms. The tyrant will soon be gone. The day of your liberation is near.
Yeah, we're above that whole torturing thing. But yeah, your day of liberation is near! Particularly your liberation from your physical form if you are in Baghdad on "shock and awe" night! And speaking of liberated, remember that the lands controlled by the Kurdish resistance to Saddam might be given to . . . Turkey, a country that 1) hates the Kurds and 2) just expelled their entire political party.

Eventually, as my housemates and myself watched the speech, it degenerated into a contest of who could perform the most amusing sight-gag involving our commander-in-thief (official TFM housemate ben has a big-screen). There we're nose-pickings and nipple-twistings abound.

Bush thinks he has some sort of divine mandate about this, and that's why we couldn't change the fucker's mind (pardon my Freedom). A bit Louis XIV of him, you think? I'm sure George wouldn't mind absolutism; given the way the Dems bent over for him last fall, he sort of has it. Anyway, as long as it appears war is inevitable, I will take this time to appeal to Saddam: Get out. Take your sons with you. I know this is all bullshit, but lives are at stake, and those here who claim to care are only in it for blood and oil.

Either way, we'll see to it that Bush will be flipping burgers in Kennedrunkport in under two years. We'll have our democracy back. Will Iraq have anything close to a democracy by then? If you think so, then . . . wait, no words for that.

In number of Americans killed this week.

"I'm a uniter, not a divider"
-George W Bush

Sunday, March 16, 2003


A reader writes in to Atrios about the SFPD beating down some demonstrators who had "deviated from the designated route"
There was a sudden commotion around me, and I turned around to see gang of rebel protesters running down the middle of a busy street. (Fourth St between Mission and Market). I didn't know they were anti-war protesters at first. But there were maybe six, maybe eight of them, and they were being chased by no less than twenty police officers on motorcycles.

The protesters ran out of breath at the corner and I watched as the cops stopped their motorcycles, got out their batons and proceeded to attack the protesters. The protesters didn't make the first move, though they may have said something snide or somesuch, they were far enough away that I couldn't hear them. But the point is they didn't resist. They didn't resist and the cops beat them down with their batons.

I didn't know what to do. One of the protesters made it farther than the others and was standing right next me. "Christ, what did you guys do?" I asked.

"Nothing," he said. "We just deviated from the designated route or whatever."
Click the link to read the whole thing. The SFPD is probably on edge and dont-give-a-fuck-y given the shitstorm surrounding the indictment of half the department a couple weeks ago, and they're gonna have a disproportionately limited amount of patience for protesters. That, of course, is no excuse for shit like this.