Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Iran not a threat? No problem, BYOT!

* Larisa:
"What the Cheney doctrine appears to be is BYOT: Build your own threat. What other possible explanation could there be? Want to justify a war? BYOT! Want to justify massive contracts to enrich yourself? BYOT!

Iran not a threat? No problem, BYOT!"

* jill:
"The tragedy of the mess in which we find ourselves now is that it was all preventable, if only we had a population with a lick of sense. The truth about the kind of narcissistic sociopath George W. Bush is was out there long before he took office, for anyone who bothered to do some research on his record. Instead, they took solace in his "finding Jesus" and the blind faith that he was no longer drinking. They took comfort in the notion that either his father would be the one really running the show, or that Cheney would keep him from screwing up too much, never realizing that Cheney was part of the problem. If nothing else, seeing Dick Cheney select himself as the most qualified Vice Presidential nominee should have given people a clue. But no, it was all about how much fun Bush would be to drink beer with, as opposed to that stiff Al Gore, because after all, what's more important? Having a president you'd like to drink beer with, even though you'll never have the opportunity, or have one who can, oh, say, LEAD?

Is there anyone who still believes that we are better off today than we were during the Clinton years?

The progressive blogosphere is split about impeachment, and there are compelling reasons on both sides. There is an argument to be made that being able to hang Bush around the Republicans' heads in 2008 makes it worthwhile putting up with him for two more years -- but that is a highly cynical one. There's an argument that impeaching Bush will start a cycle in which EVERY president is impeached if the opposing party is in control, thus making elections moot. But there's also the argument of accountability. Republicans set the "high crimes and misdemeanors" bar so low with the Clinton impeachment, that it's hard to believer that a president who makes over 1700 signing statements saying that he has no intentions of obeying the laws he is signing, who spies on Americans for no reason, who allows billions of taxpayer money to be funnelled into the pockets of his war profiteering friends while feeding American kids into a meatgrinder, doesn't fall into that category.

Perhaps we can't afford to remove him from office. But can we afford not to? Can the WORLD afford for us not to? And is hoping for a military coup our last hope?"

* wapo puts Murtha and his dodgy defense/lobbying contacts on A1

* lat:
"The Senate Intelligence Committee has rejected as untrue one of the most disturbing claims about the Sept. 11 terrorist strikes — a congressman's contention that a team of military analysts identified Mohamed Atta or other hijackers before the attacks — according to a summary of the panel's investigation obtained by The Times.

The conclusion contradicts assertions by Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.) and a few military officers that U.S. national security officials ignored startling intelligence available in early 2001 that might have helped to prevent the attacks.

In particular, Weldon and other officials have repeatedly claimed that the military analysts' effort, known as Able Danger, produced a chart that included a picture of Atta and identified him as being tied to an Al Qaeda cell in Brooklyn, N.Y. Weldon has also said that the chart was shared with White House officials, including Stephen J. Hadley, then deputy national security advisor.
Nor was the alleged chart or any information developed by Able Danger improperly destroyed at the direction of Pentagon lawyers, the panel concluded — a charge that had stoked claims of a cover-up.
Military analysts assigned to the effort did create charts with pictures of Al Qaeda operatives whose identities were known publicly at the time, the committee found. But the committee concluded that none of those charts depicted Atta, and that the claims of Weldon and others may have been caused by confusion."
"Someday an atheist will win a congressional election. You and I may not live to see it, but I have faith that it will happen."
heaven forbid.

* LAT:
"10 myths -- and 10 truths -- about atheism... Atheists are often imagined to be intolerant, immoral, depressed, blind to the beauty of nature and dogmatically closed to evidence of the supernatural.... Given that we know that atheists are often among the most intelligent and scientifically literate people in any society, it seems important to deflate the myths that prevent them from playing a larger role in our national discourse."

* NYT:
"The (Iranian) press has been barred from criticizing Iran’s nuclear policy. Newspapers on Sunday either refrained from editorial comment or denounced the Security Council’s decision to punish Iran. Critics could be charged with jeopardizing the country’s national interests.

However, a weekly program on state-run radio has criticized Iran’s defiance for three consecutive weeks this month.

Iran’s state-run television and radio is led by Ezatollah Zarghami, a conservative, who is close to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Mr. Zarghami is not politically linked to Mr. Ahmadinejad.

“Who says that we will lose our national identity if we give up our nuclear program?” Sadeq Zibakalam, a professor of political science at Tehran University, said this month on the program."


oldschool said...

Atheists ... yada, yada, yada, but then again, yada, yada, yada.

from Dictionary.com - Agnostic (2) a persons who denies or doubts the possibility of ultimate knowledge in some area of study.

Count me, then, as an agnostic on the subject of atheism.

Realists? Missing the point altogether? Really, really close - but not quite right?

How the hell should I know?


oldschool said...

To continue my conversation with myself:

If there is a God, who wanted mankind to believe uncondtionally in Him/Her, why then were we created with minds which insist upon logic and proof - the kind of minds which separate humans from other species?

Isn't it a denial of God, and His/Her divine work, to also deny, ignore and refuse that mind and those gifts, and thus blindly believe, in derogation of all of that with which we were imbued?

Is it possible to only be properly pious by refusing to believe, and thus being as fully human as we were supposedly divinely created to be?

(Y'all have already had this conversation, haven't you?)

LeeB said...

Oldschool, I'm not at all sure I can follow a statement that includes the word "imbued" but still, the subject matter is all too tempting.

Don't know if you recall prior threads with references to the work of Joseph Campbell. I really recommend reading his work and watching the videos of his lectures, as well as the series done by Bill Moyers for PBS called The Power of Myth.

Lastly, when having a conversation with yourself about these age-old questions, may I say you do so with considerable grace. :-)

oldschool said...

when having a conversation with yourself......"

Well, I have some rules...

1) Is it ok to talk to yourself? Yep.

2) Is it ok to also answer? Yep.

I figure as long as an argument doesn't break out, there's nothing to worry about.

LeeB said...

And even if an argument DOES break out, it is unlikely to offend anyone, yes? ;-)

lukery said...

didja hear about the dyslexic agnostic? spent his whole life wondering if there really is a Dog

lukery said...

i had an argument with myself one time that got kinda heated. i had to move out of the house for three days till things cooled down.

LeeB said...


Mizgîn said...

god is irrelevant.

Where was this "god" in Diyarbakir Military Prison? Where was this "god" during Anfal? Where is this "god" right now?

I am secure in the knowledge that when I am dead, I will become fertilizer. In this way, I do not pin hopes on some alleged "world to come" in which justice will be dispensed and all my dreams will come true. I prefer to work for justice NOW, to make my dreams come true NOW, through my own actions and those of others, instead of doing nothing because I am waiting for some fantasy to save us.

And because I believe in the power of Fertilizer-As-Our-Final-End, I know the price of our battle and the intrinsic value of each of our comrades. I fully understand the loss of each of our ?ehîds, all of them too young, too full of life, too precious to lose.

Ax! But that is the price.

There is no point in wasting time on such nonsense as religion or "god" when there are more important things to work for.

oldschool said...

"...when I am dead, I will become fertilizer."

Yeah, I got no problem with that. Fertilizers are good things. I will also become an organ donor, and hopefully a wiser presence in Some Other Place.

Luke - had to kick yourself out of the house?!? Too funny.

I had to fire myself one time. Dirty looks and snide remarks weren't working - so I had to give myself a very stern lecture and direct talking-to.

But then I realized that I wasn't listening to me, so I had to fire me. Hey - I was the boss, and you gotta do what you gotta do, right?

On the other hand, I lost my best employee....

lukery said...

mizgin - i'm with you. fertilizer & an organ farm.

oldschool - sorry that you lost your best employee - they're often difficult to replace - although sometimes the replacements are often found right under your nose...