The Policy Analysis Market fell through - system to help the Pentagon guess how world events will go based on people investing (betting) on assassinations and political events. Apart from how morally vacant the idea is, some people have been debating whether it would actually work. Supposedly having a market like this can help predict events. But I'm a little unclear on how this would work. Couldn't they just poll hundreds of people to see what they think might happen? Because if I'm understanding this correctly, it sounds as if the people who put the most money up to back their opinion would presumably carry the most weight. Is there something about money that makes people more knowledgable, or more psychic? Yuk.


When is the Death Penalty a death threat?
I already knew that members of the Bush regime were clearly breaching international agreements like the UN Charter and the Geneva Convention, and thereby violating the United States Constitution. Until I read Bush War: Military Necessity or War Crimes?, however, I did not know that breaking some parts of the Geneva Convention are war crimes potentially punishable by death.

If the authors of that article argue that Bush has committed crimes that, according to the laws Bush was meant to uphold, may be punishable by death... then are the authors of that article indirectly making a death threat against the President? Actually it's more like our laws are an ongoing death threat towards anyone who commits capital crimes (or anyone who can be convincingly argued to have committed capital crimes).

For the record, I do not support the death penalty in any case, because a state cannot kill people in order to teach that killing is wrong. Execution was wrong for Timothy McVeigh and it would be just as wrong for Bush, Cheney, Ashcroft, Powell, Rumsfeld, et al. Impeachment and trial for their participation in war crimes would be appropriate, but humane nations should not execute people. I would like to see Bush and his accomplices treated with justice, which would be a change from their policy of indiscriminate, ineffectual revenge.

So no FBI needs to knock on my door, right? I'm just pointing out an article. If there is any way to interpret that article as a threat towards the president, then I am hereby disagreeing with it. Peace is such a good thing, even Bush deserves it! In the immortal words of Rodney King, "Can't we all just get along?" I'm not sure if Mr. King is in jail at the moment, but if he is, it would be wonderful if he could have Bush or Powell or Rumsfeld as cellmates to discuss the idea.

Dems decide impeaching Bush
might harm their chances in 2004

from counterpunch, U of Illinois Professor of Law Francis A. Boyle wrote:
"...[O]n Tuesday 11 March 2003, Congressman John Conyers of Michigan...convened an emergency meeting of forty or more of his top discuss and debate immediately putting into the House of Representatives Bills of Impeachment against President Bush Jr., Vice President Cheney, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, and Attorney General Ashcroft in order to head off the impending war...."

"Suffice it to say that most of the 'experts' there opposed impeachment on the grounds that it might hurt the Democratic Party get their presidential candidate elected in the year 2004. As a political independent, I did not argue that point--it was not for me to tell Democrats how to get their candidates elected. Rather, I argued the merits of impeaching Bush Jr., Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Ashcroft under the United States Constitution, U.S. Federal Laws, U.S. Treaties and other International Agreements to which the United States was a contracting party."

You thought the Greens were bad? At least we don't have a Congressman, Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, dropping the idea of impeachment because it could hurt Dems' chances for election in 2004. Green-haters who still bow to the Democrats as the only "viable" party can explain that betrayal to me before they say another bad syllable about Nader.

Worse than that, can we get an explanation from the major media why this shit did not make news? It's only in the last two or three months that I've heard anyone other than Ramsey Clark suggest that Bush should be impeached. Why the hell didn't we hear on every friggin news outlet that a powerful Democratic Congressman held a pow-wow about the pros and cons of impeachment in MARCH 2003? Where has this story been hiding??? I guess Conyers spoke out about impeachment during protests in March, but this debate among advisers seems like a bigger thing. Did I miss the story, or is this the first anyone has heard of it?

Bullhorn announcement to all major media: Put down your credibility as journalists, drop the Laci Petersen video tape and back away slowly. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be regarded as lacking in real news value, because you've dropped the ball too many times in the past.


I told you so.
From The Guardian: 'The Bush administration pointed out that publishing the photographs did not contravene the Geneva conventions. But in March, when dead US soldiers were shown by Iraqi television and Arab networks, Washington condemned the broadcasts. General John Abizaid, now commander of US troops across the Middle East, described them as "disgusting".'
This is a kind of critical point that the press lets the Bush Admin get away with repeatedly. Here's something Cheney said at a press con the other day: The President "sought to eliminate the threat by peaceful diplomatic means, and when all else failed, he acted forcefully to remove the danger."

There was a small amount of diplomacy coming out of the White House in the months leading up to the Iraq War, even though it mostly took the form of threatening and bribing other nations to do what we wanted. But none of this heavy-handed diplomacy was directed towards Iraq. We were bombing Iraq, taking out military targets as early as June 2002 under the pretense that we were defending the "No-Fly Zones." The only diplomacy on this issue in the six months or more leading up to war was convincing, bribing or threatening other nations to support the war that Bush had planned. There was no attempt to prevent the war through diplomacy directed at Iraq. It was diplomacy to facilitate the war, not diplomacy to prevent it.


March 23, 2003. Rumsfeld points out that it breaches the Geneva Convention on treatment of POWs when Iraqi tv shows "humiliating" footage of captive American soldiers, as well as some dead soldiers. He gets away with this hypocrisy because most Americans don't know or care about all the ways we've violated the Geneva Convention with the POWs misclassified as "enemy combatants" in Guantanamo Bay. I kept waiting for the Iraqis to respond by saying, "We have no American prisoners of war, only enemy combatants." Still, many pundits point out that the major networks have shown dozens of humiliating images of Iraqis surrendering, tied, sometimes stripped or with bags over their heads, and occasionally shown corpses.

July 23, 2003. Rumsfeld says the US will release photos of the bodies of Saddam's sons, Uday and Qusay Hussein.

Sec. Rumsfeld, could you explain in what way the Geneva Convention has changed in the last four months since you criticized Iraq for releasing humiliating images of captured or dead soldiers?


I thought it was a wickedly accurate message that Serbian protestors made when they started wearing shirts with bull's-eyes on them, as if to say, "I got your collateral damage right here." But this is a whole different level for protest symbols.

Monrovia, Liberia - "Bodies of the dead were piled up outside the American Embassy in protest at the delay in bringing in US peacekeepers."


Secret Diaries of Cassandra Claire

Diaries of everyone in Fellowship of the Ring, showing why there are so few appearances of females in the story, and so little complaint about that fact. For example, Gollum's diary:

Day Eight
Escaped from Mordor. Have made way to Shire. Am v. disappointed that in last few weeks no one has responded to personal ad placed in Shire Weekly. "Toothless, fetid greenish creature ISO blue-eyed curly-headed hobbit. Must enjoy squatting in darkness, jewelry-fondling, and referring to self in third person. No smokers."
Fight Club = The Return of Hobbes

"In the film Fight Club, the real name of the protagonist (Ed Norton’s character) is never revealed. Many believe the reason behind this anonymity is to give "Jack" more of an everyman quality. Do not be deceived. "Jack" is really Calvin from the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes. It’s true. Norton portrays the grown-up version of Calvin, while Brad Pitt plays his imaginary pal, Hobbes, reincarnated as Tyler Durden..."


Visit the Mac Shack at the Vans Warped Tour '03

Macaroni & Cheese would probably be a perfect product to market at young skate/punk/metal fans. It's almost as cheap (and as punk) as ramen -- but more mainstream, so the metal fans will still try it. No, this isn't just Mac & Cheese, the staple of cheap and impoverished Americans, usually as cheap as 2 to 3 boxes for a dollar. By marketing Kraft Easy Mac at the Vans Warped Tour 2003, Kraft is saying that it thinks skaters, headbangers and latter-day punks are people who are too lazy or unskilled to cook noodles, and who are willing to pay extra for the convenience of nuking their macaroni & cheese.

At the bottom of the Warped Tour page, you can also find tiny logos for Yoo-hoo and Subway, as well as some things called "Hansens Energy" and "Monster Energy." I didn't know the crisis in California was so desperate that new energy companies were popping up to replace the old behemoths!

...After further surfing, it appears that Yoo-hoo also has some relationship with Ozzfest. Is nothing sacred? I mean, is nothing sacreligious? Is Yoo-hoo the perfect drink to wash down bat-heads, or however that urban legend goes? Teeny sponsor logos at the bottom of the Ozzfest page include Miller Lite, Major League Baseball, and Jagermeister!


Minor brag: If you read this article Rude Words from The Guardian, you'll see they give a link to The Origins and Common Usage of British Swear-words. If you click through to that page, you'll notice in the long list of contributors "SUBCOM. DEIDZOEB" -- which would be me. My only contribution was telling the main author Ben about the feminist event "C***fest".

It's not much, but I'll take it any way I can get it.

.... Uhh, the credit, I mean, not the c***.



naked after sex
mosquito flies past my ear
let him have his fun


Weird details about the experience of soldiers hit me. At work, someone posted a list of things that were wanted for Care packages to the troops. You'd expect the stereotypical things like chocolate or cookies from home, letters, but they also asked for GameBoys! Kind of a bourgeois charity case if you're desperately in need of a GameBoy. In a post from 7-14-2003 on turningtables, a soldier described how equipment had to be left behind in a truck that got lost and wrecked. Among the valuables left behind: "...they lost the n.v.g.'s...all their bags...$2000 dollars worth c.d.'s..."

I don't mean anything negative about the author of that thing. That blog is so political and angry about the war, instead of showing "5 comments" or "7 comments" after each post, turningtables labels comments as "(5) people raise their fists".

...But it's striking how our troops in these hellacious situations can maintain middle class amenities like music collections and handheld video games.


Ari Fleischer won't be stopped by a little thing like logic or consistency.

"I think the burden is on those people who think he didn't have weapons of mass destruction to tell the world where they are."

Please, Mr. Fleischer, just take this rat cage off my head and I'll agree with you that 2+2=5! Please stop!!

Trying to follow the reasoning. People who don't think Saddam Hussein had WMDs should tell where they are. Oh, I see, he means they should produce receipts or documents showing where the old WMDs were dispersed to, because we know he had old ones, because we sold them to him. Darn us bleeding heart liberals, we should take up the burden of finding those WMDs, so the people who sold them or donated them to Saddam can take them back and keep them safe again!

Getting grilled about Yellowcakegate, Fleischer claimed Nigerian officials would not easily confess to selling uranium to Saddam. "Well, typically nations don't admit to going around nuclear nonproliferation."

...Unless we're talking about the United States announcing their renewed policy of nuclear proliferation in their "Nuclear Posture Review."

Wednesday lets you check off what ingredients you have in your fridge or cupboards and recommends recipes that can be made from them! Awesome!

Also useful would be which apparently describes how ingredients should be prepared, when it's gone bad, and acceptable substitutes. These may lead to a major update of Art of Laze recipes!


Marriage advice from a father-in-law, from Our Town (Lux Radio Theater 1940, about 25 minutes into the recording).

Father-in-law: George, I was rememberin' the other night the advice my father gave me when I got married. Yes, he said, start right off showin who's boss. First thing to do is to give an order about something, even if it don't make sense, just so she'll learn to obey. Then he said, if anything about her irritates you, her conversation or anything, get right up and leave the house. That'll make it clear to her. Oh yes, and he said never let your wife know how much money you have. Never...

Young groom: Oh, but I couldn't do that.

Father-in-law: ...So I took the opposite of his advice and I've been happy ever since.

Actually I noticed that my father did this sort of "fight or flight" response to make a point. Not that he was fleeing in fear of the situation, but in fear of what he might do. Sometimes when he was at the end of his temper, he would leave the situation, knowing that if he stayed any longer, he'd blow up. I've done it sometimes too. But in the course of doing it, I realized that leaving like this implies that you might leave permanently. It's like a threat that you're going to run away, the same way that breaking a lamp or plate is an implied threat.

On the one hand, it allows the situation to cool down, and you can usually straighten things out later. But when I'm off somewhere brooding, waiting to cool down because an argument seemed impossible to resolve, I always feel that childish tantrum-throwing part of me saying, "That'll show you!" Meanwhile, the other parts of me are saying: walking away from the problem doesn't solve it. Get back there and talk it through.


Since G.W. Bush first assumed power, I've been hoping that he would only serve one term, as his father did. Remember that his father had received some of the highest approval ratings during the first Gulf War and the invasion of Panama, but was voted out because he appeared to let the economy sour.

I really didn't want him to follow that closely in his father's footsteps, including the economy souring again, the high approval ratings and the two wars. However, in spite of the way people rolled over for Bush like whipped puppies after 9/11, it's nice to see that he's struggling a little bit now, and may have to work for it to win a second term. After all that praise that people have poured on him for doing nothing more than being Resident in the right place at the right time, why do they need to spend July 4th, sixteen months before the election, raising money and stumping for re-election?

You'd think someone who deserved that much praise and approval would be able to win with one arm tied behind his back, or at least without attempting to raise more money than any candidate in history. Can there be any clearer proof that money is the most important part of getting elected president? Does it bother you yet that money matters above all else in elections?


Dialect maps - Finally we can figure out which parts of the country say "PEE-can" versus "pee-KAHN", or "soda" versus "pop", or what to call that grassy strip in between two opposite lanes of traffic.

Shakey Jake Woods - a true Ann Arbor legend.


When Will House Republicans Call for Bush's Impeachment?
Quotes from Republican Reps and Senators during Clinton's impeachment. How do they feel now that it's their boy in the hotseat? Will Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisconsin) stand by his statement that "The truth is still the truth, and a lie is still a lie, and the rule of law should apply to everyone, no matter what excuses are made by the president's defenders…"?

This article title says it all: Intifada at Benton Harbor.


Wading through google news, I can't find a direct quote from Bush that is as juicy as this paraphrasing. I heard this on NPR, and suspect that this phrase is being repeated through some wire service.

Headline: U.S. vows revenge on Iraqis who attack troops
Bush warns that those who believe the attacks on troops will prompt a U.S. withdrawal just don't understand the U.S. commitment. He says the violence will not affect the U.S. resolve, and that the U.S. will stay the course in Iraq.

Bush says the U.S. won't get "nervous" -- and U.S. troops won't leave until Iraq is a free country.

...How the hell does that work? Our troops won't leave Iraq until it's free. That's like saying we won't stop holding your head under water until you breathe.