Saturday, June 15, 2002

This executive order by Governor Hodges of South Carolina is funny:

WHEREAS, according to U.S.
Attorney General John Ashcroft, a
"known terrorist" with connections to
al Qaeda who allegedly planned to
build and explode a radioactive "dirty
bomb" in the United States has been
recently captured by federal authorities
and is presently being detained as an
enemy combatant in Charleston, South

WHEREAS, a "dirty bomb" is a
conventional incendiary device laced
with radioactive materials that upon
detonation scatters and disperses
radioactive particles into the
atmosphere, thereby exposing
potentially thousands of persons to

WHEREAS, weapons-grade plutonium
is a primary ingredient utilized in
creating dirty bombs;

WHEREAS, the United States
Department of Energy has publicly
announced that it will begin sending
truck shipments of weapons-grade
plutonium to the Savannah River Site
located in Aiken and Barnwell
Counties, South Carolina as soon as
June 15, 2002; WHEREAS, when, in
the Governor's opinion, a danger
exists to the person or property of any
citizen and the peace and tranquility of
the State or of any political subdivision
or particular area of the State
designated by him is threatened, the
Governor shall declare an emergency
and may take such measures and do
all and every act and thing which he
may deem necessary in order to
prevent violence or threats of violence
to the person or property of citizens of
the State and to maintain peace,
tranquility and good order, pursuant to
§ 1-3-410, et seq., of the South
Carolina Code of Law

(visa Josh Marshall)

Pentagon rewrites Windtalkers.

In the original screenplay for the new MGM movie "Windtalkers," a Marine nicknamed "The Dentist" creeps across a battlefield strewn with the bodies of Japanese soldiers. "The Dentist bent over a dead Japanese soldier, doing what he does, relieving the dead of the gold in their mouth," the original script reads. "The Dentist twists his bayonet, struggles to get the gold nugget out of the corpse's teeth."

"Come to Poppa," says The Dentist.

It's a grisly scene, one of several that you won't see in the World War II-era movie -- directed by John Woo and starring Nicolas Cage, Christian Slater and Adam Beach -- which opened yesterday. The scene was written out of the script after the Marine Corps and the Department of Defense -- which lent production assistance to the movie -- complained about it.

When filmmakers ask the Defense Department for help, they have to submit their screenplays to Phil Strub, the head of the department's film and TV liaison office in Washington. He reviews them for accuracy and to determine whether they will help the military's recruiting efforts. Hollywood's top producers regularly trek to Strub's office, pleading for assistance. Strub has clout. If he likes a script, he can recommend that the Pentagon give the movie's producers access to billions of dollars' worth of military hardware -- ships, airplanes and tanks. But if he doesn't like a script, the producers will have to make the changes he recommends if they want the military's assistance.

That's what happened to "Windtalkers," which tells the story of Marines assigned to guard the Navajo "code talkers" who used their unique language to confound Japanese code breakers.

I guess I shouldn't expect anything more, when this registered barely a bump on the Blogistan richter scale.
I've noticed that arguing by analogy doesn't seem to work very well. When one tries, people* try oh so hard to explain why the analogy isn't *precisely* the same and therefore invalid. One should always be careful when arguing by analogy, as things are never precisely the same. However, when refuting such an argument you need to focus on those things that are actually relevant.

It reminds me of something Ari Fleischer would do. Fantasy press conference:

Reporter: Ari, Isn't it true that even though the president had criticized the the former president for having too much politics in the white house and spending too much time fundraising, the president has raised $90 million dollars in the past year?

Mr. Fleischer: Yes, but that isn't the same at all. The president has raised over $90 million, while his predecessor only raised about $20 million. So, you see, the situations are entirely different."

*by people I mean some of my mentally challenged commentors

Amygdala notes that both Mickey I HATE BOB KUTTNER!!!!" Kaus and Peggy Nooner point out that Homeland Security is a creepy creepy term that we should quickly abandon. For that I commend them - they are right. But, he's wrong to be surprised that they agree. Kaus regularly praises Noonan which is yet another reason to question his judgement.

So, perhaps you should be shocked that *I* agree with Peggy Noonan.

Lovely magic dolphins....

Friday, June 14, 2002

It's fantasy time.

Let's go back to the days right after the Oklahoma City Bombing.

Let's imagine that on the basis of suspicions of the time and of witness descriptions of John Doe #2, Tim McVeigh was arrested, declared an enemy combatant, and subsequently held in military detention.

Let's suppose that subsequently all evidence against Mr. McVeigh was kept secret on national security grounds. Let's suppose that all of his court hearings and trial were closed to the public.

Let's suppose he was denied the lawyer of his choice because said lawyer didn't have adequate security clearance.

Go ahead, imagine.

Mr. Volokh objects to my previous post. Though, not a lawyer, I understand that in practice something is constitutional as long as the courts..and ultimately the Supreme Court...say it is. I'm also aware that such things change over time. In addition, some pretty hideous things have been deemed constitutional and have subsequently been overturned. More to the point, what is or isn't constitutional is neither objective nor constant. Or, if such an objective standard exists mere humans fail to always meet it and reasonable people can disagree.

I also know that some past legal precedent, particularly when there are few, does not automatically make an identical or especially a somewhat similar act automatically "constitutional," even in the absence of competing precedents.

But, given my layman's understanding of things, the indefinite detention of citizens arrested but not charged seems to be flirting with the boundaries of that little document.

More to the point, however, even if it *is* constitutional, or *should be* constitutional, or is *declared constitutional*, or whatever, let me suggest something else....

Maybe it is a Really Bad Idea. With great power comes great responsbility and all that. The executive branch deciding, in effect, which "rights" are granted to whom and when is something we should be incredibly suspicious of and something not to be taken lightly.

In other words, unless such a thing is really absolutely necessary, it is a Bad Idea.

In addition, as I and others have pointed out, arresting the guy and locking him in a cell when the details of his "plot" and the identities of his potential co-conspirators were not yet known also seems to have been an incompetent bungle.
This silly article about Kaus v. Kuttner doesn't bother to address the fact that all right leaning magazines are heavily subsidized.

I'm no smart young law professor, but I'm shocked at the degree to which the ability to find some legal justification for constitutional rights by executive whim is enough for some people.
Eschaton Challenge

Name prominent liberal gay journalist-pundits who ever write on issues related to the gay/lesbian community.

I'll settle for semi-prominent, but they need at least some outlet in the mainstream media.

OSU update -- read this Democratic Underground thread.
Those wine-drinking, soccer-loving Europhiles over at TAPPED question why some U.S. territories have their own soccer teams. TAPED forget that Scotland and England field their own teams too. Arguably, U.S. territories like Puerto Rico are more independent from the U.S. federal gov't than Scotland and England are from the Britian/U.K. (though, that ever-evolving unwritten constitution does confuse things a wee bit).

I recognize they're trying to make a roundabout case for D.C. statehood, or at least a comment on D.C.'s lack of voting rights, but still...

UPDATE: Robot Dogs (via Instapundit) makes a similar point. Although, Wales has managed to obtain some "independence," with all things U.K. it depends on the meaning of the word "independence." The Welsh assembly has fewer powers than the Scottish Parliament, but..oh nevermind.

The Rittenhouse Review makes a very honest mistake (based on two published sources) and prints a very lengthy and generous retraction.

Our whore press, not known for their prominent retractions (particularly the Washington Post ) responds with much worse. See here for the story.
Hey, Mark Morford and I have a lot in common. At least, we get similar email and/or insults from Tim Blair.

I am an utter moron. I am a total imbecile. I am the enemy.

I am a disgrace, an amazingly off-the-mark hate-filled racist lefty coward Communist with his head so far up his ass he can see his tonsils and who wouldn't know a true patriot if one ran over me in his big stompin' SUV, which he should.


But more than anything else, the absolute worst thing that can apparently be said about me among the spurts of hate mail I invariably receive whenever one of my more politically charged columns pokes at the oozing sores of rage over at some right-wing Web site, is this: I must be gay. Really, really gay.

No, not gay. A fag. A world-class spineless AIDS-ridden dope-smoking rainbow-flagged liberal whiner super-fag, one who lives in a city and in fact an entire state that apparently a very large contingent of "real" Americans genuinely wishes would "get bombed by the terrorists and fall off into the ocean after you all get f--king AIDS and die you liberal pussy faggot traitors." That is pretty much a direct quote.


Those MWO readers sure are nasty.

Go read Avedon Carol at the Sideshow now.

(uh-oh, have I really veered into over-the-top invective-laden Blogging? I honestly think I make fewer cheap shots per post than, say, Instapundit does, let alone the professional lunatics over at the Corner or Crazy Andy Sullivan.)

Anyway, among the the other things Avedon addresses in a very comprehensive post is the media's "Only Nixon can go to China" syndrome, which pairs nicely with Eric Alterman's latest column.

Alterman discusses the two-fer that "liberal" editors get by hiring minority conservatives - they can silence critics on Left and Right.

Though the phenomenon is an interesting one, I think Avedon Carol's interpretation is more on the money than is Alterman's. I think he errs in calling any of this affirmative action, which both clouds the meaning of the phrase and in my opinion probably misstates the true motive behind such hires.

I think the media proliferation of libertarian lesbians, libertarian blacks, conservative blacks, conservative hispanics, conservative gay men, conservative asians, .... well, you get the idea... has much more to do with the "only Nixon can go to China" phenomenon that Avedon addresses.

For example, there are so few liberal Black voices who get access to the pundit echo chamber, relative to their conservative/libertarian (or was it libertarian/conservative) counterparts. And, this is of course completely out of proportion to the political affiliations of the African-American community. Ditto for gay/lesbian.

For some reason, opinions contrary to expectation are somehow given more validity -- the implication is that by having a contrarian opinion you prove your intellectual independence. This is silly, but not necessarily a problem, except for one thing. Who can provide a similar 'contrarian' liberal opinion? Wealthy white males.

So, in bizarro universe, Black libertarian theocrats like Alan Keyes espouse the Heritage line and E.J. Dionne gets to speak for the African American community.

OSU now.

"Bush was invited to speak at the Ohio State commencement by representatives of the graduating class. But immediately before class members filed into the giant football stadium, an announcer instructed the crowd that all the university's speakers deserve to be treated with respect and that anyone demonstrating or heckling would be subject to expulsion and arrest. The announcer urgedthat Bush be greeted with a "thunderous" ovation."

OSU then.

"During a sometimes raucous rally at Ohio State University, Clinton offered a short list of proposals, including "school-by-school report cards'' to help parents determine where to enroll their children. As he spoke, a small group of hecklers shouted and waved Dole-Kemp placards.

"The only way to get excellence in education for everyone is to define it, expect it, measure it,'' Clinton said. "Our ability to give every young person in this country the capacity to live up to his or her God-given ability ... is central to America's ability to maintain its world leadership.''

The president was interrupted by students who jostled posters with Clinton supporters seated nearby as the president began to explain his education proposals.

Waving the Dole-Kemp posters, the group chanted, "Tell the truth! Tell the truth!'' and "Dole-Kemp! Dole-Kemp!''

"Stop lying to the American public!'' a heckler shouted. A college-age man seated beside him shouted back, "Shut up!'' and a woman yelled out, "You're a liar!''

Clinton sought to dismiss the protesters. "I'll bet you they won't be doing that a week from Tuesday,'' he said. The group quieted down after security guards stood around them and stayed there for the rest of Clinton's speech. "

Maybe Instapundit can explain to me how this is all Noam Chomsky's fault.

There are some nice new (to me anyway ) blogs around that I mean to add links to but Blogger's being pretty weird about template changes at the moment so I'm not gonna mess with it for now.
"Neither he nor we are under any delusions that we now agree," Norquist said. "But on corporate governance and tort reform, … government transparency questions … we do."

Nader on Tort Reform

For the last 16 years, the tobacco, pharmaceutical, auto, oil, chemical, and health care industries, and their insurers, have fought to limit peoples' rights to sue and to further limit their own liability for the damages they cause innocent victims. Aimed in the direction of Congress and the state legislatures, this coalition of insurance companies and corporate defendants' lobbies has relied on misinformation and anecdotal evidence to attack and destroy decades of slow but careful progress made by state court after state court respecting the physical integrity of human beings against harm. This wrongdoers coalition is out to convince lawmakers to view this progressive evolution not as a source of national pride, or as a source of public recognition that the weak and the defenseless sometimes get justice, but rather as a source of shame, as a source of economic destructiveness, as something that should be stopped.

The current administration has signed into law several pieces of "tort deform" legislation that takes away the rights of injured consumers to sue the perpetrators of their harm. Texas Governor George W. Bush has not only supported enactment of some of the cruelest tort deforms in the country, but he has made this issue a central one for his campaign. My campaign strongly opposes any enactment of tort deform legislation and supports repeal of all such legislative immunity and limitations on liability that Congress and state legislatures have enacted to date. Moreover, I would press for Congress to repeal the provision of the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), to allow medical malpractice victims to sue their HMOs; implement reforms to control the federally-unregulated property/casualty insurance industry; prohibit use of protective orders and confidential settlements to conceal hazards; and strengthen sanctions for companies that engage in document destruction and other discovery abuses.

Even for a Ralphie-hater like me, this is a bit odd. Maybe Grover just misspoke.

Thursday, June 13, 2002

R. Emmett Tyrell, freshly reinvigorated due to the relaunch of his heavily subsidized magazine, will be on CSPAN tomorrow, followed by Jane Mayer (8AM/9AM EST respectively).

As jdw points out, Nader supports tort reform too.

Authoritarian government without any recourse for the great unwashed.

Okay, Ralphie.

Ralphie and Grover are Friends

As usual, Digby manages to make sense of it all:

I'm afraid you have completely misunderstood the rationale for the conservative tort reform movement.

The idea is to protect the poor overburdened corporations against all of those greedy paraplegics, grasping widows and their unctous trial lawyers.

We still need lawsuits, however. The bench must be stacked with pre-programmed federalist society troops so that they can handle the all important issue of sexual licentiousness. One is encouraged to bring lawsuits to compel Democrats to testify about their private lives, to sue publishers of pornography and to shut down strip clubs. They should be used liberally to promote the unification of the Christian church and the State by bringing suit to force governmental entities to promote religion as a necessity for citizenship. We are, after all, Slouching Towards Gomorrah.

Lawsuits are also quite useful for individuals to sue the federal government, but should never be used on behalf of the federal government to sue corporations or individuals. The strict constructionists of the Supreme Court have recently ruled, however, that States are immune from lawsuits brought by their own residents because it makes the State feel undignified. Clarence Thomas says he could read between the lines of the Constitution that the Founders thought that was just plain icky.

Finally, as with Mr Barr, lawsuits should be used to sue Democrats whom they maintain have slandered them during the course of a withhunt in which they, the plaintiff, regularly called the subject of said witchhunt everything from a rapist to a pervert on a daily basis.

The Democrat will not have the same privilege under "tort reform" because he is assumed under law to be evil and therefore without standing.


Does the DOW drop 100 points on every day that Bush makes his fraudulent, and incredibly tasteless, 'trifecta' joke?
You know, just to be clear - I am neither "pro" or "anti" Chomsky. Like most liberals I know I have only a passing acquaintance with a small subset of his writings/media appearances. In fact, most of my exposure to him comes from the usual right wing frothers in the media.

Oh, and from Matt Welch too.
The first time I came across Tim Blair he was "anonymous." So, shutup Tim.
Poor widdle Bob Barr got his widdle feelings all hurt when the Tubesteak Messiah and its apostles James Carville and American Hero Larry Flynt said mean mean things about that abortion monger.

Now he's suing.

I thought Republicans hated lawsuits.
As my smart commentors point out, both Charles Murray and John Stossel get way more media attention than Chomsky ever does. Now, Murray hasn't poked his head up recently as far as I know, but Stossel is regularly on ABC with his latest fake news. I've seen John Stossel in action - I've seen how he "constructs" a story - he makes the story he wants, he doesn't report the story that is there.

I look forward to weekly (or, whenever he is on) deconstructions of Stossel's latest propaganda piece from Blogistan. You guys don't want Matt Welch's attacks on Chomsky to make you look bad, do you? Time to get up to speed.

More than a couple of people (which, for this hot dog stand is a lot) have written in to point out the odd resemblance between John Doe #2 from the OKC bombing and Jose Padilla.

It's even more strange due to the fact that Terry Nichols was once married to one Lana Padilla.

This is one of those tinfoil hat scenarios I'm not yet ready to buy into.

However, someone whose knowledge and opinion on the links between Christianists and Islamicists I respect has not entirely discounted the possibility of a link between McVeigh and Islamicist terrorists. I never understood why McVeigh would have needed outside help, nor why no external group would have claimed responsibility for what happened.

But, in any case, there are some definite (if potentially tenuous) links between our theocrats/right wing loons and theirs. Something to pay attention to.

Professor Instapundit sez:

My glutes are nicely sized, and quite muscular.

Like a good butt, I believe that a cause cannot survive in the absence of self-discipline.

Professor Atrios sez:

More than I needed to know, but in any case...

I'll feel free to dismiss your arguments due to the rhetorical excesses and lack of self-discipline by some of your ideological brethren.

Turnabout is fair play.

As I keep saying... their rules, we're just playing along.

Wednesday, June 12, 2002

William Saletan agrees with me on Padilla.

And, for those of us who weren't cynical enough about Bush's failure to grasp, or even to care about, the most basic parts of our system of justice, he offers this:

Bush told reporters, "This guy Padilla is one of many who we've arrested. … The coalition we put together has hauled in over 2,400 people. And you can call it 2,401 now." Tuesday afternoon, Bush repeated to applause, "We've rounded up and detained over 2,400 terrorists. … We're making progress. You probably read in the newspaper, the number's now 2,401." Tuesday evening at a fund-raiser, Bush said, to more applause, "We and our friends have arrested and detained over 2,400 terrorists. As you read in the newspaper, we now need to make that 2,401."

Didn't he take some kinda oath or something when he was put into office?

I really wonder who Marshall is going to vote for in '04...or '02, for that matter.
God damn you Noam Chomsky!

If I have an opinion that differs from our Great Leader's, and no one listens, it is ALL YOUR FAULT!!!

Maybe, just maybe, dissent is discredited deliberately by those in power. And maybe, just maybe, one of the tools they use to do that is to link all dissent with its fringe. And maybe, just maybe, we should spend some effort fighting that particular intellectually sloppy and dishonest argument rather than embracing it and those who make it.

Instapundit blames those who practice what he considers to be irresponsible dissent for the intolerance of dissent.

This is right in line with his other position of blaming the evisceration of civil liberties on those who have what he considers to be unreasonable concerns about civil liberties.

Consistent, at least. Does Instapundit have small glutes?

Inquiring minds don't want to know..
Welcome Terminus to Blogistan.
Padilla or Al-Muhajir?

(Tangent: Some of the papers are referring to the suspect as Padilla, while others as calling him Al-Muhajir. Today's Papers would love an itsy-bitsy sidebar from one of the papers explaining its choice. And if you must know, TP is simply playing follow-the-leader: Absent evidence that Padilla legally changed his name to Al-Muhajir, TP is sticking with what the majority of other folks are going with.)

Sounds about right, although if it is clear he wants to be called Al-Muhajir I'm happy with that too.

Eric Alterman points out this little tidbit about Ratf@#ker Ralph:’s The Note reports that Ralph Nader has requested to be included in Grover Norquist’s regular ‘war-room’ Wednesday meeting of right-wing lobbyists and high-powered Bush supporters. The request has been granted and Nader will be there today. If true, and I trust just about everything I read in “The Note,” Nader has finally shown his true colors, people, or publicly lost his mind.

Either way, this argument is over. Nader is, for all practical purposes, a supporter of Bush and his extremist agenda. (Perhaps even the most important one.) Anyway, let the final stage of the Greens’ welcome self-destruction commence.

You know, I'm getting tired of this "The Constitution is not a suicide pact" phrase which appears to be the latest feel-good phrase of the week. Or, maybe it's an older one and I just missed it the first time around.

Well, Duhh. Jack Ryan has my permission to be licensed to kill or maim when he's torturing a subject to find out the location of the van containing the nuclear bomb with the red digital counter running backwards to zero. Fine.

But, comeon folks. Either we have evidence or we don't. If we don't have enough to indict or convict (or hell, ARREST) the SMART thing to do would be to let 'ole Dirty B into the country and then follow his ass around while throwing every bit of electronic surveillance we have at him until we do uncover the plot and his co-conspirators.


President Signs Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Bill Remarks by the President Signing of H.R. 3448, the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Response Act of
2002 The Rose Garden

9:50 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, and thank you all for coming.

Regarding John Ashcroft:

What they said.

The man's an incompetent arrogant fool. It's time for him to go.

ImClone CEO arrested for alleged insider trading.

et tu Martha Stewart?

Tuesday, June 11, 2002

Hey, where'd that post go. Blogger deep-sixed one. So, here it is:

"[C]onsistency is the hobgoblin of small glutes." -- Richard Goldstein, Attack Queers
Who says PBS is liberal? The host of a local PBS show on KCET is currently giving Bill Simon a Lewinsky.
I'm not sure who Scott Burchill is, but while I don't buy that the Dirty Bomber (hey, he needs a cute nickname, like Panchito or Dulce or Shoe Bomber or Turd Blossom) was arrested to cover up for the FBI's bungling, the timing of the announcement is pretty weird. He was arrested a month ago, remember?
You know, if Paul Krugman is the most partisan mainstream columnist you lunatics can come up with to beat on...
France won't even make it to the second round of the World Cup. I suppose there would be much rejoicing in Blogistan except that would mean that people would have to admit to paying enough attention to know.

My wife grew up in a country where they care about such things, so I've been following the whole thing a little bit (including staying up very late one night to watch a match). I'm no big fan, but what the hell is up Derbyshire's ass?

Oops, that's Nordlinger, not Derbyshire. But, I'm sure Derbyshire has something unpleasant up his ass as well.

I think Instapundit should have read this post by Josh Marshall before writing this column.

It's easy to keep a secret when you just kinda made it up at the last minute and don't really yet have a plan. So much for the only thing Glenn likes about the whole thing.
On a lighter note, I liked both Spiderman and that movie by George Lucas.

I suppose with all superhero movies, the first one is the easy one. The 'origin story' ends up being a decent chunk of the movie and is very character driven. The second movie is harder, as you need to fill 2 hours without the obvious hook,but I think Raimi provided a nice foundation for it.

As for Star Wars, I thought this one was quite good. Though many have commented on the blackboard-screeching effect the dialogue had on them, it didn't bother me so much. Even the love chitchat, though silly, wasn't so far from the equally silly stuff that might pour out of your average crush-affected teenager. Goofy, but not entirely out of place given the characters I guess.

The problem with this trilogy is that Lucas failed to create characters that we really give a damn about. I think casting named actors, even ones I like, was a big mistake. The dialogue was totally goofy in 'A New Hope' but for some reasons the actors managed to run with it and make it believable. The actors here never quite manage to pull that off.

But, on the other hand it was a much better crafted movie. I think it was wrong to send Obi Wan off on his own for much of the movie - didn't give him anyone to interact with. But, still, had Phantom Menace been this good people would have been thrilled I think.

Howard Owens says this:

A conservative would argue that government cannot solve every injustice that has ever befallen a member of society. For example, we see the issue of reparations for slavery as clearly ridiculous. First, because putting a price tag on such an inhumane horror is impossible; second, not all of today's society is culpable in the crime of slavery; and lastly, society has already paid the price for slavery by creating a progressively freer environment for the decedents of slaves.

What a price "we" have paid.

And people wonder why I'm a liberal.
(via Tres Producers.)

Haha. Vaara notices that Tim Blair calls me a Bolshevik and astutely points out that it's time for an addition to Godwin's Law , or more specifically it's Corollary of Practicality.

First one to accuse the other of being a commie/bolshevik/marxist/pinko/etc... loses.

Anyway, we miss ya Tim, how come you don't come out and play with us anymore?

The Mighty Wurlitzer works all too well.

Attorney General John Ashcroft and other U.S. officials said Padilla was allegedly plotting to detonate a radioactive "dirty" bomb in the U.S., probably in Washington D.C.

But CBS News Correspondent Jim Stewart reports some U.S. officials now admit they're not sure what Padilla's plans were when he returned to the U.S. last month. And any plot, including possibly exploding a radiation bomb in Washington D.C., was in the "initial planning stages."

He could have been planning to set off a dirty bomb. Or, maybe grow watermelons. Who can say?

Along the same lines, Instapundit gives us a blast from his own past in a prescient "Why do you hate America so much, Glenn?" moment. However, as is often the case with Instapundit he puts a lot of blame on those with "who cried wolf over unimportant issues" rather than the perpetrators of these policies. Perhaps if "anti-idiotarian" civil libertarians would spend more time discussing what they perceive as "true" concerns and advocating their positions rather than sniping at those concerned with what they consider to be less important issues (and, conditions at Guantanamo were not an irrelevant issue, even if ex-post some of those concerns were ameliorated) we could stop this takeover of the judicial system by the executive branch. Think that's alarmist? Go read who the Patriot Act (shiver) classifies as a terrorist.
TAPPED, perhaps frightened of being overly concerned about a guy accused of wanting to set off a dirty bomb (and that's all we know right now), misses the point I think. The dangerous issue is not just one of outcome but procedure. As the WP editorial they link to points out, the system of justice this man is being subjected to is chosen at the whim of the President. For those resistant to slippery slope concerns -- we've already slipped. He's a citizen.
While this poll that Drudge is hyping in which a "majority of Palestinians see the destruction of Israel as their goal" is interesting, it isn't quite the question that was asked.

The question was something along the lines of (still trying to find full survey):

Fifty-one percent of people surveyed said the end result of the uprising should be "liberating all of historic Palestine," referring to British-mandate Palestine, part of which was recognized as Israel in 1948.

The word "liberating" is somewhat more ambiguous in its meaning.

Man, they sure do squeal when poked.

Monday, June 10, 2002

You know, there may be very good reasons to hold The Dirty Bomber as they are. But, "he's a terrorist blahblahblah," and "you liberals want us all to die blahblahblah" are not adequate justifications for it. Paul Begala I believe (only half heard) was making the point this evening. The burden should be on Ashcroft and the administration to explain why this is necessary. In the post-9/11 environment no one forced them too. Hopefully, in post-post-9/11 someone will.

And, it isn't just an issue of concern for civil liberties. Some Judge might just throw out the entire prosecution's case on this one if he does ever find his way back into the criminal justice system due to how the case is handled.

Digby sez:

This is a bit embarrassing for Tim Blair, but the term "the Mighty Wurlitzer" is not a laughably stupid analogy made up by Baker or by Robert Borosage, whom she quotes in the article.

The extremely well known phrase was coined by Frank Wisner who ran covert operations for the CIA. He called his propaganda arm his "Mighty Wurlitzer."

So, you can see that despite Mr. Blair's exceedingly high opinion of himself as both a writer and a thinker, he's actually quite the ill informed dumb fuck.

While I suppose my (less than fully educated) opinions on the I v. P issue fit roughly within conventional wisdom in Blogistan, and I do often agree that a lot of the venom spewed at Israel is implicitly or explicitly anti-Semitic, I also find it interesting that many of the bloggers who are quick to cry anti-Semitism are people who I would expect (and haven't seen anything to contradict this) to be very condescending and dismissive if charges of racism were levelled at (some) analogous comments or actions against other minority groups.

Hey, Tim Blair raps MWO for being anonymous. hmm....
Apparently Britney Spears' parents split up. Still no word from BritneyBlog...
Almost forgot...

HAPPY JEEBUS DAY! to all you Texans.

My legal analyst Melic informs us that though the Washington Post hints at a possible military tribunal, this hasn't yet been established.
RoxanneJ says:

Well, folks, I hope everyone understands the significance of John Ashcroft's and pResident Bush's actions today.

An American citizen was arrested and accused of a crime.

The justice system could not continue to hold him without evidence.

On the anniversary of the day when they had to charge him or cut him loose, they deemed him a spy.

They transferred him to a military facility and denied him access to an attorney, denied him any justice system challenges, and can hold him forever if they so choose.

John Ashcroft, who swore before Congress to uphold all laws - including those he disagreed with - has just shown his true colors. Under a signed order by our pResident.

Are there any questions left? Is this the America you signed up for?

One doesn't have to have one's tinfoil hat on too crooked to be a bit paranoid about this one.

"The soldier from Fort Stewart, Ga, who was arrested on charges of planting an explosive device on a dirt road will serve 18 months probation after pleading no contest yesterday. A Jacksonville police officer stopped Derek Lawrence Peterson in May and found him wearing all black clothing and black plastic pads on his knees and elbows. Police said Peterson, 27, told them he was in the area practicing 'recon tactics.' After he was arrested, Peterson, who has served on an Army tank crew at Fort Stewart since March, at first was held on a $5 million bond. Peterson's attorney, Hank Coxe, said yesterday his client's case had been blown out of proportion because police initially suspected Peterson's actions were related to terrorism."
Ashcroft announced this from MOSCOW?

God our media are suckers.

I seem to remember that military tribunals were supposed to be for non-citizens.

It isn't as if any jury given a smidgen of evidence wouldn't string this guy up by his naughty bits, so what's the deal?
Just for the record, there is no dirty bomb.

And, the guy has been in custody a month.

I wonder if he has a lawyer?

I know, I know, lawyers are so September 10th...
The Daily Rant overinterpreted what I meant with my post below about polls (though his misunderstanding is understandable). I wasn't actually trying to imply that Fox pimps for Bush and Zoby works against him. I just meant to say that there are consistently different results across the different polls. And, while one can look, as he did, at some obvious methodological differences across the polls to explain this, the fact remains that most people just see the numbers.

UPDATE: Well, what I should have said is "wasn't trying to imply that Fox POLLING pimps for Bush." Fox news does, of course. Fox polling may too, of course, but I'm not claiming that.

I'm happy to say, along with TAPPED, Instapundit, and Lou Dobbs, that "Islamists" are a problem, as long as we're all on the same page as to what that means - Islamic Fundamentalist Theocrats.

But, Instapundit ignores TAPPED's rhetorical link between Islamists and Christian Fundamentalists/Theocrats. And, both of them ignore that Iraq until recently was a fairly secular nation and, though a dictatorship, would not now be called a theocracy.

On the other hand, Fred Phelps really likes Iraq. Here's a photo from his photo gallery labelled a picket in Baghdad, Iraq. Story clip from the Advocate (sorry, no link).


Hate Preacher In Iraq

from The Advocate
Antigay crusader the Rev. Fred Phelps has taken his message to Iraq, The Kansas City [Mo.] Star reported Thursday. For the past several days Phelps has been outside Iraq's Foreign Relations Ministry building in Baghdad carrying signs protesting President Clinton, homosexuality, and a potential war against Iraq, Phelps's relatives said. "His issue is not that Saddam Hussein is a great guy. His issue is that this [disagreement over U.N. arms inspections in Iraq] isn't our business," said Shirley
Phelps-Roper, Phelps's daughter.

UPDATE: Just found his letter to Saddam:

"We understand that Iraq is the only Muslim state that allows the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to be freely and openly preached on the streets without fear of arrest and prosecution. Alas, the United States no longer allows the Gospel to be freely and openly preached on the streets, because militant sodomites now control our government, and they violently object to the Bible message...The same majoritarian sodomite tyranny that now guides the Clinton administration's repressive policies toward Gospel preaching on America's streets, is apparently responsible -- at least in part -- for the merciless slaughter by starvation of 400 innocent Iraqi babies each day in your country. If our government and laws will allow it, and at the invitation of your government, we would like to send a delegation from Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, to preach the Gospel on the streets of Baghdad for one week in the near future."

-- Fred Phelps, in a letter to Saddam Hussein,
November 30, 1997

Something just occurred to me. Does this mean that Fred Phelps is a Saddamite?

Now it has really begun. U.S. citizen in alleged dirty bomb plot handed over to Defense Department.

Compare it to this guy, who had an actual bomb, and got probation.

UPDATE: TAPPED notices the overlooked obvious. This guy's been in custody for a month. Will our media whores ask any of the obvious questions?
Bartcop responds to Jennifer Liberto.

Thanks for the plug, Mike!
Nepotism (or is it incest?) among the NeoCons..
Hey Wlady, congrats on getting your magazine back.

Hey Mickey:

And will the latest version again be in the red? "Magazines like this never make money," Tyrrell says.
GOP Monitoring Lobbyists' Politics

Republicans are researching the party affiliation and political contributions of hundreds of lobbyists in Washington, part of a campaign that could deny government access and prime lobbying jobs to Democrats, according to people familiar with the project.

Copies of the bulky dossier, being compiled by conservative activist Grover Norquist and other prominent Republican lobbyists, will be given to top White House officials and GOP lawmakers when completed, the sources said.

Early drafts of the report are already in the hands of a few senior administration officials and lawmakers, according to two people familiar with it. GOP lawmakers are not helping compile the report, but many privately support it.

The report -- dubbed the "K Street Project" -- has been evolving in fits and starts over the past few years, but has been expedited and expanded now that Republicans control the White House and federal agencies. Several Republican lobbyists have complained that they aren't getting the access to federal agencies they feel they deserve.

He said his lobbyist friends have cautioned him that Republicans are pressuring firms to purge Democrats. "If they put this in writing, that puts a whole new dimension to this practice," Daschle said.

We tried to warn you, folks, we really did.

Sunday, June 09, 2002

Just in case you missed it first time around, please click this link.

It's where we're heading back to, folks.

Alleged abuses Mr. Ashcroft? Bite me.

Charity, Bill Simon style.

At issue is $670,000 in fees charged by William E. Simon & Sons to oversee an average $10.9 million in foundation assets in 2000. That translates to a 6. 1 percent commission.

The industry standard for a fund this size, according to independent money managers and accountants, is about 1 percent.

Now I'm annoyed.

I added a bunch of links earlier and %#$##@% Blogger toasted them.

On a related note, tomorrow is Jesus Day in Texas, thanks to an executive order by then Governor George W. Bush.
Texas Republican Party embraces Christian Reconstructionism.

DALLAS -- Texas Republicans argued over whether their state convention was mainstream or filled with "religious zealots" Saturday as delegates approved a party platform that called for the repeal of the state lottery, declared the United States a Christian nation and favored posting the Ten Commandments on public property.

The Republican platform also reaffirmed the state party's belief that the nation needs to "dispel the myth of the separation of church and state."

Kelley, in a letter to the Daily Brew, has the best analysis of Liberto on MWO yet.
Vaara discovers the joys of Yurpean Libertarian Federalism.
We know about astroturf letter writing campaigns - I've seen the same letter-to-the-editor in about 16 newspapers by now. But, White House submitted OP-EDS? Ah, the good old days of Pravda..

From MoDo using her powers for Good.

By introducing yet another color-coded flow chart, the president tried to recapture his fading aura of wartime omnipotence. The White House even gave lawmakers "sample op-ed" pieces they could rewrite and submit to their local papers, beginning: "President Bush's most important job is to protect and defend the American people."