Oil-Slick Jim Moves In

About half of what’s quoted here was removed for brevity, but there still had to be enough left that it would make sense so it’s longer than I would like.

It’s worth going over the work the Butcher of Baghdad did for his Texas patrons when he was their butcher:

  • 1979: Seizes power with U.S. approval; moves allegiance from Soviets to U.S. in Cold War.
  • 1982: Bush-Reagan regime removes Saddam’s regime from official U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism.
  • 1984: U.S. Commerce Department issues license for export of aflatoxin to Iraq useable in biological weapons.
  • 1987-88: U.S. warships destroy Iranian oil platforms in Gulf and break Iranian blockade of Iraq shipping lanes, tipping war advantage back to Saddam.
  • 1990: Invades Kuwait with U.S. permission.

U.S. permission? On July 25, 1990, the dashing dictator met in Baghdad with U.S. Ambassador April Glaspie. When Saddam asked Glaspie if the U.S. would object to an attack on Kuwait over the small emirate’s theft of Iraqi oil, the ambassador told him, “We have no opinion…. Secretary [of State James] Baker has directed me to emphasize the instruction … that Kuwait is not associated with America.” Saddam taped her.

Glaspie, in her 1991 Congressional testimony, did not deny the authenticity of the recording, which diplomats worldwide took as a Bush Sr’s okay to an Iraqi invasion.

So where is Secretary Baker today? … Mr. Baker is a successful lawyer, founder of Baker Botts of Houston, Riyadh, Kazakhstan. Among his glittering client roster is Exxon-Mobil oil and the defense minister of Saudi Arabia. Baker’s firm is protecting the Saudi royal from a lawsuit by the families of the victims of September 11 over evidence suggesting that Saudi money ended up in the pockets of the terrorists.

And Baker has just opened a new office … at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. This is a White House first: the first time a lobbyist for the oil industry will have a desk right next to the President’s. Baker’s job, to “restructure” Iraq’s debt. How lucky for his clients in Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom claims $30.7 billion due from Iraq.

Should be newsworthy that the U.S. essentially gave permission for Iraq to attack, and then used its doing so as an excuse to attack Iraq, don’t you think?

The full article is an excerpt from the new edition of The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.

We'll Have None Of That!

The United States ranks 10th in the industrialized world in broadband capability and “10 is 10 spots too low,” Bush said at the annual convention of the American Association of Community Colleges in Minnesota.

I guess that means we should be zero instead of number one.  Or is that Bushspeak for: we should have none?

Aye!  A tricky bastard he is!

My Bad?

Why is it so annoying to watch someone else make a mistake?  Researches say it may be because it affects the same areas of the brain as when a person makes his or her own mistake.

Perhaps this is why I get frustrated trying to explain to someone else how to do something on the computer.  I could never figure out why I would get so frustrated.

Stupid Lawmaker Tricks

A California assemblyman has introduced legislation banning anyone under 18 from using a tanning machine with ultraviolet rays, except under doctor’s orders. – link

A Louisiana lawmaker has filed a bill that would ban people from wearing low-slung pants below the waist, thus “exposing skin or intimate clothing.” – link

Don’t they have anything better to do?

The Sloganator

From FreedomToTinker — there’s no point in rewriting it, so I’ll just give credit and copy:

Part 1:  The Sloganator

The first evidence of the campaign’s Net-cluelessness was the Bush-Cheney poster generator that came to be called “The Sloganator”. This was a web tool, on the campaign’s site, that let you create a Bush-Cheney campaign poster containing the slogan of your choice. On hearing about this, any Net-savvy person knew exactly what would happen next. Opponents would discover the site and create posters with disparaging slogans. Contests would be held, to see who could make the funniest poster. And the whole episode would be commemorated with an online slide show.

Part 2:  New, Unauthorized Sloganator

I wrote previously about how the remix culture will affect political discourse.
A great example is the new, unauthorized version of the Bush/Cheney “Sloganator”. The original, you may recall, was on the Bush/Cheney website. It allowed you to make a campaign poster with the candidates’ names and (almost) any slogan you liked. After much hilarity at the campaign’s expense, mainly in the form of parody signs with disparaging slogans, the Sloganator was retired.

Now it has been resurrected, appearing in a new, apparently unauthorized, version at http://www.bushsloganator.com. In the remix culture, it’s hard to undo your mistakes, because other people will just copy them.

Insta-Spam Update

I now know why 0@adelphia.net was available:  It gets a spam every 5 minutes, and 99% of them have viruses.

The address was way more trouble than it was worth in easy-to-remember-ness, so it’s gone.

Wacky Warning Labels

The winning entry of the Wacky Warning Label Contest was found on a bottle of drain cleaner:  “If you do not understand, or cannot read, all directions, cautions and warnings, do not use this product.”  I prefer the fishing lure with “Harmful if swallowed.”

Warning labels from previous contests are available here.


I just added a new address to my adelphia.net cable modem account.  I had to talk to their tech support to do it, but that’s another story of their crappy service (although the access speed is great).  It’s an amazingly simple name (just a single character) and it was surprising that nobody had already taken it.

I sent mail from my other Adelphia address to it to verify that it was setup properly.  It hasn’t been used for anything else.

It took less than 15 minutes to get my first spam.  While writing this I got another, which also had a virus.  Maybe that’s why the address was available.

Air America Radio

Although I live close to LA, I can’t pick up KBLA which broadcasts The O’Franken Factor and other liberal fun.  No problem: they have a live internet feed using the RealOne player. 

I’m listening to it now, and it works great.

Trial? We Don't Need No Stinking Trial

It’s already allowed for some other crimes, now there’s a move in LA to confiscate the cars of drunk drivers when they are arrested. 

Yeah, drunk driving is a bad thing, but this should really worry everybody.  The police can make mistakes and, let’s face it, they aren’t all model cops.  This would give them the right to stop you for whatever reason (which they can already do) and if they don’t like you and decide to arrest you for drunk driving, you lose your car.  Or whoever’s car you happen to be driving.

No trial, no recourse.  They auction the cars and keep the money, which provides the same motivation that exists in the drug forfeiture laws.

I could maybe see it for repeat offenders that are way above the limit, but I’ve know people that were arrested for two glasses of wine with dinner.  DUIs are already a cash cow with the enormous fines, mandatory classes, etc., this is just more of the same.

The LA Times is the only one covering this so far, and their links are only good for about two weeks, but anyway it is here.  Watch this one — it’s deserving of a revolt.