BRANDOLAND: Talking to God...For You!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The Last Tuesday of August

Lotta stuff, kiddos.

First up, some "new" news re: an old friend.

Back in February, I wrote this blog about Safia Taleb al-Suhail, the Iraqi "woman" who sat with Laura Bush during Our Kid's last State of the Union address. She with the purple finger and she who hugged the mother of a "fallen" American soldier.
Al-Suhail's father was killed 11 years ago by the Iraqi intelligence service. Now the leader of the Iraqi Women's Political Council, she watched the annual presidential address Wednesday night at the Capitol as a guest of first lady Laura Bush.
Back then, I wondered who Safia really "was" and how she got to sit with the most powerful family in the world:
Hmm. Iraqi Women's Poltical Counsel, eh?

Who dey?

Time for a Google search.

No luck yet.

Still wondering.

Any bets? Friends of the Bushies, clearly. (Safia) was sitting next to Laura. Some sort of Iraqi elite. Dad was killed by the Iraqi intelligence service. Hmmm. Always another story.

Hmmm. Think, think, think.
Well, me prayers have been answered:

"Iraqi activist taken up by Bush recants her views"

Hey now!
Back in February, with blue ink on her finger symbolising the recent Iraqi election in which she had just voted, SAFIA TALEB AL-SOUHAIL was invited to sit with the first lady, Laura Bush, and listen to the President claim in his state of the union address that success was being achieved in Iraq. Her picture went round the world after she turned to hug Janet Norwood, a Texas woman whose son had been killed in Iraq.

But now it appears Ms Souhail, an anti-Saddam activist who became IRAQ'S AMBASSADOR TO EGYPT, may be having second thoughts about the "success" she celebrated with a two-fingered victory sign.

Having seen the negotiations for the country's constitution fall into disarray and the prospect of a secular constitution severely undermined, she expressed her concerns last week.

"WHEN WE CAME BACK FROM EXILE, we thought we were going to improve rights and the position of women. But look what has happened: we have lost all the gains we made over the past 30 years. It's a big disappointment. Human rights should not be linked to Islamic sharia law at all. They should be listed separately in the constitution."
"When we came back from exile."

"When we came back from exile."

There's that pesky word again - exile.

My point? Safia "is" an Iraqi elite - like Ahmed CHALABI - and not just a plain Iraqi Jane who's "fighting for her freedom."

Fighting for money, maybe.

Iraqi exiles.

People who wanted to take over the country - people in bed with the Bushies.

And now...things is turnin' out different, yo.

Think the ol' "exiles" are happy 'bout that?

"No."

Fascinating.

*

This is great:

Venezuela to sell cut-price heating oil to U.S. poor

Days after Pat Robertson calls for his assassination --
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez said on Monday his government plans to sell as much as 66,000 barrels per day of heating fuel from its U.S. CITGO refinery to poor communities in the United States.

The offer, made after populist Chavez held talks with U.S. civil rights activist REV. JESSE JACKSON, would represent 10 percent of the 660,000 bpd of refined products processed by Citgo. The deals would cut consumer costs by direct sales.
Jesse went down to make nice-nice with Chavez.

The Bushies can't be too happy about that.

Get ready for another round o' stories re: Jesse's insatiable libido.

We'll be hearing about a girlfriend - or a love child - or a something - w/in the next few weeks.

Guaranteed.
Venezuela's Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez said officials were still working on the details on how the oil would be sold from Citgo, a unit of the state oil firm PDVSA.

"We are going to direct as much as 10 percent of the production, that means 66,000 barrels, without intermediaries, to poor communities, hospitals, religious communities, schools," Chavez told reporters at a press conference.
Hey, Citgo! Can you guys dump off some of that gas in Hollywood?

East Hollywood?

Christ, I'll drive to Koreatown.

Bring it.

*

Finally, news that Starbuck's has been trying to make us gay:

Tempest brews over quotes on Starbucks cups

First the Teletubbies, then Spongebob, now Starbuck's:
Starbucks says it was hoping to inspire old-fashioned coffee-house conversations when it introduced a campaign this year featuring the words of notable Americans on its coffee cups.

But at least a few of those words are sparking more discord than discussion.

A national Christian women's organization is accusing the Seattle-based coffee maker of promoting a homosexual agenda because of a quote by author Armistead Maupin, whose "Tales of the City" chronicled San Francisco's homosexual community in the 1970s and 1980s.

Maupin's quote — one of several dozen in "The Way I See It" promotion — says his only regret about being gay is that he repressed it for so long.

"I surrendered my youth to the people I feared when I could have been out there loving someone. Don't make that mistake yourself. Life's too damn short."

Concerned Women for America, which promotes itself as the antithesis of the National Organization for Women and boasts 8,700 supporters in Washington, says most of those quoted on the coffee cups are LIBERAL.
Well, most intelligent quotes are.
The group believes corporations have a responsibility to reflect the diversity of their customers by taking a BALANCED approach — or staying out of divisive social issues altogether.
You guys want a balanced approach?

Then...why don't you just ask Starbuck's to print PAT ROBERTSON'S QUOTE re: assassination on the side of their cups?
And while the group is not calling for a boycott, its position nonetheless raises questions about what role — if any — corporations should take on potentially sensitive matters, especially at a time when the nation is divided, largely along religious lines, on issues such as gay rights.

"Corporations have deeper pockets and therefore more influence than individuals do," said Maureen Richardson, state director of Concerned Women for America of Washington.

"I think it's wiser for them to stay out of these issues so that they don't offend conservatives and people of faith."

To these companies, she says: "If you want my money, support some of my causes."
Good luck, honey.

Don't think Starbuck's will be supporting the idea that the Earth is 6,000 years old anytime soon.
"The Way I See It" campaign does not set out to take a political stand but rather to encourage discourse, Starbucks spokeswoman Audrey Lincoff said.

"If you think back to the history of the old coffee houses, before the Internet, these were places to converse," she said. "That's part of what the coffee culture has been for a century or more."
Yeah.

The Starbuck's under the Target at Santa Monica & La Brea? A great place to hear "conversations" between off-duty transvestites.

Wink-wink, nudge-nudge.

Eh, eh, eh?

More later...

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