BRANDOLAND: Talking to God...For You!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Follow the $

One thing to think about today...

Major arms soar to twice pre-9/11 cost

Follow the $, people:
August 19, 2006

WASHINGTON -- The estimated costs for the development of major weapons systems for the US military have doubled since September 11, 2001, with a trillion-dollar price tag for new planes, ships, and missiles that would have little direct role in the fight against insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Who are we fighting for?

I mean...

What are we fighting for?
The soaring cost estimates -- disclosed in a report for the Republican-led Senate Budget Committee -- have led to concerns that supporters of multibillion-dollar weapons programs in Congress, the Pentagon , and the defense industry are using the conflicts and the war on terrorism to fulfill a wish-list of defense expenditures, whether they are needed or not for the war on terrorism.

Ya think?

You and I are in the wrong business.

More later...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

"You Will Be Destroyed!"

Great piece in the Nation from James K. Galbraith.

Groundhog Day

Dude has some questions re: this latest evil-doer bust in the UK:
Arrests were made at night, catching the culprits at home. Houses have been raided, and are being searched. So far as we know at this point, no bombs have been found. No chemicals. No equipment. No labs. No testing ground. Maybe this will come out later, but it hasn't so far, even though the authorities seem anxious to tell just about everything they know.

Now, in order to get on an airplane, even the most devout suicide terrorist needs a ticket, and these generally must be purchased with money.

Apparently, not one ticket had been purchased by the detainees.
One little-known feature of airline security (in the United States, anyway) is that people traveling on one-way tickets bought at the last minute get special scrutiny at the gate. Those tickets are also (a lot) more expensive. If you want to pass unnoticed, you will buy your ticket round-trip, in advance, and also save money like everyone else. Actually, if you didn't know this already, you're not fit to be let out of the house.

Further, to get on an international flight from Britain to the United States, in these days of the modern nation-state, you need something else. It's a document called a passport.

Apparently, some of the detainees don't have them.
Someone lacking a passport can, I think, safely be excluded from the ranks of potential suicide bombers of UK-to-US flights. They could, of course, have a counterfeit or be operating in a support role--but so far we are not being told of any counterfeit documents or any support operation. And to pass security you would use a different person to carry each chemical you needed. For twelve flights, that's twenty-four people.
"But this one goes to 11."
As to threats: A joke going around the Manchester Airport on August 10 was that at least the IRA would remember to call.

What's the point of a suicide bombing if no one knows what it's for?
How about...because they hate our freedoms?

More later...

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Be Afraid! Be Very Afraid!

Interesting piece in The Nation from William Greider.

Fear and Smear

'Tis the season to be afraid! is equally true that Bush desperately needs the terrorists.

They are his last frail hope for political survival. They divert public attention, at least momentarily, from his disastrous war in Iraq and his shameful abuses of the Constitution.

The "news" of terror--whether real or fantasized--reduces American politics to its most primitive impulses, the realm of fear-and-smear where George Bush is at his best.

So, once again in the run-up to a national election, we are visited with alarming news.
Some dudes in the UK were thinking about doing something...

And the Klingons are coming.
A monstrous plot, red alert, high drama playing on all channels and extreme measures taken to tighten security.

The White House men wear grave faces, but they cannot hide their delight. It's another chance for Bush to protect us from those aliens with funny names, another opportunity to accuse Democrats of aiding and abetting the enemy.
Read the whole piece.

"Red Scare" all over again.

More later...

Monday, August 14, 2006

They Picked the Wrong Fight

"Swift Boat" Veterans Set Sights on Rep. Murtha

The Iraq war looms over another race, as the group that helped defeat John Kerry targets the antiwar lawmaker.

Big babies.

Methinks they've picked the wrong fight:
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — Two years after a cadre of veterans helped sink the presidential campaign of Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), they have found a new target in the old steel country of southwestern Pennsylvania: Democratic Rep. John P. Murtha.

In a fight that organizers say will feature rallies, TV ads and an aggressive Internet campaign, these activists are promising to make Murtha pay for his criticism of the Iraq war.

"I will do my best to 'Swift boat' John Murtha," retired Navy Capt. Larry Bailey said at a recent news conference here, invoking the 2004 campaign against Kerry that took its name from Vietnam War-era Navy vessels.


Murtha, who was in San Francisco on Friday visiting House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) after campaigning for Democrats in Connecticut and New York, said he is confident the public is with him.

"The average person goes out of their way to tell me they want change…. What am I supposed to do? Say everything is all right?" Murtha asked before flying to Tennessee to attend a dinner for former Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore.

"I'm not going to say everything is all right if everything isn't all right."
More later...

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Saturday Sonic Youth Blogging


Sonic Youth.

"Incinerate," from the new record.

More later...

Friday, August 11, 2006


Short post - lots of real work today - but time to give you this:

Bush seeks political gains from foiled plot

Couldn't have said it better meself:
Weighed down by the unpopular war in
Iraq, Bush and his aides have tried to shift the national political debate from that conflict to the broader and more popular global war on terrorism ahead of November 7 congressional elections.

The London conspiracy is "a stark reminder that this nation is at war with Islamic fascists who will use any means to destroy those of us who love freedom, to hurt our nation," the president said on a day trip to Wisconsin.


His remarks came a day after the White House orchestrated an exceptionally aggressive campaign to tar opposition Democrats as weak on terrorism, knowing what Democrats didn't: News of the plot could soon break.

Vice President Dick Cheney and White House spokesman Tony Snow had argued that Democrats wanted to raise what Snow called "a white flag in the war on terror," citing as evidence the defeat of a three-term Democratic senator who backed the Iraq war in his effort to win renomination.

But Bush aides on Thursday fought the notion that they had exploited their knowledge of the coming British raid to hit Democrats, saying the trigger had been the defeat of Democratic Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut by an anti-war political novice.

"The comments were purely and simply a reaction" to Democratic voters who "removed a pro-defense Senator and sent the message that the party would not tolerate candidates with such views," said Snow.

The public relations offensive "was not done in anticipation. It was not said with the knowledge that this was coming," the spokesman said.
Here's the key bit:
"I'd rather be talking about this than all of the other things that Congress hasn't done well," one Republican congressional aide told AFP on condition of anonymity because of possible reprisals.

"Weeks before September 11th, this is going to play big," said another White House official, who also spoke on condition of not being named, adding that some Democratic candidates won't "look as appealing" under the circumstances.
What a joke.

Again, there's a big prize waiting for the person who can create a readable timeline...comparing "terra" plots & threats and the corresponding Bushco news of the day.

Oh, and another thing: The Romulans are coming.

More later...

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Quick Info

Quick info re: the foiled terra-ist plot:
Indications are that all of the 21 arrested were British citizens and some were of Pakistani ethnicity, a senior U.S. intelligence official said.

Should we bomb the UK?

Neo-cons? I mean, clearly...the Brits are "harboring" evildoers.


More later...

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

More Tales of...Big Conservative Babies!

Some quotes from Joe Lieberman, Joe Lieberman Party - CONN:
"I'm definitely going forward."

"I feel that I closed strong in the primary. I feel we began to get out message across strongly and we're going to keep on going."

"This race is going to be all about who can get more done and who can be a better representative of Connecticut."

"For the sake of our state, our country and my party, I cannot and will not let that result stand."
One more time:
"For the sake of our state, our country and my party, I cannot and will not let that result stand."
Big baby.
"I'm going forward. I'm going forward because I'm fed up with all the partisanship in Washington that stops us from getting anything done."

You're going forward because you're a selfish bastard.

And a big baby.

Scoreboard, Joe. Deal with it.

More later...

Tuesday, August 08, 2006



Interesting tidbit on the Bushies' fascination with end times prophecy in the WaPo yesterday:
Joel C. Rosenberg, who writes Christian apocalyptic fiction, told me in an interview this week that he was invited to a White House Bible study group last year to talk about current events and biblical prophecy.

Rosenberg said that on February 10, 2005, he came to speak to a "couple dozen" White House aides in the Old Executive Office Building -- and has stayed in touch with several of them since.

Rosenberg wouldn't say exactly what was discussed.

"The meeting itself was off the record, as you could imagine," he said. He declined to name the staffer he said invited him or describe the attendees in any way other than to say that the president was not among them. "I can't imagine they'd want to talk about it," he said.

"I can't tell you that the people that I spoke with agree with me, or believe that prophecy can really help you understand what will happen next in the Middle East, but I'm not surprised that they're intrigued."

The White House press office wasn't able to confirm the visit for me, but there have been previous reports about White House Bible study groups inviting Christian authors to come speak.

Feel safe?

When I'm President - and need some advice - I'll invite the (living) writers from The Original Series.

I mean, Christ, Kirk had to deal with "terrorists" all the time. Klingons, Romulans, Rojan & Kalinda...the Nazi's on Ekos...blah blah blah.

We should take a page from the Captain's log and deal with the bad guys accordingly.

In "The Enterprise Incident," Kirk disguised himself as a on now. That's a great move. Mr. Cheney, your thoughts?

Plus, Kirk had to defeat think we can learn something from that, too. You know, from his strategy. Find the power source, take it out, defeat the weakened bad guy.

Think GW could defeat the Gorn captain ("Arena")?

More later...

Monday, August 07, 2006


Eddie Vs Santa
Originally uploaded by blacksab67.

Went downtown (Hell Angeles) this weekend.

Yes, I had some Philippe's (home of the french dipped sandwich).


I have some disturbing news.


It took awhile, but Xmas has been completely destroyed.

Cheap toys in the "toy district," though.


More later...

Saturday, August 05, 2006

That's How It Works

Get thee to Crooks & Liars for a quick lesson in Republibaby propaganda:
A remarkably dumb YouTube video is working its way through conservative circles, spoofing Al Gore, "An Inconvenient Truth," and global warming.

It’s pretty weak — the video’s basic pitch is that Gore’s movie is boring and is intended to brainwash viewers. The Wall Street Journal noted that the video "has a home-made, humorous quality," though "humorous" is hardly the first word that comes to mind.

The video’s maker is listed as "Toutsmith," but there’s quite a bit more to it than that.


In an email exchange with The Wall Street Journal, Toutsmith didn’t answer when asked who he was or why he made the video, which has just over 59,000 views on YouTube. However, computer routing information contained in an email sent from Toutsmith’s Yahoo account indicate it didn’t come from an amateur working out of his basement.

Instead, the email originated from a computer registered to DCI Group, a Washington, D.C., public relations and lobbying firm whose clients include oil company Exxon Mobil Corp.

A DCI Group spokesman declines to say whether or not DCI made the anti-Gore penguin video, or to explain why Toutsmith appeared to be sending email from DCI’s computers.

More later...

Friday, August 04, 2006

Friday Maiden Blogging

Time for another Bushworld break, kiddos.

With some Iron 'Kin Maden!

"I am not a number! I am a free man!"

More sooner than later.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

I Don't Need Your Civil War-er-oh

News from the UK...

Iraq civil war warning for Blair

"Civil war is a more likely outcome in Iraq than democracy," Britain's outgoing ambassador in Baghdad has warned Tony Blair in a confidential memo.

What are the chances that Our Kid got that same memo?
William Patey, who left the Iraqi capital last week, also predicted the break-up of Iraq along ethnic lines.

He did also say that "the position is not hopeless" - but said it would be "messy" for five to 10 years.


The Foreign Office said it did not comment on leaked documents but added that Iraqi security forces were getting more capable every day.

More later...

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Let the Swift-boating begin!


Marine Names Murtha in Defamation Suit

"Congressman Discussed Killings Involving Serviceman's Squad in Haditha, Iraq"

Let the Swift-boating of John Murtha begin!
A Marine Corps staff sergeant who led the squad accused of killing two dozen civilians in Haditha, Iraq, will file a lawsuit today in federal court in Washington claiming that Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) defamed him when the congressman made public comments about the incident earlier this year.

Attorneys for Frank D. Wuterich, 26, argue in court papers that Murtha tarnished the Marine's reputation by telling news organizations in May that the Marine unit cracked after a roadside bomb killed one of its members and that the troops "killed innocent civilians in cold blood."

Murtha also said repeatedly that the incident was covered up.
"I wonder if the law firm representing the above mentioned Marine is some the people who wanna Swift-boat Murtha?"

Gee. Ya think?!
(Atty. Mark) Zaid said the filing is designed partly to force Murtha to disclose what information he received from the Defense Department and the Marine Corps commandant to form his opinion, essentially trying to speed up the discovery process in a potential criminal trial.

"This case is not about money; it's about clearing Frank Wuterich's name, and part of that is to identify where these leaks are coming from," Zaid said in an interview.
"Congressman Murtha has created this atmosphere that has already concluded guilt. He's created this environment that really smells, and he's the only one who has done that."

There's this little bit of info from the AP:

Report to Suggest Marines Shot Iraqis

WASHINGTON (AP) - Evidence collected on the deaths of 24 Iraqis in Haditha supports accusations that U.S. Marines deliberately shot the civilians, including unarmed women and children, a Pentagon official said Wednesday.

Agents of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service have completed their initial work on the incident last November, but may be asked to probe further as Marine Corps and Navy prosecutors review the evidence and determine whether to recommend criminal charges, according to two Pentagon officials who discussed the matter on condition of anonymity.

More later...

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Hopefully they'll have banners

The FOX-ification of the White House Press Dept. continues!

First...the hiring of Tony Snow-job.

Now...a home makeover!
Earlier this year, Fox News talk show host Tony Snow was hired as press secretary.

Next up: a renovation of the briefing room, likely with a video wall that could display everything from "flags waving in the breeze [to] detailed charts and graphs," according to a senior White House official working on the project.
"Could you guys show some evil front of a firing squad?"
For TV viewers, the video feed could be the sole on-screen image, or could share the space with the speaker.

White House officials say they are weighing how -- and how often -- to use the video capability. But the new technology could help transform White House briefings -- midday exchanges with reporters in a utilitarian setting -- into more interesting viewing.
Hopefully, they'll have a FOX-y scrolling ticker at the bottom of the above mentioned screen.

Dow down 5000 points

Study: 92 percent of Democrats are gay

JFK posthumously joins Republican Party

Oil slicks found to keep seals young, supple

Dan Quayle: Awesome

(From "Krusty for Congress.")
Both the planned video capabilities and Mr. Snow's hiring appear to be part of a subtle but sweeping effort by administration officials to deliver their message directly to the public, particularly through video.
I guess the MSM isn't doin' a good enough job with the administration's, uh, message.

More later...