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:: EYE (anatomy), light-sensitive organ of vision in animals.
:: EYE (verb), to look at to look at something or somebody inquisitively.
:: EYE (noun), an ability to recognize and appreciate something; a point of view or way of thinking.

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:: 5.28.2004 ::  

Lie tracker

Rep. Waxman, a member of the Committe on Government Reform, has started a website that tracks Bush administration lies re: Iraq. Check it out here, and later on the left with the other links.

:: Deb 1:10 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 5.27.2004 ::  

Bush's priorities

...are clearly visible in a "memorandum and portions of the internal database ... obtained by The Associated Press from congressional officials who requested anonymity". The administration has asked agencies to cut spending AFTER the election.

:: Deb 3:35 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

In case you needed more reasons to quit...
On average, the surgeon general said, smokers die 13 years to 14 years before nonsmokers.
And there's more.

:: Deb 3:15 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 5.26.2004 ::  

Quote of the Day

It's been a while, eh?
"We have no king but Jesus."

-- John Ashcroft, Commencement address given on May 8, 1999, upon receiving an honorary degree at ultra-right-wing and ultra-fundamentalist Bob Jones University, also known for its anti-African-American segregationist policies.
Found here, c/o Howard Stern's website.

:: Deb 4:19 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 5.24.2004 ::  

Wedding video challenges US military's story
“There was no evidence of a wedding: no decorations, no musical instruments found, no large quantities of food or leftover servings one would expect from a wedding celebration,” Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt said Saturday. “There may have been some kind of celebration. Bad people have celebrations, too.”

But video that [Associated Press Television News] shot a day after the attack shows fragments of musical instruments, pots and pans and brightly colored beddings used for celebrations, scattered around the bombed out tent.
An AP reporter and photographer, who interviewed more than a dozen survivors a day after the bombing, were able to identify many of them on the wedding party video — which runs for several hours.
Prominently displayed on the videotape was a stocky man with close-cropped hair playing an electric organ. Another tape, filmed a day later in Ramadi and obtained by APTN, showed the musician lying dead in a burial shroud — his face clearly visible and wearing the same tan shirt as he wore when he performed.
You can read the full story here. This is not a big mystery to me; there was a wedding, men fired guns into the air in celebration just as US planes were passing overhead; the jest reported being fired upon and called in an airstrike that killed 27 men, women and children.

:: Deb 3:21 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 5.21.2004 ::  

Shock and Awe

Fun li'l movie here. Thanks so much to John for the link!

ps - I think that the definition of "liberate", as used by GWB, comes closer to what you mean when you say "I 'liberated' this sweater from the Gap" than, for example, "Palestine Liberation Organization."

:: Deb 5:10 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

Always remember:

AFP/File/Anna Zieminski

:: Deb 2:39 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 5.20.2004 ::  

The Governator's plan: eliminate VLF, take $$ from AC Transit and East Bay parks
His proposal would shift $34 million dollars from the East Bay Regional Park District and $40 million from AC Transit, which could force higher fares and close parks. Next month, AC Transit may consider an increase in the cost of discount passes for seniors, disabled and youth passengers. and be forced to consider cuts in evening service.
Because God forbid we discourage car use and leave public parks and transit alone. CA Senator Don Perata says he's on top of it...

:: Deb 6:08 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

Gem of the Day

Aparently, our President is a mite touchy about disagreement:
And [Laura Bush] hinted the president might be a little thin-skinned. She remembered that when he was running for Congress in Texas, he once ran the car into the wall of the garage after she criticized one of his speeches.
This is from an interview with Jay Leno.

:: Deb 10:54 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 5.19.2004 ::  

Jesus W. Christ
The problem is not that George W. Bush is discussing policy with people who press right-wing solutions to achieve peace in the Middle East, or with devout Christians. It is that he is discussing policy with Christians who might not care about peace at all — at least until the rapture.
From the Village Voice, link c/o Fark.

Anyone who read "Jesus Plus Nothing" in Harper's Magazine last year may not be surprised by the above... I'm not. Terrified, yes. But not surprised. As Curt pointed out to me, the only times Bush seems genuinely passionate and involved are those instances where he's talking about God.

:: Deb 5:43 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 5.18.2004 ::  

The first story, written by Mark Matthews in the May 12 Baltimore Sun, quotes Secretary of State Colin Powell—on the record—as saying Bush knew about the International Committee of the Red Cross reports that were filed many months ago about the savagery at the prison.
The second news story that heaves more burdens on the president comes from an NBC News broadcast by Jim Miklaszewski on March 2. Apparently, Bush had three opportunities, long before the war, to destroy a terrorist camp in northern Iraq run by Abu Musab Zarqawi, the al-Qaida associate who recently cut off the head of Nicholas Berg. But the White House decided not to carry out the attack because, as the story puts it:
[T]he administration feared [that] destroying the terrorist camp in Iraq could undercut its case for war against Saddam.
The implications of this are more shocking, in their way, than the news from Abu Ghraib. Bush promoted the invasion of Iraq as a vital battle in the war on terrorism, a continuation of our response to 9/11. Here was a chance to wipe out a high-ranking terrorist. And Bush didn't take advantage of it because doing so might also wipe out a rationale for invasion.
From Slate's Fred Kaplan, link c/o TBogg.

:: Deb 2:47 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 5.17.2004 ::  

Sec. of State Colin Powell continues to be the most competent member of the current administration.

:: Deb 11:14 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 5.13.2004 ::  

Ah, the Onion. Much-needed comic relief. Thanks, Serena, for the link!

:: Deb 5:20 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

Here's a photo of beautiful Hanama'ulu Beach, off the Na Pali coast of Kauai (the northeastern corner of the island).

It was gorgreous once we got there, but it took us TWO HOURS to hike the two-mile trail. We got so tired on our way back, we sorta went over the edge from terrified and cranky to really punchy and giggly. Like we almost died a few times because the trail was so muddy and steep, and of course there are no guard rails... but we just kept laughing...

:: Deb 5:04 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 5.12.2004 ::  

"Democratic challenger John Kerry said on Wednesday his first choice as defense secretary would be Republican Sen. John McCain."

Very cool. More here

:: Deb 12:09 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 5.07.2004 ::  

Goddamn these people make me sick

Well, I guess we already knew Limbaugh was a complete turd, but really. Equating torture to fraternity hazing and pornography? Saying it was "brilliant" and "thoughful"? What is wrong with this guy? And the White House doesn't even have the good sense to distance itself from these remarks.

:: Deb 11:21 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 5.06.2004 ::  

Two slightly more uplifting stories from YahooNews
A law pushed through by Gov. Jeb Bush to keep a severely brain-damaged woman alive was struck down by a Florida judge Thursday in the latest turn in one of the nation's longest and most bitter right-to-die cases.
Paul Shanley, a central figure in the child-molestation scandal that engulfed the Boston Archdiocese, has been defrocked, along with another priest imprisoned for raping a 12-year-old boy, the church announced Thursday.

:: Deb 6:26 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

Tape of 9/11 Controllers Was Destroyed
Sometime between December 2001 and February 2002, an unidentified Federal Aviation Administration quality assurance manager crushed the cassette case in his hand, cut the tape into small pieces and threw them away in multiple trash cans, the report said.
No worries, he wasn't trying to cover anything up. So he says.

:: Deb 6:23 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

...and it just keeps going
The Army investigation at Abu Ghraib found that military police had on at least one occasion hidden prisoners during a visit by a Red Cross delegation.
More in YahooNews.

:: Deb 6:15 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

ACLU suing to stop censorship of anti-drug-war ads
The lawsuit responds to an amendment buried in the 2004 federal spending bill that cuts off more than $3 billion in federal funding from local transit authorities that accept advertisements critical of current marijuana laws and other drug laws. With at least $85 million at stake, the Washington Metro last week rejected an advertisement submitted by a coalition of drug policy reform groups that criticizes marijuana laws for wasting billions of taxpayer dollars and imprisoning non-violent offenders.
Read more about the case, and see the ad in question for yourself, at the ACLU's website.

:: Deb 6:08 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 5.05.2004 ::  

Worse and worse

"U.S. officials have acknowledged two prisoner deaths they consider to be homicides, and have ongoing investigations into another 12 deaths."

In YahooNews.

:: Deb 2:31 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

Army seeking to draft women, men up to 34 years of age

No joke. Found in the Toronto Star by both Tom Tomorrow and an alert Farker.

As I've said before, I believe that requiring that every US citizen perform two years of community service (during which one could opt to work in the military) is actually a really, really good idea. I don't think conscription is a good idea, because while I believe the true costs of war should be borne regardless of social class, I certainly don't think anyone should be forced to kill other human beings.

So here's my proposal:

There are a lot of jobs out there that serve the community: teaching, nursing, sidewalk cleaning, tax preparation, daycare, working in homeless shelters, national defense, etc; all of these could be included in a nationwide service program. You have between the ages of 18 and 34 to serve your two years - I believe the Israeli army has a similar system. You would apply for the kind of service you wished to perform, and would be evaluated for your fitness, relative to that particular job, prior to being accepted into the program. There could even be a placement service for those who have trouble finding a suitable job. If necessary you would receive training, which would count towards your term of service, and provide an incentive for those who might otherwise try to avoid it. If you wished to continue the work after your two years are up, your experience in the service program would of course be in your favor. There might be some issue with the various unions (i.e. trash collecting) but I'm sure something could be worked out. There's such a wide range of jobs that could be included in this program that I think very few people would be unwilling - or unable - to fulfill their duty to their community, and to their country.

This program would have the dual effect of both increasing community involvement and investment, and lowering costs for national defense, sanitation, education, health care etc. BOTH ARE SORELY NEEDED.

As my friend Damian pointed out, "I think if everyone went through mandatory nat'l service, our citizenry would be so much more invested in the politics of the country. Everyone would vote." God, that would be truly awesome. I had the thought on the way to work today that Americans have probably become so politically apathetic because they are no longer investing their time+energy into their community - just their taxes. Which by-and-large they resent paying.

Yes, this has been on my mind a bit, and not just lately.

:: Deb 11:54 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

Army Report Details Iraqi Prisoner Abuse

Thanks to the Smoking Gun, you can read it yourself.

Farked again.

:: Deb 11:49 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

< < < A new link on the left

Media Matters, a new site dedicated to monitoring right wing spin and misinformation. Thanks to Tom Tomorrow for the link.

:: Deb 9:44 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 5.04.2004 ::  

Sad but true
The speed of the shift in public sentiment may indicate the finale is only a few more hits off the crack pipe away. But, gluttons for punishment (other people's punishment) that Americans are, the endgame might not play out so simply. The speed with which public opinion has turned against the war could just be another cultural artifact of our increasingly scatter-brained society -- in which the daily death toll is tucked away somewhere between the next American Idol and the latest pretrial developments in the Michael Jackson case.

It seems perfectly possible that if the economy continues to improve and the flow of caskets shipped stateside COD doesn't rise much higher, the American people might turn conclusively against the war -- and then do absolutely nothing tangible with that conclusion, allowing Bush to ride to reelection on the same "peace is at hand" gambit that Nixon used in 1972.

Of course, after the election, Bush will have to answer for the fact that peace is not at hand -- there being (at as far as I know) no functional equivalent of the Paris peace talks. But even that might not penetrate the sedated stupor that passes for political debate these days. (Crack and quaaludes. The perfect mix for the Fox News demographic!)

In other words, Messrs. Ledeen and Kristol may be right after all -- about the ultimate political consequences of the body bag math, if not the national sentiment. Americans may care about killing and dying and losing, but they may not care very much, which is all the architects of endless war in the Middle East need. Support is great, but passive acceptance might just be sufficient to their ends.
From Billmon, c/o Tom Tomorrow.

Billmon also makes an excellent point about the possible reasons behind the occupying force's decision to reopen Abu Ghraib.

:: Deb 6:16 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

Gore buys Newsworld International

He's the head of an investment group that is launching its own cable news network aimed at young people. More here.

:: Deb 6:00 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 5.03.2004 ::  

Fun little database

"Claim vs Fact", created by the Center for American Progress, will match each conservative quote "against well-documented facts, so that users can get a more accurate picture of the issues." Anyone can contribute, so please do!

:: Deb 6:53 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

Just repeat after me: "global warming is a good thing... global warming is a good thing..."
The fires broke out Sunday, a day before the official start of Southern California's 2004 fire season, which was declared three weeks earlier than last year because of dry weather and a tree-killing bark beetle infestation.
Heard on NPR this morning, found on YahooNews.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration the western United States remains in a moderate to serious drought.

And it's not the first year things are dry. Arizona, New Mexico and West Texas have been caught in the grip of a drought since the mid-1990s. Colorado is in its sixth year of drought and in the Denver metropolitan area residents will only be able to water their lawns two days a week.
Oh, yay. More in YahooNews.

:: Deb 2:06 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

Cool - Grow-your-own to replace false teeth
Instead of false teeth, a small ball of cells capable of growing into a new tooth will be implanted where the missing one used to be.

The procedure needs only a local anaesthetic and the new tooth should be fully formed within a few months of the cells being implanted.
From the Guardian, c/o Fark.

:: Deb 11:02 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

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