Monday, November 28, 2005

End of the world spam

Need to send an automated email to your non-believing heathen friends when the end of the world is nigh?

Well, here's the service for you. After the rapture, your drug using, blood drinking, non-Christian friends will get a convenient (and just in time!) message telling them to repent while you sit comfortably in heaven.

Spam from the great beyond!

Sheesh. Make sure that you read the sample letter. It's hilarious.

These people are either bat-shit crazy or incurably stupid. The problem is that they're also running the country and picking our Supreme Court justices.

--Tinfoil out

Monday, November 21, 2005

I've started a new blog with wifey . . .

Mikelle and I have started a new spin-off blog called "A Displaced Hipster's Guide to Renton, Wa." Not that we were hipsters in any way, but we thought it might be funny and maybe useful for people who move to Renton. We'll catalog the good, the bad, and the ugly about our fair river city. We could definitely expand the scope it to a broader territory if others want to group-blog about restaurants, events, and fun stuff throughout the King County area. Just let me know, and I'll invite you as an author on the blog.

--Tinfoil Out

Chickenhawks beware . . .

It seems like the Democrats have finally gotten the message about how to fight back when the White House "swift-boats" you. Korean War vet Rep. Charlie Rangel responded to Republican accusations that Rep. John Murtha (a decorated Vietnam vet) was a coward because of his plan to withdraw from Iraq. Rangel took aim at Cheney, saying that he was a draft dodger who found it, "easy to fight [a war] with other people's children."

It seems like the Dems have been reading this article by David Mamet, about political strategy:

A possible response to the Swift boat veterans would have been: "I served. He didn't. I didn't bring up the subject, but, if all George Bush has to show for his time in the Guard is a scrap of paper with some doodling on it, I say the man was a deserter."

Mamet says that to win in politics (or poker), you've got to raise the stakes when someone comes after you. Coincidently, this advice is similar some offered in Mamet's script for the The Untouchables:

He pulls a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That's the Chicago way. And that's how you get Capone.

Seems like an apt comparison--Capone and Bush--they both killed a lot of people and headed up criminal organizations, so we probably should treat them the same way. Come to think of it, Pat Fitzgerald does have a bit of an Elliot Ness vibe. All the more reason for the Dems to heed Mamet's advice an strike back hard at the chickenhawk White House.

--Tinfoil Out

Friday, November 18, 2005

Oh, this is clever . . .

In a surprise move, House Majority Leader Roy Blount has decided to allow a vote on John Murtha's resolution demanding the withdrawl of troops from Iraq. I think he's thinking that this will force Democrats to go on record saying that they want to "cut and run" if they support it, and that they "have no plan of their own" if they reject it. A rejection also would be a slap in the face to Murtha. It might work, but for the Republicans it's kind of like going "all in" in poker and bluffing with a pair of twos. The Democrats have the better hand here, but the Republicans are betting that they'll fold and reject the resolution--taking the wind out of recent "war was a mistake" talking points.

Not sure what the best strategy is here . . . personally, I hope that they all support an immediate withdrawl of the troops (because that's what I want), but if even if they do, the resolution won't pass and it'll generate campaign ads for 2006 that say, "Rep. So and So didn't support the mission of our troops, and voted to cut and run from Iraq before the mission was finished." The opposite vote generates the "Rep. So an So voted to keep the troops in Iraq, but now he's saying that the war was a mistake."

In retrospect it was probably a mistake for Murtha to introduce it, but either way, a united front will look better that a split decision. The only really good outcome politically would be for the Resolution to pass with bi-partisan support--that would REALLY make Bush look bad--but Blount wouldn't let it come to a vote if he expected any Republican defectors.

How do you think Dems should vote?

--Tinfoil Out

Update: I misread the article. Murtha didn't propose the resolution. Still, the choices for the Dems remain the same.

"Homicide Bombers"

Fox News--the cornerstone of the liberal media establishment--insists on calling suicide bombers "homicide bombers." They've been doing this for years, but it stuck in my craw again when I saw it today, so I thought I write about it.

Their reasons are, I suppose, political. I don't know if they think that calling someone a suicide bomber evokes some sort of sympathy for them or dimishes the deaths and injuries of the victims. Whatever. The problem that I have is that "homicide bomber" is not a good description of what happened.

Anyone with a bomb can be a "homicide bomber," even if they detonate the bomb remotely from a few blocks away or halfway around the world. "Homicide bomber" just tells me that said bomber killed people with the bomb. The term "suicide bomber" tells me that the bomber intentionally blew him/herself up in the process of killing others.

Fox would have been better off to simply say "bomber." Actually, given their "fair and balanced" editorial policy, they could have just gone with "evil doer," "terrorist," "Islamofacist," or combine them all as"evil terrorist Islamofacist." Somehow, though, they need to capture the idea that the bomber is also dead. Here are some suggestions:
  • A bomber who killed some people, and, oh yeah, is kinda dead too.
  • An exploding bomber
  • A "self-centered" bomber
  • A now-facing-the-terrible-wrath-of-the-Christian-God-and-burning-in-a-lake-of-fire bomber

Any other suggestions?

--Tinfoil Out

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Woodward and Libby

I don't fault Libby's lawyers for trying anything and everything to get him off the hook. That's what they do for a living. I do fault the media for falling for it in preposterous ways.

The Washington Post and most other media outlets are regurgitating Libby's talking point that Bob Woodward's admission that he heard about Plame's CIA affilliation from a different source a month before Libby's leaked it to Judith Miller.
The Libby legal team seized on Woodward's testimony, calling it a "bombshell" with the potential to upend Fitzgerald's case. After spending yesterday at the courthouse reviewing documents for the case, Libby emerged with one of this lawyers, Theodore V. Wells Jr., by his side. Wells said Libby is "very grateful to Bob Woodward for coming forward and telling the truth.

First, Libby isn't charged with leaking the name (yet) or with being the first to do so. He is charged with obstruction of justice and making false statements. These are crimes that have less to do with the actual leak, and more to do with the cover-up. Libby lied and Fitzgerald caught him. That's what he's being prosecuted for.

Second, this revelation seems to fuel speculation about a conspiracy to "out" Valerie Plame. It's starting to get a bit suspicious when Libby, Rove, and another "high ranking official" leaked the same information to at least five seperate reporters (Russert, Novak, Miller, Cooper, and Woodward) in a two-month period. Especially, if the current speculation is correct, and the mystery official is Stephen Hadley, the current National Security Advisor (maybe he should advise himself not to leak anymore classified info--that would improve national security).

I think that the Woodward revelation is a disaster for Libby and the White House. Yay.

--Tinfoil Out

Update: This USA Today article offers a theory about ways that Woodward's admission could help Libby. I still think that they're pretty thin, but in the interest of full disclosure, here they are:
  • He could say that Fitzgerald is incompetent. After a two-year investigation, he didn't uncover the Woodward leak. For me, this actually lends credence to the obstruction charge--Fitzgerald didn't know, because Libby wouldn't cooperate.
  • The fact that Woodward knew about Plame a month before Libby talked to Judy Miller shows that her identity could have been common knowledge and Libby could have been telling the truth about hearing it from a reporter. Unless there are hundreds more reporters out there waiting to come forward who also knew (again--this beefs up the conspiracy argument) the fact that Woodward knew and didn't tell anyone except fellow reporter Walter Pincus has no bearing on the Libby case.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Revising history

"Some of our elected leaders have opposed this war all along. I disagreed with them, but I respect their willingness to take a consistent stand. Yet some Democrats who voted to authorize the use of force are now rewriting the past. They are playing politics with this issue and they are sending mixed signals to our troops and the enemy. And that's irresponsible."

--George Bush
November 15th, 2005

This is Bush's current counter-attack to allegations that he lied to the country and rushed us to war. The "we didn't lie, we were incompetent--and so was everyone else" defense is pretty weak, and, surprise surprise, it's also a LIE. To characterize all of the Senators who voted "to authorize the use of force" as pro-war is absurd. The resolution that the Senate passed authorized the President to use force (a power he already had under the War Powers Act) if no diplomatic solution could be reached, and urged the President to work with the UN to find a peaceful solution. While some democrats certainly were unequivocally for the war (Leiberman, I'm looking at you), most emphasized that:

  • The use of force should be on the table, so as to not limit the President's options, but the war should be a last resort.
  • All diplomatic channels should be exhausted before the war started.
  • Going to war would be costly, and the rebuilding of Iraq would be expensive and would require a huge effort akin to the Marshall Plan.
  • We'd need a tremendous number of allies to make the war legitimate and successful.
  • UN support is vital to the success of any plan.
  • This is NOT an authorization for a "go it alone" pre-emptive strike.

None of these conditions were ever met.

Here's what Hillary Clinton and John Kerry said about the resolution (both voted for it).

"So it is with conviction that I support this resolution as being in the best interests of our nation. A vote for it is not a vote to rush to war; it is a vote that puts awesome responsibility in the hands of our President and we say to him - use these powers wisely and as a last resort."

--Hillary Clinton
October 10, 2002

"The argument for going to war against Iraq is rooted in enforcement of the international community's demand that he disarm. It is not rooted in the doctrine of preemption. Nor is the grant of authority in this resolution an acknowledgment that Congress accepts or agrees with the President's new strategic doctrine of preemption. Just the opposite. This resolution clearly limits the authority given to the President to use force in Iraq, and Iraq only, and for the specific purpose of defending the United States against the threat posed by Iraq and enforcing relevant Security Council resolutions. "

--John Kerry
October 10, 2002

In Bush's speech, he said "They spoke the truth then, and they're speaking politics now." I disagree completely. The reality of the situation is that this vote took place when Bush's approval ratings were sky-high and democrats were hedging their bets on whether the war would be successful. The country was supportive of military action, and democrats were afraid of having their patriotism challenged. They were "speaking politics" then to save their political asses. I was mad at them at the time for wimping out--and I'm still mad. But I think they're speaking the truth now (which, finally can help them politically). Still, if you read the Clinton and Kerry speeches, it's clear that even at the time, both only wanted war as a last resort.

It is well within the rights of anyone who authorized the use of force to say that:
  • They were lied to or intelligence was withheld.
  • The war has been managed incompetently and with insufficient resources.
  • They made a mistake (a la John Edwards).

--Tinfoil out

Friday, November 11, 2005

I *HAD* to post about this

It seems that some enterprising your grad students at MIT have just proven that tinfoil hats actually ENHANCE (secret government) radio signals. That explains a lot. I guess I should have known that--when I was growing up, my parents were always putting balls of tinfoil on our "rabbit ear" antenna to get better TV reception.

It seems that I've been getting amplified versions of the government signal--maybe that's why Bush makes me so mad.

--Tinfoil out

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Halloween Pics

I am late in adding to the collection of pictures from joygantic's halloween party. In any event--here's my few pics . . .

Great party!!!!!

--Tinfoil Out