stAllio!'s way
Friday, May 21, 2004 
periodically i go ego surfing (i google myself) to see if anything interesting turns up.

this is probably the strangest one i've come across. (yes, item #5 is "bad taste music exchange news & other garbage" & links to the bt news page, though i don't recommend clicking it because who knows what kind of cookies or web bugs you might come down with?)

i'm going to be crazy busy at work the next few days; i just got a priority A+ assignment with deadlines that were already tight before factoring in that i'll be spending a very extended weekend in lakewood for rr8... so i have a lot i need to get done by wednesday... which means there might not be too many blog entries before i return from lakewood in june.

tonight at midnight indiana time i'll be tuning in to the free zone on wicr, 88.7fm... you should listen too, since there just might be some st! or awia in the mix. then tomorrow morning if i'm up early enough i might go to this open house thing at the irving (TEC will be playing, as will noiseman433's new group). awia news for more about both the radio show & the open house.

Thursday, May 20, 2004 
back in march i posted about a bush medicare vnr. people were upset that this government propaganda was being paid for by taxpayers & passed along as though it were journalism. vnrs are actually common practice, but at least the story got the media to acknowledge their existence & the ethical questions surrounding them.

now the general accounting office has officially ruled the vnr as illegal propaganda.

things are really going poorly for bush these days; everyone has actually started questioning him publicly. too bad nobody started doing that two or three years ago when it could have made a much bigger difference.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004 
all this iraq news is depressing: us soldiers are torturing & molesting iraqi prisoners, guys named berg are getting decapitated, the head of the iraqi governing council has been assassinated, the u.s.'s public reputation is in ruins (if there was anyone out there who didn't hate us before, they all do now), people are dying (civilian & military, iraqi & non-iraqi), & the only possibly more depressing than what's happening over there is the reactions of rush limbaugh or michael savage types, who continue to sink even further into a spiral of ignorance, arrogance, and good old-fashioned hate...

it's bad enough to know there are people like that on the radio, but you can kind of pretend they're just crackpots & nobody takes them seriously. unfortunately, millions of people do take them quite seriously, & these dittoheads & savages like to litter the internet with their garbage... yesterday i mentioned a post i'd seen on imn, but this one is much worse: they must be wiped out. even if that means destroying their mosques and their women and children. i no longer look at those people as being human, i look at them as an infestation that must be irradicated. i wouldnt feel at all guilty for killing any of them! posts like that make me sad to be a hoosier (& a little sad to be human).

so instead of hate, let's talk about a happier subject (but another one that inspires much republohate): love, or at least something that goes together with love like a horse & carriage. that's right: gays (especially lesbians) are legally getting married in massachusetts! (well, those marriages are legal until at least 2006, though if the reactionaries have their way it could be banned again in nov 2k6.)

it's a great day to be gay in the bay state (hmm... first the san francisco "bay area", now boston, "the bay state"?). and hell, it's a great day to be the bay state, because there is a lot of skrilla comin' in... simple math shows that if more than 1,000 gay couples filed for marriage licenses (that's just on the first day) at $50 a pop, that's $50,000 for one day's work... and that's just for the marriage licenses; it doesn't include the money spent on actual marriage ceremonies, hotel stays, receptions, & nonstop partying! one can only guess which is louder: the constant ringing of the cash registers or the deafening orgasms of hundreds of lesbians (& gay men) celebrating with their first fuck as married people. because let's face it, the first thing you're supposed to do after you get married is fuck like you've never fucked before. just the thought of it is getting me excited.

speaking of tons of sex, sexin the movies (especially "unsimulated sex", or real sex as opposed to the ridiculously plastic faux-fucking that you usually see in movies) is grabbing headlines with the cannes premiere of nine songs, which judging from the description is one-half rock music video & one-half real live onscreen sex. here's a comment from the director:

"I had been thinking for a while about the fact that most cinematic love stories miss out on the physical relationship, and if it is indicated at all everyone knows it is fake.

"Books deal explicitly with sex, as they do with any other subject. Cinema has been extremely conservative and prudish. I wanted to go to the other extreme and show a relationship only through sex. Part of the point of making the film was to say, 'What's wrong with showing sex?"'

so far i'm only getting a handful of hits on google news about nine songs (fahrenheit 9/11 is getting more attention, perhaps deservedly so)... but i found a bbc article with a recent history of cinematic "real" sex that almost reads like a "must-rent foreign film checklist... seriously, i need to hit the foreign section of the video store...

rumsfeld is in some scalding hot water after the release of seymour hersch's new yorker story alleging that rummy tacitly approved of prisoner abuse at abu graib.

united press international suggests that hersch got much of his damaging info from his contacts in the cia, with more coming from sources in the us army.

Indeed, intelligence and regular Army sources have told UPI that senior officers and officials in both communities are sickened and outraged by the revelations of mass torture and abuse, and also by the incompetence involved, in the Abu Ghraib prison revelations. These sources also said that officials all the way up to the highest level in both the Army and the Agency are determined not to be scapegoated, or allow very junior soldiers or officials to take the full blame for the excesses.

President George W. Bush in his weekly radio address Saturday claimed that the Abu Ghraib abuses were only "the actions of a few" and that they did not "reflect the true character of the Untied States armed forces."

But what enrages many serving senior Army generals and U.S. top-level intelligence community professionals is that the "few" in this case were not primarily the serving soldiers who were actually encouraged to carry out the abuses and even then take photos of the victims, but that they were encouraged to do so, with the Army's well-established safeguards against such abuses deliberately removed by high-level Pentagon civilian officials.

naturally rumsfeld & the DoD deny that. but what's interesting is that the cia has also officially denied it:

"The New Yorker story is fundamentally wrong, there was no DOD/CIA program to abuse and humiliate Iraqi prisoners," CIA spokesman Bill Harlow said.


"Despite what is alleged in the article, I am aware of no CIA official who would have or possibly could have confirmed the details of the New Yorker's inaccurate account," Harlow of the CIA said.

so it would seem that the cia people are pissed off, but the cia organization is trying to cover its ass. unfortunately for the govt, it looks like the people are winning, since allegations keep coming, like the MPs' testimony that the cia was directly involved in the death of at least one interrogee.

Monday, May 17, 2004 
former top us weapons inspector david kay isn't convinced either:

Kay, who led a U.S. team hunting for weapons, said it appears that the shell was one of tens of thousands produced for the Iran-Iraq war, which Saddam was supposed to destroy or turn over to the United Nations. In many cases, he said, Iraq did comply.

"It is hard to know if this is one that just was overlooked - and there were always some that were overlooked, we knew that - or if this was one that came from a hidden stockpile," Kay said. "I rather doubt that because it appears the insurgents didn't even know they had a chemical round."

While Saturday's explosion does demonstrate that Saddam hadn't complied fully with U.N. resolutions, Kay also said, "It doesn't strike me as a big deal."

this morning i was doing my first routine scan of the IMN boards & found a new thread in the off-topic forum (sorry, only registered users can view off-topic; that way potential sponsors like the mayor's office are less likely to see all the filth & garbage on the board)... the subject line was WMD's HAVE been found in Iraq & the entirety of the first post was "...take that, you liberal commie-crat freaks" (with a "mad" emoticon).

of course, no citation of any sources, just random enraged name-calling. i'm pretty used to seeing that on IMN (& other messageboards); this type of irrational rush-style rage is well documented. but i thought i would check the news sites to see if there might be some basis to the claim or if the poster was just deluded.

it didn't take long to find the news story in question, although naturally the facts still don't come even close to proving that saddam had WMD.

the synopsis: a military convoy found one (count 'em: ONE, singular sensation... clearly not WMDs plural but one alleged WMD singular) 155mm shell that the military claims contained the ingredients for sarin gas, in a binary fashion (meaning two separate ingredients that must be mixed for the compound to become active), retooled into a crude bomb. the bomb exploded & released "a very small dispersal of agent".

one solitary round is a far cry from the hundreds of tons of sarin that bush claimed saddam had. but after more than a year of ransacking the country and finding zero WMDs, now some hawks are claiming that this discovery of one alleged WMD is proof that saddam had massive stockpiles all along. that's a pretty big conclusion to jump to, but with all the terrible news in iraq, i suppose they have to focus on anything that even conceivably support their propaganda.

assuming the story is even true (we heard lots of stories like this "during the war" & they all turned out to be bullshit), this discovery hardly proves any of bushco's claims.

1. plenty of countries own or have made sarin over the years; the sarin could've come from anywhere.
2. even if the sarin did originally come from saddam's arsenal, it doesn't mean more is out there. expert weapon inspector hans blix told the AP that he isn't convinced either (& he knows better than i would):

[blix] said it was likely the sarin gas used could have been from a leftover shell found in a chemical dump.

"It doesn't sound absurd at all. There can be debris from the past and that's a very different thing from have stocks and supplies," he said. "I think we need to know more about it."

Blix, whose inspection team didn't make any significant weapons finds during months of searching Iraq before the war, has sharply criticized the United States and Britain for their invasion of Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein's regime.

Like most people, Blix said he was convinced as late as December 2002 that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction "because we'd seen cat and mouse play" for years by the Iraqis.

But U.N. inspectors had returned to Baghdad the previous month, and as their visits to the best sites provided by foreign intelligence agencies continued to turn up nothing, Blix said he became "more skeptical."

The inspectors were ordered out just before the war began last March, but Blix has said he knew by May "that there were no weapons to be found" because the Americans had interrogated many Iraqis and offered reward money for information with no results.

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