Wednesday, March 02, 2005

James Wolcott: Second Verse, Same as the First

James Wolcott: Second Verse, Same as the First: "And lo, I switched on the set today and by chance see the words 'Beware Hezbollah' on the screen beneath Wolf Blitzer's bearded mug. His guests were the authors of a new book called 'Lightning out of Lebanon,' about the threat posed by Hezbollah to the US mainland. The only hazy evidence of Hezbollah activity were threats against Anthony Lake which were never carried out but were 'taken seriously.' Well, hell, practically everything in this country is taken seriously as a precautionary measure. A ten-year-old can phone in a bomb scare and they'll evacuate the building. Means nothing.

Yet the authors made dark hints about Hezbollah cells in American cities, which presumably could be activated from Lebanon or elsewhere. The same talk we've been getting since 9/11 about the phantom Al Qaeda 'sleeper cells' awakening their Manchurian Candidate coded 'go' signals. "

The Power of Nightmares, Part IV.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

IRARK / monochrom

IRARK / monochrom: "1988: Retired US-Soldier John R. fights along with his former superior and side by side with islamic jihadis against a foreign occupying power in the central-asian desert.

2003: An Anglo-American coalition begins its military action in the gulf."


Yahoo! News - Man Convicted of Copying Oscar Films Dies

Yahoo! News - Man Convicted of Copying Oscar Films Dies: "LOS ANGELES - A man awaiting sentencing for illegally copying and distributing movies being screened for Oscar picks was found dead in his jail cell, authorities said.

Russell Sprague, 52, of Homewood, Ill., may have died of a heart attack, the U.S. Marshals Service said. His body was discovered Monday morning and an autopsy was scheduled for Tuesday.

Sprague was scheduled to be sentenced March 21 after pleading guilty last year to one count of copyright infringement. He had faced up to three years in prison.

Sprague was accused of copying 134 "screener" movies sent to members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (news - web sites) to solicit their votes for last year's Oscars (news - web sites), including "Kill Bill: Vol. 1" and "Seabiscuit." Films were made available for download over the Internet, authorities said. "

The first death of the copyright wars.

No More Kids in the Chair

Top News Article | "The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday abolished the death penalty for juveniles, a major victory for opponents of capital punishment in the last country in the world that gave official sanction to the execution of people who commit crimes as minors.

By a 5-4 vote, the high court declared unconstitutional the death penalty those under the age of 18 when they committed their crimes, a decision that could affect more than 70 death row inmates who face execution for murders done when they were 16 or 17 years old. "

Woohoo, pro-lifers rejoice! The U.S. is no longer one of the backward-ass countries that executes children.

At 9, He's Out Stumping for President's Social Security Plan

The New York Times > Washington > At 9, He's Out Stumping for President's Social Security Plan: "The battle over Social Security has been joined by an unusual lobbyist, a 9-year-old from Texas who has agreed to travel supporting President Bush's proposal.

The boy, Noah McCullough, made a splash with his encyclopedic command of presidential history, earning five appearances on the 'Tonight' show and some unusual experiences in the presidential campaign last year. He beat Howard Dean in a trivia contest at the Democratic National Convention and wrote for his local newspaper about his trip to see the inauguration.

'He's very patriotic and very Republican,' said Noah's mother, Donna McCullough, a former teacher and self-described Democrat. 'It's the way he was born.'"

Ahh, a budding young fascist. I dunno about this, I have to agree with these folks. When you rely on a 9-year old to change a generations old social policy, that change has definitely jumped the shark.

BTW, as to the 'fascist' remark...I mean, it's not like it's possible to go from ultra-conservative (Republican) to moderately-conservative (Democrat) when the first tenet of Modern Conservative Thinking (Neocons) is that anybody to the left of them are liberals/terrorists. There is a big jump to do even that much, and when you start out so young and so dumb, where can you go but down the road to fascism?