Saturday, July 29, 2006

Look Past Our Slanted Media

Adnan Harakeh cries as he stands by the wreckage of his house in the village of Nmeiriya July 29, 2006. Adnan lost his wife and five children in Israeli air strikes. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho (LEBANON)

You're not getting a real picture of what's going on between Israel and Lebanon if you're watching American TV. Seeing the Forest points out We Are Seeing Different News About Lebanon. We are getting a one-sided view of the story. The massive Lebanese civilian casualties (more than ten times greater than the Israeli casualties) are being reported and shown around the world. But not here, because that's not our media's story. It's not our government's position, and the corporate media is not about to contradict the Bush Administration.

YouTube has lots of short videos from Lebanon.

Also, go watch Mosaic - excerpts from Middle Eastern news shows.

Kissinger Barbie: Midwife From Hell

Commondreams: Condoleezza Rice: Midwife From Hell

After being one of the most inept national security advisers in the nation’s history, Condoleezza Rice is now earning the same grade as secretary of state.

Her description of the conflagration in Lebanon as the “birthpangs of a new Middle East” was about as callous as it gets, matched only by Bush’s remark that the conflict represents “a moment of opportunity.”

Nor were families of the Israeli victims (about 50 so far, and most of them soldiers) cheering the new day, either.

Rice’s cruel opposition to an immediate cease-fire has left the whole world outside of Israel (and Tony Blair’s kennel) aghast.


Politically naïve, Rice also appears woefully jejune about human nature.

Eric Massa, NY-29, A Fighting Dem for the House

firedoglake: Blue America — Eric Massa, NY-29

I read firedoglake's post on Eric Massa and went to the Act Blue page to send him a little money. Gotta support those Fighting Dems.

He called me! Less than an hour later! He is committed to personal politics. Every contributor gets a phone call. He said his Republican opponent, Randy Kuhl (the Shotgun Senator) just left on a Congressional factfinding mission -- to Iraq. We agreed that the money being spent to send the clueless Kuhl to Iraq would be better spent on armor for the troops, who are still underequipped.

So if you live in western New York, please get out there and work for Eric Massa and put a Fighting Dem in the House in place of a right-wing nutjob.

AP Thinks Lieberman Is Toast

These are the #2 and #3 articles on Yahoo Politics News right now:

#2 Struggling AP: Lieberman faces political abyss

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. - Anti-war Democrats bailed in droves. Teachers unions left over vouchers. Men are drawn to his challenger, and women aren't all that crazy about the incumbent, either.

Once, Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut seemed on the brink of the vice presidency, a principled moderate in a party that didn't always warm to them. Now, hewing to his support for the war in Iraq, he confronts a political abyss, abandoned by all groups but the poorer, older and less educated Democrats in his state.

#3 AP: Incumbent senators who have lost primaries

I just think he's an ass. Here's his ad trying to prove he's a Democrat. Looks like an ass to me. (Yes, this is an actual Joe Lieberman ad, courtesy LamontBlog.)

Friday, July 28, 2006

You Know These Bastards Are Laughing All The Way to the Banks

WaPo: Exxon Mobil Posts $10.36 Billion Profit
Company Faces New Round of Criticism

Exxon Mobil Corp. said yesterday that its second-quarter earnings jumped 36 percent, to $10.36 billion, boosted by climbing oil prices and larger profits at its refineries.

The quarterly profit -- the second-largest in U.S. history -- brought forth a fresh round of criticism from consumer and environmental groups. Critics accused the Irving, Tex.-based company of getting rich at the expense of motorists -- squeezed by $3-a-gallon gas prices -- while distributing billions to shareholders through dividends and by buying back shares. The largest quarterly profit by an American company, $10.71 billion, was also posted by Exxon, in the fourth quarter of 2005.

One bank would be too small to hold all the ill-gotten gains. Will a Democrat stand up and propose a windfall profits tax? How many quarters of record profits will it take?

Coal Industry Buys a Scientific Streetwalker

As lawyers we are taught, When the law is on your side, argue the law. When the facts are on your side, argue the facts. When you don't have the law or the facts, argue really loud! The coal industry has another choice -- buy the argument you need. They've paid over $100,000 to the only scientist they can get to dispute global warming. Of course, he's an unethical sleazeball with no credibility, but he has a degree, and is a doctor of something. That's enough for the coal industry to pawn him off on the supine corporate media. So he writes crap opinion pieces, published in trash papers like the Washington Times, and ends them with this neutral description:

Patrick J. Michaels is senior fellow in environmental studies at the Cato Institute and professor of natural resources at Virginia Tech.

When in actuality, he's a coal industry whore. A scientific streetwalker, as it were.

ThinkProgress: LEAKED MEMO: Coal Industry Coordinating Propaganda Blitz Attacking Global Warming Science

A secret memo by the coal industry details a coordinated campaign to spread misinformation about global warming. The memo expresses fear that if the government addresses climate change — through a carbon tax or regulating greenhouse gasses — it will cut into their profits.

Their solution: “support the scientific community that is willing to stand up against the alarmists.” (The memo also refers to people who believe in global warming science as those “whose true motivation is to stop growth, develop renewable resources [and] discontinue the use of fossil fuels, especially coal.”)

But the coal-based utility leading the campaign ran up against a problem: there is no scientific community who agrees with them. The memo acknowledges almost everyone who disputes global warming science have no “involvement in climatology.” So they’ve decided to lavish funding on one climatologist who will do their bidding: Pat Michaels.

The memo describes how the coal-based utility contributed “$100,000 to Dr. Michaels this year.” It also “contacted all the [utilities] in the United States” asking for contributions to Michaels’ research and “obtained additional contributions.”....

Go to the ThinkProgress article for embedded links.

Iraq More FUBAR Than Ever

KKTV (Colorado Springs): Flights Home for Troops-Canceled
Flights home stopped as U.S. figures out Baghdad security plan

Any American family thinking their soldier is coming home soon from Iraq may be in for a nasty surprise.

All flights out of there for troops at the end of their deployment are canceled, while the military tries to figure out how to make Baghdad safe.

Unfortunately, the flights pictured below will continue unabated:

Image courtesy


Nails is my pet name for Papelbon, because it's lights out when he comes in. Has made me put away my 'Get Foulked' t-shirt.

Jonathan Papelbon has allowed only three runs in 45 appearances this season. (Michael Dwyer - AP)

WaPo: Papelbon Makes a Speedy Arrival
Red Sox Rookie Nearly Unhittable

OAKLAND, Calif. -- A beautiful gift fell from the sky this spring and landed at the feet of the Boston Red Sox. It was so radiant, they didn't know what to do with it at first. So precious, they have come to treat it with exceptional care. So powerful, the mind races at what the future could hold. For now, however, it is simply a gift that should be shared with and enjoyed by the world. All behold, Jonathan Papelbon.

It is not every year -- or every decade, or even every generation -- that produces a pitcher such as Papelbon, the Red Sox' rookie closer. Since a serendipitous chain of events thrust him into that demanding role in April, Papelbon has been almost untouchable, allowing only three runs in 45 appearances this season (a 0.53 ERA) while helping keep the Red Sox in first place in the American League East, barely ahead of the arch-rival New York Yankees.

Krugman on Journamalism: 'Lies and Truth Get Equal Billing'

Paul Krugman, NYTimes: Reign of Error (TimesSelect Wall; full link at Welcome to Pottersville or Ed Strong)

The climate of media intimidation that prevailed for several years after 9/11, which made news organizations very cautious about reporting facts that put the administration in a bad light, has abated. But it’s not entirely gone. Just a few months ago major news organizations were under fierce attack from the right over their supposed failure to report the “good news” from Iraq — and my sense is that this attack did lead to a temporary softening of news coverage, until the extent of the carnage became undeniable. And the conventions of he-said-she-said reporting, under which lies and truth get equal billing, continue to work in the administration’s favor.

Whatever the reason, the fact is that the Bush administration continues to be remarkably successful at rewriting history. For example, Mr. Bush has repeatedly suggested that the United States had to invade Iraq because Saddam wouldn’t let U.N. inspectors in. His most recent statement to that effect was only a few weeks ago. And he gets away with it. If there have been reports by major news organizations pointing out that that’s not at all what happened, I’ve missed them.

It’s all very Orwellian, of course. But when Orwell wrote of “a nightmare world in which the Leader, or some ruling clique, controls not only the future but the past,” he was thinking of totalitarian states. Who would have imagined that history would prove so easy to rewrite in a democratic nation with a free press?

Of course, the press is no longer 'free'; it's owned by giant media conglomerates that profit from the war machine.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Weather Reporting Devoid of Analysis

Where oh where has all this heat come from? You won't find out from this article, just posted on the NYTimes website. Go ahead, look for the phrases 'global warming' or 'climate change'. They're not there. The inconvenient truth that must not be mentioned by the bought and paid for corporate media. When will the corporate media tell us why we are breaking weather records all over the world? When the temps rise to 120? (No, not then, the chart above shows Palm Springs recorded 121 this week.) 125? 130? When thousands die, rather than hundreds?

NYTimes: In California, Heat Is Blamed for 100 Deaths

FRESNO, Calif., July 27 — A searing heat wave nearly two weeks old is responsible for more than 100 deaths across California, the authorities said Thursday. So overwhelmed is the local coroner’s office here that it has been forced to double-stack bodies.

Most of the deaths have occurred in the landlocked Central Valley, the state’s agricultural spine, where triple-digit temperatures have lately been the norm. The heat has been linked to at least 22 deaths here in Fresno County, whose funeral homes have offered to help with the coroner’s backlog.

“We’re just trying to catch up,” said Joseph Tiger, a deputy coroner in Fresno. “I have been here 10 years, and I have never seen it this bad. Our boss has been here over 20, and he hasn’t seen it this bad either. For the last two weeks it has just been unbearable hot.”

The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services said the heat wave had been confirmed as the cause of death among at least 53 people around the state. Pending autopsies, heat-related causes are presumed in the death of scores of others, said Roni Java, a spokeswoman for the emergency services office.

Many of these suspected heat deaths have been among the elderly, who often live as shut-ins and will not open windows, said Loralee Cervantes, the Fresno County coroner.

The toll of such casualties has no recent precedent in California. According to data provided by the California Department of Health Services, the greatest number of heat-related deaths in the state since 1989 had been 40, in 2000. A department spokeswoman, Patti Roberts, said data prior to 1989 were unavailable.

Among the dead here were a 38-year-old worker found in a field, an unidentified man around 40 who made it to a hospital emergency room where his body temperature was recorded at 109.9 degrees and a 58-year-old man who was found drunk. Statewide, Ms. Java said, the youngest person killed by the heat has been a 20-year-old man from San Diego, and the oldest a 95-year-old man in Imperial County, on the Mexican border.


The record temperatures have also hit farmers hard, with roughly 16,500 cows, 1 percent of the state’s dairy herd, dying of the heat
, according to California Dairies, the state’s largest milk cooperative.


“It is just a bad, bad situation,” said Larry Collar, the quality assurance manager for California Dairies. “In 25 years in Southern California, this is the most extreme temperatures we have ever seen and the most extreme length of time we have seen.”

'It Seems Like The War On Drugs'

Capt. Mike Comstock talks with residents of a Baghdad neighborhood about the lack of basic services.
Photo Credit: By Joshua Partlow -- The Washington Post

Good article in today's Post about the failed Iraq war, quoting (surprise) American soldiers frustrated with their 'mission'; it's all FUBAR, and they know it:

WaPo: 'Waiting to Get Blown Up'
Some Troops in Baghdad Express Frustration With the War and Their Mission

"At this point, it seems like the war on drugs in America," added Spec. David Fulcher, 22, a medic from Lynchburg, Va., who sat alongside Steffey. "It's like this never-ending battle, like, we find one IED, if we do find it before it hits us, so what? You know it's just like if the cops make a big bust, next week the next higher-up puts more back out there."


"I mean, if you compare the casualty count from this war to, say, World War II, you know obviously it doesn't even compare," Fulcher said. "But World War II, the big picture was clear -- you know you're fighting because somebody was trying to take over the world, basically. This is like, what did we invade here for?"

"How did it become, 'Well, now we have to rebuild this place from the ground up'?" Fulcher asked.

He kept talking. "They say we're here and we've given them freedom, but really what is that? You know, what is freedom? You've got kids here who can't go to school. You've got people here who don't have jobs anymore. You've got people here who don't have power," he said. "You know, so yeah, they've got freedom now, but when they didn't have freedom, everybody had a job."

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Three of These Things Are Not Like The Others

Another cover you will never see in the supine American corporate media:

Image courtesy Taylor Marsh.

Kissinger Barbie Does Lebanon

Kissinger Barbie.

How can I ever call Condi Rice anything else after hearing Michael Shaw (the clinical psychologist who analyzes photographs at BAGnewsNotes) call her that?

BAGnewsNotes: Tuesday Bulletin Board: "America♥Lebanon"

Memo to Kissinger Barbie: You don't do shuttle diplomacy by posing for every picture like its your eighth birthday party. Also, I would advise against high level meetings without taking off your sunglasses.

It's All Good For Alan Smith

Manchester United Online: Smith back in training

Alan Smith was the surprise face on show as almost the entire United squad trained on Tuesday morning.

The 25-year-old, who will revert to his original role as a striker this season, has been out of action since breaking his leg and dislocating his ankle against Liverpool last January.

Sir Alex Ferguson expects to have the fans' favourite back in action in late August or early September.

So, not only is he back way ahead of schedule, he gets to go back to his natural position, striker. He looked lost in the midfield, where only his workrate kept him on the field.

The Sun: Fergie shock at Al's return

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Global Warming Pops Up Again

In Sports Illustrated, of all places:

Peter King: Monday Morning QB

Factoid That May Interest Only Me

This should interest all of us.

In my town, Montclair, N.J., we had a once-in-a-generation wind, hail and rain storm last week, uprooting 120-year-old oaks all over our neighborhood. One of those monsters crushed the car of the pitcher on the summer softball team I coach. A neighbor told me it was the worst weather event he's seen in 52 years in the town.

Wherever you are, have you noticed the weird weather patterns in the last few months? Unending, intense rain. High winds. It was in the midst of a 12th day of measurable rain in a 14-day period that I saw An Inconvenient Truth, the Al Gore movie about global warming.

This is the most apolitical piece of advice I could ever give you, because I realize Al Gore is not popular with all of you. And I really don't care very much about Gore weaving details of his personal life into the global-warming lecture. But you should see this movie and judge the facts for yourself. What's happening out here is no isolated occurrence. It's going to keep happening and it's going to get worse. Facts are facts. And we all need to do something about this phenomenon of the Earth heating up and the polar ice caps melting. This is not exactly the venue to warn the world about global warming, but all you football junkies readying for your fantasy drafts should do one real-world thing in the next couple of weeks: take two hours to see this movie. I'm not saying you'll be glad you did, because it's going to slap you around mentally a bit. But it's something you need to see. You don't want to wake up in 15 years with the Earth permanently damaged and huge portions of the Earth's surface under water, forever.

Today's Global Warming News

Of course, none of these articles documenting record-breaking heat all over the world mention the inconvenient truth:

AFP via Yahoo: Europe swelters as heatwave gathers pace

AP via Yahoo: Energy strapped Calif. gets heat warning

AP via Yahoo: Massive blackout continues in St. Louis

Monday, July 24, 2006

Holy Joe Must Go

The Joe Lieberman Sucks Video

Personally, I would have included his moronic call to count even un-postmarked military ballots during the 2000 debacle, when the Republicans were actively excluding legitimate black votes cast on election day in Florida. Moron.

Darth Cheney Loves Him Some Holy Joe

Saw this one at Lawyers, Guns & Money; the series is by Jesus' General.

Second Coming of My Computer

For some reason the old gal was resurrected tonight. How can you have no hard drive one day, and boot up fine the next? Techier minds than me must know. I'm still getting a new machine. 5 years is 100 years in computer years.

Another in our series of great faux political ads: I saw this at firedoglake. You Connecticut voters, get out there on August 18th! I hope Lamont has the sense to run a Katrina ad right before the vote. Lieberman sped Arabian horse's ass Michael Brown's nomination to head FEMA through his committee in 42 minutes. Thanks, Joe.