Thursday, January 11, 2007

When is an Iranian consulate not an Iranian consulate?

In his address to the nation last night, President Bush said:
We'll interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq.

Hours after that, US forces raided the Iranian consulate in the northern city of Irbil in the Kurdish north, apparently taking 6 employees into custody. Thing is, the Kurdish north is supposed to be the most stable part of the country, and any flow of weapons has always been reported further south.

Gee, I wonder what that's all about. It reminds me of my cousin Al. Al had a weird stalker crush on Irma. Al hated Irma's neighbor Irnie, because Irnie was always hanging out in Irma's house. Al wanted to go over to Irma's house and break all Irnie's toys that he left there, but he knew that Irma's brothers, Sonnie and Shane, would beat him up.

Instead he would go over to Irnie's other neighbor Kurt's house and break all of Irnie's toys that were at Kurt's house because he knew that Kurt needed him to help stop Sonnie and Shane from taking his lunch money at school, and that secretly, Kurt hoped Al would one day grant him sovereignty...which we all thought was weird because we were like 6 years old and we all thought sovereignty was just a stuck up way of saying Earl Grey....I wonder what made me think of that story.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Someone, please mess with Texas!

First it was pork soup being dished up by a French far-right soup kitchen, and now fascism's new favorite food--pork--is at the center of one of the grossest instances of War on Terror fueled racism I've seen in quite a while.
Residents of Katy, Texas, a wealthy, white, Christian suburb of Houston and home to the ever-puckered Renee Zellweger, are protesting the building of a Mosque for fear that it would 'open the door' to terrorism.

How are they staging this protest? In part, by holding Friday night pig races, complete with pork sausages, of course. That's right, by holding a fun fair featuring twice the taboo: ham hocks and the holy night.

In addition to this, residents have formed a group to protect the local 'lifestyle' which is described by as "a colorful and affluent community located just 30 minutes due west of Houston, well known for its Southern hospitality and Texas charm". The LA Times and MSNBC are also reporting that one resident has set up a racist website featuring "an odometer-like counter that keeps track of attacks that "Islamic terrorists have carried out" since Sept. 11; a link to the FBI; and a link to a recording of the Muslim call to prayer. "Get used to it," reads the tagline. "You will be hearing it 5 times a day 365 days a year."

It seems that initially, there was no issue in the community, until some sort of misunderstanding between a local pig farmer and marble merchant Craig A. Barker and members of the local Muslim association, the Katy Islamic Association. Mr. Barker felt personally insulted and in turn decided, in true everything's-bigger-in-Texas style, to insult 1.4 billion people around the world by offensively flaunting Islamic practices.

But the members of the Muslim community in the area are simply turning the other cheek, a tactic Mr. Barker is apparently not familiar with. Another resident was quoted as saying that the races are simply "Texas-spirited".

Thursday, July 06, 2006

What's in a name?

The Associated Press is reporting that Western Union is blocking money transfers being sent by people with 'arab sounding names'.

The article notes that a Sacramento couple were not allowed to put a tradmill on layaway because one of their last names was Hussein. Thank god it wasn't an eliptical machine, it would have been strait to a clandestine Eastern European prison for them!
There were a few other interesting names mentioned in the article including, I kid you not, Nixon Baby who apparently runs a Western Union in Bur Dubai and Molly Millerwise, spokesperson for the US department of tresury. Incidentaly, Millerwise's sister, Jennifer Millerwise Dyck , is indirectly linked to a bunch of not so nice GOP buisness. Gimme a break with these names! What is this, a James Bond movie?

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The good life at Gitmo: Part II

As we enter 'camp 4' we are presented with a selection of "comfort items" provided to inmates. Lets take a look:
Chess, Checkers, Backgammon (someone's been reading their cultural training manual!), one, no TWO decks of cards (talk about luxury), a set of dominoes and, what's that in the middle? Why it's Hi-Q, "the classic game of jumping and removing pegs" for one player.
Well, that pretty much seals it for me: spending 5 years in a corrugated tin box without being charged of a crime is a piece of cake when you have Hi-Q to keep you busy.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Guantanimo Swag

I really don't know what to say about this, exept I'm afraid it's not a joke....

The good life at Gitmo: Part I

Luxurous 'Camp 4'
Since the US Supreme Court's recent ruling on Guantanimo Bay may finally signal the flaming bag of human rights poop on the White House door step, I though I'd take a quick virtual government authorized tour of the grounds. Here I offer the opening scene, which seems so thoroughly relaxing I thought we might extend our visit over a few posts.

Hmmm, I wonder if they're selling time shares?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A history of terrorism.... .mil style

So the Army has this flashy page about the 'timeline of terrorism'. I'm glad I took a look, since a lot of what I thought I knew about terrorism is wrong (good thing I figured that out before I started writing my dissertation on the subject!). Here are some things that might be news to you too:

*Apparently, terrorism began with the hijacking of a plane in 1961. And here I was thinking that it went as far back as the French Revolution. Silly me.

*There were only four terrorists actions between 1960-1969, 10 in the '70s and increasing numbers after that. Again, glad I looked at that web site since I thought that, gee let me think of an example...say all the thousands of desaparecidos in Argentina or the torture and killing in Chile under Pinochet were terrorism, was I ever wrong or what!

*I thought that the explosions targeting the American Military in Iraq were acts of War, but apparently they're acts of terrorism. This is an important one, since it also helps clear up the status of the current residents of GITMO; if attacking a foreign army engaged in combat against you isn't war, then of course your not a prisoner of war if you get caught doing it, duh!

Anyway, hope this has been as informative for you as it was for me.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Soldiers charged with murder

Reuters is reporting that three US soldiers are being charged with murder for killing three men last month who were among 200 detainees being held near Tikrit. The release notes that the accused also threatened to kill a fellow soldier if he informed anyone and quotes a US military release as saying that the men killed were "of apparent Middle Eastern descent" and that their "names are unknown"...

Connie and Maury: Infotainment gone (even more) horribly, horribly wrong

Picture this: Two reputable journalists, married to each other, get their own weekly news program. In addition to stories about war and politics, they team up to produce a cheesy nightclub style rendition of "Thanks for the Memories", complete with piano playing and piano sitting, spot lighting and soft focus, and new 'humorous' lyrics clearly written by some underpaid intern. A Woody Allen movie, you say? Maybe a new Tom Robbins novel? 'Fraid not. It's Connie Chung and Maury Povich on MSNBC. I warn you, the images are disturbing, but you can take some solace in the fact that the show has already been cancelled.

fighting wor(l)ds.
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