23 May

What Truthout Knows

Truthout’s Marc Ash tells what they know and what they believe about the Rove indictment. Over the last few days, this story itself has become the story as people are focusing less on Rove and more on the simmering tension between journalists and bloggers as news reports purported to have ‘outed’ the trigger-happy blogosphere for repeating a baseless rumor. Unfortunately, what is more interesting is not that some bloggers may have repeated it, but that the majority of bloggers did not .

But Truthout is not only standing by its reporting in the face of an all-out assault by the msm, but has even published a forthright defense on the matter (something the msm, in grand Bush-style, almost never does):

We know that we have now three independent sources confirming that attorneys for Karl Rove were handed an indictment either late in the night of May 12 or early in the morning of May 13. We know that each source was in a position to know what they were talking about. We know that the office of Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald will not confirm, will not deny, will not comment on its investigation or on our report. We know that both Rove's attorney Robert Luskin and Rove's spokesman Mark Corallo have categorically denied all key facts we have set forth. We know we have information that directly contradicts Luskin and Corallo's denials. We know that there were two network news crews outside of the building in Washington, DC that houses the offices of Patton Boggs, the law firm that represents Karl Rove. We know that the 4th floor of that building (where the Patton Boggs offices are located) was locked down all day Friday and into Saturday night. We know that we have not received a request for a retraction from anyone. And we know that White House spokesman Tony Snow now refuses to discuss Karl Rove - at all.

Ash is very careful to separate the above facts (as he claims them) to what he is inferring from these:

We believe that we hit a nerve with our report. When I get calls on my cell phone from Karl Rove's attorney and spokesman, I have to wonder what's up. "I" believe - but cannot confirm - that Mark Corallo, Karl Rove's spokesman gave Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post my phone number. I believe Howard Kurtz contacted me with the intention of writing a piece critical of our organization. I know that Anne Marie Squeo of the Wall Street Journal attacked us and independent journalism as a whole in her piece titled, "Rove's Camp Takes Center of Web Storm / Bloggers Underscore How Net's Reporting, Dynamics Provide Grist for the Rumor Mill." We believe that rolling out that much conservative journalistic muscle to rebut this story is telling. And we believe that Rove's camp is making a concerted effort to discredit our story and our organization.

Further - and again this is "What We Believe" - Rove may be turning state's evidence. We suspect that the scope of Fitzgerald's investigation may have broadened - clearly to Cheney - and according to one "off the record source" to individuals and events not directly related to the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame. We believe that the indictment which does exist against Karl Rove is sealed. Finally, we believe that there is currently a great deal of activity in the Plame investigation.

The fact is, there are very good reasons for tension between bloggers and journalists. Obviously, the sheer numbers and networking inherent in the blogosphere provides a cooperative research and fact-checking base the likes of which dwarfs that which any journalist could achieve in a lifetime of schmoozing. Likewise, the past few years have witnessed the blogosphere scooping the msm on almost every issue – often by several months! I’m not necessarily trying to claim that journalists are being squeezed out of their job. However, bloggers are definitely challenging them to do their jobs better and the msm’s high horse would be a lot more convincing if they had sourced the story themselves before debunking it outright and scolding the netroots.

On a side note, I think Rove and co. should probably go ahead and get themselves convicted as soon as possible before Chimpy isn't around to pardon them anymore! 

23 May

We're back!

Some of you may have noticed that the site was down for most of the day. Something was happening with the server load and we had to go offline to rectify the problem. Obviously we're back up at this point.
22 May

Revisionist Historians?

I didn't catch this at the time, but apparently the Congress recently held a unanimous vote to institute a Cold War Victory Medal. There's just one small problem though ... the U.S. did not win the Cold War! Unless of course you buy into the Reaganites argument that they "strategically" kept amassing nukes magically "forcing" the USSR to keep up and eventually cause an economic crash. But even if your puny reptile brain can somehow buy this crap, it's still the Soviet's own twisted idiocy that lead to their crash, not some brilliant strategy on Reagan's part.

The fact is that the USSR was trying to enforce a radical economic uniformity on a population that was never involved in the decision-making and, big surprise, it rotted from within. Saying the U.S. was somehow victorious is like saying that I beat Rocky Marciano in boxing because he died before we ever got to fight. But none of that matters, because I think this is less to do with historical accuarcy than it does with a concerted effort to paint socialism as the worst evil since parking meters.

22 May

Edwards: Bush Worse than Nixon

Man I miss him. I remember watching the Vice-Presidential debates in 2004 in which, to my utter sorrow, the Prince of Darkness fully eviscerated the guy. Despite Edwards abundant charisma and truth-force, he just didn't have the experience in dealing with the sleaze of Republican attack campaigns. I hope he runs in 2008.
22 May

Condi's Unjust War

AmericaBlog rightly picked up on Condoleezza Rice’s bold-faced lie rationale for engaging in war atrocities in GWOT.

But she defended the Bush administration's actions in Iraq and challenged her critics' assertions that the Iraq war clashes with Catholic morals.

"Christians are of course on both sides of the argument about the use of force -- when it is indeed just to use force and when it is not," she said at a news conference today. "We have overthrown a dictator who brutalized his population. Sometimes you have to get rid of really, really bad regimes."

What Condi is referring to are Christian Just War principles , which are a generally agreed upon set of guidelines under which Christians may permissibly violate the tenet of Thou Shalt Not Kill. For a fuller understanding of these principles, I could refer you to the academic Theologian, Michael Walzer .

Christian Academics have used these tenets (jus ad bellum, jus in bello, jus post bello) for years to justify, for example, the killing commited during WWII, a just war if there ever was one (which is itself debatable). Unfortunately, Condi’s war doesn’t even come close.

At the risk of being wordy, I will briefly run through these 7 principles:

1) A just war can only be waged as a last resort. All non-violent options must be exhausted before the use of force can be justified.

2) A war is just only if it is waged by a legitimate authority. Even just causes cannot be served by actions taken by individuals or groups who do not constitute an authority sanctioned by whatever the society and outsiders to the society deem legitimate.

3) A just war can only be fought to redress a wrong suffered. For example, self-defense against an armed attack is always considered to be a just cause (although the justice of the cause is not sufficient--see point #4). Further, a just war can only be fought with "right" intentions: the only permissible objective of a just war is to redress the injury.

4) A war can only be just if it is fought with a reasonable chance of success. Deaths and injury incurred in a hopeless cause are not morally justifiable.

5) The ultimate goal of a just war is to re-establish peace. More specifically, the peace established after the war must be preferable to the peace that would have prevailed if the war had not been fought.

6) The violence used in the war must be proportional to the injury suffered. States are prohibited from using force not necessary to attain the limited objective of addressing the injury suffered.

7) The weapons used in war must discriminate between combatants and non-combatants. Civilians are never permissible targets of war, and every effort must be taken to avoid killing civilians. The deaths of civilians are justified only if they are unavoidable victims of a deliberate attack on a military target.

In order for a war to be considered “just” it must adhere to each of these principles. Obviously, I defy anyone to explain to me how the US-led GWOT conforms to even one. Rice of course would like to repeat the meme that Hussein somehow equals Hitler, but not only is this patently false, but also flies in the face of the first hundred or so rationales Team Chimpy used to justify the invasion before landing on the “liberation” argument.

21 May

Jebus hearts net neutrality

Network Neutering neutrality has found an ally in the Christian Coalition.

What if a cable company with a pro-choice Board of Directors decides that it doesn't like a pro-life organization using its high-speed network to encourage pro-life activities? Under the new rules, they could slow down the pro-life web site, harming their ability to communicate with other pro-lifers - and it would be legal.

Cursor seems to think this is some sort of shocking alliance. But this is the beauty of free speech - it's for everyone! You may not agree with the message some is trying to convey, the products they are trying to sell, or the cult they are trying to create, but they damn well have a right to be there. The entire point of the internet is global democracy in action (or inaction for some ) and I have as much of a right to spout off as Sid the Skinhead , Carl the Comedian , or Bush the Bumbler .

21 May

Attack of the Walking Wombs

I Blame the Patriarchy has additional thoughts on this lovely new little federal guideline that woman should regard themselves as fetus-factories pre-pregnant for the duration of their fertile lives (after which they are of course welcome to drink themselves into a stupor, sleep all day, shrivel up, and die at their leisure):

I reveal no secrets when I say that federal governments the world over are endlessly fascinated by the idea of human wombs bubbling over with fresh fetus-flesh; it’s not like there’s anything shockingly nouveau about the idea that pre-menopausal women should be universally regarded as warm chunks of incubating muscle. It’s just that when this kind of regressive crackpot misogynist bullshit is implemented as social policy, the viscera quiver involuntarily, for the icy shadow of patriarchy passeth overhead.

Because, the guidelines aver, half of all pregnancies are “unplanned,” they enjoin all women who are not hairy-chinned old crones to be prepared for pregnancy at a moment’s notice. It is incumbent on women to maintain themselves as well-oiled meat generators from the minute they hit puberty until time squeezes the last little drop of fertility from their state-owned loins. This is especially important for South Dakota girls, who never know when they might be raped and thereupon forced by the state to bring the result to term. Healthy rape-spawn at any cost, that’s the motto!


But I hate to see the feds so et-up about unplanned pregnancies, so I have the solution. I propose that all males, upon the onset of puberty, freeze a quantity of sperm and undergo federally-guidelined vasectomies. Thereafter all pregnancies would require a sperm bank withdrawal and would necessarily be of the planned variety. Then women could return to their regularly scheduled, fully-realized, pleasantly unguidelined personhood.

Twisty is one of my favorite bloggers, though I am a bit prejudiced since she’s from Austin, easily the greatest city on this world or any other. Check out the entire post , it’s well worth the read.

21 May

El Casa Blanca No Habla Espanol

Hehe, apparently the White House's Spanish speaking website has no mention whatsoever of the Senate's vote to make English the national language.

Hat tip to August .

20 May

So begins the body count...

From VOA :

Border security officials are reported to have been following the vehicle on suspicion that illegal immigrants were being smuggled into the United States. At least four people in the vehicle were detained after the shooting.Typical, shoot first and ask questions later.

Exactly how is immigrant smuggling such an imminent threat that it requires shooting the driver! I wonder how long before we establish a demiliterized zone in northern Mexico?