Saturday, March 08, 2003

Take a Number: Is Zimbabwe next?

I'll be honest, I know nothing about Zimbabwe. That being said, I can't comment on Bush's actions.

This is a little scary though.

Mr Bush's order "is aimed not at the people of Zimbabwe but rather at those most responsible for their current plight", White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said.
His statement hinted at other US actions "to support the aspirations of Zimbabwe's people for a peaceful and democratic future"

Where have we heard this before..hrm...let me think....

Friday, March 07, 2003

Another Video Clip: Endless Love


Media Watch: Last Night’s Press Conference

Ari admits scripting press conference.

Or at least picking who gets to ask questions. See the video here. Another fine catch by Atrios.

Transcript of Video:

ARI: Let's keep moving now, Lester?

LESTER: Last night, after the fifth time the president looked down at an apparent list of reporters, he smiled, and he said "This is scripted."

ARI: Are you going to complain that he didn’t call on you?

LESTER: No, No, No...Which surely suggests that he did not write that script, which gave two questions to one network, two questions to one wire service, and one to other big and wealthy media, but left all the rest, including Helen Thomas, ruled out in advance of any chance to ask, and left to serve only as window dressing. And my question is: Since you are always fair, Ari, in recognizing all of us, who was it who wrote that script that the president confessed to. Was it Carl Rove? or Karen? or who?

ARI: It was me. I gave the president the suggestion on reporters to call. The president called on all reporters, the president did not call on any columnists. Mark?

LESTER: [Trying to follow up]

ARI: No Lester, we are going to move on.

Thursday, March 06, 2003

Suggested Reading: Whatever

Perhaps the best written arguement I've read in quite some time.

Constitutional Rights Commentary: Ohio Sucks

I’ve learned something new every day since moving to this state.

I learned that when the sirens go off, it’s not a call for volunteer firemen, it’s a tornado warning. I’ve learned how to attach a front license plate holder on my car. I’ve learned that a state without limited tort options equals higher car insurance. I’ve learned that an “at will” employment state means they can fire me for looking unhappy, and that I don’t have a case for wrongful termination.


What kind of Back-water po-dunk state is this? Well, being it’s our bicentennial and all, it’s a good time to ratify this, wouldn’t you think? Some Ohio Republicans don’t.

"We now have a system where there's some misapplication. I don't want anybody to misconstrue our re-ratification of the 14th Amendment as also ratifying those cases where it's misapplied," said state Rep. Tim Grendell, R-Chesterland.

Drop this guy an email. Let him know it’s time that Ohio moves into the 19th century.

Thanks Atrios for catching this.

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

Follow-up: Buchanan transcript from Wednesday

MSNBC has released the transcript from yesterday’s Buchanan and Press show.

I seriously thought reading it would let me know that I was overreacting. Nope, I was right on.


BUCHANAN: OK, Mr. Roth, let me ask you this. Let me give you an argument. Let me give you an argument. Look, doctors regularly, daily, inflict horrible pain on patients. They cut them open and they put new hearts in them. And it’s horrible pain. It’s done for their own good to save one life. If you can do it to save one life, why can’t you inflict pain on a guilty man to save 100 lives?


PRESS: Come on.

ROTH: You don’t see a difference between consenting to an operation to save your life vs. forcing severe pain on somebody else? Please. You don’t really believe that.

BUCHANAN: Listen, oh, I do believe...

PRESS: Oh, how about the anesthesiologist in here, Pat. They don’t feel the pain.

BUCHANAN: Anybody that says you wouldn’t use pain on this guy to save 100 lives, you’re a wimp.

Press tried to joke about this obviously flawed statement, in order to get Buchanan off of this slippery slope. Buchanan however, was rescued by a commercial break.

Tuesday, March 04, 2003

Papal Request: Fast for Peace

Pope John Paul II is requesting people of faith to fast tomorrow as a reminder of the long years of suffering endured by Iraqi citizens as a result of the international embargo against the country.

The Meatstack has supported the embargo against Iraq in the past, and will continue to support it until there is a change in leadership. But I agree with Nobel Peace Prize Winner Bishop Desmond Tutu that the way to free a people is not to "bomb them into democracy."

This just in: Buchanan: Torture no worse than a medical procedure

I'm floored. As soon as I find a transcript of this exchange, I'm going to post it....

On Buchanan and Press today, on msnbc, Pat Buchanan (hereforth refered to as AntiChrist) was debating with a human rights advocate for the use of torture.

I don't have his exact words written down, so I'm going to have to paraphrase. I'll edit in a link when I can find one:

AntiChrist: Sir, everyday in the country Doctors cut open people, cause incredible pain and suffering, all in the name of saving one life. If that is acceptable, why should we not cause pain and suffering to other in order to save 100's or 1000's of lives.

Press: Pat...I can't...*chuckle*

Human Rights Advocate: *Flabergasted* If you cannot see the difference between consent....

AntiChrist: We must use all means nessarry to defend this country.

I HAVE to be able to find a written record of this somewhere...I'll post it when I do.

Question: What happens if we do “go it alone?”

Let’s jump two or three weeks into the future.

It’s mid March. March Madness is in full swing, the temperatures are starting to get warmer, and my wife is getting hell-bent on cleaning everything. Oh, and we are knee deep in Iraq, our troops probably closing in on Baghdad.

We did it alone. Sure, the Brits and the Aussies are helping, we may even have Spain and Japan assisting. But, what happens in New York, at that big building with all the flags outside?

I havn’t seen anyone draw up this scenario yet. Obviously the security council of the UN did not support this…will the US be hit by sanctions? Will the Security Council just look the other way? Will there be a boycott of US products in the countries that opposed military action?

Anti-American resentment is growing to levels not seen in at least 20 years. It is already affecting tourists abroad.

Let’s take a look at the biggest opponents to the war, and see what a boycott would affect:

France: Cars, Cereals, Chemicals, Clothing, Electrical Equipment, Iron and Steel, Leather Goods, Petroleum Products, Processed Foods, Textiles, Wine. I also saw somewhere that Aircraft parts would be effected.

Germany: Chemicals, Food, Instruments, Iron and Steel, Lignite, Machinery, Motor Vehicles, Potash, Railway Equipment, Textiles, Yarns and Fabrics.

Belgium: Chemicals, Cut Diamonds, Foodstuffs, Iron and Steel, Machinery, Motor Vehicles, Petroleum Products, Textile Products.

The truth is that America is a lot of countries top importer. A boycott could hurt them a lot more than it hurts us. Dare I say, a boycott may actually HELP America. Because of that, we won’t see a boycott. They may not agree with what our military is doing, but they won’t let that hurt their wallets.

So, what will they do? Well, they can impose a tariff on anything imported into their country, pricing it out of competition with local products. Now we are talking items like autos, foodstuffs, aircraft, appliances, and machinery. This is the more likely scenario.

So, another question, if we “do it alone,” and the rest of the world tariffs our imports, how’s that going to affect the economy? I bet we all know the answer to that one already.

Monday, March 03, 2003

Site Update: Subscription Service

I've added another link above, this one will subscribe you to a mailing list to let you know when I've updated the site. No text is needed in the body of the message, but feel free let me know if you want Full updates (everything) or "lite" updates (only commentaries or news pieces)

Continuing this interactive lesson in html...

Commentary: Bush must listen to pleas

Later this week, a group of Vatican diplomats will hand-deliver a letter to the Bush containing a papal plea not to go to war.

The letter, as reported by Reuters, says that it is the wish of the Pope, as well as the Vatican, that a peaceful solution be found.

The Vatican states that it does not believe the situation in Iraq would constitute a “just war.”

If Bush is a man of God, a born-again Christian as he claims, certainly a papal plea would persuade him to back off……right?

I guess we will now have to boycott communion wafers.

Sidebar: They come in whole wheat too?

While trying to find a link for communion wafers above, I noticed something rather strange…apparently, and I did not know this, there is a choice in communion wafers. You can order white, or whole wheat! Surprisingly missing is pumpernickel, sourdough, or rye.

Site Update: Comments now available

Now that I have the basics of blogging down, I'm adding features. This feature allows you, the reader to talk back on what you read.

Look below, See that little word that states "comments"? Click that, and a new window should appear. Fill out the form, and w00t, you now have commented on my ramblings. Pretty cool eh?

Commentary: Bush loses another country

Mexico’s president Vicente Fox stated Sunday that his country will continue to seek a peaceful resolution to the Iraq issue.

Washington Post Article here

If you think WAY back to 2000, when Bush was first "Elected," he snubbed the Canadians by going to Mexico first. He did that, because as governor of Texas, he had forged a good relationship with the Mexican President.

We can boycott French wine all we want, if you start screwing with my tequila, I'm gonna get pissed.

Why aren’t these same people asking to boycott:
German Beer?
Russian Vodka?
Chinese Food?
Belgium Waffles?
Turkish Delights?

Sunday, March 02, 2003

Commentary: Blog Power

The Blogsphere has a high signal-to-noise ratio. Most blogs fall in the same category as Kiss and Tell, Slave of Depression, or notorious sexer. It’s the exploits of some angst filled teen or young adult providing to the world a daily play by play of boyfriends, girlfriends, show’s they’ve seen, and who they are hanging out with.

There are, however, some standouts that are using the blog tool for a true purpose. The most notable example of this is This isn’t me, Kelly. This is the journal of a woman watching her grandmother die of Alzheimer's. It’s sad, it’s honest, and it’s real.

The rest fall into a category for which the blog is most famous for: politics. When Senator Trent Lott (R-MS) made his now infamous speech at Strom Thurman’s birthday bash, the mainstream media dropped the ball. They missed the context of Lott’s comments, and nothing much came of it.

The speech was not lost on the web journalists, however. Josh Marshall’s talking points memo site was the first to dig into the story, followed by Atrios. Conservative blogs got in on the action as well, and the debates that ensued were too big for the mainstream media to miss. The rest of the story, you probably already know.

I’ve had the pleasure of working in two newsrooms during my career. I’ve seen how stories go from design, to print or air. I was never truly happy with the way it was done. To be fair of the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat, I only worked the sports desk, so I’ll keep my comments strictly to WJAC-TV.

If it was decided in the morning meeting that we were going to do a story involving the Johnstown Police Department, this meant that we had to, of course, talk to the police chief. We would speak to the chief, put his comments down on tape, but never really “dig” into them. The reason behind that is that if we were to show that he was omitting the truth, lying, or obscuring details, he would not do another interview with us in the future. Because of that, we allowed ourselves to be force-fed the “party line” and in the interest of not making waves, we let it at that.

I do not think it would be much of a stretch to think that other newsrooms around the country have a similar dilemma. America needs a true news source that is not afraid to burn bridges. Amateur journalists do not rely on their work to make the house payment. They have no vested interest in becoming “buddy-buddy” with officials. They are truly independent.

With that comes a price. The writers tend to be more biased (either to the left, or right) and, more often than not, produce more commentary than journalism. It’s something the reader must remember when digesting the information.

It’s my goal to create content, not noise. If my words help someone with a computer problem, or if I cause someone to think about something happening in the world around them, then I’m doing my job. It is very easy, however, to fall into that first category of blog. It’s simple to hop on daily, give you an update to how my day has been, how I’m jamming to some new tune, or how much kibble my dog ate today. Although those blogs have a place in the web, that place isn’t here.

That being said, I won’t publish daily as usually expected with a blog. I don’t have that much fresh content to bear. And, really, who the Hell is interested in dog food, anyhow.


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