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Desperado

The blog incarnation of the Desperado mailing list, the voice of the apocryphalypse since 1978.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Tedious ancient annoyance 


Just sticking my nose in here to note that the phrase
Weapons of mass destruction
is a lie all by itself, without any help from the professional liars of the administration of George W. "W" Bush.There are really only two weapons of mass destruction, the A-bomb and its big brother, the H-bomb. All the rest, poison gas, anthrax clouds, clouds of bats armed with pyrotechics, as spectacular and horrifying as they may be, just won't destroy a mass of people the way atomic weapons will.

They thought for sure they'd find something in Iraq, maybe not nuclear arms, but, gee, just one can of mustard gas, one test tube filled with smallpox, one weather controller. If they had, you'd have heard about it, and you haven't.
posted by Tom  # 11/29/2005 06:01:00 PM
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Monday, November 28, 2005

Bush isn't Churchill after all, he's FDR! 



Sen. John Warner, puffing on a peace pipe, or some kind of pipe, piped this one out into the public sphere yesterday:
The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Sunday suggested that President Bush use an FDR-style presentation to update people on progress in the war in Iraq.

Sen. John Warner, R-Va., recalled that during World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt often went on the radio in "fireside chats" to explain to the nation in detail the conduct of the war in Europe and Asia.

"I think it would be to Bush's advantage," said Warner, who served in the Navy during the war.

"It would bring him closer to the people, dispel some of this concern that understandably our people have, about the loss of life and limb, the enormous cost of this war to the American public," he said.
Yeah, that could happen.
posted by Tom  # 11/28/2005 03:35:00 PM
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Where babies come from in Germany 


I don't know if this was news to the self-replicating JO, but it sure was nice of him to send it along to the rest of us:
Hier siehst du ein Baby.
Weisst du, wie es auf die Welt gekommen ist?
Click for hot pix!
posted by Tom  # 11/28/2005 03:20:00 PM
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Apocryphal .sig 



Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.
After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.

-- Wu Li

posted by Tom  # 11/28/2005 01:25:00 PM
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Saturday, November 26, 2005

Neo-con Tourette-style babble 


You will have heard of Boris Johnson, the British Tory MP, who has offered to go to jail to publish the memorandum in which President George W. "W" Bush proposes bombing Al Jazeera.

This Boris Johnson, in addition to being a stand-up guy, is also funny as hell. In his web log, Johnson creates a defense for Bush (emphasis added):
Some of us feel that we have an abusive relationship with this war. Every time we get our hopes up, we get punched by some piece of bad news. We yearn to be told that we're wrong, that things are going to get better, that the glass is half full. That's why I would love to think that Dubya was just having one of his little frat-house wisecracks, when he talked of destroying the Qatar-based satellite TV station. Maybe he was only horsing around. Maybe it was a flippant one-liner, of the kind that he delivers before making one of his dramatic exits into the broom-closet. Perhaps it was a kind of Henry II moment: you know, who will rid me of this turbulent TV station? Maybe he had a burst of spacy Reagan-esque surrealism, like the time the old boy forgot that the mikes were switched on, and startled a press conference with the announcement that he was going to start bombing Russia in five minutes. Maybe Bush thought he was Kenny Everett. Perhaps he was playing Basil Brush. Boom boom.

Who knows? But if his remarks were just an innocent piece of cretinism, then why in the name of holy thunder has the British state decreed that anyone printing those remarks will be sent to prison?

We all hope and pray that the American President was engaging in nothing more than neo-con Tourette-style babble about blowing things up. We are quite prepared to believe that the Daily Mirror is wrong. We are ready to accept that the two British civil servants who have leaked the account are either malicious or mistaken. But if there is one thing that would seem to confirm the essential accuracy of the story, it is that the Attorney General has announced that he will prosecute anyone printing the exact facts.

What are we supposed to think?
Answer: Duh!

Ed's note: I wish Barney Frank had a web log.
posted by Tom  # 11/26/2005 12:35:00 PM
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Monday, November 21, 2005

What th' H . . . ! 


That vexing problem of how to tell the two horrible George Bushes apart has been solved:
Got it?
posted by Tom  # 11/21/2005 05:22:00 PM
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Friday, November 11, 2005

How Monica Lewinsky can save her country and herself 



Supposedly there's a billboard in Washington, D.C. bearing the legend:
"Would someone please give him a blowjob so we can impeach him?"

posted by Tom  # 11/11/2005 12:37:00 AM
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Thursday, November 10, 2005

Shrieking about the ongoing cataclysm of American democracy 


This guy is fucking pissed.

His is not my voice, but he certainly expresses my mood. I don't want to be from the imperialist country that invades without provocation, tortures and burns as it wishes, and all the while guts the economy and the constitution, not to mention the very fabric of discourse.

As the Bible says in the Book of Hosea, Chapter 8, verse 7, in various translations available here:
For they sow the wind, and they will reap the whirlwind. He has no standing grain. The stalk will yield no head. If it does yield, strangers will swallow it up. (WEB)

For they sow the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: he hath no standing grain; the blade shall yield no meal; if so be it yield, strangers shall swallow it up. (ASV)

For they have been planting the wind, and their fruit will be the storm; his grain has no stem, it will give no meal, and if it does, a strange nation will take it. (BBE)

For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk; should it sprout, it would yield no meal; if so be it yield, strangers shall swallow it up. (DBY)

For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk; the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up. (KJV)

For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal: if it shall yield, the strangers shall swallow it up. (WBS)

For they sow the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind; it hath no stalk, the bud that shall yield no meal; if so be it yield, strangers shall swallow it up. (JPS)

For wind they sow, and a hurricane they reap, Stalk it hath none -- a shoot not yielding grain, If so be it yield -- strangers do swallow it up. (YLT)

posted by Tom  # 11/10/2005 02:26:00 PM
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Tesla pumps, bouncing balls, tinfoil hats 



I can't sit here and shriek all the time about the ongoing cataclysm consuming American democracy.

Fun, interesting links, a classic American web log entry:
Links from all over, including Brother Dave.
posted by Tom  # 11/10/2005 01:22:00 PM
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Does that make me a bad person? 


I can't help but laugh a bit when I see the name President Omar Bongo of Gabon, even in this rather peculiar context.
posted by Tom  # 11/10/2005 12:25:00 AM
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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The difference between cats and dogs 


More JO wisdom:
I was reminded this weekend that when you meet someone's dog and say the dog's name, the dog's rushes forward and thinks, "Somebody knows my name -- this is going to be the best day ever!!!!", but a cat's ears go back, and s/he shrinks back, thinking "Who talked?"
Re s/he: To the little woman, Mrs. Desperado, all dogs are male and all cats are female, including our female golden retriever and male kitty cat.
posted by Tom  # 11/08/2005 10:55:00 PM
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Torture news from all over 


Michael Froomkin's Discourse.net is torture central. Today, he has an item about a tortured attempt to ameliorate torture accusations by some (prominent) turkey in a (pretty famous) web log.

Froomkin's comment on this bore the title
OK the Soviet Gulag Was Bigger and Worse. Feel Better Now?
My comment:
Maybe it would be okay if we just called it an "archipelago", and skipped that controversial "gulag" part.

Little islands popping up here and there filled with non-existent prisoners. Of course, since they don't exist, they have no rights.
Ed's note: Links in the Froomkin web log.
posted by Tom  # 11/08/2005 05:01:00 PM
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Quirky, understated, meandering 


From the wiggy JO:
I'm reading The Frontiers of Paradise: A Study of Monks and Monasteries, by Peter Levi. He writes in a quirky, understated, meandering way that feels wholly appropriate to his subject, a style that I know would greatly appeal to you. Here's a small excerpt:
"A doctor to a Carthusian priory told me that they have almost no diseases, and live to be very old. Some time after eighty, they just go out quietly like candles. An old Carthusian did go to a hospital I knew once, for hernia I believe. All the nurses fell in love with him. He got himself cured by a miracle from heaven and went back to his cell.
The senior monk who came to fetch him gave him a wigging for not having his miracle at home."

posted by Tom  # 11/08/2005 04:53:00 PM
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Warning: Link contains F-word 


The Project for the Old American Century has a list of the characteristics of fascist regimes, with illuminating contemporary commentary.
posted by Tom  # 11/08/2005 01:21:00 PM
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Who wouldn't be an enemy of this state? 


Do you think you live in a free country? Think again. Once you get in their sights, you stay in their sights.
“You can’t keep anything hidden. Your life is an open book with us and it will be to the day you die.”

posted by Tom  # 11/08/2005 12:05:00 PM
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Monday, November 07, 2005

Betcha by golly wow . . . and a pony 


Brother Dave discloses a new meme. Oh boy!
posted by Tom  # 11/07/2005 10:03:00 PM
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Don't tell him about Russia and Canada 



From the New York Times coverage of President George W. "W" Bush's visit to Brazil:
At one point, Mr. da Silva even exhibited a map of his country, which is larger than the continental United States. "Wow! Brazil is big," Mr. Amorim quoted the American president as responding.
Amorim is Brazil's foreign minister; DaSilva is its president. Bush is a damn fool.

FYI:
Top Countries by Area

1. Russia (17,075,200 sq km)
2. Canada (9,984,670 sq km)
3. United States (9,631,418 sq km)
4. China (9,596,960 sq km)
5. Brazil (8,511,965 sq km
Tip o' the Desperado tan galan to Eric Alterman for the cop.
posted by Tom  # 11/07/2005 12:50:00 PM
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Sunday, November 06, 2005

The New SS -- Oh boy! 


Here's some more about the destruction of democracy by the administration of George W. "W" Bush from Dissident Voice:

Mike Whitney: 'Drifting towards a Police State'

"Those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost liberty, my message is this: Your tactics only aid the terrorists for they erode our national unity and diminish our resolve. They give ammunition to America's enemies and pause to America's friends"
-- Former Attorney General John Ashcroft

Did you know that under the terms of the new Patriot Act prosecutors will be able to seek the death penalty in cases where "defendants gave financial support to umbrella organizations without realizing that some of its adherents might eventually commit violence"? (NY Times; editorial 10-30-05) So, if someone unknowingly gave money to a charity that was connected to a terrorist group, he could be executed.

Or, that the Senate Intelligence Committee is fine-tuning the details of a bill that will allow the FBI to secretly procure any of your personal records without "probable cause" or a court order giving them "unchecked authority to pry into personal and business matters"? (New York Times, "Republicans seek to widen FBI Powers, 10-19-05)

Or, that on June 29, President Bush put "a broad swath of the FBI" under his direct control by creating the National Security Service (aka; the "New SS")? This is the first time we've had a "secret police" in our 200 year history. It will be run exclusively by the president and beyond the range of congressional oversight.
Keep on reading, it gets worse, just like the Republicans. Found originally via Smirking Chimp.
posted by Tom  # 11/06/2005 03:00:00 PM
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Thursday, November 03, 2005

Desperation on the march 


Question for today:
Do we really want a weakened, wounded, enraged, unconstrained George W. "W" Bush flailing around at his enemies, domestic, foreign, and internal, for the next three years, desperately grabbing for anything that will put him back on that pile of rubble with a bull horn while the nation beams?
Isn't that what we're going to have? The worst that could happen is pretty bad.
posted by Tom  # 11/03/2005 01:33:00 PM
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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

IPPAIYOKU (Plenty of Desires) 


The burgeoning Japanese bocaburerry:
KAKO BIJIN (Past Beauty) -- a woman who would have been called a beauty if she had been born in an earlier age. Kako Bijin tend, Sunday Mainichi says, to go on about how they would have been popular with guys if they had been born in the Heian Era (794-1194).

MEMORIARU SEKUSURESU (Memorial Sexless) -- a term used for normally sexless couples who decide to go in for a little bit of slap and tickle on momentous occasions, such as anniversaries or to mark such occasions as their team winning a sports championship.
Many more at link. Brother Dave strikes again.
posted by Tom  # 11/02/2005 02:11:00 PM
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A charming moment with President Bush 


No, really, it is charming.
posted by Tom  # 11/02/2005 01:04:00 PM
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