Bill Moyers Presents a Bombshell

WOW!! Bill Moyers skewered the right wing pundits who mindlessly promoted the war in Iraq. It was unbelievable. He showed Vice President Cheney outright lying on television. And he showed the pundits repeating the lies.

In short, the credibility of many journalists and pundits was outright attacked and destroyed. There is no way to ignore what Bill Moyers reported.


Peace in the Middle East: The Payoff for Peace

The Israeli paper, Haaretz, reported that the King of Jordan supported the idea of giving Palestinians a payment rather than a guarantee of a return to their old land. Hamas went bonkers and has returned to sending rockets into Israel.

Let's face it, all of the Palestinians are not going to return. Just give them the money and let's move on. Of course, Hamas will no longer have any reason to keep on killing people except that they are bloodthirsty jerks. They will probably invent another reason.


Critique My Blog

Submit your blog for a critique by this blogger who does nothing but review other people's blogs.


50% Good News In Russia

The Russian government has just ordered the Russian News Service to make half of what it says about Russia "positive." That means if a nuclear bomb was set off in Moscow, it would have to be balanced with how global warming is making the weather so nice.

Seriously, don't you see wildly ample opportunity for satire? I mean, "Today the sun shone. In other news, you won't have any electricity this winter." Of course any journalist tempted to do that would be gunned down like the rest of them.

He Should Have Never Had the Guns

The New York Times reports today that the Virginia Tech gunman, whom I will not name, should not have had the ability to buy a gun at all under Federal regulations. But someone in Virginia decided to reword the Virginia regulations to be different than the Federal one, illegal by the way, and put that version on their forms. So the Virginia Tech gunman got his guns and ammo.

Let's read into this. Some gun rights wacko decided that he wanted to increase gun ownership possibilities and reworded the Federal regulation. Now over thirty people are dead.

Don't worry. We'll find out who did this. And then not even the NRA will be able to save them.


Take the Al Jazeera Poll - Should the Virginia Tech Gunman's Video Be Broadcast

By broadcasting the video that the deranged student recorded, the news media is only encouraging copycats. The gunman himself referred to the Columbine killers, no doubt because of their video messages.

Brooke Gladstone of NPR's On The Media said today that airing the videos was the only thing news outlets could do. I disagree. The graphic and offensive images are not providing any new information and only serve to encourage others to follow suit.

Al Jazeera has an online poll. Take it and see what their readers think.


"Morally Retarded"

Let's begin the cultural shift with the introduction of a new phrase: morally retarded.

The phrase is an accurate description of those who go on these mass killing sprees. Too many messages in the popular culture associate a willingness to commit violence with a superiority of character, where the person is depicted as having transcended normal limits.

The opposite is true. People who can commit violence are morally retarded and need to be depicted that way. They've never developed limits because of their moral retardation. Their decision-making capacities are skewed. The result is violence our entire society has to suffer.

Let's change the conversation about violence.


Guns Don't Kill, People Do

And that's the problem. People kill. I know there are many responsible gun owners and hunters. My Dad is one of them. And I am sure that any one of them can pass basic safety criteria and not be upset at needing to have a clean arrest record and proficiency at the firearm they are buying.

And how would the world end if all guns had tracing microchips? If we traced gun ownership like we do car ownership? What is the big need for automatic weapons?

I'd really like to know.

God, Guns and Guts

Another American tragedy yesterday at Virginia Tech. And yet there is still more control over who can drive a car than there is over who can own a gun. A car is identified and traced through the VIN number.

And what is with the crazy pro-gun lobby? They issued a press release right after the shooting blaming a lack of guns for the incident. The idea being that if some students in the classroom had guns, and people in general knew that, then no one would enter a classroom with mass murder on their minds.

Or if they did, they would use a hand grenade. Or they would shoot someone upon entry to the classroom and duck out the door waiting for someone to chase them with their gun. Or they would pull the fire alarm and shoot people from a hidden vantage point. Or they would throw tear gas into a classroom and kill people in the confusion. That in turn would cause some gun-wielding students to shoot back.

Do you think a person who plans a cowardly attack like the one at Virginia Tech is going to be dissuaded from doing so because he will be killed? Obviously not, since suicide seems to have been part of the plan from the beginning. Instead, a gun battle will ensue, with just as many people being killed.

People who wield guns need to be referred as cowards. The media language needs to change and so does our culture.


Turkey and the Kurds in Iraq

Remember when Turkey wouldn't let the U.S. go through its country to invade Iraq? Now the Turkish military is talking about moving into northern Iraq on its own. It seems that Kurdish separatists within Turkey are hiding in northern Iraq and Turkey wants to go in and get them.

For now, the Turkish military is holding itself back and waiting for civilian leaders to make the call. So let's imagine that the U.S. is pulled out of Iraq altogether, which is the best. The new Iraq now has to worry not only about Iran menacing them, but Turkey too. Not to mention Kurd separatism erupting in northern Iraq at the same time. Let's not forget the oil there.

If Iraq blows up, then Iran and Turkey will have good reasons to march in. I think what the Iraqis will find is that they had better hang together, or they will surely hang separately.


Was George Washington A Terrorist?

Well, was he?

Don Imus and the Nappy-Headed Ho's

Poor Don Imus. The culture has changed underneath his feet. Whereas last year it was perfectly OK to call accomplished young women "whores" it is not OK now. That is a step forward for us all.

If A Terrorist Lives ...

Most terrorists die a violent death. They die fighting the government they oppose, or they get killed by people in their own group, or they kill themselves. A few will be rerouted into crime.

But sometimes they live. We can see in East Timor what happens then. They run for office against each other. With speeches and rallies and icky promises and no ability to shoot your opponent. Not if you want to win the election.

Click on the title to this post to see an article describing what violent rebels turned politician looks like.


Torture and the U.S. Image

The Iranian diplomat that the U.S. released claims he was tortured. That may or may not be true. What's important is that the claim of torture is so believable to the rest of the world. Our actions as a nation in this Global War on Terror have so besmirched our standing and credibility that any spurious claim will now be given a stage.

Thanks Rumsfeld. Thanks Bush. Thanks Guantanamo, and all the faceless bureaucrats that allowed it to happen.

Iran: Crazy or Stupid?

The Iranians are neither stupid nor crazy. It is a comfort to think that they might be, but they aren't.

Because if the Iranians are stupid or crazy, then we can dismiss what they are saying or why they are saying it. We then do not need to look at our own hostage-taking actions, nor do we need to dance our elaborate dance of self-justification.

What those labels also give us are the excuse to refrain from thinking. There's no analysis required if someone's CRAZY! Hurray! I was worried for a minute there, but now comfortably sit back in my preconceived notions. Ahhhh.

Iran's Hostage Strategy Worked

So now the truth is shook out. Iran took the British hostages so they could get their diplomats back. You may recall that the U.S. stormed an Iranian diplomatic facility and took some 'diplomats' as captives.

Well, what's good for the goose is good for the gander. So Iran seized British marines and held them without access to British embassy officials. Just like the U.S. did to the Iranian diplomats. Then, after the U.S. released a diplomat and allowed Iranian officials to visit the other ones, the British marines were released.

So you get the point now, President Bush? Or do you need a picture? If you throw beer in someone's face, be prepared to have beer thrown back in yours.

Econo-Girl has always said that the Iranians are neither stupid nor crazy.


Free At Last! British Marines Go Home

Ahmadinejad released the British Marines "as an Easter gift to the British people."

With no sense of irony in sight, Dick Cheney muttered about not having the right to kidnap sailors. Would that extend to diplomats, too? Wasn't that the point Ahmadinejad was making?

Econo-Girl thinks that the Iranians have long kept sleazy actions under diplomatic cover, so she is not as outraged as others at the arrest of Iranian "diplomats." Still, the point was made, wasn't it?

The Global Stock Exchange

A global stock exchange that does not include Asia, South America or Africa? Why don't you just call it "Us White Guys"?

Note to everyone: Most people live in Asia. Any "global" place needs to include them. And Africa is on this planet, too. How many times have I seen something called "global" that does not include Africa, I can't even count.

The British Hostages: What Iran Wants

The Chinese business newspaper The Standard floats a balloon that makes sense of Iran's actions in taking the British marines hostage. The U.S. did the same thing to Iran. We raided an Iranian diplomatic facility and captured Iranian diplomats, none of whom have been released.

Now the pair of kidnappings are being linked in the Chinese press. It seems that obtaining the release of the British hostages relies on the release of the Iranian ones being held by the U.S.

Tony Blair has been an avid supporter of the foreign policies of this misguided U.S. administration. Let's see if George Bush will do the same for him.

Econo-Girl has always maintained that the Iranians are neither stupid nor crazy. This "exchange of hostages" idea seems to bear that out.

David Hicks and the Gag Order

How can the military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay detention camp, which still operates under the authority of the U.S. Constitution, issue an unconstitutional parole agreement?

The gag order on David Hicks, which is part of his plea agreement for getting out of that hellhole, orders David Hicks not to speak to any media about what he was doing in Afghanistan or his time at Guantanamo Bay. Such a plea agreement would be illegal in the United States, except that it has been issued by the military tribunals set up just for the purpose of justifying illegal detentions.

And the U.S. Supreme Court refuses to hear the cases of the detainees. Their decision will be remembered in the same breath as the Japanese detention case in World War II.

In the linked article, the leading Australian law officer mocked the idea that David Hicks would ever be deported for breaking the gag order, openly sneering at the illegality of it. Too bad our own Supreme Court can't bring itself to do the same thing.


Death to Mothers

OK, only one particular mother. The one that tried to prostitute her daughter. There should be a death penalty to any parent who tries to prostitute their child. And for any parent who kills their child while 'disciplining' them.

Child abuse is a crime in a category all its own. And you should be removed from the gene pool if you kill your own child.

See the linked article on the title to this post.

The End of Guantanamo, The End of Bush, The End of Blair

A British resident, Bisher al-Rawi, has been released from Guantanamo Bay prison camp. He describes the hopelessness there in the article linked to the title of this post.

The significance of his statements have less to do with the allegations than with the implication that Tony Blair allowed British citizens and residents to be treated this way. No representation. No chance to refute the charges. Abusive and demeaning treatment before any terror connection has been proved.

A country is supposed to watch out for its people elsewhere in the world, not offer them up as political sacrifices to the ideology of an unthinking cowboy.

Tony Blair did not protect his citizens. Yes, some of them are rotters, no doubt. But a stinker will out in a fair process. There is no need for such lopsided handling unless there is an equal amount of doubt that there is enough evidence to convince an impartial observer of a detainee's guilt.

When the new British government arrives, do you think they will stay quiet about this? They will not. Just in time for the U.S. election, too.