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Saturday, January 10, 2004
 
Could the dam be beginning to burst? Condi now says that we never had any evidence of WMD going to Syria. 60 Minutes is going to be very interesting tomorrow night. Newspapers around the country seem to have actually noticed that Colin Powell admitted that the administration-ahem...lied about evidence regarding WMD in Iraq.

I guess we'll just have to pay more attention to football and moon bases, lest we actually begin to figure out the extent to which America has been had.
 
Friday, January 09, 2004
 
Powell says that the US doesn't have any proof of Iraq-Al Qaeda ties, and never did. The administration just thought it was "likely".

Not exactly what they were saying last March, is it?

I wonder if they'll get away with it?
 
 
So, w has decided that the theme for this election year should be the big vision of space exploration. Geez, there's just so many ways to go with that...

Rather than go for the cheap laughs by exploiting the space between his ears, perhaps it would be useful to discuss the cost of something as exciting and visionary as a Moon Base. I'm pretty sure Moon Bases are sort of expensive..no, make that very expensive...no, make that incredibly, unimaginably expensive. Back in the early 1960's when JFK made a similarly exciting proposal, federal budget deficits weren't nearly the size that they are today.

I love the idea of exploring space. Really. I make my living in the aviation business and I've never outgrown my fascination with Rockets and Moon Bases and Missions to Mars.

But this is nuts. We can't afford it. Even if the federal budget were in surplus, or at least projected to be, it wouldn't make much fiscal sense; these guys are koo-koo.

Oh wait, I forgot: w is the President who announces support for a program and then cuts its funding! I feel better now.
 
 
This CBS news video has a clip of 60 Minutes' interview with Paul Oniell to air on Sunday. I was shocked, shocked I tell you, to hear him essentially say that there doesn't appear to be a whole lot going on inside gw's head. He is basically an empty suit, waiting for orders.
 
Thursday, January 08, 2004
 
Earlier today we noted the fears of the US government that those rotten and lazy French authorities had let an Al Qaeda bad guy slip away. Turns out we were operating on a surname only. No first name, no birth date, no passport number. What incredibly unique and incriminating surname could this be, you ask? Surely it must be Bin Laden, or Hussein...well,no...

It was "Hai".

If you want to, go to an online telehone directory and see how many hits you get on "Hai". I feel sorry for all of those folks, who must have a real interesting time when they want to travel by air. I also feel sorry for us, since this is apparently as sophisticated as our air traveller surveillance system gets. Sad.

More Orange Alert, anyone?
 
 
Had to write a letter to the local rag re: David Brooks latest distorted diversion:

(naturally, they didn't print it)

7 January 2004

To the Editor:

David Brooks’ opinion column in today’s Star Tribune makes some valid points; among them is that “half truths get circulated and exaggerated”. Unfortunately, Mr. Brooks column is well filled with just such half truths. He primarily focuses on the harmlessness of the so-called “neoconservative” movement, as embodied by the Project for the New American Century (PNAC).

The PNAC was formed in 1997. It is a well funded Washington think tank and lobbying agent. Here is an excerpt from its’ Statement of Principles (available on the PNAC website):

“As the 20th century draws to a close, the United States stands as the world’s preeminent power. Having led the West to victory in the Cold War, America faces opportunity and a challenge: Does the United States have the vision to build upon the achievements of past decades? Does the United States have the resolve to shape a new century favorable to American principles and interests?”

also: “we need to increase defense spending significantly”….”we need to..challenge regimes hostile to our interests and values”

This statement is dated June 3, 1997, well before 9/11. PNAC’s letters and opinions have grown more radical since then.

From this statement and many others available on its website, one can easily conclude that neoconservative foreign policy encourages an aggressive, confrontational pursuit of “American interests” and “American values” worldwide, backed by military force as necessary. This appears to be remarkably similar to policies enacted by the Bush administration, both before and after 9/11.

Who is PNAC? Mr. Brooks states that “neocons…the ones outside government have almost no contact with President Bush”. Here is a partial list of the signers of that June 1997 letter. Decide for yourself how much contact and influence they have had with the President.

Dick Cheney: currently Vice President of the United States
Donald Rumsfeld: currently Secretary of Defense
Jeb Bush: President Bush’s brother, currently Governor of Florida
Paul Wolfowitz: currently Undersecretary of Defense
Richard Perle: Foreign Policy Advisor, Bush Campaign 2000, currently member (formerly chairman) of the Defense Policy Board
Peter W. Rodman: currently Assistant Secretary for International Security Affairs (DoD)
Paula Dobriansky: currently Undersecretary, Global Affairs, US State Department
I. Lewis Libby: currently Chief of Staff for Vice President Cheney

Mr. Brooks’ contention that criticism of neocon-style foreign policy belongs in the realm of conspiracy theory has no basis in fact. His contention that criticism of neocon-style foreign policy is somehow anti-Semitic has no basis in fact. His contention that neocons have no special influence with this Administration has no basis in fact. Mr. Brooks would do well to become better acquainted with the facts before accusing others of “half truths”.

Signed,

Me

 
Sunday, January 04, 2004
 
Worked a 3 leg trip today...we have new security directives regarding cockpit security. I won't go into them here, but I don't feel safer. Mr. Osama has released another tape....good thing we got the REAL bad guy last month; or wait, did we? Dean has been castigated for saying that Saddam's capture hasn't made us safer, but from where I sit (at the front end of an airliner), he's exactly right. Saddam was/is a bad guy, but he wasn't OUR bad guy. Osama is the one we need to get: as long as he's loose and releasing his periodic kill-all-infidels tapes we will have suicidally crazed Islamic Fundamentalists trying to carry out his wishes. He is magic to these guys; the greatest military power in the world has failed to nail him for 2 1/2 years after 9/11.

The Bush administration has led us on a merry snipe hunt to Iraq for their own reasons. WMD was not a real reason. Liberating the Iraqi people was not a real reason. The real reasons may or may not be worthwhile, but since they haven't been revealed or debated, it's kind of tough to say. In the meantime, Osama is still sending his tapes, Afghanistan is lapsing back into the feudal, warlord-dominated society that spawned the Taliban and sheltered Osama, and we are stretched too thin to do squat about it.

Clark and Dean are dead on: gw took his eye off the ball (Osama, Afghanistan) and we will all suffer for it (monster deficit spending on Iraq, feeling safer yet?). This idiot has to go. We can't leave Iraq anytime soon, but the boob who put us there shouldn't get more chances to make extremely bad choices for our country.
 
Shouting into the closet to inform and entertain the 10 people who actually read this thing. In our new format as an online magazine, we take pride in our reporting and opinions. Please leave reader feedback on our online magazine message board so that we can better serve you.

“There’s a lot of money to pay for this that doesn’t have to be U.S. taxpayer money, and it starts with the assets of the Iraqi people…and on a rough recollection, the oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years…We’re dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.” -Paul Wolfowitz

Cost of the War in Iraq
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