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Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Monday, January 31, 2005

Quotes of the Morning

"’Quagmire,’ ‘attrition,’ ‘credibility gap,’ ‘Iraqification’ - a listener to the debate over the situation in Iraq might think that it truly is Vietnam all over again . . . But Iraq is not Vietnam, and 2003 is not 1975 or 1968.”
-New York Times, November 9, 2003

“The difficulties of achieving [U.S.] objectives, then and now, have led a range of military experts, historians and politicians to consider the parallels between Vietnam and Iraq . . . Nearly two years after the American invasion of Iraq, such comparisons are no longer dismissed in mainstream political discourse as facile and flawed, but are instead bubbling to the top.”
-New York Times, January 29, 2005

“For the next three hours, soldiers armed with assault rifles and election fliers moved warily through al-Whada's muddy streets, trying to get Iraqis to embrace democracy...
The 1st Platoon leader, 2nd Lt. Jason Shick of Grand Rapids, Mich., questioned the man on the second floor. ‘Is he going to vote in the upcoming elections?’ he asked the interpreter.
‘Yes, they are going to go vote,’ the interpreter said after consulting with the couple.
‘Good. Tell him thank you very much,’ said Shick, heading back down the stairs. ‘And make sure he votes. If he votes, we leave. Americans go home.’"
-Washington Post, January 28, 2005

“The U.S. Army expects to keep its troop strength in Iraq at the current level of about 120,000 for at least two more years, according to the Army's top operations officer.
While allowing for the possibility that the levels could decrease or increase depending on security conditions and other factors, Lt. Gen. James J. Lovelace Jr. told reporters yesterday that the assumption of little change through 2006 represents ‘the most probable case.’"
-Washington Post, January 25, 2005

"Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does NOT mean to stand by the President or any other public official save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country." -President Theodore ‘Teddy’ Roosevelt

Friday, January 28, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: I Fought the Law

“Some attorneys are attempting to use Ohio's new gay marriage amendment to defend unmarried clients against domestic violence charges.
The constitutional amendment, which took effect on Dec. 1, denies legal status to unmarried couples.
In at least two cases last week, the Cuyahoga County public defender's office has asked a judge to dismiss domestic-violence charges against unmarried defendants, arguing that the charges violate the amendment by affording marriage-like legal status to unmarried victims who live with the people accused of attacking them.”
-Associated Press, January 16, 2005

“A judge who wore blackface makeup, handcuffs and a jail jumpsuit at a Halloween party will be suspended for six months, the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled Monday.

The justices voted 5-2 to suspend Judge Timothy Ellender for a year without pay for dishonoring his position, but to defer half of that penalty. Ellender will lose more than $50,000 in pay, one judge noted.
Ellender, who is white, testified the costumes worn by him and his wife — she was dressed as a policewoman — were meant only as a joke to show he was her prisoner.”
-Associated Press, December 13, 2004

“U.S. military panels reviewing the detention of foreigners as enemy combatants are allowed to use evidence gained by torture in deciding whether to keep them imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the government conceded in court Thursday.”
-Associated Press, December 2, 2004

“You know, in the legal profession you really can’t use illegally obtained evidence in a trial… unless you happen to be the government I guess.”

“State Representative Cynthia Davis of Missouri prefiled two bills for the next session of the Legislature that she said ‘reflect what people want.’ One would remove the state's requirement that all forms of contraception and their potential health effects be taught in schools, leaving the focus on abstinence. Another would require publishers that sell biology textbooks to Missouri to include at least one chapter with alternative theories to evolution.
‘These are common-sense, grass-roots ideas from the people I represent, and I'd be very surprised if a majority of legislators didn't feel they were the right solutions to these problems,’ Ms. Davis said.
‘It's like when the hijackers took over those four planes on Sept. 11 and took people to a place where they didn't want to go,’ she added. ‘I think a lot of people feel that liberals have taken our country somewhere we don't want to go. I think a lot more people realize this is our country and we're going to take it back.’”
-New York Times, December 13, 2004

“Because birth control and the theory of evolution are a lot like terrorism.”

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: Dumb and Dubya

“Q: I seem to remember a time in Texas on another problem, taxes, where you tried to get out in front and tell people it's not a crisis now, it's going to be a crisis down the line -- you went down in flames on that one. Why --
Dubya: Actually, I -- if I might. (Laughter.) I don't think a billion-dollar tax relief that permanently reduced property taxes on senior citizens was ‘flames,’ but since you weren't a senior citizen, perhaps that's your definition of "flames."
Q: I never got my billion --
Dubya: Yes. Because you're not a senior citizen yet. Acting like one, however. Go ahead. (Laughter.)
Q: What is there about government that makes it hard --
Dubya: Faulty memory. (Laughter.)
Q: -- to address things in advance, before it's a crisis?
Dubya: Do we have a crisis in Texas now on school property taxes?
Q: Yes, we do.
Dubya: Thank you.”
-Press Conference, January 26, 2005

“Its good to see that the president can take a little time out of his busy schedule of gutting Social Security to have a few laughs at the expense of the elderly right after learning that 31 Americans had died in a helicopter crash earlier in the day.”

“Sometimes, words have consequences you don't intend them to mean. ‘Bring 'em on’ is the classic example, when I was really trying to rally the troops and make it clear to them that I fully understood, you know, what a great job they were doing. And those words had an unintended consequence. It kind of, some interpreted it to be defiance in the face of danger. That certainly wasn't the case.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, Washington, D.C., Jan. 14, 2005

“’Bring ‘em on’… Already a classic. Only problem is that he’s not really, um… telling the truth.”

are some who feel like that, uhh -- if they -- attack us, that we may decide to leave prematurely. They don't understand what they're talkin' about, if that's the case. Let me finish. Umm, there are some who, uhh -- feel like -- that, you know, the conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is bring 'em on.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, Washington, D.C., Jul. 2, 2003

“It's important that we celebrate a peaceful transfer of power. ...You can be equally concerned about our troops in Iraq and those who suffered at the tsunamis [and] with celebrating democracy.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, Washington, D.C., Jan. 17, 2005

“Sir, the transfer of power was from you, to you. Somehow the fact that you didn’t fight yourself over it doesn’t impress me.”

“I'm also mindful that man should never try to put words in God's mouth. I mean, we should never ascribe natural disasters or anything else to God. We are in no way, shape, or form should a human being, play God.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, Washington D.C., interview on ABC's "20/20", aired Jan. 14, 2005

“Three references to God, but not one thing that makes sense. I understand not wanting to ascribe natural disasters to God, but doesn’t Dubya talk about how ‘freedom’ and ‘liberty’ come from Him (and when Dubya talks you know God is male) all the time?”

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: Mixed Bag

“Insurgents staged attacks against U.S. forces, schools to be used as polling stations and political party offices on Wednesday, as they pressed a bloody campaign to undermine Iraq’s weekend elections. A U.S. Marine transport helicopter crashed in western Iraq.
Three car bombs exploded Wednesday in Riyadh, a tense town north of Baghdad, killing at least five people, including three policemen. One of the car bombs targeted a U.S. convoy but there was no report of casualties, police said.”
-Associated Press, January 26, 2005

“Remember how proud we were of having all of the schools opening up in Iraq? Do you think it was a bad idea to make the schools into polling places, and thus targets for the insurgents? I mean, I sure wouldn’t want Billy going to school if I knew that the place might be attacked in the afternoon by armed gunmen. Just saying..”

The Bush administration plans to announce Tuesday it will request about $80 billion more for this year's costs of fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan congressional aides said Monday.
The request would push the total provided so far for those wars and for U.S. efforts against terrorism elsewhere in the world to more than $280 billion since the first money was provided shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, airliner attacks on New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
That would be nearly half the $613 billion the United States spent for World War I or the $623 billion it expended for the Vietnam War, when the costs of those conflicts are translated into 2005 dollars.”
-Associated Press, January 24, 2005

“The Vietnam war lasted 11 years. So far the endless war is about three years old, so the ‘burn’ rate is roughly two times more than that of Vietnam. Great. And we’re planning on staying a couple more years. And building a $1.5 billion dollar embassy in Baghdad. Sigh.. I can’t even keep up.”

“Bush tried to get ministers and other leaders of the black community behind his agenda in an earlier private meeting that lasted more than an hour. Attendees said Bush told them his plan to add private accounts to Social Security would benefit blacks since they tend to die younger than whites and end up paying in more than they take out. Private accounts would be owned by workers and could be inherited by loved ones after death.”
-Associated Press, January 26, 2005

“No word on why the African-American community might object to Mr. ‘Hey, but you guys die younger’ Bush’s proposal.”

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Quotes of the Morning

“Mr Bush's long-term aim is to make the world a safer place by eliminating 'rogue states' and 'terrorism'. It's such a clever long-term aim because how can you ever know when you've achieved it? How will Mr Bush know when he's wiped out all terrorists? When every single terrorist is dead? But then a terrorist is only a terrorist once he's committed an act of terror. What about would-be terrorists? These are the ones you really want to eliminate, since most of the known terrorists, being suicide bombers, have already eliminated themselves.
Perhaps Mr Bush needs to wipe out everyone who could possibly be a future terrorist? Maybe he can't be sure he's achieved his objective until every Muslim fundamentalist is dead? But then some moderate Muslims might convert to fundamentalism. Maybe the only really safe thing to do would be for Mr Bush to eliminate all Muslims?”
-Terry Jones, of Monty Python, January 11, 2005

“The slippery slope of War on Terra.”

“What really alarms me about President Bush's ‘war on terrorism’ is the grammar. How do you wage war on an abstract noun? It's rather like bombing murder.
Imagine if Bush had said: ‘We're going to bomb murder wherever it lurks. We are going to seek out the murderers and the would-be murderers, and bomb any government that harbors murderers.’
The other thing that worries me about Bush and Blair's ‘war on terrorism’ is: how will they know when they've won it? With most wars, you can say you've won when the other side is either all dead or surrenders. But how is terrorism going to surrender?
It's hard for abstract nouns to surrender. In fact it's very hard for abstract nouns to do anything at all of their own volition - even trained philologists can't negotiate with them. It's difficult to find their hide-outs, useless to try to cut off their supplies.
The bitter semantic truth is that you can't win against these sort of words - unless, I suppose, you get them thrown out of the Oxford English Dictionary. That would show 'em. Admittedly, the Second World War was fought against fascism.
But that particular abstract noun was cunningly hiding behind the very real Nazi government. We simply had to defeat Germany to win. In President Bush's war, there is no such solution. Saying ‘We will destroy terrorism’ is about as meaningful as saying: ‘We shall annihilate mockery.’
Moreover, in its current usage, terrorism cannot be committed by a country. When America bombed a Sudanese pharmaceutical factory under the impression that it was a chemical weapons establishment, that was stupid. But it was not an act of terrorism because the US Government did it officially. And it apologized for it.
That's very important: no self-respecting terrorist ever apologizes. It's one of the few things that distinguishes legitimate governments from terrorists. So, it was difficult for President Bush to know whom to bomb after the World Trade Center outrage.
If Bermuda had done it, then it would have been simple: he could have bombed the Bahamas. It must have been really irritating that the people who perpetrated such a horrendous catastrophe were not a nation.
What's more, terrorists - unlike a country - won't keep still in one place so you can bomb them. They have this annoying habit of moving around, sometimes even going abroad. It's all very un-American (apart from the training, that is).”
-Terry Jones, of Monty Python, January 12, 2002

“According to the only scientific estimate attempted, Iraqi deaths since the war began number more than 100,000. The tsunami death toll is in the region of 150,000. Yet in the case of Iraq, the media seems reluctant to impress on the public the scale of the carnage.
I haven't seen many TV reporters standing in the ruins of Falluja, breathlessly describing how, in 30 years of reporting, they've never seen a human tragedy on this scale. The Pope hasn't appealed for everyone to remember the Iraqi dead in their prayers, and MTV hasn't gone silent in their memory.
Nor are Blair and Bush falling over each other to show they recognize the scale of the disaster in Iraq. On the contrary, they have been doing their best to conceal the numbers killed.
When the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health estimated the figure of 100,000 killed in Iraq and published their findings in one of the world's leading scientific journals, the Lancet, Downing Street questioned their methodology, saying ‘the researchers used an extrapolation technique, which they considered inappropriate, rather than a detailed body count’. Of course ‘a detailed body count’ is the one thing the US military will not allow anyone to do.
What is so odd is the way in which so much of the media has fallen into line, downplaying the only authoritative estimate of casualties in Iraq with the same unanimity with which they have impressed upon us the death toll of the tsunami.
One of the authors of the forenamed report, Dr Gilbert Burnham, said: ‘Our data have been back and forth between many reviewers at the Lancet and here in the school, so we have the scientific strength to say what we have said with great certainty.’
So, are deaths caused by bombs and gunfire less worthy of our pity than deaths caused by a giant wave? Or are Iraqi lives less worth counting than Indonesian, Thai, Indian and Swedish?”
-Terry Jones, of Monty Python, January 11, 2005

“Isn’t it odd when members of Monty Python seems to make more sense than the evening news?”

Monday, January 24, 2005

Quotes of the Morning

“[Interior Minister] Al-Naqib said Jan. 29, 30 and 31 would be a public holiday during which the nighttime curfew will be in place. People will be barred from carrying weapons during that period, al-Naqib said.
The country's borders will also be sealed for those three days, except for pilgrims returning from the Hajj in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, al-Naqib said.
During that period the movement of cars will also be restricted, with the exception of emergency vehicles. And cars will be prevented from moving between Iraq's 18 provinces, the minister said.”
-MSNBC, January 22, 2005

“It’s a holiday! Whee! Start the curfew! Close the borders! Restrict travel! Wow, just like here, ‘freedom’ takes many forms.”

“From where I sit in Iraq, things are not all bad right now. In fact, they are going quite well . . . In the distance, I can hear the repeated impacts of heavy artillery and five-hundred-pound bombs hitting their targets. The occasional tank main gun report and the staccato rhythm of a Marine Corps LAV or Army Bradley Fighting Vehicle's 25-millimeter cannon provide the bass line for a symphony of destruction.”
-Lt. Col. Tim Ryan, January 18, 2005

“You smell that? Do you smell that? That's napalm, son. Nothing else in the world smells like that. I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed for twelve hours. When it was all over I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' dink body. The smell — you know that gasoline smell — the whole hill. It smelled like . . . victory.”
-Lt. Col. Bill Kilgore, Apocalypse Now

“The previously undisclosed organization, called the Strategic Support Branch, arose from Rumsfeld's written order to end his ‘near total dependence on CIA’ for what is known as human intelligence. Designed to operate without detection and under the defense secretary's direct control, the Strategic Support Branch deploys small teams of case officers, linguists, interrogators and technical specialists alongside newly empowered special operations forces.”
-Washington Post, January 22, 2005

“Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin, deputy undersecretary for intelligence, acknowledged that Rumsfeld intends to direct some missions previously undertaken by the CIA. He added that it is wrong to make ‘an assumption that what the secretary is trying to say is, 'Get the CIA out of this business, and we'll take it.' I don't interpret it that way at all.’
‘The secretary actually has more responsibility to collect intelligence for the national foreign intelligence program . . . than does the CIA director,’ Boykin said. ‘That's why you hear all this information being published about the secretary having 80 percent of the [intelligence] budget. Well, yeah, but he has 80 percent of the responsibility for collection, as well.’"
-Washington Post, January 22, 2005

“Well, is he [bin Laden] the enemy? Next slide.
Or is this man [Saddam] the enemy? The enemy is none of these people I have showed you here. The enemy is a spiritual enemy. He’s called the principality of darkness. The enemy is a guy called Satan.”
-General William Boykin, June 2003

“Well, you know what I knew that my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God, and his was an idol. But I prayed, Lord let us get that man. Three days later we went after him again, and this time we got him. Not a mark on him. We got him. We brought him back into our base there and we had a Sea Land container set up to hold prisoners in, and I said put him in there. They put him in there, there was one guard with him. I said search him, they searched him, and then I walked in with no one in there but the guard, and I looked at him and said, ‘Are you Osman Atto?’ And he said ‘Yes.’ And I said, ‘Mr. Atto, you underestimated our God.’”
-General William Boykin, 2003

“And we ask ourselves this question, ‘Why do they hate us? Why do they hate us so much?’ Ladies and gentlemen, the answer to that is because we’re a Christian nation, because our foundation and our roots are Judeo-Christian. Did I say Judeo-Christian? Yes. Judeo-Christian.”
-General William Boykin, 2003

“Somewhere at the bottom of this you'll find Cambone and his deputy, [General William] Boykin. I think Cambone and Boykin are reflective of the whole neoconservative philosophy that these prisoners are undeserving of treatment as prisoners of war.”
-A ‘Former Military Intelligence Official’, L.A. Times, May 11, 2004

“Most international terrorism suspects in U.S. custody are held not by the CIA but by the Defense Department at the Guantanamo Bay prison. They are guaranteed access to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and, as a result of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling this year, have the right to challenge their imprisonment in federal courts.
CIA detainees, by contrast, are held under separate rules and far greater secrecy. Under a presidential directive and authorities approved by administration lawyers, the CIA is allowed to capture and hold certain classes of suspects without accounting for them in any public way and without revealing the rules for their treatment. The roster of CIA prisoners is not public, but current and former U.S. intelligence officials say the agency holds the most valuable al Qaeda leaders and many mid-level members with knowledge of the group's logistics, financing and regional operations.
The CIA facility at the Guantanamo Bay prison was constructed over the past year as the agency confronted one of its toughest emerging problems: where to hold terrorists for interrogations that could last for years.”
-Washington Post, December 17, 2004

"Why is this man in the White House? The majority of Americans did not vote for him. Why is he there? And I tell you this morning that he’s in the White House because God put him there for a time such as this.”
-General William Boykin, 2003

“These are the people we have looking for intelligence. And I think that we all can agree that no one needs to find it more.”

Friday, January 21, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: The Return of Skippy

“The Post: Will you talk to Senate Democrats about your privatization plan?
THE PRESIDENT: You mean, the personal savings accounts?
The Post: Yes, exactly. Scott has been --
THE PRESIDENT: We don't want to be editorializing, at least in the questions.
The Post: You used partial privatization yourself last year, sir.
The Post: Yes, three times in one sentence. We had to figure this out, because we're in an argument with the RNC [Republican National Committee] about how we should actually word this. [Post staff writer] Mike Allen, the industrious Mike Allen, found it.
THE PRESIDENT: Allen did what now?
The Post: You used partial privatization.
THE PRESIDENT: I did, personally?
The Post: Right.
The Post: To describe it.
THE PRESIDENT: When, when was it?
The Post: Mike said it was right around the election.
The Post: It was right around the election. We'll send it over.
THE PRESIDENT: I'm surprised. Maybe I did. It's amazing what happens when you're tired. Anyway, your question was? I'm sorry for interrupting.”
-Interview between George ‘Dubya’ Bush and the Washington Post, January 14, 2004

“Vice President Dick Cheney said Thursday that he overestimated the pace of Iraq's recovery from the U.S.-led invasion because he didn't realize the lasting devastation wrought by Saddam Hussein on his people after the first Gulf War.
Asked to name his mistakes in planning the war in Iraq, Cheney said he had not anticipated how long it would take the Iraqis to begin running their own country. Not until after Saddam was ousted did the United States realize the extent of the Iraqi leader's brutality in putting down revolt in 1991, Cheney said.
‘I think the hundreds of thousands of people who were slaughtered at the time, including anybody who had the gumption to stand up and challenge him, made the situation tougher than I would have thought,’ he said on ‘The Don Imus Show’ on the radio.
‘I would chalk that one up as a miscalculation, where I thought things would have recovered more quickly,’ Cheney said.”
-Associated Press, January 20, 2005

“Ok, so here is how it works. We invaded Iraq because Saddam had weapons of mass destruction.. um.. I mean as a humanitarian mission to rescue Iraqis from a brutal dictator. Then, the reconstruction of the country after we took over hasn’t gone so well because.. wait for it.. Saddam was a brutal dictator. That’s right, we are justifying the invasion using exactly the same thing that we claim that we didn’t know about. Mr. Cheney also discussed the 1991 revolt and the purge that happened because of it. As you may remember, that revolt happened when the United States encouraged the people into an uprising following the Gulf War, and then the U.S. left them hanging when the crackdowns came. Charming.”

“The number two Pentagon official said reducing American casualties in Iraq was more important than bringing US troops back home -- and pointed to the rising Iraqi death toll as evidence this strategy was working.
‘I'm more concerned about bringing down our casualties than bringing down our numbers,’ Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said in an interview with PBS television's ‘The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer’ program. ‘And it is worth saying that since June 1, there have been more Iraqi police and military killed in action than Americans.’
Wolfowitz said he was encouraged by the fact that Iraqis continued to volunteer to join the country's fledgling security forces, despite their losses at the hands of Islamist insurgents.
The number of Iraqi troops and police officers being trained by the US military has now reached 120,000, according to the deputy defense secretary.
But he acknowledged ‘there are problems in the quality’ of the Iraqi recruits, who he said have a tendency to disappear from their units without permission.”
-AFP, January 20, 2005

“Yep, in a nation currently suffering about 60% unemployment, it sure is great that we can still find recruits as cannon fodder.”

"On a complicated matter such as removing a dictator from power and trying to help achieve democracy, sometimes the unexpected will happen, both good and bad. I am realistic about how quickly a society that has been dominated by a tyrant can become a democracy. . . . I am more patient than some."
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, January 14, 2005

“There is a tragic flaw in our precious Constitution, and I don’t know what can be done to fix it. This is it: Only nut cases want to be president.”
-Kurt Vonnegut (1922 - ), "Cold Turkey", In These Times, May 10, 2004

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Quotes of the Morning

“My views and feelings (are) in favor of the abolition of war--and I hope it is practicable, by improving the mind and morals of society, to lessen the disposition to war; but of its abolition I despair. “
-President Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826)

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.”
-President Dwight Eisenhower, April 16, 1953

“We merely want to live in peace with all the world, to trade with them, to commune with them, to learn from their culture as they may learn from ours, so that the products of our toil may be used for our schools and our roads and our churches and not for guns and planes and tanks and ships of war.”
-President Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890 - 1969)

“Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind.”
-President John F. Kennedy, Speech to UN General Assembly, Sept. 25, 1961

“Once lead this people into war and they will forget there ever was such a thing as tolerance.”
-President Woodrow Wilson, in John Dos Passos, "Mr Wilson's War"

“War may sometimes be a necessary evil. But no matter how necessary, it is always an evil, never a good. We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other's children.”
-President Jimmy Carter

“History teaches that wars begin when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap.”
-Ronald Reagan (1911 - 2004), Address to the Nation, Jan 16, 1984

“As for perhaps the most notorious terrorist, Osama bin Laden, the administration has so far been unsuccessful in its attempt to locate the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Asked why, Bush said, ‘Because he's hiding.’"
-Washington Post, January 15, 2005

“When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President. Now I'm beginning to believe it.”
-Clarence Darrow (1857 - 1938)

“President Bush said the public's decision to reelect him was a ratification of his approach toward Iraq and that there was no reason to hold any administration officials accountable for mistakes or misjudgments in prewar planning or managing the violent aftermath.
‘We had an accountability moment, and that's called the 2004 elections,’ Bush said in an interview with The Washington Post. ‘The American people listened to different assessments made about what was taking place in Iraq, and they looked at the two candidates, and chose me.’"
-Washington Post, January 15, 2005

“The provision of the Constitution giving the war-making power to Congress was dictated, as I understand it, by the following reasons. Kings had always been involving and impoverishing their people in wars, pretending generally, if not always, that the good of the people was the object. This, our Convention understood to be the most oppressive of all Kingly oppressions; and they resolved to so frame the Constitution that no one man should hold the power of bringing this oppression upon us.”
-President Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865)

“Its good to be the king.”
-Mel Brooks

"’I did my best to reach out, and I will continue to do so as the president,’ Bush said. ‘It's important for people to know that I'm the president of everybody.’"
-Washington Post, January 15, 2005

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Quotes of the Morning

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”
-Mother Teresa

“I have come to realize more and more that the greatest disease and the greatest suffering is to be unwanted, unloved, uncared for, to be shunned by everybody, to be just nobody.”
-Mother Teresa

“People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered; forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; Be kind anyway. If you are successful you will win some false friends and true enemies; succeed anyway. If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; be honest and frank anyway. What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; be happy anyway. The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; do good anyway. Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; give the world the best you've got anyway. You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; It was never between you and them anyway.” -Mother Teresa

“Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you.” -Mother Teresa

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”
-Mother Teresa

“Smile at each other; smile at your wife, smile at your husband, smile at your children, smile at each other- it doesn't matter who it is- and that will help you to grow up in greater love for each other.” -Mother Teresa

“Whether one is Hindu or a Muslim or a Christian, how you live your life is proof that you are or not fully His. We cannot condemn or judge or pass words that will hurt people. We don't know in what way God is appearing to that soul and what God is drawing that soul to; therefore, who are we to condemn anybody?”
-Mother Teresa

“Please choose the way of peace. ... In the short term there may be winners and losers in this war that we all dread. But that never can, nor never will justify the suffering, pain and loss of life your weapons will cause.”
-Mother Teresa, Letter to U.S. President George Bush and Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, January 1991.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Quotes of the Morning

“What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?”
-Mahatma Gandhi, ‘Non-Violence in Peace and War’

“Victory attained by violence is tantamount to a defeat, for it is momentary.”
-Mahatma Gandhi, 'Satyagraha Leaflet No. 13,' May 3, 1919

“The outward freedom that we shall attain will only be in exact proportion to the inward freedom to which we may have grown at a given moment. And if this is a correct view of freedom, our chief energy must be concentrated on achieving reform from within.”
-Mahatma Gandhi (1869 - 1948)

“I am prepared to die, but there is no cause for which I am prepared to kill.”
-Mahatma Gandhi (1869 - 1948)

“In matters of conscience, the law of majority has no place.”
-Mahatma Gandhi (1869 - 1948)

“There are seven sins in the world: Wealth without work, Pleasure without conscience, Knowledge without character, Commerce without morality, Science without humanity, Worship without sacrifice and politics without principle.”
-Mahatma Gandhi (1869 - 1948)

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it – always.”
-Mahatma Gandhi (1869 - 1948)

“The only devils in this world are those running around in our own hearts, and that is where all our battles should be fought.”
-Mahatma Gandhi (1869 - 1948)

Monday, January 17, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: Hail to the King

“Now, I say to you today my friends, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.' “
-Martin Luther King Jr., Speech at Civil Rights March on Washington, August 28, 1963

“I am convinced that love is the most durable power in the world. It is not an expression of impractical idealism, but of practical realism. Far from being the pious injunction of a Utopian dreamer, love is an absolute necessity for the survival of our civilization. To return hate for hate does nothing but intensify the existence of evil in the universe. Someone must have sense enough and religion enough to cut off the chain of hate and evil, and this can only be done through love.”
-Martin Luther King, Jr., 1957

“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”
-Martin Luther King Jr., Accepting Nobel Peace Prize, December 10, 1964

“Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time; the need for mankind to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Mankind must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.”
-Martin Luther King Jr., December 11, 1964

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
-Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

“Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.”
-Martin Luther King Jr., Strength to Love, 1963

“Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. It is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding; it seeks to annihilate rather than to convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love.”
-Martin Luther King Jr.

“We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people.”
-Martin Luther King, Jr., "Letter from Birmingham Jail," April 16, 1963

“The time is always right to do what is right.”
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

“I refuse to accept the cynical notion that nation after nation must spiral down a militaristic stairway into the hell of nuclear annihilation... I believe that even amid today's mortar bursts and whining bullets, there is still hope for a brighter tomorrow... I still believe that one day mankind will bow before the altars of God and be crowned triumphant over war and bloodshed.”
-Martin Luther King, Jr., Address in Acceptance of Nobel Peace Prize, December 10, 1964

“It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can stop him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important.”
-Martin Luther King Jr.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Quotes of the Morning

“In honor of a man from whom we all could learn something. Words that are as timely now as they were when they were spoken (though the war has changed). There will be more from this great human being on Monday, and from more people of his philosophy up through the coronation. Until then Skippy will be quiet.”

“I want to say one other challenge that we face is simply that we must find an alternative to war and bloodshed. Anyone who feels, and there are still a lot of people who feel that way, that war can solve the social problems facing mankind is sleeping through a great revolution. President Kennedy said on one occasion, ‘Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind.’ The world must hear this. I pray to God that America will hear this before it is too late, because today we’re fighting a war.
I am convinced that it is one of the most unjust wars that has ever been fought in the history of the world. Our involvement in the war in Vietnam has torn up the Geneva Accord. It has strengthened the military-industrial complex; it has strengthened the forces of reaction in our nation. It has put us against the self-determination of a vast majority of the Vietnamese people, and put us in the position of protecting a corrupt regime that is stacked against the poor.
It has played havoc with our domestic destinies. This day we are spending five hundred thousand dollars to kill every Vietcong soldier. Every time we kill one we spend about five hundred thousand dollars while we spend only fifty-three dollars a year for every person characterized as poverty-stricken in the so-called poverty program, which is not even a good skirmish against poverty.
Not only that, it has put us in a position of appearing to the world as an arrogant nation. And here we are ten thousand miles away from home fighting for the so-called freedom of the Vietnamese people when we have not even put our own house in order. And we force young black men and young white men to fight and kill in brutal solidarity. Yet when they come back home that can’t hardly live on the same block together.
The judgment of God is upon us today. And we could go right down the line and see that something must be done—and something must be done quickly. We have alienated ourselves from other nations so we end up morally and politically isolated in the world. There is not a single major ally of the United States of America that would dare send a troop to Vietnam, and so the only friends that we have now are a few client-nations like Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea, and a few others.
This is where we are. ‘Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind,’ and the best way to start is to put an end to war in Vietnam, because if it continues, we will inevitably come to the point of confronting China which could lead the whole world to nuclear annihilation.
It is no longer a choice, my friends, between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence. And the alternative to disarmament, the alternative to a greater suspension of nuclear tests, the alternative to strengthening the United Nations and thereby disarming the whole world, may well be a civilization plunged into the abyss of annihilation, and our earthly habitat would be transformed into an inferno that even the mind of Dante could not imagine.
-Martin Luther King, Jr., Remaining Awake Through A Great Revolution

“And the leaders of the world today talk eloquently about peace. Every time we drop our bombs in North Vietnam, President Johnson talks eloquently about peace. What is the problem? They are talking about peace as a distant goal, as an end we seek, but one day we must come to see that peace is not merely a distant goal we seek, but that it is a means by which we arrive at that goal. We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means. All of this is saying that, in the final analysis, means and ends must cohere because the end is preexistent in the means, and ultimately destructive means cannot bring about constructive ends.”
-Martin Luther King, Jr., "A Christmas Sermon", December 24, 1967

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Quotes of the Morning

“Remember a few days ago and the discussion about this administration’s plans to have the biggest balls ever seen at the coronation.. um.. I mean inauguration? Well, guess who gets to pay for them?”

“D.C. officials said yesterday that the Bush administration is refusing to reimburse the District for most of the costs associated with next week's inauguration, breaking with precedent and forcing the city to divert $11.9 million from homeland security projects.”
-Washington Post, January 11, 2005

“Traditionally all of the costs of the inauguration are paid by private donors. See, the threat of terror must be over if they’re willing to make the city use Homeland Security money to pay for their coronation party. I know I’ll sleep easier. I guess that they figured it must be safe since they officially quit looking for Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq yesterday..”

"Based on what we know today, the president would have taken the same action because this is about protecting the American people."
-White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, January 12, 2005

“Um.. Scotty? There was no danger to the American people from Saddam. There were no WMD. There was no nuclear program. There were no links to Al Qaeda.”

"Saddam Hussein is a man who told the world he wouldn't have weapons of mass destruction, but he's got them."
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, November 3, 2002

"Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us."
-Dick Cheney, August 26, 2002

"The problem here is that there will always be some uncertainty about how quickly he can acquire nuclear weapons. But we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."
-Condoleezza Rice, September 8, 2002

"After 11 years during which we have tried containment, sanctions, inspections, even selected military action, the end result is that Saddam Hussein still has chemical and biological weapons and is increasing his capabilities to make more."
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, October 7, 2002

“And then…”

"Although we have not found stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, we were right to go into Iraq. ... We removed a declared enemy of America who had the capability of producing weapons of mass murder."
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, July 12, 2004.

"We got it wrong. We have seen nothing to suggest that he had actual stockpiles."
-Colin Powell, October 1, 2004.

"We were all unhappy that the intelligence was not as good as we had thought that it was. But the essential judgment was absolutely right. Saddam Hussein was a threat."
-Condoleeza Rice, October 3, 2004.

"It turns out that we have not found weapons of mass destruction. Why the intelligence proved wrong I'm not in a position to say, but the world is a lot better off with Saddam Hussein in jail."
-Donald Rumsfeld, October 4, 2004.

"He retained the knowledge, the materials, the means and the intent to produce weapons of mass destruction and he could have passed that knowledge on to our terrorist enemies."
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, Oct. 7, 2004.

“Yep. And apparently, according to Scotty, Bush would do it all over again if he could. The laughter. The games. The looking for WMD under his chair. The shoving of glow sticks into prisoner orifices. Oh yes.. Good times, good times.”

“At the urging of the White House, congressional leaders scrapped a legislative measure last month that would have imposed new restrictions on the use of extreme interrogation measures by American intelligence officers, The New York Times reported Wednesday.”
-Reuters, January 13, 2005

“So we can officially keep piling naked prisoners into huge pyramids and doing all of the other lovely things that were, if I remember correctly, just the actions of a ‘few bad apples’ at Abu Ghraib. God Bless America.”

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Quotes of the Morning

“A lawyer for Charles Graner, accused ringleader in the Iraq prisoner abuse scandal, on Monday compared piling naked prisoners into pyramids to cheerleader shows and said leashing inmates was also acceptable prisoner control.
Graner's attorney said piling naked prisoners into pyramids and leading them by a leash were acceptable methods of prisoner control. He compared this to pyramids made by cheerleaders at sports events and parents putting tethers on toddlers.
‘Don't cheerleaders all over America form pyramids six to eight times a year. Is that torture?’ Guy Womack, Graner's attorney, said in opening arguments to the 10-member U.S. military jury at the reservist's court-martial.”
-Reuters, January 10, 2005

“Yep. Cheerleading is just like torture. And hey, boxers beat the crap out of each other until one of them can’t stand up any more, so, you see, what happened at Abu Ghraib was just like what athlete’s do.. Not torture, just ‘exercise’. For the love of Goddess.. Why the hell do I need to say that torture is bad and shouldn’t be done and that death squads are a really evil idea? As a member of the most ‘moral’ nation on the planet shouldn’t all of this be kind of a ‘gimme’?”

“Frederick recounted several occasions on which Graner hit prisoners, including once when he knocked out a man before piling him and others into a naked human pyramid. ‘He shook his hand and said 'damn, that hurt',’ Frederick said.”
-Reuters, January 10, 2005

“See.. That’s why boxers wear gloves. Silly man.”

“Folks, these torture pictures with the women torturers, I mean Marv Albert looking at those pictures would say, ‘Hey, that doesn't look so bad.’ You know, if you really look at these pictures, I mean I don't know if it's just me but it looks like anything you'd see Madonna or Britney Spears do on stage. Maybe you can get an NEA grant for something like this. I mean this is something you can see at Lincoln Center from an NEA grant, maybe on Sex in the City: the Movie. I mean, it's just me.”
-Rush Limbaugh, May 3, 2004

“This is no different than what happens at the Skull and Bones initiation and we're going to ruin people's lives over it and we're going to hamper our military effort, and then we are going to really hammer them because they had a good time. You know, these people are being fired at every day. I'm talking about people having a good time, these people, you ever heard of emotional release? You of heard of need to blow some steam off?”
-Rush Limbaugh on Abu Ghraib, May 4, 2004

“Yep.. Just a few soldiers working out their frustrations on a punching bag.. which happens to be a human being.”

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: Dear God

"’This [disaster] is one of the greatest opportunities God has given us to share his love with people,’ said K.P. Yohannan, president of the Texas-based Gospel for Asia. In an interview, Yohannan said his 14,500 "native missionaries" in India, Sri Lanka, and the Andaman Islands are giving survivors Bibles and booklets about ‘how to find hope in this time through the word of God.’

In Krabi, Thailand, a Southern Baptist church had been ‘praying for a way to make inroads’ with a particular ethnic group of fisherman, according to Southern Baptist relief coordinator Pat Julian. Then came the tsunami, ‘a phenomenal opportunity’ to provide ministry and care, Julian told the Baptist Press news service.”
-Philadelphia Enquirer, January 9, 2005

“Thank God for 150,000 dead people. A phenomenal opportunity indeed. The Lord certainly brought their Church a blessing by slaughtering all of those people and leaving millions more to wallow in disease without adequate food, water, or shelter. A wonderful day indeed!”
-Skippy, with heavy, heavy sarcasm

“Hilary Faye: Mary, turn away from Satan. Jesus, he loves you.
Mary: You don't know the first thing about love.
Hilary Faye: I am *filled* with Christ's love!
[Hilary Faye throws a Bible at Mary]
Hilary Faye: You are just jealous of my success in the Lord.
Mary: [Mary hands Bible back to Hilary Faye] This is not a weapon, you idiot.”

“Former House speaker Newt Gingrich says he ‘got fed up with people who argue that somehow the concept of the creator wasn't central to how the Founding Fathers understood America.’ So in a book being published today, he includes a 19-page ‘Walking Tour of God in Washington, D.C.,’ cataloging references to the Bible, Moses and a heavenly father on the Capitol, monuments and memorials.

In the last 30 years, you had this politically correct delegitimizing of God in American public life, which I think is a denial of the core of American civilization,’ he said in a telephone interview yesterday.”
-Washington Post, January 9, 2005

“Mr. Gingrich you may remember divorced his second wife for a 33 year old staff member he was having an affair with. He divorced his first wife by serving her papers while she was in the hospital with cancer. Just giving a little perspective here..”

“It is as unprecedented as it is cunning, using all the right words and happiest faces in an attempt to speak directly to the nation's children about ‘tolerance and diversity.’ Once again, of course, those ideas include homosexual advocacy.
On November 10, 2004, a video remake of the song, ‘We Are Family,’ was created using the voices and images of over 100 beloved children's TV characters. On March 11, 2005, the video performance will air simultaneously on the Disney Channel, Nickelodeon and PBS. A similar video aired on those networks in 2002.
The nation's children will be all too familiar with the characters on the video, incuding those from Arthur, Barney, Blue's Clues, Bob the Builder, The Book of Pooh, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Dora the Explorer, Jimmy Neutron, Kim Possible, Lilo & Stitch: The Series, Little Mermaid, Madeline, The Magic School Bus, The Muppet Show, Rugrats, Sesame Street and SpongeBob SquarePants.”
-Agape Press (Christian News Service), January 10, 2005

“My God! Of course I knew about Tinky Winky thanks to the Reverend Falwell, and I think we all suspected Spongebob, but Bob the Builder? Come on… He’s a construction worker! Dora doesn’t surprise me too much.. I heard she was bilingual… Sigh. Why is it that Newt can get away with the things he says and no one questions his morality, but make a few comments about needing to accept and respect the gay and lesbian community and they jump all over you (in a strictly heterosexual way of course)?”

“Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.”
-The Wizard of Oz

Monday, January 10, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: The War With Terror

“It’s safe to say that the majority of Iraqi Shiites appreciate the American gift of ‘democracy,’ which many of them oversimplify to mean strict majority rule.”
-NBC News, January 7, 2005

“My God… The Iraqi Shiite’s are apparently Republicans!”

“In the latest changes at the Central Intelligence Agency, Porter J. Goss, the new chief, has named a new deputy director for intelligence and has abolished a daily 5 p.m. meeting that had been used since the Sept. 11 attacks to coordinate counterterrorism operations around the world, intelligence officials said on Tuesday.
The move appears to reflect what Mr. Goss has publicly said was his concern that the C.I.A. under Mr. Tenet may have devoted too much time and resources to terrorism at the expense of other issues.”
-New York Times, January 5, 2005

“You see, the election is over and there isn’t really a need for terrorism any more. That’s why we had alert after alert back in the months before the election, but not even a warning during New Year’s Eve or Christmas. Amazing how that works, isn’t it?”

“What to do about the deepening quagmire of Iraq? The Pentagon’s latest approach is being called ‘the Salvador option’ - and the fact that it is being discussed at all is a measure of just how worried Donald Rumsfeld really is.
One military source involved in the Pentagon debate agrees that this is the crux of the problem, and he suggests that new offensive operations are needed that would create a fear of aiding the insurgency. ‘The Sunni population is paying no price for the support it is giving to the terrorists,’ he said. ‘From their point of view, it is cost-free. We have to change that equation.’"
-Newsweek, January 9, 2005

“Oops. Spoke too soon. Creating fear in a civilian population.. We still have a need for terrorism I guess, except now it seems that we need to be the terrorists. I mean, after all, we already have torture under our belts in this war. I guess a few death squads won’t change the Iraqi opinion of us too much. Does anyone else remember how offended we all used to get when it was implied that the U.S. was capable of stuff like this? Back when we were the moral nation that had its flaws, but could always be counted on to try to do the right thing? Way back about four years ago?”

Friday, January 07, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: All Tuckered Out

“The UN atomic watchdog agency has found evidence of secret nuclear experiments in Egypt that could be used in weapons programs, diplomats said yesterday.
The diplomats said that most of the work was carried out in the 1980s and 1990s but said the International Atomic Energy Agency also was looking at evidence suggesting some work was performed as recently as a year ago.”
-Associated Press, January 5, 2005

“Hmm.. So we know that Egypt, our ally, was running secret nuclear experiments, and that Pakistan, our ally, was selling nuclear secrets to North Korea and other nations, but that Iraq, whom we invaded due to their imminent threat, turns out to have been completely innocent of that particular charge, and we haven’t been able to find any WMD there: biological, chemical or nuclear. Its always in the last place you look, isn’t it?”

“Many people have asked how close Saddam Hussein is to developing a nuclear weapon. Well, we don't know exactly, and that's the problem.
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, October 8, 2002

“Saddam Hussein has held numerous meetings with Iraqi nuclear scientists, a group his ‘nuclear mujahedeen,’ his nuclear holy warriors.
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, October 8, 2002

“(Saddam) says he doesn’t have weapons of mass destruction. He’s got ’em. He’s not only got ’em he’s used them. The choice is his. And if he does not disarm, the United States of America will lead a coalition and disarm him, in the name of peace.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, December 3, 2002

“This is why you don’t hold a pre-emptive war. When you turn out to be completely wrong you look like an idiot, cost the nation hundreds of billions of dollars, kill or maim thousands upon thousands of American troops (along with hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians), and drive the opinion of the world against you. I’m just saying that maybe leaving the U.N. inspectors in place instead of invading would have been a good idea.
And for the record, I never, ever thought this war was a good idea, for exactly the reasons that have turned out to be true. You only had to look at Israel and Palestine to see how much fun being an occupying army can be.
Now, in happier news…..”

“Three months after comedian Jon Stewart attacked its format and sparred with co-host Tucker Carlson, ‘Crossfire’ has become a casualty of the evolving CNN.”
-Reuters, January 7, 2005

"You know what's interesting, though? You're as big a dick on your show as you are on any show."
-Jon Stewart, to Tucker Carlson, Crossfire, October 15, 2004

“Mr. Klein [President of CNN] specifically cited the criticism that the comedian Jon Stewart leveled at ‘Crossfire’ when he was a guest on the program during the presidential campaign. Mr. Stewart said that ranting partisan political shows on cable were "hurting America."
Mr. Klein said last night, ‘I agree wholeheartedly with Jon Stewart's overall premise.’ He said he believed that especially after the terror attacks on 9/11, viewers are interested in information, not opinion.
-New York Times, January 6, 2005

“Now it could just be me, but I think that Mr. Klein just called Tucker Carlson a dick.."

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: We Had to Destroy the City to Save It

“There is rising concern amongst senior officials that President Bush does not grasp the increasingly grim reality of the security situation in Iraq because he refuses to listen to that type of information. Our sources say that attempts to brief Bush on various grim realities have been personally rebuffed by the President, who actually says that he does not want to hear ‘bad news.’”
-Nelson Report, January, 2005

“Bush seems a little out of touch and overly optimistic? Maybe he should look at the other side of his little war. You remember that war we were having before the tsunami hit? The one where we were winning and we had just saved the city of Fallujah from the foreign insurgents that had taken it over? Guess what?”

"’It was really distressing picking up dead bodies from destroyed homes, especially children. It is the most depressing situation I have ever been in since the war started,’ Dr Rafa'ah al-Iyssaue, director of the main hospital in Fallujah city, some 60 km west of Baghdad, told IRIN.

According to al-Iyssaue, the hospital emergency team has recovered more than 700 bodies from rubble where houses and shops once stood, adding that more than 550 were women and children. He said a very small number of men were found in these places and most were elderly.
Doctors at the hospital claim that many bodies had been found in a mutilated condition, some without legs or arms. Two babies were found at their homes, who are believed to have died from malnutrition, according to a specialist at the hospital.
Al-Iyssaue added these numbers were only from nine neighbourhoods of the city and that 18 others had not yet been reached, as they were waiting for help from the Iraqi Red Crescent Society (IRCS) to make it easier for them to enter.
He explained that many of the dead had been already buried by civilians from the Garma and Amirya districts of Fallujah after approval from US-led forces nearly three weeks ago, and those bodies had not been counted.
IRCS officials told IRIN they needed more time to give an accurate death toll, adding that the city was completely uninhabitable.”
- Integrated Regional Information Networks (Reuters), January 4, 2004

“Kind of like Vietnam but on a larger scale. We’ve moved from saving villages by destroying them to saving entire cities that way. And, lest we think that we’re maintaining moral high ground here..”

“Alberto R. Gonzales, the White House counsel, intervened directly with Justice Department lawyers in 2002 to obtain a legal ruling on the extent of the president's authority to permit extreme interrogation practices in the name of national security, current and former administration officials said Tuesday.

Mr. Gonzales's role in seeking a legal opinion on the definition of torture and the legal limits on the force that could be used on terrorist suspects in captivity is expected to be a central issue in the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings scheduled to begin on Thursday on Mr. Gonzales's nomination to be attorney general.
The request by Mr. Gonzales produced the much-debated Justice Department memorandum of Aug. 1, 2002, which defined torture narrowly and said that Mr. Bush could circumvent domestic and international prohibitions against torture in the name of national security.”
-New York Times, January 4, 2005

“You know, I love my country, but there are days that I’m just not very proud of it.”

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Quoes of the Morning: We've Got Big Balls

“I want to welcome you all here; Laura and I are so thrilled you're here. We want to welcome your spouses. I particularly want to say a thanks to your spouse for having supported your run for the Congress or the Senate. Laura and I know how hard it is on a family to be in the political arena. It's the ultimate sacrifice, really: sacrifice your privacy; it's a sacrifice of time with your kids. But you're going to find it's worthwhile -- serving this great country is an unbelievable honor, and both the elected official and the spouse are serving our great country.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, to the new members of Congress, January 4, 2005

“I hate to argue with our Fearless Leader, but I’m afraid that the guys sitting in the sand taking bullets for your unnecessary little war are making the ‘ultimate sacrifice’. You are spending vacations clearing brush in that little stage set you call a ranch while they are losing limbs and lives. How dare you talk about politics as the ‘ultimate sacrifice’ you hypocritical ass.”

“NYTM: I hear one of the [inaugural] balls will be reserved for troops who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan.
JP: Yes, the Commander-in-Chief Ball. That is new. It will be about 2,000 servicemen and their guests. And that should be a really fun event for them.
NYTM: As an alternative way of honoring them, did you or the president ever discuss canceling the nine balls and using the $40 million inaugural budget to purchase better equipment for the troops?
JP: I think we felt like we would have a traditional set of events and we would focus on honoring the people who are serving our country right now -- not just the people in the armed forces, but also the community volunteers, the firemen, the policemen, the teachers, the people who serve at, you know, the -- well, it's called the StewPot in Dallas, people who work with the homeless.
NYTM: How do any of them benefit from the inaugural balls?
JP: I'm not sure that they do benefit from them.
NYTM: Then how, exactly, are you honoring them?
JP: Honoring service is what our theme is about.”
-New York Times Magazine interview with Jeanne L. Phillips, chairwoman of the Presidential Inaugural Committee, January 2, 2004

“Once again, this administration goes over-the-top to prove that they have the biggest balls of them all. Yep, Dubya is making the Ultimate Sacrifice for his country..”

“Some balls are held for charity
And some for fancy dress
But when they're held for pleasure
They're the balls that I like best
My balls are always bouncing
To the left and to the right
It's my belief that my big balls
Should be held every night”
-AC/DC, Big Balls

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Quotes of the Morning

“I believe in making the world safe for our children, but not our children's children, because I don't think children should be having sex.”
-Jack Handey

“Some parents and parishioners have accused the Roman Catholic diocese in Orange County of violating church doctrine by allowing a gay couple to enroll their children in a church school.
The group demanded that St. John the Baptist School in Costa Mesa accept only families that pledge to abide by Catholic teachings, the Los Angeles Times reported in Sunday's editions. Church doctrine opposes gay relationships and adoption by same-sex couples.
‘The teachings of the church seem to have been abandoned,’ John R. Nixon told the Times. ‘We send our children to a Catholic school because we expect and demand that the teachings of our church will be adhered to.’
School officials rejected the demand, and issued a new policy stating that a family's background ‘does not constitute an absolute obstacle to enrollment in the school.’
The parents' demand would presumably prevent two adopted boys whose parents are both men from attending the school's kindergarten.”
-Atlanta Journal-Constitution, January 2, 2004

“In related news, the parents then asked that no Jews, Anglicans, Hindus, Buddhists, Baptists, Methodists, Lutherans or other varieties of pagans be allowed to attend, as well as any Catholic families in which there has been divorce or the use of contraceptives. Then they tried to stop those who didn’t have faith in the tri-partite nature of God (three persons, one deity) and those who did not have faith in the assumption of Mary (her miraculous disintegration here on earth and re-assembly in Heaven.. Kind of like a supernatural Star Trek.). Then they were promptly laughed out of the room by anyone who had actually read a single frigging thing Christ ever actually said about understanding and love.”

“Some parents have promised to ask the Vatican to intervene and some have threatened to pull their children from the school. Others are worried the boys' attendance will set a precedent, saying their presence is part of a larger effort by the gay community to change the church.
‘The boys are being used as pawns by these men to further their agenda,’ said Monica Sii, who has four children at the school.
-Atlanta Journal-Constitution, January 2, 2004

“Yep, those sneaky gay people went through all of that effort of adopting children and putting them in a decent private school simply to try to change the church. Not because they love their children or anything. Nope. They are apparently heartless manipulators. Sigh… Idiots like these people make me ashamed of the (mostly good) church that I grew up in..”

“I wasn’t expecting the Spanish Inquisition.
Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!”
-Monty Python’s Flying Circus

“You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out God hates all the same people you do.”
-Anne Lamott

Monday, January 03, 2005

Quotes of the Morning

“Bush noted that in addition to the budget deficit, America suffers from a huge trade deficit.
‘That's easy to resolve,’ Bush said. ‘People can buy more United States products if they're worried about the trade deficit.’"
-Associated Press, December 15, 2004

“The Social Security system was designed in a, obviously, in an era that is long gone, and it has worked in many ways. It's now in a precarious position. And the question is whether or not our society has got the will necessary to adjust from a defined benefit plan to a defined contribution plan.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, December 20, 2004

“Um.. Think about what he said there for a minute. He just said that he wants to turn Social Security, the safety net of our aging society, into something with no defined benefits. In other words, he wants to mandate that you put money in (a defined contribution plan), but does not want to promise that you will get anything back (a defined benefit plan). Now realize that not only does he want to do this, but he is willing to frigging say it, and that there are no political repercussions. That is the state of the debate in our country. Actually, that is a pretty elevated form of debate in this country. I think Mr. William Donahue may be a better symbol of the typical level of debate.”

“PAT BUCHANAN: Bill Donahue, what do you think about "The Passion of the Christ"? And as a practical matter, even if Hollywood hated the film, it seems to me as an artistic work of art, a smashing triumph, a film of great controversy and interest, it ought to at least be nominated for best picture. It pulled in more money than any other picture all year.

WILLIAM DONAHUE, PRESIDENT OF THE CATHOLIC LEAGUE: I spoke to Mel a couple of weeks ago about this. And I don't think it really matters a whole lot to him. It certainly doesn't matter to me. We‘ve already won.
Who really cares what Hollywood thinks? All these hacks come out there. Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. It's not a secret, OK? And I'm not afraid to say it. That's why they hate this movie. It's about Jesus Christ, and it's about truth. It's about the messiah.
Hollywood likes anal sex. They like to see the public square without nativity scenes. I like families. I like children. They like abortions. I believe in traditional values and restraint. They believe in libertinism. We have nothing in common. But you know what? The culture war has been ongoing for a long time. Their side has lost.
You have got secular Jews. You have got embittered ex-Catholics, including a lot of ex-Catholic priests who hate the Catholic Church, wacko Protestants in the same group, and these people are in the margins. Frankly, Michael Moore represents a cult movie. Mel Gibson represents the mainstream of America.”
-MSNBC, Scarborough County, December 8, 2004

“See, idiots like this actually get onto television. It makes Bush look like a Rhodes Scholar (or at least a scholar). Amazing, isn’t it?”

Quotes of the Morning: Happy New Year

“Some words to inspire the New Year. I hope that all of you have a peaceful one.”

“I refuse to accept the idea that man is mere flotsam and jetsam in the river of life unable to influence the unfolding events which surround him. I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.
I refuse to accept the cynical notion that nation after nation must spiral down a militaristic stairway into the hell of thermonuclear destruction. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant.
I believe that even amid today's motor bursts and whining bullets, there is still hope for a brighter tomorrow. I believe that wounded justice, lying prostrate on the blood-flowing streets of our nations, can be lifted from this dust of shame to reign supreme among the children of men.
I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits. I believe that what self-centered men have torn down, men other-centered can build up. I still believe that one day mankind will bow before the altars of God and be crowned triumphant over war and bloodshed, and nonviolent redemptive goodwill will proclaim the rule of the land.
‘And the lion and the lamb shall lie down together and every man shall sit under his own vine and fig tree and none shall be afraid.’
I still believe that we shall overcome.
This faith can give us courage to face the uncertainties of the future. It will give our tired feet new strength as we continue our forward stride toward the city of freedom. When our days become dreary with low-hovering clouds and our nights become darker than a thousand midnights, we will know that we are living in the creative turmoil of a genuine civilization struggling to be born.”
-Martin Luther King, Jr., December 10, 1964

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