Blah3TempBaseOps

TempBaseOps.... My other blog is, well, another blog.

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Friday, May 02, 2003
 
TempBaseOps is being de-commissioned.....

I finally got blogging software set up on B3, so this little show is moving back home.

I'll keep this blog up in case I have another emergency, and in case somebody wants to read the last week according to me.

You can catch subsequent stuff from me back at the Blah3 ranch.




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Chalk up one for Colin Powell...

Looks as though Powell has out-maneuvered Rummy in the 'Who's Running Iraq?' sweepstakes:

The Bush administration, seeking to resolve a bitter internal fight over the postwar governing of Iraq, plans to name a high-level civilian to direct the selection of a transitional government and take control of other functions now overseen by the military, administration officials said today.

L. Paul Bremer, a former counterterrorism director in the Reagan administration, is expected to assume the new post, the officials said, adding that he will supplant much of the authority of Jay Garner, the retired lieutenant general who has been in charge of postwar administration until now.

The choice of Mr. Bremer is a victory for the State Department over the Pentagon, and comes after weeks of what many officials say has been a sharp dispute between the two agencies. It also comes amid pressure from Britain, Arab nations and members of the United Nations Security Council for more of a civilian face on the Iraqi occupation.

The decision has been tightly held. Some administration officials were so concerned that the move not look like a setback for Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld that they were considering having him announce it upon his return from Baghdad on Friday night, to make it look like a Pentagon initiative.


Rummy's probably got smoke coming out of his ears right now.



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Watching 'Pirhana' on TNT...

And I swear I just saw what looked like a 10-year-old version of Angelina Jolie, playing The Kid Who's Afraid Of The Water.

Any of you movie buffs (okay, bad movie buffs) know if young Jolie was in this stupid movie? Let me know in comments. Thanks!


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RetroPoll: Not only how people feel, but why.

Check these guys out:

Retro Poll's starting point is that potential and real bias by corporate media, the two major political parties and government in survey research are a danger to the free and open discourse of ideas in a democracy...

Retro Poll was established in 2002 to investigate, expose, and challenge bias in corporate media polling. Retro Poll moves beyond critical analysis of poll methodology to re-work poll questions, background information, and methods and then actually perform new polls on the same issues. We do not claim the capability of pure objectivity.


My kinda polling company.








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Janeane Garafalo

"There's nothing you could point to in the Bush Administration with pride," she says. "Nothing. There is no way any rational, reasonable person can say that the Bush Administration has been good for America."

Great interview over at AlterNet.



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Thursday, May 01, 2003
 
Anybody watch the Beeg Speech?

Not me. I'm watching the NBA Playoffs. Chuck Barkley makes more sense than Bush, on Bark's worst day and Bush's best.

I purposely avoided the TV for most of the day, because I knew what it was going to be like - and reading comments on BartCop Forum and a few blogs bears my expectations out. Bush got dressed in a flight suit and hitched a ride on to an aircraft carrier, and the stupid media had a mass orgasm that rivaled the night the bombing of Baghdad began. Bush all of a sudden was a 'fighter pilot' (ne'mind that he spent his air time drunkenly strafing barns in Texas before getting grounded and going AWOL). Next they'll tell us he swims across the Yangtzee River every day.

The Beeg Speech was one in which he apparently compared Saddam to Hitler and the invasion of Iraq to World War II. I'm wondering how World War II vets are feeling about that.

Oh, and in case you missed it, Bush re-named today Loyalty Day. The ol' gag reflex was working overtime, so I decided to watch hoops. Is Mark Madsen the Jack Haley of the New Millennium, or what?




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Daily Show Debate fallout

The fine visitors over at FARK have a pretty spirited discussion going about The Daily Show's Bush vs. Bush Debate. Go check it out.


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As seen on TV!

The Daily Show presents the Debate of the Year - Preznit Bush vs. Governor Bush! You gotta see it to believe it (RealPlayer required).


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In my nightly midnight cruise through Bloghdad...

Windows open, puffing a red, Rose Tattoo(!) in the system, I found X-tra Rant. Worth a visit.

And if you want to see an exhaustive list of blogs and other sites of interest, you can't do much better than this list at Centerpoint. And visit the Centerpoint blog while you're there.


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Wednesday, April 30, 2003
 
ChoicePoint in South America

Hesiod and Atrios are both chasing down a story about ChoicePoint (the data collection company that expunged thousands of minority voters from the Florida rolls prior to the 2000 election) and their acquisition of voter registration databases throughout South America. Said South American countries, including Mexico, are mighty pissed.


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Psst! Wanna buy some jewelry?

I bought K a necklace and earring set from here for Valentine's Day, and you wouldn't believe how big a hero I was. If you have a sweetie that you want to impress without spending a boatload of dough, go to that site and pick out somethin' nice. Guarantee you'll get lucky.


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It Can Happen Here...

And according to this report, it already has:

...That night, March 20th, my roommate Asher and I were on our way to see the Broadway show "Rent." We had an hour to spare before curtain time so we stopped into an Indian restaurant just off of Times Square in the heart of midtown. I have omitted the name of the restaurant so as not to subject the owners to any further harassment or humiliation.


We helped ourselves to the buffet and then sat down to begin eating our dinner. I was just about to tell Asher how I'd eaten there before and how delicious the vegetable curry was, but I never got a chance. All of a sudden, there was a terrible commotion and five NYPD in bulletproof vests stormed down the stairs. They had their guns drawn and were pointing them indiscriminately at the restaurant staff and at us.

"Go to the back, go to the back of the restaurant," they yelled.

I hesitated, lost in my own panic.

"Did you not hear me, go to the back and sit down," they demanded...

When I asked to speak to a lawyer, the INS official informed me that I do have the right to a lawyer but I would have to be brought down to the station and await security clearance before being granted one. When I asked how long that would take, he replied with a coy smile: "Maybe a day, maybe a week, maybe a month."

We insisted that we had every right to leave and were going to do so. One of the policemen walked over with his hand on his gun and taunted: "Go ahead and leave, just go ahead."


But, hey, the war's over. Don't worry, be happy.



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The war's 'over.' Sheah, right...

So Bush is going to land on an aircraft carrier tomorrow to announce that the 'war' in Iraq is over. Many news outlets are reporting this (hell, they're announcing it about every 5 minutes on CNN), but this report includes some disturbing news below the fold:

So far, the toughest part of that postwar effort has been restoring security. For the second time this week U.S. soldiers opened fire Wednesday on anti-American demonstrators in Fallujah, a town west of Baghdad, with apparently deadly results.

The gunfire in Fallujah came less than 48 hours after a shooting there during a demonstration Monday night that hospital officials said killed 13 Iraqis. The demonstration on Wednesday was protesting the earlier deaths.

The city's mayor said two people were killed and 14 wounded in the clash. There was no immediate indication of American casualties. U.S. Central Command in Qatar said it was looking into the incident.


If the war's over, why are we still killing people?


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Demo fundraisers found shot in Florida

From AP:

A prominent Democratic fund raiser and his business partner were found shot to death Tuesday in a banquet hall they owned, police said.

Jerome Berlin and his business partner, Michael Pecora, were found dead in a locked office on the second floor of the Signature Grand banquet hall in Davie, police said. Police believe the deaths were a murder-suicide.

An employee reported overhearing an argument, then three gunshots in the office.





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Tuesday, April 29, 2003
 
US Out of Saudi Arabia.

From Reuters:

The United States said on Tuesday it was ending military operations in Saudi Arabia and removing virtually all its forces from the kingdom following the Iraq war.

In a joint announcement, Saudi Arabia said it had agreed the move with Washington. It denied press reports it had asked the United States to withdraw.

The presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia generated Arab resentment because of their proximity to Islam's holiest sites. It was a major grievance exploited by Saudi-born militant Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda network, blamed by Washington for the September 11, 2001 attacks on U.S. cities.


Hmm. Spin doctors in the current administration my differ, but from where I sit it looks like Osama bin Laden wins here.


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Kyra Phillips is making me sick.

I don't know who the programming genius is who thought this up, but it looks as though CNN is giving Kyra Phillips a full daily segment to get all huggy with our troops. Today, she's on an aircraft carrier, laying her hands all over pilots and support staff. I'm not joking - this 'anchor' is walking through the crowd, interviewing men who are probably young enough to be her sons, and getting way more close than is appropriate.

Jesus, Kyra, compose yourself, for cryin' out loud. You're embarrassing your profession.




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Monday, April 28, 2003
 
Easy way to get a directorship - date the Prez!

Geez, she must have been some date!

The White House made a number of recess appointments last week as Congress fled for spring break. One was April H. Foley, a "homemaker," according to campaign contribution disclosure documents, from South Salem, N.Y. She was named to the board of directors of the Export-Import Bank. The appointment is good until Congress adjourns next year.

So why a homemaker for this job? Well, "early in her career," the White House announcement says, she was director of business planning for corporate strategy with PepsiCo Inc. and director of strategy for Reader's Digest Association. More recently, she was president of the United Way of Northern Westchester County, N.Y. Not all of it, just the northern part.

Still not locked in on the merits? Did we mention she used to date George W. Bush when both were at Harvard Business School and has remained friends with him?





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Winner of today's Franklin Graham Tolerance Award...

Man, them fundie Christians are just so tolerant - as long as you don't try to pray to your God...

The minister who has planned this city's National Day of Prayer service for the last decade ran into a dilemma this year. The Jewish community wanted to show up. So did the Muslims, Unitarians and Hindus.

Rev. William Keller, 85, an evangelical Christian, decided everyone would be welcome to join him at noon Thursday between the flowering pear trees that flank the steps of City Hall. But only on one condition: People of other faiths could not take the microphone and pray to their God; they could only listen to Keller pray to his.

Keller said he had no intention of shaking Muncie up with his stance on the National Day of Prayer, but he believes his resolve is the only way to keep Christianity from being trampled by the religions of an increasingly diverse nation.

He wouldn't be comfortable, he said, having people pray to Allah or to any other non-Christian god during the service he conducts

"We want to have our Christian meeting where we pray to God," said Keller, head of the Delaware County Evangelistic Association. "It was just these liberal pastors that wanted to muscle in on our celebration. If the Jews and Muslims came to our meeting that's all right. But they wanted to come and use the microphone and pray at our service."


Pretty sickening, if you ask me.


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Program Note....

Sometime later today, I'm probably going to start setting up the GreyMatter blogging software on Blah3.com. I'm pretty psyched to get it done, but there's a good bit of work standing between me and it right now. But it could start later today.

Once I start setting it up, the page refresh from Blah3.com is likely to be knocked out. So if you want to access this blog, be sure to type in the URL as you see it above. I know that a number of bloggers have noted this temp blog and posted the URL, so you may be getting here without even hitting Blah3 at all. If that's the case, I'll post here when GreyMatter is all set up and I start posting back at my real home.

This blog is going to stay up, so that the archives are accessible and to give me a place to go if troubles ever arise with the Blah3.com domain.


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What to do now?

Now that the Iraq invasion is sent into exile by the media (you know that shit's still happening, but good luck to us ever hearing about it), the question for all of us citizens of Bloghdad is what to cover next.

I'm kinda glad that all war, all the time is over in a way. While the risks to the troops there is still extremely high, and much of it should be news but won't be (see Afghanistan), we can now turn our attention to the problems here at home and hammer the current administration on how they've shredded the future of this country. Tax cuts, judicial nominations, privacy and civil rights should all be hitting our sights about now. There is no shortage of targets to hit.

And we're the ones who are going to have to do it - looking at CNN today, they seem to be back on the DC Sniper, the new Reality cable channel, and a 70-year-old woman who plays football. Heaven forfend that they tackle anything of any import, but that's come to be expected at this point.

And I'm also noticing that a lot of blogs are starting to open up content beyond administration-bashing (granted, some never stopped - The Liquid List and Hammerdown have peppered their commentary with music and other glimpses into American pop culture in the year 2003). As it should be - there are other things going on in this world, and we can all enjoy the good stuff that's left while continuing to point out all the fucked-upness this administration is foisting upon us.

You may have noticed that my content has shifted to other things lately as well - a little music (well, this week, a lot of music), a little sports, a little plain internet goofiness. On a political level, there's no way I'm going to compete with guys like Atrios or Willis, so I'll go a little more with what I know in an attempt to separate myself from the pack a bit.

But mind you - if I see a target of opportunity, you can bet I'll try my best to poleax that sumbitch.


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I just got home from Connecticut...

And Twisted was pretty damn amazing. More on that tomorrow - I just wanted to point something out.

I listened to news radio all the way to the club (1010WINS, NYC), and heard over and over and over about how the military found drums and drums full of nerve agent and poison gas. They couched it in little bytes like, 'What the UN inspectors were unable to do, the US military has done.'

So we go into the club and watch the show, and we leave at about 1:00. I turn on the radio, and the story is still being reported - only this time, they bring up 'conflicting reports' about how much was found, and how the prelim testing turned out. On the way up to CT, the tests 'proved' that there was sarin. On the way home, the tests were 'inconclusive.'

This is what they do - anyone who listened to that radio station Sunday evening came away thinking that the 'smoking gun' was found. Only those who were listening in the middle of the night heard that maybe the gun wasn't smoking, after all. And people wonder why I hate the media in this country so much.


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Sunday, April 27, 2003
 
Voinovich says he 'won't budge' on tax cut

According to ABC World News Tonight, Sen. George Voinovich (R - relatively sane) has gone on the record saying that he 'won't budge' off his position of limiting the size and scope of the current administration's next round of tax cuts.

Listen closely, and you can almost hear The Wurlitzer cranking up. And no, The Thug Cabal has no compunction at all about using it on one of their own.

Update: Wait, what was I saying?

A conservative Republican group begins running TV ads today against GOP Sen. George Voinovich, likening his fight against President Bush's tax cuts to France's disloyalty to the United States during the Iraq war.

In a press release announcing its $100,000 ad campaign, the anti-tax Club for Growth denounced Voinovich as a "Franco-Republican" for deserting President Bush when he needed the senator's support on his proposed $726 billion tax cut.





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Watching Lakers-TWolves with great interest.

See-saw battle, with the Lakes at a 16-13 edge right now. Garnett is on, but they just started doubling him. Kobe's already got a T for arguing a call, and Rick Fox pulled up lame and is sitting right now. But the Lakes don't seem to have that mental edge they've had in years past, and the Timberwolves don't seem to be afraid of the Lakers Mystique.

On a side note, I'm not real thrilled with the NBA on ABC. They've got Bill Walton (whom might have been a great center, but I loathe him anyway), and two other announcers who I've yet to identify that annoy me every bit as much as Walton does.

Update: Lakers came on late and won by 5. Series locked at 2 apiece, moving back to Minny....


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And here's tonight's show...

This week, I've seen Cheap Trick in NYC and The Dixie Dregs on LI. Tonight ought to put the cap on the week: Twisted Sister in Connecticut.

For those of you who don't know, I designed and maintain Twisted's web site. Tonight I'll be the only photographer in the house for the last show before they head to Korea for a series of shows for the USO. Rumor has it that they're debuting their new-millennium costumes and makeup at this show. You might want to check out TS' site tomorrow for pics of that.

And by this time tomorrow, my hearing should be pretty much shot for a few days. Post comments in caps lock, so I can hear you.


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Friedman spirals deeper into madness.

Tom Friedman is one delusional sonofabitch. In his latest Times column (registration required), he states:

As far as I'm concerned, we do not need to find any weapons of mass destruction to justify this war. That skull, and the thousands more that will be unearthed, are enough for me. Mr. Bush doesn't owe the world any explanation for missing chemical weapons (even if it turns out that the White House hyped this issue).


Wait a second, Tom. It sounds as though you're saying we went into this war to stop people from being killed (by Saddam's WMD), but now that we haven't found any of said WMD, we can throw our justification for going to war in the first place out the window because somebody dug up a skull?

If the NYTimes doesn't have an on-call psychiatric staff for their op-ed columnists, they should damn well consider hiring one.

If I could say one thing to Tom Friedman's face, it would be these three words: speak for yourself. Bush better have an explanation, and a really good one, if no weapons of mass destruction are found. I'll be waiting for it, as will millions of people across the world.




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Hammerdown Debunks the White Stripes Hype

Spadehammer points out Robert Hilburn's asinine comparison of the White Stripes to the Stooges:

Sorry, Bob, won’t matter what Jack White does, because by the time the Stooges hit that third chord, no one will probably remember who the White Stripes were. U2? Tired. Radiohead? More overrated hype. Who cares anyway? They’re not playing this festival, so why even mention them? Who Else? Yeah, The Stooges, that’s who. I don’t even want to hear about how old they are. Two or three years ago, I finally had the opportunity of getting to see Iggy, already well into his fifties with a bunch of forty-something looking bandmates, in what turned out to be probably one of the top three shows I’ve ever seen in the twenty plus years I’ve had the pleasure. I can’t imagine that Iggy, Ron Asheton, Scott Asheton, and the amazing Mike Watt filling in on bass, won’t be primed and up to the task of making the critical darlings look like the run of the mill act(s) that they are.


Man's got a point. Jack White might have cool hair (kinda) and a spiffy wardrobe, but can he even begin to stack up to Iggy? In Hilburn's dreams, maybe.


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John Chuckman: 'In Jesus' Name

Here's a sampling of Chuckman's take on Franklin Graham:

My subject is Franklin Graham, one of President Bush's very-public religious confidants. Franklin's father, Billy, served President Nixon in a similar capacity. Billy's efforts were crowned with a kind of earthly immortality: he's on those White House tapes in the National Archives sharing anti-Semitic remarks with Nixon and never flinching or clearing his throat over the idea of using atomic bombs in Vietnam.

Franklin has pretty well replaced his ailing father in leading the huge Billy Graham organization. You may wonder about religious ministries being handed down like fifteenth-century dukedoms, but the practice is fairly common in America, and several of the nation's big ministries -- the type of outfits that might be characterized as Las Vegas Showstoppers for Jesus -- have been handed down in this fashion. This happens in American politics, too. After all, a hand-me-down evangelist serves a hand-me-down President who ran against (and lost the popular vote to) a hand-me-down politician from Tennessee.

It's not that Americans accept aristocracy, but in a nation of insanely-frenzied consumers, an established brand name always still has some juice worth squeezing.



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