Thursday, October 12, 2006
Surprise!The Meat of the Matter is moving over to Wordpress. Blogger has served me well for these past years, but I'm tired of needing three services to manage one blog (Blogger, HaloScan, Blogroller). Plus, the old blog was starting to look tired, and my template was so heavily modified that one change could mess it all up. Please re-point your browsers to http://meatofthematter.wordpress.com See ya there!
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Calling For ReinforcementsMy Blog needs a shot in the arm. We seem to be arguing with only one person, so I am going to reach out and try to find some really big Conservative guns to come in here and help Todd out. Otherwise, we just end up slinging poo at each other, and that is frankly a waste of my time. I want us to get some serious debate going with people who have the time and inclination to do research, and back up the Conservative stance with some meat. Stay tuned for some major renovations.
Monday, October 09, 2006
Gas Prices and ElectionsTwo primary forces drive the price of anything: supply and demand. Demand for gasoline has been rising exponentially--not merely due to the popularity of SUVs in North America, but mostly by the emergence of India and China on the world stage and their subsequent need for petroleum products. Reflexively, the supply is decreasing and fixed. No economist in his right mind can tell you that the price of oil will go anywhere but up. This is not the President's fault, although temporary issues in the Middle East certainly don't help. Furthermore, the recent decrease in the price of oil can also not be credited to the President. Or can it? The price of gas fluctuates largely based on reserves. The amount of oil in reserve is based on reports from major suppliers--Saudi Arabia being the largest. These reports are easily manipulated, and frankly, Saudi Arabia holds the keys to the kingdom when it comes to temporary fluctuations in the price of a barrel of crude. It just so happens that the Bush family is extremely good friends with Prince Bandar bin Sultan of Saudi Arabia. In fact, there is historical precedent to assume that today's gas prices are the result of manipulations intended to influence the upcoming election. I don't have to go very far back to show the history here. I only have to go back to the last election in 2004. CNN reported, based on a Bob Woodward finding, that Prince Bandar agreed to temporarily increase production, which would increase the reserve and thus lower the price of oil--all for the purpose of getting President Bush re-elected. If you look at the chart, you'll see a fairly sharp dip in November of 2004. How fortuitous for the Republicans! Also, how fortuitous for the gas companies, since Republican policies allowed them to make record profits in January of 2005. After the 2004 election, the price jumped right back up and continued skyrocketing We see a similiar trend now. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out what is going on.
Friday, October 06, 2006
Progressive Plans on IraqWe DO need a plan to get out of Iraq. The majority of American people want us out of Iraq. The majority of Iraqi people want us out of Iraq. Yet, neither of our "representative" governments are in favor of getting us out of Iraq any time soon. Why is that? Because our current adminstration doesn't have a plan. Reflexively, I've oft heard it said that "the left has no plan" regarding how to handle the situation in Iraq. News soundbytes and bloggers who purport themselves to be in the know have parrotted the Right-Wing theory that The Left just wants to "cut and run". But how intelligent is this argument? It assumes that the Democrats have no exit plan, and that President Bush does. In fact, President Bush hasn't made it all that clear of what our objectives are. All I've heard is "When Iraq Stands up, We'll Stand Down." Well that's nifty, but what does it mean? What is the timetable? What are the steps we are taking to get them to stand up? What are the incentives? Answer: "They don't know." And the coup de grace: the Left has offered several plans. Earlier this year, one of them got a fairly united backing from the Democratic party. News of this can be found here and it is called "Strategic Redeployment" and seems to be a well-reasoned plan that takes many factors into consideration. Another--possibly even better--idea is to divide Iraq into three regions that would more accurately reflect the three distinct national cultures that Iraq has. Give each region the ability to govern itself according to its culture, and give the central government the reigns on the few areas of common interest. This plan makes a whole hell of a lot of sense. And it comes to us from Joe Biden ... a Democrat. The news media and the Bush-Koolaid-Drinkers have puppeted out the "cut and run" term so many times, that it has led many gullible Americans to believe that the Left has no plan. The fact is, we do. Bush is the one who has no plan. So when it comes to the word "plan" I can come to only one conclusion Inigo Montoya did: "I don't think that word means what you think it means."
Thursday, October 05, 2006
R ... The New Scarlet LetterWould you trust your child with this man? In the dark of night, you turn your kitchen light on, and you see dozens of slimy little creatures run for the safety of darkness. Those aren't Cockroaches, they're Republicans! Senator Hastert, who winkingly approved of Sen. Foley's pedophilia, is finding people "accidentally" cancelling fundraisers for him. Some politcal ads for Republican Senators and Representatives are "accidentally" leaving out which party they are in. The party whose election slogan in 2000 was ... what was it? Compassion and decency? No, wait ... Morals and decency? Aw shucks, I've forgotten what their slogan was now. But these days Republicans were wishing it were something that held them to a slightly lower standard. Meanwhile, Bob Woodward has written a book that says that things in Iraq are much worse than the Bush Administration has been letting on. It's already in its 3rd printing and selling like hotcakes. And lastly, our President has slashed away at another American value called Habeas Corpus. Apparently, the situation in the world is so bad that people whom the President suspects are guilty, no longer have to be proven guilty. Oh wait ... it's been that way ever since he suspected Saddam was an Al Qaida kingpin with his finger poised over a button to launch WMDs against us. Well, those American values are out-of-date anyway. They were thought up in the 1700s and we live in a different time! 9/11! 9/11! Godspeed a Progressive majority.
Friday, September 29, 2006
Did Saddam Hussein Train Terrorists?This topic keeps coming up. There are those who still believe that he did. Indeed, the "status quo" at one time was that this was true, and it helped justify the invasion of Iraq. I've since heard a number of times that these allegations were proven false, but didn't really do any research to dig up news articles. Even though the burden of proof lies with the people who claim that Hussein trained terrorists, I will help show the truth. We are, after all, the Meat of the Madness. First, a very compelling story came out from a defected army officer of Hussein's army that Saddam had worked with Al Qaida operatives, that they had a fuselage of a jetliner and were running training missions. This story was filled with details that just made it sound true, and was key in establishing a link between Hussein and Al Qaida, and helped garner anti-Saddam sentiment among American citizens that would pressure Congress into approving the war. If only it had been true. Later, as shown in an article printed in Knight-Ridder in March, 2004. "... many of the allegations came from the same half-dozen defectors, weren't confirmed by other intelligence and were hotly disputed by intelligence professionals at the CIA, the Defense Department and the State Department. "Nevertheless, U.S. officials and others who supported a pre-emptive invasion quoted the allegations in statements and interviews without running afoul of restrictions on classified information or doubts about the defectors' reliability." Knight-Ridder offers a mea cupla, admitting that they themselves ran some of the false news items as they were fed to them through governmental channels. "The articles made numerous assertions that so far haven't been substantiated 11 months after Baghdad fell [emphasis mine], including charges that ... Iraq trained Islamic extremists in the same hijacking techniques used in the Sept. 11 strikes and prepared them for operations against Iraq's neighbors and possibly the United States. Two senior U.S. officials said that so far no evidence has been found to substantiate the charge." The initial descriptions explicitly stated that biological weapons were found in fake water wells around Baghdad. No fake water wells have been found. There was an explicit detail that there was a laboratory under a Hospital. This was not found either. Judith Miller, who was the journalist who printed the testimony from the defector, had not replied to inquiries made by Knight-Ridder at the time this article was written. The testimony came to us via Ahmad Chalabi, a man with a long history of telling grand lies to governments, and whose organization (the INC) the CIA and State Department have long viewed as unreliable. As stated by Knight-Ridder, "U.S. intelligence officials have determined that virtually all of the defectors' information was marginal or useless, and that some of the defectors were fabricators or embellished the threat from Saddam." Ah but the lies had already achieved their goal. We were already occupying Iraq by the time they were uncovered, and the news cycles spent on the lies dwarfed the news cycles spent on uncovering the lies. So many Americans still believe the lies. There were other stories as well that implicated that Iraq trained terrorists. They were all (conveniently) completely unsubstantiated, like a hand-written note showing that Mohammad Atta was at the head of his class in terrorism training. The author and origin of the note, of course, are not verifiable. To wit, I once got an e-mail from the President of the United States. It turned out to be just my friend goofing around spoofing an e-mail address. Is it hard to believe that there were forces at work who wanted the US to invade Iraq? Was it hard for them to know that all they needed to do was concoct evidence that tied Iraq to 9/11? No, it wasn't hard, because the Cheney/Rumsfeld team were telescoping their intense search to find intelligence leading to this conclusion. It also made them susceptible to hoaxes. It also made it extremely easy for people with supportive evidence (even though it was unsubstantiated) to be ushered to the nearest news outlet at the beck and call of the Bush regime. Do I think Saddam was a good guy? Absolutely not. I think he was guilty of a host of crimes--however, harboring or training terrorists was not one of them. So, Saddam did not train terrorists. Anyone saying as much on this blog will be grilled to prove it.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Hallelujah!Jesus' image found in a dog's butt. Pardon me while I go repent.