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Friday, April 16, 2004 New page by 10 a.m. Monday-Friday

Do you believe everything you read? I hope not. Do I believe everything I put on my website for your perusal? Certainly not. I put stuff here for its interest factor, and sometimes for its ludicrousnes— not because I endorse it. If you prefer coordinated, endorsed propaganda, go to (which even offers products for sale!)

Halliburton silent, missing workers' families not Companies want to draw as little attention as possible to their missing or kidnapped employees. Keeping a low profile, security experts tell them, gives the kidnappers less leverage in negotiations. Families naturally often want just the opposite.




American businessman kidnapped from Iraq hotel

New Woodward book hits Iraq war plan The book says Gen. Tommy Franks, who was in charge of the Afghan war as head of Central Command, uttered a string of obscenities when the Pentagon told him to come up with an Iraq war plan in the midst of fighting another conflict.

Enemy employing new tactic in Iraq " Fallujah, Marines engaged an enemy sniper, who then fled in an Iraqi ambulance. "By using the ambulances, (the enemy forces) put wounded and dying Iraqis in harm's way, preventing them the services they need to reach medical care"

Iraqi 'beaten to death' by US troops

The Vietnam Analogy ".. in some ways Iraq looks worse."

Shades of LBJ: Eerie similarities in Bush and Johnson statements




Unasked questions The 9/11 commission should ask who authorized the evacuation of Saudi nationals following the attacks.

Note: Callers today say Richard Clark addressed this at the 9-11 Commission hearing, saying the CIA okayed a "routine" request from State to allow the Saudis to depart American airspace
--Brad 1 p.m.

Craig Unger
I have traced more than $1.4 billion in investments and contracts that went from the House of Saud over the past 20 years to companies in which the Bushes and their allies have had prominent positions -- Harken Energy, Halliburton, and the Carlyle Group among them. Is it possible that President Bush himself played a role in authorizing the evacuation of the Saudis after 9/11? What did he know and when did he know it?



In Hill Country, Texas shows its flowers


Bush 'amnesty' blamed for rise in illegals The number of illegal aliens being apprehended on the southwestern border has jumped 25 percent in the first three months of 2004 compared with last year, and some are blaming President Bush's immigration proposal in January for enticing immigrants across the border.

Houston work nearly stops over immigrant-raid rumors Most days, teams of Latino immigrant workers swarm over the townhouses under construction near Gulfgate, filling the air with the buzz of power tools and orders shouted in Spanish. Now there's just a handful, mostly Anglo contractors. At dozens of work sites across Houston, the immigrant workers have fled, most likely after hearing rumors of government immigration raids.


Textbook on Arabs removes blunder An Indian tribe has forced distributors of an Arab studies guide for U.S. teachers to remove an inaccurate passage that says Muslim explorers preceded Christopher Columbus to North America and became Algonquin chiefs.


Brad's Ten-Foot Poll RESULT
posted 9am-1045pm Thur 4/15/2004
What does San Antonio need in order to control panhandlers and vagrants?
New laws
Enforcement of current laws
Neither because it's uncontrollable
Total votes 316


Take the homeless to Hollywood Park. Trappers will tranquilize and transfer them to the Hill Country.

If people would stop giving them money they would go somewhere else. If you want to really help give your money to charitable institutions that are organized for that purpose.

What we used to do is run them out of town on a rail, or maybe give them a choice between jail time and a one-way ticket on a Greyhound bus, and I dont know why we had to quit doing that, since it seemed to work pretty well

Some City Councilmembers will do anything and say anything to get on TV and radio, even walking over the least of our brethren, who, by the way, don't usually vote.

Some people do this as a ‘part-time’ job. TV news crew in the city I came from interviewed one guy standing on the corner with his 6 year old daughter holding a sign that said ‘will work for food’. He made $30k the previous year on the street, while holding his normal 40 hour a week office job. Drove off in is late model SUV parked in a lot near his begging spot. Giving a bad name to the normal bums. What a way to train up your kids.


Blogging from Baghdad
Rahul Mahajan mini bio


How many of you have received an email with this photo, saying it is a Camel Spider in Iraq? Click the photo for a close-up. Click the links below the photo for validity reports.

Snopes camel spider report

Straight Dope column:
Do camel spiders eat a camel's stomach until its intestines fall out?



The finished product of artist Marco Evaristti's "Ice Cube Project" in Greenland. He used 780 gallons of dye, three fire hoses, two icebreakers and a 20-man crew to spray the chunk of ice for his artwork. (03/24/04 AP photo)



In reliability, Detroit forces BMWs, Benzes off the road Consumers are beginning to think 'Made in America' is a sign of reliablity.


Fact check politicians, journalists
Find and follow the money Political MoneyLine




I called in yesterday with a few parallels between Iraq and Vietnam. A friend of mine and I have put together a rather comprehensive list. Of course your caller Donald won't like this.


1.) MANUFACTURED CATALYST — The U.S. got involved in Vietnam due to a manufactured crisis, the Gulf of Tonkin incident. In Iraq, it was the Weapons of Mass Destruction.

2.) ESCALATION WILL WIN — We are in this far, so send more troops and we will win. Otherwise, those dead already will have died in vain.

3.) SET UP AND SUPPORT A PUPPET GOVERNMENT — We did this in serial fashion in South Vietnam, regardless of the people's will. We do the same with the so-called interim government in Iraq. In doing so, we ignore those with real power among Iraqis, as we did in Nam.

4.) THE DOMINO THEORY. In Nam, it was that if we don't fight, Communism will overtake surrounding countries like dominoes. In Iraq, it is that if we do fight, we will win and democracy will overtake surrounding countries. Wrong then. Wrong now. Iraq's insurgents are supported and financed by the surrounding Arab countries (our "allies") at present.

5.) SUPPRESSION OF RESISTANCE — In Nam, along with government troops, we arrested and also killed South Vietnamese who did not buy into our "vision" for Nam. We do the same now in Iraq…just as Saddam did before us.

6.) VIETNAMIZATION — In Nam, we were forever training South Vietnamese forces and trying to get them to fight against their own countrymen, the "Vietnamization" of the war. Our troops hated the S. Vietnamese forces because they did little or nothing in battle. We do the same with Iraqi troops today…with so far about the same results.

7.) “MY COUNTRY, RIGHT OR WRONG” or “AMERICA, LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT” — Bush says Iraq is not like Vietnam and that analogies send "the wrong message to our troops and … the wrong message to the enemy.”

8.) THE GREAT DIVIDE – The country is polarized, just as it was in the latter part of the Vietnam era.

9.) THE INSURGENCY — Iraq has evolved into an insurgency, like Vietnam. This changes the Rules of Engagement so that it becomes more difficult to fight the enemy. You're essentially always allowing them to take the first punch. In Nam, the guy cutting your hair during the day would be killing you at night. In Iraq, the guy supplying the troops with videos is the guy who probably stole those airborne uniforms they found with the insurgents for suicide bomb use.

10.) THE UNNAMED MASTER PLAN – Bush has an unnamed, publicly undefined “plan,” just as Richard Nixon claimed to have in Vietnam.

11.) THE HEARTS AND MINDS CAMPAIGN – U.S. attempts to win the “hearts and minds” of the Vietnamese while using Agent Orange, raiding their villages, suppressing dissent, carpet bombing and killing innocent civilians. Same thing in Iraq, smaller scale.

12.) HUBRIS. Overbearing pride or presumption; arrogance. It was the attitude of U.S. leaders then and is the attitude of leaders now.

13.) INABILITY TO LEARN FROM HISTORY – In Vietnam, the U.S. failed to learn from the history of French involvement prior to U.S. escalation. In Iraq, the U.S. failed to learn from the history of English involvement prior to the current war and occupation AND failed to learn from its earlier lesson in Vietnam.

14.) NO-FRONT WAR — In Vietnam, The U.S. fought a no-front, whole-country war against a guerrilla insurgent enemy astute at hit-and-run and ambush tactics. In Iraq, the situation is the same.

15.) HARASSMENT AND SURVEILLANCE OF ANTI-WAR PROTESTERS — Police harassment and arrest, and FBI surveillance, of anti-war protesters across the country. Happened then. Happening now.

Quite a list, huh?

Lance Collins - the guy who calls from Houston




Andy Borowitz

Joins ‘Simpsons’ Actors on Picket Line

Vice President Dick Cheney today joined the cast of the animated series “The Simpsons” on the picket line, demanding a substantial pay raise for doing the voice of President George W. Bush.
“Vice President Cheney has been providing the voice of President Bush since January of 2001,” a spokesman for the Vice President told reporters. “All he wants is a salary that reflects that contribution.”
While it is not known what precise dollar figure the Vice President is seeking, his spokesman said he was looking for “a salary in line with other performers who provide voices for cartoon characters.”
Some in Washington expressed surprise that Mr. Cheney, whose wealth is estimated at $87 billion, would ask for a pay raise, but not those who know him well, says Douglas Behan, author of the Cheney biography “The Ultimate Dick.”
“On the surface, Dick Cheney seems to have it all – money, power, and an underground lair worthy of Goldfinger,” Mr. Behan says. “But what he doesn’t have is the kind of respect that Casey Kasem gets for doing the voice of Shaggy on ‘Scooby-Doo.’”
With Mr. Bush’s appearance before the 9/11 commission fast approaching, the White House was scrambling to find someone else to do President Bush’s voice, with national security adviser Condoleezza Rice emerging as a possible option.
But not so fast, says Mr. Behan: “Let’s not forget, Condi didn’t event want to do her own voice.”





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