Saturday, October 06, 2007

Winning Hearts, Minds, Etc.

Well done
, Blackwater.
We would careen around corners, jump road dividers, reach speeds in excess of 100 mph and often cross over to the wrong side of the street, oncoming traffic be damned," she writes. "I began to wonder whether my meetings, intended to further U.S. policy goals and improve the lives of Iraqis, were doing more harm than good. With our drivers honking at, cutting off, pelting with water bottles (a favorite tactic) and menacing with weapons anyone in their way, how many enemies were we creating?"

Gans describes a particularly "infuriating" incident where the lead Chevy Suburban in her convoy allegedly crashed into a sedan ferrying an older man, a young woman and three children.

"As we approached at typical breakneck speed, the Blackwater driver honked furiously and motioned to the side, as if they should pull over," she pens. "The kids in the back seat looked back in horror, mouths agape at the sight of the heavily armored Suburbans driven by large, armed men in dark sunglasses. The poor Iraqi driver frantically searched for a means of escape, but there was none. So the lead Blackwater vehicle smashed heedlessly into the car, pushing it into the barrier. We zoomed by too quickly to notice if anyone was hurt."

"Where do you all expect them to go?" she allegedly cried. "It was an old guy and a family, for goodness' sake. Was it necessary for them to destroy their poor old car?"

"Ma'am, we've been trained to view anyone as a potential threat," she says the driver, who she did not identify, replied. "You don't know who they might use as decoys or what the risks are. Terrorists could be disguised as anyone."


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

GOP Meltdown

Their loudly touted "fiscal conservatism" is long dead. And their anti-gay stance is staggering under the weight of the hypocrisy of closeted Republicans.

And even their anti-choice stance is foundering.

How long will it be before the GOP realizes that deranged imperialistic war- and fear-mongering is not a policy? How many soldiers will have to die before that day? How many families will have to go bankrupt in the long run?
Some of the nation's most politically influential conservative Christians, alarmed by the prospect of a Republican presidential nominee who supports abortion rights, are considering backing a third-party candidate.

Anyway. More important at this point is: When are the Democrats going to have the sense to call bullshit on the entire M.O. of this administration and alter the direction of this nation in something very near to a 180 degree turn?


No Flying Solo in Alabama

The justice system has once again displayed its wisdom:
The U.S. Supreme Court declined Monday to hear a challenge to Alabama's ban on the sale of sex toys, ending a nine-year legal battle and sending a warning to store owners to clean off their shelves.

An adult-store owner had asked the justices to throw out the law as an unconstitutional intrusion into the privacy of the bedroom. But the Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal, leaving intact a lower court ruling that upheld the law.

Sherri Williams, owner of Pleasures stores in Huntsville and Decatur, said she was disappointed, but plans to sue again on First Amendment free speech grounds.

"My motto has been they are going to have to pry this vibrator from my cold, dead hand. I refuse to give up," she said.

I especially like this bit. Can women still claim (or be accused of) "hysteria" as they did back in the good ol' days?
Residents may legally purchase sex toys out of state for use in Alabama, or they may buy sexual devices in Alabama that have a "bona fide medical" purpose.


Toxic Nation

Sometimes, it just seems as though we are asking for it:
American laboratories handling the world's deadliest germs and toxins have experienced more than 100 accidents and missing shipments since 2003, and the number is increasing steadily as more labs across the country are approved to do the work.
Twelve monkeys, anyone?