Saturday, July 29, 2006

Brave kitty blogging

Mr. Plushy is being very brave about taking his meds today. What a good boy.


I had the misfortune to log onto c-span to stream the presser with Blair and Bush today. I could hardly believe what I was hearing. From Bush:
BUSH: It's an interesting period because, instead of having foreign policies based upon trying to create a sense of stability, we have a foreign policy that addresses the root causes of violence and instability.

For a while, American foreign policy was just, "Let's hope everything is calm" -- kind of, managed calm. But beneath the surface brewed a lot of resentment and anger that was manifested on September the 11th.

Too bad Bush doesn't have a fucking clue what the root causes of terrorism are, and he is clueless to the fact that our actions today are going to be the root cause of terrorism for decades to come.
"This is a moment of intense conflict in the Middle East," Bush said in an appearance with Blair in the East Room. "Yet our aim is to turn it into a moment of opportunity and a chance for a broader change in the region."

Another moment of clarity, eh?

What's crystal clear to every arab on the planet is that Bush thinks large numbers of arab civilian casualties are acceptable as long as the US and Israel are safe. That message is unmistakable.

This nonsense that "they hate us for our freedom" has got to stop. They hate us for what we do, pure and simple.

I have to ask, isn't there a single, sane person around Bush who has the balls to stand up and tell him he's off his fucking rocker? And would someone put Blair back in his kennel? His yapping is beginning to get on my nerves.

I am astonished, once again, that a man so profoundly stupid, so profoundly ignorant of both world affairs and human nature is president of the United States.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Let the plushypalooza commence!!

Just because this week has been so fucking depressing.... I think everyone, including lion kitty Maxx, could use a little cheering up.

I hate the vet

Mr. Plush is not a happy camper today. I tell him that going to the vet is going to make his mouth feel better, but he is having none of it.

All he knows is that I broke my promise and left him there for hours and the vet poked him in the mouth with a needle. And someone stuck a thermometer up his butt.... and he saw that package on the counter.... four legs is gonna make him take some nasty medicine tonight.


The Peep Strikes Back!!


There's a peep on my cat.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


Reuters/Thierry Roge

Just because.

Ecological Disaster

Reuters/Jamal Saidi

This makes me furious.

Oil spill adds ecological crisis to Lebanon's agony
BEIRUT, July 27 (Reuters) - Along Lebanon's sandy beaches and rocky headlands runs a belt of black sludge, 10,000 to 30,000 tonnes of oil that spilled into the Mediterranean Sea after Israel bombed a power plant.

Lebanon's Environment Ministry says the oil flooded into the sea when Israeli jets hit storage tanks at the Jiyyeh plant south of Beirut on July 13 and 15, creating an ecological crisis that Lebanon's government has neither the money nor the expertise to deal with.

"We have never seen a spill like this in the history of Lebanon. It is a major catastrophe," Environment Minister Yacoub al-Sarraf told Reuters.

"The equipment we have is for minor spills. We use it once in a blue moon to clean a small spill of 50 tonnes or so. To clean this whole thing up we would need an armada ... The cost of a full clean-up could run as high as $40-50 million."

The spill is especially threatening since fish spawn and sea turtles nest on Lebanon's coast, including the green turtle which is endangered in the Mediterranean, local ecologists say.

I am sorry, but it is not permissable to burn down your neighbor's country and kill its people to get at the bad guys. They are every bit as criminal as anyone in Hezbollah.

(hat tip to that fabulous equine, smarty jones)

Daily plush fix

The little scamp has been remarkably camera shy lately.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Plushy Action Alert - Save Benjy

I was doing some research this afternoon and I stumbled across this website. I encourage all of you to go there and read the story of Benjamin Margulies. Benjy has Tay Sachs disease and he needs our help.

When he was originally diagnosed, Benjy's parents found a doctor who was pioneering a stem cell therapy to treat Tay Sachs. Benjy was approved for the experimental treatment, and his insurance company, Aetna, approved payment for the treatment.

The treatment stopped the progress of the disease, and after months of therapy, Benjy had been making good progress, but in the spring of 2006, Aetna decided they would no longer pay for the nursing and therapy.

Please take a minute and help Benjy by writing to Ronald Williams, the CEO and President of Aetna and politely (please be polite) thank him for agreeing to review this decision and ask him to not abandon Benjy.

We can't help all the children in Baghdad or Beirut tonight, but maybe we can help this one little boy. BTW, Benjy's dad was one of the original "draftwestlyclark" guys, so he's one of us.

Thanks. Mr. Plushy will luv ya for it. (AND IF YOU DON'T WRITE I'LL WITHHOLD PLUSH FOR A MONTH!!)

Your daily Plush

Yes, it's a rerun, but one goes to blog with the plush one has, not the plush one wishes for.

Children of a Lesser God

Reuters/Nikola Solic

"...what future other than one of fear, frustration, financial ruin and fanaticism can stem from the rubble?"

Fuad Siniora
Prime Minister, Lebanon
July 26, 2007

Siniora's Agony

What future indeed? Via Froomkin, A Whole New War

Please stop bombing us

That sounds like a pretty clear request to me. The BBC is reporting that Israel troops 'ignored' UN plea to halt the shelling before someone was killed. Oddly, or maybe not, the WAPO doesn't mention the story on their front page, and the NY Times just has a subheading mentioning that "an Irish Officer Warned Israel on Threat to U.N. Staff". From the BBC report:
UN peacekeepers in south Lebanon contacted Israeli troops 10 times before an Israeli bomb killed four of them, an initial UN report says.

The post was hit by a precision-guided missile after six hours of shelling, diplomats familiar with the probe say.

Madness all around.

Just an observation, but what Israel has done is the global equivalent of scratching a poison ivy rash. Now the rash has spread, become virulent and infected, and is threatening to kill the patient.

Back in the day, the US used to be the global player who could generally be counted on to insert a note of sanity into these situations. Unfortunately, we're just as bat-shit crazy as the rest of them now.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Watching dry paint.

Modo has another scathing column up about Bush (sorry, behind the subscription wall).
Newsweek’s Richard Wolffe says he conducted four “freewheeling” interviews with the president last week, and concluded: “Bush thinks the new war vindicates his early vision of the region’s struggle: of good versus evil, civilization versus terrorism, freedom versus Islamic fascism. He still believes that when it comes to war and terror, leaders need to decide whose side they are on.”

The president sees Lebanon as a test of macho mettle rather than the latest chapter in a fratricidal free-for-all that’s been going on for centuries. “I view this as the forces of instability probing weakness,” he said. “I think they’re testing resolve.”

The more things get complicated, the more W. feels vindicated in his own simplified vision. The more people try to tell him that it’s not easy, that this is a region of shifting alliances and interests, the less he seems inclined to develop an adroit policy to win people over to our side instead of trying to annihilate them.


...But W. prides himself on his changelessness and regards his immutability as the surest sign of his virtue. Facing a map on fire, he sees any inkling of change as the slippery slope to failure.

That’s what’s so frustrating about watching him deal — or not deal — with Iraq and Lebanon. There’s almost nothing to watch.

What's frightening is that I wouldn't hire Bush to run a Taco Bell, and in a rational world, no one else would either. He hasn't got the faintest idea what is going on in the Middle East.

Great shooting, Tex

Are they taking lessons from Cheney? An Israeli airstrike hit a U.N. outpost today, killing 4 UN observers. I guess that'll teach Kofi Annan to ask for a cease fire.

I take it all back. I'm not stuck in Mansquito, I'm stuck in Aliens, and the Israelis are shooting off their power rifles too close to the reactor core.

Not feeling so good myself, oh no

Billmon feels like he's trapped in a bad remake of Planet of the Apes and that the world is a madhouse.

I feel like I'm trapped in the middle of Mansquito, and the mansquitos are in charge. How about you?

Update: 12:02 am. Eli has identified the problem. The end of the world is being brought on by the evil league of neoconsquitos. Aiiii-yeeeee!!

Tuesday lion kitty Maxx


The crosses make targeting easy

Associated Press

Billmon points us to a Sfgate story about the IDF bombing of a Lebanese Red Cross Ambulance.
Qana was a convenient meeting point for the two Red Cross ambulances from Tibnine, a town about 12 miles southeast of Tyre. Since it had become too dangerous to make the run to Tyre directly, the drivers decided to meet in Qana to pick up the wounded. Both vehicles were plainly marked with Red Cross logos and flashed a blue emergency light to signal their humanitarian intent.


As he closed the back hatch on his white Toyota van, Chaalan's world became one of heat, light and concussion wave. A guided missile struck the vehicle with the three civilians inside. Overhead, an Israeli Apache helicopter buzzed. It was the first attack by Israel on a Red Cross ambulance in the two-week conflict, wounding five volunteers and three patients, according to the Red Cross.

In previous conflicts in Gaza and the West Bank, Israel has struck ambulances when it believed the vehicles were being used to smuggle weapons and personnel to militants. In a statement Monday, an Israeli army spokesman said the ambulances in Qana were attacked "in an area known to be one of the main sources of the launching of hundreds of missiles," according to Cox News Service. The Red Cross has asked Israel for a more detailed explanation.

Anything is fair game in this war. The Israelis have apparently adopted Cheney's One-Percent Doctrine and applied it to war time tactics. "Is that ambulance carrying arms? is there at least a one percent chance? Bombs away!! That house over there... I can't see it very well, but it might be a Hezbollah stronghold... I think I see a Hezbollah flag in the window... better safe than sorry, AIRSTRIKE!!"

At this point the Israelis remind me of the doomed marines in Aliens, pointlessly shooting at anything moving out of sheer terror.

In the Levant, no one can hear you scream.

Monday, July 24, 2006

How much?

I just saw on CNN that the US has pledged $30 million for humanitarian relief in Lebanon.


Anyone have a dollar figure to the amount of aid we give to Israel each and every day? or how many millions in american munitions the IDF has dropped on Lebanon each day for the past fortnight?

It's like Billmon said the other day. "It's just like Vietnam, blow them up and then give them a bandaid." Color me unimpresssed.

Monday plush

Busy day for me. Mr. Plushy will keep you company.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The End of Democracy

Via Billmon, I see that yet another professor has come forward to defend the killing of civilians in Lebanon, cause, well, you know... they aren't really all that innocent.
For its part, Israel is gambling that the right strategy is to make the people who elected Hamas and a government that includes Hezbollah reckon the costs of their representatives' recklessness. That is why Israel has targeted not only Hezbollah leaders and strongholds but has also bombed infrastructure that sustains daily life for everybody in Lebanon. From Israel's standpoint, this is no longer a fight with nonstate terrorists who are holding their fellow citizens hostage to their tactics. It is, rather, war between Israel and countries that are pursuing (or tolerating) violent policies endorsed (or at least accepted) by their electorates.

As Billmon notes, that's precisely the argument used by Bin Laden justifying the bombings on 9/11. And it strikes me that it's a reckless argument to be making.

Are we, the american people, not complicit for the policies of our current government? No matter that I did not vote for Bush, and do not support his policies, especially in the mideast. By Professor Noah Feldman's logic, I'm fair game, as is every other American civilian.

Don't any of these assholes think these things through before they open their stinking yaps?

I have to say that I never thought I'd live long enough to hear an American law professor make apologies for policies that callously result in the deaths of civilians.

The Lady in the Water

I went to see The Lady in the Water this afternoon, and I'm going to disagree with all the reviewers out there because I really, really liked the film. I imagine my friends at eschaton will disagree. I couldn't care less.

Shyamalan writes and makes films about something that is important to me- the intersection of the uncanny, the divine, with the ordinary, physical world. It's about fate, and destiny and one's place in the cosmos. And it's always about ordinary people having a larger, more extraordinary purpose in life. It's the theme that runs through all of his work and it's something that resonates with me.

Wouldn't you like to be touched by something uncanny? Wouldn't it be delightful to live in a universe with water nymphs and other unworldly creatures? Don't you want there to be something more? If you say no, then that makes me sad.

People can disagree about whether Shyamalan is successful in translating his vision to the screen- but I am glad that that he at least tries.

Intent Revealed

Billmon points us to this astonishing Daily Telegraph story about Rice's upcoming trip about the Lebanon problem.
President George W Bush intends to build an "umbrella of Arab allies" against Hezbollah while giving Israel a free hand in attacking the group's strongholds, according to American officials.

White House aides have said they consider the Lebanon crisis to be a "leadership moment" for Mr Bush and an opportunity to proceed with his post-September 11 plan to reshape the Middle East by building Sunni Arab opposition to Shia terrorism. Yesterday Mr Bush cited the role of Iran and Syria in providing help to Hezbollah.

Billmon is perplexed and puzzled:
The question is whether this astonishing statement is the product of bad writing, the slack-jawed stupidity of the Telegraph's Washington correspondent, or a deliberate Eastasia/Eurasia switch by our fun-loving Orwellians in the Cheney administration.

I'll admit the story had me scratching my head for a moment. We've always been fighting against Shia terrorists? Really? What about Bin Ladin? I thought he was an wahabist sunni?

On further reflection, I believe I have the answer. The cheney administration isn't being inconsistant, they're merely demonstrating their adherence to the principles of radical authorial intentionalism (as I recently articulated during the Thersites/Pasty-boy dust-up).

Simply put, what Bush meant after 9/11 is what he says he meant right this second. The rest of us just need to try to keep up.

Weekend Plush

Sorry the plush has been eratic the past few days. I seems jarring to put fluffy kitty pictures up with all the horrific news coming out of the middle east.