Saturday, December 31, 2005

Hogmanay Instahoglets

A Happy New Year to you all when it comes. In Scotland, we call it Hogmanay and it tends to be a bit of a party. Even here in the US, I like to try to keep some of the traditions *grin* so posting might be a bit spotty until the 2nd or even 3rd.

Here's some news and stuff to keep you going till the New Year bells ring.

  • Sadly, the US military's death toll this year in Iraq is just as high as last year's. Only five fewer servicemen lost their lives in 2005 despite being told about "last throes", "final corners" and "we have a plan". 2005 was the year the GOP and Bush's henchlings proved beyond a doubt that they hate the troops but were utterly clueless about Iraq beyond "staying the course". Staying the course delivered 841 dead.

  • Guess who they put in charge of Iraq's oil? Could it be the neocon favourite who failed to win enough election votes for a seat in Iraq's parliament? Ahmed Chalabi, come on down! Amiable Ahmed will have to deal with a fuel crisis as word spreads that Iraq's largest oil refinery shut down two weeks ago because of threats of insurgent attacks. Nearly three years after the U.S.-led invasion, a fuel crisis again threatens to cripple a country with the world's third-largest proven oil reserves.

  • It had to happen eventually. The Washington Times' Opinion Journal publishes a sensible op-ed - unsurprisingly not by one of the WashTimes staff. Abdurrahman Wahis, former President of Indonesia, writes sensibly about the need for a moderate reformation movement in Islam and about what needs to happen for that movement to succeed. Even McQ at the rightwing QandO blog thinks its a good op-ed although he seems to think 3 years is too long to wait for such a movement to succeed. I would like McQ and him commenters to consider where Christianity was at the 1500 year old stage (witchhunts, inquisitions, heretic burnings, intra-faith pogroms and wars - all "justified" by sacred text) and maybe get a sense of perspective. Islam is further ahead of the curve than Christianity was at the same stage. However, as expected, the foaming racists and close-minded bigots at Jihad Watch get it all wrong.

  • The Price is Right! And if it isn't, then you just raise the debt limit. King George has spent all your money on shiney military toys and tax breaks for his pals - and more than a few bottles of Smirnoff Absolut - so he has to put the nation further into hock. Is he worried? Nah, he'll be in a sunny tax haven by the time the bill comes due. Bush's houngan (look it up) John Snow expects to blow through the current $8.18 trillion debt limit in February. That's $27,635 debt for every man, woman and child in America - or if you prefer the bright side, $6,263 of an investment for every man, woman and child in China...

  • Maybe Bush should ask Tom FeLay to have a whip-round from his favourite foreign charitable donators - you know, the ones that gave millions to The U.S. Family Network in return for DeLay's work on their behalf in such fields as Russian gas corporations and textile sweatshop owners in the Marianas. Norwegianity has the details and a whole lot more.

  • Damn, I wish I could write like James Wolcott. His smackdown of neocon nutcase and NRO favourite Victor Davis Hanson is a gem - exposing clearly the shameless way Hanson and his like exploit the working class while at the same time holding them in the same contempt they like to egg the workers on to level at "effete liberals". Brilliance unleashed, go read it.

  • Oh, talking of the dumbturds at NRO, here's a bunch of their luminaries making predictions for 2006. Most are just lame attempts at humor but some themes emerge - and the biggie is that Iran is in trouble in 2006 either via US destabilization attempts or outright aggresion. (This link will also show you why "According To Jim" is such atrocious crap and why American sitcoms are generally such trashy rubbish compared with some of the genius British TV has managed.)

  • Not since the "original insults" segment of 'Roxanne' have I been so entertained by Steve Martin - here he is delivering a satirical woodshedding to Bill O'Lielly.

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