Guns, politics, engineering and the miscellaneous pursuits of my life.
Email Mike: m_hanson76 [at] hotmail dot com
Email Me! m_hanson76 [at] hotmail dot com
Monday, January 20, 2003
More from the "peace" protests of last weekend
''Y'all ROCK down there in the Bay Area! We had a radical march here today, and it was pretty cool, and some folks then went out and broke windows at the Military recruiting station (i guess it might've been people from the march, but i don't really know), but we didn't do any of the GREAT shit y'all did down there. ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE! SMASH CAPITALISM!'
Now repeat after me: this is about love, peace and good karma, there are no ulterior agendas and we do not Support Saddam Hussein
More Proclamations of Greatness about the “Great Leader Kim Jong Il”
This piece of horseshit from Alexander Cockburn
. comes to us via Counterpunch.
Is the North Korean response so mysterious? It's not as though North Koreans have listened to some pretty serious nuclear saber rattling before. In the winter of 1950 General Douglas McArthur asked the Joint Chiefs to give the go-ahead to his plan to drop "between thirty and fifty atomic bombs" across the neck of the Korean peninsula. The Joint Chiefs, according to the account given by Jon Halliday and Bruce Cumings in their book Unknown War, came close to giving him the green light. Late in 1951, in Operation Hudson Harbor, a lone B-52 was sent over Pyongyang, as if on a nuclear bombing run.
Wow! That must mean that the Air Force had in its possession a time machine to transport the lone B-52 over Pyongyang in 1951 because the B-52 did not enter service with the Strategic Air Command until 1955. But I am sure that was just more of the disgustingly common ignorance that Cockburn is infamous for.
Operation Hudson Harbor, which Cockburn cites is a left wing fantasy with absolutely no documentation. The information from Operation Hudson Harbor comes from a book Cummings and Halliday wrote in 1988, Korea: The Unknown War
, which sites "unnamed North Korean military officials"
as the source of this information. So we can guess about the credibility.
But that's no surprise considering the views of Cumings and Halliday.
Cumings boosted North Korea in a 1981 New York Times op-ed: "North Koreans are proud of their 'workers paradise' and its economic accomplishments....North Korea is a proletarian country pursuing self-reliant development, yet Mercedes sedans abound in the city...Kim Il Sug provides 11 years of compulsory, free education. The virtues that are inculcated are hard work, self- reliance, diligent study -- all familiar to Americans." Cumings wrote in a 1986 Nation article: "U.S. leaders are by no means Nazis. Nonetheless, when all the extenuating circumstances and special pleading are over and done with, a few generations hence, it will be seen that Americans visited mass slaughter on the Korean and Vietnamese peoples."
The North Koreans made the usual mistake of believing Bill Clinton, who signed onto a deal brokered by Jimmy Carter in 1994, known as the Geneva "Agreed Framework". North Korea would drop its plutonium based nuclear program, and would get in return two electricity-generating light-water reactors. The US also pledged tit would move towards normalization of political and economic relations. The US Congress wouldn't sign on, and so nothing happened. Then President George Bush broke off all discussions. North Korea, with a million or two already starved to death, 200,000 out of a population of 23 million in labor camps, and saddled with terror and leader-worship, started to play their lone nuclear card once more. And one has to say, they're playing it pretty deftly. The man who seems to have made an utter hash of things is President George Bush.
Nothing happened because that nasty old Shrub broke off all discussions?
The Shinpo plant timeline chronicles Shinpo plant timeline chronicles
over 8 years of consortium work on the project.
Ground breaking ceremony for Shinpo Nuclear, 1997
And the fucking construction on Shinpo continues to this very day
So Alex, who has made an utter hashing of things?
Remember, this wasn't your fathers protest
Or so I was told over and over by news outlets.
Chairman Mao! Right on baby!
I wonder if she got this as a token of appreciation from one of Saddam's rape teams ?
Ahhh, the good old days of Uncle Joe.............
I am sure that many of the people who attended the protests this weekend are pacifists in the truest sense of the word, but what about the rest of them? I am not referring to a tiny minority of the protestors, but the vast bulk of those who organize and participate in these events. Sure, they talk a good game about stopping war and helping the poor, where were they for some of the most of the cold war?
Where were these "progressives" and "pacifists" in 1950 when North Korea invaded the South killing millions? That’s right they supported this action.
Where were these "progressives" and "pacifists" in 1956 when the Soviet Union brutally cracked down on the Hungarian independence movement? They supported this action as well.
Where were these "progressives" and "pacifists" in 1976 when Pol Pot dedicated himself to turn Cambodia back to year zero? According to them, it was not happening and was a campaign of lies against a progressive regime.
Where were these "progressives" and "pacifists" in 1979 when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan? Nowhere to be seen.
Where were these "progressives" and "pacifists" in 1981 when the Iraq invaded Iran? Dont recall many human shields being sent over to Tehran for that one.
Where were these "progressives" and "pacifists" in 1989 during the Tiananmen Square massacre? Oh, that’s right, this was an appropriate action against counter revolutionaries.
Thanks to Bill Herbert for finding this jem.
Most of those who marched over the weekend were not there to stop war, they were there to stop one war and start another.
Friday, January 17, 2003
This almost made me vomit
It was bad enough when all Ted Rall did was draw horse shit cartoons, but then he decided to apply his “wit” to the realm of political commentaries.
Rall’s antics have become legendary cannon fodder for bloggers of all stripes and his latest.GEORGE RYAN, AMERICAN HERO
, was almost too much for me.
George Ryan hasn't been much of a governor, but he's one hell of a patriot.
The end of his term finds him facing possible indictment on corruption charges, and his departure brings to an end 30 consecutive years of Republican rule at the Illinois governor's mansion. "If he found Osama bin Laden, it would not be his legacy--it would be the scandal he has endured throughout his entire term as governor," notes Paul Green, professor of public policy at Roosevelt University in Chicago.
Nonetheless, Ryan is a case study of principled integrity triumphing over personal and political flaws.
With three days left in office, Governor Ryan delivered the greatest attack on America's death penalty since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the practice in 1972. He cleared Illinois' death row on Jan. 11, sending all 167 inmates back to prison, declaring: "Each and every one of those cases raised questions not only about the innocence of people on death row, but about the fairness of the death penalty system as a whole."
This ‘principled integrity’ Rall hails seems to have come to Ryan in an recent epiphany of sorts, because he sure as shit did not have an ounce of it in his political career.
Just ask the Willis family.
The Willis family knows George Ryan, but not for any of the reasons Rall points to. They were not spared the cruel fate of the state of Illinois putting them to death by lethal injection by the compassionate and loving hand of George Ryan.
In 1994, the Rev. Duane Scott Willis, his wife and their seven children were heading home from a trip to a relatives house in Wisconsin. They were involved in an accident with a semi driven by Ricardo Guzman. Six of the Willis children died in that accident.
It was later revealed that Ricardo Guzman had illegally obtained his CDL from his company which had made a generous contribution to then Secretary of State George Ryan in exchange for Guzman’s license.
Perhaps Ryan should have been thinking about innocent people dying by the Sate of Illinois negligence and corruption long before he did.
No one has yet to prove that anyone innocent had been executed in Illinois.
That is unless you count the death sentence George Ryan’s greed and corruption put on the Willis family 9 years ago.
But what the hell, let Rall have his fantasies.
Wednesday, January 15, 2003
The Latest from the We Love Kim Il Sung II fan club
North Korea has kicked UN officials out of its country, removed the cameras in its Yongbyon nuclear complex, abrogated the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and torn up a 1999 agreement to stop testing long-range missiles. It has said that any attempts by the UN Security Council to impose sanctions on North Korea would be viewed as a declaration of war. From this perspective--the portrayal of the current crisis in the U.S. media--North Korea appears to be a rogue nation ruled by a madman.
The reality is somewhat different. A little history can help us understand what North Korea is doing and why.
After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989, North Korea was left to fend on its own economically. Formerly dependent on the USSR for fuel oil to power its generators and food imports, North Korea had to quickly develop its export market and a way to generate electricity, or face collapse. This marked the beginning of the North Korean nuclear program, initially an attempt to generate power.
Maria Tomchick writing for Counterpunch
Tomchick’s article on North Korea's nuclear program revolves around the notion that the Yongbyon nuclear facility generates electricity.
It is, in fact, a reactor designed to produce weapons grade waste and not electricity.
The Yongbyon facility does not have any electrical power generation equipment or the means to transmit any electricity it could potentially generate. All power needed on site comes from two 2,000kW diesel generators.
I find it interesting that someone who writes for Eat The State!, a self described anti-authoritarian newspaper, would be a shill for the most authoritarian nation on this planet.
Saturday, January 11, 2003
John Lee Malvo, abused orphan not a serial killer
Well at least that’s how Makeda Mikael, former Chief of Staff to Lester Bird, now Prime Minister of Antigua, sees it
From all reports Muhammad passed the child off as his son and behaved accordingly. Equally the boy called him father and behaved towards Muhammad as if he really was his father, loving Muhammad as a son should. His newfound religion, Islam, only made them closer and the military training and fitness regimen readied him for his holy war. The boy was clearly brainwashed, outside of his cultural milieu, totally dependent in all on America and on one man - John Allen Muhammad. John Lee Malvo now needs the urgent help of the fair-minded in America, who can see past the deed even as in the Patty Hearst affair - except that Malvo is a poor, abandoned, black youth, a minor, an illegal immigrant on false documents, from a Third World country, whose bad luck was to find an American Dad who promised him a wonderful life in America.
Brainwashed by Muhammad? Perhaps, but it still does not exonerate him from killing 19 people including an 11 year old child.
A very reasonable case could be made, and was, that Charles Manson brainwashed his followers, but they were all still held legally accountable for their actions in court.
I say stick them both with the needle and serve this apologist prick Makeda Mikael another cup of shut the fuck up.
Friday, January 10, 2003
That you should never let me babysit a cat.
Hey there tiger!
Who ordered the 30 pack?
For those of you who despise Democratic Underground as much as I do, enjoy.
Man what a Pussy
But then again it is the San Fransico Gate.
Written during last summer's "Fleet Week".
Pretty Blue Angels Of Death
By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist
This is why many people I know loathe the Blue Angels, despise what they represent, their wastefulness and aggro-military machismo and how they impact the environment and scare the aforementioned elderly and by the way whatever the hell is in that funky oil-smoke the planes always discharge for special effect can't be all that healthy.
And hence many people refuse to watch the show; they curse the roar and the flyover surprises and the entire Bay Area military connection, find it more than a little sad and strange that we see such entertainment value in what is essentially a bunch of incredibly expensive and noxious weapons of war.
Aggro-military machismo?!? Somone needs to get this pansy a Schlitz and take him to a fight nite.
El Dildo Bandito
A little dated, but I just found this today, but considering it happened in DPRB [Democratic People's Republic of Boulder Co.], it did not suprise me. The library in question, by the way, refused to hang an American flag because it deemed it to be possibly offensive to patrons.
Hang Male-Bashing Out to Dry
Robert Rowan is proud of stealing 21 ceramic penises that were part of a domestic violence art show at the Boulder Public Library in Colorado. The faux severed penises were strung on a clothesline under the title "Hanging 'Em Out to Dry."
The Boulder library is the same one that recently refused to display a ten-foot American flag in its entrance because some patrons might be offended. A smaller flag was draped in the wake of controversy.
Rowan was disturbed that his five-year-old daughter might see what he calls an "anti-male" and "pornographic" display while using the public library. On Veterans Day weekend, he carefully placed the genitalia into a garbage bag as library patrons watched. In their place, he left a calling card ? "El Dildo Bandito was here" ? and hung an American flag. Then Rowan called Denver's KOA radio station to confess. The police arrived at his home in the wee hours and ticketed him for "misdemeanor criminal tampering" which may lead to a $1,000 fine and one year in jail.
The library is using words like "censorship" and "intolerance" to describe Rowan's actions. But Rowan put his finger directly on the political issue when he pointed out the difference between private art galleries and public, tax-funded spaces.
Wednesday, January 08, 2003
You know you're a dupe when even the Gaurdian UK slams you.
A few inconvenient facts about Saddam
Wednesday January 8, 2003
Matt Barr is 21, the same age that I was the year the Vietnam war ended, and the last disgraced vestiges of American intervention were airlifted over the rooftops of Saigon. In the next few months, if the war against Iraq looks like going ahead, Matt plans to be part of a human shield protecting potential civilian targets. He is braver than I was at his age. I never offered to stand outside the central station in Hanoi as the B52s approached.
The idea is to "show solidarity" with the Iraqi people, who he visited in December 2001. "The people of Iraq are as human as we are," said Matt, "and yet many would die" if there were a war.
I saw Matt the other night on telly, and he's a lovely looking bloke from Sussex, with long plaited hair, who plays the electric guitar. But he has a problem that the Vietnam generation of protesters never had. Most of us were happy to see the National Liberation Front win out in Vietnam, and - whether we were right or wrong - thought Vietnam would be a better place if they did. We had wispy-bearded Uncle Ho. Matt, on the other hand, has Saddam Hussein.
He tries not to have him. Last spring, in the Winstanley lecture theatre in Trinity College Cambridge, Matt gave an illustrated talk about how the Iraqi people had suffered under UN sanctions. He used slides showing how downward infant mortality trends had been interrupted since the Gulf war. Then he talked about ordinary Iraqis and showed a slide of Baghdad at dawn. "Baghdad," he said, "is probably the most peaceful, mellow place I've ever been in my life. Everybody is so laid-back it's unbelievable."
He was right. It was unbelievable. According to Amnesty the regime was busily torturing and executing various enemies, real and imagined. Eyes were being gouged, genitals zapped, tongues ripped out and heads cut off. The torture of political detainees, said Amnesty "generally takes place in the headquarters of the General Security Directorate in Baghdad or in its branches in Baghdad. Torture also takes place in the headquarters of the General Intelligence (al-Mukhabarat al-'Amma) in al-Hakimiya in Baghdad."
Also in mellow Baghdad, shortly before Matt's visit, the assassination (almost certainly by the regime) of a Shia leader and his two sons had led to riots in the Saddam City suburb, in which 100 people were killed. In October 2000 a woman obstetrician was beheaded in the capital on charges of prostitution, though Amnesty notes that the real reason may have been her criticism of corruption within the Iraqi health services. This was followed by the decapitation of dozens of women - suspected prostitutes - without any judicial process. Amnesty reports that members of Feda'iyye Saddam, the Saddam militia, "used swords to execute the victims in front of their homes", mostly in laid-back Baghdad.
Incidentally, this militia was recently invoked by the Labour MP, George Galloway. "You know," he told IraqJournal.org somewhat jauntily, "the Iraqi youth are not less than the Palestinian youth, who are facing the Israeli occupation forces every day. And ultimately they'll have their bodies as weapons, just like in Palestine. The Saddam militia, which is several million strong, are the suicide bombers of tomorrow against the occupation forces."
Perhaps. But it is one thing to behead unarmed women in front of their appalled neighbours, and quite another to explode yourself in the middle of a column of marines. And that raises a second problem for those of us who do not want war, but who loathe the Iraqi government. The "Iraqi people" are constantly referred to by anti-war campaigners - but without any obvious consideration of what the Iraqi people themselves want. If I were an Iraqi, living under probably the most violent and repressive regime in the world, I would desire Saddam's demise more than anything else. Or do we suppose that some nations and races cannot somehow cope with freedom?
In Cambridge, when he had finished his talk, Matt was finally asked about Saddam's government. "The situation in Iraq," he said, "is bizarre, because when Iraq was committing its human rights violations they were being economically supported by the US and the UK ... So the first thing is you have got to get in there straight away - as soon as you hear about a violation you have got to sort it out."
I agree with that. The logic of which is that the invasion should have happened long ago. But, as someone who has opposed Saddam for more than 20 years, I have to say that this all cuts both ways. Where, after all, was the left movement against Saddam? Where was solidarity with the Iraqi people then? Who dared go to Baghdad?
Monday, January 06, 2003
Hold on folks, cause it’s a brave new world out there!
I really wonder why there is such a huge fuss when we don’t ratify UN treaties.
Authorities warn teachers after student cites Euro Convention
The day has finally come when students are claiming that after-school detentions are violations of their human rights.
The government of Scotland is now warning hundreds of teachers against holding unruly pupils after class, based on advice from their attorneys.
Four education districts covering major cities including Glasgow have issued the edict, and three others have already changed their procedures to require parental permission to keep kids after class.
According to the London Telegraph, the move comes after a 15-year-old high-school student sued education officials on the grounds that her detention violated the European Convention of Human Rights.
"If teachers treated pupils with more respect, they would show them more consideration in return," Freya Macdonald told the Telegraph.
"My friends still get detention, even though it is against the European Convention."
Macdonald is basing her case on three sections of the ECHR:
Article 5 says it's illegal to keep children in school against their will unless a court order has first been obtained;
Article 2 states every child has the right to an education;
and Article 3 protects children from any treatment deemed to be degrading.
The action is being strongly condemned by both politicians and the heads of teachers' unions.
"It is high time we started taking parents of the most unruly pupils through the courts ourselves," Bill Fitzpatrick, former president of the Scottish Secondary Teachers Association told the Telegraph.
"It may reach a point where our schools require resident police officers to protect staff from parents and pupils."
Friday, January 03, 2003
Kudos to the Daily Rant
Thursday, January 02, 2003
That’s what I like to refer to websites like CounterPunch and Common Dreams as, canon fodder. They provide endless material for weblogers, like myself, to dissect slam and mutilate, and they never let us down. From the notion that the Chechen kidnapping of 1000 Russian theater goers was an act of ‘domestic dissent’, to the claim that unless we give up our meat eating and live on farming communes growing turnips, the idiocy and self loathing of their contributors can surprise even me.
Christopher Hitchens has made the claim that the left is so out of it gourd that it sees Islamic terrorism and those who perpetrate it as the 21st centruries version of anti-imperialism.
David Horowitz has called them the Ayatollahs of anti-American hate.
Todd Giltlin said that in their attempt to oppose the war that the left looks more and more like they are condoning and supporting both the means and the ends of militant Islamic terrorism.
I think they are all right.
Take M. Shahid Alam’s, Professor of Economics at Northeastern University, latest at CounterPunch
And so for five hundred years, European arms and capital advanced while the rest of the world retreated, vacating their political, economic and cultural space before the surge of Western power. It must be acknowledged, however, that they never retreated without a fight; they fought against constantly increasing odds; they hid in ambush after every defeat; they stole the weapons of their enemies; they plotted and mobilized for the next battle. Occasionally, they stalled the advance of Western arms; occasionally, they even won a few stunning victories. And, starting in the 1940s, they won back some breathing space.
But never in all these years did the victims succeed in attacking the aggressors on their home turf, in their fortified playgrounds, inside the lavish retreats where they enjoyed the spoils of their victories. Not once in all these years could the victims carry their resistance inside the citadel of the invaders. Though many peoples were crushed over these dim centuries, though many were driven into extinction, though many more were sold into slavery, though proud empires were laid waste, though ancient cultures were cast aside, not once could the victims breach the bastions, scale the citadels of Western power. Not once could the millions of Americans, Africans and Asians, whose lives were trapped in fear for centuries, bring fear to the homes of their tormentors. Inside their homes, the captains of plunder were safe, beyond the reach of the wrath and the retribution of their countless victims.
Never, that is, till September 11, 2001. On this fateful day, the victims had scaled the citadel of Western power, they had breached the impenetrable defense shield of the world's greatest power, they had cut through its security perimeter, and visited destruction inside its inner sanctum--they had desecrated the holy of holies. The terrorists had attacked two American icons--of financial and military power.
Does anyone really believe this horseshit? Could you honestly consider 19 upper class Arab men and their billionaire ringleaders ‘victims’?
It reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend of mine a few days ago. Whenever this friend of mine begins a new romantic relationship, he has the annoying habit of ‘projecting’ his wants onto them. At first they are the smartest, most level headed, honest, pristine example of virtue and beauty he has ever met. He wants so desperately to believe that they are exactly what he wants in an ideal woman that he is often deluded to their imperfections and deficiencies [which exist in everyone].
Prof Alam, and his fellow travelers on the left, are so obsessed with this fight for ‘anti-imperialism’ that they will latch on to any organization which they believe will further it and contrive dozens of fanciful excuses for their behavior, even when all evidence says otherwise. They will project their wants and desires, their motivations and reasoning onto those who either directly or indirectly work for their ends. Regardless of the means they choose.
People like Alam praise militant Islamics because they see them as key to destroying the West and they are too cowardly to do the fighting themselves.
Only in America could someone like this collect a paycheck from the government.