Monday, February 26, 2007

Jack Bauer - Bush's ambassador for torture

There is a very good article in the New Yorker that discusses the role shows like 24 have in shaping public attitudes to torture. 24 creator Joel Surnow is a conservative who calls Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh friends. The administration loves the show and so do many US troops. Apparently it's not uncommon for soldiers to watch the show in Iraq then interrogate suspected insurgents with some of the techniques Jack Bauer uses to illicit information from terrorists. Prior to 9/11 on average there were 4 acts of torture on prime-time television, now thanks to shows like 24 there are more than one hundred. It's no longer the terrorists doing the torture, more and more it's the good guys.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Fuzzy Math

Something doesn't add up. The Bush administration plan is to send upwards of 21,000 more troops into Iraq, yet when Tony Blair says Britain is pulling out troops Cheney has his usual "I don't give a crap" attitude.

I think we can all agree that the ingredients in the "coalition" have always been principally USA, a cup or two of UK, and a few insignificant dashes of other countries for flavor. Nevertheless, the Bushies maintained that Iraq wasn't just our fight; the world had a stake in it, and "the willing" were gladly participating.

Let's do the dreary math. At the end of this year, if Bush and Cheney have their way, the United States troop level will be over 160,000 and all the rest of the "coalition" combined will amount to less than 6,500. That means, in very real terms, we will own over 96 percent of the war. 96% seems a lot more like conquest than multinational support.

It looks to me like we're the only clowns who are stilling "willing."

Monday, February 19, 2007

WTF Anderson Cooper???

"Kenny Chesney discusses his brief marriage to actress Renee Zellweger and confronts gay rumors during a segment airing Sunday (Feb. 18) on 60 Minutes on CBS. In an interview with correspondent Anderson Cooper, Chesney denies the rumors by declaring, 'It's not true. Period. Maybe I should have come out and said, 'No, I'm not [gay],' but I didn't want to draw any more attention to it. ... I didn't have to prove to anybody that I wasn't. I didn't feel like I really did."

Wow, I really wouldn't have guessed after Cooper broke down reporting on hurricane Katrina that he would end up doing this kind of crap. Who is Kenny Chesney anyway...

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Business as usual

After the elections last November, one thing was clear: whether you agreed or disagreed with the administration's Iraq war policy it was the number 1 issue on voters' minds. Why did the American people hand both the house and the senate to Democrats? Because by a margin of 2:1 they think that Bush has the wrong idea about how to run Iraq. Sure the economy, health care, terrorism and immigration were on people's minds, but the main message was to the Democrats and it was "Do something about the mess in Iraq".

I'm not sure about you, but I hoped a Democratic win would give them the boost they needed to really get to work. Instead we get Pelosi's "First 100 hours", followed by business as usual, oh yeah, and the "non-binding Iraq war resolution". The voters demand a change in direction and instead we get a resolution telling Bush what he can read in the newspaper every morning (if he read news, which apparently he doesn't). This is an unpopular war that will never be won. Ever. It's impossible for a western army to forcibly mend the relationship between three historically hostile communities.

Sure I support the troops. I don't support their deployment in Iraq. I support bringing them home and letting them know that we should never have sent them their in the first place, and apologising. Does that mean soldiers were killed and wounded without good reason? Unfortunately, yes.

Democrats need to give up on non-binding resolutions and really take it to the President. They have the support of the American people. Finish this war and let's move on to managing the fall-out of further destabilizing an already volatile region.

Saturday, February 17, 2007


I haven't had the chance to comment lately as I have been working on a new site. will now become the blog of is going to serve video content. Once we get it right, it will hopefully be primarily news content. At the moment we are getting content from YouTube, LiveLeak and Google Video.