God tells me to copy and paste, so you can't stop me. -- Kate

"You know, I could run for governor, but I'm basically a media creation. I've never done anything. I've worked for my dad. I worked in the oil business ..." -- G.W. Bush

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use. -- Galileo Galilei

Friday, April 30, 2004

And we are supposed to believe that showing respectful treatment of our troop's remains and caskets is bad for troop morale. I feel sad but good that our dead are treated so well, now can we do the same to those U.S. troops that are still alive and hungry.

Pentagon warned Halliburton-KBR on "dirty" food service: report

WASHINGTON (AFP) Dec 13, 2003
The Pentagon repeatedly warned contractor Halliburton-KBR that the food it served to US troops in Iraq was "dirty," as were as the kitchens it was served in, NBC News reported Friday.

Halliburton-Kellogg Brown and Root's promises to improve "have not been followed through," according to a Pentagon report that warned "serious repercussions may result" if the contractor did not clean up, the television network reported.

The Pentagon reported finding "blood all over the floor," "dirty pans," "dirty grills," "dirty salad bars" and "rotting meats ... and vegetables" in four of the military messes the company operates in Iraq, NBC said, citing Pentagon documents.

The report came as President George W. Bush fended off Pentagon reports that Halliburton-KBR overcharged 61 million dollars for gasoline it sold the military in Iraq. Dick Cheney ran Halliburton for five years until becoming vice president.

Bush said that if an overcharge were found, the money should be paid back.

The company feeds 110,000 US and coalition troops daily at a cost of 28 dollars per troop per day, NBC said.

The Pentagon found unclean conditions at four locations in Iraq, including one in Baghdad and two in Tikrit. Even the mess hall where Bush served troops their Thanksgiving dinner was dirty in August, September and October, according to NBC.

This adds up to "a company that arrogantly is overcharging when they can get away with it and not providing the quality of service that they agreed to do," Representative Henry Waxman, Democrat of California, told NBC.

Halliburton-Kellogg Brown and Root told NBC that "hostile conditions" pose special challenges as they served the 21 million meals so far to the troops at 45 sites in Iraq.

"We have taken quick action to improve," the company said.

Seems to me that the Halliburton people should have known that there was going to bad conditions and been ready for it, they're working in a dessert after all. Another case of how outsourcing doesn’t really work.

Yes, from the NY Times again. Bush and Cheney Tell 9/11 Panel of '01 Warnings .

President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney were questioned in the Oval Office for more than three hours on Thursday [4/29/2004] by the commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks. They said intelligence warnings they received throughout 2001 suggested that Al Qaeda was poised to strike overseas, not on American soil, according to accounts of commission and administration officials.

Any reason given for assuming that the threat couldn’t or wouldn’t move to this country? Any reason given for assuming that the U.S. government didn’t have to stay on top of the threat?

The setting for the panel's long-awaited interview of Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney, who insisted on talking with the commission together, was orchestrated to take advantage of all of the symbolic power of the Oval Office while making clear that the White House did not consider the meeting to be adversarial.

It’s not adversarial but the Commission members were seated either in groups on couches or in what sounds like folding wooden chairs while Bush and Cheney were in comfy wing-back chairs. Sounds like an US vs THEM set up. A definite statement of who is in charge and who is not in charge. Hardly a let’s have a friendly chat and get things settled type of arrangement.

In response to disclosures from the panel in recent weeks suggesting that the administration had been lax in dealing with the dire terrorist threats that reached the White House in 2001, Mr. Bush and his senior deputies have said they were aware of intelligence warnings but believed them to refer to threats overseas.

Did they explain why they thought the warnings referred to threats overseas? Did they bother to make sure that the threats did not include the U.S.? Did they warn our friends overseas that there were threats showing up on our radar? What exactly did they do with the threat information?

There’s a conspiracy theory going around that suggests that the administration knew what was going to happen and they let it happen. They knew that in the upheaval afterwards that they could get more power and move the country in the direction they wanted easier than if the attacks never happened. I’m not into conspiracies but the way this administration acts doesn’t give me confidence that there isn’t at least a grain of truth in this one.

Thomas Kean said in and interview that the questioning was--
“very sharp but very fair — by sharp, I mean in the sense of intellectually sharp." He continued: "We learned things we did not know about the events of the day of 9/11 and, very importantly, the president gave us real insights into his thinking.”

Let us remember that Tom Kean was appointed to the position of panel chairman by GW and is very likely to say nice things about his rather vindictive boss. I’m sure Kean remembers what happened to Valerie Plame, Richard Clark and Paul O’Neil.

I know there is bound to be employees that are unhappy about the state of affairs at work but there are just too many unhappy employees in high positions in this administration that have been treated pretty badly by B&C just for saying that they didn’t like how different their jobs were from the job’s description. Just plain vindictive.

Thomas Kean also said:
"If the public had been allowed to witness the meeting, I think they would have had a lot more confidence in our government."

So why does the President not let us witness is brilliance? I know I could use some reassurance and confidence in our government. When he speaks in public it’s usually the same stock phrases and cliches over and over again.

Despite what both sides agreed was the polite, even friendly tone of the meeting, the commissioners were treated as outsiders by the White House. They were seen being searched by hand for weapons before they stepped into the Oval Office, a requirement for all visitors to the White House apart from many foreign leaders.

I don’t want to be a witness to adversarial if this is what they call not being adversarial. A rather uncomfortable way to be greeted in your own country by your own president for a scheduled meeting. Hey! Let’s frisk the invited guests. Let’s make sure they know we don’t like them, or want them here or trust them!

George W. Bush
Look, if we had something to hide, we wouldn't have met with them in the first place. We answered all of their questions.

Look, if they didn't have something to hide, why did they avoid the meeting in the first place if they really wanted to answer questions? The Bush Administration didn’t want the Commission set up in the first place, didn’t want to meet with them in the second place, didn’t want any one from the Administration to testify or be under oath in the third place, didn’t want information from the Administration given to the Commission in the fourth place, and so on and so on.

Why can’t they answer questions in public if they don’t have something to hide? Why all the secrecy? Aren’t the American people good enough, smart enough, patriotic enough to know what’s been going on??

Thursday, April 29, 2004

I've come to the conclusion that Bush and Cheney have to go into the 9/11 Commission hearing together so that they can keep their stories consistent.

Kind of like that story that's been floating around in email, of the two college kids that party all weekend long before their final and come back late for the test. They tell the professor that they had a flat tire on the way to the test and couldn't make it to the test on time. The professor says it’s ok for them to take the test the next day. The next day comes and the professor puts each student in a different room with their test. They both breeze through the first question and figure that they will do fine until they see the second and last question worth 90 points. “Which tire was flat?”

Well, Bush and Cheney were late for the final, haven't studied too well. They finagled to take the test late and on their own terms. They have pretty much written the test; how, where and when the test will be, and who can be there. There isn’t going to be a public record of the test. Virtually no one can make sure they are not cheating on the test. By going into the meeting together, not a hearing under oath but “meeting,” they have made sure they can cheat and finagle their way completely through the meeting/test.

Boy, I wish I had teachers who were as easy as the 9/11 Commissioners are being on Bush and Cheney. I would have been able to graduate in a day and no one could complain and I would have been paid for it too.

We certaintly don’t want to put our President and Vice President on the spot in public view to possibly show the world that they didn’t know what they were doing, which is what they imply when they complain that they were only in office for 7 months when the WTC and the Pentagon were attacked and they didn’t expect it. Or, worse yet, show the world that they knew what was going to happen and let it happen anyway.

Either way, I don’t think they look too good not being able to talk to the Commission separately.

This is how a strong leader shows he’s a strong leader? By not being able to answer a few questions without his study buddy.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

I fixed the link to Suburban Guerrilla in the righthand column.
Every time I think I'll take a day off I see something I have to share.

This woman is darned funny. This is what annoys her.

By the way, here is where you can see the results of a FOIA request on letters and emails to the FCC over the bruhaha about Janet and Justin's fun at the Super Bowl.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Now, what would happen if this little tid bit got passed around?

Here are Bush's exact words, quoted by Haaretz:
"God told me to strike at al-Qaida and I struck them, and then He instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East. If you help me, I will act, and if not, the elections will come and I will have to focus on them."
. . .
And that's why Bush acts with such serenity and ruthlessness. Nothing he does can be challenged on moral grounds, however unethical or evil it might appear, because all of his actions are directed by God. He can twist the truth, oppress the poor, exalt the rich, despoil the Earth, ignore the law -- and murder children -- without the slightest compunction, the briefest moment of doubt or self-reflection, because he believes, he truly believes, that God squats in his brainpan and tells him what to do.
. . .

We all know that the elections are immensely more important than peace in the Middle East or working to end all the crap going on in Iraq and bringing our troops home in one piece. We'll understand when GW spends his time taking vacations and doing fundraising instead of doing his job.

Oh yeah, I understand. I see what he's doing and understand how to vote. And I do vote.

Gotta say, I just think the WWW is a wonderful thing and the people who add into are pretty incredible too. Part 3 of Why is the Bible so anti-family?
Sometimes I like to remind people that years ago when women were working in the home that they were also working hard outside the home too. And not getting much credit for it either.
The Reading Terminal Market in downtown Philadelphia has just started the wireless internet in the Market. I wonder if anyone has figured this out yet.

Monday, April 26, 2004

If a 12 year old in England can see this why can’t voting age adults in the US figure it out?

"I don't think either George Bush or Cat Deeley make good heroes because neither of them have actually made the world a better place to live in. George Bush has probably made it worse(!). The best modern hero would be Mandela."
Danny, 12, London

Lessons from the Anthrax Attacks.

I learned that we still don’t know who mailed the anthrax letters and that we were darned lucky that al Qaida didn’t decide to do a mass mailing.
All about the dipwad vote and why you shouldn't vote for Nader.

The Pain-When will it end. Election Guide 2004

Now, I don't like to tell anyone how to vote. I know how you should vote but I know that most people won't listen. I wish they would. This makes a argument for how you should vote. Read, pay attention, save the country.
A crazed high school kid in Colorado could come up with the idea to fly a plane into a building in Manhattan but the Bush Administrtaion couldn’t?

Harris and Klebold "laughed at petty school shooters," Cullen reports. They sought murder on a grander scale. They planned first to set off bombs in the school cafeteria to kill perhaps 600. Then they would shoot the survivors as they fled. Then their cars, laden with still more bombs, would explode amid the rescue workers and parents rushing to the school. It all might have come off if they had not miswired the timers on the propane bombs in the cafeteria.

What motivated them? Here, Cullen says, it is necessary to distinguish Klebold from Harris. Klebold was a depressed and troubled kid who could have been saved. Harris was an icy killer.. He once thought about hijacking a plane and flying it into Manhattan.

Friday, April 23, 2004

I know eventually that someone is going to tell me to stop using NY Times articles but I agree so much with this article.
The Real War
Published: April 23, 2004

Fans of the cartoon strip "Doonesbury" have been following the travails of B. D., the football-helmeted Vietnam vet who somehow wound up back under fire in Iraq. In a series of strips that one Colorado paper decried as unnecessarily "graphic violent battlefield depictions," B. D. was wounded and lost his lower leg. Most of the response has apparently been far more positive than the Colorado newspaper's, but the strip's creator, Garry Trudeau, is lucky that he works with ink rather than film. In the real Middle East, an American worker in Kuwait was fired this week when a newspaper printed a photo she had taken of a cargo plane full of coffins draped in American flags.

Tami Silicio, an employee of a military contractor, had sent the picture to a friend, who passed it on to The Seattle Times, which published it last Sunday. Ms. Silicio told the newspaper that she had wanted to show the families how carefully the cargo workers tended to the coffins. But her employer fired her for disobeying government and company rules, and for good measure dismissed Ms. Silicio's husband as well.

Since 1991, the Defense Department has prohibited taking photographs of the coffins of members of the armed services while they are being transported back to the United States. The reverent portrait Ms. Silicio produced demonstrates how irrational that policy is. The theory seems to be that the pictures are intrusive, or possibly hurtful, to bereaved families. But it seems far more likely that the Pentagon is concerned about the impact that photos of large numbers of flag-draped coffins may have on the American public's attitude toward the war.

That certainly underestimates the fortitude of average citizens, who are able to accept the cost of war whenever they are confident that the cause is right. American men and women are currently suffering danger, death and injury every day in Iraq. The least those of us back home can do is to bear witness to the sacrifice of the real soldiers as well as the fictional.

We don't need to see the gore but we should see that there are real consequences to this war far far away. I think the President and his cabinet and Congress needs to see it even more than the rest of us.

See BBC for another article and picture.

Also see The Memory Hole for over 300 pictures taken at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware obtained by a FOIA request by Russ Kick..

Makes me want to cry.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

I just fixed the time. I didn't post that last one at 5:06am. Add 3 hours and you get East Coast time.
I was going to wait a day or two for my next post but when I saw this news bit scrolling across the bottom of the screen on CNN I knew I had to share.

I’m stunned that people would fall for this. This guy from Florida has been calling restaurants around the country and directing the manager on duty to strip search people and they’ve been doing it!

Okay, it says the caller claims to be a cop, but really, think about it, he calls collect for crying out loud! How many cops call collect. Dozens of restaurant managers fall for strip-search hoax calls.

This should be an urban legend but it isn’t. The article I really need to read now is one about how a restaurant has gotten a call and told the guy to go %^&* himself. Is there is anybody out there who’s had a call and not fallen for it? I need some reassurance that there are some people out there who think before they do something stupid.

This has been going on since 1999. You would think more people would have heard of something this weird. Urban legends moved faster than this story.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Before anyone gets all worked up over the name of this blog I will explain. I was out shopping one night with my sister and cousin. I was trying to come up with a good name for my first blog. I came up with too many names but didn’t like any. My cousin gave me some advice on naming a blog, saying I should pick a name early in the alphabet and something that will grab attention. I was passing by the cheapo video rack and saw a movie called God Told Me To. My cousin thought it was a great name and it definitely covered both of her naming requirements.

So here it is, God Told Me To. I finally decided to use it after many weeks of trying to come up with something better. It helps too that the name wasn’t taken in Blogger.

I thought it would be nice to see the movie and was unhappy when I went back for it and the entire cheapo movie rack had been taken away. You can check out IMDB to see what the movie is about. I kind o’ wouldn’t mind seeing it.

I am going to put some links on the righthand side of the page that I use on a regular basis. First, the local weather forecast for Philadelphia, that’s where I am. Next, Where was GWB? I’m not too fond of GWB, that will become more and more obvious as the posts go on but no more obvious than my saying it out right. After GWB is RangelMD. Chris Rangel is a MD/hospitalist in Texas. The details of a hospitalist are interesting and make a lot of sense, more hospitals should do this. Next, my cousin at Suburban Guerrilla. She writes a political blog that keeps me up to date on what’s happening in the political world. She also sometimes writes about other things such as stories about a local squirrel that likes to terrorize her. Maybe we should get the FBI in on this. This is one of my latest favorite blogs, Blog From Another Dimension.

I plan on posting at least once or twice a week, maybe more, I’ll see how it goes. What I post about, well, I’ll see what I’m interested in at the time. Lately I’ve been into politics especially the presidential election and forensic linguistics. I sometimes go to a program sponsored by Community College of Philadelphia and the Free Library of Philadelphia. The last program I attended was about forensic linguistics. The speaker is a teacher at the college and a member of the Vidocq Society. He researches cases pro bono. Very interesting stuff, I want to learn more and apply it to politician’s speeches. It’s handy that so many politician’s speeches are on the internet now and I can analyze them more carefully than trying to do it while watching them on TV.

And you know, who knows, maybe it is You Know Who telling me what to do, you never know.

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