Saturday, October 29, 2005

Republicans Love Black People

More of those impressive efforts by the GOP to woo blacks:

"Africans will have sex with anything that has a pulse."

Thursday, October 27, 2005

All About the Petro-Dollars, Baby

Oil companies are pulling down record profits these days.

BP's profit increased 34% this past quarter compared to a year ago.

Shell's increased 68%.

And in the piece de resistance, ExxonMobil clocked $10 billion in profit in just the last 90 days, an increase of 75% over last year.

Remember this as you pay your home heating bill, fill your car's gas tank, or buy a plane ticket this winter.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Thank You Sister Rosa

This is an excerpt from a 1956 radio interview with Rosa Parks

The driver said that if I refused to leave the seat, he would have to call the police. And I told him, “Just call the police.” He then called the officers of the law. They came and placed me under arrest, violation of the segregation law of the City and State of Alabama Transportation. I didn't think I was violating any. I felt that I was not being treated right, and that I had a right to retain the seat that I had taken as a passenger on the bus. The time had just come when I had been pushed as far as I could stand to be pushed, I suppose. They placed me under arrest. And I wasn't afraid. I don't know why I wasn't, but I didn't feel afraid. I had decided that I would have to know once and for all what rights I had as a human being and a citizen, even in Montgomery, Alabama.

And I was bond bailed out shortly after the arrest. The trial was held December 5 on the next Monday. And the protest began from that day, and it is still continuing. And so, the case was appealed. From the time of the arrest on Thursday night, and Friday and Saturday and Sunday, the word had gotten around over Montgomery of my arrest because of this incident. There were telephone calls from those who knew about it to others. The ministers were very much interested in it, and we had our meetings in the churches. And being the minority, we felt that nothing could be gained by violence or threats or belligerent attitude. We believed that more could be accomplished through the nonviolent passive resistance, and people just began to decide that they wouldn't ride the bus on the day of my trial, which was on Monday, December 5.


Two things here that are conspicuous by their present-day rarity: 1) courage to take a hit in standing up for one's rights, 2) black churches mobilizing their congregations to take a political stand on a matter affecting the black community

Just Add Water

We now have the perfect recipe for disaster in Iraq.

The constitution passed, but by the narrowest margin. It failed -- massively -- in two Sunni provinces (Anbar and Salahedeen). If it had gone down by a 2/3 vote in just one other province, it would have failed, which would have meant back to the drawing board. It did in fact go down in a third province -- the mixed, but predominantly Sunni region Ninevah -- but with "only" 55% voting "no" instead of the necessary 66%. But for 11% percentage points in this one province, the constitution squeaks through -- apparently good news for those banking on this document to rescue the fiasco that is the Bush administration's handling of Iraq.

What this reveals, though, is that the Sunni opposition to this constitution is quite strong. So strong that in a system designed to make its passage all but assured, it nearly went down (and this is assuming that no vote-rigging took place -- a risky assumption for any significant vote in which the Bush crew is involved).

Now that it is clear that Sunnis overwhelmingly reject this thing, they likely will, at the very least, give a wide berth to the insurgents looking to wreck the system. In the worst-case scenario, significant numbers of passively opposed Sunnis will begin taking active roles in the insurgency. Either way, Iraq is about to get rocked.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Hell Freezes Over

With all the hoopla surrounding the possibility of indictments of White House insiders, I completely missed this stunning announcement from the New York Daily News (fortunately, Steve Gilliard did not):

The city cop who fatally shot an unarmed West African immigrant two years ago after a wild foot chase through a Chelsea warehouse was convicted yesterday of criminally negligent homicide.


There is, however, a huge BUT:

But Police Officer Bryan Conroy was acquitted of the more serious manslaughter charge - leaving the possibility that he could get off with probation.

As Steve pointed out, it is quite rare for NYPD officers to be criminally convicted in the on-duty deaths of civilians. By my count, this is only the fourth time in New York history -- a history replete with examples of cops killing and nearly killing unarmed civilians.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Just Leave

Washington Post:

BAGHDAD, Oct. 22 -- Four U.S. contractors were killed last month when their convoy took a wrong turn, drove into a town north of Baghdad and was attacked by an angry mob, a senior U.S. military official said Saturday.

[snip]

The commander said the four men -- identified by the Telegraph as employees of the Halliburton Co. subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root -- realized their convoy had taken a wrong turn and were desperately trying to escape from the town when their vehicle was attacked by insurgents.

The Telegraph said "dozens of Sunni Arab insurgents wielding rocket launchers and automatic rifles" pursued their truck and shot at it. Two contractors who were not killed in the initial firing were dragged from their vehicle, and one was shot in the back of the head, the newspaper said. The crowd "doused the other with petrol and set him alight. Barefoot children, yelping in delight, piled straw on to the screaming man's body to stoke the flames," according to the report. The crowd then "dragged their corpses through the street, chanting anti-U.S. slogans," the newspaper reported.


Reuters:

LONDON (Reuters) - Forty-five percent of Iraqis believe attacks on U.S. and British troops are justified, according to a secret poll said to have been commissioned by British defense leaders and cited by The Sunday Telegraph.

Less than 1 percent of those polled believed that the forces were responsible for any improvement in security, according to poll figures.

Eighty-two percent of those polled said they were "strongly opposed" to the presence of the troops.