Tuesday, June 1, 2010

FUBAR In Gaza, Hayward Is Clueless Pond Scum, Ted's Big Announcement

David Brooks
Reza Aslan
Leslie Gelb

"The uncontrolled oil plume could become the objective correlative of the country’s inability to govern itself... it taps into the anxiety that the people running our major institutions are just not that competent. Second, it feeds into the anxiety that there has been an unhappy marriage between corporations and government officials, which has had the effect of corrupting both. Most important, the plume exposes the country’s core confusion about the role of government." - David Brooks

The most important thing that happened today was a decision by the Supreme Court over your Miranda rights. It will end up with shorter interrogations by the police, but now a suspect has to unequivocally state to the police that he is invoking his right to remain silent, or else anything he says can be used in court against him: “Where the prosecution shows that a Miranda warning was given and that it was understood by the accused, an accused’s uncoerced statement establishes an implied waiver of the right to remain silent,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the court’s conservatives."

Newby Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote the dissenting opinion, pointing out the obvious: “Today’s decision turns Miranda upside down,” wrote Sotomayor. “Criminal suspects must now unambiguously invoke their right to remain silent, which, counterintuitively, requires them to speak.” We can no longer portray our suspects as the silent, brooding, James Dean type; they now must, by necessity, become regular Chatty Kathys...

FUBAR in gaza...
Oy vey es mia, how bad can the right wing wackos in the government of Israel screw things up? Bu ordering their army to make a commando raid on the largest flotilla ship at 4 am, where they rappelled down ropes from helicopters and immediately started shooting, throwing tear gas, and expecting no resistance. The ship was carrying: "... humanitarian aid, human-rights workers, about a dozen doctors, some 30 journalists, two retired U.S. diplomats (Amb. Edward Peck and Ret. Col. Ann Wright), a Nobel Peace Prize winner (Mairead Maguire), a former U.N. assistant secretary-general (Denis Halliday), and several members of parliament from Ireland, Germany, Sweden, Turkey, and Malaysia." Oops. After killing about nine or ten people, the ship was taken to port and all of the folks onboard were arrested.

The assistant Foreign Minister, Danny Ayalon, who is as extreme to the right as his boss, Avigdor Leiberman, described these criminals of the high seas: “The armada of hate and violence in support of Hamas, a terror organization, was a premeditated and outrageous provocation. The organizers are well known for their ties to global jihad, al Qaeda, and Hamas. They have a history of arms smuggling and deadly terror.” I have two views on the situation in the links above. What bothers me the most is that many reasonable Jewish pundits become blind and cynical when the situation has anything to do with the state of Israel.

Were the members of this Qixotic flotilla trying to create an international incident by trying to steam past armed ships blockading the port at Gaza City? Yes, of course they were. The more attention and sympathy they could get for the Palestinians living in the Gaza strip, the better their chances are of getting the blockades lessened or ended. Hamas, for their part, had stopped most of the rocket firings into southern Israel, and were cooperating with the proximity peace talks sponsored by the US. In response, Egypt has opened its end of the blockade, letting aid flow into Gaza.

Israel knew long in advance what the flotilla's plans were, it's been going on for several years. The first two years they were let through, but since Mr Netanyahu has been in charge, they have been threatened and aggressively turned back. There were other methods than using the military that could have been used, as reported by the NY Times: "Einat Wilf, a Labor Party member of Parliament who sits on the influential Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, said that she had warned Mr. Barak and others well in advance that the flotilla was a public relations issue and should not be dealt with by military means."

But no, they had to show what tough motha's they are, and further alienated Turkey, who used to be a friend. I thought that Israel would wait and get in trouble for firing missiles into Iran this Summer, but it seems that they just couldn't wait. Now, people like Martin Indyk are saying that any peace proposal will have to include the 800 pound gorilla in the room, which is Hamas, which has said that they don't recognize Israel as a legitimate Jewish state.

Whatever the outcome, there won't be any apologies forthcoming from Israel. Every Islamic pundit will scream their outrage, the only relations between Turkey and Israel will be between their militaries, because which guns would you rather use - ones made in Israel or ones made in Bulgaria - I thought so. What Israel needs to do is impeach all of the right wingers from their government, we see now what happens when these whiny boys are left in charge, how incredibly fucked up their politics and worldview is. Maybe Netanyahu and Lieberman are looking around for a country that they can liberate as the next step in their plans. much like George Bush did with Iraq and Afghanistan. Maybe they are seeing this as a cure for what ails them - take a country or two and call me in the morning... The popular Swedish author Henning Mankell was one of those arrested, so at least we'll soon get a literate view on what happened to him...

Speaking of whiny bastards, the CEO of BP was caught on videotape being crass and insensitive again. As reported in the Huffington Post: "Think Progress caught the latest insensitive comment made by BP CEO Tony Hayward on Sunday regarding the Gulf oil spill. After apologizing for the disaster, Hayward manages to bring it back to himself: "I'm sorry. We're sorry for the massive disruption it's caused their lives. There's no one who wants this over more than I do. I'd like my life back." Hayward's comments are baffling as he's not even trying to hide that fact that he's only looking out for Number One."

The Times of London reported that Tony's job may be on the line, depending on how well he deals with this crisis: “I think I will be judged by the response. I don't feel my job is on the line but of course that might change,” he told The Times. Hayward, who has been overseeing the operation to plug the leak, also revealed he had trouble sleeping and had received hate mail. “I will stay here until we have fixed it,” he said." Let's put Mr Hayward, along with the heads of Transocean, Halliburton, AIG, Goldman Sachs, and any others that you can think of, into a liferaft somewhere in the middle of the ocean, and ask them to look for oil plumes...

haggard to ride again...
I don't know why this news is getting national attention, but Ted Haggard will announce tomorrow that he has founded a new ministry, called St James. According to the pulpit blog in our local newspaper, Ted already has registered the name earlier last month: "This month, Ted and Gayle Haggard incorporated St. James Church, giving the church’s site as their home address on Old Ranch Road. The name is a nod to the passage “faith without works is dead” in the Book of James.
Ted Haggard said on May 11 that St. James was incorporated “to keep the accounting in order” of the paid talks they’ve given for about a year and a half at evangelical churches across the country. The Haggards incur out-of-pocket expenses while on the road, so St. James is a way to be reimbursed for those costs, he said.
But Haggard doesn’t rule out the possibility that St. James will become a bona fide church. “Sometime, somewhere we will do some type of ministry,” Haggard said." If I recall correctly, he is not allowed to start up another church here in town, so it maybe a traveling road show, making the evangelical circuit like the itinerant preachers used to do in the old days. Maybe he will bring back tent revivals, that would be really cool. The press announcement will be tomorrow.

Since I don't think that Ted would ever do anything really cool, the "groundbreaking" announcement will probably be for a television show, as he is a charismatic speaker. Hopefully, he will replace Glen Beck on Fox...

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