Thursday, June 28, 2007

Earthlink sucks!

I know this is a little off the subject of my usual rantings, but can I just say to everyone out there that Earthlink is one shitty operation.

I don't mean the people who work there, I feel for the poor bastards in Mumbai or where
ever who have to sit in a small box and take crap from outraged Americans all day whike making their big $4 an hour. I have no beef with them.

But when a mega corporation takes money out of your account when they are not authorized to do so and then act like they're doing you a big favor that they're refunding it to you -- but it will still take five to seven business days because that's the way it is and keep hanging up on you and putting you on hold, I get a little hot under the collar.

I have all the paper work that shows that I canceled their crappy service a month ago, because their WiFi signal is non-existant, yet here we are a month later and I find out there's $91 missing from my bank account. They'll refund the amount but I can't get anyone to explain to me why they took it out in the first place.

If anyone out there has had dealings with these assholes and would like to vent, please feel free to leave a comment.

If there are any muck-raking lawyer types out here that want to stick it to the man, let me know. I'd just love to let them have it. But first, you have to get past the friendly computer voice that tells you that Earthlink is very concerned about providing excellent customer service.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Moammar, the Barbary Statesman.

Speaking of Phony B-liar's departure today, I'd say he's racked up several not so flattering achivements these past few weeks that will be sure to tarnish his already very shaky legacy.
These are two stories I saw a few weeks ago that I thought were kind of interesting:

The NYT reported on June 8:

"Alex Salmond, the newly elected first minister of Scotland, expressed concern Thursday that the British government had struck a deal that might permit the only person convicted in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing to return to Libya to complete his sentence."

It seems that when B-liar made his final trip to kowtow to our good friend and "statesman" Moammar Kadafi he made a deal to have Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrani returned to Libya. Al-Megrani was sentenced in 2001 to 27 years for killing 270 people, 189 of them Americans, on PanAm flight 103, which blew up over Lockerbie Scotland.

Mr. Salmond said "Mr. Blair signed the agreement on May 29 during a visit to Libya as part of his farewell tour of Africa."

Blair's office says, "It is totally wrong to suggest that we have reached any agreement with the Libyan government in this case. The memorandum of understanding agreed with the Libyan government does not cover this case."

Can I as an American just say that's all a load of old "tosh?"

The Daily Mail reported a day later:

"Scotland's Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill described the denials as 'ludicrous'.
He said: 'While Megrahi was not mentioned in the memorandum, he was the only Libyan national in jail in Scotland.'"

Can you say Quid Pro Quo?

Meanwhile, on June 21 the NYT reported that the EU was making a deal with the Libyan government to finally get around to releasing those five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor accused 8 years ago of giving children in their care H.I.V.

The Times says, "The European Union and its member states have given Libya the equivalent of millions of euros per child to help the more than 400 infected children. They have set up an H.I.V. treatment center in Benghazi, where Europeans train local doctors and assist in the treatment of the approximately 350 surviving children."

It's always about the pay off with Moammar.

And there's no deal yet.

Reuters reports:

"Ramadan Fitouri, spokesman for the Association for the Families of the HIV-infected Children, said he expected the appeal to be dismissed, opening the way for a compensation deal. 'This will then be the ideal time to negotiate the issue of compensation," he told Reuters.

'If an agreement is reached about this -- I mean, if the families accept the compensation -- then the council could cancel the death penalty.'"

Cha 'ching!

What is he hiding?

And lest we forget:

B-liar's stopping the investigation into our good buddy Prince Bandar and his big payoff in the BAE case.

The Guardian reported:

"An inquiry by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) into the transactions behind the £43bn Al-Yamamah arms deal, which was signed in 1985, is understood to have uncovered details of the payments to Prince Bandar. But the investigation was halted last December by the SFO after a review by the attorney general, Lord Goldsmith. He said it was in Britain's national interest to halt the investigation, and that there was little prospect of achieving convictions. . . Tony Blair said he took 'full responsibility' for the decision."

I'm sure he did.

He says he did this to keep the Saudis sweet on terrorism, which is crap. They need the UK more than the other way around.

He also says the British defence industry would be damged if anything more comes out about this. Which is also crap.

So, what is Phony so intent on covering up?

BAE is trying to buy an American company called Armor Holdings, which could be messed up if those damn Dems start sniffing around. Apparently, they're doing gang busters business since W's surge.

The Smart Money reported a while back:

"The maker of body armor and other war toys for the military, police and personnel safety markets spends a lot of time thinking about warriors and Wall Street. And now, with the stock up 22% this past year, options speculators are starting to think about Armor Holdings. The company is attracting attention because it offers traders a way to profit when President Bush updates the nation on his revised policy for the Iraq war sometime in January."

We wouldn't want this happy parade spoiled, now would we?

Tony B-liar's departue: Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

Well, it's happened: Tony B-liar has finally quit, kicking and screaming the whole way. Gordon Brown after 13 long years of waiting now has his day in the sun. His scintillating speech this morning in front of #10 Downing Street, announcing that "Her Majesty the Queen" had asked him to form a new government, was pretty much as snoozifying as I expected it would be. This is definitely the beginning of a new, more boring era in British politics.

I am going to miss B-liar's articulate and always entertaining speeches -- and especially the Prime Minister's questions on Wednesdays, my favorite show -- but that's not to say I'm going to miss his endless line of BS. Change is a good thing.

Here's hoping Mr. Brown is not going to be the same enabling puddle to every hair-brained scheme W. & Co. can cook up that his predecessor was. It is doubtful that he will be: There are already rumblings that Brown has in mind a quicker than expected withdrawal of British troops from Iraq. [AFP] Such a drastic change in the policy from our closest ally in the "Coalition of the Willing" might shock the fence-sitters in Congress to get off their duffs and start seriously moving on getting our troops the hell out of Iraq.

Gordon Brown may not be the slick operator he's replacing, but he's had plenty of opportunity to see that a toothy smile and a line of crap that never ends doesn't save you from political disaster when you insist on clinging to a failed policy that the vast majority of the electorate wants you to change. I'm thinking Brown could go a long way towards ensuring himself being elected in his own right, perhaps next year, by extricating his country from Bush's folly.

I'm not going to waste my time going over my impressions of the B-liar era, that's already been done to death by many others. There's nothing I could add to the universal eulogizing of the era of "cool Britannia," that hasn't already been said. I will say, though, that no matter how much good B-liar has done, and he has done some good, he'll always have Iraq hanging around his neck.

It would be nice to imagine that as he exits the scene he would be a bit more circumspect about his role in the whole Iraq fiasco, but he's not. Although, he accepts the fact that his decision to go along with W.'s invasion wasn't popular and he recognizes that his critics are entitled to their opinions -- he doesn't accuse those critics of being in league with al-Qaeda -- he remains in total denial about what made him think this was a good idea in the first place.

In his essay "What I've Learned," in the June 2nd edition of the Economist, he continues to hue to all the reasons for going to war that have since been debunked and he deludes himself into thinking if it wasn't for al-Qaeda in Iraq everything would have gone great.

According to B-liar:

"We can debate and re-debate the rights or wrongs of removing Saddam. But the reality is that if you look at al-Qaeda (in Iraq before Saddam's fall) out of the conflict in or around Baghdad . . . It would be possible to calm the situation. . . Remove al-Qaeda, remove the malign Iranian activity, the situation [in Iraq] would be changed, even transformed."

First of all, al-Qaeda came in after he and W. overthrew Saddam. When his good buddy W.'s minions hired L. Paul Bremer to go in and fire all the Baathists and disband the Iraqi army, that created the vacuum al-Qaeda swooped into fill.

If the al-Qaeda in Iraq B-liar's referring to "before Saddam's fall" is Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, then he should go back and check a map of Iraq. Zarqawi was living comfortably in Iraqi-Kurdistan, back then protected by the UN no fly zone; a part of Iraq Saddam had no control over. And, on top of that, Zarqawi wasn't much of an al-Qaeda operative back then. He only made a name for himself after the invasion, after the US propaganda machine had run out of suitable boggy men on playing cards.

There is no debating and re-debating these fundamental facts. Tony is entitled to his own opinions, but not to his own facts (to paraphrase Daniel Patrick Moynihan). This is the reality: Al-Qaeda is in Iraq because of B-liar's and Bush's bungling. Ergo, B-liar's argument that if only al-Qaeda wasn't there his and W.'s great plan would have worked in Iraq is either incredibly cynical or unbelievably deluded.

One other ridiculous claim B-liar makes is that Iran is supporting the Taliban, a charge mainly pushed by the vice-president's office but not backed up with any proof as of yet. B-liar says his critics: "Point to the historical absurdity of . . . Iranian elements linking up to the Taliban. . . Revolutionary communism took many forms. It chose unlikely bedfellows."

He's making the same mistake the US made in thinking that China and Russia were backing the North Vietnamese. The commies may have made unlikely bedfellows in other cases, but China and Russia never got into bed together. They despised each other almost as much as they hated us.

The only other country the Vietnamese have fought longer than the US and France is the China. For centuries these two countries have been at each other's throats. It was just as absurd back in the 60's to think the Chinese would be helping the Vietcong as it is now to think Shia Iranians are assisting the Sunni Talibs.

In 1998 the Iranians were threatening to take out the Taliban themselves, when they moved 100,000 troops to the Afghan border. The Iranians may be putting a lot of road blocks in our way in Afghanistan and helping out their Shia brethren in Iraq, but they're kind of stuck in the neighborhood. The last thing they want is the Taliban moving back in right next door.

Obviously, despite the title of his piece, B-liar hasn't learned much. I'm thinking perhaps the world would have been better off if he had stuck with his musical career instead of getting into politics. And there are "ugly rumors" that his new gig as peace envoy to the Palestinian/Israel conflict is going to go down like a Led Zeppelin, too.

If W. is behind the appointment, then you know we're just weeks or months away from another Wolfowitz moment.

Monday, June 25, 2007

ICE, just doing their job:Harboring terrorists, deporting people for voting.

Zoila Meyer, a former Councilwoman in the city of Adelanto Ca., is facing deportation because she voted in the 2004 elections. See the problem is that she's not a citizen. Whoopse.

According to the very angry Digger's Realm:

"Under penalty of perjury newly elected Councilwoman Zoila Meyer filled out her candidacy papers last August marking that she was a US citizen. She won the 4 year council seat by 75 votes. [Gore got half a million more votes than Bush, didn't he?] This should be 100% guaranteed jail time. [She pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge!] Who doesn't know whether they are a citizen or not? [I'm sure writer has always paid his traffic tickets on time and never had a book over-due.] She outright committed perjury with the intention of taking a council position in a city of the United States. On top of her jail time her residency should immediately be revoked and she should be deported."

Yes, Zoila Meyer is clearly a threat to the national security of the United States. In fact, I'm thinking she should just be taken out and shot. That would show all those illegal immigrants!

My big question is: Where are they going to deport her to, Cuba?

AP reports that Meyer was: "Brought to this country from Cuba when she was a year old."

To me, that seems like the only likely place she could be going to. But since when do we deport people to Fidel's worker's paradise? It strikes me as odd that the 'get tough on immigrants' crowd who are also very anti-Fidel are suggesting we send this woman to a country which is ruled by a terrorist? (In this case, I guess, they'll make an exception.)

Naturally, this case isn't any different than any other. Lori Haley, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement tells AP the case is unusual, 'but immigration officials were just doing their job.'

Yeah right, just like the DoJ is doing their job prosecuting Luis Posada Carriles. If anyone deserves to be deported to either Cuba, or Venuzuela -- both countries have requested his extradition -- it's Posada. But, instead, he get's a pass to sit around his house in Miami and enjoy his retirement.

Remember, as W. himself said: "If you harbor terrorists, you are a terrorist."

AFP: reported recently:

"[Posada] was convicted in Venezuela in 1976 of masterminding the downing of the Cuban jet off Barbados, but escaped from prison in 1985. He was sentenced to eight years’ prison in Panama in a bomb plot to assassinate Castro during an Ibero-American summit in 2000, and outgoing Panamanian president Mireya Moscoso pardoned him four years later. He was detained by US immigration officials in May 2005 for entering the United States illegally. US authorities have refused to extradite him to Cuba or Venezuela, expressing fears he might be tortured."

We're not too concerned, though, about Zoila Meyer being tortured if she's deported to Cuba.
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