Saturday, May 31, 2003

This bit about Angola losing an aircraft is mildly unnerving.
Via The Skeptic, I am cheered to see that I'm one of many, many individuals (including quite a few on who are on my blogroll) educating themselves and the public on the horror of the Congo. The more this gets out there, the more those who make policy will take notice, and then those people can get some help.

This just in, the UN Security Council approved a French-led force. My hope: Force means just that. Force. And if not, it's time for the United Nations to create a force that does just that. Use force, when necessary.
I finally saw The Matrix Reloaded...and everyone attempting to make some type of pithy political statement out of it really shouldn't. It's a very good, well thought out sequel (and generally, as a rule, I do not like sequels). I await the third installment, due out this winter coming I believe.

And I cleaned up the blogroll. I don't think William Burton is coming back. I also deleted a friend's diarypage because she passworded it, and a couple of other blogs that either annoyed me or I had stopped reading. And added one more too.

I'm also slightly less frustrated over the 9/11 Commission, although that could change in coming days. I just wish they'd stop feeding the tinfoil hat crowd. Sheesh.

Friday, May 30, 2003

The Democratic Republic of The Congo

Part One of a Series.
*note. I obtained many sources from Lexus-Nexus...thus the lack of links. I did cut and paste them all however, and if you want to see them, email me and I'll be happy to send them to you.


The Democratic Republic of the Congo has a sad and bloody history. The resource rich Central African nation, a nation nearly the size of the US East of the Mississippi, has been tortured, robbed blind, and wracked by war.
Formerly a Belgan colony, Leopold II abused the Congolese and millions are believed to have died due to slave labor at the hands of the Belgan colonials.

When the Congo became a nation in 1960, with Patrice Lumumba as President, widespread violence broke out forcing the UN to send in troops. Lumumba was murdered in 1961. It is believed (and I am searching for verification other than the typical conspiracy theory sites) that due to Lumumba's socialist stance, the CIA had him murdered to further Cold War containment aims. Other reports place the blame on Katangan seperatists who were egged on by a mining company.

Mobutu came along in 1965. To make a long story short, he robbed Congo (then called Zaire) blind.

Now, Mobutu was deposed in 1997 by Laurent Kabila, who quickly alienated just about everybody. He was assassinated January of 2001, and succeded by his son Joseph.


Officially, the government based in Kinshasa only controls half the country. Rebel groups, supported by Uganda and Rwanda (nations with their own horrors) control the rest. In 1999, the warring parties met in Lusaka, Zambia and attempted to forge a peace (known as the Lusaka Accords). Obviously this didn't work.

The DRC has a vast mineral wealth in diamonds, jewels, and other precious metals. The DRC also has fairly sizable gas and oil fields. It is this mineral wealth that the DRC's neighbors covet, and what the central government in Kinshasa needs to control and exploit to get the nation on its feet.

At the same time, it is this mineral wealth that fuels this conflict, despite many international embargos on them. Western companies in a variety of nations, including the United States are complicit in the horror of the Congo. Be careful of the diamonds you buy--they may have funded a child soldier who then was drugged up and sent off to massacure a village of pygmies.

The silence of the West is horrifing. In the three years since violence broke out, some three to five million people have been killed...either through violence, starvation, or disease. It is the deadliest conflict the globe has seen since World War II. Entire regions of the Congo are depopulated.

Three to five million men, women, and children. Dead. While the West watched. A virutual holocaust in Central Africa. My ire and anger, however, is hurled at the Congressional Black Caucus, who has not said a thing about the horror of the Congo.

Part Two will focus on the violence itself, and the complicty of the West.

*Sources used were--

CIA World Handbook (available online at
World of Buisness Information Intelligence Report: Democratic Republic of the Congo (available thru Lexus-Nexus)
World Almanac and Book of Facts (2001)
A global soul; Empires of Profit: commerce, conquest and corporate responsibility by Salil Tripathi contained w/in The New Statesman, 5/19/2003. (yea, i got this off lexus-nexus also...i'm addicted to this thing!)

Thursday, May 29, 2003

I'm seeing RED at the fact that reports on 9/11 may be classified. RED.

You see, this is why there are segments of the population that believe that 9/11 was perpetrated by the Bush Administration. I believe that this isn't the case. However the continued obstruction of the Administration into the investigation...right down to classifying public domain information leads me to believe that there are cowards in the Bush Administration. That's right. I said it. C-O-W-A-R-D-S. They obviously can't handle having their own mistakes revealed to the world. They obviosuly can't handle their own complicity in the death's of 3100 human beings. They can't handle it. W-I-M-P-S! Thus, they cover it up. They classify. They obstruct. And the press laps it all up, never once questioning their dear goddamned leader. I'm beyond infuriated at this, as I've said TIME AND TIME AGAIN. As I've pestered my congress people (all Republicans) and gotten talked down to by some loser intern.

I'm fucking sick of it.

You should be too.

There's obviosly pure chaos at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. They were caught with their pants down 20 months ago when terrorists struck. They sold us two wars on the pretense that terror would end. The war on Terror has cost some 10,000 lives, at least, most of them innocent. And of course, at home, the Administration continues to refuse to cooperate with the Independent Commission.

Well, this is what I think. I think, because they continue to obstruct, that they're a bunch of cowards. They can't face their fears that they may be embarrassed. And that's an asshole-ish thing to do.

God I'm angry.


I love watching liars backtrack. Those quotes would be funny if they weren't so goddamned true.

I'm doing some Lexus-Nexus work (if you don't have it, go work for a University!) this afternoon after seeing an interesting post over at The Agonist. I'll post my findings soon.

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

I am researching the Democratic Republic of Congo and I will post a full report later this week. My anger has again been stoked on this topic, which I've ranted about in the past.

I think I want to work for an NGO that helps Africa. That's my goal now.
I laughed my ass off at this site. For many, many hours.

Then, I sent it to my friends, and we all laughed.

They sent it off to their friends, and they all were crying they laughed so hard.

Thanks for amusing me.

Monday, May 26, 2003

Has anyone noticed that on blogspot pages, you generally have to refresh them to get them to load correctly?

It's annoying as hell.

Sunday, May 25, 2003

Summer Reading List (Preliminary)

I need to add more books to this list. Leave your recommendations in the comments thread. Either that, or I need to find a job where I do more than answer phones and hand out room keys.

1. The Age of Sacred Terror
2. Roosevelt's Secret War
3. The Revolt of the Masses
4.The Future of an Illusion
5. War is a Force that Gives us Meaning.
6. The Handmaid's Tale
7.Rainbow Six (Tom Clancy, yea yea I know...)

8.GRE Review Book
9. LSAT Review Book
(It's getting to be about that time...)

10. Atlas Shrugged (shaddup! shaddup!)
11. Childhoods End
12. Silent Spring
13.Hatred's Kingdom: How Saudi Arabia Funds Terrorism
14. The Paradox of American Power: Why the world's sole superpower cannot go it alone.

Saturday, May 24, 2003

I have finished The Age Of Sacred Terror.

I do have to say, the book was incredibly fair in its examination of the last three US presidents, including the current one. It was breathtaking in its analysis and scope, and ended with some chilling conclusions. It also confirmed significant parts of my theory I presented several days ago about the chaos in the Executive Branch dating back to at least the second half of the Clinton Administration.

Also, it took the meme that "Everything is Clinton's Fault," spanked it, and sent it to bed without any dinner. The Clinton White House entered its first term not thinking much about Terrorism, but they quickly recognized a growing and alarming pattern of global terror that targeted the United States and its interests. However, attempts by the White House to go after terrorism, particuarly Bin Laden, were stymied by the various wars within the executive branch and the Republican-held House of Representives.

It also left me with a much heftier distrust and revulsion of the American media, who the authors state whored themselves to get every single insignificant scandal instead of listening to the White House's growing alarm on terrorism during the 1990s, especially during Clinton's second term. Yes, the alarm bells were ringing. Yes, the White House knew and tried to do something about it. The Media was focused on Clinton's Penis. Unacceptable. Totally unacceptable, and deeply offensive and embarrasing.

I'm going to have a much fuller post on this book later on. I need to go back through with a highlighter. I recommend every last one of you pick this book up and read it. It's probably the best, most concise book on the age of terror we're entering, and its conclusions will chill you.

Thursday, May 22, 2003

I think I've mentioned my ire with American Idol before, but on the Preview Channel (on cable), there was a cellphone commercial that made me shriek. It was about a deal for text messaging (a concept I really don't understand...I just joined the Cellphone crowd last weekend and its already a pain in the butt). Here's the text (approximate)

(Cue Patriotic Music)

(Announcer...a cute blond thing thing wearing all pink...)

I about hit the ceiling. First, I freaking hate that show. I've seen people cry....yes...CRY over their favorite contestants not get the top slot. Actually, no, I don't think hate is quite strong enough.

But the fact is that 250 million votes were gathered by that godawful show with those talentless hacks. That's nearly the entire US population. (Now, people voted three times, as was allowed, but it's still unacceptable).

Yet Americans cant even get their asses to the polls and 50% turnout is a GOOD year. That is unacceptable. Period.

Let's be realistic folks. American Idol is inane and moronic. It's NOT THAT IMPORTANT that it needs to get 250 Million Votes. However, this DEMOCRACY is. I shouldn't even have to say this. Get the hell out and vote, damnit!
We've heard all the rumors.

We know one or more Justices may resign at the end of June.

The very makeup of the Court could be radically changed, and not for the better.

Help out.

Sign the petition

I'm confused. Help me out.

1. How come the Iraqis get universal health care and we don't? I thought Socialism was dirty, like the French.

2. How come the Iraqis get their cities rebuilt with Federal money and we don't?

3. How come the Iraqis aren't allowed to have guns, but we are?

How come they can't find the Anthrax mailer, who was obviously a disgruntled American? Oops, I haven't been watching Fox News...I'll report to the nearest re-education camp cause everyone knows everything wrong with this country is due to the terrorists Saddam Syria Iran North Korea France

How come 9/11 still has no clear answers? Why is it cool for the White House to obstruct the investigation of the deaths of Three thousand forty-four human beings? Oh shoot, time for my kool-aid injection.

Why are we still friends with the Saudis? Oh...right. Scratch this question.

Just where are those Weapons of Mass Destruction? Oh ... right, I'm a fascist CommiePinkoscumbag if I dare question that. I'll shut up now and drink more kool-aid.

Since when is massive deficit spending a good thing?

Why is it suddenly un-American to question the methods of the government? What happened to the First Amendment?

How did Bush win the war? Was he there? Did he fight? Oh...right. I'll answer this one: The military won the war, not Bush. Bush just looked purty for the cameras.

Why does our media suck? Why are we about to let it get suckier?

And is this site satire? Cause it's pretty darn creepy...actually no, it's very, VERY creepy. I think I locked my door after reading it...and curled up in a fetal position under the desk...

Just some questions. Anyone want to help me out?
The Senate agreed, at least, to make sure that Capitol Hill fully approves of the removal of the ban on nuclear weapons research. So do the planet a favor and call your congressperson. Drive the following point home:

A nuclear weapon is a nuclear weapon, period. No matter what the yield is, it's a nuke. Radiation will result. And if we start building them again, prompting known and suspected nuclear powers will likely do the same. And if they're used in a war (again, no matter what the yield), back and forth, leveling buildings and cities and vaporizing people and whole regions,
our children HAVE NO FUTURE.
our children HAVE NO FUTURE.
our children HAVE NO FUTURE.
our children HAVE NO FUTURE.
our children HAVE NO FUTURE.
our children HAVE NO FUTURE.
our children HAVE NO FUTURE.
our children HAVE NO FUTURE.

Repeat until they hang up on you, then call back. Again and again. Over and over until they get the point and stop this horror from happening.
Executive Branch Watch (God, I'm doing a lot of watching...)

More evidence the executive branch is in chaos: Christie Todd Whitman resigned yesterday. The sad thing is, she was likely purged because she was a moderate.

Colin Powell, you're next.

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Summer Reading List (Preliminary)

1. The Age of Sacred Terror
2. Roosevelt's Secret War
3. The Revolt of the Masses
4.The Future of an Illusion
5. War is a Force that Gives us Meaning.
6. The Handmaid's Tale
7.Rainbow Six (Tom Clancy, yea yea I know...)

8.GRE Review Book
9. LSAT Review Book
(It's getting to be about that time...)

10. Atlas Shrugged (shaddup! shaddup!)
11. Childhoods End
12. Silent Spring
13.Hatred's Kingdom: How Saudi Arabia Funds Terrorism
14. The Paradox of American Power: Why the world's sole superpower cannot go it alone.

This article about the Senate scaping the ban on low-yield nuclear weapons has raised my anger level.

Now, I'm part of the first generation to not live under the threat of nuclear destruction. And I have to say, that's probably a good thing...not wondering if the fires of Hell are about to desend from the sky.

Now the Senate, and the White House, and the Pentagon, wants to bring that age back to life.

A nuclear weapon is a nuclear weapon, period. No matter what the yield is, it's a nuke. Radiation will result. And if we start building them again, prompting known and suspected nuclear powers will likely do the same. And if they're used in a war (again, no matter what the yield), back and forth, leveling buildings and cities and vaporizing people and whole regions, then our children HAVE NO FUTURE.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

I find it mildly disturbing that more people found it more important to vote for American Idol then vote for elected officials, who have far more say over your life than some dumbass American Idol (who, incidentally, has no talent anyway). Just an observation about the sorry state of American TV.

And 24 was so lame tonight...I could have called that ending a mile away.

And to add to my ire, less than 50 people voted in my district, the Millersville 4th District, which covers at least 1000 people. Now, the Millersville 4th does include the campus, which is closed. But still, this is aggravating that people don't come out and vote.
Oh, and did I mention that I giggled for hours upon hearing Ari Fleisher resigned?

I'm busy today, I'll write substantial stuff tomorrow.
Just a reminder: Today is the Democratic and Republican Pennsylvania Primary. Go out and vote!

Friday, May 16, 2003

to my friends graduating tomorrow: the impact you've had on my life is unmeasurable and priceless. Do well in what you endevour, and if you don't keep in touch, I'll hunt your asses down! GOOD LUCK to the CLASS of 2003!

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

That was the best West Wing ever!

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

A Theory

This is only a theory, and I'll admit it borders on conspiracy, but here goes: Is it possible that the White House's continued obstruction of the 9/11 Commission is due to the fact that they know they have massive problems communincating between the various strands of the Executive Branch? Recent events, culminating with yesterday's Terror attack in Saudi Arabia lead me to believe that people aren't talking to one another, and this trend has been going on for years.

Just a theory. Comments please...I think I might actually try to prove this one.

Monday, May 12, 2003

I'm going to work on my French, Spanish, and German this summer. . . so many good jobs out there require at least moderate proficency in another language, and given that the economy will suck when I finally do graduate, I'm going to need to make myself very, very marketable. So this summer will be a working summer.

Sunday, May 11, 2003

Nick, guest poster at The Agonist, has an article, via Time magazine, that makes tenuous connections between North Korea and Al Qaida.

Also on the 9/11 Commission Watch, Sen. Bob Graham of Florida stated on national TV today that the Bush Administration is withholding information on 9/11. He could not give details, as the information is classified.

Along those same lines, Billmon has an excellent post about conspiracy theorists, who have jumped on 9/11 as the mother of all conspiracies. The comments section are equally fascinating, and the timeline he cites has been on my links list since October. I'm not sure what to believe. That day was just too weird and horrifying, and I can understand how people can see dark shadows and sinister aspects to that day. I still do believe that there is some high-level complicity on the part of the government (notice I did NOT say the Bush Administration...). Someone knew something, and that is a possible reason as to why the Bush Administration has done its damnedest to thwart the investigation, thus giving more fuel to the conspiracy theorist fire.

Then again, I do look good in a tinfoil cap. . .
Switzerland -
A neutral power for as long as most can remember,
it has avoided war for several centuries.
However, it is still considered highly advanced
and a global power.





Powerful without Force.

Makes Excellent Watches, Etc.


Target of Ridicule.

Constant Struggle to Avoid Conflict.

Target of Criminal Bank Accounts.

Which Country of the World are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
Tornado Watch till 7pm, Eastern

Given that at 345pmEDT as I write this, the dew point is at 70. The airtemp: 75. Anyone who knows a little about high dewpoints knows that cold dry air meeting warm wet air equals messy, ugly weather.

I'll take pictures.
Summer Reading List (Preliminary)

1. The Age of Sacred Terror
2. The Handmaid's Tale
3. The Revolt of the Masses
4.The Future of an Illusion
5. War is a Force that Gives us Meaning.

Thursday, May 8, 2003


Over the last week, my International Organizations Class has been conducting a security council simulation. Our question, obviously, was the Iraq Question (2nd Resolution)...

Well, to say the least, it was great fun! I, along with two others (who were equally great) was Russia, and to make a long story short, Russia won (and the US got

I'll post a full report on this later.
Oh my...Al Qaeda has been busy...

I've said for some time that the return time on Al Qaeda attacks has been 18-24 months... and I'm not the only one. If they strike, it'll be this year.

Here's to hoping our excellent intelligence service, and the excellent intelligence services abroad, are listening.
Salam Pax Survived!


Conservatives will note how overjoyed he is with the liberation (he seems indifferent).

Liberals will note how he's enraged with the liberation (again, he seems indifferent).

Steven Den Beste will say he's a fake, and the French are hoaxing the world.

Tuesday, May 6, 2003


I really shouldn't have to do this. This should come without saying.

Just let the commission do its work, jeez!

Monday, May 5, 2003

So, McCarthy really was a bastard....
George Paine is on fire today. You'd better go read if you haven't already.

Take your blood pressure pills beforehand.
It's Caption Time

(which is short for I'm too lazy and busy to post.)

This one was too good to pass up. Hat tip Str1

Saturday, May 3, 2003

UPDATE TO 9/11 Commission Watch

The Anger Spreads.

Bush can make me pretty angry. But nothing makes me see red more than then his continued obstruction of the 9/11 Commission. Whatever bullshit reason you can think of, if you want to defend him, I don't really want to hear it. The White House is bullsh*tting on the backs of 3,000 DEAD AMERICANS. They're obstructing the investigation into their deaths. They're showing they don't give a flying you-know-what. I'm sure that's not ethical. I wouldn't be surprised if it's illegal too.

How loud do we have to scream? Seriously, because I'm so fucking sick of people looking at me like I'm a tin-foil cap loony-tunes loon when I talk about this. And seriously, if you're not angry about the government's obstruction, then that country music guy with that God-awful song is right. You have forgotten.

Friday, May 2, 2003

I've read up to Chapter 4 of The Age of Sacred Terror.
This week's Snapper Rant.

oh heck, so you dont have to go through that annoying registration process, here it is:

Recent events have made me wonder about the Right's so-called claim to "moral clarity."

The Bush Administration is planning on kicking off their re-election campaign for the coveted second term during the 2004 Republican Convention, to be held in New York City. That's fine, right? Conventions are a place for political showboating, campaigning, and power. The Democrats will be doing it as well at their convention in 2004. You might be asking, "Terry Pinder! What's the big deal? Give the guy a break!"

Well, the Republican Convention, held in New York City, will begin on September 2, 2004. The Convention will close out with the three-year anniversary of the day the entire world changed for the worst: 9/11. Simply put, the Bush Administration is going to begin their re-election campaign in earnest using the death and horror of that day to win one over on their opponents.

Cynical, because the last three years have seen record deficits, two costly nation-building projects, cuts in social programs such as benefits to our Veterans who fought for the freedom of this great land, unemployment, recession, underemployment, and a gradual and disturbing roll-back of civil liberties in the name of "freedom". Is using 9/11 as a political tool "moral clarity?" I'm just a tad confused, because I don't think it is.If it is, then "moral clarity" leaves much to be desired.

Of course, the Bush Administration's "moral clarity" consistently blocked and thwarted the efforts of members of Congress to form an independent commission to investigate exactly what went wrong on 9/11. Then, the Bush Administration's "moral clarity" manipulated the commission for political means by making it partisan. Kissinger's appointment was some good "moral clarity." Thankfully, he had the decency to resign for conflicting interests. Then, the Bush Administration's "moral clarity" ordered that the commission have barely a year to finish its work. Common sense, and maybe some respect for the dead, would think that the government would go to all possible lengths, overturn all possible stones, fire all possible incompetents, and bring all possible terrorists to justice by giving the commission as wide and independent a latitude as possible. Eh, well. I guess "moral clarity" obviously doesn't include common sense. What on God's green Earth was I thinking?

Of course, the "moral clarity" extends to Pennsylvania's own Rick Santorum. Third most powerful person in the United States Senate. Junior Senator from the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, founded by the tolerant Quaker William Penn. Rick Santorum, in the last few days, has proved that his moral clarity means the Supreme Court, and therefore the federal government has the right to regulate acts between consenting adults. This is in response to the Supreme Court's recent hearing on a Texas law that bans same-sex, well acts.

Santorum's moral clarity extends out from there, he's said publically that Darwin was basically wrong (which science has proven that Santorum and his ilk have been and always will be wrong), he's blamed the Catholic Church (of with he's apart of) scandals on liberals, and basically said that the scandals themselves were consensual. Moral clarity, Ricky S? If that's moral clarity, I'm disturbed. The state has no right to interfere with the privacy rights of American citizens, which Santorum bascially endorses. What two consenting adults of either gender with either or the same gender do in the privacy of their own residence is none of the government's business. I think Ricky S. "doth protest too much."

I think the Right's claim to "moral clarity" leaves much to be desired. Try "moral bankrupt" on for size. I think the shoe fits and in the end, the American people can give these guys the boot.

Click the picture.

Via Testify.

by the way, if you do the algebra, that's the functional equivilent of nearly seventeen million Americans. Congo's population is 55 Million.

by the way, that diamond jewelry you buy may be funding a child soldier to add to this horrific death toll.

and the west looks on.

and the Congressional Black Caucus is silent, as are major black churches and NGOs. Shameful.

Thursday, May 1, 2003

9/11 Commission Watch

The White House is attempting, actually, fighting, to keep a terror report related to September 11 secret, MSNBC is reporting.

Is this "moral clarity?"

UPDATE(and a big big BIG hat tip to Maru):

The Justice Department will be reviewing all documents that the commission receives, UPI is reporting.

Think about that for a moment, and then you can conclude whatever you want. I've made my conclusion, and it's blunt.

We're never going to know. Ever. Common sense would think that the governement would overturn all possible stones, fire all possible incompetents, investigate all possible leads (when are we going to hear about the put options?), bring all possible conspirators to justice, and investigate the deaths of 3000 people with as independent and wide a latitude as possible. That's common sense. I'm starting to think that the White House, which almost from DAY ONE has fought to kill this commission and is currently fighting to undermine the very commission that could keep us safe, has absolutely no common sense. But day in and day out ,we're constantly reminded that to question them is unpatriotic. Day in and day out we're reminded that we are at war. Day in and day out we're told "to shut up, the adults are in charge."

I get the feeling the White House hasn't a clue as to what it is doing on this. And that is frightening.

Again I must ask: "This is Moral Clarity?"