Thursday, September 13, 2007

About time I wrote some new rules

Rule #39: Ear scrum

If you're at a public car wash and insist on blaring gratingly atrocious rap-metal at an ear-piercing volume while vacuuming your interior, other customers are within their full legal rights to blast high-pressure hoses at your stereo. This goes double if you're a Fred Durst-looking B-boy and triple if your vehicle is higher than six feet off the ground and tricked out like Paul Wall's teeth. Though this rule is strictly hypothetical, there's at least one guy living in Springfield, Missouri, who should really watch his windows.

Of course, this plague is symptomatic of a larger problem: young drivers who are as fervent about spreading the crappy-music gospel as Fred Phelps is with hate. When I worked for my college track team, one of our star runners (an otherwise cool guy who worked as a mechanic in his spare time) would sit in his car with all the doors open in the parking lot and blare the worst of the booty hip-hop genre for at least 20 minutes before practice. Sometimes he'd be late for drills, just so everyone could hear the $2,000 stereo he put in his $2,000 car. I wish I could say no one was impressed, but some were.

I take pride in the fact that some of my friends have no idea what I listen to. When they ride in my car, I offer them the radio, or I turn it off and we talk. This is out of consideration for others, amid the remote (heh!) possibility that they might not like my music. Why can't those who (unlike me) listen to bad music practice the same consideration?

Come to think of it, anyone whose tastes/beliefs necessitate hammering them into others' eardrums needs to turn down the bluster and get some inner security. Maybe then I'd actually want to listen to you.

Rule #40: When will enough be enough?

Impeach the Bush-Cheney regime. Saying it's too late now is like saying a 95-year-old is entitled to hack up a sorority house because it's too late to give him a life sentence. Short of that, the Democrats should at least show opposition of some sort, because that's why we voted in droves for them to take over Congress in 2006.

We already know what's going to happen if we continue to let this White House continue their fatally flawed policies: more of the same. Staying the course is their trademark, the achievement of which they're most proud. Such bad logic does not belong in office. It's common sense, Congress.

Rule #41: Get the lead out

Can corporate America finally, finally admit that saving a few cents in production costs is not worth it when it means products can cause brain damage or death?

Be it food or toys, foreign or domestic, we seem to be living in an age where anything from a factory (or otherwise touched by human hands) is of suspect quality. And while such concerns are nothing new, they seem to be rising in an age where federal regulations have been weakened by years of corporate-friendly policies. The more big business gets breaks at the expense of necessary oversight, the more these poisonings are going to happen.

Safety is expensive. Cutting corners for the sake of profits is cheap.

Rules archive


Cajun Tiger said...

An exactly which law has the President violated that qualifies him for impeachment?

Ian McGibboney said...

Well, he used information he knew to be flawed to get us into an illegal invasion of a sovereign nation that did not attack us, which has increased anti-American hatred all over the world and guaranteed that the terrorist threat will continue in coming generations.

I could go on about his abuse of executive orders, the PATRIOT Act, warrantless wiretapping, his disastrous appointments of cronies to important agencies such as FEMA, his deregulation of environmental laws, his unwillingness to cooperate in pivotal treaties and with the U.N., his unwillingness to listen to the American people and anyone else outside his yes-circle, his ties to Saudi Arabia and his attempts to control media coverage and attendance at anything involving him. But I think what defines Bush's impeachment is the first thing I mentioned. I'm no lawyer, but I'm pretty sure if they can impeach Clinton over lying about oral sex, they can nab Bush for starting an illegal quagmire.

Cajun Tiger said...

So then I guess you are calling for the impeachment of every Senator and Congressmen that voted for the war as well right? Oh wait then that would mean you would have to hold Dems accountable to same standard as the Repubs...can't be having that now can we.

Then I guess you are going to call for the UN to be dismantled for voting for use of force against Saddam for breaking 17 resolutions since 1991, each one of which was a breach of his surrender terms of the '91 war and alone makes the war legal.

Oh and what information did President Clinton use again to say the policy of our government is regime change in Iraq? Oh yeah..the same infomation Bush had. So I guess you called for him to be impeached as well for calling for the removal of a leader of a nation by using false information right?

And you are challenging the Brits, the Russians, the Aussies, the Germans, the French, and every other nation on earth to impeach their leaders for spreading the same lies.

I also guess you are also calling for every intelligence agency in the world to be dismantled for knowingly spreading false information that led us into the war.

Well being you did all that I guess you are consistent and are free to call for Bush's impeachment on the grounds that he lied as well.

And now I'm waking up from left-wing-bizarro world where every one in the WORLD said the same thing, yet it is only Bush who is the liar.

Ian McGibboney said...

I do look upon anyone who voted for the Iraq war with suspicion, which is why I don't favor Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination. And I'm not likely to re-elect anyone who did, regardless of party. But the one who deserves impeachment is Bush, because he is the one who knowingly presented dubious facts to Congress when it was time to authorize the war.

There's a profound difference between voting on good intentions (though I think the "misled" argument is itself weak) and deliberatley lyimg to get the authorization that likely wouldn't have held up under honesty.

Anyone who had a hand in concocting this lie should be out of power, period. And anyone who supported it after knowing the lie or refuses to back down on the vote (such as Hillary) isn't worthy of my respect.

I don't see how taking that stance puts me in some bizarro sphere. Especially since a growing number of Republicans feel the same way.

Cajun Tiger said...

So you will be voting for Kucinich then right? As he is the only one running that voted against the war.

How is it a lie if EVERY LEADER IN THE WORLD believed the SAME THING!!! To say that he lied when he was saying the same things that every single other leader and intelligence agency was saying is flat out wrong.

And that is exactly what Saddam wanted b/c whether he had them or not, all he had to do to prove he didn't was open his doors to the inspectors with no restrictions and account for everything. He NEVER did that as he was compelled to do per his surrender terms. So, either he did have them and was able to get rid of them before the war, or he wanted everyone to believe he had them and thought it would never come to war b/c he thought he had France, Germany and Russia in his pocket due to the UN Oil for Food scandal.

Of course that scenario doesn't play into the leftwing bizarro world that everything is Bush's fault from cloudy skies to terrorists killing innocent people, so no that can't possibly be what happened.

I mean for as dumb as ya'll say he is, he sure pulled one over on the entire world then if he is the only one who had the "truth" and got the entire world to believe him. That would be rather brilliant in my book were it true.

Cajun Tiger said...

oh...i almost also have Ron Paul as an option come primary season as he voted against it as well. So which will it be, Kucinich or Paul?

Ian McGibboney said...

"How is it a lie if EVERY LEADER IN THE WORLD believed the SAME THING!!!"

Wow, is that hyperbole or what? It's also a complete lie, because (as I recall) Bush had to assemble his own Coalition of the Willing because so few nations would support his little illegal endeavor. Remember those delicious "freedom fries?"

I also don't remember Bush waiting around to hear the results of the UN inspections (they were there at the time), nor did their ultimate lack of success finding WMDs deter Bush in any way.

The problem with what you say is that some of it was true in 1991, but not in 2003. Years of sanctions and weekly bombings had weakened Saddam Hussein to a point where more than one analyst likened him to merely "the Mayor of Baghdad." It was in this 12-year time frame that the WMDs were dismantled or shipped away. But even if it all were true in 2003, Bush still rushed to war, because he didn't bother to let U.N. investigations finish or take diplomatic routes first.

As for my presidential choices, I prefer Barack Obama. He was not in Congress in 2003, though he has always professed opposition to the Iraq war. As I've written about before, he is the Democratic candidate with the fewest flaws where I think it counts. And I think what we need at this juncture is a new face with the right ideas.

I like Kucinich too, but he doesn't have a real chance of winning, and I think he and Obama are similar in a lot of ways. Ron Paul is a libertarian, which I don't think we need as president at this juncture.

Cajun Tiger said...

Please find for me one nation or one intelligence agency pre-war that said he didn't have WMDs to support your accusation that I'm exaggerating.

And you also have not once shown how this war is illegal when the UN and Congress both authorized use of force to rid him of his weapons.

France, Germany and Russia were never going to support going into Iraq b/c they knew their sweetheart Oil for Food deal would be exposed as it was.

Saddam was actively thwarting the efforts of the inspectors as he had been since 1991. How many UN resolutions would have been enough? He agreed to the cease fire terms. After breaking one resolution we had every right to go back in by force to make him get rid of the weapons. Instead the impotent UN let it go on and on and on. After 17 resolutions, we finally did something about his continuted thumbing his nose to the international community. He could have avoided the war, but choose not to by hindering the inspectors. And if he would have had them like EVERY ONE IN THE WORLD believed he did otherwise why would we continue to send inspectors and they would have been used whose fault would that have been?

It's easy for Obama to say he would not have voted for the war having not been there now that it is political advantageous for him to say that. So if Kucinich had a a chance he would be your says it all.

Ian McGibboney said...

1) You are again using 1991 decrees to justify 2003 actions. Saddam may have had WMDs in 1991, but the U.N. found no evidence that he still had them in 2003. A combination of U.N. sanctions and weekly bombings by the U.S. had done a lot in the ensuing 12 years to weaken Saddam's bargaining chips.

Anyway, if Saddam had WMDs, why didn't he use them? Why was it so easy to boot him from power when we were all told that he had the capability to bomb L.A. in 45 minutes? It makes no sense. The U.N.'s lack of support for the invasion also seems to undermine your point. The body approved the 1991 action, but not the 2003 war. You seem to not want to make that distinction.

Also, there's that whole thing about Iraq not being connected to the 9/11 attacks.

2) Congress never officially declared war, just as they haven't since WWII. That alone makes it illegal, though preemptive strikes and fabricated evidence don't help.

3) Barack Obama opposed the Iraq war before it even started, saying in 2002 that "I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a US occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of Al Qaeda. I am not opposed to all wars. I'm opposed to dumb wars." Sounds like he got that one right, five years ago.

I don't think there's anything wrong with saying I support someone who has a chance of winning. Kucinich may be the candidate most like me, but I'd rather have someone who is better at building consensus across the spectrum. Anyway, I like Obama just as much. Also, I'm long past the point of making self-defeating political statements. At this point, I'd rather have a mainstream Democrat I occasionally disagree with in office than a Republican who makes all the wrong decisions.

Cajun Tiger said...

Still waiting for that one nation or intelligence agency...

1. Hmmm...seems like more than just Bush was saying this in 2002:

The UN Security Council's vote for the 17th resolution included the use of force if Saddam didn't give up his weapons. Why on earth would they continue to pass resolution after resolution from 1991 to 2002 if they didn't think he had them. It was never proven that he didn't have them before the war. Please give me one source that says that.

And where did I say Iraq was directly involved in 9-11? But if you watched the video, seems like Hillary believed al qaida was in Iraq before 9-11. Guess she was fooled by the brilliance of Bush as well.

2. And you condemned the Kosovo war just as strongly right? The UN didn't even approve that one like they did this one. So any preemtive strike automatically makes it an illegal war...good luck sleeping with that philosophy of national defense. Still waiting for proof that Bush knowingly lied when THE ENTIRE WORLD believed and said the same thing.

3. Still easy to say if you don't have to actually cast the vote and also apparently he wasn't privy to the same information that Clinton was as quoted in the above video being he had no access to national defense intelligence being a state senator from IL.

I didn't say there was anything wrong with saying that. It is smart politics as I feel the same way. I'm currently deciding between Rudy and Fred as I feel they are the only two who would have a chance to win that are closest to my beliefs. If I were to go with my favorite candidate it would be Huckabee. What I was saying is that if Kucinich is your favorite candidate, that's all i need to know concerning where you lie on the political spectrum.

Ian McGibboney said...

Ah, yes, a heavily editorialized Rudy Giuliani campaign video. Quite the foundation for many an argument. Especially since I already said that I didn't like that Hillary voted for the war. Again, though, I ask: whose evidence was she using?

At least she's sort of atoning for that now. Hillary isn't my top choice, but it pisses me off that she's being criticized for questioning the war. You accuse me of living in a fantasy land, CT, but I apparently have a lot of company these days. The only reason not to question the war is because those who want it to continue don't want to hold it up to scrutiny.

And I see now you're saying you never associated Iraq with 9/11. As if mentioning the two interchangeably isn't doing exactly that. It didn't work for the White House and it won't work for you. Anyway, assuming you're right about the lack of association, then isn't our presence in Iraq a serious undermining to the fight in Afghanistan?

As for Kosovo: I would liked to have seen NATO forge ahead with full UN support, and not use the toxic weapons that they did. But at least that was a war where people were able to see what had been happening for years. It also didn't take years and cost tens of thousands of lives (though we are still occupying there to a degree).

Obama's argument is a strong one against all wars of aggression and first resort. He strikes me as someone who would express skepticism of the kind of information Bush was handing out in 2002, and we need more of that in our higher offices. History is proving him right.

Finally, yes, I like Kucinich and Obama. If that tells you anything you didn't know about me before, then you haven't been paying attention. And I think this time around, more people will consider my position after the disastrous six years they've been considering yours.

Nick said...

Anyone who says Bush flat out lied about Iraq and WMD's, but doesn't accuse former President Clinton of the same thing, is a hypocrite. That's about it.

Ian McGibboney said...

No, because Clinton didn't launch us into full-scale war with it and then keep us there even after the evidence was proven wrong.

Funny how Bush was so eager to inherit Clinton's outdated information on Iraq when he couldn't be bothered with pertinent information involving Osama bin Laden. Almost says something about his preconceived intentions.

This "Well, your beloved Democrats did it too, so obviously you're a hypocrite" line is getting really, really old.

Nick said...

Yes, you're right. Clinton didn't invade Iraq. Fine.

But the line is not old because if you're going to accuse Bush of lying about Iraq having a WMD program, then you've got to say the same about Clinton who said the same exact thing just four years earlier.

Did they both lie? Or were they both mistaken because of bad information?

That's your only two choices if you don't want to be a hypocrite. Your "Bush lied" line is getting old as well since you won't hold people who said the same thing to the same standard.

Ian McGibboney said...

Well, Clinton may very well have had bad information. Or, it could have been right at the time since his term was in the years that Saddam was beginning to lose much of his power.

But Clinton did not twist the information he had to start a war of aggression against Iraq. That's a very important distinction, and one that cannot be pawned off on Clinton. Even if Clinton gave that info directly to Bush, Bush did not vet it before acting upon it.

In any case, the truth was clearly that Iraq posed no real threat to us. If Clinton thought so, then he was wrong. And Bush was definitely wrong in his actions.

Nick said...

So you're at least conceeding that Bush didn't lie about Iraq's WMD program?

Ian McGibboney said...

No, I'm not. I'm saying that if Clinton had the same information, then it was likely wrong or outdated by the time Bush got to it. At best, Bush didn't vet the info. At worst, he manipulated it.

What's clear now is that Bush had no evidence that Saddam had WMDs in 2003. If Iraq had WMDs during the Clinton years, then they were definitely on the decline. If Clinton had no reason to go to war - and he didn't - then Bush really didn't have a rationale.

Cajun Tiger said...

It's an exercise in complete futility Nick to get him not see the idiocy in his statement that Bush lied but both Clintons (hmmm...Hillary made her comments in 2002 and I don't remember hubby coming out and correcting her or anyone else for that matter) didn't. I'm done...enjoy the kook-aid.

Ian McGibboney said...

I am suspicious of ANYONE who thought Saddam Hussein was a threat back in 2002-03. At that point in time, the only people who believed so were those who believed what we now know to be flawed (possibly deliberately) information put out by the Bush administration. If the Clintons bought it too, then shame on them.

The bottom line is, we now know that all of the reasons given to invade Iraq turned out to be wrong. And there was one president who took the information and ran with it without vetting its contents, especially since it conveniently served his own agenda. And that president wasn't Clinton.

Nick said...

So, he didn't lie?

Ian McGibboney said...

I think Bush did lie. But even if he didn't, he had no excuse to press on with information that experts were questioning even at the time. Either way, he didn't do the right thing.

And your attempt to blame it on Clinton falls flat, because it wasn't Clinton who started the war.

Cajun Tiger said...

And what exactly do you base your thoughts on other than leftwing talking points? Do you have one ounce of proof that he knowingly lied?