Apr. 8th, 2003

war sucks.

Apr. 8th, 2003 10:37 am
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I don't think we should have gone to war - not now, not this way, not with these people in charge. I don't like what it's done to us as a country. Some of you disagree, for reasons I can respect and reasons I can't.

With the exception of Andrew Sullivan, I think one thing we can agree on is that war sucks. It sucks when people kill. It sucks when people die. It sucks when people live the rest of their lives haunted by the memories of killing and watching people die.

ReachM High Cowboy Network thinks we should have a day of silence on Thursday for the people who have died and the people who are going to die and the people who have to live with all this afterwards (that's us, you know).

I think that's a fine idea.
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Ariel Sharon has brushed aside an appeal by the White House to stop an unprecedented move by Jewish settlers into a Palestinian district of Jersualem which his critics say will further hinder a political settlement.

After more than two years of legal and political wrangling, Mr Sharon's office approved the plan last week and the first Jewish families have moved into new flats in the Ma'aleh Ha'zeitim settlement, beside the densely populated Arab district of Ras al-Amoud.

It is the first time a Jewish settlement has been built in a Palestinian area of Jerusalem since Israel seized control of the entire city in 1967.

The first settlers at the apartment complex, just a few hundred metres from the Wailing Wall, include a millionaire, Irving Moskowitz, and his son-in-law Ariel King, a far-right political activist.

More than 100 more families are expected to move in during the coming months.

Condoleezza Rice, the White House national security adviser, telephoned Mr Sharon's office and warned that letting Jews move into the settlement might raise tension during the war on Iraq and further undermine the prospect of a political settlement...

At the weekend Mr Sharon's chief aide, Dov Weisglass, said Israel was not prepared to make any concessions on "security issues"and would walk out of negotiations on the road map if forced to do so.

The prime minister's critics say that Ma'aleh Ha'zeitim is a political tactic to block the possibility of dividing Jerusalem as part of a peace deal.

It also undermines plans under the Camp David accords for a corridor to give Palestinians access to Muslim sites in Jerusalem's old city without having to pass through Israeli territory.

The flats at Ma'aleh Ha'zeitim are built on land bought in the 19th century by religious groups to expand a Jewish cemetery.

The property fell into Jordanian hands after Palestine was divided in 1948.

Jewish groups argue that they are entitled to live on the land, and to remove the Palestinian "squatters", under the Jews' right of return.

The courts agree, even though no similar right is extended to Palestinians driven from their homes in West Jerusalem.

Moreover, the supreme court has ruled that Palestinians cannot buy property in the Jewish quarter of the city, even if they once lived there...

An Israeli spokesman said the government had followed legal procedures in permitting the settlers to move in, and denied that it had a political motive.
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Sen. Norm Coleman has taken responsibility for telling a Capitol Hill newspaper that he is "a 99 percent improvement over Paul Wellstone," his predecessor who was killed in a plane crash less than six months ago.

Coleman said he made the remark in an interview as he was stressing his ties to President Bush, telling the Washington newspaper Roll Call that Wellstone "was never with the president."

Wellstone, a liberal Democrat who was running for a third term, was killed in an October plane crash in northern Minnesota along with his wife and daughter, three campaign aides and two pilots. In the November election, Coleman defeated former Vice President Mondale, who had stood in for Wellstone.

"To be very blunt and God watch over Paul's soul, I am a 99 percent improvement over Paul Wellstone," Coleman told Roll Call. "Just about on every issue."


via Joe Conason
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Remember that pig-ignorant song about how we's sposed to bomb Iraq because they flew them planes into the trade center? It won a (I am not making this up) Flameworthy award from Country Music Television.

The lyrics, aimed at Osama Bin Laden and al-Qaeda, include the lines: "And you'll be sorry that you messed with/The U S of A/'Cause we'll put a boot in your ass/It's the American way."

The song was written in support of the US bombing campaign in Afghanistan after the terror attacks of September 11 2001.

Keith told Monday's audience: "I dedicate this great award to Mr Rumsfeld and Tommy Franks, and all the people over there (in Iraq) putting it down for us tonight."

The song helped Keith's Unleashed album hit the top of the US album chart in August 2002, selling more than 338,000 copies in its first week.

But Keith was also taken off the bill for a 4 July television concert last year because the ABC television network reportedly objected to the song's lyrics.

Keith told reporters after the ceremony that there was room for dissent and opposing views about the war in country music "as long as we give every artist the right to paint his own picture".

"I don't bang the war drum," he said. "I just don't trust the next celebrity who thinks they know more about it than I do."


Guess he told you.

in other fine american musical news,

America's Attorney General, John Ashcroft, has taken his fondness for morning prayer meetings at the US Department of Justice one step further - he is asking his staff to start the day by singing patriotic songs he wrote himself.

The move has alarmed employees, who seem less than taken with their bosses' musical skills.

Mr Ashcroft himself gives a gutsy rendition of his own tune, Let the Eagle Soar, whose title reflects the song's patriotic spirit.

The deeply Christian attorney general, fired by the country's wartime spirit, has begun distributing printouts of the lyrics to his tune at Justice Department meetings so that his staff can join in.

Spanish speakers are being recruited to translate the song, which has curious shades of Neil Diamond in its tinkly country and western rhymes.

With more jingoism than subtlety the song continues...

"Oh she's far to young to die
You can see it in her eye
She's not yet begun to fly".

Enough of that, I am sure you get the gist.

Playing to poor reviews

But Mr Ashcroft, who is a member of the Congressional singing quartet and is well known for impromptu bursts of singing, has a problem with Let the Eagle Soar.

His employees, it seems, are not enamoured with their new morning duty and many are refusing to sing along.

When asked why she objected to her boss's patriotic gesture, one Justice Department lawyer replied, "Have you heard the song? It really sucks."
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Real-life lovers Ben Affleck and Jeffnifer Lopez are set to appear in a remake of the classic love story Casablanca - marking their third on-screen collaboration.

The engaged Hollywood superstars will take on the roles made famous by Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in 1942.

A friend of the impossibly good looking duo says, "They are overjoyed. It is the chance for them to show their talents together."

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