Friday, March 24, 2006

Iraq, Iraq, Iraq

It's Friday at last! The weekend! And grab whatever you can because it will be over before you know it. First off, let's note a breaking news story about how the phone calls of attornies and doctors could have been captured in the illegal spying program of the Bully Boy's. From Katherine Shrader's "Doctors Calls Could Have Been Captured:"

Lawmakers also asked whether federal judges on a secretive intelligence court objected to the program and, if so, how the administration responded.
The department wouldn't answer, citing the need to protect classified information. "We assure you, however, that the department keeps the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court fully informed regarding information that is relevant to the FISA process," the response said.
The department also avoided questions on whether the administration believes it is legal to wiretap purely domestic calls without a warrant, when al-Qaida activity is suspected. The department wouldn't say specifically that it hasn't been done.
"Interception of the content of domestic communications would present a different legal question," the department said.

How do you like that? Starting to get more concerned? You should be. They won't answer questions clearly. They're still hiding, still covering up. Hands in the cookie jar and all they want to do is act like it isn't.

Now let's do Democracy Now!

Iraq Death Toll Tops 80 Over Past Two Days
In other news from Iraq, at least 80 people have died over the past two days in a series of drive-by shootings, roadside bombings and executions. In one of the deadliest attacks, a suicide bomber blew himself up outside the major crimes unit of the Interior Ministry killing 25.

This must be some of that news Bully Boy's worried will give people the wrong idea and make them think things aren't a cakewalk. We should all act like we didn't hear about the stuff above. Things are going wonderfully. We're in year four because it's so much fun! There is no bad news from Iraq, only good news. Look at it the way Donald Rumsfeld would: In a nation of millions, only 80 people died in the last two days! Doesn't that make you feel better?

U.S. Rounds Up All Adult Males in Iraqi Village
Meanwhile to the west of Baghdad, over 1,000 U.S. troops have surrounded a village near Abu Ghraib. After the town was cordoned off, U.S. soldiers conducted house-to-house searches and rounded up the entire adult male population of the town. Soldiers handcuffed and then interrogated every man in the village. After questioning, each man was marked with an X on the back of their necks. One U.S. colonel defended the operation saying "What we're doing is building a Michelin guide to the area."

And this is just more good news if you know how to look at it. Yes, adult males were marked, but adult women weren't! Or here's another way to look at the above, in a country with lots of towns and villages, only one was targeted! That's pretty good, right?

Bully Boy knows the news coming out of Iraq isn't good and he can blame everyone but himself for as long as he wants but that's not reality. He needs to start dealing with reality. The country needs to start facing reality: Impeachment.

I gave a speech today and big thanks to C.I. who stayed on the phone with me last night listening to me and offering tips. I think it went pretty good. The way it went is that we divided up into teams, one group against the war, one for it. And we did our research and then one person on each team gave a speech.

I spoke out in favor of the war. PSYCHE! :D

It was pretty cool actually and not I wasn't nervous like I thought I would be. I was nervous before I spoke. After about the third word, I forgot about being nervous and just focused on making the case. This was a thing that came about because I'm not quiet about being against the war and all my friends are against it too. So this pro-group wanted to do a little debate. (I say "little" because I really think we were their trial balloon before they do a really big debate next month.)

I'd love to tell you that when I got done everybody was going, "Yeah!" Especially the ones who were for the war. That didn't happen but there were a few people who came up after, war supporters, who said they hadn't heard some point before or some example and it made them think.

I helped with the research but it was done by all of us and I'll thank Tony and Nina by name. I'll thank the rest by name if they want but I forgot to ask anyone after. I was floating on a cloud because I really thought I was going to crash and burn.

C.I. helped so much with that. I don't want to give out "trade secrets" but I'll say that one thing, one tip was about how you had to use what you had and accept it. Like if you have a bad speaking voice, you're stuck with it. That wasn't my concern. My concern was being nervous and also repeating myself. I don't mean making the same point over and over but I do have something. Maybe it's a stammer? When I'm nervous, every now and then I'll repeat the same sentence. Not over and over. It happened like twice in the speech where I said a sentence and then repeated it right after. When it happened, I did like C.I. said and acted like I meant to do it. When I caught myself both times, I slowed it down like I had meant to really emphasize the point and that's why I was repeating it.

Tony knows I'll do that sometimes when I'm nervous but he didn't even think that while he was listening. He was going, "I really liked how you emphasized those two points." I told him why I did that and he wouldn't believe me for the longest. I showed him my speech, because I wrote it out and memorized it. I didn't want to be reading it but I wanted it in front of me in case I got nervous and forgot.

It went really good but I don't know how people do it all the time. Like Amy Goodman, I don't know how she does it, going all over the country and speaking. I really had to psyche myself up to get to a place where I wasn't completely freaking out before hand. I bet she doesn't get to do that. She probably doesn't need to but if she did or wanted to, she probably can't because everyone's probably, "Oh look!" and "Amy Goodman! I'm so glad to see you and I want to pass on . . ."

What else? My parents are having a house party tomorrow night. We did the protests last weekend and they want to follow that up this weekend. That's why Elaine and me have been emphasizing Iraq. That's a question Suzzanne asked in an e-mail. She wanted to know why it's "all" we talk about. I don't think it's "all" but I do know we're emphasizing it.

Like today there were plenty of strong items in Democracy Now!'s headlines but we went with those two because the fourth year is starting and we wanted to be sure that we didn't just go to the protests last weekend and then go "Okay, we're moving on."

We'll keep talking about Iraq but we will talk about other stuff (and we do already).

Or like C.I. Take the indymedia roundup. It could be on a number of things and there are things C.I. will cover in the column for the gina & krista round-robin but on the indymedia, it's focused lately on the war. Last night's was pretty cool so check out "And the war drags on (Indymedia roundup)." What else should you check out?

How about the joint entry that Wally and Cedric did today? (Links take you to the post at each of their sights and it's pretty funny so check it out.)

And you know you gotta check out Like Maria Said Paz for Elaine's thoughts. Nina's reading this over my shoulder and goes to check out C.I.'s "NYT: Edward Wong: fluffer or stand up comedian?" because it will explain why a focus on Iraq is needed.

Hope everyone had a great weekend. We started late tonight, Elaine and me. Nina and I wanted to go see V is for Vengence and knew there was a chance that we wouldn't be able to if we didn't go to the first show this evening. Elaine said that was perfect with her, us picking out our stuff on the phone after the movie because she really wanted to just go home for a change and relax as opposed to rushing to boot up the computer and log on.

Hope everyone has a great weekend.