Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Funny to an online poster, maybe to YOU, too!

Why Your Post was Stupid:
2, 3, 6, 6a, 8, 14

Numeric Key to Stupid Posts

1. You did not in any way discuss the topic, or say something relevant to the thread.
2. The silly slogan you are repeating came from a talk radio show, or from a bumper sticker, and was discredited within minutes of having been broadcast, or plastered on somebody's Toyota.
3. Silly name calling. You just spewed out a bunch of silly insults. Your post barely even makes sense.
4. You are trying to be serious, but you have a stupid screen name, which makes taking your post seriously very difficult.
5. Normally, grammar spelling and syntax problems don't matter, but yours was so bad, I had to say something. The sad thing is, English is probably your first language.
5b. All posts calling other people stupid that aren't in understandable English or aren't spelled correctly are so bizarre, you just have to wonder, especially when they misspell the dirty words.
5c. Your post used English in such a convoluted way, I had to chuckle.
5d. There seemed to be more punctuation marks in your post than actual words.
6. You appear to be someone living a trailer house with a goat, or someone living in a shack in rural Montana, writing a "manifesto."
6a. That was a paranoid/schizoprenic rant. The bizarre assumptions and leaps of demi-logic were amazing. As a precaution, I suggest you place a tinfoil hat on your head to prevent aliens or the secret police from reading your thoughts.
7. Your post was just copied in from some web site or other place. If you can't write your own stuff, just give up.
8. About the thousandth time someone repeats that, you should find a new thing to say.
9. All posts blaming something on Bill Clinton or deflecting attention to Bill Clinton should be deleted, and the writer forced to read his latest book aloud to a VFW convention.
9b. While we're at it, let's include Hillary. If you take issue with something she's done, that's one thing, but if you're mentioning Hillary just to mention Hillary, you should be forced to wear a tie-dyed sweatsuit, and to read "It Takes A Village" to a Baptist church group in rural Mississippi.
10. Any posts mentioning Ted Kennedy, or Richard Nixon, are just as bad as the stuff about Clinton.
11. Any posts blaming the media or specific "news" outlets are too paranoid and foolish to even consider. You should be locked in a room and forced to listen to a "debate" between Al Franken and Bill O'Reily until you soil your undergaments.
11a. Posts blaming the host of the message board specifically should be made to stand naked in the street with a sandwich board advertising the provider.
11b. Anyone who quotes "Fox News" as a source should be smeared with bacon fat and thrown into a pit of angry wolves.
12. Your recall of history is so far from factual, that anyone who made it through the eighth grade is laughing at you.
13. You keep posting that over and over. That's just spam at this point.
14. Your logic is so convoluted, you could write advertising copy for miracle diet plans.
15. The racism, ethnocentrism, or other form of social hatred of your post is so extreme, that you should seek some kind of anger management or other therapy.
17. ME TOO. I AGREE. People who say ME TOO are all idiots who cannot think for themselves.
18. As nearly as I can tell, you didn't actually say anything.
19. You have so many links, signature text, and other bunk in your post, I don't know what your response actually was.
20. BIG FONT PEOPLE -- The BIGGER THE FONT, the CLOSER TO GOD? What's that all about?
21. The person you attempt to discredit has achieved a stature, or earned a level of general respect of such magnitude that you only look foolish when you try to discredit them.
22. Crackpot web site references: You have included links to web sites so nutty and without credibility that you must be kidding, but you're probably not kidding.
23. Your claim to some kind of military service, past or present, or to have relatives that did no more makes you an expert on a subject than throwing a newspaper on your lawn makes the paper boy an expert on current events.
24. Phony patriotism -- Anybody can type "God Bless America" and use red and blue text. Nobody owns a franchise on love of country. Put the flag on your porch and get over it.


Issue of 2004-06-07
Posted 2004-05-31
Knowledge is not important. The armchair warrior strives to attain a state beyond knowledge, a state of deep, non-knowing connection to the universe: in particular, to that portion of the universe which is rich, powerful, or related to him by blood.

The unenlightened speak of “failures of intelligence.” But the armchair warrior knows that “intelligence”—the effort of the mind to observe facts, apply reason, and reach conclusions about what is true and what ought to be done—is a delusion, making the mind turn in circles like an ass hitched to a mill. The armchair warrior feels in his hara, or gut, what ought to be done. He is like a warhorse that races into battle, pulling behind him the chariot of logic and evidence. When the people see the magnificent heedlessness of his charge, they cannot help but be carried along.

The warrior spirit resides in the hara. It is this spirit, and not any deed, that is the mark of the true warrior. Thus, a man who has avoided military service may be a greater and braver warrior than a man who has served his country in battle, sustained grave wounds, performed “heroic” deeds, and been honored with clanking, showy medals pinned to his garment.

Because human beings are prone to illusion, the sounds and sights of battle—the groans of the wounded, the maimed bodies of one’s comrades—may remain in the mind for many years, like a cloud that confuses judgment. Hence, a man who has fought on the battlefield and has later risen to high office may be fearful of leading his people to war. Such weakness does not afflict the armchair warrior, who at all times is firm in his resolve.

The armchair warrior does not fear death, especially not the death of other people.

The unenlightened mind is easily swayed by pictures. Since it fails to grasp that life and death are illusions, the sight of the flag-draped remains of those slain by the enemy may make it susceptible to weakness and feelings of pity. Therefore, the armchair warrior does not let the people see such images, except in settings that can be properly controlled, such as his own campaign advertisements.

Luxury is the enemy of Bushido. It saps the strength of the people and makes them weak and complacent. Therefore, the armchair warrior strives to take wealth away from the poor and the middle classes and give it to the wealthy, who are already so weakened that they are beyond help.

So-called wise men complain that the armchair warrior is producing “deficits,” emptying the coffers of the state and sinking it ever deeper into indebtedness to usurers and foreign moneylenders. In their “wisdom,” these so-called wise men are like the scholar who came to speak with Nan-in. Pretending to ask a question, the scholar flaunted his learning for ten minutes while Nan-in, attending politely, brewed a pot of tea. When the master filled the scholar’s cup, he kept pouring until the tea overflowed the cup, ran onto the table, and dripped to the floor, forming a great puddle.

The scholar, astonished, asked the meaning of Nan-in’s action. “The mind is like this cup,” said Nan-in. “If you do not empty yourself, how can you expect to be filled?” The coffers of the state, too, are like the cup. If they are not frequently emptied, how can they be filled? Thus, the warrior takes it upon himself to empty the coffers of the state into the pockets of his friends, his relations, and other members of his class. Knowing well the corrupting power of luxury, he distributes these treasures with reluctance. They are accepted with equal reluctance. Yet not one among his fellows shirks his duty.

The goal of life is awareness; the goal of awareness is freedom. If the people of a foreign land do not wish to be free, it is the duty of the armchair warrior to force them.

The warrior strengthens his resolve and that of his followers by chanting sutras, mantras, or other strings of words, such as weaponsofmassdestruction or linkstoalqaeda or bringingdemocracytotheworld. It is not important that these words bear any relation to reality or even that they have any definite meaning. All that matters is that they be chanted repeatedly and with great urgency.

The Chinese word for “crisis” combines the characters for “danger” and “opportunity.” For the armchair warrior, the significance of this is clear. Every crisis is an opportunity, and the lack of crisis poses a grave danger. In crisis, the people turn to the warrior for guidance. Hence, if a crisis has not occurred, the warrior creates one. If a crisis is subsiding, the warrior inflames it. The seventy-third hexagram of the I Ching is interpreted as follows: “Two towers fall. When smoke fills the people’s eyes, they can be led anywhere.”

Once, a group of travellers were on a perilous journey, in the course of which they had to cross a river. Unluckily, their guide forgot the location of the bridge, so the party had to ford the river, which, at the place they then found themselves, was shallow but very wide. After several minutes of wading through the icy water, the travellers began to grumble, “This guide is worthless! Let us abandon him and find another!” Sensing the discontent of his charges, the guide cleverly led them into a deeper part of the river, where the current was stronger and the footing more treacherous. “Help us!” the travellers cried. “Esteemed guide, do not abandon us!”

The unenlightened believe it to be the height of felicity to have no enemies. The armchair warrior knows, however, that only a steady supply of enemies can assure him the loyalty of his friends. When so-called wise men warn him that in rashly slaughtering his enemies he is merely manufacturing more of them, he smiles.

More on Chalabi and the Neo-Cons

News about the "escape" of the Saudis after 9/11

June 1, 2004
The Great Escape

Americans who think the 9/11 commission is going to answer all the crucial questions about the terrorist attacks are likely to be sorely disappointed — especially if they're interested in the secret evacuation of Saudis by plane that began just after Sept. 11.

We knew that 15 out of 19 hijackers were Saudis. We knew that Osama bin Laden, a Saudi, was behind 9/11. Yet we did not conduct a police-style investigation of the departing Saudis, of whom two dozen were members. of the bin Laden family. That is not to say that they were complicit in the attacks.

Unfortunately, though, we may never know the real story. The investigative panel has already concluded that there is "no credible evidence that any chartered flights of Saudi Arabian nationals departed the United States before the reopening of national airspace." But the real point is that there were still some restrictions on American airspace when the Saudi flights began.

In addition, new evidence shows that the evacuation involved more than the departure of 142 Saudis on six charter flights that the commission is investigating. According to newly released documents, 160 Saudis left the United States on 55 flights immediately after 9/11 — making a total of about 300 people who left with the apparent approval of the Bush administration, far more than has been reported before. The records were released by the Department of Homeland Security in response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by Judicial Watch, a conservative, nonpartisan watchdog group in Washington.

The vast majority of the newly disclosed flights were commercial airline flights, not charters, often carrying just two or three Saudi passengers. They originated from more than 20 cities, including Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit and Houston. One Saudi Arabian Airlines flight left Kennedy Airport on Sept. 13 with 46 Saudis. The next day, another Saudi Arabian Airlines flight left with 13 Saudis.

The panel has indicated that it has yet to find any evidence that the F.B.I. checked the manifests of departing flights against its terror watch list. The departures of additional Saudis raise more questions for the panel. Richard Clarke, the former counterterrorism czar, told The Hill newspaper recently that he took full responsibility for approving some flights. But we don't know if other Bush administration officials participated in the decision.

The passengers should have been questioned about any links to Osama bin Laden, or his financing. We have long known that some faction of the Saudi elite has helped funnel money to Islamist terrorists —inadvertently at least. Prince Ahmed bin Salman, who has been accused of being an intermediary between Al Qaeda and the House of Saud, boarded one of the evacuation planes in Kentucky. Was he interrogated by the F.B.I. before he left?

If the commission dares to address these issues, it will undoubtedly be accused of politicizing one of the most important national security investigations in American history — in an election year, no less.

But if it does not, it risks something far worse — the betrayal of the thousands of people who lost their lives that day, not to mention millions of others who want the truth.

Craig Unger is the author of "House of Bush, House of Saud: The Secret Relationship Between the World's Two Most Powerful Dynasties."