The Skunk and Tiger

"Ignorance breeds monsters to fill up the vacancies of the soul that are unoccupied by the verities of knowledge."-Horace Mann

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Coming this Christmas.

Sam is going to be someone's big brother.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Radical Christian Right Wing Terrorist Plot Thwarted

Mark Uhl, a student at Liberty University, was arrested today for possessing several homemade bombs which he told authorities he made to disrupt protesters at the funeral of Jerry Falwell. - formore on Falwell and 9/11

...I predict this will get little coverage in the world of Corporate Cable/T.V. media. On the Today show this morning they failed to mention that this was a Liberty college student targeting even more fundamentalist (yes, that is possible) Christian protesters. It was Christian sectarian violence.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Author Speaks in Holland on Blackwater

I plan to read Jeremy Scahill's book Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army. Recently he visited Holland Michigan and delivered a talk about Blackwater USA, its founder, and the privatization of our military.

Check out the article at Media Mouse

Blackwater was also used in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, doing the work originally intended for the National Guard.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Understanding Iraq, the "Surge" and Al Qaeda.

I read an article in Harpersthat defines the complexity of the situation in Iraq. I am thinking of sending a copy to my elected Michigan representatives in washington, most do not appear to have an understanding of the culture, history, and current dynamics of the region or interested in learning. They are taking advantage that most of their constituents do not have a clue either. This short article puts to rest every argument for staying and not having a withdrawal date.

DEPARTMENT Washington Babylon
BY Ken Silverstein
PUBLISHED May 17, 2007

Marc Lynch is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at George Washington University and the Elliott School of International Affairs. He is the author of Voices of the New Arab Public: Iraq, al-Jazeera, and Middle East Politics Today, and runs the influential Middle East politics blog Adu Aardvark. We talked by phone yesterday about recent developments in the Middle East, particularly in Iraq.

It’s going about as expected, changing the distribution of violence a bit but not making much difference in the core strategic issues. It would be easy to just look at the trends in violence, but that’s not really the point. When the administration laid out its plan, it said some of the right things, like that success should not be judged on military outcomes and body counts. Their argument was that the surge would create a secure political space that would allow for political reconciliation. So far, the opposite has happened; there’s been little progress towards reaching a new political compromise and if anything the distance between the sides seems to be growing. On the military side, there have been some interesting developments in Anbar province, like you’ve been reading about in the press lately, but that has little to do with the “surge.”

There really is a palpable turn there against Al Qaeda, that isn’t just the usual wishful thinking that so often takes the place of real analysis. A lot of people have interpreted this as a sign of American strength, that the Sunni tribes are shifting to the winning side. It’s actually just the opposite, it’s a defensive reaction by Sunnis to Al Qaeda’s increasing strength and aggressiveness. Sunni resentment of Al Qaeda in Iraq really dates to last October, long before the “surge,” when Al Qaeda declared the Islamic State of Iraq. A lot of us thought at the time that they did this for strictly propaganda purposes, but it developed into an aggressive bid for hegemony over the entire insurgency. The Islamic State of Iraq became very aggressive towards other insurgency groups and local Sunnis, intimidating ordinary people, declaring them to be non-Muslims, and using that as a justification for seizing property and killing leaders of other groups. This created a backlash; we’re seeing an open turn against Al Qaeda not just by local tribal sheiks and ordinary people but also by the leaders of the insurgency.

“The insurgents are very critical of Al Qaeda, its treatment of Sunnis and its extreme interpretation of Islam, but at the same time they are deeply committed to continued resistance to the American occupation.”

The American media has focused on the Anbar Salvation Council, a group of tribal sheikhs that have asked the American military for help against Al Qaeda. But they really aren’t that important – what matters is that the major insurgency groups have turned on the Islamic State of Iraq project. The split really got serious in early April, when the Islamic Army of Iraq, which is one of largest insurgent factions, openly broke with Al Qaeda and issued a scathing denunciation of the Islamic State in Iraq. A number of other factions joined in, and now they’ve formed something called the Reform and Jihad Front. There are two main issues: local grievances and some real strategic differences.

please read the rest at Harpers.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

More fun with photoshop

I can't decide if this looks cool or stupid, been playing around with some old photos. Sometimes I feel like Ed Wood, all of this stock photographs, no Kashmir, thank you. I never took pictures of people until my son was born.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Apocalypse How?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Comic Utopia No More.

The place I buy my Comics is closing May 31. Comic Utopia is closing its doors and there is nowhere closer too pick up my Marvel X-Rags. They are not all bad, but some are real stinkers, but I am such a completist and I can not help myself. I do need help. Now my search begins for a new place, but it will not be the same. Nuff Said.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Fairwell Falwell

Wow. Jerry Falwell is Dead. Some believe it is wrong to speak ill or criticized the departed. I do not agree with this when you are talking about a public persona who made a career out of maligning and demonizing those who did not share a twisted, sadly not uncommon, veiw of Christ and America. Since the late seventies Farwell has helped make Religion more corrosive and politics more polarized. While claiming to be a champion of the unborn Farwell supported domestic and foreign policies of death. He was unabashed in his support for a war based on lies and false pretenses. He was and will remain the face of a fundamentalist movement that has a poor understanding of the U.S. Constitution and history. His venomous sermons made life more miserable for the already marginalized. He believed in a retributory, deranged god sitting on a throne in a very small and exclusive heaven. Jerry Falwell was a thug. His vision of an American Theocracy should exit with him. I leave you with the infamous quote Falwell made only days after 9/11, long before the dust had even settled on ground zero or the dead had been counted.

"The ACLU's got to take a lot of blame for this...throwing God out successfully with the help of the federal court system, throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools. The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle...all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say, 'You helped this happen.'"

This is how I remember Jerry Falwell. May he rest in peace and dance with the Teletubbies.

For more articles on Jerry Falwell please check out Talk To Action

Monday, May 14, 2007

The devil sells a new war with Iran

Bush meets with Christian right leaders to drum up support for a war against Iran, citing the possibility that a nuclear Iran would destroy 1 to 10 American cities.

read more | digg story

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Retired Marine preaches, says killing terrorists is an ‘act of love for our nation’

By Laura Followell
The Tribune-Star
TERRE HAUTE — According to retired U.S. Marine Col. J. Tyler Ryberg, the Bible contains messages about war and capital punishment. God is a powerful soldier.

Ryberg, who served in the Marines for more than 27 years, gave a sermon Sunday morning at Good Shepherd Baptist Church’s Armed Forces Day, where some of the 150 people in attendance often erupted with an “Amen!”

The colonel asked churchgoers if the global war on terrorism was a “just war” and a “God-ordained war,” which he later affirmed.

“We’re killing Islamic jihadists, bloodthirsty killers,” he said. “Peace is not an option. You don’t negotiate with bloodthirsty, jihadist killers.”

While he was in the Marines, Ryberg said, he was often asked, “If you’re a Christian, why do you want to go to war to kill people?” Ryberg said he wants Americans to understand that it’s an act of love to kill evil people who seek to kill Americans.

“If we do take their life, they will kill no more. It’s an act of love for our nation,” Ryberg said.

He explained the importance of government and said that without government, chaos would ensue.

“We are all sinful creatures with a sin nature,” he proclaimed. “Sinful mankind left unrestrained will cause chaos.”

Ryberg justified capital punishment and said it’s in the Bible. God ordains the principle of taking life as an instrument of his justice, he added.

“God gaveth long before our nation was born. It’s always been on the books. And [the Bible] is the highest law of the land,” Ryberg said. “And I want to let you know our Supreme Court, they’re not supreme, only God is. And [the Bible] is the supreme law of the land, and the buck stops here.”

The sound of shuffling Bible pages reverberated across the pews as Ryberg asked worshippers to note specific passages. Ryberg often referenced passages that he interpreted as relating to war and its justification.

He said that only God gives life and only God takes life, but said God gave Noah the right to take the life of an evil man who sheds innocent blood.

Ryberg said that Abraham fought the first biblical war in the word of God. He said God told Abraham to go to war with his “well-trained” servants, his army. Ryberg said God won that war by coming down and killing his enemies.

“There’s none other; there’s none higher; there’s none greater than our God,” Ryberg said.

“The only day we will have perfect peace is the day Jesus Christ comes back. … Our Lord’s coming back, folks,” he said.

Jerry Gibbons, who served in the Army for eight years, wanted to hear the colonel speak.

“I’m very impressed to see someone who has served that long on active duty and still have that much faith in God, our country and government,” Gibbons said.

Marcella Weaver said the sermon seemed to the point. To her, it justified war.

“God says that we are to help those being attacked by the bloodthirsty,” she said, “and it’s an act of love.”

Laura Followell can be reached at (812) 231-4253 or

also check out the Fight Fanaticism podcast about this article on their myspace page.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

More Caustic and Ignorant Remarks from Coulter.

I personally love Ann Coulter because she continuously exposes the inexhaustible amount of racism and xenophobia that thrives in the Republican party. It is frightening that she is displayed as some sort of political expert on a sloppy news network like Faux News.

ALAN FRAM | AP | May 8, 2007 11:10 PM EST

WASHINGTON — A recent Newsweek poll showing Democrat Barack Obama leading top Republican presidential hopefuls could have been made up and might help al-Qaida, conservative commentator Ann Coulter said in her latest verbal broadside.
Coulter, a best-selling author known for outrageous and often controversial statements, was asked Sunday on Fox News' "At Large" what she thought about the survey results.

"I think this is Newsweek doing more push polling for al-Qaida," she said, referring to campaign-season telephone calls to voters masquerading as neutral surveys but designed to build opposition to targeted candidates.

Asked by host Geraldo Rivera whether she thought Newsweek would make up the results, Coulter said, "Yes, I do," adding, "In polls where people are actually allowed to vote, Republicans do a lot better."

Coulter did not explain how the poll might help the terrorist group. Since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, some Republicans have argued that their party would do a better job of protecting the U.S. against terrorism than Democrats.

Coulter's remark drew a response from Evans Witt, chief executive officer of Princeton Survey Research Associates International, which conducted the Newsweek survey.

"As the 2008 election campaign continues to heat up, I am sure that there will be informed and incisive criticisms of polls from many observers," he said. Coulter's comments "do not fit into this category," he added.

Newsweek spokeswoman Jan Angilella said the magazine would have no comment.

In March, Coulter used a gay slur about Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards.

Monday, May 07, 2007

George Tenet cashes in on Iraq | Salon News

If you go by the book jacket of his new memoir, "At the Center of the Storm," George Tenet is enjoying the life of a retired government servant teaching at Georgetown University, where he was appointed to the faculty in 2004. The former CIA dir

read more | digg story

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Bill O'Reilly bashes at breakneck pace

Think Progess

A new study by Indiana University media researchers finds that Fox News host Bill O’Reilly calls “a person or a group a derogatory name once every 6.8 seconds, on average, or nearly nine times every minute during the editorials that open his program each night.”rnrnThe study documented six months worth, or 115 episodes, of O’Reilly’s “Talking Points Memo” editorials “using propaganda analysis techniques made popular after World War I.” Researchers found that O’Reilly “was prone to inject fear into his commentaries and quick to resort to name-calling. He also frequently assigned roles or attributes — such as ‘villians’ or downright ‘evil’ — to people and groups.