The people I depend on for all my online foolishness, Bravenet, have been screwing up of late. So if any of you have been emailing me at my traditional address and have not been receiving a reply, try deonandan at gmail dot com instead.

Here’s an interesting story. It seems the US military issued a press release after an insurgent attack on July 13th, and another after an attack this past Sunday. Both press releases quoted an “unnamed Iraqi” who reacted to each of the attacks. The problem is that the quotes are virtually identical. Hmmm. What could this mean? I would not, of course, suggest that such quotes are being manufactured. Oh no, that would just be wrong.

Meanwhile BushCo has threatened to veto an enormous senate bill worth over $440 billion in next year’s defense budget if the senate were to attempt to investigate the military’s systematic abuse of Muslim prisoners in such places as Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Yes, you read that correctly. The President is attempting to compel, coerce and otherwise force the other branch of government to look the other way while he commits war crimes. Will anyone read this story or care? Doubt it.

As you may be aware, the Extreme American Right has a serious hate on for anything associated with the New York Times. Anything, that is, except the columns of Thomas Friedman which, some reports tell, are diligently and regularly read by the Monkey Prez. (Or read to him by Uncle Karl or Uncle Dick.)

Well, hopefully Friedman’s latest missive will shock you. Keep in mind that this is the kind of crap that is injected directly into the brains of the current kakistocracy, and hence might just become policy. In his article, Friedman argues for a return to McCarthyism. He explicitly recommends the keeping of “lists”, not only of those engaging in hate speech or those potentially inciting terrorist acts, but also –and here’s where it gets scary– those he deems “excuse makers” (in the words of former State Department spokesman James Rubin).

Who are these “excuse makers”? Well, in Friedman’s world they are anyone who would suggest a model for terrorist motivations which differs from the official model put forward by BushCo. You know their model: “terrorists hate our freedoms and our way of life.” The competing model, the purveyors of which Friedman would like to see monitored by law enforcement, goes something like, “terrorists hate the unilateral support for Israel, military presence in Islamic holy lands and the backing of dictators in Muslim countries.”

In short, I’ll be listening ever more carefully now for that “click” on my phone.