Thursday, December 15, 2005

U.S. Government Shuts Cuba Out of World Baseball Classic

The U.S. government is keeping Cuba out of the inaugural World Baseball Classic, citing the standing embargo against the communist island nation. ... In the tournament schedule announced last week, Cuba was to play its three first-round games in San Juan, Puerto Rico, facing Panama on March 8, the Netherlands on March 9 and Puerto Rico the following day. If the Cubans advanced, they would also have played their second-round games in Puerto Rico.

Last time I checked, the Cold War was effectively over. Why does the Cuban trade embargo still exist? There are plenty of countries run by dictatorships that America does business with, so what's the deal? Oh, right, it's because it's Castro, not just any old dictator, it's Fidel, the guy who's been thumbing his nose at America for decades. Can't make that guy happy, now can we? If the embargo is lifted, the terrorists win. It's funny - Canadian tourists have been visiting Cuba for years, and many are surprised at the higher standard of living versus some of the other 'free' Caribbean countries like the Dominican Republic. Their emergency response system is highly organized and efficient; just compare how well Cuba made out during hurricane season versus Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.

Of course, the real story is that the U.S. government is being predictably petulant about not allowing Cuba to compete in a series of sporting events. "We don't like you, so you don't get to play." What horseshit. They're playing baseball, not hawking cigars rolled on the thighs of Cuban virgins. Is the U.S. government capable of not being dicks for any appreciable length of time?

Friday, December 09, 2005

Good old Drudge Report...

The DRUDGE REPORT has learned from a top GOP operative that the Republican National Committee will provide state parties with a web video prior to release tomorrow afternoon that shows a white flag waving over images of Democrat leaders making anti-war remarks. The ad is in response to the controversial comments Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean and 2004 Democratic Presidential nominee John Kerry made earlier in the week. A Democratic strategist who had the web ad described to her said, “This is way over the top but we have no one to blame but Dean, Kerry and others who continue to pander to the anti-war activists within our party.” The web video advances the Republican contention that the Democrats only have a “retreat and defeat” message on the war in Iraq. The video highlights the effect Democrats can have on the morale of U.S. soldiers. One Republican strategist familiar with the ad said, “The Democrats, especially Howard Dean have a way of trying to turn the tables and say ‘that’s not what I meant’ – its just those ‘evil Republicans’ This video will make them crazy – it reinforces what they really believe with what they actually said – and that is devastating for the Democratic Party.”

a) Like any Democratic strategist is going to say anything to Matt Drudge besides "Do you mind? I have real work to do."
b) How typical of the Republicans to try and spin troop withdrawal as weakness, even though many prominent Republicans are making noises about getting the hell out of Iraq.
c) I'm guessing Rep. Murtha knows a shitload more about the military and what their needs are than 99% of the Republican Party, so if he says American has to draw down, I'm more prepared to believe him than a stupid white flag ad.
d) Face it, jackoffs - you lost an unwinnable war. Cut your losses now instead of sacrificing more young Americans needlessly.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Open And Shut - 10 Unanswered 9/11 Questions

Of all the questions, the one that interests me the most is: How did the twin towers fall? As the writer says:

The lessons learned from the WTC collapse will inform decisions about the safety of other modern office towers.

We're still waiting for a more definitive computer simulation that explains the complete collapse of both towers. Demolition experts couldn't have brought down those towers any more efficiently, so you have to wonder just what the hell happened? Did terrorists find a way to insert strategically-placed bombs to make sure the towers were completely destroyed? Why were so many firefighters sent into the towers when most of the victims were above the crash zone and impossible to rescue? Why did it take so long to realize the towers were going to fall?

There are some elements of the twin towers that echo the Oklahoma City bombing, not the least of which is the strong evidence that suggests that in both cases, a significant number of people did not show up to work on those days. Was there some warning or tip-off?