Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Civil Wars: The Good and The Bad

Civil war in Iraq: bad.

Civil war in Palestine: good.

[T]he U.S. administration is also certain that the sanctions against Hamas will inevitably result in a violent confrontation between Hamas and Fatah, and in such a scenario, they would prefer to strengthen the "good guys" headed by Abbas.
Because democracy is good . . . except when it's not. Whose idea was it, again, to rush the Palestinians to parliamentary elections?

Monday, October 30, 2006

Texas, Land of the Free-to-Shred-the-Constitution

According to the Republican Party of Texas, atheism disqualifies citizens from holding public office, and probably actually disqualifies them from jury duty or even from testifying in court.

Candidate for the Sixth Court of Appeals, Ben Franks, is reported to be a professed atheist and apparently believes the Bible is a “collection of myths.”

During debate over a plank in the State Democrat Platform, members of the Platform Committee debated dropping “God” from a sentence on the first page of the document. The plank stated: “we want a Texas where all people can fulfill their dreams and achieve their God-given potential.”

According to an article published in the El Paso Times, Ben Franks states: “I’m an atheist…”

All elected or appointed officials in Texas must take the oath prescribed by Art. XVI, Section 1(a) of the Texas Constitution:

"I, _____ , do solemnly swear (or affirm), that I will faithfully execute the duties of the office of _____ of the State of Texas, and will to the best of my ability preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this State, so help me God."

Should Franks be elected in November, one would have to conclude that he will hold true to his out of touch “atheist” belief system and ignore the laws and Constitution of Texas. Mr. Franks is a personal injury trial lawyer practicing in Texarkana, Texas and is the Democrat nominee for the 6th Court of Appeals.
The very oath of office makes liars out of atheists. And since they're liars, they can't be trusted. Worse, this "out of touch 'atheist' belief system" encourages ignoring the laws and the constitution. Because you know, no one who believes in God would ever lie or ignore the law. According to this logic, the Constitution of Texas forbids atheists to hold office (surely a violation of the US Constitution), but we're just asking you not to vote for them.

And what's up with putting "atheist" in quotation marks at the end? Like they suddenly don't know what it means? Or it's fake? "Franks's so-called atheism"?

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Is This What Democracy Looks Like?

No wonder voters feel like there's no choice:

Nationwide, more than 30 percent of the roughly 6,100 legislative seats on the ballot already have been decided because the candidates are running unopposed, according to an Associated Press analysis.

In South Carolina, 73 percent of the candidates for state House and Senate have no opponent. In Arkansas, 70 percent. In Georgia, 68 percent. In North Carolina, half. [ . . . ] In 11 states, more than half of the races for state House and Senate are uncontested.

It has to do with districting, of course, but even that boils down, as with so many things, to the money:

Perhaps the biggest reason, experts said, is a system in which legislators draw their own districts, which usually favor themselves and other incumbents. [ . . . ]

Potential candidates often decide it isn't worth the financial hassle to run against an incumbent or in a district that favors one party over the other.

"The cost to play, it weeds out otherwise qualified candidates because either they don't have the means themselves or they're not comfortable with raising the donations," said Bill Bozarth, executive director of Common Cause in Georgia, where 161 of the 236 legislative races are uncontested.

The Fecal Science

[via PEN-L]

Stephen Colbert interviewing Dr. Peter Agre of Scientists and Engineers for America
Stephen Colbert: "You said 'anyone who grew up on a farm knows that evolution exists'. OK, are you saying a monkey can milk a cow?"
Peter Agre: "Well, if I can milk a cow I suspect a monkey as smart as I am can milk a cow."
SC: "Are there monkeys as smart as you?"
PA: "I'm sure there are quite a few, quite a few.
SC: "Oh really? Mmhum. Do they give a Nobel prize for throwing your own feces?"
PA: "........That's the Economics prize, I think."

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Ashes of Integrity

Ads for the commemorative coins of 9/11 are the worst sort of patriotic kitsch, maybe even worse than the coins themselves, gold coins inset with a ".999" silver "sculpture" of the Twin Towers that stands up, rising from the ashes of Ground Zero! The silver, we are told, was "recovered from vaults beneath the ashes of Ground Zero." So if you have some of that silver, you yourself have a piece of Ground Zero (which is why it's better than gold). All for a mere $29.95 (regularly $49.95).

Only someone who hates America wouldn't want one.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Jack Straw to Stop Using Phone

Red Ken r00lz:

Speaking at the launch of the first ever report into Muslims living in London, Mr Livingstone said much of the ongoing debate about Muslim dress implied the community "was somehow at fault" for being at the centre of the storm. [ . . . ]

He also implied criticism of Jack Straw, who sparked the veil debate by revealing he asked Muslim women to lift their veils during his constituency surgeries.

"If you are a powerful man and a person comes to see you for help, I think the majority of people would not be able to refuse [a request to remove their veil]. As for not being able to see their face, so much of politics is conducted on the telephone," he said.

Christians are all about religious freedom around the world. Except for Muslims.

How About, "Don't Stray Too Far from the Course"?

Apparently, W and his advisors have finally decided to kick Bush pere's election motto to the curb, admitting that "stay the course" conveys the wrong idea, specifically, that the US is not "adapting to conditions on the ground."

It turns out that US soldiers do in fact aim their weapons at insurgents wherever the insurgents are.

So, we're not "staying the course" in Iraq. We're just staying in Iraq. See? All better.

Are the Palestinians Allowed to "Retaliate"?

According to Ha'aretz:

A secret, two year investigation by the defense establishment shows that there has been rampant illegal construction in dozens of settlements and in many cases involving privately owned Palestinian properties. [ . . . ]

In conversations with Haaretz, the sources maintained that the report is not being made public in order to avoid a crisis with the U.S. government. [ . . . ]

Three years ago, in talks with the Americans, Israel promised that all new construction in the older settlements would take place near existing neighborhoods. The idea was that construction would be limited to meeting the needs of the settlements' natural growth, and bringing to an end the out-of-control expansion over territory. [ . . . ]

In many settlements, including Ofra and Mevo Horon, homes have been constructed on private Palestinian land.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

No Child Left Behind: The Game

So, there's about to be a "Left Behind" computer game. It looks totally awesome -- surely there will be some serious (but entirely spiritual and uplifting) kicking of Antichrist ass.

Conduct physical & spiritual warfare : using the power of prayer to strengthen your troops in combat and wield modern military weaponry throughout the game world.
The power of prayer! Totally uplilfting!

Recover ancient scriptures and witness spectacular Angelic and Demonic activity as a direct consequence of your choices.

I can witness activity as a result of my choices! Kewl! It's, like, just like a game, except I get to, like, witness! Awe-some!
Control more than 30 units types - from Prayer Warrior and Hellraiser to Spies, Special Forces and Battle Tanks!
Wow. War with people shooting prayers at each other! It sure ain't like Berserk Warrior, and that's the point, right? But what is this "Hellraiser," thing? Surely the forces of God don't, you know, raise hell?

Play multiplayer games as Tribulation Force or the AntiChrist's Global Community Peacekeepers with up to eight players via LAN or over the internet!

Wait a minute! Does this mean I can play the bad guys? WTF?

Well, let's see. Since it's not about pointless violence, which is why you lose spirit points for unnecessary killing, that would mean that as the bad guys, I would not engage in unnecessary killing if I wanted to win the game. But if I'm the bad guys, why am I not about killing anything that moves? Because I want to win them over? Fuck that. "Take my mark or I'll blow your Jesus-loving head off." I mean, that's not me; just if I were the bad guys. So I don't know. And how could the bad guys ever win when they're fighting against God? That seems wrong.

The trailer looks totally sweet, though, and scary as hell (well, almost). I sure know *I* don't want to be left behind. And with the help of this game, I can home school my children.

And then no child of mine will be left behind.

First of All

I'd just like to thank God for putting me in a position to post on this blog. God is our re-insurer. Bitches.

Beyond that, isn't it awesome when we just kick people's asses? It's all God. And when we don't, that's because we haven't prayed enough. Or offered the right (number of?) sacrifices. So we're gettin' on that. Watch yer back.

Friday, October 20, 2006

I'd Go in with a Rocket Launcher, Myself

(this long-distance dedication goes out from Egil to Bill O'Reilly, who says he'd take a hand-grenade to the blogosphere if he could get away with it.)

Here comes the helicopter -- second time today
Everybody scatters and hopes it goes away
How many kids they've murdered only God can say
If I had a rocket launcher...I'd make somebody pay

I don't believe in guarded borders and I don't believe in hate
I don't believe in generals or their stinking torture states
And when I talk with the survivors of things too sickening to relate
If I had a rocket launcher...I would retaliate

On the Rio Lacantun, one hundred thousand wait
To fall down from starvation -- or some less humane fate
Cry for guatemala, with a corpse in every gate
If I had a rocket launcher...I would not hesitate

I want to raise every voice -- at least I've got to try
Every time I think about it water rises to my eyes.
Situation desperate, echoes of the victims cry
If I had a rocket launcher...Some son of a bitch would die

"If I had a Rocket Launcher"
Bruce Cockburn

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Lies, Damned Lies, and The Rule of Law

From the Rude Pundit:

When O'Reilly asked Bush about defining torture, Bush got all pissy once again: "We don't talk about techniques. And the reason we don't talk about techniques is because we don't want the enemy to be able to adjust. We're in a war...one thing is that you can rest assured we're not going to talk about the techniques we use in a public forum. No matter how hard you try because I don't want the enemy to be able to adjust their tactics if we capture them on the battlefield." Motherfucker sticks to a talking point like a barnacle sticks to a whale.
Yeah, torture is a "technique." Revealing to terrorists that you use it will change their tactics . . . to, um, avoiding torture. Or wait, avoiding capture. Or, killing more people. Or . . . organizing around the fact that you -- a modern liberal democracy -- have legalized torture. There it is.

But the really sick part is how the Geneva Conventions are, per Alberto Gonzales, not applicable to people we don't want them to apply to. It's really not about the principle that torture, inhuman(e) treatment, cruelty, are wrong, and, as our friend Joe Lieberman helpfully notes, unjust. No, fighting a just war justly includes, apparently, the legal, systematic, institutional(ized) use of torture. Thinking otherwise is, per Joe and Alberto, "quaint" at best, and unjust at worst. Just dead wrong.

And we haven't even mentioned habeas corpus. Thomas Jefferson is rolling in his grave. I hope.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Pigeons? Why Pigeons?

MSNBC sez:

No one expects it to replace Alice in Wonderland or Cinderella, but the Vatican has turned to a talking pen and pigeons in a new cartoon movie to teach children about the life of the late Pope John Paul.
Why not, I don't know, doves or something like that? But pigeons? They just shit all over everything. And by the way, you can't seriously expect me to believe the Vatican doesn't expect this to fly off the shelves . . . especially in Poland. And surely they hope it will take over from Alice in Wonderland, a pedophile's book for and about the object of his desires? Who picked Alice in Wonderland to mention in this article, anyway?

The archbishop in charge of Vatican publicity notes, "The idea was to present the human side of John Paul as the best way to bring him close [but not too close] to children and families." I guess the human side is as opposed to the superhuman side.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The Cultural Economy of Reproduction Apparently hasn't Changed

A thread on MetaFilter asks about "Middle Aged Man's dilemma: stay w/ current situation or quit to start over - current wife cannot have children." WTF is a "current wife," anyway? Oh, wait; it makes sense when you discover that she is his fourth wife. He is posting to MetaFilter looking for affirmation of something he already thinks: either encouragement to dump his "current wife" for a hot young mother of his many progeny, or to forego children (beyond the apparently estranged son he already has) because he loves and is happy with his wife. Many signs in the post indicate the former rather than the latter, particularly the part where he never says he loves his wife.

In ancient Israel, he could have just "gone in" to a slave girl and used her to crank out a few heirs. Ah, the good old days. But at least now we feel guilty about it, right? So we go to MetaFilter to make ourselves feel better about acting like misogynist fuckers. It's like group therapy: "There, there, old man. It's OK. It's Right and Natural for you, A Man, to want to have (more) children. If the woman you married (apparently knowing she wouldn't be able to have children) can't give you children, then you need to find one who can. And if your woman can't understand that, then she isn't much of a woman, is she?"

The one positive about this is that he isn't getting the response I'm betting he hoped for. They're being nicer than I am about it, giving him the benefit of the doubt that he is joking or just not thinking clearly, but they're still telling him (unanimously) the same thing I am: Get your shit straight. Personally, given especially that he writes off the son he already has, I'd be inclined to cut his balls off so that he can't have any more children.

But that's me, and I'm an extremist.

Congress Should Spend More Time on (not in) Sex Rings

Paul Krugman's column tomorrow (via Kos) deploys some interesting statistics on testimony compelled by Congress: "Last year The Boston Globe offered an illuminating comparison: when Bill Clinton was president, the House took 140 hours of sworn testimony into whether Mr. Clinton had used the White House Christmas list to identify possible Democratic donors. But in 2004 and 2005, a House committee took only 12 hours of testimony on the abuses at Abu Ghraib."

Of course, this makes perfect sense when you recall that, as Christopher Shays pointed out the other day, that Abu Ghraib was just a sex ring . . . um, what exactly is a "sex ring"? Well, what does Shays say?

Shays defended his comments yesterday, saying he doesn't doubt that there has been torture at other prisons, but not at Abu Ghraib.
"I mean, I was only talking about Abu Ghraib. I mean, I'm sure there was torture at other prisons, but our TWELVE HOURS of testimony didn't uncover incontrovertible proof of torture or murder at Abu Ghraib. So there wasn't any."

So what was it, then?
"I saw probably 600 pictures of really gross, perverted stuff," Shays said. "The bottom line was it was sex. . . . It wasn't primarily about torture."
Because, you know, sex is never "primarily about torture." Sex is never about power. Sex is never about abusing people, degrading people, humiliating people, or coercing people (Mark Foley will confirm). It's just sex. You know. Sex. And perverts, they do perverted sex. In rings. Big rings, small rings, cock rings. Rings.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Straight Folks: Be Afraid (of Gays), Be Very Afraid

An appalling ad campaign running recently on WV television stations by the West Virginia Family Foundation uses the oldest, most transparent scare tactics in the book to promote a constitutional amendment defining marriage as straight. I will try to get the ad posted to youtube if i can get it captured. In the meantime, visit the WVFF site and click on the link to watch the video. It's thoroughly cheesy, but disgusting nonetheless.

In the end, especially since the legislation was defeated, I am inclined to see this campaign (or at least its failure) as a positive sign. Not as positive, of course, as a religious campaign favoring the rights of gays and lesbians to marry, or separating marriage as a religious institution from marriage as a civil institution (the solution I prefer). But I think these people really believe they're losing. And I think they're right about that. Back in the day, Jesse Helms and George HW Bush could trot out thinly veiled racism to ice their election wins. Now, even in WV, the Christian right-wing can't even go full-blown homophobic and win.

And if you're gay and want help, by the way, the WVFF has a spiffy directory of groups that can help you overcome your abominable sodomitical ways. God luvs u, but He hates your sins! Can you imagine the New Coming Out Day? Come out of your homosexual shell! Inside every fairy/dyke is a straight woman-loving man/man-loving woman! Let the real, straight you smell the air, feel the sunshine, and bask in the love of the fag-hating God.

Who, you surely know by now, also hates shrimp.

Good Times for Israel

Right on the heels of Naftali Tamir's observations that Jews aren't slant-eyes and the white race of Asia needs to stick together, the Israeli police are saying they have the evidence to indict president Katsav on charges of "rape, forced sexual acts, sexual acts without consent, and sexual harassment."

Oh, yeah, and he apparently engaged in some illegal wiretapping.

But don't worry. Even if he's indicted, he's immune from prosecution. So all you kids out there, don't rape or sexually harass women unless you're absolutely sure you can get away with it. Like, if you're immune from prosecution.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Nietzsche meets Gandhi: Revenge is for the Weak

As the reincarnation of an Icelandic berserker-poet, I'm very familiar with revenge and blood-feuds. The thing about blood-feuds is that they never end. And if you're lucky, you realize it's turning you into a monster while there's still time to recover your humanity. When blood-feuds are elevated to a political ideology, that's when you get, oh, let's say, Abu Ghraib, just to pick one. Or Gitmo. Or 9-11. Or the massacres of Afghans, Taliban and civilian. Or pretty much the whole Israeli-Palestinian conflict in its current state. And legalized torture as a permanent state of exception.

We don't need revenge. We need justice. Christian, Jewish, Muslim theology confuse these things. God's "justice" is weighed against God's mercy. But this is worse than a false dichotomy. It is the perpetuation of a barbaric ideology of retribution that humanity ought to want to transcend. Instead, the US turns Afghanistan and Iraq (and Gitmo and Abu Ghraib) into the fiery lake of Revelation and we sit and enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of the suffering of the guilty.

I'm not a pacifist, but it seems to me (and I'm deeply conflicted about this) that violence ought to go somewhere. Justice misconstrued as revenge, as payback on a debt you're owed, is like trying to dig your way out of a hole.

How fucking hard is this to understand?

Friday, October 13, 2006

Speaking of Unacceptable

Apparently, the Israeli ambassador to Australia, Naftali Tamir, recently told Ha'aretz that "[Israel and Australia] are white sisters amid the 'yellow race' of Asia."

"Israel and Australia are like sisters in Asia," Tamir said in an interview with Haaretz during a visit to Israel this week. "We are in Asia without the characteristics of Asians. We don't have yellow skin and slanted eyes. Asia is basically the yellow race. Australia and Israel are not - we are basically the white race. We are on the western side of Asia and they are on the southeastern side."

"Israel has not fully acknowledged the value of working together with Australia in Asia," Tamir said. "It's a way for us to cooperate with and enhance our position in the countries neighboring Australia."

In a meeting with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni this week, Tamir emphasized the potential for developing trade and other links in Asia via Australia and the "necessity" that she visit Australia. [ . . . ]

"Israel has a past and present in Europe, but no future," said Tamir. "Israel is a part of Asia."
Yeah, I wouldn't be so sure about being welcomed as part of Asia, at this point.

/update, Sat 10/14

Kevin grabbed the original Ha'aretz article

The Decider: George W. "Jeremiah" Bush

Interesting article in the Washington Post analyzing Bush's language, in particular his denouncing various events or situations as "unacceptable." The author of the article, one R. Jeffrey Smith, counts them up:

In the first nine months of this year, Bush declared more than twice as many events or outcomes "unacceptable" or "not acceptable" as he did in all of 2005, and nearly four times as many as he did in 2004. He is, in fact, at a presidential career high in denouncing events he considers intolerable. They number 37 so far this year, as opposed to five in 2003, 18 in 2002 and 14 in 2001.
So lots more has become lots less acceptable to President Bush. Why is this? Could it have to do with his increasing impotence on the world stage, and more importantly at home? Possibly. Indeed, probably. Smith notes that declaring NK nuclear tests "unacceptable" is not the same as sending in troops . . . but it isn't far from a threat to do so. Given the situation in Iraq, this is speaking loudly when your big stick is already being used . . . and that not very effectively.

But it also clearly has to do with declining poll numbers, where the idea is to become strident and so get people on board with your authori-tie. This hooks into Bush's self-image. Smith notes:
[Stanley A. Renshon, a political scientist at the City University of New York], who wrote a mostly-favorable book in 2004 about Bush's psychology, said the president's declarations are in keeping with his apparent self-image as a Jeremiah, "railing against the tides" and saying what "people ought to be doing something about."
So what exactly does his God (who speaks through prophets like Jeremiah) consider "unacceptable"?

As a presidential candidate and in his early presidency, Bush was more apt to denounce domestic events. His assertions that school performance and achievement gaps between white and black students were unacceptable account for almost a third of his usages of that term since 2000.

Bush's targets expanded from 2003 to 2005 to include nine condemnations of "unacceptable" actions by Iraq and Iran, as well as the Social Security system and the administration's own response to the Katrina hurricane. This year, he has hurled the term "unacceptable" at actions by Iraqi insurgents and police, at supporters of a withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, and at a U.S. law making the degrading treatment of detainees a war crime.

So it looks like some of his declarations are rather "Father Knows Best"-ish: "Your grades are unacceptable! You will respect my author-tie! Go to your room! Wait! Not until you've cleaned your plate!" But what is he going to do about these things?

If the Jeremiah of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is railing against ungodliness (Jeremiah's primary complaint), let us consider his ungodly targets: those who find American adventurism and imperialism "unacceptable;" those who find his prosecution of the war in Iraq "unacceptable;" those who find the legalization of torture "unacceptable."

And what, according to Jeremiah, happens to those who behave "unacceptably"?
22 And if you say in your heart,
"Why have these things come upon me?"
it is for the greatness of your iniquity
that your skirts are lifted up,
and you are violated.
23 Can Ethiopians change their skin
or leopards their spots?
Then also you can do good
who are accustomed to do evil.
24 I will scatter you like chaff
driven by the wind from the desert.
25 This is your lot,
the portion I have measured out to you, says the LORD,
because you have forgotten me
and trusted in lies.
26 I myself will lift up your skirts over your face,
and your shame will be seen.
27 I have seen your abominations,
your adulteries and neighings, your shameless prostitutions
on the hills of the countryside.
Woe to you, O Jerusalem!
How long will it be
before you are made clean?
But if we turn back to God from our idols, God will not let the terrorists/hurricanes/bad teachers rape us. God will not Himself expose our private parts in order to shame us. So if the Jeremiah of 1600 can just make us all set aside our other gods for God, everything will be OK. Because in the end, it is our godlessness that is "unacceptable."

And this is the sense in which W is not Jeremiah, but is, instead, foretold by Jeremiah:
5 The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 6 In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. And this is the name by which he will be called: "The LORD is our righteousness.

Bush is the heir to the Davidic throne, executing justice and righteousness. And it is his job to decide what is and isn't unacceptable. Because he is the decider.

Here endeth the lesson.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Note to President Bush: They Only Threaten their own People

Remember when the Clinton White House gave in to blackmail and made an agreement with North Korea, instead of calling Kim Jong Il the Axis of Evil-ite he really is? Pres. Bush was bold enough and principled enough to do this, but he has not gone far enough: we should just call KJI, "Dr. Evil." In any case, Bush was not so foolish as to actually do anything about North Korean nukes, because first we needed to make sure that Iraq couldn't use the WMDs they had stockpiled. But it turns out there were no stockpiles in Iraq. So this time, Bush having learned from his mistakes, the White House will first make certain that Iran and North Korea actually have nukes before a US invasion.

And that policy sure seems to be working. There's one possible glitch, though: they'll have to deal with the fact that NK's nukes look about as dangerous as Iraq's nuclear arsenal at the time of the Second Gulf War.
The Economist helpfully points this out, even while failing to appreciate the subtle underlying genius of the Bush strategy.

"Meanwhile, the administration of President George Bush, though occasionally sounding tough, allowed the six-party talks to drift, its mind on challenges elsewhere, notably Iraq."

Nunh-uh. The Economist did not just say that. Iraq a distraction? See? They clearly don't get it. But in spite of this lapse on the part of the editors, they do spot a real potential obstacle to the Bush plan.

In the near term, North Korea's nuclear capabilities are more likely to pose a greater risk to North Koreans than to the neighbours. [ . . . ] The bombs, however, are fairly crude—in the underground test, the nuclear reaction was probably triggered by a large conventional charge. [ . . . ] So the immediate threats from North Korea's new capability come from radioactive leaks into the atmosphere and North Korea's groundwater. [ . . . ]

The action will now move to the UN Security Council. Australia has already said it will advocate tougher UN sanctions against North Korea, blocking North Korean funds and limiting the ability of North Koreans to travel.

For now, it looks like the immediate threats from NK's nuclear capabilities are only to NK civilians: radioactive leaks and UN sanctions, which are also sure to hurt NK civilians more than KJI. We learned that from Iraq, too (remember the children Madeleine Albright said it was worth killing?). Surely, this will also be the case in Iran, except that Iran's technology is probably better than NK's.

If we're going to get the war(s) going, it needs to be clear that their nuclear efforts threaten us. We've got Iran tied to terrorism, so we can say that they may arm terrorists to attack the US. OK, Iran: check.

North Korea, however . . . what are they going to do? Bomb the ROK into the stone age one hundred times instead of ten? Their pathetic missile tests and 1kiloton nuke test don't even rate, yet. The Bush White House should heed the wisdom of The Economist: KJI needs some technology transfer if he's going to become dangerous enough to rate an invasion. He also needs hooked up with some quality terrorist organizations.

There's time, though. We don't want to invade NK and Iran at the same time, not because Our Mighty Military couldn't handle it, of course, but because the political benefits of wars need to be stretched out over time. Why get one war bump for two wars when you can get one war bump for each if you time it right?

But they need to get on the stick in case something goes wrong with Iran. Always good to have a Plan B.