Noam Chomsky: ‘As long they get the backing of dictators, it doesn’t matter to western governments what Arab populations think’

I found this from The Guardian:

The 19th century … 2001 … today. Noam Chomsky sees hegemonic powers showing extreme contempt for democracy — and acting in ways they know will increase terrorism.

What is their interest (Western powers)? Not the stated interest, but the REAL interest. Is it spreading democracy? Or is it all about taking control of the natural resources.. Where will it end?

The Watering Hole: Wednesday, August 31, 2011: May the Fours be With You!


From the Archives:

Open thread

I’m off to work! You kids all play nice.

And, don’t forget, tomorrow TPZoo should have a new URL ( and then we’ll officially be in business!

Then, with little fanfare:

A whole new domain!

Welcome to!

It was sheer hell but I think I have everything pretty much back to normal here at the new URL. We may have lost a few minor things in the transfer, but I think that all in all, the site is fairly intact.

Many thanks to Gregg for getting this site off the ground, as well as to other Zoosters who were there at the beginning of this humble corner of the internets.

And many thanks to those who visit, and those who comment. This site was created for you, and us. We wanted a place where we could go and talk about events and news, without threads devolving into troll droppings and troll bashing. And that is what we made here.

To be sure, we’ve had our challenges over the past four years. Life happens. Health, work, and family impact us all. Four years ago, this writer had no idea whether this blog would last four months, much less four years. But here we are, four years and nearly 2 million hits later, still going strong.

So, to my fellow critters, Sliante! Here’s to four more beers!

Four More Beers!

And…for more years!

May the “fours” be with you all!

This is our daily open thread — Happy Hump Day.

And why is this man still walking around free??

Remembering Why Americans Loathe Dick Cheney

Valerie Plame: Dick Cheney ‘wounding’ former colleagues

Cheney: We only waterboarded two or three people

Former Bush official promises to testify if someone will ‘Pinochet’ Cheney

In New Memoir, Dick Cheney Tries to Rewrite History

All cartoons are posted with the artists’ express permission to TPZoo.
Paul Jamiol
Jamiol’s World

The Watering Hole: August 30th – Failing to prepare…

… is preparing to fail.

Noone knows yet for sure who is going to run against President Obama in the next elections, but the field of contenders seems to be solidifying. Maybe Sarah Palin will try and have a go for it after all, I highly doubt it but with her you never know, but I seriously cannot see any viable contender coming in besides the ones that are already campaigning. Any Republican politician (especially a young one) worth his salt will be discouraged by the general drift to the right fringe the Republican Party is experiencing now, due to tea party activism. Anybody electable by moderates or even right leaning democrats would face defeat in the primaries and just add this defeat to his or her credentials. Why not wait it out for another four years? At least that’s what I would consider doing. Nevermind anyway, because the Tea Party has produced a couple of fringe pushover candidates that should be easily beat by Obama, even if he is right now at a dismally low approval rate.

But is it highly dangerous to underestimate the probability that one of the Republican fringe candidates could be winning the presidency. Frank Rich from the New York Times could tell you this. In February 2000 he wrote:

Why would Mr. Bush’s campaign move so far to the right? It’s the same thinking — that you can pander to a right-wing base and hope centrist voters suffer amnesia on Election Day — that led the G.O.P. to defeats not only in ’96 but in ’98. (…)But Democrats who are worrying about the prospect of a race against Mr. McCain shouldn’t lose sleep yet. The same G.O.P. minds that blew it in ’96 and ’98 are doing everything possible to shore up Mr. Bush.

In the end Democrats didn’t need to worry about John McCain as a candidate, but got Boy George instead. A pushover, if there ever was one, for someone of Al Gore’s political clout.

Now, after 9/11 and two devastating wars, after the incredible destruction of New Orleans by Katrina, after the economic crisis of 2008, the meltdown of American society, still, we are not taking what is going on seriously. The Washington Post reports, still talking about the primaries, of course:

A Perry victory would cement the Republican Party’s shift away from Bush’s approach to a more libertarian, anti-government GOP. This is cause for worry among some in the party, particularly those with ties to Bush.

While not addressing Perry specifically, Mark McKinnon, who was a top aide in both of Bush’s presidential campaigns, cautioned that his party would have trouble winning if it moved too far right.


The Free Republic says it out loud. Obama is the “Accidental President”

The famous Occam’s razor principle states that the simplest explanation is the most plausible one. Applying it to dispel the fog of propaganda, it becomes glaringly obvious that Obama is an accidental president, a lazy and indecisive incompetent devoid of any ability or desire to perform the job to which he was elected by a gullible majority, who loves the perks but hates the duties of his office; who loves to play but hates to work. Have a good look at the man occupying the White House: what you see is what you get. The Emperor has no clothes.

And, about people like you and me..

The smart set living in an echo-chamber that reinforces their conventional wisdom have eagerly embraced this article of faith because in their world to question Obama’s ability is to commit the deadly sin of racism.

..see, racism argument nicely defused. Hey, here’s an argument even that Americans are definitely NOT racist:

Ironically, proving America is completely the opposite of the evil racist country they relentlessly accuse her of being, progressives used America’s goodness, guilt and sense of fair play against her. In their quest to destroy America as we know it, progressives borrowed a brilliant scheme from Greek mythology. They offered America a modern day Trojan Horse, a beautifully crafted golden shiny new black man as a presidential candidate. Democrat Joe Biden lorded Obama as the first clean and articulate African American candidate. Democrat Harry Reid said Obama only uses a black dialect when he wants.

I spare you more of this blatant passive aggressive racism.

The point I am trying to make is: There are a great many Americans out there, who were convinced a black man in the White House would never happen. They relied on a silent majority and wouldn’t go out to vote last time. On the other hand progressive and moderate voters were fired up and very enthusiastic of getting rid of the dismal Bush years and were in fact voting in higher numbers than usual, count in the Latino and the African American vote, as well. Now the pendulum is about to swing back. The historical mistake of electing Obama needs to be corrected and, count on it, the right wing voters will be out in droves. Meanwhile on our side the disenchantment works its destructive ways. People will stay at home, there is no enthusiasm. And it is, of course, all Obama’s fault. Had he only!..Why hasn’t he?..Didn’t he promise?..

Good thing we can rely on the silent majority and need not go out to vote, because Michelle Bachmann or Rick Perry in the White House won’t ever happen.

Well, if progressive and moderate voters are planning on relying on others and indulge in self-pity, pouting and sulking, your next President may well be Rick Perry or, Republicans can make history, too, Michelle Bachman.

This is our open thread, don’t hesitate to correct me or tell me “What do you know?” or just chat about anything else, that’s on your mind. 

Watering Hole: August 29, 2011 – Tomato

For me, this is the best season of the year.  It is tomato season.

Tomatoes are native to the Americas and along with peppers, eggplant, and belladonna, are members of the nightshade family.

This fruit is so very versatile.  You can cook it and make a sauce which is great on pizza or over pasta.  Add tomatoes to soups.  Raw tomatoes make yummy sandwiches and can be added to any salad.

The only good tomato is a fresh tomato grown in season.  The tomatoes that are sold in the supermarkets in the off season have a high “yuk” factor.  Science keeps trying to genetically modify the tomato so that the consumer can enjoy the taste of fresh tomatoes all year round.  So far, they have not succeeded in creating this tomato.  Some of the best varieties are the “heirlooms“.  Tomatoes are relatively easy to grow.  One does not need much space to grow tomatoes as they can be grown in containers.  The only requirements are the warm sun, good, clean soil and water when needed.

Here’s a link to the nutritional information for tomatoes.

So grab a salt shaker and head for the tomato garden.

This is our Open Thread.  What do you think?  Speak Up!

We Survived Hurricane Irene

Every year, hornets find a tree limb to build their nests and every year, a heavy rain washes away their nest.  This year, the hornets chose a safer location.  They can buzz, “We survived hurricane Irene.”

I didn’t want to get closer to the nest because the tree next to the nest is dead and with wind gusts of 50 mph, I wasn’t taking any chances.  This nest is a real work of art.

The Watering Hole: August 27 – A Quick War

Disposition of British and Zanzibar-an Naval Forces in Zanzibar Town Harbor

The Anglo-Zanzibar War fought between the United Kingdom and Zanzibar on 27 August 1896 lasted but 38 minutes. It was the shortest war in recorded history.

Of course, The Gunfight at OK Corral a bit shorter at 30 seconds does not count because it was fought between rival gangs. To be classified a war, a gang fight had to be between nations.

The war came because of the death of Sultan Hamad bin Thuwaini on the 24 of August. During his reign he had co-operated with the British colonial administration in running of his country. Tensions had being growing in the area for some time before this. The British a freedom-loving and compassionate world power were pushing to end the slave trade in Zanzibar dating back to the Omani in the 17th Century. Sultan Hamad bin Thuwainis’s nephew, Khalid bin Bargash, took over on the Sultan’s death. The British favored a cousin, Hamud bin Muhammed, another cousin who supported slavery but to a lesser extent than Bargash. The British delivered an ultimatum ordering Bargash to give up the throne.

The ultimatum ran out at 9.02 am on August 27, at which time the Royal Navy ships opened fire on the palace. The Sultan’s Fleet was sunk; the palace was taking a beating and Bargash was losing a lot of men. He made a tactical retreat to the German embassy where he requested and was granted asylum. The shelling stopped at 9.40 thus ending the war. The death toll stood at about 500.

Now compare that conflict to one in Iraq. You can say that the British knew how to start and finish a war.

This is our Open Thread. You can have at it now.

Music Night — Weirdo edition

Oh dear...

I found a link to the 10 Worst Album Covers of All Time on facebook, and sent it to Gummitch for use in future Music Night genius-ness.  I’m not sure why he wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot tone arm.  Heh.

Here’s Salami Tsunami’s caption for the above album cover:

Hey guys, I think you got your album title mixed up with the Ministers Quartet up there. By the way, if I ever ‘wake up into a dream’ where I am surrounded by a bunch of naked male hippies, it had better be the result of a toxic snakebite and/or a fever-induced coma. Again, I have to ask the obvious question; who decided that an album cover featuring hairy naked dudes would sell music? Especially when some of the guys look way too happy, while a couple are noticeably uncomfortable. They snapped the picture when the guy in the middle was saying, “Hey, Julian, we aren’t all like you and Viceroy. Where is your other hand? I need to see them both. That was the deal.” I have no idea what this music is like, but at least we know where boy bands came from.

*snerk*  That is just so wrong!

Erm, what was I talking about?  Oh yeah, Music Night — Enjoy!

The Watering Hole: August 26 — How to brew a controversy, Norman Rockwell edition

The Problem We All Live With, by Norman Rockwell


Politico seems to be trying stir up the rabid racists in this country, while pretending they’re doing no such thing.  President Obama has hung this painting outside his office, OMG!  Naturally, Politico doesn’t come right out and say it, but rather than discuss the ugly history behind the painting — actual history — they make it about the President’s motivations regarding race.

What do you think?  Is Politico just doing some reporting about the painting, or are they blowing on a dog whistle?

This is our daily open thread — discuss!

The Watering Hole: August 25 – The Great Moon Hoax

On August 25, 1835 the New York Sun came out with a series about life found on the Moon.

From the August 28 issue of the paper:

Our plain was of course immediately covered with the ruby front of this mighty amphitheater, its tall figures, leaping cascades, and rugged caverns. As its almost interminable sweep was measured off on the canvass, we frequently saw long lines of some yellow metal hanging from the crevices of the horizontal strata in will net-work, or straight pendant branches. We of course concluded that this was virgin gold, and we had no assay-master to prove to the contrary.

The series ran for 8 days and resulted in world wide acceptance of the proffered subject and an increase in circulation. The series ended with a fire at the observatory when its telescope was directed at the Sun. The observatory was a total loss.

The author was supposedly Dr. Andrew Grant, who described himself as the travelling companion of Sir John Herschel. Dr Grant was a fabrication from the perpetrator’s imagination.

Was the perpetrator an early Republican? The story had no scientific foundation and flew in the face of actual science even in its time.

This is our Open Thread. Please feel free to present your thoughts on any topic.

Here I come, to save the day!

Created for TheZoo by Paul Jamiol
All cartoons are posted with the artists’ express permission to TPZoo.
Paul Jamiol
Jamiol’s World


Faster than a spending bill, more powerful than a loco-filibuster, able to cut benefits in a single bound, it’s Super Committee. Strange visitor from a distant demographic, half donkey, half elephant, going about its daily life as Elephonkey, a mild-mannered congressman from a True American Smallvilliage, Super Committee is committed to fighting truth, justice, and The American Way.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011: Hump Day: The Lord’s Prayer, 21st Century New Revised Version

Our Father, Who Art in the Hamptons,
Hallowed be thy Wealth,
Thy Kingdom Come,
Thy Will be Done,
On Earth, as it is in Hampton,

Give us this day,
Our Daily Thread,
And forgive us our typos,
As we forgive those who type against us.

And lead us not into the TeaParty,
But deliver Us from Evil,

For Thine is the Kingdom,
The Power to create Jobs,
And the Glory of perpetual trusts,
Forever and ever,

Aw man.

This is our daily open thread — Happy Hump Day.