"For me the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity, the master of the instant which, in visual terms, questions and decides simultaneously. In order to “give a meaning” to the world, one has to feel involved in what one frames through the viewfinder. This attitude requires concentration, discipline of mind, sensitivity, and a sense of geometry. It is by economy of means that one arrives at simplicity of expression.
To take a photograph is to hold one’s breath when all faculties converge in a face of fleeing reality. It is at that moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.
To take a photograph means to recognize – simultaneously and within a fraction of a second– both the fact itself and the rigorous organisation of visually perceived forms that give it meaning.
It is putting one’s head, one’s eye, and one’s heart on the same axis."
Hi Kids! I'm Spotty, the official mascot of the Department of Homeland Security. I have a very important role to play in the U.S. government. You see, kids, when the President of the United States needs a boost in the public opinion polls, one of the things he does is to call his good friend, Tom Ridge, so we can all play a fun game called "Connect the Dots on the Wagging Dog".
I'm just a spotty puppy but, it's a great game and the grown-ups in the administration have been playing it for some time now. Just about everyone is playing Wag the Dog! Did you spot me romping around the White House rose garden on Monday with Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Tom Mueller, John McLaughlin, John Ashcroft, and Tom Ridge when George Bush said he is going to endorse the creation of another multi-billion dollar budgeted government office?
You may not have seen me or Condoleeza Rice in the NY Times story photo, because just like some foreign leaders in the world, Dick Cheney doesn't think I'm house-broken enough. So, Condi took me for a walk to do our business together out of the public eye. Like my boss, DHS Secretary Tom Ridge, the new Terrorism Czar will help you feel safe from the scary bad men that the only President Bush can find and stop with his super hero powers.
Colin Powell just recently played Wag the Dog with me all the way over in Pakistan. You see, the Pakistani Intelligence services helped a really smart nuclear scientist named A.Q. Khan sell all kinds of WMD technology to countries that our president Bush calls the Axis of Evil. Since president Bush wants to win the election and be able to play Wag the Dog with me again next year, his Secretary of State Colin Powell can't complain too loudly about the Pakistani leader Pervez Mussharav releasing and pardoning the smart Mr. A.Q. Khan when Bush needs Pakistan to capture a High Value Target of Al Qaeda. Don't feel bad if you find it a little confusing to connect all my spotty dots -- I'm a just a puppy -- but I like to move fast, don't I? Even the really smart grown-ups in the Central Intelligence Agency have troubles keeping up sometimes, too. I see where they just updated their CIA World Fact Book information on Pakistan in May to play this game properly.
The Pakistani government wanted to play Wag the Dog with the Bush Administration because they feel a Democrat in the White House would favor the government of their Kashmir rival India. They're probably right about that. Remember when the Clintons went to India and rode around on top of all those big elephants and then Bill and Hillary threw a fun party in pretty white tents for the Indian delegation at the White House that one year? I bet that was fun. You can never eat enough curry, I guess.
Because of the Indian Kashmir situation and A.Q. Khan, the Pakistanis need to play Wag the Dog with the president. Military Generals in Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence have told reporters of The New Republic that after September 11th, 2001 no time-tables were discussed by the Bush Administration in 2002 and 2003 but, now "have been told at every level that apprehension or killing of HVTs before [the] election is [an] absolute must."
One Pakistani General visiting Washington recently was worried about playing Wag the Dog and said, "If we don't find these guys by the election, they are going to stick this whole nuclear mess up our asshole." Don't get upset Mr. Pakistani General, your coup in Pakistan is safe with president Bush. With the capture of an HVT announced during John Kerry's speech at the Democratic National Convention, President Bush is so happy to see his political opponent become one of the few candidates in over 30 years not to get a bump in public opinion polls after their own convention.
In fact, George Bush was so happy -- Colin Powell now calls the whole affair of illicit international nuclear proliferation by A.Q. Khan an internal Pakistani situation and not of concern to the United States. See how easy it is to play Wag the Dog? With all those WMDs everywhere in the world, except Iraq apparently, it's a good thing Tom Ridge made sure we're all going to be ready.
George Bush always uses one of the best super hero powers he has to find and protect us from the bad men and keep his job -- your tax money. Even with all the reasons the Pakistani goverment and its ISI already have for helping Bush try to keep his job, George is throwing cold hard cash at Pakistan. He is pushing hard on the U.S. Congress to allocate another $3 billion dollars to Pakistan over the next five years. Why, just before the Democratic National Convention, around July 17th, the Bush Administration wrote off almost $500 million of Pakistani debt.
Well, I have to go do my business out of the public eye again. I sure hope that whoever the new Terrorism Czar will be -- he will want to play Wag the Dog with me -- like the rest of president Bush's grown-up friends do. Hurry up, Condi !! I have to pee, right now !!
I started off this morning with the serious intention of also starting off this new month of August 2004 with an informational and serious blog entry about the release of the 9/11 Commission Report. Rather than being told by political pundits what is in the 567-page report, I prefer to read it for myself. I'm sure you will want to read it too, if you have any interest in finding out what our so-called leaders knew and when they knew it.
Then, while I was creating the displayed 9/11 GIF animation with which I was hoping will continue to completely and thoroughly annoy you, be burned into the little gray matter behind your eyes, and then haunt you into your dreams at night, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge announced yet another terrorist threat warning based upon intelligence from 'multiple reporting streams in multiple locations'.
So, you ask, "What in [insert deity]'s name does that have to do with 911 Dalmatians?" I'll tell you. From now until November -- when you and I watch the news of the day on TV, or read the newspapers, or even read an official 567-page report by the government -- getting to the truth of it all is going to be like trying to connect the dots on 911 wagging dogs. There are dalmatians running amok these days.
Here are two important links for you to read the 911 commision report online:
You may as well read it. Your millions of tax dollars financed the investigation that lead to this book. Oh, and you also paid to have the 567-page book printed at the GPO and zoom down GPO conveyor belts faster than if it had been an episode of I love Lucy at the candy factory. I just thought in order to make things even more fun -- you and I can both start reading the report at the same time and see which one of us can find the magic bullet first.
The report did confirm some key facts in Michael Moore's documentary film Fahrenheit 911 -- which Diehard Dubya-defenders will undoubtedly and simply ignore. At the same time, it should be noted that Michael Moore does have his reasons to conveniently ignore some things as well, according to a very recent, well-written Dissident Voice article by Yoshi Furuhashi.
Should we believe Secretary Ridge when he warns us? If the intelligence is of the same high quality and credibilty as the intelligence that presumably was the Bush administration's trump card for their unilateral pre-emptive war in Iraq, I think not. But, it's not like anyone in the Bush administration is going to call a press conference to point out that they believed what they wanted to hear in the first place any time soon, or ever.
Don't think that I'm just picking on Tom Ridge, personally. Hell, if I was Tom Ridge, I'd be covering my ass during the last few months of my job, too. There's no doubt in my mind that Al-Qaeda still get major wood over the thought of bombing or otherwise disrupting the Republican National Convention at the end of this month in NYC -- although I imagine Michael Moore likely wakes up with a chubby dreaming about that, as well.