Saturday, September 30, 2006

Toward a Better Theocracy

As reported in wapo, the House of Representatives quietly passed a bill last night that undermines enforcement of the First Amendment's separation of church and state:
The Public Expression of Religion Act - H.R. 2679 - provides that attorneys who successfully challenge government actions as violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment shall not be entitled to recover attorneys fees. The bill has only one purpose: to prevent suits challenging unconstitutional government actions advancing religion.
Now I'm a theologian, not a lawyer, but apparently all successful plaintiffs in a violation of constitutional or civil rights suit can recover their legal fees. If this bill is enacted, suits which successfully challenge prayer in school or use of religious symbols in public places will no longer be eligible to recoup their legal fees.
Such a bill could have only one motive: to protect unconstitutional government actions advancing religion. The religious right, which has been trying for years to use government to advance their religious views, wants to reduce the likelihood that their efforts will be declared unconstitutional. Since they cannot change the law of the Establishment Clause by statute, they have turned their attention to trying to prevent its enforcement by eliminating the possibility for recovery of attorneys' fees.
Once again the religious right wipes their feet on the constitution in the name of God.

Once upon a time . . .

. . . A patriot asked Jesus, "Evildoers have attacked our country and innocent people have died. What should I do?"

Jesus replied, "Love your enemies."

A father said to Jesus, "Religious extremists have bombed our great buildings and now my son is dead. We've got to kill them over there so they won't kill anymore of our children over here."

Jesus said, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God."

The ruler of the Great Land asked Jesus, "The terrorists want to kill us. I have to do everything possible to protect my people, don't I?"

Jesus replied, "What good it is to save your life, but lose your soul?"

Now is the time for all Christians to speak clearly, loudly, and with one voice: WAR IS WRONG! We worship the Prince of Peace. We worship the One who turned the other cheek to his torturers. We emulate the One who forgave his executioners as he hung dying on a cross.

Jesus left us with two weapons to combat the evil of the world: a basin of water and a towel. "As I have cared for you so you are to care for others." We had better first use that towel to wash away our own sins of silence and complicity. And let's do it quick -- the world is waiting.

I leave you with a song of peace.

Hat tip to firedoglake for the pic.


This is a column I wrote many years ago when I was a reporter. It stays with me to this day.

When spring was new last year, among the beautiful live oak and pecan trees of the Hill Country, I met a little girl I will never forget.
She is the same age as my daughter -14 - yet her world is far removed from the typical teenage girl's universe.
There is no mascara in her purse. She doesn't have eyelashes.
Lip gloss, so carefully applied, does not shimmer on her lips. She no longer has lips.
She doesn't prance in high heels. She limps, it appeared, painfully and slowly, prosthesis apparent.
She doesn't talk about boys.
Fire destroyed this child's face. And fire almost destroyed her body. But she is no less human than you and I.
As I drove to Camp Lone Star, a camp for burn victims close to Austin, I tried to prepare myself for what I would encounter. I must have said to myself 100 times, "Be cool, be cool, don't react, at least outwardly."
I reacted, and I reacted badly.
I was in the dining hall, being introduced to staffers and doctors and nurses and therapists and volunteers, when I felt someone standing, quietly, directly behind me. I turned around and I saw her. I jumped.
The look in her eyes told me, "Don't worry, I'm used to it."
I hated myself, but I was totally and completely terrified. My heart raced and I couldn't breathe. "Oh God, no," I remember thinking over and over again.
Nothing could have prepared me for the sight of this child.
There was an off-center hole where her nose used to be, and the scar tissue had matted and twisted great uneven globs of black skin from just below her eyes downward.
Her eyes were brown, but they were diminished by the bright red insides of the lower portion of her eyes - where her tear ducts used to be - pulled and stretched down by the tightness of the scar tissue.
What was left of her bottom lip was also distorted by the downward pulling of the scar tissue, so much so that her bottom lip seemed to be turned inside out, with the pink of the inside of her mouth taking the place of the lip.
And that was just her face. Her body had been consumed in much the same fashion.
We looked at each other for perhaps one minute, then she turned and slowly walked away. I sat down. My mind raced. I wanted to run.
But I didn't. I stayed and although I'm not much of a camper, I can honestly say I'm glad I met those children, many of whom were experiencing their first-ever weekend camp.
Some were quiet. Some weren't. One little boy, 8 years old and full of sass, spent every available moment flirting with me, stroking the ego. "Oh, come on, you're not a day over 24," he said with a straight face. I loved that child.
I met three young sisters, 15, 14, and 12, who were severely burned when a tractor-trailer crashed into their moving van, throwing them out of the van and covering their bodies with burning diesel. Their father had finally gotten a job and they were on the way to the promised land, Texas. They spent their first two months in Texas in a hospital, in the burn unit.
I met a little boy who quizzically looked at his doctor and said, "You look like my doctor." The physician-surgeon-healer laughed and said, "I am your doctor."
The little boy didn't believe him. "But you're not hurting me," this child said to his torturer.
The children swam in the turquoise pool; they fished off the bank of the pier on the lake. They made "critters," rocks with two "eyes glued on them, and they threw Frisbees. They raced each other and they sat around the campfire, no fear visible, as they sang traditional camp songs.
The cabin was abuzz with teenage whispering and giggling when a wild rumor spread through camp that the boys were planning a panty raid on us. Nothing materialized, but anticipation was high and fun was had.
The only one that didn't ooh and aah over this cute boy or the "hunk" was the little girl without a face.
Many times, I started to go up to her and ask if she would take a walk with me and talk about herself. Each time I told myself no.
This was her weekend. This was her chance to play. This was her chance to fit in, to be like the others. This was OK.
The questions remain. Does she have dreams like you and I? What does the future hold for her? Does she want someday to have a career, get married, have children, have grandchildren?
Does she like pretty clothes? What kind of car would she like to drive? Does she like school? Does she believe in a higher power? Does she ask herself, "Why did this happen to me?" Does she cry anymore?
I cried when I got home. I made my daughter and son sit on the couch while I looked at their faces.
One by one, I touched their eyebrows and felt the incredible softness and smoothness of their foreheads and their cheeks and their skin, and I marveled at their beauty.
I had never noticed before that my son's eyelashes, black as night, touch his upper cheek when he closes his eyes. I had never seen my daughter's fine, high cheekbones.
I looked at their faces, and I remembered her.

Friday, September 29, 2006

From the Unruly Comment Box...

Just last night I noted that we've been getting some really fantastic visitors here at the Unruly Mob, and we really enjoy hearing their voices. And this comment from Philly Gorilla is a shining example of voices we like to chant out our rage with:

Suddenly my sense of humor is gone, replaced with an empty feeling of dread. The Writ of Habeas Corpus has been thrown to the wind - for nothing more than a cheap mid term election ploy - a short-sighted, narrow-minded, delusional stunt to allow the propaganda masters to proclaim that somehow this makes us safer...or more powerful. No longer do we have the moral high ground, nor the checks and balances that made this Country what it once was: the beacon of Freedom and Democracy. What is left is a mere shell of what we once were, the 'Corpus' now being consumed by the parasites that infest it, leaving us, the People - for which this country was founded by, for and of - to wonder:
Is this the beginning of the end of the "Great Experiment?"
...brought on by a small gang of ignorant, greedy fools, who know nothing of their own history, who are bound only by their lust for power and their willingness to betray the sacred covenant for which this country was founded?

The Constitution of the United States of America has now been relegated to nothing more than a “God Damned Piece of Paper.” The covenant has been broken; the vision, lost, left only to reside only in the hearts and minds of the People who still believe. I now am left to search for new meaning in the words of a great leader, Abraham Lincoln, who spoke them nearly 183 years ago:

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure...and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Shall not perish from the earth... Perhaps it will come to pass, just as it did so many years ago, that the People will once again have to bring forth to a new “continent” the vision that provided us such Liberty, such prosperity for so many years. Some 2000 years ago, The Roman Empire also morphed from a Republic governed by the will of the people, into an Empire - governed by the One, for the Few, and ironically, for many of the same reasons that we see today with our Republic: Greed and Ignorance feeding on the fears of an embattled people in order to gain power and wealth only for themselves.

And when Rome finally died its inevitable death, the vision did not die with it. For it remained to be told in the legends of a long before conquered Roman land, Britania. The Legend we now know as ‘King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table’ was not merely a myth based on nothing, but instead was the vision of a “res republica” – transferred from a dying Roman Empire by perhaps only one man. And then, nearly 700 years later, the vision was born again in the form of the Magna Carta – which in time again grew into the Republic that eventually became the United States of America.

History shows us time and time again that whenever the will of the people is allowed to be subverted by the will of the few, that the path to ruin is set forth, and there is little to stop the slow march to self-destruction. We, too, now have been set on this path by the greed of the few, and it is now up to us, the People, to hold fast to the vision that we cherish – so that it “shall NOT perish from the earth.”

A Sad Day For America

Looking over comments on several blogs this morning, the dominant reaction I read over and over again is the haunting phrase, "a sad day for America" echoing like the death knell of a great nation.
It is indeed a sad day, but is it really America anymore?

Without the constitution and its protections embodied in the bill of rights, America is little more than a large area of land separating Canada from Mexico. In coming generations this phrase, 'a sad day for America' may become associated with September 28, 2006 in the same way that 'a day that will live in infamy' became associated with Dec. 7, 1941. And that truly is sad.

Other words come to mind, in particular those of John Locke (1632-1704). A philosophical empiricist and social theorist well ahead of his time, his ideas sparked a smouldering fire that burst into full flame long after his death, in the American and French Revolutions. This from Wikipedia;
Locke has often been classified as a British Empiricist, along with David Hume and George Berkeley. He is equally important as a social contract theorist, as he developed an alternative to the Hobbesian state of nature and argued a government could only be legitimate if it received the consent of the governed through a social contract and protected the natural rights of life, liberty, and estate. If such consent was not given, argued Locke, citizens had a right of rebellion.
The words of Locke to which I refer are these;
"Where law ends, tyranny begins."
The War Criminals Protection Act has brought about an end to law, at least as applied to this criminal administration. Need I elaborate Führer further?

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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Beyond Outrage!

George W. Bush has been described as the Worst President Ever, at first just by his opponents on the left, then increasingly by moderates. Lately even some self-described Republicans and many conservatives have grudgingly admitted this to be a fitting epithet. If a bill currently under consideration enters into law we will have to enter Bush and his administration into a whole new league. This bill will put Bush in a class with the worst leaders of any country anywhere, at any time in recorded history.
Move aside Gaius Caligula, Ivan the Terrible, Vlad the Impaler, Josef Stalin and Adolph Hitler. Give George Bush some room on history's stage of infamy. Take your hats off Marquis de Sade, Augusto Pinochet, Pol Pot; you are mere pikers compared to this monstrous tinpot despot.
None of the above took a country with a two-centuries-old tradition of freedom, a nation defined by that freedom, "a nation of laws not men" and redefined it in the worst possible terms. For that's what this bill does.
Sold to the nation as yet another 'vitally necessary' anti-terrorist provision, it is better known as the detainee treatment act, but more accurately portrayed as The Torture Bill. Les Enragé's own Jump to the Left, currently 'too mad to blog', called it "The War Crimes Protection Bill", but I think she was just a little off the mark. Probably too mad. I think The War Criminals Protection Bill hits the bullseye.

What is it about this bill that makes it so heinous? Well, everything. Here, from a New York Times editorial, are the key provisions: to start, "a blanket waiver for crimes Americans may have committed in the service of his antiterrorism policies." A waiver that includes crimes already committed, an afront to the principle that a law cannot be made to apply to acts prior to its passage (ex post facto, in legalese.) Americans that include Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Alberto Gonzales, and an undetermined number of war criminals to be named later. Let's see what else this preposterous bill provides for: (below the fold)
Enemy Combatants: A dangerously broad definition of “illegal enemy combatant” in the bill could subject legal residents of the United States, as well as foreign citizens living in their own countries, to summary arrest and indefinite detention with no hope of appeal. The president could give the power to apply this label to anyone he wanted.

The Geneva Conventions: The bill would repudiate a half-century of international precedent by allowing Mr. Bush to decide on his own what abusive interrogation methods he considered permissible. And his decision could stay secret — there’s no requirement that this list be published.

Habeas Corpus: Detainees in U.S. military prisons would lose the basic right to challenge their imprisonment. These cases do not clog the courts, nor coddle terrorists. They simply give wrongly imprisoned people a chance to prove their innocence.

Judicial Review: The courts would have no power to review any aspect of this new system, except verdicts by military tribunals. The bill would limit appeals and bar legal actions based on the Geneva Conventions, directly or indirectly. All Mr. Bush would have to do to lock anyone up forever is to declare him an illegal combatant and not have a trial.

Coerced Evidence: Coerced evidence would be permissible if a judge considered it reliable — already a contradiction in terms — and relevant. Coercion is defined in a way that exempts anything done before the passage of the 2005 Detainee Treatment Act, and anything else Mr. Bush chooses.

Secret Evidence: American standards of justice prohibit evidence and testimony that is kept secret from the defendant, whether the accused is a corporate executive or a mass murderer. But the bill as redrafted by Mr. Cheney seems to weaken protections against such evidence.

Offenses: The definition of torture is unacceptably narrow, a virtual reprise of the deeply cynical memos the administration produced after 9/11. Rape and sexual assault are defined in a retrograde way that covers only forced or coerced activity, and not other forms of nonconsensual sex. The bill would effectively eliminate the idea of rape as torture.
You may think me an alarmist, but the combination of allowing secret, coerced evidence is the part that scares me the most. That would mean you could be accused, arrested, held, tried and even convicted on evidence produced by torture. And the Bush administration would not even have to reveal that that is where the evidence came from. That is the scariest part.

No wait, this part is even scarier: "allowing Mr. Bush to decide on his own what abusive interrogation methods he considered permissible. And his decision could stay secret." Think about it. You torture someone, but you want to have your methods remain forever secret. How does one accomplish that? In the dictatorial banana republics of South America such 'witnesses' came to be known as desaparecidos. You shouldn't need to know Spanish to translate that.
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LINKS: Glenn Greenwald: Legalization of Torture

Open Letter To Wingnut Nation

Feature: In the second of our guest blogger series Les Enragés presents a piece from Jurassic Pork, who blogs with brilliant insight and clear voice at Welcome to Pottersville. -SadButTrue-
September 28, 2006: Another Karl Rove campaign kicks off.
OK, now that it's established that the GOP's only real function is enriching Halliburton, Bechtel and the Parsons Group and keeping the right wing punditocracy employed, I have to admit to some curiosity as to what possible reason you all would still have to vote for virtually anyone in the Republican Party.

I mean, I may be jaded and cynical but I’m not stupid. Unlike the majority of your ilk, I’m smart enough not to bet on WWE matches neither do I swallow what Frank Sinatra said about his mob connections. Some things are self-evident and you have to grant me the right to start hurling breakables at the nearest wall whenever I come across someone who can’t see the obvious.

The obvious is that the Republican Party is in it for itself. They are all for staying in power, enriching their base, enriching Republican-friendly conglomerates and never, ever accepting blame for even one fuck-up. At least the Democrats have been coming out and saying, “OK, OK, we fucked up and voted for the war. True, we were voting based on cherry-picked and fabricated intelligence but now we realize the USA PATRIOT Act and the war in Iraq has quickly turned into a fucking boondoggle. So how can we fix it?”

The Republicans, meanwhile, are saying, in essence, “Not only are all our initiatives working according to plan, comrades, but we have over fulfilled our quota for the Five Year Plan and will begin a Ten Year Plan!”

To paraphrase Sponge in “Plowed”, their only chance is to connect with a dream because their best laid plans sure ain’t doing shit.

Your “President” is in over his head like a toddler stranded in the middle of the Atlantic. Meanwhile, the guy with his hand up his ass, Dick Cheney, is still clinging to the old “The insurgency is in its last throes” assertions even as virtually every day brings news of dozens more tortured bodies being unearthed in Baghdad. The GOP-run Congress has decided for the umpteenth time that it’s more important to let the Idiot Boy-King have his way than to do what’s right (read SadButTrue’s take on the nightmare fuel of a detainee bill just above this).

They had blamed the victims of Hurricane Katrina for not being solvent or smart enough to leave the city before the storm made landfall then finally slouched toward New Orleans after waiting a week, thereby proving what would happen to Blanche DuBois if she had to rely on the kindness of Republican strangers.

They’ve waged war on science and learning, have essentially turned our two party system into a paranoid monopolitical police state, have, in proud Republican fashion, rolled up one enormous deficit after another and have widened an already enormous trade imbalance with China.

The Republicans have denied you the right to file for bankruptcy, denied the Democrats votes on their amendments to said bill, have made having a national ID card with a microchip embedded in it mandatory, used No Child Left Behind as a vast data-gathering apparatus for the Pentagon, have sent your children, husbands, wives, your loved ones into a meat grinder more infamously known as Iraq while denying them armor and cutting their VA benefits.

Every intelligence agency under the American sky insists that we’re in more danger from terrorist attacks now than we ever have been, which only makes the PATRIOT Act and this detainee bill, weapons in the GWOT, look even more like the colossal, wasteful, shameless fascistic shams that they are.

Oh, yeah, your party of personal responsibility, when they’re forced to admit that fuckuppery has been committed, continually blame Bill Clinton, the Family Circus “Not Me” spirit of the GOP.

I could possibly enumerate their every evil since January 2001 but I’d like to think that I’ve made my case. If I haven’t, then I might as well be talking to Terri Schiavo. So, my question to you all is: What’s the attraction? What could possibly be in it for you to keep these ass weasels in power?

Is it the increasingly foolish and pathetic delusion that you’re getting in on the ground floor of something that history will once proudly call The Party of Bush? Or maybe by continuing to wage war on learning, on homosexuals, on immigration, on universal health care and on every progressive agenda under the sun that you’ll be given a ringside side to the Rapture so the Devil can hand out ponchos like at a Gallagher gig just before he splatters you with the brains of said liberals for daring to impose humanitarianism on humanity?

As Election Day draws near, I keep thinking more and more to the final words of a d r i f t g l a s s post entitled “Fat Karl” that ended with the words, ““Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Republican Party?”

When the current GOP, with its stubborn and insane insistence on ramming into the iceberg time and time and time and time again even as the ship is sinking, lands on the shit pile of history and we’re able to look at these times with the 20/20 vision of hindsight, I think that when people mention the Party of Bush, they will say so in hushed tones not in the spirit of reverence but of fear, as if saying “Bush” three times will somehow bring the Evil Old Idiot back to life. Schoolchildren will whisper “Party of Bush” in the same way that the children of Elm Street whisper Freddy Krueger’s name.

It will be a cautionary tale, the Party of Bush, warning us of what happens when unmitigated evil and stupidity are allowed to run its course unchecked, much like the Nazi Party, much like the Communist party, much like the ancient Roman oligarchy taught us these lessons.

What was it that George Santayana said about that?

--- Jurassicpork.

All the President's Lies

Tonight, Keith Olbermann again entered the fray of the "I did; he didn't" joust between Bush and Clinton about their respective efforts to prevent terrorism. His purpose was to compare the Bush team's assertions that Clinton didn't act to prevent, and had no plan in place to combat, the growing terrorist threat to the historical record. And to this viewers delight, he delivered another KO, point by painful point, informing us of Clinton's corroborated, documented, repeated efforts to somehow get the incoming Bush administration to take the threat of Osama bin Laden seriously.

I sometimes ask myself why Keith Olbermann is so effective. I think it may be the fact that he is willing and able to sift through the actual record, and not just the spun record. For some reason, he, unlike so many of his colleagues, is able to wade through the flood of information to get to the truth. For some reason, he is willing to honor his viewers by presenting them with the details of that truth. For some reason he doesn't treat them as if they are too stupid and too disinterested to care. For some fool reason, he acts as though we might give a damn.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


I had a beloved uncle, long dead now, who served as a Chaplain in the military during WWII. He spent most of his time in the Japanese Theatre, and the horrors he witnessed stayed with him throughout his life. As he approached his final night, he forgot most things that happened the week before, but he always remembered man's inhumanity against man, and the recollections were vivid, drenched in the color of blood. When his sleep and waking hours were inundated with the memories of those men and women he saw tortured, he cried. They were the tears of old men that know that death is near, yet they were never tears of self-pity. He cried for those who were tortured. He even cried for those who tortured. He never forgot. I don't know if he ever forgave anyone, as he didn't think it was his place to forgive. But I know this. He never straddled the fence on torture. It was wrong. It was inhuman. It destroyed the mind, the body and the soul. And now I honor him by posting this essay on why we must never torture. Anyone. For any reason. Ever.
According to the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War
Adopted on 12 August 1949 by the Diplomatic Conference for the Establishment of
International Conventions for the Protection of Victims of War, held in Geneva
from 21 April to 12 August, 1949 and entry into force 21 October 1950, Article 3 states the following:

Article 3

"In the case of armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following provisions:

1. Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.

To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:

(a) Violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;

(b) Taking of hostages;

(c) Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment;

(d) The passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.
2. The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for.

An impartial humanitarian body, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, may offer its services to the Parties to the conflict.

The Parties to the conflict should further endeavour to bring into force, by means of special agreements, all or part of the other provisions of the present Convention.

The application of the preceding provisions shall not affect the legal status of the Parties to the conflict."

We hear that old, tired argument that we have a known terrorist in captivity. This terrorist is planning on detonating a nuclear bomb in the US. We know exactly when this bomb is going off. We know every detail except where it is located. What kind of fantasy is that? If we know all these things, then why in the hell don't we know WHERE the bomb is? It's a neocon fantasy, straight from the TV show "24".

We are told that we must torture this terrorist to get the information to SAVE LIVES. But torture doesn't work. It takes weeks, sometimes month, of unbearable agony for an answer by the tortured to be given. And at that point, the tortured will say ANYTHING to get the torture to stop.

This goverment wants to torture "enemy combatants" by using waterboarding, in which you believe you will drown and which can cause organ failure. The torturers use vicious dogs to terrify, sleep deprivation to make the mind shut down, squatting or hanging in extremely painful positions for hours on end, freezing or searing hot temperatures, refusal of general medical care, and of course, the dreaded psych ops. Our doctors, never mind their Hipocratic Oath, have figured out how to tap into someone's deepest fears, and they have honed and tuned that ability to bring a prisoner into complete submission.
Our "enemy combatants" are not even allowed to commit suicide, their only option for escaping their hell on earth. They are revived, force-fed and then the torture begins again.
I reject torture. There is no middle ground. You are either against it or for it.
But most of all, I agonize that this government carries out torture in my name. And it does so in your name, too.

This I say. You will not torture. Not in my name. May God forgive you. And if he doesn't, may you face justice at The Hague someday.

An Exercise in Free Speech

The two cheeks of the same ass quote is golden, but comparing Blair to Monica Lewinski is platinum if you ask me. LMAO!"This Prime Minister is about to fall for one reason only; the wars, and the lies, and the obscene Monica Lewinski special relationship which he has entered into with the United States President, George W. Bush."

It's almost impolite for a damn furriner like myself to point this out, but there is no-one in American politics who comes close to being this outspoken. No-one. Not Ned Lamont, not even Russ Feingold, though I admire both those men for taking up a principled political position in what remains largely unoccupied territory. Even outside of politics you seldom if ever see Bill Maher or Jon Stewart take their act this far. Only Colbert at the correspondents' dinner comes close. And even that is because Colbert gets extra points because he said what he said with Bush sitting only ten feet away. Galloway and this clip both ROCK!!

I Feel Free

Had a taste for some cream.

The Station Agent at Ice Station Tango has posted a speech by British MP, George Galloway that made my morning.

And then there's Clinton's recent "Smack Down" of the attempted hit piece by Fox New.

Every time Keith Olbermann delivers a "Special Comment", Free seems how I feel.

My point is that people who speak out against the Big Lies, eloquently and in public forums, embolden us to believe the notion that distortions of history and truth are really just a house of cards that can be blown down, and that we can cause the toppling. That we, the people, matter. The possibility of change...

Shouldn't the Left be taking notes?

War... huh. What is it good for?

Can anybody tell me ONE good thing about a pre-emptive attack on a sovereign nation as per the "Bush Doctrine?" Just one good thing.

I Can't Help Myself

Olbermann Just Keeps Getting Better
I know how much flack I'm going to get for putting up this latest Olbermann YouTube video. 'Oh, you're always putting Olbermann videos on the blog', some will say. 'That story is two days old', others will complain. 'We've already got a link to that in yesterday's post', a few will point out. 'We're tired of Olbermann', naaah, nobody will say that.
The fact is, I can't help myself. Olbermann's special commentaries just keep getting better and better. I have come to grow particularly fond of his newly-branded catchphrase, 'Bush's Portable Public Chorus' describing the mainstream media that load and fire Bush's propaganda catapult for him, seldom pausing to take aim or even to chose an appropriate target. In his choice of words Olbermann subtly invokes the classic Greek tragedians, whose heroes invariably fell to the formulaic Greek flaw of hubris. And that fatal flaw, an arrogance that blinds one to one's own limitation, Bush has in spades.
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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Clinton's Anti-terror Technique

Jerry Bremer Gave it Two Big Thumbs Up, And He Won A Medal or Something
Feature: Les Enragés has been making arrangements to have guests from other blogs post here, and this is the first in a series of such posts. From Station Agent at Ice Station Tango
I watched Tucker Carlson contort himself completely out of the studio on his show today trying to make the argument that Bill Clinton was full of crap in his argument with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday--an event I just can't get over.

Carlson, and many other right wingers, can't accept that Bill Clinton did make an honest attempt to take out Osama bin Laden. Prominent Republicans in 2000, criticized the Clinton administration for focusing too heavily on bin Laden.

From the Washington Post, on December 24, 2000, about fifteen paragraphs down:
"Overall, I give them very high marks," said Robert Oakley, who served as the State Department's ambassador for counterterrorism during the Reagan administration. "The only major criticism I have is the obsession with Osama, which has made him stronger."

L. Paul Bremer, who succeeded Oakley as ambassador for counterterrorism and who recently chaired the National Commission on Terrorism, said Clarke and the Clinton administration have their resources "correctly focused on bin Laden."

Bremer, you may remember, actually said, six months before 9-11 that the Bush Administration was paying no attention to terror.

VIDEO: On Friday, Keith Olbermann talked to President Clinton about the Clinton Global Initiative.
VIDEO: On Monday, Keith Olbermann talked about Clinton and why we should be crazy (via Crooks and Liars).

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Monday, September 25, 2006

One Thing I Wanna Know

(What's so Funny 'Bout)
Peace, Love, and Understanding?

When Elvis Costello came onto the scene in the late '70s, me and my buds went NUTS over him. Is this the next Bob Dylan, or what? Equally adept with words, melody, rhythm and harmony, I think he showed himself to be one of the greats. This song encapsulates a lot of my feelings about the current situation. It's hard to believe it was written a quarter of a century ago.

As I walk through this wicked world
Searchin' for light in the darkness of insanity.
I ask myself is all hope lost?
Is there only pain and hatred, and misery?

And each time I feel like this inside,
There's one thing I wanna know:
What's so funny 'bout peace love & understanding? Ohhhh
What's so funny 'bout peace love & understanding?

And as I walked on through troubled times
My spirit gets so downhearted sometimes
So where are the strong and who are the trusted?
And where is the harmony?
Sweet harmony.

'Cause each time I feel it slippin' away, just makes me wanna cry.
What's so funny 'bout peace love & understanding? Ohhhh
What's so funny 'bout peace love & understanding?

So where are the strong?
And who are the trusted?
And where is the harmony?
Sweet harmony.

'Cause each time I feel it slippin' away, just makes me wanna cry.
What's so funny 'bout peace love & understanding? Ohhhh
What's so funny 'bout peace love & understanding? Ohhhh
What's so funny 'bout peace love & understanding?
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I originally posted this on my blog. But it no longer belongs to me. It now belongs to all of us. We The People.

Mr. President,

This is an open letter to you. I doubt you’ll ever read it, as I’m a nobody in your inner circle of worshippers. I am, though, a somebody to my family and my friends. And for their love, I exist. I am. We The People.
Mr. President, you compare yourself to Winston Churchill. You lie.
You say the world will see you as a great leader after you leave office. You lie.
You say God speaks to you, thus giving you an extraordinary messianic complex. You lie.
You speak of a hopeful world, one beyond terror. You lie.
You say ordinary men and women are free to determine their own destiny. You lie.
You quote the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which declares that equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom and justice and peace in the world. Those words are true, but your belief in them isn’t. Again, you lie.
You say we’re seeing a bright future begin to take root in the broader Middle East. You lie.
You say governments should trust their people. You lie.
You say that when leaders are accountable to their people, they are more likely to seek national greatness in the achievements of their citizens rather than in terror and conquest. You lie.
You say our country desires peace. You lie.
You say you respect Islam, yet you freely use the term “Islamofascist.” You lie.
You say to the Iraqi people that our goal is to help them build a more tolerant and hopeful society that honors people of all faiths and promotes the peace. You lie.
You say to the Iraqi people that we will not yield the future of their country to terrorists and extremists. You lie.
You say to the people of Afghanistan, that together we overthrew the Taliban. We will continue to stand with you to defend your democratic gains. You lie.
To the people of Lebanon, you say we see your suffering. You lie.
You say to the people of Iran we that have no objection to Iran's pursuit of a truly peaceful nuclear power program. We're working toward a diplomatic solution to this crisis. And yet, you salivate over the prospects of a war with Iran. You lie.
You say freedom, by its nature, cannot be imposed, it must be chosen. By gunpoint, if necessary. You lie.
You said Iraq had WMDs. You lied.
You said anyone in your administration who outed a CIA agent would be fired. You lied.
You said no would could have anticipated the levees of New Orleans would be breached. You lied.
You said you a uniter, not a divider. You lied.
You said “Mission Accomplished.” You lied.
You said gay couples seek to destroy marriage. You lied.
You claim to be a Christian. You lie.
You said private accounts would save Social Security. You lied.
You said those who oppose your views are unpatriotic. You lied.
You have a team of lawyers trying to figure out ways to bypass the Constitution, yet you deny it. You lied.
You said America doesn’t torture its prisoners. You lied.
You said wiretapping is necessary and legal. You lied.
You said you would restore honor and dignity to the White House. YOUR MOST WHOPPING LIE!

When my 5 young grandsons grow older and ask me what did I do to combat the evil you have unleashed, what will my answer be? That I voted AGAINST you? Is that really enough? I will print this letter, and have it leather bound, along with a copy of the US Constitution, to give to my grandsons. It will be my legacy to them. It will be my love to them. It will be my gift to them. It will be my heart to them. It will be my soul to them. And when my time on Earth is ended, it will be my voice to them, reminding them that the US Constitution is the most precious document ever written and they must honor, cherish, embrace and fight for it every single day of their lives.

I will whisper in their dreams the words We Are The People. And they will remember. Forever and ever. Amen.

Army Billions Short

LA Times writer, Peter Spiegel reports on the Army's warning to Rumsfeld that it's running billions short:
The Army's top officer withheld a required 2008 budget plan from Pentagon leaders last month after protesting to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld that the service could not maintain its current level of activity in Iraq plus its other global commitments without billions in additional funding.
So pay up or pull out.
Schoomaker failed to submit the budget plan by an Aug. 15 deadline. The protest followed a series of cuts in the service's funding requests by both the White House and Congress over the last four months. According to a senior Army official involved in budget talks, Schoomaker is now seeking $138.8 billion in 2008, nearly $25 billion above budget limits originally set by Rumsfeld. The Army's budget this year is $98.2 billion, making Schoomaker's request a 41% increase over current levels.
A rather hefty increase.
...Some Army officials said Schoomaker expressed concern about recent White House budget moves, such as the decision in May to use $1.9 billion out of the most recent emergency spending bill for border security, including deployment of 6,000 National Guard troops at the Mexican border. Army officials said $1.2 billion of that money came out of funds originally intended for Army war expenses.
Sounds like more Bush mismanagement. And the timing is fascinating:
Rumsfeld has not set a new deadline for the Army to submit its budget plan. The Army official said staffers thought they could submit a revised plan by November, in time for President Bush to unveil his 2008 budget early next year.
So, is this an election year trap for the Dems? If the Dems oppose the spending, then they are weak on terror, and if they support the spending, then they are hypocrites and wrong to criticize Bush about the war? Classic double bind. How to cut loose? I would call it like it is: More Bush failed war policy. More Bush budget mismanagement. More Bush political theatre. More Bush misuse of our military people, who are risking all for an illegal war that is based on lies and happens to be making a hefty profit for Bush and friends. And I'd do it now, not later.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

You HAVE to Watch This

Clinton turns the table on FOX "news"
FOX "news" host Chris Wallace had Bill Clinton on Fox News Sunday for what was obviously a planned ambush aimed at catapulting the propaganda that Clinton was somehow responsible for 9/11. Wallace acted like any typical Fox talking head acts when a progressive tries to speak on their network; rudely interrupting, even shouting Clinton down at times. Clinton most definitely did NOT act as a typically meek progressive. He aggressively turned the tables on Wallace, and asked him why he had never posed those same questions to any Bush administration officials. Not surprisingly, Wallace lied about that. Think Progress has the video, or you can go to Media Matters for the video plus a list of administration meatpuppets Fox has had on since 9/11, but not been nearly so critical of.
h/t Nigel Elliott
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Must-watch video: "The Real Friends of Terror"

This must-watch Channel 5 UK video created by "Britain's leading moral philosopher" and aired today asks moral questions of its non-philosopher viewers that are easy to understand; namely:
  • "Can suicide bombers ever be justified?
  • What is the difference between the horror and the violence created by suicide bombers and the horror and the violence created by bombs dropped from 30,000 feet by airplanes?
  • Do Americans share with "Bin Laden" some of the moral responsibility for the attack?"
Too bad our media can't broadcast the same. Even the coverage of Clinton's interview with Fox today highlighted only Clinton's vehemence, not his assertion that solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would reduce terrorism worldwide by 50%.
The Real Friends of Terror -- 40 minutes

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Bob Parry's excellent "The Bushes & the Truth About Iran"

Bob Parry was the AP reporter who broke the Iran-Contra story, and whose research for PBS and Newsweek into the 1980 "October Surprise" involving Bush Sr. sparked quashed-by-Hyde-and-Lee congressional investigations. Unknown forces then set out to destroy Parry's AP career and smear his reputation in the early 90s as a result. In 1995, Parry found classified Iran-Contra documents in a locked room in the basement of the Rayburn Building, boxed and abandoned. The country, unfortunately, was in the throes of the O.J. drama, whose year-long soap-opera coverage served to bury other explosive political revelations.

Parry's remarkable find and their significance were subsequently lost in the media din. Parry's July 21 Baltimore Chronicle article entitled "The Bushes & the Truth About Iran," however, brings those events back to the present.
Those historical facts – relating to Republican contacts with Iran’s Islamic regime more than a quarter century ago – are relevant today because an underlying theme in Bush’s rationale for war is that direct negotiations with Iran are pointless. But Bush’s own father may know otherwise. (...)

Upon taking office on Jan. 20, 2001, George W. Bush walled up the history even more by issuing an executive order blocking the scheduled declassification of records from the Reagan-Bush years. After 9/11, the younger George Bush added more bricks to the wall by giving Presidents, Vice Presidents and their heirs power over releasing documents.

But that history is vital today.

First, the American people should know the real history of U.S.-Iran relations before the Bush administration launches another preemptive war in the Middle East. Second, the degree to which Iranian officials are willing to negotiate with their U.S. counterparts – and fulfill their side of the bargain – bears on the feasibility of talks now.

Indeed, the only rationale for hiding the historical record is that it would embarrass the Bush Family and possibly complicate George W. Bush’s decision to attack Iran regardless of what the American people might want. (...)

Click on the title link above and read it all the way through.
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I'm a MAN, Baby

Last night an onthread discussion touched on Fenders, genders, and Leslies. Now anybody named Leslie knows that it can be a boy's name or a girl's, and that can cause some gender confusion. But we were talking about the Leslie Rotating Tremolo Speaker System that adds such a haunting tone to many a Hammond organ. We were also talking about a unique Fender Stratocaster guitar that didn't know what side of the plate to bat from, as it was put together from some right-handed parts, and some left-handed. Well, here's a great rock video from Steve Winwood, singing the hit he made with the Spencer Davis group at the tender age of 17, when he was no more than a mannish boy.

This tune, besides simply kicking serious ass on its own merits, manages to show off the Fender Stratocaster, the Hammond Organ, and the wonderful sound of the Leslie cabinet all in one go. A manly tip of my frilly bonnet goes out to Blue Moonchild, who may take note of the fact that Hammond sides with Fender on the issue of tremolo vs. vibrato, and against the vocal coaches. The doppler effect of the Leslie clearly creates a (perceived) change in pitch, not volume. You can see how I might have been confused on that issue.
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Friday, September 22, 2006

Video companion to "I WANT A HERO"'re gonna need a soul transfusion..."


I've been thinking a lot lately about the meaning of the word hero. Some time ago, I lost interest in acquiring "stuff". I am entering that phase of life when I am more interested in giving back to my fellow humans, and I have found a new purpose in life. It's called passion.
I want a hero. I want a President who defines the word, in actions and deeds. I want a President who is compassionate, articulate, diplomatic, and dedicated to uphold, with the highest regard, The Constitution of the United States. I want a President who cherishes our Bill of Rights, and holds those truths to be self-evident.
I want a hero.
I don't want a presidential imposter who tortures, who denigrates those who question him, who relishes spying on innocent Americans, who lies with every spoken word,and who enriches his friends while impoverishing the rest of us. I don't want a presidential imposter who lets a major city drown, who refuses to listen to dissent, who corrals those of us who protest his crimes in a "Free Speech" zone miles from where he is speaking to his carefully chosen faithful. I don't want a presidential imposter who divides us, derides us, and laughs at our belief in Democracy. I don't want a presidential imposter who launches a war of aggression against a sovereign nation, then refuses to attend the funeral of ONE of the thousands of soldiers killed in his failed war. I don't want a presidential imposter who thinks the Constitution is just a "goddamn piece of paper." I don't want a presidential imposter who smirks while talking down to us, who gropes heads of state, who farts to startled young staffers and then laughs about it. I don't want a presidential imposter who is a dry drunk, an arrogant spoiled brat, a C student, and a former cheerleader who loves to play war, with other people's loved ones. I don't want a presidential imposter who shirked his duty in the military and who embraces those who swiftboat anyone that dares question him about his dereliction of duty.
I want a hero. A real one. I want a President who can inspire and uplight our bruised and battered souls. I want a President who can make me do more, care more, and work harder to unite our fractured country.
I want a hero.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Coalition of the threatened

In an interview to be aired on 60 Minutes this Sunday, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf claimed that US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage threatened to bomb his country if he did not join the war on terror. CBC News has the report;
"The U.S. threatened to bomb Pakistan 'back to the Stone Age' after the Sept. 11 attacks if the country refused to help America with its war on terrorism, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf says.
In an interview with CBS's 60 Minutes to air on Sunday, the Pakistani leader said the threat came from then-deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage. Musharraf said it was delivered to his intelligence director. 'The intelligence director told me that [Armitage] said, 'Be prepared to be bombed. Be prepared to go back to the Stone Age,' Musharraf said. 'I think it was a very rude remark.'"
Do ya think? I don't have my etiquette guide to hand, but my instinct says this goes way beyond 'very rude', all the way to PSYCHOTIC RUBBER-ROOM BATSHIT CRAZY. I'll get back to you on that after I've consulted Emily Post.
"Musharraf also said the U.S. made some demands that were 'ludicrous,' including one to suppress vocal support in his country for terrorism in the U.S. 'If somebody's expressing views, we cannot curb the expression of views,' Musharraf said."
Can nothing be done to curb this mad-dog of a pResident? He has admitted to more crimes than Ted Bundy and the Green River Killer put together. He brings shame to the White House and to America every time he opens his stupid, smirking mouth. He's ruining the economy while enriching his small circle of fiends (not a typo). He cares nothing about the average American, as amply demonstrated in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He calls himself a Christian while going against every article of faith. He has sworn to defend the Constitution, and uses it to wipe his ass. Would someone at least force him to take his medication?
Consider this an open thread. Express your views.
Links: BBC News Report
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Indulge me please...


Christian Eugene entered the world with hope and promise on September 16th at 1:25 p.m.

Feel free to tell me I look too young to be a Grandma.

For this child I have prayed. I Samuel 1:27

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Light a Candle for Liberty

I looked for Liberty late one night
Wading word and treading thread
My journey long had made me ill
No comfort for my head
But Liberty was hid from me
The hounds were on the loose
Dear Liberty and company were running from the noose.

I searched every site I found
Though broken Justice had been crowned
The bitter fruit my lips did parch
And truth it seemed was on the march
In shackles tightly bound.

Dear Liberty fled, the sign-post said
Democracy, long underfed
Tales of trial did abound
Truth, lost Liberty did confound
Inspiration, all but dead.

And I with lighted candle vowed
To trod through fertile fields once ploughed
For seeds of Truth that had been cowed
To help them breathe and speak out loud.

Though Liberty stayed safely hid
Despite the countless pleadings bid
I felt Liberty's shadow nigh
And thus refused to say goodbye
When Liberty softly did.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Y-aaaarghhhhh -Open Thread, Me Mateys!!

Aaargh! - Shame be it upon me! I almost Faaarghot!

Omigawd! I almost forgot, Today is international talk like a pirate day, and I haven't even gotten in a decent 'avast', 'belay that', 'shiver me timbers', or even a full-bellied, 'aaaarghhh' all day. With less than 5 hours left in the day (in my eastern time zone), I'm going to have to call everyone a scurvy knave or a lusty wench a bunch of times to make up for it. In less forgiving circumstances, I might well expect to be keel-hauled, and then made to walk the plank. Shiver me bloody timbers!

Canadian Terror Suspect Vindicated

After being kidnapped by the FBI in Sept., 2002 and held in a Syrian jail where he was repeatedly beaten and tortured, Maher Arar is now vindicated. After 127 days of public testimony, and many days of testimony behind closed doors, a commission of inquiry headed by Justice Dennis O'Connor concluded, "I am able to say categorically that there is no evidence to indicate that Mr Arar has committed any offence or that his activities constitute a threat to the security of Canada."Obviously the 'post-9/11' FBI have failed to distinguish the difference between legitimate security operations and common thuggery, but it was not within the commission's mandate to assess the actions of non-Canadian entities. The commission did find considerable fault with Canada's RCMP, as reported in the Toronto Star.
"In the tense and suspicious aftermath of 9/11, the federal government foolishly rushed an in-experienced (sic) and ill-prepared RCMP back into the complex, shades-of-grey world of spying.
It was a mistake with sadly predictable consequences. Within months, the RCMP was stomping all over an innocent Canadian's rights as well as his privacy and, two years later, it was again hiding its actions from political masters...It wrongly identified him as an Islamic extremist, fingered him to the U.S., and then slowed Foreign Affairs efforts to rescue him from a filthy Syrian cell not much bigger than a coffin."
The ensuing actions show Canada approached the brink of the same kind of tyranny characteristic of the American 'anti-terrorism' efforts under the BushCo™ reign of terror, but thankfully stepped back from that brink.
"Jean Chrétien's government blurred the critical line between intelligence-gathering and crime-prevention, with awful results for Arar as well as for public confidence in the RCMP...the RCMP brought that public humiliation on itself when it figuratively kicked down Ottawa Citizen reporter Juliet O'Neill's door. Until that January, 2004, raid, the federal government stood steadfast against rising demands for a public inquiry into the Arar affair.
But what was widely seen as an attempt to intimidate the press was too much for a new Paul Martin administration, trying to distance itself from its predecessor. Martin publicly declared O'Neill innocent and promised to get to the bottom of the Arar case."
The result is in the report handed down by Justice O'Connor. The bottom of the Arar case has proven to be very low indeed. If we go beyond the Arar case to US activities of kidnapping, rendition and torture in general the bottom is lower still. At least in Canada we have a government that shines a light into their darkest places.
In America we see a government that continues to deny their own criminal activity. Then when it becomes undeniable, they deny that there is anything illegal about it. Then, when THAT becomes undeniable, they try to retroactively make legal the most egregiously despicable actions. Sickening. As Glenn Greenwald asks, "How can you be an American citizen and not be completely outraged, embarrassed, and disgusted by this conduct?"
Cross-posted from Friendly Neighbour
Unclaimed Territory - "Moral Authority" under Bush.
BBC News - article.
New: NPR radio report, with audio of Arar in his own words. h/t Pam
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Sunday, September 17, 2006

Bush's Scarlet Letter

A is for Appeaser.

And you SHALL let me torture, by God, or by the power vested in me, by me, you will wear the Scarlet Letter!!

Last week Rumsfeld made a mockery of history by comparing those who dare to exercize the voice of Democracy by criticizing the president's failed war policy to Hitler's appeasers:

In unusually explicit terms, Rumsfeld portrayed the administration's critics as suffering from 'moral or intellectual confusion' about what threatens the nation's security...Speaking to several thousand veterans at the American Legion's national convention, Rumsfeld recited what he called the lessons of history, including the failure to confront Hitler..."I recount this history because once again we face similar challenges in efforts to confront the rising threat of a new type of fascism," he said.
The Seattle Times reported, "His use of the word 'appease' was particularly notable, clearly tying administration critics to the failed efforts of the pre-Churchill British government to mollify Hitler." True to form, Newt Gingrich defended Rumsfeld's remarks.

Bush, through Powell, has let it be known that he, his supporters, and his war policies plainly and embarrassingly align with the fascist friends of Franco.

Rumsfeld asked, "Can we truly afford to believe that somehow, some way, vicious extremists can be appeased?'' In a word, no. The lessons of history have shown that we cannot afford to appease Bush and his company of war mongering profiteers. It is time to rein in the imperial reign of Bush once and for all.

To Our International Readers

And I'm praying you're out there, because I want to know: WHERE'S THE OUTRAGE?

Our President says, "We don't torture," and yet we have the pictures. Now he wants to "clarify" provisions of the Geneva Conventions. Where's the outrage?

The world should be outraged by President Bush's proposal to redefine Geneva Conventions. And, frankly, the world can get along just fine without us. So where are your cries of outrage? Your calls for boycott? Sanctions? Recalling your diplomats?

Why your silence?

YouTube Gem - Workin' On It

Mobster HillCountryGal posted a fantastic music video on her blog last night, The Road to Hell, by British blues-rock star Chris Rea. It blew me away, but I find it a bit unsettling that someone this great gets no airplay in North America. Could it be the airwaves in America have become a little too corporatist? Anyway, I was thinking of posting it here too, but how would that give anyone the incentive to visit HCG's blog? Instead, I'm posting this other Chris Rea video, 'Workin' On It.' Enjoy!

I wish I'd had this video when I was posting for Labour Day!
BTW - As always with music videos, consider this an OPEN THREAD.
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Saturday, September 16, 2006

Somebody Who Understands

It's Not 'A Series Of Tubes'
Senator Ted Kennedy (D) of Massachussets demonstrates that he understands the internet much better than the laughable buffoon Senator Ted Stevens (R) of Alaska. Perhaps if the internet was a series of bridges to nowhere Stevens would understand it. Click the 'Save the Internet' poster on the left, or right HERE for more info.
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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Savage Senate?

Talk Radio Network's The Savage Nation, Sept. 12th edition (Via Media Matters):

Weren't we told before Barbara Boxer became a U.S. senator, before Dianne Feinstein became a U.S. senator, before Hillary Clinton became a U.S. senator, that when women became senators, we'd have a kinder, gentler Senate, a more compassionate Senate? Well, I think the results are quite clear. The Senate is not kinder and gentler or more compassionate. In fact, it's more vicious and more histrionic than ever, specifically because women have been injected into the Senate.

Tsk, tsk. Bad Media! We simply MUST blame the women! Otherwise, we might wonder if Bush "is a divider and not a uniter", wedging both congress and citizens. Afterall, a divided country could make the U.S. a lot more vulnerable to a fascist, military take-over...

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

One Jackbooted Step

Closer to a Full-Blown Police State.
As the November mid-term elections approach, many Republican Congressional and Senate candidates will be trying hard to distance themselves from the unpopular occupant of the White House. Anyone who buys this poppycock should be carefully examined for a scar on the base of their skull where the control chip was implanted. That dog, as they say, don't hunt. But it will bite.
The ever-reliable Glenn Greenwald blogged on THIS STORY in the Washington Post today;
"A Senate committee today approved a bill supported by President Bush that would enable the administration to continue a warrantless wiretapping program that the White House launched after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
The approval came after Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee blocked an amendment by Democrats that would have limited Bush's eavesdropping program and required the National Security Agency to report more often to Congress on its surveillance activities.
...Bush has urged Congress to give him "additional authority" to continue his administration's warrantless eavesdropping program."
The repetitive theme in this article is notable; "enable the administration...expand Bush's authority...additional authority...continue warrantless eavesdropping...said he needs more power...authorizing the President...sweeping authorities...authorize his warrantless eavesdropping." Pardon me for jumping to the conclusion that Bush is making a power grab. In fact, what he is hoping is that Congress can somehow retroactively legitimize the illegal, unconstitutional, and criminal acts that he has already willfully engaged in for years. After key legal decisions against him, most critically the Hamdan v. Rumsfeld decision and the more recent decisions in Michigan and Oregon against the NSA wiretapping, our boy George is seeing his moronarchy crumbling around him.
Make no mistake, Congress cannot retroactively authorize the President to break the law. It is against the Constitution. The Supreme Court does not have the authority to allow such a law, should Congress pass it, to stand. That would be nothing short of treason. But let me get back to my opening point. As much as Republican candidates will try to distance themselves from chimpy between now and November, the vote in committee on whether to approve this odious bill was split along party lines. NOT ONE Republican voted to restrict Bush's illegal, unconstitutional and criminal behaviour in any way, shape or form. If you want checks and balances, vote them out of office.
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Medicine for an Angry Mob?

Air Force Hopes to Test Non-Lethal Weapons on US Citizens for War-Time Use

AP reports:

Nonlethal weapons such as high-power microwave devices should be used on American citizens in crowd-control situations before they are used on the battlefield, the Air Force secretary said Tuesday. Domestic use would make it easier to avoid questions in the international community over any possible safety concerns, said Secretary Michael Wynne.

Crowd Control?
Angry Crowd Control??
And Political Subversives???

Because if the international community doesn't question us, it "proves" we're not doing anything wrong, so we can get away with doing it??

"If we're not willing to use it here against our fellow citizens, then we should not be willing to use it in a wartime situation," said Wynne." (Because) if I hit somebody with a nonlethal weapon and they claim that it injured them in a way that was not intended, I think that I would be vilified in the world press."
And that would NEVER happen at home OWN the press??

So, is this related in any way to Ashcroft's Hellish Vision of Detention Camps for US Citizens? I mean, if we aren't willing to do it to our own, then the international community might question us...

A Trick Question - (open thread)

Honey, does this make my ass look too bigoted?

-h/t to Blue Gal for the panties image. (Where else, fergawdsake?)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Olbermann's 9/11 Address

It IS Beyond Shameful

This one is full of juicy quotes, Olbermann once again showing himself to be the one bright shining light in the black hole that is the MSM.
"Five years later, there is no memorial to the dead...Five years later, this country's mass grave is still unmarked. Five years later,this is still just a background for a photo op. It is beyond shameful.
...They promised protection, and then showed that to them protection meant going to war against a despot whose hand they had once shaken… a despot who we now learn from our own Senate Intelligence Committee, hated Al-Qaeda as much as we did. The polite phrase for how so many of us were duped into supporting a war on the false premise that it had something to do with 9/11 is, 'lying by implication.'...The impolite phrase is, 'impeachable offense'."
A brilliant speech requires a brilliant closing, and Olbermann delivers.
"When those who dissent are told time and time again — as we will be, if not tonight by the President, then tomorrow by his portable public chorus — that he is preserving our freedom, but that if we use any of it, we are somehow un-American…
When we are scolded, that if we merely question, we have "forgotten the lessons of 9/11"… look into this empty space behind me and the bi-partisanship upon which this administration also did not build, and tell me:
Who has left this hole in the ground?
We have not forgotten, Mr. President.
You have.
May this country forgive you."
On this last point I disagree with Mr. Olbermann. I hope the country neither forgives, nor forgets the crimes of Bush and his evil minions.
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Monday, September 11, 2006

Coulter Attack to Clear Path?

Was Coulter's June attack on the 9/11 Widows (some of their responses to Ann here and here) designed to mitigate the impact of the group's forseen objection to this then in-production "film?"