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Tuesday, January 31

"Activist Cindy Sheehan Arrested at Capitol"

"Activist Cindy Sheehan, who was invited to President George W. Bush's State of the Union speech, has been arrested, according to CNN.

"Sheehan, who was invited to attend the address by California's Democratic Rep. Lynn Woolsey, was reportedly already seated in the House chamber when she was detained, CNN said.

"A Capitol police official reportedly said Sheehan had unfurled a banner, which is a violation of House rules."

Read the rest in the LA Times.

and thanks to ShakespearesSister.
============

UPDATE 2/1: Read what really happened last night by Cindy Sheehan herself at Buzzflash.

SOTU Address

This is the open thread to discuss Smirky McFlightsuit's speech this evening. For meaningful pre-speech commentary see Missouri Mule's story about 6 posts below this one.



Me, I'm so disgusted that I won't be able to watch it and will have to rely on reading a transcript so I don't have to look at him. I understand that most cable stations will not have much in the way of liberals on the post-speach panels that are aimed at explaining to the American people what they just heard. sheesh.

This just in. 10PM
Full text of the speech.

"America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world."

....and that is why we are going to blow up all them countries.




My Grandmother along with many others lost her lifesavings when the banks closed following the stock market crash of 1929. She never really trusted anybody with her money after that and always believed that she would end up by the side of the road without even a glass of water. She told me that the wealthy bank patrons were able to get their money out and didn't suffer like rest of them.

I stumbled across this article the other day and thought of her warnings to me. In case of a National Security Event only Homeland Security can allow you access to your safety deposit box and they will not release to you weapons, cash or precious metals. Being a member of the working class I do not have a safety deposit box full of cash and jewels and weapons but for all of you out there suckling at the Halliburton tit it may be time to ask a few questions at the bank. You may want to move your assets to a safer location. My Grandmother would recommend a coffee can buried in the backyard.

Thanks Blondesense Liz and all the blondes for inviting me to post and I want to encourage readers out there to not be afraid to post a comment.

Health Savings Accounts

Fascism:

From Think Progress:
President Bush will use tomorrow’s State of the Union address to promote “health savings accounts” as a solution to America’s health care crisis. Multiple studies have shown that HSAs are likely to increase the number of uninsured and increase health care costs, all while costing taxpayers tens of billions of dollars. In other words, President Bush is proposing to do for health care what he’s already tried with Social Security — placing more of the cost burden on individuals, while making the system more attractive to the wealthy but less effective for ordinary Americans who need health coverage most.

a must read

More Reasons that the Dems are in on the fascist takeover

The Democrats seem to be deliberately making every issue too complex for the average American to understand. I don't think it's an accident. It happens all the time. Time for a NEW PARTY.


From Newsweek's Jonathan Alter:

For four and a half years, Bush has politicized 9/11. His political motto has been "The only thing we have to use is fear itself." He was at it again last week, claiming with zero evidence that congressional scrutiny of the illegal NSA wiretapping would "give the enemy a heads-up on what we're doing." The media and the Democrats have both been intimidated by this devastatingly effective political strategy. It won the 2002 and 2004 elections for the Republicans and will continue to be their game plan for this November.

At first glance, making the Democrats seem soft on "terrorist surveillance" looks like another winner for the GOP. For Democrats to explain that they don't oppose all eavesdropping but object to the way it was done is a two-step answer that's too complicated to fly. A better approach would be to argue that Bush's NSA program has been a failure because it has threatened civil liberties and violated the law without doing anything to catch Osama bin Laden. The NSA obviously hasn't been eavesdropping on the right suspects.

ROLL CALL

The Associated Press tallied the 72-25 vote:

On this vote, a "yes" vote was a vote to end the debate and a "no" vote was a vote to filibuster the nomination.

Voting "yes" were 19 Democrats and 53 Republicans.
Voting "no" were 24 Democrats and one independent.

Democrats Yes Akaka, Hawaii; Baucus, Mont.; Bingaman, N.M.; Byrd, W.Va.; Cantwell, Wash.; Carper, Del.; Conrad, N.D.; Dorgan, N.D.; Inouye, Hawaii; Johnson, S.D.; Kohl, Wis.; Landrieu, La.; Lieberman, Conn.; Lincoln, Ark.; Nelson, Fla.; Nelson, Neb.; Pryor, Ark.; Rockefeller, W.Va.; Salazar, Colo.

Democrats No Bayh, Ind.; Biden, Del.; Boxer, Calif.; Clinton, N.Y.; Dayton, Minn.; Dodd, Conn.; Durbin, Ill.; Feingold, Wis.; Feinstein, Calif.; Kennedy, Mass.; Kerry, Mass.; Lautenberg, N.J.; Leahy, Vt.; Levin, Mich.; Menendez, N.J.; Mikulski, Md.; Murray, Wash.; Obama, Ill.; Reed, R.I.; Reid, Nev.; Sarbanes, Md.; Schumer, N.Y.; Stabenow, Mich.; Wyden, Ore.

Democrats Not Voting Harkin, Iowa.

Republicans Yes Alexander, Tenn.; Allard, Colo.; Allen, Va.; Bennett, Utah; Bond, Mo.; Brownback, Kan.; Bunning, Ky.; Burns, Mont.; Burr, N.C.; Chafee, R.I.; Chambliss, Ga.; Coburn, Okla.; Cochran, Miss.; Coleman, Minn.; Collins, Maine; Cornyn, Texas; Craig, Idaho; Crapo, Idaho; DeMint, S.C.; DeWine, Ohio; Dole, N.C.; Domenici, N.M.; Enzi, Wyo.; Frist, Tenn.; Graham, S.C.; Grassley, Iowa; Gregg, N.H.; Hatch, Utah; Hutchison, Texas; Inhofe, Okla.; Isakson, Ga.; Kyl, Ariz.; Lott, Miss.; Lugar, Ind.; Martinez, Fla.; McCain, Ariz.; McConnell, Ky.; Murkowski, Alaska; Roberts, Kan.; Santorum, Pa.; Sessions, Ala.; Shelby, Ala.; Smith, Ore.; Snowe, Maine; Specter, Pa.; Stevens, Alaska; Sununu, N.H.; Talent, Mo.; Thomas, Wyo.; Thune, S.D.; Vitter, La.; Voinovich, Ohio; Warner, Va.

Republicans No None.
Republicans Not Voting Ensign, Nev.; Hagel, Neb.
Others No Jeffords, Vt.


Also read Thom Hartmann, It's the Constitution That's At Stake

In the novel "1984" by George Orwell, the way a seemingly democratic president kept his nation in a continual state of repression was by having a continuous war.

Cynics suggest the lesson wasn't lost on Lyndon Johnson or Richard Nixon, who both, they say, extended the Vietnam war so it coincidentally ran over election cycles, knowing that a wartime President's party is more likely to be reelected and has more power than a President in peacetime.

And, as George W. Bush told his biographer in 1999:

"One of the keys to being seen as a great leader is to be seen as commander in chief. My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it. If I have a chance to invade, if I had that much capital, I'm not going to waste it. I'm going to get everything passed that I want to get passed and I'm going to have a successful presidency."

Similarly, Adolf Hitler used the 1933 burning of the Reichstag (Parliament) building by a deranged Dutchman to declare a "war on terrorism," establish his legitimacy as a leader (even though he hadn't won a majority in the previous election).

Monday, January 30

Alito in, women's rights out

(CBS) CHICAGO President Bush had a message for abortion opponents Monday, marking the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion.

He told them: "We shall prevail."

snip

By phone, President Bush told a group of abortion opponents, "we're working to persuade more of our fellow Americans of the rightness of our cause."

"And history tells us that with such a cause, we will prevail," he added.


Well, that's it. The triumph of religion over science, of faith over reason is near. Bush got his two terms, got his two Supreme Court justices, and the Far Right, a political and social minority, will prevail over women's rights and the majority of the country.

Tomorrow it becomes a done deal. All we need to do now is bet which case will give the Supreme Court the opportunity Bush has sought. We don't have to wait until next year. It could come at the end of this session of the Court.

By June, women may very well be forced to carry a pregnancy to term. They may be forced to give birth whether their health or life is endangered.

And if you aren't scared enough, birth control pills are next. And if you think that is wrong and that is crazy, click here to realize that you haven't been paying attention. How much do you have to lose before you believe that women really will lose? If you don't realize it you may well be caught up in such denial that you don't realize that the clock is ticking on birth control pills and other forms of contraception. Because the fetus and unwanted pregnancies are much more important much more desirable than the rights of women.

As this website puts it:


As mentioned before, only a few methods of birth control called contraception are truly contraceptives. These are the condom, the diaphragm, the cervical cap, and the anti-sperm agents. While these methods do not cause abortions, a Christian couple should still weigh the facts carefully and consider Scripture before deciding to use one of them.

Although abortifacients and contraceptives are not the same thing, it is a mistake to assume that they are not related. Both have so much to do with how we view Christian marriage and children. Society views children as a burden; the Bible views them as blessings and gifts (Psalm 127:3-5).

Before you decide that contraception is what you really want, ask yourself, "In light of Scripture, why do we want to deny ourselves blessings and gifts from God?" Ask yourself, "Can we plan our family better than God can?"

We invite you to join us in the conviction that children are among the most wonderful blessings and gifts in the world. We believe that God can plan our families infinitely better than we ever could!

State Of The Union

Soon our fearless leader, Chimp Boy, will appear in all his Glory to speak of the condition of Amerka. He'll stand there smirking and carefully read the well-rehearsed words on the teleprompter.

He will wave the flag of 9/11 to defend his criminal spying on the American citizens and ask them to "trust me." "I'm keeping you safe, children", and then he'll spread fear of another attack on the homeland. Of course he won't mention New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf Coast where the destruction was even greater than 9/11 in loss of life and property. Where the rubble of the WT Center was cleared away, shipped overseas in record time and with little concern for the health of the workers or the residents, the rubble of New Orleans still lies rotting in the street, along with innumerable dead bodies. This does not appear to concern the president. The war is going well and the economy is just fab. Amerkans are wealthy, healthy, and wise.

We will hear calls for "bipartisan support" which translated, means that all the Democrats must submit themselves to his royal judgement (as far too many of them already do) and join the Republicans in rubber stamping his every proposal. He will denigrate those of us who fear the terrorists less than we fear the destruction of our nation from the inside out by the greedy power mongers in search of slave labor and subservient underlings.

We will not hear paeans of praise for our civil rights or for our precious Constitution since the former have been trumped by the Patriot Act and the NSA wire-tapping while the latter has been dissmissed by our leader as "a goddamned piece of paper."

Actually, there is very little point in being concerned about what he will say. In actuality it will be nothing more than an edited re-run. Oh yeah, they'll cut out the part about the "mushroom cloud" and the one about WMDs. They won't, however be able to re-use the clip of "we couldn't have known," because its been established that they could have and should have known. Or why he read 'My Pet Goat' while the whole thing went down.


The only thing left is that 9/11 happened, it was awful, it was scary and, five years later we should still be hiding under our beds while the valiant King George stands bravely in the door fighting off the rest of the world and peeping through our keyholes to be sure we're safe... On second thought, let's all just watch a good movie. I heard the 40-Year-Old Virgin is funny. It will be no more fictional than the speech and much more entertaining. In the words of my 76-year-old mother, "It don't matter what the bastard says. He's layin' anyway!"

I'm So Confused!!!

Al Qaida are the bad guys. OBL is the reason for the world's ills. Then why oh why oh why was this man released from US custody?

Tabarak said he had no warning of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks but helped protect bin Laden after U.S. forces went to war in Afghanistan the following month. He said he spent 20 days hiding with bin Laden and other al Qaeda leaders in Tora Bora, in rugged mountainous terrain near the Pakistani border, as U.S. forces and their Afghan militia proxies closed in.

... Tabarak sacrificed himself so the others could escape. He took bin Laden's satellite phone, which the al Qaeda leader apparently assumed was being tracked by U.S. spy technology, and walked toward the Pakistani border as the al Qaeda leadership fled in the opposite direction. The ruse worked, although Tabarak and others were captured.

...

...his behavior at Guantanamo is further confirmation of his importance. There, they say, he developed a reputation as a tough-minded leader among the detainees. Moroccan officials have described him as an "emir" of the camp who resisted his American interrogators and catalyzed hunger strikes among prisoners.

...

Defense Department memos obtained by The Washington Post in 2004 show that Guantanamo officials repeatedly prevented inspectors from the International Committee of the Red Cross from seeing Tabarak.

Although the Red Cross was supposed to have access to all persons in military custody, Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller told Red Cross inspectors on Oct. 9, 2003, that they could not visit Tabarak or three other detainees "because of military necessity," according to the memos. On a follow-up visit Feb. 2, 2004, Miller informed Red Cross officials that they could see anyone at the base, except Tabarak. Miller once again cited "military necessity." A Defense Department spokesman declined to comment on the memos.

And now he is free.

Today, the al Qaeda loyalist known locally as the "emir" of Guantanamo walks the streets of his old neighborhood near Casablanca, more or less a free man. In a decision that neither the Pentagon nor Moroccan officials will explain publicly, Tabarak was transferred to Morocco in August 2004 and released from police custody four months later.
This makes absolutely no sense. Why does our government support al Qaida while claiming to be against them? I'm blonde. Help.

Evangelical's Debating Skills Are The Best

Now this is some frightening news from Newsweek.

The debate team from Liberty University, Jerry Falwell's fundamentalist Baptist college is ranked number 1 among college debating tournaments.

Falwell and the religious right figure that if they can raise a generation that knows how to argue, they can stem the tide of sin in the country. Seventy-five percent of Liberty's debaters go on to be lawyers with an eye toward transforming society. "I think I can make an impact in the field of law on abortion and gay rights, to get back to Americans' godly heritage," says freshman debater Cole Bender.

...

Falwell's school, in Lynchburg, Va., pours a half million dollars into the debate program every year, with the goal of eventually flooding the system with "thousands" of conservative Christian lawyers. "We are training debaters who can perform assault ministry, meaning becoming the conscience of the culture," says Falwell, who is also hoping the team will elevate the humble academic reputation of Liberty itself. "So while we have the preaching of the Gospel on the one side—certainly a priority—we have the confronting of the culture on moral default on the other side."

...

Karl Rove was impressed enough by the squad that he tapped Liberty coach Brett O'Donnell to prep George W. Bush for all three presidential debates in 2004. O'Donnell briefed the president on his nonverbal tics. "They didn't listen to me until after the debacle," says O'Donnell, of Bush's awkward first debate performance.
Heh. That last part is funny.

Your Tax Money Is Going To Religious Groups

One quarter of the $15 billion alloted to AIDS went to religious organizations who tout abstinence rather than condoms in Africa. Many of these religious organizations have no experience in AIDS education.

AP-
Conservative Christian allies of the president are pressing the U.S. foreign aid agency to give fewer dollars to groups that distribute condoms or work with prostitutes. The Bush administration provided more than 560 million condoms abroad last year, compared with some 350 million in 2001.

Secular organizations in Africa are raising concerns that new money to groups without AIDS experience may dilute the impact of Bush's historic three-year-old program.
...

Condom promotion to anyone must include abstinence and fidelity messages, U.S. guidelines say, but those preaching abstinence do not have to provide condom education.

The abstinence emphasis, say some longtime AIDS volunteers, has led to a confusing message and added to the stigma of condom use in parts of Africa. Village volunteers in Swaziland maintain a supply of free condoms but say they have few takers.
Did you get the part about conservative christians not wanting money to go to AIDS groups that work with prostitutes or give out condoms. Does this mean that they want those people to die? Out of all the AIDS patients in the world, 60% of them are in Africa. Those missionaries are sure doing a bang up job.

Furthermore, in another article: Botswana Adopts Radical Approach to HIV

GABORONE, Botswana - When Botswana first offered free AIDS treatment, health authorities in one of the world's most infected countries braced for a rush of patients. It did not happen.

It turned out that most people were so afraid of the deadly disease, and the frequent social ostracism, that they did not want to know if they were infected.

....

Doctors here believe pulling patients aside for special counseling is intimidating and helps fuel the stigma that keeps patients from seeking help.

"In fact, we found that people who had not made their minds up quite often were definitely against it once the pretest counseling was done," said Dr. Howard Moffat, medical superintendent at Princess Marina Hospital in the capital, Gaborone.

Africans think because AIDS was initially a gay disease in the US, it carries a terrible stigma. Most AIDS patients in Africa are heterosexual. Botswana gives out free medicine to patients, but there weren't many takers because less than 10% of those with HIV even know that they have it until it's too late. Now HIV testing may become mandatory when someone visits a doctor. More women are takers than men. Early testing is important because HIV can be treated in many cases. The article didn't mention whether or not they had sex education or christian missionaries in Botswana.



Frist on Cheat the Press

This morning Frist declared that Americans don't want the government to interfere with "End-of-Life" cases while looking back at the Terri Schiavo debacle where bush rushed from his vacation to the WH to pretend to give a shit about life.

The government is responsible for enough deaths as it is. How could anyone in their right mind believe that the government cares about life issues, especially bush or anyone who supports the war on Iraq, outrageous defense spending, etc. It's in the government's best interest to see to it that more earthlings die so that there is more for them.

AP- Looking back, Frist said, "When you're taking innocent life, with parents who want that life preserved, you've got to make sure, and therefore stepping in to say, let's take one more review, that's what we did."

He added: "I accept the outcome. I don't agree with the moral sense of it."

A senator with moral sense? feh. Innocent life. feh. He deems who is innocent or not? Ha. He ought to go and spend a week in Iraq.

The article ends with him thinking about running for preznit. Fat chance. Why hasn't he been indicted?

Sunday, January 29

Is it just me?

Or is the tide beginning to turn, if in miniscule pop-culture ways?

I know that I'm probably the only person around here who reads the Parade Magazine that comes in the Sunday paper, but it's a handy little quickie gauge of the Wonder-Bread-eating populace.

Now, I don't wanna be premature, I'm not the Chicken Little of schaedenfreude, but --- the Personality Parade, where they regularly felate pompous & overaged Hollywood types and berate/nag/belittle the few remaining "liberals" in L.A., they actually mocked Paris Hilton and Brangelina, but discussed unions (LABOR unions, not shotgun weddings) in a less-than-snide way. Trivial? Sure. A harbinger of fickle Murkins finally emerging from their five-year snooze? Mebbe.

There's a cover story about how Sarah Jessica Parker "deserves" her fame because she's from a working-class family of 8 kids and divorced parents, with a step-father who drove a truck (cliche' as fuck, I know, and she still irks the living shit out of me, but it mentions the working class as being THREE-DIMENSIONAL HUMANS, instead of mere cannon fodder).

The "Intelligence Report" is all about "Iraq: Who Wrote The Plan?" Pretty wide-eyed attempt at journalism for a "paper" that routinely nuzzles up to Karl Rove's scrotum with all earnest enthusiasm. They have a yearly feature, "Who's The World's Worst Dictator?" and have they ever included BushCheneyCo. in the poll? Pfft.

Every week, it's flag-waving, chest-thumping, rah-rah, breed-breed-breed, ain't Murka cute and cuddly, go Aggies, sports is IMPORTANT, status-quo reinforcement to the 9th power. Don't forget the weekly damned-near free advertising for the military recruiters.

And this week, James Brady's celebrity profile name-checks Al Gore (it's about Tommy Lee Jones) with a straight face and nary a flinch! I damned near fainted.

Yeah, I know, PARADE is within spitting distance of the National Enquirer. No shit. But I've been reading the paper since I was 6 or 7 years old, and the Sunday paper is still a treat for me. And, as I've said, it's an interesting glance into the world of pro-breeding, flag-waving, patriotism-poisoned Murkins. (Without being tainted by the disease itself, of course.)

I think that this is a flare. I think that they're finally realizing that they should be more than a little terrified by this monster that their selfishness & narcissism hath wrought. Dawn is finally breaking through a crack in the armor. There might be hope for this country yet.

But don't quote me on it.

'Cause hope is something that I haven't seen a helluva lot of since Clinton's re-election commercials, and y'all KNOW that I mean the town.

It's so warm that...

I've been living across the street from a golf course for 25 years. This is the first time I have ever seen the greens open in the winter and today I noticed that the golfers were using golf carts (I have never seen a golf cart before spring.)

Scientists are declaring that the earth is warming up faster than they had predicted and are making the assertion that the acceleration is caused by human activity. Check out Debate on Climate Shifts to Issue of Irreparable Change
"While scientists remain uncertain when such a point might occur, many say it is urgent that policymakers cut global carbon dioxide emissions in half over the next 50 years or risk the triggering of changes that would be irreversible."

People and animals emit a whole lot of carbon dioxide too. Perhaps we are a bit too overpopulated... I read an article about vegetarianism cutting global warming in my New Scientist Magazine. The article isn't on their website, so I shall transcribe some of it.

From "Green Your Diet Before Your Car"(New Scientist, Dec 17-23, 2005): (A study from the U of Chicago) says "you can do more for the planet by going vegan."

They compared the amount of fossil fuel needed to cultivate and process various foods, including running agricultural machinery, providing food for livestock and irrigating crops. They also factored in emissions of methane and nitrous oxide produced by cows, sheep and manure treatment.

The typical US diet, about 28% comes from animal sources, generates the equivalent of 1.5 tons more carbon dioxide per person than a vegan diet with the same number of calories, say researchers...

By comparison, the difference in annual emissions between driving a typical car and a hybrid car is just over 1 ton.
So if you really must drive an SUV, then you can do your part by giving up meat. Who knew?

Uh oh, New Scientist also has an article about vegetation. not vegetarianism. Plants and vegetation don't only give off methane gas when they rot, as was commonly believed, they gives off methane gas in general. It accounts for 10-30% of all the methane pumped into the atmosphere!

Damned if you do. Damned if you don't.

Update: Clinton: Climate Change World's Biggest Concern
Someone should tell him how unAmerican he is.

We Have The Very Telling Pictures

that the White House doesn't want you to see.


Saturday, January 28

just a suggestion

Ann Coulter suggested at one of her performances in Little Rock that, "We need somebody to put rat poisoning in Justice Stevens' creme brulee," Coulter said. "That's just a joke, for you in the media."

I have a suggestion, too. Since it is a violation of federal law to threaten the life of a judge, people who share my concern that Coulter is unfit to be an attorney should contact the New York State Bar Association and inquire if Ms. Coulter should be sanctioned or reprimanded for her "joke."

Update:
The smart souls at FireDogLake have the necessary information.
as of 01/27/2006


Registration Number: 2283133

ANN HART COULTER

PO BOX 1241

NEW YORK NY 10028


(646) 327-3338

Year Admitted in NY: 1989
Appellate Division
Department of Admission:
3
Law School: U OF MICHIGAN
Registration Status: Currently registered
Next Registration: Dec 2007

Since she's in the Third Department complaints must be filed here:

3rd Department Committee on Professional Standards
Committee on Professional Standards
40 Steuben Street
Albany, NY 12207
(518) 474-8816

Activism: Get on the Senator's Cases

It's too cold for the beach so....
Get busy telling senators that NOT doing what is right will cost them the next election.
Tell everyone you know to step on it.

It seems that the main switchboards are overloaded.
Get instant local district phone numbers for your senators here.
You can also send an email form at the website. It also goes to your local newspapers. I did that and my letter was published in Newsday.

NoCrony.com's message for senators is this:
Your vote to support a filibuster will NOT cost you an election. Any other vote absolutely will. Respect the will of the people and you will have the most mobilized and committed activists in the country to contribute and work tirelessly for your behalf. Oppose the will of the people and we will raise challengers to you in your own primaries and contribute every dime we have to them to defeat you, and failing that we will look to find ANY other candidate in the general election to support. Listen to the people or your political career will be the REAL done deal. EMPHASIZE that you are a constituent (IF you are) and provide contact information to prove it.

Nocrony.com also advises that:

If you have Republican senators, it is just as important to contact them with the additional message of how outraged you will be if they try to pull some nuclear option stunt.

You should concentrate on the local office closest to you, and if you are doing faxing, you should also definitely hit the Washington number as well, on the chance that there is a piece of fax paper left there. If you are looking to do even MORE, here is the master list of ALL phone and fax numbers for ALL senators, with annotations about which are the most critical swing votes.

If you are are calling senators in other states, be candid that you are not a direct constituent. But the message is the same, if you stand with the party on this one we will go out of our way to help you. Otherwise we will flood your state with money and labor to support ANY candidate who runs against you until the end of time.

Ben Nelson of Nebraska, the first Democratic senator to betray the cause, is monitoring his phone messages this weekend, as are Robert Byrd (WV) and Tim Johnson (SD).
Gang of 14:
Pryor (AR) 202-224-2353
Salazar (CO) 202-224-5852
Lieberman (CT) 202-224-4041
Inouye (HI) 202-224-3934
Landrieu (LA) 202-224-5824
Nelson (NE) 202-224-6551
Byrd (WV) 202-224-3954
Other Swing Democrats:
Lincoln (AR) 202-224-4843
Dodd (CT) 202-224-2823
Carper (DE) 202-224-2441
Nelson (FL) 202-224-5274
Levin (MI) 202-224-6221
Baucus (MT) 202-224-2651
Dorgan (ND) 202-224-2551
Conrad (ND) 202-224-2043
Bingaman (NM) 202-224-5521
Wyden (OR) 202-224-5244
Johnson (SD) 202-224-5842
Murray (WA) 202-224-5274
Feingold (WI) 202-224-5323
Kohl (WI) 202-224-5653
Rockefeller (WV) 202-224-6472

Republican Moderates:
McCain (AZ) 202-224-2235
Murkowski (AK) 202-224-6665
Collins (ME) 202-224-2523
Snowe (ME) 202-224-5344
DeWine (OH) 202-224-2315
Voinovich (OH) 202-224-3353
Smith (OR) 202-224-3753
Specter (PA) 202-224-4254
Chafee (RI) 202-224-2921
Warner (VA) 202-224-2023


Don't forget:
Sign John Kerry's petition to all senators.

Obama says there aren't enough votes to filibuster.
Get to work!

The Week in Review

Trying to connect the dots is hard work. Bear with me.

Pentagon says Army is stretched too thin... Rummy says no, blames Clinton... Defense spending in the news is hard to follow but it's wasteful as hell at the very least... Bin Laden may strike again so we better continue to eavesdrop... Israel threatens Iran... Iran vows to retaliate... US and UK gear up... Palestine elects Hamas...War, war and more war on horizon... Bush suggests cutting the reserves and national guard anyway. WHAT?

Earlier this week a Pentagon study (written by former Army officer Andrew F. Krepinevich Jr. and funded by the Department of Defense, mind you) revealed that the Army was stretched to the breaking point. Rumsfeld argued that it was not true and that all the experience of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan has made the Army stronger, not weaker. It exhausts me just to read about all the troops going in and out of war, but that's just me.

Meanwhile, government media shill, Bob Schieffer reported on January 25th: "Defense Secretary Rumsfeld took strong issue today with former Clinton administration officials who say the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have stretched the U.S. military to the near breaking point...." But it was the other report, the one funded by the DoD, which made the news first. What do in a pinch? Blame the Clinton administration. It's not my fault, waaaaaa

This week, the president warned us that bin Laden may strike. We ought to take him seriously, he said. We will fight bin Laden by secret wiretapping programs (and I suppose it's also a good thing that our Army is stronger not weaker). The U.S. military plans to add nearly 8,000 troops to its elite Special Operations Forces(Army Green Berets, Navy SEALs and the top-secret Delta Force) next year to bolster America's ability to fight terrorists and insurgents worldwide. WaPo reported that billions of dollars would be added to the Special Operations budget over the next five years, (if Congress approves the plan). That's good, I think. I still maintain that Special Forces should have taken care of bin Laden and Saddam rather than bombing the shit out of the countries of Iraq and Afghanistan, but that would have been logical and not good for defense industry shareholders.)

Does anyone understand what is going on with the defense spending? I don't. Seriously. The US lost track of $9 billion in Iraq in 2004. Auditors were unable to verify that money given to Iraqi ministries was spent for its intended purposes. The money is still out there in limbo and no one seems to care. Paul Bremer disagreed with that audit at the time saying that it was hard work to have a transparent budget in a time of war.... so Bush slapped a medal of freedom on him anyway. Hard work is hard work.

The Defense Department is overpaying for appliances such as $20 for an ice cube tray that would sell at the dollar store for a buck. Why? Because they use a middle man who sets the prices rather than going to the manufacturer. It's a multibillion-dollar Pentagon purchasing system called the prime vendor program. The pentagon has dismissed claims from whistleblowers who call on the whistleblower hotline that there has been misspending. Maybe the hotline number is left over from the Clinton years. Critics charge that this program pissed away about $200 million. Not surprising. Why not hire a government employee to do the research and buy from individual manufacturers to save money? I could do it. Oh wait, that would mean that we weren't leaning towards a fascist dictatorship. Nevermind.

We also read that war with Iran may be looming. Israel threatened to attack Iran. If the US doesn't tell Israel to cool it, wouldn't the US be viewed as an accomplice by the Arab world? And that is really going to piss off the Iraqi's. Forget about ever having a stable government in Iraq. Iran has said it will strike back if attacked with "very effective missile defense." Uh oh. Thank god they don't have nukes.

Everything bush is saying about Iran, he said about Iraq. If I read between the lines here, he's saying that we invaded the wrong country. Since no one knows exactly where all of Iran's secret nuclear labs are. Is Israel going to have to bomb the whole country out of existence? Does anyone really think that Iran is just going to cower after being attacked? It just may take a bit longer for them to make nukes, if anything. But that is good news for war profiteers.

But wait, what middle eastern country is going to allow Israel to fly over its airspace to attack Iran? Flying over Saudi Arabia or Jordan would probably be viewed as an act of war. Perhaps Turkey? The whole thing sounds like a bunch of bullying. Maybe the US ground forces will just go into Iran and jail the wives of Iranian leaders to make them surrender. And we wonder why troops come home nuts from Iraq.

Bush is going to propose a trimming of the Army Reserves and the National Guard. Yes, that's right. Stop blinking your eyes. It's in today's news. But it's really just on paper. No one is really being laid off.

What the Army wants to do in the name of "achieving a new balance of troop strength" is lower the current alloted slots of of Reservists from 205,000 to 188,000 (the actual number of reservists). Likewise with the National Guard: cut the force from the alloted slots of 35,000 soldiers to 333,000 (the actual number of guardsmen). It sounds like they are just trying to futz around with the numbers so that when they make their reports, they won't have to admit that not enough people are signing up.

The article goes on to warn stockholders about changes in defense spending: GE and Rolls Royce which make the engines for the Joint Strike Fighter the military's next-generation combat plane may be dumped as suppliers. Tony Blair sent bush a handwritten note about this travesty. This will cut jobs here and abroad. If bush ignores Blair's note, what will Blair do to retaliate? Where does that leave stockholders? Buy Pratt & Whitney stock which provides back up in the alternate engine program?

See also
Lockheed Martin's bright future
Boeing is going to streamline its defense operations
4th-quarter spending dips

I really couldn't connect the dots effetively because everything seems contradictory on the surface. Y'all can feel free to help me out here. It does all seem to lie with money and oil if I read between the lines. In a nutshell, the biggest threat to the American people appears to be its government.

UPDATE SUNDAY AM: You can't make this up.
US Army forces 50,000 soldiers into extended duty
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Army has forced about 50,000 soldiers to continue serving after their voluntary stints ended under a policy called "stop-loss," but while some dispute its fairness, court challenges have fallen flat.

Friday, January 27

Hot damn and crack the plum wine!

Happy Chinese New Year!

As of January 28th/29th, it will officially be, once again, The Year Of The Dog.

(Okay, so I don't generally put a lot of stock in hocus-pocus/zodiacs/cults/voodoo/etc. But the last time that I had a really good year was 1994, and I am A Dog {1970}, so what the hell --- cross yer fingers and drink some plum wine!)

GUNG HAY FAT CHOY!



I Love A Good Argument:

From The Written Peace: Open Forum of January 23, 2006:

"Spine transplants for Democratic politicians are not yet possible, and testicle transplants are at best pretty iffy; for the time being..." -- The Dark Wraith

To which 'My Pet Goat' responded: "I would argue that both are possible, and that even spontaneous regeneration can actually happen in some instances. Most of the time though, the remnant DNA from the DINO causes organ rejection. This leaves us with invertebrate eunuchs with good intentions for surviving the next election without conflict."

And the most important trait in a mate is...

It depends who you ask

The New Fascism

It's Fascist Friday again here at Blondesense because no, we will not refrain from calling it what it is.

Today's reading:
The New Fascism
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Perspective


Excerpt: Say "fascism" to anyone you meet, and you will be greeted with the boilerplate response of the blithely overconfident: such a thing cannot happen here. This is the United States of America, land of the free and home of the brave. Ours is a nation of laws, of checks and balances, of righteousness and decency. Our laws and traditions stand as a bulwark against the rise of totalitarian madness. It cannot happen here. Thus we are indoctrinated into the school of our own assumed greatness.
Read on...

Easy Filibuster Alito Petition

Go to SavetheCourt.org
scroll down to the petition. It's quite simple to fill out. We've got to give Kerry, Kennedy, et al the support that they so desperately need by contacting those other senators who need a spinal adjustment. Please pass this link on.

Also read:
Top Democrats move to block Bush high court nominee
Leading Democrat Senators John Kerry and Ted Kennedy said they would try to block Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito by preventing a vote on him with a filibuster.

Senate GOP Seeks to Force Vote on Alito
Die-hard Democratic critics of Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito threatened on Thursday to block a vote on his confirmation, and Republicans countered with a move designed to force his approval by early next week.

Thursday, January 26

Trend or omen?

Another woman has killed her (ex-) husband. I'm kinda surprised that it isn't the slavering-rabid-rottweiler Crusade Du Jour at FAUX News... "Psycho Post-Fertile Females Go On Murderous Rampages Across The Heartland!!!"

'Cause y'all know damned well that if they weren't so busy propping up Alito's hollow paper ass, they'd be allllllllllllll over this shit. It's even better than the "Your Weekly Missing White Woman Panic!!!" that's been so successful for them. AND it has the added appeal of having white male VICTIMS.

Sorry, guys, no offense, but your fellow Y-chromosomers are really pissing me off these days, and I'm pretty fucking sick and tired of the back-handed sexism that has taken over what Murkins call a "culture." Teenaged to twenty-something women who actually believe that their ability to "snare" a MAN is more important than an EDUCATION or a CAREER or any kind of PERSONAL ACCOMPLISHMENT aside from spreading their legs and pumping out a few plump little mewling units. And even for the more "ambitious" ones for whom it's just "youthful exhuberance"... They still hold their hot little appearances as their supposed "trump card" against any feminist argument. ("You're just jealous 'cause you're not this young and HOT!") And I know, I can't "blame" men for women being that fucking self-destructive and shallow and greedy. But I can damned sure blame them for perpetuating this shit in the mass media ad nauseum, ad infinitum.

Getting a MANNNNNNNN is the whole fucking point behind HOW MANY fucking "game shows" and "reality shows"???

Linking a MANNNNNNN with MONEY and SUCCESS is the whole fucking joke of a "plot" for HOW MANY prime-time "fictional" and "reality" shows?

Women have to compete. Duh. When they're competing based on SKILL, TALENT, INTELLECT, ABILITY, fuck --- even PURE BRASS OVARIES --- that, I can deal with and maybe even appreciate.

But when the whole fucking POINT of entire NETWORKS are to make couch-potato guys feel more "virile" by showing hour after hour of "JUGGIES" and bimbos in high heels twisting their ankles in the woods while being chased by a fucking SERIAL KILLER, and when I haven't seen a rap song besides "Jesus Walked" (don't get me started) that doesn't refer to women as PIECES OF MEAT and GOLD-DIGGERS in what? --- TEN YEARS --- it's not a conspiracy theory.

It's our "culture." Or should I say, "CULT-ure."

I've watched it happen twice thus far in my lifespan, and I'm pretty fucking sick of it. And hell yes, I'm pissed as hell at young women who take what us older broads went through FOR GRANTED. Or as IRRELEVANT to their hot, sexy, sugar-daddy-gettin' lives.

It's not a coincidence, either. Porn culture on the rise is not a shocking development, is it? Who developed the internet? Geeks who couldn't get laid who now own entire ISLANDS. Men who equate "power" with arm-candy and material possessions. Who is drawn to this kind of environment and to watching their "fellow" geeks "overcome"? Other guys who feel powerless and resentful of women who don't give a shit about them. And what does this encourage?

Do I really have to draw y'all a picture?

I'm not anti-porn, as nobody can be exploited if they're an adult who knows how to turn a door knob and walk the fuck away. If you're messing with kids & critters, well, you shouldn't be on my planet in the first fucking place. And if a woman is in porn to support a drug habit and THAT is her "exploitation" by men (and women!) who know how to use that against her, well, then PORN is not her primary problem.

The problem here is with males (I hesitate to label them "men," because I have quite a few friends who are men, and I would not want to insult them by association) who are too immature and too shallow and too selfish to separate FICTION from REALITY. The problem here is with entire INDUSTRIES, populated by men AND women, that make their coin off of the nekkid backs of girls who think that their body is all that they have to offer.

This is not "revenge of the nerds." I am a nerd, I've been surrounded by nerds all of my life and they're generally pretty damned good people. This is revenge of the lazy-assed little brats who feel like women OWE THEM SOMETHING. Like life has taken something away from them, whether through bad parenting or hard luck or flat-out cruelty, and that their "just desserts" are to make WOMEN PAY FOR THAT.

And this is not just little nouveau-riche-suburban-white-trash partaking of this orgy of deprication. It spans every gawddamned color line on the planet.

And I'll tell you another "coincidence" --- the harder the cults ("religions") push to keep dominance over their sheeple, the more that this shit proliferates. And when do the bible-banging mouth-breathers (and every other fucking fanatic on the planet) feel like they OWN US?

(wait for it...)

WHEN FASCISTS ARE IN POWER.

Sex IS politics, kids. Keeping one group of people down, "in their place," earning less, meaning less, "worth" less --- THAT IS THE POINT BEHIND ALL MASS MIND CONTROL, from politics to "patriotism" to cults to television & film. Keep YOUR ass down so that I get to keep all of the money and all of the power.

And most women DON'T EVEN SEE IT. That's what pisses me off the most. They've sold their souls and their potential and their dreams for what fucking lowlife MARKETERS have told them to want. And they THINK that they're "trading UP."

And yeah, I know the first words out of the trolls' mouths here will be, "But you're just an unemployed disability loser washout, nursing at the 'public teat'! You can't bitch about the REAL WORLD!"

To which I reply, as ever, THE FUCK I CAN'T.

I didn't just drop out of the sky onto the Social Security rolls. I've struggled uphill my entire life against the Good Old Boy Network, the inherent sexist bullshit of Southern radio, the everyday mundane sexism and bullshit and politics of every menial job on the fucking planet. And I have had to fight for it, every fucking time. Any woman who is naive enough to think that sexism and a 1950s mentality isn't alive and kicking in America either is one damned lucky prodigy or has some reallllllly good connections.

If there's a point here, it's that I'm sick and fucking tired of my country being stolen by immature peckerheads who have the emotional depth of dog spit and the cultural intelligence of a used condom. I'm sick and fucking tired of watching brilliant young women ALLOW men to treat them like shit because they (the men, of course) make good money and drive the right car, like that's how it's SUPPOSED TO BE. I'm sick and fucking tired of women seeing only THE BOTTOM LINE to every part of their lives, and never once stopping to think that they are WORTH MORE than the useless baubles that some guy may throw at them. And I'm REALLY sick and fucking tired of the FLAMING ASSHOLES getting all of the "upscale" girls, because the DECENT GUYS aren't going to try to BUY THEIR AFFECTIONS. Granted, the chicks who go for the flaming assholes are probably also assholes all on their own, but it pisses me off that they think that THOSE ARE THEIR ONLY OPTIONS.

And if I ever found myself in an elevator with that little kumquat troll that created "Girls Gone Wild"... Well, let's just say that it won't be pleasant. I know, I know, the girls get drunk/stoned/what-the-fuck-ever and ALLOW themselves to be ripped-off (after all, the only "profits" that THEY ever make are CHEAP-ASS SWEATSHOP-MADE T-SHIRTS) by this douchebag --- but y'know, I just think that if the situation ever arose, he just really oughta "take one for the team."

Gore

Vidal.


President Jonah
A fabulous piece on the state of America with the usual biting wit.

Excerpt: "We are assured daily by advertisers and/or politicians that we are the richest, most envied people on Earth and, apparently, that is why so many awful, ill-groomed people want to blow us up. We live in an impermeable bubble without the sort of information that people living in real countries have access to when it comes to their own reality. But we are not actually people in the eyes of the national ownership: we are simply unreliable consumers comprising an overworked, underpaid labor force not in the best of health: The World Health Organization rates our healthcare system (sic—or sick?) as 37th-best in the world, far behind even Saudi Arabia, role model for the Texans. Our infant mortality rate is satisfyingly high, precluding a First World educational system. Also, it has not gone unremarked even in our usually information-free media that despite the boost to the profits of such companies as Halliburton, Bush’s wars of aggression against small countries of no danger to us have left us well and truly broke. Our annual trade deficit is a half-trillion dollars, which means that we don’t produce much of anything the world wants except those wan reports on how popular our Entertainment is overseas. Unfortunately the foreign gross of “King Kong,” the Edsel of that assembly line, is not yet known. It is rumored that Bollywood—the Indian film business—may soon surpass us! Berman writes, “We have lost our edge in science to Europe...The US economy is being kept afloat by huge foreign loans ($4 billion a day during 2003). What do you think will happen when America’s creditors decide to pull the plug, or when OPEC members begin selling oil in euros instead of dollars?...An International Monetary Fund report of 2004 concluded that the United States was ‘careening toward insolvency.’ ” Meanwhile, China, our favorite big-time future enemy, is the number one for worldwide foreign investments, with France, the bete noire of our apish neocons, in second place."

"Well, we still have Kraft cheese and, of course, the death penalty."

kinky lost me last night

Kinky Friedman lost any hope of getting my support last night.

Friedman, former front man for The Jewboys, is running for governor. If elected he would be the first Jewish governor of Texas. He might want to discuss the separation of church and state with a rabbi. The entertaining writer and country singer, who penned my favorite country and western song, I'm Proud to be an Asshole from El Paso, is a supporter of school prayer. He revealed this on Jay Leno's Tonight Show last night. He supports prayer in the public schools, he says, because the kids ought to believe in something!

I guess he also believes that governments should impose those values on children.

No, I believe in the separation of church and state and school districts are governments and if they mandate moments of silence and such they are advocating that children should pray or adopt a religion. I thought that was the responsibility of parents, not governments. I thought that government was neither a supporter or inhibitor of religion. Religion is such a private matter that I don't want people who have no training in religion advocating religion to school children. That is the role of religious leaders, not teachers, principals, and school boards.

Sorry Kinky. Your position on school prayer, if implemented, would bring prejudice to classrooms. Do you think that Hindu kids, or Muslim kids, or Jewish kids can stand the taunts and jeers of their Christian classmates? And what of the atheist and agnostic children? You would use government to impose "values", your values, on them?

Kinky, there isn't a dime's worth of difference between you and a professional politician, pandering rather than thinking. Governor Rick Perry, a school prayer supporter and an arrogant Christian, wants to impose his values on science in the classroom. He likes school prayer, too.

Your campaign slogans are "Why the Hell Not?" and "How Hard Can it Be?" It must be very difficult to think about the American tradition of separation of church and state. Jimmy Carter remembers the lesson well and retells it in his new book, Our Endangered Values. Leadership is not about pandering and being popular, it is about keeping people focused on the Founder's vision of America. Leadership takes people higher, not to lowest common denominator.

But what should we expect from someone running for governor of Texas? We should expect better.

Spineless Jelly Fish

Could just one Democratic Senator grow a spine and take the initiative to start a fill=ibuster on Sammy boy Alito? Or have the fumes from the manure spreader overcome me? Can it really be that difficult to expose the twisted priorites of this man?



UPDATE: There's a rumor that Kerry made lead the filibuster. There are also 8 senators who don't support a filibuster. Those are the ones we have to call. All the information is here.
Even if the Kerry story doesn't pan out, still make those phone calls. (info at above link)

You Can't Make This Shit Up

T. Bubba Bechtol, part time City Councilman from Midland TX, was asked on a local live radio talk show the other day just what he thought of the allegations of torture of Iraqi prisoners. His reply prompted his ejection from the studio----but to a thunderous applause from the audience.

"If hooking up an Iraqi prisoner's scrotum to a car's battery cables will save one Americans GI's life, then I just have two things to say." "Red is positive. Black is negative."

WTF!


Arthur Schopenhauser: "Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world."

Panda Porn

Bush Admin: HUGE flipflop

From AmericaBlog:

In 2002, the Bush Administration OPPOSED legislation that would have given them the legal power to spy without a warrant. They said, now get this, "that the proposed legislation was likely unconstitutional". (They had a different attorney general at the time.) They also felt that it was unconstitutional to spy on foreigners only.

Now, the administration says that the 2002 legislation wouldn't have gone far enough. huh?

News You Can't Use But What The Hell

Florida: State restricts gynecologist's license after a patient alleged misconduct. Physician told not to treat women.

South Dakota: Intoxicated South Dakotans should be able to ride horses or bikes home from bars without fear of being arrested for drunken driving, legislators decided Wednesday.

Chicago: Hospitals should intensify efforts to highlight medications on medical charts to avoid drug errors.

Germany: Frustrated wife takes job in brothel. "It's not something I do full time, and I only have sex with the men I like. In a job like this, you have to keep a certain standard," she said.

Bahrain: Michael Jackson was spotted wearing female Arabic gear. "The veil, abaya and gloves were of a style typically worn by conservative Bahraini women." His kids also wore veils. It was also rumored that he applied makeup in a ladies room.

UK: New scientific study- Get laid before a speaking engagement to reduce stress. "But make sure it's penetrative sex - the magic vanishes if you pursue other forms of sexual gratification."

Wednesday, January 25

"Century after century, while the flame of primitive Christianity burned low, esoteric work has remained vigilant. The esoteric meaning of the work was a preparatory effort: its objective was to accumulate the necessary energies on the astral plane, and so make it easier for humanity to pass through the great turnings of History...

"These changes in direction, and the coming of the new era they imply, have been constantly notable for the varied active and eminent roles played by women....

"The principle of Woman's intervention is found in ALL crucial periods of history.

"Periods where the ennobling role of the woman in the life of human society has faded are marked by a triviality of morals and manners, expressed in particular by a taste for realism carried to its utmost limits.

"Today, human relations suffer from a real distortion in the innate role that woman is destined to play at the side of man: instead of being the active force in these relations, the inspiring and fruitful complement to the man, the woman tends to follow a parallel path, which no longer permits her to exercise her own creative vocation...." -- Boris Mouravieff

as quoted by Laura Knight-Jadczyk in her essay "Boris Mouravieff: Polar Opposites, or the Fifth Way of Love"
http://www.cassiopaea.org/cass/mouravieff.htm

Mutants

New scientific study shows that people who never smoked or have quit smoking successfully have an ineffective CYP2A6 gene. So there.

Nevermind. Don't Enlist

Go Army!
WASHINGTON - Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld on Wednesday disputed reports suggesting that the U.S. military is stretched thin and close to a snapping point from operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, asserting "the force is not broken."

Bush: Bin Laden Should Be Taken Seriously

How do you like that? A Threat Operations Center. Who knew?

"I'll continue to reauthorize this program for so long as our country faces a continuing threat from al-Qaida and related groups," Bush said." Here's the whole story.

If you don't feel like reading the story...
Shorter Bush: Bin Laden means what he says. If he says he is going to attack America, then he will. That's why it's important for bush to move forward with the war against privacy in america.

Dear Senator Santorum,

With all due respect for your selfless service and devotion to the country in the senate, are you insane? Do you really think that a citizen who puts your bumper sticker on their car is akin to putting on a uniform and serving in the military to fight a war that you voted for and support while our troops are being stretched too thin? Well of course you do, but I don't. Even if you asked people to put a "Support Our Troops" ribbon on their car rather than put on a uniform, I'd still think you were crazy (with all due respect, of course). You can never have enough troops in a country like ours. How can we possibly have more wars without troops? Does anyone even think of that while war planning is going on?

The only way to get rid of terrorists as the vice president has recently mentioned is to destroy them. I hardly believe that donning a Santorum sticker on one's car has anything to do with supporting the war effort.

At this point, all senators should be urging their constituents to risk dying for their country in the middle east, as that is the noblest profession other than CEO or lobbyist, even though our troops are not getting the proper equipment, to fight our enemies abroad. Why even Prince Harry may fight in Iraq! Who wouldn't want to fight along his side?

We should declare war on countries that we can pillage for resources to pay off the national debt before we invade another sovereign nation. Before the corporate war profiteers get their share, our government ought to take a big chunk to pay off debt otherwise people may start to think we live in a fascist dictatorship and we wouldn't want that to happen.

Have you figured out another way to finance the wars? I suppose our children and grandchildren could pay for them if they don't move away to avoid paying high taxes. Or maybe they will have to move to China to pay off the national debt working in sweat shops. I believe you ought to address these issues. The rich folks still need their flunkies. You can't be driving them away, now can you?

Furthermore, why not funnel some of your campaign contributions towards those troops from Pennsylvania who enlisted to ensure that they get plenty of armor, lots of bullets and clean water so that they can come home safely, perhaps in one piece and keep voting for you?

Love
Liz

Sweet Sweet Story

There are a lot of misconceptions floating around about aging, the top one being "It won't happen to me." Ha! Hide and watch, buckwheat. It'll happen, all right, and much sooner than you can possibly imagine.

Another wrongheaded notion is thinking that, just because the outside of us changes, we also change on the inside. Wrong. People don't change---they get more and more the same. Once I saw in the paper that an eighty-three-year-old woman got her old self thrown in the slammer for stabbing her husband to death. He was ninety-five!

A psychiatrist quoted in the article expressed the professional opinion that aging doesn't necessarily make someone a better person. Apparently not---that guy'd had ninety-five years to get better, and he did not use his time wisely. (Bless her heart, she just could not wait another minute for him to die.)

The old woman was placed among the general female population at the jail and was evidently quite the favorite among the inmates. The jailer reported that the other women were all helping her out any way they could. That is the sweetest story. Don't we all hope that if we find ourselves newly incarcerated when we're nearly a hundred, the other girls will be nice to us?

Bikini

If more people were aware of what happened there, they'd think of another name for the bathing suit.

Imagine your legs swelling so much from radioactive fallout that they burst open? That's part of the story told in the documentary Radio Bikini that I watched Sunday afternoon on IFC. The most terrifying part of the story is told by the film clips of the sailors completely unaware of what was happening to them as they observed atomic bomb testing near Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The testing in 1946 was to determine the effect of the atom bomb on US warships. Most of the sailors were just kids and didn't know what radioactivity was. Nor were they told. When it was way too late, they understood just what serving their country in the military really meant.

There's also the heartbreaking story of the Bikini residents who were told they would return to their island after the testing and then finding out that they wouldn't return for 40 years. The Bikini's were sent off to a practically uninhabitable island where they suffered greatly. They moved several times after that. Furthermore, the US government knew that when they tested the atomic bomb that the winds were favorable to blow radioactive fallout to other Marshall islands.

Frightening are the clips that were long hidden from the world of what really happened there, the blatant disregard for life in the name of supremacy. By bringing the sailors to ground zero and filming them casually going about their day and laughingly putting their hands near the Geiger counters in order to show that people would be able to coexist with the earth after having been nuked makes you want to scream and run away. But to where? Everything the American people and the sailors heard about the tests was simply propaganda. This was the beginning of an age, a deadly age... a point of no return. Interestingly at the end of the flick, the generals were shown denouncing the atomic bomb and saying that it should never be used.

I believe the movie will be aired again on Tuesday, Jan 31 2006 12:30 PM on IFC.

There's a meme going around where people are thinking of the top 10 movies to describe America. I'd like to nominate Radio Bikini as one of the 10 films that describes the American propaganda machine, the blantant disregard for human life and the naivete of the citizens. Try to see it.

Santorum is such a tool

From Santorum Exposed Blog

Santorum: "And yet we have brave men and women who are willing to step forward because they know what's at stake. They're willing to sacrifice their lives for this great country. What I'm asking all of you tonight is not to put on a uniform. Put on a bumper sticker. Is it that much to ask? Is it that much to ask to step up and serve your country?"


He isn't talking about a "Support Your Troops" magnet but a Santorum bumpersticker.

Tool.

The Weather

(or as we say in New York, the wehthuh)

Last Year Was Warmest on Record
By MALCOLM RITTER, AP
NEW YORK (Jan. 25) - Last year was the warmest in a century, nosing out 1998, a federal analysis concludes. Read the rest.


How's by you?

Here on the Isle of Long, it was pretty balmy all year. This winter has been unusually warm which I am not complaining about because I've worn a rather light jacket so far... but the stars are hard to find at night. The clouds and haze invariably roll in at dusk which pisses me off to no end. My telescope would be able to see through the haze but I can't find the alignment stars most of the time.
.

a day without bush news is like a day without a migraine

Everyday, I open the paper and I think, "There is no way George W. could possibly be worse today than he was yesterday." And everyday, I am horrified to find that he actually is more embarrassing than he was the day before. He somehow pulls it off. Day before yesterday, he embarrassed the nation with the "terrorists surveillance program" and yesterday it was the news that the Bush administration knew the levees in New Orleans would probably break, today we learn that the Bush administration won't release documents surrounding Katrina communications between officials.

I shudder to think what tomorrow might bring.

So, in the interest of keeping my sanity, tenuous as it is, I am going to avoid all Bush, all the time. I am going to disengage myself from the day to day grind of the smirkmaster in chief.

Now, gentle readers, give me something else to ponder. I would like something pleasant to think about as I try to go to sleep each night. What do you think about when you are tossing and turning?

Tuesday, January 24

Mitochondrial Eve

by Lalock

The idea of a black ancestor from Africa—a woman—millions of years ago, is enough to cause a lily-white neocon with roots that go back to the Mayflower to stick his head in a gas oven. There are probably a number of reasons for wanting to teach science fiction (intelligent design, creationism) as scientific fact. Not only is it another feeble, thinly-veiled attempt to shove the Bible into the public classrooms across America (and down the student’s throats), but it’s roots may be in a theory called “Mitochondrial Eve”—the fact that we indeed have that common black ancestor, is enough to take the starch out of any Klansman’s hood.

What is mitochondrial DNA, and hence mitochondrial Eve. When in doubt, look to the BBC. The best, most succinct explanation I’ve found is this:
Well, put it this way. You are a genetic mix of your parents, each of which contributed half of your genetic material. They, of course, have gone through the same process and share an equal split of their parent's DNA. This means if you stop this back-tracking process with your grandparents, you are already a genetic mix of six distinct individuals who may have come from different regions of the planet.

But one factor remains constant – the mitochondrial DNA hasn't altered at all – it remains intact through the female line. Male sperm contains only enough mitochondria to power the sperm to the surface of the egg – it does not enter the egg. The egg, however, contains mitochondria that have been passed from mother to daughter for countless generations. The only way for mitochondrial DNA to alter is by natural mutations, which occur very slowly when compared with the almost frantic gene mixing we and our parents take part in.


Personally, I love the idea that we all share a common ancestor. It will ultimately force us to redefine the term “race,” and look at it in a way that there really only is one “race”—the human race—and the differences (skin color, hair, culture, etc.) are simply all minutiae. The simplicity of it, the “village” concept, is beautiful.

So is the fact that it takes idiocy like “intelligent design” and makes a piƱata out of it. The thought that every “stars and bars” flag-waving, NASCAR-lovin’, Bush-votin’, patriotic ‘Murican has the DNA of a black female running through their cells gives me no end to pleasure. Imagine the chest clutching that goes on when neocon hypocrites who would normally just want to bed their black servants rather than treat them as an equal now find out they have something in common—a great, great, great, great, great, great grand-mammy. To learn more about this concept, start here.

Thanks and a big "You Betcha" to BlondeSense fan and reader, Lalock of Minnesota, for this post. I kind of made him write it.

Army Stretched to Breaking Point


Oh good heavens, according to a Pentagon study the Army has "become a "thin green line" that could snap unless relief comes soon."

I had a feeling this was going to happen. I sincerely think it's time for young Republicans to sign up and help the commander in chief with the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan. We're inching towards war with Iran so it's just silly that more young people who love and support our country and hate terrorism don't put themselves out there on the line and fight for my safety and freedom. One chapter in the report said:

"... the Army is "in a race against time" to adjust to the demands of war "or risk `breaking' the force in the form of a catastrophic decline" in recruitment and re-enlistment."
Oh my lord, if there is a catastrophic decline, how are we going to stay safe under our leader's wing? If they decided to have the draft again, the young'ns would simply shit and the country's sentiment would shift waaaay against dear leader. I suppose we could withdraw troops from one of the wars... What say you?

"Impeachment hearings: The White House prepares for the worst"

(And the people prepare for the best)

John at Americablog tipped me to this. Insight is the magazine from the Washington Times--yeah, Moon's outfit, but ya gotta remember, Moon has HIS OWN agenda and if that includes advocating the impeachment of Bush, well....

"The Bush administration is bracing for impeachment hearings in Congress.

"A coalition in Congress is being formed to support impeachment," an administration source said.

"Sources said a prelude to the impeachment process could begin with hearings by the Senate Judiciary Committee in February. They said the hearings would focus on the secret electronic surveillance program and whether Mr. Bush violated the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act."


Check it all out at Insightmag.com.

Popemobile Preview

In keeping with the humility of Jesus Christ, a new papal electric car has been revealed. It's been dubbed the Holy Roller by WaPo. It sort of looks like a golf cart, but don't be fooled because this designer clad pope's arse will sit on "luxurious Natuzzi Italian white leather." The papal seal is on the front and the back just in case no one recognizes who is in the car. There appears to be an opening in the roof for his hat's protuberance.

The vehicle is meant for short hops around the Vatican. Perhaps there is concern that Joey Ratz' red designer loafers may get scuffed if he walks. We wouldn't want to have that, now would we? This story begs the question, how did the other pope's get around in the Vatican?

I Guess Americans Want a Dictatorship

Alito heads into committee vote with first victory assured
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
January 24, 2006, 10:25 AM EST

WASHINGTON -- Supreme Court hopeful Samuel Alito headed toward a Senate committee endorsement Tuesday as majority Republicans called him "one of the most qualified" nominees ever and Democrats warned that he could swing the court to the right.


You didn't call the Senators did you? Now get on it. Call for a fillibuster.

Real Life Fatal Attraction Redux

Oy vay. The Long Island Lolita has agreed to meet the Buttafuoco's on national television. Didn't they have like three network movies made of their lives? Newsday doesn't mention that Amy Fisher has undergone surgery to make her look different so she wouldn't have to deal with gawkers and would be able to get on with her life. She was also a popular columnist at the Long Island Press up until recently. I can't understand why she'd want to reveal her new look.

Joey, whom Long Islanders were happy to see move to California, intends to ask Amy why she shot his wife, Mary Jo. He says he never found out why. He didn't watch the movies made about it? I didn't watch them, but I assumed why she did it considering it was in the news every freaking minute around here. You fuck a 16 year old and you pay the price, asshole. He's apparently turned to a life of crime since the ordeal.

Amy just wants the world to see how she has moved on and healed. How nice. Mary Jo, now engaged, must need the money. I can't imagine that she is all that healed considering she is still partially paralyzed. The television industry must need, as my co-blogger Anntichrist S. Coulter would say, more mouth breathing viewers.

Joey Buttafuoco, who has remarried, was sentenced in March 2004 to a year in jail and five years probation after pleading guilty to felony insurance fraud. In August, he pleaded not guilty to charges that he violated probation by possessing ammunition.

The Terrorist Surveillance Program


Just how long does he think we've been in this country?

Monday, January 23

smirking

In the time that Bush has gone from bumbling, minor president to spying on Americans, we had fought and won World War II. We beat Germany and Japan and Bush can't find bin Laden. He is monitoring Americans' phone conversations to find bin Laden?

Bush, doing what Orwellian puppet master Karl Rove tells him to do, is calling his warrantless domestic spy program a "terrorists surveillance program." He lies with the sort of smirk on his face that Richard Nixon wouldn't dare attempt. Bush is daring us to call his hand.

He smirked at America from Kansas State University today, like a frat boy addressing the interfraternity counsel or its moral equivalent, the City Chapter of the Chamber of Commerce, when he said, "if I wanted to break the law why would I have informed Congress?" Well, given that Congress is full of Republicans trying to cover your ass, Mr. Bush, I suppose it doesn't matter that you only told a few members of Congress and then you lied to them and didn't tell all.

Bush reminds me of a college sophomore home for the summer snapping his wet towel at younger kids at the country club pool.


General Michael Hayden, who was with the National Security Agency, and who is now deputy director of the new national intelligence agency, "appeared exasperated by criticism that he said was based largely on misinformation or misunderstandings of the program." Speaking at the National Press Club, General Hayden, a military man overseeing a domestic spy program, said, and no doubt the press believed him, "It is not a driftnet over Dearborn or Lackawanna" or other areas with many Arab-American residents, he said. "This is hot pursuit of communications entering or leaving America involving someone we believe is associated with Al Qaeda." By using the phrase "hot pursuit" he is attempting to imply that they don't need no stinking warrants if they are in "hot pursuit" much like the police don't need a warrant to enter a private home when the suspect is fleeing police. Emergency or exigent circumstances.

Bush didn't go to the FISA court because he didn't have probable cause to get a warrant. He isn't just looking for terrorists. We are going to learn that they are on a fishing expedition.

Democrats have been handed a gift. The Republicans have overreached and the Democrats can beat them in this year's elections. But they are running as Republicans. Hillary is backing laws she knows are unconstitutional, like anti-flag burning federal laws, to court "Bubba" in Birmingham. Bubba ain't ever going to vote for Hillary, or Condi, either. It is a NASCAR nation.

But when the average American male and sadly the average American female go into the voting booth, they will vote in a visceral and traditional way. Hillary frightens men and women because she forces them to confront their own basic fears about themselves. So when Molly Ivins wants Democrats to lead voters where they say they want to go on the war, the environment, and other issues confronting us, I agree. But what Hillary and other Democrats know is that John and Jane Q. Public will not vote logically. They vote from fear and a desire for safety. Hillary fears the "radical" label. And with good cause. While radicals have often been right in American politics, they are never elected.

"International terrorism does not exist"

That's the title. The author is General Leonid Ivashov. Who's he?

From the article:
"General Leonid Ivashov is the vice-president of the Academy on geopolitical affairs. He was the chief of the department for General affairs in the Soviet Union’s ministry of Defense, secretary of the Council of defense ministers of the Community of independant states (CIS), chief of the Military cooperation department at the Russian federation’s Ministry of defense and Joint chief of staff of the Russian armies."

Okay. Based on his credentials it sounds like he might know what he's talking about. Here's some of what he has to say:

"In this context, if we analyze what happened on September 11, 2001, in the United States, we can arrive at the following conclusions:
1. The organizers of those attacks were the political and business circles interested in destabilizing the world order and who had the means necessary to finance the operation.

2. Only secret services and their current chiefs – or those retired but still having influence inside the state organizations – have the ability to plan, organize and conduct an operation of such magnitude.

3. Osama bin Laden and “Al Qaeda” cannot be the organizers nor the performers of the September 11 attacks. They do not have the necessary organization, resources or leaders. Thus, a team of professionals had to be created and the Arab kamikazes are just extras to mask the operation."


That last statement reminds me of the kind of comment I've run into a dozen times or so since 9/11: "19 guys who barely knew how to fly and armed with pocket knives and box-cutters pulled off 9/11? Who are you tryin' to bullshit? Gimme a fuckin' break"!
Read it all at Voltairenet.org

No Wonder The White House Is Trying To Round Up Photos Of Bush And Abramoff

First there's this from John at Americablog:
"Chris Matthews likes to tie Democrats to Osama? Maybe he should talk to his buddy Jack Abramoff about Osama"
by John in DC - 1/23/2006 10:39:00 AM

"Just a coincidence? You decide.

"Washington Post, 9/27/01:
SunCruz Casinos LLChas turned over to the FBI surveillance pictures and other records from two Florida gambling cruises on Sept. 5. In both cases, a company official said, there was a passenger who looked similar to one of the[9/11] hijackers, and the name given by the passenger was either the same or similar to the hijacker's name.

"Associated Press, 9/27/05
Police would not comment on whether they got any big breaks from Abramoff or his former partner, Adam Kidan, both of whom were indicted Aug. 11 on federal fraud charges in connection with their September 2000 purchase of SunCruz Casinos for $145.7 million from Boulis."


Then, there's an interesting item from back on Saturday, August 13, 2005, when Joe Cannon at Cannonfire had this article: "Was Abramoff linked to terrorists?"

Shocking Breaking News From the WH

also see updates below...

The president will be taking unscripted audience questions
in his latest series of visits to Americans on his campaign to convince them that domestic spying is a good thing.

AP Bush has been taking questions from audience members in recent speeches, and the White House says none has been prescreened. The sessions are not open to the public, but instead limited to invited groups.
Oh that makes it sooo authentic.

It's a throwback to the folksy style on the campaign trail that helped him win re-election and a departure from the heavily scripted speeches that were the norm last year.
He pulled that shit on Long Island and Newsday was all over it pointing out how fake the whole deal was.

...The White House has grown so comfortable with the format that most of his appearance Monday at Kansas State University scheduled for 12:30 p.m. ET was reserved for Q-and-A with the audience.

I imagine his audience are the Students for America, Right or Wrong.

...Bush has taken a wide variety of questions in three appearances during the last six weeks. Many of the people he has called on have fawned over him, thanking him for his wartime leadership, saying they pray for him and bringing best wishes from other fans in their family who couldn't be there.

Obviously the audience was pre-screened.
1. They are as stupid as he is... and like it that way
2. They don't read the newspaper

"It's always good to have a plant in every audience," Bush joked last week in Sterling, Va., after a woman rose and said she was proud of him.

Bush wasn't joking and that woman who was proud of him was simply surprised that he was able to go this far without being impeached. See the 14 Rules of Fascism


UPDATE: Bush says that since congress didn't tell him not to spy domestically then he has the authority to do what he has to do to keep us safe.

"It's what I would call a terrorist surveillance program," Bush said at Kansas State. "If they're making a phone call in the United States, it seems like to me we want to know why."

He said he "had all kinds of lawyers review the process" to ensure it didn't violate civil liberties or the law.

"I'm not a lawyer, but I can tell you what it means: It means Congress gave me the authority to use necessary force to protect the American people, but it didn't prescribe the tactics," Bush said.


UPDATE: A sophomore at Kansas State stumped Bush according to Think Progress


Q: My name is Tiffany Cooper. I’m a sophomore here at Kansas State and I was just wanting to get your comments about education. Recently 12.7 billion dollars was cut from education. I was just wondering how is that supposed to help our futures?

[snip]

Bush: Actually, I think what we did was reform the student loan program. We are not cutting money out of it.
You can read the whole transcript, read about how the government with Cheney's deciding vote cut $12.7 billion to education programs.

Waddaya think? Perhaps the questions will get screened afterall?