Search This Blog

Loading...

Saturday, September 30

NAFTA RELOADED

Jerome Corsi over at WND believes that the 3 NAFTA partners are all involved together within a shadow government

Government documents released by a Freedom of Information Act request reveal the Bush administration is running a "shadow government" with Mexico and Canada in which the U.S. is crafting a broad range of policy in conjunction with its neighbors to the north and south.

The documents clearly reveal that SPP, working within the U.S. Department of Commerce, is far advanced in putting together a new regional infrastructure, creating a 'shadow' trilateral bureaucracy with Mexico and Canada that is aggressively rewriting a wide range of U.S. administrative law, all without congressional oversight or public disclosure," Corsi said.


I said I wasn't going to discuss NAFTA anymore, however, I felt that this article above may have something to do with this:

The United States Coast Guard has started to patrol the Great Lakes with machine guns mounted on their vessels and is conducting live-ammunition training drills on the U.S. side to prepare officers to combat terrorists flooding across the border from Canada by boat.



Have a read. It's an unbelievable story. When residents on both sides of the border heard of this, it was a complete suprise. One mayor in Ontario actually thought it was an internet hoax at first.

The high-powered drills have, however, stunned environmentalists, boaters and mayors in cities dotting the lakes in both countries who are outraged that the U.S. government would jeopardize the safety of pleasure boaters and commercial fishermen who could stray into the line of fire. Just as infuriating, they say, is the risk of lead exposure to fish and the more than 40 million people who draw drinking water from the Great Lakes.

“We're trying to be prepared in case something happens,” said a U.S. Coast Guard spokesman, Chief Petty Officer Robert Lanier.

“I don't know what it is, but I know I want to be prepared for it when it happens. We need to conduct these live-fire exercises so we are prepared for whatever it may be. If we are not prepared for it, there are going to be questions about why we weren't prepared for it.”


WAIT --IT GETS BETTER

Toronto Mayor David Miller chairs a coalition of U.S. and Canadian mayors working to restore and protect the lakes.

He said the target practice violates a treaty signed after the War of 1812 that outlaws military weapons on the Great Lakes, tampering with two centuries of peaceful history.


(Aren't treaties considered more sacrosanct than laws?)

As for the shaky status of the world's longest undefended border, a spokeswoman for the Department of Foreign Affairs, Ambra Dickie, said that Canada and the United States signed a written agreement three years ago articulating that moves to arm U.S. law-enforcement vessels with light machine guns in U.S. jurisdiction do not violate the spirit of the treaty. That treaty, the argument goes, was drafted to ensure peace in the Great Lakes by forbidding weapons of war such as cannons on sailing ships.

“We don't have any cannons or rocket launchers or anything like that,” CPO Lanier said.


That's the spirit sir! What's a little machine gun gonna do?
You don't have cannons now, but I am sure that when this treaty was signed, they would have included machine guns had they been in existance.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

UPDATE:


Liz found THIS ARTICLE
over at Media Matters -- Who is Jerome Corsi? (I think he may very well be Lush Bimbo's Mini-Me!)

Thoughts, etc.

For the last few days I have been pondering what my son, who served in Gulf War I, almost died for, and it's a struggle. The only things that keep running through my mind are fragments of poems, songs, and speeches by some of our best philosophers and statesmen. Don't worry. By "statesmen" I don't mean any present-day politicians. The last great American stateman was Adlai Stevenson and he died in 1965.

The little toy dog is covered with dust,
But sturdy and stanch he stands;
And the little toy soldier is red with rust,
And his musket moulds in his hands.
Time was when the little toy dog was new,
And the soldier was passing fair;
And that was the time when our Little Boy Blue
Kissed them and put them there.

"Now, don't you go till I come," he said,
"And don't you make any noise!"
So, toddling off to his trundle-bed,
He dreamt of the pretty toys;
And, as he was dreaming, an angel song
Awakened our Little Boy Blue---
Oh! the years are many, the years are long,
But the little toy friends are true!

Ay, faithful to Little Boy Blue they stand,
Each in the same old place---
Awaiting the touch of a little hand,
The smile of a little face;
And they wonder, as waiting the long years through
In the dust of that little chair,
What has become of our Little Boy Blue,
Since he kissed them and put them there. -- Little Boy Blue by Eugene Field (1850-1895)


"What General Weygand called the Battle of France is over. I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us.

"Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this Island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.

"Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, 'This was their finest hour.'" -- Winston Churchill speech to the House of Commons - June 18, 1940


Lazarus is not dead; he only sleeps. -- The Man from Galilee

Hypocritical WH has yet a new reason for the Iraq War

Remember WMDs, mushroom clouds, Saddam concocting 9/11 with Bin Laden? Remember "we better fight them there then here"? "The world is better off without Saddam"..." Saddam was an evil dictator"..."he murdered his own people" - are these familiar soundbites? Does "spreading democracy" in the Middle East ring a bell? Or, "we cannot abandon our newest ally, Iraq"?

This is yet a new rationale that the Talking Points Ideologues in the basement of the White House concocted:

US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice in an interview published Saturday, offered a different rationale for continued US military presence in Iraq, saying it was needed to counter the growing influence of neighboring Iran:

"We just have to fight tooth and nail for the victory of the Iraqis who do not want Iranian influence in their daily lives," she told The Wall Street Journal. "We've got a chance to resist the Iranian push into the region, but we better get about it."

In other news retired Lt. General Odom has the exit strategy from Iraq:

Rep. Woolsey and 15 Other Congress Members Hold Hearing on Iraq
Lt. General Odom speaks truth in basement of U.S. Capitol. The Dome shakes.
Rep. Hinchey asked Odom "How do we get out?" Odom's reply came without a pause: "Well, the Constitution gives the House the right to impeach."

WTF has happened to us?

It has been a long, hard week.

Too many people have died both here and abroad. I am tired and depressed and my entire frame of mind was summed up by the morning DJ on WXPN. "I don't know how you parents do it anymore. If anyone had told me twenty years ago that going to school and eating spinach would be fatal I would have asked them what they were smoking."

She's right you know. Our world has been turned upside down lately. American has always been the 'land of oppurtunity', home of the free, land of the brave. Americans were decent, hardworking people. They were kind and generous and often looked upon with jealousy by other nations. But that has changed, hasn't it?

Now it is America who has decided that war for any reason or even no reason is just fine. It is not Saddam who is running the torture camps and rape rooms but America instead. Our children are beyond our protection and in many cases beyond control. Predators of all shapes, sizes and inclinations roam not only our streets, but our schools. I cannot be the only person who sees this.

I have heard some people rant and wail that it is the fault of mass media, or the liberals or MTV or feminists or what have you. Personally I think it boils down to poor management of resources and the destruction of the middle class. The middle class has always born the burden of carrying this country. We work to support ourselves and others, our tax dollars were used to fund 80% or more of the country. Everything from NASA research to welfare to military programs. But where is the middle class now?

The middle class is extinct. Now it is a two income family trying to scrape by. The parents are out working, some of them holding more than one job just to keep the family above water; This means that many of the children are raising themselves. I'm sure most of us would agree that this is NOT a good thing either for the child or the parent.

And what about those tax dollars? The top 5% of the richest get cuts, the rest have to make up for it, but the money is NOT being reinvested in the country. It goes to Haliburton and other no-bid contracts. It goes to line the pockets of dishonest Congressmen who vote against the best interests of their constituants. Money is taken away from schools, social programs and health programs; leaving scores of people without a safety net. Leaving mentally unstable people to walk our streets without medication, counselling or oversight. More families slipping through the crack, living on the streets or in cars, becoming more desperate and more depressed with each passing day. More people turning to drugs to temporarily ease the pain of knowing they have no where to turn but the grave or crime.

Is this the sole reason for the ills of America? Sweet zombie jesus on a pogo stick NO. But I think it is a good place to start. With a little effort and a good financial planner we can create a fairly big impact in a reasonably short period of time. And a huge revamp of Welfare does need to be addressed but that is a whole 'nother post.

And It Gets Worse

Another bill was passed this week in the House, one that prevents attorneys from " recover compensation for their fees if they successfully represent a plaintiff asserting a violation of his or her constitutional or civil rights" from the government. So, unless you have oodles of money to pay a lawyer personally the chances of you being represented when the Govnmt illegally hauls your ass off to a detention center is looking mighty slim.

It directly flies in the face of the first amendment, making the institution of a theocracy that much easier to accomplish. HR 2679 'The Public Expression of Religion Act' has effectively been rendered dead. Now those obnoxious, in your face evangelicals CAN use public funds and public places to hold, present and indoctrinate and unless you, the rightfully concerned citizen can pay a lawyer out of your own pocket to fight these anti-democracy forces....well, our children's future is pretty much doomed.

It really isn't too far a step to see the Red States using this to drive the non-existant war against christmas by INSISTING the bible, nativity and who know what else be taught to impressionable children in our public schools. Want to know why that is scary, because idiots like this will be the ones to teach them.

As it is our school children are the dumbest of any industrialized nation. Our science and math skills are laughable, many cannot read above a 8th grade level, basics in health and sex education are forbidden because of idiots who think EVERYONEs life should be based solely on a badly translated and oft edited book that they have decided to hold sacred.

As for all those neo-cons and xtian extremists who shout out over and over again about the Muslim terrorist and how they indoctrinate the foolish and the innocent. Take a good look in the mirror and open your eyes. The exact same thing is now happening here, only instead of Allah it is Jesus. The world is not now nor has it ever been black/white, there is no us/them. Those are arguments meant to divide and conquer; it is an old, old ploy and as we can see, it is still quite effective.

Long Live King George

Something billydoom asked in one of the threads below got me to musing how close the country is to living an imperial presidency. We may already be there; alternatively, the final confrontation may be just around the corner. Either way, there is no question that if we keep to the current path we are heading for a system of government in which King George holds fully all reins of the government.

A brief review of how the balance of power is supposed to work: The Congress passes the laws; the Executive implements the laws; the Courts decide whether the laws comport with the "supreme law of the land", a/k/a the Constitution. The basis for the courts' authority to be the final arbiter of whether a law passes Constitutional muster stems from a case called Marbury v. Madison in the young days of the Republic. The case has a complicated procedural history that I won't bore you with, but the upshot was that Justice Marshall, writing for the Supreme Court as the first Chief Justice, stated that the Congress had no authority to pass any law that trifled with the jurisidiction of the Supreme Court, because the basis for the Supreme Court's jurisdiction was set forth in the Constitution itself, and ever is the Constitution the "supreme law of the land." Therefore, when the Congress passes a law, it is the purview of the courts to determine whether such law conflicts in some respect with the Constitution. If the law (or an act of the Chief Executive) is repugnant to the Constitution, it cannot stand. That is the system under which the Republic has been operating for the past 220+ years. In my humble opinion, it's worked pretty well.

Now, what has happened over the past six years has been no less than a fundamental reworking of the balance of governmental power, the beloved "checks and balances" we learned about in our civics classes in middle school. We know that King George has already decided that he doesn't have to, as his oath of office states, "faithfully execute the laws of the United States." Over the past months, we have heard repeatedly how King George signs bills passed by Congress into law, while at the same time secretly signing statements that arrogates to himself the authority NOT to implement any law that, in his sole opinion, are an unconstitutional infringement on his authoririty as Chief Executive. Wait, you might say, it is the responsibility of the courts to determine whether Congress has gone too far; it is up to the courts to say to Congress that a law they have passed is an impermissible infringement upon the authority of the Executive branch of the goverment. And of course you would be exactly correct. Yet this is, undisputably, exactly what King George has done. Thus, he already holds the reins of two of the three branches of the government.

But what to do about those pesky courts? The final confrontation, I believe, is just around the corner, if we're not there already. It will come the day that the Supreme Court rules against King George on one of his criminal acts, whether it be tapping the phones of American citizens without a warrant, or extraordinary rendition, or detaining and torturing anyone he, in his sole opinion, believes is dangerous. On that day, he will stand before the cameras and declare that he doesn't care what the Supreme Court says, that his authority as President in a time of war is absolute and the courts cannot do anything about it, that the courts do not have the power to enforce their rulings. Isn't that really what Alberto Gonzales is threatening when he "warns" the courts not to cross King George on the Torturers R Us Act? Isn't he really saying, "look you judges, you better stay in line, we will not brook interference with our master plan"? The President is, after all, the Commander in Chief of the military. Suppose King George orders the military to take the Justices of the Supreme Court (or maybe just a few of them, like Justices Ginsberg, Breyer and Stevens) into custody because they, in his opinion, are dangerous (and indeed these particular Justices are dangerous to his view of how power is "shared" in our government). What's to stop him? Hasn't he already set a precedent that he can detain indefinitely any person he, in his sole opinion, deems dangerous. Without charges, without lawyers, without access to courts (which will no longer exist)?

King George will soon hold in his hands the reins of all three branches of our government; he will be the Supreme Law of the Land; he will be our Maximum Leader; he will be our Imperial President; he will be our dictator.

That day is coming, my lovelies, it is coming.

Update: Okay, so I have been a little out of touch this past week with work and what not, so this is just finally sinking in. The day I alluded to above is not coming; it is here. We have been quite focused on this whole question of torture, and I think maybe we have missed the largest issue here (or maybe just I have missed the largest issue). The Detainee Act, or whatever the hell they are calling it, strips the courts of the authority to review decisions rendered by King George with respect to detainees. Says the New York Times: "The bill, which cleared a final procedural hurdle in the House on Friday and is likely to be signed into law next week by Mr. Bush, does not just allow the president to determine the meaning and application of the Geneva Conventions; it also strips the courts of jurisdiction to hear challenges to his interpretation." So there you have it, the final check on untrammeled executive authority purportedly has been removed. So what will happen if the courts determine that the Congress does not have the authority to srip them of their jurisdiction and hears challenges to the new law anyway?

First, constitutional crisis; then, civil war.

Developing News To Keep An Eye On

Baghdad was locked down in a curfew. Some speculate that there was going to be a coup attempt by an Iraqi militia or even the Iraqi military. Developing.

Bob Woodward's book, "State of Denial" to be released Monday asserts a lot of the stuff we already knew or figured out, but it will send heads rolling. Seems the only person who liked Rummy was Bushie. Daddy Bush lost sleep over his son's blunders. Seems that Rice brushed off Tenet's warning of an imminent attack in June, 2001. Let's see the WH smear Woodward. Story at MSNBC, NY Times, WaPo, CNN.

The truth about the elections in Georgia 2002 are going to be revealed. And more. The great hacking of America's elections by Diebold. It's coming.

Yesterday, bush was supposed to sign the torture bill with much fanfare. He didn't. Instead Alberto Gonzales came out swinging against federal judges, before they even said anything. He said that federal judges should not substitute their personal views for the president's judgments in wartime. The administration must be getting nervous.

Friday, September 29

Another One Bites The Dust.

UPDATE: Some Republican Congressman knew about Foley's behavior and chose not to act on it.
Americablog has some transcripts of IM's with other boys. ick.



Republican Congressman Resigns

In the wee hours of the morning, I read this short article at ABC News about Congressman Foley who was accused by a 16 year old page of writing emails that were "too friendly" from his private AOL account. I wasn't really convinced that writing a "friendly" email meant that he was a pervert so I didn't blog it. But then again we know which party has the most perverts. Foley is the founder and co-chair of the Congressional Missing and Exploited Children’s Caucus. He worked with John Walsh (TV’s America’s Most Wanted) on a variety of child protection programs. His website reports that "Among the latest of these is a program designed to show children how to protect themselves from online predators." Uh oh. Red flag.

While reading the comments at the ABC story this morning, many stated with conviction that this was a "left wing" or Democratic smear campaign- as if the left wing, especially a Democrat is capable of orchestrating anything. sheesh. His democratic opponent Tim Mahoney, who was barely named in any article was calling for an investigation though.

Well it turns out that today Foley Resigned Over Sexually Explicit Messages to Minors.
ABC News had read excerpts of instant messages provided by former male pages who said the congressman, under the AOL Instant Messenger screen name Maf54, made repeated references to sexual organs and acts.
Oh my. This was not a one shot deal then. The details have not been released, thank God. Foley immediately handed in his resignation after being questioned by ABC News. His opponent, Tim Mahoney also says that his campaign will not use these charges against Foley in their election campaign. There's a pretty good chance we'll see a new Democratic congresscritter in Florida next month. yay?

Elvis Has Left The Building: RIP America



The fearmongers won in the Senate.
The fearmongers won in the House.

Whoever said that good will prevail over evil lied.

A twice unelected sociopath with no sense of humanity was granted all his wishes. A man who can barely string words together to form a coherent sentence, whose favorite philospher is Jesus and who has brought nothing but shame upon our country gets to decide what the Geneva Conventions mean thanks to the pandering, sniveling, ever scared minions in DC. These are the men and women that Americans voted for.

Sometimes you get what you pay for.

The End of America as We Know It . . . And I Don't Feel Fine

Today is a day for the history books. The Torture Bill/Detainee Act (S. 3930) was passed by the Senate early this evening by a vote of 65-34. Here is the list of Democratic traitors who voted to give Our Dear Leader a free hand:

Carper (Del.)
Johnson (S.D.)
Landrieu (La.)
Lautenberg (N.J.)
Lieberman (Conn.)
Menendez (N.J)
Pryor (Ark.)
Rockefeller (W. Va.)
Salazar (Co.)
Stabenow (Mich.)
Nelson (Fla.)
Nelson (Neb.)

Burn the names of these people and their Republican counterparts into your memory, as future generations must be taught who among our so-called representatives was willing to make America into a mirror of Latin American tin-pot dictatorships.

Of course the Grand Old Party (of torture) maintained discipline in the ranks. They were happy to march in lockstep towards their vision of the New! Improved! America (tm) that is awaiting us. We now have legal torture, all based on what the Decider decides are permissible methods. The war criminals have now been given retroactive immunity. Oh hell, I can't bring myself to list all the horrors of this law. These horrors don't just apply to "enemy combatants", they could apply to you or me or other Americans, because now there are new definitions for that too.

Read the list of horrors here: "Rushing Off a Cliff" from today's NYT.

R.I.P. America
I am overtaken with grief and heartbreak.
I mourn for all that has been lost.
Are you grieving too?

But this Monday I'll pick myself back up and get back into the fight. There is no other choice. I will not give in to despair or give up. Will you please keep fighting too?

- by Auntie Roo

jocelyn elders for secretary of education

Well, to spend the afternoon cleaning house or blogging?

I must confess it has been a while since my last entry. I haven't wanted to write about the disappointments or the daily insults. Sometimes the theater of the absurd that is modern living gets to be an old, repetitive topic. Or it could just become a regular feature on these pages.

Someone I knew said that I am an angry person. If you aren't angry, you are delusional.

Part of the function of public schools of all levels is teaching civics. We do a really poor job of it. One of my students said that her professor wouldn't allow her to take a make up exam. She needed to miss the exam because she had been subpoenaed and she had to testify in state district court. When did professors get the idea that their exams are more important than a subpoena? The student had the court summons issued by the court in hand. She wasn't lying. She cannot duck the subpoena or she will be arrested. Perhaps her instructor isn't familiar with the laws of the State of Texas. My student performed the exam in a rush, made it to court late, and the judge admonished her. Fortunately she did not hold my student in contempt.

Another colleague told his classes that there are at least 500 "partial birth abortions" (not a medical term, but rather a term more closely associated with propaganda) performed a week. He did not inform them of the emotional nature of the term or the fact that federal law prohibits the procedure. The basis of the law is probably unconstitutional because it violates Roe v. Wade.

How in the Hell are we supposed to teach students something of their responsibility as citizens if we don't provide proper, honest, information to students?

Another police officer was murdered in Houston last week. Talk radio has used the fact that the suspect in the shooting is here illegally to mew and puke about ICE (sounds like a name straight out of Get Smart) and what is known as a "sanctuary policy." Our police cannot ask someone their legal residency status because if they are here illegally, we don't really have the manpower or the jail capacity to process them and ICE is overwhelmed. The same people who complain about this policy are the same people who hate paying taxes and refuse to raise taxes to provide for enough police officers so the police must work alone rather than with a partner. They won't raise their taxes to provide ICE with manpower and facilities. Conservatives want to gripe about illegals but they don't want to raise taxes to cope with a problem that they understand to be a national security issue.

Two weeks ago, the decision was made at our house to purchase new Michelin tires for my Volvo. I like Michelins. I don't buy other tires. I ordered said tires from a national chain tire dealer. They still haven't called me to tell me that the tires are here. The manager of the tire store told me that UPS had brought him, "like 500 new tires and I can't tell if the ones you ordered are like here. I mean there is this invoice and a shipping list, but hey, I have got 500 new tires so I don't know where your tires are." So I went to where America shops for washing machines, underwear, and tires and bought said Michelins there for about $200 less than the discount store wanted. But I had to wait three hours for a service person to remove my old tires and replace them with my new tires. Thank God they remembered to tighten the lug nuts. During that time while I waited, even though I had a reservation --whatever that means-- I was subjected to Dancing with the Stars on the television in the waiting room. I think the premiere of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip said it best when one of its characters noted while describing the general tone of television programing, ''If you pointed a camera at two people masturbating, it'd be among the least embarrassing things on the National Broadcasting System.''

It might not be the most embarrassing thing happening in modern life, either.

We purchased a new dishwasher and it took no less than 27 hours to have it installed. The installer went to the wrong house--common in our neighborhood where the builder named all the streets practically the same name and gave houses the same numbers a block over--where the installer sat in the driveway unable to call us on his cell because it was dead. Evidently leaving the driveway once he found it and say calling us from a near-by gas station isn't company policy. The next day, he found a phone that actually worked and called while standing on our porch without an appointment. We let him in the house to install the dishwasher because we were afraid that no one would ever again show up to install the dishwasher. That also took three hours. Not kidding. Wish I were. He was from Syria via Bulgaria armed with a university degree in engineering.

What do these paragraphs have in common? You can't fix stupid and it is clearly running us into circles into the ground.

When Jocelyn Elders, the Surgeon General in the Clinton Administration, suggested that we teach young people how to masturbate, she was on to something. She shouldn't have been fired. She should have been made Secretary of Education. If masturbation was included in the curriculum at all schools, at least young people would learn something and perhaps something they would be good at and enjoy. This makes much more sense than depending on the school system to tell students something important like honoring a subpoena, recognizing propaganda from truth, why we pay taxes and where they go, and reading well enough to understand how to order and change tires.

Statement of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton

September 28, 2006

"Mr. President, the Senate is currently debating a bill on how we treat detainees in our custody and, more broadly, on how we treat the principles on which our nation was founded.

The implications are far reaching for our national security interests abroad; the rights of Americans at home; our reputation in the world; and the safety of our troops.

The threat posed by the evil and nihilistic movement that has spawned terrorist networks is real and gravely serious. We must do all we can to defeat the enemy with all the tools in our arsenal and every resource at our disposal. All of us – every one of us – is dedicated to deterring and defeating this enemy.

The challenge before us on this bill, in the final days of session before the November election, is to find a solution that serves our national security interests. I fear, however, that there are those who place a strategy for winning elections ahead of a smart strategy for winning the war on terrorism.

Democrats and Republicans alike believe that terrorists must be caught, captured, sentenced, punished. I believe there can be no mercy for those who perpetrated 9/11 and other crimes against humanity. But in the process of accomplishing what I believe is essential for our security we must hold on to our values and set an example we can point to with pride, not shame. Those captured are going nowhere – they are imprisoned now – so we should follow the duty given us by the Supreme Court and carefully craft the right piece of legislation to try and punish them. The president acted without authority and it is our duty now to be careful in handing this president just the right amount of authority to get the job done.

Mr. President, During the Revolutionary War, between the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which set our founding ideals to paper, and the writing of our Constitution, which fortified those ideals under the rule of law, our values – our beliefs as Americans – were already being tested.

We were at war and victory was hardly assured, in fact the situation was closer to the opposite. New York City and Long Island had been captured. General George Washington and the Continental Army retreated across New Jersey to Pennsylvania, suffering tremendous casualties and a body blow to the cause of American Independence.

It was at this time, among these soldiers at this moment of defeat and despair, that Thomas Paine would write, “These are the times that try men's souls.” Soon afterward, Washington lead his soldiers across the Delaware River and onto victory in the Battle of Trenton. There he captured nearly 1000 foreign mercenaries and he faced a crucial choice.

How would General Washington treat these prisoners? The British had already committed atrocities against Americans, including torture. As David Hackett Fischer describes in his Pulitzer Prize winning book, Washington's Crossing, thousands of American prisoners of war were “treated with extreme cruelty by British captors.” There are accounts of injured soldiers who surrendered being murdered instead of quartered, countless Americans dying in prison hulks in New York harbor, starvation and other acts of inhumanity perpetrated against Americans confined to churches in New York City.

You can imagine, the light of our ideals shone dimly in those early dark days, years from an end to the conflict, years before our improbable triumph and the birth of our democracy. General Washington was not that far from where the Continental Congress had met and signed the Declaration of Independence. But it is easy to imagine how far that must have seemed. General Washington announced a decision unique in human history, sending the following order for handling prisoners:

Treat them with humanity, and Let them have no reason to Complain of our Copying the brutal example of the British army in their Treatment of our unfortunate brethren.

Therefore, George Washington, our commander-in-chief before he was our President, laid down the indelible marker of our nation’s values even as we were struggling as a nation – and his courageous act reminds us that America was born out of faith in certain basic principles. In fact, it is these principles that made and still make our country exceptional and allow us to serve as an example. We are not bound together as a nation by bloodlines. We are not bound by ancient history; our nation is a new nation. Above all, we are bound by our values.

Now these values – George Washington’s values, the values of our founding – are at stake. We are debating far-reaching legislation that would fundamentally alter our nation’s conduct in the world and the rights of Americans here at home. And we are debating it too hastily in a debate too steeped in electoral politics.

The Senate, under the authority of the Republican Majority and with the blessing and encouragement of the Bush-Cheney Administration, is doing a great disservice to our history, our principles, our citizens, and our soldiers. The deliberative process is being broken under the pressure of partisanship and the policy that results is a travesty.

Fellow Senators, the process for drafting this legislation to correct the administration’s missteps has not befitted the “world’s greatest deliberative body.” Legitimate, serious concerns raised by our senior military and intelligence community have been marginalized, difficult issues glossed over, and debates we should have had have been shut off in order to pass a misconceived bill before Senators return home to campaign for re-election.

For the safety of our soldiers and the reputation of our nation, it is far more important to take the time to do the job right than to do it quickly and badly. There is no reason other than partisanship for not continuing deliberation to find a solution that works to achieve a true consensus based on American values.

In the last several days, this bill has undergone countless changes – all for the worse – and differs significantly from the compromise brokered between the Bush Administration and a few Senate Republicans last week.

Fellow Senators, we all know we are holding this hugely important debate against the backdrop of November’s elections. There are some in this body more focused on holding on to their jobs than doing their jobs right. Some in this chamber plan to use our honest and serious concerns for protecting our country and our troops as a political wedge issue to divide us for electoral gain.

How can we in the Senate find a proper answer and reach a consensus when any matter that does not serve the Majority’s partisan advantage is mocked as weakness, and any real concern for our troops and values dismissed demagogically as coddling the enemy?

This broken process and its blatant politics will cost our nation dearly. It allows a discredited policy ruled by the Supreme Court to be unconstitutional to largely continue and to be made worse.

We must stand for the rule of law before the world, especially when we are under stress and under threat. We must show that we uphold our most profound values. The rule of law cannot be compromised.

Our Supreme Court in its Hamdan v. Rumsfeld decision ruled that the Bush Administration’s previous military commission system had failed to follow the Constitution and the law in its treatment of detainees. The question before us is whether this Congress will follow the decision of the Supreme Court and create a better system that withstands judicial examination – or attempt to confound that decision, a strategy destined to fail again.

The bill before us allows the admission into evidence of statements derived through cruel, inhuman and degrading interrogation. That sets a dangerous precedent that will endanger our own men and women in uniform overseas.

Will our enemies be less likely to surrender? Will informants be less likely to come forward? Will our soldiers be more likely to face torture if captured? Will the information we obtain be less reliable? These are the questions we should be asking. And based on what we know about warfare from listening to those who have fought for our country, the answers do not support this bill.

As Lieutenant John F. Kimmons, the Army’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence said, “No good intelligence is going to come from abusive interrogation practices.”

Allowing coercive treatment and torturous actions toward prisoners not only violates the fundamental rule of law and the institutions of justice, not only will it fail to bear fruit in intelligence gathering, but it promotes radicalization. Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s second-in-command, the architect of many of the attacks on our country and throughout Europe and the world, has said, over and over, that torture helps the cause of extremism – watering the seeds of jihad.

M. President, I would like to submit for the Record letters and statements from former military leaders, 9/11 Families, the religious community, retired judges, legal scholars and law professors, all of whom have registered serious concerns with this bill and its provisions.

The bill also makes significant changes to the War Crimes Act. As it is now written, the War Crimes Act makes it a federal crime for any soldier or national of the United States to violate, among other things, Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions in an armed conflict not of an international character. The administration has voiced concern that Common Article 3 – which prohibits “cruel treatment or torture,” “outrages against human dignity,” and “humiliating and degrading treatment” – sets out an intolerably vague standard on which to base criminal liability, and may expose CIA agents to jail sentences for rough interrogation tactics used in questioning detainees.

But the current bill’s changes to the War Crimes Act have done little to clarify the rules for our interrogators.

This bill undermines the Geneva Conventions by allowing the President to issue Executive Orders to redefine what are permissible interrogation techniques. Have we fallen so low as to debate how much torture we are willing to stomach? By allowing this Administration to further stretch the definition of what is and is not torture, we lower our moral standards to those whom we despise, undermine the values of our flag wherever it flies, put our troops in danger, and jeopardize our moral strength in a conflict that cannot be won simply with military might.

Once again, there are those who are willing to stay a course that is not working, giving the Bush-Cheney Administration a blank check – a blank check to torture, to create secret courts using secret evidence, to detain people, including Americans, to be free of judicial oversight and accountability, to put our troops in greater danger.

The bill has several other flaws as well.

This bill would not only deny detainees habeas corpus rights – a process that would allow them to challenge the very validity of their confinement – it would also deny these rights to lawful immigrants living in the United States. If enacted, this law would give license to this Administration to pick people up off the streets of the United States and hold them indefinitely without charges and without legal recourse.

At the very least, this is worth a debate on the merits, not on the politics. This is worth putting aside our differences – it’s too important.

Our values are central. Our national security interests in the world are vital. And nothing should be of greater concern to those of us in this chamber than the young men and women who are, right now, wearing our nation’s uniform, serving in dangerous territory.

After all, our standing, our morality, our beliefs are tested in this chamber and their impact and their consequences are tested under fire, they are tested when American lives are on the line, they are tested when our strength and ideals are questioned by our friends and by our enemies.

When our soldiers face an enemy, when our soldiers are in danger, that is when our decisions in this chamber will be felt. Will that enemy surrender? Or will he continue to fight, with fear for how he might be treated and with hate directed not at us, but at the patriot wearing our uniform whose life is on the line?

When our nation seeks to lead the world in service to our interests and our values, will we still be able to lead by example?

Our values, our history, our interests, and our military and intelligence experts all point to one answer.

Let’s pass a bill that’s been honestly and openly debated, not hastily cobbled together.

Let’s pass a bill that unites us, not divides us.

Let’s pass a bill that strengthens our moral standing in the world, that declares clearly that we will not retreat from our values before the terrorists. We will not give up who we are. We will not be shaken by fear and intimidation. We will not give one inch to the evil and nihilistic extremists who have set their sights on our way of life.

Vladimir Bukovsky, who spent nearly 12 years in Soviet prisons, labor camps, and psychiatric hospitals for nonviolent human rights activities had this to say: “If Vice President Cheney is right, that some ‘cruel, inhumane, or degrading’ treatment of captives is a necessary tool for winning the war on terrorism, then the war is lost already.”

Before George Washington crossed the Delaware, before he could achieve that long-needed victory, before the tide would turn, before he ordered that prisoners be treated humanely, he ordered that his soldiers read Thomas Paine’s writing. He ordered that they read about the ideals for which they would fight, the principles at stake, the importance of this American project.

Now we find ourselves at a moment when we feel threatened, when the world seems to have grown more dangerous, when our nation needs to ready itself for a long and difficult struggle against a new and dangerous enemy that means us great harm.

Just as Washington faced a hard choice, so do we. It’s up to us to decide how we wage this struggle and not up to the fear fostered by terrorists. We decide.

This is a moment where we need to remind ourselves of the confidence and bravery of George Washington. We cannot, we must not, subvert our ideals – we can and must use them to win. "

(read it large here)

Thursday, September 28

Big Brother Alert

Goofing Off During Work Creates Jobs
Although you may lose yours.

The watchers and computer monitoring software developers are doing fine keeping your employers up to date with your non-work activity.

The boss is watching your every click... is a rather alarmming article at newscientisttech.com

Corporations are worried about employees divulging company secrets. They are also nosy and want to know exactly is working for them. Sure, you are not supposed to be engaged in non work activities when you're on the clock, but with the advent of the internet, the bosses really know where you stand and what your interests are in more ways than you care to divulge. An email dashed off to a friend on your lunch hour may be read by your boss soon afterwards. Better not say anything about work to anyone. They can find out a lot about you before you even get hired (or not). If you work from home on your computer, even your very personal life can become the business of your employer.

huh?

Here is the question Wisconsin voters will see on their ballot:

QUESTION 1: "Marriage. Shall section 13 of article XIII of the constitution be created to provide that only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state and that a legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state?"


-----
Meanwhile some guys were discussing the pending amendment in a Wauwatosa, Wi restaurant the other night and it ended in a violent brawl. A very anti-gay marriage customer attacked a couple of other patrons, then went out and came back throwing ketchup bottles. On the other hand a formal debate took place in Green Bay on the same night. No one was injured. Another non-violent forum took place in Wausa where some insisted that allowing gay marriage would lead to polygamy.

Anyway, since gay marriage is already illegal in Wisconsin and they aren't required to recognize a same sex marriage contracted in another state, why are they bothering to even cast a vote for an amendment? Politics.

Keith Olberman -- THANK YOU!

From Crooks and Liars

Keith Olbermann responds to Bush’s non-response to Bill Clinton. He goes over his first months in office leading up to 9/11. It’s not a pretty picture,

But it is an accurate one. They are ALL truly pathetic -- it's really sad.

I can't wait to pass this along to a few bush loving 'friends' for discussion. I do believe this time-line provided by Olberman will shut them up once and for all!

ATMs For Jesus


An entrepreneurial and modern pastor in a Georgia church came up with the idea for "Giving Kiosks" in the back of his church. The flock can stop there and make donations via their ATM cards. The pastor noticed that fewer people carry cash in their wallets and some people forget their checkbooks, so ATM machines would be just the ticket for his upper middle class parishioners to tithe. The three kiosks in his 1,100 member parish will give about $200,000 to $240,000 via kiosk this year, about 15% of the church's total donations.

It seems to have paid off for the church. Pastor Baker and his wife set up a for-profit corporation in order to market "Giving Kiosks" to other churches. Seven other churches have joined the bandwagon.

"The Bakers charge between $2,000 and $5,000 for the kiosks, which come in a variety of configurations. They also collect a monthly subscription fee of up to $49.95 for licensing and support. And a card-processing company gets 1.9% of each transaction; a small cut of that fee goes to SecureGive."

Other congregations, according to the article use "e-tithing" where their donations are directly debited from their checking accounts. The Bakers claim that if they get rich from their innovation, they will praise the Lord and make a donation to their church.

Amen

Wednesday, September 27

Fascism Anyone ?

I wrote this piece two and a half year ago. How much came true?

Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary defines fascism as "a political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized, autocratic government."
There are two forms of fascism: "autocracy" and "corporatism"

Autocracy is a totalitarian regime where the government gets hold of all national resources to control public and private lives, dominated by one political party, headed by a single charismatic leader. Information and ideas are effectively organized through the control of television, radio, the press, and education at all levels. They, systemicly penetrate all levels of society, and systematically use propaganda, terror and patriotic slogans to arouse it's subjects. Example of past autocracies are Hitler's Third Reich, or Saddam's Baathist regime.

Corporatism is different fundamentally, but identical regarding the control of it's subjects. It is constituted by an alliance of "big business", "religious organizations", "broadcasting corporations", " press", "conservative groups" forming an oligarchy with a shadow government and a figurehead leader. In this form of government "the council" (shadow government) is making the decisions and the figurehead communicates the decision dressed in an acceptable lingo to the people without substantial meaning.

Secrecy and disinformation is their fundamental policy: "Wolf dressed in sheepskin"
They would call deregulation or relaxation of factory chemical releases in the atmosphere as " Clean Air Act" and name as secretary of Environmental Protection Agency a coal mine executive or lobbyist. Or, "Save our Forests Act", deregulating or relaxing the quota of cutting down trees and name as secretary of the agency a lumber company executive. ( any coincidence with real facts or people is not intended, nor is documented )

Fascism will not be referred to by it's name, since that word is tabu. Instead "planned capitalism" or "industrial policy" will be used. Everything comes in disguise like "war on terror" or "homeland security" (doesn't that ring "fatherland"?) Under the slogan "homeland security" a government may invent restrictions on liberties and name it "patriot act"; instill fear and terror in the general population, occasionally raise the terror alert level as a reminder to distract attention from economic uncertainties, unemployment, lack of health care provision to large masses, downsizing etc.

By institutionalizing the "war on terrorism" a government may acquire a rationale for expanding its powers and furthering its domestic agenda. While the nation's resources are directed toward endless war, promoting tax cuts in the midst of recession, leaving few resources available for domestic programs.

This form of fascism will sneak up on you in a disguise. Slowly it's roots will grow deeply, spreading in all directions, entangling the entire society.The ideologically driven party nurturing its own intellectuals and supporting a network that transforms the national ideology from mildly liberal to predominantly conservative, slowly pushes the Democrats to the right enfeebling opposition. The government responds primarily to corporate interests; voters become cynical, resigned and opposition decreases. It adopts a reckless unilateralism, demands unquestionable support on terms it dictates; ignores treaties and violates international law at will; invades other countries without provocation; and incarcerates persons indefinitely without charging them with a crime or allowing access to counsel.

Does any of this ring a bell?

Oh man

And in local news

because sometimes it's more interesting than politics and war

• NYC may ban trans fats
It's creating havoc among restauranteurs and donut makers. On one hand, NY has gotten out of hand legislating all sort of restrictions for "our own good," on the other hand, transfats should be banned in all foods that we buy. And on the other hand, they ought to ban radioactive hot spots in NYC while they're at it.

• Long Island Woman Misdiagnosed with Breast Cancer
"After undergoing a lumpectomy and 25 painful radiation treatments, Lynne Yurosko got surprising news: She never actually had breast cancer."

Man oh man, that's the same lab that I used for screenings. I also had surgery after their findings in 1992. The anesthesiologist almost killed me.

TDS: Getting edgy

Pakistani President Pervez Musharaf appeared on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart last night. It will be re-run today and I am searching for the video on the internet this morning. Supposedly "real" news media were aghast that Musharaf would be on Comedy Central because afterall, TDS is "fake" news. Stewart immediately asked the Pakistani leader, after offering him tea and twinkies, "Where’s Osama bin Laden?” I wonder how many other "journalists" went straight to the point?

Musharaf met with Stewart one day before he meets with bush.

Condo-Lies- A

MSNBC spent a segment talking about Clinton's sock falling down in his interview with Fox News on Sunday. Someone shoot me.
HOST: Well, people haven’t just been talking about Bill Clinton’s red face in that Fox News interview and all the anger and the finger pointing, but some have been focusing on Clinton’s white legs. The former president showing off a little leg during the sitdown with Chris Wallace. We’re going to show you that, and that’s left some — see, there it is, a little glimpse of leg. Well, how does this happen? … I mean — is this a travesty or what?
[SNIP]
RON CHRISTIE: Yes, I do have longer socks on. And the fact of the matter is —
HOST: How high do they come? To your calf or knee?
RON CHRISTIE: They’re almost up to the knee. You don’t have to worry about any leg showing here.
HOST: Very good. Because I prefer modesty in all of my interviewees.
RON CHRISTIE: Exactly.
HOST: Julian Epstein, Ron Christie, that was fun.
RON CHRISTIE:Thanks.
HOST: If I had been doing that interview, I’ve got to say, I would just say, “Oh, Mr. president, your leg is showing,” or it’s sort of like telling someone they have spinach in their teeth. Come on, it’s not cool to let someone go around with spinach in their teeth, same thing with leg.

What a fucking waste of airtime. I'd like to know who sponsored that segment.

Meanwhile after the interview with Clinton aired, Rice A Roni declared that The Clinton administration did not leave her with a comprehensive strategy to fight al Qaida. That made news, of course. But it was a lie.
RAW STORY has found that just five days after President George W. Bush was sworn into office, a memo from counter-terrorism expert Richard A. Clarke to Rice included the 2000 document, "Strategy for Eliminating the Threat from the Jihadist Networks of al-Qida: Status and Prospects." This document devotes over 2 of its 13 pages of material to specifically addressing strategies for securing Pakistan's cooperation in airstrikes against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Oh, and here's the memo sent to Condolieza by Richard Clark in January of 2001 AND more of her lies.

Hey remember when the bushistas moved into the WH that they claimed that Clinton stole stuff and that all the W's were missing from the typewriters? That was a lie too. Most people believe it to this day. It's just unbelievable how the television media distorts the news and they know damn well that most Americans get their news from television.

Tuesday, September 26

Open Thread. Rant, baby rant.

Oh for god's sake, who's going to invade us?



If the administration was so darn worried about national security, then they would have done something about it, but they haven't. Fighting in Iraq has nothing to do with our national security except that the war made more people pissed off at America so maybe our chances of being attacked are increased. I'm not building a bomb shelter.

If the pretzeldent and president of vice gave a shit about national security, we would get the hell out of the middle east and bring the troops back here to protect my arse. How are the Republicans protecting me? I don't see it. Closing military bases in the states gives me the impression that the powers that be aren't all that concerned about a military presence here. Is anyone checking the ports? I doubt it. Have you checked out the TSA workers in the airports? Feel safer?

I am so sick and tired of "national security" issues. The pretzeldent is going to deliver another fucking speech about the war on terra this Friday- probably because there were two reports released this week declaring that the invasion and occupation of Iraq are a disaster inciting more people around the world to become terrorists. Well duh. What did they expect? That people would just sit there and take it like big fat lazy Americans do?

With elections looming, the fear mongering will be in full gear. I'm putting in my ear plugs. How so many Americans buy this crap amazes me. No one is going to nuke the US. The nuclear arms race is a matter of "whoever dies with the most toys, wins". Lots of countries have to deal with a possible terrorist attack and they don't go around the world acting like big old bullies. I remember bush insinuating that Iraq wasn't part of the civilized world. What the hell world is he a part of? If someone said that about America, bush would order a napalm strike on their country.

Oh god, I needed to get that off my chest. What's on your mind?

This is a video from a mid-'70s episode of "The Electric Company"

Actually, I thought it was A VERY STRANGE VIDEO. Maybe it's just me. After all, the show was produced by the Children's Television Workshop and PBS. And, they surely know what they're doing when it comes to producing award winning children's shows - right?

I was a bit older and missed Sesame Street and Electric Company. Maybe that's why I never learned how to spell!! I had Captain Kangaroo and Mr. Green Jeans, Hap Richards (the Mayor of Joyville), and Ranger Andy. Oh what playful fun we had!!

Anyway, it's a short video clip. (I just happened to come across it when I was looking for a Victor Borge video on punctuation.) If you have time, I'd love to hear what you think. Just a cute little video on how to spell, right?

Diplomacy Doesn't Pay

I rented "Why We Fight" and watched it yesterday. It was a pretty good dot connecting movie for me. I am obsessed with the cold war and life in the 1950's so I thought it would be a good movie to see. We grew up afraid of the enemy. It was always in the background.

The movie was inspired by Eisenhower's warning of the Military Industrial Complex in his farewell speech of 1961. It turns out that even Eisenhower didn't even know all that was going on behind the scenes. There is another force at work (surprise surprise). Fear mongering and war mongering go together and it's really not because the US wants to spread freedom, it's because it makes certain people rich and powerful.

After WWII when the rest of the world was rebuilding from ashes, the US remained the only country unwrecked by the war, yet the fear mongers realized just how much money could be made from continuous military interventions, the "defense" industry grew, millions of people were employed in defense all across the country, the propaganda movies were made and the American people were scared into submission without a clue as to why this was going on. People were working and they didn't ask questions.

The movie asserts that so much goes on behind the scenes that the American people are left out of the loop. When 9/11 happened, we wanted to know why. No one ever told us why and no one will. The powers that be deliberately disconnected foreign policy from the American people. We were just told since WWII, that there was an enemy and the enemy must be stopped. Troops were sent all over the globe to keep "peace".

Gore Vidal calls us the United States of Amnesia because we've forgotten how many times the US intervened unilaterally throughout history. When they put up the world map, it all became clear. Our priorities are set by corporate interests in world domination and it has nothing to do with political parties. Independent contractors are doing what soldiers used to do (thanks to the KBR) and corporations that depend on wars are finding new ways to make money aside from creating weapons. It all became clear to me why we bombed the hell out of Iraq and destroyed their infrastructure.

Why are we in this mess now? In 1992, Dick Cheney gave Kellogg Brown and Root the job to write proposals in order to privatize the services industry. This was after he and Wolfowitz decided a year earlier that the US should be the only world power. They had it all planned out in advance and on 9/11/01 it was all implemented. US corporations could get rich in other countries. And that's what it's all about.

There's a lot more about the movie here with many clips from the movie. Do check it out.

Wagging the Dog

I am just going to post this trip down memory lane from Think Progress.

"In his interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace, former President Bill Clinton noted that the political right, which now accuses him of not doing enough to stem the al Qaeda terrorist threat, criticized his 1998 missile strikes in Afghanistan as “wag the dog.” Clinton said:
The people on my political right who say I didn’t do enough spent the whole time I was president saying, Why is he so obsessed with bin Laden? That was wag the dog when he tried to kill him.

Originating from a 1997 movie, Wag the Dog was a phrase used by the right to suggest Clinton’s airstrikes were driven by ulterior motives in an effort to distract the public. Some examples below:
Rep. Jim Gibbons (R-NV):
“‘Look at the movie Wag the Dog. I think this has all the elements of that movie,’ Rep. Jim Gibbons, R-Nev., said. ‘Our reaction to the embassy bombings should be based on sound credible evidence, not a knee-jerk reaction to try to direct public attention away from his personal problems.’” [Ottawa Citizen, 8/21/98]

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA):
“There’s an obvious issue which will be raised internationally about the response here as to whether there is any diversionary motive involved. … I have deliberated consciously any references to Ms. Monica Lewinsky, but when you ask the question in very blunt terms, the president’s current problems have to be on the minds of many people.” [CNN, 8/20/98]

Former Sen. John Ashcroft (R-MO):
“‘We support the president out of a sense of duty whenever he deploys military forces, but we’re not sure - were these forces sent at this time because he needed to divert our attention from his personal problems?‘ Ashcroft said during the taping of a TV program in Manchester, N.H.” [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 8/21/98]

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX):
“I’m very supportive of the strike that has happened, but I will tell you that the timing is very questionable. This was the day that Monica Lewinsky has gone back to the grand jury, evidently enraged. Certainly that information will be overshadowed.” [Dallas Morning News, 8/21/98]

Former Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN):
“Coats (R-IN), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a statement, ‘While there is clearly much more we need to learn about this attack and why it was ordered today, given the president’s personal difficulties this week, it is legitimate to question the timing of this action.‘” [CNN, 8/20/98]

Rep. Dave Weldon (R-FL):
“‘The obvious question is, are the two connected?’ asked Rep. Dave Weldon (R-Fla.), who chairs the National Security Committee’s research subcommittee. ‘That’s the unthinkable, and I would hope it would never occur in America, but I can tell you, a lot of people are wondering about it today.‘” [Los Angeles Times, 8/21/98]

Former Rep. Bob Barr (R-GA):
“All I’m saying is if factors other than good intelligence, military necessity, being prepared for the consequences entered into it, then it is wrong, and it appears that one of those factors that may have entered into it is to take something that could have been done a week ago and do it today in an effort to divert some attention.” [Fox News, 8/20/98]"
I remember back during the clinton years wondering if the Republicans were too obsessed with Clinton's sex life to actually let him do his job, let alone do their own jobs.

Have you watched Wag the Dog lately? It's prophetic.

URGENT request from DownSizeDC.org

They are making a lot of noise and need a lot of help ASAP!

STOPTHELIE has a request from downsizeDC.org for us to send letters to congress opposing warrantless spying and a campaign opposing the new tribunals: PASS IT ALONG

(use their sample letter to send an e-mail to your congress critter if you don't want downsizeDC to send the petition on your behalf)

Monday, September 25

c l u s t e r f u c k

Looks like the Military Industrial Complex isn't as good at conducting a war as they are good at profiteering. The following stories are all in the headlines as we speak. Amazing.

Talabani asks for long-term US military presence in Iraq
"I think we will be in need of American forces for a long time -- even two military bases to prevent foreign interference," Talabani told The Washington Post. "I don't ask to have 100,000 American soldiers -- 10,000 soldiers and two air bases would be enough."

Silly Mr Talabani, that was the plan from the get go.
The Rise of Jihadistan
Five years after the Afghan invasion, the Taliban are fighting back hard, carving out a sanctuary where they—and Al Qaeda's leaders—can operate freely.
If you saw foreign versions of Newsweek, you would know that we are losing the war in Afghanistan. The US edition of Newsweek has a different cover. Can you smell propaganda?

I could have told you that this was going to happen. Proposal to carve up Iraq moves forward
Shiite, Sunni Arab and Kurdish political leaders in parliament formed the 27-member committee Monday to begin discussing whether to amend the constitution.
The (US trained) Iraqi Troops Suck.
The plan was simple: Iraqi troops would block escape routes while U.S. soldiers searched for weapons house-by-house. But the Iraqi troops didn't show up on time.
The Army is at its breaking point
and Army extends troops' Iraq duty yet again
And furthermore, a group of retired military officers on Monday bluntly accused Rumsfeld of bungling the war in Iraq, saying U.S. troops were sent to fight without the best equipment and that critical facts were hidden from the public.

And after all that money spent and all the lives lost and soldiers mutilated, the British forces killed the leading terrorist from al Qaida in Afghanistan and we didn't.

Secession or Revolution ?

It's about the only two ideas I have been thinking about lately. Well, actually just dreaming about since neither will probably ever happen. I just can't think of many other ways for us common folk, and our future generations, to thrive. The madness going on within our current government will surely mess up our children's futures-- don't you think? I just hope there are enough kids out there who will be able to lead a revolution when that day comes.
It's not looking very good though.

What about Secession then? A peaceful revolution. Didn't New Hampshire want to do this?

I just read an article Secession -- a Revolutionary Idea
over at WRH. A group from Vermont called The Second Vermont Republic thinks that "It's not a question of 'if,' "the question is: When?" They envision a country much like Switzerland — neutral and economically independent. Imagine if they could ever pull it off -- that would be something! Makes me want to by some land in VT -- honestly, it does. It's probably a better investment then just about anything right now.

But the grass-roots secession campaign faces a major sales job. A recent study by the Center for Rural Studies at the University of Vermont showed that only 8% of respondents thought Vermont should separate from the U.S.

Hey -- 8% is a good start!

"... not going to happen, and no one believes it is going to happen. We are not going to isolate ourselves into a little cocoon where we all milk goats and a windmill runs whatever electrical appliances we are permitted to have. Being a 10th-generation American, I really don't want to let go."

Too bad....

"But there is no basis to it. It's something I can't take seriously. I'll joke about it, but it will never happen."

Well, we can dream about it, can't we? Could or would your state ever try to pull it off? Do you think the common folk would do a better job running their individual states than our current government. With a clean sweep, I sure think we could. Maybe someday (soon) the bloggers will campaign together and produce a candidate that will save us all in '08!

In the meantime ......

...I dug out this "Official state motto winners" from an e-mail that one of you guys sent around. (It's one of my favorites - I thought it went well with the subject matter)

Alabama - Hell Yes, We Have Electricity.
Alaska - 11,623 Eskimos Can't Be Wrong!
Arizona - But It's A Dry Heat.
Arkansas - Literacy Ain't Everything.
California - By 30, Our Women Have More Plastic Than Your Honda.
Colorado - If You Don't Ski, Don't Bother.
Connecticut -Like Mass., Only The Kennedy's Don't Own It Yet.
Delaware - We Really Do Like The Chemicals In Our Water.
Florida - Ask Us About Our Grandkids.
Georgia - We Put The Fun In Fundamentalist Extremism.
Hawaii - Haka Tiki Mou Sha'ami Leeki Toru (Death To Mainland
-Scum, Leave Your Money)
Idaho - More Than Just Potatoes... Well, Okay, We're Not, But
-The Potatoes Sure Are Real Good.
Illinois - Please, Don't Pronounce the "S"
Indiana - 2 Billion Years Tidal Wave Free
Iowa - We Do Amazing Things With Corn
Kansas - First Of The Rectangle States
Kentucky - Five Million People; Fifteen Last Names
Louisiana - We're Not ALL Drunk Cajun Wackos, (But That's Our Tourism Campaign.)
Maine - We're Really Cold, But We Have Cheap Lobster
Maryland - If You Can Dream It, We Can Tax It
Massachusetts - Our Taxes Are Lower Than Sweden 's
Michigan - First Line Of Defense - From The Canadians
Minnesota - 10,000 Lakes...And 10,000,000,000,000 Mosquitoes
Mississippi - Come And Feel Better About Your Own State
Missouri - Your Federal Flood Relief Tax Dollars At Work
Montana - Land Of The Big Sky, The Unabomber, Right-wing
Crazies, and Very Little Else.
Nebraska - Ask About Our State Motto Contest
Nevada - Hookers and Poker!
New Hampshire - Go Away And Leave Us Alone
New Jersey - You Want A ##$%##! Motto? I Got Yer ##$%##!
--Motto right here!
New Mexico - Lizards Make Excellent Pets
New York - You Have The Right To Remain Silent, You Have The Right To An Attorney...
North Carolina - Tobacco Is A Vegetable
North Dakota - We Really Are One Of The 50 States!
Ohio - At Least We're Not Michigan
Oklahoma - Like The Play, But No Singing
Oregon - Spotted Owl...It's What's For Dinner
Pennsylvania - Cook With Coal
Rhode Island - We're Not REALLY An Island
South Carolina - Remember The Civil War? Well, We Didn't Actually Surrender Yet
South Dakota - Closer Than North Dakota
Tennessee - The Edyoocashun State
Texas - Se Hablo Ingles
Utah - Our Jesus Is Better Than Your Jesus
Vermont - Ay, Yep
Virginia - Who Says Government Stiffs And Slackjaw Yokels Don't Mix?
Washington - We have more rain than you do
West Virginia - One Big Happy Family...Really!
Wisconsin - Come Cut The Cheese!
Wyoming - Where Men Are Men... And The Sheep Are Scared

Check it out

I came across this website called, HinesSight. It bills itself as the anti-drudge. It's pretty good and doesn't have that stupid Hollywood crap like HuffPo has.

Bush Fluffs Off Iraq Debacle

First bush said the constitution was just a piece of paper... actually he uses it as toilet paper, but yesterday on Wolf Blitzer he said that the Iraq Invasion and Occupation and continued violence will "look just like a comma" when it is history. Good one, bushie, ya moron. Tell that to the families of those fighting the bush wars.

Did You Watch It?

It wasn't easy to get Faux News back on my tv as I have that channel blocked, but I was interested in watching Bill Clinton meet up with that GOP shill, Chris Wallace and oh my god, am I glad that I don't have to watch that POS excuse for a journalist on a regular basis.

If you missed it, you can watch it here or read it here.

What was most astonishing is that after the interview, Wallace had on a panel of "experts" to discount everything he said which actually proved Clinton's point.

Sunday, September 24

How Cool!

says The Fat Lady Sings most recent post. Check it out!
(she's such an awesome writer -- don't you agree?)

UPDATE: Well Hot Damn!! The Fat Lady Sings won a silver medal in 'The Mysterious Lady's Blogging Emmy's.

HOW SWEET IT IS!!

Let's celebrate with a BALLROOM BLITZ!!!
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah.......
Way to go Fat Lady! Let's all jump on the furniture and do a jig!
(be careful though)

Domestic Terrorism? Yawn.


David Robert McMenemy is an alleged domestic terrorist. He admits that on the morning of 9/11/01 he attempted to blow up an abortion clinic in Davenport, Iowa. Apparently, he is so distraught by the idea of abortion that he feels a deep need to blow things up. The interesting thing about this story from Talk To Action, is that the FBI didn't want anything to do with his failed attempt to blow up the abortion clinic that day. And not only because there was a bigger terrorist attack that morning, the FBI is simply not interested in helping the prosecutor in Iowa who wants to know if McMenemy has connections with other groups or if he is a lone nutjob. The FBI used to investigate anti-abortion violence, but now that domestic anti-abortion terrorists identify themselves as "christians", the FBI doesn't care anymore. Read more

Talking Points

I don't know about you, but it inflames me that the latest winger talking points are to blame clinton for bush's anti-terror failings. Why not arm ourselves with counter talking points? Why not, indeed.

Here's an article to print out and use for your talking points when you meet up with your neighbors and friends who insist that 9/11 was all Clinton's fault. It's from WaPo January 20, 2002.

Here's an excerpt to whet your whistle:
On a closed patch of desert in the first week of June, the U.S. government built a house for Osama bin Laden.

Bin Laden would have recognized the four-room villa. He lived in one just like it outside Kandahar, Afghanistan, whenever he spent a night among the recruits at his Tarnak Qila training camp. The stone-for-stone replica, in Nevada, was a prop in the rehearsal of his death.

From a Predator drone flying two miles high and four miles away, Air Force and Central Intelligence Agency ground controllers loosed a missile. It carried true with a prototype warhead, one of about 100 made, for killing men inside buildings. According to people briefed on the experiment, careful analysis after the missile pierced the villa wall showed blast effects that would have slain anyone in the target room.

The Bush administration now had in its hands what one participant called "the holy grail" of a three-year quest by the U.S. government – a tool that could kill bin Laden within minutes of finding him. The CIA planned and practiced the operation. But for the next three months, before the catastrophe of Sept. 11, President Bush and his advisers held back. (WaPo)
Couple the above information with
Bill Clinton's frank interview with Chris Wallace at Fox Spews to be aired this afternoon (see clip of first part of the interview at C&L),
his administration's attempts at fighting terrorism,
how the Republican Senate in 1996 ignored Clinton's attempts to pass anti-terror legislation,
and the latest information from spy agencies that the bushistas made terrorism worse since the Invastion and Occupation of Iraq and you've got enough information to shut your war mongering friends up for the time being.


Saturday, September 23

Quote of the Day:

"As a 24-year veteran of the FBI, I know that using rough interrogation tactics to overbear a suspect's will is not only wrong ethically, it is ineffective. Subjecting someone to pain and humiliation doesn't compel them to tell the truth; it compels them to say whatever will make the pain stop. This generates bad intelligence." -- Coleen Rowley

Read the rest of Ms. Rowley's essay at
"A Missed Opportunity for Accountability"

Just in time for the elections redux

U.S. can't confirm bin Laden death report: official

He might have died in Pakistan, but then again maybe he didn't.

-------------
Meanwhile the Democrats vow to get tough in the next 6 weeks. yawn.

NAFTA (again)

A few posts down (Oh Canada) I did say I was not going to bring up NAFTA -- SPP -- NAU -- NASCO, etc.. anymore. Before I do close the NAFTA issue completely, I am wondering if anyone has any thoughts about the lack of reporting on these 'secret' committees and 'secret' meetings. According to Joseph Farah, founder of the conservative rag World Net Daily, they are the ones that uncovered all of this. Mr. Farah asks Pat Roberts, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, what he knows about the NAFTA superhighway:

"There's nothing I'm aware of in any authorization bill. I don't know where these things get started. This is one of those blogosphere things that makes you wonder what's going on."

Now, given that Roberts made an allusion to the Internet in this response, I get the feeling he knows precisely where this thing got started – right here at WND. This is not the blogosphere, however. This is WND, one of the largest news sources on the Net.

This is not a rumor.

This is not conjecture.

This is not conspiracy mongering.


This is simple reporting of what is public information on the public record.


Here is Mr. Farah's full commentary.
(doesn't he look like Bobby Badfingers?)

I just can't help wonder what rush bimbo's buddy, Mr. Farah, is up to with this constant reporting of NAFTA, etc.... and why is he one of the few "news sources" doing so?

I guess I'm just looking to file this topic under FARCE, once and for all... so whattaya think....file it?

Clinton Kicks Fox Ass

Fox's Chris Wallace was to interview Bill Clinton about his Global Initiative and the $7 billion dollars he raised in only 3 days, but no. Wallace decided to ambush him and smear him about not catching bin Laden, a popular neocon talking point. Thank goddess for ThinkProgress as they have a transcript of the interview which will air on Sunday on Faux News.

WALLACE: When we announced that you were going to be on Fox News Sunday, I got a lot of email from viewers, and I got to say I was surprised most of them wanted me to ask you this question. Why didn’t you do more to put Bin Laden and al Qaeda out of business when you were President? There’s a new book out which I suspect you’ve read called the Looming Tower. And it talks about how the fact that when you pulled troops out of Somalia in 1993, Bin Laden said “I have seen the frailty and the weakness and the cowardice of US troops.” Then there was the bombing of the embassies in Africa and the attack on the USS Cole.

CLINTON: OK..

WALLACE: …may I just finish the question sir. And after the attack, the book says, Bin Laden separated his leaders because he expected an attack and there was no response. I understand that hindsight is 20/20.

CLINTON: No let’s talk about…

WALLACE: …but the question is why didn’t you do more, connect the dots and put them out of business?

CLINTON: OK, let’s talk about it. I will answer all of those things on the merits but I want to talk about the context of which this arises. I’m being asked this on the FOX network…ABC just had a right wing conservative on the Path to 9/11 falsely claim that it was based on the 9/11 Commission report with three things asserted against me that are directly contradicted by the 9/11 Commission report. I think it’s very interesting that all the conservative Republicans who now say that I didn’t do enough, claimed that I was obsessed with Bin Laden. All of President Bush’s neocons claimed that I was too obsessed with finding Bin Laden when they didn’t have a single meeting about Bin Laden for the nine months after I left office. All the right wingers who now say that I didn’t do enough said that I did too much. Same people.

and more...

WALLACE: Do you think you did enough sir?

CLINTON: No, because I didn’t get him.

WALLACE: Right…

CLINTON: But at least I tried. That’s the difference in me and some, including all the right wingers who are attacking me now. They ridiculed me for trying. They had eight months to try and they didn’t…I tried. So I tried and failed. When I failed I left a comprehensive anti-terror strategy and the best guy in the country, Dick Clarke… So you did FOX’s bidding on this show. You did you nice little conservative hit job on me. But what I want to know..

WALLACE: Now wait a minute sir…

CLINTON:…

WALLACE: I asked a question. You don’t think that’s a legitimate question?

CLINTON: It was a perfectly legitimate question but I want to know how many people in the Bush administration you asked this question of. I want to know how many people in the Bush administration you asked: Why didn’t you do anything about the Cole? I want to know how many you asked: Why did you fire Dick Clarke? I want to know…
and a good ass kick:
CLINTON: You said you’d spend half the time talking about what we did out there to raise $7 billion dollars plus over three days from 215 different commitments. And you don’t care.
more

And here is some video from Faux News.

Friday, September 22

Goddamn You, Democrats

I'm getting madder and madder at the Democratic party by the minute. I mean to say, these ladies and gentlemen (and I use that term loosely) could fuck up a wet dream. Less than six weeks ago, there was every sign that they really (really!) could take back one or two houses of Congress, and then perhaps some of this madness, this absolute insanity, could be stopped. So let's review what the Dems have done during this period:

Nothing. Abso-fucking-lutely not a goddamned thing. Did we hear from one prominent Democrat during the debate over the US torture policy? Nah, I think every Dem in the country was hiding under a rock, relying on McCain and Warner to carry their water. That's a fabulous idea . . . not! Now that McCain and Warner have capitulated? Nada, zip, zilch, nothing. And when they do actually manage to open their mouths, they aren't saying anything worth hearing. Yes, Nancy Pelosi and Charlie Rangel (whom I usually like very much), that means you, so just STFU.

Get a freaking clue folks: To sorta paraphrase Bill Clinton: It's the WAR, stupid! And I don't just mean as a political issue. I mean as a moral issue, as a financial/budgetary issue, as a diplomacy issue, as an energy policy issue. It always comes back (at least in the main) to this issue. Why (mostly) does the world hate us? It's the WAR, stupid! Why is the country's budget drowning in red ink? It's the WAR, stupid! Why are American men and women dying daily for no reason? It's the WAR, stupid! What is the single biggest reason the American public is ready for a change in leadership? It's the WAR, stupid!

What is it going to take to make these people grow some balls? Can I nominate the entire Democratic party for next week's Douchebags of the Week?

Chavez' Speech: Democrats fault.

Yesterday, if you happened to watch any cable "news", you'd see that the buzz was all about Chavez' speech to the UN. I have carefully read his speech and he brought up a lot of good points. Indeed George Bush acts like he is the president of the world and believes that he can bomb the world to peace. Perhaps the "devil came to this room" and the "stench of sulphur" comments were pretty over the top, but they sure got the world's attention.

Interestingly however, the talking points given to the cable "news" stations are that this is all the fault of the Democrats (and of course, they threw Clinton in there too). It's simply ludicrous since the Democrats don't do anything, can't do anything, and rarely assert themselves until AFTER they've been attacked. Democrats are war mongering, corporate profiteering, jerks too, but the mouths that make bush look bad go directly to the Republicans when they describe the atrocities being committed in our name by the president with happy assuring smiles on their faces.

Has it ever occured to ANYONE in the media EVER that bush is simply the worse president ever? That his actions do not reflect will the American people? That the American people and world leaders dislike bush, not just because he is a bumbling, swaggering, cocky, lying, unqualified for the job of world leader, but because his actions are indeed evil? If he was a good man and had some problems with public speaking, people would overlook it.

Apparently Americans did pay attention to the speech because Chomsky's book, Hegemony and Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance mentioned in Chavez' speech, rose to number 7 at Amazon overnight and is now #1. Way to go, Chomsky!

During heated debates on this subject locally, people are still misinformed. Iraq is worse now than it was under Saddam. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Why Can't A Whole Bunch of Us Do This Across The Country?

A former GOP congressional candidate from Nashua NH recently filed for a restraining order barring bush and cheney and other “unnamed defendants actively engaging in acts of war against Iran and Syria in the guise of the war against terrorism” from bombing Syria or Iran. She asserted that congress has not challenged bush's "authority" to fight the so-called "war on terra" and furthermore fears for her health from radioactive fallout. Her case was rejected by the court. Ms. Maxwell plans to appeal to higher courts.

Story here. Her lawsuit here. Her request for a restraining order here.

What if hundreds, or thousands of Americans followed suit? Even if denied, wouldn't it send a strong message? Especially if there is a chance that radioactive fallout would harm citizens of the world?

What say the legal eagles (Red State Blues, Texas Jaye and others)?