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Sunday, September 30

NY Woman misses her flight home - freaks out - is hand cuffed - put in holding cell - and DIES

OMFGoddess above!!!!

I know I don't have all the facts - I really hope they have all of this on tape. I'm sure they must.

I think I can relate. I don't fly much, but as a mother of three, if I missed a flight back home (it was still outside the gate ready to go) I know for sure I would be totally irate and be doing a really good freaky deaky dance/jig in the airport. I can just see myself reacting like her. THEN -- throw some handcuffs on me and really watch me lose it.

I don't know. We'll have to see how this unfolds. Supposedly she may have possibly choked herself trying to get the handcuffs over her head.

WHY on earth would you leave a woman in this state alone. Don't you think these "holding cells" would have a two-way mirror? Did they actually just throw her in there, shut the door, and walk away?

WTF?????


Crossposted atBigBrassBlog

Another Sign of Impending Apocalypse (Sign #75,520)

A little video clip from Yahoo News caught my eye, and after laughing I started to cry. Two assholes in Canada decided to start a world league for - brace yourselves - Rock/Paper/Scissors enthusiasts.

I expect ESPN will start showing it soon; after all, they show Scrabble tournaments.

Saturday, September 29

U.S. Senate agrees to raise U.S. credit limit (53 agreed - 42 did not)

Does anyone know how I can get a hold of each senator's voting position on this? I would sure like to know who the 42 nay votes were and why they voted that way.

I thought this site would have it, but it's just a brief story:

[18:27]
Now before the Senate is a resolution raising the ceiling on the government's debt limit. By $850 billion! Baucus (MT) says that the Senate has no choice but to approve it; that if the Senate does not raise the limit, the U.S. Treasury will default. This will be the fourth increase under W. The Treasury Debt is something like $10 trillion.

Baucus says that raising the debt ceiling is like paying our credit card bill. "The bill's due, you gotta pay it." Except most bills are paid with cash whereas this one is paid with debt (in the form of federal reserve notes, a.k.a. dollar bills).

WTF???? If 42 senators voted against this, then 42 senators were ok with letting the US Treasury default - yes? Do these senators feel it's time to pay up? Well....I do too! It took hubby and I almost 20 years to get out of debt (except for the house) and it took a lot of hard work and "sacrifice". I don't know about you, but I'm done working my ass off to pay for my stupid (totally unecessary) spending habits of the past. I sure the hell don't want my kids working round the clock when it's their turn in the real world -- especially when their cost of living will be a direct result of this generation's out of control consumption and our government's constant feeding of the war machine

Nothing makes sense. If I can't pay my debt - nobody gives me more credit. Do you know that ever since my 17 year old HS senior signed up for the SAT last year, he gets more credit card approvals and offers then he does college info. MAKES ME CRAZY!

Here's the full(?) story from reuters.

"We have no choice but to approve it. If we fail to raise the debt ceiling soon, the U.S. Treasury will default for the first time in its history," said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus.

"Plainly, especially in this credit crisis, we cannot let that happen," the Montana Democrat added.


But Sen. Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican, urged lawmakers to reject the debt increase and concentrate on spending cuts instead.

"Families across America don't have the luxury of loaning themselves any money when they've maxed out their credit. But that's what we're going to do," Coburn said

WHAT AM I MISSING???



crossposted at BigBrassBlog

Friday, September 28

US Federal Regulators Close NetBank

By Damian Paletta Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- Federal regulators closed NetBank Inc. (NTBK), a $2.5 billion thrift based in Alpharetta, Ga., on Friday partly due to significant mortgage-related losses the company sustained in 2006 and 2007.

NetBank marked the largest bank to fail since since the early 1990s, which marked the end of the savings and loan crisis. The Office of Thrift Supervision closed NetBank at 3 p.m. EDT, the federal regulator said, and the company was immediately taken into receivership by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.


Story

UPDATE: Also at the AP.

Did You Know . . .

That there' s a pro-peace march tomorrow in Washington, DC? No?

The communists know.

The anarchists know.

The rest of the American population? Not so much.

Can't find a single mention of it in the MSM, nor, with one exception, among the so-called A-list bloggers. I only happen to know about it because TBFKA Mimus Pauly and I saw a few people wearing stickers advertising it at the last march two weeks ago. And I live just across the river!

Anyone want to wager on the turnout? Will the same thousand people show up again? Will the MSM show the guy in the Santa Claus suit again, so they can avoid talking about the majority of the crowd who look way more like me? So they can continue to marginalize and denigrate the pro-peace movement? So they can continue to suggest that 10,000 or 20,000 pro-peace marchers are the equivalent of 500 or so pro-death screechers in the uber-patriotic get up?

I'm not going. I'm done with all that. If silence is consent, then so be it. When a million or more people are ready to get up off their fat asses and stop the killing, gimme a call. Until then, I'm sitting on my big fat ass with the rest of 'em.

A Word From My Inner Mommy

What if they gave a war and nobody came?

Oh how I wish I could afford to save kids from joining the military under this commander in chief- I wish I could get them all into college or trade school. They say that the military makes men out of boys... but I wonder. What kind of men does it make when they are sent off to war? Dead or fucked up.

Examples:

A 23 year old is being court-martialed:
Sgt. Evan Vela, 23, spoke barely above a whisper as he recounted shooting the man on May 11 near Iskandariyah, a mostly Sunni city 30 miles south of Baghdad.

Vela said Staff Sgt. Michael Hensley of Candler, N.C., told him to shoot the man, who had stumbled upon their snipers' hideout, although he was not armed and had his hands in the air when he approached the soldiers.

"He (Hensley) asked me if I was ready. I had the pistol out. I heard the word shoot. I don't remember pulling the trigger. It took me a second to realize that the shot came from the pistol in my hand," he said, crying.

Vela said that as the Iraqi man was convulsing on the ground, "Hensley kind of laughed about it and hit the guy on the throat and said shoot again."
(See Soldier tells of shooting unarmed Iraqi)

I grieve for the innocent lives of families that this young man took and for his and other young men's lives that are tainted and fucked up because of the unspeakable crimes against humanity they are forced to take part in. I am a mom. My son is 22. I feel the pain.

The casualty list climbs. 3,801

23 year old Cpl. Anthony K. Bento was killed by insurgents. He left a wife and a baby.
24 year old Sgt. Zachary Tomczak was on his 4th tour of duty when he was killed.
( See America's Forgotten. )

It took years and years and years for me to get much information out of the guys I knew who served in Vietnam. It's 30 years later and I am only getting drips and drabs of the horror. Many nice boys with great potential were drafted, went to war and came back fucked up. They wouldn't even speak of it. The media tells us today that our Vietnam troops were vilified by Americans when they returned. That is a fucking lie. The few who tried to speak out were vilified by the powers that be and still are.

My dad's WWII generation, rarely spoke of what really happened in the war except for "cool war stories." There were millions of them who just kept their mouths shut for years and years - many taking to their graves the horrors they witnessed. The few that are left are only now beginning to talk as they near the end of their lives. I forgive all the fucked up daddies of my friends when we were growing up. We didn't know.

Maybe, just maybe, if America's warriors would speak up and we would listen, there would be no more wars. (See "The War" on PBS)

Congress wasted no time wasting their time by vilifying MoveOn's ad in the NY Times for criticizing a General. Big deal. Rush Limbaugh who probably has more listeners than the NY Times has readers, called our troops who speak out against the war, Phony Soldiers. I'm sick. Will he be vilified publicly?

What is the message here?
Just go and kill people and shut the fuck up.

Who speaks for Iraq?

By Father Tyme

It’s such a simple question but no one has asked before, so I will.
Who DOES speak for Iraq?

The Sunnis don’t seem to be the ones. They want to kill the Shia.
The Shia don’t have time to speak. They’re trying to stay alive and kill as many Sunni as they can.
Al Qaeda can’t speak for Iraq. They just want to kill Americans according to Bush.
Maliki can’t speak for himself without Bush’s hand moving his mouth through his ass.
Al-Sadr speaks only for his followers.
The Kurds? Well, they have their own agenda.
The children? They’re too terrified.
The Iraqis themselves? They’re caught in the middle and just want things the way they were before Bush liberated them. They’d rather have Saddam than Bush.
Blackwater? They speak for themselves and the corporations that hired them, answerable to no one.
Halliburton? Halliburton speaks for Cheney.
The U.S. Military? They don’t speak, they just listen, do AND die.

Which brings us to George W. Bush. It looks like Bush speaks for Iraq.

He speaks and Iraqis lose their possessions. And he doesn’t care.
He speaks and Iraqis lose their homes. And he doesn’t care.
He speaks and Iraqis lose their friends. And he doesn’t care.
He speaks and Iraqis lose their relatives. And he doesn’t care.
He speaks and Iraqis lose their wives and husbands. And he doesn’t care.
He speaks and Iraqis lose their children. And he doesn’t care.
He speaks and Iraqis lose their country. And he doesn’t care.
He speaks and Iraq loses its resources. And he doesn’t care.

He speaks and Iraqis are tortured. And he doesn’t care.
He speaks and Iraqis are maimed. And he doesn’t care.
He speaks and Iraqi children are maimed. And he doesn’t care.
He speaks and Iraqi women and girls are raped – by Americans. And he doesn’t care.

He speaks and Iraqis die. And he doesn’t care.

He speaks and Americans are maimed. And he doesn’t care.
He speaks and Americans die. And he doesn’t care.

He also speaks for America. And he doesn’t care.

And we spoke for George W. Bush. And we’re not allowed to care.

Hacking Oysters With Intent to Shoot a Loogie?

Further evidence that the American Way of Life is doomed:

N.C. Man Charged With 'Coughing' Assault
By Associated Press Thu Sep 27, 3:14 PM

"Morrisville police have charged a man with assault on a government official after an officer said the man coughed into his face during a traffic stop."

Story here.

Thursday, September 27

Does our childrens learn if they've got lead poisoning?

You can spew all the "No Children Left Behind" rhetoric you want if you're a wingnut politician, but if the kids are tainted with lead, you are fighting an uphill battle. More than 600,000 toys recalled

The very same politicians are all for de-regulation of their corporate cronies and try to take credit for the "fabulous" economy because Americans can buy all sorts of really cheap stuff and the stockholders reap a nice profit. I kind of like corporate regulations. If left to their own devices, corporate America doesn't care if you are poisoned or harmed- lawmakers don't give a shit as long as they get contributions.

I have a suggestion for Americans. Don't buy junk made in China- even if it's got a "designer" label or an American name. Research. Beware.

And doesn't it just blow your mind when you think back to when we were kids and we were constantly warned about the big bad commies? Why the hell are we doing business with them?

Quote of the week

While defending "No Child Left Behind" yesterday, Bush said:
"As yesterday's positive report card shows, childrens do learn when standards are high and results are measured."

They ought to be charged with treason.

Imagine my complete and utter non-surprise when I found this at Think Progress.
The Fox News network is now in full drumbeat mode, trying to promote a war against Iran.

Last night, armchair General Sean Hannity did his part to beat the Iran war drums. On Hannity and Colmes, the bellicose host devoted half the show to previewing “what a U.S. strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities would look like“

  • HANNITY: Mission: Iran Showdown. The objective: destroy and disable Iran’s top nuclear facilities, impact its ability to process and enrich uranium, delay its ability to manufacture and deploy nuclear weapons, all while crippling the ruling regime.

The network also announced that this Saturday at 9 pm, it will air a “Fox News investigative piece” entitled Iran: Ticking Bomb. The show will be hosted by Dan Senor, the former spokesman for the Coalition Provisional Authority. Watch it:

Fox has also been parading one pro-Iran war voice after another.

Earlier in the evening, Hannity hosted former UN ambassador John Bolton to discuss Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speech at the United Nations. Asked by Hannity “when will America and must America at some time respond militarily,” Bolton responded, “well, I think it’s entirely appropriate.”

Later in the evening, Hannnity brought AEI’s Michael Ledeen and Ret. Col. Chuck Nash on the show to validate the need to bomb Iran. The two analysts are both hawks advocating “regime change” in Iran. Ledeen agreed with Hannity that America should attack “terrorist training camps” in Iran. Nash was open to the military option, but preferred other means.

On Monday, the network displayed a graphic that appears to sum up the fear-mongering feelings about Iran at Fox News: “Is war the only way to stop Mahmoud?”

UPDATE: Last month, Brave New Films put together a video showing how Fox’s rhetoric towards Iran is eerily similar to it’s pre-war rhetoric on Iraq. Watch it HERE.

I really try NOT to converse with wingnuts these days. It infuriates me, because my head reels after listening to complete bullshit, but nevertheless, they engage me in conversation and it ALWAYS turns out that they do watch Fucks News. This network has become a menace to society. They ought to be charged with treason.

See also for insightful reading: 'A Coup Has Occurred' by Daniel Ellsberg

Is He Crazy?

Maputo Archbishop Francisco Chimoio, the head of the Catholic Church in Mozamibique is doing much to set Africa back. He claims that some European made condoms are deliberately infected with the HIV virus- an effort to finish off the Africans once and for all. His logic is flawed. Sure, not having sex is a good way to avoid HIV, but this is the real world.

Archbishop Chimoio told our reporter [BBC} that abstention, not condoms, was the best way to fight HIV/Aids.

"Condoms are not sure because I know that there are two countries in Europe, they are making condoms with the virus on purpose," he alleged, refusing to name the countries.

"They want to finish with the African people. This is the programme. They want to colonise until up to now. If we are not careful we will finish in one century's time."
About 500 people a day are infected with HIV in Mozambique.

Wednesday, September 26

Deep Thoughts by Atrios

I got a kick out of Atrios' deep thoughts yesterday.

1. It'll be so awesome if we elect Rudy Giuliani president, because then we could celebrate 9/11 every day!

2. If Rudy! is elected president we can mint a special coin worth exactly $9.11.
It'll double as tokens to his fundraisers, of course.

3. If Rudy is elected president, then every year we can sing 9/11 carols around the 9/11 tree.

4. If Rudy is elected president Independence Day will be moved to 9/11. And there will be fireworks!

5. If Rudy is elected president we can rename apple pie as "9/11 pie" and apple pie a la mode as "9/11 pie with a side of Iraqi freedom."

It's so embarrassing. A Long Islander.
What I do find amusing is that Rudy doesn't pull this 9/11 nonsense in this neck of the woods. People would throw rotten fruit at him.

Tuesday, September 25

George Bush Has Only Himself to Blame for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Read the title again. Again and again, until you're so mad at me that you'll listen to what I'm about to say.

That's the genius of the First Amendment, after all. Freedom of speech, even the freedom to dissent and to voice contrary viewpoints.

The people of Iran were going to the polls in 2004, to elect a new President as well as members of its Majlis, or parliament.

Hold the phone there - George Bush and all his merry minions (along with a high number of supposedly smart people) state with quite a bit of conviction that Iran's a dictatorship. Unfortunately, the truth is somewhat more complex than that; Iran's a parliamentary democracy with some modifications. I'll get to those later.

As I was saying, Iranians were going to the polls in late 2004, and it was hoped that a moderate or even a slightly liberal candidate might get elected to the presidency. Some Americans were hoping that as well, to quiet down some of the rhetoric and strains between the Islamic Republic and the USA.

Enter George W. Bush.

Bush started talking about the Iranian elections as if he had anything to do with them, and then acted all surprised when the Iranian voters did exactly the opposite of what he told them to do - they elected the hard-line Mayor of Tehran as President. That man was Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, currently tarred as a "dictator" by those supposedly smart people I mentioned earlier.

Hence the title of this post. George, be careful what you wish for. You had to drop inflammatory rhetoric into another country's electoral process; you should not be surprised if they do the opposite of what you tell them.

One of the things we are told to fear about Iran (according to the Slave Media and the Chattering Class) is that Ahmadinejad could order his troops into war with us. Well, once again the truth rears its ugly head - the President of Iran is not the country's commander-in-chief. That office is held by the real head of state, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Council, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Another thing we're supposed to fear is an attack on Israel with nuclear weapons. Months ago (or so) I wrote a post on my website stating that Iran would not nuke Israel for one simple reason: The third holiest site in all of Islam is there. Look it up - it's called the Haram el-Sharif, or Noble Sanctuary.

I think that Ahmadinejad is up for re-election possibly in 2008, so naturally the bullshit is ramping up and the war drums are starting to thrum again. Those certain people want to attack Iran before their Favorite Boogeyman gets voted out of office (which is possible; he's not too popular there now).

Love In NY

Central Park lovers get engaged, mugged

Jacunski got on one knee and popped the question to his girlfriend of six months, Mami Nagase, in a romantic spot at a gazebo in Central Park on Saturday night. She had just agreed to marry him when, they said, a gunman jumped from the bushes and yelled, "Give me your money and get on the ground!"

As Jacunski, 30, and Nagase, 24, got on the ground, he was able to slip the engagement ring off her finger and hide it in his pocket.

The robber took a Rolex watch from Nagase and $125 from Jacunski, who had planned to use it to pay for a romantic dinner at a French restaurant. The robber then ran away.
Oh my god... they were tourists. Sorry. There are plenty of safer places to pop the question. The subway would be safer. Someone ought to put warning signs at Central Park.

New Yorkers usually jog through Central Park during daylight and leave their Rolex's and wallets at home.

Bush Would Veto SCHIP- bush really hates children

And he is a cheapskate. What is worse is that he questions the expense of SCHIP while he is waging a $500,000/minute war on Iraq. 41 days of Iraq spending could provide health coverage for 10 million children each year. Healthy kids make for a healthy society. What the hell is his problem?

The Right Fight for Democrats by EJ Dionne spells out the ridiculous fight that only makes the bushistas look worse and downright idiotic. He was even worse towards the kids in Texas when governor.

People who live in glass houses...

You know that I would like nothing better than to look at the bright side of life, but when our leaders constantly spew contradicting stories, it makes me wonder exactly what the hell is going on and wonder if our leaders aren't just as evil intentioned as other world leaders, (if not worse because we have the most nukes.) But of course, I would never believe that my country could do anything evil.

What do you make of this story? Bush to challenge U.N. to revisit roots, advance freedom It sounds good if you haven't been paying attention to anything else in the news. It sounds like the good old USA. But we know that it's bullshit and we also know that this administration is composed of the biggest bunch of pussies ever. The story opens with
"President Bush wants the U.N. to uphold its pledge to fight for freedom in lands of poverty and terror."
Does he see the irony in his statement? Will he happen to drive around the NYC area and check out the people living in poverty in America? It's not like anyone in America needs to be poor. Especially children. There is more than plenty of money, food and jobs to go around- and the rich folks could still be filthy rich to boot. And terrorism-- For god's sake all we ever hear from him is that terrorists want to kill Americans. Why don't the terrorists want to kill our leaders and our media? Why us? What a crock. It makes no sense.

Bush was in NY yesterday. And so was Ahmadinejad. What, so they couldn't plan to meet for a cuppa tea and bush could tell him to knock off the provocations or he'd nuke 'em? And where is the Sec of State? Is she useless or what? She wouldn't even chat with Al-Maliki when they were at the same event a few days ago. And another thing... and I don't condone assassinations... If Ahmadinejad is so evil and such a threat to humankind, then why isn't he accidentally "missing" today? I thought of that when Saddam was the world's baddest guy... how come he didn't go "missing?" It almost makes you think that the US would rather blow up a country than be diplomatic. But of course, that isn't true, because this is the greatest country in the world.

The article says:
By calling on the United Nations to take up a "mission of liberation," Bush was posing a challenge to the U.N. to uphold its original goal of ensuring freedom in many forms -- from tyranny, disease, illiteracy and poverty. He was expected to lean heavily on the U.N.'s Declaration of Human Rights, approved more than 50 years ago.
"tyranny, disease, illiteracy and poverty" Does he have a fucking clue what country he lives in? Isn't it now 89 million people without adequate health care?

And what about the working poor? Holy mackerel, that's a disgrace.

Tyranny? He just needs to look in the mirror. Does he have a fucking clue about what the US has done to Iraq?

"Mission of Liberation?" Good heavens, the UN should arrest him if he brings up "liberation." The whole world knows how America "liberates."

And why isn't the UN declaring war on the corporatist stranglehold on America? Will anyone at the UN tell him, "I know you are, but what am I?" People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

There is so much in that article that is utter and complete nonsense. It is contrary to bush's previous speeches, Cheney's comments and the government pundits that pose as journalists. feh

/rant

The Theme from TAXI DRIVER - you gotta take a listen - YOU - I'm talkin' to you.....

have a listen here (click listen under first result next to Bernard Herrmann's name)

the song will load in a few seconds, so

sit back,

and get ready to be taken

anywhere you want to go.

This song is amazing


You talkin' to me?


Talk about making the perfect music for a film Mr. Herrmann! (I have a thing for movie soundtracks)

Taxi Driver -- A disturbing and intense movie going experience, but the music is absolutely to die for....



"Someone has to do something to him...he is the lowest kind of person on earth, He is the worst...sucking scum I have ever seen." ~Travis Bickle


Crossposted atBigBrassBlog

Monday, September 24

Hunting Season?

This is an interesting article from the Washington Post:

U.S. Aims to Lure Insurgents with 'Bait'

To put this latest bit of stupidity in a nice, neat nutshell, all you need is to read the leading paragraph:

A Pentagon group has encouraged some U.S. military snipers in Iraq to target suspected insurgents by scattering pieces of "bait," such as detonation cords, plastic explosives and ammunition, and then killing Iraqis who pick up the items, according to military court documents.

Boxes filled with goodies - wires, etc. - were passed out to small sniper units who were encouraged to scatter them around in order to spot and "lay down" (to use one commander's almost whimsical phrasing) anyone who picked them. The idea was that if an Iraqi picked up the spool of wire of the piece of detonation cord, they were automatically presumed to be an insurgent, and therefore a target.

Several snipers are in trouble for this, because after killing Iraqis they allegedly planted the bait on them in an effort to justify their actions.

All together now: "Oy."

Why Should God Bless America?......A remix!!

Ethel Merman..... you ain't heard nothin' yet:

WHY should God Bless America? (featuring The Church of God Choir)

The song made its debut at the first-ever "Values Voter" debate a few days ago for the GOP presidential field.

Here's the low-down from TPM:

....the lyrics were rewritten. Instead of a song about "the land that I love," and "home sweet home," this version condemns the country, saying we've all turned against God, and that He won't bless us. It was a big hit among the conservative Republicans in the room.

I'm trying to imagine the response if, say, Yearly Kos hosted a Democratic presidential candidate forum, which started with a rewritten version of "God Bless America" that disparaged the United States.

It's the kind of thing Fox News would jump all over -- and every Democratic candidate on hand would be asked whether they agreed with the song's lyrical condemnation of the country. Bill O'Reilly would tell us that "God Bless America" is fine the way it is, and it doesn't need to be rewritten by liberals to serve a radical political agenda.

Admittedly, it gets tiresome to hear "if this were a Democrat..." but in this case, I think it's appropriate.

A slice of heaven for Mike Huckabee

Mike Huckabee appealed to a truly American "bibles, guns and flags" crowd at the NRA. It brought a tear to my eye:
"watching ducks land on a lake in Arkansas in the winter is about the closest to Heaven as you can find on this earth... and as someone who believes, according to my faith, I will go to Heaven when I die, I am pretty sure that there is duck hunting in Heaven!"
OMG Yes! He hooked me when I visualized a beautiful lake in the wilderness, just before sunset in the winter ...the lovely colors of the sky behind the magnificent branches of the trees and reflecting in the water. Oh and the little duckies getting ready for sleep- a few quacks in the distance- as they say g'night to each other... a most wondrous display of god's creation for me to behold... and then the best part- the sound of gun fire, wild quacking, wings flapping frantically- quack quack quack- bang! The sky darkens as hundreds of ducks take to the sky like fighter jets... oh god yes!! yes! yes! See also http://www.arkansasduckhunter.com/ But I digress.

More here on this great American.

Sunday, September 23

and there will be no "Nuremberg Trials"

The Age of Irresponsibility
by Michael Hirsh, Newsweek

Sept. 20, 2007 - Imagine a universe where a man can gun down women and children anytime he pleases, knowing he will never be brought to justice. A place where morality is null and void, and arbitrary killing is the rule. A place that has been imagined hitherto only in nightmarish dystopian fiction, like “1984,” or in fevered passages from Dostoevsky—or which existed during the Holocaust and Stalinist purges and the Dark Ages. Well, that universe exists today. It is called Iraq. And the man who made it possible is George W. Bush.

...

While many Blackwater operatives are brave and honorable—the company has lost some 30 of its employees in Iraq—many of these paramilitaries have long been known to be cowboys who act as if they are free to commit homicide as they please. And according to numerous Iraqi witnesses, they sometimes do.

Take the case of the Blackwater guard who got drunk at a Green Zone party last Christmas Eve and reportedly boasted to his friends that he was going to kill someone. According to both Iraqi and U.S. officials, he stumbled out and headed provocatively over to the “Little Venice” section, a lovely area of canals where Iraqi officials live. He had an argument with an Iraqi guard, then shot him once in the chest and three times in the back. The next day Blackwater put him on a private plane out of the country—probably only because the incident involved a rare killing inside the Green Zone and the victim was a security guard for a high-ranking politician. That was it. The company has refused to disclose his name. Then there was last week’s incident, when Blackwater guards killed between 10 and 20 Iraqis at a traffic stop, including a woman and a child. The company later said in a statement that “the ‘civilians’ reportedly fired upon by Blackwater professionals were in fact armed enemies … Blackwater professionals heroically defended American lives in a war zone on Sunday.”
Why have a draft when you can hire mercenary armies?

don't believe anything you read

One of the reasons that I love "studies" and "research" is that I can always be assured that new research is just around the corner that will refute the previous findings. This way, I can cancel out as true, any new findings. Now, it has been statistically proven why most published research is false. At least I've been on the right track all along... but then again these statistics will probably be proven as false one of these days. Why Most Published Research Findings are False

Saturday, September 22

Downright Morons - Candidate Roundup

The famous journalist and afflicter of the comfortable H.L. Mencken once wrote:

"As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, dear readers, we have achieved a state of perfection in American democracy.

Don't believe me? Let's take a gander at the current field of Democratic and Republican Presidential candidates, and you'll see:

Joseph Biden: The Senator from Bank of America, Chase and the other banks and credit card companies that operate out of the State of Delaware hasn't had an original idea in his head that wasn't borrowed from someone else.
Hillary Clinton: Hillary actually has a shot at the nomination, worse luck for her. Right now the Lunatics are only lobbing words (socialized medicine, Communism, lesbian) because of their pants-wetting fear of women; imagine what they'll start throwing if she actually gets the nod.
Christopher Dodd: The one member of the group with some national name recognition and the balls to state his positions forcefully. Of course, he doesn't stand a chance.
John Edwards: Eh. Might make a good Veep, but he's got a Potomac jones.
Mike Gravel: He knows he stands the same chance as a snowball in Hell, so he's liberated - he'll say whatever pops into his head. Crowd-pleaser, but a mere speed bump.
Dennis Kucinich: Like Dodd, only shorter. Looks a bit silly, too.
Barack Obama: Check up to my comments regarding Hillary. Barack, keep your head down - some right-wing redneck's going to take a potshot at you at some point in the campaign.
Bill Richardson: The only Hispanic on the list, he did have a decent shot until a series of missteps and bad comments raised the specter of putting into the Oval Office someone just as clueless as Dubya.

And now, the Republicans (bear in mind, please, that I am Republican):

Sam Brownback: The Senator from South Dakota will have to put up with a lot of "Brownback Mountain" jokes if he ever manages to raise his silhouette above the second tier. As to garnering the support of the GOP al Qaeda ("The Base"), it's a possibility.
Rudy Giuliani: A dark horse in a loose box. Rudy's got so many people gunning for him right now that it's no longer funny; it's hilarious. Everyone from pro- and anti-abortion groups, his ex-wives, the NYPD and FDNY first responders at the WTC, and gay and anti-gay groups are all either pissed off or confused. Which can also piss them off. And Rudy's the front-runner.
Mike Huckabee: I heart Huckabee (actually, I DON'T). It seems that even in his home state of Arkansas the only time he gets any real name recognition is in association with his weight loss. Came in second in the Iowa straw poll.
Duncan Hunter: Racist, anti-immigration candidate from California. He might end up fighting Tancredo for his share of extreme fringe vote - you know, the ones who talk to Jesus on a two-way radio and immediately hate everyone who doesn't talk/act/look/think like they do.
Alan Keyes: I used to like Alan Keyes, way back in the first Bush administration - he was an African-American GOP member who was unafraid to speak his mind about the relevant issues. Then he got snubbed, started his own talk radio show and turned into someone who is so rabid that he disowned his own daughter for being a lesbian. Besides, he's an African-American; with all the current trouble the GOP field has in making debate dates with minority groups, the Party's getting nervous.
John McCain: I call McCain The Political Bisexual - willing to adopt or espouse any position so long as it'll get him votes. He recently revealed his Religious Bisexuality, by waffling between Episcopalian and Baptist until finally settling on Baptist (it suits his pandering well to appeal to a large chunk of the GOP al Qaeda in this way). I respect him still for his military service, but will I vote for him? Dream a little faster.
Ron Paul: Another minor candidate in the Mike Gravel mold, Paul can say what he likes and try to shock his fellow Republicans into at least a fraction of a second of self-examination before being shouted down.
Mitt Romney: I call him "Mittens" because he seems to be dominated or at least subservient to his wife. Came in first in the Iowa straw poll after spending a shitload of money to garner only 30% of the vote. Waffles almost as much as Carter did in '76. He's a businessman, apparently, which begs the question: Based on the track record of George W Bush, do we REALLY want another "CEO President?"
Tom Tancredo: Another racist fringe candidate, this time from Colorado. He's all anti-immigration and inveighs against immigrants, conveniently forgetting the fact that he's Italian and his surname is of German (actually Gothic) derivation. Less said about him the better, actually.
Finally, we come to the Dessicated Corpse of Fred Thompson: You know, I'm so glad that Tommy Thompson dropped out of the race so I won't get him confused for this winded gasbag. He was a spy for the Nixon Administration during the Watergate hearings, a phony on the hustings in Tennessee, a lazy 1.5-term Senator from that same state, and a one-dimensional actor. Which makes the GOP love him to pieces, as he simulates their Patron Saint, Ronald Reagan (who named names for McCarthy, shilled for GE and was a one-dimensional actor, as well as a state Governor). However, Thompson shows signs of either being his trademark lazy-ass self (intellectually as well as physically) or having creeping dementia. Or maybe his trophy wife's keeping him up past his bed time.

So there you have it, folks. And as I look over the eighteen members of this field I am left with a question:

Is this the BEST we can do?

Fascism Is Not a laughing matter

One time that I think Colbert went over the line in his parody of a right wing extremist was in his interview with Naomi Wolf, (hat tip to C&L) author of the new book, The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot. We needed more Naomi and less Colbert. Her points are historically grounded and her message is important.

Perhaps I've lost my sense of humor when it comes to the rise of fascism in America. Just because I was raised to fear communism with all my heart and soul doesn't mean that we should embrace the complete opposite. I kind of liked being somewhat free for most of my life and not afraid of the government. Our father's fought against fascism- was it for nothing? It is a lot harder to sustain a democracy than to take it down.

Naomi Wolf in an article in the Guardian back in April lays out the 10 steps to fascism in America. We are witnessing democracy erode and if we don't do something, it will surely be gone one day. Most Americans don't even see it because they are too afraid and our educational system is so poor that the majority of Americans don't know anything about the US Constitution. We are witnessing fake history in the making! In fact, when I meet people who tell me that if I don't like America, I should leave, I tell them to read the f*cking constitution and that I am staying... THEY should leave if they don't like it. But I digress.

There is a blue print that would-be dictators use for turning a democracy into a fascist state. History proves it.

Wolf would like us to take a hard look at European and other kinds of fascism in order to identify the fall of America. These 10 signs are spelled out in the article.

1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy
2. Create a gulag
3. Develop a thug cast
4. Set up an internal surveillance system
5. Harass citizens' groups
6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release
7. Target key individuals
8. Control the press
9. Dissent equals treason
10. Suspend the rule of law
The 14 signs of fascism by Lawrence Britt is also worth another read.

Friday, September 21

New Residents in My Neighborhood

It's pretty awesome. A large sculpture of Grant Wood's famous "American Gothic" characters has been installed in Eisenhower Park on Long Island. It's stands in the middle of a huge field.

A few days ago, on our usual morning walk in the park, my BFF and I noticed trucks and cranes in the field and tremendous heads/shoulders that looked quite familiar were just sitting on the grass. The attention to detail is incredible down to the buttons on the back of the woman's apron and even the brush strokes from the original painting. I hope we don't have a hurricane this fall.

I understand that this tribute is called "God Bless America" and is sculpted by J. Seward Johnson.

Ron Paul Addresses Banking Hearing on Moral Hazard

I still like Ron Paul (just in case you were wondering). Watch him give them all hell about another interest rate cut.

I know, I know.....

NEVER NEVER NEVER vote for another republican for the rest of your natural born days.

I truly believe this.

But I still like the guy.

What a tool!

Yesterday at a press conference Mr Bush exemplified his stupidity... and proudly

"I remind people that, like when I’m with, Condi, I say she’s the Ph.D. and I’m the C student and just look at who’s the president and who’s the adviser."

"I thought an interesting comment was made — somebody said to me, I heard somebody say, “Now, where’s Mandela?” Well, Mandela’s dead because Saddam Hussein killed all the Mandelas."

QUESTION: Do you think there’s a risk of a recession? How do you rate that?
BUSH: You know, you need to talk to economists. I think I got a B in Econ 101. I got an A, however, in keeping taxes low and being fiscally responsible with the people’s money.

The Senate Condemned the MoveOn Ad

72 Senators voted to condemn the actions of MoveOn.

It appears to me that the democrats don't care about their base. Bush's base didn't elect them, for gawd's sake.
How arrogant they are! This is how they support the troops- by leaving them in Iraq?
Did they forget why they were elected?

Paul Begala has a nice piece in Huffington Post listing many instances where the Republicans blasted the military service of many a Democrat- where was the senate vote to condemn their actions?

UPDATE: Everything backfired. See Americablog's post Bush raises half a million for MoveOn
From Move On:

By midnight, over 12,000 people had donated $500,000—more than we've raised any day this year—for our new ad calling out the Republicans who blocked adequate rest for troops headed back to Iraq.

Naomi Klein is Back -- YOU GO GIRL!

The secret history of the free market -- It wasn't born in freedom and democracy. It was born in shock

Information is shock resistance

ARM YOURSELF

"Only a crisis, actual or perceived, produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas lying around"
~MF

Naomi Klein is an award-winning Canadian journalist, author, documentary filmmaker and activist......

Her newest book just out is "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism" that explodes the myth of "free market" democracy. It shows how neoliberal Washington Consensus fundamentalism dominates the world with America its lead exponent exploiting security threats, terror attacks, economic meltdowns, competing ideologies, tectonic political or economic shifts, and natural disasters to impose its will everywhere. Wars are waged, social services cut, and freedom sacrificed when people are too distracted, cowed or bludgeoned to object. Klein describes a worldwide process of social and economic engineering she calls "disaster capitalism" with torture along for the ride to reinforce the message - no "New World Order" alternatives are tolerated.

Watch a great piece here: Riz Khan interviews Naomi

This video is linked in the alternet article below and is a short documentary explaining the thesis of Klein's book (it plays better than the one in the article)

This excerpt from Naomi Klein's controversial new book, "The Shock Doctrine," explains how the U.S. set about to destroy the Iraqi national psyche and then push through a disastrous privatization of its economy.


any today from alternet, a phone interview by Jan Frel with Naomi:

Why Can't the U.S. Have the Debate about Naomi Klein's Book That Europe Has?

In Europe and Canada debate is raging about Naomi Klein's new book on disaster capitalism, The Shock Doctrine. This interview with Klein considers why U.S. public debate is unable to ask fundamental questions about our economic system. .....

Frel: A lot of what you're taking on in The Shock Doctrine, is a concept that is fused in deep into a big part of the American psyche -- that "the free market" and "free enterprise," which we don't typically debate or condemn in the mainstream but are to blame for a lot of the things the public does discern as problems, like our health care system. But how do you get people to see that they are being screwed by their own dominant economic beliefs?

Klein: It's actually not that hard. The hard part is getting past the media wall.......

------------------


and ANOTHER "well said" piece by Naomi last month:


The real problem, I want to argue today, is confidence, our confidence, the confidence of people who gather at events like this under the banner of building another world, a kinder more sustainable world. I think we lack the strength of our convictions, the guts to back up our ideas with enough muscle to scare our elites. We are missing movement power. That’s what we’re missing. “The best lacked all convictions,” Yeats wrote, “while the worst are full of passionate intensity.” Think about it. Do you want to tackle climate change as much as Dick Cheney wants Kazakhstan’s oil? Do you? Do you want universal healthcare as much as Paris Hilton wants to be the next new face of Estee Lauder? If not, why not? What is wrong with us? Where is our passionate intensity?

What is at the root of our crisis of confidence?: Lost Worlds: Is Another World Possible?
by Naomi Klein


(Hard when your working 2 jobs)

JerseyCynic wants to know if it's possible to blend capitalism AND socialism.....

There's got to be a way - yes?

Hard to change the world when it will ruin the current one -eh?




crossposted at BigBrassBlog

Thursday, September 20

Liz, once again, to save on cyber-space...

...let's just report on the Republicans who HAVEN'T quit, or been caught with their hand in the cookie jar, or some other portion of their body lodged in whatever great gaping orifice seems to be available.
Bush says Agriculture Secretary Johanns resigns

Who Doesn't Support the Troops? The Republicans, baby, the Republicans.

Reuters: US Senate Republicans block Democrats' Iraq bill
Senate Republicans blocked a plan on Wednesday to give U.S. troops in Iraq more home leave, defeating a proposal widely seen as the Democrats' best near-term chance to change President George W. Bush's Iraq strategy.

The measure to give troops as much rest time at home as they spent on their most recent tour overseas needed 60 votes to pass in the Democratic-controlled Senate; it received just 56 votes, with 44 against.
Let it be said that the Republicans support the war but NOT the troops. But you already knew that.

Furthermore, are the Republicans pleased with this story? Refugees in their own land: 2m Iraqis forced to flee their homes

What kind of thinking allows people to support a military exercise that not only kills innocent people but drives them from their homes? Was this worth it? Do Republican law makers understand that they have committed political suicide and if so, why? Is there a brain disconnect somewhere? Will history forgive them? Looking back at other historical accounts of US imperialism, I don't think so.

And speaking of Republican tyranny, it has been revealed that they fabricated a terrorist threat to the Capitol "to scare lawmakers into adopting a dramatic temporary expansion of the government's spy powers last month..." See Republicans pushed 'bogus' terror threat to expand FISA, lawmaker says

Who really blew up Pan Am Flight 103? Was Libya Framed?

Was Libyan Mr. Abdelbaset Al Megrahi falsely charged with the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland on December 21st, 1988? Could it be that Libya was not responsible? Why is this not surprising if it's true?

In this story, Key Lockerbie Witness Admits Perjury dated 9/15/07, it is revealed that Ulrich Lumpert, a key witness in the trial confirmed in an affidavit that he was lying at the trial:
"I confirm today on July 18th 2007, that I stole the third hand-manufactured MST-13 Timer PC-Board consisting of 8 layers of fibre-glass from MEBO Ltd. and gave it without permission on June 22nd 1989 to a person officially investigating in the Lockerbie case," Lumpert wrote. (The identity of the official is known.)
The story goes on to indict other forensic specialists of evidence tampering in order to make Libya look guilty. The CIA and the FBI even helped promote the theory that this event had something to do with Libya. shocking

Another key witness, a Maltese shirt seller named Tony Gauci gave a series of 19 statements that were inconsistent and yet his testimony, the parts that fit, were accepted as evidence by the judges in Scotland.

In the above story, Edwin Bollier's testimony was used to discredit Ulrich Lumpert's testimony. Both worked at MEBO a Swiss company that manufactures timing devices used for bombs. But in this story from the BBC dated 1/27/2001, Bollier is branded a liar.

In this story from the Scotsman, dated 6/29/07, Witness kept changing story - but trial never told details of the questionable testimony by Gauci is spelled out.

Further googling turned up this story- Entrapment of Maltese witness in Lockerbie raises few eyebrows from Malta Today, which reveals that "Gauci had repeatedly boasted of lavish trips to Scotland organised by the Scottish police involving mountain hikes, visiting the Aviemore ski resort, fly-fishing for salmon and bird-watching. On at least one occasion claimed to have been put up at the luxury GBP150 a night Hilton Hotel in Glasgow."

Libya never claimed responsibility for the bombing, but paid £2.7 billion to the victim's families. See also Return of Lockerbie bomber 'a priority'.

So who is responsible for the Lockerbie event? See But if he didn't do it, who did? The other theories and the comments. Nothing conclusive there, but it really makes you wonder about a lot of things.

Wednesday, September 19

Bush wants the "Protect America Act" to be made permanent - and Pronto!

The work they're doing here is necessary to protect our country from an enemy who would like to attack us again. The people who work out here understand that the federal government has no more urgent responsibility than to protect the American people.


So I call on Congress to make the Protect America Act permanent. The need for action is clear. Director McConnell has warned that unless the FISA reforms in the Act are made permanent, our national security professionals will lose critical tools they need to protect our country. Without these tools, it'll be harder to figure out what our enemies are doing to train, recruit and infiltrate operatives in our country. Without these tools our country will be much more vulnerable to attack.


Unfortunately, some in Congress now want to restrict the tools. These restrictions would impede the flow of information that helps us protect our people. These restrictions would reopen gaps in our intelligence that we had just closed. As I did in August, in evaluating any FISA bill, I will ask Director McConnell whether the legislation gives him what he needs to protect our nation. The question I'm going to ask is, do our professionals have the tools necessary to do the job to protect the American people from further attack?

Here's his full statement to the National Security Agency in Fort Meade, Maryland today

oh....

and I can't forget this story I just read --- Republicans pushed 'bogus' terror threat to expand FISA, lawmaker says:

Republicans and the Bush administration used a 'bogus' terror threat that raised specific fears of an attack on the Capitol to scare lawmakers into adopting a dramatic temporary expansion of the government's spy powers last month, a former top intelligence committee Democrat said Wednesday.

Congress agreed to give President Bush and the nation's intelligence agencies extra authority to spy on Americans just hours before lawmakers left for a month-long recess in August. In the legislative session's final week, news emerged of an impending plot by foreign terrorists to attack the US Capitol, and Republicans pointed to the reports as justification to expand the administration's powers.

SOMETHING'S IN THE AIR.....

We've got to get together sooner or later
Because the revolution's here,
and you know it's right

And you know that it's right

Taser Parties

Pam Spaulding has a good post at Americablog concerning Police Taser Parties. The one that took place in Florida and one that hasn't had much national media coverage which happened in NYC.

My question is who the hell do these cops think they are using tasers on non-violent citizens? What happened to America?

UPDATE: Just found this story of police actually killing a woman with a taser. She was schizophrenic and in a wheelchair- she was wielding knives... but still... They tasered her 10 times and she dropped dead.

Risky behavior. Are we all at risk?

Does it really end by the time a person is 25? Yes and No.

You keep hearing about studies that conclude that teenagers and those in their early 20's are big risk takers, more prone to car accidents and just pretty darned reckless from the onset of puberty until about 25 years old when the brain finally matures. In fact, when their friends are watching, studies show that young people tend to take even more risks. So making military choices, career choices and marriage choices before one is 24-25 years old doesn't involve a mature decision making brain scientifically speaking. And it's not anyone's fault. It's nature. Previously it was thought that the risky behavior was for teenagers but studies show that those in their early 20's are included, but society at large doesn't give a pass to those in their 20's. See Tightrope 20s: Risky behavior doesn't end with teen years
And what will society say about risky middle agers?

In an opinion piece at the NYTimes, Mike Males in This is your (father's) brain on drugs
has something for the experts to ponder. Why do pundits and commentators rush to denigrate young people as brainless (and it makes ME wonder why military recruiters go after this group) when 35-54 year old Americans are suffering ballooning crises. The middle aged, who should know better, are practicing reckless behavior more and more.

It seems to be "baby boomer risk taking" more than adolescent risk taking suggests the author, when you look at statistics for 25-54 year olds today:
  • •Deaths from illicit drugs up 550 percent per capita since 1975.
  • •Middle agers 30% more at risk for fatal accidents and suicide than those aged 15-19.
  • •A 200 percent leap per capita in major index felonies since 1975 (violent crimes, drinking, druges)
  • •Imprisoned middle agers up 600% since 1977
  • •21 million binge drinkers (those downing five or more drinks on one occasion in the previous month), double the number among teenagers and college students combined
  • •370,000 people treated in hospital emergency rooms for abusing illegal drugs in 2005, with overdose rates for heroin, cocaine, pharmaceuticals and drugs mixed with alcohol far higher than among teenagers.
  • •More than half of all new H.I.V./AIDS diagnoses in 2005 were given to middle-aged Americans, up from less than one-third a decade ago.
All are interesting things to ponder and leaves open the question about why many middle agers act like teenagers these days. Was it the Vietnam war years? The Reagan years reigniting fascism? The rich getting too rich? Too many fundies in the news? Just the fact that so many grown ups are going nowhere because of economics? What do you think?

Tuesday, September 18

What's going on in Belgium? I had no idea.....Way to go, Gerrit Six!

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) - Hidden among the porcelain fox hounds and Burberry tablecloths on sale at eBay.be this week was an unusual item: "For Sale: Belgium, a Kingdom in three parts ... free premium: the king and his court (costs not included)."
The odd ad was posted by one disgruntled Belgian in protest at his country's political crisis which reached a 100-day landmark Tuesday with no end in sight to the squabbling between Flemish and Walloon politicians.

"I wanted to attract attention," said Gerrit Six, the teacher and former journalist who posted the ad. "You almost have to throw rock through a window to get attention for Belgium."

Six placed the advertisement on Saturday, offering free delivery, but pointing out that the country was coming secondhand and that potential buyers would have to take on over $300 billion (euro220 billion) in national debt.


Continue reading....

perfect

New Tourist Attraction in Minnesota

Larry Craig's bathroom stall.

Monday, September 17

Iranian TV and the Holocaust

Iranian President Mahmud Ahmedinejad apparently has little love for the State of Israel, going so far as to call for the Jewish state to be "wiped off the map." He also denies that the Holocaust took place.

However, a program on Iranian state-run television might indicate a moderation of that stance.

The miniseries is called Zero Degree Turn, and it's a love story between an Iranian diplomat in Paris trying to get his French Jewish girlfriend out of the country before the Nazis ship her and her family off to the concentration camp.

Which raises a question.

What the hell's this?

Well, it seems that the state broadcasting system isn't under the authority of the President in Iran, but under the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei. One media analyst on CNN opined that the Ayatollah was wanting to send two messages:

1. It's the Jewish state they're pissed at, not the Jews; and

2. The 25,000 Jews in Iran have nothing to worry about.

Quite an interesting state of affairs, don't you think?

Some Thoughts . . .













On the latest Pro-Peace March in Washington this past Saturday.

ANSWER did a poor job organizing this one. The march was supposed to step off at 12 noon, but barely got rolling by 2 PM, by which time they were leaking protestors fed up with waiting. They were heading for the Metro. Also, once again, the message was not consistently about the war on Iraq, courtesy of Ramsey Clark. They also gave Ralph Nader a platform. Ugh.

Once again, the media stories suggested that there were equal numbers of pro-peace and anti-peace demonstrators. There weren't. The Gathering of Beagles and Uber-Patriots managed to turn out a crowd that lined three city blocks of Pennsylvania Avenue, one deep behind the barracades, waiving their little Made in China US flags. I estimate between 600-700. They were foul, as usual, screaming obscenities, calling us Osama bin Forgotten's best friend, traitors, the enemy at home, and the dreaded librul, commie, hippie, pinko fags, etc. I saw one fine citizen throw an empty cigarette pack at a demonstrator. Pathetic, that lot. And ironic, considering their ilk does so much to support Communist China when they shop at their local WalMart. Also, as usual, the guy in the Santa Clause suit and the anarchists got all the attention from the print media. Of course, in the main, the crowd looked much more like me (middle-aged, menopausal mothers) than it did the so-called freaks, but wev.

Since I attended my first pro-peace march with Lizzie and BillyDoom in September 2005, the crowds have grown successively smaller. I would say that there were 150,000-200,000 people at that one. I suspect we were lucky if 25,000 showed up for this one, despite the fine weather (low 70s, no humidity). The organizers say 100,000. Bullshit. The Park Police, while not giving an "official" estimate, say about 10,000. Bullshit. As usual, the truth is somewhere in the middle. Maybe we do have Liberal Outrage Fatigue. Maybe we are sick of beating our heads against a brick wall and have accepted that our efforts are futile, that no one is listening, that no one gives a fuck what we think.

For your pleasure, these are the pictures I took with my camera phone. Sorry in advance for the poor quality. And by the way, the fellow standing there in front of the White House in the one picture is our friend, Jim Yeager, TBFKA ("the blogger formerly known as") Mimus Pauly.

NB to Liz: Can you please fix the pictures so they don't string down the page? I've never uploaded multiple pictures and have reached the limitations of my Blogger Dashboard skillz. Grazie!










Maher Left Me Cold

Bill Maher was a huge disappointment on Friday night's Real Time. He told the 9/11 Truthers that they need professional help. To take time in your show to bash your viewers isn't too bright. There is a lot more to questioning that day than whether or not the buildings were controlled demolitions or whether or not a plane hit the pentagon. Even if you buy the government's theory on those aspects, there are still huge amounts of unanswered questions.

Not all 9/11 Truthers are on the same page about what they think really happened that day, but calling for more investigation doesn't make one crazy. Many arguments on both sides are quite compelling. I'm not a physicist so I leave those arguments to experts. But in fact, NOT wanting to get to the bottom of what really happened on 9/11, Not willing to ask tough questions and hoping that those who want answers will just go away is crazy. We just talked about that here at the blog. Closing your mind is not progressive.

British Pop Star? No visa for you!

British performers are being forced to cancel American tours after being denied visas, often because United States officials do not consider them famous enough.

There was a long story in the WSJ about this on Saturday. Enough to make your head spin. The US wants acts to apply for their visas a year ahead of time, but booking agents in the US only book a few months in advance- it looks like booking agents will have to rethink their strategy. Another problem- today's hottest acts from Britain, may not even be all that hot in a year. But national security is more important than seeing your favorite Brit band, right?

From the Telegraph:
Despite having huge support in America, many British musicians are failing to qualify for the P-1 class visa traditionally given to acts who can prove they have been "internationally recognised" for a "sustained and substantial" amount of time.

However, performers now can become the hottest property on the music scene almost overnight without the large back catalogue and track record of fame normally used to secure a US work visa.

The Klaxons, formed in 2005, submitted magazine reviews as part of their application for US visas last year to play in New York. But officials delayed the application, forcing the Klaxons to cancel their tour.

Allen was due to perform at the MTV Video Music Awards earlier this month in Las Vegas before embarking on a sold-out West Coast tour.

But her US visa was taken away last month.

"It's going to slow momentum," her manager, Neale Easterby, said. "We just want to get back out there."

Gates: Less Rest For Weary Troops

Robert Gates said he would urge President Bush to veto a bill by Sen Jim Webb that calls for more home time between deployments to Iraq. Dems probably don't have enough votes to override a veto even if the bill passes- but it makes a good case for how the Repubs are not concerned with the stress this war puts on the troops. Gates called the proposal, "backdoor way" to draw down additional forces." Dems say that this shows the administration is not serious about troop reductions. Gates says that this would force him to make the tours even longer than 15 months and would call up more Reservists and National Guard to fill the gaps. Let's see who wins.

Sunday, September 16

Financial Headlines:

From Cryptogon.com:
"Northern Rock Online Clients Can’t Access Funds"
"American Home Mortgage Bouncing Property Tax Payment Checks"
"Kick Em’ When They’re Down: Miners Spend Billions to Wipe Out Bad Gold Hedges"
"World’s Banks Hit for $30 Billion in Credit Crunch"

Too Busy to Keep Track of the War He Created

Hey Rummy, are you paying attention to the goings on in Iraq?

Rummy: First of all, you can't if you're outside as I am. Second, I’ve been very busy doing a series of things: setting up an office and hiring staff, arranging my papers to give to the Library of Congress, setting up a new foundation which is going to focus on fellowships for people in post graduate studies in public affairs, national security…

I have not even attempted to stay as current as you would if one were in the government, constantly seeing all the intelligence and all the information...
In other words, I am busy doing other stuff.

The War Against the VA

How Bush Declared War on Iraq and Screwed the Veterans

From Letting Our Veterans Down by Aaron Glantz

The sorry state of care of American veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan is not accidental. It’s on purpose. Since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Bush Administration has fought every effort to improve care for wounded and disabled veterans.

“The Department of Defense went to war in Iraq. They hired hundreds of thousands of extra soldiers from the Guard and Reserve to make the military larger so that they could do the invasion of Iraq,” noted Paul Sullivan, a veteran of the first Gulf War who was working as a high-ranking civil servant at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington when America invaded Iraq.

“However, the Department of Veterans Affairs, they didn’t hire more doctors, and they didn’t hire more bureaucrats to help them with their paperwork.

Indeed, as the country prepared for war, the Bush administration was actively involved in scaling back veterans’ benefits. In January 2003, the VA announced that, as a cost cutting-move, it would start turning away middle-income veterans who apply for medical benefits.

The administration also proposed making the VA’s prescription drug benefit less generous, increasing co-payments for many veterans from $7 to $15 and requiring a $250 annual fee as well.

President Bush even proposed eliminating disability payments for veterans who abuse drugs or alcohol, despite the fact that substance abuse has long been connected to psychological trauma caused by the horrors of combat.

All in all, the Bush administration proposed cutting hundreds of jobs at the Veterans Administration at precisely the time programs should have been expanded to care for a tidal wave of troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

As a result, for example, the number of people charged with reviewing and approving veterans’ disability claims has actually dropped since the United States invaded Iraq in 2003. According to the American Federation of Government Employees, the VA employed 1,392 veterans service representatives in June 2007, compared to 1,516 in January 2003.

What was the president thinking? Read on
These stories have come out in drips and drabs since the Bushistas took control and the mass media chooses to ignore them. The bush lapdogs in congress support cutting back on the VA, yet claim to support the troops more than the Democrats.

Just another reason why I tell kids not to join the military under this administration.

Could Mitt Be Another GOP Closet Case?

This little article in CNN caught my attention today:

Romney: My wife is 'prettier' than Bill Clinton

Commenting Saturday on a new Time Magazine cover story titled "The Real Running Mates" — which focuses on the current crop of presidential candidates' spouses — Republican candidate Mitt Romney said his wife would make a "prettier first lady" than former president Bill Clinton.

"It has a picture of five of the possible first ladies," the former Massachusetts governor said. "In the upper left hand corner it has my wife, and then next to it, it has Bill Clinton. And she is a much prettier first lady than Bill Clinton, I can tell you that!"

I should hope so!

Mitt Romney's blown hot and cold over the years, supporting gay rights as Governor of Massachusetts and now against gay rights as a Presidential candidate. This little offhand remark of his would make a great attack ad:

"Mitt Romney said in Iowa that his wife was prettier than Bill Clinton. Oh, so you think Bill Clinton's pretty, Mitt? Sounds pretty odd for such a macho moral exemplar as yourself, eh, Mittens?

"'Mittens' Romney. A Bad Choice for America."

DC Protest a Success!!

MORE THAN 190 ARRESTED!!!

I guess that's what it takes, eh Liz and Red? We should have "Blonded" the Capitol instead of running the other way when we were there earlier this year.

Let's see how much "air time" this wild and unruly protest gets in the news today. Please drop a link in the comments if you come across some "good coverage" of this "out of control" situation in DC.


WASHINGTON - Several thousand anti-war demonstrators marched through downtown Washington on Saturday, clashing with police at the foot of the Capitol steps where more than 190 protesters were arrested.

The group marched from the White House to the Capitol to demand an end to the Iraq war. Their numbers stretched for blocks along Pennsylvania Avenue, and they held banners and signs and chanted, "What do we want? Troops out. When do we want it? Now."

Army veteran Justin Cliburn, 25, of Lawton, Okla., was among a contingent of Iraq veterans in attendance.

"We're occupying a people who do not want us there," Cliburn said of Iraq. "We're here to show that it isn't just a bunch of old hippies from the 60s who are against this war."


Counterprotesters lined the sidewalks behind metal barricades. There were some heated shouting matches between the two sides.

The arrests came after protesters lay down on the Capitol lawn in what they called a "die in" — with signs on top of their bodies to represent soldiers killed in Iraq. When police took no action, some of the protesters started climbing over a barricade at the foot of the Capitol steps.

Many were arrested without a struggle after they jumped over the waist-high barrier. But some grew angry as police with shields and riot gear attempted to push them back. At least two people were showered with chemical spray. Protesters responded by throwing signs and chanting: "Shame on you."

The number of arrests by Capitol Police on Saturday was much higher than previous anti-war rallies in Washington this year. Five people were arrested at a protest outside the Pentagon in March when they walked onto a bridge that had been closed off to accommodate the demonstration, then refused to leave. And at a rally in January, about 50 demonstrators blocked a street near the Capitol, but they were dispersed without arrests.

The protesters gathered earlier Saturday near the White House in Lafayette Park with signs saying "End the war now" and calling for President Bush's impeachment. The rally was organized by the ANSWER Coalition and other groups.

Organizers estimated that nearly 100,000 people attended the rally and march. That number could not be confirmed; police did not give their own estimate. A permit for the march obtained in advance by the ANSWER Coalition had projected 10,000.

Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan told the crowd is was time to be assertive.

"It's time to lay our bodies on the line and say we've had enough," she said. "It's time to shut this city down."

About 13 blocks away, nearly 1,000 counterprotesters gathered near the Washington Monument, frequently erupting in chants of "U-S-A" and waving American flags.

Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Robert "Buzz" Patterson, speaking from a stage to crowds clad in camouflage, American flag bandanas and Harley Davidson jackets, said he wanted to send three messages.

"Congress, quit playing games with our troops. Terrorists, we will find you and kill you," he said. "And to our troops, we're here for you, and we support you."

NICE JOB ALL!!

THANK YOU

Way to go!

crossposted at BigBrassBlog

Friday, September 14

Future Shock

In the 1967 film, 1999 AD, get a glimpse of the future kitchen. We are not quite there yet.


Check out shopping on the computer in the future. Wife shops, husband pays.

Obligatory Friday Sex Post

Easy Adultery: The French, known for their dalliances, but wish to not get in trouble with their spouses can sign up for a enterprising new service. It's called Alibila. "For a fee, the company can provide tailor-made alibis, including documents, phone calls and merchandise." hat tip Dirruk
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Speaking of sex. Should Americans consider curbing our baby emissions? This is an interesting article with arguments on both sides.
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Sex has no mystery anymore. Thanks to porn. I could have written this article. A steady diet of porn makes men less libidinous and unable to connect to a real woman erotically. duh. Ask women, ask me or Read the story in NY mag.
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Speaking of no mystery left in a couple's sex life. Egypt attempts to solve this and talk about it openly. Men's excuses that they are too stressed for sex doesn't fly. There is a lot more to it- the truth may set you free. Read about it.
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Sex organ scents? Eau de Vulva?
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I Need Material

Every morning when I walk in the park I pass high school students (who have been recruited by the Marines) practicing "maneuvers." It's some program designed to get the kids psyched for the physical activity necessary to pass boot camp, I imagine. The kids are maybe a year (or less) too young to join, but they are getting primed for active duty when they become of age. To me, they look like babies. They have already been brainwashed.

Now I come in. I heckle them (and I'm sober too). "Don't join!" "Go back to your studies!" "Go to college!"
and to the Marines who are barking orders at them: "How was Iraq?" "Tell them about Iraq!" "Your commander in chief is a lunatic!"

Yesterday a young man/boy was terribly winded and on the sidelines huffing and puffing. I walked over to ask him in my most motherly concerned voice, "Honey are you okay?" He replied, "Yes sir! I mean yes, ma'am." Then I told him not to join the military at this time.

I need some short and effective statements for these kids. Got any?

fact checking by the press?

How very quaint. AP Fact-Checks Bush Iraq Speech
Pretty tame, but nevertheless remarkable considering...

Thursday, September 13

From the "Living (sic) Planet" section of Signs-of-the-Times:

If it was up to me, I'd call it the "Dying Planet"

Biologists probe catfish kill in North Dakota and Minnesota
Low oxygen levels result in thousands of dead fish in Illinois
Drought Leaves Up to 2K Catfish Dead in North Carolina
It ain't just the catfish. Cows, deer, salmon, etc.
SOTT's home page is here.

I give the Earth four to five years before the human race goes belly up.

He's doing it again.


From YahooNews:
President Bush, left, along with, from second from left, first lady Laura Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynne Cheney, stand with White House staff and members of Congress as they take part in a moment of silence, marking the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2007, on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson)

Thanks to Kevin at Cryptogon who has a Related photo and story.

Skip work, have sex, win prizes

Russia's population is dwindling. What to do. What to do.

A Russian governor is urging Russians to take Wednesday off to have sex and procreate. If you have a baby exactly 9 months later on Russia's National Day, you can win prizes! While unwed moms are still eligible for prizes, married couples will qualify for the best prizes.

"This year a record 78 babies were born on June 12 at the main hospital in the regional capital of Ulyanovsk, beating the 2006 total of 26, said chief doctor Andrei Malykh.

"The scheme is working. People want the prizes," he said."

Too Naked To Fly? - many opinions- one big question

After reading numerous stories, this young harpie, attractive coed, or skank, may or may not have had to leave the airplane to adjust her clothing, she may or may not have missed her flight, she may be a former Hooters waitress or a current Hooters waitress or maybe a part timer. She may be a college student. She may or may not have missed her doctor's appointment. She may or may not have flashed crotch or cleavage. This story has undergone a giant game of telephone.

23 year old Kyla Ebbert got on board a SW flight from California to Tucson and the hilarity ensued...

"Kyla Ebbert said a Southwest employee asked her to leave her seat while the plane was preparing to leave this southern California city on July 3 ""You're dressed inappropriately. This is a family airline. You're too provocative to fly on this plane," she quoted the employee as saying. "

"I said, 'What part is it? The shirt? The skirt? Which part?' And he said the whole thing." "(
canoe news)


From National Ledger:
Kyla Ebbert is a Hooter's waitress from San Diego. She apparently had some sort of a doctor's appointment in Tucson so she slapped on a Britney Spears like crotch shot outfit and decided to try and catch the short flight.
....
A Southwest Air flight attendant nearly booted the bleached blonde off the plane when it was claimed that she was revealing too much for the "family" airline.
...Well unfortunately for Kyla when trying to convince everyone that her attire was good for any occasion, she flashed her white panties on the Today show as she sat down. I guess the question is was she even wearing panties on the flight? Was she wearing a bra? Matt Lauer blew the interview never asking the questions.

If you've flown on a Southwest flight, you'd know that there is so little leg room that only a fly on the back of the seat in front of you could see your crotch as you sat down in a mini skirt.

Michael Ventre at MSNBC.com offers an anecdote not noted in other articles:
On the return flight, she not only wore the same outfit and encountered no trouble whatsoever from the Tucson-to-San Diego crew, but she told Lauer that one flight attendant actually complimented her.
Chicago Tribune Blog:
A million thank-yous to the Southwest Airlines employee who told Kyla Ebbert to cover herself up. It’s a sad commentary on our society that someone has to be told when his/her clothing, or lack thereof, is offensive.

...The issue here is that one human being was revealing so much nakedness as to be disrespectful of other human beings...

And a view from Fox News:
A 23-year-old college student claimed Friday that Southwest Airlines singled her out after a male flight attendant told her that her white denim miniskirt, high-heel sandals and sweater over a tank top was too "revealing."

Southwest Airlines stands behind that flight attendant's decision two months ago to confront Kyla Ebbert, who also works as Hooters waitress in downtown San Diego, after complaints from another employee about Ebbert's choice of clothing.
OH MY! 9/11 Truth Protesters interrupted Geraldo Rivera's interview with Kyla, calling them the "least attractive group of demonstrators I have ever seen." Now where were we Kyla?

ABC NEWS
:
Kyla Ebbert, a blond, shapely 23-year-old San Diego coed who also works shifts at a Hooters restaurant, boarded the flight to Tucson, Ariz., on a one-day round-trip visit to an Arizona doctor's appointment. She had settled into her seat when a flight attendant confronted her about what was later described by the airline as "revealing attire."

(snip)
"Southwest Airlines was responding to a concern about Ms. Ebbert's revealing attire on the flight that day," the airline said in a statement. "As a compromise, we asked her to adjust her clothing to be a little less revealing. She complied and traveled as scheduled.

Though she accepted the compromise, Ebbert said she was left embarrassed by the situation, which she said played out in front of fellow passengers -- so embarrassed she requested a blanket to cover herself for the flight.
Other stories say that she left the plane to fix her outfit and was too embarrassed to return. So what is the story? And why does anyone care? I only care because if a simple story like this can be so mangled by the press, what, pray tell is truth these days?