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Monday, March 31

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha he he he hee ho ho ho ho ho.....aaahhhh! Oh gawd!

Pa Gov. Ed Rendell claims Fox coverage of the primaries is the fairest and best balanced...

ROFLCOPTER TRDMFFLASH (Tears running down my face from laughing and sides hurting!)

A woman would have to be crazy to enlist in the military

It's a dirty boys club. It stinks and I'm writing letters.

Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) writes in the LA Times:

Women serving in the U.S. military are more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire in Iraq.
[...]
A female military recruit is pinned down at knifepoint and raped repeatedly in her own barracks. Her attackers hid their faces but she identified them by their uniforms; they were her fellow soldiers. During a routine gynecological exam, a female soldier is attacked and raped by her military physician. Yet another young soldier, still adapting to life in a war zone, is raped by her commanding officer.
[...]
At the heart of this crisis is an apparent inability or unwillingness to prosecute rapists in the ranks. According to DOD statistics, only 181 out of 2,212 subjects investigated for sexual assault in 2007, including 1,259 reports of rape, were referred to courts-martial, the equivalent of a criminal prosecution in the military. Another 218 were handled via nonpunitive administrative action or discharge, and 201 subjects were disciplined through "nonjudicial punishment," which means they may have been confined to quarters, assigned extra duty or received a similar slap on the wrist. In nearly half of the cases investigated, the chain of command took no action; more than a third of the time, that was because of "insufficient evidence."
[...]
The absence of rigorous prosecution perpetuates a culture tolerant of sexual assault — an attitude that says “boys will be boys.”
"Boys will be boys" my ass. What the hell is wrong with our country? Doesn't anyone bother to psychologically evaluate enlistees? I still maintain that if you know anyone who is considering enlisting in the military, tie them up until their urge goes away. It's for their own good. They'll thank you one day.

Do not support the military industrial complex. Write your congress critters, your newspapers and make a stink. Wanna serve your country? Start writing.

FABULOUS READ.........(it's about Silver and Gold & JFK)

SILVER, GOLD & THE LAST AMERICAN HERO JFK (hero, def. a man distinguished by exceptional courage and nobility and strength)
News.

I want my REAL Jersey Tomato back........NJ Taking Garden Out of Garden State?

Monday March 31, 11:50 am ET
By Tom Hester Jr., Associated Press Writer
Farmers Worry Proposal to Cut Agriculture Department Could Take Garden Out of Garden State

This makes absolutely no sense at all. It apears that Gov. Jon Corzine is proposing to make New Jersey the third state without a Department of Agriculture as he looks to slash spending amid chronic state budget problems.

New Jersey needs its farmers. SPRAWL cannot win here. This is a HUGE slap in the face.
If I were still living in Jersey, this would be my next cause. I would be heading down to the legislative building right now. I still go back to Jersey in August to get my "Jersey Tomatoes"



(Did you know that the farmers in NJ wanted the state vegetable to be the The Jersey Tomato? the state vegetable.......wait a minute is a tomatoe a fruit, or is the tomato a vegetable?)

"Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad."

Well, all I know is that during my time living in NJ, I lived for the farmer's stands ALL OVER THE GARDEN state during the summer. Oh that Jersey soil!

Knowledge is also knowing when to leave things be. I really can't imagine the old farmers in the state letting this happen.

WTF Corzine!!

I should round up some of the college students here in Connecticut to show these Joisey kids how to fight sprawl. Check out this fabulous opinion from yesterday's Hartford Courant on Seeing Sprawl from a Students' Perspective
Two students expressed profoundly skeptical thoughts on the topic. One said "sprawl is the perpetuation of segregation due to the systemic misuse of institutions promoting whiteness" and another added "through sprawl misery and success co-exist, one feeding off the other." The utopian suburb, she continued, does not exist: "it did not exist in 1950 and it still does not exist."


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


In Search of the Jersey Tomato (great little story)


HE STORY OF THE JERSEY TOMATO begins, not on an idyllic farm, but at the old Salem County Courthouse. On September 26th, 1820, just after noon, Robert Gibbon Johnson mounted the stairs of the courthouse carrying a basket of ripe, red tomatoes. A crowd began to gather. Johnson was going to eat a tomato! Doctor James Van Meter stood at his side as Johnson, one of the county’s wealthiest and most respected citizens, addressed the onlookers. Holding up one of the tomatoes, which were widely believed to be poisonous, he announced, “The time will come when this luscious scarlet tomato, rich in nutrition, a delight to the eye, a joy to the palate whether fried, baked, broiled or even eaten raw, will form the foundation of a great garden industry.” Then he bit into the tomato, and kept on eating until the basket was empty. From that moment on, The Jersey Tomato wasn’t just a booming New Jersey industry, but a round, red icon of summer.

It’s the perfect creation story for a food that defines the New Jersey summer as definitively as the cheesesteak defines Philadelphia, except for this: Robert Johnson’s often-recounted tomato-tasting is probably nothing but a myth. But then, maybe that’s fitting, because the ideal of The Jersey Tomato is also pure myth.





MAKE A MYTH A REALITY
(not the genetically modified reality though)

Aways down below in the comments...

Saborlas said,
"All these arguments cannot match my counter-argument of putting bacon in my ramen."

I realize it's either a little late, or awfully early for an OFSP but
Is this another way of describing the act of "porking somebody's hootenanny?"

Gun Laws vs. The Madness

First, most of the NRA terrorist enablers in this country will immediately and frothingly screech "Guns don't kill; PEOPLE kill!" in response to this post.

Fuck them. I own guns myself, and I have a 4th Amendment that says what's mine is mine, stays private and you'd better not try to screw with me.

I also have a 1st Amendment, and I'm not afraid to use it.

So there.

We have seen cases in just the past few months of people who've gone seriously sideways and started shooting up their places of residence, employment, education, etc. When asked (provided the perpetrator lives past the crime scene), we usually get the answer that the person was:

1. On drugs.
2. Insane at the time (but all better now).
3. Just plain pissed off.

The Republican-led Legislature of the State of Florida, who dwell within the


prophetically phallic Capitol Building in Tallahassee, are considering a bill foisted upon them by the NRA and a gaggle of pure psychotics who have apparently lost their senses entirely as well as their faith in institutions such as government, the police and the courts. Apparently believing that we are reverting to the Wild West, the bill would allow employees to take their guns with them to work, so that if someone shows up to start shooting, they can shoot back.


Uh-huh.

Let me lay a smidgen of wisdom down on you - the bulk of the workplace violence in this country comes not from a pissed-off customer, but from the workers in the workplace. That's right; your fellow employees.

It's bad enough that Florida allows anyone who can pass a simple criminal background check to own a concealed firearm (I've read editorial letters from rubes who want us to parade around with firearms openly showing, says it makes for a "polite society"), but we also have a law on the books that says you don't need to run if someone approaches you with a gun. You can stand your ground and shoot them as long as you can articulate that your life was in jeopardy.

I'll have 'OK Corral' for $600, Alex.

With so many people likely to lose even the moiety of their marbles that they still have after endless reruns of 24 and first-person shooter video games (which are dandy at teaching hand/eye coordination, aiming and the use of the one shot-one kill philosophy), what is the NRA driving at by insisting that their paid lackeys in the Legislature drive this bill forward?

Which brings me back to their screeching war cry at the beginning of this post.

Yeah. A gun's a tool, just like a hammer or a typewriter or a computer; it's what you do with it that requires personal responsibility. A gun, though, is the only of those four items that when used properly is designed to kill.

And recall the old adage that if you have a hammer, all your problems look like nails.

If you have a gun, all your problems look like targets.

Al Gore's New campaign (Tells 60 Minutes That Doubting Global Warming Is Man-Made Is Akin To Believing Earth Is Flat)

That's CBS's title (and subtitle)

Watch the full interview with Leslie




13 minutes long - here's a 4 page summary on cbs's webiste

discuss politely please

(my jury is still out on Al - blackdog please help me in the comment section - don't want to delete any - plus I might have to take a nap pretty soon)

The new.... "NEW FED SWAT TEAM"

Let's start at the very beginning

Oct/1999


Clinton, Republicans agree to deregulation of US financial system:
An agreement between the Clinton administration and congressional Republicans, reached during all-night negotiations which concluded in the early hours of October 22, sets the stage for passage of the most sweeping banking deregulation bill in American history, lifting virtually all restraints on the operation of the giant monopolies which dominate the financial system.

The proposed Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 would do away with restrictions on the integration of banking, insurance and stock trading imposed by the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, one of the central pillars of Roosevelt's New Deal. Under the old law, banks, brokerages and insurance companies were effectively barred from entering each others' industries, and investment banking and commercial banking were separated.
(the rest is history.....or is it still being played out Hillary?)

This has GOT to be an April Fool's joke.....
From Surfing The Apocalypse:
It is almost beyond belief that Congress would allow the creators of the source of most of the country's woes to now possess this level of control and power.

The Republic is truly lost...

PPT to come out of the Closet

Here's the story from yesterday's NYTimes:
WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department will propose on Monday that Congress give the Federal Reserve broad new authority to oversee financial market stability, in effect allowing it to send SWAT teams into any corner of the industry or any institution that might pose a risk to the overall system.

The proposal is part of a sweeping blueprint to overhaul the nation’s hodgepodge of financial regulatory agencies, which many experts say failed to recognize rampant excesses in mortgage lending until after they set off what is now the worst financial calamity in decades.

Democratic lawmakers are all but certain to say the proposal does not go far enough in restricting the kinds of practices that caused the financial crisis. Many of the proposals, like those that would consolidate regulatory agencies, have nothing to do with the turmoil in financial markets. And some of the proposals could actually reduce regulation.
(oh Eliot Eliot Eliot.....SO close.....why didn't you just send the 80 grand in cash???? -- stupid stupid stupid Eliot)

Con't from The Surfing The Apocalypse Network:

I would like to think that this is some sort of sick April Fools joke, but, alas they are serious! What happened to free markets?? This is the same blue-print as the now failed Bush Administration Preemptive Strike Foreign Policy. The notion that the "financial SWAT team" goons will muscle their way into the private dealings of an institution that THEY think poses a risk to THEIR fraudulent fiat money Ponzi scheme is frightening. Presumably fund managers will be secretly flown to detention centers where "water-boarding" will be allowed to extract critical information like where they are hiding their gold!
What about this little gem…

QUOTE
"Under the Treasury proposal, Fed officials would be allowed to examine the practices and even the internal bookkeeping of brokerage firms, hedge funds, commodity-trading exchanges and any other institution that might pose a risk to the overall financial system."

What a peach! The FED SWAT team can raid any institution, hedge fund, exchange, and see what key investment positions are and then pass it along to Goldman Sachs who can then make a fortune trading against them as they did with the position data they had confidential access to during the LTCM bail out!!

If you think I am a little over the top consider this…

QUOTE
"While the plan could expose Wall Street investment banks and hedge funds to greater scrutiny, it carefully avoids a call for tighter regulation."

So why would they want to have more scrutiny if they are not going to have tighter rules???? Hey, don’t pay any attention to the guys with the night vision goggles wandering around your office they just want to have a closer look at your financial dealings.

Is this designed to fix any problems for Joe and Jane America? Nope!...

QUOTE
"The blueprint also suggests several areas where the S.E.C. should take a lighter approach to its oversight. Among them are allowing stock exchanges greater leeway to regulate themselves and streamlining the approval of new products, even allowing automatic approval of securities products that are being traded in foreign markets."

Oh! You mean like the self regulation of the mortgage industry that allowed mortgages for anyone with a pulse and the self regulation of the rating agencies that allowed a triple A rating for any re-packaged debt originated by someone with a pulse! And the re-packaged garbage instrument can be automatically approved as long as it is for export to some unsuspecting investor with a pulse overseas! That should help.

Here is the real killer quote from general Paulson

QUOTE
"I am not suggesting that more regulation is the answer, or even that more effective regulation can prevent the periods of financial market stress that seem to occur every 5 to 10 years," Mr. Paulson will say in a speech on Monday, according to a draft of the speech. "I am suggesting that we should and can have a structure that is designed for the world we live in, one that is more flexible."

WAKE UP FOLKS

I am awake, but I don't know what to do.

What should we do? Can we do anything? How would we even begin to do anything?

I DON'T KNOW I DON'T KNOW I DON'T KNOW

crossposted at BigBrassBlog

Sunday, March 30

But will he be allowed to assume office if he wins this election THIS time?

Senior Democrats mull Al Gore's nomination

Plans for Al Gore to take the Democratic presidential nomination as the saviour of a bitterly divided party are being actively discussed by senior figures and aides to the former vice-president.

The bloody civil war between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama has left many Democrats convinced that neither can deliver a knockout blow to the other and that both have been so damaged that they risk losing November's election to the Republican nominee, John McCain. Former aides to Al Gore now believe he could emerge as a compromise candidate

Former Gore aides now believe he could emerge as a compromise candidate acceptable to both camps at the party's convention in Denver during the last week of August.
'Nuff said.

Since valium doesn't work;
Trying to follow Red's request...




Hillary and McCain video games

Bill Maher's team of writers came up with video games for Hillary and McCain. I'm sorry but the "John McCain's Virtual Fireplace" absolutely slayed me. Look at the hand holding the poker in the fireplace. I'm not anti-old people. I will soon be there... but still





Gay Scientists Isolate Christianity Gene

Finally, the idea that Christianity is a lifestyle choice can be put to rest. If you're a Christian, you cannot help it for you were born that way.



hat tip slatev

Saturday, March 29

Connecticut's Superdelegates

First, let me state that I have no idea whatsoever how this process works. I am usually pretty good at searching, reading and then finally understanding. My head is spinning right about now, so I'll look to my blondesense family to help me. I do understand that WE THE PEOPLE do not elect these superdelegates. It seems to be a retarded process that I am not meant to understand. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it.) -- HELP!

Anywho - here is the Front page story from yesterday's Hartford Courant:

McCain-Clinton A Tossup

(But Poll Shows State's Voters Like Obama Vs. GOP Candidate)

John McCain could become the first Republican presidential candidate to carry Connecticut in 20 years if Democrats nominate Hillary Rodham Clinton, a new poll shows.

"It goes to the argument, 'I am electable, she is not.' That's a poll only for the superdelegates," said Nicholas Paindiris of Glastonbury, an Obama delegate. "In Connecticut, we already have eight."

A national Gallup poll this week favored Clinton on electability.

Electability is a concern for the superdelegates — senior party and elected officials who are not bound by primary results. Connecticut has a dozen, including Senate President Pro Tem Donald E. Williams Jr. of Brooklyn, who was chosen Tuesday night by the other delegates.

Obama is favored 8-1 over Clinton among the Connecticut superdelegates who have publicly expressed a preference. They include Williams, the co-chairman of Obama's state campaign.

The only publicly uncommitted superdelegates are U.S. Rep. Joseph Courtney of the 2nd District, Nancy DiNardo, the Democratic state chairwoman, and John Olsen, a member of the Democratic National Committee. ( Here's huffpo's off-the-bus scoop on DiNardo )



From democratic convention watch:

Wednesday was Connecticut's turn to name it's add-on superdelegate: The Connecticut Democratic superdelegate ranks are complete with the selection of State Senate President Pro Tem Donald E. Williams, D-Brooklyn....he is a leader of the Obama campaign in Connecticut. More specifically, Williams is co-chair of Barack Obama's Connecticut Leadership Council along with Ned Lamont, and we will be adding him to the Obama column.





and here's the entire superdelegate list





“First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.”

~ Mahatma Ghandi

Feds inspect radioactive cat



The feds are using sensors on I-5 to search for radioactive isotopes. The sensors are so sensitive that it detected a cat in a car traveling 70 miles per hour that had cancer and underwent treatment three days prior. Homeland Security is also randomly screening passengers for passports during domestic ferry runs in the San Juan Islands in Washington.
via current.com


Read the story here from Seattle Times:
Watch out, you're being watched


h/t to our reader Tom

Friday, March 28

Here's What I Hope

I hope that Karl Rove is sweating like the pig that he is tonight. How sweet would it be for someone to prove that he was behind the prosecution of Don Siegelman? There are allegations that his fingerprints are all over the prosecution. Congress is very interested and wants to talk to the governor. And then there was that CBS piece that somehow mysteriously disappeared from the airwaves in the governor's home state. Some very interesting (in a squirrely kinda way) things went on with Siegelman's indictment, trial and sentencing.

An appeals court has now overridden the trial judge and ordered Siegelman released during his appeal (after he'd sat in prison for over a year), finding the appeal raises several "substantial questions of law and fact." That's legalese for "there's a significant chance we are going to overturn this verdict."

The court that sprung him is a very conservative federal court. Two judges signed the order, one a Clinton appointee, the other a George HW Bush appointee. One of the judges (the Bush appointee) wrote the opinion on the Alabama sex toys case that many of us might recall.* So I don't think any of us might call her one of them there librul activist judges.

There's a lot of smoke right now. I think it would be hilarious if it turned into an inferno that burned Karl's house down.


* We stand in solidarity with our vibrator-deprived sisters in Alabama.

So much for the "Liberal Media"

On Sunday's Press the Meat, Chuck Todd, Political Director of MSNBC talked about the free ride they give McCain.

McCain's free media ride


Today, John Amato of C&L was on MSNBC to talk about those comments and when he did, Mark Mullen cut him off changing the topic to Al Gore!

Amato on MSNBC

We shoot them; we bomb them; we beat them to death...

And now:
Classified Memo Reveals Iraqi Prisoners as "Starving"
"A classified memo written by a top military official stationed in Western Iraq reveals that a prison in downtown Fallujah is so overcrowded and dirty that it does not even meet basic “minimal levels of hygiene for human beings."

"The conditions in these jails are so bad that I think we need to do the right thing in terms of caring for the prisoners even with our own dollars, or release them,” says the memo, written late last month by Maj. Gen. John Kelly, commander of U.S forces in western Iraq.

"The classified document, leaked to the website Wikileaks, a website where whistleblowers can "reveal unethical behavior in their governments and corporations," was authenticated by the organization.

"The memo contains other shocking revelations about conditions at the jail, including a massive shortage of food and water. The prison is said to be run by Iraqi officials. US Marines
("The few, the proud, the well-fed") oversee operation of the facility."

I have NEVER been more sick to my stomach in my ENTIRE life - I can't even compose myself at the moment......

Hannity Hypocritically Defends Obama




Part 2




Here is Paster Manning's video "Obama is a Mack Daddy" that is being discussed:




Here is the story from News Hounds (They watch Fox so we don't have to). Unfortunately I HAD to watch because I was just over my parents house (Fox is on 24/7 over there) checking up on them, and Fox and Friends was "covering the story". I had to leave before I started a fight.

Can I Make A Suggestion?

Can we here at BlondeSense move away from all the invective and nastiness based on whom our chosen Democratic nominee might be?

Cruising the liberal blogosphere is not all that much fun right now. There is a lot of good political news (see, Seigelman, Don) that is being drowned out amongst all the screeching and biting and clawing between Clinton and Obama supporters. Obama's preacher's a racist! Hillary's a liar! Obama is using dog whistles! Hillary is playing the race card! GAH!!!

This is not healthy and it's not helpful to the real goal of getting the country back on a better trajectory than it is in right now.

The Republican house of cards assembled over the past eight (and more) years is about to come crashing down on their precious pointy heads. Nothing stands in the way of moving the country in a more progressive direction but our own inability to see the forest from amongst the trees. Threats from one candidate's supporters that they'll never vote for the other are simply silly if one sincerely believes that 7 years of King George's reign have been nothing more than an unmitigated disaster for the country and the world. We have far more in common than we have differences.*

So . . . PEACE!

And I'll start. Let me apologize to our long time reader Gaia sighs for taking in after her yesterday in one of the comment threads. It is not helpful to alienate one's allies. I was wrong and I admit it.

*And fer fuck's sake, please stop feeding the trolls. It should be pretty obvious that their goal is to cause bitterness and distrust between those who should be friends. What exactly would anyone hope to gain by arguing with them? Does anyone really think the trolls' comments "prove" anything? Do anyone really think their responses will "prove" to the trolls they are wrong? The trolls' own comments demonstrate they are cretins. Let's leave it there. Please.



(Graphic shamelessly stolen fron konagod's blog)

Interesting....

What's the true cause of anger?
Anger isn't really a bad thing, but the sometimes accompanying aggression isn't very pleasant. How one deals with anger may implicate serious biological or psychiatric disease.

Have you been bullied at work?
About 1/3 of us have been bullied at work.

Found! Oldest recording of human voice

A 10 second snippet of a woman singing 'Au clair de la lune' from 1860 has been found. A fascinating gadget called a "phonautograph" scratched sound waves onto a sheet of paper blackened by the smoke of an oil lamp. Imagine that? See also BBC

Meteorites, Asteroids, and Comets: Damages, Disasters, Injuries, Deaths, and Very Close Calls
another great piece by Laura Knight-Jadczyk about how history may have been more casually influenced by flying space debris.

Spring is Aurora Season
The weeks around the vernal equinox are prone to northern lights, but how the does know what season it is in the northern hemisphere on earth?

'Earth Hour' to plunge millions into darkness
Twenty-six major cities around the world are expected to turn off the lights on major landmarks, plunging millions of people into darkness to raise awareness about global warming, organisers said.

U.S. military suspends Afghanistan ammunition deal
How the hell does a 22 year old kid from Florida get a $300 million dollar contract with the pentagon to sell ammunition to Afghan soldiers? Not only that... it's old crap from China. duh. See also Raw Story with picture of kid.

Obligatory Friday Sex Post - Weirdness Edition


From the Sydney Morning Herald:

NZ man sentenced after claiming to have been raped by a wombat
March 28, 2008 - 7:55AM

A New Zealand man who claimed to have been left speaking Australian after being raped by a wombat has been sentenced to 75 hours community service.

Arthur Ross Cradock, a 48-year-old orchard worker, admitted in the Nelson District Court yesterday to the charge of using a phone for a fictitious purpose, after calling police with the message, "I've been raped by a wombat".

Police prosecutor Sergeant Chris Stringer told the court that on the afternoon of February 11 Cradock called the police communications centre, threatening to "smash the filth" if they arrived at his home that night.

When asked if he had an emergency, he replied "yes", Mr Stringer said.

On a second subsequent call to the communications centre, Cradock told police he was being raped by a wombat at his Motueka address, and sought their immediate help.

He called police again soon after, and gave his full name, saying he wanted to withdraw the complaint.

"I'll retract the rape complaint from the wombat, because he's pulled out," Cradock told the operator at the communications centre, who had no idea what he was talking about, Mr Stringer said.

"Apart from speaking Australian now, I'm pretty all right you know, I didn't hurt my bum at all," Cradock then told the operator.

Mr Stringer said alcohol had played a big part in Cradock's life. However, defence lawyer Michael Vesty said alcohol was not a problem that day.

Judge Richard Russell said he was not quite sure what motivated Cradock to make those statements to the police.

In sentencing, he warned Cradock not to do it again.

"Unrest?"

More like "Round 2."

While the Bushite Junta, John McCain and the neoconservaties ("Getting Shit Wrong Since 1992") were crowing about how the Surge in Iraq was turning that benighted country into a Happy Land of Hearts and Flowers, things were happening.

The brass over there slowed down the release of hostages - er, soldiers - to their anxiously waiting families. Explanation? They wanted a pause to see what progress they've made. From a purely military standpoint, I can actually appreciate that; you need to stop and assess what's going on, then adapt. It's an organic, dare I say evolutionary process.

But at the same time we paused at 140,000 troops, the Prime Minister of Iraq, Nouri al-Maliki decided to impose the central government's writ upon the southern city of Basra. Basra has the distinctions of being Iraq's second-largest city, its major oil hub and almost completely dominated by sectarian militias and criminal gangs since Saddam Hussein's troops were pushed out by our invasion in 2003.

The British last year withdrrew their last forces from Basra proper, for the relative safety of the air base outside the city.

The major militia in Basra is the JAM, or Jamiat al-Mahdi or Mahdi Army, headed by a Shiite cleric named Moqtada al-Sadr. He declared a unilateral cease-fire last year, and even the US grudgingly concedes that the cease-fire helped with the surge to quiet things down a tad.

Now, here's where things get interesting; the core of the Iraqi Army is made up of two militias, that of the Dawa Party and that of the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI). Guess who is the leader of the Dawa Party's militia?

Nouri al-Maliki.

It's been accused that al-Maliki is trying to crack down on the JAM in order to reduce its influence in the provincial elections coming up in October, although the official line is that the Army's just trying to impose order.

Meanwhile, armed clashes and protests sparked by the Army's incursion into Basra have spread into seven other cities and towns, including the Shiite holy city of Kerbala and Baghdad, where mortar rounds and rockets have been launched into the so-called Green Zone. People living in that walled compound have been told to stay close to reinforced shelters and keep their helmets and body armor handy.

Yep, looks like The Surge was working - but not any longer.

Will the Iraqi army finally manage to do a job all on its own? Or will JAM beat their ass?

Stay tuned.

Thursday, March 27

Some Stuff


It is to cry! So sad!



Religion coming to the White House?



Hillary's Lincoln Bedroom Donors

Wright Effect had Wrong Effect for Hillary

Not that I believe in polls or anything, but after reading No apparent ‘Wright effect’ in new NBC/WSJ poll I see that Obama's popularity hasn't diminished among Democrats but Hillary's has. Republicans who once supported Obama, unsurprisingly, are a bit taken back by it all. Clinton's negative campaigning is taking its toll on her.

I'm surprised she took the low road knowing what she knows about politics first hand- the low road works for conservatives but not for progressives. Whose side is she on anyway? But then again, we can't really trust the press to report anything accurately, so who the hell knows?

This blonde would be happy to see no more religion bashing in politics. If candidate's pastors or religious beliefs are going to be scrutinized as a regular feature of seeking office, things will get so dirty, so nasty and so low that it will take a revolution to stop the madness... and this crap is going on with 3 supposed Christians, mind you. Just goes to show that a theocracy would never work in this country.

Stop Loss Makes Prisoners of 60,000 Americans

From Pentagon Holds Thousands of Americans 'Prisoners of War' by Penny Coleman at Alternet.
"I was a great soldier once upon a time," Goldsmith says.

He graduated at the top of his class in basic training and was on the commandant's list in the Warrior Leadership Course with a 94.6 percent average. He aced every test, mental and physical, received commendations and medals and promotions, but by the end of his first deployment he knew he was in serious trouble.

His CSM (command sergeant major) Altman, however, had told his battalion, "If any of you go try to say you're depressed and thinking about killing yourself, you're going to get deployed anyway, and when we get there, you'll get to be my personal I.E.D. (improvised explosive device) kicker!" So he self-medicated; he drank. A lot. "All I wanted to do was black out."

What kept him going was the end that was in sight. He just had to hang on till his contract was up, and then he could go home, go back to school, and finally be a 20-year-old kid. Then days before he was scheduled to get out, his unit was locked down, stop-lossed as part of the surge. He was looking at another 18-month deployment.

At first he thought he was having a heart attack. It turned out to be a panic attack. He was diagnosed with depression, anxiety disorder and adjustment disorder, given a lot of pills and told he'd be fine. Or at least fine enough to go back.

The day before his unit was to deploy, Memorial Day 2007, he went out onto the memorial field at Ft. Stewart, where trees are planted for every soldier from 3rd Infantry Division killed in Iraq. He mixed pills and vodka, and tried to die.

Wednesday, March 26

Meanwhile, while the scandaldates are squabbling:

There's a post over at Cryptogon where the headline sorta says it all:
"Wall Street Journal on Real Estate Collapse: 'Demolish some of the least-wanted houses, with taxpayer money if necessary'"
to which a commenter attaches a comment, "US is being sold off." and a link to EconomyinCrisis.org where you will find such juicy tidbits as:

FOREIGN OWNERSHIP OF U.S.INDUSTRIES
Sound recording industries 97%
Commodity contracts dealing 79%
Motion picture and sound recording industries 75%
Metal ore mining 65%
Motion picture and video industries 64%
Wineries and distilleries 64%
Database, directory, and other publishers 63%
Book publishers 63%

and
Foreign Financing of U.S. Government Debt
Japan $517.2 Bn
China $405.5 Bn
United Kingdom $299.7 Bn
Brazil $128.8 Bn
Oil Exporters $126.7 Bn
Luxembourg $76.3 Bn
Hong Kong $54.3 Bn

The very height of propaganda

Oh for crying out loud.
Gag me with a spoon or one of those hand held metal detectors.

A US Senator and presidential contender must deal with this bullshit? Hell I wouldn't vote for McCain unless he was running against the evil dickster himself and there was no other choice and I hadn't had a chance to move to a foreign country yet, but McCain shouldn't put up with this (unless of course he did it for a photo op.)



Look. He's smiling. Isn't that cute?

Your face is too close to my crotch buddy. Come next January, the SS will have your hands tied behind your back if you try THIS again.

What could the AP Photographers be trying to tell us?

While Jenna reads a story to children at the WH Easter hoohah, a nearby child yawns widely.



This is the audience at a talk given by First lady, La La (Land) Bush at Rolling Ridge Elementary School in Olathe, Kan

Additional Weekly Douchebaggery

Penalty for Douchebag's refusal to dispense contraceptives upheld.

The Wisconsin Pharmacy Examining Board ruled in 2005 that the Douchebag in question failed to carry out his professional responsibility to get the woman's prescription to another pharmacist if he wouldn't fill it himself. The board reprimanded the Douchebag and ordered him to attend ethics classes. He was allowed to keep his license as long as he informs all future employers in writing that he won't dispense birth control pills and outlines steps he will take to make sure a patient has access to medication.

Said Douchebag not only refused to fill a woman's prescription for birth control pills, but also refused to transfer her prescription to another pharmacy where she might not be subjected to such douchebaggery. Naturally, he claimed it was against his (Roman Catholic) religious beliefs, and said that he didn't want to commit a sin by "impairing the fertility of a human being." Oy. Hey, Douchebag, what about that woman's right to have her prescription filled without having your douchebaggity religious beliefs crammed down her throat?

Douchebag was quoted as saying that the Board's discipline "critically devastated" his business as a traveling pharmacist because some pharmacies refused to hire him and he lost his liability insurance.

Boo-stinkin'-hoo, Douchebag. If your religious beliefs mean so much to you, you should be prepared to live with the economic consequences.

Just a thought

I got a chance yesterday to talk with a group of "undecideds" here in Western Pa. about the presidential race. These were people, mostly women, who couldn’t make it to Hillary’s Speech in Pittsburgh but were interested enough to gather at a local watering hole to watch just like guys watch sports. (The bartender is a friend who objected at first to changing the channel but changed his mind deciding discretion the better part of valor). Most were split on their opinions and impressions of the two Democratic candidates but all totally abhorred McShame.

The vast majority of these were women. There were only 3 men. I was sitting at a table close enough to be involved but far enough to stay out of the way until the speech was over. Women at a local pub during the day! Quite a site. But I was told they had planned this in advance.

Not much was said during the speech. Maybe a few grunts or “yeahs” and one or two "bullshits" but basically they sat and listened until it was over.

Afterward one woman asked about the Wright incident and whether that would affect how the others felt toward Obama. The ones who said yes (about 4 or 5) admitted to only getting their news and information from the 3 major networks. A few said they watched cable, mostly CNN and FOX. The rest were internet junkies and comments ranged from wanting facts on all the candidates’ travails to the obvious partisan coverage by the MSM. That almost brought a tear to my eye.

But one woman quieted the room with a question related to Hillary’s comment about “choosing her preacher.” She asked the other women in the room, would they still "choose" to be married to their husbands after their husbands had more than one extra-marital affair? To say you could hear a pin drop would be an understatement. Then everyone started talking at once.

The consensus was that Hillary had no business making that kind of statement with skeletons in her closet. The women commented that they thought the reason she stayed with Bill was so she could further her political ambitions. Had she divorced him, odds were high she wouldn’t have been able to run for Senator in New York. Another said that even though she heard Hillary has “money” she wanted to stay with the extra money that Bill would bring in.

I wonder just how many women out there stay with or would stay with their husbands who have had (multiple) affairs? I’ve heard the time-honored reasons of income and security, but do those apply to the upper class at a time when divorces occur simply because one spouse looks longingly at a member of the opposite sex?

They then talked about the double standard of men in that situation and especially the Republicans. They felt it was highly unfair for the media to give a pass to those who cheated on their wives, remarried and wrapped themselves in the bible. That brought about a chorus of invective comments. (Who'd have thought wimmens could have such a "manly" vocabulary!)

By the time the “discussion was over, 8 of the15 undecided women said they were inclined to vote for Obama simply based on how Hillary made the comment. The others were leaning that way.

One woman said that if she were to become president the way Hillary is trying, she sure wouldn’t just want a cigar! She then asked me what I thought about that! I told her I didn’t smoke but she could buy me a drink!

Tuesday, March 25

Is She Really THAT Bad?

I just read this headline at Buzzflash.
To Distract from Videotaped Confirmation That Senator Clinton Lied on Multiple Occasions About Bosnian Landing, Campaign Goes Nuclear in Attack on Obama While Bill Continues to Praise McCain. We are Seeing the Birth of the Second Joe Lieberman. On Top of It, Senator Clinton a Week Late Attacks Obama on Jeremiah Wright in Interview with -- Get This -- Richard Mellon Scaife's Pittsburgh Tribune Review. Clinton is Going to Bring Down the Democratic Party.
Is this all true? Seriously. (I know I haven't been paying enough attention, but you know, politics lately really gets on my nerves and I have to take breaks from the primary or I'd go mad.) I have been wondering if Bill Clinton was turning into Joe Lieberman though.

The link goes to Clinton: Wright 'would not have been my pastor'

Things are "being done."

An interview with Senator Harry Reid:
Q: Do you still think the Democratic race can be resolved before the convention?
Reid: Easy.
Q: How is that?
Reid: It will be done.
Q: It just will?
Reid: Yep.
Q: Magically?
Reid: No, it will be done. I had a conversation with Governor Dean today. Things are being done.
Ok. Let's guess how this will be done and who will be the champion and vice champion.

I'll give you a "Brief for Whitey," Pat Buchanan

Wow MSNBC Political analyst Pat Buchanan has really lost it in A Brief for Whitey. He doesn't get the reasons for the racial divide in this country, but thinks he does like many lily white rich men. And he wants black people to show gratitude towards white people. Really. He sounds like the rich, white, well to do racists I grew up with... he's got all their talking points down, but he misses the whole point. Sad.

Excerpt:
Barack says we need to have a conversation about race in America.

Fair enough. But this time, it has to be a two-way conversation. White America needs to be heard from, not just lectured to.

This time, the Silent Majority needs to have its convictions, grievances and demands heard. And among them are these:

First, America has been the best country on earth for black folks. It was here that 600,000 black people, brought from Africa in slave ships, grew into a community of 40 million, were introduced to Christian salvation, and reached the greatest levels of freedom and prosperity blacks have ever known.

Wright ought to go down on his knees and thank God he is an American.

Second, no people anywhere has done more to lift up blacks than white Americans. Untold trillions have been spent since the ’60s on welfare, food stamps, rent supplements, Section 8 housing, Pell grants, student loans, legal services, Medicaid, Earned Income Tax Credits and poverty programs designed to bring the African-American community into the mainstream.

Governments, businesses and colleges have engaged in discrimination against white folks — with affirmative action, contract set-asides and quotas — to advance black applicants over white applicants.

Churches, foundations, civic groups, schools and individuals all over America have donated time and money to support soup kitchens, adult education, day care, retirement and nursing homes for blacks.

We hear the grievances. Where is the gratitude?

Pat Buchanan doesn't speak for this white American and I would never dare to say such things to a black person like "You should be grateful that your slave ancestors came to America so that you could be saved by Gawd Almighty in our most christian country blessed by Gawd himself." If I were a christianist, I suppose I could console poor black Christians by saying, "At least you won't go to hell."

Oh but wait. Here's the stuff that when spoken by anyone in my presence causes me to get up and walk out of the room:
Is white America really responsible for the fact that the crime and incarceration rates for African-Americans are seven times those of white America? [YES, pretty much] Is it really white America’s fault that illegitimacy in the African-American community has hit 70 percent and the black dropout rate from high schools in some cities has reached 50 percent? [YES, pretty much]

Is that the fault of white America or, first and foremost, a failure of the black community itself? [Whitey]

As for racism, its ugliest manifestation is in interracial crime, and especially interracial crimes of violence. Is Barack Obama aware that while white criminals choose black victims 3 percent of the time, black criminals choose white victims 45 percent of the time? [I don't believe that. Prove it.]

Is Barack aware that black-on-white rapes are 100 times more common than the reverse, that black-on-white robberies were 139 times as common in the first three years of this decade as the reverse? [I don't believe that. Prove it.]
Well another day, another step back in American history. Same old, same old.

Yogi Bear & Boo-Boo in Jellystoned Park (From CollegeHumor)

Watch Yogi Bear in the Great Forest Freakout before contemplating this possible scenario......OR, maybe you might prefer this read about The Coming Scalar Armageddon

Oh......

I forgot to mention: Minor Quake Rattles Parts of Yellowstone - 3/25/08

Ever since I saw the BBC documentary Supervolcano I can't help but think.......

Douchebag(s) of the week -- Rush Limbaugh & Ben Stein

The relatives were discussing this on Easter Sunday. Big time Rush (and Bill "Oh Really" ) fans. I couldn't believe it, so I had to check it out for myself.


March 18th
(from Rush's website which I will not link here)

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Ben Stein has a new movie out. He brought it by my house Friday afternoon to screen it for me. It's called Expelled. It is powerful. It is fabulous. And here's the premise of his movie. The premise is that Darwinism has taken root, taken hold at every major intellectual institution around the world in Western Society, from Great Britain to the United States, you name it. Darwinism, of course, does not permit for the existence of a supreme being, a higher power, or a God. His interviews with some of the professors who espouse Darwinism are literally shocking. The condescension and the arrogance these people have, they will readily admit that Darwinism and evolution do not explain how life began. One of these professors said it might have been that a hyper-intelligence from another planet came here and started our race. This from some professor either in the UK, I forget where it was, but can't be God. These people are so threatened by the existence of God, they will not permit intelligent design to be discussed. Professors have been fired, blackballed, and prevented from working who have deigned to try to combine the whole concept of evolution with intelligent design.

Ben Stein's new movie is going to open to a thousand screens pretty soon, it's not out there yet. It's called Expelled. But the point of it is that these people on the left are just scared to death of God. It threatens everything. We, on the other hand, recognize that our greatness, who we are, our potential, our ambition, our desire, comes from God, and as part of our Creation, this natural yearning to be free and to practice liberty. That is how we think this country came to be great. It is how we think this country will continue to be great and to grow.

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

UPDATE: Read PZ Myers' blog concerning this movie.
But start with this story about his experience being expelled from trying to see the movie, "Expelled" ... it's priceless and mind you, they were giving away DVD's featuring PZ!
-
liz

hat tip to Red State Blues for the links to PZ Myers.

Monday, March 24

The Fed is just an Extension of the Banking Establishment; The Bear bailout proves it (By Mike Whitney)

I was JUST wondering where Mike Whitney was and when we might be hearing from him.


You can read this article at

Information Clearing House

or

The Market Oracle

or


CounterPunch


and here is a related article of his at
lew Rockwell - "Bearly Alive"

4,000 American Soldiers Dead.

Bountiful Goddess, Mother of Mercy,
Take these warriors to Your bosom,
Comfort those they leave behind;
Conduct them gently to the Land of Youth,
Where there is no more sorrow, no illness
And no pain,
And all is Eternal Spring.

So mote it be.

4,000 Americans Killed in Iraq

more than enough

A Late Easter Post: A Peeps Show

Washington Post had their 2nd annual Peeps Show which was quite creative. I doubt that my usual Easter diorama, The Passion of the Peep, would have made it, but the winning entries were quite brilliant. You can view them here.

My favorite is Amy Winepeep Rehab

"I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

warning: the majority of what is to follow was found at wikipedia. seems to be unchallenged, but PLEASE feel free to correct as necessary.


The Pledge of Allegiance (as stated in this post's title) was written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy (1855-1931), a Baptist minister, a Christian Socialist and the cousin of Socialist Utopian novelist Edward Bellamy. Cousin Edward wrote Looking Backward (It was written in reaction to the disillusionment with an increasingly competitive and industrial society), and its sequel " Equality", dealing with women's rights, education and many other issues. Make sure to (or not) read about his father (baptist minister), mother (calvinist), and grandfather (was a baptist minister but kicked out cause he was also a freemason)

O.K......back to Francis:

The pledge was supposed to be quick and to the point. Bellamy designed it to be stated in 15 seconds. He had initially also considered using the words equality and fraternity but decided they were too controversial since many people opposed equal rights for women and blacks. He said that the purpose of the pledge was to teach obedience to the state as a virtue and that the United States supports the flag. Bellamy's original "Pledge of Allegiance" was published in the September 8th issue of the popular children's magazine The Youth's Companion as part of the National Public-School Celebration of Columbus Day, a celebration of the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's discovery of America.



Now Come the Changes


Official versions (changes in bold )

1892
“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands: one Nation indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.”

1892 to 1923
"I pledge allegiance to my Flag and to the Republic for which it stands: one Nation indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all."

1923 to 1954
"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands: one Nation indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all."

In 1923 the National Flag Conference called for the words my Flag to be changed to the Flag of the United States. The reason given was to ensure that immigrants knew to which flag reference was being made. The words "of America" were added a year later. The U.S. Congress officially recognized the Pledge as the official national pledge on December 28, 1945.


1954 to Present
"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands: one Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all."

The Knights of Columbus in New York City felt that the pledge was incomplete without any reference to a deity. Appealing to the authority of Abraham Lincoln, the Knights felt that the words "under God" which were from Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address were most appropriate to add to the Pledge. In New York City on April 22, 1951, the Board of Directors of the Knights of Columbus adopted a resolution to amend their recitation of Pledge of Allegiance at the opening of each of the meetings of the 800 Fourth Degree Assemblies of the Knights of Columbus by addition of the words "under God" after the words "one nation."


(The Knights of Columbus is the world's largest Roman Catholic fraternal service organization. Founded in the United States in 1882, it is named in honor of Christopher Columbus[1] and dedicated to the principles of Charity, Unity, Fraternity, and Patriotism.)

Though the Knights of Columbus tried, they were unsuccessful in their attempts to persuade the United States government to amend the pledge.


BUT - a Presbyterian minister was successful:

The minister was George MacPherson Docherty, a native of Scotland who was called to succeed Peter Marshall as pastor of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church near the White House, where, in 1863, the same year as the address, Lincoln attended and even rented a pew. After Lincoln’s death, the pew that he rented became something of a national monument. It became customary for later United States presidents to attend services at the church and sit in the Lincoln pew on the Sunday closest to Lincoln’s birthday (February 12) each year.

As Lincoln Sunday (February 7, 1954) approached, Rev. Docherty knew not only that President Dwight Eisenhower was to be in attendance, but that it was more than just an annual ritual for him; while President, Eisenhower had been baptized a Presbyterian. Docherty's sermon focused on the Gettysburg Address, drawing its title from the address, "A New Birth of Freedom."

On the very next day, Eisenhower had the wheels turning in Congress to incorporate Docherty’s suggestion into law. On February 8, 1954, Rep. Charles Oakman (R-Mich.), introduced a bill to that effect. On Lincoln’s birthday, four days later, Oakman made the following speech on the floor of the House:

Last Sunday, the President of the United States and his family occupied the pew where Abraham Lincoln worshipped.The pastor, the Reverend George M. Docherty, suggested the change in our Pledge of Allegiance that I have offered [as a bill]. Dr. Docherty delivered a wise sermon. He said that as a native of Scotland come to these shores he could appreciate the pledge as something more than a hollow verse taught to children for memory. I would like to quote from his words. He said, 'there was something missing in the pledge, and that which was missing was the characteristic and definitive factor in the American way of life.' Mr. Speaker, I think Mr. Docherty hit the nail square on the head.

These words [“under God”] will remind Americans that despite our great physical strength we must remain humble. They will help us to keep constantly in our minds and hearts the spiritual and moral principles which alone give dignity to man, and upon which our way of life is founded


(Oh Liz...... I could really use a head banging, puke icon right about here!)

I can't help but wonder if I-Lie Joe (Lieberman that is) will be referencing "under God" and the Pledge connection as he prepares for the 10 commandment resolution.

Maybe he'll just do an e-mail blast to all his legal-eagle friends with this youtube video:




Forgive me Red
(I'm a big fan), but........

you're a hypocrite, just like most of us.

Sunday, March 23

Silliness from the Senate

Brownback, Lieberman Introduce Ten Commandments Resolution
Thursday, March 13, 2008
WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) today introduced the Ten Commandments Weekend Resolution, which would designate the first weekend of May 2008 as Ten Commandments Weekend.

"It is important for Americans to remember the importance the Ten Commandments have in our nation," said Brownback. "The Ten Commandments are the cornerstone to the faith of millions of Americans of many faith traditions, and are a cornerstone to a fair and just society. We as a nation should take a weekend to reflect on the impact the Ten Commandments have had on the foundation of America's national life."
S Res 483
(1) recognizes the first weekend of May 2008 as `Ten Commandments Weekend';
(2) celebrates the Ten Commandments as a significant aspect of the national life of the United States; and
3) encourages citizens of the United States to reflect on the integral role that the Ten Commandments have played in the life of the Nation.

There are lots of "Where as's" but this one stuck out:
"Whereas President Harry S Truman affirmed, "The fundamental basis of this Nation's law was given to Moses on the Mount. The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings which we get from Exodus and St. Matthew, from Isaiah and St. Paul. I don't think we emphasize that enough these days. If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.'';"
Oh Harry. The basis of our Bill of Rights? Really?
First Amendment – Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
I didn't see anything else in the bill of rights pertaining to keeping the commandments except for how you might be tried for stealing, killing, lieing, etc.

Silly Senators. When I finished laughing at the resolution, I got to thinking about the 10 commandments themselves and how they do not influence the daily lives of elected lawmakers who support big business over the will or well being of the people. In fact, I don't think that most "devoutly religious" Americans really contemplate the 10 Commandments and if they did that on the first weekend in May every year, we might end up with complete anarchy and an overthrow of the government using our second amendment rights.

I also wonder how many people can name the 10 Commandments. Quick, ask a conservative politician what they are. Chances are that he hasn't a clue. Ask him to compare the Bill of Rights to the commonly accepted version of the 10 Commandments. Chances are he doesn't know the Bill of Rights offhand either.

There a couple of versions of the 10 Commandments and Catholics have a different version from the Protestants which seems rather divisive. The Jews have different ones as well. So do Muslims. Who decides which version is the official US version anyway? There are more than 10 commandments in each biblical version as well. Who decides which ones would be chosen? Furthermore, after studying Moses in a Catholic Seminary for my masters degree, we learned that scholars dispute Moses' authorship. Conservatives tend to not think about it and willingly accept that God did in fact dictate only 10 Commandments to Moses. People who think want to know how ALL the commandments were whittled down to 10 for religious purposes and how a burning bush means that god is near and not the result of a bolt of lightning or maybe an alien spaceship coming in to pick up Moses (which to me seems like the only logical explanation).

The first few commandments are unconstitutional but let's look at some of the others.

Thou shalt not commit adultery. According to the gospels, Jesus himself warns that if you get a divorce and then remarry while your previous spouse is still alive then you are in the state of adultery. More than half of marriages end in divorce... imagine how many people are adulterers according to the bible? But if you're Jewish, it's ok to remarry. If you have a chippy on the side, it's a huge scandal, but it's not against the law unless you pay for it.

Thou shalt not covet. Our economy runs on consumer coveting. What does the president tell you to do to help the ailing economy or recover from trauma such as that of 9/11? Shop. What motivates you to shop for non-essentials? Coveting. That's one sin that is encouraged by the powers that be.

A detailed version of thou shalt not covet is as follows and makes you think that not coveting would be positively anti-american:
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor's.
Keeping the Sabbath Holy should be merged with 'not coveting' and then duly disregarded. For Jews the Sabbath is Saturday and for Christians it's Sunday. We used to have blue laws and Christians did sort of keep the Sabbath holy because there wasn't anything else to do on Sunday except go to church. Today the stores are jammed on weekends. If the Sabbath Day's are so holy to religious Americans, why is everyone shopping (and even working)? In the summertime, people go to the shore on the sabbath to swim and covet thy neighbor's ass.

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. Sure it's against the law, but hardly anyone takes it seriously, let alone Joe LIEberman. Or how about being lied into wars? How can an elected official even pretend to care about the 10 Commandments as long as this is an official commandment in all 3 versions?

Thou shalt not kill. It is only against the law if you are not legally authorized to kill. Sure it's against the law unless Congress or the President declare war or as it's commonly called today, liberating.

Thou shalt not steal. I don't think anyone needed a commandment from god to figure that out. Again, there are certain authorities in our country that steal and it's neither a crime nor a sin.

It's all just another perfectly ridiculous reason to preach from the Senate.

---------

In the gospel of Matthew when Jesus was asked which commandments one should follow, Jesus gives him 6, one of which is not in the "official" 10 commandments. Jesus added the concept of love to the mix.
19:18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
19:19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
Jesus goes on about the biggest obstacle towards human perfection is having "too much stuff."

19:20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
19:21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
19:22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
19:23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
This is hardly an American value as put forth by most religious organizations and our very own federal government.

But Jesus sums it all up in Matthew's Chapter 22 and it's really quite universal when you think of it:
22:36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
It's quite true. If you have love in your hearts, you won't need any other laws or commandments for we wouldn't hurt each other. Even if you don't believe in the "god" of the bible, loving all creation including the people, the animals, the plants, the fish, everything, the world will be in harmony. You can throw all the rules and regulations out there for people to follow, but guiding people on how to behave for fear for breaking a rule, does not a true harmonious society make.
----------------

Further reading:
  1. S. RES. 483
  2. Senate Resolution for "Ten Commandments Weekend"
  3. Brownback, Lieberman, and the "Ten Commandments Weekend"
  4. Which Ten Commandments?
  5. Overview of the Ten Commandments
  6. Text of George Carlin on the 10 Commandments
  7. Video of George Carlin on the 10 Commandments
  8. The Ten Commandments Hubbub


Some of my posts on the 10 Commandments:
Are the 10 Commandments the Basis for Our Laws? Part I
Are the 10 Commandments the Basis for Our Laws? Part II
Are the 10 Commandments the Basis for Our Laws? Part III
Are the 10 Commandments the Basis for Our Laws? Part IV
Are the 10 Commandments the Basis for Our Laws? Part V

Flaws in the Foundation

I was thinking back on Senator Obama's extremely timely and well-thought speech on racism in this country, and a commentator remarked that it is believed that slavery was America's 'original sin' - that the institution of slavery was the 800-pound gorilla in the room that gave the lie to all the high-minded talk about freedom and liberty.

I think that the flaw in the base architecture of America goes back about that far, but in a different direction.

'Puritan' used to be a pejorative, in much the same way that 'Christian' was back in about AD 200. The Puritans were a sect within Christianity that sought to purge the English Church of every last trace of anything that smacked of Catholicism (or anything that wasn't in the Bible), and they wanted the Kingdom to be a Republic under the leadership of Christ.

Elizabeth I smiled at these people, and tolerated them to a certain point; her successor James I (James VI of Scotland) tried hard to be tolerant, since he'd already met their attitude with the Calvinist Scottish Kirk. His son Charles I, imbued and educated with the tenets of absolute monarchy 'by the grace of God,' tried to enforce his will on a largely Puritan Parliament (which, coincidentally, had most of the money in the realm).

Charles I was beheaded for his trouble.

While these courtesies were going on, a band of people boarded the small ship Mayflower and headed for Virginia. Because they ran out of beer and a few other essentials they stopped quite a bit further north than they had intended, at what is now Massachusetts.

The Plimoth Plantation, as the colony was called, was where the Protestant Reformation would be perfected. In the words of one of them, John Winthrop, the little town would be "a shining city on a hill" that would impress everyone and convince them that a theocratic government whose chief executive was God was the right way to go.

That idea, the idea of exceptionalism, was and is the fatal flaw at the foundations of the edifice we now call America. Other colonies were established on religious toleration; the Puritans (also nicknamed Pilgrims for their wanderings) established a theocracy and ruled Massachusetts with an iron fist. Sermons and church attendance were mandatory, families spied on each other and on their neighbors to accuse backsliders and sinners.

Fear was rampant; the morbid fear of hell, the fear of being detected, the fear that you were just not sinless enough no matter what you did.

Small wonder that the Witch Trials took place in Massachusetts. Fear is a powerful motivation, and prolonged fear in a susceptible mind can lead to hysterics.

Throughout American history we see this type of exceptionalism, metastasized like a cancer, spreading with waves of migration and colonization. People would listen to their preachers or itinerant sermonizers with all the concentration and devotion that their medieval ancestors did, and always came the message that Americans were different from everyone else. We were special, and selected by God simply because we were Americans.

(Let me interject here by saying that many Puritans believed that they had taken over God's covenant with Israel.)

And you still see it today, in efforts by otherwise normal-looking and sounding people to make our country "a Christian nation," without an inkling of the horrors that would entail - perpetual fear, dissent become blasphemy - and we must never forget that dissent is democracy, or we'd still be an appanage of the British Empire.

We also see that exceptionalism is still rampant. One only has to witness the phobic response some people had to Rev. Jeremiah Wright's remarks to agree with that assertion.

We must root out racism. There's no denying that.

But we must try to root out exceptionalism as well. It poisons our relations with other nations in a world where interconnectivity is the norm and growing more complex; it stifles criticism of the country, the government and the way America's headed; and it gives those who want to turn the clock back an excuse to turn the United States of America into another Islamic Republic of Iran.

So was slavery a flaw in the foundation? Of course.

But let's not forget the Puritans.

(This was posted as part of the Blog Against Theocracy blogswarm.)

Mr. Acker Bilk - Stranger On The Shore 1988 (Live)




and now let's kick it up a notch with the Acker Bilk Band from 1962 - "In a Persian Market"




(you can read all about Mr. Acker Bilk here at wiki)

and here's his website

Saturday, March 22

Saudi king rejects Cheney's belligerency

Well that's certainly a headline I like to read in the morning. Cheney's war mongering didn't cut it with King Abdullah on his visit to Saudi Arabia.

excerpt: King Abdullah is against any US military strike against Iran, Saudi official sources said.
[...]
Saudi Arabia, along with other Persian Gulf Arab countries, sees negotiations as the best way to resolve the standoff between the US and Iran.

The king also told Cheney that the Middle East should be free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, the sources added.

The Saudis say any nuclear non-proliferation efforts should include Israel, which is widely believed to be the only nuclear power in the Middle East with around 200 nuclear warheads.

European explorers and their dicks in history

A genetic study of Latin America shows that European males mated with native American and African women and slaughtered the men.
An excerpt from Study unlocks Latin American past
The study examined 249 unrelated individuals from 13 Mestizo populations (people from a mixed European/native American origin) in seven countries, ranging from Chile in the south to Mexico in the north.

"There is a clear genetic signature," explained lead author Andres Luiz-Linares from University College London. "The initial mixing occurred predominately between immigrant and European men and native and African women."

He said that the study showed that it was a pattern that was uniform across Latin America.

"We see it in all the populations we examined, so it is clearly a historical fact that the ancestors of these populations can be traced to matings between immigrant men and native and African women."

The researchers found that within the genetic landscape of Latin America, there were variations.

"The Mestizo with the highest native ancestry are in areas which historically have had relatively large native populations," they reported.

This included Andean regions and cities such as Mexico City, where major civilisations were already established by the time Europeans reached the continent in the late 15th Century.

"By contrast, the Mestizo with the highest European ancestry are from areas with relatively low pre-Columbian native population density and where the current native population is sparse," they added.

Explaining the fate of native males when the Europeans arrived, Professor Luiz-Linares said: "It is a very sad and terrible historical fact, they were basically annihilated.

"Not only did the European settlers take away land and property, they also took away the women and, as much as possible, they exterminated the men."

He said the findings could help people change their perception of Latin American history.

Friday, March 21

Putting it all into perspective


Turns out that McCain's campaign sought out John Hagee's endorsement.

So nyah.

Remember the "Formaldehyde in the FEMA Trailers"?

You'd never guess where they've found it now:
Israel grounds F16s over cancer concerns
"Israel has suspended training flights on US-made F-16 I fighters after finding a cancer-causing substance in the cockpit, the air force announced on Friday.

"The decision was taken "after pilots complained of a nauseating smell in the cockpit," the air force said in a statement.

"Tests detected the presence of formaldehyde, which is considered a carcinogen."

Quote worthy

"Sorry."
Condoleeza Rice to Barack Obama whose passport file had been accessed without authorization.
An oldie but goodie of Jersey's Post Below:

"Right now a scary place to be is in the middle"

That's my quote for the day!

It's from this TIME article: Retail Stars of the Recession

One of my biggest gripes over the past few years has been the quality of practically everything I purchase, be it necessities or "extras". EVERYTHING IS MADE LIKE CRAP. EVERYTHING BREAKS WITHIN 6 MONTHS. EVERYTHING I EAT TASTES LIKE SHIT. ...and so on, and so on, and so on. Seems like I am constantly saying "if I could only find a half-way decent product or food item that didn't break or tasted somewhat palatable, I would pay the extra. By pay the "extra" I mean a few dollars more because I can't afford much more than the already ridiculously priced items out there.


Well......it looks like it's not going to get much better for us folks "in the middle".

According to the TIME article --

"If you have your product right, you want to be high-end or value."

I have been a value shopper my entire life and have always been able to find a decent, well made, built to last (more than 6 months) product that didn't break the bank. NOT ANYMORE.


At the link, take a look at some retailers predicted to "sail easily over the bumpy financial seas ahead"......

I'm sure you can guess who's first up on the list.

That's right folks - MORE CHEAP CRAP FROM CHINA

and the beat goes on.......

La de da de de........

la de da de da

Quotations of the Day

Published: 3/21/08, 4:25 AM EDT -- --- -- -- -- (ATT home page today)
By The Associated Press

AP) - "This is an outrageous breach of security and privacy, even from an administration that has shown little regard for either over the last eight years." - Bill Burton, a spokesman for Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign, following the disclosure that three contract employees of the State Department had looked at the candidate's passport file.
___
"We cannot, I'm sure, take on another military action in Iran, and I hope no one is contemplating it. It would be a real disaster." - Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, speaking to news reporters on the night he received the first MacArthur Award for International Justice.
___
"If freedom loving people throughout the world do not speak out against China and the Chinese in Tibet, we have lost all moral authority to speak out on human rights." - House speaker Nancy Pelosi, addressing a crowd of thousands of Tibetans in Dharmsala, India, as she arrived to meet the Dalai Lama.



Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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



By The Associated Press
Thu Mar 20, 12:48 PM ET -- -- -- -- -- -- (Yahoo home page yesterday)

"I believe in God and everything, but he does things sometimes that make you wonder." — George Slayton, whose Piedmont, Mo., home was flooded from the heavy rain that has hit the Midwest.



___

"During the last six years, the people of Afghanistan have made a bold, confident journey throwing off the burden of tyranny and winning your freedom. The process has been difficult, but the courage of the nation has been unwavering." — Vice President Dick Cheney as he stood beside Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul.

___

"I fully appreciate that British public opinion has been frustrated by sometimes our lack of progress." — U.S. presidential hopeful John McCain speaking in England about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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This "Quotations of the day" was the top news story on my computer screen when I powered up this morning. I clicked on it, fully expecting so see your typical "inspirational, thought-provoking, humorous, literary, and special occasion" quotes. (The "AP" was not part of the headline.)

Is this a new "service" that the AP is providing?

Has anyone else noticed this on their home pages?

I have never seen this until today. At first I thought this was a new section just on my ATT home page until I googled AP Quotations of the Day and saw that Yahoo and others have it also.

Very interesting.........