Simply the Best!
February 06, 2006
Rummy Python's Meaning of Life
February 03, 2006
Justice Alito's Fun With Anagrams
Me For President 2008 has the Bible Quote Of The Day!
Tom Burka explains the State of The Union Speech
Shakespeare's Sister on the homobigotry that is creeping into the doctor's ofice
February 01, 2006
State of The Union 2006
January 30, 2006
Online Presidential Poll
January 28, 2006
January 24, 2006
January 21, 2006
Blog Bling Bingo
January 20, 2006
January 17, 2006
The Unitary Executive
Meanwhile, The Alternate Brain has a post about soldiers being told that if they use their own body armor, they'll lose their life insurance...
January 11, 2006
GET A ROOM!
January 09, 2006
Dick and Pat
January 08, 2006
Battlescar Galactica part 1
January 06, 2006
Gangsta Rap: N.W.A. Straight Outta Compton
Straight outta Crawford,
January 04, 2006
Fun Loving Criminals
Fred at Duo Consulting, formerly Duo Design, helped get the ball rolling by pointing me in the general direction of the blogging community. I floundered around for awhile until I saw a piece in the NY Times editorial pages by Tom Burka of Opinions You Should Have. I checked out his funny blog, and started checking out sites on his blogroll.Along the way, That Colored Fella became an unindicted co-conspirator....Kevin at American Street linked to one of my cartoons and sent alot of traffic my way...Eric at The Comic Strip Fan collected some of my work for his online museum...The Big Brass Alliance, and Shakespeare's Sister particularly for helping to combat forces of evil....Ron at Why Are We Back In Iraq? for his investigative work as well as participating in the Zencomix Online Auction for Katrina Victims...Weird Wally and I Flip Flop for spreading the word...Oliver Willis for pointing me to Image Shack... Tae, formerly at LaShawnBarberExposed...thanks to everybody that has me on their blogroll and everybody that's linked to me in a post.
Special thanks to Goose, David, and Tas for the opportunity to cross post on their blogs, as well as the late Unpaid Punditry Corps...and special Thanks to Steve Lafler for the MeanCat comic book, and for Benb and Gerald!(That's Benb on the back page of Bush's "High Crimes" magazine)
The biggest thanks go to Pena Lynn!
January 03, 2006
December 31, 2005
Fonebone Is Watching You!
Happy New Year!
December 30, 2005
Friday Scat Blogging
The Heretik on the World Of Bush
December 29, 2005
Bill O'Reilly's Next Big Battle
Preemptive Karma on Bush pressuring newspaper editors, and lobbyists buying off winger journalists.
December 26, 2005
December 23, 2005
War on Christmas
December 22, 2005
Give Me Liberty or Give Me Teflon Presidents
Shakespeare's Sister on the grumblings of the rest of the FISA Court judges...
Why Are We Back In Iraq shows why Powerline was leaving out hyperlinks in a post about wiretapping.
December 21, 2005
Arvin Hill asks, "What Constituional Crisis?"
The Rainbow Demon points to the attaching of ANWAR to defense bills.
The Heretik points to a Bush Flip Flop...
And, as always, The Progressive Blog Digest has an amazing list of stories and links.
December 19, 2005
Question of The Day...
Why Do The DOGS OF WAR Lick Their Own Balls?
December 16, 2005
The Six Stages of Republi-Cant
December 14, 2005
December 13, 2005
The Grandfathers of Rap
Daily War News has a post about the CIA Torture Flights
R.I.P Richard Pryor....
December 09, 2005
Scott McClellan's Security Blanket
December 07, 2005
Peanuts Featuring Good Ol' Charlie Brown
December 05, 2005
Women Who Run With The Wolfowitz
December 02, 2005
World AIDS Day and Blog Against Racism Day
November 30, 2005
The Democrats Part One
Scrutiny Hooligans has a couple of excellent posts about voting reform. Your vote is no good if it isn't counted properly, if it gets counted at all. There's a petition to sign to help get a resolution passed that would make voter verified paper trails for federal elections mandatory, among other reforms.
November 29, 2005
The Ronco Vote-A-Matic!
November 26, 2005
November 23, 2005
The Gong Show
November 22, 2005
Hi It's Jane (the One Who Writes About Yemen)
Hi I'm David's friend Jane from Armies of Liberation. I am a columnist published in the many Middle Eastern newspapers. For the last year, I have been extensively researching and writing about Yemen. One very big concern for me is the increasingly brutal crackdown on Yemeni journalists.
I was recently on al-Jazeera (see "Jane Novak Slams President Saleh's Regime on al-Jazeera") and I received a lot of lovely email from regular Yemeni citizens like these:
2) from aden thank yo novak we looks when yo sbeking from agazira tv yo argood wamn we hop vist and se yo our contry is bad
3) I take this opportunity to express our thanks and appreciations for the remarkable efforts to explain to the West to what extent we -the Yemenis- are suffering.
4) I can only commend you on your excellent work on Al-Jazeera yesterday. You proved a true defender of the vulnerable and weak in this country.
So I'm going to post here now and then when there's a big story, a crazy thing, or someone is in danger. I made a petition in March for a Yemeni journalist. David, who believes very strongly in the right of all people to free speech, was a big supporter and really helped me a lot. The journalist, Abdulkarim al-Khaiwani, was released and now he is defending me from the governmental attacks. The title of his article is "Stop Attacking the American Journalist."
But the Yemeni people know its more than just me on their side, that its other bloggers and a lot of regular citizens who are concerned with their very desperate plight. And the more publicity we can get on the truth, the more we can break down the wall of censorship and propaganda that boxes them in and away from the global community.
November 21, 2005
The Heretik just says oy...
November 20, 2005
Meet the Press
November 17, 2005
Meanwhile, The Mainstream Media Distraction Team continues....On CNN, MSNBC, And Fox, right now, they've all been covering the same story about a small plane in Atlanta that is having trouble with its landing gear. MSNBC has been on this for about a half hour now. Imagine if they gave a half hour to the Pentagon's use of White Phosphorus in Fallujah.
November 16, 2005
David Ludwig and Kara Borden
November 15, 2005
Pre War Intelligence
A few months ago, there was a debate here at In Search of Utopia about why The USA invaded Iraq. I distinctly remember the "Conservatives" avoiding the main point of David's post. I'm not going to go through the trouble of searching the archives to locate the actual discussion. Instead, I'll point you to this excellent post at The American Street.
"George W. Bush did something brilliant in 2002 that he doesn't talk about now. In fact, he and his supporters try to pretend it never happened.
The "something" was getting UN weapons inspectors back into Iraq. As a result of George W. Bush's saber rattling, in September 2002 Saddam Hussein had agreed to allow inspections for the first time since 1998. In August 1998 Saddam Hussein suspended cooperation with the weapons inspection teams. The inspectors left the country in December 1998 hours before the United States and United Kingdom began three days of air strikes.
In our current argument about whether "everybody was wrong" about Saddam Hussein's WMDs, there's hardly ever a mention of the weapons inspections. Considering that the UN inspectors were the ones with the most up-to-date information at the time of the invasion in March 2003, I think it's important to look at what the UN believed in the run-up to the war.."
So the question remains...after going through all the trouble of getting weapons inspectors back into Iraq, why were they NOT given a few months to do there job? Was Iraq an imminent threat while Hans Blix was in the country?
November 14, 2005
Beer and Loafing and Los Huevos
November 11, 2005
November 10, 2005
November 09, 2005
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, get your head out of your butt ...
"We need to make sure that there's no abuse in the current system," he said. "We need to make sure there's full transparency, and if there's any price gouging, we need to cut it out."
With record profits for oil companies, I don't think there is any question of whether or not price gouging is going on. Do you?
The real question is ... what is going to be done about it?
Crossposted to The Rogue Angel.
Mrs. Condoleezza Chalabi
Acting For The Least Of These
I made the call. I hope you do too ...
The Death of Compassionate Conservatism
November 08, 2005
Bush's Zen Koan
November 07, 2005
November 06, 2005
Greetings and Salutations
Hello all, I'm Don, of the Cadillac Tight Blog. Since David's headed out to Guatemala tomorrow, he's asked for some help in the Guest Blogging department around here. Given our Technical backgrounds are similar, but our Political orientations opposite, that could be a good thing, or a disaster - it remains to be seen, I suppose :-)
Before I start posting on a somewhat regular basis tomorrow, let me introduce myself in a bit more detail. I'm what you might call a small "L" libertarian, in that I'm as conservative as one can get without donning Attila's mantle, but lean to the liberal side of the aisle when it comes to domestic and social policies. I'm a former Army (Infantry) officer, with a deep and abiding interest in National Security, Foreign Policy, and International Terrorism.
I grew up in a West Germany infested with the Baader-Meinhof Group, the Red Army Faction, and Black September. I was subsequently assigned back to West Germany as a soldier after enlisting, and I've had friends and Commanders kidnapped by terrorists. My study of terrorism predates Al-Qaeda by a decade - for example, the defensive driving course I attended in Frankfurt, in 1983, was largely composed of materials intercepted from or obtained by tactics devised by Carlos the Jackal.
If your definition of a Libertarian is a Republican who likes to smoke dope, then you've hit on the reason I don't refer to myself as such: While I abhor the "War on Drugs", I have no interest whatsoever in becoming a consumer of them, and believe in a fairly strict policy in terms of containing their use.
I'm a White guy who lives in rural Georgia, married to a Black Lady.
I'm a conservative voter, having voted for only one Democrat for President in my lifetime (Clinton '96). By the way, I voted for Perot in '92, not Bush Senior.
I voted for George W. Bush twice.
Having voted twice for Bush, I'm more than ready for a Bull Moose type Democrat to take office in 2008 - but I'll fight a Howard Dean Democrat tooth and nail, if it becomes necessary. I think Democrats of the Deaniac variety are far more interested in a Democratic majority than they are a secure America, and having watched the Republicans pursue that path for the last 5 years, I'm loathe to see it again in reverse.
I'm equally dismissive of wingnuts and moonbats, but I read their sites voraciously, unable to help myself. I try not to point out the most obvious psychotic, tinfoil fantasies of either, but I'm not always successful. Of the two, the religious right frightens me far more than the secular left, as I believe the American public will always rein itself in from following a too liberal path, but they might be lured into an Orwellian future without realizing they've taken the bait.
I'm as suspicious of "moderates" as I am of wingnuts and moonbats...in my experience, the "moderates" have as much of an agenda as either of the aforementioned, but they also have an ulterior motive in pursuing their goals without identifying their ideological background.
So, that's me. I'm looking forward to getting to know David's readership, so tell me: Who are you, and what do you think America should look like in June of 2009?
November 04, 2005
Tom Delay's Trial
November 03, 2005
I've had this "Timid Russet" idea for awhile, and I'm just getting around to drawing it out. Maybe I'll make it a regular Sunday feature to coincide with "Meet The Press"...stay tuned!
November 02, 2005
Judge Sam Alito
October 31, 2005
A Chorus Line
October 28, 2005
October 27, 2005
October 26, 2005
Two things to think about before reacting
I have had issues of my own that have prevented me from guest-posting here while David was off taking care of business, so unfortunately I have not been a good "guest blogger" here.
However, at the risk of abusing the guest-blogging privilege I have at In Search of Utopia, I would like the readers here to consider two posts that I have recently put up on my own weblog, Random Fate.
The first, "What Rosa Parks defied still exists" was prompted by the recent death of Ms. Parks, a true hero in an age with all too few heroes, even false ones, but instead of repeating the celebration of her accomplishments as so many others have, I try to show exactly what she was fighting and how it still lives despite the efforts of her or others who strive against this insidious evil. I want to emphasize that we need to continue the struggle, even if it seems to have changed form and is no longer covered by the simplistic label of "racism" which is all too readily cried and has lost its power.
The second, "There is absolutely NO cause to celebrate at the moment" is an attempt to cool the jets of those who, righteously or not, I refuse to judge, are celebrating the prospect of indictments against high officials in the current administration. We are the United States, and any degradation of our system of government, any malfeasance by those who compose our government, even if they are ideological opponents, is NOT a cause for celebration, but instead for regret, for sadness, and for introspection to search for ways we can avoid this occurring again.
Do the lessons of 30 years ago and the damage wrought by Watergate that resonate down to the present have no meaning any more?
While my beliefs may not be in perfect alignment with those of David Anderson, the owner of this weblog, I think he would agree that we need to consider the issues I try to raise, so please indulge me and read what I wrote and pause to think before reacting.
To David, if you feel I am abusing the guest blogging privilege in posting this, please delete the post and tell me ASAP. I am posting this because I do feel it is of great importance to the nation we both love and are both currently living outside of, spectators to what we fear may be a disaster in the making.
October 25, 2005
I'm watching the news (MSNBC) right now and Bush is catapulting the propaganda at a Luncheon for the Joint Armed Forces Officers' Wives Club...
October 23, 2005
This will be my last ISOU post. I've published a rather long and graphic goodbye message, but since I know it's something that David wouldn't endorse and I'm not going to ask him to by posting it here, it's readable on Loaded Mouth.
I'd like to think David for giving me the opportunity to guestblog here, I wish it could have worked out better. I'm going to be taking an extended vacation from all blogging in general anyway, so you wouldn't have heard from me here for a while anyways. But, due to the frustrations that I detail in my post, it's probably best for all parties if I don't used ISOU as a platform for my writing again.
So.. Good luck, and goodbye.
October 22, 2005
I find it kind of, well, fucking dumb that you're demanding the UN to meet because you want an audience for yet another temper tantrum about Syria. Why not ask the UN to meet and solve real problems. For example:
MORE than 100,000 people are now believed to have died in the Darfur region of Sudan since the United Nations Security Council set a 30-day deadline last year for the Khartoum regime to begin to resolve the crisis in the area.Why aren't you talking to the UN about that?
God, you're a dick.
October 21, 2005
Karl Rove and Alberto Gonzales
October 20, 2005
October 19, 2005
Stop the 'Global Warming Zombies' this Halloween
What's more frightening than Halloween? The powerful polluters -- the vampires and zombies of global warming -- who are making global warming worse by holding back the solutions that would reduce pollution.
Click this link to see the video: http://www.climatemash.org/
Click this link to take action: http://actionnetwork.org/campaign/climatemash
October 17, 2005
The Bush Plateau
October 15, 2005
Million More March
October 14, 2005
Alan Greenspan is a Man of Prayer
October 13, 2005
The Chain-y Gang...part 2
October 12, 2005
The Chain-y Gang...part 1
October 11, 2005
Set The Iraq Agenda
Liked it and wanted to pass it on ...
The war in Iraq began two years ago on a promise of security -- and a web of deception. Now the mistruths have fallen away -- and we see a presidency, and American prestige, sunk in a quagmire.
Now, go sign it. I did.
Crossposted at my site.
Tas proudly presents the "NO SHIT!" headline of the day
Get this!: "Gasoline costs will wipe out raises, study says"
Really? Man, I thought those $2.85 gallons of gas and a winter of home heating bills totaling thousands of dollars would be covered by a shitty little raise!
Come on, kids, on three... 1.. 2.. 3 -- NO SHIT!
...oh, and about the rising costs of heating bills:
Democratic lawmakers are urging the Bush administration to increase funding for a $2 billion energy program to help the poor pay heating bills, expected to increase about 47 percent this winter.47%. That's insane. The next time a Republican floats you the line that Bush is handling the economy well, smack them.
October 10, 2005
Do the right thing...but how?
Being a liberal in a family of rightwing Christian conservatives can be a trying experience. It's especially trying, I think, for my daughter.
I've tried to raise my children to be open to the ideas and beliefs of everyone. Not necessarily to take the beliefs as their own. But to allow themselves the opportunity to understand and be empathetic to what other people go through and why. I've also attempted to provide a strong moral code borne not of religion but of a belief that doing the right thing yields good and doing the wrong thing yields evil.
Last weekend we went out to visit my sister. As I've blogged before, she and I have extremely different attitudes about child rearing. My daughter is very sensitive to their beliefs and doesn't wish to offend. But at the same time doesn't want to be made to feel like she's bad or "less than" for doing something that in our family view breaches no moral or ethical standard.
This brings me to a discussion I had with my daughter on the drive out to my sister's:
Me: You tell him what you're planning to be for Halloween. He's asking you so you tell him the truth.
Daughter: But Mom, when I tell him I'm going to be a witch, he'll say that's evil and bad.
Me: Do you think being a witch is evil and bad?
Daughter: It depends on if you're a good witch or a bad witch.
Me: Well..I think you can say that to him. I also think you can talk with him about people having the ability to use their talents to do good or to use their talents to do evil.
Daughter: But his family believes all witchcraft and witches are evil and bad.
Me: Maybe you could use this as an opportunity to share your own beliefs with your cousin. After all, you know all about his beliefs. It doesn't seem like he gets to hear about your's very often.
Daughter: What if Auntie gets upset for me telling him something that his Mom and Dad don't want him to believe?
Me: I guess you'll have to let me know and I'll talk to her.
Or if I can at all, for that matter.
October 07, 2005
Just a teensy-weensy bit eye opening
Needlenose posted a link to the account of how a Knight-Ridder journalist spent his day in Baghdad. As K-R explains, "The following account was written as a memo on how he'd spent his second day back in the country", so who knows if even the reporter expected this to be published while he was in the process of writing it. But thank god Knight-Ridder exists, since they are one of the few news organizations with the testicular fortitude to bring in more reality than one is comfortable with seeing as far as the Iraq War goes.
Woke up, 7 a.m., gunfire outside. Decided to read in the windowless bathroom, then take shower and brush teeth, using bottled water, of course. ...Let's fast forward to the end of his day, shall we?
5:30 p.m. - Arrive back inside hotel blast walls, go to room and write story about Iraqi politics.Quite a constrast...
October 06, 2005
Went to Crawford in the victory car
Ol' Brownie, ex-FEMA dynamo
October 05, 2005
Better be white if you want a NOLA contract
As you all probably remember, about a month ago, the Bush administration saw fit suspend the Davis-Bacon act so construction firms (read: Halliburton) hired to work on government contracts to rebuild New Orleans didn't have to pay their workers a "prevailing wage".
I did some research into Davis-Bacon last month and found out that it's a law the right has been trying to take down for a while now. In fact, one of their talking points on Davis-Bacon is that it's supposedly racist -- taking contracts away from minority owned firms. Here's what the Cato Institute had to say in this in 1993.
Failing that, Davis-Bacon can be repealed legislatively, or, more likely, successfully challenged in court. When that occurs, minority contractors will find it easier to get federal contracts without divisive quotas, black workers will find it easier to get construction jobs, and the federal government will be able to accomplish more with a smaller burden on the taxpayer. Most important, however, one of the remaining racist stains on American law will be removed.Well surprise surprise, right in your eyes -- It's just another lie.
Minority-owned businesses say they're paying the price for the decision by Congress and the Bush administration to waive certain rules for Hurricane Katrina recovery contracts.What was it, again, that Kayne West said?
[Hat tip: Raw Story]
October 04, 2005
October 03, 2005
More Beer and Loafing comic...
The rest of the post is here
How do we get the media to report a story?
[Crossposted from Loaded Mouth]
The following is an email I just sent to my sister. It was in reply to an email from a mutual friend she forwarded to me, in which the author describes how he thinks Bush will either resign or be impeached after indictments for the Plame case are handed down, which should probably happen later this month.
Regular readers can already tell what I'm thinking, but I figured I'd post it in full for hopes that it will start a conversation on what strategy the Democrats should implement to make the Plame Affiar truly into Bush's Watergate. I detail what I think are some of the problems that could make the indictments a dead news story, and overview some solutions to give it legs.
Unfortunately, I don't hold as rosie of a view as he does. If/when indictments are handed down in the Plame case (and there is a good possibility that Cheney will be indicted), there's go guarantee on how Bush or the Republicans will react. They still hold all the cards, unfortunately. This isn't a situation like Watergate where the Senate was led by the Democrats and they were able to launch an invetigation and hearings into the matter, which then uncovered lots of evidence like how Nixon had tapes of his Oval Office conversations. That story, of course, had legs: Tapes? They exist? Well now we must listen to them! How do we get them? Let's ask Nixon. He's stalling. Sue him! Now we got a court order. Nixon hands over the tapes.Your turn.
September 29, 2005
September 28, 2005
Tom Delay Indicted
Texas law forbid PAC fund-raising money for elections through corporate donations. Considering that Delay redrew the Texas districts to his liking, a partisan like him isn't going to let ethics get in his way. Delay also used his charity DeLay Foundation for Kids to raise $100,000 for his defense fund. Looks like he is now going to need that money now.
The recent indictment of David Safavian and stock scandal of Bill Frist wiped away all the the talk of moral values and responsible goverment. It's hard to point the finger at others while you're pleading the fifth amendment.
Bill Clinton talked about building a bridge to the 21 century. Republicans built a bridge back to the era of "The Grapes of Wrath." 37 million Americans live in poverty. Tom Delay's wife and daughter made $500,000 working on his campaign. Bill Frist made between $2 million and $6 million from a tip that he needed to sell his stocks. These men support tax cuts, but are silent on the issue of armor for soldiers. That's not patriotism. That's protecting the bottom line.
Here is a video of Tom Delay's press conference on his indictment.
(Crossposted at Last Day of My Life)
September 27, 2005
Pass me another Stegmaier...
September 26, 2005
Beer and Loafing and Los Huevos
Meanwhile, back at 67 Baker Ave....portions of this story were written by legendary underground Chicago cartoonist, Saul Chlee....we're still trying to locate the artwork for his esoteric masterpiece, "Support The Republicans", so we can bring some "fair and balanced" cartooning to Zencomix!
September 23, 2005
Galveston and New Orleans Flooding
New Orleans is being rocked by Rita. The low lying areas are onced again flooded. The National Weather Service has issued a hurricane warning for New Orleans. The hurricane's path is moving towards Upper Texas and Southwest Louisiana.
Flooding has already started in Galveston, Texas. Some people stayed because they didn't have money or didn't want to get jammed in traffic. Galveston is experiencing the first rainbands.
Traffic is jammed a 100 miles. Houston Mayor Bill White is asking the military to give stranded motorists gas. An estimated 2.5 million motorists are evacuating.
For the record: White is a Democrat. He seems to be over his head. Who the hell created Houston's evacuation plan?
(Crossposted at Last Day of My Life)
September 20, 2005
The Definition of "Rove"
September 19, 2005
Shelter From The Storm
September 18, 2005
A Blogger Progressives Should Be Leery Of
Norwood, can you do anything else besides blockquote?
You are politically tone deaf. The Gay-Straight Alliance club is a great victory for progressives. Once people realize this club will not be the end of the world - people will start tuning out bigotry. The anti-gay marriage bill died in Massachuset. The reason being that once people saw the world didn't end with gays marrying. Even Barney Frank knew the bill would never pass.
The problem with you Norwood is that you can not write or discern information. You attack people because you are so insecure about your own opinions and refuse to admit you are wrong. You can go on and attack me as a blogger who no one reads. That's rich, considering that I have ten times as many links as you on Technorati and have guestblogged on Rox Populi, ISOU, and Loaded Mouth. I write on popular progressive blogs and have more influence then you in the progressive blogosphere. Yet, I am a nobody. You either have a high opinion of yourself or learned debating skills from the boys at Wizbang.
You attacked me by calling me a "nutcase" for making a factually accurate post. The best you can do is cite a spelling mistake. Then call me a bitch at the end of the post. You are not a progressive. You are a fringe radical who calls blacks you disagree with Uncle Tom. That is racist. I disagree with many black conservatives, but I would never show the insensitivity that you do by calling them Uncle Tom.
September 16, 2005
An American Prayer Day
September 15, 2005
Shhhh. Be vewy, vewy qwieyut.
They're hunting wabbits:
Investigators appointed by the Vatican have been instructed to review each of the 229 Roman Catholic seminaries in the United States for "evidence of homosexuality" and for faculty members who dissent from church teaching, according to a document prepared to guide the process.
In the spirit of fairness, I hope the Vatican's investigators will also be checking for evidence of eating the wrong kind of food as well.
I wonder how many faculty members will be burned at the stake for eating bacon?
For some reason, this reminds me of the line in Star Wars where Princess Leia tells Governor Tark:
"The more you tighten your grip Tark, the more star systems will slip through your fingers".
Chalk up another reason to be a Deist.
September 14, 2005
The Dred Scott Smoke & Mirrors Show
The trick to reading the news is knowing the little code words that conservatives use.
Not even John Roberts' strongest backers are trying to portray him as a staunch civil rights advocate. Roberts successfully argued against an assembly line worker who had developed severe bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome and tendinitis. Roberts also wrote, "... "whether encouraging homemakers to become lawyers contributes to the common good."
This is not a man who spends time worrying about issues of equality.
The reason Roberts mentioned slavery being overturned is the Dred Scott case. President Bush mentioned Dred Scott during the 2004 presidential debates. The President didn't seem to be worried about civil rights when he proposed a constitutional amendment against gay marriage.
Dred Scott has been a conservative code word for abortion. See this Google search for yourself.
The problem is when conservatives say what's really on their mind the American public rejects their ideology. If conservatives really feel so strongly about Dred Scott then they should do more for civil rights. Abortion and slavery are not one and the same.
Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush have long ties to Bob Jones University. The school has practiced various forms of racial segregation over the years. I wonder how Dred Scott would feel about that.
(Crossposted at Last Day of My Life)
Subterranean Halliburton Blues
Look out Kid
Get rich, Dick swell
Look out kid
Ahh, Get Born-Again, porn again
Look out kid
September 12, 2005
George Bush's Summer Reading
Meanwhile, Mimus Pauly tells us about the new Homeland Security Color Code System.
September 09, 2005
Karl Rove Talking Point
September 08, 2005
Why Brownie gets to keep his FEMA job:
September 07, 2005
William Rehnquist: No Champion of Equal Protection
one of the great legal lights of our time
William Rehnquist on civil rights.
Rehnquist had bizarre ideas on what equal protection meant. During his days as an Arizona lawyer, he fought an ordinance requiring businesses to serve black people. Rehnquist even threatened to punch a man. The reason being is Rehnquist didn't take kindly to complaints that he was intimidating black voters.
Al Gore took the parts of the 2000 Florida vote count to the Supreme Court on the basis that votes for not counted in Volusia, Broward, Palm Beach, Miami-Dade, and Nassau counties. Rehnquist sided with the majorty's opinion that a recount would violate the Equal Protection Clause. I wonder if the Chief Justice has ever read the 14th amendment.
Not allowing every vote to be counted is not equal protection. That doesn't even pass the laugh test. What also isn't funny is Rehnquist's time at Stanford. Alan Dershowitz writes, "I learned from several sources who had known him as a student that he had outraged Jewish classmates by goose-stepping and heil-Hitlering with brown-shirted friends in front of a dormitory that housed the school’s few Jewish students."
John Dean called Rehnquist a reactionary conservative. That meant opposing much of the positive progressive change of the 20th century. It didn't matter if civil rights were for the good of the country. Rehnquist was going to oppose the left. Damn if certain segments of America were hurt in the process.
It's only when Republicans attack the Supreme Court did he show any sign of moderation. Rehnquist worked in the Justice Department investigation that forced Justice Abe Fortas to resign. Nixon wanted Fortas off the court. Rehnquist only believes in equal protection of the Supreme Court when he has a personal stake.
(Crossposted at Last Day of My Life)
Katrina Refugees Unite
The website Katrina Refugees Unite is for people looking for loved ones displaced from the hurricane. Please pass this website around.
September 06, 2005
White House Gets It's New From Daily Sentinel Star
I remember on Tuesday morning picking up newspapers and I saw headlines, "New Orleans Dodged The Bullet,"
Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff
The headline, of course, in most of the country's papers on Tuesday were "New Orleans dodged a bullet," or words to that effect.
Joint Chiefs Chairman Richard Myers
Wow. The people in change of national security get their information from the Daily Sentinel Star. I know that since every other major paper cover (here and here) stated that the New Orleans area was a disaster.
Congratulation Daily Sentinel Star, you are the official paper of record.
How to score "Brownie" points with Dubya
September 05, 2005
Politicizing Hurricane Katrina
September 02, 2005
Where's Dick Cheney?
September 01, 2005
Hurricane Katrina Donations
The Red Cross link for donations to help out hurricane victims....
Also, I will auction off any cartoon (the original artwork) on Zencomix and donate all proceeds to the Red Cross. If there is a cartoon you want, bid on it in the comments section at Zencomix. Minimum bid is $5
Milhous Fillmore and Slick Cheney
August 31, 2005
Yes, I'll say it: Bush is to blame
[Crossposted from Loaded Mouth]
I know some people might find this hard to believe, but I've been trying not to criticize Bush in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. This is probably the worst natural disaster in the history of this country, and I don't want to contribute to the cause of any divisions in a time of national crisis.
However, there are lessons to be learned here. And since Bush and his ilk only seem to listen to dollar signs, I'll explain this in simple financial terms: When does $3.9 million actually equal billions of dollars? When you should have spent $20 million to fix the levees.
The cleanup and recovery efforts for Hurricane Katrina are going to skyrocket into the billions, but it didn't have to be this way. The catastrophe that happened to New Orleans could have been avoided if the city was properly protected by a system of levees that required federal funding to be fixed. Let us not forgot that Katrina did not cause the massive amounts of flooding we now see in New Orleans; this was caused by the failure of levees after the storm had passed. Why did these levees fail? Because Bush grossly underfunded the Army Corps of Engineers projects needed to repair them. Attytodd has used Lexis/Nexis to dig up some articles about the levee projects. Here's what he found in an article from 2/16/04 in the New Orleans CityBusiness:
The $750 million Lake Pontchartrain and Vicinity Hurricane Protection project is another major Corps project, which remains about 20% incomplete due to lack of funds, said Al Naomi, project manager. That project consists of building up levees and protection for pumping stations on the east bank of the Mississippi River in Orleans, St. Bernard, St. Charles and Jefferson parishes.
The Attytodd piece is a must-read, and it has much more detail into how much the funding was undercut and why. For the sake of brevity, I'll sum it up: The levee projects were started and fully funded while Clinton was in office, but ever since Bush took office, he has cut taxes spent boatloads of money on the Iraq war.
So under the pretense of protecting American lives and cities, the funding of the Iraq war has led to the destruction of New Orleans and who knows how many deaths. Hundreds? Thousands? Bush said he would protect us from a dirty bomb, and as a result we got a dirty flood and an unwinnable war of questionable intentions.
The irony doesn't stop there, given the fact that the cost-cutting measures Bush imposed on the homeland to fund his billions in war spending now mean that we'll have to spend billions to clean up a tragic mess that could have been avoided.
Disgusting. Simply disgusting. Bush and his war buddies walk away with billions in cash because of this war, yet not a dime could be spared to fix the levees of New Orleans. Lives, homes, culture, and history all destroyed, all washed away... Does this man have respect for anything? Will he take responsibility for anything? But, more importantly, have the Republicans finally learned that tax cuts and wars aren't always a good thing, and that the homeland needs to be protected and serviced by a sound infrastructure before we can think about doling money out to the richest among us?
[Big hattip: Chrissy]
The Power of Katrina & Pettiness
It would have been nice if Louisiana's National Guard wasn't in Iraq. Louisiana also lacked proper funding for the disaster.
Members of the President's base blame Katrina on abortion. Columbia Christians for Life has been passing out an email stating that satellite images show the hurricane to resemble an angry fetus. Perhaps these people could spend more time raising donations for the Red Cross and Salvation Army and less spamming email boxes. That might be something Jesus would do.
Graceland makes some brilliant observations.
I will admit my first thought was being grateful that Katrina wasn't going to hit Tampa. I'm homeless I roughed it outdoors through one hurricane last year. During the other hurricanes I was indoors. Now it seems selfish I was glad, that at the time, Katrina moved elsewhere. I'm sure the people of Louisiana wished that Katrina hit Tampa right now.
The United States experienced several hurricanes last year and we are less prepared than ever. People die because of the pettiness of powerful men and women.
(Crossposted at Last Day of My Life)
August 30, 2005
Operation Enduring Freedom Gravestones
The Department of Veterans Affairs instituted the policy of placing the words "Operation Enduring Freedom" or "Operation Iraqi Freedom" on gravestones. Nadia and Robert McCaffrey say they were not asked for their approval.
The VA claims that the new policy is not a PR stunt. Max Cleland pointed out, "Most of the headstones out there at Arlington and around the nation just say World War II or Korea or Vietnam, one simple statement ... It's not, shall we say, a designated theme or a designated operation by somebody in the Pentagon. It is what it is. And I think there's power in simplicity."
President Bush will not attend funerals for fallen soldiers from "Operation Enduring Freedom." In 2003, the Pentagon issued the order that "there will be no arrival ceremonies for, or media coverage of, deceased military personnel returning to or departing from Ramstein [Germany] airbase or Dover [Del.] base, to include interim stops." How is engraving Pertagon slogans consistent with the administration's policy to shed little media attention towards dead soldiers and Marines? I wish someone at the VA would explain that to me.
(Crossposted at Last Day of My Life)
August 29, 2005
August 28, 2005
August 27, 2005
Bush Approval Rating At 40%
Why couldn't this have happened before the election.
Bush's approval rating has dropped 12 points since the March Gallup poll. People are finally realizing that the President's "strong and decisive" leadership is actually stubborn and stupid.
(Crossposted at Last Day of My Life)
August 26, 2005
The Suicide of Arthur Teele
David Scott Anderson asked me what I knew about the suicide of Arthur Teele. Journalist John Sugg has a post on his blog about Teele. Sugg personally knew Teele. Sugg used Teele as a source to break the high-speed rail scam that was pushedf on Florida taxpayers. Sugg refers to Teele as one of his "golden sources."
Teele killed himself in the lobby of the Miami Herald at around 6:00 PM. This incident has been a PR disaster for the newspaper. Herald reporter Jim DeFede had wriiten several stories about the corruption allegations against Teele.
Teele asked DeFede on the phone, "Who did I piss off in this town?" Carl Hiaasen contends that Teele pissed off the law. Sugg is not sure if any powers-that-be were after Teele. He is sure that Teele was on the take.
Defede was fired from the Herald on the ground that he recorded his conversation with Teele. Sugg wrote:
The taping allegation is a bogus rap. The events were an incredibly intense and emotional drama. DeFede acted hastily and under pressure. He probably erred. But if the Herald fired every reporter who had surreptitiously taped a call, the paper would have been starved for stories over the years. I confess to the offense while there.
The backlash from journalists against the Herald and Knight Ridder has been intense. Defede wants an outside arbitrator to decide his fate. Editor Editor Tom Fiedler is adamantly against that. Fieldler isn't doing much to end the rumors that Defede was fired by Knight Ridder Chairman Tony Ridder.
Occupational Hazards of Cartooning
I had an Idea for a cartoon about Pat Robertson and Bill O'Reilly.I've never drawn a caricature of either one before, so I went looking for a clear image of Pat Robertson. Not wanting to Google "Pat Robertson", I first checked out the old blogroll to see who had something I could work with, and I eventually ended up at Bartcop . Here is the first attempt, a ballpoint pen sketch...
August 25, 2005
Pat Robertson, Angel of Mercenary
August 23, 2005
A Public Service Announcement
I hope David doesn't mind, but I want to plug one of my favorite bloggers who has returned from a much too long sabbatical.
Please go visit Voice of a Veteran. He tells best about himself:
The editor of this blog is a retired Air Force Colonel with 27 years of service, including 7 years at the Pentagon in Strategic Planning, Business Process Engineering, and Policy Development.
It's also one of the most thoughtful, interesting and surprising blogs around.
Please go show him some love. It's well worth the trip.
Ixnay on the uminationsray
Having been born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, I'm sometimes a bit baffled by my southern neighbors. And I don't mean Californians (who do sometimes baffle me..but not for the purposes of this particular post).
The cultural gulf that exists between us is expansive, especially in the political realm. The poles of the polls on Bush's approval rating highlight the gulf:
Rhode Island: Approve 29%,Disapprove 68%
Idaho: Approve 59%, Disapprove 36%
And yes, we Northerners and/or liberals pride ourselves (hmm, pride, isn't that one of the seven deadly sins?) on being so much more enlightened than our conservative/Southern brethren, but we can't help using fancy words (I mean, "ruminations?" honestly) and breathlessly blogging about our summer vacations in Europe and the expensive foods we encounter. We're feeding into this divisiveness every bit as much as they are.
Cynical translation: Southerners don't like it when you demonstrate the fact that you're well traveled and well educated.
This irritates the snot out of me.
Intellectual expansion and exposure to people outside your native culture is a GOOD thing. It's not an elitist attempt to virtually step across the throats of those who either can't or choose not to do it. Greater understanding, in general, shouldn't quarantine an entire section of the country as snobbish pariahs.
Conservatives laid out the idea of higher education as elitist and snobby. They have tried to make liberals ashamed of trying to make more for themselves intellectually. If that creates a chasm between the North and South..perhaps it's time for the South to do a little navel gazing. Why is it not okay to be smart? Why is it not okay to be well traveled? Why is staying in the cocoon of your little community better than moving outside yourself and creating a greater understanding?
In the meantime, conservatives are stealthily placing their ideologues into our institutions of higher learning. So it's only "elitist" to be smart if you're a liberal.
If that North/South cultural gulf requires a "dumbing down" in order to create a bridge...then I say it's a bridge too far. Liberals shouldn't be backing down from being smart and well educated. They should be dragging our Southern neighbors along with them..even if they're kicking and screaming.
[Crossposted at Preemptive Karma]
Eternal Sunshine of The Thoughtless Mind Part 2
August 22, 2005
Bush War Question of the Day
August 21, 2005
August 19, 2005
Rush Limbaugh: Question and Answer
August 16, 2005
The Noble Cause of Bush's War
August 14, 2005
Full Metal Jacket
August 12, 2005
Question of the Day...
So, the 2nd question of the day is "If the Armed White Guy trying to enter the United Nations garage had been a brown skinned man, would he be eating Gitmo Chiken and 2 kinds of fruit right now, or would he be in Syria?"
August 11, 2005
Can Wizbang Read?
I saw Taz's post about me getting linked to Wizbang.
The comment by Bullwinkle at Wizbang made me shake my head.
Michael Hussey just proved that by not considering the post anything other than an attack on liberals. In his twisted way of thinking kids come somehwere further down the list than protecting liberals that steal from them.
Here is what I wrote.
I wouldn't be shocked if Rosen is responsible for wrongdoing or did something illegal. What I'm shocked about is why do conservatives think that the only people that commit crimes are those not registered as a Republican. That is so ridiculous that it doesn't even pass the laugh test.
Do Wizbang readers read the links? Other Wizbang comments talk about aborting sperm. These people are against a medical process that they don't even understand.
Paul accuses me of whining. What part of those statements is me letting Air America off the hook? Does Paul have anything resembling reading comprehension skills? Paul, I highly recommend you check out this website. It might help you out.
L.G. is a real sore point for the right. Paul doesn't bother mentioning that L.G. wanted an abortion. She became pregnant while she was a runaway by "a 28- or 30-year-old man." That is considered statutory rape in Florida.
I cover children issues in Florida on my blog. I got a hat tip from Skippy for this post. The post deals with Jeb Bush having 532 children missing from the welfare agency rolls and Florida losing track of sex offenders.
About 800 sexual offenders and predators unaccounted for in January had committed lewd acts against children, and about 130 had been sentenced for raping minors under 16, according to a review by the Herald. Most of the remaining 870 had committed sexual crimes against adults or teenagers 16 and older.
The one thing that I noticed is that lifers don't adopt. Lefty columnist John Sugg surveyed anti-abortion activist at a rally. The results are interesting.
I was thinking of that as I infiltrated a "right to life" march at Georgia's state Capitol last month. I started asking folks about adoption, and guess what? I couldn't find a single "lifer" who was an adoptive parent. I'm sure some are. But it underscored my longtime belief that these people love the fetus but hate the children. Or, at best, don't give a hoot for the children. (For a comparative sampling, I polled the first 20 people I encountered the same evening at a decidedly blue-state-leaning tavern, and two had adopted children from Georgia's child welfare system. Both of those people supported abortion rights.)
Sugg and his wife adopted five siblings when they lived in Tampa, Florida. Sugg wrote that his children "experienced unspeakable physical and sexual abuse while property of the state."
I'm amazed at how the the right are in love with fetuses in the bodies of other people. Yet, ignore the plight of children in the real world. This is not a Republican or Democratic issue. Serious discussion and activism or required. Wizbang has the capacity for neither.
August 10, 2005
Meanwhile, Back at The Ranch...
August 09, 2005
Courage in the form of Cindy Sheehan
I belong to an email political debate group. I've been a part of this group off and on for years. It consists mostly of conservatives, the vast majority of which are Bush supporters. Actually they're more than just supporters. They're complete apologists for Bush's many failed policies.
Yesterday, one of them sent out the following on the topic of Cindy Sheehan:
Here's what I don't get... The US has an all VOLUNTEER military. Those who are in it CHOSE to be in it. When you join the military, you need to reasonably expect that there is an elevated risk of death on duty, and that you freely accept this. You also VOLUNTEER to obey the orders and assignments of those placed above you. So where does she feel that she has been wronged by President Bush? Did she really expect that her kid could join the MILITARY and then never get sent off to places where PEOPLE SHOOT AT YOU?
Apparently the notion that with that reasonable expectation of "elevated risk of death on duty" comes without the reasonable expectation that the President of the United States won't take the nation to war needlessly. That the President will thoughtfully, carefully consider every option and make certain that war is in fact the only way. That the President won't abuse the powers of his office to invade nations that represent no immediate military threat to the nation. That the President will not send our soldiers to die in an unecessary war.
I have a son. I don't know how any mother is able to come to grips with the agony of losing their child. But worse, knowing their child didn't have to die has to exacerbate the grief.
Sheehan's initial meeting with Bush, despite attempts by the rightwing freak spin machine to the contrary, was fraught with Bush's own hubris and contempt toward these military families. It's all a dog and pony show for Bush. His attitude demonstrates that he could care less that these mothers have given their precious children in an invasion and occupation he and his organization insisted upon.
Sheehan's likely inevitable arrest this coming Thursday (an unarmed mother and her unarmed group are somehow a national security threat..but not until Thursday when Condi and Rummy show up) will hopefully be shown on national news feeds all over the nation. Hauling away to jail the mother of a dead soldier because the President refuses to speak to her about the man he sent to die is an embarrassment to the nation.
The Bush apologist crowd truely seems to believe that it's appropriate to not hold Bush accountable for the failures of Iraq. No WMD. No WMD related programs. Saddam's people were no longer properly documenting what was going on with their weapons programs and in fact turned everything they had over to the UN prior to the invasion.
But it's somehow Bush hasn't wronged anyone..especially not Cindy Sheehan whose son needlessly left his blood on the sands of Iraq.
August 06, 2005
August 05, 2005
August 04, 2005
I'm just a girl...
There seems to me a Pythonesque element to the rapt attention of the worshipers listening to the Gaza sheik. I don't know if laughter is an appropriate response, but it makes me feel a little better.
When high profile liberal bloggers make such statements about Christian preachers ranting away while their congregation sits soaking it in with rapt attention..it's Christian bashing. The divisive invective leashed forth from the mouths of some of the more aggressive Christian leaders in this country is untouchable. The cruci-fiction crowd considers speaking out against vitriolic hate speech from the pulpit to be an assault on the downtrodden American Christian society who considers itself powerless against the onslaught of liberalism...despite the fact that conservative Christians essentially run government at all levels of the federal system.
Yet when a Sheik spouts forth odious rhetorical vomit while his congregation soaks it up like sponges, it's time to stand up and...giggle?
Maybe it's just a Minnesota thing.
(crossposted for the PK lover in you)
July 27, 2005
Answer the man!
Setting aside the definition of matters of controversy for a moment....
Brian Keegan at Centerfield lays out a worthy query:
If it's better for the states to decide than the feds, isn't it even better to let each and every person in each of the different states make their own choices on matters of controversy, thus avoiding the bitter battles engendered by all sorts of governmental "one size fits all" pronouncements?
Let your fingers do the answering in comments.
July 26, 2005
Let's pretend we can wipe out terrorism by paying absolutely no attention to why it happens
Ted Lapkin believes that terrorism can be eliminated if we just continue on our merry path of "war". Actually looking at the results of a war to see if it's accomplishing the stated goals can't happen.
Instead, Lapkin serves up the tired, worn out pap that pats the status quo on the back while loosing daggers against those who wish to address the causes of terrorism:
The aftermath of the London terrorist bombings has demonstrated that the antiwar Left is severely afflicted by the political equivalent of battered-wife syndrome. With each new beating, the scarred and bruised victims of spousal abuse tend to excuse and rationalize the actions of their tormentors. A stubborn unwillingness to accept the proposition that their partners are violent louts plunges these woeful women into a morass of self-deception that spawns only further violence.
For Lapkin, the outrages of Al Qaida are to be addressed not by an understanding of why Al Qaida does them..but by setting forth an angry vomit against the left for working to end terrorism.
Al Qaida as an evil entity isn't the issue. The world is chock full of evil. Whining that the US doesn't sometimes have a hand in that evil is simply more head up the ass ostriching that perpetuates the problem.
The mantra that the US never does anything wrong is easy, lazy and elitist. Blathering on about laying constant claim to the moral high ground is part of the insufferable hubris of the right that undermines us even more.
Osama doesn't care if we're good people or bad people. Lapkin doesn't concern himself with such trivialities, however. There are fires to stoke against the liberals. There's a war to use to bludgeon political enemies.
And if the causes of Islamist terrorism were being falsely diagnosed by leftist ideologues, then the policy proposals being advanced by these same voices were morally bankrupt as well. Rather than pursue the fanatics had who visited such death upon the innocent of London, George Galloway, a radical member of Parliament, urged Britain to adopt the Spanish model of crumpling under pressure.
How many false premises can one man pack into one paragraph? A shitload, apparently. "If" the left misdiagnosed the causes of Islamic terrorism? The left has been telling you since day one what the issues are, Ted. Some on the right are finally starting to get on the bus with us in an effort to end terrorism. The rose tinted glasses you like to cast aspersions about are sitting on your own face.
And Spain? Conveniently missing from Ted's diatribe is the fact that the Iraq war supporting Spanish government was tossed out on it's ass not because it embraced the war, but because the government lied to the people about the perps of the Madrid train bombings.
But the far-left views the world through a political prism that distorts this essential reality. Fixated by a knee-jerk hostility towards all things American, the likes of Ali, Fisk, and Galloway refuse to recognize the existence of this conflict, much less the stakes that are involved. Their primal instinct is to appease bin Laden and his cohorts rather than oppose them.
Those much smarter than I have already articulated that the right goes after the left a very clever way. They attack the left where the right is the weakest. In other words Lapkin knows that the right is viewing the world through a carefully crafted political prism that distorts the essential reality of why suicide terrorism occurs. The knee jerk hostility toward anyone or anything not articulating through that prism is the right's greatest weakness. Their primal instinct to saber rattle a war that's escalating terrorism is a major Achilles Heel.
The best way to deflect from these weaknesses is to project them on to the left. Until recently it's been a rather successful enterprise. Unfortunately why they sit back and deny the causes for escalation of terror attacks, more are slaughtered.
July 23, 2005
A familiar refrain
There has been a terrorist attack on a Red Sea resort in Egypt which, according to the news, has claimed at least 75 lives. It was a coordinated attack including 4 separate car bombs.
The dead in the Sharm blasts included Britons, Russians, Dutch citizens, Kuwaitis, Saudis, Qataris and Egyptians, a security official said. The officials, including the one in the crisis centre, were speaking on condition of anonymity.What more can I say?
July 22, 2005
Third Anniversary of the Downing Street Memo
Tomorrow marks the third anniversary of the Downing Street Memo.
The Instapundit archives - the gift that keeps on giving.
(Crossposted at Last Day of My Life)
July 21, 2005
Karl Rove and The Free Press
True Blue Liberal on WHIGgate
Light Up The Darkness on House and Senate Democrats investigating the outing of a CIA agent by White House Staff
July 20, 2005
George "Big Joe Turner-coat" Bush
The United American shows you the White House Shell Game. Bring It On!
Blue Collar Politics on Rove obstructing justice.
July 19, 2005
Rename Robert Novak Contest
Zencomix submission..."Robert Novak: The Tapeworm of Freedom"
Shakespeare's Sister has a new name for him, too.
July 18, 2005
Shakespeare's Sister sums it all up...
Pam's House Blend about prosecuting Bush for lying to Congress
The Disenchanted Forest on Rove's Nondisclosure Agreement
Comments From Left Field relates it all back to the WMD lies...fixing the intelligence around the policy!
July 17, 2005
ST. LOUIS — A man is being sued by Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon for allegedly sending garbage and even feces to eBay customers who thought they were bidding for new or slightly used clothing. Nixon filed the fraud suit against Michael D. Pickens of Bethany. His wife, Tamera Pickens, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he is disabled with a rare blood disease, is unemployed and has never sold anything over the Internet.
The impossibility of stopping all terrorist attacks
Fareed Zakaria, one of the few reasons to read Newsweek, had a piece in last weeks issue which discussed the Muslim world's harsh negative reaction to the Londom bombings, and what they and western leaders need to do to better combat terrorism. But instead of coming away from the article feeling hopeful, Zakaria tosses this paragraph at his readers.
These kinds of events will continue. There should be much, much greater condemnation from mainstream Islam. Moderates must adopt a zero-tolerance policy on terrorism, regardless of what they think of Iraq, Palestine or any other policy issue. But those clamoring for such condemnations should bear in mind that this will not solve the problem. Even if the moderates win and overwhelm the extremists, there will always be some number of unconverted jihadists, who either out of depravity or conviction seek to do evil. If 99.99 percent of the Arab world rejects terrorism, that still leaves 20,000 people to worry about. If 99.9 percent of the Muslim world is against the terrorists, there's 1 million people out there who are dangerous. And the technologies of destruction ensure that they will, on occasion, be successful.There's absoultely no way that we're ever going to stop all of the attacks. None at all. Never in the history of humankind has there been a way to make an entire population follow one single idealogy. Never. Even Nazi Germany faced dissent. There's never going to be a way to convince all of Islam's followers not to practice terrorism, just like there will never be a way to convince every anti-choice person in America that violence is not the answer. There's no way to stop all the potential attacks. So we mine as well cut the "ending all terrorism" bullshit and face the facts, right?
Of course, that's never going to happen because this very scenario is the Republican party's wet dream. For a party which derives it's strength from fear, what a shot in the arm! A certain segment of the populace, sparsely spread around the globe and virtually undetectable, committing random acts of violence under the banner of al-Qa'ida which is shifting from being a centralized organization to a flag that anyone can claim as their own, and say that they are fighting under. It's literally true that these people can bring the fight to anywhere. What better bargaining chip for the Republicans to hold over voters... Just as long as the voters stay convinced that terrorism itself can be completely stopped.
Problem is that it can't be. But this can't be admitted by either major political party. While the Republicans instill paranoid voters with fear, Democrats have to compete by generating the hawkish perception that they will be just as tough on terrorism; that they will also stop it. But it can't be stopped.
This troubled political climate isn't anything new. The right raised the specter of fear throughout the twenthy century, and it got American into boatloads of trouble. Remember Vietnam? Kennedy probably wouldn't have even bothered if the Republicans didn't continue to stipulate that it was the Democrats who "lost" China after WWII. Looking upon the Democrats acquiescence to the Republicans on Iraq since they felt the pressure to look just as hawkish as the right on the issue of terrorism, I'd say that history has repeated itself.
Fact is that, as long as the Republicans have a sliver of a reason to project fear and use it as a political bargaining chip, we're never going to have a serious debate concerning how to develop a sound policy to defend this nation, and other parts of the world, from a serious terrorist attack. And what I mean by that is stopping an attack using nuclear, chemical weapons, or other means of inflicting mass destruction. We're not going to stop conventional attacks. Fuck, any idiot can make a bomb; I downloaded the anarchist's cookbook when I was 15 and there was no such thing called the World Wide Web. Look, it's an archive of anarchy files that teenagers from 15 years ago were memorizing! The art of cheap destruction is common knowledge to anyone who wishes to find it. This just feeds more into the fact that we're never, ever going to stop conventional attacks. So we need to place our focus on making sure that nations like Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Syria, etc., aren't selling WMDs to potential terrorists. And securing our ports would help, too. It sure would be a cheaper solution than waging a useless war in Iraq. But until we can talk openly about the hopelessness of trying to stop all terrorism, we'll continue to see more Iraqs.
[HT: Zakaria link via Red State, of all places...]
July 15, 2005
Carefully watch what they say, because ambiguity is the name of the game
On 9/27/04, I had had it with the way the Bush administration said what they meant, but only in a language where those who spoke it with them would understand it clearly. It's hard to explain, but read part of my post first.
That wascally elusive thing called the TruthI thought of this post today because of the comments from Karl Rove, aired in this Daily Show segment, were fresh on my mind. How Karl Rove told a report that he didn't give any reporter Valarie Plame's name. He never said that he didn't identify her, he just said that he didn't give out her name. A non-deinal deinal, if you will. So, of course, the Republican who will defend this administration until it's dying dies, no matter what actions it commits, will point to Rove's comments and say, "See? He never lied!"
Just like the Republicans will swear up and down that Bush never said "Mission Accomplished" when he made his speech in 2003 announcing an end to major combat operations in Iraq. The world's largest banner with the words "MISSION ACCOMPISHED" superimposed over the US flag was erected behind Bush while he made his speech, but since he didn't say it, then we can't attribute those words to him. So says the Right.
And just like in that 9/27/04 article I found during the campaign, the reporter couldn't say that Bush was for or against abortion. Despite the fact that his party's political has a plank which says that abortion should be criminalized via a Constitutional amendment, and despite the fact that he allowed a movie glorifying a mother's decision to die during child birth rather then get an abortion play before he spoke to an anti-choice gathering. After all this, the reporter still couldn't go on the record and say that Bush was against abortion since, well, he didn't come right out and say it.
This is getting ridiculous. It's about time that the media refuses to take the Bush administration at their word. Yes or no questions, as Jesse prescribed on Loaded Mouth a couple days ago. Mr. Rove, did you talk with any reports about Valarie Plame before Robert Novak's column outing her went to press on 7/14/03, yes or no? Mr. Rove, did you identify Valarie Plame to any reporters you talked to, yes or no?
No more excuses. No more non-deinal deinals. It's time for the press to do it's job and force this administration to tell the country what it means and stop being so ambiguous.
The Wizard of Is
Anti Chimp has some interesting posts
Blue Collar Politics on Rove as Novak's 2nd source
Skippy reports on some factual reporting
Liar Paradox explains how Rove is probably guilty, whether he knew if Plame was a covert operative or not.
Shakespeare's Sister with an excellent analysis of the latest lame defense of Rove
July 14, 2005
Karl Rove and The Downing St Memos
The Green Knight connects the dots between Rove and The Downing St Memos.
Rob's Blog with some petitions to oust Rove.
July 13, 2005
Under the radar
The Rovegate leak story is running at the top page of a lot of blogs today..rightfully so.
But this little ditty from the Post shouldn't go overlooked:
A Texas state judge yesterday reaffirmed the indictment of a political associate of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), turning aside his claim that a state law barring the use of corporate funds in the 2002 Texas election was unconstitutionally vague.
Another link in the chain on the way to a DeLay ethical (if not legal) investigation.
It's important to keep in mind that DeLay is potentially a greater thorn in the Republican side than is Rove. DeLay is the face of the House Republicans. The more they cover for him the deeper the connect between them all.
You lie with pigs...you're gonna stink.
Brother Kenya on Republican Talking Points Bull
July 12, 2005
Got a whale of a tale to tell you lads...
Awhile back I signed on to be a Minda and Media book reviewer.
I was aware when I signed on to this task that Mind and Media is a conservative leaning, Christian organization. I'm not conservative and I'm not Christian. I believed (and still do, actually) that it would be interesting for me to see what conservatives and Christians are reading and writing. I also believed it might be interesting for conservatives and Christians to read a review from a POV that is outside their own schools of thought.
The individual running Mind and Media is a woman by the name of Stacy Harp. When I signed on Stacy was made aware of my nonChristian (I'm a Deist), politically liberal status. She said that she would be happy to have me as a reviewer as long as I didn't use the reviewer status to "conservative bash". I agreed. I am currently working on my first book review.
Stacy sends out emails (at least several per week) to the reviewers letting them know what books or other materials are available for review.
Stacy sent out an email(presumably to the Mind and Media reviewers. It was a very large cc list) on Friday July 8 that stated:
Islam is not a religion of peace contrary to some reports. Pray for those ensnared in this false and deadly religion. Please pass it on.
I replied (privately to her so as not to embarass her) thusly:
Actually Islam is very much a religion of peace. Many Islamic organizations have consistently condemned terrorism and terrorist attacks.
I didn't hear back from Stacy via email.
Liberals & Literalism
She knows that "all Muslims aren't terrorists"? Her email was just a joke? How lame is this?
Not only has Stacy violated a private email trust by posting our private exchange (there is a reasonable presumption that you don't treat your volunteers like garbage and that you respect their privacy), she's lying about what she did.
Poor Stacy. She probably thought I'd just let her arrogant attempts at bullying and lame attempts at lying go unchallenged.
And thus we have the following exchange in comments at her blog:
I had realized you meant your email as humor, Stacy. Given that it's such a serious topic (the London bombings), I certainly didn't read it that way.
Yes..you read it right. A heathen. I call Stacy on BS and she cowardly resorts to namecalling and bullying.
I went on to remind Stacy that the Book of Matthew reminds that every good tree bears good fruit. That's how we know the good from the bad..by the fruit. I also reminded her of Christ's greatest commandment..that we love one another as ourselves. It's pretty evident to me that Stacy cares to remember neither.
Her response? She doesn't have to listen to a heathen like me because the bible isn't my book and I'm probably just misinterpreting it.
I await clarification from her as to exactly which things I've misinterpreted and how.
I realize that all self-identifying Christians aren't like this. There are many Christians out there who do great things and demonstrate love toward their fellow man.
Too bad there are enough of them out there like Stacy to give Christianity a black eye.
July 11, 2005
Bolton and Rove, sitting in a tree...
Boys are smarter than girls, especially the pretty girls
(see also PK)
Pretty girls can't do math...haven't you heard?
If you're pretty you can skate by on your looks...the newspapers make sure to reinforce that notion:
The newest Miss South Carolina says she had an idea two weeks ago that she might win her pageant. The clue? It came from a fortune cookie.
Yes..I know these girls get scholarships for participating. But a fortune cookie? Was there a requirement to make this girl look ridiculous? Or is she actually ridiculous because she's spent her life getting by on her good looks instead of her brains?
When I was a very young girl, I was a bit of a wall flower. I went through a fairly long gawky stage with glasses, scraggly hair, too skinny, crooked teeth..the works. I was generally ignored by males when I was in middle school and my first two years in high school. Unless they needed help in English or History. Then they beat a path to my door.
By the time Junior Year rolled around I'd shed the glasses and filled out a bra. Voila! I was no longer the girl that boys just sought out to get an 'A' on their Spanish American War final. It turns out that under all that gawkiness..a butterfly.
Because I had a reputation in school for being brainy...it never occured to those kids to connect my attractiveness to being stupid. That all changed when I went to college.
Freshman year, first semester I took an Introduction to Philosphy class. It was a killer. My trip to the bookstore to purchase the required class reading almost made my parents yell at the bookstore clerk. Eight books..all expensive. All heavy and thick. None of it light reading, obviously.
The first study group session I found out that I was one of only three freshmen in the class. Philosophy was not recommended for underclassmen. My counselor neglected to mention that to me (the bastard). It was apparent from the start that I was considered a liability to the study group. They were "stuck" with me.
It wasn't because I was a freshman, either. I wasn't the only freshman in the study group. But because I was a blonde haired, blue eyed pretty girl with boobs...I wasn't smart enough to study philosphy. They treated me like I was an idiot at first.
Imagine their surprise when Professor Nelson handed back the Blue Books and I had the second highest grade in our study group.
This was my first (and sadly not last) stereotyping for being physically attractive.
I'm a feminist not because I think there's some sort of need to elevate women. I'm a feminist because I want gender equity. I want to be treated as an equal..not some pretty Barbie doll that's too stupid to diagram a sentence. It pisses me off that some women are willing to skate by on a pretty face and a nice body. And that society reinforces it.
July 09, 2005
Kill Them All And Let God Sort It Out
(See also PK)
The terrorists we're supposed to be going after (the ones who came after us on 9/11..remember them?) aren't part of any nation state. They're guerillas who congregate in loosely affiliated cells. They aren't wed to a government. They have no allegiance to a country.
This is part of what makes them so wicked tough to deal with.
As Maha notes, terrorism doesn't fit the old mold of "war" or "crime". It's something completely different:
Let's think about semantics and reality. Many on both the Left and the Right argue about whether 9/11 or M11 or 7/7 were crimes or acts of war. To me, this is an absurd and pointless argument, because mass terrorist attacks by stateless organizations don't fit either category. Trying to shoehorn 9/11 into an old classification system is a bit like finding a new species of critter and calling it a "dog" because it wags its tail and barks, even though it also flies and lays eggs.
To a large degree, Al Qaida strikes me as an organization not unlike the mafia of the early to mid 20th Century (and apparently still exists somewhat today). At least some law enforcement techniques of investigation, infiltration and forensics seem to be in order.
Attempting to combat terrorism by using only the "war" mentality is proving to be futile. Terrorism and terrorist acts are on a major upswing according to 2004 statistics.
The only way war alone will work is if we kill everyone associated with Islam. In other words..we'll have to commit internment and genocide.
The Art of War reminds it's readers to know the enemy. Yet the right continues to discourage the notion that we study and examine the root causes of terrorism. Especially in terms of understanding our own role in it's manifestation. "Blame America First" labeling is a way to ignore the fundamentals behind the terrorism. It's an easy narcotic to make those rightwing nationalists feel justified to apartheid and genocide.
It also puts us in the loser's position from the outset. If you don't understand who and what you're fighting...you can't defeat it.
Since the London bombings, the rightwing blogs which actually allow comments (many of them don't) have exposed the genocidal tendencies of the right. Many these comments are utterly twisted and ugly. If you're easily offeneded or sickened, don't go to the jump.
Its a clash of cultures its a culture war, the onyl way the west will survive is by purging these people from its society. I dont care how harsh this is, im tlaking mass deportation of muslims and arabs. ...Option 4: I guess there is a forth option for Christians. They can pray that the Lord will come against Islam as he did against the Soviet Union’s Empire, and bring it down without firing a shot. That would be a great world-wide mercy. A great, world-wide opening of eyes to and rejection of the deception of Islam...
(LaShawn deleted a bunch of other comments after she claimed the thread had started to "descend into the abyss, exactly where I didn’t want it to go")
Nuke the entire Muslim world, especially the oil fields. Without oil money they go back to sitting around mudholes in the desert subsisting off dates, and making for quaint touristic photos.
Did we ever finish developing and deploying the neutron bomb? Use it around the oilfields, use the conventional nukes on Mecca and Medina and Riyadh and Qom. We can argue about which type to use on some pestholes in Phillipines and Malaysia and Indonesia and Pakistan. Islam is the enemy. Muslims are the enemy. There. It needed to be said. Muslims are the enemy. Time to act accordingly.
Such similar comments can be found at Little Green Footballs, too.
We have to find a way to defeat terrorism that doesn't put us in the position of giving up what little moral high ground we have left. And we can't lose our core beliefs.
The cowardice displayed by these righties is unfortunately something we're required to fight as well. They'll take us down with them in a heartbeat.
July 08, 2005
Quagmire of quagmires
I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how we're going to get out of this mess.
If we stay in Iraq obviously more of our people will be killed and injured. As will many more Iraqis. And then I came across this little nugget:
The CIA believes the Iraq insurgency poses an international threat and may produce better-trained Islamic terrorists than the 1980s Afghanistan war that gave rise to Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda, officials said yesterday.
Once the insurgency ends, Islamic militants are likely to disperse as highly organized battle-hardened combatants capable of operating throughout the Arab-speaking world and in other regions including Europe.
The May report, which has been widely circulated in the intelligence community, also cites a potential threat to the United States.
Great. So now not only are the insurgency highly motivated..they're going to be extremely well trained. They can move on from Iraq and use their advanced training to take on urban areas elsewhere. Just exactly how is local law enforcement supposed to deal with this?
If we leave Iraq then we abandon the people to a complete mess. The government there has no working, effective police force and military. The situation would quickly erode to chaos and a government far worse than Saddam Hussein (with indepth knowledge on how to fight a large scale military) would likely come to power.
We are in one hell of a mess.
(cross posted at PK)
July 07, 2005
The GR-8 Summit
Rob's Blog on Richard Perle and The Downing St Memos
July 05, 2005
The Electric Kool-Aid Flaccid Test
July 04, 2005
Happy 4th of Julius to ya...
July 01, 2005
Anti Chimp on a Freedom of Information Act Request by members of Congress trying to get information about the Downing St Memos from the White House.
I considered having George hold the pitchfork with Condi by his side, but decided to go with George wearing the dress. After that, it was a toss up between Karl and Dick for the pitchfork, and it was Karl's lucky day!
Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor Retires
My fellow Arizonan, Sandra Day O'Connor, has resigned from SCOTUS. This is an unhappy development for our country because the two possible replacements for her are both hardcore conservatives. O'Connor has been the moderate, traditional voice of reason, and a swing vote on many decisions for the past 24 years.
That the Bush administration will try to replace her with a conservative is scary and stupid, all at once, because it will upset the balance of power in the Supreme Court and allow further right-wing rulings and will head us even more firmly into the breakdown of the separation of church and state.
[link] She arrived on an ideologically divided high court during a period of unprecedented challenge to established law on issues such as abortion, affirmative action, church-state relations and criminal justice.
We're going to miss your level-headed rulings, Justice O'Connor.
June 29, 2005
The Bunker Buster
Did you know that the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima in August of 1945 was codenamed "Little boy"? That's an awfully benign nickname for such a deadly and devastating weapon, which killed at least 80,000 people outright and countless others in its aftermath.
But this awful history is not yet behind us: the Bush administration has requested $8.5 million in the 2006 budget for research on a "Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator" (RNEP), a new nuclear weapon also known as the nuclear "bunker buster." A single "bunker buster" would be nearly 100 times more powerful than the nuclear bomb that destroyed Hiroshima.
We've launched a campaign with our nonprofit partner, the Union of Concerned Scientists, to stop the "bunker buster" before it is built. The vote on this funding could come this week: please tell your Senators to oppose new nuclear weapons today.
The "bunker buster" is being promoted by the Bush administration as a useful tool in attacking deeply buried command centers or underground stores of chemical and biological weapons. But numerous scientific critiques, including one by the National Academy of Science, find that in many cases such a weapon would be ineffective. In addition, the nuclear blast and radioactive fall-out could kill millions of innocent people in surrounding areas.
With global concerns around nuclear proliferation in North Korea and Iran, the last thing we need is further proliferation here at home. If the United States truly wants to lead the world toward a peaceful future, then we need to take the lead in abolishing nuclear weapons, not in developing new ones!
Please sign this petition today to tell your Senators you oppose any funding for research on "bunker buster" nuclear weapons: http://www.care2.com/go/z/25447
Thank you for acting for peace,
Get the facts: Watch this two-minute flash video by UCS to learn more about the potentially devastating effects of "bunker busters."
Crossposted to The Rogue Angel.
The World of Commander McBragg
This is the world of
Tune in to next weeks show when Phineas J. Whoopie uses his magical 3DBB to solve the problems in Iraq!
June 28, 2005
Downing St Memos and Bushspeak
Rob's Blog on the Air Force Chief of Staff confirmation hearings for Lt. General Moseley
The Disenchanted Forest on the expansion of Terrorists in Iraq
Broken Windows deconstructs Michael Ignatieff's piece in The NY Times
The Whispering Campaign makes hardcopy pamphleteering easy for you.
The Heretik on Bush's Bullhorn
Shakespeare's Sister is a fountain of truth on the Downing St Memos
June 27, 2005
No New Nukes
The Bush Administration just doesn't get it.
Last year, TrueMajority members asked Congress to shut down the plan to build a new nuclear weapon, the pleasantly named "bunker buster." So ludicrous was the president's idea that the Republican-led Congress then eliminated all the money for new nukes.  Now Bush is back, asking for money to cook up new nuclear weapons - even as polling makes clear that the American people want significant reductions in our 10,000-weapon nuclear arsenal. 
This week, the Senate will consider spending taxpayer dollars to design yet another generation of nuclear bombs.
If you'd like to edit the message we'll send to your senator, or if you aren't yet a TrueMajority member, click here: http://action.truemajority.org/campaign/bunkerbuster. And forward this to others so they, too, can help make the world a safer place.
Monitoring Washington for you,
Darcy Scott Martin
P.S. If you haven't checked out Ben's little movie on what America's nuclear weapons arsenal is all about before, click here.
1) For more on the "bunker buster" from our friends at Women's Action for New Directions, click here.
2) "Bush Denied Nuclear Bunker-Buster Funds," ABC News, Nov. 2004. http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200411/s1249981.htm
3) We commissioned a poll in March by the Carnegie Foundation-based PIPA, which showed that Americans want to switch federal investments from nuclear weapons to pressing human needs at home and around the world. Click here to see what the public wants: http://pipa.org/OnlineReports/budget/030705/Press03_07_05.pdf
Crossposted to The Rogue Angel.
Milhous Fillmore and The Downing St Memos
Special delivery to Karl Rove
I wonder which day you woke up deciding to hate your country.
Last week, you made comments so vile and hatefilled that your boss, had he any scruples, should have fired you immediately.
You are a disgusting, wretched pile of human filth. Your attempts to use 9/11 to pad the polling numbers of your lying boss and his garbage spewing cohorts won't work. We're on to you.
On the morning of 9/11 ALL AMERICANS awoke to find their country under attack. All of us..liberals, conservatives, independents..whatever...ALL were struck on that day. The difference is that you and your boss saw it as a political opportunity instead of the crime against this nation that it was. And that's what it was, Karl. A crime. And you guys have failed to catch the perp.
I know that you've had your share of media darling attention. You'll do anything to win. You have no moral or ethical compass. It's also pretty clear that you have a more than casual need to compensate. That's a powerful combination. I guess living with yourself isn't something you need to worry about except for the few hours during the middle of the night when you're alone...dealing with what little conscience you might posess.
So listen up you traitorous douchebag. I love this country so much that I'm willing to live my principles and fight for what I believe in. Unlike yourself..I don't hide behind the apron strings of anyone. I'm calling you out.
I want you to come here and say that shit to my face. You look me in the eye and tell me that I'm "weak" when it comes to fighting for the survivial of my nation. Bring your sorry ass to my town and at least pretend to have some manhood. But be ready. I'm not taking your shit lying down. I may be a woman..but I'm completely prepared to knock you into next week. Don't think I can't do it.
It's time for you to do a gut check, Karl. You want to see weak? Look in the mirror. It's your side that went to Iraq instead of concentrating on Afghanistan. It's your side that has turned Iraq into a hotbed of terrorist activity. It's your side who give lipservice to "supporting the troops" while finding every conceivable way to screw them sideways.
Your side Karl. You're the ones who sent our troops on a trumped up mission into Iraq without the proper equipment. It's your side that's defunding veterans benefits. It's your side that's failed to capture or kill Bin Laden. Your disdain for our military is obvious. Waving that flag looks good on Fox...but it doesn't do the guy who's had half his face blown off a damn bit of good.
You owe this country an apology. And not just for that spew from the other night. You owe us an apology for all the shit you've pulled over the last six years...foisting the inept Bush Administration onto us. You put our nation in a constant state of fear, using it to erode the rights of Americans.
If there is a Heaven and a God who runs the place...he's looking down on your deeds. I'll bet he's wondering which special place in Hell his competition has set aside for you.
June 25, 2005
Out Of Iraq
Thanks to the Downing Street Memos, we now know George Bush's invasion of Iraq in 2003 was based entirely on lies. Iraq had no stockpiles of WMD's or Al Qaeda ties, and Bush knew it. And Bush had no plans to rebuild Iraq after his invasion.
Two years later, Iraq is a bloody quagmire:
Because of these huge costs, the American people now oppose the war by 59%-39%. But George Bush stubbornly refuses to discuss a timetable for withdrawal.
Help us collect 1 million signatures to tell George Bush it's time to get Out Of Iraq.
June 24, 2005
The New War-ld Order continues...
June 23, 2005
Prayer & Reflection For Darfur
National Weekend of Prayer and Reflection for Darfur
Bills have been proposed in the Senate (S. Res. 172) and the House (H. Res. 333) calling for the designation of July 15, 16, and 17 as a National Weekend of Prayer and Reflection for Darfur. Please contact your Senators and Representatives today to urge their support for the National Weekend of Prayer and Reflection by co-sponsoring S. Res. 172 or H. Res. 333.
Update: The Save Darfur Coalition is looking for volunteers to help them reach out to local faith communities and invite them to participate. If you have one to two hours to help, they will send you a short list of faith groups in your area to contact, information about the weekend, and some talking points to help your efforts. For more information, please send your name, telephone number, and zip code to email@example.com.
Loving your country means never having to say you're sorry
My grandfather was a decorated World War II veteran. He died when I was a girl. Every once in a while at family get togethers we've seen his medals and the flag that was draped over his coffin at his funeral. I've always been fascinated by those medals because they tell part of the story of my grandfather's life. His bravery, his fortitude and his sacrifice are marked in time by those decorations.
I remember reading some time ago about how toward the end of World War II, German soldiers deliberately surrendered to American troops instead of troops from other nations because Americans had a reputation for humane treatment of POWs. This is something I've considered as a matter of great pride for the US military and for Americans in general. We're not like other countries. We're better because we respect the rule and intent of law. We're the good guys.
Not so much anymore, it seems. There are many in our country who condone the inhumane treatment of US detainees. Or they turn a blind eye to it.
I expect that these attitudes are bred of fear. Our nation was attacked in a brutal manner. The Bush Administration consistently reminds Americans of that attack. They issue color coded "terror alerts". White House spokesman Scott McClellan holds daily press briefings in which terrorism is discussed consistently. Osama Bin Laden is still at large and Al Qaida is still alive and planning attacks, we're told.
And we're holding detainees, individuals captured in and around areas of battle. They're not called prisoners of war because our government doesn't want to be held to the Geneva Conventions, so they split hairs to say we're not technically at war. Except when it's time to talk about terrorism. Then of course, we're at war.
A few days ago, Senator Richard Durbin (D-Ill) felt compelled to apologize for remarks last week on the Senate floor which outlined the treatment of some detainees. Durbin noted specific incidences of abuse of detainees. The horrors he outlined were something we'd expect to read, Durbin said, from regimes like Pol Pot or the Soviets...who had no regard for humanity. Certainly not from the good guys.
The howling from the conservatives was relentless. And even though Durbin was telling the truth when he spoke out...the pressure was apparently too much to bear and he caved in.
Last month I visited the US National Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. One of the main themes at the Museum is the fact that so few spoke out against what the Nazis were doing. While it's apparent that the US is not commiting atrocities even close to the degree of World War II Germany, there is some very serious inhumane treatment of detainees held in US custody. In Germany, the atrocities continued in part because there were so few who came out against Hitler and those that did were murdered.
In the US when a prominent official speaks out...they are trampled by the rightwing media machine. They are verbally flogged over and over. Those brave individuals who are willing to stand up against torture are steamrolled by conservatives who are afraid to the point that they'll give up basic decency and morals.
These individuals who condone or turn a blind eye to torture, especially those that so viciously attack the brave who speak out against it, dishonor my grandfather and those with whom he served. Whether we're "as bad as Pol Pot" or as "inhumane as Stalin" isn't the issue. The issue is whether or not we're willing to allow conservatives to toss aside basic American values of decency and humanity to assuage their fears. And to dishonor everything our nation has built for the last 250 years.
June 22, 2005
The Rime of The Ancient Taxes Ranger
June 21, 2005
Karl Rove and The Downing St Memos
June 20, 2005
....the smell of napalm in the morning....
Reports coming out of Great Britain this weekend indicate that the US government used napalm-type weaponry during the Iraq War and then lied to the British Government about it:
Despite persistent rumours of injuries among Iraqis consistent with the use of incendiary weapons such as napalm, Adam Ingram, the Defence minister, assured Labour MPs in January that US forces had not used a new generation of incendiary weapons, codenamed MK77, in Iraq.
But Mr Ingram admitted to the Labour MP Harry Cohen in a private letter obtained by The Independent that he had inadvertently misled Parliament because he had been misinformed by the US. "The US confirmed to my officials that they had not used MK77s in Iraq at any time and this was the basis of my response to you," he told Mr Cohen. "I regret to say that I have since discovered that this is not the case and must now correct the position."
In other words, Mr. Ingram was lied to by US officials.
At least the Bush team is consistent. As long as their lips are moving, there's a good chance they're lying to your face, eh?
The morality of using weaponry like MK77s is highly questionable given the fact that it's banned by the the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) for use on anything but strictly military targets. The US has not signed on to the Convention. Britain has.
Reports of US use of such incendiary weaponry are readily available:
Marine Cobra helicopter gunships firing Hellfire missiles swept in low from the south. Then the marine howitzers, with a range of 30 kilometres, opened a sustained barrage over the next eight hours. They were supported by US Navy aircraft which dropped 40,000 pounds of explosives and napalm, a US officer told the Herald. But a navy spokesman in Washington, Lieutenant Commander Danny Hernandez, denied that napalm - which was banned by a United Nations convention in 1980 - was used.
Oops..guess the US officer didn't get the memo.
American jets killed Iraqi troops with firebombs – similar to the controversial napalm used in the Vietnam War – in March and April as Marines battled toward Baghdad.
Marine Corps fighter pilots and commanders who have returned from the war zone have confirmed dropping dozens of incendiary bombs near bridges over the Saddam Canal and the Tigris River. The explosions created massive fireballs.
"We napalmed both those (bridge) approaches," said Col. James Alles in a recent interview. He commanded Marine Air Group 11, based at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station, during the war. "Unfortunately, there were people there because you could see them in the (cockpit) video.
Using this material against military targets is clearly legal, even under the CCW protocol. This begs the question: why would the Bush Administration lie to the British about the use of these devices?
Further, if Bush lied to the British government about intelligence regarding Iraq's WMD and about the use of napalm-type weaponry in Iraq..what else are they lying to the British about?
(x-posted at PK)
DailyKos has a poll up. Go check out the 2008 Democratic Presidential Candidate Straw Poll. Go vote now. The results so far have been quite interesting.
Hat tip: The Political Forecast
The Anatomy of an Authentic Leak
Crossposted from Loaded Mouth.
Prompted by my outrage at Captain Ed's wrongheaded post questioning the authenticity of the Downing Street memos, I decided to fire up Nexis and do some research into the origins Downing Street memos. I wanted to see if there's truly any reason to question their authenticity. And even though I have no interest in dealing with the right on this issue, since I know that no matter how much research I do or what I write about, I won't be able to convince Captain Ed and his ilk that these memos are not fake; I feel that I must address it since his post has received mass linkage on the right, including a link from the puppy-blender, and a dissent from Power Line, of all places. Captain Ed also claims that he's been linked by Drudge, but I cannot verifiy this.
[Note: Because I used Nexis, some links to sources I provide in this post will goto HTML files I created wherein I copied and pasted the full article from Nexis. These articles have not been altered by me.]
For most people familiar with the DSM story, their timeline of events starts on May 1, 2005, when the Times of London published this article by Michael Smith. My timeline, however, starts a week before this article, because on April 24, 2005, Simon Walters at the Mail on Sunday received the first leak -- that of British Attorney General Lord Goldsmith's private legal advice to Prime Minister Tony Blair detailing his opinions about the questionable legality of waging war in Iraq...
The Iraq war has erupted as a major Election issue after legal advice warning Tony Blair that the conflict breached international law was sensationally leaked.As I found out in my research, this was a front-page scandal in Britain. And, as some other stories from the British press indicates, it gets stranger. Lord Goldsmith's leaked memo was sent to Blair on March 7, 2003 -- a mere couple of weeks before the ground invasion of the Iraq war was launched. On 4/25/05, the Independent published this chronology of events which suggests that while Lord Goldsmith told Blair privately that the Iraq war was probably illegal, he told the rest of the government that he thought it was perfectly legal.
Start with 7 March, 2003. On that day, Lord Goldsmith warned the Prime Minister that going to war could be in breach of international law. It was not for Britain to decide whether Iraq had defied the United Nation's order to disarm. UN resolution 1441 could not bear the weight Mr Blair was placing on it. The UN resolutions that permitted the ejection of Saddam Hussein's forces from Kuwait did not permit the toppling of the dictator. Why else did the Allies stop at the Iraq border? The weapons inspectors in Iraq were successfully getting on with their task.Blair, of course, never mentioned Lord Goldsmith's private advice to him during the run upto to the invasion. Not only did he neglect to mention it to the British public, but in an April 29th article, the Independent reports that Blair may not have told his cabinet about Lord Goldsmith's memo:
Beside Mr Blair at a press conference, the Chancellor, Gordon Brown and Patricia Hewitt, the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, admitted they were not shown the 7 March document but insisted that there was a proper Cabinet discussion of the legal and political implications of war. [...]
This article also has an interesting sentence at the beginning of it:
In a spectacular U-turn, Downing Street published a 13-page memo from Lord Goldsmith on 7 March 2001, including crucial caveats about military action omitted from his final legal advice backing the war 10 days later.
For those keeping score at home, here's what happened: A document so secret that members of Blair's cabinet may not have known about it was leaked to the British press. The British government not only verified the authenticity of this document, but they released the whole thing to the press.
The Blair administration did not attempt to say that this document was a fabrication in any way, shape, or form. In fact, this policy has been continued by Bush and Blair since neither of them, or any members of their administration, have declared that the Downing Street memos are fake. The Downing Street memos, which I speculate were leaked by the same anonymous person in the British government and first surfaced in the Times of London on May 1, are indelibly tied to the Blair/Goldsmith scandal. In fact, I'll say that these stories are meant to be one and the same.
For those who still believe that silence isn't acceptance, and the fact that Bush and Blair never denied the authenticity of the DSM can't serve as proof of their reality, I have three words for you: This is reality. The first memos to spring from this scandal were not only verified by the British government, but they released all 13 pages of Lord Goldsmith's memo after it was leaked to the press. As for the memos released after April 24, it's only logical to suggest that they were leaked by the same person. Sources inside the British government have verified that they are real, and there has never been an official denouncement of them.
The argument's over. The memos are real.
June 19, 2005
Spawn of The Dead
June 18, 2005
June 17, 2005
The Downing St Beauty Pageant
June 16, 2005
We lie with pigs
Our alledged "war on terror" has put us into bed with some odious governments.
There's Uzbekistan, who's extremely convenient airbase is pushing the Bush Administration to ignore the government's murdering of hundreds of Uzbeki citizens.
And then there's Pakistan.
Nicholas Kristof's column tells the story:
No wonder the Pakistan government can't catch Osama bin Laden. It is too busy harassing, detaining - and now kidnapping - a gang-rape victim for daring to protest and for planning a visit to the United States.
Last fall I wrote about Mukhtaran Bibi, a woman who was sentenced by a tribal council in Pakistan to be gang-raped because of an infraction supposedly committed by her brother. Four men raped Ms. Mukhtaran, then village leaders forced her to walk home nearly naked in front of a jeering crowd of 300.
Ms. Mukhtaran was supposed to have committed suicide. Instead, with the backing of a local Islamic leader, she fought back and testified against her persecutors. Six were convicted.
Then Ms. Mukhtaran, who believed that the best way to overcome such abuses was through better education, used her compensation money to start two schools in her village, one for boys and the other for girls. She went out of her way to enroll the children of her attackers in the schools, showing that she bore no grudges.
A group of Pakistani-Americans invited Ms. Mukhtaran to visit the U.S. starting this Saturday (see www.4anaa.org). Then a few days ago, the Pakistani government went berserk.
On Thursday, the authorities put Ms. Mukhtaran under house arrest - to stop her from speaking out. In phone conversations in the last few days, she said that when she tried to step outside, police pointed their guns at her. To silence her, the police cut off her land line.
After she had been detained, a court ordered her attackers released, putting her life in jeopardy. That happened on a Friday afternoon, when the courts do not normally operate, and apparently was a warning to Ms. Mukhtaran to shut up. Instead, Ms. Mukhtaran continued her protests by cellphone. But at dawn yesterday the police bustled her off, and there's been no word from her since. Her cellphone doesn't answer.
Asma Jahangir, a Pakistani lawyer who is head of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, said she had learned that Ms. Mukhtaran was taken to Islamabad, furiously berated and told that President Pervez Musharraf was very angry with her. She was led sobbing to detention at a secret location. She is barred from contacting anyone, including her lawyer.
Skirted off into illegal custody? Unable to talk to anyone..including her lawyer? Sound familiar?
Apologists for the Bush Administration have been known to come forward when such tales as these come out with excuses about how we must sometimes align with detestable governments in order to defeat a common (and more hateful) foe.
Perhaps one of them could come forward and explain how aligning with a government which allows a woman to be kidnapped, gang raped, held in illegal custody and isolated without her family or legal counsel is better than aligning with the Taliban?
The US government has put some pressure on Pakistan on this matter. This morning, the Pakistani government says they lifted the travel ban against Mukhtaran Bibi. The Pakistanis are claiming that Bibi wasn't kidnapped and was allowed to move freely at all times.
The Pakistani PR machine has been taking lessons from the White House Press Office.
(x-posted at PK)
Christian Bloggers Alliance
The Christian Bloggers Alliance has been born and it needs some exposure and some members. :) For those interested there is an aggregator, blogroll, Blogdigger group, Bloglines blogroll, and a webring. Which means lots of exposure for your site.
This alliance will not be based on your TTLB ranking. Where you appear in the blogroll has to do with how often you blog. Your political party affiliation is not important. This is about being a Christian and a blogger, nothing more.
The criteria, benefits of joining, and instructions can be found here.
Please join and spread the word!
June 15, 2005
Moral Values vs. Whorin' Values
June 14, 2005
John Bolton and The United Nations
June 12, 2005
Overwhelmed and underfunded: Your National Guard
It provides half of the Army's combat power and is the United States' primary terrorism response team. But its battalions are struggling to scrape up enough soldiers and hand-me-down equipment to meet overseas deployment orders. Recruiting has fallen behind, and seasoned soldiers are quitting in frustration.
Internal Guard documents tell the story: All 10 of its special forces units, all 147 military police units, 97 of 101 infantry units and 73 of 75 armor units cannot, because of past or current mobilizations, deploy again to a war zone without reinforcements. The Guard needs a staggering $20 billion worth of equipment to sustain its operations, a bill Washington may balk at paying.
Any new crisis -- a bloody escalation overseas or a series of domestic terrorist attacks -- could find the Guard unable to respond and could put the United States at risk.
Liberals have been categorized and pigeon holed as "weak on defense" and "hating the military". Yet any practical, objective analysis of the last five years of conservative rule of government shows a weakening of our defenses and the abuse of our military.
The National Guard appears to be at the breaking point. And Congress has so far refused to extend regular military benefits to Guard members who are doing much of the same duty overseas.
The US Army has missed it's recruiting goal for the fourth straight month.
Our military is in trouble. Big trouble. Conservatives have shown that they are strong on rhetoric and weak on defense. Unfortunately it seems to take this nation awhile to catch up from rhetoric to reality.
(x post-o-rama at PK)
June 10, 2005
Demand The Truth
When Amnesty International's report criticized U.S. human rights abuses Guantanamo, Iraq, Afghanistan, and other detention camps around the world, the Bush Administration went on the attack. President Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld all denounced the report.
Help Amnesty International stop torture and abuse and get the truth with an independent investigation and a Special Counsel. Click here: http://www.amnestyusa.org/sojourners.html
June 09, 2005
The Democratic Party - Version 2005
TCF's good pal Bunny (Bunnesha being his ghetto fabulous name) recently told me about a paper or thesis he did once, on the origins of Black Southern Cuisine or 'Soul Food'. His main hypothesis was that delicacies such as collard greens, neck bones, and TCF's favorite 'Chitlins'', were creations of American slaves mostly from food scraps thrown out by their masters. Or in other words, these were sustenance born out of survival and necessity.
The relevant political point here has to do with the recent criticism of incendiary rhetoric used by DNC Chair Howard Dean from within the Democratic Party. Rep. Barney Frank, '08 Presidential hopefuls Joe Biden and John Edwards, then Dem House Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi have all been publicly quoted - and news media covered - taking issue with Dean's daily offering of 'red meat'. And, of course, having no good news to blog about, a starving, desperate CEC has taken the bait.
Yes, you read TCF's words right. Everything is going right along, according to plan.
When TCF emails this blog post link to his contact within Sen. Harry Reid's office, he'll be sure to point out the hysterical, knee jerk reactions of A-List 'Whales' of the Lefty blogsphere, hoping it has or will be taken into future consideration.
I was willing to dismiss the comments of Biden and Edwards as a coincidence of foolhardy political positioning and pandering. But, trotting out Pelosi to blast Dean's truths wrapped in verbal smack downs is about as conspicuous as sending First Lady Laura Bush off to Afghanistan (again), after another dip in her husband's approvals.
Folks, this is the Democratic leadership making the best of a bad, Conservative media-dominated situation! Since Day One, Howard Dean has consistently provided such combustible quotes, that a gullible CEC has faithfully blogged, Freep'd and perpetuated. And, each outrageous, sound-bitten quip is followed by a detailed explanation from Dean, which never fails to go unchallenged.
If TCF is the only one willing to believe the Dems have gotten their politically strategic act together - as this one has clearly been played - fuck it! But, ask yourself - who succeeded in pushing this story onto the plates of the MSM (Murdoch Seduced Media)? This is not an inter-party squabble over a Dem legislative agenda or pressing political issue, being played out over much of the news media. It's a dutifully hyped fracas within a supposedly, dysfunctional Democratic Party (again) - over manufactured rhetoric steeped in unpleasant truths about the Republicans.
TCF understands. It's a Democratic Party that may take some time getting use to.
June 07, 2005
STFU unless you've been there
I realize that your life is not necessarily grounded in reality. It comes with being an adored hunk of a movie star for the better part of the last two and a half decades. If I lived my day to day life with people groveling at me and begging for my attention, I'd probably be a shallow asshole too.
But frankly buddy..until you've pushed an 8 pound human being out of your genitals, you should just shut the fuck up.
When I need to know your uninformed opinion about post partum depression, I'll ask you for it.
Very truely yours,
(x-posted at PK)
John Bolton Drinking Game
June 06, 2005
Can Downing Street be Watergate?
Could the Downing Street Memo push the Republicans in the legislature and around the country to conscience?
Not if Jonathan Alter is correct:
But imagine if Nixon were president in this era. After he completed his successful second term, I'd have to write a retrospective column like this:
President Nixon left office in 2005 having proved me and the other "nattering nabobs of negativism" wrong. We thought that his administration was sleazy but we were never able to nail him. Those of us who hoped it would end differently knew we were in trouble when former Nixon media adviser Roger Ailes banned the word "Watergate" from Fox News's coverage and went with the logo "Assault on the Presidency" instead. By that time, the American people figured both sides were just spinning, and a tie always goes to the incumbent.
As I mentioned last week there are enough obstacles to investigation of Bush to make Mt. Kilimanjaro look like the grassy knoll. The weak ethics of today's Republican Party is a major stumbling block to finding out whether or not Bush deliberately misled the American people into war.
Scruple-free individuals from the Sean Hannity/Ann Coulter/Michael Savage/Roger Ailes/Rupert Murdoch controlled media elite aren't going to allow Bush to be investigated. They'll do everything in their power to obstruct this.
John Kerry plans to raise the memo on Monday when he returns to Washington. Having already been through the rightwing spin cycle numerous times..Kerry should be able to handle himself. Of course there will be the "Christmas in Cambodia" types (the ones who have no problem with Bush bailing on his TANG duty and lying about it but are pissed at Kerry for saying he was in Cambodia at Christmastime...Kerry took bullets in Vietnam but he's the bad guy. Up is down...left is right) who will castigate Kerry along with the Hannity/Coulter crowd.
This issue cannot be allowed to die against the stream of rightwing steamrolling.
Downing St Minutes
June 03, 2005
This Zencomix cartoon is from the archives, from 2003. G. Gordon Liddy is a Crook. Richard Nixon was a Crook. No amount of whining by hacks like Robert Novak and Pat Pukecannon is going to change the fact that the American public became aware of The Crooks partially through the actions of Deep Throat.
June 02, 2005
Downing St Memo
June 01, 2005
May 31, 2005
Scott McClellan Gets asked about the Downing St Memo
May 30, 2005
A grateful citizen
Today is the day we traditionally remember our war dead. We honor those soldiers who fought and died in service to our nation.
One week ago today while in DC, I spent the entire morning touring the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. I expected to be there for about two hours. I stayed for over four.
The Museum portrayed not just the plight of the Jews and other persecuted peoples of that era and geography...but the elements which led to facism and the rise of Adolf Hitler. It was thoroughly educational and absolutely emotionally devastating to watch. Even though I'd seen much of the footage of Hitler's rise and studied the history..seeing it all laid out in that way was incredibly impactful.
But the most difficult and disturbing of the images was definitely watching the footage of the medical experiments against the captives...and the slaughtering in the concentration camps. I thought I had seen the worst of it before but apparently I had not. The video of the SS officers being forced by American soldiers to drag the emaciated and maltreated dead bodies for burial was wrenching. The piles of dead bodies...thousands upon thousands...these men and women are also war dead.
Seeing such evil is a profound experience. I can't imagine anyone walking through those exhibits and thinking that the Holocaust was a fantasy perpetuated by the Jews (hello Pat Buchanan) or simply not as bad as people say it was (hello Aryan Nations). Last Monday I witnessed the absolute depths of human suffering and evil.
I left the museum utterly exhausted and emotionally wrung out. As we walked up the street to find a place to sit and rest...we were silent. How do you talk about those disturbing images and seeing that humans are capable of such darkness?
And then we did something else that also had a profound effect..we decided to visit the World War II War Memorial:
After having seen the film of the Holocaust that morning it was especially meaningful to view this Memorial.
I've heard that many critics don't like this particular memorial..considering it "clutter" because of it's location between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. I strongly disagree. It's beautifully situated and extremely well done.
The Memorial honors the sacrifice of the various states and territories whose citizens served during WWII from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
It also includes some of the quotations made by the great leaders of that time:
From the depths of human suffering to the soaring height of courage, sacrifice and service.
Each of the stars represents 1000 dead soldiers. They honored us with their sacrifice..we honor them by remembering. Not just their deaths....but the fact that they kept the ultimate evil and suffering from our shores. They protected us. They kept us whole.
(x-posted at PK)
May 29, 2005
Stem Cell Research and George Bush's Culture of Life
My journey to Mecca
This trip to the DC area for me was somewhat of my own personal Mecca. It's something I've longed to do for quite some time.
The highlight of this journey was visiting the home of Thomas Jefferson: Monticello. Jefferson has always intrigued me. Besides the obvious attractions of government and politics...Jefferson and myself are also kindred agrarian spirits. I too love to garden and experiment with it.
Jefferson designed his home and oversaw the construction and re-construction many times. He liked to add on and make changes. He was a self taught architect.
I even managed to pick up a bottle of wine from grapes grown at Monticello. Jefferson tried to grow grapes during his time but couldn't get past the disease and insects. It wasn't until modern day pesticides could grapes take off on his soil.
I didn't get a chance to ask the gardening docent on the property about the growing season in Virginia, but this garden at Monticello is much further along than mine:
And the views from the hill above the garden are spectacular:
This really was very much a spiritual experience for me, visiting this place. I deeply admire Jefferson's ideals and his affinity for finding a wide array of interests...and succeeding at them. He certainly had his raw imperfections (slavery, spending money like water) but he truely believed in the notions of liberty and freedom.
Jefferson is buried at Monticello. And of all his great accomplishments..he wished for his epitath to read:
Freedom, separation of church and state and advanced education. My kind of spirit.
My next stop was Mt. Vernon, home of George Washington. I'll do that in a separate post later.
May 28, 2005
Wow- I've always wanted to write that. Great news- My mother, my wife, and I have just been booked to appear on Good Morning America! on Thursday, June 2, but that is good news for reasons that may not be apparent.
John Bolton and The United Nations
May 26, 2005
Dirty Willy's Make My Day
May 25, 2005
Culture of Life?
May 24, 2005
Little Nemo in Slumberland
May 23, 2005
"I do not think Cary Grant was a homosexual or bisexual. He just got carried away at those orgies." Representative Bob Dornan on the House floor.
The macro thingie isn't working well. I use it on my site, but I use it to link the name of blogs not blog owners. Over here, it is causing confusion because we are using the names of people and not their sites.
But, I have a solution.
When you want to use the macros to save time, just surround the name you are wanting to link with colons. For example ... :Frenchie: ... that is how you would type it. Of course, it doesn't link because I wanted you to see how to type it in a post so I used a name that has not been configured in the macro file.
If you type it correctly, then it will link to the person's site. Like Kevin, Boyd, Juliette, Tas, Angel and so on. That way, you won't have to worry about typing a name and it linking to a site when you aren't talking about that specific "Kevin" or "Dave." :)
Forced to filibuster
Why are the Senate Democrats filibustering some Bush judicial nominees? Well, as Kevin Drum points out, they don't have a choice because Senate Republicans nixed all the rules they used to block Clinton nominees once Bush took office.
Originally, after Republicans gained control of the Senate in the 1994 elections and Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch assumed control of the Judiciary Committee, the rule regarding judicial nominees was this: If a single senator from a nominee's home state objected to (or "blue-slipped") a nomination, it was dead. This rule made it easy for Republicans to obstruct Clinton's nominees.Sounds to me like the Republicans have created themselves a conflict. But we all know their attitude: Pick your fights first, cry martyr later.
To be frank and non-partisan for a second, though, let me just say that I see nothing wrong with these rules or with the filibuster. Further, no president should have 100% of their judges accepted. And while I've pointed out that the Republicans blocked 50+ Clinton nominees at the committee level back in the 90s, I've cited this for the sole fact that it shows them to be hypocrites. I never said that I thought it was wrong, and indeed, I don't. It would be hypocritical of me to consider Republican blue-slipping wrong but Democratic filibusters okay; both are proper courses of action in my book. That's democracy. I may not agree with the judges that the Senate allowed Clinton to have, however I also must remember that Clinton wasn't elected with a 50% majority, therefore he shouldn't have been able to put more extreme liberal judges on the bench. Likewise, Bush's elections have been very close (he couldn't even win the 2000 one without cheating, ferchristssake), so he also has no business stacking the court with extremists from his side.
That's how democracy is supposed to work. But, unfortunately, the Republicans hate democracy because it means that they won't get their way 100% of the time. They're shameless, unpatriotic, and wrong.
May 22, 2005
A debate broke out in the comments of my own blog about the Newsweek article & the controversy it sparked. ISOU regular JadeGold had decided to lock horns with some of my other writers. So I decided to do a little research of my own. What started out as sa brief post spiraled into something massive. Since I've been neglecting my guest blogging here lately, I thought I'd reprint it. So pull up a seat, relax, grab a drink, and enjoy:
For those unaware of the furor sparked off by a recent article in Newsweek, well, I'm glad to hear you finally got an internet connection in your cave. You can find some background from my initial reaction in this post. Captain Dave posted his own thoughts on the matter, and a lively debate has been going on in the comments section of his post. The main issues as I see it are these:
1) Is the recent outbreak of violence in Afghanistan (and elsewhere) a result of the Newsweek article, or did it happen independently (i.e. would it have happened regardless)?
2) What were the motives of the Newsweek reporter, Michael Isikoff, in the first place?
3) Just what in hell did happen down at Guantanamo?
I'll attempt to address the second issue first. To answer it accurately and precisely is impossible--only Michael Isikoff really knows what Michael Isikoff's motives were. Instead, we have to infer from what evidence is available.
First of all, Isikoff was instrumental in pushing the Paula Jones and Monica Lewinski scandals during Clinton's administration. This guy even over rode significant resistance from his editor to run the Paula Jones stuff (he was working at the Washington Post then). So while he doubtlessly suffers from political bias as much as anyone, he's at least willing to be bi-partisan in his criticism. I would say that alone elevates him above the level of mere "hack."
What of his activity during the Bush administration then? Well, according to his Newsweek bio, he did a lot of work reporting on the Abu Ghraib scandal, but apart from that, things aren't at all abnormally anti-Bush. Indeed, Media Matters has an article up listing prominent conservatives who have spoken out in defense of Isikoff. What's more, Isikoff was "blistering in his criticism of CBS' 2004 story about President Bush's National Guard record," and called for top people at CBS to be fired. Of course, that same Media Matters report claims that Isikoff was guilty of "frequent reliance on questionable sources."
The problem, then, isn't that Isikoff had any kind of political axe to grind. He just wanted what every reporter wants--a big scoop. Shoddy work in this one case merely lead to disastrous consequences.
The motives of Newsweek, however, are far less pure. Newsweek has a transparent anti-Bush bias (this is no secret--if anyone would like to debate this particular point, feel free, the evidence is pretty overwhelming that Newsweek is a liberal leaning mag). As Ann Coulter summarizes (yes, I know Ann Coulter hardly constitutes an uncontroversial source, but the facts here are nicely summarized by her, and are not in dispute):
When ace reporter Michael Isikoff had the scoop of the decade, a thoroughly sourced story about the president of the United States having an affair with an intern and then pressuring her to lie about it under oath, Newsweek decided not to run the story. Matt Drudge scooped Newsweek, followed by The Washington Post.The guilt, as such, should then be laid not so much at Isikoff's feet, but rather, at Newsweek's. Their hyper-eagerness to run a story which reflected negatively on Donny Rumsfeld's DOD prompted them to run with a poorly sourced story.
Next, what actually happened at Guantanamo? Have there been Koran desecrations? And what of Isikoff's "reliable source" who later backtracked on his claims? Salon reports that,
After the controversy arose, Isikoff's primary unnamed source told the magazine that although he'd read reports of Quran desecration in some official papers, he couldn't be sure exactly where, and he was no longer sure that it was in a report on the U.S. Southern Command in Miami, which is what he had earlier claimed.
The Washington Post had this to say:
"There had been previous reports about the Koran being defiled, but they always seemed to be rumors or allegations made by sources without evidence," [Newsweek editor Mike] Whitaker said, referring to reporting by British and Russian news agencies and by the Qatar-based satellite network al-Jazeera. The Washington Post, whose parent company owns Newsweek, reported a similar account in March 2003, attributing it to a group of former detainees. "The fact that a knowledgeable source within the U.S. government was telling us the government itself had knowledge of this was newsworthy," Whitaker said in an interview.
In another article, Salon reports that there have been multiple allegations of Koran abuse in the past, but that none have been substantiated, and have mostly been dismissed as rumors.
...there have been numerous past reports -- including from the New York Times, Washington Post, UK Guardian, and the Center for Constitutional Rights -- of desecration of the Quran by U.S. interrogators at Gitmo:Salon then qualifies all this with an important reminder:
It bears mentioning here that the testimony of detainees can warrant some skepticism; terrorists are trained to undermine the enemy when taken prisoner by using allegations of abuse (we know this from al-Qaida training manuals, among other things.)And that was about all I could dig up on Koran desecration. That aspect of the issue remains unresolved. Hopefully more information will come to light in the near future.
Finally, to what extent are the recent outbreaks of violence in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and elsewhere--which have contributed to 17 deaths so far--a result of the Newsweek story?
Newsweek, to their credit, seemed to remove any doubt in the matter early on by taking full responsibility and apologizing.
Michael Isikoff, one of the two Newsweek writers who reported, based on an anonymous source, that U.S. interrogators at Guantanamo Bay had desecrated the Quran, said "we blame ourselves" for the furor created by the now discredited report.While the weasel wording--trying to pawn some of the blame off on others--is rather disingenuous, the apology is nonetheless refreshing after the recent history of media malfeasance (Dan Rather anyone?).
There's only one complication: General Richard B. Myers, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated that the recent violence was "not at all tied to the article in the magazine." Media Matters goes on to report,
[A]ccording to Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, the commander of Combined Forces Command-Afghanistan, the violence "was not necessarily the result of the allegations about disrespect for the Quran" but was "more tied up in the political process and the reconciliation process that President [Hamid] Karzai and his Cabinet is conducting in Afghanistan." Myers directly noted Eikenberry's belief that the violence "was not at all tied to the article in the magazine."Nonetheless, the fact remains that there has been significant damage to America's image abroad as a consequence of the Newsweek report. On Austin Bay's blog, you'll find the following, from a correspondent of his:
I’m on my way back to Kabul, as I typically do every summer, but my family is completely opposed to my travel and work this year in Afghanistan even though I’ve safely transited there, in and out of State and UN/NGO service for nearly 20 years. The word I receive from Kabuli friends is that Isikoff has single-handedly turned US triumph in the country to a total disaster. It was thought an anomaly last summer that some wonderful–and tragically forgotten–American DynCorps workers (mostly ex-military and my good friends) were killed in an environment that was pro-American to the core. That could be seen as a terrible tragedy, an unreasonable sad event impinging on an overall positive atmosphere–a last ditch effort by desperate Al Qa’eda remnants from outside Afghanistan to vent anger at the overwhelming success of the Americans. Now thanks to one Bush-hating reporter (Google Isikoff if you doubt his intentions, [I did Google Isikoff and found nothing of the sort, as already written above --Beck]) the recidivist Taliban-Pathans of southeast Afghanistan once again have an issue to de-legitimize the Karzai-US alliance.That's just the least of it though. Witness the violent protests going on in England in front of the US embassy.
About 300 people have taken part in a noisy protest over the alleged desecration of the Quran outside the U.S. Embassy in central London.Lovely. The protests haven't just been confined to England and her former colonies, however. Reuters reports on protests around the Muslim world, and on the impact it has had on American diplomacy.
The article cites protests in Afghanistan, Indonesia, Gaza, Pakistan, this list goes on. And yes, these protests are directly tied to the Newsweek story, as evidenced by this quote from the Reuters report:
In Gaza, several thousand Palestinians marched through a refugee camp in a protest organized by the Islamic militant group Hamas. Several hundred Palestinians also marched in the West Bank city of Hebron.Then there's this:
"Demonstrations serve no purpose, we should do something practical. I am ready to blow myself up for the sake of my religion to embrace martyrdom," said Mohammad Ghafoor, 18, a student protesting in Peshawar, Pakistan.Conclusions: The Newsweek report has the aspects of a partisan "gotcha" episode, though not to the hyperbolic extent characterized in much of the recent commentary from the right. Michael Isikoff is not a partisan hack. It's unknown whether a Koran was indeed desecrated, though there have been multiple unsubstantiated reports of such desecration. And while much of the violence in Afghanistan was not a result of the article, violence throughout other areas of the Muslim world most certainly were.
And there you have it. (Cross posted to INCITE)
May 21, 2005
The administration has been very clear in assigning blame for the uprisings in Afghanistan that led to multiple deaths and injuries. It's all Newsweek's fault. No matter that the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staffs said different. The media says it's Newsweek and that's good enough for the administration.Scottie translated: Don't question the media we like! Only question the media which we criticize.
Does it get anymore pathetically hypocritical than this?
May 20, 2005
Senator Dick Sanscrotum wants to burn down The Senate
May 19, 2005
Revenge Of The Frist
Okay ... I am not that much of a MoveOn person. They have some petitions that get my attention sometimes. Most of the time they are the farthest thing from my mind.
But I cracked up when I got an email from them introducing their newest commercial and flyer. I am a big Star Wars fan, even posted about it today, so I couldn't help but post about this.
The Gall With Faraway Eyes On The Prize
The Poll Results
Well, the results are in ...
As you can see, 17 people out of 18 have good taste. 15 out of 18 have great taste. 14 out of 18 have excellent taste. And, 1 out of 18 has really bad taste.
So there you go. ;) Thank you for participating.
Marty's Big Journey
I wrote about Marty on my blog but wanted to come over here and do so again. For those of you that don't know ... Marty has an incredible story of how he found his biological family and the wild discovery of his own royalty.
Yeah, you read that right.
Go check out Marty's Big Journey. You can read a GQ article here, though Marty says the online version isn't half as good as the actual magazine article. So, you will probably want to buy the magazine to read just how good this story is. :)
May 18, 2005
May 17, 2005
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. Matthew 5:9
Show your support for PEACE in a very tangible way through the purchase of "Support Peace" pigment-dyed tote bags, field bags, and cinch sacks as well as car magnets, window clings, lapel pins and apparel.
Cross-posted at My Walk.
The Pottery Barn Rule?
May 16, 2005
Methinks they doth protest too much
It appears we have a tie for S5 this week.
The playmates of Ogre came over en masse to vote for his hatchet job on the judge who overturned the Nebraska judge's ruling against gay marriage. The boys at Powerline also win, with their dubiously written rant which pretends that all liberals have gay fantasies.
There's an eerie common ground between these freakazoid conservatives: they're obsessed with all things gay. Their homophobia borders up against a paranoid pathology.
A few years ago, a study out of the University of Georgia found that 80% of homophobes (such as Ogre and the Powerliners) have secret homosexual feelings. It seems that those who shout their homophobia the loudest are in fact homosexual themselves.
Anecdotal evidence on this issue is startling.
The homophobic language at both Powerline and Ogre's blog, as well as their very clear anti-gay agenda is highly suspect. They protest waaaaaaaay too much.
(x-posted at Preemptive Karma)
Yet another online quiz
Yeah, that sounds just about right.
May 15, 2005
Marvel At The Wonder That Is John Bolton
Where is the outrage?
President Fox of Mexico stepped in it at a meeting with Texas businessmen:
Mexican President Vicente Fox called recent U.S. measures to stem illegal immigration a step back for bilateral relations on Friday and said Mexican migrants do jobs "that not even blacks want to do."Isn't this the part where the multiculturalist crowd is supposed to begin frothing in outrage? A quick look at Technorati shows that, at least as of 8:44 Eastern time, not one blog from the left side of the spectrum has commented on this story. Quite a few on the right, naturally, have jumped on it.
Me? I figure Fox didn't bother to think about how his statement would sound prior to its escape from his mouth. I don't especially like the guy, but I'm willing to give him some benefit of the doubt--namely that even if he is a raging racist prick, he's at least smart enough to not deliberately put it on display. So it's probably just a bad case of foot-in-mouth disease.
That doesn't alter the fact that Fox has been lobbying as hard as he can--going to all sorts of ridiculous lengths--to make it easier for aliens to illegally enter the United States.
Because everyone knows that the best citizens are minted from those whose first act upon entering their adoptive nation is breaking the law.
Still, I'm just another privileged white guy. I'd be most interested in hearing the opinions of some of ISOU's other regulars--those for whom Fox's comments will strike a lot closer to home.
(Hat tip: Ramblings' Journal)
Political Typology Survey- What to Believe
The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press has a nice little tool online to help you figure out your political typology. Out of pure curiosity (and perhaps, just for laughs) I decided to try it out.
It's no secret that I vote mostly Republican and tend conservative on most economic and social issues. I also agree the Bush administration on most issues, foreign and domestic, but not in any myopic sort of way. I certainly have a few problems with them.
In any case, I figured that I would take Pew's online survey and it would tell me that I am a conservative something-or-other. However, after getting my results, I have some questions for the Pew Research Center. But first things first- my results (with interspersed commentary) At first glance, I am an:
Enterpriser That's a nice name for "really conservative."
But here is my problem with this online survey. Whenever you decide to put political labels on somebody based on a series of just 25 questions, you have to examine the questions and you also have to figure out which questions and answers generate the particular political label you get.
For example, when I read the descriptions of the different "typology groups" that this particular Pew study uses as labels, I felt that I most stongly identified with the group labeled UPBEATS.
Upbeat A nice "upbeat" name.
Who They Are
I did a quick little experiment on Pew's online survey to see what it would take to change my given catagory. Rather than change my answers to any of the 25 survey questions I went to the bottom of the survey and made some changes to how I classify myself- Democrat/Republican, Conservative/Liberal. The results were interesting.
In my original results I checked Conservative and Strong Republican and got the Enterpriser label. However, without changing a single answer to the survey and just changing how I catagorize myself to "Independent" and "Moderate" my label jumped from the most Repubilcan Enterpriser label (which is fine with me) skipping over the other two "conservative" catagories to the more upbeat Upbeat. Now HOW does THAT work. Shouldn't your answers to the questions determine your catagory?
So I tried a few more combinations. I tried Moderate and Strong Republican. Enterpriser. I tried Moderate and Republican. Enterpriser. Moderate, Lean Republican. Enterpriser. Liberal and Republican, Strong Republican or Lean Republican? Enterpriser. Only the Very Liberal and Lean Republican combination changed my result from the Enterpriser label to, lo and behold- UPBEAT.
O.K. Fine. Try something else. Independent and Very Conservative. Enterpriser. Same with Independent and Conservative or Lean Conservative.
Hmm. People with my answers can't even identify with conservatives or Republicans and be anything but an Enterpriser. Let's go the other way.
No- let's not. Every combination of Moderate/Liberal/Very Liberal and Independent/Lean Democrat/Democrat/Strong Democrat yielded me a label of UPBEAT. Lean Democrat/Democrat/Strong Democrat and any version of Conservative? Conservative Democrat.
So let's get this straight. The only way to get to the catagory I think I should be in is to deny that I am any form of Republican or Conservative. Ain't happening. I'll just stick to being an Enterpriser. (I guess that is the "extremely partisan" part of me.)
By the way- when you take the test? Don't ever be satisfied with the label. Just keep being you!
May 14, 2005
The Accidental American Hero
TCF's only clue as to why he doesn't watch ABC's Nightline more often is that it shares a time slot with Daily Show reruns. But, he was damn glad to stumble upon Ted Koppel's interview with one of the scapegoats of Abu Gharib, the now demoted, former Brigadier General Janis Karpinski. (Crooks & Liars has the video clips.)
Karpinski lays out in detail how she was tagged as the fall guy from the get go, in case the world got wind of Alberto Gonzalez's brand of torture that was perfected previously at Camp X-Ray, Guantanamo Bay. It had everything to do with her being a Reservist (meaning expendable), a woman (out of the protected loop), and too trusting of the military chain of command.
Just as the Pentagon's whitewash and absolution of the Commanders who conspired against her, this familiar tale had been expected. The bold and compassionate action of military Judge Col. James Pohl to temporarily halt Lynndie England from framing herself however, also gave pause to TCF's enraged cynicism.
But, what frustrated TCF nonetheless was that I was watching this explosive and convincing account of a Bush administration conspiracy and cover-up, on a major network and influential news program - and, it very well may end up a mere blip on the radar of an American Idol-brained nation, still in deep, but complicit denial.
In light of Karpinski's detailed assertions and as gleefully as Charles Grainer took to his sadistic, illegal game, TCF now finds it ironic he can muster more empathy for the alleged ringleader, than the Pentagon orchestrated, made-for-Lifetime network pawn, Jessica Lynch. And, I feel regret now for joining in the chorus of those who ridiculed Lynndie England initially, obviously a hapless conscript who ended up in the wrong place, at the wrong time.
Which leads TCF to wonder why the story of an American fashion model who survived the Tsunami, is more compelling than a female Brigadier General who served her country with distinction, now preparing for the fight of her life? And, how can a country be engrossed with a selfish, privileged, ditz from Decatur, while a callous government railroads a young mother who put her life on the line in Iraq?
I've been annoyed by the media's pandering manipulation of the term 'hero', a special honor (IMHO) requiring more than abandoning a promising, lucrative NFL career. By fighting the Pentagon to clear her name, Janis Karpinski may earn that distinction. And, by finding the bravery within and finally putting it to good use, Lynndie England can prove herself a soldier, and not a victim.
May 13, 2005
Ahem ... Right Wing Guest Bloggers
Where are you hiding? I sent you directions. I gave you the keys. Why are you not posting? What is up with ya?
I haven't even tempted you to show me just how Conservative/Republican you are with the questionnaire thingie. Boyd hasn't even made a smart comment about me coming up conservative! Y'all need to wake up! It's Friday for Pete's sake.
Get with it! :)
Faith-Based Politics has an interesting post today which links to a new survey by The Pew Research Center. You can even take the Typology Questionnaire and find out where you fall within the political spectrum. Which was really neat for me. Though, I was kind of surprised to find out that I am a bit more conservative than I am moderate ... though I am definitely a Democrat. :)
My results ...
Based on your answers to the questionnaire, you most closely resemble survey respondents within the Conservative Democrat typology group. This does not mean that you necessarily fit every group characteristic or agree with the group on all issues.
Conservative Democrats represent 14 percent of the American public, and 15 percent of registered voters.
Who They Are
Note: All descriptions and percentages are based on the national sample of adults surveyed by telephone in December.
In the overall typology there is a ninth group called "Bystanders" who are defined as adults who are not registered, who do not follow news about government and public affairs, and who say they rarely or never vote.
Cross-posted at The Rogue Angel.
I installed a new plugin for David this morning that will automatically link Blog owners to their blogs. Unfortunately, it does not automatically know who owns what blog so I have to configure that part. But, if you see your name and it is not linked to your blog, give me a holla. I coded up as many people as I could think of who guest blog here, comment a lot, or David mentions on a regular basis ... but, that doesn't mean I didn't forget anyone.
Also, this plugin only applies to blog entries, not to comments. Just so you know.
Update (5-23-05): To link names you must surround that name with colons for it to work. Typing :Frenchie: in a post would link the word Frenchie to a website.
May 12, 2005
When do we start calling it psychosis?
And I mean that seriously, as psychosis is defined.
A severe mental disorder, with or without organic damage, characterized by derangement of personality and loss of contact with reality and causing deterioration of normal social functioning.
Here's a snippet of an advertisment that I just saw on GOPUSA, the party-line Republican organization which is responsible for giving the world plagiarizing "journalists" like Jeff Gannon. We all know that advertisers try as best as possible to get people's attention. So to get the attention of Republicans, this advertiser chooses to insinuate that Barbara Streisand and Martin Sheen have done great harm to America.
Now if people want to believe that the Clinton's have harmed America, that's fine and normal. They've certainly been in the position to do such, and I might agree with some of their points on the Clinton's. Saying that Dan Rather has harmed America is really pushing it, but then adding two actors to their black list? Two people who have never, ever been in a political position that could influence policy which effects the lives of every American?
I'd honestly like to believe that this is a joke, but it's not. Advertisers know how to sell products, and when I see ads like this, that tells me that the party-line right collectively believes that actors like Martin Sheen and Barbara Streisand are doing great harm to this country.
How far removed from reality can this mob get? How deranged is the personality of someone who believes this? Where do we draw the line and decide that Republicans we're dealing with have severe mental disorders? This would be a pretty good explanation for why they never seem to be able to listen to facts and reason.
How do we fight people who are feasibly psychotic?
[Update] After this post, I had some second thoughts and decided to ask if I'm also batshit crazy, if anybody's interested in read that.
God Is Not Partisan
I posted this over at My Walk yesterday:
God's Own Party?
A ChickenHawk In Every Pot!
A stealth National ID requirement...
...was added as part of an appropriations bill for the action in Iraq that was impossible to vote against.
Want more information?
May 11, 2005
Let's call it what it is
Ridge, who resigned Feb. 1, said Tuesday that he often disagreed with administration officials who wanted to elevate the threat level to orange, or "high" risk of terrorist attack, but was overruled.Off the top of my head, I can remember at least one instance during the election campaign where the Bush administration raised the terror alert level to orange -- for NYC, Newark, and D.C. only -- and the media made a big spectacle out of it with much help from the Bush administration when Dubya sent his wife to Newark at the height of the alert. Now to all the husbands and boyfriends in my reading audience, let me pose a question to you: Would you prod your wife/girlfriend into a burning house? Would you intentionally throw her in harm's way? No, of course not.
So why did Dubya? Unless, of course, it really wasn't dangerous to visit Newark. But if it wasn't dangerous, then why did the Bush administration place it under a heightened terror alert? The only logicial answer is that they did so because the media attention (read: free advertising) paid to such an event could only work to Bush's advantage during a heated and contentious election campaign.
This argument is supported by the fact that that the FBI believed there was a credible dirty bomb threat in Boston on 1/20/05, one day away from the inauguration. The threat was so great that it prompted Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney to cut short his visit to DC for the inauguration festivities so he could head back to Beacon Hill and administrate the situation.
Yet with a credible dirty bomb threat being levied less than 24 hours before Bush's second inaugration, the terror alert level wasn't elevated. Why is that? Could it be because Bush no longer had an election to win?
I think Ridge helped to answer that question. So, where do we go from here? Who do we petition at the FEC to see if Bush can be punished for rigging his election?
White Boy Jones Fantasizing about asking a question at a White House Press Briefing
Protect Free Speech In The Senate
Another action alert for ya! :)
Republican Senate leaders have decided to fundamentally alter the role of Congress -- they want to give George Bush unprecedented power to manipulate the legislative branch and the courts. Harry Reid and the Democratic Senators asked us, the American people, to help them preserve the right of our elected representatives to speak their mind on the floor of the U.S. Senate. Sign our petition today.
Petition To Fire Tom Delay
Taken from an action alert I found in my inbox today:
A month ago it looked like the scandals surrounding Republican Majority Leader Rep. Tom DeLay couldn't get any worse. Newspapers were breaking new stories every week about lobbyist-paid golf trips, the $500,000 paid from DeLay's political coffers to his family, and back-room deals DeLay was cutting to save his hide.
You can also make a financial contribution to support this campaign here.
May 10, 2005
The New Look For ISOU
Here ya go, folks! This is the new look of ISOU and most likely the last look, unless David finds someone else to design templates for him. ;) If you find any weird code or anything ... let me know.
May 09, 2005
George "The Milkman" Bush
May 07, 2005
Bark at The Moon
Well, it's good to see David's back in business, and a hearty howl from the Ol'Gravydog goes out to him.
May 05, 2005
Bruce Springsteen: Master of Raunch
Bruce Springsteen's lyrics are too hot for Starbucks. NEWSWEEK has learned that the nation's favorite coffee chain has retreated from a potential deal to sell the singer's new album, "Devils & Dust," because of one steamy tune on the 12-song disc.
Springsteen is about the closest thing to an American Icon that a recording artist can be. He is actually a rock star you can bring home to meet Mom and Dad. If he is under pressure for the lyrics he writes then no recording artist is safe.
I don't think Starbucks should be forced to sell music they wish not to stock in their stores. I also don't believe artists should come out with "clean" versions of records. I don't want to buy a watered-down version of an album. I do think Starbucks is overreacting. I don't see consevatives picketing Starbuck chains across America over the Boss.
Starbucks does seem to be practicing selected banning of an album. The Newsweek article reports that "first time Starbucks has declined to stock an album by a major act because of concern over lyrics." Can Starbucks management say with a straight face that Springsteen is raunchier than Snoop Dog or Eminem? I doubt it.
(Crossposted at Last Day of My Life)
Captain Kirk Sings
Finally, someone had the good sense (if you can call it that) to make a video to the William Shatner classic Lucy and the Sky With Diamonds. Matt Yglesias only recently had the pleasure of hearing the pop culture classic The Transformed Man. Matt's not old enough to remember when the Golden Throats album came out. Fellow Trekkie, Leonard Nimoy's rendition of Proud Mary has to be heard to be believed. You can hear that and Shatner's primal scream at the end of Mr. Tambourine Man at Eyejabber.
The ignorance of the PC crowd has reached a peak. Parents and students, in Benton Harbor, Michigan, complained to the Board of Education to stop the marching from playing a song with raunchy lyrics. The first question is why should a marching band be worried about lyrics? Marching bands don't have singers so the question of lyrical content is mute.
The story gets better.
The song in question is the Kingsmen classic Louie Louie.
The Louie Louie controversy started in 1964 when an angry parent complained to Attorney General Robert Kennedy about a "pornographic" record. "The lyrics are so filthy that I can-not enclose them in this letter," wrote the distressed parent.
To this day, most people can not make out what the lyrics actually were. The Kingsmen recorded the song on crappy equipment for only 50 dollars. Rumor has it that lead singer Jack Ely were so drunk that he could barely sing the song. That's probaby true since he incorrectly taught the band the riff from the Richard Berry version of the song. Ely accidently changed the arrangement.
The FBI was put on the case and they couldn't figure out what Ely was singing. So what were the dirty words are parents in 1964 and 2005 hearing? I haven't read of a parent citing any of the song's actual verses.
Ladies and gentlemen - I present the lyrics to Louie Louie.
(Crossposted at Last Day of My Life)
Up & Running
While I am working on David's final design, I have a standard template up for his use. It isn't much, but it will work while I work on the new digs.
David will have to set up all the guest blogger accounts again. I don't know what passwords y'all used and such. But, all the guest bloggers are listed on the sidebar. David will send you your account information and login later.
Anywho ... ISOU is back in session!
Update: David just informed me in email that he still cannot see the site. Bummer! But, I am going to have him send me the account info for all the guest bloggers so we can get busy up in here! :)
Update II: Guest blogger accounts have been created and I have notified all of them of their account information. They are welcome to blog immediately. Just remember to use the "Guest Blogger" category for your posts. And, if you upload an image for your post, use the following path: blog/isou/images/. Thank you!
Update III: Spread the word, please! Thank you again! :)
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