Friday, August 31, 2007

Warrantless surveillance and the new Coretta Scott King disclosures

The FBI's warrantless surveillance abuses in the past demonstrate the severe dangers of the FISA bill which was just passed by the Democratic Congress. No government (or corporate) entity should be left to police itself. Oversight is a good thing.

read more | digg story

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Mike Gravel - Young Men and Woman are Dying

Mike gravel talks about his experience as a US Senator and the parallels between Vietnam and Iraq.

read more | digg story

Another Person Arrested for “Impeach” Sign

There have been a spate of arrests & other harassment of people who dare to use their free speech to advocate against Mr Bush. Here is another.

Watching Melissa Etheridge on TV at the Live Earth concert persuaded Jonas Phillips and his wife, Kindra, to go out and do something about the Bush Administration’s abuses.

So they made a cardboard sign with “Impeach Bush Cheney” on it.

And they held that sign on the sidewalk of the Haywood Road Bridge over I-240 in Asheville, North Carolina, on several different occasions this summer.

Like Kevin Egler of Kent, Ohio, who was arrested for illegal advertising with his “Impeach” sign (see - 'Impeach Bush' free speech test? Man who posted sign in Kent surprised by uproar ), they got in trouble for theirs.

read more | digg story

More on the topc:
How I Got Arrested for Holding an IMPEACH Sign | Political messages should not interfere with traffic
YouTube - WLOS: Highway Blogging

My take... If they felt that highway blogging was unsafe, they might've respectfully given the man a warning, rather than arresting him...

iRack - Mission Accomplished

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Good-bye Gonzo

Monday, August 20, 2007

She called...

Sweet tribute to America just after 9/11, & the folks defending America's honor to this day.

Whatever our political or social differences six years later, we're still the same America that came together when it counted.
While I'm firmly against our going into Iraq, my beef is with the politicians that put us there, not the soldiers who went. As far as I'm concerned, this poem isn't about "the war;" it's about the men & women who serve, and the values that make this country worth defending.
So, while I am opposed to the fighting they're doing, I have no problem sharing this video tribute to the folks doing that fighting here on my blog.

She called...

Blacks, Whites...wait
African Americans and Caucasians, Asians -- excuse me --
Vietnamese, Philipenes, Koreans and Jamaicans or
Haitans, waitin' Hispanics y'all

Please be paitent
Mexican, Puerto Ricans, Venezualean, Cuban, Dominican, Panamanian, Democrats
-- I beg your pardon, you partied with the late, great Reagan? --
Republican, Independent, Christian, Catholic,
Methodist, Baptist, 7th Day Adventist, 5 Percenters,
Hindu, Sunii Muslim, Brothers and Sisters who never seen the New York city
skyline when the twin towers still existed.

But still She called.

From the bowels of Ground Zero she sent this 911 distress signal.
Because She was in desperate need of a hero,
and didn't have time to decipher what to call 'em,
so she called 'em all Her children.
The children of the stars and bars who needed to know nothing more than the fact that she called.
The fact that someone attempted to harm us
this daughter who covered us all with her loving arms.
And now these arms are sprawled across New York City streets.
A smoke filled lung, a silt covered face,
and a solitary tear poured out of her cheek.
Her singed garments carpets Pennsylvania Avenue and the Pentagon was under her feet.
As she began to talk, she began to cough up small particles of debris
and said, "I am America, and I'm calling on the land of the free."

So they answered.

All personal differences set to the side
because right now there was no time to decide which state building the Confederate flag should fly over,
and which trimester the embryo is considered alive,
or on our monetary units, and to which God we should confide.
You see, someone attempted to choke the voice
of the one who gave us the right for choice,
and now she was callin.
And somebody had to answer.
Who was going to answer?

So they did.

Stern faces and chisled chins.
Devoted women and disciplined men,
who rose from the ashes like a pheonix
and said "Don't worry, we'll stand in your defense."
They tightened up their bootlaces
and said goodbye to loved ones, family and friends.
They tried to bombard them with the "hold on", "wait-a-minute's", and "what-if's".
And "Daddy, where you goin?".
And, "Mommy, why you leavin?".
And they merely kissed them on their foreheads and said "Don't worry, I have my reasons.
You see, to this country I pledged my allegience
to defend it against all enemies foreign and domestic.
So as long as I'm breathin, I'll run though hell-fire,
meet the enemy on the front lines,
look him directly in his face,
stare directly in his eyes and scream,

And if by chance death is my fate,
pin my medals upon my chest,
and throw Old Glory on my grave.
But, don't y'all cry for me.
You see, my Father's prepared a place.
I'll be a part of his Holy army standing a watch at the Pearly Gates.
Because freedom was never free.
POW's, and fallen soldiers
all paid the ultimate sacrafice
along side veterans who put themselves in harms way.
Risking their lives and limbs just to hold up democracy's weight,
but still standing on them broken appendages anytime the National Anthem was played.
You see, these were the brave warriors that gave me the right
to say that I'm Black. Or white.

Or African American or Caucasian,
I'm Asian, excuse me.
I'm Vietnamese, Philipene, Korean, or Jamaican.
I'm Haitan, Hispanic

Y'all, Please be paitent.
I'm Mexican, Puerto Rican, Venezualean, Cuban,
Dominican, Panamanian, Democrat
I beg your pardon, you see I partied with the late, great Reagan.
I'm Republican, Independent, Christian, Catholic,
Methodist, Baptist, 7th Day Adventist, 5 Percenters,
Hindu, Sunii Muslim,

Brothers and Sisters We're just Americans.
So with that I say
"Thank You" to the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines,
for preserving my rights
to live and die for this life
and paying the ultimate price for me to be...FREE!

-- Badass Marine
-- SSgt Lawrence E. Dean II
-- "Life"

The poet's myspace page: - Life - Conway, South Carolina - Hip Hop / Soul -

A pro-troops site inspired by the poet: [defunct, as of 6/09]

And while I'm being so rah-rah, a new record label where former & current troops are giving voice to their stories:
To The Fallen Records, Inc.

Here's another version, mashed with a little music & film dialog:

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Wingnuttiad

The Wingnuttiad:
"Canto the First. As promised some time ago, the start of The Wingnuttiad, a tour of Greater Wingnuttia in heroic couplets, with abject apologies to Alexander Pope.

The Argument:
The Wingnuts gather to salute their King. A brief description of their mad frolics. It is all quite silly."

Right Blog Wingnuts come in many flavors:
There are war-fiends, dopes, and homo-haters;
Photoshop fanatics, all full of phlegm,
Doggéd denouncers of the MSM!
Because they can bravely use the Google,
As they chew Cheetos and Toaster-Strudel –
“Fact-Checking” CBS with Wikipedia –
They squawk that they’re the Brand New Media:
“We’re all Fierce Foes of Islamofascism!”
The Wingnuts wail as they shake & spasm,
Their keyboards caked with weeks-old jism
(This is called “Cit’zen Journamalism.”)
“Check the kerning! link, link! and blather!
Years ago we got that bastard Rather!
If we cross-link enough, and fight fight fight,
In seven years we may once more be right!”
Because everyone knows the media’s biased,
Which alone explains the current crisis.
“The Good Lord knows it just can’t be the war!
That’s going great! No! What plagues us sore,
Is how the NY Times loves Michael Moore,
Who is fat, just like that awful Albert Gore.

There's more to be had... Follow the link to epic joy.

h/t: Lawyers, Guns and Money ---> Whiskey Fire

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Jon Stewart Tears Cheney (& Biographer) a New One

Jon Stewart grills Cheney biographer, Stephen Hayes, over the inconsistencies between 1994 Cheney and present-day Cheney. Cites John Gibson as someone who will allege treason for lack of acquiescence.

read more | digg story

Whose Report Is It, Anyway?

The "Petraeus Report" -- the supposedly trustworthy mid-September reckoning of military and political progress in Iraq by Army Gen. David H. Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker -- is instead looking more like a White House con job in the making.

read more | digg story

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Peaceman sez: Impeach the Chenguin!!

I don't agree with everything he says, and he ain't in my party, but Dennis Kucinich is a decent man who's correct about "Big Time" Dick. It's too bad there aren't more like him serving this country...

Rock the Debates!

What is Rock the Debates?:

Never before in American history has it been more vital to have an open, honest, and innovative examination of America’s problems and solutions.

The best way to sparking the minds of Americans is to open up the presidential debates beyond the Democrat and Republican parties. Rock-the-Debates seeks to include third parties who will energize the presidential debates placing their ideas into the mix, without endorsing or opposing any particular candidate. We just want the ideas out and let the American people decide.

You can play a key role in this unprecedented, historical endeavor.

The idea is to get the Democrat and Republican presidential candidates to commit to debate third party candidates.

How? We’ll ask them to debate, get the clip on video, and place it on You-Tube. Folks in places like New Hampshire can play a key, historic, pivotal role in making this happen.

Follow the link above for more details.

Follow the following link to see where it stands, to date:
Third Party Watch - Seven Major Party Candidates Respond to Open Presidential Debates (so far)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

John Gibson: Heartless scumbag (with audio)

Fox News' John Gibson calls Jon Stewart a phony after mocking his post-9/11 return to air comments and show of emotion. What kind of a heartless bastard does one have to be to make fun of another person's grief? I never had much respect for this guy in the first place... ...but now I have even less. Follow the link for the audio...

read more | digg story

Here's a link to a video of the original show opening, September 20, 2001. Have tissues handy (unless you're more the heartless Gibson type...)
onegoodmove: Nine Eleven

I suggest watching the video, particularly if you've never seen it. (I hadn't, until tonight.)
The transcript below doesn't do it justice:

September 20, 2001

With Jon Stewart

Good evening and welcome to the Daily Show. We are back. This is our first show since the tragedy in New York City and there is really no other way to start the show then to ask you at home the question that we asked the audience here tonight and that we’ve asked everybody we know here in New York since September 11, and that is, "Are you okay?" And we pray that you are and that your family is.

I'm sorry to do this to you. It's another entertainment show beginning with an overwrought speech of a shaken host--and television is nothing if not redundant. So I apologize for that. Its something that, unfortunately, we do for ourselves so that we can drain whatever abscess is in our hearts and move on to the business of making you laugh, which we haven’t been able to do very effectively lately. Everyone has checked in already. I know we are late. I’m sure we are getting in just under the wire before the cast of Survivor offers their insight into what to do in these situations. They said to get back to work. There were no jobs open for a man in the fetal position under his desk crying. . . which I gladly would have taken. So I come back here and tonight’s show is not obviously a regular show. We looked through the vault and found some clips that we think will make you smile, which is really what’s necessary, I think, right about now.

A lot of folks have asked me, "What are you going to do when you get back? What are you going to say? I mean, jeez, what a terrible thing to have to do." And you know, I don’t see it as a burden at all. I see it as a privilege. I see it as a privilege and everyone here does. The show in general we feel like is a privilege. Even the idea that we can sit in the back of the country and make wise cracks. . . which is really what we do. We sit in the back and throw spitballs--but never forgetting that it is a luxury in this country that allows us to do that. That is, a country that allows for open satire, and I know that sounds basic and it sounds like it goes without saying. But that’s really what this whole situation is about. It’s the difference between closed and open. The difference between free and. . . burdened. And we don’t take that for granted here, by any stretch of the imagination. And our show has changed. I don’t doubt that. And what it has become I don’t know. "Subliminible" is not a punchline anymore. Someday it will become that again, Lord willing it will become that again, because it means that we have ridden out the storm.

The main reason that I wanted to speak tonight is not to tell you what the show is going to be, not to tell you about all the incredibly brave people that are here in New York and in Washington and around the country, but we’ve had an unenduring pain, an unendurable pain and I just. . . I just wanted to tell you why I grieve--but why I don’t despair. (choking back tears) I’m sorry. . . (chuckles slightly) luckily we can edit this. . . (beats lightly on his desk, collects himself).

One of my first memories was of Martin Luther King being shot. I was five and if you wonder if this feeling will pass. . . (choked up). . . When I was five and he was shot, this is what I remember about it. I was in school in Trenton and they turned the lights off and we got to sit under our desks. . . and that was really cool. And they gave us cottage cheese, which was a cold lunch because there were riots, but we didn’t know that. We just thought, "My God! We get to sit under our desks and eat cottage cheese!" And that’s what I remember about it. And that was a tremendous test of this country's fabric and this country has had many tests before that and after that.

The reason I don’t despair is that. . . this attack happened. It's not a dream. But the aftermath of it, the recovery, is a dream realized. And that is Martin Luther King's dream.

Whatever barriers we put up are gone. Even if it's just momentary. We are judging people by not the color of their skin, but the content of their character. (pause) You know, all this talk about "These guys are criminal masterminds. They got together and their extraordinary guile and their wit and their skill. . ." It's all a lie. Any fool can blow something up. Any fool can destroy. But to see these guys, these firefighters and these policemen and people from all over the country, literally with buckets, rebuilding. . . that’s extraordinary. And that's why we have already won. . . they can't. . . it's light. It's democracy. They can't shut that down.

They live in chaos. And chaos, it can't sustain itself--it never could. It's too easy and it's too unsatisfying. The view. . . from my apartment. . . (choking up) was the World Trade Center. . .

Now it's gone. They attacked it. This symbol of. . . of American ingenuity and strength. . . and labor and imagination and commerce and it's gone. But you know what the view is now? The Statue of Liberty. . . the view from the south of Manhattan is the Statue of Liberty. . .

You can’t beat that. . .

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Cheney in 1994 Interview: "Invasion of Iraq would lead to a quagmire."

In a 1994 interview, "Big Time" Dick explains why the US was wise not to invade and occupy Iraq during the Gulf War. I've never seen the man speak the truth before. It's a little scary...

Friday, August 10, 2007

Hypocracy - or That Was Then, & This Is Now

A guy on a Con blog suggested that "wag the dog" was only about Clinton's missiles fired into the tents in Afghanistan. Earlier in the same conversation, he also said that regardless of our politics, we have to get behind our President. (Easy for the NeoCon to say... 8)

This was from one of the first links that came up when I searched "Clinton" "wag the dog" "Balkins"

I used it to prove my point, of course, but then I started really reading it...
See if you can spot any familiar themes...
(My how times change)
Clinton's Post-Impeachment Push for Power -- March 1999 Phyllis Schlafly Report

Clinton's Post-Impeachment Push for Power
How Clinton Is Using Kosovo
Bill Clinton is riding high since his "not guilty" verdict and, unfortunately, the Republican Congress is letting him get away with his foreign and domestic grabs for power. Kosovo is much more important to Americans than just pictures on the evening television news about a faraway conflict.

First, it's a "wag the dog" public relations ploy to involve us in a war in order to divert attention from his personal scandals (only a few of which were addressed in the Senate trial). He is again following the scenario of the "life is truer than fiction" movie Wag the Dog. The very day after his acquittal, Clinton moved quickly to "move on" from the subject of impeachment by announcing threats to bomb and to send U.S. ground troops into the civil war in Kosovo between Serbian authorities and ethnic Albanians fighting for independence. He scheduled Americans to be part of a NATO force under non-American command.

Clinton overrode major concerns of senior Pentagon officials that the Administration has no clear-cut military goals and that the fighting will get bloodier as the weather improves. They believe this will seriously overburden U.S. ground forces already committed to other missions in the Persian Gulf, Bosnia, and Korea.

The claim that our expedition into Kosovo is to guard a "peace settlement" is another Clinton lie because there is no peace to keep, there is no hope that our involvement can eliminate the causes of the conflict, and there are even questions about who is at fault in the civil war. Clinton's Kosovo war will, like Bosnia (where we still have 6,900 U.S. troops), become a permanent, no-exit, costly U.S. project, and it could even degenerate into a Somalia-type fiasco. Clinton's statements about Kosovo are no more to be trusted than anything else he says.

Second, by putting U.S. troops in Kosovo, Clinton is provoking terrorist attacks by Islamic radicals connected to Saudi renegade Osama bin Laden, who has declared a worldwide war on Americans. Fanatics bent on jihad against the "Great Satan" United States could hardly ask for a more tempting target than Americans deployed close to terrorist bases in northern Albania.

Even more dangerous, entering the Kosovo war may provoke terrorist retaliation within the United States. It's not only our U.S. troops who will be put in mortal danger. Bin Laden has stated unequivocally that all Americans, including "those who pay taxes," are targets. At a recent Senate hearing, CIA Director George Tenet warned against the danger of a stepped-up terrorist campaign, saying, "There is not the slightest doubt that Osama bin Laden, his worldwide allies, and his sympathizers are planning further attacks against us."

Clinton's reckless meddling in Kosovo, Bosnia, Macedonia, Sudan, and Iraq exposes Americans to retaliation from terrorists regardless of whether he achieves any phony "peace" or actually sends in troops.

Clinton predicted on January 22 that it is "highly likely" that a terrorist group will attack on American soil within the next few years. He is using this risk as the excuse to create a Domestic Terrorism Team headed by a military "commander in chief," with a $2.8 billion budget. We should not underestimate the deceit and deviousness of Clinton's plans to use aggressive presidential actions to wipe out public memory of his impeachment trial.

Clinton has already issued a Presidential Decision Directive to authorize military intervention against terrorism on our own soil. Secretary of Defense William Cohen said in an Army Times interview that "Terrorism is escalating to the point that Americans soon may have to choose between civil liberties and more intrusive means of protection."

Deputy Secretary of Defense John Hamre has been floating the idea of designating a unit of U.S. troops as a Homelands Defense Command to take charge in case of a terrorist attack on U.S. soil. Hamre argues that the military's role should be formalized under a four-star general, and he has even speculated about creating a bi-national command with Canada called the "Atlantic Command."

The far-reaching nature of the plans being discussed within the Clinton Administration is indicated in the Autumn 1997 Parameters, the scholarly publication of the Army War College. The article predicts that "the growing prospect of terrorism in our own country . . . will almost inevitably trigger an intervention by the military." The article casually adds, "legal niceties or strict construction of prohibited conduct will be a minor concern."

The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 is supposed to protect us against a President using the Army to enforce the law against civilians. The spectacle of the military patrolling the streets of U.S. cities is something that should happen only in totalitarian countries and in movies like The Siege.

Later laws, however, have carved out a number of exceptions. The 1984 Stafford Disaster Relief Act authorizes the President, after proclaiming a state of emergency, to send active-duty soldiers to respond to a crisis and serve under the direction of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). On June 3, 1994, Clinton issued Executive Order 12919 entitled National Defense Industrial Resources Preparedness. It invests FEMA with plenary and dictatorial authority over communications, energy, food, transportation, health, housing, and other resources.

Our recent experiences with law enforcement by the U.S. military show the dangers. When U.S. Army tanks stormed the Branch Davidian compound in Waco in 1993, scores of innocent people were killed, and when the Marines patrolled the Texas border in 1997, an 18-year-old goat herder was shot and killed.

Third, Kosovo provides a wonderful excuse to demand more spending for the military and to con the Republican Congress into approving billions of new tax dollars for what is called "defense" spending but, under Clinton, is really war spending. The Kosovo expedition will be expensive like Bosnia, which has already cost the United States $8 billion, and current costs are running at another $2 billion a year.

Instead of giving the American people the tax cuts we deserve, Congress will piously claim they are increasing "defense" spending --- but the money won't go for defense or for the anti-missile system we need to protect our people against the 13 Communist Chinese intercontinental ballistic missiles whose accuracy was enhanced by Clinton's treacherous China policy. The "defense" spending will go for wars in Kosovo and Bosnia and any place else Clinton sends U.S. troops.

Fourth, Clinton's Kosovo foray will take America another large step into what he called the "web of institutions and arrangements" for the "new global era." Clinton and his chief foreign policy gurus, Strobe ("global nation") Talbott and Madeleine ("why have a military if we can't use it") Albright are determined to use American troops as global policemen and global social workers all over the world.

As far back as Clinton's issuance of Presidential Decision Directive 25 (PDD 25) in 1994, Clinton has been asserting his power to assign U.S. troops to serve under foreign command. The Washington Post reported on January 30 that "senior Pentagon officials [Clinton's appointees, of course] for the first time said they would be willing to place U.S. troops under foreign command" in Kosovo.

Where is the outrage from Republican leaders? The 1996 Republican Platform promised that "Republicans will not subordinate United States sovereignty to any international authority. We oppose the commitment of American troops to U.N. 'peacekeeping' operations under foreign commanders."

Even the overpublicized 1994 "Contract With America" promised that "We would prohibit the Defense Department from taking part in military operations that place U.S. troops under foreign command." So, where are the words of protest we have a right to expect from the many Members of Congress who signed that Contract? Except from a few patriots such as Senator Bob Smith (R-NH) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), we hear a deafening silence.

Unfortunately, some establishment Republicans are compromised because they are making money from foreign governments through lobbying or speechmaking or financial deals. They are giving Clinton a veneer of "bipartisanship" for his expensive interventionist escapades.

Fifth, the Kosovo escapade is another Clinton test of Congress and the American people to see if they will let him get by with such a patently dictatorial, unconstitutional action. Events in Kosovo are absolutely no threat to U.S. national security. The Clinton Administration pretends to fear that the Kosovo conflict could spread if we don't intervene. When asked on the Lehrer NewsHour on February 23 where he was afraid it would spread to, Clinton's National Security Adviser Sandy Berger said Albania and Bosnia -- which, of course, are just as remote as Kosovo. It is far more likely that U.S. intervention will cause any spread in the conflict, not prevent it.

Not only is there nothing in the U.S. Constitution to justify U.S. intervention in Kosovo, there is also nothing in the NATO Charter to justify it. NATO action in Kosovo is a radical departure from anything NATO has done in the past or has ever been authorized to do. Kosovo is outside of NATO's own territorial domain, and by its threats of air strikes and ground troops, NATO is breaching the territory of a sovereign nation.

Clinton's intervention in Kosovo validates the position of Senator John Ashcroft (R-MO) and others who opposed the ratification of the NATO Expansion Treaty last year. That treaty purported to be merely a promise to go to war to defend the borders of Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, but it was actually a mechanism to entrap the United States into sending our service personnel, under foreign commanders, to answer 911 calls to break up domestic brawls in any foreign country. Clinton is threatening to bomb the Serbs, not because they have invaded another country, but because they refuse to accept a U.S.-crafted agreement enforced by NATO troops.

Every now and then, some Americans voice the hope that, if these conflicts are a bother to Europe, European countries should take over the task of dealing with them. But Europeans, who are busy trying to make the euro replace the dollar as the world's premier currency, continue to expect American mercenaries to do our duty as their policemen.

Clinton's intervention in Kosovo cannot possibly solve the problem there any more than our years in Bosnia have solved that problem. Americans simply are not capable of erasing ethnic enmities that have festered for centuries. The Serbs consider Kosovo part of their country because it is the cradle of their culture and Orthodox Christian religion. The ethnic Albanians, who are mostly Muslims, want independence from Serb control, institutions and language.

If Republicans allow Clinton to go ahead with his unconstitutional, costly, foolish and dangerous expedition to Kosovo, where we have no national security interest, they are forfeiting any claim to lead America. This issue should be a litmus test for all candidates for President. The big issue that will divide them is, Do they stand for American national security interests, or do they stand with Clinton in his foolish interventionist policies?

Presidential candidates would do well to listen to the advice of President John Quincy Adams, who as Secretary of State in 1821 rejected the request for U.S. intervention in support of Greek independence. America, said Adams, "is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own."


Power Grab through Executive Order

Bill Clinton has unleashed a blizzard of Executive Orders to grab new powers for the executive branch, make broad public policy changes, and even restructure our governmental system. Executive Orders have a proper place in federal rulemaking and in implementing the routine business of the executive departments. But Clinton has discovered that Presidential Executive Orders function in a Never Never Land of almost unlimited power, and he is pressing the envelope to move his agenda, both domestic and foreign.

Clinton advanced three of his favorite goals when he issued Executive Order (EO) 13107 on December 10. He increased executive branch authority, he moved America closer into the "web" of treaties, which he promised in his address to the United Nations on September 22, 1997, and he rewarded the feminists who are stood by him in his impeachment trial.

EO 13107, entitled Implementation of Human Rights Treaties, sets up an Interagency Working Group, with representatives from major federal departments, to implement our alleged "obligations" under the many United Nations treaties on human rights "to which the United States is now or may become a party in the future."

Clinton's impudence in presuming to implement treaties that the Senate has refused to ratify is characteristic. Congress had to pass legislation last year to forbid him from using funds to implement the Global Warming Treaty, which the Senate won't ratify.

Bill Clinton has almost two more years as President. Congress and the American people must call a halt to his unprecedented and unconstitutional grab for new executive-branch powers through phony "peacekeeping" expeditions, using the Army for domestic law enforcement, monitoring our bank accounts and cell phone whereabouts, building databases of our medical records, and issuing power-grabbing Executive Orders. Our freedom and independence are at stake.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Self Evident...

The song affected me the first time I heard it, and every time since. This collage video from dysprod1975 does it all over again, in a whole new way...

With all due props to On the Wilder Side where I first saw the video, & from whom I'm blatently copying the post. (This is the second time this week he's been the victim of my cut-n-paste. I hope that he shares the view that "immitation is the sincerest form..." and knows that he's fully welcome to "steal" from me, should I ever happen to get there first... which I hope to do, should he ever give a guy a break & slow down....)

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

AFL-CIO Democratic Forum: Digging down to China

One of the most outstanding remarks in the forum came from Congressman Dennis Kucinich. The question was on China and whether they should be considered friend or foe. Kucinich brought the house down with his comments, and even the other candidates couldn’t hold back. If we had a Congress (I'd settle for a Democratic Party) full of this kinda guy, the world would be a better place, and I might've registered as a Democrat. Take a look…

read more | digg story

ACLU Blog: When "Torture" Is the Only Way to Describe It

"When 'enhanced interrogation techniques' are discussed in abstract and generalized terms, it's much easier to trivialize human suffering, or to ignore it. Abu Ghraib has been universally condemned--or almost universally, anyway--not because the abuses there were any more brutal than elsewhere, but because the ghoulish photos of human beings on leashes, or stacked naked in a pyramid, or standing hooded on a box, were tangible and real in a way that words on a page simply cannot be."

"But the most profound and lasting legacy of the Bush Administration's morbid embrace of torture may lie not in the injuries to detainees or their interrogators, but in the harm to this country's reputation and standing — and its security. By bringing the words of the victims into U.S. courtrooms, we begin the long and difficult process of restoring America's legal and moral standing. We can only hope that some federal judges will see past our clients' words to their humanity."

Follow the link for the whole posting.

UPDATE: And go to this link for more on the story: The Black Sites: A rare look inside the C.I.A.’s secret interrogation program.

Monday, August 6, 2007

The enemy of our enemy is not always our friend

First off, I need a scorecard to keep up with the players in the Middle East and how the US feels about them on any given day...

Second, it'd be really nice if the US would stop working with/supporting terrorists of any kind--even if those terrorists are fighting these terrorists--as a guiding fundamental principle.

Found this over at the Kind of Cares Bear blog. It's a repost from last February. While I'm sure it's not quite as simple geopolitically as she makes it sound, maybe it should be, ya know?

* We start with the idea that the US government should protect Americans' safety. For example, no more 9/11s.

* Iran wants to get the bomb, and the theory is that once Iran has the bomb, it will give it to Hezbollah to blow up in the US. So, Iran's bomb intentions must be fought to protect Americans.

* Iran is Shia, so the Shia are the enemy. Except, in Iraq, the Shias are the oppressed minority, so we are working with the Shia government in Iraq.

* Sunnis fight Shias, so, according to the principle of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend," Sunnis should be our allies.

* Unfortunately, Sunni militants = al-Qaida, also our enemies.

* In Lebanon, Hezbollah (a Shia organization aided by Iran) is trying to gain more power in the government, and to lessen the power of the Sunni government.

* The US is supporting Salafi Sunnis (aka al-Qaida & Co.) in Lebanon, because they will fight Hezbollah (Shias), to prevent Hezbollah from gaining power in Lebanon, and indirectly, prevent Iran and Hezbollah from getting the bomb. In other words, the US is supporting al-Qaida-related terrorist organizationsm because they are the enemies of our enemies.

* But wait, I thought al-Qaida was public enemy #1.

* Except for the fact that it was the US pursuing the same strategy, namely supporting religiously motivated militants (Afghani mujahedeen and Osama bin Laden) who are the enemies of our enemies (the Soviets), that created al-Qaida in the first place, and therefore precipitated 9/11.

* So, what was that about Americans' safety? Lather, rinse, repeat.

Kinda makes you wonder, doesn't it?

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Wolves in Sheep's Clothing: The New Liberal Menace in America

Wolves in Sheep's Clothing:
Back to the Future:

"One of the more complex phenomena of the modern American political scene is that while the ideological divide between presidential candidates seems to be ever diminishing, the partisan mudslinging and animosity between the two parties is increasingly hateful. It's a weird paradox. But it's not uncommon to hear critics of the two-party system decry a choice between Tweedledum and Tweedledee just as the highest rated television news programs are driven by raucous debate between right and left.

For Daily Show host John Stewart, it isn't a paradox at all. There is no disconnect between the professional politicians and the activists that drive those debates. In fact, it's exactly the way they want it. Because a polarized public, focused on hot-button issues like abortion, tax cuts and school prayer, keeps their focus off the fact that the two parties have essentially become the servants of one very important class of voters, the corporations."

There's more of this excerpt at the book's website: here

A very interesting article, indeed... While I don't agree that partisanship is a bad thing, I do think the viciousness between the parties (including between the major parties and their respective minor party cousins) is counterproductive. We are a nation full of diverse ideas, and it is from that diversity that all good things will come. We need to listen more, and judge less quickly.

Most interested in reading the book from which it comes. Adding it to the list.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Video: Voter Caging - NOW: PBS

"How secure is your right to vote? NOW investigates a secret Republican plan designed to disqualify voters."

Video: Voter Caging - NOW: PBS

I didn't think I'd ever see this discussed on American television...

Everyone who cares about free & fair elections here in the US should make themselves aware of the issue. This video is a good start...

Thursday, August 2, 2007

I'm an anarchist?

Some of these quizzes are really accurate.

I'm not so sure this is one of them, though...

If I had to guess the reason, I'd bet that what they're judging as anarchism in me is more libertarianism, and they're weighing those questions way too heavily...

You scored as Anarchism

















What Political Party Do Your Beliefs Put You In?
created with

Will the Real Conservative Please Stand Up

It all started with the first quote (& that was all I was going to post, originally) but I kept finding more in the article--a speech given at a Princeton University conference: The Conservative Movement: Its Past, Present, and Future." by "token liberal" Rick Perlstein in 2005--worth reading & remembering.

"I didn't like Nixon until Watergate" | Campaign for America's Future

"''Conservative' is a magic word that applies to those who are in other conservatives' good graces. Until they aren't. At which point they are liberals.'" - Digby

I've noticed that, too...

We should all "support the troops"... unless they say something with which we disagree politically, in which case they become traitors.''

From the same article:

"I get the question all the time from smart liberal friends: what is conservatism, anyway? They're baffled. "As far as I can tell, anything someone on the right does is, by definition, ethical. It's not about the act, or even the motivation. It's about who's perpetrating it." It has become the name for a movement that can scream from the rooftops that every Supreme Court nominee should have an expiditious up-or-down vote, then 15 seconds later demand tortuous proceduralism when that nominee is Harriet Miers. Flexibility is the first principle of politics."


"In conservative intellectual discourse there is no such thing as a bad conservative. Conservatism never fails. It is only failed. One guy will get up, at a conference like this, and say conservatism, in its proper conception, is 33 1/3 percent this, 33 1/3 percent that, 33 1/3 percent the other thing. Another rises to declaim that the proper admixture is 50-25-25.

It is, among other things, a strategy of psychological innocence. If the first guy turns out to be someone you would not care to be associated with, you have an easy, Platonic, out: with his crazy 33-33-33 formula--well, maybe he's a Republican. Or a neocon, or a paleo. He's certainly not a conservative. The structure holds whether it's William Kristol calling out Pat Buchanan, or Pat Buchanan calling out William Kristol."


"For the stations of the cross of a conservatism in power include not merely Sharon, Connecticut, but Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands; not merely Mont Pelerin, but the competing Indian casinos whose money was laundered by conservative groups on Jack Abramoff's behalf. Barry Goldwater ran against Lyndon Johnson's ties to Bobby Baker. Now Republicans have made Bobby Baker their majority leader. His K Street Project is a lineal descendant of the attitudes and actions that constituted Watergate: Richard Nixon calling for the heads of Democratic donors and howling, "We have all this power and we're not using it." The American Conservative Union has made defending him to the death a point of conservative honor.

Ask yourself, What would Barry Goldwater say?"


For the rest, follow the link above or below.

It also appeared online in 2005: Rick Perlstein: 'I Didn't Like Nixon Until Watergate': The Conservative Movement Now - The Huffington Post)

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Blogger Educates O'Reilly's Neighbors

You know how Bill sends his producer out to someone's house to confront him, and then puts the poor guy on TV in his bathrobe, being bombarded with questions? Bill may want to get that private police force of his to start patrolling the neighborhood. Turnabout is fair play...

read more | digg story