Monday, October 31, 2005

Mirror, mirror on the wall

Here is what it means to be a Bush-backing Republican:

1. You condone deficit spending.
2. You condone pre-emptive war that engages US troops in nation-building.
3. You tolerate a majority leader that was thrice warned of ethical violations, then stand behind him when he dismantles the ethics committee and is finally indicted.
4. You condone the exposure of CIA agents for short-term political advantage.
5. You condone a Roe-v.-Wade litmus test for Supreme Court nominations.
6. You condone a culture of cronyism at the highest levels of government, including positions involving national security.
7. You condone an isolationistic world-view with nominations like John Bolton's.
8. You condone the denigration of military service for short-term political advantage. Exhibits here include John McCain, John Kerry, Max Cleland, and those cute little purple-heart bandaids at the RNC convention (I challenge you to wear them at Walter Reed).
9. You advance the ambitions of a National Security advisor that failed to act in the face of a PDB that warned "Bin Laden determined to strike inside U.S".
10. You support marginalizing the voices of Colin Powell, Brent Scowcroft, Norman Schwartzkopf, Paul O'Neil, Richard Clarke, John McCain, and Democrats universally.
11. You support the alientation of our traditional allies in the face of global intelligence warfare.
12. You condone obstructing investigations into 911, Tom DeLay's ethical abuses, the Downing Street memo, electoral abuses in Florida, electoral abuses in Ohio, Harriet Miers record, and John Roberts record.
13. You condone dividing America along partisan lines at every turn, even in the face of 911, and in the face of Katrina.
14. You condone falsifying intelligence data to conform to political whim.
15. You condone proven ineffective techniques like abstinence in the face of an AIDS epidemic.
16. You condone massive borrowing from Communist China.
17. You fail to act against North Korean nuclear weapons, Iranian nuclear weapons, and Pakistani nuclear weapons while spending tens of billions to save us from Iraq's unmanned fleet of aerial vehicles and gigantic stockpiles of WMD.
18. You support deploying the numerical equivalent of Manhattan's police force to smoke out Osama bin Laden.
19. You condone torture to the point of sending Dick Cheney to lobby the Senate on it's behalf.
20. You condone "extraordinary rendition" (outsourcing torture).
21. You condone handing grandma's rent-money to wallstreet investors.
22. You condone lying to Congress about the costs of a prescription drug bill.

I'd say that Snow White isn't the only one your ugly reflection has to worry about.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Is it serious?

If President Bush is serious when he says that prosecutor Fitzgerald's investigation is serious, then perhaps he ought to speak with Libby and ask him to testify again, but this time truthfully.

Afterall if this is a serious matter and the President is concerned he must want to get to the bottom of it? Doesn't that further imply that the President ought to try to use Presidential persuasion on Libby to get the truth out?

Instead he went to Camp David didn't he?

Friday, October 28, 2005

This is fun

What would history look like if Fox News had been there through the ages?

Negros attack police

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Prowhat now?

I have been hearing the word "Progressive" a lot on the left and nobody really ever explains it. I wonder sometimes if I am progressive, liberal, both, neither or what.

I have some sort of vague sense of what some of the different distinctions are, but must confess no real book-smarts on the subject.

In an effort to educate myself I turned to the Progressive Caucus website. There they had a PDF file explaining their values. Based on them I guess I'd say I am a progressive. They remind me of Democrats.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Miers Withdraws Supreme Court Nomination

Harriet Miers withdrew her nomination to be a Supreme Court justice today:

Story here...

I would have thought the President would have stayed the course with Harriet, consequences be damned, but apparently he was too weak to stand up to the lunatics in the Republican Party that want an ulema council to decide US law.

Fitzgerald fingers Lynndie England!

In a move that is sure to stun the nation federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald announced no indictments for Karl Rove or "Scooter" Libby would be handed down. Instead he appears to have uncovered a coup led by Ms. Lynndie England designed to "disrupt American government."

Paul O'Reilly over at Fox News was heard to exclaim, "Yes! Yes!", shortly before he busted a valve in his brain and collapsed with a crooked grin cemented on his face. He is recovering at a nearby Shriners Hospital where it was thought grown men dressed as clowns would lend a certain dignity to his condition.

Full details here...

In your dreams Republicans!

Damocrats taking it on the chin

Rather than translate the largest foreign policy disaster in decades into gains, top Democrats continue to go along with the Iraq war and congratulate themselves for their poor judgment.

NPR, in this hard-hitting piece, approached Democrats and tried to get them to define their positions on the Iraq war. Hillary Clinton, after hearing herself in this piece, ought to consider buying new golf clubs. I don't believe that voters will look here in 2008 for leadership.

Courting Disaster

John Kerry is a little more forceful in his objections to the war today, now belatedly saying he wouldn't vote for the Iraq war if he knew there were no WMDs in Iraq. Answering the obvious question with the obvious answer during the campaign would have been better, but it's a start.

John Kerry's position

How many corners must some men turn before they can see the spin?

The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind.
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Marking 2000

Want to mark the passing of the 2000th US soldier by attending a candlelight vigil?

I have been to MoveOn-hosted vigils before and they have always been sincere and respectful. People stand with candles and flags to remind others of our soldiers' sacrifices.

Thanking the Troops

I should add that you ought to plan on being harassed by those misguided Republicans who think everything is partisan. However, each time I have attended a vigil there have been Republicans among us, and they are usually more upset than anyone at the disrespect. There have also been veterans ashamed at their neighbors conduct.

I suggest ignoring them and maintaining a respectful vigil.

Ideology's problem

Philosophers like Kant believed that one should always tell the truth and argued for doing so even when it might jeopardize someone's life. A practitioner of Kant's view betrayed Anne Frank to the Nazis. This person is perhaps considered "good" in Kant's eyes, but generally thought of as scum by more prudent users of Truth.

I feel that the worst politicians of all, and perhaps the worst human beings of all, are those so sure of their ideology that they are oblivious to the suffering caused by their actions.

That is why President Bush is such a terrible President. He has convinced himself that his Iraq polices are a smashing success and no amount of contrary evidence will shake his opinion, will alter his actions, or will change his course. The upshot is that people die without just cause while he congratulates himself for his vision thing.

Here are the consequences of the President's ideologies in Iraq:

Troy Tuschel

U.S. soldiers clean their boots

I think there is something defective about Love and it is this. Love requires familiarity. You love your own children, but not the child starving in the forgotten world (the third world) with equal affection. You love your wife, but not equally the woman suffering from abuse in an open secret.

It is a tragic flaw because Justice would either exist on earth, or be fought for mightily, if people were capable of loving outside their own insular bubbles.

If people could love the detainees at Guantanamo then there would be outrage that even medical doctors join in the torture with the fly Lords. If people could love their own US soldiers, then there would be outrage that US women soldiers are expected to degrade themselves sexually for the purposes of advancing phsychological torture.

More abuse details

If People could Love more expansively and more expensively, and Hate more exclusively and more elusively what a World it'd be.

But instead we have this defective kind of Love, this bubble-Love, this little-Love, this black-sheep cousin of Hatred to rule a mad, mad World.

Sometimes I feel like a carrion bird for loving in a world that loves to hate.


Tuesday, October 25, 2005

U.S. military death toll reaches 2,000

Another macabre milestone has been reached in the Iraq war. The United States has just lost it's 2000th soldier to the noble cause of saving the President and US Congress from admitting their mistakes.

2,000 dead

Will we go to 3000?

We will if Democrats don't forcefully lend their voices to the calls for withdrawal.

How about it Hillary?
How about it Obama?
John Kerry?


Will you lead when it matters?

One act play

I like to compare our Iraq policy to a man beating a hornets nest with a stick. In this one-act play a wise pundit discovers a stung man beating an angry hornet's nest with a stick...

Wise Pundit: "You've already been stung and cutting and running now would be a dishonor to your suffering."

Stick Wielder
: "Don't worry, I'll stay the course! Whack! Ouch! Whack! Ouch!"

Wise Pundit: "Perhaps what you need are more sticks."

Stick Wielder: "Thanks! They're not working. Ouch! Whack! Ouch!"

Wise Pundit: "You've already been stung and cutting and running now would be a dishonor to your further suffering..."

Stick Wielder
: "Don't worry, I'll stay the course! Whack! Ouch! Whack! Ouch! Hang on. Let me try a new stick..."

At least two Conservatives seem to be making their own comparison, but to Vietnam rather than stubborn hornet-nest whackers.

One. Ron Paul, Republican from Texas

Two. Mr. Scowcroft

I prefer my comparison because it illustrates the futility of staying the course, as well as the absurdity of the venture to begin with. I do tip my hat to Mr. Scowcroft and Mr. Paul, though, since Vietnam did disprove the "domino theory" Bologna, which is now being bandied about in fresh dogma-doo-doo (i.e. The entire middle east will fall to terrorist forces if we minimize our losses and get out).

Is our VP a sick man?

I've said it before and I'll say it again. I think that Dick Cheney suffers from dementia. My theory seems supported by this statement from a friend of his:

"The real anomaly in the Administration is Cheney. I consider Cheney a good friend. I've known him for thirty years. But Dick Cheney I don't know anymore."

- Brent Scowcroft -

Full details here

Maybe the reason we never see Dick Cheney in public is because he is being kept somewhere safe so that he doesn't wander down Pennsylvania avenue muttering to himself about a mining shaft gap?

If my suspicion is true it would mean that the man everyone in the Bush administration relies upon for gravitas is without his wits. That would sure explain a lot.

Monday, October 24, 2005

All smiles

I spent the past week in a cabin in the woods in rural America. I was far from the tethers of the Internet or even of answering machines. I didn't watch any television. I didn't read any newspapers.

When I returned home I decided to catch up on what I'd missed.

My favorite bit of missed news was of course Tom DeLay's arrest and smiling mug shot.

It's nice that he's smiling.
I'm smiling too.
We're both smiling.

Another welcome story was that the nomination of Harriet Miers seems scuttled:

Harriet like New Coke

And there are many furtive-looking photos of Karl Rove and Lewis Libby to enjoy.

Furthermore the Jack Abramoff case seems about ready to make many more Republicans decidedly uncomfortable.

It looks like decent Americans have awoken as I was away and said, "Holy crap! This guy Bush isn't just an idiot, he's corrupt too!"

Can I get a blast o harmonica?

How many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, 'n' how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, 'n' how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

- Bob Dylan -

The winds of change may be upon us.

Friday, October 14, 2005


There is so much to fear:

Environmental collapse.
UV rays.
Food borne illness.
Willful ignorance.

That I hate to add to the list but I am compelled to by expectations.

Moe's Musings will be on vacation until October 23rd.

Try not to panic.

Thursday, October 13, 2005


"No religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."

- Article VI, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution -

"Harriet Miers' religious beliefs figured into her nomination to the Supreme Court"...

"People are interested to know why I picked Harriet Miers. Part of Harriet Miers' life is her religion"...

- President Bush, Wednesday October 12th -

God and STD on your side

Someone sat down and analyzed whether or not religion is beneficial to society in objectively-measurable terms. The results are hardly surprising to humanists, and will probably be met with strong denial by the pious, but if you believe in facts you may care to know that...

Within the United States "the strongly theistic, anti-evolution South and Midwest" have "markedly worse homicide, mortality, STD, youth pregnancy, marital and related problems than the Northeast where ... secularization, and acceptance of evolution approach European norms."

Much more here...


Another macabre milestone

More journalists have been killed in Iraq in 2.5 years than in Vietnam in 20 years.

This is just one more example of something going awfully wrong with the plan which we are encouraged to embrace by the Whitehouse.

Mourning bells are ringing

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Now Kurt

Kurt Vonnegut, one of my favorite authors, was on the PBS show Now recently. He's old now, 83, but has a lot to say and managed to smile through most of it.

Here is an excerpt:

KURT VONNEGUT: I have one more thing I wanted to read. It has something different.

DAVID BRANCACCIO: Something in the other pocket, too?



KURT VONNEGUT: You know, Christianity is very big now in particular-- and our president, of course, is a Christian. These are words I never hear.

Blessed are the poor in spirit. For theirs is kingdom of heaven.

This isn't original.

Blessed are they that mourn. For they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the Earth.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled.

Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers. For they shall be called the children of God.

Not exactly a Republican platform.

DAVID BRANCACCIO: These, of course, are called the Beatitudes.


DAVID BRANCACCIO: From the Holy Bible.


And here is a link to the transcript of the segment:

Kurt Vonnegut

This was the first time I saw David Brancaccio in action and I have to say I thought he did a good job. It can't be easy to talk casually with a man like Kurt and he pulled it off well.

Click picture if you think Jesus is wrong Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Bush's weak response to torture

In June of 2003 President Bush declared, "The United States is committed to the worldwide elimination of torture and we are leading this fight by example."

That statement has been exposed as another big fat lie by his recent pledge to veto legislation banning the torture of anyone in US custody:

Details here

The President's position is cowardly.

When you notice dog-shit clinging to your shoe do you leave it to fester and stink, or do you scrape it off to be rid of it?

I call on all Democrats to denounce this stain on America's honor with open contempt and ridicule. I call on America's allies and friends to join the choir and sing on this issue. I call on the press to run the newly released torture photos and remind Americans of the moral argument against the President's stance.

How do we win hearts and minds to our side when the world sees our hand in the indifference to torture cookie jar?

What does it matter if the Homeland is saved if America is lost? Does soil define a country?

I again applaud John McCain's leadership on this issue and hope you'll read his idea of an adequate response to torture. I also applaud the many legislators that joined Senator McCain and voted to pass the amendment.

Let's get this dastardly practice stopped. Here is a petition to sign that will help get America rolling in the right direction again.

A man that cries "Torture is unAmerican!" should not feel alone on our watch. Otherwise, well, he'd be wrong and what could be worse?

Monday, October 10, 2005

Of geese and ganders

If I were to proclaim in a headline, "US behind poison-gas attacks on Iraqis" because the US provided Saddam Hussein with the WMDs he needed to gas his own people, I'd wager readers would be outraged at me on the grounds that guns don't kill people.

Well, the BBC has a headline which says:

Iran 'behind attacks on British'

Delving into the article it seems the Iranian Republican Guard has made weapons available to some people inside Iraq and those weapons were further used against British troops.

Should I be outraged at Iran or the BBC?

If I should be outraged by Iran's actions then mustn't I be outraged at America's coddling of Saddam when they found him convenient?

If I should be outraged by the BBC then I guess that lets Iran off the hook.

Principled outrage is such a difficult thing to maintain.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Bush crony in charge of pandemic response

The President doesn't care about our national security as much as his rich incompetent friend advancement program (rifap). He proves that on a daily basis with appointments like Michael Brown at FEMA and his new laughably underqualified appointment for the Supreme Court.

The only qualification that the President wants to see in his appointments is loyalty to his fancy. So he has, like a tin-pot communist dictator, surrounded himself with yes-men. Ignorance favors simplicity.

However, some tasks are not simple.

For instance, the responsibility for a competent pandemic response rests with the Assistant Secretary for Public Health Emergency Preparedness (ASPHEP). Stewart Simonson, appointed in 2003 by Mr. Bush, has a familiar bio, that of a well-rewarded Unqualified Crony.

The President is now busy pretending to prepare a plan for dealing with avian flu. He is a simple man with only two ideas in his head. Cut taxes or use the military on it. In this case he seems to favor both ideas simultaneously. Perhaps he had an epiphany?

A man with a mind like that could use a few competent people around him. Unfortunately for us all, nothing threatens the barricaded ego of the incompetent like capability.

Perhaps that is why so many Americans didn't vote for John Kerry?

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Senate Approves Detainee Treatment Rules

It is not often I praise Republicans but today I will praise the efforts of Senator John McCain for attaching an amendment to a military spending bill that would:

Prohibit the use of "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment" against anyone in U.S. government custody, regardless of where they are held

Full story

The vote itself on the bill was also impressive, 90-9.

Predictably a few Bush dead-enders (like Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama) called the legislation unnecessary because "We do not have ... systematic abuse of prisoners going on by our United States military"

The logical response to such a statement is to say that if a thing is unnecessary then there is no good reason to oppose it, particularly when doing so would curtail resources from our troops.

It is high time to end the reputation-eroding, troop endangering, alliance-deteriorating, practice of prisoner (or detainee) abuse. Few things have brought as much disgrace to America as stooping to the type of moral cowardice that leads to torturing a charge.

Our troops do not escape harm when they engage in such misdeeds. The message from the top needs to be that Freedom is something to aspire to, not empty rhetoric.

Interview with Barbara Ehrenreich

Barbara Ehrenreich has a new book called Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream.

BuzzFlash interviewed her
here and you can read all about it.

I thought it was an interesting interview and it sounds like it will be another good book from Barbara. In a way she is doing what Charles Dickens did by peeking under Society's covers, but with journalism rather than fiction.

Maybe our compassionate President should read her books so he has an idea what life is like when the road ahead isn't paved with gold bars?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Stopping torture

Ray McGovern writes about the use of torture in the Iraq war and our complicitous silence in the face of it.


Reichbishops 'r' us

Are we really like Good German citizens under Hitler that heard about dark deeds in dark places and kept silent?

Are we like those white church-folk throwing stones and curses at Martin Luther King's marches?

Are Democrats a loyal opposition party present only to support the myth of an alternative?

What should one do?

Shall we fight them with facts?

There are mountains of facts, truckloads of facts, books, and sacks and pen-fulls of facts. Facts that show lies. Facts that show more. Facts that make men of reason abhor what they've done!

No, torture is no match for facts.

Shall we fight them with Religion?

There are billions of Bibles with trillions of pages that scream against cruel-ness in all forms and stages. The robed ones they tell us be kind to each other, treat every man just like a dear brother. But pendulum and rack and turn of the screw were all to God's service before the Spanish were through. Burning hot pokers and salt on a wound were God's love expressed from Him down to you.

No, torture is not slowed by Religion.

The U.N. then, is that where we'll turn?

They make the sound of crickets chirping, of butterfly wings, and caterpillar footsteps on moss as men are borne to their doom. They prance like peacocks and fuss like hens as demented men defile in the gloom.

No, the UN is a social club that is only useful when there is consent among members.

Maybe all these things together?

Is that what Good Germans thought?

1,942 dead, 14,641 wounded, and counting...

Andy Rooney of 60 minutes and Jon Stewart of the Daily Show hammer the Bush administration over Iraq here:

Take that

As far as I can tell we are now in Iraq to keep the President and the Congress that backed him from being embarrassed by their poor judgement.

That ain't worth dying for if you ask me.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Supreme Crony

Why would anyone in their right mind nominate a person with no judicial experience whatsoever to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States of America?

Harriet Miers

This looks just like cronyism to me.

Apparently it looks like cronyism to many on the right too.

Harry Reid seems to favor the nomination, which would normally incline me to agree, but I instead think her lack of experience makes a mockery of the Supreme Court and the careers of those more qualified for the job.

Tom DeLay's Blues

Poor Tom Delay is being indicted by a new grand jury:

DeLay faces money laundering charges

I expect there will be much weeping and gnashing of teeth over these charges, except among Tom DeLay's many detractors (including myself).

Monday, October 03, 2005

Tisk Tisk Tisk

It just doesn't stop.

The GAO has called the Bush administrations use of taxpayer-funded propoganda illegal:

Can you do the time?

One question nobody seems to be asking in the big-tent media is this, "Who else is on the whitehouse payroll besides Mr. Williams?"

Isn't it to laugh to recall that Mr. Bush was to restore accountability to Washington?

If that were true he'd show himself the door and give the Presidential posterior a good stout kick.


Sometimes you just have to watch ol' George talk and laugh...

And sometimes, you have to package it up in a nice bit of satire and laugh even harder:

Where wings take dream

Saturday, October 01, 2005

U.S. troops launch 'Operation Iron Fist'

US Troops have just launched operation "Iron Fist" inside Iraq.


Who's leading the charge the Fuehrer Brigade?

Nazi rhetoric

Who names these things?

Abort all black babies and cut crime, says William Bennett

I know that modern Republicans are big-government, nation-building, defecit-growing, crony-promoting criminals.


I didn't know they were also dumb-ass racists too:

Strange moral values

Is Mr. Bennett in a close race for KKK leader in his home state?


Foot Quotes

"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge"

Charles Darwin