Thursday, December 21, 2006

The flaw in our fight

Evaluating the mistakes of the Bush administration is a lot like shoveling snow in a blizzard. It is difficult to make visible progress against such an onslaught.

Scrape. Toss.

There has been no more excruciating mistake than to fight al Qaeda in Iraq, rather than Afghanistan.

Scrape. Toss.

It seems that the harm to American interests of this Cheneyan blunder keeps blowing across our paths with the frequency of a Nor'Easter on the Maine coast.

Scrape. Toss.

For instance, Newsweek writes about a group of terrorists plotting against western nations in an article entitled:

The Regathering Storm

Scrape. Toss.

It seems the job we outsourced in Afghanistan was left unfinished.

Scrape. Toss.

Even though Osama killed thousands of Americans.

Scrape. Toss.

We had other priorities.

Scrape. Toss.

Meanwhile, terrorists there which weren't smoked out have regrouped and are setting their offensive sights on England and the US.

Scrape. Toss.

Yep, that sure was a bad decision to get tangled up in Iraq like that.

Scrape. Toss.

But, thank goodness the president came to his senses after the American people swept the democratic party into power.

Scrape. Toss.

And, thank goodness the democrats recognize the sacredness of this trust and are intent on changing the course.

Scrape. Toss.

What's that?

Surge the Course. Are you sure?

Scrape. Toss.

You are.
I see.

Scrape. Toss.

And democrats are mostly quiet in spite of their mandate for change?

Scrape. Toss.

Well, it looks like there is more shoveling to do.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Surge the course

As president Bush embarks on a new campaign which I refer to as operation, "Surge the Course", I am starting to get pissed off at democrats for their thumb-twiddling, naval staring, responsibility evading, ways.


The president is a jack-ass. Don't listen to him.

The longer we stay in Iraq the more we lose.

You have been given a mandate by the American people to end this thing.

You have the power of impeachment and the power of the purse.

Where is your sense of urgency?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


A bubble in a breeze goes
Bump. Bump. Bump.
Bump. Bump. Bump.
Bump. Bump. Bump.

A bubble in a breeze goes
Bump. Bump. Bump.
Swish. Swish. Pop!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

What's the opposite of a gravy train?

If George W. Bush were a traitor and a foreign spy he would rightly be considered one of the most able men in history.

That is because it takes some doing to inherit a country at-peace and going out of debt and turn that into a country at war and accumulating debt so fast foreign currency traders are now abandoning dollars:

China to dump a trillion US dollars

Yes sir if he were a traitor and a spy you'd really have to give the man a lot of credit and admiration for his fiscal destructiveness alone.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Faith-based mêlée?

Is Iraq in the midst of a civil war?

Is it instead a faith-based mêlée?

The Daily Show's Jon Stewart and John Olliver tackle the complicated semantic conundrum:

By any other name...

I sometimes unconventionally wonder if the ongoing civil war in Iraq is one intentionally stirred up by the US, and if we are actually desperate to stay so we can keep it going. With its' roving death squads, John Negroponte's involvement, and well-armed militias, it looks an awful lot like US foreign policy executed towards South America sometimes.

Ain't I a stinker for even thinking such a thing?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A mental exercise

Imagine going into a restaurant for a cup of tea.

Imagine that while you wait for your tea that every few moments a waitress comes over and says the price of that tea has just risen.

Imagine that after a while of this you poke your head in the kitchen...

Imagine a kettle of water on a stove. Imagine that it is boiling rapidly.

Imagine Henry Kissinger and George Bush looking at it.

Imaging Henry saying that, "If we remove the kettle from the fire, then the water is going to spill out of the kettle and burn us."

Imagine a cup with a few dry leaves at the bottom near the stove.

Imagine George Bush saying that the thing to do is neither move the kettle, nor increase the fire, nor decrease the fire, but rather to keep the water level the same.

Imagine the waitress finding you again and telling you the price for the tea is going up again.

Should you go for your wallet or the door?

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Rethinking Iraq

Bill Scher over at Liberal Oasis has a lot of good insight, and when it comes to Iraq he advocates a new direction for America. I agree with his position and promote it here for your consideration:

Change the course, stupid!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

How bad is Iraq?

How bad is it in Iraq?

This bad

Things might be "bad" in Iraq when we leave, but that is not the same as arguing things are "good" in Iraq if we stay.

What makes sense to me is renouncing our permanent bases in Iraq, giving a deadline for troop withdrawal, and apologizing to the world community for over-reaching in the aftermath of 911.

If Iraqis fought this hard against Sadam then they might be a freer people, but as Bill Parcells likes to say, "If if's and but's were candies and nuts we'd all have a Merry Christmas."

Friday, November 24, 2006

My message to democrats

I thought I should articulate a message to democrats myself, having liked Bill in Portland Maine's message so much.

Americans elected you to lead us out of the Iraq mess. To that aim, here is the lesson you need to grasp. We are not in control and have no authority to dictate what happens in Iraq. Furthermore, the current administration is so skillfully incompetent that objectives hardly matter. Bring our people home.

When Americans find themselves unable to afford their medical insurance deductibles because their money was spent on medical insurance premiums, then it is time to make health care for all a priority. Even if you can't address it now, at least talk about it and hold hearings on the state of our health care system. Do this to set the stage for 2008, when hopefully spending will be under control.

Try to keep your in-party sniping, at least that originating from those in leadership roles, behind closed doors. Airing your dirty laundry in public makes you look bad. If you doubt me then read this article.

The price of oil is dropping but don't allow enthusiasm for renewable energy drop with it. Renewable energy strengthens America and simplifies our foreign policy in the middle east. Global warming will be a bigger problem than Iraq and the time for effective action is this next decade.

"It's the economy stupid", still applies. Balance America's checkbook.

The final piece of advice is pay no attention to that man behind the curtain making all that smoke and noise. The great Oz, he ain't.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

How and why to get out

Lieutenant General William E. Odom (Retired) recently penned an editorial to the Los Angeles Times and he called it, "How to Cut and Run".

I suggest you read it because I believe it is the Truth we must all face before things will get better in Iraq.

I think there is a great lesson in our Iraq war, provincially expressed as ill-gotten is ill-gained. These wars of conquest, these rhetorical wars, these ideological wars, are a problem.

We can avoid these types of wars when we avoid the types of leaders motivated by destruction, rather than a desire to rebuild. You don't, for instance, "Shock and Awe" a populace into stability.

It is pitiful to see politicians unable to admit their failures, clinging with mad insistence that we're just not patient enough, free-spending enough, or informed enough to follow them anymore.

Speaking metaphorically, one shouldn't let a friend shit on one's carpet because it might someday turn up roses. Some returns just aren't worth the investment.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Kissinger's advice

It looks like ol' Henry Kissinger is still dispensing the same type of advice that got us stuck in Viet Nam. In one breath he says this:

"If you mean, by ‘military victory,’ an Iraqi government that can be established and whose writ runs across the whole country, that gets the civil war under control and sectarian violence under control in a time period that the political processes of the democracies will support, I don’t believe that is possible"

And in the next he says this:

"...that a hasty withdrawal from Iraq would have “disastrous consequences,” leaving not only Iraq but neighboring countries with large Shiite populations destabilized for years"

Source: Henry Says

If you analyze these statements together you'll see that "quagmire" is the word that binds them coherently.

What should one do in a quagmire?

Bottle up and go. I like a timed withdrawal because it gives Iraqis a better chance of "standing up".

The lessons that people should learn from this are embodied in a document Colin Powell authored called The Powell Doctrine.

Maybe next time?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Site logo

I thought I would post the site logo in a somewhat legible size. I like it, naturally, and thought you might like to see it clearly for once.


Bill in Portland Maine has been posting over at DailyKos for a while and I generally read his posts. I thought today's post, "A Message to the Democratic Leadership", was better than most and better than good.

I also think that if the soon-to-be democratic Congress takes his suggestions seriously then America will get back on track. I particularly enjoy his inclusion of troop support. I think they should put the thing together as one bill and get it done.

Why republican leadership never took this seriously is beyond me. It may be one reason why they lost so much trust from Americans.

I would add that I think democratic members should insure that prospective replacements for Rumsfled understand these will be high priorities with zero tolerance for excuse-making.

On another front there is a bit of a race for House Majority leader shaping up between John Murtha and Steny Hoyer. While I think they both seem like good candidates to me I have to side with John Murtha since he led when it mattered on an issue of great importance. In other words, he proved his leadership qualities to me.

What John doesn't have going for him is that he doesn't seem very diplomatic. He will need to guard against being overly combative, particularly within the ranks of his own party. It is an impulse that can be self-defeating in the long run, whereas coalition-building gets more done. Luckily for us, Nancy Pelosi will be there to guide him. They'll make a good team, I think.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Selfish Joe

Joe Lieberman always seems to act in a generously self-centered manner. When voters in his party rejected him, he put his agenda ahead of his party's and ran as an independent. I admit I thought he would lose, but he failed to lose the support of crucial democrats and further held his powerful seats in the Senate.

Pundits refer to Joe as a moderate, but that is quite an insult to centrists that support the positions he often rejects. His strong support of the president (at 33% in the polls) and for the Iraq war (about 40%) can only be described as doggedly right-of-center.

I fail to understand why top-tier democrats kissed his ring and failed to support Ned Lamont, but now they are stuck with what they deserve, a politician whose agenda is first-and-foremost self-serving.

Joe recently said:

...he will caucus with Senate Democrats in the new Congress, but he would not rule out switching to the Republican caucus if he starts to feel uncomfortable among Democrats.

Source: Traitor Joe

He is essentially staking out the high moral territory of blackmail and will no doubt be a constant thorn in the side of what a majority of Americans want.

Thanks a lot Connecticut.

Monday, November 13, 2006


I have often stated that I think democratic candidates are best when they fight for Justice. So, I am troubled by many early signals from both Nancy Pelosi and Howard Dean that they are not interested in impeaching president Bush, which practically assures they are not interested in investigating his law-breaking activities (which have already been declared illegal on several counts - see details here).

As troubling as that is to me, what is more troubling to me is that we're not hearing calls to repeal the torture legislation, or the Patriot Act, or the NSA spying program. We're also not hearing calls to investigate Guantanamo and make it conform to standards that were good enough for detaining Nazis and fascists.

Shouldn't democratic candidates be saying that they understand this election was a mandate for rejection of the Bush administration policies? Shouldn't democrats every other word be repeal?

Are democrats seriously going to pretend nothing is wrong and that America is on the right course?

If so, that seems like a catastrophic miscalculation with consequences that are already well understood. It is a comfort to me that I have not heard Harry Reid utter these kinds of absolving statements, but I also haven't heard him use the repeal word either.

Maybe I am just impatient. Maybe democrats are holding back until they have real power?

ADDENDUM: Patrick Leahy takes up the good fight, details here

Friday, November 10, 2006

A big fat "You're Welcome"

The UK Guardian just published an editorial thanking America for rejecting the policies of George W. Bush, and more broadly for rejecting Conservative zealotry. I am trying not to gloat, because the time for gloating will be when democrats make a difference, but it is a challenge with in-your-face arrogant types - those end-zone dancers if you will entertain a football metaphor.

So, I can't claim this Guardian article is an aid to me on the road to self-improvement. It might even be a set-back for me because I obviously enjoyed reading it (to my great shame of course).

I particularly enjoyed this paragraph:

"In US domestic terms, the 2006 midterms bring to an end the 12 intensely divisive years of Republican House rule that began under Newt Gingrich in 1994. These have been years of zealously and confrontational conservative politics that have shocked the world and, under Mr Bush, have sent America's global standing plummeting. That long political hurricane has now at last blown itself out for a while, but not before leaving America with a terrible legacy that includes climate-change denial, the end of biological stem-cell research, an aid programme tied to abortion bans, a shockingly permissive gun culture, an embrace of capital punishment equalled only by some of the world's worst tyrannies, the impeachment of Bill Clinton and his replacement by a president who does not believe in Darwin's theory of evolution. The approval by voters in at least five more states of same-sex marriage bans - on top of 13 similar votes in 2004 - shows that culture-war politics are far from over."

I hope I haven't corrupted your own efforts at self-improvement.

Full article here

Ou est James H. Peck?

Yesterday I posted about the democrats senate race in Virginia and there was a response by "Causal" that was interesting enough to promote to this more visible location.

Causal writes...

Well, it only takes a moment to help convince Nancy Pelosi to Impeach..

The day the nation demands impeachment is upon us. Sacks and sacks of mail are about to arrive in Nancy Pelosi's office initiating impeachment via the House of Representative's own rules. This legal document is as binding as if a State or if the House itself passed the impeachment resolution (H.R. 635).

There's a little known and rarely used clause of the "Jefferson Manual" in the rules for the House of Representatives which sets forth the various ways in which a president can be impeached. Only the House Judiciary Committee puts together the Articles of Impeachment, but before that happens, someone has to initiate the process.

That's where we come in. In addition to a House Resolution (635), or the State-by-State method, one of the ways to get impeachment going is for individual citizens like you and me to submit a memorial. has created a new memorial based on one which was successful in impeaching a federal official in the past. You can find it on their website as a PDF.

You can initiate the impeachment process and simultaneously help to convince Pelosi to follow through with the process. Do-It-Yourself by downloading the memorial, filling in the relevant information in the blanks (your name, state, etc.), and sending it in. Be a part of history.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The fat lady is doing voice exercises

The race in Virginia appears won by democratic candidate Jim Webb. With a 7,000+ vote lead and half of the counties finished canvassing there isn't much solace to be had in statistics for republican George Allen.

Details here

Many democrats are hoping there will be a challenge so that Karl Rove's nasty tactics can be exposed to more attention. I am not one of them. Karl Rove has been publicly pounded and has lost his genius gloss, his Midas momentum, and his invincibility.

I prefer to look ahead to Senate Majority leader Harry Reid. I prefer to pine for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. I prefer to reflect upon the fact that Americans demanded a change of course in Iraq and that
democrats are going to deliver on it.

President Bush may use his veto power to obstruct as much as he can, but democrats have plenty of ammunition to impeach him if he insists on being petulant. He appears to realize it too, since he is already singing conciliatory tunes.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Realist Republicans

When Ronald Reagan won the presidency the credit was widely attributed to "Reagan Democrats".

In spite of president Bush's many costly mistakes and America-harming decisions I was beginning to think there was no such republican equivalent. Conservatives don't like change, after all, and modern republicans have hidden their agenda behind religious tactics (faith without works might be dead, but it sure as hell wins elections).

But, the 2006 mid-term election showed that there are indeed republicans capable of putting America first and their party second.

I salute you if you are one of them. It takes Humility and Courage to admit you are wrong and a sense of Justice to make things right.

Nancy's priorities

If democrats take the House then these will be Nancy Pelosi's priorities:

1. Restore pay-as-you-go
2. Implement all recommendations of the 9/11 commission.
3. Raise the minimum wage.
4. Fix medicare prescription drug program
5. Cut interest rates for college loans in half
6. Roll back subsidies for big oil.
7. Fight attempts to privatize social security.

Details here

Not bad, I sez. That goes double for #2.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Vote ye merry men

James Carville was the political consultant somewhat behind the scenes of Bill Clinton's success. I say somewhat because he isn't the flower-on-the-wall type.

He has some interesting input on democratic candidates chances based upon the polling data:

James Says

Here's hoping that Americans stay the course and sweep Republicans out of office. Under republican leadership this Congress has worked less than the famous "do-nothing Congress" and when they have worked they have bungled badly.

How much failure is too much?

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Instant Runoff Voting

Every once in a while I like to state that I feel the US ought to use instant runoff voting. This would prevent third party candidates from having a negative impact on our preferences.

Details here

I would also like to state that I feel democrats should get the ball rolling by using this system to select it's presidential candidate. After all, if the system really is best, then why not take advantage of it to put your best candidate forward?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Southern Man

I will be taking a short break and touring the deep south, particularly its' culinary and musical offerings.

You get some odd looks when you tell people you're off to Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Maybe I will understand why when I return.

"How else you going to know what a place is like?", I sez.

I'll be back November 5th.

Sean Smith video

The Guardian's Sean Smith spent time with the 101st division of the US army in Iraq.

Here is a link to the film that resulted from the experience:

Iraqis Standing Up?


Quest que se "Military Commissions Act of 2006"?

C'est crap

Please excuse my French.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Liberal Pride

This article entitled, "We Answer to the Name of Liberals", is long overdue.

I personally feel that if you want to have a great, stable society you need a large middle-class belt keeping the fat-cats in check.

Clinton understood that and it is why his policies targeted educating, feeding, housing, and increasing the wages of the ambitious poor. People moved from poverty to the middle-class in droves under his policies.

Sound liberal policy is also based upon sound reliable information, which we call science and president Bush calls opinion and seems to equate with astrology.

My favorite excerpt from the article is this one:

We have consistently and publicly repudiated the ruinous policies of the Bush administration, and our diagnosis, alas, has been vindicated by events. The Bush debacle is a direct consequence of its repudiation of liberal principles.

We Answer to the Name of Liberals

This could be the start of something good. As Bill Clinton said, "Our way works better. It just does."


Here is how JFK defined a liberal:

Their health, their housing, their schools.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Gulf of Tonkin II?

With apologies to Gilbert and Sullivan...

We-e sail the ocean blue,
and our saucy ship's a beauty.
We are sober men and true,
and attentive to our duty.

Our saucy ship's a beauty.
We're attentive to our duty.
We are sober men and true.
We sail the ooooooocean blue.

To Iran.

Harmful convergence

Is it inevitable?

Friday, October 20, 2006

Republican meltdown

James Carville thinks there is a republican meltdown happening and details it in two parts:


Meltdown II

Let us hope he still has the gift.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Hard to reconcile

On October 17,2006 vice president Dick Cheney went on Rush Limbaugh's radio program and stated that the Iraqi government was "doing remarkably well".

Details here

On October 18, 2006 nine US soldiers were killed in Baghdad, bringing the total of US casualties in Iraq this month to 71, and averaging 3.94 deaths per day - the highest rate since March of 2003.

Details here

US Casualty statistics

How is it that the vice president, who declared we'd be welcomed as liberators, isn't considered a bigger fool than Dan Quayle?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

October surprise

There are more and more stories of a US strike on Iran coming soon.

Could George W. Bush be this dumb?

Could smart people be so dumb as to follow him into another, even greater mistake in a long line of great mistakes?

Will military men continue to be political pawns, serving at the leisure of Karl Rove?

USS Eisenhower away

To be in a command position and lead young men into such folly ought to constitute a dereliction of duty.

I don't see how any idea this stupid, reckless, and predictably disastrous for America can proceed without concerted bi-partisan opposition.

How do you make things better when nobody pays attention?

Monday, October 16, 2006

U.S. Base Falcon attacked in Baghdad

As I recently watched a developing story on CNN I gulped. Iraq insurgents attacked US Forward Operating Base Falcon just outside the green zone and hit it's ammo dump with mortars.

The live feed showed explosions which lasted for hours lighting up the Baghdad skyline.

If you allow yourself to think about this for a moment, that insurgents were able to strike a US base near Baghdad, you ought to be disabused of the president's storyline that success is just around the corner.

We had better get out soon if we can't even protect our bases.

Fire erupts

Is staying the course in Iraq more important to you than healthcare for your family?

Is staying the course in Iraq more important to you than the policemen which keep your community safe?

Is staying the course in Iraq more important to you than affordable education for your children?

Is staying the course in Iraq more important to you than combating global warming?

Friday, October 13, 2006

Turning virgins into hellfire

There is a new product out there called Infidel's Revenge which is impressive in it's simplicity.

Devout Muslim suicide bombers believe that 72 virgins await them in heaven. However, devout Muslim suicide bombers also believe that a body defiled by pigs blood at the time of death faces eternal damnation.

So, Susblood labs devised a pen that will infuse pigs blood into the air if atomized in an explosion.

The idea is that if everyone carries them would-be suicide bombers will not strike their targets for fear of damning their souls to eternal torment.

Maybe airlines should pass these out free?

Infidel's Revenge

ADDENDUM: I have had feedback from a friend who says of this device,

"Bil Shahid kulu aswad" In the martyr - everything is white. If you fight for god all your blemishes are laundered. Every kid in he Arab world knows that.

But for westerners that do no understand any of that - it will sell by the ton.

How humbling.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Democracy's Garrison

Not so long ago people like Garrison Keillor embodied American values and ideals. Here's a man that came from nothing but through talent and hard work and imagination built up an audience for his old-time radio show called, "prairie Home Companion".

With the advent of president Bush and his devoted throngs of communist-style yes-men America is becoming something monstrous in the eyes of people like Garrison.

I thought of him doing his radio show and it struck me that his name is appropriate. He has built a garrison, a refuge, for the type of American values that have always defined us.

In this editorial Garrison seems to have reached the same level of disgust as myself with senators (it seems unworthy of capitalization anymore) that voted to grant president Bush the power to torture. This American values icon, this kind, hard-working, Beauty-appreciating man frets in a land where the love of Truth grows colder every day.

Congress's Shameful Retreat From American Values

Halliburton is building prisons on American soil.

The president now has the totalitarian power to disappear people.

Aren't we giving up too much to these machine men with machine hearts and machine minds?

Will Americans make a stand?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Still blaming Bill

John McCain and Condoleeza Rice are currently pushing the storyline that North Korean nukes are Bill Clinton's fault.

It is a charge that is easy to counter, and truth be told, nothing would make me happier than giving Bill Clinton another moment in the limelight.

For the moment, Bill Perry is doing an admirable job exhibiting the facts of the matter here:

Rhetoric and inaction

And Bennett Ramberg does not use velvet gloves here:

Now what?

The Bush administration does not seem to understand that when Americans compare GWB with WJC side-by-side it isn't very flattering to their policies.

They do seem to understand, though, how to keep the focus off Iraq in an election year.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Dear president Bush...

Dear president Bush,

When we were hungry for courage, you gave us nothing to eat. When we were thirsty for community, you gave us nothing to drink. When we felt isolated and attacked, you made us unwelcome in the world. When we needed strength, you gave us fear. When we needed food and clothes in New Orleans, you gave us excuses. When we needed ideas, you gave us ideology.

You don't have the courage our Constitution demands.
You don't have the intellect our challenges demand.
You don't have the integrity our allies expect.
You don't have the attention-span winning a war requires.

You are an embarrassment and if you are unashamed it can only be because your ignorance exceeds your incompetence.

Why don't you do humanity a favor and resign?

An American president should not be as partisan as you.
An American president should not be as desperate as you.
An American president should not be as power-hungry as you.

I am sick of your excuses, lies, and blame games. The accountability buck should stop on the president's desk.

Mr. Bush, it's time you left and took Mr. Cheney, Ms. Rice, and Mr. Rumsfeld with you.

Sincerely yours,

Moe Dubreuil

Continued reading...

Monday, October 09, 2006

Amen brother Olbermann

Keith Olbermann over at MSNBC news has been calling the president and his administration on their bull for a while. His manner has undergone a recent change, though, and he has started calling their lies "lies" and the people that tell them "liars".

When president Bush recently explained that a democrat that disagrees with his myriad of failed policies is with the terrorists, Keith Olbermann attacked the theory the way a Dobermann goes to his mark.

Bush Unfit for Office

Won't you take a bow, Mr. Olbermann?

Perhaps your candor will awaken the hearts and minds of enough Americans to vote republicans out of office and replace them with members of the opposition party. Nothing would be a bigger discomfort to president Bush.

Democracy isn't so much about electing great leaders as it is about having the power to discard or defy bad ones. The underlying premise is that when most of the country is against you then you are doing something wrong.

A leader, in other words, should have followers.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Mr. Hypocritical

"I have no problem with adult pornography. People are entitled to read it, watch it, see it in their homes or in public accommodations. Where I have to draw the line is using children for the excitement of those more mature people who should know the difference and know better."

Representative Mark Foley
Republican from Florida
2002 interview with National Public Radio


"It's vile. It's more sad than anything else, to see someone with such potential throw it all down the drain because of a sexual addiction."

Representative Mark Foley,
Republican from Florida
speaking about Bill Clinton in 1998.

NOTE: Interestingly this quote regarding Clinton appears to have been scrubbed from Wikipedia recently.

Original (from Google cache): Unscrubbed edition

Current: Scrubbed edition

NOTE: According to a new note on the current page the site was recently vandalized.


"We track library books better than we do sexual predators."

Representative Mark Foley
Republican from Florida

Source: Boston Globe


Isn't it comforting to know Mr. Foley buttoned down our sexual predator laws just in time to face them himself?

I wonder what depths of denial will be plumbed by republican dead-enders in order to cling to the discredited notion that republicans are morality champions.

It seems difficult to make a man understand something when his pride depends upon him not understanding it.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


I feel that Ghandi's phrase "nonviolent resistance" has been reduced to "nonviolence" by the American left. People peacefully assemble in free-speech zones and pretend to be arrested by police pretending to arrest them.

Things might be changing.

Today (October 5th) is a day of mass protest. If you would like to participate here is more information:


Is Fascism spreading in America?

A 30-year US special forces veteran discusses what he sees as growing fascism in America, and particularly within the ranks of the US armed forces.

This is a remarkably well-written article on the subject. Perhaps I feel that way because I agree about the warning signs.

In any case I recommend the article and expect detractors to respect the patriotism of Mr. Goff (unless of course they work for the Bush administration).

Sowing the Seeds of Fascism in America

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Nazi press wars

Why should citizens be wary when their government criticizes the press for what they report, as opposed to how they report?

In April of 1933 Edgar Ansel Mowrer (sounds like Edward R. Murrow doesn't it) published "Germany Puts the Clock Back". The German government did not like his book and started pulling strings to get him removed from his post.

Mr. Mowrer proclaimed, "My own stand is this: Freedom of correspondents must not be hampered by any kind of social or personal pressure provided they report the news on the basis of reliable information. To clarify this point I offer my resignation. Please decide for yourselves."

Mr. Mowrer's colleagues stood by him and had him reinstated. You can read all about it here thanks to the Google News Archive search:

That pesky Guardian

Find your own Nazi-era heroic defiance here:

Google News Archive

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Senate defecates on Constitution

This recent "America Tortures" vote by the US Senate sets a new benchmark for my disgust.

What cowards. What hypocrites.

Vote of Infamy!

I have mentioned before that the torture techniques such as waterboarding were favorite tools of the Gestapo and also similar to Salem witch-hunting techniques.

Apparently these techniques were also favored by the Khymer Rouge. So, to review, America's moral company is Nazi Germany, Cambodian Communists, and superstitious mobs.


Why don't they just spool the Constitution and the Bible onto a toilet-paper roll and have it installed in the white-house latrine?

Here is a Daily Show look at this issue:

Philosopher King

Friday, September 29, 2006


When Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice recently told the New York Post that, "We were not left a comprehensive strategy to fight al Qaeda.", she was lying and I think the mainstream press ought to say so.

It is as bald-faced a lie as you can tell in public, and it is exposed as such by these two publicly available facts:

Fact One

The Clinton administration (under the direction of Richard A. Clarke) prepared a document for the Bush administration titled, "Strategy for Eliminating the Threat from the Jihadist Networks of al Qida: Status and Prospects."

It expresses a series of ideas, including actionable items, which ought to satisfy any reasonable person's definition of the word "plan".

Fact Two

There is this memo from Richard A. Clarke to Condoleezza Rice with the subject, "Presidential Policy Initiative/Review -- The al Qida Network". In the memo Mr. Clarke seeks to get the Bush administration to pay urgent attention to the al Qida Network.

Let us examine a quote from this memo:

"Attached to the memo was the year-end 2000 strategy on al Qida developed to give to you [Ms. Rice]. Also attached is the 1998 strategy. Neither was a "covert action only" approach. Both incorporated diplomatic, economic, military, public diplomacy, and intelligence tools."

I would like to thank the folks at No Quarter for posting the links to these documents. Hopefully the mainstream press notices them in between Stingray attacks and Paris Hilton escapades.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

A story worth hearing

Retired Marine Maj. Gen. Fred E. Haynes, 83, is a veteran of World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars. In this article he tells a story of a Japanese prisoner of war, and why humane treatment of prisoners is a tactical advantage.

I wish every American knew this story.

Soldiers speak out

My grandfather didn't fight the Nazis over there so we could act like them over here. I am glad he didn't live to see this president's legacy. He would have been greatly ashamed.


Your message was sent to:

Senator Olympia J. Snowe
Senator Susan M. Collins

I must express my opposition to the immoral practice of inhuman, degrading and brutal interrogation and indefinite detention of prisoners. Such practices do not serve the interest of U.S. security.

An array of well-respected members of Congress from both sides of the aisle, retired military leaders and former government officials, including former Secretary of State Colin Powell, have expressed serious concern in response to the compromise. They rightly question the wisdom of following a policy that undermines U.S. credibility as a world leader and may very well place U.S. troops at risk of similar treatment.

It is a sad chapter in American history when Congress sanctions torture and indefinite detention. After all, "water-boarding" was a favorite technique of the Gestapo, and similar to techniques used during the Salem witch hunts. Embracing such techniques makes a mockery of your pledge to uphold the Constitution. It is also disgusting, evil, and counter-productive.

I strongly urge you to reject this compromise on torture.


If you would like to send a similar message to your senator, you can do so easily here:

Shame Shame Shame

Better hurry. The US House has already disgraced itself with their vote.

Bums rush

I don't like the phrase no-brainer, but it seems a no-brainer for democrats to filibuster this bill. With elections coming there's no better way to go into them than by letting Americans know that "democrats don't torture".

Wanna attract values voters?

Stand up for Justice.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A commercial idea

President Bush wants to "Stay the Course" in Iraq.

On our present course we have lost 2,705 US soldiers (Details here).

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If you are ready for a change in course, then vote for a change.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

NIE Estimate

The latest National Intelligence Estimate asserts...

"The war in Iraq has become a primary recruitment vehicle for violent Islamic extremists, motivating a new generation of potential terrorists around the world whose numbers may be increasing faster than the United States and its allies can reduce the threat, U.S. intelligence analysts have concluded."

More details

That has a familiar ring to it, doesn't it?

Was that a warning that president Bush gave the nation when Bill Clinton started the war in Iraq?

I get so confused sometimes watching Fox News I forget which wise utterance from our dear leader came when.

Friday, September 22, 2006


When you consider that...

The foreign policy that Republicans are pursuing is not clear-cut.

And that, the war in Iraq doesn't stand for anything.

And that, Republicans are focusing on what they don't like (i.e. Saddam), rather than what they propose to do better (like NOT torture, and UPHOLD laws, and FIGHT corruption).

And that, the Iraq-occupation debate is controlled by elitists that bully anybody that disagrees with them.

It is hard to escape the conclusion that Republicans are running the US government the way Democratic candidates run for office.

I sez, "No wonder the presidential poll numbers are lower than a hound-dog's nose in a horse pasture."

Hoods on, thumbs up

One facet of president Bush that I find troubling is his consistent commitment to inhumane treatment of prisoners of war.

What bothers me most is not his lack of a rational argument which could justify these Salem-witch-hunt practices, but that this Congress doesn't require one.

I am disappointed a great deal in John McCain who one minute railed against torture and in the next became complicit with it by agreeing to wink and nudge while the president continues to do so. It also appears that Congress will prevent prisoners from appealing this depravity to U.S. courts.

If this is how Mr. McCain intends to live up to his "maverick" status, then I prefer a traditional sell-out because they don't lift your spirits first.

Devil's advocate

How does America get it's moral compass back?

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The smell of sulpher

I have a hard time knowing what to make of Hugo Chavez. Agents of change don't always herald a kinder, gentler national ambition.

Be that as it may, he is a man that expresses his displeasure of president Bush rather forcefully, here equating him with the devil.

Chavez Address to the United Nations

I don't believe in the Devil. I believe evil enters the world through Man. Consequently, I believe that it is only when Man can master his unethical conduct that the world will be a better place.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Gore Vidal: Reflections on 9/11

I am currently reading Fyodor Dostoevsky's "The Idiot", which takes a very good hearted character and places him in the company of Russian upper-crusts. I confess it is not my favorite book as it is tedious and there is too much innuendo for me to keep up with, but every once in a while a chapter comes along which contains excellent societal insight.

One such chapter deals with the frustrations of people that are "wealthy, of good family, nice-looking, fairly intelligent, and even good-natured, and yet have no talents, so special faculty, no peculiarity even, not one idea of one's own."

These types of people Fyodor splits into two groups, those that have limited intelligence, and others much cleverer. He says the first group is happier because, "Nothing is easier for "ordinary" people of limited intelligence than to imagine themselves exceptional and original and to revel in that delusion without the slightest misgiving."

In the course of the discussion Fyodor talks about "the impudence of simplicity, this unhesitating confidence of the stupid man in himself and his talents, which is superbly depicted by Gogol in the wonderful character of Lieutenant Pirogov."

"The Idiot" turned out to be quite popular in post-Soviet Russia due to a TV adaptation which ran in 2003. I suppose that is because at heart it is about the decay of society.

In this article by Gore Vidal, he compares modern American society to Rome near the time of it's fall (which by the way was run by Christians post-Constantine). He also has a few choice words to say about stupid people.

Reflections on 9/11

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Sam's Club

Sam Harris is a philosopher that has made a name for himself talking about how silly it is for human beings to believe religious fantasies.

He is having a particularly tough time of late, I think, because he sees religious cultural clashes shaping up and perhaps feels there are better ways to honor a creator than to destroy the creation of which he is a part.

Sam takes the view that the pope's (Pope's?) recent remarks which inflamed Muslims were intentionally inflammatory and asks readers if religious faith is the problem, rather than the solution.

Here is how he makes his case:

Swingin' Sam

He seems a little impolite for a philosopher (Philosopher?), particularly when he refers to the pope (Pope?) as a "silly old priest", but perhaps that is why I read his articles.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Defending the Pope

Muslims are demanding an apology from the Pope because he recently discussed a conversation from about 1391 in which Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus said the following, "Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."

Since it is a pet peeve of mine to read a story about a story, without getting context, I would like to provide a link to the entire text of the Pope's speech:

Papal flap

I sez the Pope has just given irate Muslims an opportunity to draw upon those new sections in the Koran which are not evil and inhuman, and prove to the world they are above masquerading blood lust as piety.

Should the Pope apologize?

I sez no. It is time to stop tolerating their intolerance. Besides, theological discussions do not approach the offensive potential of a suicide bomber and I don't hear anybody apologizing for them.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Another tree falls

There is an infestation of dissent in the Republican woods. The latest, once-proud, Republican to throw in the towel on the Bush II presidency is none other than Christopher Buckley.

Let's quit while we are behind

Republicans left standing which support their president are about as spirited as our crumbling coalition in Iraq.

I think I smell a Mr. Murtha moment.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The president's word

Trying to take the president at his word with regard to Iraq is tricky. One minute our top priority is finding WMDs, the next minute it is to hunt dictators, then we're fighting to defend ourselves in the central front in the war on terrah-ism, and finally we are establishing an oasis of freedom lovers in a land of evil doers.

Rather than attack the rhetoric/marketing/excuses of the Bush administration it is sometimes helpful to take him at his word and examine his performance.

For instance, take the "central front" claim as true. We're told we're fighting "them" there so we don't have to fight "them" here. Them is either Iraqis, agents of al Qaeda, Muslims, or Arabs, I'm not sure which.

Putting that aside, we move on and ask, "If this is an important operation, how are we doing?"

The answer to that question is, "Not good".

Either the president is correct and we are doing an abysmal job winning an important war on his watch, or he is wrong and we are doing an abysmal job winning a war of folly on his watch.

Sure the latter option is worse, because it highlights bad judgment and incompetence, as opposed to good judgment and incompetence, but perhaps democratic candidates ought to consider letting the president work for them while he travels around hyping the importance of the Iraq war.

While president Bush convinces Americans the war is vitally strategic, democratic candidates should highlight the president's incompetence when it comes to meeting the challenge.

Monday, September 11, 2006


Hopefully Americans will begin to retreat from the paranoia of the past half-decade and return to caring about making good widgets, cornering the market in soy-beans, and BBQ parties.

Too much was lost on September 11th that didn't have anything to do with Osama. We lost our mojo, our peace of mind, and our way of life. It's about time we start to reclaim it.

The Bush administration is ringing every alarm and working every two-bit newsroom trying to hustle up a climate of fear, but lately Americans seem to be weary from the effort of living in a heightened state of hysteria.

I hope so.

It takes courage to live free in a scary world.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Pentagon Lawyers Challenge Detainee Plan

President Bush wants Congress to establish a military kangaroo-court that he can use to execute terrah-ists without ever allowing them to see the evidence against them.

I think that is dishonorable.

In response Democratic lawmakers teamed up with fair-minded Republicans to craft a system that, according to John McCain, "...must provide enough guarantees of fairness that the nation would feel comfortable having its own troops tried under it."

I think that track is honorable. Moreover, I think Mr. McCain's statement is worthy of an American and it makes me proud.

Believe it or not America has been in war before. Believe it or not America has captured prisoners of war before. Believe it or not we already have an honorable system to process them.

Do you know why we should use it?

Because when you fight with honor you maintain morale.

Why should we use waterboarding, a favorite technique of the Salem witch-hunters?

Why should we use concentration camps to "forget" people in?

Why should we discourage the Red Cross, an organization recently headed by Elizabeth Dole, from insuring our prisoners are treated fairly?

Pentagon Lawyers Challenge Detainee Plan

We have the right to call ourselves American when we face challenges without losing track of our values.

ADDENDUM: Chris Mathews interviewed John Kerry on this story. Nothing says we elected the wrong guy like this conversation.

Kerry on POWs

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Tony trouble

Strong allies of president Bush in the US are meeting with electoral trouble:

Bush coat-tails not effective

Strong allies of president Bush abroad seem to be having even more pronounced problems:

Labour wants Blair's resignation

Perhaps Republicans should follow the example being set by the British Labour party and demand president Bush's resignation. That would be unexpected.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Keith Olberman grills Bush

President Bush has a rather expedient devotion to democracy and lackluster love of freedom. He enjoys freedom of speech, but only when people agree with him. He enjoys freedom of assembly, as long as participants sign loyalty pledges and likely dissenters are caged outside earshot. He enjoys freedom of the press, as long as they parrot his talking points.

Keith Olberman over at MSNBC seems to have had enough of freedom talking juxtaposed against a record of widespread corruption and a tyrannical devotion to secrecy.

When president Bush recently tried to justify his ham-fisted incompetence by linking al Qaeda to Nazi Germany Keith decided to take Mr. Bush to the woodshed.

Our Murrow emerges?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Stay the course?

As democrats struggle to find a message which resonates with voters come November it occurs to me that to ride in a car with a drunk driver is not a gesture which reaches across the aisle to promote a healthy atmosphere for good governance.

That is, instead, dangerous self-defeating stupidity.

At a time when we have a president operating the country drunk on power and weaving all over the Constitutional landscape, should democrats argue with him whether it is wise to steer towards Iraq as opposed to Iran, or should democrats stop the car and drive themselves?

One wonders why they ever got in the same car in the first place?

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Alaska's Ted Stevens

Alaska's Ted Stevens has always struck me as a small-pond-jerk more interested in extorting pork for Alaska than a healthy US budget. The famous bridge-to-nowhere which delayed 911 anti-terrorist measures comes particularly to mind.

His latest America-last gaming of the system places much-needed anti-corruption legislation on hold.

Who is that masked man?

Since 911 I have been waiting for the republican politicians in power to rise to the occasion and have been continually disappointed. I sez that America's global challenges cannot be met successfully with small-world, bilk-America thinking.

No wonder republicans are losing credibility faster than Paris Hilton at a virgin convention.

Are modern republicans racist enough?

Daily Show expert and "Senior Black Correspondent" Larry Wilmore charges today's republican party with "lazy racism".

Not your father's racism

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Consider this

[*] A recent University of California, San Francisco, study estimates that the United States would save over $161 billion every year in paperwork alone if it switched to a single-payer system like Canada's.

[*] Research on 38 million adult patients in 26,000 U.S. hospitals revealed that death rates in for-profit hospitals are significantly higher than in nonprofit hospitals: for-profit patients have a 2 percent higher chance of dying in the hospital or within 30 days of discharge.

[*] In the United States, infant mortality rates are 7.1 per 1,000, the highest in the industrialized world -- higher than some of the poorer states in India, for example, which have public health systems in place (at least for mothers and infants).

[*] Among the inner-city poor in the United States, more than 8 percent of mothers receive no prenatal care at all before giving birth.

[*] The overall improvement in health in a society with tax-supported health care translates to better health even for the rich, the group assumed to be the main beneficiaries of the American-style private system.

Now go read this article if your eyes popped open:

Canadian care

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Thursday, August 24, 2006

It's fun to stay at the YMCA

We're approaching an election and you know what that means, time for republicans to swift-boat democrats.

Karl Rove has been the chief architect of some of the worst tactics in US political history (belittling decorated veterans of both parties, including during a time of war).

I got to thinking that it seems unfair that he gets to slime, then sit safely in the background. So, I thought, why not get ahead of the game with a little Rove storyline...

Many people don't know this, but Karl Rove in his early days was a songwriter. He was considered a decent writer of blues songs and had a moderate success with "The Day is Dawning", when Jimmy Witherspoon included the song on his album "Jay's Blues".

But, success, such as it was, went to his head. He became ambitious and star-struck and decided to become somebody. Ahead of his time he refashioned himself as Commander Karl and wore brown suede shorts, a shirtless black leather vest, a captains hat, and flip-flops. Often he'd carry a riding crop and wear a bandana around his neck.

One day the young Karl was in Greenwich Village and he bumped into Jacques Morali who was auditioning new talent for a group he had in mind. Karl devoted himself to making the audition but on that fateful day he was turned down for being, "too gay". The blow might have been mild if the group, later known as "The Village People", hadn't gone on to fame and fortune.

Jaded, frustrated, furious, and dejected Karl swore off his musical career and decided to go where he wouldn't have to face rejection. He became a political consultant.

To this day on the anniversary of his rejection he dresses up as Commander Karl and shouts out his hatred of all things Village People. In a moment of recklessness uncharacteristic of him, he hired a gay prostitute named Jim Guckert/ Jeff Gannon, dressed him up as a construction worker, and hurled a mixture of homerotic and homophobic comments at him. After one such session Jim wandered into the white house press gaggle by mistake and on a whim asked a softball question of the president.

That was fun.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Bob Dylan in the garden


Fred McDauber
Fred again
Faith Temple
Naomi too

And now...

Naomi studied Fred for a moment, staring directly into his eyes, then replying with, “Of course Jesus didn’t condone gossipers when one of the Ten Commandments forbid bearing false witness against a neighbor. But tell me”, she continued, “what is it that you believe in Fred? I’m interested. I’d like to know.”

Fred didn’t respond right away, he instead looked up at the ceiling, then rested his eyes on a photo on the wall. Then he began to respond, “Well. I believe that most of the world’s religions have things backwards. I don’t think that the Creator is a genocidal, jealous, vengeful, sinner-burner like he’s made out in the Christian Bible for instance. Or, if He is, then He isn’t worthy of anything but contempt. I think that the Creator would be more of a gardener/artist type, you know creative and nurturing of life. I think that He tries to influence our behavior in a few limited ways. First, I think that harmful lies are not allowed to escape the Truth. Second, I think He creates beautiful things and releases them into the world.”

Naomi interjected, “But, what about Satan?”

Fred chuckled and his eyes sparkled with mirth, he smiled and said, “Why on earth would he be necessary? Look at the damage that Men are doing to each other and to the planet which sustains their very lives. Look at the way they lie to each other and cheat each other and enslave each other. I don’t see how the cruelty of Man can be improved upon or blamed on a third party. So, I think the Creator is trying to reach us with Beauty and Hope and Truth, but as for the devil I think he is nothing more than a scapegoat.”

Naomi reflected for a time and sat still while she did so. She said, “So, you believe in a creator that is like Bob Dylan in a garden?”

“Well”, said Fred, “if the music Bob Dylan played could create matter and life directly then that’d be about right. He’d be out there in his garden watching over us and when we got too mean and ugly with each other he’d send us “Masters of War” or “Hard Rain” so that we could turn out better. In fact, people like Bob Dylan have always made me wonder. Didn’t he come out of nowhere at a young age and write songs far beyond his years which spoke directly to the current mood? Isn’t he like Martin Luther King in that respect, telling us the Truth in a way which resonates?

“What about after we die?”, questioned Naomi.

“I am in no hurry for a definitive answer to that question, but I expect it is exactly like the time before our birth.”

“The God you believe in doesn’t seem very powerful”, said Naomi.

“That’s right. The God I believe in has no power at all, except the power to create Good things. He only tries to influence us by the power of His example and through His creations. I believe that He isn’t interested in revenge and that He only wants us to take delight in his works. I believe that the garden of Eden which you believe in was such a work. I believe that when you look around you are looking at what Man, in his ignorance, has done to the masterwork of Heaven itself.”

“That seems too cynical for me to ever believe in”, responded Naomi.

“It’s not for everyone”, agreed Fred, “but that’s what I believe in. I guess it appeals to me to consider the comedy of Monty Python a gift from God to be enjoyed, or the music of Mozart, or John Steinbeck’s novels, and so on. Martin Luther King, for sure, had this power of influence over people that doesn’t make sense to me any other way. I think of the Jesus you believe in the same way. He was just another attempt by God to awaken the Love in our hearts for each other. Usually we respond by killing his creations and perverting their message.”

“That’s your view of religion isn’t it, a corruption of something beautiful?”, asked Naomi.

“Pretty much”, responded Fred, “but I try to judge people by their actions and not by their beliefs. I know that there are Paul Farmers in the world that make enormous sacrifices to help other people, and if I look critically at myself I do not measure up to a lot of religious believers.”

At that point Faith came bustling into the room with a plate full of cookies and three cups and saucers. She set the plate of cookies in the center of the coffee table, placed three cups in their saucers, and traveled back to the kitchen, returning with tea-bags and a kettle of hot water, sugar, and milk. She put the tea bags in the mugs, filled them with hot water, returned the kettle to the kitchen, then took up a seat by Naomi.

Looking at Naomi, Faith said, “I always like something sweet and a cup of tea in the afternoon. We have peanut-butter cookies and molasses there and Lipton tea so help yourself.”

With that, Fred and Faith began to eat a cookie, Fred grabbing molasses and Faith peanut butter. Naomi mumbled something beneath her breath, then reached for a peanut butter cookie. She bit into it and enjoyed the semi-soft, crumbly texture and sweetness. She reached for the teacup, extracted the bag, mixed in sugar and milk, and washed down the first bite of cookie. She smiled.

Fred complimented Faith on the cookies and ate his slowly, breaking off pieces with his hands, then chewing them thoughtfully. If for no other reason than these cookies, he thought his plan was working out well. He wondered if a pleasure so simple was the result of Mr. Dylan in his garden, or if People themselves sometimes brought good things into the world with their own hands.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Happy August 22nd

Will Sunni Muslims strike a mega-terrorist blow against Israel (specifically Jerusalem) on Tuesday, August 22nd?

Will the US and Israel respond with a joint strike against Iran?

Apocalyptic Plans

My suspicion is that neocons need better hobbies. Perhaps we should all take one bowling?

Monday, August 21, 2006

Where embarrassments take dream

"I made my position clear, about this war on terror. I a and by the way the enemy made their position clear yet again when they when ... when a when we're able stop em."

- President George W. Bush -

Video link

Friday, August 18, 2006

Our safety

Karl Rove perpetuates the myth that president Bush's decisive action protects us all from the evil doers.

But, when you think about it:

North Korea reconstituted nuclear weapons on Bush's watch.

Osama bin Laden killed 3,000 Americans and wasn't smoked out or brung in dead or alive.

Iran continues to develop nuclear weapons.

Russia just inked a deal to sell 3 billion dollars worth of weapons to Venezuela.

The roadmap to peace was in reality a roadmap to hostility.

The situation in Iraq is worsening.

The situation in Afghanistan is tenuous.

Does a turd blossom overpower the scent of its foundation?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Raging medievalists

What's a "raging medievalist"?

It's a phrase I like to use to describe these tablet-carrying wannabees that live in an age of genetic engineering, skylabs, polio vaccines, nuclear power, and automobiles, yet think society's ills can be cured with medieval religious practices like angry mobs of stone-wielders.

Herb Titus and Gary North fit the billing and you can read about them here:

Stone chuckers

Hate is not justified because it is Christian hate as opposed to Islamic hate. The Christian idol, Jesus, was categorically opposed to harming others and was fanatical enough about it to stop stonings.

Can he possibly be honored by digital-aged barbarians carrying grudges that defile his very legacy?

I'd wager their activity does more to drive people away from Christ's teachings than Boston-area child predators in vestments.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Iraq Report 109th Congress

If democrats take back the House of Representatives then John Conyers will likely lead the Judiciary Committee.

Could it be that this report is a prelude to what awaits the Bush administration should this scenario become reality?

Coverups in the Iraq War

Here is an excerpt from the summary:

We have found that there is substantial evidence the President, the Vice-President and other high ranking members of the Bush Administration misled Congress and the American people regarding the decision to go to war in Iraq; misstated and manipulated intelligence information regarding the justification for such war; countenanced torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in Iraq; permitted inappropriate retaliation against critics of their Administration; and approved domestic surveillance that is both illegal and unconstitutional. As further detailed in the Report, there is evidence that these actions violate a number of federal laws, including:

[*] Making False Statements to Congress, for example, saying you have learned Iraq is attempting to buy uranium from Niger, when you have been warned by the CIA that this is not the case.

[*] The War Powers Resolution and Misuse of Government Funds, for example, redeploying troops and initiating bombing raids before receiving congressional authorization.

[*] Federal laws and international treaties prohibiting torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment, for example, ordering detainees to be ghosted and removed, and tolerating and laying the legal ground work for their torture and mistreatment.

[*] Federal laws concerning retaliating against witnesses and other individuals, for example, demoting Bunnatine Greenhouse, the chief contracting officer at the Army Corps of Engineers, because she exposed contracting abuses involving Halliburton.

[*] Federal requirements concerning leaking and other misuse of intelligence, for example, failing to enforce the executive order requiring disciplining those who leak classified information, whether intentional or not.

[*] Federal regulations and ethical requirements governing conflicts of interest, for example, then Attorney General John Aschcroft’s being personally briefed on FBI interviews concerning possible misconduct by Karl Rove even though Mr. Rove had previously received nearly $750,000 in fees for political work on Mr. Ashcroft’s campaigns.

[*] Violating FISA and the Fourth Amendment, for example intercepting thousands of communications “to or from any person within the United States,” without obtaining a warrant.

[*] The Stored Communications Act of 1986 and the Communications Act of 1934, for example, obtaining millions of U.S. customer telephone records without obtaining a subpoena or warrant, without customer consent, and outside of any applicable “emergency exceptions.”

[*] The National Security Act, for example, failing to keep all Members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees “fully and currently informed” of intelligence activities, such as the warrantless surveillance programs.

This explains the evident desperation of the Bush administration's recent actions, particularly equating casting a vote for Ned Lamont with terrorist sympathy. They seem unable to admit Lieberman lost because he supported the president's agenda, which ought to translate into heavy Republican losses in November.

This could be a November to remember if Americans have finally had enough of George W. Bush.

Monday, August 14, 2006


An idea that struck me like a thunderclap:

Imagine the terror-fighting potential if Karl Rove was given the task of polarizing Islamic society, rather than American society!

It struck me as I was reading this piece and I learned of the Punjab.

Fantastic article on Islam

If anyone close to the president is reading this please pass this on. It is an idea that may have been divinely inspired.

I am still tingling.

Democratic plan

Republicans routinely and disingenously charge that democrats have no plan for fighting terrorism.

They are wrong but they keep repeating it because the media in the US lets them lie and calls it balance.

Next time a conservative blow-hard says that why doesn't an interviewer slap this document on the table?

Democratic American Security Plan

That would be balance, with the counter-weight being the Truth for once.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Supreme Sarcasm

I often post Daily Show clips but this one is special. If you wish to see sarcasm brought to new heights click below

Smiling daggers

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Democrats Dilemma

I think that what democrats ought to do right away is start getting Mr. Murtha out talking about his plan for turning Iraq over to Iraqis.

Rather than wait for Republicans to define democrats as weak on defense and then react to that, they should get out now and remind voters that:

[*] Our policy in Iraq is a failure and getting worse by the day (i.e. 35 killed in a mosque today). The president has no plan and wants to leave the problems for the next administration.

[*] Exit strategy is victory.

[*] Mr. Lieberman didn't just support the war, he failed to see that it was being won once it started.

[*] Homeland security is not a pork-barrel project.

[*] People willing to trash veterans to win are people that deserve contempt not votes.

[*] Reagan Democrats put country before party and Republican moderates know they must do the same in November.

[*] Social Security will be on the chopping block again if Republicans win.

Victory in November requires a winning attitude as much as anything else. A team that wins doesn't get rattled by falling behind, nor does it get rattled by gaining the advantage. While the clock runs a winning team plays hard, adjusts to counter-attack, and gets up after being knocked down and looks their opponent in the eye and smiles.

I see that attitude in Mr. Murtha and Russ Feingold. I'm surprised to see it in Al Gore now. Howard Dean nearly has it. Harry Reid definitely has got game.

Fight Arjunas!

Lamont licks Lieberman

Ned Lamont defeated incumbent Joe Lieberman in the democratic Connecticut primary. Mr. Lieberman immediately proved he was a democrat in name only by announcing an independent bid.

Jilted Joe

Garnering a miniscule amount of votes in his presidential bid was not enough rejection for Joe.

Being defeated as an incumbent in his home state was not enough rejection for Joe.

Is he now willing to become a spoiler and be relegated to the Ralph Nader lecture circuit?

How low can Joe go?

Here is an analysis of what Joe's vanity candidacy means for the democratic party: Jumpin' Joe

ADDENDUM: Here is a good analysis of what made Joe Lieberman a loser: Head in Clouds

And my two additional cents are, "It's Ned Lamont. He's a good candidate. He ran a good campaign. He's disciplined and quick-witted. He's good on camera. People like him. Sure Joe helped him by being as out of touch as George HW Bush with grocery-store technology, but what sunk Joe was Ned. Ned is the reason Joe lost. It's Ned I tells ya. Ned."

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Naomi too


Fred McDauber
Fred again
Faith Temple

And now...

Fred examined Naomi carefully as he looked up. He looked at the area around her eyes and the way she nervously moved her fingers. He thought he would try to make the conversation a little more interesting and see if he could discover the makeup of his guest. He breathed in and said, “It seems to me that a large contributor to societal decay is a slavish devotion to capitalism, which I guess people call market fundamentalism, but I like to call greediness. Take a simple thing like coffee, for instance, which used to have names like Italian Roast, and French Roast, and Mocha Java, and Kenya AA and so on. You could order Italian Roast coffee in Portland, Maine or Portland, Oregon, or Portland, England and everybody knew what you meant. You could see it in the store and know what you were buying. These roasts were good enough for a long time but now market forces insist we have Buddy’s Bad Blend or Nuevo Nightshade. Now if I try to get a cup of coffee I don’t know what I’m ordering and if I figure it out after a few trips to the store the name will change or the brand will be replaced and I wind up feeling like I don’t know the world around me. As time goes on the pace gets faster and faster and I feel like I’m spinning sometimes when all I want is the toothpaste I bought last week.”

Naomi blinked at Fred and then countered with, “I suppose what you are saying is that you feel adrift in a changing world, well that’s where the good Lord’s guiding hand can give you something to hold onto. He’s my rock and my salvation.”

Naomi’s religious rhetoric didn’t impress Fred, but her ability to quickly take something new and unexpected and incorporate it politely without being shaken off did. She would be harder to derail than he thought, but that thought invigorated his interest.

At that moment Faith came in with two glasses of water and set one down in front of Fred and Naomi. She scolded Fred for not having the manners to offer Naomi something to drink on such a warm afternoon, then she told Naomi if Fred’s talking wore her out she could chase him off for her. Naomi smiled and thanked Faith for the water and said she always enjoyed discussing her faith. Faith felt somewhat cheated but returned to the kitchen without a word.

Fred took a sip of water, shifted in his chair and then asked Naomi why she took up religion. He thought he already knew but wanted to draw her out of her protective layer of official duty. She began telling her story, “It was about 10 years ago that I became a witness. I had an accident that put me in the hospital for quite a while. I was full of pain all over and didn’t have nobody to come see me and the pain and the loneliness combined were just awful. One day a man came in and asked me if I would like company. He told me he was spreading the word of God and I didn’t care what he was spreading if it meant a moment to take my mind off my aches and pains, so I invited him in. Well he asked me if I had accepted Jesus Christ and I told him that I hadn’t. When he asked me, “Why?” I told him because when I call he doesn’t come and when I look he isn’t there and when I pray he doesn’t help me. I told him I didn’t believe it was possible to love someone and then let them come to harm. Can you believe it? I said those things and may the good Lord forgive me.”

Fred scratched under his hat a moment and knew he was getting somewhere now. He took another sip of water and then said, “I’d have to say that your replies were pretty sensible, especially given the state you were in. I know that there is some force of creation because absolutely nothing can make itself. A seed needs a tree and a tree needs a seed. A chicken needs an egg and an egg needs a chicken. It is like this with everything. Everything. But, I’ve never seen any evidence that convinces me that Jesus is real.”

Naomi paused a moment and looked at the floor. She seemed to be studying her hands in her lap and as she did Fred noticed that while her hair was curly she possessed a small bald spot near the back of her head. Naomi slowly looked up and she seemed more relaxed, but at the same time more resolute. She said, “My faith isn’t based on anything I can share as evidence, but I can tell you what happened. Shortly after I left the hospital I started attending (mass? Church? Kingdom hall?) with an open mind. One Sunday I learned that faith was based upon a belief in Him and I thought about what that meant. I decided to simply force myself to believe God was watching me to see what effect it had on me. I started praying. After a while I felt as though I had a new friend at my side. You know how when someone is staring at you, you can actually feel it? It works that way for me. I can actually feel Jesus nearby even now. He doesn’t speak to me in a literal sense, and I’m not sure if he understands or hears my prayers, but since I started really believing in Him he has been with me every step of the way.”

Fred thought about that for a moment and as he did so he scratched up under his hat and drank a little water. His view was that Naomi had managed to create an imaginary friend for herself in the same way many children do. He didn’t see the merit in a debate in which nothing could be examined in the light of Truth, so he said, “What do you suppose Jesus thinks of gossipers?”

Monday, August 07, 2006

Hezbollah was using UN post as shield

Hezbollah was using a UN observation post as a shield, according to the e-mail communication of Canadian Major General Lewis MacKenzie.

Details here

While this shows Israel did have a tactical reason to bomb a UN post which killed UN observers, it is very poor manners and exhibits a lack of respect for the UN and for innocent life. It also shows a clear lack of political sense, isolating Israel further and garnering sympathy for Hezbollah.

This squandering of international support reminds me of US actions in the aftermath of 9/11, which turned a world ready to help into a confederation of cold shoulders.

A thought

I thought of a name for a band that I like, but since I don't have a band I'll pass it on:

Urban Smile Compromise

I think it would suit a soulful act like the Staple Singers.

Friday, August 04, 2006


I think George W. Bush is best described as a fascist. John Dean prefers to call the president authoritarian. President Bush seems to prefer the phrase unitary executive.

You may find all these descriptions too flattering after reading this story, which highlights the president's latest unAmerican activities:

Bush seeks kangaroo courts

Osama must love this guy.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The second kick from a mule

While many neo-clowns clamor for war with Iran, perhaps it is wise to wonder what an irate Iran is capable of inflicting?

Iran's strengths

Joe Biden once lamented that there was, "no potential for education in the second kick from a mule." That succinctly sums up the futility of a neo-con in action.

With a riding crop
and a hoof-print on my head.
I boldly call for
more mules to strike dead.

A mule can strike a blow
But this one won't I know
Just bring it here and I'll
strike it's rear

And we'll do it all again....

With a riding crop
and two hoof-prints on my head.
I boldly call for
more mules to strike dead.

etc. and etc. and etc. and etc.

Lieberman's lament

Here is why Joe Lieberman's seat ain't safe:

Lamont on Colbert

Ned Lamont, you see, is a terrific candidate.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


I think that one reason intellectuals are regarded as wishy-washy is because they like to think things through before giving an answer, and when you do that simplicity evaporates.

In order to demonstrate what I am talking about I will hit you with two statements that seem undeniably True, while somewhat contradictory.

The unexamined life is not worth living

Socrates, in Plato, Dialogues, Apology
Greek philosopher in Athens (469 BC - 399 BC)

The unlived life is not worth examining

Sometimes attributed to Tom Morris

It is hard to deny that both statements are True and it takes a moment to bring them together in harmony, for instance...

Periodically examine your life to be sure it is worth living.

Information and debate have been hijacked by the appeal of ignorant action. To act immediately is somehow more respectable than to act wisely. Ignorant action is held in such high regard that president Bush could be reelected on the appeal of his foolish consistency:

Dead or Alive.
Bring 'em on.
Smoke him out.
Mission accomplished.
With us or against us.
War on terror.
Axis of evil.
Evil doers.
Cards on the table.
Turning the corner.
Roadmap to peace.

The fact that all of these rhetorical reductions are linked to failed policies seems insignificant in this era of unenlightenment. Voters prefer to be led by the bull than the matador.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Conservatives Without Conscience

John Dean has written a book about the Republican party and how it has been taken over by "Conservatives Without Conscience". You may read an excerpt of the book on-line and to tempt you I provide a small quote to whet your appetite:

"If truthfulness about extramarital affairs had been a requisite for everyone in Congress to hold their seats before they voted to oust Clinton, neither the House nor the Senate could have formed a quorum."

Part 1 of 3

Part 2 of 3

Part 3 of 3

Friday, July 28, 2006

Click for details Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Is it the C.O.?

Conservatives like Newt Gingrich couldn't stand Colin Powell for his "disloyalty" to president Bush.

Conservatives like Newt Gingrich cannot stand Condi Rice for her "incompetence on most foreign policy issues".

I got to thinking...what is it about Condi Rice and Colin Powell that might single them out for attack from Republicans like Newt?

Is it that they both work at the State Department?

Is it that both of their first names start with C.O.?

A look at Newt's solution to the problem, James Baker III, does seem to support the notion that Newt has a problem with names that start with C.O.

Perhaps Condi should change her name to something like Janice? Janice Rice does have a nice ring to it!

Black like Condi

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Then and Now


"The problems in Iraq are ahead of us, but we're doing better than people think. And a year from now, I'll be very surprised if there is not some grand square in Baghdad that is named after President Bush. There is no doubt that, with the exception of a very small number of people close to a vicious regime, the people of Iraq have been liberated and they understand that they've been liberated. And it is getting easier every day for Iraqis to express that sense of liberation."

Richard Perle - 9/22/03


"Israel must now deal a blow of such magnitude to those who would destroy it as to leave no doubt that its earlier policy of acquiescence is over. This means precise military action against Hezbollah and its infrastructure in Lebanon and Syria [emphasis added], for as long as it takes and without regard to mindless diplomatic blather about proportionality."

- Richard Perle, New York Times op-ed piece published on July 23, 2006

Snarky comments

[*] Perhaps Iraqis are irrationally discontent or too modest to express that sense of liberation.

[*] Israel should indeed ignore mindless blather whether or not it comes from a diplomat.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The rockets red glare

Thoughts on Israel/Hezbollah war:

[*] A lot of people blame Israeli behavior in Lebanon on the kidnapping of two soldiers. Their reaction is "disproportionate" these people say. I sez Israeli behavior is more likely explained by the rockets Hezbollah started lobbing at Haifa. No country can allow a million of its citizens to live in bomb shelters without a heavy response.

[*] Israel is a democracy and their form of government isn't spreading throughout the region. I wonder if US planners thought of that when they invaded Iraq.

[*] Bombs are deployed with more haste than secretaries of state.

[*] I always recognize a foolish war in three ways:

1. Is it an aggressive war?
2. Do the politicians lie to their own people to get it on?
3. Is anybody talking about what comes after?

With regard to the current conflict in Lebanon I think Israel can answer No, No, and No scoring two out of three.

But, point three will mean the difference between another futile occupation and a focused rolling back of a hostile enemies capabilities. It can also tie in with the over-all effort if ordinary Lebanese believe Israel will help them rebuild and strengthen their official government.

[*] Western-style democracies ought to stand together but Israel makes it difficult with their really bad PR. Maybe they should join NATO if they want to receive our support in conflicts.

[*] The US made a half-assed attempt to help Lebanon get the Syrian influence out, but should have pressed hard to find out who killed Rafik Hariri, then followed up with carrots to the fledgling government. Rhetoric doesn't rebuild.

[*] God doesn't kill people. People kill people.

[*] Hezbollah is akin to an American militia arming itself and then deciding to fire rockets at Canada from the heart of downtown Detroit. Hezbollah wants to draw an Israeli response that will kill their own compatriots, then blame Israel for the deaths. Israel is happy to oblige if it means their own citizens suffer less for it and who can blame them.

[*] Because Israel has a right to defend itself that doesn't mean they have a free pass to inflict citizen casualties. They must uphold honor to uphold morale.

[*] Israel has a long tradition of fighting well and deserves more credit for it than they get. Hezbollah isn't dropping leaflets on Haifa to warn Israeli citizens of incoming missiles, but Israel is doing that for Lebanese just the same.

[*] I saw that the US just made a rather large arms sale to Saudi Arabia. That seems really stupid. I bet most of those weapons are used against US soldiers and Israeli soldiers.

Foot Quotes

"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge"

Charles Darwin