Tuesday, November 15, 2005

They're Heeeeeeeere

I've gotten really busy as of late and have not been able to blog. This afternoon I was running an errand when I pulled up in back of a van that had the fish symbol on it.

Okay, seen it a lot before. Free speech. Sometime soon I'm going to have to put my "Tuna Fish" symbol on my car.

But then I looked below and the sticker I saw gave me a shiver.
It looked something like this:

Please, this is Massachusetts! Can we stay an ID free zone?

Friday, November 11, 2005

The flag is not a religious symbol

Now I for one don't like seeing the American flag being torched. But it is free speech, and therefore protected. When's the last time you saw a Chinese flag burned in a protest in China, or an Iranian flag burned in a protest in Iran (against Iranian policies)? Would Saddam have allowed the Iraqi flag to be burned? Of course not!

I do think it's wrong to equate a national symbol with a religious symbol, or even put it on a similar footing with the same kind of reverence. In fact I believe it to be cultish and sacrilegious to accord the flag a religious symbol like status.

But isn't it interesting that right wingers get far more exercised over setting the flag on fire than they do setting a cross on fire.

A Bad Stump Speech Is Poor Tribute on Veterans Day

So what did the Bible Belt do to tick off God?

Last Tuesday the people of Dover, PA decided to replace all it's school board members there that were trying bring ID (intelligent design) to it's classroom.

Yesterday on the 700 Club, Rev. Pat Robertson said this about that:
“I’d like to say to the good citizens of Dover. If there is a disaster in your area, don’t turn to God, you just rejected Him from your city. And don’t wonder why He hasn’t helped you when problems begin, if they begin. I’m not saying they will, but if they do, just remember, you just voted God out of your city. And if that’s the case, don’t ask for His help because he might not be there.”
Correct me if I'm wrong but don't the most natural disasters (that man does not contribute to, such as not understanding topography when building in a landslide/mudslide area) happen in the Bible Belt?

With the exception of the occasional flood, errant tornado and bitter cold, very few disasters (by contrast) happen in the North East, or even the North or West. Most (hurricanes and tornadoes) seem to happen in the South, where luck would have it Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Franklin Graham et. al. are.

So if rejection of the Christian God in public school classrooms is going to bring out the wrath of God, or at the very least have God turn his/her back on an area, well then one's got to ask: "What did you all in the Bible Belt South do to tick off God so often and consistently?"

But maybe Rev. Robertson's mouth got him into trouble again because he just confirmed that ID is about a Christian Creator into the public school classroom. I'll let my kids learn about that in our church, thank you.

700 club Video

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Republicans show how they really feel about our service men and women

Being the ex-wife of a Vietnam Veteran I already knew they felt this way, so this really isn't any surprise. Whenever cuts, empty or broken promises have come to veterans, especially disabled veterans, it's usually Republicans who are doing it. Democrats usually restore benefits.

But this isn't even in the usual realm of subterfuge.
WASHINGTON, Nov. 10 /U.S. Newswire/ -- A proposal to end the long-standing practice of veterans groups addressing a joint session of the House and Senate Veterans' Affairs Committees is an insult to all who have fought, sacrificed and died to defend the Constitution, according to the Disabled American Veterans (DAV). And in a strongly worded letter to House Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Steve Buyer (R-Ind.), the DAV has urged him to continue the joint hearings as an invaluable tool in formulating public policy toward America's veterans.

Chairman Buyer recently announced that veterans service organizations will no longer have the opportunity to present testimony before a joint hearing of the House and Senate Veterans' Affairs Committees.

"The tradition of legislative presentations by veterans service organizations dates back to at least the 1950s. And the timing of this announcement -- just before Veterans Day -- could not have been worse," said DAV National Commander Paul W. Jackson.

Veterans Lash Out at Loss of Voice on Capitol Hill
Veterans Day Outrage

The fifty gafaws of a president

The sad thing is that there is enough material to fill up all fifty stars and then some. I was saying to my nephew the other day that every time I hear the president say "ta" instead of "to" it irritates, like fingernails on a chalk board. His elemtary school English teacher must be turning over in her/his grave. I know it causes other English teachers to have nightmares.

BTW how can this guy talk about literacy and "no child left behind" when he is proud that he doesn't read? Oxymoron?

This is funny though:

George Bush Misunderestimated

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Black Fridays

Black Friday's are our answer to the Red Fridays we found out about on Americablog this past Saturday. The original letter (below) is being circulated among right wingers. This is our answer, please send to your friends and relatives, make Friday's black.

*** begin cut and paste *****

BLACK FRIDAYS --- Very soon you will see a great many people wearing Black every Friday. Why? Because while we are true and patriotic Americans who support our men and women who serve our country, we are concerned that we were lied into a war that had no planning, troops poorly outfitted and under supported, and clearly no plans to win the peace. We are now mired in a conflict with no foreseeable end.

We love our country and we support our service men and women, even when the government continues to break their promises to them. We are not organized, boisterous or over-bearing. We will probably get no media coverage on TV, to reflect our message or our opinions.

Many Americans, like you, me and all our friends, simply want to recognize that the vast majority of America supports our troops, but do not support the poorly planned war that is draining our resources and crippling us at home. Our answer and idea of showing solidarity and support for our troops with dignity and respect starts this Friday -and continues each and every Friday until the troops all come home. We hope to send a defining message that the majority of Americans who love this country, and support those who serve, are deeply disturbed by this White House and how we entered into this war. We will wear black.

By word of mouth, email, blogs, press, TV -- let's make the United States on every Friday a sea of black. War is not a game, it is not a homecoming, it is something to be taken seriously. As seriously as those, who now number over 2,000, took it when they gave up their lives in the service of this country.

Our patriotism, our love of this country and the people in it should never be questioned. If every one of us will share this with acquaintances, co-workers, friends, and family, it will not be long before the USA is covered in BLACK. It is not pleasant, nor a raucous party but it is the color of mourning, respect, concern and solemnity with which we believe war truly is.

We will not wear the Friday red of others and celebrate the spilling of blood, bloodlust or join a cheering section of those who celebrate the loss of our men and women in arms. As they said in their letter: “THEIR BLOOD RUNS RED---- SO WEAR RED!”.

Show your love of your fellow man, those men and women in arms, and this country by letting the world and this administration know that those who fight have your utmost respect, that you will not forget them and that their lives and their blood are taken seriously. That they deserve a government and a people who take it seriously too.

Wear black every Friday until our service people come home.



*** end cut and paste ****

Original Red Friday letter
RED FRIDAYS ----- Very soon, you will see a great many people wearing Red every Friday. The reason? Americans who support our troops used to be called the "silent majority". We are no longer silent, and are voicing our love for God, country and home in record breaking numbers. We are not organized, boisterous or over-bearing. We get no liberal media coverage on TV, to reflect our message or our opinions.

Many Americans, like you, me and all our friends, simply want to recognize that the vast majority of America supports our troops. Our idea of showing solidarity and support for our troops with dignity and respect starts this Friday -and continues each and every Friday until the troops all come home, sending a deafening message that.. Every red-blooded American who supports our men and women afar will wear something red.

By word of mouth, press, TV -- let's make the United States on every Friday a sea of red much like a homecoming football game in the bleachers. If every one of us who loves this country will share this with acquaintances, co-workers, friends, and family. It will not be long before the USA is covered in RED and it will let our troops know the once "silent" majority is on their side more than ever, certainly more than the media lets on.

The first thing a soldier says when asked "What can we do to make things better for you?" is...We need your support and your prayers. Let's get the word out and lead with class and dignity, by example; and wear some thing red every Friday.




Special thanks to Carol for posting the Red Friday letter on AmericaBlog and Linda for proofing the Black Friday letter.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

The failed memorandum

January 20, 2001


SUBJECT: Standards of Official Conduct

Everyone who enters into public service for the United States has a duty to the American people to maintain the highest standards of integrity in Government. I ask you to ensure that all personnel within your departments and agencies are familiar with, and faithfully observe, applicable ethics laws and regulations, including the following general principles from the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch:

(1) Public service is a public trust, requiring employees to place loyalty to the Constitution, the laws, and ethical principles above private gain.

(2) Employees shall not hold financial interests that conflict with the conscientious performance of duty.

(3) Employees shall not engage in financial transactions using nonpublic Government information or allow the improper use of such information to further any private interest.

(4) An employee shall not, except as permitted by applicable law or regulation, solicit or accept any gift or other item of monetary value from any person or entity seeking official action from, doing business with, or conducting activities regulated by the employee's agency, or whose interests may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the employee's duties.

(5) Employees shall put forth honest effort in the performance of their duties.

(6) Employees shall not knowingly make unauthorized commitments or promises of any kind purporting to bind the Government.

(7) Employees shall not use public office for private gain.

(8) Employees shall act impartially and not give preferential treatment to any private organization or individual.

(9) Employees shall protect and conserve Federal property and shall not use it for other than authorized activities.

(10) Employees shall not engage in outside employment or activities, including seeking or negotiating for employment, that conflict with official Government duties and responsibilities.

(11) Employees shall disclose waste, fraud, abuse, and corruption to appropriate authorities.

(12) Employees shall satisfy in good faith their obligations as citizens, including all just financial obligations, especially those -- such as Federal, State, or local taxes -- that are imposed by law.

(13) Employees shall adhere to all laws and regulations that provide equal opportunity for all Americans regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or handicap.

(14) Employees shall endeavor to avoid any actions creating the appearance that they are violating applicable law or the ethical standards in applicable regulations.

Executive branch employees should also be fully aware that their post-employment activities with respect to lobbying and other forms of representation will be bound by the restrictions of 18 U.S.C. 207.

Please thank the personnel of your departments and agencies for their commitment to maintain the highest standards of integrity in Government as we serve the American people.

Did you happen to count all those "standards" that this White House has failed at?

Standards of Official Conduct

Friday, November 04, 2005

Just an FYI

American Muslim Women blog is now up! Slowly through Eid our team members are accepting their invites and jumping aboard. Check it out!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

They're growing em! Bravo!

Yesterday it was "Give 'em Hell," Harry Reid (Senate) today it is Nancy Pelosi (House).
The Resolution
The video (wmv file)
The vote

Comment from hopelesspedant on AmericaBlog
One reason for a no vote is that if under parliamentary rules, only a person from the winning side can move to reconsider a vote. Therefore, someone who actually would have voted yes if it were the winning side would cast a no vote to allow for that.

It sounds confusing, but it is a maneuver done all the time.


Bush's new internal struggle and Maher Arar's Bush induced reality

From Americablog today, Bush Administration Debating Whether Torture Is Good
Hey, at least there's some sort of internal struggle on whether we should be torturing people (with Cheney leading the "torture is good" camp). But how sad that Bush has lowered our standards that this is even a topic of discussion in America.
Here is my response on the comment section which will be wiped when the issue goes to the next page:

From the NYT article:
"The uniformed service lawyers are behind the rewrite because it brings the policy into line with Geneva," one senior defense official said. "Their concern was that we were losing our standing with allies as well as the moral high ground with the rest of the world."
We've already lost those things. We aren't going to even begin put that genie back in the bottle until Bushco is out of the White House. The torture Bushco has been okay with until now (and I'll remind you Alan Dershowitz has little problem with it either) has already done us great harm in our standing in the world. How can we morally push others for greater human rights when our current leaders have had no problem with violating them? Those that we castigate now look at us, laugh and point to the torture we've allowed and promoted. They don't take us seriously any more.

And how about those innocents we've already wrongly tortured or gave over for "extraordinary rendition" to be tortured in our name? Like Maher Arar:

The secret history of America’s “extraordinary rendition” program.
On January 27th, President Bush, in an interview with the Times, assured the world that “torture is never acceptable, nor do we hand over people to countries that do torture.” Maher Arar, a Canadian engineer who was born in Syria, was surprised to learn of Bush’s statement. Two and a half years ago, American officials, suspecting Arar of being a terrorist, apprehended him in New York and sent him back to Syria, where he endured months of brutal interrogation, including torture. When Arar described his experience in a phone interview recently, he invoked an Arabic expression. The pain was so unbearable, he said, that “you forget the milk that you have been fed from the breast of your mother.”
He's a broken man
"Although he initially tried to assert his innocence, he eventually confessed to anything his tormentors wanted him to say. “You just give up,” he said. “You become like an animal.”

A year later, in October, 2003, Arar was released without charges, after the Canadian government took up his cause. Imad Moustapha, the Syrian Ambassador in Washington, announced that his country had found no links between Arar and terrorism. Arar, it turned out, had been sent to Syria on orders from the U.S. government, under a secretive program known as “extraordinary rendition.” This program had been devised as a means of extraditing terrorism suspects from one foreign state to another for interrogation and prosecution. Critics contend that the unstated purpose of such renditions is to subject the suspects to aggressive methods of persuasion that are illegal in America—including torture.

Arar is suing the U.S. government for his mistreatment. “They are outsourcing torture because they know it’s illegal,” he said. “Why, if they have suspicions, don’t they question people within the boundary of the law?”

Rendition was originally carried out on a limited basis, but after September 11th, when President Bush declared a global war on terrorism, the program expanded beyond recognition—becoming, according to a former C.I.A. official, “an abomination.”
Mahrer Arar's case (read the entire article) makes it clear that Bush's statement; “torture is never acceptable, nor do we hand over people to countries that do torture.”, was and is a lie. Another lie.

I'm sure Bush's new debate and internal struggle will comfort Mr. Arar, along with all those innocents who've been tortured or kept in 2 years of solitary confinement here in the US, without trail or conviction.

One more question, "Why is Bush going after Syria now when Syria has helped this administration torture people?"

Eid Mubarak

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Did we (the US) undermine the freedom movement in Iran

Because of the war in Iraq, our tough talk, and our own renegade posturing did we just undermine and betray all the moderate voices in Iran?
TEHRAN, Iran - Iran's hard-line government said Wednesday it was removing 40 ambassadors and senior diplomats, including supporters of warmer ties with the West, from their posts in a shake-up that comes as the Islamic republic takes a more confrontational international stance.
I'm sure these indigenous freedom/democracy fighters will some day thank us for setting them back 25 years.



If I shopped at Ambercrombie and Fitch I'd join these girls and the "girlcott." And I hope my daughter does. As it is I can only say "brava, go girls!"

Finally girls are taking on the disturbing trend of more and more objectification of women. I was beginning to wonder if we'd start seeing a new version of the Doral "taste me" ad and jingle and I absolutely shuttered when I recently saw a woman draped all over a new car in an advertisement. We are going back in time.

The two tees that were discussed with Katie Couric, "With these who needs brains?," and "Gentlemen perfer tig old bitties" are not on the on-line Ambercrombie and Fitch website store, but probably can still be purchased on site.

With so many problems with girls and their view of self, why are we continuing to think this is okay? Interestingly enough Paula Zahn NOW" this week is taking on eating disorders 'Walking the Thin Line' . One girl's eating disorder started when she was 5 years old.

Attitude Tees - - - Embellished Tees

see also:

Hello?! Washington Republicans, are you listening?

Yesterday Colorado voted to "give up" $3.7 billion in tax refunds over the next five years to ease their strict spending limits imposed by TABOR (Taxpayer's Bill of Rights). They agreed to do this instead of cutting services (education, roads, etc.) and borrowing 2.1 billion dollars.

Turn out for this vote was higher than expected. So high infact that several polling places ran out of ballots.

Washington Republican's are you hearing this? You've told us over and over again that the "nation" wants their money back. What might this tell you about the mood of the country?

Are you going to continue to put the lives and welfare of women, children, the poor, the elderly and the powerless in jeapordy? Are you going to continue to mortgage the future of the nation's children by your continued reckless borrowing? Are you going to continue to hand back tax "rebates" (that depleted a "rainy day reserve")? Or are you going to start listening to the people?

This red state could be your bell weather of things to come. I hope so.

see also:

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Golly Moses you've got to be kidding

After a full day of trying to tame my computer so I could post tonight, I gave up, only to find this ad on yahoo! -->

Are you kidding me? *The* party of "family values" and "morals" is testing the waters for a man who was most notable prior to 9-11 for his wife and his mistress having a very public fight over who got to live in the marital abode . You've got to be kidding.



Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Homeland security money going to where it will do the most "good"

This came from AMERICAblog; Homeland Security monies going to protect Bingo

Kentucky has been awarded a federal Homeland Security grant aimed at keeping terrorists from using charitable gaming to raise money.

The state Office of Charitable Gaming won the $36,300 grant and will use it to provide five investigators with laptop computers and access to a commercially operated law-enforcement data base, said John Holiday, enforcement director at the Office of Charitable Gaming.

The idea is to keep terrorists from playing bingo or running a charitable game to raise large amounts of cash, Holiday said.
Anyone who has worked at bingo knows that far more money is spent on multiple cards, and traipsing to each hall night after night, then what is won. Three hundred dollars here, one hundred dollars there after several weeks of buying several cards, sitting for hours in smoky rooms, is the purview of little old ladies and aged veterans. Do they think some young Arab or Muslim looking face, are going to be over looked? Plus the money is in running the games NOT playing the games. Just like in state lotteries.

With that said let's also forget that bingo is gambling and Islam forbids gambling. No mosque, Islamic organization or Islamic school raises funds/cash by having bingo or even raffles. So with that in mind, where would these bingo games operate and who would be their target clientele?
1,300 organizations licensed to raise money through gambling, charitable gaming raised $51 million in 2003.
So there a 1,300 licensed organizations and they are probably Catholic schools/churches/orgs, DAV, VFW, AFL, and who else? So either Kentucky cannot/ could not catch these guys applying for a license or find the unlicensed NEWLY formed games.

Where is the draw going to come from? Not from the American Muslim community. So they'd need to advertise. And you're telling me that Kentucky doesn't have enough smart policing agencies to find this out? Or do they think they're going to muscle their way in to a Catholic charity or veteran’s organization and get away with it?

This is not only pork but it plays into people's ignorance and fears.

Why does this administration make me more and more depressed every day?

Monday, October 24, 2005

Our New National Emblem

Thanks to suebeehoneytree on Ed Schultz's message board.

Yet another crony up for a job she's not qualified for.

No it's not Miers, it's Ellen Sauerbrey. She's being nominated to be the Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration

She unqualified for this position because:

  1. she does not support women's reproductive and health rights

  2. as Ambassador to the UN Commission on the Status of Women she has prioritized politics over the needs and rights of women

  3. she would be responsible for working with the United Nations but has said that she is "not terribly interested in the UN because we don't see it as a friendly forum"

  4. she has no experience with refugee protection

  5. she has no experience with responding to complex humanitarian emergencies

source: Gender Health.org

Call your Senators if they are on the Foreign Relations Committee today if you live in AK, CA, CT, DE, FL, IL, IN, MA, MD, MN, NE, NH, OH, RI, TN, VA, or WI, or call both Senator Lugar's office (chair of the committee) and Senator Biden's office (ranking member on the committee).

Senators who review Sauerbrey's nomination will meet this week! (October 24th)

Go to genderhealth.org for more information

See also:

Sunday, October 23, 2005

GOP take on the mayor early

My husband and I were watch Law and Order Criminal Intent tonight when a political advertisement came on opposing Cranston Mayor, Stephen Lafferty. On first glance it's a pretty straight forward political attack add. In a small city of 80,000, Lafferty spent $15,000 in city money on surveillance cameras to catch city employees napping, raised taxes and the ad detailed some other problem which I can't remember now (but will edit in when I see the ad again).

Now the ad doesn't say whether it is targeting a possible mayoral re-election run in 2006 or for a possible senate run. One is actually left to assume it's to counter a possible mayoral re-election run. And that's when this ad takes a surreal quality. This attack ad is paid for by the National GOP Senate Committee.

Shot across the bow? Perhaps.

See also:

Something about Eddy

Okay hokey title I know. Here's some links you might want to investigate:

General Wes Clark on his website WesPAC, is urging people to send an email to Members of Congress now to persuade the Pentagon to enforce fair play on Armed Forces Radio by honoring their promise to broadcast Ed Schultz's radio show! Put Ed Schultz on Armed Forces Radio!
(hat tip: http://www.wegoted.com)

Democracy Radio (Ed's radio affliation) has a petition:
"Join thousands of other Americans in demanding that our troops around the world be provided a balanced political perspective on the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS)." Radio for the Troops

from Media Matters:
Rush Limbaugh still the only political radio show broadcast on American Forces Radio

Last year, with your help, Media Matters for America drew attention to right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh's presence as the sole political commentator on American Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS), a taxpayer-funded service that provides radio programming to American armed forces around the world. In the wake of Limbaugh's reckless and harmful endorsement of the prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib, Media Matters called for AFRTS to remove Limbaugh from its broadcast schedule.

There is no way to truly provide "balance" to Limbaugh's hateful rhetoric, which ranges from calling people "feminazis" to saying "A Chavez is a Chavez. These people have always been a problem" to claiming that women "actually wish" to be sexually harassed. But AFRTS was set to take a step in the right direction by adding progressive radio host Ed Schultz to its broadcast schedule, beginning October 17.

However, AFRTS put those plans on hold at the last minute -- and now claims it never decided to add Schultz in the first place. Defense Department official Allison Barber personally announced the cancellation just three days after Schultz drew attention to Barber's role in a controversial scripted event President Bush held last week. Barber reportedly called Schultz's producer at home on the morning of the 17th with the news that Schultz would not be broadcast on AFR. The Defense Department's apparent decision to cancel Schultz means that Limbaugh will continue as the only political commentator on American Forces Radio and Television Service.

The brave members of our armed forces deserve an alternative to Rush Limbaugh

Friday, October 21, 2005

Baptist 'comic books' distributed - warn of dangers of Islam & homosexuality

from "Inside Bay Area"
The small publication warned of the dangers of Islam, homosexuality and the teaching of evolution, while hailing the importance of traditional Baptist Christian values.

Pastor Gregory Bowser said he was not targeting Tracy Unified specifically with the message, but rather a national school system that promotes "anti-Christian propaganda" and its own "cultural agenda."

"There is too much anti-scholarly information being disseminated in schools across the country," said Bowser, noting that his church's presence was an informational effort and "not a protest."

Although the comic book discouraged homosexuality and identified Islam as a dangerous belief, Bowser said his main issue was with the teaching of evolution in public schools.

"There is nothing scientific about evolution. It is more of a philosophy than anything else," Bowser said, adding that he had studied science before finding his way to the ministry. "Unless it can be tested and proven, it's not science."
Yes, it's so wonderful to feel so much love from the country of your birth. On a positive note we Muslims have replaced feminism as a major American problem.

In email exchanges I've had with John Aravosis (AMERICAblog) he has wondered allowed why Muslims and gays don't share resources against all of this, since we are both pummeled by the same groups.

The answer is that we are, as a community dealing with many of the issues Christians dealt with 3 decades ago, child abuse, domestic violence, etc. While there are a lot of American Muslims who couldn't care less about what goes on in the bedroom of two consenting adults. Many still do.

Some will see this as where the Qu'ran is a living document and grows to encompass new scientific and psychological discoveries. Others will say, just as many Christians have said, "No! This is firm and uncompromising." It will probably "shake out" much as it has with Christians; two different sides.

For a different take on Islam you might want to visit Muslim Wake Up

So if I get hauled into court?

If I get hauled into court, can I get a change of judge if he/she is a Republican or an Evangelical Christian? I mean if Tom Delay can say that Democrats cannot be fair in their official judicial position well then I wouldn't expect Republicans to be fair.

This is something one would expect in a Third World country where tribes still fight over age old hatreds, not here. Tom and his ilk are further undermining that which he seeks to export to other countries.

New stuff at the Polis store

I've changed the products in the Polis store. three items.

The bumper sticker looks better that I can make it here .

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Limbaugh, NPR and Ed

Limbaugh says that he is the balance on AFRN because it carries NPR. He contends that AFRN doesn't need Ed. However, many on the left have noticed a steady shift to the right in NPR since Kenneth Tomlinson (AFOK) was named to CPB’s Board of Directors. Many long time NPR liberal listeners now turn off NPR.

Ed Schultz remarked on his radio program the other day that there is a vast difference between public and commercial radio and television. And he is right! This is something that conservatives like Limbaugh have said for years. So to try make an equal comparison between public and commercial media now is disingenuous.

Ed is the true balance to Limbaugh on AFRN because he's a liberal in the commercial market. Until now, Limbaugh liked to trumpet that liberal talk shows could not flourish in commercial radio. That the only place they could project their ideas was on NPR. They were not, as he liked to say, commercially viable.

Air America, Democracy Radio and Ed Schultz are proving Limbaugh wrong and that's his real rub. Plus Ed is actually in "fly over country" delivering his radio show from North Dakota. Limbaugh broadcasts from New York City or Florida, but says he speaks for the heartland of America. In addition Ed takes his radio show on the road, something Limbaugh rarely does. (Rush on Broadway is not a live radio show) So who's really out of touch?

Limbaugh really doesn't want to go head to head with an equal on the other side of the aisle, a conservative commercial talk radio host vs. a liberal commercial talk radio host. Despite all his "free market" talk he would rather not compete that way.

*AFOK = A friend of Karl (Rove)

Ed protest banner

See also:

Cheney and Halliburton stock

Another thought as my brain swims in Nyquil. What will a Cheney indictment mean to Halliburton and the stock and stock options he holds?

Could this mean that this behemoth and beneficiary in millions of no bid contracts will be dragged into and down with all of this? Will Cheney do a Frist and unload his stock and exercise his options in the next few days/weeks? Could this take down a major financer of the Bush-Cheney regime?

Watching Chris Matthews got me thinking in this direction.

Who might proceed Cheney

Okay, so this might be the product of a Nyquil induced haze, but I was thinking of who might proceed Cheney when (if) he's indicted, prosecuted and ends up in jail.

Personally, I think Bush will put in a woman. With all that's going on and going down in this White House, one sure way to cement a positive note for himself in history is to get a woman (finally) in the "second chair."

And he will pick someone he knows.

So who might it be?
Condi Rice
Harriet Miers
Karen Hughes
Allison Barber

Had it not beeen for the "Iraq Group" I would have also included Mary Matalin.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Our fight at city hall

Last night I was part of a very large grass roots effort to fight a planned development. However I seem to have contracted a nasty head cold from the event and my sinuses have been pounding all day. Tell you all more later.

Good night.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Put this on your blog or webpage! PROTEST!

Protest 24/7

I'm going to bump this. I was waiting to see if Ed had a problem with me using his "head." He doesn't seem to, so now I'm running with this.

Put the "Let ED Be Heard" Banner protest banner on your blog or website.

Do a right click and save one or both of these images do your computer. Then load it onto your web page or in the side/bar, link column in your blog. Then link the image to Ed's page so that information on this can be current. http://www.wegoted.com

If you don't know how to put this into your blogspot template, place a comment on this blog and I will try and help you.

Personally I'd like to see this as a constant protest and reminder until Ed is on AFRN.

From the previous post (with images)
What was done to Ed Schultz today is, well, unprofessional and just plain wrong. It's petty. If they had heard him on Friday and knew he wasn't going to be on AFRN then they would have called him Friday. Not 6am on the day of the first show.

Either they planned this well in advance, and are using it as an attempt to demoralize the opposition, or some immature person got their knickers in a twist and had to take it out on Ed in the most juvenile way possible.

So here is my protest. I made two because I couldn't decide which I liked better.

And I'm going to link it to Ed's page:

see also

What did/will Lou Dobbs do?

Maybe he's already done it. I don't know, I was away last night. But he's got to be "a little miffed" at this whole Miller debacle. He sat there night after night on CNN counting her days in jail and being one of the staunchest defenders of her right to protect her sources.

Now I may not agree with Lou Dobbs, and often I don't. I do respect him. His credibly is damaged (like many in the media) and he doesn't strike me as someone who takes to kindly to that. Currently his CNN web page says nothing but has a link to his Oct 7 interview with Miller.

Editor and Publisher put it this way:

NEW YORK CNN's Lou Dobbs was perhaps Judith Miller's biggest TV supporter during her 85 days in jail, and the New York Times reporter recognized this Tuesday, granting him an exclusive interview.
Now they have stories that say :
"I'm not willing to work further on this project with Judy Miller. ... I do not trust her work, her judgment, or her conduct. She is an advocate, and her actions threaten the integrity of the enterprise, and of everyone who works with her."
But didn't red flags begin to go up when Miller got a call in jail from Cheney September 28 and she was released the next day (September 29, 2005)? It did for me.

She seems to have developed selective amnesia since being relased from prison.

See also:
Disgrace to Journalism - Daily Kos
Newspaper Editors Dissect Miller Reports -- E&P
After 'NY Times' Probe: Keller Should Fire Miller--and Apologize to Readers E&P
Does Judy Have a Security Clearance? by John Conyers - Huff Post
Judith Miller's First Amendment Conflict -- Huff Post
Blogging with Blue
NY Times Willing To Lie For White House - Americablog
Playing Dumb About Scooter -- Huff Post
Judy on Judy -- Huff Post
Flame On, Flame Off -- Huff Post
Judy the Obscure -- Huff Post

(hat tip; Pre$$titutes)

Monday, October 17, 2005

When I heard about Ed I was so outraged I couldn't speak about it

Now that I've got a spare minute. . .

What was done to Ed Schultz today is, well, unprofessional and just plain wrong. It's petty. If they had heard him on Friday and knew he wasn't going to be on AFRN then they would have called him Friday. Not 6am on the day of the first show.

Either they planned this well in advance, and are using it as an attempt to demoralize the opposition, or some immature person got their knickers in a twist and had to take it out on Ed in the most juvenile way possible.

So here is my protest. I made two because I couldn't decide which I liked better.

And I'm going to link it to Ed's page:

see also

And who do you think has won the hearts and minds?

Some extremist Islamic groups have reportedly moved into Pakistan's earthquake-hit areas in the absence of the military, winning the victims' gratitude.

"They (the extremists) helped us when everyone else had forgotten us," said one woman in the Pakistan-occupied part of Kashmir, which took the brunt of the 7.7 quake's wrath.
Someone or some group will always step in and fill the void. Can we really afford it to be Al-Qaida?

And do you think that this will aid in Al-Qaida recruitment?

Militant Groups Reach Quake-Hit Areas

What 2,000 looks like


Saturday, October 15, 2005

It WAS scripted and it WAS staged - admit it and move on

Look when you tell someone who's going to be on camera or in front of an audience this:

Barber: "Master Sargent Lambardo when you're talking about the president coming to see you in New York, take a little breath before that so you can be talking directly to him."
you are staging/coaching/directing.

And even Barber herself said it was scripted

"But if he gives us a question that is not something that we have scripted, Captain Kennedy you are going to have the mic and that's your chance to impress us all."
Then the "conversation"

THE PRESIDENT: Captain Kennedy?

CAPTAIN KENNEDY: Yes, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, it's good to see you. Thanks. Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to allow me to visit with you a little bit. I've got some questions for you here in a minute, but I do want to share some thoughts with you.

First, I want to thank the members of the 42nd Infantry Division and Task Force Liberty for serving our country with such distinction and honor. I want you to know that the mission you are on is vital to achieving peace and to protecting America. One of my most solemn duties, a duty that you have joined me on, is to protect the American people.

And we're facing an enemy that is ruthless and cold-blooded, an enemy that actually has a philosophy, and the philosophy is so opposite of ours, it is the exact opposite of what America stands for. We stand for religious freedom, and freedom to speak, and women's rights, and capacity for people to realize their dreams. They stand for a vision that is -- doesn't believe in freedom, that if you don't agree with their narrow point of view, that you're subject to reprisal.

And so I want to thank you for being a part of this global war. And Iraq is a part of the war, because the enemy understands that a free Iraq will be a blow to their vision and their strategy of spreading dominance throughout the broader Middle East. And so I want to thank you. When you email your families, you tell them how proud the Commander-in-Chief is of their patience and their support, as well.

One of the tactics of the enemy is to shake our will. Part of their strategy is to use the killing of innocent people to get the American government to pull you out of there before the mission is complete. I'm going to assure you of this, that so long as I'm the President, we're never going to back down, we're never going to give in, we'll never accept anything less than total victory. It's important for you to know that; it's important for the enemy to know that, as well.

We got a strategy, and it's a clear strategy. On the one hand, we will hunt down these killers and terrorists and bring them to justice, and train the Iraqi forces to join us in that effort.

The second part of the strategy is a political strategy, based upon the knowledge that you defeat a backward, dark philosophy with one that's hopeful. And that hopeful philosophy is one based upon universal freedom. I'm very impressed that the Iraqi government has continued to work to have a constitution that attracts Sunnis and Shias and Kurds. They've worked hard to get a constitution, and now the people of Iraq are going to get to vote once again, on a constitution, in this case.

And I want to thank you for providing the security necessary for people to exercise their free will. You're part of an historic mission that is laying the foundation for peace. I am convinced that when we look back at this time in history, those who follow us -- whether it be in the armed services or in the political process -- will say, thank goodness the United States of America didn't lose our nerve or will; that we've put in motion something that can't be stopped, and that is the march of freedom.

So I want to thank you for giving me a chance to visit with you. You just got to know the American people are proud of you. You've got tremendous support here at home. And there's nobody more proud of you than I am.

Let me ask you some questions, Captain, if you don't mind. One of the, you know, questions I have is about the pre-election operations, about what you've been doing, and what are the -- what's your strategy, and how do you think it's going for -- to make sure the people have a chance to vote.

By the way, you're in Tikrit, as I understand it, as well. It's kind of an interesting place to be. It's Saddam's old stomping grounds.

CAPTAIN KENNEDY: Good morning, Mr. President, from Tikrit. I'm Captain Brent Kennedy. To my right is Sergeant Major Akeel from the 5th Iraqi Army Division. We're working together here with the Iraqis in Task Force Liberty for the upcoming referendum. We're surging an operation, called Operation Saratoga, that includes the securing of over 1,250 polling sites. We're working right alongside with the Iraqis as they lead the way in securing these sites.

Does this sound like a conversation to you? Or does it more sound like a script that someone is so uncomfortable and nervous with, or even tasked with (these ARE military officiers after all) that they are not going to veer off of it, even to sound conversational?

People sound more conversational at Bush's staged "town hall meetings."

Also why are there only officiers and NCO's in this "conversation?"

The long and the short of it was/is, it was staged, and it was scripted. Can the White House be honest enough to just admit it?

White House transcript
Crooks and Liars
NBCs Nightly News: Pans Bush's Troop Photo-Op
Crooks and Liars
Olbermann: Troops Photo-Op - omits much of the President's statements before asking Captain Kennedy a question.
Photo-Op Exposed

Friday, October 14, 2005

MSM proves why the blogging world is so important

Glory Hallelujah! The MSM are now willing to admit publicly, what they and bloggers have known for years; that the White House press events are staged and scripted. With this development the MSM has also proven why the blogging world is so important. Bloggers have had this story first, have reported on it extensively and were not cowed by the administration. Much like the underground newspapers of the 60's and 70's.

Given the power of the blogosphere, especially the blogging left, the right is trying to minimize, control and maybe even destroy blogging. But reading the blogs you can get not only a fuller, fleshed out picture of the President's "conversation" with the troops, and analysis, but also a full understanding of how the MSM has failed. This is true of many topics about the White House and the political party that currently holds power.

What bloggers give to the nation is this depth, differing points of view, feet to the fire reporting and analysis. This is what has long been lacking in this nations MSM, and why many only go to the blogophere for news now.

Here's a sampling:

UPDATED TO ADD: The Moderate Voice Bush "Staged" Event Still Mired In Controversy, Staged Bush Military Photo Op Caught By Reporters: The Nose Grows?, The President's Teleconference Talk With Military From One Who Was There

See also:
O’Reilly Said He Had Trouble Booking Blog Segment, Actually Turned Guests Away
O’Reilly Deceives Guest Into Appearing on Blog Bashing Segment
Play or Pay
Chickens come home to roost... again... & again... & again
Live Journal

Fawell, Nye and Borowitz: Great CBS Roundtable

CBS - roundtable. This collection is almost too good to be true. (You may need to scroll down to "Natural Disasters & Religion")

Likewise is Falwell stating "the myth of global warming." (Smith does cut him off, and he doesn't allow Falwell to rebut Nye.)

Why is it that the majority of the science community says that there is no argument about if there is such a thing as global warming is over. There is global warming, argument over. But a couple of scientist can say "no it aint," and that's who Falwell (and Rush Limbaugh) decide to listen to?

I guess it's that same reason that they have a few scientists out of the majority say that evolution is a theory, so we need to teach the controversy. The only controversy is how this tiny group of dissenting opinions get to dictate policy(ies)

When Deanne Stillman discussed the Creation Evidence Museum, of Stillman, TX she gave everyone a taste of what was in a Q&A for kids about Noah and the flood:
Were humans different before the flood?"
"...They had no diseases, no asthma, no aches and pains...They never got depressed or scared...They could have jogged for miles without even getting tired!"
"Did people back then have to wear sunscreen?"
"No!...Before the flood there was a canopy of water that stretched around the Earth like a huge bubble...It will be like that again."
"...That's so neat!"
Her article was posted October 5, 2005. It is interesting to note that now on Ocotber 14, 2005 that particular lesson is not available. It is on Lesson 14 (you can't get a direct link. So when you are on the site look through the left column for "Creation Exploration (For Kids)"). Lesson 13 pop's up when you click it, Lesson 15 is the feature on the page, even Lesson 10 pops up when clicked.

But you click Lesson 14 and all you get is Lesson 13.
What? That belief or "proof" can't stand up to the glare of public scrutiny?

Well, when I read this I was hit with a feeling of deja vu. "What?" I thought "This crap is still around?" You see 30 years ago my aunt and cousin were involved in a church that believed this. 20 years ago I was able to help my cousin break free when she sought to extricate herself from the nonsense. I tried to show her that this stuff she had been taught was just a pound of manure.

You see if they had no diseases then they would have been living in years upon years of the debris of those who came before them. Why? Because many diseases are also decomposers.

I wish I could read all of their spoutings on this topic. As it is I'm going to go back and do a little more research.

See Also:
If I was a betting person

Is there a difference when liberals or conservatives engage in voter fraud?

Well maybe it's just that liberals get prosecuted.

According to prosecutors, Mora and another defendant filled out multiple voter registration forms using fraudulent or duplicate information. Both worked for Acorn, a liberal-leaning group that was the focus of the I-Team investigation into voter registration fraud last fall.

The investigation found Acorn workers were paid based on the number of people they registered to vote, or in many cases, how many completed voter registration forms they submitted to the organization.

Prosecutors believe Mora's sole motivation was money, and was not an attempt to manipulate the outcome of the 2004 election in any way.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

You've just entered the Twilight Zone

Medical paperwork is a world of co-payments and co-insurers, deductibles, exclusions and contracted fees. Nothing is as it seems: patients receive statements that often do not reflect what is actually owed; telephone calls to customer service agents are at best time-consuming and at worst fruitless. The explanations of benefits that insurers send out - known as E.O.B.'s - are filled with unintelligible codes.

The system is so impenetrable that it mystifies even the most knowledgeable.

"I'm the president's senior adviser on health information technology, and when I get an E.O.B. for my 4-year-old's care, I can't figure out what happened, or what I'm supposed to do," said Dr. David Brailer, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, whose office is in the Department of Health and Human Services. "I can't figure out what care it was related to or who did what."

Dr. Blackford Middleton, a professor at Harvard Medical School with special training in health services research, said he did not fare much better than Dr. Brailer.

"I understand the words of diagnoses and procedures," he said. "But codes? No. Or how things are paid or not paid? I don't understand that."

Dr. Brailer said he often used an analogy to describe the current state of medical billing.

"Suppose you walk into a restaurant," he said, "and you don't get a menu, you don't get any choice of what food you'll eat, they don't tell you what it is when they're serving it to you, they don't tell you what it's going to cost."
NY Times

As if it wasn't scary enough out there.

(hat tip to Prometheus 6)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

When will the left cry for and demand their "Parental Rights?"

I have to admit that over the past 2 years my feelings toward Christians has taken a direct hit. I know it's totally due to the Evangelical Christian lack of respect for other faiths and other peoples, and how they sometimes deceive to get to their ends (I despised the Taliban but they were somewhat right. The "Jesus" film that Curry and Mercer were showing is a evangelism conversion tool. Curry and Mercer were deceptive and dishonest in what they were doing. )

I now carefully read through any charity's website that I am thinking of giving to, to make sure it isn't Christian. If it is, I don't give. Yes I know there are a lot of Christian charities out there who do their good work as a service to mankind, and do not proselytize. But since one can never be sure, especially with deceptive practices, I give to nothing that's Christian. It also bother's me greatly that the American Red Cross is asking FEMA to reimburse religious charities for their work in Hurricane Katrina and Rita.

I don't want my federal tax dollars going to Operation Blessing, or anything like that that puts tracks into it's relief hand outs. If we Muslim's did anything like that we'd be handed our heads as trying to "take over" America. Why should my tax dollars similarly go to supporting another religion's proselytization?

Like wise I am very unhappy about the abortion debate, and unhappier still with American Muslim leaders. In the rush to become a voting block they left several of our religious beliefs affecting social policy outside in the cold. One of those stands left freezing in the cold is that of abortion.

Muslim's believe that only a human being has a soul, and that a human fetus is not imbued with a soul by God until after it's 3rd trimester ends. Therefore we believe that abortion in the first trimester is okay because it is not yet human but animal. We also believe that abortion in self-defense (abortion to protect the life of the mother) is a right But American Muslim leaders, mostly men, haven't even touched that discussion. It seems that they are willing to wait for the extreme right to make all abortion illegal before we even go there.

But really, I say to the religious right, "KEEP YOUR RELIGION OFF MY BODY!" I have no desire to force my religion upon you, please do not force yours on me.

But the thing that really brought this to the floor today was agape press's "Tracks for Halloween" (hat tip to Crooks & Liars and World o' Crap) . When Cly sent me this link I felt my blood beginning to boil again. How dare they.

To be straight (Cly is right there too) they are doing an end run around a parent's right to decide what faith or no faith to bring their children up in. Let's be clear and use the language they've used to challenge what they perceive as governmental interference in their families. They have used the term "Parental Rights" to gain a lot of head way into respecting their choices and their values. But this is an end run around the parental rights of non-Christian's. This is again saying, "We demand you respect how we choose to raise our children, But we will disrespect your rights as parents to raise yours."

There are Muslim children who trick-or-treat, just like their are Jewish children, Pagan children, Hindu children, Sikh children, Atheist children etc. etc. etc. How much disrespect are these parents going to tolerate before and until they start hoisting the same banner and use the same language to protect their children?

What will it take? A Scientology track in the candy haul of an evangelical youngster?

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Play or Pay

A while back when Dentene and I were arguing over his post I made a point of saying that the reasons the MSM in this country was cowed to the current administration was the use of "Play or Pay." "Ask us no hard questions, do not investigate, let us lead the interview and burn up your precious time with our same staid presentation. If you don't you will have no more access, we will make trouble for you where you work." etc. etc.

Play with us, follow our rules or you will pay.

We have often asked "Where are the Woodward’s and Bernstein's? Why isn't the MSM asking the questions we want asked? Why do we have to look to the media in other countries to get information?" etc. etc. etc.

Well if Carole Coleman’s "interview" with the president is any indication of how the MSM is being kept control of, then it's worse than I thought. I think many have missed not only what the implications for American MSM have been, but how significant her experience was in explaining why our MSM seems to have become gutless wonders. That is, until Hurricane Katrina.

The majority of the Irish public, as far as I could tell, was angry with Bush and did not want to hear a cosy fireside chat in the middle of the most disputed war since Vietnam. Instead of the kid-glove start, I would get down to business.

. . .

had just been admonished by the president of the United States and now I was turning cartwheels in order to get the interview on air. As I dashed past a waste bin, I had a fleeting urge to throw in the tapes and run home instead.

. . .

"You were given an opportunity to interview the leader of the free world and you blew it,” she began.

I was beginning to feel as if I might be dreaming. I had naively believed the American president was referred to as the “leader of the free world” only in an unofficial tongue-in-cheek sort of way by outsiders, and not among his closest staff.

“You were more vicious than any of the White House press corps or even some of them up on Capitol Hill . . .The president leads the interview,” she said.

“I don’t agree,” I replied, my initial worry now turning to frustration. “It’s the journalist’s job to lead the interview.”

It was suggested that perhaps I could edit the tapes to take out the interruptions, but I made it clear that this would not be possible.

As the conversation progressed, I learnt that I might find it difficult to secure further co-operation from the White House. A man’s voice then came on the line. Colby, I assumed. “And, it goes without saying, you can forget about the interview with Laura Bush.”

It was suggested that perhaps I could edit the tapes to take out the interruptions, but I made it clear that this would not be possible.

As the conversation progressed, I learnt that I might find it difficult to secure further co-operation from the White House. A man’s voice then came on the line. Colby, I assumed. “And, it goes without saying, you can forget about the interview with Laura Bush.”
And indeed the White House logged an official complaint with the Irish Embassy.

If they do this for a foreign reporter, how would/do they treat one of ours? A "Play or Pay" memo probably was sent to all the MSM in the last 5 years, with intimidation about the consequences. Indeed look at the outing of Plame, because someone in the media (her husband) didn't play along. This White House plays for keeps.

But you'd never know it looking at the conservative blogs. Taken from
The Conservative Voice
A few of Al’s Wednesday speech-rants included quotes from avowed communist Walter Lippman, a brief dissertation on the subject of “the refeudalization of the public sphere” (as explained by German philosopher Jurgen Habermas) toward Gore’s real goal—the idiotic yet subversive argument toward bringing back the “Fairness Doctrine”. Note: The Fairness Doctrine (which was not the least bit “fair”) forced newspapers, Radio and television stations to seek out opposing viewpoints on every controversial issue. The Left effectively used this to its advantage. If a conservative made a statement on an issue, the Left demanded equal time. However, as today, if a leftist voiced a statement, he or she would say their comments were “mainstream” and that the “Fairness Doctrine” didn’t apply. The 1987 case Meredith Corp. v. FCC settled the dispute. It resulted in the courts declaring that the doctrine was not mandated by Congress. Therefore, the FCC did not have to continue to enforce it. Subsequently, the FCC dissolved it. Conservative talk-show hosts are winning on Radio. Al doesn’t like it.

Gore even felt compelled to bash not only President Bush but, Jeff Gannon (AKA James Guckert) when he spewed forth in rage: “The present executive branch has made it a practice to try and control and intimidate news organizations: from PBS to CBS to Newsweek. They placed a former male escort in the White House press pool to pose as a reporter and then called upon him to give the president a hand at crucial moments!” Yep! Only leftist reporters should be heard—‘eh Al? Then Al reverted to one of his standard lines against Republicans in general, when he spouted: “And every day they unleash squadrons of digital brownshirts to harass and hector any journalist who is critical of the President!” Gee, Al. It’s actually the other way around. It’s the ostensible “reporters” who unmercifully harass President Bush. Note: I guess Al has been too busy trying to get his own cable network up and running or he would have heard NBC ‘journalist’ David Gregory regularly attempting to eviscerate President Bush and any and all members of his administration. Either that or Al’s been hanging out with the hemp crowd again.
Given what Ms. Coleman experienced, and that all the questions she asked were submitted in advance, it is hard to see how reporters have been able to "harass" the president. Even in one on one interviews the president seeks to control the situation, and unfortunately the press has let him.

Many "old timers" in the news biz say that this started when the network news organizations stopped being run by newsmen (and women) and started being run by bean counters and those in entertainment. Newspapers had to follow suit to stay alive. Even Time and Newsweek are no where near the magazines they were in the 40s, 50's, 60s and 70s (Go to a university library that keeps these gems as bound periodicals in their stacks. It's quite enlightening.

But really it is time the gloves come off for the fourth estate to be the other check and balance it's supposed to be.

FoxNews isn't ashamed to be unabashedly conservative in it's reporting and commentaries. Why is CNN so ashamed to be the other side of the coin? Fairness? The need to promote both sides and let the viewer decide. (Fox doesn't care about that). Fox and Limbaugh both claim that they are the balance to the liberal media, but for that to be true then the MSM must be liberal, not quasi conservative. And not play deaf, dumb and blind to what is going on.

They have the resources to play clips from Hans Blixx when Rumsfield says that everyone thought Saddam had WMD. If the media cannot be or will not be the keeper of records, then all we have is what the White House wants us to believe.

Woodward and Bernstien didn't stop when the pressure was on, and when they lost access, they continued. Cronkite didn't continue to frame the Vietnam in the way the White House wanted after he traveled to Nam shortly after Tet. So when will the new generation of reporters stand up and fill these shoes? Afterall, why did they get into journalism in the first place?

The Interview


Ordering Pizza in the year 2010

I received this email from my husband. It's one of those "forwards" that goes through office email.

Make sure your speakers are turned up.

This would be funny if it weren't so scary. and possible.

Monday, October 10, 2005

If I was a betting person

Well I just heard it, and I knew it was coming. Pat Robertson tied the Tsunami, Katrina and the earthquake in Pakistan to the beginnings of the end times, "like a woman in the beginnings of labor." And he says it's going to get worse.

But poor Guatemala escaped being lumped into his "new order" predictions. hmmm I guess their hurricane and mudslides burying whole towns just doesn't cut it.

I could have laid money on what he was going to say. I wonder if any bookies did.

"Are you beginning to get the message?" says Pat

Yeah, we should take better care of our earth, reduce green house emissions, and try and cope the best we can with the damage we've done. Oh and further, like crap, plate-tectonics happen.

But really Pat, and I don't like to be vulgar, you do seem like your on your way to an orgasm over all of this. Or maybe you were just flush from rapture practice.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Earthquake and Ramadan

For the past 24 hour, or so, I have come to the computer to write about my feelings about the earthquake, Ramadan, and being both a Muslim and an American. Everytime I write something I delete it, it's too heavy, or too sweet and it is never just right. Last night I called my family in Pakistan. Rawalpindi to be exact, near Islamabad. I heard my friends voice, she was stressed, tired and worried. I spoke to her husband and he was the same. They, their house, their family, and the school they run are all fine. Their school was not one that collapsed. Because they are private, their schedule had the children home. But things around them are a shambles. He is a Rotarian, and I asked him if they organized anything yet for relief. The weariness and tension in his voice spoke volumes. No, they hadn't, everything was too confused at that point. Besides it was raining very hard when I called, and it was creating additional problems.

As we have learned from Katrina is it often harder to deal with the distaster when you are on the inside, dealing with all your stress and trauma, then it is when you are fresh from the outside.Today during my fast (it is Ramadan) I spent most of the day thinking about them, about those in Pakistan, and those in NOLA and the gulf coast. It is hard to describe what perspectives the fast brings to you and how you live during the year. How much you look inward to what is important, how much you learn empathy for others, and restraint for your own selfishness. But I can't bring that to this posting, because it's all something one must experience for themselves. All I can do is ask you to give more.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

US intelligence officer brags about torturing in call to talk show

Way back, in what seems like a long time ago, I remember my grade school teachers telling my class with pride that we as a nation “didn’t do” torture. This was during the Vietnam War, this is what the commies did, not us.

We were above this. We were a civilized nation, besides any information gathered under torture is dubious at best. This is what happened in far flung places like Turkey (Billy Hayes), the USSR, or Uganda. Or closer to home like Chile, Haiti, Guatemala and Argentina. We were the beacon of hope, the island of light in all this darkness. This was NOT what “WE” did.

I was told this by conservative, Bible believing, Republican, red white and blue, support the President and the war in Vietnam, teachers.

Of course there was torture in America, places such as Arkansas State Prisons. But that, we were told, was aberrant and something to be removed from the American landscape. Dr. King was in, the KKK was bad, freedom was strong and the commies would not be allowed to take another country.

Then we had 9-11 and our moral compass changed. Some of us reasoned that torture would be okay, they forgot or chose to ignore that when you do this, you loose something vital from yourself, or from your nation as a whole. This is especially true of a nation of high ideals, that the forefathers articulated in several documents.

We used the excuse, or "reason" that if you caught a person who had kidnapped many people and they would all die if you didn’t find out where they were, torture should be an option. What if they were children?! Wouldn’t you use torture to compel the answer? But we had faced exactly that scenario in Chowchilla, CA. The people, children no less, were rescued before they died. Interestingly enough a year before I had checked out a book from my school library which had this very same plot. The crime followed the book in almost every detail. (I guess we should have had the Patriot Act back then so the government would have known about everyone who had read it. Someone may have gotten the idea from this book).

But now we are through the looking glass when it comes to torture. We do it (Abu Graib) or we “out source” it to other countries (rendition). And we even have intelligence officers calling into talk shows bragging about what they do and what they’ve done And talk show hosts applauding and supporting it. (don’t listen to this if you’ve just eaten or get sick easily).

While we have no way of knowing if this person actually did these things or is even with the government, what was once hard to believe about us, is now not so hard to believe. What if the people in question are innocent or really know nothing? Impossible you say? And no innocent person has been sent to prison here for a crime they didn’t commit. We have already "renderd" some proven to be innocent to be tortured.

We then we wonder why the rest of the world feels they way they do about us and does not trust us. "What?" we say, "even with this we are no where near as bad as those we replaced." But when you go in under the banner of "moral imperative" or reframe the reasons that you invaded a country under that banner, then you have an obligation to be hold yourself, your government, your officers and your troops strictly to that standard.

We have not and what we’ve lost to our collective American soul, and in our standing in the world as a whole is immeasurable. We fell down the slippery slope, and it may well be impossible for us to climb back up.

See also:
Bush Administration Trying to Act Like USSR

Friday, October 07, 2005

Quote of the Week: "Random acts of cruelty to powerless people.”

Yesterday I listened to NPR's "Fresh Air." The discussion topic is about economic policy and how we pay for Katrina, between host Terry Gross, Paul Krugman, columnist for The New York Times and professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton (liberal) and Stuart Butler, vice president of the Heritage Foundation, focusing on domestic and economic policy (conservative).

Both agree that the highway bill should be cancelled, and even Bulter says that we should talk about raising taxes. They agree on a lot of areas, but say that these conversations and debates are not going on in congress. It's an interesting and very good listen.

Interesting questions were raised, such as:
When, are we going to reach that "very ugly moment" when the bond market says that it doesn't make sense to continue to float our debt? Are we headed for an "Argentina scenario?" Are we setting ourselves up to be dictated to by China, who even now, owns massive amounts of our debt?

The best quote of the week IMHO came from Paul Krugman about the president proposing cutting food stamps he called it, “random acts of cruelty to powerless people.”

He also said that it takes chutzpa of a political opposition, after saying for 25 years that government doesn't work and is part of the problem, to then once in power take a highly praised and fully functioning agency, dismantle and gut it and then when the agency is needed then say "see I told you government doesn't work."

I think I've said similarly the same thing.

Dentene what's your take?

See also the AP article:
The bill by (Sen. Saxby) Chambliss (R-Ga) would cut food programs for the poor by $574 million and conservation programs and farm payments by more than $1 billion each.

The budget-cutting plan faces opposition from Democrats and others.

"This proposal is an unconscionable slap in the face at America's poor," said Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, the senior Democrat on the committee.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

They'd be running through the town naked

So today I was driving home and flipping through the radio stations, when I came to WHJY and Charles. Now, often Charles makes a claims and reads "news" reports that I, once home, simply cannot find. I've learned to take him with a grain of salt, unlike some of my contemporaries who seem to view him as g-d.

Well tonight he and Laurenti (Charles' sidekick) were talking about the president's speech earlier today. Charles spoke about how the president said that they had stopped ten terrorist attacks. When asked to explain how and when, McClellan gave details about three and then replied that he couldn't give information on the other seven for national security reasons. (Baaaaahaaaahaaaa)

Well both Charles and Laurenti have, like many of us, figured out that the president beats us over the head with terrorism and 9-11 whenever his polls numbers or support for Iraq go down. C&L then made a point by saying that *if* the president and his administration had actually foiled ten attempts, they'd be running through the streets, possibly naked, letting us know about it and what a great job they were doing!

Point made.

It's also interesting for me to read that I wasn't the only one who picked up on how Bush' speech could also be applied to Bush himself (Huffington Post)