Friday, June 16, 2006

Al-Masri, Al-Fakey?

I was listening to Air America Radio this morning. Rachel Maddow was commenting on the photo that the US military had of Abu Ayyub al-Masri, alias Sheikh Abu Hamza al-Muhajir (the new al-Qaida leader in Iraq).

She felt that al-Masri (al-Muhajir) had been invented because, no expert in terrorists from Egypt had ever heard of him. She felt that Bush administration and military leaders believe we need a bad guy to rally against, so they invented him. The photo of "him" she contends, has been through "Photo Shop."

So I looked at the photo myself. . . Shazzam! It looks like the left side of the face is from a completely different person than the right side!

Seriously, the right eyebrow, moustache and beard is bushier and thicker than the left side. In fact the left eyebrow looks sculpted (think tweezing or waxing). The "mono" brow protion looks off too.

And if that weren't enough the left nostral is far smaller than the right.

hmmm Rachel may have something!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Re: Haditha, et. al

The problem isn't our troops;
the problem IS our leadership!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Condi and Bush?? My hunch about Harriet may have been right afterall!

June 1, 2006 -- UPDATED -- Rocky shoals for Bush marriage? Informed sources Inside the Beltway report that First Lady Laura Bush has established temporary residence in the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC as a result of a tiff with President Bush over an extramarital relationship involving her husband. Mr. Bush's tryst is said to involve Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. It is not known how long Mrs. Bush plans to remain at the Mayflower, however, her security detail has been present at the hotel during hours when the First Lady would normally be residing in the White House. While she was National Security Adviser, Rice, who has never been married, referred to George W. Bush as "my husband" before she corrected herself and said, "President. Bush" Rice was speaking at a dinner hosted by New York Times bureau chief Philip Taubman when she made her "husband" remarks.

WMR is tracking the Laura Bush story.

June 2, 2006 -- A White House source, speaking on background, vehemently denied to WMR that there are marital problems between President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush over a reported extramarital affair between Mr. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. However, two mainstream media sources have confirmed that their sources also have reported an ongoing affair between Mr. Bush and Rice.

The mainstream media is hamstrung in reporting stories about Bush's personal life. For example, in 2001, the media highlighted Bush's comments about his passing out from choking on a pretzel while watching a football game in the White House. In reality, Bush, who claims he gave up drinking years ago, passed out from being inebriated. Washington's movers and shakers knew the story about Bush's drinking but the media studiously avoided it. Wayne Madsen Report

Oh, really? One can only hope there's a blue dress some where!

When Harriet Miers was nominated for Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, we got to read and listen to her gush, and gush over "W" and how brilliant he was.

I made the comment on Americablog that because all of Mier's eye batting, gushing, etc. I thought that Bush and Miers were having or had an affair. Hmmm, maybe that wasn't idle speculation. . .

See also
Harriet Miers and Condi Rice

Thursday, June 01, 2006

3 Fast Issues

1. WOW! How about that! The Dixie Chicks are #1! Mr. O'Reilly, how do you like your crow cooked? Not only are they number one on Billboard and, but they are also the most popular group on Rhapsody.

2. I've been thinking . . . wouldn't it be something to have a "National Sing-a-Long" protest? On a given day people meet at their various state capitals and sing these protest songs, including "Dear Mr. President" (Pink), "Lives In the Balance" (Jackson Browne), "Asshole" (Jim's Big Ego), and "Not Ready to Make Nice" (Dixie Chicks), no speeches, just songs, sort of like a Flash Mob. And these four songs a singable by many voices, neither too high or too low.

3. A few weeks ago, now, my ex-husband, a Vietnam Vet, had a motorcycle accident. His wife, who was on the bike with him, just broke her leg. He on the other hand, well, he is lying in a coma, and not expected to ever wake.

Now I have written about the PTSD he suffered as a result of his tour on Americablog comments. I have written about the violence in marriage, also on Americablog comments. What I haven't written is that he and I reconciled last year.

Even without the domestic abuse, we would probably have never made it. What we each wanted out of life was irreconcilable. The directions were almost diametrically opposed. In divorce and our subsequent marriages to others we both got what we wanted.

Now he lies in a hospital bed on full life support. I play a supporting role to my 2 kids from that marriage, now adults. I also am trying to support his wife. While there is a living will there is also hesitance based on what one thinks that they are seeing. Thoughts of the Terry Schiavo battle have often come to mind and his wife, his biological children, step children, sister and brother all weigh their emotions, reality and dreams and hopes that they are not ready to give up yet.

And I mourn. It feels kind of strange, there is no manual on how an ex is supposed to mourn their one time spouse. Yes, I have an understanding spouse who knew that I would mourn, even more than I thought I would. But I’m in a margins, my kids, his wife and that family are the ones in the spotlight, on the hot seat and making decisions that I hope I never have to make. Being in the background has curses, and it’s blessings.

It's a strange time.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

KS has it's collective fingers stuck in it's collective ears, re: Science

Kansas has been in the news for the past few months because it seems it would teach religion in Science class than Science. Red State Rabble chronicles all of this.

I keep waiting for all the other religions in the USA who have creation stories different than the Christian Creation Story repackaged, camouflaged and perfumed with Rosewater, Intelligent Design, to demand equal time in KS science classrooms. The way the decision is written ALL creation stories must be taught in the science classroom. So far the only religion to demand that their beliefs be taught along side ID in KS classrooms is FSM.

The idea to get all religions represented in KS science classrooms is not to totally remove any hint of science, but to have the whole thing either:

1. Crash under it's own weight; there-by bringing back science into science classrooms

2. Or, if a religion creation story is excluded in from the KS science classroom, those sponsoring would file to show cause. This will probably legally show the Christofasict bias and intent of putting ID in the classroom. It would then be struck down by legal challenges.

What maybe even greater evidence of how Kansas, in tornado alley, wants to ignore science and stick it's collective fingers in it's collective ears, there is still only one place in KS that is showing "An Inconvenient Truth"

Olathe is in the eastern part of the state, a suburb of Kansas City, KS (also Kansas City, MO). Not even Wichita, which is in central Kansas, and who used science to convict BTK (and this), is showing "An Inconvenient Truth," at the time of this writing.

Makes one want to drop a giant cup of coffee over the whole state.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

May 23 is Tuesday - Get Out and Buy the Dixie Chicks CD!

Once again those who are anti-war and/or progressives to step up to the plate. (Been doing this a lot late, I know) We need to make sure that the new CD from the Dixie Chicks, Taking the Long Way, is a huge seller.

We need to do this for several reasons:

  • To provide a true, concrete support for Natalie and the Dixie Chicks. A large and fast selling CD will be written about and part of the historical record just like what Natalie said and the reaction to it. Whenever she/they may feel alone and "under siege" all she/they needs to do is look a the sale numbers for this CD.

  • To show the Toby Keith's of the USA that the chicks are even more popular today.

  • Lastly to watch O"Reilly eat crow. Even if he won't, we will know that he publically should. He said the the boycott has hurt the Dixie Chicks and he predicts that they will only sell 2 million units. (Only part of his comments are texted on Fox site, you need to click the video link)
I plan on buying two. One for myself and on pre-ordered (ala Harry Potter) from Amazon for my daughter's birthday, which is in June.

Support the Dixie Chicks, buy their CD, as many as you can, on Tuesday!

If the CD does go past 2 million units, it would be great to have people call into Billy's radio show or email him with just these words, "Caw, caw, caw" to remind him of the crow he should be eating.

See also

Friday, May 19, 2006

The Day the World Wide Web Went BLACK

10 years ago, those of us on fairly new medium, the world wide web, turned all our pages black for 48 hours to protest an internet censorship (the Commincations Decency Act) actl Bill Clinton signed.
Read about it at:

Now with the threat of the removal of net neturality, it may be time to do it again.

I think that ordinary people who use the internet don't know what a big deal this is. They don't know that small businesses they go to on the internet, family web pages, netroots pages, church web pages, schools, clubs, games, game and tv fandom, support group webpages, memorial webpages (like the suicide memorial wall linked to on this blog), small ISPs, etc, websites will be third tiered if they can't pay. Third tiered means that these sites will take more time to load and possibility be unavailable at times, while sites that can pay the big money (Amazon, Ebay, etc.) to cable and phone companies (Verizon, AT&T, Comcast) will be first tiered. This means that their downloads will be fast, always available an uncorrupted. It also means that blogs, whether left or right will be third tiered too.

Also, when these first tiered companies make their huge access payments, who do you think with ultimately pay for it?

So maybe, to bring this threat home to the Average Joe, so he/she will see how this will affects them we need to have another black page protest.

It could look something like this:
Take a closer look here

If you, at this point have no idea what I am talking about, view these videos: See also Moby the Christian Coalition, ACLU, Google, Amazon, and eBay

That's IT! The Repugs have forced me . . .

Okay, that's it!
I've been pissed off for so very long.

I've already said in many places that I agree with Randi Rhodes, that the Republican party and those who are benefiting the most from this administration are the robber barons of the 21st century. (Hey, how's that $9.00 tax cut working for you, or how about that people earning $40,000 pay no taxes. You who earn $40,000 how are those no taxes your not paying.).

From mining accidents, to the undermining of OSHA, HUD, workman's comp, and all the rest, and e the gap between rich and poor get larger and the middle class is under assault -- this was probably the last straw.

Today began playing it's commercials on televisions across the country. Guess newspaper advertisement weren't enough. should actually be called The website is owned by Rick Berman, "a right-wing lobbyist who has built a lucrative career establishing industry-funded front groups" (Center for Media and Democracy)

This administration rewards greed, and removes protections for American workers and their safety (recent mining accidents being one example). The idea that tax cuts to the rich insure a stimulation of the economy is bogus.

There is no guarantee that those, who are at the apex of the economic pyramid, and who receive the biggest tax breaks, will invest in this country. And they actually aren't. They are investing in China and India and exporting our jobs. Allowing them to get richer

Larger tax breaks to the poorer base of the economic pyramid are more likely to stay in country. Unless it is sent out of the country to support a family left in a developing country, middle class and lower class people are most likely to spend money in country, thus creating more demand. They are also more likely to have in country savings accounts. How many off shore, tax evading, bank accounts do the poor and middle class have?

Now I was raised in a rather anti-union house growing up, but it has become increasingly clear that this administration has no problem rolling over the middle and lower class, and removing protections for Regular Joes. So I need to have a group in my corner, and that would be a union (I’ve also donated to PACS, etc.).

So today I joined 2 unions!

I probably wouldn’t have remembered or have been angry enough to stop what I was doing and join. But I did. And I encourage you to do it to, even if it’s just as an associate.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Formal Request from a US Citzen for UN Observers

Okay I found Rove's statement about the Republicans being fine in the Novemember elections really, really, scary.

So I went looking on the internet and found this Formal Request for UN Election Observers, by Marc Perkel Rantz.

So I just re-wrote (I've sent a request for permission) and am posting. And this may be something that others to copy and post on their blogs, to help create a momentum for oversight (something Republican's seem to be allergic to).


Formal Request for UN Election Observers

As a citizen of the United States of America - a nation that is supposedly "of the People, by the People, and for the People" and I request that the United Nations formally observe the U.S. elections on Nov. 7, 2006.

The US House of Representatives has passed a measure barring any federal official from requesting United Nations elections observers. If federal officials are prohibited from requesting UN observers then it is the right and the duty of the People to do so. The prohibition itself should be justification for the UN to act.

For the past 5 years there has been not only allegations of election fraud, but legal proof of dirty tricks that denied a significant portion of the US population their franchise. There are also questions as to the integrity of voting machines made by Diebold, the largest maker of electronic voting machines that do not produce a paper trail for confirmation of votes cast. Diebold is the largest maker of electronic voting machines.

I therefore, formally request that all interested nations to send election observers to monitor the November 7, 2006 US elections.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

It Will Be a Green Summer

Atleast 2 movies are coming out this summer with overriding "green" themes. And they should compliment each other very nicely.

The first movie is "An Inconvenient Truth"

For more information see Pledge to see the movie

The other movie is "Who Killed The Electric Car"

The trailer is embedded on the site

I hope both these films are well attended by middle schoolers on up, and that they provoke discussions with in the family, among friends and in the classroom next school year. I also hope that will change the way many people view this government and cooperations and their greedy, irresponsible behavior.

Much like the movie "Supersize Me" changed eating habits for many (I know in this house my kids stopped asking for cookies and chips, and started eating more salads and fruits) these movies may change enivormentally harmfull habits.

Early in April 2006 I had to purchase a new car. Though I looked at several cars from US manufacturers, my top three choices were a Honda Accord, Nissan Altima and Toyota Camry. Cars built by American manufacturers just didn't have what I wanted, from a locking door for the gas cap, to side curtain air bags, to decent fuel economy and possible hybrid technology. Cars from the "American" manufacturers even got another mark against them when I found out thru Kelley Blue Book that Chevy, etc. were assembled in Canada. Honda, Nissan and Toyotas cars were assembled here in the US. So to support US workers I had to buy a "foreign" car.

I also looked for a hybrid, but Toyota's hybrid Camry wasn't due out until May, and I needed a car immediately. Missan didn't have one and Honda's was $10,000 more than I could afford.

I bought the Honda Accord. There are many more reasons why that I will not go into in this posting. But one of it's greatest selling points is that it is a Partial Zero Emission Vehicles (PZEV).

It's important to me.

updated: Please sign the petition

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Wish Them a Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day.

When you call your mother to wish her a "Happy Mother's Day" don't forget to wish those mothers at the NSA a happy day too.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Get Your Can to Your Mailbox

Today is the annual "Letter Carrier's Food Drive"
Just put a can of soup, chili, fruit, box of mac and cheese, etc. in or near your mailbox for pick up.

NALA Food Drive

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The Noble Experiment Is Over

How to Handle a Troll -- manual

I grabbed this off of HuffPo (link below).



Please be aware of the following troll signs:


1. Try to change the subject with irrelevant trivia.

2. Post official sounding "news items" with no attribution, much less a link.

3. Post a link, but it is to a right wing gossip site.

4. Post a link, but it actually proves the opposite of what the troll is claiming.

When confronting a troll, understand that reasoning with them will not work.
The best course is either:

1. Humor at their expense (a win-win in that it is enjoyable for you and irritating to the troll).

2. Examination and, where appropriate, debunking of their misbegotten talking points. This is sometimes useful if the troll's arguments have a surface plausibility.

3. Ignoring them. This is actually the most frustrating for a troll, but it also the most difficult because trolls are such tempting targets.

These tips were brought to you by the CTFA (Council for a Troll-Free America).
- Optimist, 05.11.2006


Thanks Optimist!

source: the darling little troll in the pot that I adore:

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

A Tale of Two Children: 9 Years, 2 Presidents and 1 War Apart

Way back in 1997 the neo-cons got their knickers in a twist over a teacher keeping a 4th grader from reading "The Way Things Out to Be" by Rush Limbaugh and the "Limbaugh Letter" in the classroom during personal reading time (probably during D.E.A.R - Drop Everything And Read)

Part of the news release read:

"We are deeply concerned about these additional infringements," said Wayne Haig of Donald W. Huffman & Associates, who is handling the case for The Rutherford Institute. "School should be a place which tolerates the free discussion of different views and beliefs."

The original complaint included an incident in which teachers took Rush Limbaugh's "The Way Things Ought To Be" away from Jason when he attempted to read it during a free-reading period.

"There is no tyranny quite like the tyranny of the classroom," said Haig, "where a teacher uses her authority to censor the small voices of children with viewpoints contrary to her own. As far as school children am concerned, the teacher is the law in the classroom, and there is normally no watchdog to guard the constitutional rights of the students, We commend the Gardners for taking a stand."

In this instance I agree. I've fought for 1st Amendment rights, and I've read "The Way Things Ought To Be." If a 4th grader can read and understand it, then I don't see a problem with it. I don't agree with the what is inside the book, BUT it doesn't contain overt sexual and violent content that is too much for a 4th grader.

Fast Forward to 2006, an 11 year old girl, Molly Shoul, wants to sing Pink's "Dear Mr. President" for her school talent show. The principal is barring it after deeming it inappropriate and too political

The reasons?

The song does not mention abortion, and the profanity mentioned is the word "hell." The drug use refers to Bush's alleged conduct before he became president.

… What kind of father would take his own daughter's rights away

… And what kind of father might hate his own daughter if she were gay

… I can only imagine what the first lady has to say

… You've come a long way from whiskey and cocaine

Another portion criticizes Bush for the war:

… How do you sleep while the rest of us cry

… How do you dream when a mother has no chance to say goodbye

Molly said Thursday she thought the song was "really cool" because it spoke about important subjects like war and homelessness.

Molly said she liked the way the song addressed the president directly

One wonders if the Neo-cons will step up and be as outraged that Freedom of Speech is being denied for this girl as they were for the boy in 1997. Probably will not, they are hypocritical that way.

But do you know what she will sing if she is not allowed to sing a song about social conscience and concern for one's fellow man? She will sing a hip hop song about 2 girls fighting over a boy. Hmmm... something more up the theocons alley.

Here's hoping that Pink contacts this little girl, and that she will be able to sing about something that means something her and that is social relevant and not some mindless drivel.

The video

keywords: Molly Shoul, Nancy Shoul, Jason Gardner

Why we will NEVER catch Osama Bin Laden (at least with the Republicans in power)

<-- Remember these days?

Well, I've come to the conculsion that it was just for show. Bush and the Republican's in congress and senate don't really want to catch him. He's too valuable to them running loose and free.
Now I'm not the first to come to this conculsion. In fact I derided Bush for being an ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder) president. To me he seemed to loose interest in Afghanistan and start up on Iraq (and now maybe Iran too).
But every time the Republican's slip in the poles, they trot out "9/11" and "Osama Bin Laden." And before any election, they trot out 9/11, Osama Bin Laden, sleeper cells, unkown plot against some US city, etc, etc.
He's their new "Boogey Man." Something, some one, that the Republicans can scare US citizens with to keep them in power. If they catch Osama Bin Laden, they will loose the "face" of their boogey man, and an important tool in maintaining power, no matter how corrupt that power is.

Monday, May 08, 2006

The War on Eve and Women in General

Way back in the 1970's a fantastic book came on the scene. It was a book that caused the likes of Jerry Falwell and the “moral majority” tremble, to deride and speak of evil and caused feminists to cheer. It is sometimes hard to remember those days. We are so much more of an information rich, open and accessible society, but it’s important that those of us who remember those days impart those memories to a new generation. As the “faith based” anti-women screeds and organizations gain power, we seem to be returning to the “medieval” days of yore.

I shiver when I think about it. When just the suggestion of knowing what one’s own body looked like was enough to send Falwell and his ilk to the airwaves, denouncing the book. And it did too. In one passage the book directed women to place a mirror on the floor, stand over it/ sans panties, and look at themselves. Radical, that women should be encouraged to know what their genitalia looked like. According to the Moral Majority it threatened the very existence of the United States. Funny how anything promoting and encouraging female empowerment is viewed that way.

“Our Bodies, Ourselves” was frank, to the point, and it didn’t mince words. It was ground breaking, radical, hailed and denounced! It was scandalous! Imagine telling a woman that she was in charge of her own body and not to blindly accept what a doctor a pastor etc. told her, but to ask questions. It talked about relationships (straight and lesbian), the here-to fore-only-“bad”-girls-have-one; female orgasm, it encouraged sexual pleasure and sexual health, reproduction education, mental health, to ask questions and to know themselves, both physically and mentally.

Sex wasn’t just to be fun for men it said, it was supposed to be enjoyable for women too. In many places it was a banned book, so naturally I bought one.

It told us that we were not, to use Pseudo-Adrienne's term, “birthing chattel”. We had rights, we had a voice. The Seattle Times notes “under the prevailing medical wisdom in the late 1960s, nurses whisked newborns away from their mothers without giving them a chance to bond and doctors customarily banned fathers from delivery rooms.” Our essence, being and even our medicine was dominated and defined by men.

Unfortunately some things haven’t changed. But the anti-women, forced pregnancy organizations and those who support it, want to not only end abortion, but also end education about our sexual health and contraception, and even contraception all together. (I secretly wonder if they will force me to reverse my tubule legation. )

But while some see this as a war on sex, or even a war on fucking, it’s not. Sure, making contraception illegal removes sex for pleasure, even among married couples, but it does not seek to prohibit a man from enjoying sex. The very same people, churches, sects, organizations that want to end contraception are the very same that tell a woman that she cannot refuse her husband and be a “Godly wife.”

So while the result of this retrograde abomination may make condoms more difficult to get, the end results falls harder and squarely on a woman’s shoulders. Men can always walk away, and without strengthening and aggressively going after dead beat dads, it would seem to encourage this result.

Eve’s curse or man’s folly? Are we going to roll backward even more? With this current crowd in power and our guard let down, the answer may be "yes."

Before that happens we should make sure that every public library has books on women’s health, and that they are not removed by the anti-women abstinence only crowd, we should make sure it is translated in as many languages as are spoken in the United States, and we should educate the younger generation about what it was like way back then, when we were kept from knowledge, from controling our own bodies our own destinies.

For it seems history is want to repeat itself.

See also:

I will take issue with the Seattle Times Still, many pages in "Our Bodies," carry a vestige of its counterculture origin. For instance, the section on menstruation touts old flannel shirts and T-shirts as economical alternatives to tampons and pads” One wonders what the writer, Kyung M. Song, thinks women did at the turn of the last century. My grandmother, like her sisters and mother, used towels. She said it made them “waddle.”

Should the CDC be a political tool?

In another move to make every agency in the US government suspect to the American people, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) were forced to remove two members form a recent federal panel on sexually transmitted diseases and replace them with two unvetted abstinence-only proponents.

Why? Because the panel was to focus on the failure of abstience until marriage programs. In fact one of the two panel members who were replaced was "going to talk about how abstinence programs were tied to rising STD rates." But there were no representatives on the panel to talk about how wonderful the abstinence only program is. Republicans didn't like that.

In, what may the best example of the Republican and the Bush Administration's not wanting to hear anything that in at odds with their policies, their thinking, their world view, no matter how damaging their policies are to the people of this country and to truth and trust in general, Sen. Tom Coburn's, (R-Okla.) spokesman John Hart "questioned why the CDC would present data that contradict the administration's policy."

Well, because it's the truth!

Not all of us think that government should be run by sticking your fingers in your ears and singing "la la la la la la la la la -- I'm not listening --- la la la la la la la la la," when given information you don't like. Aparently Republicans do.

So here you have it, another governmental agency that has been bent to poilitics. We no longer trust FEMA, EPA, Dept of Education, etc. etc., because they are now political tools for the Republicans and the White House. So too, it seems, is the CDC under Pres. Bush.

Is this an agency that you really want the American people to question and disregard as a political tool? Do you want the American people to ignore the CDC, espeically with a possible pandemic of H5N1 (Avian Flu) is expected to hit the US very soon?

See also:
Americablog (hat tip)
Huffington Post
Centre Daily

Friday, May 05, 2006

Star Spangled Banner in MANY Languages - Think Progress Should Add These

“But, Mr. President, I’m afraid the message is, quite literally, getting lost in translation. As part of these demonstrations, a new version of our national anthem, the Star-Spangled Banner, has been produced – in Spanish. “

According to an article in the Washington Post last Friday, at least 389 different versions of our anthem have been produced over the years, in many musical styles, including rock and roll and country. But, the Post also noted, never before has it been rendered in another language. -Thus Sayeth Senator Lamar Alexander
Think Progress revealed that indeed the Star Spangled Banner had been rendered in Spanish in 1919. But they didn't go far enough to take the Post and Alexander to task. A little research before provoking their base would have stopped them from making such a stupid statement (but hey, we like when Republican/Neo-Cons make stupid statements.)

Today, with time I didn't have earlier the week, I found that it has been rendered in many languages. Lamar and the Post should fire the have people who's job it is to do fact checking.

The Star Spangled Banner has been rendered in:
French 1999
German 1861
Navajo 1988
Yiddish 1943

And because of the flap over the Spanish version, the Star Spangled Banner will be rendered in Klingon!


Thursday, May 04, 2006

Anatomy of a Republican

Two causes YOU should get involved with

1. Save Mammograms

S.1955 Could End Insurance Coverage for Mammograms
Your U.S. Senators Must Be Told to Vote NO on S.1955

2. Save The Internet

Congress is pushing a law that would abandon the Internet's First Amendment -- a principle called Network Neutrality that prevents companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast from deciding which Web sites work best for you -- based on what site pays them the most. Your local library shouldn’t have to outbid Barnes & Noble for the right to have its Web site open quickly on your computer.

Net Neutrality allows everyone to compete on a level playing field and is the reason that the Internet is a force for economic innovation, civic participation and free speech. If the public doesn't speak up now, Congress will cave to a multi-million dollar lobbying campaign by telephone and cable companies that want to decide what you do, where you go, and what you watch online.

This isn’t just speculation -- we've already seen what happens elsewhere when the Internet's gatekeepers get too much control. Last year, Telus -- Canada's version of AT&T -- blocked their Internet customers from visiting a Web site sympathetic to workers with whom the company was having a labor dispute. And Madison River, a North Carolina ISP, blocked its customers from using any competing Internet phone service.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Of Lower Standards, Urban Warfare and US Street Gangs in Iraq

Two years or so ago I commented on Americablog about my concern for US soldiers coming back from Iraq and their psychological welfare. As the ex-wife of a Vietnam veteran the issue is of interest to me.

Will these men and women who served our country receive the mental help they need for them to get through the horrors that they've seen and allow them to be fully functioning members of society? Or will the government once again cut the benefits these who've risked so much for this nation deserve in full?

Well we already know that the Bush government/administration, while risking no family members themselves, are cutting back and/or not fully funding necessary services for those who have served. The president who can afford to privately pay for his own medical insurance and doctors, receives the finest tax payer funded care. He always will.

What I did not think about when raising my concerns is that when the military lowered it standards to try and reach recruiting goals, that meant letting in gang members. These gang members are more than eager to "serve" their country.

All that training in urban warfare, house to house fighting, sniping, suppressive fire, kill zones, explosives, not to mention field medic training. Our modern paramedics came from the medics in Vietnam. So successful was it to have on the scene medical help, that more soldiers survived. Bring that lesson home and ambulance ride became more than just loading the injured into the back a converted station wagon. It became, in some cases, a fighting chance to live.

The medics in Vietnam brought back their training for use at home. What do you think gang members, learning urban combat tactics will bring back from operations in places like Fallujah, Du-jail, etc.?

Don't think a gate community will save you either. Ever see what towns/cities in Iraq look like? Here's Mosul:

So while this brewing problem goes under and un-reported (another case of our lap dog media) do you think a Republican controlled government will help pay for the domestic devastation these military trained gang members in an unnecessary war, will cause? (At any other time they'd be vetted out).

Me neither.

Video report from North Carolina
The News Blog
Training Terrorists for the Home Front HuffPo
Street Gangs: The New Urban Insurgency Strategic Studies Institute
United States Army War College
Violent gangs infiltrating US Military? -- Whatsakyer

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

La bandera estrellada: The Spanish Star Spangled Banner of 1919

Think Progress did a fact check and found 4 different Spanish versions of the Star Spangled Banner the first has a 1919 copyright. And guess where they are; the United States of America State Department web site!

So 87 years ago during the Nadir of American Race Relations a specifically multicultural, inclusive project was commissioned by the U.S. Bureau of Education.

And in doing so the Post and Senator Lamar Alexander are wrong asserting “According to an article in the Washington Post last Friday, at least 389 different versions of our anthem have been produced over the years, in many musical styles, including rock and roll and country. But, the Post also noted, never before has it been rendered in another language. "

And you know what, why not? One may learn English, but speak another language at home. What better way to write the words on ones heart, but in the language of ones birth.

So in "official capacites," YES! sing it in English. But to write the love of country on ones heart, sing it in the language of your mother, your father, in whose arms one first learns about love and meaning.

see also
Star Spangled Banner in MANY Languages - Think Progress Should Add These

Colbert's Standing O

Stephen Colbert's bit at the Washington Correspondence Dinner is probably one of the hottest forwarded links among progressives.

My husband, kids and I found it hilarious. Yes I know that right wing is panning it, and the MSM is ignoring it but really it was brilliantly done. It also occurred to me this morning that the only one who could have done sent this message to the MSM and the White House was a Colbert or someone like him.

In the age of "play or pay" white house reporting, to expect a reporter to go after this administration is probably expecting too much. No matter how much he or she might like too, their immediate bosses or the network CEOs will not allow it. Even if they do, the segment is likely to never see the light of day. We were warned about this happening in the 1980's when everything began trending to make network news a business.

What we'd like the MSM to do at a press conference really can’t be done now, with the exception of Helen Thomas. Softballing is all white house reporters can do until the tide turns on a president, and even then it seems to err on the side of the President. There probably will never be another Woodward and Bernstein, and to that end what happened Saturday night could only be done by a Stephen Colbert; a satirist, not a journalist.

So it was really gratifying to see that despite being lambasted by the right and ignored by the MSM, Stephen Colbert got props from Jon Stewart and a "Standing O" at his show.

Okay I am assuming it was a "Standing O." The cameras never showed the audience. Judging by what the crowd sounded like and Colbert’s reaction, which was on camera, it was a "Standing O." And if it wasn’t, it should have been.

Various links to the video at the Democratice Underground
Partial clip on Crooks and Liars
American Nightmarez - Huff Po
60 Minutes

Thank you Stephen Colbert

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Things to do with your $100 insult, uh, I mean, gas rebate checks

First off let's be clear, this ISN'T a rebate. A rebate is money you receive after buying something. And you never have to give it back. Republicans NEVER give you anything of benefit, and certainly not for free with no strings attached, we all know that.

This is a loan. A loan is something you have to pay back, and that's precisely what you will do with this. You will see an increase of $100 you owe the Feds on your 2006 taxes. Actually you'll see a little more than $100 because you will be charged interest on the money "rebated" to you.

What's more you can't say "NO." This is a loan from the Feds, actually Republicans, that you will be forced to accept.

So while you are pondering if you can squeeze more than a week's worth of driving from the $100 "relief" bribe, uh, I mean check you will receive, let me offer some other suggestions of what to do with the money:

Oh there are more worthy organizations than those I've listed, just donate your bribe help those the Republicans have left behind, or to help our progressives candidates get into office and take back the house and senate, etc. etc.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Congress members arrested at Darfur protest

from USA Today

"The slaughter of the people of Darfur must end," Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Calif., a Holocaust survivor who founded the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, said from the embassy steps before his arrest.

Four other Democratic Congress members — James McGovern and John Olver of Massachusetts, Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas and Jim Moran of Virginia — were among 11 protesters arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and unlawful assembly, a misdemeanor subject to a fine.

Oh I'm so glad I live in Mass!

1st FEMA; then maybe the DOE or how about the ATF?

A day of two ago I wrote about they "bipartisian" senate panel to scrap FEMA. I then wondered if the Department of Education might be next. Well maybe the reticle is on to the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (and explosives) - the ATF. (pun intended)

The image on the left is a T-shirt from Those Shirts, a right wing T-shirt maker. While the website has a "disclaimer" of humor, it is a window on how conservatives and neo-cons, the Republicans think.

So would scrapping the ATF be far fetched? Once we thought ending FEMA to be a far fetched idea too.

So make a list, what programs, agencies, etc. do the Repblicans hate? What might be on their hit list? They've had 5 years to undercut, make impotent, "bureaucritize," these agencies and programs. Five years in the oven, maybe it's ready to show the end result. Maybe it's time to yet again feast on the bread of social neglect the Republicans are so good at cooking up.

There is another T-shirt about journalists. Considering how hostile many of them complain the enivorment is now, do you think they are laughing?

The Right Tool for Every Job

Your shop teacher, home ec teacher, mom, dad, grandparent, etc. may have told you to always use the right tool for the job. You may not have listened, but the Republican's did, and they seem to have found the Democrat tool they need for the "bi-psrtisan" job.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Come Play

Well this is what I do to relieve the pressure, stress and sorrow over the Republican Robber Barrons raping my county and killing the middle class.
I play a game called Ticket 2 Ride. It's a board game but you can also play on-line.

Last night I played games with people from Austrailia, Wisconsin and LA. I have also played with people from Germany, France, Canada, Britian, New Zealand, Israel, etc.

Tutorials can be found at:
Game Basics

Come play and release your tension.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

FEMA, the first to GO

The neo-cons, the face and blood of the new Republican party, had a plan. Take good, functioning programs and departments, in some case "jewels in USA's crown" and mire them in red tape, lack of funding, incompotent cronyism, political hackery, bureaucracy. Then have it falter under either the added weight of this new load, or so unworkable as to frustrate and cause abandoment of it, add in a trillon dollar debt so that there is additional pressure and voila! departments/programs will be abolished.

The first for this recommendation is FEMA "Senate Panel Recommends Abolishing FEMA"

Describing FEMA as a "shambles and beyond repair," Collins said the overall report "will help ensure that we do not have a repeat of the failures following Hurricane Katrina."

Well it wasn't before the Republicans took over... it worked well and was a jewel we proudly pointed to.

It [panel] proposes creating a new agency, called the National Preparedness and Response Authority, that would plan and carry out relief missions for domestic disasters. Unlike now, the authority would have a direct line of communication with the president during major crises, and any dramatic cuts to its budget or staffing levels would have to be approved by Congress.

It would also oversee efforts to protect critical infrastructure such as buildings, roads and power systems, as well as Homeland Security's medical officer. But the inquiry calls for keeping the agency within Homeland Security, warning that making it an independent office would cut it off from resources the larger department could provide.

But didn't FEMA have that during Clinton? Didn't FEMA WORK under Clinton? Wouldn't FEMA and the US taxpayer be better served if it were once again a separate stand alone agency, with compotent people at the helm.

What will be next on the chopping block? The Republican long despised Department of Education?

I seriously had one Republican lawyer tell me that his group does not believe the government should nor has an obligation to educate it's citizenry.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

First they came for the gays

First the American Christofascits came for the gays
then they came for abortion
then they came for contreceptives
and now they are coming for sex toys

What next? Video cameras or raids to make sure we are only using the missionary position, or checking to make sure only the man has orgasim and the woman (carrying Eve's "sin") has no enjoyment at all, or stopping at every motel/hotel to check for a marriage license?

Why are they so preoccupied with sex?

Geez, keep your religion off my body and out of my bedroom!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

How to Greet King George; relearning protocol

Since we, in the USA rejected the idea of royalty leading us for over 200 years, we are a little rusty on protocols on meeting, greeting and dealing with royalty.

So I did some research to help us ignorant yanks re-accustom ourselves with royalty and how to act.

the Prince (or Princess) is initially addressed as "Your Highness," and the King (or Queen) is initially addressed as "Your Majesty." Then, in subsequent conversation, "Sir" or "Ma'am" are used, with an occasional repeat use of "Your Highness/Majesty." The familiar "you" must not be used. The title "Ma'am" is NOT pronounced "marm," as some will have it; say, "ma'em" smoothly (two syllables gives an artificial Southern accent to the word).

When in doubt, the generic "Sir" or "Ma'am" will serve until the correct address can be ascertained. However, don't wait too long. If you wish to know a person's rank or title, simply ask. Furthermore, if you have forgotten a name, simply ask. You will not be thought rude. Nobles and Royals, like everyone else, also suffer from "name slippage," so if you can repeat your name in your conversation, that action will be much appreciated by others.


The term "physical courtesy" means the bow (for men) or the curtsy (for women). Where a curtsy is not possible for the woman, as, for example, because of age or infirmity, the bow is substituted. You bow/curtsy to the Head and Chief of Arms of a Royal House and to the Head's spouse. The bow or curtsy is not exaggerated and does not call attention to it. Physical courtesy is done once upon being introduced and once upon leaving the Royal presence. Do not offer to shake hands unless the Royal offers a hand first. Generally, elected officials of the U.S. Government who are representing the U.S. government at an event and active U.S. military members in uniform who are representing the U.S. government at an event neither bow nor curtsey to Royals, but do shake hands when the Royal offers a hand. Elected officials and military persons, when not acting in official capacity, may bow or curtsey to a Royal.

A slight bow by the man is made from the waist while the head bows and the eyes look at the feet of the Royal. For lesser Royals, only the head bows and the eyes look at the feet of the Royal. The bow is not exaggerated, but is dignified and given smoothly and with quick deliberation.


The lady curtsies by placing the ball of the right foot behind the heel of the left foot, with the feet at a natural and comfortable angle to
each other to maintain balance; simultaneously, the hands are crossed at the breast and the head is bowed slightly while the entire body is slightly "dipped" at the bent knees. The curtsy is not exaggerated, but is dignified and given smoothly and with quick deliberation.

Visiting Royalty to an event sponsored by a Royal House are not in their own Courts and receive a lesser bow or curtsy


Also Bright Ideas and True Confessions: How and What to Do and Why is a good read about royal "presence."

Picture credits:
Tudor King George
Coronation Portrait of King George

Monday, April 17, 2006

Ringmate for Dissenting Voices

Since those who are pro-Bush, pro-war, pro Republican and "pro-America" seem to have a problem with American values, our constitution and the right and guarantee to express dissenting opinions (hopefully without fear), it should become standard operating procedure for those organizing anti-war, anti-Buah, etc. protests to use a distinctive ring or Ringmate phone number to list on press release or other contact information.

Distinctive ring (ringmate) usually only adds a little cost every month to a phone bill. What ringmate does is send a different ring "pulse" to your phone. The ringmate ring sounds different that your original ring. The neat thing about this is that you can tell by the ring is someone wants to talk to you, or a different house member. Say your telephone's standard "ring" is ring (wait 3 counts) rings (wait 3 counts ring. . .

A ringmate "pulse" might have the ring on your phone rang like this. "ring, ring" (wait 3 counts) "ring, ring." While your hear a different ring the person calling hears no difference. It also has it’s own unique phone number.

It runs on the same line as the original phone number with no additional hardware to purchase

Since the ringmate phone number is in addition to your original phone number it can be divested easily, (should death threats, etc. begin coming in ) without loosing the original primary number.

This would be a wise, self protecting thing to do, just in case other Michelle Malkin's of the world get a hold of press releases from dissenting voices, and think that publishing them on the world wide web is a wise thing to do.

see also "When blog hysteria does real harm"
Malkin crosses the line in Santa Cruz
Hunting Slugs
"A Mean Sick Group Of People"
Malkin crosses the line in Santa Cruz

Thursday, March 16, 2006

If you are poor, married, monogamous, and/or do not have health insurance, Missouri lawmakers consider you promiscuous

If you are poor, married, monogamous, and/or do not have health insurance and living in Missouri:
  1. Lawmakers define you as promiscuous.
  2. Lawmakers deny you contraception

But they will tell you to keep your legs crossed if your husband wants to enjoy martial relations with you.

Law makers also define a woman/girl promiscuous if they've been raped or are the victim of incest. And as such have voted to deny victims contraception, so the state can victimize them again.

I do like what one commentor to Fired Up Missouri suggested: "Don't ban contraception, ban testicles!"

Sounds like a slogan and/or bumper sticker to me.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

For the anti-abortion crowd: Stats on Children Available for Adoption (you adopted any?) part 1 of many

After two weeks of fighting the flu, I may just now have a handle on it! Horray!

A few weeks ago I asked on Americablog why is it considered more heinous to force a woman to have an abortion (China) than it is to force a woman to be pregnant?

I also wrote the following in the wee hours of the morning some days ago in response to Molly's "DYI abortions." Calling it "DYI Abortion" is really a misnomer, it is a manual of the abortion procedure like those done in JANE Clinics pre-Roe v Wade.


When I was 16 I decided that abortion was not right for me. I made the choice. I wouldn't think of making that choice for someone else. At 43 that someone else is my 21 yo daughter.

While the pro-lifers are very, very shill in their opinion, even resorting to name calling, they don't answer any questions about what to do instead.

That is instead of calling a woman a whore.

Do they for instance adopt or provide foster care for these children? Question was broached here(on the comments section), they did not answer.

They did spout unsupported "facts" about those seeking abortions. Here are some facts from

Skyrocketing use of drugs and alcohol, leading to higher numbers of drug exposed children, has been targeted as a primary factor in the increase in children placed in out-of-home care in the late 1980s and 1990s.

New England
Studies estimating the incidence of prenatal alcohol and drug exposure do not agree upon a precise incidence level:

2.6 million infants each year are prenatally exposed to alcohol. (Gomby and Shiono, 1991)

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) affects between 1.3 and 2.2 children per 1,000 live births in North America each year. (Streissguth and Guiunta, 1988; US DHHS, 1990)
Cases of Alcohol Related Birth Defects (ARBD) outnumber cases of FAS by a ratio of 2 to 3 to 1. (Abel and Dintcheff, 1984; Streissguth and Guiunta, 1988)

Illicit Drugs
Each year, 11% of all newborns, or 459,690, are exposed to illicit drugs. (Chasnoff, 1989)

More than 739,000 women each year use one or more illicit drugs during pregnancy. (Gomby and Shiono, 1991)

A substance exposed infant is born more frequently than once every 90 seconds. (Schipper, 1991)

Many of these are un-aborted children up for adoption. You pro-lifers going to take them in? You say "it's a child, not a choice" so now put your money, your life, your finances, etc where your mouth is.

While you are forcing women and girl's to maintain their pregnancies, are you then adopting the children, some with long term health effects. If not, why not? It's not convenient for you, perhaps? Shouldn’t you who are working hard for this baby to be born then shoulder the responsibility of raising this child?

What about the father’s of these un-aborted babies? Why do they get off scott free? Why not pass a law that all men/boy upon reaching the age of 14 must submit their DNA. That way even if the baby is a result of rape or incest you can go after the father. Every child will know who his or her father is, and the states can go after them for child support, and/or put the rapists and abusers in jail. Hopefully they’ll do a better job with dead beat dads than they do now. To burdensome you say? Treats
all men as guilty you say? Violates rights of privacy you say?

Well by making abortion illegal you’ve already removed privacy for women. Actually you all argue that there is no such right, so there you are. As for treating men as guilty, well many of you have already done that by assuming the pregnancy was a choice and by calling those wanting an abortion, whores.

As for burdensome? What is more burdensome than being force to maintain a pregnancy for 9 months and then raising a child for 18 years? Raising that child with decreasing social programs, no health care and being condemned to live in poverty. To add insult to injury if you are not white, you already know the baby you give birth to probably never will be adopted.

Those with AIDS, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, birth defects, learning disabilities, genetic behavior issues or who are no longer infants/ toddlers even if their white, have even less of a chance of being adopted.

So go ahead, bang the drum of anti abortion, tell us that we will have to answer to God for our pro-choice stance. But you will also answer to for all the children you had means to adopt and did not.

Thanks Molly


More in part 2

Friday, March 03, 2006

Gotta love Ed Stein

So is Missouri saying that the Framers of the Constitution did NOT know what they were doing?

Missouri introduces legistaltion for recognize Christianity as the states offical religion.

The legislation will not protect minority religions and but will protect the minority's right to express it's belief.

Is this Christofacism? Is Missouri to be the home of the American Christian Taliban? Or will Missouri become one of those target states like South Carolina and New Hampshire, with many from an non Christian religion moving in to become the majority with full protections under a law they passed.

Couldn't you just see it? The "Jewish State of Missouri," or the "Muslim State of Missouri," or the "Hindu State of Missouri," how about the "Pagan State of Missouri."

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Remember when the Republican party was the one for states rights?

WASHINGTON - Hundreds of warnings on food labels could vanish under a measure moving toward approval in the House.

The bill would stop states from adding warnings that are different from federal rules. States currently add hundreds of extra warnings, indicating the presence of arsenic in water, mercury in fish, alcohol in candy, pesticides in vegetables and more.

"This legislation could overturn 200 state laws — laws that the American people rely on every day to ensure the safety of the food they eat," Rep. Henry Waxman D-Calif., said Thursday during House debate on the bill.

Well let's see the Rpublicans have stepped into a family issue with Terri Schiavo, gone after states with differing emissions laws and now different food warning laws . . .

But never fear a state can petition the federal government to put the warning back on the problem food, further evidence that big government is "over"

jaaaa right

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Snippet from Yesterday

Yes, I've been away. By need I have had to devote a lot of time to assisting in fighting a development in my town, which has taken a number of twists. And it has also taken my time from other things.

But here is an impression of yesterday:

"But the image of him falling is something I’ll never be able to get out of my mind. I fired, and there’s Harry falling. And it was, I’d have to say, one of the worst days of my life, at that moment." - VP Dick Cheney on shooting an acquaintant in his hunting party, Whittington - appearing on FoxNews with Brit Hume 2/15/05

I have not been able to get this statement out of my mind.

Since I heard it I wonder and have wondered how many US Service men and women who have been sent to an illegal and useless war, who've watched friends, enemies and the innocent die, can say this and feel this way. Given that my exhusband is a Veitnam Veteran and that during the 1980's I became very good at spotting other Vietnam Veterans (something in their eyes), I say very many, most, if not all, have felt or feel this way.

One thing is for sure, Cheney will get top notch PTSD counceling, both public and private, if he feels the need. Our service people who've had to deal with more death, more images of people going down will be lucky to get half that.

David E Fablog

P.S. Jasmine, lost your phone #, please call.