Saturday, July 28, 2007

Dawkins Offers The Scarlet Letter


Click it.

Personally, I wouldn't join a club that would have me. I've done fine articulating my own belief system for decades now without joining anything .... no need for me to start now. But for those who need to "belong", this is as good as anything. For myself, I don't need no steeeeenkin' badges!

Updating Operating System

File this under "You're doing a great job, Brownie."

Shooting yourself in the foot ...

How long do you suppose it will take for the Republican party to recover from their self inflicted wounds?

Friday, July 27, 2007

Why do Republicans Hate Democracy?

Previously undisclosed documents detail how Republican operatives, with the knowledge of several White House officials, engaged in an illegal, racially-motivated effort to suppress tens of thousands of votes during the 2004 presidential campaign in a state where George W. Bush was trailing his Democratic challenger, Senator John Kerry.

The documents also contain details describing how Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign officials, and at least one individual who worked for White House political adviser Karl Rove, planned to stop minorities residing in Cuyahoga County from voting on election day.

The efforts to purge voters from registration rolls was spearheaded by Tim Griffin, a former Republican National Committee opposition researcher. Griffin recently resigned from his post as interim US attorney for Little Rock Arkansas. His predecessor, Bud Cummins, was forced out to make way for Griffin.

Another set of documents, 43 pages of emails, provided to Truthout by the PBS news program "NOW," contains blueprints for a massive effort undertaken by RNC operatives in 2004, to challenge the eligibility of voters expected to support Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry in states such as Nevada, New Mexico, Florida and Pennsylvania.

One email, dated September 30, 2004, and sent to a dozen or so staffers on the Bush-Cheney campaign and the RNC, under the subject line "voter reg fraud strategy conference call," describes how campaign staffers planned to challenge the veracity of votes in a handful of battleground states in the event of a Democratic victory.

Of course there's more, silly ...

Why do they hate our Constitution?
Why do they hate the rule of law?
Why do they think a monarchy or a dictatorship would be better?

Reading the Pictures

U.S. Army Maj. Chad Weddell describes Camp Al Asad's Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office (DRMO) junkyard, December 7, 2006, in Iraq. The yard houses all scrap metal and battle damaged and wrecked vehicles for western Iraq.

What do the pictures say?

The Fate of Compassionate Conservatism

John J. DiIulio Jr. is Frederic Fox Leadership Professor of Politics, Religion and Civil Society, and professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania. He served as first director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives in 2001.

Eight years ago this week, on July 22, 1999, George W. Bush delivered his first presidential campaign speech, titled "The Duty of Hope." Speaking in Indianapolis, he rejected as "destructive" the idea that "if only government would get out of the way, all our problems would be solved." Rather, "from North Central Philadelphia to South Central Los Angeles," government "must act in the common good, and that good is not common until it is shared by those in need." There are "some things the government should be doing, like Medicaid for poor children."

Check in on the fate of Compassionate Conservatism here ...

HINT: It doesn't exist. It never did.

Nazis in the White House

Last Sunday on Meet the Press, Novak commented on Bush 43 and his Presidency. Novak said that Bush 43 was really a New England liberal like his grandfather Prescott. Novak was correct about George W. Bush being like his grandfather Prescott. He was wrong about Prescott being a liberal. In fact, Prescott was a fascist who helped fund the Nazi regime in the 1930s. I guess Novak thinks that a Nazi supporter could be called a liberal. Now there's a stretch.

There's ALWAYS more ...

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Just a Little Over the Top

Army's 'Debt Of Service' Leaves Vets Perplexed

Unbelievably, Soldiers Must Pay For Damaged Equipment


Servicemen and women who made huge sacrifices fighting in the war and now paying yet another price, even after coming home.

One soldier in particular is currently battling against a new "debt of service."

Brian Rodriguez is a fighter, an honorably discharged soldier who'd been deployed in Iraq.

"I was a combat engineer," Rodriguez said. "We deal with land mines, explosives."

He fought for his nation, only to return to his homeland and wage a fresh battle.

Former Army Specialist Rodriguez started getting bills for $700 for lost or damaged government property this summer. Although he was discharged some four years ago, bills recently arrived demanding payment, but giving no details on what or why -- nor do they offer a way to dispute the charges.

"For doing my job you're going to bill me?" Rodriguez said.

There's more ... there usually is ...

It smacks of the Soviets ... who executed you, then sent a bill for the bullet to your family.

The Yes Men

From Bill Moyer's Journal:

The Yes Men have impersonated representatives from Halliburton, Dow Chemical, Exxon, and others, giving public presentations aimed at exposing what they believe to be discrepancies between how these groups want to be seen and how they really act. They call this process, "identity correction."

While some criticize them for deception and call their hijinx unethical, they argue "these kinds of [corporate and political] wrongdoings are at such a scale - they're so vast compared to our white lies that we think it's ethical."

Find it here.

Also on
YouTube (Part 1)
YouTube (Part 2)

An absolute MUST WATCH, in my opinion.

The Whitehouse Coup


Why So Much Feels So Familiar to Anyone Who's Read the History of Europe during the 1930's

Monday 23 July 2007

Document uncovers details of a planned coup in the USA in 1933 by a group of right-wing American businessmen. The coup was aimed at toppling President Franklin D Roosevelt with the help of half-a-million war veterans. The plotters, who were alleged to involve some of the most famous families in America, (owners of Heinz, Birds Eye, Goodtea, Maxwell House & George Bush’s Grandfather, Prescott) believed that their country should adopt the policies of Hitler and Mussolini to beat the great depression.

Follow up in the UK.

To those so firmly and dogmatically on the Right who constantly accuse those on the Left of being Stalinist, Marxist, Leninist, commie, pinko, socialist bastards ... it would do well to keep in mind that the analog of those unkind labels on the Right would be Fascist and Hitlerian. Be careful of the company you keep! Communism is what happens when government runs the corporations. Fascism is what happens when the corporations run government. Neither has worked especially well.

Here's a little more about the coup attempt ... for those who think it can't happen here.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

NEW - Threat Alert Jesus!!!

Click me!

Debtor is as a Debtor Does

Byron Williams on Huffington Post

In 1956 President Eisenhower learned that Britain, France, and Israel had invaded Egypt ex post facto. The president was not pleased about the news and took immediate and decisive action: he instructed the Federal Reserve Bank to orchestrate a run on the pound and block the International Monetary Fund from the stabilizing the currency.

By holding Britain's currency hostage, based on a scenario he created, Eisenhower sent word by his actions that the U.S. would not assist in their economic bailout unless there was an immediate withdrawal from Egypt.

One of the lessons learned from this rather dubious affair: there can be no independent foreign policy if someone else controls your currency. It also begs the contemporary questions: how independent is American foreign policy? And how close is China from possessing the ability to do to the U.S. what Ike did to the British?

The rest is here ...

OK. So file this one under "When you find yourself in the hole, the best strategy is to stop digging."

We've borrowed ourselves to the hilt to pay for a war that wasn't necessary, the objecetives of which keep changing to the point that its militarily unwinable and China owns the debt. Iraqi oil was suppose to finance the war from the get-go but we're years, maybe even decades away from seeing revenue from Iraqi oil.

Still think the economy is rosy? Well, it is ... IF you ignore all the negatives. The administration tells you it's great. The Republicans have a problem, though ... its called "selective reality".

Their answer? Lets borrow some more!

With the value of the dollar falling (roughly 40% against the Euro since 2002), how long do you suppose the Chinese will be happy to watch their loan values drop like a rock before starting to call their markers in or selling short and taking their investments elsewhere?

A question aside: Who's been in control of
our government from 2002 to present?
Yeah ... but it's probably Bill's fault, right?

If the Chinese sell off our debt that they own, who do you suppose might buy it? To whom would YOU like to owe all that money? Who do you want to be in a position to influence our foreign policy, Mr. Strong-On-National-Defense?

Michigan Young Republican pleads guilty in sex case

Posted by Jim Nichols July 24, 2007 17:26PM

The former head of the Michigan Federation of Young Republicans admitted today that he sexually abused a colleague during a national convention here last summer.

Michael Flory, a 32-year-old attorney from Jackson, Mich., pleaded guilty to sexual battery on the day he was to stand trial for rape.

The teary-eyed college student he overpowered in a downtown hotel room gasped and dabbed her eyes as Flory replied to Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Peter Corrigan's question, "Are you indeed guilty?"

"Sure - yeah," Flory said.

Cleveland Plain Dealer story here.

Honest! I don't go out looking for this stuff. It friggin' comes looking for ME!

Love his answer, though ... "Sure - yeah."

Must be a "compassionate conservative".

Of course, there's this part:

The victim, who is 22, declined to speak after Flory's guilty plea.

She and some supporters lamented when the incident became public last winter that Flory and his followers within the Republican organization had been smearing her reputation in retaliation for accusing Flory of rape. [Assistant County Prosecutor] Skutnik said she found that to be true.

Why would the word "typical" leap to mind? The "Swiftboat" ploy has become a Right wing SOP*. Frankly, it sounds to me like an attempt to avoid "personal responsibility".

* Standard Operating Procedure

How Muslims Compare With Other Religious Americans

In Intensity of Religious Identity, Not Unlike Evangelicals

July 6, 2007
by Robert Ruby and Greg Smith, Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life

Although Muslims constitute a small minority in the United States, and their holy book and many of their religious rituals are distinctly their own, Muslim Americans are by no means "the other" when it comes to religious life or politics in the United States. In many ways, they stand out not so much for their differences as for their similarities with other religious groups.

In their level of religious commitment, Muslim Americans most closely resemble white evangelicals and black Protestants. In their basic political orientation, they closely resemble black Protestants as well as seculars. When it comes to their views on some social issues, such as homosexuality, Muslims' conservatism matches that of white evangelicals. Muslims are even more likely than evangelicals or any other group to support a role for government in protecting morality.

Dive into the statistics.

Just wondering. Given that normal, run-of-the-mill, every day Muslims so closely resemble normal, run-of-the-mill, every day Christians, wouldn't it stand to reason that Fundamentalist, Islamofascist, extremist Muslims closely resemble rabid, Bible-thumping, Fundamentalist Christians as well?

When Government is the Problem

Carl Pope on Huffington Post

Ronald Reagan famously said, in his first inaugural address, that "government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem." This belief has been an article of faith for reactionaries ever since, and from 2000 to 2006 the entire federal government was gripped by cultish obeisance to this belief.

We have learned, of course, to our sorrow, that when government is run by people who subscribe to this cult, government does become the problem -- look at the way the right has handled Katrina, Iraq, protecting communities from fire, and the aftermath of 9/11. For the same reason the College of Cardinals would not elect an atheist as Pope, we shouldn't trust those who don't believe in government to run it.

Last week, a Congressional hearing brought this into savage relief.

At the urging of the Sierra Club, Henry Waxman's House Oversight Committee looked into the scandal that, in providing hundreds of thousands of trailers to the victims of Hurricane Katrina, FEMA ignored evidence that the trailers it was buying were killing their residents with astronomical levels of formaldehyde.

Read the rest here.

I'm shell shocked. I've been saying this since Reagan! Any party that believes "government IS the problem" leaves you with ... well, anarchy! There's a BIG difference between "government IS the problem" and "there are problems with government".

We've seen the effects of "government IS the problem" throughout this administration. The only cure is to put people into government who believe that the problems can be solved and removing the people who believe the way to solve the problem is to throw the baby out with the bath water!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

File Under "Truer Words Were Never Spoken"

Newt Gingrich goes nuclear: May enter race to foil 'pygmies'


Dismissing the GOP presidential field as a "pathetic" bunch of "pygmies," Newt Gingrich hinted Monday he might step in to beat Democrats Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama.

"If, in mid-October, it's quite clear that one or more of the current candidates is strong enough to be a serious alternative to a Clinton-Obama ticket, you don't need me to run," the former House Speaker said at a breakfast sponsored by the American Spectator. "If it becomes patently obvious, as the morning paper points out, that the Democrats have raised a hundred million more than the Republicans, and at some point people decide we are going to get Hillary unless there's a radical change, then there's space for a candidate," he added. "So you'll know by mid-October one of those two futures is real."

Asked by the Examiner if he was prepared to commit to a run, Gingrich said, "I'm perfectly happy to do what I do," he said. "Whether that leads to the presidency is the country's problem, not mine."

(Emphasis added.)

Read the rest of this burgeoning problem for the nation here.

Sometimes Its OK to be a Terrorist ...

U.S. bending rules on Colombia terror?

Several lawmakers say multinationals that aid violent groups in return for protection are not being prosecuted.

By Josh Meyer, (LA) Times Staff Writer
July 22, 2007

WASHINGTON — For more than a decade, leftist guerrilla and right-wing paramilitary groups in Colombia have kidnapped or killed civilians, trade union leaders, police and soldiers by the hundreds and profited by shipping cocaine and heroin to the United States.

In that time, several American multinational corporations have been accused of essentially underwriting those criminal activities — in violation of U.S. law — by providing cash, vehicles and other financial assistance as insurance against attacks on their employees and facilities in the South American nation.

But only one such company — Chiquita Brands International Inc. — has been charged criminally in the United States. Now, a showdown is looming that pits some members of Congress against the Justice Department and the multinationals — including an American coal-mining company and Coca-Cola bottlers.

Read the rest here ...

You simply have to be a big corporation and make donations to our favorite party of Hypocracy ... its a free market taking care of itself and the more guns you have, the freer it gets.

War on Terror my friggin' left foot!

Stupid Science Word of the Month

from Discover Magazine

When Neal Evenhuis, entomologist at the Bishop Museum in Hawaii, identified a new species of bee fly from the American Southwest aascribed to the genus Phthiria, he couldn't resist having a little fun. In deciding on a species, he recalls, "I thought, well, what could I do that would go with Phthiria - I'm thinking Gravitae? But then I thought of Relativitae, because I could do a Latin etomology for it: 'relating to life'. So I got Phthiria relativitae out of that."

The next challenge was to find a journal willing to publish the name, making it an official part of the taxonomic record. "When you do something like that," Evenhuis says, "sometimes reviewers or editors may not have a sense of humor."

So Evenhuis decided to send Phthiria relativitae overseas, where the English-language joke would fly (no pun intended!) under the radar. "I submitted it to a Polish journal and they published it, no questions asked," he says.

HINT: For anyone not up to snuff on their Latin, the pronunciation is "Theory a'Relativity".

Promoting Friends

Eric and John strike again!

A Little Something to Keep In Mind While Fighting in Iraq

There was a conversation recorded during the Paris Peace Talks in 1974 between an American colonel and a North Vietnamese officer. In many ways it summed up our 10 years in Vietnam and undermined the contention that it was a lack of political will and public support that led to our spectacular failure in Southeast Asia.

"You know," said the American colonel, " you never defeated us on the battlefield."

The North Vietnamese officer pondered this remark a moment.

"That may be so," he replied, "but it is also irrelevant."

Perhaps more to the point today, there was a joke making the rounds of the Pentagon in the early '70s when any hope of a military success in Vietnam had vanished for everyone except the administration.

There were many versions, though they all went something like this: The administration asked IBM for use of its largest super-computer. The Pentagon loaded all the data on the war: tonnage of bombs dropped, numbers of villages pacified, number of Vietcong and North Vietnamese killed or captured, tons of rice confiscated, areas of the country under U.S. and South Vietnamese governmental control, divisions of South Vietnamese troops trained and ready to fight, insurgent cells infiltrated, numbers of hospitals built and school rooms painted.

After all the data had been input, the administration asked the important question. "When will we win?" The computer spun its disks and raced through its microprocessors and, after 10 minutes, printed out the answer: "You won in 1968."

Full article here.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Boy-Molesting Priest Also Giuliani Consultant

or Republican Family Values, Part 7,627

Cross-dressing thrice-married abortionist Rudy Giuliani is building a “dream team” of consultants that so far includes a diaper-wearing hooker-fucker in New Orleans and a coke-dealing state treasurer in South Carolina. He seems to be lacking a pedophile on his team. Any possibilities out there?

How about a “Catholic priest accused of sexually molesting boys and who also was the lawyer for a now-closed Whitinsville counseling house for troubled priests that has been described as the center of a pedophile sex ring,” would that work for Rudy? Why yes, yes it would!

On Wonkette...

And now a brief word from our Right Wing sponsors ... "gay marriage will destroy the family!" I guess they'd know what might destroy a family.

Politician facing prostitution charges to miss meeting

By WCNC Staff

CONCORD, N.C. -- A Cabarrus County commissioner facing prostitution related charges will not attend Monday night's County Board meeting, according to a news release.

Coy Privette and Tiffany Summers were arrested Thursday. Investigators said Privette paid for sex with Summers six times in the last two months.

Privette's attorney sent the Cabarrus County Commision a statement Monday afternoon saying that his attendance may distract from the important issues the board had to discuss.

Privette, a former state legislator, has resigned as president of the Christian Action League, the group said.

Here ...

Wanna take a guess at which political party this guy represents? Could it be the Hypocritical Party? Another Bible-thumpin' defender of family values, too!

The End of Democracy in America

Congressman Denied Access To Post-Attack Continuity Plans

c.2007 Newhouse News Service

WASHINGTON — Constituents called Rep. Peter DeFazio's office, worried there was a conspiracy buried in the classified portion of a White House plan for operating the government after a terrorist attack.

As a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, DeFazio, D-Ore., is permitted to enter a secure "bubbleroom'' in the Capitol and examine classified material. So he asked the White House to see the secret documents.

On Wednesday, DeFazio got his answer: DENIED.

"I just can't believe they're going to deny a member of Congress the right of reviewing how they plan to conduct the government of the United States after a significant terrorist attack,'' DeFazio said.

"We're talking about the continuity of the government of the United States of America,'' DeFazio said. "I would think that would be relevant to any member of Congress, let alone a member of the Homeland Security Committee.''

From the Newhouse News Service.

Does anybody care?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Quote of the day

"Religion ends and philosophy begins, just as alchemy ends and chemistry begins and astrology ends, and astronomy begins."

--Christopher Hitchens

The Hitchens interview with Lou Dobbs is here.

Mention the President, Lose a Case?

Defense motion to ban George W. Bush's name at trial defeated

Shannon P. Duffy
The Legal Intelligencer
July 20, 2007

Apparently President George W. Bush is now so unpopular that some lawyers believe the mere mention of his name in front of a jury could tip the scales against them.

Attorneys Michael P. Laffey and Robert P. DiDomenicis of Holsten & Associates in Media, Pa., are defending Upper Darby Township, Pa., in a civil rights suit brought by Harold Lischner, an 82-year-old doctor who claims he was falsely arrested for displaying an anti-war sign at a Bush campaign event in September 2003.

With the case set to go to trial on July 23, the defense lawyers recently filed a flurry of motions, including one that asked Eastern District of Pennsylvania Judge Gene E.K. Pratter to prohibit the plaintiff from mentioning Bush's name.

The rest is here.

Of, if you like, you can read the full motion here.

Succeeding in Iraq

Winning the Hearts and Minds.