Saturday, December 31, 2005

Year in Review

Get Ready to Go Long: "The Most Outrageous Statements of 2005", Followed by the "Bitterest Ironies of 2005"!

Media Matters - Most outrageous statements of 2005
Former Reagan administration Secretary of Education Bill Bennett: "[Y]ou could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down." [Salem Radio Network's Bill Bennett's Morning in America, 9/28/05]

Pat Robertson: "If [Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez] thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it." [Christian Broadcasting Network's The 700 Club, 8/22/05]

Bill O'Reilly to San Francisco: "[I]f Al Qaeda comes in here and blows you up, we're not going to do anything about it. ... You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead." [Westwood One's The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly, 12/8/05]

Bill O'Reilly, agreeing with caller that illegal immigrants are "biological weapon[s]": "I think you could probably make an absolutely airtight case that more than 3,000 Americans have been either killed or injured, based upon the 11 million illegals who are here." [Westwood One's The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly, 4/15/05]

Rush Limbaugh: "Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society." [The Rush Limbaugh Show, 8/12/05]

Rush Limbaugh on the kidnapping of peace activists in Iraq: "I'm telling you, folks, there's a part of me that likes this." [The Rush Limbaugh Show, 11/29/05]

Ann Coulter: Bill Clinton "was a very good rapist"; "I'm getting a little fed up with hearing about, oh, civilian casualties"; "I think we ought to nuke North Korea right now just to give the rest of the world a warning." [New York Observer, 1/10/05]

Ann Coulter: "Isn't it great to see Muslims celebrating something other than the slaughter of Americans?" [Syndicated column, 2/3/05]

Radio host Glenn Beck: "[Y]ou know it took me about a year to start hating the 9-11 victims' families? Took me about a year." [Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program, 9/9/05]

Tucker Carlson: "Canada is a sweet country. It is like your retarded cousin you see at Thanksgiving and sort of pat him on the head. You know, he's nice, but you don't take him seriously. That's Canada." [MSNBC's The Situation with Tucker Carlson, 12/15/05]

American Family Association president Tim Wildmon: Liberals "don't have the kind of family responsibilities most people have, and certainly not church responsibilities." [American Family Radio's Today's Issues, 5/11/05]

David Horowitz on Cindy Sheehan: "It's very hard to have respect for a woman who exploits the death of her own son and doesn't respect her own son's life. ... She portrays him as an idiot." [MSNBC's Connected: Coast to Coast, 8/16/05]

Radio host Neal Boortz on the execution of Stanley "Tookie" Williams: "[T]here will be riots in South Central Los Angeles and elsewhere. ... The rioting, of course, will lead to wide scale looting. There are a lot of aspiring rappers and NBA superstars who could really use a nice flat-screen television right now." [, 12/12/05]

Pat Buchanan: "Our guys" in Iraq "have got every right to have good news put into the media and get to the people of Iraq, even if it's got to be planted or bought." [MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, 12/1/05]

National Review editor Rich Lowry: Given EPA-mandated "small-flush" toilets, "[h]ow is it possible to flush a Quran down the toilet?" [Young America's Foundation speech, 8/5/05]

Neal Boortz, suggesting that a victim of Hurricane Katrina housed in an Atlanta hotel consider prostitution: "I dare say she could walk out of that hotel and walk 100 yards in either direction on Fulton Industrial Boulevard here in Atlanta and have a job. What's that? Well, no, no, no. ... Well, you know what? [laughing] Now that you mention it ... [i]f that's the only way she can take care of herself, it sure beats the hell out of sucking off the taxpayers." [Cox Radio Syndication's The Neal Boortz Show, 10/24/05]

Focus on the Family founder and chairman James C. Dobson: Same-sex marriage would lead to "marriage between daddies and little girls ... between a man and his donkey." [Focus on the Family radio program, 10/6/05]

Accuracy in Media editor Cliff Kincaid: "Have you noticed that many news organizations, in honor of former ABC News anchorman Peter Jennings, have embarked on a quit smoking campaign? So why don't our media launch a campaign advising people to quit engaging in the dangerous and addictive homosexual lifestyle? ... It appears that the homosexual lifestyle is as addictive as smoking." [Accuracy in Media column, 12/14/05]

The Top 10 Bitterest Ironies of 2005
1. Fiddling While Rome Burns (Black and White Version):
How bitterly ironic was it to see George W. Bush doing everything he could to act like the commander-in-chief who was determined to be all over Hurricane Rita (which struck his home state of Texas) after being non compos mentis and Missing in Action when the residents of New Orleans (mostly poor and black) were awash in suffering after Katrina. Where were those Louisiana and Mississippi National Guard troops hired to defend their states, I wonder?

2. Burnt Flesh:
How bitterly ironic was it that the U.S. military ultimately acknowledged that it used the very same chemical weapon (white phosphorous) on civilians during the November, 2004 attack on Fallujah that Saddam Hussein used (when he had chemical weapons supplied by the U.S.) on the Kurds to put down the uprising in Kurdistan in 1991.

3. Saddam and Sadism:
How bitterly ironic is it that the U.S. used former Soviet Gulags, Saddam's torture chambers, and a string of "black sites", such as Poland, Romania, and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to carry out torture on detained "suspects," only a few of whom have ever been charged, much less convicted, of anything.

4. Bush and Rove Don't Know Jack:
How ironic was it that Bush and his "Brain" neither of whom served in combat) would attempt to smear one of the most decorated veterans in Congress, Rep. Jack Murtha (D-PA) for suggesting that the U.S. should pull out of Iraq sooner than later, because a military victory is not possible and the blowback from Iraq is only bound to increase our risk of future terrorism rather than abating it?

5. Reverse Robin Hoodism:
How ironic was it to see the Congress cutting $50 billion in programs for the poor in order to redistribute yet another $70 billion to the richest Americans. Now that's keeping the Christ in Christmas, isn't it? As Robert Reich pointed out in a recent column, the religious right fights tooth-and-nail against Darwinism while it embraces a far more perverse doctrine, "social Darwinism," (which was the brainchild of Herbert Spencer) to justify its economic redistribution from the poor to the rich. For the record, Charles Darwin was buried in Westminster Abbey, so the church fathers then were more enlightened than the likes of Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and James Dobson.

6. So Many Children Left Behind:
How ironic is it that the U.S. is one of only two countries which have not signed the treaty on the rights of the child (the other being Somalia!) Oh, the company we keep! And not only do we execute the more of its citizens than any country on the planet, but we execute minors and mentally handicapped people. Our infant mortality rate ranks 24th out of 29 developed nations.

7. Barbarians at the Gate:
How ironic is it that more than 1,000 Americans have been executed since the restoration of the death penalty in ____? Perhaps even more ironic still is the recent polls showing that about the same percentage of the population believes that torture is justified as those who support the death penalty. And many of these supporters claim to be Christians. The commandment, "Thou shalt not kill" carries no footnotes in my Bible. And the Gubernator greeted a clear case of redemption with vengeance. Here again, the U.S. is in a very small circle of friends who still execute other human beings (whether or not they're guilty) that includes only China, Vietnam, and Iran. 97% of all executions occur in these four countries. Oh what faith supporters of the death penalty have in the infallibility of government, the legal system, despite all of the counter-evidence.

8. Sometimes a Suspect is Just a Suspect:
How bitterly ironic is it that after almost four years in the limbo of being disappeared, the U.S. government finally released Jose Padilla. We are reported to be still holding between 13,000 and 17,500 detainees in Iraq, approximately 400 in Guantanamo, and who knows how many others in Afghanistan or by third-party countries we use to outsource torture. When interrogations are not designed to produce evidence for use in a legal case, then torture is simply terrorism. One wonders whether the reason the many detainees are not being released is because they may very well tell their stories and expose the lawlessness of U.S. policies and practices.

9. Torturous Times:
How bitterly ironic was it that George W. Bush (or his dim-witted handlers) chose Panama for the site of Bush's claim that "We do not torture?" That the School of the Americas (widely known as the School of Assassins or the School for Torture) was located in Panama from 1946 to 1984, prior to moving to Ft. Benning, Georgia. The National Security Archives are teeming with reports of atrocities committed by the graduates of the SOA. Nice venue, Dubya. Must have made Daddy proud.

10. Déjà Vu All Over Again:
How bitterly ironic is it that the Bush Administration bottled up the release (until the 2004 election had concluded) of documents showing that the pretext for the Vietnam War was faked and hyped just like the Iraq war. Indeed, there was no aggression by the North Vietnamese against U.S. vessels in the international waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. And now we learn that King George has defied the law and dusted off Nixonian tactics for spying on U.S. citizens. If the country had known either of these things prior to the 2004 election, Dubya might have been able to take an even longer vacation at the ranch, after all that hard work of being President!

Thursday, December 29, 2005


Thanks, George, says Osama

Thank You, George Bush, from Osama bin Laden
"So George I want to thank you for doing everything on my dream list... Both of our dreams are being realized, a world with constant violence, strife, and a clash between our versions of the two major religions."

Fear Destroys What bin Laden Could Not

He wanted to bankrupt the country. He wanted to terrorize the population. He wanted to cause no end of difficulty and social and civil unrest. The progress he made toward those ends came with the assistance of the Bush government. Fear Destroys What bin Laden Could Not.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The I-Word is Gaining Ground

The I-Word is Gaining Ground
The I-word has moved from the marginal to the mainstream... 'in the past few days, impeachment has become a topic of considered discussion among constitutional scholars and experts (including a few Republicans), former intelligence officers, and even a few politicians.' Even a moderately liberal columnist like Newsweek's Alter sounds like The Nation, observing: 'We're seeing clearly now that Bush thought 9/11 gave him license to act like a dictator.'"

Monday, December 26, 2005

Tag and Release

Okay, I was tagged, so I must offer five things about myself that you might not otherwise surmise:

1. I am a bassist. For a long time, I defined myself entirely by that. Not playing in a band anymore, but it is in the core of my soul and always shall be. During my heyday, I sang through the bass. Thunder and lightning were at my fingertips. I have experienced the unique magic of imagining a note, moving one finger to slam it into a stainless-steel roundwound bass string, hearing that sound emerge amplified through a speaker, and actually feeling it vibrate the very bones and tissue of my torso as I stood before my amplifier. From a spark in my brain to a volume of moving air, a sound I created literally shook my guts. One cannot experience such things and not be changed.

2. I was employed as a typesetter for several years and I loved it. I am still addicted to fonts and I maintain a nerdish love of desktop publishing.

3. I've always been artistic; writing, drawing... and I have always enjoyed the notion that the creative mind is the result of some degree of madness. If this is true, then it is a madness that should be nurtured. A divinely disturbing concept.

4. I am an exception to a rule that could have resulted in a tragic life for me. I had enough socio-behavioral strikes against me growing up that I should have ended up as a "statistic": I come from a broken home, was raised in a repressive, violent rural area dominated by a cult-like religion, and so on. Somehow, I managed to escape the stereotypical repetition of history, and have instead strived to become the opposite of what might have been. Except for the resultant psychological expressions described in item #3.

5. My wife and soulmate is creative and artistic also. To her I always dedicate this quote from the movie The Addams Family:
"I would kill for her. I would die for her. Either way, what bliss."
Now, it's my turn to tag someone. So, I tag Mike of the North.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Bush Fascist Regime Winning War Against Insidious Quaker Threat

People in these blogs who argue in favor of the Bush regime's warrantless domestic spying always insist that it is only carried out against people who are most certainly communicating with foreign terrorists. Well, they can just go on deluding themselves forever, I suppose, but the truth is just as I predicted: This government has been exploiting their "political capitol" by using it as an excuse to become the fascist totalitarian regime they've been dreaming of ever since Prescott Bush and Adolph Hitler began sleeping together.

While they have pointedly ignored any attempts to bring down actual threats like Osama-Bin-Forgotten, they've been busily "protecting" us from oh-so-dangerous groups like like Greenpeace, P.E.T.A., a Catholic worker's group, and God only knows who else (source)... they're even spying on Quakers, for crying out loud!

So the next time one of you tries to counter our criticism of illegal domestic warrantles searches, invasion of privacy and trashing of the fourth amendment, please offer something else besides, "they're only spying on terrorists!"


Saturday, December 24, 2005

My Final Post About the "War On Christmas" for 2005 (3 Updates - See End of Post!)

War on Christmas? There isn't one.

Except, perhaps, in the deluded, fevered mind of reactionary howler monkeys who sensationalize every little thing that encroaches on their vastly unrealistic vision of what they want America to be.

Well, here's something for them to chew on:

I have offered holiday greetings to people for a few weeks now, and they have done the same to me (I'm talking about people I meet in person; at work, stores, etc.). And do you know what? I am the one who always says "Merry Christmas". But of the many people involved in these exchanges, only two have ever actually used those words. All the rest have said "Happy Holidays".

Now, before anyone jumps to the conclusion that I only interact with black-clad, goatee-sporting, pierced-n-tattooed, tofu-munching, latte-sipping Wiccans, think again. I live in a small town in farm country, and pretty much all the people I work with and otherwise bump into are down-home, folksy, conservative-Christian types, who plaster the walls of their work cubicles with "wwjd" paraphernalia. The majority of those in these are matronly ladies in their 40's-50's who are usually the last ones to be categorized as anti-establishment.

So, here I am saying "Merry Christmas" to everyone, because that's who I am and I always have been and I like Christmas and that's basically what I celebrate. But in spite of right-wing pundits' statements to the contrary, my own examination of conservative America reveals that they happily volunteer the greeting "Happy Holidays" without thinking twice. Just as I have repeatedly said, it is a decades-old, perfectly acceptable Christmas-time greeting to all but the loopy right-wing fringe.

So, the so-called "War on Christmas" turns out to be just another ridiculous propaganda/public relations ploy from the radical right. Because they have no truths to offer, the only thing they have left is to sensationalize non-events to agitate people into considering, for a moment, their wacked-out assertions.

Well, they can stop now, because the holidays are almost over. I can hardly wait for Easter!

UPDATE I: To the Bill O'Reilly types, who, in their deranged zeal, think that this nation's founders intended for us all to say "Merry Christmas":
"...the Puritan pilgrims of New England outlawed the celebration of Christmas entirely.

"Whosoever shall be found observing any such day as Christmas and the like, either by feasting, forbearing labor, or any other way ... every such person so offending shall pay for each offense five shillings as a fine to the country," read the early statute.

And Puritan clergyman Increase Mather found Christmas nothing but "mad mirth ... highly dishonorable to the name of Christ." source
UPDATE II: OMFG. This congresswoman is a poster child for Republican stupidity. With all the important things that they could be doing, this is what they waste our time and money on. Idiots!

UPDATE III: Ha Ha Ha! The Republican Party is trying to kill Christmas!


Thursday, December 22, 2005

Christians Oppose Unethical Budget Cuts

From "Why I Got Arrested this Advent Season", by Christa Mazzone: "As a Christian, I cannot stand idly by during a time of increased poverty, war, and national tragedy as Congress attempts to cut billions of dollars to life-giving programs that assist our nation's most vulnerable, while at the same time they attempt to pass billions more in tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans. (If the House version of the budget passes, 220,000 low-income families may lose their food stamp benefits. If the potential capital gains and dividend tax cuts get passed, 80% of the benefits will go to the top 3% of earners, who make more than $200,000.) Without taking action, I could not celebrate with integrity this season the birth of Jesus Christ, who said, "Just as you did it to one of the least of did it to me'" (Matthew 25:40), and whose first words in his public ministry were, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor" (Luke 4:18)."

For more, see Sojourners : Faith in Action

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Since When Did Jacob Marley Gain Control of Congress?

Assessing the Effects of the Budget Conference Agreement on Low-Income Families and Individuals

Congress's Holiday Shenanigans


Key Section of Executive Summary of Conyers' Report
There is a prima facie case that these actions by the President, Vice-President and other members of the Bush Administration violated a number of federal laws, including (1) Committing a Fraud against the United States; (2) Making False Statements to Congress; (3) The War Powers Resolution; (4) Misuse of Government Funds; (5) federal laws and international treaties prohibiting torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment; (6) federal laws concerning retaliating against witnesses and other individuals; and (7) federal laws and regulations concerning leaking and other misuse of intelligence.

While these charges clearly rise to the level of impeachable misconduct, because the Bush Administration and the Republican-controlled Congress have blocked the ability of Members to obtain information directly from the Administration concerning these matters, more investigatory authority is needed before recommendations can be made regarding specific Articles of Impeachment. As a result, we recommend that Congress establish a select committee with subpoena authority to investigate the misconduct of the Bush Administration with regard to the Iraq war detailed in this Report and report to the Committee on the Judiciary on possible impeachable offenses.

In addition, we believe the failure of the President, Vice President and others in the Bush Administration to respond to myriad requests for information concerning these charges, or to otherwise account for explain a number of specific misstatements they have made in the run up to War and other actions warrants, at minimum, the introduction and Congress' approval of Resolutions of Censure against Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. Further, we recommend that Ranking Member Conyers and others consider referring the potential violations of federal criminal law detailed in this Report to the Department of Justice for investigation; Congress should pass legislation to limit government secrecy, enhance oversight of the Executive Branch, request notification and justification of presidential pardons of Administration officials, ban abusive treatment of detainees, ban the use of chemical weapons, and ban the practice of paying foreign media outlets to publish news stories prepared by or for the Pentagon; and the House should amend its Rules to permit Ranking Members of Committees to schedule official Committee hearings and call witnesses to investigate Executive Branch misconduct.

Just for Fun

Live Vote: Should Bush be impeached?

I know, unscientific, inaccurate. But hey, it's just for fun, right?

Sunday, December 18, 2005

But At Least The Mini-Storage Facilities Are Comfy

From an article about housing cost and availability:

Virtually no housing for low-wage earners
This year, for the first time in the 16 years the [National Low Income Housing Coalition] has determined that there is no place in the country where a full-time worker earning minimum wage can afford to rent even a one-bedroom apartment at fair market rent.

The report shows that this year's national housing wage - the hourly wage a full-time worker needs to earn in order to cover the rent with no more than 30 percent of his or her income - is $15.78 an hour. That's up from $15.37 an hour in 2004 and is more than three times the federal minimum wage of $5.15 an hour.

The communications director for Housing California, a leading statewide housing advocacy group, said the vast majority of housing being built in the Sacramento region is for purchase, not for rent. While classified sections fill with "for sale" ads, Bender said, some 38 percent of the region's residents need to rent. Many of them can't find any place they can afford. The market is penalizing hairdressers and grocery clerks and garbage collectors who don't make enough to buy, Bender said.

The housing wage computed by the National Low Income Housing Coalition is the hourly wage a full-time worker needs to earn in order to cover the rent with no more than 30 percent of his or her income. To use the rent/wage calculator, go here.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

The Asshole In Chief Strikes Again

It's bad enough that the Bush regime wants to turn America into a 21st century USSR. But to add insult to injury, he acts all pissed off when he finds out that people don't like living in his little Gulagistan.

To those warmongers who support this Stalinist bullshit, mark my words: they're not doing this to "combat terrorism". They're doing it TO SPY ON THEIR OWN POLITICAL ENEMIES. Don't believe me? Remember the hubub a little while ago when they said they were allowing people to bring stabbing weapons back onto airplanes? Do you think the Bushists care about your safety? Or how about this?

For crying out loud, they have worked to crush dissent for years. During the elections, they were locking up peaceful protesters and making people sign loyalty oaths to enter their campaign rallies. This sort of activity has the potential to wipe out political-dissidxent blogging. For everybody, not just "leftists".

Yeah, you just wait until we find out who they've been spying on. You'll see.

By the way, PLEASE consider signing this petition!

Friday, December 16, 2005

The Most Important Thing Ever

Back in November 2004, I wrote a post called "The Worst Thing Ever". I am following it up now with a story about the most important thing ever:

---> 20 Amazing Facts about Voting in the USA <---

I urge everyone to go to that site, please, and review it, please, and spread it around the blogosphere, please. Americans who don't already know, need to know. The whole world needs to know. Nothing else matters if the neocon regime and their ilk continue to subvert and poison our most precious national resource.

Bonus Video

Overstaying Our Welcome

More than two-thirds of those [Iraqis] surveyed oppose the presence of troops from the United States and its coalition partners and less than half, 44 percent, say their country is better off now than it was before the war, according to an ABC News poll conducted with Time magazine and other media partners.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Bush Says, "Oops. So What?"

Bush acknowledges faulty Iraq intelligence
I dunno, it's getting tiresome. All I can say anymore is that Bush us a lying sack of shit and anyone who believes what he says is a gullible sap.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Right-Wing Spendaholics

Under Bush, Federal Spending Increases at Fastest Rate in 30 Years
President George W. Bush is now on his way to becoming the first full-term president since John Quincy Adams (1825-1829) to not veto a single bill. The result is a congress that has been completely unconstrained in satiating its appetite for pork and corporate welfare. In response, Democratic challenger John Kerry has maligned alleged spending cuts and called for even higher taxes and spending. The consequence is that we now have two parties competing to see which can grow government faster.

The Grand Old Spending Party: How Republicans Became Big Spenders
Bush is still the biggest-spending president in 30 years... Total government spending grew by 33 percent during Bush’s first term... The Republican Congress has enthusiastically assisted the budget bloat. Inflation-adjusted spending on the combined budgets of the 101 largest programs they vowed to eliminate in 1995 has grown by 27 percent... Under Bush, Congress passed budgets that spent a total of $91 billion more than the president requested for domestic programs. Bush signed every one of those bills during his first term. Even if Congress passes Bush’s new budget exactly as proposed, not a single cabinet-level agency will be smaller than when Bush assumed office... The GOP establishment in Washington today has become a defender of big government.
Around the "internets" you'll find examples of right-wingers trying to disown Bush by defining him as a "liberal". As their proof they cite his presiding over unbridled spending and expansion of government, as if liberalism was defined by "spending". And we can only shake our heads.

Because you know what? They can make a my-pet-scapegoat out of George Bush, but they can't hide from the reality that we progressives have been waiting patiently to come to fruition for the last five years: The republicans have only themselves to blame.

Remember, this was their grand moment of glory. A republican-controlled congress, a republican president, a republican judiciary. They said they'd show us how it was supposed to be done. Responsible, prudent fiscal restraint. Honor and dignity in the white house. Etcetera ad nauseum.

They failed miserably on all counts. They all did. Not just Bush. All of them. They compose the bills that Bush always signs. They rob taxpayers to pay for their pork. They prostitute themselves to special interests at the citizens expense. They sell us out and collect their blood money. They bribe journalists to subvert the media. They commit all manner of apalling debauchery, and somehow manage to convince their supporters that they are morally superior. Through scandal after scandal, they enjoy unwavering allegiance. And as things get worse and worse, their response is to single out a member of the pack and say, "it's his fault... he's a liberal."

Well, that's as laughable as it is ludicrous. Bush is repubican, through and through. They are the party of scandal and hypocrisy. The party of irresponsible fiscal policy and ruinous economic indulgences. The party of disasterous policies both foreign and domestic. The party of such an appalling, disgraceful lack of concern for American citizens that it borders on contempt. The party that can hardly manage to issue a single statement that does not contain a lie.

What does "conservative" mean? Today, it means to conserve the Washington status quo in all its forms. All the greed, lying, bribery, cronyism, graft, corruption, crime and contempt for which Washington has become infamous.

They are the conservatives. They are the republicans.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Why do Christians Hate Capitalism?

This war on Christmas stuff is getting hilarious. All you have to do is Google war on Christmas and you’ll see for yourself. There are even groups calling for boycotts of stores who don’t specifically promote Christmas by name, to the exclusion of other seasonal holidays.

Let’s get this straight: these religious groups want to try to force businesses to advertise a bias towards their religion, rather than allow the stores to appeal to as broad a customer base as they can? Why can’t these groups just let businesses operate as they see fit?

In spite of what these poor delusional souls think, American communities are not all reflective of Norman Rockwell’s America. There are (surprise!) other cultures and other religions, in this country, and their money talks, too. And quite frankly, it’s a lot more cost effective to produce signage with one phrase like "Happy Holidays" than it is to produce separate signs for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, and whatever. It’s just plain good business to try to appeal to as many customers as possible.

If there is a war over Christmas, it was the Christians who instigated it, and are zealously waging it. And their zealotry reveals blasphemous hypocrisy: Christmas, along with being a celebration of the birth of Christ, is traditionally about peace on earth and goodwill toward all. But these Christian groups seem to feel that Christmas is all about marketing and retail signage and appearances and shallow, superficial rhetoric. Instead of finding the significance in welcoming all people to join in their celebration by celebrating the holidays, they condemn such welcoming practices and conspire to punish retailers who they feel have darkened the altar of the cash register. They have turned a season of holiday cheer into yet another forum to engage in another one of their religious pit fights against popular culture. That’s sad. And I'll tell you what: In spite of their claims, no one is "forcing" them to not say the word "Christmas". That's ridiculous.

Why can’t these Christmas warrior Christians just keep their religion to themselves, worship however they want to, post whatever signs they want to in their own businesses, send out Christmas cards if they want to, enjoy their religious holiday, and get over the fact that not everyone shares their beliefs?

Bonus link: A totally excellent article on The Meaning of (the War Over) Christmas

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Leiberman Joins the Hypocrites

Joe Lieberman has become a flip-flopping hypocrite. Why? To cozy up to the neocons? Does he want to be appointed to something? Credibility is a terrible thing to waste.

"Psychiatry Ponders Whether Extreme Bias Can Be an Illness"

This could have some interesting ramifications for those of us who feel so strongly about social and political issues that we blog and research and so on. They draw the line between passion and pathology when it interferes with one's ability to persue their normal life. Does that mean if I stay up until after midnight blogging about politics and go to work the next day on 4 hours' sleep, I'm crazy?


Tuesday, December 6, 2005

From Buzzflash

Infamous Comparisons
"In less than four years after entering WWII, America and its allies defeated the greatest military threat ever assembled in world history: the fascist Axis powers of Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo. But four years after 9/11, Bush remains unable to defeat a ragtag group of insurgents and terrorists, with no end in sight to the Iraqi insurgency and 'War on Terrorism.'"

Monday, December 5, 2005

From a Newsgroup Posting...

I found this on a newsgroup thread. All credit goes to the original author. I liked it, and I decided to reprint it here, while fundamentalist Christians are howling that they are under seige this holiday season. Perhaps they might look to emigrate to a country that shares their values?

Quotes about Christianity by Famous Americans

Abraham Lincoln
"The Bible is not my book nor Christianity my profession. I could never give assent to the long, complicated statements of Christian dogma."

"My earlier views of the unsoundness of the Christian scheme of salvation and the human origin of the scriptures, have become clearer and stronger with advancing years and I see no reason for thinking I shall ever change them."
Thomas Jefferson
"I have examined all the known superstitions of the word, and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology. Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites; to support roguery and error all over the earth."

"The clergy converted the simple teachings of Jesus into an engine for enslaving mankind and adulterated by artificial constructions into a contrivance to filch wealth and power themselves...these clergy, in fact, constitute the real Anti-Christ."

"Christianity...(has become) the most perverted system that ever shone on man.... Rogueries, absurdities and untruths were perpetrated upon the teachings of Jesus by a large band of dupes and importers led by Paul, the first great corrupter of the teaching of Jesus."
John Adams
"Where do we find a precept in the Bible for Creeds, Confessions, Doctrines and Oaths, and whole carloads of other trumpery that we find religion encumbered with in these days?"

"The doctrine of the divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity."

Adams signed the Treaty of Tripoli. Article 11 states: "The Government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion."
Thomas Paine
"I would not dare to so dishonor my Creator God by attaching His name to that book (the Bible)."

"Among the most detestable villains in history, you could not find one worse than Moses. Here is an order, attributed to 'God' to butcher the boys, to massacre the mothers and to debauch and rape the daughters. I would not dare so dishonor my Creator's name by (attaching) it to this filthy book (the Bible)."

"It is the duty of every true Deist to vindicate the moral justice of God against the evils of the Bible."

"Accustom a people to believe that priests and clergy can forgive sins...and you will have sins in abundance."

"The Christian church has set up a religion of pomp and revenue in pretended imitation of a person (Jesus) who lived a life of poverty."
James Madison
"What influence in fact have Christian ecclesiastical establishments had on civil society? In many instances they have been upholding the thrones of political tyranny. In no instance have they been seen as the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wished to subvert the public liberty have found in the clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate liberty, does not need the clergy."

Madison objected to state-supported chaplains in Congress and to the exemption of churches from taxation. He wrote:

"Religion and government will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together."

These founding fathers were a reflection of the American population. Having escaped from the state-established religions of Europe, only 7% of the people in the 13 colonies belonged to a church when the Declaration of Independence was signed.

Friday, December 2, 2005

Merry Mmphlph!

Hey, loyal readers, remember last year around this time when I offered this post about "Bush White House's Christ-Less Christmas?"
While his media-mogul ministers of information are busy showing their "goodwill toward men" by spreading more of their ridiculous LIES about liberals, saying that we "hate Christmas" and that we are "taking Christ out of Christmas," and so on, their king, Hypoctrites Rex, demonstrates his will that no other king should be worshipped but him. As the Anti-Christ, Bush is careful to remove such references from his presence, similar to the way that mirrors and crucifixes are kept from Rumsfeld's sight and references to Rasputin are hushed around Cheney and Rove.
Well, Mike V. has a great one up for this year's holidays (or whatever we're supposed to call it) called And they tell us the damn "libruls" are trying to kill Christmas.

Where's Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson now?

Media Circus

Hey, news junkies - here is a source that has links to a ton of news agencies... tons of 'em!

Thursday, December 1, 2005

Hillary Kicks Ass

Like or or not, Hillary Clinton kicks ass with this very well-put rebuttal to the Bushists' (and others') dumbass contention that we have no right to oppose the war because so many were tricked into voting for it.
I voted…on the basis of the evidence presented by the Administration, assurances they gave that they would first seek to resolve the issue of weapons of mass destruction peacefully through United Nations sponsored inspections, and the argument that the resolution was needed because Saddam Hussein never did anything to comply with his obligations that he was not forced to do.

Their assurances turned out to be empty ones, as the Administration refused repeated requests from the U.N. inspectors to finish their work. And the “evidence” of weapons of mass destruction and links to al Qaeda turned out to be false…

Before I voted in 2002, the Administration publicly and privately assured me that they intended to use their authority to build international support in order to get the U.N. weapons inspectors back into Iraq, as articulated by the President in his Cincinnati speech on October 7th, 2002. As I said in my October 2002 floor statement, I took “the President at his word that he will try hard to pass a U.N. resolution and will seek to avoid war, if at all possible.”

Instead, the Bush Administration short-circuited the U.N. inspectors - the last line of defense against the possibility that our intelligence was false. The Administration also abandoned securing a larger international coalition, alienating many of those who had joined us in Afghanistan…

I take responsibility for my vote, and I, along with a majority of Americans, expect the President and his Administration to take responsibility for the false assurances, faulty evidence and mismanagement of the war.

It is time for the President to stop serving up platitudes and present us with a plan for finishing this war with success and honor – not a rigid timetable that terrorists can exploit, but a public plan for winning and concluding the war. And it is past time for the President, Vice President, or anyone else associated with them to stop impugning the patriotism of their critics.
So far, you know, the republican response to calls for troop withdrawal has been to say, "Sure we fucked up, but you were dumb enough to believe in us, so you're guilty too!" Well, screw 'em, Amos. Getting conned doesn't make you a con man, you know?


Wednesday, November 30, 2005

"George Bush, Meet Reality"

President's speech on Iraq strategy conjures a dreamworld
"America will not run in the face of car bombers and assassins so long as I am your commander-in-chief," says Bush, the man who squirmed his way out of Vietnam duty.

All of this seems removed from reality, in which the U.S. can’t guarantee security and its allies in the Iraqi military are commonly viewed as U.S. puppets sent out to conduct torture. The Iraqis want the U.S. out.

Most of all, Bush himself and his strategy statement omit oil, a major reason--if not the only reason--for invading Iraq to begin with. And here the U.S. is on the verge of executing a total takeover of the once nationalized industry, turning it instead into a privatized business to be run by the big international companies--descendants of the original oil companies that colonized Iraq to begin with.
Let me repeat that one sentence: Iraqis want the U.S. out.

See also: This

Monday, November 28, 2005

Bush Was Opposed to Withdrawal Before He Was For It

Even though Bush said that we cannot win the war on terror, he also says that we will not leave Iraq until we have achieved "total victory".

So, let's get this straigt. Bush says we will not stop fighting the war until we have won it. He also says it cannot be won. Okay, we can accept that from the flip-flopper-in-chief 1, 2, 3. Anybody who still thinks this war will actually end is delusional.

But now, as if lying isn't enough, he has decided to steal ideas from the democrats! Ha! His party must be so proud of that.

When we who oppose the war call for troop withdrawal, we are called traitors and worse by the right-wing bloodbathers. But, oh, it's a wonderful idea when it comes from the mouth of the neocon spokesidiot. But, what else could one expect from a bunch of avaricious thugs whose idea of world peace is to kill everyone and take their stuff. What a bunch of fucking hypocrites.

Still Wondering...

I recommend the op-ed peice by David Wallechinsky What Is the Real Reason George Bush Invaded Iraq? Well worth the read.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Here It Comes

Okay, with Thanksgiving over, the retailers are not going to let us forget that the next holiday approaches like a meteor in a scifi channel disaster flick. And riding that meteor are the Christopaths crying out in aguish that the evil liberals are forcing Americans to take Christ out of Christmas. Well, boo-effin'-hoo and cry me a river, because fundamentalist wackos don't own the winter holidays, dig it?

Let's start with the "seasons greetings" vs "merry christmas" cage match. "Seasons greetings" is better for business: it's just a cost-efficient way of saying, "merry christmas, happy hanukkah, happy kwanzaa, happy whatever else we forgot." Besides, since the right overwhelmingly places greater value on corporate revenue than on christian values, it stands to reason that they would support that phrase, doesn't it?

Besides all that, the main thing is that Christmas is PAGAN PAGAN PAGAN! That's right, members of the flock:
Thousands of years before Christianity even appeared, cultures all around the world were celebrating a similar holiday, with many of the traditions that we now associate with Christmas.

What these cultures celebrated was the Winter Solstice, or the shortest day of the year. This usually occurs on December 21. For various reasons, ancient cultures celebrated this holiday at different times in December or early January.

Why did these many cultures celebrate the Winter Solstice? Because from here on the days will get longer and warmer. It is a holiday of optimism, that the sun will win in its battle over darkness. It is also a holiday of rebirth and fertility, for the lengthening sun will eventually allow farmers to plant their crops. Light is an intrinsic part of most of these celebrations, whether it be sunlight, candles, bonfires, Yuletide logs or today's Christmas lights. Not for nothing do most cultures start their New Year about this time.

The first evidence that we have of a Solstice celebration is Mesopotamia from 4,000 years ago. Solstice celebrations have been found in every part of the ancient world, from China to Native America.

The Solstice celebration that Christianity drew on was the Roman holiday Saturnalia. During these celebrations, people suspended all work and indulged in great feasts and drinking. They decorated their homes with greenery of all sorts (for greenery was the product of sunlight, of course). This ranged from wreaths made of laurel to trees adorned with candles. Gifts were sometimes exchanged, especially with small children. But the most interesting aspect of the holiday was the reversal of social order. Wars were suspended, quarrels forgotten, debts forgiven. Slaves exchanged places with their masters, and children became head of their families. In fact, the Romans went so far as to crown a mock king "the Lord of Misrule." The holiday, needless to say, was extremely popular with the people.

In 274 A.D., the Roman Empire was still "pagan" (that is, not yet Christianized). In that year, the Emperor Aurelian proclaimed that December 25 would be the birthday of the "Invincible Sun."

In 336 A.D., Emperor Constantine Christianized this holiday, proclaiming it to be the birthday of Jesus. The date is almost certainly wrong; the Bible doesn't say when Jesus was born. However, it was most likely in spring, the only time that ancient shepherds ever watched over their flocks by night.

It is interesting to note that as Christmas spread throughout Europe, it absorbed the Winter Solstice customs of other countries. For example, when Christianity spread to Scandinavia, it found Scandinavians celebrating the Winter Solstice with Yule logs, mistletoe, holly, legends about elves, and Yule goats who carried presents from the gods.
Now, I know a lot of Christians are discouraged by this sort of narrative because their religion teaches them that they thought of everything first. Well, hey - if they feel slandered by this sort of thing, they can always call the ACLU.


A Good One for the Blogrolls

Stumbled across one I really like, here: Why we hate Bush. Worth a visit 8^).
Bush stands against everything that America stands for. He has violated every principle on which the United States was founded. He should be immediately impeached and charged with treason.
Nicely put.

In Concert

This stuff is just getting ridiculous, now: Cheney to Headline DeLay Fundraiser. I don't even have to make up funny material for this one.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Lying For Empire

Mike of the North posts a link to a great source recent history describing American global conquest, caled Lying For Empire. It shows how completely full of crap the war apologists and rationalizers are, not to mention the architects of chaos themselves. It's a bitch to realize you've been duped, but those who think we're out there defending democracy are being played for saps in the worst way.

From Rachel Maddow's Site

"Republicans keep telling us that Congress had the same prewar intelligence as the White House, but that's demonstrably false. In fact, the White House is still withholding prewar intelligence!"
Her site has the source links.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

My Blue Heaven...

Ha! Remember the "red maps" of the US that have been so prevalently displayed on rightist websites since the Bush/Cheney 2004 "landslide" of a less-than-2%-margin of victory?

Well, since then, it looks like we've got the blues... as in, blue = disapproval with Bush administration policies:

Incidentally, heaven is usually protrayed as blue, and hell as red. Go figure.

Monday, November 21, 2005


Dick Cheney: "Those who advocate a sudden withdrawal from Iraq should answer a few simple questions," including whether the United States be "better off or worse off" with terror leaders such as Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Osama bin Laden, or Ayman al-Zawahiri in control.

Oh please, give me a break. Dick Cheney has absolutely zero credibility talking about Osama bin Laden or anyone else. Dick Cheney is part of the same gang of liars who stated that they don't even care about bin Laden. He means nothing to them, except for this: they never wanted him to be caught because, among other things, he is a valuable part of their team: every time they're in trouble, they need only speak his name, and voila! They can scare everyone into writing them another blank check.

Dickface Cheney has cried wolf too many times. He pisses on the graves of American soldiers by evoking names like "Osama bin Laden", while at the same time employing bin Laden as a marketing tool. This guy is sickeningly shameful, and an embarrassment to the country. Soldiers, their families, and patriots of all kinds should want to kick Dick Cheney's deferment-protected ass from here to Iraq.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Liars, Liars, Liars (updated)

Bush is a Liar.
Cheney is a Liar.
Rumsfeld is a Liar.
And that's just some of the gang. The fact that their supporters can lend any credibility whatsoever to this government of crooks is just plain sad. For awhile it was shocking. Then it become incredible, and then developed into the ridiculous. Now it is just plain sad. Blind loyalty to liars and thieves, and for what? Because those lies are ehat they want to hear? How pathetic.

Livin' the Lie?

An interesting article wherein the author describes how the Bush gang swore Saddam was behind 9/11 in lawsuit.

That's What I Call a Good Judge of Character

I always love the way this Doug Thompson articulates his dead-on accurate character studies of the Asshole in Chief. He says, "Burn in hell, Mr. President". Of course, those of us who do not believe in hell are stuck with the liklihood that Bush will never have to pay for his sins. Too bad. At least we can be satisfied with the knowledge that if there was a hell, Bush would end up there, suffering all the tortures he so gleefully inflicts on others.

Holy Hypocrisy

Rachel Maddow is one of the most incredibly brilliant political analysts in the known universe. I check her site every day. Here is one of my favorites:
You know that Bush doesn't go to church, right? A faithful guy, by all accounts, but he doesn't actually go to church.

I wonder if that will affect how he receives the news that 96 bishops from the church he supposedly would go to (if he were a going-to-church kind of guy), the United Methodist Church, have signed a statement of conscience repenting their "complicity" in the "unjust and immoral" invasion and occupation of Iraq?
Her and Molly Ivins, man... they're the greatest!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Dick Gets Hard on Critics

Dick Cheney's attempt to deflect attention away from the documented proof that he and his associates lied profusely in order to sell their invasion of Iraq, is almost comical. Unfortunately, it is real life, and a lot of innocent blood has been shed because of those lies. Now, Cheney pulls out the stops and lets loose another of his flatulent outbursts of neocon htypocrisy, claiming that anyone who cites examples of the Bush administration's lies is "rewriting history".

Newsflash to Cheney: No one is "rewriting history". Revealing the lies of the Bush administration is not a re-write, it is a review - after all, we've been documenting these things for a long time. Perhaps they were re-writing history when they lied about this and lied about that. Here's a pdf link documenting 51 times Cheney lied about Iraq.

Which begs the question... or, is it twenty questions?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Hear That Rustling Sound?

Could it be the sound of the fabric of Bush's lies unraveling?

Indeed, it could. By the way, here is the article referenced in the letter to the editor above. The proponents of war keep saying there were no lies. Bush, of course, says the same thing. But the lies are so great in number and importance that they will not be ignored. This is one of the best lists of neocon lies to date - this article is a keeper!

Added bonus: Here is a nice clip of the liar in chief doing what he does best. Lying. As usual.

Can't Get Much Lower Than This

We told them so, for years. Why wouldn't they listen when it mattered? Were they blind, or just stupid!?

Monday, November 14, 2005


A leading Republican senator and decorated Vietnam War veteran said Sunday the Iraq war has destabilized the Mideast and is looking more like the Vietnam conflict a generation ago.

Rebuttalpalooza; or, I'm Rubber, You're Glue...

When those of us who oppose the war against Iraq point out that the Bush administration fabricated intelligence and lied about weapons of mass destruction, some, especially proponents of the war, like to offer the rebuttal that many left-wing politicos took the same position as the Bush regime. Here is an example of the quotes they use.

Where does that leave us? Well, for one thing, it's not as if we on the left are going to say, "Damn! I never though of that! The republicans must have been right all along! I mean, if Hillary and Teddy were saying the same thing..!" I say, If right-wing analyists could be mistaken, then so could those on the left. All it proves is that the "bad intelligence" was spread around, shall we say, liberally. We also know that PNAC had these plans cooking a long time ago, so false or misleading intelligence may have been released over a long period of time.

In fact, the timing of the quotes is very telling. Note the dates. Most of the quotes are from late 2002, with one in Jan of 2003. Now, check this timeline of the Iraq war. Notice that the quotes to which right-wingers refer were made before Blix's report was issued. The quotes were based on - what? Doctored data from PNAC neocons, like the Downing Street documents?

It should also be noted that we who oppose the war are not naive - too idealistic, maybe, but not naive. We do not think that Saddam Hussein didn't want to amass a horde of weapons of all kinds; after all, we were his supplier and he was our point man in the Iran-Iraq war. We turned a blind eye to some atrocities. We helped make the monster, and it stands to reason that he kept some of the stuff we supplied him with. But, a dozen years and a crapload of bombing sorties later, his inventory was, evidently, depleted.

Another thing these pro-war bloggers always add when citing these quotes is the statement, "Maybe these people should be held accountable" [add snarky/sarcastic vocal inflection]. Well, certainly, they should; however, how many of the people cited in the list of quotes used those lies/errors as justification for invasion and conquest of Iraq? I mean, really pushed for it, the way the Bush regime did? How many were aware of the lies and false data contained in their remarks, the way the Bush regime was? You see, it's the lying and manipulation that need to be held to account. Not just the rhetoric, but the inappropriate action - using disinformation to deceive people into supporting their aggresive conquest for oil.

My point is: the notion that the [wholly misguided] march to war against Iraq was a bipartisan effort does not lessen the importance of opposing an unjust war. It does not weaken our position, nor does it weaken our resolve. All it does is illustrate the complexity and enormity of the geopolitical machinery that was put in place to invade and conquer the middle east. In the end, no WMD's were found, contrary to a lot of lies from the president and his associates that they existed and had been found.

And don't get me started on all that b.s. about the connection between Iraq and 9/11 (but oh, how Bush and Cheney cling to it because it fires up their base to no end).

So, a lot of democrat politicians were wrong about the war. Many of them changed their tune when it became apparent that they had been played for saps. If they realize they were wrong and make an effort to correct the error, then that's about the best we can hope for. The ones who ignore reality and continue to insist the emperor does have clothes are a problem.

But, hey, right-wing commenters and bloggers, know this: the quotes by democrats in favor of the war are not the intellectual secret weapon you would like them to be. You'll have to do a lot better to justify this.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

In Your Name...

In your name, the CIA tortures prisoners to death. That is what America stands for now in the eyes of the world, thanks to the Bush administration and those who support them both through votes and contributions. The blood is on their hands.

Bonus Update

Beware the Tricksters

This story about a secret memo is getting some attention, but beware, I say: A new “terrorist” attack, orchestrated by the partners-of-Bin-Laden-neocon-republicans, is exactly what I would expect the neocons to do, based up on their record. Having said that, it’s still sketchy as to whether that memo is real. It’s just like them, and it follows their pattern, but I am uncomfortable with the “secret memo” thing. The author of that article needs to produce legitimate documented proof; then it could be used to seriously kick the ass of the necon regime. If the memo turns out to be baseless, it becomes serious damage. Remember, this is exactly what happened with the CBS News “fake memo”. It smells of a Karl Rove trick - issue an anti-republican “secret memo”, then expose it as a fake, then howl about the left and accuse them of producing the memo themselves - the damage done by the accusations of forgery far outstrip whatever sort of diabolical activities the “right” gets up to during the resulting melee, creating a distraction and allowing them to do all sort of evil shit while everyone is busy blaming the messenger. Meanwhile, the real source of the memo is never revealed, is it? Does any know or care who actually created the false documents that CBS/Dan Rather used as a source, and that "conservatives" howl about, every single time we reveal a republican lie?

It appears Buzzflash agrees! Beware, my friends... the republican party is going to resort to their tried-and-true method fear-mongering to rally support for their failed government. I'll bet you they are planning another terrorist attack.

Another source.

Grandpa Goes to War

Leftist Grandpa posts a news item that veterans should consider. When the going gets tough, the chickhawks get somebody else to get going!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Pot Calls Kettle Black (includes update)

Bush accuses critics of the war against Iraq of trying to "rewrite history". This, from the lying-est president ever. Is anyone still buying this load of crap? Apparently, not as many as before! Ha! Even a quarter of the republicans polled say Cheney is dishonest! Where the fucking hell were they when we were telling them this over and over again since the year two-fucking-thousand!!?
UPDATE: A good article here, too (a quick read) about the hypocrite-in-chief.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Happy Veterans Day: Bush Says, F**k You, Vets!

Bush's War on Veterans
Earlier this year, Republican leaders in Congress blocked $2 billion in emergency funding for veterans' health care from the $82 billion supplemental funding bill. They felt that the money would be better spent in Iraq and Afghanistan, where we're producing more and more injured soldiers for whom we cannot afford adequate medical care.

Then the Bush administration requested a mere 2.7 percent increase in Veterans Affairs (VA) spending, even though the VA's Under Secretary testified last year that the VA health care system needs a 13 to 14 percent increase annually to maintain their current level of services.

Thousands of veterans of the first Gulf War are suffering the effects of exposure to depleted uranium (DU), or have died from that exposure, yet the U.S. government denies the effects and continues to ship DU munitions for use in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Some wounded U.S. soldiers have returned home from the current war in Iraq only to learn that they are being referred to credit agencies for "failure to pay" for lost equipment, and for charges for military housing.

And about one-fourth of all homeless Americans are veterans. According to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, nearly 200,000 veterans are homeless on any given night. Two percent of them are female. Most of these cases are attributed to lingering effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and substance abuse, compounded by a lack of family and social support networks.

This is how our government treats those who have so bravely fought for their country.

Veterans Lash Out at Loss of Voice on Capitol Hill
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.

War on Veterans
On Veterans Day, as our nation remains at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the President and Members of Congress will call on America to support our troops and talk about how much we owe our men and women in uniform. But instead of honoring its commitment to those whose service and sacrifice have kept us free and safe, our government has launched a devastating assault on benefits for America's veterans.

Federal funding for veterans programs over the years has not even kept pace with inflation, let alone the increased demands on the Department of Veterans Affairs for health care and other earned benefits. The administration claims to have provided record increases for veterans, yet thousands of them have been denied access to VA health care. Because of budget shortfalls, VA facilities in every region of the country have exhausted reserve funds to meet critical needs. Many have stopped hiring doctors and nurses, while still others have cut back or even eliminated medical services. It is a clear indication that the men and women who have served and sacrificed for our country are not a national priority.

But inadequate funding for medical care isn't the only thing veterans are concerned about...

Bush Honors Veterans By Slashing Veterans Affairs Budget by $1 Billion
In return for Veterans' lost lives, the sacrifices, the suffering, the dislocation, the burdens, the family disruptions and related family crises the President proposes a $1 billion cut in a $28.7 billion VA budget.

2006 Won’t Be First Year Bush Cuts Support for Veterans

Too many examples to list.

The point is, the Bush administration couldn't care less about soldiers or veterans. Happy fucking veterans day.

By the way, don't forget to reserve as much derision as possible for the chickenhawks.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Is this sort of thing what the "right" wants to represent America? It's diabolical!

Logic Puzzles

Bush Declares: "We Do Not Torture"
"We do not torture," Bush declared in response to reports of secret CIA prisons overseas. "We are finding terrorists and bringing them to justice. We are gathering information about where the terrorists may be hiding. We are trying to disrupt their plots and plans. Anything we do to that end in this effort, any activity we conduct, is within the law. We do not torture," Bush said.
In other words, if they make sure it's legal, then it's not torture. The old tree-falls-in-the-forest defense.

Cheney Seeks CIA Exemption to Torture Ban
Vice President Dick Cheney made an unusual personal appeal to Republican senators this week to allow CIA exemptions to a proposed ban on the torture of terror suspects in U.S. custody, according to participants in a closed-door session. Cheney told his audience the United States doesn't engage in torture, these participants added, even though he said the administration needed an exemption from any legislation banning "cruel, inhuman or degrading" treatment in case the president decided one was necessary to prevent a terrorist attack.
The party of moral superiority never ceases to amaze me. Indeed, this sort of thing is what gives my blog its name.

Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Another "Hmm..."

Tom Gilroy: "White House in chaos" & other utter horseshit.
Nothing could be more damaging for the bridge club of armchair politicians known as the Democratic Leadership than the recent spate of sound bytes like "Bush's worst week in Office," "A White House Demoralized," and "Bushies on the Brink of Collapse".

The problem with these snappy doomsday pronouncements--collective wishes really--is that they bear no relationship to reality. You really have to wonder what kind of bloated house-bound moron could think slumping polls and plummeting approval ratings would worry a gang of fanatics who stole two elections in a row, invaded a country they knew couldn't defend itself, and gave a male hustler White House security clearance.
In other words: approval ratings don't mean shit to the neocons. They steal elections!

Monday, November 7, 2005

Its Good To Know Someone Is Keeping Track Of...

...The Bush/GOP Outrages Archives


Lying's just the tip of the iceberg
Since it is apparently not a crime to deceive the American people into supporting a foolish and unjust war, one must be content with the indictment of I. Lewis Libby for perjury and obstruction of justice. The indictment is an example of a mountain laboring two years to bring forth a molehill. Libby will have the best trial lawyers money can buy and stands a good chance of acquittal. If he is convicted, the president will surely grant him a pardon before he leaves office.

The Bush administration, led by the vice president, systematically deceived the American people about the war and continues to do so. There were never any nuclear weapons, never any raw uranium, never any Iraqi involvement in the World Trade Center attack. The Iraq war was never part of a "war on terrorism."

The vice president is also supporting legislation that would provide the basis for the CIA to do what it is already doing -- torture people who are held outside this country. Granted Cheney's serious fear that jihadism has created another cold war situation, such legislation would still reduce the United States to a country that willingly supports savagery -- an ineffective strategy at that. The war is Cheney's war, and the 2,000 American dead and the 32,000 Iraqi dead are Cheney's victims. The torture is Cheney's torture.

With this background, the indictment of Libby looks kind of silly.
Remember Iran-Contra - the little guys take the fall and receive pardons, the bigger crooks receive their pardons early and go on to become kings.

Sunday, November 6, 2005

Rightard 101

From a usenet newsgroup posting:
"Well Scooter Libby is having to go to court to defend his right to be Conservative, just as Delay is doing the same in defense of his right to exercise the duties of his office as Majority whip of the House."
Ha ha. Are those guys funny, or what? Oops, I forgot - they control all three branches of government of the most powerful nation on earth!

Saturday, November 5, 2005

100% Impeachable

From Leftist Grandpa:
Dick Cheney, in the same poll, has a 19 percent approval rating.

19 percent.

That's two points less popular than cheating on your spouse and seven points behind corporal punishment in schools (scroll down).

That's down in what can be politely called lunatic territory. As I've been pointing out for years, twenty or thirty percent of Americans believe any insane thing you can imagine.

Dick Cheney is now 18 points behind the number of people who believe alien beings have secretly contacted the U.S. government.

Bush, similarly, now trails the number of people who think astrology is scientific by five points.
That's who really voted for George Bush.

Wednesday, November 2, 2005


By now, other blogs have been writing about the story: CIA Holds Terror Suspects in Secret Prisons. A global network of secret prisons where we can torture prisoners with impugnity. Is that the America we want? Does that make us better than our enemies?

The following editorial addresses it well. I'll reprint it so you don't have to register with the NY Times.
The Prison Puzzle

It's maddening. Why does the Bush administration keep forcing policies on the United States military that endanger Americans wearing the nation's uniform - policies that the military does not want, that do not work and that violate standards upheld by the civilized world for decades?

When the Bush administration rewrote the rules for dealing with prisoners after 9/11, needlessly scrapping the Geneva Conventions and American law, it ignored the objections of lawyers for the armed services. Now, heedless of the lessons of Abu Ghraib, the civilians are once again running over the people in uniform. Tim Golden and Eric Schmitt reported yesterday in The Times that the administration is blocking the Pentagon from adopting the language of the Geneva Conventions to set rules for handling prisoners in the so-called war on terror.

Senior military lawyers want these standards, as do some Defense and State Department officials outside the inner circle. They say the abuse and torture of prisoners has reduced America's standing with its allies and taken away its moral high ground with the rest of the world. They also know that it endangers any American soldiers who are captured.

The rigid ideologues blocking this reform say the Geneva Conventions banning inhumane treatment are too vague. Which part of no murder, torture, mutilation, cruelty or humiliation do they not understand? The restrictions are a problem only if you want to do such abhorrent things and pretend they are legal. That is why the Bush administration tossed out the rules after 9/11.

It's a terrifying thing when the people who devote their lives to protecting our national security feel that the civilians who oversee their operations are out of control. Dana Priest reports in The Washington Post that even the Central Intelligence Agency's clandestine operators are getting nervous about the network of secret prisons they have around the world - including, of all places, at a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe.

We're not naïve enough to believe that if the C.I.A. nabs a Qaeda operative who knows where a ticking bomb is hidden, that terrorist will emerge unbruised from his interrogation. Extraordinary circumstances are different from general policies that allow foot soldiers and even innocent bystanders to be swept up in messy, uncontrolled and probably fruitless detentions. Ms. Priest reports that of the more than 100 prisoners sent by the C.I.A. to its "black site" camps, only 30 are considered major terrorism suspects, and some have presumably been kept so long that their information is out of date. The rest have limited intelligence value, according to The Post, and many of them have been subjected to the odious United States practice of shipping prisoners to countries like Egypt, Jordan and Morocco and pretending that they won't be tortured.

Like so many of the most distressing stories these days - the outing of Valerie Wilson and questions about the intelligence on Iraq also come to mind - this one circles right back to Vice President Dick Cheney's office.

Mr. Cheney, a prime mover behind the attempts to legalize torture, is now leading a back-room fight to block a measure passed by the Senate, 90 to 9, that would impose international standards and American laws on the treatment of prisoners. Mr. Cheney wants a different version, one that would make the C.I.A.'s camps legal, although still hidden, and authorize the use of torture by intelligence agents. Mr. Bush is threatening to veto the entire military budget over this issue.

When his right-hand man, Lewis Libby, resigned after being indicted on charges relating to team Cheney's counterattack against Joseph Wilson, Mr. Cheney replaced him with David Addington, who helped draft the infamous legalized-torture memo of 2002. Mr. Addington is now blocking or weakening proposed changes to the prison policies. The Times said he had berated a Pentagon aide who had briefed him and Mr. Libby recently on the draft of the new military standards for handling prisoners. (The indictment of Mr. Libby said he had done the same thing to a C.I.A. briefer in 2003 when agency officials questioned the intelligence on Iraq.)

The Times reports that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the national security adviser, Stephen Hadley, favor changing the detention policies. So we can only conclude that President Bush has decided to expend the minimal clout remaining to his beleaguered administration in a fight to put the full faith and credit of the United States behind the concept of torture. After all, the sign on Dick Cheney's door says he is the vice president.
The actions of the Bush government make us more like the worst, most oppresive nations in recent history. Yet they have convinced their supporters that they are morally superior. It is maddening.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

"Conservative" Values?

While the Bush regime has devoted itself to relieving millionaires and billionaires from the burden of paying taxes (and thus shifting that burden onto others to support their spend-and-spend Republicanism), they are busily trying to replace that money (after all, they're still spending it) by cutting necessary services to poor people and children who really need the help. They are cutting funding to foster care, to child support enforcement, to food stamps... honestly, they are deranged if they think that is good for America. Interestingly, while they are cutting food stamps,
"Senator Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, reports hearing from constituents that the Army now includes applications for food stamps in its orientation packet for new recruits."
Sick bastards, indeed.
Source 1, Source 2, Source 3.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Who is Lewis 'Scooter' Libby?

Who is Lewis 'Scooter' Libby?
"Libby was a founding member of the Project for the New American Century. He joined Paul Wolfowitz, William Kristol, Robert Kagan, and others in writing its 2000 report entitled, 'Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces, and Resources for a New Century... Libby co-authored the draft of the 'Defense Planning Guidance' with Wolfowitz for then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney in 1992."
He's one of them? The architects of 9/11? Geez. Fry him.

When Reality and Satire Become One

What they said:
Dead Parrot at Center of British Avian Flu Mystery - CME Teaching Brief - MedPage Today

What they meant to say:
'E's passed on! This parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! 'E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker! 'E's a stiff! Bereft of life, 'e rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed 'im to the perch 'e'd be pushing up the daisies! 'Is metabolic processes are now 'istory! 'E's off the twig! 'E's kicked the bucket, 'e's shuffled off 'is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisibile!! THIS IS AN EX-PARROT!!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Dig This

I say, Cheney is Satan.

Lest We Forget...

Powerful Government Accounting Office report confirms key 2004 stolen election findings

This story address the subject that was one of the reasons I began blogging in the first place. The Bush regime is illegitimate. I will never forget it, and I will never stop talking about it. The world should always remember what these vile bastards did.
"As a legal noose appears to be tightening around the Bush/Cheney/Rove inner circle, a shocking government report shows the floor under the legitimacy of their alleged election to the White House is crumbling.

"The latest critical confirmation of key indicators that the election of 2004 was stolen comes in an extremely powerful, penetrating report from the General Accounting Office that has gotten virtually no mainstream media coverage.

"The government's lead investigative agency is known for its general incorruptibility and its through, in-depth analyses. Its concurrence with assertions widely dismissed as "conspiracy theories" adds crucial new weight to the case that Team Bush has no legitimate business being in the White House.

"The GAO report now confirms that electronic voting machines as deployed in 2004 were in fact perfectly engineered to allow a very small number of partisans with minimal computer skills and equipment to shift enough votes to put George W. Bush back in the White House.

"Given the growing body of evidence, it appears increasingly clear that's exactly what happened."

Sunday, October 23, 2005

This Story Spoke for Itself

BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | Iraq vote counts 'point to fraud'
Iraq's independent electoral commission says statistical irregularities in last week's referendum could indicate fraud.
Gee, go figure. The neocons have come to town; honesty and integrity will be forever crushed beneath their heels until they are no more.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Lookin' For An Exit...

Even the Generals running the war say we should leave Iraq.

And not only that, but now we're quartering troops in Iraqi homes. In America, this would be a violation of the third amendment of the constitution. But in Iraq, freedom is defined by neocons, so civil rights are suspended until further notice.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Old News Redux: Corruption, Thy Name is Neocon

Cheney's Halliburton stock options rose 3,281% last year... of course.

This story speaks for itself. Dick Cheney is a corrupt war-monger who engineered a bloody, devastating war that is meant to go on forever, to enrich himself and his associates. That vile, contemptible, loathsome, pig could not care less about terrorism, or freedom, or democracy, or about the citizens of any country. He cares only for himself, and his wealth and power. He profits from war! He feeds on the blood and the flesh of those who are killed or maimed to continue his industry. He started this war, and he made sure that he would make a killing off of it. He is in the war business. It is his vocation. Dick Cheney is one of the most obscenely contemptible war criminals of my lifetime, because he does it simply for his own lust for money and power. Feast your eyes on the "conservative values" of the man who is our de facto president.

Are We The New USSR?

Okay, brothers and sisters, I am once again falling behind in my blogging. So, I need to start throwing things out there with brevity and haste, because I have saved a bazillion links to stories that are old news but I just have to say something about them or my head will explode.


Iraq war now costing $6 billion a monthThe Bush administration is spending about $7 billion a month to wage the war on terror, and costs could total $570 billion by the end of 2010, assuming troops are gradually brought home, a congressional report estimates.
Now, raise your hand if you remember the '80's. Anyone? Remember all that stuff about "winning the cold war"? Well, those of us who were there remember that the cold war was "won" by the US bankrupting the USSR by simply out-spending them. It became a military spending version of keeping up with the Joneses, and the Soviets went bust before we did (barely).

Now, here is the funny part. Bush compares the "war on terror" to the cold war. Only, he doesn't realize that we are now the ones in the Soviets' position. We are on the losing side of this "cold war"! We are the new USSR!

How stupid does one have to be to not realize that terrorist leaders took lessons from history and are following the US's own winning strategy! The action that the American right hails as the victory of the millenia is being used successfully against us! What irony! For God's sake, Osama Bin Laden was trained and armed by us to fight as our soldier against our cold war enemies in Afghanistan!

You know, it's not that I mind when "what goes around comes around"... I just wish we didn't have to suffer the catastrophic results of others' stupidity.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Justice At Last?

Arrest warrant issued, bail set for Tom DeLay
"An arrest warrant was issued on Wednesday and bail set at $10,000 for former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay ahead of his first appearance in court on money laundering and conspiracy charges."

"DeLay has been charged with conspiracy and money laundering in a campaign finance scheme... He could face up to life in prison if convicted."
Maybe, just maybe, justice will prevail for five minutes in my lifetime.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

A Little Bushit...

Mike V. points out [another] example of neocon hypocrisy...

Who Are These Neocons I Keep Going On About?

Here is one assessment of what Neocons believe:
"Neocons" believe that the United States should not be ashamed to use its unrivaled power – forcefully if necessary – to promote its values around the world. Some even speak of the need to cultivate a US empire...
That's why they keep getting compared to Hitler.
...Neoconservatives believe modern threats facing the US can no longer be reliably contained and therefore must be prevented, sometimes through preemptive military action...
Live in fear; kill everyone who's different; after you've destroyed the world you'll be safe.
Neocons envision a world in which the United States is the unchallenged superpower, immune to threats...
Um, more with the Hitlerism.
...In the neocon dream world the entire Middle East would be "democratized"...
Yup,it's the Ann Coulter doctrine: invade their countries, force 'em to be just like us or kill 'em.
...Any regime that is outwardly hostile to the US and could pose a threat would be confronted aggressively, not "appeased" or merely contained. The US military would be reconfigured around the world... used in preemptive strikes...
Kill, kill, kill...

Okay, so the Neocons want us to be the new world empire. Why in the hell are so many Americans so enamored of these guys?

Sunday, October 9, 2005

Holy Crap!

Catholic Church no longer swears by truth of the Bible
THE hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church has published a teaching document instructing the faithful that some parts of the Bible are not actually true.
They go on to condemn fundamentalism for its “intransigent intolerance” and to warn of “significant dangers” involved in a fundamentalist approach.

“Such an approach is dangerous, for example, when people of one nation or group see in the Bible a mandate for their own superiority, and even consider themselves permitted by the Bible to use violence against others.”
Go Catholics! Condemn the violence of the past, instead of repeat it!
As examples of passages not to be taken literally, the bishops cite the early chapters of Genesis, comparing them with early creation legends from other cultures, especially from the ancient East. The bishops say it is clear that the primary purpose of these chapters was to provide religious teaching and that they could not be described as historical writing... Similarly, they refute the apocalyptic prophecies of Revelation, the last book of the Christian Bible, in which the writer describes the work of the risen Jesus, the death of the Beast...
Wow, again. Hey, I know they're still going to stick their same-old-same-old for the most part, but this is certainly a step in the right direction. Who knows what's next?

Saturday, October 8, 2005

How Typical - !

...I forgot my anniversary! The anniverary of this blog, that is. Yes, it has been over a year since I began blogging Constantly Amazed, Yet Never Surprised. I had planned to do a special post on the day, but oh well.

My very first post was on 9/24/04; it was basically just a test, like most peoples' first posts. But some of my posts from October 2004 really describe why I began doing this. They are "Why Am I Here?" (10/2/04), and "It's Never Too Late to Speak for Change" (10/11/04). You'll also see my little anti-SUV rant which has become even more relevent today!

When you read them, you may be struck by the same conclusion as me: little has changed. Or, more accurately, nothing has improved. Is it any wonder so many of us have gotten so depressed and struggled with writer's block lately (you know who you are, my friends)? Still, we persevere, and we maintain a spark of hope, flickering as it may be.

But among the depressing bits are some real positives that have occurred through blogging. For one thing, I resumed frequent contact with an old friend of mine who also has his own blog, Screams From the Wilderness. I have also met many new friends in cyberspace; like Mochi et al at Liberal Thought, my international friends at Pourquoi Pas?; I contribute posts to both of those blogs. Also, there's Windspike, Romablog, Sar, Via, Overseas Will, Ken, Charone (on hiatus?), and a whole lot of others... you can peruse the blogroll. And, of course, my favorite art blog, ArtBella - I know her, you know 8^)

And, yes, there are a few nemesis out there, too. Right-wingers with whom I have done battle. Some with whom I have found some common ground, like Jack, or Cut To, others who are hopelessly deluded by the neocon hard-sell, and some who are paranoid, xenophobic, selfish, self-righteous hypocrites - the republican base, I think.

What a ride! As I write this, my hit counter is up to 10,392. I certainly hope that before too long, this will become a happy-cheerful-flowers-and-sunshine blog. But until that day comes, I will forge ahead as long as I can, venting my angst about the status quo and doing, well... what we all try to do. Survive.