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?