Friday, March 31, 2006

Religious Fundamentalists are Such Idiots

Religious Conservatives Gather to Discuss 'War Against Christians'. Even though they are the dominant religion and cultural force in America, it is not enough. The Christian right is like flesh-eating virus. They can't stop themselves until they have laid waste to everything. Only then can they fulfill their cherished prophecies of global devastation. Religious fundamentalism is a sickness that must be cured, and soon.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Justice Means...

GOP Memo Now Using Horror Movie Stock Footage

If you are a horror movie fan, or even if you have seen more than a few of them in your lifetime, you are well aware of the scenario: In the end, the villain is dragged down into the abyss/pit/hell/sludge/airlock/portal/whatever. They get their just desserts, for all the evil they have done. They end up suffering the same, or worse, as what they have been inflicting on their victims.

Flash forward to the present: RNC Memo Warns GOPers Not To Distance Themselves From Bush
"The President is seen universally as the face of the Republican Party. We are now brand W. Republicans."
Ha ha ha! After all the big talk about how "Bush is a liberal" and how repukes are trying to distance themselves from the apalling circus of depravity that is the Bush administration, their party tells them they can't leave! Ha ha ha! Like a gang of street thugs, they're in it from cradle to grave.

Why would the RNC have to issue such a memo, you ask? Dig this: Conservatives' new books have Bush in crosshairs
Conservatives who charge President George W. Bush has imposed a theocracy, risked US bankruptcy and fanned flames of anti-Americanism are flooding US booksellers with their irate tomes.

"The rapture, end-times, and Armageddon hucksters in the US rank with any Shiite ayatollahs, and the last two presidential elections mark the transformation of the GOP into the first religious party in US history"... messianic overtones in some of Bush's pronouncements, the mobilization of churches ahead of elections and of creationist fervor... "The religious hawkishness, substitution of faith for reason, and missionary insistence increasingly visible in the US have plagued leading world economic powers from (ancient) Rome to (Inquisition-era) Spain to (imperial) Britain"... "[A] speech, given almost a year after the US invasion of Iraq, treated the war as a virtually unqualified success. I could not understand why everyone around me was applauding the speech enthusiastically, given that the US had found no WMD in Iraq, was bogged down in a vicious insurgency, and had almost totally isolated itself from the rest of the world by following the kind of unipolar strategy advocated..."
That's what republicans are saying now!

The Biggest Problem in America

The biggest problem in America
" the refusal of good-hearted Americans to see that Bush, Cheney, et al are not bumbling idiots, but truly evil bastards destroying our country. To realize that we must stop them before more die."

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Training the Next Regime

Okay, truthseekers, here's a weird one. The following passage was copied verbatim from a local community-college schedule of "Community Education" courses, which are offered to the public and not part of any degree program. They include things like computer courses, training to be a notary public or a medical insurance transcriptionist, real estate classes, and so on.

Well, in this particular one, it listed the following class under the heading, "Coming This Fall:"
How to Get into Politics and be Successful

From serving on a volunteer board, being part of college campus ASB office, being treasurer of a neighborhood organization, or running for a publicly elected office, politics are an integral part of our lives. Successful campaigns are as much a matter of mechanics and a defined process as they are about issues and qualifications. Once you know and understand the process, you’ll enjoy a significant advantage over your competition. In this entertaining program you’ll learn how to:

  • Make campaign promises that position you as a winner
  • As opposed to making promises to provide things that 1) you are able to provide, and 2) the voters actually want
  • Obtain financial support for your campaign
  • How convenient! A whole chapter on how to be a corrupt slimeball!
  • Answer questions and how to sidestep them
  • At this point I must reiturate that, I swear to God, this is on the level. I only avoid giving the link to the college because I don't want to announce my location to the whole blogosphere.
  • Decide on what you can promise vs. what you can really deliver
  • Those last two items sum it up nicely, don't they? Why don't they just write, "How to lie your ass off every time you show your face in public, you political whore."
  • Plus everything else you’ll need to serve with dignity and integrity
  • In 2000 we were promised "Honor and Integrity" in the White House. I wonder if "dignity and integrity" are much different?

    [The instructor] has been involved in both “amateur” and professional political campaigns for over 30 years and have a successful history of providing training advice to those seeking elected position.
    I'll bet they do. I'll bet Abramoff wrote the introduction to their textbook. Seriously, this course seems to reduce public service to a competitive sport, the goal of which is to win your game, to hell with right or wrong or what is in the public interest.

    I guess I'm just too naive and idealistic.

    Saturday, March 25, 2006

    Jimmy Carter, a President with Integrity

    Another example of president who has gotten an unfairly bad rap. Jimmy Carter, a good man who presided over some tough times. Now, most of the bloggers who wrongly dismiss Carter as "the worst president ever" were not even alive during his presidency. They only parrot this neocon line because it's what they've been brainwashed to believe, and they desperately need to draw attention away from the fact that every republican president since Eisenhower has been a lying, self-serving criminal. The following article offers an alternative voice to the shrill right-wing howls of revisionism.

    Jimmy Carter, A President Whose god Was Not Greed
    Jimmy Carter... is considered by the chicken hawk right to have been a “weak” president because, unlike the current resident of the White House, his first response to any problem was not to go to war. He believed we need a strong military. But he also believed... that “A country will have authority and influence because of moral factors, not its military strength.”

    He believes, as Eisenhower said, that “total, unilateral, disarmament is the imperative of our time.” He notes that while there had been a “sharp downward trend” in the world’s spending on weapons, the United States has increased its military budget every year.

    Now, however, as we increase our weapons arsenal, other nations are beginning to follow our lead and rearm.

    When 9/11 happened we had more weapons than any other nation – almost as many as all other nations combined. Our weapons did not prevent the attacks of that day, but they very well may have been a factor in provoking them. And now, as Father Roy Bourgeois says, “We have never had more weapons, and we have never felt less safe.”

    Eisenhower said, “There is no way in which a country can satisfy the craving for absolute security, but it can bankrupt itself morally and economically in attempting to reach that illusory goal through arms alone.”

    The Bush administration is doing just that.

    During Carter’s presidency, when the United States was perceived as the leader among nations in the fight for justice and the rule of law, world leaders came to the White House to have their grievances addressed. The cause of world peace was advanced. That would be unthinkable today when world leaders neither respect nor trust America’s leaders, and believe that America is fast becoming a “rogue nation.” He calls it “embarrassing” that America, long seen as a champion of human rights is now condemned as a nation that tortures.

    Also, unlike our current leaders, Carter... served during wartime... in the Navy and would have liked to make a career of the military, but duty called, and when his father died he went home to take over the family peanut farm.

    But, also unlike the current administration, Carter believed in war as a “last resort.” The deep thinkers who have experienced war know as General McArthur did that “Its destructiveness on both friend and foe have rendered it useless as a means of settling international disputes.” As General Zinni, former Head of Central Command for U.S. Forces in the Middle East said “It’s pretty interesting that all the generals see it the same way, and all the others who have never fired a shot, and are hot to go to war, see it another…We are about to do something that will ignite a fuse in this region that we will rue the day we ever started…”

    Also, while Bush, Cheney, and everyone around them avoided Vietnam, and none of their children are fighting in the current wars, Carter’s oldest son volunteered to serve in that war.

    In response to the gasoline shortage that occurred during his term of office, Carter had solar panels installed at the White House. He also mandated higher fuel efficiency standards for all automobiles. The first thing Reagan did when he came into office was get rid of the solar panels. He also did away with the mandatory fuel efficiency standards for cars. Perhaps, if Carter’s initiatives had been followed and expanded, American kids, now, would not be dying to ensure oil companies profits.

    Carter’s book is [also] a condemnation of the increasing mix of church and state, and the push by the religious right to make America a Theocracy. Fundamentalism, he believes, divides rather than unites us.

    Carter... notes that In 2002 in America, 47% of women with unintended pregnancies resorted to abortion. The most prevailing common factor was poverty. During the 1990’s (Clinton years when poverty decreased) abortion fell to a 24 year low of sixteen per thousand women of childbearing age. There are fewer abortions in nations with access to contraceptives, the assurance that they and their babies will have good health care and enough income to meet basic needs... Perhaps, if the Christian right truly desires to end abortion, they should concentrate on raising the minimum wage, eradicating poverty, and fighting for universal health care.

    Now that religious fundamentalists have taken over both the churches and the government, vengeance and punishment rather than rehabilitation is the rule of the day. Seven in a thousand citizens are now in prison, the highest incarceration rate in the world, most for non-violent crimes. And, as far as the death penalty being a deterrent is concerned, the murder rate in America is five times that in advanced European countries, none of which have the death penalty. Southern states carry out over 80% of the executions, but have a higher murder rate than any other region. Texas has the most executions but also the highest homicide rate – twice that of Wisconsin, the first state to abolish the death penalty.

    Unlike many past presidents, Jimmy Carter has not concentrated on piling up money for himself and his family since he left office, he has “gone about doing good.” He decries the greed that is a linchpin of the current administration as well as the Congress. He writes: “Narrowly defined theological beliefs have been adopted as the rigid agenda of a political party. Powerful lobbyists… have distorted an admirable belief in the free enterprise system into the right of extremely rich citizens to accumulate and retain more and more wealth and pass it on to descendants. Profits from stock trading and income from dividends are being given privileged tax status compared to the wages earned by schoolteachers and firemen… The new economic philosophy in Washington is that a rising tide raises all yachts.” He believes government exists now not to help those who cannot help themselves but to subsidize the rich.

    Carter’s foundation has accomplished amazing work in fighting Guinea worm, river blindness, and trachoma in millions of people in Africa with modest sums of money. His work with Habitat for Humanity is well-known.

    The entire Bush family, on the other hand, has proven that it will do anything to make a buck. There does not appear to be anyone they will not shill for. They have made millions of dollars traveling with and shilling for (Bush, Sr., Barbara, and now Neil) Sun Myung Moon who claims to be the “true Messiah,” and who bought 12 submarines and gave them to North Korean Dictator Kim Jung Il.

    Words matter not at all. “By their works shall ye know them.” Christ said it. Jimmy Carter has lived up to it. He is truly one of the great among the “Greatest Generation.”
    Indeed. We could certainly use a president with Carter's character now.

    Thursday, March 23, 2006

    Restored: 20 Amazing Facts About Voting in the USA

    Some of you may have noticed that my link at the top of the page, "20 Amazing Facts About Voting in the USA" is no longer active. I am happy to report that I contacted the original author of that page (Angry Girl @ She was gracious enough to pass the text and links along to me. The original page had a line at the end urging people to share this information. In the spirit of her original intention, I will continue that mission. If anyone wants this post with the links coded out in html, just email me (via my profile link over on the right) and I will send it to you as a text file. I'll also change the link at the top of this page to link back to this post.

    So without further ado:

    80% of all votes in America are counted by only two companies: Diebold and ES&S., Link 1, Link 2

    There is no federal agency with regulatory authority or oversight of the U.S. voting machine industry., Link 1, Link 2

    The vice-president of Diebold and the president of ES&S are brothers., Link 1, Link 2

    The chairman and CEO of Diebold is a major Bush campaign organizer and donor who wrote in 2003 that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year.", Link 1, Link 2

    Republican Senator Chuck Hagel used to be chairman of ES&S. He became Senator based on votes counted by ES&S machines., Link 1, Link 2

    Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, long-connected with the Bush family, was recently caught lying about his ownership of ES&S by the Senate Ethics Committee., Link 1, Link 2, Link 3

    Senator Chuck Hagel was on a short list of George W. Bush's vice-presidential candidates., Link 1, Link 2

    ES&S is the largest voting machine manufacturer in the U.S. and counts almost 60% of all U.S. votes., Link 1, Link 2

    Diebold's new touch screen voting machines have no paper trail of any votes. In other words, there is no way to verify that the data coming out of the machine is the same as what was legitimately put in by voters., Link 1, Link 2

    Diebold also makes ATMs, checkout scanners, and ticket machines, all of which log each transaction and can generate a paper trail., Link 1, Link 2

    Diebold is based in Ohio., Link 1

    Diebold employed 5 convicted felons as consultants and developers to help write the central compiler computer code that counted 50% of the votes in 30 states., Link 1, Link 2

    Jeff Dean was Senior Vice-President of Global Election Systems when it was bought by Diebold. Even though he had been convicted of 23 counts of felony theft in the first degree, Jeff Dean was retained as a consultant by Diebold and was largely responsible for programming the optical scanning software now used in most of the United States., Link 1, Link 2, Link 3

    Diebold consultant Jeff Dean was convicted of planting back doors in his software and using a "high degree of sophistication" to evade detection over a period of 2 years., Link 1, Link 2

    None of the international election observers were allowed in the polls in Ohio., Link 1, Link 2

    California banned the use of Diebold machines because the security was so bad.* Despite Diebold's claims that the audit logs could not be hacked, a chimpanzee was able to do it! (See the movie here.), Link 1, Link 2

    *Note: Sadly, this was reversed, so our votes in California are doomed.

    30% of all U.S. votes are carried out on unverifiable touch screen voting machines with no paper trail., Link 1

    All -- not some -- but all the voting machine errors detected and reported in Florida went in favor of Bush or Republican candidates., Link 1, Link 2, Link 3, Link 4, Link 5

    The governor of the state of Florida, Jeb Bush, is the President's brother., Link 1, Link 2

    Serious voting anomalies in Florida -- again always favoring Bush -- have been mathematically demonstrated and experts are recommending further investigation., Link 1, Link 2, Link 3, Link 4, Link 5, Link 6

    As Angry Girl said, "Please copy the above list and distribute freely!"

    Late Comments About The "Matinee"

    I haven’t commented much on the “president’s” recent press conference. Lots of things about it were just bizarre.

    He gave it during “matinee” hours, when people are at work and can’t watch it. His handlers know that he is so offensive to Americans that they can’t allow him to be broadcast during prime time.

    He blames the media for Americans’ disapproval of the Iraq war. In the press conference he claims that the reason people are against the war is because it is shown to them on television. His handlers (and maybe even the monkey himself) know that neocon wars are more pleasantly (for them) conducted in secret. And approval ratings don't go down if those being polled are unaware of what's happening.

    The guy is simply embarrassing to watch. His facial expressions, mannerisms and posturing are just plain weird. His diction is juvenile and pathetic. And, of course, he lies and lies and lies and lies and lies and lies and lies and lies and…

    If I didn’t know it was real, I would swear it was a comedy skit. But it isn’t comedy. It’s tragedy.

    Tuesday, March 21, 2006

    And So On...

    Bush, this afternoon:
    "First, just if I might correct a misperception, I don’t think we ever said – at least I know I didn’t say that there was a direct connection between September the 11th and Saddam Hussein."
    Bush’s Letter to Congress, 3/21/03:
    "The use of armed forces against Iraq is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations or person who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001."
    via usenet

    More lies

    Monday, March 20, 2006

    A Soldier Home On Leave

    The following text was taken from a local newspaper article. To protect the subject's anonymity, I am not going to post the link, because the story is very "hometown", including names, places, and pictures of the soldier and his family.

    The article is a human interest piece about a soldier who has just returned home on leave from Iraq.
    His job, he said, was to serve as the eyes and ears of other members in his unit, seeking out enemy targets while his fellow soldiers fired rounds over his head. He also helped conduct searches, patrols and raids on neighborhoods, rooting out rebel soldiers and stockpiled weapons. [He] witnessed firsthand much of what we hear about on the news every day: the violence, the roadside bombs, the close calls. But the only way to deal with the extremes was to make it feel like a routine, he said. "It became normal."
    If you could see the pictures, you would see a typical high school football type, a big kid not unlike so many others you'd see on any given day. But there was one thing I found quite interesting.
    There's no simple way for [the soldier] to answer the question when he's asked if he supports the war in Iraq.

    "I really wouldn't say 'support' the war," he said Sunday afternoon over coffee, "but that's our job, to protect the country. It's tough. It's hard to pinpoint what we're over there for."

    "The way I look at it, I was given my orders. I carried them out, and I came home."
    Let's recap.

    He doesn't support the war. He thinks he's there protecting our country, because that's what soldiers are told; he has to believe it or he would question his purpose even more than he already does. Still, he cannot explain why the war is being fought. "It's hard to pinpoint what we're over there for," indeed.

    But the saddest moment in his story is the rationale he employs to justify his participation in this unjust war.
    "The way I look at it, I was given my orders. I carried them out, and I came home."
    Just following orders.

    When I was growing up, that phrase meant one thing, and one thing only. It meant Nazi. Nazi Germany owned that phrase. Now it belongs to us.

    It's called the Nuremberg Defense, and it is a rationalization intended to absolve you of your guilt should you ever be called upon to explain your participation in the slaughter of innocent civilians and children. That slaughter is now regarded as simply unfortunate. Casualties of war. Collateral damage.

    Just following orders. Weren't the terrorists who hijacked the jetliners and flew them into the World Trade Center just following orders? I guess that makes it okay, in some peoples' eyes. They had to do it. They had their orders. Just like this poor kid who's going back to Iraq soon to take up arms against a country and he doesn't even know why.

    Well, warmongers, I've got your "just following orders" right here.

    And don't even get me started about !@#%$&* depleted uranium.

    Sunday, March 19, 2006

    Think Progress' Excellent Timeline of the Iraq War


    Molly Knows

    Molly Ivins completely and totally kicks ass.
    She's a consistently brilliant political analyst. And she speaks what so many progressives feel, what so many of us know, what so many of us share. We're wandering in the desert in search of a political party.

    (By the way, until Molly Ivins or Rachel Maddow decides to run for office, there are alternatives. I recommend you vote for this guy if you live in Cali's 49th district).

    The View From Up There: Vice President States That Americans' Opinions Are To Be Ignored. (Updated)

    Dick Cheney (R-Traitor) says of the president:
    "He ignores the background noise that's out there"
    Meaning the unprecedented amount of contempt that exists both at home and abroad for the sickening insult to humanity that is the Bush-Cheney government.

    Here's some of that so-called "background noise":
    Impeaching George W. Bush
    28 US Reps Want Bush Impeachment Probe
    Conservatives Are Jumping Ship
    GOP irritation at Bush brewing for long time
    Republican Hagel: Iraq War Has Helped ‘Bankrupt This Country,’ Made Middle East More Unstable
    Thousands globally protest Iraq war

    And that's just a small sampling of a few minutes' looking. Background noise my ass. The undisguised comtempt that the Bush administration shows for us all is sickening enough, but for "elected" officials of this country to so callously dismiss the opinions of American citizens is treason. It is absolute fucking treason.

    Update: GOP Trashed in Special Elections
    A drumbeat of corruption, deficits and war dead has begun to haunt Republican candidates as they hit the campaign trail. The macabre cadence is playing more widely than just federal races: Since November, it has become the background music in a series of state special elections. Democrats are winning, often overwhelmingly, in districts and states that have backed Republicans in recent elections. The results show that state-level progressive candidates are better poised than at any time in the past 14 years to benefit from a defection of moderate conservatives and a slight left turn in the electorate.

    Saturday, March 18, 2006

    Up the Creek Without a Choice: How The Bush Administration Helps the Small Businessman

    Taken from an article in the SacBee:
    Along 700 miles of the Pacific Coast, fishing towns and fishermen are facing the unthinkable this spring: a total closure of the salmon season... For fishermen, it could mean bankruptcy, the end of a way of life. "I hate to try and imagine how bad my life is going to get," said [a local fisherman].

    Many blame a Bush administration decision in 2002 to ignore its own federal biologists and divert more water from the Klamath River for farm irrigation. The decision put salmon in jeopardy as they tried to swim upriver to spawn. An estimated 70,000 fish were killed that fall in stagnant pools on the lower Klamath by disease and suffocation - about half of them chinook salmon.
    I wonder who they voted for in 2004?

    Zenophobic Hypocrites

    "In Georgia, state lawmakers are pressuring Mexican immigrants by considering a special tax on those who wire money abroad and can't prove legal residency. At the same time, Georgia construction industry representatives admit they need foreign workers and ask not to be held accountable if their subcontractors are caught hiring the undocumented."
    If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times: if they were serious about addressing the illegal immigration issue, they would prosecute the business owners who violate the law by hiring illegal immigrants. But no. Those who claim to want to stop illegal immigration are so often merely hypocrites who want to violate the law with impunity.

    Wednesday, March 15, 2006

    I Love a List Like This... I Mean, These!

    T. Rex's Guide to Republican Family Values is another good, comprehensive list of, well, repuke fmily values. I've gotta start compiling a list, too. But there's so many republicans, so much hypocrisy.

    Bonus link from Tina (see comments): Republican Hypocrisy Revealed!

    Another bonus link: Conservative Babylon!

    Interesting Contrast

    Wall Street Journal Uses I Word: Graphic Tells the Story

    The Batman Super-Villain Method of Damage Control

    From an article called Bush's War on History:
    Toward the end of the Clinton-Gore administration, there had been a surge in the declassification of records that exposed the dark underbelly of the U.S. “victory” in the Cold War, records showing American knowledge and complicity in murder, torture and other crimes in places such as Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Chile and Argentina... A continuation of these historical disclosures under Gore might have given the American people a more balanced awareness of what had been done in their name in the four-decade-long struggle with the Soviet Union... Under a newly applicable presidential records law, those documents would have included papers from Ronald Reagan’s presidency, documents that could have implicated Bush’s father, Vice President George H.W. Bush, in misjudgments and wrongdoing... One of Bush’s first acts after being inaugurated President on Jan. 20, 2001, was to stop the scheduled release of documents from the Reagan-Bush administration. Supposedly, the delay was to permit a fuller review of the papers, but that review was strung out through Bush’s first several months in office... On Nov. 1, 2001, Bush issued Executive Order 13233, which effectively negated the 1978 Presidential Records Act by allowing presidents, vice presidents and their heirs the power to prevent many document releases... Eight years earlier, the senior George Bush had tried to undercut the Presidential Records Act before leaving office... In 1995, a federal judge struck down the Bush-Wilson agreement, in effect, resuming the countdown toward the first implementation of the Presidential Records Act in 2001... Facing that deadline while taking the oath of office on Jan. 20, 2001, George W. Bush had his White House counsel Alberto Gonzales draft up paperwork that first suspended and then gutted the law. Bush’s Nov. 1, 2001, executive order granted former national executives – and their families – the right to control the documents indefinitely... Bush’s order amounted to a grant of hereditary power over the nation’s history. Because of his father’s 12 years as Vice President and President and his own possible eight years as President, Bush’s order could mean that control over 20 years of American history might someday be invested in the hands of the Bush Twins, Jenna and Barbara... George W. Bush has even moved aggressively to reclassify documents that had previously been released. A study by the privately funded National Security Archive at George Washington University found that more than 55,000 pages of records have been taken off the shelves of publicly available documents.
    So here's the thing: If you're old enough to remember or have seen the re-runs, you know the methods "super-villains" devised to execute Batman & Robin? Elaborate, unnecessarily complicated, slow... fun for campy TV, but not what one would emulate as a problem-solving method in the real world, right? So, I wonder, why the hell are there any documents to worry about, anyway? Why not just shred or hide them from the beginning, so the problem would never arise?

    Getting Some Old Posts Out: Family Values Follies

    From Think Progress: The Republican-controlled government, masters of economic growth!

    Bush’s Rhetoric on Family Incomes: Up = Down

    Working Americans ‘Still Can’t Afford To Eat’

    Fed survey finds family incomes shrinking

    Monday, March 13, 2006

    Like Him or Not, Clinton was a Better President than Bush II, Bush I, Reagan...

    Round two in my fun series about why the Clinton presidency was about a bazillion times better than the criminal idiot George Bush. I urge everyone to read these:

    Clinton's "Lies" vs. GOP Crimes

    Eight Great Years

    Never send a Bush to do a President's job

    Shame On You, President Clinton!

    Bush Borrowed More Than All Previous Presidents Combined

    This information should have been the democrats' platform in 2004. They dropped the ball. Independents, it's your turn now!