Saturday, May 30, 2009

Torture and Rape Rooms: America's way of saying "Howdy!"

Remember when former unelected president, sneering condescending liar, and incoherent half-wit corporate stooge George W Bush was giving speeches trying to sell his war-for-oil to the public by howling about Saddam Hussein's "torture and rape rooms"?
"Iraq is free of rape rooms and torture chambers."-- Oct. 8, 2003

"We acted, and there are no longer mass graves and torture rooms and rape rooms in Iraq."-- Apr. 23, 2004

"Saddam Hussein now sits in a prison cell, and Iraqi men and women are no longer carried to torture chambers and rape rooms ..."-- Feb. 4, 2004

"Because we acted, torture rooms are closed, rape rooms no longer exist, mass graves are no longer a possibility in Iraq."--May 3, 2004
Well, no one in their right mind believed him, but that doesn't matter because the war was bought and paid for by corporate backers anyway. Nevertheless, his promises lies have come home to roost:

Abu Ghraib abuse photos 'show rape'
"At least one picture shows an American soldier apparently raping a female prisoner while another is said to show a male translator raping a male detainee.

Further photographs are said to depict sexual assaults on prisoners with objects including a truncheon, wire and a phosphorescent tube.

Maj Gen Taguba’s internal inquiry into the abuse at Abu Ghraib, included sworn statements by 13 detainees, which, he said in the report, he found “credible based on the clarity of their statements and supporting evidence provided by other witnesses.”

Among the graphic statements, which were later released under US freedom of information laws, is that of Kasim Mehaddi Hilas in which he says: “I saw [name of a translator] ******* a kid, his age would be about 15 to 18 years. The kid was hurting very bad and they covered all the doors with sheets. Then when I heard screaming I climbed the door because on top it wasn’t covered and I saw [name] who was wearing the military uniform, putting his **** in the little kid’s ***…. and the female soldier was taking pictures.”

The translator was an American Egyptian who is now the subject of a civil court case in the US.

Three detainees, including the alleged victim, refer to the use of a phosphorescent tube in the sexual abuse and another to the use of wire, while the victim also refers to part of a policeman’s “stick” all of which were apparently photographed."
So, that's how supporters of the war in Iraq "spread democracy." That's the "freedom" we heard so much about. Freedom for full-blown depravity done in your name and mine, that is.

When I refer to the Bush administration in blog- or newspaper-forum comments to account for these things, rightwingers always try to dismiss them by saying I am dwelling on the past, "blaming Bush"; that I should "just get over it". They insist the fault lies with either Clinton or Obama.

Well, the raped and tortured don't "get over it", and neither will I. It was just lies. It was treason.

Bonus rant:
When are we going to be held to account for irradiating the Iraqis with depleted uranium?
(pictures of some of the freedom we have spread)

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Constantly Amazing solution to partisan conflict

A wise blogger once wrote that we should not whine about society's problems without offering a solution. Personally, I think that's too heavy a burden. But it is nice to offer at least a suggestion sometimes, right?

Well, here at Constantly Amazed, we go that extra step and just solve the world's problems anyway.

Recently, I described how to solve California's budget problems. Not to rest on my laurels, I will now offer another Constantly Amazing solution: How to end partisan sniping in American politics.

Now, the Democrats will have to take the first step on this one, but here it goes: All they have to do is, en masse, switch their party affiliation from democrat to republican... and voila! No more partisan bickering possible.

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying the former dems should discard their values. I'm saying they should take their progressive selves, values and all, and simply become... the NEW republican party! They could go on doing what they did before, just under a new name. Not only would there be no more bickering between parties possible... but as a the majority, the former dems would actually redefine the republican party from the ground up. The old republican politicians, what's left of them, would be reduced to their role of the party's howling little mob of extremists, and eventually voted out as troublemakers. Most Republican voters would be fine with it since they would still have their familiar product-label recognition. The few who objected could splinter off and form their own little ineffectual extremist parties where they could no longer do any harm. They could deify their rightwing media heroes, hold conventions, have tea parties, and put up candidates like, yes, Palin-Bachman and "Joe the Plumber".

So there we have it. In my Constantly Amazing wisdom (don't worry, I'm as humble as ever), I have solved the California economic crisis and brought an end to partisan gridlock. As soon as I get loaded up with caffeine tomorrow morning, I'll see what other crises I can solve.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Who Would've Thought?

Not too long ago, I wrote that if I read or hear of one more person claiming that liberals hate Rush Limbaugh because he's right, my head would explode. Little did I realize that there is such as thing as this. Maybe I should choose my words of exasperation more carefully next time..!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Gabby Rocks

Gabby is home and doing great. He has to take some antibiotics for a little while, but he seems to be back to his old self and is very happy to be home.

Thanks very very much to everyone for sending the positive vibes. We, and Gabby appreciate it :)

He's probably going to be a spoiled kitty for a while, but he also seems to really appreciate his home environment now that he has had another taste of the outside world. He agrees with me that it's better back at the castle.

By the way, click the image for a surprise from Gabby :)

Ciao! Meow! - Gabby

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Get Well, Little Gabby...

My kitty cat is sick. Throwing up. Lethargic. Not eating or drinking. Hardly even sleeping! He's been to the vet, and we're hopeful. We cannot bear the thought of life without little Gabby the cat. That's a worst-case scenario. We are hoping he'll bounce back.

I am sad.

Update: My wife posted about Gabby on her art blog here.

Hurry and get well, little Gabby.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Oh, man...

Seriously, how many of you wish you could jump on an opportunity like this? The top of the heap. Damn.

"I'm better than Sheanc because I blog for Think Progress"

Friday, May 15, 2009


Click Pic for More

Please, buy me this bass. You know you want to. You have to. You must. There is nothing in the universe more important right at this moment than the simple, inescapable truth that I should have this bass. You know it, and I know it.

It's $10,400.00, and worth every penny.

It's the only thing in life that will really make you happy, and it will certainly make me happy. Forget about all those other things that cloud your judgment with false hopes and fleeting moments of pleasure. Imaging the joy you'll feel knowing that you made me so happy by buying me this bass.

Please. Buy me this bass.

Let's get real: we all know there are questions, eternal questions, unanswered questions, about life, about existence, about the role we play in the grand and glorious panorama that is life itself. Well, here is the answer, truthseekers:

Buy me this bass.

This message brought to you by the Buy SheaNC This Bass or He May Never Be Truly Happy Ever Again, Probably, Foundation, LLC.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Thing That Just Won't Die.

Dick Cheney seems to be everywhere lately. I hate that. The former Vice President, to whom I will always refer as "The Snarling Hunchback" because 1) he maintains a visage with all the charm of an ill-tempered dog; and 2) whenever I see him on television he seems unable to lift his head... he simply lets it hang forward and addresses people by turning it sideways and glaring at them like Bela Lugosi's Igor from Son of Frankenstein, and snarling his answers out of the side of his mouth. But all that is neither here nor there. The point is, we can't seem to get rid of him. He is all over the media. They love to combine the hideous and the spectacular, and in him they have a tabloid monster ready-made. It serves their purpose well, and his also.

Sad to say, I blame the Democrats for Cheney's newfound public persona. In 2006 they were elected to end the war and impeach Bush and Cheney. Period. Everything else came second. They had the chance to impeach and they should have done it. It was absolutely the right thing to do... and they blew it. They decided that all the evil that had gone before would go unchecked and unpunished. It didn't matter. Lying. Conspiracy. Mass Murder. Treason. No matter, it's all okay; can't be bothered. Might affect someone's career, you know.

It's like Stockholm Syndrome. Or Battered-Wife Syndrome. The Repukes have been the battering spouse, and the Dems have been their apologetic enablers.

Whatever. We've all studied a little history, haven't we? We didn't expect the world to suddenly become fair just because a bunch of us want it to be that way, did we? I guess not.

...and Dick puts the "mean" in meanwhile...

Thursday, May 7, 2009

This Just In: Big Bald Rat Exits Sinking Ship

Hoky Smokes, Bullwinkle, get a load of this:
Samuel Wurzelbacher, better known as Joe the Plumber, tells TIME he's so outraged by GOP overspending, he's quitting the party
Is there no end to the evidence that we live in a universe where the only thing you can count on is that it will continue to be consistently bizarre no matter how hard you try to find logic in it?

Mr. Wurzlebacher went on to proclaim that
...he wouldn't support any cuts in defense, Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid — which, along with debt payments, would put more than two-thirds of the budget off limits.
So there we have it: "Joe the Plumber" is leaving the Republican party and becoming a socialist. Hey, if Sarah Palin can be a socialist, then so can "Joe", right? Of course, that means those of us on the left might be stuck with the weird "exaggerator" Samuel Wurzelbacher aka "Joe the Plumber", who was not a plumber, not named Joe, and whose sociopolitical wisdom could fill a thimble with room left over to hide a family of subversive crickets and the printing press they use to produce their pro-cricket 'zine.

Here's my prediction: Mr. Wurzelbacher will latch onto one ot the more, shall we say, "out there" political groups and try to pull a Jesse Ventura and get elected Governor as an independent. Any bets on which one of these parties he might find attractive?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

What war?

The last I heard, we are still fighting at least two wars. But, you know what? To watch/read/listen to the mainstream media, you wouldn't think so.

We are still blowing the hell out of the cradle of civilization, still killing people, still sending kids and adults to be used as corporate cannon fodder and convincing them that they are somehow defending our country by doing so. But I don't think I've heard anything about the wars in so long I can't remember when the last time was.

Sure, it's covered by the alternative lefty media that I frequent, but only us diehards read that stuff - Alternet and Buzzflash and stuff like that. Nothing from local, state, or national news that was notable enough to notice.

On a related note, I recently read a quote from boxing great Muhammed Ali. A recent quote for a magazine article, he said that one thing he does not understand is war.

That is a very interesting statement coming from him, I think, because I'll bet he actually understands war better than most people do. See, you can kind of think of boxers as analogous to different countries. Ali, as a "country", fought for two different reasons. First he fought to get something. Once he had it, he fought to keep it. He didn't just fight because he enjoyed it. He fought because he was trying to acquire something or to defend it - the same reasons we fight wars (I'm leaving out the third reason - to destroy something - for now). Ali knows all about war, including how to win one, but perhaps he is unwilling to accept that the brutal, ugly aspects of boxing can be applied to entire populations. I guess it is hard to understand why entire countries can be made to behave like two pugs slugging it out to win a gaudy belt or some money.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

GOP Reaches Out [with a withered rotting claw that grasps a jagged poison encrusted dagger that would stab at the soul of humanity]

This is fascinating to me. Republicans are scrambling to redefine themselves in the wake of their defeat in 2006 and again in 2008. According to this article,
“…a group of Republicans are trying to re-frame and re-focus the party.”
Because, as the article explains,
"According to a recent ABC poll, only 21 percent of Americans self-identify as Republicans. That's the lowest number since 1983. And only 39 percent of Republicans themselves [that's 39% of that 21%] say they have faith in congressional Republicans to 'make the right decisions for the country's future.'"
No shit, Sherlock.

It fascinates me because the Republicans still call themselves "conservative" with a straight face, and insist that's what they are. Okay, for the moment we will give them that: Because, if they really want to "re-frame and re-focus" the party, they must do one of two things:
  • They must either return to real conservatism, which they abandoned in favor of neocon adventurism and corporate plutocracy, or
  • They must stop giving disengenuous lip service to conservatism altogether, and admit that the Republican party wants to redefine its political ideology as "whatever it takes to return to power."

The article implies these Republicans want to attract moderates and independents to the party, after they recently left it in droves. But how can they do this without acknowledging that they need to abandon the policies that drove people away, and adopt new ones to entice them to return? And, how can they adopt new policies and still call themselves conservative? Unless, that is, they plan to abandon neoconservatism return to real conservatism, including fiscal restraint and sharply limited involvement in foreign wars. They must also resist new ideas, change, and forward-thinking; and those are some of the things that their lost membership felt was lacking in the first place.

It's okay if they want to re-frame or re-focus the Republican party; heaven knows it could use it. Frankly, I think most Americans could live with a government that included a balanced mix of fiscal conservatives and social liberals (I think that's how most Americans define themselves anyway). But this road show looks to me like a deperate attempt to entice swing voters with disengenuous pandering that belies their intention to continue in the same vein they have for years; the party of corporate powermongers and international strategy game players to whom we are simply pawns. Whoever buy the crap they're selling is getting played.