Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Sean Hannity: Just making stuff up.
For those not familiar with the despicable Mr. Phelps (I wont dignify him with the appellation Rev. out of respect for members of the human race who deserve the term) this is the ... Freak who is so far out on the right wing of society that he gained his reputation by picketing the funeral of Matthew Shephard, who was killed in a hate crime because he was gay, in Colorado. So this Phelps sicko has now taken to picketing the funerals of American soldiers killed in Iraq because they are fighting for a nation that allows the "sin" of homsexuality. A statement on Phelps website (no linkage from me... no siree) says: "Thank God for IEDs killing American soldiers in strange lands every day. WBC rejoices every time the Lord God in His vengeance kills or maims an American soldier with an Improvised Explosive Device (IED)." (WBC is Westboro Baptist Church)
Phelps entire schtick is a crusade against Gays. Thats what he's all about. And to somehow twist this to "I guess this is just another example of how the anti-war left supports our brave troops" as Hannity put it, is just a horrendous example of the nuttery of Hannity.
Politics and hurricanes... or why I'm not posting about Katrina
This blog is inherently political in nature. I simply refuse to follow the temptation to try to cash in on an unfolding natural disaster for political purposes. As such I dont want someone reading this blog to even associate this political discourse with the valiant recovery efforts currently underway. God bless the Red Cross, and the National Guard as they go about the monumental task that lays ahead. But I dont want someone reading my inherently liberal rant to associate the one with the other. From what I've read to this point, there will be plenty of ammunition for political recriminations to be layed out and fired. In the meantime I'll hold my fire while we get about the business of cleaning up and getting the Gulf Coast back on its feet.
Also, I do not wish this to be in any way a negative reflection on those who are posting on their sites with recovery efforts and so on. I wish you all success in helping the recovery.
A Bush admin. official stands up for the truth.
God bless Ms. Wood for her example and may we only hope that she is recognized as a pioneer against the insidious idealogical reasoning that contravenes science and basic truths in the governing of this administration. Once again, thank you Ms. Wood.
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Let me start with the 1st point of his article: He writes:
"LET ME BEGIN WITH A simple sentence that, even as I write it, appears less than Swiftian in the modesty of its proposal: "Prison conditions at Abu Ghraib have improved markedly and dramatically since the arrival of Coalition troops in Baghdad."
I could undertake to defend that statement against any member of Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International, and I know in advance that none of them could challenge it, let alone negate it. Before March 2003, Abu Ghraib was an abattoir, a torture chamber, and a concentration camp. Now, and not without reason, it is an international byword for Yankee imperialism and sadism. Yet the improvement is still, unarguably, the difference between night and day. How is it possible that the advocates of a post-Saddam Iraq have been placed on the defensive in this manner? And where should one begin?"
Of course the conditions in Abu Graib have improved with American control. Thats because we do not follow the same policies practiced by Sadaam or by many of our allies around the globe. The horror of Americans torturing Iraqi prisoners, even if that torture would have been a welcome reprieve had those same prisoners been treated thusly in Saddams prisons is precisely because we (correctly so) hold ourselves to higher standards. Let there be no doubt about it... as I described in a previous post, the revelations of abuse to this point truly are the college hazing prank stuff. The awful truth is being hidden by the Penatgon because the true state of affairs as documented on film, if ever allowed to become public will prove far more damaging than anything revealed to this point. But even so, I have no doubt the situation in Abu Graib under American control is much better than under Sadaams regime... and that is hardly anything to crow about. The debasement of our standards by this administration in regards to prisoner treatment is a stain on our national honor, regardless of the treatment that could be expected at the hands of Sadaam or any other ruthless dictator.
Mr. Hitchens lays out 4 criteria for eligibility for a regime to be labeled "rogue and failed" thereby laying it open for its justified expulsion by force. These criteria are: "It had invaded its neighbors, committed genocide on its own soil, harbored and nurtured international thugs and killers, and flouted every provision of the Non-Proliferation Treaty."
These are very valid reasons and any reasonable person may agree that a state violating those principles may rightly be corrected with military force in order to halt said transgressions. But not when those criteria are features of the nations past behavior. I mean the U.S. many times in our history invaded its neighbors, committed genocide on its own soil, harbored international thugs and killers and is the only country to actually use nuclear weapons against an enemy. This obviously did not violate the non proliferation treaty but said treaty is a relatively new phenomona, and given time I'm sure we'll find some cirmcumstance to break it. Also the historical record shows that the U.S. actually was the supplier of Sadaam in the early stages of his WMD programs. Does that reflect well on our belief in non-proliferation? So does this mean I think the U.S. should be subject to the same measures as Mr. Hitchens feels was justified in ousting Sadaam? Of course not! The question is, does Mr. Hitchens hold these standards regarding the continued existence of America? The real point here is that at the time of the Iraq invasion at least 3 of the 4 criteria applied by Mr. Hitchens no longer applied. Iraq is now shown to have had no weapons of mass destruction program, Iraq had no more quotient of international thugs than any other regime currently in power in that part of the world (partial point to Hitchens), certainly had not invaded any neighbor since it's expulsion from Kuwait, and was not then involved with genocide. Does this mean I think Sadaam was a nice guy? Certainly not, and the world is better off with him out of power. But the means by which this end was attained have proven to be a greater harm to America in our loss of international prestige and lack of focus in the TRUE war on terror than the benefit of having removed the dictator. And the fact remains that at the time of his ouster Sadaam was contained and the list given by Hitchens did not apply to the situation at the time. Can you imagine America marching into Cambodia right now in response to the genocide of the mid 70's? Preposterous...
Mr. Hitchens also has a list of 10 bullet points of positive results from the Iraq calamity. Let me take issue with just the last 2 for now:
9) The violent and ignominious death of thousands of bin Ladenist infiltrators into Iraq and Afghanistan, and the real prospect of greatly enlarging this number.
The sad fact in this regard is that this invasion has swelled the ranks of the Islamo extremist movement. For every terrorist killed, dozens join their ranks. The facts show that far from weakening the movement by the bleeding of their membership, this horrible war is strengthening their ranks by radicalizing the Arab "street" against us.
Besides which, another sad fact is that the tactic of the suicide bomber by definition leads to the death of the perpetrator. And while westerners may ponder the ingnominous nature of the death of said bomber, it is considered a glorious achievement by our enemies. The lexicon used by cheerleaders for this war really has no bearing on the perception of these acts by those who carry them out unfortunately. If only it were so easy...
10) The training and hardening of many thousands of American servicemen and women in a battle against the forces of nihilism and absolutism, which training and hardening will surely be of great use in future combat.
This is actually the opposite of what is really happening. Our forces are being stretched thin. Material and manpower are being bled in a quagmire. The truth of the matter is the training being done here is by the terrorists in a theater they can send their recruits to learn the tactics to further harm our interests. The recent uptick in American casualties in Afghanistan are a direct result of the wrong headed war in Iraq. This war is not making us safer, and most of the citizenry of America know this.
The true state of affairs regarding these 2 points show that rather than America gaining strength in the "war on terror" by training our military and weakening the terrorist movement, the opposite is in fact happening. It is precisely for this reason that history will view the results of this misguided adventure in Iraq as a significant setback in the war on terror. Using 09/11 as a platform to forward the neocon Mid East fantasy has resulted in disaster, and the sooner the Hitchens and Cheneys of the world recognize this fact the sooner we can go about correcting this mistake.
Lying: The case for impeachment.
These are the famous 16 words from George Bush given in his state of the union address on Jan. 28, 2003.
Impeachment proceedings against President Bill Clinton began on November 05, 1998. The basis for this impeachment was President Clintons statement under oath that he had not had "sexual relations" with Monica Lewinsky.
Lets compare the nature of these two lies shall we? President Clintons perjury had to do with an extra marital affair. The nature of this activity is such that participants in the affair attempt to cover up and conceal said affair. This is not to justify perjury. It is to attempt to understand that it is part of the human condition to lie about this type of activity. The Republican controlled house of Representatives thought the transgression was serious enough to warrant the impeachment of President Clinton.
President Bush on the other hand lied while standing in the very chamber of the Republican controlled House of Representatives in his 03 state of the union. The nature of his lie was purely due to political motiviations. It has been a stated neocon belief since the mid 90's that the overthrow of Iraq would lead to a flowering of democracy and be a base for future U.S. military functions in the mideast. As is stated here "After the terrorist attacks on the US homeland, so single-minded were these ideologues that they were immediately "ready with a detailed, plausible blueprint for the nation's response. They were not troubled that their plan had been in preparation for over a decade for different reasons, in a different context, and in relation to different countries and, as such, did not in any way represent a direct response to the events themselves".
So we have a President who lied to get us into an unnecessary war that has cost America hundreds of billions of dollars, and thousands of lives. This war has also cost America all the international goodwill we incurred after the attacks on 09/11. This goodwill was and is indespensable in a successful war on terror. All for an ideaology that is flawed. What is the punishment for that? If there is no consequence for this monstrosity who is to say there is anything wrong with continuing said behavior? Look at my post here for the possible ramifications of allowing this to go unchallenged.
Monday, August 29, 2005
Question time with a wingnut.
This brings to mind the case of the "Denver Three." This involves three people who were forcibly removed from a Bush "town hall" meeting on Social Security reform simply because the car they were driving to the event had a bumper sticker on it that didn't comport with the wingnut view of things. The person who removed them identified himself as a member of the secret service, which turned out to not be the case. It is well known that members of the public who attend these "town halls" are vetted for correct political thinking and no one who disagrees with the wingnut point of view are allowed in. This was even taken to the extreme during the 04 campaign of having people who attended Bush campaign events sign a loyalty oathprior to admission to the events.
The parliament of Great Britain has an awesome tradition called question time. This is held every Tuesday and Thursday, and it is a given time in which the Prime Minister is peppered with questions from both sides of the aisle. Can you even imagine what would happen if Bush were to be subjected to this indignity?
Senator Ted Kennedy: "Mr. President, how do you resolve the seeming contradiction between your previous statement that whoever leaked a CIA operatives name to the press would be fired, and your most recent statement that any member of your administration guilty of a crime would be fired."
George Bush: (after sighing and contorting his face 3 times during the question) "This matter is currently under investigation so I cannot comment on it. Also, if someone is exposed because they disagreed with me is that actually a crime? As they say in Texas fool me once shame on you, fool me twice and... we wont... get fooled again."
Senator Hillary Clinton: "How do you answer the polls showing a large majority of the American people do not support your plan to privatize Social Security?"
George Bush: (sweat popping on his forehead with teeth clinched to keep it together) "Which polls are you talking about?! The polls I see taken at my town halls show overwhelming support for this! I just dont get it!!"
All fun and giggling aside, this trend from the wingnut side of the spectrum to hush dissent is truly troubling to me. This is what makes it impossible for George to talk with a grieving mother who doesn't agree with him. It's the cocoon of yes men surrounding these people that means the rest of us dont have a voice. It sure will be nice if one of these days our leaders are capable of facing someone who disagrees with them and not melting down. Lets bring question time to America!
O'Reilly defines himself extremist...
Hoo boy! You can go here and search for Bill O'Reilly for page after page of O'Reilly's holding onto wrong headed opinions in all contravention of established fact. Even the rant he was on regarding the supposed incorrectness of the documentary Outfoxed is wrong! Watch it and you'll see they have examples of all their various points. Their arguments are sourced and demonstrated with footage directly from Fox itself.
The definition provided by O'Reilly of extremist could not possibly provide a better definition of the man himself.
Another career dies for telling to truth...
This administration is just a horrible blight on the land. Good people who merely do their jobs and tell the truth have their careers endangered for not knuckling under to the party line. I am convinced that if democrats ever gain any semblance of power the house of cards will thunder down about their ears. And I am also becoming more and more convinced this wont even be allowed to happen. The right has shown no compunctions in stealing elections in the past, and they know if they lose their grip on absolute power this monstrosity they have created will be shaken to its core. Why allow this to happen when all they need do is manipulate the voting machines. We are living in the generation that allows our democracy to slip away. And the result of this are the Bunny Greenhouses of the nation.
Friday, August 26, 2005
Bush: apparently hard to work around when theres bad news.
To be honest lets take this story with a grain of salt. A portion of the story to be sure is demonstratably true. George has been caught on camera flipping the bird on 2 occasions that I'm aware of, and we can hardly think that there are only 2 times he's done this and both have been magically caught on celluloid.
The interesting part to me is Bushes reaction to negative feedback from those around him. He is notoriously incapable of dealing with opposition to his beliefs. This was apparent in his 1st debate with John Kerry with the sighs and facial contortions. The good lord only knows what would have happened if Bush hadn't been on national t.v. and Kerry had started in on him like that. I'm sure Kerrys stature as a U.S. Senator would have afforded him some modicum of protection from the vileness but the sighing and facial displacement of George would have been magnified substantially.
The grain of salt to be taken with this story has to do with the quotes from whitehouse aides regarding what happens when Bush is confronted with disagreement off the record. It would not surprise me if the accounts were true, but unsubstantiated anonymous sources aren't solid sources as far as I'm concerned. When someone from this administration sacrifices their career to go on record with Bushs attitude in these instances I'll feel more comfortable with the sourcing. I do tend to believe the general tone of the story and would not be the least surprised if George routinely flies off the handle and is profane in those instances, but the degree to which he does so is not proven to me by the sourcing of this story.
All the talk by the Washington psychiatrist is not credible as far as proof of Georges fallabilities are concerned. Speculation that the president has fallen off the wagon and is back to drinking is merely speculation. The speculation of the president being on anti depressant medication is hardly backed by evidence and needs to be taken with a dose of scepticism as well. The proof of all this will come out if its true sooner or later, but until then I'm not going to pile on that bandwagon.
Final verdict: Most of it is probably true but the juicy stuff is not demonstratably proven at this point.
Thursday, August 25, 2005
Dick Cheney is nucking futs...
In a previous post I made the prediction based on our experience in Iraq that the U.S. would not become involved in another war of choice. I must amend that prediction based upon this story. And this to me is demonstratable proof that the people running our nation are freaking insane.
I have no doubt that Al Queda would love nothing more than to draw us into Iran. All they need do is strike us again to reach that goal it appears. And of course if we nuke Iran without provocation, we will be ostracised (correctly so) by the rest of the world. So we will carry on in a war on terror being fought by people who may as well be Al Quedas Washington D.C. executive branch and totally sacrifice all moral high ground we haven't already lost with the Iraq disaster. This simply can't be allowed to happen! It is time for people to stop worrying about their careers and start thinking about America. They shouldn't be raising objections... they should be marching from the Pentagon to Congress with this stuff and starting impeachment proceedings. If this nighmare were to actually occur, these planners would rightly take a place in history beside the Nuremburg defendents who just followed orders in planning crimes against humanity. The notion that America would actually nuke a nation with no provocation, is absolutely horrid.
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Denial of reality, Robertson style.
To be sure, upon hearing this latest permutation from Mr. Robertson regarding the call to assasinate Mr. Chavez, his wingnut audience rhythmically nodded their heads and pondered yet another baseless attack on their religious leader by the media.
Yet the reality based community only need look at the tape for confirmation of Mr. Robertsons original statement and the meaning of those words. It seems to me the only misinterpretation involved here is Robertsons reading of how Christian leaders ought to react to a person they don't agree with politically. Mr Robertson somehow thought the "assasination" of said person is justified through a horrible misinterpretation of any sane reading of the teachings and example of Jesus Christ. When the reaction to this self apparent anti-Christian call for assasination swept the nation, he must have re-interpreted this belief, and finding the statement to be untenable, denied making the statement in the 1st place. Rather than making amends and apologizing for his lunacy he chose to break the commandment "Thou shalt not lie" with the clearly hairbrained explanation that he was misinterpreted, when he clearly was not.
What is it with wingnut spokespeople denying what they are on the record as saying? Twice in the span of 8 days we have glaring examples of aggregious statments from rightwing freakazoids, quickly followed by vociferous denials of having uttered said statements. On Monday, August 15, Rush Limbaugh said "I mean, Cindy Sheehan is just Bill Burkett. Her story is nothing more than forged documents. There's nothing about it that's real, including the mainstream media's glomming onto it." On August 18 Rush denied saying what he was on tape as saying! These clearly are examples of simply denying reality by winguts in a wrongheaded attempt to justify themselves. Rush in fact said what he said, as Robertson in fact said what he said and no amount of denial of the truth can erase those facts. Unless you are drinking the koolaid that is...
UPDATE: The Reverend Pat Robertson has apologized. He deserves credit for that. Way to standup and take the heat Mr. Robertson... you did the right thing in the end.
UPDATE Part 2: Here is a link to the apology from Robertsons website. I take back my 1st updates credit to Robertson for apologizing. He wraps up the "apology" thusly:
"The brilliant Protestant theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who lived under the hellish conditions of Nazi Germany, is reported to have said:
“If I see a madman driving a car into a group of innocent bystanders, then I can’t, as a Christian, simply wait for the catastrophe and then comfort the wounded and bury the dead. I must try to wrestle the steering wheel out of the hands of the driver.”
On the strength of this reasoning, Bonhoeffer decided to lend his support to those in Germany who had joined together in an attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler. Bonhoeffer was imprisoned and killed by the Nazis, but his example deserves our respect and consideration today."
Comparing a theologians sympathy with those attempting to kill Hitler with his own situation hardly denotes contrition by Mr. Robertson for his outrageous statement. This is some sort of non-apology actually and Mr. Robertson should recieve no credit for standing up and doing the right thing in the end.
Telling the truth means being demoted in Bushworld.
What was he thinking? We know this administration isn't reality based and trying to use your position to baselessly interject things like facts and reality just will not be tolerated. He got what he deserved. Let him use his "facts" while he's cleaning toilets in the basement...
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Who's pro terrorist here?
This statement is so incredibly dense its hard to pick a starting point in picking it apart. To condemn this administrations conduct in the war in Iraq is to somehow support the terrorists? It is the Iraqi war that has given the terrorists aid and comfort. Cut and run in the face of terrorism? The war in Afghanistan IS the real war on terror. It is only because of this administrations horrible miscalculation that Iraq became a part of the equation at all. If Theodore Roosevelt had decided to invade Mongolia in response to Pearl Harbor, and that had turned into a quagmire, would his minions have been correct in saying those not supporting that miscalculation were supporting Hirohito? This president decided to take resources from the true war on terror to follow a neocon dream that has turned into a nightmare. By taking resources necessary for the completion of the true war on terror to invade Iraq, which had no bearing in said war, the cutting and running here was done by the Bushovicks from Afghanistan.
The last sentence by Duffy is a real gem. Giving the terrorists more recruiting tools is the hallmark of this administration. Osama Bin Ladens top recruiting officer in Al Queda is President Bush. Any other non-wingnutty President, faced with the circumstances after 9/11 would have finished with Afghanistan, held the support of the rest of the world in a continued war on terror, and contained Iraq. The policies of this neocon cabal insures a war that will continue for genearations. And thanks to Bush we are losing support for the absolutely necessary war on terror in the rest of the world. We face a war that drags on and on without international support, but those who point out the abysmal failings of this foolery are somehow pro-terror. What a freaking joke.
Condemning Pat Robertson
Yesterday Pat Robertson said regarding the popularly elected President of Venezuela: "You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it."
Christian leaders need to stand up as leaders of a religion of peace and tolerance and condemn this extremist in the strongest possible terms. Robertsons statement is contrary to the teachings of his (and my) avowed saviour and mentor Jesus Christ. His standing as a "Christian" leader is recognized world wide. The notion that political killing is justified coming from Mr. Robertson is simply breath taking for its disavowal of the teachings of his religion. Extremists from both Christianity and Islam need to be condemned, and after his calling for a political assasination its time for Mr. Robertson to take some heat from the Christian community.
Monday, August 22, 2005
When media watchdogs attack...
The odd thing here is that Olbermann is spot on in his criticism of what Rush in fact said and this is proven with the transcript of Rush's show that can be found in the 1st link above. Bozells criticism of Olbermann is in supposedly not understanding the meaning of Rushs attack. But the fact of the matter is that in reaching for his point, Rush made a stupid comment: (I mean, Cindy Sheehan is just Bill Burkett. Her story is nothing more than forged documents, there's nothing about it that's real, including the mainstream media's glomming onto it, it's not real.)That on its face is a morbid lie. Whether Rush was making some grandiose statement of media bias, or commenting on monkeys flying out of his butt, his statement was an embarrasment. And Rushs reaction in taking the featured statement out of the transcript of his program on his own website and also removing said statement as a feature on the front page to paying subscribers of his website more tends to prove Olbermanns point than Bozells. It seems to me that someone purporting to be a watchdog of media affairs would be at least nominally interested in factually commenting on actual events in the media than attempting to divine the meaning of an embarrasing comment from a spaced out wingnut. But of course Bozelle being a wingnut himself cant be bothered with such things as facts and reality and so on.
U.S. casualties on the rise in Afghanistan.
President Bush today repeated his canard regarding the Iraq adventure being about us fighting them there rather than here. He says: "The only way to defend to our citizens where we live is to go after the terrorists where they live," The absolute silliness of this statement regarding the war in Iraq is breathtaking. We have sacrificed thousands of our citizens in an undertaking that had nothing whatsoever to do with the war on terror. The true war on terror was/is justifiably taking place in Afghanistan. And it is because of this administrations bumbling adventure into Iraq that the justifiable war in Afghanistan is becoming more and more deadly to our armed forces.
See this earlier post for more detailed reasons that this reasoning is flawed.
Saturday, August 20, 2005
Fighting them over there.
1: This is the equivalent of the presidents early Iraq war challenge to the insurgents to "bring it on." How many times do the terrorists need to hear that our strategic goal in Iraq is to fight them there and not here before they pick up the notion that perhaps they should attack us here, again? The recent bombings in London may not be "here" to most who read this, but to the terrorists we're part and parcel of the same package.
2: We have sacrificed thousands of American lives to fight them there rather than here? What sense does that make? Its sort of like saying, I'd rather not have the car wreck I may or may not get into not be in my neighborhood so I'll intentionally drive my car off a cliff 10 miles away. As long as the terrorists want to kill Americans I guess George is happy they are dying in the Iraqi desert. Besides how would you feel if you lived under the cliff that some stranger ran his car over in order to avoid the chaos in his own neighborhood? Do you think the average Iraqi trying to carry on on his or her life appreciates having to be the front line in the war on terror? This would be like Germany in its struggle against right wing extremism invading Idaho to fight them over there.
3: We are in the process of training thousands of Jihadists through their struggle against the occupation, inflaming the opinion of the Arab world to create more Jihadists and probably leaving a base of operations for them after our exit from Iraq. We have turned the true terrorists into heros and lost our international standing in the necessary battle against terrorism due to this misguided Iraqi adventure. To somehow assert that we are safer here because of the war in Iraq is counter-intuitive to any but the most ardent koolaid drinkers. This war is making us LESS safe not more.
There are several other reasons why this Bushovick notion is wrong headed. This is mission creep because we didn't originally go there for this reason, we're not really fighting them at all but rather a home grown insurgency they have allied with, and so on. Suffice to say this notion of fighting them over there truly is meant for the consumption of the Koolaid drinkers. DON'T DRINK THE KOOLAID!!
Friday, August 19, 2005
If George were leader...
Dateline: 12/08/41. President George Bush addressed congress today following the attack by Japan on Pearl Harbor. Calling 12/07/41 a "Date which will live in ignominin..y" the president called on Congress to lower taxes, then to declare war on Japan. Anonymous administration sources report the President will respond to the attack by sending an aircraft carrier offshore of Japan and having a task force led by Lt. Col. James Doolittle bomb Tokyo. American forces will then be sent to invade Vladovostok Russia in what administration hawks say will be a "blow to the geographic center" of the enemy. When questioning arose from an expert in Asian affairs as to the value of invading Russia in response to an attack from Japan, his wifes role in intercepting Japanese naval communications was disclosed.
Dateline: 09/02/39. Prime minister George Bush addressed the nation via radio to announce the declaration of war on Germany in response to its invasion of Poland. Declaring his faith in the resolve of the British people the prime minister vowed to end the "death tax". Sources inside parliament confirmed the prime ministers resolve to punish Hitler by invading France. Parliamentary hawks point out that the French talk "girly" and also announced that the term "French fries" would no longer be used but replaced with "Spitfries", so named to sound like the backbone of the English airforce, the spitfire. 1st lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill is quoted as saying "when will this idiot stand aside so I can win this war?"
Dateline: 04/14/61. South Carolina governor George Bush ushered in the great Civil War on 04/12/61 by ordering the 4th Brigade of South Carolina militia to "raise the flag and go!" After the fall of Fort Sumter governor Bush's inner circle of firebrands expressed confidence that Canada would surrender before Thanksgiving. When incredulous newspapermen asked what he intended to do about Abe Lincoln in Washington D.C. governor Bush replied: "Oh I really dont spend much time worrying about him."
I could carry on about this all freaking day... but you get the point!
Getting on with their lives.
We have another case in point of a grieving family making statements about the war. This mother is in support of a continued war effort in Iraq. Rather than following the wingnut example and Googling Mrs. Dyer's name trying to sling mud all over her because we disagree, let me say this. It must be so very difficult to think that maybe you have given a child in a cause that is not worth his or her life. My heart simply aches at the thought of the family desperately searching for meaning to the tragedy. I can completely understand the sentiment that we must stay there and make this ultimate sacrifice of your family worthwhile. I hope the Dyers are given strength to endure this trial in their lives and wish them the best in the coming days as well.
This war has caused too many grieving familys, both in America and in Iraq as well. My belief is that history will be a harsh judge of the founder of this war if it all turns out to have been in vain.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Killing in the name of God.
David Prager has a very interesting article in the L.A. Times regarding the relativism of various sins. His contention, which I tend to agree with, is that not all sins are equally aggregious in the eyes of God. Also according to Mr. Prager the greatest sin is to break the 7th commandment: Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: This is the only commandment that specifies the transgressor will not be held guiltless. Mr. Prager holds, correctly in my opinion, that it is hard to imagine that a person would be forgiven for murder but not taking Gods name in vain. The literal Hebrew gives the reason for this dichotomy. Rather than the usual understanding that merely saying the name "God" in an unholy context is breaking the commandment, the literal Hebrew reads: "Do not carry God's name in vain". Under this new meaning an action in the name of God, that is bad, is the sin.
Mr. Prager holds that in this light the actions of fundamentalist Muslims in killing in the name of God is a moral stain on all religions. I agree wholeheartedly. I wonder however, in this regard, what distinguishes the Islamic suicide bomber from the president who invokes a higher power as justification to lie us into a needless war? What of the Bushovick preacher casting this war in religious terms as good v.s. (islam is) evil? Do you suppose the thousands of dead as a direct result of this travesty in Iraq wrought by George were justifiably killed with some sort of approval from God? That is simply preposterous to me. Yet it is Bushes contention he was guided from on high prior to launching this disaster.
Folks, dont get me wrong. I believe the war on terror is an absolute necessity and must be won. I do believe the west is right on this. The war in Afghanistan is as just a war as I can imagine and should be seen through. It is precisely because of this belief that I am so IRKED by this presidents conduct regarding Iraq.
Also we cannot pretend to understand God. The comparison here would be an ant on an airport tarmac trying to understand the workings of a 747. To the ant it is very large and thundrously noisy and if not handled with care can snuff its life in an instant. But the ants understanding is necessarily limited by its ability to percieve its immediate surroundings with a brain smaller than a grain of sand. So who knows... when all is said and done I'm sure we'll be quite surprised in many ways on how God has percieved our workings. But I believe trying to carry forth in the name of God will more often than not lead to tragedy due to our innate failings as human beings. Whether we do so in the name of fundamentalist Islam or fundamentalist Christianity, we do so to the harm of ourselves.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Pouring gas on the flames
The New Yorker has an excellent, if somewhat dated article by Seymore Hersh that details the root causes of the abuses of Abu Graib. This abomination is continuing with the pentagon fighting tooth and nail to keep more pictures and video of prisoner abuse from being released and to even keep their reasoning for releasing them from being released. Big secret here folks... the reason they don't want to release this stuff is because it makes Karen Hughes job nigh on impossible.
The wingnuts currently in power have instituted a systematic program that allowed this stain on our national honor to happen. To me the issue here isn't even about the Geneva Conventions. It is about basic human rights. Unless the Bushovics can somehow classify muslim prisoners as other than human (and with the war on science being conducted by them it shouldn't surprise us should they try it) America is bound to treat them, being human, humanely. Of course this isn't somehow a justification for the wingnuts abrogation of the Geneva Conventions. It simply is to concede that point for the sake of argument, to wonder what makes muslim prisoners somehow no longer covered by basic human rights.
In the meantime, their point that release of these pictures would harm our interests is no doubt correct. Whose fault is that? The policies that lead to this stain certainly were not agreed upon by the general public. The harm to us is a direct result of neocon idealogy run amok, as is clearly specified in the New Yorker/Hersh article. So a big thank you goes to the wingnuts for harming our interests in the war on terror.
These pictures are going to come out sooner or later. And if what Seymour Hersh is currently saying is correct (and he's been spot on so far) these disclosures will include the rape of children in Abu Graib. Make no mistake folks, this will indeed be a nuclear public relations disaster of biblical proportions. And in the Arab world it will be all of America that takes the blame. We are after all a democracy and we (sort of) voted for the ... how do I put this nicely ... ijit, ultimately responsible for these abominations. So how are we to respond when it hits the fan? Heres my answer! Use our democratic powers to place people in power who will hold this crowd responsible for this travesty! The only way we can hope to regain any standing after this is to hold the people responsible who allowed it to happen. To disgrace them and toss them in the pokey, where they will be treated far more humanely than the policies they preach allow for the prisoners now being held. Further we must renounce this conduct regarding prisoner treatment and allow international observation of the practices after reform. And yes... we must do something that is abomination to the average Bushie. We must admit what happened in our name was wrong and apologize for this outrageous behavior. Do I think any of this will actually happen? Nope. Rather a few flunkies in Abu Graib will take a fall as the right prattles on about isolated incidents and what not. And the outrage from the Arab street will grow while George pours gas on the flames...
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Why the right thinks unbiased news is liberal
This really is quite simple. Any reporting of simple facts is quite simply an affirmation of the liberal side of nearly every issue down the line. For the news to be presented in such a way as to not affirm the correctness of the liberal position, it must be filtered, twisted, permutated and deep fried with a heavy dose of righty seasoning. This then is presented as "news", especially on Fox, and reinforces the incorrect presumptions of the typically already duped righty viewer.
So what can be done for the news outlet who wants to report factually but doesnt want to be perceived as liberal? The answer here my friends is the talking head! In between news reports, you run talking head shows that feature right wing pundits. As a sop to fairness you have the righty being debated by a "liberal" who actually is nothing near being a liberal but is rather very moderate. If the left is very lucky they will get a lefty bulldog on there like Carville and then watch the fur fly!
The basic principle here though is when you hear a wingnut whining about the "liberal media" dont think they are carrying on about Mother Jones or Air America. They are just upset about being confronted with the truth, and wondering what in the world possessed them to click off of Fox.
Monday, August 15, 2005
Defeating the Vietnam syndrome.
Iraq is not Vietnam. If anything the implications of defeat in Iraq are far more deadly to our national safety than the defeat in southeast asia. The communists got a unified Vietnam as a result of our misguided war there. Vietnam never really was about communism v.s. capitalism in the great struggle of ideas between the two sides in the cold war. It was simply a civil war in which the south turned to the west for support, and the north out of necessity turned to the Soviets. Basically it was a big pissing match in the cold war and we lost. Did the rest of Asia topple to the Soviets? In spite of the rights dire predictions of the time... no.
Iraq on the other hand has turned into a big pissing match in the war on terror. A needless pissing match I might add. A defeat in this struggle may very well give the terrorists, a current non state affiliated group, a client state, or 2 or 3 from which they may openly foment further destruction on our interests. I suspect when all is said and done there will be 3 states in the current Iraq, those being the Kurds, Shi'ites and Sunnis. The Shi'ite state will most likely be a wholly owned puppet state of Iran. The Sunni's will hold a grudge that will fester for generations over this war. And given a choice between support of Turkey or Kurdistan who will America side with? If history is any map, it will be Turkey. 2, and maybe 3 of these 3 states will be against us in the global war on terror. A decided loss of gigantic propotions in the war on terror, all brought about in a misguided effort that included the goal of defeating the Vietnam syndrome.
But guess what? This war has if anything STRENGTHENED the syndrome it was fomented in part to defeat. After Iraq can you imagine another president fighting a war of choice? Much less decieving the public and alienating the world to do so? Bush noise over Iran not withstanding, the next time we go to battle it will be an unmistakable necessity, as was the case in Afghanistan. I doubt very seriously if President Bill Clinton could have pulled off his masterful handling of the Balkans affair post Iraq.
The Vietnam syndrome is here to stay thanks to the neocon folly of Iraq. And this actually may be for the best interests of America. We need to fight wars of necessity, based on honesty where the national interest is clearly threatened. Iraq and Vietnam are/were wars of choice that should never have been embarked upon.
For confirmation of the stated neocon goal of defeating the Vietnam syndrome with a war in Iraq all you need to is google search Iraq Vietnam syndrome for 60,500 hits on the subject, many of which cover this particular war goal specifically.
Sunday, August 14, 2005
I do believe there are those in the administration, particularly in the pentagon that are attempting to shed this unreality. I also believe George Bush isn't one of them. The rhetoric of the 2 camps simply isn't matching. Bush is still out there preaching freedom and the worthiness of the mission and so on, but if you listen to the brass from the pentagon they seem a bit more reticent compared to their bluster even just a month ago. Hopefully this drumbeat of reality from his own advisors will somehow get through to President Bush. I rather suspect it wont. It will take someone with a blinding searchlight and a bull horn to make Bush think God is commanding him to withdraw to reach him. So I would not be the least bit surprised if there were a major shakeup with the top brass in the Pentagon. Bush has proven loyal to a fault on many occasions but that trait stops where he considers a person has somehow crossed him. Would it not be highly ironic if Rumsfeld were to survive Abu Graib and the mismanagement of the Iraqi war only to be sacked because he tried to shed the "unreality that dominated at the beginning"?
Saturday, August 13, 2005
Pro America... Can I be to?
American resistance to its rulers has a long and very patriotic history. We were founded on that precept. The anti-aparthied movement of the 60's was resistance to hundreds of years of American policy. I would contend that the example set by all those from Geo. Washington to Martin Luther King are extremely PRO American. In fact Cindy Sheehan is it seems to me the Pro American one of this argument.
The blunders of this administration in Iraq have cost our nation hundreds of billions of dollars, thousands of lives and the respect of the rest of the world in the necessary fight on terror. The facts are, this war is handing the terrorists a victory on a silver platter. Iraq pre invasion had no bearing in the war on terror. We go marching in, allow the terrorists to join cause with a home grown insurgency because we had horrid post war planning, and we are in a no win situation! In the process we weaken the resolve and respect of the rest of the world which we desperately need in the real war on terror! Ending this war, regaining our standing with the rest of the civilized world and then going forth to fight the real terrorists would be the absolute most Pro American thing that could happen. Cindy Sheehan is a patriot and the other side are nothing more than recruiting officers for Al Queda. So by all means... grab your turbans and Osama posters and head on out with Mike. Just remember the Pro American here is Cindy, who gave her son in this debacle. I note Mike has 4 sons all of military age, who are not serving. What a surprise...
Friday, August 12, 2005
Top 10 reasons the Bush daughters wont join the Army.
9: All that sacrifice talk is great, as long as its just Karen Hughes talking.
8: Have you ever tried to down a shot in the middle of a sandstorm? Blech!!
7: Everybody they have ever known except for grandpa avoided combat. Why should they be any different?
6: Join the Army? What could possibly be more patriotic than playing quarters while wearing a flag pin?
5: If one of them questioned policy while in uniform Rove would "out" their entire unit.
4: They really want to join up but desert sand khakis just don't match their hair.
3: They'll enlist just as soon as god tells daddy they should.
2: How do you spell city jail in Arabic? Abu Graib.
1: It would be very uncomfortable for daddy if one of them died and Laura wanted to talk about it.
In politics I find myself on Naders side of the issues almost down the line. His work prior to his foray into presidential politics made him a lion of the left. BUT his actions in the 2000 election are directly responsible for the sorry state of affairs we find ourselves in now. The notion that Al Gore and George Bush were somehow the same idealogically speaking is absurd and the last 5 years have provided many painful examples of this truth. I contend the Nader is actually indirectly resonsible for our current debacle in Iraq. Is there anyone who would contend that Gore would have lied us into this? Afghanistan would have happened after 9/11 even if Nader had been elected. But Iraq is pure neocon folly and without Naders helping hand in the 2000 election that crowd would just be howling from the sideline think tanks and plotting impeachment coups in the halls of Congress. Maybe after Cindy Sheehan cracks the security at the Crawford compound and tries to enlighten the dunderhead in chief she can make a trip to Naderville and thank him for the part he played in the loss of her son.
The overall notion of Naders that American democracy would be better served by bringing down the two party stranglehold on our political system is I believe a truism. That being said the notion that American democracy is best served by a one party stranglehold on our democratic institutions thanks to the influence of Nader in bullheadedly pursuing the multi-party goal, as opposed to the check of having at least a Democrat in the Whitehouse is not a plausible argument. The fact that Naders campaign was a wholesale operation of the American Taliban in 2004 shows his worth to their cause.
Thursday, August 11, 2005
Science vs Dogma
TC: The French Government did not intend to kill anyone, therefore it is not terrorism. This is an important distinction. Vandalizing the ship was impressive on France’s part. I don’t support terror.
JP: Bombing a ship is terrorism. Killing a man is murder.
TC: You should know about vandalism, you guys engage in it all the time.
Wha??? So if you blow stuff up to make a political point but the resulting death was not intended... thats vandalism? Maybe Carlson should have put down the crack pipe before placing this call... That assertion is silly on the face of it.
TC: Spraying paint on seals is the same kind of vandalism, blocking entrances with your bodies…
I think they probably have deleted the giggling and coughing as Tucker took the next hit. Spray painting seals is the same as blowing up stuff for a political purpose? NOT IF YOUR THE FREAKING SEAL!!! In case you dont know... activists spraypaint seal pups so the fur on these adorable lil critters isn't valuable to the thuggish brutes with clubs and knives running around clubbing and skinning them. No one dies as a result of this "vandalism" including the sealpups. So everybody is happy. Well everybody with a heart anyway... I guess the club wielding thugs and Tucker aren't.
Just remember this. The next time you see some kid tagging a railroad car, Tucker thinks thats the same as blowing up a boat cuz you dont like their message.
The call ends thusly: TC: I am not hanging up. I am returning the handset to the cradle…
And I'm not typing right now. I'm just bumping my fingers into the keys on the keyboard.
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Scott McClellan interviews Baghdad Bob!
Q: Do you remember the press briefings you gave during the invasion of Iraq?
A: Yes, quite clearly.
Q: *slightly tense voice from Scott* I want to know how you managed to keep a shred of your self respect when you were denying obvious truths evident to any person over the age of two?
A: Well when the big guy tells you to say what-not you just say it... AAAAAAUUUUGGGGHHHHH!!!!
McClellan waved off the reservist holding the crank and felt sorry for B.B. as a wisp of smoke rose over the chair. He took the crank and placed it on the desk. He somehow understood what must be Bobs sense of hopelessness as he faced a questioner who already knew the answers, and he felt compassion for Bob. Besides, these flunkies with the cranks were notoriously quick with a turn of the wrist... Bob really hadn't even said anything untruthful with that last answer actually!
Q: I'm sorry about that Bob... Now when you say the big guy you mean...?
A: You know... the great leader. The one who knows all. The great teller of truth. He who cannot be wrong. The fount of wisdon, the purvey...
McClellan was wrestling the reservist away from the desk... so he missed the remainder of the answer. He decided to dismiss the flunky and then continued the questioning.
Q: Remember the day you insisted Baghdad was not under attack, and then you took the press on a tour and there were American tanks rolling through the streets? How could you possibly continue to justify that response?
A: Well if you recall, that matter was still under investigation by the republican guard.
Scott could tell there was no getting through to Bob with the use of reason alone. He decided to try another tack.
Q: When Saddams sons in laws and daughters fled to Jordan in fear of their lives were you aware that they were high level operatives in your countries weapons programs?
A: Well the daughters were in Iraqs Who's Who in Government book so they weren't actually what you would call operatives. Further the sons were placed in that position only because some relative of theirs suggested they were good for that job so they were discredited for that reason alone.
Scott sighed and called for the flunky again... he could not bring himself to be the one who twisted that handle but it was just so freaking difficult talking to this moron! In some small way though, Scott felt he had seen the enemy, and it was him...
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
I understand he is actually a registered democrat! Is it possible to revoke his membership? I mean our party is indeed a big tent, but this freak needs to be put in the the outhouse with the rest of his stinky type. Regardless, here is a very effective way of dealing with the problem: http://www.wtvm.com/Global/story.asp?S=3685483&nav=8fapcz4I
Monday, August 08, 2005
The King James Bible: Infallible?
11 Of all clean birds ye shall eat.
12 But these are they of which ye shall not eat: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray,
13 and the glede, and the kite, and the vulture after his kind,
14 and every raven after his kind,
15 and the owl, and the nighthawk, and the cuckoo, and the hawk after his kind,
16 the little owl, and the great owl, and the swan,
17 and the pelican, and the gier-eagle, and the cormorant,
18 and the stork, and the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat.
The following observations are directed solely to those who contend that the King James bible is the infallible literal word of God. I suppose the foremost of these would be the esteemed Rev. Jerry Falwell, but include many many more. These true believers would have their views taught in science class across the nation and the current debate raging over evolution v.s. intelligent design is the newest permutation in their war on science. If on the other hand you agree that the King James bible is NOT the infallible word of God the following observations are not directed at you.
The above passage is word for word from the King James bible. It has not been edited or somehow twisted out of context. This clearly is a case where the bible places bats in the class of birds. Of course, the bible being infallible, we must now teach our children that bats are not mammals and the scientists who claim they are have misled us for many many years. It really is quite simple. Infallible = bats are birds.
Is there one among us who would claim that even the most dogmatic would accept this premise? Of course not. Then we must ask, where else does the infallibility of the bible take a hit? I mean at one point the church persecuted Gallileo for controverting the word of Jesus when he exorted the disciples to spread his word to the corners of the earth. Gallileo had the temerity to actually say the Earth did not have corners but was rather a globe! Jesus certainly would have been more scientifically correct to rather command that his word be carried around the globe. But the people of his time would not have understood this concept so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt in using a figure of speech that meant something to those he was directing in this case. Too bad for Gallileo that the right wing of his time were so zealous in their pursuit of those who went against the grain and saw the true state of affairs.
I understand that if your reading this you probably know me and you understand a bit of my thinking in this whole regards. On the offchance that some stranger hits on this, my very 1st post on my very 1st blog in a veritable sea of bloggage, let me tell you where I'm coming from. I am not a godless liberal satan worshiping pagan. I am a liberal Christian, raised by an Assemblies of God preacher and somewhat aware of biblical teachings. I actually do believe in intelligent design. I just understand there is no scientific basis for said belief and therefore do not wish to see that belief taught in my local schools science class. I think the biblical account of creation fits very nicely with evolution if the reader doesn't take things literally. I dont believe the Earth is aproximately 10,000 years old. I do believe that the 1st things to come into existance were the heavens and the earth then the firmament and the waters followed by simple life and gradually culminating with mans appearance. I just dont think this took 7 days. So lets let science be science and dogma be dogma. I feel comfortable in teaching my beliefs to my child, letting our schools teach her the science and hoping she is has a good basis for understanding the state of things from these two sources.
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