Saturday, August 05, 2006

Go jump in a woodchipper, Mr. President

I'm browsing the online world this morning, and I come across this post by Schmidlap, who recounts the truly tragic story of the Lindner family, and the sole surviving member, forced to live in a world where he hears things like "You have to trust that God had a higher purpose for them in heaven" from his neighbor.

Now, I'm fortunate in that most of the truly religious people I know aren't nuts. They're fascinating people to know and great people to spend time with. In a moment like this, they would believe that Mr. Lindner's family was in heaven, but they would also understand the utter agony he'd be going through, and know that platitudes would be insulting at best.

There is, however, a group of people who really does believe that "good Christians" go to heaven when they die, but that is somehow a goal - not heaven, death. And if they can help bring about the end times for all of us, they're doing God's work. They even track how close we are to Armageddon, in their twisted little minds.

I understand belief. I understand faith. But that's just mind-boggling - that they believe so strongly in this amazing afterlife that they would be happy to see this world come to an end, and all life in the universe that we've ever known, just to meet their God. Now, a decent human being, even one who believed in God and heaven, would say "Well, God created this world, and this life for me, and if I don't live it the best I can, and follow the rules he set down on how to treat other people the best I can, I'm insulting God, and that's wrong."

But these people aren't decent, not in the way they treat others. And they have a leader. Not James "Dog-kicker" Dobson. Not Jerry "Teletubby" Falwell. Their President, and sadly mine as well, George W. Bush.

From the Nieman Watchdog, published by the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University

Bush, who says he reads the Bible daily, acknowledges his fundamentalist beliefs. Biblical and Middle East scholar Karen Armstrong writes in The Guardian, "Whatever Bush's personal beliefs, the ideology of the Christian right is both familiar and congenial to him. This strange amalgam of ideas can perhaps throw light on the behavior of a president who, it is said, believes God chose him to lead the world toward Rapture, who has little interest in social reform, and whose selective concern for life issues has now inspired him to veto important scientific research.

"It explains his unconditional support for Israel, his willingness to use 'Jewish End-Time warriors' to fulfill a vision of his own, arguably against Israel's best interest, and to see Syria and entirely responsible for the unfolding tragedy."
As she notes, Bush and his administration not only rely on Christian fundamentalists, he espouses many of their ideals, including their belief that "the second coming of Christ is at hand" but Christ cannot return unless, "in fulfillment of Biblical prophecy, the Jews are in possession of the Holy Land."
Political scientist Kevin Phillips, in his book "American Theocracy," says the Republican Party has become the "vehicle for religious policymaking and eventual erosion" of the separation of church and state. He estimates that 55 percent of Bush voters in 2004 believed in the coming of Armageddon and cheered American involvement in Iraq, one of the world's "evils," in Bush's apocalyptic view.

Writing for the Nation in May, Phillips said, "The last arena of theological influence, almost as important as sex, birth and mortality, involves American foreign policy, bringing us to the connections among the 'war on terror,' the Rapture, the end of times, Armageddon and the thinly disguised U.S. crusade against radical Islam...In the months before George W. Bush sent U.S. troops into Iraq, his inspirational reading each morning was a book of sermons by a Scottish preacher accompanying troops about to march on Jerusalem."

Think about that some more. Our national policy is being influenced by the idea that Israel needs to be in possession of the holy land so that Jesus can return? Humanitarian efforts be damned - we need to make sure that Armaggedon can arrive soon. Now, I'm not a biblical scholar, but I have read the book, and I seem to recall at least some of the teachings having to do with helping others, especially the poor and oppressed.

But why should we help poor people if the world's coming to an end? If they're good Christians, they'll go to heaven.

But why should we worry about global warming or the environment if the world's coming to an end? (Remember James Watt, Secretary of the Interior under Reagan? "After the last tree is felled, Christ will come back.") These people truly believe that since the end times will come, how we treat the earth doesn't matter.

Why, indeed, should we care about human lives (Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Darfur, Stem Cells), if the world's coming to an end? Again, I'm not a biblical scholar, but I think Jesus would have an answer:

Go Jump Into A Wood Chipper, Mr. President.

Friday, August 04, 2006

I didn't know I was gay...

Army Dismisses Gay Arabic Linguist

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. -- A decorated sergeant and Arabic language specialist was dismissed from the U.S. Army under the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, though he says he never told his superiors he was gay and his accuser was never identified......On Dec. 2, investigators formally interviewed Copas and asked if he understood the military's policy on homosexuals, if he had any close acquaintances who were gay, and if he was involved in community theater. He answered affirmatively.


From Donald Rumsfeld:

"If we left Iraq prematurely, the enemy would tell us to leave Afghanistan and then withdraw from the Middle East. And if we left the Middle East, they'd order us and all those who don't share their militant ideology to leave what they call the occupied Muslim lands from Spain to the Philippines."

So Don is now the modern-day Charles Martel, making Europe's last stand against the "Mohamedans" at the Battle of Tours in 732--or perhaps just a delusional, embittered old man.


Betcha the Shrub leaves today even though Tony didn't

From this morning:

LONDON, England (CNN) -- British Prime Minister Tony Blair will delay the start of his holiday to work on a U.N. deal for a cease-fire in Lebanon, his office says.
While there are those on that side of the pond who accuse him of being Drinky's be-zatch (and they might well be right) and continuing heat pours down on him, at least even the gesture of propriety seems to be in order.

Tony won't leave for vacation until something gets settled. W won't come back from vacation, even in the face of a national disaster.

We may think what we may about the Brits (and the rest of the planet) but let's face it, the world understands, I dunno...the world. Meanwhile, we've got Condi flapping around the globe in her plane like Steve fucking Fossett racking up miles and catching up on this year's hottest inflight movie releases.

For whatever reason yesterday, I was thinking what a rebuke it would be if the UN decided to up and take their HQ and put it someplace else like, Dubai. Or Paris. Or Hong Kong. Shanghai. Cities that are growing and represent a diverse opinion but moreover, an understanding of what happens globally and the fact that whether we want to throw up our silly little walls being guarded by the Minutemen militia because we gotta keep "them" out and "us" protected.

Take the lens caps off the binoculars, W. There's a big bad world out there.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Desperate (des·per·ate--adj) Having lost all hope; reckless or violent because of despair; undertaken out of extreme urgency or as a last resort

Now, see it in action.

First, read Doc's post below:

And then take a gander at this from Talking Points Memo:

GOP Donors Funded Entire PA Green Party Drive
By Paul Kiel - August 2, 2006, 4:00 PM

OK, we've done it. We've nailed it down: Every single contributor to the Pennsylvania Green Party Senate candidate is actually a conservative -- except for the candidate himself.

The Luzerne County Green Party raised $66,000 in the month of June in order to fund a voter signature drive. The Philly Inquirer reported yesterday that $40,000 came from supporters of Rick Santorum's campaign (or their housemates). Also yesterday, we confirmed that another $15,000 came from GOP donors and conservatives. Only three contributions, totaling $11,000, remained as possible legit donations. Today, I confirmed that those came from GOP sources.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

I think he got all of that one...

From The Onion...

Bush Grants Self Permission To Grant More Power To Self

August 2, 2006 | Issue 42•31

WASHINGTON, DC—In a decisive 1–0 decision Monday, President Bush voted to grant the president the constitutional power to grant himself additional powers.

"As president, I strongly believe that my first duty as president is to support and serve the president," Bush said during a televised address from the East Room of the White House shortly after signing his executive order. "I promise the American people that I will not abuse this new power, unless it becomes necessary to grant myself the power to do so at a later time."

Read it all. This one's something special.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Lyrics II

Political Science
Randy Newman

No one likes us
I don't know why.
We may not be perfect
But heaven knows we try.
But all around even our old friends put us down.
Let's drop the big one and see what happens.

We give them money
But are they grateful?
No they're spiteful
And they're hateful.
They don't respect us so let's surprise them;
We'll drop the big one and pulverize them.

Now Asia's crowded
And Europe's too old.
Africa's far too hot,
And Canada's too cold.
And South America stole our name.
Let's drop the big one; there'll be no one left to blame us.

We'll save Australia;
Don't wanna hurt no kangaroo.
We'll build an all-American amusement park there;
They've got surfing, too.

Well, boom goes London,
And boom Paris.
More room for you
And more room for me.
And every city the whole world round
Will just be another American town.
Oh, how peaceful it'll be;
We'll set everybody free;
You'll have Japanese kimonos, baby,
There'll be Italian shoes for me.
They all hate us anyhow,
So let's drop the big one now.
Let's drop the big one now.

Lyrics of the Week

Oooo you cannot reach me now,
Oooo no matter how you try.
Goodbye cruel world, it's over.
Walk on by.

Sitting in a bunker,
Here behind my wall,
Waiting for the worms to come. ( worms to come. )
In perfect isolation,
Here behind my wall,
Waiting for the worms to come. ( worms to come. )

Waiting, to cut out the deadwood.
Waiting, to clean up the city.
Waiting, to follow the worms.
Waiting, to put on a black shirt.
Waiting, to weed out the weaklings.
Waiting, to smash in their windows and kick in their doors.
Waiting, for the final solution to strengthen the strain.
Waiting, to follow the worms.
Waiting, to turn on the showers and fire the ovens.
Waiting, for the queers and the coons and the reds and the jews.
Waiting, to follow the worms.

Would you like to see britannia,
Rule again, my friend?
All you have to do is follow the worms.
Would you like to send our colored cousins,
Home again, my friend?
All you need to do is follow the worms.

-- Roger Waters

Insert your own caption

Iran, Syria--who cares?

PRESIDENT BUSH: Want me to start? My message is, give up your nuclear weapon and your nuclear weapon ambitions. That's my message to Syria--I mean, to Iran. And my message to Syria is, become an active participant in the neighborhood for peace.

Neighborhood? Who are you, Mr. Rogers? Are they "folks" too?

From the White House page--at least they don't edit the stupidity.

Meanwhile, back in Frostbite Falls

Bombings, shootings kill 61 in Iraq

By Ahmed Rasheed and Aseel Kami

Bombings and shootings killed up to 61 people in Iraq on Tuesday, including at least 26 soldiers, undermining the government's attempts to show it can suppress unremitting violence.

A roadside bomb attack on a bus filled with Iraqi troops on a road between Tikrit and Baiji, north of Baghdad, killed at least 23, the army said. In the northwestern town of Tal Afar, a car bomb killed three more Iraqi soldiers and wounded four, police said.

A British soldier was killed in a mortar attack on an army base in the southern city of Basra, a British military spokesman said. In Baghdad, a suicide bomber in a car targeted soldiers collecting their salaries from a bank, killing at least 10 people, including an elderly woman, police said. State television put the toll at 14.

Thanks Tony

I'm feeling nostalgic lately (perhaps it is the impending end of civilization as we know it that is bringing it on). Here is the wit and wisdom of Antonin Scalia, from the preliminary ruling granting the cert petition in Bush v. Gore:

The counting of votes that are of questionable legality does in my view threaten irreparable harm to petitioner, and to the country, by casting a cloud upon what he claims to be the legitimacy of his election. Count first, and rule upon legality afterwards, is not a recipe for producing election results that have the public acceptance democratic stability requires.

I sure am glad the Bush administration doesn't have a cloud on its legitimacy, aren't you?

And don't even get me started on "irreparable harm to...the country."

The Embargo is a Success!

After only 47 years, the US government's policy towards Cuba and the communist regime of Fidel Castro has finally borne fruit. At 79 years old, Castro has succumbed to stress and is undergoing surgery. While he recuperates, he has turned power over, back to the people, in the form of his often-overlooked brother.

Raul Castro, 75, is the first vice president of the country and designated successor to his brother. He also assumes control over the armed forces and leadership of the Communist Party, according to the statement.

Green Party continues to be a puppet of the GOP

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Thanks to the generosity of GOP donors, a Green Party candidate is expected to make it onto the ballot in Pennsylvania's Senate race and siphon votes from Democratic front-runner Bob Casey in his bid to unseat Republican Sen. Rick Santorum.
Green Party candidate Carl Romanelli, making his first bid for statewide elective office, acknowledged Monday that Republican contributors probably supplied most of the $100,000 that he said he spent gathering signatures to qualify for the Nov. 7 ballot.
"I have friends in all political parties. It's just that my Republican friends are more confident about standing with me than my Democratic friends. And as a group, my Republican friends are a little better off," he said in a telephone interview.

So, what's the lesson in all this? Green Party candidates are solely driven by ego, and are dumb as a box of people who still support W. You're taking money from Republicans and votes from Democrats. You're not going to win, Mr. Romanelli. Hope that GOP hand shoved up your backside feels good.

President Has Annual Physical

(AP) President Bush had his first scheduled physical after turning 60 today at Bethesda Naval Hospital. The president's doctors declared him to be "dumb as a bag of hammers bordering on bat-fucking crazy--dangerous, man, he's just damned dangerous!"

Monday, July 31, 2006

They just don't get it

Howard Dean says "the Iraqi prime minister is an anti-Semite. We don't need to spend $200 and $300 and $500 billion dollars bringing democracy to Iraq to turn it over to people who believe Israel doesn't have the right to defend itself and to refuse to condemn Hezbollah." Sen Dick Durbin also criticized the prime minister for not renouncing Hezbollah.

Gentlemen, you just don't get it.

Dean was in Palm Beach gladhanding in a critical state, trying to rally the base, but he, along with Durbin, made a huge miscalculation. First of all, the prime minister's government cannot even control the Iraqi capital. He is a Shi'a Muslim in a country dominated by Shi'a Muslims, and Hezbollah is a Shi'a movement. It would be political, and perhaps actual suicide for Maliki to have dramatically denounced the group. That is even more true if it appeared he was caving in to U.S. pressure, where he would return to find himself as either the puppet

or the harem eunuch

--take your pick.

We also have to remember that Hezbollah is not just a group of "terrorists." The group combines elements of a Shi'a religious party, a local political structure and a Lebanese national movement. We do a real disservice to reasoned discourse by blindly lumping them in simply as "terrorists." They have the support of hundreds of thousands of people and are a force to be reckoned with. Once again we see U.S. policymakers stumbling around in a situation they just don't understand.

Hard picture to look at

More memories

While on the topic of misty water-colored memories, I would like for you to think back. First to the roller coaster of emotions from November 2000 and then on to that December, that dark cold night when the Supreme Court issued its incomprehensible and indefensible Bush v. Gore opinion. How did you feel those nights? I was horrified, but could find some small solace in the notion of "how bad could it really be?" Sure, I thought, we'll get a few wingnuts on the federal bench, some environmental rules will be rolled back and the rich will get their cut, but I never imagined this. Not in my wildest nightmare did I anticipate how much permanent damage to the country and the world could be inflicted by one administration.

What about you?

(p.s. I would really like to have a chat--insert "Louisville Slugger" here--with Ralph Nader right about now)

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Misty watercolored memories..

"Restrictions on personal liberty, on the right of free expression of opinion, including freedom of the press; on the rights of assembly and association; and violations of the privacy of postal, telegraphic and telephonic communications and warrants for house searches, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed."

From the "Emergency Decree" drafted by Adolf Hitler in February 1933 after the Reichstag fire.

Conspiracy Corner

Wayne Madsen's blog is an interesting read. He has quite a few tinfoil hats in his closet, and can really be rather far out there. He did give us juicy bits like a W-Condi sexual affair and Tony Blair's sexual attraction to the president (finally an explanation for the PMs bizarre slavish lapdog behavior!) . While I have no interest in who the president is sleeping with, I do care who he screws, and according to Madsen, it just may be the whole world.

July 22/23, 2006 -- The Israeli invasion of Lebanon was planned between top Israeli officials and members of the Bush administration. On June 17 and 18, former Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Likud Knesset member Natan Sharansky met with Vice President Dick Cheney at the American Enterprise Institute conference in Beaver Creek, Colorado. There, the impending Israeli invasions of both Gaza and Lebanon were discussed. After receiving Cheney's full backing for the invasion of Gaza and Lebanon, Netanyahu flew back to Israel and participated in a special "Ex-Prime Ministers" meeting, in which he conveyed the Bush administration's support for the carrying out of the "Clean Break" policy--the trashing of all past Middle East peace accords, including Oslo. Present at the meeting, in addition to Netanyahu, were current Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and former Prime Ministers Ehud Barak and Shimon Peres.

Of course, the (vice) presidential objective is a showdown with Iran.

Crazy? Look at it this way--would you put it past them?

Maliki's souvenier T-shirt