Friday, September 22, 2006

Democrats are idiots--the continuing saga

Once again Will Rogers is proven right--I'm not a member of any organized political party, I'm a Democrat.

Rep. Charles Rangel of New York says of the world's new favorite standup comedian, Hugo Chavez, that "if there's any criticism of President Bush, it should be restricted to Americans - whether we voted for him or not."

How patently absurd. Has Charlie forgotten 1) that whole free speech thing, 2) that our president tried to engineer a coup to overthrow Chavez, 3) this was the United Nations, an international forum and 4) as the 800-lb gorilla, our actions have a direct impact on other countries?

Nancy Pelosi doubles up on that, objecting to the name-calling and disrespect shown to our president by--calling Chavez an "everyday thug."

Nice work, guys. 

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Playing the Hitler Card

I am hesitant to do the above, but sometimes it is apropriate, in the context of the use of language. As he wrote in Mein Kampf:
in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying. These people know only too well how to use falsehood for the basest purposes
The "big lie." It still works, especially when coupled with the powerful, almost instinctive forces of nationalism and patriotism. It allows a president, with a complete disregard of more than 200 years of history, to describe an act of criminality as an "attack" executed "with a barbarity unequaled in our history." Using the big lie, a president can turn a law enforcement problem involving disaffected individuals motivated to some degree by offensive U.S. policies into "the decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century, and the calling of our generation."

Mr. President, you may be "calling"--but I'm not answering.

My new favorite sports name

From the undergrad alma mater:
DePauw's Luis Davila recovered a Hope fumble on the first play of the second half and. four plays later, DePauw quarterback Spud Dick covered 14 yards for a score on fourth-and-one. Mallory's extra point lifted the Tigers to a 16-7 lead with 12:29 left in the third.
He replaces an old-time baseball player, a former member of the Chicago White Sox, who rests in eternity in the ol' hometown, John Dickshot.

Meet Andrew Natsios

He's the man Fearless Leader has tabbed to save Darfur.

He comes with great credentials. This was the bozo who guaranteed on Nightline that the reconstruction of Iraq would cost $1.7 billion TOPS. He also headed up Boston's notorious "Big Dig" project.

I can hear it now--Natsy, you're doin' a heckuva job!

Compare and Contrast

Sidney Blumenthal (a must read, btw) on the Bush Administration:

"They believe in social Darwinism, but not Darwinism."

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Some random thoughts

1) The president speaking at the U.N. brought back bad memories of law school. I can remember both being called on when totally unprepared and mocking my fellows when in a similar situation. Your response--try and BS your way out of it and keep repeating what you do know.

He insulted Lebanon, Syria and Iran. He pretended that Afghanistan and Iraq are "democracies" and created mysterious "moderates" and "reformers" in the Middle East. He created a "a great ideological struggle" out of criminal conduct that has killed fewer Americans than died from lightning strikes during the same period. He lauded elections in SAUDI ARABIA???

Why do I keep hearing my Civil Procedure professor saying "Peter, did you read the case?"

2) It's not torture--it is just hurting people really really bad until they tell us stuff.

3) Nixon was president when I was a teenager, and I could not stand him--I was sent home from school in 1970 for wearing a black arm band after Kent State. I graduated from law school and was married in 1982. Ronald Reagan was president (GACK). I despised every thing Ronald Reagan stood for, from calling Nicaraguan death squads the "moral equivalent of our founding fathers" to Iran-Contra criminality to invading Grenada because we neeeded a win after his Beirut screwup (and to protect the world's strategic supply of nutmeg) to gutting funding for higher education. Despite all that, if Blogger had been available back then, I would have said--no, I don't think so. I never woke up every day thinking about Nixon or Ronald Reagan and wondering if the republic would survive.

But now, I think we have real concerns. T
he Supreme Court opines on a presidential election stating that their opinion doesn't matter beyond that case. We invade the wrong country, we show absolute ignorance of world affairs and New Orleans dies. Bodies pile up in Baghdad--Can we just say that we need to say what we're saying?

Welcome WCPT listeners

While browsing the website for Chicago's Progressive Talk, WCPT - 850AM, our esteemed leader (Peter) noticed something interesing on their links page:

Yep, you saw that right. There, amongst the tall trees of DailyKos, Crooks and Liars, Atrios, ThinkProgress, Talking Points Memo, AmericaBlog, and Salon...

Thinking or Sitting.

I figured I should grab a screenshot before anyone noticed ...

Some things speak for themselves


Hugo Chavez of Venezuela at the U.N.:

"The devil came here yesterday. He came here talking as if he were the owner of the world."

Again, sometimes he tells the truth!

"At the start of the 21st century, it is clear that the world is engaged in a great ideological struggle, between extremists who use terror as a weapon to create fear, and moderate people who work for peace."

How true, Mr. President, how true. I only wish the struggle against extremism and fearmongering was going better, but for now, you're winning.

Has he ever read it?

The president cited the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the UN. I wonder if he ever read it?

Article 5.
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 6.
Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Article 8.
Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

Article 9.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 10.
Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

Article 11.
(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.

(2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

Article 12.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Article 18.
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 19.
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 21.
(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.

(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.

(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

Article 22.
Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

Article 23.
(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.

(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.

(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.

(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

Article 25.
(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Article 26.
(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.

(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.

(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children

A vision

This morning, driving to work, I had a vision...

George Bush, high as a kite, hiding in a fort he made out of couch cushions (dull orange and yellow floral pattern), listening to "Life During Wartime", and pretending like he was actually fighting the war himself.

We got computers, we're tapping phone lines
I know that ain't allowed...

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

America's Greatest Speech--From Our Greatest American

Read this and appreciate him:

Matthew 25:37--40 The King George Version

Then George will answer Him, 'Lord, when did I see you naked, and clothe You with garments made by abused children laboring for pennies a day? When did I see You sick, and personally stop the research that could have cured your affliction? When were you in prison and I applied electrodes to your genitals and beat you into submission on a cold hard floor?' The King will answer and say to him, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.' And George will answer 'Oh Jesus."

I also ran a quick check of the Sermon on the Mount. Blessed are

1) the peacemakers
2) those that mourn
3) the meek
4) the poor in spirit
5) the merciful

and so on. I don't see anything about "blessed are the arrogant torturing warmongers."

Faith is a personal matter, and I do not wish to get into "competitive Christianity," but I have never seen a poorer reflection of the teachings of Jesus than from this man who claimed that he was his "favorite philosopher."

Monday, September 18, 2006

That was rude of me

I apologize. I questioned the president's expertise on sovereignty, when he obviously has mastered the subject:
Tribal sovereignty means that, it's sovereign. You're a--you're a--uhh, you have been given sovereignty and you're viewed as a sovereign entity. And therefore, the relationship between the federal government and tribes is one between sovereign entities. Now, the federal government has got a responsibility on matters like education and security to help. And health care. And it's a solemn duty. From this perspective, we must continue to uphold that duty. I think that one of the most promising areas of all is to help with economic development, and that means helping people understand what it means to start a business. That's why the Small Business Administration has increased loans. It means, obviously, encouraging capital flows, but none of that will happen unless the education systems flourish and are strong. That's why I told you, we spent $1.1 billion in reconstruction of Native American schools.

My apologies.

A newly discovered clause in the Constitution

Article II, Section 5

In times of war, or if the People of the Several States are scared of any Danger, real or imagined, all powers enumerated in this Constitution, along with all powers deemed necessary at the time, are hereby granted to the Office of the President. During such times, the President shall not be questioned in his actions, and any such questioning shall be punishable by imprisonment without writ or trial, for as long as the conflict or Danger shall last. All judgments about the nature of the War or Danger shall reside with the Office of the President.

John, Yoo are one evil motherfucker

John Yoo, author of the infamous legal memo justifying Presidential powers to torture US captives around the world, couldn't escape torture victims (World Can't Wait activists) when he appeared in Chicago on Dec. 1, 2005. in a debate with Doug Cassel, long time human rights legal scholar and professor at Notre Dame.

Cassel: If the president deems that he's got to torture somebody, including by crushing the testicles of the person's child, there is no law that can stop him?
Yoo: No treaty
Cassel: Also no law by Congress -- that is what you wrote in the August 2002 memo...
Yoo: I think it depends on why the President thinks he needs to do that.

Keeping Us Safe - Amish Style

Those of us who spend any significant time online are well aware of the security risks - hackers, phishers, spammers, and the lot are trying to gain personal information that they can use to work towards their nefarious goals. And in our consistently more computer-dominated society, the amount of information available online, including information which could be used in a terrorist attack. As such, our government, ever vigilant and concerned for our safety, has devoted vast resources and appointed huge numbers of men and women to help keep us safe. An expert has been overlooking the nation's cybersecurity every minute since 9/11, just to make...Wait, I'm getting an update. Oh, yes. The Shrub's still in charge:

After year's delay, White House selects cybersecurity chief

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House has chosen an industry information security specialist as its cybersecurity chief, an official said Monday, filling a job that has had no permanent director for a year.

Greg Garcia will be nominated later this week as the Department of Homeland Security's assistant secretary for cybersecurity and telecommunications, said a department official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement had not yet been made. He will replace acting cybersecurity director Donald "Andy" Purdy Jr., who is a two-year contract employee on loan from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

Garcia, vice president of the Information Technology Association of America, did not return calls seeking comment Monday.

Carnegie Mellon has received $19 million in contracts from Homeland Security's cybersecurity division this year under Purdy's oversight.

The cybersecurity job was created in July 2005, but department officials have struggled to find candidates willing to take significant pay cuts from industry jobs to fill it.

A test of mock Internet attacks concluded last week that government and industry officials were widely unable to fight back quickly and effectively against a series of simulated hackings that aimed to halt subways and trigger power outages.

Lost and FOUND

Another 34 bodies found in Iraq

(link) Iraqi security forces have recovered 34 more bodies dumped across the war-torn country, bringing to more than 180 the number of people believed killed in a wave of sectarian murders in the past five days, a security official said. Thirty-two of the bodies were found in Baghdad, while two were recovered from the town of Suweira, the official said, asking not to be identified.

Most of the victims had been shot dead. Since Tuesday, security forces have recovered more than 180 bodies, mostly from Baghdad and most of them killed execution-style, according to officials. The Iraqi capital is the epicentre of a conflict between the newly empowered Shiite majority and the ousted Sunni Arab elite that has left thousands dead since February.

Once in a while, he tells the truth

"But one thing that's for certain: It is very hard to have free societies if the citizens cannot read. Think about that. It's much harder for a society to realize the universal blessings of liberty if your citizens can't read the newspaper in order to be able to make informed choices and decisions about what may be taking place in a country. You can't realize the blessings of liberty if you can't read a ballot, or if you can't read what others are saying about the future of your country. "

Indeed. Look at what happened. America can't read, therefore we can't live in a free society. We get this instead:

The enemy of my enemy is NOT necessarily my friend

The fact that key GOP senators are opposing President Torture does NOT mean they are making a principled stand for American values. If something may be somewhat better than its disgusting and appalling alternative, that does not make it good. Check out my pal Joshua Holland over at Gadflyer. He lays out the Senate meaure's obnoxious provision, and concludes:
This is, in short, a terrible bill. It's an improvement over the House bill favored by the administration, yes, but a terrible bill nonetheless. (The House bill, drafted by Duncan Hunter (R-CA), would allow evidence obtained by "coercive interrogations" to be admitted into military tribunals or "civilian status review commissions," and would deny defendants the right to challenge it if doing so impacted "national security.") Let's all just understand that both bills redefine war crimes under article three of the Geneva Conventions, both start us down a slippery slope towards something quite ugly and both will, in Colin Powell's words, cause the world to "doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism."

John Yoo: "We have never been to war with Oceana"

From Sunday's NYT: (Login Required)

The changes of the 1970’s occurred largely because we had no serious national security threats to United States soil, but plenty of paranoia in the wake of Richard Nixon’s use of national security agencies to spy on political opponents.

Once again, proving he has no humanity

From the Murderer-In-Chief's most recent press conference:

Q: Thank you very much, sir. What do you say to the argument that your proposal is basically seeking support for torture, coerced evidence and secret hearings? And Senator McCain says your plan will put U.S. troops at risk. What do you think about that?

THE PRESIDENT: This debate is occurring because of the Supreme Court's ruling that said that we must conduct ourselves under the Common Article III of the Geneva Convention. And that Common Article III says that there will be no outrages upon human dignity. It's very vague. What does that mean, "outrages upon human dignity"?


I've said it before, I'll say it again. Anyone who still supports this man is inhuman, unAmerican, and a murderer by proxy.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The classic Scooby Doo moment

You know how Scooby Doo twists his head around and makes that weird sound? Here goes:

PRESIDENT BUSH: We are, Richard. Thank you. Thanks for asking the question.They were asking me about -- somebody report -- well, you know, your special forces here. Pakistan -- if he is in Pakistan, which this person thought he might be who was asking me the question -- Pakistan's a sovereign nation. In order for us to send thousands of troops into a sovereign nation, we've got to be invited by the government of Pakistan.


You're either for us or against us--unless you're Pakistan or Saudi Arabia, I guess.