Saturday, December 31, 2005
Friday, December 30, 2005
"This is at a scale that is really shocking," said Edwards, who teaches public and international affairs at Princeton. "There is a certain kind of arrogance that in the past you might not have had. They were so supremely confident that there didn't seem to be any kind of moral compass here."
Sigh. I'll admit it again: I was a War Democrat. My hatred of Saddam blinded me. I was convinced a progressive case for war existed. I was wrong. I was a fool to think that this Administration would do anything but screw up. Clark was right.
He'd make a fine president, don't you think?
Thursday, December 29, 2005
The entire Republican program is based on propaganda, lies, BS, and bluffing. When Democrats stand firm and run on their principles, they win more times than not. The majority of the American people are ready to vote Democratic--if the Democrats give them a reason to.
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
The Desire to Force Their Way of Life on Everyone Else. Conservatives committed to personal freedom? Is that supposed to be a joke? Conservatives and ultra-religious "reformers" propped up the Jim Crow system in the South, putting into law all the viciousness and savagery of their racism. Conservatives forced laws on the books regulating the most intimate areas of human sexual behavior, including that of married heterosexuals. Premarital sex? Outlawed. Oral sex and other "non-standard" sexual practices? Outlawed. Homosexual sex? Outlawed and subject to brutal punishment. No area of human behavior has been outside of their interference. From the idiocies of Prohibition (which, alas, were partly the fault of the Progressive movement) to the hysteria surrounding the outlawing of the "killer weed" marijuana, conservatives have sought to impose their beliefs by power of law on everyone else, and have told a staggering number of outright lies to persuade others to conform. Conservatives want to tell you whether or not you may use birth control, whether or not your children can learn science in science classrooms, whether you may possess pornography (or what they define as pornography) whether you may terminate a pregnancy (never) and the manner in which you may die. They are the bitter enemies of all genuine human free choice. A startling number would gladly live in a theocracy. Even their proudest claim to fame, their unwavering opposition to Communism (which I share) is as much a result of Communism's hostility to religion as anything else. They stand for human freedom, all right--entirely on their terms.
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Amazing. And of course Dan "I Called Clinton a Scumbag Even Though I Was Banging a Woman Who Wasn't My Wife and Fathered a Child By Her" Burton was involved.
William Dembski, an ID proponent who teaches science and theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, says evolution supporters lost the Scopes trial of 1925 and turned it into a rallying cry. He suggested backers of intelligent design might do the same with the Jones opinion: "There are cultural voices in play that can render that verdict obsolete."
Monday, December 26, 2005
I swear, the fundamentalists are the most sexually obsessed people I have ever encountered. Their sickness is embarrassing.
It all reminds me of Marlon Brando's last line in Apocalypse Now Redux. Brando's character (Kurtz) is speaking into a tape recorder. He says (I'm paraphrasing) "They train young men to drop fire on people but they won't let them write the word fuck on their planes because it's obscene."
When the fundamentalists give a damn about Iraqis being killed for nothing and white phosphorous being dumped on civilians, then maybe I'll give a damn about what they think. But as long as they think jerking off is "sin" and killing foreigners in an illegal war is "God's will", then they can go to hell.
What we have now is not a robust executive but a reckless one. At times like this, it's apparent that Cheney and Bush want more power not because they need it to protect the nation, but because they want more power. Another paradox: In their conduct of the war on terror, they expect our trust, but they can't be bothered to earn it.
Go thou and read the rest.
Sunday, December 25, 2005
Saturday, December 24, 2005
Justice means that, as far as humanly possible, everyone is given the opportunity to succeed socially and economically. It means we provide such opportunities ourselves. It does not mean that everyone is entitled to the same reward, regardless of effort and accomplishment.
Thursday, December 22, 2005
Evolution's impact permeates every aspect of our lives and being. The fight to keep this scientific fact in our schools is nothing less than a fight for sanity and reason themselves.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Now, we see the lengths to which Bush is prepared to go to prosecute the war against the terrorists. He has seen fit to let the National Security Agency tap phones without a warrant, even though a special court exists to issue such warrants, and can even issue them retroactively. Further, the NSA has been tapping domestic phone calls, a practice completely contrary to its mission. We are faced with further evidence, therefore, of Bush's image of himself: a power answerable to no one and restrained by nothing. Think for a moment, of what Bush and his cohorts have done with their power:
- They have made the nation's energy policy in secret and fought against the public's right to know the details of how that policy was made.
- They have bent the nation's economic and fiscal policies to the benefit of their political supporters and contributors in return for a multitude of favors. They have bitterly fought all efforts to expose this organized thievery and looting.
- They have set up secret prisons and prison camps.
- They have asserted the right to inflict torture on our suspected enemies.
- They have turned over terrorist suspects to nations they know will inflict hideous and savage tortures on those suspects.
- They have purposely lied about the circumstances and evidence leading to a war in Iraq.
- They have betrayed the identity of a CIA agent for political purposes.
- They have attempted to coerce, co-opt, buy off, or lie to the media.
- They have shouted that anyone who questions or opposes them is a traitor.
- They have effectively suspended habeas corpus rights for terrorist suspects, even if the suspects are American citizens.
- They have used the FBI to spy on those who dare to question them.
- And now, they have deliberately violated the law in regard to wiretapping.
Sunday, December 18, 2005
Saturday, December 17, 2005
But you and I knew that already.
Enough is enough. The conservatives are attempting to destroy the sciences as part of their effort to: A. Establish a de facto theocracy in the United States and B. Protect their corporate underwriters and sponsors from regulation. We've got to stop them from doing both--in the same of sanity and the future of our country.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
The Congressional Research Service, by contrast, said: "The president, and a small number of presidentially designated Cabinet-level officials, including the vice president ... have access to a far greater overall volume of intelligence and to more sensitive intelligence information, including information regarding intelligence sources and methods."
Unlike members of Congress, the president and his top officials also have the authority to ask U.S. intelligence agencies more extensively for follow-up information, the report said. "As a result, the president and his most senior advisers arguably are better positioned to assess the quality of the ... intelligence more accurately than is Congress."
How many times do we have to call bullshit on these people?
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
They defend the lies that plunged this country into a war that has so far killed more than 30,000 people.
They fight against federal aid to the poor while taking bribes from the rich and powerful.
They are systematically bankrupting the United States governnment, leaving our children and grandchildren with a crippling burden of debt.
They steal from the poor and lower middle class to fund tax cuts for the richest and most powerful.
They slander anyone who disagrees with them as a traitor and a supporter of terrorism.
They wage political campaigns crammed with enough lies and distortions to astonish a veteran Soviet propagandist.
They cheer for perverted fascist lunatics like Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Bill O'Reilly.
They cheat and steal to win elections and suppress voting.
They support a culture of corruption in Washington that would make the 19th century robber barons proud.
They encourage the most savage bigotry against gays.
They demand the right to interfere in the most intimate decisions of human life, from birth control to the right to die. (Witness the Schiavo fiasco.)
They demand that America be converted into a theocracy, while distorting Jesus' message out of all recognition.
They want to dismantle the public school system, crush labor, and export jobs.
They insist that the insane "War on Drugs" be escalated.
Their leaders regularly engage in the most sordid and depraved sexual escapades, while hypocritically presenting themselves as paragons of righteousness.
They defend the history of conservatism in America, which was on the wrong side of every single moral issue in the history of our country. Conservatives demanded the inclusion of slavery in the new nation, fought against its abolition, supported the Confederacy, and then supported Jim Crow laws after the Civil War. Conservatives fought tooth and nail against civil rights. Conservatives fought against unions, the right to vote for women, and equal rights for all female citizens. Conservatives tried to undermine FDR in his efforts to stop our nation's enemies in the '30s. Conservatives fought against Social Security, environmental protections, workplace safety rules, and the minimum wage. In every instance they have fought against the interests and well being of ordinary Americans. They have, historically, appealed to racial hatred, anti-Semitism, and sex discrimination. They have waged relentless class warfare for decades, while falsely accusing the Democrats of it. In short, modern conservatism is the most depraved, morally bankrupt philosophy in American history.
And these people insist that it is they who should govern because they are "better people" than we.
I don't know whether to laugh or puke.
Ohio is rapidly becoming the most corrupt state in the Union. Its government is in the hands of Republican crooks, most notorious of which is rightwing fanatic Kenneth Blackwell, the lying, corrupt, dishonest bastard who happens to be Ohio Secretary of State. If this bullshit electoral law isn't challenged and defeated, the Democrats can kiss a key state goodbye for a long time.
Attacks of this sort on Democrats are effective because Democrats help make them so. Democrats are so obsessed with not looking "weak" on defense that they end up making themselves look weak, period, by the way they respond to Republican attacks on their alleged weakness. Oh my gosh, many Democrats say, we can't associate ourselves with the likes of Howard Dean or Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader who recently called for a troop withdrawal within six months. Let's knife them before Karl Rove gets around to knifing us. Talk about a recipe for retreat and defeat.
Amen to that. Stop aiding and abetting the Republican smear experts. The American people are on your side. Dionne continues:
What's gone largely unnoticed is that while Democrats show their divisions on the war in Congress, Republicans are more divided at the grass roots. In the most recent New York Times/CBS News Poll, 76 percent of Democrats favored reducing our commitment to Iraq -- 40 percent were for pulling all the troops out, 36 percent for decreasing their numbers -- while 13 percent favored keeping current troop levels and 6 percent preferred increasing their ranks. Among Republicans, 16 percent favored increasing our troop levels, while 37 percent would keep them constant. On the other side, 41 percent supported decreasing our commitment, including the 10 percent who were for full withdrawal.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: The American people respect those who fight for their principles. If we want victory, we need to remember that.
The point is clear: unless rightwing Republicans can use you as a political prop, they don't give a damn what happens to you. Period.
Monday, December 12, 2005
Guess with all those nasty pictures of floating corpses no longer in the news, it's safe to renege on your promises.
Our country must be saved from the hands of these lunatic bastards. Because when even John McCain isn't conservative enough for them, when even he, as a victim of torture and a former POW, doesn't have enough patriotic cred for them, then we're in grave danger.
But you and I knew that already.
Sunday, December 11, 2005
I'm so tired of people being violent, negligent, indifferent, and cruel to children.
I'm so sick and tired of war.
I'm so tired of the endless lies that pervade our public and private lives.
I'm so tired of religious, nationalistic, and ideological fanaticism, the source of so very much unspeakable human suffering.
I'm tired and terrified of certainty, the demon in so many people that says, "I'm right, you're wrong, and if you get in my way, I'll kill you" (or, alternatively, "Believe what I believe or you're going to hell!")
For that matter, I'm tired of people who think so badly of God that they believe in hell at all.
I'm tired of dishonesty and deceit at every level of human life.
I'm tired of ignorance, malice, and hatred masquerading as faith.
I'm tired of people assaulting each other.
I'm tired of having to be ashamed of being a member of the human species when I read our history.
I'm tired of false hope, false prophets, false "holy books", false rituals, and the inherent falsehood in all human attempts to claim "knowledge" of the inscrutable and unknowable God.
I'm tired of people interfering in the private lives of other people.
I'm tired of people busting their asses and working themselves to death for next to nothing while undeserving scumbags have wealth showered upon them.
Sometimes, I'm just tired of life.
There are only 2 or 3 of you who will see this (mostly Lance and Paul). I don't mean to be a drag. But sometimes, it's just the way I feel.
Saturday, December 10, 2005
Freedom of expression is something worth defending with one's life. Europeans are too quick to stifle their own freedoms to accomodate those who neither respect or understand democratic ideals. It's time that changed.
And to those tempted to say that the corruption is bipartisan, I say: bullshit. Look at the list of beneficiaries of this scam:
So which candidates got chunks of that taxpayer money earmarked for "defense"?
Henry Bonilla, Roy Brown, Rick Clayburgh, Duke Cunningham (of course!), John T. Doolittle, Maria Guadalupe Garcia, George W. Gekas, Lindsay Graham, Duncan Hunter, Darrell Issa, Samuel Johnson, Thaddeus G. McCotter, Constance Morella, Devin Nune, Steve Pearce, Bill Van de Weghe Jr., Jerry Weller. [Emphasis added by the Rampant J. Miller]
All Republicans, of course. As the scandal unfolds, the pundits will try to convince us that "both sides do it." That simply is not true.
The donations amounted only to $5000 or so. But ADCS Pac was hardly the only mechanism by which Wilkes could distribute the Christmas candy. Remember, Perfect Wave Technologies, Pure Aqua Technologies, Group W. Advisors and other "subsidiaries" were also used as funding mechanisms.
By keeping the donations small, and by maintaining the illusion that the donors are numerous, the conspirators could line many a pocket with relative safety. Clever, eh?
Other recipients of Wilkes' largesse: President Bush, Katherine Harris, Tom Delay, Virgil Goode Jr. and Elizabeth Dole...
G-d dammit, when are these bastards going to be made to pay? PLEASE forward this story to ANYBODY and EVERYBODY on your mailing list. It matters. It's another instance of the obscene corruption the Republicans have gotten away with for far too long. I need your help--send out the word.
He has been relentless in being able to use his family's business connections to fail upward. And he has failed, again and again and again. Let's look at the relevant section of the biography:
People like to assume that George got rich from oil speculation. It's a simpler and more inspiring explanation than the truth. He did launch an oil business, Arbusto Energy, in 1978. But it was a financial disaster from the very beginning and never turned a profit. Fortuitously, it got swallowed up in a 1982 merger with another energy company named Spectrum 7. The merger was engineered by a couple of Bush family friends. For some reason they opted to rescue the son of the Vice President of the United States from his own financial catastrophe and make him the CEO of the merged entity.
Four years later, Spectrum 7 was itself floundering underneath $3 million in debt. Which is when Harken Energy, yet another company run by a family friend, came in and bailed out Bush's enterprise a second time. George was given a fat wad of stock options and a $120,000 annual salary, but no actual work to do.
Technically, Bush's official capacity was as a member of the company's audit committee, charged with overseeing the major deals and transactions to ensure that everything was on the up-and-up. But as the son of the U.S. President, Bush's true function was to act as a lure for investment money. His task was schmoozing business contacts and outside investors, interested in converting cash into a friendly acquaintanceship with the President's offspring. And he was good at it. Hi, my name is George Jr. My Daddy lives in the White House. Let me show you around.
This investment capital really helped prop up Harken as it was secretly bleeding money out of every orifice. As a matter of fact, Harken was hiding massive debts through shell companies and byzantine practices masterminded by the now-infamous accounting firm of Arthur Anderson. One such deal was the putative "sale" of Aloha Petroleum to Intercontinental Mining and Resources Ltd in 1989. In actuality, IMR Ltd was just another company owned by three members of Harken's board. And the terms of the sale were extremely sketchy: although IMR agreed to pay an exorbitant $12 million for Aloha Petroleum, they wouldn't be required to make any payments for three years. Nevertheless, Harken immediately booked an $8 million profit.
The technical term for that is fraud. But you can't really blame George for that, can you? It wasn't like he was serving on the corporation's audit committee or anything... oh wait, he was. In fact, Bush signed off on the Aloha Petroleum deal. This deception helped maintain the illusion that Harken was -- what's the word? -- solvent for several months after it had actually run out of money.
A few weeks before the house of cards finally came tumbling down, Bush engaged in a little insider trading and sold off $848,560 in Harken stock. Then he waited eight months to notify the SEC of his sale. After Harken's stock price fell into the toilet, the SEC finally figured out something was wrong and began poking around. At which point, George offered up this lame excuse:
"In the corporate world, sometimes things aren't exactly black and white when it comes to accounting procedures."
But George's daddy was still President of the United States, and the SEC headed by Bush family friends, so they took no action.
The stench of corruption has always clung to him as well. I urge you to go check this biography out--and understand why I am so passionate about doing, in my own little tiny twelve-hits-a-day-on-my-Blog manner, anything I can to discredit and politically ruin this most disastrous of U.S. Presidents.
Friday, December 09, 2005
Weller: A Bush-DeLay Robot who needs to be kicked out next year.
- No, I do not find an Illinois winter charming or beautiful. I haven't loved winter since I was a kid. When I move to Hawaii, I will not miss the seasons. There, now you don't need to ask me.
- Atheists and agnostics can be just as morally upright and decent as religious believers. In fact, since those of them who are good people try to do right for its own sake rather than to gain reward or avoid punishment, they could rightly claim the moral high ground in many instances. This seemingly simple proposition is denied by a shockingly high number of people, which I find to be a disturbing sign. Belief in God is not a prerequisite to ethical behavior, and I say that as a believer.
- No solution to the Middle East situation that involves the destruction or abandonment of Israel will ever have my support. Ever. Period. Israel has done wrong things. Which of its Arab neighbors, however, is a place that respects human rights more than it does?
- The Bush family's connections to the Saudi royal family and the Moonies need to be shouted from the rooftops.
- Can't we at least extend medical insurance to every kid in the country? Or does giving Paris Hilton another tax cut take priority?
- Why do I get the feeling I'm being gouged on natural gas this year?
- No decent human being advocates the torture of any sentient being for any reason at any time. And no, don't give me that "What if the terrorists were gonna nuke a city if we didn't" argument, because it's garbage. As long ago as the 18th century the Italian Enlightenment author Beccaria nailed that kind of thinking dead. A person being tormented will say anything his captors want to hear, regardless of its veracity. The current administration's defense of torture is therefore both barbaric and stupid. I don't think I have ever been more ashamed of any American leaders than I am of the bastards we have in right now. Lincoln, Washington, and Theodore Roosevelt are turning over in their graves.
Lincoln raised taxes in the Civil War. FDR raised taxes in World War II. It was called sacrifice. That's a concept utterly foreign to our "patriotic" Republican House members.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Wish you were here, John.
Above: Donald Rumsfeld and Friend
These conservatives love to preach about values but as a group right-wing politicians are the biggest collection of crooks, liars. thieves, and perverts in America. Little Ricky's dishonest tactics won't work--he's going to be crushed and sent into the political oblivion he so richly deserves.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Cunningham was one of the conservative movement's favorite wind-up toys, guaranteed to hold forth whenever it seemed useful to question another public official's patriotism, to disparage minorities be they racial or gay, or to claim the tough guy, masculine upper hand even by challenging colleagues to the fistfights he always seemed to walk away from.
His Republican colleagues rewarded the northern San Diego County congressman with the seat on the Appropriations Committee he used as the platform for his graft. He was, after all, a fighter pilot Vietnam vet, a highly decorated ace at that, and got away for years with making his war record seem synonymous with expertise on military matters and using it as an excuse for his bizarre behavior.
On a trip back to Vietnam a few years ago, he called his hosts ''gooks," he tried to make fun of Representative Barney Frank, and, in a famous moment in the mid-1990s, ran away from a physical challenge by Democratic Representative Jim Moran of Virginia, who chased him off the House floor and into the cloakroom, where Moran found him weeping.
He has disgraced his office, disgraced the House, and betrayed the trust of his constituents. Lock him up and throw away the key.
2006 and 2008 will be years of Democratic glory--if we want them to be.
Monday, December 05, 2005
This is the same Neil Bush who was involved in the Silverado Savings and Loan looting--er, collapse --in which the taxpayers took it on the chin to the tune of $1.3 billion--a sum more than twenty times as high as the entire loss by all investors in the so-called "Whitewater scandal" that was used to bludgeon Bill Clinton.
The same Neil Bush who's the brother of El Presidente.
Think the mainstream media will give a rat's ass?
Sunday, December 04, 2005
And a significant number rate him as the worst president ever. Check out these specific indictments by those who have studied the past most closely.
He has taken the country into an unwinnable war and alienated friend and foe alike in the process;
He is bankrupting the country with a combination of aggressive military spending and reduced taxation of the rich;
He has deliberately and dangerously attacked separation of church and state;
He has repeatedly "misled," to use a kind word, the American people on affairs domestic and foreign;
He has proved to be incompetent in affairs domestic (New Orleans) and foreign ( Iraq and the battle against al-Qaida);
He has sacrificed American employment (including the toleration of pension and benefit elimination) to increase overall productivity;
He is ignorantly hostile to science and technological progress;
He has tolerated or ignored one of the republic's oldest problems, corporate cheating in supplying the military in wartime.
James Buchanan, of course, is Bush's closest competition. Buchanan let the country slide into Civil War while trying to appease the slaveholding white South. So maybe it's a tie, or maybe Bush is simply the "next to lowest ranking president". But it's still pretty bad to be down there in the nether regions below Grant and Harding.
This is what comes from putting into office (through a coup d'etat in 2000) the most spectacularly unqualified and utterly dishonest major party candidate for president in our history. This is what the "patriotic" Republican Party has done. It's put us on the road to utter and absolute ruin. I guess that's how they show their "love" for America.
The public has clearly concluded that something is very, very wrong with the way the Bush administration approaches the truth. In a recent Harris poll, by exactly 2:1 (64 to 32 percent), the public says the Bush administration “generally mislead[s] the public on current issues to achieve its own end”, rather than “provides accurate information regarding current issues”. And that’s 73-25–almost 3:1!--among political independents. [Emphasis added].
Go check out the details.
Saturday, December 03, 2005
If a Democrat talked the way these two scumbags did, he'd be (justifiably) shouted down. Why aren't they?
Friday, December 02, 2005
- Any pharmacist who objects to fulfilling prescriptions on religious grounds chose the wrong profession in life. He or she should get out. Period.
- Before his little propaganda speech this morning touting the economy's performance, Bush knew that 10 U.S. Marines had been killed by a roadside bomb. He didn't mention this tragic fact because he didn't want to put a damper on his "good news". Bastard.
- For the so-called "party of morality" the Republicans sure seems to have a disproprtionate share of sex perverts (try Googling Newt Gingrich, Helen Chenoweth, Dan Burton, Joe Scarborough, Bill O' Reilly, Scooter Libby, or Jeff Gannon with their names and the words sex or sex scandal added) and criminals (Jack Abramoff, Tom DeLay, Ralph Reed, Grover Norquist, Duke Cunningham, and many more) which makes their obnoxious preaching even more insufferable. I detest dishonesty, but I think I detest hypocrisy about it even more.(Check this site for dirt on conservatives. I can't vouch for all of it, but it's fun to read.)
- The U.S. economy's "health" is being put on the national credit card. Repeat after me: A national debt of more than $11,000,000,000,000 by 2010.
- I don't give a damn what sexual activities consenting adults indulge in, premarital or marital, and I'm sick of the rightwing fanatics who think it's their right to interfere with them. Hey everybody, let's try something new: mind you own damned business.
Other than that, everything's hunky-dory.
The supposed plot to kill off Christmas has been a mainstay of rightwing pinheads since at least 1921, and it has the stench of anti-Semitism around it. Read the article and see if you don't agree.
AND: A Golden Oldie from Hunter on DKos. Read what the Right had to say last year.
If it is proved that both the 2000 and 2004 elections were indeed stolen, it would mean not only the collapse of the Bush-Cheney administration. It would mean the death of the Republican Party and the implosion of the conservative movement.
All of these would be good things. So I say--let's look into it.