Monday, May 31, 2010

Sunday, May 30, 2010

On Memorial Day 2010

This weekend is a time when we should pause and reflect upon those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our sake. Their experience deserves to be remembered for what it really was, and to that end I'd like to recommend you read this article from the archives of The Atlantic Monthly. It's from war veteran and author Paul Fussell and it's called, appropriately, "The Real War 1939-1945". It is a brutally honest look at what men in combat really go through as opposed to the often sanitized images of war the general public is given. Much of what Fussell recounts in the piece is hard to read, but it needs to be known. Excerpt:

For those who fought, the war had other features unknown to those who looked on or got the war mediated through journalism. One such feature was the rate at which it destroyed human beings -- friendly as well as enemy. Training for infantry fighting, few American soldiers were tough-minded enough to accept the full, awful implications of the term "replacement" in the designation of their Replacement Training Centers. (The proposed euphemism "reinforcement" never caught on.) What was going to happen to the soldiers they were being trained to replace? Why should so many "replacements" -- hundreds of thousands of them, actually -- be required? The answers came soon enough in the European theater, in Italy, France, and finally Germany. In six weeks of fighting in Normandy, the 90th Infantry Division had to replace 150 percent of its officers and more than 100 percent of its men. If a division was engaged for more than three months, the probability was that every one of its second lieutenants, all 132 of them, would he killed or wounded. For those being prepared as replacements at officer candidate schools, it was not mentally healthy to dwell on the oddity of the schools' turning out hundreds of new junior officers weekly after the army had reached its full wartime strength. Only experience would make the need clear.

Think well on all of this. And remember those who were sent and never returned. We owe more to them than language can express.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

One Standard for Right-Wing Presidents, Another for Democratic Ones--Especially Barack Obama

Steve Benen strikes again in an incisive summary of the utterly dishonest and hypocritical manner in which the so-called "liberal media" deal with Democratic presidents. Among the things Barack Obama has been criticized for WHICH HAVE ALSO BEEN DONE BY REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTS AND REPUBLICAN POLITICIANS IN GENERAL: (Yes, I'm stealing--er, quoting-- shamelessly from Benen)

* Teleprompters: This trend of characterizing routine developments as controversial started very early in the Obama presidency. Every modern president has used teleprompters, but Republicans and the media thought it was hilarious and wildly important when Obama did the same thing.

* Bowing: Several presidents have been photographed bowing to foreign heads of state, but Republicans and the media thought it was absolutely scandalous when Obama did the same thing when meeting leaders where bowing is customary.

* Talking to school kids: Presidents Reagan and H.W. Bush spoke to school children in national addresses, even taking a little time to push their political agendas. When Obama delivered a speech encouraging kids to do well in school, Republicans freaked out; Fox News compared the president to Saddam Hussein; and the New York Times literally ran a front-page story about it.

* Czars: For a half-century, presidents have relied on so-called "czars" for various policy areas. By one count, George W. Bush had 36 czar positions filled by 46 people during his two terms. No one cared. Obama's use of czars became the subject of months of media scrutiny, and even congressional hearings in response to Republican apoplexy.

* Oval Office attire: Several modern presidents have been seen in the Oval Office without wearing a suit jacket. When Obama did it, Republicans ran to the press to complain, and the media actually published pieces on the subject.

* Criticizing partisan media: White House complaints about unfair media coverage are as old as the republic. When the Obama White House noted what is plainly true about Fox News -- it's a Republican outlet -- the media went a little berserk, with the Washington Post and NPR characterizing the administration's criticism as "Nixonian."

* Reconciliation: Republican policymakers have relied on reconciliation to get around filibusters for decades. When Obama recommended the same tactic for health care, the GOP pretended it was an outrageous assault on the political process, and the media pretended Republicans' cries were legitimate.

* Industry bailouts: Government bailouts of struggling American industries and major companies have been common for decades. When Obama rescued GM, it was used as an example of his purported desire to a communist dictator.

* Campaign intervention: Every president has had a hand in campaign activities, with several presidents offering jobs to candidates to get them out of various races. When the Obama White House intervened in Pennsylvania's Democratic Senate primary -- offering a House member an unpaid advisory gig -- the media found it fascinating and Republicans called for the FBI and a special prosecutor to intervene.

* Memorial Day: Many presidents have not appeared at Arlington on Memorial Day. When Obama does it, there's a "controversy."
[See my post below this one.]

Yes, the "liberal media" sure are fair and balanced. Just like Fox "News".

Radical Right Determined to Lie About and Smear President Obama on Memorial Day

Shrieking right-wing frauds like Michelle Malkin are having a hissy fit about President Obama choosing to have the Memorial Day wreath laying in Elwood, Illinois, instead of at Arlington National Cemetery. And the right-wing fruitcakes are out in force, apparently, on the Radical Right conservative sites, with their usual incisive comments about our President: "traitor", "piece of shit", "Communist". It just shows how deeply dishonest, twisted, and morally bankrupt these idiots really are. There is nothing--NOTHING--they will not try to politicize and LIE about. The right cannot be trusted on ANYTHING. The do little else except lie through their teeth.

FOR THE RECORD, from commenter Sam on Liberal Forum:

1983 - Reagan attended a seminar in Williamsburg VA. Dep Sec of Defense W. Paul Thayer laid the wreath at Arlington

1987 - Reagan spent Mem Day at Camp David on VACATION while Navy Sec James Webb participated in the Mem Day services at Arlington Cemetery

1988 Reagan was out of the U.S. attending a summit in Moscow.

(during his 4yr term as Pres., Geo H.W. Bush NEVER attended ceremonies at Arlington on Mem Day)

1989 - Pres Geo H.W. Bush went to Rome Italy, and attended services at an American military base cemetery.

1990 - Pres Geo H.W. Bush was on VACATION at Kennebunkport MA on Memorial Day.

1991 - Pres Geo H.W. Bush was on VACATION at Kennebunkport MA on Memorial Day.

1992 - George H.W. Bush was on VACATION but attended a ceremony in Kennebunkport MA, where he also played golf while V.P. Quayle laid the wreath at Arlington Cemetery.

2002 - Pres. Geo W. Bush commemorated Mem Day at Normandy.

2007 - Pres. Geo W. Bush was in Texas, V.P. Cheney attended the Arlington Nat Cem services on Mem Day.

Any questions?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Right-Wing Anti-Government Radicals MURDER Two Policemen, Wound Two More

If the killers had been leftists, every right-wing media outlet would be shouting about it. But they're not--so the Right is dead silent.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


A. Because I'll post anything I damn well want to on my blog.
B. Because I'm sick of people groveling to religious radicals of all stripes.
C. Because I stand in solidarity with those exercising their free speech rights.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday, May 10, 2010

Yes, the Original Constitution WAS Flawed

The Usual Suspects are frothing at the mouth because Elena Kagan, newly nominated by President Obama for the Supreme Court, agreed with her mentor, the late Thurgood Marshall, that the original Constitution was a flawed document. Why, how dare she! She thinks the original Constitution wasn't perfect!!! How could she say that?!?

This is how:

From Article I, Section 2:

Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.

Translation: Slaves will be counted as three-fifths of a human being.

From Article I, Section 9:

The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.

Translation: the slave trade will be permitted until 1808. That, by the way, was one of the terms that the patriotic, God-fearing representatives from South Carolina insisted on.

From Article IV, Section 2:

No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.

Translation: the Free States are obligated to return any fugitive slaves that run away to escape the brutality and barbarism of slave owners in the patriotic, God-fearing southern slave states.

Yes, the original Constitution was deeply and profoundly flawed. It sanctioned the hideous institution of human slavery, at the insistence of Southern conservatives. Slavery, which should have been abolished outright by the Constitution, was not only preserved, but the other states were compelled to support it by being forced to return "property" that had fled to them and recognize slaves as partial humans. An appalling, disgraceful phenomenon.

By the way, you'll notice that the words "slave" and "slavery" were not used in the original Constitution. The writers didn't have the courage to actually say what they meant outright, preferring to hide behind euphemisms. The word slavery wasn't used in the Constitution until the 13th Amendment, which outlawed it in 1865.

Yes, slavery was outlawed after a terrible war that had devoured 620,000 lives, a war that was started by traitorous, violently anti-American slave owners looking to preserve their barbarous system--a system that shouldn't have even existed in a country founded on the stated ideals of the United States, a system that was codified into law by the original Constitution. I call that flawed.

Who would dare to disagree?

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Radical Right-Wingers in Utah Dump One of the Senate's Most Conservative Members

Utah GOP Senator Bob Bennett has been denied renomination in Utah for being insufficiently uncooperative to the Democrats. This is UTAH we're talking about folks, one of the most Republican states in the country. Now we see again that to the Ultra-Right Tea Party Loving idiots that now run the Republican Party, ideological purity is the only test. You shouldn't be surprised--but you should be working to turn out the Democratic vote in November NOW.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Republican Candidate for Governor of Minnesota a Complete Wingnut Idiot

Yes, candidate Tom Emmer thinks that Minnesota should have the right to NULLIFY any Federal law it wants to unless 2/3 of the state legislature and the governor approve of it. Yes, you read that right. The Republican candidate for governor of Minnesota is, in effect, a Confederate (in line with the modern Republican Party, in other words). Allow me to quote from a document Emmer needs to familiarize himself with:

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding. [ From Article VI of the United States Constitution.]

Emmer is a radical right-wing buffoon in the Sarah Palin mode. He embraces every single aspect of the extremist agenda of the Limbaugh-Beck-Palin-Bachmann lunatics that run the GOP. For that reason alone he deserves defeat.

But I want to take this son-of-a-bitch's [political] head off for another reason. I quote State Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota, 26 September 2009:

"I don't think you can call yourself a freedom-loving American and be a Democrat."

I want to take this scumbag down HARD. I'm sick and tired of these idiots spitting in my face and acting as if they had the right to tear up the Constitution whenever they feel like it. We need to WHIP THIS GUY'S ASS and send the lunatics a message, loud and clear:

"You're through."

The True Face of the Wall Street Trader

Do you want to see the face of utter arrogance?

Do you want to see the face of repulsive entitlement?

Do you want to see the face of total contempt for the rest of America?

Then read this dissection of an e-mail written by an angry Wall Street trader, a man who's an arrogant, self-entitled, contemptuous asshole down to his toenails. This laughable little Randian thinks that if he's forced out of his ludicrously overpaid job as a professional con artist that he could just walk into any job held by his social "inferiors" and just do it, no sweat. Unbelievable. Read the whole evisceration of this idiot, and don't miss the comments. They're priceless.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Halliburton, Cheney, and the Disaster in the Gulf

The prominent left-wing, Communist-leaning rag called The Wall Street Journal has part of the story here:

An oil-drilling procedure called cementing is coming under scrutiny as a possible cause of the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico that has led to one of the biggest oil spills in U.S. history, drilling experts said Thursday...

Regulators have previously identified problems in the cementing process as a leading cause of well blowouts, in which oil and natural gas surge out of a well with explosive force. When cement develops cracks or doesn't set properly, oil and gas can escape, ultimately flowing out of control. The gas is highly combustible and prone to ignite, as it appears to have done aboard the Deepwater Horizon, which was leased by BP PLC, the British oil giant.

Concerns about the cementing process—and about whether rigs have enough safeguards to prevent blowouts—raise questions about whether the industry can safely drill in deep water and whether regulators are up to the task of monitoring them.

The scrutiny on cementing will focus attention on Halliburton Co., the oilfield-services firm that was handling the cementing process on the rig, which burned and sank last week. The disaster, which killed 11, has left a gusher of oil streaming into the Gulf from a mile under the surface.

Federal officials declined to comment on their investigation, and Halliburton didn't respond to questions from The Wall Street Journal

Halliburton, you might recall, was the former employer of one "Dick" Cheney. (You may also recall that KBR, a Halliburton subsidiary, electrocuted 12 GIs through incompetence and negligence.) Interestingly, another feature of the oil well disaster story is emerging as well. Another excerpt from the Marxist/Socialist/Terrorist Wall Street Journal:

The oil well spewing crude into the Gulf of Mexico didn't have a remote-control shut-off switch used in two other major oil-producing nations as last-resort protection against underwater spills.

The lack of the device, called an acoustic switch, could amplify concerns over the environmental impact of offshore drilling after the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon rig last week.

The U.S. considered requiring a remote-controlled shut-off mechanism several years ago, but drilling companies questioned its cost and effectiveness, according to the agency overseeing offshore drilling. The agency, the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service, says it decided the remote device wasn't needed because rigs had other back-up plans to cut off a well.

As a third line of defense, some rigs have the acoustic trigger: It's a football-sized remote control that uses sound waves to communicate with the valve on the seabed floor and close it.

An acoustic trigger costs about $500,000, industry officials said. The Deepwater Horizon had a replacement cost of about $560 million, and BP says it is spending $6 million a day to battle the oil spill. On Wednesday, crews set fire to part of the oil spill in an attempt to limit environmental damage...

Industry critics cite the lack of the remote control as a sign U.S. drilling policy has been too lax. "What we see, going back two decades, is an oil industry that has had way too much sway with federal regulations," said Dan McLaughlin, a spokesman for Democratic Florida Sen. Bill Nelson. "We are seeing our worst nightmare coming true."

U.S. regulators have considered mandating the use of remote-control acoustic switches or other back-up equipment at least since 2000. After a drilling ship accidentally released oil, the Minerals Management Service issued a safety notice that said a back-up system is "an essential component of a deepwater drilling system."

The industry argued against the acoustic systems. A 2001 report from the International Association of Drilling Contractors said "significant doubts remain in regard to the ability of this type of system to provide a reliable emergency back-up control system during an actual well flowing incident."

By 2003, U.S. regulators decided remote-controlled safeguards needed more study. A report commissioned by the Minerals Management Service said "acoustic systems are not recommended because they tend to be very costly." [End excerpt.]

And who was the oil industry's chief point-man in the government from 2001 to 2009? You know who. And guess which Bush Administration official pressured the Minerals Management Service to NOT require BP and other Gulf drillers to use the acoustic switch?

Take a wild guess.