Friday, March 31, 2006

Friday Cat Blogging

Friday by the Numbers

  • Total American dead in the Iraq War Illegal Occupation: 2327
  • Total coalition force soldiers dead: 208
  • Total Iraqi Dead: 100,000+

  • It has been 1662 days since Baby Doc said he'd get Osama Bin Laden "dead or alive".
  • It has been 1079 days since the illegal occupation of Iraq began.
  • It was only 1347 days between Pearl Harbor and the end of WWII.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

How's That Again?

According to the Washington Whore Post, he really said it:

"We support democracy, but that doesn't mean we have to support governments that get elected as a result of democracy."
And we also support children but not the schools they go to, we support veterans but not the hospitals they are confined to, we support old people but not the wasteful social security payments that they are consuming, etc etc etc.


Baby Doc and His Vietnam Mistakes

As much as Baby Doc, the Bush Crime Family and their wingnut supporters try to deny it, we all know that there are some disturbing parallels between Iraq and Vietnam.

So it's an interesting read over at the always-worthy Consortium News, where Ivan Eland lists the top ten.

1. Underestimating the enemy.
2. Deceiving the American public.
3. Blame the media.
4. Use of artificial statistics to measure progress.
5. Excessive use of force without a plan to win "hearts and minds".
6. Failed "search and destroy" tactics.
7. Iraqization (like Vietnamization).
8. No date for withdrawal.
9. Retention of incompentent policy makers.
10. Starting a war for concocted reasons.

Read the full story for a complete explanation of these ten points.

Consortium News is one of the most important political sites on the Internets.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Cheap Bastards -- The Baby Doc Maladministration Screws Veterans. Again.

Out of Fontana, CA comes the story of wounded Iraqi War veteran Kevin Stonestreet. Kevin joined the Army as an infantryman following graduation from HS in 2001 and received a signing bonus of $20,000, to be paid out over the six-year term on his enlistment.

So far so good, but when Stonestreet was wounded in Iraq and came home with a Purple Heart and an early honorable discharge due to PTSD, the Army demanded that he give up $2200 out of his final pay... because he hadn't finished his six-year "contract".

What a bunch of fucking bullshit this is. But it just goes to show you -- again -- exactly how little regard the ruling class has for its warriors. They are just cannon fodder, pieces of meat thrown into the sausage grinder to further the ends of the Empire.

They treat our soldiers like raw material in a factory, to be used up and flushed down the toilet, and the sorry motherfuckers just can't figure it out why enlistments are down and reenlistments have fallen off.

Why are we letting these fuckers run our country?

States Offshore Human Services Information Technology

In a story on the Washington Technology website that hits close to home, it's reported that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has found that 43 out of 50 states (51 including the District of Columbia) outsource to foreign countries -- mostly India (naturally) -- the IT work that could be done by state employees. In fact, only two states, New Jersey and Arizona(!) have laws that prohibit offshoring state contracts.

The four programs affected are the federally-mandated but state-run programs dealing with human services: child support enforcement, food stamps, temporary assistance for needy families and unemployment insurance. In what has to be hands down the understatement of the year, the story says that this outsourcing has been "politically controversial in Congress, due to the perception of contributing to American economic and job losses and to privacy concerns".

Since I'm a state employee myself who has worked in unemployment insurance IT in one form or another since the late 1980s ( for you fellow techies, back then it was all about Unix, using a Sun RISC microprocessor), this story has particular resonance with me.

And even though I am "in the business", I'll admit that I wasn't aware of this particularly parsimonious practice. I'll also admit that it doesn't surprise me, though, since we as a society seem to be engaged in a systematic race to the bottom that will ultimately leave two classes of people in this country, the very wealthy and the rest of us, who I imagine are supposed to consider ourselves fortunate that we even have a job, let alone start whining about wages, hours and working conditions.

After all, those three items are classic union issues, and with the rampant union-busting going on behind the scenes in this country, they are considered at best quaint relics of the early twentieth century that act as a brake on the economy of the New World Order.

In Washington State we recently enacted legislation that made union membership mandatory for state employees. AFSCME (of which I am pround to say I am a 30-year member) along with several other smaller unions became the bargaining agents between state employees and our employer, the state government, with the result that several whiny-assed crybabies who refused to join the union got fired from their jobs.

Enter the Orwellian-named National Right to Work Foundation, whose sole function in society seems to be to act in support of business against the best interests of workers. They are taking on the case of this handful of malcontent slackers and suing the union and the state and god knows who else on behalf of these poor downtrodden fuckers who want all of the benefits of union membership without having to pay for any of it.

This is worth watching, since it has the earmarks of a test case that will be used -- if they are successful -- in other states to disestablish closed-shop labor agreements.

What I say is this: Fine, let the malcontents leave the union but keep their jobs, with the provision that they must work at minimum wage with no health care coverage and no benefits. Then, when even their jobs are outsourced to India, they can brush up on their Hindi and move to Bhopal.

I hear the air is great there -- just the thing for these self-absorbed assholes.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Daddy's Drunk Again -- Hide the Keys

From Terminal Boy over at Livejournal we get the following (excerpt):

He's always broke. He has to borrow money to finance his nights out on the town. He tells the people he borrows from that he'll get them back sometime in the future.
He's been known to get drunk and attack people who haven't done anything to him. Invariably, this gets him in fights that he can't win.
When any of his friends question his choices he loudly declares that either they are "with him or against him" and calls them cowards. When someone in the family questions him, he tells them that they are ungrateful and obviously don't care as much about the family as he does.
Check out the full story and tell me if you don't think that the President of the US is an alcoholic father on a bender.

You redstate morons, even you wouldn't tolerate this kind of behavior from your brother-in-law, your cousin, your sister. Why in the hell do you tolerate it in the President of the United States? Why did you vote for the motherfucker when you could see all along what he was?

Because you are a bunch of goddam enablers, that's why. You are in such denial about your Daddy that you would make excuses for the sonofabitch if you caught him stomping your puppy to death.

Veterans Shield Funeral from Bigots

In a story out of Michigan, hundreds of military veterans from around the state showed up to form a human shield around the church where the funeral of Army Corporal Nyle Yates III was being held.

The funeral of Yates, himself a victim of the War on Terratm in Iraq, was targeted by three koolaid-drinking homophobic bigots from Topeka's Westboro Baptist Church who carried signs claiming god killed Yates because he "defended" a country that supports homosexuality. (Of course we can make the obvious argument that our soldiers are not "defending" the US when they have been forced to engage in an illegal occupation of a sovereign nation that did not attack us, but that's another argument...)

In addition to carrying signs, the three men trailed an American flag on the ground and stepped on it. I'm surprised they didn't burn it. But that will come later -- that's my prediction -- and it will give aid and comfort to those among us who want a flag-burning amendment.

But back to the Westboro Boys: This is an ongoing problem with these neo-Nazi Christ-hating Bible-denying Xian fascists from bleeding Kansas -- they are making a career of spewing their venom at the funerals of soldiers who have died in action. And it's nothing new; the same dickwad disciples of the Rev. Fred Phelps, Acolyte of the Antichrist, also made an avocation of protesting at the funerals of AIDS victims in the 90s, holding up the same kinds of signs ("God Hates Fags", etc.).

I am glad to see that my fellow veterans are showing up at these military funerals in sufficiently intimidating numbers to keep the innocent family members shielded from these subhuman trolls. Keep it up, guys!

Finally, a confession: As much as I am a supporter of free speech -- and I believe it is very nearly absolute -- I also would have no problem taking, shall we say, a personal interest in stomping the shit out of these bigoted assholes. Call me hypocritical if you want, but freedom of speech does not mean freedom from accountability for the contents of that speech. While I believe that government has very little business regulating freedom of speech, I also believe that an individual (i.e., me) does not have to tolerate this bigoted hatred spewing forth from the facial gashes of these mouth-breathing morons at a funeral for a soldier killed in action.

In short, let's see them show up to try this shit in MY town.

Scalia-Gitmo Followup #1

The Washington Whore Post is reporting that five retired flag officers -- two generals and three admirals -- are calling for Scalia to recuse himself from the Guatanamo case.

Citing Scalia's statement over the weekend in a speech given in Switzerland(!) that indicates he has already come to a decision about the legality of detaining "foreign combatants" (and apparently also foreign non-combatants), the officers issued a letter yesterday taking him to task over whether his statements "give rise to the unfortunate appearance that ... the justice had made up his mind" about the merits of the case.

Okay, but is he still going to sit on the bench in judgment of the merits of the case?

I'm still saying that he is. He is incapable of seeing any problems in it, just like all the other monkeys in the lock-step Republican party. God ordained it and it's not up to them to question god.

I never thought I would live to see the installation of a fundamentalist theocracy in this country, but here we are, just a couple of steps away from the naked force of the American Taliban. And since I belong to both the ACLU and Americans United for Separation of Church and State, I'm sure that I'm on their Enemies List.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Scalia Calls it "Crazy" -- We Call it "The Constitution"...

In a tape that surfaced over the weekend, SCOTUS Blowfly Antonin, aka "Tony-Pro" aka "Quack-Quack" Scalia calls Guatanamo detainees' claims to have rights "crazy".

No word yet on whether the loose-jowled scowler is going to recuse himself from the case, having already been shown to have pre-judged it, but my guess is that old Quack-quack, if he wasn't willing to recuse himself from the Dick Quickdraw McGraw Cheney case, having just gone on an intimate duck hunting trip with old Wildshot Crashcart himself, chances are he won't see any difficulties here, either.

It's like Judge Roy Bean, the legendary Law West of the Pecos: "We're gonna give the ornery galoot a fair trial and then we're gonna string 'im up." Let's not let all that inconvenient crap contained in that used wad of toilet paper otherwise known as the United States Constitution get in our way.

After all, to Baby Doc and the rest of the crypto-fascist fundo-Xian corporatist motherfuckers in the BFEE, t's just a goddam piece of paper, anyway. And with Scalia wiping his ass with it, I don't think it can hold up much longer.

Weekly "Bush Twins in Uniform" Watch

It has now been 672 days since Jenna and Not-Jenna Bush, the slacker offspring of Preznit Numnutz, graduated from college and they are still not in the uniform of the US armed services.

Why? Because they have other priorities. They are too busy partying down in Georgetown to show their support for the war by enlisting their chickenhawk-child selves into the military service, that's why.

Why can't they be like their royal counterparts in the UK? The Royal Family, unlike the Bush Crime Family, has a centuries-long tradition of honorable military service. Prince Andrew was a combat helicopter pilot in La Guerre de las Malvinas (aka the Falklands War), Prince William, direct heir to the throne, has entered Sandhurst (Britain's West Point), and little brother Prince Harry graduates Sandhurst in April and could be sent to Iraq as a cavalry lieutenant.

How's that shit, Jenna and Not-Jenna? That make you a proud father, Baby Doc?

The rest you, those who think the proud military tradition of this nation needs to be upheld by those most likely to profit from it, be sure to sign the Buzzflash petition and demand that the Bush offspring enlist, or else bring the troops home. If it's not a cause noble enough for any of the children of the Bush Dynasty to join, then it's not noble enough for our sons and daughters to die for.

And check out The Yellow Elephant blog, which asks the question "It's their war; why aren't they fighting it?"

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Caligula Without the Sex

I finally saw the film Good Night and Good Luck last night, and it made me nostaligic for the days of responsible Fourth Estate journalism, the days when a journalist could make a principled stand against demagogery and fascism, and by fearlessly making that stand, actually make a difference.

Edward R. Murrow has always been a hero of mine, and he was my inspiration to study journalism in college. Even though I was a small child in the early 50s, I was raised in a politically liberal family (rural Oklahoma was way different then, let me tell you), and my parents encouraged me to be aware of the world and what was going on in it. They had been fans of Murrow since his WWII broadcasts from London and we always watched him on television, even the excrable Person to Person.

In the famous McCarthy broadcast of See it Now, Murrow said the following:

"We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason if we dig deep in our history and doctrine and remember that we are not descended from fearful men, not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes which were for the moment unpopular. We can deny our heritage and our history, but we cannot escape responsibility for the result. There is no way for a citizen of the Republic to abdicate his responsibility."
The film resonates with a 21st Century audience because the times in which we live are scarily reminiscent of the "you're either with us or you are with the Communists" days of the early 1950s.

But this time, Helen Thomas aside, we just don't have journalists who feel a responsibility to a higher calling other than being willing whores for the White House puppetmasters. And that bodes ill for the future of the republic.

History has a way of repeating itself, and we are eyewitnesses to what is in many ways a repeat of the collapse of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire. All of us, from the Senate to the House to the Fourth Estate to the average citizen, have abandoned our duties -- our solemn responsibilities -- to keep the Boy King in check and accountable. As Murrow said (quoting from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar) in closing that famous McCarthy broadcast: "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars; it's in ourselves."

We have allowed The Chimperor to become as destructively insane as Caligula, but without all that messy sex.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

If this is "Democracy", No Thanks.

I swear, you can't make this shit up.

Afghanistan started out being the Main Event in the War on Terratm, but then the Real Target (Iraq) was engaged, and it became nothing more than an inconvenient sideshow.

Nevertheless we were fed the pablum that great strides were being made, the people are so much better off now than they were under the oppressive fundamentalism of the Taliban, democracy is on the rise, blah blah blah.

So what are we to make, then, of the news out of Kabul that an Afghan citizen, one Abdul Rahman, is about to be executed for -- get this -- converting to Christianity!!!???

Yeah, we're bringing some of that good old fashioned American democracy to the Middle East all right -- the democracy of the late 19th Century when women didn't have the right to vote, it was legal to lynch black people, and monopolistic corporations trampled the rights of workers under their heavy boots.

If this is democracy, we'd better stop. The world can't afford it. We can't afford it.

Meanwhile, Abdul is on the Afghani equivalent of death row, ready to walk The Green Mile rather than give up his faith, and the Religious Right in this country is now up in arms. Over this? Where the fuck were they when the US-installed governments of Afghanistan (including the Taliban) were torturing their own people and suppressing their women, and now, with this new bunch of warlords, reinvigorating the agrarian economy with the major Afghan cash crop, the opium poppy?

And the US response? We are "requesting" that he not be put to death. Whatever the fuck that is supposed to mean. Like we couldn't just tell Karzai, Our Boy in Kabul, to back down. Like we would have to go hat in hand to our puppet regime to ask nicely for them to please not do that. Bullshit.

Bottom line, I think the Religious Right -- the American Taliban -- is secretly jealous of their fundo brethren in the Middle East, and they would gladly reinstitute the death penalty here for a wide variety of "crimes", including anti-fundo-Xian apostasy, if they thought they could get away with it.

Give them a few more years, two more stolen elections, and then we'll see what they can do. It isn't a pretty sight to contemplate.

Where is the Pentagon Plane?

I don't normally go in for "tin-foil hat" stuff (reality is strange enough as it is), but a friend sent me a very interesting video about the mysterious disappearing Boeing 757 that hit the Pentagon on 9-11.

Watch it and see what you think.

Then of course, drop by Snopes and see their debunking of this very theory. It's not a new one, having been around since early 2002, originally put forth by French author Thierry Meyssan in his book, The Frightening Fraud.

But of course the Snopes debunking could be more government disinformation...

Friday, March 24, 2006

Friday Cat Blogging

A continuation of last week's story. About ten seconds from the time of this snap, Dotty met the spider. Close up and personal. I didn't think she could move that fast.

Censure Bush -- Sign the Petition

Sign the petition over at Act for Change to call on congress to censure The Empty Sleevejob.

Censure. It's really a weak word and a weak concept. It's a slap on the wrist with a wooden ruler. I got enough of those in grade school back in the day -- but they didn't help me one goddamn bit.

Just like it won't help Baby Doc. It's a good start, and it should be done -- just like Barbara and Papa Doc should have slapped the little fucker to sleep when he fucked up as a kid.

I used to think impeachment was the way to go; now I think that's not good enough: I want to see him standing in the dock at The Hague in a piss-stained prison orange jumpsuit, answering to charges of war crimes.

That's what I'm talkin' about.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Don't Bring a Knife to a Gunfight

How's this for a quote from Baby Doc:

"I did notice that nobody from the Democrat Party has actually stood up and called for getting rid of the terrorist surveillance program. You know, if that's what they believe, if people in the party believe that, then they ought to stand up and say it."
They really do think we are morons. And we are acting like it. Where is the Democratic outrage at this pile of stinking dog shit? Who in the fuck ever said we should get rid of the surveillance program? This is how these slimy motherfuckers operate, and the sad excuse for a White House press pool, bunch of attention-whore slackers that they are, didn't even bother to call him on it.

Bartcop did though. Here's his suggestion as to something the Dems could say in response:
"Nobody from the GOP has actually stood up and called for the lynching of every black man in America. You know, if that's what they believe, if people in the GOP believe that, then they ought to stand up and say it. They ought to stand up and say, 'We're gonna hang every black man we can find. They ought to take their message to the people and say, vote for me.'
If that's what all Republicans believe, who don't they have the courage to say the words out loud?
But no, the weak-kneed sob sisters in my own party are too fucking scared to play by the same rules as the BFEE.

Don't bring a knife to a gunfight. That's what I say.

SCOTUS Shocker

In an unanticipated -- and welcome -- blow for liberty and individual rights, the Supreme Court ruled 5-3 (Alito sitting out) against the Stasi agents police and the Fourth Reich Bush Maladministration in a search and seizure case.

See the full story on the case and then take a guess who besides our new Grand Inquisitor Chief Justice were among the only three dissenters.

Okay, no-brainer. Of course it was Floppy-jowl Scalia and Houseboy Thomas. Jesus, somebody ought to clue those two plus Roberts in to that whole "intent of the founders" concept about unreasonable search and seizure (hint: it's in the Constitution, boys, that just-a-goddam-piece-of-paper document that you and your plantation masters in the BFEE are working so fucking hard to wipe, shred and flush).

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Made a Mess? Let the Negroes Clean it Up

Baby Doc, like the spoiled brat fratboy he is, suffering from a lack of parental discipline in his childhood, apparently doesn't believe in cleaning up his own messes.

Yesterday he said, in yet another press conference (a sure sign that he's running scared--when he was brimming with misplaced self-confidence he didn't feel the need to lower himself to speak with the subhuman types in the White House Whore Press Pool) that it will be up to a future president to deal with the Mess O'Potamia. The mess that he made, in spite of the Colin Powell Pottery Barn admonition (If you break it, you bought it).

Baby Doc's whole life has been spent -- or misspent -- making one big mess after another, and he's always had Papa Doc and his friends to clean up after him. He has never once exhibited the slightest bit of accountability or personal responsiblity.

Now he's up and taken a big shit in the middle of the dining room table, suppertime is coming on, and like always, he's going to leave it for someone else to clean up.

If some of those smart-money-dumb-shit pundits of the right are correct and the next president is Kindasleazy Rice...well, that would just about be a perfect end product of the entire elitist-snob ruling-class ante-bellum plantation-mentality Repugnican attitude: Make a mess and leave it for the House Negroes to clean up.

When the Repugs talk about "traditional American values", let's don't forget that slavery was one of them. That's part and parcel of that whole "intent of the founders" Constitutional argument (slaves were 3/5 of a human) that makes me want to vomit when I hear it spewing from those flappy five-o'clock-shadowy jowls of Tony-Pro Scalia -- and it's all the worse when his houseboy, Clarence Thomas, is singing backup for him.

Finally, take a look at these maps showing the 19th Century Slave States and territories open to slavery compared with the so-called Red States in the last election. Very interesting how they seem to almost exactly coincide, isn't it?

VA Health Care Crisis: It's Clinton's Fault. Naturally.

In a story out of Pittsburgh, Eugene Nestler, an 82-year-old WWII AAF veteran who flew 30 bombing missions, was unceremoniously dumped out of VA health care and into a private facility. It's just another in a long series of slaps in the face to America's veterans, many of them elderly and frail, unable to stand up for themselves and their rights.

At the beginning of the decade of the 1990s, the VA was notoriously the worst health care system in the country. Bill Clinton (you remember him: dope-smoking draft-dodger who hated veterans and hated the military) decided to change all that. He appointed a guy named Dr. Kenneth Kizer to revamp the whole system, with the result that overall quality of health care at the VA skyrocketed astronomically.

So fast forward to the hostile takeover by the Repugs and the BFEE and the unconscionable cutbacks in VA health care and veterans benefits, inevitably resulting in numerous cases like Eugene Nestler, our WWII veteran.

Of course it's Clinton's fault: If he hadn't taken the initiative to radically improve things at the VA, today's disabled, sick and psychotic veterans would have nothing positive to compare today's fucked-up system to. They would be -- as they should be, as they soon will be once the budget cuts are all fully in place -- happy to be wallowing in their own waste, lying in unchanged sheets, their flyblown untreated stumps left to fester by an overworked and understaffed system that is now being set up to fail them, not care for them.

And what I can't understand, not at all, is the support this lying cheating stealing murdering soldier-killing veteran-hating Maladminstration still enjoys from so many veterans and active duty military.

I honestly can't understand it.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Seeing Progress?

Citing vague and unreliable "success stories" that only he can see, Baby Doc is beating the drum for staying the course -- whatever that means -- in Iraq. Meanwhile his credibility is in the toilet, VP Crashcart is still maintaining that the insurgency is in its last throes (where it has been for two years now), and even hardcore Repugs are running for cover.

That's the story out of Cleveland today, where The Bushit Man made an appearance before something called The City Club -- which I will predict, sight unseen, is a Repug bastion of business types on the sinking Lake Erie shore, filled with a bunch of the kind of Koolaid-drinking Sleevejob supporters that seems to be the only people allowed into these scripted propaganda sessions.

It's pathetic that even his meat-puppet handlers can't come up with something better than this pathetic display. Baby Doc prides himself on being the CEO President, but even a stupid CEO eventually comes up against the fact that the people working for him are morons and fires them.

A Reminder

  • It has been 1652 days since Baby Doc said he'd get Osama Bin Laden "dead or alive".
  • It has been 1069 days since the illegal occupation of Iraq began.
  • It was only 1347 days between Pearl Harbor and the end of WWII.

More Photos from Sunday's Tacoma March

Check out the slideshow on the Radical Veteran website for 30+ more pictures from the Tacoma Anti-War March on Sunday.

Monday, March 20, 2006

A Weekend of Protests

I'm back from a weekend of protest that actually didn't end until noon today, when a group of us invaded the governor's office to present her with a stack of petitions signed by Washington state citizens who are requesting that she tell the federal government that we want our National Guard troops back home.

Saturday and Sunday I attended peace rallies and vigils, including a 1500-person march in Tacoma yesterday that started in a people's park directly across the street from where the draft board was housed back in the days of involuntarily servitude -- aka the days of military conscription.

It was electrifying to see so many different peace and justice groups coming together on all three days to demand an end to the illegal and immoral war in occupation of Iraq.

But we have a lot of work yet to do, so please keep on keeping on, show up for peace vigils, marches and demonstrations. Don't let the bastards grind you down, don't get discouraged, and don't get burnt out. That's what they are counting on -- don't let them have the satisfaction.

Here are a couple of photos I took at the Tacoma march:

Three Iraqi War vets marching at the front of the veterans contingent

Color Guard from Veterans for Peace #109
The Rachel Corrie Chapter

Who Could Have Seen it Coming?

In the words of Baby Doc, Kindasleazy and untold others in the BFEE, "who could have seen it coming" that terrorists would hijack planes and fly them into buildings?

The FBI agent who arrested Zacarias Moussaoui a month before the attacks, that's who. In testimony today in Virginia he said that he sent a warning marked "urgent" to his FBI superiors a month before 9-11, a warning that was ignored.

Like all of the others.

In the meantime, it has been 1651 days since The Empty Sleevejob said he'd get Osama Been Forgotten, would take him "dead or alive", would "smoke him out".

It was only 1347 days between Pearl Harbor and the Japanese surrender aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.

And now the War on the Iraqi People has been going on for 1096 days -- getting perilously close to that magic number of 1347...

Weekly "Bush Twins in Uniform" Watch

It has now been 665 days since Jenna and Not-Jenna Bush, the slacker offspring of Preznit Numnutz, graduated from college and they are still not in the uniform of the US armed services.

Why? Because they have other priorities. They are too busy partying down in Georgetown to show their support for the war by enlisting their chickenhawk-child selves into the military service, that's why.

Why can't they be like their royal counterparts in the UK? The Royal Family, unlike the Bush Crime Family, has a centuries-long tradition of honorable military service. Prince Andrew was a combat helicopter pilot in La Guerre de las Malvinas (aka the Falklands War), Prince William, direct heir to the throne, has entered Sandhurst (Britain's West Point), and little brother Prince Harry graduates Sandhurst in April and could be sent to Iraq as a cavalry lieutenant.

How's that shit, Jenna and Not-Jenna? That make you a proud father, Baby Doc?

The rest you, those who think the proud military tradition of this nation needs to be upheld by those most likely to profit from it, be sure to sign the Buzzflash petition and demand that the Bush offspring enlist, or else bring the troops home. If it's not a cause noble enough for any of the children of the Bush Dynasty to join, then it's not noble enough for our sons and daughters to die for.

And check out The Yellow Elephant blog, which asks the question "It's their war; why aren't they fighting it?"

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Three Years Too Many

This weekend there are numerous Three Years Too Many vigils, rallies and demonstrations all over the country.

Please consider attending one or more of these events in your area. Ending the illegal occupation of Iraq is too important -- no one should in good conscience be able to sit home doing nothing on this critical weekend.

So I'll be busy all weekend with anti-war activities. Be back on Monday.

Get active and stay active. End the war. Now.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Friday Cat Blogging

A rare action photo; usually they are sleeping.
That's a tiny spider on the floor that Dotty is staring at. A little later it bit her on the nose.

Jessica Simpson Snubs Baby Doc

Jessica "Is Chicken of the Sea Really Fish?" Simpson is associated with a charity called Operation Smile, and she was in DC recently to talk to congressional members and their staff about all the good her charity does (and it does--check it out and think about making a donation).

The National Republican Congressional Committee saw this as a golden opportunity to grab some feel-good headlines for The Empty Sleevejob and his blind-pig Repug lackeys in Congress, so they invited Jessica to drop by a National Republican Congressional Committee fundraiser where she was promised some face time with the Man Without a Brain.

So who wouldn't jump at the chance to meet ... [drumroll] ... The President of the United States?

Turns out it was our own little Jessica, who refused to go to the fundraiser because she did not want to politicize her charity. You go, girlfriend! (And also because she didn't want to help raise money for the Repugnican Thugs who are running this Banana Republic? One can only hope.)

And word on the street has it that Baby Doc is more miffed at the Simpson Snub than he is over his rapidly plummeting poll numbers. And the whole of the NRCC is outraged over her refusal to associate herself with them.

Too bad, boys. Get the fuck over it, already. Time to move aside and let The People start running things again.

I can't wait to hear what Bloviator-in-Chief Limpdick Limbaugh will have to say about this.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

A "Must-See" for All Democratic Politicians

I always watch The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. I'm more than a little out of the demographic, but I'm right in there with the twenty-somethings who see the show as one of their prime sources of news.

So the other night Paul Hackett was on, and he had some pointed -- and hilarious -- advice for the Dems. You can watch the video clip over at the Bradblog site.

Warning: Some material might be offensive to Democratic Party fatcats, bigwigs, know-nothings and idea-less hangers-on.

Porn Star to Eat With Baby Doc -- Again!

It's the family values, stupid. In case you didn't know, the Repugnicans are supposed to be the party of "family values" and good old fashioned homespun, churchgoin' Bible-believin' piety-pukin' missionary-position-sex-for-everyone-else Americanism.

Which makes it all the harder to swallow that they are inviting Mary Carey, entreprenuerial porn star and failed California gubernatorial candidate(!) back to the White House for dinner. That's right, this is isn't the first time the lovely Ms. Carey has been on the menu on the guest list for a White House dinner.

The actual menu was not announced, but one can only hope that more than oysters and bratwurst are on tap.

I wonder if she still wants a threesome with the Bush twins? Baby Doc is in trouble in the polls, the GOP is running scared, the party needs an infusion of cash -- a pay-per-vew triple tryst with Mary Carey and Jenna and Non-Jenna in some hot and sweaty girl-on-girl action might be just the trick. It's not like the twins are doing anything productive anyway, not for themselves, not for their party, and certainly not for the country.

You Repug fundraisers out there: If you can pull this off, since it was my idea I'm laying claim to 10% (which, as you well know, is way lower than the standard cut for a pimp).

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

"Moral" Pharmacists

Just so you know that it isn't restricted to out-of-the-way pharmacies in states nobody ever heard of and couldn't care less about, I just learned that the pharmacists in my own state of Washington are starting to make noises about not filling prescriptions for medications that they personally disagree with "morally".

The medication in question is, of course, the so-called "morning after" pill, which several pharmacists around the country have made the news recently by refusing to dispense, under the completely nonsensical notion that it is "just the same" as an abortion.

Bullshit. If you are a pharmacist whose religious beliefs won't allow you to fill a prescription for legal medication as ordered by a licensed doctor, then you need to be in another line of work. It isn't your place to pass judgment on me or my family over what kind of medication we take. Your job is to not only fill the prescription but more importantly make sure that the doctor didn't fuck up when he prescribed it. That's why you have to go to school and be licensed. You are not licensed to tell me that something prescribed by my doctor is "morally" wrong.

This ordinarily will not become an issue in the cities and large towns since consumers can vote with their feet, but in many small towns in this state and across the nation, there is only one pharmacy and one pharmacist. It should not be his/her "choice" whether to dispense a legally prescribed and medically valid prescription.

Like I say, if you don't feel that you can perform your job due to a threat to your "morals", it's your duty to get another job that will not conflict with your religious beliefs. And if you quit your job for this reason, you can always get Unemployment Insurance for 26 weeks while you try to "find" yourself and maybe wonder if that wasn't such a great idea after all to just up and quit.

But that simple solution won't fly with religious assholes. They want to cram their morality down our throats or (in the case of a pharmaceutically religious suppository) up our asses.

Jesus, protect me from your followers.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

What IS it With These Fuckers???

In what will most likely be the only trial for the alleged perpetrators of the 9-11 attack, US prosecutors have fucked up. And fucked up royally. Fucked up to the point that the lawyers for Zacarias Moussaoui will no doubt get him off, either with a mistrial or on appeal. And it's not beyond the realm of possibility that the jury will find him not guilty.

The prosecution, in its idiotic zeal to draw and quarter Moussaoui, engaged in what the federal judge called egregious conduct, including tampering with witnesses and corrupting evidence.

All of the testimony by six jurors and all of the evidence relating to air security will be suppressed by order of the judge.

Read the story. Then tell me what's really going on. These are seasoned, experienced prosecutors, pursuing a case that is so high profile that it pushes other news off the front page. And we're supposed to believe that they would engage in the sleazy kind of prosecutorial behavior that we usually see in the lower reaches of the skid road municipal court?

Bullshit. They're throwing it, like the Chicago Black Sox in the 1919 World Series. Like Terry Malone in On the Waterfront. Like the 2004 Democrats.

Why are they doing it? Good question. I can only surmise that there's something that they don't want everybody's favorite terrorist-in-custody to talk about it. A mistrial, a hung jury, even an overturn on appeal would be a good thing for Moussaoui and bad thing for everyone else.

So why are they doing it? And why are the prosecutors acting like inept first-year law students?

Is it because they don't want to convict Moussaoui and have him sentenced to death? Is there some secret deal, some hidden payback involved?

Just asking.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Religious Discrimination Against the Dead at the VA Cemetery

National Guard soldier Patrick Stewart was killed in action in Afghanistan. He was posthumously awarded the Air Medal, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Nevada Distinguished Service Medal and the Combat Action Badge, but his service goes unmarked on the memorial wall of the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Fernley, NV, solely because of his religious beliefs: Stewart was a follower of and a believer in the Wiccan religion.

According to that inconvenient document that is rapidly becoming just a goddam piece of paper, the United States Constitution, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." (the so-called establishment clause of the First Amendment).

So what are we to make of this blatant discrimination against a brave National Guardsman who paid the ultimate price and whose remains now linger unmarked in a VA cemetery in northern Nevada because the VA refuses to place the symbol of the Wiccan Religion on his memorial marker? Seems the government didn't have any problem with putting "Wiccan" on Stewart's dog tags.

They also don't have any problem placing crosses, Stars of David, or Buddhist wheels on the markers. Even atheists have their own approved symbol. In fact, there are 33 religions or belief systems recognized by the VA -- fully 17 of them Christian sects or cults -- as being "worthy" of having a marker to memorialize a dead soldier.

But the VA rules prohibit any non-approved graphical representations of "emblems of belief" on government-furnished headstones or other markers.

Why is Stewart being discriminated against? And whose goddam business is his religion?

This is just a VA rule -- it doesn't have the force or effect of US law or federal regulation. And because it is a rule, it can be changed easily. In fact, all VA Secretary James Nicholson has do to is issue an order and it's a done deal.

So why hasn't he done so? I suggest we all write to him and ask him that question:

James Nicholson
Secretary, Department of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Avenue Northwest
Washington, DC 20420

This is yet another reason why I am proud to be a card-carrying member of both the ACLU and Americans United for Separation of Church and State -- Stewart's choice of religion, like mine, is none of the government's business.

Weekly "Bush Twins in Uniform" Watch

It has now been 658 days since Jenna and Not-Jenna Bush, the slacker offspring of Preznit Numnutz, graduated from college and they are still not in the uniform of the US armed services.

Why? Because they have other priorities. They are too busy partying down in Georgetown to show their support for the war by enlisting their chickenhawk-child selves into the military service, that's why.

Why can't they be like their royal counterparts in the UK? The Royal Family, unlike the Bush Crime Family, has a centuries-long tradition of honorable military service. Prince Andrew was a combat helicopter pilot in La Guerre de las Malvinas (aka the Falklands War), Prince William, direct heir to the throne, has entered Sandhurst (Britain's West Point), and little brother Prince Harry graduates Sandhurst in April and could be sent to Iraq as a cavalry lieutenant.

How's that shit, Jenna and Not-Jenna? That make you a proud father, Baby Doc?

The rest you, those who think the proud military tradition of this nation needs to be upheld by those most likely to profit from it, be sure to sign the Buzzflash petition and demand that the Bush offspring enlist, or else bring the troops home. If it's not a cause noble enough for any of the children of the Bush Dynasty to join, then it's not noble enough for our sons and daughters to die for.

And check out The Yellow Elephant blog, which asks the question "It's their war; why aren't they fighting it?"

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Data Mining, Innumeracy, and the Odds on Everything

Data mining, in the form of the discredited Total Information Awareness program or its renamed-but-not-fundamentally-different successor, code-named "Basketball", has been in the news periodically as the latest and sexiest tool in the War on Terratm, but does it really work?

Short answer: No.

Bruce Schneier over at Wired News calls it out for those of us who still hold onto an irrational belief in science and mathematics. Take a look at his commentary and see for yourself why data mining will never be able to smoke out a single terrorist.


Let's look at some numbers. We'll be optimistic -- we'll assume the system has a one in 100 false-positive rate (99 percent accurate), and a one in 1,000 false-negative rate (99.9 percent accurate). Assume 1 trillion possible indicators to sift through: that's about 10 events -- e-mails, phone calls, purchases, web destinations, whatever -- per person in the United States per day. Also assume that 10 of them are actually terrorists plotting.
This unrealistically accurate system will generate 1 billion false alarms for every real terrorist plot it uncovers. Every day of every year, the police will have to investigate 27 million potential plots in order to find the one real terrorist plot per month. Raise that false-positive accuracy to an absurd 99.9999 percent and you're still chasing 2,750 false alarms per day -- but that will inevitably raise your false negatives, and you're going to miss some of those 10 real plots.
This isn't anything new. In statistics, it's called the "base rate fallacy"... [link added]
It's all in the numbers, people, it's in the odds, it's in the critical analysis of what the numbers mean -- and what they don't mean -- and since the Repugnican anti-intellectual anti-education schoolyard-bully Bushevik apparatchiks took control of the educational framework of this country they have been going out of their way for years to dumb down the populace in every field of science, including mathematics. It shouldn't come as a suprise that Joe Sixpack and his buddies just don't get it. They can't.

Innumeracy is what it's called, and its consequences are as bad as those of illiteracy, and in many ways even more pernicious. Those who can't wrap their minds around even the simplest comparative numerical concepts are primary victims for any shell-game con-artist Ponzi scheme that comes along. And the BFEE has plenty of them, from the oxymoronic destroy-Social-Security-in-order-to-save-it reform package to the Orwellian-named deficit-reduction budget plan -- they can with full confidence make pretty much any outlandish claim they want, swear that the statistics back them up, and the poor fuckers in the Moron-American voting bloc will go along with it because they are incapable of running the numbers for themselves.

Pathetic, really. You'd think they'd teach basic statistics and mathematical thinking in the schools at an early age, but since that would contribute to creating and sustaining the very thing the BFEE doesn't want, an informed and educated electorate that is capable of logical thinking and critical anaylsis, odds are it's not going to happen.

Coat Hanger Mail--Send a Message to SD

Send an unmistakable message to the radical Christianist freedom-hating misogynist government of South Dakota. That benighted state, in case you've been under a rock or in solitary confinement, just outlawed ALL abortions except those necessary to save the life of the mother. No exceptions for rape, incest or the health of the mother. Doctors who perform abortions are subject to more prison time than the "funny uncle" who muscled his way into his 15-year-old niece in the first place.

Isn't anyone bothered by this? If you are, send a message to the knuckledragging SD governor by mailing a wire coat hanger or a knitting needle to:

Office of the Governor
500 E. Capitol Ave.
Pierre SD 57501

BTW, a note for you younger readers: the wire coat hanger and the knitting needle were the private medical instruments of "choice" to induce an abortion in the dark days before Roe v. Wade; these South Dakota asshole yokels apparently don't realize -- or don't care -- that outlawing abortion will not eliminate it -- it will just drive it back underground, where dangerous procedures by medical amateurs using septic instruments will result in, ironically, more deaths.

So I guess a smart doctor and a clever lawyer could conceivably argue the case that, because illegal back-alley abortions will result in a sharp increase in the deaths of the mothers, an abortion performed by a licensed physician under sanitary conditions would therefore, ipso facto, become necessary to save the life of the mother, thereby meeting the letter of the law when it comes to applying the Draconian requirements of the South Dakota legislation.

Interesting argument, isn't it? I think it could work.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Church of Reality Challenges other Religions on Morality

Church of Reality Press Release 3-10-06:

The Church of Reality today issues a challenge to other religions on the issue of ethics and morality. We live in a world where the hatred among religions grows daily between Christianity and Islam and the time has come to put a stop to it. Both sides claiming the superior moral position and to represent the word of God while taking up arms and going to war with no concern for the costs to civilization and the future of the human race. Both religions claim divine inspiration from the same source but as an outside observer we do not see it. We believe that what you do represents what you believe and if you are dishonest and you are violent then that is what you are and that is what you believe.

Both religions claim to be a religion of peace yet neither side has not the will nor the divine inspiration to make peace happen. If your religions truly have divine inspiration and guidance then one can only conclude that your gods are failures. On the other hand if your gods actually do represent love and peace then your religions do disservice to your creator.

It is logical therefore t assume that the superior religion would be the one who wins based upon the nature of the gods that you believe in. Therefore our challenge is, show us your God through you and show you are the true voice of the master by winning through peace and not by war. According to your own holy books when you turn to war over peace and when you put hate before love you are violating the very core principles that you claim that God stands for. Therefore you can not win a religious war by doing the opposite of what you claim God wants you to do.

We in the Church of Reality are Atheists. We look at your behavior and we conclude that if a God does exist that you are not in touch with it. We are committed to believing in whatever is real. We would believe in God if God were real. Your religions claim that you have a personal relationship with God and that you communicate with God directly and that God transforms you into something that reflects its nature. So we say, show us the fruits of that transformation. We ask you if your God is powerful enough to erase the hatred from your heart and to bring peace through each of you and to stop the violence. If your God is so weak that his followers can't stop killing, then you aren't going to convert and Realists to your religions.

We in the Church of Reality also believe, "By their fruits you shall know them." So if you are filled with the spirit of the Lord then lets see if you can shine the light of God's peace and love and end the wars.

Marc Perkel
First One
Church of Reality
I, your humble bloghost Farnsworth, am proud to be a proselyte of the Church of Reality. If you are also a member of the reality-based community, please consider joining us.

Friday Cat Blogging

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Another Baby Doc Bitch-slap to America's Veterans

It's like the little fucker is just plain incapable of thinking. Like my Oklahoma grandmother used to say, "that boy ain't right in the head".

Next week Baby Doc will be visiting small-town America, Canandaigua, NY (pop 11,264), to talk about Social Security. Okay,that's fine as far as it goes (which isn't very far when it comes to the BFEE's retirement plans for us, but that's another post for another day), but I think it's more than a little odd that he will be in a town that is home to a sprawling 171-acre VA hospital, one that was marked for closure in 2003 and was kept open only through the combined efforts of a local letter-writing campaign and the clout of New York elected officials, without talking about veterans.

My question should be obvious: Why isn't the Empty Sleevejob going to talk about veterans' benefits, veterans' rights, and especially veterans' health care? So far it's not on the published agenda, and the VA hospital isn't on the short list of stops for the photo-op visit.

So it comes down to just another slap in the face to America's veterans. We ought to be used to it by now.

But we aren't.

VA Health Care Cuts and the Media

It's common knowledge to all of us out here in the larger community of veterans who are still non-comatose: The Bush Maladministration is cutting health care to America's veterans. Everyone except lockstep neo-fascist kool-aid drinkers like my old buddy Chickenshit Charlie knows this. We know it intuitively. We know it in our bones. We know it from looking into the agonized face of the suffering Iraq War veteran who has just been told it's going to be a six-month wait until he can even be evaluated, let alone treated.

But you wouldn't know if from a quick perusal of most of the SCLM/MSM. Here's a Google News search for the following phrase: "VA 'health care' cuts". Take a look and you will see a grand total of 78 hits as of today. And the vast majority of these are either relatively obscure Internet-only sites, such as ePluribus Media, or small-town, small-market newspapers such as the Maine Today/Morning Sentinel.

Jesus, it's no fucking wonder the bastards are getting away with all of their crap. The lazy-assed whore media is letting them! I am embarassed to admit that I once studied journalism and that I was an aspiring newspaper hack myself. I'd rather tell you that I played piano in a whorehouse -- and now I'd even tell my mother that, rather than admit to her that I worked in the media.

Be sure to check out my favorite media-critic websites, Media Matters for America for an ongoing analysis of the way the media covers stories. I try to look at it every day, and I'm never disappointed with their reports of where and how the media screws up -- and, oddly enough, those screwups seem to always happen when it comes to covering the progressive side of an issue, and never the neocon side. Hmmmmm.

A Showdown Looms. Or Does it?

According to a Reuters News Service article, the White House is refusing to back down from the veto threat over the sale of port facilities to the United Arab Emirates.

Little Scotty McWeewee is pissing his pants over the posturing by the Republican-controlled House to attach a "no sale" clause to an Iraq-War/Afghan-War/Gulf-Coast-Rebuild spending bill. And at the same time that whiny-boy Scotty was spewing this crap to the White House Whore Press, congressional leaders were meeting privately with Baby Doc and giving him the bad news.

Meanwhile, all of us out here in the Left-Brain-Blogisphere of New Whateverland have been positively drooling over the possibility that the motherfucking weak-kneed Bush-sucking bootlicking sycophantic Republi-cants in Congress may have finally grown a pair of balls big enough to stand up to the Little Dick-tater. He has not vetoed one bill in five-plus years in office, and it would be a fine justice indeed if his rubberstamp lackeys in Congress vote to override his one and only veto. Which it looks like they have the votes to do.

Of course, we all agree that the fact that every single member of the House is up for reelection this year, the polls are lopsided against the deal, and none of them wants to have to defend a vote to sell America's security to the Taliban-supporting "Bankers of Al Qaeda", had absolutely nothing to do with it...

Of course the whole thing may be just another basic bait and switch: Latest news is that the Dubai company (actually not a "company" in the customary sense, but rather a wholly-owned corporate entity of the government of the UAE -- not that you'd know that from most of the SCLM/MSM reports) is backing off and will divest itself of its American holdings.

Given the absolutely corrupt deviousness of the Mayberry Machiavellians at the top of that stinking heap in our nation's capital, could it be that this whole thing was a smoke-and-mirrors stunt cooked up only to make the Congress look like it's acting tough and standing up to Baby Doc? With Dubai itself pulling out of the deal, it saves face for Baby Doc and makes the Congress look like they're strong and independent, willing to stand up for what's "right". All done without a vote, without a veto, without an override. Nice and clean.

Too clean.

The whole thing smells like a setup to me, yet another in a series of distractions to keep our focus off of what's really going on with the theft of our democratic republic right out from under our noses.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

It's Not Who Votes That Counts, it's Who Counts the Votes

It's beginning to look suspiciously like the 2008 presidential election is already over, and the Democrats lost. This is why the Repugs have been acting with such reckless abandon, as if they don't ever have to worry about getting elected again.

Turns out they don't. The California Repugnican Thug Secretary of State Bruce McPherson has just bought into his own Diebold Disaster, acting contrary to the advice given him by just about everyone, and the 2008 California presidential election returns will be "counted" on Diebold machines.

It is demographically impossible for the Democrats to win the presidency without the California electoral votes, to counter all of the impossibly-front-end-loaded small red states like Wyoming and South Dakota, all of whom have electoral college votes that are way out of proportion to their population. With Diebold machines counting the votes in California, the election is all but over for the Dems.

The machines were rushed into play to meet Federal demands for a change in the California voting system prior to the April 10 San Diego election. The June primary is coming up and the state has to have in place a new system by then. Diebold won by default, even with the many documented cases of hacking and other problems.

It's too late for this year's elections, but this must be stopped before the 2008 elections. It's not too late for that. Californians must rise up and demand that their representatives in the California Assembly put a stop to this nefarious plan. If you know anyone in California, please call them or email them and plead with them to contact their assemblyman or woman.

With all of the documented problems with the Diebold machines in Ohio, Alaska and elsewhere, it is unconscionable to allow any votes to be recorded on and counted by Diebold machines.

BTW, one of the many issues with the Diebold machines is that there is no way to validate the counts. They don't leave a paper trail. Diebold and its enablers have given a variety of reasons for why this is impossible. BUT...I just went to my credit union yesterday and withdrew some walking-around-money. The cash machine was manufactured by ... Diebold, and it didn't seem to have any difficulty at all with giving me a printed receipt.

So it's really nothing more than a LIE that the voting machines can't print out a voter-verified paper record. It's just a goddam fucking LIE.

And that headline at the top of this post? That was a line from none other than Uncle Joe Stalin, who, I submit, knew something about "winning" elections.

Line Item Veto for Baby Doc? This Has to be a Joke.

Not even SNL could come up with something this humorously lame. Baby Doc now wants Congress to give him a line-item veto so he can reign in those wild spenders over on Capitol Hill who still insist on putting such unnecessary items in the budget as school lunches for poor children, heating oil for the elderly, and funding for VA health care.

Not only would this be yet another in a long line of blatant power grabs on the part of the Bushevik Maladminstration, it is also just plain laughable that a president who has, after five long years of being in power, yet to veto a single bill, who never met a spending bill he didn't like (as long as the check didn't have to be paid), and who is so hopelessly inept, so mind-numbingly incompetent, so artlessly maladroit, that he's made the US the laughing stock of the rest of the world, would even think of trying to arrogate to himself even more power.

Georgie, just sit down and shut the fuck up already. You're a lame fucking duck. Start acting like one and quit bothering us. Finish your coloring book, and try to stay inside the lines this time.

Official Secrets Act

Okay, the Brits have one; we don't have one yet, but you'd never know it by watching the machinations of the BFEE, working behind the scenes in a trial in Virginia that definitely bears watching.

See the full story, You're a Spy on the website, and you will agree that, if they are given the ability to run unfettered with this line of reasoning, the BFEE will be able to arbitrarily and unilaterally arrest and detain ANYONE for violation of the obscure and chillingly broad Chapter 37 of the USC, Espionage and Censorship, especially the Stasi-enabling Section 793.

If this case comes down the way the BFEE wants it to, investigative journalists (that is, the few we have left) will be first on the chopping block for disclosing what they've learned in the course of an investigation, if the information involves "secrets" (and what doesn't in this administration?) and the person "handling" it -- and that means even receiving it -- does so "with intent or reason to believe that the information is to be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign power".

Read that over again. It doesn't even require intent. And since the Busheviks have been chanting the dirge all along that anyone who is not with them is against them, and those who are against them are with the terrorist enemy... Well, you can see where this is going.

Jesus, it's not as if nearly the whole totality of the fucking media isn't already behind the bastards. But they can't stand any embarrassment, any hint that what they are doing is in conflict with that is the good of the country, and they'd like nothing more than to Guantanamize people like Seymour Hersh and the few remaining investigative journalists who still believe that their job is to expose corruption, corrosion and criminality at every level of government.

That's why the press was originally called The Fourth Estate.

And after locking up the journalists, how long will it be until they come after those of out here in Left Blogistan who are guilty as hell of publishing "secrets" that can be used to the advantage of any foreign power? Get that, any foreign power. Not just our "enemies" (whoever they happen to be this week: Eastasia or Oceania). Even Canada, England or tiny Andorra, if they can conceivably derive any advantage from those "secrets", will be sufficient to put us away.

I've said it before: We're fucked. But it's not going to shut me up.

Like the rabid gun-owners say, they can have my voice when they pry it from my cold dead throat.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Bush the Impostor

When even your rightwing base turns on you, you'd better give up. But that's not in the makeup of the Empty Sleevejob.

Bruce Bartlett was a Reagan Republican and he paints a no-holds-barred picture of Baby Doc that those of us out here in the part of America that doesn't count have been seeing -- and commenting on -- for years.

Bush is no conservative, by any stretch of the imagination or any creative use of the word, but it takes a true conservative like Bartlett to say that to anyone who will listen. His book Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy holds that Bush has been a total impostor, a fraud, a wolf in conservative's clothing, who has deliberately set out to dismantle the Reagan legacy and bankrupt America.

It's fascinating reading (despite the fact that I disagree with Bartlett on any number of important ideological points, but never mind that--I can disregard all of that for that delicious rush of schadenfreude I get from seeing Baby Doc get raked over the coals by a real conservative), and well worth the time to see the true face of the anti-Americanism of the fascist neocons who have taken over our country, and who are the controllers behind the Baby Doc Meat Puppet.

It is also both surprising and appalling to see the number of conservatives who still blindly follow our corrupt misleader as he continues, at several million dollars an hour now, to drive our country into fiscal -- and moral -- bankruptcy. And as long as those Koolaid-drinking blind followers keep enabling the little fucker, the more damage he will do.

Bartlett's book ought to be mandatory reading for every conservative who has not yet examined Bush's alleged conservatism and found that it is wanting in nearly every facet.

Genuine Placebo Products -- Accept No Substitutes

I guess when you can't afford to dispense real treatment and real drugs, you go with what you've got. Like sugar pills.

That's what Gulf War vet Mike Woods got from the VA when he applied for medical assistance for his profound Gulf War Illness symptoms. His VA doctor prescribed a "new medication that would really help with all the physical conditions and pain".

The new drug? Obecalp.

Obecalp? That's right, Obecalp.

Spell it backwards: placebo. As in sugar pills. As in no therapeutic value. As in trying to fake out the recipient of the "treatment" to make him believe that you are doing something for him when in fact you are doing nothing. As in no treatment at all.

Okay, I will admit that placebo drugs do have their place, as part of a controlled drug-efficacy experiment, and I will also concede that the phrase "placebo effect" exists for a reason, but I also think that it's unconscionable (that word again -- I seem to use it a lot) for the VA to give a patient a placebo as part of a routine treatment regimen.

Placebos are generally thought of -- and used in -- research projects to validate the effectiveness of a new drug. They should not be used in place of real treatment for real diseases, in hopes that the placebo effect will serve to ameliorate the patient's symptoms and therefore obviate the need for those prohibitively expensive "real" treatment drugs.

But when it comes to America's veterans, the Baby Doc Maladminstration is right up there in the forefront of support.

Uh, Georgie? Don't "support" us veterans any more. We really can't afford it.

Birth of an Urban Legend?

I recently at my job received a copy of the following email from a concerned fellow employee:

Hi all
This last weekend, my husband and I met a local Lakewood [WA] Fire Department chief who is involved with FEMA and Homeland Security. He told us that March 28th appears to be a “red-letter day” with regard to terrorism. He wasn’t sure exactly what we might expect, but he did tell us that it has been confirmed that six nuclear weapons were smuggled into the US through one of our ports not too long ago.
I don’t want to scare anyone, I just thought it important to pass this information on to my friends and family so that folks can be prepared just in case…
Take care
I believe what we have here is the beginning, the germination, the veritable insemination of a Urban Legend in the making.

It has all the earmarks: A specific date coupled with a vague threat, an actual geographical location, and a reliable-sounding source/argument to authority (a fire chief). The only thing missing is the "friend of a friend" aspect -- however, when you pass this on, then it will, ipso facto, fulfill the FOAF requirement and will become totally and completely believable.

I'm actually surprised that this hasn't shown up yet on the Urban Legends pages at or Snopes. So watch for it, and remember that you heard it here first.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Weekly "Bush Twins in Uniform" Watch

It has now been 651 days since Jenna and Not-Jenna Bush, the slacker offspring of Preznit Numnutz, graduated from college and they are still not in the uniform of the US armed services.

Why? Because they have other priorities. They are too busy partying down in Georgetown to show their support for the war by enlisting their chickenhawk-child selves into the military service, that's why.

Why can't they be like their royal counterparts in the UK? The Royal Family, unlike the Bush Crime Family, has a centuries-long tradition of honorable military service. Prince Andrew was a combat helicopter pilot in La Guerre de las Malvinas (aka the Falklands War), Prince William, direct heir to the throne, has entered Sandhurst (Britain's West Point), and little brother Prince Harry graduates Sandhurst in April and could be sent to Iraq as a cavalry lieutenant.

How's that shit, Jenna and Not-Jenna? That make you a proud father, Baby Doc?

The rest you, those who think the proud military tradition of this nation needs to be upheld by those most likely to profit from it, be sure to sign the Buzzflash petition and demand that the Bush offspring enlist, or else bring the troops home. If it's not a cause noble enough for any of the children of the Bush Dynasty to join, then it's not noble enough for our sons and daughters to die for.

And check out The Yellow Elephant blog, which asks the question "It's their war; why aren't they fighting it?"

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Scalito to Dobson: I Love You

Did everyone see this? Stripsearch Sammy Scalito wrote a thank-you note to James Dobson, of Focus on the Fetus Family, expressing his "heartfelt thanks" to the sanctimonious asshole for, among other things, his "help and support during the past few challenging months".

He also thanked Dobson for all of the people around the country who were praying for him and his family during that oh-so-trying nomination hearing, where his wife had no choice to break down and cry. Oh boo hoo.

I can't recall an instance from my 50+ years of court watching (ever since Brown v. Board of Education; I attended a segregated grade school in rural Oklahoma) wherein a newly-appointed justice wrote such a blatantly political missive-- of any kind, let alone such a smarmy and obsequious thank-you note -- to the leader of a crackpot political faction.

Not only is it just bad form, but it tears down that illusion that we'd all like to keep, that the SCOTUS is somehow ensconced on some Olympian heights, well above the political fray. (Okay, so I'm a dreamer; sue me.)

But here's the kicker: he also said to Dobson in the letter, "As long as I serve on the Supreme Court I will keep in mind the trust that has been placed in me." I think I know what that's code for...

So, do I have any takers on a $1000 bet that Scalito will be the deciding vote to overturn Roe v. Wade and return us to the dark ages of women's reproductive rights?

No Constitutional Right to Own Cats

As if we needed any more proof that the Moron-American voting bloc is hopeless, a new survey finds that Americans are more likely to know the names of the five members of the television Simpson Family than they are the five rights enumerated in the First Amendment to the US Constitution.

Only 28% could name more than one freedom embodied in the First Amendment. Think about that, only 28%. Oddly enough, a full 20% said that the freedom to own pets was one of the five freedoms.

The BFEE must be working on the theory that if people don't know what they have, it'll be really easy to take it away from them. They won't even miss it. And they have been hard at work, chipping away at that problematical (for them) First Amendment. Watch for even more chips to go flying off in the next couple of years -- unless we stop them!

BTW, the five are as follows:

  • Freedom of speech
  • Freedom of religion
  • Freedom of the press
  • Freedom of assembly
  • Freedom to petition for redress of grievances

Oh yeah, the other five are:
  • Homer
  • Marge
  • Lisa
  • Bart
  • Maggie

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Who Are You Gonna Believe, Me or Your Lying Eyes?

In a dramatic and chilling videotape that surfaced a couple of days ago, Der Monkey Fuehrer is shown in a closed circuit video conference wherein person after person warned the Empty Sleevejob about the impending disaster with Hurrican Katrina and the Gulf Coast -- and most importantly, New Orleans -- and the little shit just sat there with that same vacant look that we know so well from the Fahrenheit 9/11 movie.

It's like he just can't process the information. He asked no questions, took no notes, and seemed utterly detached from reality.

And it turns out that Michael Heckuva-Job-Brownie Brown actually did do a heckuva job in issuing warnings about the lack of preparedness. Not that it did any good.

A couple of days after the devastating blow to New Orleans, Baby Doc actually came out and made the statement "nobody could have predicted" that the levees would break down and that the city would be rendered unliveable.

We now know that he was at that meeting and he did get the information. He was there; where was his brain?

Goddammit, how many more lies will it take before everyone gets it?

Listen up, people, he is a fucking liar! Why aren't the same people who were calling for Clinton's scalp when he lied now up in arms over the outright baldfaced hypocritical LIES spewing out of this pathetic pile of notrogenous human waste?

If the Dems can't make this a campaign issue this fall, then they don't deserve to win. If we as a people, as citizens of what used to be universally regarded as the best country on earth, can't rise up and take back our country, then maybe we don't deserve to have it back.

Once again I urge all of you to get active on the local level and the congressional district level and the state level, and work for the election of Democrats who are progressive -- who are, dare I say it, liberal -- and who will do the right thing by impeaching the whole sorry lot of these upstart neocon fascists who have usurped power, emasculated the Constitution, and abrogated our freedoms.

In Washington State, the Democratic caucuses are being held this afternoon. I plan to be at my precinct caucus to actively push resolutions that call for, among other things, making VA Health Care funding mandatory and calling for the impeachment of Bush and Cheney for their appalling record of high crimes and misdemeanors.

The caucuses are democratic government at its most grassroots level. I strongly urge everyone who still cares about this country and who believes, as I do, that it is not too late to save it, to attend your precinct caucuses or other local meetings and push for change. Every state has something similar -- just contact your local Democratic Party and see what you can do.

In the immortal words of President John F. Kennedy, now is the time to ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.

Academic Freedom? What Academic Freedom?

In a case out of Colorado, HS geography teacher Jay Bennish was actually suspended over comments he made about Baby Doc in his class following the State of the Disunion speech.

He's suing, of course, but the damage is done, the action has had its intended effect: To chill free expression of criticism of Der Monkey Fuehrer. Regardless of the outcome of this case, other teachers will be a little more circumspect in their opinions, if only to avoid the inevitable hassles that will come when one of their little Hitler Youth students starts whining about having to listen to things they don't want to hear.

That's what did Bennish in. One of his students not only provoked the discussion and but also taped it, and then ran with the tape to a local rightwing radio station, where they played selected excerpts to make it sound like Bennish was calling Bush another Hitler (he didn't -- what he was talking about was exactly what all of us out here in Left Blogistan have been saying for the last five years, that there are some disturbing parallels between the ideology and the rise to power of the neocon fascists in this country and the ideology and rise to power of the Nazis in Germany -- and some eerie similarities between the words coming out of Baby Doc during that speech and those that came out of Hitler when he was speaking to Der Reich).

BTW, click on that link above and tell me if you don't think that the student who ratted Bennish off doesn't look like a member of the Hitler Youth -- with that Aryan baby face and blond hair, the only thing missing is an armband and some jackboots.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Friday Cat Blogging

Jeez, my cable modem went out and I've been two whole days without the Internets. Talk about withdrawal!!! But I'm back now, better late than never with the cat blogging.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Bush Maladministration to America's Veterans: Fuck You #3793

Like we didn't see this one coming. According to the news reports, starting in 2008, health care for our veterans will undergo such dramatic budget reductions that can only be described as draconian.

As with so much else in Baby Doc Fantasyland, this is another faith-based assumption that the need for health care for our veterans will miraculously decline. And like all of the Maladministration's faith-based assumptions, it flies in the face of inconvenient reality.

How in the hell can these fuckers, with a straight face, say that the need for veterans' health care will decline, when they themselves are responsible for the vast increase in the sheer numbers of the severely wounded and permanently disabled from the Iraq debacle who are filling up our VA hospitals to the point where they're starting to look like the Tokyo subway at rush hour? How dare they?

So how about that, Chickenshit Charlie and all of you other self-described Republican veterans who still, with all of the evidence to the contrary already in and even more pouring in daily, blindly follow that draft-dodging veteran-hating lying-sack-of-shit Monkey Boy down the path to the precipice?

How does it feel to have been so completely and totally sold out by a misleader that you were so fucking eager and willing to follow, to support, to vote for, to actually give money to? Got buyer's remorse yet?

One of my guilty pleasures in life is the ability to revel in the use of the phrase "told you so". So, Chickenshit Charlie and all of you other moronic supporters of Baby Doc: "I told you so."

Who Are They Trying to Fool This Time?

Followup to the Google-DOJ story: The corrupt and evil minions of the Bush Crime Family over at the Dept of Injustice haven't given up on Google yet. They still want the search logs, and they are still claiming that it's "for the children".

In fact, their justification is that they need all of the search files "in order to demonstrate that sites offering pornographic images of children are not only widespread but can be easily found."

Child pornography my ass -- if that's all they are really looking for, all they need to do is sit down at their computer and do a few Google searches for themselves. If those sites are truly that "widespread" and "easily found", how long do you think it would it take to find a couple hundred of them? Ten minutes? An hour? An eight-hour day? Whatever, I think we can afford the salaries of the lackeys they'd assign to this onerous task. Hell, I know a few people who would volunteer to do it for free.

But the real question (as usual) is this: Jesus Christ, do they really think we are this fucking stupid?

We are left wondering that, or else we have to wonder if they are really that stupid.

Either way, it doesn't give me a good feeling about the hapless and inept morons in charge of things in the BFEE.