Media in Trouble: All the news thats UNfit to print!: March 2005

"The information of the people at large can alone make them safe, as they are the sole depositary of our political and religious freedom." --Thomas Jefferson 1810

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The Sphere... She is Pissed!

Well, if you want to get a bunch of bloggers pissed, all you have to do is repeatedly invite poor examples of bloggers, to be panel members on panels that are going to be discussing blogging and journalism. The National Press Club has suceeded, in inviting Jeff Gannon (remember him) as a blogger (meaning he represents bloggers) on this panel they are going to have. Granted they have started to invite a few, better examples of bloggers (such as Matt Y) since they first announced the panel discussion. However, The Agonist has a list up as well as a letter that includes some phone numbers you might want to call and give them your 2 cents.

At the very least, should you gather the moxy to call the NPC, you should ask this intelligent question:

Why is James Guckert listed on your announcement by his pseudonym Jeff Gannon, whereas Wonkette is listed as Ana Marie Cox? Without even an A.K.A?

The next thing you should do is answer the question "Who is a Journalist?" to the person on the other line. Perhaps by telling them, something along the lines of... Someone who transmits information about someone else (like their real name) in an open and honest fasion (at the very least with an A.K.A.).


Costa Rica Nature Guide

As promised


Got Milk?

Has anyone else seen this type of sign at work?

The milk in the refrigerator is for use only in coffee or tea. Milk for cereal can be purchased by the pint in the cafeteria.

Now I just so happen to be a cereal eater, and I just so happen to use the milk in the company "coffee/tea" refrigerator. Sometimes there is no milk in my refrigerator and I have to take my cereal bowl a'huntin' for a fridge that does contain milk.

So it won't come as a surprise that I don't like the idea that someone who drinks coffee is entitled to free milk, whilst someone eating cereal is not.

Coffee is nowhere near the healthy breakfast item that cereal is, but I know people who will add just as much milk (if not more) to their 54 ounce coffee cup as I would add in my 10 ounce cereal bowl.

Why shouldn't cereal eaters have access to free milk? This is obviously the company's way of cutting their milk costs so that their bottom line looks better come earnings season.

However, if they are going to limit free milk access to a population that they believe uses less milk (coffee drinkers), why not apply this policy to other free services employers offer their employees.

Take toilet paper for instance. Why not put a sign up saying:
Toilet paper usage is restricted to people who have normal bowel movements. If you suffer from diarhea, Crohn's disease, or other abnormality that requires more than the normal ammount of toilet paper, please purchase your toilet paper from the toilet paper supplier.

Fact is almost anything is a write off for a corporation. Corporations should encourage the usage and/or wastage of free items (like milk and toilet paper) by their employees in order to pay fewer taxes. In doing so, corporations can equal if not improve the effect of said write-offs on their blessed bottom line.



Getting a little lighter in gravity around here. Has anyone noticed the extreme Pope-death-watch news coverage lately?

I remember soon after the election, the press was baffled at how it missed the moral values coverage, and it was asking itself how it could do a better job at covering religion.

This I thought was dangerous to our secular society, it didn't really worry me because the press is so damned lazy.

However, it seems they think that covering religion means camping out by the thousands in front of any place someone is holding a crucifix (read: Terri Schiavo case).

However, this pope stuff is getting out of hand. We all know the Pope is sick. He has been on his last legs for years, yet somehow he is now getting real wall to wall coverage. While St.Peter's basilica hasn't yet become the media circus fairgrounds that the Penella County hospice has become, the AP seems to have hourly updates on the Pope.

I am sure the media is salivating to be the first to break the story about the Pope dying. But having updates on the pope's condition every five minutes will inevitably lead to leads like: "BREAKING NEWS: Pope deffacates resulting in light brown, semi-soft fecal matter. Reports from inside the vatican say feces containted corn, partially digested rice, and more painfully for the Pope, jalepeno peper seeds. The ailing hemmeroidic Pope is said to be recovering with generous applications of witch hazel and preperation H pads. No word yet on wether or not urine accomanied the bowel movement. Developing..."

It is like if the Pope doesn't come to check the weather at his window, the media go to their vatican bureau chiefs and coorespondents and start speculating about his health or lack thereof.

If only the media would have paid this much attention to say, weapons inspectors before the Iraq war.


Rule of Law

i am not a lawyer, nor do I claim to be. But I know a tab bit mroe than the average Joe about the law. I am pretty sure that typically a Federal Court rarely goes back on a decision to not take a case, unless there is new information/evidence to warrant such a "new look."

Since Congress has already set a dangerous precedent by making a law just for Terri to get a de-novo hearing, why not have the judiciary follow suit with its own version of precedent.

To my knowledge there is NO new information scientific, or otherwise on Terri's condition. I mean she hasn't written a note saying she want's to be kept a live right? Nor has a new CAT scan proven that her brain has improved (as much as Joe Scarborough would like to believe it has)
In requesting a new hearing, the Schindlers argued that a federal judge in Tampa should have considered the entire state court record and not whether previous Florida court rulings met legal standards under state law. It also stated that the Atlanta federal appellate court didn't consider whether there was enough "clear and convincing" evidence that Terri Schiavo would have chosen to die in her current condition.

Now my lady (who is a lawyer in training) says most of the time lawyers will just keep throwing stuff at judges until something "sticks." Perhaps this lawyer has finally gotten something to stick. However, the clearness and convincingness of the evidence is exactly what was decided in the Florida Court's ruling.

What is being brought to the air waves by people like Sean Hannity, is an attempt to take the evidence and make it less clear and convincing, particularly to people who are not knowledgeable to all the facts in the case.

UPDATE: This all seems particularly fishy since one of the judges on the 11th circuit court (William Pryor) is a possible nominee for the Bush's Supreme Court (should he have that chance).


Monday, March 28, 2005

Ah ... Democracy!

Can you smell it?!
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraq's interior minister warned citizens Monday not to hold protests, saying the gatherings were an invitation for a large-scale terrorist attack. His comments came a day after government bodyguards opened fire on a group of employees demanding higher wages, killing one person.


Let's talk gas

I was thinking about something utterly profound this weekend because in the few moments I watched CNN, I caught the last seconds of a story on Biodiesel. Now even before that story was somehow squeezed into CNN's busy schedule of covering all things Schiavo, I was thinking, what happend to the CRX?

You know that car that Honda used to make in the late 80's. It boasted 36 miles per gallon, had a pretty good emissions control, and looked cool enough to trick out and put big speakers into. You would be hard pressed today to find a car with a 36 MPG gas rating. I thought technology was supposed to go forward and offer more efficient engines. We are talking about 15 years worth of technology in the automaker market and they have gone in the wrong direction.

Then on Saturday's Today show they featured a 15 second interview with someone from the car show which is in New York this week. The car show guy showcased a car made by General Motors which is completely petroleum and electricity free. It is a fuel cell vehicle. He called it a concept car that is at least 5 years away from a market debut. Why is this car 5 years away? Why isn't it being pushed all around the world as the savior to the worlds fuel and environmental problems? I thought about that later when I was paying $2.35 per gallon of gas, remembering oil hit a recent all-time high.

Then PBU13 pointed me over to The Union of Concerned Scientists where they seem to have tagged the Automakers with a propaganda charge. Automakers have been recently boasting cars that are "virtually emission-free." Of course that is a fallacy, this just doesn't virtually exist. Cars on the market today drink gas better than they did in the 80's. While they may not be polluting as much as the cars of the 60's, I haven't seen anyone squatting to get a better whiff of the rose and jasmine infused aroma spewing from their exhuast pipes.

And I flashed back to BioWillie as CNN had dubbed him.


If there was ever a simple solution to a large part of this countries problems, Biodiesel would be the single product I would point to.

There is plenty of information on the webpage but, basically it is vegetable oil processed and mixed only slightly with petroleum (or not). Now vegetable oil is renewable, by growing more corn and soybeans. Something this country has plenty of hands and land to do. As a matter of fact, this country's farms need all the help they can get and a new place to use all the extra corn and other farmed produce we grow but can't sell.

You mean we are standing in the middle of fields and fields of stuff that can run our present cars, with almost no modifications?

I mean even the modifications (if necessary) are an economic godsend. It is amazing to me that this stuff exists, right under our noses. Yet we decide to go fight wars over this high priced, world pollutin' oil stuff.


It is so simple, the farms in this country would finally get the boost they have been waiting for (which is why Willie Nelson is pushing this stuff), it doesn't require a new breed of automobiles, just possibly a gasfilter or something like it, and we get to stop funding middle east countries (read: terrorism)?! We also get to reduce emmisions drastically (78% less CO2 than regular gas) making it easy to sign onto that Kyoto treaty. Eco-friendly, national-security friendly, economically-friendly (the economic impact is actually more like orgasmic).

Even Terri Schiavo could figure this one out.

It would bring the price of fuel down so much our economy would rebound and grow at a rate that would scare the begeezus out of the Social Security Privatizers. Think of the cost of goods going down simply because of plumitting transportation costs.

How can anybody not be pushing this into the mainstream?

Why isn't there biodiesel gas stations all over the country?

Why aren't the democrats wearing biodiesel pins, taking photo-ops by biodiesel gas stations, volunteering with farmers to pick the corn, getting greasy with the mechanics that are putting in the filter with your next oil change.

PSST Democrats.... This one is too easy. Think red states, farms, corn, soybeans, whatever. Also think blue states, enviro-lefty-hippies.

Democrats, pretty soon I will be charging for my services.

Anyone reading this post who happens to own or run a business that uses trucks should go to the Biodiesel website.

Anyone who wants to win an election, I bet you you can do it by simply using Biodiesel as the answer to all questions asked of you.


Tsunami 2 ?!?

Sadly this warning didn't happen three months ago when it could have saved thousands of lives and billions of dollars. What is now confirmed, is that indeed there was and is a "warning system." Despite the claims that such a warning system doesn't exist.


Nuff said

This about sums up my feelings right now.


Rediculosity wrapped up in Hypocrisy

I told you guys I would have to post on Terri Schiavo again.

First, Tom Delay the same guy who said this about letting Terri die:
That act of barbarism can be and must be prevented

Unfortunately, let himself perform an act of barbarism when he let his own comatosed father die.

Second, the facts about Terri.

Unfortunately, what is being ignored in this whole sad state of affairs is the root cause of Terri's condition. As always in this country, we treat the symptoms and not the disease. We address an issue by ignoring the root cause.

Terri puked her way to her persistent vegetative state. She was self loathing. She didn't like herself and this caused her to have an eating disorder. Contrary to what you may believe this is what caused Terri to go brain dead. She puked and puked and undernourished herself until she threw her electrolytes out of balance to the point where she induced her own cardiac arrest.

Now probably due to the lack of funding to local police and ambulances, Terri's rescue squad came a bit late and this caused her brain damage.

Unfortunately, the liberal media has completely ignored the fact that she was bulemic. (Free tip for Democrats, come out with a bill that addresses bulemia as a national health care issue). The liberal media also keeps showing pictures like this one:

Or others that seem to show Terri with some semblance of life (motion, blinking, etc). Portraying not someone whose brain has become jello, but instead someone who is no more diseased than a person with say Down's syndrome. Again Terri cannot feel anything. You could pinch her and she wouldnt show a blip in her brain wave activity. She is nto feeling a thing. All activity comming from Terri is completely INvoluntary. It is like when dead people in morgues tend to have muscle ticks sometimes. Dead people do this from time to time, no doubt scaring the bejeezus out of their morticians.

The rediculosity of this whole affair is of course the religious zealots who have somehow gotten their longstanding wish of taking over the country. They have been able to do what we internet truth peddlers usually fail to, get congress to do something that they want them to. Congress passed a law that allowed a denovo trial (of course not realizeing this would take more time than Terri can afford), ignoring the possibility that this could potentially mean that any trial can get a denovo hearing. So that includes death row cases right? Or even a trial in your unforseen future. So if you are ever accused of murder or something, remember you too should be entitled to a denovo trial.

Whilst they are vehemently boiling over Terri's life, the religious zealots who have taken over our country, seem to have forgotten the troops in Iraq who are dying. Or the Iraqi's themselves, or the people dying in Africa (name the country). However, what they seem to forget most of all is that Terri did this to herself.

And accodring to them thats a sin of the worst kind. She's a mortal sinner. She's a suicidal sinner. However, why not send out one of those miracle healers to touch Terri's head and make her better?

The court may have granted Terri's wishes by allowing her to starve to death but I don't remember reading anything in the court decision about miracle healers taking a stab at Terri.

Why doesn't Pat Robertson himself show up at her bedside and start praying like crazy to see if God himself finds Terri worthy of resurection?

Why not get the whole 700 club behind Terri with prayer. Certainly if the whole Christian community gets a prayin' God can't help but listen and act on so many good intentioned people to save the shit out of Terri. Perhaps God will overcompensate and get Terri to wake up and start tap dancing and singing, "Hello my baby, hello my darlin', hello my ragtime gal."

Come on Jesus freaks, there has to be something you can do with prayer and if there was ever a time to do it, nows the time. Right around easter.

Isn't easter the best time for resurections? Petition the Lord with Prayer folks.

If that doesn't work, get your lazy good for nothing protesting asses back to work, we have an economy to save (another thing God has ignored) around here.


Friday, March 25, 2005


(I won't promise this to be my last post on Schiavo but I wish it were, this is way overcovered)

Ok one thing that isn't being discussed anywhere on the sphere is the whole poopiness of the religious argument for the Schiavo case.

One thing zealots can agree on is that heaven is a way better place than earth. I thought dying was the best thing for you, at least it is second only to actually being born, right?

So why the big fuss over Terri dying? If the judges and husband are evil murdering bastards who are not carrying out Terri's wishes, then they too shall be judged by God right?

So they will go to hell and innocent Terri will go to heaven! A much better place than this evil earth infested with evil doers, terrorists, liberal baby-kilers, and other left wing vermin who seem determined to destroy everyone's lives!

If anything the Save Schiavo crowd could benefit by pushing a quick and painless death instead of fighting over her dying slowly. They should get Dr. Kevorkian back out of jail to assist in giving Terri the express ride to heaven.

In heaven Terri would be able to get her brain back to normal, she would be able walk amongst the angels, at the very least she would be free from the confines of convalescence. Not to mention in heaven, Terri will actually get to taste all the goodies that grow on trees in heaven, not just have food piped into her stomach without savoring delicious flavors.

So the Schiavo Savers are actually doing Terri a disservice by obstructing her passage into a better after-life. The life that can only be offered by the kingdom of heaven.

Or are they just trying to get into heaven themselves?
For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. - Matthew 5:20

Most likely.


Thursday, March 24, 2005


JEEZUS... The sphere is full of Schiavo shite. However, the best part about this poll is that at least Sean Hannity won't be able to use his usual "[liberals] can't win elections so they win their battles in courts with activist judges" bullshit.

If anyone hears Hannity pull this one today, call in, if you are one of the 4 lucky callers he takes a day say "yeah let's have an election to find out who will win in the Schiavo case." Point him to the ABC poll, then say, even if we could wait until Florida counted all its votes we would still need the Supreme Court to intervene.


Nobel Prize? Probably not.

I also checked the NYT yesterday to find they front pagedsome Nature article on some science stuff that tends to go (according to the NYT) against evolution.
The finding implies that some organisms may contain a cryptic backup copy of their genome that bypasses the usual mechanisms of heredity. If confirmed, it would represent an unprecedented exception to the laws of inheritance discovered by Gregor Mendel in the 19th century. Equally surprising, the cryptic genome appears not to be made of DNA, the standard hereditary material.

The discovery also raises interesting biological questions - including whether it gets in the way of evolution, which depends on mutations changing an organism rather than being put right by a backup system.

From what I gather, it just adds another mechanism for evolution to maintain good genes in the event of mutation. Let me expand on this.

Say humans' survival depended on having five fingers on each hand. Say your parents had 4 fingers each but somehow wound up surviving long enough to reproduce. Now according to this Nature article, you can wind up being born with 5 fingers. This is huge. Supposedly there are only 2 copies of each gene in all of plants and animals. So if your parents had both 2 bad copies of the five finger gene, you should be screwed into having only 4 fingers. But NAY say these scientists, you can get 5 fingers. Granted it is a bit more complicated than this, and there are traits that skip generations (like male pattern baldness, my bane). But gernation skipping uses the orthodox (until now?) mechanism of passing on traits. I digress.

The reasoning behind all this is the wierd part. The scientists say it may be due to RNA being the backup copy. Since RNA is so unstable and easily degraded, Scientists haven't really looked for it. But it seems to me that if there was to be some type of third genome copy it would have been seen in all those cool pictures of chromosomes lining up in the cell and doing the dosey-doe to opposite ends of a splitting cell. You remember those don't you?

But the supposition that Nature makes in saying this can go against evolution is just flat out wrong. The way I see it, if a genetic mutation affects the survival of a species (in the case of the plant researched in the article, it didn't) a bad mutation can whipe out a whole species in a couple of generations. A mechanism that fixes mutations would be beneficial to nature if the mutations were bad. This way we get to keep good mutations, like sickle-cell anemia helps people survive malaria, while loosing bad mutations, like the one that caused Michael Jackson to turn white.

Whatever the mechanism behind this discovery, it seems presumptuous, short-sighted, and at the very least thoughtless for the New York Times, Nature, or any scientist reading this article to say its discovery is bad for the Theory of Evolution. The Theory itself is based on genetic changes that arise to help an animal survive, if the environment changes such that the genetic change is no longer a benefit to the species, another mutation is bound to occur (check the fossil record). The discovery does in fact enrich the Theory to include corrections and revisions to genetic modifications, whatever mechanism they may be based upon.


I missed a bunch didn't I

Since my flight was delayed about 3 hours, I was able to pick up a barely used copy of the Miami Herald to learn what has happened since I was in nature wonderland.

Something about feeding tubes in brain dead people (I thought this had already been debated ad nauseum), congress making laws (that aren't really laws) on behalf of personal cases that occur DAILY around the country, hundreds of times, yet somehow if it happens in Florida it makes it to the Supreme Court.

In my opinion, the Schiavo case has NO business being debated in the halls of Congress. The case is very clearly a state issue, legally well documented and preceeded by other trials of the same nature. Congress, in asking the courts to start a "de novo trial" would do little to speed up the re-insertion of the feeding tube, instead they may indeed prolong it (not to mention the possibility of being unconstitutional). Life support systems are unplugged all the time, many times without the dying person's consent. The only reason this case heated up was because it got coverage during election season and the religious right ceased on it to make an example of liberals hating the living-dead.

What is missing in this debate is wether or not keeping these people alive artificially is a strain on our "Rising Health Care Costs." Regardless, this is a state court issue, mainly because what is at stake here is contractual obligations under marriage, family, and guardianship. I personally would prefer to die than to suffer with a liquid brain, but that's just me. I guess I just penned typed my own living will.

I also read something about yet another kid who wore a black trenchcoat, eyeliner, and called himself "the angel of death" shot up his family and his school.

Maybe Congress should be making laws about kids with guns and trenchcoats, not having access to schools. Not to sound wonkish but how about putting kids that wear eyeliner and black trenchcoats into a strict psychiatric evaluation and perhaps following-up with (if warranted) internment in a mental health facility.

I guess people who have liquid brains are much more dangerous and thus need our federal government's attention that much more.


Back from the Jungle

Godd News,

I was not rendered extraordinarily!

I did not contract any diseases, nor was I able to smuggle any endangered species out of Costa Rica.

I recommend going to Costa Rica to that anyone with the slightest interest in and curiosity for wild animals. It is a country that truly understands the delicate balance between man and earth. It is reflected in its policies and its people. It is a great country that uses a lot of grass roots organizing to protect its nature, and even fix its roads.

I didn't inquire too much about the politics there but it seemed pretty obvious that our democracy can learn a bit from a country that doesn't have an army nor does it want one.

However, Costa Rica can do a couple of things to be an even better more tourist friendly country.

1. Fix the pot holes in the roads and (fix that road to Monteverde, one of the worse roads I ever drove on, litterally random rocks that seemingly clustered into a 6 foot wide winding treck of land that could have been created from a mudslide for all I know).

2. Ensure more than 50% of public phones work, and while your at it, ensure that the access code for the calling cards has the capacity to enable use of said calling card at any and all times, not just while you are surfing form broken pay phone to pay phone. It really sucks to finally find a pay phone that works and learn your calling card access number is busy for the next hour.

3. Fixing the operational aspects of the Puntarenas Ferry Boat. I reccommend buying your tickets at least 5 months in advance to relieve yourself of any and all hurdles to the process of waiting in a car line, then waiting in a people line, then waiting in a ferry boat line, and waiting in a line that is just a line to get on a line to get on the ferry boat. So either avoid that boat completely (as I did) or treat it as if you were buying tickets to get into a one time only Pink Floyd reunion concert.

These can all be frustrating, to the Costa Rica traveler. However, nothing that can't be cured by hiking through a cloud, rain, or tropical dry forest, all the while viewing rarities such as the resplendant quetzal (saw 3), capuchin monkeys (saw enough to believe they were Costa Rica's version of the New Jersey squirrel), sloths, frogs, snakes (boas and poisonous vipers), three-waddled bell birds, poison-dart frogs, Tucans, Cayman, agouties, caoties, and too many rare birds to count.

Also helpful is lying on a dreamy coral sand beach, snorkeling, or for that matter lying in volcanic thermal baths and getting a 1 hour therapeutic massage.

Like I said, it is a nature watchers (that's me) fantasy land, and a beach bums (also me) dreamscape (particularly the carribean coast, less tourists).

I will update the blog with a link to my very own attempt at a wildlife guide of Costa Rica.


Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Just so everybody knows...

I will be in Costa Rica for the next week. I don't care what happens while I am gone except should one of my loved ones be harmed.

Just in case the secret CIA paratroopers find me and capture me and send me to Gitmo, I will let everyone know that I am scheduled to be back late Wednesday March 23, 2005.

If you the trusty readers don't hear from me within about a day or two, call the ACLU and let them know I may have disappeared under the patriot act.

I would have them check Gitmo first but now that I have blogged that I may be there, they may send me somewhere else.

Fingers crossed that the most dangerous thing I come across in Costa Rica is a Howler Monkey who has become enraged at his neighbor three toed sloth because an unsuspecting Tucan took the monkey's banana whilst he was looking at me drinking a margarita on the sunny beach.

hasta la vista

oh yeah, the social security nondebate was more like a lambasting of a conservative libertarian by a house full of new york liberals who knew he was full of shit the minute he walked in the door. Krugman was fantastic with numbers, points, and wokishness. Josh Marshall was pretty much sidelined because the moderator treated him more like a pollster than someone who has been keeping tabs on politician's stances on the issue. She kept asking him what he knew the people were feeling about the issue. I guess an easy payday for Josh.

As for me, I got an ovation for screaming "They can afford going to war" after the libertarian said something about how the government can't afford entitlement programs.

I didn't learn much of anything except that Bush's tax cuts cost $20 trillion over infinity (whereas the social security "shortfall" is $11-12 trillion). For some reason I couldn't find that factoid on the internet. I also found out that whilst the privatizers are toting that after 2042 or 2052 (or whatever number the SSA is throwing out based on current economic shittiness) the system will will take in only 73 cents for every dollar it spends, the government is presently taking in 68 cents for every dollar it spends. Which is worse.

Other than that nothing new. There were these two 20 something white guys right in front of me trying to convince a 70 something lady that privatization was a good thing for mankind.

Needless to say, you can't teach an old dog new tricks.


My Ides have seen you!

Last Friday on the Newshour David Brooks said the republicans would be better at overhauling Social Security if they used a two pronged approach (one to get solvency, the other to get private accounts). This resulted in a strong feeling of nausea accompanied by a breif unconscious spell. After those subsided I woke up and realized that besides David Brooks making more sense on TV than he does in his columns, (particularly when expressing the important role caffeine plays in the ownership society) the republicans may just try this.

Well it only took two days to have Ben Nelson show his explicit support for such a proposal on Meet The Press. Russert even noted that 41 Dems including Joementum signed a letter opposing privatization, while Benator did not.

Now, the left hemisphere (atrios, krugman, and marshall) has been using Joe Lieberman as a punching bag because they think Joementum will be the one causing damage to the Dems by cooptively compromising. The left was pissed when Leiberman voted no on cloture and no on passage of the bankruptcy bill, while completely ignoring Harry Reid's yes on passage. They have said this was a symbolic vote on the passage, whilst cloture was the important vote. Probably because after Harry Reid was unable to get his caucus together on cloture, the ensueing debate and the ammendments that were granted rejected convinced Reid he could vote for the bill's passage?! I digress.

But, I have to say that on this Ides of March, the Ceasars of the left may be commiting the same mistake in chastizing Joementum. They would probably be better guided if they said, et tu Benator?

I am going to this tonight, maybe I will have the opportunity to ask Josh and Paul for their opinion on the Benator.


Friday, March 11, 2005

Our Fearless Leader

Nevada is 4th in the nation on the Household's per filing list.

The Bankruptcy bill was the easiest fight the Democrats could have.

Joe Lieberman and Chris Dodd voted NO.

By voting yes, Harry Reid, has enabled any Democrat who voted yes to say "I was just followin' orders from the boss."

Dick Durbin (minority whip) voted NO.

Grassroots from BOTH PARTIES hated this bill.

This bill disenfranchises those whom the Democrats BY DEFINITION should be defending, the poor and misfortunate.

By voting yes on this bill Harry Reid has slapped any and all pregressive democrats in the face.

However, look around the left side of the blogosphere... Silence. Crickets. With the exception of Politology. Nothing from the so called crusaders for justice.

Ignoring this vote is toeing the line.

Shame on you all.

UPDATE: Kossacks, I can't comment on my last posting so I will put it here. I am no troll. I do not however, toe any lines. I am simply pointing out an injustice commited by the leader of the democratic party. If this blogosphere was worth the electrons it transmitted it would be ripe with posts such as this.

UPDATE 2: The Left Coaster is properly outraged.




Harry Reid, Joe Biden, Evan Bayh. All voted yes on the Bankruptcy Bill.



Donkey Poop

The Donkey’s are in trouble. Perhaps, Hannity is right when he says he is watching a party implode. I for one would love to see the demise of the Democratic party, but since the ass smacking defeat this last election has brought on a new sentiment of a plasticine party let’s ask the tough question. Why they are imploding? This debate over center vs. left within the Democratic Party is getting pretty hot. I for one think that MoveOn was right when it said it was their party and they were going to take it back. After all, they raised lots of money, ran lots of ads, got lots of people involved, and ran phone calling campaigns. I am also a Dean supporter because I believe he can help take the party out of the hands of greedy corporations and back into the hands of the people. You know, kind of like what the Democrats were founded on.

Then you have the greedy DLC bastards who think just because Bill Clinton was the only Democratic President in the last 30 years that we should go back to his politics. The problem with the DLC is that it is strapped to the backs of the corporations that have pushed this country to this sorry state of affairs. The DLC thinks the Clinton’s politics would work today, even though our whole political landscape has been shaken up more than Clinton’s ball sack in a sea of interns. These guys are now actually bringing up the draft. Just take a look at the Bull(shit)moose. How is any Democrat bringing up the Draft as a possibility? Is it a way of boosting their national security profile? Is it a way of showing that they are pro-defense? What the hell is the point of this? I thought the draft is bad and I have yet to see any democrat support it except for the DLC.

Somehow, the DLC thinks that by blurring the line between Republican and Democrat the party is well served because it will attract the elusive slot machine voter. The voter that walks into the booth wearing aviator sunglasses, a green visor, smoking a cheap cigar, drinking cheaper whiskey and pulls the lever with their eyes closed and hoping for three cherries and a siren to go off.

Do you think the Kerry Flip Flops were just a coincidence? I don’t. Kerry would say something “liberal” to the get the base fired up for more phone calls and canvassing, and then he would say another because the DLC pricks were buzzing focus group shite into his ear. So much for getting a row of cherries in the ballot box. Looked more like the dealer hit black jack and the DLCers didn't buy the insurance.

It also seems pretty obvious to me that lefties are internally conflicted. They don’t know what to do. They love Ralph Nader at heart, and any lefty who doesn’t, isn’t a lefty (at least not by my standards and for the terms of this entry). They also know that Nader might not be able to make it to the top or anywhere near it. They also know that Democrats are a bunch of eunuchs who have repeatedly and miraculously been re-castrated over and over again. They also know that in a duopoly they must be pragmatic and side with the Democrats because the Republican’s are just not an option. The English language fails to provide words to describe sufficiently the evil those bastards have in mind.

So what to do if you are a lefty? Do what the religious right has done for the last 20 years. Try like hell to take the monster back. Lefties have to start to really believe in their positions as being in the countries best interest. They have to fight back the noise machine of the Republicans by emulating them. They need to begin their own noise machine, they need to build their own fundraising base, and most importantly, they need to stick it to the flip-flopping Democrats.

I know this isn’t rocket science Joe Trippi has said it ad nauseum, but if you could get 1 million people to give $100, and do that over and over, quarterly, you would have $400 million at the end of the year, that ought to be enough for a presidential race right?

If not convince a million more.

So that takes care of the business lobbyists having more pull than the small donors. Right there the DLC has no say in matters.

The Democrats should not be given too many chances either. I say 2008 elections should be the deadline. Now that the Republicans are in control, the Democrats can stop them and counter punch with real solutions to real problems that really satisfy the needs of the people and not the corporations. The blogosphere has created a much bigger transparency in politics and no longer can they hide behind Orwellian Bills like Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act. If Democrats don’t shape up, the net roots should ship out. They should turn to their real colors of green and see what happens. One thing is for sure, they will not have any trouble convincing the candidates to take their positions. All the net roots will have to do is scream bloody murder at both Republicans and Democrats, just as they are doing now. Then throw hundred dollar bills into Ralph Nader’s pay pal account.

The party may very well be on the path to implosion, and the only way out is to let the netroots discipline them. People on the left aren’t going to take it anymore and if you are pro-bankrupting the poor, pro-torture, and pro-ANYTHING the Republicans bring to the table that disrupts the capitalism balance to favor business, then you should be damned to hell and certainly damned to be out of the party. Party discipline is lacking, people on the Democratic side are not toeing the line. They aren’t voting together and they aren’t making the same arguments together. They are all loose lipped and have fingers that typically stray to the yes button. This is not a party; it is a motley crew each who traded their constituent voters for their constituent backers. That is something the left will no longer tolerate.

Look at how well the Republican’s do discipline. They have recently fired the Republican chair of the House ethics committee Joel Hefley (R-CO) because he actually allowed some slaps on Tom Delay’s wrist. So he got the can, I am sure he will be damned by the party and will have a tough time in his next primary. If you would like to have a carrier in Congress, all you have to do is pledge allegiance to The Hammer, Hastert, or Frist, and run against that poor bastard Hefley. Prediction Hefley looses his next bid for reelection in a landslide and he will have a hard time getting party money. I am willing to bet a pony on this one.

The take home message is that the Democrats are seeing their grassroots turning from Blue to Green. The Donkey better stop grazing and shitting on the lawn, and consider throwing some seed and fertilizer down (the manure they are dumping is not sufficient) before it gets too patchy for them to play their thoughtless games on.


Bankruptcy Bill Vote

What can be said about this vote?

You know you are in trouble when Harry Reid, the guy who put his neck on the line by calling Alan Greenspan a hack and the head of the Democratic minority votes Yeay?!

Democrats may have just lost lots and lots of people on this vote alone.

Here are the results:

Grouped By Vote Position

YEAs ---74

Alexander (R-TN)
Allard (R-CO)
Allen (R-VA)
Baucus (D-MT)
Bayh (D-IN)
Bennett (R-UT)
Biden (D-DE)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Bond (R-MO)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burns (R-MT)
Burr (R-NC)
Byrd (D-WV)
Carper (D-DE)
Chafee (R-RI)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Coleman (R-MN)
Collins (R-ME)
Conrad (D-ND)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Craig (R-ID)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
DeWine (R-OH)
Dole (R-NC)
Domenici (R-NM)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Frist (R-TN)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hagel (R-NE)
Hatch (R-UT)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Inouye (D-HI)
Isakson (R-GA)
Jeffords (I-VT)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kohl (D-WI)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lincoln (D-AR)
Lott (R-MS)
Lugar (R-IN)
Martinez (R-FL)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)
Pryor (D-AR)
Reid (D-NV)
Roberts (R-KS)
Salazar (D-CO)
Santorum (R-PA)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Smith (R-OR)
Snowe (R-ME)
Specter (R-PA)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Stevens (R-AK)
Sununu (R-NH)
Talent (R-MO)
Thomas (R-WY)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Voinovich (R-OH)
Warner (R-VA)

NAYs ---25
Akaka (D-HI)
Boxer (D-CA)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Corzine (D-NJ)
Dayton (D-MN)
Dodd (D-CT)
Dorgan (D-ND)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feingold (D-WI)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Harkin (D-IA)
Kennedy (D-MA)
Kerry (D-MA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Lieberman (D-CT)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murray (D-WA)
Obama (D-IL)
Reed (D-RI)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Sarbanes (D-MD)
Schumer (D-NY)
Wyden (D-OR)

Not Voting - 1
Clinton (D-NY)

I will have more on what the left should do with the Democrats later today.


Thursday, March 10, 2005

Bush Hearts Loves Hezzbolah

I love it when a plan comes together. Sometimes the Bush administration does things that somehow acomplish the two most antithetical goals a man like Bush could want to accomplish, simultaneously infuriate the right, and justify the left. I may just plug in my headphones to listen to Sean Hannity to find out what his appologizing ass will muster up for this move.

(to all those readers who hate the overusage of the hearts for loves switch that has become trendy since that movie came out, I am with you.)


We Said, She Said

Sgrenagate is sure to turn up lots of misleading and misinterpreted results. Including conservative pundits with their typical double standards.

The unasked question remains:

Why wasn't her car accompanied by a military escort?

You know like the kind we provide American civilians?

Hostages would be better served if people like Michelle Malkin would spent less time worrying about the ethics of rescuing hostages, and spend more time asking the military why their escort policy applies to Americans yet not to other members of the "Coalition of the Willing."


'Nuff Said

The NYT editorial board gives us a pretty good sumation of where King George has his priorities.


Tuesday, March 08, 2005


Generally, the quality of legislation is inversly proportional to the ammount of time lobbyists spend on pushing it on K street. In the case of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (S 256) 8 years is a long time to push a bill that will neither prevent bankruptcy abuse, nor will it protect consumers.

In fact many people like Kevin Drum, Atrios, The New Republic (DLC BASTARDS!), Oliver Willis, Preemptive Karma, EVEN THE FREEPER CONSERVATIVE WINGNUTS don't support this thing. Bill Clinton vetoed it (for you centrists out there).

This is people all over the country Left, Center, and Right.

The Democrats have probably won some political points.

Ted Kennedy tried to piggy back a minimum wage increase onto this bill. The Republican's who apparently did not listen to their best friend in Iraq, those lovely pro-democracy socialists accross the pond, The Brits. Last week during the House of Commons Questions time, Tony Blair stated that since their minimum wage hike was enacted Britain gained 2 million jobs. Im not kidding:
Hugh Bayley (City of York) (Lab): Since Labour brought in the minimum wage against fierce opposition from the economic wizards on the Opposition Front Benches who claimed that it would cost jobs, the number of people employed in my constituency has increased by 10,000. I am pleased that the Labour Government continue to increase the minimum wage by more than inflation, but there are still some people—home workers, cockle pickers and other exploited and sweated workers—who do not get the minimum wage. Will the Government organise a major campaign to tell people about their rights at work and how to claim them?

The Prime Minister: We certainly will do that. It is important that we ensure that people are aware of their rights under the minimum wage legislation. My hon. Friend is absolutely right to say that literally hundreds of thousands of people have benefited from the introduction of the minimum wage. The uprating is extremely welcome. It shows that we can combine a strong high-employment economy with social justice and fairness. I think that it was somebody sitting not too far away from me who described the minimum wage as "extreme, dangerous and absurd," and said that it would cost 2 million jobs. We introduced the minimum wage and we got 2 million extra jobs.

Though Dick Santorum also tried his own wage hike, his was not all inclusive, in fact all those "home workers, cockle pickers and other exploited and sweated workers" wouldn't be helped out at all, neither would those making overtime pay, because his idea would keep you from being able to score overtime pay. SO DICK, sorry nice try and I am sure your campaign will benefit from your skewed ammendment that was killed by your own party.

Supporting the troops? Democrats proposed an ammendment to keep the troops out of this means testing (meaning the government, that great big beurocracy the republicans keep trying to stop growing, will be deciding who gets bankruptcy protection and who doesn't). No dice they do not get exempted by this means test. I hope they aren't too worried about their checking account while they are out killing terrorists for the freedom of the credit card companies.

Even those morally bankrupt anti-abortionists will not be exempt from this law. Democrats also proposed an ammendment to keep anti-abortion protesters from being affected. They used to be able to protest violently, get arrested, and hide behind bankruptcy laws to help keep them a protesting. Have no doubts about it, this bill may scare some of those anti-abortion protesters away from the clinics. This alone could potentially increase the quantity of abortions, given they are the last obstacle between a women and Dr. Mengala.


IT IS FOR THE CREDITORS. It is a form of Corporate welfare. It is trash, garbage, and anyone who supports it should be usurped of their political aspirations to run for any office. Credit Card companies prey on people by offering them more credit than they can handle responsibly, this is well documented.

Keep that in mind in watching this bill. NOBODY SHOULD BE BACKING IT.



Google knows what month it is

Do you?



The Job-Training Faith Based bill is unconstitutional and the following is why (from the same article):
"The faith-based provision stipulates that religious organizations could choose to employ members of their own faith exclusively and still be eligible for federal funds."
By law, federally funded organizations cannot discriminate against an individual based on race, religion color or gender, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation or belief.

This has been struck down repeatedly in courts around the land. These federal law makers have wasted all this time for naught. All it takes is a schmuck like me to attempt to enter one of these cult job training programs and be denied.

Then the ACLU hounds will be released.

Then Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly will call the ACLU and all who support them hedonist pigs for destroying another religious group's good hearted cause.

Funny I thought my tax dollars were going to work for the greater good of this American society, not for the writers at FOX news to have a hayday months down the line. >


Monday, March 07, 2005

The Sphere... She is Round!

Lube up those mice, its time for another edition of The Sphere... She is Round:

Why is it that left wing-journalists who prefer peace to war are called left-wing journalistsby the associated press just because they complain about being shot at by soldiers who didn't give a rats ass when that journalist was being held hostage by people who would have cut that journalist's head off. Look it was an acident, its a war zone, shit happens. However, surviving what most right-wing "journalists" didn't have the sack to put themselves in for the sake of documenting history doesn't qualify you as a left-winger.

Shame on Angela Doland (someone who has not been to Iraq yet contributes to a lot of stories from peaceful Rome) from the AP for ledeing with "Left wing journalist" instead of just journalist. Why the qualifier? Or as most conservatives will no-doubt categorize it, the disqualifier. Giuliana Sgrena, you almost died at least twice. I don't care what political affiliation you associate yourself with. You are a journlaist and not the enemy of any country. If you think guys representing our country messed up, that is worthy of you asking for some sort of appology. And anyone who hasn't gone to Iraq for the sake of delivering the news, who hasn'tbeen kidnapped by islamo-fascists, has no right to denegrate you or your story as left-wing bullshit.

Those people are gutless pigs.

Speaking of gutless pigs.

Why isn't there a couple of libel/slander/defamation lawsuits springing up against this website?

I am upset my picture isn't up there with the terrorists aren''t you? Come-on fellow terrorist sympathizers, you know you are with me right?

In other news, the ERA (Equal Rights Ammendment) seems to have gained new ground since the 70's. If you are wondering about what the ERA is, you should watch last weeks Independent Lens. This was the biggest organized movement women ever put together. It gained speed and crashed into the brick wall of Rich White Men who were running the country at the time. The idea behind the movement was to ammend the constitution with something constructive like:
"Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex."

Seems to me that until that happens we won't legally be able to recognize women as equals. Thanks to media girl for noticing that this is comming to the forefront a bit. Democrats take heed, a ripe constituency awaits. Women need to be nurtured and fought for by our party. WHile Jimmy Carter failed them in the 70's, the Democrats would be wise to correct their historical flaw and swoop women into their camp with the ERA.

Frank Rich has a good column about the mediocre media.

There has sprung yet another coalition of the willing regarding the crappy bankrupt bill. So that's why I have that advert up.

BIG BIG NEWS! Marth Stewart is out of jail and serving the rest of her sentence under house arrest, like that dude on Desperate Housewives. Oh but you all probably knew about that, right?

UPDATE: Republicans flip flop too!

So that's pretty much a wrap.



FactCheck points out an interesting FACT

Ok folks,

Fact that organization VP Dick made famous by giving the wrong URL during his debate with John Edwards last year has put out a new gem of a report about the costs of administering the private accounts in Bush's plan (the one that supposedly doesn't exist).

In attacking a liberal group fact check didn't count on the liberal group (CFA) attacking back.

If Factcheck is right, which some other folks have said they aren't, perhaps they have uncovered some craziness about the true costs of administering private accounts. However, in their rebuttal to the libs they make the following statement which really gets to the heart of the whole debate and rhetoric:
Finally, CAF states that our article "criticizes every report done about securities industry profits." And indeed, the new information we reported does call into question the two most widely quoted studies, which variously assumed that the industry would be getting anywhere between $3.50 and $80 on a $10,000 account. As we reported, the actual experience of the TSP turns out to be 16 cents, something not known before we posted our article. CAF also states that it cited figures from the Securities Industry Association, which is so. As we stated, however, CAF used the wrong SIA figure. As we said, CAF should have used a figure of $39 billion to the industry (over 75 years), the SIA's estimate of revenues to the industry from passively managed "index" funds. But instead, CAF used a figure of $279 billion, the SIA's estimate of 75-year revenues from a large number of actively managed funds, which Bush is not proposing. But as we pointed out, even the SIA's lower figure is based on what turns out to be a mistaken assumption that the industry would get $3.50 per year on a $10,000 account -- 22 times higher than the actual experience of the TSP.

So they are questioning a study that has been out there blah blah.

It is the actively managed part that cought my eye.

Active management is absolutely necessary for anyone to make a buck in the securities exchange business. I mean you have to keep an eye on the stock market and trends and all these goddamned factors that go into making money in the stock market. It is the research behind the quasi-science of rolling the dice on Wall Street that makes the whole thing work for those who it works for.

If Bush is proposing an inactive private account, I don't think anybody will make any money on it unless they stay on top of it. I have a financial advisor who sends out periodic notices regarding where I should put my 401k money. This is great because for the first time last year I made some money on my 401k. However, if I wasn't actively involved in my investment choices, I would not have been able to keep up with the plastic flow of the stock market.

This is what financial advisors are supposed to do for a living. This is why they charge you money so that you can make (or loose) money in the stock market. Now, whilst my 401k made money, my money market account that was invested in stocks did not make money and I pretty much lost almost what I gained in my 401k. Both portfolio's were ACTIVELY MANAGED ACCOUNTS. Yet the "sure bet" of the uncertain stock market, kept my nest egg, at best, at a net goose egg.

So imagine what would have happened if I had (as the President wants me to) a passively managed private account?


Sunday, March 06, 2005

War on Rhetoric?

Noticed on Face the Nation that whilst Chuck Hagel was on spewing his Privatization scheme, Bob and Carin used the words "Personal Accounts" to describe the Private Accounts the President wants. After lying about an actuarial interpretation of an outlook that depends on the absolute failure (read slow 1.8% growth of the economy) of the economic policies he helped enact (read tax cuts during war time) that got us to the so called "actuarial fact" that Social Security is already in debt by 3.7 trillion; on came Senator Barbara Boxer.

When they talked to her, they used the terms "Private accounts" to more accurately describe the accounts, however, they were associating those terms with a Democrat.

I don't know why you would use the proper term to describe the policy to a person who already refers to such a policy using such term. If anything you would, as a card carrying member of the fourth estate, want to point that little rhetorical trick out to the person who is actually using said wordtrick to push such proposal.

But I am probably reaching. Who am I to make a case for the media being a part of an unconstitutional way of using tax dollars via, a non-partisan government agency, to promote a plan that is utterly and completely partisan?


I mean the diference between a murder weapon and the media is that a murder weapon can't choose itself as the vehicle of malfeasance, whereas an entity such as the media which is controlled by people (who no doubt know the laws governing their industry) can.

While I am on the subject of rhetoric. Welcome to the land of Bush Appologists. Daniel Schorr of PBS, Joe Klein of Time Magazine, and any other Democrat who comes out and says this latest wave of protest and democratic activity could have possibly been a result of Bush saying nice things to or going to war with the middle east.

How can any muslim take Bush seriously when they know he is the man responsible for the killing of over 100,000 fellow muslims? For reasons that have been proven to be manufactured, distortions, and fabricated interpretations of intelligence?

Certainly no muslim would take the words of such a president seriously if he is speaking to them not along side of them (for he fears them) as his emulatee did with Berliners. Nay he spoke those words in front of Rich White People who just so happen to be implementing laws that keep their people from worshiping their own semi-innocent way. Exempli gratis, insisting on wearing a birka is not the same as insisting on wearing a fuck you t-shirt.

Perhaps the same people who are responsible for contributing to the story of history would benefit to read into the History they helped write over the past 30 years or so, and realize that much of what is happening in Lebanon and Palestine is either a matter of circumstance (the latter) or the fights, deaths, and suffering of many pro-democratic forces who have been fighting for this means are actually responsible.

So again, any liberal or democrat who doesn't say the truth when it comes to the middle east is nothing but a Bush appologist and I think we have enough of those already.

Bonus: Bob Novak apologized for the erroneous quote about Gov. Dean, he also got his ass handed to him on Capital Gang when he stood out in favor of Justice Scalia and capital punishment of children. Novak also pulled the race card against democrats at least 3 times on this weeks Capital Gang.

Bonus 2:
SEN. McCONNELL: If Pat Moynihan were still alive, he'd be here to speak for himself. But here's what he said about the use of the word "privatization," which you notice my good friend Dick Durbin keeps putting in. Senator Daniel Moynihan said about privatization, "That's a scare word. That's a scare word. No one is privatizing Social Security. Nothing of that sort is happening."

Now, that's Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the Democratic expert on Social Security. I wish he were still alive to be here and make that statement himself. Why do we have to keep using that word? The reason they want to use that word is they want to politicize this issue. Why don't we just stop that and sit down together now that it's clear from the tour of the last two days, that Dick and Harry Reid and others believe that it's time to start talking? Why don't we just sit down and start talking about the subject and see what we can work out on a bipartisan basis?

Uh, maybe nobody was trying to privatize social security when Moynihan spoke those words but hes dead now and unfortunately, the republicans are obviously trying to privatize social security. And sitting down on a bipartisan basis? First, why don't we let dissenting views into a Bush "town-hall meeting." Them things are harder to get into than a whorehouse on fat Tuesday. Then Senator McConnell, remember that when you are in the minority, you have no control over what bills get to the floor of the Senate.


Friday, March 04, 2005

DoD torturing American Soldiers

That's what I said.

Suppose you quit drinkin, or smoking, or just got off the heroin. Say you go through the withdrawal, the therapy. All that good stuff. Would you want your next move to be going to a bar, or hooking up with your old heroin dealer?

Probably not. Today's soldiers fighting in Iraq are comming back more frequently with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (or as George Carlin would call it, Shell Shock). This disorder is both mentally and physically dibilitating. It leaves soldiers with tendencies towards suicide and violence towards themselves and others around them. It is an uphill battle the Department of Defense has been fighting ever since World War I.

PBS Frontline focused on the issue of treating these mental disorder. Luckily the Department of Defense has a policy in place that now requires all military personel who has been on active duty to attend mandatory treatment sessions with a counselor(s). They made it mandatory because they started to realize that most soldiers thought it was a sign of weakness actually seeking help for these emotional disabilities.

Should the soldiers be diagnosed with PTSD, they have a more intense treatment that lasts about 6 weeks.

Thus they made it mandatory. For that the DoD should be applauded.

Now for the torture part.

Once soldiers complete their 6 week treatment program, once their minds have become settled and quasi numbed to the nightmares, the cold sweats, the drinking and druging problem they may have developed, their loss of the girlfriend or wife they started beating after they got back, what does the military do?


That's right, the Military is sending these poor bastards back to Iraq to refresh their memory of all those bombs blowing up, and their friends blowing up, and the stress of driving on Iraq's IED infested roads, throwing them back into ambushes, battling the unseen enemy in the dark, and all those other wonderful situations that FUCKED THE SOLDIERS UP IN THE FIRST PLACE.

Now this is how we support our troops.

Just when they thought they were out... THEY PULL THEM BACK IN!


Bizzaro War on Terror

A classic case in the muslim world really.

Your typical man gets molested by clerics, clerics accuse said man of molesting a woman of their tribe, tribe complains and gets the local imams to sentence molested man's sister to be gang raped.

Read this

There were six men total of those six:
Five men sentenced to death in 2002 for their role in a gang rape that was approved by a council in a remote Pakistani village had their convictions overturned Thursday. A sixth man convicted in the case, which set off worldwide outrage, had his death sentence commuted to life in prison, lawyers in the case said.

Supposedly only 4 out of the 6 actually raped the woman (who had absolutely nothing to do with anything). Do the math, seems like most of those guys got off scott free huh.

This is in Pakistan. The same people who we know have WMD, have been alleged to sell them to Iran and N. Korea, and are a state sponsor of terror. Pakistan is also fighting India over Kashmir (this situation is walking that fine line between death, more death, and genocide). Pakistan is also an ally of ours on the war on terror and even though Osama Bin Laden has been on the loose in Pakistan for almost 3 years they have yet to produce any leads.

Why are we not speaking out against Pakistan and what is it that they have that keeps them on our "good friends" list. This case is just one of many.

So while this case doesn't mean much on the war on terror, it is one that shines a light on some of the human rights violations some o four allies are performing, these are the same allies garnering much support both financially, and militarily.

Just another example of how this adminstration is promoting human rights violators, WMD manufacturers, WMD dealers, terrorist suporters, and war mongering nation that is aiding the process of moving towards committing genocide.

This reminds me of how we used to sponsor Nicaraguan terrorists in the eighties.

Why Pakistan still considered an ally?

Perhaps it is their incompetence. Either that or their reckless abandon from the rule of law.


Thursday, March 03, 2005

Ironic isn't it?!

I would love to explain how ABC is censoring one of its shows (whose theme happens to be about the First Ammendment) for making a stark critique of a competitor network like FOX NEWS but I think Robert Greenwald does it better.


Moral Values Bankruptcy

Big Business is winning even more battles in Washington. Just yesterday the Senate debated and denied a bunch of ammendments to a Bankruptcy overhaul bill.

This editorial sheds some light on the bill's shortcummings.

The bill would create a means test that compares a consumer's income and expenses, thereby changing the current law, which allows consumers to protect selected assets and escape the full repayment of their debts. Bankruptcy courts could require bigger repayment plans. While this might deal with outright schemers, it would only worsen a raft of real-life problems suffered by single mothers, the elderly and working families who suffer financial disasters because of emergency medical costs.

The Democrats' attempts to protect them were defeated yesterday. The same G.O.P.-led majority doomed another worthy amendment that would have exempted from the means test military personnel who fell into bankruptcy in their civilian lives after being called to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Contrast that with the bill's gaping "millionaire's loophole," detailed by Gretchen Morgenson of The Times. The bill spares this popular gimmick, which lets wealthy people file for bankruptcy yet still protect major resources in five states that cater to sheltering assets from creditors in special trusts.

Another article tells us that the Democrats got shafted on a simple measure such as this:
By another 59-40 tally, the Senate defeated a Democratic proposal to require that credit card statements show how long it would take the consumer to pay off his or her debt by making only the minimum monthly payment, and what the total interest charges would be.

So much for supporting the troops.

So much for supporting your tired, your poor, your huddled masses.

So much for keeping "lawyers from shopping around for friendly local venues."

FTR, I am not in favor of letting people get away with not paying their debts. But somehow to me bankruptcy court doesn't seem to be overloaded with cases of Bankruptcy Fraud that would benefit from this so called "means test" is it?


Why is it?

That when Democrats call for government spending it is deemed out of control.

But whe Republicans propose almost $300 billion in government spending it's ok?


Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Hackery at the Fed?

Yesterday's news

Democrats, apparently feeling little political pressure to come up with a plan of their own or work across the aisle, remain remarkably united against the main element of Mr. Bush's plan: his call for private investment accounts to be carved out of Social Security payroll taxes.

A USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll published Tuesday showed Mr. Bush receiving his lowest marks on the handling of Social Security since becoming president.

Some Republicans appear unconvinced. After their weeklong recess hearing citizens' complaints and seeing the organized opposition to private accounts, many Republicans returned with a warning that if Mr. Bush wanted action this year, he would have to do much more to convince the nation that Social Security's projected financial gap required immediate, bipartisan legislation.

The White House promised on Tuesday that Mr. Bush planned to do just that.

Today's news:
Greenspan reiterated that he supports President Bush's push for setting up personal retirement accounts by diverting up to 4 percentage points of payroll taxes into the new accounts.

Diverting the payroll taxes into the Social Security trust fund, he said, had merely allowed the government to run larger budget deficits. Greenspan said that switching to the private accounts would be a way to bolster the nation's low savings rate.

In his prepared testimony, Greenspan did not repeat the cautionary message he sent last month: Creation of the accounts should be done slowly to gauge the impact the increased borrowing that will be needed will have on financial markets.

Greenspan did bolster the administration's drive to get something enacted this year by warning Congress that every year it delayed would make fixing the problem harder, especially after the baby boomers begin retiring.

Hmm... Hackery?

Looking forward to yet another Krugman backlash (like this one).


Democratization... be careful what you wish for

The buzz right now is who is to be credited with the Democratization of so many countries in so little time. It is a matter that is gaining popularity amongst bloggers and columnists of both right and left wing camps. The left is split on this one. Thre are those who are convinced (like the right) that perhaps Bush and the neo-cons were right. That by bombing Iraq and Afghanistan and presiding over elections (not exactly free or fair in either case) there has been a new smell of Democracy pervading the Middle East. Infecting people from Lebanon and Palestine.

There are some on the left (Ezra Klein) who have been giving Gee Dub credit on the recent revolutions.

However a brief look at history as Juan Cole's
(and Flynt Leverett) allows a nice sobering view of how Syria got into Lebanon in the first place (with the help of the US), and how Saddam came into (and staying in) power (with the help of the US).

So the next question is wether or not by bombing Afghanistan and Iraq and imposing democracy has had a ripple effect on Ukraine and Lebanon.

Highly doubtful, but most pundit's who feed on the public's short memory and lack of historical understanding, let alone the lack of historical context in their diatribes, will be quick to say it was our fearless leader who has made it all happen. Was it Bush's words or actions, both, or neither?

Let's start with actions:

I was watching last week's Frontline which was a documentary from the perspective of imbedded reporters within Iraq. One of the scenes depicted was the aftermath of a car bombed Christian church. All the soldiers agreed and basically said, "who bombs a church." The people who worshiped at that church were Iraqi, but they were Christians. Somehow that would bring a feeling of solidarity with any Christian (including those soldiers who were there).

So the killing of any muslim would no doubt generate solidarity with any muslims regardless of what country they are in. Just like the bombing of a Christian church would resonate with Christians around the world. Somehow, watching someone die tends to send a stronger message than watching someone vote.

Now words:
Bush standing behind a podium in Brussels stating that "we stand with you" doesn't quite resonate with the people whose brethren we have been bombing for the past 3 1/2 years. Reagan is given credit for asking Gorbechev to "tear down this wall" (never mind that wall was ripe for demolition, again that history thing) but at least he was at the wall when he said it. Plus Reagan didn't bomb the Berliners in order to force them to tear that wall down.

Bush crediting pundits fail to realize, that especially in the middle east, actions speak louder than words.

However, the more worrisome things are what is to come of these new Democracies. Already in Iraq we seem to have the Dawa party (which used to perform terrorist acts) comming to power. In Lebanon there is a good chance of Hezbollah comming to power. That's right the terrorist supporting group Hezbollah.

And so...

Just because it happens in under Bush's watch doesn't mean it was his doing. Unless of course, the Bushelytizing pundits are willing to blame Bush for 9/11, (note to self: don't hold breath) they should not be crediting Bush with Democracy in Palestine, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, or Egypt.

Be careful what you wish for. Democratization of the middle east (as with the war in Iraq) is bound to bring groups into power which wouldn't neccessarily be those whom we prefer.


Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Three Gs


MIT just got the 3000th hit.



The Ever Myopic: Tom MacGuire

First read his piece about the White House Correspondence Association not thinking Guckert/Gannon or his presence among the press corps was nefarious.

Then follow his first link

Then wonder why he fails to mention that the White House Correspondents Association has nothing to do with issuing White House Press Credentials in the first place:
The decision effectively keeps the WHCA out of the credentialing process following talk during the past month that the 300-member group might take more of a role in deciding who gets press credentials. Currently, the Standing Committee of Correspondents on Capitol Hill, a committee of congressional reporters, has sole authority over who gets press passes there. But all White House press passes are distributed by the White House Press Office with no WHCA involvement.

Emphasis mine of course.

Finally, do as Tom MacGuire asks and:
Someone please be sure to let me know when this scandal is over.

Tommy Boy. Not as long as you keep posting this out of context shite. Tom if only you would have read the next paragraph in your citation. <


Gonzales to prosecute obscenity peddlers

Breaking News!


Can anyone think of somewhere he can start?

UPDATE: Welcome World O' Crapians!


Shorter Brooks

The ownership society doesn't apply to married couples.