Friday, September 29, 2006
It's bad enough that we have to deal with the Republicans who are giving the big thumbs-up to this murderocracy.
But here was a chance for Democrats to use the one and only crumb of power we have left to us - the filibuster - to oppose the shredding of our Constitution, to stand on principle and stand up for human rights, to tell the American people that we do not condone pissing on the Geneva Convention.
Instead, what did we say? We said, "Hey, George, it's OK with us what you're doing! Go on ahead and commit atrocious war crimes! We're behind ya, buddy. And don't worry about them coming back to bite you in the ass. We're all right with passing a law that only exempts civilians from responsibility for these crimes (retroactively as well as any future crimes) - civilians like you, Cheney, Rummy, private 'contractors' - but holds the military (who is forced to carry out your unspeakably vile orders) responsible for what you, in your safe, cushy office, tell them to do. 'Low-hanging fruit' Lynndie England won't be hoppin' out of the hoosegow any time soon, but that's just fine and dandy. And hey, who cares that we've just opened the doors for other countries to do to our American soldiers what you intend to do to any other foreigner that you don't like? We think you're so great, we'll just let you do anything you want to! Roll on, brother - we got your back!"
'Obstructionist'? Hell yes we should be obstructionist. What else do we have at our disposal to slow these killers down? Every Democrat should be a proud obstructionist. But instead, we have enablers, fellow travelers, appeasers. This is the real 'soft on terror' crowd. Heaven forbid the Resident should call us names!
I hang my head in shame.
For information on the Democrats who let this go by, visit Democrats For Torture.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Here's a list of products and/or companies - even if you wouldn't personally buy them (and some I would not), at least we can let them know that there are eyeballs on the screen for Olbermann.
sprint mobile broadband
senior lending network reverse mortgages
Honda Certified Used Cars
AT&T Dynamic Networking New ATT att.com
ReadyRegion.org red cross
Comcast digital voice
l’Oreal Pro Calcium Moisturizer
NBC NEws on I-Tunes
subaru outback sport utility wagon
Genworth Financial Retirement solutions
Vonage unlimited local and long distance calling
New York Stock Exchange
Clairol natural Instincts
Dell Power Edge Servers
One question on many people's lips is - why torture when we know that information gained through torture is unreliable, that the torturees will say anything they think will make the torture stop?
How about this for an answer: That's exactly why.
They don't want true information - they want the information that they are looking for! And if you use torture, that's exactly what you'll get. Whatever will justify actions that the administration wants to take.
It's just another way to do what they've been doing all along - ignoring information tht doesn't fit their agenda, and pressuring for information that does.
Remember Richard Clarke?
"The president dragged me into a room with a couple of other people, shut the door, and said, 'I want you to find whether Iraq did this.' Now he never said, 'Make it up.' But the entire conversation left me in absolutely no doubt that George Bush wanted me to come back with a report that said Iraq did this.
"I said, 'Mr. President. We've done this before. We have been looking at this. We looked at it with an open mind. There's no connection.'
"He came back at me and said, "Iraq! Saddam! Find out if there's a connection.' And in a very intimidating way. I mean that we should come back with that answer. We wrote a report."
This is the real purpose. This is the M.O. of this administration, and has been since Day 1. What was implied before is now about to be written into law.
Read this bill.
Saturday, September 23, 2006
The Onion, in a scarily prescient article written in January 2001, declares:"Bush Says 'Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over'".
When I read it, I swear it could have been written today. Here's an excerpt:
"My fellow Americans," Bush said, "at long last, we have reached the end of the dark period in American history that will come to be known as the Clinton Era, eight long years characterized by unprecedented economic expansion, a sharp decrease in crime, and sustained peace overseas. The time has come to put all of that behind us."
Bush swore to do "everything in [his] power" to undo the damage wrought by Clinton's two terms in office, including selling off the national parks to developers, going into massive debt to develop expensive and impractical weapons technologies, and passing sweeping budget cuts that drive the mentally ill out of hospitals and onto the street.
During the 40-minute speech, Bush also promised to bring an end to the severe war drought that plagued the nation under Clinton, assuring citizens that the U.S. will engage in at least one Gulf War-level armed conflict in the next four years.
"You better believe we're going to mix it up with somebody at some point during my administration," said Bush, who plans a 250 percent boost in military spending. "Unlike my predecessor, I am fully committed to putting soldiers in battle situations. Otherwise, what is the point of even having a military?"
On the economic side, Bush vowed to bring back economic stagnation by implementing substantial tax cuts, which would lead to a recession, which would necessitate a tax hike, which would lead to a drop in consumer spending, which would lead to layoffs, which would deepen the recession even further.
Wall Street responded strongly to the Bush speech, with the Dow Jones industrial fluctuating wildly before closing at an 18-month low. The NASDAQ composite index, rattled by a gloomy outlook for tech stocks in 2001, also fell sharply, losing 4.4 percent of its total value between 3 p.m. and the closing bell.
Asked for comment about the cooling technology sector, Bush said: "That's hardly my area of expertise."
Turning to the subject of the environment, Bush said he will do whatever it takes to undo the tremendous damage not done by the Clinton Administration to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. He assured citizens that he will follow through on his campaign promise to open the 1.5 million acre refuge's coastal plain to oil drilling. As a sign of his commitment to bringing about a change in the environment, he pointed to his choice of Gale Norton for Secretary of the Interior. Norton, Bush noted, has "extensive experience" fighting environmental causes, working as a lobbyist for lead-paint manufacturers and as an attorney for loggers and miners, in addition to suing the EPA to overturn clean-air standards.
Bush had equally high praise for Attorney General nominee John Ashcroft, whom he praised as "a tireless champion in the battle to protect a woman's right to give birth."
You can read the entire article here.
All that crummy peace and prosperity was really bumming me out.
Friday, September 22, 2006
This is what I saw in my inbox the first thing this morning, courtesy of the Randi Rhodes Show, and I want to pass it on to you verbatim. No words of mine can begin to touch this:
"In the first half of the 20th century, Gen. Butler was as well known as Colin Powell is today. He served 33 years in the US Marines and is one of only 19 people ever to receive TWO Congressional Medals of Honor - the highest decoration the US Military awards.
Gen. Butler served with unquestionable distinction on battlefields spanning three continents. And when his service was through and the only orders he followed were his own he did what all great men do: he asked himself "Why?"
History now remembers General Smedley Butler for his answer that very simple question. An answer that holds as true today as it did 73 ago…
WAR IS A RACKET!"
The following is an excerpt from a speech Gen. Butler delivered in 1933…one of over 1,200 speeches he delivered in over 700 US cities.
"War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.
I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we'll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.
I wouldn't go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.
There isn't a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its "finger men" to point out enemies, its "muscle men" to destroy enemies, its "brain men" to plan war preparations, and a "Big Boss" Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.
It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty- three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.
I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.
I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.
During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents."
In 1935, Gen. Butler published his famed short work titled War is a Racket. Click here to read it in its entirety.
Thanks to the Randi Rhodes Show.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
"Given the fact that Iran has a stated policy that their objective is the destruction of Israel, the Israelis might well decide to act first, and let the rest of the world worry about cleaning up the diplomatic mess afterwards," Cheney said. (nudge nudge, wink wink)This was pretty much an open invitation for Israel to go after Iran, with the implicit blessing of the US.
Nobody paid a lot of attention to this at the time, (except my Dad, who said he got chills up and down his spine when he heard Darth Cheney say that) but in retrospect, we can see the truth in what people have been saying for a while now - that Iran has been in the Administration's sights for some time.
First, the deploring and the head-shaking. Then, the discussion of diplomatic solutions, with force only being considered 'as a last resort'.
'Last resort' my ass. The minute they say the word 'force', it's a done deal. It's been a done deal. Next step: offer the Iranians some bogus conditions that they could not and should not possibly comply with. Then, when the 'offer' is rejected, with sighs and long faces, the Administration sorrowfully concludes, with a heavy heart, that there is no alternative but to go and bomb the shit out of those dastardly villains, all the while telling the Iranians how much we love them.
Remember, this was right after the second (or third) Diebold miracle, and this interview was given a couple of hours before the KKofK's inaugural address. Watch the charade play out - it's the best show in town.
Update: Jolly Roger at Reconstitution sends this link - definitely a word to the wise. Do read.
Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader, and Dick Durbin, Democratic Whip, proceeded to tag-team up on Frist with a colloquy that was beautiful to watch.
Mr. Durbin: Will the Senator yield for a question?
Mr. Reid: I will be happy to yield for a question.
Mr. Durbin: Can the Senator refresh my memory? Was Mr. Bremmer the recipient of a gold medal or something from the President? Didn't he receive some high decoration or medal for his performance in Iraq?
Mr. Reid: The answer is, yes, he received that. I assume one would expect that from somebody who had a throne while he was over there.
Mr. Durbin: Isn't it also true that George Tenet, who was responsible for the intelligence that was so bad that led us into the war in Iraq, got a medal from the President the same day?
Mr. Reid: That is true.
Mr. Durbin: Did Michael Brown with FEMA receive a gold medal from the White House before he was dismissed?
Mr. Reid: I don't think he did. Even though he was doing a heck of a job, I don't think he obtained a medal from the White House.
Mr. Durbin: Apparently, these gold medals were being awarded for incompetence. They missed Mr. Brown, but they did give one to Mr. Bremmer. Will the Senator yield for another question?
Mr. Reid: I will be happy to.
Mr. Durbin: I am trying to recall the exact number -- it was in the billions of dollars -- that we gave to the President for the reconstruction of Iraq; is that not true?
Mr. Reid: It started out at $18 billion. But as the Senator from Illinois will remember, part of that money, stacks of one-hundred-dollar bills, was used by some of the contractors who were sent over there to play football games -- some of these same people.
Mr. Durbin: It is also true, is it not, that the Democratic policy conference has been holding hearings -- in fact, I think it is the only agency on the Hill holding hearings -- on this waste and abuse, this profiteering and corruption at the expense of American taxpayers and even, equally important -- more importantly -- at the expense of our troops?
Mr. Reid: I say to my friend, this war is approaching 3 1/2 years, and there has not been a single congressional oversight hearing on the conduct of the war. This war has now cost us, the American taxpayers, about $325 billion. There has not been a single congressional oversight hearing on the war.
Mr. Durbin: I ask the Senator from Nevada if he might comment on this as well: Are we not in a situation where the President has told us that he wants to "stay the course'' in Iraq, and Vice President Cheney, when asked a week ago, said he wouldn't change a thing in the way they have done this war in Iraq? Is it very clear that unless there is a change in leadership in this town soon, we are going to continue down this disastrous course, exposing our soldiers to danger every single day, their families to the anxiety of separation, and the taxpayers of this country to billions and billions of dollars more being spent that don't make us any safer?
Article on Smirking Chimp here.
Video from C-SPAN here.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
In his speech to the United Nations General Assembly yesterday, the Kowboy Koward of Krawford just told you what good friends he is with you.
"To the people of Iran: The United States respects you; we respect your country. We admire your rich history, your vibrant culture, and your many contributions to civilization. You deserve an opportunity to determine your own future, an economy that rewards your intelligence and your talents, and a society that allows you to fulfill your tremendous potential. The greatest obstacle to this future is that your rulers have chosen to deny you liberty and to use your nation's resources to fund terrorism, and fuel extremism, and pursue nuclear weapons."Before you get all swoony, just remember what he said to his good buddies in Iraq, right before he invaded and started his killing spree:
Many Iraqis can hear me tonight in a translated radio broadcast, and I have a message for them: If we must begin a military campaign, it will be directed against the lawless men who rule your country and not against you.Notice the eerie similarities. Note how he told the Iraqis how much he loved them; it was their nasty old leaders that had to go. Then he made sure to emphasize their assets and command that no one destroy them.
As our coalition takes away their power, we will deliver the food and medicine you need.
We will tear down the apparatus of terror and we will help you to build a new Iraq that is prosperous and free.
In free Iraq there will be no more wars of aggression against your neighbors, no more poison factories, no more executions of dissidents, no more torture chambers and rape rooms.
The tyrant will soon be gone. The day of your liberation is near.
It is too late for Saddam Hussein to remain in power. It is not too late for the Iraq military to act with honor and protect your country, by permitting the peaceful entry of coalition forces to eliminate weapons of mass destruction. Our forces will give Iraqi military units clear instructions on actions they can take to avoid being attacked and destroyed.
I urge every member of the Iraqi military and intelligence services: If war comes, do not fight for a dying regime that is not worth your own life.
And all Iraqi military and civilian personnel should listen carefully to this warning: In any conflict, your fate will depend on your actions. Do not destroy oil wells, a source of wealth that belongs to the Iraqi people. Do not obey any command to use weapons of mass destruction against anyone, including the Iraqi people. War crimes will be prosecuted, war criminals will be punished and it will be no defense to say, "I was just following orders." (emphasis mine)
Also, notice how he was talking about torture, and war crimes. Right before he went in and decimated the country.
Look out, Iran. Your pal Dubya's giving you fair warning.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
Friday, September 15, 2006
I was saddened yesterday by the news that Governor Ann Richards has died. She was a true Texas hero (born and raised *ahem*) and was a powerful force for progressive change. I always hoped in my heart of hearts that she would be our first female President. She died of esophageal cancer, which is what my dad has been battling.
Jurassicpork over at Welcome To Pottersville has her famous screed on "How To Be A Good Republican".
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
It really is great. Please tell me you'll watch it - you'll thank me!
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Less than 72 hours before ABC's "The Path to 9/11" is scheduled to air, the network is suddenly under siege. On Tuesday, ABC was forced to concede that "The Path to 9/11" is "a dramatization, not a documentary." The film deceptively invents scenes to depict former President Bill Clinton's handling of the Al Qaeda threat.That's right, folks.
Now, ABC claims to be is editing those false sequences to satisfy critics so the show can go on - even if it still remains a gross distortion of history. And as it does so, ABC advances the illusion that the deceptive nature of "The Path to 9/11" is an honest mistake committed by a hardworking but admittedly fumbling team of well-intentioned Hollywood professionals who wanted nothing less than to entertain America. But this is another Big Lie.
In fact, "The Path to 9/11" is produced and promoted by a well-honed propaganda operation consisting of a network of little-known right-wingers working from within Hollywood to counter its supposedly liberal bias. This is the network within the ABC network. Its godfather is far right activist David Horowitz, who has worked for more than a decade to establish a right-wing presence in Hollywood and to discredit mainstream film and TV production. On this project, he is working with a secretive evangelical religious right group founded by The Path to 9/11's director David Cunningham that proclaims its goal to "transform Hollywood" in line with its messianic vision.
There has been a right-wing movement, headed by David Horowitz, to infiltrate the TV and movie business in Hollywood, to shape it from the ground up according to far-right lights. As is usually the case, it is well-funded and connected, and has been placing members of the right-wing evangelical group "Youth With A Mission" as interns in the film industry, through an auxiliary group called "The Film Institute", which is, according to its mission statement, "dedicated to a Godly transformation and revolution TO and THROUGH the Film and Televisionindustry."
Don't believe the hype - these gross inaccuracies are not "honest mistakes". They are deliberate fabrications by a far-right messianic evangelical cadre, with the blessings of the ABC/Disney group.
Why would a network go along with this? Don't forget - when Republicans are in power, tax breaks and de-regulation are the order of the day. The networks and media outlets are consolidating, with more and more outlets under the control of fewer and fewer people. Less competition=more monopoly.
That's where we're heading, friends. The consolidation of the media is the goal here, and one that can only be possible through the good graces of a Republican government. They are trying to do this as quickly as they can, before the mid-terms have a chance of breaking the total lock on power that is currently in place. And if it's messianic, who cares as long as the the media companies make the mucho buck-os. They don't care where it comes from. Their deity is the Almighty Dollar, and if they can get more from evangelical propaganda, then - Hallelujah!
Please read this for yourself - check the sources. It's chilling.
I'm going to call ABC/Disney and let them know that I will no longer be watching their programming or buying from their sponsors, and will be talking to others about doing the same. When I get a list of the sponsors of their prime-time programming, I'll put it up here.
Update on ABC/Disney contact info: This comment on Air America, while really long, has a wealth of information that covers anything and anyone associated with this digusting travesty.
Read this comment!
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
There is a petition going around to express support for Mike and Kathy and tell the weenies at AAR that we want him back on the air ASAP. He may not want to, and I can't say I'd blame him if he didn't, but I for one need to hear his strong, morally uncompromising voice on the airwaves.
Now, more than ever, we need the rage and the outrage that Mike expresses. He makes us feel that we are not alone and crazy. Perhaps we are getting a little too close to the mid-terms. Can't be getting the proletariat all riled up, now, can we?
Mike has read many of my e-mails on the air in the past, and always makes his listeners feel like they matter. He is abrasive but the truth is not comfortable. Go somewhere else if you're looking for infotainment and feel-good smarminess.
Kudos to Randi Rhodes and Sam Seder for standing up for their comrade-in-arms.
Petition is here.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
I just got back from an unforgettable evening. Our local chapter of the Progressive Dems of America, PDLA, sponsored a talk with John Dean and Gore Vidal! It was held at a private home, and was also taped by C-Span. I bought John Dean's book the day it came out, so I brought along my copy and had him sign it 'to Hooterville'; now we have another 'book premium' for Hooterville For Habitat. "Conservatives Without Conscience" is an incredible book, and it has been a key to the thinking I've been doing along the lines of authoritarianism.
John Dean is a brilliant, morally courageous man, and it was a a privilege to listen to him speak in person. And as for Gore Vidal - what can you say? He is a living legend - frighteningly intelligent, with a razor-sharp wit. They don't make his kind anymore. He is a product of an era of respect for, appreciation of, and delight in the written and spoken word - 'le mot juste'. I just fell in love with him right there. To listen to the two of them have a conversation was a marvel. If it goes up on C-Span, you should watch it if you can. I came away inspired.
Plus, I heard a great new name for the Kowboy Koward of Krawford - "The Yellow Rose Of Texas"!
Friday, September 01, 2006
I found out who she was in an interesting way a while back. I got an e-mail confirming a flight from Atlanta to Washington - a ticket that I had not booked. It was sent to my specific address. I was worried that someone had charged a ticket to my credit card or something, so I called the airline. They confirmed that it was indeed to an Alicia Morgan, at my e-mail address. But I knew I had not booked any flight, so I started Googling, and located an Alisha Morgan in Georgia. I called her, and she turned out to be a State Representative who was traveling to DC. I guess she booked the flight on the phone, and the ticket person must have used my spelling instead of hers, and we both have websites with our names. We had a very nice conversation, and I was thrilled (and not a little relieved) to find out she was a progressive Democrat. She is also the first African-American to represent her district.
And we found out something else we had in common. Not only do we have the same name - but so do our husbands! We both married David Morgans!
(cue the Twilight Zone theme!)
Anyhow, if you didn't see this on TV, please watch it on video from the PBS site. It's a real eye-opener, and I believe that there can be no more grievous attack on our democracy than voter suppression. Everything else is contingent upon our right to vote and to have our vote counted, and the Bush thugs and their tools on the right are doing their best to make sure that only 'their kind' of voters get to the polls.
And, check out Rep. Alisha Morgan - I definitely think she is someone to watch. I am expecting extraordinary things from her. I think you'll like her, and I'm sure we'll be hearing a lot more from her as time goes on.
That's what I'm talking about with the Hooterville For Habitat project - you don't have to be George Soros to make a difference. If you come across something that sparks your interest or you feel is deserving, kick in $10. Or $5. Any donation, no matter how small, is better that none. Not only that, but it gets you into the feeling of participation, which is the main purpose. Instead of throwing yourself full-time into someone's campaign, just phone bank for one night, from your cell phone. Or offer some other skill you have - for a couple of hours.
The point of micro-activism isn't the amount. It's involvement versus non-involvement. I kicked in $20 to DownWithTyranny's Blue America project. That's not going to send the accountants into a tizzy, but it means I'm supporting it with my action. It's psychological more than financial, really.
If you want to talk about a war, the war in question is a psychological one, being waged against us by the powers that have a vested interest in our capitulation, our passivity. And so far they've been winning. Look at what they've been able to do to this country (and the rest of the world) because we haven't stopped them.
This is the ultimate in Psy-Ops, and we've been trying to fight fire with wood. We have to learn and understand their methods so we can fight them effectively. The majority of Americans may not be gung-ho activists, but if we can get them to just stick their toes in the water, they'll at least be present and accounted for, which can change a lot of things. Remember, this is psychological, not logical. We have to understand that before anything can get better.
...my friend Lesli Carroll has surged into the lead in the quest for the coveted Greg Palast book! DivaJood, the early frontrunner, was widely expected to run away with the prize but in the home stretch, Lesli put on a sudden burst of speed and is now ensconced in first place.
Lesli, for those of you who don't know her, is my fairy geek-mother. One of my first friends when I moved to California 19 years ago, she is an incredible saxophone player, composer,arranger, and producer. I'd need another blog to list all her talents, but she's the person who introduced me to computers - she's a total Mac whiz. She is also my sister leftie from way back - we actually were working on a satirical song about the Usurper while he was still 'running'. Lesli moved to Idyllwild a few years ago, so I don't get to see her often, so it was really a treat to have her involved in our Katrina project. Not surprising, though - Lesli walks the talk in a way that many talk about and few actually do. I'm hoping she'll start a blog sometime, although she's one of the busiest people I know. She has a great voice, is fiercely intelligent, and has a lot to say.
I am so happy and thankful to my friends for helping out with this donation page. So happy, in fact, that I am going to both raise the goal to $1000, and offer prizes to everyone who donates.
The big kahuna, of course, is the book "Armed Madhouse" by Greg Palast, personally autographed by Greg 'to Hooterville'. But I have a lot of other great books that I will pass along to you guys - "American Theocracy" by Kevin Phillips, "Conservatives Without Conscience" by John Dean, and many more along those lines. I'll make up a list, and when you donate, you can pick one of the books on the list as your 'premium'. Even a $1 donation gets a book! Remember, no donation is too small! I hope you'll consider joining our Hooterville For Habitat Team - even if only for a dollar. Plus, as I mentioned earlier, as a team member you can get other people to donate to your account!
My kids have been saving change in a jar, and they came up with $48. I kicked in the extra $2 to make it an even $50.
This is also a great way to catch up on your progressive reading at very little cost to yourself, and help Katrina victims (since Dubya and Co. are too busy trying to find more folks to bomb) get homes at the same time.
Click on the graphic or here to get to our Team Page, and thanks again to DivaJood, Lesli, Karena and Helen for stepping up! Much love to you.